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Bound by Life

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Space,
The final frontier.

Where anything could happen, no matter how inexplicable it might be. People were killed, wars were fought, new life and new civilizations were found and formed. Anything was possible out in the final frontier.

Captain James T. Kirk was resurrected by the blood of his enemy. It took a while, but he had survived the insurmountable levels of radiation that wracked his system. He was alive and well, too. Perfect neural recovery, no lasting physical consequences, and he was mentally sound as far as anyone could tell.

But now it was different.

Spock was the one on the biobed this time, covered in his own green blood, and there was no way to save him. His clothes were half-burned half-ripped from his body, exposing every lesion and burn on his skin. Each nurse was working rapidly on the man's wounds, trying to save him from his inevitable death. The security had had to remove Jim from the room earlier, since he was hysterical with panic and fear. McCoy wanted to console him, but he knew that they were leaping off a cliff with no parachutes.

McCoy was standing there, holding Spock's heart in both his hands. It had practically fell out once they got his shirt off, and McCoy had caught it before anything could rip. It was hot, and it was beating rapidly. McCoy knew that it would soon stop, and he could not bear to think of it. As soon as the cavity was mended, McCoy fixed the heart back in place.

He raised a bloody hand and placed it on Spock's cheek. He couldn't believe that Spock would sacrifice himself for Jim again. He had gotten into the habit of throwing himself in front of the captain whenever danger ensued, even though he knew it was illogical. It started with those poisonous dart plants on Gamma Trianguli VI, and only continued to get more and more deadly. In this case, it was more explosive. They had been on a seemingly peaceful planet before they realized that there were explosive pockets inside the planet's crust. Jim had stepped right onto a weak spot before Spock shoved him off and it exploded.

His clothes were still smoking when they had beamed aboard. At first glance, McCoy knew that there was nothing that he could do to save him. Even with the Vulcan's voodoo healing powers, it would have been impossible.

So there he stood, watching helplessly as Spock's vitals dropped lower and lower. He shouldn't have even been alive at that point, but he and M'Benga had pumped him so full of chemicals that he was practically on life support now.

"I'm so sorry, Spock..." McCoy croaked out, his hand still on the man's face. M'Benga put a dark hand on his shoulder.

"McCoy, he can't hear you- neither physically nor telepathically." He said, and McCoy elbowed him away. He didn't need the other man's logic at that point. If he wanted to be irrationally sentimental, then he was going to do it.

"Shut the hell up, M'Benga. I'll make him hear me." He growled, lowering himself and pushing his forehead against Spock's. He said it again, "I'm so, so sorry Spock. I would have done anything..."

Tears threatened leave his eyes, but he blinked them away. He kept his forehead against the Vulcan's, wanting to stay close to his friend throughout his last living moments. He thought about Spock's life, all the memories they had shared so far, but eventually he started thinking about things he never knew about Spock. His childhood, his family, his feelings, his teachings. He didn't know any of these things about the man before, and it was hurting his head to think about it. He couldn't pull away, and he couldn't stop the thoughts and memories from coming.

McCoy soon became so overwhelmed, and he succumbed to the darkness surrounding him.

--

"It will be too early to determine the effects. I regret that this is the route that was taken."

"Yeah, well, I bet he'll be pretty angry when he wakes up."

McCoy groaned, acknowledging that he had woken up, and opened his eyes. He was in sickbay, on a biobed. But why? He looked over to where he heard the voices, and saw Spock sitting up and talking to M'Benga. The words were out of his mouth before he could even think them.

"Why the fuck are you alive?!" McCoy asked, jumping off of the biobed and approaching the both of them. He looked up at the monitor and saw that Spock was doing moderately fine, except for the fact that he was in a lot of pain. But there he was, looking up at him like it was any other day, as if the only damage he'd gotten was a kick in the shin by an angry Ferengi.

"It may be difficult for you to understand." Spock said, but McCoy crossed his arms and waited for the explanation. Spock and M'Benga exchanged a glance before the Vulcan continued. "Vulcans have the ability to transfer parts of their mind or essence to other people or objects. It is called the transference of katra. When you made certain physical contact with me, much of my katra was willed upon you."

"So if he died, it wouldn't matter, since his katra would be in you." M'Benga contributed, and McCoy raised an eyebrow, feeling a bit mentally violated.

"The transference was done quite quickly, which is why you were rendered unconscious from shock. Doctor M'Benga then called a Vulcan officer down so that she may perform the fal-tor-pan, or 're-fusion.' My katra was then returned to me." Spock finished explaining, and McCoy scoffed.

"Well shit. If it was that easy..." He trailed off, not really wanting to finish. If it was that easy, then they could have just done that in the first place without all that stress. "Where's that Vulcan you mentioned?" He asked, looking around and seeing nobody else in the area.

"She had to go meditate. The process can be quite stressful, not to mention mentally and emotionally straining. She'll want to talk to you later, though." M'Benga answered, then crossed his arms. "And it wasn't as easy as you think. You were unconscious for nine hours. And also..." He trailed off, and McCoy raised his eyebrows, looking between him and Spock.

"... And what?!" He demanded when nobody made a move to answer. M'Benga sighed, glancing at Spock.

"Some of his katra is still in you. Stuck there." M'Benga admitted, and McCoy gaped at him. "Which we thought was because T'Laua isn't a practicing Vulcan healer, but she said that not even a master could get it out. That it... mutated, I think."

"T'Laua infers that it manifested itself physically inside of you." Spock said bluntly, and McCoy's gape turned into a scowl.

"Like... a tumor?" He asked, and the other two exchanged yet another look. Almost pissed him off, like they didn't want to tell him the whole story.

"Not particularly. It won't kill you or have any bad effects on your health." M'Benga assured him, and he nodded, feeling only a little relieved. "We think that it'll just be... there. And we don't really know why it is that way- whether it's because Spock's half human, or that T'Laua just wasn't experienced enough, or if it's just how these things can happen. After all, fal-tor-pan has only been reportedly completed just a few times. Anything could have gone wrong, and we're lucky that it went as well as it did. You both are still alive, and that's something to be thankful for."

"However, it is advisable that we both meet with T'Laua once she is performing adequately again. After that, it would be wise that you see her regularly in order to be certain that you are still in good health." Spock suggested, and McCoy clenched his jaw. He didn't want to go talk to some hobgoblin about his mental issues, damn it. It was bad enough being the subject of their weird bio-voodoo.

"Ah. Well. Fine, if that's all it takes. Has Jim seen you? I know he was... worried." McCoy asked, and M'Benga laughed and walked off.

"He did visit me, yes." Spock answered, looking away. McCoy raised his eyebrows again, and moved to try and catch Spock's eyes.

"What happened?" He asked quietly, wondering if it was something bad.

"He... Confessed his romantic feelings towards me." Spock admitted, and McCoy frowned in confusion.

"Wait, I thought that you guys were already together." He asked, sitting down on the biobed next to the Vulcan's knees. Spock blinked at him.

"We were not. He is my friend." He replied, and McCoy nodded.

"So I take it that you don't reciprocate his feelings?" He asked, and Spock shook his head.

"Unfortunately, no. He would have made an adequate partner, however I find that my affections for him are strictly platonic." Spock answered, folding his hands together. "Were you and him involved with each other romantically?"

"Jim and me? No." McCoy snorted, shaking his head. "He came onto me at the Academy once, but that's where it ended. We've only ever been friends." He answered, and it was Spock's turn to nod his head. McCoy just looked at him after that, noting his severely pale complexion and the small cuts on his face and neck. He was dressed in a hospital gown, and cleaned of all the blood that he had been drenched with before McCoy had passed out. He looked like absolute crap, but his demeanor said that he was the same as ever.

McCoy wondered if he or Spock would change because of the whole 'katra' thing. He hoped that he wouldn't develop some sort of second personality because of the piece of Spock rooted inside of him still. He also hoped that Spock wouldn't act different or partially gone because of the missing katra. Wasn't it part of his soul or something? Surely he couldn't go without it and still perform like usual. He had so many questions, but he knew that he needed to wait.

Chapter Text

T'Laua was young and pretty, but even more strict with her emotions than Spock was. While he would at least frown or raise an eyebrow every once in a while, her face was about as expressive as a brick wall. It almost irked McCoy, since he could never tell what her attitude was when she was saying something. Spock seemed to act more stiff around her as well. It was all just strange.

"Since the remaining katra cannot be retrieved, the only logical course of action is to simply wait and observe any changes taken upon either of you." T'Laua suggested, and McCoy nodded.

"Seems simple enough." He said, glancing over at Spock, who didn't acknowledge him. The three were all sitting around a small table in T'Laua's quarters, and he was starting to get a little uncomfortable being in such a small proximity with two different hobgoblins. He felt like a damn ant in a room full of people ready to stomp on him.

"It will be acceptable for you to meet with me every two weeks to observe your mental health." She said, and McCoy had the urge to tell her no right then and there.

"Couldn't M'Benga just do some scans on me or something?" He asked, really not wanting to see this pool of cement of a woman more than he had to.

"No. That would be illogical." T'Laua said, looking over at him with her dark brown eyes. He waited for her to elaborate on why it would be illogical, but she said nothing more. He sighed.

"Alright." He gave in, knowing fully well that he hardly had a choice if he wanted to live. "I'll see you in two weeks, then." He nodded to her and stood, Spock standing as well.

"Pen-nil-bek." T'Laua said, and McCoy turned to see her looking up at Spock.

"Ki'ar'kada." Spock answered, looking indignant. She continued to look at him for a while, and McCoy felt a bit awkward. Should he go? Should he stay?

"Fa-wak tor du ra karthau." T'Laua said, and Spock looked over at McCoy.

"You may go, Doctor. She requests that only I remain." Spock said, sitting back down in his chair.

"She couldn't have said that in the standard language?" McCoy asked, glaring at T'Laua briefly before walking out. Damn Vulcans, so secretive about everything. Why would she have said it in Vulcan if Spock was just going to tell him what she said anyway? Prideful hobgoblins...

McCoy stalked back to the sickbay for work. It was still morning, so he had a lot of work to do. Spock would be returning after his little private meeting with T'Laua, and he didn't want him here if there was going to be the chance of someone spewing all over him. The last thing either of them needed was Spock getting an illness or infection on top of his extensive wounds. Damn Vulcan was lucky that McCoy even let him out of the 'bay in the first place. It's not like it would have hurt T'Laua to just come down and talk to them in one of the private rooms in sickbay. But no, they had to commute all the way up to her damn quarters.

While McCoy busied himself with his patients, several hours passed by before Spock returned to sickbay. When McCoy noticed him getting onto the biobed, he strode right up to him.

"Damn it, Spock, I told you to be back soon! It's been five hours! In your condition you're lucky you didn't keel over and die somewhere." He said, probing the Vulcan with a tricorder and observing his erratic readings.

"On the contrary, Doctor, I feel fit enough for duty." Spock said, looking up at him. "I-"

"I don't care how you feel, considering you tend to block out everything that matters. You died yesterday, Spock. You'll be here for as long as I say so." He ordered, setting the tricorder down and eyeing the other man. "If you wanna work, have someone bring you some that you can do here. But you ain't leavin' until I'm convinced that you can run a mile without kickin' the bucket."

He walked away, satisfied about having gotten the last word in, and started treating patients on the other side of the sickbay. It wasn't too much of a busy day, but out of a few hundred people, quite a lot tend to be sick (or at least, think that they are sick). It was enough to keep him occupied so that he didn't really have to think about the current events.

However, he couldn't stop the persistent thoughts from coming up in his mind. What would this piece of katra mean to him? He didn't feel any different, and as far as he could tell, he wasn't acting any different. He hardly even remembered how it felt when he got all the katra before Spock died. It was all a rush of memories and impressions before he passed out. Then all of it was taken away again, like it had never been there in the first place. Nothing changed.

It was difficult to believe that there was any piece of Spock left in him. It was strange that it even transformed into something physical. By T'Laua's explanation, the katra was the living essence of Spock- as if his DNA had been held in McCoy's body. By his understanding, since it was an energy, it was able to convert itself into actual matter. But for what purpose? It wouldn't kill him, it wouldn't hurt him, and it wouldn't benefit him. It was just... there. T'Laua even said that it could be anywhere in his body. When people think about someone's spirit they might picture the brain or the heart, but in all reality it could be anywhere inside of him.

What if it lodged itself somewhere important and would eventually kill him? No, he couldn't think about that. He had a life to live (for now) and work to do. He couldn't treat patients while simultaneously thinking about his own death. It wasn't practical.

--

McCoy, and Jim sat together for dinner in the mess. It was all silent for the first half, which made McCoy incredibly uncomfortable, but Jim eventually tried making conversation.

"So, Bones, you gonna be ready for that pandemic on Trena? You all vaccinated and everything?" Jim asked, twirling his fork around in his noodles. McCoy half-shrugged.

"I'll start vaccinations tomorrow. It'll give enough time for it to get through our systems effectively before we get to the planet. Nine days, right?" He asked, looking over at his captain and best friend.

"Ten. It'll take longer than expected to load the medical supplies up from the Starbase." Jim replied with a drink of his water. "I'll figure out who all wants to volunteer to help first before assigning people to the job. I'll make sure to send them all to you tomorrow."

"Thanks, Jim." McCoy said with a nod. He nodded back, smiling. "I'd better grab Spock some grub, even though he probably won't eat it."

"Yeah, he can be pretty stubborn. Take care of him, Bones." Jim told him with a smile, and McCoy nodded. He got up and grabbed a replicated salad and soup, and carried the tray back to sickbay.

He almost felt like some goddamn wife, bringing food to the guy that he spent his whole day with. Although he didn't really talk to him all day- he was just kind of there. Still, it was strange. He hated it.

McCoy handed the tray to Spock, who took it carefully and placed it in his lap. For some reason, other than the wounds on him, Spock was beginning to look different. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something just wasn't the same as before. Maybe his hair was smoother, or his eyes were a lighter brown, or...

"Can I help you, Doctor McCoy?" Spock asked, raising an eyebrow at him. He shook his head.

"No, you can't. M'Benga will look after you now. Try'n sleep." He ordered, and walked off. Maybe it was even Spock's voice that was different... He'd figure it out at some point.

Chapter Text

The pandemic was kicking McCoy's ass. There was one main institute where he was working, which had several thousand dying patients inside of it. He worked as rapidly as he could, administering hypo after hypo. There were about a hundred people from the Enterprise that offered to help, so he wasn't completely alone in the endeavor, but it was still difficult. All these screaming people, grabbing at him for some solace.

He was a doctor, not a miracle-worker. He could only do so much. The disease ripped its way through the lives of many, and it didn't help that the medicine they had took three days to completely take effect. McCoy was almost ripping his hair out after twelve different people died at the same time that he was hypospraying them. It was horrible.

He felt like he was trying to give pies to starving children with no time on his hands. There were a couple other Federation ships on the way, but it would take a while before they arrived. Just more time for more deaths.

The thing that probably got to McCoy the most was that these deaths didn't even hit him very hard. He felt like after seeing Spock on the biobed with his internals spilling out and blood all over, he had gone through the worst. Spock was hardly even his friend, if they could be considered as such. Still, it was like this pandemic was just background noise. He felt like crap to think so, but he couldn't help it. Nothing amounted to how he felt when Spock was going to die, and how he had nothing to do about it. That uselessness just killed McCoy inside.

So he kept working. He kept jamming medicine into these people, reading their vitals, and making sure that they wouldn't die on the spot. Everyone else was working so diligently, and he was thankful to have them. He hoped to save as many lives as possible.

Chapter Text

McCoy kept meeting with T'Laua, and while their regular procedure of her probing his mind for remnants of the katra seemed pretty personal, they still knew nothing about each other. McCoy knew only that she was an engineer, and that she opted to join Starfleet after the destruction of Vulcan. Even with that detail, he still felt as distant to her as when he first met her. It was one of the reasons why Vulcans irritated him; they were unimpressionable know-it-alls that treated all other species like they were inferior. He just hated that.

After two months, McCoy was beginning to feel strange. He noticed that he had started eating a little differently, and he couldn't help but feel like he was putting on weight. It hadn't ever happened to him before (he was always the perfect picture of health), so he decided that it might have had something to do with the katra.

He would have examined himself, but he admittedly wasn't the most knowledgable when it came Vulcany things. So he went to M'Benga. The man had studied on Vulcan long enough to have quite a bit of knowledge on the fact, and the two of them had gotten a little closer since the whole katra thing started. Before that, McCoy could hardly stand him.

"Doctor McCoy, good evening. What can I do for you?" M'Benga asked, grabbing a tricorder, but not using it until McCoy gave an explanation. He was always patient that way. They had gotten a private room, to the CMO's delight. McCoy was sitting on the biobed, not really wanting to lay down unless the circumstances required it.

"It sounds stupid to actually come to you about, but I couldn't help but think that this might have something to do with that whole katra thing, since this has never happened to me before." McCoy admitted, and M'Benga nodded his head and gestured for him to continue. "Well, I've been putting on a little bit of weight- and not in the good way. Also, lately, I've had quite the affinity for some foods that I never would have eaten before. Celery, for example. I hate it, but I can't stop wanting to eat it."

"... I see." M'Benga said, and started probing him with the tricorder, concentrating on his abdominal area. McCoy couldn't read his serious face, which he must have perfected during his time on Vulcan. "Go ahead and lay down for me. I'm going to check and see if there are any masses inside you. It's the best way to tell." He requested, and McCoy nodded. He hoped he didn't have cancer or anything- that would ruin his day.

He laid down, pushing his pants down a bit and lifting his shirt up. M'Benga got everything ready, and was soon running a probe all over his abdomen. The viewing screen was out of McCoy's view, which made him even more nervous. He felt the probe stop on one part of his abdomen, and M'Benga's lips parted as he frowned at the screen.

"Fuck, it's a tumor isn't it?" McCoy said, already assuming the worst even though he usually tried to keep a sturdily good mindset.

"Well... Not exactly..." M'Benga visibly hesitated, then turned the monitor to face him. He saw it there, as clear as daylight. He gaped at the screen, blinking hard as he couldn't believe his eyes.

"It's a... That's... That's a... a... uhh.. oh dear god..." McCoy stammered, his heartbeat speeding up and his breathing rate increasing. He felt like his heart was in his throat, and he couldn't shake off the wave of heat that took over his whole body. He sat up and kept breathing to try and get himself under control, but his breaths only came in and out in short, broken spurts.

"Leonard, you're having a panic attack, I need you to calm down." M'Benga said, putting a hand on his shoulder, but McCoy shrugged it off. He shook his head rapidly.

"No... No... I can't be... There isn't... I'm not. fucking. pregnant. Geoffrey." McCoy choked out, rubbing his flushing face with his sweating hands. "What if I don't want it? What if I want it aborted?"

"I won't allow you to make that decision now- you have a while to think about it. But you must tell Spock, and the two of you should come up with a mutual decision." M'Benga suggested, and McCoy groaned. "Assuming, of course, that Spock's katra is the reason why this happened. I don't know what you... Who you're..."

"There's no other explanation." McCoy said bluntly, glaring up at him. "Why do I have to tell him? It's not like he or I meant for this to happen. He doesn't need to know." He was partially trying to convince himself also, but the look on M'Benga's face told him that neither of them believed that he should keep this from Spock. He took a deep breath, having calmed down a bit. Besides, it's not like this was permanent. It would end one way or another. "Alright... I'll tell him. Just not tonight, and probably not tomorrow. I need a while to think. Thank you, M'Benga."

"It's not a problem, McCoy. Just know that no matter what you choose, I'll be happy to help you discreetly and efficiently." M'Benga assured him, and he nodded at the other doctor gratefully before standing up and leaving.

McCoy walked out of sickbay stiff-legged and sweaty. He got a few concerned looks from some ensigns, but his glare prevented any of them from saying anything. When he got to his quarters, he stripped down and climbed into bed.

He couldn't believe that he was pregnant. He couldn't believe that he was pregnant with Spock's child. SPOCK. They were hardly even friends, let alone lovers. Even if they were closer friends, McCoy wasn't really into the whole male on male thing. Not like he even wanted a romantic relationship with the hobgoblin anyway. God, their child would even be a hobgoblin. Wouldn't it? He had no idea what sort of DNA their kid possessed.

It was difficult to think that there even was any of Spock's DNA there. It's not like McCoy had been injected with the man's sperm or anything. It was just his essence... although it was almost the same thing, really. He imagined a pointy eared, green faced wriggler coming out of him. It was just so unnatural. Would the child even have copper-based blood? Would it have pointy ears? Would it look more like him or Spock? Would it look like either of their parents?

How could they even raise a child on this ship anyway? They encountered danger more often than a Romulan terrorist shuttle in Federation space would. Even without the danger, they were both busy all of the time. Spock was always on the Bridge and going on away missions. McCoy spent his life in Sickbay. They wouldn't even have time for a child.

He rolled onto his side, closing his eyes and letting his fingers trail across his bare abdomen. Under his hard muscles he could feel the forming bump there that he had been trained to feel ever since his first days in med school. He never expected to be feeling it on himself. It was enough to make him cringe, and shut his eyes tight enough to shut out the real world. He needed to sleep, and he didn't want to think about the life growing inside him.

--

The next morning, McCoy dragged himself through the day with half the willfulness that he usually had. He treated all his patients with the greatest effectiveness, though; he just glared the whole time he did it. Some would argue that it wasn't good for business, but hell, he ran the only sickbay on the ship.

Eventually it must have gotten pretty bad, though, since Jim came down and told him to behave.

"Damn it, Bones, what's wrong? I keep getting complaints about a certain Chief Medical Officer being particularly unpleasant today." Jim accused him, crossing his arms and standing in front of his desk. "I have better things to do than hear about people whining that their doctor's angry."

"Don't worry about it, Jim. It's not like they're getting bad treatment. I'll feel better tomorrow." Which was a complete lie, since he doubted that he'd feel any better by the next day, but he just wanted Jim off his ass. He looked up at him from where he was sitting, and saw his friend's face soften a little.

"Seriously, Bones, what's the matter? Are you doing okay?" Jim asked, looking a little worried. McCoy tried giving him a reassuring smile.

"Yeah, kid, I'm alright. Sorry people keep complainin'." He replied, folding his hands in his lap, and Jim sighed.

"Honestly, that was just an excuse to let me come see you. We've been pretty distant lately, Bones. I want that to change ASAP." He clapped his hands together, his big blue eyes widening. "Alright, how about tonight we hang out in my quarters? Just you, me, some liquor, and maybe some of those old spy movies that you like to watch."

"You're the one who likes those damn movies so much." McCoy snorted, but nodded his head. "You're on for tonight. But I ain't bringin' no alcohol. That's only for chronic sadness and celebration, which we got neither." He said, and Jim huffed. In reality, McCoy just didn't want to drink with the fetus still inside him.

"Fine. But make sure you're there. I miss having you around." Jim said with a white, gleaming smile, and left the room. McCoy blew out a breath that he didn't knew he'd been holding in. Damn it if he hadn't been worried that Jim was going to keep prying in on his troubles. He would've been in some deep, boiling water then.

 

McCoy made sure to hang out with Jim that night like they had decided, and he also made sure not to be a complete asshole while it happened. They just say around, watched movies, and McCoy eventually fell peacefully asleep on the man's couch. It was just like old times, honestly, and it felt good.

Chapter Text

2 Months, 3 Weeks

McCoy's heart thumped in his chest, and he took a deep breath to try and calm his nerves. He reached out and chimed the door. He heard the monotonous "Enter," and stepped inside. Spock was sitting at his desk, but had stopped whatever he was doing in favor of seeing who was there.

"Doctor McCoy. Are you in need of assistance?" He asked, and McCoy brought a chair over to sit across the desk from him. He wondered how to begin. Should he come right out and say it, or explain what happened? No, bluntness wouldn't get them anywhere. Spock would need a clear explanation.

"So... turns out the katra wasn't as quiet as we thought." McCoy started off, and Spock raised an eyebrow at him. Before the Vulcan could ask why, he continued talking. "It turns out that your actual DNA had been rooted inside me, and it... it mingled with my own biology. And together, they created something new... Something that wouldn't have usually been possible unless some sort of physical contact was made." He danced around the topic, and Spock's face turned dangerously serious. He decided to just come out and say it. "It's a fetus, Spock." He said quietly, looking the Vulcan dead in the eye.

Spock didn't reply for a long time; he just looked at him. McCoy almost felt like he was being scrutinized for it, but it wasn't his fault that this happened, damn it. He was about ready to yell at the man before he actually spoke. In a calmed voice, Spock said, "Then be slow to take life."

"... Huh?" McCoy said, frowning at him. What in the hell was that supposed to mean?

"It is one of Surak's teachings about the conservation and sanctity of life. You cannot return life to what you kill, so then be slow to take life. Think hard about what you may do with this child, McCoy. It is alive, and it exists within you." Spock explained, and McCoy swallowed hard. "If it were up to me, I would opt to keep the child alive. However, it is not my decision, so you may do as you see fit."

"So you don't care if I get an abortion?" McCoy asked bluntly, not caring for any of this in-between crap. He only came here to tell Spock about it, it didn't matter if the hobgoblin wanted it or not. It's not like he meant for this to happen.

"Do what you must do, Leonard." Spock said quietly, which made McCoy really try and look at him. The Vulcan seemed to look different every time he looked at him. It usually depended on the situation, really. But in that moment, Spock looked... capable. He looked caring. He looked like everything anybody could ever want. McCoy couldn't help but to wonder about what would happen if he and Spock were to become parents. No, that's not what he was here for. He came to Spock's quarters because M'Benga said that it was the right thing to do, not to wonder about what would happen if he and Spock hooked up.

"I'll take that into consideration, thanks." McCoy grumbled angrily, not knowing why he was angry at him, but angry nonetheless. He stood up, and left the room before anybody could have stopped him. He surmised that even if Spock called after him, he wouldn't stop for him. But the Vulcan said nothing, and so he left without conflict.

--

It was time to meet with T'Laua again, and McCoy decided that he should probably tell her the news so that she wasn't left in the dark. When he entered her bronze and gold colored quarters, he didn't sit down like he usually did. She looked up at him, no doubt wondering what the deal was.

"Thought you should know, the katra caused me to get pregnant. I'm aborting the fetus when I can. Not changing my mind. These meetings can probably end now, too, now that we know what the result of the whole katra thing is." McCoy explained quickly, and turned to leave.

"McCoy." T'Laua demanded, and he stopped at her door, expecting another philosophical Vulcan lesson on life. "You are making the correct decision." Her words shocked him, but he nodded before walking out.

That wasn't what he was expecting. Wasn't she full on Vulcanian, purged of all emotion and set on their philosophies? If the whole "life-preservation" thing was rooted into Vulcan teachings, wouldn't T'Laua be the first one to enforce that? Or did she really think that the child shouldn't be alive?

Oh well. What she believed in wasn't his problem. He was getting the abortion whether anybody liked it or not.

He walked over to Sickbay, and cornered M'Benga, ignoring any nurses that tried to greet him.

"McCoy, nice to see you." M'Benga greeted him with a gentle pat on his arm. McCoy tried not to feel a little uncomfortable with the intimate gesture as he got straight to the point.

"Talked it over with him." He grumbled quietly so that nobody else could hear it. "I'm getting the operation." M'Benga nodded, looking a little disappointed, but it wasn't going to phase McCoy.

"Alright. I'll try my best to fit you in next week, since it's quite the procedure. Are you okay with Nurse Chapel assisting? I'll brief her on the situation so that you don't have to." M'Benga replied, and McCoy nodded.

"Sounds good, thank you. A lot." He said seriously, and M'Benga's chocolatey eyes bore into his.

"It's no problem, McCoy. I'm here for you." He grinned at him and pat his arm again, and McCoy smiled back awkwardly before walking off. 'Damn that was awkward...' He thought to himself, shaking his head as he walked out of the sickbay. Hopefully M'Benga wasn't trying to be sweet on him in his 'time of need.' No, he wasn't like that. He was just a friendly doctor. McCoy needed to stop believing that anybody who was nice to him was probably interested in him. It only ever caused him issues.

---

Adorned with the regulation hospital gown, McCoy sprawled out on the biobed in a private operation room. M'Benga and Nurse Chapel had already scrubbed down, and we're getting everything prepared.

"Hope you know that Spock said to comm him if anything went wrong. He seems to care, even if you don't want to think so." M'Benga said, smiling down at him. McCoy only glared back.

"Are you sure about this, Doctor? It's not too late to change your mind." Chapel said with a small smile, but McCoy glared at her.

"One hundred percent sure, Nurse. Let's just get this whole thing over with." He grumbled, and she nodded at him. She put the mask over his nose and mouth, and he started counting off. "Six... five... fo..." And he was out.

... ... ...

It wasn't right...
...
He was filled with the immense feelings and thoughts of 'No, it isn't right. It must stop. I can't do this.' It was overwhelming him, his own voice screaming into his mind. 'No! Stop! I can't go through with this!'
...
"--at? Why is he waking up?"

McCoy coughed, pawing at the mask on his face. He tried opening his eyes, but everything was bright and blurry.

"Leonard, you're waking up while we're still operating. We're going to increase-"

"No..." McCoy breathed out, trying to shake his head, but he just felt so damn heavy. "Stop... stop..."

"We can't stop now, we're already IN there!"

"I'll fire you..." McCoy threatened, before everything went black again.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

McCoy took a shaky breath as soon as he woke up. It was over. The abortion was over, and he was his own single body again. He was sans fetus.

He tried to ignore the sinking feeling he had.

He blinked away the shock of brightness that made his eyes hurt, and looked around. Spock was in a chair next to him, and there was nobody else in the room. They looked at each other for a while, before McCoy spoke in a ragged voice, "Why're you here? I told you I was going to abort it, didn't I?"

"Huh, so he doesn't remember. Shit." Oh. Maybe they weren't alone. McCoy swung his head around to see M'Benga approaching them from the other side of the room. He frowned up at the other doctor.

"Remember what?" He asked, still feeling loopy from the anesthesia.

"Fascinating." Spock remarked quietly, and McCoy glared over at him.

"Damn it, someone just tell me what's goin' on. What in the hell happened?" He demanded, and Spock looked over at M'Benga. The latter gestured for the Vulcan to explain.

"Amidst the procedure, you ordered Doctor M'Benga and Nurse Chapel to cease the operation, and then threatened to fire them if they did not." Spock explained, crossing his arms. McCoy gaped at him.

"No." McCoy answered, shaking his head. But then he couldn't deny the surge of relief that went through him. He palmed at his face, groaning.

"I'll leave you two some alone time." M'Benga said, and walked swiftly out the door. McCoy dropped his hands from his face and stared at the ceiling.

"Are you unhappy with the... result?" Spock asked, and McCoy sighed.

"Yes! Maybe. I... I don't know." He said, and tried to sit up so that he could communicate better. But Spock laid a hand on his chest and gently pushed him back down.

"You need to rest. We may talk later." Spock said, and stood up. McCoy knew that he had a lot to think about, but he didn't want to think that. He didn't want to be alone with his thoughts to plague him. It was never healthy. That's why he always enjoyed Jim's company, even though it could be annoying sometimes. It kept him from his dangerous thoughts. He reached out and grabbed Spock's pinky finger, causing the Vulcan to turn and look down at him.

"Can you stay? Just for a while?" He asked, and Spock hesitated before sitting back down. McCoy breathed out in relief, and folded his hands on his stomach. At least Spock was willing to stay with him, just for now.

Chapter Text

3 Months

Spock evidently decided that they had danced around the topic enough, since he visited McCoy's quarters one night after they were finished with work. While he was still dressed in uniform, McCoy wore a baggy green sweatshirt so that he didn't have to look at the little bump forming.

He was napping on the couch when the door chimed, and he grouched out a "Come in!" before sitting up and rubbing his head. Spock walked in, his hands behind his back and his spine ramrod straight. What a fucking sight for sore eyes (sarcastically, of course).

"I have come to discuss the terms of our child." Spock said, looking down at him with no goddamn emotion to his face or anything.

"OUR child?" McCoy asked with a glare, sitting back on the couch and crossing his arms.

"I believe that my DNA-"

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean that it's yours. You had nothing to do with it." He interrupted, and Spock took a moment before speaking again.

"With that same logic, you had nothing to do with it either." He replied, and McCoy's scowl deepened. Spock sat on the couch, as far from McCoy as possible (which really wasn't that much space). "I let you have the decision about whether or not to keep the child alive. Now I am requesting that you let me be a parent to that child, since you have decided its fate." He stared sternly into McCoy's eyes.

"... Fair enough. So, what's there to discuss?" McCoy asked, raising his eyebrows at the Vulcan. "You wanna talk about, what, living arrangements? A joint checking account? Health plan?"

"Yes." Spock said simply, and McCoy glared again. He opened his mouth to reply, but he felt a nosebleed coming. He cursed and went to his bathroom, shoving a tissue against his nostrils. Spock followed him in, and even though he wasn't showing emotion, he seemed concerned. That was a common thing lately- even though his face remained a chiseled stone, McCoy could still get the gist of what he was feeling.

Weird.

"Don't worry about it, it tends to happen to people who're... you know." McCoy waved his hand dismissively, sitting on the toilet and keeping the tissue to the nose. He grabbed some more, just in case. "God, this is a little embarrassing, sorry." He grumbled, casting his eyes to Spock's boots. Spock crouched down, catching his eyes.

"I want to be here for you. It is only logical that we endure this together." He said, trying to take the tissue from him, but McCoy shoved his hand away.

"Thanks, but I'd prefer it if we weren't like a goddamn married couple for this. I just wanna have this baby and... you know... raise it. Maybe I'll get it fucking right this time." He explained, referring to his failed attempt at trying to stay with Jocelyn while raising Joanna. It just didn't work out. Spock didn't reply; he just sat on the floor across from him and leaned against the wall. McCoy could tell how uncomfortable sitting on a bathroom floor made the man, so he decided to put in a little effort. "Is there anything I should do differently? It'll be about one-eighth Vulcan." Spock was silent for a while before speaking.

"I am uncertain. I will speak with my father later tonight in order to learn what my mother did while she was pregnant with me. However, I may have some idea of what would be best for the both of you." Spock said, and McCoy listened silently, except for his small sniffs every once in a while. "I suggest that you begin transitioning into a strictly vegetarian diet, and to cease consuming alcoholic beverages-"

"Fuck, Spock, I'm a doctor not a crack whore!" McCoy complained, switching to a new tissue. Spock nodded, and crossed his arms where he sat.

"True indeed, Doctor. I also suggest that you have regular appointments with Doctor M'Benga in order to confirm that your health is in constant order." Spock said, and McCoy sighed before nodding.

"As long as I don't have to keep seeing that T'Laua woman, I think I'll be fine." McCoy grumbled, sniffed, and stood up to throw the bloodied tissues in the toilet. He flushed it before rolling up his sleeves and washing his face in the sink.

"I would prefer it if you ceased to communicate with T'Laua." Spock said quietly, and McCoy frowned at his reflection in the mirror.

"Why? Don't like her?" He joked and turned to face the other man, but Spock didn't look back at him.

"I do not dislike anybody. However, your assumption is correct." Spock said, and McCoy snorted. Contradicting bastard.

"Why not?" He asked.

"She is particularly malignant towards my human half." Spock answered as McCoy walked back into his quarters to sit on the couch. The Vulcan followed, sitting next to him again.

"Mmm, that explains a lot." McCoy remarked, and Spock physically turned to him.

"Explain." Spock demanded and McCoy smiled and shook his head.

"It's only that when I told her about the katra forming the embryo, and then about my decision to abort it, she said that I was making the 'correct' choice." He explained, and he could sense somehow that Spock was angry.

"I see." He replied calmly before standing up. "I will take my leave now. It is advisable that you fall asleep within the next 30 minutes in order gain the healthy amount by the time you rise in the morning. I will speak with my father once I return to my quarters, and will relay his knowledge tomorrow."

"Uh, alright." McCoy replied, a little confused, but actually tired now that Spock suggested it. "Don't... do anything about T'Laua, though, okay? She seems like a decent person if not a little xenophobic. We all are. But anyway, have a good night." Spock stopped at the door, his hands clasped tightly behind his back again.

"Sleep well, Leonard." And then he was out the door. McCoy sighed, looked around his empty room, and then climbed into bed.

More tired than he had previously anticipated, he fell asleep swiftly.

---

McCoy, Jim, and Spock ate lunch together in the mess, and the good doctor had planned on telling his trusty captain the news. He was a little nervous, and somewhat embarrassed, about having to tell his best friend that he- a guy!- was pregnant. Especially since he was pregnant with the guy that Jim used to have a crush on... oh boy.

"So Jim, you know I..." McCoy started strong, but his words died out as soon as he looked at his friend's curious face. The raised eyebrows, big blue eyes, lips quirked up in a smile... How would he take the news?

"Yeah Bones? What is it?" Jim asked, setting down his fork and giving him his full attention. McCoy swallowed nervously and glanced at Spock, but the man was concentrating on his food. No help there.

"Well... the katra. We found out what it turned into. Or rather, what it made." McCoy began explaining, and Spock raised an eyebrow at him. He glared back, and Jim looked between the two curiously. "Well, you know that it was practically his living essence, but it turned into actual matter for some reason, which contained his DNA." He rambled, and Jim nodded, clearly not catching on yet. "Well his DNA mixed with some of my DNA, and uh... it created something new." Jim blinked at him for a while before answering.

"So what you're saying is that you and Spock are kind of... the same person?" Jim guessed, and McCoy snickered and took a bite of his salad. He shook his head and watched the gears turn in the man's head. "You're... pregnant?" He guessed again, and McCoy nodded as he swallowed down the bitter green food. "How far along are you?"

"About three?" McCoy estimated, looking over at Spock, who nodded. He tried not to be irritated about how quiet the Vulcan was being.

"Three what?! Days? Weeks?" Jim asked, frowning at them now.

"Months." McCoy supplied, causing Jim's jaw to fall to the floor.

"And you didn't think to tell me until now?!" Jim complained, and it was McCoy's turn to raise his eyebrows.

"Well I was going to abort it, so I didn't think it would've mattered." McCoy said
as if that was an actual excuse. He guessed that he should've told his friend about it earlier...

"Of course it would have mattered, damn it Bones! We're best friends! I thought that I had the right to know if you went and got pregnant with one of my other friends! And maybe if you didn't want to tell me just as a friend, you should have told me because I'm your captain and because you can trust me. Believe it or not, Bones, I want to be there!" Jim growled at him before standing aggressively from the table. He turned to Spock and opened his mouth to speak, but closed it and shook his head before walking off. McCoy watched him go before turning back to his meal. He ate and swallowed down some accursed celery.

"Would you like to discuss that which my father explained about my mother's pregnancy?" Spock asked, changing the subject, and McCoy glanced at him before nodding and eating some more of his food. "He told me that she had kept her diet strictly vegetarian, and that she was often in pain because of my excessive 'kicking.' Other than those things, there was not an extensive amount that she had done that would differ from a normal human pregnancy."

"Great, so I probably got a little violent vegetarian bastard inside me." McCoy grumbled before gulping down some of his water.

"I would appreciate it if you did not use any derogatory terms to describe the child." Spock said as he looked over at him. McCoy rolled his eyes.

"I'll do what I want, you pointy-eared hobgoblin." He said bitterly, causing Spock to frown at him slightly. McCoy stood up and grabbed his food to dispose of the leftovers, and walked away. The kid was inside him, not Spock; he could do what he wanted.

---

McCoy visited M'Benga for a little check up, and they once again got a private room. M'Benga did all the regular scans and examinations before they settled down to chat for a while.

"I'm sure the captain will settle down once he's gotten his wits about him again. After all, he did just figure out that his guy best friend is pregnant. And didn't he have some sort of thing with Spock?" M'Benga said, and McCoy shrugged.

"I think it was something else. But still, he's the one who decides whether I'm still on this ship or not." He grumbled, glaring at the ground.

"Are you going to stay on the ship for all of it?" M'Benga asked.

"No way I'm leavin'. Earth is the only place I'd be willing to go, and I ain't got no home there anymore. I'd drag Spock with me wherever I went, since I don't wanna be a single parent, but I know that he'll want to keep serving here." He explained and scratched the back of his neck. He was getting some sort of prickle there for some reason.

"Are you and Spock going to get... together?" The other doctor asked, and McCoy tried not to think about the hidden questions that might be under that.

"No. Not only is he not my type, I'm not into men." He answered bluntly, looking at the floor still because he didn't want to know M'Benga's reaction.

"I see. Well, I hope you find a nice lady who can be part of your... family." He replied, and McCoy nodded and slid off the biobed. He looked up at M'Benga's charmed face and nodded at him.

"Thanks. I'll see you later." He said, and walked out of the room. He had gotten slightly bigger uniform shirts, and he could feel the material swishing on his skin. If his posture was just barely bad enough, he could effectively hide his swelling belly from the public. He didn't want people to think that he was getting fat, but he also didn't want people to know that he was pregnant.

It wasn't like male pregnancies were particularly rare- they just didn't happen very often. He didn't really want to be known as 'That One CMO Who Got Prego With The Half Vulcan's Child.' Not only would it taint his name and good standing in the medical and scientific world, it would personally embarrass him to no end. But of course, he couldn't hide it forever. He'd have to face the music one day. Just not today.

M'Benga also brought up a good point, though. Would McCoy ever have a love life after this? Pregnant men usually meant that they were gay men. Especially since Spock was going to be a prominent parent to the kid. How would it work if he brought a woman into the mix? He'll just categorize this as another one of those "cross that bridge when you get there" things.

Chapter Text

4 Months, 3 Weeks

McCoy wiped the sweat from his forehead as he jogged on the treadmill in one of the emptier gyms. Jim was jogging on one alongside him. The Captain said that it was just for "some friendly jogging between best friends," but McCoy could see the worry in his eyes. It's not like he was going to keel over and miscarriage right then and there...

Well... it just wasn't LIKELY.

In any case, Jim had been excessively on McCoy's ass about being careful whenever he went somewhere. It was starting to get to him. He got that his friend just wanted him and the kid to be safe, but it was a little over the top. At least he was finished pouting about how McCoy and Spock didn't tell him about the baby sooner.

McCoy slowed down to a walk, then stopped completely. Jim slowed down as well. "I'm gonna go to my quarters so I can shower and change before my appointment with M'Benga." He said as he got off the treadmill.

"I'll walk with you." Jim decided, but McCoy shook his head while glaring at the other man.

"No. I can get there myself." He said bluntly.

"But I could just-"

"No, Jim, I'm just going to my room. I'll be fine." He gave his captain another stern glare before leaving off to his room.

The thing wasn't that the caring was annoying- it was the constant feeling McCoy was getting that others couldn't think that he could do things on his own. Just because he was carrying a child didn't mean that he was suddenly an old, weak person who nearly died whenever he took a step. No, he was still as able-bodied and capable as he always was. His belly wasn't even that big anyway; it's not like he was at the peak of his pregnancy and overrun by hormones that made him clumsier and more agitated than ever.

He shaved his face, since he hadn't in a couple of days. Some water got into the floor, but he just shrugged it off. He could always clean it up later. He showered next, the sonic pulses feeling good on his skin. Sure he missed the old water showers back on Earth, but the sonic showers were pretty nice also. It made him feel cleaner.

Once he stepped out of the shower, his foot landed right into the puddle of water that he neglected to clean up. He took a sharp intake of breath and he slipped, and everything was in slow motion as he fell face first onto the hard floor. The air was knocked out of him, and his whole torso ached from the impact. His heart rate picked up as he got onto his hands and knees and felt his belly.

He swallowed his heart from his throat and shakily stood up. It wasn't that hard of a fall, right? And the impact was distributed throughout his whole torso, not just his belly... or at least, that's what he wanted to think. He staggered into his room and got dressed as quickly as he could before leaving.

He needed to see M'Benga as quickly as possible. The odds of the fetus actually being harmed were a bit slim unless he felt immense pain in his abdomen. He was pretty sure that the pain was superficial enough that it wasn't significant. As he speed-walked to the sickbay, he couldn't stop shaking or feeling so damn agitated. What if it was hurt? What if it would die? What if it developed some sort of condition that couldn't be cured?

God, he needed to stop thinking.

As he turned a corner, he would've run into someone if they hadn't dodged him with some super speed. He barely glanced at them before walking on rigidly.

"What is wrong?" McCoy cursed; it was Spock. The Vulcan came up to walk quickly beside him, trying to catch his eyes. "Answer me."

"Not now, Spock, I can't..." McCoy growled through clenched teeth while shaking shaking his head. He did not want to deal with that overbearing hobgoblin right now.

"Leonard." Spock demanded, grabbing his arm and pulling him to a stop.

"Damn it, Spock, I need to get to sickbay right now, so don't fucking slow me down!" McCoy pushed the Vulcan away with all his strength, knocking the man back a step. Free of his intense grasp, McCoy took off walking swiftly into the turbolift. Spock got in with him, and they travelled down to the bottom of the ship.

He felt pretty awkward, crossing his arms and tapping his fingers against one of them anxiously. Painfully aware of the Vulcan staring at him intensely, he avoided eye contact. He was still lightheaded from the whole situation. He was freaking out just a little bit. He had actually grown to care for the little life inside of him. If it had gotten hurt because he was too lazy to clean up some water, he would never forgive himself.

He growled quietly, berating himself for his absolute stupidity. He glanced at Spock, and was immediately hit with the realization that the man was actually worried. It was another one of those feelings that McCoy got about how Spock was feeling. It was always strange, getting the impression that Spock could feel so much without showing any emotion at all.

"I fell." McCoy said quietly, and was out of the turbolift as soon as the doors opened.

"Where? When?" Spock asked, and McCoy could almost laugh at the non-professional formation of the questions. That is, he could have laughed if he wasn't freaking out internally.

"Getting out of the shower. There was water on the floor and I slipped. I fell on my front." McCoy explained choppily, feeling angry about how stupid it all sounded. "But I don't think that there's anything to worry about. There's no deep pain, no bleeding, no... anything. It's most likely just me in pain, but I want to be absolutely sure."

"Leonard, Vulcan fetuses are more susceptible to injury than the standard human fetus- especially when the person carrying it is hurt." Spock explained, and McCoy nearly choked on air. He whipped his head over to look at the man walking beside him.

"What the hell, Spock?! You didn't think to tell me that earlier?!" He yelled, trying to keep his voice from shaking. God, he might have really messed up.

"I did not think it very likely that you would slip and fall on your front within the near future. I can see now that the odds are higher than expected." Spock lectured, and McCoy growled again.

"Get off my back, Spock, it's not like I meant for it to happen! How about you just go back to your little science lab and-"

"I would much rather accompany you to sickbay." Spock decided, and McCoy scowled again before walking into the ship's hospital. He strode into one of the private rooms, and it wasn't long before Spock came in as well, accompanied by M'Benga.

"Spock informed me that you fell." M'Benga stated, and McCoy rolled his eyes, already laying down on the biobed.

"Damn it man, just scan me." He demanded, and M'Benga got to work. McCoy glanced at Spock, who was intensely watching what M'Benga was doing. Having the Vulcan there was making him even more agitated.

"Well, McCoy, you're lucky that nothing happened to the fetus. At least, nothing is wrong with the brain or body. We won't know about the bond or anything until later." M'Benga reported, and McCoy tipped his head up to frown at him.

"Bond? What bond?" He asked, although the relief of knowing that it was okay was preventing him from being too angry.

"Mental bonds develop between Vulcan children and their parents." M'Benga explained, glancing at Spock, who was watching the doctor still. "But it's too early to tell if you guys' child will even have those mental abilities, since we don't know just how Vulcan they'll be."

"... Alright, well, if we're fine here, since you've checked both my condition and the fetus', I'd prefer to leave." McCoy decided as he got off of the biobed.

"You don't want to discuss-"

"Not tonight, M'Benga." McCoy said, walking off without another word. He was suddenly feeling very tired, and all he wanted to do was to go to bed. He also felt cold. He blamed the hormones and the previously stressful situation.

It was a really stressful day, if McCoy thought about it. From the moment he woke up he was feeling like crap. He swore that if he felt like this for the rest of his pregnancy then he was going to kill somebody.

When he got back to his quarters, he immediately dressed into some sleeping clothes and threw a towel onto the wet spot on the bathroom floor. He moved it around a bit, making it absorb the water, and threw it in the hamper. He yawned and scratched his chest. He really was tired.

He got into bed, pulling the blankets up to his neck to keep himself warm. Right when he closed his eyes, his door chimed. He groaned angrily. If it was Spock, he swore to god that he was going to order the man right out of his room. He called out for them to come in, and rolled around so that he could see the door.

Spock stepped inside, looking around the dimmed room. "Lights to 30%." He ordered, and the room grew slightly brighter. McCoy groaned irritably again.

"Damn it, Spock, humans require more sleep than you. Whatever it is, we can talk about it tomorrow." He grumbled, closing his eyes and trying to snuggle into his pillow.

"It is the logical course of action that you will cease to be solitary during the duration of your pregnancy." He heard Spock say, and he frowned. "It would be profitable if I stay here whilst the conception is still taking place."

"Spock. Not now." McCoy ordered, rolling back around so that he didn't even have to be facing the other man.

"Leonard, it is imperative that-"

"Spock." McCoy demanded, his voice louder now. "Stop using my first name like that. I hate it. And I'm going to sleep now, so you can leave. Lights to 15%." He figured it was enough light for Spock to make his way out, but still dark enough so that he wouldn't have a problem falling asleep with it like that.

He heard Spock walk away, and he took a deep breath before falling right to sleep.

--

McCoy woke the next morning by the sound of his alarm, which he stopped promptly before forcing himself to sit up. He rubbed his eyes. He had gotten enough sleep, but he felt like he hadn't gotten a wink of it.

He got out of bed and walked to the bathroom to pee, brush his teeth, and pretty himself up like he usually did. When he walked back out, he gasped sharply when he saw a figure standing in his quarters.

"Jesus Christ, Spock, what're you doing here? I just about screamed like a little girl! Who gave you the right to be here?" He rambled, his chest pounding. Well, that had woken him up. He glared at Spock, who's hair was slightly messy and clothes were wrinkled. "Did you sleep on my couch?"

"I had informed you last night that you should not be alone, but you decided to sleep before I could expand on my point." Spock explained calmly, and McCoy gaped at him.

"Yeah, no, that doesn't give you the right to stay the night here. And what do you mean I shouldn't be alone?! You don't trust me anymore?" He asked, stepping forward and glaring Spock down.

"It is the safest option. If you were to become so injured that you could not move or access a communicator, both you and the child would be in danger." Spock explained as if the whole plan was hunky-dory. "It is logical that someone be with you at every possible moment."

"Thing is, Spock, is that I value my privacy and independence. I'm sure I won't get hurt that bad." He said, leaning against the wall and crossing his arms defiantly.

"And I was 'sure' that you would not fall." Spock argued, and McCoy sighed angrily. He opened his mouth to speak, but Spock continued talking. "If the child does develop a mental link with you, it is imperative that I be nearby so that I can not only facilitate that bond, but also form a bond with it as well."

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean that we have to live together." McCoy stated, narrowing his eyes at Spock. "Why are you so gung-ho to do this anyway? You usually can't stand to even talk to me."

"I am putting in an effort for the good of our child, and I..." He trailed off, and McCoy raised his eyebrows at him.

"You don't think that I want the best for the kid? Of course I do! But what's gonna happen when it's born and all we ever do is fight about stupid shit?" McCoy asked, throwing up his arms.

"I believe I am quite correct in saying that you have been the one to initiate most of these 'fights,' McCoy." Spock observed, and McCoy scoffed.

"Probably because I'm the only one here that's actually FEELING something." He spat back, but immediately knew that it was the wrong thing to say. Spock stared at him for a long time, and McCoy tried his very best to keep eye-contact.

"You will think about the possibility of the two of us moving in together, and I shall leave you be from now on." Spock said before striding out of the doctor's quarters. McCoy glared at the floor for a long time after the man left.

Chapter Text

5 Months, 2 1/2 Weeks

McCoy had been wearing different jackets and sweatshirts to work lately, since Jim had allowed it and it made everyone feel better. For McCoy, it helped to hide his belly a little bit (although it was starting to grow more and more as of late), and it made him warmer throughout the day. He'd been feeling colder and colder lately, as if someone kept turning the heat down throughout the whole ship. The different clothing also made it so that his patients worried less about his stomach and more about the task at hand, which was a major plus.

McCoy had been slowly but surely spreading the news of his pregnancy. While on shift at sickbay, people tended to eye his growing belly like it was something to be closely examined. He always just told them that "Yep, I got a bun in the oven" and they would usually shut up about it. Either that, or they would start asking a thousand different questions about when he found out, when it was due, if he knew the sex yet, and all those things. It usually drove him crazy by the end of the day.

"Strange thing, Doctor..." Sulu said at one of his appointments. The poor man had gotten stabbed by one of the poisonous plants in the botany lab. His hand was swelling up somethin' harsh. "Never thought that you'd be one to get pregnant. I don't mean anything by it, it's just that... I always thought that you were... you know..." McCoy raised an eyebrow at the man, who smiled sheepishly.

"I didn't think it would happen either. It wasn't exactly in my control." He grumbled, and Sulu's eyes widened. "No, I didn't mean like that, Mr. Sulu. It was a surprise for both of us. It was a sort of... artificial type of thing." He explained, not knowing why he chose to open up about it now.

"Ah, I see. Well as long as it wasn't..." He trailed off, and McCoy nodded, watching the swelling in the man's hand go down a bit from the fast medicine. "Who's the other person?" He asked, and McCoy glared.

"That's nothing anyone needs to worry about." He said simply, and Sulu sighed.

"Well, there's been some talk." He replied, and McCoy shook his head in disappointment. There's always talk. "And some people think that the captain is the other parent. Since he's always around you, and he's always looking at you with these eyes." Sulu mimicked Jim's famous wide-eyed and worried looking eyes, and McCoy sighed.

"Y'all should quit your yammerin' since you have no idea what you're talking about." He said, using another hypo. Sulu barely flinched.

"I suppose so, Doctor. But there's also talk of Spock." He smirked, and McCoy deepened his glare. "He's always been looking at you when you two are in the same room, and a lot of people have seen you two walking to sickbay together."

"Spock is the last person anyone would choose to be a father." McCoy stated, and Sulu looked like he didn't believe him. They both fell silent, though, which made McCoy start wondering things. Since when did Spock start staring at him? Whenever he looked at the Vulcan, his eyes were always on someone or something else. It was probably just the gossip, but he couldn't get it off his mind.

Spock had stopped bothering him about things, but still tended to hover whenever he was around. McCoy told him a few days ago that he was still thinking about the whole moving in together thing, but he really hadn't been considering it too much. The idea of living with someone else was just... not his idea of a fun time. The idea of living with Spock was straight up repulsive. He really didn't want to have that hobgoblin in his personal space 24/7.

He went throughout his day as per usual, healing sick people and telling others to stop whining about little cuts and bruises. It was his job, and despite his cranky demeanor, he really enjoyed it. Except for the fact that people kept asking questions about the fetus, but he could get past that.

He was starting to get curious about the supposed "bond" that the kid could form with him though. It was the point in the pregnancy where brain development was spiking, and that probably meant that now would be the time for a bond to form. But there was no way that he could tell, since he was a human. He really didn't want to ask Spock, though, since the man was so unbelievably unapproachable about things. Plus he just didn't want to be around him at the moment.

What he needed was a straight up Vulcan that could get right to the point without any conversations or concerns on the side. What he needed was T'Laua.

--

He entered her quarters tentatively, eyeing the weapons on the walls. Spock's room looked much the same- it was adorned with reds and yellows, and many strange Vulcan artifacts. He ignored it though, and looked over at T'Laua, who was sitting at the table like she usually was. He sat down across from her.

"Thanks for agreeing to see me. As you know, I just wanna see if the fetus has made a bond with me yet." McCoy said as he tapped his fingers on the table, and T'Laua nodded.

"I see. I will assist you, if that is what you wish." She said, and he nodded back at her. She got up and walked over to him, gesturing at his belly. "If you will pull your garments up, we may begin." She instructed, and he obeyed with only the tiniest bit of hesitation. He didn't exactly enjoy showing his stomach to people. He was a bit self-conscious at its growing size.

She closed her eyes and put the pads of her fingers on certain parts of his abdomen, her hot touch feeling nice on his skin. He almost wondered if Spock's body would be this warm, but he shoved it out of his mind. T'Laua could probably read his thoughts at the moment- he didn't need to be thinking about anything weird while she was doing this.

He watched her intensely, although it was impossible to know what she was thinking or feeling. He felt a bit awkward about having a Vulcan being all handsy with him, but if it revealed anything about the kid, then it would be worth it.

They waited there silently for a couple of minutes before T'Laua opened her eyes. "It appears as though the fetus has begun to form the bond with you. I assume that you would like me to sever it?" She asked, and he immediately pulled away from her.

"Sever it? Why in the hell would I want that?" McCoy asked, pushing the woman's hands away.

"You did not want the child in the first place. It is logical that the bond be-"

"I don't care about logic, damn it." McCoy stood up, causing T'Laua to step back. "I'm keeping this baby and all that comes with it. Thanks for your help." He said through clenched teeth before walking off.

"You are making a mistake. This abomination of a child will not have a good life with you and the half-breed." T'Laua shot back, and McCoy turned towards her.

"Don't you dare call my kid an abomination, and never call Spock a half-breed. Do either of those things again and I'll get you off this ship quicker than I can put you in the hospital." He spat at her, and exited her room. "Pointy-eared bitch..." He swore under his breath as he walked on.

--

McCoy organized his room a little bit, moving around books and picking up random clothes from the floor. He didn't really know what he was cleaning for, but he had the whim to do it anyway. He liked that it kept him busy, since his work hours had been reduced a bit as of late. He knew he was getting a little more clumsy than he used to be, since he kept dropping things, but he didn't really pay attention to it. No harm no foul.

He carried a stack of books over to his tall bookshelf, but tripped and fell before it. The books dropped to the floor, and the impact of them caused the bookshelf to rock. McCoy looked up just before the books and the shelf came crashing down on top of him, and everything went black.

---

... ... ...

The first thing he noticed was the immense headache. It was enough to make him cringe before he even fully regained consciousness. He opened his eyes to reveal the bright light shining down on him, and he immediately squinted to compensate. He lifted his hand up to block the brightness when he saw a bandage on his arm. He lifted the other one up and noticed that both his arms were bandaged. His heartbeat sped up as he started to panic from the memory of the falling bookshelf looming over him. His arms found his stomach, and he tried sitting up to get a better view of himself.

"This is, as you would say, 'the final straw,' McCoy." He jumped and looked over to see Spock sitting in the chair next to the bed. His hands were folded and his face was very stern- it was borderline angry. McCoy frowned at him.

"It's not my fault that it happened. And the fetus is alright... right?" McCoy asked, and Spock nodded slowly.

"Be it the fault of you or any other mysterious force, it is imperative that someone be there if such an incident happens again. At this rate, the chances of you obtaining another injury within the next several months have risen exponentially." Spock explained, not letting up on his angered posture.

"Listen, Spock. I'm a doctor, not your grandma. You don't need to live with me to make sure I don't die." McCoy argued, and even crossed his arms in defiance.

"I need to live with you to ensure that the child does not become injured." Spock elaborated, and McCoy opened his mouth to retort but the man kept talking. "It was by chance that a yeoman came to your quarters and found you unconscious, bleeding, and under a heavy bookshelf. If nobody had been there to find you, then the damage would have been much greater. If you will not allow me to live with you, then I will find somebody else to watch over you."

"You act like I'm a worthless child." McCoy shot back, and Spock momentarily raised an eyebrow.

"I am not acting." He said simply, causing McCoy to glare at him.

"I don't have room at my place. And I ain't sharing a bathroom with Jim." McCoy retaliated.

"We have been authorized to move into family-sized quarters. It is closer to Sickbay than yours." Spock supplied, and McCoy sighed as he rubbed the bandages on his arm. Damn Vulcan was prepared for everything.

"Fine. When do we move in?" He acquiesced, his eyes pointed at his hands, and he sensed that Spock relaxed.

"We may start transferring our possessions as soon as the doctor clears you for release." The Vulcan replied, and McCoy nodded. This would be so fun.

---

After many little arguments about who would carry which heavy things and where everything should be put, McCoy and Spock finally moved all their things into the new place. It was closer to Sickbay, and McCoy didn't know whether that was relieving or endearing.

The place was larger than either of theirs. Each room was secluded from each other, but the bedroom was the only room that had an actual door between it and the others. All other rooms had large doorways between them. As soon as he entered the quarters, McCoy was shocked that the first room was the little kitchen/dining area. He expected it to open into the living room area, but he was pleasantly surprised. It was almost like his place back in Georgia.

After shoving all his clothes into his drawers and closet, he turned towards the bed. There was only one, and it was big enough for two people. Thing was, there was no way that he was going to sleep with Spock. He turned towards the other man, who was standing at the entrance staring at him. McCoy felt a little embarrassed at the prospect of being watched, so he opened his mouth to break the silence.

"I can take the couch." He said, and Spock predictably shook his head.

"As I am not the one who requires more comfort, I will be sleeping on the couch." Spock decided, and McCoy didn't want to argue. He was actually grateful that the Vulcan allowed him to have the bed. It seemed like he actually did care. "It is 23:47. I suggest that you go to sleep as soon as possible." He added, and McCoy shrugged.

"I'm not really tired, if I'm being honest." He said, walking over to his books. Spock had so graciously carried the entire bookshelf and all of the books over there just because McCoy had said, 'I don't REALLY want to leave them...' It was somewhat impressive. McCoy couldn't help but think that maybe Spock actually might care for him, too- not just the fetus.

"Given that you were unconscious for 3.9572 hours, it is predictable that you're not tired now." Spock said bluntly before leaving the room. McCoy grunted to himself and picked out a book. It was one of the classics. He liked those a lot more than any of the more modern stories. He liked the intellectually philosophical aspect of all of the classic books.

He walked out to the living area and sat on the chair, Spock not in sight. He shrugged inwardly, sunk into the comfortable chair, and began reading.

After a while, Spock popped up at the doorway leading to the kitchen, causing McCoy to jump in his seat. He wasn't used to people being in his living areas like this. Spock came over, holding two steaming cups, and set one on the end table next to McCoy. "Chamomile tea." Spock muttered, and McCoy looked at it skeptically. He still wasn't a fan of tea. "Try it." The Vulcan demanded, sitting on the couch. McCoy sighed and grabbed the cup. He felt like all the fight was out of him after the long and stressful day of arguments with people.

He froze with the cup half-raised to his lips, suddenly remembering about his encounter with T'Laua. Spock would be so pissed if he found out that he went to go see her. Spock raised an eyebrow at him, but he just waved his hand dismissively back at the Vulcan and took a drink of the tea. He shrugged. "It's alright. Is it for calming purposes?" He asked, and Spock nodded. Is that why Vulcans drank a lot of tea? For calming purposes?

McCoy continued where he left off on his book, sipping the tea and trying to shut out the world. He read for about an hour before he completely ran out of tea, and he looked up from his book to see what Spock was doing. He was laid out on the couch (which wasn't quite long enough for him), his eyes closed and his mouth slightly parted. He closely resembled an innocent child, which kind of stabbed at McCoy's sentiment since he had an innocent child inside of him at the moment. He almost felt bad making him sleep on the couch, but there was no way that he was going to share a bed with the man.

He noticed the lack of blankets in the room, so he went and grabbed a couple from the bedroom. He came back out and draped them over the Vulcan, and turned off the lights before retreating to the bedroom. He got in bed, and struggled to find a comfortable position. He eventually found a suitable arrangement, so he closed his eyes and focused on sleep.

Chapter Text

7 Months (ish)

McCoy tossed and turned in bed. He kicked the blankets off again, sweating through his shirt. Every time he took his blankets off, he started to feel like he was freezing. Every time he had a blanket on, he felt like a stuffed pig on a rotisserie. When he slept, his dreams were either bad or he woke up only minutes later.

It was a personal hell, and he tried his best to hide it all from Spock so that the bastard wouldn't fret about anything. It was extremely hard, though. He was constantly exhausted, and he fell into microsleeps whenever he was left alone. He was going to tell M'Benga or another person in Sickbay about it, but he knew that even though Doctor-Patient Confidentiality was a policy, gossip flew around like crazy. And like always, all gossip went to Jim. What went to Jim got blabbed to Spock. It was all a vicious cycle and McCoy was just so tired of all of it. Tired of everything.

Right when he fell asleep again, his alarm went off. He felt like screaming at it, but instead he just punched it until it was quiet and forced himself out of bed. It was time to face the day.

He took a shower with extra strong pulses in order to wake himself up more, and drank down the tea with the highest amount of caffeine in it that he could find. By Spock's influence, he had been drinking tea just about every day. The Vulcan had already left for his shift on the Bridge, leaving McCoy to his usual daily routine.

After he finished drinking his tea, he went down to the mess to eat with some medical officers who were off duty. They were decent company, and they often asked him for advice on some patients, which made him feel useful since Jim took him off duty. Plus, they never questioned him about his pregnancy other than to ask more scientific questions. Everybody else on the ship seemed to enjoy asking stupid questions.

The most frequently asked question was, annoyingly, who the other parent was. McCoy was usually able to blow it off with a simple "Can't you mind your own damn business?!" However some people were insistent, especially when they had been listening to all the gossip between him and Spock. Rumor had it that he and the hobgoblin had been bumpin' nasties for the past couple years now, and that that was the reason why Spock and Nyota broke up in the first place. It was the ship's beloved "forbidden romance" that everybody wanted a piece of. Pissed him off to no extent most days.

Thinking about Spock being the father of his unborn child was unnerving at best, though. It wasn't like they slept together or were in any way intimate with each other. Would he or Spock ever be intimate with other people again?

As he walked (or rather, almost waddled) to the nearest rec. center, he tried to ignore the pain in his ankles and lower back. It was easier to ignore a couple months earlier, but sometimes he had resorted to taking small breaks while walking somewhere on the ship. The size of the thing wasn't really accommodated well for pregnant people. Maybe he could take it up with Jim to get a turbolift that went in ALL directions. That would be nice. Save him a lot of sweat and pain.

The rec. center that he went to was usually empty since he went there while people were working their main shifts, which was beneficial to his privacy. After he was adequately dressed, he walked into one of the private rooms and hit it out on the punching bag for a while. It was nice to punch out his stress and frustrations. He watched the hard, blue bag jiggle after each punch, and he could almost imagine the faces of his enemies painted on it. That is... if he had many enemies other than the obvious ones- Nero, Khan, Krall, his ex-wife... Not that he imagined hitting a woman or anything- just her personality.

After getting out his frustrations and becoming too tired to stand, he sat down and stretched for a while. Spock had educated him on the importance and benefits of meditation, but he could never really accomplish it. He couldn't keep his mind still, since it always wanted to run around everywhere wreaking havoc. He could never stop thinking about random things like food, his friends, Federation politics, medical discoveries, the kid... and Spock. He never stopped thinking about Spock. It was troublesome, to say the least.

It was understandable, considering that he and the pointy man had been cooped up together for the past couple of months. Also the fact that they were having a child together might've played a huge factor in it. The thoughts weren't even specific, though, which bothered him somewhat as well. Sometimes he thought that maybe he should talk about some dumb topic that he comes across during his day, or ask him about work, or talk about the baby, or he would just think about... him. McCoy could always picture him in his mind, and guess what he was feeling at any given moment...

... Which was also a bit scary. McCoy had built up quite the striking intuition about how Spock was feeling sometimes. Even when he never made any faces or talked any different or held a different posture, McCoy could just... guess. It was almost a second nature. And he hated it. It almost felt like he was tied to Spock now, physically due to the kid and mentally due to the whole feelings thing. He didn't want to have that sort of responsibility. He usually pushed it out of mind anyway.

After stretching and making an (failed) attempt to meditate, McCoy dressed back into more suitable uniform clothing and left. Since the effort had made him even more tired than he usually was, he walked back to his and Spock's quarters for a nap. It was like this every single day. Pregnant life was the most boring thing in the world.

The upside was that he'd been reading a lot lately, which was nice to refresh his memory on some old classics. Spock had also given him some old translated Vulcan books that told him a lot about how things used to be back in the day on that godforsaken planet. And man was it violent. No wonder they had to shut out everything they felt- or else they'd be ripping each other apart.

As he read an old Earth classic on the couch, his eyelids grew heavier and heavier and he could know longer pay attention to what he was reading. Too lazy to tell the computer to dim the lights, he dropped the open book over his face and closed his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest. He fell asleep in a matter of seconds, dropping him into a fitful nightmare.

He immediately started freaking out as he was immersed into blurry surroundings where he was stranded in space. Debris floated around him, and he wasn't dead even though he had nothing protecting him from the freezing, non-gravitational world. He looked down at his naked body, and yelled in horror as he saw a green hand reaching into his belly, ripping away the skin there to snatch at the unborn child inside. He writhed away from the snatching hand, hitting it away from him.

"Fucking Vulcan!" He screamed, trying to get away from the evil hand. The appendage started to grow to reveal a full arm, as if it was being unveiled by the darkness, and the body of T'Laua was revealed.

"Sever the bond!" She screeched through white teeth, spitting out blood from her mouth. Her raggedy black hair swirled like spikes of poison without the gravity to tame it. "I have already killed the child, now the bond will be ripped away from you!" McCoy kicked her away as she once again started grabbing at his belly, holding his arms in front of himself protectively. "It's too late, human! It's dead! It's dead! It's dead!" She shrieked repeatedly, the two words echoing through space like a dark mantra.

He felt hands on him, and T'Laua screamed menacingly in his ears, causing him to curl up from the pain. "Get away from me! Leave us alone, you fucking green goblin bitch!" He yelled back, reaching out and grabbing the form to shove her away from him.

"LEONARD!" McCoy's eyes snapped open and suddenly he was brought into a much brighter, nicer feeling world. Spock was in front of him, crouched next to the couch to be eye level with him, and was gripping his shoulders. McCoy's hands had Spock's uniform shirt in a death grip, but he couldn't let go.

"Spock, I..." McCoy tried talking, but when he spoke his mouth felt strange. His eyes widened in surprise when he had a strange, metallic taste in his mouth. "Blood." He choked out, and Spock nodded.

"It appears as though you have acquired another nosebleed. I will get a cloth for you." Spock said, removing his hands and trying to pull away.

"Yeah, that would be nice, thank you." McCoy breathed out, blinking hard to adjust to the familiar place around him. He could still hear T'Laua screeching in his ears...

"You must let me go." Spock said quietly, grabbing his tense hands. A surge of something went through McCoy, and he relaxed his grip enough to let go of the man's shirt. They stared at each other for a moment before Spock finally let go of his hands and left to the bathroom. McCoy breathed out harshly, and sat up.

He looked at his shaking hands before him, white and clammy. He wiped the sweat from his forehead before moving his hands to his belly. Things were okay. He didn't know how exactly he knew this, but he just had this sense of things being alright between him and the child. He took another deep breath, which turned into a yawn. Even though he just slept, he still felt unbelievably tired. He could only imagine what the bags under his eyes looked like.

Spock returned to the room, and McCoy jumped at the sudden appearance. "How often have these nightmares been taking place?" Spock asked, and he could tell that the Vulcan was concerned. He sat next to him on the couch, raising the cloth to his face to wipe away and maintain the blood. McCoy sat there and let him do it, feeling helpless.

"Almost every night... This was one of the worse ones, though. They don't all leave me feeling so freaked out." McCoy admitted, refusing to meet Spock's eyes. Instead he just looked down at the man's torso, taking solace in knowing that he was there if he needed him.

He swayed suddenly as the feeling of intense vertigo came over him, and he had to clench his eyes shut. Once he saw the darkness behind his eyelids, he thought only of being stranded in space with T'Laua ripping through his skin. His face pinched with anger, he opened his eyes again to see Spock staring at him carefully.

"For how long has your sleep been this distressful?" Spock asked, dabbing the doctor's nose gently, and McCoy only shrugged.

"Couple months or so." He replied tiredly, pushing down the urge to yawn again. He just felt so tired. He felt really out of it, honestly, which was probably because of his tired state. He blinked slowly, swaying again as he almost fell into a microsleep. Instinctively he reached out and grabbed the thing nearest to him, which happened to be Spock's free forearm. McCoy blinked tiredly, trying to wake himself up all the way, and focused on the feeling of the cloth against his nose and upper lip.

"You and I will visit M'Benga this afternoon." Spock decided, and McCoy shook his head.

"Nah, being tired really isn't that bad of a symptom. I can deal with it for a couple more months." He said as he was also trying to convince himself of those very facts.

"You are also in need of a routine check-up. We will go this afternoon. For now, I will get you a cup of tea and you will rest." Spock said, making some final wipes on McCoy's face before leaving. McCoy grunted, crossed his arms, and sat back against the couch. He ignored the fact that Spock was mothering him, pushing it out of his mind. He also pushed out the thought of him actually liking he and Spock being this close to each other. It was probably just the hormones talking.

---

"I'll prescribe you something for your sleeping issues, and I'm not going to tell anybody about it like you keep thinking that I am." M'Benga said bluntly, and McCoy ignored his tone. The other doctor was sitting down next to the biobed along with Spock, and McCoy always felt ganged up with that arrangement. It was like the two men were constantly analyzing and criticizing his every move and answer. "Now, how are you coping with the pain?" M'Benga asked, and McCoy thought about that for a moment.

"Well my ankles, knees, and lower back aren't what they used to be." He admitted, leaning back and crossing his arms. M'Benga nodded.

"Yeah, and how about the kicking? Must be pretty brutal at this phase." He said with a small, joking smile, but McCoy just blinked at him. M'Benga's face went dead serious before he asked, "The fetus IS kicking... right?"

"Uh..." McCoy coughed, looking between the two other scrutinizing gazes set at him. He could feel Spock's mixed emotions about the subject, and he knew that the Vulcan was mad. At him. "Not that I could tell." He said quickly, and it was M'Benga's turn to just sit and blink at him for a while before responding.

"You ARE a medical doctor, right McCoy? You know the stages of pregnancy. You should have felt kicking about ten weeks ago, give or take. Five weeks ago at the latest. You haven't been feeling anything? At all?" M'Benga badgered him, and McCoy glared at the man while he shook his head. "Why didn't you come see me?! You know when a fetus is supposed to-"

"Yeah but I ain't exactly flyin' with the cleanest windshield here!" McCoy said defensively, throwing his hands up. "I don't know how a Vulcan fetus goes about its stages of development and at what particular time things ought to happen. 'Specially not when said fetus is also part human, which leaves room for all sorts of abnormal things to be happening! I don't know how to do this, damn it." He ranted, and M'Benga bit his lip before he answered.

"Since the fetus is perfectly healthy- save for the lack of movement- I'm just going to leave that alone. But for now, I'm assigning the two of you homework." M'Benga announced, sitting up straighter and putting his chin up. McCoy almost wanted to flip him the bird for being so indignant. "First of all, discuss how everything is going to work from here, and talk about what's going to happen after the baby is born. You can't just cross these bridges when you get there anymore. Now is the time for planning. Also, for the love of god start thinking about what to name your kid! It's getting a little troublesome to hear you guys always say 'the fetus' when referring to your own child."

"Please, we haven't even requested that you tell us the sex yet. Names are way far off down the timeline." McCoy waved a hand dismissively, but M'Benga shot him a serious look.

"Might I remind you that your 'fetus' will be born in a little over a month's time? That's not that far off when you think about it, McCoy. Start on the baby names. And now that you've brought it up, I'm going to tell you the sex right here and now." M'Benga decided, and McCoy immediately felt nervous about the situation again. It was so real, and it made him feel some sense of impending doom...

Chapter Text

100 Kudos Bonus Chapter!
You gave me 100 kudos, so I'm giving you some fluff ('n' stuff) in return. See how nice I am?

~~~~

8 Months

"Spock! Spock!" McCoy cried out, the bed creaking under the weight. His skin felt hot and he was sweating under the force on top of him. He panted, his back arching as he called the other man's name. "Spock!"

"Yes, Leonard. I am here." Spock showed up next to McCoy's bed, pulling back some of the many blankets piled on top of the man. "Do you need anything?" He asked urgently, but McCoy just smiled at him.

"I felt the kicking!" McCoy exclaimed, feeling his belly. The movement in his abdomen had been so sudden and bizarre that it had woken him up from sleep. Evidently his screaming about it woke Spock up pretty effectively as well.

"May I?" Spock asked, holding out a hand. McCoy stared at it hesitantly, but he could not ignore how the Vulcan's entire existence seemed to brighten when he told him the news. He grabbed Spock's hand and guided it onto a certain spot on his clothed belly, and covered it there with his own hand. He gulped as they both waited silently, and there it was.

Kicking. Little fitful movements that made McCoy smile in relief. Spock's eyebrows were up to his hairline as he stared intensely at their hands, as if he could not believe that this was happening.

M'Benga had said that something incredibly wrong could be developing within the child- some rare condition where the fetus seemed alive and well, but would become a stillborn by the time of its birth.

But that was not the case now.

The fetus was kicking. A lot. And Spock and McCoy reveled in it. It was a huge relief, knowing that all that they went through wasn't for nothing, and knowing that their child was alive and healthy and moving. McCoy could just about feel the Vulcan's relief and joy emanating from him.

Spock climbed into the bed- which McCoy was about to protest against until the malevolent Vulcan Glare stopped him- and they faced each other so that Spock could keep his hands on McCoy's belly. For some reason, he could tell that Spock and the fetus were interacting somehow. Maybe not communicating, but just interacting mentally. It was a nice feeling, and McCoy felt comfortable enough to close his eyes and focus on Spock's warm hands placed safely on his stomach.

Eventually they both fell asleep, and the company of their unborn child between them fulfilled their peace.

Chapter Text

8 Months, 2 Weeks

"I don't know how I feel about the name being Vulcan." McCoy said at the little table in he and Spock's quarters. The latter had suggested that they actually sit down and talk about possible names, and McCoy had no objections. After all, they were now crossing the bridge. "How about if it's a boy, we name him James." He said with a small smirk, and Spock just blinked at him.

"I would prefer it if the name of our child did not also belong to a notoriously promiscuous and risk taking Starfleet Captain." Spock replied, and McCoy chuckled.

"I know, I wasn't being serious. Do you have any ideas?" He asked, drumming his fingers against the table. Spock seemed contemplative for a while before speaking.

"I do not think it wise to name our child after someone. It is my impression that when one is named after another, they try to become like that person." He explained, to which McCoy nodded. He's seen that happen a many number of times- Jim, for example, spent much of his life living in the shadow of his father before realizing that he was allowed to do great things for himself. "Perhaps... Soren?"

"Nah, there was a guy at my high school named Soren. He was always selling drugs to the younger kids. I'd prefer not to have to think about him whenever I look at my kid." McCoy replied, thinking about his high school life. Those were the days... sort of. Except for all the drama between him and Joce, but he doesn't talk about that.

Spock's comm. went off, and McCoy sighed angrily. The one time in months that they actually have a serious conversation about their child, and someone has to come interrupt it! "Kirk to Spock."

"Spock here, Captain." Spock said looking over at McCoy, who glared back.

"I need your ass down at Engineering now. There's been an explosion- I'll just explain when you get here!" The line cut off and Spock put his comm. away. McCoy was still glaring at Spock, daring him to leave. Spock stared back at him for what seemed like days.

"It is my duty to-"

"Oh just go, Spock. We can continue this later." McCoy said with a sigh, and Spock took off. "Be careful, damn it!" He yelled just before the man was out the door. If Spock got hurt down there he didn't know what he would do- that Vulcan had been his main support throughout the past while. Not that he was WORRIED.

McCoy sat there, trying to think of names by himself, but it was always a dead end. He didn't want something very Vulcan-like to save his sanity, but he also wanted Spock to be comfortable with the name as well. After all, it was his child too, as much as McCoy loathed to admit it. Even though he was the one doing all the work, carrying the baby inside of him and whatnot. Going through all the pain, nightmares, ridicule... you'd think this was a paying job!

There was a chime at his door, and he frowned. He called out, "Enter," and T'Laua walked in. He scowled at her.

"Look, I don't exactly feel comfortable with you inside my home right now." McCoy snapped at her, but she walked right over and sat down across from him. It was just like before, Vulcan to Human- except he could say that his feelings for this Vulcan were much more... deadly.

"For the good of the child-"

"I don't care about your definition of 'good' for my child!"

"-it must be transported to New Vulcan for studies." T'Laua finished, and McCoy gave her a death glare.

"What are you implying?" McCoy asked through clenched teeth.

"The circumstances of this birth is highly remarkable- it is only logical that the child be observed in order to-"

"You know what, just get outta my quarters!" McCoy said, using the table to help himself stand up. He gestured to the door expectantly as he looked down at the female hobgoblin.

"You must see the reason in this. The child should not be born in the first place-"

"Get. Out. T'Laua. Or I will-" McCoy began to threaten her before the alarm started blaring with the computer's voice announcing the situation.

"INTRUDER ALERT. INTRUDER ALERT."

Red lights flashed around them, and McCoy narrowed his eyes at T'Laua.

"Surely you do not think that I am the intruder." She said calmly, which only made McCoy more suspicious of her.

"Get the fuck out of here, T'Laua." McCoy ordered again over the sound of the alarm, but the Vulcan made no move. Balls deep in anger, McCoy grabbed her arm and forced her to stand up before pulling her towards the door.

"Ponfo miran!" T'Laua answered back, wrenching her arm away from him. She moved to hit McCoy, but he dodged it and pushed her closer to the door. She staggered, but punched him across the jaw, knocking him to the ground. He pushed himself back up and kicked T'Laua in the stomach, just missing her heart. She staggered back again, putting a hand on her stomach. The alarms turned off, and T'Laua smirked at him. "I am not the intruder."

"You're intruding on my home." McCoy declared, pointing at her indignantly. "Now I suggest that you leave before Spock gets here and beats the shit out of you- and you know as well as I do that he would." He threatened, putting a hand on the nearest surface to sturdy himself. T'Laua took a breath before nodding slightly. She strode out the door, and McCoy blew out a huge breath. What had she even come for?

He shook his head and grabbed his comm. from the table to contact Spock. When no answer came, he tried for Jim. "Kirk here."

"Jim, why wouldn't Spock answer?" McCoy asked, becoming worried. He looked around the room anxiously. Jim was taking a while to answer.

"He's in sickbay. He'll be fine." Jim answered, and McCoy shot out of the chair and left his quarters. He practically ran to sickbay. While he had been in his home playing patty cake with T'Laua, Spock was in actual danger and he hadn't even thought about it! What a great doctor McCoy was, surely.

He strode into sickbay, panting. For some reason he knew exactly where Spock was, and he was there at his bedside in seconds. The man was unconscious and there was a cut on his cheekbone, and McCoy looked at his readings on the monitor. "He's going to be just fine, McCoy." M'Benga said, popping up beside him.

"What in the hell happened?" McCoy asked wiping the little bit of sweat from his forehead and sitting down.

"From what the Captain said, Spock had gotten knocked out in the struggle to detain the intruder. I thought it kind of suspicious, though, that this person knew exactly how to knock out a Vulcan." M'Benga explained, and McCoy frowned in thought. It was suspicious indeed. "You might want to go home and rest, now that you know he's okay. I don't know when he'll wake up."

"No. I'm going to stay here until he wakes up." McCoy said, looking up at M'Benga, who's eyes went soft.

"Are you okay? There's a discoloration on the left side of your jaw..." M'Benga asked, reaching down and touching his face gently. Weirded out, McCoy moved his hand away.

"I'm fine. Don't worry about it." He said bluntly, and M'Benga nodded before walking away. McCoy sighed and looked over at Spock. The green cut on his cheek had already scabbed over. He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms, closing his eyes. He would just rest there for a while...

He woke up when he felt a warm hand on his face. He blinked up at Spock, who was standing over him. "Who hurt you?" He asked, and McCoy smiled a little.

"Don't worry about it, Spock." He replied as his mind flashed to his encounter with T'Laua, pushing his hand away. Spock held onto his hand firmly, not letting go.

"It was T'Laua." Spock said bluntly, and McCoy nodded.

"I can't help but wonder... Was she in with the intruder? Because it seemed like she only came there to hurt me." McCoy said, and Spock sat down on the bed across from him, letting go of his hand. McCoy squinted at him for a moment. Did he look... guilty?

"When I became aware of the fact that the intruder was Romulan, I resorted to contacting T'Laua to accompany you until the intruder was found. As a Vulcan, she is one of the only people that could match the strength of a Romulan." Spock explained, breaking eye-contact with McCoy. "I did not know that she would cause you harm."

"That's not your fault, Spock. If anything, it's mine." McCoy said, moving his head over to make Spock look at him again. "I tried to physically force her out of the place, so I guess that us getting into a little scuffle was the only way that she could actually stay there. But in my defense, she told me that I should put my kid on New Vulcan to be 'studied.' I didn't wanna listen to that."

"Her narrow minded opinions on our situation is quite troublesome. I have... talked with her multiple times on the subject." Spock said, and McCoy noticed the strain on the word 'talked.' He wondered how many times he and T'Laua have 'talked' over the past eight months.

"It's alright. She really didn't do much harm. Let's get outta here." He said, and Spock nodded and stood. He helped McCoy up, and they walked back to their quarters together. It was getting late, so Spock made them both some hot tea. McCoy drank his down pretty quickly before going to take a shower. He just wanted to wash away all the bad things of the evening and be calm enough to sleep peacefully now that it was all said and done.

When he got out of the shower, he (like always) avoided looking at himself in the mirror. He didn't like looking at himself much these days, with his big, oddly proportioned belly. He just wasn't too fond of his appearance. He used to be fit, healthy looking, and attractive. Now he just felt like his belly stuck out like a sore thumb and made him look... bad, to say the least. It's not like he ever imagined himself in this situation. He shook his head and got dressed. There was no point in having negative thoughts when he could be much worse off.

He crawled into bed and closed his eyes, resting his head against the edge of the pillow. He took a few deep breaths before he fell asleep.

...

Something was wrong.

McCoy heard moans of pain in the darkness, and he walked towards them. A light shone on a body, and there was thick green blood pooling around it. He came closer and saw that it was Spock, and he knelt next to the groaning man.

"Spock, are you okay? Spock!" McCoy yelled at him, grabbing his face with both hands. He didn't save him so long ago to have him die again, damn it!

"Nnngguuuh..." Spock groaned in reply, his face pinched in pain. McCoy looked for sources of wounds, but there was so much blood. He felt all around on Spock's body, trying to find out where the bleeding was coming from.

There was a flash of red that blinded him momentarily, and Spock cried out in pain so loudly that it deafened him. McCoy looked down at him to see that his body was split open at his torso, his ribs broken in pieces and his internal organs spilling out everywhere. Boiling blood drenched McCoy's clothes as he knelt over the Vulcan, trying to do something to help.

"You're not going to die, Spock. Damn it, you're not going to die. Let me take your conscience again- your katra! Let me do take it!" He begged, a hand on Spock's face. The Vulcan looked up at him, tears escaping his dark eyes.

"You'll die..." Spock choked out, but McCoy shook his head.

"That doesn't matter, damn it!" He said, stroking Spock's face. "I'll die if you can live, Spock. Take care of her, I know you'll be the better parent. Just let me take your katra. Your life is worth so much more than mine. Let me die for you, Spock!" McCoy kept begging, but Spock shook his head slightly. "Spock! Let me do this for you!" He shouted desperately.

...

Then he woke up, bolting up and breathing heavily. He felt unbelievably cold, and was shaking violently. His mind flashed to Spock, with his organs falling out and chest split open, and he had to go find him. He still felt like something was horribly wrong.

McCoy got out of bed, his hands shaking and his legs wobbling. He kept his hand on the wall as he walked out of the bedroom and into the living room where Spock slept. "Spock..." He choked out, and he could feel his sanity slipping in the dark room. It was almost just like the nightmare. He could see the outline of the couch, and he shakily made his way to it. "Spock. Are you okay?" He reached out, his hand touching Spock's chest. "Spock."

"Yes. I am here. What is the matter?" Spock asked through the darkness, and McCoy breathed out in immense relief. The Vulcan sat up, and McCoy sat beside him. Before he allowed himself to think about it, he wrapped his arms tightly around Spock. His heart was pounding in his chest, and all he could bring himself to focus on was the living, warm body against him. Spock's arms wrapped around him gently, one of his hands raking through his hair.

"Don't die on me again, Spock. Ever." McCoy said quietly, hugging Spock even tighter. He could feel the Vulcan struggling not to list off the odds that he will or will not die in his company.

"I will not, Leonard." Spock replied simply, running his fingers through his hair. McCoy took a shaky breath and pulled away, but he kept a hand on Spock's arm. "Are you alright?" He asked quietly, and McCoy hesitated before answering.

"I had a dream that you were... going to die. It was really bad. Your blood was everywhere. I begged you to let me take your katra again, but you wouldn't do it because I would die." McCoy vented, looking at the floor. Spock grabbed his hand from his arm and held onto it.

"You would have died for me." Spock said, no doubt reading his mind. McCoy didn't answer, since he felt stupid for getting so worked up about a dream. "You should go back to sleep." Spock said, and McCoy started panicking again. What if he had another dream like that again? What if- "Will you allow me to share the bed with you?" Spock asked, interrupting his thoughts, and McCoy looked up at him.

"Yeah." He acquiesced quietly, and they both got up and went to the bedroom. McCoy crawled into his usual place on the bed, Spock laying across from him. "Hey... it's a girl." McCoy said, touching his belly under the blankets.

"How do you know?" Spock asked, moving closer.

"I just do." He replied, and he felt Spock's hot hand on his belly. He could feel her move inside him, and he smiled a little before closing his eyes.

---

McCoy woke up with a start, feeling an immense pain in his belly. He reached out and hit Spock, who grunted and grabbed his hand. "What is it?" He asked, a little disgruntled.

"It's time." McCoy announced, and Spock's eyebrows shot up before he grabbed his comm. and contacted M'Benga. McCoy didn't pay any attention to their conversation before getting up. Spock got out of bed and helped him, and together they left to Sickbay. "Make sure you tell Jim when we get there. He'll kill me if I don't tell him- aaahhhowGOD that's painful." McCoy cried out, his hand on his belly.

Male pregnancies weren't the same as female pregnancies. Instead of the baby coming out of any orifices, the body sends off signals of pain so that the brain thinks that whatever is in there needs to get OUT or else the body will die. Over time the pain signals get more and more severe, since the need for the baby to be born increases. She'll need to be surgically removed from him- he's seen and done the procedure a couple times in his medical career, and each time it was intricate and dangerous. He really hoped that M'Benga knew what he was doing.

They were ushered into a private room, and Spock helped McCoy onto the biobed. M'Benga appeared, hypospraying him before asking, "Any special circumstances, or-?"

"God, no, M'Benga. Just do it. And be careful!" McCoy snapped at him, and the doctor nodded.

"I'll be putting you under since this is an operation. When you wake up, the baby will be here for you." M'Benga told him, and he nodded in understanding. He felt another hypo, and he felt his pain as well as his consciousness slip away.

... ... ...

Chapter Text

Day of Birth

... ... ...

McCoy regained his consciousness slowly, blinking to get used to the light inside the room. He looked around, and two his left he saw probably the best picture in the entire world. Spock was sitting in the chair next to him, holding the sleeping baby in his arms. McCoy sat up, which caught Spock's attention. He handed the baby to him, carefully.

McCoy grinned down at the little bundle of life in his arms. She was warm, and more Vulcan than he had thought. He traced her tiny pointed ears with his fingers, and noticed the green tinge that her ears and cheeks had. It was strange to see that she still had bits of him in her as well. She had his lips, his slight frown, and who knew what else. Her ears and other Vulcany traits were no doubt from Spock. What bothered him a little, though, was that she was born about two weeks early. He looked up to asked M'Benga, but he wasn't there so he turned to Spock.

"Were there any complications? Is she in good health?" He asked quietly, and Spock nodded.

"The operation went well, and despite her slightly premature birth, she is in very good health." He answered, and McCoy smiled again. He something on his finger, and when he looked down he saw her tiny green hand wrapping around it. His smile broadened immensely, and he was filled with joy. After everything they had gone through, this moment made it all worth it.

But then his smile dropped, and he looked up at Spock. "We don't have anything. Oh my god, we don't have ANYTHING. I can't believe it, how could I have been so stupid! We don't even have diapers... or.. or..." He panicked, but Spock put a hand on his arm.

"Leonard, calm down. She can feel what you feel." Spock said quietly, and McCoy looked down at the baby, who was now awake and looking up at him. She definitely had Spock's eyes. "Jim had planned a 'baby shower' to be taken place yesterday, but he had postponed it given the circumstances. He said that he was not going to hold one originally, but he knew that you had probably forgotten that- and I quote- 'babies need things.' The party will be taking place today, in our quarters." He explained, and McCoy nodded.

"Is that why you didn't worry about getting anything?" He asked, and Spock nodded.

"Jim had assured me that the baby shower would provide everything that we would need- at least for a certain amount of time." Spock said as he looked down at the baby. "For now, Sickbay has provided diapers, bottles, and several other things that I have already moved to our quarters."

"Damn, Spock, you're really on it." McCoy chuckled, and Spock gave him his Vulcan Glare. "Sorry, profanity." He muttered, looking down at his baby. She was still looking up at him silently. He frowned at her in thought. "Has she cried at all?"

"She did cry upon birth, however it did not take long for her to stop." Spock replied, and McCoy nodded.

"Hmm, that's good I suppose." He said, caressing her hand. They still needed to come up with a name, though.

--

McCoy swaddled her up and used a blanket to create a little nest on the bed for her. He set her down in it, and when he was satisfied that she'd be safe and wouldn't wake up any time soon right there, he left to go look at the stuff that Spock had brought over. In the living room there was a box of good quality diapers, and some nice little medical grade bottles. What else could you expect from a sickbay? He never really appreciated the fact that they had all this in stock, but now he realized how much of a lifesaver it was.

He flopped down on the couch, crossing his arms over his slightly baggy sweatshirt. His belly was a lot smaller, but it was still not nearly as flat as it used to be. With women, it usually took months before their post-baby belly shrunk down, but that was because the uterus needed to go back to its original size. With male pregnancies, they took all of that stuff out during the operation, so it wouldn't take too long before his stomach was like it used to be. As long as he got back onto a proper gym regime, things would be nice and swell in time.

Spock sat down close to him, asking, "Have you given any thought to a name yet?"

"Yeah, I actually thought of one that I'm really fond and proud of." McCoy said with a small smile, turning towards Spock. "If you're okay with it, I'd really like to name her Amanda." He could see Spock stop breathing, and for a moment he was worried that it was a bad idea.

"I had thought that we would not name her after someone." Spock said quietly, and McCoy shrugged.

"Yeah, so that she won't be living in the shadow of that person. But really, what harm will come out of being named after someone who only ever endeavored to spread joy to those that she loved?" McCoy asked, and Spock's mouth twitched. "If you don't like it-"

"No. It is... perfect." Spock said, and McCoy grinned. He knew how much Vulcans hated the word 'perfect,' because they thought that nothing was ever perfect in the world. Spock looked into his eyes, and McCoy smiled back at him. He really hoped that the man was happy with the name despite it being a completely human one.

Spock leaned forward, and McCoy was expecting a hug, since they had done so the night before. But when Spock's hand came to cup his cheek and his face was only inches from his, McCoy pushed him back. "Whoa whoa whoa. Are you... I'm not... If that.. I wasn't trying to..." He stammered, shaking his head. Spock dropped his hand and opened his mouth to speak, but the door chimed. McCoy got up and welcomed the guests in.

Jim tackled him into a hug, but pulled away when McCoy winced. "Oh, sorry Bones. Forgot you just had a baby and all. Speaking of, we're here for your baby shower!" He said with a grin, looking around. "Where's Spock?" McCoy turned around to see the empty couch, but he heard the bathroom door.

"Oh, he just needed to run to the bathroom real quick. Come in, come in." McCoy said, ushering him in. Next came Sulu, Uhura, Scotty, M'Benga, Nurse Chapel, and a few other trusted science officers that he had been friends with since his days at the Academy. Each person had boxes of differing sizes with them, and McCoy was relieved that none of them were wrapped or anything like that. It would have been a mess that nobody wanted to clean up. "Everyone make yourselves at home. Can I get anyone a drink or some food? I have the best replicator around!" He announced, earning some laughs from the crowd who chose places to sit in the living area. He noticed that everyone left the couch empty- probably so that he and Spock could sit there, since it was in the middle of everything.

As everyone requested what they wanted, McCoy gathered the food and beverages and handed them off. Jim helped as well, to which he was thankful. Last- but certainly not least- he ordered himself a nice, frosted mint julep. He sat down on the couch and raised up his glass, toasting, "To my first drink in over eight months!"

"And to the good health of your child!" Jim added in pointedly, causing McCoy to smile and wink at him. Everyone took a drink, and McCoy took a nice big swig of his own. It was smooth, cool, and he felt like it had made up for everything bad that happened during the pregnancy. Oh, and the baby made up for that too. "Speaking of baby..." Jim said, wiggling his eyebrows. McCoy smiled again and nodded, setting down his drink and going over to the bedroom.

He shut the door behind him to see Spock rousing her from sleep. "Hey, Spock, I'm sorry for-"

"There is no need to be sorry, Leonard. I misread the situation." Spock interrupted quietly, and McCoy didn't answer that; it wasn't false.

"They're waiting for you. And her." He said with a small smile, trying to cheer the Vulcan up. "Hey, Spock. Be happy. You have your baby, you have friends, and you have the Enterprise. What more could you want in life?"

"I would appreciate it if you would cease making me feel so many conflicting emotions." Spock said, picking Amanda up from the bed.

"What did I do this time?" McCoy asked, and Spock looked at him pointedly.

"You said that she was my baby. Before only 4.325 months ago, you had been adamant that she was your child. This is the first time that you had ever considered that she be mine and not yours or ours. It is-"

"Okay okay, I get it. We can talk about that later. But for now, everyone in there is waiting on us. So let's go." McCoy said, and Amanda made a happy noise, causing him to smile. "See? She agrees." He added, and walked out of the room, knowing Spock would follow.

"She is so fucking cute!" Jim yelled as soon as Spock entered the room, jumping up and walking over to them. He reached out his arms, saying, "Gimme gimme gimme!" And Spock handed the baby over.

"Language, damn it Jim!" McCoy joked, and Spock elbowed him in the arm. He paid no mind to the Vulcan, opting to go sit on the couch and drink on his mint julep. Mmm, the minty coolness was like high heaven on his palate, cleansing him of sin and evil.

"What'd you name the wee lass?" Scotty asked, palming his glass of scotch.

"Amanda." McCoy answered when Spock stayed silent, and a bunch of 'aw's broke out among the crowd.

"So you let Spock name her?" Jim asked, making faces at Amanda in attempt to make her smile. It didn't seem to be working, but the blond just kept at it.

"Nah, that was all me." McCoy said again when Spock said nothing. The Vulcan's silence was killing him. "So is there a plan to any of this, or...?"

"You can open you guys' presents now." Uhura chuckled, and McCoy nodded. She brought forth her present, explicitly giving it to him rather than Spock, which made McCoy feel even more tense. He opened up the box to reveal a small, thick, hand-sewn blanket. "It was mine when I was a little girl. It's just been sitting around in a box all this time, so I figured I'd actually make use of it through you guys." She explained, smiling. McCoy smiled back at her.

"Thank you so much, Nyota. It's amazing." He said, and she nodded. He handed the blanket over to Spock when Sulu brought his present over, which was a bit bigger.

"It took a while to track some of these things down, so I hope you guys like it." He said, and McCoy opened up the box. He and Spock peered inside to see a bunch of little stuffed animals and toys.

"Wow, Hikaru, it's so much." McCoy said gratefully, looking through them. Some of them were from Earth, but others were from all sorts of other planets. He recognized a ball made from a silicone-like substance that kids on Andoria would play with. He also recognized some of the stuffed animals as creatures from many of the planets that they've visited. Spock picked up one in particular- a bear-looking one with long fangs and a lion tail. "Why'd'you like that one so much? Is it Vulcan?" McCoy asked, looking between it and Spock.

"It is a sehlat. Children often kept them as pets on Vulcan. I had one named I-Chaya." Spock explained, and McCoy nodded. The people around them made noises of appreciation, and McCoy shoved the box onto Spock's lap so he could look through it more. He wanted to open more presents. Get this show on the road so that everyone could leave...

"Thank you, Sulu. You can already tell that we love them." He said, gesturing towards Spock who was still looking at the sehlat. The man smiled and nodded back at him, and Scotty brought his box over.

"Mine nae as sentimental or as heartfelt as the others, but it's still a necessity if you're raisin' a little one." He said, plopping the box on McCoy's lap. He opened it up to see a green baby sling, with a paper inside. "I hear that slings are better than the carriers- somethin' about supportin' the legs or whatever. But there's instructions there on different ways to use it and whatnot." Scotty explained, and McCoy nodded and smiled. He reached in and took out the sling, feeling the soft, smooth fabric between his fingers. It seemed cooling but warming at the same time.

"Thank you, Scotty, I know for a fact that we're gonna be using this a lot." McCoy said gratefully. He knew how tiring it was to be holding a baby for hours on end with nothing else to support it. Scotty nodded back at him with a smile.

"Oh, mine's by the door." Jim said distractedly, still occupied with Amanda. McCoy looked over to see a big box next to the entrance, and he rolled his eyes. Of course Jim had to outdo everyone.

"I'll just go get it then." McCoy said, and Jim didn't seem affected by his words.

"'Kay!" He said, and McCoy rolled his eyes as he went and dragged the box over. Whatever it was, it was heavy. He opened it up to reveal an already assembled crib, with a soft, supportive bottom and sturdy sides. Jim handed Amanda off to Sulu and walked over to show him the perks. "Okay so if you press the button here..." He said, pressing a button on the side of the crib. Nothing happened, though, so he kept pressing it with a frown. "Oh, wait, the lights have to be off." He said, and McCoy brought his palm to his face in shame for his friend. He and Spock shared a glance.

"Lights, 15%." McCoy said, making the lights go down enough to make it dark but still light enough so that they could all see. Jim pressed the button again, and little lights came on inside the crib. They were dim enough not to be blinding or bothersome, but they were still really magnificent.

The inside walls of the crib had little multicolored lights and designs on them to look like stars, planets, nebulas, and galaxies. It was a vast array of pinks, green, blues, and yellows, and it was all really pretty. "And if you take this flap, you can put it over the top of the crib and it lights up with this too. You can choose whether or not to have it all lit up like this, though, obviously. But I just figured, it might be pretty cool." Jim explained, and McCoy smiled and nodded. "Lights 90%." Jim said, and the room was bright again, making the lights of the crib vanish to just a dark blue fabric.

"Wow, Jim, you had to outdo us!" Sulu joked, and Jim shrugged with a sheepish smile. McCoy moved the crib out of the way for the moment.

"We love all of your presents, guys, and we're gonna use all of them. Believe me." McCoy said assuringly, and everyone nodded. Sulu passed Amanda over to Uhura, who smiled joyfully down at her.

The rest of the guests brought over the generic but very much needed presents like diapers, wipes, powders and creams, baby soap, clothes, blankets, and all that good stuff. McCoy didn't know how many thank you's he said in that amount of time. He was really grateful to have such supportive friends around him, and it was nice to know that he could rely on them like this.

After the presents, they all sat around and chatted for a while. McCoy and Spock sat side by side, and Amanda fell asleep on both of their laps. Jim gave McCoy a suspicious look, but when the doctor frowned at him he didn't say or do anything. They all talked about the five year mission so far, possible shore leaves, funny moments with Spock or McCoy, and Amanda. Most if not all of the guests offered up their babysitting services, to which Spock and McCoy both thanked them amicably. Spock began talking more and more again, too, which was good. He was a quiet person in general, but he was actually joining in on the conversation, unlike earlier when he hadn't said a word.

When everyone left, Jim stayed behind for a while to continue talking about things. After he left, Spock and McCoy picked up the boxes and arranged everything. The crib was put next to the couch, and the baby blankets were put in there as well as Amanda. McCoy looked over at one point to see Spock feeling Uhura's blanket that she had given them.

All of a sudden, a spark of something went through him, followed by the thought of 'Does he still have feelings for her?' He recognized the feeling as a mixture of anger and sadness. Jealousy. What was he jealous of? Spock and Uhura's love? No, he was never jealous of a couple's love for each other. Spock's love FOR Uhura? McCoy cast his frown to the floor. McCoy already physically rejected him, so what if he just got back with her? The baby was born, so Spock didn't need to be looking out for his safety anymore. Hell, they didn't even really have to live with each other anymore. McCoy sighed, folding the last article of Amanda's clothing and putting it away.

He went to the bedroom, and crawled into bed to sleep. He was exhausted. He couldn't stop thinking about Spock. More specifically, he couldn't stop thinking about Spock trying to kiss him. Spock wanting to kiss him. Spock moving in to kiss him. The prospect of him and Spock kissing just made his stomach churn. But what kind of churning? At first he thought it was disgust, since he felt like he was going to throw up. But when he actually thought about it, it was more of like... as if he had butterflies trapped in his stomach. Like his heart was in throat. His mouth had gone dry and he felt sweaty. His body felt alert. His body felt... erect.

He turned back around, feeling hot and damp. Now wasn't the time to be getting aroused. There was a baby in the other room! But for all the joy of Christmas he couldn't will himself to become soft again. How had he even become hard? Surely it wasn't by thinking about Spock.

Surely!

He bit down his contempt for himself and turned around again, closing his eyes and ignoring the world. He just needed to shut everything out. Shut it all out, and sleep.

Chapter Text

1 Month Old

After the first week, McCoy and Spock had both fallen into a routine after much trial and error. After the first month, their routine was flawless. Neither of them knew how this arrangement panned out, but it did.

Each morning, Spock would change Amanda's diaper since he was always the first one awake. McCoy woke up a little while after that and fed and dressed her in new clothes for the day. He usually played with her too, if he had the time. After that, he'd go to work when the babysitter came. He and Spock had recruited his friend Kraila as the babysitter since they had both known her at the Academy and she was an esteemed medical officer. She worked Beta shift, so there were no complications with work.

McCoy only worked half his shift, and went home a couple hours after lunch time to take Amanda over. He'd take care of anything she needed, play with her if she wanted to be awake, or let her sleep if she wanted to sleep. He'd make sure to roll her around every once in a while too. When Spock got home, Amanda was usually awake, so he would entertain her for some time.

When she started crying, McCoy would take her because Spock's ears were so sensitive. When she needed a diaper change they usually switched off, but Spock was always willing to do it if McCoy was otherwise occupied. When she wanted attention McCoy was usually there to play with her, since Spock didn't really know what to do. They were always rolling her over from her stomach to her back and then over again- it was a good thing to do for young infants for various reasons.

They had also agreed on a feeding and temperature plan. They would decrease the temperature slightly at night hours to make it more realistic to a planet and to have her exercise her body temperature regulation. They would also fed her on a steady schedule, since they had figured out after much trial and error when she usually got hungry. It did require one of them to wake up in the middle of the night to feed her, which they switched off every night.

It worked pretty efficiently for them, as they were like a well-oiled machine. They ran into conflicts every once in a while, considering they were raising a pretty unique child. She didn't cry too much, but when she did it usually lasted for hours and hours before she got so tired of crying that she just fell asleep. She didn't know how to crawl yet either, so she was always reaching for them and she was happy when they set her down somewhere new. She was quite adventurous.

Not much changed between McCoy and Spock, though. Things were quite tense at first, since McCoy had rejected him, but they eventually worked back into an environment of trust and amicability. They talked a lot, actually, but some days they just sat around quietly, both tired and ready to rest.

Most days when Spock came home, McCoy would leave for an hour or two to go work out at a recreational center. He had gotten somewhat addicted to it, since he didn't realize how much he missed doing those sorts of activities until he couldn't do them for several months. His baby belly was almost gone as he had been working his abs pretty hard, but he also ran for miles on end many days. He enjoyed being able to eat and work out like he used to.

 

After he got home from work one day, Kraila handed Amanda to him, the baby wailing loudly. "She's been crying almost all day. I've tried everything you suggested, too, but she just won't calm down. I don't know why." She said over the crying, and McCoy stroked Amanda's little head.

"It's alright. Thank you so much Kraila. Make sure you tell me if this ever becomes too much for you. I can always find someone else if you need a break." McCoy told her, and she smiled.

"No need, McCoy. I love working with babies throughout all the good and bad times!" Kraila said, beaming, and McCoy nodded. She left the quarters, and he sighed. Amanda was especially loud today.

He started humming to her, some random tune that he'd made up the first time that she started crying like this. He held her against his chest as he hummed to her, rubbing her back and walking around the quarters. He thought of only his everlasting love her her, and how happy he was that she was there with him, and she eventually calmed down to little sniffles. "I don't know what's wrong today, but I love you regardless." McCoy said as he made her look at him, and he wiped the tears from her cheeks. She made a noise at him, and he smiled.

He knew that Vulcans were touch-telepaths, and he and Spock had gotten the sense that Amanda could do it as well. If one of them was in a negative mood then they had to hand the duty off to the other in order to preserve Amanda's sanity. So whenever she was in a bad mood, they would hold her and think about how much they love and appreciate her. It usually worked wonders.

Both of them were also anti-baby-talk. Spock wouldn't be caught dead using baby-talk, and McCoy just hated it in general. It made him feel as if he was down-talking a kid when he used that tone and manner of speaking, so he always just talked normally. Sure children responded more to higher pitched voices, but if she has two dads then what're you gonna do?

McCoy kissed Amanda's forehead and sat down with her on the couch. He handed her a nearby stuffed animal- which happened to be a very cute rendition of an Andorian forest spider- before the door chimed. "Come in!" He said, trying to get Amanda to keep ahold of the little stuffed arachnid.

Jim came in, scrunching his face up when he saw the toy. "Gross, why make her play with that?" He asked with obvious disapproval.

"Do you see her rejecting it?" He asked, gesturing towards the baby in his lap. She was hugging the blue spider with a smile on her face, her little pointed eyebrows raised up. Jim smiled and shook his head.

"I guess not." Jim admitted, sitting down next to him. He pat Amanda's head, ruffling the small, short bits of black hair that she had. "She looks like you, but Vulcan." He laughed, and McCoy snorted.

"Yeah, unfortunately for her. She'd be better off looking like Spock." He said, but froze when he realize that he pretty much just called the man attractive. "I mean that in the sense that his features actually suit the Vulcan attributes. Mine don't." He added in attempt to save himself.

"You and Spock seem pretty close." Jim observed, and McCoy shrugged.

"You mean other than the fact that we live together and have a child together?" McCoy asked bluntly, looking down when he felt Amanda's hand on his finger. He smiled at her, causing her to smile back.

"That's true... But no, yeah, you guys do seem close other than that. Especially because Spock is okay with touching you. I don't know if you've noticed, Bones, but he's not even comfortable coming into skin-to-skin contact with ME. And he and I have been good friends for a long time." Jim all but complained, and McCoy sighed.

"Is that all you came here for, Jim? To see if Spock was single?" McCoy said angrily, and Amanda made a sad noise. He took a breath and smiled down at her. "I love you Amanda." He said, and she went back to looking at the forest spider like before.

"For a one month old she sure is intuitive." Jim observed, and McCoy nodded.

"Yeah, I think it's a Vulcan thing. Human babies aren't usually as good company as she is." McCoy said, pinching Amanda's cheek gently. "She's really expressive too, which is good."

"Yeah, I've noticed. How is Spock with her?" Jim asked, again turning the conversation back to the Vulcan. McCoy sighed.

"He's good with her. Plays with her when he feels up to it, and he's always really gentle and willing." He answered, and Jim nodded.

"So you two are like a married couple now, huh?" Jim asked, and McCoy shot him a glare.

"Jim, if you came here to accuse me of fornicating with the pointy eared hobgoblin, then you can leave my home. But by all means stay if you intend on being decent company." He said, still glaring. Jim gaped at him.

"Of course I'm good company!" He said dramatically, and McCoy nodded.

"Good." He said, handing Amanda over to him when he started to smell the full diaper. "Then take care of her while I shower." He got up, and Jim made a whining noise.

"But... her diaper-"

"Yep!" McCoy said before closing the door on him, and he could hear the man groan from the other room. He smirked as he grabbed clothes to change into. It was also nice being able to wear pretty much anything that he wanted now that he didn't have a huge belly to compensate for. He just felt like everything was better now that he wasn't pregnant.

He showered for a while, savoring the solitude. He didn't like Jim coming in there and making him think about things. He didn't like to think about how much he'd been thinking about Spock. He didn't like thinking about thinking about how much he'd been thinking about Spock. It was all so confusing. It was like he couldn't live without him, but they weren't even too close. But what was 'too close?' They were closer than Spock and Jim were, evidently. McCoy even favored Spock's company over Jim's most of the time. What a friend he was...

He knew that he was willing to die for Spock, though. That was made evident months ago when he'd had that dream where Spock almost died again. He shivered, not wanting to think about it. Even the thought of Spock dying the first time made his breathing constrict and his chest ache. He swallowed down the old sorrow and scrubbed it all away. The fact that he was still upset about that even though it was almost a year ago was concerning.

McCoy thought again about how Spock was going to kiss him. He entertained the thought of 'what if' for a while. What if he had let Spock do it? Would things be different between them now? What would it have felt like? How warm would Spock's lips be on his? How hot would his body be on his?

When McCoy walked out of the room to see Spock sitting with Jim and Amanda on the couch, he felt warm and embarrassed at the sight of Spock. He swallowed hard and went to get himself a drink, ignoring the men's eyes burning holes in his skull. He turned to face them while he waited for the replicator, raising his eyebrows causally.

"That was a long ass shower, Bones." Jim said, ignoring the deadly look from Spock when he said the profanity.

"I wanted to be clean." McCoy said with a shrug, drinking down the whiskey. It'd been a while since he'd had some straight up whiskey, and he felt like the situation probably called for it.

"Well, I'm going to leave then. I was just sticking around so that I could say goodbye to you, Bones." Jim said, getting up and stretching. McCoy felt a flicker of panic about being trapped here with Spock, but he masked it as he nodded to his best friend.

"Have a good night, Jim." McCoy said, and Jim nodded back at him before leaving. McCoy cast his eyes to the floor as he drank some more. If he was a teenager he wouldn't be so ashamed about what he'd done. He drank more of his beverage, feeling it calm him with each gulp. "So... you and Jim have some fun times?" He asked, finally looking up at Spock. He was holding Amanda, who kept grabbing at his face.

"He kept directing the main point of conversation to you- for which reason I do not know." Spock said, grabbing the forest spider and putting it on Amanda to occupy her hands. McCoy glared, since Jim had done the same thing with him by making it all about Spock.

"Our captain can be a real nut job sometimes." He snickered, sitting down next to them on the couch. At Spock's inquisitive look, he added, "He can be crazy. Strange."

"Indeed." Spock agreed, making him smile a little. "He did seem to talk... fondly of you." He added apprehensively, and McCoy raised an eyebrow at him.

"Meaning...?" He asked, waving his hand for the man to elaborate.

"Meaning... He speaks of you in the same manner in which a person would speak of their romantic partner." Spock said, causing McCoy to gape at him, and Amanda started crying. He handed her to McCoy, and he realized that she started crying because of Spock's negative thoughts. Of what? Of he and Jim being together?

"Me and Jim?" McCoy scoffed, standing up and patting Amanda, who was crying right into his ear. "I would never." He shook his head, and started humming and thinking happy thoughts. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, what made him happy? Amanda made him happy. His job made him happy. Spock made him happy...

Amanda stopped crying, and he blew out a breath of relief. Damn, if the only thing he ever had to do when she cried was think about Spock, then that would be easy. He walked back over and gave her back to Spock, who let her cuddle into his neck.

"I'm going to go for a quick run. I'll be back later." McCoy said, bounding out the door before Spock could reply. He needed to get away. He didn't want to think, he didn't want to talk, he just wanted to run and get all his frustrations out through exertion.

Chapter Text

2 Months, 2 Weeks Old

McCoy walked back to his quarters during lunch time for a change. He wanted to check up on Kraila and Amanda and see how things were going. Amanda had been sleeping more and more lately, so he was a little worried.

As he approached the entrance of his quarters, Uhura rushed out of the door and ran into him. He steadied them before asking, "Uh, what were you doing in there?"

"Me? Oh, nothing. I'll be going now!" She said hastily before running off. He gaped after her before going into his quarters to find Spock sitting on the couch. Amanda was in her crib, sleeping. This was all a little too suspicious.

"I did not expect that you would be home at this hour." Spock said, and McCoy glared at him.

"What, I can't come back to my own home whenever I want?" He asked, throwing his hands up.

"I did not say-"

"So is that what you've been doing this whole time? Meeting with Uhura during lunch time every day? Could've fooled me." McCoy crossed his arms in anger. "You know you could have just told me that the two of you had gotten back together."

"We-"

"It would not have bothered me one bit. You two have a very healthy-"

"Leonard!" Spock said sternly, standing up and approaching him. McCoy stayed rooted to his spot. "Uhura and I will never continue our romantic relationship again." Despite the relief that that statement gave him, McCoy stayed rigid before turning around.

"I'm going back to work." He grumbled, walking out the door.

--

When McCoy got back from the gym, he found Spock laying on the couch with Amanda laying on his chest. They were both sleeping. He approached them quietly, and gently rubbed Amanda's back. He noticed how she and Spock's ears were curved to a point, and that their eyebrows were pointed at an angle. It was interesting to figure out how alike they were, and weird to think that all of Spock's inherited traits came from only his katra.

When he looked closer, though, he noticed the bags under Spock's eyes. Maybe the man's health wasn't as great as he had thought. He removed Amanda and set her gently in the crib before grabbing a blanket and putting it over Spock. A hand shot out and grabbed his wrist, making him gasp.

"God, Spock, you scared me!" He exclaimed quietly so as not to wake the baby. Spock's eyes fluttered open and he looked around the room before letting go.

"I apologize." He said quietly, and McCoy sat down on the edge of the couch.

"Bad dream?" He asked, and Spock hesitated before nodding.

"It was quite... vivid." He admitted, and he flinched when Amanda coughed. McCoy could see how on-edge he was, and he knew from experience how much nightmares could influence people. He jerked his head to the bedroom.

"Sleep with me, then. I bet you I could fight off whatever monsters are threatenin' your mind." He smirked before standing up and going to the bedroom, Spock in tow. While the Vulcan got into bed, McCoy went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face. He looked at himself in the mirror and mouthed, 'What the fuck are you doing? Why are you letting him in your bed, you idiot! You don't even LIKE him!'

Once he got the inner crazies out of the way, he exited the bathroom and climbed into bed. Spock seemed to already be asleep, so McCoy snuggled into his pillow and followed suit.

-

"Leonard!" He woke up when Spock said his name suddenly, and reached out to grab his arm.

"Yeah? I'm here, Spock." He answered, and Spock grabbed his hand and held onto it. McCoy's pulse sped up and he swallowed hard at the contact, and Jim's words rung through his mind. '... because Spock is okay with touching you.' He tried not to feel warm inside. Amanda started crying from the other room, and McCoy retrieved his hand quickly. "I'll go." He said, even though Friday nights were on Spock's watch.

He clambered out of bed and went into the other room to sate his child. It was usually the time when she got hungry, so while he rocked her in his arms he fed her a nice warm bottle of milk. When she was finished drinking, she was still fussing a lot, so he used his knowledge from earlier and thought about Spock. He couldn't help but feel glad and relieved that he and Uhura weren't getting back together. But what did that even mean?

If Spock and Uhura weren't getting back together, how did that impact him? Was he going to do something about it? It's not like he actually liked Spock like that. He looked down at Amanda, who was looking back up at him with her big brown eyes. He remembered holding hands with Spock. They've done it many times, and McCoy knew that it was a big deal considering Vulcans' hands were so sensitive. He didn't dislike it, either. It was kind of nice, being able to hold onto someone for that support. It showed that he could rely on Spock if he needed to.

He looked into Amanda's eyes, wondering what he should do. She made a little noise, and he smiled before putting her back in her crib. He went into the bedroom and climbed into bed, Spock already asleep again. Damn bastard could have at least waited until he got back...

McCoy saw his hand peeking out from the blankets, and he slowly, gently weaved their fingers together. He tried to push down that fluttering, aching feeling in his stomach. He couldn't decide if he loved the feeling or loathed it. He took a couple of deep, slow breaths through his nose to calm his heart down, and he closed his eyes. He scooched a little closer to Spock, so that their forearms were overlapping below where their hands were connected. He could feel the man's warmth radiating from his body, and it made him feel comfortable and nice. He took another deep breath, and fell asleep.

--

When he woke up in the morning, Spock wasn't in bed. He got out and walked out of the bedroom door, ramming into someone. He felt hot liquid spill all over his torso, and he winced.

"I am sorry- I was bringing you coffee-"

"It's alright, Spock." McCoy laughed, taking off his coffee drenched shirt. He wiped himself off with it, ignoring how the red parts on his skin started to feel burned. He was going to have to treat himself for that later. He glanced up to see Spock staring at his bare torso, and he turned away from him. "I'd like it if you didn't stare at my pudge, Spock." He said, making the Vulcan look up at his eyes.

"I see no 'pudge,' Leonard. Your body is 15.329% more fit than it was before the pregnancy." Spock said, his cheeks turning green.

"... Right, I'm going to go shower now to get this coffee off me. Thanks for the gesture, though. With the coffee, I mean." He said, trying not to smile a little. Spock nodded, and McCoy went off to shower.

He took a deep breath once he was in there. Well, that was a fiasco. And Spock was just frozen there staring at his body. McCoy looked down at his stomach, poking what was there. There was still a layer of fat covering his lightly toned abs. The scar was still there too, from when Amanda was taken out of him. Spock had seen him when he was in the worst shape of his life- at the peak of pregnancy with poor physical, mental, and emotional health- and the man STILL looked at him now like he couldn't take his eyes off him. It kind of troubled McCoy a little bit. He didn't exactly know just how much Spock liked him. How long had he felt that way about him?

After he felt sufficiently clean, he got out of the shower and dressed himself. He brushed his teeth, but he was too lazy to shave. Maybe he'd grow out a handlebar mustache. Wouldn't that just make Spock so happy? He'd walk around and talk in his native Georgian accent like he did when he was drunk, thumbs in his pants and legs lanking out when he walked. Yep, Spock's reaction would be priceless.

He'd probably have to actually be drunk to bring himself to do something like that, though.

McCoy walked out into the living room, surprised to see Spock sitting at the table eating. Then he remembered that they had the day off on Saturdays, so he walked over to the replicator and ordered something. Waffles sounded good, but did he want to shove all that glucose inside him? He shrugged. Might as well. Once he had a plate of the steaming breakfast food, he sat down across from Spock and started eating. There was a new cup of hot coffee there for him, which he gulped down happily.

"You got any plans for today?" McCoy asked, wondering what he'd occupy his day with. Spock set down his tea and looked over at him.

"I had arranged to accompany Mr. Sulu to the Botany Lab this morning, and then I had planned to see the progress being made on the new structures in Engineering." Spock explained, and McCoy nodded. Seemed exciting enough.

"I'll probably take Amanda out and about so that everyone can stop bothering me about when they're going to see her." He said, and Spock's eyebrow raised in amusement. They both had gotten relentlessly bantered about Amanda ever since she was born, so it was probably a good idea to go show her off around the ship.

"Please refrain from taking her to Sickbay unless it is required. She does not need to contract any diseases." Spock advised, and McCoy set down his fork.

"Are you sayin' that my Sickbay is a petri dish?" He growled threateningly, but he could tell that Spock was amused.

"Ever since M'Benga has been spending more time in the Sickbay than you, it may as well be." Spock said simply, taking a drink of his tea. McCoy opened and closed his mouth, but couldn't find the words. He didn't know whether to be angry or to thank him.

"Well. It's not that bad, is it?" He asked, taking a bite of his waffles before they got cold. All this talking left little room for eating.

"No- it was merely an endeavor to compliment you." Spock replied tentatively, and McCoy raised his eyebrows.

"Well thank you, Spock." He said, and they both went back to eating for a while. An idea popped into his head, though, and his stomach started tingling at the thought. It took a few minutes before he actually asked the question, since he was trying to figure out the best way to ask. His words all spilled out at once, though, causing it to seem impulsive and dry. "Hey, you, uh... I... How about- you know, if you have nothing-- nothing to do that is--- tonight we could possibly go out. To dinner. FOR dinner. Yeah? No?" Spock stared at him for a while, making him feel even more embarrassed about it.

"The three of us?" Spock asked, and McCoy frowned. Three? Oh, Amanda. He shook his head.

"I was thinking more of a one on one dinner. Betwixt the two of us." He said, gesturing between them.

"We eat dinner together almost every day." Spock countered, and McCoy glared at him.

"I mean, we should go OUT for dinner. Have Jim watch Amanda, since he's been wanting to babysit her for a long time now." He supplied, taking a swig of his steaming coffee. He'd need to add some vodka to it to just get through the day at this rate.

"What is the point in going 'out' if-"

"Damn it, Spock, I'm trying to court you! I'm a doctor not a romantic, so tell me your answer so we can get on with our damn day!" He exclaimed, hitting his fist against the table. Spock looked at him, shocked, before nodding.

"Dinner would be adequate." He answered, and McCoy tried not to roll his eyes. 'Adequate' was better than nothing, he supposed... or was it? Who knew? Then another thing popped into his head.

"Wait, what happened to T'Laua? I haven't seen her in months." He asked, wondering about how she ever forgot about her.

"She was transported to the nearest Starbase 3.2 months ago, due to extensive injuries that Sickbay could not have healed quick enough." Spock answered, standing up to put his dishes away. McCoy frowned.

"How did that happen?" He asked, turning to look at Spock, who seemed bodily invasive.

"Somebody must have been displeased with her performance upon the Enterprise." Spock said, and McCoy stood and walked over to him. He backed the Vulcan up to the wall before speaking.

"Did you do it?" He asked, his eyebrows raised in amazement and worry. When Spock didn't answer, he said, "Aren't Vulcans supposed to be peaceful towards other Vulcans?"

"She hurt you." Spock answered quietly, and McCoy's lips stretched into a half smile. He pat Spock's shoulder awkwardly.

"Thank you, Spock." He said before walking away. He sat back down and finished his waffles, and Spock left the room without saying goodbye.

Chapter Text

3 Months, 3 Weeks Old

McCoy came home to Spock and Amanda laying on the floor, with the the former reading aloud in Vulcan. He smiled and walked over, laying down on his side on the other side of the baby. He rested his head on his hand, and used the other one to rub Amanda's stomach. She smiled and grabbed onto his hand, using her baby death grip so that he wouldn't let go. Spock continued to read in his native language, and McCoy was content to listen.

They had both been reading to Amanda a lot over the past few weeks. McCoy would read in in the standard language, and Spock would usually read in Vulcan. They had agreed that Amanda should be exposed to both languages from a young age so that she could have the opportunity to learn both of them. McCoy was learning a bit about the language too, which was good. He also enjoyed listening to Spock read- or rather, he just liked listening to the man's voice.

Amanda cooed and reached one hand over at Spock, who held out his own big hand for her to hold onto. McCoy and Spock's hands touched, like Amanda was bringing them together. McCoy frowned and pulled his hand away before standing up and going for a drink. He got himself some smooth bourbon, and sat down at the dining table to drink it. A few minutes passed before Spock finished reading and went to the bathroom, and the shower started. McCoy let out a frustrated breath.

When Amanda pulled their hands together, that got him thinking about something. He and Spock had been going out to eat dinner a couple times a week, and they had shared the bed a couple times as well. But a fleeting thought had been ebbing through his mind...

What if Spock only felt this way about him because they had a kid together? Vulcans probably had some thing about how if you had a kid with someone, you stayed with that person unless something bad happened. Right? He shook his head, drinking some more bourbon. What if they were only getting this close because Amanda was there to bride the gap between them? Do they only feel that way about each other because they're both parents to her? He looked over at the squirming Vulcan-Human child and sighed.

He sat down and played with her for a while, moving around stuffed animals in front of her so she could reach for them and play with them herself. He stroked her smooth, plump little cheek, causing her to smile. She reached threw the koala to the side before reaching up at McCoy and squealing. He picked her up and sat with his back against the foot of the couch.

He held her for a while until Spock walked into the room, and his heart sank involuntarily when he saw him. He couldn't stop thinking about the possibility of the feelings between them being fake. Amanda started crying, and he immediately felt bad. He pried her off of him and handed her up to Spock, saying, "Sorry, my fault." Spock only eyed him for a couple seconds before patting Amanda and walking around with her. McCoy watched them for a while before going back to the bedroom.

He laid back on the bed, his knees bent over the edge and his feet touching the floor. He heard Amanda stop crying, and a couple minutes later Spock came into the room alone. "Is something wrong?" He asked, sitting next to him on the bed. McCoy sat up, rubbing his head.

"I can't stop thinking about how it might have been if Amanda wasn't here. How things would be between us, I mean." He admitted, and Spock looked over at him.

"My regard towards you did not begin because of her." Spock said, but McCoy shrugged.

"But she's the only reason why you ever started to do something about it, isn't she?" He asked, crossing his arms.

"I started to 'do something about it' when I gave you my katra. I would have trusted nobody else with my own essence of being." Spock said, and McCoy blinked at him.

"So if I wasn't there, then you would have died?" He asked, and Spock nodded. But he glared again. "That's not the point right now. The point is that... I don't even know if these feelings are REAL. I don't know if I or you are only feeling this way only because we have a kid together. I just... I need some time to think about this." McCoy got up abruptly and escaped into the bathroom. He undressed and got into the shower, turning the pulses up high.

He tried clearing his mind. He needed to think hard about how he felt.

---

After a long day at work, McCoy finished up in his office only to hear a quiet conversation outside somewhere.

"... just done, really. The people here are crazy. The CMO got pregnant for chrissake- and with a Vulcan!"

"I don't think you should be-"

"Who cares? It's my opinion, I'm going to say it. The first officer should be put in his place for firing me! I yelled at him a couple days ago, but he ignored me. I even punched him right in the face and he didn't even say anything to me before he walked off! Fucking-"

"Would you quiet down?"

"Shh, listen. Once shift is over I'm going to go and give that Vulcan a piece of my mind. I'm going to-"

"You're gonna do what?" McCoy growled, popping out of his office and startling two officers. One was a yellow shirt, and one was a blue shirt.

"He didn't mean anything by it, Sir!" The yellow shirt said, but the blue shirt stuck his chin up.

"Yeah I did. That Spock needs to be put in his place." The blue shirt said, and McCoy got into his personal space in attempt to intimidate him.

"I suggest you quit your yammerin' before I put you in one of those biobeds over there. You know you could be sent back to the Academy for xenophobia?" He threatened, but the guy had the audacity to snort as the yellow shirt backed off.

"Who cares? I'm already fired anyway! I'm going to be dropped off at the nearest Starbase tomorrow!" He said, pushing McCoy back a few inches.

"Well if you're not an officer anymore, then I can't get into too much trouble for what I'm about to do." McCoy smirked, cracking his knuckles.

"Come on, man, haven't you done enough?" The yellow shirt said, trying to pull at the blue shirt.

"Fuck off, Rodney! Stay outta this." The blue shirt said, wrenching away from the other man.

"Yeah Rodney, back off before you seem like you're involved. Go tell people what happens when you badmouth the best first officer in the fleet." McCoy demanded, and the Rodney guy backed off briskly.

"Come on, you gonna hit me or wha-" McCoy's fist connected with the man's nose, and he could hear and feel it crunch. He rammed his knee into the blue shirt's abdomen, causing him to double over in pain. He heard a scream from one of the nurses, but he ignored her. The blue shirt tried to launch himself at McCoy, but he kicked him to the ground.

"Get up!" McCoy yelled at the groaning man as soon as he hit the floor. "Get up so I can keep beating the shit out of you-" The man grabbed his legs and pulled him to the ground, climbing on top of him. He punched McCoy in the face several times before the doctor flipped their positions around. He hit the man in the face, but the blue shirt's hands came up and gripped his throat, choking him. He hit him again before he started seeing red, and he was pinned to the floor again, being choked harder and harder.

When he started seeing stars, the hands were gone, and he breathed in harshly. He coughed several times before rolling over and getting onto his hands and knees. He felt like he was going to throw up. He gulped in air as if he was a starved child gulping down pie, and soon his vision went back to normal. He looked up to see some security officers dragging the other bleeding guy away, and rough hands pulled the doctor to his feet.

"What the hell, McCoy?!" M'Benga explained, leading him over to a biobed. He started treating the wounds on his face and neck, and McCoy coughed a few times before answering.

"He started it." He said weakly, his voice a little hoarse from being choked to the edge of his consciousness. M'Benga started cleaning the blood off his face with a cool wipe that made his wounds tingle.

"What did he even do or say that made you go at him so hard?" M'Benga asked, and McCoy snorted.

"He insulted and harmed someone that I... that I care about." He answered. "I just wanted to take a swing at him- I didn't know he was going to try and choke me out or anything."

"Yeah, he's going to be put into the brig for that one." M'Benga said, using a piece of medical equipment to help heal McCoy's wounds quicker. He wasn't really paying attention; he was still lightheaded from the lack of oxygen going to his brain. They stayed silent as M'Benga patched him up. After several minutes, he said, "All done. You just have a couple bruises on your jaw and cheek that I couldn't quite cure, but nothing that you haven't dealt with before."

"Mhm." McCoy grunted, sliding off the biobed. He wasn't really in the mood for pleasantries. He left Sickbay, ignoring M'Benga's protests, and went back to his quarters.

When he walked through the door, Spock looked up at him from the couch before getting up and coming over to him. Spock's hands were on his face, making him feel warm and flustered. He tried pushing him away, but the Vulcan was adamant.

"What did you do?" He asked, and McCoy scoffed.

"What did I do? ME?" McCoy exclaimed, and Amanda started crying.

"I was merely implying that I find it difficult to believe that-"

"Bones! You gotta come with me and give your statement of..." Jim barged into the room, and McCoy whipped around to scowl at him. Spock went to go comfort Amanda, and Jim looked between them awkwardly. "Uh... you need to come with me to give a short statement about what happened a little while ago. Nothing special, just so we can confirm some stuff." McCoy sighed and nodded before following his captain out the door. Once they were on their way walking, Jim asked, "So what just happened between you two? I felt like I just interrupted an argument."

"Don't worry about it." McCoy grumbled, clenching one of his fists.

"I do worry about it. I worry about you guys. You're my best friends, even though we've grown a little distant over the past several months." Jim said, and McCoy sighed.

"I'm sorry, Jim. That's my fault." He apologized, but he could see the other man shake his head.

"No, it's completely understandable with the baby and everything else happening. But Bones... you and Spock seem REALLY tense. It's a bit disturbing. Weren't you two just dating?" He asked, and McCoy sighed angrily again.

"No, we were just going to dinner together for a while. To see how things would work out. I don't know." He grumbled and shrugged.

"So what happened?" Jim asked quietly, putting a hand on McCoy's shoulder as they walked. He grunted as he hesitated to answer.

"It just seems like we just started liking each other just because of Amanda. Just for her sake." He confided, not really know why he would even admit such a thing to Jim. He'd talked about it with Spock, sure, but he was actually the one involved.

"You know, whenever I hung out with my brother, I always hated it. You know how much I hated it. We always fought about everything." Jim explained, and McCoy listened silently, wondering what this had to do with him. "But then I would just think of my mom. I knew I was doing it for her, so I would always think of her to keep me going. Same thing with whenever I doubt my captaincy: just do it for Pike. Do it for my dad. Do it for all of those people out there waiting for the Enterprise. Tell me something, Bones. What do you think of when you look at Spock?" McCoy stared ahead of him, processing his friend's words. He had to admit, they had merit to them.

What did he think about when he looked at Spock? He pictured the man in his mind. He thought of... Spock. His face, his voice, his hands, his touch. Amanda didn't even enter his mind until he thought of Spock with her. So maybe he wasn't feeling this way because of her. But how DID he feel about Spock? He still didn't know if it was close friendship, or something more.

--

Jim walked McCoy back to his quarters, and the blond walked in so that he could see Amanda. She was asleep in her crib, though, so he just smiled at her before turning back to his friend. "You think we should give him something to think about?" Jim asked with a smirk when they heard Spock in the other room.

"Huh?" McCoy asked, frowning. Jim grabbed his face and pulled him towards him, but McCoy pushed him away at the last second. "What the hell, Jim?!"

"Come on baby it'll be just like old times!" Jim complained, trying to push their bodies together.

"This is sexual harassment, Jim!" McCoy said, but he couldn't help the laugh that escaped him as he pushed his friend's face away. Jim let go of him, laughing.

"Okay, okay... Please don't report me I'll lose my job." He said seriously, and McCoy shrugged. But then Jim glared at him, causing him to chuckle.

"You know I let you get away with everything, Jim. Anyway, it's getting late. Get out of here." He clapped his hand on Jim's arm, and the man smiled before leaving. He turned back to Amanda, who was sleeping with her mouth hanging open. It was so cute.

"'Come on baby it will be just like old times'?" He heard Spock's voice, and tried not to roll his eyes. He turned around to see Spock coming into the room holding a cup of tea. It was a bit amusing to have heard Spock say 'baby' as an endearment, though- even if he was quoting someone else.

"He was just joking. I guarantee that we never had any 'old times' like that." He said, walking over and getting himself some bourbon. He drank some of it down, Spock watching him. McCoy opened his mouth to say something, but he didn't know what, so he closed it again. But then he said, "I'm sorry. For thinking that the reason that we started being friendly was because of Amanda. I know now that that's not the case. I mean I look at you and... and I don't see anybody else. I look at you and I just..." He trailed off, gesturing vaguely at his chest even though he didn't know what he was gesturing to.

"I forgive you." Spock replied, and McCoy nodded, swallowing down the rest of his bourbon. It was silent for a while until McCoy couldn't stand it anymore.

"Well I'm gonna go take a shower." He said before escaping to the bathroom. He let out a breath and undressed, stepping into the shower. He thought about what he just said to Spock. Could he have been any less smooth? 'I look at you and I just...' What a loser he was. He used to be so suave with the ladies. He'd just talk about his surgeon's hands and ramble off about how capable of a man he was, and the ladies usually flocked to him. But with Spock, everything was different. He actually had to prove himself. He had to TRY.

The last time he tried at a relationship he ended up catching his wife in bed with another man.

Chapter Text

4 Months, 1 Week Old

McCoy had been (subconsciously, of course) using every excuse in the world to touch Spock through the past couple of weeks. They'd brush arms, bump knees, touch shoulders, brush hands, whatever it took for them to be in physical contact for that moment. He couldn't help but like the feel of Spock's muscles working in his arm, back or shoulder. He reveled the warmth that radiated off of the Vulcan, and he always wanted more. He felt like if he wasn't touching him in any way when they were near each other, then he was doing something wrong.

He and Spock were sitting on the couch, both reading their own books, and their arms and knees were touching. It was a common occurrence, but it nonetheless made it insanely difficult to focus. He was aware of every move that Spock made- every shift of each little muscle and every breath he took. He looked over at the Vulcan. They were so close, he could see the little details of Spock's face. He saw the individual hairs of his angled eyebrows, the slight green tint to his skin, and his dark eyelashes. His mouth was light and looked as smooth as clean glass. The curve of his lips made McCoy want to trace them with gentle fingers.

He turned back to his book, trying to concentrate on the words on the page. They kept blurring as his eyes threatened to close. He hadn't realized how tired he was. He wanted to go to bed, but did he want to leave the comfortable warmth next to him? It was a difficult decision. He debated asking Spock to join him, but he got nervous thinking about it.

"I'm going to bed." McCoy announced quietly, so as to not wake Amanda, and stood up. He stretched a little, Spock looking up at him. "Do you wanna... join me?" He asked, and Spock nodded.

"I do." He replied, and followed McCoy to the bedroom. They both climbed into bed, laying on their backs and looking up at the ceiling.

"There's no reason why I should have the bed over you now." McCoy said, running his fingers through his hair tiredly. "We should just share it all the time. If you're cool with that." He suggested, and Spock turned onto his side to face him. He did the same, looking into the man's brown eyes through the darkness.

"I would... enjoy that." He admitted quietly, and McCoy smiled. Spock's hand found his cheek, and the heat of it sank through his skin, making his face grow hot. Spock lifted himself up and moved closer to him, his face hovering over McCoy's. "Will you reject me again?" He whispered, and McCoy's breath caught in his throat. He shook his head, and Spock lowered himself, causing their lips to connect.

It was quick and light, but it had McCoy's heart thumping wildly in his chest. The fluttering in his stomach was crazy, and he felt like molten lava was flowing through his veins. He moved his head up to kiss Spock again, the touch like electricity between them. Spock laid back down next to him after he pulled away, and McCoy snuggled closer to him. They cuddled for a while, rubbing each other's arms and backs, and running fingers through hair until they fell asleep.

---

McCoy got back from Sickbay incredibly late- so late that Spock was already there, sitting on the floor with Amanda. She was making happy noises as she played with Spock's hand, and the sight made McCoy snort with amusement. He always thought that it was interesting how Amanda would always pass up a toy if she had the opportunity to play with either of her parents directly. She loved playing with their hands and faces for some reason. It was nice that Spock always let her play with him like that, even if he won't let her do so for very long. He got pretty lenient with her sometimes.

McCoy sat down next to them and pressed a chaste kiss against Spock's cheek, who raised an eyebrow at him. He smiled down at Amanda, who reached her hands up at him. He picked her up, and she grabbed his shirt in her tiny fist. "Sorry I got here so late. You been here long?" McCoy asked, patting Amanda on the back.

"I have been here for 1.843 hours. Why did you arrive late?" Spock asked, standing up and making them some tea.

"Uhh..." McCoy hesitated, remembering giving a very intricate surgery on a man's genitalia to get rid of the extensive sexually transmitted disease there. "I'd rather keep it between the patient and I. How was wor-" he was interrupted when his comm. went off, and he answered it with a frown. "McCoy here."

"Bones, I need you down at Sickbay. Now. Officer Juma is-" there was a scream, and McCoy set Amanda down, trying to get her to unclench her fist from shirt. "Just get down here!" Jim yelled, and Amanda made an unhappy noise. He detached her from his shirt, kissed her forehead, and stood up.

"I gotta be there. I'll be back as soon as I can!" McCoy said, walking to the door.

"Be careful!" Spock called after him, and he took off running towards sickbay. He didn't know what was happening, but it did not sound good.

When he burst into Sickbay, Nurse Chapel led him over to get prepped to operate. "Mind tellin' me what in the hell is goin' on?" McCoy asked as he got ready.

"Officer Juma breathed in some noxious gas while they were planetside today. She's started going crazy-" She explained, but was interrupted by the same scream that McCoy had heard when Jim contacted him. "The particles solidified in her lungs and throat, entering her bloodstream. You need to get it out. M'Benga's already in there working. The Captain said that he breathed in the gas too, but he hasn't started feeling the effects of it yet. M'Benga will begin operating on him when you-"

"No. I'll work on Jim. M'Benga can take Juma." McCoy declared, looking her dead in the eye. "Don't argue with me- it'll be better that way."

"Okay. He's getting prepped for surgery now." Nurse Chapel nodded, and went to go check on him. Once McCoy was finished, he went into one of the rooms to find Jim unconscious and ready to be operated on. He hoped long ago that he'd never see this sight again.

McCoy got to work on him, getting into his throat and scraping out little pink pieces from inside of it. Some of them were so stuck to the lining that he had to use force to pull them off. Jim would have a hard time breathing and talking after this. He worked for about an hour before he moved onto the real hard task- the lungs. He had both of them to clean out, and he had to do so while still allowing Jim to breathe.

What a day to be a doctor.

With the help of several nurses, they were able to pull out most of the pieces with an x-ray screen and some very long, thin pliers that he stuck down the throat and into the lungs. There was about a cup of solidified pieces once they were finished, and McCoy took a deep breath of relief when it was all over.

He looked over at Jim, who looked peaceful in his unconscious state, and felt bad about how the man would have some eating, talking, and breathing problems for a few days after this. He glanced at the clock. He had been there for four hours.

Once everything was cleaned up, McCoy met with M'Benga and the nurses outside. "Did someone contact Spock and tell him what's goin' on?" McCoy asked, and Nurse Pamela nodded. "Good. Now, make sure you give these guys the pain killers that they need, and make sure that they are completely mentally and emotionally stable before discharging them. I'm going to come in late tomorrow morning if that's alright with everyone."

"Of course, McCoy. Take it easy." M'Benga said with a nodded, clapping his hand on his shoulder. McCoy felt a little uncomfortable at the contact, but nodded back at him before walking off.

He cleaned himself up before leaving Sickbay. On the way to his quarters, he actually started breathing properly. It was difficult to keep his steady composure when his best friend was lying on the operating table with pieces of equipment shoved down and through his throat. If Jim didn't feel better when he woke up then he was going to kick his ass.

He walked into his quarters and was greeted by darkness. He used his memory of where everything was at in order to make his way into the bedroom. He stripped down to his boxers, feeling hot and agitated after the stress of feeling the insides of his friend. He climbed into bed and found Spock's sleeping form before spooning him. He kissed the back of the Vulcan's neck, and breathed in the man's scent until he calmed down enough to fall asleep.

Chapter Text

5 Months

Since Jim couldn't talk, he was off the Bridge all day. McCoy knew he was bored, but hell, what could he do about it? He worked all day! Spock worked all day! It's not like they could be there to entertain Jim all day.

Or maybe... BOTH of them (in a way) could be there to entertain Jim all day.

"Hey Spock, before you leave..." McCoy stopped Spock before the man left their quarters for work. "How do you feel about Jim watchin' Amanda for the day? Keep him occupied, you know. We could also have Kraila pop in on them every once in a while to make sure he still knows how a baby works."

"I trust our Captain... but I am unsure as to whether a simple 'pop in' by Kraila would be sufficient enough to ensure Amanda's safety." Spock answered, crossing his arms in thought like he did. McCoy shrugged a little.

"I think it'll be fine. It's important at Amanda's age that she establishes relationships with people other than her parents. And Kraila." McCoy said, trying to push Spock to be a bit more lenient. "You know Jim is practically obsessed with her. I'm sure he'll contact one or both of us if he has any questions." Spock seemed to consider it for a while before nodding.

"If you believe it to be a wise choice, then I will not argue." Spock said, and McCoy glared at him as he walked out of the door. That pretty much meant that if anything happened, all the blame would be on McCoy. Great.

He scooped up Amanda, packed up a bunch of things that she would need- including her stuffed sehlat-, and walked her over to Jim's quarters. The Captain was so happy that he got to watch Amanda that McCoy could hardly believe that they hadn't let the guy watch her before. After Jim assured him (in writing) that he would take care of Amanda with the upmost proficiency, McCoy left for work.

---

When McCoy got home, he was almost shocked to see that the place was empty. He expected Kraila to be there with Amanda like usual, but then he remembered that Jim still had her. He debated whether or not to go get her back, but he decided that he could use some relaxing time. No responsibilities, no distractions, just him and his mint julep.

McCoy sat back on the couch, drinking his cool mint julep and sighing until he could sigh no longer. He leaned back and closed his eyes. It was nice to have some alone time... Until he heard Spock walk in. "Where is Amanda?" Spock asked, and 'McCoy could almost hear the eyebrow raise.

"Mmm, still with Jim." He mumbled, opening his eyes and patting the space next to him. Spock sat. "I figured now would be a good time to relax. I'm sure Jim is havin' fun now that he can actually look after her, so we don't have nothin' to worry about. It's just you, me, and this here drink." McCoy said, holding up his drink as if to toast its existence. He raised it to its lips, but Spock took it from him just before he could take a swig.

"While I have been lenient with your drinking habits, I would prefer it if you would cease imbibing every day." Spock remarked, and McCoy glared at him.

"I've just been enjoying myself! Can't I enjoy myself?" He complained, and Spock raised a precarious eyebrow.

"I am sure that you could seek enjoyment in other things as well." He said, causing McCoy to raise his own eyebrow.

"Spock... are you flirting with me?!" He asked, sitting up straighter and turning towards Spock, whose ears turned a little green.

"That was indeed my intention." Spock replied, making McCoy smile a little. He wasted little time, leaning over and kissing Spock on his nice, smooth lips. Once wasn't enough as McCoy couldn't bring himself to separate from the Vulcan, and the kisses became deeper. His blood flushing up his neck to his face and down to his crotch was like molten lava going through his veins. His stomach tingled in the familiar feeling of butterflies as Spock slipped his tongue into his mouth, causing him to give off a desperate moan without his conscious consent. His heart was pounding hard in his chest, and he moved his hand to Spock's side so that he could feel his heart beating also.

They were in perfect sync; each slide of their tongues, every nip of the lips, and every move was done in a flawless harmony. McCoy was struggling to breathe, so Spock laid him down on the couch under him and kissed his neck. The doctor moaned when Spock bit at his collar bone, sucking until it left a mark. When McCoy caught his breath, he urged Spock up wordlessly so that they may continue their heated kissing. He worked his hands down, grabbing Spock's butt and causing him to growl. He didn't know if it was a good or bad growl, so he moved his hands back up, slipping under the man's shirt so that he could palm his bare skin. The Vulcan's skin was melting hot as he felt every inch with his hands.

After a bit, Spock's hands started exploring as well. He slipped them under McCoy's shirt and felt his chest before focusing on his nipples. McCoy sighed in pleasure when Spock worked his fingers on his chest. He wondered where Spock got all this experience. He could help but to picture Spock and Uhura together, him feeling her-

Spock pushed away from him abruptly, so aggressively that he fell off the couch. McCoy panicked a little, sitting up and saying, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to-"

"Do not think that my feelings for you are the same as what I had for Nyota." Spock demanded, and McCoy didn't know whether to feel offended or not- it could have been taken two different ways. "Nyota and I have never done anything... like this." Spock admitted quietly.

"Then how DO you feel about me?" McCoy asked, frowning at Spock sitting on the floor.

"I..." Spock hesitated, before looking into McCoy's eyes and saying with certainty, "Love." McCoy blinked at him before really seeing him. Spock was there, face and ears flushed green, and had just told McCoy that he loved him. A Vulcan, who had aspired to never feel anything as long as he lived, said that he loved him.

McCoy sprung from the couch and tackled Spock to the ground, kissing him hard. He pulled away gently to look at him and say-

The door chimed. McCoy growled angrily and climbed off of Spock. "I'll go. Your face is too green." He said, patting Spock's green cheek.

"Your cheeks are exceptionally red." Spock replied, and McCoy glared at him as he stood. He kicked Spock gently and said, "I'll just say that I was getting too hot with the high temperature that you have here."

"That you were." Spock remarked with a raised eyebrow, and McCoy stifled a laugh as he went to the door. He heard Spock get up behind him, no doubt to shower or something. He answered the door, and saw Jim standing there with Amanda in his arms, as well as the bag of supplies that McCoy had made up for him.

"Oh hey, Jim. You have a fun day?" McCoy asked, and Jim nodded with a smile. He wiggled his eyebrows at McCoy, pointing at his face and looking to see if Spock was inside. "Thanks for watching her!" McCoy exclaimed, grabbing Amanda and the supplies before shutting the door on his captain. He could deal with it.

After he put down the supplies, he practically threw Amanda in her crib. Well, more like very quickly laid her down without touching her bare skin. He couldn't stop thinking about his encounter with Spock, and he didn't want to pass on those sorts of feelings to Amanda. Feelings of pleasure... that would just be creepy. He shivered at the thought before looking at the time. It was getting late. No wonder Jim came here himself to drop the baby off.

He looked over at Amanda, who was already sleeping, and smiled before going to bed. Spock was in the shower, so he'd have to wait until morning. He was too tired to wait until the Vulcan was finished, even if the man did take efficiently quick showers. He breathed deeply, smelling hints of Spock in the bed, and felt calmed by the thought of him with him. He slept in tranquility.

Chapter Text

6 Months

Amanda was starting to crawl. It was a bit disconcerting, considering McCoy began obsessively cleaning the floors to protect her from any lingering and harmful bacteria. All the cleaning was starting to hurt his back... or maybe he was getting old. Or maybe both.

Amanda made that cute little squealing noise she made when she wanted something, so McCoy looked over. She was trying to reach up the wall at something... Spock's traditional Vulcan weapons?!

"OH HELL NO HONEY!" McCoy rushed over, snatching Amanda up, who frowned at him. He would smile because it was the cutest thing in the world with her little angled eyebrows, but he was too concerned about those weapons. What if they fell and she got ahold of them? What if they fell ON her?

Sensing his emotions, Amanda started crying. McCoy sighed, bouncing her in his arms. He'd have to convince Spock to get the weapons away. Now.

Speak of the devil, Spock walked through the door. "Spock, the weapons need to go." McCoy told him, wasting no time. Spock said nothing as he grabbed Amanda from him to make her actually start crying.

"No." Spock replied simply, and McCoy gaped at him.

"No?" He asked incredulously.

"That is what I said." Spock said, and McCoy scoffed.

"Why not?"

"They hold... sentimental value. It is traditional in all Vulcan households to display the-"

"I don't care about Vulcan tradition, I care about the safety of our child." McCoy interrupted him, and Spock stared at him. Amanda watched the exchange silently.

"They will not fall. I have secured the fixtures myself." Spock said, walking off.

"Spock, Amanda was reaching for them earlier! Not only are they dangerous, they're also a bad influence. She's going to grow up thinking that weapons are just... toys!" McCoy followed him, and he could have sworn that Spock sighed. "Did we not agree to raise her as a loving, peacemaking, accepting person? She's named after YOUR mom for gods sake!"

"You chose the name. I warned not to name her after someone in hope that she becomes like that person." Spock told him matter-of-factly.

"You said you loved the name!" McCoy complained, catching Spock's eyes. "Why can't you agree with me on this? Having someone grow up around weapons does not teach them the significance of peace. It teaches them the influence of violence."

"It will be a visual representation of the culture which modern Vulcan teachings have evolved from." Spock argued, and McCoy huffed.

"Why can't you just TELL her about that instead of having weapons around? I'm pretty sure the first thoughts that would be running through her mind when she sees them wouldn't be 'oh cool a visual representation of past hardships, what a thing to admire!' No, she'd probably think 'oh, shiny, this must be a toy!' You get where I'm comin' from?"

"You are over-exaggerating the situation-"

"And then when she's older, say 9 goddamn years old, she'll be with a friend and say 'oh don't worry! They're just toys! We can play with them!' And-"

"Leonard." Spock sounded angry then, sitting Amanda down on the table.

"Spock!" McCoy said before Spock could keep talking. "The weapons go, or I go. And I take her with me." He said, and Spock's face immediately went completely devoid of emotion. Wordlessly, he glanced at Amanda before walking over and taking down all the weapons. McCoy tried not to feel bad about his threat, but the safety of his kid outweighed Spock's sentiment. Still... "Spock." He said as the Vulcan removed the last weapon. "Hang them up in the bedroom." Spock nodded, and walked into the bedroom.

McCoy sighed, looking over at Amanda, who was glaring at him. He poked the crease between her eyebrows, and she smiled. Hopefully Spock wouldn't be angry with him for too long. They were finally getting somewhere in their relationship, too.

--

That night, after a silent dinner and finally coaxing Amanda into sleep, they laid in bed wordlessly. Spock was laying on his side, his back to McCoy. McCoy sighed, and rolled over to spoon him. "I'm sorry, Spock. I'm just so damn worried about her." He murmured, putting his hand roughly against the side of Spock's face so that he might feel his intense worry. Spock grabbed his hand, pulling it away from his face.

"I know. I apologize for being..." Spock trailed off, and McCoy smiled.

"It's okay. I know these things mean a lot to you. It's important that you have these things. It's your history." McCoy said, holding hands with Spock.

They laid there for a while, McCoy not feeling tired at all. He suddenly wrapped both arms around Spock, rolling the Vulcan on top of him and then over to the other side of him, to the middle of the bed. It was quite the feat, since Spock was a very heavy man. Before Spock could ask what he was doing- as he undoubtedly was about to- McCoy got on top of him. He made Spock face down as he straddled him.

"Is this your version of a romantic encounter?" Spock asked, and McCoy couldn't tell if he was miffed or amused. Probably both. He smirked.

"Yes!" He said enthusiastically. He enjoyed the fact that he could do this with Spock. The Vulcan didn't even seem to give a crap. What else could he make him do? Live out his wildest fantasies? "What would you do if I wanted to do something extremely kinky?" McCoy asked, and before Spock could answer, he kept talking. "What if I wanted to... to put you in one of those old fashioned Earth hospital gowns, strap you to a biobed, and-"

"I would not allow that." Spock said, twisting himself around so that he laid on his back. McCoy glared at him. "I would not allow it, for I know that it is not something that would effectively arouse you."

"Oh, yeah. Damn telepathic hobgoblin." McCoy grumbled. He tried thinking if he had any real kinks, but he kind of... didn't. Except maybe when he heard about the Edosian women that had three arms. Three! He frowned at Spock, asking, "What are your kinks?"

"I often entertain the idea of you in traditional female Vulcan attire." Spock said, and McCoy blinked at him.

"Really?" He asked, not knowing how to feel about that.

"No." Spock answered, raising an eyebrow. That made McCoy smile a little. So the Vulcan could joke! Spock grabbed his hand again and asked, "Are you bored with our sexual interactions?"

"What? We ain't barely had any... interactions. We've only made out. Once. For like two seconds." McCoy sputtered, suddenly feeling a little awkward.

"That is much the point to my question." Spock said, and McCoy climbed off of him. He laid on his side next to him, propping up on his elbow.

"Are you?" He asked.

"Vulcans only need to mate every seven years." Spock deflected, and McCoy glared.

"One, Vulcans NEED to mate every seven years- that doesn't mean that they never have sex between those time periods. Two, I don't care about Vulcans, I care about Spock."

"I want what you want-"

"Damn it Spock, just tell me what you want. What you really want." At this point, part of McCoy just wanted to hear Spock say it. And the other part of him was afraid of his own feelings. Spock stared at him for a long time before climbing on top of him, pressing his back into the bed.

Spock kissed him passionately, running his fingers through McCoy's dark hair. McCoy put his hands on Spock's warm, flushed face. Sometimes he wished he could mind meld. That way he could put out all his thoughts and feelings without actually saying them.

Spock pulled away, and put his fingers on specific points on McCoy's face. He hesitated, but then they were both suddenly immersed in a crashing wave of feeling. Joy, affection, love, and desire. So much desire. An overwhelming amount of lust, in fact. McCoy would be shocked by this if he wasn't currently FEELING it.

He gripped Spock's shoulder, clenching as he felt the hot rush in his crotch. Before Spock could pull his hand away, McCoy groaned quietly as he came hard in his pants. "Well fuck, Spock." Leonard said quietly, breathing hard.

"Leonard, I apologize, I did not think that-"

"No, it's fine." McCoy interrupted, pushing Spock off of him so he could breathe. "It was just... unexpected." He felt uncomfortable in his wet boxers. He can't believe he just came without even any contact. He was never that... excitable. "I'm just gonna go shower real quick." McCoy said, getting up and walking out before Spock could reply.

Chapter Text

7 months

"Spock... you know that mind meld that happened about a month ago?" McCoy asked, walking over to Spock, who was sitting on the couch. Spock nodded, not looking up from his reading. "Well... I think I'm pregnant again." Spock's head snapped up, scanning McCoy with his eyes. He opened his mouth to speak, closed it, opened it again, then closed it again. He frowned.

"But..." Spock started, but uncharacteristically dropped the sentence. McCoy raised his eyebrows.

"I'm joking, you dingus. Just wanted to see your reaction. Next time, YOU'RE getting pregnant." McCoy said, plopping down next to Spock and punching the man in the arm (asshole didn't even flinch).

"Next time?" Spock asked, and McCoy just realized he had said that.

"Uh, I mean, IF there were to be a next time, then I refuse to get pregnant."

"Due to the location of my heart, along with my male physiology, it would be more dangerous if I were to carry a fetus." Spock argued.

"Then I guess we ain't havin' any more kids!" McCoy slapped Spock's leg before standing up and walking briskly out the door.

--

"No chance of more pregnancies." McCoy reported, laying on the biobed, his hands folded under his head. M'Benga was sitting in the chair next to the bed, writing some things down.

"So you asked him?" M'Benga assumed, and McCoy shrugged.

"More or less." McCoy answered with a sigh. "Not that I want more kids. At least, I don't want more of my own, if I'm gonna be the one gettin' pregnant. And Spock ain't for sure."

"... I'd do it." M'Benga said almost inaudibly, and it took McCoy a few moments to actually hear what he said. He'd do it? Do what? "Amanda still well? No fevers, rashes, et cetera?" M'Benga asked, and McCoy shook his head.

"Nah. You know I'd come to you if anything happened, even though I'M the CMO 'round here. You're almost part of the family by now." He chuckled, sitting up. "So I'm cleared to go now?"

"Yes, you're in great shape. Wish all my patients were as healthy as you." M'Benga smiled, standing up and holding McCoy's arm as he stood from the bed. "Hey, do you want to hit Ten Forward later? I hear Ensigns Loka and Hower are going to be singing older Earth songs down there tonight."

"Sure." McCoy found himself saying before he realized it. He swore he was more happy-go-lucky lately. Easily motivated to do things, go places, and talk to people. Maybe M'Benga had an influence on him. Or Jim. God knew it wasn't Spock- the man had as much fun charisma as a faded brick.

--

"I'm goin' out." McCoy said, slipping into clothes more comfortable than his uniform. "I'm not sure when I'll be back."

"Alright." Spock replied from the living room. McCoy rolled his eyes. The man could at least SOUND like he cared.

McCoy left, walking to Ten Forward. He spotted M'Benga along the way, so they walked together. "I've never heard Loka or Hower sing. They good?" McCoy asked, and M'Benga nodded enthusiastically.

"Definitely. They do a lot of songs, too. I take it you don't go down to Ten Forward too often?" M'Benga asked, looking amused. McCoy shook his head.

"No, my world pretty much revolves around Amanda and work in Sickbay." McCoy replied, and they walked into Ten Forward. They chose a table in a darker corner and M'Benga got them both drinks.

"How are you and Spock doing?" M'Benga asked, and McCoy hesitated.

"Not sure. Things are usually just off and on with us. We get into the dumbest arguments sometimes." McCoy complained, confiding in his friend. "You know, the other day we got into an argument about whether we should start eating breakfast together. It turned into this whole big thing..." He grunted, taking a drink. Loka and Hower showed up, both tall, dark-skinned humans with bright smiles. They immediately started singing in the middle of the room, and McCoy was immediately reminded of Earth. They were singing the same old country blues that McCoy was raised on.

He noticed M'Benga looking at him with a weird look and a small smile. "Sorry, I was just taken aback by your mesmerized look right there." M'Benga's smile grew bigger, and McCoy snorted.

"Yeah, well, just reminded me of home..." McCoy looked at his drink, wondering if he should come here more often. He concentrated on Loka and Hower's singing, becoming entranced by the music...

---

McCoy was addicted. He went out to Ten Forward with M'Benga five more times in the next week, and he would get home after Spock was already asleep. He hardly ever talked to the Vulcan anymore, really. After being around the good music, the lighthearted conversations, the good drinks and sweet food... he realized how much he missed that sort of thing. He realized how bland his life was recently, sitting around with Spock all day talking about work and books and things like that.

Now he was living. And he had M'Benga to thank for it.

McCoy was a bit drunk... Maybe a little more than a bit. He and M'Benga were leaning on each other on their way from Ten Forward, off to M'Benga's quarters since his were closer. They usually walked to his quarters first before parting ways on every other night.

When they got there, M'Benga said, "You think you could help me in- into bed? Don't think I can... can could walk by myself alone." McCoy laughed, more drunk than he thought he was, and went with the other man into his quarters. They approached the bed, McCoy trying to help but physically and mentally failing. They both fell onto the bed, M'Benga on top of him. "Oops." M'Benga laughed, patting McCoy's cheek. He leaned over and kissed him.

"The fuck are you doing?" McCoy grunted, trying to get M'Benga off of him, but his body was pure dead weight on top of him.

"You don't know how long I've wanted to do this." M'Benga ground himself between McCoy's legs, who was feeling completely violated by that point. M'Benga leaned down to kissed him, but he was able to get a fist up to punch the man.

Evidently he was able to hit him pretty hard, because M'Benga rolled off of him with a painful groan. McCoy stormed (stumbled) out of the room as best he could, and stopped out in the hall. He wished the doors didn't slide so that he could've slammed it. He was breathing hard, with anger.

"Fucking trusted him!" McCoy yelled, punching the wall. When that proved useless, he started off in the direction of his own quarters.

He got there in a blur, and before he knew it he was in the bathroom puking his guts out. He felt Spock's presence near him, knew that he was about to touch his shoulder.

"Don't fucking touch me, Spock." McCoy said quickly before throwing up again. No way he was going to have Spock touch him and immediately know what happened. He knew the man's touch telepathy was too risky at that moment. "Just get out." McCoy managed to get out, and Spock obeyed. McCoy felt bad, but he was mainly just angry still. Angry at M'Benga and angry at himself.

---

He woke up on the bathroom floor. His head was pounding and his stomach felt like it was twisted in a knot. He groaned, and crawled into the shower, disposing of his clothes. He felt dead inside.

After he showered, brushed his teeth, and changed, he walked out into the living room. Spock was eating breakfast with Amanda. The sight made McCoy hate himself even more. He needed to go talk to M'Benga.

He was out the door before Spock could even greet him. He walked quickly to M'Benga's quarters, and banged on the door. He knew the man wouldn't be at work yet today. He banged on the door for a full minute before M'Benga answered the door.

"Why are you banging so loud-" M'Benga started, but McCoy pushed him harshly.

"Oh I'm sorry, am I being too FUCKING LOUD FOR YOU?!" McCoy yelled, pushing M'Benga again. "What this was your plan, jackass? That you would coax me into a few nights at Ten Forward and then fuck me? Huh? Did it never occur to you that Spock and I were a fucking COUPLE?!" He shouted, pushing M'Benga against the wall.

"You said you guys were having problems! I thought that meant that you guys were split up!" M'Benga said, holding his hands up in surrender, but McCoy was livid.

"You dumbass! Spock and I are great! Just because we argue doesn't mean we're not good with each other!" McCoy exclaimed, glaring with rage. "Fuck you, M'Benga. Of course you'd get me drunk. Of course! It's just so like you to do something like this every time I start trusting you. Fuck you!" M'Benga tried to get closer to him, but he slammed him against the wall. "This is for last night!" He punched him in the face, giving him a bloody nose. "And this is on behalf of Spock!" He punched M'Benga three times harder, summoning all his strength.

"McCoy, stop!" M'Benga pleaded, his face bloody. "Please, stop. I've learned my lesson, okay? I'll leave you alone."

"You bet your ass you will. You slip up again and you're off this damn ship, and I don't care if I have to throw you out myself." McCoy growled, walking away. M'Benga called after him, but he ignored him.

--

He waited anxiously for Spock to get back from his shift. Amanda was quietly playing with a few of her toys on the floor. He watched her from the couch, wondering if she would ever get bored of the rubber ball she was trying to chew on. It was way too big to fit in her mouth anyway. He resisted the urge to take it from her, since he didn't know how dirty it was. But then he realized that his quarters were probably the cleanest on the whole ship, and that Amanda's immune system needed SOMETHING to fight against. He didn't need her being weak to every pathogen in the galaxy. It was tough love.

Spock got home, and McCoy stood up immediately. "Hey, Spock, uh... sorry for last night, when I was rude to you." He said, following Spock over to where he started making tea. "Truth is, I just really did not want you to touch me and know how I was feeling, and what had just happened, and-"

"Happened?" Spock interrupted, looking up at McCoy, who swallowed hard.

"Uh... yeah." He said quietly, taking a step back from the Vulcan. He couldn't meet his eyes. "I think I gave M'Benga the wrong idea about us, so last night we both got really drunk, and..." he hesitated, realizing just how afraid he was of Spock's reaction. "Well... I tried helping him into his bed, but we both fell onto it, with him on top of me. And he uh, he kissed me. But I was able to get him off. Off of me, I mean. And then I left." He didn't look at Spock, who remained silent for a few moments.

"Did you see him today?" Spock asked, and McCoy couldn't tell what emotion was behind his words.

"Yeah."

"What did you say to him?"

"I yelled and cussed at him a lot, mainly about how you and I were good and that I trusted him. I got pretty physical with him." McCoy admitted quietly, staring at the floor.

Spock put his fingers on McCoy's face, and he knew that he was going in for a mind meld. He closed his eyes, trying to show Spock everything that happened. When he pulled away, McCoy looked up at him, worried.

Spock walked away, abandoning his tea, and went to the bedroom, closing the door behind him. McCoy sighed, looking over at Amanda, who was watching him. He wanted to reach out to her, pick her up, hold her, but he was afraid that she'd feel his emotions and begin to cry.

When McCoy was tired enough, he went into the bedroom. He could smell incense, but Spock was already in bed. McCoy joined him, hoping that the other man wouldn't kick him out.

He laid there a while, worry built up in his chest, and unable to sleep. Spock rolled over and wrapped an arm around him, spooning him. "I apologize for my silence, Leonard. I needed to meditate immediately or else I would visit M'Benga myself." He said quietly, and McCoy's anxieties washed away immediately.

"Oh thank god, I thought for sure you were mad at me." McCoy said, holding Spock's hand tightly.

"I would have been, had you not been so angry yourself at M'Benga. I know that it was not your fault. You needn't feel worried." Spock said, and McCoy squeezed his hand.

"I love you, Spock." McCoy blurted out before he realized what he was saying. Spock gripped him tighter, kissing the back of his neck.

"And I love you, Leonard."

Chapter Text

9 Months

"Nope. He's not going down there. Doctor's orders." McCoy stated, his arms crossed as he sat rigidly in the chair. He, Jim, and Spock sat in Jim's ready room. Jim had the brilliant idea of sending Spock down to an inhospitable ice planet with any number of unknown threats.

"Bones, I've been able to take him off the rosters for these types of missions thus far, but Starfleet has gotten on me about it. I can't defer him again." Jim said, his eyebrows pinched in a concerned expression. "I am worried too, okay? But I can't do it again. And I trust Spock more than anyone to be able to handle the task."

"Jim. I said doctor's orders. Can't that amount to anything?" McCoy asked angrily.

"Not unless you can prove that he's unfit." Jim said simply.

"He's CLEARLY unfit! Look at him!" McCoy gestured towards Spock, who raised an eyebrow at him. "He's deathly ill!"

"Bones." Jim smiled momentarily at McCoy's argument before going serious again. "Nothing can be done."

"Leonard." Spock interjected before McCoy could start yelling again. "I am perfectly able to handle myself. Or do you underestimate my capabilities?"

"That's not fair. That is not fair and you know it, damn it." McCoy shook his head, scowling at Spock.

"The only way out is for Spock to resign." Jim said with a shrug. "And we all know that he won't do that." McCoy looked at Spock. Spock looked back at him. Jim looked between them both. "... Wait, you're not thinking of resigning, are you?"

"No." Spock and McCoy both said. McCoy continued to say, "There'd be no other career opportunities that would satisfy us both. Spock would want to into the Vulcan Science Academy and I would rather eat sand than be stuck on that planet."

"... Well then good. I think. Spock, transporter room in half an hour." Jim ordered, standing up.

"Wait, this discussion ain't over!" McCoy complained loudly.

"I believe, Leonard," Spock said, standing up as well, "that this discussion was- as humans say- 'over before it began'."

--

After Spock left, Leonard paced around their quarters for several long moments before snatching up Amanda and heading up to the Bridge. She clung to his blue shirt as he walked briskly.

When he arrived on the Bridge, people only glanced over momentarily, evidently expecting him to arrive. He went to stand by Jim, and they exchanged a look before they watched the away teams' dots move around on the map displayed on the screen. Jim was clearly also concerned.

"So far they've only reported vast amounts of snow and ice. No threats. Should be an easy grab'n'go." Jim said, trying to ease McCoy's nerves.

"What're they grabbin' again?" McCoy asked sheepishly, since he never actually paid attention to what they were going to be doing. He only paid attention to the 'Spock going down to an inhospitable planet' part. "And is the planet actually suitable for life?"

"They're checking out a small Federation research base on the surface. The base has stopped giving off signals, so Starfleet wanted us to investigate since we were closest. The planet's not suitable for humanoid life, since the temperature is almost fatally cold and the air is almost unbreathable." Jim explained, which didn't make McCoy feel any better.

They all watched the dots on the screen in silence, McCoy eventually taking a chair and sitting Amanda on his lap. She played quietly with a toy giraffe, babbling every once in a while.

After a long time, Spock's crackly voice came in. "Enterprise, this is Spock." McCoy's heart began beating fast as he wondered if Spock was in danger.

"Kirk here. What's up?" Jim replied.

"Captain, Ensign Powell was thrown from a large rock due to wind. He requires immediate medical attention." Spock reported.

"Alright, I'll have him beamed up. Stand clear. Kirk out." Jim said, then turned to Nyota. He opened his mouth to give the order, but she spoke first.

"Already on it, Captain. Medical personnel are making their way to the transporter room, and Powell is being beamed up." She announced, and Jim nodded. McCoy exhaled out a breath that he didn't know he'd been holding.

"Good job, Lieutenant." Jim smiled at her before turning back to the screen. Powell's dot disappeared from the group, and the remaining team continued on.

Amanda began getting upset, so McCoy took her into Jim's ready room and sat with her on the floor to calm her down. "You don't have to poop already do you? I just changed you before we left!" He said to her, and she made incoherent noises at him. He checked to see if she needed changing, but all was well on deck. "What do you need? You don't need changed, and you shouldn't be hungry for a while." He said to her, as if expecting her to tell him all her troubles. He was only relieved that she always got hungry on a strict schedule, so he knew when to prepare bottles for her. He guessed it was a Vulcan thing.

"Aaa!" Amanda complained, and McCoy frowned at her.

"'Aaa'?" He replied, and she glared at him. "What? I can't understand baby talk!"

"Da!!" Amanda said more urgently.

"Da?" McCoy echoed again, then his eyes went wide. "You mean 'Dad'?!"

"Da!!!" Amanda repeated, and McCoy took her in his arms and ran back onto the Bridge.

"Jim! Spock's in trouble!" McCoy told him, and Jim frowned at him.

"Huh? But his dot is- wait, he's running!" Jim pressed a button on his chair. "Spock! What's happening?!"

"There is some sort of creature that appears to be predatory. Are you able to beam us up?" Spock's crackling voice reported, and McCoy watched anxiously as the dots moved quickly across the screen.

"Scotty?!" Jim turned to the Chief Engineer, but the Scotsman shook his head.

"They're movin' too fast to lock on to, Captain!" Scotty told him, and Jim went back to comm Spock.

"Spock! Is there any way for you guys to hold position long enough to be beamed up?" Jim asked, keeping his voice steady.

"Negative. The creature is right behind us. It remains unaffected by phaser blasts. The-" Spock was interrupted by a screaming voice in the background. "Ensign Hammel has just been-" another scream, a woman this time- "I am now the only remaining member of the team. I-" The connection cut out, and Spock's dot stopped moving.

"Get him, Scotty!" Jim commanded loudly.

"Already on it, Sir!" Scotty replied, and McCoy watched in horror as Spock's dot disappeared.

"Did we get him?" McCoy asked, his threat feeling dry. "Scotty... did we get him?" Scotty didn't reply for several long seconds.

"We got him." Scotty said, relieved, and the tension visibly lifted from the room.

"Leonard," Nyota held out her arms, "I can take her, go to Spock. I heard a message sent that he needs medical attention."

Without a word, McCoy gave Amanda to Nyota, and sprinted off towards Sickbay. His lungs were burning by the time he got there, and Spock had even already been treated. McCoy would chide himself on his running speed if he wasn't otherwise occupied.

He ran forward, embracing Spock in a hug. He only let go when he felt Spock tense, and he saw that his arm was bandaged. "Spock, I thought..." McCoy choked on his words, unable to say any more than that.

"It is okay, Leonard. I am here." Spock said calmly, putting his uninjured hand on McCoy's face. "Don't cry." He ordered, and McCoy smiled.

"I'm not cryin', Pointy." McCoy refuted, wiping the tears from his face. "Are you okay? Your arm..."

"The creature caught up to me and bit my arm to stop me from escaping." Spock said, looking down at his bandaged appendage.

"Its mouth was that big? Your whole arm is wrapped up!" McCoy exclaimed.

"Actually, it only bit me with its outermost teeth." Spock replied, and McCoy gaped.

"Spock! You're okay!" Jim ran in, examining Spock. "I expect a full report on what happened. How big was the creature? What did it look like? Did you ever find the base? Oh, Bones, Amanda started crying pretty hard by the time I was leaving. You might wanna get her back from Uhura."

"Yeah," McCoy replied, taking one last look at Spock before making his way back to the Bridge.

---

McCoy awaited Spock's return to their quarters. He and Jim had to meet for 'important business' for a while, so McCoy went back to feed Amanda and put her down to sleep. He had a glass of scotch in his hand, taking sips every time he felt unable to breathe.

Finally, Spock walked through the door. McCoy abandoned his drink and rushed towards him, and they held each other tightly. "I can't lose you." McCoy choked out.

"Likewise." Spock said simply. "Let's sit." They released each other, and McCoy nodded before they went to the couch and sat. "The Captain and I contacted High Command. We all came to an agreement that it would be in everyone's best interest that I only go planet-side on missions only if it is confirmed to be risk-free." McCoy let out a breath, nodded, and took Spock's hand. Spock flushed a bit, looking down at their hands. "I... I would be willing to resign, if you would rather live and work elsewhere."

"No, you don't have to do that. I don't want that." McCoy said, scooching closer to him. "I know you love it here- hell, even I like it here- and we both know that Jim would die without one of us here keepin' him in line. We'll stay here, as long as we're not in any horrible danger." Spock nodded. "Your arm okay?" McCoy asked, noticing that the Vulcan had a new shirt on, and that there were no more bandages on him.

"Yes, the wounds were not deep, and I was able to heal very quickly. The wounds are still healing, but bandages are not required any longer." He explained, and McCoy nodded. He leaned forward and kissed Spock gently before hugging him again.

"I'm so glad that you're okay." He said quietly. Spock only hummed in reply, and they sat there for a long time.

Chapter Text

10 Months

After the event from one month prior, McCoy was completely on edge. And that wasn't only because he couldn't figure out that when Amanda said "Dad," he couldn't tell if she was trying to get his attention, or if she was referring to Spock. He couldn't get the thought out of his mind about whether she was going to call one of them "dad" and one of them "father." Or "dad" and "daddy." Who would have which title? Amanda hasn't spoken a real word- English or Vulcan- since then, so the painstaking thought continued to plague him.

But the larger current plague cumbering his mind was... Spock. Him, as a whole. Spock occupied his mind throughout all of his waking hours. Whenever they discussed something, it seemed as though one person was on offense and the other on defense (McCoy typically occupying the former role). McCoy had a talent for attacking Spock and forgetting that the man had a human half, and that Spock had to give up a lot for this situation as well.

Spock didn't have to take responsibility for his DNA forming a living entity inside McCoy. Spock didn't have to move in with McCoy. Spock didn't have to give up part of his official duties. Hell, the man even offered to give up his career- practically his whole life!- in order to live safely with McCoy and Amanda. McCoy only had to snap his fingers and they'd be on a nice, peaceful planet, living menial lives until they die.

McCoy didn't know what they'd do what Amanda got older. That part depended on her. I'm sure he and Spock would agree that if their daughter wanted to become a cadet, or do an apprenticeship on some (safe) planet, or live on Earth and go to college, or whatever, then she could do so. As long as she called often and as long as they had ample time to visit her. As long as she was safe, she could take on the world, and Spock and McCoy would be right there behind her ready to push her up when she needed it, and ready to catch her when she fell.

That didn't change the fact, though, that McCoy and Spock needed to straighten things out between them. Yes, they would always be there for Amanda. But would they always be there for each other? They always fought, they hardly ever agreed on things, and both of them were nit-picky.

Maybe that was the reason why they would work together, in retrospect. They challenged each other. They made each other see things differently. When they worked together, they could accomplish nearly anything. And what healthy relationship doesn't have its moments?

They really just needed to talk. They needed a night to sort things out. Which was why McCoy was in Nyota's quarters, handing Amanda over to her and setting a bag of baby supplies on her table.

"I packed the toys in here that she can't get enough of. If she starts crying, try humming to her. And she likes her milk to be warmer than full blooded humans usually do. And-"

"Leonard. It'll be okay." Nyota laughed, holding Amanda close to her. The baby put her hand on Nyota's nose. "I used to babysit all the time. And not just for humans." She gave him a reassuring smile, and he nodded.

"Good. I mean, great." McCoy put his hands on his hips, trying to think of what else he should tell her. "And you sure you're okay doing this? You sure you don't want me to pay you?"

"I'm sure. It's an honor to be able to watch her overnight. I'm here any time you need a night-sitter, okay?" Nyota said, smiling at Amanda, who was watching her closely. "This will also give me some amazing data on the development of communication amongst children who grow up learning both the Standard Language and a language so different such as Vulcan. As you can imagine, such an opportunity is PRETTY rare, especially since Vulcans are so... y'know."

"Yeah, yeah. Well I hope she gives you some good 'data.'" McCoy smiled and rubbed Amanda's head before heading towards the door. "Thanks again, Nyota."

"Have fun!" She said as he left.

Yeah, fun. Right. He rolled his eyes.

--

McCoy and Spock sat at a table in Ten Forward, the former drinking a virgin mint julep (he wanted to be sober for this), and the latter drinking spiced peppermint tea. McCoy had suggested that they have time to themselves to discuss things, and Spock hesitantly agreed.

"So, I just wanted to talk about things. About us." McCoy said, suddenly realizing how nervous he was. Spock set down his tea and gave him his full attention. "I just want to know, are you happy like this? You just got exempted from part of your duties, and you're stuck with me, and I don't know if you're okay with that. Especially because now... you're not even doing your full job as a First Officer. Or even as a crew member. Neither of us are. And I just-" Spock held up a hand, a silent request for his own turn to speak, so McCoy shut his trap.

"To any other, I would recite the standard Vulcan reply of 'Vulcans do not experience happiness.' But I do not want to lie to you." Spock said, and McCoy rolled his eyes. How sweet. "I am happy. Regardless of occupation or location, I will always be happy so long as I am with you and Amanda. Preferably nowhere cold, but if you wish it then I am amenable."

"But I don't want you to do something just because I want it." McCoy frowned, scratching at the table.

"I think that you have misunderstood me." Spock said, which caught McCoy's attention. "A Vulcan is only as satisfied as their mate, if they have one. So when I say that I am happy if you are happy, I mean so literally. When you are sad, then I feel that sadness, which thus causes me to feel the same. When you are angry, the same experience ensues. Although this would subside if we were to part, I would thus feel... empty, in a sense. You have become a part of me. You once held my entire existence within you."

"So... that's why we both get in bad moods at the same time?" McCoy asked, and Spock nodded.

"It is, as you would say, 'both a curse and a blessing.' This is also why Amanda alerted you of my danger. Since she is bonded to us both, she will sense our emotions, although in a more abstract way." Spock explained, and McCoy motioned for him to elaborate. "She will know if we are feeling negatively, positively, or if we feel that we are in danger. She is upset when we feel negatively, she is alarmed when we are in danger, and she is happy when we feel positively."

"So... regardless of what TYPE of emotion we're feeling, she'll experience it as either negative or positive? Or danger?" McCoy asked, and Spock nodded.

"I was often able to alert my mother when my father was in a bad mood, so that she would not bother him while he was meditating. I knew how well their relationship was functioning at all times, based on the feeling I was getting." Spock explained. McCoy couldn't believe that he'd never asked about this before.

"So... even when you're not touching someone you can... feel it?" McCoy asked, immediately feeling like a dumbass after asking.

"Yes, through the bond. And as our bond grows stronger, you will be able to feel my emotions just as strongly." Spock said, then added, "If you allow it."

"What do you mean, if I allow it?" McCoy frowned at him, and took a drink of his beverage in hope to sate his nerves. Spock looked a bit nervous, then.

"I mean... if you should so desire to..." Spock seemed at a loss for words, as if he was carefully stepping around any straight-forward terms.

"To...?" McCoy raised an eyebrow at him, trying to encourage him to continue.

"To... further establish our relationship over the years to come." Spock said, looking down at his tea. McCoy stared at him for a long time.

"'For as long as we both shall live'?" McCoy quoted the famous Earth marriage declaration. Spock hesitated, then nodded. McCoy took a deep breath. "And you're sure that you want this? Forget what I feel. Forget what Amanda feels. Forget everything else. What do YOU want?" Spock looked at him for a long time. McCoy had a hard time holding the eye contact until Spock finally spoke.

"Do you need me to show you how much I want it, since you will not believe me when I speak it?" Spock asked, suddenly looking darkly serious. McCoy swallowed hard before nodding.

Spock stood and led the way back to their quarters. McCoy suddenly felt like this was a bad idea. How could Spock possibly SHOW him this sort of thing? Would he hand McCoy one of those Vulcan blades and lightly press his throat to it, to demonstrate that his life was in his hands? No, he couldn't be THAT devoted. Could he? Was it a special Vulcan Ritual? He knew that those could get violent. And deadly. Oh, God, what was this Vulcan going to do?!

They walked into the bedroom, where the weapons were hung up. McCoy's bad feeling got a lot worse.

"Look, Spock, maybe we shouldn't." McCoy said, stepping away. Spock raised an eyebrow at him.

"You were the one who accepted that I show my devotion to you." Spock replied, putting his hands behind his back. "Do you not trust me?"

"No! I mean yes!" McCoy said, then took a breath. "Yes I trust you. But how about you let me know what you're plannin' to do?" Spock looked at him for a long time.

"... I led you to our bedroom." Spock said.

"Yes you did, and I- ... oh." It suddenly dawned on him. "Oh. Fuck I am a dumb piece of- I seriously thought that you were going to do some weird and dangerous Vulcan ritual, and I... I am so sorry that I did not put this together." McCoy rubbed a hand on the back of his neck sheepishly. "I thought that this was going to be a formal type of thing, and not a... you know."

"Given both of our cultures, I believe that sexual intercourse establishes devotion on both of our parts. Unless I am mistaken?" Spock asked, also looking somewhat embarrassed.

"No, you're not mistaken! It is definitely more agreeable than anything I had anticipated." McCoy said hurriedly.

"So you do consent?" Spock asked, and McCoy hesitated before nodding.

That was all the permission that Spock needed.

Spock approached McCoy and kissed him gently, slowly. He put his warm, slightly clammy hands on McCoy's face. Even though they've kissed (and even more things) before, it was still as invigorating as the very first time. It still felt new, and shy, and needy. It was as if the experience was the waves of the ocean, gently caressing the sands, pulling and taking and giving in a smooth rush.

And then suddenly, the waves become powerful, crashing into the dry land and wetting everything; pulling and taking and giving in an overwhelming amount of strength.

McCoy held Spock close, sucking his rougher tongue and nipping gently at his lips. Eventually clothes became a nuisance, and they both rid themselves of their clothing as quickly as possible before laying together on the bed.

Spock held McCoy below him, kissing up his jawline, nipping at his earlobe, and doing a combination of kissing and biting down his neck. Meanwhile, McCoy used his hands to explore every inch of Spock's body. He raked his hand down the man's back, and took ahold of one butt cheek while using the other hand to continue exploring. Both men moaned at every new experience, every new place touched, every switch of technique.

McCoy took Spock's hand and begun sucking on the man's fingers, earning a more enthusiastic moan than the previous ones. He slicked them up, making sure to use his tongue to leave no part untouched. Spock took his hand and reached down, looking into McCoy's eyes for permission. The doctor nodded, and Spock put one finger into the man's entrance.

McCoy winced, not used to this sort of experience. Spock leaned down and kissed him fervently as he loosened him up. As McCoy relaxed more and more, Spock was able to add two, then three fingers, until he was ready.

"You have a condom, right?" McCoy asked, flushed and panting and heavy.

"No." Spock replied, and McCoy gaped at him.

"What?! But-" Spock leaned down and kissed him. "You have lube though right?" McCoy asked when Spock pulled away.

"I do not." Spock answered, which deepened McCoy's glare. He opened his mouth to refute, but Spock covered his mouth with his hand. "Do you trust me?" Spock asked, looking at him seriously. McCoy hesitated for a long while before giving in and nodding. Spock removed his hand, and ground himself against McCoy, who felt as though a bolt of passion shot through him.

Spock lowered his hand again, but this time to stroke McCoy's cock with that big, steady hand of his. McCoy moaned into Spock's mouth, clenching his hair and thrusting into his hand. The strokes increased until McCoy couldn't take it any longer.

"Spock, wait, I-" Spock cut him off with a kiss again, and McCoy groaned as he came, clinging to the other man for dear life. When he came to, Spock pulled away, and used McCoy's semen to slick up his own cock.

He positioned himself at McCoy's entrance, pushing in slowly. Although it caused him pain in the beginning, McCoy slowly began feeling more and more pleasure with each thrust. It was a very new experience, which made it all the more interesting.

As the thrusts became quicker, McCoy reached down to stroke his dick, trying to get himself ready quick enough to be able to orgasm with Spock. The Vulcan pulled McCoy's hand away, and put his hand on his face. McCoy didn't know what was happening until it happened, but he was glad it did.

A wave of hot passion crashed throughout him, causing him the most pleasure that he had ever felt in his life. He felt ready to burst, but at the same time he felt as though he already was bursting. Spock kissed him deeper and deeper, weaving that hot, rough tongue through every reachable spot of McCoy's mouth.

When Spock hit his prostate, McCoy felt the orgasm, tightening his muscles and leaving his mind in euphoria. But when the feeling didn't stop, and the sensations only increased, he realized that this wasn't an orgasm. He was at his peak, but he was staying there. His legs tightened around Spock as he urged the other man to feel the same way he did.

Maybe it was hours, maybe it was seconds. McCoy had no grasp on any concept of reality; his whole world was each blast of passion from the thrusts, the contact with his prostate, the mouth trailing along his face and neck, the tongue leaving wet trails of hot saliva along his throat... All of this was McCoy's world now, it was all he knew.

Finally, McCoy felt the real orgasm. The climax between them was a tsunami raging over everything in its path, making itself known as the strongest thing in the whole world. McCoy's throat felt raw as he moaned into Spock's greedy mouth. His mind went blank, he saw stars, his body convulsed and tightened and relaxed as the orgasm took control of him.

When he was able breathe, and when he was able to receive sensory information, Spock was laying beside him. Slowly, McCoy's head cleared, coming down from the heavens where it had been residing blissfully.

"Are you okay?" Spock asked, panting from beside him. McCoy realized that they were holding hands as they stared up at the smooth ceiling.

"Fuck," McCoy laughed. "I'm a lot better than okay. I think I vastly underestimated the power of telepathy." He slowly regained his breath, and looked at the clock. When his brain couldn't register the concept of time, he gave up. He was still in the afterglow of that amazing event, and he was going to enjoy it.

"I hope that you enjoyed this experience as much as I did." Spock said, and McCoy laughed again.

"Oh I'm sure I did, if not more." McCoy replied with a grin. Beginning to feel the colder night temperature, he pulled a blanket over them.

"We are not clean, we should-"

"Shhhhush." McCoy interrupted Spock's complaint. "Deal with it." He rolled on his side and draped his arm over Spock, feeling exhausted from their intense coitus.

----

"Leonard, it is time to wake up." Spock's voice woke McCoy up, and he felt a kiss be planted on his cheek. McCoy groaned angrily.

"Fuck off, pointy green gguh..." McCoy grumbled almost incoherently before falling back asleep. Spock put a hand on his shoulder, and McCoy woke again. "Spock..."

"Yes?" Spock asked, and McCoy opened his eyes to look up at the Vulcan, who was already crisply dressed and ready for the day.

"Ask me to marry you." McCoy said tiredly, glaring up at Spock through the light.

"Would you marry me?" Spock asked.

"Not unless you give me the day off." McCoy smirked, and Spock blinked at him.

"Then I revoke my request." Spock said with a slight smirk, walking off.

"WHAT?! YOU SON OF A BITCH GET BACK HERE!" McCoy sprung awake, yelling at the Vulcan.

"Your shift begins in thirty-five minutes, I suggest that you get ready quickly." Spock said from the other room before exiting their quarters.

"God damn pointy green computer goblin relentless son of a robot..." McCoy grumbled to himself as he got up slowly, pain shooting through his asshole, which only made him grumble more angrily. "Fucking Vulcans..."