Looking For Shooting Stars

Chapter 6: Every Morning

…Every morning when she came outside

He tried to be the one to catch her eye

But she would only turn away and hide…


Observation Log, Stardate: 2247.349

Subject: James Tiberius Kirk, preferred appellation Jim

Age: 14.97 years

Current Location: Highland High School, Riverside, Iowa

Humans are, by their very nature, illogical beings. I have had firsthand experience with this on several occasions, and though I have attempted to attach some meaning to their actions, I have, as of yet, been unable to do so. Humans continue to confuse me, and none more so than my t’hy’la, Jim.

I had intended for this morning to be the first in which Jim and I walked to school together. This did not come to pass as I had anticipated.

The morning began as planned. I waited for Jim on the sidewalk opposite our houses. While I was waiting, I noticed that the day was rather pleasant by Terran standards. Neither too warm, nor too cold, with a slight breeze to keep the air from becoming stagnant. Of course, it was still considered almost uncomfortably cool for my Vulcan physiology, but one of my mother’s homemade sweaters was doing a rather good job of keeping my body within the correct temperature range.

Jim finally joined me outside 5.6847 minutes after I had departed my own domicile. As he approached, I catalogued the new bruises that he had managed to acquire in the 15.6428 hours since we had last seen one another. There was a rather large one on his left forearm, and its shape and positioning made me think that someone had grabbed him with enough strength to form the contusion.

* I must admit that even now my emotional controls are once more weakening at the thought of someone using such force on my t’hy’la. It is unconscionable, and I must not allow myself to let my guard slip with regards to Jim’s movements. I grow exceedingly desperate to find the source of his injuries, but as of now, I have yet to figure out how he could possibly be getting himself into trouble every night. It is imperative that I perform my surveillance with more vigilance.

Jim and I were able to talk amiably enough for much of the walk to school. In a moment of curiosity that thrilled me deep into the depths of my katra, Jim inquired about my family’s reasons for moving to Earth. I spoke to him of my hybrid status and of the cruelty of people towards that which is different. I told him about the fights and how my mother, worried for my safety, had convinced my father to bring us here.

Affected by this sharing of my history, I did something that I knew, even at the time, would only cause Jim to hide from me. I suppose that even a Vulcan can experience the human notion of hope, and even a Vulcan can do foolish things as a result.

“Jim, who gives you those bruises?”

Six words. Six small words out of the thousands of other words I might have chosen, and all of the progress I had made with my t’hy’la shattered.

Jim’s expression immediately became closed off and angry, and then he began to yell. Though the words he used were more vulgar than I am willing to repeat here, the meaning he was attempting to impart w

as clear.

It was not any of my business how he was hurt, and Jim would not be walking home with me that afternoon or any afternoon if he had his way.


Observation Log, Stardate: 2247.350

Subject: James Tiberius Kirk, preferred appellation Jim

Age: 14.97 years

Current Location: Highland High School, Riverside, Iowa

I once more attempted to accompany Jim to school this morning. I was unsuccessful in this endeavor.

I do not understand why Jim reacted so strongly to my question. He is correct that I had no right to ask such a thing; however, to avoid me completely for such a question seems to be an overreaction on Jim’s part.

Tonight, I will confer with my mother on possible strategies by which I may be able to once more ingratiate myself into Jim’s favor.


December 16, 2247

Fuck. I don’t even know why I’m doing this. I don’t usually write shit down. It’s not really my thing. I just need to get this stuff out of my head so I can figure out what the fuck it means. That asshole Spock is still playing head games with me. Well, he says he isn’t, but I don’t believe him. I know that Vulcan bastard is hiding something, and I’m almost positive it has something to do with why he’s been following me around. He says he wants to be my friend. I think he’s full of shit. Friendship is a loaded word. It looks so damn good on paper but if you try to put it into practice, well, you’re going to be disappointed. Actually, fuck all relationships. It’s not like mine have done me any good. I’ve been abandoned by every single person who ever claimed to have a relationship with me. Dad died. Mom fucked off to space in the name of duty. Sam just fucked off, period. All I’ve got left is Frank, which means as far as relationships go, I’m in the red. That guy doesn’t do a damn thing for me. Hell, I even had to steal this notebook from the Lost and Found. Frank doesn’t even bother keeping food in the house let alone shit like school supplies. Maybe that’s why I feel so drawn to Spock and his mother. They actually seem to want me around. Whatever their reason, even if it is just a big joke or they’re playing some game with me, I want what they have. Fuck, I can’t let myself give in again. I already let that bastard talk me into walking with him. I can’t let him get to me. I need to just stay away from him, but even if I could, I don’t think he would let me get away with it. After all, the guy’s been stalking me for months now. He’s not just going to let me go quietly. I would confront him again, maybe even throw a few punches this time if I thought it would work. It won’t though, and I know it. Even if I did manage to get him angry enough to even think about fighting me, I would end up the loser. There’s no possible way it could come out in my favor.

Maybe I don’t want it to end that way, though.

Fuck. Part of me is starting to like the guy.


Observation Log, Stardate: 2247.351

Subject: James Tiberius Kirk, preferred appellation Jim

Age: 14.97 years

Current Location: Highland High School, Riverside, Iowa

I did not give Jim the option of avoiding me today. I decided to take the seat across from him at lunch, well after he had gotten himself situated at the table. I knew from my time spent observing him that Jim was extremely averse to drawing the attention of others. In fact, he seemed to go to extraordinary lengths to avoid “making a scene”, as my mother would call it. I knew that should I manage to entrap him during lunch he would be forced to stay and talk to me, if only to prevent me from doing something to attract the attention of our fellow students.

Jim was wary of me at first, glaring at me as though I was about inflict bodily harm upon him. I waited for his tense muscles to relax somewhat before I spoke.

I had known before sitting down that I would need to be even more direct with him this time. I needed to make him listen to what I had to say if I was ever going to get anywhere with my t’hy’la.

In a breach of my emotional control that would have been unthinkable to me had I still lived on Vulcan, I allowed myself to show a measure of my feelings for Jim on my face as I spoke to him. My reasoning was sound, as I figured that without a demonstration of my own trust for him, Jim would never be comfortable enough to trust me in return, but in spite of this, even the slight upturn of my lips felt out of place on my face.

Jim appeared to be taken aback by what could be considered an outpouring of emotion for a Vulcan, and it was while he was still in shock that I decided to enact my overture of friendship.

Per my mother’s advice, I invited Jim over to my family’s house that afternoon after school.

I am as of yet still unaware as to why he agreed.


December 17, 2247

Why the fuck did I say yes?


Jim left the building, hoping to put as much distance as he could between himself and the school before that bastard Vulcan realized he was gone.

He didn’t want to go over to Spock’s house. He didn’t want to see Spock’s mom or think about the fact that his own mother had never and would never be to him what Amanda was to Spock. He didn’t want to eat her fucking amazing cookies or have to endure the looks of pity he was sure he was going to get from them when he couldn’t help but eat said cookies as fast as they appeared in from of him (like he said, they were fucking delicious).

Jim didn’t want to be friends with Spock at all, but it looked as though the Vulcan was taking the decision out of his hands.

Spock had smiled at him today. Fucking smiled. The corners of his mouth had only tilted up a tiny bit, but it had undoubtedly been a smile.

Jim was almost positive that the almost imperceptible quirk of the lips—so small that on a human it would not have even qualified as anything at all—was the reason he had agreed to this stupid playdate at the Vulcan’s house. He couldn’t think of anything else.

He, Jim Kirk, survivor of Tarsus IV, survivor of the god damned Kelvin disaster, was being felled by a stupid Vulcan with a stupid bowl cut and stupid (but kinda gorgeously huge) brown eyes that made him want to say yes to almost anything.

God fucking damn it all to hell.

Jim hastened his steps, knowing that Spock couldn’t be that far behind him, not looking where he was going until he crashed into said Vulcan not five seconds later.

“Jim,” Spock said as he caught the human by the shoulders to steady him. “Are you okay? Were you looking for me?”

Fuck. He’d been caught.

“Let’s get this over with,” he grumbled, jerking free of Spock’s grip and trudging past the Vulcan in the direction of their houses.

Spock attempted to make conversation with him as they walked, hesitantly asking him about his favorite book as though afraid he was going to offend Jim again. Jim wasn’t exactly effusive about it, but he did answer all of Spock’s questions and even asked a few of his own. It wasn’t as though he actually liked the Vulcan, but he was beginning to realize that they had more in common than he had first thought.

Shit, he couldn’t do this. He couldn’t be friends with Spock. Being friends with him would make Jim happy, and there was no such thing as happiness for someone like him. He just needed to get through the next hour or so without getting his hopes up, and then things could go back to how they were supposed to be.

Amanda greeted them at the door as they walked up to the house, smiling in what he thought to be delight when she noticed that Jim was there too. “Hello, Jim,” she said softly. “I’m glad you could make it.”

Jim didn’t know what it was but he just couldn’t act like a complete ass after being welcomed into her home so warmly. “Thank you for inviting me,” he ground out, trying to sound like he actually meant it. As an afterthought, he added, “Ma’am.”

Amanda laughed. “You can call me Amanda, dear,” she assured him. “I’ve never liked being called ‘ma’am’,” she confided. “I’m not a formal person, so it really doesn’t suit me.”

Jim had to agree with her there. It really didn’t suit her.

He nodded his assent.

“Come this way,” she told Jim cheerily, ushering him toward the kitchen. “I have cookies and hot chocolate for you, Jim, and tea for Spock.” Amanda immediately pushed him into a chair upon entering the kitchen. “Sit down, you two. I’ll get everything set up.”

Jim looked at Spock questioningly, wondering if it was really all right to let his mother do all of the work. The Vulcan nodded in affirmation, leaning closer to Jim to say, “I find it best to simply do as she asks. It is easier for all involved.”

Amanda bustled around the kitchen, pulling the foil off of a plate of sugar cookies and setting them on the table before preparing the drinks. She set out three identical mugs on the counter, one of which was filled to the brim with steaming hot tea from the kettle. The contents of a sauce pan on the stove were poured into the remaining two mugs, both of which were then topped off with three small marshmallows and a dollop of whipped cream each.

She picked up two of the drinks and placed them in front of Jim and Spock before grabbing her own. “Now, before you partake, I should warn you that the cookies contain soy and the cocoa was made with cashew milk. I didn’t think to tell you about the possible allergens in the last batch of cookies I gave you, so I hope you didn’t suffer any negative side effects.”

He shook his head and said slowly, “No, I was fine. I’m allergic to peanuts, but soy and cashews are fine. Milk actually gives me a stomachache, so this is probably better.” He pulled the drink toward him, relishing in the warmth that was seeping into his fingers even as he felt unsure if he should ask about it. He didn’t want to be rude, but he was curious. Fuck it. Spock had tried to invade every aspect of his personal life. It was time Jim returned the favor. “Why don’t you use dairy?”

Jim turned to look at Spock, surprised when he replied instead of Amanda. “Vulcans do not believe in the utilization of living creatures to provide us with sustenance. Because of this, we do not consume meat, animal milk, or eggs.”

His eyes widened. “Isn’t that hard?”

Spock tilted his head in consideration. “I have never known another way.”

Amanda added, “Most Vulcan clans have been herbivorous for many generations by this point. They forget that their ancestors once had diets very similar to that of humans. When I bonded with Sarek, I did have the option of continuing to eat as I pleased, but it’s actually much easier to transition than you’d think it’d be. There are so many options even without animal products.” She smiled at him and reached out to pat his hand. “If you ever want to know more about it, just let us know. We’d be happy to discuss it with you.”

Jim nodded noncommittally, but in all honesty he couldn't really afford to think about it. He could barely feed himself as it was, and being picky about his food wasn’t going to help matters.

Speaking of food, that hot chocolate smelled amazing.

It wasn’t until he was taking his first tentative sips from his own mug that he remembered he needed to be wary. Amanda seemed harmless, but Jim had learned from experience that even the things that appear harmless can still cause you great injury in the end. He sniffed the cup suspiciously before realizing that he had watched Amanda prepare his drink and that she was drinking the same thing. It smelled so good, Jim was glad to be able to put aside his misgivings so that he could taste it.

It wasn’t until he was taking his first tentative sips from his own mug that he remembered he needed to be wary. Amanda seemed harmless, but Jim had learned from experience that even the things that appear harmless can still cause you great injury in the end. He sniffed the cup suspiciously before realizing that he had watched Amanda prepare his drink and that she was drinking the same thing. It smelled so good, Jim was glad to be able to put aside his misgivings so that he could taste it.

Shit, Jim thought as he swallowed his first sip. It tastes better than it smells.

Jim’s stomach grumbled noisily, and he remembered that he hadn’t eaten more than a cup of mandarin oranges in over two days. His food stores were dwindling, and Jim had been rationing his food until he was able to get more. He had been growing increasingly desperate and knew that he might have to resort to shoplifting soon. Usually he either convinced Frank to give him some money, or he stole it from the man’s pockets after he had passed out for the night. Lately, his step-father hadn’t been bringing in any money, and it was starting to worry Jim. A lot.

His stomach gurgled once more, jarring him out of his thoughts. He reached forward and grabbed one of the sugar cookies, jamming it into his mouth urgently, as though it would disappear if he didn’t get it into his stomach within five seconds. Jim chewed very briefly before swallowing and reaching for another.

Then he noticed that both Spock and Amanda were staring at him.

Fuck.

Jim tried to play it off as though nothing had happened, but he knew they had noticed. Shit. What if they started asking questions?

“Jim,” Amanda said inquisitively. Here it goes, Jim thought, his body tensing up as he resisted the urge to flee. “Would you like to stay for dinner?”

Jim gaped at her. She was inviting him to dinner? She would be willing to feed him?

It was so tempting to give in, to say yes, to do anything to have a real meal again, something he hadn’t had since before things on Tarsus had gone to shit. He couldn’t do it though. He had to be home before Frank. His step-father wasn’t consistent with the times he came home, but Jim knew that he was through with work at six-thirty and it paid to be cautious. Sometimes the man came home hours later, staying out for hours getting drunk at either Murphy’s or the Shipyard Bar, depending on which one he was banned from at the time. Sometimes he came home right after work, sat down on the couch and got drunk while watching whatever game was on TV at the time. On rare occasions, Frank came home early from work and if Jim wasn’t in his room by the time that happened, the beatings seemed to double in intensity. Jim figured the man just liked to fuck with him, so it was better safe than sorry where he was concerned.

“I can’t,” Jim replied reluctantly. “I have to be home by six.”

Amanda looked disappointed, and though there was no outward change in his facial features, Jim thought that Spock was a little bit upset about it too. “Oh, well, maybe tomorrow then?” She looked at him hopefully. “I’ll let you in on a little secret. Though he tries to pretend he isn’t, Spock is inordinately fond of pizza. If you come over tomorrow, I can have everything ready so that all we have to do is put it in the oven to cook.”

Jim tried not to drool at the thought of fresh pizza. God, it had been so long. He found himself nodding without thinking. “Yes, please,” he replied hoarsely, his throat suddenly going dry.

Amanda smiled, and even Spock’s face seemed to lose some of its former tension. “Good.” She nodded thoughtfully. “Now drink your hot chocolate before it gets cold.”

Jim brought the mug to his lips and took a sip. Although it was a bit cooler, it was still delicious. Jim looked over at Spock and wondered…

“Hey Spock,” he mused. “Why aren’t you drinking hot chocolate too? It’s really good; I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.”

Amanda sent him a grin of thanks for the praise while Spock looked at him uncomfortably. “Vulcans have an adverse reaction to chocolate,” Spock divulged. “And cinnamon,” he added as an afterthought. “It is best if we simply avoid them altogether.”

Jim cocked his head. “What’s it do to you?” he asked curiously.

Spock just stared at him for a moment, and if Jim didn’t know better, he would think that it was embarrassment he saw in the Vulcan’s eyes. He was surprised to find that it bothered him that Spock might feel that way. Jim didn’t want to like Spock, but for some reason, he did, and it bothered him that the Vulcan may feel that he was unable to speak freely in front of him.

Fuck, he swore internally. What the hell is wrong with me?

“Now, Spock,” Amanda said, interrupting their staring contest. “There’s no need to be uncomfortable.” Her eyes twinkled mischievously. “Chocolate is to Vulcans what alcohol is to humans. It’s a simple intoxicant that makes them more touchy feely and emotional than they are normally. Cinnamon works as an aphrodisiac. I didn’t believe that one myself until…”

“Mother,” Spock cut in, a note of pleading in his voice. “Please don’t go there.”

Jim looked back and forth between them, his gaze not knowing which one to land on before he finally just closed his eyes and threw his head back in the first genuine laugh that had escaped him in over two years. The sound startled him, choking off almost before it could come out. His eyes widened as he realized what was happening, but by that time Amanda was laughing too and Spock’s eyes were sparking with a mixture of joy and another emotion he could not name, and Jim found that he was unable to resist.

Jim let himself laugh, and—just a little bit—allowed himself to hope.

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