A/N - It's been a while, but I'm one of those people who get a great idea then suddenly hit writer's block for a while. I am sorry! *bow*bow* Please accept this chapter as my apology.

With heavy disruptors forced into his back, the five officers pushed him down a long, horrible smelling, hall. It smelled of blood, rotting flesh, and burning equipment. The brig of the ISS Enterprise didn't look any different from their own, save for the smells and blood stains. It truly was an evil mirror of their own ship.

They passed many cells, most empty, and few with trembling, sleeping and/or dead prisoners. Most looked Human, but some were Orion, Klingon, and Vulcan. This world looked nothing like how the Captain Kirk of his universe had relayed to him. He had been told that the mirror counterparts were evil, but cleanly and thorough with their destructive nature. But this… this was torture only sick, twisted creatures were capable of. Or perhaps, his Time's Jim Kirk had been lucky not to have been thrown in the brig.

The end of the hall snuck up on him since his senses were distracted by the sheer cruelty around him. They paused, one officer opened the loud, creaking door to a cell, then the other four pushed Spock harshly inside. So hard that he hit the floor, scratching his face in grit and grime. The door locked behind him, shutting with its horrible sounds. A click was heard, then they were gone.

The Vulcan maneuvered himself so he could sit with his legs crossed, but arms comfortably behind him in the restraints. Observing his surroundings, he noted that his cell housed no cot, a small bucket in the corner, and a torn blanket hung off a hook in the upper right. Klingon prison cells were said to be very similar to this and typically meant that the captors did not shelter prisoners long. Dim lighting kept most of the bloodstains from view, but the smell alone was enough to tell Spock that many persons died in here daily. What did these sadistic fiends plan to do with him?

"Spock?" The familiar voice broke his thoughts. Spock searched around until he focused on the dark figure in the cell next to his. Dividing prison bars separated them, but the bars wouldn't keep him from recognizing the other figure.

"Jim!" Both men rushed to the cell divider, Jim grasping the bars with his hands while Spock leaned forward against them, trying to use his superior vision and the dim lighting to see the captain.

"It is you!" Jim gasped, lighting from a broken overhead floodlight streaming across his delicate features. Before Spock could give a reply, his voice caught in his throat as he examined Jim. The captain was covered in stains, cuts and abrasions lining his face and body, with tears in his uniform and his hair matting to his forehead with perspiration. Bruises were barely visible, but visible enough to know Jim had been thrown around again, but what really caught his attention was Jim's left foot. Even through the darkness and the captain's attempt to hide it, Spock could see the shuddering limp and the swollen flesh through the thick boot.

"You are injured." Spock declared.

Jim was quick to downplay it. "It's just a sprain. No worries."

"I can see the swelling through your boot. It would be wise to remove the pressure." For once, Jim didn't argue with him (a very telling that Jim was hurt) and slid down the divider until he was sitting on the floor. Spock joined him, kneeling, while Jim removed the offending boot. "Where are the others?" The Vulcan asked. Jim paused, hesitated, then continued to remove the boot.

"I don't know." His voice was low, whisper-like, ashamed. The boot popped off, causing Jim moderate pain, if his throwing of said boot and shouting a curse was anything to judge by. He watched the captain calm down, then turned hard blue eyes to him in what Spock thought looked like obvious pain. "When we were beaming back up from Halkan, something felt wrong to me. I figured it was the transporter acting up due to the ion storm, but… when the flickering stopped and I could see in front of me again, we were inside what looked to be the transporter room but covered in horrible symbols. Then—we were jumped. One by one by strong officers of both Human and Vulcan species." He shook his head, like the memory was too much. "After we were restrained, I was encountered by… well…" he fumbled for many moments. Spock patiently waited. "I was encountered by… you. Well, not really you, but another you with a soul-patch and a horrible long scar across your—his right eye." Jim visibly quivered. "Quite honestly, that was the scariest damn Vulcan I've ever met! He makes Nero look like a grade-schooler packing a Hello-Kitty lunch box."

"Yes." Spock said, not really agreeing with his strange, humourous metaphor, "I also encountered this counterpart." Jim flicked his eyes over him, shame and guilt swaying in his gaze. "It is how I ended up here." Spock continued. "I was with Dr. McCoy when I discovered that he was an imposter. Shortly after, he attempted to use my trauma as a way to distract the crew into thinking I was unstable. I… ran." Both men moved so they were closer to the divider, Jim leaning on his shoulder and Spock dipping his forehead a little lower. Both men were very tired. It was many more seconds before he continued. "I devised a plan to escape to the Bridge, mutiny the imposter captain and use the entire Enterprise as a hostage to retrieve the information of their plans or the landing party's location—nevertheless, I was apprehended before I could complete my mission and brought here against my will."

"Those bastards." Jim's voice was grim, angry.

"I have limited data, but what I could gather from the imposters is that they planned to take-over the Enterprise and frame the Halkans for the attacks. I am uncertain why." A loud clang made both men look up.

"Then allow me to enlighten you." On the other side of the bars stood a very elderly looking Vulcan with two security guards. His hair was death-white, a long beard lying across his chest with steepled fingers positioned on top. He wore dark, black robes with the crest of the Empire, and his eyes were sickly yellow looking, with deep, harsh pupils. Jim visibly swallowed, but Spock felt his mouth go dry. "Allow me to introduce myself, Captain Kirk, I regret that we have not met properly." the elderly Vulcan started, ignoring the intensity he was causing, "I—am Spock." His voice lingered on each word with the pride only a Vulcan could fathom.

Jim pointed a hard finger at his first officer. "No, that's Spock." He slammed the finger towards the elder. "You're a sick fuck."

"Indeed." He offered, while the two guards unlatched Jim's cell door. After the horrible creaking sounds and teeth-shattering-worthy metal grating against metal, the elder Vulcan stepped into the captain's holding cell. Jim braced for attack, looking like a cat about to pounce when he stilled. The elder Vulcan held in his hand a disruptor, but the device wasn't pointing at Jim, it was pointing at Spock. "That would not be wise." The elder warned. The disruptor was trained perfectly on Spock, and the younger Vulcan dare not move. Jim hesitated, looked at him, then back to the enemy. Hatred bled from his hard gaze.

"James Kirk." The elder Vulcan started, ignoring the intensity he had aroused in the Human, "My, how time and space has changed you."

"What do you want?" Jim demanded. The elderly man paused, letting his eyes roll over the captain.

"You." He stated flatly. "I want you." Both captives' eyes went wide, though Spock didn't allow the confusion to show on his features. Their enemy continued. "You see, Captain Kirk, a long time ago, on this precise stardate, on this exact starship, you were traded with my captain." Jim went to speak, but the old Vulcan stopped him by raising his other, unarmed hand, "You would not remember it, young Kirk, for that was another time. Another universe." He paused for effect. "During these events, you paraded as my captain, fooling myself and my crew into thinking you were one of us—and going soft. You wanted some changes around our ship, and your first mistake was when you disobeyed the Empire's orders to annihilate the Halkans."

"Why would I annihilate them? The Halkans may be the most annoying diplomats in the cosmos, but they're a peaceful people. At least, in my universe, they are." The elder nodded.

"You are correct, Kirk, they are a peaceful people, however, their planet holds the largest deposit of dilithium than any other mining planet. Our Empire wanted it."

Jim interrupted. "But let me guess, they wouldn't give it to you because they knew you'd use it for destruction?"

"Yes. It was most regrettable that the order to destroy the Halkans held true, but we did not anticipate our firepower being so strong as to destroy not only the Halkans, but also the dilithium. They became useless." Jim rolled his eyes.

"So you decided instead to invade my universe just to get your dilithium fix? Or was that a damn order from your fucking Empire too!" Instantly, like the elderly Vulcan wasn't elderly at all, he charged across the cell, pulled Jim up by his torn uniform and threw him against the wall with a heavy hand, the other training the disruptor directly to the captain's temple. The old Vulcan's face was dangerously close to Jim's, and their voices dropped to bare whispers.

"There is no Empire. Not where I am from, Kirk." His voice was still level, even given the situation. "You convinced me to the logic of peace. You told me to take command from my captain, my friend, and change the Empire into something like your worthless Federation. I listened, Kirk. I listened." Vulcan strength, even in the elderly, was proven when the elder evil Spock picked Jim up and threw him across the cell. He wasn't finished and approached the aching Kirk who struggled to get back up, but the older man grabbed him tightly about his neck, lurched him upright, then threw him again to clang against the cell bars heavily. He dropped to the barren, stained floor, coughing, choking. Once again, harsh hands tightened into his uniform collar and threw him up against the wall, holding him steady with the disruptor back in place at his head. The elder didn't look phased by any of the actions.

"And by listening," he breathed, "do you know what happened?" Jim's head lolled and his eyes blearily blinked until it looked like he could focus again. "I gained unimaginable power. I took over the Enterprise, but I did not stop there. I went on to become a political figure and soon, I was made the Praetor of the Empire."

"Sounds like a sweet deal to me." Jim bit off sarcastically. Though uncalled for, it was actually a blessing to hear Jim still had smart remarks, because that meant he was still conscious and thinking properly. The Vulcan shook him hard.

"As Praetor, I used your advice and made the Empire like your Federation. I started with reforms (which, I will remind you, caused internal wars and bloodshed) and soon, the Empire changed into one of peace. We were diplomatic, but this did not mean our enemies would welcome our new ways. Oh no, Kirk, much worse happened. Because we had become peaceful, our Empire was conquered. We did not stand a chance against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. Then I watched," he punctuated 'watched' with a hard squeeze of his hand on Jim's throat, "as countless followers, countless innocents, and my own James Kirk were forced into slavery. Each one of us was enslaved to serve the more powerful Alliance. Have you ever been a slave, Kirk?" Jim blinked and fought with the hand restricting his air. "I do not think you have. Your universe was fortunate enough that you did not go through a horrible childhood on Tarsus IV. You know nothing of true slavery and true loss." His grip became tighter, Jim's breaths shallowing. He kept gripping, gripping, so hard that even in the dim lighting, Spock could see the captain's face turning red. Then he released him and Jim dropped promptly to the floor, gasping for air and rolling over on his back. "I will teach you, James Kirk." The elderly Vulcan promised. "I will teach you. Starting with your universe's Halkans."

Jim stared up at him, his chest heaving up and down and slowing as the air was allowed entrance. The elder looked at the younger Spock, then traded his sights for his guards. "Come. We have much to prepare." Spock watched as the elderly Vulcan stepped over Jim's shaken frame and exited from the cell. It shut tightly and the enemies disappeared down the long corridors.

With all the knowledge Spock had gained, he now knew who the Vulcan was. He was Spock, the same Spock his previous captain had encountered all those years ago during the mirrorverse effect. My own mirror counterpart. It appeared the man had been taken from his universe quite like him and dropped in an alternate reality too. Now in his counterpart's universe, he was doing quite what Spock himself was doing. He was changing history. Restoring his life to a glory he'd never known. Spock searched Jim on the floor, still sore and breathing. His thoughts were broken when he heard a choked sob and felt angry emotions slam into him like a tidal wave. Spock had no time to lift his mental shields.

"Goddamnit!" Jim shouted, pounding his fist into the floor, making a few of his knuckles pop. He began shouting curses over and over, picked himself up from the floor and began thrashing around, ignoring his own wounds and escalating his voice higher and higher, screaming profanities and punching the prison bars until the smell of fresh blood washed over him. Then he went silent, dropped to the floor again, and let out the tiniest tremble of tears. Jim cradled his swollen ankle, then closed his eyes to let tears seep out from underneath them. Spock didn't know what to do.

After much sniffling and forbidden tears, Spock moved to the divider as close to Jim as he could. "Jim." He called in a whisper, but Jim didn't look at him. He called for him again and again, but the Human refused to look. Spock fell silent and sat that way for many seconds, when suddenly Jim looked up. Their eyes met at once. With the locked gaze, Jim scooted himself closer to the divider, pushed his hand through the bars and cupped Spock's chin. His fingers lingered for some time, then moved towards his eyes where he pulled his fingers away and shown large droplets wetting them. Spock was crying and he hadn't noticed until then.

They cried together and Spock tried to hide it, to deny it, to block it away, but he couldn't hide from Jim. There was never a need to hide around him, but he had to show he was still strong. He had to. In all their troubles and perils, Spock needed to remain strong enough for the both of them. It was too bad his tears didn't agree with him, falling silently without his permission. They knew, just as he knew, all this could have been prevented if only he had remembered soon enough.

"Spock," Jim barely whispered through a small sob and he reached through the bars with both his hands and embraced him. The cold bars stood between them, blocking them from any further contact, but this didn't stop Jim. He pulled on Spock tighter and tighter. How he wished he could have embraced him back! Spock's hands were still restrained behind him so the clasp was very one-sided.

"I am sorry, Jim." Spock admitted, though he knew the captain wouldn't understand exactly what he was apologizing for. Jim, expectantly, interpreted it wrong.

"I know you can't hold me back. Don't blame yourself. Just let me hold you." And Spock allowed it. Both of them silently crying on the other, cursing the prison bars mentally, and holding as tightly as both could. They were prisoners of an alternate world, but Spock was thankful for his counterpart's death. He was most gratuitous that it was he who was going through this torture and not his younger self. It didn't make the situation any better, but at least his counterpart was resting peacefully in the cosmos.

Both men fought to hold back their sobs, but it was difficult, more for Jim than Spock. After a few moments, Spock had stopped completely, shutting the emotional door of his Human-half in hopes to provide Jim the strength he needed. This Jim was just how he remembered him—still so strong, but still so fragile. It was no doubt that Jim was blaming himself for all of this, and it wasn't like Spock could tell him different, lest he wished to reveal his secret. That made him feel the tinge of anxiety again, but as before, Spock shut the emotional door. He was Vulcan. He would be strong.

Jim's embrace tightened unexpectedly, hands moving around him awkwardly. Spock pulled back a little to see what was wrong, but stopped when he heard a sharp, breaking noise and suddenly, his wrists were free. Spock pulled out of Jim's arms and brought his own to his front, staring down at his hands like they were alien to him. In Jim's hand was the metal restraints, in the other was a ring of small keys, and on his face was the largest, sliest grin Spock had ever seen.

"I don't believe in no-win scenarios, Spock." The tears were gone, though the stains remained, giving the captain a look of determination Spock was familiar with.

He collected himself methodically and logically. "I am to assume you have a plan?" Jim offered a slight nod. The Vulcan gave a little smile and was uncertain if he had pulled it away in time. The grin remained on Jim's face neither denying it nor confirming he'd seen it. No-win scenarios, indeed.

Captain Kirk and Spock used the shadows and dim lighting of the brig to their own advantage, though it was slightly difficult with Jim's minor limp. Both hid behind walls and on a silent cue, took out the remaining crew left guarding the brig. There had only been four guards. Apparently, this other elder Spock had underestimated the captain's knack for spoiling even the most well thought out plans. That or most of the crew were already aboard their Enterprise.

With a silent order, both commanding officers began to undress the unconscious guards and replacing their uniforms with those of the evil men.

"So this is an evil copy of our universe." Jim said while removing all torn clothing. "That means that we both already know this ship inside and out. If we can get to the transporter room without being seen, we can beam back over to our universe, take back control of the Enterprise and get those imposters off my ship."

"I find your plan vague, Captain." Spock told him while changing his uniform pants. "What do you plan to do when we are out-numbered? Or perhaps recaptured?" Jim blinked at him, smiled, shrugged his shoulders and sighed.

"Wing it."

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me. We'll wing it. I guess this is a horrible time to tell you that nearly all the plans I've ever made have been based on blind luck, not logic." Spock stopped mid-pull of his uniform shirt.

"You are correct. This is the most unfortunate time." Jim smiled and finished putting on the red uniform shirt, grimacing now and then for his sore appendage. He then reached over and pat Spock's shoulder.

"Do you trust me?" His eyes were sincere, blazing a hot blue that the Vulcan had never witnessed. That was an illogical question. Of course Spock trusted him, and he told him as such. "Good," Jim continued, "then follow my lead." He offered a wink and peered around the nearest corner while Spock finished.

They started by sneaking out of the brig. With the new uniforms, they wouldn't be suspected as enemies or recognized completely, but Spock was quick to remind the captain that they looked just like their counterparts. Jim came to halt halfway down the hall, then quickly turned a different corner with Spock on his heels.

"You're absolutely right, Mr. Spock." The captain told him with a hint of deviousness. "If we're going to sneak around the ship, why not do it by hiding in plain sight?" Spock said nothing, waiting for him to finish his thoughts. "How great are your acting skills?" He asked suddenly while they dodged a group of officers.

"Vulcans do not act." Spock firmly replied.

"Great, you'll do perfectly."

"Captain—" Spock hadn't a chance to voice his concerns as the captain darted off down the hall, his limp very noticeable. He wanted to offer assistance, but he knew Jim wouldn't take it, so he simply followed. With his memory, Spock knew that Jim was leading them to Sickbay. He could only speculate why this was so. He had a tiny shred of illogical hope that it was to tend to his swollen foot.

They entered cautiously, but hurriedly, locking the door closed behind them. Spock observed their surroundings and found that the Sickbay was identical, except that where medicines were stored in their universe, there were horrible looking instruments hanging on the wall. The smell of antiseptic enveloped him, but Jim didn't stop to complain about it. He immediately started rummaging through the supplies and equipment, looking for something but obviously not finding it. He turned over papers, opened drawers, and lifted up materials.

"Captain, what is it that you are searching for?"

The response was quick. "Make-up." He continued to rummage. "I figured this was a good chance to try out my sick fantasy to dress up like a woman." Spock raised a brow pointedly. Jim waved him off. "I'm joking. I'm looking for something that we can use to make you look like your evil self." He slightly laughed. "Like I would dress up as a woman." He muttered under his breath playfully. Knowing they didn't have much time, and still not understanding where Jim was going with this, Spock expedited the process by helping to look around for anything that would help him look like his mirror counterpart.

Spock searched around in a more organized manner than Jim, but was turning up nothing he could use. He decided then to check the supply closet for grafting synthetics and it was there Spock stumbled upon something most helpful.

In the back of the supply room sat a very angry looking, very disgruntled, and very tied up Dr. McCoy. Spock blinked. "Dr. McCoy!" The name was more than enough to grab Jim's attention from whatever he was tornado-throughing just then. Both men went inside and fell to their knees where they began untying him. Spock had the honour to rip the tape off his mouth.

"It's about damn time you showed up to rescue me!" Spock looked at the doctor, then back at the tape. The gesture was more than enough to make McCoy snarl. "Put that damn thing back on me and I'll string you up by your pointy, green ears!"

"Well, Bones is safe." Jim chuckled as the doctor stood up with them, shaking off the rope and restraints.

"Doctor, do you know where the others are located?" Spock asked. McCoy dusted himself and fixed his uniform.

"Yeah. They took Scotty somewhere in engineering and Uhura was taken by—and I'm not kidding in the least bit—Sulu. To his quarters. When that boy saw her, he had the dirtiest grin on his face I'd ever seen! That other Vulcan just let him take her."

"Other Vulcan?" Spock asked.

"Yeah, a really old one." Jim and Spock switched glances. McCoy caught on quickly. "You guys know something." Jim pulled on the doctor's sleeve.

"I'll explain while you help us out. We need to find something that'll help make Spock look like his evil self." McCoy threw dirty looks around the Vulcan.

"Looks evil enough to me." Spock ignored the comment. The doctor sighed when he realized the Vulcan wasn't going to take his bait and reached beside him to grab a container. "Alright. This grafting synthetic should be enough to make a fake scar, and we can use a small film of it to make a contact lens. But you can't wear it longer than twenty-four hours or the grafted skin may attach permanently, giving you two different coloured eyes or possibly make you blind if it doesn't allow enough oxygen to get through. I don't know which since I haven't had to make contact lenses since the Academy."

"Fifty-fifty shot of different coloured eyes or blindness. The odds couldn't be more in our favour." Jim smarted. They began filing out of the supply closet, Jim was trying to walk normal, but failed. Dr. McCoy caught the limp.

"Jim! You're injured!"

"So what else is new?" McCoy turned directly to Spock.

"How long have you been letting him walk on it?" Jim calmly placed his hands on the doctor to steer him away from the Vulcan.

"It's not his fault. I chose to walk on it. Look, if it will make things go a little smoother, I'll let you play doctor as long as you get him looking evil in less than twenty minutes."

"Twenty minutes!" McCoy snapped.

"We don't have much time." Jim warned. "We gotta save Scotty and Uhura, get to the transporter room and get my ship back. I don't know how many officers were left on board here, but I'm going assume that when they discover us missing from the brig and that some unlucky officer is missing his keys, they're not exactly gonna roll out the red carpet." The doctor had Jim sit up on a medical table and had already begun searching for doctor utensils to help with Jim's injury. Spock helped and soon Jim's injured foot was wrapped tightly with a splint.

"Telling you to stay off of it probably isn't going to happen." McCoy grumbled. Jim confirmed his thoughts.

"Nope. But, rest assured, my dear doctor, with what I've planned, I won't have to walk on it." The doctor eyed him. Spock was still uncertain what the plan was. Both men stared at the Human to get some answers. Jim didn't flinch under the scrutiny as he dropped off the medical table. He didn't elaborate any further, but experience told Spock that that meant Jim's plan was one either one or both of them would not agree to. He was stalling on purpose. Whatever the case, neither Spock nor the doctor inquired any further. Spock got on the medical table to let Bones work, and together with Jim, he was remodeled.

Time was of the essence.

It had taken longer than Jim had wanted, but with Dr. McCoy explaining the difficulties of processing and forming a contact lens from grafting skin, it was more logical to take precaution than chance blindness.

While the real doctor did his work, Jim stood by the door as look-out. Dr. McCoy was almost finished when Jim gave a whispered curse.

"What is it, Jim?" McCoy berated, probably thinking Jim had slammed his injured foot again. Jim limped quickly over to them.

"I think that's evil Chapel coming down the hall. Are you finished yet?"

"No! I've got to set this lens just right! Any mistakes and the damn Vulcan might as well have came here blind!" Footsteps were heard outside. Jim grasped the doctor's arm.

"We've got no time! We have to hide!"

"Jim!" But the call went unheard as Jim violently shoved Bones backwards and back into the supply closet. The door opened and closed easily around them, leaving Spock on the medical table with a home-made scar and unfinished lens. Thinking quickly, Spock took a chance and popped the lens in just before the Sickbay doors opened. If he'd go blind, then that was that, but thankfully, the Vulcan was able to see the blonde woman walk in and stop surprised.

"Commander?" She asked. Spock looked her over, there was no doubt this woman was Christine Chapel's counterpart, but she didn't look as cruel as the others. In fact, she looked the same save for her blue uniform which was more revealing. "What are you doing in Sickbay? I thought Captain Kirk had ordered you to the transporter room?" Vulcans were not actors, mainly because they were shitty liars. Mustering up his strength, Spock convinced himself that acting was not a form of lying, but a form of entertainment—so technically he could 'perform' for her. But the notion left a bitter taste in his mouth, so instead, he decided to say as little as possible and hope she would interpret the rest.

"I had a medical emergency and beamed back for treatment." There. Not a complete lie, just vague. Very vague. She looked at him curiously, switching glances between him and the dataPADD in her hands.

"Were you injured?" She asked innocently.

"All I required was grafting synthetic." She offered a confused nod.

"I see." Her voice, though soft, was suspicious as she eyed the container on the medical table. "You must forgive my surprise, Commander, it's just unlike Dr. McCoy not to alert me."

Spock nodded curtly. "There is no need, Nurse. I have obtained what I came here for and now I must return to the Transporter Room." The Vulcan ignored her as he thought his evil counterpart might do and grasped the container like that was what he came here for all along. Then the turned back to a different scene.

A knife was pointed at his throat, the evil Christine Chapel appearing like the others of this universe and not like the Christine he knew at all. Her smile was devious and much like a snake about to snap at its prey. Spock raised his hands slowly as the knife tip came closer. He looked down at the smaller woman and waited for her explanation with hard, unmoving eyes.

"Is wearing one of our security uniforms apart of Praetor Spock's plans as well, Mr. Spock?" She began pushing him back with the blade, leading him towards the wall. "You must forgive my lack of belief." This was true, he was still wearing the stolen security uniform and that would immediately halt any plans he could make based on performing as his younger self's evil counterpart. With no point in lying, Spock nodded.

"You are forgiven. Vulcans do not make a habit of deceit." Something in his throat tightened in that moment as he thought on those words. They hadn't been entirely true had they? Hadn't his plan to resume his counterpart's life been based on deceit?

In the midst of thinking on what deceit actually stood for, Spock fell victim to the nurse's handling and found himself being turned and forced unabashedly on to the wall with his front. He grunted on impact, but otherwise made no further noises. While thinking about deceit and every definition attributed to it via every language he could comprehend, only then did Spock discover a plan.

This could very well work in his favour, however illogical it seemed to him. A part of him didn't want to 'perform' any further, but he was left with little choice since his commanding officers were still hiding out in the supply closet. Spock thought quickly and mentally prepared himself.

"Nurse Chapel, you will release me at once or suffer the consequences." The nurse stopped briefly, laughing under her breath as she began searching his flanks for weapons. "Do not force me to use action." She continued to ignore him and patting him down with knife to neck when it happened.

Spock spun in her grip, catching her off balance as he turned the tables and threw her slender body against the wall where he had just occupied. She shouted and suddenly screamed for security, Spock ended it by using the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, watching her frame fall delicately to the floor. It would only be a few more moments before security would arrive. He picked her up gently in his arms and turned on cue to see three security men enter. They stopped quickly, taking in the sights of their 'Commander'.

Spock had anticipated this and breathed to steady his mind. All this lying was unbecoming of a Vulcan. The three security men paused to give a salute, Spock nodded since his arms were full. He then handed her body over hurriedly and scoffed at her like she was disgusting to him. "Nurse Chapel is suffering from insubordination. Lock her in her quarters for the next twenty-four hours."

All three stared at him in awe. Spock snapped. "Do you dare question the authority of your commanding officer, let alone direct orders from the Praetor?" They jumped in unison, shaking their heads and giving multiple 'no, sir's. "Then I suggest you do as you are told!" He stepped forward once, and that was all it took for the security men, though probably curious about his whereabouts and uniform, to take Chapel and rush out from the room. Now that others had seen him, they probably had little time to further Jim's plans, whatever they were. When the door shut snuggly, Spock turned on his heels and opened the supply closet.

"We must go. Now." The look on Jim's face was in the exact opposite reaction he expected. Jim was smiling. Dr. McCoy, however, looked at he always did. They filed out after Spock, Jim limping forward.

"That was amazing!" Jim cheered.

"Your gratitude it appreciated, Captain, but Nurse Chapel's untimely interference does not leave us much time before someone alerts the elder." McCoy smacked Jim's arm.

"I told you we should have grabbed him too!"

"There wasn't time, besides, Spock was more than capable of handling his part." Jim winked. "This will make the rest of the plan go smoother." Spock hid his sigh well as he stared at the injured captain.

"And what is the plan, Captain?" Jim fell silent, looking like he was in thought, and for a moment, illogically, Spock hoped the young captain's plan didn't involve any more lying or 'performing'. Spock was already in 'knee-deep' as the humans would say, and was beginning to find himself repulsive for acting so very unvulcan.

The things one did for love.