Afterword
Summary:
After his exhausting day, Lt. Garrovick unwinds in the junior officers' rec room. An after the credits scene for "Obsession".
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek, any of the canon characters, settings or situations.


After the strange blood-drinking cloud creature is defeated, after Garrovick spends nearly four hours with the captain, drinking Saurian brandy (for God's sake don't tell the good doctor, or we'll never hear the end of it) and listening to tall tales of his father's exploits, he finds his way to the junior officers' rec room, still too buzzing with energy to sleep. A few off-duty officers, command, science and operations, are scattered about, playing cards or talking desultorily. They look up as he comes in. Garrovick has been on the Enterprise for nearly two months now, and he can put names to most of the faces: Riley, outgoing and boisterous; Sulu, calm and supremely competent; Chekov, brilliant and flamboyantly Russian.

Chekov's unholy grin is enough to warn him that the Enterprise's grapevine has been working overtime.

"Well now," says Riley, lifting his glass in welcome. "Here comes the hero of the day! Tell me, Garrovick, how was your interlude in the captain's den?" He leers good-naturedly.

Just as good-naturedly, Chekov punches him in the arm, mock-scowling. "Do not make fun of invitation to the captain's quarters, Riley. Is privilege offered only to few."

"That's not what I heard," someone else mutters, and they laugh – but there is admiration in it, and fondness, for this is a tight-knit crew, intensely loyal to their captain. Two months is more than long enough to recognise that.

"It was…" he pauses to think, trying to pin down the elusive feeling. It had been a long, tiring day. He'd gone from his first nervous shift on the bridge, admiring the captain from afar, to a mission down to the planet with him, to standing miserably before him while Kirk tore strips off his hide. Then had come the mad suicide mission to Tycho IV where he'd tried to knock the captain out for his own good – only to find out first-hand that the accounts of Kirk's fighting dirty were far from exaggerated. Finally the night had ended with a magical interlude, subjected to the full and open force of that charm, through conversation and laughter and tale-telling gently and expertly weighed and judged and found – to his eternal gratitude – worthy.

"It was almost unreal," he says quietly, "sitting with the captain himself." And then, to lighten the atmosphere, "I could have done without the day preceding it though."

There is a sense of general laughter. But, "No," Sulu says seriously. "On the Enterprise, there's only one way to bring yourself to the captain's notice – the hard way."

Chekov grins darkly. "This is true. I know this myself – the hard way." The young Russian is only an ensign, but he is one of the captain's preferred navigators. Garrovick wondered what Chekov did to distinguish himself enough to achieve that.

"I'll second that," Uhura slips into the seat beside Garrovick. She smiles a little at him with dark, lustrous eyes, and Garrovick loses another little piece of his heart to her. "We haven't told you the rest of it, Garrovick – now that the captain has noticed you, he'll push and push and push until you give him everything you possibly can, and then he'll set Mr Spock on to you to push some more."

"Speaking of our esteemed XO," Riley chips in, "what on Earth was he doing in your cabin?"

Of course they'd heard of that as well.

Garrovick's smile is slightly bemused. "Ah. That. He was trying to comfort me, in his own Vulcan fashion."

There is a drawn-in breath of delighted anticipation. The crew was just as fond of their enigmatic first officer. "How on Earth do Vulcans do comfort?" Riley asks.

"Shame on you, Kevin Riley," Uhura chides him. "Logically, of course."

"After the captain tore bloody strips off my hide and confined me to quarters, Mr Spock dropped by to tell me that I should not blame myself for falling prey to an inevitable ancient human fight-or-flight instinct."

Laughter erupts. "He said that? Seriously?"

"Sounds like Mr Spock."

The banter flies thick and fast, wry and affectionate, and Garrovick lets himself sink into the sense of warmth and belonging that came of acceptance into this remarkable crew. It really had been a very long day, and the captain's brandy was top-quality stuff.

He falls asleep right there at the table, while the others talk and laugh around him.