Jim stifled his third yawn in less than fifteen minutes. He returned to his paperwork, only to get distracted by a yeoman’s question, and then spent nearly a minute staring into empty space. Finally his attention reverted to his padd. Mere moments later he twisted in the captain’s chair, attempting to stretch his back.
Spock observed all of this from his position at the science station. Nearly four weeks had passed since Jim’s impregnation. At this moment in time, the embryo was approximately 0.2 centimeters in length. Due to differences in biological development and tracking of conception dates, a full-term pregnancy for Jim would last 41 weeks, versus the 44 weeks of a Vulcan or 40 weeks of a Terran pregnancy. Doctor McCoy had determined that the embryo would likely need to be removed at 27 weeks gestation, though the goal would be 30 weeks.
The amount of discomfort that Jim was already experiencing did not bode well for the remaining 26 weeks.
Spock glanced at his station’s readouts again. They had changed course slightly, and their arrival time had been altered. The captain should be alerted to the change.
He stood and walked to Jim’s chair. The captain was talking to his yeoman again, so Spock waited until they had completed their conversation to speak. “Our new heading has changed our estimated time of arrival from eleven-hundred forty-nine hours to elven hundred thirty-three hours, Captain.”
Jim nodded absentmindedly. “Very good, Spock.” He twisted in his seat, grimacing as something in his back cracked.
“Is something wrong, Captain?” Spock asked, pitching his voice so the others on the bridge could not hear him.
Jim shook his head. “Just have a kink in my back.” He didn’t bother to lower his voice, and the yeoman who had begun to walk away froze. She pivoted, then watched along with Spock as Jim shifted in his seat yet again.
The yeoman gave Spock an odd look. When he ignored it, she frowned at him and stepped closer to the captain’s chair. Tucking her padd under her arm, she used one hand to massage Jim’s back.
Jim groaned happily. “That’s it. Perfect. No, a little higher.” He sighed. “Yes, there. Now harder Spo—” Jim’s voice trailed off as he looked back over his shoulder and caught sight of the woman standing there.
Odd. It sounded as though Jim had been about to say Spock’s name. Had he thought Spock was massaging him? He knew Vulcans did not touch others so casually.
Jim straightened in his seat. “Thank you, Yeoman. That’s enough.”
The yeoman nodded, but frowned. “You should get some more sleep, Captain. You look exhausted.”
Jim held up a hand. “No nagging. I get enough of that from Doctor McCoy.”
She shrugged and walked off to tend to her duties. Pitching his voice low again, Spock said, “In a rare turn of events, Doctor McCoy is correct.”
“And I will relax.” Jim propped his elbow on the arm of his chair and rested his chin in his hand. “During the five hours of Administration I have on my schedule this afternoon.” He finished with a small yawn.
Convincing Jim to do something he did not wish to do was impossible at the best of times. Manipulation, though unsavory, would serve Spock better than verbal discourse in this situation.
“Perhaps you should consume glucose in order to raise your energy levels.”
As expected, Jim chuckled. “Yeah, a sugar rush might help.” He frowned at the time display on his datascreen. “There’s only fifteen minutes left in this shift. What do you say we play hooky and see if we can’t find some donuts in the kitchen?”
“I cannot, Captain.” Though there were only fifteen minutes remaining in alpha shift, Spock had also assigned himself to beta shift. Since their stop on New Vulcan became unnecessary, they had changed course and were entering a treacherous area of space five days ahead of schedule. Lieutenant Scott swore that the ship would be fine in the ion storms that raged along this leg of their journey, but Spock wanted to remain on the bridge while they traversed the area.
Jim’s face fell. “The ion storms. Right.” He stood, his shoulders slumping minutely. “I guess I’ll just go get some lunch alone then. Come check in with me tonight, okay?”
“Yes, sir. I will report to your rooms as soon as we clear the storms.”
Rather than reassuring Jim, Spock’s words seemed to make him more depressed. “It’s no big deal. Just swing by whenever.” He headed for the turbolift, his gait slower than normal. “You’ve got the bridge, Mr. Spock.”
After Jim stepped inside the turbolift, Spock settled into the captain’s chair. Jim had seemed upset as he left. Perhaps the pregnancy was weighing on him more than he claimed.
Spock would talk to McCoy before he reported to Jim’s room later. The doctor might have some advice for assisting Jim.
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