Spock woke before his beloved t'hy'la, but he refused to rise from the bed. He needed to be there when Jim woke up – he needed to prove to his love that he was real. That he was really there.

And that he was not going to leave him again.

Spock looked down at Jim's beautiful face, relaxed in sleep though his eyes and cheeks were red from crying. He wished to caress those features, to reassure himself of his love's vitality, but he did not have the right to touch Jim without his express permission.

Not after everything he had put his pregnant lover through.

Spock looked up when the door to the captain's quarters opened and Ambassador Kai stepped through. The handsome Deltan was holding a tray of food, and he stopped dead when he spotted the Vulcan laying in the captain's bed.

"What are you doing?" the Deltan growled. "Taking advantage of James's vulnerable state?"

Spock rose gracefully, staring at the male that coveted his pregnant t'hy'la.

"That would be illogical," he disputed. "I am simply waiting for Jim to awaken."

"In his bed?" Kai asked sarcastically. "Why are you here instead of with your lieutenant?"

"I am where I belong," Spock stated firmly.

The Deltan scoffed, walking forward to place the tray on Jim's nightstand.

"James," he called softly, reaching forward to touch Jim's face as Spock has wished to do – as Spock had refrained himself from doing.

"K-Kai?" Jim asked sleepily, reaching up a hand to wipe to grit from his eyes. "You brought me breakfast again?"

"Every morning, James," Kai replied fondly.

Jim gave a weak smile to the Deltan, but then the blood drained out of his face as he spotted Spock over Kai's shoulder.

"Spock? You're out of sickbay already?" he asked the Vulcan, struggling to sit up in bed.

Kai reached down to help him, moving the pillows to support his sore back. Jim blushed at this display of weakness before his once-lover, and he covered his vulnerability by grabbing a glass of orange juice from the tray and taking the time to gather his wits.

"I entered your quarters last night, Jim, but you were not coherent," Spock informed him gently.

Jim dropped the glass at the sound of his first name from the Vulcan's lips – and at the soft, gentle tone that he had come to miss so much in the past four months.

"S-Spock?" he asked uncertainly. "You…you were really here last night? It wasn't just a dream?"

Spock walked forward and dropped to his knees besides Jim's bed – ignoring the glaring Deltan – and he tentatively reached a hand forward to brush Jim's fingers with his own.

The human inhaled sharply, returning the contact for a fleeting second before withdrawing his hand.

"You – remember?" he asked uncertainly.

Spock nodded in affirmation, staring into Jim's hopeful eyes.

"Wait a moment," Kai interrupted. "What is your first officer supposed to remember?"

Jim turned pain-filled eyes to the Deltan – his support for the past three months of Spock's absence.

"Spock…Spock is my baby's other father," he admitted, though he did not want to hurt Kai.

The Deltan did not look hurt – in fact, he looked livid.

"You have impregnated James, and yet you are engaged in a romantic relationship with another?" he asked, indignant on the pregnant human's behalf.

Kai strode forward to push Spock away from Jim's sitting form, and Spock rose to his feet fluidly.

"There were extenuating circumstances," Spock informed him. "Though that is no excuse. If Jim will have me, I am ready to resume my duties as bondmate and expectant father."

"And when you change your mind again?" Kai asked protectively, glaring fiercely at the half-Vulcan.

"I will not," Spock refuted. "As I stated, there were extenuating circumstances."

"No circumstance but death should take an honorable male away from his pregnant mate," the Deltan replied, blocking Jim from Spock's view.

"Kai…" Jim interrupted, struggling to bring his feet to the floor and stand. "Spock suffered memory loss due to head trauma. He didn't remember that we were bonded, and he didn't know that the baby was his."

Kai turned to him, eyes softening in affection as he helped support the struggling man. Human males were not designed to gestate, and Jim's slim hips meant his pregnant stomach often unbalanced him.

"And how did he mysteriously recover his memory after all these months?" the Deltan questioned.

"I don't know," Jim admitted, turning questioning eyes to Spock.

"The head trauma I received on the last mission pushed me into a Vulcan healing trance, and I recovered my lost memories," Spock explained. "That is the most probably explanation."

Jim nodded, taking a tentative step towards his wayward lover and stumbling – grimacing as a pain shot up his lower back and the baby kicked in protest.

"James, are you quite all right?" Kai questioned worriedly, as Spock stepped forward to share the burden of Jim's weight.

Jim's usually tan face was sickly white, and he nervously glanced down as he felt wetness between his thighs.

"No," Jim stated – both an answer to Kai's question and a denial of reality. "No."

Both Spock and Kai looked down to see the blood spreading over Jim's boxer shorts and beginning to drip down his thighs.

"The baby," Jim gasped, gripping Spock's arm tightly as another pain shot up his back. "It's too early!"

Kai let Spock sweep Jim into his arms, reaching for the communicator and paging Dr. McCoy.

"What?" the doctor grumbled. "It's barely alpha shift."

"James is experiencing complications," Kai informed him, voice shrill with worry. "Myself and First Officer Spock will accompany him to sickbay."

"Goddammit, Jim," McCoy exclaimed. "Hold in there for me, kid, okay? Hold in there for the baby."

"Bones," Jim just replied weakly. "I need Bones."

Spock nodded tensely, carrying his lover out of his room and into the hallways as Kai trailed beside them.

"Stay with us, Jim. Breathe slowly and relax," the Deltan coaxed soothily, but Jim did not respond.

The world was spinning and darkening around the edges, and Jim's last thought was that he could not get Spock back now just to lose their baby…

*****

Jim opened his eyes slowly, taking in the bright white of the sickbay ceiling. He weakly moved his hand to his stomach – which was flat.

Jim's breathing picked up in panic as his heart monitors beeped crazily, responding to his stress.

"Jim, calm down," Bones ordered. "Breathe. In. Now out. Come on, kid. Don't do this."

"Baby!" Jim said weakly through gasping breaths. "My son?"

"He's fine," Bones said soothingly. "He's fine. The nurses are cooing over him as we speak. He's tiny, of course – born two months early. But he's a fighter, just like his mommy."

Jim let out a weak laugh at that, reaching forward to slug Bones on the shoulder – though with his arms feeling like jelly and moving like molasses going uphill in December on Delta Vega, Jim doubted that Bones felt it.

"I told you not to call me 'mommy', asshole," Jim protested with a small smile. "I want to see my son."

Bones nodded.

"I'll wheel his biobed into your room," the doctor agreed. "You can't pick him up right now, but you can hold his hand and touch him and talk to him. I'm sure he'd like that."

Jim's smile spread at the thought of finally getting to see his son, though he was a little upset that he would not be able to hold him.

"Um…Bones?" Jim asked just before the doctor exited his private room. "Where are Spock and Kai?"

The doctor gave him a flat look.

"Your two lover-boys are being restrained in bio-beds of their own after getting into a fist fight in my sickbay! After stressing you into premature labor, to boot!"

"Fist fight?" Jim asked incredulously.

But Spock was always so logical…and Kai was all about love and pacifism…

"They were both upset over me having to operate to get your boy out, and then they got into an argument over who's fault it was that you were in your condition to begin with," Bones said before slipping out of the room.

Jim laughed in disbelief – he couldn't even picture those two fighting physically…

Bones came back in a few moments later, wheeling a tiny bio-bed with a bunch of monitors hooked up to it.

"Oh…" Jim whispered in awe, finally getting his first look at his little baby boy.

He was perfect…all ten fingers and all ten toes…little pointed ears and slightly arched eyebrows…dark blonde tufts of hair and a cute little scrunched up nose…

"Waaaah!" the baby screamed, opening his little mouth wide.

"He's got a set of lungs," Jim said proudly, softly stroking his little boy's fingers. "Is he hungry?"

Bones just handed him a bottle, silently watching his best friend bond with his baby.

He didn't tell Jim that if Spock and Kai had been just a few minutes later, this scene would have never taken place – they would have lost both of them.

If Spock hadn't woken up last night with his memories intact – if he hadn't slipped into Jim's room for the night and stayed for the morning…

Deltans were not as strong as Vulcans, and Kai never would have gotten Jim to sickbay in time…

But Bones pushed those morbid thoughts away, fondly watching the cocky, undefeatable Captain James Tiberius Kirk be utterly slayed by a little baby suckling at a bottle hungrily.

"He's so beautiful, Bones," Jim whispered in awe, watching his son eat. "Is he really going to be okay?"

"I'd like to keep him in sickbay for the next few weeks for observation, but he should be fine," Bones reassured him. "You will be able to hold him before you know it."

"Can I stay with him?" Jim asked pleadingly, turning those big blue eyes to his best friend.

Bones had never been able to resist that look before – he had no chance now, when it was amplified by the baby Jim was lovingly feeding.

"Course," he muttered. "You can have this room. It's the captain's private room anyway – special confidentiality and all."

"Thanks, Bones," Jim beamed. "Oh…and Spock and Kai?"

Bones huffed.

"I suppose you want me to release them?" the doctor questioned sarcastically, already moving to the door.

"Thanks, Bones," Jim repeated. "I really owe you."

Bones looked back to lock eyes with his best friend, and he saw just how serious Jim was – he wasn't just thanking him for letting the two troublemakers go, he was thanking him for everything.

For his son.

"Just make me godfather," Bones answered after a beat, smiling at Jim's enthusiastic nod.

"My son couldn't ask for anyone better," the captain replied, looking down at his little miracle.

*****

Jim pulled the bottle away after it emptied, and he couldn't help but melt at the sight of his son suckling the air, as if the bottle would miraculously reappear if he willed it hard enough.

His baby was taking after him already…

Jim looked up as the door opened and Spock stepped through.

"Jim," he whispered, for once the emotion plain in his voice as he gazed upon his mate and child. "You are all right."

"Like Bones would let me be anything else," Jim replied with a small grin. "Are you going to just stand there all day, or are you going to come over here and say hello to your son?"

Spock's relief was obvious as his body relaxed from it's stiff position, and he walked forward to look down at the tiny being he had created with his t'hy'la.

"He has your ears," Jim offered after a few minutes of silence had passed, both of them staring down at awe at their little miracle as he drifted off to sleep.

Spock nodded in agreement, tearing his eyes away from his sleeping son to look at his tired mate.

"Have you named him?" Spock questioned, voice even – but Jim could see the insecurity.

"I was thinking Alexander," Jim told him. "But I hadn't really decided yet. I was supposed to have two more months."

"Alexander," Spock repeated, staring back down at their son. "Do you wish for George as his second name?"

Jim looked at him measuringly for a moment, and then shook his head in the negative.

"I was thinking Skon, after your grandfather," Jim told him.

"Alexander Skon Kirk," Spock said testingly, nodding his approval.

"Kirk?" his mate asked with some shock.

Spock's dark eyes were serious as he said, "Our son will find acceptance in humans that he will never find in Vulcans – especially now that there are so few full-blooded Vulcans left. I do not wish to impose on him the teachings of Surak."

Jim fought the tears that came to his eyes, looking down at his beautiful little boy.

"Alexander Skon Kirk," he declared softly, reaching a hand forward to stroke the soft skin of his son's wrist. "You are going to turn this universe upside-down, and your daddy and I can't wait to see you grow up."

And just like that, Spock knew that his mate had forgiven him. Not everything was better – not by any meaning of the word – but the Vulcan knew that they would raise their son together to the best of their abilities. He would have to confront Nyota, and Jim would have to discuss the situation with Ambassador Kai, but Spock was assured that all would soon be right with his t'hy'la.

Neither of them would allow anything less than a full return of their loving relationship – because it was no longer all about them.

And Spock could shrug off the teachings of Surak for long enough to admit that he was relieved, even happy – somehow, he had managed to wake up before he had lost it all.