"Exclamation Point"

Genre: Humor, crack!fic
Rating: T (for a squick factor)
Time Frame: Post ST-XI
Characters: Sulu, Kirk, McCoy, Spock

Summary: Where being friends with one James T. Kirk once again puts everyone within inches of loosing their sanity . . .

Notes: This is once again a request from Tory, plotted out over a very long car ride and too much coffee and too much insanity, and . . . I am really making excuses for a fic? Aren't I? I think that that puts me at a very bad place . . . Anyway, this fic has me returning to the good ol' crack!fic genre once again. What does that entail, you ask? Don't take anything seriously, this is written solely for the purpose of a few laughs, and putting characters through situations that they would never be in otherwise . . .

Disclaimer: Nothing is mine but for the words.


"Exclamation Point"
by Mira-Jade


In the beginning, the idea of a shoreleave had started as such a simple thing.

You see, the Enterprise had come to orbit the planet of Kardia. The planet was a small world, boasting of only two cities who clung to the solitary river that was the planet's only water source. While the cities were small, they held in their ranks some of the best swordsmiths in the entire galaxy. Obviously, this was an instant draw to Hikaru Sulu's curiosity. So, he signed up for a shoreleave to visit the main city while the science portion of the crew had a field-day with the rather odd electromagnetic energy field that the planet had about it – something long and complicated that Spock had droned on at length about. When Kirk had dumbed down the scientifics of it, all they really needed to know was that there was something funky in the atmosphere that made it impossible for you to use the transporter system unless you were comfortable with having your arms attached where your legs were supposed to go.

Kirk, if nothing else, did have a way with words. Spock had looked a little miffed about the Captain's phrasing, which, in retrospect, was probably one of Kirk's goals to begin with.

Two hours after coming into orbit around Kardia, he had made a beeline straight for Kardiass – the more busy of the twin cities. What he did not expect, was for his Captain to accompany him in that beeline. A few months earlier, shortly after pulling away from Earth the second time, he had taken to giving the Captain fencing lessons, which were going well in of themselves. What he did not foresee, due to these said lessons, was that Kirk would find the city of Kardiass to be as beguiling as he did himself.

It wasn't even that that didn't end well. He had even enjoyed the outing, and came away from it with a handcrafted Kardiassian blade that was perfectly weighted and suited for his style of play. No, no. The trouble began when, on the way back, Kirk spied an outpost for hoverbike rentals.

Apparently, Kardia had at one point in time been a planet rich with rivers and waterways interlacing on the whole of its surface. While these rivers had long since dried, they had left a maze work of ravines and canyons in their wake – the smallest of these equaling the still standing Grand Canyon back on Earth. These canyons were best seen by bike – perfect for navigating the narrow outcroppings and shallow drops. Apparently, these were a draw for the nature lover and extreme sports enthusiast alike.

It wasn't hard to guess as to which category Kirk fell into.

So, when Kirk grabbed him by the arm and pulled him in the direction of the rentals, he wasn't one to protest too much. After all, he was curious himself – machines of any kind interested him, particularly those with a reputation for speed such as these . . .

Not even twenty minutes later had them careening through the canyons faster than it was admittedly safe for the hoverbikes to go. It was exhilarating, to be sure. There was a stretch of adrenaline and reflexes here, one that he was all too happy to indulge in. After all, there was only so much that the simulators could do for you before you became disquieted with the experience.

And Kirk was admittedly talented with these. He was almost hard to keep ahead of. Almost, anyway.

Not that they were racing, because they weren't . . . If he sped up with a far off rock formation in view – the end of their checkpoint for the rentals – then it didn't mean anything when Kirk sped up as well.

Not one bit.

And if he were to perform a few risky moves in order for him to pull ahead, then that didn't mean anything either.


It wasn't officially on until Kirk mirrored the moves exactly, coming uncannily close to catching up to him.

Then it was on.

He was able to keep ahead most of the time. He had reflexes with years of training to back them up, while Kirk had only his admittedly remarkable natural talent to help him along. Still, Sulu found himself hard pressed to keep his lead, as small as it was. So, when he cut the engine to fall one level in the canyon's tiers, only to gun it to jump across to another level that would cut his time in half, he did not expect Kirk to try the move as well.

In the end, assuming was a rather dangerous thing. When he reached the outcropping – alone, he knew that there was something wrong.

Letting loose a curse, he turned around, and head back the way he had come. The wreck of Kirk's hoverbike wasn't that far behind – Kirk, however was.

Feeling real worry cut through the annoyance he had felt only moments ago, he immediately came to a stop and ran over to the Captain's crumpled form. He was breathing, that was good – and judging by the rather creative curses pouring from Kirk's mouth (five languages that he could recognize, and another three that he couldn't) he wasn't seriously hurt.

When Kirk tried to get to his feet he ran a bit faster. "Hey, maybe it's not such a good idea to move right away," he said as he came to Kirk's side, memories from his basic courses in first response coming into play.

Kirk rolled his eyes, even as he grimaced. "Trust me, that's not the worst wipe-out I've ever had."

Sulu raised a brow, looking at the smoking wreck of a hover craft lying some ways away. Er, just how far was he thrown?

"Really?" he said, somewhat doubtfully.

"Really," Kirk confirmed, grimacing as he tried to right himself. He was bumped and bruised, and his legs were obviously wobbly.

"Here, just take it easy," Sulu said, moving to give him a hand.

Kirk shook his head. "It's nothing, just my arm . . . I knew I didn't fall the right way."

"Your arm?" Sulu questioned, before looking down to the Captain's right arm, and oh Kami -

He was going to loose his lunch.

Under the gold material, the limb was twisted at a very odd, very unnatural angle. Kirk's face was quickly draining of color, and his breathing was coming quicker as he tried to move his arm out of the way so he could sit comfortably on the ground.

Sulu put a hand over his mouth. Just . . . thank-goodness there was no blood. He couldn't handle blood. Blood made unpleasant things come up and vision go away . . .

Kirk noticed his attempts not to gag. "You okay?"

"Yes," he breathed. No, he thought desperately, even as he moved a few feet away to take out his communicator to contact the Enterprise, and McCoy in particular.

He'd never been happier to hear their CMO's voice before. Ever.

"Sir, I have a problem here."

In the next few minutes, his problem grew bigger. Apparently the Captain was allergic to everything in the books that would make it possible for Kirk to hold it together for the trip back to the Enterprise – they actually had to arrange shuttle transportation, seeing as how the transporter units were all offline at the moment.

Sulu could very quickly see this deteriorating into a 'very bad thing' when Spock's voice joined McCoy's on the other end of the line as the three hashed out exactly what to do. Well . . . they hashed out what to do. He just sorta listened, his eyes flickering nervously as he took in Kirk's growing expression of agony. He fought the instinctive urge to pat the Captain's arm soothingly. . . or something equally ridiculous of the like. Common sense told him that Kirk may not have appreciated said arm being touched in any way.

Over the communicator, McCoy and Spock were still bickering (as much as one could bicker with a Vulcan, anyway). Sulu finally rolled his eyes. "So, what am I supposed to do?"

"Even if we could get around the electorates in the atmosphere to allow transporter abilities, it is never a good idea to beam someone with an injury like that," McCoy finally said. Apparently, the good Doctor had finally triumphed over Spock's beliefs in science.

Sulu shook his head, a part of him running cold as he thought of how McCoy's winning of the argument may have bidden for him . . .

"Um, so what am I supposed to do?" He was surprised that his voice was calm, level. "Keep the Captain comfortable until you get here?"

He hoped to Kami that that would be the case . . .

"Not exactly," McCoy said, but he did not continue. Sulu stiffened upon thinking that whatever was following next had to be a bad sort of bad if it had Bones hesitating to come out and say it.

He braced himself, "Then what, Doctor?"

He could actually hear McCoy hesitating.

Finally, Spock let out a puff of air that was equivalent to a Vulcan sigh. It crackled over the communicator. "I am afraid, Mr. Sulu, that the basic and more immediate of the Captains medical needs will have to be seen to by you, seeing as how a medical team shall be of some duration in coming."

Which, when translated meant . . . oh, kisma. "By basic medical needs," he said slowly, "you mean . . ."

"First off," McCOy said, dodging the question. "Is his arm actually broken?"

Sulu blinked. Well . . .

Huh. He didn't know.

Kirk's way of dealing with the pain was resorting to mumbling out his numbers backwards from a hundred in both Klingon and Andorian . . . He had no idea that the Captain knew either one of those languages, let alone both. His arm looked bad . . . it was held awkwardly, and . . . eugh. There was a reason that he had signed up for the helmsmen's courses . . . He had never considered himself light skinned when it came to medical practices but apparently . . . His lunch heaved somewhat violently, and why, oh why, had he let Scotty talk him into the Louisianian Devil's Sub earlier? The Cajun seasonings were disagreeing with everything that was going on right now . . .

He winced. "I do not know, Doctor."

He could 'see' Bones' scowl. "Well then, look."

He says it so matter-of-factly, Sulu thought bitterly. "What exactly am I looking for?" he asked, trying to keep the bite from his voice.

McCoy's quick breath in signified annoyance. Spock was the one to answer, "Normally, the most obvious sign separating a fracture from any other type of injury would be a sound made upon the break's onset. Tell me, Mr. Sulu, did you hear any sort of snap, or grinding noise upon the moment of contact? They are subtle, but obvious enough to have not escaped your notice."

He blanched. "Um, I did not hear anything . . ." Bones sounded like that? Like twigs snapping, his mind supplied somewhat morbidly. He felt his stomach twist.

"About the point of fracture, is there swelling perhaps? Coloring that is not normal? A bad break would result in some pieces of the skeletal structure to make unusual bumps from where they pressed against the skin. There may have been areas that even broke through the skin."

His stomach twisted some more. There was nothing . . . protruding through the skin.

"No . . . none of that," he said, and he could hear McCoy snickering at the tremor that had entered his voice.

Jaku, his mind provided for him.

"Perhaps, if you were to feel, there would be an obvious give between the separate parts of the bone structure. If you would -"

They wanted him to do what now?

Apparently, McCoy's humor had faded enough for him to interject. "Good God man! Hikaru has troubles when I proscribe hypos to him, let alone handling anything like this -"

"He is still listening," Sulu interrupted, even though he was thankful that the Doctor had stopped Spock's more detailed explanation of breaking bones and the . . . give between them.


McCoy sighed. "Sulu, Kirk's broken enough bones to know when something isn't right, just ask him."

Sulu glared at the communicator with enough force that would have made a Klingon wither.

Kirk had a smile on his face past the pain that was twisting it. "Didn't know you were squicky about some things, Lieutenant," he said, his voice a strange combination of a cackle and a wheeze.

Sulu had a vindictive moment of hoping that something more was broken than just the Captain's arm. "Is your arm broken, Captain?" he muttered sullenly, his eyes flashing.

Kirk winced as he flexed his muscles, and Sulu felt something in him threaten to heave when he could hear the distinct sound of something rubbing together that never was supposed to.

"Oh yeah," Kirk's voice was higher pitched than usual, "it's broken."

"It's broken," Sulu said to the communicator.

McCoy sighed. "It looks like we're going to have to do this the hard way, then."

The hard way? Something ugly twisted at his insides.

"Hard way?" he repeated with his eyes closed.

"You can't wait to set bones. It'll take me about a half an hour to get to your location due to the canyons, and in that time the bones will start healing no matter where they are. I'd need to rebreak them and set them properly if they went too long without medical attention." McCoy said this all slowly, a hint of an apology in his voice. "You're going to have to set it for me temporarily until I get there and let the bone replicator can do the rest."

Kirk winced. "Those things really suck when you're allergic to pain meds," he wheezed, his whole tone suggesting a deep loathing and resignation.

Sulu stopped himself from asking just how many times Kirk had been acquainted with said replicator – an instrument that sped up the natural healing process until new bones were grown in literally minutes. The process would be as painful as all get-out without anything helping . . .

The pity kinda helped with the wanting to heave sensation. A little, anyway.

He shut his eyes tightly together, and said on a courageous exhale. "And how does one go about setting Bones, Doctor?"

He could hear a flutter of static – no doubt McCoy debating with Spock over how best to instruct him about this. Sulu took the moment's reprieve to pledge to never go racing with Kirk again. Ever.


. . . unless there were highly trained medical assistants nearby. Kirk would never let him hold that one as a win, (which it totally was), and would want a rematch. . . He really was trying to think of anything other than the task before him.

"Okay, here's what you do," McCoy started slowly. "First off, tell me, is the fracture single or compound?"

He looked over at Kirk. "Just one place," Kirk mumbled, "Clean cut."

As he repeated Kirk's words, Sulu shook his head, once again wondering at just what kind of life the Captain had lived before Starfleet to give him such a working knowledge of his own body in these kinds of injuries and situations. They'd make some good stories, to be sure. Put McCoy's bourbon to good use, maybe . . .

The distracting himself was working, slightly.

"Now, I need you to get something relatively straight, and strong. A tree branch perhaps?"

Sulu looked around, and after that it was relatively simple to find what he needed amongst the undergrowth at the canyon's floor.

"Got it," he said.

After that came the fun part. The bone needed to be pulled into a normal position so that both parts were lined up properly before it could be wrapped. That would involve touching . . . Dear Kami, but he was going to be up close and personal with this anyway, wasn't he?

Kirk was looking as amused as one could past the prospect of having his bones set by a novice. Sulu was halfway surprised that the other man hadn't just passed out yet. Kami knew he would have . . .

"Well, here's the fun part, Lieutenant," Kirk said with a twisted smile on his face.

Sulu did not return it.

"Spoil sport," Kirk mocked.

He snorted, and inched closer to Kirk as if he were something with teeth and venom. Kirk rolled his eyes, "Come on, man. This is something that is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you." The end of his sentences, no mater how light the phrasing, had taken on a tone that he was used to hearing only in heavily dire situations. It made a part of him – the battle hardened and combat weary part of him – snap to attention.

His hands didn't shake too badly when he gingerly felt at the Captain's arm. His stomach was a totally different story altogether.

Kirk drew in a sharp hiss through his teeth. Over the communicator McCoy snorted."C'mon kid, suck it up."

Kirk glared at the silver devise, his eyes holding nothing but the most absolute loathing.

McCoy must have known, for next he said, "It serves you right for trying that prank anyway. You should've known better."

Kirk snorted. "I've gotten away with worse before."

"Obviously," McCoy said condescendingly. "That sure explains Czan Minor, doesn't it?"

"I really hate you," Kirk breathed out on a tense exhale.

He found the break, and eww, but they really did sound like twigs . . . they felt different though. A part of him felt queasy, while the rest was voting for a quick passing out. It would make everything so much better . . .

"That's it, right there." Kirk bit his tongue, his whole body trembling. He grunted as his eyes started to water, "Now, just do it quickly."

It was almost disturbingly easy how the bones snapped into place.

Eww, just eww. Eww, eww, and ewwww.


His hands were trembling when he picked up the strips of his uniform that he had cut earlier and started strapping Kirk's arm to the branch he had found.

"I am never doing anything like that ever again," he said, disgust making his voice shudder and his stomach heave. "Next time you pull something stupid, do it somewhere where McCoy is near – because next time I'll let the good doctor just rebreak the bones when he gets here. I ain't touching a thing. I'm not doing a thing. I'm just going to stand back and say – hey, check it out, Kirk did something stupid again. Guess who's not lifting a finger? That's right. Me." He ended his rant with a sharp tug on the bandages that dared to tangle on him.

"That's a way to serve your commanding officer," Kirk tried to joke, his voice still strained.

Sulu snorted. "Any other commanding officer would not have had a subordinate in that situation to begin with." Each word was punctuated by a rather sharp wrapping of the bandage around Kirk's arm.

Kirk nodded, something small entering his smile that made Sulu feel rather silly about his pique. "True, Hikaru. True. And yet - any other Captain would be hard pressed to find an officer so quick to put aside his disgust to do that for him."

He'd focus on the pride in the Captain's voice later. Under his touch, something just squished the wrong way, and oh, but that was the final straw . . .

He made it about ten steps away before he promptly lost his lunch.

Kirk was laughing at him for a long time about that one.

When McCoy finally got there he took one look at Sulu's novice job, and shook his head. "Want something done right, you have to do it yourself . . ." he was mumbling under his breath as he and Spock helped Kirk to his feet without jarring him to badly.

The rest of his statement tapered off when he caught the rather pointed glare on Sulu's face. Snorting, he rolled his eyes as he turned to the shuttle that was waiting a little further down in the canyon. "What can I say? I'm a pilot, not a Doctor."

He figured McCoy's snort of laughter was about as close as he would ever get to a 'well done.' But hey, he would take what he could get. And when he put a bone replicator in his pack next time he beamed down to the planet's surface with Kirk, no one said a word.

In the end, it really was ridiculous how much of a workout that thing got.

And yet, in the end, if that was the price of serving with one Captain like James T. Kirk, then he was pretty sure that he was okay paying it.

Every now and again, anyway.