Nothing is As It Seems

Title: Nothing Is As It Seems

Author: Onyx

Series: TOS

Parings: S/Mc, K/S

Rating: PG-14, mostly talk

Summary: A “What if?” scenario...not all rumors are correct.

Disclaimer: I don't own TOS. I never have, and I never will. Star Trek and all of its relations are property of Paramount and Viacom. I only own this story. Anybody who has a problem with the thought of men in homosexual relationships with each other, please stay away. Flames and feedback are welcome. Please ask before putting this anywhere.

Author’s Notes: This is freakishly absurd. If you get offended, you can call me up and gripe about it. My number’s 1-202-456-1414. Shameless Fan Shipping AHEAD!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nothing Is as It Seems

By Onyx

0411.16

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      It was just another day on the Enterprise. The crew had come off a very difficult mission securing supply exchange between Starfleet ships and a small world stuck somewhere between the Alpha and Beta quadrants.

 

      The bridge crew was nearing shift change before what could most easily be designated the “weekend” period, more of an off day for alpha shift crew. Down in sickbay, the medical staff had nearly completed the quarterly physicals for all 430 crewmembers. In engineering, Scotty had finished his most recent engine upgrade, giving the Enterprise maximum weapons and shields at warp speed 10. And the Captain and First Officer were married. To each other.

 

      It never ceased to amaze the crew at how love as obvious and pure as the two most senior officers on the ship shared, could be hidden, or tried to be, as poor a job as was done. Talk of the issue constantly flew around the mess hall and the recreation rooms. Nobody quite understood why they made no formal declaration.

 

      Well...almost nobody.

 

      The issue was fascinating nonetheless. And discreetly, all eyes were on the Captain and First Officer as they made plans for the evening. The crew had nearly figured out their secret language of love.

 

      Spock walked up behind Kirk’s chair. “Chess tonight, Captain?” “Dinner in my quarters,” Sulu translated to Chekov, in a soft whisper. The crew had long ago realized that the person who proposed the plans offered up his cabin for the night, as well.

 

      “Certainly, Mister Spock, 1900 hours? I have to check in with Bones, first, to go over the quarterly physicals.” *I need to set up an alibi so the crew doesn’t catch on,* thought Uhura to herself, *As if we didn’t already know.*

 

      Spock’s head nodded almost imperceptibly. “That will be adequate, Captain.” “See you then and I’ll bring the flowers,” Chekov whispered back to Sulu. The Vulcan seemed oblivious to the conversing, as he simply turned on his heels and went back to his station.

 

      However, that evening in the mess hall, there would be bets placed over which one would be walking funny the next day.

 

***********************************************

      Shift had ended, and Kirk, after exchanging a quick glance with Spock that the entire bridge had noticed, took the turbolift down to visit McCoy.

 

      Kirk smiled as he entered the sickbay, seeing his friend at his desk, grousing over the disorganized pile of reports. “Am I to understand that you have not yet finished?”

 

      McCoy rubbed his eyes, dropping the padd he had been trying to classify. “No, Sir. I mean to say that I have not yet begun.”

 

      Kirk simply smiled more and took up a chair at the other side of the desk. “Consider yourself in possession of another two days to do it.”

      “Thanks, but is Spock, Fuhrer of Files, going to let me have those two days, or is this just an empty promise?” McCoy rubbed at his eyes; he was tired, had been working two shifts trying to sort the files already.

 

      Kirk’s look was temporarily blank, as he attempted to place that particular reference. Lately, he had learned just how it felt to be Spock, with the doctor’s off hand comments. He figured out the meaning. Spock in the nazi uniform from about a month ago. “Just let me handle, Spock. He does, after all, have a tendency to give in to me when I put things to him over chess.”

 

      “I’ve noticed.” *Was that a note of bitterness in Bones’ voice, or just sarcasm?* Kirk ignored the thought; “We’ll be eating in the mess hall first, if you’d like to join us. Love to have you.”

 

      “Maybe, I’d really like to finish this, or at least get it in some semblance of order. And I already sent Chapel off for the day.”

 

      “You want me to have Spock come down here and help you out? It shouldn’t take more than about an hour then.” Kirk paused, and then chuckled, “Or maybe not, considering the way you two are.”

 

      “I’ll get it done. You boys just play chess and enjoy the evening. You wouldn’t want to start the rumor mill off, would you?”

 

      Kirk shook his head, “Come, come, Bones. Like the crew has nothing better to do than talk about us. Nobody pays any attention to this stuff.”

 

*********************************************

      “It definitely happened when we went to Vulcan, you know, when Mister Spock was acting so strangely,” Chekov supplied to the table of junior officer, sitting across the mess hall from Kirk and Spock, currently engaged in a conversation nobody could overhear.

 

      Uhura shook her head, finishing off a forkful of her ravioli “They’ve been like this, you know, close, before that incident with Vulcan. What about when they went to Organia to stop the Klingons? Did any of you notice how they were acting like the same person? It had to have happened a little before that.”

 

      Sulu sipped from his coffee glass. “You’re both wrong. What about the time with the space virus we picked up? Once I stopped...” Sulu’s voice trailed off, somewhat embarrassed by his behavior, “You know, prancing around without a shirt, I overheard some conversations between them and the doctor. They’d pretty much declared their love to one another then and there. And then we went to Starbase K-31 for a break. They could have done it there.”

 

      The three of them collapsed into discussions for another few minutes, trying to decide on a definitive time for the Enterprises’ personal love story to have unfolded.

 

      Meanwhile, at their table on the other side of the mess hall, Kirk pushed his chair back. “I wish you’d eat more.”

 

      “You are beginning to sound like Doctor McCoy. I eat enough to sustain myself, and I am not hungry.”

 

      “Just expressing concern, Spock. The last thing I need is for you to be in poor form for chess tonight.”

 

      “Speaking of which, Captain, I believe it is time for our game.”

 

      “Indeed.” Kirk picked up the trays and brought them over to the tray recycler and then left with Spock.

 

      All eyes in the hall were on them as they left. “The Captain’s definitely on top,” Sulu remarked, “He’s too masculine to not be.”

 

      “Absolutely not,” Uhura responded, “Spock’s just so Vulcan, can you honestly see him on the bottom? He’s the one on top.”

 

      “Maybe...they have somebody else come over so that they can both be on top,” Chekov said.

 

      The reactions from the other two were about as Chekov had expected, shock and disgust.

 

      “The two found true love. You’d think they’d just dive into bed with other people for fun?” Uhura asked.

 

      “No,” Chekov replied quickly, “I just lost my head. Maybe they just switch off.” The officers did not come to a conclusion that night, but after a few minutes, opened up the mess for betting on the two commanding officers.

 

***********************************************

      “Spock, I thought we talked about this. That maneuver’s not fair because it shows off Vulcan advantages.”

 

      “Really, Jim, if you wish to ‘get yours’ you need only ask and it will happen.”

 

      “I’m not going to beg.”

 

      “I did not say beg, I said simply ask.”

 

      “It’s the same thing. I don’t give up control, especially in such intimate matters.”

 

      “Intimate matters?” Spock’s eyebrow flew up into his hairline. “Jim, this is just a chess game.”

 

      Kirk put a finger to his own lips. “Sshh, not while I’m making a move.”

 

      Spock resisted the very human urge to roll his eyes and waited patiently for the Captain to finish. Once he did, the Vulcan picked up his bishop, moved it three rows, and placed it down. “Checkmate,” he said, in a matter-of-fact tone.

 

      Kirk stared at him in shock. He had been sure his maneuver was unbeatable. Then again, the last time he had managed to beat the Vulcan at chess had been that incident with the brain cells, and Spock had been blind at the time. He waved at the Vulcan. “Get out of here. You’re depressing me.”

 

      Spock quirked his eyebrow up, but complied with the order. “As you wish, Jim.”

 

      Kirk stopped for a moment, “By the way, Bones is working down in sickbay and could use your help with the paperwork.”

 

      “Did he specifically request my assistance?”

 

      “Does he ever?”

 

      Spock could not argue with that logic and bade goodnight to his Captain. Kirk remained in his rooms, wondering just how he had managed to lose, again.

 

***********************************************

      Spock arrived in sickbay some ten minutes later to find McCoy with his feet on his desk, and a cup of coffee in his hand. His eyes were closed.

 

      “Doctor?” Spock queried quietly. There seemed to be no response from McCoy. Spock stepped further into the room, so he was standing beside him. “Doctor? If you can here me, I prefer to be acknowledged.”

 

      It took a moment, but there was movement. McCoy shifted his legs and slowly opened one eye. “What is it?”

 

      “I came to assist you. I was informed you needed my help.”

 

      McCoy sighed and put the mug down, quickly getting himself into a sitting position. “I thought you were playing chess with Jim.”

 

      “We completed our game. I was victorious.” Spock picked up some of the files, reading them over quickly. How McCoy could have allowed the filing to back up on him was beyond his comprehension. Generally, the doctor was much more efficient.

 

      McCoy seemed to know what he was thinking. “I’ve had some things on my mind, and Geoff’s been sick, so I’ve been pulling double shifts. It happens.” The doctor stood up and began to divide the padds into two piles, handing Spock one. “Since you’re here, you might as well help me out.”

 

      “That is why I came here, Doctor,” Spock replied, although his voice was somewhat fonder than usual, as he began to sort through the padds. His time sense told him there was still one point six three five hours left before the last shift change.

 

**********************************************

      “There, that’s the last one,” McCoy said, putting a final padd atop his desk, now in ordered piles, chronologically sorted and cross-referenced alphabetically. “I can get these to Jim first thing tomorrow.”

 

      “Indeed, and you will, I assume, endeavor not to fall behind again,” Spock teased as he rose from the chair, taking McCoy’s coffee mug over to the food dispenser slot to be cleansed.

 

      “It depends on what asinine mission I get sent down on before next quarter’s files are due,” came the quick response. McCoy stood next to the door, waiting for Spock to join him.

 

      “You know I do not have control over what Head Quarters decides is worth your time,” Spock said quietly, as he joined McCoy in the main area of sickbay.

 

      McCoy nodded. He was more tired than he had been at the last shift, and his back was in pain from sitting still for so long. He needed to sleep.

 

      Spock realized, as he reached out, placing one of his large hands on each of McCoy’s shoulders. Gently, he began to rub, kneading out the larger knots of tension.

 

      McCoy’s eyes slipped closed under the ministrations. The sensation was simply exquisite; it was precisely what he needed. As Spock’s hands moved to his back, still removing the knots, a soft sigh of pleasure escaped his lips.

 

      The sound was not lost on Spock’s ears, and he was gratified for it, knowing he was the cause; it meant that he was succeeding in his task. After another few minutes of the massage, McCoy was visibly more relaxed. He turned to face Spock, and, wrapping his arms around him, pulled him close for a grateful kiss.

 

      Spock’s arms tightened around McCoy, as their lips met, and his eyes slipped closed. They had not spent as much time, as of late, as he had desired, and he hoped this would partially recompense him.

 

      Unbeknownst to the two of them, an orderly had stayed late to make up for a shift he had missed earlier that week. He had come out when he had heard the sound of voices, and he had seen them kiss. He managed to muffle his sigh, but the shock was evident. Mister Spock was an adulterer. He had no idea how he would break it to the rest of the crew.

 

***********************************************

      “He what?” Uhura’s voice was louder than she had meant, but her emotions were rising, anger and shock. “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

 

      Park, the orderly, shook his head, his own expression grim. “I wish I were, but I saw it with my own two eyes. They were kissing.”

 

      Uhura sighed heavily, “Are you sure Doctor McCoy didn’t just grab him or something? And he was fighting it?”

 

      “Nyota, I know what it looks like when a man’s enjoying a kiss. Trust me on this.” Park ran a hand through his hair. “What are we going to do? Who’s going to tell the Captain?”

 

      Uhura shrugged, closing her eyes. This wasn’t happening. The perfect storybook Enterprise love was not being torn in two pieces. “I don’t know. We’ll just have to tell everybody else and take it from there.”

 

      Park nodded. And over the next eight hours, messages were left through the underground communications system, letting the crew know of the new development. And nobody was happy.

 

**********************************************


      Spock was not adept at understanding human behavior and emotions, but what was occurring around him was so blatant that even he could tell that something was wrong. The crew was avoiding him. They were also glaring at him. He could not be certain, for they looked away every time he turned, but the energy felt as though they were glaring when he was turned away.

 

      He did not understand what the cause was. As far as he knew, nothing had changed in the night. Certainly they had had no encounters with an alien life form that would turn the crew so angry. But just in case, he decided he would send a message to McCoy to scan.

 

      Kirk was feeling it also. So much so that midway during the shift, he went over to Spock’s console. “All right, Spock, why’d you tell the crew they couldn’t have a midnight party?”

 

      Spock looked up somewhat surprised, although the expression on his face was muted. “I did no such thing, Captain.”

 

      “Then why are they so pissed at you?”

 

      That confirmed Spock’s suspicions. They were, indeed, angry with him, for some unforeseen reason. “I do not know, Captain. I assumed perhaps you did.”

 

      Kirk shook his head. “No idea. Everything was fine yesterday.”

 

      “As I noticed. I thought perhaps Doctor McCoy should check for an energy imbalance that could be affecting the crew, such as Redjac.

 

      At the mention of McCoy’s name, the entire bridge crew seemed to grow even angrier. The tension on the bridge was beginning to be too much to handle.

 

      Kirk stood up. “A good idea. Want me to take care of it?”

 

      Spock would not admit to unease. As such, he would not tell Kirk that he did not want to be left alone on the bridge with the crew. And he did not. “You are the Captain, Sir.”

 

      Kirk nodded, giving Spock an easy smile. “I’ll be back in about fifteen minutes. You have the conn. We on for dinner tonight?”

 

      “Yes, Doctor McCoy said he should be available as well.” Again, the tension seemed to reach a new height with the mention of McCoy.

 

      Kirk headed for the turbolift. “Sounds good. Be back soon.” He stepped into the lift, and the doors closed, leaving Spock alone with the crew. He decided to stay where he was, not wanting to get too close to either Sulu or Chekov, who were all but foaming at the mouth in anger.

***********************************************

      In sickbay, McCoy seemed to be getting opposite treatment. Kirk could feel the coldness as soon as he came in. Nobody seemed to be speaking to McCoy, or really acknowledging his presence.

 

      The Doctor was in his office looking over the sickbay roster when Kirk entered. He smiled up at the Captain. “Coffee?”

 

      Kirk shook his head, as he closed the door to McCoy’s office, sitting down. “What the hell’s going on?”

 

      McCoy looked at him blankly. “What do you mean?”

 

      “Your staff’s ignoring you. The bridge crew’s been making faces at Spock. It’s making him uncomfortable. You, on the other hand, don’t seem to care.”

 

      McCoy shrugged a bit. “Why should I? They’re getting their work done. If they’re upset over something, it’s not my business.”

 

      “Could you try to check the bioscanners to see if something’s been going on? Something on the ship that could be getting everyone so angry?”

 

      McCoy shrugged again, “I could, Jim, but I’m telling you, they’re just upset over something or another. It happens. Nobody’s under alien influence.”

 

      “Then the whole crew is guilty of insubordination towards you and Spock.”

 

      “They’re listening to me, Jim. We’re just not speaking beyond that. The crew’s only human. Just let them be, and I’m sure everything will be fine by tomorrow.” McCoy finished with his coffee mug and put it down on his desk. “Doctor’s orders.”

 

      Kirk threw his hands up in frustration. “If that’s the way you want it, Bones.” He paused for a moment, “Spock said you’d be able to join us for dinner tonight.”

 

      “I’m planning on it. Now get back to the bridge,” McCoy’s smile was easy, despite the situation around them. It reassured Kirk, and he returned it, before leaving out the door, on his way back to the bridge.

 

*********************************************

      Up on the bridge, Uhura had taken the initiative to approach Spock. This was above her rights as a Lieutenant, but she was angry enough that she just didn’t care. There was a scowl on her face. “Did you enjoy him?”

 

      Spock turned around from his science panel. “Excuse me, Lieutenant?”

 

      “Did you enjoy him?” There was barely repressed disgust in her voice. The entire bridge crew seemed to be watching them.

 

      “Who?” Spock had no point of reference to the pronoun, and thus had no idea to whom she was referring.

 

      “Doctor McCoy. Did you enjoy taking him? Do you enjoy the games, the secrecy? I hope you at least used protection. How can you even face Captain Kirk in the mornings?”

 

      Spock’s face hardened. He did not understand the rest of Uhura’s comments, but his relationship with the doctor was a private matter, not open to the opinions of others. And he did not like the tone she was using regarding him. “That is none of your business, Lieutenant. I recommend returning to your communications station before you are placed on report.”

 

      She had started with what she needed to say, and she was going to finish it, despite his threats. “Is it some kind of a joke to you? A power trip? Is Doctor McCoy willing to be your little slave, is that it? You’re willing to have the Captain in name for prestige, but you get off on the Doctor degrading himself?”

 

      Spock’s own control was breaking. He did not tolerate hearing others speak of the Doctor in such a way. “You will return to your console, Lieutenant. Consider yourself on report.”

 

      “You’re willing to throw away true love for some sick little fling with Doctor McCoy? You guys don’t even like each other. I mean, I can understand, really, why he would want you, but how could you possibly throw away perfection for him? He’s so insubstantial.”

 

      Spock suddenly rose from his panel, his voice cold as he spoke through clenched teeth. “You will cease to refer to him in such a way, and you will return to your quarters, now.”

 

***********************************************

      Meanwhile, in sickbay, the minute after Kirk had left, the nurses had held a brief meeting. They decided that Chapel, being Head Nurse, would be the one to talk to the doctor. She approached his office and entered without knocking.

 

      McCoy did not seem to really mind. He looked up from the roster and put it down, smiling at her. “What can I do for you, Nurse?”

 

      “Doctor, I understand how you’ve been feeling, I really do. If anybody understands how special a man Mister Spock is, it’s me. But you can’t let your desire for him come between true love.”

 

      McCoy looked at her somewhat incredulously. He had thought he and Spock had been hiding their relationship fairly well. “Nurse, I know you have deep feelings for him, but you’re just not his type. And I don’t mean to sound callous, but that’s not true love.”

 

      Chapel blushed slightly. Was he in denial about what he was doing? “Not me and Mister Spock. Mister Spock and the Captain. They’re so perfect. How can you just try to break them up? Unrequited love hurts, Doctor. I know it does, but surely that’s better than adultery.”

 

      This was slowly beginning to make sense to McCoy, at least partially. “Everything that goes on between Spock and I is completely consensual, Nurse. And I’m sorry you had to find out this way.”

 

      Chapel rolled her eyes. She thought she was being clear, and yet McCoy seemed to be missing the point entirely. “Are you at least having a threesome with them?”

 

      “A threesome? What are you talking about, Christine?” McCoy’s eyes had flown open in surprise.

 

      “You know what I mean.” When the look of surprise and confusion failed to fade, Chapel began to explain herself.

 

***********************************************

      At the same time, as Kirk had entered the turbolift, Scotty had run up after him and entered. They ordered it to the bridge, but Scotty stopped it between floors. “Captain, I’ve got something rather upsetting to discuss with you.”

 

      Kirk thought it was either an Engineering malfunction, which was unlikely as the warning klaxons had not gone off, or that the Scotsman had an explanation for why everybody was acting so strangely. “What is it, Scotty?”

 

      Scott took a deep breath, uncertain of how to explain this. When Uhura had told him the news, he had been deeply saddened, but unlike most of the rest of the crew, had felt more sorrow for Kirk than anger at Spock. That was why he had been elected to talk to the Captain. “It’s about Mister Spock, Sir.”

 

      “Scotty, do you know why the crew’s been acting so cold towards him?”

 

      “Aye, Sir.” This was not as easy as Scott had hoped it would be.

 

      “Well, spit it out, man. It’s making it impossible to work on the bridge.” Kirk’s eagerness was getting the better of him.

 

      Scott took another deep breath, and then nodded. “Well, you see, Sir, Mister Spock was kissing Doctor McCoy in sickbay.” He waited for the inevitable falling of Kirk’s face, as the pain of having his beloved cheat on him hit his heart. It didn’t happen.

 

      “So?” Kirk’s expression had barely changed, as though the statement hadn’t registered.

 

      “Sir,” Scott continued, hoping he had not put the Captain into shock, “Mister Spock was kissing Doctor McCoy, rather deeply, and this was probably not an isolated incidient.”

 

      “Knowing Spock, I’m sure it’s not. Is that all you had to say, Scotty? Because if it was, I really need to get back to the bridge and give the crew a lecture on the toleration of homosexuality.” Kirk reached for the turbolift controls.

 

      Scott’s hand blocked his. “Captain! I can speak on behalf of the crew that we’re more than tolerant of homosexuality.” Scott paused a moment before continuing, “Don’t you care that Mister Spock was kissing the Doctor?”

 

      “What they do on their own time is their decision, Scotty. Now let’s go.”

 

      This made no sense. Why didn’t Kirk care that the love of his life was having an affair. Spock wouldn’t use his Vulcan telepathic abilities to put some sort of a hold on Kirk, would he? Then again...he was already cheating on the man. “Don’t you care, Sir?”

 

      “They’re my friends, I care to that extent. Beyond that, no, not in the slightest.” Kirk, on the other hand, had no idea why the rest of the crew had such an interest in this topic.

 

      “But, Sir, you and Spock, you’re bonded. He’s not supposed to cheat on you.” Scott’s eyes were imploring.

 

      Kirk’s face twisted into one of surprise. Had he heard Scotty right? The look on the man’s face was serious enough. *Oh God,* Kirk thought to himself, *He is serious!* And then, Kirk began to laugh, a deep, rumbling belly laugh, that he just couldn’t stifle. Scott looked on in confusion.

**********************************************

      McCoy had had a similar reaction, although more controlled. He had been aware that a few people held an idea or two about his friends, but he had no idea that it had spread to the entire ship.

 

      The desire to clear Spock’s good name was what made him stifle his laughter. “Trust me; Spock’s not cheating on Jim. They’re just friends, nothing more. I’d like to think what he and I share is close enough to true love that we’ll be able to make a stable future of it after the mission.”

 

      The news was too much for Chapel to take in, and she regarded him incredulously. “Are you serious?”

 

      “Cross my heart and hope to grow pointed ears, Christine.”

 

      Chapel was unsure what to do. She’d have to bring it up at the crew’s next meeting regarding the issue. But McCoy’s voice was sincere so she decided to leave him alone for now. “As you say, Doctor.” She then left to talk to the rest of the nurses.

 

      McCoy watched her for a moment, shaking his head to himself. How the entire ship could be obsessed with a non-existent relationship between the two Commanding Officers was beyond him. And taking in Chapel’s reaction, he was fairly certain that even in the face of reason, and evidence to the contrary, they would prefer to continue to believe in it.

 

      On the other hand, he was somewhat confused as to why nobody had picked up on the signals between he and Spock. Certainly they had been spitting sexual tension since the first time they’d met. And lately the two of them had been unusually attentive to one another. Of course, it could just be the amount of attention he paid to Spock every time he went up to the bridge, and that nobody else watch so much, but when they were arguing, Spock’s eyes more often than not would crinkle in amusement, or sometimes pleasure. To the watchful observer, their relationship was obvious. But that was neither here nor there.

 

      With an understanding of what had been going on with the crew, McCoy hoped that Spock would be able to explain himself, and then the whole thing would blow over.

 

********************************************** 

      Sulu had gotten up to help after Spock had all but yelled at Uhura. “Sir, please don’t let your guilt over your affair put a good officer on report.”

 

      Spock’s Vulcan control was being pushed to the limit by the blatant insubordination displayed by the bridge crew, compounded by the harsh words they used to describe Doctor McCoy, and the animosity they projected towards him for doing what to him was only natural. “Mister Sulu,” he began, “Unless you wish to be relieved of duty and put on report as well, you will silence yourself regarding a matter you do not even begin to understand.”

 

      “Sir, most of it’s easy to understand. You and the Captain are lovers. What the rest of us can’t understand is why you’d be willing to throw that away for a fling with the Doctor.”

 

      Spock was about to respond, how he had never been involved with the Captain, that what he had found with the Doctor was mutually satisfying and could hardly be described as a fling. But a strange sound from within the turbolift drew his attention away.

 

      The doors opened, revealing a somewhat embarrassed and confused Scott, and Kirk, who was clutching his sides in laughter. He stumbled towards his chair, and grabbed onto the back, doing his best to stop laughing, but failing miserably. After a minute or two, he looked up at Spock, managing to grate out in between gales, “Spock! They think we’re sleeping together!”

 

      Spock’s color was somewhat green, his look quite stern as a result of the last few minutes on the bridge. “I fail to see the amusement in that statement, Sir.”

 

      Kirk’s entire face was flushed red from his laughter; he was fighting for breath. “It’s just so funny! How could they possibly get that idea? And then they think you and Bones-” Kirk’s next comment was buried under a roar of his own laughter. He managed to calm down enough to finish. “They think...they think you and Bones are having an affair, behind my back.”

 

      Spock could feel his ear tips burning from the embarrassment of the entire situation. “I had attempted to explain, Sir.” He needed to meditate on the situation, and finish punishing Lieutenants Sulu and Uhura.

 

      Kirk pressed his hand to his eyes, drying the tears that had formed from his laughter. After another moment, he had managed to calm himself down enough to speak clearly. He turned to address the bridge crew. “Listen to me, I have no idea how far this rumor’s gotten, but Spock and I aren’t lovers. We’ve never been lovers. We’re friends, just friends.” Kirk turned over his shoulder to glance at Spock, silently asking him a question with his eyes. Spock inclined his head. Kirk then continued. “Spock and Bones’ relationship is their business, got it?” He waited while the bridge crew slowly began to nod in acknowledgement. “Now,” he asked, “How many people are in on this rumor?”

 

      Sulu and Uhura remained quiet, not wanting to compound the trouble they were in. Chekov spoke up, “The whole crew, Captain.”

 

      Kirk’s eyes bulged in surprise, “The entire crew?”

 

      Chekov nodded, “Yes, Sir. We were very proud of the relationship that you and Mister Spock shared...” His voice trailed off.

 

      Kirk sighed, he needed to nip this in the bud. He turned towards Spock. “I’m making a ship-wide announcement, want to help?”

 

      Again, the Vulcan inclined his head, and stepped closer to the Captain’s chair. Kirk pushed a button on the side, opening up the intercom channel. “Attention all hands. There seems to be a rumor circulating this ship, regarding a relationship of a sexual nature regarding Commander Spock and myself. This, taken into account with a certain event witnessed by one or several crewmembers, has led to the belief that Commander Spock had been committing adultery. This is not the case, as he and I are not, and have never been, involved in an intimate relationship.

 

      “Furthermore, it does not matter what his personal affairs are. This does not warrant acts of insubordination. This is a military vessel, not a knitting club.” Kirk paused with the announcement, looking towards Spock. “Do you have anything to add?”

 

      Spock nodded, and with a deep breath to calm his nerves, stepped towards the comm. the distinct sound of his clear baritone filtered over the intercom. “It is true that I was involved in a physical act with Doctor McCoy last night, and I would like to take this opportunity for the following request. Doctor McCoy, would you care to move into my quarters?”

 

      Ship-wide silence followed the announcement.

 

**********************************************

      A few weeks had passed since the rumor had been dispelled. Kirk had helped McCoy move his belongings into Spock’s quarters, and the two of them no longer had to hide their relationship. It was still awkward to see the two of them argue in the mess hall one minute, and then touch the next. Or to see McCoy come up to the bridge to visit Kirk, and then give Spock a peck on the cheek before leaving. But it was what happened.

 

      Uhura and Sulu had been given an off the records conference with the Captain regarding their behavior and had been excused. Kirk had taken up with a visiting dentist, a lovely, intelligent young woman. And Spock and McCoy were happy together.

 

      The discussions about the love between the Captain and First Officer had died down. The crew slowly went back to the other off-duty activities available, the ones participated in by the crews of the other shifts. For some reason, nobody showed particular interest in discussions about Spock and McCoy’s relationship. There was no mystery, and that’s what made Kirk and Spock’s relationship interesting in the first place.

 

      But somewhere on the intercom lines, there was an installment of a new story, “Guns and Roses: The Story of Mister Spock and Doctor McCoy.” Who knows? With time, it might just catch on.

 

                       Shatau

boys_in_blue27.jpg