Does Our Clueless Vulcan Begin to Get a Clue?

“Could we cut out the bridge chatter?”

Spock straightened away from Nyota who had motioned him over to her station so that she could ask him what was wrong. He exchanged a look with her before stepping away.

“My apologies, Captain,” Spock said coolly, returning to his science station.

Jim waved that away. “Wasn’t just you.”

Sulu and Chekov rather pointedly stared straight ahead.

“Mr. Chekov, you’re part of the landing party. Lieutenant Uhura, please have Doctor McCoy, Mr. Hendorff, and Mr. Scott meet us at the transporter room.” Jim rose from his chair and headed for the turbolift, following by Chekov. “You have the command, Spock.”

“Captain.”

He stopped but didn’t turn around. “Yeah?”

“During our prior meetings regarding this mission, it was concluded that I would be an asset on the landing party.”

“I’ve decided to have Chekov in your place. He could use the science experience.” Jim turned then to gaze at Spock, expression schooled and blank. “Is that a problem, Mister Spock?”

“No, Captain.”

Jim nodded and entered the turbolift as did Chekov and the doors closed.

Nyota approached him. “What was that?”

Spock exhaled. “I do not know.”

Much later after the landing party returned, Spock went to the medbay. Surprisingly, it was not Jim who had been injured, but Chekov and Hendorff. But Jim stood by the biobed next to the ensign while McCoy examined him.

“Reporting, Captain. The situation is stable.”

“Good,” the captain replied. “You okay, Chekov?”

“Yes, sir.”

Without even looking in Spock’s direction, Jim went over to the biobed with Hendorff. Nurse Chapel was with him. Spock followed.

“Good work down there, Lieutenant.”

“Glad to be of service, Captain.”

“Extra service today.”

“Oh?” Spock asked politely.   

Hendorff shrugged. “Nothing, Commander. They were just going to take the captain hostage and I prevented it.”

“And got injured in the process,” Jim added. “I’ll put an accommodation in your file. How is he?” He directed this at Chapel.

“He’ll be fine. Few days of rest, he’ll be good as new.”

Jim smiled and nodded, turning away and heading for the exit.

Spock followed.

Jim stopped just outside the medbay doors turning, toward him/ “I’m off duty so I’m headed for my quarters.”

“You definitely could use some rest.”

“Yeah. Why aren’t you on the bridge?”

“Mr. Sulu is in charge at the moment, but I’m on my way there. Chess later?”

The captain didn’t respond at first and Spock got the oddest feeling he was counting to ten in his head. But then he very slowly let out a breath.

“Okay. Sure. Why not? Twenty-one hundred. My quarters.”

“I will be there.”

Jim started to turn away, but then stopped. “You know what? Scratch that. How about the rec room instead?”

“The…rec room?” They had not played chess there in months. Jim preferred relaxing in his quarts and frankly, so did Spock.

“Yeah. We should socialize more with the crew, I think. Put in an appearance of a united front. That kind of thing.”

“As you wish, Captain.”

Jim offered him a smile but it was brittle and Spock knew with absolute certainty he had failed some kind of Kirk test.