A Perfect Arrangement
|Title:||A Perfect Arrangement|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
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It was published in the print zine First Time #29.
"A soon to be appointed command team are on the Enterprise to study Kirk and Spock but turn out to have plans of “swapping” command partners."
"James Kirk was in love. To anyone who knew him, it was blindingly obvious: his bouncy stride, his ferocious joviality, all spoke of a man totally content with his lot. But more than that, to those who knew him well, it was also clear that hebelieved this one might be special the relationship he had been searching for, perhaps all of his life."
Reactions and Reviews
I can't say that I was very happy with the way any of the characters conducted themselves in this story, though I think it an all too likely scenario. I'm not sure where Kirk's all-consuming desperation comes from, but assuming it's a given, this was an impressive bit of writing, asking for a tightly-written, absorbing story. I especially like the way the author shows hesitation and stuttering in the dialogue — it reads quite naturally. I also liked the way it started and ended with the same sentence. Now, if only this excellent new author can use her skills for happier stories....
I thought this story had one flaw. I can't believe that Kirk would treat Spock in the manner depicted, even considering Kirk's infatuation with his current lady-love. To berate him in such a manner in front of the woman wasn't believable to me. However, I will say that I enjoyed the rest of the story thoroughly. I always like a touch of jealousy and this story certainly delivered on that point. I liked the way Kirk 'stole' Spock away from his intended bondaate after finally realising who was really important in his life. I thought the story was very well written and held my interest. Hope to see more from this author. 
For me, this was by far the best story in In fact, quite the best story I've read in some time. Ms McClean shows an excellent knowledge of how relationships can be made air tight again with words..."I'm sorry" and how complete forgiveness can remove even the most drastic scars. 
The only thing I liked about this was the end.
Kirk is a completely unfeeling bastard who says things to Spock that I feel are so completely out of character as to make this an AU story. Lashing out over a misunderstanding is one thing. Stripping a person you've called friend of every shred of dignity and hope for the future is unforgivable. And Kirk does this to Spock with a surgical precision. I don't like it.
Finally driven, not by compassion but by jealousy, Kirk seduces (more accurately, fucks) Spock and all is well. I don't buy that either. Spock of Vulcan is not a fool. And James T. Kirk is not cruel.
There was one tiny shred of evidence we were reading of "our" K & S—a familiar exchange of teasing words and promising gazes. That was it.A well-written story? Absolutely. A satisfying story? Absolutely not. The Kirk portrayed here didn't in any way deserve Spock and none of it "felt right". Everyone is entitled to her own opinion and maybe Ms. McClean had frustrations and anger to work out—she certainly conveyed them most convincingly! I've never hated James T. Kirk before, and right to the end I loathed him.
In “A Perfect Arrangement,” two new officers are temporarily assigned to the Enterprise. The woman is slated to become a first officer, the man is scheduled to be her captain, but first they are more or less “observing” the way Kirk and Spock do things. What isn’t known to our heroes, though, is that these observers have plans of their own. The woman has been infatuated with Kirk for a while, the man with Spock, and they each initiate relationships...or try to. Their plan is to swap partners: for the woman to become Kirk’s first officer on the Enterprise and for the man to take Spock away with him when he is assigned his ship. When Spock realizes what is going on, he tells Kirk, but his captain refuses to believe that such a plan is motivating his new lover. He rejects Spock in anger, and Spock, disconsolate, has to decide if his best career move— and personal move as well—would be to accept the man’s offer to become lovers and a new command team. What’s arresting in all five of these stories is a harder, sharper, even more brutal characterization of Kirk than is regularly seen in K/S stories. Some fans have joked that the author wrote the same story five times, but that’s not really true, and all of them are of real interest.