Disclaimer:  Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom.  This story is the property of T'Kuht and is copyright (c) 2006 by T'Kuht.  Rated PG.


Ugly Ducklings



Sweat threatened to blind Uhura from all the hair fixative running in her eyes.  She'd need a real shower after this was over.  On the opposite side of the net Christine Chapel bounced the ball precisely three times, lofted it, arched, and wham.  The ball hit square on the inside angle of the line.  The computer announced, "Game point and match.  Chapel wins."

Uhura blew the hair out of her eyes and huffed, "As usual."

"Not so," Chapel countered, "You won the first round."

"Only cause your arm was cold.  You're dangerous."

"I guess so," Chapel shrugged.  "Even Spock won't play with me anymore after that last time."

"You've played volleyball with Spock?" Uhura asked from the bench amazed.

"Sure.  Used to play once a week there for a while.  I think he felt sorry for me, because of Roger.  And he claimed the exercise helped his gimpy leg.  But after Omicron Ceti III he was so distracted that I smacked him, hard.  I thought I'd broken his nose.  We both waited for blood and the tears just poured for the longest time.  He decided he wouldn't need to play anymore," Christine explained as they headed for the showers.

"Too bad," the Bantu remarked wondering silently if Spock's tears were truly over a nearly broken nose.

"Yeah," Chapel agreed but for a different reason, "I'd noticed a definite improvement in his limp."

Grabbing their fresh clothes each picked a stall and undressed.  The gym showers were efficient, even if they were little more than one meter square cubicles.  Each crewmember had a preset selection of modes that the computer recognized.  After an initial wet down from above and a constant 'mist' action, the hand held foaming soap dispenser created a specifically formulated lather pH balanced and chemically tweaked per individual that served as shampoo, all over body wash, and final lotion.  Once applied and allowed to work a 360 degree spray rinsed every thing clean within minutes unless the program was paused for some reason.  Only 15 gallons of water was used per person in this manner and although it was a little like being put through an old-fashioned car wash, it worked.  Jets of warm air helped dry the officers off while they redressed.  Chapel finished first, "So, you asked Scotty to the dance yet?"

"Haven't seen him," Uhura replied running the towel down her back more for the feel than the drying ability, "I can't ask him on the bridge while we're on duty, and he's been 'seen' with that new A&A officer, Palamas."

"Palamas?" Chapel questioned.  There'd been twenty-five new crew in the last month.  Uhura's wolf whistle jogged her memory, "Oh, her.  I thought that new ensign, Chekov I think, was gonna fall off the exam table when she came in for her physical."

"Please tell me she's got a disease or something?" Uhura begged.

Chapel shook her head, "Nope, practically perfect, sorry."

"Shit, oh well.  Maybe I can ask Scotty for next year's Sadie Hawkins Dance.  Who are you taking?"

Christine snorted, "Leonard.  He begged me to ask him so when the Captain asks him he can say he already had a date and wouldn't be joining Kirk and Scotty in the stag line."

"And you fell for that?" Uhura asked packing up the last of her gear.

Christine headed out first, tossed her reply over her shoulder, "Hey, at least I have a date already."

The towel smacked Chapel square on the ass.