Title: Love Me Too Much
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek, and I do not make any money from these fictions.
Rating: M
Summary: Jim starts to get the feeling that someone is watching his every move – but he brushes it off. He's Captain James T. Kirk, after all – he can take care of himself. But then things start to escalate…

*****

"And then he was like - 'nacho cheese!'" Jim finished, and Chekov giggled at the punch-line to his captain's joke.

"Are you telling that joke again, kid?" Bones grouched as he puts his tray down on the mess hall table, loading Jim's plate with vegetables and fruit before beginning to eat his own dinner.

Jim pouted at his best friend.

"What? It's funny?" the captain protested. "Chekov thought it was funny – didn't you, Chekov?"

The Russians eyes opened wide, and he nodded exuberantly.

Jim smirked at the doctor, who just scoffed.

"I thought it was a very funny joke, sir!" a deep voice interrupted.

Jim looked up, and up, and up to see a tall, large man with dark hair and dark brown eyes in a red uniform.

"Thank you..?" Jim trailed off, trying to place his crew-member's face. He tried to know all of his crew by name, but there had recently been some transfers so he had to work on a few.

"Ensign Robert Samuels, Captain," the man introduced. "I was transferred onto the Enterprise during the last dock."

Jim nodded, smiling.

"Well, I'm glad that they are sending me people with some sense of humor," he replied, sneaking a mischievous look at Bones.

"Yes, sir," Ensign Samuels replied, still standing there awkwardly.

Jim blinked, waiting for the man to leave.

"Dismissed?" he ventured, half-uncertainly and half-authoritatively.

He hated acting like the captain during dinner - he was off-duty - but the new transfers had not yet gotten used to his style of command.

"Yes, sir," the ensign replied, walking around the table and heading towards another where a group of red-shirts were eating.

"Huh," Jim mumbled. "That was kind of strange, wasn't it?"

Chekov and McCoy gave him weird looks.

"I just - he just gives me a bad feeling," Jim tried to explain awkwardly.

The two rolled their eyes, before returning to their meals and joking around.

Jim just couldn't shake that bad feeling, though.

*****

Jim played chess in the rec room with Spock every Tuesday at 1900 hours. Sometimes he won, sometimes Spock won - it was actually pretty even. But Jim didn't really keep track, and he doubted that Spock put any real effort into keeping score, either.

So one Tuesday night, when Spock tipped over his king in surrender, Jim was surprised when Ensign Samuels came up to congratulate him on his "3rd win since I've come aboard, sir. That's best out of 5, for you!"

Jim mumbled something vaguely modest, and watched the large ensign walk away.

"Something seems to be upsetting you, Captain," Spock observed calmly as he packed away the chess set.

"I...something about that ensign just seems...off," Jim murmured softly. "He's keeping score."

"Do you not do the same, Captain? It would be in accordance with your competitive nature, sir," Spock stated.

Jim smiled at his First Officer fondly.

"I don't keep track - we play for fun," he replied. "But Ensign Samuels congratulated me on winning three of the last five games we've played. So either he's been here for every game, or he's asked around to see if I've won."

Spock blinked at him.

"Captain, the results of our chess matches are discussed amongst the crew, and the rec room is available to all off-duty crewmembers," the Vulcan explained.

Jim forced himself to give a self-deprecating chuckle.

"Yeah, I'm probably just being paranoid," he muttered.

*****

Sometimes Jim fenced with Sulu in the training room. Jim didn't know much about fencing, but Sulu was a patient teacher, and it was a way to work off aggressions without brawling or fucking around - neither of which was fitting behavior for the captain of the Federation's flagship.

"Great work-out tonight," Jim praised his helmsman as they stepped into the showers to rinse off.

"Likewise, Captain," Sulu replied.

The blonde gave a little laugh.

"Are you channeling Mr. Spock tonight, Sulu?" Jim asked fondly. "We're off duty - call me Jim."

"Yes, sir," Sulu replied, smirking.

Jim huffed, stepping forward and letting the sonic jets clean him of sweat.

On their way out, Jim frowned.

"Do you see my towel, Sulu?" he asked, looking near his gym bag.

He liked to have a small towel on hand to wipe the sweat from his hands and face during breaks, but it wasn't anywhere to be seen.

"No, sir," the helmsman replied. "Maintentance probably brought it to laundry."

Jim nodded, but he couldn't dismiss the niggling feeling in the back of his mind.

Something wasn't right.

*****

Jim sauntered into engineering, bottle clutched loosely in his hand. He sprawled on a chair in Scotty's office, waiting for his chief engineer to finish up and join him.

"How cannae help you, Capt'n?" the engineer asked brightly as he walked into the office, wiping the grease from his hands as he approached his deck.

"I just wanted to thank you for the whiskey, Scotty," Jim replied. "And ask if you wanted to have a glass with me."

"Whiskey, sir?" the man asked with a small frown. "I havnae giv'n ya whiskey fer weeks."

Jim blinked.

"But...this bottle was on my desk in the ready room when I came in for gamma shift this morning. No note or anything. I figured it was from your still - the bottle's unlabeled and looks like its yours," Jim stated, showing his engineer the bottle.

Scotty frowned, taking the bottle into his hands and looking at the underside.

"It's from ma still, Cap'n. But I didnae put it in your room," Scotty replied.

"Oh," Jim muttered to himself. "Maybe Bones? I guess I could ask him. I don't know why he wouldn't just give it to me himself, though. And no note or anything."

"Cap'n..." Scotty began, handing the bottle back. "I wouldna drink it if you dunno who gave it to ya. The seal's brok'n."

Jim nodded seriously, taking the bottle back and standing up.

"I'm going to go talk to Bones. Poker on Monday?" he asked his engineer.

Scotty nodded, and his captain turned and exited engineering.

"Keenser, get down!" he shouted as he spotted his little green friend sitting on the shelves. "You didna give the cap'n the whiskey, didja?"

The green alien shook his head in the negative and shrugged.

Scotty frowned, concerned.

*****

"Hey, Bones," Jim greeted as he walked into sickbay.

The doctor looked up from his padd, and the retort died on his lips as he took in his smiling friend.

The smile seemed forced - something was wrong. Jim pouted when he didn't get his way - he only forced a smile like that when something was really bothering him.

"What's wrong, kid?" Bones asked.

Jim sighed, hoisting himself up on one of the biobeds and showing Bones the bottle of whiskey.

"Did you leave this in my ready room before alpha shift this morning?" he asked his friend.

"I'm a doctor, not your chief engineer," Bones replied.

Jim let out a little chuckle, but even that seemed forced.

"What's wrong, Jim?" the doctor asked seriously, taking the bottle from Jim's hands when the captain pushed it towards him.

"That was left in my ready room this morning - no note, just like that. I figured Scotty left it, but he said he didn't. I hoped that maybe you did - I can't imagine who else would have without a note. And the seal's broken, but it doesn't seem as if any of the liquor is gone," Jim explained.

Bones looked down - and sure enough, the seal was broken.

"You're not going to drink it, are you?" he asked his friend.

Jim glared at him.

"I'm not stupid, Bones. I don't know who it's from and the seal's broken. For all I know it could be poisoned," Jim huffed.

Bones nodded, setting the bottle on his desk.

"That's smart of you, Jim," the doctor stated. "Now get out of my infirmary so I can finish some of these logs. I need to request a shit load more hyposprays, the way you get into trouble."

Jim pouted all the way out of sickbay, protesting the requisition of more hyposprays.

Bones waited until his best friend was out of sight, and then he turned to the bottle on his desk.

Maybe he was being a little overprotective - but he was going to ask Spock to analyze the liquid for anything unusual.

He wanted to know if it was a poisoned bottle of whiskey or just a gift from a secret admirer.

*****

Bones walked into science, heading toward the senior officer.

"Spock," he greeted the Vulcan tensely. "Can I ask you for a favor?"

The Vulcan turned to him, opening his mouth to reply.

"And before you say anything, it's really for the captain. I need you to analyze this liquid," Bones continued, shoving the bottle toward the First Officer.

Spock blinked, looking down to the bottle in his hands.

"It appears to be some variety of liquor - more specifically, whiskey. I would have thought you to recognize it, Doctor McCoy," the Vulcan replied dryly.

This got him a glare in return.

"It was left on Jim's desk in the ready room - no note, unsealed. It's not from Scotty, and it's not from me. I want to know if it's been tampered with," Bones explained tensely.

The Vulcan nodded, placing the bottle down on the counter to finish his current experiment at a feasible stopping point.

"I will examine it immediately, doctor," Spock stated. "Given the captain's penchant for recklessness, it is unusual that he did not imbibe the liquid."

"He's not stupid, Spock," Bones glared. "And Jim may be reckless, but he's not going to drink from an unlabeled, unsealed bottle just left for him for find, without an accompanying note or identification."

The Vulcan nodded, pouring the liquid into several test tubes and performing various tests. His posture noticeably tensed when the liquid turned bright blue upon the addition of a certain compound.

"What's wrong?" Bones demanded.

"The liquid has been tampered with," Spock replied, voice tight.

His tone was the human equivalent of an angry shout.

"With what?" the doctor asked impatiently.

"Gamma hydroxy butyrate," Spock answered.

"Fuck," the doctor swore. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck."

For once, Spock did not comment on his language.

"It seems that whoever gifted the captain with this bottle wished to incapacitate him," Spock commented stiffly.

Bones stopped swearing for a second for glare at him.

"Do you know what GHB does?" he questioned angrily.

"Gamma hydroxy butyrate acts as an anesthesia on the central nervous system of humans," Spock replied.

"And in low doses, can cause such effects as drowsiness, nausea, and hallucinations - at least for most people. With Jim's sensitive constitution, even a low dose would probably cause seizures and respiratory distress at best, and a coma or death at worst. Was it a low dose?" the doctor asked angrily.

"Not in any sense of the word, doctor," the First Officer replied, anger apparent at the thought of a threat to their captain and friend.

"So some fucker wants Jim so bad that he'll drug him for it, regardless of the consequences," Bones ranted, going off about fuckers and shitheads and stalkers and rapists...

"Doctor," Spock interrupted stiffly. "I do not understand what you are implying."

Bones looked at him incomprehendingly for a moment.

"Spock..." the doctor trailed off. "Whoever this person was, he didn't give Jim a bottle of whiskey full of GHB just for the side effects - which can include death. GHB is traditionally used to drug someone before raping them. And whoever it was - he knew enough to know that Jim probably wouldn't be suspicious of an unlabeled whiskey bottle in his ready room. If the bottle hadn't been unsealed, and if Jim hadn't had the foresight to ask and make sure it was from Scotty..."

Spock looked at the doctor uncomprehendingly for a moment.

"The source of this poisoned liquor wished to intoxicate Jim for the purpose of copulating against his wishes?" the Vulcan asked tensely.

For once, Bones did not comment on Spock's stiff vocabulary.

"Exactly - and if Jim died in the attempt, well...obviously this person didn't care. Maybe they even wanted that. But if all they wanted was Jim dead, GHB wouldn't be the drug used. There are far more efficient and less easily detectible poisons than that - Jim probably would have been able to tell that the drink had been tampered with. It would have tasted saltier than regular whiskey," Bones explained.

"But Mr. Scott is known to experiment," Spock pointed out.

Bones clenched his jaw grimly.

"And I'm afraid that whoever gave this bottle to Jim knew that, too," Bones gritted out. "We're going to have to be on the look-out."

The Vulcan nodded tensely.

They would protect their captain.