Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is copyright © 2006 by Sterjulie. Rated PG.
After the Credits -- Obsession
"Really, Jim, I should haul you in for a psych eval," Doctor McCoy groused. "I never saw anyone so, so obsessed before."
Captain Kirk slammed down his meal tray in the Officer's Mess. "We've been over this," he grated. "Over. Done. Period. Now, move on."
McCoy looked at Spock for support. "Well?" the doctor prompted.
"Well, what?" Spock replied.
McCoy threw up his hands. "Don't you have anything to say?"
Yes," Spock replied. "We will have to craft our reports carefully so that the captain is not 'hauled up' on charges, or anywhere else."
McCoy barely kept himself from doing a spit take with his coffee. "Are you suggesting that we lie, Spock?"
Spock pulled himself to his full height, affronted by the physician's mere suggestion.
"Don't be insulting, Doctor," he muttered, crossing his arms in front of his chest. "I merely pointed out that we must be careful in our choice of words. The captain did attain his objective. He neutralized the destructive capabilities of the cloud creature."
"You mean he killed it," McCoy retorted.
"Yes," Spock agreed. "Pity that we could not examine it further."
Kirk raised his hand as if to signal, "Hey, I am still in the room."
"Number one," Kirk began in his most no-nonsense, alpha-male, I'm-the-captain-now-hear-this voice, "you will write your reports as you always do, by the book, with all honesty, and without any massaging of the facts. Number two, whatever repercussions come from my actions in this mission are purely my responsibility, understood? And number three, whatever charges you feel you must file, whatever tests you feel you must run," Kirk paused to take a deep breath, "do your worst."
McCoy squirmed uncomfortably. "Jim," he began, "it's just that you were swift to condemn the ill patients on Theta 7 waiting for the perishable drugs we carried in order to settle a score with the cloud that killed your captain on the Faragut."
"It was a difficult decision to make," Kirk defended himself, "but in sacrificing a few lives, I saved millions more, gentlemen, millions. Kirk shrugged. "So I was a little obsessed..."
"Obsession is a form of insanity," Spock observed.
"And guilt can be a powerful inducement to do whatever is needed to defeat an enemy," Kirk retorted. "Look, the mission is over. The creature is destroyed and Theta 7 has its drugs. File whatever report you need to file. If there are any repercussions, well, I'm a big boy. I can take whatever Starfleet can dish out." The captain pushed away his tray, but not before throwing back his now- tepid coffee. "Good evening, gentlemen."
"Good evening," Spock replied.
"Sweet dreams, Jim," McCoy added.
* * *
Kirk prowled the corridors of his ship long after the conversation ended with Spock and McCoy. Kirk admitted to only himself that he was afraid, very afraid that Starfleet would do more than just slap his hand this time. They could very well take away his beautiful lady and give her to someone else. He tried to convince himself that there were no other choices but the actions he took. At the beginning of the chase he was certain of his actions, but as the evening wore on to the wee hours of the morning, Kirk grew less and less sure.
When he finally arrived at his own cabin, he found the official mission reports of the First Officer/Science Officer and the Chief Medical Officer completed and sitting on his desk, awaiting his signature. Kirk signed off on both padds without reading either one of them -- at first. Curiosity won out, and by the time he finished reading them both, the captain was nearly in tears. Each report was truthful and scrupulously accurate, yet neither account condemned Kirk's actions. Based on the pair of reports, Starfleet would not be able to convict him of any wrongdoing.