|I'm Dreaming of a Kirk Christmas
Author: RogueAngel PM
A holiday outtake from my Consequences 'verse. Jim ponders the meaning of Christmas and remembers Christmases past. A fluffy story with a bit of angst mixed in.Rated: Fiction K - English - Family/Hurt/Comfort - J. Kirk - Words: 5,563 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 10 - Published: 12-23-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7666548
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm Dreaming of a Kirk Christmas*
Author's note: I wrote this last year around Christmas time, but never finished it. Now I have! It takes place in the future of my Consequences 'verse. You probably should read all that first or at least know the basics: Jim is now married to Marissa, a xenohistorian and a member of his crew. They have two kids, Abby, age 3 and Shea, age 8 months. Check out my profile for more – it starts with the story Consequences
And now the story…
The Enterprise, somewhere in space
Christmas Eve 2261
Jim looked around their quarters, not really sure what to think. After almost four years together, he really should be used to the production that Marissa made out of the holidays, but it still amused him. She was just really into Christmas and being in space or not, being somewhere in the middle of the gamma sector or not, light years from any planet that celebrated something as archaic as Christmas, Marissa was determined that Abby and Shea have what she considered perfect Christmas memories. Not that they would really remember this one – or any of the ones on the Enterprise – being all of almost three and eight months respectively, but that didn't stop Marissa.
The thing was she wasn't the only one who was on board with this whole Christmas celebration kick. Over the years of their mission it had become more and more of a tradition across the whole ship.
There was on actual decorated tree on Ten Forward. He had no idea where the botanists had come up with that, but it was a fairly good representation of an Earth evergreen and much better than whatever the spindly, green-leafed tree they had displayed last year had been. There were also replicated garlands and tinsel in the cafeterias and he was pretty sure he had spotted some mistletoe in one of the turbolifts.
Not everyone aboard the Enterprise celebrated Christmas, obviously, but most civilizations had some sort of winter or solstice celebration, and those were all in evidence too; Stars of David and Menorahs for Chanukah, fruits and colors for Kwanza, Andorian firespheres, Vulcan vai dor-tor u-thet, and Betazed Golden Rings. It was all a big mish-mash of holidays, and while Jim encouraged the sharing of cultures, he wasn't as into the holiday spirit as Marissa was. He grinned and he played along, helping her decorate their quarters and wrap presents she'd selected for their friends, but he just didn't feel the spirit that she seemed to, no matter how hard he tried.
They'd hosted a Christmas Eve party at the end of Alpha shift earlier and it seemed like half the ship had wandered through their quarters at one point or another. Everyone received an actual candy cane and a handmade ornament that apparently Marissa, Rand and Marie Roose had been working on for a couple of weeks. It really had been nice, and he had especially enjoyed the eggnog that Marissa had managed to replicate from Bones' mother's homemade recipe. Everyone had enjoyed it even more when Bones had spiked it properly with his bourbon. They were going to be a lot of hung-over crewmen in the morning, but luckily they were in transit to Theta Bolian and wouldn't arrive for another eighteen hours.
Unfortunately, while not hung over, Marissa was one of the passed out crewmembers. She had been so busy in the past few weeks decorating and planning that now that the party was over she had fallen directly into bed once the last guest had left and Shea was fed. She had actually fallen asleep while feeding Shea and Jim had had to put him to bed and then carry Marissa to theirs. Abby had fallen asleep hours before on Chekov and was snoring softly in her bed, so at least they didn't have to worry about her, too. An almost four year old strung out on sugar and excitement was not always easy to handle. Thank god for Chekov who'd carted her around and then found a quiet corner and let her crash.
It was a shame really, that Marissa had become so exhausted. He had been hoping to make love with her again under the Christmas tree like they had done the night they'd decorated it. That was a Christmas tradition he really liked. But it wasn't to be. He'd have to try again before they took the tree down, hopefully soon, because it was almost impossible to keep the kids away from it. Abby knew not to touch, at least when adults were around to see, but Shea was another story all together. Crawling everywhere as fast as he could, he was fascinated by the sparkly tree and dangling ornaments.
Marissa had hung bells on the bottom branches so that they would know when either of the kids was near the tree, but that seemed to be all the time. Abby loved to make the bells ring and tinkle because it made Shea laugh, so they were constantly pulling her away and trying to distract Shea. At eight months old the concept of 'no' was not one that he grasped, especially when he didn't want to, and Abby could be persistent when she wanted to.
Shutting off the lights and ignoring the mess, Jim looked in on the kids one last time and then finally went to join Marissa in bed. He quickly brushed his teeth and tossed his clothes into the laundry before sliding in behind Marissa in only his boxers. Nuzzling his face against her hair, Jim smiled. She smelled like evergreen trees and eggnog. It was officially his favorite smell.
He'd never really celebrated Christmas, at least not regularly, but if this was one of the things Marissa brought into his life he was all for it – and not just because it made her happy. He couldn't wait to watch Abby and Shea wreak havoc when they opened all their gifts. They really wouldn't have any idea what was actually going on, but watching Marissa's enjoyment would make up for Abby and Shea's cluelessness.
This would be the third Christmas he celebrated with Marissa. The first Christmas, when she was pregnant with Abby, hadn't been all that festive. They'd been in the middle of tense negotiations with the Organians over a cease fire with the Arcadians and safe passage for Federation ships through their system. The feud between the two governments had been going on for centuries; hostilities only flaring up when the Federation had expressed interest in using the system as a way station, it being ideally located and accessible to several sectors without have to skirt around anomalies that could add weeks to travel times.
Christmas that year had been a tiny package of fresh sugar cookies cut in the shapes of snowmen and Christmas trees, left on his desk. The ship had had a pretty raucous New Year's party that also coincided with the signing of a treaty with the Organians and Arcadians, but that was the extent of the holiday celebrations.
Abby's first Christmas had been a bit more festive. They'd been on a mapping mission, so there had been time to enjoy the different celebrations. Marissa, Rand, Maria Roose and surprisingly, Spock, had organized a week of events leading up to Christmas where a different culture's celebration was highlighted. It had been bit more educational than Jim had expected, he blamed that on Spock, but every non-terran member of the crew's beliefs had been given equal time, even the lone Tolban ensign from engineering.
It was the next year that things really started to pick up and become a celebration, rather than a study of different celebrations, but Jim really hadn't focused on the goings on of the crew. He enjoyed the tree that had been brought to Ten Forward, though it looked nothing like any Christmas tree he had ever seen, and he enjoyed all the other touches from other observances, but his focus had been on his family. Marissa had been back for less than a month. She was finally his wife and that was really all that mattered to him.
They'd celebrated quietly in their quarters, a miniature evergreen on their dining table and a holovid of a fire playing on their vidscreen on Christmas Eve. They'd listened to Christmas carols and had some eggnog while Abby played at their feet. Their friends had stopped by briefly. It had been nice, but not as festive. Jim hadn't needed any presents, he had Marissa and Abby and Shea on the way. Marissa had lamented not getting him something, though she had once again baked cookies. Jim had just shaken his head and kissed her, telling her again, that he really didn't need any presents.
That hadn't stopped him from feeling upset that he hadn't gotten her anything. Sure, they'd done a lot of shopping on the base, getting Marissa a whole new wardrobe and anything else that caught her eye, but he hadn't gotten her anything specifically for Christmas. In his mind the ring didn't count. That had been for their wedding. He still felt a shiver go down his spine whenever he caught sight of it on her finger and he often played with it when they were sitting idly together. It was visible proof that she belonged to him and he to her, as was the platinum band on his left hand, and he really liked seeing them.
While on Galdonterre he had put in an order for a new necklace to replace the one Marissa had had to barter away on M'Qtobau. He'd been surprised at how distraught she'd been when she'd confessed to trading it for food and parts to build a transceiver. He had totally understood and condoned her actions. Food was much more important than metal and stones – even fire diamonds, but she seemed to think that it was some major sin, a betrayal of him and their relationship.
He had hoped to have the new necklace by Valentine's Day, but with the intricacies and complications of transport of goods while in space, he hadn't received it until shortly before Shea was born. He'd had to send it through Starfleet, which meant it had to go to Earth and then be sent from there to wherever it was that the Enterprise was supposed to be. 'Supposed to be' being the key phrase.
She'd balked at the price of another necklace, fire diamonds not exactly being cheap, but he hadn't cared. He had more than enough money and he'd told her he'd spend it on her if he wanted to. He'd be willing to give up everything he had to make sure he never had to live without her again, a few credits for a necklace didn't even register. It was a small price to pay to see her glowing at him as he put it on her. He'd timed it so she was in bed, naked, like the previous time. Seeing it resting between her bare breasts had been a sight he had thoroughly enjoyed. At six weeks old, Shea hadn't given them much time for Marissa to show her appreciation for the gift, but they'd managed some kissing at least.
Pulling his thoughts away from the past, Jim snuggled up against Marissa's back, moving his hand from where it rested cupping one breast, to her left hand where it lay on his forearm. Entwining their fingers, his thumb played with the ring there. He'd buy her all the fire diamonds she wanted, though he was confident in the fact that even if he could never buy her any ever again it wouldn't matter to her in the least. He was just happy he could.
She'd brought love into his life; love and laughter and family and children. He sounded prosaic and clichéd, but he really didn't need anything more than her. He wished he could embrace the holidays as she did, but it was hard, even now.
As he drifted off to sleep, Jim tried to remember any of the Christmases aside from the ones spent with her that he had actually celebrated. There honestly weren't that many.
Christmas Day 2237
"Sammy, how does Santy Claus fit down the chimenee?" an almost five year old Jimmy asked his nine year old brother, who was so much older and wiser than he. "How come we didn't put up a tree last year? Why didn't Santy Claus visit us then? Were we that naughty? Micah said we musta been bad, but how come Santy Claus is coming this year if'n we've been bad? Huh?"
"Santa is coming this year because mom decided he should," Sam said, rolling his eyes.
Jim thought about that for a minute, staring up at his ceiling. "So moms have to be in the house to have Christmas?"
"Yeah, something like that," Sam responded. "Now go to sleep."
"Micah says there's no such thing as Santy Claus," Jim finally said. "He said that it's the moms and dads who bring the presents."
"So if he's right does that mean we didn't have Christmases 'cause we don't have a dad, and mom didn't give us any presents?"
"Yeah Jimmy, that's right. Mom hates us so we don't have Christmas," Sam replied bluntly.
"Mom hates us?" Jimmy repeated softly.
"What do you think?" Sam said bitterly. "Of course she does."
"Oh," Jimmy replied sadly. So he didn't fall asleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in his head, but the excitement of Christmas wasn't totally dimmed by Sam's words.
The morning started well. Jimmy managed to sleep until six thirty in the morning and Sam kept him in the room until seven. His mom was blurry-eyed, but managed to smile occasionally as Jimmy ripped enthusiastically through his presents. It was only when Jimmy opened his present from Sam that their mother's smile went away. For Jimmy it was the best present ever - much better than the books and clothes Santy Claus had given him. It was a miniature model of a starship, just like Micah had. Now he could play space wars like the other kids.
"Samuel," his mother frowned at his older brother as Jimmy flew his space ship around the room.
"Mother," Sam repeated back, the word falling flat with disdain.
"Watch your tone, young man," Winona snapped, her frown deepening.
"It's what he wanted," Sam retorted, glaring belligerently at his mother. "Isn't that what's supposed to happen on Christmas? Kids get the presents that they ask for. Not that we'd know…" he stared resentfully. "Books and socks and underwear are sucky gifts."
"Jimmy, put that away please," Winona managed to say calmly, not taking her eyes off her oldest child.
"But mom," Jimmy whined, jumping off the couch and running behind her chair making a 'zzzzzoooommmmm' sound. "Sammy gave it to me and it's the bestest gift ever."
"Jimmy, please," Winona tried again, her face pinched and her eyes closed.
"But I don' wanna," Jimmy complained, stopping his playing and pouting at his mother.
Winona just shook her head and pinched the bridge of her nose, breathing deeply. Taking her silence as acceptance, Jimmy took off running, zooming his star ship around the room once more.
"Jimmy!" Winona finally snapped, her eyes wide and suddenly furious. Standing, she reached for Jimmy who thought it was a game and dodged away with a giggle. "Get over here young man." Before Jimmy realized it he was snatched mid giggle, smacked on the bottom and his star ship was taken away.
"Owwww!" he started to cry, but seeing his precious gift in his mother's hands he tried to take it back. "It's mine! Sammy gave it to me. Give it back!"
"No!" Winona practically screeched, slapping his hand away.
"Give it to him!" Sam entered the fray, grabbing for the toy.
Pushing him away, Winona glared. "No. I am the mother and I said that he can't have it. You know better…"
"Dad's dead," Sam shouted angrily. "He's dead. And he's not coming back and if you're not going to love us then you should just leave!"
Winona went from furiously red to white in almost a split second. Then, almost as if in a trance, she reached out and slapped Sam across the face.
"No hitting!" Jim screamed, rushing at his mother.
Sam grabbed a knick knack from the side table, a porcelain Santa, and threw it at his mother. Reacting instinctively Winona dodged it, so instead of hitting her it ended up smashing into Jim's face, cutting his forehead and scalp.
Jim didn't remember anything after that, but they were living with Grandpa Jim and Grandma Jo before New Years. And if Jimmy and Sam were subdued during the Christmases they had with their grandparents, no one mentioned it.
Tarsus IV Colony
Christmas Day 2246
"Jimmy," his aunt called softly from the front porch. "Come inside."
Perched up in the old tree in the front yard, Jim stared down at his aunt. She couldn't see him, but she knew he was there somewhere.
"It's Christmas and I want to give you your present," his aunt called again. "Please, Jim, just for a minute."
"Fine," he said just as quietly, but she heard him and remained on the porch as he extricated himself from his perch. It was chilly on Tarsus, but no where near as cold as Iowa at Christmas, still his aunt was rubbing her arms and shuffling her feet as if it was freezing. Jim was only wearing an old windbreaker and some gloves with the fingers torn off, but he was fine. He had put himself on guard duty to protect his family; his aunt and two cousins, but if she wanted him in for a minute he was willing to compromise. It would make her happy and he could use some food.
"Come in and sit down," she shooed him in. "Dinner's not much, but at least it's something warm."
Dinner actually consisted of two cans of noodle soup, a couple baked potatoes – no butter – and the last of the withered apples baked into tiny pie. It was bland and mushy, but it was warm and they were all still alive. That was a win in Jim's book.
He was just about to head outside again when his aunt stopped him. "Wait, we have to do the presents."
"Aunt Jenny," Jim protested. "I need to get outside. Besides, I'm too old for presents."
"Nonsense," she smiled tiredly. "Nobody's too old for presents."
Not too reluctantly, Jim followed her into the living area. The room was sparse with very little furniture and no decorations at all, barring a small plant in a pot decorated with handmade ornaments. His cousins, Jack and Lacey, were already sitting eagerly near the tree.
"Well, it's not much," his aunt told them, "but Merry Christmas." She handed each of them a newspaper wrapped package.
Jack's present was a model car. Lacey received a doll. Small gifts that made their eyes light up. The last six months had been extremely hard as food was rationed and items were confiscated. His aunt and uncle were simple famers so the shortages hit them hardest first and they'd had to barter and trade their belongings for food for their children and nephew. Then the proclamation had been made and their uncle had gone into town and never come back.
Since that day two weeks ago Jim had stationed himself as look out in the old tree. Only days shy of fourteen years old, Jim vowed that he would protect his family.
The crunch of boots on the gravel walkway startled them; they'd be so intent on admiring their gifts. Jim's had been a knitted hat and scarf that his aunt had loving wrapped around his neck. "To keep our look out warm," she told him, placing a kiss on his cheek.
They froze at the sound of the footsteps, only to spring into action a moment later. His aunt shoved Lacey at him, dragging Jack off the floor. "Go Jim, go! Out the back door. Take them."
"Mama!" Lacey wailed, scared as her mother ran towards the front door.
"Go with Jim, honey. Go!" She stared beseechingly at Jim, as the soldiers pounded on the door. "Hurry!" she whispered.
Racing forward, Jim picked up Lacey and then grabbed Jack's hand. He didn't know how far he could get carrying a four year old and dragging a six year old, but he'd run until he dropped if he had to.
The three of them were tripping down the porch stairs and then halfway across the backyard before the first shouts reached them. They heard Aunt Jenny scream and orders shouted to find the kids. Jack stopped briefly, looking back at his home. Before Jim could react the six year-old had slipped his grip and started running back. The blast of the almost point blank laser rifle threw Jack's small body back five feet at least when it hit him in the chest. Lacey made no sound as she stared. Jim froze staring in shock at the death of his young cousin. Who shot a six year old? Then the laser sights began to light the yard and Jim took off like a rabbit. He knew this area better than anyone. They were not going to catch him.
In the end they met up with a handful of other refugees. They managed to hide in the hills until Starfleet arrived five months later. Lacey never spoke again and no matter what Jim said or did, or how the other women begged, she refused to eat most of the time. Two months after the deaths of her mother and brother she fell down a ravine while picking berries.
Jim buried her in his scarf and hat.
Starfleet Academy, San Francisco
Christmas Break 2255
"So Bones, what are you doing this weekend?" Jim asked casually.
"This weekend?" McCoy looked at him oddly. "It's Christmas, kid. I'm working."
"I know that," Jim replied, "but what are you doing after your shift?"
"I don't know, probably drinking," McCoy replied with a shrug.
"You want some company?" Jim asked. "I'll bring the booze."
"Don't you…" McCoy began, but then thought better of it. "Sure, why not. But it better be the good stuff. None of that second rate swill they pass off at the commissary."
"Of course, Bones," Jim smiled widely. "Nothing but the best for you."
And so the tradition of getting drunk on Christmas continued for three years, until McCoy was too busy dealing with an outbreak of Andorian measles and Jim was an expectant father, focused on what was coming in another six weeks; and praying that the current diplomatic crisis wasn't going to last much longer. He wasn't enjoying playing judge in a pissing match between two petulant and imbecilic nations – no matter that Starfleet valued their participation 'greatly.'
They'd had a drink a few days later at the New Year/They Signed The Damn Treaty party, realizing there wasn't always time for more when you're a captain and a CMO.
The Enterprise, somewhere in space
Jim woke up feeling unsettled. He knew that he had been dreaming of Christmases past, but he couldn't remember many of the details, just a general feeling of unhappiness and discontent. Shea being placed on his chest and giving him a slobbering kiss and Abby bouncing on the bed, went a long way to change his mood.
"Merry Christmas, Daddy," Marissa sing-songed, flopping down onto the bed next to him, after she dropped Shea onto his chest. Her smile was radiant and Jim couldn't help smiling back.
"Mewry Chwistmas, dada!" Abby parroted with a big grin as she settled on her knees but still fairly vibrated with anticipation.
"Merry Christmas, baby girl," Jim replied, patted her leg as he kissed the top of his son's downy head. "And Merry Christmas, mommy," he leaned over to Marissa for a kiss.
"Mmmm," Marissa hummed against his lips. "Sorry I fell asleep last night. I had plans for you, under the tree."
Jim grinned. "I had plans for you too. I figure we have another couple days before the tree comes down."
"Sounds good to me," Marissa agreed, snuggling next to him and patting Abby on the back. "Are you ready for presents, Abby girl?"
Abby nodded, bouncing happily.
"And what about you, Shea?" Marissa asked, peering at the baby who was drooling on Jim's chest and gurgling to himself, having no idea what his mother was saying, but enjoying being in the big bed.
"He's weady!" Abby declared.
"Oh, is he?" Jim asked, reaching a finger carefully into Shea's mouth.
"Yup!" Abby replied, bouncing once more on the bed.
"I think he's getting a new tooth," Jim told Marissa, chuckling as Shea latched onto his finger with his chubby fist and began to gnaw enthusiastically.
"Great," Marissa sighed. "As long as he doesn't bite me again. That hurts!"
Jim looked over at her slyly. "You don't complain when I do it," he said suggestively, waggling his eyebrows at her.
"Dada, no biting!" Abby told him. Of all the times for her to actually pay attention to what they were saying. "You go time out if'n you bite."
Marissa tried to control her grin as she looked over at Jim who was just shaking his head in amusement. "That's right baby girl," she agreed. "No biting."
"Even when Shea does it first," Abby nodded emphatically, a small frown on her face.
Now that Shea had started teething he was gnawing and biting on anything he could get his mouth on, including his sister. He only had 3 teeth, with a fourth apparently on its way soon. He'd first bitten Abby a couple of weeks ago. It hadn't been hard and he hadn't meant anything by it, her arm had just happened to be conveniently near his mouth at the time. Abby had not been happy about it at all.
They had explained to her that Shea was just a baby and he hadn't meant to hurt her or be mean. She had simply stuck her little nose in the air and tried to avoid him all day. When she had bitten him a couple days later she'd been sent immediately to a time out. She did not like the explanation that she was a big girl and big girls knew better than to bite their baby brothers. He'd been trying to take Selhat; she thought biting him had been the proper response.
"That's right," Marissa agreed, running a hand through Abby's curls. "Shea doesn't understand about biting yet, but you do. Now what do you say we start opening presents? I think there might be a couple for you under the tree, and you can help Shea open his, too."
"Presents first? Not breakfast?" Jim asked. That was one rule of his grandmother's – they always had breakfast first. Patience was a virtue and all that. They'd never made a big deal of opening presents in previous years, so now that Abby was old enough, he wondered.
"Breakfast?" Marissa looked at him scornfully. "Who wants breakfast first when there are presents? I have coffee waiting for you, so you'll be fine for awhile."
Jim smiled at Marissa's enthusiasm; she was currently on her knees bouncing on the bed like Abby. "You're in charge. Coffee is good."
Marissa bounced off the bed as Jim sat up, tossing his sleeping pants and a t-shirt at his head. "Give me a sec. Don't let them into the living room yet," she admonished him. "I'm not ready." She exited the room quickly.
Setting down Shea and grabbing Abby who was following her mother, Jim tossed her gently on the bed before putting on his pants. Giggling she crawled to him and he tossed her again, making Shea giggle too as he was jostled. Putting on his shirt, Jim prepared to play goalie as Abby made another dash for the door.
Scooping Abby up again, he raspberried her neck and tossed her on the bed again, before picking up Shea who seemed determined to crawl off the end and land on the floor.
"I'm dressed, can we come out now?" Jim called as Abby righted herself and prepared for another run.
"Just a sec… wait… Okay, I'm ready," Marissa called back.
Jim took Abby's hand and helped her jump off the bed. "Let's go, Abby girl," he said with a smile.
Stepping out in the living area, both Jim and Abby paused as they took in the sight before them. Marissa had dimmed the lights and the tree was beautiful, sparkling with the lights that Marissa had insisted Jim decorate it with. There was music playing and the holo of the fireplace was going, adding more soft light to the room.
And there were presents. Lots and lots of presents. Presents that hadn't been there last night when he went to sleep. Jim was pretty sure that Marissa hadn't gotten up in the middle of the night and he couldn't imagine where in their quarters she could have hidden so many gifts.
"What? How?" Jim asked in a daze.
"Enterprise elves," Marissa grinned at him.
Then the chime to the door rang and McCoy walked in, followed by Spock, Uhura, Sulu and Chekov.
"Ho, ho, ho!" McCoy said in a good impression of Santa Claus. "Merry Christmas!"
"Unca Bwones!" Abby laughed. Let go of Jim's hands she raced across the room. "Pasha! We got pwesents!"
"I see that, Kotik," he answered, picking her up and giving her a hug.
Abby was soon passed around the adults giving hugs and kiss and 'Mewry Chwistmases' to their friends, until she ended up back in Chekov's arms.
"There's coffee in the kitchen, if you want some," Marissa told every one. "Abby, do you want to help hand out presents? I think I see one right here for Pasha. And one for Uncle Bones."
Soon everyone was seated around the tree, Abby happily toting presents back and forth as Marissa handed them to her. Jim leaned against the doorway to the kitchen, coffee cup in hand, smiling as he watched his friends and family open gifts. Apparently everyone's gifts had been placed under their tree. He'd helped pick out some of the presents, and approved Marissa's ideas for others, but it was interesting to see what they had chosen for each other.
"Won't need to open that bottle of scotch tonight," McCoy said, coming to stand beside Jim with a coffee cup in his hand, too. "At least not to get drunk."
Jim took a sip and shook his head slowly. "Naw, haven't had to do that for awhile," he agreed. "You got comm. time with Jo?" he asked.
"Ten o'clock," McCoy told him.
They both chuckled as Shea crawled around Spock's legs and made a grab for the tree, almost unbalancing it as he tried to pull himself up to his feet before the Vulcan picked him up. Laughing, Uhura stuck a bow on Shea's forehead that made him go cross-eyed as he tried to look at it.
"It's a good Christmas," McCoy said softly.
"Dada!" Abby called. "I has pwesent for you."
"Yes it is," Jim agreed, squeezing McCoy's arm as he went to sit next to Marissa on the floor. "The best."
Putting his arm around her waist, Jim gave Marissa a quick kiss as he accepted the present from Abby. "Merry Christmas, Mariss," he told her. "I love you."
Smiling softly, Marissa leaned into his embrace. "I love you, too."
Surrounded by his friends and family, Jim could finally see the appeal of Christmas.
*Many thanks to Royalpinkdogs for her title ideas. She also came up with "No Place Like Gamma Sector for the Holidays," "I'm Dreaming of a Starfleet Christmas," "Have Yourself an Enterprising Christmas," "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Kirk," and, my family's favorite: "Rudolph the Warpspeed Reindeer."
Depending on how Christmas goes…I may have another Completion chapter to post. We have visiting in-laws (yippee!) so I don't know how involved I may be.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! - RA