We Are Family
"Oh, you gotta be kidding me!"
To his alarm, the sounds that came out of his mouth were something like a frustrated shriek. He gasped and looked up at Jim, who seemed to have become a giant since their little... altercation. Had those damned alien bastards turned Jim into a giant?? Or have they shrunk me? He looked down, and saw his blue shirt spread across the transporter pad like a blanket.
"Oh, damn." This time, the sound was a gurgle. What the hell?? Had the bastards screwed with his vocal cords, too? He looked back up at Jim. "What the hell is going on??"
Jim looked shocked by the sounds coming out of the doctor's mouth. "Oh, fuck my life," he said.
"Spock, what the hell could have caused this?"
"Unknown, Captain, but I do not doubt that the Shevorian 'deity' had some part in this."
"No shit, Spock!" McCoy said, glaring when it came out as another frustrated squeak. What the hell was wrong with his voice??
"Well, dammit, what are we gonna do? They're certainly not gonna be very gung-ho on helping us, since they were the ones who did it. But I need my Bones back to normal! Besides all the obvious reasons this is SO wrong, what the hell am I gonna do with a nine month old CMO??"
"WHAT??" Bones pulled his arms out from under his too-big tunic. When he saw the pudgy, dimpled arms and hands, and realized exactly why he was so "short", he got the strong urge to start screaming and crying. So he did.
Jim let out a short cry, and suddenly, he was right at Bones' eye level. "Awww, Bonesy, don't cry! We'll get you back to normal, okay?" Jim wrapped McCoy's too-big shirt around him and picked him up. The subtle bouncing motion made Bones feel a little better. "Awwwww, see? It's not the end of the world, right? Yeah." He continued to coo, and even though it was ridiculous to feel comforted by the sounds, Leonard couldn't help but calm down. He leaned against Jim's shoulder and made the effort to relax. "Look, Spock! Isn't he cute?"
Bones scowled and, since he knew he could get away with it, pushed Jim on the side of his face - the closest he could come to a slap. Jim just giggled. "Aww, I bet you wish you could do that all the time, don't you, Doctor Cranky Pants?"
Bones screamed. "How dare you-"
"Jim, I do not understand the logic in antagonizing the doctor." Spock reached for him, and Bones allowed himself to be passed to the first officer. McCoy snuggled in almost despite himself. That damned green blood was good for something - Spock's higher body temperature was extremely comfortable. He snuggled in, under Spocks' chin. He was so comfortable, and for some reason he got the strong urge to suck his thumb. So he did.
He wasn't sure what the squealing noises coming from Jim were about, but he was so comfortable and warm that he didn't care.
"What's wrong, Bonesy? What's the matter??"
"I'm hungry, you jackass!" An angry wail came out as the translation, which just pissed McCoy off even more.
Jim was panic stricken. "Spock, what's wrong with him?" Jim propelled the doctor toward the Vulcan, who looked suitably alarmed. Bones screamed louder. It wasn't exactly fun being flown through the air and dangled in front of people when you were hungry and pissed off.
"I do not know, Jim," Spock said. "Perhaps he requires the changing of his diaper."
"NO, dammit, do you SMELL anything?!"
"Well, how can we find out?" Jim asked.
"Unknown. I do not have experience in dealing with infants."
"But when you hold him, he gets all cozy and stuff!"
"His behavior notwithstanding, I still-"
"Will you clowns stop arguing and get me something to eat!??!"
Jim cradled him again. "Ohh, shhh, shh, okay Bones, okay, we'll fix it!" He started running down the halls, and the bouncing and swaying startled Leonard and made him start screaming louder. Jim stopped suddenly. "Uhura! Uhura, you're a girl!"
"Wow, Jim, really?"
"I'm sorry, I just... look at him!" Bones was lifted up, and got a nice view of giant Uhura's irritated expression. "Can you tell me what's wrong with him?"
Uhura frowned at Jim. "Are you serious? What, because I have ovaries, I'm supposed to have some kind of innate knowledge of all things baby?"
"Well, I didn't mean to-"
"God, you are SO unbelievable!"
Uhura launched into a tirade that brought a smile to Bones' face, despite his hunger. He giggled. "You tell him, Lieutenant!"
"Hey!" Jim said suddenly, bringing Bones back and resting him on that just-right place on his hip. "He's laughing!"
"Probably because he knows you're ridiculous!" she snapped. Bones clapped his hands and laughed again.
"Well, what do you know? He likes it when I get yelled at."
"For some reason," came Spock's voice, "I am not surprised by this mildly sadistic tendency."
"Oh wow," Uhura said.
"Why, you naughty little-"
"Dammit, Jim! WHEN are you gonna-"
"Uh-oh. I think I pissed him off more."
Uhura sighed. "WOW. Okay, look. If he's upset, he either needs a change, he's hungry, tired, lonely, or he's in pain. So... have you checked the basics?"
"Well, he doesn't smell like anything, and I didn't want to put my hand in there and..."
"IF YOU PUT YOUR HANDS DOWN MY PANTS WHILE I'M IN THIS STATE-"
"Whoa!" Jim winced at the blood-curdling scream. "Okay, he's not liking your ideas, Lieutenant."
"You have to check him if-"
Jim winced again. "Captain, are you holding him improperly?" Spock asked.
"No, I think this is okay. He just-"
"I'M HUNGRY!!!!!!!!!" Jim looked so heartbroken that Bones almost felt sorry for him. Except that he was starving, and no one seemed to be able to figure it out. He'd never wished for the simple ability to go to the damned replicator and eat some unnaturally reconstituted food in all his life. He was so frustrated and depressed that he gave right in to the infantile urge to kick his legs, wave his arms and wail.
"Aww, Bonesy, it's okay. Calm down, baby, please? Please? Spock, can't you just mind meld with him and find out what's wrong?"
"Melding with infants is discouraged, Jim," Spock answered. "A brief touch of minds is encouraged, but that is with Vulcan children. I am not sure with a human how-"
He heard Spock and Uhura join in with Jim, trying to calm him down. He was passed to Spock, but even that cozy extra body heat couldn't fix this. He was passed to Uhura, who cradled him and shushed him. She unsnapped the royal blue onesie that they'd had the quartermaster make for him (complete with his command stripes on the sleeves no less), and touched the side of his diaper so quickly he was almost unaware of it. "Not that," she muttered, patting his back and shifting him slightly.
As luck would have it, she shifted him so that he had a wonderful view of her little pert breasts. Even though he knew it would be useless, he had a strong desire to grab one and suck on it.
So he did.
He thought he heard everyone's voice in the chorus that followed. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh."
"See!?" Jim said suddenly. "Your girly parts did save the day!"
"I knew her boobs were awesome," he muttered.
"You are THIS close, Captain!"
Five minutes later, Leonard was in heaven - cradled in Jim's arms, sucking (more productively) on custom made, perfectly heated baby formula. Mmmm. Being misunderstood was frustrating, but all the apologies and cooing and cradling was pretty nice. A man could get used to this kind of treatment.
Ridiculous. It was absolutely ridiculous to be having so much fun. But to hell with it. Jim was fucking hilarious! He had a real talent for silly voices, and the little stuffed dolls he'd requested were having an absolutely side-stitching conversation. Len had no idea that Jim could make himself sound like so many different people. He'd have to request a repeat performance once he got back to normal. IF he got back to normal. Nobody would talk about what was being done to fix him while "the baby" was around. Ugh. But nevermind that. Mr. Dolphin was challenging Jim's "Admiral Pike" action figure to a dance-off. How was Mr. Dolphin going to pull it off when he didn't have feet?
Leonard laughed gleefully and clapped his hands as the "play" continued. At some point, Spock joined them on the bed and watched the show for a few moments. He patted McCoy's back and openly smiled at Jim. Leonard could hardly believe it, but Jim didn't seem shocked at all. "He's so cute, isn't he, Spock?"
"Indeed, there is a certain appeal to him in his current state."
"What?! He's cute as an adult, too," Jim said defensively.
"Yeah!" He couldn't even be bothered to be annoyed that the word came out as a cutesy little gurgle.
"I swear, I think he knows what we're saying."
"Doubtful," Spock said. "But I do not disagree - he is attractive as an adult as well. Although you must admit that you experience less verbal abuse now that he cannot speak."
"You suck, I don't abuse Jim!" McCoy performed his signature "face-pushing" maneuver against Spock.
Spock lifted Leonard into his arms and rubbed his back. "Very well, Doctor, my apologies."
You'd better, he thought. Mollified by the apology, the doctor allowed himself to be comforted by the patting, and by the gentle rocking. Soon, he could hardly keep his eyes open. He tried, gasping awake every few seconds, but it was no use. By the time Spock laid him down in the crib Scotty had made for him, he was ready to sleep through the night.
He was somewhat startled by the hum of Spock's voice when he said, "I find the experience of our joint care of Dr. McCoy to be quite fulfilling."
"I also find that watching you with him, and seeing how well suited you are to fatherhood has brought upon me the desire for sexual contact with you."
What?? As if Spock hadn't propositioned Jim in the most... Vulcan way possible, Jim seemed to be turned on by this. He could hear some heavy breathing and kissing sounds. "Oh, you have got to be kidding me!"
"Oh, crap! He's awake. Should we?"
"Why should we not?" Spock asked. "He's an infant. He will not understand."
"The hell I won't!"
"But- oof!" There was the sound of a body being slammed onto a bed, followed almost immediately by a ripping sound. Then Jim gave Spock a sultry sounding laugh. "Well... what he can't understand won't hurt him."
Leonard let out a dramatic sigh - which he assumed must be the only thing that translated almost exactly from his mind to his baby vocal cords and muscle tone. Still, he decided against saying anything else. They'd been doing a decent job taking care of him, and they were so affectionate and attentive (even if they were dense now and then). He couldn't begrudge them a little "grown up" fun. Well... he could, but he'd wait until he got back to normal before hitting them with his demands for keeping the details of their particular bedroom noises (Jesus, really? What was that, Spock?), and the fact that Jim was an unabashed "bottom" from the rest of the crew.
Diaper changing was about the least fun thing McCoy had ever experienced. There was obviously a reason babies didn't remember things before a certain age. The indignity of having your captain making googly noises while trying to wipe your ass was not to be believed, and he REFUSED to allow Spock to touch him when it was changing time. In fact, he'd planned to wow everyone and prove he was already potty trained - because, you know, HE WAS - but his control over his now ten-month-old body was not what he'd hoped, and it didn't occur to anyone to even try putting him on a toilet. So, despite his best efforts, the diaper got used.
He didn't like changing one bit, and he made it known. He screamed, he yelled, and he even cried once. "Just let me be naked!" He managed a nice kick to Jim's arm once before crawling quickly away. The first few times Jim tried to put his diaper on, Bones wriggled around so much that by the time Jim was triumphant, there was powder all over the room, and the diaper only stayed on for about ten minutes before the adhesives just kind of melted away, and Bones got his wish.
It took them a good week to figure it out. In desperation, Jim had enlisted the help of Spock. "Captain, the last time I attempted to assist you, the doctor bit me most viciously."
"I know, but you gotta help me! Just... hold him down, or distract him, or something, so I can get this thing on."
"KEEP AWAY FROM ME, YOU POINTY-EARED BASTARD!"
Spock sighed. "I do not wish to be bitten again, Jim," Spock said.
"Okay, I'll hold him, and you-"
Leonard kicked Jim good and hard, and glared at Spock. "JUST YOU TRY IT!!! I FUCKING DARE YOU!"
"Dammit, Bones, sit still!" Jim cried, giving into frustration. "And if you pee on me, I swear, I will end you!"
Len gasped and looked at him in complete shock. Sure, he'd been struggling against the diaper for the last thirty minutes or so, but... was that any reason to threaten his life? Even though he knew Jim wasn't serious, his infant emotions occasionally interfered with his adult perspective, and this time they took over full force. He felt his lower lip tremble, and a moment later, he was wailing in abject misery that his daddy/best friend wanted to kill him just because he wanted to be naked.
"Awww, no no, Bonesy, I didn't mean it," Jim cried.
"You HATE ME!!!!!"
He was lifted immediately, and wrapped in Jim's enveloping embrace. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Bonesy. Shhh, it's okay. I didn't mean it, I promise."
Leonard couldn't stop crying. He was so hurt, and the fact that he knew that it was baby-hormones or whatever that were making him so upset made made him even more miserable. He was NEVER going to get back to being an adult! He would be subject to these crazy feelings, and peeing in synthetic underwear, and he'd have to do school, and medical school and Starfleet all over again, and Jim and Spock and all his friends would grow old and he would still be a kid, and he would out live them all, and Jim wanted to kill him anyway, and Spock probably hated him for biting him, and life never sucked so much before EVER!
Soon, even though Jim's embrace never changed, another hand was on him, stroking his hair. Then, there was singing. Spock's mellow voice started singing something in Vulcan - a simple, pretty, calming tune. He never knew Spock could sing. Slowly, McCoy started to feel better. Jim was still hugging him tight, shushing him, and promising that he would never yell at him again, and he would never hurt "his little, perfect, good Bonesy." He still felt a little bit wobbly, but he stopped crying, and he rested his head against Jim's chest and let himself be comforted by the two of them.
After a while, Jim lowered him down to the bed, and Spock sat next to him, keeping a hand on him and still singing. Leonard blinked drowsily, and after a few minutes, Jim gently put the diaper on. Leonard didn't put up a fight this time.
From then on, diaper changing always required singing.
McCoy was nervous. He raised his arms and gestured for Jim to come back. "Pick me up!" There was a pleading little sound that couldn't have been misunderstood.
"Aww, I can't, Bonesy," Jim said. "You wanna be big again? We have to leave you by yourself for now."
Bones pouted and glared at the transporter pad. Stupid aliens. Stupid alien stupid head diplomat king or whatever. He supposedly thought he was doing McCoy a favor by turning him into a baby. "I looked into his heart, and saw that he wished for a relief from responsibility. He wished, in the words of his own heart, to 'be taken care of for a change'. I gave him this gift."
Stupidface. He could have just gone on shoreleave, and that would have taken care of it. He didn't even have a response for Jim when he asked why in the world the stupidhead diplomat man hadn't asked permission, or warned them, or explained why they had seemed so mad before and made them run away to the ship. Misunderstanding. That was the whole answer. Cultural differences. Like the Enterprise hadn't met a million different people, and they never "misunderstood" the need for a vacation and a little coddling as "I wanna be a baby forever". Stupid!
And now he had to sit all by himself on the stupid, scary transporter pad and wait for someone to zap him again and hope nothing went wrong. What if he turned into a goat or a butterfly or something? No! Not fair! He looked at Spock and reached for him. "Pick me up!"
Spock shook his head. "You will be fine, Doctor." Turning to Jim, he said, "Interesting how his fear of transporter technology appears to be present even though he cannot understand what is happening."
"Dammit, I DO understand, I know just what these death ray machines are all about! And I-"
"Energizing," Scotty said.
There was the familiar, itchy-tingling. When it stopped, he was still talking. "-don't see how you think just because I'm a baby I don't know what these damn things are capable of, and what the hell are you laughing about?!"
"Bones!" Jim laughed again, and ran up to the pad, arms wide.
After spending so much time as a baby - Jim's baby - returning the hug was automatic. But the moment he felt Jim's embrace, he realized. He was back! Jim's arms felt normal around him again. "Hey, it worked!"
Jim laughed, and Spock approached the pad and helped him down, as he was still pretty shaky on his feet. "It is gratifying to see you looking yourself again, Doctor."
"Thanks, Spock." It wasn't until Spock handed him a sickbay robe that he realized he was completely naked. Blushing, he wrapped the robe tightly around himself. "Um... thanks to both of you for, uh... taking care of me all that time."
"It was our pleasure!" Jim said. Then his eyes widened. "Wait, so you remember what happened while you were...?"
McCoy let a smile spread slowly across his face - suddenly, he wasn't embarrassed in the least. "Every minute," he said.
Spock raised an eyebrow. "That... would seem to contradict my assumptions regarding your mental state during your forced infancy."
"Yup." He winked at Jim. "What he doesn't understand won't hurt him, eh?" Jim blushed a deep red and glanced helplessly at Spock. "C'mon, fellas," McCoy said, walking toward the door. "Once I'm all cleared at Medical, we're gonna head on over to my quarters, and the two of you can get to work taking care of me the right way."
He wasn't sure, but he thought that Jim's throaty laugh a few seconds later sounded very familiar.