I can spend many hours gazing upon my offspring if I have the time to do so. I found myself in a state of wonder when I held them in my arms. At five weeks and two days old, they were already starting to exhibit distinctive personality characteristics. Nzinga was feisty while Syran was placid. Syran tended to require longer bouts of nursing than his sister, and he slept more than she. Nzinga liked to wiggle and move and it was difficult to keep her still. Syran was easier to manage. Nzinga made more noises than her brother and Syran cried less than she did. It was very easy for Nyota to elicit a positive emotional response from our daughter than from our son. Nzinga was fond of sticking her fist in her mouth and Syran had a tendency to raise his eyebrows in a manner similar to my own.
I informed my father of Nyota’s pregnancy some time ago and he was pleased that she birthed two healthy Vulcan offspring. He would beam aboard the Enterprise in a few days to visit.
I sat in Nyota’s rocking chair one evening, cradling my daughter. Nyota was exhausted. She slept peacefully, curled around Syran, who had been nursing. Nzinga awoke with a cry and I was tending to her. She was very much like her mother. She has Nyota’s complexion and dark hair in the form of very large coils. She has her eyes, but my distinctive Vulcan features. She stared at me as I fed her. Nzinga fit perfectly in my arms. She was exactly three point one kilograms. She smelled unlike anything I have ever experienced. I could not describe my daughter’s fragrance, but it is comparable only to her mother, and it was a scent I was fond of. Syran has my complexion and my features, but he too, has his mother’s eyes. He is two point nine kilograms and has no hair. Like his sister, he had his own unique scent and I was fond it as well.
I have been researching human child development ever since Nyota finally acknowledged her pregnancy. It was an unfamiliar experience, caring for an infant, but I quickly assimilated from watching my wife tend to our children. I learned how to bathe and groom them, how to clean them when they soiled themselves, and how to comfort them whenever they were upset or tired. Now it gave me great pleasure to hold my son or my daughter as they slept. Nyota showed me how to hold the bottle when feeding the babies and how to encourage them to expel the gases that accumulated once they fed. I had to do this with Nzinga. I placed her on my shoulder and rubbed her back until she released that recognizable noise tinged with that familiar odor. She made babbling sounds and I continued to rub her back, absorbing the simple satisfaction she emitted. It was at these times when I was grateful that I did not complete the discipline of kohlinar. I would have been denied the marvel of my children had I done so.
When I knew that Nzinga was asleep, I placed her back in the crib. I removed my son from the bed and placed him in the crib after checking to make sure he had not soiled himself. Nyota shifted, coming awake when she did not feel Syran beside her.
“Spock,” she said, her voice tinged with fear, “where’s the baby?”
“I have placed him in the crib so that you may rest. He is sleeping still. I dare say he feeds too much.”
She nodded, lying back down. I knew that she was exhausted. “Sometimes I think you’re right. How long have you been up, adun?”
“One hour, twenty-six minutes, and forty-two seconds. Nzinga was hungry and soiled. I changed her and nourished her.”
“Come to bed,” she said.
I returned to the warmth of our bed and embraced my wife. She relaxed against me and within moments, she was asleep again.
I have done my part to continue the Vulcan line, as Nyota and I have decided to raise our children on New Vulcan. I am also certain that Syran and Nzinga will not be the last of our offspring. I must ensure that Nyota starts receiving her injections once more until we are settled on New Vulcan. Not being intimate is out of the question, as my wife is alluring and enticing, and lovemaking strengthens our link. The injections are the most reliable way to prevent future progeny until we are established, and then we will have more children. Nyota is young and healthy and capable of bearing many offspring. I think four will be sufficient. Had it not been for the destruction of Vulcan, I would have been satisfied with two children.
* * *
Captain Kirk made a visit to our domicile three weeks later when the children were sufficiently old enough. He cleared it with me while on the bridge during the alpha shift and I agreed to it. He stopped by after his shift was complete.
“Commander Spock,” he said. “I came by to see Nyota and the twins. They need to get to know their Uncle Jim.”
“I am sorry, Commander. As I am fully aware that I have no siblings and you are not in any way related to Nyota, I fail to see how you could be the uncle to my children.”
He shook his head and entered the suite. Nyota was in the makeshift nursery, feeding Nzinga. The captain entered and stood over her to gaze at the baby. “She’s so beautiful, Nyota. I find it amazing that Spock was capable of siring such a pretty baby girl.”
“You might be surprised at what my husband is capable of, Captain.” She smiled at him. When nursing our children, Nyota was always tranquil, and when she was, so was I. For the most part.
“Is that right?” he said and looked at me. I was holding Syran. “Can I hold him?”
I looked at Nyota, who nodded her head, and handed the captain my son. He took him with more care than I expected him to exhibit and held him. Syran stared up at him.
“Hey, little Jim,” he said, smiling at the baby. Syran actually reached for his face and made a cooing sound as if he was content to be held by the captain. Fascinating. It took Nyota longer to get Syran to make the same sounds.
Nyota laughed. Her movement caused Nzinga’s blanket to fall down, uncovering our nursing daughter. Nzinga squirmed and squalled at the sudden temperature change, taking her mouth off Nyota’s breast. She covered herself, but not before glancing at the captain. I knew she was hoping that he did not see what happened, but he did. He was staring at her, gently bouncing Syran, but his eyes were riveted to my wife. Nyota secured Nzinga’s blanket and adjusted her back to her breast. Nzinga went quiet again as she continued to nurse. The entire moment took four point two seconds, but that was quite long enough for me.
The room was silent. Nyota broke it by murmuring an endearment to our daughter and then by addressing Captain Kirk.
“Don’t bounce him too hard, Captain. He just ate.”
“He’s fine,” he said. But he hadn’t taken his eyes off Nyota and I was not pleased about the change in the atmosphere of our domicile. I moved to the captain.
“I’ll take him now,” I said. Captain Kirk looked at me and I could tell he was fully aware of my displeasure. He handed Syran to me and I put him on my shoulder. Syran rubbed his face against my neck and I found it satisfying.
“You do that well, Commander. I tell you, this whole fatherhood thing has given me a new respect for you.”
“Thank you, Captain. If you do not mind, I must ask you to leave now.”
“Why are you always kicking me out, Spock? I wanted to hold her as well.” He motioned his head in Nyota’s direction.
“As you can see, Captain, that is impossible as Nzinga is feeding.” I was not entirely sure it was my daughter he was referring to.
“Yeah,” he said. “I see that. I can wait for her to finish.”
“I prefer that you do not.”
He looked at me. “Why don’t you want me around Nyota and the children?”
“Captain, please let it go,” Nyota said. “Don’t provoke him.”
He turned to look at her. “It’s a simple question. I just want to know if he’s jealous.”
“Please leave, Captain. This is not an appropriate line of conversation. My children need to be nourished and bathed.”
Captain Kirk looked at me, tilting his head in a supercilious manner. I did not know what he was thinking, but I knew that I did not want him to see any more of Nyota than he already had.
“Answer my question and then I’ll get out of your hair. Are you jealous of me?”
“I find such a question ridiculous, Captain. I see no reason why I should be envious of you.”
“Boys,” Nyota said. “Stop it. Now. Captain, if you please,” she said, appealing to Kirk.
Nzinga squalled as if agreeing with her mother. She waved her little fist in the air.
Kirk gazed at my wife and nodded. “Okay,” he said. Then he looked at me. “I’ll only ask you again, Spock, when it’s just you and me. Have an answer ready, all right?”
“Certainly, Captain.” He would not prefer the answer I was prepared to give him.
Kirk turned and left our quarters. Nyota shook her head. “Spock, I’m sorry about that. I thought Nzinga’s blanket was secure.”
“I am aware of that, k’diwa. But the fact remains is that he saw more of you than I would prefer.”
“Well, we can’t do anything about it now.”
Nzinga squalled again and Syran joined her.
“I would hope that it does not happen again, Nyota.”
“It won’t, Spock. But you know he does that to aggravate you and you are allowing him to control you. He likes irritating people. I assure you, all he wants to do is annoy you. And it’s working.”
“I do not believe it is mere annoyance that drives him, ashayam.”
For the most part, I have always been ruled by logic and facts. However, I admit that my feelings for Nyota lay outside the boundary of reason and science. I knew that I was possessive and protective of her. It could be entirely possible that I was assigning more meaning to the captain’s behavior toward my wife than was actually warranted. She seemed to think that was the case, but I did not believe so.
Syran started crying and Nzinga did as well. We turned our attention to our children and spoke no more of the matter. Yet it still gave me pause. The captain saw my nursing daughter and my wife’s naked breast. That did not please me and it would not go away. I did not want the captain seeing any more of Nyota than he should. I was well aware that he had feelings for her. Nyota was not bothered by him; she thought of it as a simple crush, but I thought it was more than that. The look in his eyes while he stared at her was akin to a hunger, and I do not mean a hunger that could be satiated by food. He wanted my wife. He could not have her. I was going to make sure of that.
I returned to duty seven weeks after the twins were born. I was glad to be back at work and took to my assignments with great pleasure. Spock and I were both back on alpha shift, and unless he was needed on the bridge, we picked up the twins from the Enterprise’s nursery and returned to our quarters.
Sarek’s visit was pleasant. He, like his son, did nothing more than examine both children with a raised eyebrow. Then he looked at Spock and told him how much of Amanda he saw in them. The comment delighted me, as I did not have an opportunity to meet Spock’s mother.
Spock informed Sarek that we would be moving to New Vulcan in a couple of months. Sarek was agreeable to making initial preparations for us. Spock was agreeable to this. I was merely agreeable, as I knew that my husband was looking forward to raising our children in the Vulcan tradition.
There had been a great deal of activity on the bridge, so I did not see the captain until I returned to duty. Spock and I never spoke again of what happened, but I became acutely aware of his displeasure at Kirk’s behavior. Even though I was not troubled, I could not have my husband unhappy. I knew that Spock didn’t want me to say anything to the captain because he intended to do it himself. However, I was not about to let this foolishness continue. There was never overt tension between himself and the captain while on duty, but that did not mean it was absent. So I took it upon myself to do something about it.
* * *
Two days after I went back to work, I asked to speak with the captain in his ready room. He agreed. Spock watched me enter Kirk’s office. I turned and smiled at him. Once inside his office, the captain sat at his desk. I stood in front of the desk.
“I must admit, it is a pleasure to welcome you back on the bridge, Lieutenant. Your skills and expertise have been missed.
“Thank you, Captain. Permission to speak freely, sir?”
“Of course. How are the twins?”
“Healthy and happy, sir.”
“What did you want to speak to me about, Lieutenant?”
“Captain, you desire that Spock and I continue to remain on board the Enterprise, right?”
“Then how do you expect us to do so if you keep doing things to irritate my husband?”
“Your comments to me. I know that your compliments are sincere, but my husband does not find them appropriate.”
“Please hear me out, sir. Spock, as you well know, does not exhibit any emotion of any sort. But that does not mean he doesn’t feel them, as you also well know. When you approach me in the ways that you do, it upsets him.”
“Are you bothered by it, Nyota?”
“No, and I don’t matter anyway. What matters to me is Spock. When things trouble him, they trouble me. He’s disturbed by this, and I dare say you will find yourself on the receiving end of another Vulcan beatdown if you do not stop antagonizing him. He loves me very much and he is protective of me and our children. I respect you enough to tell you this to your face because I don’t want you to be assaulted. If you continue your behavior, then you are merely inviting his wrath. He might actually kill you this time.”
Kirk absently rubbed his throat. “I intended no harm, Nyota. I meant everything I said. I do think you’re beautiful. I do wish I’d had a chance with you. I can’t help how I feel. Watching you nurse your daughter made me wish for an instant that you were mine and that was my baby.”
“Captain, you can’t control how you feel or what you think, but you can control what you say and what you do. Don’t do that anymore. Don’t say anything else. Let it go. Please.”
He closed his eyes. I didn’t know how he was processing this, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was the well-being of my husband.
“Spock and I are happy. We’re happy. There has been mild tension between us due to your actions because we interpret them differently. I will not have you disrupting my home, sir.”
“All right,” he said. “I never meant to do that, Nyota. I apologize if I’ve offended you or Spock.”
“You might not have meant to, but you did it. I’m fixing it. Spock intended to handle this himself, but I intervened because I believe that the eventual confrontation between you two would not have been amicable. You challenged him last week. You would not have been prepared to handle his response.” I knew this as clearly as I knew my name.
A long moment passed and Kirk leaned forward, folding his hands on top of his desk. “Considering how he owned me the last time, I have to concede that you’re right.”
I nodded. “I know him. And I’m letting you know that we are resigning from Starfleet and moving to New Vulcan.”
Kirk stood up and looked at me. “I understand, Lieutenant. Maybe it’s best that you do.”
* * *
The twins were in bed. They still awoke every three to four hours to nurse, but for now they were blessedly asleep. Spock lay behind me, cradling my breast as he always did. He ended up doing a double shift on the bridge. The twins were fussy and irritable when he returned to our quarters, so we were not able to really talk until after we put the babies down for the night.
“What did you speak to the captain about?”
I knew that if he chose to find out, he could touch me in a way that allowed him to. But the fact that he asked me let me know of his apprehension. He had nothing to worry about. I loved him with every fiber of my being, with every beat of my heart. He and I completed each other. I knew that it was cliché, but it was true.
“I know that you didn’t want me to do it, but I confronted him about his behavior.”
He was silent.
“Please don’t be upset with me, Spock. I had to do it. If you had confronted him, you would have fought. You would have hurt him. You might have killed him. I need you here with me; not in the brig awaiting a court-martial for assault. Nothing is worth losing you.”
“What did you tell him?”
“The truth. I told him that you would kill him if he did not stop. I told him that I loved you and what hurts you hurts me. I told him that he was upsetting our home, and I am not having that.”
“How did he respond?”
“He said he didn’t mean any harm, but that he spoke the truth. He said that he wished he’d had a chance with me, and that what he saw last week made him wish that I was his wife and Syran and Nzinga were his kids.”
“And how does that make you feel, Nyota?” I felt his forehead press against the back of my head and heard him inhale. If he was even the tiniest bit anxious, then I had to resolve it immediately.
“You can’t tell, Spock? You can’t feel it?” I could.
“I would rather hear you say it.”
I turned and rolled over so that I could straddle him. I’d lost most of the weight from my pregnancy, but my breasts were still big and I had a pouch. Nothing that exercise and weaning wouldn’t cure. I put my hands on his face and stroked his cheekbones with my thumbs.
“It doesn’t matter what he wishes, beloved. He never had a chance or stood a chance with me. I have been yours from the time I laid eyes on you. Tell me you feel that.”
Spock pushed himself up so that he could sit and look at me. “Nyota,” he said. “I cannot lose you.”
He pulled me close. I kissed his lips, his nose, his eyelids, and his forehead. Losing his mother weakened him in a way that he wasn’t used to. He never had a chance to tell her how much he loved her. Perhaps this whole thing with the captain’s behavior bothered him in the fact that he thought there was a chance of losing me too. My beautiful, wonderful husband was insecure. I needed to rid him of that nonsense.
“You won’t lose me,” I said between kisses. “I’m yours. I’m not going anywhere. There is nothing anyone can say or do to change that.”
Then I cupped his face, looked into his eyes and touched his forehead with mine. I was his weakness. I knew that he loved me, but this was the first time that I felt his apprehension. I didn’t know when it manifested itself, but I knew it was an emotion he could no longer control. I grabbed his hand and pressed it against my heart. He closed his eyes and interlaced my fingers with his.
“You don’t feel that, adun? You don’t feel that through our bond? Are my emotions not strong enough? I can’t believe that you are anxious about my feelings. What do I need to do? I believe in our link; I know how you feel about me, our marriage, our kids, everything. I know that you feel what I feel. You have no reason to doubt me, Spock. My heart is yours.”
We were connected like that for a moment, unified, solidified, fused in our love. Then he looked at me.
“K’diwa,” he breathed, kissing me. I kissed him back. It was slow and tender at first, but then became fervent. He tore off my gown. I had not yet been cleared for sex by Dr. McCoy. My appointment was two days away, but I didn’t care. Spock and I hadn’t made love since I was six months pregnant, and that was far too long. He kissed my neck and held me tight.
“Nyota,” he said, and then told me he loved me in Vulcan. He buried his face in my cleavage, stroking my breasts. I cradled his head and rubbed my cheek against his hair. I was so hot and ready for him that I knew he could feel it. But after a lick to each nipple, he stopped and looked at me.
“Nyota, we cannot.”
“We cannot. You have not been cleared for sexual intimacy and you cannot resume your injections until after you wean. I would rather we wait until we are settled in our new home before having more children.”
I took several deep breaths to clear my head. It didn’t work. I wanted him. “Spock…it will be all right if we…please, let’s do it…I’m so hot for you right now…I can’t believe I’m begging for you to make love to me.” I never had to do it before.
“I do not want to risk it, k’diwa. Do not interpret it to mean that I don’t want to have you, to take you right now.”
I didn’t care. How he could be logical at a time like this was beyond me. “Spock, please. Have me. Take me. I won’t get pregnant again.”
“Nyota,” he moaned, and took a breast into his mouth. “I cannot resist you. I cannot.”
At this point, I didn’t give a rat’s ass if he did get me pregnant. If it happened, then it would, and we would handle it the way we handled everything else. I ripped off his T-shirt and like that, we were all over each other. He devoured me, licking me and sucking me until I came so hard that he had to stick his fingers in my mouth to stifle my scream so I didn’t wake the twins. I was more than happy to return the favor, enjoying the taste of and feel of him. He came as hard as I had, holding double handfuls of my hair, which had nearly returned to its normal length. It was so fast, but it was a pleasant appetizer to the main course. I rolled over and lay on my back. He rolled on top of me and we were kissing like long-lost lovers. He had my leg up, holding my ankle, rubbing against me, nearly inside me when the cries of the twins stopped us cold. He let go of my leg and buried his face in my cleavage.
“Ohhhh,” I whined. “Why? Why now?” Did they sense that we were about to get it on?
He was lightly kissing my cleavage. “Perchance it is fortuitous that Syran and Nzinga interrupted. Perhaps our children could sense that we were about to give them a sibling.”
“Am I going to be one of those women having a baby every eighteen months? I don’t know, but I certainly feel like making another one right now.” I was so horny for my husband.
“I am currently not opposed to the concept, ashayam.”
I groaned and cradled Spock’s head. Then we could no longer ignore our screaming children.
* * *
The emotion that I wished to convey to Starfleet was gratitude for allowing me to teach and to serve. I entered Starfleet with the expectation and intention to have a long and fulfilling career as an officer. I never planned to bond and never expected that my position would put me in the position to meet my wife and fall in love with her. I never planned to leave Starfleet so soon. I also did not plan to become a father. But it was with great pleasure that Nyota, the children and I bade our fellow crew members farewell and made our way to our new life to the Vulcan colony on Beta Orionis.
Captain Kirk was the last to say goodbye. He clapped me on the shoulder.
“You take care of her, Commander.”
“I have every intention of doing so, Captain.”
He hugged Nyota and it did not bother me. He held Syran and then Nzinga, kissing each child on the forehead. Then Nyota and I took our children and boarded the shuttle that would take us to New Vulcan.
* * *
I was saddened to leave the Enterprise and my friends. However, I was excited at the new prospects and possibilities that awaited us on New Vulcan. The colony was flourishing. As promised, Sarek found a beautiful residence for us overlooking a valley that provided spectacular views of Beta Orionis’ two suns. Spock and I settled into our new home and he gained automatic entrance into the Vulcan Science Academy to make a living for us until he could transfer as base commander to the under-construction Starfleet base. Once the twins turned a year old, I was able to get a position as a xenolinguist at said Starfleet base.
I had always dreamed of working for Starfleet, exploring the galaxy on board its flagship, using my skills for the benefit of humankind. Marriage had not been on the top of my list of things to do. But what I found in my Vulcan husband trumped any achievement or delight I could have found in Starfleet. I had no regrets. I had a wonderful, loving man and two beautiful children. However, I did not have to give up my Starfleet career, and for this I was grateful. My life had balance.
No marriage is perfect. Humans are flawed. So are Vulcans. Spock and I had our share of marital spats; though one looking from the outside in would never be able to tell. However, we loved each other and tried never to go to bed angry with one another, and for the most part we succeeded. It was through our bond that most of our issues were resolved, and our link was strengthened through our children. I had two more babies and did not wish for anything, as Spock made sure that I was content with our life. I was. What woman wouldn’t be?