A/N: Well, everyone, this is the end. The final chapter. I really hope you all have enjoyed this story. I do know I enjoyed writing it. I know over the past few weeks my updates have been less frequent, but that is a result of a lot of things. Inspiration being one, and another big part of not wanting this story to end. But I knew all along how and where I wanted to end it, and there's not much more I think I could do with this.
As always, I truly enjoy your feedback. It means the world to me to know that this story has as much of a following as it does. Although, I know it's definitely not what I consider the most read on FF.
Just so you know I do have LOTS of ideas for other stories. Some Star Trek, others not. If you like my style of writing and would like to see me write something, please message me and let me know. I'm always up for a challenge. The plan is, as soon as I post this chapter, I will also post the prologue to my new story from the Big Time Rush fandom. So if you're a rusher, check that one out. I'm hoping to do one for Bones as well. One with Sweets, and another with Zack Addy.
That being said, if you read this entire note, thank you so much. And without further ado. I give you the finale to Strength Found in the Stars.
A New Chapter
Months passed, and one might think Samantha Kirk had always been aboard the Enterprise. She felt accomplished and at peace. The kind of peace one can only find, when one has truly found a home in the world. A life's purpose. Each day was fairly standard as the ship's CNS officer. She would have scheduled appointments with certain people aboard the ship, and then she would report for duty on the bridge. On rather exciting days, she would accompany Jim or other crew members on missions to new planets. She lived for those days. It had eluded her for many years before, but she quickly realized she was built for adventure, just like Jim.
Samantha was a crucial attendee of all peace treaty meetings between the Galactic Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. After discussion with the Chancellor and the President, Christian, they decided to further develop an exchange program between Earth and Klingon youth, in hopes that this would further establish the notion of brotherhood and trust between the two powers. She knew very well, that it was going to be a long hard road to peace with the Klingon Empire. One wrong move and it could easily undo all the good she had achieved. However, for the time being, both parties were on their way to full cooperation.
One of the key elements that kept her steady in the chaos that was the exploration of the universe, was Leo. To the outside observer, they could often be seen doing one of two things: arguing energetically over nothing significant or rushing to some private place to have makeup sex. Not that they constantly argued, mind you. They merely kept their more tender personal moments between the two of them. Slowly, but surely, her nightmares began to vanish. Soon the horrors she experienced became nothing but a dark distant memory. On their weekly video calls, their mother would always ask Sam and Jim if Leo had proposed yet. Jim would laugh, and Sam would roll her eyes. It seemed Wynona Kirk had already accepted Leo as a member of the family along with Spock and Uhura.
Uhura's due date, came and went. Leaving the very pregnant woman quite miserable. After two days of being overdue, she had consulted the good Dr. McCoy on various ways to induce labor. She tried everything, from eating spicy food, to walking for a long time, and, much to Spock's pleasant surprise, sex. But nothing seemed to work. Bones told the expecting couple that he was going to wait until a week after her due date, and then he was going to induce labor medically. However, to everyone's surprise it didn't take that. When Sam and Spock returned to the ship after a brief visit on New Vulcan, they were greeted with a rather excitable Scotty announcing that Uhura had gone into labor.
"Alright, Uhura, you're doing great, in just bit, I'm gonna ask you to start pushing, alright?" Bones asked trying to calm the woman before him.
Nyota breathed heavily nodding, and sweat covered her brow. She couldn't help but think that women really didn't exaggerate about how much of a bitch child birth was. Thankfully, she had Spock holding her hand. Or rather she had his hand in a death lock, while he stood by trying not to show the pain from his breaking hand on his face.
"Spock, I'm scared."
"Ashaya, there is nothing to fear. Dr. McCoy has delivered several children. I have no doubt that should anything complicate that he will handle things quite,"
"No, Spock, I'm afraid… what if I'm not a good mother?"
The vulcan's eyes soften at the woman before him, "Nyota, I know as much about raising a child as you, but there is one thing I know that this child will need. Love. You have a great capacity for love, and I know that you will be able to teach our child things, I could not even begin to imagine. Whereas I dwell mostly in the realm of logic, I learned how to love from my mother, and I know that I love you. I love our son whom you are currently bringing into the world. I have no doubt that you will give this child everything he needs and more."
Bones could see that she was able to give him one final loving look before a particularly loud cried filled medical bay, and she was entering the final stage of labor.
"Alright, on three, I need you to starting pushing. One, two…three!"
Sam paced nervously in the hall, while Jim propped himself casually against the wall outside of medical. Spock had gone to be with Uhura two hours ago, and from the sound of things, the baby was almost here.
"Would you stop that? You're making me dizzy!"
"What? Oh sorry," Sam muttered, "I'm just~ this is so exciting, and nerve wracking, and God, I hope everything goes okay."
"Don't worry, Bones is the best."
"I know that!" she snapped at her twin, and he raised an eyebrow.
"Sorry, I just want everything to go well," she added sheepishly.
"I know, Sam, me too."
Sam finally sat down, waiting patiently to hear that her friend was fine and her child was healthy. She had no doubt that Leo would handle everything smoothly. It was an interesting feeling, whenever she thought about Leo and children. Of course, he had a daughter, but he hardly ever saw her, because his ex-wife had fully custody. Leo hadn't even been granted visitation rights. But she had seen him interact with the few children on board. He always played with them as if he was just one rather tall child himself.
The thought of having children didn't exactly terrify her. It was more that, she had babysat, and worked at a daycare growing up, so she knew what children were capable of. They could be obnoxious little terrors that would make you want to go on a mass killing spree. But then the image of her walking down the street hand in hand with Leo while their child, who would be the spitting image of their father, ran ahead eager to play and enjoy life, filled her with an unfamiliar sensation of want.
Leo was the first man she actually pictured herself having a family with.
Suddenly, the door to medical bay opened, and Spock entered the small waiting room, holding a tiny squirming bundle wrapped in a blue blanket.
"Captain. Counselor. May I present, my son, Serron."
Sam and Jim carefully approached the new father and child. Peeking from underneath the blanket sat one of the most adorable children Sam had ever seen. He had a tuft of dark black hair atop his head, and his pointed ears were clearly visible. The baby yawned, and Sam couldn't hold back the "awww" that escaped her mouth. Jim extended his finger to touch the tiny balled up fist,
"Hey there, little guy, I'm your Uncle Jim. I know your Dad will say I'm not blood related, but I'm still your Uncle," Jim smiled knowingly at Spock, when the child firmly clutched Jim's pinky in his hand.
"How is she?" Sam asked Spock.
"She did beautifully," Spock said softly admiring his son, "no complications what so ever. Dr. McCoy says you may go in to see her if you wish."
Sam nodded, shaking Serron's foot before leaving the two men and entering medical. The room was quiet with exception of the occasional chirp of medical equipment. She saw Leo and Nurse Chapel by a screen, entering information, probably about the new child now aboard the ship. When Sam approached Uhura's biobed, her friend's eyes lit up.
"Hey," Uhura managed a whisper.
"Hey, yourself," Sam smiled, "What was it like?"
"It was amazing."
Sam took her hand in support and smiled, knowing that single gesture was all that was needed.
"He's perfect," Sam said, "looks just like his father."
Uhura smiled again through her exhaustion, "Doesn't he though?"
"You staying the night in medical?"
"Yeah, McCoy says in about an hour we're going to try breastfeeding, and then I should be able to get some sleep."
"I'm so happy for you."
Sam could see the traditional glow in the woman before her. It was the peaceful happiness that only someone who had just created life could possess. She was quickly shaken from her thoughts at the sensation of someone grabbing her hips gently. She turned, to find herself in the arms of none other than Leonard McCoy. He greeted her with a quick kiss.
"Congratulations Doctor, on a success delivery," she smiled brightly up at her love.
"Don't congratulate me. She did all the work," he gestured to a now sleeping Uhura.
"Still, I'm proud of you."
He tilted his head with a smile, and leaned in for another soft kiss.
"How long are you here till?"
"Well," he said dropping his hands from her hips and moving to examine Uhura's vitals, "I'll probably be here for another two hours, just making sure the baby stays healthy. Then I'll let the night shift take over and head to bed. Will you be there waiting for me?"
"Count on it," Sam winked suggestively.
The couple laid tangled naked in their sheets breathing heavily. If there was one thing Sam had learned to count on, it was Leo running her ragged in bed. Every time they lost control with one another, it was like time itself stopped for the two of them. There wasn't anyone in the universe she felt so complete with.
"Wow~~" Leo struggled to breathe, "We're really good at that."
"Yeah, we are!" Sam agreed placing her hand over her chest in an attempt to bring her heart rate back to a steady rate. As she reached the normal level of breathing, she turned to nestle into Leo. She felt his arms go around her, and she was overwhelmed with the familiar sensation of happiness he always gave her. They laid there in content silence. A thought had been nagging her recently, and she hadn't had much opportunity to discuss it with Leo. But, no time like the present.
"So, I was thinking, we should get married," she held him tight and looked up to him, hoping the very idea didn't send him running.
"Oh?" he asked in pleasant curiosity, "What makes you think that?" Sam smiled. At least he wasn't laughing just happily playing along with her hypothetical situation.
"Well, think about it. You're the only one who will actually openly disagree with me. And I am the only one who can tolerate your sarcastic nature. You call me a spoiled brat, I call you an arrogant jerk, and we still love each other at the end of the day."
"Let me get this straight," he propped himself up on his elbow looking into her eyes, "you think we should get married, because I'm too cynical to find someone else, and I'm the only one who can put up with you?" He smirked.
"When you put it like that…" she shifted to move out of the bed, but he pulled her back swiftly pinning her down hovering over her kissing her jaw line moving down sucking her neck. Sam couldn't help, but mewl in delight.
"What about kids?" he asked.
Sam titled her head in confusion before she realized he was still talking about their hypothetical future together, and tried to mimic his casual attitude, "I guess I always wanted to have kids someday. When the timing's right… yeah two or three would probably be good."
Leo stopped his work on her neck, and looked at her with mild surprise, "Really?"
"What you don't see me as the maternal type?"
"No, it's not that. It's just… How serious are you being right now?"
Sam shifted nervously, as he moved to lie beside her and brushed her hair from her face.
"Well," she bit her lip, "pretty serious. Leo, you're the only one I've ever pictured spending my life with. And now that we've had the time together, I know that there won't ever be anybody else like you. I can see myself raising a family with you. I know that might sound scary, but it really is how I feel."
Leo didn't run. Or yell. Or move. She could feel her heart racing, and he simply looked at Sam in a way she hadn't seen on him before. It was as if he was assessing her. Like he was trying to see any doubt behind her words, but he wouldn't find any. After a nerve-wracking minute, he turned to open the drawer next to his bed. Sam could hear him shuffling things around inside, and she sat upright curiosity overwhelming her. Before she could see in the drawer, he turned back to her sitting up, with something in his hands. Something rather small.
A small velvet box.
Sam's brain quickly put together the pieces, bringing her hands to her mouth in a gasp. Leo just smiled, and opened the box. There sat a beautifully simple gold ring, holding a single sparkling diamond in its prongs. She looked into his eyes, wondering if this was for real. She immediately realized how nervous she had been through their whole conversation, and slapped him on the arm.
"OW! Whatcha do that for?"
"You JERK! Do you know how nervous I was? And you wanted to propose this whole time?"
"I wasn't sure when I was going to. I wanted to bring up the idea, but I wasn't sure how. Did ya have to hit me so hard?" he nursed the shoulder of the arm that held the ring.
"Christ, Leo, you act all casual about it, and here I am going out of my mind!"
"Do you want the damn ring or not?" he laughed at her frustration.
After a moment, Sam calmed and immediately held out her hand shaking. Encouraging him to quickly put it on, as if afraid that the ring would suddenly vanish into thin air. She smiled brightly and admired the ring on her left hand. It fit her perfectly, and it wasn't gaudy or huge, with excessive embellishment. Just a simple beautiful diamond. Much like the ring her father had given her mother when he proposed. Wynona kept the ring, even when she remarried, and then later divorced. Leo pulled her in for a kiss tangling his hands in her long hair. Sam was all too happy to return the affection, by wrapping her arms tightly around him.
"You know you never actually said it."
"Said what?" he asked incredulously.
"You know, you didn't actually ask…." She trailed off letting the silence imply. Leo just rolled his eyes smiling, because returning a loving gaze.
"Samantha, would you marry me?"
"Yes," she pulled him close to her sealing their lips in another kiss.
"I don't wanna hear little lady! Go to you room!" Leo pointed the four-year old in the direction of her bedroom, and she stalked off pouting. He ran his hands through his hair utterly exhausted. Still aboard the Enterprise, he and Sam had embarked on the precarious journey of parenthood. A year after they married, they had been blessed with Ashley. A precocious young lady to be sure. Jim always teased him, because it was quite clear Ashley was the perfect combination of Leo and Sam. Attitude and all.
"What's going on?" Leo looked up to Sam enter the living room to their small apartment suite on the ship. She wore an old T-shirt of his over some shorts. That morning she had woken up with a fever and started vomited. Leo immediately ordered bed rest for her.
"Hey," he moved toward her embracing her, and felt her forehead for any remains of fever, "how are you feeling?"
"Leo, I'm fine, what's wrong with Ashley?"
He sighed, "Wanna know what happened with I picked her up from preschool?"
Sam raised her brow, not sure if she really wanted to know but nodded anyway.
"Apparently, she asked Serron if he wanted to participate in an experiment. Then, kissed the poor boy full on the mouth!"
Sam doubled over laughing. "It's not funny," he insisted, "She's four. She's got no business kissing boys, and what did Serron have to say about the whole thing? "Hmm, Fascinating!"" This of course only made Sam laugh harder. The image of the five year old vulcan/human boy kissing her daughter being too much.
Bones huffed before storming into their bedroom.
"Oh, Leo honey, I'm sorry, but it is kind of funny!"
"I don't know what I'm doing wrong! She's been flirting with boys since she could walk. She gets it from Jim, you know!"
"Oh sweetie," Sam got on her knees behind him while he sat on the bed, and rubbed his shoulders. He released a relaxing groan as the tension began to ease from his shoulders.
"I'll talk to her about appropriate behavior around boys," she said soothingly, "and hey, maybe when the new baby gets here she'll be too distracted to flirt."
"Yeah, maybe ~ wait, what?"
He turned sharply looking at his smiling wife. Sam grinned from ear to ear, and Leo's face lit up.
"We.. we're having another baby?"
Sam nibbled her lower lip between her teeth, nodding happily. Leo let out a triumphant shout, lifting Sam into air kissing her with gusto. She chuckled into the kiss. After a moment, he placed her gently back on the ground, and lowered himself to his knees, and whispered into her still small belly,
"Please, be a boy, I don't think I can handle all these crazy women!"
Sam laughed out loud, playing with his hair, "Oh come on, whatever happens we'll handle it together."
"Always," he glanced up at her before rubbing her stomach lovingly. Things always worked out for the best.
Well, thanks again everyone! Be sure to check out my other stories, and message me if you have a challenge for me. I hope you enjoyed the story! Peace, Love, Happiness.