Title: Family Matters
Fandom: Star Trek 2009
Genre: Romance / Family
Pairing: Christopher Pike & Leonard McCoy, Jim Kirk & Spock, (past) Jim Kirk & Carol Marcus
Sequel to "Distant Closeness". Take a somewhat grumpy, pretty hot doctor, his curious teenage daughter, a preoccupied admiral, his meddling sister, Starfleet's enfant terrible and a lovesick half-Vulcan. Stir well. Add a couple of ex-girlfriends, a chubby baby, a fretting Commodore, an orphaned Orion and an annoyed communications officer and watch the mixture explode...
I may be a thief, but I am an honest thief - so no, I don't own it.
As always, should you find any faults, please point them out. If you like it, tell me. If you don't like it, don't be upset and go eat some chocolate.
The afternoon was cast in velvety grey shadows and torrents of rain poured down from the sky's cloudy canopy. Admiral Christopher Pike stood near the window, staring outside without actually seeing much and trying to calm himself. It didn't work too well.
Patience was actually one of Chris' strong sides, and he wasn't exactly an easily excitable person (a fact that had a tendency to drive his somewhat more spirited lover nuts, but that was beside the point). Today, though, he was struggling to retain his composure.
He tore his gaze from the window to look at the framed pictures that decorated his office. Maybe it was a little old-fashioned, but Chris was fond of those pictures, and apart from them, his office was stark and impersonal. There were no plants, no paintings, no souvenirs from his voyages. Just the pictures.
The largest showed his last senior cadet class at the Academy; the class of whose three hundred and fourteen members two hundred and fifty-eight had fallen prey to the massacre ordered by Nero. Chris made a point of remembering their names, and that was why he kept the picture here, even though it hurt to look at it.
Apart from the large class picture, there were a number of smaller ones, showing his family. His sister, her husband and their three fairy-like blond daughters were smiling at him from a couple of frames. As always, there was a mischievous glint in Laurel's eyes, a frown of concern on Balder's face, friendly, yet solemn gazes from Malin an Elva, and laughter from Freya.
Obviously, there were pictures of Joana and Leonard, too. There was one of Joana on horseback, looking very pretty in her riding habit, a proud grin on her face as she held up a trophy she had just won for the school team. Another one showed both of them on the sofa, a cat in Joana's lap and a book in Leonard's, and both were smiling at the camera, quiet happiness almost radiating from their faces. Chris loved that picture.
The last picture showed the Enterprise's command crew in full dress uniform. They all looked a little stiff, but quite impressive. Everyone except Jim wore an appropriately solemn expression. Everyone except Jim, who was smiling his trademark smile.
Jim. Chris' eyes remained fixed on that youthful, smiling face and he frowned.
Why didn't you tell me?
It had been a while since he had last seen his adopted son, which was due to the fact that Jim and the Enterprise were out in space, chasing villains and exploring unchartered planets, while Chris was stuck to his office in San Francisco. But then, he wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
There had been a time when Chris had regretted having to leave space for a more sedentary life on Earth, but those times had long since passed. He was happy where he was.
Why didn't you tell me, Jim? Were you afraid of how I'd react? Maybe embarrassed? You're a fool, kid!
He heard the soft steps long before the person behind him got close enough to reach out for him, but he didn't turn or start. It was pretty hard to sneak up on Chris, and he knew those steps, had heard them often enough to recognize them even when he was preoccupied or half asleep.
"You're brooding," a man's deep, somewhat amused voice sounded close to his ear as strong arms slid around him. Chris just lent back and enjoyed. Leonard was barely half a head taller than he himself, even though his broader built and resolute manner made him look a lot larger than he was. People who knew Chris – people outside his small, close-knit circle of family and intimate friends – probably would have rubbed their eyes had they seen the stern, steadfast Head of Starfleet Tactical like this. But then again, Leonard's shoulder was the first Chris had ever rested his head on, and it was and would be the only one.
"You came here to comment on my mood?" Chris asked, unable to resist a little teasing.
"Actually, no, I didn't. I came here to apologize for not making it in time for lunch. At the time we originally wanted to meet, I still literally had my hands stuck inside a patient's body and…"
"Spare me the details, please." Chris pulled a face. "I do admire your work, but sometimes I prefer to remain blissfully ignorant of the more gruesome aspects of it."
He felt Leonard's answering chuckle as much as he heard it, and it was deeply comforting. Much more so than staring into the rain, not knowing what to think or do.
"I take it that your patient wasn't entirely human?"
"No, he wasn't. He was at least humanoid, though. And that's something to say, when you work with Starfleet Medical's weird case team."
"They don't officially call you that, I suppose."
"No, those are actually Leyla's words. Fits, though, doesn't it?" Leonard made a small pause, before asking: "So, what did you not want to tell me? Because I do get the distinct feeling that there's something bothering you."
Chris sighed. "I can't really hide anything from you, can I?"
"I happen to be married to you, so you shouldn't hide anything from me," Leonard pointed out.
"Right," Chris sighed again, "And I don't want to, either. It's just… I'm not particularly happy with someone right now."
"Which is a very diplomatic way of saying that you're freakin' mad at someone. And I suspect I know him. Know him rather well, that is." Leonard let go of Chris and stepped around him to look at him. "What did he do this time?"
"That's just the thing. I'm not entirely sure he's done anything. It's just an odd feeling."
"Usually, when you have odd feelings about something, they turn out to be right. So… what does your odd feeling tell you about Jim?"
"It's that obvious, huh?"
Leonard rolled his eyes. "Since we rarely have trouble with Joana, and Laurel and Balder keep a pretty firm hand on their litter of puppies, that only leaves one kid. And he just so happens to be a well-known troublemaker."
Chris waved to the screen on his desk. "Take a look and tell me what you make of this."
As Leonard turned and stepped closer to the desk, Chris followed him. The screen displayed yet another picture. A chubby, blue-eyed baby's face met their gazes. There was something cherubic about the rosy-cheeked little boy with his gleaming blond hair and toothless grin.
"That's a cute kid," Leonard remarked, "So what about him?"
"Doesn't he remind you of anyone?" Chris asked. It really should have been obvious…
"He looks like he could be one of Laurel's lot, but for the eyes. But as he isn't… no, I don't think I know him. What's his name?"
"Doesn't ring a bell. Am I supposed to know him?"
"Not in person. You see, someone sent me this picture, saying that I should have a look at him."
"Do you remember Peace Lafayette?"
"Your assistant for the Romulan mission? Yes, sure."
"Well, she's Commander Peace Lafayette of Space Station 5 now. Apparently, it's her job to deal with visitors to the station, so she meets a lot of people – which is just the thing she's good at. Anyway, she recently met this young woman – a scientist, and a rising star in her field, I'm told – and her child. That's the boy in the picture. Peace took a photo and sent it to me with just one sentence to go with it Could be a baby picture of Jim, couldn't it?"
Leonard bent forward to closely examine the picture once more. "Well… now that you mention it… I've never seen any baby pictures of Jim, but he must have looked something like that."
"I have, and he did. When I was researching for my thesis on the Kelvin Incident, I came across a picture of Winona Kirk and her infant son. Jim looked exactly like that."
"So what's the point? Peace saw the kid, thought it was a funny coincidence and sent the picture to you?"
"Maybe," Chris replied dubiously, "But quite frankly, I don't think so. I believe there's a message to go with it, and I don't like it."
Leonard straightened and looked at him. "You don't think…" He began, his face incredulous.
Chris shrugged. "In a really warped way, it would make sense, I suppose. I mean, we both know that Jim's been in bed with half of the Alpha Quadrant – the female half of it – and Carol Marcus is just about the right age. She's a couple of years older than him, actually, but when has that ever stopped Jim? She's pretty enough, and she'd fit into the pattern. And this little guy really does look an awfully lot like Jim. Judging from the picture, he's one and a half, maybe two."
"Chris, you can't be serious…! Surely Jim would have told us…!"
"You think so?" Chris asked quietly, looking at him intently. "I'm not so sure. Besides, there's another possibility – he might very well be oblivious to the boy's existence. Usually, when Jim breaks up with someone, they don't part as friends. Peace Lafayette is the rare exception, but they never had a serious relationship in the first place. Maybe Carol Marcus didn't want him to know."
"If that really is his child," Leonard said, frowning.
"Well either way, I'm going to try and find out more about the entire matter."
"Are you planning on asking him?"
Chris shook his head. "No. Not yet, anyways. But if it turns out that David Marcus is his son and he knew about it…" He didn't need to finish the sentence. Leonard nodded grimly.
"So what now?"
"I'll have Peace ask Carol Marcus a couple of discreet questions… and I'd like you to check the child's medical records. His mother is working in space and keeping him with her, so he's probably had his vaccinations done at a Starfleet facility. And that means that we have medical records on him."
"There won't be a DNA profile on file, though. They wouldn't have run DNA unless they had a reason to do so. And with a healthy child of just two years, there wouldn't be a reason for it."
"True. But usually, medical records contain some of the parents' medical history. Maybe Carol Marcus mentioned his father."
"If she doesn't want anyone to know, that's highly unlikely."
"Okay, maybe there's something else that could give us a clue. Jim's got heaps of allergies. Wouldn't the child have some of those, too?"
"Most of Jim's allergies were caused by an assortment of environmental and psychological factors, not genetic causes. And even if the boy had those allergies, it'd still be inconclusive. Lots of people have allergies. I think you're going at this the wrong way. Start with the mother. If Jim's never met her , then the child can hardly be his."
"She'd get suspicious, if we asked her about him."
"Don't ask her. Or him. Ask Spock."
"If anyone is keeping track of the women Jim is seeing, it'd be Spock. And you know what they say about love's jealous eyes. Besides, he's got an excellent memory."
"Spock doesn't love Jim that way," Chris protested.
"Doesn't he? How can you be so sure? No one knows what goes on behind those raised eyebrows. But even if it's only brotherly affection, Spock's always been jealous. Hell, he even used to be jealous of me, and he knew that I'd rather have climbed into bed with an angry Klingon than with Jim. So if Jim's been seeing Carol Marcus, Spock would know about it."
"Not if they met during shoreleave."
"Spock knows of Peace, too."
"That's because he was there. If I remember correctly, you even suspected them of having a threesome." Chris raised his brows, shooting his husband an amused look.
"I'm still not entirely convinced they didn't. Anyway, Spock's pretty well informed about Jim's love life. Ask him. He probably won't even mind the question, since it's coming from you. You're Jim's adoptive father, and from Spock's point of perspective, that should give you reason enough to ask."