Title: Renewal Cake
Summary: Another diplomatic incident for the Enterprise has some rather small repercussions for it's captain.
Notes/Warnings: This is nonsense of the highest order. I was inspired by this prompt at the ST kink meme, and it just kept going. It would be even longer (if 4400 words isn't long enough) except I got bored and caught up in a Pon Farr fic (it's coming). On that note, anyone who wants to write about the adventures of young Kirk, I'd love to read them. My beta, gelsey, pointed out the personal logs, security logs, and medical logs during that time must be a hoot.
“What the hell happened?” Bones yelled as a security team dragged a young boy into his med bay, a boy loosely dressed in the ragged remains of a gold Star Fleet command uniform shirt.
“I think it was something they served him,” Sulu said, following the security team. He was looking the worse for wear too, his shirt ripped and a number of bruises developing on his face.
“Served who?” Bones demanded, trying to get close to the whirling hellcat barely restrained by three security crewmen.
“The Captain,” Sulu replied, gesturing at the kid.
“That's Jim?” Bones exclaimed, looking closer. Yes, those were the same blue eyes, though the hair was even blonder. Bones had never seen a picture of Jim as a kid, but he could believe this was him. He'd rather get some tests done to confirm it though.
“I saw it happen,” Sulu admitted, leaning weakly against one of the med bay beds.
“Sit, Lieutenant. I'll get to you in a moment,” Bones said pointedly, then grabbed a hypo he kept loaded with sedative for when the Captain was injured and not willing to slow down for treatment (ie, every other away mission). It was the work of a moment to dial down the dose for the Captain's decreased size, but it took several minutes to get close enough to actually dose Jim. “Hold him still,” he ordered repeatedly.
Jim had one crewman down with a knee to the groin and another loosening his grip with an elbow to the solar plexus when Bones finally got the opening he needed to jab Jim in the neck. Unfortunately, the sedative didn't act quite fast enough, and both remaining security guards were on the ground and groaning before Jim finally passed out.
“I'm surprised they got this far,” Bones muttered as he picked up Jim and laid him on the nearest bed.
“There's a string of injured guards between here and the transporter room who'll be along as soon as they can move again,” Sulu admitted with a hint of a grin. “He fights as dirty at that age as any other.”
The door to sickbay opened and three security crewmen limped in, leaning on each other to stay upright. Two nurses followed, guiding them to beds and beginning basic triage.
“Does he seem to remember anything?” Bones asked, looking his primary patient over. Jim looked fairly healthy if younger, probably between nine and twelve years old. The bruises all looked to be from the fight with the guards and his scans didn't indicate any broken bones. The guards had probably been trying to restrain and not injure, though Jim hadn't been so kind in return. Bones added a blanket to the shirt barely covering his Captain's dignity, and turned to his other patients. He'd get samples to try and figure out what happened when things calmed down a little.
“I'm not sure,” Sulu admitted. “I grabbed him as soon as I saw the change start, and we beamed out while he was still disoriented. As soon as we arrived he tried to run for it and the transporter technician called security. He never said anything beyond screams and the occasional curse.”
The door to sickbay opened again and two more security crewmen stumbled in.
“These bruises are from him?” Bones asked, looking the helmsman over carefully. Cracked zygomatic arch and a few bruises, all easily treated.
Sulu nodded. “He started struggling in my arms as soon as we appeared. I think he got me with an elbow.” He touched the bruise blossoming over the fracture in his cheek and winced.
“The rest of the away team?” Bones asked worriedly
“Came with us,” Sulu assured him.
“You sit there and let those pain killers go to work,” Bones said, sticking the helmsman with a hypo. “I'll bond that bone as soon as I check these men.”
Every head in sickbay turned as the doors opened again, this time filled with the command presence of Commander Spock.
“Doctor, what is the Captain's condition?” Spock intoned in that flat voice that drove Bones crazy.
“Smaller,” Bones said sarcastically, scanning the bruised arm of a security guard for fractures.
Spock quirked an eyebrow in that condescendingly questioning manner that drove Bones crazy[repetition of a paragraph up], then turned to Sulu. “Lieutenant Uhura has reported her perspective on events. I now need to hear your interpretation on what happened.”
“The talks seemed to be going well,” Sulu said. “We broke for lunch just like yesterday and were invited to join the Andalorians. The head man, Loren, was talking about the joys of childhood again, and there was something in his tone … I don't know, I guess I wasn't really paying attention. He offered the Captain something, some kind of special treat he claimed. Captain Kirk had just finished it when he got this awful look on his face and started shrinking. I grabbed him, Uhura called the ship, and we beamed back here in time for him to use us all as punching bags.”
“While a bit colloquial, that does essentially match with what Lieutenant Uhura reported. Doctor, I would appreciate a full assessment of the Captain's condition as soon as possible. We need to asses if we need to make any changes in our stance with regard to these negotiations as rapidly as possible.”
“Damn it, Spock,” Bones snapped. “I don't even know where to begin with this. I've never heard of something that can turn a grown man into a child.”
“Now you have. Please try to solve how it happened.”
Two hours later, Bones was eying a collection of test results that told him absolutely nothing. Jim was a perfectly healthy eleven-year-old boy by all accounts, and it was definitely Jim. There were a few odd chemicals in his blood, but that happened every time someone visited another planet. Hell, there was stuff rattling around the ship that showed up in people's blood panels. None of that told him how his captain had gone from twenty-six to eleven in less than a minute. And who knows what kinds of complications going through the transporter might have added.
“Run the scanner again,” Bones ordered Nurse Chapel. There had to be something he could get a grasp on.
“Of course, Doctor,” rang out the nurse's dulcet tones. Bones considered her an asset to the medical bay in every way as she was both a competent doctor and a pretty decoration.
“Umm ... Doctor?”
“What?” Bones called, turning from his data pad.
“The Captain's gone,” Nurse Chapel called worriedly.
“What!” Bones bellowed, charging up for Jim's bed. Or at least, for the bed he'd left Jim in. He was decidedly gone now. “He should have been out for another hour at least.”
“You must have miscalculated,” Nurse Chapel said in a gentle tone.
“We have to find him,” Bones said, frantically looking around for any sign of Jim. “He didn't seem to know where he was before. He's got to be scared.”
“I'll call security, Doctor, in case he got out of the room.” Nurse Chapel had activated the com before Bones could tell her now. Half the security staff already had bruises and a few cracked ribs thanks to Jim. He didn't trust them not to try and get a hit in for revenge this time, Captain or no.
“Damn it, Jim,” Bones snapped. “Where are you hiding? We don't mean you any harm.”
It was only a glimpse of gold out of the corner of his eye, but it was enough to draw his attention to Jim as he bolted from behind one of the beds for the door. A security guard stepped through the door at just the right moment, causing Jim to bounce off his legs, but it wasn't enough.
“Grab him,” Bones ordered desperately, but it was too late. Too startled by the boy's sudden appearance, the guard moved too slow, and Jim was around him and in the corridor. Bones ran after him, shoving the slow moving guard aside. He followed his captain's progress by tracking the odd looks from the crew in the halls and the occasional fallen or bruised crewman who had made the mistake of trying to stop the whirlwind.
“Jim, wait,” Bones yelled whenever he got a glimpse of his friend, but nothing slowed the little juggernaut for long. Not, at least, until he onto the Bridge (and how had he managed to get there without knowing his way around the ship?). Jim paused in the doorway, his eyes wide with amazement, but bolted again as soon as Bones got a hand on his shoulder. This time, Jim ran with a clear destination in mind, straight for Spock in the Captain's chair, dodging every other person in his path.
The Bridge crew stared in amazement but stayed back. Sulu was at his place at the helm and had probably warned everyone here just how good a fighter their young captain was.
“What is going on, Doctor?” Spock asked, seemingly ignoring the small figure peering over his shoulder.
“Damned if I know, Spock,” Bones snapped. “He woke up and just went running.”
“Are you well, Jim?” Spock asked, turning to his captain.
“Who are you?” Jim snapped defiantly. “Who is he? And how the hell did I get here. You guys are going to be in a heap of trouble for kidnapping me.”
“We did no such thing,” Spock corrected calmly.
“Jim, how much do you remember?” Bones asked, trying to calm down and speak kindly as if to a child. He stepped forward to the other side of the captain's chair but came no closer when Jim started taking a half step back, looking quite ready to bolt for the other door.
“I don't know how you got me here,” Jim spat, “but someone is going to be in a lot of trouble. My mother is a Star Fleet officer.”
“Not enough, it seems,” Spock said. “Jim, you have been through an ordeal. No one here means you any harm. However, we do need to ascertain the intentions of the Andalorians who did this to you.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Jim snapped angrily but took a step closer to Spock rather than backing away again.
Bones couldn't make heads or tails of Jim's actions, though the attitude was at least familiar. “Jim, you're twenty-six and the captain of the Enterprise. An alien gave you something to eat and you reverted to your present age.”
Some of the suspicion in Jim's eyes faded as Bones explained, but not all. “That's a hell of a line for me to swallow.”
“While it does seem somewhat unbelievable, the doctor is speaking the truth,” Spock said.
“He's a doctor?” Jim asked.
“And your friend,” Bones said. “We met on the shuttle to Star Fleet Academy.”
“Like Star Fleet would have anything to do with me,” Jim said, his disbelief still plain.
Bones chuckled, both at Jim's comment and the heights to which Spock's eyebrow reached. “You may have been the only genius level repeat offender in the Midwest, but you are a genius. Even Star Fleet couldn't deny the scores on your entrance exams.”
Jim's face scrunched up in confusion and he shuffled closer to Spock, one hand now clutching at the arm of the chair. “That line … I've heard something like that … except ...”
“Captain Pike said it when he recruited you,” Bones said excitedly. “You told me once … or twice. We were pretty drunk that first time.”
“Perhaps your adult memories are not completely lost,” Spock said, almost sounding pleased. “If we can bring them to the surface we might be able to understand what Loren was attempting to do.”
“You two are crazy,” Jim muttered but leaned closer to Spock, his hand now brushing against the sleeve of his uniform.
“Commander Spock?” Uhura interrupted.
“The Andalorians are requesting to speak with the Captain again. They're starting to sound rather desperate.”
“Doctor, perhaps you should escort Jim back to Sick Bay and attempt to ascertain the extent of his memory loss.”
“No way in hell,” Jim snapped. “I'm not going anywhere with him.”
“What other scenario do you suggest?” Spock asked.
“The lady said the aliens wanted to talk to the captain. If you're telling the truth, that's me. So, I'm staying with you.”
“I do not believe that to be the best course of action.”
Jim just responded with a sneer and tightened his grip on Spock's uniform.
“I think you'd better give in, Spock,” Bones suggested. “He seems rather attached to you for some reason.”
“I did note his odd choice to shelter behind me. I do not suppose you have an explanation for your actions?”
Jim just shrugged.
“Why Spock?” Bones asked. “We've known each other longer.”
“Don't know,” Jim muttered. “Just know I can trust him.”
“Perhaps this is a side effect of the suppressed memories,” Spock suggested, his brow furrowing as he thought hard.
“Suppressed or not, your past encounters would leave me inclined to run from you in his position,” Bones grumbled.
“You are not in possession of the full facts,” Spock said thoughtfully.
“Excuse me?” Bones asked darkly.
“Lieutenant, put the Andalorians on the screen,” Spock said, ignoring Bones and turning forward and standing. Jim stepped up, retaining his grip on the Vulcan and standing at his hip.
Bones finally let out a sigh and stepped up to Spock's other side. They made a hell of an image, he thought. Though, if Jim was going to be stuck like this for long, they really were going to have to find him something to wear other than a torn shirt that didn't even fall to his knees.
“Commander,” Loren said as soon as the connection was made. “Captain.”
“Loren,” Spock said formally.
“I fear there has been a misunderstanding,” Loren said.
“No shit,” Jim muttered.
“Our culture reveres the joys of a happy childhood. We have developed a method of reliving this time for short periods, as a celebration and a renewal.”
“You used this technology on Captain Kirk,” Spock stated.
“Captain Kirk expressed displeasure at his childhood in our discussion yesterday. I offered him the renewal cake ... but I am now not certain he understood.”
“It is likely that the Captain will appreciate your efforts when he returns to himself,” Spock admitted, ignoring the snort from Jim. “However, we would appreciate some details as to the effects of this renewal cake so we can properly care for our Captain during this time.”
“Of course,” Loren said eagerly. “This was intended to improve our negotiations, not disrupt them. Your people are welcome to talk to our priests.”
“Doctor?” Spock said, turning to Bones. “Perhaps you should go ask your questions.”
Bones humphed and stalked off the bridge. Spock was right, but that didn't mean he had to like it. He liked being dispersed into his constituent molecules about as much as he liked flying in shuttles.
“Thank you for your explanation, Loren,” Spock said. “We will continue talks tomorrow as scheduled.”
“Thank you, Commander. We look forward to joining the Federation.”
Spock cut the transmission with a gesture to Uhura.
“Captain, would you be willing to return to Sick Bay to await Doctor McCoy's return?” Spock asked, looking down at the small figure still tucked at his side.
“Alone?” Jim asked plaintively. But then he caught Sulu looking at them and stiffened his back. “I'm sure there's something more interesting to do on this hunk of junk,” he said cockily.
Spock fought back the urge to sigh, a common problem when it came to dealing with the Captain at any age. It wasn't an appropriate urge for a Vulcan, but James T. Kirk was capable of exasperating the most controlled of Vulcans, which Spock was not. “Mr. Sulu, you have the conn,” he said instead, guiding Jim off the bridge.
“You didn't answer my question,” Jim protested once they were alone in the turbolift.
“I will remain with you for now,” Spock answered succinctly.
“Why you?” Jim muttered.
“I have wondered the same thing,” Spock admitted. “I believe it is connected to the mind meld you experienced with my alternate self last year.”
“It is a long story. Suffice to say, your unconscious mind recognizes and trusts me even if your conscious mind no longer remembers why.”
Jim gave him an odd look with his nose scrunched up. “If you say so.”
“I do,” Spock said, guiding his young captain towards the Med Bay. “What is the last think you remember before the Transporter Room? I am certain Dr. McCoy will wish to know when he returns.”
“Getting hauled to county lockup after driving my mother's antique car into the old quarry,” Jim replied proudly.
It didn't exactly surprise Spock that Jim was proud of that event, but at the same time it did. It seemed an odd action to have taken, especially given how close he had come to killing himself based on the police report, but at the same time a quintessentially Kirk thing to do. “That does narrow down the exact age you were reversed to,” was all Spock said aloud.
“You know about that?” Jim asked, surprised.
“I am your first officer. It is only logical that I should have reviewed your records in detail as I am certain you have reviewed mine.”
Jim wrinkled his nose again and muttered, “If you say so.”
Spock paused at Rec Room Three.
“Thought we were going to Sick Bay,” Jim said, following him in.
“I thought it might be advisable to collect a chess set to entertain ourselves with,” Spock said, suiting his actions to his words. “I have found that a bored Jim Kirk to be a danger to himself and others.”
“My stepfather never learned that lesson,” Jim said with a chuckle.
“Have you learned the extent of the situation?” Spock asked as Bones charged into Sick Bay.
“The extent of the situation?” Bones grunted. “The extent of the situation? Yes, I know the damned extent of the situation. For an Andalorian at least. All we can do is hope and pray it matches close to the 'extent of the situation' for a human!”
“He's a grumpy SOB,” Jim muttered, giving Bones a tentative look over the TriD chess set between himself and Spock.
“An odd turn of phrase, but I believe somewhat accurate,” Spock said. “The good doctor is usually rather cantankerous.”
“Don't you ever say a thing against my mother again,” Bones snapped, pointing an angry finger at Jim. “And don't encourage him,” he added, turning his attention to Spock.
“Perhaps you should enlighten us as to the Captain's condition,” Spock suggested.
“One of these 'renewal cakes',” Bones grumbled, “usually results in two or three weeks of a young age with no memory after that age. The memory begins returning just before the victim start shooting up like a weed. After a week or two of eating us out of house and home, he should be right back to normal.”
“The Andalorians do have a similar biology to humans,” Spock noted.
“Closer than Vulcans for damned sure,” Bones snapped.
“That mean I'll start remembering how to be a captain in two or three weeks?” Jim asked, cutting into what could have quickly become quite an argument.
“So it seems,” Bones said.
“Cool,” Jim purred, his eyes alight.
“Except that's a two or three week delay in the talks, at best,” Bones pointed out.
“I do not see why, under the circumstances, I should not be able to continue the talks in the Captain's stead,” Spock suggested.
“They did this to me. Maybe they expect me to continue these talks like this,” Jim cut in.
“Certainly not,” Bones snapped. “You're not going anywhere.”
“They may wish to talk to the Captain,” Spock pointed out. “In addition, they did this to give Jim a positive childhood experience, which we would not fulfill if we kept him trapped in his quarters for the next four weeks.”
Bones humphed disapprovingly.
“Did the Andalorians provide any explanation for the Captain's violent initial behavior?”
“No,” Bones said, this time looking at Jim curiously, a look Jim returned with interest and added a sense of potential violence. “They said a sense of who is important in a person's life usually remains, allowing the child to find someone they feel safe with while growing up again.”
“Then that does make sense,” Spock said. “The Captain found me and felt safe on the Bridge.”
“I still don't see why he'd find you safe, especially if he goes running from me,” Bone spat.
“What was the first thing you did when you met the Captain in his current state?”
“Knocked him out before he could kill anyone.”
Spock looked at Bones, eyebrow raised with that smug superiority. “Did you not consider that he might remember that first and his own memories second, thus fearing you?”
Bones humphed. “Fine, you take care of him for the next three or four weeks.”
“That will not be possible. I have my own duties to attend to. I am certain we can develop an appropriate rotation of guardians for Jim.”
“Don't need a stupid babysitter,” Jim sulked. “I've been taking care of myself for years.”
Spock shot him a look that indicated he didn't believe a word of that, but only said, “We shall see.”
Jim smiled and leaned back in his chair as he shut off the recorder. He had just finished his official report for the negotiations with the Andalorians and his experience under the effects of their renewal cake. However, it was the bits that hadn't made it into that report that really made him smile.
He had been an impossible child, both originally and over the last month. His attachment to Spock was probably the only thing that had allowed the crew to survive the experience of a young Jim Kirk. Someone else could be left in charge, but his stubborn younger self wouldn't listen to orders from anyone but Spock. This had led to a number of interesting adventures. He hoped he could retain his rather thorough understanding of the Jefferies tubes that he had gained the day he ran away from Scotty and got lost in the innards of the Enterprise. He would also never forget the day Spock had taken him down to Andaloria only to have him lead the children in a rebellion against their caretakers and get them all lost in the caves under the city.
Smirking, Jim remembered the experience fondly. It had been rather a lot of fun until they ran out of food two days later. Fortunately, Spock and the Enterprise crew found them shortly after. Being confined to quarters for two days in punishment hadn't been great, but it had allowed him to catch up on reviewing the ships logs and a reading a number of interesting publications. He was pretty sure he now knew more about how transporters function than he had before. It was actually a rather interesting branch of science.
Of course it was the rather gory descriptions of battles past that Spock had caught him reviewing, for the battle tactics, really. That had gotten him out of being grounded for the moment, but since that had led him to go exploring in the engine room with Keenser … well, Spock hadn't appreciated being called down to Engineering every hour or so to sweet talk a young Jim Kirk out of yet another high, tight corner he was exploring. That had been fun and taught him a lot about the warp engines, even if it did get him sent back to his room again.
But now he was back where he belonged, on the Bridge of the Enterprise, seated in the captain's chair, giving the orders. He had another couple of days to go before he was back to his full growth, but his memory was back to snuff so he'd talked Bones into letting him go back to work. With any luck he was almost to his full height and he wouldn't grow out of his clothes before the duty shift was over today. That had been more than a touch embarrassing yesterday.
“Captain.” Spock's polite if pointed word pulled Jim out of his reminiscence. “You are supposed to be eating.”
Jim made a face at the tray Yeoman Rand had dropped off while he was finishing his report. He'd never before thought he could get sick of food, but, even hungry as he was constantly right now, everything was starting to taste like cardboard. “I'm not hungry,” he lied.
“Captain, Dr. McCoy made your requirements quite clear to both of us. You need the nutrients to regain your original stature, unless you would not mind being several inches shorter when you are finished growing this time.”
Jim made a face at his first officer, sticking his tongue out childishly, but ate. One thing he had learned being a child again was that disobeying Spock just to be ornery was a bad idea. As long as he had logic on his side, he could get away with anything, but there was no logic in losing any of the ground he had when his first officer was already several inches taller.