Jim slumped down in his seat. Everyone on the bridge kept looking at him, and it was pissing him off. So what if it looked like he had a twenty-pound tumor on his stomach? He was still the captain, and he deserved their respect, not their stares.
He glared down at his stomach, which looked ginormous thanks to his slouched position. He wanted to make a notation in the computer. Captain’s log supplemental: shit sucks.
Image by jou. Posted here. Used with permission.
His internal grumbling was interrupted by Chekov. “There is a ship approaching off the port bow!”
“Starfleet?” Jim sat up straight. If he had to talk to another captain, he wanted his stomach to look as flat as possible.
Chekov shook his head. “I do not recognize the design.”
“I believe it is a Romulan vessel, Captain.” Spock placed the ship on the viewscreen, and zoomed the image in until they could see a curly design drawn along one hull panel. “The language is similar to Vulcan, but I cannot read it.” He zoomed the image back out, allowing them to see how quickly the ship was headed towards them.
Shit. This was just supposed to be a routine planetary survey. What were the Romulans doing way out here? Jim turned to the communication station. “Ensign Singh, get Lieutenant Uhura up here.”
“Aye, sir!” Her fingers flew over the input panel.
“Spock, put us on tactical alert. Sulu, bring us around. I want to face them head on.”
As they complied with his orders, he took a couple of deep breaths. His heart was racing, and he felt a bit lightheaded. His stomach felt odd too, as if he had gas bubbling around inside it.
Chalking his reaction up to adrenaline, he stood, hoping to make a better impression on the Romulan captain. “Ensign Singh, open a channel.” He waited for her nod. “This is Captain Kirk of the starship Enterprise. Please respond.”
They all waited quietly until Singh shook her head.
“Damn it! Try again.” Jim clenched his fists. “This is Captain Kirk of the starship Enterprise. Who are you?”
“They are charging weapons,” Spock announced.
“Bring the shields online. Charge weapons, but hold your fire.”
After a few tense seconds, the ship onscreen slowed.
“They’re responding!” Singh chirped.
“On screen.” The viewscreen image flickered to a view of the other ship’s bridge. Six Romulans glared at them.
“I am Enarrain Dai’nett,” barked a grizzly-looking Romulan seated in the middle of the bridge. “You have invaded Rihannsu space. Prepare to be boarded.”
Fuck his life. “I apologize for intruding in your territory. We were unaware the Romulan empire had holdings in this area. We will gladly leave, if you’ll just tell us where the boundaries of your space end.”
Dai’nett sneered. “You scanned our planet. Spying is not tolerated. Prepare to be boarded so that we can destroy the information.”
Jim held out his hands in a placating gesture. “We took only basic scans. We will transmit the information we gathered to you so you can verify this, and then we will leave.” He didn’t want these bastards on his ship.
Out of the corner of his eye, Jim saw Uhura slip into the room. She nodded at him and took over Singh’s station.
Dai’nett growled. “Allow us to board, or we will destroy you, kllhe.”
Spock silenced the transmission for a moment. “Sir, their weapons are minimal. We should be able to disable them easily.”
“Thank you, Mr. Spock.” Hands on his hips, Jim glared at the viewscreen. “There were no markers declaring this space yours. We did not trespass on purpose, and you have no right to demand access to our ship.”
“Are your ears full of llhrei’sian or just your fat belly, kllhe?” Dai’nett slammed his hands against his chair’s armrests. “Lower your shields!”
“No.” Jim caught Uhura’s eye. Suddenly the transmission began to flicker. “Oh dear. Looks like we’re having some technical difficulties. We’ll just be leaving now.”
Dai’nett’s face reddened. “Eneh hwau' kllhwnia na imirrh—” The transmission cut off, and the viewscreen switched back to an image of the Romulan ship.
Jim shook his head. “Uhura, what exactly did he say?”
She frowned. “I don’t think you want to know.”
Dai’nett had mentioned Jim’s belly. “I want to know.”
She sighed. “He asked if your ears were full of diarrhea or just your stomach, and then he called you a dung-eating-worm.”
Jim bit back a curse. “And that last bit?”
“It was an… obscenity.” She didn’t explain further.
“That bad, huh?” He wheeled around to face the screen. “Sulu, get us out of here. Warp four. If their weapons systems so much as flicker, shoot them.”
“Aye, captain,” echoed across the room. Jim took a seat and braced himself.
Sure enough, the moment they went to warp, the Romulans blasted them. The weapons fire narrowly missed their port nacelle.
Chekov sent a phaser blast across the other ship’s hull, but it was deflected by their shields.
“The Romulans are following us at warp four point two,” Spock reported.
“Sulu, take us to warp five.”
The ship rocked beneath them. “Shields at eighty-five percent!” Chekov shouted.
“Target their weapons and engines. I want them out of commission.”
The ship shuddered again, and Jim’s stomach rolled. While his morning sickness hadn’t been bad, he had still had some, and it was acting up now. He pressed a hand to his stomach and forced his lunch to stay down.
“Their shields are losing power,” Spock reported. He turned to look at Jim, and his brow furrowed. “Captain?”
“I’m fine, Spock.” Jim stood and moved to the helm. “Knock out their engines, now!”
Chekov targeted the other ship, but before he could fire, another blast rocked the ship. Jim was knocked off his feet. He fell to the ground, and landed on his stomach—hard.
The pain was intense. Jim vomited up the lunch he had so valiantly kept down before.
“Their engines have been disabled,” Chekov announced.
Jim tried to respond, but the pain rendered him unable to move.
“They have dropped out of warp. We are pulling away,” said Sulu. “Reducing speed to warp four.”
“Captain!” Uhura’s gasp brought the bridge to a standstill.
“Jim!” Spock rushed to his side. Kneeling, he pulled Jim into his arms.
Jim couldn’t even catch his breath. His stomach hurt so much. Something must have ruptured or crushed.
The baby. He was only nineteen weeks along. The baby would never survive outside of his body. What if Jim had killed him?
“Another ship is approaching,” said Chekov.
No, this couldn’t be happening. He needed to take care of his ship, but his baby…
“I’m taking the captain to sickbay,” Spock announced. He stood, pulling Jim up along with him.
Shaking his head, Jim managed to stabilize himself. “You need to be on the bridge.”
He had never heard so much emotion in Spock’s voice before. Not since…
Uhura’s gaze moved back and forth between them. She stood and handed her earpiece to Singh. “I’ll take him.” She moved to Jim’s side, and he draped an arm over her shoulders.
Spock frowned, but acquiesced. As Jim limped towards the turbolift, he began issuing orders. “Mr. Sulu, increase speed. Ensign Singh, open a channel.”
Inside the turbolift, Jim collapsed against the wall. He cradled his stomach with both hands.
“Sickbay,” Uhura commanded. The turbolift began to move.
They stood in silence for a few moments before Uhura spoke. “Is the baby coming?”
Jim shrugged. “I don’t know. Everything hurts.” He didn’t have a uterus, so he wasn’t having contractions. His whole abdomen felt like a huge bruise.
The doors opened on the sickbay deck. Bones was waiting for them with two nurses and a stretcher. They helped Jim onto it, then wheeled him away.
“What happened?” Bones asked. He ran his scanner over Jim’s abdomen and frowned.
“I fell and landed on my stomach.”
Bones opened his communicator. “McCoy to sickbay. Prep for surgery. We have a ruptured amniotic sac with a nineteen-week-old fetus in apparent distress.”
Uhura kept up with them, running alongside the bed. Jim hadn’t really seen her, or even talked to her, since he got pregnant. He should have made an effort to explain things to her. He reached out and grabbed her arm. “I’m sorry.”
“You and Spock.” He squeezed her arm. “If I had known, I would never have gone down there.”
Uhura shook her head. “Now’s not the time for this.”
“It might be the only chance I get.” The medical team rushed through the doors of sickbay. Outside of the surgical bay, they stopped. He and Uhura were left alone as they began to prep for surgery. “I should have apologized before.” He released her arm.
“You don’t have anything to apologize for. Spock and I… we had our issues.”
“Still, you could have worked it out.”
She shrugged. “Even if we could, we aren’t compatible. Melding with him… his mind was so structured. Everything was boxed up and tucked into hidden corners. No matter how I tried, I wouldn’t have been able to open all those boxes. I wouldn’t have been able to understand him.”
Jim couldn’t even imagine what she was describing. When he melded with Spock, it was more like being inside a computer. Each of Spock’s thoughts was a file within a folder within the machine that was his mind. He had easily been able to see and access any file he wanted.
“Besides,” she added. “You weren’t the one with a choice.”
“What do you mean?”
Uhura gave him an odd look, but before she could answer, Bones and his team were pushing Jim into surgery. As they moved him onto the surgical table, he pressed a hand to his stomach.
“You’ll be okay now, baby,” he whispered.
Bones grabbed a hypospray from a nearby tray. “It’s time, Jim.”
Jim nodded, and Bones pressed the hypospray to his neck. The room went black.
Previous Chapter - Masterpost - Next Chapter