It’s been far too long since I shared one of my Star Trek fanfics, so while I work on my post about Neil Crater, I’m going to pull one out of the archives. Laugh and enjoy!
A Friendly Game
Hearts Have Been Broken
Montgomery looked up to make sure he’d heard right. “What did you say, laddie?”
“Checkmate, I said checkmate.” The thin young Doctor McCoy looked irritated. “Don’t you know what checkmate means?”
“I do, but I’m beginning to think you don’t,” was Montgomery’s mild answer. James Kirk, who sat across from the thin young Doctor McCoy, was more precise.
“Checkmate is for chess, you silly.” He boldly laid down a queen of hearts.
“Oh. I thought it was for checkers.” The thin young Doctor McCoy watched as Mr. Spock stoically put down an ace of spades.
“You don’t have any hearts?” James Kirk sounded both surprised and dismayed. Then he turned his attention back to the thin young Doctor McCoy, who was studying his own hand of cards intently. “First of all, you don’t say checkmate in checkers. Second of all, we’re not playing checkers, we’re playing hearts. And thirdly, it’s your turn, and you’re holding us up. I thought you said you knew how to play?”
“Oh I do, I do,” the thin young Doctor McCoy insisted, looking extremely clueless. He studied his cards again for a minute, then proudly slapped down a two of diamonds.
“You have to follow suit,” insisted James Kirk, annoyed.
Montgomery, being a kind soul, leaned over and whispered, “Play this one, laddie,” pointing to the thin young Doctor McCoy’s jack of hearts.
“Oh, okay.” Pulling back the diamond, the thin young Doctor McCoy obligingly put down the jack of hearts. “Just don’t call me laddie.”
James Kirk turned savagely on Montgomery. “Why didn’t you just let him play? If he doesn’t know the rules, that’s his funeral.”
Montgomery privately thought that James Kirk had been ready enough to explain the rules when he was winning, but he said nothing. He placed a six of clubs on the pile.
With an exclamation of annoyance, James Kirk scooped up the pile. “Doesn’t anybody besides me have any hearts?”
“I do!” the thin young Doctor McCoy announced happily. “I have… one, two, three…”
“Don’t tell him what you have,” whispered Montgomery.
“Mr. Scott, I believe the good Doctor may tell me anything he likes. This is just a friendly game of cards.” With this noble speech, James Kirk laid down an ace of spades.
“That move was not logical, Jim,” Spock said quietly, putting out the queen of spades.
With another exasperated exclamation, James Kirk hit his fist on the table.
The thin young Doctor McCoy promptly plopped down another diamond and called, “Spoons!” then proceeded to snatch up all the cards, looking very proud of himself.
Spock raised one eyebrow, and James Kirk yelled again. “We’re not playing spoons, you dimwit, we’re playing hearts, now put those back down and play a spade.”
“But I don’t have any spades,” protested the thin young Doctor McCoy, putting the cards disappointedly back down. “Only these little black, upside-down heart things with sticks sticking out the bottom.”
“Those are spades, Doctor,” sighed Montgomery. “Look… clubs, diamonds, spades, and hearts.” He pointed to each suit in turn.
“Oh. I get spades and spoons mixed up, I think.” The thin young Doctor McCoy laid down a three of spades.
“Will you two hurry up?” James Kirk tapped his fingers impatiently. “You’d think we’d have finished this round by now, it’s been –” he consulted his watch “–thirty minutes!”
“I’m hurrying, I’m hurrying.” Montgomery quickly put down a nine of diamonds, and once again, James Kirk took the pile of cards.
Once again, it was James Kirk’s turn to start. He absently put down a king of hearts. Spock, shaking his head, laid down a king of diamonds. “You are playing a very poor game today, Jim. You must still have your mind on that examination.”
James Kirk groaned. “Why did you have to remind me? That’s the whole reason I’m playing, to get my mind off of the exam.”
“Bluff,” announced the thin young Doctor McCoy, looking expectantly at Spock.
Spock turned his head, raising both his eyebrows this time. “I beg your pardon, Mr. McCoy?”
“Bluff. I’m bluffing you.”
“Bones.” Kirk seemed to be doing his best to sound patient. “We are not playing bluff, we are playing hearts. There’s no bluffing in hearts.”
“Oh. Are you sure?”
“If there were bluffing, it would be called ‘bluff,’” Spock reasoned logically.
“What should I play?” the thin young Doctor McCoy asked Montgomery in a loud whisper.
Montgomery glanced at James Kirk, who had previously shown some dislike for having Montgomery tell the thin young Doctor McCoy what to play.
“For Pete’s sake, tell him, tell him,” sighed James Kirk. “We’ll never finish, at this rate.”
Leaning over and examining the thin young Doctor McCoy’s cards, Montgomery suggested, “How about this one?” pointing to the five of hearts.
“Good idea.” The thin young Doctor McCoy decisively laid down the suggested card. Then he turned to Montgomery. “Come on, Scotty, we don’t have all night.”
Montgomery was in the process of putting down the eight of clubs.
Sighing dramatically, James Kirk once again swept up the pile. “How many cards have you taken, Spock?” he asked, peering over his cards at Spock’s side of the table.
“None,” said Spock, without expression, rearranging his cards in order of how he expected to play them.
Montgomery took note of the space in front of each player. James Kirk had a moderate pile of cards in front of him, Spock’s space was bare and clean, the thin young Doctor McCoy had half a deck of cards spread out haphazardly in front of him, and Montgomery had a small number neatly placed in a row in front of him. It spoke to their personalities, he thought.
With unnecessary flair, James Kirk threw down his second-last card — a ten of hearts.
“I’m afraid you have been dealt a poor hand, Jim,” Spock observed, laying down his second-last card — a three of clubs.
“I’m afraid so,” sighed James Kirk, looking at the pile in front of him.
The thin young Doctor McCoy laid down his second-last card and promptly yelled, “Uno!” then proceeded to wave his solitary card around for all to see.
Montgomery sighed, Spock raised one eyebrow, and James Kirk pounded his fist on the table. “We’re not playing Uno, we’re playing HEARTS!”
“You don’t say Uno in Hearts either?” The thin young Doctor McCoy looked disappointed once again.
“No, you don’t. You don’t bluff, you don’t checkmate, you don’t say Uno, and you don’t take spoons. You just play cards, and take the pile when you play the highest card. It’s not that complicated. Now Bones, please play a card, and play it while we’re still young, okay?”
“I just played a card, Jim.”
“You can’t play that card, Doctor,” Montgomery explained. “You have to play a heart.”
“But he played a — a little bush-leafy thingy!” The thin young Doctor McCoy was pointing disdainfully at Spock. “If Speck can play something besides hearts, then I want to do it too!”
“He doesn’t have any hearts,” Montgomery explained.
“You don’t?” The thin young Doctor McCoy looked searchingly at Spock, as if hoping to catch him in a lie.
“No, Mr. McCoy, I do not,” Spock responded composedly. “I happened to be dealt one of those fortunate hands that contains no hearts whatsoever.”
Standing up, the thin young Doctor McCoy slapped his palms passionately on the table. “You happened? Who dealt these cards? I demand to know what manipulating fool gave him such a fortunate hand that lets him play all sorts of crazy things while I can only play hearts…”
Montgomery tugged on his friend’s sleeve. “It was me, Doctor. I dealt,” he admitted meekly.
“Oh.” Flushing slightly, the thin young Doctor McCoy sat down. “I didn’t mean you, Scotty. Of course it was a completely fair…”
“Would you please put down your other card?” James Kirk sounded thoroughly exasperated now.
“What? Oh yes, sure, Jim.” Scooping up the card he’d laid down before, the thin young Doctor McCoy put down his other card. Then Montgomery hopelessly played his seven of spades, James Kirk took the pile, and they all tossed down their last cards, which also went to James Kirk.
“Alright everyone,” he sighed, “count points.”
Spock looked down at the empty space in front of him and raised one eyebrow. He’d won for sure, Montgomery sighed. Why couldn’t he ever be good at this game? The thin young Doctor McCoy began counting his cards, but then Montgomery whispered to him that only hearts and the queen of spades counted as points, which the thin young Doctor McCoy started complaining about. Then Montgomery looked through his meager portion of cards, and found no hearts or queen of spades there either.
“Where are all the points?” Spock asked, his eyebrows tilting further down than usual. He looked across at Montgomery. “Are you sure that you and Mr. McCoy don’t have any?”
“No, none here.” Montgomery double checked both their stacks and shook his head.
Then Spock jerked his head up and looked at James Kirk suspiciously. “Jim…”
With a loud laugh, James Kirk slapped down fourteen cards, consisting of thirteen hearts and the queen of spades. “Shot the moon, Mr. Spock! And you never suspected!”
The thin young Doctor McCoy leaned over to Montgomery and asked if shooting the moon had anything to do with jumping the gun, and Spock looked almost somewhat annoyed.
“Got you!” James Kirk was still laughing.
Spock pushed his chair out and said calmly. “It is high time I was in bed. Good night, gentlemen.”
Laughing on, James Kirk began gathering up the cards and putting them back in his pocket.
“How many points do you have?” asked the thin young Doctor McCoy, looking completely disoriented.
“Zero. You each have twenty-six.”
“Twenty-six?” the thin young Doctor McCoy exploded. “How on earth did we get twenty-six? Scotty said only hearts and the queen of whatchamacallems counted?”
“They do,” Montgomery started to explain, “but…”
James Kirk suddenly straightened up and said, “Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie, whoever’s not hid, holler ‘I’!” and jumped out the back door.
Montgomery and the thin young Doctor McCoy stared after him.
“I must not know this game as well as I thought,” said the thin young Doctor McCoy, shaking his head. “I didn’t know that was part of…”
The hall door opened, and in walked the janitor.
“Aha, you two again!” He pointed a long finger at the two of them, still seated at the table. “Up after curfew. It’ll be detention for the rest of the night.”
After they had sat silently in detention for a few hours, the thin young Doctor McCoy looked over and asked, “Scotty?”
Montgomery sighed wearily. “Yes, Doctor?”
“What’s shooting the moon?”
With another sigh, Montgomery laid down, making himself as comfortable as he could. “Goodnight, Doctor.”