Title: The Wrong Kind of Work (3/3)
Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy (Scotty and others)
Summary: Things get stirred up on the Enterprise after a lesson gone awry. Humor.
Previous Parts: 1 | 2
“Spock, stay here. I’ll go in and try to talk McCoy down.”
The Vulcan blinks. “Captain, I must fail to understand the seriousness of this situation. Do you believe McCoy to have become… dangerous?”
Kirk ignores his question. “If you approach him, Mr. Spock, it could be fatal. Your presence might set McCoy off—considering that you’re the reason he is in Engineering in the first place.”
Spock tilts his head minutely, as if attempting to read between the lines for any underpinning of hostility. While Kirk assures Mr. Spock that he is forgiven for his “unknowingly bad judgment call”—which would make any Vulcan a mite indignant—the Captain is, quite simply, emotionally volatile; perhaps more so than the doctor, who is a supernova of emotion but usually on one particular, steady course. (Leonard McCoy is predictable in this respect.)
Directing a swarm of security officers like an orchestra, the Captain pulls his shoulders back and marches into the Engineering Department, leaving one tall (slightly curious) Vulcan behind.
McCoy digs at a screw with his scalpel and curses; in the face of ill-success, he picks up a screwdriver, stares at it before turning it around handle first to whack the stubborn bolt into submission. As the bolt bends and McCoy feels a bit of elation, the doctor hears the faint interruption of “Bones. Bones!”
“What?” he snaps, twisting his head to the intruder. (It’s the Captain, no surprise there.)
“Doctor McCoy,” the Captain says calmly, “I need you to lay down your weapon, place your hands in the air, and back away slowly from the device.”
Leonard stares at Jim like he’s gone ’round the bend. “Excuse me, son?”
“Doctor McCoy,” the man repeats with a developing flush, “I need—”
“Yeah, heard you the first time, Jimmy. What’s the matter with you? I’m not some maniac!” Len attempts to moderate his voice for the sake of show. That’s when he notices the half-circle of armed security officers in the background. “You’re serious?!”
“Deadly, Bones. I won’t have my ship and crew blown to pieces because you’re feeling adventurous.”
Oh no. Oh HELL no. “Adventurous?” McCoy rises from his crouch. “Adventurous? Think I’m down here ’cause it’s entertaining?! You Goddamn fool of a man!”
Kirk’s face goes red with temper. “Watch it! I’ll charge you with insubordination, Doctor or—”
“Or what, Captain? Send the Vulcan in to punish me some more! You can’t damn well punish me anymore than this! I’ve got a grease monkey of a Scotsman in SICKBAY and not one of these lads—” He gestures wildly at the blinking group of engineers. “—has brains enough to get me some damned mesh wire!”
Kirk demands, “Explain that again.”
McCoy shouts, “I—want—mesh—wire!”
Jim squints one eye. His farm-boy-self says, “Chicken wire?”
“Naw, the holes’d be too big.” McCoy pauses, thinks. “Needs to be like the covering over the comm speaker.”
They stare at one another for a moment in time. (Several security officers fidget during the lapse and an engineer-in-training yawns.)
Jim unfolds his arms and says, looking past McCoy, “What are you building, Bones?”
A grin spreads over McCoy’s face, and he bounces on the balls of his feet. “C’mon and take a look, Jim. She’s only half-done but a rare beauty, if I do say so myself!”
Spock has not moved from his spot in front of Engineering since the Captain charged inside with a slew of red-shirts.
At precisely fifteen point twenty-three minutes, the door whisks open and said-red-shirts (and a sleepy-looking lieutenant) file past Mr. Spock with disappointed looks. The door slides shut.
The Captain does not emerge, nor the CMO. Spock contemplates his options for approximately ten seconds before he breaks his stance and strides into Engineering, hands clasped behind his back.
His ears pick up the sound of murmuring and the words “Just to the left there, Jimmy. Now, hold that.” Finally, his eyes lay upon the persons of James T. Kirk and Leonard McCoy. The former is balancing on one knee and one hand as he pokes at something on the other side of a large, quite unidentifiable object. McCoy is sitting cross-legged and issuing directions.
Neither seems to notice Spock; thus, the First Officer takes the initiative with “Captain. Doctor.”
Doctor McCoy shoots him what ensigns term (rather illogically) the Evil Eye, and Jim just says in a muffled voice, “Hold on, Spock. Let me—okay!” Kirk sits back on his haunches and grins in such a way that sheds years off his age.
Spock settles for slowly circling the strange, lopsided contraption. His critical eye categorizes several integrity faults and possible hazards.
“Well?” McCoy breaks into the Vulcan’s study.
“It is… unique, Doctor. Might I ask its purpose?”
The doctor looks suspiciously satisfied as he turns to the Captain. “Now,” he drawls to Jim, “I’m not rightly sure Mr. Spock’ll be onboard with our explanation, Jim-boy. What d’ya think?”
Jim takes a playful moment to cock his head at the Vulcan and consider the possibilities. “Do Vulcans engage in the… acquisition of illegal substances, Mr. Spock?” he asks.
Spock blinks, says, “I do not understand, Captain.”
“Why, don’t insult his race, Jim! Surely Vulcans are too prim and proper!”
His attention turned to McCoy (and that illogical statement), the First Officer remarks, “Vulcan is a conglomeration of individuals, Doctor. While I can speak for myself and persons of acquaintance, there will always be those with… unsuitable tastes and irrational desires.”
“Lord help us if the Vulcans can’t be perfect,” McCoy mutters. He switches the subject before Spock can reply (not that he would deign to). “Well, I’m just learning my lesson here, Spock.”
“Indeed?” It’s more of a curious question than a statement.
“That’s right! What you see before you is an example of my humble apologies to the Chief Engineer.”
Spock looks at this thing which Jim gives a fond pat.
McCoy asks, “What do you think of my gift?”
“I could, perhaps, answer your question with more accuracy, Doctor, were I to understand the purpose of this gift to Mr. Scott.”
Coming to stand very close to the Vulcan, McCoy locks his hands behind his back and bounces. “Moonshine, Mr. Spock. What do you know about the moonshine-making business?”
Spock admits to a dearth of knowledge in this area. McCoy enlightens him, Jim occasionally as well—with a quick grin—and subsequently the Vulcan gains another subject for (intense) future research. He then takes thirty seconds to contemplate the “still of white lightning.”
“Increasing the trajectory angle by 6.5% will correct the weight ratio of this leg—” He indicates the impediment. “—and also the ‘trough.'”
McCoy stops bouncing and silently meets Mr. Spock’s eyes. “A’right, Spock,” he says slowly. “I forgive you.”
Jim breaks in, “Excellent!” He briefly grabs each officer’s shoulder and squeezes it. “Bones, Spock, I’ll leave you two to it. Comm me later and I’ll bring Scotty down.”
“Captain,” Spock calls after the retreating figure. “There are certain regulations which prohibit…” He stops talking when Jim laughs.
“Mr. Spock, I must admit to a selective memory—surely a medical condition, right, Bones?” McCoy grins. “All I know is if Doctor McCoy wants to reconcile with a little gift-giving, then that’s fine. So long as my crew goes back to normal and—” The Captain shoots a look at McCoy. “—all involved parties maintain responsible behavior.”
“Aye, Captain!” Doctor McCoy salutes sharply.
As Kirk retreats, Spock summarizes the situation with “Fascinating.”
Suffice to say, at the end of Alpha shift, Kirk leads in a depressed Chief Engineer. Scotty takes one look at his present, sheds a small tear and demands that all but the three senior officers leave the vicinity right then.
“What’s wrong, Scotty?” Leonard wants to know, confused.
“Why, Leonard, it’s a fine gift—probably the best I’ve ever gotten—but we cannae have it sitting so near the reactor core!”
Spock immediately catches on and starts in on the dangers of the production of gas in fermentation and poor ventilation, possibly subsequent explosion. McCoy, with an odd eye-twitch, interrupts the Vulcan’s lecture loudly with “You coulda said something, you damn hobgoblin!” Kirk mediates and delegates each officer a task. The still is successfully relocated into a covert (safe) location in the depths of Engineering. The Captain, Doctor McCoy, and First Officer Spock exit to the sound of a whistling Scottish tune and the happy bang-bang of a tool. Leonard, who goes straight to Sickbay to do damage control, is greeted with the harried, grateful faces of his staff and little cheer from a long line of relieved patients waiting for examination.
Some time later, Scotty and Leonard hold the first tasting of a hearty brew. Mr. Scott makes small (excited) talk of his wee alterations to McCoy’s original design, and McCoy compliments him with a toast to “a drink so good it numbs the liver in a single shot!” In the late hour of an off-duty shift, their gathering is (as always) one of camaraderie and mutual appreciation.
Unbeknownst to the party of two, a silent shadow passes by the open door of the Chief Engineer’s office, pauses, and moves on. There is little, then, but the sweet hum of the starship and the sound of accord.
Engineering hooch! I always thought McCoy had something to do with that… :D