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Well Isn't This Lovely

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Leonard had fucked up.

Or maybe a more accurate way of saying it was Leonard had fucked up again. And he knew it the moment he woke up with a splitting headache and a Vulcan in his bed.

 

 

A few hours into Jim’s party, people had started pairing off and excusing themselves. Leonard couldn’t say he was surprised. After the catastrophe that was Altamid, the reminder of their own mortality had pushed a lot of the crew to make a move. To go up to the person (or people) they’d been pining after and say “Hey, I think you’re pretty great. Wanna fuck/kiss/hold hands/have a disgustingly healthy and supportive domestic life together/all of the above?”

But not Leonard, cause Leonard was a fucking coward.

Not to mention an absolute idiot. Because who else aside from an idiot would have the hots for a Vulcan in a relationship? And yeah, Spock and Uhura were on a break during the whole Altamid debacle. And sure, Spock respected him – the pointy-eared bastard had the gall to look him dead in the eye and give him a Vulcaya necklace to apologize for leading him to the conclusion that Spock hated him, for chrissakes.

But that didn’t mean jack shit. ‘Specially when Spock and Uhura spent the party cuddling up and making nice. Looked to Leonard like their break was over.

 

 

So, Len considered himself to be reasonably surprised to find himself in a room that was decidedly not his, with someone who was decidedly not a stranger – or single, for that matter – wrapped around him like a goddamn octopus. The frankly awful hangover and the fact that he and Spock were both buck-ass naked didn’t soothe Len in any way whatsoever.

Heart pounding in his ears, Len tried to extricate himself from Spock’s limbs and the tangled bedsheets. He had to at least get out of the bed, preferably the room, before Spock woke up. If he were all showered, Len reasoned, he could have at least a bit of dignity left when Spock inevitably asked him to leave in that soft, overly-polite voice he always used when he wasn’t particularly happy.

Leonard hated that voice. Mainly because that was pretty much the only voice Spock used when speaking with him.

When Leonard had finally managed to free himself from the Vulcan’s grasp, he gathered his clothes up off the floor and made his way to the bathroom. The bathroom was bare-bones; the shower didn’t have any water capabilities, which did nothing to help Len’s sore muscles. But it got the job done.

Once dressed, Leonard made his way back to the room, where Spock was sitting ramrod straight and fully clothed on the bed. Of course. Because things just couldn’t be easy for Leonard.

“Doctor,” Spock said. His voice was flat and his face didn’t betray anything.

“Spock,” Len replied, trying and failing to match Spock’s businesslike manner. He clenched his fists as his palms began to sweat. Spock’s eyes were boring into him. The whole situation was gonna go to hell in a handbasket, Leonard could tell.

“Doctor, I wish to apologize for my actions last night. They were entirely inappropriate, especially considering my authority over you.”

And good lord, Len just didn’t have the heart to fight. Spock looked so damn apologetic, sitting there like a kid outside the principal’s office, worrying about how bad this would fuck up his chances getting back with Uhura.

And Leonard couldn’t mess with that. He may have been a stupid, love-struck sod, but he wouldn’t be so cruel as to keep Spock away from the one person who’d made him happy. Made him laugh.

I made him laugh, a smug little voice in the back of his head whispered, I got him to smile. But Len shoved that voice down because delirium didn’t count.

He realized belatedly that several moments had passed since Spock had spoken. The Vulcan was looking at with a certain level of trepidation. Len took a shaky breath.

“’S alright, Spock. We all make mistakes.”

Spock quirked an eyebrow. “Doctor, I really don’t believe that…”

“Look, just… take it or leave it. I ain’t mad. We were both drunk off our asses, tensions were high, and what happened, happened. You’re sorry, I forgive you. You don’t need to worry about blackmail or formal complaints or anythin’ like that.”

Leonard shifted his weight from foot to foot. The air in the room was stifling, and Spock’s eyes hadn’t left him for a moment. This was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with every passing second. He licked his lips.

“I see,” Spock said, “Well then Doctor, I suppose there is no point in further discussion. I see that you have found your possessions.”

His eyes flickered down to the Vulcaya necklace still around Leonard’s neck. Len tugged at his collar and cleared his throat.

“Uh, yeah. Yeah, I did,” He stared at Spock for a few seconds, unsure as to what to say. When Spock offered nothing else, he spoke up again. “Well, I’ve got… They offered me a temporary position at the hospital and, uh…” he glanced at the clock, “It starts in an hour but I, um, I’ve got some paperwork to fill out before then, so…”

Leonard weakly jabbed a thumb towards the door behind him and turned his body slightly. “I should, er, I should… probably go right about now.”

“Of course, Doctor McCoy,” Spock said, inflection not changing in the slightest, “It would be inappropriate for you to arrive late on your first day.”

The Vulcan said nothing else, and made no move say goodbye. The moment the thought registered in Leonard’s mind, he wanted to kick himself. What did he think, that Spock was gonna give him a kiss goodbye after a drunken roll in the sheets that he clearly regretted? Hell no.

“Right, I’ll just…” Leonard pointed to the door once again, nodded, and started to walk towards it. As the door opened, he looked back over his shoulder at Spock, “I’ll… see you at the next meeting, I guess.”

He hurried out the door and down the hallway before Spock could respond.

 

Chapter Text

Jim figured it out right away. Of course he did. Kid was too damn smart for his own good. Leonard had finally managed to get him down to the hospital with threats of sending security guards to drag him in kicking and screaming. And the moment Jim Kirk walked into Len’s temporary office, he knew.

“Oh my god,” He said, face splitting into an enormous shit-eating grin, “Oh my god Bones, you slept with Spock, didn’t you?”

Leonard sputtered at him, face turning beet-red. He regretted the day he told Jim how far-gone he was for their First Officer. “The hell are you talking about Jim, I”

“Aw, don’t try to hide it, Bones!” Jim reached over and ruffled Len’s hair. Len very nearly socked him in the jaw for it. “I can’t believe it, my Bones is growing up,” Jim sniffed, wiping away an imaginary tear.

“I’m older’n you, kid. ‘N who I sleep with is none of your damn business.”

“Well you see, Bones, it actually is. Because I’m your captain. And that means that I have to keep a very close eye on the relationships of my crew members. Especially the newfound relationship between my First Officer and my CMO.”

Leonard pressed his lips together in a thin line. “Well that’s gonna be a little hard to do, Jim, cause there ain’t one.”

Jim’s face fell. “What?”

“There’s no relationship between me and Spock. It was a stupid one-night thing. We were both shitfaced, he’s trying to get back with Uhura… hell, he even gave me a little speech about how it was inappropriate first thing in the morning.”

“Shit.”

“Yeah.”

“I’m sorry, Bones.” Jim’s voice was soft. “Really, that sucks. Is there… do you need anything?”

And wasn’t it just like Jim to be a good, supportive friend when all Leonard needed was for him to be an ass so he could vent? Len sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Honestly Jim? What I need most right now is some painkillers and a few days where I don’t have to see Spock’s dumb face. And for you to not walk on eggshells around me.”

Jim smiled at him tightly.

“Well I can’t make any guarantees, but I’ll try my best,” he said.

“Good,” Leonard said, “Now get on the table, you’re three months behind on vaccinations.”

 

 

Leonard was doing fine for maybe three weeks. Three weeks, where he didn’t see or interact with Spock or Uhura, and Jim was his normal irritating self. And then of course everything went to shit because that’s just how Leonard’s life was.

Uhura showed up for her annual.

Len had always had a bit of trouble looking her in the eye to begin with, but all of a sudden it was even worse. He couldn’t unwind the knot of guilt that formed in his stomach every time he looked at her, couldn’t shake the utter shame he felt at betraying his friend. Because he and Uhura were friends; they’d bonded very early on over their mutual exasperation over Jim’s antics.

And here Leonard was, trying to interact with one of his best friends as if he hadn’t fucked her boyfriend a month ago.

Oh shit, he wondered, did she know? Had Spock told Uhura what they’d done? Was she angry?

But Uhura made no mention of Jim’s party, or Spock for that matter. She gave simple answers to simple questions, in-depth answers to the complicated ones, and was her practical, likeable self throughout.

“Have you been sexually active?” Leonard asked, struggling to force down the guilt-induced nausea.

“No,” Uhura replied, “Not since maybe three months before Altamid. Maybe a little more.”

Her voice didn’t change, but Leonard still gulped nervously. “Oh, right, the uh… you and Spock, you…”

“Broke up, yeah,” Uhura said easily.

“Y’all gonna be gettin’ back together?” Len was more than a little worried about what the answer was going to be, either way.

“Maybe. It really depends on what he decides he feels about you.”

Len’s jaw dropped. He began to stammer out an explanation, and apology, anything to let her know that it wasn’t on purpose, he didn’t mean to hurt her. But Uhura just held her hand up, an amused look on her face.

“Relax, Len. I’m not mad. Not at either of you. I’ve known for a while that you have feelings for him, and he’s attracted to you on some level at least, if what happened at Jim’s party is any indication. And anyway, it’s not as if Spock was cheating on me when it happened.”

Leonard blushed, looked at his shoes and mumbled about how it still wasn’t right and he was sorry. Uhura just smiled and laughed a bit, assuring him that it wasn’t a big deal. They finished the appointment on a friendly, if awkward, hug and Uhura was on her way. As soon as the door had closed behind her, Len stopped trying to keep control of his nerves and heaved into his waste bin.

 

 

And then the vomiting kept on happening. About a week in to barely being able to keep anything down, Leonard was just about ready to scream. Christine was worried. Jim was worried. He’d been forced to take medical leave, for chrissakes. He was exhausted and angry at his own body for its betrayal. His stomach was sore, his throat hurt, and he was so damn hungry. But it just kept happening.

Finally, Len had to admit to himself that the nausea wasn’t caused by stress or nerves, so he took a blood test. And when the results came back he, predictably, rushed to his toilet to empty his stomach once more.

In that moment, Leonard would have said fuck Spock, but that was exactly what had gotten him into this mess.

 

Chapter Text

“Pregnant. You’re pregnant.”

“Yes, Jim, we’ve gone over this several times. Pregnant. With child. Got a bun in the oven. Up the duff. Other euphemisms. Need I go on?”

“No, no, I just… It’s Spock’s, right? I mean it’s gotta be.” Jim was looking a little harried, eyes wide.

Leonard groaned and dragged his hands through his hair. “Tell me this, Captain I-have-to-know-about-my crew-members’-relationships, have I slept with anyone else at all recently?”

Jim shook his head. “What are you going to do, then?”

Shit, what was he going to do? Spock obviously could never know; he’d choose Leonard over Uhura in a heartbeat if he did. And much as he’d love for Spock to be with him, Len couldn’t let that happen.

He tugged at his hair and grumbled to himself.

“I don’t know, Jim. This is a big thing. I… I need to think about it. For a few days, at least.”

Jim’s eyebrows knotted together as he stared intently at Len’s stomach, as if he could see the fetus growing there.

“Okay, Bones,” he said after a while, “You take those days. I’ll tell everybody you caught the Space Flu or something.”

Leonard nodded and stood to leave.

“And Bones?” He turned back to look at his friend. “Whatever you choose… I’ll stand by you. I mean, I might not agree with it one hundred percent, because sometimes you’re a hypocrite and make dumbass decisions, but… I’ll help you with whatever you need.”

Len nodded, thanked Jim, and walked out of the Captain’s quarters on shaking legs.

 

 

Leonard sat in his quarters and contemplated. He contemplated about many things; about his life up to this point, about the dysfunctional family he’d made for himself, about Altamid and Spock. But most of all, about the baby and what he was going to do about it.

The obvious, most logical decision (and boy did Leonard hate how that voice in the back of his head sounded just like Spock), was to go to an anonymous clinic and get an abortion. No muss, no fuss. Spock would never know, and Leonard could get on with his life and do his best to forget how nice it felt to be wrapped up in Spock’s arms.

But then again, Len had always wanted children. Had always dreamed of swooping up a little munchkin of his own to sit on his shoulders. To have a sticky toddler grab at his face with their chubby starfish hands and call him “Papa”. He’d always wanted that. He just never expected that it would be his uterus gestating that child.

And that was another thing to consider. Was his body even a habitable environment for a baby? He’d been taking Testosterone for so long that he’d have to start taking supplementary female hormones, and that wouldn’t be a walk in the park by any means. Plus, he had little to no breast tissue left after his top surgery, which meant that if he kept the baby they would have to be fed on baby formula, which was another expense…

But, Len thought, this was pretty much his last chance. At his age, and at where he was in his career, when would he get another opportunity to have what he’d craved for so long? What were the odds he’d ever have another chance to be a dad?

He worried and fretted and flip-flopped over the next three days, but he finally made a decision.

He sent a message to Jim requesting a private meeting.

 

 

Leonard slid the PADD across the desk to Jim, making defiant eye contact. As Jim read the PADD, his expression became more and more unhappy.

“You’re leaving?!” He looked at Len with betrayal written all over his face. “Why? Why would you just leave?”

“I wrote why. It’s kind of a requirement on a resignation form.”

“I know, but… But what about Spock? Are you going to tell him?” Jim cried.

“No. And neither are you.”

Jim sputtered at him, but Leonard held up a hand.

“Look, Jim,” he said, “This is the best possible option.”

“How? How is leaving all of us and keeping Spock in the dark about his own child the best option?”

Leonard sighed. Jim always was stubborn. “What happened to you supporting my decision?”

“I said I’d support you, not that I’d agree with you!”

Len fixed him with a stony glare. “Listen. I have thought about this for three days. I’ve considered every feasible option. Believe me when I say this is the best one. I want kids, Jim. You know that. And you also know that Spock doesn’t. And look, don’t take this as me throwin’ a pity-party, ‘cause I ain’t, but… Spock’s got a lot better prospects than a forty-one-year-old tranny with a bad temper and a divorce under his belt.”

Jim’s face scrunched up at that.

“It’s a simple fact, Jim. I’m far from being his only option for a romantic partner, and even further from being the best one. But Spock won’t care about that, because Vulcans’ve got some weird thing about it being illogical for children to be raised by one biological parent when they could be raised by both. So he’d decide that it’d be best for him to be with me and raise this kid. But sooner or later it would start falling apart, ‘cause it’s already been well established that I don’t do well with relationships. So then there’d be a break up, and it wouldn’t be right of me to put Spock or the kid through that when I can just avoid that all together.”

Jim slumped back in his seat and gnawed at his lip. He looked and Leonard, then at the PADD, then back at Leonard. “Alright,” he sighed after a while, and leaned forward to begin signing the paperwork, “I accept your resignation. But you gotta promise me you’ll keep in touch. The squirt’s gonna need some screen time with their Uncle Jim.”

Len snorted. “Sure thing.”

“The crew’s gonna ask. What should I tell them?”

“Mama’s gettin’ old? Wanna spend time with her before she passes? Maybe throw in somethin’ about stress or PTSD, too?”

“’Kay,” Jim replied, mouth clearly downturned as he signed the last line on the forms. He reached over the desk and pulled Len into a hug, careful of his friend’s stomach. “Good luck, Bones,” he muttered, starting to get choked up.

“You too, Jim,” Leonard said. He walked out the door without looking back. He knew he’d start crying if he did.

 

Chapter Text

Things weren’t the same on the Enterprise without Doctor McCoy. Doctor M’Benga was more than competent and had amazing bedside manner, that could not be argued. But there was something to be said for the previous CMO’s gruff, no-nonsense demeanor that covered up his gentle compassion.

Spock had found himself being much more careful since the doctor’s departure. He knew it was illogical, but he felt no small amount of trepidation at the idea of somebody other than Leonard treating his wounds. It would only solidify the man’s absence, make it more permanent.

Such a mindset was far too emotional. But, as Leonard had been so fond of reminding him, Spock was just as much a human as he was a Vulcan, and humans felt. Spock felt. Felt for Leonard especially.

Though he was loath to admit it, when he’d first gotten word of Doctor McCoy’s resignation, Spock had feared that perhaps it was because of the night they’d spent together. That Leonard was made… uncomfortable by Spock’s feelings toward him and had decided to leave. But Spock would never admit those fears, nor the sheer, illogical, guilty relief he’d felt when Jim had told him Leonard’s resignation was because of undue amounts of stress and his mother’s increasing age.

Some nights Spock would lay in his bed, and very humanly hope against hope that when his business back on Earth was done, Leonard would come back to the Enterprise and they could try again.

 

 

Leonard didn’t go back to his hometown. He couldn’t. Not when every old biddy in the county would be whispering to each other about how the McCoys’ boy had gone to space and got himself knocked up within hours of his arrival.

Instead he called up his Mama and told her what had happened. She was finished moving into her parents’ old farmhouse by the time Leonard’s shuttle landed.

She had met him at the gates with tears in her eyes and held him close. Len didn’t say anything, just hugged her right back and let himself cry for the first time since Altamid.

 

 

Roughly two months after Doctor McCoy’s departure, Jim called Spock into his office. He arrived promptly, and was greeted by the sight of his captain very nearly hidden behind stacks of PADDs and antique books. Spock raised his eyebrow.

“Hey! Spock! Wasn’t expecting you to get here that quick, or I woulda boxed this up.”

“You requested my presence at 15:00. I arrived at 15:00, Jim. If anything, you seem to be behind schedule.”

Jim snorted at that and walked around to the front of his desk. He gestured to the piles on top of it.

“This stuff was all Bones’. Experiments, research, shit like that. He, uh, said he didn’t really need it while he was on earth, but some of it might be important at some point. And like, I know M’Benga could make use of it, but you and Bones did a lot of research together so it would probably make more sense to you.”

“You wish for me to keep and read Doctor McCoy’s records in the event that the information they contain would be beneficial.” It was not a question, but a statement. A confirmation.

“Yup! I gotta get back to the Con before Sulu gets too comfortable, but there’s some boxes in the corner. So just pack it all up, go through it whenever. Catch ya later, Spock!” Jim clapped him on the shoulder and left in a hurry.

Spock shook his head and began to sift through the piles.

 

 

It was about six months in when the dysphoria hit Len hard. He knew it had been coming at some point or another, but it was still an enormous shock to his system when he settled in.

He looked in the mirror after a shower one morning and realized that he had child-bearing hips. That his face was smoother than a baby’s butt. That his whole body was softer. It made his skin crawl.

Knowing the day would come didn’t make it any easier. And when his Mama, bless her heart, found Len buck-ass naked on the bathroom floor with his arms wrapped around his swollen stomach as he cried and shook uncontrollably, she simply joined him on the ground and stroked his hair until he was calmer.

Later he grumbled at her for sitting on the hard floor with her arthritis, and blamed the whole episode on hormones in more ways than one. But good old Eleanor McCoy, she just sat Leonard down at the kitchen table in front of a hot meal and informed him she’d made him an appointment with a therapist.

 

 

There had been an outbreak of a virus on the Enterprise. No fatalities, but many crew members were forced out of commission for weeks. Spock was among them, and he couldn’t quiet the bitter little voice in the back of his head whispering to him that if Leonard were still on the ship, this would have been over and done with almost as soon as it started.

Doctor McCoy did not tolerate contagion on the ship, and anything of the like would be eliminated with a brutal efficiency. Jim had always called Leonard a miracle worker. Spock was of the mind that Leonard was fueled by spite; that he cured the incurable simply because it had the audacity to exist.

Spock missed him. The spark in his eyes, the arguments they had, the utter compassion and intelligence that the man possessed. He missed it all. He missed Leonard McCoy.

It was hard to believe that only eight months had passed since he left without a word.

 

 

One hot, sticky night in the middle of summer, Leonard spent 17 hours in labor in a dinky hospital in backwoods Georgia, holding his mother’s hand and wishing it were Spock’s.

 

Chapter Text

Joanna Amanda McCoy had been born at promptly 6:45 in the morning on the 12th of August. Leonard probably should have expected a morning birth; Spock was an early riser if ever there was one, and it just figured his daughter would inherit that.

That wasn’t the only thing she’d gotten from him, of course. No, his Joanna’s face was just like Spock’s from the eyebrows to the chin, not to mention the pointed ears and hands that he just knew would become long and delicate in a few years’ time. But her colors were all from Leonard. Dark brown hair, hazel eyes, tan skin with a spray of light freckles here and there.

Len was biased, of course, but he doubted there ever had been or ever would be a baby near as perfect as his little girl. He’d been smitten the second he’d clapped eyes on her.

 

 

Len had known his Mama wouldn’t be able to resist spoiling JoJo from the moment he told her she was to be a grandmother. And he had prepared himself for that. Had steeled himself to play the Bad Cop as a counterpoint, and deal with the tantrums over candy and toys.

Turned out he had psyched himself out for nothing, because Granny McCoy’s brand of spoiling meant hand-sewn clothes, raspberries being blown on chubby cheeks, and watching her garden from inside the playpen.

“Did this with you, too, darlin’. I remember those big ol’ eyes lookin’ at me like they wanted to see absolutely everythin’. Didn’t matter you were too young to understand who I was, let alone what I was doin’.”

And if Mama ended Jo’s tummy-time early just so that she could hold and coo at her grandbaby, Leonard couldn’t blame her. He did it too. There was just something about holding her. Holding his Joanna, his baby. She was such a tiny little thing, with her inquisitive owl-eyes and cowlicked hair and rosy cheeks. He loved her.

And he just couldn’t stop himself from wondering if Spock would have been as gone for their little girl as he was. 

 

 

Jo’s first birthday had been a small affair. It was just the three of them. Mama baked a chocolate cake and Leonard added 200 dollars to the savings account he’d opened before she was born. They’d laughed and fawned over Joanna as she ate her tiny slice of cake with her hands and wound up smeared with frosting.

Len took far too many pictures and Joanna stayed up far too late and Mama cried far too much about how much Papa would have loved to be there. It was a good day.

But Leonard hadn’t been wrong about his Mama getting old. Not two months after JoJo’s birthday, she was rushed to the hospital after having a stroke at the dinner table. Six days later, Leonard woke up to the sound of a flatline.

Eleanor McCoy’s funeral was only slightly larger than her granddaughter’s first birthday party. Most of her friends and family had passed before she did, and many of her nieces and nephews were in space. There were some old women that Len could remember pinching his cheeks and complimenting his dresses when he was still knee-high, and a few cousins he vaguely recognized, plus some people his age and younger that he didn’t. He could only assume they were some of his mother’s old students.

Len held Jo tight as his mother was lowered into the ground beside his father, not bothering to hold back tears. His baby girl was strangely subdued that day. He knew she was too young to understand death or funerals, but he got the feeling she knew her Granny wouldn’t be coming back.

Somehow that made everything worse.

 

 

By the time Joanna was two, she was walking and talking so fast that Len could barely keep up. Her toddler jargon was full of strange gurgles and shrieks, but Leonard got the gist of it pretty quickly.

And the gist of it was that his baby girl was a goddamn genius.

Of course, every parent thinks their kid is a genius. But Joanna really, really was. Yeah, she was two years old with all the grace and eloquence of a drunk, but she had a full comprehension of patterns. She’d once spent almost an hour making what Leonard could only assume was a model of the Fibonacci Sequence. The only reason she stopped was because she’d run out of pebbles. 

As Len had brushed Jo’s hair out before bed that night, he couldn’t stop staring at her pointed little ears.

She had to have gotten that brain of hers from Spock, hadn’t she? Leonard knew he was smart, but his smart was completely different from Jo or Spock’s smart. He was a troubleshooter. He saw something that was wrong and he would figure out how to right it. Spock had always been the math guy, with his equations and ratios and formulas that stretched on forever. And that seemed like the kind of stuff that Jo had an affinity to.

Len just hoped that he’d be able to keep up.

 

 

Joanna’s third year had been particularly difficult for the both of them.

Leonard’s pension had just about run out, and while his mother had left him all of her finances, it wouldn’t get them by for much longer. So, he’d found a job at a local hospital as a GP. Funnily enough, it was the same hospital JoJo had been born in.

It was a good job. Well-paying. Friendly staff. The injuries and illnesses his patients came in with were far less dangerous and strange than the ones he’d treated on the Enterprise. It didn’t exercise his brain as much as Len would have liked, but it did mean he wasn’t having to constantly worry about some unknown creature or pathogen wiping out an entire crew.

The only real downside was that being a doctor wasn’t a job where it was appropriate for your child come to work with you.

Leonard had been forced to find a daycare for JoJo, and it had very nearly broken his heart to leave her that first day. He’d heard her crying all the way to his car, and he was almost late to work because he had spent a good fifteen minutes sobbing in the daycare’s parking lot.

They’d eventually gotten used to the situation and settled into a routine, but Len missed his baby girl every day while he was working.

 

 

“Papa! Papa, look!”

Leonard smiled wide as Jo pumped her legs back and forth furiously on the swing set, her eyebrows furrowed and tongue sticking out of her mouth. It was his day off, and JoJo had insisted that they go to the park so that she could show him how good she was at swinging herself.

“Good job, Sweet-pea! You think you’ll get high enough to loop around?”

Joanna laughed her high little giggle and shook her head, tossing her pigtails from side to side. “No way, Papa! I’d fall off!”

“Smart girl,” Len said with a nod. “You gettin’ tired yet?”

“Hmmm…” Jo dragged her feet through the rubber mulch to slow herself down a bit. “I dunno.”

“Well what if I told you that if you were getting tired, I’d take you to get ice cream.”

“Before dinner?!”

“Before dinner. But only if you’re tired of swinging.”

Len could barely suppress his laugh as Jo leapt off the swing, eyes wide as dinner plates. “I’m tired,” she said loudly, “I’m tired of the swing.”

“Are you really,” Leonard replied, smiling, “Or are you just saying that so you’ll get some ice cream?”

“Yes.”

Len snorted. “Well then go grab your water bottle and we’ll get going.”

He watched Joanna as she practically skipped over to the bench where she had put her water. It was good to see her so lively. She’d been having a little trouble with the other kids at her daycare in the past couple of months. One of the teachers (or were they more counselors? Leonard never was sure on that) had pulled him aside and told him about it about a month ago.

He’d sat Joanna down and asked her about what the counselor had told him. She had clammed up at first, but Len knew his daughter, and eventually she’d told him everything. The other kids were too rowdy; they wanted to play rough and she just liked to swing and climb trees, but they would drag her into their games. They made fun of her, too. For little things. Like how she only had one parent, her pointy elf ears, her big vocabulary, her quietness. It didn’t hurt her feelings a whole lot, but it didn’t make her feel all that welcome, either. 

Leonard had made sure that JoJo knew there was nothing bad or shameful about the way she was, and she seemed to believe him. But he still worried. Of course he worried. He’d struggled with his own self esteem for so long, and he didn’t want his daughter to fall into that same hole, especially at such a young age.

“Papa, you got your serious face on. Is somethin’ wrong?”

Len was dragged out of his reverie. He smiled, shook his head, and reached down to hold Jo’s offered hand. “Nah, darlin’. Just thinkin’ ‘bout how fast you’re growin’. Pretty soon here you’ll be bigger’n me!”

Jo’s laughter rang out through the empty park. “Nuh-uh! Lady bodies don’t get that big!”

“Mine did, sweetie.”

“Yeah, but you ain’t a lady, so it don’t count.”

Len gazed down at her fondly. Wise beyond her years, that was Joanna. “I reckon you’re right, JoJo,” he said, and swooped her up into his arms, “Now, I remember somethin’ about ice cream?”

Jo squirmed excitedly in Leonard’s arms as he turned the corner… and ran directly into Spock.

 

Chapter Text

Four years. Spock had spent four years without the company of Leonard McCoy. It was not an enjoyable experience. For Spock had, against his better judgement, fallen quite deeply in love with the curmudgeonly doctor. And, as the old Earth adage goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

In Spock’s case, absence made the heart grow fond enough to make an incredibly illogical decision and hack into the captain’s account.

 

 

For roughly a year, perhaps slightly more, Spock had been far too busy realizing just how much he had felt for Leonard to wonder too much about where and how he was. But when he eventually came to terms with the fact that he was, indeed, pining, Spock became suspicious as to why no contact had been made between Doctor McCoy and the crew. Surely he would have at least messaged Jim to ensure that the captain wasn’t taking unnecessary risks?

And thus, Spock gave in to his human side’s curiosity. The first step had obviously been to speak to Jim, but that had led nowhere.

“No, Spock, he hasn’t called. Or written. He’s prolly still getting settled. It’s gotta take a while to adjust back to life on Earth after being on the ship for so long. Don’t worry, he’ll call to grumble at us soon enough.”

So, he had waited. And when he felt that “soon enough” had come, he asked Jim again. Surprisingly, Jim had teared up.

“His mom’s in the hospital, Spock. She had a stroke, a really bad one. Bones isn’t sure if she’s gonna make it. I don’t think he’ll be in touch again for a while.”

Spock understood. He had lost his own mother, after all.

But the ache in his heart (which really should not have been there because as far as Spock knew emotions did not cause physical sensations) made him embarrassingly impatient. He swallowed his pride and once more made the short but daunting walk to Jim’s quarters. Just as he was about to request entrance, however, the captain’s voice reached his ears.

“Bones, this is getting ridiculous,” Jim had said exasperatedly, “He’s been asking about you. He’s pining… Oh, no, no, no, you don’t get to say that! You’re not the one stuck on the ship with him! You don’t have to deal with Spock looking like a kicked puppy dog whenever you tell him that no, his crush hasn’t mentioned him.”

Spock scowled a bit, but could not stop himself from pressing an ear against the door to hear better.

“No, I’m not gonna tell him. I made you a promise, and I’m gonna keep that damn promise no matter how much I hate doing it… Bone’s, look, just…” Jim huffed, and Spock could imagine that he was ruffling his hair, “I don’t enjoy lying to my friend. Especially not when that friend is my first officer… I know, I know… yeah, g’night to you too, Bones.”

As Spock heard the unmistakable sound of Jim logging out of his apparent secret call with Leonard, he crept back to his room and booted up a blank PADD. Leonard was keeping some kind of secret from Spock, and if McCoy would not speak to him, then he would find the doctor and make him speak.

 

 

Which was how Spock found himself on a street corner in Greenhill, Georgia, face to face with none other than Leonard McCoy. Who was… holding a child. A female child who looked to be no older than five years of age and bore an eerie resemblance to Spock himself. He looked at the child, and then at Leonard, whose expression was flitting rapidly between fear, anger, and resignation in a seemingly endless loop. And it hit him.

“Oh,” he muttered softly, the new information still registering. “Oh,” he said again, this time louder.

Spock looked at Leonard, the question in his eyes needing no answer because the girl looking confusedly between them had Vulcan ears.

Leonard’s face seemed to be rapidly draining of blood. “Spock,” he said, sounding more than a little like he was being strangled.

“Leonard. It is… good to see you.” And it was. It really, truly was. For some reason the world felt right again. Spock felt the completely illogical urge to touch Leonard, to hold him tightly and cover his mouth with his own. But he tamped that feeling down and instead looked at the child who seemed increasingly likely to be his own daughter.

“I do not believe I have had the pleasure of meeting you,” he said, “I am Commander Spock of the Enterprise. May I ask your name?”

“You got funny ears like me,” the child said, almost as if she hadn’t heard him. Leonard jostled her a little.

“Manners, darlin’.”

“Oh. I’m Jo, ‘s nice to meet you.” She stuck out her hand, presumable to shake. Doctor McCoy looked even more uncomfortable, if that were even possible. Perhaps this has been a mistake.

“I am afraid, Miss Jo, that Vulcans do not shake hands. But I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”

The girl – Jo – looked at McCoy and scrunched up her nose. “Why’d he call me miss? Ain’t he older’n me?” she whispered.

“Just how he is, sweetheart,” he muttered back. Then louder, “Alright, JoJo, tell you what. I’m gonna give you five dollars. When we get to the ice cream shop, you can go pick something out and pay for it and then we’ll walk to the duck pond, okay?”

Jo nodded and Leonard set her down on the ground before digging a beat-up leather wallet out of his jacket pocket. Spock didn’t miss the fact that the Vulcaya necklace he’d gifted to Leonard was still on a cord around the man’s neck. Jo took the five dollars offered to her.

“Is Mr. Spock comin’ with us?”

Spock was about to say no, that he didn’t wish to intrude, but Leonard was faster than him. “Yeah. Yeah, he’s comin’ with us. He and I need to talk, catch up.”

Jo flashed a smile that looked so incredibly like Leonard’s that all the air left Spock’s lungs. Then she turned and bounced off down the block toward the ice cream shop on the corner, completely unaware of how much the world had changed in the last three minutes.

“We better follow her,” Leonard said, “They’ll let her take home the whole shop for a nickel if she asks ‘em nicely.”

 

 

Spock found himself sitting on a metal bench next to Leonard, watching Jo throw food pellets that she’d bought from an old coin-operated machine at a steadily growing flock of ducks. It was, dare he say it, very awkward.

“Her full name is Joanna.” Leonard broke the silence. “Joanna Amanda McCoy.”

Spock looked at him. “And she is…?”

“Yours? Yeah. Without a doubt. Unless that wasn’t really you the morning after Jim’s party.”

Spock cleared his throat, which had suddenly become quite dry. “Leonard I… understand that it is a sensitive topic, but… why did you not tell me? You must know that I would not have been… unhappy about having a child with you.”

Leonard leaned back and crossed his arms with a sigh. “You want the long answer or the short one, Spock?”

“Preferably the long answer. It would provide greater insight.”

Doctor McCoy nodded and sucked at his teeth for a long moment before speaking again.

“Okay. Look, I don’t really… I don’t have the time for that. Not today at least. I gotta get Jo home, get her some dinner and all that before she gets cranky. But, uh… barring any emergencies, I’ve got an hour-long gap in my schedule tomorrow. We, we could meet for lunch? And then… I don’t know.”

“Lunch would be very nice, Leonard. May I ask a time and location?”

“There’s a pretty good café two blocks south of where we met. They’ve got vegetarian options. Meet at 1:20?”

“That would be acceptable.”

McCoy laughed a bit. It was a sound Spock hadn’t even realized he’d been longing to hear until just then. “Acceptable. Sure know how to charm a guy.” Leonard stood up. “See you tomorrow, then.”

With a nod, Leonard went up to Joanna and took her hand. Spock swallowed the lump forming in his throat as he watched them leave.

 

Chapter Text

If JoJo hadn’t been asleep, Len would have been screaming. He would have been cussing himself out and breaking plates and ripping out his own hair. Spock was here. Spock had found them. And god help him, Leonard had gotten fucking butterflies when Spock had agreed to lunch.

What the fuck had he been thinking? Hadn’t he come back to Earth to avoid this? Len groaned as he collapsed onto his bed. His head hurt. His heart hurt. He felt like he was gonna puke. He yanked a pillow over his face and yelled.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

How the hell was Leonard going to explain all this to Spock? Sure, it was one thing to make the decision, to explain it to Jim, but Spock? That was a whole new can of worms. What could Len even say tomorrow?

“Hey, sorry I fled back to my home planet without a word and kept your own daughter from you, it’s just that I’m a stupid love-struck coward. You want a side of fries or a salad?” 

And god, what about Joanna? She watched nature shows, she knew how babies were made. She had already been asking about her other parent, it’s not like he could keep the secret forever. Not that he’d planned to but he’d expected a little more time. How was Leonard supposed to let her know that Spock was her father, and that it was all Len’s fault that she’d never met him until today?

Leonard slept fitfully that night, dreaming only of all the ways the situation could fall to shit.

 

 

Jo had been uncharacteristically quiet on the drive to daycare. Sometimes Leonard swore she’d gotten some of that Vulcan telepathy. She always had been good at reading the mood.

“Are you gonna see Mr. Spock today?” she asked as they pulled into the parking lot.

“Yeah, baby,” he answered, “I’m having lunch with him.”

“Tell him I said hi? An’ I like his eyebrows cause they’re like mine?”

Leonard chewed on his lip nervously and finished signing her in. “Will do, sweetheart. Be good today, alright?” he gave Jo a hug and a peck on the cheek, both of which were returned. He watched his daughter fondly as she said her good mornings to the counselors. He left the building with one final wave.

Len got into his car and sat there breathing deeply for several minutes, trying to calm himself down, before starting it back up and heading to work. This day was going to be the death of him.

 

 

Spock was already outside the restaurant when Leonard got there. He steeled himself for what was bound to be the worst discussion he’d ever had, and crossed the street.

“Sorry I’m late,” he said. Spock turned around.

“It is no bother, Leonard. I am aware that a doctor’s schedule is subject to change at any moment.”

“Uh, yeah. Never know what’s gonna happen,” Leonard said, not wanting to admit that he was running late because he took a few minutes to have a panic attack in the bathroom on his way out. “Well, here we are. Should we… I don’t know, should we go in, or is there someplace else you’d like to go?”

Spock looked up at the sign on the awning above them, and then back at Leonard. “I believe this will do. Unless you would prefer a different place?”

“Um, no this is fine. So…” Len cleared his throat and made to open the door, but Spock beat him to it. The Vulcan held the door open for him and Leonard walked through. Goddamn Spock and his fucking courteousness, Leonard yelled in his head. This wasn’t going at all how he was expecting.

Granted, he wasn’t really sure what he’d been expecting, but it wasn’t fucking this.

The two of them placed their orders and paid at the counter, and then seated themselves in one of the booths at the back of the café. Len found himself unable to look Spock in the eye, and began fiddling with his silverware as a distraction. They sat there in a tense silence until their food arrived, and Spock finally broke the silence.

“Leonard, I apologize. You are clearly uncomfortable with this situation. I should not have pressed you.” He looked surprisingly remorseful, his face betraying far more emotion than Leonard remembered. But maybe that was just because he’d gotten so good at reading Jo’s expressions.

“You’re right Spock, I am uncomfortable. But, well, you have the right to know. And I probably, no I definitely should have told you sooner, but I’m only human. I was scared. I know that it wasn’t logical or whatever…” Spock interrupted him.

“In this case, fear could be seen as logical. You did not know how I would react to your pregnancy. A certain amount of trepidation at the unknown is to be expected.”

“The thing is I did know,” Len blurted, and immediately felt like kicking his own ass after he said it. Spock lifted an eyebrow at him incredulously.

“You knew?”

“Yes. Yes,I knew, okay? I knew that Vulcans think a child should always have two parents if it’s possible. I knew that you’d insist on being in a relationship with me for the baby’s sake. And I knew that even if you were attracted to me sexually you were still in love with Uhura, and sooner or later you’d start to resent me and our child. And I knew…” he choked a bit, “I knew that I couldn’t put all of us through that. You deserved… you deserved someone who could make you happy.”

“Leonard…”

“No, Spock. It’s true. You and Uhura… you two were so good together. And you were just starting to get things to work again, and then I got pregnant… Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t give up JoJo for the whole world. But I just… No matter how much I may have wanted you, I…” Len sighed and ran his hands through his hair. Fuck it. “Look, I was in love with you. Still am. But Uhura, or really anyone else, would’ve been so much better for you in the long run. And I don’t thing I could’ve handled being in a relationship with you knowing that you were only with me for the sake of a child that you never expected and probably never wanted.”

“Leonard,” Spock said. And dear god, it was that voice, the over-polite, Spock’s-really-fucking-pissed-and-won’t-admit-it voice. Leonard looked down at his lap and clenched his hands into fists until his knuckles were white. “Leonard, please look at me. This is important.”

Len complied, biting the inside of his lower lip to keep it from trembling. Spock was staring at him, eyes wide and full of so much raw emotion that he was taken aback. Spock’s voice was soft when he finally spoke again.

“Is that really what you thought?” Len flinched at that. He wanted to leave. He didn’t want to have to face this, to have Spock so angry with him. But he deserved it. He hadn’t had the right to keep Spock and Joanna apart. Leonard could feel his body curling in on itself, anticipating the same berating and yelling that had become so common with Jocelyn. Suddenly, he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder, and a wave of emotions tumbled over him.

Sadness. Understanding. Shame. Frustration. Love.

God, so much love.

“Leonard, please. Please listen.” Spock’s hand drifted to Len’s chin and tilted his face up to meet his eyes once more. He was in a state of shock. Spock was touching him. Willingly. All those feelings, all that love… that was from Spock. Leonard could feel himself tearing up.

“I will admit that I am… upset by this situation. But I am not angry at you. I simply wish…” he took a shaky breath, “I simply wish that I had done more. That I hadn’t allowed you to leave my room that morning before I told you how I felt.”

“Leonard, I am sorry. I am sorry that my actions and my words made you believe I was indifferent. I am sorry that you felt I would only be with you for the sake of a child. I am sorry you thought I would not want a child with you. I am sorry you believed I only slept with you that night because of lust and inebriation. Most of all, I am sorry that it took me so long to come back to you. To gather myself enough to right my wrongs.”

Spock brushed his thumbs across Leonard’s cheeks as tears began to fall.

“Leonard, I… I love you. Perhaps for longer than I am willing to admit. And Nyota could see that, which is why she ended out relationship. And why I gave you that Vulcaya necklace, though now I see it may have been too little too late.”

“B-but what about… I mean, I got pregnant. And you…”

“Have always wanted children.”

Leonard blinked at him, stunned.

“I have always wanted to be a father. Not for any logical reason. I have simply always wanted to have a family, to have and raise children with a person I love. It is… a very human thing to desire. But a desire I have nonetheless. And I can think of no person I would rather have a child with than you. My only regret is that I have missed so much of our daughter’s life.”

The tears started to fall in earnest, and Len dropped his head into his hands. Sobs began to wrack his body. “God, I’m such an idiot,” he choked out, “this is all my fault, I…”

“No, Leonard,” Spock said, “No.”

Len did not resist when Spock grabbed him by the hand and pulled him up from the booth and out of the café, leaving their food untouched. 

 

Chapter Text

After Spock had taken him away from prying eyes, back to the duck pond where they’d sat the day before, Leonard began to cry at full force, clinging tightly to Spock and shaking uncontrollably. Spock held him close, and though he did not cry, he did not bother to shield his mind from the barrage of emotions Leonard was experiencing. He had missed so much from not paying proper attention. He would not let anything Leonard felt escape him now.

Spock allowed himself to feel the sadness and fear and insecurity and anger Leonard was feeling, and he countered it with everything he felt for the man in his arms. Leonard had to know. He had to know how precious he was to Spock; how precious their daughter was to him already. It would not make up for all the years lost, but it would make them better.

Slowly, slowly, Leonard’s heaving sobs became normal breathing. He kept his face buried in Spock’s shoulder and he could feel the shame radiating off of him. Spock wanted to scream, to force Leonard to stop blaming himself. Instead he just stroked Leonard’s hair as he sniffled and dried his eyes.

“I apologize, Leonard,” he said, “It was not my intention for this meeting to make you cry.”

Leonard pulled away from Spock’s grasp, scrubbing at his eyes. “’S okay. Not like you set out to do it.” They sat quietly, watching the ducks paddling around in their pond.

“Leonard,” Spock said, unable to hold back what he’d been longing to say all day, “Would it be too much to ask to meet Joanna again? As her father?”

Doctor McCoy flashed him a watery smile. “Don’t think it would be too much to ask at all.”

 

 

Spock stood on the doorstep of the McCoy family’s farmhouse. He hesitated to ring the bell, but he could not for the life of him find a logical reason as to why. He clenched and unclenched his fists, swallowing back the feeling of anxiety which had become all too familiar since finding Leonard.

Just as Spock finally lifted his hand to press the button, the door swung open. He was greeted by Leonard’s nervous but cautiously optimistic face.

“Hi,” he breathed out, voice soft.

“Hello, Leonard. Your home is lovely,” Spock replied. And it was. The yard was well-kept and the house was in exceptional condition for a building that looked to be over one hundred years old. Spock lifted the bouquet he’d purchased thirty-three minutes earlier towards Leonard.

“I believe it is a tradition of sorts to gift flowers to your host?” 

“Thanks, Spock,” Leonard said as he took the flowers, “They’re real nice. C’mon in, JoJo’s been bouncin’ off the wall since I told her you’d be comin’ over.”

Spock entered the front hall of Leonard’s home, and was struck by how personal it seemed. Doctor McCoy’s office had not been barren by any means, but this house looked lived-in. It was rather odd for Spock, as his own childhood home had been a rather sterile environment, to say the least. 

“Misser Spock!”  

He looked up at the screech just in time to see Joana barreling towards him at what he could only guess was her top speed. Ignoring her father’s calls to slow down, she threw herself towards Spock. Realizing what she was doing, Spock caught her in his arms so that she wouldn’t fall.

Spock might have expected that Joana would cling to him, but he did not expect her to project her emotions in a manner almost entirely Vulcan. But she did, and all of a sudden Spock’s chest felt… fizzy, like the carbonated beverages his mother was so illogically fond of. But it felt good. This was his daughter. His daughter’s happiness and excitement to see him even though she had no clue of his connection with her.

“Hello, Miss Jo. It is nice to see you again,” he said, adjusting the girl in his arms so as to see her better. She really did look so like Leonard. “Your father tells me that you were quite excited I was coming over, but I did not anticipate such an enthusiastic greeting.”

Joana smiled at Spock a little sheepishly and looked towards Leonard, who wore an expression of exasperation and poorly concealed fondness. “’M sorry Misser Spock. Papa tol’ me I should ask first but I got essited an’ I forgot.”

“It is quite alright, Miss Jo. No harm was done, and you have a good deal of time to learn the intricacies of cultures and socializing before such mistakes would offend.”

Joana let out a burbling, shrieking laugh and went almost entirely limp in Spock’s arms. “You talk funny, Misser Spock,” she said between hiccups. Spock looked at Leonard once more, trying not to look as frantic as he felt. Surely this was not normal? But Leonard wouldn’t meet Spock’s eyes and seemed to be hiding a laugh behind his fist.

So it was normal? Did children often have such outbursts? Spock tried to school his face back to an appropriately blank expression, but ultimately failed. He was just… so confused. Children were such odd little creatures. Or perhaps human children were odd, because Spock could not remember himself or his peers behaving in such a manner.

“Well,” Leonard said, catching his breath, “JoJo, I’m sure Mr. Spock is hungry. Why don’t we stop lollygagging out here and show him the dining room?”

Joana nodded furiously and squirmed until Spock released her. She hit the ground feet-first with a loud thump, and ran off the way she came, calling for him and Leonard to follow.

 

 

Leonard had apologized for dinner being nothing special, but Spock had no idea why. He’d made a meal of baked fish, the only meat Vulcans would consume, which he’d then served onto brightly colored plates. It smelled delicious and tasted even better. Spock couldn’t help but wonder what Leonard’s cooking was like when it was “something special”.

He also couldn’t help but stare at Leonard across the table. He was just as attractive as Spock remembered, and the soft candlelight – which Joana had apparently insisted upon – only accentuated his high cheekbones and bright eyes. And perhaps Spock was mistaken, but Leonard was also staring at him. 

No, he was not mistaken. Leonard was just being the more surreptitious of them for once. Though not surreptitious enough, it seemed, to keep their rather precocious daughter from noticing the abrupt change in atmosphere from the entrance hall.

“Papa, why’re you an’ Misser Spock jus’ lookin’ at each other? You tol’ me we all needed to talk tonight.”

Leonard cleared his throat and straightened his posture, and Spock found his own body mirroring him. “Uh, yeah. I sure did, sweetheart. But, uh, how about we wait until after dessert, huh? It might take a while and I don’t want that cobbler we made to get cold.”

That seemed to satisfy Joana, and she began chattering away at them about her day.

 

 

Spock settled himself on the couch in Leonard’s living room, stomach fuller than it had been in… well, as far as he could remember. Leonard joined him, sitting much closer to Spock than he had expected, but not uncomfortably so. Joana sat in front of them in the rocking chair she had dragged over at Leonard’s request, staring at them quizzically.

“So, what we talkin’ ‘bout?” she asked after a few moments of tense silence.

Spock looked at Leonard, and Leonard looked back at him, mouth pressed into a thin white line. Leonard gulped audibly and turned back to Joana.

“Well, baby,” he said, voice shaking, “You know how you’ve been asking about your other dad a lot recently? Well, um… I guess you’re… you’re old enough to know at this point, and it’s not like it’s something I should keep from you…” Leonard trailed off, and Spock wanted to comfort him, but feared that physical contact between the two of them would only intensify their nervousness. Leonard licked his lips and spoke once more. “So… so, this is kinda… kinda what tonight is for. Answering your questions and all that. JoJo, I…” a deep, shuddering breath, and then…

“JoJo, Spock here… he’s your other dad.”

 

Chapter Text

Joana looked between the two of them before her gaze finally settled on Spock.

 

“You’re my other dad?” She asked.

 

Spock glanced quickly at Leonard and answered when he nodded. “Yes, Miss Jo. I am.”

It was quiet for a long moment. Len gripped at the arm of the couch. He was afraid. So afraid at how his baby girl would react. And then… and then she smiled. Smiled so big and bright and wide that he couldn’t help but smile too.

Without warning, Jo leaped from her chair and threw herself into Spock’s lap, wrapping her little arms around his middle as far as they could reach. And Spock, the poor bastard, just looked so utterly bewildered that Len couldn’t help but laugh.

And oh, dear sweet lord above, then Spock smiled too. And not his smug little smirk that Leonard had always been so unreasonably fond of, but a full, honest-to-goodness smile that showed teeth and fucking dimples.

Len felt like his chest was full of bubbles. His fears, his doubts, they all washed away as he watched Joana bombard Spock with questions about absolutely anything that popped into her mind. For the first time in a long time, he felt like maybe things would be okay.

 

 

 

Leonard wasn’t quite sure at what point JoJo had started drifting off, but soon enough he and Spock found themselves practically cuddling on the couch, with their daughter laying across both of their laps. Len absentmindedly ran his fingers through her hair and propped his head on Spock’s shoulder. At this point he wasn’t exactly worried about Vulcan propriety. He just wanted to be close to the man he’d loved and missed for so long.

“Guess I didn’t screw it all up beyond repair,” he muttered, mostly to himself.

“Of course you didn’t, Leonard. I am not… happy about the way things have played out. But I do believe that there is very little that you could do that I would not forgive you for.”

He snorted at that. “I’m gonna hold you to that, y’know. Next time you get upset with me, that’s gonna be my whole argument. ‘Hey, I know you’re mad but guess what you’ll inevitably forgive me because you’re just that hopelessly in love’.”

“I am, you know, Leonard,” Spock said. “Hopelessly in love, as you put it. Actually, I do believe my feelings for you began to annoy Jim quite a bit as our voyage neared its end. He complained of my pining. And he will no doubt be unhappy with me once he realizes I hacked into his account in order to find out where you were.”

“I mean, that’s sweet an’ all, Spock, but you do realize that sounds just a tad bit creepy, right?”

Spock furrowed his brow. “Perhaps. But I wanted to see you, Leonard. I wanted to apologize for driving you away. To let you know my feelings and see if you would have me.”

And god, Leonard could’ve cried at that, but he’d promised himself this evening was going to be a tears-free affair. He didn’t have a clue how all of this had managed to work its way into being some semblance of alright. Maybe Jim’s odds-defying luck had started to rub off on him after knowing the kid for so long. 

Len sighed heavily and reluctantly shifted himself into an upright position. “I gotta get this munchkin to bed,” he said, gathering JoJo into his arms.

“Of course, Leonard.”

As he stood and made his way toward the hall, Len stopped and turned back. “You’re spendin’ the night, right?” He asked.

  Spock’s eyes smiled.

“Of course, Leonard.”

 

 

 

After Leonard had half-helped, half-dragged Joana through her night time routine, he left her bedroom and closed the door behind him, only to be greeted by the sight of Spock standing awkwardly in the hallway, exactly where he’d left him.

“The, uh… the bedroom’s right there,” he said, gesturing towards the doorway to the master bedroom.

“Yes,” Spock said.

“So, why are you standing out here?”

“I did not want to assume anything, Leonard.”

Len could barely suppress his smile. Vulcans and their damn politeness. “Well, from now on, feel free to assume away about your welcomeness in my bedroom.”

It was only after he said it that he realized how it sounded. And from the look on his face Spock had realized as well. Leonard did not seek to make any clarifications.

Instead he grabbed Spock by the sleeve and tugged him along into the bedroom. There wasn’t gonna be any funny business that night, but there was a lot to catch up on. A lot of baby pictures to look at.

There were bigger things, too. Like if Spock would be staying. What they wanted their relationship to be like. Teaching Joana how to use her powers. Finding some way to help Leonard finally put all the ways Jocelyn had screwed him up behind him. 

But those were big things. They didn’t have to be solved in one night. They had time.

 

 

 

When Leonard once more woke up to find himself wrapped up in Spock’s embrace, he didn’t feel like getting up.

 

Chapter Text

The first couple of months were difficult. Not bad, just tricky. After all, Spock hadn’t been a part of Leonard’s life in almost five years, and he hadn’t been a part of Joana’s at all. He and Leonard disagreed on things, as they always had, but this time not about matters of logic versus emotion. Oh no, now it was about their daughter’s education, whether or not Spock would be returning to space, what Leonard and Joana would do if he did.

More often than not the debates would become arguments, which would become one or both of them trying very awkwardly to apologize to the other and trying to find a compromise.

That is not to say they were not content; they were both far happier than they had been in years, and Spock found himself displaying emotion more readily than he ever had before (though only in the presence of Leonard and Jo), which was in all honesty quite liberating.

Not to mention it was quite a gratifying to send Jim a photograph of Leonard sleeping peacefully when he had sent a furious message to Spock for hacking his account.

~o0o~

The next year found Spock and Leonard walking Jo up the steps of her new school on her first day of kindergarten. They had spent months trying to find a school that was suitable for a precocious one-quarter Vulcan, and even though Spock had no particular doubts about it or Joana’s teacher, he felt… nervous, he supposed was the best word for it. He remembered all too well the cruelty of children.

Leonard must have felt it through their bond, because as Jo waved goodbye to them from the doorway of her classroom, Leonard wrapped his arm around Spock’s waist and pulled him close.

“I know the feelin’, Spock. But she’s gonna be okay. The kids at this school ain’t gonna be like the ones at her daycare. Or like the ones on Vulcan. We made sure of that.”

Spock did not protest as Leonard led him to their vehicle. 

~o0o~

Neither of them had been too keen on the idea of walking down the aisle. It wasn’t part of Vulcan tradition, and as one may have suspected, Leonard was adamantly against taking a role that was typically deemed feminine. 

But Joana had so wanted to be a flower girl, and Jim had insisted on being the one to marry them, so they had figured something out.

They had the ceremony in the park, by the duck pond. They had followed Joana, hand in hand, down the aisle to where Jim was waiting with a wide grin on his face and two rings in his hands. Spock could have sworn he’d seen his father smile.

~o0o~

“Papa, stop.”

“Aw, c’mon. I need to document this. My little girl is graduating!”

“Yeah, from the sixth grade. It’s not a big deal.”

“Hey, roll back the sass young lady,” Len said, changing positions to take yet another picture, “You got through all of elementary school without punching anybody, which is better than your father or I ever did. I say that’s reason enough for celebration.” His eyes were alight with laughter and Spock couldn’t help but stare.

Dad,” Joana whined, drawing his attention away from his husband, “make him stop.”

“I believe I will quote your father on this one, Joana, and request that you ‘roll back the sass’. Regardless of whether or not you think this is a ‘big deal’, it is quite important to us. Now please indulge your father and smile.”

Joana scoffed and rolled her eyes, but ultimately couldn’t hide her smile as Len continued to gush over her.

~o0o~

When it came time for Jo’s graduation, her real graduation, it was a much bigger ordeal. Jo’s girlfriend’s parents had insisted upon their families sitting together, and hadn’t realized that Joana’s “family” consisted of a Vulcan ambassador and one third of the crew of the Enterprise, including its famous and overenthusiastic captain.

But even with that, with all the noise and the being pressed up against other people and Jim cheering loudly and waving a banner with Jo’s name on it, Spock didn’t feel uncomfortable. All he felt was a great swell of pride in his chest, half Leonard’s and half his own, when his daughter received her diploma.

~o0o~

Five years later, Spock found himself walking down the wedding aisle once again, this time to escort his daughter to her future wife, the same girl whose family they’d sat with at graduation. Leonard was on Joana’s other side, beaming and blinking back tears.

They each gave their little girl a kiss on the cheek, and walked to their seats.

Leonard’s hand was steady in his own.