This story (as mentioned in the description) is a sequel to 'After Darkness Comes The Dawn'. You'll need to read that first, or this will make pretty much no sense to you!
I don't own Star Trek or any of the actual Trek characters, but I do however own Seren, Christopher, Leo, Emily, David and a few others that we haven't met yet ;)
Let's see how this goes shall we...
Christopher George Kirk rolled over onto his stomach, face nuzzling into the soft pillow.
He was tired. It had been a long few days with moving into their new apartment and of course celebrating the big move.
He planned on going straight back to sleep, allowing his aching body a bit more time to recover.
"Chris? Jim wants to talk to you," his twin's voice interrupted his slumber and he groaned, reaching one arm out of the nest of blankets to accept the communicator. Leo fumbled as he searched for his hand, but eventually handed over the device.
"Wassamatter?" he slurred sleepily.
"Morning sunshine," his father greeted cheerfully and Chris groaned loudly, burying his face into the pillows.
"I was just wondering why every time I look out of my office window I'm met with your pert little ass? You said modelling Christopher; you never said anything about butt modelling."
"Because I got paid a lot of money for that underwear campaign. Like more than you earn in a month, for three hours work and my ass on a couple hundred big screens. Sounds like a good deal to me, and if that upsets you then you should see the other picture," he mumbled.
"Just because you've got it, doesn't mean it needs to be flaunted outside my office window. Spock is going to flip a table when he see's it," Jim warned and Chris snorted.
"I'd love to see that. Maybe something I do will finally get some kind of reaction out of him. Is this all you wanted to talk about? Because I'm trying to sleep here," he whined and Jim chuckled.
"Meet me later for dinner? Both of you?"
"Can't. I have a hot date."
Jim sighed loudly.
"Well fine, I'll just take Leo out for dinner."
"That's fine. I'd rather get laid," he shrugged and Jim snorted.
"You're too much like me for your own good," he said, ending the communication. Chris groaned again and snapped the communicator shut, throwing it carelessly aside and listening to it clatter across the floor.
"You in trouble or something?" asked his twin and he peeked his eyes open. Leo was still standing by the bed and had been for the whole conversation.
"Yeah, he's worried about how bad Spock will be offended when he see's my ass up on that big screen by HQ," he said, causing Leo to smirk.
"I still don't believe that it's even true. I think we're both ugly as trolls and this entire 'I'm a male model' thing is some ploy to boost my confidence."
"Yeah well you keep thinking that if you want, but the evidence is all there that we are two damn good looking cross-breeds," he said as he threw the blankets off and swung his legs around to get out of bed.
"One day maybe I'll find out," Leo said and Chris placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Sure you will, and on that day you'll just want to stare at yourself in the mirror all day and touch yourself inappropriately because you're just so damn sexy, little brother!" he grinned, clapping his brother on the back before leaving the room to raid the fridge.
Leo followed him, and Chris flinched as his twin bumped his shoulder into the doorway. He wasn't quite used to their new apartment yet, but they had only been there three days so he had plenty of time to learn the place.
"Hey don't get bruises or Jim'll accuse me of beating you!" he warned as he flung the fridge open.
"I wouldn't dream of it," Leo said.
Chris looked at his twin and smiled. They were both incredibly fortunate in the looks department, but Leo definitely edged him slightly. There was just something about him that made him ever so slightly better looking, and Chris wondered if it was the complete innocence in his deep brown eyes. Having never seen the world, he'd never been corrupted by it.
"So when I meet Jim for dinner later I might go home with him and sleep at the house. You were kinda loud yesterday with that girl and… I… yeah… it made me uncomfortable," he admitted as he fumbled in the cupboard for a box of cereal.
"Sorry… not my fault if they're screamers," Chris shrugged and Leo screwed up his face.
"But it's your fault that you're a screamer," he pointed out and Chris laughed.
"You should have felt what she was doing to me and see if you could have kept quiet."
"This is hardly a conversation to be had whilst eating, Christopher," said his brother in a mock-posh accent.
"That's right. Hey I'm going out soon for a casting, you'll be OK here by yourself?" he asked and Leo sighed loudly.
"I'm blind, not retarded. I can take care of myself, you should know that by now," he said indignantly.
"Well yeah I know, but I feel bad leaving you. We've not been living here long and I know you still can't find everything all the time."
Chris had done his best to put everything away as quickly as possible so that there would be less risk of his twin tripping over or bumping into anything. He'd done a good job, and so far Leo had only ended up falling over once and that was his own fault for leaving his own shoes in the middle of the room.
"Chris I'm fine, I swear. You should go. Go get your cute little butt on some more posters," he said and Chris smirked.
"You should come with me. I bet they'd pay big money for twins-"
"No. Not doing it," Leo said, cutting him off stubbornly.
"OK that's fine. At least let me bring over some friends to introduce you to?" he offered and Leo ran a hand through his hair.
"Now the last time you said that, I found out the girl I had been talking to all night was a hooker who you'd paid to have sex with me… so how can I trust you?" he asked and Chris laughed out loud.
"You can't trust me. And would you just hurry up and lose it already? Jesus. You're twenty years old and a virgin. I swear your balls are going to explode or something," he muttered and it was Leo's turn to laugh.
"No. There's no way I'm going to do it with someone when it doesn't mean anything… I want it to be… right," he said and Chris snorted into his cereal.
"You mean you only want to have sex with a woman you love?"
"Yeah I guess."
"A woman like Emily McCoy?" Chris teased and Leo blushed vivid green right up to the tips of his ears.
"Be respectful. Bones would kill me… you remember when we had the birds and bees talk? I think his exact words were 'and if either of you stick anythin' in my little girl I'll cut it clean off and give it back to you in a jar'," said Leo in a perfect impression of Leonard McCoy's voice. Christopher laughed.
"True. And I like that particular appendage being attached to my body."
"I hear rumours she's going to be back in town though, soon. Haven't been around her since we were what… thirteen?" Leo asked and Chris agreed through a mouthful of cereal.
"Yeah. I bet by now she's got a great pair of-"
"Chris! Shut up," Leo whined and his twin laughed at him. "Although… could you… y'know, tell me how big they are?" Leo asked hesitantly and Chris grinned. Maybe they weren't so different after all.
"Not unless you have practice sex with someone else before you make a fool of yourself in front of her. You're way too much of a child you know," Chris said and Leo shook his head.
"Yeah well… at least I'm not a filthy little man-slut that fucks anything with a pulse," he mumbled and Chris gasped, throwing a spoonful of cereal across the table and spraying milk all over his twin's face.
"Did… did you just throw food at me?" he asked.
"Oh that's it. It's on!"
James T. Kirk almost choked on his coffee as he rounded the corner onto Eighth Avenue.
He was met with an enormous illuminated screen on the side of one of the buildings, and his son sprawled across it.
Christopher was posing suggestively, draped across a brown leather couch in only a pair of obscenely tight white boxer briefs, legs spread wide and a look on his face that said 'come and get it, ladies'. The bulge he was displaying had Jim feeling all of a sudden very inadequate in that department, and the way every muscle in his young body was clearly toned and defined made Jim feel his age just that little bit more.
"God damn… little slut," Jim muttered as he walked quicker, head down now as he did his best to get away from the image of his once innocent little boy in almost all his glory.
He knew when Christopher had been spotted by a talent scout that it was only a matter of time before he landed a big contract. The twins were aesthetically perfect, almost so much that it was painful. They'd taken the best from both their parents, with Spock's dark eyes and piercing stare, pointed ears and strong jawline, and Jim's blonde hair, tanned skin and facial structure, they were never going to be unattractive.
His communicator bleeped in his pocket and he pulled it out.
"Hey Jim, I need a favour," Bones' voice rang out.
"Sure, what is it?"
"Could you get that picture of Chris taken off that billboard? It's just I've got such a raging mega-hard boner from looking at him that I can't focus on working," he teased and Jim sighed and rolled his eyes.
"I'm going to start calling you 'Boneser' you know," Jim said and Bones gasped.
"You wouldn't dare!"
"I would if you keep saying such obscene things about my little boy, stop it Bones! It's weird enough for me to see it all over the place without you being a pervert."
"Little boy? Little?! Jim have you seen the size of-"
"Yes! Bones! I've seen it. I've seen it all over town. I'm mortified and humiliated and so angry I could punch him right in the pointy ear, but he's an adult now, and if he wants to whip his cock out for a little bit of money then there's nothing I can do stop him, especially now that they've moved out. What do you want anyway?" Jim asked as he sped up, walking back towards Starfleet HQ.
"I don't really want anythin', just to bother you while I'm on break. Oh. And Emily is comin' home, for good this time too, we're throwing her a little 'welcome back' party next Friday. Think you can round up the three musketeers and bring them along?" Bones asked.
"If I can convince Seren to ever come home from Chicago then maybe. You maybe want to get a drink later?" Jim replied.
"Well, give it a try. That sounds good. Normal place, normal time," Bones said as he cut off the communication.
Jim stuffed the device back in his pocket and hurried into the building, doing his best to ignore the large billboard right outside with Christopher's picture looming over him.
"Are you alright? You seem kind of quiet," Jim asked as he watched Leo carefully eating his food.
"Hm? Oh no, I'm fine," he said quickly and Jim set down his own knife and fork, staring hard at his youngest son.
"Stop looking at me like that," protested Leo after a few moments and Jim smiled.
"Sorry. Are you sure though? I mean you've barely touched your food either."
Leo sat back slightly in his chair.
"I haven't been feeling too well today, just a little bit of a headache is all. I think it's from not being able to meditate too much lately… my mind is getting all… clogged," he said and Jim nodded.
"Yeah. Spock get's like that too sometimes. Is it Chris behaving like an asshole that keeps disturbing you?" he pressed and Leo sighed.
"The other night he brought home this girl…. And I don't even want to know what they were doing to each other, but it was so loud I couldn't ignore it and I couldn't sleep. I'm wondering if moving in with him was the best idea. I mean, he doesn't need me there to help pay bills, he's got all of that covered… I'm just the talking point to get him introduced to the women, and then he leaves me at the bar to find my own way home," he said and Jim scowled.
"He shouldn't be doing that. Using you to pick up girls? That's wrong. And leaving you in unfamiliar places by yourself too?"
"Relax. It's nowhere completely unfamiliar, plus I've got ways of finding my way places," he smiled and Jim raised an eyebrow.
"Oh yeah? Like how?"
"Well, the one I've been using a lot lately is to wander into the ladies bathroom. Sounds crazy right? But then a girl will spot me and normally start yelling or something, at which point I tell her I'm completely blind and have no idea this was the ladies bathroom. So then their tone will change from 'you asshole pervert' to 'oh you poor, poor man'… they lead me back out, I ask them for the address of wherever we are. Bingo, I can find my way home."
Jim grinned at the ingenuity of the plan. Leo knew San-Francisco by heart. How many paces were in each block, where there were steps and kerbs and dreaded trees in the middle of the pavement. Once he knew where he was, he could find his way to any other point within the downtown area. The Vulcan part of his brain never failed him, and his ability to memorise and problem-solve was like nothing Jim had ever seen before.
"Very clever. I like it," Jim smiled and Leo shrugged, picking up his glass of water and taking a sip.
"So how's the life of the Commodore? Still just as fun as ever sitting at your desk lining all your pens up perfectly straight?" Leo asked and Jim chuckled.
"Yeah something like that. I hope Spock is having fun with my ship out there though…" he sighed.
"When is the great Captain home next?"
"Soon, I hope. He's damn well been gone long enough." Leo could sense the hostility in Jim's tone.
"Are you guys fighting?" he asked and Jim made an indecisive noise.
"Not exactly. I think not speaking would be a better way of putting it," he said and Leo pressed further.
"Why? What happened?" he asked and Jim paused before giving his answer.
"He wants me to force you and Chris to go to the academy… and I don't want to do that. I mean you're one year off your own degree, and Chris is… off having fun and catching STD's or whatever the hell else he's doing. I don't think you guys have ever wanted it, therefore, I'm not going to push you. I mean… he never tried to push Seren into the academy, and I think the three of you should be treated equally," Jim explained.
Leo finally set down his knife and fork, deciding that his headache had ruined his appetite so completely that he didn't want anything else to eat.
"She didn't need to be pushed into the academy, she was at medical school at the age of fifteen," Leo pointed out and Jim nodded.
"True. But you're going to get your Engineering degree next year, and then if you want to join Starfleet, well, that's up to you," Jim said and Leo sighed.
He did want to. He wanted nothing more than to join and go off into space on great adventures as his fathers had done before him. It was just that being able to see would be a requirement of that, and a requirement he couldn't fulfil.
"So you guys aren't talking because of that?" Leo asked and Jim sighed.
"Can we not talk about it?" he asked quietly and Leo nodded.
"Yeah. Sorry, I didn't mean to-"
"No, really, it's fine. I just don't believe in parents putting their kids in the middle of their fights. Anyway. Shall we head out? I'll give you a ride home," Jim offered and Leo nodded, ignoring the way his headache was now trickling down his spine.
"Are you sure you don't want me to come in with you?" Jim offered as Leo fumbled with the door handle to get out of the car.
"Yeah. I'm fine, honestly, I just need to sleep," he said stubbornly, doing his best to force his hands to stop trembling and to ignore the pounding in his skull.
He stepped out of the car and ended up flat on his back as his sense of balance failed him completely.
Within seconds Jim was out the car, had grabbed his hand with both of his own and was hauling him up to his feet.
"Come on, I'll make sure you get to bed OK," Jim said firmly and Leo knew not to argue.
He couldn't help but notice as Jim led him up the stairs into the apartment building, still gripping his hand.
He wished he hadn't noticed.
Jim's left hand that was on his was completely naked.
His ring was missing.
"Dad is everything alright?" he asked as they stepped into the lift, Leo grabbing for the bar he knew ran at round waist height to support himself on his wobbly legs.
"Right now I'm more concerned about you," Jim said as they ascended the building.
Leo didn't say anything further.
He allowed Jim to lead him into the bedroom and untie his shoes for him so he could kick them off, but then insisted he was fine and sent him on his way.
Relaxing back into the soft mattress he focused on the exact source of the pain in his head. It was near the back, and relatively low down, sending the occasional jolt of pain down his spine if he moved incorrectly. He closed his eyes tightly and did his best to slow his breathing and attempt to sleep.
"You get smaller every time I see you," said Bones as Jim approached.
"Well, what can I say," he shrugged, sinking into the bar stool beside his friend.
"I'm serious Jim. Your uniform is like a tent on you, it's not a good look."
"Shut up! Alright! First Leo and now you… just… stop grilling me," Jim exclaimed and Bones looked taken-aback by the outburst.
"Alright then Mr. Pissy! Jeez... What's up anyway?" he asked and Jim sighed deeply, resting his elbows on the bar and letting his head fall into his hands.
"We're having a… trial separation," Jim said quietly and Bones took a sharp breath.
"Didn't realise you were quite at that point," Bones said bluntly and Jim nodded. He gratefully accepted the drink Bones slid across to him, taking a large sip of it.
"Neither did I. He suggested it," Jim said glumly.
Bones shifted in his seat, subconsciously twisting the gold band on his own finger.
"When does he get back?"
"A couple of weeks. I guess we're going to talk about it all then… I just… for him to be the one breaking up with me, that's what really takes the cake, you know?" Jim took an aggressively large swig of his drink, almost draining it in one go.
"I gave up… everything to stay at home, to be there for them, and that's fine… I mean, I expected to. But him? He's missed more of them growing up than he's been here for. It was almost like nothing changed for him. Then he got promoted too and that was that… he's off out in space for months and months at a time, forgetting that people at home might actually… need him," Jim finished weakly and Bones signalled the bartender to place two more drinks in front of them.
"Does he know you feel like that?" Bones asked and Jim laughed loudly, but there was no happiness in it. It was the cold, sarcastic laugh of a man who was well on his way to becoming completely bitter and cynical.
"Knows? Yeah. He knows. Cares? Now that's a whole other question."
They fell into silence, Jim just draining glass after glass until Bones cut him off at eight.
"What about your mental… link thing? Won't that always be there?"
"It's kind of like the ones we have with the kids. It still exists but hasn't been used in such a long time it's gone… dormant. The ones with the kids haven't been active since they were old enough to care for themselves, and Spock and I have ignored ours for the better part of the time he's been away." Bones stared down at the bar. He knew Spock had been gone just over a year this time, and it was taking a serious toll on Jim.
"He missed Seren's graduation… he missed our fifteenth anniversary, after missing our tenth too. He wasn't even there to support me when... when..." Jim was unable to say it, and Bones understood.
A little under six months after they had returned from the five year mission and Jim and Spock had got married Jim had found out he was expecting again. They had agreed it would be their last child. One last baby that Jim had so desperately wanted, but it wasn't to be. At eight weeks Seren had found Jim passed out on the kitchen floor at home, Spock off world on New Vulcan. She'd been the one who'd called him in the middle of the night, panic in her voice, the most emotional Leonard had ever known her.
Jim had miscarried, and with no way for his body to eject the embryo, it had started to poison him, septicaemia spreading rapidly through his body. The damage was severe, and to save Jim's life Bones hadn't had a choice but to remove the entire reproductive system.
He always felt like Jim had never fully got over it, and never fully forgiven Spock for not being there to help him through it.
"He just… he doesn't care, and I'm done being hurt by it," Jim said firmly.
"I know you all too well Jimmy, as soon as he gets home you'll throw yourself at him an' everythin'll be fine. You've been talkin' like this before and you always change your mind. You're just makin' it into a bigger thing than it really is… I mean, sure, he's been gone for a lot of time-"
"Bones in the twenty-one years we've been together he's been around for nine years, four months and twelve days. Five years of that was the mission. So… he's been away the majority of our relationship. I just… I'm sick of waking up in an empty bed when I'm no longer even convinced that the person supposed to be sleeping there even loves me anymore," Jim said, finally meeting Bones' eye.
His blue eyes were just as bright as they always had been. Unnatural almost. Age had been kinder to him than it had to the Doctor, and the lines on his face were shallow, still not a single grey hair in his head of caramel strands. Bones theorised it had something to do with Khan's blood and the vastly longer life-expectancy of the Augments, but he had never done any research to prove it. Jim's face did reveal something though.
Pain. Hurt. Misery.
It hadn't been the life he'd wanted when he'd said his vows that day up on the ship. He thought Spock would be there for him, as he'd promised that he would, and he'd been let down. Finding a way to cope he'd thrown himself into caring for the kids and working, rising quickly to the rank of Commodore and staying there so he could keep his desk job, the kids becoming his main focus.
Now the twins had moved out and Jim was all alone, Bones felt a strong surge of sympathy for the man who had put his faith in someone who had done nothing but stamp all over his emotions for the past fifteen years.
"Jim… do you want to come over? I'm not working until tomorrow afternoon, we could get out a bottle of-"
"Thanks… but I should probably go home," Jim said, interrupting him before he could finish his invitation.
"Sure. Who's more drunk? I only had five to your eight." Bones asked as they stood up.
Jim wobbled a little and the Doctor grabbed his upper arm.
"Take it I'm driving," he said and Jim smirked.
"You know how it is Bones, five and drive! Just like the academy days," he said, clapping his friend on the shoulder as they left the bar together.
A short drive later (and a careful one at that) Leonard McCoy pulled up outside the familiar house and Jim looked up at him from where he had spent the last fifteen minutes examining his own fingernails in great detail, trying to avoid conversation.
"Do I have to throw you out?" he asked and Jim smiled weakly, looking up at the house all in darkness, not a single light on.
"No, I'm going. Thanks Bones, I needed this today. Say hi to Carol for me."
Jim closed the hover-car door with a dull thud and walked up the path to the front door, his feet crunching on the grey gravel. He gave his friend a small wave as he pressed his palm to the reader and the door unlocked to allow him in.
Sighing, he stepped into the house, not even bothering to turn on any lights as he kicked off his shoes by the front door.
They were the only pair sitting there.
There were no small purple sandals that Seren had worn until they fell apart as a little girl. There were no Converse classic basketball sneakers favoured by Leo his whole life as the thin soles allowed him to feel the ground better as he walked. There were no eccentrically coloured shoes in whatever the current fashion was, belonging to Christopher.
And to top it all off, Spock's black boots were thousands of light years away.
"Asshole," Jim muttered under his breath as he stomped upstairs to his bedroom.
He peeled off his clothes before padding down the hall in only his boxers to brush his teeth.
On the return trip to the bedroom he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror in the hallway, scowling at the man he saw staring back at him in the half-light.
He crawled into bed, finding himself once again sleeping on Spock's side and cuddling a spare pillow.
He lay still and alone with his eyes open and staring unseeingly at the wall, listening to the silence of the house and longing for the days when it had been full of life.
Reviews appreciated :)
Oh. And just bare with me with the Jim and Spock stuff.
I wanted it to be realistic, real marriages face troubles and tests and hard times, and I didn't want them to be exempt from that.
FULL SEQUEL (in progress) CAN BE FOUND AT THIS LINK: s/9665180/1/Standing-In-The-Sun