A/N: I apologize for the delay; I was having difficulties writing this last part, so hopefully it turned out okay. I will also be posting a few short snippets that take place after Jim's transformation under a different title (How Jimmy Kirk Won Over the Crew of the Enterprise). Thanks again for the reviews :)
I want to go home.
The words continued to echo through Uhura's mind as she sat beside her captain's biobed. The six-year-old was currently curled up in the middle of the mattress, face strained even in sleep.
Uhura was tired; it had been a long day, but she remained resolutely by Jim's side.
Jimmy, she corrected herself ruefully. He had insisted they all call him that when he finally believed they weren't evil minions and/or kidnappers.
Uhura sighed, recalling just what it took to convince the younger Kirk as to who they were.
It took several hours, but she had finally managed to direct Sulu into positioning the ship so they could use several relay stations to strengthen a transmission (with video) back to Earth. The transmission still wasn't as clear she'd like it to be, but it would have to do. Once established, it didn't take her very long to contact Winona Kirk and explain to her the situation. She chose her words carefully, not wanting to alarm their de-aged captain. Said captain had kept a constant vigil over her shoulder the entire time to ensure there was no monkey business going on.
His words. Not hers.
Uhura had allowed Jimmy to take her seat at the bridge in order to speak with his mother, while the remainder of the crew stood at their stations, acting as if they weren't listening into the conversation. Uhura, however, had no qualms about eavesdropping and in fact, stood just beside Jimmy's left shoulder.
Jimmy squinted at the monitor and it was apparent he thought his mother looked different. "Mommy?"
Winona was momentarily stunned upon seeing her son so young, but recovered quickly, smiling widely as she kissed the tips of her first three fingers and pressed them to the screen. Jimmy's entire face lit up upon seeing the action before he did the same.
"Jimmy, baby, how are you?"
Jimmy's expression fell slightly. "Not good, Mommy. Why am I here? Can you come get me? I don't like it here."
Winona's smile wavered briefly before she answered. "I wish I could, baby, but believe me, you're in safe hands. Everything will be okay, Sweetie."
"But we're in space!" Jimmy exclaimed, leaning closer to the video screen as if he were about to share a secret. "I'm scared, Mommy. Please, please come and get me."
Winona stroked her fingers against Jimmy's and it was clear the woman wished she was there rather than lightyears away. "There's nothing to be afraid of, Jimmy. Think of all the places you'll see out there, all the people you'll meet. It's exciting, really, it is, baby."
"But, but Daddy, Mommy," Jimmy's voice faltered. "Daddy."
Winona was quiet for a moment. The entire bridge was.
"Jimmy, Mommy loves you. You know that, right?"
Jimmy nodded once. "I love you too, Mommy."
Winona smiled eyes bright. "And you know I'd never lie to you, don't you baby?"
Again Jimmy nodded.
"Then please believe me when I say everything will be okay, Jimmy. These people, they're Starfleet. Just like, Mommy. Even more so, they're your friends, Jimmy, like one big family. They'll take care of you."
Jimmy sniffled, nodding. "Okay."
Winona gave him a watery smile. "There's my brave little man."
Jimmy glowed at the praise. "Can I speak with Sam, Mommy?"
"I'm sorry, Sweetie, but he's out studying those bugs he likes so much."
Jimmy made a face, causing Winona to laugh. "I have to go now. You be good, okay?"
"And remember to eat your vegetables and mind your manners."
Jimmy rolled his eyes.
"James Tiberius Kirk! You will listen to these nice people and do exactly as they say. Is that clear?"
Jimmy winced at the familiar tone and nodded mutely. That was definitely Mommy.
Winona gazed at her son fondly for another minute before she kissed her fingers again, pressing them to the monitor. "Love you, Jimmy."
Jimmy repeated the gesture from his end. "Love you, Mommy."
Then the transmission ended and silence reigned. They watched as their young captain took a deep, audible breath. Steeling his shoulders, he finally turned around. He took turns eyeing each one of them, suspicion no longer present, but now openly curious.
"I'm hungry," he declared to the room in general. "May I have something to eat?"
Several chuckles sounded throughout the room. Uhura couldn't help but smile. Leonard was the first to step up to their captain, ruffling his hair, which earned him a frown in return. "Come on," he said, gruffly, guiding the boy out of the room, "What would you like?"
"Yea, sure, whatever you want, Kid"
"Chocolate chip pancakes!"
Uhura smiled faintly at the memory. That was their captain all right. Barely twenty-four hours had passed and yet, he had already charmed a majority of the crew. Even Security Officer Daniels (Cupcake as Kirk once called him years ago in that Iowa bar) was hard pressed from disliking the younger Kirk when the youth insisted he take one of his two oatmeal raisin cookies because he was sorry he made the man chase him all over the ship.
After filling his stomach, Jimmy stayed mostly with Dr. McCoy for the remainder of the day; despite the doctor's best efforts to argue that the Sickbay was no place for a child. It was apparent, however, that for whatever reason, Jimmy subconsciously remembered his friend and would not leave his side. Whenever anyone even attempted, they were met with narrowed eyes and a determined grip around the doctor's pant leg.
Uhura heard that Leonard gave up after the third time someone came to pick the boy up and nearly toppled him to the floor in the process. The boy just wasn't interested in visiting the recreation room, or the greenhouse, or the observation deck; the latter of which nearly sent Jimmy into a full-blown panic attack the likes that neither the doctor nor the remainder of the crew could fully understand. It was disconcerting to say the least that one of the captain's most favored places could cause such a reaction.
His fear of space aside, there was little evidence necessary to conclude the fact that this was indeed their captain. He was confident, mischievous, had a hundred watt smile, spoke incessantly, and displayed a level of intelligence belying that of a six-year-old if those puzzle games Chekov uploaded to Jimmy's PADD were any indication. On the other hand, he was inexplicably polite, although Uhura believed that was due more to the captain's recent conversation with his mother than some innate need to be a gentleman.
Nevertheless, no matter how similar his behavior was to their captain, it did not negate the fact that he was in fact—albeit temporarily—a child; his need to remain in Sickbay with Leonard rather than return to his quarters for sleep only one of many signs. From what Christine had relayed to her, Jimmy had put up a brave front for virtually the entire day, though grew quieter and more nervous when Leonard kept mentioning that it was growing late, that it was probably past his bedtime and if he were tired he could have someone take him back to Jimmy's room (because the doctor's shift was not even close to being over).
It had all come to a head when Dr. McCoy had to physically bring Jimmy back to the captain's quarters himself that the boy's brave demeanor finally cracked. From what Leonard had explained to Christine, who in turn told Uhura, one minute he was tucking Jimmy into his bed, and the next Jimmy had latched onto his neck like a damned octopus. The clingy, little monkey wouldn't let him go, so he had to bring him back. From the unprompted explanation upon his return to Sickbay and his quick escape into his office with a chatty Jimmy in tow, it was obvious to Christine that the doctor was embarrassed.
An hour later had Jimmy nodding off on the sofa in the doctor's office, while Dr. McCoy was filling out some paperwork. A couch was no place for a child to sleep, so the doctor carried the youth out to a nearby biobed where he promptly conked out. It was there that Uhura found the doctor, sitting in a chair beside the slumbering captain, a PADD in his hand. After discovering how long he had been sitting there, she insisted he take a break to stretch his legs, assuring him that she would stay with Jimmy until he returned. He agreed after a few protests and headed to the mess hall for a snack. As promised Uhura took up his previous position and kept an eye on Jimmy. Almost a half hour had passed since Leonard had left and Jimmy remained asleep, although his sleep appeared restless at times.
Uhura watched as Jimmy twitched again in his sleep. A frown marred his forehead and prompted her to quietly lean forward and brush her hand across the top of his head until his features smoothed out. Sitting back in her seat, she was startled when she felt a hand land on her shoulder. She twisted around to see Spock beside her. She brought a single digit to her lips, before she rose from her seat and both walked a few paces away from the bed.
"I apologize for startling you, Nyota."
She smiled before leaning up to kiss him softly on the lips, telling him without words that an apology was not necessary. Spock, of course, understood her perfectly.
"How is the captain?"
Uhura reflected on her answer. "As well as he can be. I think he misses his mom," she confessed.
"That is consistent with children his age."
Uhura nodded. "And it doesn't help that we can't tell him why he's here in the first place."
They'd all agreed it would be too confusing to explain to the six-year-old that he was actually the captain of this starship and that some elixir he was given during a ritual in the previous mission was the cause of his regression. Leonard informed them that the captain would return to his normal self within the next three to four weeks. It would be better for Jim to just be a kid for a while.
Uhura heard movement behind her and she saw Jimmy tossing in his bed, his covers now on the floor. She walked over to the bed and swiftly picked up the white sheet, tucking Jimmy in. She pulled the covers just below his chin and again ran her fingers through his hair until Jimmy settled once more.
"You will be a wonderful mother, Nyota."
Uhura glanced curiously over her shoulder and to her amusement saw Spock's cheeks flush a light shade of green.
She stepped into his personal space, smiling as she did, and kissed him again. "And you'll be a wonderful father, Spock," she whispered against his lips, resting her forehead against his.
"Okay. That's enough you two."
Spock took a step away from Uhura upon hearing the harsh whisper and both turned to see Dr. McCoy eyeing them disapprovingly. The good doctor pointed to the door.
The couple took the hint and after offering Leonard a sheepish grin, Uhura ushered Spock out of Sickbay.
McCoy just shook his head. This was the Sickbay, not a lover's make out point.
McCoy spun around to see Jimmy awake, upright in bed, and making a face at both Uhura and Spock as they exited the room. McCoy snorted, cracking a smile.
"My sentiments exactly, Kid."
Jimmy blinked once before he giggled into his hands.