Also @blueoftheenterprise ‘s fault.
Send all complaints to them.
I AM INNOCENT HERE! I was tricked into posting it D:
You’d seen him in one of the recreational rooms, staring intently at the tridimensional board. He was clearly playing the computer and you’d sat beside him to watch in curiosity. Spock hadn’t even blinked as you approached, moving a piece across his board before he typed in the move to the computer.
“Would you teach me,” you finally had the courage to ask. He’d look at you like he was just noticing you.
He glanced at the board and then back to
“3D chess,” you clarified. You knew all the basics of the two dimensional chess, but you’d never learned the more complicated game that you’d seen students playing at the Academy. ”Maybe when you’re done?”
Spock glanced over the board. “This game will commence in precisely 15 moves, wherein it will end in a draw. Computer, cease program.” Then turning to you he set the pieces up in a way that varied from the regular chess you were used to. “Allow me to assist you. We will begin with the basics.”
“You are still thinking two
dimensionally,” he pointed out, moving his bishop across three levels in one
sweep and taking your knight. You held back a groan and glanced down at the
pieces in defeat. A week of trying games after shift had seemed to have been
“You are greatly improving,” he noted, but you still felt as lost as when you’d started. Seemed every time you started to learned something, Spock found a way to counter it without a thought.
You studied the board for a long time before moving your queen out of the way of danger. Spock slid his rook across the board.
“I believe that is checkmate, lieutenant.”
It became a regular routine between you, meeting on the rec-deck to practice. It was usually only a game or two a day. After a few weeks of being terribly beaten, you’d finally taken on yourself to start looking up some help from the computer. There were a ton of strategies, and names of moves that you’d never even heard of before, but you’d tried a few against the computer until you were sure you could use them reasonably.
When you first started a game with a legitimate opening, Spock had simply raised an eyebrow and countered the move easily. It was like a dance as you both followed the opening, you cornering his pieces to move as you wanted them he until broke the chain with an unexpected move.
You’d moved your next piece with a lot less confidence.
“Why do you play with me?” you’d asked one day after losing horribly to him once again.
“I do not fully understand your inquiry,” he said.
“I mean, you taught me the game at this point, but I can’t be much of a challenge to you,” you pointed out.
“The alternative being the computer, which I have programmed myself?”
That caused you to blush in embarrassment. “I find it fascinating to see your continued development in this skill. The captain and I have a biweekly game scheduled if it concerns you. I enjoy your presence as an opponent.”
“I would not do that,” Spock pointed out as you reached for a piece. “See if you can spot the issue.”
You gave the board a hard look but came up blank. After you offered him a confused look, he pointed to a couple pieces. “Rook to D6(6), it takes your knight and you’ve exposed your queen to be taken by the bishop at C3(2).”
You sighed and nodded. Spock had started slowly giving you advice on moves, but he was careful in his guidance to not just give you the moves he would make and allow you to think things out for yourself. It still felt like he was critiquing every other move you made. But you could see that he was a good teacher, and you welcomed the advice to the silence that accompanied most of the other games. Spock was not one for small talk, and you needed to focus.
You glanced over the board and moved another piece, getting a short nod from Spock.
“I am impressed. You have started to think several moves in advance,” he pointed out as you had just managed to be stalemated by the commander. “Your actions are clearly more strategic, and you made several wise choices that I did not anticipate. Your defense has progressed exponentially and you have successfully blocked all of my attacks, clearly to the point of a stalemate.” He may have considered it a success but it still felt like a loss.
“I want to try again,” you’d insisted, reaching over to set up the board again.
“I cannot continue this evening, y/n, but I will leave you with the board for the evening as I find it often helps more than the electronic computer version. Please ensure you take care of it, it is a personal set.”
You didn’t expect him to trust you with
something so valuable, but you assured him it was in good hands. You spent the
rest of the evening working playing the moves from the computer.
“Check.” You moved your rook to the fourth level, taking a pawn in its wake. If there was a little pride in your voice, you’d never let him know.
“Negative lieutenant,” Spock said, causing you to scan the board with a furrowed brow.
“How is that not check?” You felt defensive. “The move was completely legal and your king in jeopardized by the rook.” You pointed the line between them.
“It is not check, because it is mate,” he said simply, reaching over to knock over the king piece with a single finger. You looked again, and realized that by taking the pawn, your bishop was trapping the king from his only route of escape. You glanced up at his face but found it unchanged.
“Congratulations, y/n,” he nodded to you. You were still thinking on how that was possible when he stood and left.
The next evening you two were meant to meet, the commander was not in the hall as you expected. There was surely some reason he was running behind and you didn’t mind waiting. Moving over to the table you normally sat at, you saw something on it.
A closer inspection revealed it was one of the pieces from Spock’s set. The white queen. You picked it up delicately and rolled it between your fingers. Somehow you already knew what this meant. Spock was meticulous about his board, there was no way this was lost or forgotten.
He was giving you so much more than the piece. There was so much more to the gesture than originally visible. Without the queen, the set was now incomplete. He was giving you a sign, an silent interest. You were his queen now.
You’d have to find him tonight and see where things went.