THE TIME HAD COME

A/N: This story follows The Summons of Sarek. Spock's son SJ (Spock Jr.) and his wife Ana are hoping their third pregnancy will be successful. They are back on Earth working for Starfleet

at the Academy and have been under Dr. McCoy's care and a healer from Vulcan.

CHAPTER ONE

Dr. McCoy listened to the heartbeat in Ana's womb and smiled.

"You've been feeling tired haven't you, Ana?" he asked.

"Yes, Dr. McCoy. I have no energy and I want to sleep all of the time?"

"Are you having any other symptoms?"

"I can't get rid of that metallic taste in my mouth," she said.

He chuckled and answered, "It's the copper blood running throughout your system. That will go away after the twins are born."

Ana sat up abruptly and said, "Twins? Did you say twins?"

Dr. McCoy smiled from ear to ear, "Oh yeah, you're going to have twins by the look of things."

"But they don't run in either of our families," she said.

He laughed and answered, "There is a first time for everything," he sat in his rolling chair next to the exam table, "but this brings on a new set of problems, too, darlin'."

"Are they healthy, right now?" she said worried.

"Right now, yes, but it's hard enough to go full term with one hybrid baby, but now we have two. I'll be watching all of your reports closer and I will have to comm healer T'lar."

Ana's mind was spinning with a million facts on her mind. She was a doctor herself, specializing in terrestrial species, with an extra year study on Vulcan. However, pediatrics was not her specialty, nor was it Dr. McCoy's. He had been working with a healer from Vulcan the previous year before SJ and Ana returned from their deep space mission. Between the two, Dr. McCoy and the healer, they had armed themselves with as much knowledge of hybrid births as they could find. Healer T'lar was confident that this birth would be successful.

"I'll have to tell SJ, right away," Ana said more to herself than Dr. McCoy.

Dr. McCoy chuckled and said, "Ana, you're in shock, lay back and relax. SJ will be doubly happy, I'm sure. And there's a grandfather that will have both arms full in seven months or less."

He helped her to lay back on the exam table and propped up her head. He took her hand in his and made eye contact.

"I know it's a shock, but it will work out. Any questions right now?"

"How, how, oh my gosh, two babies at once," she said.

"I think it'll be great. Do you want to know what you're having?"

She looked up at her beloved boss from the Enterprise and said, "This time, I think I do, but I want you to tell SJ and I at the same time. Can I call him and tell him to come here?"

He reached behind him and handed her his comm unit, "Call, away. I'll be back in a minute."

Ana put in a call to her husband and waited for the response.

"Ana, how are you?" SJ asked.

"I'm fine, can you meet me at Dr. McCoy's office?"

"This minute?"

"If you can?"

"Is everything all right?"

"Yes, my Adun, he just wants to go over a few things with us."

"I am on my way. I'll take the shuttle across campus and I will be there in five minutes."

"Thanks, SJ."

She turned off the comm unit and waited.

Dr. McCoy entered her room with SJ behind him. He helped her sit up and pulled out his PADD with the information on it.

"SJ, everything is going along fine. All of Ana's blood work is good, we are adding more hormones each week as the babies grow in size..."

"Babies," SJ interrupted.

"Uh, yes, you're having twins, Dad."

SJ stoic Vulcan face remained unchanged except for a slight upturn of one eyebrow.

Ana smiled at him and asked, "What do you think?"

He cleared his throat and said, "I think that is...wonderful, as long as you are healthy," he turned to Dr. McCoy and said, "she is, isn't she?"

"As I said, things are going along fine, but I'll have to be more insistent on rest, proper nutrition, medications and exercise."

He said firmly, "It will be done, Dr. McCoy."

Dr. McCoy mumbled, "I'm not the least bit concerned."

Ana said, "Dr. McCoy can tell us if they are boys or girls or both, if you want to know."

"Do you, Ana?"

"This time, I do, SJ. Do you mind?"

"No, maybe we can be better prepared."

Dr. McCoy smiled and said, "Well, you'll be happy to know that you'll be having a girl and a boy."

SJ took Ana's hand and held it close to his heart. "It is good."

"It's more than good, SJ, it's great."

Tears formed in her eyes and SJ pulled her to his chest. "I am pleased, my Aduna. I am very pleased."

Dr. McCoy picked up his PADD and said, "I'll see you in one week, Ana. You're set to leave when you're ready." He patted SJ on the shoulder and left the two to digest all of the news.

"SJ, twins, can you imagine?"

"I am surprised at the news, but I never imagined that we would be gifted twins."

She looked up at him and said, "But we have a long way to go. Many things could go wrong before their births."

"It is in God's hands now, as Lucas would say."

xxxxxxxxxxxx

The following two weeks went by quickly. SJ was working in the College of Science and Ana taught two classes in alien physiology at the academy.

The weekend was warm and the fog had burned off early. The blue sky promised to keep the day warm. Ana sat at their breakfast table thinking about what she would do for the day. SJ was finishing a bowl of oats and tea and looked up at her.

"Aduna, you are worlds away."

She smiled and said, "I was just thinking about how life is going to change in a few months," she paused, "SJ the day is so beautiful, we should do something fun. Our days of just the two of us will go by very quickly."

"Do you have any ideas?"

"Muir Woods and go hiking."

"Are you sure you feel up to it?"

"Yes, the trail isn't too bad and we'll pack lunch and drinks. I need to get off campus and get to the woods to relax."

"All right, my Aduna, but we will carry a comm unit, just in case. I'll arrange the flyer to take us there."

Ana gathered their lunch, snacks and drinks. They put on sunscreen and put light jackets in the backpack. As they left SJ handed Ana her walking sticks.

"I think you will be glad you have these with us today."

She smiled and said, "You always are thinking of me, aren't you?"

SJ leaned down and kissed her. "It is a husbands duty to watch out for his wife."

They made their way to the depot and paid for the rent of the flyer. SJ put in the coordinates for the park and they enjoyed a beautiful quiet ride. The parking was limited but they had arrived early enough to get a close spot at the head of the trail.

SJ wore the backpack and they began the slow walk up the trail. Tall redwoods greeted them at the second turn on the trail. The spongy dirt made this portion of the walk easy.

Ana stopped and breathed in the fresh air. It was a mixture of soil, foliage and cool mountain air.

"Isn't this wonderful?"

SJ gazed at his wife in her hiking shorts and boots and thought he was the luckiest person he knew.

"Yes, Ana, it is," he smiled to her.

They followed the trail through the protection of the overflowing limbs of the trees. The sunbeams fought to break through the umbrella of the upper branches and leaves. It gave an almost ghostly appearance in some areas. They spent hours examining stones they found along the creek beds and crossed a man made bridge to follow a short trail that stopped in a small clearing where the tall redwoods sheltered them from the noon day sun.

"Let's eat here, SJ."

He pulled out a thin blanket to sit on and they set up their food and drinks. The sandwiches and fruit gave Ana welcome refreshment and she stretched out on the blanket.

SJ gathered the trash and put everything back in the backpack. He stretched out next to his wife facing her.

She smiled and traced her finger along his jaw and then his lips. He kissed her finger tip. He leaned toward her and kissed her lips.

"I love you, Ana."

"I love you, too, SJ." She closed her eyes.

SJ let her take a short nap. He walked around the area examining the leaf and bark on several trees.

Ana awoke with a sharp pain in her abdomen. She grabbed the area and took deep breaths. The pain became worse when she sat up.

She looked around for SJ, but didn't see him. She laid back down to relieve the pain, but soon it came back sharper.

"SJ," she called out.

SJ heard the stress in her voice and came back down the trail. He ran to her as she curled into a ball.

"Ana?"

"SJ, I'm having sharp pains, we have to get back."

He looked down the trail and asked her, "Do you think you can walk, Ana?"

"I don't know, I'll try."

SJ gathered the rest of their gear and put it in the backpack. He pulled the pack on and helped Ana to her feet. Her legs didn't hold her up as she called out in pain.

"SJ, I can't..."

He gently picked her up and hugged her to his chest. She was light in his arms and he began the two mile hike down the trail. She wrapped her arms around his neck and closed her eyes to the pain. As long as she didn't shift her weight the pain was tolerable.

Ana noticed SJ was sweating and probably needed water. "SJ, let's stop and let you rest. I need some water."

"Aduna, I can make it further."

"No, please, I need to sit for a second."

He laid her on a tuft of grass and found the bottles of water. He felt her forehead and she was cool to his touch.

"How is the pain?"

"It's not too bad."

He tipped her chin up and looked her in the eye, "Ana, how is the pain?"

She began to tear up and said, "It's getting worse. I need to lay down." She drew her legs up and did more deep breathing.

"Is it the babies, Ana?"

She shook her head, "Yes, something is wrong, I'm having cramps. We have to get to the hospital."

"It's still a mile down the trail. I will call for an air ambulance."

She nodded and tried to remain calm. She knew SJ was talking to her, but she couldn't make sense of what he was saying. He soaked his handkerchief in the water and bathed her face. It seemed like hours later when she awoke in the hospital with Dr. McCoy standing next to her. She heard voices, but couldn't decipher who was speaking.

Someone picked up her hand and then she felt through the marital bond, "Ana, we are at the hospital. Dr. McCoy is here. Do not worry my love."

Ana responded to him and fell into a deep sleep.

SJ knew his father would probably be in his office on a Saturday. He left Ana's room and commed him.

"Father, it's SJ."

"Yes?"

"We are at the hospital, can you come?"

"I will be there momentarily," Spock said.

SJ became aware of his father standing in front of him. He stood and cleared his throat. "Father, we were hiking and Ana began to have cramps. Dr. McCoy is with her now," he paused and stepped away.

Spock stood with his hands behind his back and stepped next to SJ, "Is she okay?"

He nodded affirmatively, "but the babies are in trouble."

"I see. May we go speak with Dr. McCoy?"

He shook his head no. "He told me to wait out here for now and he'd come see me shortly. I just wanted, needed to call..."

SJ felt his father's hand on his shoulder, "Let's sit and wait together, then," Spock said.

SJ leaned forward with his elbows on his knees. After several minutes he said, "It was a gentle hike, Father. We took our time, we had stopped for lunch and she was taking a short nap. It was a beautiful day on the trail. She only carried her walking sticks. I made sure of that," he said choking up.

"I am sure it is not the fault of the hike."

"Dr. McCoy said, it would have happened whether she was out enjoying the day anyway. He may be able to save the babies, he's not sure."

SJ tried to control his emotions, but he and Ana had lost two babies already and he was fearful that his wife would never be the same if they lost these precious ones.

Spock put his arm around his son and gave him a gentle hug. Children were the life blood of Vulcans and they felt the pain of any loss of life. SJ felt his father stiffen.

He looked up and saw Captain Kirk walk in the room. He nodded towards his ex-captain.

"Sir."

"SJ, I was with your father when you called him. How are things going?"

Spock stood and said, "We are waiting for Dr. McCoy. He is trying to save both of the babies."

Quietly Kirk said, "I see." He sat across from Spock and began a long wait.

SJ went to the corner of the room and tried to meditate. He sought the life source of his wife and he could feel her in the meld. He felt the small life of two babies through her and sent encouraging thoughts to Ana and the small ones. Vulcan husbands bonded with their children while they were in the mother's womb. It made a strong connection for them once they were born. Even though SJ and Spock were part Human, their fathers were able to bond with them in their mother's womb. It was an aspect of Vulcan life that astonished those who did not approve of the mixed marriages.

The essence of the room changed and SJ looked up to see Dr. McCoy walking up to him. He stood and prepared to hear what news he was bringing.

"SJ, let's go into the meeting room across the hall. Do you want your father with you?"

"Doctor, whatever you have to say, you can say to the three of us here."

"Very well, gentlemen," he waited for Spock and the Captain to come forward.

"Ana is doing okay, but the babies are having some trouble. The mix of the hormones and the blood along with the double embryos has caused the placenta to start to break away. Now we've given her all of the medications that we have, but we'll just have to wait." He turned to SJ and said, "I'm sorry, SJ, if there is not an improvement within the next 24 hours, we may have to terminate one of the babies, so the other can survive."

SJ closed his eyes. The horror of losing one child gripped at his heart. Then the thought of having to chose one caused him to slip to the floor.

"No," he whispered, "no, we can't."

"Son," Spock said as he lifted him to a chair.

McCoy ran his sensor over him and called for the nurse, "Bring him some cold water, please."

SJ's head lolled around his shoulders. Dr. McCoy bent him over and put his head between his knees. He and Spock held him there and until he stirred.

The nurse returned with a glass and McCoy held it for him as he sipped the cold water. The nurse also handed them a cold washcloth. The doctor bathed his face as a more normal color returned to his face.

Kirk stood in the background and stayed out of the way.

"Dr. McCoy, did you tell, Ana yet?" SJ asked.

"No, not yet. Let's give her time for the medications to work. I have talked with the Healer and she agrees with all that we're doing."

"I want to see her," SJ said.

"Go ahead, if you feel up to it," McCoy said.

SJ stood and the doctor watched as he walked from the room.

"I feel so bad for these kids, but Spock we're doing everything we can think of."

"What are the chances that the babies will make it?"

"Well, I think right now it's only a 50/50 chance, Spock. She's lost some blood, but it's more the difference in all of the hormones and blood traits that are causing her trouble. If we get past the next 24 hours, then I'd say we're in good shape, but she'll be relieved of any duty after this."

Spock nodded and looked towards the doorway.

McCoy said, "Only SJ is allowed in there for now. She really needs to rest," he turned to Kirk and said, "Make sure these two eat and drink fluids. I don't need anymore Vulcans passing out on my watch."

Kirk smiled and said, "Will do, Bones."

McCoy left and Spock turned to the Captain, "Jim, I am pleased that you are here."

"It's important to me, too, Spock. I called Lucas and Joanna. They'll be arriving within the next few hours with Ana's parents."

Spock nodded and took a seat to wait for news.

Xxxxxxxxxxxx

Hours later Lucas and Joanna walked in with the Belham's. Dr. McCoy gathered everyone in the office for an update.

Mrs. Belham twisted her hands together and had many questions for the doctor. Mr. Belham stood on the outside almost glaring at Mr. Spock. Mr. Belham was not happy when his daughter married a Vulcan, but he at least had the kindness not to bring up any differences at the present time.

"May we see her, Dr. McCoy," Mrs. Belham asked.

"Yes, she needs to rest, but I see no harm in going in. I'll take you there."

The door slid open and they saw SJ holding Ana's hand and caressing her cheek.

"SJ, Ana's parents are here to see her."

He looked up and stood almost at attention, "I am pleased you could come," he said, "she was awake a short time ago, perhaps you could try talking to her. I will leave and let you visit."

Ana resembled her mother, but her mother was heavier and had a quick wit. Her father didn't even look at SJ as he left.

McCoy walked with SJ back to the waiting room. SJ's mind was with his wife and he didn't notice the added people in the waiting room.

Lucas walked up to him and said softly, "SJ?"

SJ looked up and gave his friend a small smile.

"My friend, you have come a long distance."

Lucas stepped closer and gave SJ a quick hug, "We had to come. You better sit down, you look tired."

SJ sat down next to Joanna, "Jo, I know she'll want to see you."

"I can wait, Dad filled us in on all the updates."

SJ looked down and nodded, "Yes, it's been a long day for her."

Joanna asked, "When was the last time you ate or drank anything?"

"I am fine for now."

Captain Kirk walked over to Spock and said, "I'm going to have some meals and drinks brought in. No one wants to leave this room and be too far away. Is that alright, Spock?"

"Yes, Jim. I will help you order the food."

An order was put in to be delivered in an hour. A nurse came running into the room and said, "Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy wants you."

SJ got up and followed the nurse to Ana's room. There was more activity with Dr. McCoy giving orders to nurses and medications to Ana. Her parents stood side by side, but out of the way.

SJ walked closer to the bio-bed and said, "Dr. McCoy?"

He looked up and spoke as he gave Ana another injection. "SJ, there was a drop in her heart rate and blood flow to the babies. They are all stabilized for now."

A nurse stepped aside and SJ went to Ana's side. He picked up her hand and stroked it and whispered, "My Aduna," he leaned down and kissed her lightly.

Dr. McCoy motioned SJ aside next to Ana's parents. "SJ, remember we talked about having to choose one baby over the other."

SJ eye's grew dark with foreboding, "No, Doctor."

"We may be approaching that point. I just want you to be aware. I've explained it to Ana's parents."

He shook his head, no and walked up to Ana and looked down on her. She was asleep, but he knew what her answer would have been about choosing one baby over the other and he refused to consider it.

Behind him SJ could hear Mr. Belham whisper, "If it weren't for his seed, this wouldn't be happening to our daughter."

"John, that is enough," Mrs. Belham answered, "she loves him and that's all that matters."

The door slid open and Mr. Belham left. Mrs. Belham walked nearer to SJ and touched his arm.

"I am sorry, he is worried about Ana."

He turned to face her and said, "I am, too. Her life is more important than mine, but she would never want to have to choose one of her children over the other."

She squeezed his arm and said, "I know, we'll just hope that Dr. McCoy can help her."

He nodded and Mrs. Belham left to return to the waiting room. SJ let Ana rest as he stood by her side. A nurse came in to check her vitals and he stopped her.

"Nurse, could you send in Dr. Joanna Kirk, please. She's in the waiting room."

"Of course, Mr. Spock."

Joanna entered and stood on the opposite side of the bio-bed reading the results of the scans. She looked up at SJ and he had tears waiting to fall down his face.

"Jo, what do I do?"

Joanna teared up and shook her head. "I can't tell you what to do, but I know what Ana would say. Save the babies."

"But what if she dies in the process?"

Jo held her finger up to her mouth and shushed him. She took Ana's hand in hers and leaned towards her ear. "Ana, it's Jo, I'm here. Dad is taking good care of you, but those two little ones are causing some trouble. You hang in there and give them all of the love you can send them. Keep fighting my friend," she looked up at SJ and said, "talk to her, she can hear you."

He nodded and leaned closer to her ear, "Ana, my Aduna, I await you. I need you, my love. Send our love to the babies. Rest, my Aduna, I am here."

Joanna smiled at him. They stood for a few minutes and the ratings leveled out to an acceptable level.

"SJ, come on, let's go eat."

He shook his head no, but she pulled on his arm, "Come on, Capt. Kirk has food ordered and it's in the waiting room. You need some refreshments. Ana can rest while we're gone. The nurses will watch over her."

The two families and friends ate a quiet meal and throughout the night they took turns staying with Ana, while the rest found chairs to rest on. No one spent much time talking.

Lucas whispered to Jo, "I'm going to the chapel, do you want to come or stay here."

"I better stay here, Lucas. I've been saying my prayers all day, I know God knows what's best. I'm confident in my Dad, it's the waiting that is so horrible."

"I will be gone just ten minutes."

She nodded and he left the room. Dr. McCoy was trying to get some sleep in his office, so no one disturbed him. Capt. Kirk stood looking out the window into the night. Everyone was on edge, alone in their private thoughts.

Spock and SJ went to a private room to meditate and talk. After a short fifteen minute meditation, SJ stood and paced the room.

Spock said, "Son, you can not concentrate?"

"No, Father, it's no good." He sat down on a couch and his father sat next to him. "Father, can you do a healing meld on Ana?"

"I am not fully trained in the healing meld. I could not save your mother, and I never had a chance to save Christine."

"But, you are more trained in it than I am. Maybe it will give the babies a fighting chance and Ana, too. Could you try?"

Spock stood and SJ could see a shadow come over his eyes. He never realized his father had tried to save his mother when she was in the accident. He sensed guilt and sadness from his father. Maybe he had no right to put his father in this position. If he failed, the guilt may be too much for him. He had thoroughly accepted Ana into their family and found so much pleasure in her; perhaps this was too much to ask.

"Father, if it comes to having to choose one child over the other, would you then consider it?"

Spock answered, "Only if, Dr. McCoy allows it."

"Of course."

They returned to the waiting room and kept the request to themselves until the time would arise. SJ spent the rest of the night with his wife.

As the morning sun tried to rise, a fog blanketed the city, but some city lights were able to twinkle through. Spock stood at the window hoping Ana and the babies condition would continue to improve. He sensed his son had walked into the room and turned around to face him.

A small smile shown on his face as SJ looked towards Spock. Everyone in the room stood and waited for any news. Ana's parents held each other on the couch.

"She is doing much better and both babies have survived. Dr. McCoy is confident that the worst has passed, so far."

Lucas hugged his friend and Joanna brushed tears from her face.

SJ said, "Mr. & Mrs. Belham, she is asking for you."

Her parents left the room and SJ walked up to his father. "Thank you for sitting with me through this, Father."

"It is logical to offer support during this time. I will return to campus. Keep me informed on any changes."

"Yes, Father," and they offered to each other the ta'al.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Two days later Lucas and Joanna returned to their home and the Belham's stayed an extra three days to help Ana get settled in their home. SJ found the time stressful with his father-in-law, but Ana's mother was friendly and helpful.

The morning of their scheduled return Mrs. Belham said to Ana, "Please rest all that you can, Ana and if you need me, I can always come back and keep you company while SJ is at work. He's a very nice man and I've gotten to know him much better."

Ana smiled and said, "Too bad, Dad couldn't say the same thing."

"Don't you worry about your father, we will be having a discussion on our flight home and it will probably continue into the evening. When you see him next, he will be much friendlier to SJ."

Ana laughed and gave her mother one last hug. The air-taxi that was taking them to the airport was parked in front of their apartment. Mr. Belham came into the bedroom and said his final good bye.

"Love you, Ana. We'll see you soon."

"Bye, Dad. Safe travels."

After they had left, Ana got up and made a cup of tea. She sat at the window and enjoyed the quiet. Their apartment was on the back street of campus. There wasn't much to look at, but a section of woods and a parking lot. However, someone had set up several bird feeders and she enjoyed watching the many variety of birds flying in and out of the area.

Her experience of the past week had left her surprised how their friends and families had come to support them. SJ became more loving and yet he controlled his Vulcan desire to tell her what to do all day. She smiled when she thought of the few times he slipped and began to give her orders, he stopped, apologized and then listened to what she wanted to do.

They had six more months before the babies were to be born, and Ana knew it would take patience and following Dr. McCoy's orders that would get them through it all.