Title: At Last
Summary: Kirk and Bones have been married for years. Now the young captain wants a baby.
Pairing: Kirk/Bones (not my usual thing, but the story called out to me 3)
Warning: language, disturbing images, violence against children, complications in childbirth, no mpreg.
Disclaimer: it's not mine, I swear.
The first time they had the talk, it wasn't really much of a talk at all.
The idea came to Jim wrapped in his husband's arms, bony legs high on his hips. Bones' eyes were closed, a crease on his eyebrows meaning he was just as close, which was fine with Jim, really, because Bones was so fucking hothothot and he wasn't going to last.
The doctor raked his nails down Jim's back, eyes opening, so full of cocky arrogance Jim just wanted to fuck the sass right out of him.
It might've been the high from another "mission accomplished" (the first time Jim whispered that against Bones' cheek after sex the doctor kicked him out of bed and let him sleep on the floor all night), or it might've been the way Bones rubbed his hands over his tummy, smearing sweat and semen in a sticky line below his belly button, or maybe it was that gorgeous southern smile (the one that said: that was the best I've ever had and you know it, you damn cocky bastard.)
Whatever the reason, Kirk pressed reverent kisses along Bones' collar bone and whispered:
"Have my babies."
Bones let out a surprised guffaw and pressed a hard kiss to Jim's forehead, shoving his face down against his neck.
"Go to sleep, idiot." Bones' voice was full of laughter and affection.
Jim felt a smile flutter on his own lips for a second before he fell asleep. He dreamed of Bones barefoot, pregnant, and angry as hell. Jim woke up with a smile on his face. It really wasn't a bad idea.
He wanted a baby.
He wanted Bones' baby.
Jim was definitely a take action kinda guy, he didn't like talking about relationship shit. So he did it the old fashioned way. He left clues.
He left PADDs articles on pregnancy, ("What to Expect When You're Expecting", "So You Wanna Make Babies?", "Country Insemination: Get it Done the Good 'Ol Fashioned Way", "Reap What You Sow", "Impregnated by Alien Spores? Don't Panic, You're Not Alone!" among others) in various places for Bones to find.
Jim bought teddy bears and pacifiers and left them strategically in bed, making sure he was nowhere near when Bones found them.
He even went so far as to commission Joanne to his cause and sure enough, days after contact, Bones got a video-call from his baby girl asking when she should expect her little brother or sister. She scolded her daddy for waiting so long.
Jim ignored the suspicious glare Bones sent his way. The room slowly filled with baby furniture, and toys. Bones woke one morning to find a pair of baby booties on his pillow.
It didn't take long for him to crack.
"You got something you want to ask me, Jim?" Bones stood in their quarters, one hand cocked on his hip and a pink teddy bear crushed in the other.
Jim put on his innocent mask, but couldn't help the boyish grin that filtered through.
"Why whatever gave you that idea, Bones?"
The eyebrow went sky high.
"It might have something to do with the very suspicious call I got from my girl, days after finding all this crap you left me—"
"Medical journals, Bones."
"Oh, please! First hand accounts of getting impregnated by alien spores are not medical journals, it's trash." Bones pointed at Jim with the hand holding the teddy bear. "Speak, Mister."
Jim blurted, "I want a baby."
"Jesus Christ, Jim, you couldn't have brought this up before you started filling our quarters with cribs and toys?"
"I did ask!"
"When did you—" He paused and thought about it. It clicked. "Wait, you were serious?" Bones' voice was getting shrill.
Jim looked offended. "You thought I was joking?"
"We were having sex; not exactly the best of times to bring up something so important!"
"Why not? I proposed to you during sex." (well, that'd be true if you can count: "?" as a proposal)
"And I said the exact same thing then as I'm telling you now. You can't expect me to make a serious adult decision because of something you mumbled during sex."
"I want to have a baby." Jim sucked in a deep breath and looked up. "I want to have your baby, Bones."
There was something about those words that terrified Bones. The hope in his husband's eyes, the adoration, the complete faith that everything's gonna be okay. Bones couldn't stand it.
What kind of world would we be bringing a child into, really? What can we possibly have to offer him in space?
The walls were closing in and Jim's smile was slipping. I can't handle this right now.
Bones turned away from him and tossed the bear on the bed. "I gotta think about it."
Two weeks later Bones was ready to talk.
An Orion ship was intercepted in Sector VI. By the time a team had boarded the captured vessel, the Orions had already disposed of the cargo. It was a massacre. Corpses were strewn all over the cargo hold, some still shackled to the floor, others fallen where they'd tried to run. Men, women, even children.
"John Doe #56, Aranian child, male, between six and eight years of age. There is evidence of long term abuse, high possibility that the victim was born in captivity."
Bones gazed down at the dead child through blood shot eyes. What a goddamn waste, just a waste of life. He ran a tired hand through his hair.
"Dead instantly from phaser fire." The kid had no eyebrows, arched eyes like most Aranians, and two dainty stalks were poking through dark curls. His skin was chalk white in death, no trace of the healthy pink hue of living tissue.
"If it's worth anything…it was quick, quick and…relatively painless." Bones clicked the recorder off.
The Captain was waiting for him outside the private medical bay, giving the boy a little dignity in death. Bones draped the sheet over the body and joined him.
The sliding doors entombed the corpse in the empty room, only then did he speak.
Bones rubbed the back of his neck. "56 total: 30 men, 15 women, 11 children. All dead from execution by phaser."
Tension rippled through the Captains' shoulders, a sharp lance of righteous fury burned in his eyes and suddenly Bones was so weary of it all. He was tired of fighting, tired of ignoring his lover. He was tired of feeling so damn worthless.
So when Kirk stopped being captain and melted back into Jim, Bones let himself be wrapped in warm arms and sighed.
He saw that poor child and the other 10 dead just like him, wondered if their parents where on that ship with them or if they were somewhere else in the galaxy, never knowing…
Whatever that child could have been, it didn't matter now; cause he's gone and dead, and his body would be frozen and spit out into space.
Such a damn waste.
Can we even hope to create something that lasts?
They talked that night. Jim pressed his head against Bones' tummy and whispered all his hopes ("I want a boy first, a perfect little you. You can teach him to do that eyebrow thing you've got going on. Or maybe a girl, I know Jo is gettin' kinda lonely being the only girl...") his fears ("I don't know how to be anything but a cocky asshole with a kick-ass starship. I don't know if I'll be a good daddy, but…I want to try."). Bones just listened, running his hands through Jim's hair.
Jim whispered promises and Bones drank them all in. "We can be good together Bones, we can make some damn beautiful kids. Please."
He didn't say "yes". But he didn't say "no" either.
"I don't know Bones…"
Bones sighed. "Contrary to your extremely naïve and illogical belief, Jim, I cannot spontaneously grow a uterus for you to impregnate." He put up two fingers. "Two ways to do this, artificial insemination or adoption."
Jim thought long and hard, the old fantasy of Bones waddling through the decks fresh in his mind.
"So there's absolutely no way for you to get pregnant?" Bones glared. "Just…wanted to be sure."
There was actually a third option. A new invention, an artificial womb for growing the fetus, a special chamber that mimicked the warmth and foundation of a living mother.
Jim was in love with the novelty of it all, there was no need to bother with finding a stable mother to carry the child to term, both Bones and himself could oversee the child's development, and the chamber could be installed on the ship.
Bones was not so in love with the idea. Something about it didn't seem right, natural. A million things could go wrong in space, (unbidden the dead Aranian boy came to mind) did he want his child born a few galaxies away from his home planet?
The worries stayed in the back of his mind despite the many encouragements from the "midwife" assigned to assist in development. The chamber was like a giant bubble, everything inside it was completely visible to the outside. It was flexible enough to stretch with the child, strong enough to protect it.
Jim called it the "Baby Bubble" Bones called it the "Cage." Damn if it didn't look like one.
Bones watched as the fertilized egg was inserted into the womb. He felt like he was breaking something sacred; he wondered if he even wanted it to work.
Five weeks. Six weeks.
The bundle of cells grew into something even more alien then half the crew on the enterprise.
Jim stared at the developing baby curled in on itself, at its enlarged head, sealed eyes and webbed fingers. The skin was translucent and he could see all the veins and developing organs sloshing around on the inside, the spine was a chain of pearls ending in a small tail. A little slit of a mouth was opening and closing rhythmically.
"I swear I saw this in a horror movie."
Bones swatted at the man, but couldn't help but agree.
What an eerie thing, almost looks like the shrimp I had for dinner last night. Bones felt a little nauseous at the thought.
Jim brought his face as close to the chamber as possible, eyes capturing every aspect of the baby inside.
"I don't know if you can hear me yet, little guy, but I'm your daddy, and that grouch right behind me is your mommy—" Bones choked. "Don't worry about anything right now, you're still growing. You'll be one fine looking baby, just you wait and see. It's in your genes."
The baby's sex easily determinable and hard to miss. Jim was stubborn and refused to acknowledge it. He was determined to act surprised when the baby was born.
Just for the principle of the thing.
The baby's hands had split into something that resembled fingers, the skin was stronger, more condensed. Aware of it's surroundings, it was constantly moving.
Whenever Jim would press a hand to the side of the artificial womb, the baby would lean towards the touch. Whenever Bones would whisper to it, the head would turn. When Chekov would regale stories, it would wiggle delightedly.
Uhura would speak to it in a different language every visit. The child reacted quite strongly to Vulcan for some reason.
Bones would wake in the middle of the night and sneak to the med bay. He'd pull up a chair and watch the baby, who sometimes slept, sometimes wiggled and played with its long fingers.
Bones didn't know if what he felt was happiness or dread in his tummy. It'd been too long since he'd held a baby, too long since he'd even seen his own first child. He didn't know what he was doing, having a child in space of all places. He thought of the Aranian boy, and shuddered, suddenly so terrified he could hardly sit still.
But he pressed a hand tenderly against the womb and felt his baby press back. It was disturbing to see the head turn towards him, as if it knew Bones was there.
Bones pressed a kiss to the chamber and wondered if the baby could feel that too.
Three days after passing the seven-month mark, there were complications. The artificial womb was fairly new on the market; despite this, no one expected the chamber to start deteriorating after only seven months.
The "mid-wife" was irritatingly optimistic. Jim was manic in his worry. Bones stayed silent.
The child would have a higher chance of survival if the chamber could hold long enough for the baby to hit eight-months.
Bones didn't object to Jim setting up a cot in the room with the baby, he rarely left the med bay at all unless it was absolutely necessary. Bones allowed Jim his comfort and threw himself into his reports and tried not to think of his baby suffering in that artificial cage or Aranian slave children in caskets getting shot out into space.
The chamber lasted one more week before it crashed completely, cutting off oxygen to the child.
I knew something like this would happen. Shitshitshitfuckityfuckfuck fuck.
Bones tried not to think about anything as he assisted the mid-wife in inducing labor. God if you're really out there, let me have just one good thing in my life, don't let him die this way. Don't let me be the one to explain to Jim… Such a waste…
He thought of nothing when he had to rip through the plasma chamber walls, because the womb wasn't contracting like its supposed to and the child was suffocating in the placenta he's gonna die and he's never gonna know just how much I want him damn it.
And there he was. Beautiful baby boy, covered from head to toe in slime, eyes squeezed shut and little hands reaching for Bones.
"Jesus, but he's tiny." Jim fit his hands into gloves and opened the incubator. Their son lay dwarfed under wires, blankets, and machines. His little chest rose and fell rapidly, in time with the soft beep beep beep of the incubator forcing air into his tiny lungs. Bones nodded as he wrapped himself around Jim from behind, taking comfort in the strength that practically seeped from the young captain's pores.
Jim placed his hands inside the incubator and brushed one gloved finger against the baby's closed fist.
The little fingers opened and latched on.
"Welcome to the world tough guy. I can tell you're gonna be a fighter, just like your dad." Jim wiggled his finger and the little fist moved with it. "No such thing as a no-win scenario, ain't that right kiddo?"
Bones nodded against Jim's shoulder and closed his eyes.
We're gonna be okay.
Being a dad again was easier than he'd thought, it was like a switch had been flicked on in the back of his head as soon as he'd lifted that baby against his chest, so small he was only just bigger than the palm of his hands.
His head only had a dusting of smooth light hair, a red button nose, and plump triangle lips. Fat rosy cheeks, long torso, skinny little legs.
Underweight, possible severe chronic asthma, no signs of any other defects related to pre-maturity.
Bones couldn't get enough of him, every little quirk was precious. The baby hated having his feet out. Whenever they were exposed, Nicholas would curl them in on each other and fuss until Bones covered them against his chest.
He had two preferences in how he wanted to be held between his two parents. With Bones, he preferred to be cradled against his chest, head in the soft curve of his elbow, where he could look up and see the doctor's eyes and reach up and touch his lips.
With Jim, Nicholas preferred to tuck his face underneath his chin and be soothed by the Captain's strong and steady pulse.
Joanne grinned down at the ten-month-old baby, Nicky grinned back, showing little teeth just poking through his gums.
"Gosh, you've gotten so big!"
Nicky gurgled back at her, little hands tapping her cheeks solemnly before breaking out into precious laughter.
"Daddy, he's laughing!"
Jim jumped at the chance to show off his boy. "That's not all he can do! Come on, Nick, show her some of that classic Kirk charm." The Captain gave an exaggerated wink.
Nicky blinked hard before dissolving into giggles. Jim turned to Jo and whispered, "We're still working on winking with one eye, but the kid's a natural!"
Jim blew a raspberry on Nicky's plump cheeks making the baby give an ear splitting squeal.
Bones watched from inside the kitchen as Jo (his beautiful sweet little girl) playfully pushed Jim (his captain, lover, husband) out of the way. Jim exaggerated his fall and Nicky clapped wildly, in response.
"At least someone cares about me, eh Nicky?" Jim glanced back at Bones and winked.
Nicky looked to Bones as well and gave an adorable two-eyed "wink" of his own.
A/N: written as a response in lj a while ago. I debated actually posting it here, but I'm real proud of this one. It's one of my favorites.