Spock looked around for his husband, but didn’t immediately see him.
He was then approached by the bartender, Max. “I guess you’re looking for Jim.”
He used his thumb to gesture to the back booth. “Over there. He’s pretty out of it.”
Spock nodded. “My thanks.”
He made his way to the dark booth in the back and found Jim slumped over the table. Next to him were several empty glasses.
He had to say it several times before Jim slowly raised his head to look at Spock. His eyes were bloodshot and dazed.
“Me, your husband.”
“I thought you would have returned home before now.”
“I realize. Are you capable of standing?”
“Uh. Think so.”
Spock helped him out of the booth, and held him up with an arm around him. He reeked of far too much booze.
“You need a shower and to be put to bed.”
“You can’t bed me until you polygize.”
“I am not trying to bed you,” Spock said. “Come.”
He was able to get Jim out of the bar, and to the farmhouse without much trouble. Then up the stairs and into the shower.
After he washed his husband and made him brush his teeth, somewhat successfully, he steered him to their bed.
Lying on his back, Jim stared up at him, eyes a little dewy. “Still mad at me?”
“I am not.”
“Good. Not mad at you either.”
“That is pleasing to hear. I am sorry you found it necessary to overindulge.”
“Stupid, I know. I feel gross.”
“Go to sleep, ashaya. You will feel better in the morning.”
“I love you.”
“I love you also.”
“Spock, what will we do with…”
Spock shook his head, put his hand on Jim’s face, and whispered, “We will figure it out as we always have. Sleep now, Jim. You have nothing to fear.”
When Jim closed his eyes, he turned away and left their bedroom. He went downstairs and once more picked up the PADD with the message that had started it all.
I am pregnant with your child
“We need to talk.”
In the history of the language, Spock thought, those four words were surely among the worst. He tried not to flinch even as his back was to his husband as he prepared Jim’s coffee.
He forced himself to nod and turned to face Jim.
Jim had freshly showered and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. His face as very red and a little bit abrasive-looking as if he had scrubbed the skin there very roughly. The blue in his eyes was particularly potent in that moment, giving off the appearance of a Ceylon sapphire under a pool of water. An odd effect that made Spock’s heart hurt.
“I have made you coffee.”
He brought the coffee to the dining room table and set it down at Jim’s usual seat. For a moment Jim didn’t move, but then he walked over slowly and sat down.
Spock fetched his tea and lowered himself into his own seat.
“How did this happen?” Jim asked.
A logical question.
“I do not know.”
Jim raised both eyebrows.
“Beyond the obvious answer,” Spock clarified. “You…you are aware that when we were forced to be temporarily separated by our necessary duties I underwent…Pon Farr.”
It was painful to say the words. To re-experience what Spock had never wished to think about again.
“Due to not knowing it was that-that time, I was unable to reach you in time to secure your assistance. I was certain you would not wish for me to die and with my father’s help and that of other elders, a Vulcan woman was chosen to be a surrogate for that time. It was thought that my experiencing it with a female rather than another male might be less objectional to you.”
Jim closed his eyes for several heartbeats during which Spock knew not what the meaning of it was.
When he opened them again there was that same off effect of the blue behind water. Spock knew that it was because Jim had unshed tears there and that thought nearly crippled Spock. To be the cause of Jim’s anguish was torture.
“I know all that,” Jim said softly.
And he did. All of that had come out after Spock’s Pon Far was over and they had finally been able to reach Jim.
“But…you told me you were…sterile.”
Spock nodded, swallowed. “And so I had believed. Everyone believed. With my genetic makeup, that had been the theory everyone had, though clearly it was wrong.”
The entire Pon Farr episode had been a disaster. Though Jim and Spock had married in the Human way, they had not yet undergone a ceremony where they could be bonded. There hadn't been time before they had duties.
When Spock had to complete his Pon Farr with the surrogate, somehow their minds had connected and a bond had formed. The theory from the elders had been the mind-numbing grief of losing their planet had caused a vulnerability in many of the remaining Vulcans.
They’d had that bond severed even before Spock had been reunited with Jim, but it had already been a source of pain for Jim. Since then, their own bond had been formed and fully realized, and they’d reached a point where their relationship seemed to be strengthening to the levels it had been prior to Spock’s Pon Farr.
“Jim, I believed that it was not possible to create a child with the surrogate.”
“Just as you believed it was impossible to form a bond with anyone but me.”
This time Spock did wince. Still he did wish to defend himself as best he could.
“My prior relationship with Nyota led me to believe both were unlikely if not impossible. No spontaneous bond formed between us nor did she ever become pregnant with my child.”
Jim did the eye close again and lifted the coffee to his lips. After he took a sip, he once more opened his eyes, and somewhat to Spock’s relief, they were less wet.
“Jim, my commitment and attachment to you is unsurpassed. There is no one else for me in this universe. Or any universe. You know this. You are in my head as I am in yours. You cannot mistake my utter devotion to you.”
His husband remained silent, which was surely a bad sign.
“I know that, perhaps, by Human standards, what occurred seemed like infidelity, but I assure you—”
“Spock, I know,” Jim interrupted softly. “I know it was not your choice and that you did not want to die for both of our sakes. I can’t help but feel a little…uneasy about the ease with which the two of you bonded.”
“Yes, I know that too. I spoke with T’Pau. And your dad. I know what they think and that it’s probably even true.” Jim tapped his temple. “Still sucks in here though. She got to bond with you before me and now she’s given you something else I never could.”
“Which is why you went drinking last night.”
Jim’s mouth twisted. “I don’t deal with emotional turmoil in a healthy way. Trust me, I’ve heard that a million and one times.”
“How do you feel?”
“Like a schmuck. I’m sorry I walked out on you. It wasn’t a good thing to do. I know that.”
“I promise you, there is no one else. Next time I will—"
“Don’t finish that sentence or we may have another fight. There is no next time. We’re not going to be separated again for that amount of time. As for the surrogate—"
“She does not wish to raise the child herself,” Spock said. “And I am aware that last night you told me you did not wish to be burdened with a child.”
Jim sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “That was a shitty thing to say. I’m sorry. And it’s not true anyway. There isn’t a chance in hell that I would reject a child of yours. So, I guess, basically, that means she wants us to have the child.”
“My father did offer to care for the child himself or arrange for adoptive parents should you choose.”
“Your dad?” Jim shook his head. “You’re fantastic, you are. But I think that’s more from your mom than him. He doesn’t have the best track record with kids. And no one is going to adopt our kid.”
Spock felt hope blossom in his side. He was so elated and relieved, he almost thought he would end up overcome. In a Vulcan way, of course.
“Our kid,” he said softly. “Then, we will raise the child together?”
“I thought…it does not matter.”
“If I suddenly sprang up with a woman who was having my child, I would hope you would react the same.”
Spock frowned and opened his mouth.
Jim laughed. It was a beautiful sound.
“No, that’s not going to happen, Spock. I haven’t been with anyone else since you first pushed me against the bulkhead and kissed me.”
“T’hy’la.” Spock touched his fingers to Jim’s.
“I know. And somehow we’ll figure this out together. The first step I guess is to respond to her message.”
Spock retrieved his PADD and with Jim looking on, typed,
Yes, we will raise the child.