"Bridge to Captain Kirk."
Jim lowered his padd to his lap. He had been on bed rest for almost four weeks, but his work never ended. He leaned over and pressed a button on the control panel. "Go ahead."
"You have an incoming comm from New Vulcan, sir."
"Thank you. I'll take it here." He released the button and settled back into his bed. He had been waiting almost five weeks for this call.
He took a deep breath, then activated his display. Spock appeared, a small smile on his weathered face. Relaxing, Jim smiled back.
"Hello, Jim." Spock tilted his head to one side. "I received your message when I arrived back on planet today. I assume you wish to speak to me about your pregnancy."
Jim sighed. “The news spread fast..."
“I was informed of your situation soon after my arrival on planet. The scientific community on New Vulcan is ecstatic over the idea that they may be able to double the pool of potential child-bearers.”
Jim snorted. “Tell them not to get their hopes up. Male pregnancy sucks.”
“I offer my congratulations nonetheless. I wish I could inform you that all will turn out well, but this is not a situation my Jim and I encountered.” He pursed his lips slightly. “I am curious as to how this happened.”
“Well, it all started when we were scanning flowers on a pre-warp planet…” Jim explained what had happened, leaving out the dirtier details. Talking about sex with someone old enough to be his great-great-grandfather seemed wrong.
Spock nodded along, but he did not say anything until Jim finished. After a long pause, he spoke. “In my time, we never made contact with that planet. They were still a pre-warp community when I left.”
Jim rested a hand on his belly. The baby didn’t move; Jim thought he was sleeping. “Would the other me have kept the baby?”
“I do not know.” Spock stared at him through the comm. “I do not believe he would have aborted the child, but he might have considered adoption. My Jim wanted to explore the universe. He did not have the appropriate temperament to raise a child.”
That was something Jim worried about himself. He had no real examples of how a father should act, unless you counted the ones he read about in books and saw on vids. He was impatient and temperamental. How could he raise a child when he could hardly take care of himself?
But then, this kid would have Spock too, at least, as long as Spock decided to stick around.
“If you had ended up on that planet, in the same situation, what would you have done?”
He tried to pose the question innocuously, but inside he desperately wanted to know the answer. Had his Spock saved him simply because it was the right thing to do? Or had he wanted to help him?
Spock frowned, the wrinkles around his lips deepening. “Later in life, I would have done all I could to save Jim’s life. At my counterpart’s age, however, I avoided all emotion. I could not have conceived of having sex—not unless I had lost control due to illness or drugs.”
Jim sucked in a breath. “But Spock hadn’t lost control.” In fact, he had been very careful to make sure that Jim agreed to the sex and that they both declared themselves unfit for duty. Someone who was under the influence of drugs or an illness wouldn’t do that.
Spock inclined his head. “So you said. I believe my counterpart will realize his feelings much earlier than I did.”
“Feelings? Like love?” The display blurred slightly. Jim shook his head to clear his vision.
“Nothing so shallow.” Spock’s eyes looked towards the sky, his gaze fixed on someone beyond both of their views. “You cannot understand now, but t’hy’lara go beyond love.”
Jim’s head swam. Spock had mentioned a similar word once. T’hy’la were supposed to be soulmates. His vision blurring more, Jim blinked rapidly. “Spock and I… are we t’hy’lara?” His heartbeat pounded in his chest.
Spock’s face turned back to him, but his features were too hazy to make out. “I cannot say. Our katras, our souls, have been shaped by different events.”
“But you and your Jim?” He shifted in bed, trying to get comfortable. He felt tense, beyond what the conversation should be causing. His heart was beating so hard he could feel it in his head.
With that one word, Jim’s heartbeat leapt out of control. His racing pulse set off multiple alarms, filling the sickbay room with a cacophony of shrieks and whistles.
“Jim, are you alright?”
Jim could hear the concern in his friend’s voice, but he couldn’t see him. His vision had blurred to the point where he could not see his padd in his lap. Jim tried to shake his head, but he couldn’t seem to control the muscles in his neck.
In fact, he couldn’t control any of the muscles in his body. He collapsed back against the bed. The door opened and Bones rushed in.
“Dammit, Jim, what are you doing? You’re going to kill yourself!” He whipped out his tricorder. “Elevated blood pressure. Rising heart rate. You’ve entered eclampsia levels. We’re going to have to operate.”
No! Jim wanted to scream. He wasn’t even twenty-four weeks along. The baby had just gotten to one and a half pounds. His lungs weren’t strong enough.
And Spock wasn’t there. He had promised he’d be there when the baby was delivered. Jim wanted Spock. Jim needed Spock.
His body wouldn’t let him voice his anxiety. Instead, his muscles began to twitch. He could not stop them. The tremors began in his fingers and toes and spread like wildfire up his arms and legs.
“Damn it, he’s seizing!” Bones dropped the scanner on the bed and quickly grabbed a hypospray. A nurse ran into the room. He depressed the hypo in Jim’s neck, then threw it at her. “Get me 20ccs of metrazene!” As he paused to wait for her to retrieve it, he noticed Spock on the screen. “I don’t know who you are, but you ought to know better than to upset a pregnant man!”
Jim wanted to explain that Spock hadn’t hurt him, but the spasms were strengthening. His own excitement had probably done this. Knowing that Spock had sex with him because he wanted to and not out of loyalty or necessity made him want to jump and shout.
“I believe it was his own emotions that caused this state,” Spock said quietly. “I will end the transmission now though, in case my presence is worsening the situation.”
No, Jim didn’t want him to go. If he couldn’t have his Spock, he wanted some Spock, any Spock.
The display went black. Jim let out a wordless cry that ripped through his throat. As he did, his muscles tightened. His entire body grew taut, his back arching up as his arms and legs drew inwards. He wanted to scream in pain, but his throat tightened, refusing to let any sound out.
“I hope this baby is ready,” Bones grumbled as the nurse handed over the hypo. “He’s coming out now, whether he likes it or not.”
He injected the medicine into Jim, and his vision grew dark. He was losing consciousness, his muscles pulled taut as a guitar string. He struggled to stay awake. He wanted to tell Bones that he was okay, that they could wait until the baby was bigger and Spock could be there.
The darkness pulled him under.
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