“He’s in there.”
Jim glanced to where Bones pointed. A room off the main part of the sickbay. He made himself nod but he stepped toward the room with no little trepidation. He swiped his hand across the scanner and the door slid open.
Jim had been half expecting him to be standing there in miniature versions of the uniform pants, boots and blue tunic. But no he wore jeans and a gray sweater with athletic shoes. He had a brief bemused moment of wondering who had dressed him. He would guess Nurse Chapel.
“Hello,” he said softly to the small boy in the room.
The boy, a Vulcan, tilted his head very slightly in curiosity. “Good afternoon.”
Jim smiled slightly. “I’m Captain Kirk.”
“I guessed as much. I am Spock.”
He approached this little version of his first officer and crouched down beside him. “Yes, I know.”
“I am on the Enterprise?”
“That’s right. Do you-do you remember how you got here?”
“I do not. I recall waking up in the medical unit and a doctor greeted me saying that his name was Leonard McCoy.” Spock paused. “I asked to speak to either my mother or father and was told that I had to wait to speak with you, Captain Kirk. A nurse brought me these clothes because I was only wearing a hospital gown. I do not seem to be injured.”
“It’s a little complicated, Spock,” Jim whispered. “You aren’t exactly injured.”
“Then may I leave this place? I request that my parents come to pick me up.”
“Your parents aren’t on board,” Jim said gently.
“Oh. How did I come to be on this vessel without my parents?”
“You…stay with me. Or you did.” Jim rubbed his chest. “There are things I wish I could tell you. I can only say right now that you used to be different and Bones is not certain he can get you to that point again.”
“Then you are my guardian on this ship?” He was impossibly, sweetly young. Just a child. Probably no more than nine or ten, was Bones’ guess.
Jim had no idea what to do with any of this. “Yes. You and I are bo—um, yes, I am responsible for you here.”
“I do not recall you.”
And that ached, though Jim couldn’t do anything about that. “I know. You must be frightened."
“Negative. I am not. Vulcans do not become frightened. And anyway, I do not think you would harm me.”
“I would not.” Jim would rather cut off his own appendages than hurt Spock.
“Will you take me to where I am staying then? I do not like it here.”
“You can leave for now but you might have to come back here if Bones figures out how to reverse-how to fix this.”
“Very well.” Spock nodded. “I stay with you?”
“Well you do or did, yeah. But, um, I’m not sure if you still will.”
“If you are my guardian, I should stay with you.”
Jim nodded and stood. “All right, come with me, for now.”
He reached his hand out for the boy and for a moment, Spock hesitated, but then he put his hand in Jim’s and Jim led him from the sickbay.