Okay, author here from the kink meme going on over at lj. I originally posted this as anon in Part 10, in response to the prompt: "Okay I want moar mpreg! Spock pregnant as it is 'logical' that all Vulcans can reproduce, whatever their choice of partner. This happens the one time they switch positions to Kirk topping. Spock finds all this completely illogical and most disturbing, but he watches Kirk putting his hands on Spock's belly and gets all mushy. Fluff! Mpreg! Babies! MCCoy did NOT sign on for this shit! (I just got a new cousin-it's making me broody *facepalm*)" Eventually, I took a look and realized that a. it was too long, b. I wanted something to put up on my account, and c. I wanted an excuse to edit and repost it. So here you have the final product. OP, I hope I satisfied. :)

An Illogical Inception

Jim had never thought of himself as a monogamous kind of guy; really, what fun could monogamy be? After a while, wouldn't the sex just start getting...boring? Really. Okay, so if you had an inventive and open partner, it might not be so bad, but still. He had held that particular view for his entire adolescence and most of his adult life – and he was an adult, no matter what statements Bones made to the contrary.

With that in mind, Jim was very surprised when he woke up one day and realized that he was, in fact, in a monogamous relationship – and what was more, he didn't mind. He sort of liked it, much to his shock. Then again, when he'd thought about monogamy in the past, he had never really connected the term with someone like Spock, who seemed to take all of his opinions and set thoughts and simply...brush them away. Probably because they were illogical. He'd also never connected the term "smoking hot mind-blowing sex" with someone like Spock, but wow, had he been off on that score. The first time they'd fucked, he had almost passed out from the force of the subsequent orgasm, and he was pretty sure Spock had stopped thinking for a few minutes, which was saying something.

Still, Jim mused as he lay sprawled on the large Captain's Bed (and it did deserve capitals), he wouldn't exactly complain if Spock was more open in their sex life. Not that there was anything wrong – hell, he'd be pretty much content if they did nothing more than quickies in missionary, because even those were astonishing when his lover was involved. But the fact was that James T. Kirk, while enjoying submissive roles, was practically born to dominate – and Spock just wasn't giving him that. The need to change things up a bit in their sex life made itself blatantly obvious when he walked onto the bridge, saw Spock leaning over a console, and was instantly filled with a desire to bury himself deep in that fine, rounded – ahhh.

Jim was a bit nervous about bringing up the topic with the Vulcan; what if he saw it as Jim being dissatisfied with what they had? He didn't really know how to broach the subject, especially with somebody who he sort of wanted to keep around. He rolled onto his stomach and let out a frustrated groan into the pillow. Things were so much simpler when it was just, "Wham, bam, thank you m'am." This "relationship" stuff required tact, which a young Kirk had never bothered to cultivate or apply very well. Just charging in and demanding something always worked out one way or the other, so why try any other way?

Keeping alive the best thing you've ever had is why, a voice inside his head chirped. He told the voice to shove it.

Face still in his pillow, he heard the slight hiss of the doors sliding open. He didn't hear Spock walking in, because the Vulcan walked like a cat, practically, but he could sense it when he was in the room. "Captain? Is anything wrong?"

Jim rolled back over and fixed a mild glare on the other man. "Jim."

"Jim," acquiesced the Vulcan, sitting on the edge of the bed and sliding his boots off. "I would appreciate an answer to my query."

"Not really, no," was the answer Jim gave, and Spock was not appeased. He gave Jim the Eyebrow, and Jim huffed a sigh. "Okay, yes, something is wrong. It's…this."

Had Spock been fully human, Jim was sure there would have been a sharp gasp. As it was, the Vulcan only tensed slightly, an imperceptible movement that Jim wouldn't have caught if he hadn't already caught the other man up in a hug from behind. He pressed his lips against Spock's smooth neck, hoping the kiss was soothing. "Not like that," he assured him, nosing the dark, narrow point of hair at the nape of his neck. "What we have now is…fantastic. Really. But I…I've never done this one-partner thing before, and I'm not used to this. I'm used to changing partners, and…positions."

Spock turned his head slightly, and Jim seized the opportunity to gently tease his First Officer's pleasantly plump lower lip for a moment. As he pulled back, Spock spoke. "Jim, I have never…been involved in relations with a male before this. I am unsure how to proceed from this point, but it has never been my intention to have you discontent with our intercourse. I am...inexperienced, but should you wish to attempt this change in our positions, I would…not be averse to it."

Jim couldn't stop the grin from taking over his face for a moment, pulling Spock back onto the mattress and toying gently with the tip of a faintly green ear. He felt Spock's long, careful fingers sliding under his tunic, an almost-too-hot heat pressing up on his skin, one traveling to his right nipple and the other settling in the small of his back. That hand pressed him down between Spock's legs, his pelvis cradled against the Vulcan's, their growing erections bumping against each other with delicious friction. Jim moaned into the hot, wet cavern of Spock's mouth and ground his hips down, hissing in pleasure as those sharp hips pushed up reflexively against his own.

He broke away from Spock's mouth with an obscene pop, sliding his tongue down that long, strong throat, loving the way the skin moved as little half-gasps forced their way out of his mouth. He stopped when he reached the top of Spock's shirt, giving a little groan as a hot finger twisted sharply at his nipple before moving back down to assist its twin in pulling Jim's shirt off. Deciding that it was a worthy goal, Jim squirmed out, yanking at Spock's shirt as best he could. The First Officer seemed to get the message, pulling his blue off as Jim tossed his shirt away and set to work on Spock's pants. He tore the zipper down, the shriek of the metal loud amid their panting gasps. He bent and lowered his mouth down, gently taking the wet, straining fabric of Spock's underwear into his mouth, adoring the hitched moan that the Vulcan let loose.

Strong fingers seized his hair and dragged him upwards into a heated kiss, and as Spock's tongue plundered his mouth, confident, deft fingers worked his zip and yanked his pants down. The next few moments were completely filled with hot wet breath on his ear, the sting of teeth scraping against his collarbone, and the taste of sweet, slightly coppery skin as he sucked and licked the hard planes of Spock's chest. There was no more rustling of cloth between them, just slick skin on dry, and this friction was even more delicious.

A sudden whirlwind of movement, and Kirk found himself on his back, Spock on his knees and straddling him as that fucking talented tongue of his swirled patterns over Jim's nipples. Kirk arched and moaned, hands grasping at Spock, buried in that fine, smooth black hair. They pulled back, panting frantically, breathing harsh, and simply stared for a moment. Jim wasn't sure how he looked to Spock, but the Vulcan was a breath-taking sight to him – all lines and angles, narrow and slender and strong, pale skin suffused with a light green flush, dark hair scattered across his chest and downward.

Jim's hand shot out to the side and scrambled around the bedside table until finally alighting on the familiar tube. He uncapped it, fighting to keep himself under control as Spock scattered tiny Vulcan finger-kisses across his face. He brought up a hand to Spock's entrance above him, circling it with lubed fingers, dipping in experimentally after a few times around. He felt, rather than heard, the quiet gasp from the man trembling above him. He pressed a hot, open-mouthed kiss to Spock's shoulder, and the head of dark hair situated itself in the crook of his neck, licking and sucking at the exposed skin.

Jim continued to work at Spock, relishing the suppressed tremors that ran sporadically through that fine, pale body. Soon he had two, then three fingers working themselves in and out, rubbing gently, exploring, slow and tender, purposely avoiding that hard, sweet nub. Spock's back arched, and Jim tried not to come apart as he pushed himself back on the fingers with a soft, "Jim."

He gulped hard, hands on Spock's hips as he guided him down slowly onto his erection. Spock's face was carefully schooled, but nowhere near the calm, controlled mask he usually wore. Jim bit his lip, eyes narrowing; that expression was a challenge. A moment later, all thoughts were destroyed, save Ah, tight, and more. It took him a moment to adjust, and when he fully came back Spock was breathing hard and deep, fingers twitching in Jim's hair, back arched ever-so-slightly, nostrils flaring and eyes squeezed shut. His mouth was slightly open, lips swollen and pink, and all Jim could think was, Oh, fuck.

"Spock," he breathed out, pulling the Vulcan's hips down sharper against his own. "Fuck, Spock, you're so tight." He lifted him up, slowly, feeling himself go out, and then he let go and Spock plunged down again. Both men moaned in sync, and then Spock's hands were on either side of Jim's head, bracing him, and those muscles in his thighs were working away as he pushed himself up and then down, impaling himself on Jim, and fuck.

Jim dragged Spock down for another heated kiss, hips bucking frantically as Spock pushed himself faster, shoving himself in deeper and deeper and deeper into that hot, slick heat, and it felt so good. "Spock, Spock, Spock," he groaned, a litany of pure pleasure. "Oh god, Spock, you're - fuck, Spock!"

His response was a low, wild moan, and his eyes were met with feral darkness, and he just lost control. His hands were on Spock's hips, pulling and pushing in time with the unbelievably stunning creature above him, and they were hissing and gasping and groaning. Spock's fingers were buried in his shoulders now, blunt nails digging burning scratches into his skin, and he was sure he was bleeding but he didn't care, because everything felt so fucking good. Spock drew himself up and thrust down, hard, grinding his hips against Jim's, and it was a completely different angle than before. He didn't think he'd ever been taken so deep, so completely, his balls brushing against the taut muscles in Spock's ass. Faster and faster they went, harder and sweeter and deeper, and the heat was incredible. He was going out of his mind.

There was a deep, guttural groan from above him, and Spock's eyes met his as he came, thick white streams of blistering come painting his chest and abdomen. The tightness surrounding Jim tightened, contracted, massaging his dick, and he followed Spock into oblivion, eyes rolling back in his head as they continued moving, rutting through their orgasms. He thought, blearily and from a distance, that it was one of the hottest things he had ever experienced.

When he finally came to his complete senses, Spock was gingerly climbing off of him. He pulled him down next to him gently, cradling the lean body next to his own and pressing a chaste kiss to his forehead. There was a soft burble of noise, and it took him a moment to realize that he was the one making it. Spock raised a lazy eyebrow, dark eyes larger and brighter than they usually were as he laced their fingers together. Jim, knowing all too well what that meant to a Vulcan, gave a bright smile in return and lifted their joined hands to his mouth, pressing little kisses to Spock's fingertips, loving the shudder that came from the over-sensitized mass of man beside him.

"That was…most illuminating, Jim," Spock offered. "I do not believe I will appreciate the effects when I rise for my next shift, but it was enjoyable, to say the least."

Jim chuckled and captured Spock's mouth with his own. Tongues dueled lazily in the hot, open cavern as they kissed sloppily. Jim knew that when they woke in the – well, in what passed for morning on a starship – that Spock would be irritated that they hadn't at least cleaned off, but he couldn't bring himself to really worry about the future when the now was no perfect. He drifted away into sleep, feeling the soft wash of warm breath against his neck and the steady thrum of Spock's heartbeat against his stomach.

Jim just didn't see what Sulu saw in plants.

Yes, all right, they were leafy and green and sometimes really freaking pretty, but other than that? There wasn't really anything appealing about them, nothing useful, and they seemed to do nothing but cause Jim trouble – like that patch of roses outside some girl's dorm window at the Academy. That was a painful flower scenario, and he still couldn't keep himself from wincing whenever he saw those big red blooms.

Despite his dislike of flowers, he somehow found himself roped into helping Sulu, Spock, or somebody else from the Science team snip off little plant samples from the surface of whatever planet they were on and sticking them in little decontamination baggies to beam back up with them. This was the task he currently found himself wading through, little pliers in hand, snapping away at a large bush-like, leafy plant. It looked something like a fern, only it was purple and gold. The leaves – or "fronds," or whatever Sulu had called them – were also covered in a light, fine dusting of a strange orange powder.


Despite having had a quickie with the owner of that smooth, velvet baritone only twenty minutes ago, Jim couldn't help the stirring from down below. Ignoring the beginning of heat pooling in his belly, he turned slightly and gave a small smile to Spock.

"What, how good my ass looks in these pants? Damn straight, it's fascinating."

Had Spock been any other person, there would have been an eye roll. As it was, his Science Officer merely shook his head and leaned in closer to the leaves, careful to avoid contact with the unknown substance. Jim glanced down at his hands, fingertips coated with orange, and hid them behind his back. He really didn't feel like getting a somber lecture from his well-meaning partner. Unless there was spanking involved…

"The dust appears to be a highly effective carcinogen," observed Spock in that unassailable voice of his. "Captain, it would be best to inform the landing party to exercise red alert caution level, and to report back to the sick bay for total decontamination." He raised an eyebrow at the suddenly pale face of his captain. "I am sure that there will not be any negative effects; everyone adhered to the orange alert caution level, wearing gloves and long sleeves…did they not, Captain?"

Jim licked his lips and let out a nervous laugh. "Yeah, sure. But, uh, in case some people decided to, y'know, not follow procedure, we should probably beam up to sick bay."

"Of course," agreed Spock archly. "Some people."

When Spock, the captain, and the rest of their landing party arrived post-haste in sick bay, McCoy rolled his eyes, sighed, and grabbed a case of hyposprays as he set to work. He wielded his instruments with precision and accuracy, and everyone was done with the antiseptic-smelling room within five minutes.


Everyone except for the Captain – and a mystified Spock. Jim's treatment took all of ten minutes, and then he had to remain in the sick bay for about half an hour afterward. Spock, however, had become an even larger enigma to the good doctor. He was fiddling with a titanic instrument attached to a tiny wire which was currently situated in one of Spock's veins, a frown creasing his mouth and forehead. Jim looked concerned, leaning around the doctor and pestering him with questions.

"What's wrong with Spock, Bones?"

"If I knew, Jim," growled the doctor, with not inconsiderable venom, "I wouldn't be running every test under the sun on him, would I?"

"No, probably not," Jim sighed, shifting restlessly about. Spock felt obligated to point out that the statement made by the doctor was a rhetorical question. As he opened his mouth to voice this assessment, Jim cut him off with a wave of his hand. "And yes, Spock, I know it was rhetorical. Really. I just...needed to answer him."

"Since when do you need to be a smartass?" muttered McCoy vituperatively, prodding the air around Spock with a strange rod. The Vulcan fought the urge to lean away from the device, even as he was fighting the need to leave the sick bay. He was never fond of doctors, or the scent of antiseptic, or the sensation of cold, clinical fingers prodding at him as McCoy's were doing at the moment. He did not allow the struggle to show on his face, but Jim knew, as he always seemed to. The man's instinct was eerie, but at the moment Spock could be nothing but grateful towards it as Jim's fingers surreptitiously brushed against his.

"Is it the carcinogen?" Jim asked, leaning over the doctor's shoulder to read the PADD in his hands. "Or another contaminant from the surface?"

"Neither," responded McCoy angrily. Was he ever not angry? Spock was hard-pressed to think of an example when the doctor had not been aggravated, annoyed, or furious. Occasionally, when speaking with Jim, his growl was friendlier – but still a growl. " His results are completely different from his usual results," the doctor continued. "His heart rate is slightly elevated, his temperature is higher…Spock, have there been any changes in your diet? Lifestyle? Activity levels?"

Spock focused on keeping his temperature down, quite certain the tips of his ears were green. "None that would suggest a change such as you have seen, doctor."

McCoy made a face and scribbled something on the PADD, smacking Jim's nose with the pen as he tried to lean in to read. "Anything unusual about your body or responses?"

Spock tilted his head slightly, considering. "I have been more prone to…emotional outbursts than usual." He ignored McCoy's snort and continued.

"I have suppressed them successfully, naturally, but they have been of greater intensity than is normal." He paused for a moment and thought. "The muscles in my chest have been tenderer than usual, often sore to the touch. I cannot understand why."

McCoy's eyebrows were very close to merging into a single entity due to the intensity of his scowl. As it grew deeper, Jim's look of concern deepened.

"Bones, talk to me," he prompted, brushing fingers with Spock again. "What are you thinking?"

The doctor shook his head rapidly, eyes squeezed shut. "Nothin' I really want to think about, Jim," he replied. "Trust me."

"Tell me anyway," pressed the captain.

"It's not anythin' that's possible," McCoy groused, tossing the PADD away and picking up another readout. He scanned, tapped away at the new PADD for a few moments, grunted, and tossed it away again. "I need a blood sample. You do call that green stuff in your veins 'blood,' right?"

Spock ignored the jibe with an ease borne from years of insults. He understood that there was no true venom behind the doctor's words, true, but a snake bite with no venom still hurt to some degree. He nodded to the affirmative and reluctantly offered his arm for the doctor. As the man took the blood away to a machine in the adjoining room, Jim wrapped a hand around Spock's smallest finger and brushed his mouth against a tapered ear.

"You'll be okay and back to fucking me in no time," he assured. Spock wasn't quite sure that that was the correct way to reassure an ill person, but he certainly could not find it in himself to argue with Jim's bedside manner as a skilled tongue traced the shell of his ear with delicate precision. A calloused digits of Jim's hand worked a parody of a hand job on his fingers, and he fought valiantly to keep his noises and his physical reactions at bay. Still, he was unwilling to pull away, and almost moaned at the loss of contact when Jim pulled back just before the doctor returned.

"Spock…how extensive is your knowledge of Vulcan biology?"

Spock blinked at the unexpected question, and then again at the apparent seriousness of the doctor. It did not appear to be a mockery of anything, but rather a genuine urge towards knowledge.

"As extensive as any typical Vulcan's," he responded, still somewhat taken aback. "I must confess, however, that due to my own unique circumstances, my knowledge is tailored to suit myself. Is there any particular facet to which your line of inquiry is directed?"

The doctor blushed. That in and of itself was enough to startle both Spock and Kirk without the verbal addition: "Reproduction."

Silence reigned in the sick bay as all three men simply stared at each other, one flushed red and the other two surprisingly pale.

"As in…making babies?" Kirk choked out after a period. McCoy nodded.

"As in, Jim."

"I assume," Spock said, choosing his words carefully, "that it proceeds the same as with humans, in that a male sperm must merge with a female egg to form a zygote, followed by an embryo."

"But it definitely requires the presence of an ovary? Ovaries?"

"Traditionally," responded Spock, eyebrow arching. "Unless a male has had the implantation surgery performed upon his person."

"And have…have you had the implantation surgery performed upon your person?"
Spock was silent, stunned. "Doctor…" he began slowly. Jim's face was still confused. "Are you implying that I – that there is the presence of – that – "

"Mr. Spock, I'm tellin' you that accordin' to every single test I've run on you, you're gonna be a mother."

Jim's mouth fell open, and Spock winced. This was not going to play out well. He and Jim had had several discussions concerning children and parenthood over their chess games, but never as anything serious. It had always run more along the lines of avoidance of such, or experiences with them as they grew up. Spock doubted that they were serious enough to even merit the term "boyfriends," much less "prospective parents."

"A mother? As in, like, someone who has babies?"

"Yes, Jim. As in someone who has babies." The sarcasm was gone from McCoy's tone, and he seemed as nonplussed as Jim. Spock sighed to himself, preparing for the distance Jim was sure to establish between them now. He had mentioned several times in passing that he didn't want children, wasn't even all that fond of children. He slowly began to shift his state of mind to being alone again, and he found a strange aching at the thought.

"As in…" Jim paused and turned to Spock. There was a strange light in his eyes, a look that Spock had seen the day he had returned to the Enterprise and taken his position as First Officer – a look that shone with emotion.

"As in, a new little person."

"Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a dictionary," McCoy snarked. "Yes. A new little person is a baby. Congratulations."

"Congratulations," Jim murmured, sitting on the bed next to Spock, his eyes fixed on the Vulcan's stomach. "Yeah."

A look of suspicion flashed across McCoy's face. "Jim."


"Yeah, Bones. Yeah." His face was glowing, and slowly, so that McCoy could not possibly misunderstand, he brought his hand over to Spock's and extended two fingers. Without a second thought, Spock returned the gesture. As the two humans talked to each other, Spock turned his focus on the first matter: that of the embryo.

It was a most illogical occurrence, something that defied logic in and of itself. He was in no way female, nor had he had the implantation surgery that would enable him to bear children. He did not possess, as far as he knew, any ova, and – save for the once, over a month ago – Jim had never taken him. Once was enough to fertilize, but to fertilize – what? What was there to fertilize? Nothing. He could not hold back the feelings rising up, threatening to overwhelm him. This was carrying his biology beyond strange and into the truly disturbing sector. This whole process was absurd, alarming, and absolutely terrifying in its entirety.

What was even worse was the thought that Jim might – probably would – share those feelings. How would that affect what they had?

Did they truly have anything?

Spock wasn't sure. He knew what he felt; he had long ago learned to use brutal honesty concerning himself and his emotions. He did not want simply a cursory relationship with Jim as the one he had previously experienced with Nyota. Yes, she was dear to his heart, but as a sister is dear, not a lover.

Jim…what he felt for Jim was different. More complex. He was still unable to properly sort through the varied reactions, sensations, and emotions the human effortlessly caused (, but he knew that he longed for something with Jim that was deeper than the relationship they currently had. Jim, however, had given him no signal that he felt the same way, and so Spock forced himself to be content with what they had.

What they had before this.

Before his mind could continue down that unfortunate path, he was suddenly assaulted by sensations that shot to his heart and then lower as Jim's hands clasped around his. He was shocked out of his reverie and was faced with shining blue eyes and a bright smile. "Spock," was all Jim said, and Spock had to remind himself that he was Vulcan as he schooled his face into the proper expression: expressionless. Jim ignored this, and pressed a gentle kiss to one of Spock's knuckles.

"You're…you and...the hobgoblin."

"Yes, Bones. Me and the hobgoblin."

Had he been entirely focused on the dialogue, Spock would have no doubt made a comment pertaining to the fact that he was right there in the room with them. As it was, he was far too focused on two separate things: one was the fact that his stomach was now somehow housing a…something, and two was the fact that Jim had not disclaimed him. Rather…

"I did not sign on for this shit," sighed McCoy, sliding the last of the equipment back into place and exiting the room with the hiss of air as the doors swished open and shut again.

This left Spock alone with his captain and his mind, which was in a tumult. Spock was slowly coming to accept that in things concerning Jim and emotions, this would most likely be his brain's usual state.

Jim shifted where he sat next to him on the bio-bed, leaning over and removing his hands from Spock's.

"Captain – "

"Jim, Spock. If you're carrying my baby, you have to call me Jim. It's a rule or something."

"Jim. What are you doing?"

Kirk didn't answer, instead gently pressing a soft hand onto the fabric of Spock's tunic. Spock watched his captain's – Jim's – face, puzzled by the complexity of the emotions warring on the handsome features. His hands were cradled over the section of Spock's abdomen where the doctor had implicated the embryo was residing, and a look very much like awe was creeping over Jim's face. The human brought his eyes up to meet Spock's and beamed.

"We're having a baby," he laughed, blue eyes sparkling with delight. Spock raised an eyebrow.

"The doctor assures us we are, yes."

Kirk chuckled, a small sound, as he sank to his knees beside the bio-bed. He ran his hand in small circles around Spock's stomach, that same look still on his face. "Wow," was all he could seem to say, as his hands traced little circles over the abdomen. Spock was utterly taken aback by the utter…the utter emotion that was so obvious on the human's face.

"I had assumed that you would be averse to the idea of a child," he said, speaking his thoughts. "You seem overjoyed, when before now you have given every indication that your feelings were to the contrary. I must confess myself bewildered at this change."

Kirk himself seemed at a loss for words at the moment, eyes searching for answers in a place Spock could not see. He opened his mouth several times, attempting to speak to no avail. Finally, he just shook his head and gave that odd smile that was so endearing to Spock. "I'm sort of bewildered myself, Mr. Spock. I never wanted kids, because I don't think I'd make a very good father – but now that I'm going to be one, I'll be the best I can be. I want to do that, to be a good father. And…now I have that chance." He swallowed. "I want to take it."

Gently, he nuzzled Spock's stomach with his nose, and then pressed his mouth gently against the tunic's cloth in a soft, sweet kiss.

It had been three months since the discovery and Jim's speech, and Spock was bemused at how…content he was.

By all rights, he should be distressed at his body's strange biology, frightened at the prospect of being a parent, worried about what it meant for his career – and all of these things were brought to the front of his mind during his meditations. And yet…and yet. Even as he focused on them, they seemed to slip away as matters of inconsequence. His mind was behaving in ways he did not understand, following the suit of his body, and he should be scared – or the proper Vulcan equivalent of the emotion. But he was grounded, somehow, by something.

Kirk and Spock lay together in the Captain's Bed (Jim insisted on capitalizing the words, while Spock pointed out that since the words were spoken, capitalization was pointless). Spock was seated against the headboard, PADD glowing as he ran the stylus down the interface, scanning for inconsistencies in several subspace transmissions. The ship had been overrun lately, and a very stressed Uhura had asked Spock for help in analyzing a few of the more obscure. Naturally, the Vulcan had agreed, and though he found it tedious, it was his work and his word, so he continued to comply. Jim had, Spock knew, thirteen new procedures to write into the code of conduct for the ship, six transmissions to the Academy's board that needed to be revised and sent out, four reports of disorderly conduct concerning crew members, and twenty-five request forms from upper staff to read and reply to. Instead, he held a paper-and-ink book, and he was reading. Aloud. To a busy Spock.

He found he didn't really mind.

"…'I wonder if we'll ever get put into songs or tales,'" read Jim, his voice smoother than glass and sweet to Spock's ears. He paused in his transcription, stylus stilling on the PADD as he let his lover's voice sweep him away for a moment. "'I wonder if people will ever say, "Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring." And they'll say, "Yes, that's one of my favorite stories…"'"

He trailed off and looked up around the PADD at Spock. His eyes were serious, but happy. It was a strange look on Jim, and it took Spock a moment to realize why: he had never seen the captain with that face before.

Puzzled, he set the PADD to the side and met Kirk's gaze.

"Is something the matter, Ca – Jim?"

He bit his lip. "On that planet – Delta Vega…"

Spock's gaze softened, and he kept his face open. Still, he knew that Jim understood his regret, and the man gently nosed his slightly protruding navel before continuing.

"The other Spock did this thing."

Jim fell silent, and Spock almost felt like sighing in aggravation. "Jim, I must inform you that it is necessary for you to speak more descriptively should I even hope to understand you."

Jim shifted and rose up to his knees, straddling Spock's legs. Leaning forward, he took his right hand and carefully, with great concentration, placed his fingers in the meld position. Spock blinked once, the only outward sign of his surprise – and to Jim's shock, Spock's surprise was almost his own, humming on the outer edges of his conscious.

"What is this?" he breathed softly, head tilting. He had picked up the habit from Spock, as well as that of raising his eyebrow; he was not very skilled at it, but it did not stop him from doing it. Spock found it, in a word…adorable.

"This is what is known as a mind meld," explained Spock, his own fingers seeking out the points on Jim's face, a paler, sharper mirror of his captain. "My mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts." He did not complete the meld, although from Jim's face he had been expecting him to. "It is part of a bond for Vulcans – the connection of the minds of two people. In the right setting, with the right people, it can be very…intimate."

"There were memories. Stuff not just about the black hole and Nero. I don't think that he meant for me to see him, but...they were really, really strong. And. They just...they just kept slipping into my brain, like really vivid dreams. That was really what made me jump your bones that day in Engineering, by the way."

Spock's response to this was a smooth raise of one upswept brow. "I assume that the phrase 'jump your bones' refers to - "

"Yes, Spock," Jim interrupted, grinning. "I think you know what it means but you just enjoy doing that to annoy me. It's not working, by the way."

"And so my nefarious scheme is foiled," Spock deadpanned. "Please continue, Jim."

A bright smirk preceded the continuation of Jim's words. "It was...memories. Of him and his Kirk. Some insanely hot shit, yeah, but...some of it was just like this. Like, just them lying and working together, or talking innuendo over a chess board in a crowded rec room, but so nobody but them would understand. Meals together. All that stuff. And I just...I'd never had that. And I kind of wanted to know how it felt. Is that a selfish reason to start something like this?"

Spock considered. "Not a selfish reason, I would not say. Or, rather, that even if it was selfish in nature, the desire brought positive effects to the two people directly involved, which mitigated its selfishness."

Jim laughed. "You don't believe in simple words, do you?"

"No," Spock answered, simply to be contrary.

"The point is," Jim continued, shooting him an amused glance, "that kind of closeness...I want that. Again. With you."

Spock hesitated. "You wish me to meld with you?"

Jim smiled. "Yeah, Spock. I wish you to meld with me. Your mind to my mind or what the hell ever. I...I've been close to you physically, and it's been. Well. Fuck. You know how it's been. And if the mental is anything like that, I..."

Spock gently pressed a thumb over Jim's lips, keeping them sealed. Slowly, he placed psychic pressure on the hand that still rested in the meld position on Jim's face. "My mind to your mind...my thoughts to your thoughts."

When he fell into Jim's mind, it was with a strange familiarity. He had expected something new and strange and bizarre, but he was instead bombarded with a sense of "home," of "love," of...

T'hy'la, his heritage supplied, and his heart swelled.

He sensed a sensation of utter awe seeping from Jim, a mixture of curiosity and happiness. This is... thought the human tentatively, and Spock sent him comfort.

Yes, he answered. He sought the corners of Jim's mind with his own, to have and to hold, and yet once he held his lover and himself close, there was something left over, and he was mystified. He reached out and drew it in, only to find -

He broke the meld with a sharp inhalation, leaving Jim reeling.

"Spock, Spock, Spock," he murmured, a sweet litany as he wrapped himself around his partner in an embrace. "What...what was...why did you stop?"

"That was the child," Spock replied, stunned, fingers grasping at his stomach. "I...the child's mind, within mine, present in the meld."

"Our child," Jim smiled. "Ours."

It had now been five months since the first discovery of the baby, and Spock was rather put off to discover a slight curve to his abdomen.

He was not, he thought as he peered as himself sideways in the mirror, a particularly vain being, and he knew that Jim was more than excited at the prospect of seeing a swollen Spock. But there was something to be upset about when one's stomach had been flat one month and in the next it was rounded. Jim had reacted with total joy, persisting in nuzzling his stomach until Spock had poked him away and retreated into their (now shared) bathroom.

He was so focused on the bump in his belly that, ironically, he failed to realize that his snug shirts would be a little more than snug. He only fully realized this fact when he had tugged on his black undershirt. Before, he had been growing, but nothing strictly noticeable. Uhura had commented on his "putting on some weight, finally," and the good doctor, present at the time, had sniggered into his hand until Jim subtly kicked his ankle. Until this moment, however, there had been no true protrusion of his stomach - but, he realized, to the outside observer, he would appear to be sporting what was colloquially known as a "beer belly."

Tugging on the hem of his shirt in vain (and wondering how quickly he could create a template for the enlargement of shirts and merge it with the replicator), he let out a small huff of air through his nose before proceeding to leave the bathroom, exit the now-empty quarters (Jim would be in the mess for another half-hour), and swiftly walk to the turbo-life. He could only hope that he would be the first reporting for his shift and thus be able to sit and conceal his tummy for just a little longer.

The deities of space were not with Spock, as Uhura and Chekov were already on the bridge when the turbo-lift's doors hissed open to admit him. Uhura turned to give him her customary good morning greeting, and caught herself mid-swing in her chair when her eyes found him. It was only, Spock could tell, with the greatest of effort that she kept her jaw firmly closed.

Chekov, naive thing that he was, had no such control. "Kommander!" he gasped. "Vhat - your - your stomach!"

Spock ignored him and repeated a calming mantra to himself as he made his way over to his station and inserted himself into his seat with as much grace as possible. He kept his head high and immediately began to work, trying to ignore the way that his belly pressed gently against his thighs when he leaned forward. Intensely aware of the stares of his two crewmembers, he kept his eyes on his work but stated, seriously, "If you would be so kind, Mr. Chekov, you will go over the computations you submitted for our new course and re-examine your mathematics under section 23-b, directly before locking onto the heading. Currently, our destination appears to be directly inside a planet."

"O-oh. I am so wery sorry, Kommander, I had not realized...my apologies, sir."

He said nothing, gratified in feeling Chekov turn away from him, followed by the steady noise of a finger sliding over a mathematical computation screen. "New course locked and measurements adjusted, Kommander."

"Thank you, Mr. Chekov. Lieutenant, you appear to be neglecting the subspace transmission channel..."

"Yes, sir. Sorry, sir," replied Uhura crisply. She did not turn back to her station for another few minutes, shaking her head and staring at his stomach. "I'll get right on it."

"Thank you."

The awkward, tense silence was interrupted as the doors to the turbo-lift slid open and a laughing Kirk and Sulu stepped out, followed by a man from Engineering, who quickly took his seat at the console. Sulu claimed his standard spot next to Chekov, who, Spock noted, was attempting to communicate Spock's swollen stomach to the helmsman using sign language. He was failing dismally, as Sulu was apparently under the impression that Chekov was stuffing a pillow up his shirt.

"Since you apparently have time to play charades, I'm going to guess we have a heading, Mr Chekov?" smirked Jim, spinning around in his captain's chair like a particularly hyperactive four-year-old.

"I just locked in the correct heading, Keptin," replied Chekov, blushing at being called out for his actions. "Our course is laid in."

"E-e-excellent," remarked Jim. He stopped suddenly, facing Sulu. "Are you ready to fly, Mr. Sulu?"

"Yes, sir," replied the pilot, grinning. "Moving along now."

"Lieutenant Uhura. Any new notifications, messages, transmissions, or anything else I should be aware of?"

"No sir, nothing besides a Starfleet check-in. I've already responded, sir."

"Excellent work." Jim turned and beckoned the ensign from Engineering to his chair and spoke quietly with him about a problem of some sort or another. The man was nodding furiously as the captain spoke, adding a comment or question here and there. It was nothing serious, Spock knew; there was nothing but contentment shining through the thin mental link he had established with Jim.

Uhura shifted awkwardly in her hair, and Spock subtly turned his focus towards her. She was biting her lip and tugging on her sleeves, idiosyncrasies she indulged in only when she was unsure of something. Spock had a sinking feeling he knew what it was.

"Captain," she interrupts suddenly, and Jim starts slightly in his chair.

"Yes, Lieutenant?" he asks, automatically slipping into more official dialogue at the clipped tone of Uhura's voice.

"I think there's something wrong with Commander Spock."

"Something wrong? Is this true, Mr. Spock?" Jim asked, swivelling to face his CSO and amusement dancing in his blue eyes. Had Spock been a lesser man, he would have given his lover a rude hand gesture; as it was, his face was totally inscrutable. But Jim knew. Jim always knew what he was feeling, in some totally intuitive way that baffled Spock.

"No, Captain," he asserted mildly, folding his hands in his shrinking lap. "I am well; I have not felt or seen any signs of physical or mental distress."

"You gained about six pounds overnight!" interrupted Uhura, clearly frustrated by her captain's lack of cooperation and her CSO's easy evasion. "That's not healthy!"

He fixed her with a look. "I believe it was you who told me that I needed to 'put meat on my bones,' Lieutenant," he stated.

"Not that much," she sighed in frustration. "What did you do, eat a vegetable farm?"

"I do not believe that that is possible, considering - "

"Figure of speech, Commander," she growled. She turned to the Captain, eyes flashing. "There's something not right with gaining that much weight that quickly, Captain!"

"Uhura, if you really feel it's necessary, ask Bones what he thinks. I swear he'll give Spock a clean bill of health."

As her anger faded away, Spock theorized that she had either realized the futility of her actions or she had accepted that if the captain and CMO were not duly worried, she should not be either. The second course was the more logical one, but Uhura was not only a human - she was also a female. If he had learned anything about human culture from his time on Earth, it was that human females and the workings of their minds completely eluded his understanding.

They passed a mostly uneventful shift, working quickly, efficiently, and with their usual excellent standards as the hours passed by. The end was nearing, and Spock was looking forward to his standard chess and dinner with Jim. He had been experiencing odd cravings towards certain foods lately, and though Jim and the doctor assured him it was normal, he could not help but feel a little strange at craving chocolate-dipped lettuce. Not only would it remove his inhibitions, but it would also, he mused, taste vile. So he avoided his cravings as best he could.

His hand rested lightly on the curved top of his stomach as he entertained these thoughts, and his mind was so far away from the child that he nearly fell out of his chair when his stomach pushed at his hand.

He managed to catch himself on the edge of his station before he met the floor, and hauled himself upright with a distinct lack of grace. Chekov had gasped, Sulu was on his feet and halfway towards the Science station, and Uhura had dropped her earpiece.

Jim seemed to have performed a feat of impossibility, as he was at Spock's side before his lover could even fully right himself.

"Spock? Spock, are you okay?" Panic pulsed in Jim, and flared a little inside of Spock. He pushed it away and stood.

"Captain, please accompany me to the medical bay. I believe I am in need of the doctor."

Uhura gave a small gasp, and he thought he heard Chekov whimper softly as Jim led him towards the turbolift.

"Spock," he demanded as soon as the doors were closed, "is something wrong with the baby? Is it okay?"

"I do not know," he confessed. "It may be in some sort of distress - it pushed out at my hand!"

Spock was completely nonplussed when Jim began to laugh. His lover's smile flashed bright at him, and tears pooled at the corners of his blue eyes. "S-sorry, Spock," he gasped, when he could find the air. "It's just - that's natural. The baby can move around now - just kick out, turn, punch, whatever. It's okay. Nothing's wrong."

Despite this assurance, Spock could not hold back a minuscule gasp when he felt the odd sensation again. Jim placed a hand gently on his stomach. "Where is it?" he asked. Spock obligingly moved his hand to the spot, and felt the kick again.

Jim let out a little crazy laugh. His cheeks were turning red with the force of his smile, and he was practically alight with happiness. He pressed s kiss to the spot where the baby had kicked, and laughed again when the little foot hit against his mouth.

Spock let himself relax, content to watch Jim play.

Jim, Spock found out during the seventh month of his pregnancy, was a remarkably affectionate human.

It was not that Spock had not known this before, due to his lover's predilection towards tactile contact. He had awoken many mornings to find Jim curled around him like a particularly clingy blanket; Jim often spent hours talking to Spock's stomach while his first officer did tedious paperwork.

Still, it was not until this late in their rather unorthodox relationship that Spock realized that Jim's affection extended beyond cuddling and nuzzling. It was also the first time he sensed the traditional air of romance around his partner. It was odd to see him so orthodox, so...classic, but the role seemed to fit him, as all else in this life did. When Jim set his mind on something, he achieved it with no less than perfection.

All of these musings were forming inside his head as he sat across a table from his captain in the middle of an empty conference room. Jim had dragged him in here at the end of their shared Alpha shift, insisting that he close his eyes. Swollen, pelvis and lower back aching, and feeling much like Greek trimeres of ancient, ancient times, Spock had grudgingly gone along with his lover's spout of illogic. He usually found himself doing this, and usually (and this secret he admitted only to his deepest of hearts) so that he could see that child-like joy that lit up Jim's entire face.

They had arrived at the room, and Jim had guided the still-blind Spock into a chair. He heard Jim sit down opposite him before he was instructed to open his eyes.

He blinked rapidly to allow his eyes to adjust to the light. It was a dimmer atmosphere than usual, with the lights somewhat central to the area of the conference room in which they were seated. Silverware and plates were laid out before them, and dishes piled with food were set off to the side. Jim flashed him than explosively bright smile. "I figured we both sort of deserved a relaxing dinner," he explained.

"Logical," replied Spock offhandedly, already exploring the dishes offered. It was a strangely appealing mix of human and Vulcan food, and what was more, it lacked the very slight scent let off by replicated food. "Did you ask the cooks...?"

"To make a real meal? Why yes. Yes I did. How observant of you," smirked Jim, his plate already overloaded with various foods. "I figured it would be a treat."

"Your intuition is stunning, as always," Spock observed dryly. He let the curve to his mouth grow slightly, however, sure that Jim would catch it. The gleam in his captain's eye assured him that he had.

After that, Spock lost track of time. The conversation between himself and Jim flew by like one of their particularly interesting chess games. They spoke of everything - from Klingon culture to increasing productivity in the Vulcan culture to Jim's house and mother back in Iowa. Spock honestly could not remember conversation as widely varied - and as entertaining - as the conversations he had with Jim.

As the evening (and, Spock mused, perhaps it actually was evening) passed, Spock found himself relaxing as he always did in Jim's presence for extended periods of time. He was, he realized, smiling more openly than he usually did, and when Jim's hand found his own on the table he took the initiative and wrapped his fingers around Jim's slightly shorter, cooler ones in a gesture that would make any other Vulcan blush. Jim laughed.

"Racy stuff, Mr. Spock," he teased, and Spock felt that corner turn up again. The baby pushed out contentedly against the walls of his stomach. Jim licked his lips - not a sensual gesture, but a nervous one. At the sight, nervousness immediately sprang to Spock's heart.

"Jim?" he asked, tilting his head gently and furrowing his eyebrows. "Are you alright?"

Jim gave that nervous smile he had. There were many smiles in Jim's arsenal; Spock loved all of them. Except for this one. This one...scared him, sometimes, if he really admitted it to himself.

Jim brought up a hand to the back of his neck, and Spock's eyes caught a faint darkening to his cheeks. The Vulcan's breath caught in his throat. Had Jim finally reconsidered? He had been getting odd looks from the captain lately, and quite a few times the link had been too blank for him to actually get Jim's emotions. Tenuous as the link was, he should have always been feeling something. Had Jim been intentionally blocking the link? Spock had not informed him it existed; how would he know?

"I got a call from a friend on Vulcan II about two weeks ago," Jim confessed. Spock got a sinking feeling in his gut. He was fairly certain he knew who had placed the call.

"Why didn't you tell me the world wouldn't end if you knew about him?" asked Jim, with just enough teasing to his voice to allow Spock to realize he was joking. The CSO did not appreciate the humor.

"Why has my alternate self contacted you, Captain?" he asked stiffly, feeling his posture straighten and his muscles tense as he re-established his blocks.

"Hey, hey, hey, no! You're not going to go back to that!" Jim accused, poking Spock's chest as he leaned across the table. This put him significantly lower than Spock, with the result of Spock being subjected to the marvelous image of those blue eyes shining up at him. "You're not going to be all stiff and formal right now. You don't even know...I can't...you can be all stiff and formal after, okay? When you...give me...argh!"

"Jim." The captain's ears perked up, and his lips quirked upwards. "In order for me to ever have any hope of understanding you, some coherency is expected."

"Sorry about that. Um, anyway, so the older you called, just to check up, see how I was handling becoming a real captain and asking if I'd cracked under stress yet. I'm pretty sure he was joking about that...but yeah, so we got to talking, and I told him about the baby. And he nearly laughed, until he realized I wasn't joking. He accepted it after a bit - said something about it being logical that the Vulcan biology would exert itself that way, he used lots of big words, my attention strayed - and then I talked to him about some...other stuff."

Logical. Spock had never thought of his pregnancy this way. In his mind, it was the pure antithesis; the most illogical inception possible. But when he considered his elder self's words and thought about it in terms of his orientation, perhaps it was logical.

..."other stuff"?

"Jim, to what do you refer?"

The nervous face was back again, in full swing. He was gnawing on his lip, eyes darting about, fingers twitching. This, Spock decided, did not bode well. In his experience, when someone became this nervous when talking to their partner, that partner was going to add "ex-" to the beginning of their title. Spock did not honestly want to add "ex-" to his title - Jim Kirk's ex-lover. He barely held a shiver in check. He felt cold at the thought.

Jim's apprehension was building. He was fidgeting so much that he actually rose from his seat and moved towards Spock. Heavy in heart and in body, Spock did not follow his movements, sure that seeing Jim so nervous would affect Spock poorly as well. He was surprised when Jim's index finger hooked under his chin and turned Spock's head to face him. He was kneeling on both knees on the floor in front of Spock, his face a mask of nervousness and light.

I do not understand, thought Spock.

"I don't know if you know this, but in the human culture, it's...sort of tradition for somebody to propose on bended knee. Knees. Whatever. Um. Okay, I'm really fucking this up...shit."

Propose? He was going to propose...what? That they "take a break," as Nyota had told him almost a year ago? That they no longer see each other romantically? What proposal was Jim speaking of? Spock was more than aware that he was not functioning properly; his brain seemed to be running at 12% less efficiency than usual. He blamed Jim. Things like that always seemed to be Jim's fault.

"Ah, fuck it. The other you told me some sort of rule, but I forgot it, so...Spock. Will you marry me?"

Spock nearly fell out of his chair.


Jim was substantially paler, with dark cheeks at the same time. Spock had gotten used to Jim being an oxymoron; he didn't really question it anymore. "Um. Not quite the reaction I was expecting. I'm asking you to...to...be my husband, I guess. I want to be legally bound to you, and I want everyone to know. Really. Because I love you."

Spock felt a glow emanating from his heart outward. He was warm and soft on the inside, and he carefully allowed some to leak through onto his face. "Jim...I am not sure you understand what you are asking."

"Yeah, I am!" he persisted fiercely. "This was the 'other stuff' I talked to the old man about. I asked about Vulcan weddings and customs, and he told me that they were for life, and I...I want that. It's not like I just wake up and say, 'Oh, let's go sleep around.' Not anymore. Not since I met you, actually. I mean, yeah, that probably had to do with the fact that being captain and all brings more responsibility and less time, but that was only at first. Later, when I got used to the job, I could've slept with a shitload of people. But I didn't, because at that point I was too busy fantasizing about you calling me 'Captain' in bed. And I was so...so focused on you, on your hands and hair and voice that, Jesus, I...I've been thinking about you for so long that it's...it's only logical that I spend the rest of my life with you. Because it's right. Because I love you, S'chin T'gai Spock."

Spock very nearly let his mouth fall open in shock. "Jim - how did you learn that? Or even manage to say it?"

"A hell of a lot of time and effort," Jim confessed, laughing in embarrassment. "I spent a ton of breaks with Uhura, trying to say it without tripping up horribly. I didn't screw it up too badly, right?"

"No, Jim," Spock said, and smiled enough to reveal a flash of white teeth. "You said it wonderfully."

"Good," he said, relaxing. "So...is there an answer? To my proposal?"

Spock took a calming breath and recited a mantra to himself before meeting Jim's hopeful (and fearful) eyes. "Yes. There is an answer."


"I accept your proposal, Jim."

Spock had been expecting Jim to leap into the air screaming, as he had the first time he had won his first chess match against the Vulcan. He had been expecting something loud and totally exuberant and over-the-top.

Jim was totally exuberant, but he was...quiet. Adult. He leaned up and pressed his lips against Spock's chastely, their fingers brushing in the sweetest Vulcan kiss Spock thought he had ever received from his partner. When he pulled away, Jim's face was glowing. "Thank you, Spock." He pressed his lips to Spock's fingers, and the Vulcan couldn't hold back his shudder. "Thank you."

"When will the ceremony take place?"

"Well, we're passing Vulcan in about two months, so I figured we could do that part there. I mean, if you don't want to bond sooner. You can do that, right? I think so. I'm not sure. But I figured that we're coming up to a Federation colony in about a week, so we could beam somebody up here from the legal department of their government..."

"Would it not be simpler for us to beam down, Jim?" Spock asked, eyebrow quirking. Jim frowned and prodded Spock's belly.

"Like hell! I've only been captain a year and I've already seen way too many transporter malfunctions. If anybody gets hurt, it's going to be them and not you."

"Jim, that is illogical. The odds of myself or the child being hurt in a transporter malfunctions are 2,355,622.546 to - "

"Spo-ock." Jim fixed him with a blank stare. "You know Scotty. You know he's an excellent engineer. You know that our transporter has a tendency to beam things up people's asses and split them into two personalities and cause these horrible accidents. I don't care about statistics. I care about you and our baby. If I have to wait until the baby's born to be legally married, I'll do it. So there." Spock got the feeling Jim was resisting the urge to stick his tongue out.

"Calm yourself, Jim. I will not use the transporter."

"Hell, you're not leaving the ship," Jim asserted.

"I was not aware you had a protective streak."

"A mile wide," assured the human, smirking and leaning in for a more risque kiss than before. He did something with his hands to Spock's that made the Vulcan actually moan into Jim's mouth. Jim shuddered. "You wanna go have some hot pregnant sex?" he asked.

"I feel the inclination," confessed Spock, a smile dancing just out of sight on his lips.

When he woke the next morning he was alone.

The ship was shaking.

Stumbling out of bed, feeling, not for the first time, swollen and ungainly, he tugged on the largest shirt and pants he could find. The doctor had had one of the more handy nurses make Spock larger clothing, citing a rare but harmless biological infection that caused bloating of the stomach for approximately a year or a a few months less. The crew had accepted this explanation rather well, although he still caught the bridge crew staring. Nyota, he thought, would be the most likely to figure it out. They had to tell them some time...

The ship shook again, more violently, and the red alert light blinked on. Are we under enemy fire?

He made his way to his communicator where it laid on the table. "Spock to bridge," he said into it.

"Bridge here, Commander," replied Uhura's voice. She sounded panicked, frazzled. "Are you in danger?"

"I am in ignorance," he replied. "Status report."

"Spock, Jim here," was the response. "Get to sickbay."

"Captain - "

"That's an order, Mr. Spock! Get to sickbay and stay there! This ship is dangerous!" Then he was gone, and the communicator was silent.

Fuming, Spock obeyed orders and went to sickbay.

"Doctor, I must ask you for a report on the situation," Spock ground out as he stepped into sickbay. He was met by a glare of epic proportions from a disgruntled doctor - who was currently up to his elbows in the blood of a young ensign from Engineering. "What is going on with the ship?"

"Go ask Jim, you hobgoblin, I'm damn busy!" groused the doctor, whipping out a epidermis regenerator, pushing the bed to a flock of nurses who immediately began to attempt to stabilize the patient, and turning around to a Lieutenant K'torr, a young man who had often worked with Spock in the Science department.

"The captain refuses to allow me on the bridge and has ignored my calls. He ordered me to report to sickbay and remain here until the crisis was over. What is happening?"

"God damn you, Jim!" snapped McCoy. "That boy is too protective, and I am too busy for this shit! We were ambushed in neutral space by captured Quenni warships manned by Klingons. Our shields are down to some insanely low number like 15% or somethin', and we've had mass casualties and obviously bad injuries on almost every deck. God dammit, you're not dyin' on my watch, you bastard!" he said, addressing the latter part of his speech to the unconscious Science officer on the table. Snarl painted on his face, his hands moved with a gentleness and swiftness as he swiftly pinned two flaps of stomach muscle together and set about to healing it as best as he could.

The doors to sickbay hissed open again, and two Security officers rushed a stretcher into the room. On it was Scotty.

"Spock! Thank god ye're here, Spock, the engines, the engines, they cannae take much longer!" He clutched at Spock's sleeve, blood catching on the edge of the man's lips as he struggled to talk. He was gasping, wheezing, due to the burning holes over his chest.

"Mr. Scott, refrain from speaking," Spock urged. "You will damage yourself further."

"Damn right you will! Shut the hell up, Scotty, and don't die! Chapel, take K'torr. Scotty, hold yourself together."

"Nae, Mr. Spock, the engines - the computers're all collapsin', they willna make it through the fight! If we can bu' get the computers in some semblance o' order, we can - " Here he broke off in a fit of wet coughing. Spock's nostrils flared as blood dribbled down his chin.

"Mr. Scott - "

"Nae! Listen to me, sir, none o' my people down there are experienced! They're the new recruits from Gamma-6, they do nae know how to handle them engines and computers, they're useless and alone! Mr. Spock, the ship'll fall out o' the sky if those computers are nae fixed! Please - "

"Shut up, you idiot," snarled McCoy, pressing an oxygen mask over Scotty's mouth as he injected him with a series of hypos. The man's lids drooped, but his eyes were still fixed on Spock.

"Please, Mr. Spock," he mumbled through the mask and sleepiness, "Ye're the only one who can...can fix it...please..." He was out then, and his breaths were nearly misted with blood. McCoy was mumbling a steady stream of curses, and he summoned up a new brigade of nurses.

Spock, for his part, quickly comprehended the situation. Mr. Scott was indeed right - the new recruits were untested, and Gamma-6 officers were rarely as polished as those from Earth. He had a superior knowledge of the computer and engine systems, and he had no doubt that he could do it.

But his orders...

The ship rocked yet again, this time so violently that the lights flickered and the artificial gravity control momentarily gave out. It reinstated, and everyone slammed to the ground. Bottles broke, IVs fell over, and readings flickered across screen.

The situation was clear - his responsibility was clear.

He turned on his heel and ran as best he could towards Engineering.

Spock had already seen massive areas of decks in air-locks, crewmembers frantically tying makeshift tourniquets, applying pressure as best they could while calling for help in the general direction of the intercom. He had helped those he could as quickly as possible, deploying Security personnel to each scene to get the wounded the sickbay. Those that could still work, even if injured, were going grimly about their duties.

When Spock reached the engine rooms, he realized that the situation was much more severe than he had thought. Mr. Scott's frantic insistence made sense now. The ensigns from Gamma-6 were doing the best their training let them - mostly, they were praying. A few were crying as they tried frantically to decrease the heat and pressure the engines were putting off.

"Mr. Spock!" cried one of them, his slanted eyes lighting on the CSO with joy. "Oh, thank goodness - we cannot - we did not know - "

"You must listen carefully to everything that I tell you. You must obey every order, act out every command, and above all, you must remain calm. Am I understood?"

"Yes, sir!" snapped the group of terrified engineers.

"You, you, and you - you need to go to the bridge. I am quite certain that repairs are needed to vital consoles, and the pilot capability is almost definitely damaged. Take whatever parts you need and run. Climb through the tubes if that is what you need to do to arrive there."

The three officers saluted and began to scramble for parts. Spock turned to the remaining ten. He sent two off to go search for more experienced officers, assigned two to going around and slowly easing the pressure off of the engines (they knew the process, but panicked to the point of forgetfulness), and set two more to work on computers. The remaining two he tasked with supporting any cause that needed them. They joined the two responsible for pressure.

The computer systems were very near to combustion. Wires were sparking from every side, and quite a few panels were smoking. He knew that time was precious, so he forewent tools and simply ripped off the outside panel with his hands. He ignored the gaping Gamma-6 recruits and went to work, calling out for what he needed in terse, clipped tones. The baby stirred, sensing its parent's stress, and he sent what calming thoughts he could muster its way. A foot pressed gently against his side, almost as though the fetus was trying to comfort him.

In short order, he had the systems back under control. He turned to the nearest ensign. "Go and notify the captain that engines are back under control. We have enough power for warp, and reserves set aside for our shields if the bridge is able to pull them up. Do not mention my name."

"Y-yes, sir!" said the man - Johnnsen? - as he rushed towards the communication unit.

He saw the warning light for warp go on, and knew that they were about to be away from the crisis - thank whatever deity was responsible. He rested a hand on his stomach and bowed his head in thanks, taking a deep breath for the first time since he woke up that morning. The tension began to seep from his shoulders.

They were safe.

The ship suddenly pitched.

Spock flew backwards, slammed into an pipe, and knew no more.

Spock was floating.

This was illogical, mostly, he thought, due to the fact that it was a physical impossibility. He did not seem to be in space; thus, the only possibly thought was that he had somehow gotten the capability.

He was also noticeably not pregnant.

Panic seared through his body like flames as he pressed his hands against his suddenly flat stomach in shock. Where is my baby?

Here, came the reply, and Spock tensed.

It was his mother.

She was also floating, which Spock was still at a loss to explain. She seemed to understand his confusion, because she laughed in that way that she had sometimes, like when he had asked her why no one attacked a large fat man with a sack who broke into peoples' houses at night. Spock, she said - thought? - fondly. I'm so proud of you, my boy.

Mother, he replied, dumbly. He reached out to touch her. She was less substantial; it was like pressing his hand against the surface of a water mattress. His brows furrowed. What is this place?

Her face grew sad, and her hand hovered over his. Oh, Spock. My darling. You...there was an accident. In Engineering. The Quenni ships got in one last shot at the Enterprise before she went into warp. The shock sent you hurling backwards. You're in a coma.

What about the baby? he responded. He did not care about his own health - it was his child's. That thought superseded any concern about his own state.

...I don't know, Spock. But she did know - he could tell. She had the look of one evading on her face, and he confronted her about it. She grimaced, her lips tightening as they usually did when she held back tears. Sweetheart...you hit the small of your back very hard against the tube.

Spock processed this. His mind intentionally slowed, as though his heart knew that he would not be able to handle it all at once.

I...have lost the child. It was not a question, but his mother nodded anyway.

I'm so sorry, baby. I'm so sorry. She embraced him, a not-quite-solid presence, warm and comforting. He clung to it, shaking.

It is...what was it? he asked, when he could once again breathe. He and Jim had had so many - so many, many, many - arguments, debates, discussions over gender and names. Jim wanted a baby girl; Spock thought it would be a little boy. It didn't really matter; they would have loved either one. And now...

A little girl.

Spock's heart nearly broke. Oh, Jim... His lover - his fiance - would have been so very, very happy. Jim...I'm so sorry. If he had just listened to his orders, found someone else with a reasonable chance...but then all of them would have died. The needs of one...of a family...

His heart was breaking into so many pieces.

There's another way, Spock, his mother said, and her voice was so uncharacteristic that he started.


You can choose, she told him. Either you get to go back...or your daughter does.

Spock knew his answer without even thinking, considering, weighing the options.

She goes. She must go. I will die.

The widest smile he had ever seen broke over his mother's face. Congratulations, Spock, she said, and her voice came as though from far away. Her form was fading. You passed.

The world faded to black.

When Spock regained awareness, the first thing he heard was Jim's voice.

"Bones, why isn't she crying? I thought they were supposed to cry. I've never seen a baby that didn't cry! She's just staring. Is she okay? Is that normal?"

"Jim. She's a quarter Vulcan, and her father represses the ever-lovin' hell out of his emotions. What the hell were you expectin'? Idiot."


"He's gonna be fine, Jim."

"But what if...?"

"Don't even go there with me, or I will take your daughter and kick you the fuck out of my sickbay."

"Don't talk like that around her! Her little ears will blacken and fall off."

"She's what, ten minutes old? She can't understand 'em."

"Just in case! I love her ears to much to let you ruin them. Look at them! They're like little tiny flower petals...little bitty baby Spock ears!"

"And little baby Spock eyebrows and little baby Spock repression and little baby Spock shut the hell up."

"You're mean."

"Jim, I swear..."

"Okay, okay..."


"Bones, what if - "

"Nu-uh! If you say one word about Spock that ain't positive - "

"But he should have woken up by now! You said that he would be awake once he stabilized after the c-section!" Jim's voice was growing in volume, and McCoy's was responding. So was his accent.

"Ah know what Ah damn well said, Jim! Ah don't understand why the hell that green-blooded hobgoblin ain't awake yet, but Ah can tell you one thing - "

The baby began to wail, and that, more than anything else, made Spock open his eyes. He sat up, stretching his arms, and, to his great inner amusement, Jim and the doctor were too occupied with his daughter to notice his movement.

"Oh God, Bones," Jim whimpered. "What the hell do I do?!"

"How the hell should I know?!"

"You're the one who already had a kid here!"

"She wasn't part Vulcan!"


"If you will give her to me, I believe I can sufficiently calm her."

Jim nearly dropped the baby. "Spock!" Within a heartbeat, Jim - and their baby - were in Spock's lap, with Jim's head burrowing into the crook of his neck. The baby's face was pressed into his chest, and she was making a contented coo-ing sound. Fighting down a smile, he gently extricated his daughter from Jim's arms. His soon-to-be-spouse wrapped himself more tightly around Spock as the Vulcan carefully brought the baby farther away so he could properly look at her for the first time.

Early as she was, she was tiny; that was to be expected. She was like a little china doll his mother had brought from Earth. Her skin was pale, with a slight green tint, and her hair was as black as Spock's, but curly. Her ears were, as Jim had said, tapered into little Vulcan points, and she had dark upswept eyebrows. But her eyes - it was her eyes that captivated Spock more than anything else. They were Jim's eyes - the color of the sky on Earth, the brightest blue he had ever seen in his life. And she had them, just like her father. He pressed his lips to her forehead and passed his fingers over her face.

"Isn't she beautiful?" Jim's face was next to his now, little wisps of blonde hair brushing against Spock's skin. Spock turned his head slightly, and Jim mirrored him until their mouths met. Spock thought he might burst from happiness. He pulled back and pressed his lips to Jim's temple as their daughter burbled away happily. Jim pressed her to their chests, and little plump hands flailed around for a moment before catching on their tunics. Jim laughed happily, and out of the corner of his eye Spock saw McCoy's jaw drop as the Vulcan allowed himself the widest smile he had ever given.

"You were together?!"

The moment was shattered by Uhura's cry; the tray she was holding in her hands clattered against the floor. Behind her, Chekov nearly passed out and Sulu barely caught him. They both stared around the linguistic specialist as they stood gaping in the doorway.

"Well," sighed Jim to Spock, "I think we know how we're going to break the news to them."

"Indeed," agreed his first officer. Chekov suddenly let out a squeal.

"There is a baby!" he cried, bounding out of Sulu's arms, around Uhura, and practically into the bed with Spock, Kirk, and the as-yet-unnamed infant. "She is so wery precious! Oh! Was this why you were so wery, wery large, Kommander?"

"Yes, Chekov," smirked Jim. "This is why he was so wery, wery large." He winced as Spock's elbow "accidentally" connected with his side.

"How long...I...you were pregnant?" Uhura asked, moving into the room cautiously. Sulu darted in to try to separate Chekov from the new baby. The Russian teen was pulling faces, trying to make her giggle. She was giving him her best Spock impersonation. He felt a surge of pride, and swept his mouth across her forehead.

"Aw!" squealed Chekov. Sulu tugged at his arm until he stepped back from the bed. The baby gurgled.

"I have been seeing the captain from approximately four months after we stopped our relationship, Nyota," Spock replied.

"I jumped him in Engineering," Jim confessed. "After that mission on Eta-26's moon."

Engineering...a light went off in Spock's head. "Doctor McCoy," he said, turning to the man in question. The Southerner was still slack-jawed. "How is Mr. Scott faring?"

McCoy recovered his bearings. "Much better, now that he's had some rest and been patched up a bit. His lung had a chunk torn out, but we managed to regenerate. He should be up and about within the week."

Apparently Engineering had turned on a light for Jim as well - an angry light.

"What the hell were you thinking?!" he suddenly exploded, jabbing Spock's chest with his finger. The baby made a distressed sound, and Spock smoothed down her hair as her father lectured her...other father. "I specifically told you - hell, I ordered you - to go to sickbay and stay there! How do you get 'Oh, take a stroll on down to Engineering in the middle of a double red alert and fool around with wiring and computers and electricity while seven months pregnant'?! I think that we had a communication issue there, 'cause I certainly can't see where that came from!"

"Mr. Scott implored me to go help the Gamma-6 recruits in Engineering. The ship would have either blown apart or been blasted to pieces without the computers in Engineering. I have more expertise than anyone else on this vessel aside from Mr. Scott, and as he was severely injured it was my duty to fix what I could. As I recall you yourself saying, Jim: the needs of the many outweigh the few."

Jim was so indignant he could not even speak. He settled for shaking his head violently and wrapping himself around Spock like a snake. It was then that Spock realized that Jim was trembling, and his heart was beating nearly twice as fast as his normal rate. He pressed his regret and sorrow and love through their tenuous bond, and relaxed when Jim nuzzled his neck. The baby let out a little mewl and Spock drew her in closer.

"Oh my goodness," Chekov giggled from where Sulu was restraining him. "She is so wery adorable! Vhat is her name, Keptin? Kommander?"

Spock blinked and looked down at Jim, who looked equally nonplussed. "We...don't know."

"You didn't pick out names?" Uhura sounded very indignant. When Jim gave her an odd look, she said denfensively, "One, just because I didn't know doesn't mean I don't approve, and two, she's a little girl. We females have to stick together."

Jim smothered a laugh in Spock's chest. The baby hit his hair softly, clearly fascinated by the texture.

"We did choose names for females that would be appropriate for both of us," Spock conceded. "But none of them are..."

"Fitting," finished Jim, playing with little black curls.

They spent another hour in the little delivery room with the bridge crew. Scotty was wheeled in when he woke up about half an hour into their naming session. He contributed several nice names, while Chekov was all over the place. Uhura repeatedly suggested African or Vulcan originated names, but none of them resounded with either of the men. Sulu contributed a few Asian names, which almost made their way onto the birth certificate, but not quite.

After the hour was up, the crew gradually drifted away to fulfill various duties around the ship. Scotty was wheeled away by Bones for a post-operation checkup. Spock and Kirk and the Baby-As-Yet-Unnamed were left alone.

"Elena was a suitable name," suggested Spock, running his fingers through short blonde hair.

"Suitable, but not for her," replied Jim, watching her sleep.

"True," Spock acquiesced. They lay in silence for a moment. Spock had told Jim about his odd experience with his mother, and the strange comment she had made. Jim had seen it much easier than Spock could.

"Duh, Spock," he had said. "Being a parent isn't about logic. It's about love. It was a test. You passed. Simple as."

Simple as. Hm.

Jim let out a quiet laugh from out of nowhere, kissing the side of Spock's neck. "God, I'm stupid."

"I believe we established that upon our meeting, Jim."

A playful prod to the side was Jim's response to that jibe. "I mean, her name is obvious."



"Please enlighten me, Captain."

Jim smiled brightly. "Amanda."


The baby - Amanda - snuffled softly in her sleep, hands flailing out against the folds of the blanket that enveloped her. Spock unconsciously cradled her closer, and she pressed her cheek into the heat of his body.


Amanda suited her perfectly.

Jim pressed his mouth to his lover's hair and held his family close.

Spock sat behind his desk in the quarters he shared with his husband, attempting to complete a series of reports due to Starfleet in less than a week. The reports were actually Jim's duty, but all things considered, Spock felt that he was justified in completing his lover's work. Jim was currently facing a task far more daunting than a towering stack of paper work - a task far more chaotic and requiring far more stamina and patience.

"No tub, Daddy, no tub!"

"Yes tub, darling, it's bathtime. You don't want to be a smelly Princess, do you?"

"No tub! Yes smelly!"

"Nope! No arguments! Because what happens when you argue...?"

Spock heard a delighted child's shriek, quickly followed by the soft woosh of the doors. From his position behind the desk, his sharp dark eyes just caught a tiny head full of bouncing black curls as the one-year-old made a mad dask towards her other father. "Papa! Papa! Monster!"

Amanda ducked under the desk and latched onto Spock's legs. Large blue eyes looked up at him from a round, dimpled face, an impish smile curling around the mouth. An exploring concious probed his mind gently - up, it said, softly - and he acted accordingly, scooping up the small mass into his arms. Only one, and already walking, talking, and connecting telepathically - he sometimes worried that he had increased the child's mental capacity during the pregnancy by his connection through the mind meld, but his father assured him that the behavior was normal for a Vulcan child. Even one who was three-fourths human, as his daughter was.

The doors slid open again, and a grinning Jim leapt into the room. His walk was adjusted, his tongue caught between his teeth, and his nose was scrunched. It was a familiar face, and Amanda burst into giggles. "No-o-o!" she squealed, burying her face into Spock's tunic. "Not monster!"

"Yes monster!" responded Jim with joy, loping forward and leaning over the desk. "The...Tickle Monster!"

The small warm body went into convulsions as she squealed, her father's hands poking her sides and underarms and little neck. Spock gently trapped her hands in his, pressing his nose into her curls and kissing the crown of her head. She cooed through the giggles, and Jim slowed and finally stopped his actions in favor of pressing butterfly kisses to his daughter's face. He scooped her out of Spock's arms and cradled her close. "Bath time, darling."

"Fine," she sighed, pouting. Her arms folded, and for a moment she was the exact replica of a disgruntled Jim. "I be clean Princess."

"Yes," Jim agreed amiably. "You be clean Princess."

Amanda blew a kiss to Spock as Jim carried her into the bathroom. "Love you, Papa."

"I love you too, Amanda."

That night, as Spock and Jim lay sated beneath the covers and Amanda slept soundly in the room adjoining theirs, the Vulcan reflected on the fact that this - his mother had felt like this, once, many years ago. Complete. Happy. Whole.

"Hey, Spock," murmured Jim, nuzzling his nose into his lover's neck.

"Yes, Jim?"

"Let's have another."

Spock could not stop the journey his brows made to his hairline. "'Let's'? Let us? Oh, no, Jim. I have already borne one child. This time, you will bear any illogical inception we create."

"Yes, sir," hummed Jim. "I love you enough for that."

In the dark, with his t'hy'la pressed against him, Spock smiled.