Title: To Begin Anew
"Welcome aboard, Doctor Parker," Leonard McCoy said, reaching out to shake the hand of the newest addition to his medical staff.
"Thank you, Doctor McCoy," she replied, smiling back at him. "It's an honor to be asked to serve aboard the Enterprise; and especially to have a chance to work with you. I have heard so much about you."
McCoy blushed slightly at the compliment. "I don't know that I would say it's an honor, but I appreciate the thought. Can I help you with your bags? The Captain wanted to be here but he got tied up in a meeting with the first officer. However, he did ask if you would be his guest at dinner tonight. We are having a little celebration at the Starfire to welcome you aboard."
"A celebration for me?" she asked, her eyes widening. "He really doesn't have to. Believe me, just being aboard this ship is privilege enough. The waiting list for transfers is a light year long. I just took a chance and put my name in and got one right away. And then to find out it was aboard the Enterprise," she shook her head in disbelief. "Well, it was more than I had dreamed possible. It was like a miracle."
"We were just glad to find a replacement for Dr. M'Benga so quickly. He accepted an assignment as Chief Medical Officer aboard the Intrepid II. They needed someone familiar with Vulcan physiology. We really hated to lose him but it was an opportunity he would have been a fool to pass up. I can't say I envy him having to work with Vulcans on a regular basis. The one we have drives me crazy with his body chemistry, among other things," he added rolling his eyes upward. "But we are really glad to have you aboard. I desperately need someone who can jump in and take up the slack. My head nurse is out on leave too, so it's been pretty hectic in Sickbay," McCoy said, picking up her bags and following her out the door. "This way," he said, pointing to the left with his hand. "We're putting you in M'Benga's old quarters on Deck Five. Lt. Kyle will see that the rest of your luggage is delivered as soon as it beams up."
"Thank you," she replied. "It's probably just my imagination, but this ship seems a lot bigger than the Reliant," she said, looking around the corridor.
"So what made you put in for a transfer?" McCoy asked. "Maybe that's none of my business," he added, seeing the look of hesitation on her face. "It's just that your CMO spoke so highly of you. I can't imagine why he would want to part with you."
"I can't believe he gave me a good review," Judy said in amazement. Then seeing the look on McCoy's face, she added. "We did not part of the best of terms. I guess he really wanted to get rid of me." She was quiet for a moment before continuing. "As to the reason I left, it's no secret. Everyone aboard the Reliant knows. I had to get away from Jeff, Dr. Robinson that is. It's difficult trying to stay on a ship with someone you used to have a relationship with. Especially when that person is the Chief Medical Officer," she said, sighing deeply. "I really just want to forget it even happened and get a new start."
"I see," McCoy replied, making a mental note to stay away from that topic in the future. "In that case, you came to the right place," he said, smiling his best fatherly smile at her. "You couldn't ask for a better Captain or crew and the Sickbay facilities here are the best in the Fleet."
"That's what I've heard!" she said, breathlessly. "I still can't believe this is all real. I feel like I am going to wake up any minute back aboard the Reliant."
"Not much chance of that happening," McCoy grinned. He stopped at the turbolift and hit the button. A microsecond later the doors opened. "After you," he said, waving her inside in his best southern gentleman manner.
"Thank you," she said, smiling.
It was a nice smile he thought. He especially liked the way her nose wrinkled up slightly when she smiled. In fact, now that he thought about it, there was quite a bit about his new assistant to like. He quickly changed the direction of his thoughts. After her bad experience aboard the Reliant, the last thing she would be interested in was another involvement, especially with her superior.
"Deck Five," he ordered the computer. The turbolift smoothly glided down to the main crew quarter level. McCoy motioned for her to exit ahead of him. He walked ahead of her down the corridor, coming to a stop a short distance from the lift.
"Well here we are," he announced, reaching up to palm the door panel. The door slid open to reveal a barren cabin. Placing her bags down inside the door, he moved back out into the hallway. "We'll expect you in Sickbay first thing in the morning, seven hundred hours. In the meantime, you are free to do whatever you want. The Captain said he would have his yeoman, Janice Rand, stop by and check on you and show you around the ship. It's probably not a lot different from the one you came from. You'll like Janice, she knows everyone so she can introduce you. And I'll be in Sickbay if you need anything."
"Thank you, Doctor. I can use the time to get everything put away here. I can't wait to get started in my new position."
"Well don't you work too hard. I want you fresh and rested in the morning. Crew physicals are due and losing M"Benga the way we did on such short notice has got me running to catch my tail," he grinned.
"I'll try not to," she replied, giving him that endearing smile again.
'No use getting your hormones going, McCoy,' he told himself. 'She is not for you.' He stood looking awkwardly at her for a moment, a silly grin on his face and his feet shifting nervously. "I best be going now, Doctor. I'll see you at dinner this evening." Sighing deeply, he turned and headed down the hallway toward the turbolift.
"Oh my gosh," she wailed at the realization hit her. "Dinner with the Captain, and I don't have a thing to wear!"
"I'll send Lieutenant Uhura over. That's her department," McCoy called over his shoulder.
Judy watched as he walked away. He really was kind of cute, she thought. If only he wasn't her superior. That was a road she had been down before and was not about to repeat that mistake.
Overall though, she was going to like working here, she thought. Leonard McCoy seemed like someone who would be easy to work with. She did not have a high opinion of most of the CMO's she had met. They all seemed to have a god complex. He seemed different, however, more down to earth. In fact, he reminded her a lot of her father.
Smiling to herself, she turned back to face the barren cabin. She had no idea where to even start. This was going to take a lot of work. The sound of the door buzzer caused her to jump. "Yes," she called. The door slid open to reveal a blonde man with brilliant blue eyes. She recognized him as being the transporter technician who had beamed her aboard.
"Dr. Parker, your luggage has arrived," he said in a soft British accent. He moved aside to reveal a pallet piled high with crates and luggage.
"I didn't realize I had brought so much with me," she replied, reaching down to grab on of the bags off the platform.
"No need for that," Kyle replied. He pressed a switch on the remote control in his hand and the anti-grav pallet floated into the room. Quickly he began to remove the contents from the platform, setting them down just inside the door.
"Thank you so much," Judy said, when he placed the last bag on the floor.
"If you need anything else, just let us know," Kyle said, giving her a slight smile and a nod.
"I will," Judy replied. "Thank you again,"
"You're welcome," Kyle said, turning and heading out the door.
As the door closed behind him, Judy looked from the pile of crates and bags to the empty room. Who would have thought that in just five years in space, she would have accumulated so much. Yes she definitely had her work cut out for her.
Judy had just finished putting away her clothes, when the door buzzer sounded. Hurrying to the door, she pressed the switch to open it. In the door way stood a dark skinned woman in a red uniform wearing the insignia of the communications department. From her well manicure look she guessed this was the Lieutenant Uhura that Doctor McCoy had mentioned. He had certainly wasted no time in getting her taken care of.
"Hi," her visitor replied in a melodic voice. "I am Nyota Uhura, the communication's officer aboard ship. Dr. McCoy said you could use my help getting ready for the big event tonight."
"Yes, I don't have a thing to wear. I am not even sure what I should wear to a dinner with the Captain," she said, throwing up her hands. "Oh, I'm Judy by the way," she said apologetically. "But you know that already," she laughed.
"Welcome aboard," Uhura said, reaching to hug her. "I hear you came over from the Reliant. I have a friend over there, Suzy Williams. She and I graduated the Academy together."
"Suzy is our transporter chief. I mean 'their' transporter chief," Judy laughed. "It's going to take some getting used to being over here."
"You will enjoy it. The crew here is great," Uhura replied.
"I have heard so much about Captain Kirk," Judy replied, wide eyed. "He is almost a legend. I never thought I would get a chance to actually serve under him. But I have heard," she said, dropping her voice, "that his first officer is a real hard ass. He's a Vulcan, right?"
Uhura smiled broadly at her. "Yes, he is a Vulcan. And he is also my husband," she said, laughing softly.
"Oh, I am so sorry," Judy apologized, heat rising in her cheeks.
"That's okay. There are times, actually lots of times, when I would tend to agree with you," she said, her eyes sparkling mischievously.
"I really am sorry," Judy said, biting her lower lip.
"Don't worry about it honey. He does have that rep. In fact, I was scared to death of him the first six months after I arrived here. Then I found out that he really isn't any different than anyone else. And that goes for the Captain too. Don't let all that braid and hype about him, scare you off. He is a total teddy bear. Just don't ever tell him I said that," she said rolling her eyes.
"Your secret is safe with me," Judy giggled. "Just don't tell your husband what I said about him."
"I won't, but believe me he would take it as a compliment," Uhura laughed. "Now about tonight, let's see what you have," Uhura said, walking over to the closet. She opened the door and peered inside. A few minutes inspection failed to reveal anything suitable.
"I have an emerald silk gown that would look perfect on you. It's an original Rolleti. She is my favorite designer. You're a little taller than me. No make that a lot taller than me, so it will come to mid calf on you, but otherwise it should fit fine. Why don't you come with me and I will let you check out my closet. I am just two doors down."
Together the two women made their way down the hall to Uhura's quarters. Judy gasped when she walked into the room. "It's beautiful," she exclaimed. "And I love that rug," she said, pointing to the thick fur rug by the side of the bed. I could think of some good uses for it."
"I am way ahead of you on that," Uhura said, exchanging mischievous glances with Judy.
Walking over to her closet, she threw the doors open, revealing a myriad of dress in various colors of the rainbow. "Take your pick," she said.
"Oh, my gosh," Judy said, her eyes wide. "I can't thank you enough for helping me out with this. Everyone here is so friendly," Judy said, tearing forming in her eyes. "I was so afraid I would feel lost here, but it feels like home already."
"I'm glad," Uhura said, turning to hug her. "It's always hard having to uproot yourself and move to another ship. I remember when I first came aboard. I didn't know anyone here. I had just been promoted to lieutenant and had been assigned as the lead communications officer. I was so scared. And to make it worse, everyone on the ship was nervous what with a new untried captain taking over and everything. Fortunately, I met up with a fellow crewmate the night before we shipped out." She sighed deeply. "Let's just say we helped each other get through a bad night. Fortunately Captain Kirk turned out to be a wonderful Captain. And I have been lucky enough to have served under his ever since."
"What happened with the crewman?" Judy asked, her curiosity piqued. "Was that Commander Spock?"
Uhura blushed slightly. "No, it wasn't."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry," Judy said apologetically.
He knows he has my heart. And that is all that matters. " She looked down for a moment and her eyes grew slightly misty, "But yes, that crewman was special. I really loved him. Who knows if everything hadn't happened the way it did with Spock . ..," her voice trailed off in a whisper. "I will tell you all about it sometime. Anyway, let's get back to finding you a dress for tonight," she said, changing the subject.
Judy was dying to know the full story. Who was this crewman and what did Nyota mean about 'the way things happened with Spock'? However, it appeared she would just have to wait until Nyota was ready to tell her about it.
Reaching down, she picked up the emerald silk gown and held the soft fabric up to her cheek. It was beautiful and had to be expensive. "Are you sure you don't want to wear this one yourself?" Judy asked. "It must look awesome on you."
"Thank you, but it is a little tight right now," Uhura laughed, placing her hand on her lower abdomen, where a small bulge was making itself known. "Spock and I are expecting a child and I am afraid I am starting to show."
"How exciting!" Judy said, her eyes shining. "I would love to have a baby. But I guess I need to find the right man first."
"That helps," Uhura laughed. "If you're interested I know someone who would be perfect."
"I just broke up with someone," Judy said, her voice shaking slightly. "It was a pretty nasty breakup. I think it's too early to be thinking about someone else."
"I'm sorry, honey" Uhura said, giving her a sympathetic look. "If you want to talk about it, I would be glad to listen. I have some experience in that category, from both sides of the street."
"That's okay. It was really for the best, I guess. It just makes me mad thinking of all the time I wasted on that jerk. The worst part is he was my superior officer. So when we broke up I had no choice but to leave the ship. I couldn't stand working around him and his new girlfriend on a daily basis," she said dissolving into tears.
"You poor thing," Uhura said, taking her in her arms and stroking her hair.
"I'm sorry. I promised myself I wouldn't break down like this," Judy said, wiping tears from her eyes.
"Sometimes that is the best thing for you to do," Uhura replied sympathetically.
"How could he do that to me? And with my best friend on top of it!" she pulled away from Uhura and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
"Here honey," Uhura said, reaching down and retrieving a tissue from a box by the computer.
Judy reached over to take several of the tissues out of the box and dabbed her eyes. "Thank you," she sniffed. Turning around she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. "Now look at me, my make up is running." She took the wad of tissues and blew her nose. "Anyway I promised myself I would not get involved with another man aboard ship!"
"Give it time, you will change your mind," Uhura said. You can't let one bad experience ruin the rest of your life. When you are ready let me know," Uhura said. "Scotty would be just perfect for you. He is the sweetest, most considerate man I know. You would love him," she said, sighing softly. "But for right now, let's get you ready for the party." Reaching into her closet, she pulled out a handful of dresses and threw them onto the bed. Together, the two women dived into the pile of glistening fabric.
A few hours later, she stood in front of the mirror admiring the way the green silk clung to her body. It was so soft and cool against her skin. It made her feel sexy just wearing it. Grabbing a jeweled clip from her dresser, she pulled up her hair and fastened it into a soft knot. A small emerald pendant completed the look. Reaching down she retrieved her shoes from under the edge of the bed where they had fallen. The last time she had worn these, Jeff had commented that they made her look like Cinderella at the ball. Her glass slippers he called them. The heels were made of clear acrylic with a band across the front part of her foot encrusted with rhinestones. As a joke she had run out the door kicking one of her shoes aside. He had come running after her with the shoe and kneeling down had slipped it onto her foot. Tears filled her eyes with the memory of that moment. It had all seemed so perfect back then. She had indeed felt like a fairy tale princess with her handsome prince at her side. Some prince he turned out to be she thought bitterly to herself.
Well that was the past and she needed to put it behind her, she told herself. A new life awaited her on this ship and she was not going to let memories of the past spoil her first night aboard the Enterprise. Taking a deep breath, she turned out the lights and headed out the door.
Judy looked around in wonder as she emerged onto Deck 7. She had never imaged that such elegance would be found on a starship. The lights in the corridor were dimmed to a soft ambience. All around her, crewmembers in formal evening wear were hurrying toward a set of double doors at the end of the corridor. A sign with glowing letters hung above the door identifying this as the incomparable Starfire. She had heard rumors about it aboard the Reliant. The chef here had once been on the personal staff of a high ranking admiral and with his retirement, Captain Kirk had managed to finagle the chef into transferring aboard the Enterprise. No one knew exactly how that had been arranged or what had changed hands to make it happen. But it was definitely a boon for the Enterprise and her crew. It was a tribute to how highly their captain valued his crew that he would take such pains in seeing to their social comforts.
Taking a deep breath and smoothing down the front of the emerald gown, she headed down the hall toward the entrance.
"Do you have reservations, madam?" the man at the door asked.
"I am supposed to meet the Captain here," she said, glancing around the interior of the restaurant.
"Ah, you are with the Captain's party. Right this way," he said, nodding to another man to take his Place, while he slipped past the crowd waiting to be seated beckoning her to follow. Their path led around the perimeter of the restaurant to a back room portioned off from the rest of the tables. Bowing formally, he indicated that she should enter.
She suddenly found that she had butterflies in her stomach. She was about to meet the famous James T. Kirk. Willing her heart to be still, she pressed the door activation panel. With a soft whir, the door slid open to reveal a long table, surrounded by several smaller tables. There was already quite a crowd gathered around the main table. She spotted Dr. McCoy up near the head of the larger table, deeply engaged in conversation with another man who she immediately recognized from holo vids as Captain James T. Kirk.
Just at that moment, he looked up and smiled at her. It was the most charming smile she had ever seen. No wonder the women were all crazy over him. On the other side of the table sat a tall Vulcan, who she assumed was the formidable Mr. Spock. Next to him was her new friend, Nyota Uhura. The communication's officer smiled and waved her over.
Biting her lower lip nervously, she headed over toward the main table. As she approached, all heads turned in her direction. She had a moment of panic realizing she was the center of attention. She looked over to see Dr. McCoy grinning broadly at her. She felt herself instantly relaxing. At least there were two people here that were not complete strangers to her.
"Have a seat darling," McCoy said, patting the chair next to him.
"Welcome, Doctor," the Captain rising up out his chair to take her hand. "Starfleet forgot to tell us that you were beautiful as well as capable." Again he favored her with that charming smile. She felt herself blush under his gaze. "I believe you have already met Dr. McCoy and Lt. Uhura. "
"Yes, I have," she said, her voice coming out as a squeak, eliciting another smile out of the Captain.
"And this is my first officer, Mr. Spock.," Kirk said, indicating the Vulcan.
"It is an honor, madam," Spock said, inclining his head at her.
"Our chief engineer couldn't make it tonight. He had some scheduled maintenance that had to be performed before we leave orbit. He sends his regrets. And this," he said, indicating a young oriental man seated on the other side of Uhura, "is our chief helms officer, Hikaro Sulu and our navigator, Pavel Chekov. And this lovely lady," he said, indicating a young blonde who had just entered the room, "is my personal yeoman, Janice Rand."
"Hi, sorry I am late," Janice said, grabbing the empty seat in between Sulu and Chekov. "I was just finishing up your transfer paperwork. You're official now!"
"This is so exciting," Judy exclaimed. I can't wait to start my job tomorrow!"
"That's what we like here, enthusiasm," Kirk said glancing over at her appreciatively. He heard McCoy clear his throat loudly and looked over in his direction. The doctor had a mildly irritated look on his face. The look vanished immediately under Kirk's gaze. For a moment, the Captain thought it had just been his imagination.
He looked over to see that Spock was regarding the doctor quizzically. "Is something wrong, doctor?" Spock asked.
"No," McCoy muttered. "It's just that I don't want you all scaring off my new assistant, that's all."
Spock raised an eyebrow at the doctor. "I fail to see what actions on the part of those at this table you believe will result in your assistant being 'scared off''," Spock replied.
McCoy glared at him for a long moment. "I didn't mean that literally, Mr. Spock. It's just that as her superior officer, it is my duty to see that she has a pleasant evening," he growled in a low tone.
"Bones, I don't think anyone here is going to do anything to spoil her evening," Kirk replied.
"I am fine, Doctor," Judy said, cocking her head at him. "No one has said anything wrong to me."
"You just keep having a nice evening, darling," he said, reaching over to pat her knees in a fatherly manner. "After all, tonight is all about you."/p>
"And I want to thank you all for being here. I can't believe anyone would have a party just for me," she said, squealing excitedly. "Do you do this for everyone who comes on board?"
"For special ones, yes," Kirk replied. "And you were a dearly needed commodity, believe me. We consider ourselves lucky to have obtained your services. Dr. McCoy has a tendency to get cranky when he is overworked. A situation I try strenuously to avoid," Kirk joked.
"Actually, Captain," Spock interjected. "I fail to see the difference between his mood when overworked and his mood in general. I have never known the doctor when he was not cranky. In fact . . . ." He suddenly jumped slightly and looked over at his wife who was frowning at him. "You did not need to kick me, my wife."
"I just wanted to stop you before this turned into a full blown argument," she said, smiling demurely over at Judy.
"Very well, I will comply with your request," he conceded somewhat regretfully.
Judy found herself struggling to suppress a giggle. It was obvious that Nyota knew how to rein in her man quite well.
"Well here's our meal," Kirk said, as the waiter approached. He motioned for the waiter to serve their guest first.
"Thank you," Judy said, looking up at the waiter who handed her a plate of steaming food.
"I hope you don't mind," Kirk said, "I took the liberty of ordering for you. If you would like something else . . ."
"Oh no, this is fine," she said, grabbing her fork. "This looks absolutely wonderful!"
"Good," he said, rubbing his hands together. "Let's eat." He glanced over to see the doctor glaring at Spock. "Did you have something else to say, Doctor?"
"No," McCoy muttered. "No, of course not," he said, turning his attention to his meal.
Kirk watched him as he cut into his steak. He couldn't help but wonder what was up with the doctor. He seemed to be extremely protective of his new protégé. If he was developing an interest in her, it would explain the doctor's reaction to his own solicitous behavior toward her. Kirk made a note to have a long talk with his CMO later.
As the dinner progressed, Kirk found that the initial tension had begun to dissolve. Judy Parker was a fascinating woman. They discovered that she had graduated at the top of her class from medical school. Her grandfather had been a high ranking admiral prior to his retirement. Kirk had thought the name sounded familiar. It was at his urging that his granddaughter had entered Starfleet. She had served aboard the Reliant for five years, in which time; she had earned two commendations from Starfleet Medical for her research into new ways to combat resistant strains of bacteria. The Reliant's loss was definitely a gain for the Enterprise. Kirk's dream had always been to put together a team of the best brains Starfleet had to offer and Judy Parker would be a welcome addition to that team.
His only concern was that several times during the meal, he had noticed McCoy giving him what could only be described as 'dirty looks'. He also noticed that the doctor was imbibing more than his usual amount of alcohol. If he didn't know better, he would say the good doctor was jealous. And if he was a betting man, he would wager money that he was.
Getting up from his chair, Kirk raised his glass. "To the newest member of the Enterprise family. May we have the honor of her presence for many years to come."
"Here, here," McCoy called out, his voice slurring slightly.
Everyone raised their glasses and drank down the contents. Judy felt tears welling up in her eyes. She had not expected to feel so at home and appreciated her first night aboard ship. She blushed as she looked up and saw that all eyes were on her.
"We're waiting on your speech," McCoy coaxed her.
"A speech! I didn't expect to have to make a speech," she said, wiping away tears. Holding tightly to the table to steady herself, she rose to her feet and looked around the table. "I just want to say how happy I am to be here," she said, her voice quivering slightly. "I hope to get to know all of you. And I hope I can live up to your expectations."
"We have no doubts about that," Kirk said, reaching over across the table to take her hand and squeeze it. Again, he noticed that frown on McCoy's face. He glanced over and caught Spock's eye. The Vulcan had seen it too. No doubt, Spock would have something to say about it later.
"I'm sorry to break up the party," Judy said, setting down her glass and getting up from the table. "But it has been a long day. I have a new job to start tomorrow and I need to get up early," she said looking meaningfully at McCoy.
That you do, young lady," McCoy said, winking and nodding at her.
"It really has been wonderful," she said, her eyes taking a last look around the room. "I can't think you enough, Captain for making me feel so welcome here."
"Well that's my job," Kirk said. "I have to make sure my crew is happy. May I have the honor of walking you back to your quarters?" Getting up from his chair, he extended his arm in her direction.
"Thank you," she said, slipping her arm into the crook of his elbow. "I was worrying about how I would find my way back."
"Well we have you wondering around alone in the corridors, can we?" Kirk said, smiling his most charming smile at her. He could almost feel McCoy's eyes burning into the back of his head. He purposely avoided looking at him.
"Well good night everyone," Judy said waving them goodnight.
"Good night," Uhura called. "See you tomorrow."
Spock pushed his chair back and stood up. "You are correct, Doctor. It is getting late. I am sure that my wife is tired as well. It has been a pleasure to meeting you. I am sure your presence will be of great benefit to the medical staff," he said, glancing meaningfully at McCoy. "With your excellent record, I anticipate that the medical care about this ship will rise to new standards."
"Why you . . .," McCoy said, puffing up.
"Come on, Sugar," Uhura said, grabbing Spock by the arm. Spock remained immovable for a moment as he and McCoy exchanged looks.
"Perhaps we can discuss this later, Spock," McCoy said, making an unsuccessful attempt to get up out of his seat. Reaching over he grabbed onto the back of the chair vacated by Dr. Parker. Staggering slightly, he pulled himself up, "That is when you don't have a woman to hide behind," he said, tauntingly.
Spock and McCoy glared at each other for a moment. Kirk let go of Judy's arm and reached over to pull McCoy back toward his seat. "I can sit down by myself, damn it," McCoy growled. "Who in the hell does he think he is anyway?"
"I think you have had enough as well, Doctor," Kirk said, motioning for Sulu and Chekov. "Can you two see the good doctor to his quarters?"
"Aye, Captain," Sulu said, jumping up from his chair and coming over to stand next to McCoy.
"Aye, Keptin," Chekov echoed, moving to take his place on the other side of McCoy.
"I will see you in my office, first thing in the morning," Kirk hissed into McCoy's ear.
Before the doctor could respond, Kirk turned back to Dr. Parker. "And I promised you an escort home," he said, smiling broadly at her. "Goodnight everyone," Kirk said.
Taking her hand, he led her out into the main area of the restaurant. Several sets of eyes gave them curious glances as they wove their way through the crowd toward the door. The rumor mill would be in full force tomorrow, Kirk thought. Although most of them knew by now that the Captain did not take liberties with the crew. Still it would make lively talk over breakfast.
"Goodnight, Captain, Doctor Parker," they all echoed.
"Captain, is Dr. McCoy all right?" Judy asked when they were out of earshot. "He and Spock don't seem to get along very well."
"They have their moments," Kirk replied. "I see it more as a friendly rivalry. Deep down they like and respect each other. It's just that neither of them wants to admit it."
Once outside, Kirk pressed the button to summon the turbolift. He turned around to see Judy looking longingly back at the restaurant entrance. "Are you sure you wanted to leave, Doctor?" he asked.
"Not really. It was an incredible evening. I wish it could have gone on forever, but I really do need to get some sleep before tomorrow. Getting used to a new ship and a new job wears you out."
"I remember. I was exhausted the first two months after I was assigned here as the new Captain. It was kind of scary. Not knowing if I could hack it. They had a great Captain in Pike and all I could think of was 'Who am I to try and take his place?'"
"That's how I feel too," Judy said. "What if I don't fit in or what if they don't like me? I already think Dr. McCoy doesn't like me."
"Oh, he likes you all right. Maybe a little too much," Kirk replied.
"Was that what that was all about back there?" she asked.
"That's my opinion. I've know him for a long time and I think I am pretty good at reading him," Kirk said.
"Captain, I have no intention of getting involved with him. I mean, I like him and all but its not like that," Judy said, looking up at Kirk miserably. "I just went through that on the Reliant. I was engaged to be married to the CMO. Then I found out he was seeing my best friend on the side. It almost destroyed me. I had always been warned not to get involved with someone you work closely with. But I thought it could work with Jeff. But I learned the hard way that work and a relationship don't mix. All my hard work and I had to leave it behind and transfer off ship. I can't go through that again. I have a chance here to start fresh. A chance to work aboard the finest ship in the fleet and I am not going to throw that away."
"I don't blame you doctor, your personnel record is quite impressive. I really meant it when I said we felt lucky to have you as a member of the crew. You came highly recommended by your captain."
"I am glad to hear that," she whispered. "He tried to talk me out of leaving. He even offered to transfer Jeff, but I told him no. I couldn't do that to Jeff, not even after what he did to me. I just don't want to ever be put in that position again."
"Well, we will just make sure that it doesn't happen again," Kirk said, as the turbolift doors opened on Deck 5. "About McCoy, I plan to talk to him in the morning regarding his behavior tonight."
"Please don't be too hard on him Captain. And please tell him that I think he is a sweet dear man and I am really flattered but I can't afford to get involved with him."
"I will let him know," Kirk assured her. He stopped as they reached the door to her quarters. "Well here we are," he said releasing her arm.
"Thank you again Captain. I can't tell you how happy I am to be here. I know I have probably said that a million times tonight.
"Well I'm glad. I meant it when I said you were part of the family. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask," he said, giving her his charming smile again.
"Thank you, I will," Judy assured him. Good night, Captain.," she said, smiling a little sleepily at him.
"Good night, Doctor." Kirk said, waiting while the door whished shut. "And don't worry I will take care of the situation with McCoy."
Kirk stood outside for few moments. He was not looking forward to his conversation with McCoy in the morning. Hopefully, it would just turn out to be a case of the good doctor having too much to drink. He knew McCoy would be embarrassed when he realized the scene he had caused the night before. Shaking his head, he turned and headed down the hall to his own quarters.
Once inside her room, Judy collapsed onto the bed. Had she made a mistake by signing on here? Right now she too tired to think about it. The Captain had promised to take care of it and she would just have to trust him to do it. Even the thought of bringing up the subject with her superior scared the hell out of her. It was like Jeff all over again. Only this time, she would not give in. The CMO was nice, in a fatherly sort of way, but she was not attracted to him.
The Captain on the other hand was definitely more her style. He was absolutely gorgeous and so considerate of his crew. But she knew without asking that he was off limits. 'Don't even go there,' she scolded herself. That would be an even bigger mistake than getting involved with her department head. There was a time when she might have given it a whirl, but she was older and wiser now. Better some lowly lieutenant in security or even that quite shy Mr. Kyle than one of those two.
She envied Uhura that she could balance her personal and her professional life with Spock. To Judy's mind, he would have been as much off limits as the Captain. But they seemed to be making it work. After all, they were having a baby together, weren't they? She wondered briefly how they were going to deal with that one. She would have to remember to ask Nyota what their plans were when the baby came. She hated to think that she would lose her new friend. But that would have to wait until tomorrow. She suddenly found herself starting to drift off to sleep.
Pulling herself up from the bed, she slipped off the green silk dress and hung it up on the closet door. It really was lovely and she had felt so elegant wearing it. Perhaps the next time they made planetfall on a Federation world, she would get Uhura to take her shopping with her.
Yawning deeply, she staggered back over to the bed and slipped under the covers. She was asleep the minute her head hit the pillow.
Judy awoke the next morning in a panic. She had totally forgotten to set the alarm. She glanced over at the chronometer by the bed. She was supposed to be at work in 20 minutes. She jumped out of bed, sending her bed sheets and blanket flying onto the floor. With her heart thumping loudly, she ran for the bathroom and jumped into the shower. She regretted that she only had time for a short sonic this morning. She loved standing under real hot water letting it slowing bring her awake. But this morning, this would have to do. Setting the control for five minutes she closed her eyes and sagged against the glass door of the shower, struggling to come to full consciousness.
By the time the timer sounded on the shower, she was starting to feel more normal. Stepping out of the shower stall, she dialed up a clean uniform from the recycler and quickly slipped it on. Zipping up her boots, she stood back and surveyed herself in the mirror. To her eyes not much had changed. The uniform was exactly like the one she had worn aboard the Reliant. The only difference was the small insignia that identified her as a member of the Enterprise crew. The design was simpler than that of the Reliant but there was elegance to it that the other had lacked. With the skill of one with long experience at getting ready in emergencies, she pulled her hair up and put on her makeup in record time. Dialing up a cup of coffee from the synthesizer, she grabbed her medikit from the table and flew out the door.
She saw a flash of red out of the corner of her eye and the next thing she knew her coffee cup was sailing through the air landing with a crash on the deck, spilling coffee up against the opposite wall. Judy found herself sliding down onto the hard surface of the deck. Embarrassed by her clumsiness, she quickly got to her feet and brushed herself off. She heard a soft moan nearby and looked over to see a crewman in a red engineering uniform laying on his back, his head up against the bulkhead. She quickly ran over to kneel down by his side. He lay motionless, his mouthing hanging open. A trickle of blood was running from the back of his head staining the wall behind him.
"Oh no!" Judy exclaimed, looking around for help. She spotted two crewmen coming down the hall. "Call Sickbay, " she yelled. "Tell them we have an emergency in corridor . . . What corridor is this?"
"B19," one of the crewman answered.
Judy could hear her heart beating in her throat as she pulled out her medikit and ran the scanner over the still form. He was still breathing although his vital signs were low. Forcing herself to be calm, she pulled a hypospray out of her kit and injected it into his shoulder. Another faint moan issued from the man.
"That's Mr. Scott!" the young crewman said wide eyed. "What happened?"
"We sort of ran into each other," Judy said, her voice trembling slightly. Her first day on the job and she might have already killed someone. And not just anyone, the braid on his sleeve indicated he was a Lieutenant Commander. So she had injured one of the senior staff. Judy felt tears welling up in her eyes. With her current track record, she was going to be sent packing back to the Reliant in no time.
Another loud moan from the man on the floor brought her back to reality. "What happened?" he said in a disoriented voice.
"You fell and hit your head. Sickbay has been notified and they are on their way," she said, trying to restrain him from moving.
"What do ye think ye are doin', Lass?" Scotty asked. "I have to get to the bridge. These reports are due to the Captain. We canna leave orbit without them," he protested.
"I will see that they get to the Captain," a voice behind them offered. Judy turned around to see a young oriental man in a lieutenant's uniform standing behind her. She recognized from the party the night before. Sulu was his name, if she remembered right.
"Thank you," Judy said, taking the PADD from her patient's hand and handing it to Sulu. "Oh thank goodness," she exclaimed as she saw the gurney come down the hallway.
Two young men in orderly uniforms reached to lift Scotty upon it.
"I dinna need to be goin' to sickbay," Scotty protested again. "I just have a bump on my head. Tis not the first time I have hit my head and won't be the last."
"Don't argue with your doctor," Judy interrupted him. "That is a nasty gash you have on the back of your head and it needs to be closed up. And we need to run a few tests on you to make sure you there is no internal damage," she said sternly.
"Well then help me up onto that thing so we can get this over with," Scotty said. "I don't have all day to lay here in the corridor."
With the help of the two orderlies, Scotty got unsteadily to his feet. He had only taken two steps when his knees gave out from under him.
"Well maybe I do need to have that checkup," he said, letting the medical personnel lift him onto the stretcher.
"Take him to sickbay. Tell Dr. McCoy I will be right there," Judy said, bending down to retrieve the contents of her medikit.
That was some dramatic entrance, Doctor," McCoy announced, causing Judy to whirl around in surprise. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you," he said seeing the look of panic on her face.
"I'm just a little jumpy this morning. It was all my fault. My first day on the job and I hurt someone," she said, nervously biting her lower lip. "I was so scared. I thought I had killed him."
"Don't worry, sweetheart. He's okay thanks to your fast thinking. Besides I've know Mr. Scott a long time and he has a pretty hard head. It would take a lot more than a bump on the head to kill that Scotsman," McCoy replied. "We're taking him into surgery now to close up that wound. Would you like to do the honors?"
Judy looked down at the sleeping engineer. He really did look adorable lying there. She wondered if this was 'The Scotty' Nyota had told her about. May she should consider letting the communications officer fix her up with him. She suddenly realized that McCoy was looking at her strangely.
"Is something wrong doctor?" she asked, trying her best to regain her professional demeanor. What was she thinking. She had almost killed the man this morning and here she was daydreaming about going out with him.
"No," McCoy said, his eyes still regarding her quizzically. "You seemed kinda far away there for a moment."
"I guess I was," she said, shaking her head to clear it. "Yes, yes I would like to do the surgery. I feel responsible for all this."
"It was an accident from what I heard," McCoy said, comfortingly. "And before you scrub up, I need to apologize to you for my behavior last night," McCoy began.
"No need to apologize, Doctor," Judy quickly interrupted.
"Yes, I do," McCoy insisted. "An old man like me acting like a love struck school boy," he grinned. "The Captain really read me the riot act over it this morning."
"I am sorry. I didn't mean to get you into trouble. I told the Captain to go easy on you," Judy said, her eyes wide with horror.
"Oh, I'm not in trouble," McCoy assured her. "He just set me straight on some ship's protocols. No familiarity between crew personnel in the same departments. He also told me what you said. And I want you to know that I understand. I don't know what came over me. I don't usually lose it over a new crewmember. But I hope that we can at least be friends."
"Of course we can," Judy said, smiling up at him with that slight wrinkle in her nose. "I can use all the friends I can get."
"Oh, and by the way, about that stuff with Spock. The Captain said you were concerned about it. That doesn't mean anything. It's just a game we play with each other. If push came to shove, there is no one other than Jim that I would want by my side. He and Jim are what make the Enterprise what it is. They are the reason we are the most requested ship for transfers. This ship is just a bucket of bolts. Together they are the heart and the mind of the Enterprise and don't let anyone tell you different."
"Well I think you have something to do with that as well," Judy added.
"I wish I could believe that but hell I'm just an old country doctor who was lucky enough to get himself hijacked into this position by James T. Kirk. I never could say no to that man," he said, shaking his head. "Anyway, let's get you set up here. We have patients to see, including the one you brought with you. Go on scrub up. I will assist you. It will give me a chance to evaluate your work."
"Now I really am nervous," Judy laughed. "My hands are shaking."
"Calm down," McCoy said, taking her hands in his. "I don't think Scotty could be in better hands.
Taking one last look down at her patient, Judy smiled to herself. Life here was definitely going to be interesting.
Montgomery Scotty opened his eyes to see a smiling face bending over him. He closed his eyes and reopened them but the face was still there. He studied her for a long moment, blonde shoulder length hair and huge green eyes. Weakly he tried to raise up a hand to touch her to see if she was real, but weakness over came him and his arm fell limply back down on the bed by his side.
"Have I died and gone to heaven?" he murmured sleepily.
"Hardly," she laughed. "You bumped into me in the corridor and fell and hit your head against the bulkhead."
"Well you could have fooled me," he said, struggling to sit up. A bolt of white hot pain shot through his head. "On the other hand, I hurt too bad to be dead."
"I am so sorry," Judy said, her eyes filling with tears. "It was all my fault. I was late and I ran out of my quarters without looking," she said, her words all coming out in a rush.
"There, there, lass, slow down for a minute. Sorry for what?" he said, giving her a confused look. "It was my own damn fault. I nearly ran ye over in the corridor. It might just as well have been ye laying o that floor. And me being an engineer and not a doctor, I dinna know what I would have done."
"I was the one who wasn't looking where I was going," she argued.
"Well now, it really doesn't make any difference whose fault it was, now does it? The only thing that matters it that I am okay. And it's not every day that I get nursed back to health by such a vision of beauty," he said his eyes looking deeply into hers.
"I don't know that I would qualify as that, especially right now," Judy said, turning red under his intense scrutiny.
"Now don't argue with me, lass, I out rank ye. And besides you just let old Scotty be the judge of that. As anyone here on the ship will tell ye, I know a pretty lassie when I see one."
"Nyota told me about a Scotty. You wouldn't be him would you?" she asked.
"I'm the only one I know aboard this ship," he said, grinning up at her. "Nyota? What did she say about me?" he asked.
"Just that you were a very sweet man," Judy replied.
"Aye, she would say that," he said, his voice softening.
"You two must be really close?" Judy said, noting the tone in his voice.
"Aye we were, Lassie, we were," he said a hint of sadness creeping into his voice.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything," she said, blushing. Was he the crewmember Nyota was referring to, the one who helped her get over her new ship jitters? She really did need more information.
"Don't ye be worrying your pretty head about it," Scotty replied sadly. "She is one wonderful lady and Mr. Spock is a lucky man to have her. So, did she say anything else about me?"
"I think Nyota was trying to fix me up with you," Judy laughed.
"That sounds like her too," he said, with a soft laugh. "Oh, that hurt, I will have to remember not to do that for a while," he said, smiling up at her. "So when can I get out of here?"
"You should be back to normal in a day or two," Judy replied. "Right now you are certified not fit for duty. I want you on strict bed rest for twenty four hours and then I want you to take it easy until after I see you back here," Judy ordered.
"Well now that's what I like, a woman who knows how to give orders. What do ye say we take Nyota's advice? Would ye like to have dinner with me? That is after I get clearance from my doctor," Scotty added, his eyes twinkling mischievously.
"I think I might like that. That is if you aren't afraid to be around me," she teased.
"I have seen too much out here in space to be afraid of a wee girl such as yourself. No offense intended."
"None taken," she said smiling down at him.
"Are ye sure ye are not an angel? That is the heavenliest smile I have ever seen," he said, reaching up to touch her cheek.
"No angel," she confirmed. "Now you just lay back and get some sleep. The sooner you get well, the sooner I will let you out of here."
"You have a deal," Scotty said, yawning deeply. "It will give me a chance to catch up on my sleep."
Judy stood and watched as he drifted off to sleep. What had she done? She had promised herself not to get involved with anyone and here she was going out on a date with the first man who asked her. But he was awfully cute and he did come with references. Besides, there was something about him that touched her heart. He had been hurt deeply too. She was sure of that. Maybe she should find an excuse not to go out with him.. Sighing deeply, she turned down the volume on the biopanel and dimmed the lights. She had two days to make up her mind. Perhaps she would talk it over with Nyota.
"Oh I think it would be wonderful," Nyota said, breaking into a broad smile. "I told you he would be perfect for you."
"I'm just not sure I am ready for this," Judy protested.
"There is only one way to find out," Nyota replied.
"You will find that my wife is a hopeless matchmaker," Spock said, glancing over at them from the computer terminal.
"Don't you have someplace you need to be?" Uhura called over to Spock.
"Where would that be, my wife?" Spock asked a puzzled look on his face. "I am not aware of any …oh. I see," he said, as realization dawned. "The two of you wish to engage in 'girl talk'."
"And they say Vulcans are dense when it comes to understanding human ways," Uhura joked. "Yes, we wish to engage in girl talk. Now get lost!"
"Very well, I am sure I can persuade Jim to join me for a game of chess in the rec room. If you will excuse me," he said, inclining his head to Judy.
Judy covered her mouth trying to stifle a giggle. Once Spock had left the room, both women broke out in a fit of laughter. "He really is perceptive for a man," Judy said her breath coming in gasps.
"I know. It's all in the training," Uhura said, equally breathless.
"You seem to have done a good job with him. I think he would do anything for you," she said, enviously.
"Yes he would," Uhura replied.
"So how did you two get together, if you don't mind my asking? You made a cryptic remark when we first met something like 'if it hadn't happened the way it did with Spock that you would have ended up with Scotty. Never mind, I shouldn't have asked," Judy said. Seeing the look on Uhura's face, she suddenly feeling she had overstepped her bounds with the communications officer.
"No, it's all right. It's just still kind of hard to talk about. Spock and I have resolved it, but it was really painful for a while," Uhura said, growing silent for a long moment. Then finally she said, almost in a whisper. "You are a doctor, what do you know about Vulcan biology?"
"Not a lot. I don't think anyone does. I know there is some sort of mating cycle involved but they are really closed mouthed about it."
"Well I got a first hand lesson," Uhura replied. "I'm not a doctor so I was totally unprepared for the brutality of the whole thing." She sat quietly for a moment. Judy almost thought she wasn't going to finish. Then finally, she continued. "A couple of months ago we had to divert to Vulcan. No one seemed to know why. We only knew it had something to do with Spock and the strange way he was acting. Well to make a long story short, apparently he had a wife waiting for him there. His behavior was a result of the mating cycle you mentioned. When we got to Vulcan, the Captain, Dr. McCoy and Spock beamed down to the surface for some type of ceremony. There was a lot of confusion when they came back. Most of the crew still doesn't know what happened, but T'Pring, his betrothed challenged him to fight for her. She chose Captain Kirk as the one to do battle for her. No one, except Spock knew that it was a fight to the death and he was in no condition to comprehend what was taking place much less challenge her choice.
"It turned out that Dr. McCoy injected the Captain with a neuro-paralyzer instead of a tri-ox compound to simulate his death. He then beamed the captain back leaving Spock to believe he had killed the Captain. When he returned to the ship, they let him know about the charade.
"At first, he thought that the fight had dissipated the mating drive but about a week later it returned in full force. He came to my quarters to ask me . . . well to ask me to help him with the situation. I am sure I don't have to go into detail about that."
"No you don't," Judy said, wide eyed.
"Spock and I were friends and while I was seeing Scotty, we had no commitment to each other and it was obvious that Spock needed my help. I thought about sending him over to Christine's quarters. She is our head nurse and she had a horrible crush on him at the time."
"Dr. McCoy mentioned she was on some type of leave," Judy said.
"Yes, she became involved with our assistant chief engineer, Frank DeSalle. They have gone to visit his parents on Earth."
"I can't wait to meet her. Everyone keeps telling me what a great nurse she is" Judy exclaimed, nodding her head for Uhura to continue.
"But then I realized that he trusted me enough to come and ask me what he did. I couldn't just turn him away and I do have to admit to being curious as to what it would be like with him. I mean you hear all kinds of stories about Vulcans."
"You sure do! I will have to find out from you later how many of them are true."
Uhura laughed. "A lot more of them than you would believe. Anyway, I agreed to let him stay, thinking it would be a night of possibly interesting sex and that would be the end of it. I had no idea of the intensity of pon farr. It literally turns them into animals. I remember looking into Spock's face and seeing nothing. There was no mind there, no reason. I knew Vulcans were telepaths so I tried several times to reach into his mind hoping to find the real Spock. It was a brutal ordeal. For three days I was locked in my quarters with someone who was for all intents and purposes a rabid animal. The only thing that kept me from leaving the few times I had a chance was knowing the he would die if I did and that he was as much a victim, if not more so, of his biology as I was.
"When it was all over, I literally threw him out of my cabin. It was weeks before I could look him in the face again. And I might not have, had we not literally run into each other in the hallway."
"That sounds familiar," Judy said in astonishment. "But go on."
"When he reached down to help me pick up what I had dropped, we touched and I felt something almost like electricity pass between us. I later found out that I had been successful those times I had tried to reach his mind. Somehow in the midst of it all, our minds bonded together. I can't tell you how shocked I was when Spock showed up at my door again and explained to me what had happened and that we were married. I told him I didn't want to be married to anyone, especially him. I went into denial about the whole thing. I was angry at him for what he had done and angry at myself for letting it happen. And deep down I felt like it was my fault because I was the one who asked him to stay.
"Spock on the other hand, wished to continue the relationship. He kept insisting that I was his wife and I kept telling him I was not! Anyway, he finally convinced me to let him try and win me over. He promised me that if I still felt the same way by the time we returned to Vulcan, he would give me a divorce. Poor Spock, he tried so hard to make up for what he had done. Believe it or not, he has a romantic side. I think I am the only one he has ever allowed to see that side of him.
"I was just so confused about everything. I didn't know what to do. And then, I found out I was pregnant. By that time, I was so tired of fighting I just gave up and decided to accept our marriage."
"It seems to have worked out," Judy said.
"Well it wasn't until he took me away from the ship on a honeymoon that I really began to fall in love with him. When we came back I told him that I had decided that I wanted to stay married and make a go of this marriage. And I know that I broke poor Scotty's heart when I did it, but I really do love Spock. Maybe I did all along and that is the real reason I couldn't leave him to die"
"Speaking of the baby, what are you two planning to do after the baby comes?" Judy asked.
"We got a waiver from Starfleet to stay aboard with the child. Spock and the Captain discovered that there was a captain of another ship that had a child and her crew petitioned Starfleet to let her stay. They gave her a waiver so she could keep her child with her. Captain Kirk argued with Admiral Nogura that if they made the exception for her they had to make it for me."
"That's great!" Judy said. "I was so afraid I would lose my new friend," she said, reaching over to hug Uhura.
"Now about you and Scotty," Uhura said, changing the subject. "He really is a wonderful man, Judy and he would never, ever hurt you. When Scotty loves, he loves deep. And," she said in a conspiratorial whisper, "he really is wonderful in bed."
Judy blushed bright red. "I didn't say it was going to go that far!"
"Make sure it does," Uhura laughed. "You won't regret it."
"One more favor?" Judy asked. "Can I borrow another dress?"
"Help yourself," Uhura laughed. "Like I said, I won't be wearing them for a while."
Scotty looked up as Judy entered the Rec Room. Jumping up from his chair, he quickly pulled out the chair next to him for her. "The Captain has already taken you to the Starfire. I canna compete with that!" Scotty said in way of apology.
"I don't mind at all," Judy replied. "I think it's kind of nice and cozy in here."
"Aye that it is, Lass," Scotty said, taking a sip of his drink. "I am glad you decided to join me this afternoon. I wasna sure ye were goin ta."
"I wasn't sure myself for a while," she said, growing quiet. "Scotty I have to tell you that I am still hurting over my last relationship. He broke my heart pretty bad. The thought of trying again right now scares me to death."
"That I can understand, lass. I was involved with someone too and she broke my heart into a million pieces."
"Nyota?" Judy asked, giving him a surprised look.
"Yes, Nyota. How did ye know?" he asked a shocked look on his face. "Although I guess the whole ship probably knows about it by now; what with her married ta Mr. Spock and all."
"She told me all about it," Judy replied.
"She did, did she," he said, taking another swallow of his drink. "Aye, it was her all right. She was like a dream come true ta me. I would never have thought that such a woman would want to have anything to do with the likes of me. But there she was. Two years it lasted. I have never felt about a woman the way I felt about her. I just never could get up the nerve to tell her how I really felt. The next thing I know she's married to Mr. Spock and having his baby. I still have not figured that one out yet. I thought I meant something ta her."
"You did Scotty. She still loves you. She told me so," Judy replied.
"As a friend, maybe. She has made that quite clear. Mr. Spock," he said, shaking his head. "I still canna believe it. It's bad enough to lose a woman, especially one of the likes of Nyota, but to lose her to Mr. Spock of all people!" He set his glass down. "I am sorry Lassie, I dinna mean to burden you with my heartache."
"It's okay. I completely understand what you are going through. It's kind of nice to have someone to talk to who feels the same way you do."
"Aye that it is," Scotty said, smiling broadly over at her in a way that made her heart skip a beat. "Well now, maybe our bumping into each other in the corridor was providence. Perhaps we can help each other get over our heartaches."
"I am just so afraid to try again," Judy, her eyes full of pain.
"Well now lassie, the way I see it. Ye have two choices in the matter. Ye can sit locked up in your quarters and stew over what that bastard did to ye or ye can get back up on another horse and have the ride of yer life. And from what ye say, it sounds like he has taken the second road. Why should he have all the fun? There is always the chance that ye might get hurt, but then again," he said raising his glass of scotch, "maybe ye won't."
"You know what?" Judy said. "You're right. You are absolutely right!"
"Well then, now that we have that settled," Scotty said, raising his glass, "Here's to beginning anew."
"To beginning anew," Judy said, thinking it over for a moment. Then raising her glasses, she touched it to his. "I like that."
The rippling sound of a lyre tuning up caused them both to look over to the far side of the room where a crowd was gathering.
"Well now, that's something we havena seen in a while," Scotty said, breaking into a big grin. "Nyota is going to sing for us."
"Does she do that often?" Judy asked.
"Well she used to but she stopped a couple of months ago. I am not sure what happened but she seemed to be in a bad way for a while. I couldna get her interested in anything. In fact she would hardly speak to me or anyone else for that matter. And then come to find out she was . . . well that was about the time she and Spock got together. That's his lyre you're hearing."
"It's beautiful," Judy whispered as the strains of the lyre drifted across the room. "I am surprised he plays publicly. All the Vulcans I have known in the past have been very private."
"Nyota has a way of drawing people out of themselves. Ye canna say no to her," Scotty said, a slight hoarseness in his voice.
Judy reached over and put her hand on his upper arm. He placed his free hand over hers. "How about we get out of here? Let me show you the ship's arboretum. You haven't seen it yet have ye?"
"No I haven't," Judy said, glancing regretfully over to where Nyota was beginning her song.
"If you would rather stay here," Scotty offered.
"That's okay. I can hear her sing some other time. And I would love to see the arboretum."
"Well then, let's go," Scotty said, pushing his chair back and grabbing her hand. He practically ran with her in tow to the door. Not that she could blame him. Had their situations been reversed she would have been out the door at warp speed.
"They turn the lights down at night to simulate moonlight. It's a verra romantic place," Scotty told her as they strolled down the flower lined path that led through the heart of the arboretum. Overhead a clear dome sealed them off from space. Starlight streamed through the invisible dome making it seem as if they were walking under the stars with solid ground under their feet.
"You could almost forget you are inside a metal shell adrift amongst the stars," Judy said in awe.
"We are hardly adrift," Scotty replied. "My engines are at full functional capability."
"I meant it in a poetic way," Judy laughed, seeing the hurt look on his face. "I think you have been hanging around Mr. Spock too long," she teased.
"You know you dinna have to go and insult me, lassie," Scotty said, a feigned look of horror on his face.
"So do you bring all your women here?" she asked, changing the subject.
"No I don't," Scotty said softly. "Just ..."
There she had gone and done it again, she thought. "I am so sorry. I don't mean to keep reminding you of her."
"That's all right, Judy. Everywhere I look on this ship I am reminded of her. If it wasn't for my engines I would have transferred out, but the poor bairns need me. What with the hot shot Captain we have and all," he said, smiling. "Someone has to be here to protect them."
"I know exactly what you mean," Judy said. "That's why I left the Reliant. Jeff was everywhere. All my friends were his friends. I had to work with him everyday. Take orders from him. And all the while my heart was being torn into smaller and smaller pieces."
"That's the way I feel sometimes, especially when I see the two of them together. And to know that she is carrying his child. You know for a while I thought maybe it was mine. I mean we were together up until ... ".
"Are you are sure its not?" Judy asked.
"Aye, the genetic tests confirmed that it's his," Scotty said, pain in his voice. "I still don't understand how that all happened. We were so happy together, or at least I thought so at the time. And then . . . I mean, I know I dinna make her any promises and that is my fault. And I will pay for it for the rest of my life, but how did he do it? I never will understand. I mean if she wasn't happy with me why didn't she just tell me. Why go off and have an affair with someone else while we were still together."
"It just happened, Scotty," Judy said. "It had nothing to do with you."
"You mean she told you what happened?" he asked in amazement. "Well tell me. I have a right to know. I canna get her to tell me."
"I don't know if I should or not," Judy said, suddenly sorry she had opened her mouth. She did not want to betray a confidence, but then Nyota hadn't exactly told her not to tell.
"Please lass, if you can do anything to clear my head on this, please do it," Scotty begged. "I willna say nothing to Nyota. Ye have my word on that."
"All right. Let's sit down," she said, maneuvering him over to a small bench under a large oak tree. Slowly she outlined for him what Nyota had told her regarding the night Spock came to her quarters.
"Oh the poor lass! If I had known I would have beat the shit out of him," Scotty said angrily.
"That's not what she wanted," Judy said. "She felt that Spock was just as much a victim as she was. And then she found out that somehow in the process they had bonded mentally. She was shocked when Spock told her they were considered married. At first, she wanted to dissolve the marriage and then she found out she was pregnant."
"If only she had confided in me," Scotty wailed. "How can she stay with him after what he did to her? And with a man has no feelings to speak of no less."
"Scotty, she really does love him. She says she found that out when they went on their honeymoon. She is very happy. And she wants you to be happy too. It hurts her to think what she put you through."
"Well at least I know," Scotty said. "And I told him that if he ever hurts her I will kick his ass clean to the Andromeda Galaxy and I meant it."
"And as for his feelings, he loves her in his own way and she accepts that. It takes a very special woman to love a man like that."
"Aye and special she is," Scotty agreed, wiping his eyes. "I am sorry to carry on so about her on our first date."
"That's okay, Scotty. It's part of the healing you talked about. I only told you because I thought you had a right to know that it was not due to any lack of love for you on her part that she ended your relationship."
"Thank you," Scotty said. "I really appreciate it and I willna say a word to Nyota that you told me."
"Good because I really don't want to lose her as a friend," Judy replied.
"Come on, let's walk some more," Scotty said getting up from the bench. Reaching for her hand, he pulled her to her feet and into his arms. "Has anyone ever told you that you are an incredibly beautiful woman," Scotty whispered. Before she could reply, he leaned down to kiss her deeply. She found herself eagerly responding. "Why don't we go back to your cabin," Scotty said. "I can stop by mine and grab a bottle of Scotch. I would invite ye to mine but I am afraid it might scare ye to see it."
"It can't be that bad," Judy laughed.
"Don't be too sure of that," Scotty replied, sighing deeply. "It's pretty bad. But I've not been off duty long enough to clean it up. What with all the flying back and forth we have done across the galaxy. First its Altair, then it's Vulcan, then it's Altair, then it's Vulcan, then its go pick up this group of ambassadors and take them halfway across the known galaxy and then onto Starbase 8 to deliver Dr. M'Benga to his new assignment. And now I hear tell we are setting course for Earth."
"Earth! Why are we headed back to Earth?" Judy asked, her eyes lighting up. "I haven't been back to Earth in five years!"
"It seems our Nurse Chapel and Lt. DeSalle have decided to tie the knot and the Captain has arranged for the Enterprise to be there. It's a surprise for Ms. Chapel. Anyway, we are all invited to the wedding. And we only have a week and a half to get there. The stress on my poor engines!"
"A wedding, that sounds exciting!" she exclaimed.
"Too much excitement lately if you ask me," Scotty said. "Weddings, babies, the whole crew has gone space happy if ye ask me."
"Well I think its wonderful," Judy said, squealing with delight. I cant wait. Do you think it would be alright if I went to the wedding. I mean I don't know the bride and groom. But I love weddings!"
"Well you know me and I am one of the groomsmen," he replied. "Consider yourself invited."
"I guess this means I need to raid Nyota's closet again," Judy laughed. "She is going to get so tired of me asking.
"That woman has more clothes than anyone I know," Scotty laughed. "Come on let's go get that bottle of Scotch. We have a party of our own to attend to."
"Well now, didn't I tell ye," Scotty said, seeing the look on Judy's face. "It's a downright shame that a man would live in a pig sty like this."
"Oh, it's not so bad. It just needs a little work," Judy said, wrinkling up her nose.
"Here it is," Scotty said, pulling out the bottle of Scotch from under a pile of computer discs. "Wouldn't ye know, it was under my technical journals. I like to have a glass of fine Scotch while I read."
"Don't you think you ought to get rid of some of them?" Judy asked, staring at the three piles of discs stacked almost to the ceiling. Another pile lay in a heap on the desktop.
"Woman, ye don't ask a man to give up the most important thing in his life. Why I haven't even had time to read half of them," Scotty said, reaching under the desk to pull out two glasses. "Well now we are all set. Lead the way!"
Judy paused uncertainly when they got to the door to her quarters. Did she really want to go through with this? Part of her was urging her on while another part was cautioning her to hold back. Taking a deep breath, she pressed the activation panel and the door whished open.
"Come on it," Judy said, glancing shyly at Scotty.
Scotty too seemed to hesitate for a moment, then stepped inside. "It's a nice place you have here," he said, glancing nervously around the room.
"Here let me take that," Judy said, reaching for the bottle of Scotch and the two glasses. "These are beautiful," she said, looking at the intricate work etched in the glass.
"They have been in my family for generations. That design right there is the Scott family crest," he said, proudly.
"Oh, I see," Judy said, holding it up to the light to study it. "These must really be valuable," she said, setting them down gently on the table.
"Aye that they are," he replied. "And I only use them for special occasions."
"I'm honored," she said, turning her back to him and pouring the amber liquid into the glasses. She suddenly felt him come up behind her and place his hands on her shoulders. She stood frozen, not sure what she should do. The feel of his body against her own was intoxicating. A part of her was already responding to the nearness of his body. Her breath was quickening. She leaned back against him, feeling a hard protrusion against her lower back. She moaned softly as she felt his large hands pushing her hair aside and then the feel of warm lips on the back of her neck. She breathed deeply, catching the scent of Scotch on his breath.
"Ah, Judy," he whispered. I can't tell ye how good it feels to hold a bonnie lass in my arms again."
"Scotty," she said, pulling away slightly. Was it really her he wanted or a substitute for Nyota?. "This is moving a little fast for me."
Scotty turned her around to face him. "Do ye want me to be leavin?" he asked, disappointment etched deeply in his face.
"I . .. I don't know what I want," she said, looking up at him pleadingly.
"Well in that case, I better be goin'," he whispered regretfully. Letting go of her shoulders, he turned toward the door.
"No, wait, Scotty," she called after him. "Don't go. I'm sorry. I am so confused right now. I just don't want to end up hurting you."
"Well why don't you let me be the one to make that decision. I have a lot of experience in that area. You can't do much more to my heart than has already been done to it.
Scotty reached out to gently brush his fingertips across her cheek. She closed her eyes and gasped softly as his fingertips moved down the length of neck to the base of her collarbone. Then ever so gently, he slipped the straps of her gown down her arms to her elbows.
"Tell me to stop if ye want to otherwise I will keep on going," he said, looking deeply into her eyes.
"Please don't stop, she begged as a surge of white hot heat shoot through her body, sweeping all her doubts away. She was dimly aware of the gown sliding in slow motion down her body ending up in a puddle at her feet. Sweeping her up in his arms, Scotty carried her over to the bed and laid her down on her back on the soft comforter. She smiled shyly up at him, feeling very self conscious about being this exposed to some one she had just met. It had taken her months to get use to being undressed around Jeff.
Smiling broadly, he stared at her appreciatively. "Oh, Lass you are one beautiful woman," he murmured hoarsely.
She closed her eyes allowing her body to soak in the sensations as he continued to slowly undress her. The touch of his skin against hers was almost more than she could bear. It had been so long since anyone had taken his time with her like this. She moaned loudly as his hands freed her of her bra and moved to caress her breasts. A moment later she felt his tongue gently teasing her nipple. A warm glow began in her groin and spread upward at warp speed as his kisses became more intense. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she pulled him closer against her breast, urging him to take it into his mouth and suckle on it. An intense shudder shook her as she felt his teeth gently graze across the tip of her nipple, and then trailed down her abdomen toward her lower body.
She suddenly had a desire to a more active participant in all of this. Squirming out from under him, she sat up on her heels on the bed, looking him in the eye. Noticing that he was still fully clothed, she reached for the hem of his tunic and pulled it over his head.
"Now for the rest," she said, reaching for the seal to his pants. With one swift motion, she pulled them down to his knees, her eyes taking in the noticeable bulge straining against the confines of his underwear. Slipping her fingers under the waistband, she slipped them down his hips, her eyes burning seductively into his.
His engorged penis, now free of its prison, dangled enticingly in front of her. Without taking her eyes off his, she leaned over and ran her tongue across the tip. He shivered involuntarily at the contact. Reaching down he cupped her chin in one hand and caressed her cheek with the other. For a long moment they just looked into each other's eyes.
"Are you sure Lass? Are you really sure?" he asked.
"Yes, Scotty, I am. I want this more than anything right now," she replied, her eyes misting up.
Gently grasping her by the back of the neck, he pulled her back down so that her face was against his groin. He groaned loudly as she intertwined her tongue around his shaft, then began to lick and suck on it. She was aware of his breathing becoming more ragged as she worked her way up and down the thick organ. He remained still for a long moment, enjoying the feel of her wet tongue on his heated flesh.
She heard a soft groan issue from her own lips as she felt herself falling backward onto the soft mattress. Lying down next to her, Scotty positioned himself so that his head was at her hip level. "This is much better," he murmured. Sliding his hand between her thighs, he parted them slightly. His hand moved between her thighs to slip two fingers into her opening. Her body bucked up against his hand trying to force it further inside her canal. Gently, he began to slide his fingers in and out of her causing her opening to grow slick with her own juices. Then slipping them out, he wiped the moisture onto the interior of her thigh and bent down to lick it off her. She gasped as his tongue began to play along the inside of her thighs, teasing its way toward her moist opening.
Taking him fully into her mouth, she tried a little trick with her tongue that she had always sent men over the edge. Scotty was no exception. She felt his body spasm uncontrollably as her tongue contacted just the right spot. "I don't know what you just did, but do that again," he gasped. Smiling to herself, she complied with his request. A drop of pre-cum shot of him landing on her tongue. Was it her imagination or did he taste like Scotch? Attacking him with more fervor, she increased the pressure on his organ, causing him to release a few more drops of the succulent liquid.
"Lassie, if you don't stop that right now, I am not going to last," he laughed. "Come here," he coaxed, motioning her to join him at the head of the bed. "I need to be inside you."
A wave of fear washed over her. Knowing that he had been with Nyota was intimidating. Scotty had really loved the communications officer. Still did in fact. What if she couldn't live up to his memories of that relationship? What if …?
Her thoughts were interrupted as she felt his hands take firm hold of her hips and pull her down to straddle him, his organ protruding straight up between her thighs. With her hands, she began to massage and knead the blood engorged flesh, bending down to flick her tongue tauntingly around the head.
"I told you I wouldn't last like that lassie," he laughed. Gripping her shoulders, he suddenly rolled her over and placed the tip of his penis up against her opening. Gazing down intently into her eyes, he silently asked her permission again.
She nodded her consent. With one hard push, he impaled himself deep within her. Wrapping her legs tightly around his hips, she tightened her inner muscles squeezing down on his hardened cock, drawing it further inside her.
Slipping her arms around his neck, she pulled him down into a passionate kiss. As their lips met, she opened her mouth, allowing his tongue entry. She gasped as she felt his thick tongue intertwine with her own, then slide up to play along the roof of her mouth. She was aware of the taste of Scotch on his breath as he moved deeper with her mouth.
Her body bucked involuntarily up against his as he began to move within her, his penis sliding in and out causing a build up of intense friction that suddenly exploded in a shower of colors in her head. She lost all sense of time as her body gave itself over to the fire burning within it. Over and over she was battered by the shock waves that surged through her. Never had she experienced this intensity of passion before. It increased in intensity, taking her to heights of pleasure she had never dreamed possible. Then just as she reached the explosion point, she felt Scotty push up deep inside her, his cock quivering as he released a pent up flood of semen within her. Her internal muscles began to spasm, tightening and squeezing his organ tightly between her inner walls, wringing the last drops of fluid out of him. She heard a loud cry issue from his throat only to be echoed by her own seconds later.
Clutching onto him for dear life, she rode out the last convulsions that racked her body. Then her breath coming in gasps, she collapsed exhausted onto the bed. Scotty rolled off of her, his limp penis leaving a trail of sticky fluid down the front of her thigh. Reaching down she wiped it off with her finger, then slipped it into her mouth, tasting their mingled body fluids. Scotty reached over to pull her close to him, his breath coming out as sobs. She looked up at him to see tears trickling down his cheeks.
"It has been so long," he said in a hoarse whisper. "So long since I felt this way about anyone. I thought I would nere again feel this way. I dinna know what has come over me. Never has a woman made me cry like this. Ye must be thinking I am crazy."
"If you are then I am as crazy as you," she said. Burying her face in his shoulder, she let her own tears join his.
Later they lay in each other arms waiting for the breathing to return to normal. Judy snuggled closer to Scotty, enjoying the feel of his body next to hers. For some reason, it seemed so right that she should be here with him. For the first time in a long time, she did not feel the sharp pain in her heart when she thought about Jeff. In fact, she felt absolutely nothing. It was as if that part of her life had happened to someone else.
She looked up to see Scotty looking over at her, a smile of satisfaction on his face.
"Don't you be telling Nyota," he whispered, but that little trick of yours. That's one even she doesn't know about."
"Well you know I am a doctor after all. I did learn a few things in medical school."
"Is that what they teach you in medical school? If I would have known that I would have found me a doctor a long time ago. But I have one now and I guess that is all that matters."
"Yes," Judy sighed contentedly. "You have one now."