Disclaimer: I do not own anything mentioned in the following fanfiction, except for the character of Penelope Richmond. She is of my own design.
The phone rang loudly in her ear, the headset she had in silencing the phone to the rest of the house. Her eyes immediately went to the nearest clock, slowly picking up the phone beside her as she realized what time it was. Who the hell would be calling this late?
"Penny! Guess whose back on-planet?"
She froze, the red pen in her hand hovering over a report that was sitting in front of her, poised to fix a grammatical mistake. She'd recognize that voice anywhere.
"James?" she asked incredulously, feeling the hurricane of emotions she knew this day would bring begin to form deep within her chest.
"Of course! Who else would be calling you at one in the morning on a school night. Okay so, what are you up to? I was thinking we could go out, you know, paint the town red like we used to"
"I'd love to Jim but I'm just climbing into bed right now, I had a really long day" she lied, circling the error on the page and then continuing to read the paper, yawning dramatically for effect.
"Liar. I can see you through your kitchen window"
She closed her eyes and cursed to herself, looking up and through the kitchen window to her right and immediately seeing his smiling, waving form. Upon seeing the real him for the first time in five years, the hurricane grew stronger. She saw a variation of him every day, but somehow, the real him just triggered something in her. Something she'd grown accustom not to feeling.
She hung up the phone and chucked it on the sofa beside her, rising from her desk and moving over to her side door. She unlocked it and opened it slowly, keeping one hand against the door while the other was against the fridge beside her.
"I've had people arrested for less than what you're doing" she called to him as he hung up his phone, climbing out the bushes he'd been standing in, tripping on his way out.
"Haven't you heard? Captain's don't get sent to jail" he said as he started up the stone path to her door, stopping maybe two feet shy of it. They stood like that for a few seconds, Penelope's temperature rising as she watched his eyes rake themselves up and down her body.
"Penelope Vivienne Richmond...my god, you haven't changed a bit" he said as he surveyed her with the same set of stunning, crystal clear blue eyes she saw on a daily basis. She turned her own murky brown eyes away from his and blushed, a little embarrassed by the way he was looking at her. He hadn't looked at her that way in a while. Five years, to be exact.
"James Tiberius Kirk... what the hell are you doing here?" she asked, addressing him by first name as well as she ran a hand through her long dark hair, moving away from the doorway but leaving it open so he could come in.
"Enterprise is docked up at Federation HQ for repairs. Crew's grounded here for the next few weeks" he said as he shut the door behind her, Penelope internally cringing as the sound of the door swinging shut echoed throughout the house.
"When'd you get back?" she asked, pulling out two mugs from a cupboard and setting them down quietly on her countertop, pulling her coffee pot off of its pedestal and filling the two mugs accordingly. She then pulled her sugar bowl out from cupboard and pulled a teaspoon from the drawer in front of her quietly, minding the sounds she was making. She deposited half a teaspoon of the sweetener in one mug and several heaping spoonfuls into the other, Penelope finding herself unable to forget anything about him, even remembering the way he drank his coffee. Blacker than space and sweeter than a pretty girl's lips.
"Today actually. Touched down about two hours ago" he said as he waited for her by the door, Penelope turning around eventually to hand him a mug. He smiled and took a little sip, grinning to her as he tasted the sugar.
"And the first thing you do is come visit me. Why, don't I feel special" she replied back with a sarcasm only he seemed to draw out of her. He chuckled appreciatively and followed her into her living room, Penelope curling up on a solo lounge chair as James threw him across her three person seater directly across from her. He laid back into it comfortably, looking immediately as if he'd lived here his entire life.
"So how you been Pen. Man, it's been a while. What's it been, four years?" he asked, chuckling to himself as he sipped heavily from his mug.
"Five" she replied in correction, taking a dainty sip of her own. It didn't take much thought. She saw the byproduct of the last time they'd seen each other everyday.
As they sat there in the one am silence, she became all too aware of her surroundings; the crayons, the model star ships, the pictures. She'd been dreading this day for a while now, five years actually, and as they continued to sit there with the evidence in plain sight, the hurricane brewing in her grew stronger.
"How's she doing anyways?" Penelope asked, knowing she wouldn't have to clarify what 'she' she meant.
"She's good. We just had a little run in with some Klingons in the Gamma system which is odd, since that's Federation space but, she took some damage so we brought her in" he explained, Penelope nodding once as yet another silence set in.
"You still teaching at the Academy?" he asked eventually, sitting up this time to face her.
"Yeah, theoretical physics and transport technology. It's going pretty well, I really like teaching" she commented, giving him a faint smile in response to the knowing smirk he was giving her.
"You belong on a ship, Pen. Actually, you belong on my ship"
She laughed quietly, knowing she had to keep her voice down, but laughed none the less.
"I did my time on the Enterprise just like you did James, but that life was never for me. I like being here on Earth and I like teaching. Besides, it's really not that easy to just uproot your life like you did. I have responsibilities here. Commitments"
He chuckled at this lowly, rubbing the back of his head with his hand as he looked away, a genuine smile on his face.
"No on onboard calls me James. I miss that" he said with the obvious sincerity she knew he was capable of but so few other did.
"You'll always be James to me, no matter how many times you introduce yourself as Captain or Jim" she commented, turning her head to the side and resting it in her hand.
They sat like that for a while, drinking in the changes five years brought. He'd cut his hair recently, wearing it shorter than he used to. He was stockier than when she'd last seen him, stronger. He'd traded in his previous air of arrogance and ignorance for one of wisdom and knowing. He still had the same eyes and smile he'd always had; the same eyes and smile that still managed to take her breath away.
He finally looked away, gesturing to a nearby kiddie table covered in toys and crayons with his head.
"What's with all the kid's stuff, Pen? You babysitting?" he asked, Penelope laughing ironically while James just laughed.
"That's one way of putting it" she said under her breath, alerting his attention anyways.
"What was that?" he asked, looking at her expectantly yet kindly.
She took a second to weigh her options. She knew he'd find out eventually, and he'd hold it against her if she lied to him now. It was one of James' defining characteristics; the boy hated liars, despite the fact that he himself could fib like a pro.
"I said no. No babysitting. I actually have a kid of my own" she said, letting it drop like an A-bomb.
A silence settled in between and she watched as he leant forward in the sofa slowly, the news settling in.
"Yo-you have a kid?" he asked eventually with drawn out words, careful not to stumble.
"What's it's name?"
"How old is he?"
She sucked in a breath. Here was smoking gun number one.
She watched his head cock ever so slightly to the side as he took this in, sitting back in the sofa as he let the information sink in.
"Wow. Pen...you have a son"
She chuckled, finishing it with a smile as she nodded to him again.
"I have a son"
"Do you have a picture of him somewhere?"
She gestured to the picture frame sitting on the corner table beside him, taking in another breath. This was smoking gun number two.
"Cute kid" he commented after a few seconds.
She chucked again, appreciating the irony. She shook her head and then sighed to herself, knowing that it was about time. Five years of preparation was spent for the moment that was lingering just seconds away, either from realization on his part or her just flat out telling him. The hurricane inside of her grew to category five as she watched his eyes scan over the image repeatedly.
"Funny you should say that" she commented out loud, setting down her mug as she sat up straight in her seat.
"There's something you should know James" she said, drawing his attention away from the picture.
She could see it in his face by the time he finally looked at her that he already knew. He wasn't stupid, and the picture he was holding in his hands could have been one of his own child photographs. To this day, she still remained astounded by how much Jake looked like him. There were some days where she even doubted whether or not she was his mother.
Then she remembered the nine lonely months she spent nurturing him in her womb and the twenty wretched hours spent in labour. Jake was definitely her's alright, even if he looked almost exactly like his father.
"I'd hoped we'd never have to have this conversation, or if we did, it'd be when he was older. Old enough to understand" she began, reciting the speech she'd perfected years ago out loud.
"Penelope..." he started, her voice cutting him off as she continued.
"I know with your job it's unfair for me to expect anything from you and I want you to know I don't resent you for it. You are doing an incredible thing with the Federation and I would be a coward if I asked you to step away from that. That's why I've never told you about him" she continued, her eyes watching as Kirk's head cocked further to the side, realization setting him.
"I guess what I'm trying to say is...Jake is your son, James. I had a paternity test done after I gave birth with an old toothbrush of yours and the doctor's confirmed it" she said, taking a breath.
"He's definitely your child"
((Author's Note: I've had this idea kicking around in my head for a while now so I decided to put it down on paper. Let me know what you think and if I get enough response, I'll continue it. Further explaination and details such as how they know eachother, what happened, will be given in the next chapter if I decide to update. Anyways, just lemme know what you think and if you like it, okay? Thanks!))