Before you read Yesterday, let me first say thank you to Spockaholic. Without her, this story would be, quite literally, not be worth the electricity in your screen. She has been a muse, a comfort and wonderful critic. All the best bits are hers, all the blunders are mine.
Also thank you to Tresa_Cho, who gave the 1st draft a read and edit. She's a more talented writer than me.
Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
Hamlet - Act 1, Scene IV
Many years ago, if someone had told him that the Universe had a twisted sense of humor and was out to get him, Spock would not have laughed. Instead, he would have calmly and rationally pointed out the flaws in their conclusion, commented on their lack of logic and subtly recommended that they seek medical advice. Or not so subtly, depending on the person involved.
Then an arrogant and brazenly human cadet hacked his Kobayashi Maru simulation, and mere days later he had found himself serving under the command of one James T. Kirk and quite content to do so.
After approximately 1.83 years as First Officer of the Enterprise, Spock no longer protested against such statements. At least not to himself. He'd still disagree with Doctor McCoy on the issue, but after running several calculations and determining that what his Captain repeatedly referred to as 'weird shit' did indeed occur upon the Enterprise significantly more often than any other ship in the fleet, he had become at least somewhat resigned to the idea.
This came in useful. It meant, for example, that when the away team beamed back up to the Enterprise, he was able to catch his Captain and prevent his collapse to the floor before he'd even fully absorbed the fact that his Captain was not only somewhat shorter than he should've been, but appeared to have significantly less muscle mass. As emphasizedby the ill fit of his uniform.
Spock scanned the rest of the away team with a practiced eye as the transporter technician commed for a med-team.
He had no trouble identifying the small crumpled child a few feet away from him as Pavel Chekov, nor the two unconscious youths as the engineering team who had accompanied the Captain on the supposedly routine mission. Those three should prove easy enough to deal with, but he felt a small shiver of unease brush against his control as some of the Captain's more outrageous stories of his youth sprung to mind.
As he reluctantly allowed the medical team to take custody of his Captain's body, Spock allowed himself a moment to feel a strong distaste for time travel before refocusing on his duties. He would inform Lieutenant Commander Scott and Lieutenant Sulu that they would have command for the foreseeable future. He needed to be close at hand when his Captain regained consciousness.
Should his suspicions prove correct and the crew's appearance heralded a more than just physical regression in age, he would merely have to hope that his Captain would remain calm and listen to the explanation he had to offer. Based on past experience, Spock doubted this would prove true.
Doctor McCoy swore as he read the tricorder, then froze and sent a panicked look back towards the youngest figure on the bio-beds.
Thankfully, the kid was still asleep but the hobgoblin's theory seemed to be holding up. This wasn't exactly their away team. Oh sure, they were the same people, same DNA, same medical history and same scars, (which in Jim's case were pretty hard to miss), but only up to a point. The neurological scans confirmed it; these were not their crewmates a decade younger. These were their crewmates as they were a decade roughly a decade ago.
Whatever implausible, bizarre and typically Enterprise anomaly had done this, it'd replaced their away-team with themselves at different points in the timeline. Only Jim was actually a decade younger. Lieutenants Garrard and Sims had respectively lost six and nine years, placing them both in their early twenties and Chekov was worse. For some god-forsaken reason he doubted would ever be explained, the baby of the Enterprise was now a whole fourteen years younger.
When they woke, which his scans indicated would be soon, they weren't going to have trained Starfleet personnel on their hands. They were going to have a scared, five year old Russian kid, two cadets who were probably considering specializing in engineering, and a teenage Jim. This was not going to be fun.
He knew one thing for certain, as soon as things were back to normal, he was going to have a serious talk with his friend about his medical history. He'd always assumed that those ribs were the result of too many bar fights but apparently they were a lot older than that. They even showed signs of being re-broken and put through a few sessions of osteo-regen to heal into a better position.
He was also going to talk to that boy about the signs of old malnutrition in his body. What he'd taken to be markers of a typical nutrient meager diet of a twenty-something trying to scrounge enough credits together to eat was a lot more serious.
If he was reading these scans right, and he hoped to God he wasn't, the seventeen year old had just spent the last three or four years of his life recovering from near starvation.
He and Jim were going to have a serious talk about that.
He wanted to know how a teenage kid in Federation territory, who said he'd only been off Earth a few times in his life before Starfleet, could suffer from malnutrition so severe that it damn well nearly killed him… and would have if Jim were any less stubborn. For that little chat, he would happily sacrifice a bottle of Romulan Ale.
Behind McCoy, one of the bio-beds let out a soft and hastily stifledchirp as a patient sat up and began to search for the ill-fitting clothes most nurses left for their patients these days. As he pulled on the pants, James T. Kirk assessed his situation. Waking up on a bio-bed was nothing new, but normally it was in a hospital. Generally speaking, hospitals didn't hum beneath his toes or have so many shiny, high-tech toys so he was guessing Starfleet. Someone probably found out his last name and the Captain knew, or more likely knew of, his father. That could be dealt with later. What was important now was getting away from anything that smelt like disinfectant.
Unfortunately, there was a scowling man in medical blue between him and the door, and there weren't exactly many places to hide. He shrugged as he reached for the matching basic-black t-shirt.
Sometimes the simplest ways worked best.
"So can I go, Doc?"
After almost five years of knowing Jim Kirk, the answer to that question was hardwired into him and he answered before he'd even realized who was asking.
"No, you can not go," said McCoy as he spun round to face his patient, his scowl firmly in place. "And put that shirt down right now! Do you even know where you are?"
"In sickbay on a Federation starship," Jim replied, ignoring the officer as he shrugged on the t-shirt. "I'd tell you the name but I don't actually remember it. It was quite a night last night."
McCoy refused to look surprised. This was Jim he was dealing with. If anyone else woke up in a strange place, surrounded by medical equipment and couldn't remember why, they would have panicked. Hell, he would panic and he was a doctor, he practically lived in sickbay. Jim apparently assumed he'd drunk too much. Or whatever the hell else made sense to the underaged idiot.
"Oh really? And I suppose you can tell me the Stardate?" He asked as he reached for a nearby hypo full of Jim-friendly drugs, without taking his eyes off his patient, of course. He'd fallen for that one a few too many times. The kid never did like doctors. Too many allergic reactions, he supposed.
True to form, Jim's eyes immediately locked onto the hypo before summoning what Bones recognizedas his best 'I-know-my-body-better-than-you' look with just a hint of 'you're-over-reacting'. The kid hadn't tried to pull that on him since their first month in the academy, after the Cardassian Sunrise incident… that he'd promised himself to never EVER remember.
"Look, no offense Doc, but I'm outta here."
"No, you're not."
"Unless there's something medically wrong with me, you have no grounds to keep me here," he said, as he located a pair of shoes and began pulling them on. They were a size or two too big but if he had to make a run for it, he'd rather have badly fitting shoes than no shoes.
McCoy watched, his temper growing as Jim's eyes flick over the sickbay before focusing back on his hypo. He knew exactly what was going through Jim's mind right now and if the kid honestly thought he could escape, he had another thing coming. He certainly wasn't falling for that nonchalant act. He knew Jim was tracking his every move, just waiting for him to get distracted. Jim had done this too many times for him to feel anything other than pissed off.
"The hell I don't," McCoy said, waving the sedative-filled hypo at his patient. He'd promised Spock that he'd keep their Captain confined to sickbay, and he was going to keep that promise. "You are going lie back down this instant and let me run every single scan I deem medically relevant before I tranquilize you and strap you down!"
From behind him, a young boy burst into tears and McCoy froze. The bastard he called friend just smirked.
"Sounds kinky, but I think you're a bit busy," Jim said. "I'll come back later."
"That would be unwise, sir," declared a calm voice from the doorway.
Even a year ago, Bones wouldn't have trusted the green-blooded hobgoblin within twenty feet of a vulnerable Jim Kirk, but that had changed. Even he had to admit that the cold-blooded Vulcan would rather put his own life in peril than Jim's these days. Hell, the bastard seemed almost as protective of the kid as he was and he had to attend to his other patients.
It took a split-second for the doctor to put down the hypo and rush towards the sobbing Chekov, leaving Jim with his First Officer.
"We are currently in orbit around Saresh IV," continued Spock, ignoring the rapidly increasing chaos across the room in favor of the human in front of him. "And I submit that as the planet below is an uninhabitable wasteland containing only an unmanned mineral processing station, that you stay and allow Doctor McCoy to complete his examination."
Spock was not used to his Captain staring at him with such grim and undisguised suspicion, but at least it was better than the mocking cheer Doctor McCoy had received. He had planned to be at Jim's side when he awoke, but Spock's review of the transporter logs had taken slightly longer than he had expected. Apparently, there had been no obvious fault but he had left the more in-depth analysis to the capable Mr. Scott.
"Since when are there Vulcan's in Starfleet?" asked Jim and Spock quirked an eyebrow at the threatening tone. It was a subtle shift in vocal patterns but one he had learned to listen for. It meant that his Captain believed he was being deceived.
"Since I enlisted on Stardate 2249.8. Due to some as yet unknown event, you appear to have been transported approximately ten years into the future," said Spock, trying to adjust his body language into something humans would accept as non-threatening. Judging from Jim's crossed arms, he was unsuccessful.
"You heard me. I don't know what game you think you're playing but I don't have time for it." Jim finished fastening his shoes, as tight as possible to account for the size difference. "You know how it is, places to go, people to see. I'm not hanging about for some-"
"Perhaps if you were to examine the datapad by your side? It will concur with my statement."
Jim spared a calculating glance at the Vulcan before picking up the medical datapad and quickly scanning it. He only spent a few seconds accessing sections of its database before casually tossing it back to the side.
"You realize that's not proof, right? Anyone can fake a datapad."
"Of course sir," allowed Spock.
"Alright, I'll play along for now," he said. "First things first, you can stop it with the 'sir' thing."
Spock felt a brief flicker of exasperation brush against his control. He was certain it made perfect sense from some bizarrely human point of view, but it did not change the fact that his Captain seemed utterly obsessed with being on a first name basis with him.
Apparently, no matter what incarnation of Jim he was dealing with, he was going to refuse to allow him to treat Jim with the honor and respect he deserved. It was most vexing. However, at the moment it was more important to keep Jim calm. He doubted that the human who had hacked into his Kobayashi Maru simulation was harmless a few short years beforehand.
"Very well. I am Commander Spock, First Officer on board the Enterprise, Jim."
"Now what Fleet file did you pull that name from Commander?" he asked in a measured voice. There was silence for a few seconds as Spock tried to understand why calling his Captain by name had provoked such an odd response.
"I had been informed that 'Jim' is the commonly preferred diminutive for James," he offered and the muscles of Jim's shoulders relaxed slightly.
"Yeah well… not everyone likes the common diminutives."
"I did not intend any offense."
He sighed and offered Spock a wan smile which was somehow more disturbing than the wariness of before.
"Just… just call me JT, ok? Now if you excuse me, I'm going to get the kid to stop crying."
Spock quickly raised an eyebrow as he examined the far side of the room.
Pavel Chekov was no longer sitting on top of the bio-bed, screaming. Instead, he was curled up beneath the bed as far away from everyone as he could manage. In an attempt to remove him from his hiding spot, the two cadets, Doctor McCoy and Head Nurse Chapel were huddled round the sides of the bed. Their current method of extraction seemed to be alternately talking over each other, and admonishing the others for scaring the child.
While Spock had no training in the care of the young of any species, nor indeed any experience in such a field, it looked very much like the child was becoming increasingly terrified by all the attention.
"How do you intend to do so, if I might ask?" He inquired, careful to remain respectfully curious instead of doubtful.
This time JT's smile was just amused.
"Watch and learn," he replied as he walked over to the undignified crowd. "Hey! Everyone! Step away from the bed."
The crowd immediately backed away. He may have been only seventeen, but James T. Kirk still had the ability to elicit unthinking obedience.
With everyone a good few paces away, JT stepped forwards and sat down roughly half a meter away from the bio-bed, leaving enough room for Chekov to dart past him if he wished. He sat in silence for a few moments, waiting for the sobs under the bed to subside to a level suitable for talking.
"Hey there, I'm JT. What's your name?"
Chapel tried to answer in Chekov's stead, but a glare from JT silenced her almost immediately. A few seconds later, a sobbed whisper drifted up from under the bio-bed.
"Pasha? That's a nice name. You from Russia, Pasha?"
"Da, from Proletarij near Novgorod."
The teenager smiled slightly at the tactic. Almost every child dealing with strangers used that one. As it was wrong to lie to an adult, you used locations that you were certain they wouldn't recognize. The kid was smart. Thankfully, it also gave him an easy way to win Pasha's trust.
"Really? That's only about a hundred kilometers south of Sankt-Peterburg, isn't it?" he asked, careful to put the proper accent onto the city's name. The kid already knew he wasn't Russian but pronouncing his words properly instead of using the mangled Standard would win him some brownie points.
Pasha uncurled enough to stare up at him and JT forced himself to concentrate on those suspicious eyes and not the people behind him. Their intent staring was setting his teeth on edge and he couldn't let Pasha see that. Instead, he forced himself into a casual slouch and watched the child relax just a fraction more.
"Da... you been there?"
"Nope. I made it to Belarus, but not any further."
"It nice, you should visit."
"Someday," JT agreed. "Maybe you could show me around?"
"Maybe." Despite his doubts, Pasha moved closer to the edge of his inefficient hiding place.
JT rewarded him with his most charming smile but remained exactly where he was. The most important thing now was to keep Pasha calm so that the staff could make sure he was all right. He may not like Starfleet, but he could trust them to do that at least.
"Hey Pasha, did the mean old doctor scare you?"
"He is not like doctor at home," he said fiercely and JT nodded. The Fleet Officer's lack of bedside manners was pretty obvious.
"Are they nice back home?"
"They have lollipops."
JT gazed up at Doctor McCoy as if to examine him for evidence of the supposed lollipops. The CMO glared back at him.
"I don't think this doctor gives out lollipops," said JT.
"Niet! He eats them himself!"
"I wouldn't put it past him. He looks like vorchlivyj chelovek."
Watery giggles issued from under the bed and Spock resolved to find out what had been said. From his expression, Doctor McCoy thought he knew and did not approve of such language around young children. Fortunately the young 'Pasha' Chekov could not see the doctor's expression from his vantage point.
"But you know what his uniform means right?"
"He is in Starfleet?"
"Uh-huh, and do you know what those gold bands are?"
"He is Lieutenant Commander," replied Pasha more confidently.
"That's right, you're good. So the doctor's probably the Chief Medical Officer for his entire ship. I don't think he gets out much." Pasha giggled again and JT's smile widened a bit more. "Let's cut him a break and let him make sure we're healthy alright?"
"Da," he agreed hesitantly.
Despite his acquiescence, it took a few moments before Pasha began to edge out from under the bio-bed but JT waited patiently and the rest of the crew took their cue from him. Sure enough, within a minute of slow, cautious movements, he emerged from his hiding place and stood by JT. He grinned his approval, despite the way Pasha edged behind him so that JT shielded him from the other adults.
As far as JT was concerned, it was good enough and he pushed himself to his feet.
Pasha frowned when JT asked permission to put him back on the bio-bed but allowed it. So far JT had been nothing but nice to him and everyone else was in Starfleet uniforms. Starfleet were good people, even if the doctor was a mean old man. Not all adults were smart, he knew that. Even so, he kept hold of JT's sleeve as the doctor stepped towards him.
"Hi Pasha, I'm sorry I scared you. I am Doctor Leonard McCoy and I'm just going to run a few tests. Is that alright?"
He glared at him mistrustfully before looking back at JT. Unfortunately, his new friend seemed to think it was a good idea but that did not mean he had to like it.
"Only my friends call me Pasha," he announced. "To you, I am Pavel."
Bones glared at the teenager by the bio-bed as JT tried to hide his smirk without much success. This just proved a long-standing theory of McCoy's. Jim Kirk was a bad influence.
As far as JT was concerned, Pasha was a great kid. It was always nice to have someone on your side, even if it never lasted long. JT didn't know what was going on, where they were or how they'd got here but for the moment things were good and if there was anything he knew about life, it was to make the most of the good parts. They didn't happen very often.
"Alright then, Pavel," gritted out McCoy, still trying to be as friendly as possible for the boy's sake. He really was out of practice. "Can I run a few tests?"
Pasha glanced back at JT but he only nodded. Left without many choices, Pasha shrugged and JT stepped away to give McCoy room.
"Fascinating," commented Spock. He did not fail to notice the fact that while he had not made a noise to remind JT of his presence, he did not startle at his voice. Apparently, despite his seeming absorption in his chosen task, his future Captain had remained aware of his surroundings. He had previously believed that humans did not learn such habits until they were much older.
"Might I ask where you learned such skill with young children?"
"It's not much of a skill, Commander," JT shrugged. "You've just got to remember that kids aren't stupid. It helped that he trusts Starfleet."
"He was scared by the adults Spock, not the uniforms. Now how about you explain what's going on here and I'll ignore the fact that the Enterprise isn't even due to be brought before the Admiralty until next year."
"Construction on the Constitution-class Starship 'Enterprise NCC-1701' began on Stardate 2253.9. Her maiden voyage was approximately 1.83 Terran years ago, however as a ships commission is considered classified information until a maximum of two months beforehand, you could not legally know of the ship's creation from your point of view."
JT began to grin halfway through his statement and by the end of it, he had tilted his head and was leaning against a bio-bed in a very familiar fashion. As always, Spock allowed himself a moment of satisfaction for being the cause of the warm affection his Captain broadcast in such moments.
"I like you," JT announced. "Alright, we'll ignore that too. Now Commander, about that explanation?"
"Very well, sir. Approximately 28.7 minutes ago, four individuals- including yourself- were beamed up from the surface of Saresh IV in place of our away team. All four appear to be from different points in the past ranging from six years to fourteen. Preliminary diagnostics have revealed no anomalies before or during beam-up. However, I assure you, sir, that all efforts-"
"As I am neither in your charge or your superior," interrupted JT in almost perfect Vulcan. "It does not risk your honor to call me by my preferred name. This being true, it is hardly logical to risk the offence of ignoring my cultural beliefs and denying me such a simple request."
As shock brushed against his shields, Spock mentally added another 18 minutes onto his nightly meditation. It was somewhat disquieting to acknowledge that under Captain Pike, he had rarely extended his meditation sessions and he reminded himself that one day he would know his Captain well enough to stop underestimating him.
"Many humans find the Vulcan language to be very difficult to learn. Your achievement is to be commended." Spock acknowledged in his native language.
"Actually I prefer Pre-Reform," JT replied. "But if you will call me by name, I will speak in any Vulcan dialect you wish of me."
Spock immediately tapped down on the automatic reflex that would have had the tips of his ears burning and concentrated on keeping his expression serene. The last time he had been spoken to in such a manner was when the then-Cadet Uhura had been attempting to learn formal Vulcan. He believed that JT was rather more aware of the connotations behind his word choice.
"Indeed?" he replied, switching back to standard. Judging from JT's growing smirk he had been less successful at hiding his discomfort than he had hoped. "May I ask why you prefer such an archaic dialect when your modern Shi'Kahr accent is well developed JT?"
He shrugged but followed the switch back to Standard.
"Just because I can speak like a city-boy doesn't mean I want to. Besides, Pre-Reform Vulcan, especially the 95th Age stuff, has some of the best curses around. Those guys were pretty imaginative with their insults."
Such a statement was true, although not very polite to mention. However, it was also an explanation his Captain would never have expected to work on him. He may have believed the human before him to be crude and unthinking during the first hours of their acquaintance but no longer, although he was intensely aware of the Captain's desire to remain underestimated.
Spock was also very much aware of Jim's opinion on metaphorical imagery. During their last shore leave, he had accompanied Jim to an antique bookstore where his Captain had been delighted to find a leather bound collection of the works of William Shakespeare. Jim had been kind enough to spend the next few hours discussing ancient literature with him before Doctor McCoy had called the Captain away for a previous engagement. With that in mind, he believed he knew the reasoning behind JT's preference for such an era in Vulcan history.
"The majority of surviving records from that era tend to be poems," Spock stated. "Usually a warlord praising the virtues of his t'hy'la."
He was rewarded with the same challenging gleam that appeared in his Captain's eyes during chess but as soon as he recognized the spark, it was gone. Replaced with yet another empty smirk.
"Y'know, you really shouldn't trust 'stereotypical Caucasian Terran gender roles' on poetry but I'm impressed, Commander. You fight dirty."
"If I am to refer to you as JT, then I believe the correct response is for you to also call me by name."
"Alright, Spock," he replied, his smile almost softening into a more familiar form. "Now that we're on a first name basis, how about you stop with the abridged version and tell me what's going on here?"
"There is very little else known at this time other than the fact that our away team, consisting of two Engineering Lieutenants, our Chief Navigator and our Captain, are still missing."
"That's a pretty odd away team."
"The Captain tries to ensure that all senior staff has away team experience," he deliberately misunderstood and JT nodded, his movements almost casual as he straightened up from the bio-bed and loosely crossed his arms.
It did not take a Vulcan's observational skills to notice the tension in his deceptively positioned shoulders, how close his footing was to one of the Captains favored defensive stances or the insulted glint in those ice-blue eyes. Obviously he had chosen the wrong tactic and Spock found himself illogically wishing for the temporally correct version of his Captain to be present for this conversation.
"Still kind of weird for your Captain to be visiting unmanned stations."
He quietly evaluated the human before him. Jim often indicated his preference for truth over misdirection or falsehoods. He did not believe that such a thing would have been different a mere decade ago, and with his Captain's computer knowledge, it would not be long before he could conceivably uncover such relevant information. Surely it would be better to inform him of his future now and deal with any temporal consequences that occurred?
"Captain James T. Kirk is known for his unconventional tactics."
Spock had prepared himself for disbelief, for laughter or even anger but instead JT went still and he found himself under the same piercing gaze he had seen turned on numerous threats to the Enterprise. He had not realized how cold such a look was, nor could he quite connect the expression with the usual warmth Jim exuded. It was no more angry than the now-extinct winds that had encircled Mount Seleya, but seemed just as implacable.
With no warning, JT turned from him to retrieve the previously discarded PADD.
He turned to face him once more, but unlike before the cold look of before, now JT seemed merely angry. It was almost preferable, except for the sensation that he was failing his Captain, that he was not providing him with the support he needed.
"Like I said, I don't know what game you're playing, but I want nothing to do with it."
"JT," said Spock, trying to gentle his voice in the manner his mother had often used to calm him. "I am not playing a game."
"I don't like Starfleet, I don't trust Starfleet and I sure as fuck wouldn't join Starfleet, so either leave or move out of my way."
"JT, please calm down."
"No! I'm not calming down!"
What happened next was an inexcusable loss of control by Vulcan standards. Knowing that his Captain often responded in a highly positive manner to physical contact, Spock tried to prevent his leaving with a gentle touch to his upper arm. His mind was immediately flooded with a storm of impressions and thoughts, chief of which was the scream 'don't touch me'.
Spock did not notice JT's more physical hostility until he struck at the nerve center just below his elbow.
His other hand immediately found the nerve cluster in his opponent's shoulder and sent a wave of psionic energy through his fingertips. Milliseconds after he realized he had just nerve pinched his Captain, JT was once more unconscious in his arms.
It took Spock a moment to realize that the voice had spoken in a heavy Russian accent at a pitch almost solely used by children, and therefore, the heartbroken cry could not have come from him. As gently as he could, Spock lifted him onto the nearby bio-bed, a dispassionate section of his mind making the all-too common observation on how light humans were, before turning back to face the rest of the room.
Pasha was struggling against the med-staff and doing quite well for such a small being.
"He killed him!" he screamed, tears streaming. "He killed JT!"
Spock stood silently, unsure what the correct procedure was. He had failed to be by his Captain's side when he awoke, angered him by misaddressing him and had then proceeded to assault his commanding officer and traumatize a small child in the process. He was struck once more by the strange thought that he wanted his Jim here. Jim would know how to fix this.
"Chekov!" called the CMO over the child's wailing. "He's not dead, he's just… sleeping."
"That's what adults say when they don't want to say dead!" he accused, his back arching as he pulled against the nurses grasp.
McCoy watched as his staff gripped tighter, if Chekov didn't calm down soon then he was going to end up hurt, one way or the other.
"Pasha," he pleaded. "Ji- JT's fine. He's fine. Everything's ok, just calm down."
He tried to reach past his nurses to the boy, but Chekov managed to get an arm free and slapped at him.
One of his nurses grabbed at the flailing arm. McCoy didn't see who, but he did see his patient cringe and knew that the situation was getting out of hand. He reached for a mild sedative and quickly jabbed Chekov. He felt a brief pang as he realized that his medical instincts were sharper than his parental ones these days, but locked those thoughts away in the back of his mind with a thousand similar ones.
Pasha screamed at the new assault, but his cries quickly faded to whimpers and within seconds he was lying limp in the med-staffs hands. The trained professionals quickly loosened their grips, none of them wanting to admit how hard they'd been holding Pasha.
McCoy ignored the guilty looks. This had been a disaster, and he'd speak to all of his staff in turn to make sure it never happened again, but he was more concerned with getting Chekov back on the bio-bed.
He sighed once Pasha was arranged to his satisfaction and turned to Spock. His patients had only been awake for a few minutes and he already felt exhausted. The blank look on Spock's face didn't help.
"Spock? Maybe you should go check on the bridge. I'll call when Jim's awake… and calmed down a bit."
The First Officer nodded and left without a saying a word, leaving McCoy to stare after him.
His frustration quickly turned onto his other unconscious patient and he began to glare as he picked up another hypospray. Jim was his best friend and for almost two years now, the kid had been trying to befriend the hobgoblin. He'd be damned if he let his friend's work all go to waste now.
"Chapel, get me some restraints," he said, not taking his eyes off his patient. "The Jim-proof ones."