She stumbled into Pike's office with vision blurry with unshed tears. The admiral looked up from his PADD at the sudden intrusion, ready to berate Kirk for not knocking, but the comment died on his tongue. By the time he stood up, she had collapsed onto the small couch he kept in his room, curled up in a tight ball.
"What's wrong?" he asked as he made his way towards her.
"Hurts," she mumbled, eyes squeezed shut.
"I can see that, Jamie" Pike said, "but I can't do anything unless you tell me what hurts." While waiting for her response, Pike picked up her head and sat down beside her. She rolled over and buried her head in his side.
"He left," she told him. Oh.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, running a gentle hand through her long blonde waves. She just shook her head slightly and curled tighter towards him. Pike wasn't exactly sure what to do in this kind of situation, as he'd never had to deal with it before. To be honest, he had no idea why she'd come to him. Surely she had friends who'd understand this better than he? Perhaps it was because she had asked his advice about being honest to McCoy. He felt terrible that it didn't go well; he was certain that the good doctor returned Kirk's feelings.
"I don't understand," she said after a while. She unfolded herself and sat up slowly, letting her head fall onto his shoulder.
"Neither do I," he agreed. "I thought...well. It doesn't do to dwell." He was struggling to find the right words to say. Hopefully it was working.
"Nobody says that anymore," she sniffled, the smallest of smiles on her face.
"No? Shame," he tsked. She huffed a laugh and sighed.
"I've totally ruined our entire friendship. He probably won't ever talk to me again. I shouldn't have said anything."
"You did the right thing, Jamie. He had the right to know," he stated. She shook her head.
"It was better when he didn't know," she said.
"So you would have rather pined after him forever?"
"No! Yes. I don't know." She turned her face against his shoulder. "This was so much easier when I didn't have feelings," she admitted. Pike laughed.
"But this is what life's about. Making mistakes, falling in love...it's all a part of growing up."
"I'm already grown up," she told him petulantly.
"Not compared to me." He grinned at her and received another small smile. Progress. "Trust me on this. I've had plenty of experience. McCoy'll come around, just wait.”
“Are you sure? He seemed pretty determined to leave,” she informed him, now sitting up all the way to look him in the eye. “Don’t give me false hope here.”
“Honest, I think he just needs time. I imagine it was quite a surprise to him.” Jamie nodded and looked around Pike’s office as if it held some kind of answer for her.
“Thanks,” she said after a few minutes. “I wasn’t sure who else to talk to, so…” she trailed off, suddenly feeling as if she intruded.
“It’s fine. I’m here to talk whenever you need.” She smiled at him then, eyes still a little glossy and face still tinged red. “You know, it’s good to be challenged every once and a while,” he added, smirking. “Not everything is as easy as you seem to believe.”
“Oh okay, I see how it is,” she grinned. “Turn this into some kind of captain-y moral lesson. I’m glad my heartache is of use to you!” she laughed and he smiled.
“I'll use what I can get,” he shrugged, glad at the change in her attitude. A knock on the door and its subsequent opening quieted them. Dr. McCoy appeared in the room.
“Pike, have you seen…” he said as he entered the office. “Jamie.” His eyes landed on the blonde on the couch next to the admiral. Pike looked between the two and pushed himself up off the couch.
“Alright, you two kids have fun now,” he told them as he grabbed his PADD and headed towards the door. “No sex on the table,” he added, grinning at Jamie’s embarrassed groan as he left his office, pulling the door shut behind him.