Title: Vicious Rumors and Lies
Author: Farfalla, email me at blueberrysnail @ yahoo dot com
Website: http://spirk.cosmicduckling.com
Rating: G
Characters: Kirk and Spock from Original Series Star Trek
Betas: Ami-chan and Hypatia
Archive: ASCEM, AAK/SA, and nice people who ask first
Disclaimer: The entire Trek universe belongs to Paramount and will not suffer much from the poking and prodding of our curious collective imaginations. We mean our beloved characters no harm and think that quite possibly they enjoy the variety ;-)
Summary: Kirk and Spock are preparing to face the usual slander...


Rowan Threadhill was a very efficient man.

He had discovered early in life that everything that could be known ran in patterns, and the key to true personal efficiency lay in recognizing these patterns and riding them out to the greatest possible gain. His thought processes were very organized and analytical, and when confronted with a new task he matched it as quickly as he could with his existing knowledge of the world to figure out which pattern he had encountered this time.

It was simply a case of recognizing what he was observing, almost like a botanist runs through a dichotomous key of plant characteristics before narrowing down the identity of a new tree variety to one or two likely families.

Threadhill had another skill -- he was very good with words. He’d managed top marks in his grade school writing classes almost without trying, watching from underneath his bushy blonde eyebrows in innocent gratitude as his friends struggled to comprehend ‘irony’ and ‘semicolon’. He’d spent several years of his career in journalism, working closely with Starfleet officials on press releases and public relations.

Now he was living on the Titan colony to be closer to his daughter and her family. The remote location didn’t bother him; with modern technology he could stay abreast of all Starfleet political affairs so that he was as well-informed as possible when he was called upon to fix one situation or another.

Today he was going to have a visit from two real live heroes... an event that must have impressed him greatly, because he was wearing his pewter tie. It would have pleased him to notice that just like the rest of the galaxy, he too followed patterns.

Admiral James T. Kirk and the Vulcan called Spock would be here in less than twenty minutes, and Threadhill reviewed the materials he had gathered with more than a little anticipatory glow. It wasn’t often that one dealt with men as famous as these, as celebrated as these, or as deserving of his utter awe. Barely a month had passed since the strange cloud that had turned out to be the cosmically mutated remnants of a twentieth-century NASA probe nearly destroyed humanity in its adolescent search for meaning.

The public still didn’t know the whole story, but everyone knew that Kirk had wrestled with Starfleet officials to get his old ship back for the job, and that halfway into the mission the Enterprise crew had been joined by his old friend Spock, arriving by shuttle from his home planet unexpectedly. The two of them were quickly growing into superhuman legends, their mythological fame augmented by the lack of interviews and press releases the two had granted to the public. They hadn’t even returned to Earth for weeks after the V’Ger incident, instead choosing to explore the galaxy and test out the capabilities of the newly-refit Enterprise.

Threadhill thought about the communication he had received from Enterprise bridge-officer Pavel Chekov. Apparently, he and the communications officer had undercovered plans of a seedy stellar tabloid to sully the reputations of Starfleet’s newest heroes. They would soon be printing “vicious rumors and lies!”, as Chekov had put it -- well, the way he pronounced it was more like “wicious” -- and it was Threadhill’s job, as the master PR machine, to counteract their slander.

It wasn’t difficult for him to reason what the slander might be, in this case. Everything fit a pattern in this world, and the rumors were quite predictable in character. Two men, old friends from their five-year mission of exploration and diplomacy, both without permanent female companionship and an unusually deep friendship.... it was just as predictable as anything else. All it took was for one person to suggest that there might be a sexual element in their relationship, and the next thing you knew, that was all anyone would see.... every smile, every laugh, every shared moment of unconscious camaraderie.... all somehow proof in these people’s prurient minds of nightly illicit contact, of stolen moments and of dark secret lust.

Which, of course, was ridiculous, and that was what it would be Threadhill’s job to show. Or help Kirk and Spock show, since no one ever sees the adviser behind the great PR machines of institutions as large and respected as Starfleet.

Threadhill sipped his macchiato as he reviewed the information about Kirk and Spock. He was happy; he felt like a well-oiled machine, running smoothly, working perfectly at 110%, doing what he loved best. Find the pattern, show the pattern, narrow it down to the truth. Providing that his two clients were accommodating, this probably wouldn’t be a very difficult rumor to deny. For one thing, it was simply ridiculous. Kirk, apparently, had a reputation for knocking women over with his smiles since he was sixteen years old. He’d even charmed the lady reporter who had interviewed him about the Tarsus colony disaster, a fact that was evident from her glowing remarks about him in her article.

Spock, on the other hand, was often spoken of as the coldest fish ever to swim through the seas of humanity. Threadhill understood that it was partly due to his alien culture; he’d never really met what one would call a “warm” Vulcan. But Spock was only half-Vulcan, and when a man was only half a race he often felt compelled to overcompensate. Yet another pattern that Threadhill could add to his list, weave into his web, the net with which the truth could be captured.

Kirk’s name had been linked with many women over the years... he even had a child with a blonde several years ago, apparently.... but... it would be better not to bring that up, apparently (she didn’t want to have anything to do with him and the boy didn’t even bear his name). Spock, on the other hand, seemed to not know that humans came in two genders, but had been engaged once to a woman on Vulcan. Threadhill couldn’t find any record of why that hadn’t worked out, but the woman married someone else and had a baby shortly afterwards.... almost a little *too* shortly. Hmm....

What else was there? Well, for one thing, there was a complete lack of any kind of evidence putting the two men in bed with each other. They had separate cabins, and had never been photographed in any kind of suggestive position in public. Come to think of it, they hadn’t even lived on the same planet for the past few years! Spock had been living in some kind of Vulcan monastery. Did that sound like lovers to you?

Threadhill looked at his watch. Whoops, they’d be here soon. In fact, here they were. He waited proudly as the footsteps grew louder and then swung the door open proudly after their knocks. “Gentlemen!”

“Mr. Threadhill.” Admiral Kirk said, beaming and shaking his hand vigorously. “I’m Admiral James T. Kirk. This is my first officer, Mr. Spock.”

“Admiral, Spock,” Threadhill bowed from the neck. He felt proud of himself for knowing about Vulcans not touching strangers. Spock seemed to appreciate his courtesy; the alien nodded back and regarded him calmly from underneath lush eyelashes.

“I trust you had a pleasant journey?” Threadhill asked his clients, circling his office toward the coffee machine. “Would either of you two like a cup of coffee?”

“No, thank you, the.... provisions on the shuttlecraft that brought us here fed us well,” said Kirk jovially.

“They regaled us with a full English breakfast,” explained Spock. “And they were considerate enough to also provide for my own vegetarian needs.”

“How wonderful!” Threadhill replied, smiling. “Well, let’s get down to business, then, shall we? Please, sit down.” Kirk and Spock arranged themselves in the green leather chairs in front of his desk as he made his way behind the desk and sat down. He examined the men as he shuffled papers busily, glad to see them in person to finally complete his analysis of the situation. Kirk was broad, blond, and sturdy; Spock taller, darker, thinner, and slightly weathered. Neither one of them looked the slighest bit swishy. Wonderful! It was going to be extremely easy to formulate a strategy.

“Now then, gentlemen. I understand that you require my assistance in dealing with an expected outpouring of... ‘vicious rumors and lies’, as your own Mr Chekov phrased it?”

“You’re... quite correct, Mr Threadhill,” said Admiral Kirk. “Spock?”

“An interplanetary tabloid is about to print untrue material about us that we find troubling,” said Spock.

“And we feel... well, actually, Starfleet feels... that it would undermine our credibility as a command team. This isn’t the first time we’ve encountered this particular question, actually,” said Kirk. “Can you help us?”

“Of course I can, gentlemen!” Threadhill would have continued, almost on proud autopilot at this point, had he not been interrupted by Kirk (who wasn’t trying to be rude; he just didn’t realize Threadhill had more to say at the moment.)

“It seems that the tabloid is accusing us of a sham friendship,” said Kirk, “that we secretly hate each other, are... jealous of each other, that Spock is forever trying to thwart my career and that I’ve... maliciously kept him from his chance at a command.”

“When in reality that couldn’t be farther from the truth,” said Spock.

“Yes, I really don’t know where they keep getting these ideas from,” said Kirk, more to Spock than to Threadhill. “Our relationship couldn’t be better.”

“We have been married for fifteen point six days,” said Spock calmly.

“And we couldn’t be happier!” Kirk said, throwing up his arms in frustration.

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