When Jim woke up, he was alone in the intensive care room. He pressed a hand to his stomach. It was the first time he had really touched his belly since he got pregnant. Underneath the layer of fat he’d developed, he could feel where his muscles had stretched apart to make room for the baby. He’d never have the tight abs he once had, but he didn’t give a damn. Not as long as his baby was alive.
“Are you okay in there?” Something in his stomach bubbled. Jim snorted. “What a time for gas.”
It bubbled again, right under his hand.
Or maybe it wasn’t gas… “Baby?”
The feeling came again, though it was more of a flutter.
Jim sucked in a breath. He’d been feeling the movement for a couple of days now, but he hadn’t connected the feeling to the fetus.
He pressed his hand against the flutter. “I am so sorry, baby. I shouldn’t have been on active duty. If I had been seriously hurt…” He didn’t want to think about it. He’d been reading up on the statistics in his free time. If the baby was born before twenty-two weeks, the survival rate was only ten percent.
The baby moved again. Jim absorbed the feeling. His baby boy was moving. He was really and truly alive. Jim had seen the images on Bones’ screen, but seeing them was like watching a movie. This was real.
“I’m not going to take any more chances. I don’t care if I have to stay in bed for four months, I’m going to keep you in there as long as possible.”
“Glad to hear it.” Bones nodded at him from the door. “You’re on strict bedrest from now on.”
“Is he okay?”
Bones pulled a chair up next to the bed. “For now. We were able to repair your amniotic sac, and we synthesized some fluid to replace what was lost. He’s swimming around happily, for the moment.”
Jim let out a huge breath.
“We have had to start him on steroids though. We’re probably going to have to deliver him within the month.”
Bones shook his head. “It’s more like what isn’t wrong? Your blood pressure has sky-rocketed. Your hormones are completely out of whack. And you lost a lot of blood during the surgery. We gave you a transfusion, but it’ll be a while before you’re back to normal.”
Jim nodded. “That’s fine. As long as the baby’s alright.”
“It’s not that simple, Jim. Your blood pressure has gone way up. You’ve developed preeclampsia. If it goes any higher, we’ll have to deliver.”
“No.” The baby fluttered, agreeing with Jim.
Bones frowned. “There’s nothing else we can do at that point, Jim.”
“Leave this baby inside me until the very last minute. I don’t care if it kills me.”
“If you’re dead, who’ll take care of him?”
“Spock.” Jim crossed his arms. “The baby’s Vulcan. He’ll raise him.”
“It’s not that easy!” Bones threw his hands in the air. “He gave up his rights!”
“No, he didn’t. I never filed the paperwork.” He looked away, not wanting to see the disapproval on Bones’ face.
“James Tiberius Kirk.”
“Shut up. You’re not my mother.” He didn’t understand what Jim was going through. The baby might need Spock. Jim couldn’t file the paperwork, not yet.
With a weary sigh, Bones stood up. “Have you noticed the way he looks at your stomach?”
“Just… he might have signed those papers before he really thought it through.” Bones smiled sadly. “Losing your kid isn’t easy, believe me. He might have changed his mind.”
Jim had thought about that, hoped for it even, but anytime he mentioned fatherhood to Spock, he had replied that he was merely a “genetic donor.”
The baby fluttered.
For him, Jim would tell Spock. If Spock wanted to be the baby’s father, Jim would support his decision. If Spock refused again… well, all he had to do was hit a few buttons.
“I’ll tell him.”
Bones nodded. “Good. He’s been waiting six hours for you to wake up.” He opened the door. “You can come in now.”
He left before Jim could yell at him for not warning him he’d have visitors.
Spock entered. “How is your health?”
Jim struggled to sit up. When he couldn’t do it, Spock assisted him. His hands brushed against Jim’s stomach as they moved, and the baby fluttered.
“He’s moving,” Jim blurted.
Spock stilled, his hand hovering over Jim.
“You can try to feel it, if you want. It’s just a fluttering though. I don’t know if you’ll be able to.”
Spock didn’t move.
Jim searched his face, trying to understand what Spock was feeling. He was staring at his stomach, and Jim thought he saw longing in his eyes.
Quietly, he pulled his shirt up. There were bandages across most of his stomach, but the area where he had felt the baby moving was free of coverings. He grabbed Spock’s hand and pressed it to the area.
Spock closed his eyes. Together they waited until the fluttering came again.
“Did you feel it?”
Spock shook his head.
Disappointed, Jim released Spock.
“I was able to sense him,” Spock murmured. “His brainwaves are Human. His thoughts are not well-developed, but he seemed to be enjoying our voices.” His voice held a note of wonder.
Bones was right. Jim had to tell him. “Of course he enjoys your voice. You’re his father.”
In an instant, all emotion disappeared from Spock’s demeanor. “I am his genetic donor.”
“No, you aren’t.” Jim bit his lip, then forced it out. “I never filed the paperwork.”
Spock locked eyes with him. “You requested I sign them.”
“I didn’t think you’d want him.” Jim lowered his shirt. “I didn’t want to pressure you into being a dad, especially since you already had Uhura.”
“I do not regret his conception.” Spock seemed flummoxed by the very idea. “He is Vuhlkansu. His birth is celebrated.”
Another rote answer. “His genes don’t matter. What matters is how you feel.” Jim wrapped his arms around his stomach. “Do you want to be his dad?”
“I have no right to be his father.” Spock stepped away from the bed.
“Of course you do!”
He shook his head. “I have no right to be his father and I have no right to be your friend.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I should have told you immediately, but I did not want to lose your friendship.” Spock clasped his hands behind his back. “I violated you.”
Jim definitely didn’t remember that. Unless he meant when the baby was conceived? “We were drugged. It might not have been perfectly consensual, but you didn’t ‘violate’ me.”
Spock kept his gaze on Jim’s stomach. “I was not given the drug.”
“But you had sex with me.”
He nodded. “I copulated with you of my own volition. I took advantage of you, and I endangered your life.”
Whoa. On one hand, Jim could see what Spock meant. Having sex with someone unable to give clear consent was legally defined as rape. He didn’t consider what they had done rape though. He would happily have consented to sex with Spock even before being drugged. And the sex had been amazing.
That must have been what Uhura meant when she said he wasn’t the one with a choice. But then, what choice did Spock really have? Jim had kept getting worse, and the Enterprise hadn’t shown up to rescue them. Spock had only two choices: fuck or die. He had chosen the more logical of the two.
Still, Jim wasn’t sure what to think. Especially since no being given the drug meant that Spock had wanted to have sex with him.
Did Spock still want to have sex with him?
Spock’s shoulders slumped. “I apologize for my actions. Please file the paperwork. I shall manage the Enterprise until you are able to return to duty, then I will leave the ship.”
“No, you will not!”
Jim wasn’t going to let his best friend and his baby’s father walk out of their lives. He knew what it meant to grow up with only one parent. He didn’t want that for his baby. And he didn’t want it for himself.
Spock was Jim’s rock. Without him, he’d never be able to run the ship or raise a kid. The distance that had grown between them since they had sex had proved that to Jim. Spock never wanted to be around him anymore, which made sense now. But Jim wasn’t about let a misapprehension end their friendship.
“What you did might seem like rape to you, but it doesn’t to me.” As awkward as it was, Jim forced himself to explain. “If you had approached me onboard the ship before that, I would have sprung at the chance to have sex with you.” Hell, he’d still have sex with him, baby belly and all.
Spock’s eyes widened. “You were drugged. You could not provide consent.”
“And neither could you.” Jim could remember that moment when Spock relieved himself from duty. He would never have done that if he hadn’t thought he was drugged. “You thought we would die. I might have been under the influence of medication, but you were under the influence of fear.”
“Vulcans do not feel fear.”
Jim shook his finger at Spock. “Oh, don’t tell me that. I’ve been inside your head. You feel, but you tuck it away where it can’t hurt you. Sometimes you need those feelings though. Sometimes logic isn’t enough.”
Spock wavered. “You could not give consent.”
“But I did. You asked for it, and I gave it. I meant it as much then as I do now.” Jim pressed his hand to his stomach. “I never would have asked to be pregnant, but I’m glad I am. I’m glad we had sex.”
Spock opened his mouth to speak, then closed it. Jim had never seen him at a loss for words before.
“Listen, Spock. I need you. I need you to help take care of this ship. I need you to help me explain what happened to Starfleet. And I need you to help take care of this baby.”
“I will assist you by any means necessary.” Spock straightened to parade rest.
His stiff posture and serious expression made Jim want to pull him close and show him how much he had enjoyed sex. Intellectually, he knew Spock was correct, but emotionally, he couldn’t consider what happened between them rape.
Especially now that he knew that Spock had wanted it. Had enjoyed it. Because if he had liked sex once, maybe they could try again someday.
The baby moved, reminding him of his huge belly. Well, after the baby arrived they could try again. Until then… “Why don’t we play a game of chess while we draft our explanations to Starfleet?”
“I will retrieve the chess board.”
Jim watched Spock leave, his ass wiggling as he walked. Oh, yeah. He’d be suggesting sex as soon as his C-section healed.
His cock twitched at the thought, and he growled at it. Goddamn hormones. The next few months couldn’t pass fast enough.
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