Author's Note: First things first! This is a light-hearted, fluffy crew fic not to be taken too seriously. Actually, it's my first fluffy crew fic ever and I've had a ridiculously, wonderful time writing pure entertainment for a change.
Very much Jim-centric, this fic has a big to-do about his friendship with McCoy and then his relationship with Carol and finally those other relationships and people we all know and love- Spock/Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, and even Nurse Chapel.
It is also fairly short and sweet, with a touch of Hurt!Jim. So, yes. Jim has a plan or two, including one to fix the disaster McCoy has brought upon himself. And you know how those plans go...
Thank you, DLB48, for beta reading. I am so appreciative of your expertise!
The story is six parts and I will post the final chapter on Valentine's Day. Thank you for reading!
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek.
Valentine's Day was for the birds.
Jim's foul mood scattered his crewmen as he muttered under his breath and stormed his way towards the bridge for his alpha shift. The indulgent holiday was simply terrible. It brought out the worst in everyone and ensuing problems threatened Jim's sanity. No one was immune to the day's seductive powers, including much of his bridge crew. This year was no exception.
Scotty ran out of whiskey and misplaced his spare bottles two days ago, causing the Scotsman to rant and rave like Jim had never seen. Jim barely refrained himself from joining in as he expected to partake of the drink on Valentine's Day as well, per their tradition. Scotty's fit, better suited for the preschool classroom than a star ship rec room, caused the engineer to then confine himself to his quarters for twenty-four hours. Jim entered Scotty's realm hesitantly yesterday only to hear the man curse up a storm at whomever had taken his bottles. That wasn't the only thing. From there it only escalated.
That same day, McCoy somehow contracted his own case of some bizarre fish mutation on their most recent mission. The doctor was crankier than ever and smelled funny but that really wasn't all that new to Jim, if he was to be honest about McCoy's drinking binges. The scales on the fingers...well...that was new.
Jim refused to feel guilty about the fish incident even with the glares Nurse Chapel sent him each time he visited Bones in sickbay. The fish thing wasn't his fault. The wheels in Jim's mind churned even now, working on a plan to fix the problem. Yes, Jim had requested his CMO to accompany him to help the underwater civilization after they had received a distress call. Standard protocol mandated that an attending doctor accompany the team but Jim never told him to drink the water.
That had been Bones. All Bones. And a mistake.
Their hosts did not intend for anyone to drink that specific water, as they gathered above the sea's surface. Fortunately, Spock knocked it out of Bones' hand after the doctor took one sip. At least it hadn't been the more potent stuff, which Jim curiously asked about later.
With that thought he entered the lift and saw Spock waiting for him.
"Bridge," Jim angrily barked.
Unsurprisingly, Spock didn't even raise an eyebrow at Jim's unorthodox way of speaking. The Vulcan wasn't himself. Spock and Uhura were actually fighting. Jim happened to intercept a delivery of chocolates this morning to Spock from a secret admirer.
As if that hadn't been obvious. Just thinking about facing them both on the bridge made him cringe.
Jim almost groaned when he remembered Chekov. He still didn't know why the young man was bouncing off the walls more than usual. Chekov's excitement certainly bothered the crewman sitting next Chekov on the bridge. Jim could've sworn he'd seen Sulu wearing earplugs yesterday his entire shift.
Speaking of earplugs, Jim remembered why he wanted to ask the helmsman for a pair but what Jim really wished for was a night NOT spent on Spock's couch. Especially a night like tonight. Jim finally had a sweetheart to enjoy the holiday with- his wife- but Carol was acting weird. Really weird.
Actually, he needed those ear plugs before he vacated Spock's quarters for his own so he didn't have to hear her crying. Every time Jim saw his wife off duty it seemed like she was crying, about to cry, or recovering from crying. He barely saw her these days, so tired was he of seeing her red, swollen eyes. At first, Jim assumed it was fault but now since he'd avoided her and she still cried, it couldn't possibly be Jim's doing. He wasn't causing her problems. Carol had told him herself just yesterday.
Nonetheless, she continued to cry or snap at him to leave her alone every time he tried to approach her. Jim was then compelled to spend his sleeping hours in an overly-warm room with an uptight Vulcan who forced him to eat vegetarian while he hunkered down on the couch.
"Pardon me, Captain?"
"What?" Jim glanced up as they abandoned the lift together to step onto the bridge. He reddened as he realized he must have said some of that aloud. "Oh. Nothing."
Spock's attention turned elsewhere. Jim breathed a sigh of relief his words hadn't made much of an impact.
"Keptin on ze bridge!"
At the ear-piercing words, Jim pasted on a smile and glanced at the over-zealous announcer. Chekov really needed to can the excitement. He still acted like he was the president or something. Not that he didn't appreciate it but Jim still didn't have those ear plugs.
Movement to the left caught his eye. Uhura observed them both quietly. She looked especially beautiful today. Jim could think that on behalf of Spock, of course, because he felt nothing for the lieutenant but friendship and for heaven's sake, Jim was married.
Not that that makes a difference to all men, but it did for him. So, yes, today Nyota looked exceptionally beautiful. Jim suspected that was to infuse a certain amount of jealousy in Spock as a newly appointed security guard mistakenly showed his open appreciation for his lady love.
Jim grabbed his first officer's arm the instant he saw the Vulcan twitch and make for Mr. Worthgallen.
"Now, now," Jim whispered. "Why don't you just admit you were wrong and get it over with?"
Spock frowned. "I cannot because I did no wrong, Captain. And Vulcans do not l-"
"Do not lie," Jim rolled his eyes as Spock continued to confirm his own innocence. "I get it but even though that may be so, the fact that you forgot that Nyota absolutely loves Valentine's Day was a mistake."
"I merely did not initiate an engagement in which we would spend our evening."
Jim clapped Spock on the arm. "You just keep thinking like that, Spock." Jim scurried away as Uhura made her way to Spock like a tiger searching for its first kill of the day.
"Captain," Carol's sweet voice rang in his ear. He turned to her, expecting a torrent of emotions, but blinked in shock when he saw her own genuine smile and not a trace of tears.
She was back to normal. Normal. Finally. Someone was normal.
Jim hesitantly replied, his hopes high. "Dr. Marcus."
"Are we still on for tonight?" She still looked sweet, not the menacing woman who must've received the tip from Uhura how to unnerve him with her tears.
Whatever she wanted, Jim would do. As long as she didn't cry.
"Of course," Jim beamed. "Does...does this mean..."
"I'm not upset with you anymore and you can come back to our quarters? Yes."
"I thought you said you weren't upset with me?" Jim asked, confused.
"I'm not. I mean...just come back," she whispered, leaning into him in an unprofessional but delightful way.
Jim blinked, practically numb as her hand touched his and her lips found his cheek. The kiss was as light as a feather but as seductive as he'd ever known.
"I hope that wasn't terribly inappropriate of me, Captain," she teased him.
Jim stared at her in amazement. His wife was back. "It's Valentine's Day. Rules may be broken."
"In that case," she whispered into his ear, caressing it with her lips, "maybe we can leave early?"
"Uh..s..su..su..." He stuttered as his senses went in overdrive.
"I'm counting on it, Captain," she smoothly interrupted.
His wife left him standing there, speechless and flummoxed at the way she morphed overnight into a vixen.
Maybe Valentine's Day wouldn't be so bad after all.