Title: What Shouldn't Be (But Ultimately Is)

Universe/Series: Reboot (in more ways than others)

Rating: PG13 (Eventual NC-17)

Relationship status: first time, slow-build K/S

Word count: 1,000 for this part; Indefinite So Far

Plot: The importance of conception, as it was preordained, does, in fact, effect alternating life-lines.

Warnings: always!girl Kirk, angst, action, character death, language, rom-com humor, violence, possible amateur world-building

Additional Pairings: Spock/Uhura, brief past Kirk/OMC

Author Notes: Please don't think that this is another 'make one of them a girl to avoid gay squick', no, absolutely not. In fact, het pairings not only make me squick, but dry heave at times. But the idea for this story was irresistible, and I couldn't help but to think, 'what if' with all the other possibilities we see in the reboot!verse. I just wanted to explore the concept that Kirk/Spock can sooo belong to each other, regardless the role that gender plays. And this is mostly to explore Kirk's character, cause he is, to coin a term, fascinating. I have no idea where this is going, but hopefully you'll follow me. This is like, my first fic for this fandom ever. I know sucking is inevitable, but you gotta do what you gotta do, we only got one life right?

Summary: Kirk blinked. Twice. Hard. Because apparently, that was what it took to properly digest such outlandish (impossible) information. Alternate universes? Those were things you read about, not experienced right down to the day of your conception. This was insanity. Or, as Bones would say, 'Goddamn hog wash!' But Spock...hell, what would you call him? Older Spock? Time-Traveling Spock? Prime Spock? Older-Time-Traveling-Prime Spock? Maybe just Prime. He did look to be in the prime of old age. Somewhat worn down, a little weathered. Like he'd seen it all, lived it all. And it couldn't be helped that there was something familiar about him. But what? What? God, this...this...Prime Spock, would have it be believed that there were many other Kirks out there, in other universes, who not only Captained the USS Enterprise, gloriously, infamously, but were also male? Consistently?

Kirk felt her bottom lip tremble with disbelief as she opened her mouth and spat, "Bullshit. There's just no way." Only she totally didn't; and instead, what really came out was, "What the fuck? Why am I the only one in this universe without a dick?"

"A brash statement, but nonetheless true," Prime Spock replied smoothly with a lifted brow.

Kirk gaped. "Did you just agree with me?" God there was no way that could be...that this could be real. Her heart couldn't take anymore surprises. Being marooned on an iced-out planet was enough as it is.

Prime Spock's dark and steady gazed hinted at some small amount of amusement as he said, "Out of the countless and infinite possibilities that surely awaited me on the other side of the black hole, it is pleasing to see that, gender aside, you are still as fascinatingly complex as always."

Vulcan Translation: Even as a girl, you continue to be ridiculous. But I enjoy that about you. Its reassures me when everything else can not.

Kirk flushed. She couldn't help it. He just gave her the Vulcan equivalent of a compliment. She looked away and chewed on her bottom lip thoughtfully with a frown. Damn her own innate ability to read between the (Vulcan) lines. At least this Spock seemed to be fond of her in some small way.

She sighed. Now what to do with that, she had no clue. Starfleet hadn't exactly prepared her for...this.


Winona was quiet. This worried George, immensely. Seldom was his fiancée quiet. Not that she was much of a talker to begin with, but never let it be said that she was the silent type. He frowned and really looked at her. Her gaze was weary and tired. Even the golden waves of her hair seemed unsettled. Her mouth shrugged and moved with the struggle to speak. She had something important to say, George could tell. His worry grew with the continuing silence, but he remained patient. She would say what she had to when she was ready. He only wished that he could reach out and take her hands in his, to assure her that whatever seemed to be bothering her would be something that they both handled equally. But the action could not be committed. He's staring at her through a screen, in one of the Academy's conference rooms. She's safely back in Iowa, while he's in San Francisco, trying to make a life for them through the aid of Starfleet. They had agreed it was for the best.

"I don't want to bother you, George," she finally says.

George smiles and leans forward. "I don't see how you could. After all, your nothing but a gorgeous distraction that I don't mind indulging in once in a while," he says as he shifts his eyebrows with a playful leer.

It got the response he was aiming for. Winona chuckles with quiet flattery and the tension in her shoulders melts away. "George," she whispers with a fond headshake.

"Winona," he echoes and leans against his propped arm, still waiting patiently.

The tension returns when she squares her shoulders and looks him in the eyes. "There's something that I have to tell you. But…" she hesitates once more.

"You can tell me anything," George says softly.

Winona exhales slowly. "Please don't be angry with me," she whispers.

George frowns, heavily confused. An unpleasant sensation churns in his gut, and he fights instinct. "Did you…is there someone-"

"No!" she quickly stops him. "No, George, Jesus, how could you think…I just…it's nothing like that."

"Then what is it? You'll have to tell me because I don't know what to think," George admits as he swallows the lump that starts to form in his throat.

"Just promise not to be-"

"I can't promise anything," he says. He's never been anything but honest and straightforward, and she knows this. "You have to tell me, and trust that I'll try and understand. Is it the baby?"

Winona blinks slowly, and then nods. She takes a deep breath and says, "I found out what the gender of the baby was…weeks ago."

George sighs and runs a hand through his blond hair. "I'm angry," he says simply. "I can't help that. You promised to tell me as soon as you found out. But I still love you."

"I know," she says. "I love you too."

George nods once and glances down before he looks up again. "That isn't what you wanted to tell me though," he pauses and tries to control the shudder of fear that tries to overtaken him. He has to stay calm, and he can't do that if he thinks about their previous (failed) attempts to have children. "It's happened again hasn't it?"

Winona doesn't say anything. Then, she does. "It's a girl."

George blinks. Is. Present tense. Which means… "You're still…"

Winona smiles, a little unsurely, but nods. "Doctor says I'm coming along just fine, no troubles this time."

Joy, like he's never felt starts to unravel inside of him and he laughs from the relief of it all. "What will we name her?"

"Whatever you want," she says quickly, like she's trying to make up for before. He doesn't like it when she does that.

"You sure?" he grins, pressing back the pain of loss for another time, focusing on the now. "I'll name her Tiberius if you leave it to me."

Winona winces, but doesn't try for a fight.

George notices and frowns. "Maybe it'll be served best as a middle name. We can call Jemna. Jim for short."

"Strange," Winona says, "For a girl, so strange, don't you think?"

"Can't settle for lesser than an ordinary name for our girl. And, well, we couldn't very well name her James. Jemna is the next best thing. I know how much you loved your dad Winona, I think…I mean, you don't like it?" George is confused.

Winona stares at him and replies, "Why are you so good to me? Why are you so…even after all I put you through…you just, you're willing to make me happy?"

"Guess I have this weird notion where love is supposed to be everlasting. Good times and bad." he teases. "Your only human Winona, and I love you. I don't blame you for all those times before, how could I? What's the sense of it? It's a curse of the Kirks I think, to love unconditionally. My little girl's gonna get it as bad as me." George shrugs like it's a fact. "Love you," he repeats, blue eyes full of it.

"Love you," Winona echoes, a little bit of wonderment in her voice.

George opens his mouth to reaffirm his love and excitement but a cadet bursts in the room, looking wide eyed and frightened.

"You have to come see!" the cadet urges. "It's...some kind of an attack! There's a big ship, it's lowering some kind of drill!" And then he flees to continue spreading the message.

"George," Winona says hastily. She knows. She just knows what George will do.

George smiles shakily. "Don't worry, I'm sure it's nothing. I'll be right back."

"George," she whimpers. "Don't. Please. I know you. Don't."

"I'll be back. I promise." George turns and leaves the conference room.

Winona waits. Does nothing but wait because that's all she can do. Six hours later and she's still waiting, refusing to move when she just hopes George will come back any moment and grace her with that smile again.

He doesn't come back.

And weeks later when she's at the memorial service, accepting all the medals of honor on her late husband's behalf, stomach full of the genetics he had left behind, she still can't accept that he's really gone. His act of courage and sheer ingenuity may have saved Earth, may forever be known across the planet and other worlds but it meant little to her broken her heart.

What would she tell their daughter? How would Winona be able to explain that her father was a stupidly brave and selfless man who manned a Starfleet shuttle, and with impossible calculations, managed to damage and intercept the drill before it could wipe out their planet? That at the cost of his life he was able to drive away their mysterious alien attackers and save their planet from certain doom.

She was alone now. Alone and scared. She can't do this on her own, didn't plan…had never planned on doing it by herself. Somehow she feels as if she's being punished. For what was once a gift, will now serve as a constant reminder. And she…she just can't deal.

That's why when the baby arrives months later, and perhaps a little earlier than expected, Winona births her, names her, leaves her with her brother Frank and flees.

She never comes back. She doesn't have the heart to.