Jim had been pacing for what felt like hours. And honestly, it was good that his leg had the strength to pace for that long. He knew he was going to pay for it later, but there was just no way he could sit still. Joanna had been in labor for over twenty-four hours and she had spent the last eight hours here in the hospital. In that time Jim had had seven cups of coffee, three bottles of water, one sandwich and a candy bar. He'd also gone to the bathroom probably twenty times; enough that Bones was threatening to get him an appointment with an urologist if his bladder was that small.
He'd tried to nap. He'd tried to read. He'd tried to prepare for the upcoming tactical exam that he was going to give next Monday. He'd even tried to hold a polite conversation with Clay fucking Treadway who'd arrived three hours ago, but nothing could take his mind off what was going on in room 629 where Joanna was about to give birth to his and Bones' first grandchild.
"Bones," he whined, circling back towards his partner who was currently shredding a napkin leftover from their lunch. "How long does having a baby take?"
McCoy ignored him, as he expected.
Clay frowned at him and shook his head before turning back to whatever stock report was on his PADD. Joanna being in pain and having to go through actual labor didn't seem to faze the man at all.
Jocelyn just tutted, as she had been doing all week. "Honestly Jim," she said in her usual patronizing tone. "How did you even make captain, let alone admiral, if you can't be patient?"
Jim turned and smiled at Jocelyn, and if McCoy was looking up he would have realized it wasn't a nice smile. "I made captain because I saved the planet, Joss," he told her simply. "I made admiral because I just happened to get my leg ripped off by a rampaging Klingon but still managed to save the space station as well as the Enterprise. They had to give me something since I refused another commission on the Enterprise so we could be planet-side for the birth of our grandchild."
"Your grandchild?" Jocelyn asked haughtily, her lips pursed tightly.
"Our grandchild," Jim repeated. "Me and Bones', and yours too," he conceded, totally ignoring Clay. "I've been Jo's step dad for almost as long as Mr. Stockbroker over there. So, yes, our grandchild."
"Jim," McCoy said quietly from his seat, shaking his head. He'd warned Jim it was no use getting into it with Joss, and Jim had managed to keep his tongue for the past week since she had arrived, but it was a close thing.
Jim and Bones had spent the last nine months supporting and helping Joanna and Jeremy through the ups and downs of her pregnancy. They'd each gone to prenatal exams with Jo when Jeremy wasn't available. They'd gone on food craving runs and endless shopping excursions for baby things. One memorable Saturday two months ago they had painted and decorated the nursery in the townhome that they had co-signed on for Jeremy. Joanna had been in tears when she walked in to see the soft blue walls, with fluffy clouds and the crib, changing table and dresser that she had picked out all put together and ready for the baby. The stars that Jim had added to the ceiling had earned him an extra hug and kiss.
Jocelyn had managed two visits and each one had left Joanna an emotional wreck and Jeremy either pissed off or hiding. Jim knew that Joanna loved Jocelyn and Jocelyn loved Jo, but they didn't have a close relationship since Jo had gone against her mother's wishes and transferred to UC Berkeley three years ago. Things hadn't exactly been smooth sailing even before that, but they were mother and daughter and Jim could respect that. What he could not respect was Jocelyn's constant sniping and harping on everything that Jeremy did or said. He was used to it directed at him; Jim had a thick enough skin, but Jeremy didn't deserve her ire. The poor kid was nervous enough as it was.
"Where were you when she was growing up? Where were you when she had her first break up? Or got braces? Or broke her leg? Or graduated from high school?" Jocelyn asked Jim caustically, though her eyes kept glancing over towards McCoy.
"We were doing our job, you know, exploring the galaxy and keeping Earth safe," Jim replied evenly, crossing his arms and staring at the woman. "I seem to recall that it wasn't until after our first mission that you even let Bones have her for a fucking weekend. The only contact he had was comms – on his credit chip – and you timed them down to the fucking minute."
"I had full custody, he was in…"
"Oh, and we all know how that happened, don't we?" Jim smirked, referring to her father and the strings he had pulled to malign McCoy and sabotage any chance he had of gaining partial custody, let alone visitation rights.
"Jim," McCoy interjected, his voice loud enough, but not angry, just tired. His mind was focused on his daughter, not his partner and ex-wife. "We are not doing this now. In fact, we are not doing this ever again. Sit the fuck down and stop baiting Joss. I know you're nervous but this isn't helping."
"Always did have more brawn than brains," Clay muttered under his breath, not looking up from his PADD.
"Yeah?" Jim asked, snidely. "Well, you probably should have sold your Viridionite stocks because they aren't ever coming back up – just so you know. Talos has gotten into the game and that's going to ruin the market." He smirked as Clay began searching his PADD and then blanched at what he was seeing.
"Jim!" McCoy reached up and pulled Jim down into the seat next to him. "Don't tease the stockbroker," he frowned.
"But why," Jim whined playfully, still enjoying Clay's look of horror. "It's so much fun."
"How old are you?" McCoy demanded. "Twelve?"
"At least eighteen," Jim winked. "Or this wouldn't be legal." He leaned forward and planted a smacking kiss on McCoy's lips.
Jocelyn hissed. "Can you please not do that in front of me? It's disgusting."
"Sorry mom," Jim intoned, trying to look like a chastised school boy and not succeeding at all. "Didn't know you had a thing against kissing. No wonder stock boy over there always looks so uptight."
"Jim," McCoy growled.
"I'm ignoring you," Jocelyn said in a huff, prancing off towards the coffee machine. "We'll be in the other waiting room if there is any news. Come along, Clay," she said as she passed him.
"Huh?" Clay looked up from his PADD, bewildered as he looked between Joss and the two other men in the room.
"We're going to the other waiting room," Jocelyn told him through gritted teeth, grabbing his arm and pulling him out of his chair.
Jim snickered as he watched them retreat. "I should have done that hours ago," he said, turning to look over at McCoy. Once he caught the frown on his partners face Jim's smile faded. "Okay," he heaved a sigh. "I'll go apologize and ask them back." He was halfway out of his seat when McCoy tugged him back down.
"Nah, I'm enjoying the quiet," McCoy admitted with a half smile. "But you will not behave that way in front of Jo and Jeremy, got it?"
"Yes, Bones," Jim immediately agreed. "I promise."
They sat there for another ten minutes, Jim's head resting on McCoy's shoulder, their hands entwined, before there was the sound of squeaky shoes on linoleum and the soft clearing of a throat.
"Uh, Dr. McCoy, Admiral Kirk?" the nurse asked hesitantly. Both men sat up straight and looked at her expectantly. "Your daughter is ready to see you now," she smiled.
"Is she okay?" Jim asked immediately as he popped up off his seat like a jack-in-the-box, only to hiss at the twinge of pain the exertion caused. "Are they okay?" he asked again, brushing off McCoy's helping hand.
"Mother and baby are fine," she told them, "and so is daddy, though he might need one or two of his fingers set," she added with a laugh.
"That's my girl," McCoy whispered, a glowing smile on his face. "Can we…" he nodded down the hall.
"Of course," the nurse nodded. Then she looked around. "Where are Mrs…" she trailed off, realizing that she didn't know Jocelyn's last name. "Where's Joanna's mother?"
Jim hitched his thumb over his shoulder. "They're in the waiting room down the hall," he told her. "Apparently this one wasn't big enough for the four of us," he added with a smirk. "I'll go get them, you go ahead Bones," he told his partner, nudging him down the hall.
McCoy hesitated, looking back at Jim in confusion. "Are you sure? I can…"
"Go on Bones, Jojo is waiting for you," Jim smiled. "I'm right behind you. Promise."
It wasn't that Jim didn't want to see Jo and her baby or even that he was nervous, he just wanted to give McCoy a moment alone with his daughter and grandchild. As much as he postured to Jocelyn, he realized that in this situation Joanna's mother and father came first. He'd settle for third behind them. Treadway could just deal. But after all the time they'd spent with Joanna and Jeremy, McCoy deserved first dibs on holding his grandchild.
Leaning forward, McCoy placed a quick kiss to Jim's lips and then followed the nurse down the hall to his baby girl. If Jim walked slower than usual towards the other waiting room, no one knew it. After all, he had been mauled by a rampaging Klingon almost a year ago and was still getting used to his prosthesis.
Standing in the doorway of the waiting room, Jim knocked on the wall, gaining Jocelyn's attention at least. Clay still had his face buried in his PADD.
"Go away Jim," Jocelyn told him. "I'm not interested in your apologies."
Jim raised an eyebrow at her, a trick he'd learned from Spock and McCoy. "Not here to apologize," he told her. "The nurse stopped by; she's ready for visitors."
"Boy or girl?" Jocelyn asked as she stood up.
"Don't know, why don't you go find out?" Jim said, waving a hand in front of him to allow her to precede him down the hall.
"Clay, come on," Jocelyn demanded, as she took a few steps away from her husband.
"Huh?" he looked up at them. He obviously hadn't heard a word.
"Joanna had the baby," Jocelyn told him impatiently. "Come on!"
"I'm right behind you," he said distractedly, already typing something onto the screen of his PADD.
"Honestly," Jocelyn tutted, but she left him there, passing Jim and giving him a small smile. Jim grinned back. He might not like the woman, but she was Joanna's mother and a new grandmother, he could relate to her excitement.
Jim wasn't even two steps behind Jocelyn as she stepped into the room. He'd been in here before, when Jo had first been checked into the hospital, but the monitoring equipment and medical apparatus had been removed. Everything was tucked neatly away and it looked like a spartan hotel room.
Seeing the awed look on McCoy's face as he stared down at the tiny buddle wrapped in pink in his arms, Jim felt tears well up. He'd never seen McCoy so peaceful. It was like that tiny bundle was the most precious thing ever.
"It's a girl!" Jocelyn exclaimed as she made a beeline to McCoy, instantly taking the baby from his arms. McCoy clung to the baby for a moment, leaning down to press a kiss to the baby's forehead before relinquishing it to her grandmother. He didn't move away, though he flashed Jim a quick grin, before looking back down.
"So, a girl," Jim said softly, coming over to the side of the bed and giving Joanna a kiss, before turning to Jeremy and shaking his hand. "Congratulations squirt. You did good."
"Thanks, ada," Joanna smiled up at him, reaching to hold his hand. She looked exhausted and worn out, but her smile was beautiful as she looked over at her daughter who was being cooed at by Jocelyn.
"Next time could you not take so long," Jim asked her with a teasing grin. "Those chairs aren't that comfortable and the company wasn't exactly great," he added in whisper.
"I heard that, Jim," Jocelyn said, though the spite was lost in the fact that she said it in a cooing, baby talk voice. "And I'm still ignoring you."
Joanna laughed and Jim rolled his eyes. "I should be so lucky," Jim told Joanna softly, his hand squeezing hers. "How are you doing, squirt?"
"I'm fine," she told him. "At least now I am," she said seeing Jim's incredulous look. "I'm a little tired and a bit sore," she smiled as Jim snorted at her statement, "but I'm fine."
"That's good," Jim grinned. "I heard you might have broken some of Jeremy's fingers," he teased her, looking over at Jeremy who did indeed have two fingers bandaged.
The young man grinned. "Just cracked twp proximal interphalangeal joints. Five minutes with a osteogenerator and I'll be fine," he looked down at Joanna with a fond smile. "It was totally worth it."
Just then the baby decided she was not happy and began to cry. Jocelyn began to bounce her gently in her arms, shushing her and trying to calm her down, but it didn't seem to be working.
"Mom, give her here," Joanna called, sitting up a little in bed. Both Jim and Jeremy reached out to help her up.
"I've got it sweetheart," Jocelyn told her, not even looking over. "Don't worry. You rest."
"Mom," Joanna repeated, her tone frustrated. The baby was still crying and it was getting louder.
"Jocelyn, give Joanna her baby," McCoy told her, his tone one he used with recalcitrant interns. "It's her daughter, she decides who gets to hold her."
"I can…" Jocelyn began to protest, but then caught the look in McCoy's eye and moved to give the baby to Joanna. "I was just trying to help," she told them, a pout definitely forming on her lips. "It's hard work having a baby and I just wanted Joanna to rest."
"I'm fine," Joanna said softly as she accepted her daughter, a smile blooming on her face as she held the baby close and murmured softly to her. Being in familiar arms, the baby quieted down right away. "There you go, sweetie," Joanna cooed. "You're fine, aren't you?"
Jim looked over at McCoy and grinned as he watched the other man surreptitiously wipe away a tear. Jim really couldn't say much about it as he was doing the same thing.
"So, darlin'," McCoy finally spoke, "you going to tell us her name?"
Joanna looked up at Jeremy, who smiled down at her and nodded. Then she looked over at McCoy and Jocelyn who were on one side of the bed, and Jim who was standing on the other. She frowned slightly. "Where's Clay, I thought…" Just then the man in question walked in.
"Sorry, sorry," he apologized sheepishly, realizing that everyone was staring at him. "I, uh…there was a…"
"Shut up Treadway," McCoy spoke up. "Okay, darlin,' he's here now," he turned to his daughter. "You gonna keep us in suspense?"
Instead of answering her father, Joanna turned to Jim. "Would you like to hold her, ada?" she asked.
"Would I?" Jim asked excitedly. "Hell yes! I mean heck yes," he corrected himself, already reaching for the baby. Slowly and carefully, he brought the baby close to his chest. She felt so light in his arms, nothing like the mannequins he had practiced on. She was solid and warm and so very, very beautiful. "Who's a pretty girl?" he asked. "You are. Oh yes, you are."
He smiled over at Jo. "She's wonderful, squirt."
"Thanks, ada," she grinned at him. "We think so, too," she reached for Jeremy's hand.
"So, what is her name," Jocelyn asked, her voice a bit harsh as she frowned at Jim who was still cooing at the baby.
"Her name is…" Joanna looked around to make sure she had everyone's attention. "Jamie Kathleen Matthews," she said proudly.
The room was silent, and then McCoy laughed, watching the dumbfounded expression on Jim's face. Jim just stared incredulously at Joanna who was grinning from ear to ear, obviously enjoying his consternation. He'd been teasing her off and on that James would make a great name for a boy, but he hadn't ever expected it to happen.
"You…are you…?" Jim stuttered, for once at a loss for words.
"That's a horrible name for a little girl," Jocelyn finally said indignantly.
"I think it's perfect," Joanna countered. "Kathleen is for Jeremy's grandmother who helped raise him and Jamie is for you, ada."
"I was just teasing," Jim confessed, still in shock. "I never thought…I didn't mean…Why?" he finally asked.
"Because you're my ada," Joanna shrugged. "And you brought my dad back to me."
"He didn't bring Len back, Starfleet did," Jocelyn argued, but no one else said anything.
Jim knew Joanna wasn't referring to the return of the Enterprise, but to how Jim had helped McCoy fight for the right to see his daughter; how he had used his celebrity, something he didn't do often, to tip the scales in his friend's favor and allow McCoy and Joanna to visit as often as possible and to exchange vids and comms when they couldn't see each other.
Careful of the precious bundle in his arms, Jim leaned forward and placed a kiss on Joanna's forehead. "I love you, squirt," he told her. "Thank you."
"No, thank you, ada," Joanna smiled, her eyes a bit shiny. "I love you, too."
The end. Really