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Story Notes:

A sequel to Rin-chan's The one where Commander Spock points out the truth, although prior knowledge is not required. With apologies to Katherine of Aragon.

"Mom, no, really, I'm fine." Jim Kirk rolled his eyes but his mouth was smiling rather uncontrollably. "I know how to look good. Don't you worry about it."

Even as he said it, however, he knew there was no way for his poor mother to not worry about her son on his wedding day. In the six years he's been away, from Iowa to Enterprise and now back on earth in California, that part of the mother never changed. (Secretly, he didn't exactly want it to.)

On the other side of the door there was a sigh, the kind that was filled with both hope and nervousness.

"Okay. Well, I want to check on Spock,"—and Jim had to smile again because she said that name with such a sweet fondness, as if she'd known the man all his life. "But I know you kids probably had enough of me for now. I'm just gonna go outside to keep Brad company."

"Yeah Mom. Tell him to check out the appetizers. People said the caterer is amazing."

*

In another identical room at the opposite end of the hall, the father watched in silence as the son put on the second pair of cufflinks. The jewelry was monogrammed with the letters K&S, a gift from the Andorian ambassador to the couple. When all was finished, the son looked into the body-length mirror to have a last check. His eyes met his father's in the mirror.

"Father," he spoke softly, "if I may, I would like to know your thoughts on this matter."

Being a lifelong diplomat, Sarek understood that the question was not about the particular fashion style of the tuxedo. He also understood that his son was prepared to go through with the ceremony, no matter how he replied. Nevertheless, with his hands crossed in front of him, Sarek was looking no longer like a diplomat but a common Vulcan parent.

"He is a courageous individual of the highest moral fiber, worthy of being the youngest captain in the history of Starfleet. At the same time, as we had previously discussed, he eschews our dedication to logic in favor of impulse and whim. You do not deny this yourself."

"I do not."

"Perhaps his illogical tendency has influenced you more than I previous assumed. I am referring to, of course, the bonding rites on Kumyu." Sarek stated calmly. According to the Starfleet Disciplinary Committee, the "marriage" was contracted entirely for the completion of an Enterprise mission. Nevertheless, with Spock's extensive knowledge of the Federation Constitution and judiciary codes, he must had understood that the rite was performed by an Efrosian priest and therefore legally binding in the entire Federation. Indeed, he used that knowledge to argue against the rear admiral's tactical decision.

And what a spectacle did that confrontation create. Three hearings, two committee meetings and one very big favor from T'Pau later, at the end of the day it bought them to...this. Sarek still wasn't sure what to think of it.

In front of him, Spock stood very still. The carefully concealed pain on that face reminded him yet again that his son was, after all, half-human. It was a gift from his mother.

What would Amanda say, if she was here? He wondered to himself and found that name still hurt. It was only logical—why else would he have married her?

"I believe your mother would be proud of the choice you are making," Sarek said at last. "And I am, too."

*

They entered the hall from opposite sides at the same time, meeting in the middle. There was a sea of friends and dignitaries, although mostly dignitaries—Starfleet's subtle method of punishment, Kirk figured. But the Enterprise crew had the best seats up front, his mother was there trying not to cry (and failing), Bones was their witness, so it wasn't so bad after all.

Spock came accompanied by Admiral Pike in a wheelchair. Looking at the elderly man, it amazed Jim to think how close had he come to losing everything in this life. If six years ago Pike hadn't tossed out that challenge to him in an emptied Iowa bar, he probably would have never enlisted in Starfleet. Yet standing here, he could not imagine what life would be like had he not joined. He knew this now, as surely as he heard the beating of his own heart: It was meant to be. The Enterprise. The stars. Spock. Everything, wrapped up in destiny. In the end, destiny led him back to Spock.

"Sir," he saluted. Pike smiled.

"Congratulations, captain."

Jim thanked him and turned to face Spock. The Vulcan stood directly in front him, back as straight as a redwood tree. Nothing but the low ceremonial dais separated them. Suddenly Jim Kirk had the sense that he was looking at himself across that golden dais, at a part of him that he always searched for without even realizing he did not have it. He thought of that Vulcan word again—the one that he could not pronounce but echoed in his memory endlessly after every mindmeld. The Efrosian priest did not have a satisfactory translation for it, nor did the Standard language.

"Hey Spock, like what you see?" he knew he was grinning like an idiot and didn't care one bit. "Second time around. No excuse for backing out now."

Seeing the fierce light in those dark eyes, he had his answer.

"Be assured, t'hy'la, that my eyes desire you above all things."

Jim blinked. He did not just hear Spock call him that out loud and he most certainly did not just hear a public declaration of love from a Vulcan. But before he could say anything Spock's right hand was already on the dais, and he submitted his own by reflex.

When their fingers intertwined he felt a physical shock. Spock was holding onto him tightly, fingernails digging into his skin. He was deliriously happy about that, too.

*

"Walk with me in this life,"
"Through the blood, the danger, and the stars."
"For, as all rivers return to the ocean,"
"My heart is in your hands."


*

"My congratulations again to the happy couple." announced Pike after they finished the short vow with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. "Now, as per Earth custom, you may kiss each other."

The crowd clapped loudly. Winona Kirk cried. Sarek nodded. Pavel Chekhov and Nyota Uhura cheered. Montgomery Scott and Hikaru Sulu whistled. James Kirk smirked. Spock moved both eyebrows, clearly mortified.

"Captain," still not letting go of the hand, Spock half-hissed. A faint green hue showed on the otherwise pale cheeks. "Not in front of the Klingons!"

Jim Kirk threw his head back and laughed. It was a beautiful and carefree sound, coming from a man who knew everything was perfectly right in the world at this moment. He grabbed Spock's wrist to pull them together closer still, and found that the normally immovable Vulcan obliged.

"First of all, forget the Klingons—" When the kiss was over, he whispered in triumph. "And more importantly, Commander, I do believe it's 'dear husband' now."

Spock did not object.

*

Finis

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