Three years later

The private school Starfleet sponsored in San Francisco was perfect. Any doubts Jim had had about shipping his family across the country had fled the day Soren had come home from his first day at the new school. His eyes had been shining, and his mouth ran a lightyear a minute until he had to pause in his narration to breathe, which had been assuring, because Soren had been talking for at least five straight minutes and Jim had been starting to suspect demon possession.

Over the next few years, Soren flourished at the school, coming home with various awards and amusing anecdotes about how he was still (academically) kicking ass. The school was progressive in its teaching methods, and it was evidenced in one of its brightest students.

In fact, the only problem Soren seemed to have was that he was slightly hyperactive, and exhausted his instructors on a daily basis. At a parent/teacher conference, one of the teachers jokingly suggested a tranquilizer dart, and Jim had laughed until he looked at the teacher's unsmiling face and realized they had been more than a little serious.

Jim went to Starfleet, and the first few years were filled with fundamental classes that took barely any common sense and even less concentration. Jim spent his extra time with his son, embarrassing his mother, or trying to made Bones mad, a pastime that, three years later, was still proving to be satisfying.

"You can't be serious."

"Bones, I'm beginning to suspect you don't take me seriously." Jim looked at his friend with a wounded face, hand on his chest in indignation.

"What is possessing you to take the Kobayashi Maru for a third time!? No has ever passed it, and no one ever will. Done. The end."

Jim smirked, and headed up the steps the Starfleet Academy. "Soren thinks I can do it."

"Well, Jim, as smart as that kid is, he thinks you hung the moon, so excuse me if I don't take his opinion as anything other than biased."

"If he heard you say that, you would be getting a lecture on the Earth's gravitational pull of the moon, complete with visual chart."

He stopped abruptly on the steps, and turned to McCoy. "It will be worth your time. Trust me."

Leonard looked at his friend, his head slowly shaking. "To be honest, I'm afraid to."

Jim grinned even wider. "I make your life exciting, no need to thank me."


When Spock was called into the simulation site, he was irritated. When he was briefed on the cause of his summons, the feeling had evolved into annoyance. Someone had hacked the simulation. Despite many students' confusion over the lesson to be gained from failing the Kobayashi Maru, none had dared try to tamper with the test.

Or had the skill to, Spock thought unwillingly. He stepped into the observation area, and was handed a file on the cadet in question. James Kirk.

If Spock had not years of training in the principles of Surak to suppress his emotions, he would have winced. As a Vulcan, his ability to retain information and recall memories was above par for most humanoid species. So this boy, this man, he remembered with perfect clarity. The face grinning smugly was not much changed from his younger counterpart, besides perhaps that Kirk had a more defined jaw. Spock looked through the one way glass, and observed Kirk take a bite out of an apple, glancing around the mock-bridge with barely concealed mirth. He turned to the proprietors of the test. "Run the standard scans to be put on file, but the cause of the glitch was most likely a hack by Cadet Kirk into the simulation system. After the scans are completed, schedule an academic hearing."

One of the proprietors looked up from the PADD he was taking notes on. "What shall I put as the hearing topic?"

Spock answered, his eyes still on Kirk eating the apple. "Academic dishonesty."

------------

The hearing room was full of cadets, and the board had tried and failed to make Jim feel guilty.

When he asked to see his accuser, he was pretty sure any smugness on his face completely wiped off.

It was Spock. Jim's eyes frantically ran over the Vulcan's features, categorizing them into what Jim could recall seeing on the face of his son everyday. The thin purse of Spock's lips were so Soren that Jim almost missed what Spock was saying. He quickly snapped back to reality, and shot off at no-win situations. Spock pulled the ultimate dick move and brought up the USS Kelvin, and Jim didn't know if the other man was being such an ass because he didn't remember him or because he did.

Somewhere in the middle of the most intense staring contest of Jim's life, the hearing was indefinitely dismissed and the previously still room was filled with energy, people running everywhere and voices shouting. Jim turned his head only to find Spock had already left.

By the time Jim had located Bones in the mist of madness, cadets were being herded onto ships. After finding out that he was going to be left behind as a result of probation, Jim was just going to count this as the most annoying day of his life. Luckily, his best friend was an insane, brilliant doctor, and Jim found himself on board the Fleet's flagship, the USS Enterprise, albeit with hyposprays being jammed into his neck at every open interval.

The following few weeks were a crucial period in Jim's life. Being marooned on Delta Vega, meeting Spock Prime, seeing Vulcan destroyed and working with Spock to save Earth seemed to all go by quickly before Jim found himself back in San Francisco, offered up as the hero to the resulting fanfare. Of course, Jim didn't mention in his press junket how the only thing he was thinking of while stalking around the inside of the Narada was not the fate of Earth's 7 billion inhabitants, but in fact on a little boy who had cried breathlessly through the tinny connection when Jim had contacted him from Delta Vega.

Nor did he mention the shock he felt when, before beaming onto said enemy ship, Uhura and father of his child shared a kiss, chaste for any human but basically fucking with flavored lube in Vulcan terms. Of course, Jim never thought Spock would be pining after him, because Jim sure as hell hadn't, but he chalked his shock up to heightened emotions and looked away.

The first thing Jim did when he stepped back into terra firma was to go home, and hug his son like he would never let go. The mere thought that the rogue Romulans had been so close to destroying everything Jim could ever care about was terrifying. He cried into his son's hair, bawling as his mother ran her fingers through Jim's hair, tears rapidly falling down her own face. Soren stood still, getting snot on Jim's Starfleet uniform. The day was spent ignoring everything but his family. He even called Sam and pretended not to hear the wetness in his brother's voice, and was glad when Sam returned the favor.

Jim heard rumors following his return to Starfleet; about how they would accelerate Jim's degree and let him captain the Enterprise right after graduation. A part of Jim felt elated, as that was what he wanted. But captaining a ship meant long periods of time away from Earth, and Soren was only 8. He didn't want to miss out on the guaranteed hilarity that would be his son going through puberty. Perhaps after Soren was an adult, and Jim could do the captain thing for a bit before he returned to embarrass his offspring some more. Of course, Jim suspected that there was someone else who might not want to miss out on their son growing up. Jim even had a sort of camaraderie with Spock. Now that the threat was eliminated, Jim didn't have any excuses not to tell Spock the truth. He owed it to the man, at the very least because Soren was his family, and with the destruction of Vulcan and the death of his mother, Spock could use some.

So it was with trepidation that Jim walked into the science building of Starfleet, heading purposely to the direction of Spock's office. He was wearing his red cadet uniform with a messenger bag slung across his shoulders. He really hoped that this talk would go well, and that Spock would choose not to employ the Vulcan Death Grip on him again, but one could really never tell. He was in front of the door before he realized it, and took a few calming breaths before gently knocking on the door. A few beats passed and Spock's monotone voice filtered through the door, telling him to enter.

Jim stepped through the threshold as the door slid open and closed behind him. Spock's office was painfully neat, papers in precise stacks and not even a potted plant as a half hearted attempt at decoration. The only bit was a small picture of Amanda Grayson, Spock's mother, on his desk. Spock was sitting straight in his chair, tapping at a PADD before setting it down and glancing at Jim.

"Yes, Mr. Kirk?"

"Jim is fine."

Spock simply stared at him. "Jim, then, please take a seat."

Jim sat down and tried to mentally slow his heart beat, which had decided to go wild since stepping into the office.

"Spock...I need to tell you something. Important." Jim glanced up at the Vulcan, who was looking at him with curiosity.

"Go ahead."

Jim sighed, and decided to plow ahead. "Do you remember the first time we ever met? Really met?"

Those liquid brown eyes stared, and after a few minutes, Jim was starting to feel uncomfortable.

"If you are referring to the time when I was a cadet at this institution and you were involved in a bar altercation from which I helped you, then yes, I remember. What is it you need to tell me?"

Jim bit his lip. "Well, you remember what happened after the bar, in your room.....right, ok," he stumbled, after seeing the sudden frown on Spock's face. "Well, there was something about myself I didn't know at the time. I'm a Carrier, Spock."

Spock's eyes were wide, his pointed eyebrows high on his forehead. "If I recall, we did not use any form of contraceptives."

Jim shook his head.

The Vulcan kept looking at him until Jim spoke again. "I got pregnant."

The tension in the office was overwhelming, and Spock finally spoke again. "What happened to ....the child?"

Jim pulled a hand through his hair, trying to keep himself from flying apart. "He was born. I raised him. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner...I honestly didn't know you were even on planet until the hearing."

Spock stayed silent, until he softly uttered a word. "....him?"

Out of the messenger bag came a photo album, filled with pictures of Soren that Winona had collected since her grandson's birth. Jim put it on the desk.

"These are pictures of him. His name is Soren. I'm not trying to get anything from you by telling you this, I just though you would want to know after....after everything."

Jim watched as Spock opened the album, his fingers shaking as he traced the face of their son. Wide brown eyes scanned the photos, staring at them for long periods before turning the pages. About halfway through, Spock glanced up at Jim with an indecipherable look.

"Spock, I'll leave the book here with you for a while. If you want to talk about this more, just let me know. I know it's a lot to take in, and I don't want to mess up your life, and you don't have to meet him if you--"

"Yes."

"W-what?"

Spock looked back at the album. "I...want to meet him.

Something tight in Jim's chest eased a little bit, and he felt as if he could breathe again. Spock was exhibiting more emotion than Jim had ever seen on a Vulcan face, their son excluded. Jim turned to head out the door and maybe to get drunk with Bones while Spock got used to the idea of a kid, when Spock's voice stopped him.

"Why did you choose a Vulcan name?"

A million ready excuses filtered through Jim's brain, because this situation was already pretty mortifying and Jim had a default setting during times of crisis. However, at the vaguely wobbly look on Spock's face, Jim decided to go with the truth. He turned to face the desk once more as he spoke.

"When he was born....he looked so grumpy that a human name didn't seem to fit."

The only movement in the room was one of Spock's pointed eyebrows. Despite the look of incredulity, Jim laughed.

"Return the album back when you are ready. See you around."

Jim exited into the hallway, quickly supporting himself against the wall once the door was shut again. He let out a long sigh, and rubbed his face. Yeah, he would definitely be getting drunk tonight.

After a few days, Jim let himself calm down. He didn't tell Winona or Soren about telling Spock. The only person who knew had sympathetically let him raid their alcohol stash. Bones knew all about repressive drinking.


One of his advanced command classes had just let out, and Jim was mentally reviewing the lesson. Apparently, saving the planet from destruction was not enough to excuse a person from homework, despite Jim's best efforts. His eyes were staring blankly ahead, so he didn't notice Spock walking towards him until his hand closed over Jim's shoulder to keep him from barreling into the Vulcan.

"Oh Spock, didn't see you there!" Any accumulated calm immediately fled and was replaced with panic.

"I was looking for you. I am here to return the album." Spock held out the photo album, which Jim took and placed into his messenger bag. After that, he stood awkwardly while cadets weaved around them and Spock stared.

"So, is there anything-"

"I want to meet him"

Jim looked up, startled. The face in front of him looked impassive, but Jim knew enough to know that it was anything but.

"Okay, we can do that. I'll have to tell him, get him prepared. Anytime in particular? I'm free outside of classes."

"As soon a possible. I fear that our acquaintance has been long delayed."

Jim felt his stomach plummet. "Are you angry about that?"

Spock shook his head minutely. "Although my understanding of human emotion is abecedarian at best, I know enough to understand your choices regarding this matter. In your position, I may have acted similarly."

At the rate at which his emotions were constantly shifting, Jim was pretty sure he was going to get an early heart attack.

"Ok, well its Tuesday today....how about on Friday? I have a free day then and Soren has no school."

Spock agreed, and after saying their goodbyes, they went their separate ways. That was a piece of the hard part. Now he just had to tell Soren.


A/N: Ok so here it is. I hope it wasn't too fast paced, I just really didn't want to repeat the movie, we all know what happens during that time, no need to hear it again. Thank you for the lovely reviews, I love hearing from you guys, you keep this thing alive! I do this FOR YOU.

EDIT: I was wonky with the timeline, but too lazy to fix. However, someone noticed, so I decided to fix it. Five years after Soren was born, Jim goes to Starfleet. So Soren is now 8, which puts Jim at the right age movie wise. Ok? Ok.

so review pretties!