this can be read as being in the same universe as Breathe, Come Together, Breathe but you really don't have to have read that to get it. Basically, Rand is the best and that's all you need to know. About three days into the Enterprise’s five-year mission, Janice is having a pity party of one in rec room B, eating replicated ice cream (which everyone knows is only to be eaten as a serious last junk food resort) when she notices she is being blatantly stared at. Blatantly judged, is more like it, and it is not cool, not today, because everything is terrible today and just…just fuck her life. Janice manages two more bites of what some engineer apparently thinks passes for chocolate before she puts her spoon down as aggressively as she possibly can and looks up to meet the eyes of the starer in question. “You might as well just come over here and join me, I can’t take this anymore.” It is most definitely not a question, and she gets an epic raised eyebrow in response—what, is everyone a Vulcan now? The guy sits in the chair across from her with a bowl of vanilla in front of him topped with honest-to-God gummy bears. Janice does not even hide her covetous glances, he’s been staring at her, after all, so she can do what she wants. “Want some?” He asks, offering her the small bag of gummy bears. “They’re fine, I swear.” Janice waits for a few seconds before she snatches the bag away in the manner of an animal unaccustomed to human contact. He totally notices. At this point, as her little sister would say, it’s whatever. “You’re Rand, right? Sorry, I don’t think we’ve met before.” He says, as she liberally covers her remaining ice cream with candy. She nods. “You’re Cupcake, right?” She gives him credit for not even bristling at the nickname. Everyone knows about it and it’s still hilarious, and he gets a new dessert-related name almost every day. Janice knows this because Kirk did already ask her to compile a list of future cupcake-themed puns for his perusal. This is her life. “Giotto, actually, which if you think about it kind of sounds like gelato so it does sort of count. I’m kind of amazed no one’s thought of it yet. I mean, it’s right there.” Janice looks him in the eye, deadly serious as she pops a cold green gummy bear into her mouth. “That, sir, is a secret I will take to my grave.” Giotto nods, eyes steely. “We should hang out.” They totally do. After the first seven months, Janice has settled into as much of a routine as she possibly can, when she’s basically a glorified personal assistant to an actual crazy person who spends all his free time being all googly-eyed over the first officer. It turns out to be way better than she’d hoped, since she hoped she just wouldn’t get sucked into some terrible doomsday scenario or somehow abandoned in a backwater hellhole with, like, only Scotty for company. She would totally die, or they would kill each other, because she could not even begin to handle that. Fingers crossed, though. Janice kind of hasn’t had a best friend since the seventh grade, and once that best friend moved away her inner curmudgeon went “oh, fuck it” and she just spent all her time at the library and eventually just thought she’d get a few cats and some kind of job and that would be it. Somehow she ended up in Starfleet and she loves it, even though sometimes she wishes she was allowed to have a phaser because she would use it. She is totally jealous of Giotto because he does have access to advanced weaponry, but she really doesn’t get how he resists the urge to punch/stun everyone who pisses him off. He gets this faraway look in his eyes when she mentions it during Friday Movie Night and she can tell the Zen thing he is trying to do is totally working. “But you have to answer my question.” “Why? You ask me like 1500 questions a week. I am not obligated to answer your questions, Rand, I really am not.” “You will anyway.” She says, nibbling on a corner of the chocolate bar they are sharing. He gets the look again, the one that says he’s wondering if somewhere there’s an alternate universe version of him that has a way more interesting life than the one that spends all his free time painstakingly writing letters to his family back home and hanging out with the most sarcastic yeoman in the galaxy. “Fine. Marry, fuck, kill…God, I don’t know why I’m doing this. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Kirk. I hate you, I really do.” “You’re doing this because you adore me. Because we are easily the coolest people on this entire starship and everyone is totally jealous.” Giotto looks at her like she’s insane. A lot of people spend a lot of time doing that on this ship, Janice thinks. The next day Janice hands Kirk a handwritten list of the next two weeks’ nicknames for Giotto. The list that Giotto wrote himself, actually, because he thinks it’s funny and that his nicknames are better, and thankfully he has perfect penmanship and it really does look like an old Southern lady wrote it. All those letters he sends to his grandma are totally paying off, and not just in shipments of candy and homemade fudge that Janice is allowed to share. (No one else knows about the candy or the fudge, and Janice is very cool with that because more peanut butter fudge makes a happy Janice. God, she really needs to get out more.) “These are really good, Yeoman. I don’t know how you’re still coming up with them.” “It’s a gift,” she says, trying to look anywhere but at Kirk, who is shirtless because he’s always shirtless in his quarters, and is also shirtless in an increasing number of other places. It’s not that she doesn’t think he’s hot; she does, she has eyes, she just is not into the perfect-looking type. Also she does not want to be murdered by someone else who does think he’s hot, which they all know about thanks to the fact that everyone on this ship is about as subtle as a flying brick, and also thanks to that one incident with the truth serum that No One Talks About. No one except her, and Uhura, and she’s sure little Chekhov does because seriously, the mouth on that kid. What she does understand is pretty risqué. She meets Uhura and Giotto for their customary twice-a-week lunch and wastes no time. “So, how are things going up there on the USS Sexual Tension?” Giotto doesn’t choke on his soda but it’s really close and Janice counts that as a win. Uhura rolls her eyes. “Better than two weeks ago, but I did have a thought that if we ever run out of dilithium there’s got to be a way to harness awkwardness to power the ship. And that’s all I’ll say because I would really like to enjoy my lunch.” “You should tell engineering about that idea. Speaking of engineers—“ “Don’t even, Rand,” Uhura says, an edge of danger in her voice. Giotto raises his eyebrows and remains wisely silent. Janice folds her hands on the table and levels her with the most Classic Rand stare in her arsenal. “Do you really think that ‘don’t even, Rand’ has ever worked? Do you?” “Fair point.” Uhura blushes a little and spears a cherry tomato with her fork, looking everywhere but at Janice, which totally confirms Janice’s theory that Uhura wants to get with Scotty and eventually make a bunch of insanely smart ginger babies. It’s more of a working hypothesis, really. Anyway. Giotto wipes his mouth and places his folded napkin in his lap like a proper gentleman. “What about you, Rand? Found anyone that warms the cockles of your heart yet?” Uhura smirks and happily munches on a baby carrot. Janice hates them both, she does. Especially since today is Valentine’s so hate is her default mode. “Never say that again. And no, I have not.” “Well, you never know. Maybe you’ll meet someone,” he says, and Janice is positive he knows something she doesn’t.
It turns out he does, the smug bastard. Kirk delegates the planning of a Valentine’s dance to her because inside he’s totally 12, and also must absolutely hate her. If she didn’t already know that Kirk and Giotto’s relationship started out as hate and has now become neutral tolerance because Giotto is the human equivalent of Switzerland, she really would suspect he knew about it. You’ll meet someone. What does that even mean? Basically all she does to plan this clusterfuck is put up some streamers and spend two hours making really obnoxiously pink posters that are so glitteriffic they are bound to make Kirk so deeply regret making her mastermind an event for four hundred fucking people that he’ll never treat her like a glorified party planner ever again. Then she hangs everything up and uses an insane amount of tape just because she feels like being a jerk and thanks whatever sadistic deity is listening that she wasn’t responsible for the food. Uhura comes over at 2230 to do her hair, which is really weird since Uhura has never shown even an ounce of interest in Janice’s general half-assed appearance. Yet here she is, giant bag of hair supplies in tow, flatironing and basket-weaving and doing all this hair jujitsu that Janice does not understand, but she’s hardly going to kick her out. She did bring platonic friend chocolates to keep her distracted while the hair-foolery was happening so it’s really all good. “I am not wearing that. Nyota, what—what in God’s name is that, even? I’m going to look like a pregnant lady going to the rodeo.” Uhura huffs, hands on her hips. “I bought it last time we were planetside, I went shopping with my sister in Kenya. The color would really look nice on you.” Janice stares at the dress. “I’m going to look like walking diarrhea medicine.” Uhura bites her lip. “It’ll be dark in there, though, so no one will be able to tell. Come on, please? For me?” “Why are you trying to get me all…gussied up for this?” Uhura lets loose with the hairspray. “I just thought you might like to look nice. Hold on, you need to wipe your mouth off, you’ve got chocolate everywhere. Sometimes it’s frankly alarming to me how everything we ever do together revolves around food.” “You love it,” Janice sing-songs, and looks in the mirror. Uhura really shouldn’t quit her day job since Janice kind of looks like she’s got a basket made of hair on her head, but still. It’s the thought that counts. She does wear the flowy pink dress that Uhura let her borrow and she won’t lie, it’s growing on her. Everyone has already shown up at the party, pretty much, and Janice spots the captain and Spock immediately, over in the corner, a respectable foot of space between them like they think no one on this ship has been privy to the soap opera that is their lives. Spock has his hands primly clasped behind his back and Kirk’s eyes are as bright as a kid’s on Christmas who’s about to get a pony. The thing about epic romances is that they’re great for the people involved, but totally awkward for everyone else. Barf. Janice moseys (as Giotto’s grandma would say) over to the refreshment table where Dr. McCoy is not-so-secretly doctoring the punch. Without looking up he fills a cup to the brim and hands it to Janice. She accepts, because McCoy is the good kind of wino who drinks top-notch booze. She drains the glass in two swallows and holds it out without saying anything. Mccoy narrows his eyes in what turns out to be a gesture of approval. “You’re all right, Rand.” She thinks she should consider inviting him to poker night sometime. Nobody would remember poker night afterward, but it would probably be a good time. “Yeah, seriously,” Mccoy says, and then Janice realizes she must have made some exclamation of disgust out loud. “Don’t know who those two think they’re foolin’.” “They might as well just go at it right here, some people still have credits riding on it. Not saying who, but Uhura.” McCoy laughs, a weirdly loud chokey kind of laugh, and he’s looking at her. Like, not in the ‘Janice, what did you even say’ kind of way, but like…looking at her, and goddamn it she is going to kill them for being in on this and not saying anything. “Some people have credits riding on you too, kid. Better not disappoint them,” he says, in a drawly way that should not be as sexy as it is but holy crap on a fucking cracker, whoa. She’s still going to kill them, but she’ll probably, you know, do it later. Kirk touches Spock’s arm like a frigging Victorian romance novel heroine and Rand is just getting buzzed enough that it’s almost romantic. From across the room, Giotto winks at her, and she can see one of her stupid sparkly posters right above him. God, these people are all lucky she doesn’t use her powers for evil, they really are. Especially Giotto. “Care to blow this cupcake stand?” Janice says, a sip of whatever the hell McCoy is drinking burning on the way down. “Don’t mind if I do,” McCoy says, and grabs a couple sandwiches off the table. The fact that he doesn’t even try to steal food and head off with some yeoman in secret absolutely does not warm the cockles of her heart. Well, mostly.