Title: Recapture (1/?)
Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Summary: An innocuous tour lands Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in deadly territory.
A/N: It feels like forever since I gave my attention to the TOS boys for more than a one-shot. Maybe it’s time for some drama to head their way?
Doctor McCoy was in a meeting with the Surgeon General and Starfleet Medical’s board members when a nurse burst into Sickbay’s rarely used briefing room without permission. The lashing he started to give froze on his tongue as he noticed she looked like she had run from the opposite end of the bay.
“It’s the Captain!” she cried.
Leonard McCoy did not need to hear anything more. “Sir,” he directed towards the over-sized screen opposite him, “permission to reschedule.”
The Surgeon General, a dour-looking but ironically cheerful man, flapped a hand in dismissal at McCoy, overruling the murmur of the others around him. “Ship’s business first, Leonard.”
With hurried thanks, Leonard cut the connection and sprinted out of the room, the nurse on his heels.
Two weeks ago
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Arms crossed, a man harrumphed loudly. “But fool me a third time, Jim, and who gets the shame will be the least of your worries.”
At present Jim Kirk had no worries of any kind. He smiled to prove this. “Bones, what is it exactly that you’re arguing here?”
“I’m telling you that I don’t like it!”
“All of it!”
Jim sighed but the sound held fondness. “We could have this argument a thousand times and neither of us would concede his ground. I’ve made up my mind, Bones.”
“It’s you and your blasted mind that’s the problem,” grumbled Jim’s companion. “I take it you told Spock first.”
He had. “Spock is very amendable to the idea.”
Leonard uncrossed his arms and stepped forward to poke a finger into Jim’s naked chest. “I very much doubt he is, Jim. He’s just a little too Vulcan to stir up the pot. Well, I’m not. You go ahead and get that charter booked since you’re itchin’ to, but don’t think for a second I’ll be joining you.” McCoy turned away and moved towards the cabin door, griping as he went. “Fantasy cruise, my sainted aunt! Wasted credits, more like, and he doesn’t even consider what happened the last time!”
Jim lifted a hand and used the small towel hanging over his shoulder to scrub at the back of his neck. It was a good thing that the retreating man didn’t turn back to look at him because the smile on Jim’s face would have been infuriating. Jim couldn’t help his smile though. There was something about a riled Leonard McCoy which tickled him—and caused a pleasant little shiver down his spine. He had learned in recent months that attraction was more fluid than he had always thought it to be. Once one associated something with pleasure, it was difficult to undo the association; at least it was for a human.
But then again, Spock didn’t seem to fare any better these days containing his reaction. Oh, the Vulcan’s distraction wasn’t noticeable to anyone else, but Jim saw the subtle difference in Spock’s posture when Spock considered one or both of them.
And Jim liked it. He honestly did. He felt younger than he had in the five years the Enterprise had been under his command. He also felt that, for once, he had an honest relationship which would not demand a choice between his work and his personal life. Leonard and Spock were part of both, supported him in both as he did for them. They could be who they were meant to be.
Yes, he was pleased. Happy. He wouldn’t trade this life, he thought, for anything.
Leonard thrust a pair of gloves into his companion’s hands before donning a hat that he believed to be the galaxy’s ugliest recreation of a beaver cap, yet was unfortunately all the nearby shop sold, and scowled at the departure feed of the spaceport.
Spock contemplated the gloves a moment too long for Leonard’s liking, so Leonard snatched them back and tried to put them on him.
Spock took a long step back. “I do not require your assistance.”
“Then stop acting like you’ve never seen a pair of gloves before!”
“None so woolly, certainly, Doctor.”
Leonard sniffed. “Afraid to call me Leonard, Spock?”
Leonard turned back to the data feed. “Then I’m offended.” A moment later, Spock stepped into his periphery. The Vulcan was wearing the gloves. Leonard suppressed a small smile and glanced sidelong at him. “Don’t suppose you know where Jim got to?”
Spock slowly crossed his arms and stared up at the brightly lit board as well. “I would surmise that he has over-packed and is subsequently delayed at the baggage check… Leonard.”
Leonard did smile. “I’d reach over and take your hand, darlin’, but then your ears would turn a pretty green and people would stare because it isn’t a common thing to see a Vulcan blush.”
Still staring straight ahead, Spock’s only reaction was to lift one of his eyebrows.
Leonard rocked forward with a slight bounce, his foul mood from that morning gradually lightening at the thought of a little mischief. “You realize I didn’t want to go on this trip, right?”
“Jim decided it was necessary.”
“Which means you didn’t really want to go on this trip either. Tell me, exactly how far do we go in letting Jim run roughshod over our rights in this relationship?”
Spock looked at him, then. “Is this a serious question?”
“That depends on your answer.”
Spock exhaled a little more sharply through his nose than usual.
Leonard grinned. “I guess I’m being particularly obtuse today, aren’t I?”
“Since you commented on that fact, I can only assume you seek to provoke me intentionally, Doctor.”
Leonard’s hand darted out and grabbed onto one of Spock’s, squeezing it. “And that, just then, was a jab of your own. You know, I think I really do like you, Spock.” He dropped Spock’s hand as he heard a clump-clump behind them.
Spock turned to look with him but it was still to Leonard that he murmured, “It is mutual.”
Together they watched Jim drag a large bag out of a roller cart and give one of the cart’s wheels an irritated glare.
“You should’ve just packed the essentials,” Leonard scolded him.
“Everything’s essential,” the man argued back before dropping a rueful look to his belongings. “But apparently the port security deemed these less essential than most. I rented a locker. We can pick them up on the way back.”
“Or hope somebody steals ’em in the meantime,” Leonard side-whispered to Spock. “Before Jim I had never met a man with such terrible taste in casual clothes.”
“I heard that, Bones.”
“Then pray I don’t put a ‘Toxic – Please Dispose’ sign on the front. Really, Jim-boy, you ought to take Uhura and Chekov up on their offer to act as your personal shoppers. They at least have sensible taste.” Leonard bounced on the balls of his feet. “Spock agrees with me, don’t you, Spock?”
“I am of no opinion on this matter.”
“He left out the part which won’t get me into trouble.”
“Bones,” Jim said his name, exasperated. “Are you going to be like this the whole time?”
Leonard widened his grin. “What d’you mean?”
Jim shared a look with Spock then turned and started to walk, nearly dragging his bag of clothes on the ground.
Spock touched Leonard lightly at the small of his back, a tacit prompt for him to follow Jim. Leonard tugged down on the flaps of his faux beaver cap and did just that.
Brochure in hand, Spock regaled them with the history behind their upcoming tour as they boarded the ship with the other guests. The fact that he did not once refer to the document in his hand told Jim that Spock had researched this trip thoroughly the moment he knew they were going. Every once and a while McCoy would chime in with a snort and a diversion, pointing out another portion of the cruiser that looked unsafe.
Having had his fill of this, Jim laid a hand against the back of Leonard’s neck and said, “Don’t worry, she’ll fly.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of, Jim.”
Spock blinked at them both. “The ship’s dual engine rooms are manned by the Yar, an extremely reclusive race renowned for their mastery of the engineering sciences. They built their first space-ready vessel, merely that of a pod but quite functional, during a period of civil unrest. Because their planet’s natural metals had been nearly depleted, they used a combination of a polyalloy and material not unlike that of latinum—”
“Fascinating, Spock,” Jim and Leonard interrupted him together.
“Tell us all about it later,” added Jim. “I want to find our room.”
“Please, lord,” muttered the human at Kirk’s side, “let the bed be larger than the size of a pea. Or at least let there be two beds.”
Amused, Jim asked, “What’s a second bed needed for, Bones?”
“In case the first is your standard cruise ship bunk. Otherwise we’ll be sleeping stacked up like chips on a poker table. I prefer my comfort, thanks.” As Jim opened his mouth, Leonard wagged a finger at him. “And don’t you say you’re my comfort. I’m positive there will be a couch, which is where you’ll be!”
Jim doubted that. He had ways of ensuring his comfort, too. He smiled devilishly at the pair. To Jim’s infinite satisfaction, Leonard averted his eyes, the skin just beneath the collar of his shirt coloring red.
He might have said or done something to push the man a little farther if at that moment someone had not bumped into him from behind. Jim turned in time to catch and steady… her.
Beneath wispy, dark material of a headscarf, she had kohl-lined eyes, aristocratic cheekbones, and the faintest set of ridges adorning the bridge of her nose, much like a Bajoran.
“Hello,” Jim said, unable to subdue the smooth quality to his voice in time. A beautiful female, especially one who caught him off guard, always brought his Kirkian charm to the forefront. But he cleared his throat and toned it down quickly, because while he might like and appreciate the fairer sex, he knew it was a fine line between being charming and making someone feel like they were being targeted, disrespected, or objectified. That shouldn’t exist in this day and age, to his mind, but sadly it did.
Plus, he wasn’t a free man anymore.
That thought had him relaxing his shoulders. He set her properly on her feet and stepped back to allow her passage, as that is obviously what she had been intent on doing, if somewhat in haste.
“Thank you, sir,” the woman murmured, and disappeared down the hall.
Jim looked after her only a moment before returning his attention to his two favorite people. Spock was already pointing out the direction of the guest cabins. Jim clapped a hand to either man’s shoulder and said, “Let’s settle ourselves then find dinner. I’m starving!”
Leonard closed his eyes and made a noise of despair. “I forgot. It’s all-you-can-eat buffet on these things, isn’t it?”
“Exactly,” Jim agreed, already knowing Leonard’s response.
“Start with a salad at least, Jim. Doctor’s orders!”
He squeezed the man’s shoulder. “You’re not my doctor right now, Bones… but I’ll consider it.” With that, he pushed ahead of them and went in search of their quarters.
The male, when he caught up, jerked the female by her arm into a shadowy corner away from the noisy tourists filling the corridors and any possible prying eyes.
“You fool,” he spat at her, “do you want us caught?”
She reached up and dug her fingers into his scalp. “Let go of me, Commander, or I swear by the great Kai, I will take an eye.”
He did, but his expression of disgust did not lessen. “You almost made a spectacle of yourself.”
“I tripped.” She plucked at the sleeve of her robe. “In this ridiculous garb it was bound to happen.”
“Still, we cannot—”
Casta lifted her hand. “At this time I care not for your words. Show me to the room and the item. Then perhaps I will listen.”
He spoke in a language that needed no translating device for the female to garner its meaning. She pushed past him and back into the hallway.
At length, he followed.
That Captain James T. Kirk felt happy was evident. Only a fool could miss it.
But down, down, far beneath it all there must be a whisper.
A tiny whisper which counted every second, for good things only lasted so long before bad things returned.
Tap. The finger ceased to its rhythm against the metal rail, and its owner retracted his hand from sight.
Oh yes. When Bad Things returned.