A Little Someone: A Star Trek Fan-Fiction Story
(Disclaimer: all characters and settings belong to CBS and Paramount, I (as usual) own nothing.)
What had once been a comfortable bed was beginning to feel like a prison to Amanda. As her pregnancy progressed in a whirl of visits by a seemingly endless procession of Vulcan doctors with little to no bedside manner, her orders for ‘restricted activity’ had slowly but surely turned into almost complete bed rest, and if she were honest with herself, she was going crazy with boredom.
Not that she intended to engage in any extreme sports anytime soon—she was well aware that even the slightest sudden movement could be too much for the fragile balance her body was struggling to keep with the help of more hypos than she cared to count, and if the baby’s survival meant spending most of the day getting intimately acquainted with the ceiling above her, so be it.
Still, as much as Sarek had adapted his routine to hers in order to spend virtually all of his precious little free time by her side (and she had a niggling suspicion that he’d been forgoing some of his daily meditation to set aside some more), he had duties to attend to, and it would have been illogical for him to drop everything and make the task of entertaining her his main occupation.
As a result, the experience of pregnancy was turning out remarkably lonely, which she supposed was ironic, for the flutters from within reminded her time and time again that she was never truly alone. She still gasped with each of them, but they were gasps of joy rather than surprise, because she was acutely conscious that every hint of movement meant one thing only: life. Each tiny kick she felt was a sign that Spock – and oh, the unabashed grin that had broken out on her face when they’d agreed on his name was compensation enough for all the emotional reactions she’d ever had to swallow – was holding on to life with all ten fingers, and being confined to bed was a small price to pay for that.
Well… perhaps it would have been fairer to say she was mostly lonely. Even with her husband buried in work up to his proverbial ears, she didn’t have only herself and Spock’s occasional calls for attention for company.
As if on cue, the unmistakable sound of claws scraping against the floor announced I-Chaya’s arrival. It was a good thing the rooms (and the doorframes!) of the house were big enough to allow him to go wherever he pleased, because the faithful old sehlat had taken to following her even more than he did Sarek, which was nothing short of a miracle, considering their rocky start.
Amanda had seen pictures of Vulcan fauna, of course, but he had been the first live specimen, and it had taken her a while to even reconcile him to her concept of ‘pet’. Vulcans were, above all, rational, and in her humble opinion, a rational person with a modicum of survival instinct simply did not keep an animal with six-inch fangs as a companion.
Now that the great, shaggy creature, after a lot of sniffing, had acknowledged her as part of the family and revealed his true nature to her, it was a delight to have him around. Sehlats could be wickedly smart when they wanted to – any Vulcan worth his salt would have accepted nothing else as a pet –, but as creatures that still acted more on instinct than reason, they weren’t held to impossible standards, and even though no owner would ever have admitted to having any affection for them, they showed enough feelings for both. Sometimes, Amanda found herself thinking she had more in common with I-Chaya than with her husband.
No sooner had the weight of his huge, bearlike head rested on her legs, surprisingly light compared to its size, than Sarek followed him in.
“Is I-Chaya disturbing you, my wife?” he said by way of a greeting.
She shook her head and scratched behind the sehlat’s ear to further prove her point. “Disturbing me? No, not at all. He’s just being his sweet old self. Look at him. He knows, that much is obvious.”
“I assume you are referring to your current state.”
“Yes.” She patted her belly affectionately. “I’m sure I-Chaya knows there’s a little someone in here who needs all the protection he can get.”
“There is nothing in its power that can affect Spock.”
“But he affects me, and in a good way,” she answered, and she instantly knew that, logic be damned, she’d had the last word on the matter. “He’s… comforting. It may not be a very Vulcan reason for keeping a pet, but I’m human, and I can’t help but be glad he’s around.”
His steady presence, even if all he did was curl up and fall asleep next to her bed, was a blessed relief after yet another visit that had left her feeling like a lab rat being poked and prodded by a stone-faced luminary who insisted on calling Spock ‘the foetus’ as if he were a thing and not a little growing person.
“Besides, it’s like he’s already fond of our son before he’s even born. Call me illogical, but I think that’s a good sign. They’ll be the best of friends.”
Sarek stiffened fractionally. “Perhaps, but a child and a sehlat in the same household…”
Amanda’s stomach sank. “We’re not getting rid of him, are we?”
“That is not what I was suggesting. It would be grossly unethical, as I know of no one willing to provide for I-Chaya at the moment and leaving a domesticated sehlat to fend for itself would likely mean its death. However, surely you understand that precautions will have to be taken.”
“Well, yes, but he’s so tame. He only looks threatening, but he’s really just a big old teddy bear.”
“Said ‘teddy bear’ can turn fierce without warning if it perceives a threat to itself or its family. A baby – and forgive me, but a half-human baby all the more, as there is no predicting his behaviour – can accidentally provoke it into an aggressive reaction.”
“You’re right, as always.” A weight far greater than I-Chaya’s settled on her at the thought of losing Spock to his teeth and claws after all she was going through to bring him into the world in the first place. “So what do you suggest?”
“The obvious conclusion is that I-Chaya and Spock are not to be left in the same room without supervision until he is old enough to understand how to interact with a sehlat correctly. The first few days, or even weeks, after our son comes home permanently will also be an extremely delicate period for everyone involved. We shall have to introduce Spock in such a way that he is immediately perceived as a welcome addition to the family dynamic, rather than a usurper.”
“Knowing you, you’re probably ready to tell me exactly how.”
“As soon as Spock is given any clothing to wear, we shall bring it home in advance for I-Chaya to inspect. The transition will be easier if his scent is already a familiar element. If we do not disrupt its daily habits excessively on account of our son’s arrival,” and yes, there was an unusual warmth in his voice as he said ‘our son’, she hadn’t imagined it the first time around, “by denying it access to places where it is normally allowed or depriving it of attention, I-Chaya will not take long to adapt to the new situation.”
“Sounds like you’ve got it all planned out.” He’d probably read up on sehlat behaviour for the occasion, by the sound of it.
“It is only logical to be prepared. And perhaps, if Spock is so inclined, we might turn over I-Chaya’s care entirely to him as soon as his age allows it. It will be an excellent lesson in responsibility.”
She smiled. Lesson or no lesson, she couldn’t wish for a better friend for her unborn child. She was about to answer in the affirmative, when a particularly forceful kick cut her off.
“Oof! Someone approves, I guess.”
“Holding your breath will not change the outcome, Amanda.”
She exhaled loudly and said through gritted teeth: “I can’t help it.”
I-Chaya sniffed loudly at the bundle in her arms, his eyes wary as he wondered what it was, or maybe how it had magically come out of her belly. Her breath hitched once again as a tiny hand stretched out and tried to latch onto his fur, but it was readily apparent that it had been the right move on Spock’s part.
Something seemed to click—whether the sehlat had finally figured out that the little living creature who had just arrived smelled the same as those strange objects they’d been giving him, or the touch had been enough to establish a tentative telepathic contact through which they’d determined they could be friends, she couldn’t tell, but one thing was certain: his contented whuff translated as ‘Welcome home’.
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