“James Tiberius Kirk!”
Jim walked across the stage to receive his diploma to a round of thunderous applause. Though he had already been living in San Francisco for a year now, he still found himself constantly surprised by how much more weight the Kirk name carried in the largest Starfleet base on Terran soil than it had back in Riverside. Everybody here was cheering for him whether they actually knew him or not, and he had to admit, if only to himself (and Spock, of course), that it felt good not to feel like the whole world was waiting for him to disgrace his father’s name.
Once the diploma was in his hands, he looked out over the crowd to find his adopted family and was surprised to see that Amanda and Sarek weren’t alone. Jim grinned widely and nudged at their bond in greeting, already anticipating the outpouring of pride and affection that swelled toward him in response. Spock had been doing some kind of training exercise in a remote part of the country for the past month and a half, and he wasn’t supposed to be back yet.
Not for the first time, Jim cursed the fact that the Vulcan bastard was so much better at this mind shit than he was. Spock didn’t usually take advantage of the fact that he could actually keep a secret, but he could certainly surprise Jim when he wanted to.
This was definitely a good surprise though. Sure, they still shared headspace and, most of the time, dreams too, but things hadn’t been the same since Spock left for Starfleet. Jim felt like he missed him anytime they weren’t together, and unfortunately, the times they weren’t together were frequent and unbearably long. That first year after Spock graduated from high school had been the worst because the rest of them had been stuck in Riverside until Amanda’s contract had run out. Even though things were good now that they were living in the same city at least, Jim could only imagine how much fucking better they would be once he and Spock moved in together.
And if Spock was back, it could happen sooner than Jim had expected too, which was the real reason he currently couldn’t keep a smile off his face. After all, once they moved in together, he would finally—finally—be able to get Spock to move past first fucking base already.
Despite the fact that they had just had their third anniversary a little less than two months ago, Spock had still insisted on waiting until Jim was eighteen before they did anything more than kiss. Jim could understand his reasoning somewhat. He knew that if any hint of a sexual relationship between him and Spock became public before he turned eighteen, Winona would remove him from Sarek and Amanda’s custody and ship him off to parts unknown.
He had been content to wait until the night of his eighteenth birthday, but then the day had come and gone, and Spock hadn’t made even the most subtle of overtures. Jim still didn’t know why because Spock wouldn’t tell him, wouldn’t even let himself think about it.
Truthfully, it was making Jim feel lonely, and he didn’t like it at all. Jim wasn’t supposed to feel lonely; he had Spock. Now that Spock was back from his trip, Jim was going to sit him down and make the Vulcan bastard tell him everything.
The rest of the ceremony seemed to drag by, his thoughts only making him more eager for it to end. But then, it was over at last, and Jim was out of his seat, running before anyone else had even moved.
If Spock hadn’t been a Vulcan, Jim was sure he would have knocked him on his ass. Fortunately, Spock’s arms wrapped around him, and they both stayed upright.
God, Jim had missed him.
“I missed you, too, Jim,” Spock whispered in reply to his unspoken words.
Jim looked up at Spock warmly and really wished he could kiss him right the fuck now. He wanted it so much, but he knew that despite the differences between Spock and the other Vulcans, his mate was still not very comfortable with public emotional displays. Instead, he held up one hand and twined his fingers with Spock’s.
Spock’s lips quirked fondly, and he surprised Jim by pulling him closer and placing one chaste kiss on his lips before nuzzling the side of Jim’s face with his nose. “Congratulations, t’hy’la.”
“Quit monopolizing him, Spock,” Amanda said from behind them, causing Jim to jump and crane his neck to look at her. When he was in Spock’s arms—warm, safe, home—he had a tendency to forget that the rest of the world existed. Amanda was standing between Sarek and Captain Pike, her arms crossed, an expression of amusement on her face. “Your father and I would like to hug him, too.”
Spock raised one eyebrow and somehow pulled Jim even closer. “You are mistaken, Mother. It is he who is monopolizing me, and I find that I do not mind it at all.” Jim leaned into Spock, grinning a bit. The feeling was completely mutual.
“Spock,” Amanda chastised. “At least let him say hello to Chris.” She turned toward the man at her side. “We did try to teach him manners, but then he met Jim, and all of our hard work went right out the window,” she teased.
Sarek nodded solemnly. “It is true.”
Jim made a face at his adoptive parents, but then, he disentangled himself from Spock and smiled at Pike. The man had been a dinner guest at their house frequently over the past year, and Jim had gotten to know him fairly well. Pike was used to seeing him and Spock be… well, him and Spock. “Hello, Captain Pike,” Jim greeted him amiably, shaking his hand. “It’s been awhile.”
Pike had been overseeing Spock’s training exercise, and so, he obviously hadn’t been around for his weekly dinner with Jim and Spock’s family. Even still, it felt like no time had passed at all when he grinned at Jim. “Good to see you, Jim. I would say, ‘Congratulations on your graduation’, but I’m pretty sure that means you’re going to be my problem now.”
Jim’s smiled at him sweetly. “Every day until you retire, sir.”
Pike groaned. “Isn’t that the truth?”
Jim stepped back and nudged Spock with his shoulder. “Hey Spock, are you going to let him talk to me like that?”
Spock stared at him blankly for a moment before looking over at Pike and then back at Jim. “Yes,” he replied, deadpan.
Jim let out a huff of laughter. “I should’ve known,” he said, shaking his head and jutting out his bottom lip.
“All right, you three,” Amanda interjected, trying and failing to hide her amusement. “We need to get going so I can start dinner. I need to get all the food in you I can before you move out next week.”
And as Jim allowed himself to be led away by his family and Captain Pike, he found himself looking forward to the future.