DISCLAIMER: Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek, lock stock and barrel. They own the names, the faces, and the places. They own the uniforms, the phasers and the ships. They own one heck of a lot of story lines. They do not, and cannot own the hearts and minds of the fans. Fan fiction is as old as the second story, written in response to the first. That being said, in this day of litigation, I am nevertheless required to preface my addition to fan-fiction with a disclaimer (although some believe that Trek has crossed into that land of public domain). Assuming, arguendo, Paramount has interests to protect (and I take no position on this scholarly debate in intellectual property law), I hereby state that this story is written for the enjoyment of the author, and no infringement of any copyright is intended: no profit is intended, realized, anticipated, nor will any be accepted. The story contents are my creation and property, and is copy right by me, writing as "Sheila Cochran." The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Sheila Cochran and is copyright (c) 2001 by Sheila Cochran.

This little piece was inspired by Cheree's short piece "Miri: Sexual Politics." The story stuck with me, and a couple of weeks ago, this little piece came to me full-blown. So who was I to argue with the Muse? This is my first attempt at a bit of fan-fic, so feedback would be helpful. I've run it by Cheree already, and obtained her permission to post it to this list.



Misdirection

Sheila Cochran



"So?" Bones leaned over the table.

"So what?" I asked, as if I didn't know. Bones gave me one of his patented "you know what I mean" glares. I sighed and took another sip of his best Romulan Ale. "Yeah, I talked with him."

"And?" The doctor settled back into his seat, like he could be there for as long as it took. 'Damn him' I thought, 'he always could outwait me.'

"And I told him I'd find a way to get Mendez to request Rand's transfer. That Jose owes me a favor anyway." Which was, strictly speaking, true. But that wasn't the point, and Bones knew it.

"And Spock bought it?" The doctor raised an eyebrow. Sometimes I wonder if Bones realizes how much he and Spock resemble each other, how very alike they are. Of course, I didn't say anything. I never do. Neither one would appreciated the remark.

"Yeah, he bought it." Bones just stared at me, so I continued.

"He gave me one of those looks, like I just crawled out from under a rock, and should probably just crawl right back. I felt like a first class, grade-A jerk. And I hadn't even done anything." That was the worst part. I hadn't asked Mendez to take on Rand. Jose had arranged the transfer himself, and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

"Damned right you haven't done anything. It's not like you really arranged the transfer." Bones took a sip. "Any notion why he requested her?"

"It was a lot of little things, but I think the thing that clinched it was the coffee."

"The coffee?"

"Yeah. You remember when we ran into Balok?" Bones nodded. "While our systems were down, Rand used a handphaser to heat up some coffee. Seems she's an absolute genius when it comes to cross-system usage. Even Scotty's impressed, and you know he doesn't impress easily. Well, word spread around last time we docked at Starbase 11. Next thing I know, I get a message saying she's being transferred in ninety days."

"I suppose it really is for the best," I continued. "Jose's people are top of the line. Duty on a Starbase is just the kind of challenge Rand needs right now to build her confidence. I just hate to lose her, that's all."

Bones gave me that glare again.

"O.K. That's not all. But I'm her commanding officer. I can't get into a relationship with her."

"Damned right you can't." Bones paused and took another sip. "Not while she's on the Enterprise. Not while she's under your command." The doctor waited a couple of heart beats.

"Oh."

Just that. I had been so caught up in being mad at Mendez for requisitioning (part of my brain kept calling it "stealing") Rand that it hadn't occurred to me that he might be doing me a favor. Once Janice Rand was no longer under my command, no longer my yeoman -- well--. Suddenly, I was feeling a lot better about the galaxy, and my little part of it.

Bones nodded at me. "So what do you think Spock's gonna do?"

That was the real issue, wasn't it? "Well, after our little talk, I don't think he'll be trying to arrange Chris' transfer. It's going to be all I can do to restore his faith in my integrity. You're gonna owe me big for this, you know."

"Whatever it costs, Jim. I don't want to lose the best head nurse in Starfleet. Besides, Chris is more like a daughter to me, what with Joanna being so far away."

"I know that, Bones. Believe me, I don't want to lose her either.

"I've gotten to know Christine pretty well since Exo III. She's made of good stuff." I smiled and poured myself another drink. "Too bad we can't seem to convince Spock of that."

Bones harrumphed, and settled into his seat again. "Yeah, right. Rearrange the galaxy and turn the Klingons into pacifists while you're at it. All I know is, I damned near had a heart attack when I found out Spock was reviewing her entire record."

"Spock reviewed her entire service record?"

"Yes, that too. But he was reviewing her entire record. Everything. Elementary school papers. Hobbies. High school crushes. I tell you, Jim, Spock must have been looking for something. The only thing I could think of was he's looking for some excuse to get Chris transferred off the ship. Nothing else makes sense."

"You don't think he's suddenly developed a crush on her?" I teased Bones. He gave me a dirty look. "Right. Look, I think I've convinced him not to try to arrange a transfer. We'll just have to keep an eye on him, that's all. Chris is a professional. Pretty soon Spock'll see that nothing is happening, and it will all blow over."

"I hope you're right, Jim" Bones responded. "Say, how do you think Rand will do at one of those poker games Starbase 11 is so famous for?" And we both fell into the familiar comfort of discussing Starfleet personnel.

As I made my way back to quarters that night, two hours later than I'd planned, my earlier conversation with Spock kept replaying in my head. Spock really looked as if the idea of getting Christine Chapel transferred off the Enterprise had never entered his mind. Spock must be a better liar than I thought. Guess those lessons in poker are starting to pay off. Good thing, too. He'll probably need that skill some day.

After all, Spock couldn't really be interested in Chris. Could he? My step faltered, then I chuckled at my moment of whimsy. Naw, no way. I must really need some sleep.



The End

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