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Spock had, and rightfully so, feared that the experience in the Starbase 47-A's so-called "amusement park" would leave indelible imprints upon their child captain's psyche. This gave rise to the sudden hypothetical: if the child version of Captain Kirk experienced traumatizing events in this second childhood, would those then change Kirk's adult self in ways they had not previously anticipated? When he re-aged, would his extra childhood's experiences have altered his personality and character?

A brief conference-call to the ever-helpful Insonti high council had reassured him of the unlikelihood of the latter, much to his admitted relief. As the high priest had assured him, such an eventuality would defeat the purpose of the Regenratron's beneficent processes, and should something so drastic occur to the child, Kirk's re-aged adult brain would simply block out or forget the trauma involved.

Thus assured, Spock was able to fall into a meditative state which, to his surprise when he resurfaced, lasted a full six hours - nearly twice as long as he typically employed to rebuild thin or damaged mental shields. Much refreshed and feeling in-control for the first time in twenty-four hours, he then made his way to Sickbay, pausing along the way to pick up a meal tray for their no-doubt cranky Chief Medical Officer and restless child-captain.

Nurse Chapel's glare when he entered supported his conjecture, and a small crash from a recovery cubicle in the next room only confirmed it.

"Jim's bouncing off the walls, thanks to someone who told our brainless Security force that they could bring the kid a jumbo Mr. Freezy and a cotton candy stick," Christine said evenly, arms crossed and heeled boot tapping dangerously on the spotless durasteel flooring. "Don't tell me that giving a child his body weight in processed sucrose is logical in Vulcan culture, Commander?"

Spock had the grace to blush, and hastily dumped a plate of cookies off the dinner tray into the nearest recycling chute.

Chapel's snapping blue eyes softened, as she carefully hid a smile. "Dr. McCoy is coming along nicely, sir," she said, her tone changing to an official report to ignore Spock's embarrassment. "He should be released early tomorrow to light duty, just for observation's sake. I personally believe he is fully recovered now, due to the detox. He'll be feeling pretty rundown for a while, but there will be no lasting effects."

"And Jim?"

"Other than being absolutely wired at the moment, he appears to have shaken off any psychological effects of the kidnapping in his usual fashion," she answered, with a disapproving glance back at the child's cubicle. "That is a part of his character as an adult, so I'm not worried about it yet. You should be prepared for nightmares, though."

Spock nodded.

"Right now, he's doing his level best to drive our CMO out of his mind, I think," Chapel added, smiling as a stream of heavily-accented scolding issued from the same cubicle. "I'm sure Dr. McCoy will appreciate being rescued."

Pausing at the cubicle doorway, Spock cast a dubious glance backward at her before taking his dignity in his hands and proceeding into the recovery room.

He was nearly bowled over by a wriggling set of octopus-like arms which tackled his knees, nearly causing him to drop the dinner tray. It made an awkward crash landing on the bedside table, rattling sporks and glassware.

McCoy's crooked smirk would have irked him, four months ago; now, it was merely a shared exasperation of pseudo-parenthood.

"Hi Spock!"

"Hello, Jim," he replied with admirable patience, carefully prying the child's arms from around his legs.

"Are you feelin' better?"

"I?" He glanced at the bed, and saw McCoy's raised eyebrow and I-have-no-idea gesture. "What makes you ask that?"

"You were actin' weird." Jim scrambled up on the end of McCoy's bio-bed, using both hands and feet and at one point teeth latched into the blanket to accomplish his end. "And Lootent Riley said you were med-medertationing. Sleepin' with your eyes open." 

McCoy's dry chuckle washed over them. "Kid's got a point, Spock."

He did not deign to dignify that with a response. "The word is meditating, Jim; and I am much improved now." The child's eyes searched his face with an uncanny perception, finally dropping in apparent satisfaction that he was being truthful. "And how are you, Jim?"

"I'm good," Jim chirped, eagerly reaching for a glass of orange juice.

McCoy tapped his hand warningly. "You're not eatin' on my bed, squirt," he said sternly. "Already had one blanket-changin' thanks to that dang slurpie drink Riley brought you. I'm not gonna have Ship's Laundry talkin' about me if Christine keeps sending them wet bedding."

Jim's mischievous grin of innocence showed all too well that he had, indeed, apparently blocked out any traumatic repercussions from his misadventure in the park. The Insonti council knew their technology well.

"Doctor, Nurse Chapel assures me there will be no lasting effects from your attack," Spock said, while hauling a squirming five-year-old off the bed and into a chair, over which he moved a fold-out tray table partly to pin Jim in place and partly to hold his dinner. "How are you feeling?"

McCoy shot him a skeptical look over the top of a coffee cup. "Small talk, Mr. Spock?" he asked archly. "Since when d'you engage in such an illogical pastime?"

"The cause is sufficient," he responded with genuine ease, ignoring Jim's miffed attempts to squeeze under the tray table. He placed a plate containing a grilled cheese and pickle sandwich cut into fourths (an unusual combination he at a previous time had been duly informed by an eager toddler was 'way awesome') and small cup of fruit on the tray-table. "Jim, desist. Eat your dinner."

"And chew your food," McCoy warned, when their little captain shoved an entire quarter-sandwich into his mouth.

"Fowwy," Jim garbled, smiling angelically up at them. "Fank 'oo, Thpock."

"I attribute his deplorable lack of manners to your human ancestry, Doctor."

"Hey!" McCoy half-heartedly flung a celery stick at the Vulcan's head in lieu of having a handy hypospray cartridge.

It was an enormous tactical error, as their resident five-year-old gleefully took that as permission to open fire with banana chunks from his fruit cup via a spork-catapult, accompanied by high-pitched pew-pew-pew noises.

"James Tiberius!"

Safely out of the line of fire, Spock allowed himself one moment of human relief that things apparently were approaching what, for them, constituted normality. "And as the humans say, I rest my case," he murmured dryly, to no one in particular.