Disclaimer: After 37 times, I assume you can figure it out yourselves.


As was his custom, Mr. Spock entered the Mess Hall at precisely 6:20 in the evening, PADD tucked under his arm. He estimated an average-sized crowd, a slight rise from the previous evening.

He crossed the room, and stopped at the replicators. He ordered a green salad, no dressing, and whole-grain wheat bread. Then, carefully searching out an empty table at the back of the crowded room, he set down his tray of food, laid his PADD next to it, and sat down. He needed to catch up with his reading on the effects of various degrees of gravitational pressure on the growth of certain cultures of micro-bacteria.

Ten minutes later, give or take three minutes, Dr. McCoy realized it was high time he ate something. Leaving a stack of reports and a promise to straighten them out later with the nurse on duty, he strolled down to the Mess Hall. On arrival, he gave absolutely no thought to the size of the crowd. Wending through it he headed for the replicators, ordering fried chicken and potato salad. Then, tray in hand, he pondered where to sit.

Scotty was at one of the back tables, sunk deep in conversation with Lieutenant Kyle. McCoy went that direction. On his way, he passed Spock's table. It was a table for eight, and the Vulcan was sitting at it alone, reading something off of a PADD. McCoy didn't have to read any of it to be sure that it was complicated and obscure. He rolled his eyes, reflected that he really didn't understand Spock, and began to continue walking. But then something made him hesitate. Nothing in the room or even on the ship, but something far more intangible. Something in his memories prodded at him, and he didn't keep walking. He glanced at Spock again. He told himself that he would probably regret this. But, obeying a feeling, he did it anyway.

McCoy never got to Scotty's table that evening. Instead, he plunked his tray on the table and sat down across from Spock.

Spock looked up. If he was surprised, he didn't show it. If he was pleased, he didn't show that either. But his eyebrow wasn't up, and McCoy took that as a good sign.

McCoy picked up a piece of chicken. "So, Spock. How've you been?"


…And…I guess that's all, folks. Wow…I first thought this up eighteen months ago, I've been posting it for almost a year…it's gonna be weird not to be working on it anymore. Though I've already launched into other stories…[shameless plug] Will soon be posting the first chapter of a Pirates of the Caribbean novel, I hope you'll check it out! Also have some other Star Trek stuff I expect to post some time soon…

Thank you so, so much for all your many, many reviews, analysis, suggestions, and just general feedback! This is the first serious novel I've ever tried to write and the longest thing I've ever finished (by a lot), and I couldn't have done it without you guys! I can't thank you enough for all your interest and support. So…thanks!

Live long and prosper,