Jim greedily reached for his son as Bones pulled him out of the artificial womb.
Bones didn't relinquish Grayson. "Relax, Jim. You've got an entire hour with him, as long as his vitals stay strong. There's no need to rush."
"This is his first time leaving sickbay!" Jim carefully took his four-week-old son into his arms. He supported the head, as Bones had shown him, and carefully wedged him into his elbow. "Can you blame me for being excited?"
Bones shook his head. "No, not really. You two go on now. The audible alarms are on, so if you hear his monitor beep, you need to get back here as soon as possible."
Jim had been planning this moment for three days, ever since Bones had agreed to let him take Grayson to see the stars. He knew how to handle any emergencies.
Waving goodbye to Bones, he walked through sickbay and out into the hall. Two corridors down there was a small passageway with huge windows. He headed there.
When he reached the right hallway, Jim walked to the windows. They were currently traveling at impulse through a planetary system, so he could see several moons orbiting a planet nearby. Beyond that, star-filled space stretched in every direction. “Look, Gray.”
Grayson hadn't yet opened his eyes, so Jim knew that showing him the stars was sort of silly. Still, if he was going to raise his son in space, then the first thing he should experience was space itself. He held Grayson up, angling him so he faced the window.
"See that out there? That's the universe. You and me, we're going to explore it.”
Grayson wiggled at the sound of his voice. When Jim stopped talking, he crumpled up his face.
"What's that look for? You don't like the idea of the two of us going on adventures?"
"You'd miss your daddy, huh?" Jim ran a finger over his pointed ear. "Yeah, I'd miss him too."
Jim had honestly thought after Grayson was born that Spock wanted them to be together. He'd willingly touched Jim's hands and face, and Jim had thought he'd called him "t'hy'la" as he was drifting to sleep. But since that night, he'd barely seen Spock. Thanks to the issue with the Romulans, Spock was working his butt off covering the captain, first officer, and science officer positions all at the same time. Jim wished he could help more, but Bones had only let him off bed rest a week ago. He was still off-duty officially, but he'd been doing some paperwork and talking to command about the mission for the past couple of days. In fact, he was still wearing his yellow command shirt over his pajamas. He had wanted to appear professional over the comm.
Neither of them had any time for each other, and what free time they did have, they spent with Grayson. Bones and the nurses took good care of him, but both Jim and Spock wanted to be the primary caregivers whenever possible. They took shifts. Spock took the evening shift while Jim slept, Jim took the early morning shift while Spock slept, and both of them spent any free time they had during the day with him.
Grayson shivered, his whole body trembling in Jim’s arms. He quickly checked the portable monitor. Grayson’s temperature was down by a whole degree.
“Poor guy. You get cold as easily as Spock does.”
Jim wasn’t ready to go back to sickbay, but he hadn’t brought anything with him to keep Grayson warm. Cursing his stupidity, he sat down on the ground. He placed Grayson in his lap, propping his head very carefully, and then stripped off his command shirt. With gentle movements, he wrapped the shirt around Grayson. He pulled part of it over his head, but he tucked it behind his ears. Jim loved to look at those tiny little points. Along with the green cast of his skin, they reminded Jim of Spock.
After standing up, Jim arranged Grayson so that one ear was pressed to Jim’s heart. Bones had explained that the familiar beat of Jim’s heart was comforting for the baby, though Jim wasn’t sure how well Grayson could hear it. Even if the position didn’t do much for Grayson, holding his son close calmed Jim.
Jim stared out at the stars once more. Even with Grayson held close, he felt a sudden wave of loneliness. He shook his head. It was just the post-pregnancy hormones making him emotional. “The two of us will have grand adventures. We’ll be like the Two Musketeers. You for me, and me for you.”
Image by latenightarting. Posted here. Used with permission.
“I believe the original manuscript involved Three Musketeers.”
Jim turned towards Spock’s voice. He smiled as Spock entered the passageway. “How long were you standing there?”
“I arrived just prior to you swaddling Grayson.” Spock drew closer. His chest pressed up against Jim’s side as he leaned forward to touch Grayson’s forehead. “He seems content now.”
Jim glanced at the portable monitor. “He’s warming up.” He expected Spock to step away, but he merely straightened. The points where their bodies met tingled.
“You spoke of Two Musketeers,” Spock said quietly. “Have you changed your mind regarding my parental rights?” His face remained calm, but he looked away.
“No!” Jim shook his head as vehemently as he could without disturbing Grayson. “I want us to be a family.” He reconsidered his phrasing. “I mean, I want Grayson to have two parents. I want him to have you.”
“Do you have the same desire for yourself?” Spock met his gaze.
Jim had never been great at talking about emotions. His philosophy had always been ‘actions speak louder than words.’ So he took action.
Stretching up, he captured Spock’s lips in a soft kiss. Spock responded, bringing a hand up to Jim’s face to pull him farther into the kiss.
When they had sex, they had shared only one violent kiss. That kiss had been short and abrupt. There had been no emotion in it beyond lust.
This kiss was entirely different. It stretched longer as it deepened. Jim reveled in the sweetness of it, in the fact that he was kissing his first officer, his best friend, his everything. Spock completed him, and the gentle press of his lips cemented that fact in his mind.
They broke apart. Jim’s heart raced in his chest, though Grayson didn’t seem to notice. “When Bones said it was time to deliver Grayson, you were the only person I wanted.”
Spock cupped Jim’s cheek. “I wanted to be there.” His fingers slid apart, coming to rest in the mind meld position. “May I?”
Spock slid into his mind.
Joined, Jim could hardly tell where he began and Spock ended. Their minds were a never-ending galaxy, their thoughts the stars and planets that populated it.
Does everybody’s mind look like this?
No. Your life and personality shape how your mind appears to you. Our personal images are very similar.
You are the planets. You miss Vulcan.
And you are the stars you have spent your life reaching for.
I don’t want to leave this place. It’s so peaceful.
I concur; however, Grayson will need us shortly.
Can we bring him into the meld? Is he old enough?
I can try.
The meld grew shallow, and Jim was able to bring his focus back to the physical world. Grayson rested contentedly in his shirt-blanket.
Spock laid his free hand on Grayson’s face. An awareness joined them.
Grayson appeared as a blob of light. He radiated contentment at them, his happiness as bright as a sun.
He is our sun, the center of us.
Spock’s poetic thought made Jim smile. Their shared peace made Grayson glow brighter.
He can’t think words yet, can he?
No, he won’t develop that ability until he begins to understand words, around three or four months old.
Too bad. I’d like to know what he’s thinking.
Grayson’s light dimmed dramatically.
Nothing. He is simply pulling away from the meld. I will release us.
Spock ended the meld. Jim glanced down at Grayson, expecting to find him sleeping. He wasn’t. “Spock! He opened his eyes!”
“His first glimpse of the world distracted him from the meld.”
Grayson looked up, his eyes meeting Jim’s for the first time. “Hi. It’s me, your daddy.”
He stared at Jim. His gaze wavered a little, as he couldn’t hold his eyes still yet, but his sober contemplation of Jim reminded him of Spock. “You certainly are your other daddy’s son.”
“But he has your eyes.”
His eyes were mostly pupil, but there was a ring of light blue around the edge. That blue would probably darken, as Jim’s genetic profile called for dark eyes, but his own slightly premature birth had left him with poor eyesight that had to be healed. While Jim would never wish medical problems on his son, he almost hoped Grayson would need the same procedure so that they could share their eye color.
Jim glanced at Spock, who hadn’t taken his eyes off Grayson since they ended the meld. “Do you want to hold him?”
Spock reached for him, and Jim carefully settled him into Spock’s arms.
Grayson’s gaze moved to Spock’s face. One eyebrow twitched upwards on his face. Spock’s face mimicked the expression.
Jim laughed. “He thinks you’re ‘fascinating’!”
“Infants cannot control their facial muscles at this age.” Spock touched the tiny eyebrow, causing it to fall to a more normal position. “However, I believe you are correct.”
“Fatherhood is making you illogical,” Jim teased. He leaned into Spock’s side. Knowing that he was allowed to touch Spock made his chest tight.
“Indeed.” Spock used his free hand to stroke the back of Grayson’s hand. As he pulled away, Grayson reached out, as if to grab him.
Image by jou. Posted here. Used with permission.
Spock took hold of Grayson’s hand, letting him curl his tiny fingers around his thumb. Seeing the two of them connect made Jim’s chest ache. He wanted nothing more than to gather both of them into his arms and never let them go.
Grayson chose that moment to crumble up his face and let out a mewl. Jim sighed. “Hungry already? We’ve still got fifteen minutes of freedom!”
His son didn’t like that idea. He mewled again, his cry much louder this time.
“Well, at least your lungs are growing.” Jim smiled at Spock. “He’ll be screaming at us before you know it.”
Spock cringed slightly. “We should take things one step at a time. At the moment, we must return to sickbay to give him a feeding. Afterwards, I propose we request Dr. McCoy watch Grayson while we discuss altering our relationship. I have already drawn up relationship approval paperwork, but it will take approximately seven days for command to verify our change in status.”
Jim tugged Spock’s hand away from Grayson. Twining their fingers together, he used the connection to pull him towards sickbay. “Or instead of waiting a week, we could make Bones babysit while we go have sex.” He winked. “I think we’ve already proven that it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”
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