12. The Trouble With Tribbles (Part 2)

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After pouting in her room a little while, Kate decided it was probably time to face everyone on board again.  Sitting around and being upset that Chris wouldn't let her transfer right away wasn't going to get her job done right now.  She just needed to go along with his wishes and contact him again in a few weeks when she still wanted to transfer, because she was 100% sure her feelings for Leonard weren't going to change.

She exited her room and made her way back to med bay to see if Leonard had made any progress with figuring out why the tribbles were so calming or how they reproduced so quickly.  As she entered, she was surprised by the sight before her.  There were well more than eleven tribbles now.  She checked the time and was surprised to see she had really only been away for two hours.  It was astounding how fast these things reproduced.

She took a seat beside Leonard and asked, "How many are there now?"

He sat back and crossed his arms and said with a sigh, "Forty.  Before long, we're going to be overrun with tribbles."

Kate felt guilty that she and Nyota were the source of this issue, but how could she have ever known.  She went to say something in reply, but the med bay doors opened and Spock walked in, so she ended up asking him, "Is everything okay, Spock."

Spock just nodded once as he surveyed med bay and said, "There is nothing the matter with me, there is just something disquieting about these creatures," he finished indicating the tribbles that were slowly filling up med bay.

Kate nodded, but Leonard replied before she could in a teasing tone, "Don't tell me you've got a feeling, Spock?"

Spock raised an eyebrow as he replied, "Don't be insulting, Doctor.  They remind me of he lilies of the field  They toil not, neither do they spin, but they seem to eat a great deal.  I see no practical use for them."

Kate again nodded and said, "That's essentially what we've figured out.  They are comforting, but we don't know any purpose beyond that."

Leonard shook his head and said, "Not everything has to have a practical use.  They're nice, soft, and furry, and they make a pleasant sound.  Not to mention that they're very calming."

Kate looked at Leonard and shook her head slightly.  He was just as annoyed by the tribbles as they were all becoming, but he was defending them to be able to argue with Spock.  She wondered if the two of them would ever really be able to get along.

Spock just shrugged and said, "So would an ermine violin, but I see no practical use for that either."

Leonard rolled his eyes and Kate could tell he was about to say something sarcastic, so Kate said quickly, "It's just that it's a human characteristic to love little furry animals like this."

Leonard added on, "Yes, especially when they're appealing in some way, like these are."  His tone was nowhere near as nice as Kate's had been.

But Spock seemed to grow irritated with both of them nonetheless as he said, "Doctors, I am well aware of human characteristics.  I am frequently inundated by them and am surrounded by them daily, but I've trained myself to put up with practically anything."

Kate shook her head and turned her attention back to studying the tribble.  Leonard and Spock didn't like each other, and that was very clear, so there was no progress she was going to be able to make with them at this point.  Leonard began studying a tribble again too as he said, "Spock, I don't know too much about these little tribbles yet, but there's one thing I know for sure."

Spock seemed intrigued as he asked, "What is that, Doctor?"

Leonard smiled slightly as he replied, "I like them better than I like you."

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