For A' That (Star Trek: TOS story)

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Star Trek Fanfiction
Title: For A' That
Author(s): Nancy Z. Solomon]
Date(s): 1980
Genre: het
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
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For A' That is a Star Trek: TOS story by Nancy Z. Solomon.

It was published in the print zine Obsc'zine #4.

Reactions and Reviews

A fine story that packs in a good plot, a fine character study of Scotty, and a bit of romance. Scott is engaging in a quiet, companionable romance with fellow-Scot Maggie Buchan, the ship's new Psych Chief - helping her build her loom and enjoying her home-cooking and whiskey. They and the rest of deck 5 wake to find the environmental controls gone haywire, nearly freezing most of the officers; Scott races to assist in Kirk's cabin, where to his shock he finds McCoy working on both Kirk and Spock, who have fallen unconscious cuddled up together. Most of the story revolves around Scott's struggle to come to terms with that relationship. Excellent writing. There's a nice little nod to the Faulwell series, mentioning her as McCoy's lass. [1]
There are several K/S stories, the best of which is "For A' That" by Nancy Zingrone Solomon. Scott falls in love with a Scottish woman psychiatrist of his own age who helps him come to grips with his feelings when he discovers the Kirk/Spock relationship. [2]
There's a story I've been wanting to reread ever since James Doohan's passing—"For A' That" by Nancy Zingrone Solomon.

When I first read this story I remember enjoying it for what it appeared to be: a well-told tale of a relationship between two lonely people (Montgomery Scott and "Original Female Character" Dr. Margaret "Maggie" Buchan). Scotty and Maggie have consistently placed the professional over the personal; their tentative progress in accepting love again into their lives is well- told and believable. It was rare then, and I expect it's rare now, to read Scotty fanfic—particularly one as psychologically interesting as this story is. So, there I was in 1980, reading about this tentative romance between a man who isn't all that sure if he wants to open up to the possibility of a relationship and an OFC who isn't in the least bit a Mary Sue, and enjoying all the details the author provided on life in the 23rd century—and then there's an emergency. The environmental controls on several decks go wonky; humidity soars and the temperature drops below freezing. Cabin doors are forced open; quick rescues effected. And what had been a secret to everyone in the crew (except, as it turns out, McCoy) is very publicly revealed. Kirk and Spock are found unconscious in Kirk's cabin, naked, entangled together in Kirk's bed. Scotty reacts with a mixture of rage, hurt and confusion. The author posits a recent puritanical backlash against homosexuality and even though there are no laws against homosexual behavior, that's a very far distance from any kind of acceptance or approval. Suddenly, Scotty's image of Kirk and his well-ordered universe is in shambles. (The environmental disaster occurs because of shoddy parts provided by a cost- cutting Starfleet subcontractor trying to make a quick buck.) Scotty works obsessively on investigating all the systems failures; using that same hard work as a way to shove his emotions aside. But he can't quite succeed, and his anger breaks through despite his efforts. Scotty eventually works his way through his negative emotions, as much on an intellectual level as an emotional level. Intellectually, he worries that fraternization is against regs (though the regs aren't enforced); that K&S's relationship will effect their abilities to function on the job (though, when he learns how long K&S have been lovers, it's quite clear their abilities to perform their jobs haven't been compromised in the least). Emotionally, Scotty has to deal with this sudden alteration in his perception of Kirk's image. He comes to realize there has been no change—both men are as they always have been. Well, he does note a few minor differences. Spock has recently begun to "nearly smile". Kirk seems "calmer, more assured". And, when Scotty allows himself to open up to love with Maggie he is finally able to accept the love that Kirk and Spock have found for each other.

This is not in any way a traditional K/S story. Kirk is barely in it, Spock even less so (Spock spends most the story off-camera in Sickbay with pneumonia). Yes, I found this story very satisfying. It's also an interesting look into the issue of homophobia, and, reading it 25 years later, it's a revelation on what has changed since 1980 on the public perception of homosexuality—and what has not. [3]


  1. Halliday’s Star Trek Zinedex (TOS) - Title Index, Archived version
  2. from TREKisM #16
  3. from The K/S Press #109