Twenty Questions (Star Trek: TOS story)

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Twenty Questions
Author(s): T. Jonsey
Date(s): 1996
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
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Twenty Questions is a Kirk/Spock story by T. Jonsey. It is her second fanfic.

It was first posted to alt.startrek.creative and then printed in the print zine Within the Mirror #11.

This story was the winner of a STIFfie Award.


"Kirk tries to get Spock to answer certain personal questions by getting him to play the game ”20 questions” with him."

Reactions and Reviews

Humor is difficult enough to write, but humor that doesn't rely on denigration or stretching characterization past the point of recognition is rare indeed. This author accomplishes it with apparent ease.

Kirk and Spock engage in what Spock thinks is a
simplistic game of Twenty Questions, and quickly discovers
that when James Kirk is involved nothing is as simple as it
seems. He should have known better. His incomprehension, as in this excerpt, is totally endearing:

"Spock, it's just what it sounds like."
"Twenty Questions?"
"We are obviously not communicating."
"I ask you twenty questions."
"You answer them."
"These rules appear to be somewhat incomplete."

But he gamely has agreed to play, and the captain is quick to take full advantage of the situation.

The whole story is written in dialogue, but despite the absence of narrative, the reader is never in doubt as to which man is speaking. The ending was perfectly in tune with the story and had a nice twist.

I found this story completely delightful! I laughed out loud several times, and I think you will, too.

Welcome to a new author, and I look forward to her next effort with anticipation. [1]
A thoroughly amusing story from a new author. It's told completely in dialogue, which I think must be difficult to write, but this author manages the format well. I was just a little confused during the transition from page 131 to page 132, when Kirk was asking about his mirror counterpart's sexual advances during the exchange, but a careful rereading straightened me out.

I think my difficulty was in the novel idea that our Classic characters enjoyed an intimate relationship when the Mirror characters did not (although it was pretty obvious where the mirror Kirk was taking his game of Twenty Questions!). But once I realized that's what was more than implied, I enjoyed the little twist.

I also really like the way the mirror Spock ended the exchange, and when he walked out on his captain. No matter that he is the subordinate on the ship, he maintains and uses a lot of power, and isn't adverse to using it over Kirk when he can. I thought the bearded fellow was absolutely in character....

I understand this author is working on another, much longer and equally amusing effort. I can't wait.[1]
Delightful short story told entirely in dialogue. Spock comes to Kirk's quarters and Kirk engages him in a game of 'Twenty Questions".

So adorable as Spock resists only to finally give in with the threat of being related to McCoy.

Of course Kirk plunges in with intimate questions about Spock's sex life and believe me, I wanted to hear the answers!

So much fun—I adored their banter: 'Spock? What's the matter?' 'I was momentarily taken aback by the direction of your question. I was prepared for an inquiry along the lines of is it green?'"

The way this story is written with only dialogue is deceptively simple. It is rich in detail and everything, the characters and how they feel, is revealed through only the things they say.

I thoroughly enjoyed this terrific story by this new author. Her love of Kirk and Spock shines through even to the wonderful ending. A very clever premise and thoughtful use of the title besides.

My own twenty questions would all be the same one— when are you going to write more?[1]
I just adored this story; I was smiling and laughing, among other things, all the way through.

I find I really like these all-dialogue stories. This one is, of course, Kirk and Spock back and forth. It helped that Spock's lines were written in italics, so the perfect pacing was never interrupted by our having to figure out who was speaking.

This isn't technically a Mirror story; not at all it seems. Their experience with the other universe is mentioned, that's all.

Obviously, this is about the game "Twenty Questions" which Kirk gets Spock to play. We just come in on them at this moment—I like that. No explanations as to how the warp drive did on their way here or what Starfleet Command is up to or anything like that.

Too, too cute, so funny. An interesting kind of humor, too. Nothing is said as a joke; it's just that how they are with each other under these circumstances is just naturally funny. And the author wrote every single word so that it brought out that kind of unintentional humor, which is also rich with the underlying sexual tension between them—and all Kirk's questions were about sex, what a surprise. It gets Kirk more and more curious; and of course Spock is a master at deflecting when he wants to. And we learn quite fascinating things about Spock.

I totally loved when Kirk changes the subject and Spock says, your question took me by surprise; I expected one along the lines of, Is it green? Not to mention I about died when later Kirk does ask that question. I'm laughing out loud (and squirming) even as I type this.

So, so charming, this by-play; they're really getting each other's goat. Spock frustrates Kirk divinely. I loved it, loved it; and a perfect little twisty ending. [2]
Talk about bursting onto the scene-- this story was a powerful first effort, and I found it moving, well-written and very promising. That promise was fulfilled with the author's second post, "Twenty Questions," which made me laugh out loud even on repeated readings. Wonderful stuff. Please post more!  ;-) [3]


  1. ^ a b c From The K/S Press #6
  2. ^ from The K/S Press #7
  3. ^ comment by Killa alt.startrek.creative, March 1997