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We All Have a Breaking Point

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Jim exited the turbolift onto Deck 5 running into a small crowd of people waiting to get on. Several 'good mornings' and 'have a nice days' were said with a bright smile as he waded through them. Others were emerging from their quarters and sauntering down to join the turbolift line. It was just after 1600 and everyone was flocking to the mess hall to get dinner after alpha shift ended. Jim was returning from alpha shift to grab a shower and a coffee before he reported for duty on night shift as well. He sauntered to his quarters smiling brightly to those flocking to the turbolift and exchanged friendly pleasantries on the way.

Once Jim reached his quarters, he slipped inside and as soon as the doors closed behind him, he fell back against the doors. The bright smile fell from his face, his shoulders slumped down from their once proud position they had held before they hit the doors, and his knees buckled to just keep him standing against the doors. For a few seconds he leaned there with his eyes closed before he took a deep breath and threw his top half forward forcing his legs to move so he didn't collide with the floor not opening his eyes until he had already taken a few steps. He made his way to the bathroom each step seemingly heavier than the last. He turned on the shower and grabbed a glance at himself in the mirror almost shocked to see himself. His eyes had bags under them barely hidden by the thin layer of foundation he put on the previous night. He had in fact worked from yesterday's alpha shift through todays alpha shift. He'd been awake for 22 hours and still had time to go, as he was scheduled to work beta shift tonight. He'd been filling out page after page of paperwork after the incidents of their last first contact mission that resulted in a disaster. He lost 20 crew members after a seemingly peaceful and gracious society decided that they were lower lifeforms and would best be served on a plate full of "swaxaste" sauce. His face was pale and his hair was slightly astray. His uniform was wrinkled to hell and it seemed ever so looser on his body. Sighing and shaking his head to try to clear the images of his dead cremates from his mind, Jim focused again at the task at hand finding he hadn't the energy to shower. He hadn't the energy for anything really, but he worked because the crew members he lost deserved at least that. He should be able to write their families some letter of comfort, to ensure them that they didn't die in vain, and to make sure every single one of those crew members got a medal for their bravery. He should be able to do that much. So Jim stepped into the shower with his uniform still on. At first it repelled the water but a few seconds the whole uniform was drenched in hot water. It hung on his body almost as much as the guilt that had been hanging on him for days. Eventually, it was just too much. Jim's kneed buckled and he fell forward only just catching himself on the shower wall with his hands. He locked his elbows and just let his head drop between his arms. He went to stand up again, to strip the clothes off, to cleanse himself of the last few days but he could barely bring himself to stay standing. So, he stayed that way and it wasn't long before Jim forgot where he was and what he was doing. Jim's consciousness was swimming in a pool of guilt, and it was drowning.

Spock had been in his quarters when Jim returned and although he does not actively make an effort to listen in to others through the walls, his Vulcan hearing can't help it. So, he of course heard the shower in their shared bathroom turn on and although he didn't note the exact time, he knew at least an hour had passed by now. Spock considered the many possibilities for which their shower would be running for over an hour combined with his observations of Jim over the last 48 hours. He began with the least invasive inquiries first. He theorized it may have been possible for Jim to have been called away and he forgot to turn the shower off.

"Computer. Where is the location of Captain Kirk?"

"Captain Kirk is in his quarters."

This caused Spock some concern and decided is may be prudent to offer assistance. So, Spock approached their shared bathroom and called Jim's name through the door. He received no response so this time he called much louder, also receiving no response. Spock decided invading Jim's privacy in order to confirm his safety was prudent so, he announced his entry before typing in his emergency override.