[Next time I am at a con, I am totally organizing a viewing party for those unfortunate enough to have missed the glory and the dream. This movie is not to be missed. It sets the standard for sheer WTFery. It has growling! And Haephastion's magically thickening eyeliner!]
Okay, I know this exists, because someone, somewhere, at some point, posted a link to this: does anyone rememeber seeing (and can give me a link to!) a site that is devoted to characters of color in Star Trek?
I remember seeing it and I remember thinking--as one does--I should save that link! And then something was shiny. I don't remember anything else about it, and I could swear I clicked on it at the time but that could be a dream sequence.
For reference, I got this link from liviapenn: The Women of TOS. In case anyone out there is like me and once saw a link and then lost it forever to the wilds of the internetz.
I get to complain. This fic is 81K and I'm still not near the ending. This is partially the fact that I like plot, and in Trek, plot is my kink, seriously. Space battles, politics, Romulans, this is my thing! But it is mostly because I love plot, and I love domesticity, and I love established relationship fic, and apparently, I love exploring those things together.
This is a weakness; most fandoms, I can control the urge to try to do all of this at once. The thing is, this is Trek, which was my first fandom and my first fanfic and where I became a writer. So Trek kind of makes me ambitious. Or mostly, it just makes me want to indulge myself. So you know, taking a left turn and spending some time exploring the domestic situation of Ambassador Spock seems like fun! Two romantic subplots with no relevance to the main plotline? Whee! And when I ask myself, so why not devote a section to educational opportunities aboard the Enterprise, I have no answer that isn't "YES THIS". Which is how this happened.
[A lot of things I write that get out of my control start with "Oh, that seems like fun!" I never learn.]
I will stop complaining when the insanity ends. I mean, my only hope is that I'll lose interest in Reboot, and you know what, it's August, and that's not happening.
Also, this, since if you read me complain, you deserve something nice to compensate.
Since it's about a week until they get back to Earth, Jim announces an interdepartmental chess death match, triple elimination, to avoid homicide by boredom hitting them in a perfectly running ship with nothing more interesting to do than diagnostics. While it doesn't end in death, per se, it's more fun to say that than interdepartmental chess play-for-shifts match. The losers fall on their timers afterward, leading to a rash of Sickbay visits and Bones glowering, which is possibly the best part.
As usual, Jim is still banned from competition, because apparently being mostly-married to a grand master means everyone thinks you will use your grand master partner to cheat.
T'Prina looks at him in bewilderment. "Why would they suspect that?"
"Because I cheat at poker," Jim says glumly as half the rec room hates each other silently over a chess board. "Which is a totally different thing, by the way. Everyone cheats at poker; it's practically a rule."
T'Prina nods her utter shock that he isn't in a Federation penal colony.
"To be fair," Jim says, because he does try, sometimes, "there might be some residual bitterness from the fact Spock wipes the floor with them every time. So blame Spock, really."
"That is the reason," Spock says, taking the chair beside him, "that I have excused myself from competition."
"It was getting discouraging to play for shifts against the person who made the shift schedule," Jim admits, pushing the plate of chess-themed snacks toward him, since eventually Spock will get them anyway and why fight it? Also, Jim just finds vegetables carved in the shape of a chessboard, complete with tiny, creepily accurate renditions of chess pieces, disturbing. "I'm officially judge, though, and it's a nice change of pace to be in charge and people actually listening. Speaking of--" Jim gets to his feet "--Mlk, you cannot *en passant** there, penalized one turn. I am instituting a minimum skills test to prove everyone knows the rules next time, I swear to God. I do not *care** if Denebian rules treat pawns like bishops after the tenth move, either, so don't even."
T'Prina picks up a decoratively checkered cookie for examination as Jim sits down again, feeling righteous in his power. "I see."
"It is late," Spock observes to the far wall, having cleared the plate with logical efficiency.
"I'm off duty until beta," Jim protests even as he stands up again, kind of wishing he'd at least saved a cookie. "T'Prina, I'm appointing you assistant judge; you're authorized to break their fingers if they cheat."
T'Prina looks at Spock for sanity, which Jim finds really insulting.
"He has not slept properly since we left the colony," Spock tells her, taking the dramatic step of actually taking Jim's elbow and *steering** him toward the door. "Do not break their fingers, Cadet."
"Yes, Commander," she says obediently, though Jim detects a hint of disappointment. "Good night, Captain, Commander."
"I've slept!" Jim protests as the door closes.
"Three point six hours in your ready room is not sufficient," Spock answers placidly, the bastard, and Jim watches the approaching turbolift in resignation. "I understand you take pleasure in your duties as judge--"
"Mostly I like to mock the ones who lose, really," Jim admits as they step inside and Spock gives the order for their deck. "If they won't let me play, they have to let me heckle."
"Possibly, but I am sure they will admit that I have a greater right to your undivided attention when not on duty."
Jim looks at him. "You were consulting with Sorin most of the day."
"I am not now." As they exit the turbolift, Spock doesn't let him go. Sounding thoughtful, like he does when diagnostics illogically fail, he adds, "Perhaps I am jealous."
"You aren't." Jim looks at Spock; there's no way to tell. "Are you?"
As the doors to their quarters open, Jim surveys the epic level of neatness that's been achieved and tries to remember the last time he was in here for more than a few minutes for other than hygiene-related purposes. A little guiltily, Jim makes his way in the general direction of the bathroom, noting the small changes. There's a rug that T'Sora and Spock had gotten at some point, what is probably the beginnings of a water sculpture in the corner (he and Spock are not creative; they'll have to get someone in here to program it properly), a new meditation stone, and a faint sense of developing domesticity that gives him a horrible flashback to leaving the name of that 'bot manufacturer with Rand.
"Are we boring? It's not even two. And I'm not even on duty!" Jim says, stripping off his uniform tunic and in the spirit of compromise putting it with the other laundry, leaving his boots in the closet with a faint feeling of accomplishment for doing his part for domestic tranquility. Coming back to the main room, Jim stops at the sight of the chess board set on a low table. "Wow. Let the good times roll."
Spock, already cross-legged by the table, continues methodically placing each chess piece. "I thought perhaps a game of chess would help you relax before we retire."
Sitting down, Jim tries to remember their last game. "We party like it's twenty-nine, ninety-nine, don't we? Who starts?"
"Orion rules," Spock answers. Faintly amused eyes look into Jim's briefly, then drag down his body before taking a leisurely journey back up; with a faint sense of horror, Jim realizes he's flushing. "The first move is determined by the person wearing the least amount of clothing at the beginning of the game."
Jim glances down at himself (no footwear, no socks, no tunic) and grins. "Strip chess? What's my forfeit?"
"I will name it when I win." Spock hasn't ever lost a game of Orion strip chess as far as Jim knows; of course, as far as he knows, Spock's only ever played it with him. "I believe it is your move, Jim."