Disclaimer: The rights to Star Trek belong to Gene Roddenberry, and NuTrek belongs to J.J. Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman.
A/N: I’m so sorry this took so long to update! I had so many other plot bunnies that had to be addressed, but I knew I’d come back to this one at some point. Hope it was worth the wait!
Ch. 6: Father Figure
“You’re… you’re…” Jim could only stammer as he scrutinized his young father, who was thirteen years older than himself. “You’re him!” He glanced nervously at Spock, hoping the Vulcan wouldn’t berate him for interacting with his father. History was at stake, after all. But Jim would never be given this opportunity again – why not enjoy it while he could?
“In the flesh,” the human chuckled. Spock noted that Jim’s father didn’t seem to be rattled by this sort of behavior – perhaps it was something he’d gotten used to. After all, George Kirk had been famous for his bravery long before the Kelvin incident occurred.
“Do you know how much I’ve wanted to meet you?” Jim croaked. Grinning, George shook his head. Jim blinked back tears, trying to hold back his emotions at finally seeing his absent father and failing miserably. “This means more to me than you’ll ever know.”
“Thanks, son,” said George, placing a comforting arm on Jim’s shoulder. “Was there something you wanted to ask me?”
“Uh, yes…I-I…” Jim stuttered as he stared at George, basking in his father’s warm, reassuring gaze. He called me son, he called me son!
“Dammit!” George had not meant it literally, of course, but that didn’t matter. Jim would remember that moment for the rest of his life…
Wrenching himself away from his father’s touch, Jim turned around and walked several yards off in an attempt to calm himself. There were so many things he wished he could ask his father, but he wasn’t sure if he could do that without giving away the fact that he was actually George’s son from the future. Also, there was the little matter that his brain didn’t seem to be working right in the presence of the great man. How had Jim ever thought he could surpass this man’s accomplishments? George radiated a cool confidence that he’d never had. Oh sure, Jim faked it, but this man was completely sure of himself and his abilities. Perhaps this sure confidence came with age and experience – he sure hoped so.
“Is he okay?” George asked the Vulcan, watching Jim nervously pace back and forth.
“Affirmative. I believe he is experiencing a phenomenon that humans refer to as ‘hero worship’,” Spock explained. The elder Kirk beamed at that.
“Well I did save my shuttle crew from certain death on my last mission, but it’s no reason for people to treat me like I’m God. That is, unless they want to. I really don’t have any objections to that sort of thing.”
“This explains so much,” Spock muttered under his breath, glancing over at Jim. The Vulcan was completely certain that Jim’s enormous ego had been inherited.
“What’s your name?” George asked. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Vulcan on campus before.”
“I am Spock,” the Vulcan replied. “My acquaintance and I were visiting Starfleet as we are interested in enlisting in the future.” It was not truly a lie; they both did enlist in the future, the far future.
“Acquaintance?” George asked, amused. “You two aren’t friends?”
“Negative,” Spock said dully. “He is much too illogical for me to call him friend.”
“Uh huh,” George said knowingly. Somehow he could tell that the Vulcan didn’t loathe the human’s presence as much as he would have others believe. “So what’s his name?” Spock raised an eyebrow.
“I would prefer for him to introduce himself.” The Vulcan marched over to Jim, whispered a few words, and returned with the human in tow.
“Hi!” Jim squeaked, giving his father a half-hearted wave. Spock’s eyebrows flew up.
“Your behavior baffles me,” the Vulcan commented. Jim gave him a dark look.
“Thanks for your support.”
“What did you say your name was?” George asked Jim, who winced.
“Uh, it’s uh…” But he was saved when a dark-haired young man approached them.
“Hey Matt! How’s it going?” George clapped the man on his back.
“That’s Lieutenant Decker to you!”
“How could I forget?” George teased. “Aren’t you supposed to be heading for the shuttles? From what I’ve heard, Captain Garth is not a patient man.”
“I just wanted to send some last minute comms before I left,” the younger man explained. “Congratulations on your promotion, by the way.”
“Thanks!” George’s face lit up. “Due to my new title, I was able to pull some strings to bring Winona on board with me. I want us to be together, just in case she goes into labor prematurely.”
“Good luck,” said Decker. “I can’t imagine my wife and I wanting to have kids anytime soon. Maybe in ten years or so.”
“I don’t blame you; Sam’s certainly a handful,” George admitted. “I can only imagine what it’ll be like when his brother or sister arrives!” Jim swallowed hard as he watched his father say goodbye to his friend. It would be the last time Decker would see George Kirk alive…
“I never did get that name, stranger,” George reminded his doppelganger.
“The name’s Bond, James Bond,” Jim replied with a tinge of a British accent. It was only a half-truth. “I’m here on a secret mission for the ‘fleet, so I’m afraid I can’t answer any more of your questions.” If Spock had been human, he would’ve rolled his eyes.
“Cut the crap,” George scowled. “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s being lied to. And I know when I’m being bullshitted. I should know; I’m a master of bullshit myself. Why do you look so much like me?” Jim sighed.
“Fine. If you must know, I’m your second cousin, Augustus Kirk.” When he’d been a kid, his ‘Uncle Augustus’ had always been a source of amusement. The fellow had been a little wrong in the head, and he was always landing himself in jail for some reason or another. Lucky for him and Spock, no one in the family had actually met Augustus.
“Ohhhh.” George grinned. “I’ve heard so much about you! Why didn’t you tell me who you were earlier?”
“I dunno,” Jim shrugged. “I guess I wanted to see if you’d like me before you knew we were family.”
“I’ll buy that,” said George. “It certainly explains the Vulcan companion and the hero worship.” Now that his father wasn’t going to question him any further, Jim decided to take this moment to ask about their restraints.
“Would you mind getting these off?” Jim gestured to the binders. George smirked at his son.
“What happened, did the key fall behind the bed and neither of you could reach it?” Spock’s ears tinged green as he pictured the scenario. He pretended like he didn’t understand the implications of that sentence, which was what he did 90.4% of the time humans hinted at innuendo.
“I told you, it’s not like that!” The younger Kirk insisted.
“We were the unfortunate victims of a human prank,” Spock supplied.
“Ah, I see.” Commander Kirk hid a smile. “Let’s go outside and see if I can help you out.” Jim and Spock followed the older man past the com stations and out into the fresh air and sunshine.
“I am in your debt,” said Spock. “It was quite uncomfortable being bound to him.”
“Yeah, well, it was no picnic for me either.” Jim glared at Spock.
“Hold still,” George ordered, and he dissolved the chain that linked the two with his phaser. “I’m afraid you’ll just have to make do with the cuffs; I don’t trust myself to get those off without accidentally hurting you.”
“A logical decision,” said Spock, who nodded in approval. “It is only a minor inconvenience.” They stood there awkwardly looking at George.
“So what do we do now?” Jim wondered aloud. “Any suggestions, Spock?”
“None at this time, Jim,” replied the Vulcan. “As you said, we have plenty of time.”
“I know - you two can shadow me for the day,” George suggested. Spock raised an eyebrow.
“I do not understand how it is possible for humanoids to emulate a shadow.”
“No, no, no!” Jim shook his head at the Vulcan’s cluelessness towards Terran expressions. “He just wants us to stay with him and observe him while we’re on campus. Otherwise, without uniforms, we’ll stick out like a sore thumb.” The cadet lowered his voice so only Spock could hear, leaning close to the Vulcan’s ears. Spock did not shiver as Jim’s warm breath tickled his sensitive ear. “We don’t want anyone questioning us if we’re here on an authorized visit.”
“Most logical.” Spock nodded at George and straightened his shirt. “We accept your offer.”
“Good.” George beamed. “Maybe by the end of the day I’ll figure out who you really are.”
“Don’t get me wrong, we’re thankful and all, but why are you letting us stay?” Jim wondered. “For all you know, we could be Klingon spies.”
“That’s true,” George mused. “That’s why it’s best for you two to stay with me, where I can keep an eye on you.”
“Why not surrender us to the proper authorities?” Spock asked. Jim groaned.
“Stop giving him ideas! Geez.” The newly appointed commander chuckled.
“I’m curious about you two, especially since you and I are related.” He patted Jim on the back. “Besides, Vulcans aren’t criminals. I figure if you’re… with him, you can’t be too dangerous.” Jim’s eyes widened in surprise.
“I’m not with him, with him!” Jim’s father roared with laughter.
“Pardon me, I do not know to what you are referring,” said Spock. This time he really didn’t understand the colloquial Terran phrasing. “Did something amusing occur?”
“Nevermind, Spock,” Jim said quickly.
For the next hour, George gave them a quick tour of the campus, which was somewhat new (old?) to them. However most of the structures were recognizable. They ended up in the officer’s quarters, where George loaned them two crimson cadet uniforms to wear. (Spock’s was somewhat saggy on him, but it sufficed.) After he finished pulling on his uniform, Jim glanced around his father’s room in awe.
George’s personal effects sat neatly on the shelves and in the drawers. His uniforms hung in his closet, crisply pressed. On his desk stood a small stack of reports and a few photos. There was no residential clutter that occupied Jim’s room. I must’ve gotten my ‘messy’ gene from Mom, Jim thought to himself. Cause Dad sure is tidy! He and Spock are going to get along fabulously…
Jim’s eyes finally landed on a familiar portrait of his young parents and his four year old brother.
“You have a… a nice family, sir,” Jim commented as he fingered the gold picture frame.
“Don’t I know it,” his father agreed as he pulled on his dress uniform. “I’m about to have a new addition in my family – wife’s seven months pregnant.” Jim blinked, wishing he could tell his father who he was. But it was impossible, it would be break so many laws.
“I believe the appropriate Terran response is “congratulations”, Spock supplied, glaring at Jim for his rude behavior.
“Yeah, yeah, congrats,” Jim echoed, his throat tightening as George grabbed the keys to his hovercar from their peg on the wall.
“You guys are welcome to come home with me if you like,” George offered, “but I must warn you that-” The commander’s communicator beeped, cutting him off mid-sentence.
“Kirk here.” He answered, and Spock didn’t miss the longing in Jim’s eyes. “Yes, Admiral… I am dressed appropriately. Uh huh...I will meet you at the reception hall…yes I know Vulcans don’t shake hands…uh huh…right away, sir. Kirk out.” George snapped his com device shut.
“There’s been a change of plans. All senior officers have been ordered to attend the arrival of a high-ranking official, a prominent ambassador.”
“Are you certain we are allowed to attend?” Spock asked. George reached for one of his many gleaming medals of valor and stuck it on his lapel.
“As long as you stand behind me and keep quiet, you guys should be fine,” George predicted. “However, you might want to cover up those ears.” He tossed a red baseball cap to Spock, which at least matched the color of the uniform. The Vulcan pulled the cap on and resumed his dignified stance, but Jim privately thought he looked ridiculous.
George led them through a maze of buildings until they reached the gigantic structure that was the reception hall. Once inside, Jim’s father joined the line of senior officers, his shadows right behind him.
“Hey, do you know what planet the ambassador is from?” Jim whispered, already bored by standing in line at attention with nothing to do.
“Vulcan, I think,” George replied back, before snapping to attention once more. Spock paled considerably at this tidbit of information.
“It is my father. I am not prepared for this,” the Vulcan said in a monotone. Kirk frowned.
“Don’t jump to conclusions, Vulcan has lots of other am-”
“There is only one Ambassador to Earth,” Spock interrupted him, this action signifying he was distracted enough to forget his manners. “Now we have both of our fathers to contend with.”
“Great,” Jim deadpanned. “Just perfect.” And here I thought things couldn’t get worse.
“Jim, I am concerned my father will recognize me as a Vulcan,” Spock admitted. “It would be preferable if I did not have to converse with him.”
“Hmm…” The younger Kirk pondered this for a moment. “Then you're going to have to act like a human."
"Very well," said Spock. "What must I do?"
"First off, you need to slouch more. Now put your arms at your sides,” Jim advised. Reluctantly, Spock did.
“Better,” said Jim, closely scrutinizing the Vulcan. “Your face still looks too emotionless. Can you try and smile?” Spock did, but it just looked like the Vulcan was in pain.
“Okay, forget the smile,” sighed Kirk. That was a bad idea. “Maybe you could just look down at your feet. Spock’s eyebrows moved towards each other just a bit.
“Vulcans do not-”
“Exactly,” Jim cut him off, blinding him with a smirk. Spock complied, and he didn’t look nearly as intimidating in his new stance.
“Is this adequate?” Spock asked.
“It’ll do,” Jim approved. “Wow, Spock, you could totally pass as a human. I didn’t know you had it in you!” Spock frowned.
“I assure you, my illogical behavior will cease once my father is no longer in my presence.”
“Of course,” said Jim. Spock was not certain if Jim was teasing him or not.
But before the Vulcan could clarify this, the Head of Starfleet’s voice announced the arrival of their esteemed guest.
“Starfleet extends its most sincere welcome to Ambassador Sarek, of Vulcan. His diplomatic contributions and influence have often helped to further the exploits of this academy. We are most grateful for his dedication and support of our cause of peace and exploration.”
Garbed in a traditional brown Vulcan robe, Sarek departed his shuttle, surrounded by four beefy security guards. The Vulcan was first greeted by the Head of Starfleet, Admiral Jones, and then made his way down the line.
Just before his father reached them, Spock’s breathing rapidly increased. Jim couldn’t help but notice the change.
“Calm down,” the young cadet whispered. “It’ll be fine.” Pleased by Jim’s concern for him, Spock was able to relax a bit.
Finally, the ambassador approached Jim’s father. He raised the famous ta’al in greeting, which George half-heartedly attempted.
“Sorry, I’ve never been able to get my hands to do that,” George confessed, breaking the silence.
“I am not offended,” Sarek replied, bowing slightly.
“Good,” said George, clearly relieved he hadn’t made a social gaffe.
“It is a pleasure to meet your acquaintance, Commander Kirk,” said the Vulcan. “Tales of your bravery have reached the sands of my planet.”
“Only the good tales I hope,” George joked.
“What other tales would there be?” Sarek asked, confused. George coughed.
“Nevermind. Welcome to San Francisco, Ambassador Sarek. We at Starfleet are most pleased to host you.” George smiled at the Vulcan. “I trust you had a good trip?”
“It was adequate,” Sarek responded, his face perfectly devoid of emotion. Not deterred, George prattled on.
“…and not only that, my wife and I are about to have another child in a few months. You have a young son of your own, right?”
“Affirmative,” said the Vulcan, his facial features softening a tad. “My son Spock is almost one year of age in Terran terms. He has already memorized the principles of logic.” Commander Kirk gaped at the Vulcan, but quickly recovered.
“My son Sam memorized all of the species of common Terran plants and animals,” George bragged. “The little tyke thinks he’s a biologist.”
“Interesting,” was all that Sarek said. Then the ambassador’s gaze fell on Jim and Spock. “Are these your assistants?”
“God no,” said George with shudder. “These two are thinking about joining Starfleet. This is my second cousin, Augustus Kirk.”
“Charmed, I’m sure,” said Jim. He’d learned his lesson the year before and did not offer his hand to the Vulcan.
“Greetings,” said Sarek, giving him the Vulcan salute.
“And this is his companion, erm, Spencer,” said George. Spock didn’t meet his father’s gaze – he kept staring at the floor as instructed.
“He hasn’t been right in the head since the accident,” Jim informed the baffled ambassador. “It was terrible, a groin injury left him impotent and he hasn’t talked since.” Sarek raised an eyebrow.
“How unfortunate.” He returned his focus to George. “It was good to make your acquaintance, Commander Kirk. I wish you safe journey on your next mission.”
“Thank you,” George said politely. “The same to you.” They watched Sarek move on to the last few officers and then leave the hall.
“Whew, that was close,” Jim breathed.
“I’ll say,” George agreed. “I almost called you Spock, a strictly Vulcan name. Fortunately I was able to think of a Terran name just in time.” But Spock only had eyes for Jim.
“Was it necessary to falsely inform him that I was impotent?” Spock glared at the human.
“Nah, I just felt like messing with ya.” Jim grinned sweetly at the Vulcan, who gave a small ‘hmph’.
Since the guest of honor had departed, the Starfleet officers began to filter out of the reception hall. Soon, only George was left with his two ‘shadows’, who were currently arguing. The elder Kirk began to walk away from them. Jim and Spock were too wrapped up in each other to notice.
“Let’s go, you two, before you rip each other’s throats out.” George called over his shoulder. “I’m taking you home to our San Fran apartment to meet my wife. We actually live in Iowa, but Starfleet has given us a place of our own here since Winnie is pregnant. But I have to warn you, she and I can’t cook worth a damn so we just use the replicators.” He still hadn’t managed to grab their attention. Very well, if that was the way they wanted it…
“As I said, you can stay with us in the spare bedrooms,” Jim’s father said loudly. “Unless you’d rather room together?”
“No!” Jim and Spock both exclaimed. George shrugged.
“It was just an offer.” But he was smirking at them, much to Jim’s chagrin. Who knew his father had been such a tease?
They followed Commander Kirk to the officer’s garage and strapped themselves into the back seat of his hovercar. In no time at all they had arrived at George and Winona’s apartment. Jim and Spock followed their host inside, where Mrs. Kirk was waiting for him in the kitchen. They hung back in the hall at first, letting husband and wife greet each other.
“Hi, hon,” Winona greeted him with a peck on the cheek. “You’re home later than usual.”
“Yeah, I got held up at work. Where’s my boy?” George asked, as he gently hugged his pregnant wife.
“Sam’s playing in his room.” Winona rested her head on her husband’s shoulder.
“You feeling okay today?” George asked, concerned.
“I’m fine,” Winona laughed before they kissed. “Oh, before I forget, the results came back from the doctor today.”
“So are we having another borderline genius?” George kidded. Winona nodded.
“Actually, this one’s IQ is off the charts. The doctor said he’d never seen anything like it." From their place in the hall, Jim grinned smugly at Spock. The Vulcan simply ignored him.
“Well, he or she must take after their mother,” said George.
“Oh, stop it!” Winona swatted him in the arm.
“Hey, Win, I brought home some guests. They needed a place to stay.”
“Anyone I know this time?” Winona asked. Jim couldn’t believe it. If he or Sam had ever invited someone over without asking, his mom would’ve pitched a fit. But with George, she didn’t seem to care. Jim had never seen his mom this happy, nor the twinkle in her eye when she gazed at her husband. She seemed like a completely different person, one not weighed down by grief or the pressures of a single parent.
“No, but one of them is my second cousin. The other’s a Vulcan.” George beckoned behind him, and his shadows came into the kitchen.
“Cousin Augustus, Spock, this is my lovely wife, Winona.”
End Ch. 6