Title: Playtime (9/?)
Fandom: Star Trek AOS
Summary: AU. Fun times ensue at Little Star Academy. Pike begins to realize that while he may be the adult, he’s definitely not the one in charge.
Previous Part: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Pike ended up staying out for the rest of the week—only two days total—and enjoying the weekend when he was awake enough to savor it. He also spent a majority of his hours avoiding Jon’s comms. But he couldn’t ignore the pounding on his front door early Sunday morning.
Jon is scowling fiercely when he answers and marches into Pike’s living room then whirls around with the accusation, “You’ve been ignoring me.”
“Well, the last time we spoke I couldn’t hear myself think because you were screaming so loudly.”
“THEY STOLE MY PORTHOS!”
“Jon, that’s not likely. How could a bunch of knee-high toddlers steal your old dog?”
Archer’s face is reddening at a rapid pace. “It was the fat one. I know it, he was eyeing my sweet beagle.” Jon throws himself onto the couch, reminiscent of Jimmy in the middle of a tantrum. “My poor Porthos! Forced to endure those drool-covered, poking fingers—”
“Oh, stop the histronics. And I don’t appreciate the term ‘fat,’ Jon, you know that. I won’t have my children neurotic at an early age. Besides Scotty isn’t fat, he’s…”
“Been stealing too many boxes of cookies? I still can’t figure out where in Hell he gets ’em!”
Pike sits across from Archer. “That’s another thing, Jon. What in the world possessed you to use that kind of language in a pre-school?”
The other man mumbles. Pike doesn’t let up. “Did you know I’ve had no less than three calls from parents this weekend? Jimmy’s mother had company over on Friday night and you know what that boy called the man? An ASS.”
Jon chuckles, then quickly clamps a hand over his mouth to smother his laughter at Pike’s glare.
“Then Dr. McCoy wanted to know why his six-year-old thinks God-damn is an appropriate adjective to use in every other phrase.” Pike throws up his hands and leans into his recliner. “And Nyota… Oh God. Mrs. Uhura was so angry that I was desperate to remember if I’d given the woman my home address at some point.”
Jon grunts, “That why you removed your spare key from under that potted plant?”
“Yes,” he admits.
“You know, I actually liked the McCoy kid. Despite that he repeatedly asked me how old my corpse was. I know I’m ancient but I’m not a zombie for Christ’s sake!”
Pike moans and whimper-laughs.
Jon sighs. “I just want my dog back. Last I saw him, that—” Pike glares again. “—Scotty kid had Porthos’ leash and was leading him in circles around the sandbox.”
Pike says with sincerity, “I am sorry, Jon. Truly. Maybe Porthos was just as frightened as you were and ran for his life. We can put up flyers in the area, ask neighbors if they’ve seen him.”
Archer nods somewhat despondently. They sit in silence for a few minutes. Then Chris’s comm shrills with an incoming call.
“Oh, Mr. Pike! I—I hope I’m not disturbing you.” Pike sits up. “Winona, what’s the matter? Is Jimmy alright?”
Jon’s eyebrows lift.
“He’s fine.” There is a hesitation over the line. “Well, he’s fine physically but he’s… upset.”
Pike frowns. “I don’t see what I can do, Winona—”
“He thinks you’re dead. He’s refusing to come out of his closet.”
“I know. I can’t understand why in the world he has that idea. I mean, Jimmy seemed okay—for the most part, maybe a tad more of a handful than usual—but honestly, I’m stumped. I triggered something when I asked him if he was excited about going back to Little Star tomorrow.”
Ah. “He doesn’t think I’ll be there,” Pike sighs. “Can you switch me to vid?”
The immediate silence astonishes him. Then Winona says in a soft voice, “Chris, I—I can’t really afford, I’m sorry—”
He clears his throat. “It’s no trouble, Ms. Kirk. Let’s hang up and I’ll call you right back.”
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. Now, just a moment…” He disconnects the call.
As Pike is redialing Ms. Kirk’s household on a vid-link, Jon interrupts with “Chris, if I didn’t know better—”
“Not now, Jon.” Winona picks up and her face comes into view. She’s wearing an oversized sweater and her hair is pulled back into a messy bun. He smiles and says quietly, “Think you can get Jimmy over here?”
She smiles ruefully. “I’ll try. Hold on.”
Jon has scooted over to peer at the screen. Pike pushes him away and tells him to mind his own business. Jon’s hands go up in a gesture of surrender. “Not my fault the kid thinks you’re six feet under.”
Pike’s glare instantly transforms to tenderness when Winona comes back into view with a familiar figure clutching at her neck. The boy won’t be persuaded to turn around.
“Hey, Jimmy.” Pike calls softly. “It’s Mr. Pike.”
That blond head shakes fiercely.
“Yes, it is. James,” he puts a bit of parental steel in his voice. Jimmy finally takes a peek at the screen.
“You’re not dead?”
“No. I’ve had a cold, and I couldn’t come to class and make you sick. Do you understand?”
The boy sniffles. “So you’re weally not dead?”
“No, Jimmy, I’m not dead.”
Pike leans forward on his elbows. “Did someone tell you that I was dead, Jimmy?”
“James.” He keeps his voice low.
“Bwones said that p-people go away ‘cuz they’re dead.” The boy turns back into his mother’s shoulder. She pats his back soothingly.
Pike meets Winona’s eyes. Then he says, “Jimmy, Leonard is not entirely correct. Sometimes people go away because they have other important things to do. I had to make myself better, so that I could come back to look after you and your friends.”
It’s quiet but he hears Jimmy’s “Okay.”
“Now I want you to be a good boy for your mother. Can you do that?”
Jimmy says “Yeah.”
“Tomorrow I’ll see you at Little Star.”
“Okay.” Then “Mr. Pwike?”
“Is that K-Kling’n coming back too?”
He chuckles. “No.”
“I don’t wike him. He’s mean.”
Pike smiles over the top of the comm at the scowling Jon who mutters “Tell Kirk the feeling’s mutual.”
“Well, Jimmy, I heard that you weren’t nice to him either.”
The boy squirms in his mother’s arms as if he wants to get down. He probably does, if only to get away from Pike’s impending lecture.
Pike decides to spare him—and Winona—for the time being. “But we’ll talk about proper behavior in the morning. See you bright and early, son. Bye-bye.”
Pike cuts the link.
Jon is lazing long-ways on his couch with a bottle of brandy that Pike is positive had been locked in his liquor cabinet. If Archer thinks Scotty is a little thief, then that is surely the pot calling the kettle black.
“I assume that you plan to share that bottle, since it’s mine.”
“You owe me” is Jon’s rejoinder. “‘Sides, this will be only be a small portion of the debt I plan to collect and—” Jon fixes an evil eye on him. “—you owe me big, Pike. You owe me a dog.”
Pike is about to roll his eyes when he stops, stares at Archer. Narrows his eyes and stares harder. Archer’s free hand automatically and self-consciously goes up to his hair.
“Is that a bald patch?”
Jon grimaces. “You ever been attacked by rabid toddlers, Pike? They’re vicious. Crazy and—” He takes a swig of Pike’s brandy straight from the bottle. “—vicious.“
Pike smirks and grabs for the bottle. “At least you’ve had your shots for that, old man.”
At Jon’s wide-eyed, panicked look, Pike bursts out laughing.
I had to give ya’ll this short after-scene to Part Eight. I’ll admit that this story is getting out of hand. I hadn’t expected to write more than a couple of parts for laughs… but I can see now that Playtime wants to take over the world. :) Good luck to us all.