Summary: Jim and his family are just a wee bit out of touch. It takes a premature labor to bring them back together. (This also doubles as my excuse to write another Star Trek MPREG. Obsession, anyone?)
Sam had decided, three days after Jim abruptly abandoned them to join Starfleet, that it would be his brother’s responsibility to contact the family again if he wanted to be a part of it. Frank had agreed, and his mother – well, she hadn’t disagreed. A part of him knew he would probably never see his brother again. Although Frank had mellowed significantly since they were children, Jim still saw him as the enemy. The anti-father. And if he was truthful, Sam couldn’t accept him as a father, either.
And once Mom had stopped trying to force them to be the ideal family, everything had smoothed out.
Their mother still kept an old-fashioned paper calendar on the wall, the type that would display three months at a time. She would need to turn the page soon, just after Sam went back to the city, but for now the past two months were still staring him in the face. The circle and note that reminded Frank of their anniversary (Sam had been surprised the man had remembered, but seeing the neon orange highlighter on the calendar gave him some indication of how that had occurred), a row of stars on her week of volunteering. Everything important to his mother was displayed right there in front of him
Jim’s birthday was circled in blue. Always blue. It had been a few weeks since his brother had turned 28, and still no contact from him. Mom still put the reminder up.
Sam might have suspected Jim was dead, after these six years with no contact, but he was pretty sure it would make the news if the youngest captain in Starfleet history was killed. God knows they would’ve contacted Mom, with her position as high up as it was.
Frank was busy with something in the living room, and Sam had half a mind to help him. He’d come out here to see how they were doing, after all, and a weeklong stay was a weeklong stay. Mom had her hands in the sink (why she didn’t break down and buy a sonic dishcleaner was beyond him), and when the communication line rang, she glanced helplessly at him before calling out, “Answer, engage speakerphone. Winona Kirk speaking.”
“Hello, Lieutenant Colonel Kirk,” a man’s voice came across the room. “This is Dr. Andriel Owens with the Starfleet medical command team in Des Moines. You are, in fact, the mother of Starfleet’s Captain James Kirk?”
“Yes,” she replied, and Sam could hear the beat of concern in her tone. Even Frank froze, perking an ear towards the kitchen. His mom pulled her hands out and dried them on a towel. “Why?”
“Your son has been admitted to our facility,” he informed her, and Sam felt his heart drop. “While not yet life threatening, his condition is quite serious and complications could come easily. You are listed as his next of kin, and should any complications arise you may be asked to make medical decisions on his behalf.”
Mom had gone terribly pale by the time Sam reached her side, hands steadying her. “What’s happened to him?” she managed, voice contradictorily strong. There was a long pause.
“It would perhaps be best if you came to see him,” the man said ambiguously. “We can have a med-shuttle transport you within fifteen minutes, if you would like.”
“I would,” she said, a hand going to Sam’s forearm. He couldn’t remember the last time she looked so scared. “I trust you have my address on record?”
“The shuttle is on its way, Mrs. Kirk,” the man confirmed. “I expect you here within thirty minutes. Nurse Baxter will give you all pertinent information upon your arrival.”
She thanked him and gave the command for the communication to end, and then detached herself from Sam abruptly, seemingly absentmindedly tossing her used towel into the laundry chute. Sam didn’t disturb her, instead walking to the living room to help Frank with whatever he had been doing.
This didn’t count as Jim contacting them.
Even so, he was unable to say no when his mother insisted he and Frank come along, even unwilling to try once strapped into the shuttle and lifting off. Her hands were threaded with Frank’s, face pale. But her expression was blank, eyes facing forward. Sam wondered what must’ve been going through her head. Hell, he wondered what was going through his own head. It was such a low buzz that he could hardly understand a thing.
It seemed like only seconds before they were landing again, making their way into the building. Surely enough, a nurse immediately found his way to their side, leading them through a series of hallways to what Sam was sure would be a private discussion room.
“I HAD a doctor, Goddamn it!” came a howl from one of the rooms ahead of them, the voice instantly recognizable. Mom grabbed his hand. “I had a doctor and a fucking month, for the love of God! And where is Spock?!”
They were led directly to the room, finding Jim facing away from the door, speaking in low, pained tones with the nurse at his side. He was hooked up to all sorts of devices, monitors of all sorts beeping at him and spitting out numbers. Sam didn’t know whether to say something or clear his throat or wait for the nurse to tell Jim they’d arrive – and it turned out he didn’t have to decide on anything, because then Jim let out a strangled gasp, throwing his head back. His eyes met Sam’s.
“Oh, God,” his brother whimpered, and Sam found himself mildly affronted. They were visiting him on his deathbed and he was going to complain? “Oh, God, oh, God, oh--------fuck!”
Jim’s eyes squeezed shut and a sound of pain escaped through his nose. His hands came up to grip the pillow, whimpers coming out of him almost pathetically. Before he could help it, Sam was at his brother’s side, slipping a hand into his little brother’s. Yes, his little brother. His baby brother. Hadn’t he promised he’d always protect him?
That was before Jim abandoned them.
“Sam,” Jim whimpered. “Sam, Sam, I missed you.”
“You too,” Sam admitted. “Why haven’t you contacted us?”
Jim mewled with pain, and although Sam wanted to look away from his face, to see what was causing him so much pain, he couldn’t. He knew Mom and Frank were still at the doorway, just watching. But he couldn’t bring himself to call them over. He squeezed Jim’s hand.
“We were too far in space to contact anyone earthside,” Jim gasped, and Sam realized belatedly it was the reply to his question. “God, Sam. I was beaming down to see you guys and—and there was a transporter malfunction. It started early—ah! –and it was so fast and—and I don’t even have my-my own doctor here orrrrrrrr, dammit. Or Spock.”
Sam felt his brow furrow. “What started early?”
A chuckle of disbelief coursed out of Jim. “If you’d look anywhere but m-my face, you’d know.”
Sam drew his gaze back and, sure enough, there it was.
His brother’s stomach was distended, rounded, full – and he understood. He reached a hand out to touch it, mesmerized. “God, Jim,” he whispered, forgetting at once his grudge against his brother. “You’re having a baby?”
Jim’s answer was to throw back his head and scream.
Mom had been surprisingly supportive of all this, taking over Sam’s place next to the bed and coaching him through the labor. The baby was premature, the doctors told him, and especially given its mixed bloodline the delivery would be dangerous to both parties. With every contraction, Jim would ask if the transporter was fixed, if Spock would be there soon. A nurse had informed him that the man he was asking for – First Officer Spock – had opted to take a shuttle down to the planet and would be down within the hour.
The baby would be born before the man arrived.
Frank was running his fingers through Jim’s hair, whispering apologies for his parenting, how he’d been wrong, how he loved his mother, loved Sam, and yes, even loved Jim. Mom was squeezing his hand tighter with every new noise he released, and Sam refused to leave the poor doctor alone.
It seemed to take very little time before Jim let out one long, throaty groan, loud enough to be a scream, and the infant was expelled from his body, supported wholly by the doctor’s steady hands. A girl. A baby girl.
Jim stared at the baby with exhausted fascination, the doctor clipping the cord immediately and asking Sam if he’d like to cut it. He sent his brother a look, and shockingly found him nodding his support. His hands were steady, though he couldn’t help but feel he was one great tremble, hands covered in goop as the nurses collected the cord blood.
“We thought it’d be a boy,” Jim breathed. He hardly seemed aware that he was expelling the placenta now, eyes following a nurse and his daughter to a small table. Some of her features were alien, Sam noticed – the pointed ears and strange indent in her spine – but he knew he loved her. Knew Jim loved her. Already.
And at once, he remembered that he loved Jim. He remembered Jim’s personality, how he leaped without looking and was too proud to admit to loneliness and how he had depended on him for the parenting their mom and Frank had been unable to provide.
He couldn’t remember Jim ever looking so transfixed – or peaceful.
“It’s good to see you again,” he heard himself say to his brother. Perhaps now wasn’t the best time to have this conversation, not while they were waiting for his new niece to be wrapped up and brought to them. But this conversation was six years late, and he was going to have it whether Jim was paying attention or not. “You should come home. For dinner. Soon.”
“Yeah, sure,” Jim murmured, eyes fixed on his new daughter. Sam couldn’t fault him for it. “Like, when I get out of—yeah.”
Their mother squeezed his hand again. “We have your birthday gifts there,” she whispered.
And then the baby was brought to them again, and Jim tugged his hand away, taking the baby into his arms. “Hey, kid,” he said softly, staring into the infant’s eyes. Sam couldn’t really fault him for it, especially when he was looking just as intently. “You’ll have to forgive your father for not being here to see you. Blame Scotty. Make him talk to you about relativistic physics at two in the morning, okay?”
Sam brushed a finger against her cheek, and a soft sound escaped her. “Careful, Sam,” Jim warned. “Her father’s a touch telepath, and a damned phenomenal one at that. Who knows how strong she’s gonna be.”
“Her father,” Frank said gruffly. “What’s—what’s he like? Is he good to you?”
There was a short silence. “He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met, and that’s saying something,” his brother murmured, voice weak. He must’ve been exhausted. “And he’s an emotionally repressed bastard – aren’t you, Spock?”
Sam turned (hell, the whole family probably did) to find a dark-haired man with pointed ears and eyebrows at the door, and not a second after they saw him he was striding forward, immediately at Jim’s side.
“Your statement is inaccurate,” he whispered, and Sam was somewhat startled by how deep his voice was. He brushed his fingers against Jim’s, eyes flicking to the infant on his chest. “Our son is…?”
“A daughter,” Jim informed him quietly. “Turns out your melds can’t predict everything. Perfectly healthy, if premature, baby girl. She has your ears, Spock.”
Sam watched them interact for a moment, all silence and meaningful looks and an increasing amount of time just staring at the quiet infant on Jim’s chest. This was the man Jim had wanted? His first officer, his…what, boyfriend? Husband? This might not have even been their first child. They might have been together for years before, already have a family…
“We’re staying at my mom’s house,” Jim whispered, and Sam could tell how dangerously close to sleep his brother was. Spock nodded, gently and awkwardly lifting their daughter from Jim’s arms. His brother smiled. “I know you were all about picking out names for a boy, but I had the forethought to consider she might be female. Is the name ‘Natalie’ okay?”
“Yes,” Spock confirmed, and Sam watched his niece relax against the man’s body. “You need rest, Jim.”
“Make nice with my family,” Jim muttered, and then he was out like a light. Spock turned towards them immediately, expression unreadable.
“Thank you for taking care of them,” he said formally, but Sam could see the way his hands tightened on little Natalie. “Jim had been concerned how you would take the news of his pregnancy. I see he had no cause for alarm.”
“Of course not,” his mother said warmly, eyes flicking to her grandchild. “Thank you for taking care of my son. And—and my granddaughter, now…”
She didn’t even have to ask. Spock set the child in her arms, despite the obvious hesitation in his movements. Sam could swear he saw tears in his mother’s eyes as Frank wrapped an arm around her shoulders and Natalie’s hand wrapped around Sam’s finger.