Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2005 by SterJulie. Rated G.


Time Out!

Ster Julie


Spock had been watching all morning as Lenny called each of the children into his pretend hospital. All the other children had been called, even Baby Pavel. Lenny had looked into their ears and told them to stick out their tongues. Then he would shake his head and say, "Tsk, tsk." He would then pull out jellybeans that he brought from home and give each of his "patients" one or two, depending on their imagined illnesses. Instead of candy, Lenny gave Pavel one of his old teddy bears that his mommy had washed clean for him. Pavel cooed and bubbled happily over his new treasure. Eventually, everyone had a turn in the pretend hospital.


All except Spock.


Spock had kept one eye on the proceedings in the corner of the playroom, waiting patiently for his turn. When it looked like Lenny was closing up his "clinic" for the day, Spock approached him.


"Am I next?" he asked hesitantly.


"No!" Lenny said unkindly. "I don't know how to treat lizards!"


Spock stood as tall as he could with indignation. "I am not a lizard," he stated coolly. "I'm a Vulcan."


"You're a lizard!" Lenny countered. "When we all run and play, our cheeks get red. When you run and play, you turn green! Lizards are green, so you must be a lizard!"


Spock considered this. Lenny had laid out a logical argument, but one that was full of holes.


"I get green because I gots green blood," Spock countered. He stepped closer and lowered his voice conspiratorially. "Wanna see?" he whispered.


Lenny stepped back. "Whatcha gonna do, Spockie, cut yourself?" he said in fright.


"No," Spock said. "Here, squeeze your finger real hard, like this," Spock said as he demonstrated. "What color is your finger now?"


"Kinda red," Lenny answered. "What about your finger?" Lenny peeked at Spock's hands. "Ew!" he exclaimed. "It's green!"


"Told ya!" Spock replied.


Lenny was curious and drew closer. "Your finger looks like a green olive."


Spock was puzzled. "Whatsa olive?"


Lenny shruggled. "It's like a vegebul, only it's kinda ucky. I like the black ones better."


Spock's ears pricked up at the word "black." He remembered that Lenny was dispensing jellybeans to the other children.


"Black olives?" Spock asked. "Are they like black jellybeans?"


Lenny looked at Spock suspiciously. "What about black jellybeans?" he questioned. The black ones were Lenny's favorites, and he was saving those for himself.


"I noticed that you gave out all the other colors but the black ones," Spock observed. "My mommy gives me the black ones. She says they're ucky, but I like them."


Lenny's eyes brightened. "I don't think they are ucky!" he exclaimed. "I like them, too!" Lenny's voice dropped low. "Know what?" he asked looking around to see if anyone was listening to their conversation.


"What?" Spock whispered back.


"When you eat black jellybeans," Lenny murmured, "your tongue turns black."


"I know," Spock breathed. "It looks scary."


Lenny grinned mischievously and handed Spock a few black jellybeans. "Let's go scare the girls!" Lenny whispered before popping a few candies into his own mouth.


"'kay!" Spock agreed. He put the jellybeans into his own mouth one at a time and chewed them quickly. "How's this?" he asked before sticking out his tongue.


Lenny almost choked on his own candy. "That's real scary, Spockie!" he exclaimed. "Your tongue is green and black! That'll scare everybody!"


The two boys rushed the table where the others were preparing for art time. Lenny and Spock stuck out their tongues at not just the girls, but at all of the children. At the sight of the red/black and green/black tongues inches from their faces, the children screamed and ran from the table.


Mr. Roddenberry took in the proceedings in one glance.


"Lenny!" he called. "Spockie! Time out!"


Lenny visibly deflated. Spock froze in fright. He had never ever been given a time-out before.


Lenny took Spock's hand and led him over to the bench by Mr. R's door. Lenny sat down sulkily. Spock walked slowly, despondent.


"It was just a joke," Lenny muttered. He looked as his bench mate and noticed how pale he was. "Whassa matter, Spockie?" he asked with concern.


"I've never been in Time Out before," Spock whispered with fright. "Are they gonna tell our mommies daddies that we got in trouble?"


"I 'spose," Lenny replied.


Near tears, Spock asked, "What's gonna happen?"


"I'll prolly get another whoopin'" Lenny said as he sunk low on the bench.


"Whassa whoopin'?" Spock asked.


"You know, a spankin,'" Lenny replied.


"Whassa spankin'?" Spock asked.


Lenny sat up in shock. "Whassa spankin'?" he echoed. "Haven't you ever had a spankin'?"


"I dunno," Spock shrugged.


"A spankin' it were they hit you on the butt until it hurts and makes you cry," Lenny explained. "If your smart," he muttered, "you cry right away."


Spock began to shake. "The bad man hit me on the butt last year," he whined. "He hit me all over and" Spock began to wail.


Lenny quickly threw his arms around Spock. "Don't cry!" he said soothingly. "It won't be like when the bad man beat you up!" Lenny was ashamed of himself and began to cry as well. "I'm sorry for getting you in trouble, Spockie!" he wept.


Mr. R has gotten the other children calmed down and back into their seats when he noticed the commotion coming from the Time Out bench. The two crying boys made a pitiful yet comical sight. They both were crying with opened mouths, which exposed their tongues, tongues still black from the jellybeans they had consumed.


Mr. R sighed and shook his head. He knelt before the two boys to put himself at their eye level.


"I don't wanna whoopin'!" Lenny cried.


"I don't wanna have somebody hurt my butt!" Spock wailed.


Mr. R put his arms out and scooped a weeping child into each arm.


"Now, Lenny," he began, "what have I told you about scaring the other children?"


Lenny replied with louder sobs. "I sorry!"


Mr. R turned to Spock. "I don't remember you ever getting into trouble before, Spock."


Spock wailed his response.


Mr. R turned back to Lenny. "Now, Lenny," he said gently, "You're a little older. You should be a good example to the other children, not get them into trouble with you."


Lenny passed the back of his hand over his eyes and snuffled in response.


"And, Spock," Mr. R said as he turned to the other weeping boy, "if someone tells you to do something and you don't think it's the right thing to do, you shouldn't do it. Right?"


Spock wiped his nose on his sleeve and nodded. "Yes, sir."


Mr. R kissed both boys on the forehead and said, "Now go to the Quiet Corner and talk about what I said," he ordered. "I want you to come up with your best apology for the other children and a plan for better behavior in the future. Understood?"


Both boys nodded.


"Now, I don't think this minor incident warrants a call to your parents," Mr. R said as he set the boys back down. Lenny nearly collapsed in relief.


"What does that mean?" Spock asked.


"It means no whoopin'!" Lenny crowed.


"No one's gonna hurt my butt?" Spock asked.


"Nope!" Lenny said with a grin as he grabbed Spock's hand and headed for the Quiet Corner.


Lenny looked over at Spock as he knelt on one of the pillows. This little alien boy was not so strange anymore. He could have blamed the whole incident on Lenny, but Spock chose not to tell. Lenny moved closer to Spock.


"You're real nice, you know that, Spockie?" Lenny asked.


"I try to be nice to everyone," Spockie replied.


"I sorry I got you in trouble," Lenny apologized.


"S'okay," Spock shrugged.


"And I sorry I called you a lizard," Lenny continued.


Spock shrugged again. "S'okay," he repeated. "You just made a mistake." Spock cocked his head to the side and looked at Lenny.


"Lenny?" he began shyly.


"Huh?" Lenny grunted.


"Why do you always tease me?" he asked.


Lenny shrugged. "I dunno. I guess I tease you 'cause I don't unnerstand you."


Spock drew himself closer. "Maybe when you unnerstand me, we can be friends."


"Yeah," Lenny grinned. "That would be real nice!"