Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom.  This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2005 by SterJulie.   Rated PG.


After the Credits: Tomorrow Is Yesterday



"What?" Captain Kirk said, peering over his dinner tray at Doctor McCoy's modest dish of pasta salad.  "No fried chicken?  No mashed potatoes?  No cornbread or collards?"


"Can't eat that way every day, Jim," McCoy answered as he pushed his food around the plate.  "I'd end up looking like you."


Kirk harrumphed at that and dropped down into the next seat.  He gave Mr. Spock, who was seated across from the good doctor, a trademark grin and friendly nod.  Spock scarcely acknowledged the captain.  Kirk dropped his gaze to Spock's tray upon which was a bowl of broth and a mug of tea, both untouched.  Kirk looked more carefully at his two, too quiet, friends.


"What's wrong?" he asked, worriedly.  McCoy stirred.


"Tell 'im, Spock," he muttered.  Spock looked from the doctor to the captain.


"To quote the good doctor, Captain," Spock began in a quiet voice, "we were 'damn lucky' to get back to our own time."  Kirk sat back from the table.


"I thought you used the records from when we were around Psi 2000," he said stiffly, "when we inadvertently went back in time."


Spock actually squirmed in his seat.


"In our fevered state around Psi 2000, we didn't keep very clear, very accurate records," he replied.  "We were 'damn lucky' back then, too."  Kirk thought a moment.


"I thought that Vulcans didn't believe in luck," Kirk replied in his vain attempt at humor.


"When logic fails, there is little left to go on," Spock murmured.


Kirk looked from friend to troubled friend.


"What brought all this on now?" he asked.  "This all happened two days ago."


McCoy leaned over, pushing his plate away.


"Spock was telling me about a bad dream he had," the doctor said, ignoring the sharp look the Vulcan gave him.  "Jim, what would you have done if it didn't work, if we were stuck in the past?"


"I would keep trying until it worked," he said with conviction.


"But," McCoy pressed, "what if you exhausted all possibilities?  Would you have found a nice quiet planet to scuttle the ship and ditch us all on?  We couldn't have gone back to Earth of the past.  It would be too easy to mess with the timeline."  McCoy placed a light touch on Spock's arm.  "And what about our friend here?  He certainly couldn't live on Earth of the past."


Kirk looked at his all too Vulcan friend for a moment.  Spock's gaze was still firmly placed on the table.


"Is this what you dreamed about, Spock?" Kirk asked gently.  Without looking up, Spock nodded.  "What did we do in your dream?"


Spock stirred, crossed his arms over his chest as if to hold himself together, and raised his head.


"Before you settled the crew on an uninhabited planet," he said softly, "I convinced you to leave me off on Vulcan, where I lived the rest of my life of a hermit in the mountains."


Kirk saw the bleakness in Spock's eyes and he thought of being separated from his friend forever.  He pushed his tray to join the other two and thought morose thoughts.


"Wait a minute!" he said, breaking the gloomy spell.  "We made it back, by luck or by logic, it doesn't matter.  What are we sitting around like we failed?"  The captain pulled his tray to himself and dug in.


Spock turned in his chair toward Kirk.


"Captain, I have spent the past eighteen hours trying to recreate in the lab what we did to time travel," Spock related, "and each time the model failed."


Kirk looked at Spock as he chewed and thought.


"How did you factor in the crew's tenacity," Kirk asked, "their hopes and determination?"


Spock's raised a brow the only response to Kirk's ludicrous statement.


"Not to mention all the prayers being offered up," McCoy added.


"You can't discredit any of that," Kirk said before taking a gulp of coffee.


"Really," Spock said with mild disdain.


Kirk studied his friend again.


"All this angst over a dream?" Kirk said with amusement.


"Captain," Spock began, sitting ramrod straight, "this is the second, no, third time we have traveled in time, twice by accident.  There is a high probability that we shall do so again.  We need to have accurate means, a foolproof way, of returning to our own time."


"I'm sure you have exceedingly accurate..."


"Not to mention detailed," McCoy interrupted.


"...readings of what we did," Kirk continued.  "Those will just have to suffice."  Kirk looked at his none too convinced first officer's face.  "Always wanting a contingency plan, eh.  Spock?" Kirk added with a twinkle.


Spock considered the particulars of his dream: the crew being marooned on a distant planet, forced to live in primitive conditions while he lived out his days as a hermit on Vulcan so as to protect the crew from the dangers of pon farr, separated from his very dear friends.


"The alternative," Spock said quietly, "is highly undesirable."


McCoy sought to lighten the mood.


"So what you are admitting to here, Spock," he said with smirk, "is that we returned to our time, not by using logic but by using illogic?"


"And luck?" Kirk added.


Spock refused to rise to the bait, but neither did he have a witty rejoinder.  McCoy raised his glass of iced tea high in the air as a toast.


"Well then, here's to illogic!"


"And luck!" Kirk added, clinking his foam cup of coffee as best he could to the doctor's glass.  Reluctantly, Spock raised his mug of tea.


"Here's to friendship," he toasted.