Required Reading

I don't own anything Star Trek, The Dark Knight Rises, The Fantastic Four, or Ninja Assassin. Characters you don't recognize belong exclusively to me. I tend to pair male protagonists with women of color, specifically black women. If this poses a problem with your ability to suspend disbelief, then this fanfic blog isn't for you. Otherwise, do enjoy.

11/22/2011

Prototype (1/3)

First published: December 2009
Summary:  Sequel to "What He Needed."  The consequences of grief.



Part I:  Genesis

I resumed my position on the Enterprise and we headed off for our five year mission to seek out new worlds and boldly go where no woman has gone before.  Captain Kirk stepped into his official role with the ease of slipping on a pair of well-worn shoes.  So did Mr. Scott, who ran Engineering as if he designed the Enterprise himself.  Everything was smooth and easy, and our official maiden voyage was a few days underway when I realized that something wasn’t quite right with me.

The captain was kind enough to give Spock and me our own private quarters.  It was no longer a secret that we were a couple.  Apparently, Scotty told anyone within earshot about our behavior on the transporter pad.  Neither one of us was embarrassed by it, so the captain’s insistence that we move in together was very much appreciated.  We needed to be together.

I have always enjoyed the best of health.  I have taken steps to maintain my good health with a strict diet, exercise and regular checkups.  So when I woke early one morning with a pounding headache, it was a surprise.  Spock slept peacefully behind me, his arms around me.  I did not want to wake him, but my headache was excruciating.  I sat up on the edge of the bed and massaged my temples and then the back of my neck.  I took several deep breaths and got some water, but nothing helped.

The headache was blistering, hurting my eyes and ears.  I made a cold compress and lay back down, placing it over my eyes.  Hopefully, it would wear off before I had to report to the bridge.  It did not.  I did not want to worry Spock, so I went to work.  But halfway through my shift, I could not take it anymore.  The bridge was very bright and there were thousands of blinking lights and beeping noises.  My earpiece was uncomfortable; it hurt while it was in my ear.  I felt nauseous.  My breasts were tender and my body ached.  I thought my period was about to start.

Spock and I were already in love before he lost his mother and Vulcan.  We became even more so when the Enterprise returned to Earth for repairs.  He and I spent the ensuing weeks grieving together and it cemented our relationship.  So he knew that I was not feeling well even though I tried to hide it.  He came over to my console.

“Lieutenant Uhura, are you not well?”

He would know that I was lying if I said that I was fine and I would not insult him by doing so.

“I have a slight headache, that’s all.”

“You look pale,” he said.  “You should report to Medical Bay.”

“I’m fine, Commander.”

He raised his eyebrow and lowered his voice.  “Please,” he said.  Then he went over to the captain and they had words.  Spock returned to me.  “I’m relieving you, Lieutenant.  You are ordered to report to Dr. McCoy.”

My head hurt so bad that it did not matter that he had to order me to go to sickbay.  Dr. McCoy gave me a hypo to relax the muscles around my head and neck.  I lay on the cot in sickbay for thirty minutes and then felt good enough to go back to my duty.  I did not tell him about my achy breasts; I knew it was time for my cycle to start.  It was sacrilege that Starfleet physicians had not yet found a cure for premenstrual syndrome, but we could fly across the galaxy.

“No,” he said when I tried to get up.

“I’m fine, Dr. McCoy.  The injection worked.

“Lieutenant Uhura, you are experiencing a migraine headache.  Migraine headaches do not just go away.  What I gave you is a temporary remedy.  You need to go to your quarters and lay down for the rest of the day and night.  You should have only dim light and very little noise.  I will send a hypo with you to use when the pain returns.  I’m going to inform the captain that you need forty-eight hours of peace and quiet.”

“Forty-eight hours—Dr. McCoy, I have a job to do!”

“You are not in a position to do it as well as you should, Lieutenant.  I’m sorry.  You need to be in a quiet, dark place and the bridge is anything but that.  The captain will understand.  Now, would you like for me to inform Commander Spock?”

“No,” I said.  “I’ll tell him.”

“I’ll check on you in four to six hours.  Go get some rest.”

I was so relieved that Spock insisted that I go to sickbay and even more relieved when Dr. McCoy ordered me to our quarters to rest.  I was exhausted.  The suite was cool and dark.  I nearly tore my uniform trying to get the zipper down and removed everything but my panties.  I got into bed and was asleep the moment my head touched the pillow.
*        *        *
I awoke to the touch of Spock’s fingers against my face.  He was sitting on the edge of our bed, caressing me.

Ashayam, are you better?”

“I am now,” I said.  My head didn’t hurt like before and I was hungry.  My breasts still hurt, but that was nothing compared to my headache.  Spock would know by touching me how I felt, but he chose not to take advantage of our link.  He would never intrude if I didn’t want him to.

“What is your prognosis?”

I made a face.  “A migraine headache.  Dr. McCoy is making me take two days off.”
He nodded.  “If my understanding of the phenomenon is correct, it is best that you do so.  The activity on the bridge will only exacerbate your pain, as I noticed today.”

“I don’t want to miss two days of work, Spock.”

“It is out of your hands, k’diwa.  The captain will agree with the doctor’s assessment, as do I.  If it is necessary, he will order you not to report to duty.  I do hope that it will not be necessary.”

I nodded.  “It won’t be.”  I wouldn’t do that to him.

I was still in bed with the sheet over me.  He glanced over my body and then looked at me again. “I came to check on you, Nyota.  I must report back to the bridge.  I will return after my shift.  I insist that you continue to rest.”

“I will,” I said.  I knew better than to argue with my husband.  I lay back down and was asleep moments after he left me.
*        *        *
I was awakened again, this time by Dr. McCoy, who was doing a reading with his tricorder.  My headache was back and my stomach was in knots.  My breasts throbbed.  I felt bile rising in my throat and got up to run to the bathroom.  I barely made it to the toilet before I threw up.  McCoy was right behind me and I was humiliated for him to see me like this, but I had no choice.  I threw up until there was nothing left, and still I kept retching.  I couldn’t even be upset that he was seeing me nearly naked.

McCoy wet a towel.  He helped me up and back to bed.  I wiped my face with the towel and lay down again.  I felt horrible.  Not only did my head hurt, but also my stomach and I was acutely aware of my aching breasts.  I was hot all over, yet I was trembling.

 “Lieutenant, tell me how you are feeling.”

“I’m sleepy; I feel like I can’t get enough sleep.  My head is killing me.  My body aches, my stomach hurts, my breasts are sore and I’m so tired.  Do I have the flu?” I asked.

He was moving the tricorder over me, studying the readouts intently.  Then he sat back in his chair and smiled.  “No.  You’re knocked up.”

“What?”

“You’re pregnant.”  He was almost cheerful, which said a lot for him.

“I’m pregnant?”  I said.  I was dumbfounded.

“Yes,” he said.  “I suspected it this morning, but I was not sure about it until now.  Lieutenant Uhura, you’re going to have a baby.  According to my readings, you’re about four weeks into your first trimester.”

I did not know how to respond to that, so my next question was decidedly ridiculous. “How?”

McCoy looked at me.  “How else would you get pregnant, Lieutenant?”

I shook my head.  “I mean, I know how, but…”

“Why don’t you get some rest,” he said.  “I’m going to send you some instructions on your PADD, and we are going to start your prenatal care immediately.  I take it the commander does not know?”

“No,” I said.  “I’ll tell him when…when I’m ready.”

“You’re going to have to tell him soon, Lieutenant.  The commander is ridiculously perceptive and I dare say he is going to notice that your body is changing.”

“I’m not showing yet.”

McCoy shook his head.  “Spock is a hobgoblin in every sense of the word, but there is nothing wrong with his acuity.  Your breasts are already swollen.  Other symptoms vary from woman to woman, but that is a constant.  You might be sick your entire first trimester, or you may not.  You may crave certain things or you may not.  You will need to eat and rest, however.  You can’t hide this from him.  He’s going to notice your physical and emotional changes, no matter how slight.

“Don’t call my husband a hobgoblin, Dr. McCoy,” I said.

“Green. Blooded. Hobgoblin.” he said.  “So you are married?”

“We bonded while the ship was being repaired.  It was very private and very recent.”  It might have been five weeks ago.

“So you’re Mrs. Hobgoblin,” he said.  “I won’t say anything, but do not be surprised if Commander Spock asks you if you’re pregnant.”

“Doctor, I need to get my head around this myself.  I need to get used to the idea before I tell Spock.”

“Get used to it fast,” McCoy said. 
*        *        *
I remained in bed after Dr. McCoy left.  I lay in the dark, my temples throbbing, breasts hurting, stomach rolling.  I was going to have a baby.  I was going to be a mother.  Spock and I were going to have a child.  We never spoke of having children; our relationship was not even two years old and we were both focused on our careers. I knew that it would come up eventually, after we were established.  I took care to maintain my quarterly birth control injections, but so much happened over the past few months that I could not remember if I got the last one.  Spock was despondent over the loss of his mother and his home planet; my energy was focused entirely on him and we made love often.  Apparently, we also made a baby.

There was no point in being upset.  I never planned to get pregnant so fast, but I did.  I did not know how it was going to affect my job, but it was.  I didn’t know what was going to happen, but it didn’t matter.  I was going to give my husband a child.  I suppose it made perfect, symmetrical sense, and I hoped it was a girl.

When Spock returned to our quarters, the captain was with him.  Kirk looked worried.

“Are you all right, Uhura?”

I was weak and felt wobbly, but I nodded.  “I’m fine.” 

“Bones told me that you are on bed rest for the next two days.”

“I’m sorry about that, Cap—”

He held up a hand.  “Not one word about it.  Just take care of yourself; you’re no good to me or this ship if you are sick.  I’ll allow you as much time off as you require, if you need it.”

“Sir, I want to do my job.”

“And you will,” he said.  “Just not now.  And Lieutenant, if Bones has to be the one to tell me that you need rest, I’ll be very upset.  Now, get some sleep.  Ensign Yao has things under control.”

He got up to leave.  Spock nodded at him.  “Thank you for your concern, Captain.”

Kirk shrugged.  “No thanks required, Commander.  I’m a naturally great guy.”
*        *        *
After he was gone, Spock made me some soup.  It was more like a broth, and it smelled wonderful.  I could only manage a few spoonfuls, but it settled my stomach.  He wiped my face with a wet towel and brought me a nightgown to wear.  I took a brief shower and joined him in bed.

“Do you still suffer from your headache, Nyota?”

“It comes and goes in waves.  I can deal with it, and McCoy says it’ll pass as long as I remain in peace and quiet and darkness.”

He put his arms around me and pulled me against him.  “I want you to sleep,” he said.  “I want you to rest as much as possible.  I wish no harm to come to you, k’diwa.  I would be bereft if something should befall you.”

“I’m going to be all right,” I said.  Now that I knew why I was sick, I could deal with it.  I fell asleep in his arms.  Since losing his mother, he was able to communicate verbally some of what he felt.  But only with me.  With everyone else, Spock was as sedate as he always was.
*        *        *
When I was ready to return to bridge duty, I encountered some setbacks.  First of all, I was sick.  I was on my knees in the bathroom vomiting until my head hurt.  Fortunately Spock was already gone, so he did not see me.  After fifteen minutes of that, I tried to get dressed.  I couldn’t get my hair right, couldn’t get my ponytail centered, and couldn’t manage to collect all of the loose ends.  That was frustrating in and of itself.  My breasts ached so bad that I couldn’t bear to put on my bra.  I looked in the mirror and sighed.  They were even more swollen than before.  My nipples were enlarged and my areolae darker than normal.  I could barely stand to touch them.  I had to report to work.  I refused to be late.  How was I going to deal with this? 

“Oh, little one,” I said, “you are really making things difficult for me.”  I decided not to wear a bra, and slipped on my black shell but found the fabric too scratchy.  I decided to leave off the shell and slipped my uniform over my head.  It too rubbed uncomfortably against my nipples, and to my dismay, they were erect.  I tried to zip up my uniform and the zipper refused to budge once it hit my bosom.  I forced myself not to cry.  The last thing I needed was Captain Kirk leering at my chest.  He still had a thing for me.

McCoy was right.  Spock would definitely notice this.  I’d have to wear my Starfleet cardigan over my uniform to hide my breasts from him.  I was going to have to wing it today and I knew I had to tell him.

After my shift, I desperately wanted to run back to our quarters and rip off the uniform.  My breasts throbbed and my nipples felt like they were on fire.  I had to be very careful while on duty to make sure I didn’t rub up against anything and to my utter dismay, Kirk kept asking me why I was wearing a sweater when it was so warm.

I found Spock in the library, doing research and walked over to where he was standing.  I was so hot I thought that I would melt.

“Commander,” I said, touching his arm.

“Lieutenant,” he said.  “Should you not be in your quarters, resting?”

“I’m on my way there, but I want you to come with me.  I have something to tell you.”

He replaced the book on the shelf and followed me out.  When we got to our suite, I rushed in and immediately took off the cardigan.  I was sweating profusely.  He stared at me.

“Nyota,” he said.

“Can you get me two wet washcloths?  Cold water, please?”  I grabbed the zipper and yanked it down.  I nearly ripped my uniform trying to take it off.  I was so uncomfortable.  My breasts screamed for relief.  I suffered all morning at my console, but I couldn’t take it anymore. I was too warm and was desperate for the coolness of our quarters.

Spock came out of the bathroom with two wet cloths.  “Nyota,” he said again.  He walked up to me.

I was looking in the mirror at my breasts, which were even more swollen than they were this morning.  I couldn’t help it.  I started crying.  I let my tears fall as I gazed at my body, already adjusting to the life within.  Spock came up behind me and, wonderful man that he was, cupped a damp washcloth against each breast, covering them with his elegant hands.  The cold felt so good.  I closed my eyes.  When he touches me, I don’t hurt.

“Nyota,” he whispered in my ear, and then started dropping light kisses on my shoulder.  I covered his hands with my own.  “Ashayam,” he breathed.  He began caressing my aching breasts.  And he was aroused.

“Spock,” I said, relishing the feel of him against me.  My breasts throbbed in his hands.   “Spock, please take the washcloths off.”  The material was starting to scratch my entirely too sensitive nipples.  He moved his hands and allowed the rags to hit the floor.  He cradled my breasts again and buried his face in my neck.  He was so warm; he felt so good against me.  I loved him so much, but I hated the way I was feeling.

“Nyota,” he breathed, “you carry my child.”

I was surprised.  I’d done everything I could to keep it from him for the past few days.  But Dr. McCoy was right.  He knew.

K’diwa,” he murmured, kissing my ear.  “You are going to have our baby.  Is this what you wanted to tell me?”

“How did you know?”

“I know every inch of you, my love.  I know every curve and every plane of your body.  I know your scent.  I know how you move, how you look, how you feel.  I know that you are never sick, and that when you became so, it was an indication of a larger situation.  Your fragrance has changed.  I know that you suffer from what the doctor calls morning sickness.  I see that your breasts are enlarged.  I know that your headaches and heightened sensitivity are the result of the baby that grows inside of you.  Did you think that I would not know?”

I should have known better.  He would have recognized that I was pregnant just by touching me.  I really wasn’t thinking straight.

“I…I wanted to get used to the idea before I told you.  I didn’t plan to get pregnant so fast.  I wanted us to…I wanted to give us time to…We’ve only been married a month and I…”

He was taking down my hair.  “It does not matter, Nyota.  This is not something I would have tried to plan, nor should you have.”

I eased into him.  He continued to soothe my breasts, which did not hurt so much now.  He was still aroused and I moaned softly.  “I think I missed my last injection due to what happened, and…”

“Are you trying to explain to me how you got pregnant?  Ashayam, there is no need.  I was present when you conceived.”  His kisses were becoming slower, deeper. 

“I don’t want this to…affect our…” I trailed off once I realized how stupid I sounded.

“Surely you understand that it will,” he said.  His hands left my breasts and began rubbing my belly.   “How can it not?  You are going to change and I am going to adore watching you change as my baby grows within you, and this will affect our lives.  I am not disturbed by this.  It would be illogical.”

“Spock…oh, Spock…”  His kisses were more intense now.  I could lose myself in him.

“In my time of greatest pain, you gave me what I needed.  I do not regret the life that we created from my grief.  Do not fear, k’diwa.  All will be well.”

He knew that I was scared.  I loved this man so much.  One hand went lower, inside my panties.  He wanted me, needed me still.  I turned to meet his kiss and we were like that for a moment until my breathing quickened.  I lay my head against his shoulder and allowed my desire to wash over me.  His fingers were deep inside me, pulsing, pressing the spot just behind my opening.  He was holding me up; my feet were off the floor and I rode his hand.  My climax was potent quicksilver and it drenched his fingers.

“Oh,” I moaned.  “Oh god…oh my god…”

And then I was in his arms.  He carried me to our bed and removed his clothes.  He held my hands against the pillows and kissed me slowly.  He lightly trailed his lips to my throat, kissing the hollow.

“You are more beautiful to me now than ever before,” he said, then continued kissing me.

“What about when I’m eight months pregnant and fat as a pig?”  I couldn’t help it; I couldn’t bear for him to be put off by me when I started showing.

“I will love you more,” he said, pausing to look in my eyes.  “Are you afraid that I will not?”

“I’m going to get big, Spock.  I’m going to waddle, I’m going to have swollen ankles and I’m going to be a bloated horse!  I won’t be as I am right now.”

Ashayam, that is illogical.  You are not a horse.  You must increase your girth if you are to carry a healthy child.  I will not love you any less than I do at this moment.  Every kilogram you gain is a sacrifice for our baby.  How can I not revere you for surrendering your body to nurture our child?  That is irrational.”

“Promise me,” I said.  My emotions were unbalanced.

“I promise,” he said.  I’m sure he thought it was illogical for him to promise me something I already knew he would give, but I couldn’t help it.

From the touch of his fingers, I was comforted.  He made love to me, and it was tender yet passionate.  He was gentle in his adulation of my breasts and covered my belly with insistent kisses.  He tasted me, licking in long, slow strokes, closing his lips around my clitoris.  I couldn’t help it; my entire body was sensitive to his masterful touch.  He sucked on me until I came again and then he murmured something I couldn’t understand.  Then he was kissing my lips again and I felt him inside me.  We rocked together in our own rhythm, staring at one another.  He was careful not to press against my breasts.  He held my hands down again and moved faster.  I slid my legs over his hips.  He wrapped his arm around one of my thighs and pressed harder into me.  I cried out; I’m not even sure what language I was speaking.

“Nyota,” he moaned, and came inside me.
*        *        *
Later, he was trailing kisses against my belly.  I stroked his hair.  There was no need for words.  He allayed all my fears and reservations.  I loved him so much.

“I will kiss you here every day of your pregnancy if you so wish, k’diwa.”

“Only if you want to,” I said.  My head didn’t hurt and I didn’t feel queasy.  Only my breasts ached.

“I will want to,” he said.  “I will take care of everything.  I want you to do nothing except care for yourself and our baby.  I will speak to the captain and arrange for you to have more comfortable seating and frequent breaks.  I will order new uniforms and clothing from the ship’s stores.  I will indulge your cravings.  I will do my part to ensure your pregnancy is easy.”

“You already make things easy for me, Spock.”

“I want you under no more stress than you must be, Nyota.  I know that you are determined and can take care of yourself.  I insist that you allow me to care for you, as your adun.”

I wasn’t about to argue with him.

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