Title: Playtime (13/?)
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.
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“—in place of a hand was a hook! AHHH!”
“Stop scaring them. Do I have to remind you of last time—”
“No no. Okay. Sorry.” Jon turns back to his wide-eyed and silent (traumatized) audience. “Sorry, kids, no hook.”
“Bwut how will Mr. S-Se-Cereal Kwiller catch the bad people?”
“They’re not bad people,” Lenny tells Jimmy indignantly. “They’re good people. He’s the bad guy. He eats ’em.”
Jimmy blinks. Christine starts to cry on Scotty’s shoulder who looks befuddled. Nyota says “Gross!” Spock is blank-faced (which means he’s bored).
Pike drops his briefcase on his desk and drags Jon up by the back of his shirt. “Go do something helpful, Archer. There’s a stack of drawings on my desk that need posting on the bulletin board.”
Archer whines, “I haven’t finished the story.”
A chorus of protests—including the tearful Christine—rise up like a den of howls.
“Mr. Pwike! Mr. Kling’n didn’t finish!”
“Right…” Jon grins wolfishly. “Jack the Ripper carved up—” At Pike’s sharp pinch, he corrects himself hastily, “—invited all his victims to a lovely dinner and they lived happily ever after.”
Good God. This is the last time he invites Jon to educate the children on fairy tales. Not that he’d imagined Archer sitting there talking about how the prince kissed the sleeping princess (so forth and so on) but, for a moment, the imagery had been too hilarious to pass up. Next time Janice has a doctor’s appointment, he’ll make Archer sit in the back and organize the broken crayons by size.
“Time for naps!” Pike announces cheerfully.
The mats are already out in rows. Scotty is the first one to hustle over to a spot and lie down. He’s out like a light. Jimmy runs up to Jonathan instead.
“If I go to sweep, will Jack t’Rwipper eat me?”
Jon leans down and Pikes clears his throat. He shoots Chris a nasty glare as if to say I wasn’t going to agree, I’m not THAT much of a heartless bastard. “No, Kirk. Jack the Ripper doesn’t eat little boys.”
Archer grumbles under his breath and takes Jimmy’s hand, leading him over to his mat next to Lenny’s (as Kirk always insists on sleeping next to Bwones). Spock is already on the opposite side, on his back with eyes closed and hands folded across his chest. McCoy calls it The Dead-Vulcan Pose. Spock finds this name highly illogical and refuses to succumb to peer pressue and nap on his stomach like Lenny. Pike is of the opinion that Spock meditates himself into a nap.
Jon says, “Go to sleep, kid. No one’ll get you little runts while Mr. Pike and Mr. Archer are on guard duty.”
Jimmy rolls onto his side, scoots as close to the edge of the mat as possible towards Lenny and calls “Bwones?”
“What?” comes the annoyed grunt. Lenny opens his eyes and it’s clear that he is aggravated at the intrusion.
“It’s daytime, stupid.”
“But we’re sweeping.”
“I can’t sleep until you sh—” A quick glance at Mr. Pike. “—be quiet.”
“But you forgot to say Good Night to me.”
“Fine. Good NIGHT!”
“Okay.” Jimmy rolls to his other side and scoots over towards Spock’s mat. Before he can speak, the Vulcan says without opening his eyes, “Good night, Captain.”
Jimmy rolls to the middle of his own mat, curling up. And the daily nap-time routine is complete to Captain Jimmy’s satisfaction. Pike doubts that he will ever tire of watching the three musketeers—as he likes to think of them—connect in that strange, special way that they do. He motions for Jon to step back and they proceed down the line of children, urging everyone to sleep so that they can play hard outside later.
Finally, listening to the sounds of quiet snores—loud in Scotty’s case—and otherwise blissful silence, the two men settle at Pike’s desk. Jon says quietly, “Second drawer.”
Pike opens his second drawer, stares, and then pulls out a bottle of brandy.
“Jon, you can’t keep liquor in my desk!” he says fiercely, leaning over to the man so that he doesn’t have to shout.
Archer rolls his eyes. “It’s not mine, Chris, it’s for you. Since I drank your last bottle.”
Pike reads the label. An expensive brand. Not bad. “Well, next time don’t bring it to work. The parents might sue if they think that an alcoholic is looking after their children.”
“I doubt they’d blame you for needing a drink or two,” Jon snickers.
Pike ignores his inane comment and continues. “Or what if the kids had gotten into this?”
Archer pales. “Er, bad things would ensue?”
“Very bad things,” he confirms.
He slips the bottle into his briefcase with the intention of hiding his briefcase on the highest shelf in his office. Jonathan looks disappointed that he doesn’t open the bottle right away. They stare at each other for the span of two minutes.
Chris raises an eyebrow.
“Has Miss Rand mentioned how handsome I am?”
“Does ‘Shouldn’t Mr. Archer’s family be looking after him at his age?’ count?”
Jon’s eyes narrow. “Bullshit!”
“Honest to God, Jon. When will you learn that there’s a reason you’re… decrepit and single? Women have the instinct to steer clear when you walk into a room.” He’s trying hard to hold in his laughter. It wouldn’t do to wake the children, not before he can enjoy more than a brief five minutes of peace.
“You’re a SOB, Christopher. Remind me again why I bother to be friends with you.”
“It’s because no one else is willing to be your friend but me,” he informs the other calmly.
That darkens the scowl on Jon’s face. Pike grins. “I can fire you, Pike.”
“No you can’t.”
“Hush, you don’t want to get Jimmy up and going, do you?”
“I’m still trying to figure out a way to shut him down.”
They both glance over at the sleeping babes. “It’s only temporary,” Pike says mournfully.
They sigh as one. Then Jon leans forward on his elbows, steeples his fingers and asks, “Tell me about this Winona of yours.”
“She’s not my Winona. She’s Jimmy’s mother.”
“I may be old, Christopher, but I’m not blind. You were mooning over that vid like a dog that has to watch its owner eat a juicy hamburger.”
Pike says, “Porthos doing alright?”
“He’s fine. No harm, no foul. I still can’t figure out how he got attached to that streetlamp in the first place. Someone had to have tied him there. Lucky that the man who found my poor baby was nice enough to call me when he saw the Missing Porthos flyer.” Jon rubs at his chin with his knuckles. “But don’t change the subject.”
“I’m not. I am gravely concerned over this matter of your distressed beagle. Does he need therapy?”
Jon lets out a bark of laughter that has both men going very still. When none of the children awaken, they slump with relief. Then Archer pops a joint and stands up. “Need more coffee. Want some?”
“Sure,” Pike agrees. He slips his hands into his sweater pockets once Jon is gone to the break room, leans back and closes his eyes.
Jonathan is right, of course. He does think about Winona Kirk more than is strictly professional. He has also never been attracted to one of his children’s parents before—and that terrifies him. If it came down to a choice, he would always put Jimmy first. So there is no way he would cross a line by attempting to date Winona when he is paid to care for her son. But after Jimmy no longer attends Little Star Academy?
Then all bets are off.
Of course, that doesn’t take into account whether or not Jimmy will still be ecstatic to have Mr. Pike around—especially in such an intimate capacity. Things can change in so short a time, as he well knows. Christopher can hope, however. Oh how he can hope.
Jon comes back bearing two cups of coffee. Pike inhales the fresh roasted smell (not the replicated stuff) and makes a noise of approval. Archer is equally enjoying his coffee. They sit like that for some time, comfortable and at ease.
Eventually the clock on the wall strikes three; the Vulcan automatically blinks awake and sits up. His hair is not quite as pristine as when he’d first fallen asleep. Spock turns his head to look at the pair of teachers and says, without inflection, “It is time to proceed to the next activity.”
Pike tosses his now-empty paper cup into the waste bin and slowly stands up, his legs and back protesting. “Yes, Spock,” he sighs. “It is time.”
Mr. Archer, on the other hand, groans and thunks his head down onto the desk.
Spock, after straightening his outfit (though one or two of the wrinkles remain stubbornly present), addresses Jonathan. “I fail to understand why one would harm oneself in such an illogical manner.”
Jon raises his head, rubbing at his temple. “You’ll understand one day, Mr. Spock. If you continue to keep in contact with him—” Archer indicates the mumbling Kirk that Pike is rolling out of a puddle of drool. “—then, trust me, you’ll understand.”
Spock only says “Fascinating.”