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Kirk, Spock, and McCoy stood outside the shuttlecraft bay, in full dress uniforms, lined up with military precision, eyes front, awaiting the arrival of Admiral Katrina Perinea on an inspection tour. Jim sucked in his breath, trying to ease the irritating way his uniform’s waistband dug into his flesh. He was going to bust someone down to Yeoman if the laundry department didn’t quit shrinking his dress uniforms.

The shuttlecraft touched down, and the bay pressurized. The Admiral and her escort were piped aboard. The doors whooshed open, and Kirk stepped forward.

“Welcome aboard, Admiral,” he said to the petite brunette with the striking violet eyes. “Captain James T. Kirk, at your service.”

The Admiral nodded and smiled. “Captain Kirk, a pleasure.”

Jim turned to his officers. “Allow me to introduce Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO.” Bones was closest to the door, so it made sense to simply introduce him first.

“Ma’am,” Dr. McCoy bowed slightly; the Admiral greeted him politely.

“And this is my First Officer and Science Officer, Commander Spock.” And lover, Jim added silently. After six months, he was still thrilled that he was able to apply that label to Spock.

T’hy’la, behave yourself. Spock inclined his head. “Admiral.”

Admiral Perinea stopped dead in her tracks, eyes widening. “Commander Spock, I am so…pleased to meet you.” Her manner could only be described as effusive as she engaged Spock in animated conversation for at least five minutes, scarcely pausing for breath. Jim was bewildered, especially when he noticed that Bones was slowly turning colors, obviously trying to keep himself from laughing like a hyena. What’s so damned funny? Ok, she’s fascinated by Spock. I can deal with that; lots of women are. But what’s tickling McCoy?

Finally, reluctantly, Admiral Perinea allowed Kirk to turn her over to the lieutenant assigned to escort her to her quarters. Once the door shut behind her, Kirk turned to McCoy, who was now leaning against the wall, laughing as if he’d never stop.

“Ok, Bones, what’s the joke?”

McCoy just laughed harder, pointing at Spock, who looked as bewildered as Jim. Kirk looked him over, his eyes finally resting on Spock’s groin, where an impressive bulge was showing through the severe black cloth.

Spock?” Jim gasped. “Are you…aroused?”

“Certainly not,” Spock replied, obviously offended at the thought. Then he too glanced down and slowly turned six shades of green. He reached into the pocket of his pants—and pulled out Dust Bunny, one of his pet white tribbles, who had obviously crawled into Spock’s pocket for a nap.

Jim burst out laughing as well. No wonder Admiral Perinea was taken with him! He finally managed to stop laughing long enough to gasp, “I guess we’re lucky Snow Ball didn’t decide to join Dust Bunny for a nap! The Admiral probably would have proposed on the spot!”

Spock looked decidedly un-amused. Jim and Bones just kept laughing.


Eight months later, Jim was not at all surprised to learn that Admiral Perinea was engaged to S’tvack, a Vulcan cultural attaché. Jim only hoped the bridegroom lived up to her—expectations.

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