AN: Wow.. I have been completely overwhelmed by the support for this fic! Honestly, all of you amazing reviewers, followers and favouriters... you are amazing people, and I love you all. SO, seeing as you guys loved it so much... I'm going to make this into a series of one-shots/scenarios featuring Joanna and her Uncle Jim :3 I hope you enjoy this chaper!
Unfortunately for both Jim and Joanna, it really was a long time before they saw each other again. Jim managed to go on three missions between the incident with Nero and the tragedy of Kahn, and the time between was never more than a fortnight, which usually involved filling in a lot of paperwork and catching up on some much-needed sleep.
Of course, they had video calls and Jim spent hours talking to her via PADD, telling her stories from his missions and listening to her talk about her friends from school and the things she got up to.
"I've decided that I want to be in Starfleet when I'm bigger," she said one day about six months after Nero. She said it was such confidence that Jim really couldn't find a reason to doubt her.
Even Bones only found time to visit his daughter twice during their limited amount of shore leave, the responsibilities and extra work accompanying his promotion to CMO catching up with him more times than he'd like.
But they made it work, not least because little Joanna was old beyond her ears and assured both her father and her honorary uncle that she understood.
"You're saving the world," she said firmly, "Which means that you're saving me, because I live on Earth." When Bones first heard his little girl say those words, he'd been annoyed that Jim Kirk had apparently had such a huge affect on his daughter. Then he realised just how grateful he was; it alleviated some of the regret he felt for leaving his little girl without her daddy.
When Joanna does finally see her Uncle Jim again, it's three weeks after Jim kind-of-died-but-then-came-back. She walks through the hospital, gripping her mother's hand tightly, wanting to know why on Earth her Uncle Jim was in the hospital.
Bones meets them at the reception area of the ward Jim had been placed on three weeks previously, and smiled uncontrollably as Joanna immediately released Jocelyn's hand and threw her arms around him.
"I missed you, daddy," she said quietly. He sighed.
"I missed you too, Jo," he murmured, "I'm sorry I missed your birthday."
"S'okay," she replied, "Mommy gave me the present you got me."
"Did you like it?" Bones asked, lifting his little girl off the floor. He'd gotten her a drawing set, just like the one she'd wanted for months. She nodded, looking to Jocelyn expectedly. As if the two had rehearsed the moment, Jocelyn pulled out a sheet of paper from her bag and handed it to Bones, who grinned.
"You drew me?" he asked, smiling at the picture; it was him, in his Starfleet Medical blues, next to the Enterprise, "Why am I all grumpy?"
"Because you are always grumpy!" Joanna giggled. Bones frowned, making her laugh even more, "See! You're grumpy now!" Bones smiled; he really had missed his little girl.
"She drew one for Jim, too," Jocelyn said, taking another sheet out of her bag.
"Why is Uncle Jim in the hospital?" Joanna asked quietly, looking to her father desperately for answers. Bones sighed.
"Why don't we go and get something to eat, and I'll explain, hmm?" he suggested, placing Joanna back onto the floor. Joanna took his hand in hers.
"Can I have a cake?" she asked as Bones led her towards the cafeteria.
"Of course, Princess," he said.
"Actually, she hasn't eaten lunch yet, I don't think that's a good idea..."
"Jocelyn, it's one little cake, what harm can it do?"
"You say that now, but I'm going to be the one getting her to eat her dinner later, and she's not going to want anything if she's full of cake!"
Joanna sighed; this was when she needed her Uncle Jim.
After telling Joanna the story of Jim's death and not-so-death (minus a few details she didn't need to know... such as Spock's almost beating the bad guy to death), Bones led he to Jim's room, at her insistence. She had a look of steely determination on her face that he couldn't quite figure out.
As he opened the door, they found Jim sitting up in bed, reading something on his PADD. Hearing the door open, he looked up, and his face immediately brightened at the sight of his honorary niece.
"Joanna!" he exclaimed, "I didn't know you were coming!" Joana released her father's hand and made her way to Jim's bedside, where she looked up at him with a frown on her face.
"You promised that you'll always come back." She said, her voice deadly serious. Jim's smile faded as he caught on top what she was saying.
"Your dad told you the story, huh?" he said regretfully. Joanna nodded, still frowning.
"You promised!" she said, "And you died! Well, sort of died..."
"I'm sorry, Jojo," Jim said sadly, "I had to save the crew, and Earth. The bad guy... well, he was a very bad guy. I had to fix the ship so that we could stop him." Joanna huffed as she crossed her arms.
"Even if it meant breaking your promise?" she demanded. Jim sighed.
"You know how you said you want to join Starfleet one day?" he asked her quietly. She nodded, her frown not lifting, "Well, when you're older, and you're on a starship with the rest of the crew, you'll realise that... sometimes, you have to make hard choices. And I had to choose between saving the world, and keeping my promise to you. Which would you have picked?"
Bones desperately wanted to step in, to tell Jim that he couldn't ask his seven year old daughter to answer something like that god damnit! Jocelyn held him back, however; their little girl was a smart cookie, and a tough one too. She could deal with answering that kind of question.
Joanna sighed, smiling slightly up at Jim, "I suppose I can forgive you," she said, sounding purposefully reluctant, "I guess I'd choose to save the Earth. As long as you promise that you'll only break your promise if the Earth is in danger. And I mean lots of danger."
Jim grinned, feeling more relief than anyone could ever understand, "I promise, kiddo." Joanna climbed up onto the bed next to him, hugging him tightly.
"I missed you, Uncle Jim," she murmured. Jim felt a tear or two form in his eyes and he blamed his being over-emotional on the drugs he was being given to aide his recovery.
"I missed you too." He replied.
Et voila! Feel free to drop me a review if you fancy it (I'll love you forever if you do ^-^) and if you have any ideas, or even a prompt, for this story, I'd be more than happy to try and write it for you! I apologise for any typos, don't forget to drop me a review with a comment on this chapter and/or a prompt, and thank you all very much for reading :)