James T. Kirk watched intently as ice dropped into the glass in front of him and bartender filled it four fingers high with single malt. He'd never wanted a drink so bad in him life... At least not in his second life. Jim took the glass and saluted his bartender with it before taking the first drink.
The alcohol burned as it slid down his throat. It's great to be alive, he thought as the ice clinked against the side of the glass.
"Captain," an all too familiar voice broke into his thoughts startling him and causing Kirk to spill half his drink down the front of his shirt.
Jim cursed as he brushed at the damp spots. "Mister Spock. What can I do for you?" he asked without turning to the Vulcan standing at his side.
"Captain, you were not answering your communicator," Spock answered matter-of-factly.
"I left it back in my quarters."
"Sir, Doctor McCoy gave you implicit instructions to go home and rest."
"Well, I'm resting here on this barstool. I'm just not at home. And Spock," Jim said finally turning to look at the Vulcan, "I thought we'd made progress with that."
Spock's brow furrowed. "I'm not sure I understand, sir."
"That. Right there. It's Jim, not sir or even captain right now. I'm on medical leave for the next few months. You're in charge of the crew until I'm deemed fit to return to duty."
"I do not see how that pertains to our conversation."
"Never mind," Jim said, rolling his eyes. "Continue, Mr. Spock."
"As I was saying, Captain-"
"Jim," he interrupted, speaking into his drink.
"You are still recovering. Intoxication is a very unwise choice."
"It's one drink," Jim insisted studying his first officer's stoic expression. "In fact, you should have one yourself. You might actually relax for once. Bartender, get this man something... Vulcan. Or better yet, Romulan. The stronger, the better."
"Kirk!" another familiar voice rang across the length of the bar.
"Seriously?" Jim asked, turning again to Spock.
Before Spock could answer, Uhura was by his side with fire in her eyes. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" she asked.
"I'm just having-" Jim protested.
"No. I don't want to hear it. Do you have any idea what we thought when Spock couldn't find you?"
Jim tried to look innocent. "That I was having a-"
"We'd thought you'd jumped off a bridge or something. You haven't been yourself since you woke up. We thought the worst."
"We?" he asked. Jim took a good look at his first officer and communications officer standing so close to each other that their arms touched. He'd long since excepted the two were involved but he hadn't really taken a chance to really wrap his head around that. Now standing in front of him he could see it. They were fire and ice; one all heated passion and the other cool calculating logic. A real life ying and yang. A laugh burst from between his lips and he glanced at the bartender again who had just produced an odd looking cloudy drink that he set in front of Spock. "And the lovely lady will have a Jack Daniels."
Uhura scowled. "Kirk, this isn't funny."
"Relax. Both of you. I'm fine-"
"Aye, Cap'n," a third figure called, bobbing around a handful of barflies. "When ye wasn't in ye quarters, I figured I'd find ye here." Scotty stopped on Jim's opposite side and dropped his PADD on the bar top.
"Did they call you too?" Jim accused.
"No, but I wish ye would have. I could use a drink after going over these schematics. These upgrades are going to take months!"
"Bartender," Jim called. "Scotty'll have a-"
"Scotch. On the rocks. But like I was sayin, these upgrades are going to take months to implement, not to even mention the repairs from the damage she took. The Enterprise, she'll be docked for ages. Here. Take a look," Scotty said typing on the PADD's touch screen.
"Spock's in charge while I'm on leave. Have him look at it," Jim answered, flipping his hand toward his first officer.
"That may be so, but she's still ye ship-"
"There you are!" Yet another voice bellowed from behind him.
"The good doctor's here," Jim said with a small smile as he turned on his stool.
"Damnit, Jim. When I said you were supposed to go home and get some rest that wasn't short hand for go to the bar and have drink."
"And a Kentucky bourbon," Jim called over his shoulder. "Bones. What brings you here?"
"Don't get me started, Jim." Bones began searching through the medical bag slung over his shoulder before pulling out a bright silver instrument.
"I'm fine, Bones, and don't you dare touch me with that thing."
"Don't be a damn child," Bones muttered as he held the instrument a few inches from Jim's forehead.
"Enough," Jim finally growled. "All of you. I'm fine. I came here because I'm fine and just wanted a damn drink. But I'm starting to think its you people need a drink and to just relax for a few minutes." Reaching over his shoulder and retrieving the Kentucky bourbon, Jim shoved the drink into Bones' free hand. "Take a drink. You'll feel better once you've loosened up a bit."
Over Bones' shoulder, Jim spotted two more familiar faces weaving their way through the crowd to join the semi-circle of his crew now surrounding him.
"Really?" Jim asked glancing at Spock, who merely answered by raising a single eyebrow. Turning back to the newcomers and pointing his thumb at his first officer, he asked, "Did he call you two?"
"No, sir," Sulu answered a little startled. He held up the beer in his hand and continued, "It's Chekov's birthday. We were just out celebrating and noticed the five of you over here..."
"It's your birthday?" Jim asked wondering how he could have missed that. Although, he had been dead and then in a coma for two weeks...
"Yes, sir," Chekov answered also holding up his beer. "I'm eighteen, now."
Jim laughed and smiled brightly. "You know, Mister Chekov, two hundred years ago you would have had to wait until you were 21 before you could legally buy a beer."
"Thank god times have changed," Bones muttered, standing next to the young ensign.
"Well, this calls for a toast," Jim said raising his glass. The rest of the semi-circle followed suit, some more reluctantly than others. "To young Mister Chekov... To life... To friends... And to...family."
Glasses clinked, 'here, heres' were said, and drinks were downed, except for a certain Vulcan who discretely returned the glass to the bar top without so much as a sip. One by one Jim watched them relax... All but Spock, who Jim was sure didn't know how to relax.
When Jim's eyes caught Spock's, the Vulcan's eyes widened slightly and he gave the very slightest of nods before speaking so softly that only the captain could hear. "Jim."
Jim smiled even more brightly at his crew as crew as he turned to watch them interact. He sighed inwardly knowing that he would do it all again. Die to save his crew... His friends... His family.
This may or may not turn into a continuing collections of one shots. I guess it will all depend on how inspired I get.