Disclaimer: The rights to Star Trek belong to Gene Roddenberry, and NuTrek belongs to J.J. Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed last time! I really appreciate everyone's continued support. On a slightly unrelated note, I've discovered the wonderful world of Futurama. Matt Groening, you sly devil you!
A/N: (Captain of a starship) Zapp Brannigan's character is a parody based off of TOS Kirk. This excerpt is from season one, episode four.
Zapp Branigan. Let's make the most of the time we have left together, shall we?"
Kif (his green alien First Officer with pointy ears): …
Zapp: Never mind. Just give me a backrub.
Me: SQUEEEEEEEEEE K/S REFERENCE ZOMG.
Ahem. Story. Right.
Ch. 9: Cupcake Returns
Over the next six weeks, Jim spent as much time with his father as the busy commander could spare. 3-D Chess. Poker with Matt Decker and the buds. Restoring vintage Terran automobiles. Sometimes Spock joined them in their activities. But more often than not, the Vulcan had a computer project at work that just happened to keep him occupied during the time when Jim was scheduled to spend time with his dad. Jim wasn't fooled for a minute, but he appreciated the fact that Spock was allowing him to have one-on-one time with George.
It was unfortunate that his mother had interrupted his little 'moment' with Spock, as the Vulcan always immediately changed the subject whenever Kirk brought it up. Jim found his attraction to Spock (as well as actual affection, this was new) growing by the day. It was becoming increasingly difficult to share a bed with the Vulcan and not be able to reach over and pull him close. Jim wondered if Spock felt the same way, but if anything the bastard behaved even more Vulcan than before, so he couldn't be sure. Still, their friendship was progressing nicely.
On the nights that George wasn't available, Jim and Spock spent most of their time eating meals together, watching educational holovids (Spock refused to watch any other kind) and discussing classic Terran literature. When Jim discovered that Spock could quote A Tale of Two Cities verbatim, he almost creamed his pants. How had this infuriating, smug Vulcan wormed his way under Jim's defenses? If only he could get Spock to meld with him, then he might actually get somewhere with him, convince him of his true feelings. But so far, Spock had resisted all of his flirtatious advances to meld.
The only thing that kept Kirk from going out of his mind with frustration was his accidental discovery that Spock always spooned with him during the middle of the night. The Vulcan always rose earlier than Jim did, so he could never catch him in the act in the mornings. But nevertheless, he did spend most of his nights in Spock's strong arms. Coincidentally, Jim slept better than he'd ever had before. It was not something he was looking forward to giving up when they returned to the future. If they returned to the future.
Jim knew that, successful mission or not, his time with his father was coming to an end. This was why he tried to spend every waking moment with the commander that he could. Spock had understood, and had thankfully kept his thoughts about illogical human attachments to those who were doomed to death to himself.
That night, chess was the Kirks' activity of choice. Jim had the board already set up in the living room by the time George arrived home. Winona had taken Sam to visit some of her relatives, so they had the house to themselves for the night. They ate a quick replicated pizza dinner, and then started on their first game. George's pupil had rapidly improved over the course of his visit.
"You know, Augustus, anytime you need to talk, I'm here," Commander Kirk reminded his relative as he moved a pawn, making way for his queen.
"Thanks, George." Jim squirmed under the discerning gaze of his father, and mirrored the move.
"I've searched the computer banks for your records and came up empty. I also couldn't find anything on your Vulcan."
"For the last time, he's not my Vulcan!" Jim threw up his hands. "We're just friends. That's all. Okay? Stop bringing that up, will ya?"
"Fine." George sighed, becoming serious. "Augustus – if that's even your name – one thing I do know, is whatever harebrained scheme you two are caught up in, he has nothing to do with it. I don't like sitting back and watching as you drag Spock down with you." Jim looked down at the board.
"I know," he whispered. "I didn't mean for him to ever become involved. He's done nothing wrong."
"So you owe it to him to give me an explanation," George prompted. "I can help you, if you'll let me."
"I- I can't." Jim bit his lip. "George, I want to tell you but-"
"It's not that I don't trust you. Honest!"
George just shook his head.
"I have a pretty good idea of what's going on, even if you don't tell me anything."
"Yeah. No one has ever heard of you two. Somehow you seem to know things before they happen, like that kid with the hypos. It's practically impossible you'd know so much personal information about him! Also, you knew where the guest bathroom was in our house before I showed you where it was." George looked pointedly at his opponent.
Jim grinned sheepishly.
"Nice try, wise guy. Those are just a few examples of the unexplainable things that happen whenever you and Spock are around. I'm not stupid." George stared intently at his future son. "You're time travelers, aren't you? You have to be. The thing I can't figure out is why you're here."
"Oh wow, look at the time." Without warning, Jim stood up from his seat, almost tripping over himself in his haste to get to his feet. "I forgot I promised to pick up Spock at the computer lab. Good talk, George." He slapped his father on the back before making a hasty retreat.
"Augustus, I'm not finished-" The door slammed shut, leaving a frustrated commander alone with his chess set.
Computer Lab B-2
"Hey, Spock. I've come to pick you up," Jim announced as he strolled into the room, causing the other technicians to swivel around in their chairs to stare at the disruptive human.
"Pick me up?" The Vulcan blinked in confusion.
"Yeah. You know, take you home." Jim's face colored, when he realized his explanation hadn't helped clear things up much. He hoped Spock hadn't noticed. "Never mind. Let's just go, okay? I need to talk to you."
"I thought you were spending the evening with Commander Kirk."
Jim winced - that conversation sure had been awkward - as he tugged on Spock's arm in direction of the exit. To his delight, Spock allowed Jim to lead him away to the Kirk family hovercar.
"That's what I need to talk to you about."
"Coincidentally, I must converse with you as well." Spock's eyes softened, as they often did in Jim's presence. "We must discuss our plans for the mission, as the Kelvin leaves space dock in two Earth weeks."
"Yeah, we should." Kirk sighed, running his fingers through his thick, blond hair as they piled into the craft. "I've been putting it off – I don't want to think about sending my dad to his death." He looked out the window, staring off into space as he imagined watching his father explode into a billion pieces before his very eyes. Spock sensed his friend's melancholy mood, and, after a moment's hesitation, rested a comforting hand on Kirk's arm.
"Jim, you are not the only one who has grown fond of your father. I too wish there was another option, but that is simply not the case. The Romulan ship must be damaged as not to pursue the shuttles – that is your father's destiny."
"You don't know that, Spock." Jim turned his hypnotic, pleading gaze on the Vulcan.
"Maybe there's a way we could save my dad's life AND take out the Romulan ship in the process."
The Vulcan raised an eyebrow.
"Why would you wish to risk more lives to destroy the ship when damaging it is a sufficient action?"
"Because that ship is still out there, in our time!" Was Jim's forceful reply. "It's always bothered me that ever since that fateful day, the ship was never heard from again. Maybe it's still out there, biding its time. Waiting for the right moment to seek revenge."
There went that eyebrow again.
"Jim, you have been watching too many old Terran films," Spock scolded. "Not every being has a motivation for revenge as strong as humans do."
Jim rolled his eyes.
"I'm serious, Spock! Those future Romulans could be a threat to the Federation."
"Perhaps you are correct," the Vulcan considered. "However, we cannot change history."
Jim sighed, dejected.
"Aw, I guess you're right."
Spock wasn't certain he'd heard his friend correctly. Since when did he give up so easily?
"Yeah." Kirk gave the Vulcan a warm smile. "I'd just love to have Dad back, is all. It's an illogical human weakness of mine." Spock was still suspicious.
"Jim, are you certain this is an acceptable course of action?"
"Would I lie to you?" Jim licked his lips, a habit which did not distract Spock from his current train of thought. "Also, I don't know how much planning we can do for the mission until Cupcake-"
"Giotto-" Spock corrected.
"-until Giotto arrives," Kirk amended. "The Guardian said he'd send him back a week or so before the Kelvin left space dock, so that gives us something to look for."
"Very well," Spock reluctantly agreed. "We shall wait for Giotto to make the first move. Then, we will counteract swiftly so that his tampering with the timeline is all for naught."
"Awesome." But when Jim smiled at Spock, the smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
Precisely one week and five hours later, Jim and Spock were alerted to a disturbance at the Academy. After exchanging knowing looks, they rushed down to the scene, but by the time they arrived, the damage was done. They found out from Chris Pike what had just occurred. Apparently someone - three guesses who- had left a phaser on overload in the rec center. The blast took out the entire ground floor, landing fifteen unlucky people, two Tellarites, and a Deltan in the hospital. Among the people injured was the famous Terran, Ambassador Gomez, and one Lt. Giotto of security.
Thanking Pike for his information, Kirk pulled Spock aside so they could talk without being overheard.
"I can't believe Giotto would go to such lengths to injure his dad and all those other people just to insure that his dad would be excused from the Kelvin mission." Kirk growled. "And people say that I'm irresponsible!"
"Thinking logically is not one of his strengths, Jim," Spock reminded him. "A widespread human shortcoming. Unfortunately, this event complicates things for us even more so than before."
"What do you mean?" Kirk asked, with a sinking feeling in his stomach.
"There are now many more variables that have been affected. If any of the eighteen injured beings were assigned to the Kelvin, the results of the change in personnel are too great to calculate."
"Wonderful. Just what we need," Jim spat as he swore in frustration. "When I find Cupcake, will you please give him one of your nerve pinches while I hold him down?"
"At this point, I might actually consider performing such a rash act," was all the Spock said. Jim wondered if Spock had just admitted that he was feeling frustrated, but then decided that he was reading too much into things.
When everyone arrived at the Kirk home for dinner, George quickly filled his wife in on the events of the day. Jim and Spock added pieces of information when necessary, but mostly they just listened to George.
"What does this mean for the mission?" Winona wanted to know after her husband finished telling the story. "We're still going, aren't we?"
"Of course. Nothing's really changed, except we're getting a different chief of security and an alternate ambassador." George turned to his guests, looking directly at Spock. "You boys might be interested to know that the Vulcan ambassador whom you met last month has volunteered for the position. He's bringing his human wife and their baby son aboard if you wish to speak with them. I can even arrange a private meeting, if you wish."
"That will not be necessary," a pale Spock reassured his host.
He and Jim exchanged worried glances. Without speaking, they mutually decided to rush through dinner, skip dessert, and promptly excuse themselves.
"By all means, boys, don't let us keep you," Winona gently teased. Without so much as a 'thank you', they went upstairs to be alone together, but not for the reasons Mr. and Mrs. Kirk surmised. They found sanctuary in their quarters. Jim flopped down on to their shared bed while Spock removed his shoes and gingerly sat down next to his friend.
"Fuck, Spock! Having your family on the ship certainly complicates things," Jim shook his head, sounding worried. "Not only do we need to be careful to keep my past self alive, we have to do the same for you!"
"Indeed. Giotto's selfish actions have – what is the expression – ah, 'screwed us over'." Chuckling at that, Jim patted Spock's arm.
"You'll make a good human yet."
"I hope not," the Vulcan pronounced with distain. "Did you have a plan in mind that will allow us to restore the timeline?"
"Yeah," Kirk said grimly. "We sneak ourselves aboard the Kelvin."
Spock's eyebrows rose exponentially. Jim could just imagine him calculating how many Starfleet regs that action would break.
"And how do you propose we go about that?"
Jim decided to bite the bullet, and tell Spock his idea, even though he knew the Vulcan wouldn't like it.
"I think we should tell my dad what's been going on."
Spock shot him a glare that translated to 'are you out of your fuckin' mind?'.
"Jim, you are aware that we cannot break the laws of the Prime Directive-"
"It's not breaking the directive if he already knows what's going on," Kirk protested.
Spock blanched at that.
"You have already informed him?"
"No! He figured it out on his own that we're from the future. He's been trying to corner me alone so we could discuss his suspicions but I've managed to avoid him so far," Jim explained. "But I think he would help us, Spock, if he knew exactly what was going on."
"Are you certain we can trust him?" Spock said slowly. "It would be taking a rather large risk."
"Do you have a better idea?" Kirk countered.
"Not at the moment, but given the time for meditation I am certain a different solution will present itself."
"Fine." Jim glared at the Vulcan. "But if you can't come up with something by tomorrow, we tell my father everything."
"Very well," Spock said stiffly. "I am not certain how well George will cooperate when he learns of his certain death."
"Who says it has to be certain?"
"Hear me out," Kirk interrupted. "What if we could find some way to save my father and the Kelvin, and take out the Romulan ship in the process?"
"But your father is supposed to die," the Vulcan insisted.
"Yeah?" An edge could be heard in Jim's voice. "Well, maybe I don't want that to happen."
"Then you are no better than Giotto," was Spock's sobering answer.
"Ouch." Jim pretended to clutch at his chest. "You're wrong. I'm nothing like that selfish douche bag! Giotto saved his father by removing him from the ship that was supposed to be blown up. For some reason, the Narada was never damaged, and our future now ceases to exist as we know it. Maybe your father's presence has something to do with this, and maybe it doesn't. But nevertheless, that's not what I want to do, Spock. I want to face the danger head on, not take the coward's way out and avoid it!"
The Vulcan considered that for a bit.
"I must point out that there is no way of knowing if facing the danger will allow you to eliminate it." Did Spock always have to be such a buzzkill? Damn, but that Vulcan knew how to be pessimistic.
"You're right," Jim grudgingly acknowledged. "But I have to try." Kirk's determination seeped from his very soul as he squared his shoulders and stared down his friend. "If I don't try now, I'll always wonder if there was some way I could've saved him. It'll drive me mad, Spock!"
"And you are certain you shall not change your mind?"
"Yep." Kirk grinned sweetly at the Vulcan, who managed to suppress an exasperated sigh.
"Why do I always give in to your wild schemes so easily, even though I know I'll regret doing so in the end?"
"Because you love me?" Jim teased.
Spock nervously cleared his throat. Jim had no idea just how close to the mark that statement was!
"So we shall inform the commander tomorrow?" Spock asked, pretending ignore Jim's statement. Secretly, he contemplated what it might mean. The odds of Jim feeling more than friendship for him were not in his favor. After all, Jim had never shown any signs of being interested in males before. Also, he tended to make similar teasing and flirtatious comments on regular intervals. He really needed to stop overanalyzing Jim's words!
"Yeah, I think tomorrow night would be good, right when he gets home."
"That sounds acceptable."
"Sweet. Well," Kirk stood and stretched, "I'm gonna go take a shower. If you don't mind, that is."
"I do not."
The Vulcan watched as Jim disappeared behind bathroom doors.
The Vulcan paced around the room for several minutes before forcing himself to meditate. Lighting his vanilla incense and sitting cross-legged on the floor, Spock tried to empty his mind, but it was quite difficult. Was allowing Jim to further tamper with the time stream a logical idea? Obviously not. So why did he allow it? The answer did not sit well with Spock. He was weak! Never before had emotion won out over logic, at least not while he was an adult. It was a shameful transgression. What would his father say if he knew? Unable to suppress several overpowering emotions, he sunk into a sleeping trance so he would not have to face Jim when he returned.
The next day
That afternoon, Spock returned from the computer lab early. He'd completed his program with plenty of time to spare, and instead of staying to assist his co-workers with their projects, he decided to come home and give meditation another try. However, Winona had seen him come in before he could make it upstairs unnoticed.
"Spock. It's nice that you're back early." She smiled at him from across the room. "I was afraid they'd been working you too hard."
He shook his head.
"Negative, Mrs. Kirk. My work is not over-taxing. Now, if you will excuse me…" He turned to leave, but Winona wasn't ready to give up. Spock deduced that this must be where Jim inherited his persistence.
"Wait a minute! Is something bothering you?" Winona approached him slowly, as if not wishing to frighten a skittish animal. She placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, much like her son often did.
"I am fine," the Vulcan said stiffly, straightening his back. "While I appreciate your concern, it is illogical to assume that-" Kirk's mom cut him off.
"Come sit with me." The Vulcan knew from her tone of voice that it was not a request. Reluctantly, Spock followed her into the living room and settled down on to the comfy crimson couch. Winona waited until he was settled.
"Now, tell me what's wrong – and no omitting the truth or changing the subject." Spock inwardly winced – she had him cornered, like an animal backed into a cage. She was certainly quite thorough when establishing criteria for their conversation, again a trait he'd seen in Jim.
"Very well," Spock acquiesced. "Unfortunately I am experiencing a myriad of emotions that I have never felt before; at least not to this intensity." It was rather stressful knowing you had to save history and restore the timeline or else everything would turn out badly. Then there was the whole attraction-to-Jim-thing, but no one knew about that, thankfully.
Winona smiled, almost wistfully.
"I've seen the way you look at him when you think no one is watching. It reminds me of the way I used to look at George before we were married."
"I do not know to what you are referring," was his cool reply.
"You care for him, Spock." Winona stated bluntly, her hands folded across her chest.
He didn't deny it, exactly.
"Indeed, it is only logical to invest a certain amount of emotional attachment to him – he is my friend."
"Yes," she acknowledged. "You two certainly are close. But is friendship all that there is between you?"
"Pardon me?" Spock raised an eyebrow. If Winona had been Vulcan, she would've sensed his discomfort and changed the subject. But Mrs. Kirk's behavior reminded him of his mother's when Amanda had just been about to break the news about a sensitive subject.
Mrs. Kirk, for her part, couldn't believe that Spock could act so dim. Not when he was considered an academic genius! Still, Spock looked mildly puzzled. Did she actually have to spell it out for him? Vulcans!
"Sometimes people use the word 'friend' as a euphemism to mean something stronger and deeper than just simply friendship," Winona explained. "Perhaps a special bond has formed between you and Augustus, but neither one of you has had the courage to acknowledge it for what it truly is."
The Vulcan swallowed hard. Mrs. Kirk couldn't possibly have known about the Vulcan connotation of the word 'bond', which went right along with marriage and forever. The mention of such a word pronounced the ache deep within him, which smarted whenever Jim gave him a significant look, or flashed his bright smile Spock's way.
"It does not matter how I feel," he replied softly, his face a perfect blank mask while his eyes betrayed his true emotions. "He does not feel the same way."
"Are you sure about that?" Winona asked.
"Is he sure about what?" Spock flinched, as Jim had just bounded into the living room. How much had he heard? But there was no tell-tale smirk on his friend's face, so he must not have heard anything illuminating. Thank Surak!
"Oh, nothing." Winona cleared her throat, and then quickly distracted Jim by asking what he wanted for dinner. George showed up soon after Jim did, and asked for his guests to accompany him to the study to discuss the upcoming mission.
"Ready, Spock?" Jim asked. The handsome human then lowered his voice so that it was only audible to Vulcan ears. "I'm gonna need you to back me up in there." Jim's warm breath tickled his sensitive ears, and it took all of Spock's control not to shudder.
Spock nervously glanced back at Winona, who mouthed 'ask him'.
"Affirmative. I, as humans say, 'have your back."
"I 'got your back'," Jim corrected.
"But I already have your back, therefore you do not need to have mine as well. Is that not a contradiction?" Spock genuinely sounded confused.
"Just get in there, you." Laughing, Jim threw his arm around Spock, and gently steered him inside. Spock tried to block out Winona's knowing wink as he was ushered into George's study. He was going to need all of his mental faculties to convince Commander Kirk to allow them to accompany him on the Kelvin.
"Evening, you two." George greeted them once they had settled in across from his desk. "What can I do for you? Augustus said you had something important to discuss with me."
Jim looked at Spock. Spock looked at Jim. Together they began to plead their case.
End Ch. 9
A/N: So this was mostly a filler, but at least we get more updates on how Jim and Spock's relationship is progressing and what is up with Cupcake. There should be only a few more chapters left, like maybe three.