Title: Tales of a Security Chief, Vol. II

Summary: By popular demand and due to characters that won't stop telling stories in my head, Volume II: continuing stories of Security Chief Cmdr. Sam Giotto, a 50-something on a ship filled with 20-somethings (his captain included). This is a series of shorts about his experiences.

I always thought the security chief ought to have been given a bit more of a roll considering how many of his redshirts Kirk goes through on away missions. Cmdr. Giotto is identified as the head of security in the TOS episode The Devil in the Dark. I have a soft spot for the redshirts and Giotto has taken on a bit of a life of his own in my imagination. He is one of the few TOS characters with nearly all gray hair and I since I've been noticing some myself lately, I got to thinking about what it would be like for him in the AU serving on a ship full of rookies, including a very young version of Kirk.

Rating: T

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek (I'd be writing this from a lovely villa in Aruba if I did), but Sam and my other OCs are mine.

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Organizing Shore Leave

Because sometimes even Captains need people to steer them in the right direction

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Cmdr. Sam Giotto stood at the beam down site with his PADD, carefully checking off shore leave groups and giving last minute reminders to stay together and be careful. He couldn't guarantee that they'd followed those instructions after they disappeared from view, but he had to try. Technically, Beugasi was a safe and friendly Federation world and earth-loving Klalais billed itself as the 'New York City of Beugasi' (Giotto had visited his cousins in NYC on a number of occasions and as much as he enjoyed the city, it could only be said to be safe if you kept your wits about you and stayed out of the wrong areas after dark). While this lopsidedly young crew acquitted themselves well in actual crises, they had yet to learn caution on leaves and if he read their mood right, they were likely to drop their guards and let loose here. Given that their last mission could most charitably be described as 'profoundly strange', he couldn't entirely blame them; the crew badly needed leave. However, while this was a Federation world, too much letting loose could still land them in serious trouble. At least most of his own department seemed to have learned to behave themselves (or had at least absorbed the lesson of what he could and would do to them if they didn't), and he had already sent his second and third in command along with two groups of the slow-learners. He planned to finish logging this shift of leave takers and accompany the last group down to make sure they didn't repeat their last wild excursion.

He watched as the second-to-last group materialized before him. This group included the young Captain, the Doctor, and four people from his own department. Dr. McCoy looked fairly happy for once, but then Sam had arranged the leave roster to give him four officers capable of helping him keep the Captain out of trouble. Despite the presence of four young and reasonably attractive females in his group, the Captain did not look anywhere near as happy. Of course, since those women were largely off-limits for him, but likely to interfere with pursuit of his usual shore leave excesses, his discontent was probably a little justified. Giotto schooled his features to careful ignorance as the Captain came over with the clear intent of having a word with him.

"Mr. Giotto, is there some reason for the make-up of my group?" Kirk was nothing if not direct.

Giotto raised his eyebrows innocently. "You usually prefer to have Dr. McCoy accompany you, sir."

"I mean the four security officers." Kirk frowned. "Look, I know I've run into some trouble on other leaves, but it's like you're assuming I'm going to get into a fight."

Although Giotto was certainly not going to say so, especially in front of junior officers, there was a good deal of precedent for that assumption. Moreover, Kirk was dressed for leave in civvies, including a t-shirt which read in Standard: Here, hold my beer while I kiss your girlfriend. Giotto allowed his gaze to pause a beat on the t-shirt before raising an eyebrow.

Kirk held his hands up. "Hey, this was gag gift from an old friend! It's not like I'd ever say anything like that."

A little way behind him, Giotto could see McCoy roll his eyes and mouth 'yeah, right'. The Doctor caused his own sort of trouble; Sam only narrowly managed to maintain a straight face. "I never imagined that you would, sir. You know the weight I place on the First Rule. If I expected you to get into a fight, I would have assigned my largest and most imposing officers to act as deterrent."

The Captain considered that, looking somewhat mollified. After a lifetime in Security, Giotto had learned how to skirt the truth with amazing sincerity. He dropped his voice slightly. "These four were assigned to your group at their request."

Now Kirk's eyebrows rose inquiringly. "Oh?"

"As I understand it, sir, the Doctor described what he'd heard of the famous Dancing Gardens in the city's central park and his intention to enjoy them. As a result, all four requested that they accompany his party."

"Wait," Kirk said with an appalled expression. "Are you telling me that I'm basically tagging along with Bones and his four dates?"

"No, of course not, sir." Sam carefully ignored the huge grin on McCoy's face. And the way Jessy punched him in the arm. Although they had so far kept the relationship so discrete that even Kirk didn't seem to be aware of it, the Doctor had one date, who happened to have three girlfriends and they all happened to have top ratings in hand-to-hand. The fact that two of the three girlfriends were also a couple and the third was engaged to someone on the Aldrin would leave Kirk little room to charm his way out of surveillance. It was a remarkably neat conspiracy and the fact that Hanlan had put it together almost entirely on her own confirmed his intention to groom her to step into position as his Second once Jenkins and Groesner were promoted to run the security division on another ship.

"I guess none of them are likely to be my date either," Kirk said wistfully.

"No, sir," Sam replied, not without sympathy. The responsibilities of command placed certain limits on the opportunities for more than strictly friendly relationships with shipmates. As a Department head, Giotto was technically less limited than the Captain, but as Security Chief he had to be even more circumspect (of course, given that nearly all the unattached members of this crew were at least half his age, limits based on command structure were pretty much theoretical). However he'd had years to adapt and learn how to handle the situation, whereas at Kirk's age he'd been a lieutenant with a broad sense of freedom and limited actual sense – which was precisely what worried him about most of this young crew and the Captain in particular.

"Hey, Jim, ya'll coming or not?" McCoy bounced on his toes clearly looking forward to the prospect of actually getting to relax and enjoy a peaceful leave for a change. Sam couldn't help feeling just a little envious.

Kirk sighed. "I don't suppose I could hang back and join your group Sam?"

Gah. Giotto barely kept the reaction off his face. "I don't think that would be advisable, sir." Bad enough he was spending his leave riding herd on a bunch of rowdies. The last thing he needed was adding Kirk to that group. The least appalling consequence that sprang to mind was that they'd all try to earn matching t-shirts.

"You should go with the Doctor, Captain. You might enjoy it more than you think. Lt. Boyd is trained in ballet and as I understand it, Lt. Silvanus and Lt. Alvarez are exceptionally good dancers – they've both won a few amateur competitions."

"Really?" A faint grin crossed the Captain's face. At a minimum, showing off with good partners was a proven method for catching the interest of others.

Giotto nodded, seeing no reason to mention that Carrie and Julia had won those competitions as a pair. If he knew them (and he knew his people better than most of them suspected), they probably had a contest going as to which one could get the Captain to perform the flashiest tango. Sara intended to cajole Kirk into trying a pirouette and if she succeeded he sincerely hoped that Jessy remembered to take video.

"Well, maybe I'll hang out with them for awhile," Kirk allowed.

Sam smiled approvingly. "It's good for morale for the Captain to spend a little off-duty time with junior officers, sir, and you may find that leave spent with good company in a relaxed setting can be quite satisfying."

Or at least that's what they all hoped. Although Giotto wasn't supposed to know about it, to insure success the four conspirators planned to identify and steer Kirk toward a woman who wouldn't land him in trouble for a change. There were bets going all through the department as to whether they could actually do it. In Sam's opinion, they had their work cut out for them, especially if they didn't persuade him to change shirts first.

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AN: I know I said I'd finish Caveat Emptor first, but I just got back from my own shore leave and when I saw that t-shirt on the boardwalk I immediately knew that Jim had one just like it. Two things happened: I saw Jim wearing it for shore leave and Sam resisting the urge to face-palm when he saw it. They both followed me around until I agreed to write about it.

Please r&r