Jim sat up in his biobed as Spock entered the room. “Hey, what’s up? Aren’t you still on duty?”
Spock inclined his head in affirmation. He held out a padd. “I have prepared ship updates and new duty rosters for you to approve.”
So Jim was still on active duty then. Good. Though he was surprised Bones hadn’t marked him down for six months of bed rest. “Lemme see.” He took the padd and quickly flipped through the duty roster. Everything looked about the same, though Jim noticed Spock had taken on more bridge hours in favor of assigning Jim to the euphemistically labeled “Administration” position.
Jim sighed. “Do you really think it’s going to take me thirty hours a week to do my paperwork?”
Spock blinked at him. “You currently have a five-week backlog of bookkeeping and correspondence to attend to. I assume you will also wish to get ahead on your paperwork prior to the infant’s birth, which will require at least three more weeks of dedicated work. In addition, you can complete your administration duties while resting in your room. As you requested that no one know of your condition, this will also allow you to hide the physical effects of pregnancy.”
He certainly couldn’t fault Spock’s logic. “I’ll let you win this time.” The thought of all that time confined to his room made him squirm. Stillness did not come naturally to him. He knew he would need the rest though… even female Starfleet members were typically taken off active duty as soon as they announced their pregnancy, however regulations stated that they could remain on duty until the third trimester. The way Bones and M’Benga were talking, he’d be running on fumes by the fourth month.
His own changed schedule made him examine the bridge shifts more closely. He wanted to be sure everything would run smoothly in his absence—not that he doubted Spock’s command ability. He understood personal relationships better than Spock though, and if he wasn’t going to be on the bridge, he wanted people there who would function as efficiently as possible.
Everything seemed to be in order, until he looked at the Communication assignments. His stomach dropped like a rock. “Uhura’s on Delta shift.”
Spock nodded serenely, but his posture was too tight. “I felt she would work well with Lieutenant Bartlett at the helm.”
“Why isn’t she working with you?”
He wouldn’t meet Jim’s eyes. “We ended our relationship last night. I felt it prudent to provide her with space to process the change in status.”
Jim massaged the bridge of his nose. “Shit, Spock, I’m sorry.” He knew this would happen. Uhura didn’t share well. “Did you explain that it was an accident? That you won’t even have to take care of the kid?” He leaned over, grabbing the padd he had been working on earlier from the bedside tray. “Look, I already drew up the paperwork. All you have to do is sign over your rights, and you won’t have to do anything for the baby.” He opened the proper file and handed over the padd.
Spock read through the paperwork silently.
Jim waited as patiently as possible. His palms were sweaty, and he rubbed them on his blanket. The paperwork was pretty standard. The baby would be able to know who his other parent was, but the other parent wouldn’t be expected to provide any financial support. The other parent also wouldn’t have any say in the kid’s life.
To be honest, raising a kid on his own terrified him. He hadn’t exactly had terrific role models. Plus, the kid would be part Vulcan. Who knew how those genes would manifest? Jim would love to have Spock’s input, but not at the cost of his happiness.
At last, Spock looked up from the paperwork. “This is what you want.”
Hiding his insecurities behind a smile, Jim nodded. “I’ll take care of the kid on my own. You’ll be free to do whatever you want with your life.”
“Very well.” Spock picked up a stylus from Jim’s tray. He filled out the required fields, then set the padd on the bed. “I need your signature on the duty rosters.”
He signed wordlessly, then handed Spock’s padd back. Picking up his own padd, he glanced at the neatly written signature. It was the same cold, unfeeling signature that graced every piece of paperwork that had crossed Jim’s desk over the past eighteen months.
He dropped the padd. Whatever. He’d sign it and send it in later. At least now Spock could go tell Uhura that the kid wasn’t his. “Let me know how things go with Uhura, okay?”
Spock’s brow furrowed. “I do not understand.”
“You can get back together now that the kid’s not an issue.” Spock’s expression didn’t change. “Wasn’t that why you broke up?”
“No.” Spock’s gaze lowered to the floor. “We ended our relationship because we are incompatible.”
Crap. Why did he have to be the one to help Spock get back together with his girlfriend? He must have picked up a shitload of bad karma somewhere.
“I haven’t seen two people with more in common than you guys. You just need to talk to her, work it out.”
Spock looked up. The sadness in his eyes nearly blew Jim away. “We are incompatible. I attempted a meld. It failed. We cannot bond.”
As awful as Jim felt for Spock, his words lit a tiny spark of hope. Their meld had been so very easy. Maybe they really were destined to be more than friends…
No. This was not the time to be thinking such things.
“Are you sure? Can’t the healers on Vulcan help with that?”
Spock shook his head minutely. “We are incompatible. There is no remedy.”
“Sorry.” It was a feeble response, but it was all Jim had.
“I must evaluate an experiment in Lab One.” Spock clasped his hands behind his back, a movement that told Jim he wanted to escape.
Jim waved him away. “Go on.”
Spock raced off as if hellhounds nipped at his heels… which meant he walked ever so slightly faster than normal. Jim watched him leave, waiting until the sickbay door slid shut behind him to look away. His gaze landed on his padd.
Spock had signed the forms so perfunctorily. Had he realized what they really entailed?
Jim picked up the padd. The paperwork didn’t need to be filed immediately. As long as it was sent in before the kid’s first birthday, Spock wouldn’t have any liability. And since Uhura’s opinion wasn’t a consideration, there was no immediate need to send in the forms.
Maybe he should wait a while. They had both experienced so much emotional upheaval in the last few days. If Spock changed his mind later, getting the filing undone would be nearly impossible.
Jim saved the file and closed it. He had six months to think it over. Babies were pretty incredible things. Who knew how Spock would feel when he finally saw the kid?
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