Spock carefully fed his son through his feeding tube. He had only just begun to develop a sucking reflex. In about two weeks they would attempt to feed him using a bottle. Once he was able to eat on his own and regulate his own body temperature, Dr. McCoy would allow him to leave sickbay, though he would still be attached to monitors and potentially on oxygen.
After he finished the feeding, Spock placed his son back into the artificial womb. McCoy reattached the cord, and reset the temperature and oxygen levels. He patted the top of the womb. “He’s safe and snug. You two are free to go… discuss things. Just don’t ever tell me about it.”
Jim chuckled. “I want Spock all to myself; I wouldn’t share those details if you begged me.”
“That’s something you’ll never have to worry about.” McCoy wrinkled his nose. “Now shoo.”
Jim patted the womb. “Night, baby. Call us if he wakes up, okay?”
McCoy nodded and waved them away. Spock followed Jim out of sickbay. They walked through the corridors to their rooms in silence. Tension thrummed between them. Spock’s heart rate increased as they approached Jim’s room.
Knowing what they were going to do when they stepped through that door made Spock’s stomach clench. The last time they had sex, Jim had been drugged out of his mind. Spock had simply guessed at what to do based on the information he had about human sexuality. He had no idea if he could please a sober Jim.
“Lights to eighty percent,” Jim commanded as they entered the room.
Spock glanced around. The room was the same as always, Jim’s bed tucked in a corner behind a screen, his desk dominating one half of the room, and the table where they played chess off to one side. A new addition to the room was the crib, which had been wedged next to Jim’s bed for easy access. On the table, the chess board had been tidied away, and neat piles of tiny blue, green, and yellow clothes were waiting to be placed in drawers. Even the desk looked different, as it was covered in small stuffed animals and trinkets for Grayson to play with as he grew.
It looked wrong. Not because of what had been added to the room but because of what was missing. Spock wanted to see evidence of himself in the room. He wanted to be in Jim and Grayson’s lives, in every part of their lives.
With that thought in mind, Spock stripped off his outer shirt and draped it on the back of a chair.
Jim blinked at him. “Um… you know, I was mostly teasing about having sex. I’m still pretty beat up from the surgery.”
Spock’s stomach unclenched, but he had to hold back a frown. He wanted Jim, even if he didn’t know whether he could please him.
“I do not need sex, but I would have your mind, if you agree.”
Jim dropped his own shirt on the table. “Of course.” He slipped off his shoes, leaving them in the middle of the floor, and headed for the bed. Already in his pajamas, he made himself comfortable. “You coming?”
Spock removed his shoes and socks, tucking them under the chair where his shirt hung, then stretched out next to Jim. Face to face, they stared at one another for a long moment.
“This is safe, right?” Jim grinned. “Normally things that feel that good lead to broken bones or allergic reactions.”
Spock placed his fingertips on Jim’s meld points. “The only risk is that our minds may instinctively bond. An improperly formed bond can cause distress.”
Jim leaned into the touch. “We’re due at New Vulcan in a week though. We could fix it then, right?”
Under his fingertips, Jim sparkled with joy and contentment. “Do you wish to bond?”
“Absolutely. This… us… I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.” Jim closed his eyes. He smiled softly. “I don’t really know how to describe it, but ever since I’ve met you, I’ve felt… complete.”
That echoed exactly how Spock felt. Within Jim, he had a best friend, someone he felt closer to than a brother, and—soon—a lover. They had the kind of friendship he had seen his mother and father share.
They were t’hy’lara.
As soon as Spock thought it, he knew it was true. There was no one else in the world for him. He had loved Uhura, but that love hadn’t compared for the soul-deep connection he shared with Jim.
“T’hy’la,” Spock whispered.
Jim grasped his free hand, entwining their fingers. “Soulmate.”
Spock began the meld. He sank into Jim’s mind even faster than before. He reached Jim’s center quickly, and he knew Jim was just as deep inside him.
Parted from me and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. I swear myself to you.
And I swear myself to you. I want to bond. Can we do it now?
Spock felt for the connections of his and Jim’s mind. Bonding required shoring them up and making them permanent. Already they were stronger than any Spock had ever felt in a meld.
I believe I can bond us. Are you ready?
Spock sent his awareness through the connections at the same time as he drew Jim’s consciousness towards himself. Their minds met at the boundaries. He struggled to force them to cross the barrier, but neither would move.
Jim’s consciousness wavered. Here… just take this part. A small section broke off and crossed over into Spock’s mind. A thread remained between it and Jim, connecting them.
Spock allowed his own awareness to split. It jumped over the barrier and settled into Jim’s mind. He could still feel it, but it was distant.
Confident that the two pieces had solidified into their new spaces, Spock withdrew from the meld. He pulled his hand from Jim’s face, but could still sense his emotions.
Jim blinked rapidly. “I can feel you. And I can sort of hear you.” Can you hear me?
“I hear the thoughts you direct towards me.”
Can you hear that I want you to kiss me?
“Not until you wished me to hear it.” Spock leaned forward and pressed his lips to Jim’s. The bond gave new depth to the kiss, allowing Spock to feel a slight echo of the sensation’s Jim felt. He deepened the kiss, wrapping his free hand around the back of Jim’s neck and pulling him close.
Kissing Jim was like kissing sunshine. He radiated warmth and joy that Spock wanted to bask in for hours.
“McCoy to Kirk.”
Unfortunately, even minutes were precious when you had an infant to care for. Jim pulled out of the kiss. He sat up and pressed the button for the comm. “Go ahead.”
“He’s awake. Guess his last feeding wasn’t enough for him. Do you want give him some more, or should I do it?”
Jim glanced over at Spock and sighed. “No, I want to feed him. I’ll be there in a minute.” He ended the comm link and flopped onto his back. “You know, when I first got pregnant, I considered going back to the planet and getting more of that drug in case I ever wanted to give Grayson a sibling.”
Spock pressed a hand to Jim’s stomach, which was now almost back to its original size. “He will have to be content to be an only child.”
Jim grinned. “I think he’ll be spoiled enough for ten kids. Which is good because as often as life kicks my ass, I’d rather not get kicked from inside ever again.” He hauled himself out of bed.
Spock made to get up and Jim shook his head. “It’s my shift with him. You get some sleep. Once I’ve fed Grayson, I’ll join you.”
He padded out of the room. Spock crawled under the covers. He buried his head into a pillow that smelled like Jim. In the back of his mind, he could feel Jim’s contentment when he reached sickbay and their son.
Jim’s room was a far cry from the prison cell where everything began. Spock hadn’t enjoyed what happened on that planet, but he didn’t regret it. Not when it led him to everything he had ever wanted.
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