Requiem for Mattel (tm)
AU Daycare Star Trek Original Series fic
It was mid-morning and the daycare center thrummed with the
peacefully noisy sounds of play. Mister Len had just finished
reading a storybook to Pavel and Nyota when the hollow cacophony of
tumbling blocks attracted his attention.
by Farfalla; rated G
blueberrysnail @ yahoo.com
with bits of help from Gamin
In the far corner of the room, the little Vulcan boy called Spock
stood sullenly in the middle of the fallen blocks. He kicked at one
of them with as much of a scowl as Len had ever seen on the usually
stoic child's face. The daycare teacher got up, put the storybook
away, and walked over to Spock.
"Did your block tower fall over, Spock?" Mr. Len asked in a soothing
Spock shook his head slowly. "I pushed it."
"Why'd you do that? You've been building that tower ever since milk
Spock shrugged and looked down at the wainscoting.
"I think I know why you're upset," Len hazarded.
"I am not upset. I am a Vulcan. Vulcans do not get upset," Spock
pouted. He was doing a very bad job of being 'not upset'.
"Did you and Jimmy have a fight? I noticed you haven't been playing
"We didn't have a fight," said Spock. "He just never wants to play
with me anymore. Ever since he got that dumb doll."
"The Rayna doll? I was wondering 'bout that."
"Someone sent it to him for his birthday," Spock explained. "I think
it was his uncle in Flint. Where's Flint?"
"North of here. Where the Great Lakes are."
"Jimmy likes that doll so much, he doesn't want to play explorers
anymore," Spock complained. "She can do all kinds of fancy things,
like dancing and she knows the answer to math problems and stuff.
Like a calculator. And you can style her hair and it stays."
"He's only had her for three days," Len said reaassuringly. "Once
the novelty wears off, he'll go back to playing explorers. Believe
me, Spock, he likes you better than some plastic doll."
"But I can't dance."
"Besides," Len pointed out, "I know a thing or two about those Rayna
dolls. They have all those high-tech features, but there's barely
any battery life. He'll wear it out real quick, 'specially the way
he's been playin' with it all the time."
"Battery life?" Spock asked. "You mean, she's gonna break
down 'cause Jimmy plays with her all the time?"
"Yep," said Len, "and I don't even know what kind of batteries you
put in a doll like that. Almost a computer! Probably expensive." He
noticed that Spock now looked even more glum, and asked with
confusion, "What's the matter?"
"Jimmy's doll's gonna break and he's gonna be so sad! He really
Len, pleased that Spock wasn't just thinking about himself as some
other children might, smiled. "Well, that's life. He's had a lot of
fun with it. Most kids never get a chance to play with something
that expensive. He's been lucky. And he's lucky to have a friend
like you who cares about him and wants to play with him."
Spock looked like he felt a bit better.
At lunchtime, Jimmy sat next to Spock as usual, but barely talked
to him. Instead, he talked to the doll, and to Nyota and Jannie, who
were enraptured by it. They squealed over its perfectly golden
plastic hair, its perfectly sculpted body, and its seemingly endless
If you pressed a button on her neck, you could record a message she
could then play back in her own voice. Pavel grabbed at the button
and mumbled hastily into the doll. She announced in a cheerful
voice, "Pavel is so cool!"
Nyota was quick to respond, and soon the doll's message was changed
to "Pavel is a monkey butt!"
Jim chuckled. Spock pushed his peanut butter sandwich around on his
"Look at this, you guys--" and Jim pressed some more buttons on
She began to recite, "Three. Point. One. Four. One. Five. Nine. Two.
"Whazzat?" asked Jannie.
"It's the digits of pi," Jim announced proudly.
Spock chewed his sandwich morosely. Rayna had more of the infinite
number memorized than he did. She was way cooler.
"I want pie," said Jannie.
"That doll's like a genius, or something," said Nyota, scooping up
something homemade and African out of a tupperware with a plastic
"I know, I love her so much!!!!" Jimmy grinned very wide and hugged
the doll with all his might. She continued to recite the digits of
pi. But suddenly, with no warning, something snapped inside her
mechanism, and her head popped off with such force that it got stuck
in the ceiling.
Jimmy's mouth dropped open into a distressed little gape.
Miss Christine rushed over. "Jimmy, you were hugging too hard! I'm
sorry. Let's see if we can fix that." The children, all except Jimmy
and Spock, began to giggle nervously as Miss Christine pulled the
doll's head out of the ceiling panels. She held it upside down and
studied the break on both pieces.
"Jimmy, I'm afraid we can't glue this..." She looked down at him
sadly. "It's too rough. It'll never stick."
"She stopped talking," Nyota pointed out.
"The battery must have come out when the head popped off," ventured
Jimmy gave his doll one last hug before relinquishing the broken
body to the daycare lady. He sighed loudly.
"Come with me, Jimmy. I'll get you a cookie." Miss Christine gave him a big hug and then took
him to the cookie jar. Spock watched him walk sadly away from the
lunch table, and thoughtfully swallowed the remainder of his
Naptime was after lunch, and Mr. Len played lullabyes softly on his
banjo as the children laid their nap blankets across the floor and
settled down. Jimmy lay down on his blanket and closed his eyes. He
looked like he had fallen fast asleep right away.
Spock knew better. When Jimmy was asleep for real, his breathing
wasn't quite so fast. He turned his head towards Jimmy and whispered
to him, since he was on the nearest blanket, "Jimmy."
Jimmy's lips twitched, but he didn't say anything. Spock tried
again, this time in a louder whisper. "Jimmy!"
"If I saved up my allowance I might be able to buy you another doll."
Jimmy smiled a little bit. "That's okay, but thanks."
"I'm really sorry about what happened. It was a nice doll."
"I don't wanna talk about it. I wish I could forget about it."
Spock paused. If Jimmy wanted to forget about the Rayna doll, he
could definitely do his best to distract him. "Yesterday I read this
book about frogs, and there's a type of frog that throws up its
whole stomach! It digests its food outside its body, then puts the
"Eew, weird!" Jimmy made a face, but it was an interested face. A
Things were going to be back to normal soon.