"You've got to be kidding me," Jim stared at the screen with his lips pressed, eyes wide. "That cheap son of a—"

"Ah, I see you have noticed," Spock's sudden appearance at Jim's side caused the Captain to flinch in surprise.

"Y'know, Mr. Spock," Jim regarded his bond mate with mild irritability, "you're as sneaky as he is." His words were met with the predictable arched brow. "What?"

"I am surprised that you are only just now noticing the discrepancies in our account," Spock replied flatly.

"You're saying what he's doing here isn't sneaky or are you implying that I'm slow?" Jim's shoulders slumped when Spock didn't answer, "How long has it been going on?"

"Since before our bonding," Spock supplied, "and longer."

"How imprecise of you." They stared at one another for several awkward moments, both knowing that they were about to have one of their rare personal disagreements. Finally, Jim broke the silence, "And…were you planning to confront him about this any time soon?"

"It is illogical to ask questions to which you already know the answer," Spock intoned, his posture tight.

"It's illogical for your father, the highest paid diplomat in the federation, to charge his dinner to our personal account." Jim gestured with great annoyance to the screen, which displayed a long list of Sarek's transaction history on Spock's account, "And what's more—his transit tickets to our bonding ceremony, Spock? Really? He made you pay to come to his own son's wedding? He was already due to be on Earth for an interplanetary summit that week!"

"On Vulcan it is customary for the child to provide support—"

"Oh, spare me!" Jim rolled his eyes. "I specifically told you not pay for those tickets. I thought we were in agreement."

"There was no logical reason for us not to—"

"There was no logical reason for us to pay his fare. Besides, that's not the point!" Jim could feel himself getting red in the face, an affect Spock seemed to have on him where his father-in-law was concerned.

"He's always doing this—finding some way to make us, specifically me, pay for," Jim held out a hand and started ticking, "let's see, his hotel, his dinner, his Terran winter wear that one week in Aspen—and now I find he managed to swindle our account into paying for that damned ticket after all! I swear Spock, it gives him a thrill to piss me off!"

"What would you have me say?" Spock regarded his mate with troubled eyes, and it was those pitiful orbs, surrounded by worried creases just around their corners that took the wind out of Jim's sails. Spock and his father had not always been on congenial terms, dating back to the half-Vulcan's decision to join Starfleet, and it had only been a handful of years since they had begun to slowly mend fences. Jim understood Spock's hesitancy toward confronting his father and it pained him to see his spouse so obviously torn.

Jim turned in his chair and rolled toward Spock so that the Vulcan's legs were trapped between his thighs. He wrapped his arms around the familiar, lithe waist and leaned his forehead against a blue-clad abdomen. "I'm sorry, Spock. I understand your position. I won't pressure you anymore."

Spock's fingers found their way into Jim's hair, kneading his scalp with just the right amount of pressure, easing Jim's migraine before it had even fully formed. "I am sorry, James. As his son, there are certain sacrifices Vulcan culture requires of me, traditions which are based on what we perceive to be logical parent-child dynamics and expectation, and in my endeavors to strengthen the relationship with my father, I have acquiesced in spite of what is acceptable in human culture, in spite of having chosen a human mate."

"It's always been like this for you," Jim wasn't asking, he already knew. Still, every time he thought of what Spock was constantly subjected to, as a child of two completely different worlds, it made him all the more angrier. It wasn't fair to be made to choose, one or the other—Vulcan or human—for any reason by anyone, and especially by one's own father. Sarek…Jim thought darkly. All over some damned grudge.

Jim wasn't convinced for a second that the Ambassador to Earth bought into all those ancient Vulcan traditions which dictated that once a child comes of age, he is duty bound to assist in the support and maintenance of his house, and besides, there were stipulations! Jim may not be an expert in Vulcan custom, but he damned well knew that supporting one's house did not include expensive dinners for his father-in-law's dignitary friends, new wardrobes or transit tickets to diplomatic events, and that's what it was because they had gone out of their way to plan their bonding around Sarek's work!

Furthermore, half of the charges Sarek made flippantly to Spock's (and thereby Jim's) personal, joint account would be tax deductible if the cheap old bastard would pay for it with his own account, but no. Spock and Jim were stuck with these transactions for no other reason than Sarek's own 'logical' reasons, backed up by 'logical', definitely not outdated, Vulcan social rule. It was high time he did something about it…but how?

Deciding he'd think more clearly after relieving some tension, Jim rose from his seat behind the desk, sliding up Spock's body to take his mate's lips in a gentle kiss. Their hands and minds slid against one another with practiced ease as they made their way across the floor and around the partition that sectioned their sleeping area from the rest of their joint quarters.

"I find it increasingly odd how easily any one of your 'moods' can swiftly morph into arousal," Spock observed, eyes amused, as Jim guided their bodies down onto the mattress.

"But you should be familiar with this particular one, shouldn't you?" Jim's reply was husky as he languidly divested Spock of his uniform. "I thought make up sex was your favorite."

"I believe a more accurate statement would be that they are all my favorite," Spock amended in that sultry, low tone he often slipped into when they flirted with making love.

Jim couldn't agree more and when they were both finally naked, Spock on open display beneath him, he slowly brought them together. It was a feeling that he never took for granted; the closeness of their skin as their bodies pressed together, the exchange of air when their breaths mingled between deep, seeking kisses or that first touch of their minds as Spock opened their bond and thrust their souls together.

Despite his earlier tension and irritation, the pace he set was slow, his hands and tongue gentle as they explored the well-traveled planes of Spock's form. All thoughts of his father-in-law and how best to deal with him were forgotten for the moment, as his reality narrowed to only encompass he and Spock's desire. He teased and tickled until his hands finally found Spock's heat, opening him slowly, though his body was so accustomed to Jim's touch that such preparation was unnecessary. He kept his eyes focused on his lover's face, even as his mouth sank low onto the Vulcan's sex. It was the sight of Spock's reaction, often lost to him when he became overwhelmed during penetration that Jim wanted to see now.

"Jim…" Spock's whisper trickled to his ear, and he grinned slowly, eyes dancing over his mate's face as he gave himself over to it, the battle for control a constant turn on for a human whose passion often knew no bounds.

"Hmm…" Jim moved in tandem with the Vulcan's undulating hips as they sought something more satisfying, something deeper and filling. His mouth never left Spock's organ as he watched him succumb.

"It is…" Spock panted, his eyes dark as they met his lover's intent gaze, "it is sufficient, James. Do not…do not…"

Jim grinned as he mercifully withdrew his fingers and mouth, easing up Spock's body until he was buried inside of it. There was no particular rush, an unspoken, mutual agreement to draw it out, a slow simmer of persistent need and longing. Jim would often sit in the center seat during particularly mundane shifts and think of nothing but this; of being wholly embraced both within and without by his mate's body and mind. His organ throbbed with sweet pleasure-pain as he thrust deeply, rolling his hips into Spock over and over. It could never last long, and before either of them were ready, their climax was upon them and they were swimming in their release.

As Jim predicted, it had the desired effect, and a plan slowly began to take form. Support the house…was his final thought as he and Spock drifted slowly into sleep.

XXX

"Was your trip successful, Ambassador?" S'Taril, the grounds keeper, greeted him as Sarek stepped out of his air car and met the younger Vulcan on the stairs leading to the main entrance of his home."

"Quite well," Sarek informed. Then, something oddly bright in his peripheral caught the Ambassador's eye. When he turned his full gaze upon the object, it took several seconds—shameful when one considered the ability of the Vulcan mind to process information more quickly than most other sentient humanoid species—for him to recognize it for what it so obviously was.

He calmly turned back to the caretaker of his property with both eyebrows raised, "S'Taril, when did this...object arrive on the grounds?"

The younger Vulcan appeared confused, "You had it commissioned and installed, sir, while you were off planet."

Sarek's jaw tightened, "Indeed."

S'Taril then seemed to suddenly remember something as he reached into a flap of his robe to retrieve a paper envelope, "This also arrived for you two days ago. It came with instructions to deliver it to you immediately upon your return."

Sarek slowly accepted the item and opened it, unconsciously turning back toward the newest addition to his property. He read the enclosed letter with increasing, unVulcan annoyance.

Dear Sarek,

In accordance with Vulcan custom, I, James Tiberius Kirk Cha'Sarek, herby grace our family house with a symbol of our newfound familial unity. May our house, in both prosperity and struggle be shared and divided among us, may our confidences be sought and found within one another and our duty to clan and people be shared as one.

Live Long and Prosper.

Your dutiful son,

James

The Ambassador's eyes left the paper, now peaking just over its crisp, tilted edge as it flopped back inward along it's unfolded crease, revealing his son's 'gift'. The fountain pool in the main driveway had a diameter of fifteen feet. It was masterfully crafted with smooth stones and accented with precious gems common on both Earth and Vulcan. The centerpiece was a fine example of the human adjective 'tacky.'

There were three tiers, each of them solid gold, molded to perfection into large roses exactly ten and a half feet in diameter, each jutting in different directions from the vine-like base, also gold, and each one two feet higher than the next. Within the circle of the roses stood a platinum figure of a nude male, mid thirties, uncanny in its resemblance of his son-in-law, a large grin on its face as water surged forth from its eighteen-inch phallus.

A closer look and Sarek could see that there was something glittering in the water spouting from the figure and swirling in the pool. He approached the fountain dubiously and reached in to investigate. His eyebrows knit even tighter as he recognized what the tiny pieces were: gold flakes.

Later, after Sarek had consulted his personal account and noted the seventy-thousand credit deduction for the new piece of…art on his front lawn, he sent James a private, one-word unsigned message:

Understood.