5. Happiness is a Temporary State of Mind
Kirk, Spock, Scotty and McCoy wandered through the building areas of the Enterprise, supervising the construction process. Kirk granted rotating shore leave and had all crew members who resided on Deck D move into temporary housing. All of Deck D was going to be restructured into family quarters with a day care center and an area that would serve as an eventual school. Spock thought it was logical to include space for a school and Kirk felt it was a wise decision. Medical Bay was also under reconstruction to include the pediatric wing. Kirk already secured a family psychologist, two OB-GYNs, a pediatrician and five pediatric nurses for duty on board the Enterprise.
The senior officers stopped in front of C wing on Deck D. Kirk stared absently at the welders and builders as they knocked out walls and restructured rooms into family quarters.
“Gentlemen, did any of you ever think we’d be in this position? Three years into our five-year mission and we are all about to be fathers. Honestly, I never thought I’d be a dad so soon.”
Scotty was the first to respond. “Nay, Cap’n. Neither did I.”
“Of course not,” McCoy said. “This is my second time around. I never thought I’d be a dad again.”
Spock remained silent as Kirk continued. “We’re all going to be fathers, guys. Are we going to be able to handle this adjustment? Do I assume that you are willing to remain on board this ship in spite of the decisions that may be made by the mothers of your children?”
“’Lena’s goin’ tae keep our baby, Cap’n. An’ she dinnae want tae leave t’Enterprise. T’is means I’ll be stayin’ ‘ere as well. Nae gonna leave my wee littl’un.”
“Good. I can’t run this ship without you, Scotty.”
“I know ye cain’t, sir.”
McCoy snorted. “You can’t get rid of me that easily, Jim.”
Spock stood with his arms folded. “It will be an adjustment for all of us, Captain.”
Kirk watched the blue glare of the laser weld. “Understatement of the century, Spock.”
McCoy sighed. “I missed out on so many years with Joanna. I can’t tell you how much it hurts me to be away from my little girl. By the time I see her again, she’ll be almost fourteen years old.” There was no mistaking the sadness in McCoy’s voice.
Kirk looked at him. “You really want your baby, don’t you?”
“Yes I do. I mean, we all know that this wasn’t something intentional. Tina and I, we were just messing around. I like her a lot. She’s a terrific lady; she’s sexy, pretty, witty and silly. She’s a lot of fun and she’s great in bed. We’ve been on and off for months. I know she’s pissed, but I want my child. I don’t know what it’ll take to convince her to keep it, but I’ll do what I must.”
Kirk nodded, wondering if Bones was being completely truthful. “You were okay with the fact that she had a girlfriend?”
McCoy looked at Kirk. “You just asked me if I had a problem with her being with Sharayne. Hell no. She let me watch a couple of times and Sharayne was cool with it.”
Scotty slapped him on the arm. “Good on ye, lad!”
Spock cleared his throat. “Fascinating.”
Kirk grinned, nodding his head. “That’s hot. I didn’t know she got down like that.”
“She’s full of surprises,” McCoy said. He paused for a moment. There was a thoughtful expression on his face. “But I’ll be damned if I miss the chance to be a father again. I won’t let that happen.”
“You’ve got a fight on your hands,” Kirk said. “McElroy’s pissed off.”
McCoy chuckled. “Rather have my problem than Sulu’s.”
All of the men nodded simultaneously. Scotty shook his head. “Can’t believe the lad got ‘imself caught up like t’at. Two lasses?”
Spock looked at Scotty. “Ms. Thornton is no lass, Mr. Scott. Her reputation precedes her.”
Once again, there were simultaneous nods from the officers. Scotty snorted. “Nae, she t’isnt, is she?”
“Not at all,” Kirk said. “Still a babe, though.”
McCoy looked at Kirk and Spock. “How’s Lt. Uhura?”
“Great,” Kirk said, grinning. There was no denying the pleasure on his face. “She gets more beautiful with each passing day. Her belly is…well, at the risk of sounding like an obsessive goofball, it’s adorable. I find myself kissing it a lot and Spock and I rub it all the time. She isn’t having an easy pregnancy. I hate that she’s sick so much. She hasn’t been able to keep down a meal in weeks. I was not aware that the replicators were so adept at making saltine crackers and ginger ale. That’s about all she is able to handle. I really want her on full bed rest, but I know she would hate it. She insists that she’s able to work at least a half-shift.”
While grounded, the crew of the Enterprise maintained SOP. Nyota could reasonably take time off work, but she was adamant about her duty and determined to work a half-shift. She usually did it with a trash can nearby, as she suffered from nausea. She was not alone. Dana Hannity suffered also.
Kirk frowned, thinking about that argument. He and Spock tried to convince Nyota that it was plausible for her to take some time off. She was determined that she could work a full shift, but lost the argument when she threw up on Spock’s shoes. After that, Spock scheduled her for half-shifts every other day. It was only a matter of time before the Kirk got McCoy to order Nyota to take her maternity leave. He thought he might do it this week; this morning had been particularly bad and she was unable to go to work at all. He and Spock would do anything to keep Nyota happy, but in this case, they would sacrifice it for the sake of her health and the baby’s health.
McCoy smiled at his friend. “You don’t sound like a goofball, Jim.” McCoy said. “You sound like a man ready to become a father. That’s perfectly normal. I never would have thought it of you, Jim. Never would have guessed that my advice for you to man up in order to win her heart would lead to this.”
“Aye,” Scotty said. “T’is a sight tae behold.”
“Well, Spock’s going to become a father too, let’s not forget,” Kirk said.
“Left field, that,” McCoy said. “But the sentiment is no different. How do you feel about becoming a father, Mr. Spock?”
“I anticipate it logically, Dr. McCoy. I am pleased that Lt. Uhura is with child. Unexpected, yes, but welcome all the same. Parenting is not something that is capricious to Vulcans.”
Scotty hesitated before blurting out, “Which of ye is tae father, Cap’n? I mean no disrespect, but I cannae help me curiosity. Beggin’ ye pardon, sir.”
Kirk held up a hand. “No offense taken, Scotty. We’re all friends here. Neither Spock nor I are certain as to who fathered Nyota’s baby. Either he did or I did. We’re both supremely confident that there isn’t another. It doesn’t matter because we are both going to be a father to this child. Genetics aren’t an issue with us.” He grinned and the tips of Spock’s ears flushed green. “Besides, I’m not about to waste Bones’ valuable time with a paternity test during all of this madness. He’s gotta do one on Barbara Jean at some point. Sulu’s starting to drop hints that he isn’t the father either.”
McCoy shook his head. “I can’t get Ms. Thornton to come in for the test. That screams that there is more going on than what she has said. I’m starting to think that neither Sulu nor Timmons is the father of her child.”
Scotty stared at the construction. “Aye. Scuttlebutt ‘as it t’at she became wi’ child on shore leave too.”
McCoy snorted again. “Well, that would make her situation no different from Sgt. Yubari, Sgt. Davis & Lt. Quinn. Nurse Chapel tells me that they all hate each other and Barbara Jean would rather lay her child’s paternity at the foot of an unsuspecting officer rather than own up to her own loose behavior while we were on shore leave.”
Kirk said, “Regardless, she’ll have to get a paternity test at some point if she wants the benefits.” Then he gazed at the construction. “I never thought I’d witness this. A family-friendly galaxy-class battle ship.”
“Times, they are a’changin’,” McCoy said.
Spock looked at McCoy. “Fascinating reference.”
“Well, it was eventual, wasn’t it?” McCoy said. “There was bound to be a time when Starfleet could no longer ignore the family dynamic. It’s hard to get a man or woman to sign up for five-year missions when they’re going to be separated from their children for such a long period of time. If I had a better custody arrangement with my bitch of an ex wife, there is no way I would have signed up for a mission in deep space. Starfleet can’t expect for couples to be apart for that long and keep recruiting numbers up. Speaking of things that fall apart, when are you marrying Lts. Hannity and Morrow?”
Kirk shrugged. “Not all relationships fall apart, Bones. Sometime within the next week. I forget.”
On cue, Spock said, “Three days, ten hours, five minutes and fifteen seconds from now.”
Scotty chucked. “Ye’re better than an atomic clock, Mr. Spock. T’will be interestin’, ‘avin a married couple on board the Enterprise.”
McCoy rolled his. “Married couple? Try eight pregnant women, Scotty. That’s gonna be interesting.”
The senior officers strolled down the corridor to monitor additional construction. They watched as the workers smashed the walls of this section of crew quarters, obliterating everything.
“How’s the lad takin’ tae it, Cap’n?” Scotty asked.
No one needed to say who the lad was.
Kirk adjusted his goggles as he stared at the welders’ torches. “They’ve been ordered into counseling. I set that up as soon as we docked.”
“To the kid’s credit, he’s by her side for every prenatal visit,” McCoy said.
“It is my understanding that Ensign Chekov and Ensign Vadasconovich are frequently engaged in vehement discourse.” Spock said.
“Yeah, I heard they fight a lot too,” McCoy retorted. “What can you expect? They’re kids. Kids have no business trying to have kids.”
Scotty tsked. “Beggin’ ye pardon, Doctor, but Chekov an’ his bonny lass dinnae plan t’is.”
“I know, McCoy said. “Which makes it all the sadder.”
Kirk looked at Spock for a moment before speaking. “They’re not going to stay together. This baby’s going to tear them apart.”
Nyota sat in front of the monitor in her quarters. Gaila and Irish, her best friends since the academy, were on a conference call with her. She had not spoken with them in months and it was refreshing to talk to them again. They were stunned to find out that she was pregnant.
Irish, blunt as usual, “You pregnant slut.”
Gaila smiled. “What are you going to do?”
Nyota rubbed her belly. “Have the baby. What do you mean?”
“My career is safe, Gaila. It’s just fine for Jim and Spock and I to be together. No regulations have been violated. Now the baby wasn’t planned. There was a major screw-up with the computers in Medical and ten of us got pregnant.”
Irish cackled. “We heard about THAT! You should have seen the medical staff checking and double checking their equipment. They ran out of condoms in two days; I grabbed most of them. Dr. White doesn’t trust the replicator to make more condoms. Folks scared to have sex. We’re docking at Starbase 223 just because she wants to be sure that everything’s everything. Nobody on the Hood wants to get knocked up.”
“Same here,” Gaila said. “Everybody’s abstaining and it has put a serious dent in my love life. I don’t blame them. I do not want kids.”
“Me either,” Irish said. “Shoot me.”
Nyota laughed. “Because neither of you are in love. I didn’t plan to get pregnant so soon, but now that I am…I want my child. Jim wants the baby like you would not believe and Spock wants it just because.”
“Who’s the father, lachia?” Irish asked.
Nyota shrugged. “Not trying to find out. We’re all content with the hope that the baby is healthy. I have been sick most of the time. My morning sickness lasts all day and it’s really painful at times. I really, really hate vomiting. I have a trash can by me right now just in case. I can no longer stand Jim and Spock’s body oil scents; they make me throw up. My head hurts all the time and sometimes my stomach. However, my last checkup revealed all was well. Jim and Spock are obsessed with my health. In fact, Jim would be upset if he came in and saw me out of bed. He and Spock are so cute about the whole thing. They don’t want me to put a toe out of line if I don’t feel like it.”
Gaila grinned. “You three just work. No other way to say it. You belong together.”
“Plus it’s HOT,” Irish said. “Captain Fine and Commander Hotness…aw yeah! I would have made a baby with them back in Kalamar.”
Nyota shook her head. “I would have thought you’d have grown out of your sluttiness by now, Irish.”
Irish clucked her teeth. “Please. I wear my sluttiness like a badge of honor.”
Gaila smiled. “You tell your parents yet?”
Nyota sighed. “No. I’ve got to do it soon. I’m three months pregnant. Spock and Jim want me to do it when we’re all together and we’ll have to do it over subspace channels because we’re grounded. So it will not be as devastating as it could be because I’m not physically there.”
“Won’t make it any easier,” Irish said. “I imagine your mother having a horse when you tell her you’re in love with a Vulcan and a White man.”
Gaila sighed. “I know she didn’t like us and we’re your friends. What are you going to do, Nyo?” Nyota’s mother had a few choice descriptors for Gaila and Irish when Nyota introduced them at their graduation, and graduates wasn’t one of them. Nyota was embarrassed and angry by her mother’s rudeness and it colored the tone of the celebratory family dinner.
Nyota rubbed her belly again. “I don’t know, Gaila. I do know that my life is with Jim and Spock and our child. I love my mother…you know this…but I cannot and will not live without my men. I won’t be anywhere where they’re not welcome. But she’s my mother and I owe her the knowledge of her grandchild.”
Irish nodded. “That’s true, Nyo.”
“I hate it,” Nyota said. “I do. I wish I knew she could accept Spock and Jim and accept my baby. My dad will, but my brothers and my mother won’t. I’ve come to understand that over the past few weeks. I wish I could say I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not. I know that. She’ll probably disown me.”
“Maybe not, meklat,” Gaila said. “Maybe in time, she can accept all of this. You are her daughter.”
Irish frowned. “Gaila? Nyota, not to be the dark cloud in this, but I seriously doubt that Mrs. Uhura will accept your relationship and your baby. What you owe yourself and what you owe your child is of more import than what you owe your prejudiced mother. I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but I don’t want you thinking that suddenly this will all work itself out.”
Nyota sighed. Irish was right and she knew it. The chances of her mother accepting Jim and Spock and their child were in the negative percent.
A moment passed and then Gaila said, “We love you, meklat!”
“Absolutely,” Irish said and grinned.
Nyota gazed at her smiling girlfriends and smiled back. “I know. Thanks.”
Gaila blew a kiss. “Well, I’ve got to run, Nyo. But I will be checking in with you regularly! I want to know everything, everything about your little one! I already know you’re wearing him or her well…you look so beautiful.”
“Thanks,” Nyota said, pausing to spit. “Unfortunately, I don’t feel beautiful.”
“I stand corrected,” Gaila said, grinning. “That was entirely unbeautiful and unsexy, Nyo.”
Nyota rolled her eyes at her green-skinned best friend. “My tummy’s acting up again.”
“Yes,” Irish said. “I’ve got to go too.” Then she took a breath. “Um, Nyo, there’s an officer that I met while you guys were on shore leave in Madir. Her name is Dez Niaz. Do you know her?” Irish looked apprehensive. “We, um, hung out while I was stationed there.”
Nyota grinned. “I do. We’re good friends.” Then she paused. “Dez is great, Irish. You should contact her.”
Irish gaped. “You know?”
“Dez told me.”
Gaila rolled her eyes. “Am I missing something, ladies?”
Nyota laughed. “Tell her, Irish.”
Irish sighed. “I had an affair with a woman on the Enterprise, Gaila.”
“I didn’t plan on it,” Irish said. “But she came up to me and next thing I know…and it lasted two weeks…and it was very satisfying.”
Gaila was shocked. “Irish, you slept with a girl? Finally! I KNEW you would eventually! Why deny yourself half of the universe’s population, you slut?”
Irish rolled her eyes. “Whatever, Gaila.” But there was an entirely different expression on Irish’s face.
Nyota smiled. “You like her. Don’t you, Irish?”
Irish shrugged. “She was a lot of fun to be with. I’ve never had that much fun with anybody like that before.”
Nyota shook her head. “So contact her.”
Gaila grinned. “Don’t tell me you’ve messed around and fucked someone you like, Irish. If you have, don’t mess it up. Call her.”
Irish sighed. “All right, I’ll call her. Okay, I gotta run. Nyo, keep us posted on the status of our niece or nephew. Call your mom. Go ahead and get it out of the way so that you can go on with your life.”
The base’s main conference room was decorated with a few flowers and a wedding arch. Dana didn’t want an elaborate setup, as it wasn’t necessary and she didn’t want to waste her credits on wedding finery when she and Parker had to shop for their baby. She had a cute little pooch, but it was hid under the simple A-line of her maternity tunic. There was no formal pomp and circumstance; they met at the arch in front of the captain and held hands. Koko and Tina stood beside her, and Parker was flanked by one of his friends from Engineering. There were about fifty people in attendance and a reception was set up on one side of the room.
Tina stared at the happy couple, but she saw many other things. She, like Dana, Charlene, Iliya, Nyota, Janice and Glynis were all between three to four months pregnant and the window for an abortion was rapidly closing. Leonard was a persistent bastard; every other day he was up in her face trying to convince her to keep their child. Tina was no longer as mad as she had been, but she was annoyed. She had since gotten over Sharayne’s betrayal and was currently single; though she’d never been single this long. Yet another reason to be pissed with Leonard. She wasn’t because hatred required too much energy and she was human enough to feel compassion for his side of the equation. He missed Joanna and saw their baby as a second chance.
Tina looked over at Koko, who was smiling. Koko and Marcy Quinn got abortions the moment the Enterprise docked at the starbase. Tina was jealous of both of them for being able to execute such a decision without thought of anyone else. It was easy for them because there was no father fucking up the works. Glynis wasn’t going to abort, but put her child up for adoption. She didn’t want to be a mother. Nobody knew what Barbara Jean wanted to do.
Tina wondered if she should do the same. But if she was going to have the baby, she could easily give it to Leonard to raise. She wouldn’t have to put the kid up for adoption. It was the physical act of carrying the baby that was bothersome. All of them were besieged with some variation of morning sickness and obvious fatigue. Nyota had the worst of it; she was sick all the time.
Tina rubbed her stomach. She, like the other mothers-to-be, wore maternity uniforms and very comfortable shoes. Starfleet was more than accommodating to their requests and sought to fulfill each and every one. The captain was also accommodating, which made sense because his girlfriend was pregnant and it was no secret how much the captain wanted the baby she carried. It was harder to get a read on Commander Spock, but there was no doubt that he wanted the baby as well. Tina thought their relationship was nothing short of amazing.
She glanced at Nyota. She sat in the back of the chapel with a wastebasket at her side. Commander Spock sat next to her and Tina knew that Nyota was sick again. Her face was deathly pale and she, like Janice, Charlene and Iliya, were prone to spitting. By comparison, Tina’s pregnancy was fairly easy outside of the morning sickness. Leonard was determined to care for her and Tina found she didn’t mind it. She was too exhausted by the end of her shift to want to do anything more than fall into bed. It certainly stopped their arguing.
The captain pronounced Dana and Parker man and wife. The audience applauded as they kissed and turned to face their friends. Tina and Koko stepped forward to hug Dana and Parker and wish them well.
Back in their quarters, Nyota was in the bathroom washing her face. She had been sick all morning, but was determined to attend the wedding. However, once the cadet servers began putting out the food, her stomach lurched and Spock immediately hurried her out of the conference room. Kirk would follow after he initiated the first toast.
When she exited the bathroom, Spock was there with warm towels and a plate of saltine crackers and ginger ale. She walked over to him and sat down at the table. Spock put a warm towel behind her neck and tenderly wiped her face. Nyota let him care for her; it was absolutely pointless to resist either man when they were determined to see about her.
“I’m all right now, Spock.”
“Can you manage to eat anything?”
She rubbed her stomach. “Not at the moment.” She reached for the glass and took small sips of the gold fizzy liquid. Spock knelt before her and put his hands on her stomach.
“Our child does not agree with you today, k’diwa.”
“It never does, Spock.”
“It distresses me to see you in so much discomfort.”
“It will be worth it when I get to hold her in my arms.”
“You have already determined the sex of the child?”
“No, silly. I’m just waxing poetic. I’d like a girl.”
“I am unconcerned with our child’s gender. I am more concerned that it is healthy.”
“It will be, Spock. I’m just having a bad pregnancy. Some women do, you know.”
Nyota finished her ginger ale. Spock helped her up and over to the bed. She sat on the edge and smiled down at him as he removed her shoes. Then he helped her recline just as Kirk entered the room. Immediately, he was by her side. Nyota adjusted as they got on the bed with her. As always, their hands linked over her belly.
“How are you feeling, beautiful?”
“I’m all right, Jim.”
“My son’s being a bit of a jerk today?” He nuzzled her ear.
Spock raised an eyebrow. “You have determined the sex of the child, Jim?”
“No, you dingus. I’m just being silly. But I would like a boy.”
Spock looked at his lovers. “One of you is going to be disappointed.”
Nyota sighed into the bed, eyes closed. There was no doubt about it; when she was with them, absolutely nothing else mattered. “Not at all, Spock. Jim and I may fantasize about the sex of the baby, but it doesn’t matter as long as she or he is healthy.”
Kirk nuzzled her ear again. “Right.”
“How was the reception, Jim? I’m sorry I missed it.”
“I can’t really say, baby. I left as soon as I was done with the toast. It seemed like it was going well when I left. Lt. Hannity and Lt. Morrow—“
“You mean Mr. and Mrs. Morrow, Jim.”
“—appeared to be very happy.” Then Kirk looked at Spock and then at Nyota. “Let’s get married. Seriously. Let’s do it this week.”
“Jim, I think we should wait until Nyota feels up to it. She has been sick every day.”
“I know,” Kirk said. “But I can’t help it. Watching Lt. Hannity and Lt. Morrow…we should have that as well.”
“We will,” Nyota said. “In time. First things first, Jim.”
He sighed, clenching their fingers tight. “I want to marry you,” he said, staring at both of them. “I don’t want to wait another moment.”
“What I don’t want is to throw up on Admiral Pike while he’s in the middle of the proceedings, Jim. And if we’re gonna get married, can we do it right? I’d like for Irish and Gaila to be present, as well as Spock’s father and your mother. I’d like for my father to give me away.” This last she said quietly.
“Ny,” Kirk said, kissing her nose, “My mother could give a fuck about me, but if that’s what you want, you know I’ll do anything you tell me to.”
Spock was quiet for a long moment. “I shall have to inform my father. I will do it this week.”
Nyota nodded. “Good. I’m ready to tell my mother right now.”