Disclaimer: Characters contained within do not belong to me.
Author's Notes: To follow.
The Opposite of Logic
by Kristen Elizabeth
Twenty-four months later
"Enterprise, this is the USS Charleston. We have three to beam over on your mark."
"Charleston, the Enterprise is standing by to receive three in Transporter Room 1."
Kirk was glad to see Scotty at the transporter controls when he entered the room a few minutes later. He didn't exactly fear a mishap, but it was good to know that the three people beaming over from the transport ship were in the best hands in the fleet.
"Captain," Scotty greeted him with a grin. "Ready when you are, sir."
After a second, Kirk nodded. "Beam them over, Scotty."
Although they were expecting three, only two of the pads lit up. Kirk frowned. But as the shapes of his friends began to form in the midst of whirling light and energy, he realized why.
Spock materialized in his customary uniform, carrying a bulging bag and looking almost exactly the same as he had when they'd transported off the Enterprise two years earlier. Perhaps, though, there was something different about him, and only someone who knew him well would have been able to spot it: a certain look about his face that didn't exactly speak of relaxation, but was no longer severe or unapproachable.
Uhura appeared beside him, her hair long hair braided down her back, carrying a toddler on her hip. Three people, two pads. From the moment they could move again, the little boy began squirming in her arms, like he wanted to get down.
"Sorry. I know you were expecting three, but do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a toddler on his own transporter pad?" Uhura asked Kirk, her eyes sparkling.
Kirk shook his head, unable to keep a smile off his face. "Wow. He's...huge."
"And heavy," she complained. "But if I put him down, he'll be out that door in five seconds."
"Three seconds," her husband corrected. Spock addressed his wriggling son. "Grayson," he said to the boy as though he was much older than his two years. "You must hold my hand, do you understand?"
Grayson blinked dark eyes at his father, but stopped wriggling. When Uhura set him down on his sturdy little legs, he reached a hand up and grabbed onto Spock's index finger.
With their son occupied for the moment, Uhura stepped down from the transporter pad and approached Kirk. "Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, reporting for duty, Captain."
"About damn time." After a moment of looking at her, Kirk turned his attention to Spock, who was patiently taking the short steps down with his son one at a time. "What about you? Are you reporting for duty or just along for the ride?"
"That depends upon whether or not you still require a first officer," Spock replied evenly. When he and Grayson reached the bottom, he looked up. "I was led to believe that you do."
"Yeah. I really do." Kirk clapped a hand on his shoulder. "Welcome back." His attention was drawn down to the little boy who now clung to the dark leg of his father's pants. "Is he talking yet?"
"He has a vocabulary of seventy-six words in Federation Standard and twenty-two in Vulcan." If Kirk hadn't known better, he'd have sworn there was a touch of pride in Spock's voice.
"But he understands more than he speaks. He's a parrot," Uhura said. "He repeats everything." She pointed at Scotty, who'd been watching them with a wide grin. "So be careful what you say around him."
Squatting down, Kirk sought out Grayson's eyes, hard to do when he was hiding behind Spock's thigh. "Hi, Grayson. Can you say 'Jim'?"
It was muffled, but still unmistakable. "Gim."
"All right." Kirk nodded, satisfied. "Gim it is."
By the time they arrived in Sickbay, Grayson and Kirk were old friends. The little boy was happily seated on Kirk's shoulders, his chubby fingers tangled in the captain's dark blonde hair.
Uhura and Spock had been following them through the ship, holding hands as they watched their son interact with Kirk. There was a kindred spirit between the man and the boy, a shared sense that life was an adventure to be gleefully undertaken at any age.
Still, for as much fun as he was having riding on the captain's shoulders, every now and then Grayson would realize that his parents were out of sight and he'd look around, his lower lip protruding, until he spotted his father behind him. With that reassurance, his anxiety would instantly fade and his smile would reappear.
"You do realize that he will expect such rides from now on," Spock told Kirk.
Kirk shrugged; the movement jostled Grayson and sent him into a fit of giggles. "Well, that's what he's got his Uncle Gim for. Although, you've got the better ears to hold onto, you know."
Uhura smothered a giggle when she caught her husband's look. "What? It's a valid point."
"Pun intended," Kirk punctuated.
McCoy was treating a deep cut on an engineer's arm when they entered the medical bay; Christine Chapel was at his side, assisting. They looked up at the new arrivals, but only the nurse smiled.
"So, I see you found your way back," McCoy addressed Spock and Uhura. "Welcome and all that. Give him a hypo of antibiotic," he ordered Nurse Chapel.
"Bones, senior officers on the bridge in five minutes," Kirk announced.
Uhura and Spock exchanged a look. "Does that include me?" Uhura asked. When Kirk nodded, she cleared her throat. "Captain, I hate to cause a problem already, but Grayson..."
"Can stay right here with me," Christine finished. "Can't you, angel?" she asked the little boy, holding out her arms to him.
Much to his parents' surprise, Grayson let her take him from Kirk's shoulders.
"Are you sure?" Uhura reached out to touch the tiny shoe on her son's foot. "He can be...a handful."
"I'm absolutely sure," the nurse said, perching Grayson her shapely hip. She met Kirk's eye for a half second longer than necessary. "Good practice for the future."
Kirk cleared his throat a bit too loudly. "Come on. Everyone's waiting on us."
Spock ignored him momentarily and handed the nurse the bag he had carried over from the Charleston. "There are sufficient supplies to care for his needs for the remainder of the afternoon. He will require a nap in approximately two hours. If he should wake before we have returned..."
"She's a nurse, Spock," McCoy scowled. "I think she can handle anything he can throw at her."
Uhura kissed Grayson's cheek. "Mommy and Daddy are going to work now, but we'll be back after your nap," she told him. "Nurse Chapel is going to be with you, okay?"
"Ma-ma." Grayson reached for her dangling earring, but she skillfully avoided his little hand.
"Goodbye, Grayson," Spock said at the door. Before the little boy's wobbling lower lip could turn into tears, they slipped out of Sickbay.
"Will he be okay?" Kirk asked.
"He must learn that separation from us is not permanent," Spock replied. "That is why we explain our departure to him and attempt to give him a time frame in which to expect our return."
McCoy snorted. "And that works?"
Spock hesitated. "It is an ongoing process, Doctor."
Save for a few new faces at various stations, the bridge hadn't changed in two years. It was a welcome sight.
Neither Uhura nor Spock believed their time on Earth had been a waste; they'd both had positive experiences at the Academy teaching Introductory Xenolinguistics and Advanced Subspace Communications respectively. In those two years, they'd heard their son say his first word-"no," spoken very loudly and then repeated often-and watched him take his first steps across a grassy patch of Golden Gate Park. They'd traveled to Africa to introduce Grayson to his mother's family and they'd even spent some time with Sarek at the Vulcan Embassy.
Yet for all of that, there was some tiny place in each of them that had been empty until they'd beamed back on board the Enterprise, a testimony to the fact that they'd made the right choice in coming back.
As they walked onto the bridge, the comm officer on duty addressed Kirk. "Sir, we've picked up a subspace transmission from the Vulcan colony on Degan V."
Kirk looked at Spock. "For you?"
Puzzled, Spock replied, "I am not expecting a message."
"On screen," Kirk told the officer.
"Actually, sir..." The woman hesitated. "The transmission is locked for privacy and requires an authorization code. A Vulcan code."
Uhura looked at her husband as he stepped forward. "Captain, may I use..."
"The conference room?" Kirk nodded. "Of course."
As Spock was still holding Uhura's hand, she went with him, back out the bridge entrance and down the hall to the left. The conference room was empty; Spock immediately sat at the head of the long table and accessed the computer terminal set within it.
"Computer, access subspace transmission from Degan V, authorization code Kal-pir-nine-two-two."
"Access granted," the computer said. A second later, the screen came to life and Sarek's aged face looked back at him.
"Spock," he addressed his son. "I regret not being able to share this news with you in person, but I understand you have left Earth and returned to your post on the Enterprise. It is likely that the next time we meet, I shall be a father again."
Spock whipped his head around to meet his wife's wide eyes. When his father began speaking again, he looked back just as quickly.
"I will not go into details, Spock, but I do feel it is my responsibility to tell you that the mother of this child is T'Lan. Our joining was not something either of us anticipated or planned, but it has happened and if it disturbs you, I am sorry, my son. Certainly you can understand..."
"Computer, freeze." Uhura watched as Spock ran a slow hand down his face. "My father...and T'Lan?" She put her hand on his shoulder in silent support. "Pon farr," he said a moment later.
Uhura frowned. "Pon farr?"
"That is how it must have happened. Father would never speak of it, not even to me...few Vulcans ever will. But it is the only logical explanation."
"There's a logical explanation that makes your father having a baby with your ex-wife not completely creepy?"
Despite the situation, the corners of Spock's lips twitched ever so slightly. "Computer, resume message."
"...the desire to help rebuild our race," Sarek continued. "I have been...debating the idea of this for many months, even going so far as to ensure that I am still capable of fathering a child." He paused. "Spock, you must believe that no woman, Vulcan or otherwise, could ever replace your mother. Perhaps that is why marrying T'Lan seems almost logical. I will never replace the man she lost, either."
Spock reached back and touched the hand his wife still had resting on his shoulder.
"If this is not a forgivable act, I will understand and will not expect a reply. Still, I remain, dare I say, hopeful. May this message find you and your family in good health, son. Until we meet again."
When the message ended, Spock let out a barely audible sigh. "I do not know what to feel."
"That's okay." Uhura perched on the edge of the table, facing him. "I wouldn't, either. I can't think of anyone who would."
"When I left you to marry T'Lan, my reasoning seemed so logical. But now I see how absurd the idea of..." He stopped, looking up at her with troubled eyes. "How did you ever forgive me, Nyota?"
Lifting her shoulder, she replied, "Simple. I love you." Uhura touched his cheek. "And since you love your father, you'll do the same for him."
A long moment passed in silence. "Is it all right if we set aside this topic for the moment?"
She smiled softly. "Sure. But we'll talk more later?" Spock inclined his head. "C'mon," Uhura said after leaning forward for a brief kiss. "I've been waiting to get at that comm station again forever."
They walked back onto the bridge a minute later, and with a nod of approval from Kirk, took their customary stations. As Uhura set her earpiece in place, she caught Spock's eye and gave him a small wink to which he merely nodded again.
But Spock's nod had always, and would always, do to her stomach what other men's sexiest smirks could never accomplish.
"Mr. Sulu," Kirk said to the helmsman. "The family's all here again." Glancing back at Spock, he grinned. "Warp Five to the Castorian system. Punch it."
A/N: I really wish I had the words to express to each and every one of you how much all of your reviews have meant to me. Hearing that you've enjoyed the story has pushed me to keep going on days when I didn't feel like writing a single sentence. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And, of course, no thanks would be complete without mentioning my amazing beta and friend, Lisa. I know, I know, hon. It's back to work on the novel now, I promise.
At least until the next fic idea comes along!
Thank you (again!),