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No matter how many times Jim saw Ambassador Sarek he didn’t think he would ever get used to being in the Vulcan’s intimidating presence. He immediately straightened up hands behind his back in a pose he hoped made him look more official. Sarek raised an eyebrow at this.

“Be at ease Captain Kirk. My request to have you come here is of a more… personal nature.” Only a fraction of his tension was eased by that. He would probably never be able to completely relax with this man; but this was Sarek, who could blame him.

“Okie dokie.” He froze. “Um, I mean alright. What can I do for you?” Sarek straightened putting his hands within the folds of his robe.

“I have a request for you about Spock.” At the mention of his first officer Jim’s attention was quirked.

“Oh?”

“Two hundred and ninety point four six days have passed since the destruction of Vulcan and our resettlement here on New Vulcan.” He gestured for Jim to take a seat there in the living room. The room was sparsely decorated, which he guessed, was the norm for Vulcans but the chairs were surprisingly soft. “In that time you have worked in close quarters with my son and feel that you would be more adequate than I for what it is that I have in mind.” Jim stared at the Vulcan. He knew the entire species had a tendency to, if not lie than, dance on the edge of the truth. It was as if this was something that the ambassador did not want to talk about. Shifting to the edge of his seat, Jim raised his arms for a second in a brief gesture of openness.

“Lay it on me?” There was a pause where Jim got the impression that he was being reconsidered. He smiled awkwardly.

“Amanda,” There was the slightest pause. “Carried out a ritual with Spock every year; a celebration every year on the anniversary of his birth.”

“His birthday?” Sarek nodded.

“That is what I believe it is called on earth. Regardless of my attempt to sever contact between she who was my wife and my son, Amanda was quite determined to continue the practice and I allowed it.” Kirk leaned back on his chair. He knew that there was, or had been, some tension between Spock and his father, but he didn’t know that it had been that bad.

“You broke off contact with Spock.”

“At the time I did not agree with his choice of career. With his intelligence I believed that Spock would have been better suited in the Vulcan Science Academy rather than Starfleet. That however is irrelevant.” Jim nodded but stored the information away.

“So what do you want me to do?” From the table behind him Sarek picked up a notebook that Jim hadn’t noticed. The surprising thing was that it was made out of what appeared to be paper. He took it as it was handed to him and marvelled at it. The covers were quite think and even as her riffled through the pages he realized that it was thicker than the paper that they once used on earth. “What is this?”

“In his youth, Amanda gave Spock this note book. She felt that he could better deal with the emotions that he had by writing them down. Spock’s control is admirable yet he never stopped writing in this note book much to his mother’s delight; maybe because of it.” Jim stared at the tiny writing on the pages, neat rows that seemed to go on for pages. “He wrote his mind in this and when he became older he only wrote in it when the occasion deemed it. All the accounts of this celebration are recorded in within its pages.” Jim stared up from the note book not bothering to hide his confusion.

“Spock’s birthday will soon be upon us. It will be the first without his mother.” It was like being punched in the gut; in the dark. For some time he was sure that he resembled a gaping fish as he searched blindly for words to respond with.

“Um.” Sarek raised a hand to halt anything that he was about to say. Jim found himself relieved at not having to. He put his foot in his mouth often enough as is.

“You are close to my son and thus you are the best choice. You are his friend.” The word sounded foreign coming out of Sarek but it still warmed him. Spock considered him a friend, even in front of his father. Sarek leaned forward, elbows on his knees fingers. “I want to request that you, as both his friend and his captain, help to see him through this time.” The ambassador leaned back into his chair with such an air of finality that Jim didn’t know what else there was to say.

*****

Leh-steh, T’lakht (No standard equivalent. Sixteenth day and tenth month of Vulcan calendar.)

It has been two point five three years since mother first handed me this notebook. Her instructions were to write my thoughts and feeling into it. An illogical statement on her part for as a Vulcan, my thoughts are my own, never to be forgotten, and Vulcans have no feelings. When I mentioned this it seemed to sadden her and so I consented to take the book and do as she asked. I acknowledge that reiterating what was stated at the beginning of this note book may seem, at first, illogical. Due the composition of this notebook, it is only wise to reiterate its purpose in the case that it should fail to remain intact.

Today mother made that substance that she devised. It is fascinating how well the earth dish ‘tomato soup’ is able to blend with most Vulcan dishes and produce something palatable. Mother is very accomplished at thus blending; I believe that even father would agree. Usually, she reserves her most rare meals for special occasions but mother went out of her way to create it today. My troubles with my Vulcan classmates came to a head today. The fact that I should return home to find a meal that mother considers being my favourite. She has mentioned the concept of ‘comfort food’ and I believe that was her attempt here. It was an illogical and unnecessary thing for her to do. I am Vulcan. I do not require comfort.

Leh-oh, T’lakht
(No standard equivalent. Eighteenth day and Tenth month of Vulcan calendar.)

Mother has begun making references to the anniversary of my birth once again. Humans seem to place a great significance in what they call ‘birthdays’ according to her. After studying more into the phenomenon I have come to find the human obsession with their mortality somewhat fascinating. ‘Birthdays’ exist to continuously remind them of the time that has passed since the day of their birth. Vulcan does not have an equivalent celebration. It is illogical for Vulcan; humans, however, I have come to learn are experts at the illogical. As she has done before, Mother wishes to celebrate my birth. And, as I have also done before, I will indulge her in her celebration. How she is able to get father to allow her to light up the Vulcan sky every year is still a question. Whenever I broach the subject she just smiles and says: ‘Watch the fireworks, Spock.’ I will endeavour to ask her again this year. I acknowledge that it is illogical to ask questions that yield the same result. Mother never fails to smile when I make the inquiry. I am told smiling is common for humans but mother does not seem to do it as often as the characters in the few movies that she watches. If my inquiry will make her smile, than, for that reason I will continue to ask.

****

The chime sounded at his door suddenly and Jim jumped. Muttering under his breath, partially in surprise and partially out of guilt, Jim bookmarked his place on his PADD and closed the program. Making himself look more casual, and like he had not been snooping into the history of his first officer.

“Come in.” He heard his door slid open and looked up to see Spock standing at attention and waiting for him. He almost apologized before correcting himself. “Spock. What brings you here?”

“Captain.” He nodded. “I have come to inform you that gamma shift has the bridge.” Jim nodded putting his PADD down on the table beside him. He knew he had made a mistake when he noticed the expression on his first officers face. Not often was he able to catch Spock surprised Spock had followed his hand to the table beside it. The table here he had placed the journal he had gotten from Sarek.

“Uh.” The sound of his voice brought Spock’s gaze back on him and Jim tried not to flinch. He was doing that not glaring thing that always had Jim wanting to squirm.

“Captain. How is it that you are-”

“Jim.” It was a stall tactic and he knew it. So did Spock by the shadow of a frown that flickered on his face for a moment.

“Captain I don’t think-” Jim stood up.

“You’re in my quarters Spock. The least you could do is call me by name.” There was a long moment of silence and for a moment he wasn’t sure that Spock would reply. Finally the Vulcan just nodded.

“Very well Cap- Jim. I assume then that it would be appropriate for me to inquire as to where you obtained that note book.” He tried a smile and when that didn’t work he sighed.

“Sarek gave it to me.” Spock raised an eyebrow.

“My father. I find it highly improbable that my father would be involved in such a breach of privacy.”

Jim raised his hands. “Hey. I resent that Spock. How would I have even known about this thing.” Spock gave him a look and Jim sighed. “And no, the ambassador wouldn’t have told me about it. And he didn’t.” He starched the back of his head. “Look, when Sarek gave it to me he said something about us getting to know on another. About use being friends.” At this point he grimed widely rocking on his heels, “I had no idea that you thought of me as one of your closest friends. I love you too.” The look he got clearly stated how illogical Spock thought that he was being and his grin only widened for it. Spock straightened, effectively changing the topic. Party pooper.

“In that case, I would like to ask that you return it to me.” Jim was nodding before the words were even completely out of his first officers mouth.

“Oh yeah sure.” Jim turned and walked over to the table. As he picked up the book he took a moment to equate where the young Vulcan in the pages of the journal and his current first officer. If he squinted he could almost see the resemblance. With a grin he turned back to Spock thrusting the note book at him. “Here you go.”

Almost hesitantly Spock took the notebook from him. Watching him, one would have thought that Spock was handling the most valuable and sensitive of materials rather than just a book with the scribbling’s of a half-Human half-Vulcan child. Something inside Jim ached as he watched his first officer rifle through the pages with the upmost delicacy. Sure a notebook made out of real paper was a rare thing today but he highly doubted that that was the reason that he took so much care. Feeling a little bit awkward watching the tender look on Spocks face; he felt as if he were intruding on a private moment, Jim cleared his throat. When Spock looked up he forced a grin.

“Everything there.” There was a brief pause before Spock nodded.

“It is adequate. I was not aware that you knew how to read Vulcan.” It wasn’t really a question but he answered it anyways with a dismissive wave of his hand.

“I’ve picked up bits and pieces here and there.” Like hell would he allow Spock to know that he had a copy on hid PADD. “You would be surprised at how much I know.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and was rewarded with the Vulcan equivalent of an eye roll: a brief fluttering of the eyelids.

“If there is nothing else?” Jim shook his head and Spock nodded. “Good night than Jim.”

“Nighty night Spock.” Spock didn’t bother to comment as he turned and left the room. With a sigh, Jim ran a hand through his hair as he moved back to his chair. He had a few more hours before he had to actually be productive. He would get a bit more reading in before then. Learning about Spock’s past was far more interesting than he thought it had any right to be. Who was he kidding; he was kinda bias when it came to his first officer. But that was fine with him.

******

Spock walked through the halls of the enterprise one more time checking his crew roister as he did so. The captain had changed the shore leave roister on him. Again. The vexing part was that he was scheduled for second rotation a peculiar thing due to the fact that he didn’t take shore leave. Ever.

The captain had also been scheduled for second rotation and since that was in an hour he was most likely in his quarters preparing and that where he was heading. He dropped the arm holding the PADD as he approached the captain’s door. There was a long moment of silence between the moment that he pressed the buzzer and the captains responding ‘come in.’ The door had just slid open and Spock was stepping into the room when a ‘and if that is Spock: request denied.” followed after the granted permission from further in the quarters. Spock willed away his oncoming frown before proceeding in to face his captain.

Jim was standing at his bedside trying to zip up what was obviously an overstuffed duffle bag. Spock stood and watched for a moment before stepping into the room.

“Captain.”

“Jim.”

“Captain” Finally the bag was closed and the captain straightened.

“I’m less than in hour from shore leave. You can call me Jim or we can end this conversation now.” Spock raised an eyebrow but the human just stared back in that annoying way of his.

“Jim.” Jim nodded obviously pleased.

“What can I do you for Spock?” He straightened.

“Jim, I have been scheduled for shore leave.” There was a sound of agreement. “I do not participate in shore leave.” Jim shrugged.

“There is a first time for everything.” Spock was silent. “I could make that an order.” He straightened against the idea at being forced to do something against his will but Jim just sighed. “But I don’t want to.” The captain hefted his duffle by one of its shoulder straps and walked towards him.

“Look Spcok, there is a banquet tomorrow night. I look forward to seeing you there. Alright?” Spock nodded his understanding and Jim smiled in return before he was gone.

****

In conclusion the time spent on planet in his first ever shore leave was not as completely unproductive as he had originally thought. The planet that was hosting their shore leave had also been hosting some sort of small scientific conference. When he had been able to, Spock had sat in on some of their lectures. At least he listened in when Jim was not dragging him off to view one thing or another. Spock watched the festivities around him as he nibbled ona piece of fruit. Seeing the crew, Spock could appreciate the value of shore leave. This was time that the mostly human crew needed regardless of the fact that they expended energy in order to relax. The entire concept was illogical but it seemed to work.

“Hey Spock look at this for me.” He turned to see Jim standing beside him with an out stretched PADD. The Captian had opted for a blend of his own dress and some native to the culture of this part of the planet. The startlingly bright top and plain shorts was a somewhat painful contrast.

“What is it that I am looking for?” Spock stared down at the PADD, eyes scanning the equations on it.

“Just tell me if anything in there will destroy the planet atmosphere or something.” Spock gave him a long deliberating look. The captain wouldn’t do something so dangerous. As Jim began grinning Spock returned to the equations in earnest. Jim would intentionally do it to be more exact. He handed the PADD back.

“Nothing in this reaction will have any adverse effects. However, why would-” Jim cut him off with a hand using the other to reach for his communicator hidden so somewhere on his person and flicked it open.

“All clear, Scotty; T-minus ten minutes and counting.” He closed the device and once again made it disappear somewhere before Jim looked up at him with a grin. “Come on Spock. Let’s take a seat and you can grill me all you want.”

Spock allowed the captain to lead them but instead of taking a seat in one of the ones provided, Jim lead them to a blanket laying on the ground nearly at the top of a hill. Around them others were seated on blankets, some talking softly and some making a racket but all just sitting contentedly on the ground. Once Jim had sat on the designated blanket, Spock folded himself beside him.

“What were your equations for and how to they pertain to the planet?” Jim shrugged his shoulder.

“Not telling.’ Spock gave him his driest look and the captain broke out laughing. “I said that you could grill me, but I never said anything about answering you.” Jim was in a playful mood and that told Spock that he would be getting very little of worth out of him. He resigned himself for spending time in the company of his captain since that was Jim’s obvious intent. The silence lasted three point five four seconds before the silence between them was broken.

“You never told me that today was your birthday.”

Spock looked at Jim but the captain was staring at the stars a determined look to his profile. True today was the day that coincided with the day of his birth on Vulcan. There had only been one person that had paid any special mind to his birthday and now she was gone. Even thinking about it had a dull pain blossoming in his chest. The closer it had come to his birthday, the more that ache had sharpened.

“It is not important. Vulcans do nott celebrate birthdays.” At that Jim turned to him.

“It is important Spock. It’s your birthday. Vulcans may not celebrate birthdays but you do, don’t you Spock.” I t was a question that needed on answer so he didn’t give it one. Obviously Jim had read more from that journal than he had initially let on. He had told his mother that keeping such a thing had been illogical. Now that was one of the only things that he had left of her. There was a soft sigh from beside him that pulled him out of his thoughts.

“Happy birthday Spock.”

Anything that he had meant to say was drowned out when the sky suddenly exploded. What had formally been the night sky was no alight with blues and reds and yellows and oranges. It was as if the sky itself had been composed of fireworks that all went off in a crescendo. Spock stared for a moment knowing that he was transfixed and not caring to hide it. Fireworks were a thing that he reserved in his mind for his mother. His mother was not here yet here they were.
Spock tore his gaze away from the show to look at Jim. This man had given him the gift of fireworks on his birthday.

Unlike the others Jim was staring at him rather than at the sky. When their eyes met he grinned.

“Captain- Jim. How is this possible?” Jim gave him a brief but compensable nudge with his shoulder his smile never fading.

“Shut up and watch the fireworks Mister Spock.” And they did.

The End

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