The science station was entirely too far away. It didn't make any sense, really, to have it all the way out on the edge of the furthest curve of the arc that formed the bridge's control stations.
Seriously, important information about bio levels and stuff came from there. If Jim stayed in his command chair for longer than an hour, (not that he ever had), he would find himself at great disadvantage when he wanted – scratch that – needed his Science Officer. Who also happened to be his second-in-command and the holder of his deep, dark, secret affections.
So all in all, it was only practical that he not sit still in his throne-like hub and instead pace the bridge. No matter what certain exasperated officers might think about his pacing – for instance the beautiful Communications Officer who heaved a theatrical sigh when he crossed behind her chair for the twelfth time this shift.
"I don't know how many times I have to tell you, but no, we still haven't gotten any sign of, well, anything. And yes, of course you will be alerted as soon as we do – sir."
That sir came a beat too slow for his liking, but Jim wasn't in the mood to throw his weight around. Instead he felt antsy like he had when he was a kid in Iowa before a freak lightning storm had struck, taking out the power for miles. It was hard for him to focus. Something was coming.
"Be that as it may Lt. Uhura, I want you on alert. You never know with unexplored quadrants."
She had the grace to look chastened. "Yes sir," she said crisply.
Satisfied, the captain turned away and moved the next set of steps to the next booth. One, two, three – eight strides and he drew level to the Science Station. The officer here did not acknowledge his presence and merely continued peering at his blinking charts and graphs as though they held the answers to the mysteries of the universe.
Spock flicked his eyes from the screens to Kirk. "Negative, Captain. Everything appears to be occurring inside of normative parameters."
Normative parameters, huh? Jim wanted to roll his eyes. He didn't have to look any further than his Vulcan to find something working outside the norm.
Spock was being weird. It wasn't anything as overt as it had been before Jim's drunken mishap, but it was there nonetheless. It was like an annoying blip that showed up on Jim's Spock-dar with alarming frequency. It didn't matter whether they were playing chess or filing their latest reports or leading a landing party, there was always something. The First Officer would move a beat too slow, ignore Jim's dirty jokes a little too pointedly, or do some other small thing to betray himself – generally a thing that Jim wouldn't have noticed if he weren't so desperately, creepily fixated on him.
Kirk decided to be normal. "I dunno, Spock. It just feels weird, like I can't sit still."
The Vulcan blinked placidly. "You do not sit still regardless."
"Oh ho. I'll have you know that I can be as motionless as I like when it's called for." Jim winked, leaving no doubt as to his sexual allusion. He didn't think that Spock would get it otherwise; it was a bit of a stretch even for him.
Yep, there it was. That eyebrow quirk he'd come to love so much. "Indeed," said Spock.
The captain leaned against the edge of the Science Station. "But seriously, I don't like it out here. It feels a little bit like how it did before the Narada." He hadn't meant to mention it, but now that he had he couldn't take it back. Jim half expected for Spock to freeze up on him, like he sometimes did when conversation got too close to the destruction of Vulcan and his mother, but instead he had Spock's full attention.
Spock regarded him seriously. If he'd worn glasses, Jim imagined he would be peering over them like a librarian in an old movie. "If you suspect something is awry, Captain, it has been proven unwise for me to dismiss it. Should I run any specific test?"
The Captain Kirk part of him started thinking of possible tests and the Jim part of him started up the most maddening girlish chorus of "Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod." How refreshing it was to not be dismissed. He'd never get tired of it.
Spock had just started his suggested diagnostics when the entire bridge suddenly lurched to the side, tumbling crew members and unsecured command paraphernalia to the floor. The Vulcan managed to keep his seat, but Kirk toppled sideways and practically into his lap. He struggled to right himself, but the ship listed again and more sharply. This time he slid over Spock and onto his other side. He might have gone further if not for the greenish hand that wrapped around his wrist, arresting his fall. Spock pulled him up as the ship leveled out.
"Thanks," said Jim. "Now what the fuck was that?"
Spock's mouth was open to reply when everything turned again, steeper than before. The First Officer did not manage to keep his seat this time and it was his turn to collide with Jim, who wasn't strong enough to hold them both up and so they rolled across the bridge, until they skidded to a halt at the pilot station. They were a mass of tangled limbs and despite the fact that they were in crisis, Kirk couldn't help but to appreciate the way Spock's breath warmed his collarbone through his command shirt.
He lay there, savoring it for five whole seconds, waiting for the Vulcan to get his heavy ass up and into action, but the other officer didn't move. Jim peered worriedly down at his face. His eyes were closed.
The captain wiggled his shoulders. "Spock?" he said softly. "Are you alright?"
"I do not think I am," came the reply and suddenly the First Officer levered himself up onto all fours and crouched over Jim.
The captain looked up into his eyes, the pupils of which were blown wide, and fought down the blood that wanted to rush to his cheeks. He did not blush, goddammit.
"Well, if you'd get off of me, we could probably do something about this mess on our bridge," Jim said, feeling tart. Fucking Vulcans making people forget that they were in the line of, well, not fire, but something.
The First Officer collected himself. "So it would seem, Captain." He was on his feet with inhuman speed. "I believe that we are being dragged by a tractor beam of some sort. Perhaps from a previously unknown craft."
And they were off and running. But Jim had a suspicion now. A giant, huge suspicion that demanded they have a conversation about the night-that-was-not-to-be-remembered. Just as soon as they beat this latest asshole alien.
So loosely based on the Corbomite Maneuver that it almost isn't even worth mentioning. Almost.
And yes, I know that coordination isn't a body part, but I've had this written for forever, and although I don't really like it, I figured I'd go ahead and burn it off, so that fun stuff can go down next chapter. :)