Title: Come Home to the Iowa State Fair
Characters: Ensemble
Rating: PG
Category: Crack on a stick. Gen.
Notes/Warnings: Silliness abounds. Written for a prompt from the LJ st_xi_kink meme. Crack, but I think the crackiest parts are all true things (if you go to my LJ, you can find links in the story). Also, unbeta'd. I just read the prompt and wrote. Title taken from the 1986 Iowa State Fair theme.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Summary: Kirk drags the gang along with him to a state fair. There can be as many people as you'd like, as many or as few pairings, but it must be sheer crack.

The thing that Jim had to admit about himself was that he was generally very high-spirited. Always strode onto the bridge with a grin, calling out greetings, clapping various crew members about the shoulders as he passed.

So he forgave the bridge crew almost immediately for not taking note of his especially cheery mood as they started their shift.

It didn't take long, though. Because the thing about his crew was that they were very, very smart. They were best crew a captain could ever ask for. Jim hadn't been a captain very long yet, but he was sure of that.

"You're in a good mood today, Captain," Sulu said.

Jim pounced on that. "I am in a good mood, yes, that is true. A very good mood."

Bones rolled his eyes. "Did you really have to call me to the bridge for this?" he asked. "I do have sick people to be tending to."

Nothing could bring Jim down, not even Dr. Killjoy. He just grinned even more broadly. "Oh, Bones," he said fondly.

Spock raised an eyebrow. "Captain, I feel compelled to comment that this joviality is--even for you--particularly...intense."

"Well, I have particularly good news," Jim answered. "We're going on a field trip, my friends."

Bones was shaking his head before Jim even finished. Jim could almost take offense at that. "Damn it, Jim, I told you these planetside jaunts--"

Jim held up a hand. "And if I said that the planet was Earth?"

Jim was treated to the entire bridge crew pulling a Spock and raising an eyebrow. That sort of delighted Jim. Had they been practicing that? Jim did miss some shifts with all his visits to sickbay.

"We're not scheduled to head back towards Earth, sir," Sulu finally said.

Jim waved a hand. "I've been talking to Scotty. He's confident he can beam us down once we get close enough."

Chekov looked intrigued. "How close is close enough?" he asked.

The words flew out of his mouth. "I'm a captain, not an engineer," he said.

Uhura's cough sounded suspiciously like a laugh. Seriously, could this day be any better?

"Set the course, Sulu," Jim ordered. "We have a tight schedule here."

"We're actually going back to Earth?" Bones asked as they gathered in the transporter room.

"Just for the day," Jim cautioned. Maybe he should have made that clearer when he first told them about this. They had a specific purpose. "We're getting beamed back up at twenty-four hundred hours, Central Daylight Time."

"Central Daylight Time?" Uhura repeated. "Where are we going?"

"You'll see." Jim looked in his bag. Admission tickets, punch cards, food coupons, midway tickets, and Fair Play Packs...he probably had everything. "All right, everyone, onto the platform." He herded them over. "All right," he said to the ensign at the controls. "Energize."

Jim grinned at them as they looked around.

"It's--Iowa," Bones finally said.

Scotty blinked. "What are we doing in Iowa, then, captain?"

"We're going to the fair."

"We're what?" Uhura asked blankly.

Jim grinned and threw his arms out. "The internationally-acclaimed Iowa State Fair, and you guys are here on opening day. No, don't thank me. Let's just get in before it gets too crowded. Here are your wristbands. You have unlimited rides."

"Captain, I hardly think this is a worthwhile use of our time."

First officer Buzzkill. "Well, we're here, so we might as well check it out, right? Come on, aren't you hungry? I'm hungry. What are you hungry for? We've got it on a stick. I think I'm going for the deep fried Milky Way myself."

He kept chatting until they were safely through the gate. "All right," he said in relief. "The parade will start in 30 minutes. Go get something to eat and meet me back here."

Scotty took off immediately. "Is that a sandwich on a stick?" Jim heard him exclaim. "Brilliant!"

Chekov and Sulu exchanged a glance. "Aye, sir," Chekov said, and they wandered over to a booth.

"They have salad on a stick," Jim said to Spock.

The exhalation of breath wouldn't be considered a sigh in anyone but Spock. But he and Uhura walked over to a stall.

"Jim, seriously, what is going on?" Bones demanded. "Even you aren't this frivolous."

Jim shook his head. "You'll see. Now, go get something to eat. We don't have bourbon on a stick, but there's gotta be something you'll like."

Bones rolled his eyes, but did turn away.

Jim rubbed his hands together. This was going to be great.

Jim was right, just like he knew he would be. It was great. Sure, Chekov wandered off and got lost, but Bones knew just what to do: had him paged and found him with the other lost kids. And then there was the kid who'd thrown the candy apple--stuck right to Spock's shirt. His expression was priceless. Uhura had cotton candy in her hair.

But it was all worth it.

Jim had snuck away to make sure. Yes, it was there.

"All right, one more thing," he said, "and then we can check out the concerts."

"What is there left to look at?" Sulu asked. "You've dragged us all around."

"Dragged?" Jim was almost hurt. But everyone got grumpy after a long, hot day, and it had been humid, even for Iowa. "But you haven't seen the butter cow yet, and you can't spend a day at the fair without seeing that."

Spock raised an eyebrow. "The...butter cow."

"You have butter sculpting in Iowa, too?" Chekov piped up. "It was invented in Russia, you know."

"Butter sculpting? This is a thing?" Uhura demanded.

"A long and noble history," Jim informed her. "We take just pride in it. And we don't just do cows, either. No, sir. All kinds. We've had Harry Potter, Superman, Tiger Woods, even a Last Supper. It's always a butter cow and something else."

"And what is the something else this year?" Bones asked.

Then his eyes went wide.

They all seemed to get it.

A slow smile crossed Sulu's face. "When we walk into that hall, we're going to see a life-size version of you...in butter?" he guessed.

Jim grinned back. They were at the entrance. "You guys ready for this? It's okay if you have to take a moment."

They didn't take him up on the offer, walking right in. That was all right. All the better to surprise them with.

Jim hung back, trying to make sure he could see all of their reactions when they saw it.

It couldn't have gone better.

Uhura gasped. Scotty's eyes went wide. Bones choked. Chekov's jaw dropped. Sulu started laughing. And Spock blinked.

"But...it's all of us!" Scotty stammered.

"Of course it is," Jim said casually.

It was a butter bridge of the Enterprise, with everyone at their stations, and Bones and Scotty standing to the side.

"That's why you were taking those pictures of us!" Uhura exclaimed.

"Well, I wasn't starting a scrapbook."

"These are extraordinarily detailed," Spock said. "The controls, even, have buttons etched in."

Jim looked around. "So, admit it, guys. Totally worth it. Come on. A career in Starfleet, saving the world, it'll all pass. But a butter sculpture at the Iowa State Fair--well, that's something to tell the grandkids about."

Comments and criticism always welcomed!