6. Mother’s Baby Girl
Nyota was in the bathroom, throwing up. She was bent over the toilet, retching until tears sparked her eyes. Kirk was beside her, holding her hair out of her face while Spock stood with a damp towel and a glass of water. Each time she vomited, Kirk looked at Spock and there was no doubt about the worry in his blue eyes.
When she was done, Kirk helped her to her feet and Spock wiped her face before giving her the water. She rinsed her mouth and spat and then pressed the towel to her cheeks. Spock poured her a cup of mouthwash and then diluted it with water so that it wouldn’t burn her throat. Nyota took the mouthwash and rinsed her mouth once more. She looked in the mirror. Her skin was splotchy in places, she had a terrible headache and her belly hurt. The baby was not having a good day. Nyota had been besieged with weird stomach cramps all morning and afternoon. She wanted to curl up in bed, but she was determined to get the confrontation with her mother over and done with.
“Nyota, we don’t have to do this,” Kirk said in an effort to reassure her. “We don’t ever have to do it. We’ve have each other; no one else matters.”
“I am inclined to agree,” Spock said.
“No,” she said after she caught her breath. “No. I will not be afraid of her. I am not ashamed of us. All I can do is try. I owe that to myself. If she denies me and rejects my baby, then it won’t be because I didn’t try. I need to meet her halfway. If she can’t do the same, then she will lose me and she’ll have to live with that.”
“I know,” he said, helping her back to the bedroom. “But you’re not well. You’re not.”
“I’m pregnant, Jim. I guess I’ll be one of those women who are sick the whole time. It’s not unusual, according to the prenatal manuals I’ve downloaded. It just makes our baby that much more special. We’ll be all right.”
“Still,” Kirk said, “it’s not imperative that you speak with your mother about us. I haven’t spoken to my mother in seven years and I haven’t missed one iota of sleep.”
“Jim, what is the deal with you and your mother? You never talk about your family.”
“Because you’re my family, Nyota. You and Spock.” Kirk cast a loving glance at Spock, who stared back. Only Nyota and Kirk recognized it to be an expression of tenderness.
“I know,” she said. “But your mother is your mother, as mine is mine. What happened?”
“You sure you want to hear this before you talk to your mother? I mean, it’s not exactly a happy family saga.”
“Neither is mine. Nor is Spock’s. Remember? We’re well-suited. Tell us, Jim. Please?”
“Jim, I admit that I have always been curious about your relationship with your mother,” Spock said.
Kirk sighed. “All right.” He sat down and Nyota sat between him and Spock. Like always, they began rubbing her belly. She leaned her head against the top of the couch and sighed, closing her eyes.
“Do you want to take a nap?” Spock said.
“No. I want to hear Jim’s story,” Nyota said.
“I would prefer that you get some rest, Nyota,” Spock said. “It is not necessary that you do this now.”
“Spock, please? It’s okay. Jim?” She turned her eyes to Kirk, who gazed back at her with devotion brimming in his cerulean blue eyes. Nyota smiled at him and kissed his nose. “We’re waiting.”
“Well, you’re aware that my father died saving the Kelvin the moment I was born. Anyway, my mother remarried six months or so after she returned to Earth with me. She married my dad’s brother. I was always under the impression that she and my father were deeply in love, based on what some of their crewmates told me. A few of them relocated to Iowa after the destruction of the Kelvin to work in the shipyard. They were surprised that my mother remarried so quickly, and when I was old enough to understand their shock at who she married, things began to change between my mother and me. She had another baby with my stepfather/uncle, and it was my younger brother that had her attention. She completely forgot about my older brother Sam and me. I reminded her too much of my dad and she could barely look at me, or so she said. I find it that ironic because my dad’s brother looked just like him, according to the family photo album.”
Nyota and Spock looked at Kirk. Spock was the first to speak. “That is illogical, Jim. Genetics dictate that your father and your uncle will share some physical characteristics, not all. They were not twins.”
Kirk rendered a soft smile to Spock and shook his head. “You’re a dingus, but I love you no matter what, Spock. Just stay with me, okay?”
Nyota caressed Spock’s hand. “What Jim means, baby, is that his mother had no real reason to dislike him, and that he was suspicious of her relationship with his uncle.”
Spock raised an eyebrow. “They were married.”
“Yes,” Nyota said, “but the true question is when did their relationship begin? Was it while she was married to Jim’s father? At least that’s what I’m thinking. Am I right, Jim?”
“Yes,” he said. “I could never believe a word she said once I understood. Since she was quite happy with my baby brother and her new husband, I felt that I didn’t have a place in her life. Sam felt the same way. So we started doing whatever we wanted to do. I did whatever I could to piss both of them off. Sam ran away as soon as he could and I never saw him again.”
Kirk paused a moment and looked away, thinking about what became of his older brother. Nyota and Spock squeezed his hand and it brought him back to the present. He gave them a wan smile and continued.
“It got so bad that running a car off a cliff was the only way I could get her attention. That didn’t work. Then I just stopped giving a damn. My stepfather beat me regularly until the day came when I was able to fight back. I put him in the hospital and my mother told me she never wanted to see me again. I was cool with that.”
“That is most unfortunate, t’hy’la,” Spock said, rubbing Kirk’s hand. “I am sorry.”
“I am too, baby,” Nyota said. “Your mother is as bad as mine, it seems. Only Spock’s relationship with his mother was any good.”
“Yeah,” Kirk said. “So now you know, and now you understand how important it is for us to be a family and be good parents to our son.” He stared at the small pouch that was Nyota’s belly. “And we will be good parents. I’d rather not have Jim Jr. go through what I went through.” He grinned at Nyota’s pooch.
Nyota smiled weakly. “Daughter, and we can negotiate on the name, you fool.” She rubbed her stomach. “Well, let’s get this over and done with, all right?”
“Are you sure,” Kirk asked.
“I’m sure. Irish is right. I need to do this now and get it over with, no matter what the outcome is.”
Kirk took a seat beside her and grabbed her hand. “Are you sure?”
She stared at him and smiled. “I’m sure. Spock, come sit next to me. I can’t do this without you or Jim.”
Spock nodded and sat next to Nyota. “As you wish, but I must insist that you end the conversation the moment you become stressed.”
“Spock, knowing my mother, that will take place two seconds into the conversation. I will be fine. I will be. I just need for you and Jim to prepare to be insulted.”
“How bad do you think it will be, Nyota?” Kirk asked.
She looked at him. “Bad. When we finally graduated from the Academy, Irish and Gaila were taking pictures with me in the corridor just outside of the arena when my family came up. My mother took one look at Gaila and asked me, “’What is that?’”
“You mean, ‘Who is that?’” Spock said.
“No. I mean, ‘What is that? That green thing.’ I was horrified at her words. She refused to acknowledge Gaila as a humanoid and reduced her to an object. Gaila didn’t even understand at first because it was so quick. Then my mother asked, ‘Is it contagious? Have you been associating with that thing all this time?’ Gaila looked at me and I apologized on behalf of my mother, but I didn’t blame her for walking away. Then my mom called Irish a half-breed and Irish left right after Gaila did. I was beyond ashamed. I didn’t speak to my mother at all when we had dinner later. Bad enough that she detested the fact that I chose a career in outer space, but to have her insult my best friends…Were it not for my father, I would not have stayed for the meal. I’d rather have been with my friends than with her.”
“Jesus, what a bitch,” Kirk said, shaking his head.
“So prepare for the worst. It’s best to do that. You’ll be called every pejorative term in the lexicon, as will Spock. I’ll be called a few names too. So will our baby. It’s not going to be pretty, but if we get it out of the way now, it’s done. It’s over and there’s no need to worry or wonder about what’s going to happen. I will know where I stand.”
“Nyota,” Spock said, looking into her eyes. “Are you prepared to separate yourself from your mother? Are you prepared to lose her? If what you are saying is correct, she will not want to associate with you once you tell her about our relationship and your pregnancy. Is it worth it, k’diwa?”
“You and Jim and our baby are worth everything, Spock. I just need this to be over with.”
“Nyota, let me stress this,” Kirk said. “The moment I feel like Mrs. Uhura has gone too far, I’m ending the conversation. I will endure it for as long as possible, but there are lines I won’t let her cross. Do you understand?”
Nyota caressed his cheek. “I do. I understand, Jim. It probably won’t even last that long.” She winced as another cramp hit her. Kirk eyed her, but chose not to respond. He knew how stubborn his beloved Nyota could be at times.
“Okay then,” Kirk said, switching on the viewscreen. “Let’s do this.”
Nyota decided at the last minute to have Kirk and Spock stand off to the side of the viewscreen so that she could face her parents alone at first. They would wait for her to call them over.
Mr. & Mrs. Uhura sat on a loveseat in their opulent living room. Nyota’s mother was a beautiful, older version of herself. Her salt and pepper hair was stylishly cut and she had a regal air. Mr. Uhura sat next to her. He had a kind, round face and his hair was almost completely white. He was the first to speak.
“Baby girl,” her father said, smiling broadly. “How are you doing? It’s been a few months since we’ve heard from you. Everything okay, honey?”
“Nyota, how are you?” Mrs. Uhura said. There was barely a note of warmth in her tone.
“I’m fine,” she replied. “Just busy. There’s been a lot going on—“
“Kwasi is divorced,” Mrs. Uhura announced.
Nyota sighed. Of course her mother would bring up Kwasi. “What?”
“Kwasi,” Mr. Uhura said, casting a sideways glance at his wife. “You know, the Obus’ son. He has separated from his wife.”
Nyota closed her eyes in frustration. “Well, um…that’s good, I guess,” she said. “But I was contacting you to tell you—“
“Kwasi has asked about you, Nyota. Like, when are you returning to Earth? I reminded him that he should have never married that slutty Barasa girl—”
“Mother!” Nyota said, her voice a little shrill.
Mrs. Uhura looked startled. “Nyota, you do not speak to me in that tone of voice! What are those fools teaching you in outer space?”
“Momma, I’m trying to tell you something!”
“What is it, baby girl?” Mr. Uhura said. He looked scared. “Are you all right?”
“Stop trying to say it and say it,” Mrs. Uhura said. “I don’t have all day, Nyota.”
Nyota sighed and motioned for Kirk and Spock to enter the viewscreen window. “I’m in love.”
“With who?” Mrs. Uhura frowned. “Because it isn’t with Kwasi Obu.”
“Daddy, Momma…this is Captain Jim Kirk of the USS Enterprise and First Officer Commander Spock. Also of the Enterprise.”
Mr. Uhura sat back in his chair, his mouth a small ‘O’ of surprise. It was evident that Nyota’s father instantly understood the situation. Mrs. Uhura blinked rapidly, as if she misheard her daughter.
“I’m in love with Jim and with Spock and we are in a committed relationship. We’ve been together for almost three years now. They saved my life that time I told you about…when I was kidnapped a couple of years back.”
Silence. If it wasn’t for the fact that her mother’s expression resembled that of a captured fish, Nyota would have assumed that the transmission froze.
“Well,” Mr. Uhura said, linking his fingers. “Well, Nyota…give your father a bit of time to let that sink in. I mean, I didn’t know what to expect when you contacted us, but…just give me a minute. I’m not sure I fully understand.”
Nyota knew that wasn’t the case. He was merely shocked at the news. “No Daddy, you do. I’m in love with both of these men. I have been for three years.”
“Um, do they know about each other?” Mr. Uhura asked, not realizing the stupidity of the question.
“Yes sir,” Kirk said. “Mr. Uhura, I am in love with your daughter, as is Mr. Spock. I assure you that her happiness is first and foremost in our lives.”
“Aren’t there regulations against this sort of thing, Captain?” Mr. Uhura looked incredulous.
“No sir. We’ve researched them thoroughly. Our relationship is sanctioned by Starfleet.”
Mr. Uhura blinked rapidly. “Mr. Kirk, is it?”
“Yes sir, Mr. Uhura.”
“You’ll understand if I take a minute to process what I’ve just heard. I mean, this is a bit much for me to take. I’ll be right back, Nyota. Don’t disconnect beforehand, okay?”
“All right, Daddy,” she said. She began to fidget. Kirk and Spock took a hand each and held it. They knew the real trouble was coming.
Mrs. Uhura leaned to one side and propped her chin in one perfectly manicured hand. “Three years you’ve been carrying on like this?”
Nyota stared her mother in the eyes. She was not going to be afraid. “Yes.”
“Then that means that you’ve had three years to regain your senses!” Mrs. Uhura snapped. “What the hell are you doing with those White men? What kind of foolishness have you gotten yourself into? And from what I understand, one of them isn’t even fully White! He’s Vulcan—an alien! He’s not even that. He’s worse than that! He’s a half-breed! He probably has no clue as to what he is! And you’re in love with a mutt?”
“Mrs. Uhura—“ Kirk began, but she cut him off.
“Captain, is it? Let’s get this straight: I don’t give a damn who you are. I am speaking with my daughter, not you. Do not ever interrupt me again. Nyota! What does that Vulcan's people think of him breeding with a human?! After all, he's supposed to be preserving HIS race, not shacking up with some human woman! They probably don’t want him either because he’s already impure. I guess he needed to follow in his daddy’s footsteps and fuck a human girl. By the way, I've heard about that so-called captain of yours. Oh yes, I did my research when you told me what starship you were assigned to! Your captain has fucked EVERYTHING in this galaxy that has a hole! The only reason why he fucked you was because he hadn't had any black snatch! But you’ve taken care of that, haven’t you? You’ve let him and that green-blooded mutt get all the black pussy they want!”
“To hell with this shi—“ Kirk started to say but Nyota grabbed his hand. Kirk was halfway tempted to tell that woman that he had already slept his way through the proverbial rainbow on Earth and several other planets. It would have righteously pissed off Mrs. Uhura, but Kirk doubted it would have eased the confrontation. He did admit to himself that it would have been excellent to see the look on Mrs. Uhura’s face.
Nyota held her stomach as another cramp seized her. “Momma, it does not matter what color they are or what blood is in their veins. I’m in love with these men. I could care less about the pigmentation of their skin or the color of their blood. I’m in love with both of them regardless of stupid things like that. I don’t appreciate you insulting the two men I love just because you’re racist!”
“Oh this is just rich,” Mrs. Uhura said, rolling her eyes. “What’s really going on, Ny? What, are they curious as to what it’s like to fuck an African girl? What are you, some experiment or fun and games? Don’t you know what White men really think of Black women? You aren’t anything except a piece of ass just to satisfy their curiosity! Then when you’re used up, they marry White women or go back to their White trophy wives. They aren’t interested in anything but what it’s like to get between your legs, and you’ve not only let one of them do it, but two! How dare you betray your family like this? How dare you betray and insult me!”
Mrs. Uhura cocked her head to one side. “Am I to understand that you are sleeping with both of them? Are they sleeping with each other?”
Kirk started to say something but Nyota squeezed his hand as she blinked back tears. There was no point in saying anything else. It was best to let her rant, because her mind was made up.
"THAT IS SICK! THEY’RE SLEEPING WITH YOU AND EACH OTHER? SHARING YOU?! I DIDN’T RAISE YOU TO BE A FAG HAG OR A WHORE, NYOTA SAMANYA UHURA!! Do you think you really have a serious relationship with either of those men? This is just some weird sex game to them, and it’s more likely that they’d rather be with each other than with you!! You're no more than a toy, a plaything…I cannot believe this! Is this what you called to tell me? Believe me; I’d rather you not have bothered! Is that all, Nyota?”
Large tears coursed down Nyota’s cheeks. Spock held one hand in a clench and her knuckles were white from Kirk’s death grip. “No,” she said. “I’m pregnant.”
Silence. Nyota’s heart was racing and her stomach churned. Her belly was already hurting, but now it was as if someone was wrenching her guts.
“Pregnant? Did you just tell me that you are pregnant?”
Nyota swallowed. “Yes.” She felt feverish.
“Do I even need to ask which one of those nasty White boys knocked you up?”
“Just what kind of mixed-breed bastard were you planning on bringing into this world, Nyota Samanya Uhura? You know, your father named you right! Unknown one? You are certainly that right now, young lady! My unknown daughter!”
“You can’t even…you can’t even have an open mind about this, Momma? Do you know what you’re doing? I’m having a child…your grandchild…isn’t that what you always said you wanted me to do, Momma?” Nyota knew the answer, but it was best to let all the poison escape from this particular boil. It would eventually heal, but the scar would always be there. She knew that after this, she would never speak to her mother again.
“I expected you to have an African grandchild, Nyota! I wanted you to give me beautiful African grandbabies with Kwasi Obu. I could have accepted grandbabies with any decent Black man you chose for a husband. That thing you’re carrying is NOT my grandchild. You’re not even married!” This last was an epithet.
Kirk had heard enough. “Mrs. Uhura, I’m not about to sit here and let you insult Nyota like this…and for the record, we are getting married as soon as Nyota feels up to it.”
“Excuse me,” Mrs. Uhura said coolly. “I told you that this is between MY daughter and me, but since you insist on inserting yourself into this conversation, let me tell you this: You White men can say anything you want, but it is what you DO that counts! You have no intention of doing right by my daughter. Look at what you’ve done to her already, you nasty, dirty little White faggot!” She sneered at Spock, whose eyebrows were raised. “And you, you filthy green-blooded mutt…I have no words for you!”
Mrs. Uhura turned back into her daughter. “It’s all fun and games now, Nyota! But you'll be bringing a REAL life into the world and SOON! Once that kid is reality, they'll both be gone and you’re going to be stuck with some pathetic half-breed bastard that you’re going to have to raise alone. And you will raise it alone, Nyota Samanya Uhura, because I will not help you. I refuse to have anything to do with that thing you’re carrying! Wait until I tell your father!”
A sharp pain bent Nyota double. She grabbed her stomach and started to moan. Alarmed, Kirk leaned over her. “Nyota, what is it? What is it…what’s the matter?”
Mrs. Uhura was still speaking, but her words were meaningless gibberish as far as Kirk was concerned. He was so mad he shook. Spock was furious too, if the pale green splotches in his cheeks were any indication.
Nyota threw up on her shoes. She tried to get up; could not, and would have fallen were it not for Spock supporting her. She was crying and her breath came in hard chuffs. She held her stomach and her face contorted in pain. Something was very wrong.
“What’s wrong with you, Nyota?” Mrs. Uhura said. “What’s the ma—“
Spock turned off the viewscreen, cutting her off in mid-sentence.
Nyota looked at Kirk and Spock. Her dark eyes were wide and glassy. The world started to swim. “Jim,” she said. “Spock…my stomach hurts! The baby…!”
Spock and Kirk tried to get her to the bed. Kirk slapped his communicator and screamed for McCoy to get to his quarters immediately.
Another sharp cramp bent Nyota double once more and she started screaming as she held her belly. “No! No, please…no! NOOOOOOOOO!”
That was when Spock and Kirk noticed the blood running down her legs.