curiouslyfic: (Default)
curiouslyfic ([personal profile] curiouslyfic) wrote in [community profile] star_trek_flashfic2009-07-05 04:39 am

Fic: Trust what you can't explain, PG

Title: Trust what you can't explain
Author: [personal profile] curiouslyfic 
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Pairings/Characters: Sulu, implied Sulu/Kirk
Length: 5,704
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine, all Paramount's. No profit being made here.
A/N: For the kink meme prompt here and the family challenge. I fail at anon.
Summary: It's just his kid until the quarantine's down. That doesn't mean it doesn't matter. Featuring unfortunate neighbours, a sock-bear, and language lessons with Spock.



"You must admit, lieutenant, it does seem unlikely that you would return to the ship bearing unfamiliar young. I find your refusal to return it to an appropriate adult most curious."

"Yeah, it's not my kid." Only, it kind of is.

Hikaru's pissed. Not at Spock, not really, more at everything, everyone, because how the fuck is this his life? He beamed down with a sword and standing orders to assist the Gundallan people any way he could. Identify the threat and eliminate it, if at all possible, with all the power of the Enterprise at his back.

He'd beamed back dirty and tired and fucking drained, incapable of much more than providing an extra pair of hands as Dr. McCoy helped the wounded. Dr. McCoy hates being off-ship--and yeah, now Hikaru gets why, because seriously?--but he's the guy you want running triage and while he's off-ship, Hikaru's basically his bodyguard since Jim doesn't trust the security guys. Jim's a teary prima donna if the doc gets so much as a scratch.

Jim can be a prissy prima donna anyway but Hikaru's not poking that bear.

The kid fists his shirt, gums a big, drooly wet patch on his left arm and wobbles its arms like it's trying to fly. Oh, good. Another pilot.

"...Mr. Sulu?"

Fuck. They've been talking. He wrestles his shirt out of the kid's mouth and kind of pats its head so it won't wobble away; the kid's fucking heavy and it's a long way down if it falls off the exam bed. "Sorry, what was that? Junior here needed me for a sec."

Junior, fuck, God knows its name, Junior babbles happy and swats at his chest, hits his mouth twice in full thumps of baby fat and strangely sweet-smelling skin.

"If you cannot return it, perhaps you could explain how you came to have the child in your possession," Spock says, eyes lit the freak curiousity he usually saves for Jim. Jim, who's all man betrayed. Yeah, Hikaru wasn't counting on the sympathy sex given how bad his day's been but that look right there, that's the nail in a coffin.

Hikaru keeps one hand on the kid, uses the other to brace himself as he hoists the kid up again. It keeps slipping. He wonders if its mother ever felt the same.

"Look, I didn't mean..." He sighs. Twists his mouth into a frown and gets the kid's head to his chin for his trouble. "We were too late. By the time we got there, most of the Gundallans were already dead but there were a few hold-outs in the village. They'd taken the women and children there, the sick, so Dr. McCoy provided medical assistance and I watched his back."

He'll see her face until he dies, he's sure of it. Big, yellow eyes, four of them blinking slow as her chest rattled, thick red fingers curled tight over her baby's back as she summoned him over. He'd thought...he doesn't know what he'd thought except that maybe he could help, get her food or water or a few pretty lies about how she'd survive this if she could just hold on and when her mouth moved soundlessly, he'd crouched down low to listen. Found himself with an lapful of kid and a mother's grateful smile and when he'd turned at a shout down the hall, he'd looked back to find her dead.

Hikaru doesn't know how to make any of that clear in Spock-proof wording but he tries.

Jim is all prepared to be hung up on the details of the epidemic, shit Hikaru doesn't know, until Dr. McCoy blows in on a frantic rising bitch, hands waving furiously while his mouth catches up. He's darkly disgusted with something. Hikaru anchors the kid through another wobble, wonders if there's anything in the doc's box of hyposprays to keep the kid still.

"There you are. Damn it, man, what did the scans say? Where's your nurse?" The doc's already got a scanner up and aimed at the kid. Hikaru holds them both as still as he can. "There's no telling what that kid might have. How old is it? Boy or girl? Has it had its shots?"

Hikaru half-grins, miserable but trying. "I still couldn't tell you. I don't speak drool."

Then McCoy's off on childhood diseases and alien bugs and how the kid needs a full work-up, stat, and Hikaru leans back and holds the kid and lets the rest fade away.

.

Hikaru doesn't know anything about the kid, not what it eats or how it plays or what it's called, and without more knowledge of the Gundallan physiology, they're not totally sure it's a boy. Its extra appendage isn't exactly coming out the right side but Hikaru draws the line at babysitting anything with a tail.

He knows it likes chewing on his uniform shirt and that it smells strangely sweet, that it's been vaccinated to within an inch of its life and that when it can, it wants to hold on to him, tiny fists knotted at his chest.

It's still not crying, which is good because the way he remembers it, his little sister never stopped, but it watches him with its mother's solemn eyes.

It likes wobbling a lot--the doc says it probably crawls, might even walk, but Hikaru's kind of afraid to put it down in case it's fast--and when he got it, it wasn't wearing a diaper, so the doc says it's probably housebroken and that Hikaru should thank God he's missing that mess because potty-training them sucks.

Fuck Junior, he's calling it Wobbly until he can give it back. Nyota's trying, he knows, has spent the past hour talking to the survivors to find it a new home, but the lack of information doesn't look good.

Hikaru's not ready for fatherhood. Given his sex life, it should never have come up.

The kid's too big for the infirmary cribs so it's got nowhere to sleep until Pavel brings by a crate and a puppy pile of blankets.

"Who is this you are having?" Pavel grins, offers Wobbly a chin-chuck that's mostly a brush of fingers and Pavel clicking his tongue. Wobbly drools and bobs its head back with a thump into Hikaru's shoulder.

"Pavel, meet Wobbly. Wobbs, meet Pavel. Can you say thanks for the crib, buddy?" Hikaru bounces Wobbly's butt. Wobbly hits him again for his trouble.

"The captain is saying you are going to have him for long." Pavel's face asks things his accent won't touch. The whole damned bridge knows about him and Jim but like the long looks Nyota has for Spock, the sweet smiles Pavel saves for McCoy, they don't bring it up aloud.

It's got to be pretty fucking obvious that Jim's not here. Hikaru bounces Wobbly again to escape that train of thought.

"Yeah, uh, it's mine for a while. Just, you know, until we can find it someone better."
Pavel's smile works up his face. "I will get this inside and you will have a place to sleep, Mister Wobbly, so me and your papa can talk, yes?"

Hikaru's hands clench so tight, Wobbly squeaks. Pavel beams. Hikaru kind of wants his mom.
 
They brainstorm shit the kid needs. Clothes and diapers and stuff. Toys, because kids like those, only it's not like Hikaru's got anything lying around.

"I did not bring my teddy bear, if this is what you're asking." Pavel looks betrayed. Ah yeah, the age thing.

"Yeah, neither did I." Who does, on a starship? "You sure the kid needs one?"

"I think yes." Pavel chews his lip. Clearly, this bear thing is deep. "We could make something else."

When he finds himself stuffing a sock and knotting it arms, he's not totally surprised. Horrified, yeah, but weirdly proud, too.

Wobbly waves it around like some kind of weapon when it's not drooling the thing to death. Wobbly tolerates the sock-bear like it tolerates blankets but a run through his room suggests what Wobbly likes best is Hikaru's work shirts, preferably when he's in them.

Pavel waits until the kid's in its crate before he slips out, a consoling back-pat and a dimpled, cheering smile as he goes. Hikaru turns back to Wobbly when they're alone, sees it fisting its sock-bear and nuzzling its shirt, and says, "Kid, I think you've got a fetish."

.

It's been a shit miserable day with a shit miserable trip off-world. Ordinarily, that's ten kinds of sex with all the kink he can find, one of the few glorious reasons he puts up with Jim's shit. It's such a certainty that even while he's thinking up a dozen reasons they should skip tonight, should be quiet for the kid, he's stripping down to the easy access low-rider sleep pants.

He gets Wobbly down easy enough, bare-ass naked and wrapped in one of Pavel's extra blankets because he won't fit any of the tiny outfits they have down in the infirmary's refugee box. Stupid fucking tail.

Stupid fucking man-eating fruit. Stupid fucking mission. Stupid fucking job.

Stupid, stupid fucking Jim and seriously, criminally stupid, fuckless him.

By midnight, Enterprise time, Hikaru gives up and slaps a lock on his door before he crawls into bed utterly, viciously, baby-mama-to-a-deadbeat alone. It's not that he's pissy and kicking Jim to the curb, exactly, but what if Wobbly gets out?

This once, Jim can fuck himself, Hikaru thinks and has to laugh a little bitterly because Jesus, yeah, he probably already is.

.

Despite being dead sure babies of any species are Jim-repellent, he still wakes with the thought that Jim's hacked around his lock and, like, scared the kid or whatever sneaking badly into bed.

No such luck. Wobbly's wailing, yeah, but there's no sign of Jim. Hikaru assumes that means it's time for food and a new diaper or whatever, but fuck. Seriously, the kid didn't last more than an hour? Hikaru kind of hates his life.

.

Wobbly doesn't cry so much as Wobbly shrieks at glass-breaking pitch in the dead of night. Hikaru figures it's hungry but it won't take milk from his food synthesizer no matter how warm it is and after ten migraine minutes, Hikaru's ready to smack at his comm and get the whole damned refugee camp up for answers.

In a momentary break in the wailing, there's a chirp at his door.

"Is someone dying in here?" Nyota blinks sleepy irritation when his door slides open, leans herself in the frame and rubs at her face. "Sulu, what's wrong?"

"I don't know." He'd shrug but he's got an armful of Wobbly to contend with and mid-snit, the wobbling's worse. The sock-bear's not helping at all.

"What?" Miss Aural Sensitivity shouts over Wobbly's next shriek. Hikaru bounces it again humming frantic, half-forgotten tunes and petting its back like that might help.

"I said I don't know," he yells and Wobbly's quiet for, like, a heartbeat before it starts up again, this time a low, awful keening that leaves Hikaru cold. "I think it's hungry."

"Oh my god," Nyota's all awake now and she steps inside, gets halfway toward him and the crate to snap out an order for a bottle, standard temp, at his food synthesizer.

Hikaru calls it off. "Yeah, don't bother. It won't take milk." He looks her over, decides she's decently dressed and hauls ass for the door. "C'mon. Let's get this kid some food."

"What? I can't hear you." She sounds panicked. Then again, her job is her ears. He tuts into Wobbly's dark hair and rubs soothingly over Wobbly's back to buy maybe a minute or two of speech.

"Hey, buddy, we need to go see someone to find out what you like, okay? So if you could just--" Wobbly goes nuts, head bashing Hikaru's mouth, hands flailing baby thumps into Hikaru's neck. The shrieking, no shit, could take out a Warbird. "--Wobbs, buddy, shut up." Hey, he says it nicely.

The only way to do it is to stick Wobbs back in its crate--still wailing, fuck--and drag Nyota to the hall. He can hear Wobbly just fine through the door and won't that be a huge hit with the neighbours? If nothing else, it explains why Nyota's there.

"Look, I need to know what the kid eats," he says and if he's making a big, desperate display of himself, holding both her arms and outright begging, well, fuck, Wobbly's loud.

She gapes. "How would I know?"

"Who else is going to?"

She snaps to attention, folds her arms across her chest and manages to look like five-feet-whatever of kickass about to fly off on him. "What, my maternal instincts are going to magically kick in?"

He breathes deep. Prays for patience. "No, but I'm hoping that when you ask any of the Gundallans down in the refugee camp, they'll know what it eats."

Nyota? Runs pretty fucking fast.

.

Wobbly eats slug-things. Also, Wobbly has teeth.

Also? Wobbly's a fucking pig.

"But don't sweat it, buddy," Hikaru tells it as he wipes it down in his bathroom sink. "I won't hold it against you, okay?"

Wobbly grins and thumps its sock-bear.

.

Evidently, he's been fake-diapering the wrong end. Nyota swears the village women promise that shit comes out of fabric but, you know, he'll believe that when it comes back from the laundry.

"Wobbly, buddy, don't take this the wrong way but you're a massive pain in my ass," he says as he tries to angle them both into the shower for easiest clean-up. Three seconds later, Wobbly's shrieking again and oh, hey, the kid's not good with water. Good to know.
It takes a sponge bath in the sink and four slug-things before Wobbly calms down, at which point it needs another sponge bath. Hikaru's down with that.

Maybe other guys would be thrown by this whole alien baby thing but not him. Hikaru Sulu's made of sterner stuff than that.

.

He spends a day in lock-up in his room praying Nyota will get something worked out with the handful of survivors left from Wobbly's world. Apparently they're dropping fast, some freak disease Wobbly apparently doesn't have. She says everyone down there should have died, Starfleet--the Enterprise--saved the species. He's trying not to think about it, but fuck. He'll have Wobbly forever at this rate and that? Is not cool.

The doc offers to sign off on temporary parental leave because hey, Jim's not going to, only Hikaru hyperventilates at the thought and the doc has to get out some kind of hypospray to make him stop.

"You sure you're all right, kid?" McCoy looks at him, no trace of medical professional in his face. "You look a bit wiped." He adds half-heartedly, "I can fix that."

Hikaru has Wobbly strapped down to his chest in a freak misuse of bondage rope but hey, at least it leaves his hands free.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." He's spent hours researching kid stuff in the ship's database; at this point, if Wobbly's anything like human in its development, he's set until the kid's 18 and if it's still Hikaru's responsibility at that point, Hikaru's handing it a bottle of the best booze he can find and wishing it luck.

McCoy looks suspicious. "Aren't we all at this stage?" What the hell does that mean? Hikaru has no clue. "You've got a perfectly healthy eighteen-month-old something strapped to your chest and you don't have any questions? At all? Pull the other one."

"Look, I know where it shits and what it eats and how to get it to sleep, kind of. What else is there to know?"

McCoy laughs and laughs. "You need anything, kid, and I mean anything, you let me know. I did all right with mine back in the day." McCoy leans in over his desk, just one guy talking to another, and really, it's the first time Hikaru hasn't felt alone on some level since they beamed back. "A little free advice for you: it's not all in the books."

So Doc McCoy signs off on his sick leave and clears the last hint of quarantine off Hikaru's file and yeah, fuck yeah, now Hikaru gets to go back to work.

"Which is a good thing, buddy, because--no offense--your conversation kind of sucks," he tells Wobbly in the turbo lift.

Wobbly drools and hits him again.

.

"Sorry," Nyota tells him when she stops by after her shift. "They can't take him."

"Him?" Wobbly snatches at Nyota's comm badge with its--his?--tail. "Wobbs, buddy, leave that alone." He steps back, dances a few bouncing steps to get Nyota out of range.

Nyota's smile falters. "Isn't he a boy?"

"Did they tell you that? Because fuck, I have no clue." It's hard to equate a thing with no penis as male but then, there's that tail, so maybe. It's possible.

"Isn't it obvious? I've been using the male pronouns. I think."

"Not really obvious, no." The way her eyes bug makes him kind of want to say alien in really irritating sing-song but, well, Nyota's good people.

She takes a second to recompose. Hikaru figures that's Spock's influence but doesn't much care to ask. "Like I was saying, the Gundallans can't take him. It. They're still under quarantine."

Hikaru stills. "The doc just cleared it."

"It it or the daycare it?"

Hikaru considers another day without adult conversation beyond, well, this, and sweet Jesus, he will not make it. "Any chance you could--"

"No." Wow. She's sure. "I mean, I'm sorry but no. Between my job and this mess with the Gundallans, I can't afford the time."

.

Pavel? Also a no.

"I would like to help you but I have not got time. Captain is busy, very busy, and he is keeping us very busy, too."

Hikaru wants to say that yeah, Jim's so busy he couldn't even stop by but that would be bitchy, would imply things that aren't true. Yeah, they've been fucking for the best part of five months but by mutual agreement, they don't owe each other a thing.

From this side of Wobbly, their arrangement sucks.

.

The doc picks up at the first tap on his comm.

"Damn it, man, I just got to sleep after thirty hours on shift. If this isn't an emergency, I'll keep your liver on my desk. I can do that," the doc says darkly.

Hikaru flinches. "I, uh, sorry. Sorry. It can wait."

"Sulu?"

He apologizes again, then cuts the line.

Half a slug-thing later, someone chirps at his door.

"It's mutating down there," the doc says as he blows through the door, all med-kit and pjs and that grim, pissy look. "They've got some new strain of the Jeron-Yiztk flu. Brain bleeds out your nose, you piss out your lungs. I can't fix that."

"Uh, no."

"So, what did you need? Little guy sick? Fever? Sneezing? Cough?" McCoy ticks symptoms off like a wave, then says with perfect seriousness, "Was it looking at you funny? Sometimes you can just see it in them when they're sick."

"Uh, no, no funny looks. I just...How bad is the outbreak down there? With its people?"

"Well, no one's died yet, but give me an hour. Why? You want me to check the kid again? I'm dead sure he's clean but if it'll make you feel better, I will." The doc muffles the last part, already rifling through his med-kit. "When they're that small, you can't be too careful."

"No, no, it's fine. It's just, you've got my daycare under quarantine." Hikaru lifts helpless hands. Wobbly kicks his gut, beats happy with its tail. "I guess it's too much to hope you could let that slide?"

He braces for the rant of doom because Doc McCoy's always got one ready but it doesn't come. "Look, kid, I'm not going to bullshit you. We don't know what that thing is so we can't say it's healthy, but it's as close as I can get it. It's had all its shots and all its bloodwork came back clear so as far as I can tell you, it's healthier than you are."

"Good to know."

"It's still not going through quarantine."

Hikaru swears. "I don't suppose we have daycare anywhere on this ship?"

"Not when they're that small." McCoy doesn't say anything about parental leave, for which Hikaru's truly thankful.

"So what do I do, then? I can't exactly take it on the bridge with me tomorrow."

There's something dark and wicked and speculative in the doc's eyes, something slyly amused in his lopsided grin. "Why the hell not?"

.

He is going to rock this shift. Seriously, rock it. He gets Wobbly's crap ready before he goes to bed because in the morning, they're probably going to be crunched for time and man, it feels awesome to be this on the ball.

"I'm a rock star," he tells Wobbly's crate as he throws together a heap of blankets and a jar of slug-things. Wobbly may or may not be awake/aware enough to know they're finally breaking out tomorrow but Hikaru does and dude, he's dancing at the thought.

Fuck, he's missed his controls. Missed doing things he doesn't suck at and living for a kid.

Wobbly heaves something from its crate. "Still not a fan of the sock-bear, huh? If you can't play nice with it, I'm'a have to take it away." Hikaru finds it a shirt, figures he should just cut his losses on that one and requisition more. Nothing could survive that much drool. He ruffles Wobbly's hair when he's got it in its crate, tugs a blanket over it and rubs its belly, too. "Dude, you're going to love the bridge." 

.

Jim stares wide-eyed and takes two steps back like the kid's drooling death. Total Jim repellant. "You brought it to work?"

"Well, captain, I couldn't find the Enterprise nanny. So." Okay, yeah, he's bitchy but he's had, like, five minutes sleep and Wobbs kept stripping off Hikaru's best attempts at make-shift clothes and Jesus, he hopes the kid's a girl or not easily traumatized or anything because that old shirt of his totally looks like a dress. Besides, his tone only says bite me a little.

"He...it...that can't stay here."

Hikaru stares Jim down. Maybe he's the captain and big heap deal for the rest of the ship but right now, he's a douche-y version of Hikaru's Jim and the difference is a massive piss-off. "I can't leave it alone while I'm at work. Sir."

It's the most he's said to Jim in days.

Jim taps his comm, calls "Bones" and gets "Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a daycare."

Jim flinches, pales, but waves Hikaru to his post and doesn't say a thing until they're safely in warp.

.

Jim makes some comment, something stupid and pointless about a stray alien up on the bridge, it's an invasion har har har and Hikaru can't move, can't speak for the need to break a dozen regs telling Jim off.

As it turns out, he doesn't have to. Spock is not amused.

.

Spock hovers as they're coming off shift. 

"I apologize if my comments earlier caused you offense. I was unaware of the extent of the situation."

Hikaru's not really sure what he means but Spock seems Spockly sincere, so he nods. Aside from work stuff, they haven't said much since Hikaru beamed back, so probably that's it. He hopes. "Hey, yeah, no problem. I think we were all a bit off."

Spock nods, too, like Hikaru's said the next logical thing. "I would appreciate an opportunity to study your young. I find it fascinating."

Okay, fascinating from Spock is usually the kiss of death. Wobbly kicks Hikaru in the abs, smacks its head off Hikaru's chin. The kid's going to give him a concussion.

"When you say 'study'...?" He can't quite shake the image of Spock dragging Wobbly down to a lab. He doesn't mean to think things like vivisection but dude, once he does, he can't shake the thought.

"I mean to observe." Spock says it so fast that fuck common knowledge, Vulcans do so take offense.

"Hey, no, sorry. It's been a long week." Hikaru scrubs his face with a hand. Wobbly taps its tail on his ear. "Yeah, sure, that's fine. Good. Whatever. You want it tonight?"

The prospect of walking without twenty pounds of baby Gundallan strapped to his chest is cheering, as is the thought of a half hour unsmacked with no wandering tail to combat.

Spock looks uncertain, which can't be good, but Hikaru catches Nyota's raised brow, the smile Pavel can't quite hide, and evidently Spock sees it, too, because he says, "That would be acceptable." Spock hesitates again. "I am not well-versed in the care of Gundallan infants but perhaps if you could provide suitable reference material, I could--"

Hikaru cuts him off; he knows the sound of one guy backtracking when he hears it. "Don't even sweat it, I'll show you what to do." Spock's his new best friend.

So Hikaru does the dance of take-my-baby, please-God-take-my-baby, shows Spock all the standard stuff--feed this end, wipe this side, it's all good until it screams--and hands off the hobo sack of blankets and slug snacks and explains about the sock-bear.

Spock's eyes look glassy.

"What is that appendage?"

"We don't really know."

There's, yeah, the smallest hint of Vulcan alarm.

.

Hikaru spends an hour in a training room fencing, one ear cocked for his comm and the call for emergency Wobbly retrival he's expecting. It doesn't come. He spends twenty glorious minutes alone in his shower, then the next ninety-five napping in his room, the sweet sleep of exhaustion.

He wakes on his own, freaked by the quiet, and while he'll die before he admits it aloud, he kind of misses the shrieks. Still nothing from Spock and Hikaru freaks again, pictures a dozen awful accidents possible for an infant on this ship, and the only thing that keeps him from bolting for the infirmary is the bone-deep knowledge that the doc would have called him.

He gives up on sleep and heads out to find them.

They're in the back corner of the largely-deserted mess, Spock hunched low in his chair, slug-thing forgotten as they have what appears to be a very serious conversation with a sleepy, sniffling Wobbly drooling on its sock.

"Perhaps we are endangered species but that does not mean we are alone," Spock says, solemn as shit, and Hikaru backs away slowly to give them time.

.

Once Spock's Wobbly-trained, things get a bit better. Still no sign that Wobbly can go back with its peeps but it's not Hikaru's ball and chain anymore because he can pass it off when he needs an hour or two of guy time. Plus, now he's kicking lunch with Spock to swap Wobbly war stories because yeah, Wobbly's leaving sometime soon but Spock's not and fuck, that bridge is family.

Jim's still being a bitch about it, acting like he thinks the kid's contagious and now Hikaru and Spock are, too, which is more of a piss-off every day. He rants at the doc, who seems to love it. The doc's got some mad plans he's working and from what Hikaru can tell, it's probably best not to be too involved.

"So he still won't hold the kid, huh? Is he even looking at it yet? Still being a jackass on the bridge? We'll have to try harder." McCoy narrows his eyes, his mouth a devious twitch to match the way he rubs his jaw. He nods at nothing, something in his own head. "Leave it to me, kid. You just keep our boy here out of trouble."

"Still no penis," Hikaru mutters. The kid's so going to have an identity crisis when puberty hits.

"No identifiable genitalia determined," McCoy quotes blind, dry like a report. "Sorry, kids. Force of habit. A year on this flying deathtrap and I'm still not good with things. Call me old-fashioned but I like to have a pronoun I can really sink my teeth into."

"Tell me about it."

.

"Damn it, Jim, get your head out of your ass or so help me, I'll do it for you," he hears through the doc's mostly-closed door and yeah, okay, bad time for a visit.

He doesn't hear what Jim says which is probably a good thing, but he's not quite clear of hearing range when the doc says, "When you were that age, didn't you want someone to put you first?"

.

He finds Spock saying his name slowly, breaking down the sounds and deftly avoiding Wobbly's waving extra appendage. The kid's going to be wicked good with a sword, Hikaru can tell. Spock frowns, a quick twitch of a slanty brow that disappears almost as soon as it comes.

"This is not a difficult sound. I do not believe you are trying. Sp-o-ck."

Wobbly beats a fist on its seat. Sock-bear looks battered, grubby and wet.

"Dude, what?" Hikaru means to leave them alone but there's something about Spock teaching Wobbly speech that gets to him, like if anyone's gonna, it should be him. And yeah, okay, he's had a few weak moments of "Dad, kid, dad-dy," but that's private in-his-quarters stuff he sees no need to share because hey, it's not like he's made progress at all.

Spock looks up, as guilty as he gets. "I am attempting to instruct the child in speech. It appears to be at a reasonable age in its development to begin rudimentary communication of simple words."

"Yeah, but Spock? Bad choice. Try something easy, like Kirk." Jim swings in out of nowhere, from some godforsaken corner of the mess, to take the seat at Spock's elbow crazy-close to the kid. He looks happy enough, grinning and manic and hanging way too close to Spock's side, but he's not being bitchy and that's new. "Can you say Kirk, big guy? I bet you can. K-irk. Now you try."

Wobbly bats around its sock-bear. Call him petty, but it's kind of hilarious when it hits Jim's hand.

"Captain, you are not among the child's primary team of caregivers, nor are you among the child's circle of familiar adults. It is not logical to teach it your name before it learns ours."

"Well, can it say Sulu's?" Jim nods and winks. Hikaru has no clue what to do with that.

"Actually, no." Wobbly turns at his voice, waves the sock-bear happily like a hello-pick-me-up-now. Jesus, the things the kid does to him are insane, because as much as Hikaru likes handing him off to Spock or Pavel or Bones McCoy, he still can't resist that chubby, red-skinned reach. When Wobbly's settled on his chest, gripping tight with all its limbs and gnawing happily on his shirt, Hikaru says, "It, uh, doesn't say much. Well, anything, really. I think it might be too young."

.

Wobbs, God love it, waits until they're back on the bridge to say clear as bells, "Cock."

.

So yeah, he knows Wobbly can't stay and it's not like he signed up to be a parent or anything but when Nyota gives him the "good" news he's been waiting for for weeks, he can't say he's happy.

.

He packs the kid's stuff, the sock-bear and blankets, into its crate while Spock says goodbye in private. Pavel's come through with a tiny hat he's charmed out of someone in Engineering and McCoy comes by with the medical directive to join him for drinks once the hand-off's complete. No sign of Jim, big surprise, but he's actually glad because really, he needs to do this alone. Hikaru's gone his whole life without ever seeing his father break down and he owes Wobbly no different.

Only, Wobbly knows something's up. Spock brings it back suspiciously bright-eyed and tight-lipped, very I do not wish to discuss it, and Wobbly reaches for Hikaru with every limb it has, all big yellow eyes and a querulous, "Cock?"

He laughs low in its forehead because what else can he do? Steals a nuzzle into that dark, sweet hair for one last breath of Wobbly-scent and heads for the transporter, Spock two steps behind him with its crate.

Nyota's speaking with an old Gundallan dude when he arrives, Jim hovering restless behind Scotty, who looks about three seconds away from knocking Jim out so he can do his job. Huh. Jim doesn't worry, Jim quietly freaks and hovers and drives his crew nuts, tries to do everything himself, shield everyone from the fallout when it hurts, and Hikaru has a moment where he honestly can't move for what's racing through his head. When Scotty looks his way, he's nothing but sympathy. The whole ship probably knows how gone he is over this kid.

The Gundallan guy's face lights up when he sees Wobbly and he chitters happily Nyota's way until Hikaru's at the pad.

Nyota smiles soft and sad, brushes his arm in a massive show of Nyota affection. "Her grandfather says her name is Sh'sahnai."

Wobbly struggles wild against the Gundallan's reach, a heartbroken string of "Cock? Adda adda cock!" as it--she--flails out for him.

He rubs a hand on her back the way she likes, one last scrap of contact. "Hey, buddy. Come back in ten years and I'll teach you about boys, okay? Boys and swords and flying. You'll love it, I swear." 

Then he lets her go somewhere better, somewhere she needs, because that's what family does, even if it kills them.

 



darkrose: (treksheep: sulu)

[personal profile] darkrose 2009-07-05 09:58 am (UTC)(link)
This was absolutely awesome. I loved it from beginning to end, most of all because your Sulu voice sounded dead-on to me--not just in his head, but in the way he characterizes the rest of the bridge crew.

Then ending was sweet, and sad. I hope that in a few years she comes to visit Sulu.
stormatdusk: (Default)

[personal profile] stormatdusk 2009-07-05 12:27 pm (UTC)(link)
really fucking awesome.
ext_48823: 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything (Default)

Here via trek_news on LJ

[identity profile] sumofparts.livejournal.com 2009-07-05 05:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Sulu is my favourite character and damn, I love the pissiness, affection, bravado, frustration, self-awareness and humour of your characterization. I also liked how the narration gives the reader that glimpse into what's going through Sulu's head including the confusion, denial and anger. Also, the part about never seeing his dad break down and owing Wobbly that too really stood out.

Actually, there were so many lines/scenes that I felt really worked either as hilarious, ironic ones or punch-in-the-gut ones. For example, you've got a killer last line and the scenes with Spock either with Sulu or Wobbly (endangered species but not alone; bright-eyed and tight-lipped; one guy backtracking) are wonderful. Actually I love how you included everyone from the bridge. Even the sympathetic look from Scotty was great. Also, I loved how you showed how taking care of a child is rewarding but hard as hell. My only experience so far has been with my younger sister and even that limited time made me more aware and made the 'take my baby' line even more hilarious.

I'm going to go through the whole story in this comment if I don't stop. Conclusion: I liked this a lot.
saavikam77: (Star Trek XI Logo)

[personal profile] saavikam77 2009-07-05 11:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, this was sweet, and so, SO heartbreaking. Hikaru totally deserves the father of the year award for going through that, especially when no one seemed to want to give him a hand, least of all Jim.

Also, I really love your Sulu voice. Just seems spot on.

*applauds wildly*
just_kazari: (Default)

[personal profile] just_kazari 2009-07-06 12:17 am (UTC)(link)
This fic just made my day. There are so few *good* Sulu fics which really look into his characterization, much less have a feasible and heartwarming plot like this. And it made me laugh and choke on my soda so many times. You have a knack of throwing in little quips that just *make* the story. (especially the bit about Spock having a heart-to-heart about being the last of their species.) I've taken care of kids for a long time too, and many parts just made me grin, and other parts made me 'daw'.
ext_41564: (spock/uhura)

[identity profile] shighola.livejournal.com 2009-07-06 01:14 am (UTC)(link)
So good.
haycorn: piglet on pooh's shoulders (pooh shoulders)

[personal profile] haycorn 2009-07-06 02:21 am (UTC)(link)
I am speechless over how incredible this is. Like, I was laughing hysterically the whole time with Sulu's internal monologue and all that, and then that ending, like a bittersweet punch in the gut.

Wonderful!
helens78: A man in a leather jacket, seated on the ground, looks up hopefully. (st: sulu b&w flare)

[personal profile] helens78 2009-07-06 02:58 am (UTC)(link)
Awww, so sweet!
iambickilometer: (tell it like it is)

[personal profile] iambickilometer 2009-07-06 08:50 am (UTC)(link)
This is seriously the best incidental birthday occurrence ever. (Which I am totally claiming as fate's gift to me because WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE?) Sulu-as-surrogate-father - okay, that hit me right in the weak spot. I love surrogate family stories. SO MUCH. And I love how completely at a loss Sulu was, and I love the way you voice him, as usual, and really this is just the best damn Sulu fic I've yet to read. I guess it's time to update the reclist again.

also, thank you for the shout-out! You're under no obligation, but I wouldn't mind seeing some sort of coda to this piece, in which Kirk reveals a bit about his version of events, and there is possibly sex and an avoided (or not-so-avoided) discussion about What They're Doing. You know. If you're so inclined.

[identity profile] tafkarfanfic.livejournal.com 2009-07-06 03:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I love Sulu! And this story made me laugh out loud repeatedly. Wobbly! And Spock taking a hand in child-rearing! And your McCoy was dead on. I especially liked this bit:
"Damn it, man, I just got to sleep after thirty hours on shift. If this isn't an emergency, I'll keep your liver on my desk. I can do that," the doc says darkly.
amalthia: (Default)

[personal profile] amalthia 2009-07-07 06:20 am (UTC)(link)
I LOVED your story. It was sad that Wobbly lost her family but I loved how Sulu took care of her and his voice was spot on.
sellthelie: (Default)

[personal profile] sellthelie 2009-07-07 09:30 am (UTC)(link)
This was fantastic, loved it. :)
the_moonmoth: (Default)

[personal profile] the_moonmoth 2009-07-08 11:55 am (UTC)(link)
For a story that looked kind of sweet and fluffy on the surface, it had an awful lot of heart. I have so much love for your Spock and McCoy, especially this:

"Perhaps we are endangered species but that does not mean we are alone," Spock says, solemn as shit, and Hikaru backs away slowly to give them time.

And this:

He doesn't hear what Jim says which is probably a good thing, but he's not quite clear of hearing range when the doc says, "When you were that age, didn't you want someone to put you first?"

Lovely, character-piercing moments. Good job \0/
beetle_comma_the: (Jobwell)

[personal profile] beetle_comma_the 2009-07-14 05:41 am (UTC)(link)
He wakes on his own, freaked by the quiet, and while he'll die before he admits it aloud, he kind of misses the shrieks.

My favorite line, bit it's a close race. This whole fic was so damn fantastic, I now worship you like a god. And the characterization? Especially Sulu, spot-fucking-on. And more 3d than movie!Sulu. You took him and ran with him. I just--don't have the words for how awesome this is, and you are.

They're in the back corner of the largely-deserted mess, Spock hunched low in his chair, slug-thing forgotten as they have what appears to be a very serious conversation with a sleepy, sniffling Wobbly drooling on its sock.

"Perhaps we are endangered species but that does not mean we are alone," Spock says, solemn as shit, and Hikaru backs away slowly to give them time


How much do I love Spock for that?

You're tearing me up, dude.

The Gundallan guy's face lights up when he sees Wobbly and he chitters happily Nyota's way until Hikaru's at the pad.

Nyota smiles soft and sad, brushes his arm in a massive show of Nyota affection. "Her grandfather says her name is Sh'sahnai."

Wobbly struggles wild against the Gundallan's reach, a heartbroken string of "Cock? Adda adda cock!" as it--she--flails out for him.

He rubs a hand on her back the way she likes, one last scrap of contact. "Hey, buddy. Come back in ten years and I'll teach you about boys, okay? Boys and swords and flying. You'll love it, I swear."

Then he lets her go somewhere better, somewhere she needs, because that's what family does, even if it kills them.


Jesus, this hurts so good. Please make more.
secretsolitaire: Flowers dripping with rain (Default)

[personal profile] secretsolitaire 2009-07-30 02:56 am (UTC)(link)
This? Is ridiculously good. Just...holy crap. I adore your Sulu to pieces -- so strong and funny and flawed. And Bones! Bones is love here. I also really liked that you made Jim such a dickhead because yeah, I could see him being totally freaked out over this.

And I was so sad and touched by the end. :-(

Dr. McCoy hates being off-ship--and yeah, now Hikaru gets why, because seriously?--but he's the guy you want running triage and while he's off-ship, Hikaru's basically his bodyguard since Jim doesn't trust the security guys. Jim's a teary prima donna if the doc gets so much as a scratch.

Love this detail!

"Perhaps we are endangered species but that does not mean we are alone," Spock says, solemn as shit, and Hikaru backs away slowly to give them time.

Oh, that just made my chest ache.

"Cock? Adda adda cock!"

I assume this is as close as Wobbly gets to Daddy, which is heart-breaking.