title. Make Myself Believe
rating. PG-13 for Content
Pairing. Kirk/Spock, past-relationship.
summary. Ten thousand things in the universe to fear, dozens of battles and attacks he'd survived, and Jim could not bear to look at his own son with the pale hint of green on his skin, the points on his delicate ears.
warnings. WIP, mpreg, angst.
notes. Written for this prompt at st_xi_kink.
The summoned healer was a man of average height, stoic and drawn; he took in the story Sarek related without any sort of reproach or hesitation and spared no second in demanding that he be brought to Jim Kirk's side: no human had ever been forced to endure the decimation of a bond before and though he would never admit fear, Sekac couldn't imagine Kirk would emerge from his coma the man he had once been.
Once aboard, the eyes of young, scared men and women watching him traverse the distance from transporter room to sickbay, he, as well as Sarak and T'Mora and even Spock, realized the extent of the melancholic situation. Several seemed dispirited, one woman glared at the former First Officer – clearly the slow, depressing descent of their Captain into ill-health had affected them all – and Sekac did not need to state his own rising disapproval of Spock's actions when he finally came to stand beside the biobed of the most well-known member of Starfleet.
“You will remain here,” he told Spock. “The rest will leave.”
McCoy didn't need to be told twice, grasping Uhura's wrist in his hand as he pulled her from the private room; he truly was too tired to argue, something Sekac intuited from the hard set of his eyes but his fallen facial expression. He assumed the same for the woman, who stopped only to take the squalling infant from T'Mora's arms before moving toward the doctor's private office.
Sarek left with some hesitation. Perhaps concern for his child, perhaps concern for the man that might have – once – become part of their clan. That, though, was a possibility long gone if the unconscious tension rolling off the human at Spock's mere presence was anything to go by, if the damage to Kirk's mind, temporary or otherwise, was anything to go by.
Still, the man left with the woman meant to be Spock's betrothed in tow, the Engineer, Scott, on their tail though he cast several looks over his shoulder.
They were, undeniably, a warning: Do him no more harm.
Sekac's own deadened gaze glittered with life in response, an answering promise to see Kirk healed and as whole as he could best be as the door closed and, alone, the healer began his work.
Jim had dreamt in images and emotions. Nothing cohesive or associated with what came before or what would come next; it was as though he'd watched his life flash in still frames and he had felt sad, happy, anxious, bitter.
How long it had gone on he would discover only after he woke to see Bones' worried face, Nyota's chagrined expression, in the blessed silence of Medical Bay. Draped over him, Grayson slept with one softly pointed ear to his naked chest, strategically placed above his heart, and Jim, still groggy, reacted instinctively – lifting his arms to hold the child in place – as he fought to weave through the haze in his mind.
“What happened?” he whispered, unable to bring himself to speak louder. He couldn't: his head still aching dully between his eyes, thankfully much less painful than it had been not so long ago.
“You collapsed, went into a coma.” Bones fiddled with the wall unit for a moment, then turned to pick through his supply of hypos before selecting one and pressing it to Jim's neck. Once the meds were dispensed with a barely audible hiss, he added, “We met with Spock and got a healer to get up here,” then helped Jim to recline against a pillow and reached for the tricorder.
Rubbing his eyes with the back of a hand while the other remained braced against his son's back, Jim ground out, “They fix me?”
Bones just grunted in response, running the wand over him a second time. The readout remained stubbornly the same – slight changes but nothing worthy of keeping Jim under his thumb if he requested to be released to quarters – and he fought the urge to throw the device across the room because, damnit, Jim did not need to leave the sanctity and privacy afforded to him in sickbay just yet.
Not when Spock was roaming the corridors, waiting for the chance to speak with his former lover.
“He's not screaming,” Jim murmured after a moment passed.
“No, he's not,” Uhura answered. She smiled a little as she told Kirk, “Sarek, actually, explained that Grayson was using that connection as a substitute for the physical contact he wasn't getting from either you or Spock.”
Jim nodded in understanding as his eyes finally cleared, became alert, and they focused resolutely on the small boy nuzzling at his chest – it was, in fact, the first time since Grayson's birth that he had touched his son, the first time he had held him.
Unable to deal with the emotional fall-out caused by the loss of his partner, Jim simply hadn't had the energy to care for Grayson. He was sure that spoke volumes about his fitness to be a parent in general; it hadn't been something he had ever expected – fatherhood – and faced with it alone while continuing to command the Enterprise, he had shamefully cracked under the pressure. Care of Grayson had been sacrificed in favor of his crew and in favor of holding himself together with both hands.
Now, though, Jim couldn't seem to figure out why he'd done so as he gazed down at his boy and his hold tightened imperceptibly when Uhura reached a hand out to smooth down a lock of Grayson's sparse hair. Mine, he thought, lifting one tiny hand with two of his fingers, My son.
“Jim?” McCoy called out softly.
Kirk looked up, voice catching as the realization slapped him fully across the face and he responded, “This is my son, Bones.”
“Yes, he is.” The elder man sighed. “He is most definitely yours.”
Spock stayed away for three days, restlessly wandering the ship even though he knew from the gossip that Jim had woken, had returned to quarters, had taken their son with him. He was pain-free, though suffering some residual vertigo but some nameless miracle had spared his mind from permanent damage; he'd been forced into light duty – four hour shifts once ever 24 hour cycle – to allow him to rest and bond with the child. The Vulcan had wanted to allow some time for adjustment, yet when that third day came he could wait no longer.
He doubted Jim would have changed the security code and nearly called it out, then common sense kicked in and Spock engaged the alert, standing nervously before the door. It took several long minutes for Jim to answer, looking dead tired while Grayson suckled at the nipple of a bottle and incongruently happy as well.
“Figured you'd turn up. Get in here,” Jim ordered, his voice lacking all of the fondness it once had.
The Captain's quarters had changed much since he'd last been in the space – of the places left empty by his reclamation of belongings the day of their parting, few had been filled by Jim's belongings; the area that had slowly become Spock's desk now housed the items needed to change and care for Grayson and a handmade crib (Scott's name was all over that one) was visible across from the bed where Spock had spent many hours meditating.
Silence descended between them, awkward and painful and unwanted. Spock missed, greatly, the friendship and relationship he'd had with the man in front of him. Jim had been his greatest ally, championing him to superiors and subordinates alike whenever someone criticized him, and he'd supported him in every endeavor. This strange, emotional Human had been his world for a short time, making him wonder why he'd ever doubted Jim's veracity about their joining.
“I would like to apologize for the actions I have taken that caused undue harm,” he said right as Jim began to open his mouth.
Kirk looked away for a moment. His mind picked over his choices, his memories, weighing the words for their value against all he'd suffered. This was not something he could so easily forgive, he knew, but he was not ready nor did he ever think he would be ready to completely throw away the connection he had to Spock.
“I'm not ready to forgive you,” Jim admitted. Adjusting the now-sleeping Grayson in his arms and placing the bottle onto the coffee table, he sat, letting his eyes set on his former lover, and continued, “I'm really not ready to, but that doesn't mean I won't. You and Bones – you guys are my best friends and I guess I'm stupidly loyal or something because I am not the type to let my friends go without a fight.”
“Is there any action I may undertake that will...”
Jim cut him off with a half-smirk, “Oh, you'll earn my trust back, I have no doubt of that.”
“And our previous relationship?” Spock intoned, almost hesitant to speak at all. This was the question that he truly feared the answer to, unsure where he stood with the man who'd borne his child; once he'd stopped denying all the signs of their compatibility, once he'd stopped mentally running from how matched they were, Spock had been slapped with the sudden discovery of all he'd lost.
“That,” he was told a moment later, “is a topic I can't speak about, Spock, because I don't know. Right now, it... hurts just to look at you and think about how we used to be and I can't say if I'll ever be able to.”
The Vulcan nodded, unable to speak, and it would be several long minutes before he could work up the courage to say, “I have requested that my leave of absence be revoked and, with your permission, to be allowed to return to my post. However, I must first return to the colony and speak with the High Council as to the consequences of my actions.”
“Consequences?” Jim asked.
“To end a bond in the manner that I did is considered wrong. I am, under Vulcan law, to present myself to the authorities and bear the punishment for my crime.”
The moment after that statement was where, normally, Jim would have balked or tried to talk Spock out of the inevitable and it hurt when the man merely pursed his lips, nodded, and responded, “Enterprise will remain in orbit until we hear from you regarding time frames.”
Dismissal was evident in Jim's voice and with his heart heavy, Spock left.