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Everybody thinks they’re fucking. Even his mother thinks they’re fucking, which would be embarrassing if not for the fact that his mother thinks he fucks everybody and doesn’t care. The first time she met Bones, she asked him what sort of protection he used. “Not that Jim is careless,” she explained, as Jim rolled on the floor in an agony of humiliation, “but I like to know he’s being taken care of.”

“Ma’am,” said Bones, back rigid and face flaming red, “do you -- I assure you that I would never --”

“MA,” howled Jim, “WE’RE NOT FUCKING, WE’RE ROOMMATES.”

“Oh,” said Winona, and then spent the rest of the visit regarding Bones with deep suspicion.

And now she thinks that Jim and Spock are fucking.

“Mom,” sighs Jim, the communicator crammed between his ear and shoulder. “He’s my first officer. I can’t fuck my first officer.”

“Hasn’t stopped anybody before,” says Winona, a little ominously. “For instance --”

Jim seriously does not need to ever hear how his mother is going to end that sentence. Winona never got much further than her career than Lt Commander, but it was entirely by choice. Jim reckons if she tells half the stories she’s heard and confirmed, she’d be Lord High God King of the Admiralty, but Winona has always preferred a quieter and more sinister role behind the scenes. “Lalala,” he says loudly. “My mother is talking, but I don’t want to end my career. LA LA LA LAAA.”

“You’re a disrespectful child,” says Winona. “But why aren’t you fucking him? His father likes you.”

This is actually so horrible that Jim has to spend a moment in agonized silence. “MOTHER,” he howls. “Where the hell --”

“He thinks you have a nice ass,” says Winona inexorably.

Jim is reduced to animal sounds of pain and horror for a moment. “When - how did you - oh my God --”

“We met at the colony,” says Winona serenely, “and we started talking about our children, as one does. And he said that you had a pleasing physical appearance, at least. Which means, in Vulcan terms --”

“I know what it means in Vulcan terms, Mom,” he says, finding his hairbrush and forcing it through his hair. “Do you do this to Sam? Did you do this to Dad? Or am I just your favorite victim? Because Bones says they have counseling for this shit.”

“Your father taught me everything he knew about intrusive questions,” says Winona, wistfully. “He used to sit and dissect Chrissy’s psyche by the hour.”

This is totally verging on too much information about his parents’ frankly suspicious past with Admiral Pike, so Jim ignores it completely and says, “Why do you think we’re fucking? Maybe I don’t want to fuck the Vulcan. Maybe,” and this is probably closer to the truth than Jim really wants to think about, “maybe the Vulcan doesn’t want to fuck me.”

There’s a pointed silence over the line, and then Winona says, “So you made me get you chai tea and that horrible Vulcan cake and send it out express stasis and you’re doing it because he’s your friend?”

Jim really can’t lie to his mother. He stays guilty and quiet for a moment.

“Look, it’s too expensive to sit here and listen to you try to come up with excuses, so I’ll talk to you next week.” Winona pauses for a second. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mini-me.”

Two minutes after she disconnects, it finally occurs to him that he could have claimed the tea and cake were a 'sorry for nearly bleeding out on you and forcing you to be the captain of a ship, even though I know the thought causes you absolute horror' present. But then his mom would have just said 'Of course, Jimmy' and made him feel about two inches tall. Sometimes he wonders what that other Winona Kirk was like. He knows that his dad was a stabilizing influence on her, but somehow he can't imagine Winona Kirk being anything other than the most terrifying person he knows.

Possibly the other Jim grew up without explicit color commentary on his life choices, which must have been awesome.

Jim takes a deep breath and straightens his shirt hem. It's not that he's scared or whatever, he's just – nervous, that's all. Today is the day he's promised himself he's going to do it, all mocking from Bones and his mother aside. It's like If everybody thinks they're fucking, why shouldn't they be right? But it's not just that. There's the old man and his relationship with his first officer, and then there's Jim and Spock, and sometimes Jim wakes up in the middle of the night and he doesn't understand why he's alone in his bed.

 

If he thinks about it too hard it's a little creepy.

 

So he takes a deep breath. Picks up the tea and the cake and a cactus he blackmailed Sulu into giving to him. He's going to do this.

 

He doesn't have a choice. He doesn't want to have a choice.

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