I was shaken awake. Surprisingly with a lot of force considering how petite she was. I opened one eye and peered at her.
“Someone’s at the door.”
I closed the eye again. “Ignore it. They’ll go away.”
She sighed. “No, they won’t. They’ve been banging on it for like twenty minutes.”
I opened both eyes this time. I stared at her. I couldn’t quite conjure up her name. She’d ridden me good the night before, but honestly she had outstayed her usefulness. I wasn’t even sure why she was still there.
“Cause you drove me here, asshole.”
Oh, I’d say that out loud. I ran a hand over my unshaven face. I couldn’t really remember when I last shaved. I hated shaving. Really there was no reason to anymore anyway.
I heard the banging then.
“Son of a bitch,” I muttered and sort of rolled out of bed. I pushed up onto my knees by steadying myself on the mattress. “You should probably get dressed.”
She eyed me like I was a bug. “I am dressed. You’re the one who’s naked.”
“Oh.” I got to my feet and stumbled from the room and toward the stairs of the farmhouse. I still smelled like tequila. And perfume. And barf. Weird combination.
I made it down the stairs, though I slipped a couple of times and missed a few steps, and then walked the short distance to the front door.
She was coming down the stairs after me, “You should at least put on a robe or something!”
I opened the door.
Spock—my ex-first officer, ex-science officer, ex-friend, ex-almost boyfriend, though that one was probably more in my head—stood on the doorstep wearing a black coat and a black beanie. His expression was—as usual—eerily blank.
“Spock.” It was meant to be a question, though clearly I knew it was him, but it came out sounding far more reverent than I meant it to sound.
“Jimmy,” the woman behind me. “Put this on. You’re naked!”
Spock’s gaze went from staring at my gaunt, bearded face down my bare chest, down to the dangly thing between my legs, to my feet, and then all the way up to my face again.
She pushed the robe at me and with a glare at her, I managed to get it on.
The tone was as cold as a winter blast from Delta Vega. And he was as intimidating as one of the monstrous creatures from there too.
“I’m not a captain anymore, Spock.”
Which was totally true. I’d been offered a choice. Resign from Starfleet or face court-martial and possible imprisonment. Bones had wanted me to fight it and have the trial, certain I would be acquitted. But Spock was part of the group of Starfleet officers who would be testifying against me. I knew I didn’t have a chance.
“Who is this, Jimmy?” the woman shrieked behind me.
And really it was on the tip of my tongue to ask her who she was. I had no clue. She had amazing vaginal muscles, that much I knew.
“This is Spock. Come in.”
Spock stepped inside, but still said nothing other than his initial ‘Captain Kirk’.
I turned to her. “You, uh, you need to leave. I guess I’ll call someone to come get you.”
“There is a taxi service waiting outside for her,” Spock said coolly.
“Oh. Okay. So, um, see you.”
She glared at me. “You really are an asshole.” She went to the door and flung it open, but as she closed it behind her, she said, “Call me!”
I blinked and rubbed my face. “Yeah. Um. Anyway. What’s up? The Fleet decided to charge me after all?”
“No. Perhaps you would benefit from coffee,” Spock said. “And a shower.”
I waved that last part away but I did stagger into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. He followed me in, but continued to maintain silence.
“If you aren’t here to take me into custody, Spock. Just why are you here?”
“We need your help, Kirk.”
I barely kept from wincing. Somehow ‘Kirk’ was even worse than Captain. I didn’t know why. Well, okay, I did. Just before all the shit went down, Spock and I had been about to become closer than friends. I thought so anyway. There’d been that kiss. It held so much promise, I had begun to hope my feelings were not as unrequited as I’d thought. Hope was for idiots.
I poured myself coffee. I drank it black and bitter. Spock looked like he was carved out of stone.
“You want some?”
“As you are aware, I do not consume coffee.”
“Oh that’s right. I am aware of that. Well, too bad for you, I don’t have any tea. I’ve got some beer and some vodka. I drank all the tequila though.”
“I am not here on a social visit.”
I smirked at that. “Gee, really? What’s it been? Uh. Four and a half months?”
“Five months, one week, three days, twelve hours, and forty-two minutes.”
Spock looked at me with that cold stare again. I was pretty sure the creatures on Delta Vega would run from him.
I sighed. “In case you didn’t notice, I’m not at my best. And definitely not up for Federation visitors.”
“As I said…your help is needed.”
“My help?” I shook my head. “I owe them nothing. I owe you nothing.”
“Perhaps that is true.”
“No perhaps about it, Captain.”
Yes, Spock was captain of the Enterprise now. An unbelievable betrayal. But then Spock believed everything they’d said about me.
“I have nothing to say, Spock. You’d better leave.”
“We need your assistance in locating a missing person.”
“Huh?” I sighed. I didn’t want to know. I really didn’t. “Who? Who is missing?”
“Dr. Leonard McCoy.”
I stared at him. I could feel the muscles in my jaw clench and lock. I made a fist, ready to punch his blank Vulcan face.
Spock must have guessed my intention because he took a step back. He was so fucking calm about it too. I let my hand relax.
“What the hell have you done with Bones?”
“Dr. McCoy went missing during a routine landing party mission,” Spock said without inflection. “Our scans indicated he was no longer on the planet, Rinston. There were also no signs that he had perished there either. He simply ceased to be there.”
“And you just left him there?”
“He was not there to leave.”
I blew out a breath, my stomach twisting with emotional pain as well as the acidity of coffee mixed with booze. “Starfleet has trackers. Why come back to me?”
“You know Dr. McCoy better than any trackers. And it was at my request that we asked you to be part of the search.”
“Yes. You can, of course, refuse to part of the effort to locate him.”
I narrowed my eyes. “You think someone abducted him. This isn’t just to find him, but to rescue him.”
Spock did not reply and I had my answer.
“I have certain conditions.”
“What are we talking about here, Spock?”
“I am able to offer you the position of Commander as my temporary first officer.”
I snorted at that. “Nope.”
“That’s one of my conditions.”
His stare was icy. “Surely you do not think you will obtain back your position as captain?”
Now this made me laugh. “Oh, hell no. I don’t want to be part of Starfleet. Not your crew and not Starfleet. And that’s my condition.”
“I do not understand.”
“No uniforms. No orders. Nothing. If I come along with you, I’m not under your commander. Or those asshole admirals. I answer to me.”
“Discipline is needed in order to maintain order,” Spock said.
“Forget it then,” I said with a shrug. “I know an Orion pirate. I’ll get with him and we can go looking for Bones. I don’t have to help you. You came to me.”
I poured more coffee.
“I’m going up to get dressed. Maybe I’ll take a shower. Who knows? If you’re still here when I come back down then I’ll know you accept my terms. If you aren’t, I’ll contact my pirate friend.” I made it to the foot of the stairs.
“You have a pirate friend?’
By the time I finished showering and dressing—the tequila smell mixed with sexual fluids and barf was getting even to me—Spock was standing at the stove cooking breakfast. Eggs and potatoes.
“Smells good,” I commented as I came up behind him.
“You did not shave.”
“Hey you got a shower out of me. Be thankful.” I eyed the breakfast. “So? Then you accept me on your ship without being a crewmember?”
“In order to have security access to everything—”
“Oh bullshit. You can get me whatever access I need and we both fucking know it. Look, Spock, you do whatever. And you can fuck off anytime, really. I have other options. I’m going to find Bones whatever the hell you and your bosses do.”
“I believe it would be in our best interests to work together,” Spock said quietly.
“And in Dr. McCoy’s also.”
“So I’ll get the accesses I will need?”
I went to a cabinet and pulled something out. I tossed it toward Spock, who caught it automatically.
He stared down at it. “It is a box of teabags.”
I smirked. “Guess I had some after all.”