"Sir?" Lieutenant Uhura glanced over her shoulder. "We're being hailed by the Romulan ship again."

Kirk groaned. Don't tell me…she left her hairbrush in her quarters and wants it back. "On screen, Lieutenant."

The star field disappeared, replaced by the sardonic smirk of his former yeoman. "One more thing, Captain Kirk. Do you recall several instances in the past when the coffee I served you tasted…off?"

He squeezed his eyes shut. The woman's voice had never seemed to grate on his ears before. Perhaps it was her recent betrayal, or he had simply never noticed the subtle undercurrent of annoyance at having been his lackey for any amount of time. "I do. As I remember, you blamed it on the food synthesizer acting up-"

"-or a mislabelling of salt as sugar. That's right," Bates purred, something which Kirk found oddly to be more unnerving than her earlier disdain. "Another manifestation of my treachery, sir," she laughed. "The truth is, I spat in your cup many, many times. And you never once caught on." She shook her head slowly in amusement. "Bon voyage." The transmission ended. Several of the crew who were on the bridge shared looks of disbelief and revulsion. Even Spock found it difficult to make eye contact with the captain.

Kirk fell back in his chair, thoroughly annoyed and not a little disgusted. He licked his lips, remembering her words. Though part of him wanted to believe her comments were intended as a parting shot, he still felt slightly sick to his stomach. Note to self: visit sickbay soon and have myself tested for everything

He eased up from his chair and headed up the steps. "Mr. Spock, you have the conn. I will be back…momentarily," he finished.

Spock looked up, a concerned expression knitting his brow. "Are you all right, sir? Your skin exhibits an unnatural pallor."

Kirk put a hand on the first officer's shoulder. "Perfectly fine, Commander. I just have a sudden urge to… brush my teeth." That said, he moved past Spock and disappeared into the turbolift.