Jim woke slowly, reaching over for Spock to find his side of the bed empty. //T'hy'la?//

"I am right here, love," Spock assured him, rounding the divider to sit next to him.

//Today's the day,// Jim said in barely contained excitement.

"Indeed," Spock agreed, leaning down to kiss his forehead.

//And once Bones removes the wiring, I'll be Captain again, right?// Jim asked, a happy gleam in his eye.

"You will. I will be pleased to relinquish command to you, sir," Spock teased.

//You're an excellent Captain,// Jim assured him.

"Thank you. Not as excellent as the true Captain of the Enterprise."

//Thanks. How long have you been up?//

"Only 24 minutes. WrUA'En and Em'EkdU contacted you. I explained that it was barely morning. They wished to thank you again and to tell you if we are ever near Ajyesix we are required to come for a visit."

Jim laughed silently at that. //Who knew there would be another planet that was inhabited by residents no taller than a meter?//

"They are quite happy that their new home does exist," Spock said. "Dr. McCoy is also awake if you wish to visit him now."

//Yes, absolutely,// Jim agreed enthusiastically, throwing back the covers and leaving their bed. After a quick shower, they went to MedBay to find Bones in his office.

"Hey," he said in greeting. "You ready?"

Jim nodded at that, practically dancing in excitement.

"Alright," Bones laughed, leaving his office to lead him over to the dental chair. "Do you want me to sedate you?"

Jim frowned at that, looking over at Spock.

"Will the procedure be painful?" Spock asked.

"Not terribly. There will be some tugging to get the anchors off. It's completely non-invasive," Bones promised.

Jim sat in the chair, waving at this mouth impatiently.

"Alright. If it gets to be too much, I'll give you a pain reliever," Bones promised, washing his hands and sitting on the tall stool next to the chair. Jim took Spock's hand as McCoy began snipping all the wires that had held Jim's jaw immobile for the past 5 ½ weeks. "Okay so far?"

Jim nodded, looking up at Spock who squeezed his hand in reassurance.

Once all the wires were taken out, Bones asked Jim to very carefully move his mouth. Jim did it, the stiffness slowly giving way to some freer motion. "Can you talk?"

"Mmm…I fink ssssooo…." Jim said, frowning.

"It will get better, I promise," Bones said. "Can you open your mouth as wide as possible?"

Jim tried, groaning from the pain that caused.

"I know," Bones said in sympathy, reaching up to massage the muscles of his jaw. "Take it slow."

Jim nodded, opening his mouth a little wider. "Bettaaaa…."

"You're getting there," Bones agreed. "Is it hurting too much?"

Jim shook his head, moving his jaw horizontally and vertically. "Uhn…."

"Stop if it hurts," Bones instructed, laying his warm hands on the sides of Jim's face to feel the muscles working. "Feels good. Open your mouth again."

Jim opened his mouth as wide as he could, wider than the previous time. "Li' this?"

McCoy nodded, massaging the muscles again. "Alright. We're going to try this," he said, picking up what looked vaguely like a pair of pliers. He reached in, pulling off one of the bands that had held the wiring. "How's that?"

Jim gave him a thumb's up with his free hand, not concerned about the mild discomfort the removal was causing. It didn't hurt as much as it felt like pressure being exerted on his teeth.

"Okay. Just three more and we'll be done," Bones said as he removed another one. It didn't take particularly long for him to get the rest out, smiling at Jim when they were all off. "There."

Jim reached up and felt his mouth, rubbing his thumb over his jaws. "Nicccce."

"How's your mouth now? Is there any pain?" McCoy asked, studying him.

Jim shook his head, running his tongue over his smooth teeth. "I need to brush my teef."

Bones laughed at that, nodding. "I have a new toothbrush and some toothpaste in the bathroom. Be careful. You'll probably have some bleeding after not brushing for so long."

"'Kay," Jim agreed, slowly leaving the chair and smiling at them, his mega-watt smile finally returning. "How do I look?"

"As beautiful…"

"And conceited…"

"… as ever" Spock finished as though Dr. McCoy had not interrupted.

Jim stuck his tongue out at Bones mostly because he could, making the Doctor laugh. He happily went into the bathroom to admire his white teeth before brushing them carefully, only a little blood in the sink as he finished up. He moved his jaw again, watching his reflection in the mirror, very glad he was once again able to talk.

A noise in the MedBay attracted his attention away from the mirror and he left the bathroom to discover members of the Bridge crew in the process of kidnapping Spock. "What's going on here?" he demanded more loudly than necessary, mostly because he could. He stood with his fists on his hips, watching them tie Spock's hands the arms of the wheelchair to which his ankles had already been secured.

"I believe I am the victim of a mutiny, Captain," Spock said.

"I see," Jim responded, his Bridge crew surrounding him to congratulate him.

"Say it again, sir," Uhura requested.

"What? Stand down? No mutiny is necessary?" Jim laughed.

"We must mutiny, sir. We must return the ship to her rightful Captain," Sulu explained sensibly.

"Very well then. Carry on," Jim said, waving them back to their captive.

"Aye aye sir," they agreed with a laugh. They pushed Spock into the corridor, McCoy making sure Jim was coming with them. The mutineers disappeared into Rec Room 4, McCoy steering Jim in behind them. The Rec Room was festively decorated with old timey images of sailing ships and filled with members of Jim's crew not on duty. A tri-corner Captain's hat festooned with a huge feather was presented to Jim by Uhura with an appropriate curtsy. He put it on, also accepting the sword that Bones tied around his waist. Uhura escorted him to the front of the room where a make-shift stage had been erected.

"Attention, mateys and fellow mutineers," Scotty called out from the box on the stage on which he was standing, a ship's wheel stationed in front of him. "We have for too long toiled under the rough hand of Captain Spock. He has made demands of us unheard of prior to his reign of terror. 'Be on time for your duty shift. Do not leave until you are dismissed. Eat in the mess, not on the Bridge. All status reports will be turned in on time.' The list goes on and on. Finally, we can no longer tolerate such harsh working conditions. That is the cause for this here mutiny. After lengthy discussions lasting well into the five minute range, we have determined that there is and can be only one Captain of the Goodship Enterprise. Captain James Tiberius Kirk, you are hereby summoned to take control of your ship, never again to relinquish command."

Scotty's final declaration was met with thunderous applause and whistles of approval. Jim climbed up on the stage and mounted the box, pointing to the stage, making it clear that's where Scotty belonged. Scott doffed his hat with a flourish and bow, dismounting the box to stand at attention next to his Captain.

"This is your Captain speaking," Jim said, causing another round of applause and cheers. "I am resuming command of the Goodship Enterprise, as is my due. I know that the time during which I was incapacitated was as difficult for you as it was for me. Imagine, if you will, the trauma I endured - unable to issue orders, unable to demand the full and complete devotion of my crew, unable to command that I be worshipped in a way that befits my position and my general awesomeness." He shook his head sadly as they all applauded and laughed. "I commend First Officer Spock for the fine job he did in my stead and trust that his harsh treatment of my crew will not end with retribution being visited on my head, or his. I humbly request that he be remanded to me for appropriate corrective actions and tutoring on balancing discipline with humanitarianism. I will, of course, await your decision concerning this appeal." There was some general discussion from the crew until they agreed, 'Aye sir' the prevailing answer. "Very good indeed," Jim said in appreciation. "First Officer and former temporary Captain Spock, have you anything to say?"

"I gladly bow to the wishes of the mutineers and relinquish command to the rightful and only Captain of the Goodship Enterprise," Spock said. His statement was also greeted with cheers.

"Do you wish to defend yourself against the stated charges of tyranny?" Jim asked.

"I have no defense, Captain. I am guilty as charged," Spock admitted.

"I see," Jim said, considering his response. "You are to be applauded for owning up to your behavior. I believe some leniency may be possible."

"Might I be confined to quarters, sir?" Spock asked, making everyone laugh.

"Indeed," Jim agreed. "I believe your confinement will commence immediately following shift. For now, it is time for breakfast which for you will consist of hardtack and water." He leaned down when Scotty tugged on his sleeve. "Seems we are fresh out of hardtack," Jim said in regret. "Ah well. Bread and water then."

"Very good, sir," Spock agreed.

"Release the prisoner. He is far too honorable to try to escape," the Captain said, waving at him in dismissal. "And now, let's eat. But no oatmeal!" The Captain climbed off his box and off the stage, accepting the congratulations of all those who had secured his command for him, much laughter shared.

McCoy guided him to a table with a "Welcome Back Aboard, Captain" centerpiece, where he sat and accepted a giant plate of waffles and bacon and whipped cream, the smells making his mouth water. Spock was served waffles and strawberries as well and Jim couldn't stand to wait until everyone else was served before he started eating. He knew they'd understand why he began eating, finishing almost immediately.

"You weren't too hungry, were you?" Bones teased, removing his plate so a second could take its place.

"You have no idea," Jim said, starting on his second waffle, smiling over at Spock. //Thank you for being such a good sport. You didn't mind, did you?//

//You know I did not. I appreciate your rescue. And I will make it up to you,// Spock promised.

//As soon as shift is over?//

//Maybe sooner,// Spock suggested, almost making Jim choke on his waffle, not that he minded in the least.