“Wow, he’s so cute.”
“Well.” She giggled. “He is. Look he’s kicking his legs.”
Sure, enough Jim, aged six, sitting on the edge of the biobed in the medbay, swinging his legs back and forth. Spock had the very human urge to pinch the bridge of his nose.
“This is not amusing, Nyota.”
“Spock, Leonard said it’s temporary. The effects should wear off in a few hours.”
“Or a few days. The Morapai on the planet were not very specific.”
Jim, blue eyes wide and stark in his face, glanced toward them. “Spock.”
“You’d better go to him. Poor baby looks freaked out.”
“He is not the only one.”
Nyota touched his arm. “Spock, it’ll be okay. Jim will go back to normal, and in the meantime, you’ve got this.”
“I have not had much experience with children.”
“Maybe not, but you’re going to be fine. And this is not an ordinary child. This is your husband.”
She pushed him toward little Jim, whose bottom lip had begun to tremble. Spock felt his heart clench.
“Jim, there is no reason to be upset,” he said gently.
“Are you kidding?” the little boy asked. “My feet don’t reach the ground!”
“The doctor says it will be gone in just a short time and you will be yourself again.”
Little Jim’s teeth pulled at his bottom lip. He’d seen Jim do it dozens of times. Now seeing him as a boy tugged at Spock’s heart.
“What if Bones is wrong?” His tiny voice warbled.
Spock had the same thought, of course, but he could not admit this to Jim. “He is not. He spoke to the elders on the planet. You only have to have a little patience.” He paused. “If you wish, I can take you to our quarters to wait, rather than your having to stay here in the medbay.”
“Yeah. Please. You know I hate it here.”
Jim struggled to get down and when Spock saw that he was getting frustrated, he went over to the biobed and lifted Jim off and to the floor.
He went to release the boy’s hand, but Jim tightened his grip and so Spock didn’t try to pull away again.
Spock was grateful they didn’t run into anyone on their way to the quarters, because he knew Jim would not be happy to have his crew see him like this, and though Spock figured the word had likely spread, it was better not to get the visual confirmation.
Once they were in their quarters, Spock turned to Jim. “Would you like something to eat?”
“I want to take a shower.”
“Very well. But it has been a while since you have eaten, so when you come out, I will replicate you something. Your choice?”
Spock nodded. “Do you wish for me to assist you, Jim?”
Jim seemed to think about it. “Maybe. I-I don’t think I can reach the shower handle.”
“Go in and get undressed and I will be in there in a moment.”
After Jim went into their bathroom, Spock looked toward his meditation alcove hopefully, but he forced himself to squelch the desire. Right now he needed to support and help his mate, not be concerned for his own needs.
Straightening he went into bathroom.
Jim stood by the shower, eyes watery. He was still fully clothed.
“Ashaya, come here.”
Spock dropped to his knees and held out his arms. Jim ran to him and Spock pulled him close, hugging him tightly. He felt the wetness on Jim’s face and his heart beat hard and painfully in his side.
“I just want to be normal,” Jim said, hiccupping.
Spock closed his eyes. “Shh. Come. Let us get your dinner. You can shower later.”
Spock got Jim spaghetti and then a hot fudge sundae. The boy ate silently, which was quite strange for Spock, because Jim was never silent unless very troubled.
When he was finished, he asked Jim, “Do you still wish to shower?”
Jim shook his head. “Just go to bed. Maybe I’ll wake up myself again.”
When he was in bed and Spock had tucked all the covers around him, Jim stared up at Spock, blue eyes still too watery for Spock’s liking.
“You make me realize one thing,” Spock said.
“I want us to have a little boy who looks just like you someday.”
The slightest smile appeared on Jim’s face. “G’night.”
“Good night little one.”
Spock meditated for an hour and then pulled out a Murphy bed from the wall to sleep.
He was awakened early by the sound of the shower running. He glanced at the bed and saw that, sure enough, Jim was up. Spock flopped back down staring up at the ceiling, waiting for the boy to find out what he’d want for breakfast.
Then he sat up. The shower was running. Little Jim had said he couldn’t reach the shower handle. Spock slipped out of bed and to the bathroom door. He opened it and peered in.
“Good morning,” Jim called cheerfully. “You can come in. It’s all right.”
Spock did and sure enough his full grown mate was back, grinning from ear to ear.
Spock smiled in response. He could not help it. A part of him had doubted that Jim would return to himself and Spock was inordinately glad his doubts were for nothing.
“I’ll get your coffee,” Spock told him, then turned back to their room.
He replaced the Murphy bed and got to work.
All was well again.