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Some Assembly Required

Title: Some Assembly Required
Author: themintytwins 
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Kirk/McCoy
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, but I sure wish I did.
Summary: Jim is temporarily de-aged to a toddler, and he wreaks havoc on Medbay. Bones feels like he probably should have seen this coming.
 

When Leonard first entered Medbay, he nearly had a heart attack. He'd been told that the ambassador Jim was entertaining had, for some reason and with some alien magic, technology, or what-have-you, de-aged his captain to a toddler, and he'd been told that its effects wouldn't last more that twenty-four hours. What he hadn't been told was that he could expect his Medbay to be completely destroyed.

One Biobed was overturned. Another was missing its mattress. There was a box of medical supplies—thankfully nothing hazardous to a child—strewn on the floor. And there were no nurses in sight.

"You're Bones." Leonard turned to the only untouched Biobed. There was Jim, sitting with his feet swinging over the edge of the bed. He looked confused. "Who are you?"

"I'm Doctor McCoy—" He offered, but the boy cut him off.

"I know. You're Bones, but…" his face screwed up slightly. He obviously did not know where to go from there. Leonard sighed and crossed the room to sit on the bed with him.

"You're just confused, Jim. Don't worry about what you don't remember, okay? It won't matter in a few hours." He paused, and when Jim nodded slightly, confusion still evident on his face, he changed subjects.

"What happened to my Medbay?" The sheepish grin that got him was, in a word, adorable.

"I don't remember."

"Jim." he warned.

"You said it was okay if I don't remember!" He said, pointing an accusatory finger his way.

"But I didn't say it was okay to lie." McCoy said. Jim considered this for a moment, then hopped off the bed.

"I was just playing." He stooped to pick up a piece of bandage, extending it to the doctor. "I was bored."

"I don't doubt it." He accepted the bandage. "Where did the nurses go?"

"Um, he said he'd be right back?" Jim said, more as a question, "and not to touch anything." The boy glanced around again and shrugged.

"Uh-huh. Jim, how old are you?"

"Jimmy. And I'm five and three quarters."

"Five and three quarters, huh?" Jim nodded. "All right, Jimmy. Is it okay if I run some tests while we wait for the nurse?" Jim nodded. McCoy lifted him onto the edge of the Biobed again, and the toddler resumed kicking his feet as he pulled out his tricorder.

A few minutes and two tests later, the door to Medbay swooshed open. The nurse, Rogers, stopped short inside the door, his eyes going comically wide.

"That was my reaction." Leonard said, and the man jumped. "You have any kids, Rogers?"

"No, Sir." He said.

"Shocking. Here's a pro tip: never leave a five year old alone. Even if he is your captain… in fact, especially if he's your captain." He nodded, and McCoy added, "Call Chapel, and clean up this mess."

"Yes Sir." The nurse backtracked out of the room, and Leonard flipped his tricorder shut. Jim took this as a signal that they were finished, and hopped down from the bed. Bones grabbed the PADD from the end of the Biobed, and quickly punched in a few notes.

"Looks like you're okay, Jimmy." Leonard said, mostly to keep the boy informed, even if he didn't necessarily understand. Jim nodded affirmation. "Why don't you come with me to my office until Nurse Chapel comes? She's off shift right now, but I think she'd be happy to take you somewhere more interesting than Medbay."

"Okay." Jimmy glanced at the PADD in Leonard's hands. "Can I color?"

"Sure. I think I've got an old PADD in my office you can use until Chapel get here." Leonard opened the door to his office and followed and eager Jimmy inside. The toddler instantly ran to sit on the floor in front of his desk, ignoring the chairs completely. Leonard pulled open a drawer where he kept some of his older, outdated PADDS—just in case he should need one—and grabbed one. He pulled up a paint program, handing it to Jim.

The boy smiled brilliantly and instantly set to coloring. Leonard did think he'd ever seen Jim so quiet and so intent, with his tongue clamped between his teeth as he used his fingers to fill in a small, red blob somewhat reminiscent of an apple.

After a moment Jim glanced up at him, somewhat nervously, and deleted his picture. He started again, then promptly deleted it. Leonard frowned, and moved to sit behind his desk, where he could see the top of Jim's head, but the pictures were concealed.

"Why'd you delete your picture, Jimmy?" He asked.

"It was bad." Jim replied. The room was quiet for a moment, before the sound of another picture being deleted broke the silence. "I can't draw very good."

"Says who?"

"Everybody." Leonard frowned.

"Who's everybody, Jim?" Silence, again, and then the response.

"Me." He paused. "and Frank, too." Leonard's expression darkened, but he quickly schooled it into one of indifference. He'd heard of Frank—bits and pieces when Jim was feeling particularly open (or drunk). Still, it burned him to hear anything about the man, but Jim certainly didn't need him getting angry at a man who wasn't even here.

"I thought it was really good, Jimmy." He said off-handedly. The boy eyed him warily from behind the desk. "I wish you didn't delete it, I think I would like a copy."

"I could draw another one." Jim said.

"Just as good?" Leonard said. Jim stared at him for a moment, then nodded.

"I'll try." He ducked his head down again, and Leonard went back to typing up Jim's file. He didn't care if Jim wasn't really a child. Every kid deserves to be told he'll be the world greatest painter or Starfleet captain, true or not.

A few minutes later, the printer beside his desk came to life. How Jim knew how to work anything as archaic as a paper printer was beyond him—he only kept the thing around for familiarities sake, and Jim never failed to torment him for it. When it finished printing, the doctor grabbed it from the printer, and held it up to the light, as though appraising it.

"Perfect." He said, setting the paper down on his desk. Jim smiled and ducked his head again, presumably to draw another picture. It was another few minutes of silence, with McCoy and Jim both working quietly on their own, before Chapel rang the call on Leonard's office door. She didn't wait to be invited in, and Leonard didn't miss the way her eyes lit up at the sight of their admittedly adorably captain.

"Captain, what are you—"

"Jimmy." He said bluntly. Chapel took the interruption well, smiling slightly at the boy's slight lisp.

"What're you building, Jimmy?" Leonard's head snapped up at that.

"Building?" He stood from his desk and stared down at the boy. What was once his PADD, was now seven, neatly organized piles of the pieces of a PADD. Jim, noticing that he was looking, tried to block his view. "Jim!"

"Um… I'm sorry?" He offered. Leonard carded a hand through his hair, sighing in frustration. He's just a toddler.

"Its okay, Jimmy. Just… you broke my PADD. That's not nice." Jim's eyes widened slightly, and he reached for one of the piles. "No. It's okay, you don't need to fix it." McCoy said. "Just clean it up before you go, okay? There's a trash can over there." He pointed toward the wall, and Jim grabbed a few handfuls of pieces to discard.

"This is probably old news," McCoy said, turning to Chapel, "but you need to watch him. Like a hawk." She nodded, smirking slightly.

"Of course, Doctor." She said. The nurse then turned to Jim, who threw the last piece of PADD into the trash. "Are you hungry, Jimmy?" Jim nodded, glancing at McCoy. The doctor read the look and instantly set him straight.

"I'm working, but Nurse Chapel will take you. Go eat."

"Fine." Jim said. He waved a short goodbye, and followed the nurse from the room. For almost an hour everything was quiet. Of course, he couldn't have expected that to last.

The only warning he received that Jim had returned was the shriek of a Biobed, indicating that someone was dying. He didn't currently have any patients, and certainly none that were in risk of dying, but the sound set him on edge right away.

When he emerged from his office, it was to see Jim bouncing up and down on a Biobed while Chapel frantically moved to shut its sensor off. As soon as they caught sight of him, both adopted matching, guilty expressions.

"He got away from me." Chapel offered in way of explanation. "Just for a moment." She seemed more or less unrepentant, but McCoy didn't really mind. He knew very well what it was like, raising a particularly mischievous child. He'd had a lot of practice, before the wife took everything away from him, and if there was one thing he knew about children like that, it was that they knew exactly what they were doing and why they shouldn't be doing it.

So he leveled Jim with a look—not angry, not accusatory, just expectant. A beat later the boy dropped to a sitting position, nearly bouncing off the bed in the process.

"Be careful." He said, "Keep doing those acrobatics, and you're gonna get hurt."

"Kay. Sorry Bones."

"Tch, I'm sure you are." He grumbled, and Jim nodded vigorously. Perhaps sarcasm was still a little bit beyond him. Leonard sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. He heard the squeak of the bed as Jim stood up and started bouncing, as though he wouldn't know, as long as his back was turned. Still, the doctor ignored it, holding out his PADD to Chapel.

"Anything notable over dinner?" He asked. She shook her head.

"No, nothing—"

There was a thud, and when Bones turned around again Jim was sitting, stunned on the floor. Chapel gasped and rushed forward. "Chapel, don't—"

"Aw, sweetie, did you hit your head?" She hoisted him onto her hip, and Jim's lip began to tremble. Leonard groaned and, like clockwork, the waterworks started. First a little hiccup, followed by a wail that could shatter glass. He crossed to room and held out his arms when Jim reached for him.

"Don't fuss over him," he advised, "and unless something is actually wrong, he won't cry." McCoy promptly set him on the ground and, although the crying increased, he ignored it.

"Hey!" He snapped, mostly to catch his attention. It worked, somewhat. "What're you cryin' for?"

"I… hit my… head." He said between sobs.

"Oh yeah?" Leonard ran a hand through his hair. "Doesn't look to bad. And I'm a doctor, I would know. 's nothing to cry over… besides," he leaned forward a little, and whispered conspiratorially, "boys don't cry, right? We're too tough." Jim nodded reluctantly, but the tears lessened considerably.

"Girls cry though." Jim offered. Leonard glanced toward Chapel, but she was just smiling at them with an expression that read 'I just knew you were squishy in the middle".

"Sure they do." He said, and then pointed at the Biobed. "Didn't I tell you that you were gonna fall off?" A tiny shrug was the only reply he received. Leonard sighed. "Just be careful."

"Kay. Sorry Bones."

"I'm startin' to think you don't know what those words mean."

"I do too!" Jim said. Leonard ignored him.

"Thank you for watching him on your day off. I think Jim and I are going back to his quarters, now." Chapel waved him off.

"No problem. Time for bed?"

Jim pulled a face, a whine already forming in the back of his throat. He stopped short when McCoy responded.

"Of course not! We're just gonna get nice and comfy on the couch and watch some holovids. Right Jim?"

"Yeah!" Jim said, launching into a list of movies he'd like to watch. Chapel smirked and wished them a good night.

Forty minutes into the first movie, Jim fell asleep in Leonard's lap. The doctor carried him over to their bed, feeling very much reminiscent of taking care of his own daughter, and tucked Jim in. Ten minutes later McCoy fell asleep as well, knowing that Jim would be back to normal in the morning.

When McCoy woke up again, it was to Jim kissing him awake. The captain didn't remember anything of the previous day although plenty of people had interesting stories to tell, all of which gave Jim a great deal of pride—especially the particularly troublesome acts he'd committed during the slight lapses in supervision.

And when Jim noticed, a few day later, the crude drawing of two people—holding hands inside a somewhat lopsided heart—framed over the doctor's desk, he didn't ask.

He didn't need to.