Ty watched the strange man with pointed ears and the attractive black female talk to Chris. The looks they kept tossing in his direction were making him nervous, not that he would admit it. You'd think after eleven years he would get used to being 'owned' and changing hands like any other piece of property, but he hadn't and he wouldn't. He had always felt he'd been born to lead, not to follow, much less without an option.
The pair looked nice enough, he supposed, it wouldn't be so bad if Chris sold Ty to them. At least they looked rich. And, it certainly couldn't be worse than Karidian.
They must have reached some sort of agreement because the weird one walked over and addressed him primly, hands clasped behind his back.
"Mister Riverside, it is arranged that if you so desire you may accompany us and serve at my Uncle's manor. You will be provided shelter, sustenance and compensation. At the conclusion of a five year contract you will have purchased your freedom and may choose to leave or stay on as a hired operative. Do you find this arrangement agreeable?"
Ty was shocked, "You're the one buying me, why ask if I want it?"
"In my experience, those given a choice are more content and work more efficiently than those forced into servitude. Additionally, we require a certain amount of anonymity and seek complete loyalty. This commitment is most often freely given, but unfortunately the requirement for additional help on short notice has created the need to purchase it."
Ty eyed him critically, "You know, this sounds a little too good to be true. You're not going to eat me or turn me into a sex slave or something, right?" Not that he would mind being a sex slave, but it was the principle of the matter. He wanted to know what he was getting into.
The raised eyebrow gave him the distinct impression the man thought he was an idiot but Elf-Ears still replied, "Nothing of the sort. You will be my Uncle's personal assistant, not dissimilar to a butler or possibly a technician depending on his particular requests."
"Sounds kind of kinky to me."
Pointy-Ears narrowed his eyes and Ty realized he was pushing the limits a little too far. He decided right then that he wanted this gig and to play it cool.
"Okay, I accept." He hoped his smile was winning and said 'I'm beautiful and I'll work really hard, you totally want me.' But then, that begged the question, "But I've gotta ask, why me? You don't know me, how do you know I'm not just going to take off the moment you aren't looking with a bunch of your fancy expensive stuff?" And then he felt like face palming because this was a great way to lose a good opportunity.
"Though I am beginning to doubt his credibility, the Doctor has corroborated your character."
"Bones! You know Bones?"
"Doctor McCoy has accepted a full time position at the manor."
"Wow, that's awesome. Why didn't you say so? I wouldn't have given you such a hard time then."
"Indeed," he said with damned raised eyebrow and abruptly turned and walked away.
Well, Ty could say one thing with certainty, at least this wasn't going to be boring.
~~~~~~~~~~~They arrived at The Manor by ship. He decided that "The Manor" needed to be capitalized because it wasn't so much a manor as a huge elaborate mansion on a raised outcropping overlooking the sea and the town below. You got the impression they had to own the whole damn island. Actually, they probability did.
The trip was shorter than you'd think, especially since the ship was operated and navigated by a couple of kids. He thought their names were Sulu and Chekov. They were probability a couple of 'acquisitions' in the same batch as Bones and himself.
On the way over he learned his 'employer' was Sir Spock, and the cute black chick was Lady Uhura, his fiancée. His future 'master' was Lord Spock, a 70-some year old reserved science-y sort. He wasn't quite sure what to make of that, but he'd probably do great since he was essentially there to keep the old guy company and Ty was great company.
It was quite a surprise, a little while later, when he found out he was less than welcome. Downright unwanted, and Ty Riverside was not used to being unwanted. When they entered the Manor, Sir Spock disappeared into a side room and left Bones and Ty awkwardly standing in the entryway. He couldn't see Sir or Lord Spock but he could hear the whole conversation through the open door.
"Uncle, I have taken the liberty of hiring an assistant to help you with anything you require."
"I do not require an assistant."
"You spend entirely too much time alone and your research would go much quicker with additional help. Uncle, I am merely concerned for your welfare."
"As I have already expressed, I prefer my solitude. I ask that you cease this incessant meddling Nephew."
"You will not put forth the effort to associate with those around you and I have been frequently occupied with preparations for the wedding and consequential shift in management. It was only logical that I enlist assistance to ensure your wellbeing."
"No. I will not agree to this."
"Please Uncle." Said much more quietly, it did sound a lot like a plea.
There was a moment of silence and Ty was dying to know what was going on. He was surprised a moment later when a distinguished man with powerful, confident strides stalked out of the room. He looked very focused on going wherever he was going, as long as it wasn't here, but when he turned and they made eye contact, the man paused. They stood there just staring at each other. Ty's first impression was imposing. Lord Spock did not look 70. He looked strong and healthy and he had deep brown eyes and he was...tall. He had a very stoic expression but his eyes said something else. He looked sort of shocked actually. And several other stronger emotions Ty couldn't decipher.
It only lasted a moment, and before Ty could even decide how he felt about this strange frozen moment, it was over. Lord Spock blinked, turned away and continued as if nothing happened. As if they hadn't just...what...looked at each other? That sounded so stupid. It still didn't explain why he suddenly wanted to know what the man was thinking, what he thought about Ty. He watched Lord Spock as he retreated and took a deep breath. At that he realized he hadn't taken a breath the whole time they had been staring at each other. What was wrong with him? Ty never cared what other people thought of him. Well...except maybe Bones.
"That was weird." Bones said next to him, but Ty couldn't think of a good response to Bones' questioning look. Spock, the younger, showed up then looking for all the world as if he hadn't just fought with a beloved relative.
"Janice will show you to your quarters. Make yourself presentable and destroy your current attire. You will begin work tomorrow." Then he left without so much as a nod from Ty.
"Pointy-eared bastard," Bones grumbled to himself. And then, matching Ty's contemplative look with his concerned one he said, "Don't mess this up Ty. You really need this."
"Come on Bones, when do I ever mess it up? I'm always on my perfect behavior." Ty gave Bones his winning smile but, though he wasn't going to admit it out loud, he was a little worried himself.
~~~~~~~~~~~Spock closed his door and shut his eyes. He had given up the possibility of seeing his t'hy'la ever again. Traveling across two parallel universes from a place where Jim Kirk had died to a place he had never been allowed to live, Spock had admitted defeat a decade ago. He had to assume that in this new universe, a universe so fundamentally different from his own that Spock's own existence was impossible, things could only diverge further. To a world where Jim had not died before he was born but instead had never had the possibly to exist. He had no reason to believe that in this universe Jim Kirk would be alive. It was illogical to even consider the possibility.
But, Spock would know him anywhere. The boy was younger than Spock had ever seen him in his own time but Spock knew this man, knew him better than he knew himself. Spock knew with all his being as soon as he saw him, as soon as he felt the boy's presence in the room.
Ty Riverside was Jim Kirk.