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Okay, third K/S piece I've written. This one at least has the spectre of sex in it. Sigh. The number of Sam's kids come straight from the Star Trek Encylopedia in case anyone was wondering. Only Peter, of Operation: Annihilate, has a name.

Kirk looked apprehensively at his mother's door. It was difficult to believe they had finally come to this point. In a stroke of serendipity, they had managed to come to Terra for repair at Christmastime. Kirk and Spock had discussed the topic and decided to visit his mother for the holidays. Bones was going to visit his daughter Joanna, then come to the Kirk farm in Iowa.

But more than just that awkward collision of his two worlds weighed on his mind. He had resolved to tell his mother that he Spock were bonded as t'hyla, if for no other reason than her constant pestering that he meet a Starfleet woman and get down to having Starfleet babies.

He remembered the near-argument with Spock over the topic vividly.

"Spock, I understand your objections, I really do. The security issues, etcetera, but she's my mother! Doesn't your mother know?"

"Jim, as is the Vulcan way in so many other things, it is with this. It is a private matter, not open for discussion or to the opinion of others."

He understood the secrecy. Not only was it somewhat inherent in the nature of the t'hyla relation that extended to this intimate level, but for all the other reasons. The potential problems with Starfleet, the strong anti-miscegenation sentiments being promoted by the Earth Firsters, the current anti-Vulcanoid propaganda being stirred up by the recent conflicts with the Romulans. And of course, Spock simply being a ridiculously private person, the result of a lifetime of speculation due to his heritage. It could feel a little overwhelming, and that wasn't even taking in the more personal blow to his T-for-tomcat reputation. But he truly couldn't condone keeping this from his own mother, any more than he approved of keeping Sarek and Amanda out of the proverbial loop.

"Uh-huh. So you are saying your mother doesn't know?" Jim questioned, trying to find his footing in a thus far losing battle.

Spock looked like he was equivocating, "Yes, she does not know. Nor, does my father, though I believe he may suspect it. As I am not dead." A slight inflection of cheekiness.

Jim rolled his eyes, but with good humor.

"My mother isn't Vulcan, Spock," he said with a touch of sweetness.

"I am aware."

"Therefore she would be very upset if she didn't know I was in a marital equivalent relationship." He pressed.

"My mother is not Vulcan either, Jim." Spock retorted.

"Ha ha. Very funny, Mr. Spock."

"I sense this genuinely distresses you, t'hyla."

"It does."

Spock pulled a pensive face then said,"Then I have decided. When we visit your mother during this holiday season, I propose you tell her of our union. If it pleases you."

Jim smiled at his generous Vulcan, though he felt a slight quail internally at the task. Spock did not know his mother, or understand how poorly she was going to take this. In person was not the best option perhaps, but he had rather made his own bed.

Now, standing on the doorsteps he thought Spock's arguments considerably more persuasive than he had at the time. Spock looked imposingly Vulcan, draped in the elaborate robes of his people, quite out of place on an Iowan doorstep. Jim rang the bell.

A dog barked, and there was a scuffle of feet as his mother answered the door. "Jim!" she exclaimed.

She threw her arms around him and kissed his cheek, then she turned to Spock. "I can't believe it. I finally meet the legendary Mr. Spock. I have heard so much about you. It's a pleasure." Jim's mother was a shortish, fair woman who shared many features with her son including his open grin. She and Spock faced off for a split second, appearing to take measure of each other.

Jim could see Spock deliberating, then with a measure of awkwardness he bent to quickly peck a proffered cheek.

"Mrs. Kirk."

Kirk gave him a warm smile of approval. Spock studiously ignored him and stepped into the house with his small travel bag.

"Mom, can we take all this stuff upstairs quick?" Jim asked, anxious to get out of the small vestibule they were populating. The Kirk farmhouse was a reasonably spacious two storey, with a big front porch. A vestibule had been added over the front door just for the winter to keep in the heat.

"Of course. You two are in your old room, because Petey, Sam J, and Thomas are in the guest bed. Unless that isn't okay, in which case Mr. Spock can sleep down in the den."

"No, no, Mom. We can share, won't be the first time."

Spock arched his eyebrow as if scandalized, and Kirk looked at him exasperatedly. Not that way, it said.

They hustled upstairs. Spock surveyed the surroundings looking for a few vestiges of Kirk's youth, though none would be found beyond a few things clearly kept by Jim's mother. Jim hadn't lived in this house for over 15 years.

"Are you going to manage?" Jim teased, but a little serious too. "You do realize you are going to be cooped up with "illogical humans" for a week?"

"I do realize, and Dr. McCoy will be here also."

"Spock!" But he laughed anyway.

The Vulcan had set his bag primly by one of the twin beds but now was rounding on Jim with a slightly mischievous look in his eyes. He stood behind the human who was rummaging in his suitcase and ran his hands up Jim's sides, making him jump.

Jim smiled at him over his shoulder. "I would advise against starting something you can't finish, Mr. Spock." The Vulcan rubbed fine human skin then decorously retreated.

"Very well." He sat down patiently while the human changed.

"I am glad you came. It will be... novel to spend a holiday with everyone important to me in one place." Jim spoke to break the silence.

"I am gratified that you are anticipating enjoying your holiday with your family."

"Mmm-hmm. That includes you as well. I am looking forward to spending the holidays with you, not on the ship."

"Why, thank you, Captain."

"You seem to be having a somewhat emotionally obtuse day, Spock." Jim chided.

"I fear that I have some apprehensions about meeting with your relatives. I have not had many "cold" interactions with humans that I would characterize as successful," Spock looked as apprehensive as he was capable of as he spoke.

"That seems natural. I feel confident that they, " he gestured towards the door, "will be as fond of you as I am by the time we leave. Now, if you are prepared?"

Spock nodded once in assent. Kirk shepherded the reticent Vulcan towards the door with one arm around his shoulders and gave him a gentle squeeze.

"Then into the breach!" Kirk joked, as they exited.

Spock merely arched his brow at human eccentricities.

Dinner passed rather uneventfully if boisterously, as Jim's three nephews competed to tell him every story he conceivably missed in the few years since they had seen him last, with the exception of Peter. He was quiet, but not withdrawn. Spock mostly sat and observed quietly. He had rarely been witness to conventional human family interactions. He had a few memories of meeting the Graysons but never without his father present, who undoubtedly affected how they behaved. All in all he found it quite interesting. During the meal Kirk mentally questioned Spock and he let the smallest of Vulcan smiles touch his eyes, which in turn made Jim smile unabashedly.

"Did I miss something?" Mrs. Kirk asked, pointedly.

Kirk started coughing and put his hand over his mouth, "No, Mom. Just enjoying the company."

"I see. Mr. Spock, enjoying yourself?" She asked, her voice laden with suspicion of a matronly nature.

"The food is good. Thank you." Spock ventured cautiously. He was feeling very out of his element.

"I'm glad you like it. How about coffee or tea in the study?"

"That'd be great. Let me help you with that." Jim jumped up to grab some dishes, and Spock just stood up. The three boys began whizzing into the kitchen with their dinnerware.

"Boys!" Mrs. Kirk yelled. "Put some coffee cups in the den!"

The youths tore through the house, while the adults hovered for a moment, tense. Mother and son looked at each other tensely, before Mrs. Kirk grabbed plates and walked into the kitchen.

Later, the two Starfleet officers returned to the bedroom, one feeling much more tired than expected. Jim flopped down unceremoniously on one of the beds. Spock sat at the foot and put a light hand on Jim's lower leg.

"I do not wish to further disrupt your relationship with your mother. Perhaps it would be best for all of us if I stayed the rest of this leave somewhere else." Spock said placidly. He refused to give any indication that it could be a less than optimal development.

"No, no. It isn't you. I am sorry to say this, but really, this has been brewing for years. I don't know she is so...difficult. Sometimes I wonder if I didn't leave like a shot for academy just to get away from here. She wanted me to go, encouraged me, drove me, supported me. I know she wanted me to be a Starfleet officer, but I don't think she ever expected me to go so far. Does that make sense?" Jim rubbed his jaw idly while he thought.

"If you mean that she never expected you to head the five year mission out of known space, then yes. I understand."

"Maybe it isn't that. Maybe it's Sam and Aurelan's deaths. Or the perspective gained from their deaths. She just suddenly has put so much pressure on me to come home and be this family man. I almost told her about Carol, just so she would know and try to relax. I worked so hard, God, that isn't even the word. I sacrificed to get my captaincy and the Enterprise, and to see it strangle my relationships with the people who got me here. Even if that weren't the case, and I was on some other ship, I just can't be the person she wishes I was. My dad, I suppose." His voice trailed off, hand still on face.

"Jim. I cannot answer for your family, but I can commiserate. It is not precisely the same, but I know what it is like to suffer parental discontent." He said wryly, with a non-smile.

"For going into space, no less." Jim returned.


Jim propped himself up, and gave a come hither look. "Perhaps I shouldn't worry about it anymore tonight."

"I concur, I do not think you should." Spock began to move up the bed on hand and knee.

"I still don't know what I am going to say." Jim said, even as he began to not care, with Spock now in kissing range.

"I am certain that you will figure it out." The Vulcan began unbuttoning a human's shirt, bringing his head closerer to Jim's.

"I'm glad for your vote of approval. Now, about this robe...." Jim's fingers busily began working at the various fastenings the neck and shoulder. He arched up, rubbing his lower body against Spock's which lay heavily upon him. Long fingers grabbed Jim's hips and the two rocked rhythmically together. As they increased in speed and motion, Jim disengaged his mouth and put a stilling hand on Spock's shoulders.

"Stop! Stop!" he said heatedly.

The Vulcan looked at him questioningly.

"Oh my God. The bed, did you hear it?" Jim slumped back and put his hand over his eyes.

Spock bounced tentatively and a rusty old squeak sounded. "It would appear your mother has found an effective device to prevent fornication." He sounded distinctly annoyed.

Jim slithered out from under Spock, with a pissed look on his face. "I'm going to take a shower." He whipped off his shirt and stalked into the adjoining bathroom. "Shit!"

Spock lay down on the bed thinking very similar thoughts.

"Good morning!" Mrs. Kirk trilled, as two slightly less jubilant figures made their way to the table, and dutifully bid her "good morning" as well.

Both Jim and Spock found they had slept poorly after their terminated activities. Jim was feeling hemmed in, not only by his mother, but just by being in his old house, possibly just being on this planet. Spock was feeling some sympathetic exhaustion and had forgotten how tiresome it was to be around people who didn't really want you there.

"I hope you both are ready for tonight." Jim's mother continued as she put breakfast on the table.

"Ready for what?" Jim asked irritably.

"For the party. I swear I told you. The Christmas party is tonight. I thought your friend Dr. McCoy was coming."

"Oh yeah. I just didn't realize that was tonight."

"Well, you had better get ready. The Cianis are coming. You know Lori, she's moving up the ranks very quickly, though she's never had a ship like my Jimmy. Her father was close with Daddy, I am sure you remember." Mrs. Kirk beamed.

Jim exchanged very concerned looks with Spock, who was sitting slightly cowed next to him. Mrs. Kirk's thus far boundless energy unnerved him.

/Jim, you seem quite alarmed by this development. Your mother seems to indicate you were aware of this party./

/Yeah, I was Spock, but she didn't tell me she was trying to set me up at the time. Why else do you think Lori Ciani is coming? My mother fucking knows every woman in Starfleet, seriously. Either from when my dad was in the service, or just somehow!/ He ended exasperatedly.

Kirk felt a blush of anger from Spock, though it was quickly contained.

/I had not anticipated this. Perhaps you should speak with your mother prior to their arrival./

/I don't know. I should have just told her from the Enterprise. Then she would have had time to process it. It's so difficult for me to talk to her, I mean really talk to her. I doubt you understand. You are one of the more articulate people I've met./

In response, Spock simply shot him a subtle look.

Jim snapped back to reality when he realized his mother was asking him a question.

"I swear Jim, I don' t remember you being so absent minded. I hope that space isn't doing something to you. What time are Dr. McCoy and his daughter coming?" She pulled a little face over her fork.

"I suppose about 5 or so."

"So this daughter, how old is she?"

"Oh, I don't know. About 20? Spock do you know?" Jim turned to him.

"I do not. I am afraid it is not a topic the good doctor and I have discussed."

"No, I suppose not. " Jim smirked and ducked his head to finish eating, hopefully, without any more surprises.

To escape his mother's whirlwind preparations, Jim took Spock out onto the property. They walked leisurely on the trampled paths neighborhood people snowshoed and hiked on.

Spock drew one of the human's hands out of his pockets and wound his own fingers lovingly between the cooler ones. Jim turned and smiled at Spock, a private smile for moments like this.

"It is very beautiful here, Jim. Do you miss it?"

Jim's eyes still rested on the Vulcan. "No. Occasionally, I suppose. But no. I certainly wouldn't trade anything I have to be here."

"I did not imply that." Spock murmured.

Jim tugged gently on his arm. "No, but I know you awfully well, Mr. Spock. I know an overly pensive vulcan when I see one." He paused for a moment. "Do you wish things were different? That you were tending to the xerophytic garden back on Vulcan with some VSA babe?"

"Most assuredly, no." He stood up straighter now.

"So why do you think such stupid stuff for such a smart guy?" Jim teased.

"I do not think it is "stupid" to be concerned with your happiness. Humans are illogical and fickle in my experience." Spock countered.

Jim stepped closer, reaching for Spock's other hand when Spock looked up, alert. He abruptly pulled his hand back.

"Let me guess, it would be three young men on horseback." Jim commented dryly.

"Quite accurate."

The Kirk boys rode up noisily around the bend of the path.

"Uncle Jim, what are you doing back here?" The middle one Thomas asked.

"Just showing Mr. Spock the lay of the land. He's a keen naturalist."'

Sam, the smallest, piped up, "Do you have stuff like this on Vulcan?"

"No, it is quite different there, hot and dry." Spock replied.

Sam shook his head once with a childish satisfaction at the answer, pride evident about his home.

"Hiding out from Grandma, hmm?" Peter asked perceptively.

Jim laughed. "Something like that, how'd you get so smart?"

"Dunno." The red haired boy shrugged. "You coming back to the house?"

Kirk and Spock looked at each other. "It is 15:48, perhaps we should return?"

"We will be back shortly, if you beat us." Jim added.

The kids continued on, and human and Vulcan followed slowly behind. Jim reached for his companion's hand, and was obliged. Jim felt the gentle mingling of their thoughts, as they walked back and was grateful for it. It felt good, and his twice thwarted body remembered it.

"Soon, t'hyla, we will have privacy. In two nights we will depart to Dr. McCoy's estate. I do not believe we will suffer so many interruptions there."

"You hope."

"Simple logic would indicate that the lack of children or mothers will increase our likelihood of a completed sexual encounter."

"You say the most romantic things, Spock. Really."

"I too find logic to be stimulating."

Jim exhaled with amusement, feeling buoyed for the moment.

Jim stood near the fire place, which was stoked high in spite of the room being filled. It made for a lovely ambiance but he was feeling quite hot. Of course, the Enterprise wasn't the warmest place, with the temperature a moderate 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spock held a brandy nearly at arms length, looking as awkward as Kirk had ever seen him. Again, he wore a Vulcan robe, undoubtedly out of deference for the occasion, but it served to further separate him from the smiling humans milling around the room.

Bones being naturally gregarious, was introducing his daughter to all the errant brass that had shown up and everyone else, too. Jim was quite comfortable hiding with Spock in their corner. This wasn't a Starfleet thing, and he didn't feel like doing his routine.

"Boy, Jim, your mother is a wonderful hostess. Commodore Ciani was telling me he comes here nearly every year for a holiday party. I had no idea you were so connected." The good doctor laughed, giving away his level of inebriation.

"Yes, he and my father were friends. I don't know him personally, Bones." Jim added.

A brown head bobbed through the crowd and stopped in front of their little gathering.

"Doctor, I wondered where you were off to..." She trailed off staring at Jim and Spock.

"Ah, yeah. Jim, this is Lori, the commodore's daughter. Lori, Jim Kirk, captain of the Enterprise and Spock his first officer. "

"Of course," she smiled, "I would have to live in a cave to not know of Captain Kirk and his Vulcan first officer."

Jim felt needled, but couldn't quite place his finger on it, decided to dismiss it. "Nice to meet you, Lori." He extended his hand.

She grasped it. "The pleasure is mine, Captain. I'm sure."

She turned away, put her arm on the doctor's to get his attention. "Thank you, doctor, for the introduction. Captain, Mr. Spock." And drifted back into the crowd.

"Nice girl, so clever. She's moving up that one." His eyes following her seemed to be telling a different story though.

"She seemed very nice." Jim added blandly. Jim had the feeling he had been weighed up and found lacking for whatever reason. He sincerely hoped his mother had nothing to do with it.

Invariably, as she had a dozen other times after throwing women at him, his mother showed up.

"Here you are! Hiding back here, you three should be out mingling. Even you Mr. Spock." She admonished.

"True words. I am going to mingle. With the bar. Madame." Bones walked off, seemingly amused with himself and the world.

"So, Jim. What did you think of Lori?" She asked leadingly.

Jim could feel Spock shrinking into the wood work, raising those impregnable Vulcan shields. The fact that his mother made Spock feel that way really pissed him off suddenly.

"Mother, can I see you in the kitchen?" he said curtly, and headed through the crowd.

"What? James?" But she followed all the same.

"Mother, I appreciate what you are doing, and how you must be feeling, but stop it."

"I don't know what you are talking about."

"I know you have always wanted me to get married and be the man that my father didn't get the chance to be, but it's not going to happen. So please just stop trying so hard."

"Jim. I just wanted you to meet Lori. She seems like a woman like you."

"Exactly. You were already imagining a wedding and grandkids and a house in San Francisco. It isn't going to happen. At least not that way." He turned away uncomfortably, the moment he had been dreading, possibly for his whole life. The idea of crushing his mother's small hope for him, of disappointing someone who had given so much to him and for him.

"There is something I have been meaning to tell you since I got here, but I just couldn't find the right moment."

He could feel her attention fixed on him now, all her intelligence turned towards him. Beneath the affect of housewife and mother was a woman made of steel, who had bent many a person to her will. He often suspected the traits that made him a leader, a captain, came not from his military father but from his mother.

"I am in a serious relationship, Mom. I don't need or want you trying to fix me up."

"Your ship?" She gave a weak smile.

"No, Spock. We are married, well basically, by Vulcan law. It is private. This is between you and me, and I am holding you to it. "

"What?" She asked, incredulous. He face fell, and she took a few paces around the kitchen.

"Spock. A Vulcan. I don't think I understand, Jim." She leaned onto the counter opposite, and crossed her arms.

"We are mentally linked, it is an ancient custom, not often practiced anymore. I wanted it. Before you say anything else, I wanted it. I still do."

"Mentally linked. A telepathic relationship. Some being, some alien runs around in your head and Starfleet allows it!? You allow it? You couldn't even marry Carol, Jim. You felt too tied down, wanted to see the stars. And now you are married to some man from outer space."

"I don't expect you to understand, but please try."

"Try to understand you? Never, Jim. I have never been able to understand you. You want to go to space, so we go. And what happens? We almost die under dictatorial rule on Tarsus. Your father wanted to go to space and he got blown up in some ship. Your brother wanted to go to space, and he was killed by some....goddamned... microbe thing! So no, I cannot understand you. I am not even going to try." Her face remained impassive after her tirade, but hot tears streamed down her face.

He moved towards her, but she waved him away and grabbed a napkin off the counter.

"You have always done what you wanted, Jimmy. There has never been any stopping you."

"Mom, he is a good person. I love him. He loves me. In a way I've never experienced before. That should count for something."

She gave a rueful laugh and started to head towards the bathroom. "I'm sure it does, Jim. I'm glad your happy. That's a good thing. I hope you find what you are looking for, Jim. I really do. Maybe one day you can come home. Really home. Not just stop and say hi to your pathetic, earthbound mom." She walked away.

He could feel a hot sting in his chest, and just wished he was home. Home on the Enterprise.

The rest of their leave passed quickly, and without incident. Jim's mother was much more subdued, and it was with relief on both sides when they left. After only one day in Georgia, Jim pleaded off with Bones. He just indicated that he and Spock had some things to do at Fleetcom, which drove the doctor mad and sent them packing with much grumbling about Vulcans and starship captains not knowing how to doing anything that wasn't work-based.

Feeling quite dejected Jim sat out on the balcony of the hotel suite they had rented in San Francisco. The air was fresh with the bay breeze, and the sounds of city living filled the air.

He heard the door close as the other occupant stepped out. He felt inhumanly hot hands rest on his shoulders. He never thought of it that way. Different, other. It was just Spock. His skin was hot. His lips were dry. He was a Vulcan. He was an alien.

He raised his hand to cover one of Spock's, and after a moment tipped his head to trap them against his cheek.

"I am sorry." Spock said softly.

"You don't have anything to be sorry for."

"All the same, I am sorry when you experience pain from your association with me."

"I wouldn't trade it."

He felt hot breath tickle his scalp, and Spock's face came close to his. Jim looped his free hand up and behind Spock's head. His other hand joined it, when their lips pressed together. He smiled as his fingers ran up through the short dark hair at the nape.

As he closed his eyes and gave into his desire, one fierce thought tore through his mind.

They can all go to hell. Every last one of them. Human or Vulcan. Whoever stood in their way. Even his mother.

"You know what Spock?" he whispered, their lips a fraction apart. The Vulcan waited patiently.

"Fuck 'em."


"I can't wait to go home."

"I agree, it will be nice to be...home."
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