Babes in the Woods (Star Trek: TOS story by Dana Austin Marsh)

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Babes in the Woods
Author(s): Dana Austin Marsh
Date(s): 1998
Length: 24,043 words
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links: The Kirk/Spock FanFiction Archive

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Babes in the Woods is a Kirk/Spock story by Dana Austin Marsh.

It was published in the print zine KaleidoScope #7 (02/1998).

first page of Babes in the Woods

This story was the winner of a 1998 STIFfie Award.

Summary

From publisher's summary: "Kirk & Spock take a group of cadets on survival training & have no time for each other."

Reactions and Reviews

Fun, fun, fun. Kirk and Spock are drafted to teach Starfleet Academy cadets survival techniques just when they had four weeks of leave coming and they had planned on spending it loving each other till their balls would fall off. Frustrated lovers is the least you can say. Hilarious to see Kirk trying to get his way with his Vulcan in spite of the cadets and Spock's attempts to refuse his lover. I also loved their interaction with those cadets, the diverse group of beings the author put together, their reaction to their senior officers, the lessons they had to learn, their learning to deal with each other, to work together. Great storytelling.[1]
This is another delightful, light-hearted romp from that excellent practitioner of same, Dana Austin Marsh, although it's a little longer (60 pages) than much of her recent work. Kirk has complained to Starfleet about the poor survival skills of recent graduates of the Academy. As a consequence he's been delegated to spend four weeks of his hard-earned leave with Spock to lead six cadets in a new course that will test their ability to survive in various habitats after a shuttle crash. Spock, ever loyal, volunteers to accompany him.

The whole story is a treatise on coitus interruptus, as not only is the leave which would have been a sexual idyll for the two commanding officers cancelled, but they find themselves with absolutely no privacy to pursue their lusty inclinations. The story requires a major suspension of disbelief, as not only is it unlikely that the captain of a starship would be appointed to lead a survival course that properly belongs to specialists, but any commanding officer would be able to set the cadets on a task that would provide the opportunity for Kirk and Spock to get it on. I really do think that Kirk would be up to that challenge!

But once you get over these hurdles, you're treated to a truly interesting story rich with detail that kept me turning pages to see what problems Kirk and the cadets would face next. The characters of the six students are clearly defined, so I never found myself mixing one up with the other. Although I'm a little weary of Deltans being featured in any story dealing with exotic aliens, I thought this one was well drawn, as was the "puppy-dog" of the group. And I liked the quips that the Irish Finnegan-surrogate kept coming up with.

The sexual situations into which the author kept putting Kirk and Spock were really amusing, especially the aural stimulation that Spock kept finding, well, stimulating! I wouldn't have minded being Cadet Munroe, either, intruding on that little scene at the lake. Every page, it seemed had something clever or especially interesting on it.

And though the way the plot had to be stretched occasionally to make the sexual abstinence (at least on the captain's side) plausible was a bit obvious here and there, I still had to shake my head in admiration at the author's ingenuity.

And the final scene, which ties so nicely into the very first page, is a great example of how a story like this can be packaged with a satisfying ending.[2]
A thoroughly delightful romp. Nobody does tongue-in-cheek like Ms. Marsh. I just loved this story. The cadets were well fleshed out characters...a horny Kirk is always great and the situation Kirk and Spock found themselves in was hilarious. I actually found myself giggling out loud a number of times. And I take my K/S very seriously. After being inundated by rape, more rape, torture and death in a number of stories lately. "Babes In The Woods" was a welcome respite...a deliciously lighthearted change of pace. A very entertaining read. Thank you, Ms. Marsh.[3]
From start to finish this story was an absolute delight! Similar to the author's previous story of this type [Enterprising Tours in Kaleidoscope 2) she again presents us with the scenario of Kirk and Spock trying to find a time and place to be together amid a gaggle of raw cadets.

In this case, Kirk gets shanghaied into overseeing a group of cadets on their survival training mission instead of being with his lover in more comfortable, not to say discrete, surroundings. Spock goes along for the ride, and the piece descends into a comedy of errors as Spock manages to achieve satisfaction time after lime while his thwarted lover becomes increasingly angry and progressively more and more horny. There were so many things I liked about this story it's hard to know where to begin. I love any story where Spock is allowed to be his most competent self and happy to boot (I just can't write 'em.) Kirk is delightfully wise, witty, head-over-heels in love with his partner, yet aware of both his and Spock's vulnerabilities. Dana gives us a portrait of two mature men, at ease with themselves, each other and their relationship. Both are proficient at professions they love, and caring enough to pass on their knowledge to youngsters in a compassionate manner-Then there are the cadets... What a tremendous amount of skill is involved in creating six new characters, imbuing each with distinctive traits and personalities and bringing them to such vivid life that they virtually leap off the printed page.

Oh, yes, can't forget the humor that alternately had me giggling and chortling with glee...

A warm and loving story from one of K/S fandom's best writers that I thoroughly enjoyed and one that will definitely make my nomination lists for the Philons and STIFfies next year. Thanks for this one, Dana.[4]
A thoroughly delightful romp. Nobody does tongue-in-cheek like Ms. Marsh. I just loved this story. The cadets were well fleshed out characters...a horny Kirk is always great and the situation Kirk and Spock found themselves in was hilarious. I actually found myself giggling out loud a number of times. And I take my K/S very seriously. After being inundated by rape, more rape, torture and death in a number of stories lately, "Babes In The Woods" was a welcome respite...a deliciously lighthearted change of pace. A very entertaining read.[5]
From start to finish this story was an absolute delight! Similar to the author's previous story of this type {Enterprising Tours in Kaleidoscope 2) she again presents us with the scenario of Kirk and Spock trying to find a time and place to be together amid a gaggle of raw cadets. In this case Kirk gets shanghaied into overseeing a group of cadets on their survival training mission instead of being with his lover in more comfortable, not to say discrete, surroundings. Spock goes along for the ride, and the piece descends into a comedy of errors as Spock manages to achieve satisfaction time after time while his thwarted lover becomes increasingly angry and progressively more and more horny. There was so many things I liked about this story it's hard to know where to begin. I love any story where Spock is allowed to be his most competent self and happy to boot. (I just can't write 'em.) Kirk is delightfully wise, witty, head-over-heels in love with his partner, yet aware of both his and Spock's vulnerabilities. Dana gives us a portrait of two mature men, at ease with themselves, each other and their relationship. Both are proficient at professions they love, and caring enough to pass on their knowledge to youngsters in a compassionate manner. Then there are the cadets.... What a tremendous amount of skill is involved in creating six new characters, imbuing each with distinctive traits and personalities and bringing them to such vivid life that they virtually leap off the printed page. Oh, yes, can't forget the humor that alternately had me giggling and chortling with glee. ... A warm and loving story from one of K/S fandom's best writers that I thoroughly enjoyed, and one that will definitely make my nomination lists for the Philons and STIFfies next year.[6]
What a terrific, lively and enjoyable story! Filled with charming cleverness, it’s about Kirk and Spock going on a four week survival training course with six Starfleet Academy senior cadets.

One of the excellent aspects of this story is the complete characterizations of the cadets and their trials and tribulations without sacrificing the K/S. I fully enjoyed each of their characters—Kraback who looks like a Basset hound, the four humans and the Deltan woman. All really terrific characters and all integrated into the plot and all kept track of— definitely no easy feat when writing about a large group of characters all in the same scenes.

And then the humorous situations throughout— especially Kirk and Spock’s attempts at finding a moment’s peace and solitude to have some sex. All this is done with a delightful light touch—nothing is jarring or weird, which it could have easily been considering the circumstances.

Even the camping and survival techniques are nicely incorporated into the story and very believable. So much fine funny writing—Spock’s teeth “chattering like a set of Argelian castanets”! And I laughed out loud when Kirk and Spock finally try to get some surreptitious sex while sleeping a communal tent and one of the cadets yells in her sleep: “Fire photon torpedoes! Now!” And Spock comes and then falls asleep!

On top of all the frustrations of Kirk and Spock even having a moment alone, the whole group could be beamed automatically at any time to a different location on the planet. So Kirk asks: “How long do you can hold out?” and “Spock estimated his resistance time to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 seconds.” Then another call in the night: “Mr. Spock, come quick!” I was on the floor.

And so hilarious when one of the cadets stumbles around in the dark and feels Kirk’s butt.

Finally, when Kirk and Spock are alone in a forest, Spock gets to suck Kirk and it’s great!

The combination of outrageous and gentle humor along with the excellent characterizations and story- telling make this one not to be missed.[7]
Do Kirk and Spock ever plan a shore leave together when something doesn't rear its ugly head to bollix up their plans? Of course not. But in this case it's all Jim's fault because he's the one who suggested that Starfleet Academy cadets were graduating without enough training in survival skills. So it’s all his fault that he and Spock get to spend four weeks shepherding a group of senior cadets through field trials instead of going off alone for a nice relaxing month of shore leave.

Faced with four separate scenarios and four different environments each test lasting about a week, the group of six cadets biggest problem is learning to work together. Kirk and Spock are also faced with a problem of their own, trying to get some privacy for every time things start to heat up they get interrupted in thoroughly comic-opera fashion. Ms. Marsh developed each of her characters well, and I particularly liked the Krabach and Growlian.

This was a well-written, light-hearted story which I would highly recommend.[8]
This has to be my favourite story in the zine.

Having suggested to Nogura that the survival training given to Starfleet cadets is inadequate, Kirk is assigned the task of teaching a survival course in the field during a four-week period when he should be on leave.

I don't say that this group of cadets was hand- picked to give maximum problems, if I'd been writing the story I'd probably have stuck in a few more personality clashes, though doing so could be a mistake, but Dana has certainly managed to come up with consistent characterisations in her cadets. Her characters are probably better for their character deficiencies not being too extreme.

My sympathies lay with Kirk and Spock, along as a volunteer to help Kirk, who got no choice in the matter; expecting them to be able to get together for a good time during this four-week period and not having the privacy to do so, Kirk's increasing frustration is well drawn.

I've seen this theme done before, though not often. This is a masterly handling of it.[9]
A nice story about K & S in the woods - together with some very green cadets. Definitely not the shore leave the two lovers had planned originally... Well, the story was nice and well written, but I waited and waited page for page that SOMETHING might happen! Either a real emergency which forced the team to demonstrate their skills (i.e. a real adventure!) or something really funny like a cadet accidentally catching Kirk and Spock right in the middle while making love or something similar. This story was not fish not meat, running on without climax (no pun intended!) till the very end.[10]
A well-written and fast-moving story regarding Kirk and Spock teaching a survival course to six cadets. Lovers already, Kirk and Spock have to give up their planned leave to schlep around on a planet with these kids. I like the title—I don't look at it as referring to the wet-behind-the-ears cadets. I think Kirk and Spock are the babes, and how. I liked and appreciated how well written were the parts about the cadets insofar as how they were introduced to us, how each one stands out uniquely, merely through a conversation they are having about Kirk and Spock. Throughout the story, each cadet's actions and dialogue always express who they are and make them recognizable to us. These characterizations also tie in, with the minimum of fuss, with the survival-course scenario. This is skillful, smooth writing. (At the same time, this isn't a heavy story where we might be brought into these other characters' heads with all their psychological drama or whatever. Good. I do try to keep my door open, but I basically prefer to spend much more time with only Kirk and Spock, to the exclusion of some other new character we're expected to feel for.)

The cadets are four men and two women, and one woman is a Deltan. Starfleet arranged it so the group would be beamed unexpectedly to four different types of terrain with a certain random assortment of gear, as if crashed in a shuttle without all the equipment surviving, etc.

All this survival stuff was interesting—making camp, making do with what they have, traveling through the environs, and the interactions between the cadets and their instructors. From all the detail I would say Ms. Marsh is obviously knowledgeable or just plain resourceful. The detailed survival-info parts generally support the K/S part of the story and, if they don't, are fast and fun reading anyway.

Now, as to said K/S part of the story.... Only into the story a ways did I realize it was meant to be more tongue-in-cheek than serious; and if read in that vein, it's amusing. If taken seriously, well, at first I was put off by what seemed to be going on between Kirk and Spock. They're always trying to snatch a bit of privacy to have sex, and Spock keeps ending up getting off but Kirk doesn't. What I was put off by in the beginning, when I was taking it seriously, was Kirk being a bitch the next morning about this.

But anyway, the story proceeds amusingly and sweetly, with an amusing ending back on the ship, too. An enjoyable and very well put-together story.[11]

References

  1. The K/S Press #26 (10/1998)
  2. The K/S Press #19 (03 /1998)
  3. The K/S Press #24 (08/1998)
  4. The K/S Press #24 (08/1998)
  5. The K/S Press #24 (08/1998)
  6. The K/S Press #24 (08/1998)
  7. The K/S Press # 20 (04/1998)
  8. The K/S Press # 20 (04/1998)
  9. The K/S Press # 20 (04/1998)
  10. The K/S Press #21 (05/1998)
  11. The K/S Press #21 (05/1998)