“Dammit Jim! Spock’s only gone for one night and you need me to babysit you?” Doctor Leonard McCoy grumbled to Jim Kirk, grand captain of the Enterprise and secret teddy bear-needer.
“Sorry Bones,” Jim mumbled, snuggling Tiber, his teddy bear and hopping into McCoy’s bed. “It’s just for tonight.”
“And you’re damn lucky it is too,” McCoy sighed. “Now go to sleep dammit.”
Jim grinned at the familiarity of McCoy’s gruff attitude, curled up and went to sleep. Spock would be back later the next day and he’d have his favourite teddy back.
The sound of the door whooshing open woke Jim up and he sat up, bleary eyed, wondering who had come in.
McCoy wasn’t next to him, instead, he was sitting at his desk with his PADD in his hand. It was obviously him Nurse Christine Chapel had come to see, with one of the new engineering ensigns, Crusher, Jim thought his name was, bleeding, in tow.
“Oh, captain, I’m sorry for waking you up,” she said apologetically; the crew had stopped questioning why the captain stayed in McCoy’s office whenever Spock was away. They just went with it.
“Eh,” was all Jim could answer before rolling over and going back to sleep. He didn’t notice how Tiber fell out from under the covers and hit the floor. He missed the surprised expression on Chapel’s face and the silent mirth in Crusher’s eyes. He barely heard the sound of the three of them leaving the office.
“Geddup Captain Teddy-Lover,” McCoy ripped the covers from on top of Jim and shook him awake. “Spock’ll be back in an hour. You’re damn lucky I have enough sense to take you off duty when Spock goes away.”
“Mmmph,” Jim gave as a protest, attempting to pull the covers away from McCoy.
“Get up or I’m giving you an extra dose of STI booster,” McCoy threatened, stooping to pick up Tiber only to lob him at his captain’s head. “I’m givin’ you ten seconds.”
“Ugh, I hate you, you are a terrible person,” Jim sat up and rubbed his eyes. “I’m telling Spock.”
“Oh, and what’s Spock going to do about it?” McCoy demanded. “I keep you sane when he’s not here. He thanks me. Spock. Spock thanks me.”
Jim rolled his eyes but got out of bed. “Why’d you wake me up an hour early?”
“Cause there’s some fun rumours goin’ round the ship, and I really want to see your face when ya hear ‘em,” McCoy grinned evilly.
“Oh great, more rumours about me cheating on Spock?” Jim rolled his eyes. “I thought they got over that.”
“Nope, even though that Crusher kid was quick to make the assumption,” McCoy shook his head. “When I was regenerating the skin on his face, he got all pissed and started accusing me of an inappropriate relationship with my superior. Christine was pretty quick to set him straight on that one,” McCoy chuckled.
“Hmm, then I dunno,” Jim pulled on his command tunic and straightened his hair. “Why’s she in such a hurry to discount his wild theories anyways? I thought she was madly in love with Spock…”
“I think he was a safety crush for her,” McCoy shrugged, visibly uncomfortable. He changed the subject. “Get your ass over to the mess so you can hear this.”
“I’m afraid now,” Jim groaned, but did as McCoy requested. It wasn’t his fault his stomach was demanding to be fed.
“You should be,” McCoy said with an evil grin. He couldn’t wait to see how the great Captain Kirk of the great starship Enterprise took this.
“I don’t know what kind of captain he thinks he is, but I don’t know if I can take him seriously anymore,” Jim heard ensign Crusher saying as he got his breakfast, well, lunch at this point.
“Shut it Crusher,” he heard Rand one of the new yeomen snap at him. “I think it’s sweet. You can’t expect someone who’s been through so much to be a completely hardened and emotionless individual.”
“No, that’s reserved for his emotionless boy-toy, isn’t it?” Crusher said viciously. “That nurse was quick to chew me out this morning.”
“Probably ‘cause you were being the ass you’re being now,” another ensign, Hickler, Jim thought he was called, added.
“Well, what was I supposed to think when we go into the CMO’s office to find the captain half naked in his bed?” Crusher attempted to defend himself.
“I’m sure he wasn’t half naked,” Hickler said reasonably. “I’ve seen him and Mr. Spock, they’re inseparable. Kirk wouldn’t mess that up.”
“I think it’s cute that he has trouble sleeping alone when Mr. Spock’s away,” Rand said with a girlish giggle. “That’s just so sweet. And sleeping with a teddy bear is nothing to be ashamed of, I do too.”
“Yeah, but you’re a woman,” Crusher argued. “Not the guy in charge of all of our lives.”
“Hey, he’s the best captain I’ve ever served under,” one of the higher ranking engineers cut in. Jim had worked with him and Scotty before, his name was K’Blen, and Andorian. “He’s more than capable of captaincy, regardless of his sleeping habits.”
“Yeah, and I know a lot of people who’ve got teddy bears and the like,” Rand added. “Not all women too,” she added as Crusher made to protest. “The captain’s still the same captain.”
Jim felt the blood rushing to his face. This was worse than the time people had been talking about him and McCoy because this time, the rumours were true. Without finishing his meal, he dumped his tray and all but ran out of the mess. McCoy shook his head and picked up his sandwhich, dumping the rest to follow Jim.
“Captain?” Spock’s voice made Jim wheel around, putting him off balance and making him fall over.
“Spock,” he said, rubbing his rather sore backside. “You’re not supposed to be back for another half hour.”
“The shuttle arrived more quickly than I anticipated,” Spock said, bending to pick Jim from the floor. “What has upset you so?”
“It’s nothing,” Jim said quickly, brushing off his trousers.
“Yeah, sure,” McCoy said, out of breath from chasing Jim and trying to eat a sandwich at the same time. “He’s all embarrassed because Crusher saw his little teddy bear, which is still in my office by the way.”
“Ssh,” Jim hushed him, looking around frantically.
“Oh like the whole ship doesn’t already know,” McCoy rolled his eyes. “But you heard them defending you in there. They don’t care about what or who you sleep with, even though I can’t say much for your taste in the ‘who’ department… But yeah, they trust you, only idiots like Crusher care about the teddy thing.”
“Ensign Crusher has been difficult?” Spock inquired, worried by the turmoil and embarrassment in Jim’s eyes.
“No one was supposed to know about Tiber…” Jim groaned.
“Well, they wouldn’t if you could sleep on your own, dammit,” McCoy grumbled, taking a bite out of his sandwich and stalking off in the direction of sickbay. “Come get your little friend when you’re done pouting.”
Spock directed Jim in the direction of the crew’s quarters with a hand on the small of his back. Jim was confused.
“Spock? Where are we going?” he asked quietly.
“I have interesting information that I gained during the last inspection,” Spock murmured, leading the way towards the ensign’s quarters. He buzzed for entry at one of the far doors. A small blond engineer opened the door and immediately looked terrified when he saw his two commanding officers standing there, even though one of this looked more than a little confused at being there.
“Ensign Crow, I have a small query,” Spock said before the young man could even open his mouth.
“Y-yes sir?” the ensign trembled.
“Does Ensign Crusher own a stuffed animal that he keeps near his bead?” Spock asked without preamble.
“Uh… Y-yeah, a teddy bear… He sleeps with it every night,” Crow stumbled over his words in his hast to get them out. “I-is that all y-you need sirs?”
“Yes, that is sufficient,” Spock nodded before turning away. Jim offered the young man his famous reassuring smile to ease some of the poor boy’s nerves.
“Well, I guess it is true what they say… people who protest things the most are the ones who are trying the hardest to hide things,” Jim laughed as they rounded the corner. Neither of them missed the mortified expression on Ensign Crusher’s face; he’d obviously heard everything.
Jim found out that he didn’t really care if the crew knew about Tiber. Now if they found out about the fluffy handcuffs…