Chapter 2- How I Met Your Mother

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.(this isn't angsty believe it or not)

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It hurts when he dies.

He can feel the burn of the radiation he breathes in shakily at the back of his throat and all the way down to his lungs where it coils and expands. He can feel his heart pumping too hard in his chest, desperately doing what it can to keep him alive.

He can feel as his blood thickens to sludge inside his veins and failing arteries. He can hear his heart in his ears, and he can taste death on his tongue.

It tastes like cheap whiskey and copper.

He hears his own breath, too loud and too uneven in his ears. It was amazing he could hear anything over the sound of the thudding pulse in his ears however.

His vision was blurry, and it was only getting worse. His mouth was entirely too dry and his tongue felt too big for his mouth.

The tears that leak from his eyes feel like acid down his hot cheeks.

The way his voice tears out of his throat feels like he's spewing razor blades.

Nothing compares to the throbbing at the base, temples and frontal lobe of Jim's brain as it craps out on him... As it begins to process that it's dying, that there's nothing left. That the very air his body is breathing in to keep him alive is the very thing killing him.

So when Spock presses his hand up against the glass, Jim complies.

He hadn't remembered something ever being so hard. Not since he was 13 years old and pulling himself up over the edge of a cliff after driving a car off of it. He had been looking for attention then; anything to quench the empty, gaping hole hollowed out by a mother who was never there.

This wasn't the type of attention Jim ever wanted.

So when his fingers twitch apart to match his friends, he gives a weak smile in assurance that he is so terribly grateful.

Spock is crying.

Jim can't fathom why it's suddenly the most stunning thing he's ever seen, and he doesn't want to. He allows himself to find pleasure in it, some comfort in this horrible yet valiant death, because a creature so private and reserved his hurting. He's projecting his emotions through the glass, and it's one of the most astonishing, open sights Jim has ever seen Spock relay.

And it's utterly beautiful.

So with a final smile, just a quirk of his swollen lips, Jim takes his final breath. Because he is so grateful he wasn't alone.

Dying is like nothing he expected though.

First of all, he thought it was bullshit that his life didn't flash before his eyes. Everything was just black, and he could feel an odd thrum of energy coursing through his veins. It was like his body was expanding and contracting, and it was oddly soothing.

He thought he'd see the devil at first (he was not such an innocent man you see) but in all honesty, he couldn't see a damn thing.

There were no golden gates sliding open to reveal a glowing Enterprise, there were no Angels casually flying by and beckoning him forward, and there was certainly no Godly figure offering him a hand.

So, putting two and two together, Jim popped his eyes open. That was usually the thing to do when you couldn't see right?

So he did, and nothing really changed. Literally.

He stared up at the ceiling of the very radiation chamber he died in.

For a horrible moment, he feared he was alive. His head whipped sideways to where Spock had been crouched to find no one there. He pressed his hand against the glass only to have it easily glide through.

"If I'm a ghost and have to fix some shit before I get booted into heaven I'm seriously going to flip the fuck out," he huffed as got up slowly. He stretched a little bit before gliding through the glass.

He wandered aimlessly through engineering, finding it disconcerting that there was no one around. Usually there were people hustling and bustling back and forth doing their jobs admirably. There was no natural hum of the Enterprise that he had grown accustomed to, and there was certainly no voices either.

When he had strode by the lift it had slid open without him pressing the button. He shrugged and stepped on and went up; to wherever. It started moving before he had the chance to press in a destination. When it had come to a stop and the doors opened, he expected it to be heaven.

But no, it was still the hallway of the Enterprise.

He stepped off the lift with a huff and began walking down the hallway. He was constantly looking both ways for any form of life because it was dead silent.

Other than his quiet barefooted steps and soft breaths… Nothing.

So when he passed by the transporting room and saw a woman, he froze.

Her back was to the open door; looking detached from reality, just as Jim felt. She had on a long white dress that draped all the way down to her pale bare feet.

Her long brown hair cascaded down her back in soft waves, and on top of her head was a ring of flowers in pastel shades.

"Hello James," a soft voice rang. It was pleasant, rounded around the edges and delicate. Jim found himself walking to her slowly, ignoring the fact that she had known his name despite never meeting her.

She stood on the right of the beaming pad, hands clasped in front of her. He slowly came around to her front, careful not to trip going up the step of the pad.

"Have I met you?" he asked, noting the difference in their heights. She was an older woman, judging by the fine wrinkles around her eyes, and the faint wrinkles around her mouth from smiling. She was probably in her mid-forties.

"You haven't," she chuckled, "Though I do believe, had I gone on living, at some point my son would have taken you home with him so we could meet."

"Your son," he said slowly, processing the information. He stared at this stranger for a long minute, and nearly gasped when she glanced up to look him in the eye.

Those were Spock's eyes. The shape and color, no longer hidden by the downwards turn of her head, were unmistakably his first officers eyes.

"You're… Spock's mother."

"Yes," she nodded looking away from him. She stared forward, almost longingly at the space in front of her with a sad smile. That was where Spock had been standing with his hand out, Jim began to realise. "I am Spock's mother. My name is Amanda."

"Amanda," he repeated.

She laughed to herself, placing a hand over her mouth, eyes dancing in delight.

"Can't you form a sentence more than 5 syllables?" she teased.

Jim, completely and utterly dumbfounded, stared at her with his mouth agape. This woman was Spock's mother? How was that even possible? He snapped his mouth shut with an audible click.

"I can thank you very much. At least I know where Spock got his sass from," Jim huffed, crossing his arms.

"Oh sweetie," she chuckled, beginning to lower to the ground, "Sit. We have much to discuss."

"But I don't know you," he said, sitting beside her. He realised he was in all black now, since it contrasted so much from the woman's dress. He wore a simple pair of black pants, and a long black sleeved t-shirt. She stretched her legs out in front of her; over the steps onto the pad. Jim followed and sat the same way.

"Be that as it may, I'm here for a reason," she promised, eyes filled with mischief.

"It's lovely meeting you and all, but," he paused, itching at his ear, "Why you?"

"They have their ways of doing things," Amanda replied simply. "Let me tell you something, honey. I am a female woman of Earth. I spent more than half of my life on Vulcan. Has there been a day in your life where you wanted to, ah, rip the bangs off of Spock's forehead?"

"Any day of the week that ends in 'day'," Jim grumbled rolling his eyes. He didn't question how she knew that he had said that. This whole place was so surreal; he just stopped questioning and went with it.

She chuckled at that, looking down at her hands in her lap.

"Honey, I was surrounded by Vulcans for years. I raised Spock."

"You poor woman."

"Yes," she agreed giggling, "But I've been blessed and I've learned I'm much more stubborn than I used to be and perhaps that's why I'm here now."

"Because you're stubborn? I'm gonna be honest with you, I'm not catching on."

"Your life isn't over yet, James."

"Yes, that'd explain why I'm a ghost and speaking to an unfortunately dead woman," he huffed sarcastically, "I died, I know I did." He thought of those tears streaking down his friends face and frowned. He hung his head, shrugging his shoulders as if to relieve a taut muscle.

"Just because you're dead, doesn't mean your life is over silly," she snorted, "That friend of yours, Leonard right? He's the best medical officer in all of Star Fleet correct?"

"Even if that's true, he can't bring people back from the dead," he said flatly. He rubbed at the fabric of his pants for a moment before speaking. "Whatever was supposed to be, or supposed to happen, isn't going to now."

"I wouldn't be so sure," she replied expeditiously, "That's why I'm here. To nudge you in the right direction, remind you of the things you will not have if you choose to follow me," she explained. She shifted in her spot, crossing her ankles and adjusting the skirt of her dress.

Jim tucked his legs up into his chest, wrapping his arms around them and resting his chin on his knees. He licked his lips and sighed heavily through his nose.

"You probably know this, but he was with me when I died," he said softly, worrying his bottom lip with his teeth. She nodded absently, waves swaying ever so slightly as she did. She didn't need to ask who it was Jim spoke of either. "He was crying."

She tensed at that and looked at him. There was an odd expression on her face, like she was trying to decipher a puzzle and that puzzle was on Jim Kirk's face. He swallowed, his mouth feeling far too dry. Was he really going to delve into this with the Vulcans mother? His very dead mother, for that matter.

Did that make things better or worse?

"Really?" she laughed shortly, "How intriguing."

"I feel guilty about it," he murmured. His lidded eyes scanned her now solicitous expression without the turning of his head. He would've raised an eyebrow at her if he was able to do that. He often whined about it when Bones would do it along with Spock. He just couldn't make his eyebrows work in such a manner.

He found himself experiencing something akin to nostalgia, but it felt more like nausea.

"Well, no good person likes to make others cry, Jim. That's only nat-"

"I didn't mean it like that," he confessed. She almost looked permissive or calmed by that and Jim briefly wondered why that was. He pursed his lips and stretched his skinny legs out. They draped over the step of the transporter pad and he wiggled his toes. "I, kind of took pleasure in it. Found ease in it," he admitted.

"I see." He stopped staring at the unoccupied space in front of him and turned to look at her. "I was hoping you'd say something along those lines."

"What?" he questioned.

"You love each other."

"Well, yeah. We're best friends. Of course I love him."

"That isn't what I meant James, and you know it. Might I regress? When you mentioned he cried upon watching you die? Honey, if that wasn't a flashing signal with bells I don't know what is. When was the last time you saw him so emotional?"

He floundered for a moment, wondering if kissing Uhura counted. Though, Jim had walked in on them, but in his defense they were in a rec room, which just happened to be unoccupied. He was simply going in there to read, knowing that the rec room was one of the more unpopular ones, but apparently the couple had figured that out as well.

He had flushed a bright shade of red and quickly hurried out with an apology. He then went to his room and slept, having felt a bit unsettled.

"Well, like a big display? Probably right after…" he trailed off, looking down guiltily, "After Vulcan was destroyed, and you…"

"Jimmy," she said placing a small hand on his shoulder, "I have no doubt that Spock loves me. Other Vulcans, which I find strange, always tried to elicit a response from him as a child by bullying him since he was part Human. The only time he would become upset was when they insulted his father or I."

Jim opened his mouth and made a noise somewhere between a grunt and a moan.

"You understand?"

"I do," he breathed, slapping his forehead. "But he's dating Uhura." He buried his head in his hands, unsure of what to do. This whole conversation- get-together rather, was far too bizarre and bothering him a great deal. His head led him scientifically to the fact that this could be a product of stress affecting his brain and revealing underlying thoughts he had yet to realise.

It was unsettling because one, his brain needed to be alive and functioning for that to happen, and two, he wasn't sure he wanted to unearth these thoughts.

"Is he?" she drawled, "But will he still be when you wake up?"

"This is insane," he scoffed, "I'm dead, Amanda. I'm not waking up."

He stood, dusting off his butt, though he was sure there was nothing there (though it was a force of habit; he did grow up on a farm) and looked down at her.

"Jim, sweetie, do you love my son?"

"Don't ask me that."

"Why?"

"Because I don't wanna know the answer!" he snapped, surprising himself. She raised an eyebrow and got up slower than he, adjusting her dress as she went.

"I think you need to wake up." She crossed her arms over her chest and sent him an amused expression at his fidgeting.

"Stop saying th-"

But it was too late, his eyes were shooting open. He jerked violently and grunted as his head collided with something hard. His hand shot up to clasp his head and rub it. Upon hearing a soft noise, he glanced up.

Spock was rubbing at his own chin.

"Are you alright T'hy'la?" He questioned, hand slipping from his chin to the blonde's face.

Jim stared into those brown eyes, captivating and unfairly sublime. He was astonished by the thought that he was once unaware that he loved Spock before they had gotten together. How could that be? He guessed part of it had to do with the fact that he was recovering from the whole Khan incident. Jesus, he had had this dream far too many times and variations to be surprised by it anymore however.

He pressed his cheek into the Vulcans warm palm, licking his lips. He smiled at the concern and affection pulsing through him at the touch.

"Jim?"

"Had a dream," he decided to share.

"Was it an unpleasant one?" More concern flittered through their bond. Jim shook his head, leaning forward to kiss the Vulcans pale cheek. The brunettes hand fell away from his face, arm sliding around Jim's waist.

Spock was always apprehensive when it came to dreams and Jim.

After he had awoken in the hospital, Jim began having awful nightmares.

The nightmares didn't stop, though they lessened once he and Spock became a couple. That was 4 months after Jim had awoken. Those 4 months consisted of a lot of bed rest, medication, physical therapy, mental therapy and many trips to see Bones. They also contained many sad encounters, awkward ones, and a few angry as well.

Bones had always been there to assure Jim that everything that happened was not Jim's fault.

As was the entire crew.

During that duration of time, in the third month, Spock had broken up with Uhura. Though she had been upset, she understood why and was not at all immature or rash about it. She too believed she wasn't interested romantically in Spock as of late, though she didn't want to admit it. But things blew over, and they were fine. In fact, she and Spock were still very close friends.

"Not at all. Just a, a remembering sort of dream. Sometimes how they repeat you know?" he shrugged, shifting closer into hybrid's warm chest. He tucked his chin onto the brunette's firm shoulder and took in a small breath.

"May I inquire what it was you were dreaming?"

Jim chuckled weakly, his breath ghosting over the Vulcan's sensitive ear. He brought his finger up to rub over the tip and felt Spock's arm twitch around his waist. On Spock's side of the bed, there was a side table with a clock that read 4:09 A.M.

"Don't think you'd believe me if I told you."

"Would you like to enlighten me anyways?"

Jim pulled back just enough so he could look at his bond mate's face and licked his lips.

"When I died," he paused, noticing the twitch of the Vulcans lips, "I- Well I think I met your mother. And I know that's not logical, because I don't know her at all, only seen pictures, but it was her. And she was sweet and funny and sassy, and you have her eyes, Spock."

He stopped his rambling to see something akin to shock on his lovers face.

"My mother."

His tone was flat and the blonde bit at his lip, nodding.

"Jim that is impossible."

"Yeah," Jim agreed, "It was almost like she was an angel though, and hell you know I'm not at all religious. But she had on a pretty white dress, flowers in her hair, and she missed you Spock, God she always wanted you to know how much she loved you," he went on.

"I am aware of the extent to which she cared for me, Jim. I still do not find it plausible that you indeed met my mother." Spock's voice held a different tone, this time around. Softer and less patronizing. Jim wondered briefly whether or not he should have brought up his boyfriend's deceased mother, but brushed it aside. He didn't seem too upset over it.

"You went from impossible to implausible."

"Be that as it may, I am inclined to s-"

"I said you wouldn't believe me," Jim snorted cutting him off, "I mean, I don't think it'd be bad if it were true. She was basically an angel convincing me I was in love with you and to not kick the bucket just yet at the time."

"Fascinating."

"Indeed Mr. Spock. Truly intriguing," the blonde teased. He pushed his hand through the askew ebony locks furthering messing them up. The Vulcan splayed his fingers on Jim's lower back, applying a gentle pressure, and rubbing slowly. Jim grinned roguishly before pecking his lips quickly.

He pulled back only to have Spock lean forward and press his lips against his own for a longer kiss. The Captain smiled into it. He deepened it slightly, only to pull back and yawn in his lovers face.

So pouting ensued.

"Perhaps you should rest," the hybrid suggested, amused.

"Perhaps I should," he harrumphed dully. His head fell back on to the pillow and he shut his eyes. He nearly yelped as the brunette pulled him closer to hold him. He smiled into the Vulcans neck. He felt Spock nuzzle at the top of his head; he could hear him breathing in softly as well.

"Ashaya, you constantly have me thinking and doing illogical things. Perhaps the notion that you have become acquainted with my mother at the time of your death can be added to that list," Spock admitted.

Jim simply smiled.

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Authors Notes: What'd you guys think? I thought it'd be a cute idea, or at least dampen the fact that Kirk DIES. JESUS. Abrams is trying to MURDER what's left of my soul, since Roddenberry pretty much RIPPED it out when he kills Spock in TOS.

I don't have a beta, so sorry for grammar and or spelling, though I did read it over several times! Reviews and faves are greatly appreciated!

T'hy'la: Friend, brother, lover or basically a soul mate.

Ashaya: Love, used in the term to address someone.

Thanks for reading!

~rousey