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“...and this here is the medbay!”

Doctor Leonard McCoy looked up from his paperwork to find Jim Kirk strolling into his medbay, two children following obediently at his heels. It was a human boy and a girl, both with dark hair and brown eyes. They looked to be in the age range of seven to ten, with the girl being slightly taller than the boy.

“Kids, this is Doctor Bones! Want to say hi?”

The two gave him a shy but polite wave from behind him.

“Jim, what are you doing here?”

“Oh, nothing much. I just need you to watch these two for a little bit.”

McCoy’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. He grabbed the captain by the shoulder. “If you’ll just excuse us for a minute,” he told the children. Shuffling Jim along, he led the blonde haired man into his office, making sure his office door was shut firmly before rounding on Jim.

"Look, I know what you’re thinking. But I only need you to watch them for a couple of hours!"

"Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a babysitter!" He looked out through the glass of his office door to study the two small children, sitting calmly side by side on an unoccupied biobed. "Can't you pass them off to someone else?"

"Everyone else is busy; it's either you or Scotty, and I'm sure you can understand why I came to you first. I would do it if I could, but I need to help the Ambassador with damage control over that stupid stunt one of his underlings pulled. It shouldn't take much more than a few hours, and he says he'll come pick them up afterwards."

McCoy looked around their stark, sterile environment. "And how exactly am I suppose to entertain a couple of kids in a medbay?"

"I don't know, give them a PADD with some games on it or something. Look, they shouldn't be any trouble. The Ambassador says they've been really subdued since... well, since their mother died, they've hardly spoken a word. He'd rather they not be alone, even if it means someone's just checking up on them every once and a while. Please say you'll do it, Bones?"

McCoy sighed, wearily running a hand through his hair in exasperation. "Alright, fine. But you owe me!"

"Thanks Bones, you're the best!" Jim grinned, opening up the office door and crouching down to address the boy and girl waiting on the other side. "This is Bones, he's gonna keep an eye on you for a few hours while I help your dad with his work, okay?"

The children nodded, and Jim smiled at them. "Great! I'm off then. You three have fun!" He stood back up, and with a quick wave he exited the sickbay, leaving McCoy with two children who looked at him with somber expressions.

 

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Jim Kirk walked into the sickbay hours later and stopped in his tracks when he heard the sound of childish laughter. He looked over to the far side of the room, where the kids sat side by side on one of the bio beds as McCoy told them a story with wide, gesticulating motions.

"... And then his hands blew up to the size of grapefruits!"

"No way!"

"Cross my heart, I swear it's true. Next thing you know..."

"Isn't it wonderful?"

Jim turned to see Christine Chapel standing beside him, a soft smile on her face.

"I thought the Ambassador would have come to pick them up already?"

"Oh, he came all right. As soon as he saw this, though, he walked straight back out. He was so happy to see his kids smile again. Did you know that they haven't smiled since their mother died? Not even once. It's a miracle."

Jim's attention was pulled back to the trio as another round of giggles sounded from across the room. He was content to let his presence go unnoticed for a while longer as he stood there, smiling contently at the scene before him.