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Next to last chapter.

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For the next two weeks, Spock went about his routine almost in a trance-like state.  He hardly spoke to anyone, and only interacted with others as much as he was required to.  He’d spoken with Nyota Uhura since then, and had told her what happened when she asked how ‘things were going.’

 

“I’m so sorry.”  She said when he’d told her.  “Maybe he’ll come around.”

 

“I do not know.”  Spock replied.  “He may feel that I was attempting to take advantage of is friendship, or may be focused on the stress it would cause his pregnancy.”  Uhura had continued to try to boost his spirits, but it just wasn’t working.  After what seemed like an eternity, Saturday rolled around again.  Spock now had absolutely nothing to look forward to.  He realized, glancing at a clock that it was nearing the time that Jim would arrive for his appointment with Doctor McCoy.  What would he say if Spock was there in the waiting room when he came out?

 

Deciding that forcing a confrontation was not the answer, Spock headed to the labs instead.  However, as he neared the room where one of his experiments was developing, he heard a very familiar, very angry voice coming through an open door.

 

“…Hell is wrong with you!?  GIVE ME THAT DOG!”  Spock, and another cadet who happened to be walking past rushed into the room.  In Jim’s arms was a small, squirming dog, a breed of beagle, Spock believed.  Jim was backing away from two people, one man with the rank of lieutenant by the look of his uniform, and a boy in cadet reds.

 

“Now, lad,” the man was saying with in a heavy accent, “nothing bad’s going to happen to the little guy, he’s just going for a little trip.”

 

“Da.”  Agreed the boy, with an even heavier accent.  He could not have been more than fourteen years old.  “Ve have made sure the calculations are all correct.”

 

“I don’t care how sure you are.”  Snapped Jim.  “Animal testing has been banned for over two hundred years, and I’m pretty sure if there were ever any exceptions, you sure as Hell wouldn’t use an admiral’s dog!”  The Scottish man held up his hands in a placating gesture.

 

“Look lad, if you’ll just hear my theory, perhaps you’ll understand.  You see, I believe that it is possible to beam directly from one planet to another.  If I were to take a grapefruit-”

 

“Then use a fucking grapefruit, not Admiral Archer’s dog!”  Shouted Jim.  He turned to the boy.  “What’s your name?”

 

“Chekov.  Pavel Andreivich.”  Replied the young boy.

 

“You almost participated in what I’m pretty sure is an unauthorized and illegal experiment.  If you’re smart enough to be here at your age, you should be able to figure out that even if this dog wasn’t killed, you’d still probably find yourself kicked out of the Academy with a juvenile record.  I don’t even want to think about what’s going to happen to that guy!”  He jerked a thumb in the older man’s direction as he said that.

 

“Now hold on laddie, the margin for error was miniscule.  And if the dog were to not reappear-” he was cut off once more, now by the boy, Chekov.

 

“Meester Scott, you told me there vas no chance of failure!”  The boy looked stricken by the thought of the dog dying because they had used it for their experiment.  Jim just scowled and turned for the door.  That’s when he saw Spock standing there and froze, the only movement coming from the dog.  For a moment, no one spoke.  Spock was the one to break the silence by addressing the other cadet who’d run into the room with him.

 

“Are you capable of reporting these two to the proper authorities, Mr…?”

 

“Sulu.”  Finished the young man.  “Yeah, I can handle it.”  Spock then looked to Jim, who stared right back at him.  He slowly backed toward the door, not taking his eyes off of him, hoping he would catch the meaning.  He then turned and walked through the doorway.  After a moment, he heard the sound of Jim walking out behind him.  They walked a ways and rounded a few corners before Jim stopped and spoke abruptly.

 

“What did you want to talk about?”  Spock hesitated.

 

“I would like to escort you to your doctor’s appointment.”  He said simply.  Jim frowned.

 

“I’m perfectly capable of walking to Starfleet Medical on my own.  Besides, someone needs to return the dog.”  He held up the beagle for emphasis as he spoke.

 

“I can return the dog and explain the situation after you are safely at Starfleet Medical.”  Said Spock firmly.  A little more gently, he added, “You are thirty-nine weeks pregnant.  It would be logical to have someone to assist you, just in case something unexpected happens.  You have already experienced a high level of stress due to an incident just now.”  Jim frowned.

 

“You sound just like Sam and Aury.”  He muttered.  Then he nodded.  “Fine, let’s go.”  They walked on to Starfleet Medical in silence.  It wasn’t until they were at the doors leading into the building that Jim suddenly turned to Spock.

 

“Why did you kiss me?”  The words were abrupt, like Jim had meant to say more, or something else entirely, but had forced the wrong words out.  Spock could hear something almost like desperation in Jim’s voice.  Spock knew it was time to confess.  He led Jim over to a bench near the building and they sat.  Then, he began to speak.

 

“You already know some details of the story.  I have simply omitted a very important part of them.  I have been very strongly attracted to you from the moment we first met at the camping grounds nearly nine months ago.”  He paused as Jim’s eyes widened, but he didn’t speak, so Spock continued on.  “At first, when I learned of your pregnancy, I believed you to be either promiscuous or unavailable.  Either way, I was determined to not interact with you again.  But we met again, and you were friendly to me.  When I learned that you were unattached and that the child within you was not even yours, I decided to interact with you more, to determine the possibility of a romantic relationship between us.  As time went on, and we continued to reveal things to each other and grow closer as friends, I became more determined to propose some sort of romance between us once your nephew was born.  I would have told you all this sooner, were it not for you telling me that you did not wish to have a relationship of any kind while you were pregnant.  And…” he hesitated.

 

“And what?”  Asked Jim, trying to prompt him.

 

“And I enjoyed being your friend.”  Spock finished.  “I had hoped that if nothing else was possible between us, you would still be my friend.  You are the first friend I have ever had.  I would gladly ignore any feelings of romantic love on my part if it meant preserving that friendship.”  Jim looked truly shocked now.

 

“You’re in love with me?”

 

“I do not know.”  Admitted Spock.  “The only love I have ever experienced is the platonic kind I feel for my parents.  I know there are other words that could be applied to how I feel for you:  Infatuated, charmed, perhaps even smitten.  I believe that romantic love starts with feelings of not only affection for the personality, but a physical attraction as well.  That would be an accurate, if not over-simplified description of how I currently feel for you.”  Jim just looked stunned, a light blush now spreading across his face.  “I…It would help ease my mind to know your feelings on the matter.”  Spock said quietly.

 

“I don’t know what to say.”  Admitted Jim.  “I really want to stay friends with you too, but I never knew you wanted more than that.  God, to think I tried to get you fixed up with Uhura!  You must have thought it was ridiculous.”  Spock shook his head.

 

“You were simply trying to ease my loneliness here, just as when you tried to introduce me to Doctor McCoy in the hopes that he would become my friend as well.”  Jim gave a chuckle at the memory of the nearly disastrous meeting.

 

“So basically, we’ve been going on almost weekly not-quite-dates since we met.”  Spock felt his own face heat.

 

“I was given to understand that such activities are acceptable among friends and have only as much romantic significance as the people doing them allow them to.”

 

“I guess that’s true.”  Replied Jim.  “But if you were so intent on keeping quiet until the baby was born, why did you kiss me?”  Spock’s answer came slowly.

 

“Over the past several months, I have opened up to you in ways I never have to anyone else.  I believe that you did the same.  When you spoke of your mother, and her rejection of you as a child, I wanted nothing more than to comfort you.  Perhaps some part of me thought that if I added physical closeness to the mental closeness and…because I had wanted it for a long time.”  He stopped speaking, hoping for a response from Jim.

 

“I still don’t know what to say to you.”  He admitted quietly.  “I need to think about all this.  Can you give me some time to do that?”  Spock just nodded.

 

“Of course.”  He gestured to the dog.  “I will return him while you go in for your appointment.  Do you need someone to accompany you back to your family’s apartment as well?”

 

“No.”  Replied Jim, shaking his head as he handed the beagle over.  “I’m not going back this time.  Yesterday, I had the male equivalent of Braxton-Hicks contractions, a false alarm.  They’re worried that it could turn into the real thing though, so I’m staying here for the last week, and then my recovery.  I was just going for a last, long stroll when I heard the dog barking and found those guys about to try to beam him to another planet.”

 

“I see.”  Replied Spock, feeling a little sick about the fact that Jim might have been sick or hurt, and he would not have known about it.  Jim stood up slowly.

 

“I’ll just go and…think about things.”  He said quietly.  With a tentative smile and wave, he entered the building.  Spock sat there for a moment, heedless of the squirming animal in his arms, and allowed himself a measure of hope.

 

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For the next week, Spock tried to hold onto that hope.  He kept busy, hoping that if he had plenty to occupy himself with, he wouldn’t constantly think of Jim.  He had to give some testimony about the incident with the dog, and the two people involved, Pavel Chekov and Montgomery Scott, were both on probation.  It was much more serious for Mr. Scott, since he’d been quite outspoken in the past.  Chekov was a minor and had not fully understood the consequences of his actions.  It seemed that Mr. Sulu was intent on becoming a mentor of sorts to the boy.

 

Uhura had asked him about Jim, and was quite enthused by what he told her.  Apparently, the fact that Jim was thinking about things had some promise.  A great surprise though, had been come about three days after he and Jim spoke.  Spock rose from his mediation mat to see that he had a message incoming from Vulcan.  Perhaps his mother would be able to advise him on what to do now.  To his great surprise, it was his father’s face that appeared before him when he accepted the call.

 

“Spock.”  He said, inclining his head.  “You appear to be well.”

 

“I am.”  Replied Spock, doing his best to recover from his surprise.  “Is there a particular reason you contacted me?”  Belatedly, he realized that his words were rather harsh, but Sarek simply nodded his head.

 

“Your mother has informed me of the goings on in your life since you left Vulcan.  I am aware of the fact that you have met a human that you have a desire to bond with.”

 

“I do not yet know if that is a possibility.”  Said Spock.  “He has become aware of my interest in him and is uncertain about a pursuing a romantic relationship with me.”

 

“I see.”  Said Sarek.  “Interspecies relations can be difficult, especially between two as different as ours.  Your mother and I were both initially doubtful of the chances of success in our own relationship.  We were both so accustomed to our separate ways that we were uncertain that we could find a way that could simply be ours.  However, with work and care, we did.  And we have lived quite well together because of it.”  Spock was a little stunned by his father’s words.

 

“Do you mean to tell me that you approve of my choice?  You have not even met Jim.”  As the words left Spock’s mouth, he almost cursed himself.  But Sarek responded.

 

“Based on what your mother has told me, it seems you were right to enlist in Starfleet.  If you had accepted the invitation to join the Vulcan Science Academy, your life would have continued as it was; empty and unfulfilling.  I too deviated from my family’s chosen path when I married your mother, but I do not regret it, because it was the right thing for me to do.  Just as being there is right for you.”  There was a long pause while Spock absorbed his father’s words.

 

“Thank you.”  He finally said.  “I am pleased you approve of my choices.”

 

They spent the next hour or so discussing what they had both been doing since Spock had left.  As they said goodbye and disconnected, Spock felt as if a great weight had been lifted off of his shoulders.  Sarek had voiced his approval of Spock’s new lifestyle and even expressed interest in meeting Jim if they did indeed become involved.  It was almost too much to believe.

 

Spock kept himself busy for the next few days, feeling even better than he had after Jim had promised to think about things.  Friday night, he was meditating, thinking about the fact that Jim’s surgery would be the very next day, until an unexpected call startled him.  He opened his comm to find Aurelan Kirk looking back at him.

 

“Spock,” she said, looking rather harried, “I’m sorry to bother you, but Jim’s been taken into surgery.”

 

“Is he alright?”  Asked Spock, trying to conceal his anxiousness.

 

“He’s fine, but he started having contractions yesterday, and though they slowed things down a bit, they couldn’t stop it.  They figured one day early won’t hurt the baby, so they’re operating now.”  She paused.  “I’m telling you this because I really think Jim would like to see you afterward.”

 

“Are you certain?”  Asked Spock.  He didn’t know if Jim had told her anything about his feelings, or if she simply though Jim might like to have a friend there.

 

“I know he would.”  She paused.  “I know something happened between you two, that you have some feelings for him that maybe worried him a bit, and you have some things to work out, but I really think you should be here when he wakes up.”

 

“Very well.”  Replied Spock.  “I will be on my way shortly.”

 

As soon as he arrived at Starfleet Medical, Spock found a nurse who directed him to the private area where the Kirk family was waiting.  Sam and Aurelan looked at him but didn’t really say anything, except to tell him that Jim was fine and they were waiting for Doctor McCoy to arrive with news.  Almost thirty minutes later, the longest thirty minutes of Spock’s life, he came out with a small bundle in his arms.

 

“Jim’s doing fine.”  He told them with a smile.  “We both thought you’d like to meet this little guy right away.”  He held the bundle out to Sam, who took it slowly and carefully.  Spock watched as he and Aurelan stood close to each other and stared down at the tiny pink face of their newborn son with tears in their eyes.

 

“Hello, Peter James Kirk.”  Whispered Sam.  “I’m your dad, and this is your mom.”  He handed the boy to Aurelan, who now had tears running down her cheeks.  Spock began to feel like he was intruding, so he turned to Doctor McCoy.

 

“May I see Jim?”  He asked quietly.  McCoy gave him a knowing look and nodded.

 

“He’s right through that door.”  He gestured to the left.  Spock walked away from the new family and headed through the door.  He immediately saw Jim resting, looking somewhat drowsy.

 

“Jim.”  He said quietly.  Jim turned, his eyes widening when he saw him there.

 

“Spock.”  He said, looking stunned.  “What are you doing here?”

 

“Aurelan called me.”  He replied quietly.  “She informed me that you were having your surgery and that she believed I should be here.  I agreed with her belief.”  Jim nodded slowly.

 

“I’m glad you’re here.”  He admitted.  “I’ve been thinking about everything you told me, and I’ve got some things I really need to say to you.”  He took a deep breath.

 

“I knew you were attractive right from the start, but I didn’t think a Vulcan would ever be interested in a human.  That’s why I didn’t flirt with you, even out of habit.  But after a few weeks, after we’d started spending more time together, I kind of realized that I had a little crush on you.  I figured it was harmless.  And besides, I’d already decided not to date while I was pregnant, and I’d told you as much.  So I just ignored it.  Then we really started to open up to each other, and I got scared that if you knew I had a crush on you, you’d avoid me like when you first found out I was pregnant.”  Spock almost winced at the memory.  Knowing Jim as he did now, it was almost frightening to think that he might have never gotten to know him at all.  Jim continued speaking.

 

“It got pretty hard a couple of times.  There were moments when I knew I what I was feeling wasn’t necessarily friendly.  Like when I saw that Uhura was into you.  I knew that might be a good way to get over what I was feeling, if you were with someone else, but then I was just so happy and flattered that you would rather ignore someone like her in favor of me.  And when I found out that you were taking that drug so you would be able to be around me, that really made me feel wanted, even though I didn’t know how exactly you wanted me.”  Spock blushed a little at that.  “And some things, the trip to the zoo, and spending Christmas at my family’s place, I wouldn’t have just done that for some temporary friend I made on a trip.”  Jim paused again.

 

“When you kissed me, for a second I couldn’t think of anything except the kiss.  Then I got scared again.  I’ve know friends who just fell into bed together for whatever reason and couldn’t stand to be around each other anymore because they couldn’t make it work, as friends or as lovers.  I’ve never hit it off with a friend the way I did with you, and I couldn’t stand the thought of losing that.  But when you told me what you really wanted, and how long you had, and all the Starfleet stuff on top of it, it made me wonder.  I’ve still got my home, my life, in Riverside to think about, but I’ve got stuff to think about here too.”  Jim fell silent.

 

“What do you wish to do?”  Asked Spock quietly.  Jim looked up at him and smiled slowly, letting a bit of the vibrant, confident Jim he knew peek through.

 

“You know, there’s still a few places in the park I haven’t seen.”  He said slowly.  Spock felt himself slowly losing the tension he’d been feeling since Aurelan called him.  “And Admiral Archer really wants me to stick around while those Axanar delegates are still here.  He offered to have me put up in a nice room on the Academy grounds and everything.”  He slowly reached for Spock’s hand.  Spock could feel sparks of hope and affection through the physical connection.  “Maybe we could get together in a couple weeks, do some stuff.”  Spock allowed himself a small smile.  Jim was going to give him, give them, a chance.

 

“I believe the expression is ‘it is a date.’”

Chapter End Notes:

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All that's left now is the epilogue.

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