DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2004 by SterJulie. Rated G.



A TIME OF CHANGE--THE DAYCARE SERIES

Ster Julie



Jimmy was so engrossed with the shuttlecraft blueprints he had found that he didn't feel the gentle tap on his shoulder, or the gentle calling of his name.

"Jimmy!"

Jimmy turned around to see who had intruded in his studies.

"Spockie!" he breathed.

It had been three years since young Spock had left Earth and the daycare center to meet his new big brother. Although Jimmy and the other children were friendly, none of the others could compare to his first real friend.

"It is agreeable to see you again, my friend," Spock replied. Jimmy looked his friend over, then flung himself into Spock's arms.

But Spock did not hold Jimmy. Spock stood stiffly with his arms at his sides, his fists clenched.

Jimmy pulled back and looked more closely at Spock. They both had grown, but Spock had a completely different air about him.

"You're different," Jimmy observed.

"Much has happened, Jimmy," Spock replied.

"Like what?" Jimmy asked. Spock looked down so he could compose his features better.

"I have a big brother now," he responded, looking back up. Jimmy smiled slightly, knowing how he adored his own brother Sam.

"What's his name? What's he like?" Jimmy asked. Spock's eyes lit up.

"His name is Sybok" Spock began. "He's really nice and he shows me the most amazing things. He helped me get over the nightmares I used to have." Jimmy was smiling during Spock's little speech until his friend started talking about nightmares.

Jimmy was having terrible nightmares.

Jimmy's daddy was missing and feared dead.

Jimmy's mommy was moving the family to Tarsus IV to be closer to the search for George Kirk.

Jimmy's eyes filled with tears.

Change was hard.

Change was painful.

Jimmy blinked and found Spock holding him gently.

"Jimmy?" he asked. "What's wrong? Why are you crying?"

"My daddy's missing!" Jimmy wailed. "Nobody can find him! And now they are saying that he's dead!"

"Dead?" Spock breathed. Jimmy took a few hiccupping breaths and dragged his sleeve across his eyes.

"Momma doesn't believe it," he said in a whisper, "so she's moving all of us to Tarsus IV."

"Why Tarsus IV?" Spock puzzled.

"'Cause that's the last place anyone saw my daddy," Jimmy explained. "She wants us all to be closer to the search in case they do find him."

"Jimmy…"

Spock did not get to finish his thought. He was interrupted by a screech at the door.

"Spockie!" Chrissy shrieked happily. The golden curled little girl ran toward the boys and flung her arms around Spock's neck as she tried to kiss him. "You came back to me, you came back!"

"You may not touch me in that manner," Spock insisted. "I am promised to another." Chrissy made a face.

"What are you, engaged or something?" she taunted.

"No," Spock replied. "I am married." Chrissy was speechless, but only for a moment.

"Married!" she exclaimed. "You're too little to be married!" Spock straightened himself to his full height.

"I passed the kahs-wan," he explained, "so I am an adult now. And I was so married." Chrissy crossed her arms and pouted.

"What's her name?" she teased.

"T'Pring," Spock answered simply. Chrissy's face fell. If the girl was as pretty as her named sounded…

"Is she pretty?" Chrissy asked. Spock shrugged.

"I suppose," he answered.

"Well, I HATE her!" Chrissy shouted as she stomped her foot. She turned and ran away.

Spock looked at a puzzled Jimmy and shrugged.

"What's a 'kahs-wan'" Jimmy asked, "and why are you an adult now?"

"The kahs-wan is a maturity test," Spock began. "I had to travel through the desert by myself for seven days without any food or water."

"No food or water for seven days?" Jimmy exclaimed. "Sounds scary."

"It was," Spock admitted softly, a sad look darkening his face. Jimmy moved closer and put his arm around Spock's shoulders.

"What happened?" he asked gently. Spock took a deep breath.

"I was worried that I wouldn't pass the kahs-wan," he began, "so I went out one night without telling anyone. I had to prove to myself that I could pass the test. I went to the mountains, and I'Chaya followed me."

"Your bear?" Jimmy interrupted.

"Uh-huh," Spock replied. "I tried to send him back, but he wouldn't go, so I let him follow me." Spock's breathing became ragged as he relived the memory. "Later on, I was attacked by a lematya, and I'Chaya saved me." Spock's eyes began to fill with tears. "I'Chaya died saving me," Spock said desperately trying to control his features. His hand sneaked back into his pocket to rub the piece of fur he carried.

"I'm sorry about your bear," Jimmy said. Spock was about to answer, "Me, too," when all of a sudden, powerful arms picked him up from behind and lifted him off the ground into a handstand high in the air. Spock couldn't help but giggle.

"Sybok!"

"Hey, little one!" Sybok responded as he continued to hold Spock above his head. "I have signed you in for the week." Sybok spared a quick glance at the boy at his feet. "Who's your friend?" he asked his brother.

'That's my friend Jimmy," Spock answered as he tried to balance on one arm, his leg acting as counterbalance.

"Hello, friend Jimmy," Sybok responded.

"Hi, Sybok," Jimmy giggled. He watched the two brothers continue their balancing act.

"You're brother is a lot older than you, Spockie," Jimmy observed.

"He is two cycles older," Spock replied.

"Two cycles?" Jimmy asked.

"Fourteen years," Sybok explained. The older Vulcan youth brought his brother to his feet and ruffled his hair. Spock playfully pushed his brother's hands away and smoothed his hair back into place.

"So, when does this show and tell time start?"

Spock looked at his little friend, noticing the remnants of tears in Jimmy's eyes and his red nose. Spock looked at his brother and thought a moment, finally coming to a decision.

"Can you help Jimmy, Sybok?" he asked. Jimmy looked at the two Vulcans with a puzzled look on his face. "Jimmy is so sad because his father is missing and feared dead," Spock explained, "and now he has to move to Tarsus IV."

"Help me how?" Jimmy asked suspiciously, edging away from the others.

"Sybok can help people not feel so bad," Spock explained. "Remember when I had that nightmare and screamed and screamed and frightened everybody?" Jimmy nodded.

"Yeah, that was scary," the boy replied. Spock stepped closer to Jimmy, a pleading look in his eye.

"Let Sybok take away your pain," he entreated. Jimmy stepped further away.

"My pain is all I have left of my daddy," he murmured, miserable.

Sybok knelt where he was, putting himself at eye level with Jimmy, staring intently into the boy's eyes.

"Oh, little one," Sybok breathed, "your pain is so great."

Jimmy felt like running away, but he was frozen in place.

"What's your brother doing to me?" Jimmy whispered fearfully. Spock put a small hand toward his friend.

"Don't be afraid, Jimmy," he soothed. "Sybok is only helping you."

"Don't take the pain away," Jimmy moaned. "Don't take my daddy away."

Sybok began to sway in sorrow, his eyes misted over.

"I grieve with thee, Jimmy," Sybok said softly. "You won't find your daddy."

Jimmy began to breathe heavily, then flew into a rage. He ran at Sybok, nearly bowling the older Vulcan backwards, his little fists flailing.

"My daddy's not dead!" he screamed, striking at Sybok. "He's not dead, he's NOT!"

Sybok just held onto Jimmy tightly.

"You're right, Jimmy," Sybok consoled, "you're right." Jimmy pulled his head back to look at Sybok.

"Then why does everybody say he is?" Jimmy sniffed. Sybok wiped Jimmy's cheeks.

"He's not with us as flesh and blood, Jimmy," Sybok explained, "but he's here." Sybok tapped Jimmy's chest. "He'll always be here."

"You mean he's in my heart?" Jimmy said simply. Sybok smiled gently and nodded.

"But I want him where I can see him," Jimmy whispered.

"Your father is in your heart," Sybok repeated, "he's in your memory, and he's in your actions whenever you do what he taught you." Sybok looked gently at the child. "I'll bet that your father was a brave man." Jimmy nodded enthusiastically.

"Uh-huh!" he replied. "He was real brave. He was the bravest so they made him the security officer on his ship." Jimmy gave Sybok a puzzled look. "How did you know?" Sybok caressed Jimmy's cheek.

"Because you are just as brave," Sybok explained. "See? Your father IS living in you!"

Jimmy looked down at his own chest, half expecting to see George Samuel Kirk, Sr. there. Jimmy looked back at Sybok. His shoulders were straighter and he stood a little taller.

"What should I tell my mommy?" he whispered. Sybok took Jimmy by the shoulders.

"Don't tell her anything," he said gently. "She will find out in time. Just go to Tarsus IV as she has planned and help her as much as you can." A shadow crossed Sybok's face. "Just be careful on Tarsus, alright?" Jimmy was puzzled.

"Why?" he asked. Sybok shuddered as though he were caught in a sudden icy wind.

"I do not know," he replied at last. Just be careful."

The sound of a bell broke into their conversation. Jimmy took Spock and Sybok's hands and pulled them to the classroom.

"C'mon," he said as he moved the Vulcans into the building. "It's time for Show and Tell."

Spock looked over to the little boy ringing the bell.

"Who's that, Jimmy?" he asked. Jimmy looked up and smiled.

"That's Pavel," Jimmy explained. "He was just a baby when you left."

"I see he still likes to ring bells," Spock observed as the bell ringing continued.

"Yeah," Jimmy said. "SOME things never change."

FIN

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