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NCC-1701

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“Captain’s log, stardate: 2821.5. We’ve just left Risa, having retrieved- hey, are you sure this thing is on?” Swiveling his chair around, Jason questions his communications officer.

“Yes.”

“Super sure?”

Cassandra levels him with a deadpan stare.

“Well, last time it wasn’t and I had to re-record like, thirty minutes of this pointless shit. So could you please double check?”

Keeping her eyes on Jason, Cass reaches over and flips a switch off. Then back on. “I’m sure. Sir.”

Well at least she said “sir” this time. Jason narrows his eyes at her. She smirks. Mumbling, “Thank you,” he turns back around facing the massive viewing screen. The only things to be viewed are stars. A clusterfuck of stars and more stars and hey, even more fucking stars. Jason had no idea he would ever get tired of stars.

“We’ve left Risa, having picked up Admiral Wayne for transportation to Andoria, where he will advocate for something, I don’t know what. Wasn’t really listening. I like those Andorians, though. The antennas are cool and they make really good ale. It’s blue. Turns your tongue blue when you drink it. Those fuckers really love the color blue.”

“Not all of us,” Stephanie intones. “Honestly, they make everything blue. Every-fucking-thing. Hate it.”

“Really?”

Her antennae twitch irritably. “Yeah. And I can’t get away from it.” She motions to her very blue skin.

“Huh.” He will have to return the birthday gift he already purchased for her. The very blue gift.

Jason hears a sigh and turns to his right.

“Drake, got something to add?”

Shaking his head, Tim continues entering figures into the computer. “I’m just not sure Andorian ale turning your tongue blue is what Starfleet wants you to be reporting on.”

“Please,” Jason huffs. “Like they actually listen to this. I know for a fact these are filtered through lower levels first, and anything important gets sent up. But this boring and irrelevant waste-of-my-time recording will only be heard by some Starfleet Academy cadet working for credit off their tuition. I used to work in that department.”

“You did work study, Captain?”

“Not everyone comes from a rich family, Drake.”

“Testify, Sir.” Steph pumps her fist in the air. “I did that too. Worked in the mess kitchen. You do not want to know what goes on back there.”

“Keep your hands on the helm, Brown.”

Steph waves her hand flippantly. “Please, I got this. Could fly this ship in my sleep. Done it before.”

Sighing again, Tim says, “Maybe that’s something you shouldn't be telling the captain.”

Stephanie turns around, looking between Tim and Jason, eyebrows raised. “Right. Okay.”

Jason doesn’t completely appreciate her sarcasm. “So anyway. To you, poor bastard sitting in a dark room without proper ventilation and that squeaky chair they refuse to replace, I’m sorry you have to listen to my voice. And my disrespectful crew.”

Finally pausing his work, Tim straightens and asks incredulously, “You didn’t pause it while we were talking?”

At Jason’s unconcerned shrug, Tim’s tone turns reproachful. “Captain, logs are important. The Starfleet code book clearly states that-”

“Tim, you’re such a geek,” Cass chimes.

Casting her a nod of approval, Jason agrees, “Thank you, Cain.”

“As your first officer I really-”

“Calm down, Drake. Get back to work. Input all that fun sciency stuff.”

“Fine,” Tim grumbles and goes back to leaning over the display.

“And why the fuck do you not have a chair?”

“Sir?”

“You’re always hunching over that panel.”

“They never gave me one.”

“Are you kidding me? And you never asked?”

Tim shakes his head.

“Dammit, Drake, go down to the supplies locker and find yourself a chair. It hurts to look at you.”

Tim leaves and Jason heaves a vexed sigh. “So we’re going to Andoria. End log entry.”

Chapter Text

“Can someone turn off that fucking alarm?”

“No.” Jason swears Cass is laughing at him internally. In fact, he’s pretty sure he just saw a flicker of a smile. “It’s part of Red Alert protocol.”

Jason growls, “There has to be a way to turn it off.”

“Not while Red Alert is in place.”

“Come on, it’s fucking distracting! And loud! Like, how am I supposed to properly run my bridge, no one can hear me unless I shout! Who the hell implemented this fuckery in the first place?”

“Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, Sir.”

“Well I want to punch Lieutenant Malcolm Reed in the face.”

“Captain,” Tim pleads, “Shouldn’t you be more concerned with the ship that is currently attacking us?”

“Wayne!” Jason barks, “Shoot them!”

Damian smiles, sharp and menacing, firing several torpedoes. “Four direct hits,” he reports. “Their weapons systems are offline.”

“Great. Now do something about that noise, Cain!”

The flashing red lights turn yellow and the alarm stops and Jason slumps back in his chair. “Whew. Alright. Now, tell me what’s happening, Drake.”

“Well, sir, we’ve been attacked,” Tim states seriously.

Jason angles his chair toward Tim slowly. “Wow. Brilliant deduction. Who attacked us?”

“Unknown. The computer doesn’t recognize the ship configuration.”

“What the hell do you know?”

“...Nothing. At this time.”

Jason runs his hand down his face with an exasperated sigh. “Cain, hail them.”

“Channel open.”

“This is Captain Jason Todd of the Federation Starship Enterprise.”

There is no reply.

“Why the fuck did you fire at us?” Jason sees Tim’s disapproving glance and Stephanie's poorly hidden laughter.

After a few moments a gravelly voice booms over the intercom. “Enemy vessel, you are trespassing. Remove yourselves.”

“Fuck, Cain, turn down the volume! Why is everything so loud on this ship? And you, trigger-happy McGee. First, you should put up a warning beacon if you don’t want people coming into your territory. A giant warning sign. It’s called manners. Second, verbal warning. You don’t just start shooting at ships. What if you’d knocked out our propulsion, then we’d be stuck in the space you want us to leave. Seriously. Just ask us to go and we will fucking go.”

“Go.”

“Right, got that. We’re going.” Jason motions for Cass to end the transmission. “Brown, turn us about, one-quarter impulse.”

“Only one-quarter?”

“Well. They were rude. We can take our time.”

Steph laughs. “Very well, Sir.”

“Captain.”

“What, Drake?”

“Shouldn’t we try to talk to them?”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, this is a first contact with an unknown species, we should establish communications.”

“Oh, right okay. So do you want to be the one to invite them over for tea? I’ll let you greet them in the shuttle bay. Maybe you’ll get to shake hands before they shoot you.”

Damian scowls at the ship on the viewing screen. “We could just shoot them again.”

Jason swings around. “Why? We’re leaving, there’s no point.”

“So that they don’t attack others?”

“Well fuck me, could it be you care about other people, Wayne?”

“They are a threat to innocents.”

“Heel, boy. Look, I know the Klingon half of you is bloodthirsty, but I refuse to be the captain that starts a galactic war.”

Stephanie snorts.

“What was that?”

“You really think that won’t happen, Captain?”

“You think it will?” Jason looks around the bridge, questioning his crew with raised eyebrows. By their expressions, they clearly think so.

“Fuck you all.”

Chapter Text

“What the fuck is that?”

“She’s mine. Sir.”

“You got it from the planet?”

“Yes. And I’m keeping her.”

Jason leans forward to get a better look. Damian scowls and tightens his grip on the… animal he’s holding. Not too tightly, of course. It looks like a fluffy, yippy dog. With a horn coming out the top of it’s head. It’s a unicorn dog.

Jason could make a stink about the fact that Wayne had decided to keep an alien without asking him first. Seeing as he’s the captain and all. But whatever. If it makes the kid happy, it’ll make Jason’s life easier.

“Fine.” Jason pulls back. “Just take it to the doctor first. Have it checked out. Don’t want it spreading some virus or alien doggy dander that makes people hallucinate.”

With the way their mission has been going, that would be right on par and Jason has about reached his limit of Freaky Shit That Happens in Space. He thought he saw a tribble in his quarters the other day. He’s now down one sock and has a nice phaser burn on his floor.

“Tt- she is cleaner than most of the imbeciles on this ship. Have you seen Drake’s quarters? Disgusting.”

Jason can’t really deny that. He needs to call another staff meeting soon. People have been getting lazy about general cleanliness. He’s not sure whether it’s a pet or an experiment, but there is some kind of living creature in Tim’s room.

Jason effects his most corny dad-like voice. “You will be taking care of it-” Damian scowls (pouts) up at him. “Her. Feed her, clean up after, take her for walks, all that good stuff. If I see her chewing on my ship, I’ll have Brown bring us right back to this planet and throw her back.”

“Aye.” Damian nods sharply and stomps away with his new pet.

Barbara sidles up next to Jason. “That was nice of you, Captain.”

“You’re surprised? I’m a nice guy.”

She hums, a smirk tugging at the corner of her lips. “Or maybe it’s that he would have kept it anyway, so you at least wanted to make it seem like you had some authority over the situation.”

Jason gives a significant glance to his stripes, the ones that identify him as the captain. Outranking Barbara and her insubordinate talk.

Barbara conveniently misses the action. “Plus, you like to spoil him.”

“Keep your voice down, Gordon. Don’t need you spreading how soft I am.”

“Isn’t it common knowledge?”

“Yeah, but we don’t talk about it, damn.” Jason sighs, starts down the hall and mutters, “that’s one of those unspoken rules.”

Chapter Text

The lift doors open with a swish and Jason steps out onto his bridge. His eyes scan from person to person, checking to make sure everyone is working happily. They land on the science station and he freezes, zeroing in on Tim. “Are you kidding me?”

He thinks it means something that Tim instinctively knows Jason is calling him out, when he wasn’t even looking. Tim cocks his chin to the side, showing he’s listening, but still focused on his work. “What?”

“Your chair! Where the hell did you get a captain’s chair?” Jason waves at the thing Tim is sitting in that looks nearly identical to Jason’s own, with that nice, big back and arm rests.

“The old storage room, where you told me to find one.”

“I meant, you know, a regular one. Like the one Cain is in.” Jason stalks forward and bends slightly to inspect it more closely. He gasps, “That’s my old chair!”

“Well this one has a cup holder, so...”

“I know it has a cup holder! I’m the one that asked for it to have a cup holder!”

Finally Tim stops monitoring his station and looks up at Jason. “That was a good request. Why’d you get a new one? This one is in perfectly good condition.” Tim accentuates the claim by leaning back, getting nice and comfortable.

“It hurt my back sometimes, when I had to sit in it for too long. And it was harder to turn- wait, that doesn’t matter. What matters is, you can’t have a captain’s chair, Drake.”

With a little kick, Tim turns around in a circle, testing out the spinning capabilities of the chair. “Why not? It was just sitting there, collecting dust.”

“Because one of the only perks to my job is having a chair that’s cooler than everyone else’s, and if you have it too, mine isn’t as cool.” Jason has given up all hope of keeping his crew’s respect, so may as well be honest. “Don’t take my only cool thing away from me, Tim.”

“You’re the captain of the Starfleet flagship,” Tim reasons. “I think that’s pretty cool in itself.”

“I used to think so too, until I actually had to do the damn job. You know what I get to do most of the day? Sign the forms Yeoman Allen shoves in my face every five minutes and then go back staring at the fucking view screen that always has nothing but stars whizzing by. I sit here and listen to your computers beeping and chirping all day. Does that sound cool to you?”

“I think it is when we meet an alien.”

Jason hates the part of himself that is flattered by Tim calling him cool (twice!) and scowls hard.

Tim goes on, “Like that time, when you got taken by the Metrons and had to fight that Gorn. You built a canon from like, four ingredients. That was totally cool.”

(Thrice!)

“Yeah, well, it wasn't so great when I had to actually fight a Gorn. And my hands smelled like sulfur for days.”

Tim nods in understanding, as if going hand to hand with a giant, intelligent alligator is something he’s had to deal with before.

“Give up the chair, Drake,” Damian calls from his post on the other side of the bridge. Jason looks over, surprised that Wayne would be on his side. But then Damian says, “Todd needs the distinctive chair like the stripes on his uniform. It’s the only way to know he’s the captain.”

“What?” Jason cries. “You’d know I’m the captain without those. I mean, I have that captain-y aura and shit. Like, people just see me and know I’m in charge.”

Damian doesn’t answer and goes back to looking at the pretty flashing lights on his console. Tim studies Jason for a minute, carefully looking him up and down. Then he sighs. “Yeah, okay. The kid has a point.”

“No he doesn’t,” Jason insists.

“Captain,” Tim says sweetly, “just think about it: some Klingons call for a chat about war and dishonor, they see me in a chair equal to yours, they might just think I’m the captain.”

“No, no. They’ll know I’m the captain because of my strong, commanding presence. You know what? Keep the chair. You’ll see.”

Slowly Tim turns back to his station and continues his work with a hidden smile. “As you command, Captain.”