Star Trek © Not mine.
This is going to be a long-ass story. If it works out the way it should, it's going to cover kid!fic territory, plus a retelling of ST:IX and ST:ID. So please review an let me know if this is worth the time and effort I'm gonna have to put into this to keep updating at a reasonable rate.
Captain Christopher Pike has never seen anything like this.
The USS Nelson is gone. Completely obliterated by an unknown weapon system. That alone is a staggering fact. Even more terrifying is the number of survivors.
Two. Just two, and only children. They were put in an escape pod and jettisoned into space, where the Alliance found them two days later, still floating the debris field. They're just children, the youngest of the two barely five years old, the oldest maybe six months older than that.
Pike stands there on his own ship, watching from outside the medbay as his medic looks them over. Boyce performs his scans in silence instead of trying to talk with the kids like he might have – and Pike suspects the Vulcan child has a lot to do with that.
Number One stands beside him. "How are they?"
"Boyce is still working on them." he says with a small sigh. "Dammit, I didn't even know there were Vulcans on the Nelson, much less children!" He doesn't look away from the window. "When we pulled them aboard, the blond was holding the other. The life support systems were designed to maintain a lower temperature than Vulcans can sustain."
Number One snorts. "Does that explain why they're holding hands?" she asks. Sure enough, the children are holding hands, and haven't let go of each other during the entire exam. The little blond boy is staring blankly at his knees; the Vulcan watches Boyce intently, mistrust clear on his face.
Finally, Boyce pulls back. The Vulcan relaxes just a little. Boyce attempts a smile. "What's your name?" he asks gently.
The Vulcan's gaze flickers to the little boy before returning to Boyce. "I am Spock." he says, his Standard a little forced. It's clear he's unused to the language. "This is Jim."
"Do you know Jim's last name, Spock?" Boyce asks. "We need to find his family."
Spock's grip on Jim tightens just a bit. Just enough. "No."
Boyce nods and leaves the medbay. Pike arches an eyebrow at him. "Well?" he asks. "How are they?"
"Considering that Jim is the only reason Spock is still alive, I'd say pretty good." Boyce says. "However, I have some concerns about separating them. I don't believe they'd react to it very well."
Number One frowns. "How so?" she asks.
Boyce shrugs. "You heard Spock. He won't tell me Jim's surname. I believe he knows it. He just doesn't want me to take Jim away, and he knows that will happen if I find family."
"I can't imagine a human family taking on a Vulcan child." Pike muses. "Or vice versa. That would just be too strange."
"Strange or not, we need to know what to do with them." Number One says. "They'll have to be separated eventually. There's just no other way to do it."
"Jim won't speak." Boyce protests. "He's letting Spock talk for him. I have no doubt he'll speak to Spock, but something happened in that pod that's taken his words. Until he recovers from that, removing his constant is only going to make things a thousand times worse for him. Probably for Spock as well. I imagine he's using Jim as a shield for his own trauma."
Pike snorts. "What trauma? Vulcans are emotionless bastards, Boyce, you know that."
Boyce points at the window. "Does that look like an emotionless bastard to you?" he demands. "He's a child, Chris. He's a Vulcan in appearance only. He's scared, and the only reason he's pretending he's not is because Jim needs him to not be. Do you know what that means?"
Number One sighs. "It means separating the two of them is going to trigger a meltdown in both." she says with some level of resignation. "Jim could retreat further into himself and refuse to speak at all. Spock – well, there's no telling what he would do. We haven't seen how he manifests trauma yet."
Pike holds up both hands. "Okay, okay, fine – geez, you guys are ganging up on me." He considers for a moment. "Well, the Tarsus IV outpost has an orphanage. We can send them there until we find out more about where they came from. Maybe by the time we find their families, they'll be ready to separate."
"Or maybe they'll be even more invested in each other." Boyce retorts. "Ah, well, it's your choice, Captain."
Pike grimaces. "Number One, change direction. Let's head to Tarsus IV."
It takes six weeks to get to Tarsus IV at Warp 4. During that time, Spock and Jim rarely leave the medbay and are never seen outside of each other's company. They are often referred to simply as 'the children', as if they are a single entity instead of two separate species. They change a little during that time as well. Spock finally grows comfortable enough with Boyce and his staff to stop watching them constantly while they work. Jim start talking again, mostly to Spock, a little to everyone else. He refuses to speak to the captain and has barely spoken more than five words to Number One.
When command staff speak to them, Spock does the talking. How he knows exactly what to say in place of Jim is beyond their understanding.
It's frustrating, but not surprising. Something has happened to make both children wary of the command staff, and Pike doesn't like to think about what that might mean. Boyce found no evidence of physical abuse, but clearly some emotional trauma has taken place here. The only clue as to the children's identities is that a genetic makeup reveals Spock is only half-Vulcan. However, as no hybrid births have been reported from the VSA, the children continue to keep to themselves, and Boyce and Pike try to learn what they can from observation.
This is hindered by the fact that both children are very well-versed in Vulcan, and no one else speaks it. When they actually bother to speak aloud to each other, it's in the Vulcan language, and no one can make heads or tails of it.
A week away from Tarsus IV, Pike makes a request for a Vulcan ambassador to be brought aboard the Alliance. To his annoyance, Ambassador Serek and his human wife, Amanda Grayson, are brought aboard. Serek greets him with the customary ta'al. "Captain Pike."
"Ambassador." Pike returns the greeting a bit clumsily. "If you'll follow me, I'll take you to the children." He turns and guides them away from the transporter room. Amanda stays a half-pace behind her husband. From what Pike has gathered, it is customary for Vulcan diplomatic couples like these two to have the wife defer to the husband. By experience, Pike knows Amanda will never stay silent for long, and Serek would not have her any other way.
Sure enough, Amanda is the one to break the silence. "Why do you need our help with both of them?" she asks. "From what I understand, one is a human boy."
"Yeah, well, both of them speak Vulcan, and neither will have anything to do with me." Pike grouses. "I need to know what happened to them, and for that, I need to know what they're saying."
"You need a translator." Serek points out. "Not an ambassador."
Pike shrugs. "Well, the kid is half-Vulcan." He leaves it there. As much as Serek annoys him, he actually sort of likes the Vulcan. At least he doesn't play political games with him. Pike is probably the only human in Starfleet who knows that they've been trying to conceive – only to have a stillborn each time. They make it to the medbay. "There they are."
Serek watches them through the glass. They're playing on the floor, using a few empty hyposprays as toys. They're talking, and the quiet Vulcan words sound a little strange coming from the blond-haired boy. "I would require time to observe them." Serek says. "Where are you planning on taking them?"
"Tarsus IV, until we can figure out who they belong to."
"Then I have a week. I hope I can provide you with the information you require in that time."
Pike sighs. "I hope so, too." he murmurs. "I really do."