Disclaimer: I'm not making any money, just using them for fun. Oh, I don't own any of them either. The words ada, adar and aier belong to JRR Tolkien and mean dad, father and short one, respectively.
Disclaimer 2: This does NOT fit into my Consequences 'verse. Kirk and McCoy are married, though that is not the focus.
This fic was inspired by a kink meme prompt asking for Joanna to go to Jim first when she finds out that she is pregnant.
That's What Adas Are For 1/2
Jim sat quietly in his recliner staring out into the back garden and watching some birds fight over the food in the feeder Bones had insisted on putting up. It was early spring and the flowers were almost ready to bloom; nothing but green shoots could be seen now, but soon there would be a multitude of yellows and blues and purples and reds along the border of their yard, or so Bones had assured him. Jim really wasn't one for gardening, though apparently his partner was. One of the little things you learn about a person over the years.
Bones had left for Starfleet Medical over an hour ago with a quick kiss and the standard admonition not to do anything too stressful or stupid. It really was the stupid part that Bones was worried about. Jim had been able to do anything stressful for months and they both knew it. Bones and his doctors assured him that he was making progress much faster than they had anticipated, but it still chafed – having to use a cane and avoid stairs; only being able to walk for short distances and to have to sit rather than stand. It just wasn't in him to be stationary.
Jim turned toward the kitchen in surprise. "Jojo!," he smiled, his low mood disappearing immediate at the sight of his step daughter. "What are you doing here? Don't you have class? Your father left about an hour ago." Then his eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Don't tell me he told you to come check up on me. I am not an invalid and that thing with the toaster yesterday was totally not my fault."
Joanna smiled as she came and kissed him on the top of the head, sitting on the arm of the recliner and patting him on the shoulder. "So many questions," she mocked. "Can't a girl just come see her adar?"
Jim couldn't help smiling at the name she used, as he snuck an arm around her waist and squeezed. He'd been a part of Joanna's life since she was five years old and Bones had introduced them to each other during a trip to Disneyland after their first year at the Academy. They'd been thick as thieves ever since, much to Clay and Jocelyn's disgust. He'd been Uncle Jim at first, but then, as his and Bones' relationship progressed beyond friendship into something solid and real, she started calling him Ada, the elvish word for dad.
Jim had sent her the collected works of JRR Tolkien for her eleventh birthday and she had loved them. And when she'd met them in San Francisco after the Enterprise's first five year mission and said, "Welcome home, Ada," he had choked up as he hugged her, something Bones has never let him live down. Even after all these years it still gave him a warm feeling whenever she said it.
"You are always welcome, aier," he told her honestly, "but don't you have class?"
She shrugged, her gaze focused on where her fingers were pulling on a loose string from her sweater.
Jim took in her pale face and forlorn expression and began to worry. "Well, I'm betting your dad wouldn't ask you to skip class just to see me, so…what's up, Squirt?"
"Nothing," she said softly, still not looking over at him. "I just felt like visiting. Do you want some tea?" She got up and moved into the kitchen quickly, like she was suddenly avoiding him, even though she was the one to show up unexpectedly.
"Jo?" he called after her, confused.
"Earl Grey or Darjeeling?" she asked, opening the cupboard and pulling down mugs, then turning to place them in the replicator.
"Earl Grey," Jim responded automatically. Placing his hands firmly on the arm rests, he levered himself carefully off his chair and stood, reaching for his cane. With slow, but determined movements, he shuffled the ten steps into the kitchen and sat himself at the island on one of the tall stools. Jo hadn't moved from where she was staring at the replicator as if it needed her full attention to make two mugs of tea.
"Two sugars?" she called over her shoulder.
"That's fine," Jim told her, causing her to jump at his sudden proximity.
"You shouldn't be walking," she scolded with a frown when she turned to see him not two meters away from her separated only by a granite countertop.
"I told you – and your father – I'm not an invalid," Jim countered. "I can get around just fine. Now why don't you grab those mugs, bring them over here and sit your ass down and tell me what the hell is wrong."
She carefully picked up the steaming mugs and transferred them to the counter in front of Jim, then turned and began digging through the pantry. "Wrong? Why does something have to be wrong?" she asked, her back to him now.
Jim looked at the ceiling and shook his head. McCoys. It was like pulling teeth to get anything out of them, even when they obviously wanted to tell you something. "Not my first trip around the universe, Squirt, and the cookies are behind the rice sack on the floor."
"The floor is not the place to store cookies," Jo told him as she bent down to get them.
"It is if your father doesn't want me to eat them," Jim responded with a wry grin. "He doesn't like rice, so he never moves the rice bag."
"Well then why do you have rice?" She turned to grab a plate for the cookies.
Jim shook his head at her stalling techniques. "Just bring the whole damn package and get over here already. And Sulu brought the rice. Nyota uses it sometimes when she cooks, too."
Sighing softly, Joanna's shoulders slumped as she finally gave up and turned to face Jim. For the first time he got a good look at her face and he became worried. There were dark circles under her eyes and her hair, pulled back into a sloppy pony tail, looked unwashed. She had the same expression on her face that Bones got when he had something he did not want to say, but knew he had to.
"Spill," Jim said as soon as she sat down on the stool next to him.
Instead she picked up her tea and took a careful sip. Putting down the mug, she reached for a sandwich cookie and delicately pulled it apart to reveal a perfect white circle of cream in the middle of one of them. With a wry smile, she offered the creamless one to Jim. Not saying anything he took it and placed it on the counter, then reached for the one in her hand and put it down too. Spinning in his chair to face her, Jim took both of Joanna's hands and squeezed them comfortingly.
"Jo," he said softly, ducking his head to try to look in her eyes. "Tell me what is wrong."
The young woman's chest heaved as she looked over at the stove, her hands trembling in his as she held on. Slowly she looked back at him and Jim had to control his gut feeling of concern as he realized how upset she really was.
"It's okay, Jo," he told her. "I'm right here."
And that was all it took. Her face crumpled and the tears began to fall.
"Oh baby," Jim pulled her into his arms, her head resting on his shoulder as she softly cried, her tears wetting his t-shirt. "Sh…sh…I've got you," he whispered as he rubbed her back as he had when she was a little girl and couldn't understand why she couldn't stay with her father and him for longer. He might only be her step father, but he loved her as if she was his and he hated seeing her like this.
She sniffed and rubbed her check against his shoulder, before forcing herself to sit up again. He could see the determined McCoy tilt to her chin. She was ready to face whatever this was head on now.
He waited. She stared down at their clasped hands until Jim brought his other one over both of theirs and squeezed. Slowly she looked up at him, her eyes shining. She looked worried and afraid and Jim wanted to do anything to help her.
"I'm pregnant," she whispered so softly Jim wasn't sure he heard her correctly.
"Excuse me?" he asked in shock.
Looking at him and then quickly away, she shuddered as she took a deep breath. "I'm pregnant," she said a little louder. "At least, I think I am."
"Pregnant?" Jim repeated in disbelief. Part of him was in denial. She wasn't old enough; she was their little girl. But then he looked at her and saw the young woman she had grown up to be and he felt his stomach drop. Their baby was going to have a baby – possibly. "You're not sure?" he prodded gently.
She shrugged, not looking at him, but her grip was tight on his hand. "Not positive, but…pretty sure. I'm…I'm late."
"How late?" Jim asked. "A day or two late, or more?"
She seemed to fold in on herself as he watched. "More like two weeks, give or take," she admitted."
"Oh baby," Jim sighed, his mind swirling, his heart heavy.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, her voice breaking as the tears started falling again.
"No, no," Jim pulled her into his arms. "There's nothing to be sorry for, aier. Nothing, you hear me."
This time she clung to him, but didn't sob. He could feel her harsh breaths against his neck as she tried to control herself. "Nothing?" she gave a watery laugh. "Ada, I'm twenty-two years old and in my senior year. I'm in the process of applying to grad schools and I'm pregnant. How is that nothing?"
Jim sighed. He wasn't one for recriminations. He was a man of action. "It's not nothing," he agreed. "But I don't want to hear any apologies. What's happened has happened and we need to move forward. Now you said you're not completely sure?" Joanna nodded. "So you haven't taken a test or…or been to a doctor?" She shook her head. "Okay, so here is what we're going to do." He sat back, holding onto her shoulders and looking into her eyes. He smiled gently at her, one lip quirked up as he silently acknowledged how bad the situation really was.
"Your dad has an old tricorder in the bathroom under the sink," he told her. "I want you to go get it. Wash your face, comb your hair – whatever you feel like that will make you feel a little better, and I'll meet you on the couch, okay?"
Wiping the tears from under her eyes, Joanna took a deep breath and nodded. "Okay. Thank you, ada," she said before leaning forward to press a kiss to his cheek. And then she was gone.
Feeling suddenly old, Jim grabbed his cane and made his way slowly to the couch. It was situated under a large display window and had a great view of the backyard, not that either one would be appreciating it today, he thought wryly. His heart hurt for Joanna, seeing the how distressed she was. And for Bones, who was going to be shocked as hell to find out that his baby girl was pregnant, maybe. This wasn't a situation they had even contemplated happening for many years to come, yet here they were.
Joanna was back in five minutes with the tricorder. Wordlessly she handed it too him, and then sat down where he patted the cushion next to him. He really didn't want her all the way on the far side of the couch where he couldn't touch her.
"So," he started hesitantly. He knew the best way to deal with Bones was to be as straight forward as possible. "I thought you and your mom had worked out the…you know, birth control stuff." Not wanting to pressure her, Jim kept his attention on the tricorder. He knew the basics of their operation, but he'd only had to use one to search for injuries. Luckily there was a menu and he concentrated on figuring out what to do while Jo spoke.
"We did," Joanna acknowledge. "I've been on ortho-celarian since I was sixteen."
Jim huffed lightly, but didn't look up. "Yeah, I remember when your dad found out."
"I can imagine," Joanna said wryly. "It's been working well. I mean, at first I didn't take it for birth control…I just…needed it, you know, for other…stuff."
Jim looked up and smiled fondly. "It's okay, Jo," he told her taking in her blushing face before looking away. "I may be married to your dad, but I have plenty of experience with women. I know how things work. What I'm wondering is how you might have…missed something."
"It's not an implant or shot," she told him. "I just have to take a pill once a month and…well, I'm usually pretty good about it, especially when I've been seeing someone, but things just got really hectic and, well, I was a bit late taking it and…" she shrugged.
"He didn't use a nano skin?" Jim asked. "Because you know, just because you're covered with birth control doesn't mean you're protected from anything else."
"Yes, dad," she rolled her eyes. "I know."
"Just checking," Jim told her, eyes still focused on the tricorder as he scrolled through another menu, but he couldn't help grinning slightly at her indignation.
"And we do use nano skins," she told him. "Usually, but well, it had been awhile and we might have been a little…involved…maybe might have not thought about it and…"
Jim held up a hand, not looking at her. "I got it. No need for details. So, who is the rest of the 'we' you're talking about?"
"The med student?" Jim asked.
"Have you told him?"
Joanna shook her head vehemently. "No."
"Why not?" Jim asked. "Don't you think he should know?"
Joanna sighed. "It's just…I don't know anything for sure and I…we…we've both been so busy and we've only been seeing each other for six months or so."
Jim gave a little crow of triumph when he found the setting he needed and then looked up at her, both eyebrows raised. "So, serious enough to sleep with him, but not serious enough to tell him he might be a father in nine months?"
"It's not… it's just…" Joanna floundered. "It's just hard. I don't know how he…I mean, he still has med school to get through and I was planning to get my MBA. I didn't plan…we didn't plan…"
"I know Squirt, but you're still going to have to tell him – if you are." He held up the tricorder. "Are you ready to find out?"
She visibly blanched, before swallowing heavily. "Not…not yet," she finally admitted.
"Okay," Jim agreed easily, setting it back in his lap. "I thought you were pretty happy with this Jeremy guy," he spoke to give her something to focus on. "Even Bones liked him the couple times we met him."
"He's great," Joanna admitted with a small smile. "I like him a lot. It's just, he has all these plans for his life and I don't think they include a baby right now."
"You have plans too, Jo," Jim reminded her gently. "And it takes two to make a baby. You don't think he'll support you, or want a baby?"
She thought about it and then shook her head. "No, I…that's not why I haven't told him. It's just…I don't want to mess up his plans… his life."
"It's his responsibility," Jim countered. "Just because you're carrying the baby – maybe – doesn't mean he's off the hook. You shouldn't try to protect him from this. If you are pregnant it's not only your burden to bear."
"I know," Joanna said on a sigh, "it's just easier to think of that way."
"Well stop it," Jim told her. "You're both adults here. If you are pregnant, he's going to have to man up and do his fair share."
"Oh, he will…he would, if I am," Joanna immediately defended her boyfriend. "I do believe that."
"Good," Jim nodded. "I'd hate to have to sic your dad on him, or worse – me."
Joanna smiled wryly at what they both pretended was Jim's attempt at humor, only they both knew he was totally serious. If Joanna was really pregnant and this Jeremy kid decided not to take his responsibilities seriously, it was even odds whether Jim or her father got to him first.
"Did you ever…" she began to ask hesitantly, glancing over at him shyly before looking away. "I mean, were you ever…you know…never mind," she decided, shaking her head.
"Was I ever in Jeremy's position?" Jim finished for her.
Joanna blushed as she looked at him. They were close, but they didn't talk about Jim's past escapades with women. It was just too weird for both of them. Joanna was aware of his reputation before he started seeing her dad, but that was the extent of it.
"Only a few people know this," Jim said after a long sigh. She had asked an honest question and she deserved an honest answer, especially given her current situation. "But in the months after the Narada incident and the destruction of Vulcan I was contacted by three different women claiming that they'd had my baby."
Joanna looked up at him with wide, startled eyes. "Really?"
"Really," Jim nodded. "One was a little boy, about three years old at the time. Another was a six year old girl and the other woman was still pregnant. Starfleet kept things quiet; didn't let the women go public or anything. Your dad did the genetic tests for each one. And each time, when the tests came back negative I was relieved…and disappointed," he admitted. "I didn't feel like I was even close to ready to be a father, but…if it was my kid, my son or daughter…I wanted to be a part of their lives." He shrugged and gave her a small smile.
"The tests were all negative, though, so no little Kirks running around, but it did make me curious," he told her. "I was as careful as I could be, for being a young and wild idiot, but it made me wonder. So I came up with a list of all the women I could remember sleeping with and I hired someone to…look into it for me. Nothing. I'll leave it to Sam to continue the Kirk line."
"You wanted to be a father?" Joanna asked hesitantly.
"I am a father," Jim told her with a fond smile. "I have you. You're not biologically mine, but you're my daughter. I just wanted to make sure that if I had any children out there…that they knew that I was their father and that I wanted to be part of their lives. Growing up without a dad kinda sucks," he admitted.
Joanna pursed her lips and blinked over and over again to keep from crying. "I love you, Ada," she finally told him, throwing her arms around his neck.
"I love you, too, Squirt," he said, holding her close. After a moment he pulled back. "Now are you ready to find out for sure?" he asked.
Sitting up straight, Joanna wiped away her tears and nodded. "Yes. Let's get this over with so I can figure out what to do next."
Jim grinned. "Spoken like your father's daughter," he told her. Holding up the tricorder, he pressed a button and slowly moved it over her head and down her torso. "Just hold still."
It only took a moment for the tricorder to do its thing and then there was a beep and Jim was staring down at the results, his heart in his throat.
"Well?" Joanna prodded when he remained silent, still looking at the read out.
Jim looked over at her and smiled softly. "Just so you know, James is a really great name for a little boy, if you want to go the whole namesake route," he said, watching her hands come up to cover her mouth as she gasped. "But Tiberus and Horatio should really remain middle names – Leonard too, for that matter."
"Oh my god," she whispered softly before falling into Jim's arms. "Oh my… oh my…"
There were tears as she absorbed the news, but not nearly as much as there had been earlier when she'd confessed the possibility to him. Deep down, Jim figured she'd already known that she was pregnant. They sat together for several minutes, Jim's arms tight around her and Joanna practically sitting in his lap as she had done as a child.
"You know you do have options, right aier," Jim finally said softly, brushing some of the hair off her forehead and placing a kiss there.
"Do I?" she asked humorlessly.
"Always," Jim told her. He didn't necessarily like the idea of her terminating her pregnancy or putting her child up for adoption or giving it to a surrogate, but if that was what she decided then he would support her one hundred percent.
"Thanks, ada," she finally said after taking a few deep breaths, "but I think we both know that whatever Jeremy says, I will be keeping my baby. I just…I can't," she shook her head, unable to continue.
"I'm glad," Jim told her.
"It's just going to be so hard," she spoke after a minute, her voice wavering. "I'll have to quit school and I…"
"Whoa, hold on there," Jim interrupted her. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. You may have to take some time off, but…school is still an option. You can get your MBA. We'll figure it out."
"But how?" she asked. "If it's just me and Jeremy…I don't want my child growing up in a crèche. I…"
"You'll have me and your dad," Jim told her. "We'll figure something out. We can help."
She snorted, though not meanly. "That's all well and good until you go back up on the Enterprise," she responded, looking up at him with an anguished expression. "Then what? Mom will want me to go home to Georgia and I just…won't do it. And Jeremy will be in his third year of med school, and then his residency. How can I raise a baby and go to school?"
"Shush," Jim calmed her, encouraging her to put her head back down on his chest. "Nothing is set in stone yet. And I'm still recovering. Who knows where Bones and I will be by the time this kid is born. We have time to figure things out and you still have to tell Jeremy," he pointed out.
"Yeah," Joanna agreed and then let out a huge yawn.
"You need some rest," Jim told her, taking in the dark circles under eyes and her worn out expression.
She nodded. "Haven't been sleeping too well," she admitted. "But I don't really feel like moving at the moment." She snuggled closer to him. Now that she'd made her confession and her guess had been confirmed it seemed like her body was shutting down on her. She was safe and protected and she had Jim to watch over her.
"Then don't," Jim told her. "Just slide down a little and you can use my leg as a pillow." Reaching behind her he grabbed the old quilt from the back of couch and spread it over her. "I've got you, Squirt, you rest."
"What about your leg?" Joanna asked, before yawning again.
Pulling up the coffee table, Jim gingerly lifted his leg and stretched in out. "There, fully supported and fine. Now lay down," he patted his thigh. She complied immediately and tucked the quilt under her chin. Jim let one of his hands rest on her shoulder as his other hand ran through her hair gently. She was out like a light within two minutes.
Joanna slept for over an hour before her comm beeped with an incoming message and startled her awake.
"Have a nice nap?" Jim asked as she sat up and looked around for the comm before spotting it on the coffee table. He surreptitiously stretched out the leg she had been using as a pillow, as well as carefully moving his injured one off the coffee table. There was no way he was going to wake her, but he had been afraid if she didn't wake up soon he was going to cramp. Still, he had had plenty of time to think and plan.
"It was good, thanks," she smiled at him, before opening the message. "I needed it." She frowned as she read the message and then her face lit up.
"Who's it from?" Jim asked, though he was pretty sure he knew by the softening of her face.
"Jeremy," she told him. "His afternoon classes were cancelled and he wants to know if I can meet him for lunch."
She pondered for a moment and then nodded. "Yeah, I think so."
"Will you tell him?" Jim couldn't help asking.
She took a deep breath and then looked over at him, her expression hesitant and scared. "Yes," she finally said. She began typing. "I'll have him meet me at my apartment and I'll pick up something from that deli around the corner. That way we'll have some privacy and I can…I can tell him."
Jim smiled. "That's my girl."
Joanna rolled her eyes at him and then stood and stretched before crossing the room to grab her purse and putting away her comm.
Jim stood up and limped over to her. "You're going to do fine, aier," he told her, pulling her into a hug. "No matter what happens, you have me and your dad, but things will be just fine, you'll see."
Hugging him back, Joanna smiled wryly against his chest. "It's funny," she finally said, "but of all the guys I've dated, Jeremy's the only one that I've ever thought could be the one, you know? I've just felt this…connection to him that I've never felt before."
"That's good," Jim replied, smiling as her comm beeped again. "What'd he say?"
Joanna reached for her comm again and opened it, her smile all the answer Jim needed. "He'll be there in twenty minutes, so I better get going." She hugged him again. "Thanks for everything, ada. I didn't know what to do and I…" she shrugged.
"Hey, that's what adas are for," he grinned. "Whatever you need."
"Well, since you mentioned it…" she trailed off hesitantly, giving him a hopeful look.
Jim just stared at her for a moment before he sighed dramatically. "All right, Squirt," he told her with a mock frown, as he tapped her nose playfully, "but you owe me. I'll break the news to your dad and keep him out of your hair for a couple days, but I expect you and Jeremy here for dinner on Friday, got it?"
"Got it," she said with a wide smile. "I'd just rather he got all his blustering out of the way first, you know?"
"Oh, I know," Jim nodded. "And for my sacrifice I think you really should name this kid after me. You McCoys are notoriously difficult to handle and this will be two in one day."
"You could always tell him tomorrow," she suggested, as she walked towards the front door.
"You think I can keep something like this from him?" Jim asked incredulously, following her slowly. "I don't think so. And if he were to find out that I didn't tell him right away." He shuddered exaggeratedly. "Excuse me for liking the use of all my limbs, even if one of them is of rather limited use at them moment."
Laughing as Jim meant her to, Joanna opened the front door. "I love you, ada," she said one more time, placing a kiss on his cheek. "Thank you for being in my life."
"Likewise, Squirt. Likewise," Jim said as he shooed her out the door. "Go see your almost doctor. I have to prepare for mine, now." He winked and she blew him a kiss and then she was gone.
Jim stood staring at the closed front door, feeling both totally exhausted and excited at the same time. "Oh boy, Bones, do I have some news for you," he said under his breath before turning back into the living room. He began mapping out his strategy. There was no telling how Bones was going to react to the fact that they were going to become grandfathers in nine months time, but it was sure going to be interesting.