A/N: Welcome to the holiday special of Star Trek, starring Captain James Tiberius Kirk as our hero! I've been working on this since around the middle of November, but I've been saving it until now so that I could post it just in time for the holiday. I think it was originally meant to be a five-and-one, but it turned into just a five, which is fine. The entire thing will be up by tomorrow for Christmas Eve (just as soon as I finish the fifth one!) Any and all mistakes are my own (and I'm wicked tired right now, so forgive any spelling mistakes in this note). This first one is the shortest one, so they will get longer. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek. I also don't own Christmas (does anyone?) nor do I own the Christmas carols at the beginning of each chapter.

Boughes of Holly

Five Christmases with James Tiberius Kirk


Winter Wonderland

"Later on, we'll conspire,

as we dream by the fire

To face unafraid,

the plans that we've made,

walking in a winter wonderland."

Later, when he grows up, the memories will be distant, just flashes of images, snippets of conversation, a wonderfully colorful swirl of lights and sound and laughter. It will also be one of his favorite memories, the only childhood holiday that he willfully recounts when questioned.

James Tiberius Kirk doesn't really have a favorite holiday, but if pushed he will answer with Christmas. The reasons always change—later he answers "Eggnog" or "presents" with a flourishing wink—but the real reason is this memory. This Christmas, the one before everything gets screwed up. This is the perfect Christmas, straight out of one of those sappy movies—the ones that Jim hates when he gets older, because they remind him and that hurts.

He and Sam help their mother decorate a Christmas tree that smells just like fresh pine—although, of course, it isn't real—and they hang lights, and they hang candy canes from perfectly shaped tree limbs. Sam grins at him from the corner of his mouth—and how he misses those grins once they're gone—and starts a tinsel fight, ending with them both covered in piles of shining silver. Their mother bakes cookies by the dozen, and then they curl up in the living room, drinking hot chocolate. And his mother's voice lifts into Christmas carols—he can't remember half of them now, but he can always remember those crisp, clear notes—and when they finally go off to bed they leave a plate out on the coffee table, filled with cookies for Santa.

His mother tucks him and he looks up at her, half-asleep and yawning. "Santa's coming, right mommy?" He says. She smiles at him, smoothes his hair back, and kisses his forehead, pulling the covers tight around him.

"Yes, Jimmy. He's coming."

And when he wakes in the morning, at the crack of dawn—because when has Jim Kirk ever waited for anything in his life?—the first thing he sees is the glimpse of pure, bright white through his window. He presses his nose against the cold pane, grinning at the expanse of powdery snow outside. Then he wakes his brother, who protests for only a moment before realizing that it's Christmas, and they race downstairs. Beneath their decorated tree are perfectly wrapped presents in gold and green and red. They look at each other and grin—but after…after they barely even look at each other—then race up the stairs, to throw themselves onto their mother's bed.

She wakes with a jolt and a laugh—he remembers that her smile was beautiful—and she joins in, racing them down the stairs. Before breakfast, before anything, they open presents, unable to contain their excitement anyway. His mother hands him a shiny red package, her smile soft, saying "This one's for you, Jimmy."

He can feel her eyes watching him as he rips through the wrapping paper. And then he stares at the object he holds in his hands. A starship, bigger than his tiny palm but still miniature, perfectly formed. He looks up at his mother, and there is a soft kind of sadness to her eyes. But he knows what it means, remembers the moment months earlier when she asked him what he wanted. And, with all the innocence of a child who doesn't really understand, he answered "My daddy."

He looks at the starship in his hand and closes his fingers around it, gripping it tight, smiling.

And he carries it around with him everywhere after that, so that his father can always be with him.

Reviews are the best gift for holiday season!