Driving in the middle of nowhere means no McDonald’s. It means no Burger King, no fast food restaurants that can be brought back into the RV and eaten on the go. So when they see the first town in an hour, they aren’t going to take their chances and hold out. There’s guaranteed food and bathrooms here, which is more than they can say for whatever lies ahead. They would be stopping.
The restaurant turns out to be a diner, right in the middle of the small town. They all pile out of the RV, take a head count, and trudge inside, Kirk in the lead with Bones right on his heels. The two up front ignore the strange stares the few locals within give them, and make their way right up to the counter. Sharing a look, and with a quiet shrug from Sulu, the rest of the crew follow them, doing the same.
Chekov smiles as he sits down on the bar stool. He knows exactly what these are. Testing it out a bit, he swivels around on the stool until he looks up and catches Spock’s infamous “eyebrow stare.” Blushing, he turns away to his menu, still swiveling minutely.
The Vulcan does the same, although he frowns as he looked at the menu. Generally, there was an option for something like a salad at the places they had stopped at, and if there wasn’t, Kirk had always made sure there was a supermarket nearby for him to go and find one. He eyes the menu carefully, and looks up at the kitchen in front of them. He wasn’t going to have a lot of option, here. Everything looked to be mainly grease.
He looks over at Kirk, who is studying him carefully. “You ever had French fries, Spock?”
He knows what they are, of course- the crew had been eating them for the past few days, save for the day they were able to eat with Mrs. Kirk. Despite this, he hasn’t had any of them. He turns back to his menu. “No, I have not. And I don’t plan to experience that any time soon.”
Jim grins. “Well, things don’t always go to plan. Allow me,” he says as the waitress swoops over to ask what he would like. “Spock here will have a milkshake- vanilla, yeah, he doesn’t really do chocolate- and a plate of fries. Do you have a salad?” When she nods, gum cracking as she barely looks up, he does the same. “He’ll have one of those, then, as well.”
He places his order and turns back to his first officer. “Well?”
Spock hesitates. “I suppose it won’t hurt.”
“It won’t even get you drunk, I ordered you a vanilla milkshake. See?” As amusing as that may be, Kirk is frankly exhausted from driving constantly, and doesn’t think he could handle a drunk Spock along with everything else.
When the milkshake actually comes, it’s obviously not what Spock was expecting. “This is neither milk, nor has it been shaken.”
Kirk grins, and Bones laughs from the seat next to him. “You ordered the Hobgoblin a milkshake?”
“He hadn’t had one. It’s an experience that should not be missed.”
While the two are laughing, Spock looks around. Sulu and Uhura both have chocolate ones, along with Kirk and Bones down the other way. Scotty and he both have vanilla, although the Scottsman seems to be adding a more personalized ingredient to his. Just enough for the flavor, of course. His driving shift is in the next fifty miles. Chekov has a pink one that Spock can only assume is strawberry, and they all have devoured the cherry that came perched atop the whipped cream. He takes a hesitant sip, and his eyes widen.
It’s then that he realizes the whole crew is watching him. He straightens up (who thought to bend the straw, anyways?), and pauses a moment before speaking. “This is… surprisingly enjoyable. Delicious, even.”
Kirk cheers, Bones looks pleasantly surprised, and the rest of the crew is a mixture of the first two. He takes another sip, and as he does, he sees Kirk grin out of the corner of his eye. Before he can ask what he’s thinking, the Captain asks, “So, can I have your cherry?”
He finishes his sip and is about to reply when Bones makes a popping noise from behind Jim. It’s subtle, so subtle that he doubts anyone but the three of them (and possibly Scotty, who’s right next to the man) heard. He nearly chokes, but straightens up and replies with, “No, I plan to eat it. Next time, perhaps.”
“Spock,” Jim whines. When he merely raises the eyebrow, Jim tries again. “Can I please have your cherry?”
Another popping noise, this time slightly louder.
Jim grins at him out of the corner of his eye. “Your ears are looking a little green, there. Was it something I said?” he asks innocently.
Spock just glares at him and takes a long sip of his milkshake, purposely leaving the cherry in. It’s only when he gets to down to the last sip that he really even notices how much he’s drinking, and it isn’t his eyes that alert him to the fact that he’s now suddenly running on empty. It’s the noise the glass makes, a sudden loud slurp that has him shocked and stumbling back, nearly falling off the barstool. It’s Kirk who catches him, and, much to his surprise, Chekov is the first one to laugh.
Bones follows not a moment after, and the Scotty. There’s moment of snickering from Sulu, and a terrible grin and muffled chuckle from Uhura before she asks him if he’s alright. Once Spock assures them that yes, he’s fine, Kirk decides it’s alright to laugh, and quickly joins the rest of his crew.
Chekov nearly makes the same mistake he did after a minute more of laughing at him, and Sulu is the one to catch him. The corner of Spock’s mouth twitches upwards, and he raises an eyebrow in Chekov’s direction. The ensign blushes, and (still chuckling a bit) returns to his milkshake.
“Everything alright over there?” the waitress calls over, moving to see what the problem is.
Kirk waves her away. “Fine, ma’am. Just got a little carried away.”
She makes a quiet, disgruntled sound and brings their food over, balanced on one platter. Kirk and Spock share the fries, and it’s another enjoyable experience for Spock, surprisingly enough. They’re greasy and salty and highly unhealthy, but Kirk says that’s what makes them so good, and for once, he has to agree. He stabs at his salad contently as the rest of the crew receives their meals, before the waitress turns to ask them if they would like anything else.
Everyone else shakes their heads around mouthfuls of food, or offers up a, “No thank you, ma’am,” but Spock stops her.
“If I could, another milkshake please.”
She nods and turns away. Bones looks like it’s Christmas, and, just to get a rise out of him, Spock suspects, he uses his fork to fetch the cherry from the bottom of the glass and pops it into his mouth.
It’s a wonder Bones doesn’t burst a lung from laughing so hard.
By the time they make it back to the car, Chekov has swiveled every which way known to man on the bar stool (unaware, for the most part, that he was doing so), Sulu watching in amusement the entire time, Uhura has made a mental note to get Spock a milkshake every once in a while, Scotty is more than ready to hit the road, Bones has laughed harder than he has in his entire life, Kirk has counted this as a victory against Spock in their lifestyle’s constant conflict…. And Spock has a milkshake in a to go cup.
The rest of the crew had gotten a slice of pie to go with their meal. It wasn’t nearly as good as Mrs. Kirk’s, but it was good enough, and they had devoured it. In other words, they had all had probably a little too much sugar, but aside from a few giggles, were ready to hit the road again.
Of course, that’s not to say it didn’t help to loosen everyone up enough to sing “99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall” throughout Scotty’s shift, under Kirk’s direction.