… … .. . .. … …
Jim lay prone in the Sickbay bed, swathed in bandages and in a blissful state of unconscious.
Spock knew that. So the only real reason he had for hesitating at the doors to his Captain's room was that it was a breach of privacy. It wasn't actually, because Kirk had specifically requested he do him this favor, which required his presence in his room. It still seemed a breech of proper etiquette to enter the man's room without him.
Pushing aside his illogical discomfort, he keyed the code into the panel and entered the room. It was…not what he was expecting. The bed was neatly made, the desk devoid of unnecessary mess, and the floor was visible in most places. To his surprise, the majority of covered walk space was filled with stacks of antique books. They looked surprisingly well preserved, despite their position on the floor. His eyes fell on the shelving unit in a far corner of the room.
He surveyed it quickly, finding no logical arrangement of the mementos found there. There was already little logic to the practice of keeping something from each of their missions, but he allowed for the human expression of sentimentality. With a slight discomfort, he placed the claw he was holding on the shelf, beside the many other items. It was, specifically, the claw Doctor McCoy had removed from Jim's arm after beaming up from being attacked by the wild animal.
Looking over the collection more closely, he noticed an unsettling number of claws and teeth, labeled for the animal they came from. He noticed the small stack of paper cards, pristine and white, that sat on the edge of the shelf next to a pen. It seemed Jim was more than prepared to make yet another paper placard for his trophy. Feeling a little curling of pleasure at being included in this ritual, Spock quickly wrote the required information and tucked the card under the claw. If Jim was displeased with it's placement, or desired to write it out himself, he was free to do so upon his release from Sickbay.
A PADD, sitting on the edge of the top most shelf caught his attention. It was an illogical place for it, as no one would see it there, though he could not recall any missions where such an item would hold value. It was illogical to pry. Curiosity was a baser part of his nature, though, so he plucked it from its place and moved to the chair at Jim's desk to sit down and look it over.
It was not locked, or protected in any manner, which appeared odd. He found on it a selection of saved files, each one labeled only by date. Finding the first, he opened it with only a moment's hesitation.
… .. .
Dear Diary…Just kidding. That'd be weird, wouldn't it? The Captain of a starship keeping a diary? No? Never mind.
What this is, though, is a chronicle. This entry being the inaugural, of course. Now what, you may find yourself asking, would a Captain have to chronicle that didn't belong in official Starfleet logs? Certainly not sexual encounters, damn that new found maturity. Seriously, a man can not live on stolen kisses from a few overly enthusiastic natives alone.
That's beside the point…because that isn't what this is for. This is instead, a list. A tribute, even, to the loss of my shirts.
Yes, I'm one hundred percent serious.
Here's the thing. Even though this is the first time it's happened, I have a really distinct feeling it won't be the last. That's mostly because of how it happened. Now that is a spectacular story.
One which I fully blame Scotty for. He assured us that the weird atmosphere wouldn't disrupt the transporter. That was utter bull. Oh, sure, we were fine physically, but there's nothing quite like beaming down to meet some dignitaries and finding yourself shirtless when you get there. The poor dignitaries thought it was a cultural thing and tried to strip to accommodate me.
Uhura was furious, trying to straighten it all out. Funnily enough, Pike didn't seem so upset when he found out. I suppose it could have gone worse. Jeez, I must be tired. I just had to respell that word three times.
Any way, Spock was looking at me like I was inept. I really didn't deserve that, but what should I expect? Man he hates me. Bones freaked out though. He insisted on being taken back up with a shuttle. Uhura went with him. So me and Spock…Spock and I…stupid grammar…teleported back up. My shirt was still nowhere to be found. I have a niggling suspicion that, wherever Archer's beagle is, it now has my gold command shirt as well.
… .. .
Spock raised an eyebrow, closing the document. Jim's suspicions about his shirt had proven quite true. Allowing himself, in the privacy of Jim's room, to feel amusement at the little entry, he considered opening another. It was not his place to read, as they were private documents for the Captains recollection only. And yet he found himself opening another file.
… .. .
I knew it. I just knew it. This is officially the second shirt I've lost.
I also, officially, am of the opinion that Sulu can suck on a bitter weed if he thinks I'm going to help him collect plants again after this. The god damn thing came up to my waist. It was a wriggling mass of thorns and some weird acid thing that burned like all hell.
I know it burned because, while trying to uproot it, a thorned tentacle, because damn it that was not a vine, caught me by the waist and I ripped my shirt getting away from it. Not content to just take my shirt, it went and vomited acid on me.
Bones said I was lucky I was allergic to it because the histamine in my system reacted with the acid poison and made it work less…or something. All I know is that it hurt like hell and I sill have a vial of that shit in my collection. Who knows, it may come in handy some day.
And Sulu brought the damn thing aboard anyway.
… .. .
Shirt number seven met its demise today. And dear god it was a fitting funeral. It was about time one got destroyed because of a person, rather than a thing.
That said, Spock is a cock-block.
Not that I don't appreciate the fact that he saved my life. No point in getting laid if the natives of this planet are like praying mantises or black widows, or something. Seriously, I know orgasms are 'little deaths', but how smart is it, really, to kill a guy while he's getting it on? Doesn't really lead to having a lot of children for humans. Which they aren't, so I suppose it works for them.
Anyway, Spock is totally my hero.
She'd just destroyed my shirt and was making eyes at my pants when he found me. Oh…yeah…I forgot to mention that this princess had kidnapped me with the intent of sleeping with and killing me. One of my weirder encounters, to say the least. Defiantly not one of my prouder moments. That said, I checked Spock's report. He did mention the incident, but he left out the part where I had ran behind him and was clinging to him like a small child.
Embarrassed? Me? Nope. No embarrassment here. Honestly.
… .. .
I hate you Spock.
Okay, not really, especially after everything you've been doing lately. Have I mentioned how awesome you are…why am I addressing this to you?
Have I mentioned how awesome he is?
I probably haven't. He's great though, really. He's been playing chess with me, which we found out neither of us really knew how to play. That was actually pretty funny. Bones taught us. All three of us have been hanging out, which is great, because if I'm going to be friends with Spock, I want Bones to be friends with him too.
Back to why I hate him.
Lucky shirt number thirteen. That's right. Spock's to blame for the loss of one of my shirts. He could have warned me not to stand so close to the power coupling while he was overloading it.
No, I'm not as stupid as I just sounded. We needed to break into a building and there was a field around it. I was trying to tinker with the panel to bring it down when he went a more direct rout and overloaded the coupling they were using as a power source for it. For the record, my hand stung from finding that out. Who makes a field that actually hurts?
Any way, my shirt got caught in the wave of destruction, by which I mean a shower of sparks that caught it on fire. So much for that whole fireproof bull they fed us. Clothes aren't supposed to burn damn it. I guess the real blame lies with the pool of liquid I had trudged through earlier that day. It was most defiantly flammable. Proven by the fact that we flambéed some people using it.
Thank god my pants didn't catch fire too.
… .. .
Just got back from a mission, don't actually have a lot of time. I was told I had to rest for half an hour and put a new shirt on before we could go back down. It was a war zone down there. I caught a phaser to the flank.
Not the prettiest graze I've ever gotten, but damn Bones is a miracle worker. Barely pink now.
And yes, to a certain Vulcan who insist it isn't a miracle, it is. I know, you expect those kinds of things daily from our crew but sometimes it takes a little extra help to keep me in one piece.
… .. .
Fuck. I shouldn't have even bothered putting a shirt back on. That's two in one day. Fucking dignitaries.
… .. .
Okay. Note to self, little angry Vulcans are almost as dangerous as big angry ones. Almost because, even though they're harder to reason with, they can be picked up.
That said, this had to be the cutest reason to lose a shirt. It only took fifty of them to find one.
…Does it sound weird saying I lost my shirt for a cute reason? Because it sounds a little weird to me.
So yeah, we were delivering supplies to New Vulcan. (No I don't care about what it's really called because there is nothing wrong with being sentimental, Spock. Just be glad I stopped calling it Bob.) I was on this tour with old Spock, who by the way is a complete liar. Seriously. They'd already met each other. Bastards(not really, but I know Spock understands that sentiment anyway).
It's a bit weird being around him, the old one, too, because he has this new life now and even though he sees someone I'm not he's finally realized I'll never be the man he knew. Not that I won't be awesome, but I'm just not the same.
Depressing existentialism is done now.
So he was showing me around and I sidestepped this angry sehlat. I think all the creatures they've brought to the new colony are suffering just as much as the people. It's a real shame. Right…story…I dodged the angry little bear and stepped into this kid.
The pair of them couldn't have been older than seven. Actually, now that I think about it, all the kids seem to be the same age. Weird. It was like there were age tiers or something. Maybe they have a ridged allowance in their culture for when they're allowed to have kids? I should ask Spock.
Damn it. I'm getting distracted again.
So I stepped into this kid on accident and apologized immediately. The shorter girl with him did not like me touching him though, and went off on me. They were clearly together, which is freaking adorable. Probably illogical, too, since they were both so young, but who cares? You can't argue against little kid love being the cutest thing on any world. Well, old people love is pretty cute too…
When did I get so sappy?
Bah. So the little one went off on me, telling me the other boy was not mine to touch. If you've never been tackled by an angry seven year old Vulcan, I would suggest never provoking one into it. Not that I really provoked her…Old Spock lifted the kid off of me, and the tyke took a long strip out of the front of my shirt with her.
Her little boyfriend was all over her in a second, holding her hand and chastising her for attacking me. Like I said, adorable. Spock, the younger one, looked at me like I was some kind of idiot when I made it back, though considering that my under shirt was in shambles and my command tunic was nowhere in sight, he was probably wondering how I managed to lose it somewhere that nice and peaceful. I didn't bother explaining.
… .. .
Spock set the PADD down a moment, considering the things he had just read. It never occurred to him to keep an actual count of how many times his Captain had lost his shirt. It seemed like an inevitability of their missions that was not worthy of scrutiny. He could recall each incident with perfect clarity, but reading through each one as Jim saw them was…insightful.
It seemed this too was part of his routine. Over the course of the first year of their mission, Jim had so far made over a hundred entries. He felt the edges of his lips lift into a smirk, almost impossible to deny. He didn't have to, because he was alone. Spock picked the PADD back up.
… .. .
I didn't do it. Honestly. I was minding my own business this time. One of the other people on the away mission touched something they weren't supposed to.
All the same, it pulsed or something and gave off this weird wave of mood altering…something. I'm still a little hazy on it.
I got beamed back in a pretty odd mood. Odd being that I was hitting on everyone. I know I'm a bit of a horndog, but man, I know better than fraternizing with my crew. So most everyone was ignoring me. Uhura kind of looked amused actually, I think. Again, a little fuzzy.
Spock looked like I'd ran on the bridge butt naked, which actually would have been pretty funny. He clearly didn't think so, which I can't blame him for. I mean, me, hitting on him? That's just…yeah.
Chekov went bright red, poor kid. He has way too much hero-worship going on to say no to me. Thank god Sulu took offense at that, having been on the away mission with me. He was, at that point, running around with his sword out, defending everyone's honor. Uhura was not amused by his 'fair lady' comment. I was.
So when I started 'threatening Chekov's innocence', he totally tried to cleave me in two. My shirt didn't survive the encounter.
I didn't hit on Bones when he finally found me to inject the cure. Is that more or less weird?
… .. .
It's like the universe it out to make me look like an idiot in front of Spock. On the 100th commemoration of my first loss, I made the biggest fool of myself yet. I'm sure of it. The funny part is, we were on this totally peaceful planet. Just animals and plants.
Neither of which were the reason my shirt met an untimely end.
No, that little gem was caused by a poorly placed rock and a short cliff. Spock and I were off exploring a ways away from everyone else. Specifically, I wandered off and he followed to keep me out of danger. Normally I would protest that I don't need an escort, but after what happened, it would be a moot point.
Spock was inspecting this bug sitting on a plant and I headed to the cliff edge to see where the sound of water was coming from. Turns out there was a river down there, not that I got to ever see it. See, at that point this stupid little rock got in my way and I tripped. Yes, I tripped off the edge of a cliff. It was only about ten feet high, but not the safest thing. It wasn't too steep, but it was rocky and in the process of tumbling down it I cracked my head against another rock.
Damn rocks are out to get me.
Next thing I know, I wake up in Spock's arms, dripping wet. We both were. He was carrying me back up to where the rest of the landing party, and Bones, were waiting. Pride lost the ensuing battle of trying to get out of his arms because the concussion had a head start…okay…bad pun.
I asked him what happened to my shirt. He said it had been irreparably damaged by my fall, so I suspect more rocks made a point of attacking me on my way down. It certainly felt like it. Apparently he had been smart enough to use a controlled slide to get down the side of the cliff and fish me out of the water before I drown. Seriously. How many times am I going to own this man my life?
I don't remember what happened after that because Bones knocked me back out.
… .. .
Ha! I wasn't the first person to loose his shirt this time.
That said, why Spock, must everything you do be better than me?
We got taken prisoner. I know, not exactly the story you want to start with 'ha' but what can I say. It isn't so bad now that we got out of there. Both of our shirts were shredded. This dominatrix bitch tore them while we were chained to the wall.
Man, I have to say, I never thought I'd be envious of Spock's chest. He so lean.
Feelings of inadequacy aside, we did get whipped. Not the funniest experience. Not the worst, either, oddly enough. I don't think Spock realized I was specifically goading her. I mean, yeah, I'm a bit of a jerk in those situations, and really, who can blame me? But I seriously dug deep. Kept the lash off Spock's back. Flayed mine open pretty good, but that's what a dermal regenerator is for anyway.
Is it weird that I think his blood is a pretty color? Because I kind of do.
… .. .
Okay. This has got to stop.
Not the chronicling. I'm going to keep going with that.
No. I need to stop with this wacked-up dependency I've got on Spock. This latest shirt wasn't exactly destroyed, but I'm certainly not going back to get it.
That said, for the sake of regularity, I have to put this in here: Spock is a cock-block. I tried saying that ten times fast once. It…didn't end well…
Moving on. I wasn't the one he cock-blocked. This ambassador was. Everything had been going perfectly up until that point. I took off to get a bath because honestly, the party he threw left me exhausted. Apparently he saw me head off to the baths and Spock saw him leering after my ass.
I was half naked when he stepped in and had the water running. Of course, I was sure I had done something wrong culturally so I started apologizing. Never say getting cupped while you're trying to apologize is anything less than utterly distracting. My meager protest, filled with alarm, was apparently unsatisfying because he bit my neck. I think it was supposed to be the fun, sensual way, but it certainly didn't feel like it.
That might have something to do with me apparently being allergic to the guy's spit. Definitely something to keep in mind.
So Spock barged in and yanked the guy off of me. It took about half a second for me to end up behind him, hiding from the ambassador. When my neck started swelling up because of the guy's slobber, Spock threw him into the tub and dragged me out to where Bones was. There is nothing weirder than being paraded half naked through a party by your stoically pissed off First Officer. I beamed back up and Spock finished the rest of the negotiations.
I think the ambassador is afraid of him now.
… .. .
Spock couldn't keep a smug smile from his face as he opened the last entry. It was illogical, to be proud of his actions, but behaving illogically was something he was slowly growing accustom to in Jim's presence.
… .. .
I can totally explain the limp. Not that I'm limping. I made a point of not limping. I think I did a pretty good job of it, too. Bones only gave me a cursory glance and Spock…well if he did notice, which he probably did, he figured out I didn't want to tell anyone.
I'm not actually injured, but my pride took a pretty good beating.
I'm still a little freaked, right now. My hands are shaking.
What happened was, we got put into this…simulator…on this planet. It was so real. Apparently we got captured shortly after landing. It's so hard to remember what actually happened. I'm told we were stripped and hooked up to these machines. Because that's what I needed, my crew seeing me naked and strapped to a giant, soul sucking computer.
The limp is because we had these needles digging into our arteries and since humans have one in each leg…yeah. Apparently they were to inject some drug. The beds we were strapped to were supposedly recording our hallucinations. Since it got destroyed, there's no official record of what happened to us.
I'm not telling anyone. Not even you.
The cursory events of how I remember the incident were basically beaming down and being attacked. Instead of being captured, I remember getting away and calling for help. Though I did end up shirtless as some point in my simulation too. Spock and Bones beamed down to assist me. I…Christ…I watched them die in front of me.
Seeing them alive…
I was a little too out of it to realize I had kissed Bones on the cheek. He didn't hypo me in annoyance because apparently the look on Spock's face at being hugged by his naked Captain was worth keeping me alive.
I didn't tell anyone, but Spock hugged me back.
… .. .
Spock felt a chill in his spine. Jim had been so broken when they found him. Slowly, their missions had been gravitating from the amusing narratives the had first chronicled his lost shirts. It seemed more often than not someone died on a mission now.
Jim hadn't told them what he saw. His report to Starfleet was the barest of all. He had a tendency to embellish them and make a production of his reports. This one was woefully lacking, even in what was considered necessary by Starfleet standards.
Spock looked back up at the shelf, eyes falling to the claw. Perhaps…Jim needed a reminder that there were good missions too.
… .. .
Jim stretched a little, glad to finally be free of Sickbay. He had snuck out of there, because honestly, Bones would never let him leave if he had any say.
As he entered his room, his eyes fell immediately to the new claw on his shelf. The neat, flawless writing of his First Officer labeled it perfectly, just like all the others. He grinned, wondering briefly how many times the word illogical crossed Spock's mind while he was in here.
His eyes fell to the PADD sitting on his desk and he scowled. It was, in fact, the same one that should be on top of his shelving unit.
With a moment's hesitation, almost afraid of what he would find, he turned it on. A new entry had been made on the PADD, labeled only by the date. Feeling just a little giddy, but mostly curious, he opened the document and sat down to read it.
… .. .
The Captain…Jim, suffered from various injuries today while participating in an explorative mission on the planet. Due to his fondness for vague descriptions, I shall leave it at that.
In the process of receiving his injuries, his shirt was, unfortunately, a casualty. A most illogical phrasing, as a victim is often predominantly sentient, but acceptable. As is consistent with other such losses, it was irreparably damaged. It also, consistent with the proven pattern of Jim's unfortunate encounters, proved necessary for me to interfere.
He was, at the time of the loss of his shirt, inspecting a small animal, similar in appearance to a Terran rabbit. It was the young of another creature not too far from the clearing we were in.
His unnecessary prodding cause the creature to emit a loud, high pitched sound to alert its mother. The elder was far larger, approximately four feet in height and possessing pronounced, sharp teeth and claws. Not unsurprisingly, it launched itself at Jim, teeth and claws shredding his shirt and chest.
We fired phasers at the creature, deterring it, but not injuring it. Jim stumbled behind me, no doubt with the intent of shielding himself in case of further attack. When we beamed aboard, he requested I place the claw of the creature, having been embedded in his arm at the time of attack, with his collection. Doctor McCoy discovered he was experiencing an allergic reaction to the grass.
It is most fascinating that he has attained adulthood when he proves to be allergic to something on most every planet we encounter.
The back of my shirt is irreparably stained and somewhat damaged by his clinging. By my account, this is the sixth shirt of mine that has been destroyed in my association with him.
… .. .
Jim's raucous laughter could be heard through the surrounding hallway. From now on he was going to be keeping track of Spock's shirts too, because only six just wasn't fair.
… … .. . .. … …