The first thing he was aware of was the alarm. It sounded like the old yellow alert system on the Enterprise, back in the day. The sound was particularly penetrating, and he found himself sitting up to investigate. He couldn't remember how he had gotten on the floor.
There was a hand pushing against his shoulder, which he reflexively resisted. Someone was speaking, but he couldn't understand the words. His eyes opened; he couldn't remember closing them. A man in an old-fashioned engineering uniform was looking at him carefully, saying something very loudly. Someone behind him jumped to a wall comm and started speaking into it.
He shook his head from side to side, then stopped as his vision blurred and wavered dangerously. He clutched at the engineer's arm to stay upright. The doors to the room - a transporter room? one of the engineering decks? - opened to reveal five men and women in science blues and one in command gold, who quickly approached. One man and woman held a gurney between them, and another one of the women had out a medical tricorder. She scanned him quickly, then showed the results to the most senior-looking officer, who pulled a hypospray from a box in his arm. The sharp pain that came with the injection made something click in his mind, and the words he had heard before he now also understood.
"He's fully human, Spock, not like the ones we pulled off the ships," the medical officer was saying. "God knows how you managed to pull this one out of naked space, Scotty, but you managed to find the one person on that whole ship we can safely treat." He shook his head, shuddering slightly. "Though I don't even want to think about what exposure like that can do to a body." He gestured to the officers holding the gurney, pausing only when his would-be patient lifted a protesting hand.
"Wait," he said, breathing deeply, "wait." Once his hand stopped trembling from the strain of holding it up, and he'd filled his lungs with reassuring, life-giving oxygen several times, he pointed at the only officer in science blues that hadn't moved yet. "Spock?" The Vulcan raised an eyebrow familiarly, but he didn't let himself linger on the expression. He moved his hand to point at the medical officer. "Bones?" The man's jaw dropped, and he stared openly. Dropping his hand, he glanced at the engineer, confused. "Scotty? But you're all so young..." The man blinked and stared at him, then glanced at the command officer.
"You don't think...?" he trailed off meaningfully. The command officer nodded.
"I think I do." He waved at the pair holding the gurney. "Get that to one of the other transporter rooms, we don't need it here. One of the - what do they call themselves, Spock? El-Aurians? - can make better use of it. Give him my usual, Nurse Chapel," he said to the remaining woman, "adjusted for body weight and... age."
The second hypospray not only cleared his mind completely, but energized him enough to stand unassisted and at attention. The stripes on the command officer's sleeve hadn't escaped his attention, and captain though he may be, you always demur to the captain of the ship you're on.
"At ease," the captain laughed gently. "No need to strain yourself, after your unprotected spacewalk. Follow me." Spock and the medical officer followed the captain to the turbolift, and after a moment's hesitation, he followed them. The medical officer got off at sickbay, and at a glance from the captain, the science officer followed him.
"If I can ask," he finally said, "where am I? No," he corrected himself, "I suppose I should say when am I?"
"Aboard the USS Enterprise, as you've no doubt already guessed," the captain answered. "The year is 2259."
Frowning, he did the math. "But that's not possible. If you're who I think you are - "
" - if you're who you think I am, too - " the captain interrupted, smiling at his turn of phrase.
" - then the years are off. I didn't become a captain until 2264."
This only made the captain smile wider. "If I can ask," he said, "where were you born?"
Surprised by the non sequitur, he hesitated a moment before saying, "A farm in Iowa. Why?"
The turbolift doors opened onto the bridge as James Kirk said, "Because that means you're exactly who I knew you were."