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Fic: Observations, Ch 173
Star Trek

Jim entered my quarters and collapsed onto the bed.  After an interval, he raised his head and moaned.

“That was a fucking long day.  I hate diplomacy.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“The talks were unsuccessful.”

“No.  Yes.  Kind of.  I don’t know.  Nyota thinks they went well.  We’ve got another round tomorrow.  She’s psyched out about the results, and all I’ve got is fucking headache.”

I put down my datapad and went to Jim.

“Lie straight, Jim.”

“What’re you doing?” he adjusted his position.

I put my hands to his shoulders and began rubbing slow circles into his tense muscles.

“Shit,” Jim exhaled.  “Is this another one of those learning curve things?”

“In a manner of speaking, yes.”

“Is there anything you’re not good at?  Out of curiosity?” he mumbled.

“In what capacity are you requesting this evaluation of my strengths and weaknesses?  I may enumerate the areas for which I am unsuited in terms of command, or I may answer your question in terms of character.”

“Spock.  It was rhetorical.”

“I see,” I continued to knead along his back and sides.

“Sometimes I think you do that on purpose.  Misunderstand me.  Ow, fuck that hurt.”

“It is strange that you consistently state that you have a strong aversion to diplomatic missions, yet you are quite an effective diplomat.”

“Was that a compliment or a question?”

“Both.  I would like to ascertain the reason as to why you become tired after diplomatic missions but are able to manage emergency situations with fewer side effects.”

“That feels good.”

“You are not listening to me.”

“I’m listening.  Kind of hard to give you an intelligent answer when my brain’s turned into a puddle.  Didn’t know Vulcan hands had so many secrets.”


A pause.  I continued, massaging his thighs, calves, rolling his ankles, feet, then gradually moving back up to his spine, shoulders, neck, lower skull.  Jim made various sounds of to signal his satisfaction, the presence of pain.  Through the cloth, I could feel the sharp edge of his headache receding.

“You still want me to answer that question, don’t you.”

“It can wait.”

“You and Nyota, practically everyone, thinks that I’m a better diplomat than I actually am.  But I’m not.  I don’t actually know anything about navigating the small details of a treaty.  That feels good.  Yeah, right there,” he exhaled.  “Anyway, I only just learned—Shaw really knows her stuff—how treaties actually work.  They aren’t technically binding, did you know that?”

“Yes.  Neither party is legally obligated to fulfill the terms of the treaties they sign.  The power of treaties is oftentimes purely symbolic, a gesture of cooperation between parties.  It is incumbent on the signers to uphold the agreement, as there is no outside authority to enforce the terms.”

“Well, I didn’t.  My point is, it takes a lot of maneuvering.  Knowing where you can compromise—ow—and where you can push things.  I don’t have the time to look at that kind of detail for each mission, let alone remember them.  You and Nyota are good at that.  Okay, that spot really hurts.”

“Then you dislike diplomatic missions because you feel you are not proficient in diplomacy?”

“I don’t know.  Kind of.  Can you go up a little higher?  Mostly I’m not that type of person.  It’s not my thing, getting all bureaucratic and technical.  I’m better with command, big picture stuff.”

“The treaty—”

“Spock, all I do is get two people to the table.  That’s all.  You get them to see eye to eye.  I get them to stand each other’s presence in the same room.  We’re like the good cop/bad cop team, and I’m fine with that.  Don’t worry about it.”

“And this recent mission?”

“It feels kind of sore right there.”

“Here?” I moved my hands.

“Yeah.  That.  Ow.”

“Relax, Jim.”

“I am.  God.  You should do this to me every night.”

“I believe I do many things to you every night.”

Jim laughed.

“Sometimes not at night, his voice suggestive.


Another pause.

“Anyway,” Jim said, shifting his position.  “This mission was all Nyota.  She’s good at that stuff, she knows it, likes it.  Watching her negotiate’s kind of like watching a sport—fun, if you’re into political word battles.  Or debate.  Was she on the Fleet debate team?”

“Much of her free time was consumed by her track practices and membership in the xenolingusitics club.”

“Huh.  Didn’t know that.  Cool.”

“Have you revised your opinion of her style of leadership?”

“I don’t know.  I can see how a more horizontal type of organization could be useful in missions like these—I would never’ve thought about the confederation idea if she didn’t hold that brainstorm session.”

“But you have reservations.”

“This is military, Spock.  Firefights, that shit doesn’t hold.”

There is no indication that Nyota would conduct the ship in that manner during a firefight.”

“I know.  But military structures in general don’t encourage horizontal organization.  The whole chain of command thing.”

“That does not imply that a less vertical command formation cannot be implemented effectively on a starship.”

“I’m not arguing with you, okay?  Just saying that it’s different from what they teach at Command School back at the Academy.”


Jim groaned.

“That feels obscene.”


“That,” he breathed, “and you agreeing with me on something.”

“I agree.  The combination is rare.”

“You’re enjoying this.”

“As are you.  It is a mutally enjoyable experience.”

“Makes up for the hours in that room, trying to to be diplomatic.  Why’d they have to split the missions up this way—I seriously thought I’d get out of this one.”

“Then Nyota’s conjecture was correct.”

“Do I even have to confirm that for you?”


“Didn’t think so.”

A pause.

“To answer your question—”

“Rhetorical.  Spock, you’ve got to learn that concept.”

“I have already mastered it.  However, though you asked without the intent of receiving an answer, I believe it is an interesting question that merits consideration.”

“You’re going to tell me anyway.”

Nyota and Sulu both chose their respective missions because it plays to their strengths.

“Yeah, you’re telling me anyway.  Ow!  All right, I’m listening.”

Nyota is working closely with the Science and Communications Departments where she is familiar, while Sulu is organizing his mission with Science and Security Departments.”

“Makes sense.  Guess I’ll have to assign missions later that puts them out of their element.”

“I believe you should do that later.  It would be better to allow them to become familiar with standard operations before giving them missions that they feel are out of their areas of expertise.”

“I didn’t have that luxury.”

“You are also the youngest captain in Starfleet’s history, promoted directly from cadet to captain.”

“Can you believe that was two years ago?”


Jim laughed into the bed.

“Hey, why’re you stopping?”

“Your headache is gone, your body totally relaxed.  There is no need to continue.”

“But it feels good.”




“There’s a spot right under my shoulder—”

“I have a meeting with Sulu in ten minutes concerning his upcoming mission.”


“Sleep, Jim.  You have another series of meetings to write the treaty for the creation of this confederation.  I believe that Lt. Shaw is scheduled to send a transmission at 0900 hours.”

“Great.  Just great.  Why do we always talk about work?”

“Our lives revolve around it.”

“For once, we are going to do something normal, I swear.  I’m going to talk to Scotty about going to that football game.”

“You may sleep in my quarters, if you do not desire to move.”

“Are you coming back?”

“I will return.”

“Good.  Have fun, tell me about how Sulu’s getting on with his mission.”

“Of course.”

“Fuck.  More work related talk.  Can’t win,” he yawned.

I touched my fingers to his temple.  Jim smiled sleepily, then directed a mental kiss to me.

Come back whenever.

I nodded, then exited my quarters and locked the bulkheads.

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Still fascinating.

In a way, these new chapters are an examination of leadership that answers a question I was wondering about at the end of last week. I am very interested in where you are going with this.

It was interesting to see how Jim's perspective on his diplomatic skills differs from that of the rest of the crew.

Also, I now really want a massage. My shoulders are kinked up from traveling (laptop bag and assorted books toted across various airports) and this was painfully/wonderfully descriptive.

“Nyota and Sulu both chose their respective missions because it plays to their strengths.”
Somehow I had a feeling that he would have gone on to say something like "...while you are more ready to test yourself against situations you find difficult". It would not be completely true (e.g. diplomacy!), but Kirk seems indeed more willing than most to push the limits of his comfort zone. One instance is allowing himself to be touched so deeply by Spock-- love is not always enough for that level of trust.




- That still doesn't get you nookie.


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