"Sure, Jim, whatever you say. You ok here? You want me to sleep on the couch?"
"No, I'm fine. No different tonight from any other night."
"OK, then, I'll just grab my jacket and go."
Kirk walked him to the door. He gracefully leaned against the jamb, watched his best friend head down the hall to the elevator.
"So long, Bones," he called gently down the hall. "Thanks for everything."
The doctor waved a hand without turning around, afraid of what he'd see written on the other's face.
Kirk closed the door and leaned against it. He felt the cold, hard surface under his hands, thought how like a Vulcan the door was. Resistant. Unyielding. Yet able to open up and reveal ... Where was that drink? Damn ...
He poured another shot from the bottle and headed for his study. At least he could get a little paperwork done, paperwork being one of the many consequences of having a ship in spacedock. Spaceflight for four centuries, and they still hadn't conquered paperwork. Goddamn.
He sat at his desk and ran his fingers along the smooth wood. A small indulgence, a contrast to the plastico-smooth finish everything had on the Enterprise. How he loved her, but how he craved change--something more connected to the real world. Just every now and then. Like Bones' dawn and dusk.
Kirk reached to flick on a light and started his computer with a voice command.
"Computer, run ship's log stardate eighty-four ... no, belay that order." He sat for a moment, considering, then spoke again.
"Personal log, stardate eighty-four-oh-two point two. Dinner tonight with Bones, after an afternoon at the Moscone-Milk Intercultural Center. He proposes a transfer, either me or Spock. I can't stomach it ..."