Notes: IDEK. No slash! Inorite? Still, pretty centric on the whole Jim-Spock buddies thing.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009, and I make no profit from this work.
"Uhura to bridge."
Jim jumped; he'd almost fallen asleep. Seeing as they were starmapping, he couldn't even bring himself to be embarrassed about it (he knew, for example, Spock was drafting a new paper on the Bode galaxy, and Sulu was playing minesweeper) and merely shook his head to clear it before opening the link.
"Permission to come up to the bridge, sir?"
"Er," Jim blinked. "What do you need permission for?"
"Well, I thought I'd bring the baby."
Suddenly, every head swung towards Jim. He even felt himself grinning. None of the bridge crew had seen their newest crewmember yet, and it was quite apparent from the looks he was getting that he was about to get hurt if he refused her.
She'd obviously been waiting; the tell-tale hum of the turbolift activated over his shoulder, and twenty seconds laters, Uhura stepped onto the bridge in her now-common maternity wear of sweatpants and t-shirt, with a cooing, squirming armful of baby cradled to her chest. She still looked damn hot, and ridiculously collected for a new mother.
Apparently, quarter-Vulcan cooing meant 'daddy', because she wordlessly crossed the bridge to the science station and dropped the baby unceremoniously into his father's arms.
Jim blamed the picture Spock made with his son for the strange fuzzy feeling in his chest. All the stern Vulcan demeanour was gone as he rose from his station, eyes fixed on his child. The cooing had stopped the moment the baby had been passed over, and from his vantage point, Jim could just about see those big dark eyes peering up at Spock's face.
"Well?" Uhura broke the moment, staring around at them. "I brought him all the way up here. Don't you want to see him?"
Nobody had seen him. Vulcans were, apparently, ridiculously territorial over their newborns, and Spock had barely tolerated Dr. McCoy going anywhere near mother or child. The moment it had been established that their son was healthy, he had vanished back into their quarters. So far, only Spock, Uhura and Dr. McCoy had clapped eyes on him.
So her statement produced an unsurprising amount of movement.
Chekov was fastest, at Spock's side in an instant, his usual shyness around the Vulcan obliterated by the enticement of a new baby. The moment those eyes attempted to focus on him, he was away in a torrent of Russian. Spock largely ignored him, still watching his son; Uhura nodded along with Chekov's exclamations, then broke into a smile.
"Spock, give him the baby."
Spock glanced up at her.
"Pavel wants to hold him."
Jim nearly fell over in shock when Spock, far from refusing or protesting, wordlessly handed over the child. Chekov accepted the bundle easily, shifting him until the baby was cuddled against his chest comfortably. The cooing started up the moment Spock let go, but it was far from an unhappy sound - maybe all part-Vulcan children cooed in the absence of their fathers.
The command team watched in mute surprise as Chekov fawned over the baby - or Spock's complete relaxation at having the navigator hold his son. Or both.
"Since when did you know what to do with a baby?" Sulu asked in surprise.
"Since my sister had a baby," Chekov replied, still pulling faces at the child. The Vulcan side was showing - the baby didn't seem to know what to do about Chekov's apparent mental illness, but simultaneously didn't really seem to mind, more interested in his hair than his face.
"Do you want to hold him?" Uhura asked Sulu, who flushed.
"You have to hold him," Uhura insisted. She and Sulu had struck up a rapid friendship - mostly based around winning at poker and teasing Kirk - from day one, and in the later stages of her pregnancy, Sulu had been the only other male really tolerated around her by Spock.
"Well, but..." Sulu floundered.
Jim bit back a laugh when Spock unceremoniously shoved him into the communications chair, and Chekov passed over the baby before Sulu could think up a proper protest. Uhura held an arm under her son until Sulu found the proper arrangement - and then the child wriggled and just sort of...fell into place against Sulu's chest.
It was kind of disgusting, seeing their hard-assed, ninja helmsman of the excessive cursing whenever they so much as passed an asteroid belt turning to goo under the gaze of one tiny, big-eyed baby. Okay, so it was...kind of cuter than Jim had expected, but still. It was just a baby. Couldn't even talk yet!
"Okay, that's fucking cute," Sulu said, and Uhura laughed.
"If his first word is a swear word, I'll know who to blame," she said.
"That's rich, coming from you," Sulu muttered, and Jim snorted with laughter.
"Me next?" he asked appealingly. He was the Captain - of course he had to be allowed to hold the baby.
"In a minute," Sulu muttered. He and Chekov had their heads together over the completely transfixed child - who seemed, to Jim, to be trying to decide which one was more insane than the other.
And not liking the answer, by the sudden whimper.
"Umm...?" Sulu probably would have flailed if not for the armful of...well, whimpering baby. "Um, someone?"
The whimper died again when he shifted, and chubby hands grasped the front of his shirt. But even Sulu got the message when the baby started to mouth the front of his shirt, and he flushed.
"I think he's after you," he said, glancing up at Uhura, and she sighed.
"I blame you for his appetite," she threw at Spock, before bending and taking her son back. "I'd better go and get him sorted."
Despite the inappropriateness of the thought, what with Uhura's possibly-telepathic son and definitely-telepathic husband on the bridge, Jim still felt a twinge of sadness that she wouldn't breastfeed in front of them, and let him finally see those epic, epic boobs.
"Bring him to the mess hall after shift!" Chekov said enthusiastically as she headed back to the turbolift, and she grinned.
"Sure. I'd like to see Scotty try and deal with a baby."
Vulcan strength and stamina had its advantages, Jim reflected as Spock entered the mess hall about an hour and a half after the end of shift, the baby nestled in the crook of his arm. He apparently didn't get tired carrying him around - and judging by how strong he knew Spock was, he probably wouldn't tire until the kid was three or four years old.
"Ach, Commander!" Scotty glanced up from his sandwich (miraculously!) and beamed. "I finally figured out what's th' matter wit' th'...is this the wee bairn?"
"Indeed," Spock said, sinking gracefully into the seat opposite.
Scotty got up and stepped around the table to peer over Spock's shoulder. After a silent moment exchanged between the Scot and the infant, he reached out one bulky finger and proceeded to lightly tickle it.
And apparently three-quarters human was enough to make a baby ticklish, for it squirmed and squealed in a very typical expression of delight. For a month-old baby.
"Ow," Jim said, uncovering his ears.
So Scotty did it again. Smug Scottish git. Then he sat down beside Spock, took the baby, and proceeded to throughly tickle it in the crook of his own arm, until everyone in the mess was beaming indulgently in their direction. How their ears weren't bleeding, Jim didn't know.
"Scotty, cut it out!" he begged, after about five minutes of the torture. "I'm going deaf here!"
"Interesting," Spock said. "As Vulcan hearing is more acute than human hearing, I am interested to know how you are bothered by the decibel level, yet I am unaffected."
"I dunno. Parental immunity?" Jim suggested, grimacing when Scotty completely ignored him. "Hey, pass him here. I haven't held him yet."
"Uh-uh," out of nowhere - seriously, how did she do that? - Uhura swept down and recaptured her son from Scotty. The baby grumbled suitably at being removed from its apparent living playpen. "I promised Leonard he'd get a turn, too. After all, he helped."
"Hey, I let you bring him on the bridge," Jim protested - to her back as she swept away to the doctor and handed over the baby.
He couldn't begrudge McCoy his turn, though - the doctor's face lit up with all the gruff joy of a father who couldn't hold his own children any longer. As they made their way back to the table, Jim almost smiled himself at the relaxed lines of McCoy's face, and the surprising development that any offspring of Spock didn't automatically and genetically dislike the doctor on sight.
Or vice versa - that the doctor didn't automatically hate any offspring of Spock's on sight either.
If anything, Spock's son had none of the reservations that Spock did about McCoy. One chubby hand waved and reached enthusiastically for the doctor's face, and the gentle cooing started up again when McCoy smiled and started to lightly bounce him.
"What's that cooing mean?" Sulu asked around a mouthful of pasta.
"It is a Vulcan trait," Spock said.
Uhura rolled her eyes. "It's a signal to the parents. It means he knows he's not with his parents, but he feels safe. He does it with me as well, actually."
"He identifies his parents through telepathy," Spock explained. "Nyota has no such mental signature, therefore our son instinctively recognises me as his father, yet Nyota more as a safe person."
Sulu frowned, and the doctor glanced up.
"Mightn't that cause problems?" McCoy asked, still absently playing with the baby's fingers.
"No," Spock said. "It is quite common for a Vulcan child to only have the ability to instinctively recognise one parent; Vulcan infants do not possess particularly sophisticated telepathic abilities at this stage. Recognition of one other is often their limit. He will bond with Nyota as his mother regardless."
"Huh," Jim said. "So Bones makes someone feel safe? Really?"
McCoy snorted. "Of course I do. This kid ain't stupid enough to have needed a hypo yet."
"Yet," Jim said.
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"Wasn't implying anything," Jim added smoothly, before making grabby hands towards McCoy. "My turn!"
"You want to hold him?" McCoy looked surprised. "Didn't take you for the baby type."
"I'm the Captain," Jim said. "It's practically a rule that I get to hold the baby."
"I think not," Uhura said smoothly, taking her son back from McCoy. The baby snuggled into her chest happily, the cooing growing fainter.
Jim blinked. "What? Why not?"
"He's a month old," Uhura said. "You're not holding him until he'll bounce when you drop him. Because you would."
She pulled a face and bent her head to murmur to her son. He was rapidly falling asleep, the cooing beginning to trail off altogether.
"Spock," Jim whined, turning his gaze to Spock. "Spock, tell her! I wouldn't, promise! Look, I'm sitting down and everything!"
"My decision is final," Uhura said flatly.
Jim huffed when Spock's blank expression told him he wasn't going to win this round. "Well, when will he bounce?"
"I don't know," Uhura shrugged. "About age four?"
"...God I hate you."
If Jim had ever thought of Spock as hard-headed and stubborn, Uhura was a hundred times worse.
It seemed that almost everyone on board, bar Jim and Ensign Reick in Engineering, got to hold the baby. (And frankly, even Jim wouldn't hand a baby to Ensign Reick. The man could drop things if he was lying down.)
If Jim admitted it to himself, it wasn't even really that he wanted particularly to hold the baby. It was more that everybody else got to. And if there was one thing in his life Jim had never done, it was hold a baby. In fact, this was the first time he'd ever been up close to a baby before. It was new. And everybody else got to participate.
Except him. And some Ensign who could drop stuff in zero gravity.
And the problem for Jim was that Uhura had everyone else pussy-whipped.
Spock was the primary victim, for obvious reasons. And at least with him, Jim could blame his own parental instincts - however wrong they obviously were. He was quite happy, it seemed, for Jim to look at or even touch the baby if somebody else held him. And the baby didn't seem to really mind Jim - okay, okay, half the time, Jim didn't know if the baby really gave a damn about this weird blond guy in the lurid yellow shirt. But he point-blank refused to even entertain the thought of passing the baby over.
So then Jim targeted his underlings.
Once both Spock and Uhura were back on duty full-time, the bridge crew got to babysit - usually in the mess or for their poker nights, when Spock was in the labs and Uhura was on her new duty rotation on Gamma shift. The primary sitters were, of course, Sulu and Chekov.
Sulu was a lost cause from the start.
"I don't think so," he said, the first time Jim tried it.
"Spock wouldn't find out!"
"Fuck Spock," Sulu said sharply. "Nyota would find out. And she would - there's nothing that happens on this ship that she doesn't know. And she'd have my balls on a silver plate if I let you. No."
"I saved your life, and this is how you repay me?" Jim sulked.
"Well, you can save it again - by not even trying to hold this baby."
The baby just laughed. Apparently the little bastard found Jim's predicament funny. That settled it. Definitely a Spock-Uhura hybrid monster.
Chekov was equally firm - surprisingly so. Apparently, he had figured out that Jim had never held a baby before, and was quite adamant. And when Jim pressed the issue, he reverted to Russian and then proceeded to sing Russian lullabies to the baby and completely ignore Jim until he gave up and went away.
Seriously, that kid was more devious than he seemed.
McCoy was more blunt about it.
"Jim, I wouldn't trust you to hold a baby if you won Father of the Year," he said flatly. "And frankly, I reckon this kid's telepathic - and nobody under the age of eighteen should be exposed to your brain."
"Frankly, even if Spock and Uhura signed contracts saying you could hold this baby, I still wouldn't be the one to hand him over. God knows what you'd do to it."
Jim scowled, and the baby - old enough to see Jim's face from there, apparently - squealed in delight. Little bastard. In response, he drew himself up and planted his hands on his hips, in time to earn himself a quizzical look from Spock as the Vulcan entered the mess - presumably to retrieve his son.
(Sure enough, that weird cooing started up the moment the baby registered his father's presence in the room.)
"Alright," Jim said as the two men exchanged the baby. "I've had enough of this."
"Yes. Exactly. I am the Captain of this ship. That means I am in charge of this ship, and everybody on it. Including the baby. Now," he reached out, "gimme."
Spock raised an eyebrow, making no move to hand the bundle over. "Frankly, Captain, when the matter at hand is my son, I would rather disobey your orders than those of Nyota. If you'll excuse me."
McCoy snickered. "Nice try, Jim, but she's got him good."
Ironically, it was Spock who finally broke the trend.
After seven months of Jim being baby-blocked at every turn - and generally developing a foul mood about it - he found himself wandering into the mess for a midnight snack during the dark, lonely hours of Gamma - only to find Spock seated, cross-legged, on the floor beside the replicators, watching his son.
The baby had started to crawl only the week before, and the result had been rapid babyproofing of their quarters. The kid was apparently a pro at escaping, even if it was only eight months old. Jim didn't know whether to blame Spock's or Uhura's genes for that one.
"Hey," he nodded at Spock, blinking down at the baby curiously. "Which of you can't sleep?"
Spock didn't answer; Jim took that to mean the baby. Which decided to investigate the introduction of Jim's boots to the environment.
"Cute," he said blankly.
The baby didn't really look like Spock. He had pointy ears, and those abnormally long fingers, but otherwise he was Uhura's kid - dark skin, glossy hair and big eyes. He even had her finely sculpted cheekbones.
"He will need feeding soon," Spock said. "I opted to bring him to the mess to avoid waking crewmembers when he begins to cry."
"So he does cry?"
Spock gave him a look.
Jim shrugged. "I dunno. He's always quiet when you guys bring him about the ship."
"He has also usually been recently fed," Spock pointed out.
"Yeah, I guess."
Sure enough, just as Jim retrieved his coffee from the replicator, a hitching whimper began from the floor, rapidly escalating into a rising wail. In a now-practised move, Spock had swept him up and fished a bottle from a bag on the nearest table. They couldn't have been there long - Jim could see the temperature gauge on the side of the bottle, and it was still warmed.
"Fatherhood suits you," he said quietly, over the surprisingly loud sucking as the baby latched onto the bottle and destroyed it with far too much enthusiasm.
"...Thank you," Spock said quietly, eyes on his son's face.
"Thinking of having any more?"
"Nyota has...expressed the desire for a girl," Spock said. "I wish to wait a few years."
"Well, yeah, not right now - just...in general."
"In...general, yes," Spock replied, removing the emptied bottle. "I...find a certain peace in my family."
"Yeah," Jim murmured wistfully.
Spock glanced up, catching the expression in Jim's eyes. "Would you like to hold him?"
Jim blinked. "What?"
"Would you like to hold him?"
"You - you're going let me hold him?" Jim floundered, then beamed and held out his arms. "Hell yeah!"
Spock carefully passed the baby over, helping Jim arrange him on his chest. He was old enough to sit up, and eventually Jim settled him with his head on Jim's shoulder, his weight draped over his shoulder and chest. He was surprisingly heavy, and - to Jim's utter delight - the cooing sounded in his ear as Jim stroked a hand over his back.
The rise of calm, wonderful, brilliant joy had absolutely nothing to do with the baby, Jim told himself. Nothing at all. Just, you know. He finally got to hold the baby, like everyone else did. That was all.
"Never thought I'd ever hold a baby," Jim mumbled.
"Neither did I," Spock replied, watching his Captain hold his son with...calm. Incredibly relaxed calm.
"This is...this is pretty awesome. And he likes me," Jim beamed. The cooing had an effect similar to cuddling a tribble; no wonder Spock was so zen whenever the kid started that. "That's what it means, right? That he actually likes me!"
And that was when the baby chose, quite eloquently, to vomit down Jim's back.
"Indeed," Spock said, calmly retrieving a towel from the bag. "He does, in fact, like you."