I've been just a little upset with the Star Trek Reboot lately. My favourite scene in the movie was Jim meeting Old Spock and this vic kind of evolved from that. I just can't see Jim or Old Spock letting each other go that quickly, so I wanted to try to get a feel for what their relationship might be.

Disclaimer:I don't own Star Trek in any of its incarnations.

Here's the thing: James T. Kirk Prime was an exceptional starship captain.

And Jim Kirk thinks that's just a little bit unfair.

Because it turns out that he is not, in fact, the exception to the rule of why Starfleet cadets are not promoted to Captain immediately after graduation.

He's a textbook example of why that's a supremely bad idea.

But he's certainly not telling Starfleet that.

The first time Jim calls Spock on New Vulcan, he's at his wit's end. It turns out Captaining a starship during a crisis and running day-to-day operations on a starship are two different things, go figure. And while Jim's proved he's good in a crisis there is a reason Cadets graduated and then go on rotation serving in different ships. The Academy just does not prepare you for the day-to-day realities of living and running a starship, how the different departments interact, dealing with shift changes, moderating interpersonal arguments, the mother-fucking never-ending paperwork…

He's had his command about two weeks at this point, and in that period he's had to try to figure out how his ship actually runs, attempt to sort out what appears to be two different interdepartmental wars (both involving the Science Department for some weird reason), work back-to-back shifts on the bridge, deal with what feels like hellish amount of insubordination (that he isn't actually sure is insubordination, half his problem is he has no benchmarks for this kind of thing), deal with an ever-increasing mountain of paperwork that never shrinks no matter how much he works at it (which is a lot, no matter what anyone says Jim Kirk is and always has been a hard worker), deal with increasingly snide and bitchy remarks while he's on the bridge from Uhura and, oh, apparently the First Officer from Hell, he's just the biggest asshole in the universe, Jesus Christ.

And then he just bursts into tears. Because it's just been that kind of week. And he's had maybe 10 hours of sleep total since assuming control of the Enterprise.

Shockingly, for Jim at least, Old Spock takes this ungainly display of emotion in a stride. He's even kind of sympathetic, which makes Jim just love him all the more, and he just lets Jim talk and complain his way through the hellish couple of weeks he's had. He nods and frowns in all the right places and actually gives Jim some useful advice on exactly how he needs to solve some of his problems.

Jim is so ridiculously grateful for Spock's kindness it doesn't occur to him to wonder why Spock is so helpful when he's already stated his reluctance to interfere in the events of this universe.

(The thing is, people tended to forget that Spock had been a starship captain in his own right for years before he retired from Starfleet.)

(He's trained more officers than he cares to remember as well.)

(What is one more?)

(Especially when he can see so much of what he loved in his old friend in this young one.)

(Some nights, Spock meditates and wonders if this is what having a child is like.)

Curiously, The Enterprise seems to spend a fair amount of time those first two years in and around the New Vulcan Colony.

The official PR is that the flagship of the 'Fleet inspires a certain amount of security in the survivors and shows strong and decisive Federation presence. Insofar as the crew is concerned, the opportunity to help the survivors rebuild soothes a certain amount of their own guilt at not being able to stop Vulcan's destruction in the first place. The senior bridge crew works especially hard to be a strong presence in the colony.

And if Captain Kirk is seen most often in the company of one of the venerable Vulcan elders, Ambassador Selek, well, no one is going to question it. (His younger counterpart is still deep in his own grief and guilt to notice any odd behaviours in the Captain and there is plenty of work to do.) It's good to see the feisty young Captain building strong diplomatic ties. Starfleet takes it as a sign of maturity, seeking wisdom and logic and not rash, emotional decisions. The Admiralty nod their collective heads and pat themselves on the backs for taking initiative and promoting Jim Kirk, isn't he just like his old man?, to Captain so soon, forgetting that all his captaincy was supposed to be was a publicity stunt.

(Spock shakes his head and sighs. He's not surprised per say, as he tells young Jim over tea one night, gently correcting Jim's posture, because apparently bureaucracy is something of a universal constant and Spock's been dealing with Starfleet's particular brand for a long time.)

The thing about these discussions is that Jim never wants to know how his older counterpart handled things. When he asks Spock for advice (Which he does often), he always wants to know how Spock would handle things. It's not so much that Jim is going to do exactly that (he's always done his own thing) but he appreciates having someone's experience to compare his decisions against.

(Jim never had the option of having a mentor in the 'Fleet. In another life Chris Pike might have been, but now any mentoring interaction between them tends to be seen as either weakness in Jim or favouritism in Pike. Some nights Jim grieves the loss of that relationship.)

George Kirk was a starship Captain for twelve minutes. In those twelve minutes he saved 800 lives, including Jim's. And while Jim is grateful for that, he's also spent his whole life living in his father's shadow. Of being compared to his father's ghost. He's had rather enough of trying to outdo a dead man, thank you very much.

Spock understands this. He may have loved his Captain, his friend, but he'd also lived in his shadow for years. The entire Enterprise crew had.

Spock always smiles for Jim when he calls and he always answers, no matter what time it is.

He's patient with Jim where others would be unforgiving. He explains things thoroughly, sometimes more than once, teaches Jim the tricks of the trade, short cuts through problems, fills in holes in his education Jim never knew were there.

(Like, for instance, at least 80% of the paperwork Jim's been doing is supposed to be done by other people. The senior bridge crew hadn't been thrilled when Jim basically dumped it on them {though Bones and Scotty had smirked because they'd been doing their jobs all along} frustrated and about 1000% done with that bullshit.)

(He'd been even more excited to learn just how much administrative work he could dump onto his XO without guilt because it's supposed to be his XO's job.)

(Uhura had been so pissed at him for 'monopolizing' her boyfriend. Jim had said if she didn't like the way he ran his ship, he'd draw up the paperwork for a transfer. That shut her up. His XO just bore it with the indifference Jim's come to expect by this point.)

Basically, Spock teaches him how to be a Starship Captain. Sometimes he feels pathetically grateful and feels like this comes across, but then Spock is telling him no matter how high his anxiety level he really needs to try to not throw up on diplomats, Federation or otherwise, and Jim's nodding along taking notes.

(Sometimes he lies awake and wonders if this is what having a father is like.)

Spock never expects Jim to be his Captain. His Captain is long gone and he's accepted this. He'd glimpsed what made this Jim unique. Mind-melds work both ways.

Jim Kirk is still not the exception to the rule about promoting cadets to Captain straight out of the Academy.

But that's ok. Spock intends to see this young Jim reaches his full potential. How Jim gets there is a matter strictly between Jim and himself.

Starfleet really doesn't need to know.

And Spock was always a better teacher than his Captain.