After nearly two years together, Jim could tell when Spock was smiling on the inside, even if nothing more showed on his face than the tiniest twitch of the right side of his mouth.
“Ashaya, I am quite aware that there is nothing wrong with your hearing apparatus,” Spock said. The twitch at the corner of his mouth grew by a millimeter or so. “However, since you obviously wish to hear the news again, I will repeat myself.” He folded his hands across his torso, as serene as a Da Vinci Madonna. “I am gestating.”
“But…but we only agreed to start trying two months ago.” Jim look stunned for an instant…but then slowly, a huge smile crept over his face.
“I…am…a…STUD!” He whooped and threw himself into his bond mate’s arms, hugging Spock fiercely.
“You are indeed, t’hy’la,” Spock agreed, returning Jim’s embrace. They hugged for a moment, and then Jim let him go.
“Oh! Oh, God! I’m not squishing it, am I?”
Spock managed not to laugh. “Ashaya, I am 2.6 times stronger than you. And even were that not true, I seriously doubt that any pre-infant has even been damaged by her carrier being hugged.” He pulled Jim into his arms once more. Jim buried his face in his mate’s neck, moved almost to tears by this news.
“Thank you,” he whispered. “Oh, thank you, love. This is wonderful.” They cuddled together for a moment and then Jim raised his head.
“You said, ‘her carrier’? Does that mean…”
Spock nodded. “I am carrying a female.” For a moment, he looked faintly worried. He had read that human fathers often preferred their first offspring to be a male. “Perhaps that was not the gender you…”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Jim hugged him again. “A girl is great. A boy would be great. Hell, a sehlat would be great as long as it has your ears.”
Spock raised one eyebrow. “To the best of my knowledge, Vulcans have not yet evolved to the point of being able to birth sehlats.”
“Hey, I didn’t expect you to have a fully functional baby-maker packed away. How could I know what else you might be able to do?” Jim grinned and grabbed Spock’s hand, pulling him towards the door. Come on. Let’s go tell Bones and give him an aneurysm.”
“Must we?” Spock almost sighed.
“Absolutely,” Jim replied, determination in every line of his body. “You and little Spockette are going to have the best care every single day.”
It was odd, Spock thought, that the same two words in Standard could carry such diametrically opposed meanings, depending of course on who was saying them. Jim had uttered that phrase with joy; McCoy’s utterance all but dripped with visible horror. Jim didn’t let that stop him.
“You heard us; Spock’s knocked up, and you’re his physician, so you’d better start brushing up on your delivery room maneuvers.”
“Oh, fuck.” Bones plopped down into his chair, still staring at the two maniacs who had invaded his office. “I read about the Vulcan auxiliary uterus in my xeno-physiology text, but I never thought I’d actually see it in operation… Jim, what the Hell have you done?”
“I’m a stud,” Jim said smugly.
“Oh, fuck.” Bones scrubbed his hands over his face. “Captain, sir, I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout birthin’ no hobgoblins.” Spock didn’t understand Jim’s sudden laughter, but he assumed McCoy was quoting the tagline to an old joke of some kind. Time to regain control of the conversation.
“Doctor,” Spock said, dignity—and cunning—in place. “If you believe that your skills are inadequate to oversee my gestation, there are four other doctors on-board the Enterprise, as well as two civilian homeopathic healers, a massage therapist, and an acupuncturist. Perhaps one of them would be more suitable…” He stopped as Jim’s lower lip began to protrude.
“But…but, sweetheart, Bones is my best friend, and he’s the best doctor I’ve ever known, even if his hypos are dipped in acid, and even if his bedside manner does suck, and…”
“Hey! My bedside manner does not suck!”
“Ashaya, if McCoy truly does not wish to…”
Bones and Spock exchanged glares, but they also both saw Jim’s face fall further. With a sigh, McCoy conceded, finding his own dignity.
“Commander Spock, I am the CMO of this ship, and as such, I took an oath to use my healing arts on each and every member of this crew—even hobgoblins. I will be honored to oversee your….” Bones choked for a second but then managed to get it out…”gestation, and I assure you that the health and well-being of both you and your offspring will be my primary concern.”
“Thank you, Dr. McCoy,” Spock replied gravely. “Despite our occasional differences…”
Bone snorted. “Occasional?”
“As I was saying, despite our occasional differences, I know that you will provide exemplary pre-natal and obstetric care.”
“Yeah,” Bones sighed, resigned to eight months of dealing with Spock’s innards. “I’d better pull out my copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Hobgoblin and brush up.”
“You’re so awesome.” Jim moved around McCoy’s desk to give him a hug. “I know my little Spockette will be safe in your hands, Bones.”
Bones blinked. “Spockette?”
The Enterprise was fortunately within subspace radio range of Vafer-Tor—New Vulcan—so Jim and Spock had wasted no time in contacting Sarek and Amanda with the happy news.
Spock did not quite sigh as he looked at his father. “That is an example of Jim’s human whimsy,” he explained. “You have some experience of this characteristic, I am certain. I assure you, Father, by the time the child arrives, we will have decided upon a more suitable name.”
“I think Spockette is a perfect name.” Amanda beamed at her son-in-law, who beamed right back.
“And a little girl—how wonderful,” Amanda continued. “Jim, I’ll go right out and buy some little dresses, and those darling socks with the ruffles around the top, and she’ll need a dolly or two…”
“And I’m going to have the quartermaster make her a little blue Science uniform onesie, and Spock says that the traditional color for a baby girl on Vulcan is green, so I was thinking the nursery could be pink and green, since she’s Vulcan and human, and do you think I should start playing Mozart through headphones on Spock’s stomach, because all the experts say that Mozart makes babies smarter, but then, she’s Spock’s baby so she’s going to be a genius anyway, and…”
Spock and Sarek exchanged glances, silently ceding control of the details. It was apparent that Jim and Amanda had everything under advisement for the arrival of Spockette.
Spockette was almost certainly the reason behind the unexpected orders the Enterprise received seven months and two weeks into Spock’s gestation—in other words, three weeks before he was scheduled for delivery. These orders, under Admiral Pike’s signature, commanded the Enterprise to return to Earth for “urgent maintenance.” Jim grinned at that one; no ship under Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott and his right-hand being Kinser ever needed urgent maintenance unless it had just been in a fire-fight with at least four Klingon battle cruisers, but orders were orders. Jim saw Sarek’s fine hand in this; he and Amanda were on Earth for the Federation Council season, and there was no way in Hell Amanda wasn’t going to be right on the spot for the advent of Spockette. While nepotism was officially frowned on in both Starfleet and the Federation Council, influence was still influence, and Sarek had obviously decided to give way to the realities of the situation, which were if he wanted peace at home, he’d have to do a bit of diplomatic fudging. So Jim, Spock, and Spockette were headed to Earth, along with the crew, who had no objection to shore leave in the place that most of them still viewed as “home.”
Fortunately for Jim and Bones’ peace of mind, Spock’s gestation had proceeded incredibly smoothly. There had been no medical crises and no “illogical” hormonal outbursts. Granted, Spock had experienced some fairly weird cravings (he’d eaten his way through the ship’s entire store of Fruity Phasors cereal, for example, and they’d had to make an unscheduled stop at Starbase 12 to re-supply), but other than that, he’d set about carrying his and Jim’s daughter in the most logical way possible. He’d grown a neat little belly, just big enough to hold the expected five-to-six-pound sort-of-Vulcan, and he’d carried on with his duties efficiently. Jim had hovered over Spock and his little pot belly with love and veneration. They’d even quit fighting, which was a minor miracle in itself, as McCoy had sarcastically noted on more than one occasion.
There was only one point of disagreement in their world. Her name was Winona Kirk.
“No,” Jim said stubbornly for probably the 50th time. “She’s a bitch and she hates me and I’m not telling her about Spockette.”
Spock was ensconced on the sofa in their quarters, propped up with the fluffiest pillows Interstellar eBay had been able to provide and covered with a silk-stuffed comforter. He reached out a hand to Jim, who was pacing the floor and all but tearing his hair in agitation at the mere mention of his mother’s name.
“Ashaya, come here, please,” Spock requested softly. Dragging his feet and looking for all the world like the small boy he’d once been, Jim was still unable to resist the siren call of his mate, and he crossed the room to sink to the floor at Spock’s side, letting Spock take his hand in his.
“Jim, I do not wish to make you sad,” Spock said gently. “Nor do I wish to argue with you…”
“That’s a new one,” Jim managed a smile.
“All right; I will concede that there is a certain pleasure in arguing with you, if only because you are so very imaginative when it comes time for us to reconcile.”
Jim grinned, remembering a few of those 2 a.m. make-up sessions. Spock reached out with his free hand and stroked Jim’s hair.
“I love you,” he said softly. “And I want our child to know all of her heritage—that of her Vulcan ancestors and that of her human family, the grandfather who died so bravely in order to save others, the father who helped save the Vulcan people and the Earth—and even your mother, who is part of our child’s blood. I will grant that your mother is not perhaps an ideal individual—but she has had so much grief in her life and so little joy. Do you not think she deserves at least the chance to be part of our happiness?”
Jim sighed and laid his head against the Spockette bump. “I think that being bonded to a human has made you soft, sweetheart.”
“My elder counterpart warned me of the possibility of emotional corruption,” Spock acknowledged with mock gravity. “Please, ashaya,” he continued gently. “For your sake and for our child’s, let us try to heal the breach with your mother.”
Jim was silent for a long time, and then he sighed once more. “All right,” he said in a low voice. But I’m not going to call her. You can send her a birth announcement or whatever.”
“I will handle it, “Spock promised. He privately resolved to contact his mother as soon as possible. Amanda had handled Winona masterfully in their one and only encounter; Spock was quite sure she would do so again gladly on behalf of both her sons. He bent and pressed his lips to Jim’s brow.
“Thank you,” he said quietly, “from Spockette.”
“Spockette’s here! She’s here!”
The elderly Vulcan gentleman, waiting in the comfortable lounge provided by Starfleet Medical, looked up from his padd and got to his feet as Jim Kirk all but flew across the room to hug him. Councilor Selik of Vafer-Tor, once Captain Spock of Starfleet, currently the guest of Ambassador Sarek and his wife, accepted Jim’s hug and returned it with a most un-Vulcan level of enthusiasm, but he had lived and seen far too much to care particularly about Vulcan decorum, especially on a day such as this.
“My dear one,” he said, his eyes filled with joy. “All is well? The baby and Spock?”
“Duh. You don’t think I’d leave them for a second if they weren’t. Spock’s gone into that fix-yourself coma your people do…”
“A healing trance,” Selik supplied.
“Yeah, that. And the baby’s getting a bath and a diaper and then you can come see her. Amanda’s already driving Bones and the nurse nuts, but that’s ok; grandmothers get privileges.”
“Indeed,” Selik replied. “I have no doubt the Lady Amanda is taking full advantage.”
“Come on,” Jim said. “You need to meet your honorary great-granddaughter--Spockette.”
“She’s beautiful.” It was 12 hours after the birth, and once Spock had awakened from his healing trance, they had all gathered in his suite to be with him, Jim, and the baby. Amanda was perched on the bed at Spock’s side as he held his new daughter, Jim sitting on the other side with an arm around his mate as Spock fed the baby her first bottle. Sarek and Selik stood at the foot of the bed, regarding the infant as well.
“I must concur with my wife.” Sarek gazed at his first granddaughter as if he had never seen a baby before. “She is most—aesthetically pleasing.”
And she was. With ivory skin, big green eyes like Amanda’s, caramel ringlets all over her little head, and tiny pointed ears, the baby was a darling. She made short work of the bottle, and then Spock shifted her in his arms, holding her out to his bond mate.
“I believe that due to her part-human physiology, she will need to burp,” he said to Jim. “As the expert, I feel you should handle that.”
Jim grinned. “No problem.” He took the warm bundle and gently put her over his shoulder, rubbing the tiny back until quite a loud belch echoed through the room.
“Well, that just proves she’s a Kirk,” Jim said, pleased. “I’d better put her in her crib, and then I suppose we need to let you get some sleep, ashaya. Bones said they’d set up a cot for me, and…”
There was a knock on the half-open door. “Come on in,” Jim called, figuring someone from the ship was dropping by. He froze as the door opened…and Commander Winona Kirk entered. She froze in turn as three Vulcans and two humans stared at her. The baby, busy falling asleep, paid no attention.
“I….um, I was notified, and I thought….” Winona looked at her son, holding a baby in his arms, and words failed her. Jim looked at the mother who had never been there for him, and words failed him. Then Amanda stepped forward.
“I’m so glad you could come,” she said warmly, crossing the room and putting an arm around Winona’s waist, subtly propelling her forward. All those years on a high-gravity planet still stood her in good stead, and Winona came along, her eyes on the bundle in Jim’s arms.
“Hi,” Jim said, wary but hopeful.
“Hi,” Winona replied.
“It’s a girl,” Jim said.
“Yes,” Winona managed to reply. “Lady Amanda, she said you were expecting a girl.” Winona looked down into the tiny, flowerlike face. “She’s…she’s lovely, Jimmy.”
“She certainly is,” Amanda chimed in, looking at her new granddaughter with love. “Little Spockette.”
From somewhere, Jim found a chuckle. “It’s ok, Mom; that’s sort of a joke name.” He looked at his mate and then back at his child. “We’re calling her T’Sira. T’Sira Amanda Kirk cha’Spock.”
“T’Sira Amanda Winona Kirk cha’Spock,” Spock gently corrected his mate.
Winona froze. Jim froze…but only for a moment.
“Yeah, what my bond mate said. He did all the work; he gets to pick the name. T’Sira Amanda Winona Kirk cha’Spock.” He looked at his mother, seeing the sudden hint of moisture in her eyes as if something long frozen inside was suddenly beginning to thaw. Jim wasn’t surprised; he felt it within himself as well. He held out the tiny bundle.
“Here, Mom,” he said gently. “Would you like to hold your granddaughter?”
And so she did.