Putting in Some Effort
“At least I tried!” The indignant shout from behind him scared Leonard McCoy so badly that he nearly spilled his drink all over himself. He turned to face…what sounded like Jim Kirk but certainly didn’t look like him. Far too much fur going on to tell for sure. “You didn’t even put in any effort, Bones!” the furred beast said, jabbing his claw into the embroidered name across McCoy’s heart.
He swatted the paw away. “Once a doctor, Jim, always a doctor.” He knew this creature in front of him was Jim from the nickname. No other proof was needed.
The beast tilted his head in annoyance. “Doctor Jekyll, though? Really?”
McCoy did not even bother to answer. “Aren’t you hot wearing all that tailored shag carpet?”
Jim slumped. “Oh my God, Bones, I’m so hot right now.”
He pointed to a corner of the room where a colorful bar had been set up for the Halloween Costume Party. “Then, it might be a good time to go and get a drink from William Wallace over there.”
Jim didn’t even need to look to know the person who’d dressed as the famous, historical Scotsman was their own famous Scotsman and Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott. “Okay, then!” He slapped McCoy hard on the doctor’s shoulder and stalked to the makeshift bar.
“What can I get ye, Captain? A nice brandy or scotch?”
Jim envied Scotty’s blue painted face. He decided to pick something less suffocating to dress up as next year. “Honestly, I think I need a water more than anything!”
Scotty stared at him. “Are ye alright, Jim?”
He sighed and glared at his engineer. “I’m probably sweating off the last five meals I ate in this thing! I’m not going to pass out without even being drunk.”
Scotty smiled and plunked a shot glass onto the bar. “Then, let’s work on getting you drunk, laddie!”
“No, no! I’m saying I’m so hot I need water not alcohol.”
Scotty held the whiskey bottle aloft and looked at Jim with an expression that reminded Jim of his first officer when he didn’t understand an idiom his captain, or especially McCoy, had just said to the Vulcan.
“I did not know that Sehlats wearing undergarments were characters featured in Terran storytelling, or Vulcan legend for that matter.” Speak of the proverbial devil. Spock arrived at the bar.
“What?” Spock’s observation registered in Jim’s brain with a little delay. He looked down at his boxer shorts. “I’m the Wolfman, Spock!” He looked his first officer over from head to toe. “Or should I say Spockula?”
Spock ignored the fusion of his real name with the fictional character he’d chosen as his festive costume. He sipped his bubbly red drink. “I am not convinced you are a Wolfman.”
Jim ignored Scotty’s badly disguised chuckle, but slapped his hand on the counter in silent askance of his water. “How come you and Bones didn’t put any effort into this?” he huffed as though personally insulted. Scotty pressed the water bottle into Jim’s waiting hand.
Spock lowered his drink. “I beg to differ, Captain. I have struggled to eat and drink through these difficult, inconvenient, ridiculous, yet necessary fangs for four consecutive hours.” His eyes flicked to his drink. “Additionally, I am in character by consuming this blood-colored beverage as Dracula drinks blood.”
Jim opened his water bottle as he eyed up the drink in Spock’s hand. “No one’s blood is carbonated, Spock.”
“That we know of, Jim.”
“That’s a Shirley Temple.”
Spock didn’t bat an eyelash. “You did not expect me to actually drink blood of any kind, did you?”
“No!” Jim shouted. “Most people use tomato juice, though, for drinking blood.”
“I do not enjoy tomato juice.” He sipped the Shirley Temple again, slowly.
Jim swallowed as Spock swallowed, then tried to cover that up by gulping his water. “And you still sound like you, not Dracula.”
“By that argument, you should only be communicating in whimpers and howling,” Spock countered. “Regardless, I never claimed that my costume was entirely accurate. I only wished to indicate that I am indeed putting thought and effort into my costume for this social event.”
They leaned against the bar in silence, sipping their beverages, until Jim slammed the empty bottle on the bar in frustration. “Oh my God, I’m so hot.”
“Your water does not appear to have helped you regulate your body temperature to comfortable levels.” His statement only earned him a heavy, frustrated huff from Jim. Spock shifted his weight as he hesitantly said, “I have a proposal for a cooling method, Captain.”
Jim had viciously opened another water bottle already. “Oh, yeah? I’m all ears.”
“Currently, you are all fur than ears, but I believe I understand.” Jim rolled his eyes at Spock, who cleared his throat. “In the legends, werewolves revert back to their Human form after a time, correct?”
“Yeah.” He tilted his head back to begin drinking the water quickly.
“I would not be averse to assisting you in shedding your fur and revert you back to my Human Captain.”
Jim choked on the water. Scotty reached over and pounded Jim’s back though his widened eyes phasered Spock where he awkwardly stood. “Did you just proposition me?” Jim asked, eyes watering as his lungs recovered.
Spock sipped his Shirley Temple to stall. “It appears I did,” he concluded to himself as much as he answered the question.
Jim’s glassy eyes grew larger. “What, like, here?”
This question, though worded far more vaguely, Spock understood clearly. He waved his hand dismissively. “Of course not here. My ideal location would be in a venue of privacy.”
“Excuse me, gentlemen,” Scotty said, quietly, as he slid from behind the bar to mingle nearby loudly with crewmembers unable to reach the small bar with their commanding officers blocking the way. Maybe taking their drink orders…loudly…would distract them from wanting to eavesdrop on the conversation going on at the bar.
“More private, huh?” Jim licked his lips, then spit out some of the fur that got stuck in his mouth. Charming, Jim. He tried to lean casually into Spock’s personal space. “I can work with that.”
Spock finished his drink and delicately set it on the bar. “Lead the way, Captain Wolfman.”
Jim smiled predatorily at him. “Rawr, Spockula,” he growled ridiculously.
Spock followed Jim through the ship, eyes fixed on the Wolfman’s still obviously Human and unfurred swaying behind, until they arrived at the Captain’s quarters. It took longer than either expected, however, to revert the Wolfman to his fully-Human form. More urgent needs took precedence.