Unlike McCoy, Jim looked as though he was not over seventy. One hundred sixty one years old. His curly brown hair had turned gray. It was like he was frozen in time forever stuck as a seventy-two year old male. Time had treated Jim with delicacy and care almost like he were fragile. He had aged gracefully. It was a miracle that Jim was still around. He had finally accepted retirement after they had returned the Enterprise A a hundred years ago after their farewell tour. After retiring, Jim became a teacher for the academy inspiring cadets to continue what he had stopped. He was a teacher for a few years before deciding to leave the academy and moving onto Riverside. Spock promptly followed afterwards. The academy reminded Spock of an era that was fading out by then and made him feel old.
They lived in Riverside, mostly when Spock's ambassador duties were not usually needed, and enjoyed living a ship-less life. Spock didn't know what he would do without Jim let alone being separated a entire universe or by death (again). Spock had his hands in the sleeves of his robe heading on foot to their house. Spock was not about to request the expedition without speaking with his dear T'hy'la. Spock wanted to have this discussion verbally. Jim had likely returned from the event with the pinwheel floating entity's demise. Jim had been looking forward to that event for a hundred years. Jim had a few years left before him. Two decades to fifty years. When Spock mind melded with his mate, he could feel Jim's life was fading. But remarkably with the fading his old captain still had the energy to do what he did.
Spock took out the key then slid it into the keyhole. He turned the key then slid the door forward. Along the way he had been offered rides which he denied vehemently, calmly, and politely. Just because Spock was a old man did not mean he needed rides for his old legs. Unlike his father, Bendii's syndrome had yet to arrive. Spock was spared because of his human heritage. At least Spock liked to think that. It could still come up without his knowledge. Unlike Perrin's situation, Spock wanted Jim to tell him not keep it a secret when it happened. Spock had all ready informed Jim of the possible scenario where he would lose control over himself. The man simply nodded, squeezed Spock's shoulder, and said, "I will be there every step of the way, Spock." The door slid forward to the two story farm house. It was nightfall. The walk was well worth the time because he needed to think how to approach Jim with prospect of visiting a Earth like planet for the first leg of their retirement.
Not as if they were moving to Earthline.
Spock took the key out then locked the door.
Just a year long expedition.
Going where Star Fleet officers have not gone.
Spock silently closed the door behind him. He had eaten dinner hours ago and here Spock was, tired. Jim had thankfully left the lights on for him. Jim had learned years ago when the Vulcan was determined on doing something there was no way he could stop him. The Vulcan hung up his coat on the rack then headed his way up the stairs, slowly, hearing the wood make a creak sound under his shoes. Spock used the rail as his guide walking up the stairs. He eventually made it to the top then flicked the downstairs lights off using the switch. Spock had made sure he did not think of the expedition for the past twenty-four hours.
Spock went down the familiar hall then came to the last door beside the window.
Spock opened the door to see Jim reading a novel with his pair of glasses. The younger, but still old, man turned his head in the direction of the Vulcan. A warm feeling traveled through the bond as the man's face turned into delight. His face lightened up a thousand killowatts. He lowered the novel to his lab.
"Welcome home, ashayam!" Jim said. "You are not going to believe what happened today."
"You saw the pinwheel entity be destroyed for good." Spock said, closing the door behind him.
"That and I got to met Trelane again," Jim said. "Calls himself Q these days. And Picard was with him funny enough." Spock closed the door behind them then placed the duffle bag on the counter that had his meditation mat, his ambassador robes, and other spare wardrobe for Star Fleet only. Spock took out his dark green Vulcan night time robes from the duffle bag and placed the remaining clothes into the lower drawer. "Picard apologized for his intrusion. Trelane has aged well."
"I was not aware that Q was Trelane." Spock said.
"You met him?" Jim asked, eyebrows raised.
"Indeed," Spock said. "It was to save Earth and then we ended up switching bodies."
Jim had a laugh.
"You never shared that with me." Jim said.
Spock turned from the duffle back with a raised right eyebrow.
"You met him." Spock said.
Jim had a clueless but puzzled expression on his face.
"Wait, I did?" Jim asked.
"Yes, and it was not the most pleasant meeting," Spock turned away then he undressed. Spock put the ambassador robes into the laundry basket. Jim's eyes were on the Vulcan's rear. "Q convinced Chekov that everything was made in Russia while sitting on his lap."
"Ah," Jim said. "I remember." A fond smile grew on the man's face. "No wonder you went to the 21st century."
"It was the 20th century." Spock said, putting on the night time robes. "Speaking of the 21st century . . ," The Vulcan pulled back the blanket then slid into bed. "I have finished my last order of affairs as a Ambassador." Spock pulled the blankets up to his lap. "Starting tomorrow, I will also have the title 'former ambassador of Vulcan' under my belt. And I have been suggested a planet where we can spend the first leg of our retirement that is in the 21st century."
Jim raised an eyebrow.
"On this planet?" Jim asked.
The Vulcan shook his head.
"Not on this planet. No time travel. No sling shooting around the sun. No trickery or deception about it."
Jim's eyebrow raised further.
"I have not heard of this planet." Jim said.
"I was informed of it by Admiral McCoy," Spock said. "And there is a expedition that is guaranteed to last two years on the planet."
"Wait, hold on, you are telling me there is a new planet like Earth and there is a offer up to explore it?" Jim asked.
"Affirmative." Spock said.
"With no Eugenic wars?" Jim asked.
"There was no sign of advanced technology from what I saw on the screen grab." Spock said.
"A replica of Earth. . . History," Jim said, as his eyes glint. "But it could have different monuments. Remember the planet that had the Americans fighting for their nation and treated the constitution as a sacred religious object?"
"Affirmative," Spock said. "They claimed I was the devil."
"You don't forget that," Jim snickered. "We are going purely as tourists, and explorers, no ship, no team, just us." Jim eyed his partner. A thought suddenly occurred to him. "And that is why you have not been thinking. You wanted to surprise me! Job well done, Spock."
"I agree with the conditions," Spock wrapped arm around Jim's shoulder. "I rather spend exploring the planet with you alone." Jim yawned. Spock could feel the tired feeling between their bond coming from the partner. Reading was the only thing keeping Jim awake. "You have been up longer than you should be."
"I can't just sleep in while my partner isn't sleeping," Jim said. "Besides, I got to the part where Julian's wife is going to turn him in to the police but he has the bloody shirt and his wife is currently frightened for her life because he killed the man who was so loyal to him that he wouldn't rat Julian out. But Julian didn't want to take any chances" Spock skimmed the book noting it was General Hospital. "And it is getting really interesting."
Spock with his free hand closed the book on Jim.
"Jim, T'hy'la. . . go to sleep," Spock said. "You can finish your book tomorrow."
"And what happens to Kiki and Morgan's relationship since Ava and Sonny are going to have the talk." Jim said.
"Didn't Ava leave?" Spock asked, sliding the book away from Jim.
"No, she didn't." Jim said.
"I seem to recall she had." Spock said.
Jim looked up.
"Oh, you are talking about her being hospitalized?" Jim asked.
"Affirmative." Spock said.
"Ava's namesake saved her." Jim said.
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"A baby saved her?" Spock said. "The baby would be too young for a bone marrow donation."
"She is a toddler in this book, and Ava has permission to schedule visits with the little girl." Jim said.
Spock slid the book onto the nearby counter while Jim was scooted next to him right to the chest. Spock was like Jim's pillow. When the Vulcan's attention was returned to Jim, Spock noticed his mate was fast asleep. Spock slid the glasses off and placed them on top of the red book labeled General Hospital 2016. Then with his free hand he turned the light off in the bedroom. Jim was in a pink shirt that complimented his figure.
"Good night,Jim." Spock said, kissing the forehead of his mate and closed his eyes allowing sleep to take over.