Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is copyright 2006 by Sterjulie. Rated PG.

After the Credits -- Arena



Doctor McCoy observed as Spock crossed over to the replicators and ordered his breakfast.

"You know, Jim," the doctor began, "You put on quite a show."

"When?" Kirk asked, puzzled.

"When the Melkots had you battle that Gorn," McCoy explained. "They let us watch the end of the proceedings."

"Us?" Kirk echoed.

"Well, we could see it on the main viewscreen," McCoy replied, "and I'm guessing that the broadcast could be seen all over the ship." The doctor noticed that Spock was now at the head of the food line. McCoy rushed to get his next words out before the Vulcan approached their table. "Anyway, you shoulda seen Spock, Jim. He was talking back to the screen like my ol'Aunt Ginny! If the situation hadn't been so dire, I would have sold tickets and passed out popcorn. Like I said, it was quite a show. In fact, it played out like an old morality play."

"And what would the moral be, Bones?" Kirk asked over his coffee.

Without missing a beat, Spock replied, "Never underestimate the range of the Vulcan sense of hearing." The Vulcan seated himself primly between the doctor and the captain. "Are you suggesting that I share a characteristic with one of your own relatives, Doctor?" he teased. "She must be a remarkable person indeed. Pity you didn't inherit any other of her fine qualities. Wait," Spock continued, "As I recall, you also spoke back to the viewscreen."

"Why, you..." McCoy began to bluster.

Kirk hauled the doctor up and moved him away from the table. "I've just come from one battle, gentlemen," the captain explained. "I don't need another."

"Your quarterly physical is today, isn't it, Spock?" McCoy reminded. "I'll just go and put my instruments in cold storage for you."

"Why should today be any different?" Spock replied.

McCoy nearly erupted before Kirk hauled him out of the room and into the corridor.

"It's always nice to come home," Kirk muttered.