A wee bit weird!
“Rumors are this place is haunted.”
Spock glanced at Jim with what could only be considered derision. “I am surprised you would listen to rumors, Captain. Especially nonsensical ones.”
Jim snorted. “Tell me how you really feel, Spock.”
“I always endeavor to do so.”
Jim sighed. Crossed his arms in front of him as he looked at the ruins of the ancient civilization. It was little more than abandoned decaying buildings and crumbling stone arches. It was kind of eerie but more than that it made Jim sad for what was lost. Whoever had lived here, had dreams and hopes and wishes for a future that never happened.
“Did you want to go into the dwelling further, captain? I do not recommend it. It looks dangerous.”
“I’m sure it’s fine. I’ll be careful. Report over to the chieftain of the village and I’ll meet you there shortly.”
“You do not intend to go in there alone.”
“It’s not haunted, remember? You said yourself.”
“Indeed, but they are crumbling ruins, Captain.”
“I’ll be careful.”
Spock hesitated, but he finally nodded. “If you do not return to the village in fifteen minutes—
He waved Spock away and headed into the ruins. He knew his first officer watched his every moved, but Jim ignored it. He’d chalk it up to their new-found…er…well whatever it was they were…more than friends, less than lovers? Jim sure as hell didn’t know—but Spock had been weird about watching Jim’s every move even before all that. Jim used to think Spock was looking for a way to file a report against him, but he no longer thought that.
Jim didn’t know all that much about this ancient, almost-forgotten civilization. The chieftain had told them that the ruins had been abandoned for hundreds of years, long before any of them were alive, and had long been the subject of stories about ghosts and hauntings.
Spock had barely contained his skepticism as the chieftain spoke, but Jim figured that was mostly because the chieftain had a huge crush on Spock and had been openly flirting with Jim’s second in command since they’d arrived.
The chieftain had suggested they go look at the ruins while he prepared the feast for them, but he’d wanted Spock to stay at the village and Jim to go alone. Jim had decided he’d just let Spock go back early. Especially since the Vulcan hadn’t wanted to go anyway.
Jim ducked under a half collapsed arch, trying to imagine what the people from this planet would have been like hundreds of years ago. They had jewel eyes now and lilac skin, attractive. It was unknown what their ancient ancestors looked like. Perhaps the same.
It had been an earthquake that had destroyed them, sudden and catastrophic. When they had rebuilt, it was on the other side of the planet, less prone to seismic activity, and this place was never rebuilt.
Jim stepped through what must have been a doorway into a house or something.
He heard a child’s laugh, merry and bright, and so real-sounding, Jim turned quickly. But there was nothing and no one there.
“I’m getting punchy.” He shook his head and decided maybe he was better off going back to the village sooner rather than later.
He took a step and fell through a hole.
He didn’t know how far he fell but it seemed like a long distance and when he landed, his leg was twisted underneath him at a painful and clearly broken angle. He went to fish his communicator out of his pocket and discovered it was missing.
All around him was nothing but darkness. Even looking up, he couldn’t even see the sky. And he suddenly felt like it was all a setup from the chieftain.
He hoped he was wrong.
“Come on, Jim. Wake up.”
A gentle hand on his face. Light as a feather.
“Jim. Jim. Please. Wake up. Come on. You can do it. Come back to us. Come on, kid.”
He was trying. He was. Couldn’t-couldn’t whoever it was tell? He should know the speaker. He should. But he couldn’t think of them. Couldn’t…
“Jim. Please. Jim.”
A different voice. But still familiar.
Drifting. Let me rest.
Jim woke with a gasp and he sat up straight into strong arms that held him. He blinked hard, and stared into Spock’s dark eyes.
“Jim,” Spock said, it sounded almost like a whimper. He pulled Jim close.
“Easy, Spock. Easy,” Bones said. “Let him breathe. Let him catch his breath.”
Spock pulled back, but only a little.
Jim put his hand up to Spock’s face. Spock was shaking. “Medbay?”
“You almost died on us again, Jim.”
Jim looked at Bones. “The ruins?”
“You fell down some giant crater thing. Lost consciousness. It took us a long time to reach you and you’d lost a lot of blood.”
He nodded. Looked back at Jim. “The chieftain?”
“Of the village. He had the hots for you. I thought maybe he set me up to fall.”
Spock shook his head. He covered Jim’s hand with his. “There was no chieftain, Jim. The planet was abandoned. The ruins were from an extinct civilization. It is unknown what happened to the people from there.”
“But…they were lilac with jewel eyes and…”
“No, Jim. There was no one on the planet. We had barely begun to explore the ruins when you fell.”
He could barely believe it but his friends were looking at him like he was crazy, so he nodded. “Okay.”
“You gave me and your husband here a heart attack.”
Jim’s mouth hung open. “My-my what?”
“Ashaya, perhaps you ought to lie down.”
“You are unaware Spock is your husband?”
“For a year!” Bones exclaimed. “Spock is right. Lie down. I’d better check a few things.”
Jim allowed Spock to ease him back down on the biobed and as Spock held his hand while Bones examined him, Jim heard the faint laughter of a child.