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trek: EW-k/u
ninety6tears

Star Trek XI fic: Speech Bubbles (pt. 1/2)

Title: Speech Bubbles
(1/2)
Characters: Kirk, Spock.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: After the Enterprise's first officer starts speaking gibberish at a diplomatic event, McCoy diagnoses the otherwise mentally well Spock with chronic anxiety and demands he take some serious R & R.
Author's Note: This was written for st_episodic, inspired by the Boston Legal episode "Word Salad Days," also taking cues from another episode in the series when the same problem returns; you need not have seen the show to read this fic by any means.
Given that the relationship between Kirk and Spock is explored in a way that borrows from the Denny/Alan friendship, this is about as intimate as you can get with two males without it getting slashy. Being true to the Boston Legal tradition of pushing the social boundaries of male companionship, I would not consider it pre-slash, but certainly about as open for interpretation as...well, anything.





|||


Kirk yawned, a gaping motion that paused in the middle in a kind of disbelieving awe as he glanced at the time, silently confirming that the debate he and Spock had been double-timing for at least an hour longer than expected had indeed circulated back to a thoroughly overdone point for about the fifth time. It had been forty minutes since Spock had instinctively sensed that Jim’s ability to sway the Rigelians into a sensible compromise had been exhausted out of him and had taken over at the podium. From where he sat at the formal panel seats farther back on the stage-like section of the council chamber, he swore he could see some agitation twitching through Spock’s body language in response to the rivaled stubbornness they were finding the people had on the subject of allowing interplanetary arms trading.

“I fail to see, as I have said before, how you believe your adamant refusal to answer to any of their trade requests would foster any cooperation from the Andorians in this matter...” Spock, considering it was Spock, practically seemed winded and apathetic by now, his voice trailing into a resigned thread of already anticipating an interruption.

“And I remind you again, that we refuse to allow such barbaric weaponry to reach the hands of our civilians. Perhaps you are not used to encountering the kind that is not even equipped with a stun setting—”

“I assure you, ambassador, the crew of the Enterprise has encountered enough conflict as well as peaceful encounters with the Andorians to adequately rival your knowledge of the aphelion.”

Then the ambassador just blinked. “I’m sorry?”

Kirk’s brows lowered; he knew what “aphelion” meant and it definitely had nothing to do with the subject of Andorian behavior. Surely Spock couldn’t actually resort to mockery? If he was actually doing it on purpose, it was certainly effective: Jim had to lock his lips together to keep from cracking slightly into laughter as he watched a very large number in the seated audience shift around with their translating devices. He leaned back in his chair, rubbing his hand over his mouth; from around the prim escort who was sitting to his left, he tried to catch a glance at McCoy.

“Technology, sir. Am I not being feline?”

“...I...Excuse me?”

Kirk sat back up in growing surprise, and then Bones was leaning forward to look bluntly around the escort, throwing him a look. He also leaned quite noticeably forward, his expression equally incredulous.

McCoy mouthed what was obviously something like, What the hell!?

I don’t know!
Kirk returned, even more pronounced.

What is he DOING?

The captain rolled his eyes, shifting a self-conscious glance around before mouthing, I don’t KNOW!

The ambassador’s voice was testier now, slowly replying, “Commander Spock...If you are attempting to set us up for ridicule...”

“I regret that you are sepulchral with the snipe. If in time, the squabs of our cockleshell ambulate to draw an ideogram, your haberdashery can and will enrobe this—”

Spock looked slightly fussy about the hand that urgently closed around his arm; he complied with obvious confusion as he was pointedly pulled off the podium and into a somewhat obscured area behind the elevated seating post.

“Captain? I hardly see—”

“What are you doing?”

“Obviously I am responding to the debate with the proper breastbones. I think the interruption will be seen as highly lacking in proper political—”

“Spock, you just said...”

When Kirk’s voice helplessly trailed off with little hope of finding its way back home, Spock volunteered, “I have just said, ‘Obviously I am responding to the debate with the proper logic. I think the interruption...'”

“No, you said...”

McCoy was gnawing onto the scene now, tricorder ready. “What can you tell me about brain maladies among Vulcans, Spock?”

“As with many of your remarks, Doctor, I don’t understand the relevance of the warhorse.”

“You just said, ‘warhorse’.” Jim’s voice and gestures were tightened in caution, confusion.

“That is incorrect—”

“You meant to say ‘logic', just now” Jim said slowly. “You said ‘breastbones.’ Then you said, ‘warhorse.’ You’re not making any sense.” He looked at Bones with a look that quickly meant, Get him out of here. “Right, I’ll take over from here and get up to sick bay as soon as I can.” He walked off muttering a grinding sliver of profanity, clearly not eager to get back to the Rigelians with this problem he probably considered much more pressing.

As McCoy got on the com to ask for Scotty, and in the brief moment Kirk was able to survey them before turning back to attend to the confused crowds, Spock went from looking like he was about to protest to falling into an unsettled silence.

|||


Spock was sitting alone, his back to the sick bay entrance, when Kirk came marching in and made a quick line to Bones. The doctor was sitting at a console close to the entrance. As soon as McCoy saw Jim, he interrupted the captain’s first thought: “Go try to talk to him.”

“I need to—”

“You need to get him to open his mouth; he’s refusing to talk, and I've got to know if it’s improving or not.”

Kirk broke away with a sigh, carefully slowing in his manners as he approached the Vulcan sitting in the middle of sick bay. Spock made the slightest acknowledging motion as he came around to talk to him.

“Hey, Spock,” Jim greeted, his voice low and tiredly casual. “You holding up? Bones says you aren’t talking.”

“I—” Spock seemed to clear his throat. “Despite my agrimonia for proving our medical officer—tremulous—misconst—”

Jim’s reaction made him trail off with a piercing, reading look. Jim simply replied with a sympathetically subtle shake of his head. It would almost be funny, if it wasn’t Spock. There was a strong tinge of powerlessness invading his usual collected airs, and it just felt unnerving.

Spock steeled his shoulders and stared straight forward. After a moment of taking a few deep breaths he started reciting, “Angle of gazelle is calculated with the tangent of angle p—” It was too easy to see his misspeaking in Jim’s reaction; Spock fell silent, and his face just slightly twisted into a frustration that undoubtedly indicated extreme anxiety, possibly fear.

Jim shifted, automatically squeezing one of Spock’s shoulders. “Hey. Take it easy.”

"—the rune—radius. Radius of Earth’s orbit over distance to star. One, one, two, three, five, eight—””

Jim cocked a hopeful eyebrow. “Parallax. The Fibonacci sequence.” This earned the tiniest look of relief on Spock’s face before Kirk gave a word of self-dismissal and turned his attentions back to Bones. As he crossed the room again, his anxieties wound back up and he quietly demanded, “What’s wrong with him?”

“Is he better?”

“A little. He was better right after I got him off the podium, though.”

“He was? When we got in here, he was citing protocol laws interspersed with plant names or something, I think even some Vulcan words—”

“He wasn’t just spitting out nonsense—I mean he was, but—He was trying to say something coherent—”

“Yeah, I figured that,” the doctor interrupted irritably.

“Yeah, so...” Kirk held his hands out questioningly. “What have you got?”

The doctor turned a pair of eyes smoldering with agitation to the captain, finally mumbling, “It has to be a particularly weird brand of schizophasia. They used to call it ‘word salad’; or I guess in most cases, ‘damn gibberish.’ Most conditions like this, you’d have some other symptoms of...well, you know. Typically it would be caused by a severe head injury, or else a brain tumor, but it’s also really common with schizophrenia...”

With repressed tension in his eyes, Kirk demanded, “And he has...”

McCoy indicated the brain scans displayed on the computer screen with a gruff motion of his hand. “Nothing.”

Jim’s eyes roamed slowly, from Bones, to the console screen displaying the bluish neon background through cumbersome splotches of brain organ, and then back to Bones.

The doctor gave a troubled shrug, swiveling the angle and visible depth on the view screen with a natural touch of his fingers. “I’m not gonna pretend I know a damn thing about Vulcan anatomy...This thing’s like two human brains tangled up and packed in a tin can, but the x-ray should be able to pick up anything irregular. And I had him look at it all, and I think he would’ve, well, tried to speak up, if he saw anything.”

“So.” Kirk took in a breath and let it out. And repeated, “So...”

Bones just shook his head. “I got nothing, Jim.”

“Nothing.” Jim scowled; after a moment he shook his head. “That’s not good enough. I need something.”

McCoy’s mouth tightened in an equalizing bout of frustration. He wasn’t into guessing games with patients, he wasn’t comfortable with medical enigmas, and naturally he was far from delighted with either of them being related to Spock. “Well, look. We should get in touch with the rest of the Vulcans and see what they know, but I don’t really think...”

“What? No, that’s not a bad idea.” Jim bit a fingernail for a second. “But in the meantime, I need your best guess. And I need it now.”

“Look, I don’t know about this, but if he were human...”

Yes?”

McCoy stole a glance at Spock, then seemed very decided as he sighed and said, “Computer, locate and put me through to Chekov.”

A couple seconds later the voice tickled through the comm: “Chekov here.”

“It’s McCoy. How fast can we make a ‘U’ back for Sarona VIII?”

After a beat Chekov estimated, “At warp three? We could depart and arrive at zeh planet in, eh, thirty-five minutes?”

“Set a course. You now have the conn.”

“Er. This...is a medical necessity?”

Bones rolled his eyes. Kirk spoke up and said, “Yeah, doctor’s orders, whatever, just do it.” He then demanded an explanation for that with a mere look at Bones.

The doctor rested into a thoughtful stance, trying to organize his evaluations as he explained to Kirk, “Look, if you think about it, the man’s been through a lot. I know Vulcan was a while ago, but it wasn’t that long ago, and he hasn’t exactly done his share of fair grieving.”

Kirk conveyed mild surprise through his attempt to understand, and McCoy gave him a nod.

“Again, I’m reading this from a very human perspective, but you don’t just set to work like everything’s okay and not start to lose it just a little bit later. Honestly, between what his human half must be feeling and what the other half must be doing to keep it all down...it’s not altogether unbelievable he might be going a little crazy. His brain’s overworked. Exhausted.”

Realization was dawning on Jim’s face. He leaned back with a creeping smirk: “You’re gonna try to make Spock relax?”

“He’s taking an extended shore leave, whether he likes it or not,” Bones confirmed with an authoritative roughening in his eyes.

“You still haven’t explained to me why Chekov’s got the conn,” Jim said, his twitch of a grimace conveying he already partly knew the reason anyway.

“Pack your bags," McCoy demanded, not without his slight enjoyment of being able to boss Kirk around. "Who the hell’s gonna make sure he doesn’t spend the whole time...meditating or whatever it is he does?”

“What if that’s what he needs to do?” Jim shrugged.

“It’s not. Jesus, Jim, have you been listening?”

“Maybe you should go. I mean, you’re the doctor.”

“I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that,” McCoy bluntly said before stepping a little closer to the captain and lowering his voice an inch. “And look, all he needs to know is that I’m putting him down as a case of acute stress. You might avoid giving him all the details of this conversation, considering...”

“What would be the point of that?” Kirk asked lightly. “He’s probably been listening to everything we just said.”

|||


“Why Sarona VIII?” Kirk was asking later, a duffel bag packed over his shoulder in which he’d sloppily stuffed an extra pair of clothes and not much the hell else. Its lack of bulk seemed to bother McCoy’s more perpetually offended airs; the doctor seemed to be questioning if this could all possibly be a useful idea at all as he watched an extremely blazé Jim click through a downloaded travel brochure and lean against the elevation of the transporter pad with a stylus loosely held in his mouth.

“The only hotel that isn’t full is upstairs from someplace called the Blue Parrot Cafe. Sounds classy. I’m sure Spock’s gonna love it.”

“Well, the more obvious option might be Earth. But Sarona has a climate closer to what he’s used to.”

“Yeah, cause he just needs to be constantly reminded of his home world right now,” Jim cut back sarcastically as he shoved his PADD into his bag. Then he looked up at Bones and sighed. “Sorry, I know, we’re doing what we can. You’re the doc." After another moment he just shook his head and quietly said, with his particular kind of sad amusement, "This is nuts."

As it turned out, the planet was hot but closer to the humid midwestern heat Jim had grown up with than any desert climate. They beamed down close to a structure which, judging by the screaming crowds inside, was some kind of sports arena. Getting out his brochure to find a map to the hotel, Jim squinted through the sunlight at Spock standing tall and motionless at his shoulder. He tried testing the waters. “So, what do you wanna...you know...do?”

With a hint of sarcasm Spock indifferently replied, “I admit, Captain, I have not fashioned an itinerary for the evening.”

Kirk smiled. “You hate this, don’t you? By the way, that sentence did make perfect sense.”

“I believe the occasion of my lapse in effective communication has proven a temporary or at least irregular problem. If you could refrain from referring to it except when I am not making sense...?”

“Yeah, sure.” Kirk could admit he was becoming increasingly favorable to McCoy’s theory; it only took Spock some moments of not feeling—whatever suppressed variation of self-consciousness he was capable of, Jim wasn’t sure what it was—to regain control of his speech. Kirk’s anxiety and frustration was partly replaced with affectionate interest in his first officer as he felt unusually aware of the complicated depths of his thoughts, and somewhat uncomfortably responsible for taking care of whatever apparently had a tendency to put them severely out of order.

By the time they’d completed the almost half-a-mile hike to what Spock finally spotted as the Blue Parrot Café, Jim was in a considerably good mood, charmed by the sun on his face into already falling into the feeling of being on any regular shore leave. The hotel was a lot nicer-looking than Jim would have guessed; Spock raised a brow of condescension watching his captain display somewhat childish glee at the building’s elevator that was attached outdoors to take guests directly up to the room levels. He reminded Jim that they hadn’t yet checked into a room, but Jim just wanted to immediately ride it up to the top level to get a good look around them at the city. Spock complied with a “Very well,” and followed, leaning to step through the low door into the large cylindrical chamber.

“Please provide your guest authentication number or specify parameters of room selection.”

Kirk narrowed his eyebrows; Spock then noticed a credit collecting slot on the wall next to the door and pointed it out. “It would appear this is in fact where we check in.”

“Oh...” Kirk was grateful they were on a planet with universal currency as he took out a credit chip. He unsurely announced, “One suite? Indefinite stay?”

“Please provide—” Kirk pressed his chip into the slot, cutting off the automatic response. “A suite for two is available on the twenty-fifth floor. Is this adequate?”

“Sure,” he replied with his usual mocking friendliness when talking to technology.

“Welcome to the Aviary Hotel, Mr. Kirk,” the computer greeted as the elevator promptly unlocked from the floor and started a steady ascent. “Would you like to go to your room or another level?”

“Top level.”

A conclusive couple of beeps were heard, followed by silence. Kirk made a grunt and said, “Thank God, it doesn’t tell jokes or anything.”

Spock had started curiously gazing out the window, and he turned to fix an inquiring look.

“Hotel elevators are usually a big annoyance to tourists in these cities. Very gimmicky and all. But I guess you don’t hear about that, since you don’t do vacations.”

“No,” Spock agreed. “It is uncommon for Vulcans to indulge in recreation on such a scale.”

“Which is why you’ve never taken shore leave even once since we left on the mission?”

Spock let out a breath as if slightly ruffled. “I presume you are subscribing to McCoy’s diagnosis?

Kirk shrugged. “I gather you don’t?”

“I do not.”

“So what’s your theory?”

Spock partly turned around to again survey the bustling cityscape stretching down into blocks of glass reflecting the hot colors of the dusk from the opposite direction; the elevator was pulling them up almost dizzyingly high. “You know that I would have already vocalized a theory...”

“I know. Forget it,” Kirk interrupted mildly, joining Spock at the far window to lean into the banister next to him. “It would be gaudy if it wasn’t so pretty. It’s like Los Angeles made up in old pop art or something.”

“I do find it aesthetically agreeable in comparison to many urban areas on Earth.”

“Have you seen many? Besides Cali, I mean...”

As the elevator began to slow down a little, Spock replied that his mother had in fact taken him to Earth on a couple occasions during his youth. The elevator was hissing to a clicking stop and the computer announced, “Top floor. Enjoy the balcony, Mr. Kirk,” before the door slid open at a relaxed speed, revealing a grand rooftop where Kirk had expected a regular indoor floor.

“I suppose that is the extent of my experience in what you would call ‘vacations’,” Spock was concluding. “And I naturally thought the experience to be equally frivolous...at the time.”

Then Kirk was cringing innerly, wondering if this after all was just a terrible way to try to ease Spock’s nerves. He refrained from showing too much of his worry as the Vulcan promptly walked forward and surveyed the roof; they approached an area directly ahead where the pale cement that was sculpted ornamentally around the borders formed an archaic-looking balcony with a couple quaint but uncomfortable-looking chairs.

Jim idly commented, “I wonder if many of the guests even know this is up here.” With that he grabbed one of the lawn-style chairs and dragged it with him farther onto the balcony, proceeding to sit in it backwards with his arms crossed over the back, looking out at the twilight.

Spock had no comment, but he followed out onto the balcony and simply rested his back to one of the banisters, taking on a listless stance.

“Hey.” Jim sighed. “That thing you just said about your mother...”

Spock merely pressed his lips together and gave a knowing look at Kirk as if giving him permission to pursue the subject.

“I just wanted to say, if this is actually pretty hard for you, I know Bones wouldn’t...”

Spock nodded his understanding with hardly a reaction. “Thank you for your concern, Captain, but I hardly find it detrimental to myself to fondly remember my mother.”

Jim blinked out at the city for a while, beginning to realize part of the reason Bones was so insistent about sending him along with Spock. “I’m going to feel kinda weird saying this. But you know that if you ever need to talk to somebody...I can’t say I’m the best at that kind of thing, but I’d give it a shot.”

Spock blinked. “Not that Dr. McCoy excels significantly in his area, but you might leave inoculations to his expertise.”

It took Jim a second to get it. “Oh, come on, you’re not making puns? You know what I meant.”

Spock pacified Jim’s irritation with a just barely shrugging twitch. “Aside from our routine conversations, there is nothing to discuss.”

There was a quiet snag of hesitating motion mingled with scrutiny, and then Jim just granted an “Okay” and swiftly stood and picked his bag up off the pavement below.

Their room was luxurious in size rather than ornamentation, which Jim judged to be about as agreeable as the unconversational turbolifts; he chuckled as Spock paused to study the arching filigree of what looked like a fiery-red version of a peacock feather painted on the wall. Instead of having actual rooms, the large space was chambered off in a couple places by wooden screens that cast the dying glow of sunlight into dappling shapes through carved gaps. Though it was technically all one room, the two beds felt sequestered enough; Jim threw his bag on the closer of the two and sat down to start removing his boots.

Both of them privately retreated to their reading for a while; Jim thought about making sure it wasn’t work Spock was concentrating on, but thought better, instead boredly flipping through a couple old-fashioned printed brochures that had been left on the vanity close to his bed. A few minutes after Spock went out to “take a walk,” Jim decided he would also like to have a look around the hotel. It didn’t take him long to run into the other officer; he smiled as he approached the large hollow compartment enclosed in glass that was displayed in the middle lounge of every floor, where Spock was either taking or looking over some notes as he gazed through the glass into an area fixed with the occasional branch-like extension that only added to its aesthetic effect. As he came up to Spock he also flinched in surprise: a large burst of orange-red feathers appeared as a bird with a handsome wingspan came dropping from upwards, disappearing to the lower floors in a matter of seconds.

“Woah.”

Spock simply quoted, “‘The Aviary'.”

“Oh, yeah.” Jim gave another glance at the size of the glass enclosure. “Seems cramped.”

“They are Vedrian Dirt Harriers,” Spock explained. “They are accustomed to hunting in underground tunnels.”

“Ah.” He then took out his own PADD from where he had it stuffed in the back of his waistband. In a playfully accusing tone he began, “So. Buddy. What are we doing tomorrow?”

Jim could detect the suppressed exasperation before Spock said, “I have not given it any further contemplation.”

“Does that mean I get to pick? Cause I got this whole list of horribly touristy things in these pamphlets, and we’re gonna do them all until I think you’re starting to actually enjoy yourself.” Jim started to chuckle as Spock looked down at his PADD with a cocked eyebrow. Like he was daring Jim to see if it made any difference to him.

|||


Spock had barely gotten down a bite of breakfast the next morning when Jim was asking him, “I’m assuming you’d find recreational hunting kind of morally offensive?”

Instead of giving a direct answer, Spock turned up a perplexed look. “We are in the most densely populated region of the planet. Where would one even find an environment in which to hunt?”

Jim whipped out a brochure with a cocked eyebrow and held it out to him: An advertisement for something called an “indoor game arena.” Spock bluntly took it from Jim’s hand, landed a couple seconds of scrutiny on it, then tossed it forward in front of his plate saying, “I have never heard of anything so absurd...”

They started with the local history museum. This meant almost an hour of Jim tilting his head at sculptures until one of the tour guides got so insultingly defensive at Spock attempting to correct one of his facts that Jim pointedly insisted they leave, managing a bit loudly to mention their membership in Starfleet on their way out the door.

After that they attempted a local sport Jim couldn’t remember the name of, which was similar enough to golf once you got the hang of it. Spock had more of a hang of it, but through his indifference remarked that even he thought the rules were a bit overcomplicated. Jim kept insisting that they “just wing it,” as they kept getting scowled at by some vacationing family waiting behind them.

“Yeah, yeah, we’re getting there,” Jim grumbled within only Spock’s hearing range, even as he gave an apologetic smile and wave to one of the annoyed parents, adding, “Who makes their children dress like that?”

That night they stopped downstairs at the café, and over his first sip of Saroni Brew Kirk noticed the glass doors separating them from another aviary view, this area housing smaller brightly-colored chickadee-like birds, and through yet another wall, a spa area.

“Hey, Spock...”

“Absolutely not,” Spock cut off.

“You could use a massage,” Jim protested.

“Doctor McCoy has said nothing to suggest that I am under physical stress.”

“Well, until we find some way to massage your brain—”

“No.” When he was that blunt, you just had to give up.

The next day Spock managed to be a little more cooperative, if still uninterested, when they hit the stables at a local park to ride something that was so close to being a horse but so obviously not a horse that Jim just didn’t ask. He shouldn’t have lied about his experience, though, because unlike with horses, these things took any kind of touch between the ears to be a sign of aggression. After Spock had assisted Kirk off of the ground and helped him limp all the way back to the owner’s cabin on a gashed knee, he was informed, while being bluntly fixed up with a regenerator, that it would take the man nearly all evening to find the missing animal. Spock actually cast a wary look between the two as the manager pulled out his plethora of antibiotic injections without volunteering any assurance that he had a medical license, and Jim found himself suddenly missing Bones.

They went back to the hotel and played chess.

|||


When they were done with their second game, Jim suggested they move up to the balcony, grabbing an ottoman for them to prop the old-fashioned board on and hoisting it under his arm up the elevator. They’d calmly enjoyed a couple more games on the rooftop when Jim said, “I need to check up with Bones” and pulled out his communicator, not bothering to walk very far away for privacy.

“Kirk, Enterprise.”

There was a brief delay before McCoy was on it. “Jim?”

“How’s she holding up?”

“If you’re referring to the ship, everything’s swell,” was McCoy’s reply. “How’s Spock?”

Jim shrugged. “He’s fine.”

“What does ‘fine’ mean?”

“I don’t know, he’s perfectly normal. About as unlikely as usual to enjoy himself.” This Jim said with a brief smirk over in Spock’s direction, knowing he very well could be listening.

“He hasn’t had any relapses into the...”

“No.”

“What are you doing?”

“Chess.” The silence that followed that seemed displeased; Jim shrugged again. “What? He likes chess. I know you want him to just sit back and not think for a while, but it’s just not in his nature.”

“Well,” Bones grunted, then kind of interrupted himself with, “Jim, I don’t know...”

“Neither do I. Have you gotten into contact with the other folks?”

“Oh, the Vulcans—There’s still the whole wheat fever fiasco, there’s no use sending a message when I know they couldn’t deal with this for at least another week.”

“You might wanna hold off anyway, I...” Jim cast a quick look over at Spock. “I don’t really know if he’s eager to get into that with them. If he wants to privately communicate with his father, he can obviously do that.”

There was a long contemplation on the other end, and Jim sighed.

“How long do we have to stay down here?”

“We’ll see. If tomorrow he still hasn’t had any kind of incident, I might just pull you back.”

Jim grinned widely despite the fact that Bones couldn’t see his smug way of being grateful. “Well, golly, Bones...”

“Don’t push your luck, kid.”

Jim hung up the communicator with a grin and then went over to glance down at the streets, his mind buzzing with a new kind of energy. The last couple hours spent with Spock had actually been perfectly pleasant, resembling something like how he’d spend a voluntary rec leave, but he was now impressed with the fact that this could be their last night here and felt a bit more like making the most of it. It was admittedly becoming harder for him to maintain perspective on the purpose of them being here, especially now that Bones seemed about to put the issue away unless the problem resurfaced, and he really just wanted to maybe get changed and go have a good time.

“So what about you, Spock?” Jim asked as he turned around. “You think you’re doing okay?”

Spock only responded by squinting thoughtfully down at the chess pieces. It was unusual for him to be so tacit. Jim frowned.

“Hey,” Jim said, lightly kicking at Spock’s foot with his own. He was going for a more instinctive tack now; he meant it rather than simply looking for the right thing to do when he asked, “You wanna go out tonight? Look for something to do on the town?”

Spock might have appreciated that Jim was transparently suggesting something he wanted to do, swerving attention away from all the concerns that had brought them here. He mildly said, “I have no desire to. But if you wish, I will accompany you.”

“You worried I’ll get into trouble?”

“I am certain you will manage to need my assistance in one way or another,” Spock replied, to Jim’s amusement. They left their board propped on the balcony when they went back downstairs.


...Part Two...

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You know, at first I thought Spock was just so annoyed at the Rigelians that he was trying to confuse them by sing long unfamiliar words. I didn't know any of them so I had supposed they were nevertheless accurate. Then I thought OMG he'd had a CVA and gnawed at my nails for a while. I was most relieved that it was just stress and when he started talking (and behaving) normally again. His pun about the shot/inoculation was a good one; took me several seconds to get it :).

I loved the bit about Spock trying to correct the museum guide. That's such a Spockian thing to do :-DDDDD

Ah, well...I did try to use rather uncommon words since I figured Spock has quite a repertoire of words to mix up. I found this random word generator and used that for some of the dialogue...I definitely didn't know some of these words either, and I worried that that might be confusing.
And LOL, I thought that pun was so lame, I'm glad you liked it.
Thanks so much for your comment :)

Ahah :). English's not my first language so to me English puns are always clever :). And if you didn't know all of those words, no wonder I didn't recognize them! Thanks for telling me, it's making me feel better :).

You've got beautiful pace and a real handle on the 'voice' of both main characters. Kudos.

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