Title: What We Remember Forever

Fandom: Star Trek (XI)

Rating: PG

Pairing: Kirk/Spock (friendship)

Warnings: OOC-ness on Spock's part (although by default I'm trying to write him as in-character as I possibly can, so we'll just see how that turns out), references to past emotional child neglect, and – as per usual – MASSIVE FLUFF.

Notes: First off, I would recommend reading "Never Too Late" before any of this collection. :) Secondly: these snippets and drabbles will be in no particular order and will undoubtedly vary in length. Also, I'm writing these as I think of them, so I honestly have no idea when the next one will be posted. However, I do have some ideas floating around, so I'll be sure to keep these coming.

(Ideas and suggestions for this collection are always welcome if you'd like to PM me!)

A Sign of Happiness

(in which Jim makes a discovery)

"Purring would seem to be, in her case, an automatic safety valve device for dealing with happiness overflow." –Monica Edwards (1912 - 1988)

Spock lay on his back in defeat for a third time, although he found he did not truly mind it. The small figure leaning across his chest laughed, and the corners of Spock's lips twitched slightly in return.

"You have bested me again, Captain."

Jim lifted himself up enough above the half-Vulcan to look at him. "I'm really good, huh, Spock?" The 4-year-old was still smiling, but Spock could still sense the slight hesitancy in his tone that had come with his initial shyness. At such a young age (too young, Spock thought), Jim was inadvertently expressing an uncertainty of his own behavior – a need to know that he was being approved of. They were worries the child should not have had, had the care he'd originally received at his current age been more than simply "adequate."

Spock pressed down on the slightly bitter thoughts that skimmed the edges of his mind.

"Indeed you are, Jim," he answered reassuringly, sitting up on the gym mat and letting Jim fall carefully into his lap. "You are, as human terminology goes, a 'natural.'"

The bright blue eyes lit up and the boy leaned forward and hugged Spock, putting his small arms as far around the half-Vulcan as they would go. Spock looped his arms around the child in return, leaning down and letting his cheek hover above the blonde head. He shut his eyes and allowed his left hand to slide up Jim's back and settle near the side of his head, fingertips lightly touching the boy's temple. This simple feeling, this carefree friendship Jim was capable of projecting onto others even as a child… it never ceased to fascinate Spock. He gradually tightened his arms around Jim, his natural posture becoming more comfortable over the passing seconds. He felt the tell-tale signs of a rumble in his chest, and as he exhaled Spock allowed a light purr to escape, reverberating gently through his throat and nose.

Jim pulled back from him, staring up at the man in awe.

"Spock, are you a kitty?"

The half-Vulcan raised an eyebrow at the sudden inquiry. "I am Vulcan," he responded. When Jim continued to stare up at him, his gaze still curious but now somehow slightly disappointed, Spock added, "However, it is true that Vulcans are descended from a species of animal similar in part to Terran felines, so your observation is, in fact, logical and is not completely untrue."

Jim continued to stare at him, his expression now one of simple, innocent confusion.

After a few moments, Spock released his breath slowly in a soft, resigned Vulcan-esque sigh. "Yes, Jim, I am a 'kitty.'"

The child in his lap giggled and reached up to place a hand near the top of Spock's head, raking his fingers through the coarse black hair. While the half-Vulcan started minutely in surprise at the action, the light scratching against his scalp was not an unpleasant experience (quite the opposite, in fact), and after a moment Spock relaxed his frame and bowed his head to allow Jim better access.

"You're a really big kitty," Jim said, his voice filled with the kind of wonder only a child could possess. Although his expression did not change, Spock's eyes filled with a deep warmth as he watched Jim.

"Indeed," he said, letting himself lean forward slightly and brush his forehead gently against Jim's. As the child's hand moved down to scratch the area behind his left ear, Spock shut his eyes in contentment and – much to Jim's ever-growing amusement – released a loud, low purr.

If anyone had come into the gym during that time and witnessed the pair, Spock wouldn't have noticed at all.

And somehow, the half-Vulcan found as he purred into the laughing child's ear, he couldn't bring himself to care.