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In which Kirk is a tribble-human and Spock isn't quite so immune to his effects...LOL

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            “Calm down, Jim,” Doctor Leonard McCoy guided his Captain and friend over to the nearest bio-bed. “I’m sure I’m only being paranoid.”

            “And if you’re not?” Jim asked, his heart beating abnormally fast, even for him. “What if…what if I really am—”

            “Jim,” McCoy barked, finally getting the younger man’s attention, “shut up and lay back. The sooner I run this test, the sooner we can nip those what-ifs in the bud and focus on the ‘what is.’”

            Taking a deep, calming breath, Jim nodded as he allowed McCoy to guide him backward until he was laying flat on his back, the tricorder beeping softly overhead. It reminded him of the first time he’d woken up, cold and sore in this modified body. He did not remember much from his life before The Change, but there were certain…quirks of his existence that served as a constant reminder of what he used to be...of what he was now; freakish and strange.

            It was the reason he was in sickbay now, worrying over something that shouldn’t even be possible despite his unique biology. “You’re too quiet,” he complained to Bones, his voice radiating his unease.

            Bones closed his tricorder and slouched against the bed. “It’s negative.”

            Jim breathed a heavy sigh of relief. “Oh, thank—”

            “Don’t go getting comfortable just yet,” the doctor interjected, clearly determined to give Jim the lecture of a life time. “The next time we take shore leave, you’re either restricting your dining to ship’s replicator or taking a tricorder down with you so you can scan for peanuts.”

            “Alright.” Jim nodded, hands up in surrender. “No more alien food—“

            “Aaannd,” Bones cut in once more, tossing Jim a bag of condoms, “No unprotected sex. I know that wasn’t what happened today, but better to be on the safe side…for future weirdness. Unless, you’re y’know…”

            Jim rolled his eyes as he sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed, sitting shoulder to shoulder with the slouching doctor. “Yeah, I know.” It would be hard to get pregnant if he was pitching. Not that he was sure he could get pregnant from receiving. He pocketed the condoms without argument. Who knew, maybe one day when he managed to acquire a sex life, he’d actually get to use them. “Okay, okay.” There were a few moments of silence between them as they both internally contemplated Jim’s situation. Finally, he asked the million dollar question, “Bones? What if I did get pregnant? Do you think…” he sighed. “Would they…would it be normal? Y’know…human normal?”

            “Dunno, Jimbo.” McCoy pulled a flask out of his back pocket and filled the cap, handing it to Jim. “But here’s to hopin’ we don’t ever have to find out.”

--

            Spock paced the space of Dr. McCoy’s office, equal parts worried and ashamed—worried over the wellbeing of the Captain, who had consumed a food substance to which he was violently allergic and ashamed because clearly this worry was the result of his still tenuous control. He’d been making consistent progress between meditation and counseling toward rebuilding his shields and adapting his mind to the gaping ache of his missing (but not necessarily missed) link to T’Pring (his fiancé, as humans would likely term their relationship, who had died with the planet Vulcan) and the empty space in his life where his mother used to reside. Yet with every new wall he erected to protect himself from the wailing emotions of the humans that surrounded him, Jim always found a new hole through which to toss pebbles at his resolve.

            They had come a long way since their lives had collided, forced to acknowledge the strengths in their differences—Spock’s analytical approach to every situation seemed to ground Jim, whose creative approach to strategy could sometimes fall beyond the realm of possibility. Of course, Kirk certainly had a way with probability that would likely boggle the mind of any mathematician.  That was not the problem, however. The issue resided with the Captain’s ability to continually elicit an emotional response from him, regardless of the efforts Spock made to prevent such outward displays.

            Two point four minutes ago, in fact, he had been pacing—up until the moment he had realized that he was doing so. This was a physical display of his emotional response to Jim’s condition; his impatience and worry on view for all to see. It was an utterly contemptible position in which he found himself-repeatedly-and yet he knew it would continue. He would continue to experience these breaks in control because he would continue to spend as much time in Jim’s presence as possible.

            This was another issue of personal contention for Spock. The logical approach to the first dilemma would be to limit interactions with the catalyst. The only barrier between Spock and rebuilding his control to a level befitting of a Vulcan, half human or no, was Jim himself and he was admittedly loathe to limit their interactions in any regard. He could have made several logical arguments as to why the First Officer and Captain of a starship were required to spend an unprecedented amount of time in one another’s company, and perhaps if he were asked by anyone, he would employ one of those arguments—procedural synergy, crew morale, communication—but he would not lie to himself.

            There was…something about the Captain. Something he had never before encountered in another being that was undeniably alluring. Spock had spent the better part of the last eight-point-three months trying to determine exactly what that ‘something’ was, but he had yet to uncover anything conclusive. That is not to say that he hadn’t observed some rather illogical, or perhaps odd was the more correct adjective in this scenario, behavior.

            For instance, Jim ate nine times per day—three full meals and six small snacks—two thirds more than the average human male with comparable lifestyles, yet never gained any substantial weight. In addition, Jim’s scent was atypical compared to that of any other human in which Spock had ever encountered—this was something he had noticed right away. He’d been able to smell Jim from across the auditorium the day of their first meeting. It was only minutely different from that of the average human, more sweet than musky, less dense than that of the expected human body odor and in a very faint, but perpetual state of secretion. For Spock, the scent could, at times, be intoxicating and borderline arousing, especially when Jim was in a heavy sweat. Fortunately, his control over his bodily functions was more than sufficient to cope with the unique brand of fragrance that was Jim Kirk.

            The peanut allergy, he mused, was one completely human trait the Captain possessed. When Spock had been informed that the consumption of peanuts by Jim could result in anaphylactic shock, or possibly death, he had immediately programmed any food containing the ingredient out of the main replicators in the mess as well as the unit in the Captain’s quarters (there were a plethora of foods that contained peanut that even Spock had not been aware of, so he took this added measure just to be thorough). If anyone desired something peanut-flavored, they would have to procure it from their personal replicators. 

            “Well, Spock!” Jim’s voice interrupted his musings. “Looks like I’m gonna live after all.”

            Spock turned to meet the human’s warm eyes and wide smile. “Indeed, Captain, that is…most welcome information.”

            Doctor McCoy rolled his eyes, having entered the office two paces behind Jim. “How touching.”

            Spock quirked an eyebrow in the doctor’s direction, but Jim spoke before he was able to issue a reply. “Don’t mind him, Spock.” Jim winked mischievously. “He’s still practicing his bedside manner.”

            To that, McCoy slapped Jim on the back of his head. “You’re cleared for duty, Captain, sir. Do me a favor and get the hell out of my sickbay.”

            “You’re too kind, doctor,” the Captain replied sarcastically, before nodding to his First Officer, gesturing that it was time to depart. “Spock.” The Vulcan followed dutifully, battling now with a different array of emotions—relief and joy.

--

            Jim walked toward his cabin, Spock in tow, his unease slowly dissipating as normalcy began to settle around him once again. The familiar whir of the ship’s engine, the comfortable quiet of false night, the easy pattern of one foot after the other and Spock’s calming presence behind him forced some of the tension from his shoulders. It had been a long time since his last run in with his ‘peanut allergy.’ And by a long time, he meant, a really, really long time.

            Thirteen years ago, Christopher Pike had rescued him from Tarsus, a mere two days after he woke up confused and alone, unable to move due to the shift in equilibrium following whatever procedure Kodos’ doctors had performed on him. He hadn’t been able to speak, didn’t understand a word the man had said to him and everything—sound, vision, smell—had been so incredibly vivid that it was overwhelming and he’d been sick until his body and senses adjusted to the change.

            Thirteen years ago, James T. Kirk had been a nameless experiment in an illegal medical testing facility on Tarsus IV and even though it was hard to believe, even for Jim himself, before that experiment he’d been an entirely different life form altogether. He’d been a tribble. As if that weren’t bad enough, he’d been a female tribble because apparently tribbles were all females and asexual to boot. Jim, however, was not asexual, nor was he cognizant of his life as a tribble (though he had often wondered what that life had been like. Had he been sentient? When Kodos’ men had collected him, did he experience fear? Trepidation?).

            When they’d found him, an adolescent ‘human’ boy strapped to the bio-bed several of the rescue team—most of them clad in blue—which Jim would later come to know were called medical doctors, had been stumped. They’d collected everything—the computer consoles, data PADDs, microchips, readouts, samples of Jim’s blood, skin, saliva, and hair as well as his finger prints. When they’d beamed up to Pike’s ship, he’d been taken to sickbay immediately for more tests—scans, brain waves, blood pressure and heart rate.

            When that was finally over, they’d observe him for hours at a time, give him puzzles to solve, attempt to communicate with him. At first, all he could do was make this sort of…trilling sound, something which the doctors had found immensely interesting, and they’d scribbled all sorts of notes onto their PADDs. After only a few days, however, Jim was speaking fluent standard, had free exercise of all his limbs and senses, could do advanced algebra in his head and was reading everything he could get his hands on, again much to the apparent astonishment of Starfleet medical.

            Captain Pike would visit him often; ask him if he remembered anything before waking up in the lab. It wasn’t until they had made it back to Earth that Jim had learned his true origin, again, much to his own disbelief. However, when they placed a small, furry creature into his hands and he instinctively began communicating with it…he’d fainted. Then, upon waking and taking a good hard look at all the evidence, he’d begrudgingly accepted the truth of what he was. Hell, it could be worse, right?

            It was. He found out that the doctor’s had engineered him to be male in order to avoid the prolific reproductive nature of tribbles. The thing is—Jim was ‘Tribble Human Version 1.0’ and the doctors had fucked a few things up. First, he wasn’t supposed to be able to talk to tribbles—that trilling capability came from a very small second set of vocal chords that he could pretty much use at will and according to Bones, sometimes he trilled in his sleep.

            Second, and most importantly, was Jim’s ‘peanut allergy.’ Tribbles reproduced after eating food—any food. Jim, even though he wasn’t supposed to possess any reproduction capabilities, had actually become pregnant after ingesting peanuts during his first month as a ‘human.’ Whatever it was in peanuts—he had no idea—his body had absorbed it the way a human female’s egg eats a sperm. Of course, he’d lost the…whatever it (or they) was going to be…due to the stress that the early gestation period took on his newly formed adolescent body; Which, in all honestly, was probably a good thing considering Jim had a uterus but not a birth canal. That would have sucked. So, yeah, way to go Dr. Frankenstein, you fucking dipshit.

At any rate, Jim had been given an identity, adopted by a friend of Chris’s, one Winona Kirk. His mother, as he had come to think of her over the years, was the widow of George Kirk, who died saving the life of his crew during an unprovoked attack by an unknown Romulan ship.  She had been aboard the Kelvin at the time of the attack, and had gone into premature labor brought on by the near death experience and the grief of leaving her husband to die, losing the baby in the process. When he’d come to live with her, Jim had thought he would die from the overload of love and affection she bestowed upon him, a thirteen year old tribble-human-freak. He’d often asked her if the fact that she was raising a freak ever bothered her, to which she would reply, “Of course not. You’re my freak and I love you.”

Of course, he knew she never thought of him like that—to her, he was simply her son. They’d even picked his name together, calling him after Winona and George’s fathers. “I think they’d be happy to share their family names with you, James Tiberius Kirk.”

The thought sent warm and fuzzies throughout his entire being. It’d been too long since he and his mom last shared a video comm.. She was only one of a handful of people, all in the Fleet, that actually knew what he really was...and while his 'unique' biology was often a source of stress and frustration--he felt human for the most part. Speaking to his mother always helped solidify that normal feeling and At that thought, he couldn't help but feel a familiar pang for the Vuclan walking closely behind him.

He'd never told anyone about his not-so-human side, but he imagined if anyone could relate, could understand what it was to be truly one of a kind, it was Spock. Which is why he probably had such a hard time pulling away at the end of the day. This day was no different, actually, and as they rounded the corner that would take them to Jim’s quarters, he threw a smile over his shoulder.

“Care for a game of chess, Mr. Spock?”

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