Title: Something To Write Home About
Author: Hypatia Kosh
Pairing: K/S
Rating: PG
Summary: Another viewpoint for "A Mother Alone" by Vanasati (available on the KSOF webpage); or, in other words, Mother's accidental interference after the events of "Journey to Babel" leads to Kirk and Spock crossing over to the slashy side of the street.

Author's Note: Many thanks to my betas, the gracious Lady Kardasi and the illustrious Vanasati. They deserve credit for actually reading all the way through the really bad original version of this piece, if nothing else. Also, for those of you who didn't spend a couple days in high school learning about the Battle of Gallipoli, here's a link about ANZAC day.

Something To Write Home About
Hypatia Kosh

Hey, Mom, this is Jim. How are you doing? I'm glad to hear that Peter is doing so well in school. Tell him his uncle is proud of him.

Okay. I have some big news. You are never going to believe what just happened. I wish I could be sending this out right away, but there's going to be a delay because we're observing radio silence right now, so this will go out as soon as we can send transmission packets, and then, as you know, there is the transmission time. At any rate, I know you hate being kept in the dark about news like this, so I'm informing you as quickly as possible.

So, anyway, what is this big news, you ask? Well, Mom, your youngest son, Mister Confirmed-Bachelor himself, is getting married. Or is already married, in a Vulcan sort of way. Don't worry, I'll explain what I mean by that. It's a long story, so I need to back up a bit.

Obviously you know all about Spock from my previous calls; yes, Spock. . . . Did I just give away the punchline? This is a long story. Let's see if I can give you the short version. It started in sickbay. You see, I'm not at liberty to divulge details about our mission right now, so I can't tell you exactly what was going on, but -- let's say I was in sickbay for some minor on-the-job injury (it was nothing, really, and I'm fine now, so you're not allowed to worry about it, Mom), and, as it so happened, Spock's parents were on board the Enterprise.

By the way, did you know that Spock was the son of Ambassador Sarek and Amanda Grayson? I had no idea. Okay, just imagine this scene: I welcomed the Vulcan Ambassador and his wife onto the Enterprise, and then I turned to Spock and asked him if he wanted to go down to the surface to visit his parents. And then he tells me, with as much dignity as he can muster at this point, that they are his parents. Talk about gauche! I still feel like a total idiot, and it was only a couple days ago. And, to top it off, I did an informal poll and it turns out that a lot of my officers knew. And it was in his personnel file, but honestly I only skimmed over his personal info once, maybe two years ago when he came on board, and most parents' names are meaningless to me anyway. I can remember reading 'Sarek' now, (and I don't even have any memory of reading his mother's name), but I just took it for a common name.

So, I didn't exactly start on the right foot with Spock's family, but I think I made up for it later.

Now, here's the situation: I felt fine, but Bones, you know Bones, was keeping me in sickbay "for observation" -- so Spock came by during Beta shift to give me a status report. We started out discussing ship's business and ended up just chewing the fat, basically because I was bored in there and it wasn't as if there was anything pressing for Spock to do either. Okay, I confess: I was corrupting him yet again, since he was really supposed to be on duty. Actually, this is kind of funny: the previous day Spock's mother had asked me -- she happened to be in the room -- so she asked Spock what he was doing in sickbay with me instead of returning to the bridge and he gave her this line about 'seeing to the well-being of his Captain' or something like that. It was pure B.S. Haven't I corrupted him well? I don't think she bought it.

Anyway, I think I told you before that I knew Spock had some problems back home and wasn't really on good terms with his family (although of course he never told me the whole story). It turns out I was more or less right. Don't get me wrong: Spock loves his mother dearly and absolutely worships his father, but he doesn't get along well with either of them. It's a -- two-way street, if you ask me. His parents are nice people -- at least, they've been nice to me -- but as soon as they got on board Spock's father kind of snubbed him -- they stopped speaking to each other when Spock joined Starfleet, although I'm happy to report that they are on speaking terms now. Spock's mother, Amanda, kept trying to point out his humanity to everyone, and told some embarrassing childhood stories, which I naturally found rather amusing but which he resented, and I think she did it because she can't quite accept the way Spock has 'rejected' his humanity by choosing a Vulcan way of life.

Please don't repeat any of that to anyone else, by the way! This is just between you and me, Mom.

Uh-hmm, where was I. I should explain that I thought I'd do a good deed, which I've been doing for the last few days, by telling Spock's parents all about his accomplishments since he's served with me, you know, tactfully leaving out battles and killing people as much as possible, 'cause I'm talking to the Vulcan Ambassador after all. So, there seemed to be some family reconciliation going on -- which was definately a good thing. Except -- that I let my guard down after a while, and ended up causing an unfortunate little scene.

So, it happened like this, I was chatting with Spock, in sickbay, this would be the day before yesterday, Beta shift, and we played a game of 3D chess; you know, the game with the board you called an hors d'oevres tray? Well, I happen to like the game. It's like leading a charge up a mountain, or down, depending on which side you pick. So yesterday I took the lower position and I told Spock, somewhat irreverently, that we were re-enacting ANZAC day.

Not to boast or anything, but the Turks were routed.

Hey, not everybody can take Spock at chess.

So I was pretty pleased with myself. I told Spock after the game that he could come to my quarters later that evening, when I would be released from sickbay, and get his revenge on me then. Honestly, I wanted him to agree to a later game because I wanted to savor my victory for a while, because he always, always beats me the next time. (I know, Mom, maybe I am a little too competitive, but it was all in good fun). So . . . he agreed to a rematch later and we shook on it. Right? And that was it. Maybe the fact that we shook hands was significant because Vulcans are pretty picky about who they touch, but it didn't occur to me at the time. Now, what happened next was a little strange. We're putting the pieces away and Amanda comes around and says, "I'm happy for you" -- wait, no, that wasn't it exactly. It was a little weird, so it stuck in my mind. She said . . . hmm . . . "I just want you to know that I am happy for you. You do have my approval." This meant nothing to me, I might add. But it obviously meant something to Spock, because he suddenly got all stiff and guarded. I asked her what she was talking about, and she said she thought, from watching us, that Spock had made his "choice." My first reaction was, thinking to myself, "choice to stay in Starfleet?" I mean, I don't know!

Anyway, Spock got really icy and told his mother that she was mistaken, and then -- get this -- apologized to me for his mother's comments. Then he swept out of the room in a huff.

Oh, that's Spock. He says he didn't walk out 'in a huff.' He snuck in here a minute ago and's been eavesdropping. What's that? You're normalizing the wavefunction? (He's been working on this one equation for about two weeks now). How difficult is that? You just square it and integrate it, right? . . . Well, that's an impressive-looking expression . . . no, I'm sure I don't know any techniques of integration that you don't. Go -- shoo -- carry on.

Mom. Sorry. So, Spock has just walked out of the room in a huff . . .

I'm thinking, 'uh-oh, here goes the family circus again.' Seriously, I thought I'd just stumbled into one of their Byzantine family fights, so I look at Amanda, who's really embarrassed at this point, and I ask, "what choice?"

So then she also apologized, and then -- this is the zinger -- confessed that she thought Spock and I were in some sort of intimate relationship.

That was a little startling.

But I also felt that 'moment of guilt' when she said that, because, well, it's embarrassing to admit, but I actually had been flirting with Spock, 'cause I like him and because I can get him to open up more that way. He liked the attention and I liked giving it to him so nobody was hurt, or so I told myself. I really toned it down in his parents' presence because I wanted to give him his dignity in front of them, but -- I was slipping. So I tell Spock he can get his revenge in my quarters, with a wink and a nudge (well, not literally, though we were holding hands), and she thought I meant something . . . impolite.

(No! No! don't say it! I already know you're going to write me back and say, "how do you think you were conceived, Jimmy?" and I don't want to hear it, Mom, really!)

Okay. So I've just found out that Amanda thinks that Spock and I are already shacking up and I said something along the lines of "really? I mean, we're really great friends and all, but Spock's too nice to do you-know-what." No, I didn't say that literally. That is not, shall we say, a word-for-word quote. But at any rate she deduced that I had the hots for Spock, which was true, and said so.

What she had said before, actually, when I asked her what she meant by "choice," was that she had been talking about his choice of marriage partner. Spock had had this arranged marriage that didn't work out -- I'll tell you about it some time, but not over the comm.

So, Amanda tells me that she thinks that Spock likes me too and why don't I go talk to him? I was happy because I had his mother on my team, but I told her that I didn't think Spock liked anyone that way. Actually, I told her that he wouldn't think it logical. I figured I knew better than she did because we'd spent the last three years together whereas she had been out of contact with him for ages. Okay, Mom, I know that was pretty stupid.

But, if you'll forgive me, since she was obviously wrong about the one thing, I wasn't about to just take her word on the other. So I plotted my confrontation with Spock pretty carefully. I went to see him after I escaped the clink, I mean sickbay. As it turned out I was able to talk my way out of there a couple hours early. Finding him wasn't very hard because he usually retreats to his quarters to lick his wounds when someone really upsets him. (I don't think he's very happy that I just said that, but it's true).

And before you ask if he actually does any work, yes he does, he works very hard, and I actually caught him in the middle of interpreting data for some physics experiments that the Science Section conducted last month, which basically involves a lot of math and theoretical physics. (That's actually what he's doing right now, too, or a part of it). I interrupted that noble endeavor on the theory that setting things straight with my XO was a higher priority, although of course that wasn't my only motivation.

Ahem. You will be pleased to note that I followed your advice for once, Mom, when I talked to him. First, I acknowledged that his mother had embarrassed him, and I established some common ground by telling him about the way you used to embarrass me by showing my dates my baby pictures. I also told him what I told you then about how you shouldn't be setting up an association between dating and babies, and I guess he thought that was funny too, because he relaxed a little. (And I still say that baby picture thing was a little creepy, Mom). Anyway, I took to heart what you've always told me about letting the other person save face and how telling the truth upfront, however difficult that is, will save everyone a lot of grief, so I told him that what had happened was my fault, and admitted that I had been flirting . . . and then I asked him if that bothered him and just gave me this -- look, like 'what a stupid question -- of course not.'

I should have known, because he's the sort of person who will tell you immediately if something you're doing is bothering him, irrespective of rank, but -- I had to ask.

I've been sweet on him since we first met, and it showed, and he'd never complained before. I guess that alone should have told me something, but I was never sure . . . I mean, Spock's a pretty lonely guy, and I always figured that when I teased him or made a flattering comment, and he responded positively, that he was just enjoying the attention. As long as he wasn't offended, I figured it made him happy and it made me happy and no harm done. And, I just didn't see him as being interested in a sexual relationship. With anyone. This is a man-- a Vulcan, who talks about romantic love as if it were a weakness of lesser mortals.

Maybe he just talks that way to annoy Bones, our very own closet romantic, but he does always seem to be above . . . I don't know, fleshly concerns.

Well now I suppose I could say I know better! So, the other day, I wanted to find out just where Spock was on that issue when he says, "my parents are anxious that I marry," which was his way of saying that I could dismiss the whole thing as wishful thinking on his mother's part. He was offering me an out. So I took it, figuring I would get it out of him later. I didn't want to rock the boat by asking more direct questions so soon after setting us aright. So I steered the conversation into safer waters. (Or tried to. You never can tell). I said, "it seems I've put you in awkward situations a lot lately. I was wondering if there was anything you needed to let me know so I don't embarrass you in front of your parents again." I thought that was pretty diplomatic but Spock didn't care for the change in subject, evidently, because he didn't answer me.

Anyway, I pressed him because I still felt bad about the not-knowing-who-his-parents-were fiasco, both for his sake and mine. I was hoping for Spock to do me a good turn by volunteering some useful information before I did anything else to make myself look stupid.

I imagine Spock was just a smidgeon contrite about that scene because he finally did apologize, kind of, but said he couldn't possibly foresee my needing to know in the future anything I didn't know already, so I had to give up on that line of questioning and left.

Now we're getting to the good part, Mom. I caught Spock after dinner and told him that we needed to talk. We went to the observation deck. The thing was, I was anticipating a possible argument and I don't relish having arguments in confined spaces, like my quarters. As it turned out we had the place to ourselves, which was nice, because it meant we could actually talk frankly and not just bum around in there, which we do sometimes. Hrm. So, we, uh, stargazed for a while and Spock's curiosity finally gets the best of him and he says "there was something you wished to discuss?" It's really cute, the way he does that. So I leapt in with, "you said your parents were anxious for you to marry. Well, I'm worried too." (It's a long story, but let's just say there are some physiological reasons which compel Vulcan males to marry). I had to start out that way just to remind him that I had a stake in things . . . the whole situation is kind of complicated . . . I said, "your mother thinks you want to bond with me," and I made a significant pause, but he didn't say anything -- didn't deny it either -- so I went on: "but even if she's wrong, I'd like to see that you find an acceptable partner. I don't want this hanging over our heads and I'm sure your parents must be very worried about you." Pretty rotten, eh? I'm not sure how well it worked. It's really hard to guilt-trip Spock, although -- it can be done. Anyway, he wasn't talking so I thought I'd help him out, so I took his hand and looked into his eyes -- no, I really did -- and said, "is there something you want to tell me?" I admit, I was teasing him a little. I half expected him to get annoyed. Instead, after a long moment, he says that I seem to be implying that I would be interested in bonding with him, and asked if I had really thought about what it entails. To Vulcans, bonding is marriage, or pretty darn close. I guess you could say it results in a marriage. I didn't know anything about this before I met Spock, but it involves a telepathic link between both parties. So I told him that I did understand the consequences, and then I sprung my list of logical reasons for why a union would be beneficial. I had come up with a pretty good list, once I felt free to think about the possibility. Among other things I told him that . . . well, in a lifelong partnership you want someone who is agreeable and mutually compatible and I pointed out that we were already great friends and had proven compatibility.

So that's where it was at.

Um, well, Spock wasn't entirely sure he believed me, I think . . . because he asked to share a mind-meld with me. I told you all about Vulcan mind fusion in a message a while back, and this is the same thing, different terminology . . . I -- Spock wanted to know if I was sincere or not, and we ended up -- sharing our feelings in probably the most intimate way possible. Am I blushing now? You know, there's something strange about talking about a Vulcan's emotions, since they keep them so private -- I guess especially if the Vulcan in question is across the room pretending not to listen to this.

So, we decided to bond! I had no idea Spock felt that way about me. I mean, I knew he liked me, but -- really. I think I can get used to this, though.

So, we are married now, under Vulcan law anyway -- we effected the bond -- it's actually a subtle physical change, probably more so for Spock than for me -- just a little change to the ol' wetware. We haven't decided whether to file Terran papers yet. I don't know if not doing that will just be putting off the inevitable. The brass will learn of my change in status eventually and undoubtedly the whole galaxy after that, whether I like it or not. I guess you can savor having heard it from me first, though! Hopefully Starfleet won't raise a stink.

So, why don't you meet your new son-in-law? I'm going to move the pickup and he's going to put down that padd, thank you, and say hello. (He's being shy because he doesn't know you). You could say something, Spock. Okay, don't. You can go back to your integration. (I'll just move this thing back here). I hope you know e to the ix doesn't have an absolute integral. -- Alright, all right, just trying to be helpful.

I hope you can meet him for real the next time we are on Earth. He wants to meet you too, despite appearances to the contrary. Hey, I've told you so much about him, he's gonna want to pay you hush money to keep you from telling anyone else! (He doesn't think that's very funny). Hope things are well with you, Mom. Love you. I hope to hear from you again soon.

-The End-