Rating: R (...ish?)
Summary: Kirk needs to get married for political reasons. Spock offers himself as the logical choice. Written for the st_xi_kink meme. Enjoy!
“We arrive in San Fran on the fourteenth,” Jim estimated, going over their shared calendar. “You’re heading to the academy to make adjustments to the Satan Machine while I’m off to Iowa straightaway to throw Sam’s bachelor party. Noon on the fifteenth, you join me there and we party the night away.”
Spock nodded, already dreading the ‘bachelor party’. Anything involving a party spanning the whole night was worth some trepidation. “The sixteenth, we will be assisting in the decoration of the hall, after which we need report to the tuxedo rental shop to obtain your outfit,” he added to their growing itinerary. “And the Kobayashi Maru is not ‘the Satan Machine’. It is the Kobayashi Maru simulation.”
“Not to the academy students,” Jim mumbled, and then he was silent. Something akin to awe flowed through the bond, and Spock raised an eyebrow. Their eyes met, and his husband swallowed. “Spock. We’re domestic now. We’re…plural.”
Spock set down his PADD. “Do you not enjoy being ‘plural,’ Jim?” he asked, keeping his nerves from entering their bond. Jim reacted quickly.
“I like being ‘plural’ just fine,” he assured his husband, speaking quickly. There was a slight nervousness in the bond. “It’s—there’s this thing kids on earth say to tease each other. It’s centuries old, but it’s still hard on kids. ‘First comes love, then comes marriage’…”
When Jim trailed off, Spock nodded him on. “And what proceeds beyond marriage?”
The captain cleared his throat. “First comes love, then comes marriage. Then comes a baby in a baby carriage,” he stated clearly, though the anxiety he felt seeped through to Spock’s mind. And Spock had to admit, something bubbled up in him as well. Grief? Not quite. Perhaps anticipation of the unknown. He nodded Jim on, stroking his fingers gently. The human took a deep breath. “It’s not time for us to have a kid yet. We both know that. It’s just not the right time. But I want one with you. Someday. Not right away, you know? But someday.”
Gratitude seized Spock’s chest, and he intertwined his hand with Jim’s. He returned his other hand to his PADD, flicking through the data for a few seconds, during which he felt Jim’s confusion. He confirmed what he was looking for, and then returned his attention to his husband, meeting those blue eyes.
“Vulcan females are reputed to be most fertile on planets mirroring the atmosphere of Vulcan, and following the conception of a Vulcan child it is necessary to visit a healer to determine whether the child will be of sound genetic formation, particularly in cases involving other species as the sire,” Spock informed him, mouth drying somewhat. “We may attempt to conceive next time we pass near New Vulcan. Would this be acceptable to you?”
Jim’s mind was blank through the bond, and for a long while they were silent. And then, finally, his husband whispered, “so soon?”
Spock leaned forward to brush his lips against Jim’s. Sharing a breath with him, he looked into those hesitant eyes. “A conversation with my other self the day of our nuptials revealed a truth I did not wish to consider, but I must consider it,” he murmured. “I will almost inevitably outlive you, Jim. Your life expectancy is at most 104 years, considering your lifestyle and species. And you are so much more fragile than a Vulcan. I will someday face a life in which you do not exist. Should that come sooner than I would otherwise expect, I would desire…”
“You don’t want to be alone when I’m gone,” Jim summarized for him, emotions still on hold. Spock was momentarily uneasy about this, and then Jim leaned forward to kiss him this time. “You might die out here, too. Bones has made it a hobby of his to tell me all the various ways one can die in space, and I don’t think you’re immune to any of them. Either one of us could die before the other.”
Spock closed his eyes. “State it concisely,” he murmured. “Please.”
“I agree,” he murmured. “Might be sooner than you thought, though. I promised your dad I’d take you to New Vulcan for the anniversary of Vulcan’s destruction.”
Spock did the calculations mentally. “That leaves only eight point two weeks,” he heard himself say. “I must admit, that is sooner than I anticipated.”
“Still what you want?” Jim asked, and after a long moment, fingers flexing against his hand. Spock nodded. “Okay. We’ll discuss becoming even more plural than usual after we finish with the plans. Two weddings in one week. Mom’s gonna go nuts.”
Spock returned his attention to the PADD. “We need to awaken at 0800 hours on the seventeenth in preparation for your brother’s wedding. We will attend from 1100 hours until 1800 hours, at which point we will return to your mother’s home.”
“And we get married again two days later,” Jim reminded him. Spock felt his lips attempt to tug upwards, but he suppressed it, instead offering his contentment to Jim through the bond.
When Spock arrived in Iowa, Jim was standing beside a small blonde woman, and he didn’t have to spend more than a moment looking at her to see the resemblance. Jim pointed him out, although the Vulcan suspected it was unnecessary – he did rather stand out. Nonetheless, she approached warmly, keeping her hands to herself.
“You must be Jim’s husband,” she greeted, a nervous smile on her face. “I don’t know as much about you as I’d like, but I think we can fix that. I’m Winona Kirk. Please call me…whatever you’re comfortable calling me.”
Spock nodded, hands folded behind his back. “It is my pleasure to meet you,” he stated, the words sounding foreign to him. “Thank you for permitting me to stay in your home.”
“You’re family,” she replied quickly. “And you’re probably the best thing that’s happened to Jim in a long time. You are welcome here any time you would like.”
Jim finally cut it. “Uh, it’s almost time for us to pick Sam up,” he pointed out. “Sorry to cut this short, but…”
“Oh, I understand,” she smiled at her son. “You boys have fun. Just—not too much fun. That’s supposed to be Sam’s job. Don’t let him drink enough that he’s hung over on his wedding day, Jim. You understand me?”
“Yes, Mom,” his husband supplied. “We’ll see you at breakfast tomorrow.”
And with that, Jim started briskly towards a car just outside the transport dock, leaving Spock to follow and wonder just what sort of first impression he had gotten from his mother in-law – and what impression he had given.
Spock would not have been able to tell anyone how he had come to be alone with his husband’s mother decorating a hall with ribbon, lace, and flowers, but it was not the most uncomfortable situation he had ever encountered. It was, however, quite high on the list, with the older woman almost ordering him to tie the ribbon this way or that way, and reprimanding him for chewing on a stray petal.
“I don’t care if they are edible! You will not eat the decorations!” she exclaimed, brushing the fragrant flower bits away from him as though she expected him to consume them all in one fell sweep. “Call it impractical all you want. For now, they’re decorations. You can eat them later.”
Spock raised an eyebrow, glancing over the table. “How is disassembling a flower and scattering it over a table at all decorative?” he asked, the slightly bitter taste of the petal lingering in his mouth. On Vulcan, such a thing would have been a delicacy. This was apparently not so on Earth. “Furthermore, why is it permissible for me to dine on them after the ceremony as opposed to before? We appear to have a surfeit of them.”
She relented her guard, eyes wide as she looked him over. “You’re really curious?”
“Indeed,” Spock confirmed, setting down the scissors he’d been holding before and clasping his hands behind his back. “Is this symbolic?”
She seemed to consider it. “It’s aesthetic,” she corrected him. “You put a small bouquet in the center of each table and scatter petals under it. It gives it an…aged feel. And okay, it’s not a natural feel, but it’s close enough. It’s just designed to be aesthetically pleasing. Basically, it’s supposed to reflect the bride’s beauty.”
Spock glanced over the centerpiece in question, attempting to comprehend. “And if the bride is not beautiful?”
An odd snort escaped the older woman, and she had to grip the table for support. Spock raised an eyebrow. “If the bride isn’t beautiful, then the décor had better be especially gorgeous,” she managed, and the Vulcan knew she was attempting to answer his question seriously, despite the laughter she was failing to suppress. “Earth weddings are pretty much a bride’s excuse to fish for compliments on everything – her hair, dress, make-up, choice in men, eye for décor, what have you. So if she’s going to get her quota on compliments, she’s gonna need to try way harder on the decorations if she’s not pretty to start with.”
He pondered it for a moment. Such an unusual custom. “It is acceptable, then, to presume that an unattractive bride necessitates a beautiful reception hall, but a beautiful reception hall does not necessitate an unattractive bride?” he queried, watching the woman shake with suppressed laughter as she nodded. “Fascinating.”
They worked in silence for a few long minutes, Spock with the efficiency imbibed in him since before he could remember and his husband’s mother with laborious care not unlike the effort he remembered his mother giving when preparing the house for one of her human celebrations. He forced the thought from his mind, reminding himself that she had passed nearly two years ago, and that he needn’t consider it so close to a celebratory occasion.
“Jim was right,” Winona Kirk interrupted his thoughts, blissfully well-timed. Spock turned his attention to her, and she smiled warmly at him. “He said I’d love you. I really didn’t think I would, but you’re just such a clueless little charmer. I’m glad he picked you.”
Spock wanted to correct her on the ‘clueless’ comment, but upon closer examination, he realized how little he did know of all they had discussed. ‘Clueless’ was not completely inaccurate, loath as he was to admit it. Instead, he simply nodded. “I am also pleased with the arrangement,” he stated. “Although I feel I must inform you that I was the one to propose the marriage between us.”
She sighed, but there were no indications that she was at all upset. “Can’t fault you for your taste,” she said. “My son is quite the man.”
Spock rearranged a bow on one of the chairs, feeling inordinately feminine. He reminded himself he was doing this for Jim, and that calmed him slightly. “Is that an observation made frequently by mothers on Earth?”
“Nope, not vocally,” she shook her head, spreading a placemat carefully. “But we all think it. When you have kids, you’ll understand.”
And irrationally, illogically, the pain of his loss resurfaced. It was somehow more overpowering than he had ever experienced, the grief and emptiness and intensity all but surging to the forefront of his mind, and while he felt the worry it garnered in Jim, he could not control it. Logic and control failed him, and he sank into one of the chairs, doing all he could to simply continue breathing and keep his face blank. Winona froze in his gaze, though he did not truly see her. He was merely aware of her, the image of Jim’s crestfallen face overtaking his conscious thought.
“Spock?” the human woman asked gently, kneeling before him. She kept her hands at her sides, obviously trying to respect the distance maintained in his culture, and he knew he appreciated the gesture, even though he could not see it. She was quiet as he attempted to compose himself, soothing waves coming through the bond from his mate, and then she took a barely audible breath. “Spock, what’s the matter?”
“We were going to have a child,” he confessed to her, the features she shared with his husband appearing in bas relief with the rest of her countenance. The ridge of her nose, the shape of her ears, pieces of her eyes – those were all Jim. And somehow, her presence was soothing. Something residual from the bond, perhaps. He did not particularly care why she made him feel so open, not when he needed so badly to speak. Had his father not told him that what was necessary was never unwise?
His husband’s mother looked him right in the eye. “Something happened, though,” she surmised. He found himself nodding.
“I will not go into specifics as to how it happened, but the pregnancy ended prematurely,” he said, clutching the seat of the chair. “We have not finished grieving. I did not wish to burden you with this knowledge, but—”
“It’s not a burden,” she hurriedly explained, standing and leaning over him, jerking back at the last moment. “I—I would hug you, but I think that would be uncomfortable for you, so I’m going to wait for Jim to get back so he can do it for me.”
“Logical,” Spock managed, and for a moment he wondered if his unique genetics permitted him to cry – and then the feeling subsided. “It would be prudent to complete our task as assigned.”
She crossed her arms. “All that’s left is some fine tuning of the arrangement of the centerpieces,” she said. “Tell you what. I’ll take care of all that, since I still don’t want you eating the flowers. You go spend some time with Jim. Get yourself in shape for the wedding. And then, in four days when you’re getting married, you toss me the bouquet, ‘cause God knows it’s about time for John to propose. And don’t tell me you’re not having a bouquet. You are. Do we have an understanding?”
Spock hoped for some explanation later as to the significance of the bouquet, but for the moment he would have to accept the offer without question. “We have an understanding,” he confirmed. “Good luck with the décor.”
The soft smile on his mother in-law’s face was enough to send him through the door with no sense of remaining obligation. And for that, he was grateful.
The reception was less enjoyable than the ceremony itself, Spock had to admit. The ceremony had been quiet, and aside from the initial procession, everything was still. Words had been spoken and seats taken and, above all, he had Jim all to himself, fingers interlaced.
Now, at the reception, the music was loud and taxing his eardrums, and there was some girl flirting quite aggressively with his husband. The temptation to relocate was strong, as was the instinct to lash out at the threat to his marriage – but the humor and disinterest Jim felt filtered through the bond, and he was calmed. The girl refused to relent, and Spock did notice a few amused glances coming their way. It seemed the crowd was deriving enjoyment from this display.
“Oh,” she said suddenly, and for a moment Spock thought she might have realized the pointlessness of her endeavors. She disproved this immediately, fluttering her eyelashes subtly at his husband. “This song is so romantic. Don’t you think you should ask a certain someone to dance?”
Jim smiled brilliantly, and Spock could almost see the triumph in the lady’s eyes. “I should, shouldn’t I?” he replied, and she held out her hand. He ignored her, turning back to Spock. “May I have this dance?”
“You may,” Spock said, indulging him. The girl’s shocked face followed them all the way to the dance floor. There was no particular lead in their dance, and no follower. “Is this deemed appropriate?”
There was a quiet moment. “Well, we’re fully dressed, married, monogamous, and aren’t swapping spit or other bodily fluids right now, so I would think so,” Jim murmured. They swayed to the music another moment. “I know you don’t like close contact like this. Thanks.”
“Perceived encroachment upon one’s territory may result in an urge to stake one’s claim,” Spock responded, rubbing his fingers gently. “I would not have permitted you to dance with her.”
“Big surprise there,” Jim chuckled. For a moment, they simply took in the music. And then, “can’t believe it’ll be our turn in just three days.”
“Technically, we have already been married longer than your brother and his new wife,” Spock pointed out. He felt a slight irritation come from Jim, somehow entwined with amusement. “Still, it does seem rather hard to believe that our roles will be reversed in so short a span of time.”
“Bet you’re going to love it,” Jim whispered, and Spock simply swayed to the music.
As it so happened, Spock hated it.
He couldn’t fault Jim for wanting to have this ceremony, this culturally significant and emotionally deep ceremony, but it was not to his taste. Not at all. It was impractical, pretentious, and consisted too much so of greeting people he did not know and fielding personal questions.
But he pretended to enjoy it.
“And is the Vulcan ceremony much different from the human one?” an elderly woman was asking, although Spock was uncertain who she might have been. He wasn’t even certain of her name at this point. “Is it exotic?”
Spock breathed. He had to try to remember to breathe. “As I was born and raised a Vulcan, the ceremony used here seems far more exotic than that of my species,” he clarified. “It is far more intimate.”
“What do you wear?” the woman asked. Exasperation slipped through the bond before he could control it, and in a flash Jim was at his side again, threading his fingers through his.
“Hey, Great-Aunt Ashley,” he greeted. “Are you interrogating him about our first wedding? Don’t you have more important things to be asking?”
The woman blinked, and then her face contorted as though she was attempting to recall something quite important. “I simply cannot remember,” she mumbled, and without so much as a goodbye, she was walking the other direction, muttering to herself and picking up a glass of brandy that might not have actually been hers to start with. Jim grinned.
“That always works with her,” he informed his husband, handing him what looked suspiciously like chocolate milk. He raised an eyebrow. “Hey, weddings are only fun from our side if we’re intoxicated. Go crazy, Mr. Spock.”
“How does intoxication factor into my enjoyment of this event?” he asked, accepting the glass hesitantly. Jim jerked his head towards the dance floor, where Dr. McCoy and Nyota were swaying, bodies pressed together too closely, the man’s hands travelling lower and lower. “Ah. I understand. Logical.”
Jim laughed, taking a long drink of what might have been whisky. Spock sipped the chocolate milk, watching Jim’s throat work the liquid down. The man cocked his head.
“So, if women can’t have alcohol while they’re pregnant, can you not have chocolate?” he inquired. Spock glared, and Jim laughed. “Just joking around, Spock. I know you’ll do what you have to when the time comes. Just let me know what you don’t want me doing and I’ll not do it.”
He drank his milk quietly, letting the slight buzz work its way into his mind. He had never before ‘self-medicated’, not intentionally, but he did not find himself minding it. This reception had him wishing, illogically, that he had refused the second marriage ceremony. He finished his glass and set it down, only mildly surprised when it was immediately picked up. He followed the hand up to the face, and—
“Hello, Spock,” his father greeted him. “It has been some time.”
Spock immediately pulled Jim closer to his mind. “Indeed,” he replied, now thankful for the light intoxication. He was not entirely prepared to face his father. “I was not aware you would be in attendance.”
“Your mate invited us last time we communicated,” Sarek informed him. “Ambassador Keilok was adamant that we come. Now I understand why.”
Jim leaned in. “Good to see you, Ambassador Sarek,” he said, brushing Spock’s fingertips lightly. “So, Keilok’s here too?”
“Indeed,” his father confirmed, face neutral. “Although I have come to know him now as Spock.”
Spock felt his eyes widen against his mind’s will. “How have you come to have this knowledge?”
“He initiated a mind-meld with me,” the older Vulcan stated. And there really was no further need for elaboration, no deep-seated mystery or confusion. Spock nodded, Jim’s surprise coursing through him and his own apprehension interlacing with it. “Spock. Your life is yours to live as you choose. I should not have attempted to control it. I hold you under no obligation to adhere to my desires for the way you choose to live.”
“What changed your mind?” Jim asked, still sipping his drink. Sarek’s expression did not change.
“There are some things meant to remain constant between our respective times,” he said, voice betraying nothing. “And there are some reparations to be made to both. I will not allow the eventuality your elder self faced to occur in this timeline. And I intend to speak no further regarding any of this.”
His elder self approached then, and Spock immediately rose to his feet. “Ambassador,” he greeted formally. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Nyota and Dr. McCoy watching. “Your presence is a welcome surprise.”
“I am pleased to hear such a thing,” his other self murmured. “The ceremony was quite pleasant. Our own was Vulcan – under circumstances I would not have chosen of my own volition. Although I must warn you, in three years’ time you will face those same circumstances. Thankfully, though, you will have Jim to aid you in this time. I am certain you will find him quite…enthusiastic.”
So he would suffer Pon Farr after all. “Will I?” was all Spock managed, and then Jim’s fingers were weaving in with his own. A spike of lust surged through him, enhanced by Jim’s eager response to what leaked through the bond. His elder self raised an eyebrow.
“I believe no one would hold any grudges were you to embark on your honeymoon an hour early,” the ambassador said lightly, and with some embarrassment Spock realized how accurate the man’s interpretation of their mental exchange had been. “All prudent speeches have been made. Most attendees have spoken with you. Your remaining responsibilities lie only with one another.”
Jim was immediately tugging Spock closer. “Sounds like a plan,” he grinned, glancing at Sarek. “Sorry to cut this short, but—”
“It is excusable,” his father waved them off. “Go.”
Remembering his conversation with Winona the day before, he scooped up what she had deemed to be ‘the acceptee’s bouquet’, to an inquiring look from his mate. They passed her table on the way, and Spock made a show of lightly tossing the flowers into her lap. Jim chuckled lightly, and with a jaunty wave to the guests, he had the ensign on duty beam them back to the Enterprise. They made their way to their chambers with no preamble, and before they could begin, Spock reached for his pills.
“Don’t,” Jim ordered hastily, pushing the packet back into a drawer. Spock raised an eyebrow. “They’re your contraceptives, right? You said you’re fertile every two months without them. We’ve got less than two months to get you in the family way before we pass by New Vulcan. If we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna need to pull the goalie, Spock.”
Spock manipulated their hands into the El'ru'esta embrace, touching his forehead to Jim’s. “You are certain this is what you desire?” he asked, heart racing in his stomach. Jim pressed his lips to his, tasting faintly of liquor. “Very well. I will cease contraceptives.”
“Good,” Jim purred, tugging on Spock’s tie. “You know what I like most about wedding clothes? Taking them off.”
And a moment later, Spock couldn’t agree more.