Series: ST XI
Word Count: 3930 (total:~20,000)
Disclaimer: They're not mine, unfortunately.
Notes: For two prompts (here and here).
We've reached the end! To anyone following this, I'm sorry this took so long to complete. I'm going to miss writing the boys as five year olds.. so much so that I might visit this universe from time to time.. I'd love to write out the chess scene and a few other situations I've got running through my head. Until then, this part wraps up their adventure and gives them a happy little ending as adults. ♥
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII
Summary: Kirk & Spock arrive in the transporter room de-aged to five years old. While crew members search for a solution, Kirk & Spock play together on the Enterprise. Fluffy de-aged fic.
Spock and McCoy travel in silence from the transporter room and, as Spock follows him through the doors of sickbay, McCoy falls quickly into his role as CMO as he orders Spock to disrobe.
“Shirt off, and up on the table. This shouldn't take long.”
The doctor rifles through a drawer as he speaks, and Spock barely has time to remove his shirt before a tricorder is humming in his ear.
“Doubt there's much wrong with you, but I've gotta confirm it before clearing you for duty.”
Spock sits silently, watching the doctor and noting that he seems hesitant to make eye contact. McCoy meets his silence with a snort. “What, not even a 'logical' from you?” He moves to Spock's other ear. “Maybe there's something wrong with you after all.”
“I assure you, Doctor, I am perfectly fine.”
McCoy jots a note on his PADD before moving to examine Spock's eyes. He fixes his gaze on McCoy, blinking only when the doctor snaps his fingers. “Eyes up here,” McCoy says, snapping his fingers again. “Follow the light.”
Spock obeys, following the light to the left and right, and McCoy seems satisfied as he moves the tricorder down Spock's torso.
“Readings seem normal to me. Well, as normal as they can be for a Vulcan.”
McCoy sets the tricorder aside before finally chancing a proper glance at Spock. He eyes him suspiciously for a moment before speaking. “You sure you're alright?”
“Aside from my bewilderment at the Captain's lack of recollection, I am well.”
McCoy nods. “That's Jim for ya.”
They both fall silent, and the two men regard each other awkwardly, both unsure of what to say.
Spock is the one to break the silence. “Doctor, if you would permit me, I have something I would like to convey.”
McCoy takes a deep breath, as if he knows Spock is about to say something emotional and he's not sure he wants to hear it. “Well make it quick because I've got work to do.”
“This opportunity to experience a second, albeit brief, childhood has given me new insight into both Jim and yourself.”
“Indeed, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your kindness.”
McCoy grunts and turns away, seemingly in embarrassment. “Not necessary, Spock. Just doing my job.”
“Your humbleness is admirable, however it is clear you went beyond your regular duties when you became our temporary guardian. You were not simply 'doing your job.'”
“Well, I appreciate you saying so,” McCoy says quietly, as he fiddles with the tricorder. “But, to be honest, you and Jim didn't exactly make it difficult. You two were pretty damn cute.”
McCoy turns back to face Spock, pointing a finger in his direction. “And if you tell anyone I said that I'll jab you with a hypospray.”
“Doctor McCoy, if I had not experienced your kindness firsthand, I would tell you your bedside manner is in need of improvement.”
McCoy chuckles as he reaches for Spock's shirt and tosses it in his direction. “Now we're back to normal.”
Spock pulls the shirt over his head, and allows himself a brief smile while his face is hidden beneath the fabric.
“I want you back in here if you experience any side effects. Even if you consider them minor – that's for me to decide, not you.”
Spock nods in reply.
“And if you see Jim, tell him to get his ass in here.”
McCoy suppresses a smile as he lowers his head to reread the information on his tricorder. “Now get the hell outta my sickbay.”
Spock keys in the code for the botany lab. The lab is dim and empty, and shadows from a few lamps move over the aisles as Spock makes his way to the back of the room. As he rounds a familiar corner he spots Maggie. Her vines are wound tight, and her leaves move gently – imitating the soft breath of sleep. Spock glances around in the darkness, looking for a blond head in the shadows, before turning quietly and heading back the way he came.
The visit to engineering is similarly unsuccessful. Spock stands below the platform, imagining two boys in pirate costumes marching around and wielding imaginary swords. “Five gems, four pieces of silver, seven pieces of gold, and twelve dilithium crystals,” Spock whispers before being interrupted by an ensign who nervously congratulates him on returning to adult form. Spock nods politely and excuses himself.
As he heads in the direction of the lift, Spock comes to a sudden stop in front of the doors to the lower observation deck. He considers them for a moment before pushing the button to enter. At first the room appears empty, and Spock is about to retreat when to his right he hears something shift in the darkness. As he allows his eyes to adjust, Spock detects the outline of a familiar figure leaning against the railing of the observation windows.
“Jim,” he says quietly, and the figure suddenly stands and turns to glance in his direction. The room is too dim for Jim to see Spock clearly, and he speaks into the darkness.
“Captain,” Spock replies. He doesn't explain further, trusting that Jim will recognize his voice.
There's a slight pause before Jim replies, “Oh, hey. Yeah, Spo– Commander.” Another slight pause. “What're you doing in here?”
It's Spock's turn to pause as he considers his reply and decides the truth is the best option. “I was attempting to locate you.”
“Yes, Captain.” Spock takes the opportunity to step forward and join Jim at the window. “Are you well?”
Familiar laughter falls over Spock's ears. “I'm fine, Spock. I'm fine. Just came down here to look at the stars.”
“Would it be wiser to catch up on your sleep?”
“Nah, I'm fine. Besides,” Jim taps the window. “If I was sleeping I'd be missing this.”
Spock glances outside just as a bright light streaks across the sky.
“Meteor shower,” Jim says. “Apparently that's what caused the transporter malfunction.”
“Indeed? I have not had an opportunity to question Mister Scott on the specifics of the situation.”
“Yup. One of Jaylion IX's moons exploded. The debris is electromagnetic. Picked up a bunch of the dust in their atmosphere when the explosion happened, and BAM.”
Jim falls silent as another bright light whizzes by.
“Then those things interfered with the transporter signal and.. well, you know.”
“Fascinating,” Spock says quietly, focusing on the light streaking past. “If it is possible, I would like to collect samples.”
“Definitely, yeah.” Jim nods. “Starfleet is giving us a couple days to rest anyway, so collect all you want.”
They discuss a brief away mission for Spock and the science team before falling into comfortable silence. Spock watches Jim out the corner of his eye, while Jim keeps his own gaze focused intently on the window.
“Permission to speak freely, Captain?”
“It's Jim, Spock. And yeah, of course.”
“Jim.” Spock considers the name for a moment, ignoring an urge to say 'Jimmy', before continuing. “I must admit, I found our experience as five year old children quite fascinating.”
“Fascinating?” Jim laughs. “No offense, but it sounds like a science experiment gone wrong.”
“In my personal view, it was not-- it was anything but a science experiment.” He watches as Jim keeps his gaze fixed on the window. “I cannot deny I found the experience both enlightening and rewarding.”
Finally Jim glances over at him in interest. “Oh yeah? How, exactly?”
“It allowed us both an opportunity to experience a second childhood.”
Jim rolls his eyes. “I didn't enjoy my first one,” he mumbles. “Not sure why I'd want a second one.”
“I admit to knowing very little about your childhood. However, I find the idea that you were an unhappy child difficult to accept.”
“Well, accept it,” Jim mutters. “My dad was dead, my mom was gone, and I can probably count the number of good days on one hand. Not complaining, that's just the way it was.”
“I accept the situation as fact,” Spock replies. “I simply find the idea to be displeasing.”
“Displeasing?” A slight grin moves over Jim's face.
“Indeed. The idea that you experienced an unhappy childhood is displeasing to me.”
“That's unexpected, but I'll take it.”
“Take it, Captain?”
“Yeah, take it as something nice. And I told you, it's Jim.” He says with a laugh. “We're almost talking like friends here, call me Jim.”
“Jim, as I am sure you have surmised, I am not someone who makes friends easily. However, after our recent experience, I believe we are friends.”
Jim's laughter stops as his gaze turns back to the window. “Yeah, I guess..” He appears lost in thought, and several minutes pass before he speaks again.
“Bet I was an annoying kid, huh?”
“An annoying child?” Spock barely manages to mask his surprise at the suggestion. He turns to Jim then, striving to catch his eye as Jim looks anywhere but in Spock's direction. “Negative, Jim. The child I encountered, the five year old version of you, was intriguing. You seemed very bright, and full of curiosity and wonderment. I believe the appropriate term would be 'precocious.'”
“I was five. I think everyone is like that when they're five, aren't they?”
“I was not.”
“Oh.” Realization seems to dawn on Jim then and he turns his head, finally allowing his eyes to meet Spock's. “Yeah, you don't really seem like you'd be the precocious type.” Jim grins and then stops himself quickly. “Sorry, I just meant...” He trails off as his gaze moves back to the window.
“An apology is unnecessary,” Spock states, keeping his eyes locked on Jim. “You are correct in your assumption that my childhood behavior was different from your own. I was raised on Vulcan, as you are aware, and Vulcan children are encouraged to learn and be silent.”
“Sounds like you had a depressing childhood too.”
“I would not call it depressing. Vulcans believe such behavior is necessary, and emotional control is taught early. It is what we know.”
“Still, sounds like a drag.”
“I would not use that specific word, however it is true that my actual childhood was not as idealistic as our recent experience.”
“Idealistic? So does that mean you enjoyed being five again?”
Spock turns his own gaze to the window as he considers the question. “I did.”
As silence falls between them, Spock suddenly feels very brave. He takes a deep breath before he speaks, and with Jim standing next to him the words flow freely.
“Spending time with you, as children, allowed me to learn several things about myself. It allowed me to open myself up to new experiences, and to do things which would have been discouraged during my childhood on Vulcan.”
Jim nods, but doesn't respond.
“You encouraged me to play, and use my imagination. We pretended to be spies and pirates. We played chess together and you deemed me a worthy opponent. I indulged my human side. I was brave.”
“What're you talking about?” Jim scoffs. “You're probably the bravest crew member I have.”
“I am referring to a different type of bravery,” Spock says quietly. “The ability to ask for things I would like to have or experience, regardless of how illogical they may be.”
Jim doesn't respond.
“Your five year old self taught me many things.” Spock allows his head to drop, and the words sound almost sad. “I felt connected to you, as if I could trust you with my secrets in the same way your five year old self trusted me with yours.”
“A fear of the dark, for example.”
“Oh man,” Jim laughs, shaking his head as he glances down at the floor.
“Jim,” Spock nearly whispers. “I must admit, I feel disappointment that you do not recall our experience.”
Jim simply nods as he moves to another window. “Better view over here.”
Spock follows silently. He opens his mouth to speak again, but closes it quickly. Enough now, he tells himself. He's managed to convey everything he wished to convey and, with Jim unable or unwilling to recall their experience, Spock forces himself to focus his gaze on the window. He counts out the passage of time in his head, and at the six minute forty-seven second mark Jim finally speaks.
“You're not wanting to catch up on sleep?”
“Would you prefer for me to leave you alone?”
“No.” Jim says. “No, not at all.”
“Then I would prefer to remain in your presence.”
Jim laughs quietly to himself. “You're a stubborn one, Spock.”
Spock allows himself to frown at the statement. “I am unsure of your meaning. If you would like me to leave you alone, you need only tell me and I will depart.”
Jim claps his hand on Spock's arm. “No, don't. I told you--” Jim pulls his hand back and leans against the railing. “I told you I don't want you to leave. Never mind the stubborn thing. Just stay.”
“I do not intend to leave, however I admit I am perplexed by your behavior.”
“Aww fuck.. Spock, look..” Jim mutters before taking a deep breath. “I remember.”
While the admittance doesn't come as a complete shock to Spock, he finds himself taking a step back. “Jim, I-- if you would clarify, what do you remember?”
Jim sighs. “Arriving in the transporter room, being five, all of it.”
Spock nods, choosing his words carefully. “If I were to say I had my suspicions, would it surprise you?”
“No, that wouldn't surprise me.” Jim laughs, setting Spock at ease. “I was hoping I could slip this one by you, but I should've known better.”
“Why would you wish to slip this by me?”
“Spock, look..” Jim sighs again, closing his eyes as he rubs his forehead in frustration. “The real me, the real five year old me, didn't have many friends.” His eyes meet Spock's then, and he slowly nods at him, waving his hand in the air as if willing Spock to understand the implication.
“I find that extremely unfortunate, however I fail to see how it relates to our recent experience as five year old children.” Spock pauses, considering another implication. “Unless.. you did not find our experience as positive as I found it to be.”
“No, no,” Jim stresses. “Christ, that's not it at all. You, the five year old you, were my best friend. I didn't have a best friend as a kid, and, weirdly enough,you ended up being my best childhood friend.”
“You were also my first and best childhood friend, Jim.”
Jim nods, looking from Spock to the window and back again. “It was less than a week, but.. it was the best experience of my childhood. Or my pretend childhood, or whatever it was.”
“Jim, I do not-- If your experience was so positive, I must admit, I am struggling to understand why you would feel the need to lie about your recollection.”
“Don't take this the wrong way, but it's because it's you Spock. You're you, always so Vulcan and logical. Once we were adults again I figured you'd go back to being you and you wouldn't care about our silly childhood friendship. It was just easier to pretend I didn't remember, to save myself the disappointment.”
A frown falls over Spock's face and he doesn't attempt to suppress it. “I acknowledge that being Vulcan and logical is a significant part of who I am,” he explains. “However, the five year old you met, he was also me.”
“I know,” Jim says quietly. “I didn't really think of that.”
Spock turns to the window. “And I would not call our friendship silly, regardless of what age we were when it developed.”
“I wouldn't either, I was just trying to make a point.” Jim places his hand on Spock's shoulder, attempting to turn his focus away from the window. “Spock, I'm sorry. C'mon, look at me.”
He turns to face Jim, his expression neutral again. “There is no need to apologize.”
“Yeah there is.” Jim grins cautiously. “I'm an ass, and after all this I don't think I could take it if you were mad at me.”
“I was not mad. Anger is an emotional respon--”
“Spock, shut up.” Jim cuts him off with a laugh. “You were upset, and you probably have every right to be, and I'm sorry.”
They stare at each other for a moment, Jim's blue eyes meeting Spock's dark ones, and their close proximity suddenly brings Spock back to the Jefferies tube from earlier that morning.
“Jim, may I ask a question?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“In the Jefferies tube this morning, you--”
Jim forces out an awkward laugh. “Yeah, that was.. just a silly kid thing. Don't think twice about it.”
“I would estimate I have thought about it at least four times.”
There's a real laugh this time, as Jim raises his palm to the bridge of his nose and presses. “Spock, it's a figure of speech. It means it's no big deal and not worth closer examination.”
“Yeah, so no big deal.” Jim shrugs at Spock. “I was five and doing things five year olds do.”
Spock's gaze moves from Jim to the window. “Understood.”
Jim is silent for only a moment before he speaks again. “You thought about it four times?”
“I was under the impression the topic did not bear closer examination.”
“Yeah, no, it doesn't.” Jim turns to the window before slowly chancing a glance at Spock. “I was just curious.”
“Would you like to discuss the topic?”
“No, no, I just find it interesting.”
Spock gives an uncharacteristic sigh as he turns to face Jim. “I must tell you, your behavior today is both frustrating and intriguing.”
Jim flashes him a grin. “Typical though, right?”
As they face each other, Jim's grin fades as nervousness seems to set in. Suddenly feeling very brave, Spock leans closer until he can feel Jim's breath coming quick against his cheek. When Jim doesn't speak or push him away, Spock tilts his head and places a soft kiss on the side of his face.
He leans in to speak quietly against Jim's ear. “Would you like to discuss the topic?” He asks again.
A huff of breath escapes Jim, a soft laugh against Spock's cheek. “No.”
Frustration and disappointment wash over Spock in that second. “Very well,” he whispers as he begins to pull back. Then a hand grips the back of Spock's neck, and Jim's lips are pressing against his.
“Damn it, Spock, I just meant I don't want to talk about it,” Jim says against Spock's mouth, soft lips moving against Spock's own. “I'm not good at this kind of thing.”
When Jim finally pulls away he rests his forehead against Spock's, sighing as his eyes close.
“I suspect you are better at this than you think,” Spock whispers.
Jim smiles. “We'll see.”
After a moment he casually reaches down to take Spock's hand. As their fingers touch there's a slight gasp from Spock.
“You like that?” Jim asks.
“It is enjoyable.”
“It's sort of like kissing for you, right?”
“It is similar, yes.”
As Jim considers the admittance, his eyes suddenly grow wide with horror. “When we were kids I was holding your hand all over the ship!”
“Anyone who knew anything about Vulcan culture would think I was kissing you all over the place!”
A slight smirk escapes Spock's lips. “Would that be a problem?”
“Well, no..” Jim replies as his tone returns to normal. “Not now.”
Spock slides his fingers against Jim's before gripping his hand tightly. “If it is any consolation, hand-holding does not have the same connotations for Vulcan children as it has for Vulcan adults. It is similar to your excuse for kissing me when you were five years old.”
“It wasn't an excuse” Jim mumbles as he attempts to mask a grin. “It was an explanation.”
“Your explanation, then,” Spock continues. “This is similar. For children it holds little meaning beyond friendship and innocent affection.”
“Yeah, well, if you're going to keep pressuring me to be honest, I have to tell you I have more than innocent affection for you.”
“The feeling is mutual, Jim.”
Jim pulls Spock to him again, grinning against his mouth as they kiss. “I'm glad.”
As they stand together, Spock seems lost in thought as he cards his hand through Jim's hair. “You had fascinating hair as a child.”
“Indeed. I began to be able to recognize you by your uncontrollable hair.”
“Want me to grow my hair out?” Jim teases, playfully running his hands through his hair in an attempt to make it stand on end.
“Negative. Your current hairstyle is more appropriate for a Starfleet Captain.”
“True. Besides, I'd never hear the end of it from Bones.” At the mention of the doctor, Jim suddenly freezes. “Oh god, I've gotta go see Bones.”
“That is correct. When he examined me earlier he asked me to convey instructions for you to get your buttocks to sickbay as soon as possible.”
Jim laughs. “Good old Bones,” he says quietly. “I've gotta apologize to him too.”
Jim appears thoughtful for a moment. “He was great, huh?”
Spock nods. “Affirmative, he went above and beyond his duties as Chief Medical Officer.”
“Yeah.. Bleero..” Jim smiles to himself before glancing back up at Spock. “I've gotta go talk to Bones, but we should meet up after that.. If you want...” Jim trails off.
“I would like that very much.”
Jim grins as he leans in to give Spock one last kiss. “Me too,” he says with a wink. “We can play chess or something.”
Spock allows himself to smile as Jim heads for the door. When the doors slide open, Jim turns suddenly. “Hey, Spock?”
“I'm not afraid of the dark anymore. I mean, that was only when I was a kid.”
“I had assumed as much, Jim.”
“Right. Just gotta make sure.”
“I will visit you later.”
Jim grins. “Good.”
Spock watches Jim's silhouette disappear into the corridor, a few stray pieces of hair still standing on end.