Disclaimer:  Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom.  This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2004 by SterJulie.  Rated PG.

 

After the Credits -- The Enemy Within

Ster Julie

 

"The imposter had some ... interesting qualities, wouldn't you say, Yeoman?"

 

Janice Rand tore the padd from Spock's hands, favoring him with a glare.  She moved to another part of the bridge to compose herself before bringing the same padd to Captain Kirk.

 

Kirk hadn't missed the exchange.  He was surprised to see that look on Spock's face, almost a leer as the Vulcan interacted with the yeoman.  Kirk's yeoman.  The Captain didn't have overt designs on Janice (although his "evil" side did as he  --and everyone else -- had found out), but he was still protective of her.

 

Kirk signaled Janice to his side.  She proffered the padd in her hand, trying desperately not to cry.  Turning his back on Spock, Kirk pitched his voice very low.

 

"What did Spock say to you?" Kirk asked.  Janice just rolled her eyes.  "Tell me," he ordered sotto voce.  Janice sniffed.

 

"He said..." she began, her chin quivering, "he said, 'The imposter had some ... interesting qualities, wouldn't you say, Yeoman?'"

 

Kirk's face clouded in anger, his jaw worked from side to side and his fists clenched.  He cast an angry glower to the upper level and saw Spock flinch as though he had been struck.  The two men locked eyes.  Kirk ordered Spock off the bridge with only a quick jerk of his head.  Obediently, Spock moved to the turbo lift and waited at attention for his captain.

 

Kirk grabbed the controls.  Once the doors were closed, he said, "Computer, take this lift offline, authorization Kirk alpha one alpha."  The lift car obediently slipped sideways and was still.

 

"Not a word from you, Spock," Kirk growled, "not a damn word."  The captain tried to pace in the small space but every time he drew nearer to Spock, Kirk got angrier.  He grabbed the lift controls again.

 

"Computer, restore lift to service, authorization Kirk alpha one alpha," he grumbled.

 

"Lift restored to service," reported the computer.

 

"Conference Room One," Kirk ordered.

 

Spock stayed at attention the whole time, not wanting to further annoy his captain.  Spock knew why Kirk was angry.  The psychic "bomb" Kirk had sent him with that glare on the bridge had nearly knocked Spock off his feet.  His mind raced to formulate a logical defense of his actions toward Yeoman Rand.

 

He couldn't.

 

Spock admitted to himself that his original intentions -- to ease the tension Rand had felt earlier by his use of humor -- were suspect and showed an incredibly poor lack of judgment.  Kirk's reaction was logical.  Spock wondered how long the good captain would assign him to scrubbing conduits.

 

The lift doors parted and Kirk stormed out across the corridor and into the conference room, expecting Spock to follow him like the proverbial lamb to the slaughter.  Spock swallowed and followed at a respectful pace.

 

Kirk pulled out a chair and hauled it against the wall.  He pointed to it, and Spock took a seat.  The symbolism was not lost on the Vulcan.  This room was used on rare occasions for trials.  The witness chair was frequently placed in the same spot where Spock was sitting.  He understood then that Kirk was considering bringing him up on charges.

 

Kirk paced a tight, angry path in front of Spock.

 

"I won't even ask what you were thinking, speaking to Janice that way," Kirk grated, "because I know that you were not thinking."  Kirk paced some more, then suddenly turned on Spock.

 

"What were you thinking?" Kirk shouted.  Spock swallowed again but did not answer, did not flinch at the way Kirk's loud voice hurt his ears or at Kirk's sudden nearness or even when Kirk's spittle sprayed his face.

 

"Do you have any idea of how much Janice was traumatized today?" Kirk continued.  "Of all the insensitive things to say.  I should bring you up on charges.  How it would look to have 'charged with sexual harassment' in your file!  Well, speak up, man!  Have you nothing to say in your defense?"

 

Spock merely crossed his arms and looked sheepishly at Kirk.

 

"Say something!" Kirk shouted.

 

"You won't like it," Spock mumbled.

 

"Say it anyway," Kirk ordered.

 

"At my last performance review," Spock began, "you told me to 'lighten up' around the crew, to make myself more approachable.  I thought that humor might lighten Miss Rand's tension after her ordeal."

 

"That's not what I meant!" Kirk bellowed.  "Besides, what you said wasn't at all funny!"

 

"I see that now," Spock said, hanging his head.

 

Kirk resumed his pacing.  Spock watched him, wondering what punishment Kirk was devising.

 

"I can't exactly charge you with conduct unbecoming an officer if you thought you were following my advice," Kirk began.  "And I can't throw you in the brig on bread and water with out charging you.  And I can't charge you unless Janice decides to press charges, and knowing her, she won't."  Kirk eyed his errant first officer with disdain.  He walked up to Spock and leaned into his face, placing his hands on the arms of the chair.  "AT – THE – VERY -- LEAST," Kirk emphasized, "a profound apology to Janice is in order."  Kirk stared at Spock, an evil gleam starting as he got a wicked idea.  "In the manner of her choosing," Kirk added with a flourish.

 

Kirk cheered inwardly at the fractional enlargement of Spock's eyes and the Vulcan's quiet gulp as he reacted to the captain's statement.

 

Bread and water, the brig, KP duty, housekeeping duty, conduit scrubbing, even flogging or keelhauling sounded much better.  What could the yeoman possibly come up with for Spock?  A public apology?  Sensitivity training??  /NO!/ Spock screamed mentally.

 

Kirk released his grip and stepped back.  His wicked grin remained.

 

"Watching you squirm would have been apology enough for me," Kirk said evilly.  "Good thing we're allowing my yeoman to mete out punishment."  Kirk moved to the intercom.

 

"Kirk to Yeoman Rand," he said.

 

"Rand here," came the quick reply.

 

"Report to Conference Room One on the double," Kirk requested.

 

"On my way," she answered.

 

Moments later, Yeoman Rand rushed into the room.  She stopped short at the sight of Spock in the "hot seat" and Kirk with his hands on his hips.

 

"Yeoman Rand, reporting as ordered," she managed, her blue eyes wide.

 

"At ease, Yeoman," Kirk said formally.  He paced close to the woman and crossed his arms.

 

"Mr. Spock has admitted to saying those terrible words to you on the Bridge, Janice," Kirk said less formally.  "Since you were the injured party, I think it would only be right to let you pick his punishment."

 

Janice's eye popped at that.  /He's joking!/ she thought.

 

"I couldn't do that," she demurred.  "Let's just forget it happened."  Kirk took Janice by the arms, turning his back on Spock.

 

/Make him squirm, Jan,/ Kirk mouthed.  "No, you were the wronged party," Kirk said aloud.  "I trust you to pick a suitable punishment."  /Play along./ Kirk added silently.

 

Janice moved over to where Spock sat and looked him up and down.  This was going to be rich!  She pretended to weigh several options, discarding all of them.  Spock followed the yeoman's movements with wary eyes.

 

After nearly a minute of feigned deliberations, Janice finally spoke.

 

"What I'd really like," she began, "is an apology."

 

Spock let out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding.

 

Kirk looked disappointed.

 

"That's it?" he complained.

 

"In private, Captain," Janice added, "if you don't mind."

 

Kirk's shoulders sagged.  "That's it?" he repeated.  Janice nodded shooing him toward the door.  Kirk moved reluctantly but turned to add, "I'm leaving the door open!" before he moved into the corridor.

 

Kirk started to pace outside the opened door to the conference room.  He resisted the urge to peek in, to stand at the door and try to catch a bit of their conversation.  He looked up in surprise at the sound of his yeoman's delighted giggle and moved back to the doorway.

 

Kirk was nearly knocked down by a smiling Janice Rand and a relaxed Spock.

 

"Everything all right, Yeoman?" Kirk asked.

 

"Yes, Captain," she replied, smiling.  Kirk spared Spock only one quick glance.

 

"You let him off easy, didn't you?" Kirk said to Janice.

 

"Hell, no!" she replied, quickly adding, "sir," at Kirk's raised brow.  "Mr. Spock will be helping me with my uniform maintenance from now on."

 

"Uniform maintenance?" Kirk repeated.

 

"Yes," she replied happily.  "Mr. Spock agreed to shine my boots!"  Kirk turned to his First Officer.

 

"Shining them?" the captain repeated.  "You should be kissing them!"  Spock bowed his head.

 

"You said that my punishment would be whatever Yeoman Rand decided," Spock reminded.

 

Before Kirk could reply to that, Janice took Spock's elbow and steered him away from a blustering Kirk.

 

"I have a pair that needs you attention right now, Mr. Spock," she said as she moved to the lift with the First Officer in tow.

 

Kirk just stared, speechless.

 

"Sensitivity training!" she said, shaking her head as the doors closed.

 

Kirk could hear Janice's musical laughter as the lift whisked the two officers away.

 

FIN