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Kirk groaned, shifting restlessly in his chair. He tried to keep his boredom in check, not wanting to seem anxious to his newly formed crew, but the fact of the matter stands, space is boring when hostile Romulans from another dimension aren't trying to drill a hole through San Francisco. Kirk had spent the first few weeks following the Narada incident swamped in reports and interviews, both with Starfleet officials and the media. Oddly enough, the 'fleet was a lot more forgiving in their interrogations than was the news channels. While Starfleet requested succinct, thorough accounts of the incident, the news media seemed bent on wringing out as much detail from Kirk and everyone else involved as possible--even if it meant forcing them to elaborate beyond the means of typical human faculties.


Spock, of course, handled it all with Vulcan grace, if there is such a thing. Kirk envied his ability to pull seemingly irrelevant details from that Vulcan mind of his, placating the ravenous reporters far more quickly than could Kirk. He even developed some sort aloof charm, his emotionless responses to the most probing questions only intriguing the media--and universe, it seemed--further. Soon, instead of requesting just Kirk for the covers of their magazines, most editors asked for Spock, also. Kirk had to admit, having Spock nearby was somewhat of a comfort, as he seemed suited far better for interviews, but for all his prowess in talking, he seriously lacked skill in modeling. Kirk dreaded every photo shoot in which he was coupled with Spock, knowing that it would take hours just to get one single photo where Spock didn't look entirely uncomfortable. McCoy, of course, found these photo shoots hilarious, and he never failed to tag along when he had free time.


"Spock, didn't anyone ever tell you that your face will stick that way if you keep that look for long?"


"Doctor, I fail to see how rigor mortis could set in whilst I am still functioning at optimal levels."


"Yeah, well, I've seen faces pumped full of 21st Century Botox look more relaxed than yours."


"I can assure you, Doctor, I have not injected myself with chemicals as of late. To do so without consulting the proper physician would be illogical."


"Maybe a few hypo sprays is what you need to get that stick-up-the-ass look off your face."


With that, Kirk decided it was time to cut in, "Hey, would you two stop bickering long enough for them to take the stupid picture? I don't have the benefit of Vulcan aging on my side, and it's altogether possible that I will need some of that Botox by the time this thing is done!"


Spock dutifully sat and let the photographers do their job while Bones stood nearby, smirking at having gotten the last word. Finally, the director of the shoot announced that he thought he had some workable material (with a little editing, of course), and that Kirk and Spock could go. With resolute calmness, Spock turned to McCoy and said, "Doctor, I do not believe that particular object belongs in that particular orifice, and I will endeavor to avoid such a placement of a stick."


McCoy all but choked on the mint julep he had somehow acquired as Spock strode out of the building, ramrod posture still in place. Kirk glanced over at him incredulously.


"Did Spock just make a joke?"


"I'll be damned. Maybe that green-blooded hobgoblin does have a funny bone. I thought his dominant Vulcan genes would've wiped it out."


Kirk grinned, hoping that he'd get to see more of that sardonic humor aboard the Enterprise. Spock still hadn't accepted Kirk's request for him as a First Officer, and Kirk couldn't blame him. If he were in Spock's shoes, he likely wouldn't want to be within 10 feet of the man that had accused him of not loving his recently deceased mother. Kirk winced, realizing he hadn't properly apologized for that, but also felt that it wasn't completely necessary, given that they'd both nearly died on the Narada together. Something about risking your life with another man makes such apologies a moot point. Still, maybe it would help get rid of some the tension that still lingered between them...

Chapter End Notes:

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