A/N: This is like my previous alphabet stories, only with 200 words per drabble instead of 100. If you want to learn more, take a look at The Star Trek Alphabet or The Glee Alphabet.
Ah, finally. I started this in May, then stopped working on it sometime mid-June out of frustration. I only picked it up again last week. If there's a lot of kid!fic in here, that's because my nephew was staying with us in June.
Now, C and E are connected and I got the names in R from Whip It. I wrote L in June, which inspired me to start Straight On Till Morning (which will be updated soon, I swear).
There will be another one of those, if only so I can name it "The Star Trek Alphabet 3D". It'll be bigger than the previous two, at the expense of quality of course, and there will be more explosions, boobs and exploding boobs. And it will be in 3D. I won't write it in 3D, but it will be converted into 3D later during the production, thus giving it a flat, transparent feel.
The Star Trek Alphabet 2
A: Agony Aunt
So I've never written this kind of letter before, but I figured it couldn't hurt. I've got problems. Lots of 'em. I didn't know who else I could to turn to. My best friend isn't of much help right now, since he kind of is the biggest problem.
See, recently I've developed these feelings. For him. Not lust-type feelings either, then I wouldn't be in trouble. I'm used to those. More like... love. Only not. I don't do love. Or I thought I didn't... now I'm not so sure. The things I feel when I'm with him...
I'm obviously very confused right now. It's like I'm not even myself.
But it gets worse. He's not just my best friend, he's my co-worker. I don't think he knows how I feel, but I still get self-conscious when I'm with him. Like he might find out every time I open my mouth.
Besides, I'm pretty sure he doesn't return my feelings. I should move on. I'm just not used to giving up, even though it is obviously the best solution.
So I guess I'm looking for someone to tell me to stop being so stupid. To give up. To move on.
"First gangsters," Jim muttered darkly, tugging uselessly at the ropes that tied his hands together. "Then Nazis. And now freaking pirates. What's next, ninjas?"
"I hope so!" Chekov said excitedly. "I am gettink very good with ze sai svords, Hikaru said so."
Jim ground his teeth, deciding against chastising the young navigator. Chekov's endless enthusiasm and optimism were a good thing, he reminded himself. Even if right now it just seemed annoying.
Giving up on trying free himself for just a moment, Jim went over their situation in his mind. He, Chekov and Lieutenant Jackson were trapped on an old-fashion, honest-to-God pirate ship. Their communicator were in the hands of their capturers and worst of all, they weren't supposed to check in with the Enterprise for another... hour or two. Hopefully they could hold out for that long.
Really though, pirates? What were the fucking odds? Then again, knowing Jim's luck...
At that very moment, one of the pirates that captured them threw the doors of their cell open. "Wake up, ye scurvy dogs," he shouted. "It's damn time ya make yerselves useful."
He threw a few handheld scrapers on the ground in front of them and grinned widely, showing off his three missing teeth. "Now get yer asses out on the dinghy. You got lots of scraping to do."
Jim let out a heavy sigh of frustration. Why him?
It has been two months. For two months I have been pursuing Jim's kidnappers and for two months, they have evaded me. I find that I am growing tired. If giving up were an option, I would undoubtedly have done so already.
Six weeks ago, I was ordered by Starfleet to stop my pursuit. For the first time in my life, I ignored them. They have sent me 54 warnings in the past two weeks, but I have not bothered to listen to them. I do not wish to. Starfleet may be important to me, but Jim is more so.
I have been looking for two months with nothing to show for it, but today feels different. Jim is near.
We are in orbit around an unfamiliar planet. I beam down alone and materialize in a desert. It does not take me long to find Jim, although he is half buried in sand. His eyes are only half-way open and he is muttering to himself:
"-im... t'hy'la," he mumbles. I take him into my arms and hold him to me as tightly as I dare.
"I am here," I whisper. "You are safe, Jim."
He smiles sleepily and leans into my shoulder.
"I have nothing further to say to you."
Jim opens his mouth to speak again, but nothing comes out. He's never seen Spock so angry before. It's actually pretty scary.
"Please leave," Spock says. It's not a request.
Jim wants to say something, possibly apologize, but he can't. He just leaves.
He exits their house. It's chilly out, especially since he's not wearing a jacket, but Jim can't bring himself to care. He has to make this right. Somehow.
He starts to walk, the halts as something catches his eye. There's a small, white house sitting on the lawn, left there by the previous owners of this property. Jim stares at it for a while. Maybe there's a way to show Spock how sorry he is.
The next morning, Jim wakes up to the sun shining in his eyes. He stretches his legs, hitting the wall of the small house he slept in. Slowly he crawls out, wincing as he aches all over. Something blocks the sun. Jim looks up to see Spock towering over him, his face expressionless.
"Er… hi?" Jim tries.
Then Spock is grabbing him, all but pulling him on his feet.
Jim smiles nervously. "Am I forgiven?"
In response, he gets a kiss.
I am lost. Nobody in sight, I am on my own, in total isolation. I sit on warm sand, counting backwards until my thoughts turn to dust and sift away. I don't know who I am, or who I was. My body sinks into solid ground and I am a part of it.
I want... I want. What? I don't know. What is missing? Nothing. But I am still wanting.
Hours pass. My skin is damp and my mouth is dry, but my mind is strong. Still I am hungry and so, so thirsty.
I want... I want. What? I don't know. What is missing? Food, drinks, shadow. But it's not what I want. I cannot say what I want, cannot put it into words.
My body is a prison. It is bulky and awkward and I cannot control it. Its only job now is to bind my soul to it, so it cannot drift away.
I want... I want. What? To drift away. To go back... go back... to you.
I know it now. Who I am. Who I was.
I was Captain. I was Jim. I was T'hy'la.
And now I am a lost nobody, dying on a distant world.
It all started when Jim decided to buy a potted plant, to liven up his apartment. He took one step into the store and by coincidence, glanced at the counter.
And his heart stopped.
Standing behind the counter was the most stunning person Jim had ever laid eyes on. Silky black hair, broad shoulders and strong, pale, bare arms. Jim's eyes roamed this stranger's body shamelessly, then came to stop on the stranger's eyes. They were dark brown and gleaming with something Jim couldn't quite place.
"May I help you, sir?" The stranger enquired.
Jim shook his head dumbly, until he remembered why he was there. "Uh, yeah, I want to buy a potted plant."
The stranger started speaking again, but Jim could barely hear him. He was enchanted. Whoever this person was, Jim had to have him. He took a peek at his name plate – Spock. A strange name but it only seemed proper. It suited him.
Spock, I am going to woo you no matter what it takes.
The next day Jim stopped by the shop again. And the next day, and the next and so on. It took him some time to work up the courage to speak properly to Spock but once he did, he discovered the incredible personality behind those brown eyes. There was no doubt in his mind now – Jim was in love.
Every day they got to know each other better, every day they inched a little bit closer. One day it all exploded in a kiss.
And then Spock's boss caught them rolling around in the maintenance closet.
There should be more people here. The hall should be filled with people of all sizes, colors and species. Instead it's barely half full. Most of Kirk's class was wiped out by the Narada's attack and none of their families want to come and show support to the rest of them, the cadets who survived when their loved ones did not.
This should be the most important moment of Kirk's life but it feels empty. All he can think of are the people who should be here with him, his friends, classmates and acquaintances, everyone who he never knew and will now never have the chance to. They deserve this more than Kirk does.
He looks out at all the families of the survivors who came here to witness this. No one here for him, of course, no one cares about him outside of the Academy, but he can spot little Joanna on the third row with her mother, who looks almost proud of her ex-husband.
A sudden movement in the back catches Kirk's attention and when he squints his eyes a bit he can see Spock. Not the Spock who almost choked him to death and had him marooned, the Spock who then supported his crazy ideas and looked at him with what could only be respect. No, the other Spock. The Spock who looked at him with more than respect. The old Vulcan nods at him and Kirk is filled with inexplicable warmth.
Maybe someone does care after all.
"You can't run forever, Jim!"
I round two corners, ignoring Bones' calls. Just a few more meters and I'll be safely inside my quarters. Some officers I pass give me confused look and I do my best to look Captainly as I run for my life. Well, maybe not my life. But my wellbeing at least.
My annual Doctor's Inspection was originally supposed to take place two weeks ago. It's no wonder Bones is so pissed, really, but I'm not going to let myself me subjected to my best friend torturing me just because I feel a little bad.
Yes, it's torture. No, I'm not overreacting. Bones is always sticking needles in me, causing an allergic reaction almost every time. Apparently it's for my own good, so Bones can keep track of meds I'm allowed to take. But I'm not fooled. Bones is a sadist, plain and simple, and I am but an undeserving victim.
I told Spock about Bones' laden sadist tendencies last week and in return, I got called juvenile. My own boyfriend didn't even believe me. We slept in separate beds for almost an entire evening.
(Admittedly, it was probably about as painful for me as it was for Spock, but my principles overruled my need for cuddles. For a few minutes at least)
I run into my quarters. Safe at last.
I may not be able to run forever, but I can still avoid Bones for at least two more weeks.
The old man - old Spock - put the flames out. You had to head out soon; the monster from before was probably (hopefully) gone so you could at long last leave the cave.
You stepped out and the cold almost hurt. You gathered your hood closer to your face and looked to your left, to old Spock, who had to feel even worse than you.
"How are you?" You asked. Not out of worry or maybe, but then because the old man saved you from that snow monster, not because you cared.
"Adequate," old Spock answered.
You trekked through the snow for however long, and your thoughts wandered. You thought of Spock, of Bones and of Uhura. What were they up to? Were they safe?
You felt strange. Full of energy yet also exhausted.
"We are almost there," old Spock announced and you looked up from the ground, away from the snow and your thoughts.
There was the base ahead and already, you felt hopeful. You would get there sooner rather than later and you'd use the transporters there to get back where you belonged.
But, a small part of you breathed, you don't belong there. Spock's not there. He's here, so you belong here.
You shoved those thoughts away. Days later they would resurface, but for now they would stay down.
"Spock-" Kirk gasped, trying desperately to remember what he'd been about to say. It was a little hard to concentrate with Spock's mouth firmly attached to his throat and his hands doing very indecent things to unmentionable parts of his body.
Kirk slammed his head against the tree trunk behind him and suddenly he remembered. "We should go back to the hotel. We're - ah - we're in a public park, Spock. We c-could get arrested."
"The odds of that happening are insignificant," Spock said matter-of-factly against Kirk's throat. "It is midnight." He stopped to suck at the spot behind Kirk's ear, guaranteed to make him melt. "There is no other being in sight. If anyone approaches us, I will detect them."
Kirk wrapped his legs around Spock's waist as the Vulcan grabbed his ass and lifted him up as if he weighed nothing. "Yeah, but still-"
"You have no cause to worry," Spock reassured him as he rocked slightly against Kirk. Kirk's eyes rolled back in his head.
Later, as they sat side by side in the same cell, Kirk was trying his very hardest not to kill his boyfriend. No cause to worry, his ass. Some telepath, couldn't even detect a police officer less than five feet away from them.
"You can make your phone call now," announced the officer outside their cell. Kirk stood up.
"I'm calling Bones," he informed Spock. The Vulcan said nothing, his eyes staring somewhere into the distance and his cheeks stained green.
After Kirk had told McCoy of their situation, it took the Doctor ten minutes to stop laughing long enough to agree to come down to the station and pay their bail.
Sometimes, Jim really hated children.
He'd been on his way to the store, minding his own business, when he'd been ambushed by two teary-eyed ten year olds. They'd pointed at a nearby tree with a brightly colored paper dragon perched on the top and begged him to retrieve it.
Jim, being the generous soul that he was, agreed.
"Shouldn't have left campus today," he muttered to himself as he grabbed the lowest branch and heaved himself up.
Fortunately Jim was an experienced climber, so he soon reached the top. He glanced down and grabbed the tree tighter - he was higher up than he'd anticipated.
Down on the ground, the children were chatting with a newly-arrived stranger partially obscured by the tree's lower branches. Jim leaned forward to see him better and in doing so, his grip on the tree slipped.
"Uh-oh," Jim breathed and then he was falling.
He screwed his eyes shut but the hard landing expected never came. Instead he landed in a pair of arms.
Jim opened his eyes and came face to face to his rescuer, a Vulcan wearing a familiar uniform.
Jim batted his eyes. "My hero!"
He was dropped on the ground for his trouble.
"Be more careful in the future," the Vulcan said quietly and then he was gone as swiftly as he had arrived.
Jim grinned. He may not have gotten his rescuers name, but he still had fairly secure way of finding him again. After all, there weren't too many Vulcan instructors at the Academy.
Spock stares in awe at his surroundings. Whereas one minute ago he was sitting by the desk in his bedroom, he is now standing in white sand, basking in the warm summer sun, surrounded by a green forest to the north and turquoise waters to the south. He has no idea of how he got here, but it does not seem to matter. Never in his short ten years has he ever seen anything so amazing.
"Great, isn't it?"
Spock turns around, ready to reprimand whoever is standing behind him for sneaking up on him, but his words die in his throat. The boy standing behind him is not so much standing, as he is hovering in the air, two feet above the ground. He smirks at Spock, sticking his hand out in introduction.
"Jim's m'name," he says. "Though I'm known to most as Pan."
Spock stares at the boy, who has to be around his age, perhaps one or two years younger. He is dressed in rags, his face and hands are dirty and bruised, and one front tooth is missing.
Pan drops his hand when it becomes evident that Spock is not going to shake it. "Who are you?"
"Spock," Spock manages to whisper. Try as he might, he cannot understand what he is seeing, nor can he wrap his head around who this unrefined character in front of him is. Everything about this situation is absurd.
"Spock," Pan repeats with a grin. "Want to go on an adventure with me?"
Kirk wasn't always this sappy, he swears. He used to be, if not jaded, at the least very cynical. There was a reason for his reputation as a ladies' killer. He liked feeling close to another person but he could always shut that feeling off when he wanted to, which resulted in a lot of one night stands.
But ever since that first night with Spock, he's changed. What was originally only intended as one night, brought on by a desperate fit of loneliness, passion and a year's worth of sexual frustration, very quickly spun out of control. Before he knew it, Kirk was in a relationship. It wasn't that he never wanted to be in one, but with a coworker? And Spock no less? Yeah, that hadn't exactly been planned.
It happened nevertheless and Kirk adapted to it surprisingly fast. In fact, it only took one afternoon and the discovery that Spock could play just about every Beatles' song in existence on the Vulcan lute, and Kirk was hooked. There was no turning back.
And honestly? He wouldn't have it any other way.
Spock? Are you busy? - J
Yes. As you should be. If you wish to talk, we could do so after class - S
But I'm bored - J
I believe the phrase is: "tough luck" - S
Ha ha ha - J
Spock? - J
Talk to me! - J
How'd it go? - L
Bad - J
Bad how? Did he reject you? Did he tell you he hates you? That he actually loves Scotty? What? - L
He basically told me to shut up - J
Tough luck - L
Jim? Why do you look so sad? What did I say? - L
Spock, Jim has started to brood. Just tell him yes already - L
Excuse me? - S
Just. Say. Yes - L
Yes - S
To Jim, idiot - L
You should have made yourself clear - S
I did, you asshole. For Christ's sake, tell Jim yes before I smack you - L
That is hardly the right way to persuade me - S
Will you please tell Jim yes? - L
Very well - S
Yes - S
Wait, what? Really? - J
Yes - S
Alright :D! I'll pick you up Friday, 8 o'clock - J
McCoy, what have I just agreed to? - S
A date - L
...that is acceptable - S
I bet it is - L
Kirk tugs at his dress shirt, grinding his teeth angrily. He hates these flashy events. It isn't as if Perunia hasn't already signed their deal with Starfleet, this is all entirely unnecessary. Why a ball, anyway? And why is Kirk needed here? He can't even dance.
"Quit fidgeting, Captain," Uhura hisses. She's his "date" this evening, since his husband was apparently busy with ship's business. Lucky bastard.
"But this shirt itches," Kirk whines.
Uhura glares at him but stays quiet, since the Perunia's Vice President is advancing. This creep's been leering at her all night, and Kirk steps defensively between them.
"Miss Uhura," he says in greeting, barely glancing at Kirk.
"It's Lieutenant Uhura, actually," Uhura replies as dismissively as she dares.
The Vice President's smile falters, but he quickly regains his stride. "Might I have this dance?" He asks.
"Actually, I have just asked the Lieutenant the same thing," Kirk quickly cuts in.
Uhura smiles pleasantly at the Vice President. "He has. Such bad luck."
The Vice President's grin slips. "Truly. Am I right in assuming he has requested the next dance as well?"
"And the next after that," Uhura says, faking distress. "Seems like I'll be busy all evening."
The Vice President sneers and with a hasty curtsy, walks away.
"Thanks Captain," Uhura mutters.
Kirk grins. "Remember this the next time I'm being a jerk."
Uhura just laughs.
"Jim? Let me in!"
Jim ignores his best friend's shouting, ignores the insistent buzzing at the door. He doesn't want to see anyone right now. He already knows exactly what Bones is going to say anyway, because he's been told the same stuff again and again for days now. Don't lock yourself off, don't go through this alone, don't blame yourself, there was nothing you could have done.
There is a small click and whir, and the door unlocks, allowing Bones entrance.
"Well, at least you're alive," he says when he enters.
I wish I wasn't, Jim thinks, but he knows better than to say it out loud.
"You haven't been attending your shifts," Bones remarks.
Jim raises an eyebrow. "You were the one who forbid me from working."
"Yeah, but I didn't think you would listen."
They're quiet for a few moments. Bones crosses the room and sits down on the bed next to Jim. Jim doesn't look at his friend, concentrating instead on the frayed book in his hands.
"What book is that?" Bones asks quietly.
"A Tale of Two Cities," Jim recites. "It was... he gave it to me. Before."
"Is it any good?"
Jim shrugs. "I haven't read it yet."
They fall silent again.
"He was a good man," Bones finally says.
Jim draws a long, wavering breath. "He was."
Sir James T. Kirk the Fearless was the greatest knight Camelot had ever known. Compared to him King Arthur was a nobody, Lancelot might as well be chopped liver and Merlin… alright, so Merlin was still pretty cool. Also, he wasn't a knight.
James the Fearless, also known as James the Awesome to his friends, was restless. The love of his life, Sir Spock the Logical, had been kidnapped by Romulans (or the ancient English version of Romulans) and his faithful friend, Bones, had a bad cold and could not come with him. James would have to make his journey by himself-
"Not by himself!"
Jim paused his story. "Sorry, pumpkin?"
"Not by himself!" Amanda repeated. "His daughter, Princess Amanda went with him."
Elliot coughed pointedly.
"And Elliot the Court Jester went too," Amanda allowed.
"Don't tease your little brother," Jim chastised. "Alright, so Sir James made the journey with his children, Princess Amanda and Prince Elliot. Even though it was a very dangerous journey that children had no business going on."
"That's okay because they were all grown up," Amanda stated.
Elliot frowned. "But wouldn't Sir James be old if his children were grow up?"
Amanda contemplated this. "You're right." Elliot beamed. "Daddy, Sir James can't go, he's too old."
Jim shook his head, amused. "Alright. Princess Amanda and Prince Elliot went by themselves, then, to rescue their fathers, Sirs James and Spock, because they were old and couldn't rescue themselves. Sound good?"
Amanda and Elliot both nodded.
"And Princess Amanda has a pet dragon named Julia," Amanda added.
R: Roller Derby
I stop tying on my skates long enough to shoot Bones the meanest look I can. "Don't call me that. While I'm competing my name's not James, it's Bloody Holly."
"In case you hadn't noticed, the competition isn't until next Tuesday," Bones says meanly. "James."
I stand up, wobbling only slightly. "I'm getting into the mindset."
Bones laughs. "Mindset won't do much good when we come in last - again. Anyway, we've got a guest in the lobby. Go chase 'em off, will you?"
I feel like telling Bones no, just because, but I'm much too nosy to. No one comes to this gym, except the team, and I'm itching to find out who would even want to.
I skate to the lobby to find it empty.
"Good day, James."
I spin back so quickly I almost get whiplash. Leaning against the wall is my long-time nemesis, Dinah Might.
Also known as Spock.
Which is a stupid name.
"Spock," I say calmly. "Who told you about this gym?"
"It was not difficult to find," Spock says. Anyone else would have sounded smug, but not Spock. That would mean showing emotion.
"You came to spy?" I guess.
"Seeing as how you lost the last five times we competed, I do not see the need to."
I gnash my teeth. "We'll see about that next Tuesday."
Spock gives me an apathetic look. "We shall."
And then she leaves. I sigh and skate back to the gym.
Honestly, hating Spock would be easy if only she wasn't so hot.
"Did you hear-"
"-can't believe he-"
"-why would Kirk of all people-"
Kirk walked into the cafeteria and immediately, the chatter died down. He glanced around, before making a beeline to the table in the corner, occupied only by McCoy. Kirk normally liked to eat with a group but he'd endured enough people muttering about him today while they thought he couldn't hear them.
McCoy gave Kirk a look of poorly concealed mirth when he plopped down on the bench. That look could only mean one thing.
Kirk groaned. "Alright, who am I fooling around with now?"
"A teacher," McCoy replied, grinning.
"Pike?" Kirk inquired worriedly. People had talked quite a bit when he'd been accepted into the Academy with nothing but a recommendation from the Captain.
"No, even better," McCoy replied. "The Vulcan teacher."
Kirk frowned. "I didn't even know we had a Vulcan teacher at the Academy."
"Apparently you two have been having an affair for up to one year. You're planning on bonding any time now." McCoy looked entertained at the thought. "Can you imagine? You being engaged to an unfeeling Vulcan. Or hell, you being engaged at all."
Kirk laughed. "I think I prefer the rumor about me and Pike."
Jim walked down Rome's cobweb roads, a small paper box in his hands and a lazy smile grazing his lips. He was enjoying a rare worry-free week away from work (even Jim, who loved his work, needed a break every now and again) and doing so in a place he loved, alongside someone he loved.
Jim and Spock had been exploring Rome for five days, seeing churches and famous landmarks, sneaking kisses in old alleyways and museum hallways. Now was a day for relaxing, sampling some choice cuisine and also for some much needed privacy.
Fairly soon, Jim reached a grey stone house, his and Spock's house. Spock was inside, pouring coffee.
"I have cakes," Jim announced as soon as he came in. "Ladyfinger cakes."
Jim could swear he saw Spock's ears perk. Spock loved ladyfingers, even if he would never say so himself.
"Your coffee is ready."
Jim smiled. He was so ridiculously happy, he almost ached. "I love you."
Spock blinked and Jim realized why. He'd never said 'I love you' before. Never even imagined.
"And I you," Spock replied when he'd recovered.
Jim grasped Spock's hand and kissed him. "I know."
Kirk walked into his room, dragging his feet behind him. It'd been a long shift and all he wanted was to go to bed and sleep for weeks. Sadly, Spock was still in the labs, so he'd have to sleep by himself.
"Good evening, Jim."
"Evening," Kirk said, walking straight past his desk. He stopped short the next moment. "Spock? What happened to staying in the labs all night?"
Spock didn't even look away from his PADD. "My plans were altered," he said simply, as if that were a proper explanation.
"I decided that Ensign Jones was well capable of carrying on her experiments alone."
Kirk cleared his throat. "Really, now."
That was a lie if he'd ever heard one. Ensign Jones was not only inexperienced, she also had a slight tendency of setting things on fire. Spock had to have a very good reason for leaving her alone in his beloved labs. A very good, secret reason.
It was at that moment that Kirk detected a faint, familiar melody from the PADD. When he strained his ear, he heard the lyrics as well:
"-and live in harmony, harmony, always-"
Kirk raised an eyebrow. Spock was playing hooky... so he'd be able to play a video game. That was honestly kind of adorable.
Spock still hadn't looked from his PADD, a look of intense concentration on his face. Kirk bit his lip. Make that very adorable.
"Don't worry," he said and leaned in to kiss his bondmate's cheek. "I won't tell anyone."
Spock showed no sign of having heard Kirk, aside from the green-tinged points of his ears.
"George Elliot Kirk!"
Elliot's eyes widened in shock at his father's enraged yell. He looked at the phaser in his hands, then glanced in panic around the room. No place to hide it. And his father's footsteps were echoing down the hallway, coming closer and closer.
"What, daddy?" He shouted back, hoping he sounded innocent enough.
"Don't you 'daddy' me," Jim chastised. "My phaser is gone from its holster and I know Spock didn't take it, so you best come clean young man and-" he stopped short as he walked into the room. "What happened?"
The room was completely bare, no sign of any furniture.
Elliot sniffled, his eyes tearing up. "I - I didn't mean to."
"You didn't mean to," Jim repeated numbly. He walked in a slow circle, taking in the scene around him.
"I j-just wanted t-to be a starship captain," Elliot sobbed. He was red-faced, fat tears rolling down his cheeks. "L-like you."
Jim brought a hand to his forehead and took a deep breath. "It's okay, kid. I'm not mad."
Elliot looked hopefully up at his father. "R-really?"
Jim got down on his knees and gently extracted the phaser from his son's lax grip. "Really. This is not a toy. You could seriously hurt yourself, playing with it. Just don't do it again, okay?"
"Okay," Elliot said brightly, his tears suddenly dried. "I'm gonna go play with Amanda."
He ran out of the room and Jim stared after him, slowly realizing that he had just been had for a fool.
"Let's go see the snakes next," Amanda begs.
"No, the monkeys!" Elliot demands.
Jim grabs his children's hands before they can go running off. "There's plenty of time for both. Besides, the penguins are up next."
Amanda grumbles something unintelligible and probably highly inappropriate for an eight year old, but Elliot grins.
"Do you think they sing like in the movie?" He asks.
"Maybe," Jim says. Then Spock sends him a rather spectacular glare and he admits; "Probably not, though."
"Seals!" Amanda suddenly shouts and almost forcibly drags her father and brother to the nearest exhibit. Spock strolls after them, looking almost bemused.
"That seal is really big," Elliot exclaims. "And it's got really long tooths."
"Teeth," Spock corrects and Elliot smiles sheepishly.
"Besides, it's not a seal," Jim says. "It's a... a..."
He trails off, his mouth hanging open in horror. The animal in the tank has started masturbating. He glances briefly at Spock, and the Vulcan looks about as horrified as Jim feels.
"Daddy?" Elliot asks. "Is the seal trying to pee?"
Amanda looks disgusted and Jim takes this as a chance at escape.
"Yes, yes it is," he says hurriedly. "Let's leave it alone. The penguins are probably just around the corner."
Jim lifted the glass of beer to his lips, once again wondering why the hell he'd come back to Riverside for shore leave. He'd only been there for a day and a half, sorting through the junk Frank had left at the old house before he died, and already he felt like he was reverting back to his old self. Drinking alone in the dark corner of a bar he'd been thrown out of too many times to count.
A sudden roar of rambunctious laughter interrupted Jim's thoughts. A group of about five men had just entered the bar, talking loudly.
"-been better if they'd done it without destroying the planet," laughed one of them. "More land for us."
Jim's grip tightened on his glass. They weren't talking Vulcan, were they?
"Come on man, that's not something to joke about."
"Who's joking? Those snotty, pointy-eared devils-"
"-think they're so much better than us-"
"-it would be best to round the rest of them up-"
"-and just shoot them. Problem solved."
Before he had time to think of it twice, Jim leapt to his feet and landed his fist in the speaker's face with a very satisfying crunch. The man flew into the nearest table where he limped down, unconscious.
Jim casually strolled back to the bar, downed the rest of his beer, paid and left. The rest of the bar patrons could only stare after him, dumbfounded.
"This is the life," Bones sighed, taking another sip of his mint julep.
"That it is," Jim agreed. His head was resting on Spock's stomach and for once, the Vulcan didn't object to this public show of affection. It could be because, aside from Bones, there was no one else around. Their ship - a rental called Big Blue - was floating alone in the middle of the azure ocean, no land in sight.
Jim almost purred as Spock ran one hand through his hair. Spock himself didn't seem to be aware that he was doing it, he was so immersed in his book.
"I'm still amazed there was a ship available in our price range," Bones marveled.
Jim coughed and sat up. "About that..."
Bones shot up in his chair, glaring at Jim. "What about that?"
"I might have... just paid half the actual price?"
Bones did not look amused. "What."
"And to make sure no one could find us and charge us for the rest of it, I kind of rented this ship in Frank Sinatra's name," Jim admitted.
"We're on a stolen boat?"
Spock had lowered his book and was staring at Jim along with Bones, though he didn't look quite as murderous.
"It's not stolen," Jim said.
"Half of it is!"
Jim waved a hand. "It's fine. No one will find out."
Bones picked his mint julep up again and drained it. "No one will find out," he muttered to himself. "Let's see how confident he is when we're all sharing a jail cell."
"It's fine," Jim repeated, though his voice lacked conviction. Spock suppressed a long-suffering sigh and turned back to his book.
Kirk stared up at the ceiling in Sickbay, bored out of his mind. It was two in the morning and yet he couldn't sleep.
He'd been in here for five days, ever since their last away mission came to an abrupt end when he was attacked by one of the planet's native predators. It had only managed to bite his arm once before Spock knocked it out with a phaser blast, but when he'd been beamed back on board, McCoy had confirmed that he had been infected with a virus the creature had been carrying.
It was then that Kirk started to feel an overwhelming urge to sink his teeth into the nearest person available. He'd been subdued quickly and brought to Sickbay, where he'd been restrained to a biobed and drugged. For the most part of the past few days, he'd been either delirious, snarling at whoever came close to him, or doped up and out of it. Today was the first time he was lucid in a while and the boredom was killing him.
The worst part of it all was that no one was allowed to visit him. That meant no chatting with Scotty about the ship's engines, no Chekov or Sulu to laugh with, no Uhura to gently tease him about getting himself injured yet again...
A small, sudden twinge through the bond in his head reminded Kirk that he wasn't completely isolated from the outside world. He smiled and closed his eyes, finally able to sleep with Spock's presence washing over him.