"It's educational, I promise," Jim says grinning and glancing to me before looking back to the road. "You'll approve."
I frown slightly. "If I will approve, there is no reason you should keep it secret from me. The fact that you will not tell me our destination only causes me to suspect that I will object."
He rolls his eyes. "There is a completely valid reason. And it isn't because I think you'll disprove."
"Enlighten me," I say, slightly mocking the tone he frequently uses when he speaks the phrase.
"I'm keeping it a secret so it stays a secret. I know you: you can't keep anything from him, especially if he gets worked up enough. You'll come up with some excuse, like it's logical to alleviate his anxiety, and tell him so the surprise is ruined."
I hesitate, knowing I cannot refute the accusation. "He has inherited your pout," I say and look to the backseat on the driver's side.
Sbahnak is bouncing on the seat in anticipation. It is something he had consciously stopped himself from doing earlier, but his mind has wandered and he started again. He is stretched up, attempting to see more out of the window while staying firmly buckled into the children's safety seat. Both lips are held between his teeth. The irises of his eyes are the same blue as those of Jim. His eyebrows are angled closer to that of a Human. His skin is pale, but his red blood shows through his slight pink flush. Pointed Vulcan ears peak out of scruffy black hair. He needs a haircut.
I turn back. "I do not understand why it must be a surprise."
"Are you kidding?" Jim laughs. "When we get there, he's suddenly going to be so excited. He'll be on the verge of exploding."
"No one can explode from excitement, father," Sbahnak chides, schooling his face back to neutrality after he realized he was frowning.
Jim adjusts the rearview mirror to look at our son. "Sure! I saw it happen once."
"Nuh-uh!" He crosses his arms. "It is impossible."
"Yes-huh," Jim grins. "It totally happened. Didn't it?" he asks, glancing to me.
I reach up and readjust the mirror to its initial position. "It was a rather unfortunate event."
Sbahnak's eyes grow wide, and his jaw drops. "It really happened?"
"The Xplohdi experience a major chemical imbalance when they become overly joyful. Their ambassador had never been aboard a starship," I hesitantly explain. "A lieutenant arrived to conduct him on a tour."
"Needless to say, he was thrilled." Jim turns the mirror back. "The poor crewman had to shave all his hair and smelled like onions and sulfur for the next year."
I move the mirror again. "It caused a diplomatic incident that nearly resulted in war and Lt. Farrell is still receiving therapy. I see nothing about this that is amusing."
The boy quickly clasps his hands over his mouth to stop his laughter.
"I certainly do," Jim says and reaches for the mirror again, but I send him a warning glare and he retracts his hand. "The guy apparently wasn't well-liked on his planet because eighty-nine more people exploded when it was announced. One of those was his wife."
I can hear Sbahnak's giggles muffled through his hands.
I nod. "It was one reason why their culture has adapted a philosophy much like Vulcans."
Jim slows and makes a right. He has gotten better about driving wisely while our son is in the car. He still drives much too fast for my liking if it is only me with him and even faster if he drives alone, but I have yet to convince him to stop. We soon pass a large brightly colored sign proclaiming a salutation.
I look to Jim with a slight smile on the edge of my lips. Jim beams back.
It takes 7.3 minutes to find an empty parking space once we pass the large gate. Once parked, I exit the car and open the trunk to take out the supply pack. It contains a medkit with allergy hypos and bandages, food prepared the night before, snacks prepared this morning, bottles of water, a second pair of clothing (for both Sbahnak and Jim) and a camera.
By the time I walk around the vehicle, Jim has unbuckled our son, placed him on the ground and closed the door. I look down to Sbahnak. He is tense and very still, tightly covering his eyes.
Jim frowns down at him. "What are you doing? Look where we are."
Sbahnak shakes his head, which proves to be rather difficult with his hands over his eyes. "I don't wanna explode."
I glare at Jim for scaring him. A huge grin splits Jim's face despite the fact that he's trying to hide it. He kneels down and places his hands on his shoulders. "No, no! You're not going to explode. It's just Xplohdians who do that."
"But Vulcans have to control their emotions too."
Jim looks up at me with an expression that silently conveys the sentiment, 'haha, this totally wasn't my fault this time'.
I feel rather chastised. I stand straight and make my face and voice stoic. "Sa-fu, you will not explode, regardless of how excited you become."
Sbahnak tilts his head up to look at me but still has his palms over his eyes. "But you said, sa-mekh."
"I said we share similar philosophies. I did not say we follow them for similar reasons. Vulcans do not explode. Unless by external means," I add.
Jim sends me a scolding look and mouths 'why would you tell him that?'
"Oh," the boy says, relaxing. "You are sure?"
"Of course," Jim says, giving his shoulders a squeeze. "I've excited your dad lots of times and he hasn't exploded." He looks up at me with a sultry smile, which I meet with exasperation. Jim stands and ruffles his hair, which does not make it look any more disheveled than before. He still needs a haircut.
Our son gives a strong nod before lowering his hands and carefully opening his eyes. He looks up at Jim who grins widely down to him. He hesitates before grabbing onto one of Jim's jeaned legs and peering beyond him.
Sbahnak gasps. "THE ZOO!"
Author's note: I decided to start a family series centering around Jim and Spock's son Sbahnak. This chapter is the same as the one in Illogical, but I don't really want to delete it from there. Since it also belongs here, I'll just have it be at both places. I made him a bit more human than Spock since he's probably only 1/4th Vulcan. Where did he come from? Test tube baby? Surrogate mother? Adopted? Stork left a basket on the door step? ...Mpreg? I'll just leave that up to your imagination and probably won't ever address it. His name means 'red cheeks' in Vulcan.
P.S. Yes, it is pronounce 'explodey'. I blame it on the fact I've been playing Ace Attorney, which is full of name puns.