I was in trouble.
The kind, well,…I’m sort of getting ahead of myself.
My name is James Tiberius Kirk. I’m a cadet at Starfleet Academy. First year student. Things are going well, academically. I can’t say I didn’t have my doubts that it wasn’t the career for me. But I liked it. A lot.
The first semester I started, I got myself a best friend. That would be Bones. His name is actually Leonard McCoy and he’s a doctor. Why do I call him Bones? Long story and kind of boring. Besides, it’s irrelevant. Bones is my best friend. And he’s great.
I also got myself a boyfriend. Not so great. I didn’t know that at first. But Gary was a prick. Gary Mitchell. My boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend.
If only I had broke it off with him a long time ago.
“Bones, I’m in trouble.”
Bones looked up from his PADD with a frown. “What you do? Cheat on the Kobayashi Maru?
“Funny,” I replied. “I haven’t even taken that test yet. And I’m not even sure I’m going to.”
“Why not?” Bones leaned back in his chair.
“Do you know who programmed that test?”
“The Vulcan instructor who teaches astrophysics for your first period?”
“Yeah, you know who.” I felt a little queasy. Which fuck me, I didn’t want to feel queasy. I put a hand to my stomach. Turned to look in the mirror. I lifted my shirt.
“What’s this all got to do with you being in trouble?”
“Nothing. You brought it up, not me.” I tore my bottom lip open with my teeth, tasting blood, as I flounced down in the chair next to Bones. “You know my mom’s mom was from Xaltalantia.”
“Er, yeah. You said your mom spent the first ten years of her life on Xaltalantia until your grandpa, Jim, moved the whole family to Earth.”
I leaned my head on my crossed arms on the desk. “How much do you know about Xaltalantia?”
Bones shrugged. “Planet in the Storovian solar system with a similar atmosphere to Earth. Mostly an ice planet”
Bones blew out a breath. “Why the pop quiz? I learned all about them in xenobiology back in med school. Humanoids. Look like Terrans, mostly, but both females and males can become impregnated and give birth.”
I blanched. “Yeah.” I moistened my lips with my tongue. “About that.”
“What about it?”
“Do-well-the thing is…” I had begun to sweat. A lot. “I never told you this, but I guess some of that stuff about Xaltalantians kind of sort of passed on to me.”
“Kind of sort of?”
“It did.” I swallowed. I buried my face in my hands. “I can, you know.”
Bones was now staring me with his eyes bugged out. “Can what?”
“Get-get pregnant,” I whispered. “Like them.”
“Holy shit, Jim.”
“I know. I fucking know.”
Bones stood up suddenly, causing his chair to fall to the floor with a loud crash. “Wait. Wait just a damn minute. Why are you telling me this now?”
I shook my head, not looking up.
“Jim? You’d better not be telling me what I think you’re telling me.”
“I’m not totally sure.” I finally dropped my hands from my face and bravely met his gaze. “See, normally, I use a shot that suppresses the ability. Like a, like a birth control kind of thing. The chance I’d get pregnant is really small. Or so I’ve always been led to believe. I used the shots anyway.”
“I ran out. And I didn’t have a chance to renew the prescription. And since the chance was so slight, well, I didn’t think it was a big deal.” I put my hand on stomach again. “But then, well, I started having these weird symptoms and feeling sick, so I did a test. One of those over the counter things.”
“It was positive?” Bones was shouting now.
I dug my fingers into the palms of my hands. “Yeah. I-maybe it’s not accurate.”
“Goddamn it Jim.”
“Could you give me like an official test?”
Bones closed his eyes, then shook his head. When he opened them, his expression was determined. “We’ll need to go down to the hospital. Let me get my coat.”
I nodded. Dread pooled in my stomach, warring with the nausea. He handed me my own coat and I shrugged it on. He was staring at my stomach but pretending not to be.
I knew from Bone’s face that the news was just as bad as I suspected when he returned to the hospital exam room. He held a PADD in his hands and he was looking at it instead of me.
“The results are positive, kid,” he said very softly.
He set it aside and then put his hand on my shoulder. “What are you going to do? You can choose to terminate it, if you’d like.”
“Terminate it?” I touched my stomach. “I-I don’t know if I can.”
“I know. What am I going to do about the academy? I mean what are the chances I can go up into space with a kid?”
“Well, the chances are getting better. And I guess you still have a few years left to go before you graduate.” Bones sighed. “I’ll do whatever you want, Jim. And if you decide to keep it, I’ll help you too.”
I nodded, feeling more than a little numb.
“So…Gary?” Bones blanched. “I thought you two broke up.”
“We did. But that last night before the break up, we did have sex.”
I felt like crying, but I didn’t. Wouldn’t. “It gets worse, Bones.”
“How in blazes does it get worse?”
“I-I’m not sure the baby is Gary’s.” I blew out a heavy breath. “The next day I had a one-night stand with a guy I met at a bar.” I rubbed the back of my neck. “Turns out he was some diplomat from Orion.”
“You fucked around with an Orion?” Bones asked, incredulously.
“He fucked around with me, but yeah. It was, um, kind of intense.”
“He forced you?”
“Not exactly. But, well, I won’t see him again, anyway.”
Bones frowned. “Why not?”
“I saw a report a couple of days later that he was killed in that shuttle explosion on Delta IV.”
“Son of a bitch.”
“So, it could be his or Gary’s?”
Bones eyes widened. “Or?”
“Okay, promise you won’t freak out or anything, Bones.”
He was bright red. “Freak out? Why in the world would I freak out?”
“You’re raising your voice.”
“I was arguing with this instructor about, um, well, everything really. He sort of brings that out in me. Arguing that is. He’s so annoying. Anyway, so we were arguing, and well, suddenly, we were, um, fucking in his classroom.”
“For God’s sake, Jim. You fucked a teacher? And do not say he fucked you.”
I blushed. I knew I was because my face was flaming hot. “It was the next day after the Orion. Next morning, actually. And so, um, it could be…him too.”
“I am going to regret this but who?”
Where was I? Oh, yeah trouble.
Now this isn’t the kind of trouble your average guy has, now is it?
No, of course not. Had to be me.
“What do you want to do?” Bones asked me the next morning over breakfast.
When I woke up, Bones had announced he was going to fix me a full on breakfast. I had to keep up my strength after all. But then he’d looked in the small kitchenette we had in our dorm room and realized we had no eggs, no potatoes, and no bread. He could make a hamburger patty and put it on a plate without a bun.
We were now seated at a little diner not far from our dorm. When we’d left the hospital last night, Bones had asked me the same question. And again before I went to sleep. And when I woke up. You get the idea. It was on Bones’ mind. A lot.
I stabbed into my over medium eggs, which I’d mixed with hash brown potatoes. “Do I have to do anything?”
“Right away? Maybe not. But eventually you’re going to show.” Bones pushed the cup of green tea toward me. “Drink.”
“I’ve been thinking about it,” I said, ignoring him and cutting into a sausage on my plate. “I don’t have to tell the daddy, er, the other guy, right? Look, it could just as easily be the Orion, right? And he’s not even around anymore.” I blanched. “I feel kind of bad about that.”
“It’s not like we had much of a conversation. I didn’t know anything about him except that he had a big—”
“Enough!” Bones looked downright scandalized.
“I was going to say big bald head.”
“Sure, make jokes at a time like this.”
I sighed. “Someone has to. Who has to know who the other guy is. I mean, it’s my business, right?”
Bones smirked. “Somewhat. But it’s going to get around that you are expecting a bundle of joy and it’s suddenly going to occur to your favorite instructor that he seems to recall the two of you got down and dirty. He’s going to wonder if he’s the baby daddy.”
I grimaced. “Well, he can keep wondering.”
“What? Until the baby comes out with pointed ears?” Bones pushed the tea at me again. “Drink.”
I picked up the teacup and took a tentative sip. “Eh, not as bad as I expected. Maybe the baby is Vulcan.” I laughed. It was not funny. But I laughed.
“He might even demand a paternity test.”
“Can he do that?”
“He’s the son of an ambassador, I’m pretty sure it will be easy for him. Now, I’d rather clean the bottom of a pool with my tongue than ask this, but what about Mitchell?”
“Gary’s on a ship somewhere and good riddance.” I kept silent for a moment as I decided it was time to gobble down my breakfast. “My luck that’s who the father is.”
“So, is the baby going to call you momma?”
“Shut up. And anyway, I’m probably going to be this baby’s only parent.”
Bones nodded. “You’re for sure going to keep it?”
I looked away from Bones’ stare, which sometimes could be too damn assessing and knowing. “Maybe. I mean, I can’t do worse than them, can I?”
“Your mom and stepdad?”
I swallowed heavily. “Yeah. I never thought I’d have one. You know? I thought the chance of me getting pregnant was so damn low, and non-existent with the shots, and I like girls well enough but I never saw myself settling down with one. This is my chance, Bones. To give a kid something I never had. A good life.” I returned my gaze to his. “Even if it means Starfleet and the stars are out of the question.”
“Are you going to tell Pike?”
“Eventually, I guess I’ll have to. But I intend to put it off as long as I can.”
I stood outside Spock’s classroom debating whether I should go in. My talk with Bones earlier was on my mind. Should I tell Spock about the possibility? He was the only candidate currently who was even around to tell.
It wasn’t like Spock and I were friends. Since the day we’d fucked on his desk, the two of us had not spoken. Or even looked at each other. And yet…I could still feel the press of his fingers in my hips where he held me down.
Which was insane.
Even if Spock fathered my child, it wasn’t like we were going to go down that road again. We didn’t even like each other.
I twisted the handle of his classroom and stepped inside.
Spock was near his desk at the top of his classroom standing very close to Cadet Uhura, who had her hands on his chest. His head was bowed intimately in her direction.
Seriously, I was turning around to leave when she noticed me.
“Kirk, really. Can’t you just leave people alone?”
“I will see you later this evening,” Spock told her, effectively dismissing her.
She didn’t look too happy about it, but she reached down to scoop up a book bag and then flounced past me and out the door.
“Cadet Kirk, you may approach.”
I did, albeit reluctantly. “You didn’t need to make her leave. I could have come back another time.” I doubt I would have but he didn’t know that.
His hands clenched behind his back, Spock cocked his head at me. “If you’re purpose is to obtain additional favor by further seducing me for sexual congress, you will fail.”
It took my brain a minute to catch up with what he’d just said. And the first thing that hit me was…”Additional? You mean I obtained favor before?”
He just stared at me and I couldn’t really blame him.
“That’s not—wait. I seduced you?”
Spock nodded. “I am glad we are in agreement.”
“Agreement?” I actually laughed. “That was a question, buddy.”
“I am not your buddy.”
I counted to ten. This kind of thing was what got me spread-eagled on his desk in the first place.
“If anyone did any seducing, pal, it was you, not me. But I’m not here to incur any favor as you seem to be implying.”
“Very well.” He leaned back casually against his desk. “Why are you here?”
I said the first thing that came to mind, which wasn’t anything about my pregnancy. “Were you with her when you stuck your tongue down my throat?”
“I do not recall my tongue reaching all the way down to your throat.”
“Answer the question.”
His eyebrow shot up ever so slightly. “I was not.”
“But you are now?”
“Cadet Uhura wishes to engage in a romantic relationship.” Spock paused. “But that has little to do with you. If you are not here for further sexual copulation designed to influence me, then may I inquire as to why you are?”
“God, you really think I’m a giant asshole, don’t you?” I sighed and ran my hand through my hair. “I am actually acing your class, you know.”
“I would not use that exact term, however, I—”
“Considering that, why would I have to use sexual copulation to gain favor?”
Naturally, Spock had a ready answer for that. “You have applied to take the Kobayashi Maru and you are aware that I programmed the test.”
“I’ve withdrawn my request to take it.”
“I was not made aware of that. May I ask why?”
“Just now, I have other things on my mind.”
Spock’s lips thinned. “Frivolous social activities, carousing, and partying, no doubt.”
I stared at him. “Wow.”
“Most first year students engage thusly. It is not a personal assessment.”
“You know what? Forget it. I really don’t need this.” I adjusted my book bag on my shoulder and turned to leave.
“What was it you wished to discuss?”
“You figure it out.”
And I left his classroom without looking back.
“Where have you been?” Papa Bones demanded the minute I walked into our dorm room.
I flung my bag down and sunk into the nearest chair. Bones stepped over to me immediately and began to massage my shoulders.
“I went to see, Spock,” I said on a long sigh.
His hands slowed on my shoulders. “Yeah? How’d it go?”
“It didn’t. I’m not going to tell him he might be a daddy.”
“And when he sees you getting a belly?”
“I doubt he even knows about my Xaltalantian biology. Hardly anyone does. He’ll probably just think I’m getting fat.”
“Even if he doesn’t know, which I’m not sure he doesn’t know, because damn it all, freaky or not, that Vulcan knows everything, he can certainly tell the difference between a little fat and a baby bump.”
‘Well. I don’t know. Anyway, I’m back to the way I was before. Whoever got me pregnant can just stay a secret.” I put my hand on my stomach. “This baby is mine.”
I’d been on my own for most of my life. Why should this be any different? Though I knew that wouldn’t be entirely true. Bones would be there. I definitely lucked out when he sat next to me on that shuttle out of Riverside.
The book was abruptly pulled out of my hands as I sat reading at a table in the Starfleet Academy cafeteria.
“’What to Expect When You’re Expecting’,” Sulu read. He gazed down at me. “You get a girl knocked up, Kirk?”
“Give me that and mind your own business.” I took it back out of his hands. “Don’t you have a class or something?”
Sulu laughed. “I do actually. Just wondered if you want to spar later. I checked that the mats at the gym are free. What do you say?”
I was pretty sure my days of getting knocked to the floor and kicked in the stomach were over. But I sure as hell wasn’t ready to tell Sulu that. He was a friend, yeah, but he kind of had a gossipy mouth and I sure didn’t need that right now.
“I can’t make it today. Have a whole bunch of studying to do.”
“Oh.” Sulu looked disappointed.
“How about that guy Ben? He’s always asking.”
Sulu pursed his lips. “Yeah, maybe. All right, I really gotta go. See you around.”
I watched him walk away with a sigh. Another way my life was going to change. I’d probably have to tell Sulu sooner or later. But how do you tell another guy you’re pregnant when they don’t even know it’s a possibility for you?
One thing was for sure, I needed a better way to hide the book I was reading. Sulu wasn’t the only nosey cadet I knew at the academy. I shoved it in my book bag. I was supposed to have one more class in an hour but I wasn’t feeling it. I’d been pretty sick to my stomach most of the day though I hadn’t actually puked.
I absently picked up my travel mug to take a drink of my coffee, then frowned in distaste when I remembered it was the green tea Bones had substituted out for my good old cup of Joe. Having a doctor as your best friend had challenges.
What I needed was some fresh air. I got up, poured the contents of my travel mug into the trash and went outside.
It was a beautiful sunny day and my mood perked up immediately. Birds flew overhead. And a slight warm breeze ruffled my hair and caressed my face. I couldn’t stop the smile from my appearing on my face. I smiled at a few passing fellow students.
And then I saw them.
They weren’t like making out on campus or anything. They weren’t even touching. They were just standing under a tree, facing each other and talking. Uhura and Spock. Who else?
My mood soured instantly. Okay, it went completely south is what it did.
They didn’t even notice me. I don’t know how I felt about that. Being invisible. Because just then, that’s what it felt like.
I turned to head back in the other direction and ran into Bones. Who else?
“Easy, easy there, Jim.” Bones put a steadying hand on my shoulder. “What’s the hurry, kid?”
“No hurry,” I denied. “Just want to get out of here.”
Bones gaze went past me. He frowned heavily, returning his gaze to me. Full of sympathy. “I see. Jim, that doesn’t mean they’re together.”
“They are. And anyway, I don’t care. Really. Can we-can we just go home or something?”
“Sure.” He had his hand on my arm, like he was going to escort me.
I rolled my eyes at him. “I’m not an invalid. I can walk on my own.”
“Sorry.” Bones dropped his hand from me. “Old habits.”
I eyed him as we headed toward our dorm. “Yeah? What habits?”
For a moment Bones’ gaze dropped to the ground, which was so unlike him, I began to become alarmed.
“Just…when my pa was dying there at the end, he was really sick and frail, and I used to help him a lot, you know? Help him get around. I got into the habit of being a bit of a mother hen.”
“Nah, let me finish. When the ex was pregnant with Joanna, well, she never wanted to let me close at all. Whenever I tried to help her, she’d push me away. So I guess it all gets mixed up in my head and—”
I stopped walking and so did he, though his eyes widened in surprise. I smiled at him and then gave him a brief hug. “You know I love you, right?”
“Yeah,” Bones said gruffly.
“Another mother. Yeah.” Bones smiled and sort of fake punched my arm. “Let’s go.”
“What’s wrong, kid?”
Bones came upon me sitting on the sofa cradling a cup of hot chocolate. My eyes might have been a little wet. He sat beside me and patted my leg.
“Come on. Tell Bones.”
I rolled my eyes. “Just…when everyone finds out about the baby, they’re all going to assume I’m a slut. Just like they always do.”
“And do you care what they think?”
“Yeah, I do,” I whispered. “I know I shouldn’t. I was with Gary for two months and only Gary. I didn’t cheat on him even once. But he cheated on me. Repeatedly.”
“He was a damn prick,” Bones said. “And as a doctor and a fellow human being I probably shouldn’t say this but I hope he never comes back.”
“And-and the Orion? It wasn’t like that. I was feeling so depressed because I’d been such an idiot about Gary. And suddenly he was there and he liked me.” I looked away from Bones, unable to meet his gaze. “Not a lot of people do. I know he liked me because he wanted to have sex but for a moment I really felt it. It was intense but it was fun and it was like being high on being liked, if that makes any sense at all.” I sighed and took a sip of the hot chocolate. It burned my lips a little but I didn’t care. “When I think about what happened to him, it-it freaks me out a little.”
“Try not to,” Bones said gently. “It’s sad and unfortunate but it was just his time.”
I nodded. “I-I really liked him. Like a lot.”
“No,” I whispered. My throat was threatening to close up. I could feel the waterworks coming again and it pissed me off, but I couldn’t help it. “Spock. When we-when it finally happened, it was like the best thing ever. And I thought, ‘Oh my God, Spock, I’m with Spock’. Then afterward, he got really cold, shut down on me. So, I just left the classroom. I don’t even know what I thought at the time. But then he didn’t contact me, so I didn’t contact him. And then he wouldn’t look at me, so I didn’t look at him. And pretty soon I started wondering, ‘did it even really happen’?” I put my hand on my stomach. “It did. Yeah. But the reality was, he never liked me at all. And I was just an idiot.”
“Jim, I—I wish I knew what to say.”
I wiped at my eyes. “What the hell is this shit anyway?”
“They’re called tears.”
I laughed. “I know that. But what the fuck? Why am I crying like some stupid baby?”
“As to that, I’ve been researching Xaltalantians.”
I looked at Bones warily over my cup of cocoa. “Yeah?”
“Specifically male Xaltalantians. And apparently they can get pretty emotional during the first couple of trimesters.”
Bones gestured to me. “Waterworks. Pretty common.”
“Oh good God. Really?” I wiped my nose with the back of my hand. “That’s just great.”
“That’s gross, Jim.” Bones handed me a tissue.
“You know what an ugly crier I am,” I bemoaned. “I hate my Xaltalantian biology.”
“It’ll be okay, Jim. I’ll be here. No matter if the daddy is or not.”
I huffed out a breath. “I’m the daddy.”
“Sure you are, sugar.”
I threw a pillow at him.
I’ve always internalized a lot of things in my life. And because of that, I have this sort of weird internal dialogue going on. Some might call it a form of talking to myself. I don’t know. I don’t really do a lot of talking out loud but I do answer myself. Often I’ve found I’m a better listener than anyone around me.
Bones made me this healthy sandwich. It had a bunch of veggies and some sprouts on it on this bread that had like tons of grains and seeds and stuff. I didn’t really like it but I couldn’t tell him. The thing about Bones is if he thinks he’s helping you, taking care of you, so to speak, and you tell him there’s something wrong, he thinks you don’t appreciate him. A butt hurt Bones is something to be avoided.
So I took my uneaten sandwich to the park not that far from the academy where I knew there was a duck pond. Well, I think it was just a man-made pond to make the park look pretty and the ducks just decided it looked like a good place to make their home. I’d been there a few minutes just tossing bread to them when the atmosphere seemed to change around me. I glanced to the side, noting the tall, dark Vulcan standing close by, hands linked behind his back.
“I was unaware you were fond of waterfowl.”
“There’s probably a lot you don’t know about me.”
Spock straightened at that. “You are likely correct. I have come to apologize.”
“You followed me here?”
Spock opened his mouth and then closed it.
“You can hardly expect me to believe you just happened upon me.” I took a seat on a nearby bench, but still tossed out hunks of bread to the ducks. “So, what do you want to apologize for?”
“My behavior the other day was unduly harsh.”
“You mean you were a dick.”
“I would not quite phrase it like that.” Spock had moved closer to the bench but had not sat down.
“I would.” I shrugged. “I don’t think I’ve ever done anything to warrant the way you treated me.”
He sat then, on the far end of the bench. “You are correct again. I realized after you left that my behavior was abominable.”
“I’m kind of used to being treated like garbage.”
“You should not be. It is wrong. And for that, I am sorry. In point of fact, you are acing my class, as you said. And your other classes as well.”
I shot a glance at him. ”You checked up on me?”
“I did seek information about your academia.”
I smirked and shook my head. “You checked up on me. Okay, so you’ve apologized.”
“Do you accept my apology?”
“Do I have to?”
Spock was quiet for a moment. “I suppose it is not a requirement.”
“So you agree that I didn’t let you seduce me in order to gain your favor in some way?”
His eyebrow disappeared under his bangs. “I often find I lack knowledge with regard to proper behavior toward Humans.”
I snorted. “Bullshit.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You know exactly how to behave, Spock. You’re not a fool. And you have a Human mother. You’re using your being Vulcan as a means to justify the way you treat everyone as if you are vastly superior to them in the same way a Human is to an ant.”
Spock stared at me then, his mouth hanging slightly open.
“And in all honesty, I can’t entirely blame you,” I continued. “You are far superior to most everyone. But part of being superior is learning you have to balance that and if anything treat those around you better still as further proof that you don’t stoop to being cruel or unfeeling to others that aren’t quite as good as you.” I tossed the last of my bread to the ducks. “I hope you learn how to do that someday, Spock. Because then you really will be amazing.”
I rose then and made to move around the bench to leave when a wave of nausea so powerful hit me that I could not help but cry out.
Spock rose immediately and was by my side in an instant, seizing my arm. “Are you unwell?”
“Um, no. Not exactly.”
He studied me intently. “You are pale and do not look well.”
I swayed a little, right into him. “I’ll be all right in just a second.”
“Should I seek out medical personnel?”
“No! Really, I’ll be fine in a just—”
“Perhaps you should sit down once more.” Spock was gentle as he pushed me back to sitting on the bench. “What are your symptoms? Are you dizzy?”
“I just feel oogey.”
Spock set directly next to me. “I am not entirely familiar with that term.”
“Kinda blucky.” I could tell by his expression he didn’t get that either. “Look, I’ll be fine in a moment, you don’t have to stay with me.”
“Your company is no burden and my concern for your welfare has yet to be allayed.”
I had heard once when you felt bad to lean over and put your head between your legs, so I did that. And when it didn’t really help I thought maybe it was only supposed to help with dizziness. I straightened and put my hand on my stomach.
“I insist on taking you for medical aid at once.”
“No. Spock, I’m-I’m not sick. Really.” I struggled to my feet. “There. Better.”
Before I could move away, he put his hand to my face, his fingers curving over my jaw. His gaze met mine and I saw the moment his dark eyes widened.
“Late! God, I’m late. To-to battle practice. Yes! Battle practice. Gotta know what to do when those Klingons attack.” I backed away from him. “I’ll see you around, Professor.”
I hurried away from him as fast as my still somewhat wobbly legs would take me. But I knew.
Or rather…Spock knew.
Damn touch telepath. That’s how this whole thing started. We’d been arguing about his class, an assignment specifically, that I was certain was just bullshit, and he’d turned his back on me.
I can’t even tell you how I was feeling that day. Gary had left me. For a future I wasn’t going to be a part of. And for an hour that night before, the Orion made me feel like I mattered, at least for a little while.
And then I was arguing with Spock and he turned away from me, like he was just going to dismiss me as usual. I reached for his arm and my hand slipped down his sleeve and to the bare skin of Spock’s wrist. When his dark eyes widened, I knew exactly what he’d seen. And that was confirmed when he started kissing me.
I opened the door of our dorm, calling out for Bones.
He wasn’t in the main room and for a moment I began to panic, imagining Spock pounding on the door in pursuit of me.
Then Bones appeared, coming from the direction of our kitchenette. “Where’s the fire, Jim? You okay?“
I grabbed him. “Shit, Bones. I think I’m in trouble.”
Bones sort of smiled. “Well, we know that, don’t we?” He patted my stomach. “I think you’re beginning to show.”
“Bones, no. Forget about that. It’s Spock.”
“What about him?” Bones pulled out of my grasp. “I’ve been thinking. This dorm is going to get pretty small with a baby coming. We should get an apartment. Now I know I’m not your partner or the baby’s other parent or anything. But—”
“Bones! Shut up for just a minute,” I interrupted insistently. “Spock knows.”
“Of course Spock knows. He thinks he knows everything.”
I was starting to want to strangle my best friend. “Bones. Pay. Attention. Spock knows I’m pregnant.”
For about thirty seconds all Bones did was stare at me. I was getting more and more agitated. Finally he sputtered, “You told him?”
“Not in words, no.”
“Not in words?” His voice had risen.
“Don’t yell,” I said, feeling suddenly very overwhelmed. I put my hand to my stomach and took a deep breathe. “He touched me. And you know they…he’s…a touch telepath and somehow he got the information.”
“He touched you? He got close enough to touch you?”
I rolled my eyes at that. “Bones, he’s not dangerous.”
The door suddenly rattled as there was a very persistent knock on the door.
Bones looked at me. “Oh no?”
I bit my lip. “I should—”
“I’ll get it.” Bones walked past me and straight for the door. He opened it very slowly. I don’t think either of us was surprised to see Spock on the other side.
“May I be allowed to speak with Cadet Kirk?”
“Well, now I don’t know about that.”
“Bones, let-let him in.”
Bones sighed heavily but he stepped aside so that Spock could enter. He shut the door rather more loudly than was necessary.
Spock’s intense gaze was on me and I didn’t know how to feel about it other than rather flustered. “I would like to speak with the cadet privately.”
“You might want to start with calling him by his name,” Bones said, arms crossed in front of his chest. “It’s Jim, by the way.”
“Bones, you aren’t helping.”
“On the contrary, I am gratified you have such a protector.”
“Bones,” I said softly. “Give us some time, okay?”
“Fine,” Bones agreed. “But I’m going to be just here in this room over here.”
I nodded and was glad when Bones disappeared. I gestured to the loveseat we had purchased when we first moved in to the dorm. “Have a seat.”
Spock indicated that I should sit first. “Please.”
When I was situated, he took the seat beside me.
“You are…expecting a child.”
His blunt getting to the point left me a little speechless for a moment. I exhaled slowly.
“You found that out just from touching me?”
“Our minds are very attuned,” Spock said quietly.
“I see.” I moistened my lips from my tongue. “You are probably wondering how I could be. Well—”
“You are Xaltalantian on your mother’s side.”
“Oh.” I nodded. “You know that?”
“Affirmative. I make it a priority to know about those who interest me. I was unaware that you were capable of becoming pregnant given the smaller percentage though.”
“The thing about Xaltalantians, the genes are pretty powerful.”
“So it would seem.”
I stared down at my hands. “The thing is, Spock, you may be the other-the other parent. But there’s also a possibility of two others.”
“That same period of time, I was with my then boyfriend, Gary Mitchell.”
Spock nodded. Though his expression did not change, I sensed his disapproval of Gary even before he spoke. “I was aware of your relationship with Mitchell and also the dissolution of it when he was assigned to a ship. This was prior to our copulation.”
“Yes, it was. Just prior. I mean, Gary had never managed it in the time we were together before, but I can’t honestly rule it out.”
“Very well. And the other possibility?”
“I was feeling pretty low after the breakup,” I admitted.
“You are well rid of him, in my opinion.”
I smiled a little. “Well, you and Bones agree about something then. Anyway, I went to a bar not far from Starfleet HQ and there I met an Orion. Turns out he was some diplomat. Anyway, we had a one-night thing. In his case, well, he died in that shuttle explosion on Delta IV.”
Spock did not reply at first and I could see he was taking in all this information.
“The thing is, I don’t know if you know this, but Xaltalantian males can’t undergo any paternity tests until six months into their pregnancy.”
“Right. But, um, there’s a little known fact about Xaltalantians.”
“They have copper based blood as well,” Spock said slowly. “I am aware.”
I moistened my lips again. “And, um, Orions, too. So, um, even though there’s just a trace of it in my blood—”
“It would still make it difficult to know for sure until the paternity tests can be run.”
“Yep. That’s it in a nutshell. I’m sorry.”
“You did not intend to advise me of your condition.”
I snorted at that and shook my head. “Can you blame me? You hate me.”
“I most certainly do not hate you, Jim. I am not in the practice of engaging in copulation with those I hate.” Spock paused. “Besides, Vulcans do not feel such a strong emotion for anyone.”
“You weren’t happy we copulated.”
His eyebrow shot up at my emphasis. “I was conflicted because you are a student. It is against academy rules for an instructor to engage in a sexual relationship with a cadet taking his class.”
“And you thought I was seducing you for some gain,” I pointed out.
Spock flushed slightly green. “I admit the thought occurred to me. I acknowledge it was perhaps unfair and ill-advised.”
“You were listening to gossip,” I guessed. “And probably some of it from your girlfriend. She doesn’t like me.”
“Nyota has indicated her belief that you engage in casual sexual relationships.”
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah. Because I hit on her in a bar once, I must be a pig. Look, Spock…you know, whatever. You say you were conflicted because I was your student, but she’s your student too. Why aren’t you conflicted there?”
“I am not in a romantic relationship with Nyota.”
“But you said—”
“That she wishes to engage in a romantic relationship,” Spock replied. “I did not say I reciprocate.”
I closed my mouth. That much was true. I guessed.
Spock was now looking around the dorm. “Clearly you must move out of this place.”
I frowned. “Clearly? Why?”
“The child will need space and it is also a priority that you have the utmost comfort. It is only logical that you move into my apartment.”
“Now just a damn minute.” Bones suddenly burst into the room.
“Bones! Were you listening?”
“Of course, I was. Jim and I can get an apartment without your interference,” Bones said, wagging his finger in Spock’s face.
“There happens to be an available apartment in my building,” Spock said, seemingly undeterred.
“Oh, is there? And I bet it’s on the same floor as you, too,” Bones said sarcastically.
“Listen you hobgoblin—”
“Guys. Stop, okay?” God, the waterworks were coming again. My eyes were welling with tears. What the fuck anyway.
“I apologize, Jim,” Spock said very softly.
Bones grimaced. “Yeah, me too.”
I smiled. “Thanks.” I bit my lip. “Your apartment building, huh?”
Some things are fated, I guess. There’s a reason. And then other things just happen because you can’t really stop them. I can’t really say where Spock finding out so soon about my pregnancy fell.
“Jim, are you sure about this?” Bones asked me for about the tenth time as we pulled up in front of the apartment building where Spock lived.
“Of course I’m not sure. But you said yourself we probably ought to get a bigger place. And let’s face it, my academic Starfleet career is a bit on hold right now.”
Bones gave me a sympathetic look. “You told Pike?”
“Had to. We were requesting to abandon our dorm to move off campus. And I had to drop out of my classes. You don’t just drop on Pike.”
“How’d he take it?”
“He wasn’t thrilled,” I admitted. “I think maybe he was secretly hoping I’d abort it or something.”
“What?” Bones looked appalled.
I shook my head. “Or maybe not. I mean he didn’t say that. It’s just…I’m sure there will be those who think I should have. Or, I don’t know, done something to prevent it in the first place. People become very judgmental when you tell them these things, Bones.”
He stared at the apartment building. “Okay. So we had to move. But there are dozens of apartment buildings all over San Francisco. Why did we have to come here?”
“They all cost more credits. Spock got us a deal on this one.”
“Because he wants to control you.”
“Mark my words, Jim, if this kid ain’t his, he’ll drop you like a hot potato.”
“The things you say.” I got out of the hover car. It looked like it might rain later. “When are the guys coming with our stuff?”
I’d wanted to just do the moving myself, but Bones had insisted I shouldn’t do too much heavy lifting. I swear being pregnant did not make me an invalid.
“They’re picking it up now.”
I caught the scowl on his face. “Bones, you said you’d try to get along with Spock.”
“And I will try. But the hobgoblin isn’t here right now so—”
“If my baby is part Vulcan are you going to call it a hobgoblin?”
“Your baby will be cute.”
He opened the door to the building for me and it was on the tip of my tongue to protest that I could open my own damn doors when Uhura appeared, clearly about to exit the building.
She shot a frown at us. “Kirk? What are you doing here? Are you here to see Spock? You know cadets can’t just show up where instructors live.”
“And yet here you are. How’s that work, anyway?”
“My being here is none of your business,” she said frostily.
“Funny, I was just going to say the same thing to you. See you around.” I stepped around her and into the building followed by Bones. I didn’t even bother to turn around but I felt her glare in my back.
“What’s with her anyway?” Bones asked as he pushed the button for the elevator. Our new apartment was on the third floor.
“I’m pretty sure it stems from jealousy. She might even know about Spock and me. Not sure.”
The doors opened onto the third floor and we headed to the right where our two bedroom apartment was located.
“Don’t tell me, let me guess. Spock’s on this floor too.”
“Uh, yeah.” I scanned the card the building manager had given me over the electronic lock and it clicked open.
He rolled his eyes. “I’m going to hear you whining my name a lot, aren’t I? Look, I’m trying. Really. But I have to say if I get to vote on who I’d like to be the baby’s other parent it would be the Orion.”
“Figures you’d take the dead one.”
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, Gary is last.”
I smiled and ruffled his hair. “He can stay off the list altogether as far as I’m concerned.” I went to the sliding glass door and took in the view of the street. “I don’t know, Bones. I think—”
I put my hand on my abdomen. “Something tells me this baby is Spock’s.”
My declaration was followed by a long silence, so I stole a glance in Bones’ direction.
“You know you’ll love the baby even if it has pointed ears.”
“Yeah, yeah.” He gestured to the chair he’d brought over the night before because he was a mother hen. “Sit down. You may as well wait for them to arrive with the stuff.”
“You know I’m pregnant, I don’t have a fatal disease.”
“Just indulge me.”
I sighed and took the seat. And just as I opened my mouth to say something Spock appeared in the still open doorway.
“Good afternoon, Jim. Doctor.”
Bones crossed his arms. “Professor Spock.”
“Where are your belongings?”
“Coming,” Bones replied. “I didn’t want Jim having to move anything heavy.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m barely pregnant.”
“Would you like me to fetch tea?” Spock asked, coming fully into the apartment.
“Yeah, why don’t you?”
I nudged Bones with my foot. “Actually, I’m fine right now, Spock. I don’t need any.”
Bones’ communicator beeped and he looked down at it. “Guys are here. I’ll go down.” When I started to stand, he said quickly, “You stay here with Spock.”
“I can assist if needed, Doctor.”
“Just stay here with Jim. If he doesn’t have a baby sitter he’ll be sliding down the bannisters or something.”
Bones disappeared and Spock looked after him with a raised brow.
“I do not understand.”
“Forget it,” I said. “No one really understands Bones.”
“He is puzzling but he is committed to your welfare so therefore I can find no real fault with him.”
“Good. I don’t need the stress of you two constantly bickering.”
“I do not wish to cause you stress,” Spock said quietly.
I eyed him with some suspicion but he seemed sincere. “You’ve done a one-eighty.”
“Because I realized my behavior was unduly harsh and rigid.” Spock paused. “I believe there was some validity to your opinion about my own superiority.”
I smiled a little. “Well, to be fair, that’s kind of understandable.”
I shrugged. “You are superior to most everyone else. You’re smarter, more efficient, cuter, and well, of course, you’re more logical.”
“On that we are definitely agreed.”
My smile widened. “Which part?”
“The logical part.”
“Not the cuter part?”
I sighed and looked away. “I know. That’s how we ended up doing what we did.”
“You’re just so damn cute and irresistible,” I admitted. I felt my face flaming. “And kind of infuriating.”
“I view you the same way,” he said softly.
I looked at him again, and noticed the softening of his dark eyes. “Most especially the infuriating part, right?”
“I would not say that was the largest consideration.”
I stared into those eyes of fathomless darkness and I didn’t think it was my imagination that he’d moved closer.
“Oh for God’s sake,” Bones muttered crossly from the doorway. “Don’t get started on that again. Step aside, Spock, table coming through.”
Spock moved aside as Bones and two of our friends began to carry our small dining table inside.
Someone like me never expects to be in this position. I mean even now it is rare for a male of any species to be pregnant. There are exceptions, clearly. But I’d hoped…
This was not the life I expected to have.
Life doesn’t always work out the way we want. But maybe, it could be better.
The apartment building we moved into had an atrium, as I had discovered, the day after we moved in. It was smack dab in the middle and had a sun roof above that could apparently be slid open on nice days to let in direct sunlight. Just then, as I sat on a sort of swing, it was closed. I didn’t know what any of the plants were, really, I just thought they were pretty, and I needed some time outside of the apartment that I already found vaguely stifling.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when Spock suddenly appeared, because he did seem to have an uncanny knack for showing up around me. Except for that time I went to his class and we—but that’s another story that’s kind of already been told.
“Hi,” I greeted him.
“I am pleased to see you out here,” Spock said, taking a seat on a plastic chair that had been placed by building management next to the swing. “You look well.”
“Where is Doctor McCoy?”
“Getting some groceries. He didn’t want me to go along.”
“He is correct. It is better that you rest.”
I snorted at that. “I’m not an invalid. And I keep totally saying that but it’s true. I’m having a baby. Lots of people have babies. Your mother had you, for instance.”
“This is not about my mother, it is about you.”
I sighed. “Look I get it that I’m the first Kirk male to ever get, er, um, like this. And I guess since you are one of the possible sperm donors—”
Spock’s eyebrow shot up at that. “I do not see myself as a mere donor.”
“Well. You know what I mean.”
“If the child is mine, I fully intend to be part of his or her life.”
“Okay,” I agreed, just because it had been a nice day and I didn’t feel like arguing. “But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? It’s possible the baby isn’t yours.”
I was a little surprised he had agreed to that so readily. I leaned my head back on the swing. “I haven’t been able to reach Gary Mitchell. He’s out in space somewhere.”
“The baby is not his,” Spock said rather casually.
I turned my head to look at him. “Oh? And how do you know that.”
“Call it a premonition.”
“Well. To be honest, I haven’t really tried too hard to find him. I don’t want him to be the other parent.”
“He was unpleasant.”
“Yeah, to say the least. I was an idiot for being with him as long as I was,” I admitted. “Controlling. Manipulative. And a cheater, too. And it’s not like I’m going to marry my baby daddy or anything, but I don’t want such a dick a part of mine and my child’s life for the rest of our lives.”
Spock seemed pensive. “You would prefer the Orion?”
I shrugged. “Maybe. I mean, he’s not going to be in the picture at all, is he? And I’ll have Bones to help me.”
“Uh-huh. We’re not, you know, like that or anything, but he’s very protective where I’m concerned. He knows about a lot of what I’ve gone through.” I smiled a little. “So if he’s kind of a jerk to you, he means well. He just, he thinks you’re going to hurt me.”
Spock’s brows furrowed. “I would not.”
“Not physically, no. Emotionally. Vulcans don’t really do emotions, right?”
He remained silent to that which made me think I had it correct, anyway.
“I saw Uhura here yesterday,” I suddenly blurted out and I wasn’t even sure why.
“Yes, she did stop by.”
“So, um, are you and her—”
“I told you before we are not.”
“You also said she wants to be.” I glanced away. “I know it’s not really my business. You can be with whoever you want.”
“That is true.”
I smiled ruefully.
“But I am not interested in that sort of relationship with Nyota. We are friends.”
“Hmm,” I said, stretching out on the swing. “Have you told her that you might have a child with me?”
Spock hesitated a moment and then said softly, “I have not. I did not know how quiet you wished to make your condition and I do not believe it is my place to reveal such personal information without your permission.”
“Which is why she thinks I’m your stalker.”
“She does not.”
I laughed. “Yeah, she does. She as much implied it yesterday. She doesn’t know why I’ve moved here so she thinks it must be something nefarious. She knows we had sex, right? You said she believes I fuck around.”
When he didn’t answer at first, I looked toward him again. His face was flushed a little. “I did mention it.”
“That’s why she tried to convince you I was just using you. So now she’s bound to think I’ve moved in here to further my pursuit of you.”
“I…will correct this fallacy.”
“I’d appreciate that.”
Spock was silent again for at least two minutes, which seemed lengthy for him.
“I will also let her know it is I who pursued you.”
“Why would you do that?”
He tilted his head. “Because it is true. I have always found you uncommonly fascinating.”
I licked my suddenly dry lips. “That’s quite a compliment coming from you.”
“And it is, of course, completely true.”
“Of course,” I said softly.
Spock stood then and I thought he intended to leave but instead he sat on the swing next to me, pushing my legs aside as he did so and reaching out toward my stomach. “May I?”
I nodded, holding my breath as he spread his hand out over my stomach.
“Nothing right?” I asked, breathlessly after a moment. “I haven’t really felt any movement.”
He did not remove his hand. “No movement, no. However, I believe the child is most certainly mine.”
I laughed. “Oh, really? How?”
“The infant is telepathic.”
“Wh-what? Wait. Is it-is it talking to you or something?”
Spock’s lips curved in a bare hint of amusement. “Negative. My own telepathy calls out to that of the child. Vulcans form links with their family, offspring, and mates. My own family link wishes to engage.”
I put my hand over his, intending to push his away but instead my hand rested on his, not moving, as I stared into his eyes. “That’s crazy,” I whispered.
“What’s going on here?” Bones suddenly demanded coming into the atrium.
Keeping my gaze on Spock, I said, “Spock’s the daddy.”
Finding out who had impregnated me didn’t really solve anything. I mean, sure, it was nice to know in a lot of ways. But it was also…complicated.
It involved me, so, really, what else could it be?
I woke to the sound of raised voices. Well, the raised voice of Bones. But it didn’t take me long to figure out he was arguing with Spock. This was going to be my new normal. I sat up in bed and automatically put my right hand to my stomach. I was carrying life within me even though really I could feel nothing. I knew my body was changing and everything, but so far the child inside me wasn’t very active. Maybe the Vulcan part of it spent all its time meditating.
I really needed to find out if the baby was male or female so I could stop calling it IT. Then again, maybe I wanted to be surprised. Although it would be nice to have everything ahead of time.
“What do you think?” I asked the baby. I had begun to talk to it even though it couldn’t answer. I guessed maybe it could hear me. Maybe. Who knew? Bones I supposed. I sighed. “I think your daddy’s arguing with Uncle Bones. Or, um, your other parent. Because I sure as hell am not your mommy.” I huffed out a breath and got out of the bed. “This whole thing is ridiculous.”
I made my way over to the door and as I opened it, I realized that I could hear them from where I stood. And well…
“Listen you hobgoblin just because you got to stick your dick in Jim once doesn’t give you the right to—”
“Actually, doctor, I do have the right, and at present I will ignore your crudeness—”
“The only one with rights to this child is Jim,” Bones cut in. “If he allows you to be part of the baby’s life, then I have nothing to say about that.”
“It seems you have a lot to say about something that is certainly not your business.”
“But if Jim doesn’t want you around, then I’ll make sure you aren’t.”
“Is that a threat, doctor?”
“You bet it is. I’ll do whatever I can to see you have nothing to do with Jim and his child if that’s what he decides. I’m on his side and nobody else’s. And I’m sick of the way guys like you treat him like shit and then expect to get their way.”
“I do not treat Jim like excrement.”
“You know what I mean, buster. You’re just like his ex. Abusive and arrogant and thinking you can walk all over him like he’s nothing. Just like his stepdad. And I won’t allow any of it.”
“I have never abused Jim and I never would.”
I could tell by his tone that Spock was finally losing patience with Bones. And though I loved Bones, I really did, I was wincing at some of things he was saying to Spock. Even though I was very appreciative.
“Oh yeah? There’s such thing as emotional abuse, buddy.”
“I am not your buddy.”
“Tell me something I didn’t know. And anyway, Jim’s sleeping, so—”
“No, he’s not,” I spoke up, making my presence known by walking into the living room where they were standing posturing to each other.
Bones glanced my way. “See, you Vulcan bastard, you woke Jim up.”
“My parents were married,” Spock said with perfect confusion.
Bones rolled his eyes. “He’s a riot this one.”
“Bones. Spock didn’t wake me up.” I walked past them and into the kitchen where I decided to fill a tea kettle to make myself some herbal tea.
“You shouldn’t have to do that, Jim,” Bones spoke up. “I can make you tea.”
“I can make it myself, too. Jesus. I’m having a kid, my arms aren’t broken.”
“Sorry,” Bones mumbled. “Just trying to be helpful.”
I smiled to lessen my obvious irritation. “I know. And you know what you can do to help me?”
“Go down to the corner and get me some donuts.”
Bones made a face but I knew he would go. “Why can’t Spock go?”
“Because I asked you.” I smiled sweetly.
“Besides you know the kind I like. And take your coat with the hood. It’s raining.”
“I’ve got eyes,” he said, as he went to the coat rack. “You want anything, hobgoblin?”
“Do you want anything hobgoblin Spock?”
“A gracious offer, doctor, but no, thank you.”
Bones eyed Spock like he was certain there was some insult there, but with another grumble, he left the apartment.
I shook my head and took down two teacups. “I assume you want tea.”
“Affirmative.” Spock hesitated. “The nutritional value of a donut is—”
“I really wouldn’t go there if I were you,” I said pleasantly.
“I am concerned for your welfare,” he said stiffly.
“Nah, you’re concerned for the baby. And I get it. But a few donuts won’t hurt him. Her. It.”
Because I knew, that just because Spock was the other parent, that didn’t mean Spock and I were some couple or anything. Or would be. Did I want that? Well, I always wanted Spock. But I wasn’t Spock mate material. Even I knew that. Vulcans mated or bonded. I knew that too. They connected their minds to each other. And well…my mind was better left unexplored by the likes of Spock.
I handed him the cup of tea and gestured to the table. “Why don’t we sit?”
Spock did so, quite obediently. “May I presume you sent the doctor on an errand so we could speak privately?”
I nodded. “Pretty much. Look, um, I heard a lot of what Bones said and he means well.”
“I am aware of his love for you.”
“Well, yeah but—”
“Do you intend to formalize your partnership before the birth of the child?”
“With Doctor McCoy.”
“He is in love with you.”
I sputtered into my tea. “No, he isn’t.”
Spock stared at me. “I recognize the signs that he is.”
I shook my head. “Spock, I don’t know what signs you think you recognize, but Bones is not in love with me. I thought I made that clear before. We’re brothers. He loves me and I love him. But it’s not romantic and never has been. We’re not partners and we’re not getting married.”
Spock was silent for a moment, but then he nodded. “I admit to being concerned he would attempt to persuade you to eliminate me from your life.”
“And therefore the baby’s life.”
“That’s not my intention, Spock. I think the baby will benefit from knowing both parents. Whatever Bones said earlier, I’m not going to exclude you. I promise.”
I picked up my teacup again and took a sip.
“Perhaps we should get married.”
The cup rattled as I attempted not to slam it down.
“At present, I am thinking a human marriage but eventually—”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, Spock.” I held up my hands, palms out. “No. We’re not getting married.”
His brows furrowed. “I fail to see why you would refuse.”
“Because. Because it’s completely unnecessary. I just told you, I won’t exclude you. We’ll share custody. And besides, you don’t even like me, why would you want to marry me?”
“That is not true.”
“I do not dislike you.”
I laughed. “And that’s totally not the same thing as liking me.”
“I would not have engaged in coitus with you if—”
“No. Sex is not the same thing.” I sighed. “Listen. We had sex because we’re both sexually attracted to each other. That’s really pretty common. But being sexually attracted to each other is not a reason to tie ourselves to each other in a legal marriage. Even having a baby isn’t, because like I said, you’re involved, no worries. I’m not disputing your rights. So it’s all good. Okay, Spock?”
I smiled. “Don’t look so glum.”
“Vulcans do not look glum,” he insisted.
“Yeah, probably not. But this is a good thing, Spock. Trust me. I’d make you crazy inside of five minutes. And this leaves you free to be with Uhura or whoever else you want to be with.”
Before he could say anything further, which was really a good thing, because I was finding this topic incredibly depressing, Bones opened the apartment door. He was carrying a large paper bag filled with, hopefully anyway, donuts.
Bones snorted. “You and that sweet tooth.”
Spock pushed back from the table and stood. “If you will excuse me, I do have some papers to grade, so I will leave you to your questionable nutrients.”
“Sure thing. See you later?”
“Indeed.” Spock nodded at the doctor. “Doctor.”
When Spock had gone, Bones plopped down in the seat Spock had vacated while I dug into the bag for my donuts.
“What was with him?”
“What do you mean” I asked, around a mouthful of custard filled donut.
“Looks a bit like you kicked his cat.”
“Oh. Well. He did sort of kind of ask me to marry him. In a roundabout way.”
“Well not like a proposal, more like a suggestion.”
“What the hell—”
“I said no, Bones,” I said quickly, to forestall a rant.
“I should hope so.”
I looked down at my donut. “Not because I don’t want to or anything.”
“Don’t worry, Bones, I’m not about to break out with ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ or anything. I know I’m not good enough for Spock.”
“That is not what I think.”
“I know. But you’re the only one who doesn’t think that way. And anyway, loving someone who doesn’t love you back sucks.” I took another bite of donut.
Bones nodded and reached for a donut for himself. “It does. But with Spock being the baby daddy you’re kind of stuck with him in your life. Unless—”
“Forget it, Bones. I already told him he could be a part of the baby’s life.”
“I knew you would,” Bones said with a heavy sigh.
I grimaced. “Well this isn’t the life I expected to have.”
“You’ll make the best of it, Jim. You always do.”
I’ve always had to. But I didn’t say that out loud. We both knew it was true.
The thing about Spock is that when he wanted you to be the focus of his attention he was impossible to resist. For me he was. Always.
“This seems a little like a date,” I said to Spock as we settled into our seats at a restaurant where he had invited me to go.
Spock nodded as he picked up his menu. “Indeed.”
“Wait. It is?”
“Affirmative. Since you turned down my prior suggestion of marriage, I can only surmise you lack the required affection, a human finds necessary, with regard to me. My research indicates that in order to facilitate a change in your personal feelings toward me a period of courting is in order.”
I stared at him. “Uh.”
He looked over his menu at me. “Obviously our act of copulation first means that we have already moved past certain stages of the courtship.”
“You don’t need to court me.”
His brows furrowed. “I believe that I do.”
A waitress appeared at their side, smiling brightly. “What can I get you to drink?”
“A big glass of wine,” I blurted out.
“Oh, crap.” I hit the side of my head. “Um. No. I can’t. Um. Coffee. Uh. No. God.”
“We will have a pot of chamomile tea, please, with two cups,” Spock spoke up.
She nodded. “Be right back.”
I blew out a breath and then licked my dry lips. Then picked up the glass of water in front of me and took a large swallow. “That was embarrassing.”
“Jim. You do not need to be embarrassed or flustered around me. I am willing to have whatever patience is required.”
“To persuade you.”
I sighed and picked up the menu. “I already like you, Spock.”
“Not enough to engage in a more meaningful partnership.”
“Maybe I’m the one who should be courting you,” I said dryly. I perused the menu. Most of it was vegetarian and very healthy. Nutritious.
“For what purpose?”
“You haven’t always been my biggest fan, Spock.”
“My opinion of you has altered significantly.”
I set the menu down again. “Oh? How?”
His cheeks flushed green, which surprised me. “I find you…very appealing.”
His gaze lowered, almost shyly. “Vulcans do not…” He trailed off. “Have you chosen what you wish to consume?”
“Yeah. They have a macaroni and cheese dish. I’ll get that.” I scrunched up my nose. “It has broccoli but I’ll live.”
“I am getting the steamed vegetables and brown rice.”
For some reason that made me smile.
“What?” he asked, noticing.
“You’re just too cute.”
“Then my courtship is already proving successful.”
I laughed. And his lips curved in a very slight smile.
The waitress arrived with our tea, which she poured a cup for each of us, and then took our orders.
I had not forgotten what he started to say. “Vulcans do not?”
“We do not seek casual dalliances.” Spock paused. “At least not very often. I have always found you…alluring. I did let others dissuade me from your considerable attributes. And my own biases contributed to my ill judgment in your disfavor. I was in error. It is illogical to say otherwise.”
“So what you are trying to say is—”
Spock met my gaze. “I am pleased that we have formed a child together.”
I huffed out a laugh. “That’s about as much of a declaration as I’m going to get out of you. Huh?”
“If you require additional words, I am amenable.”
“No,” I replied, smiling. “You really are cute.”
“I believe you are the only one who has said so.” He picked up his teacup, his elegant fingers curling around the handle.
“I find that hard to believe. What about Uhura? You told me she expressed romantic interest in you.”
“Indeed. But she never used the term cute when attempting to relay her interest.”
“Well, see, there you go. I’m one up on her already,” I joked.
His lips twitched. “More than one, I would say.”
Now it was my turn to blush. And feel really warm, actually. His gaze was still locked with mine and I found I could not look away.
I swallowed. “You’re really good at this.”
“Courting. Now stop.”
“To what do you refer?”
“You’re looking at me like you want to devour me,” I told him. “And we’re in a nice restaurant. Behave.”
He arched his brow and finally lowered the heat of his gaze. “As you wish. In my defense, your gaze was much the same.”
“Well, duh. You’re really hot. And you just told me you like me.”
“It is more than like,” he said softly.
I looked away. “No one…no one ever feels that way. Not about me.”
“Your former boyfriend did not?”
“Gary?” I snorted in derision. “No. He liked using me. Controlling me.”
“Why did you become involved with him?”
I shrugged and tasted the tea. It wasn’t really my thing, but, well. I drank it. “Sometimes I’m stupid.”
“Your intelligence is renowned.”
“Yeah well. Not about that kind of thing. Relationships. I never seem to get them right.” I leaned my chin in my hand. “I’d like to. With you.”
“I would like you to also.” Spock glanced at the approaching waitress. “Here is our food.”
“I’m actually kind of hungry.” I picked up my fork and dug into the broccoli cheese macaroni as soon as she set it down in front of me. “Or maybe the baby is.” I tasted it. “Oh. Hey. It’s good.”
“You seem surprised.”
“Yeah a little. How’s your-your healthy stuff?”
“It is adequate.”
I shook my head. Took another bite of cheesiness. “Does she know yet?”
“Yes,” Spock admitted. “I thought that it was necessary to reveal that you are my boyfriend under the circumstances.”
“Wait. What?” I laughed. “You told her I’m your boyfriend?”
“Are you not?” Up went the eyebrow.
“Am I?” I raised both of mine.
“Given our recent disclosures I thought—”
“Okay,” I interrupted “Now. I’ll give you that.” Which surprised me, really. “But before when you told her, probably not.” I took another bite. “This is great. Are you sure you don’t want to try some?”
“I do not consume cheese.”
“Oh right. Pity.”
“Would you care for some?” He held out a spoonful of the brown rice toward my mouth, and though admittedly, I wasn’t much of a rice fan, the fact he wanted to feed me, made me open my mouth to accept it.
“Well?” he prompted as I chewed.
“Not awful. But I’ll stick with this, thanks. And anyway, I meant about the baby. Did you tell her about the baby?”
There was something just a little in his expression that was vaguely—
“She thinks I’m lying about you being the father, right?”
“She did imply the possibility that it was a falsehood,” he admitted. “But I have already informed her that there is no doubt.”
My jaw tightened but for the moment I said nothing. Just seethed.
“Jim,” he said softly and the reached his hand toward me. “May I have your hand?”
I placed it in his. I felt a little tinge of warmth and also a soothing calm.
“I have already informed her that if she wishes to maintain a friendship between us, that she will treat you with the dignity, respect and kindness I expect my mate to be treated with.” When my eyes widened at the word mate, he said, “Only the term I prefer over boyfriend.”
I nodded. Stroked my fingers along his palm. “Bet that went over well.”
“She did apologize for the way she had been acting and congratulated me on having a child.”
I pursed my lips. “Well, that is something anyway.”
“I will not let her or anyone mistreat you or our child,” Spock assured me.
“Thank you,” I whispered. “You’re really—”
“Cute?” he supplied.
I laughed. “Something. I was going to say something.”
Once Spock makes up his mind, he cannot be persuaded to vary from that choice. Not easily. And anyway, I didn’t want to change his mind. I ended up in the predicament I was in because of my thing for Spock. And now…maybe my dreams would come true.
I woke to the chirp of my communicator device, which I had left on the bedside table. As I stretched out to reach for it, my leg collided with Spock’s who let out a grunt.
“Sorry,” I said quickly. I looked at the communicator as I held it in my hand. “It’s Bones.”
“You probably ought to answer.” Spock sat up in bed and rubbed his eyes.
I gave him a smile and flipped it open. “Good morning.”
“Where are you?” Bones demanded.
“So it’s like that is it?”
I laughed. “We were out late and came back here for tea.”
“Uh-huh. And these really good little tiny lime cookies he had. Anyway, I got sleepy and Spock carried me into his room. We fell asleep together.”
Spock touched his fingers to mine and then rose from the bed. He headed for the bathroom.
“Moving kind of fast, aren’t you?”
“Well, he’s already knocked me up. It’s a little late to give me the family lecture. I meant to send you a message, but, well.”
Bones sighed. “Okay. As long as you’re happy, so am I.”
“Yeah? You’re changing your tune.”
“I’ve been kind of a jerk about the whole Spock thing. And really he’s the best choice to be the baby’s other parent. And I know you’ve always liked him.” Bones paused. “You still do, huh?”
I smiled. “Yeah, I still do. He’s been…really sweet. I think he likes me too. And not just because of the baby.”
“Hmm. Well. That’s part of why I’m contacting you.”
“I’ve heard Mitchell’s ship is coming back to San Francisco due to some hull damage. I’m guessing somehow he might hear about your condition and wonder,” Bones explained. “You might want to be prepared for him to be a jerk, like always.”
“There’s nothing he can do. The baby is Spock’s.”
“I know, but just, be warned. Not sure when but it’s soon. You coming back here?”
“Not for a bit. Spock said he’d make me breakfast.”
Bones snorted. “I meant ever. Or do I change the lease on this place to just me?”
I bit my lip. “It’s probably too soon for that. Um, I don’t know. I mean we went on our first date last night.”
“Kind of out of order, don’t you think?”
“I never do anything normal.”
“Okay, well love bird, have fun. And eat something healthy.”
Spock came out as soon as I closed my communicator which made me wonder if he’d been waiting for my conversation to be over with. Did Vulcans eavesdrop?
“The bathroom is yours, Jim. I will begin preparations for your breakfast.”
I stood up. “So Bones tells me Gary is coming to San Francisco. Ship needs repairs.
Spock nodded. “He is someone we need to be concerned over?”
“Maybe,” I said with a shrug. “Bones seems to think he might cause trouble. But I don’t know. We were over before he left. What’s he going to do?”
“Lay claim to your child?”
“We’d be able to prove he’s not the other parent. Honestly, I think he won’t do anything. If I’m lucky, he’ll leave me alone altogether.”
“I would not worry if I were you either,” Spock replied. “If he bothers you, I will handle him.”
I laughed at that. Not because I didn’t think Spock couldn’t take on…well anyone. But I didn’t need any defenders. “I can handle Gary.”
I headed to the bathroom and turned on the shower.
By the time I got out, I could smell potatoes and onions cooking. It smelled incredible.
“Wow, I can’t wait to eat,” I told him as I entered the kitchen.
“Sit at the table and I will bring it when it is done.”
“What are you making?”
“Fried potatoes, polenta cakes, and fresh fruit.”
“You’re very domesticated.” I smiled to let him know I was teasing.
“I do hope to make a home with you and our child.” He spoke almost shyly. Now that I was really getting to know Spock I realized I had misjudged him as much as he had me.
He brought over some tea and then the breakfasts and took his seat next to me.
“Have you told your parents?” I asked him.
He shook his head. “Not yet. I was uncertain about the state of our relationship and how much you would allow me to be involved in the child’s upbringing. I did not wish to assume.”
I took a bite of the potatoes. “Oh, my God. This is so good. I could get totally used to this.”
“I hope so,” he said quietly.
Giving him a smile, I said, “I don’t need to be taken care of, really.”
He said nothing to that and I suspected he just didn’t want to argue with me.
So I reached out with the hand not holding my fork and stroked his hand. He lifted his gaze to mine. “Bones asked if I was going to live here with you now.”
“What do you think of that?”
His lips quirked up just slightly. “I believe that you know. But I will wait for you to be ready, Jim. Vulcans mate for life.”
“Like wolves and hawks?” I teased.
His eyebrow shot up.
“An old Earth movie I love. I’ll show you sometime.”
“Very much like a wolf and a hawk then, yes.”
I licked my lips and turned to the polenta cakes. “Humans don’t though. I mean I guess some do.”
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “Maybe.”
“And you, Jim? Do you?”
“I never have. But…I’m willing to try.” I blew out a breath. “Give me some time to think about the living together, okay?”
Spock nodded, his expression revealing nothing. “As I said, I will wait.”
I leaned over and kissed his cheek. “This is amazing by the way. I should marry you just for this.”
“I will make it every day then.”
I laughed. His lips quirked in a half smile that was too cute. I thought, maybe, he wouldn’t have all that long to wait.
With everything going so well, I began to get complacent. A few weeks had passed without anything weird happening, plus Spock and I were getting close. So close that we’d even participated, to use his words, in sexual activity. Mostly we just rubbed each other off, we were both very handsy, and frankly, becoming experts at it. Our baby was continuing to grow within me and so far, at least according to Bones, everything about our bundle of joy seemed healthy. We even were talking about learning the gender of our child.
I smiled at the waitress as she brought me a second cup of herbal tea. I was waiting for my…boyfriend? Fiancé? Future mate? Whatever Spock was. Definitely the father, er, other parent of my baby.
I got a few funny looks at our favorite teashop as usual. There were many recognized species in the Federation that included male pregnancies and I was aware my appearance was completely human. For the most part no one asked me, but there were plenty of people whose gaze slid away in obvious discomfort when they noticed me.
Spock was actually past the time he was supposed to meet me which was why I was on my second cup of tea and frankly a little concerned. My Vulcan Whatever was never late to anything. He’d sent me a message earlier indicating that he was having lunch with Uhura before meeting me for tea so I guessed it likely it ran later than he had anticipated.
He’d tried to include me in the lunch as he’d wanted to integrate me and Uhura more so that we could both get used to the place we held in his lives, but unfortunately I’d been unable to make it. So, yeah, I didn’t try too hard.
I was reading up on some of the latest Federation news when a shadow passed over my table. Expecting Spock, I looked up with a welcoming smile.
Which fell instantly when I saw that instead of Spock, Gary Mitchell stood there.
He was looking at me with a mixture of a smirk and horror. “Well, for God’s sake, I hoped it wasn’t fucking true.”
“What a freak. Jesus, Kirk, I knew you were a freak, but what the absolute fuck?” He pointed rather exaggeratedly to my stomach. “I’d heard people saying you had—what a kid in there—but I knew it couldn’t possibly be true.”
“I’m part Xaltalantian,” I stated neutrally.
“Whatever that is. I’ve never even heard of them.”
“You should broaden your horizons as a member of Starfleet.”
Gary crossed his arms as he leered down at me. “That’s just gross. Please fucking tell me that thing isn’t mine.”
“It’s not a thing,” I said, getting angry. “It’s a baby and you’re quite right, it’s not yours.”
Now he was openly smirking. “I always knew you were nothing but a cheap slut. All that time you were weeping and wailing over my fucking around when you were doing the exact same thing. Do you even know who the baby’s…fuck, what do you even call it? Are you the mommy or the daddy?” Gary shook his head.
“Why don’t you just go away, Gary? Crawl back under whatever rock you came out of.”
He inched closer to my table. “Why don’t you make me, Kirk?”
“Oh that’s right, you can’t because you’re just a pregnant cow now, huh?" Gary laughed.
“Make me,” Gary said again, this time leaning over to give Jim a little shove in his chair. “You’re not even fuckable like this.”
I stood up, knowing I shouldn’t, but doing it anyway. “Get lost.” And this time I pushed him.
Gary shoved me hard until I was crashing back over my chair and landing on the floor right on my tailbone. Searing pain shot through me as my vision swam in front of me.
I became vaguely aware of an angry growl and then as my vision began to clear I watched Gary fly across the teashop and directly into the display case of teacakes with a sickening crack.
Then I saw Spock stalking after him to pick him up off the floor and then slam his fist into Gary’s face over and over.
“Spock! No! Stop,” I moaned out.
Spock let the unconscious man fall to the floor as he hurried to my side.
“Hey,” I said with a wince I was unable to stop.
“You are injured. I am taking you to the hospital.”
I opened my mouth to argue but then realized I really did hurt everywhere. I grabbed his hand. “I’m sorry.”
“The fault is mine, not yours, ashal-veh.” He squeezed my hand. “Stay here. I will get the authorities.”
Bones was studying my test results, being surprisingly gently with my very anxious Vulcan. “If you want to sit, Spock, there’s a chair there.”
Spock shook his head and inched closer to me where I lay in the bed. He had something of a death grip on my arm and though it hurt, I decided to allow it given the circumstances.
Bones nodded. “Fortunately, your tailbone is not broken, just a bad sprain. You can expect it to be sore and bruised for a few days.”
It already was despite of a mountain of cushions and padding under me in the bed.
“Which you will spend the next three of those days in the hospital,” Bones said, his tone quite serious. “Right now, every indication is that your daughter is perfectly fine—”
“Wait,” I said quickly, my heart pounding. “We’re having a girl?”
Bones smiled. “Congratulations.”
“A girl,” I said faintly. What the hell did I know about raising a girl?
“It will be all right, Jim,” Spock said, rubbing my arm that he clutched at so hard with his other hand.
I nodded. “Maybe the next one can be a boy,” I said faintly. Then I quickly shook my head. Next one?
Bones cleared his throat. “Anyway, as I was saying, everything looks good, but under the circumstances, and with the fact that most Xaltalantian male pregnancies are high risk, I’d like to keep you her for some observation time.”
Spock opened his mouth.
“We’re going to set up a bed in the room for Spock so that he can stay here with you when he wants to,” Bones explained.
Spock closed his mouth.
“What about Gary?”
“Don’t worry about him. He’s got a few broken bones and was talking about pressing charges against Spock, but—”
“What? Are you serious?”
Spock petted my arm again.
“But witnesses saw him attack you first, so neither of you have anything to worry about,” Bones assured them.
“It is my intention that Starfleet court martial him,” Spock said coolly.
“I’d be on board with that. Anyway, let me check on a few things, like your dinner, and some medications you can take for the pain, and I’ll be right back.”
As soon as Bones left, I said, “Spock, let go of my arm, you’re killing me.”
He released my arm immediately and was unable to avoid looking stricken. “I apologize.”
I smiled. “Nah, it’s okay. I know you were anxious.”
“Am. Am anxious,” Spock corrected. “It has not passed.”
“You heard Bones say I was okay. Our-our daughter too.”
“If I had not been delayed with Nyota—”
“Spock, no. It’s fine. Okay? Sooner or later he was going to do his thing. He can’t hurt either of us now. We’re good. All right?”
He nodded. “I am…Jim, I…”
“I know you do,” I told him with a smile. “And I do too.”
He blew out a breath but he gave me a tiny smile. “Yes?”
Spock leaned over to kiss me with unbearably sweet gentleness.
“Lovebirds,” Bones mumbled coming back into the room. He held a hypospray. “All right, this should make your discomfort bearable, and yes, before you ask Spock, it’s fine for Jim and your daughter, but it will probably make you sleepy, which you should probably get some rest anyway. They’ll bring your dinner in about two hours and they’re getting ready to bring the bed in for you too, Spock.”
“You’re the best, Bones.”
“I know,” he said with a smile. He stepped over to me and squeezed my shoulder. “This might pinch a little.” He pushed the hypospray into my neck. “Get some sleep.” He glanced at Spock. “And you let him. Sit down in that chair and behave.”
“Yes, doctor,” Spock said faintly, moving to do exactly as Bones said.
Bones bounced up and down on his heels, seeming quite satisfied with himself, then he left my room once more.
I rested my hands on my stomach.
It is often said that Vulcans are emotionless. Robots. They do not feel. They suppress what emotions they ever had. They do not experience happiness. Love. Longing.
They are not romantic.
All of this is…wrong.
As the spoon came toward my mouth, I paused to smile. “I can feed myself you know.”
Spock nodded. “I am aware. But I wish to care for you.”
I opened my mouth and he placed the spoon with mashed potatoes in my mouth. “When does Bones—”
“Chew and swallow first.”
I rolled my eyes and did so. “When does Bones say I can get out of here?”
“At least another night after this one,” Spock said, carefully inspecting the tray of food they had brought me for dinner.
“What are you doing?”
“Making sure they have not given you anything you are allergic to.”
“I’m sure Bones checked that.”
“It does not hurt to double check.” Spock held out a spoon with more mashed potatoes, which I ate with no comment. “I wish to discuss something.”
“Before you said such a discussion was premature, and I reluctantly accepted that you knew what was best, however—”
“Skip to the end,” I teased.
“I wish for you to reconsider the idea of matrimony between us.”
“You want us to get married.”
“Indeed. Sooner rather than later. At some point, I would also like us to have a bond as Vulcans do, but at present it is my desire for us to make a commitment to each other and to our daughter.”
I opened my mouth and he inserted more potatoes into it. “Spock—”
“Chew and swallow.”
I narrowed my eyes but did as he said, then waved him away when he would go back for more. “Are we really ready for that?”
“I believe that we are. We both view each other with a great deal of affection. We are obviously sexually compatible—”
“And we are committed to each other already. We are almost living together now. It would be a small matter to move my belongings into your apartment or vice versa. I have no interest in anyone else and will not and I believe that you have indicated similar feelings.”
“I believe that we are headed to this eventuality anyway and I see no reason to avoid the inevitable.”
“As proposals go that’s not exactly hearts and roses.”
“You’re going to marry me someday anyway might as well be now,” I said. Then shook my head as I saw his bewildered look. I reached for his hand. “You know something?”
“What?” he asked cautiously.
“Never tease a Vulcan when he’s trying to be serious and sincere.”
He opened his mouth to reply and then closed it. I turned his hand over and traced my fingertips over the lines on his palm.
“You really are adorable, you know that?” I asked, looking at his palm instead of his face. “It’s no wonder I couldn’t resist you. And we’ve certainly had our ups and downs. But we created this life together, you know, almost against all odds. And I used to have doubts about who created her with me, even when you thought it was you, I sometimes wondered, but I don’t anymore. She feels like you.” I finally raised my gaze to his and he was watching me with a lot of wonder on his face. “And I want to be yours in every way possible. So, yes, Spock, let’s get married.”
I heard the hitch of his breath and his hand jumped in mine, but I kept my gaze on his face. I could tell he was struggling with powerful emotions because they flitted across his face like a screen saver on a computer. Relief. Joy. Love. Whoever said that Vulcans had no emotions had surely never met one.
“I am gratified,” he finally said in a low gravelly voice.
And I realized as I stared into those rich dark eyes he expected me to say no. He had somehow braced himself for my inevitable rejection. Or so he’d thought that’s what would happen. And if there was anything I could do in this world for the rest of our days, I would try not to make him think that way or look that way again.
Moistening my lips with my tongue, I smiled at him. “When do we do this?”
“The sooner the better for me.”
“Here in the hospital?”
It was more a question than a suggestion and yet I could tell when he actually considered it.
“You do not desire a large, lavish wedding?”
I laughed. “Nope.”
His eyes warmed then but then he glanced at the food tray. “Are you still in need of nourishment?”
He pushed it aside then and sat on the edge of the bed and reached to capture my hand in his again. “I feel that before we go forward there is something we must discuss.”
I frowned. “Oh?”
“When…after we were together that time, I was unkind and I—”
“Spock, no.” I squeezed his hand. “We don’t have to go over all that.”
“Given my past experiences, I admit it was difficult to believe that one such as you would really want one such as me.” His cheeks were green and he was looking down at our entwined hands.
“Spock, God, you’re everything.”
He looked up at me, his eyes slightly wide.
“Yes, you.” I brought his fingers to my lips. “Okay, so maybe our past behavior toward each other could have been better. But none of that matters now. The truth is we’ve been drawn to each other since the beginning and I don’t know about fate and all that crap, but I do know, you and I, we’re what’s real. No Garys, no Orions, no Uhuras. Just us.”
He leaned over and captured my lips with his. “I find you are the most brilliant of Humans.”
“Hey, part Human, there. After all it’s thanks to my Xaltalantian part that we have our little miracle daughter.”
“For which I am quite grateful.” He toyed with my hand. “I would not mind additional children.”
“You did reference our next,” Spock said almost shyly.
God, he was so adorable.
“So? When are we getting married?”
“As soon as I can find someone to bring here to marry us,” Spock replied, with a raised eyebrow. “Do you have any objections?”
I grinned. “None.”
“Any objections to what?” Bones asked, suddenly walking into my hospital room.
“My fiancé is going to go get us someone to marry us.”
“He’s going to—”
“Indeed.” Spock brushed fingers against mine. “I will return as soon as I am able.”
Bones watched him leave with his mouth hanging open. “You two are going to become ball and chain?”
“You knew it had to be coming eventually.”
He shook his head. “You and the hobgoblin married. And having a baby. I never foresaw that when we first met.”
“Neither did I,” I admitted softly.
“As long as this is what you want.”
“Then I’m happy.”
He leaned down and hugged me to my surprise and if I got a little teary-eyed, well, fuck it. Who cared?
“Welcome,” he muttered. “Guess I’d better go get ready.”
“To be your best man, of course.” He rolled his eyes, and then gave me one of his rare smiles, before he left my room.
I put my hand on my stomach and smiled.
Yeah, life was nuts.