Here is the end of it. What started as a simple scene turned into . . . this. I have discovered that Mr. Scott is just amazing to write. Like Bones and Chekov before him, he hijacked this scene. I am very pleased with the way it turned out.

(The anonymous review was correct, by the way. Bones "finally getting the last word" is from the episode "Journey to Babel.")

As some of your may have noticed, I do not normally phonetically write out accents (hence why Chekov does not say "Keptin"). However, I decided to interject a little bit of Scottish brogue here to add a bit more flavor to the scene.

Also, I am hoping to being a rather ambitious Star Trek fanfiction project, and am in serious need of a beta. Please use my e-mail through this site or contact me through my homepage if you would be interested. :-)

Thank you for reading and enjoy!


Scott is grateful that the recreation room is absolutely deserted this late into the evening. He glances around to be absolutely certain they are alone and withdraws a moderately sized silver flask, opens it, and inhales the glorious scent of scotch. He takes a pull, relaxes limply against the chair, sighs in satisfaction. Glancing over to the seat at his left, he passes the flask into the waiting hands of Pavel Chekov.

The ensign examines the flask doubtfully.

"Don't start that," Scott barks at him. "No man can turn down a beautiful whisky."

"But sir, in Russia . . ."

"'In Russia,' nothing! Now you enjoy it." He offers his best hurt expression. "Don't make me drink by m'self, eh?"

Chekov raises the flask to his lips slowly with the expression of a child about to be dosed a particularly vile medication. He takes a minute sip, decides that the experience is not as disastrous as he was expecting, enjoys a longer drink.

"Atta boy," Scott responds. He holds his hand out expectantly and the ensign deposits the flask there. The young man's cheeks are pink from his effort.

"I've been thinking," Scott offers after another drink and a moment's silence.

"I would not suggest thinking while you are drinking, sir." Chekov catches himself, holds up a hand. "At least not about difficult things, sir!"

Scott throws his free arm in exasperation. "Ah, pish! I'll make an exception for this one." He pauses, regards the flask in his hands with a loving expression, downs another slug. "Y'know, I have a feeling I'm cursed."

Chekov raises an eyebrow. "How can you be cursed, sir?"

"I dinnae ken where I keep going wrong . . ."

Chekov narrows his expression, attempting to translate the slightly slurred brogue speech. "Mr. Scott?"

Scott takes another drink and passes the flask excitedly to Chekov. "Ye see, there was this beagle." He shoulders slump. "I really wish I knew where that damn dog went."

Chekov suddenly realizes he may be in a little over his head, and consoles himself with a generous portion of scotch.

"Friggin' relativistic mechanics," Scott continues on his soliloquy. "Told me they couldn't find the captain and first thought on my mind is spending another damn penance on some God-forsaken planet somewhere. "

Scott reaches for the bottle and Chekov moves it just out of the older man's reach. Ignoring the engineer's disgruntled sounds, Chekov regards him seriously.

"Relativistic mechanics? Sir, you thought--?"

"Stop it!" Scott all but jabs his fingers into his ears.

Chekov attempts to raise an eyebrow. "Whatever it is, I think you are overreacting, sir."

"Well, I'll be damned."

The captain's voice has a shocking effect on the engineer and the ensign. Scott slips from his chair in surprise and catches himself on his hands and knees. Chekov is on his feet and attempts to stand at attention with the bottle of scotch still in his hand. The amber-colored liquid splashes onto the floor and he raises his arm instinctively; Scott makes a terrified, injured sound beneath him. Chekov resolves himself to looking as innocent as possible, which is difficult for a seventeen year-old with a half-empty flask of alcohol in one hand.

"Captain," he offers in his most level voice. He hnads the flask down to Scott as unobtrusively as possible.

Kirk gives a half-bemused, half-knowing smile. His eyes trace a path to an open chair nearest to the two and he limps his way over to it. He is leaning heavily against a crutch as he moves, but even the with the implement his progress is slow and painful.

"You are supposed to be in medical bay, captain?" Chekov offers, halfway between a question and a statement.

Kirk deposits himself in the chair and his limbs fall limp, exhausted. The crutch clatters to the ground. "I'm losing my mind down there. Figured I'd go for a walk." There is an exhausted edge to his words, great gasps of breath between his sentences.

Chekov watches his captain carefully. Kirk's face is pale, his expression drawn tight; the man is obviously in much more pain than he claims outwardly. There is a thick patina of sweat on his face, with deep and dark lines present there that make him look old, almost frail.

Once recovered from the initial shock, Scott is pleased to have the captain in his presence.

"'Allo, cap'n!"

Scott proffers the flask of scotch to his captain with both hands. After a beat he suddenly withdraws it and regards the captain with an exaggerated glance out of the corners of his eyes. "You ain't 'posed to be here."

Kirk shrugs one shoulder, offers a smirk. "Don't tell Bones."

Scott seems to find the prospect of subterfuge extremely entertaining. He chuckles in spite of himself. "He's gonna kill you if'n he finds out."

Kirk rolls his eyes. "Scotty, I busted my ass to get up here. Oblige me a little, will ya?"

The engineer regards his captain's face. A pertinent thought manages to penetrate the haze. "You sure you're 'posed to—?"

"Scotty, give me some alcohol, and that's an order!"

Scott heaves his shoulders in a defeated sigh. "Fine, but I amn't takin' the heat for this one."

Kirk remains utterly silent, his eyes fixed on the chief engineer. Scott shoves the flask in his direction with a mumbled curse. The captain takes a moderate drink, hands it back to Scott. The engineer stares at the flask with the faint notion in the back of his mind that he may have just committed a grievous offense and decides to drown the idea with a long drink. His face falls flat, however, after his attempt comes up short. He turns the flask upside down to find it completely empty.

"Ay, cap'n?"

Kirk looks up. "Yeah, Scotty?"

"Ye drank the rest of me scotch."

Kirk tries unsuccessfully to hide his amusement. "Consider it reimbursement for my troubles."

"Oh. I ah—" Mr. Scott looks about himself exaggeratedly, as if searching for inspiration in the walls. "M'sorry for what happened with the transporter." He speaks the sentence with so much animation that Kirk is afraid he may fall over with the effort.

"Yeah, about that." Kirk holds the dramatic pause for a breath before he reaches out to smack the engineer on the shoulder, though the normally robust gesture comes off only half-hearted. The smile on his face betrays his words. "What the hell happened there, Scotty?"

The blow, however gentle, nearly unseats Mr. Scott, who sways back and forth dangerously afterwards. "How am I 'posed to know there was a cliff there? Do I look like a carta. . . cartogra . . . cartographist?"

"Cartographer, sir," Chekov offers smartly.

Scott looks over his shoulder, lifts the empty flask in approval. "Aye! That!"

Kirk laughs dryly. "I assure you, Scotty, what happened during transport was the least of our problems."

The engineer has his eyes squinted shut as if bracing for verbal lashing. It takes him a moment to detect the lack of anger from the other side of the room. "Wha? Really now?"

"Oh yeah, yeah. Tell him, Chekov."

The ensign jumps. "Me, sir?"

"Yes, you." Kirk narrows his eyes, puts on his best dramatic expression.

Chekov stares blankly at his captain. A glance over at Scott shows the engineer is leaning forward very close to the ensign, his eyes wide with expectation. "Er... okay, sir."

The young ensign begins to recount to the engineer the events that transpired against the hostile alien creature and, however exaggerated the account may be, Kirk feigns ignorance. He decides to let Chekov take the glory for this one and listens to the Russian's riveting account with genuine interest.

". . . And I was hanging onto its head and I took the phaser and put it to the lizard's eye at shot it clean off!" The ensign beams proudly and hastily adds: "Sir."

"No!" Scott claps the ensign on the shoulder with a heavy hand; the impact nearly jars the ensign from his seat. "That's amazing!" After a beat he narrows his eyes and tries his most sober expression. "Ye sure it really happened thataway?"

"Yes, sir." Chekov squares his shoulders. "That lizard never stood a chance!"

Scott is doubled over in laughter in the inexplicable mirth that only spirits can provide. He reaches up to slap the ensign on the knee and mutters from somewhere in the vicinity of the floor: "I dinnae think he did, laddie!" Chekov is brimming with pride and liquid courage. They make an interesting team, two brilliant minds that in another life would probably not be speaking the same language, let alone sharing the same alcohol. It makes the agony of his journey from medical bay, as irresponsible and foolish as he knows it is, worth every drop of sweat and every ounce of pain. Kirk decides he would not have things any other way, even if it includes an engineer that beams him off the side of cliffs and an ensign that, somehow, knows how to incapacitate alien lizards. Kirk makes a mental note not to let Chekov one-up him in that department again.

The laughter from his comrades suddenly stops at the sound of very authoritative footsteps. Chekov's eyes become very wide indeed, and Scott attempts a sarcastic salute that merely results in nearly slapping himself in the face. Kirk can discern the identity of the suddenly looming presence at his back merely from their reactions. He does not need the resounding curse that follows to tell him that his evening is fated to turn very bad, indeed. For the doctor is armed with a hypospray and a forthright air and has no qualms against using either. . .

"Dammit, Jim!"