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Twinkle, Twinkle Little Vulcan

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TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE VULCAN

McCoy stood with Scotty in the transporter room, bouncing his heels, anxiously waiting for the landing party to materialize. He’d gotten a direct hail from Jim dirt-side: “Bones! Report to Transporter Room A on the double!”

So, obviously, things couldn’t be good. The landing party had had to engage in negotiations with a rather bizarre planet of aliens known as the Begonians. Jim, most likely, was shredded to bits; Spock probably had his arm torn off or a giant hole in his chest bleeding out everywhere, both of ‘em protesting that they were absolutely fine. Damn idiots.

A solitary figure began to form on the circular pad...oh shit. There had been two on that landing party: Jim and Spock.

The figure finally solidified and nothing could have prepared McCoy for the sight that befell him now. Jim, stood there, apparently uninjured...holding what appeared to be a tiny infant wrapped in a fluffy blue blanket. An infant... screaming bloody murder.

McCoy sprinted up to Jim, type II scanner out, ready and whirling. “Where the hell is Spock?”

Jim glared down at the baby, then up again at McCoy. “You’re looking at him.”

McCoy lowered his gaze, catching sight of the tiny pointy ears. His eyes widened. “Oh, fuck!”

“Bones,” Jim said, still scowling. “Watch your mouth around the little one. Please.”

“What...the...” He could hardly get the next few words out, “what the hell happened?!”

“The Begonians claimed that I was acting just like a child. They aimed some type of a beam at me. Spock, of course, jumped in front of me, damn him, and got turned into this.” The captain glanced down at the infant again with a grimace. “Why does he keep crying? What’s wrong with him?”

Bones’ type II whirled. “He’s alright. He’s just cold. And you’re--” McCoy finished scanning and reached out but dropped his hands. “You’re holding him wrong. You gotta--” He held out his hands again. “Jim, he’s a two week old infant, you gotta protect the head and neck. Even a Vulcan hybrid infant, I suppose.” He tried to demonstrate. “Hold him, like that, hand under the head, hold him against your body. Like this, Jim.”

“Here,” Jim pushed the babe at McCoy. “You deal with this.”

Spock immediately ceased crying in the doctor’s arms. “Aww.” McCoy couldn’t help but grin at the kid. Even if it was Spock and this was a serious crisis, the Vulcan was damned cute as a button.

“Great. Good for you, Daddy.” Kirk stomped off the pad, exchanging a worried glance with Mr. Scott.

“Captain?” Scott asked. “Surely, we’re not going to just up and leave Mr. Spock in this condition?”

“Nope. That’s why I’m up here. To deal with these guys more effectively. Let’s go, Scotty.”

“Alright, Jim!” McCoy called after him. “I’ll uh...just be in sickbay with Spock...incase, you know...you figure out how to get him out of this mess any time soon.”

Jim waved him off like an annoying gnat. “I know, Bones. Working on it.”

*

Six hours later and Jim hadn’t figured out how to get Spock out of this mess.

He’d threatened the Begonians with heavy phaser power from the Enterprise’s main banks. They simply had called his bluff--told him to quit having a temper tantrum. Nothing the captain did would convince them to change Spock back into a fully grown adult.

Meanwhile in sickbay, McCoy keyed into the replicator a baby formula that would digest well in a little bitty hybrid tummy. He got ahold of a nursing bottle and a pair of baby pajamas’s with feet in (of course) with little insignias on them out of ship’s stores and a thick warm receiving blanket. He'd fastened a tiny diaper onto the little baby’s butt and finally affixed a knitted hat onto the little head. He slid the bottle into the kids mouth, hoping for the best. Spock practically devoured the formula. McCoy had to smirk as he watched the baby finish the bottle, then gentle removed it from the green little mouth then burped the kid.

He'd laid ‘baby Spock’--as he was now referring to the little fella-- down on the bio-bed and as soon as Spock was out of his arms and on that orange cushion, the kid had began screaming again. However there was no way around lying the baby down. Moving as fast as possible, McCoy had changed the diaper then performed a complete physical.

Except for all the crying (goddamned belly-aching), physiologically, Spock proved to be a completely healthy infant. Not quite just out of the birth canal but pretty damned close. A little better looking than the average newborn. The kid had a head too large for its body—one quarter his body length, complete with fontanel at the top of his head. He possessed a head of thick black hair, huge blue-ish eyes that would surely darken soon, no eyebrows yet but delicate little pointy ears and a pale green tint to his skin that came out in full blush whenever upset. The internal organs were all ‘Spock normal’ which meant screwy. Blood platelets, everything appeared the same as the adult version albeit much smaller, obviously. He weighed in at eleven pounds two ounces (a little heavier than a human infant his age, due to denser bones) and he measured at twenty-three inches long.

Neurologically, Spock’s brain patterns proved to be indeed that of a two week old infant, not of an adult mind trapped in a child’s body. Moro, plantar, rooting, stepping, suckling, palmar, fencing reflexes all appeared perfect, as he'd ran the usual tests on the kid, as if this was a regular baby. The child proved alert and responded well to stimuli.

Due to Spock’s higher than human body temperature not reacting very well with the cold sickbay air--making the child practically convulse, he would shiver so terribly, poor little devil-- it would absolutely necessary to keep this kid constantly warm. McCoy rewound the thick blanket around the tiny Vulcan’s body. He picked up the little guy, rocked him, held him close to his own body and cooed at him. The baby immediately quieted down again. “It’s okay, Honey! Wasn’t so bad, was it? I didn’t even give you one of my nasty old hypos!”

Christine Chapel stood there watching with folded arms. “Well. He certainly has a strong set of lungs.”

“Yeah, I’ll say. Would you like to hold him, Christine?”

“Not really,” she replied.

“Oh, come on. It’s Spock! You know! Spock? You like him, donchya?”

“Not that much,” she shot back.

He huffed at her and said out of the side of his mouth: “How about giving Uncle Leonard a break, anyway? I gotta use the head.” She sighed. “That's an order, Nurse.”

“Fine.” Christine held out her arms. And as soon as Baby Spock was passed over to her, he began screaming again. “Doesn’t like me, much, does he?”

McCoy hesitated, torn between the child's needs and his own bodily functions. “Goddammit, I'm gonna piss my damn pants, Chris.”

“Go! Hurry!” She tried to rock the baby to calm him down but he screamed even louder, turning dark green with his fury. McCoy darted off and took the quickest toilet break ever, then washed his hands very carefully.

The bosun’s whistle sounded as he was on his way back to Chapel and the baby. “McCoy!” he yelled out mid run.

“Bones?”

“Yeah, Jim! I’m'ere!”

“What the hell’s the matter with that baby?”

“Doesn’t like Nurse Chapel holding him, I guess. Other than that he’s just fine.” McCoy reached over, retrieved the baby from Chapel who took off, making a beeline for the office. McCoy shook his head in her wake. In his arms, Spock immediately quieted down.

“Good.”

“Any luck with the Begonians?”

“No. Stubborn as all get out. Don’t worry though, we’re wearin’ ‘em down. I can feel it.”

“Hope so, Jim. Don’t know how long my sickbay staff can stand this kid screaming around here.”

“Me neither, Kirk out.”

McCoy raised an eyebrow at the now quiet Spock, who stared up at him intently.

“Aw, stop battin’ those eyelashes at me,” McCoy whispered.

*

Eight hours after that-- his shift had finished three hours previously-- and McCoy was yawning at ten second intervals, his eyes burning with exhaustion. Still no luck with the Begonians, he supposed, and he was tired of nagging the captain every hour.

“Okay, kid,” he said to Spock, still in his arms. “Time for beddy bye.” He reached over and hit the intercom switch. “Quartermaster, this is McCoy.”

“Meagher here, Dr. McCoy.”

“Lieutenant, I need a baby bassinet sent to my quarters, stat.”

There was a slight pause before he heard: “Acknowledged, Doctor.”

*

He got a few stares as he strode very calmly down the corridor with Spock in his arms, but nobody stopped to ask him who’s baby it was. Maybe they already knew who it was. Word traveled faster than warp speed on this ship.

The bassinet had arrived in McCoy's quarters, over in the corner and he inspected it with approval. With all the blankets piled inside, it should be warm enough for the kid. Quartermaster had even supplied the tiny sleeping space with a few stuffed animals to cuddle with. He picked one stuffed duck, snickered at it and used it to make a quacking noise to Spock’s forehead. The little babe merely stared at it with those huge curious brown eyes. As if to say a little baby: ‘fascinating’.

This kid was more than adorable. The more time McCoy spent with the little guy it reminded him of Joanna when she was a tiny little newborn like this, but hopefully Jim would get his shit together, work something out with the Begonians and this would be a novelty, a one night only thing. He had duties to perform, reports to write, for crying out loud. He was a doctor, not an alien babysitter.

He set the bag down with the bottle he’d brought from sickbay. He would need that for the middle of night feeding (yep, those memories coming back to him, too). Spock was too young to be given a bath at this juncture but he'd brought some sponges for that eventuality. Spock had that typical baby scent, McCoy remembered he’d loved that so much, sniffing the top of Joanna’s head. “Computer raise cabin temp,” he said softly and yawned again.

Spock seemed to be watching him with obvious interest in those huge dark cow eyes. “Yeah, I’m sleepy,” McCoy told him. “It's beddy-bye time and you got a snuggly wuggly warm bed to sleep in so Uncle Leonard can get a couple hours nap in before you’re hungry, right?” Spock studied the movements of McCoy’s mouth.

Obviously McCoy had no goddamned clue about Vulcan child behavior and rearing--there not being any at all information on Vulcan infants in the Enterprise library computer, so he was forced to go by a human child’s schedule of development. Spock, being half human would--

God, what was he saying? It’s not like Spock was going to be this way for good. Just temporarily.

McCoy gently placed Spock, with his blanket, his jammies with the feet in, tiny little knitted hat with the pompom on top into the bassinet, and laid another couple of blankets over the top of him. Should be warm enough.

Spock almost immediately began crying. Man, the lungs on this kid.

“Oh...What is it?” McCoy muttered. “What’s the matter, huh?” He picked up the stuffed duck, made some more quacking noises to the top of Spock’s head. Spock cried even harder. “What’s the matter, Honey? Need a diaper change?” He quickly checked the kid. Clean and dry as a bone. “Not hungry again, are you? Maybe you are?” McCoy padded over to the replicator, ordered up the bottle. He picked up Spock again, who immediately quieted. “Huh. Maybe that was the problem. You were hungry.” He offered the baby the bottle, but the child refused it. “Not hungry. Alright.” He set the bottle down. “You’re gonna make me bring out the heavy artillery. A lullaby. Even Joanna couldn’t resist that.”

With the babe in arms, McCoy settled into his desk chair with a groan. The chair wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world and goddamn, he wished it would magically transform into a rocker, with a back cushion, but it would suffice for now.

“Alright, kid. You asked for it. I can’t sing worth a shit—oops sorry, I cannot sing worth a crap-- so no snide comments from the peanut gallery.” He cleared his throat and sang the first tune coming to his tired mind:

“Twinkle Twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are!”

Spock promptly fell asleep. “How about that, eh?! Y'know. When you finally get changed back to an adult, If you ever tell anyone how I just butchered that poor song, I’ll tell everyone and then some, about your burping like a normal human being.”

He giggled to himself, satisfied with that rather devious threat. Gods, he must be delirious.

*

He snorted awake and found himself still sitting in the chair holding Baby Spock. Jesus, had he really been holding the kid all this time? He was sweating in his now overheated cabin. It was a wonder he hadn't dropped the poor little devil. Spock, thank God, was asleep, bless him. (Hmmm. Just like when he'd fallen asleep holding Joanna when he been catching up on his med-school homework late at night.) However, Uncle Leonard's back was killing him and he needed desperately to lie down in his own bunk.

First, he just needed to deposit this precious, slumbering little Vulcan into that gorgeous white wicker bassinet.

As soon as he laid Spock down, the kid awoke and began crying. Dammit.

“What’s the matter, Baby?”

He wondered if he should just go lie down in his bunk, leave Spock in his bassinet, let the kid cry himself to sleep. Sometimes that little trick worked with Joanna. Awful, but it worked.

He tried that for five full minutes before the mournful, downright funeral wailing tugged at his heart strings.

“Ohhhhh, alright, Honey...” He staggered back over to the bassinet. “Oh, Sweetheart. I'm sorry. Come on, Baby.” He leaned over and pick up the squalling infant and gently rocked the kid in his arms. “Shhhhh, 'sss alright, Pumpkin, I'm here.” Spock immediately quieted.

“Ohhh,” McCoy groaned out. He made it back over to his bunk and sat down. He then proceeded to lie down with Spock on his chest. As he rubbed the kid's back he knew this was probably not the safest thing to do in the universe, what if he rolled over or fell asleep and accidently let go of the pint sized Vulcan, making him drop onto the deck or--

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

*

One week later and Jim had still not managed to make the Begonians budge one centimeter.

McCoy yawned in his office, holding the infant against his chest. He scowled at his Commanding Officer who folded those green velour clad arms (amazingly the exact color as Spock's baby poop) with the captain's braid flashing in front of him, daring to just...shrug like that. “Jim. You. Have got. To be. Kidding. Me.”

“Bones, I’ve tried everything. I’m sorry. My negotiations fell flat. As a pancake.”

“Don’t apologize to me, you should tell poor Spock you’re sorry.”

“I can’t. He’s a baby.”

McCoy sighed and looked up at the ceiling bulkhead. “He’s a baby,” he mimicked. “He’s a fuc--“ He stopped his tirade, smiling down at the infant. “He’s a baby,” he broke out in sing-song. Spock merely blinked back at him. “You’re a baby, aren’t you, you’re a baby.”

“Bones!”

“Yeah, Jim?”

“You’re going insane.”

“I am, Jim. I can’t even get a full night’s sleep. I wake up every two hours terrified that I’ve somehow rolled over onto him. This kid will not sleep in it’s own bassinet. He has to sleep in bed with me--”

“In bed with you? Don't you think that's a bit much?”

“Then there’s the regularly scheduled feeding time during the night. And the early morning feeding time.”

“Why can’t he sleep in his own bed?”

“Whatttt? Because...Jim,” he explained patiently. “As soon as I place this here little sweetheart in his own bed, he screams at the top of his very well developed Vulcan lungs. I can’t live like this, Jim. I can’t work like this, I can’t eat like this. I can’t--”

“What?”

“Are you being deliberately obtuse with me, Jim? Huh? I said, I can’t put him down. He won’t let me put him down, anywhere, or he screams bloody murder. I can give you a demonstration if you'd like.”

“Thats...that’s ridiculous, Bones. You can put him down for two measly seconds.”

“I can’t.”

“You can.”

“Fine. Wanna hold this precious bundle of Vulcan joy so I can go relieve myself?”

“Sure!” Jim said with obvious feigned enthusiasm. “Give him here.”

“Fine. You asked for it.”

“He’s placid now.”

“That’ll change.”

“Uh huh. Sure, Bones. Well, then, hurry up and go while he’s quiet.” Jim held out his hands. “Come here, Spock!” he cooed. “Want Uncle Jim to hold you? Of course you do! Bones doesn’t know what he’s talking about, does he.”

McCoy rolled his eyes, got up, went over and passed the baby over to his captain. As soon as the kid left McCoy’s arms, he blushed green and wailed.

“That’s not a scream, Bones.”

“Don’t worry. It’ll come.”

“Hurry up and go, Bones.”

“Going!” McCoy walked, albeit a little slower than normal, yawning. He took a few too many minutes longer in the head, just to have a precious moment alone for once.

“Bones!”

“Coming!”

McCoy returned to his office find the kid now bright green and hysterical. (Actually he could hear the kid all the way on the other side of Sickbay.)

“Hurry up, Bones. Take this baby back.”

“I thought you said he wouldn't cry much? See what I mean, Jim?” He retrieved the little guy from Jim. Spock immediately quit his bellyaching, but did that typical baby snuffling after an extended crying fit. “Awwww, poor widdle guy.”

“Bones? Why do you have him dressed like he’s going to encounter a shipboard blizzard? Maybe he’s too hot. That's probably why he's crying so much.”

“He is not too hot. He has to be wrapped up like this. He’s freezing on this godforsaken ship!” McCoy snapped. “If you spent any time with this baby, you’d know that!”

“Right. Couldn't you, uh, sedate him at night? Maybe that would help.”

“Drug him so he sleeps, huh?”

“Yeah.”

McCoy stared at his captain, doing his best adult Spock impression, that patented stony faced 'I am not impressed' glare. “You serious?”

“Yeah.”

“Fucking hell, Jim.”

“What?”

“Really?! Sedate a baby just so I can get some sleep? Are you out of your goddamned mind, Jim?”

“Just trying to help, Bones.”

“You wanna help me? Then get the hell out of my sickbay, Captain Sir.”

“Alright, alright, calm down, Bones. I’ll work on that Begonia negotiation.” Jim turned on his heel and promptly left.

“Yeah, you get to work on that Begonia negotiation, Jim! Make some headway this time!” he yelled back at the closed door. “For crying out loud!” He looked down at the Vulcan in his arms. "Huh, Spock. For crying out loud."

*

 

Three weeks later…

“Bones.”

In his office, McCoy glanced up from his chair. “Yeah?”

“You look like hell.”

“No kidding. I'll have you know, this isn’t in my job description. Nowhere in my contract when I signed on to Starfleet service, did it say: ‘wet nurse for cranky little half-Vulcan infants’.” He looked down at the now six week old baby, feeding from a bottle.

“Sure it did. I'm sure it distinctly said in bold faced type: 'You have to be ready for anything'. Including 'wet nurse'.”

McCoy sighed, mightily. “What brings you by my neck of the woods, Jim?”

“The uh...negotiations with the Begonians--”

McCoy snapped his fingers with his free hand. “Lemmie guess: They wouldn’t budge.”

“And...we’re being ordered onto our next mission by Admiral Komack.”

“What?! We can't leave Spock like this! A baby? He's the first officer of this ship! What are we going to do? Are you absolutely certain you did threaten the Begonians with phaser power?”

“They knew it was a bluff. Are we're not leaving. Komack be damned. Are you impugning my my command capability, Bones?”

“No, Jim, but what about forcing federation censure, if they don’t comply? I don’t know, ban them from joining.”

“They said they had a right to do this. They won’t fix it. They don’t care about joining the Federation or not.”

“This is...an act of war, Jim.”

“Tell me about it. Which is why a team of diplomats are headed this way.”

“Jim?”

“Yeah, Bones?”

“Why in the hell can't we run little Spock through the transporter, call up his original pattern and re-solidify him as a fully grown pointy eared bastard?”

“You have a child in your arms and you talk like that?”

“Jim!”

“Can't. Won't work. I already discussed it with Scotty. Since Spock was changed by the Begonians, only they can un-do this.”

“What a load of utter bullshit.”

“My goodness, Bones, did your momma talk that way around you when you were a kid?”

McCoy pointed towards the door. “Out, Captain, Sir!”

*

“Hey, Jim. Do me a favor and hold this kid so I can take a shower.”

“Oh, Bones. Come on.”

“It’s your first officer, Jim! The least you could do is hold him for five minutes.”

“I know, but I’m not a baby kind of guy.”

“Oh and I suppose I am?”

“Of course you are. Daddy.”

McCoy rolled his eyes. “I am not Spock's daddy. Thank the good Lord in Heaven.”

“Spock's smiling.”

McCoy looked. “Nah, that's just gas. Here.”

“He'll cry when I hold him,” Jim whined. “He looks so fragile, I'm afraid I'll break him.”

“He'll be fine,” McCoy replied, feeling terrible guilt when passing the baby over. “I'm sorry,” he said more to Spock than Jim.

“Look at those huge tears, rolling down his cheeks.”

“I know, it breaks my heart. Just talk soothingly to him. Be careful, protect his head. I'll be five minutes max. I gotta take a shower Jim. I smell like a game animal.”

*

During the staff meeting Spock suddenly broke wind... loudly.

“For the record, that wasn’t me,” McCoy announced.

“Sure it wasn’t,” Scotty replied, laughing.

“Very funny.” McCoy pointed down at the culprit cradled in his arms.

“Blame it on the poor baby,” Kirk told him.

“You have to bring him everywhere?” Scotty asked.

“Yup. Sure do. Now can we get back to discussing the negotiations with the Begonians? Please?”

“Dr. McCoy's a downright natural with the wee lad,” Scotty said, chuckling.

“Know what, Scotty? Tri-monthly physicals are coming up soon. I'm trying to decide who's gonna be my first victim.”

“Aye,” Scotty said, eyes downcast, sobering and quieting.

“How are you gonna perform physicals with a babe in arms, Bones?”

“Never you mind, Jim. Begonians, Jim!”

*

Jim had come down to sick-bay and offered to help change Spock's diaper. Jim had never changed a baby's diaper in his life, and came down to offer his help to McCoy, instead of dealing with the ongoing Begonian situation. So McCoy had handed his captain the ointment (for Spock's delicate little baby behind) and said: “Fine, Jim, you wanna change his diaper, change away, Sir.”

And, of course, Spock being a normal male child, did what male infants usually did best when their diaper was off and their genitalia was exposed to the cold, they urinated on whoever was changing them. And Spock didn't let McCoy down.

McCoy had giggled like a madman when it had happened.

“Uhhhh!” Jim screeched out, covering the baby back up with the diaper, but not before he'd gotten pee'd on. A huge wet spot spread over the captain's baby-poop green fatigues. Kirk glanced down and frowned. “Dammit.”

“That's my boy,” McCoy said, hand on the baby's head, smiling with pride.

That'll teach the captain to stay up on that bridge where he belongs.

*

He'd found that Spock didn't like tub baths. Not at all. Not even a sonic bath. Hurt his precious little pointy ears.

“Well, I suppose keeping it to sponge baths aren't gonna kill ya, are they? Poor little sweetheart, it's alright.” He then cut the tiny little fingernails, remembering doing that for little Joanna.

*

He couldn't get over that the most adorable thing he'd ever witnessed was holding Spock against his shoulder, rubbing the kid's back and listening to Spock burp. Loudly. Every time it elicited a giggle from his own lips. “I should be recording this for posterity.”

*

Spock didn't like being undressed and then dressed (in his little onesies and sleepers and jacket and hat), and fought against it with everything he had. So to combat this, McCoy used the time to talk to the baby, coo at him, giving the little Vulcan a running commentary in the most scientific language possible, something the adult Spock would have enjoyed, trying to distract the kid from the indignity and discomfort of it all.

He also couldn't resist loudly kissing each hand and foot as it appeared through sleeves or legs, playing peek-a-boo and it seemed to make things enjoyable. He hoped.

*

He found that as long as he had Spock sleeping on his chest--McCoy usually with his own shirt off and the baby fully clothed—after his 21:00 feeding, Spock only woke up once in the night, precisely at 02:45, to be fed and changed. It worked out well for the both of them and McCoy found that he was now able to function better in the daytime (as long as he had that strong cup of morning coffee).

Spock slept in the crook of his arm while he worked in his office then McCoy took breaks for the daytime feedings/burpings/changing. Sickbay and the other areas of the ship were obviously bustling and noisy and it didn't affect the slumbering bundle of joy, as long as they were in physical contact.

Dr. Sanchez had taken on his other patients for the time being, as McCoy concentrated on Spock, at this point in time the most important patient of all.

*

Spock, like a typical baby, seemed to enjoy looking at his reflection in the mirror and images on viewscreens and type font on PADD's.

*
Another adorable discovery: Spock with hiccups.

*
At eight weeks old, Spock smiled. Really smiled. Damn, he really should be recording. It was the most precious thing he'd ever seen in his life, (besides Joanna's first smile).

Spock also began exhibiting signs of strong eye-hand coordination, reaching for objects and studying them, (and also bringing them to his mouth).

*

After smiling that first time, Spock now would deliver that killer toothless grin at McCoy every time McCoy smiled at him. And McCoy positively delighted in smiling at his—rather the—baby.

*

Spock could now hold his head up without support. When put on his stomach (and McCoy did this always in physical contact, with at least a hand on him) Spock could raise himself up.

*
And then there was the day Spock began laughing. Cackling. Squealing in delight when McCoy blew raspberries on his belly. Odd, he thought a Vulcan child would be a lot more serious than this. And as long as they were in physical contact, Spock was an extremely happy baby. Obviously Vulcans possessed emotions, but at what age did they actively start repressing them? As usual there was absolutely nothing in the Enterprise data banks where Vulcans were concerned. He supposed they could contact Spock's parents, but Jim wanted to hold off on that just yet.

*

“You're enjoying this a little too much, Bones.”

“Jim, how's the Begonia situation going?”

“The ambassadors are working on it.”

“It's taking FOREVER, Jim.”

“I know, I know. We have to be patient.”

“Yeah, meanwhile, I gotta a kid to raise.”

“Yep,” Jim said glumly.

*

Spock soon began babbling at him, “ba-ba-ba and da-da-da” just like a human infant would. The child was indeed exercising his linguistics (as the kid used the right side of his mouth to vocalize). McCoy wondered if he shouldn't try to steer the kid into speaking Vulcan syllables, but changed his mind since it wouldn't matter in the long run (when Spock was changed back into an adult, anyway, hopefully).

McCoy kept up speaking constantly to the baby, narrating everything he did. Spock appeared completely fascinated by the sound of McCoy's voice.

*

“Spock, which snugly do you want to wear?”

“Da-da-ba-da ba ba.”

“Yes, you like that one? Science officer blue? Is that the one you want, Pumpkin?”

“Ba-eee-ba-ba.”

“Alright, Honey. I like that one, too.”

*

“Who's that, Spock? Is that Jim?” McCoy asked the kid.

“Ba-ee-ba-aeee,” Spock said.

“And who's that?” Jim asked in an equally high pitched, sing-songy tone of voice as he pointed, “Is that Booooones?”

“Da-da,” Spock replied on cue.

“Sounds like he said, 'Daddy',” Jim noted.

“He did not say 'Daddy', Jim. He said 'Da-da'. There's a difference.”

“Is there?”

“Uh huh.”

*

Spock seemed to enjoy having medical and scientific reports read out to him. The kid took an active interest and replied back in baby babble.

“If you weren't already the science officer, I'd say you have quite the aptitude in medicine,” McCoy said, proudly. "That's my boy."

*

One evening as he cuddled Spock in his quarters, the Vulcan reached out a tiny splayed hand. McCoy dipped his head obligingly and allowed the child to explore his face. Spock proved exceedingly tactile, seemingly memorizing every centimeter though his fingertips.

*

He'd began wearing Spock (in a carrier) as soon as the babe had been able to hold his own head up. At first he'd faced the baby outward, so the baby could view his surroundings, but Spock preferred facing him.

At first when they began going to the mess hall in this fashion, the female crew wouldn't leave them alone, now he'd done it so much that they barely batted an eyelash.

*

He'd noticed that after Spock had touched him on the face, he didn't need to be in constant physical contact anymore. Of course he cuddled and held the little guy as much as he could, but now Spock could briefly be put down for naps in his own bassinet. And those dark blue eyes had darkened into beautiful obsidian orbs.

*

He delighted in teaching the kid with simple pictures of animals, or identifying objects and watching some learning vids. He never got to experience this fun with Joanna as by that point he'd started his residency. Joss had had to handle all of that.

*
He played classical music for the both of them to enjoy as he fed Spock his nighttime bottle, then gave the kid a baby massage.

*

Spock loved exploring his new universe of McCoy's quarters, touching everything (safe), within grasping distance. He could roll over, sit up without support and turned in direction of McCoy's voice. He'd even began sleeping through the night, eliminating the 02:45 bottle. He voiced dismay if McCoy took his prized stuffed ducky out of his clutches. He sucked on his own fingers and listened intently as McCoy sang songs to him.

*

It had been six months, almost seven, and should have felt like an eternity since Spock had become a baby, but it seemed like only an instant. Spock had grown so fast. Spock had already cut his first tooth. He'd started Spock on solid foods, doing that whole: “Come on Spock, here's the shuttlecraft flying into the lunar tunnel” spooning it into his mouth and laughing heartily at the terrible face Spock made when tasting his first pureed vegetables.

Spock had recently began pulling himself up, standing up and holding on for dear life at the edge of McCoy's bunk, when Jim hailed him on the desk comm.

“McCoy here,” he said, watching Spock like a hawk as he took the call.

“Bones!”

“Yeah, Jim?” He kept his eyes planted on the kid.

“Success.”

“What do you mean?”

“The Begonians have capitulated. The negotiations were a success! They're apologetic and willing to change Spock back into an adult.”

“Oh my God!” McCoy said, watching Spock.

“Yes, isn't it great? We're beaming down with him in an hour.”

“No…Jim…it's Spock! Oh my God, he's taking his first steps!” McCoy lunged over. “Come on Sweetheart, come here!”

Spock took three unassisted steps towards McCoy, then sat down hard on his butt, the diaper breaking the fall. McCoy giggled.

“Bones.”

“Come on, Spock.” McCoy leaned over and brought Spock up to his feet. “Gonna try it again, Honey?”

“Bones.”

McCoy backed away from Spock a few paces. “Alright. You can do it! Walk to me, Spock!”

“Bones!”

“Yeah, Jim?”

“Have him ready to go within the hour.”

*

McCoy and Spock had been of course late to the transporter room. Jim stood there, tapping his foot, waiting patiently. But McCoy had wanted to make sure Spock had had his last feeding, his stuffed ducky, had changed his diaper and given him a quick sponge bath and dressed him in his favorite outfit, a blue furry onesie with matching knitted hat.

Jim scowled at the both of them. “He's not going to need that stuffed duck any longer, just leave it behind.”

“He likes it right now,” McCoy replied, stubbornly.

“Fine, let's go.”

With a heavy heart, clutching Spock, McCoy stepped onto the circular pad.

“Energize,” Kirk said.

*

The Begonians motioned for McCoy to hand over Spock.

“Let me say goodbye to him, first."

“Bones,” Jim warned, but the Begonians nodded their consent.

McCoy walked far enough away from Jim and the aliens to give himself and Spock some semblance of privacy. “Be a good boy. It won't hurt. I bet it'll only take a second.”

“Da-da,” Spock said.

“Yeah.” He pulled off the knitted hat revealing that thick black hair. He kissed the top of Spock's head, getting that last sniff in of the baby scent. He was gonna miss that smell. “You're not gonna remember any of this...maybe we're both better off that way.”

“Da-da,” Spock said, again. He reached up towards McCoy's face, gracing his cheek gently with his fingertips.

“I'm gonna miss you, Sweetheart. I love you. But it's time to go.”

“Bye bye?”

“That's right, Kid. Bye bye.” McCoy walked slowly back to Jim and the Begonians. He gulped as he handed Spock over, the boy still clutching his stuffed ducky.

Sheer panic appeared in Spock's eyes. “Da-da!”

“It's alright, Sweetheart. Be a good boy.” He waved at Spock. “Bye bye.”

“Da-da!” Tiny arms reached out towards him. “Noooo! Da-da!”

The Begonians walked away to the booth with Spock. Spock began crying, then screaming. "Da-da!" McCoy watched until he couldn't see them any longer. He could still hear Spock calling out for him. He studied the little knitted hat in his hand, rubbing his left eye.

“He sure was attached to you,” Jim said.

McCoy didn't answer his captain, just kept...studying the little hat in his hands.

The screaming stopped abruptly. They both looked up.

A few moments later, Spock--the adult version of him, dressed in his uniform, business as usual-- came towards and halted in front of them. “Captain. Dr. McCoy. It is gratifying to see you.”

“Spock,” Jim said. “Welcome back.”

*

Back on board ship, McCoy silently directed Spock to lie down on the bio-bed and scanned him thoroughly. “Well, Mr. Spock, your seven month 'medical leave' notwithstanding, It appears you're four-oh.”

“I take it, Doctor, that is a good thing."

“Uh huh.” McCoy waved him off the bed. “You're absolutely fine. You're physiologically and psychologically as you should be: A thirty seven year old male half Vulcan.”

Spock eyed him curiously. “Obviously.”

“You're dismissed from sickbay,” McCoy said, his tone curt. “Get some rest, Mr. Spock.”

“Acknowledged, Doctor,” Spock said, in an equally curt tone of voice. He turned on his heel and exited.

McCoy yawned into his fist. “Time for beddy-bye,” he whispered to himself.

*

Thankfully, Quartermaster had beamed all the offending baby stuff out of his cabin so he didn't have to look at it upon re-entering. He'd only the little knitted baby hat to remind him of--

Oh hell, he really should chuck this thing into the recycler, too.

He set it on his desk.

The cabin temp was set at the normal human variable now and to be honest it felt positively freezing in here. Well, he wouldn’t be sleeping in only his underwear any longer. He removed only the blue tunic and his boots and flopped down on his bunk face down in his black regulation t-shirt and trousers and socks.

Time for beddy-bye.

But, instead of beddy-bye, he found himself tossing and turning all night. Dammit. He kept expecting to hear Spock's little sleepy time sighs and missed giving the kid his nighttime bottle at 21:00 hours. Now the cabin was lonely. Too damned quiet.

Didn't feel like listening to any classical music when it was just him to enjoy it, anyway. Well, he was gonna have to get used to being alone in here again.

Of course, Spock, as was expected, was dealing with this just fine in his own quarters—certainly didn't even remember being a baby the second time around, didn't remember being taken care of by the kindly ol' chief medical officer-- and Leonard McCoy was going to have to deal with this silly human...separation anxiety in his own way.

If he'd dared mention anything to Spock about this, the Vulcan would simply scoff, as he usually did, would find his feelings illogical. So it was best not to say a damned word about it.

It was his own fault for getting so attached to that baby in the first place, anyhow. He probably just missed Joanna. That was why he was having so much trouble. Well, she was grown (so fast) and Spock was grown (equally fast it seemed) and now he was alone. Again.

*

He strode out of his quarters early the next morning. Got himself a double 'red-eye' and slurped it down, grumbling at Jim as the captain muttered there'd be a staff meeting this afternoon, to discuss the new mission. He knew his eyes were bloodshot, he had dark circles under them, bags, but thankfully Jim didn't mention it.

At the staff meeting, Spock had seemed a little off, perhaps tired, his attention seeming to waver. But granted even if he was physically fine, he most likely needed some settling in as an adult, after being on mental sabbatical for seven months. McCoy'd observe for a week and if Spock's behavior still appeared unusual, he'd yank the pointy eared pain in the ass into sickbay for some more psych tests.

*

The next night was no better. Just fucking tossed and turned. Goddammit.

He threw his pillow against the bulkhead and got up to do some charting.

*

As to be expected, he was even grumpier the next day. He felt so fatigued, he had to give himself a stimulant. He spent the rest of his day chewing out underlings.

Tonight, if he didn't fall asleep he'd have to medicate himself and he fucking hated that.

*

He lay on his bunk, staring up at the bulkhead ceiling. He'd brought those sleeping pills along. He was just about to get up, fetch himself a glass of water and down a couple of 'em when his door buzzer sounded. He glanced at the chrono, 21:00 hours.

He sat up. “Come,” he called out.

The doors opened to admit Spock. The Vulcan hesitated before he'd entered, but finally did so and halted in front of him, arms locked behind his back.

“Spock?” McCoy stood. “What brings you by? Everything alright?”

“Am I disturbing you?”

“Uh...” He threw a glance over in the direction of the bottle of sleeping pills. “Not really, no.” He sat down in the chair beside his desk. “Something on your mind?”

“You cared for me while I was a child.”

“Yes. Been talking to Jim, huh? He fill you in?”

“Negative.”

“Oh.” McCoy cleared his throat. “Well, you're probably wanting an explanation as to 'why'. Well, it was uh...logical...for me to take on the child rearing duties. Being as I am a, uh--”

“Father.”

“Yes, there's that and I'm a doctor, so you know...” McCoy coughed into his fist. “It was logical.”

“You said that.”

“Ah, yes. So you... uh... It's, uh...funny you're here at 21:00. This is about the time I used to give you your bottle...when you got a little older and you no longer needed that 02:45 hundred hour feedings...and uh...”

“I must admit I felt drawn to your quarters at this precise time.”

“Did you?”

“Indeed.”

“You don't...uh...remember being a baby...do you? I mean, of course you don't, what the hell am I saying. Sorry. I'm not making much sense. I'm really exhausted. Haven't been sleeping well for the past few days. Actually, not at all.”

“Nor have I,” Spock admitted.

“I figured that. But, Vulcans can go without sleep for--”

“We can. However, as of late, I find myself particularly exhausted but unable to sleep.”

“Oh. Well, here you go. Got just the thing. These particular pills are safe for Vulcans. These'll knock you right out.” He leaned over and grabbed the bottle. “Just double the dosage by--”

“I am uninterested in meds. I must speak with you.”

McCoy set the bottle back down and leaned forward. “Well, shoot. What is it?”

“The reason I cannot sleep. And perhaps why you cannot.”

“Yes?” McCoy motioned, losing patience. “Spit it out, man!”

“As a baby, I forged a mental bond with you.”

“We did become pretty attached to each other, didn't we."

“This is more than an attachment. It is a bond. Our minds are linked. I performed a mind meld with you while I was a child.”

“Vulcan babies can do that?”

“Indeed they can. Usually the bond with the mother is formed in the womb, then the father shortly after birth. However in cases of adoption, a bond can be performed later, usually initiated by the infant themselves.”

McCoy gaped at him. “Parent-child bond? Our minds are linked?”

“Yes.”

“But you have...you have perfectly good parents. I never adopted you.”

“Yes, I am well aware of that. Sarek and Amanda are my biological parents. However, my recent stint as a baby has overridden the bond I shared with them. I bonded with you. I now consider you my parent.”

“I'm not...” McCoy cleared his throat. “Besides the fact that your REAL parents are not gonna like this one bit--We're only ten years apart, Spock. I'm not old enough to be your father.”

“You are my father,” Spock declared.

“I see. Well, we certainly do have a problem.”

“We do.”

They stared at each other for a few moments.

“I am suffering from severe separation anxiety,” Spock said, eventually breaking the long silence. “As are you. Vulcan children and their parents are not usually physically separated from each other for the first two years.”

“But you're an adult, now. Won't this,” he motioned between them, “fade away, eventually?”

“Not on its own. We will require proper treatment on Vulcan. I will need to re-bond with Sarek and Amanda.”

“Great. So until then, you and I are gonna have a hell of a time coping. Is that what you're saying?”

“Yes. However, there is a way around it, temporarily.”

“Well, tell me. I'm all ears,” McCoy said. Spock smirked slightly at that and McCoy found himself reminded of an adorable, laughing baby Spock.

“We should sleep together.”

McCoy jerked his head up. “What?!”

“Not sexually. I mean sleep, in the same bed, in close proximity, like we did when I was an infant.”

“You remember.”

“I remember, because of the bond I share with you, I sense your memory.”

McCoy shook his head. “This is crazy. You propose that we cuddle in bed together so we can what?”

“Sleep.”

McCoy leaned forward in his chair, contemplating it for a few moments, palms firmly planted on his kneecaps. Eventually he stood up. He knew exactly what Spock wanted from him. What Spock needed. And sleep, was extremely enticing right now. He motioned towards the bed. “Well, come on, it's beddy bye time. Isn't it, Honey.”

Spock nodded and followed him obediently to the bed, sitting down. McCoy knelt in front of him and removed the Vulcan's boots. “You don't want a bottle, do ya?”

“Perhaps tomorrow night,” Spock said softly.

“You're kidding,” McCoy said.

Spock shrugged and looked at him with those dark eyes, not quite so huge now that he was a fully grown man.

“Computer, raise temp ten degrees. Will that be enough, Spock?”

“Yes, Father. Your body heat will keep me warm.”

McCoy laughed nervously as he stripped down to his underwear. “You know this has gotta be the kinkiest thing I've ever done in the sack with someone and I'm not even getting laid.”

“Agreed.”

“Ohhhh, what have I gotten myself into? Come here.” He held out his arms. Spock immediately slid right into his embrace, his head resting on McCoy's shoulder. McCoy caressed the soft black hair then kissed Spock's forehead. He held him close for long, long moments, stroking Spock's back. "That better, Sweetheart?" Spock nodded.

Eventually, he broke the embrace to clamber into his bunk.

He pulled back the covers. Spock climbed in, next to him and snuggled back into his arms.

“Lights out,” McCoy began, till Spock grunted. “Computer leave a night-light on. That better?”

“Yes, Father.”

“Good night, Sweetheart.”

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

_______________
end