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Adventures of Starfleet HR

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The HR clerk ran her fingers through her tousled hair with a sigh, glancing wistfully at the already-empty coffee pot as Kirk not-so-subtly assumed a pose he probably thought was sexy.
"Look, Jim, it's not that I don't want to help you. I recognize that starships need a full security, engineering, and operations complement," she explained with a helpless shrug. "But the problem is, nobody wants to work for you, and no commander wants to let us transfer any of their people to your command."
Jim pouted, flexing his biceps a little. "I don't understand why they don't like me. I'm a great commander, very chill about fraternization and generous with leave and stuff."
The clerk stared at him for a long moment over the tops of her wire-rimmed reading glasses. Finally she carefully removed them, folded them, and set them aside before looking back at Kirk, who now seemed to be trying that Puss-In-Boots big eyes trick.
"Jim. Your one-year survival rate for ANYONE in a red uniform is only 8 percent. STOP. KILLING. REDSHIRTS."
Kirk smiled. "Whatever you say, Joanne."
"And for FUCK'S sake stop leaning in like that, we are NOT going to make out until you get your survival rate up to at least 80%!"
Kirk pouted again.

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"Listen, in my defense, she was, like, SUPER pretty." Joanne eyed the man currently attempting to slouch prettily in the chair across her desk. The effect was rather spoiled by the swollen eye, split lip, and bruised cheekbone that had yet to meet with a dermal regenerator. Of course this shit had to happen at 1500 on a Friday. She was supposed to be sipping margaritas on the holodeck with the girls from the office, ogling attractive holograms, and pretending to get a sunburn by now.

"Kirk, I appreciate that she was pretty -"

"I bet you do," he grinned. She glared reproachfully over her glasses, but his grin only widened.

"As I was saying, I appreciate that she was pretty, but you destabilized an entire star system."

He coughed. "Erm, surely not an entire star system? I mean, the pre-warp civilization on the seventh planet probably didn't -"

"You know perfectly well that pre-warp civilizations don't count, and besides, they might very well get caught in the crossfire. You can't go stealing the Sacred Emperor of Unparth's pregnant wife just because she is, and I quote, 'way too hot for him.'" Joanne squinted at the report on the PADD again. "It says here that as you and the Empress were beaming out, you yelled 'peace out, pubic hair' at the emperor?" Jim nodded cheerfully.

"Pendejo, actually. It's a traditional Spanish insult." Joanne's lips twitched, suppressing a laugh. Say what you would about Kirk, the son of a bitch was hilarious when he wasn't being a total idiot.

"I don't care if it's old high Denobulan, you can't just call the leader of a star system a pubic hair, especially one who controls three of the biggest dilithium mines in the quadrant. You're just lucky they're a hairless species and the universal translator couldn't find a close enough term in their language to translate it." Kirk leaned forward, all seriousness gone.

"Look, I know I broke the rules -" "- And how," she interjected dryly, "- but that slimy, abusive old bastard didn't deserve her," he continued, slamming his palm on the table in sudden anger. Joanne jumped, spilling coffee all over herself. Jim grimaced, looking properly remorseful for the first time in her living memory. "Yikes, sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. But the man was an asshole. He knew it, I knew it, and most importantly, she knew it. It was only a matter of time before she beheaded him herself and started a real civil war or got herself and her baby killed trying, damn it! Would you have me stand by and do nothing?" Joanne sighed, ineffectually dabbing at her top with a wad of tissues.

"Do I need to give you the speech again?" Jim smirked again, the anger fading as quickly as it had appeared.

"Captain Kirk," he began, "you exist within a time-tested structure of command that is designed to protect not only Starfleet and the integrity of the Federation, but also your own personal -" Joanne cut him off with a weary wave.

"Okay, okay, that's enough. None of your crew died this time. And at least you didn't do something really stupid, like sleep with her." Jim shifted evasively, and she narrowed her eyes. "JIM. Please tell me you didn't -"

"Look, I swear I didn't make the first move, but she was all, you know, and I just... why are you banging your head on the desk?"

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Joanne should have known better than to come in hung over on a Monday. She squinted at the report in front of her, willing it, the two men in front of her, and her budding headache to go away. “Go into human resources, Joanna. Nice, safe desk job,” she muttered to herself. “Triple espresso with cream and two sugars,” she said to the replicator.

“I can explain,” began the chief medical officer of the Starship Enterprise, smoothing his uniform and watching her nervously. The blond captain beside him quickly elbowed him in the ribs.

“Trust me, Bones, you want to wait a minute.” McCoy’s sharp blue eyes darted to the cup Joanne was cradling like a long-lost lover and nodded his understanding. She took one sip. Two. Eyed them again. Sighed and downed the rest of the cup in one gulp.


“Well, you see -” “What happened was -” “Nobody’s fault, really -” “Just a malfunction -” “Big misunderstanding -” They caught the look in her eyes and shut up again.

“Right,” said Joanne calmly (for now). “Let’s try that again. Who would like to go first?” The miscreants exchanged glances and McCoy tried again.

“Well, ma’am, it was Saturday afternoon, you see, and Captain Kirk and I were engagin’ in some recreational sport-type activities on the holodeck at Deep Space 4.”

“Lacrosse,” Kirk added helpfully. McCoy nodded.

“Lacrosse, right. Well, we’d gone and worked ourselves up quite a sweat, y’see, and the holodeck program just so happened to include a nice little old sauna. So we were enjoyin’ the steam, and bein’ tuckered out like we were, we sorta lost track of time and fell asleep.” He paused and glanced uncertainly at Kirk, who took pity on him.

“Well, you see, we hadn’t brought swim trunks or towels or anything because we didn’t really intend to use the sauna, so we just used the holographic towels provided for us. Only, well, you see, the holodeck was reserved by another group at 1700. Normally an alarm would go off ten minutes before our time was up, and you’re not supposed to be able to change the program from outside when the holodeck because of safety and stuff. But Bones - sorry, Dr. McCoy - and I must have been more tired than we realized from our long duty hours and so on, and for some reason that safety protocol wasn’t working, so…” Understanding dawned on Joanne’s face as he trailed off. McCoy was studiously avoiding both their eyes and even the usually buoyant Jim looked mildly uncomfortable.

“Well,” she said at last, that more than explains the complaints we received from the DS4 Spouses’ Sewing Circle.” She looked at the report again. “More specifically, twenty-six complaints, four compromising photos, and seven requests for the personal comm numbers of either or both of you.” Based on the photos, she privately found herself a little surprised that they hadn't gotten more comm requests. Kirk grinned and winked at McCoy, who blushed.

“See, Bones, I told you that cute little Ensign’s wife liked you.”

“Shut up, Jim.”

Joanna turned back to the replicator. Some days, a triple espresso just didn't quite cover it.