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Epidemic.

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Theres an epidemic on the Enterprise.

Ok, maybe thats being dramatic, but you know what? Its been a bitch of a week and Uhura reserves the right to be dramatic.

The epidemic, thankfully, is just a weird and horrible version of the terran flu. Non-fatal, and easily tamed, but mostly affecting everyone on board thats under 21 years of age.

And between frantic parents trying to contact home for reassurance, and helping McCoy try getting hold of any and all specialists he can think of, and having to rearrange the ships shift schedules around any ensign unfortunate enough to catch it, Uhura is exhausted.

The entire crew has rallied around the sick kids as much as they can. Since their parents cant always sit with them, because even under fire from alien flu the Enterprise needs to keep going, and sometimes even parents need a little break, they’ve been taking turns sitting in the pediatric section of medbay and distracting the kids. Singing and reading stories and playing games and sometimes (if you were an engineer) building things just so you could show them how to blow it up again.

There good kids, even when they’re cranky and itchy and more than a little whiny. Most importantly, they’re Enterprise kids, and that means every crewmember, legal guardian or not, has been slightly on edge all week. The Captain has done a remarkably good job of hiding it, but even he’s been more than a little short with his orders lately.

Strolling into the special ward, she waves at Christine when she passes and expects to find a bunch of grumpy kids, bored out of their minds and uncomfortable from the fever. Instead she finds a almost silent medbay, every kid cuddled up with their pillows and blankets on the floor, laying next to and under and buried in besides each other. In the center sits Jim Kirk, in his uniform blacks, hair rumpled and somehow three toddlers and a giant story book propped up on his lap.

He’s reading some old terran book to them, voice low and smooth and an almost sing song quality to it at he acts out a great adventure using only his voice. Even the teenagers are leaning forward, barely concentrating on anything but the next word put of his mouth.

Uhura smiles and settles in. The calm might not last, but she’ll enjoy it while she can.


 

“Are we out of the woods yet, Bones?” He’d hardly heard Jim walking up behind him. The toddler cuddled up against his shirt snuffled and tried to borrow deeper into the Captains chest.

Len reached out and smoothed Izzy’s hair slowly, the way he remembered Joanna liking when she was sick as a kid. “Thankfully, we were never in the woods, Jim. It may be a miserable little bug, but that’s all it is.” He sighed and pulled up another patients info on his padd.

“Anything else we can do to help?” Uhura stepped up beside the Captain, cradling Izzy’s twin in her arms. Somehow she looked perfectly calm, despite the unholy tantrum he knew the toddler had pulled before, when the kid realized medicine was a must, not a maybe. Poor thing.

Come to think of it, he wasn’t sure which twin Jim was holding. He doubted Jim knew himself. It didn’t really matter.

He sighed again, he seemed to be doing that a lot lately, and tossed the empty padd onto a nearby bed. “Nothing we can do at this point. It’s a virus - painkillers every six hours and as much fluids as we can get into them. Shouldn’t last more than ten days, but the first half of those will be hell. Especially since there’s so many of them. “

He paused, taking in the way Jim was rocking gently, most likely without realizing it, and the way Nyota was singing under her breath while listening intently. If he had deal with a pediatric epidemic, he was glad it was with this crew.

He smiles. “Keep doing what you’re doing. They’re small and they’re scared, because it hurts and they don’t know why. So just…keep doing what you’re doing.”

Jim grins, a tired, lazy sort of smile. “Well, you know me Bones. Always up for kissing some babies.” Uhura snorts, somehow making it sound elegant, and flicks Jim with her little finger.

“Come on Captain. You promised storytime.”

“Now Lieutenant. Just admit you love the sound of my voice.” Uhura laughs again, walking away and Jim follows.

Yeah. A pretty good crew.