*Collapses to the ground in effort* I hope you all have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Honestly I didnt even expect you lovely folks to enjoy it so much. But you did, and for that I am immeasurably grateful (as Spock would say). I am quite sure is the longest one I've worked on. As always, please enjoy and stay tuned for more stories. Your support means the world to me :)
A Few Years Later…
The warmth of the store was a welcome respite from the cold winter air biting harshly into Kirk's skin, despite his Starfleet-issued winter uniform. An unpleasant bout of the cold was going around the ship, so McCoy had sent him out for supplies. After a third mispronunciation on Kirk's part, McCoy had written it down on a slip of paper.
Kirk couldn't help but feel a stab of envy towards the doctor, who was probably enjoying a hot bowl of soup right now. After a moment's pause to get some feeling back in his limbs, Kirk set off into the aisles of the pharmacy department. Finding the brand wasn't the issue…the issue was that there were at least six different versions, brightly colored remedies all claiming to be better than the last.
Kirk, of course, knew nothing about medicine. Figuring he'd ask the person at the checkout, he took several boxes of each, bitterly hoping McCoy choked on his soup back at the ship.
As he trudged to the front of the store, Kirk suppressed a groan at being third in line. He took no notice of the dark-haired slightly taller customer in front of him.
"Hello Dr. Watson, how are you today?" the cashier asked with a smile as the man stepped up.
If Kirk thought he was having a difficult time holding several medicine boxes at once, his task was made that much harder by the man's reply;
"Brutal weather out, Arthur but I'm faring well. Others have it worse I am certain"
The familiar deep voice sent shock waves through Kirk's mind.
No this was not happening, this couldn't be happening, dear God.
"I take it your wife is home from the ovens today?" The cashier (Arthur) asked as he began to bag the items.
"Hmm. She's not feeling too well but she insisted on going to the school at least"
"How's work at the hospital?"
"Same as ever. No shortage of sick people I'm afraid" 'Dr. Watson' replied. Kirk simply stood there, the numbness returning. There could be no mistake about the customer in front of him. Hell, he hadn't even changed.
"Well you take care now. Can I help who's next?" the cashier called. Kirk caught just a small side glimpse of the man's face as he walked toward the door. He remained rooted to the spot, still trying to process reality.
Kirk hurriedly set the items on the counter, handing over his card.
"I'll be back-in a minute- just-"Kirk practically ran out of the store, regardless of the building atmosphere of snow and ice. The man was now purchasing a newspaper from a nearby stand, still unaware of Kirk's presence.
There was no mistake. Kirk took several deep breaths, trying to steady himself, opening his mouth at last to say something;
Both Kirk and Khan's attentions were diverted, Khan still unaware of the captain's presence as a small dark haired little girl flung her arms around the Augment, nearly toppling him.
Kirk could barely process what he was seeing. Khan alive and the child…Good God was it his?!
"You're certainly getting too big for me to carry you" Khan replied, his tone awash with affection. "Where's your mother?" he asked, setting her down.
Kirk's head snapped to the side, jaw going slack as he made out another familiar figure, approaching Khan and the child.
Through the snow whirling around them, observing as if he were a ghost, Kirk didn't recognize two escaped fugitives, two star crossed lovers, not even two criminal companions. Out of events long passed, it was the strangest ramification of them all. It wasn't even the most complicated, in fact if anything at all, it was fairly simple:
One happy family.