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Story Notes:

I'm very grateful to my betas ormondhsacker and rimedio8. Thank you!

I'm not entirely happy with this myself, so I might rewrite this piece later.

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Chief Engineer’s Log, stardate 2680.1

Coolers 2, 3b, and 7 in the thermal regulation assembly have now been fixed. The main valves were replaced with Koohos TM4.5’s (0.4” coating) and sealed with a double layer of Koohos Ultra. Initial test runs show that their efficiency has improved 2.4 %. Statistically it is a significant improvement (or so Mr. Spock says), but the increased heat resistance and decreased friction are the real advantages! The Commander can stick his statistics to-

Computer, delete the last sentence and continue recording.

Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk have complained about the cool temperature in the Commander’s quarters. Junior technician Hilton, ID number 46723, checked the A/C settings and measured the air flow. He says the readings are normal and the room felt almost hot to him, but apparently the Captain insists that something is done. No complaints concerning the A/C from other crew members or current passengers. Assigned low priority to this task.

The warp engines are still under maintenance after the latest hurried escape from a suddenly exploding star (again). Under the Captain’s orders warp 5 was attempted without proper preheating and configuration of the engines, which caused microfractures to the compressor cranks and the secondary injection tube (again). We’re doing what we can with the available materials here, but the sooner we get to a planet with an ample supply of dilithium and high-quality titanium the better. I’ve informed the Captain of the expenses and suggested reviewing the instructions for emergency take-offs. He was too busy to listen (again).

Starfleet just doesn’t prepare the juniors for this kind of missions. Maybe I should do it? I’ll call the course “Working Miracles 101”. To pass the course they need to build a warp engine in 15 minutes using only an old tricorder, sawdust and a paperclip while under heavy fire from an unknown alien force. For the more advanced Engineers we can replace the paperclip and tricorder with pieces of alien tech and add in a hazardous working environment... That should prepare them for the easiest missions.

Computer, delete the last … Bah. Nevermind.

Auxiliary power fusion reactor has been running for 16 weeks without maintenance. We’ve been able to keep it functional for now, but five missions without a break in between is too much even for a Constitution-class beauty. In the next sudden confrontation or technical problem we may not get more than 45 % of the auxiliary’s power, and even that is an optimistic estimate. They say now that it’s nothing, but who gets the blame once the shields drop and the transporter malfunctions?

Talking about malfunctions, we’ve been extremely lucky so far. We’ve only lost junior crewmen. The Captain, McCoy and Spock always survive without as much as a scar. It’s a bit strange, now that I think of it. If the transporter malfunctions while a crewman is using it the poor lad ends up as an unrecognizable blob, but the Captain’s atoms just float around the Universe until a miracle occurs and he’s rescued…

Nothing else to report for now.

Chief Engineer out.

 

*****

 

Diary of yeoman Rand, stardate 2682.7

Dear Diary,

Firstly, so I won’t forget: Mr. Scott has requested me to talk to the Captain about some purchasing requests. I will need to add engineering supplies management to the agenda for the next budget com. If Mr. Spock chairs the meeting on the Captains behalf again I might need to postpone it, but we’ll see.

That put aside, there is something that troubles me. Earlier today I was looking for a PADD the Captain had lost. He often forgets his items to Mr. Spock’s quarters, where he works nearly every day, so it was the first place I looked. And well, I know Christine still has feelings for Mr. Spock so I kind of glanced around the place even after I had found the PADD I came for. There was… there was a gold Starfleet shirt on the unmade bed. The shirt was torn.

I picked the shirt up, but I haven’t had the heart to show it (or tell about the unmade bed) to Christine yet. Do you think the Commander has a lover? Does someone think of Spock at nights as Christine used to do? Does someone dream of those dark eyes and deep voice? Who is the one who sleeps on Mr. Spock’s bed while the Commander stays awake, his logical mind still on the day’s business? Whose dreams does Mr. Spock guard?

Now I even sound like Christine! Probably I’m just stressed because of all the work ever since the latest supernova incident; Starfleet is constantly demanding reports from the Captain in addition to daily meetings and coms. We’ve also been traveling around the Neutral Zone for weeks now, and my work just keeps piling up. Still, it’s been even worse for the Captain. Christine says Doctor McCoy has already given up trying to get the Captain to calm down. I believe his exact words were “Damn that man and the hobgoblin to hell for ruining yet another peaceful Christmas!”

One last thing: I’m now in charge of the Christmas Party, and it looks like we’ll get everything done on time. We’ve placed orders for actual, real ham and turkey as well as a soy-based alternative for vegetarians. All I’ll say for now is that after all this is done with I’ll treat myself to a cold drink and a hot man!

Yours,
Rand

 

*****

Personal log of Nyota Uhura, stardate 2690.1

I’ll just make a quick recording. The bubble bath is almost ready, and I’m more than ready for a little relaxation. I even added some Peach and Aloe Oil to the water. The scent is so lovely, and it makes my hair shiny and my skin soft to the touch. Mr. Sulu always looks at me a little differently after I’ve used it… Let him look, but if he touches me all the swords in the world won’t save his butt!

Today’s shift was exhausting. There were almost constantly new data stream initiations from Fleet HQ, each requiring a private channel be opened and maintained for the duration of the transmission. Luckily the subspace channels were otherwise quiet. It was nearly impossible to hear anything because of the background noise! Does everyone on the Bridge think my earplug makes me deaf?

I was made a Communications Officer because of my excellent aural and linguistic skills. I’m the only one on this ship who speaks every single Klingon dialect! Most people can’t even tell a Klingon greeting from a burp! So how am I supposed to notice subspace signals or low-level widebeam alerts if the people around me are chatting the whole time? The Captain and Mr. Spock were talking for hours today in that low, almost whisper-like tone of voice that can really drown the wave signals. “You dominate me, Mr. Spock”. “I found your resistance last night refreshing, Jim”. “The way you move is almost hypnotic, Spock. I could watch it for hours”.
“I believe the term is ‘capture’, Jim, not ‘swallow whole’. It would be illogical for me to swallow you.”

Seriously! Is chess all they can talk about?

I have to go now. I promised Janice I’d help her plan the party over drinks tonight.

Lt Uhura out.

 

*****

 An excerpt from the automatic audio log Helm02, Stardate 2691

Sulu: Warp factor 1, Sir. 
Chekov: Course to Starbase 30 plotted and laid in Sir. We’ll be arriving in - Hey! Where did he go? 
A voice in the background: The Captain didn’t say.
Sulu: The Captain has left the building. 
Chekov: He’s outside?
Sulu: No no, it’s just an old saying. The Captain’s safely inside the ship, I bet. Probably just needed a leak.

**45 seconds of silence**

Chekov: Has anyone seen Mr. Spock?
A voice in the background: No.
A voice in the background: Not this shift.
Sulu: No, now that you ask. Who’s in command?
A voice in the background: You, Mr. Sulu.
Sulu: Figures.
Chekov: Mr. Sulu, there is a possibility for collision with an asteroid field. Avoiding it increases the travel time approximately 31 hours. Permission to reroute?
Sulu: Yeah. I’d rather avoid flying through an asteroid field with two of the helm cameras still broken. 
A voice in the background: They still haven’t fixed those front radars? It’s been weeks since the supernova fried them!
Sulu: Let me check… No, still no response from them. 
Chekov: Blin! I mean damn!
Sulu: Well, there’s one thing I can tell you. If you find Spock, you will find the Captain, too. They’re always close. I heard they’ve been like that since the Academy. 
Chekov: I don’t remember that.
Sulu: Do you remember anything about the Academy? Except the women and the vodka?
Chekov: Oh, the wonderful, beautiful women….
Sulu: *laughs*

**2 minutes 3 seconds of silence**

Chekov: The Captain was in Commander Spock’s quarters yesterday.
Sulu: Yeah?

**25 seconds of silence**

Chekov: There were shouts and loud… umm… thumping.
Sulu: Yeah? Hey, the second left-side radar just went black! Could someone - no, wait, it’s back. Must’ve been a power outage or something.

**10 seconds of silence**

Sulu: Pounding?
Chekov: What?
Sulu: There was pounding?
Chekov: Yes, and someone shouted. It was like… like a muffled shout.
Sulu: *muttering* Or perhaps a moan…
Chekov: What?
Sulu: It’s probably nothing. You know how the Captain is. Probably he wanted to do some crazy stunt like fighting a gorn with his bare hands or fooling a god, and Mr. Spock logically disagreed.

**26 seconds of silence**

Chekov: No.
Sulu: Then what do you think happened?


**One minute of silence**

Chekov: Nothing.
Sulu: *chuckles*

**One minute of silence**

Sulu: They are both gone now… Maybe they are both in the Commander’s quarters.
Chekov: What?
Sulu: We could call them on the intercom. If we called the Captain, which one do you think would answer?
Chekov: Shut up!
Sulu: Unless they are otherwise occupied, of course.
Chekov: *singing* Trolololo lollolo lollolo lo...
Sulu: What are you so upset about? Close-combat practice would do you good, too!
Chekov: Kalinka, ka- what?
Sulu: Well, they are both high-ranking officers and they often get into fights. It seems logical they would practice martial arts together, right? Back at the Academy I had a roommate called Olli. We used to practice with swords and daggers every night, jumping from the beds on to the table, hacking and slashing, dodging and attacking.

**11 seconds of silence**

Chekov: Combat practice.
Sulu: Yeah? What did you think I was talking about?

**64 seconds of silence**

Chekov: New route laid in. Estimated arrival in 16 days, 14 hours.
Mr. Spock: Acknowledged.
Chekov: *whispers* When did he get here?
Mr. Spock: 20 seconds ago, Mr. Chekov.
Sulu: *whispers very quietly* Does he look sweaty to you? Or tired?
Chekov: Shut up!
Mr. Spock: Mr. Chekov?
Chekov: Nothing Sir. Sorry Sir.

**3 minutes of silence**

Mr. Spock: I will return to the Captain. Mr. Sulu has the con.

** Until the end of the recording the Bridge is awkwardly silent. **

 

*****

First Officer’s log, Stardate 2695

The Captain is no longer showing signs of fatigue and stress. His breathing patterns have normalised and his speech has slowed down approximately 5 percent. His sleep is now deeper and more relaxed. The frequency of restlessness and alertness during his sleep has decreased considerably, while his cognitive skills have returned to their usual, high level.

Doctor McCoy incorrectly assumes the Captain still needs rest, but by my estimation James Kirk is more than capable of continuing his duties.

For the past three weeks I have been withholding certain regular reports and communications from the Captain to reduce his workload. During that time every report has been reviewed exactly as required by the rules and signed without unnecessary delay. All communications have been followed up on as per protocol. Internal meetings with section heads have been organised as usual and the performance of each team has been optimised. Repairs of minor damage caused by the unexpected explosion of the star VT-345a have been delayed due to lack of equipment. Restocking and repairs will take place as soon as the Enterprise arrives in dry dock at Starbase 30.

During my time as an unofficial acting Captain I have made no mistakes. Still, I have exceeded the rights of a First Officer, and therefore fully accept all consequences of my actions. Captain Kirk will receive my full report tonight. I will respect whatever course of action he decides to take.

End of log.

*****

First Officer’s personal log, Stardate 2695

Translated from Vulcan to Standard Federation English.

I have not slept in 22 days. For the past three weeks I have carried out certain duties of the Captain in addition to my work as First Officer and Science Officer. I can no longer fully suppress my emotions; my body shows signs of physical tiredness and my mental capabilities are deteriorating. I must rest, but not before I talk with Jim.

Jim… I have stayed as close to him as possible to make sure he recovers from the exhaustion he had driven himself to. The impact of his tiredness on his work was minor but still noticeable, so I took what action I could. When his self-esteem was low, I let him beat me in 3D-chess. When he needed … physical proximity, I suppressed what telepathy I could and offered him my presence, such as it is. When he slept I watched over him. When he relaxed I stayed close to make sure he was not disturbed.

I have heard the crewmen call me Jim’s guardian angel, and illogically I find the title pleasing.

Jim Kirk is without a doubt the best Captain in the Starfleet. He is also my friend… and something else, something I have no words for. I find myself in need of a Vulcan, perhaps a Golic priest, who could assist me in analysing the emotional surge Jim causes in me. The phrase is illogical and inadequate, but I do not feel whole without him. I fear- no, I mean there is a possibility that this unbalanced, almost emotional state of mind is not entirely due to lack of rest.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… but not the one.

Not my Jim.

 

*****

Footage from the security camera in the cabin of Kirk, James T.

Jim lies on his bed with his hands under his head. Suddenly he sits up; the door opens up and Spock enters the cabin. Jim smiles.

“Spock! What is it?”

Spock sways on his feet. Jim rushes to him, grabs him by the arms and helps him on the bed. Spock looks relieved. He begins to speak, but the voice is too quiet to be captured by the microphone in the camera.

“What! Why?” Jim exclaims after a while. He begins pacing back and forth, stomping the floor. Spock, still sitting on the edge of the bed, hangs his head. His posture is slumped.

“Everyone else is in the Christmas party. You should be there too,” Jim says angrily. “Instead you’re here, half dead, because for three weeks you have done the work of three people? Have you lost your Vulcan mind?”

Spock appears to stay quiet. Jim sits on the bed and places his hand on Spock’s shoulder.

“Spock, listen. I appreciate everything you’ve done. I really do. I’m sorry I got upset at you; gods know you have done better job at being a Captain than I could have. So now I have a favor to ask of you.”

Spock raises his head and looks at Jim. His face is hollow and his eyes are sunken in.

“Come with me to the party. Just for a while. I’d like to… I’d like to make you smile.”

Spock’s eyes flicker. Slowly he nods and gets up. Both men leave the room.

***

2 hours 57 minutes later, Jim and Spock return. As soon as the door closes Spock pushes Jim against the bulkhead and locks him in place with a fierce kiss. Jim wraps his arms around Spock.

“Had I known chocolate affects you like this, Spock, I’d have forced some through those sweet lips of yours long ago,” Jim chuckles with a grin. Spock nuzzles his neck. Jim smiles, grabs the Vulcan by the hand and leaps onto the bed, pulling Spock with him. “Come on, pointy-ears. Keep me warm, it’s chilly in here.”

Spock freezes for a moment.

“Do my ears displease you?”
“What? No! Spock, please, come here. It’s cold,” Jim repeats, even though his cheeks have a pinkish, warm glow.

“I sense no change in the room temperature compared to its earlier state,” Spock states and takes a step towards the A/C controller unit. Jim grabs his hand and pulls the Vulcan closer. The sudden fire in Spock’s eyes and his rapid breathing is more than enough to tell Jim what the Vulcan wants. It has nothing to do with A/C controller units.

Jim rips the blue uniform shirt off and throws it on the floor. Spock’s body is lithe and muscular; his chest is covered in soft black fur and his broad shoulders are strong. Jim begins to kiss the Vulcan’s ears and neck. Slowly he moves downwards, on to the chest and down to the abs. Spock tilts his head backwards and closes his eyes in obvious pleasure.

Jim begins to undo the buttons on Spock’s pants, but Spock grabs his shoulders and pulls him back up. The gold shirt comes off in tatters as Spock tears at it, eager to see and feel his Captain’s naked skin.

“Spock, I want you,” Jim whispers huskily.

Spock hurls a piece of the shirt towards the security camera. Everything goes black.

There is quiet mumbling and the rustling of bedsheets.

“Jim?” Spock’s voice asks after a long period of rustling, squeaking and stifled gasps.

“Hmm? Oh god, Spock, are you going to - Oh!

“Merry Christmas, Jim.”

The sounds of pleasure continue well into the night.

 

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