Title: A Cat By Any Other Name
Fandom: Star Trek XI
Characters: Kirk, Spock
Notes: Spock gets a kitten, but knows nothing about the finer points of interacting with felines. Also, nu!Kirk is all about Beat Crusaders, Y/Y?
"And I just can’t contain, this feeling that remains," Jim Kirk sang, snapping his fingers and swinging his hips to the beat of an early twenty-first century Japanese cover of a late twentieth century pop song, as Spock stepped through the doors into his quarters.
"Captain? Am I interrupting something?" Spock looked like he’d really rather not know what was going on, here, and his hands were cupped protectively around something small, black, and fuzzy that lay in his palm.
"Just having a little fun. What can I do for you?" Kirk turned down the music to a slightly less deafening level. "Come on in."
"Nurse Chapel’s cat had kittens, last month, and she has decided to gift me with one. She said it reminded her of me." Spock walked further into the room, holding out his hands, which contained a very small kitten that looked more confused than he did. "I do not know the human customs around maintaining a cat in one’s household. I can care for it, easily. I studied Xenobiology at the Academy, but I do not wish to commit any significant social gaffes."
"There’s not a whole lot in the way of gaffes to be committed with or over a cat," Kirk commented, playing with the kitten with one finger. "This is seriously the cutest thing I’ve seen in years. And she’s right. You really are cat-like, Spock — independent, snooty, territorial… And that makes me wonder if you like to be pet. I bet you’d bite my fingers, though."
Spock stared unamusedly into Kirk’s saucy grin. "My teeth would be the least of your concerns if you decided to pet me, Captain."
"So, what’s the little beastie’s name?" Kirk asked, as the kitten gnawed ineffectively at the tip of his finger.
"That is one of the things I was hoping you would help me with. I do not know what appropriate names are, for cats." Spock looked faintly jealous of the way Kirk had so easily bonded with his kitten. "I had thought to give her a Vulcan name, but I do not know if that is at all appropriate, or if there are particular naming conventions for cats."
"Spock, she’s your cat. You can name her whatever you like. You’re a Vulcan, so it would only make sense for your cat to have a Vulcan name." Kirk looked down at the little fuzzball attacking his fingers. "On second thought, with the way this one acts, a Klingon name might be more appropriate!"
"I had thought to name her T’Pree, but I have always liked the Klingon name K’Ehleyr. Do you think it would be an offence to have a cat with a Klingon name aboard a Federation starship?" Spock’s jaw tightened almost imperceptibly as Kirk’s fingers brushed against his own, as the captain continued to wrestle the cat with his hand.
"Spock, for honest and for true, she’s your cat. Name her whatever the fuck you want, although I think we might get a little touchy about a Romulan name." Kirk grinned like a fool as he tried to pull his hand away, but ended up suspending the kitten over Spock’s palms. "She’s so adorably bitey. Does Nurse Chapel have any more kittens left? I think I might want one. Soooo cute. Aww, who’s a little squishy meow."
"I am not so tasteless as to name my kitten in the language of the people who destroyed my home, Captain. And the status of Nurse Chapel’s kittens is all Schroedinger to me," Spock quipped. "There may or may not be cats in her quarters."
Kirk set the kitten back in Spock’s hands as carefully as he could, as he sank to his knees, laughing. "Schroedinger’s … cat… You — heh — You slay me. Fuck, why is this so funny?," he cackled, wiping his eyes. "But, what are you going to call her?"
"I think you are right. I will name her K’Ehleyr." Spock looked satisfied, but still lost.
"Here, let me show you something awesome about kittens," Kirk said, standing, and lifting K’Ehleyr by the scruff. "This is the scruff. If they’re less than about ten pounds, they’ll go catatonic if you pick them up by it. Otherwise, they’ll rip your fucking arm off. But, that’s not my point. This is my point."
He set the kitten on Spock’s shoulder, where it inched over, curling up against the Vulcan’s neck and purring. "If you carry her with you, like that, she’ll be much friendlier to you when she grows up. I learned that from a girl I used to know, back in Iowa."
"Fascinating. Thank you, Captain." Spock nodded. "May I return to you if I need more assistance? You seem to get to the point much more swiftly than Nurse Chapel."
"Yeah, sure. Any time." Kirk flipped a hand, dismissively. "Oh, hey, one more thing. Cats like to sniff your face. The appropriate response is to rub your nose on hers, like this."
As Kirk nuzzled his nose, Spock noted that this was unquestionably the most uncomfortable moment of his life. However, there was some sick sort of contentment in the human registers of his mind, as the captain pulled away, and the kitten continued to purr, against his neck. It was a terribly un-Vulcan thing to think, but he was really starting to like this ship.