Fandom: Star Trek (Reboot)
Pairing: Kirk/Spock pre-slash; sidelong glance of established Spock/Uhura
Rating: PG-13? Lots of swearing but no actual sex, alas.
Word Count: 5821, fml.
Summary: The first shore leave of the USS Enterprise -- and my first Trek fic. Eek. Part 1 of the Communication series.
"Jim! What are you doing here? Are you sick?" McCoy whirled around and barked, "Chapel! Have you --"
"Cool it, Bones, I just came to see what this place looks like when it's not on fire."
McCoy raised an eyebrow.
"And to ask who you've been sleeping with, because I haven't had any since we set out and I'm about to die."
"Jim, am I your friend or your doctor right now?"
"Can't you be my doctor friend? My friendly doctor? Why one or the other?"
"Are you flirting with me? You are desperate. What about arranging for some shore leave?"
"Some what?" Kirk sat up excitedly on the examining bed. "Tell me more!"
"Tell you more what? It's shore leave. Arrange for some. Then... take some. Then... get some. It's a straightforward process."
"Well, how'd Pike do it? You were -- no, you weren't. I'm starting to feel a real disadvantage at this whole 'captain straight out of the Academy' thing. It's going to be great for picking up women when we get on shore leave, but how to actually get this shore leave?"
McCoy was at one of the wall terminals and hummed to himself, then told Kirk: "Regulations aren't really clear; 'on the discretion of the captain', but must be set up at least once every six months."
"Well, look at that, for once I'm meeting a deadline early! I'll figure this out, Bones, don't worry about it. We'll be waking up hungover under a table near Vega this time next week, I promise you that."
"Hey, Kirk. How's the Enterprise? Treating her right? She treating you okay?"
"Things couldn't be better, sir, really. I just have a quick question, something that regulations were a little foggy on so I thought I'd ask, captain to former captain."
"All right, I'm all ears."
"Shore leave. How d--"
"Hold on. You call me in middle of my early retirement to ask me about -- about shore leave?"
"Son, that's what your goddamned first officer is for. Go talk to him."
"Yes, sir, but --"
"No, I don't think you understand how the chain of command works -- I don't think you understand what the phrase early retirement means. The mentor thing we're working on here, it's real cute, but not now, not on something like shore leave."
Kirk looked away from the screen and realized the futility of trying to hide during a video call. "All right, sir, I'll talk to him -- sorry to have bothered you."
"Are you two working well together? I know it was bumpy there for a while --"
"We're getting along, sir, everything's running fine --"
"I don't think it is, or you'd know -- he'd tell you that that's what he's there for. He's your first officer. You should pick up on that already: you're two halves of the same brain. You don't blink without his knowing about it and asking for his input -- and vice versa."
"So go talk to him."
"Yes, sir. Nice talking to you again. Enjoy retirement. Kirk out."
Kirk was back in his chair on the bridge post-chewing-out conference with Pike, and leaned on his hand for a while, watching the stars coast by, before clearing his throat and addressing his first officer.
"Yes, Captain?" Spock whirled smoothly in his chair at the science station, waiting for whatever was going to come from Kirk. When Kirk hesitated, he stood up and made his way over to the chair, hands behind his back, leaning in slightly to allow for the captain's discretion. Finally, he said, "If you would prefer to discuss this off the bridge, I believe we may leave our very capable officers momentarily in charge."
"What? No, Spock, I just wanted to talk to you about shore leave."
"Yes, what of it?"
"Procedures, protocol, forms, calls -- how do we arrange it? For the crew? I think we're all in need of it."
"Well, as we have just received a very minimally taxing assignment from Starfleet, I would suggest allowing me to research for potential Federation outposts near our current destination, set up for exactly this purpose, and which would be most suited to the crew's needs."
"Spock, if you can find us a bar with a 4 AM last call, I'll promote you to god."
"I will accept that touch of hyperbole as a token of your approval and begin work on my proposal immediately."
"If that will be all, Captain?"
"Hm... no, that won't be all." Kirk scratched his temple and looked up at Spock, turning his chair slightly to face him. "You know my situation, the situation of a lot of of us on the Enterprise's crew -- graduating from the Academy this year meant getting through the Nero incident alive. Now we're getting our practical training here, so you need to tell me -- well. Anything. Everything."
"You will have to narrow the parameters of what information you would like me to provide you."
"Let's start with shore leave. You're going to check out some planets where we can all go and relax; what do I need to do?"
"You personally, or you as a representative for the administration of the Enterprise?"
Kirk had noticed that Spock rarely breathed, or rather, lost his breath when launching into minutes of protocol discussion. This was no exception.
"As your first officer, I will delegate the following responsibilities to various components of the crew: we will have a schedule for shore leave set up, which not only includes the number of days which we will be docked in orbit, but also the shifts for each department. It is customary to have at least 10% of each department's full staff on board at all time, and it will be up logistics to create the rotation schedule. You will need to approve of the schedule once it has been compiled. With regard to protocol for the Enterprise in particular, there is no precedent; however, I can inform you that for this class of ship with our number of personnel being nearly 500, it is customary to allow a maximum of one week for shore leave per six months. And --"
"A week! Nice. Anything else I need to do?"
"You, personally, will have to give the staff its health and safety lecture prior to the first group beaming down to the planet."
Kirk bit his lip briefly and raised his eyebrows at Spock, who returned the expression (maybe -- there was a twitch near the top points of the eyebrows).
"Health and safety? Is that code for a sex talk?"
"That would cover a majority of the 'health' aspect, while the 'safety' aspect primarily deals with social conduct between the Enterprise's crew and the inhabitants of the guest planet, native life forms as well as fellow visitors."
"Sorry, Spock! That sounds like I can't get into a bar fight, and it's been my experience that it's not a night worth having if you can't end it choking on your own blood. Am I right, Lieutenant Uhura?"
"I have no comment on the matter, sir."
Kirk looked from Uhura and back to Spock, only to see that Spock had been looking at Uhura as well, one eyebrow raised ever so slightly.
"Mr. Spock, all of that sounds like a great plan. Begin on that as soon as possible."
"Yes, Captain. Was there anything else you wished to discuss?"
"Yeah -- what are you going to do on shore leave?"
"Stay on the ship."
"Shore leave is intended for rest and it would be illogical to exert myself in order to achieve this rest. I can obtain rest and a meditative state here as well as anywhere else, and my presence on the ship will allow you to visit the planet and... enjoy yourself."
Kirk looked at Spock for a significant amount of time but Spock remained completely cool. Kirk clicked the intercom switch on the chair.
"Attention crew of the Enterprise -- this is the captain. Commander Spock and I are currently arranging for shore leave, due to occur on the completion of our next assignment. I am announcing now the award of two extra days of shore leave to the staff member who can best and most effectively define the concept of 'fun' to Commander Spock. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Kirk out." Kirk looked over his shoulder at Uhura and smirked. "Lieutenant, you are prohibited from the competition. Ask me why."
"I wasn't planning on entering, Captain."
"Captain, I understand the concept of 'fun' which you value so highly; simply as a Vulcan, I see that it proves to be illogical more often than not."
"Sure it does. Sorry to heap one more responsibility on you, but you'll have to run that contest, too. Narrow down the finalists and I'll pick the winner."
"Will that be all, Captain?"
"Sure, why not. Thanks for visiting me from five feet away. We'll talk again soon."
Spock returned to his station and Kirk flipped the intercom switch on his chair again, a button allowing him to address only the medical bay. "Bones, you there?"
"Yeah, Jim -- what do you want? That contest for real?"
"Sure is! Spock is here, though, so don't tell me your winning plan, okay? Anyway, I need you to write me a health and safety lecture to give the crew before shore leave."
"Health and safety? Why don't you just tell them about the time you caught --"
"That will be enough, doctor," Spock said loudly and clearly from his station. Kirk looked over and gave Spock a nod of gratitude.
"Affirmative, Captain; I'll get to work on that."
"Fan-freaking-tastic, Bones; Kirk out."
"Captain, I have chosen Evadne II as our destination," Spock announced a dozen shifts later.
"A bar. Does it have a bar, Spock?"
"As that was your only qualification for a shore leave destination, it would have been illogical to choose a planet without one. Reports declare it the best stocked in this quadrant."
"And when will we be touching down? Beaming down? Whatever?"
"As soon as you give your health and safety lecture. Perhaps you may also consider signing off on this schedule."
"Perhaps. Kirk out."
"Captain, you are not speaking on the intercom -- I am right here."
"Spock, he's being an ass," Uhura said.
"I am aware of that, Lieutenant, thank you. I was hoping to dissuade him from such behavior by pointing out its absurdity."
"We could have so much fun if it wasn't for him," Kirk commented to Uhura.
Kirk imagined that Spock's lips were tight enough to shoot a diamond out of his mouth and into his forehead, effectively lobotomizing him. He offered his most charming and playful of smirks to his first officer.
"Joke, Spock. It's... it's a joke."
"As always, Captain."
Sulu and Chekov had become best friends quickly during their time on the Enterprise, though they only spoke non-work related words to each other for approximately one hour per eight hour shift at the console (that hour being half at lunch and half at dinner). What cemented their relationship was being at the front of the ship all the goddamn time, and the trust they had in each other.
Not just in a professional sense -- of course that was a given. It was a trust in absurdity; that whenever Spock and Kirk, Kirk and Uhura, Spock and Uhura versus Kirk, Bones and any/everyone bickered, they could look at each other from the corner of an eye and see a raised eyebrow, a smirk, some sign representing the idea what the fuuuuuck?! (or the Russian equivalent, since Chekov was warming up to Federation Standard English swears rather nicely, and Sulu to Russian ones).
That was the look Sulu and Chekov exchanged then.
"Well, everyone, here we are! Our first health and safety lecture before the first shore leave for the first crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise!" The room burst into applause as Kirk took his place at the front of the room, ready to speechify and taking Bones and Spock by surprise.
"Jim! Where've you been?" Bones hissed. He and Spock had been placating the full house while Kirk took his sweet time getting there to deliver his lecture, which Bones pushed at his chest just then in the form of a paper-thin monitor. "This has been on the server all week, but I condensed it to --"
"Bones, you condensed nothing," Kirk laughed. "But I condensed it myself." He looked at Spock and said, "Tell Scotty to prepare the transport room -- groups of six will be beaming down in about, say, five minutes."
"Captain, I hardly think five minutes is enough to lecture your entire crew on the dangers that await them on a foreign world when they are not on full alert."
"I always do."
Kirk walked out onto the platform in front of all his waiting crew members, the mess turned into a makeshift auditorium for this occasion. Kirk saw himself in every single face staring back at him (even Uhura's) -- antsy, excited, ready to stop working for a little while and ready to go out and do things, as most of them had spent the past three months sitting in front of screens and in the same surroundings day after day. Kirk and his officers at least had the bridge and its colossal window-monitor showing them space, but even that had its own monotony. How could Bones and Spock expect him to keep them chained there listening to him talk about Garian warts and Campor's disease, all of which they could treat, by the way.
"Transport capabilities are ready, Captain," Spock murmured from behind him.
"Thanks." Kirk cleared his throat and clapped his hands, reminding himself a little too much of a gym teacher he once had. "Hey, everyone. All I'm going to say before we start transporting you down is some advice my grandmother gave me when I was --"
"What grandmother?" he heard Bones grumble behind him.
"-- just starting out," Kirk continued. "'Be smart; if you can't be smart, be safe; if you can't be safe, name it after me.'"
He could hear Spock's eyebrows rise.
"All right, so, you know your assignments -- if you're still on duty, then get back there; if you're beaming down today, you know your group order; everyone should grab a pack before leaving with aprocreationary shots, among other things, and whatever else our good Dr. McCoy thinks we need."
"A few rounds of basic antibiotics and -- well, apparently you'll see when you get your pack," Bones announced.
"And how could I forget!" Kirk said as people were rising to leave. "The winner of our 'Commander Spock and the Quest for Fun' contest, after lots of thoughtful deliberation, is Ensign Mandy Johannsen! Enjoy those extra days with someone special, Mandy, you hear? There are gonna be a lot of Evadnians impressed with your flame-eating while declaiming, I can guarantee you that.
"Lecture dismissed! Kirk out!"
"Jim, you need to stop saying that when you're not on the intercom."
"I am in complete agreement with you, Dr. McCoy."
"I'll take it into consideration. Kirk out!"
Spock left the bridge during hour 10 of shore leave -- Kirk had beamed down with the last group and hadn't been in contact once, thus reneging on their agreement of checking in every four hours. However, crew members beamed up occasionally for various reasons and their talk informed Spock of events on the planet's surface. He listened carefully for any talk of the captain.
"Commander," a young ensign muttered with an informal nod of acknowledgement. He turned to the young woman he was with and said, quite loudly, "But did you know he could play the guitar?"
"Ricky, it's not just playing the guitar; it's playing it... he played it with such feeling, you know?"
"You know, if you're into that... mine's in my quarters..."
Spock ignored it. Where would Kirk get a guitar?
"Commander," another young man said, acknowledging Spock as he rushed through the corridors. Spock stepped aside and watched him continue to shout into his communicator in a most agitated manner. "Look, keep your camera on him -- if he's going to drink that fireball, I want to remember it forever!!! Try and stall him!"
Spock recalled hearing of a cadet at the Academy quite adept at eating flaming shots of liquor, but could not remember his name; he imagined it was one in the same, and ignored it. Perhaps it was Kirk -- hadn't Uhura told him a story in which Kirk did just that to impress her, but which instead resulted in the evacuation of the Academy's entire student center? In the middle of the day?
Just as he reached his quarters, three young women walked by, laughing, and acknowledged him briefly. His doors slid open and he almost didn't hear what they said, but his ears picked up certain key phrases:
"I hope the captain finally does sleep with Uhura -- I mean, at this rate they wouldn't even notice because of all the booze, and don't you think they just need to get it over with?"
"It wasn't just me, right? I mean, the best I ever had was this Romulan guy at the Academy -- you remember him! He was in the Advanced Inflections class four or five years ago, and we hated each other but -- best I ever had."
"Uh, okay, but I'm just saying if the captain doesn't do her, there's always the rest of us. Personally, I'll give it up to the captain for the Federation, no need to ask me twice, and then maybe she'll --"
"Ensigns," Spock called out. They halted and turned sharply, coming as close to attention as they could after the dozen shots of Evadnian liquor they had shared. Not one looked him in the eye as he addressed them. "Which establishment are the officers of the ship patronizing tonight?"
"Almost everyone is at The Comet," one answered. "They're doing discount shot night, if you're interested."
"Thank you," he replied. He walked quickly towards the transporter room, remembering to shout 'as you were' when he was about 10 feet away.
Spock entered the bar known as The Comet less than five minutes later. It was rather dark, but he saw Starfleet uniforms everywhere, as well as some less familiar ones -- for example, Romulan officers had herded themselves into a corner awkwardly, attempting to not be noticed by the Federation officers. Music blasted and Spock scanned as much of the space as he could, looking for any sign of Kirk or Uhura.
Eventually, Kirk found him.
"Hey Enterprise!" Kirk yelled out over the music. Spock whirled around, but was clapped on the shoulder with surprising force. The captain held an extremely large drink in the hand that wasn't on his shoulder. "Look who's come down for shore leave! It's Spock!"
"Enterprise!" a few people yelled out.
"If it wasn't for Spock, we wouldn't be here! Three cheers for Spock!"
"Captain, that is not necessary; I was simply performing my duties as --"
The room began to chant his name over and over, the word "Spock" resounding off the walls. The officers slammed their hands on every open surface, and Spock's ears picked up the vibrations of the thousands of glassware pieces in the establishment.
"To Spock!" Kirk yelled out.
"To Spock!" his crew cried back.
Spock nodded in acknowledgement and received a hundred groans in return. He looked at Kirk, who was still clinging to his shoulder far harder than he thought possible for a human. Kirk led him to the bar and in seconds, a dozen shots in a myriad of colors had lined up in front of the commander, expectant faces surrounding Kirk and Spock.
"You drink them," Kirk said when Spock hesitated.
"Thank you, I am quite aware of --"
"Yeah, you know you drink liquid out of a glass and I'm sure your crazy Vulcan body can hold more than mine," Kirk began, his mouth extremely close to one of Spock's ears, "but I don't think you know that when a packed room of your subordinates have cheered you on for five whole minutes on a foreign planet, you better show all the outsiders that you're worth it; that you can command a staff of 500 and hold your liquor." Kirk took up one of the shots and handed Spock another. "I'll help you out with this one, but then you're on your own, buddy."
Kirk clinked their glasses together, then turned to the expectant crowd.
"To the Enterprise!"
He and Spock downed their shots and slammed the glasses on the bar, and their crew erupted into cheers. The room became awash with noise again and the men turned to the collection of shots waiting for them.
"Captain, I insist --"
"Yeah, why not."
Vulcan bodies were stronger, faster, more sensitive, all around better than the bodies of most other humanoid species. Spock was slightly affected from the copious amounts of alcohol he had been bought by the (surprisingly grateful) crew he had helped command these three (rather difficult) months; Kirk, however, was practically comatose from the crew's love, as manifested in drinks. A few mess workers had given up their booth for their captain and first officer, and left them alone.
"Captain," Spock began. "Do you know where Lieutenant Uhura is?" he asked for the sixth time.
"Uhura?" Kirk said. Acknowledging her name, Spock reflected, that was a step forward. "She never beamed down."
"...I beg your pardon?"
"She never beamed down," Kirk replied, enunciating clearly and loudly for Spock's benefit. "Said she had a book or something upstairs. Uh, upstairs on the ship. You really fucking got to her with your whole 'blah blah blah exertion isn't relaxing' bullshit."
"I apologize if that somehow offends you, Captain."
"Damn, Spock, we've been together all these months and you still can't call me Jim on a regular basis? Come on! What's it going to take? Am I ever going to call you by your first name?"
"Human vocal systems are not capable of pronouncing my full name, Jim."
"Fucking try me."
"What the fuck just came out of your mouth. It was like a sheep being beat against a rock for its lunch cr -- hey, did your planet have sheep?"
"Only for shearing purposes."
"I need a cheeseburger."
One cheeseburger later, Spock had one arm on the back of the booth and leaned against it, facing Kirk, who was staring at him.
"You have human eyes," Kirk finally said.
"They look sad."
Spock inhaled and exhaled slowly. He focused on Kirk's eyes in order to focus his own thoughts, which ran in one very plain direction -- namely, attempting to compute what the chance was of someone who knew close to nothing of his childhood somehow choosing seven words out of the 2.5 million in Federation Standard English that had the immediate effect of making him feel nine years old and helpless again.
"Sorry, that was weird," Kirk said.
"I was mocked as a child," Spock replied, now the one who couldn't take his eyes off Kirk. "Teased physically and verbally, violently and cruelly; my mother's human heritage was often the target."
"I believe I would agree with you with regard to those particular classmates of mine." Spock took a shot, careful to put the glass back on the table without smashing it to pieces, as part of him wanted.
"Look at that," Kirk said, smirking.
"What in particular?"
"That thing. Just now. Where we agreed on something."
"What? No? We totally did. Just now. I said something, and you said you believe you agree. You can't take it back! Don't ruin this, Spock!"
"Your comment implied that we never agree on anything. I merely meant by my comment to disagree and perhaps remind you that we also agree on taking two sugars in our respective beverages at breakfast. Coffee for you, tea for me."
"Oh," Kirk said. "I didn't notice."
"I remember things," Kirk said. Spock was astonished that Kirk managed to hold steady while he felt himself deteriorate more with every minute. That didn't stop Spock from taking another drink before replying. He knew that he was still more in control of himself than Kirk, even if he hadn't spent his adolescence and now adulthood becoming acquainted with every intoxicant in the universe.
"I assume you are referring to particular remembrances you wish to discuss with me."
"Old Spock. The mind meld. While it was happening, I only saw what had happened -- the thing with Nero, the ships, the red matter, all that. But then -- it's weird --"
"He transferred irrelevant memories to your memory bank."
"I love it when you talk dirty."
Spock's mouth twitched.
"My conclusion remains."
"We're going to be friends. We're drunk together right now, we're running this ship together, there's no doubt about it. Like it or not, you're going to be my fucking friend."
"I require some clarification on your usage of that participle."
"Wh... it was just an expletive. Not -- well -- not -- okay, look, Old Spock -- I want to speed up the process. I get these flashes, usually when I'm falling asleep or just waking up, of what things were like for Old Spock on the Enterprise. They teased him a lot."
"That is certainly a relief, as I previously believed reaching adulthood would mean fewer instances of mocking my person, my heritage, or my character."
"Ha. You made a joke!" They clinked glasses and took another shot each. "They teased him all the time, and Old Spock and Old McCoy were always fighting like girls, you with your logic and him with his 'oh Spock, be sensitive' all the fucking time. And Old Kirk was there, you know? And there was this --"
"You must stop your obsession with what you experienced in the mind meld."
"You don't want to be my friend?"
"I did not say that -- but forcing this. Comparing us to them -- it will not lead to anything. Theirs is a reality that will never be quite like ours, for better and worse."
He thought back to what his older self had said, though his mind felt sluggish in attempting to recall the information and process it. Eventually, he simply looked at Kirk and said, "Know how I judged that contest? Do you know what qualifiers I used in narrowing down the 300 contestants in order to fit your completely arbitrary requirements?"
Kirk raised his eyebrows and leaned in. "Go on."
"Jim, the best part of what I am about to tell you is that you didn't even choose my first choice. You chose... Ensign Mandy, the flame-eating declaimer. An amusing trick, but not my personal definition of 'fun'."
"And what is? I thought you'd like it; she chose a Vulcan rhetorician."
"You," he replied. "So my first choice was Mr. Chekov, who simply submitted a photo of you from your belated birthday dinner. I believe it was at the point in the evening when you carried him on your back around McCoy, who you had declared the tribble in the middle."
"Aww, Spock, are you kidding me? How'd I miss that? What else are you holding out on?" Kirk laughed loudly, then stood up on his seat in the booth and looked around the thinning, though still dark and dense, crowd. "Chekov! Chekov, you here? Chekov!"
"You can't hear them in here, Spock," Kirk replied. Chekov and Sulu appeared a few moments later, their necks draped with beads and flowers from somewhere, and they grinned excitedly at Kirk, who stepped off the seat, out of the booth, and put his hands firmly on Chekov's shoulders. Spock imagined it was to steady himself, yet Kirk seemed not to waver.
"Mr. Chekov," he began. "Mr. Spock here just told me about your entry for the contest."
"Sir?" Chekov's eyes opened wider than ever and he looked desperately at Spock and tried to look behind him at Sulu, but Kirk held him firmly in place. "I apo--"
"What? No, shut up, Chekov, Pavel Andreivich, I'm telling you that you were a runner up, so you can have two extra days, too, okay?"
"Okay, sir! Okay! Okay!" Chekov looked about to explode from happiness and quickly gave his captain a tight embrace before breaking away and yelling, "Fuck a duck, this is most exciting! Sulu! Did--"
"Yeah, we're going to get some water now," Sulu said, more to Kirk than Chekov, who was naming off saints in sheer excitement as he tried to drag Sulu into the crowd.
"That fucking made my night," Kirk said when he sat next to Spock again, their shoulders pressed together and a grin directed solely at him. "I fucking love shore leave."
Kirk's mind was blown, completely blown, by Spock's concerned voice and the arm that draped around his shoulders, the forehead and bowl haircut pressed against his temple. It's... sympathy? Like the dog he had as a kid that could sense when he was sad or angry, and would lay across his legs until he was ready to go play some more.
He's sure, pretty sure, that it's something Old Spock would have never done. At least, not with his eyes closed like this Spock.
"You've put up with my whining long enough, Spock -- I think we need another round."
Kirk heard the soft, regular breathing and rolled his eyes. Spock was asleep. "Fucking kidding me." He wrapped an arm around Spock's torso and pulled him upright in the booth, then grabbed his communicator. "Transport? Kirk and Spock here. Two to beam up."
When they materialized, Kirk saw Scotty at his station, reading a handheld screen and tapping the transporter's screen with the other hand. Scotty glanced over to ensure they were in one piece, and burst out laughing.
"Had a bit much of the Aldebaran whiskey, I take it!"
"These Vulcan lightweights," Kirk laughed. "Just can't pace themselves!"
"Need help hiding the corpse?"
"Nah, as you were, Scotty."
Kirk stood in the corridor for a while, supporting Spock, trying to remember which way led to Spock's room. "Hey," he whispered, "Which way do you sleep from the transporter room?"
"You tell me," Spock murmured.
"Scotty!" Kirk shouted behind him, then remembered to lower his voice. "Look up the commander's room for me, would you?"
"Really? It's... there. To the right. Right outside."
"You sneaky little shit!" Kirk hissed in Spock's ear.
Spock woke up in his bed and on his side, limbs akimbo, quite unlike his normal sleeping position flat on his back. He inferred that sitting up would produce a sensation of vertigo due to the toxins still winding through his system, and noticed the pitcher and glass of water placed on the nightstand. He also noted a receptacle with an empty bag placed what appeared to be in vomiting distance from his head. Primitive, but effective, he supposed.
He sat up slightly, shocked to have no vertigo whatsoever, and his bed felt differently; that would be because Kirk was lying on the other half of the bed, also on his side, also asleep. His movement, however, woke Kirk woke up and he was on his back quickly. Kirk rubbed his eyes sleepily and grinned, motioning towards the night table.
"My first year in the Academy," Kirk said, "I took a class on alien biology, right, and Bones dared me to write my final paper on hangover treatments for Vulcans -- just because, you know, Vulcans don't get shitfaced drunk, so we think on Earth. I never, ever thought it would come back to me! You know. Usefully."
"Your project hinged on water and a trash can? Did your instructor actually accept that?"
"And injecting you with a vitamin cocktail of my own devising. You're welcome."
"Captain, I apologize for my behavior tonight. I beamed down because you had not checked in and --"
"Sorry, I didn't hear anything you said after you didn't address me by my name."
"Jim," Spock sighed. "Your first night of shore leave should not have been spent commiserating with me in a filthy bar and ending the night in my quarters like this."
"Yeah, but it was logical. Preserving my first officer takes precedence over finding some easy Orion girl for the night -- a long term investment." Kirk stretched and yawned, and added, "Besides, there's always tomorrow night."
"I will attempt not to interfere."
"No, you should," Kirk said. "Obviously, not while I'm in flagrante delicto and all that fun stuff, but --" Spock watched his face carefully; Kirk was tired, obviously, and his eyes darted impatiently around the room. He also yawned, smiled, and shrugged before turning on his other side to face Spock and finish his thought. "You should interfere."
"Then for my first act of interference, Jim, I should like to know whether you harbor any non-professional interest for Lieutenant Uhura?"
Spock was surprised because Kirk looked genuinely startled by the question.
"What? Ha, no, okay, so Uhura and I -- did I tell you how we met? Did she tell you how we met?"
"A barroom brawl on Earth spurred by your drunken, unwanted advances on her person."
"...right, well, I was classier than that. How many bar-lurking perverts know about xenolinguistics, huh?" Spock conceded the point and Kirk went on. "Uhura's just Uhura, man. She actually gets riled up when I bug her and she hasn't kicked my ass like you have. Not yet, anyway." Kirk ran a hand through his hair and stretched again. "Are you jealous, Spock?"
"Simply concerned at the possibility of complications in our working relationship -- which is logical from my position as first officer. I could continue talking about this, or other highly personal matters, because you have fallen asleep listening to my voice. I could, in fact, say anything and you might not hear it. I could press the depth of your sleep by calling you a short, egomaniacal functional alcoholic and be cleared for it because I am explaining that it is only an exper--"
"Or you could shut up and sleep and not move me, and that's an order. Kirk out."
Spock interfered by taking one of his pillows and placing it under Kirk's head. Then he turned off the lights, turned on his back, turned back onto his side (just in case), and attempted to fall asleep.