Jim Kirk was a most illogical human. That much was certain.
But, to Spock, he was also fascinating.
Though, his older self’s answers left much to be desired, it was said that there’s would be a friendship that defined them both. An interesting proposition indeed, seeing as the Vulcan way of never expressing emotion was indeed to block its influence in one’s self or others.
James T. Kirk was a curious concept indeed. And he was to be captain.
How Spock made the choice to remain on the Enterprise.
While the course of James Tiberius Kirk’s life was changed with the first coming of the Neruda, Spock’s had changed with the second. And the destruction of Vulcan.
It was a difficult thing, to wrap one’s mind around, especially when so much personal grief was attached, even for a logical mind.
Though Spock himself had not the benefit of a meld with his older counterpart as Kirk had, he was not, in fact, dumb. Simply grieving. That being said, once a certain realization came to mind, there was nothing for it but to confront himself.
Because, if his older counterpart came from the timeline where the Neruda came from, surely, he could have stopped this. But, as his older counter part admitted, his role was one of cause, effect, and, in the absence of one James Kirk, failure. Spock himself, did not understand how such an impulsive, illogical youth could be of any help.
His counterpart smiled sadly, and it was an odd thing to see on his own face, much less any Vulcan’s. But his older counterpart said, on this blue-eyed James Kirk, that it is difficult to reconcile this image with those in his memory. Here is the enterprise bridge crew as they should be. Though twenty years younger than he ever knew them. And Kirk especially is different, he is blue eyed and rather than looking proud be looks slightly put out over being there in the first place. Of all the difference he expected in this universe through the fact he had never known his father, he never imagined a universe where Jim Kirk despised the stars. Even in the darkest universe he is made for the captain chair on a bridge in space, and yet in this one, he looks like he’d rather be anywhere else but persists to stay because he fears disappointing or worse, proving the naysayers right for more than he loaths this. Jim Kirk has always been one to show off, in this case, he’d make himself miserable to prove a point. Clearly he is still the same man, simply with sharper edges and a more guarded smile.
He also made it a point to mention, that, in any universe, there was none he trusted to captain the Enterprise as James T. Kirk, and their’s would be a friendship that defined them both.
Spock, for his part, did not know what to do with this insight. Because, to his mind, the best thing he could to was to help his people, whose planet was gone, whose people were endangered now, whose culture was on the verge of eradication. And, beyond that, his only experiences with the man known as James Kirk, were of a cadet that broke the rules, who defied him at every turn. Who stuck unto a starship and committed mutiny. This did not a captain make. Though if there were any he should trust, it would be himself.
This was the dilemma Spock faced.
Spock came from, as Earth would term it, a family of black sheep. His father married a human. His half-brother Sybok, though full-Vulcan, rejected the Vulcan philosophy and acted more emotional than even his human stepmother, or indeed, any other humans Spock had meet at such a young age as he was when Sybok left. And Spock himself, his father’s second son, and second chance, ever more determined to prove himself a worthy Vulcan, despite the so termed disadvantage of a human mother.
This past was unchanged by the first coming of the Neruda.
The change came after, with the destruction of Vulcan. The death of his mother.
In his other life, Spock would have remained in Starfleet. His and Kirk’s paths would not cross until much older, when Kirk came by the captaincy honestly, through the chain of command, though still the fleet’s youngest flagship captain in history. And Spock would be assigned as his first officer, to temper his more brash moments. Then, neither of them had a choice.
But that was not, in fact, the path Spock had before him now, now there was a choice, to stay around the Enterprise, under Captain James T. Kirk decades before ever intended, to find the friendship that would so illogically define them both, or to help his people in this time of crisis.He think of which path his mother would have wanted. Thinks she would of said she wanted him happy, and finds he does not know the answer to that either.
He has always been a child between worlds rather than of two worlds. Too human for Vulcan, too alien for humanity.
He thinks of being emotionally compromised by Kirk, of Kirk, despite all calculations and prior data concluding otherwise, succeeding in saving Earth.
Spock thinks the answers should be simpler than this, but he cannot live his life as defined y answer universe. Such would be tantamount to insanity.
In the end, it is not Spock who decides, but his older self.
Or, rather, his older self makes the distinction between options much clearer, and in the end, there is no decision, because the choice is obvious.
There are two Spock now, in this universe. One with the benefit of decades more knowledge and experience, who has been irrevocably changed by one Jim Kirk. And one who has yet to live his supposed destiny, who has yet to tame this version of Kirk into something resembling maturity.
It is, in the end, the locket, that decides for him. An old thing wound around his counterpart’s neck, obviously weathered with age. With a short holovid of a much older James Kirk singing happy birthday, love in his eyes. Shortly before his death.
This sentimentality is what drives his decision.
Spock Prime travels to New Vulcan.
Spock honors his mother for attempting to embrace his humanity, and what better way to do so than to join James T. Kirk on the bridge of the Enterprise.
Someone has to keep him in line after all.
And as it is meant to be, Spock accepts a place on the Enterprise’s crew, to define the friendship that will define them both, because Spock will not allow Nero to destroy anymore than he already has by denying it.