Title: The Wrong Kind of Work (1/3)
Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy (Scotty and others)
Disclaimer: What, I could own these characters? Doubt that very much.
Summary: Things get stirred up on the Enterprise after a lesson gone awry. Humor.
My strange side is showing again. Oops.
Chekov walks into Engineering, rounds a console, and stops.
“I need a breather.”
“As you wish, Doctor.”
McCoy crawls from under a panel, tool in hand and panting. Chekov can make out the sweat on his forehead as McCoy turns his head in Chekov’s direction. The doctor says, “What are you staring at?”
“Nothing, Sir! Not a thing, Sir! I was—I was just looking for Mr. Scott.”
“Scotty’s hanging out in my Sickbay.”
Chekov forgets his sense for a moment. “Why?”
McCoy reaches up and takes a hold of Spock’s pants leg; the Vulcan doesn’t move an inch as Leonard uses him like a climbing pole to get to his feet.
“Why, Chekov?” McCoy’s voice grows louder with each Southern-slurred word. “You wanna know why the Chief Engineer is playing with life-savin’ medical equipment while the Chief Medical Officer suffers in a God-forsaken cesspit of radiation?“
Belatedly, Pavel wonders if he can apologize quickly enough to retreat but, by the blazing of Doctor McCoy’s blue eyes, the navigator has a terrible feeling he has only felt the first pebble of an avalanche. So, instead, he looks to Mr. Spock for help—trying to shove as much pleading into his expression as possible (without alerting McCoy).
The First Officer’s eyebrow goes up, and that’s a bad sign. Chekov is screwed. He switches tactics. “Doctor McCoy, I am terribly sorry for interrupting—” He pauses. What is he interrupting?
“Oh no, you don’t, Pavel.”
Crap. McCoy’s using his first name! That’s usually right before a hypospray to the neck. Wait… should he be looking out for Scotty instead? Chekov begins to perspire with confusion.
“Doc—tor McCoy, I really must be going…” His Russian accent grows so thick the last sentence is barely understandable.
“See what you’ve done, you pointy-eared hobgoblin!” McCoy is not quite screeching. “You’re upsettin’ everyone with your confounded LOGIC! So help me, God, if Scotty’s started a Rigellan plague—”
Chekov thanks the higher powers for the distraction and sprints for the exit. McCoy would only see a blur of gold if he ever pauses in his castigation of the First Officer.
Pavel makes it up five decks before his curiosity is restored. It’s only logical—wouldn’t Mr. Spock be proud?—to go to Sickbay to find Mr. Scott.
The doors slide open and Chekov encounters an irate Chapel—which is strange because Nurse Chapel seems the calmest of all McCoy’s staff; a feat in itself, considering she has to work under the irascible Doctor McCoy. Pavel admits to no small amount of respect for Christine.
She doesn’t bother to ask him about his business in Sickbay, despite that the navigator usually has to be rounded up, threatened, and summarily dragged in for every routine physical examination. Chapel throws a sharp look at Pavel and says, “He’s in the back.”
Of course Chekov is not quite sure where “the back” is but he hears the faint lilt of a brogue and follows that.
Scotty is peering into a male ensign’s ear and remarks, “Now hold still there, lad. I can’t be doctoring ye and fightin’ yer fidgets at the same time!”
“Hello, Mr. Scott,” Chekov greets.
“Be with ye in a minute, Chekov! I’m almost done—”
The male ensign leans too far away from the Chief Engineer and almost falls off the examination table. As he scrambles to his feet, the (scared-looking) man says, quite nervously, “I suddenly feel so much better! Thanks a bunch, Mr. Scott, I think I just ate something that—didn’t agree with me.”
“Are ye sure? Yer lookin’ a little green.” Scotty pulls open a random drawer. “Give me a sec, laddie, and I’m sure I can find somethin’ to cure that ill stomach—”
“NO! No, no, thank you, Mr. Scott,” the ensign begs as he backs away (almost into Pavel). “I’m feeling better. So much better! I just—”
And he’s gone. Pavel has to commend him on his speed.
“Well,” Mr. Scott says. “Pavel, what can I do for ye?”
“I was reading an article on transwrap theory and—”
“Feeling nae so good? C’mon and I’ll take a look.” The engineer pats the table with a quirky half-grin.
“No, Mr. Scott, I’m fine.” Maybe this was a bad idea. “Doctor McCoy’s in Engineering.”
Scotty goes from good-natured to slightly wild in a heartbeat. “Was he touching anything?” Suddenly, Chekov is being gripped by the upper arms with a surprising strength.
“What’s he done to me engines, boy! Letting loose an untrained man in the heart of the Lady… Why, this whole thing’s confoundin’ and I dinnae have a choice in the matter!”
Chekov listens to Mr. Scott’s woes which sound suspiciously like the doctor’s. So Mr. Spock is the responsible party for uprooting two comfortably settled men into unknown duties.
He tells the engineer, “I don’t understand, Scotty. Why are you and Doctor McCoy—switched?”
Mr. Scott blinks. “The good doctor and myself got in a wee row over our usual bottle o’ scotch.” McCoy likes scotch? He thought it was bourbon. Huh. “And… well, it mighta gotten outta hand but then Mr. Spock…” The man trails off.
“Mr. Spock?” he prompts.
Scotty sighs heavily. “Mr. Spock thinks we dinnae understand the value of each other’s work. Now,” he protests, “I’d never disrespect another job! I ken how important the doctor is to the ship. Why, he takes right care of the lads down in Engineering—patching ’em up after a mishap—”
Chekov blocks out the majority of the ensuing tales because the Bridge Crew knows full well how accident-prone Engineering is—or how often Engineering gets hit in battle. He takes advantage of Mr. Scott’s pause for breath to excuse himself with apologies from Sickbay. Chekov tries not to think too hard on how forlorn the Chief Engineer looks, left behind in a sterile Sickbay with the smell of antiseptic—and no purr of a well-tuned engine.
The navigator goes back to his quarters and comms Sulu. “Hikaru, you’ll never believe what’s going on…”
After Chekov’s escape—and probable blabbering to his co-workers—McCoy notes a sudden influx of random ensigns into Engineering as the hours progress. He barks at them “What d’ya want?” just a bit more grumpily each time.
And damn it! He can’t figure out why he has more leftover parts than he started with—he thinks he put this back together right, but the extra bolts and that wire-thingy make him second-guess himself.
Leonard throws down a wrench and yells, “I’m a doctor, not an engineer!”
Unfortunately, Spock is gone now to perform his proper duties, leaving McCoy to blunder about in the Engineering Department without direction. Not that the fool Vulcan helped before anyway.
All Spock could say was “Not there, Doctor” or “Incorrect, Doctor” or “That’s a detonation button, Doctor. Please do not touch it.”
Doctor McCoy flops down into a chair with a heavy sigh. (Why are there so little places to rest a man’s bones? He’ll have to make Scotty send in some requisition forms.)
Who knew that sneaky Vulcan lurks about Engineering in the evening. Well, maybe he and Scotty were getting a little too loud in the heat of their argument, but that’s no excuse for eavesdropping on your fellow crewmen, now is it?
To think, Leonard McCoy and Scott Montgomery chastised like children at their age. And punished. What is this, some convoluted version of Vulcan time-out?
That settles it for McCoy. He wants Jim. He wants Jim to fix this mess right now, because if he doesn’t get back to the sweet sound of hissing hyposprays…
He’ll do something drastic. Like shut down the engines or…
McCoy rubs a finger against his lower lip, thinking. He grabs the arm of a passing Engineer laddie, as Scotty always call his crew. “Son,” he says, “why don’t you give me a tour? I’m fairly lost down here and there’s something I have in mind…”
Maybe the Captain’s authority isn’t needed yet. McCoy’s pretty sure that the plan forming in his head is devious but not overly dangerous.
Now, he wonders as he trails behind an oddly jumpy red-shirt, where was that blasted red button again?