Just a Step to the Left…
"Captain that was amazing," Venkman declared as soon as the transporter effect cleared. He dropped a conspiratorial hand on Kirk's shoulder. "You know with Hengist gone, they probably need some new management types. If we can't get back to our time, maybe you could put in a good word for me?"
Jim looked sidelong at one of the few men in the multiverse who could challenge his prowess in both smooth-talking and debauchery. The only thing he could imagine Venkman managing on Argelius was a planetwide orgy. Not that would be a bad thing of course, but after having to keep an half an eye on three men who had no clue about the most aspects of 23rd century life, Jim had a new appreciation for how Bones and Giotto probably felt after trying to keep him out of trouble on shore leave.
"I'm sure we'll find a way to get you home Mr. Venkman."
"Ach, aye," Scotty agreed. "Egon and I hae put a few ideas together."
Despite the smorgasbord of delectable and incredibly flexible woman, Scotty and Spengler had spent most of their time scribbling equations and little diagrams on cocktail napkins. Given his recent experience Scotty could be excused for being a bit gun-shy about consorting with Argelian women, but Jim couldn't help thinking that Spengler must have the libido of a dead carp. No technical discussion could possibly be that absorbing.
"We've worked out that touching the beams popped us across space and time, but we're not actually in an alternate dimension since the break in this timeline happened centuries after our time," Spengler explained. "So it's just a matter of traveling back to 20th century earth."
"And that's fairly routine?" Stantz asked uncertainly.
"Not 'routine'," Spock corrected, as he finished setting the locks on the transporter (just in case). "However, we have successfully completed one time warp. There is no reason to believe that we cannot do it again."
"You mean..." Venkman grinned and he exchanged a glance with Stantz.
"It's just a step to the left," Ray continued in deep tone.
"And then a jump to the ri-i-ght!" they both sang acting out the motions. "You put your hands on your hips and pull your knees in ti-i-ight. But it's the pelvic thrust -"
"Well, sounds like ya'll had yerselves a good ole time," McCoy declared, coming through the door. "That the new hoochie-coochie they all doin' down there?"
Jim clamped a hand over his mouth as Bones mimicked the pelvic thrust. He'd come back a little early in the hopes of nabbing the lab video records before the Chief sobered up enough to remove them. Now he was going to have to grab the ones from the transporter room as well.
"I take it most of the crew is still in about the same shape as Bones?" Kirk whispered to a Vulcan whose eyebrows appeared to hiding under his hairline to avoid the sight.
"Affirmative," Spock responded, slowly easing his brows back to standard position. "It would appear that Mr. Stantz and Mr. Venkman have returned in similar condition."
"Nah." Ray smiled, waving his hands in the air. "Let's do the time warp again - surely you've seen 'Rocky Horror'?"
Spock gave him a look plainly expressing that there were some aspects of human culture about which he greatly preferred to remain unenlightened.
"Weil, singin' aboot it willna get the job done," Scotty stated. "But between Egon, Spock and me, we should be able to get it all planned oot for when the rest aer up to makin' it happen."
"Good, let's get to it." Kirk motioned toward the door and fell in beside his XO as they left. "Spock could you keep and eye on them for a bit?"
"Certainly Captain." An eyebrow twitch was the only sign that Spock had actually been hoping to be relieved of babysitting.
"Thanks. It won't be long," Jim promised. "By the way, where's the Chief?"
There was a pause. "Mr. Giotto is ...engaging in a bonding exercise with the security department."
"A bonding exercise?" Judging by how carefully Spock had phrased that, this was bound to be good.
"A competition involving agility enacted to musical accompaniment." Spock pursed his lips thoughtfully. "'Limbo' I believe it was called. I assume the raucous music is meant to be a distraction, but it was a fascinating exercise."
Kirk looked at his XO. It was times like these that he really wished he could lift one eyebrow, but he had to settle for raising both. "Mr. Spock, does that mean you participated?"
"I was invited to do so." Spock clasped his hands behind his back in a 'do not even think of questioning my Vulcan dignity' attitude. "I assume that it is more difficult when one is impaired."
Jim coughed trying to contain a laugh. Make that three sets of videos he had to retrieve.
"Hold up." Venkman dropped back. "Did I just hear that there's a limbo party going on?"
"I was informed it could not properly be designated a party as, given their current states, I was forced to confiscated the liquor typically involved." An eyebrow ascended. "I presume it had been taken from the contraband locker."
Yeah. And if that's where Spock had put it, Jim would bet that every single bottle would be 'properly disposed of' within 24 hours of everyone getting back to normal. They didn't like to admit it, but only Scotty and possibly Bones had better stashes than most of the people in security (and Giotto just might have them all beat, but no one was about to break into his quarters to find out).
"Hey, music and dancing - two out of three ain't bad," Ray put in, crooning the last phrase. "I bet the gals in security are really fit. And they're snockered."
Venkman took on a significantly less than innocent look. "You know Ray, every now and then you make an excellent point."
"Look, it's a security-only party," Kirk said hurriedly, because mellow or not Sam thought of most of those women like daughters and the plan was to get Ghostbusters back to the 20th century in one piece. "Trust me this is not a party to crash. Once they get bored with limbo, it'll turn into SuperNova or some other ridiculously athletic game."
Ray glanced down, considering the percentage of shoe visible below his stomach. "Maybe we could just watch?"
"No problem." Jim grinned. Security monitoring center here we come! "In fact, I've got the perfect spot. Spock, help Egon and Scotty with the time warp arrangements. I'll take care of Peter and Ray until we're all ready to go."
"Wow," Stantz exclaimed. "I still can't believe you got us back to within minutes of when we brushed the beams."
"3.4782 minutes, to be precise," Spock replied crisply, taking a position at the transporter controls and attempting not to look eager to beam them out. "Please take your places on the pads."
"Good luck to ye, Egon," Scotty said shaking his hand. "It was a pleasure workin' with ye."
"You too Scotty - you can't imagine how nice it is to talk to someone who doesn't think my theories are 'out there'. If you ever visit the 20th century again, don't be a stranger."
"That goes for all of you. I'd love to show you around." Venkman gave Kirk a wink and pointed at McCoy and Giotto. "You guys know how to party."
"Well we better get set to beam out," Jim said quickly, walking him up to the transporter platform. "Thanks again for helping with Redjac. Just stand right there and we'll have you back to busting ghosts in your time in no time at all."
"Okay," Stantz said, adjusting his proton pack. "Let's get in position just in the case the ghoulies are still waiting for us."
"Right you are," Peter agreed, settling his visor in place. "Okay. All set."
"Ready to energize," Spock announced, "in 5, 4, 3,..."
Kirk stepped back from the platform and waved as Spock finished the countdown and the Ghostbusters disappeared in a shimmer of transporter effects.
Spock checked readings. "Transport complete, Captain. It appears that the Ghostbusters are back where and when they belong."
"Excellen.," Kirk flashed an impish grin. "Hey, as long as we're here, maybe we should collect some data. Do a little firsthand historical research?"
The others exchanged looks of the 'who wants to go first' variety.
"Captain," Spock began. "Need I remind you of the Temporal Prime Directive?"
"Or the Temporal Integrity Office's warning after the last anomaly?" Giotto added.
"Or the fact that there's a timeline out there where you're your own great-great-Grampa?" McCoy finished irritably.
"Aye, tha' was one for the books," Scotty put in.
"You guys are a lot more fun wasted," Kirk groused. "But if everyone's so worried about getting another ticket from time police, I guess we should just head home."
"Yes sir." There was just a little more relief in Spock's voice than was strictly proper for a Vulcan. "Mr. Scott and I shall make the arrangements."
"Very good Mr. Spock." Jim allowed Spock and Scotty to leave before heading for door.
The way was blocked by his CMO and CSO.
"One minute there Jim," Bones drawled. "Just what did Venkman mean by that comment about the two of us knowin' how to party?"
Jim fought to keep the grin off his face. "You don't remember?"
Bones shook his head. "Only bits and pieces - normal effect for that kind of drug."
"And strangely a lot of the security tapes appear to be missing." Giotto's tone suggested it was not so much strange as very suspicious.
"Okay," Kirk admitted. "After seeing everyone blitzed I thought a few malfunctions might be in order. I mean, those are official records and I figured you might not want to teach everyone in Starfleet the 'Jedi Drinking Song'."
The Chief's eyes narrowed. "I didn't."
"A long time ago, in a pub far away, I sat on a barstool, just drinking away..." Jim grinned. "'Pop' teaching the kids drinking songs. Wouldn't Adm. Pike have loved to see that?"
Giotto grimaced, stepping aside. "We withdraw the question."
"What do you mean 'we'?" McCoy objected.
"Yeah Bones, you showed that you can really shake your booty. I should probably get Scotty to find a way to restore that one," Jim smirked. "You know, just to prove you still can."
Bones shot him the Glare of Impending Hypo-filled Doom, but it collapsed against an impenetrable wall of smug.
Jim grinned as he swaggered through the door. He still had it. Venkman might bust ghosts and fast-talk like a pro, but no one could hustle like James T. Kirk.
AN: Sorry this took so long. Other plot bunnies and a little RL got in the way.
And, yes, there really is a Jedi Drinking Song. Google it. It's sung by The Brobdingnagian Bards (the same guys who did Do Virgins Taste Better).
I'm consideing an epilogue with Kirk getting busted for keeping the tapes, but I'll have to see if the plot bunny hops...