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Kuv buk kal-tor etek nash Ashaya

Chapter Text

Prologue
Her Birth

 

“The Baby, it’s coming George!”

“It’s okay, you just get on that shuttle okay? Everything will be fine.” George Kirk typed in a few commands only to find that the Auto-pilot was malfunctioning. He gave the command to get his wife out of danger. “It’s the only way to save you.”

“George, I can’t do this without you.”

“I’m here, I know you’re strong enough, I know you can.”

With every push and scream his wife made, he knew his decision had been the right one. He would give his life a million times over if it meant his family would be safe, that he would never have to hear his wife cry in fear or pain; he would always make this sacrifice for the ones he loves.

The cry of a baby, his baby, made it difficult to look at the count-down to collision. He and Winona had decided to keep the baby’s gender a surprise; now he needed, more than ever, to know as much of the child that would never know him.

“What is it?”

“A girl,”

“A Girl? Tell me about her.”

“She’s beautiful. She has your eyes.”

“I bet she’ll have your smile like George does. What should we call her?”

Winona’s tears fell, “How about Tiberia, after your father?”

“After my father? No way! How about Jamie, after your father?”

The countdown was ticking down and he didn’t have much time.

“Jamie it is then. George…”

“Sweetheart, I need you to know I love you so much, and I need you to tell the kids, every day that I love them and-” There was a crunching sound before the transmission dropped. The light filling the shuttle made the newly widowed woman turn her head to see the blast that killed her husband.

“I can’t do this alone George- I can’t.” She whispered before her sobs choked anything else she might’ve said. The next weeks passed both rapidly and sluggishly; in the sense that it was too much time alone but not enough time to truly comprehend.

Once on earth, the press had a field day with the Kirk family and their story. Winona decided then and there that she would shield Jamie the same way her father had. After all, given the chance, George would’ve spoiled her to bits. The press asked many questions, and when they got no straight answers (not even on the gender of the child), they tried to retrieve files that Winona had already encrypted and requested not be shared.

All anyone really knew was that the child was named after its grandfathers. When it became apparent that they would receive no answers, even after bribing any and all of the medical staff, the press focused on the memorial service.

After this the Kirk family hid away in Iowa. George cared for his little sister, and had been explained to, many times, why it was important to keep all information on Jamie a secret. He was still very young, 7 years old to be exact, but he took it upon himself to understand.
His father would’ve liked that.

Chapter One
Growing up with Frank

 

Jamie was five, and a month or two from starting school, when she first realized how much George protected her. He was almost thirteen and now knew exactly what their dreaded Uncle wanted. Winona was off planet and Frank was drunk, so when Jamie caused the in-home computer system to smoke, the middle-aged man stood and made his way to her. His voice rose louder than she knew it could. The door opened and slammed shut in the nick of time. The teen boy yanked the older man’s shoulder and threw him across the room.

“Sam! What are you- Look out!”

It was the first time she’d actually seen her brother get hit. It infuriated her. So she did the first thing that came to her and she jumped on Frank’s back. She squeezed around his neck tightly, causing the man to stumble around from lack of oxygen. He finally managed to throw her off and across the floor.

“Don’t you ever touch her, you monster!” George tackled him to the ground and punched him a few times before turning away. “Jamie, go to our room and barricade the door!”

“No Sam! I won’t leave you!”

“Jamie! You listen to me; now, before he hurts you too!”

The last thing she saw was Frank pinning her brother to the ground. The last thing she heard was, after hours of crying and yelling, Frank said to “Keep her in line”. She heard George’s punishment too clearly. How had she never known the terrible things that happened to her protector?

That night she heard his voice, after a quiet rapping on the door, “It’s me Jamie, Frank’s passed out, you can open the door.”

The next morning she noticed her brother still sleeping, on his stomach. She took it upon herself to prepare the expected breakfast and wake their dreaded Uncle. Breakfast made, Uncle out in the field, she managed a make-shift ice pack for her brother before returning to their shared room.

George Samuel Kirk stood in front of the window, still in his PJ pants. He made no motion to show he knew she was there, so she cleared her throat before stepping closer. The boy’s shoulders jolted in shock, but his face was devoid of all emotion.

“I made breakfast, and brought you some ice.” He thanked her but refused to sit down. “What did he do?”

“Something I hope you never have to experience. Promise me Jamie, that if something happens to me, if for any reason you’re alone with him, you run. Don’t fight him, he’s too strong. Don’t hide, he’ll find you. But you’re small, light on your feet and he’s an old fat drunk; you could out run him if you had a head start. Then you tell the cops exactly what’s been happening here. Promise me Jamie. Promise you’ll run.” The fear in his eyes was only too evident, even to the five-year-old. So she nodded and held out her pinky to him. They made an old-fashioned pinky swear.

“Okay Sam, I will but only if you promise the same if it gets any worse. Okay?”

“I don’t think it can. But if it does… I promise.”

When school started up again that fall, Winona made it back to earth long enough to talk to the schools teachers, but not long enough to notice the pain inflicted on her two children. The talk with her school administration confused the young girl. All she knew was that her teachers were not allowed to use her last name.

She tried to ask why it was so important, but her mother refused to talk to her, barely even looked at her. Only a few words were caught by the bright child.

“You lied, George… just like you. Of course… your smile, your eyes… she’s you. I can’t George, I can’t do it.”

Winona Kirk joined them for dinner but left next the morning before breakfast. She left a note saying how to contact her if they needed her, but neither child had any illusions that she would do anything.

The following months were exciting for Jamie, and her happiness gave George joy too. The young girl excelled at everything, she read every book in the school library before the end of her first year. Their home life was still awful, but they did it together. Plus, they only had to spend a minimum of an hour to a maximum of four hours, with Frank.

The summer was difficult; George spent a lot of time in the fields helping their uncle. On his 14th birthday George took Jamie to their room and thanked her for her card. But he insisted there was only one thing he needed for his birthday.

“I need you to take these and protect them. They were dads. This is his star fleet pin from his cadet uniform.” The pin hung on a long, black ribbon. George tied it around his sister’s neck. “This was his watch. He gave it to mom before they parted the day he died. She was going to throw it out because it doesn’t work.”

She promised to take good care of them. Even though the watch didn’t work she felt a little closer to her father knowing they both appreciated old technology. That night Jamie was looking at the pin when she realized something.

“Sam?”

“Yeah Jame?”

“I thought you said that dad was captain?”

“He was when he died, he was a captain for less than twenty minutes but he saved a lot of people. Why?”

“Well, his pin has the science symbol on it.”

“Because he was the head science officer. Captain Robau of the U.S.S. Kelvin made dad the acting captain before he, himself, died. So, that was when dad did what he had to, to save the crew, mom, and most importantly, you. He loved you.”

“Do you think so?”

“Think so? I know so. When mom was pregnant he talked to her stomach, to you, about how much he couldn’t wait to meet you. Mom said that his last words were to make sure we knew how much love he had for us.

“You’re a lot like him. What I remember of him. He liked old things, like the car outside? That’s his. He talked himself out of trouble with mom, He liked to fix things, and he loved learning about anything. He was a dreamer, a fighter, and a believer. I remember when he said to me that there’s always another choice. It was after I got into a fight at school, ‘George, my brave sweet boy,’ he said, ‘you never have to lose, you can always find a way to win, to do good.’ He always encouraged me to do my best, just like you do.

“But my first memory of him, as far back as I can remember, his bright, blue eyes twinkled, his smile lit up the room and I felt like there was no one else better in the world. And when I found out he died, I tried to forget it all, until I saw you. If he were a girl he’d have looked like you. I relived that moment, when I saw his eyes in yours; I knew that protecting you would be keeping a piece of him alive. Because he would tell me, I know it, He’d say, ‘Love makes you do some crazy things, but just because they’re crazy, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.’”

There’s a long heavy pause in the dark room, “I love you Sam.”

“I know- I love you too, Jame.”

The next year didn’t go quite as quickly, and there were more questions about who she was. She told them she didn’t know what they were talking about. They asked her more direct questions about her name. She decided to research deception, and how to mask emotions. She spent every Sunday at the public library learning multiple skills from books. Eventually the questions stopped and people started calling her names.
Nerd, a title she took in proudly. Her father loved science, and she loved all knowledge which is why she reads all of the time. Moron, she simply laughed off, for she was anything but. She even took teacher’s pet, loser, tom-boy, and the negative descriptors, such as smelly and ugly, all in stride. Things took a turn for the worst on a Friday morning.

One of the older children called her a bastard child, and then called her mother a whore, and, the final straw, called her father a disgrace to the human race; she got into a physical fight. She threw her fists into the older boy’s face making contact with his eye and nose before he hit back. By the time a teacher pulled them away from each other Jamie’s lip was split and she had an angry bruise forming on her cheek. The other, however, could barely open his left eye nor could he staunch the bleeding from his nose.

Frank was called and she was suspended for the rest of the day but was expected back the following Monday. By the time George found out what happened, it was too late. He ran to the office, but they said the two had left an hour ago. He was on his way back to class when he felt it.

A phantom pain shot through him, stinging his backside. He remembered what his punishment was before he turned into a teenager. Another spike of pain on his rear, and a fear for his sister made him stop in his tracks before turning and making his way to the nurse’s office. He said he felt sick to his stomach, which was true, and when they asked to call a parent he said they were off planet, also not completely untrue.
The school called the police station, explaining the situation, and told George that it was part of the police force’s job to “Protect and Serve”. He almost rolled his eyes, had the situation not been so serious, he would’ve. The human police officer seemed to take forever to the young man. Also, he asked far too many questions about his parents. So George groaned multiple times and complained about severe pains. Once at the farm, George ran in and caught Frank’s arm before he could land another blow. George took the thick belt from him and shoved his uncle.

The drunk stumbled and George picked up his sister and barricaded their room. The young man couldn’t hold his tears, the sight of his sister’s raw posterior and the offending belt caused him to break. He had tried so hard to protect her. She was barely conscious but she uttered a few simple words.

“I’m sorry Sam… I’m sorry I didn’t run.” She fell sound asleep.

Every Saturday thereafter, the brother taught his sister, as best he could, how to fight and defend herself while they worked in the fields together. They both spent Sundays at the library, George did homework, Jamie read, researched, and helped her brother figure out more complex equations.

They fell into a routine. Things were tolerable and sometimes adequate. Jamie quickly learned how to deflect and cover her true emotions. It was necessary. Her ‘Sam’ was the only one she trusted. The beginning of summer brought on an extreme drought and put Frank in one of his worst moods. So she did the only logical thing she could think of and made sure they were both packed and ready to go should things get too bad. And one day, they did.

Sam had just turned fifteen and school was about to start back up. It was a hot day, and Frank was already too far drunk. He saw the growing man before him and ignored the little girl. Before Jamie could blink, her brother was pinned to the table and Frank was working on his pants. The inappropriate touching didn’t quite make sense to the seven-year-old, but she was smart enough to know it was worse than she thought.
“Sam! You promised!” The young girl tackled the drunk and screamed at her brother. “You keep your promise to me! Get your backpack and run! Go Sam!” Frank was getting up so Jamie pushed her Sam toward their room. “Take the window out and don’t stop, Sam, Go! I’ll be okay!” She turned and punched Frank before kicking him in the groin. When she turned around her brother was gone.

The smile she wore at this disappeared when her uncle started cussing her out. The man chased her out into the field. She luckily made it to her room and barricaded the door. She stayed there for 32 hours before she remembered her mother’s note. She pulled out the two year old note and tried to call her mother.

It was the middle of the night, Frank was out cold and it was the first time she’d eaten in a while. When the screen finally came to life and her mother’s face appeared, she was clearly shocked.

“Jamie? What’s wrong? You’ve never called…”

“Sam ran away.”

“What? Why?”

“It’s a long story. He was right to leave, I told him to, he promised. I just thought you should know.”

Her mother thought about it long and hard before she vocalized them. “We have shore leave in two weeks. I’ll come around, and we will talk. Understood?”

Jamie recognized this tone, it was the one Frank used when a subject was not up for discussion. “Yes, ma’am.” The young girl responded without looking at her mother. Had she been looking at the screen she might’ve seen the concern there.

“I’ll see you soon Jamie.”

“Yes, ma’am.” With those final disconnected words the transmission terminated. The next week was spent in her room, terrified to come out when Frank was awake. Then school started and things became normal once again.

On a Sunday afternoon Jamie walked back into the house, from being at the library, to find her mother and Frank talking, amicably. Jamie was anything but a moron, apparently so was Uncle Frank. Clearly there would be two stories told in the very short time with Winona Kirk. So Jamie decided this was a challenge, not only for herself but for her mother. For if her mother wouldn’t believe her, than she couldn’t be worth the years of pain and tears.

“Mother?” Their eyes met. “Can we talk outside?”

Frank interjected, “Why? I was there when it happened. George just took off.”

“Because of you! Mother please?” The older woman nodded. Once they were outside Jamie’s damn broke. “Uncle Frank’s been abusing Sam and me. He was violating Sam!”

“You’re sure of this?”

“I saw it with my own eyes!”

“Sweetie, you need to see my point of view. You’re seven.”

“To hell with your perception! Sam’s been hurting and where were you? I looked it up today, clarified what I saw; I watched as Uncle Frank molested my brother! And you think because I’m still a kid that I’m too stupid to know anything! Dad saved my life, and you’re doing a damn good job of letting it get screwed up!”

Winona Kirk slapped her child’s cheek, “Don’t you dare speak to me like that! I-”

“Why shouldn’t I? Like you’ve earned any respect! Dad’s gone, you abandoned me and Sam, and now he’s gone too! Now you know what it’s like to lose every person who loved you, and your reaction is to hit me for telling the truth! Clearly you’ve lost any semblance of humanity. You don’t deserve love or even respect.” She hid in her room until she was sure her mother was gone and even then she stayed there. She resolved to stay until she was twelve years old. She could manage.

Those five years ticked by, slower than she knew they could. And the winter of the year she decided to leave, Frank touched her. It was barely a graze on her thigh but she knew that would only be the start. She avoided him at all costs but even then Frank would find moments to grip her backside, or ‘accidently’ brush against her in the small kitchen.

The first day, of the second week out of school she punched Frank, unprovoked. She already had everything she needed and once the blow landed, she ran outside and got in the old corvette. The phone call was recorded and when Jamie made to leave the car she grabbed the phone and her bag before slamming the brakes turning hard, barely opening the door, and leaping.

The police bot was not amused, “Citizen, what is your name?”

“My name is Jamie Tiberia Kirk. And I have a crime to report.”

Chapter Text

Chapter Two
A Genius, Adrenaline Junkie at Boarding School

The trip to the police station was long but after the facts were displayed, Frank was to be prosecuted. Unfortunately, courts take a long time to process things and Frank made bail, so Jamie- for her own protection- was sent to live with friends of her mother’s on Tarsus 4. After her survival/rescue from the famine, the courts finally came into session- they put Frank away and Jamie was sent to therapy. The therapist saw quickly that the incident with the car wasn’t a suicide attempt, so after a year of taking care of this girl- getting her to open up, especially about the events on Tarsus 4- the good doctor sent her to a boarding school to be with other gifted students.

At the urging of her client, the transcript read J. T. Kirk. It does specify that she’s female, and it asks for teachers to call her by her last name only. The therapist also included notes about how to capture the preteen’s interest. A challenge always works.

Kirk quickly realized, even amongst the intelligent, if she wore men’s clothes and tucked her hair into a cap people constantly mistook her for a man. This was fine by her; it made her privy to more information and respect than she had been before. She quickly found herself astounded by the lack of perception and chose to attend her classes this way for the next few years.

She had some of her teachers convinced she was a man. She signed all of her work J. T. Kirk. No one was the wiser. As Jamie was tall, strong, and a loner it was easy to deceive everyone. With no friends, there was no guilt in lying to get the results she wanted. She was pleasantly surprised when she broke half the Phys. Ed. Records even when she was told to work with the men.

When she started filling out she wore loose clothes and wrapped her chest. It got to the point that the only time she dressed like a woman was when she was working at the Cosmic Diner. Women get better tips. Unfortunately, it was also the place she got into her first brawl with a stranger. She was 16.

The man clearly had had too much to drink that evening and he was getting grabby with her. When he cornered her against the wall and wouldn’t move when asked politely, she stepped on his foot. He pressed into her closer, she shoved him and he landed on a table not too far away.

She warned him not to come any closer, to leave her alone, and not to touch her. He ignored all her threats so she felt it well within her rights to fight him. The swift attacks her brother had taught her had been fine-tuned and updated, but the surprise came when he had her in a choke hold.

Her reaction was instant, she used all of her strength to ram him into the wall, and once the hold on her was loose enough she elbowed him in the throat and he released her gasping for air. However, the shock came from the adrenaline rush. She had always chalked up the feelings she experienced to fear, but now she knew it was more. It was a rush of, not only fear, but power and bravery and a little bit of excitement that terrified her.

She spent weeks trying to figure out if this made her a bad person before she contacted her old therapist. Her doctor told her that it only meant her fight or flight reflexes were adequately functioning. The good doctor also suggested a few mental exercises to try, such as building a memory palace, to compartmentalize feelings and actions and memories. She sent Jamie her personal Chess set, a deck of cards for Solitaire, and old Rubik’s Cube. Also, it was suggested that meditating would help her calm down enough to come to her own conclusions.

She spent the next two years in her own room, as an R.A. of sorts. She found that her memory palace was already well structured and that she has an eidetic memory. She also became aware that meditation stinks. It stinks like fresh horse shit in the middle of July. It irritated her that she could be sitting for what felt like hours trying to calm her inner mind, and work through issues she may be having only to open her eyes and see five minutes had passed.

However, Jamie is determined, and even though she hated the hour a day she dedicates to it, she manages to figure it out. By the time Graduation rolls around she had one person she might’ve considered a friend, had the woman stopped for a minute and realized she was hitting on another woman.

Christine Chapel wanted to be a nurse; she loved the stars and the beach; she hoped for 3 kids when she got married and she planned on joining Starfleet. Maybe Chapel knew she was a woman and didn’t care, maybe she was really fooled by the mild façade put up, or maybe she really was as dumb as everyone said, but Jamie doesn’t believe in no-win scenarios. So after graduation, when Christine invited her to a party she said yes.

They both drank, Chapel got extraordinarily drunk while Kirk was just buzzed, and before she could stop the situation, Jamie was alone in a bedroom with the poor girl. Chapel tried to advance on her and Jamie was sober enough to move away a minute before the future nurse emptied her stomach. Jamie promptly left and tried to work off the alcohol in her system.

She jogged until the sun broke across the sky before turning back. Her head thrummed faintly but she distinctly knew it could’ve been worse. Way worse. When she reached her quarters she was shocked to see her mother sitting on her bed.

“Congrats Grad.” Her mother whispered when she finally realized her daughter had arrived. “I’d ask why you’re dressed like a man but, it seems everyone thinks you are one. James, is it?”

“It happened on accident, I was running when some guy started chatting me up like we were old buddies. I conducted an experiment, called myself Jame like Sam used to, and James kind of stuck. What are you doing here?”

“I was there for the ceremony. The school sent letters to the parents reminding them about graduation. I called and asked about you; they told me you were top of your class, broke a lot of records, and refused to make a speech claiming you have stage fright.”

The two women were silent for several minutes. When Jamie could think of nothing to respond with she began to pack more things to move out.

“Where do you plan on going?”

“I don’t know mom. I haven’t had a chance to really think about it.” Her headache was only getting worse as this conversation dragged on.

“Well, your father and I had started saving money for you and your brother to go to college. I have no idea where he is, but I figured you could use it.” Her mother handed her an envelope. “I am proud of you. Despite what you might think.”

In the envelope were the access codes to the accounts, with a single word written down, ‘Congratulations.’

The amount of credit in the accounts was extraordinary, but Jamie hadn’t any idea what she wanted to do with her life, what step she was supposed to take next. She could feel it there. A pressure in her heart telling her that fate has so much more in store for her.

She knew what she wanted. She just didn’t know how to get it.

Chapter Text

Chapter Three

The Recruiter… Sort of

 

Jamie T. Kirk spent three years at a local college. She graduated early, excelling in both Xeno-combative training and public speaking, majoring in Xeno-biology and Economics. And this last year she spent trying to find purpose. She made a habit of going out to bars and clubs dressed as a man or woman, whichever, to not only conduct social experiments but to protect those who can’t protect themselves.

On this night she was indulging in a drink or two, when a dark-skinned woman waltzed up to the bar and ordered a round of drinks for all of her friends. This is where the experiment begins. The name Kirk has become a sort of headquarters of the sexual rumor mill. She’s technically a virgin, and proud of it, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t started some of those rumors.

“That’s a lot of drinks for one woman.” Jamie says, lowering her voice just enough to sound masculine without crossing into the unbelievable. “A woman wearing those boots.”

“And a shot of Jack, straight up.” The woman said, ignoring Kirk.

“Make it two, her shot's on me.” Jamie said to the bartender, who happened to know exactly what was happening.

“Her shot's on her. Thanks but no thanks.”

‘Finally a direct response,’ thought Kirk. “Shouldn’t we exchange names before you completely reject me?”

“I'm fine without knowing.”

Damn, She’s snarky,’ Jamie liked her already. ‘She could probably easily hold her own if it came to it.’ She pressed further, insisting to herself it was purely academic because Jamie Kirk does not have friends. “You are fine without it. If you don't tell me your name, I'm gonna have to make one up.”

 The dark skinned woman paused; she bit her lip trying to toy with Kirk. “Uhura.” She responded.

“Uhura? No way! That's the name I was gonna make up for you. Uhura what?”

“Just Uhura.”

‘Bingo. You walked into this one Cadet.’ Jamie Kirk had heard this multiple times by men who weren’t interested, those men usually in a binding relationship.“They don't have last names in your world?”

“Uhura is my last name.”

‘Knew it.’ Kirk picked up her drink before moving to stand next to this Uhura. “Well, in that case, mine’s Kirk.”

“That’s nice. Don’t you have someone else to hit on Mr. Kirk?” She turned to look at ‘Mr. Kirk’ and found an extended hand. She rolled her eyes and shook it. “You have awfully small hands Mr. Kirk.”

This causes a small crooked smile from the blue-eyed girl. “You don’t believe that old wives-tale do you Cadet? Let me guess, you’re focus is Mythology?”

“Actually, it’s Xeno-linguistics. Now let ME guess, you don’t even know what that means.”

‘I’m not sure if this is her flirting or fighting, good tactic either way.’ Jamie adjusted her hat, careful that her hair stayed up before responding, “Let me think… study of Alien languages: phonology, morphology, syntax- it means you've got a talented tongue.”

“You think you’re smart don’t you?”

“I’m the smartest.”

“You think that using innuendos against a linguist is flirting?”

‘Five, Four, Three, Two…’

“Is this guy bothering you sweet heart?” A male cadet said as he strode up behind Kirk.

“More than you can believe, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.”

Jamie smiled genuinely at the woman before she turned to the burly male, “Relax Cupcake. As beautiful as you are, Uhura, I mean no offense when I say I’m not interested.” Chancing a glance at the other girl, “Sorry to break your heart.”

At this Jamie nudged her hat up a bit, to reveal her fairly feminine, blue eyes, and winked saucily at her before turning back to the man who was speaking again. Jamie listened but left the reminder of her dainty hand in front of Uhura on top of the bar.

“Don’t talk to her like that. You approached her.”

“My, you must be interested in her to have been watching for so long. I’d give up now if I were you, Cupcake.”

“Maybe you can’t count farm boy, but there’s five of us and one of you.”

She’s practically begging ‘Cupcake’ for a fight now, “Then you should get a few more guys for an even fight.” She turns and finishes off her drink and addressing the bartender, “Hey Wesley, I’m sorry about the mess.”

Wesley only sighed before the Burly Cadet turned Kirk and attempted a punch. Jamie ducked under his arm and she turned her hat around cautiously before chancing a glance at the dark-skinned woman. It became clear that Uhura, the linguist, had figured out that he was a she by the simple tonal difference and word usage. Add in the physical anomalies, it was an almost audible click when it came together in her mind.

The next punch connected to her gut and knocked the wind out of her. The cadet shoved her backward but she had enough awareness to use her hands to propel herself gracefully over the occupied table. Another Cadet grabbed her from behind and a third punched her four or five times before she used all her weight to flip forward. Bringing her captor with her, the assailant was inadvertently kicked in the face.

Cupcake now approached as she scrambled off the floor and the second cadet. He threw blow after blow that Jamie evaded or blocked, she was within range for the Vulcan signature nerve pinch when blood dripped in front of her eye. Her anatomic reaction causes her to take a prolonged blink, and when her eyes reopen Cupcake is throwing a blow to her cheek.

It takes a second to understand why she’s on the floor but she pushes herself to her knees. The Cadets lift her light body and throw her on an empty table and they then unleash on her. Kirk's spirited, but losing, losing terribly when a loud whistle makes everything stop. The cadets immediately ceased their actions and turned toward the sound. Standing in the doorway was a tall, clearly elder Starfleet officer.

“Outside, all of you! NOW!” The cadets filed out quickly, complaints being whispered. Pike moved to a dazed, semi-conscious Kirk. “Y'alright, kid?”

Still trying to play the dumb guy card she manages, “You can whistle really loud, y'know that?” before she passes out. Two hours later only Kirk and Pike sit there at a table. Jamie's bloodied up, with tissues in her nose and a napkin being pressed to a cut on her forehead.

“I couldn't believe when the bartender told me who you are.”

“… and who am I Captain Pike?” She said whilst removing her hat, that miraculously hadn’t come off during the brawl.

“Your father's very essence. His daughter.” Then Pike smiles softly at her, “For my dissertation, I was assigned to the U.S.S. Kelvin. Something I admired about your dad... he didn't believe in no-win scenarios.”

“He sure learned his lesson, didn’t he?”

“Depends on how you define winning. You're here, aren't you?” There’s a pause where both sighed heavily. “That instinct to leap without looking… that was his nature, too. And in my opinion it's something Starfleet has lost. We're admirable, respectable, but overly-disciplined.” Another pause and the Captain looked around, making sure they were really alone. “Those cadets you took on, they'll make competent officers but you can bet your ass they'll run home to momma the minute they're looking down the barrel of a damned Klingon phaser cannon. Excuse the language.”

“Language? Dude, why are you even talking to me?”

“Because I respected your father greatly and if I’d known your situation…” He trails off before continuing, “I looked up your file while you were drooling on the floor.” Kirk rolled her eyes. “Your aptitude tests were off the charts, so what is it? Do you- do you like being the only Genius Level repeat-offender in the mid-west?

“Maybe I love it.”

Pike is visibly upset by this, “So your daddy dies... you can settle for a less-than-ordinary life. Or do you feel like you're meant for something better? Something special?”

She glances sharply at him. Pike just hit a nerve, and Kirk does her best not to show it by lowering her eyes and absent-mindedly fiddling with Starship salt shaker. Momentarily taking note of the way the salt falls like an old hour-glass.

Her defense mechanisms reacting on her behalf, the snide remark is out of her mouth before she thinks it through. “Come to think of it, I do want to feel special. You know what? I'm gonna go start a book club! We’ll read romantic novels about Vampires and-”

“Enlist in Starfleet.”

“Enlist? Man, you must be way down on your recruiting quota for the month-” another smarmy reply.

“If you have half the heart your father had, Jamie, Starfleet could use you. You could be an officer in four years, have your own ship in eight. You understand what the federation is, don’t you? It’s important. It’s a Peace-keeping and humanitarian armada.” He's getting under Kirk's skin, the façade getting harder to keep up; she grabbed her jacket, and stood. She moved to leave but Pike grabbed her arm. “Riverside shipyard. The shuttle for new recruits’ leaves tomorrow, 0800. Your father was Captain of a Starship for twelve minutes; he saved over 800 lives, including mine and yours. I dare you to do better.”

Their eyes locked and then Pike stood and walked off. With a groan, she once again apologized to Wesley the bartender for the mess and went to the bathroom to clean off her face, before heading out and starting up her vintage, spoke-less motorcycle.

She stood there looking at the stars before whispering to the night, “Dad, I don’t know what to do. I’m so lost, and I just need something- someone- anything. Tell me what to do.” She sighed and looked back at her bike. “What am I saying? I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you. I’ve clearly lost my mind, talking to space pretending it’s you.”

She sat on her motorcycle and kick started it. She takes a moment to twist her hair up before putting her cap back on and tightening it, making sure it would resist the high winds. She left without another sound.

 

 

Her mind was dangerously blank despite driving at such a high speed, and before she knew where she was she saw it. The Giant Starship being built obviously has a long way to go but she was beautiful. The hull number was in clear, black lettering on the underside of the ship. NCC-1701.

She stayed there until the sun started to rise. Once the first stars started to disappear she looked up with tears in her eyes. “Okay dad, I hear you.” A single tear dripped down her cheek as she kicked the bike back to life. She sniffed and she whispered, “Thank you… and I love you.”

The sun lifted into the early fall sky as she made her way into the shipyard.

The shipyard was abuzz with activity, cadets loading into shuttles. Pike stood, staring off into the distance, waiting. The pilot approached him.

“We waiting for something, Cap?”

He waited another minute, took a sad, deep breath before sighing, “No. I guess not.” He climbed in. The pilot rapidly flipped through switches, running a pre-flight sequence. Pike strapped himself in and glanced through the view shield, seeing something he smiled. Kirk rode up on her motorcycle, driving into the shipyard. He got back up, “Hold her a second...”

Jamie was in awe of the ship being built, but stopped the bike near the shuttle and stepped off. She had nothing, no bags, just the clothes on her back.

An engineer passed by clearly having watched her come in, “Nice ride, man.”

Kirk kicks the stand, chuckles softly, and tosses the guy the start card, “Live it up.” Kirk walked past the startled worker and approached Pike. “Four years? I'm gonna do it in three.”

Pike grins as Kirk comes up to him, “Good luck with that one, kid.”

“I’ll do it. You read my file, you know I like a challenge. Just, can we keep my being a girl hush- hush?”

Pike looked at her quizzically. “Why?”

“People compare me to my father. And while you said I could command a ship in eight years, you and I both know women don’t get enough respect for that.” At the Captain’s look she pressed, “It’s not lying when the information is staring them in the file. I’ll room with Cadet Uhura, who’s the only one I think really knows. I want to be a Captain. Like my father.”

Pike sighed again, and nodded, “I won’t change your file but I won’t lie for you either.” Jamie smiled brightly, causing the captain to as well.

“Like I said sir, it’s not lying. I’m just not volunteering unnecessary information.”

“And that’s your choice.” The captain shook his head in disbelief and good humor, “And Jamie? You already are like your father.”

“Thank you, sir. You’re the only one who’s believed in me for so long, could you call me Jame? My brother-”

“Cadet, we’re already running behind. I’m just waiting on you… Jame.”

They shared a smile before moving inside the shuttle, Kirk moved down rows of new recruits, some of them alien. There were only two seats open, in a row of three, against the back wall, Cadet Uhura was in the third spot.

Kirk sat down next to her tentatively, and she turned to look at her new shuttle-mate. The look of outrage and embarrassment was almost comical.

Before Uhura blew up and alerted everyone to her presence Kirk spoke quietly, “I’m sorry about last night. Apparently conducting social experiments at bars is a bad idea. My name’s Jamie, or Jame if you’d like.” The other woman huffed and looked away from the hand outstretched toward her.

Pike came up from closing the door, “Sit down cadet. Strap in and get comfy.”

“Yes, Sir.” She sat down and took a moment to get the straps over her shoulders, “Cadet Uhura, I assure you I can explain everything, if you give me a chance. We could be roommates-”

“I have a roommate.”

Jamie stared at her for a minute, “Bullshit.”

The woman snapped her head toward her new companion, “It is not Bullshit.”

“Yes it is you just repeated what I said to reaffirm and strengthen your resolve. Twice. But you had one, what happened?”

“If it was any of your business-” shouting from the bathroom interrupted her for a second, “She was recycled last semester. Now she has to wait another year to re-enter Starfleet academy.”

“So-?”

“Fine but don’t think I’m happy about it. I just want answers.”

“Okay, but do you mind not telling anyone I’m a girl?”

“We’ll see.” Jamie smiled as the shuttle took off the ground.

Unfortunately more shouting came from the bathroom. The door opened and a woman in Starfleet uniform pushed out a man dressed in casual clothes, like herself. The officer said something along the lines of getting a doctor.

“Are you deaf? I told you I don’t need a doctor, Damn it! I AM a doctor!” Kirk quickly notices the man is in his early 30’s, 34 if she had to guess; he has a Southern lilt and looks like a mouse trapped under cat claws. ‘Aviophobia.’ Kirk thinks to herself.

The flight officer shoves him again, toward the only empty seat. You need to find a seat.”

The ‘Doctor’ replies, “I had one, in the bathroom, Darlin', with no windows-”

“Sir, for your own safety, sit down-”

“I suffer from Aviophobia, in case you don't understand big words, it means 'fear of dying in something that flies.”

‘Called it.’

“-or I will MAKE you sit down, do you hear me? Right Now.” They glared at each other, then the man dropped into the seat beside Kirk. The ship torques to one side and the man grips his armrests, pale, sweating; he glances at Kirk.

“I might throw up on you.”

“I think these things are pretty safe-”

“Don't pander to me, kid; one tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in thirteen seconds. A solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats! Hell, some of the damn passengers are blue. And wait'll you're sitting pretty with a case of Andorian shingles, see if you're still so relaxed when your eyeballs are bleeding. Space is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence.”

“As grimly poetic as that was, I hate to break it to you, but Starfleet operates in space.”

“Yeah, well my ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce, all I got left are my bones.” The man takes out a flask and takes a long pull from it before offering it to her. “Names McCoy, Leonard McCoy.”

She declines with a shake of her head, “Jame Kirk. You really gonna throw up?”

“Maybe.”

Chapter Text

Chapter Four

Starfleet Academy

 

                Once they land in San Francisco Captain Pike pulls McCoy and Jamie away. He led them to a stale white office that clearly smelt of anti-septic.

                “You two have to get physicals while I get your uniforms. Stay together. I’ll be back for you in little a while.” Kirk responds with a yes sir while McCoy just grunts. The two sit in the office for five minutes in silence.

After about two minutes the doctor’s leg starts to bounce. Kirk has tried to think of a way to ask if they could be friends; she is kind of new to it. She is socially apt but her relationships, to this point, consisted of Family, Enemies, and Acquaintances. She’d had a few boyfriends, sure. But no actual, tell your secrets, trust your life to, take a bullet for, friends.

The leg jiggling begins to irritate at around eleven minutes.

“Damn it Bones! Stop it!”

The leg stopped immediately at the outburst, “Did you just call me Bones?” McCoy’s eyebrows scrunch together and it looks like he’s about to protest to the nickname when their names are called.

“Are you two alright sharing an examination room? With the new semester starting we’ve been pretty tight in scheduling.” The nurse is clearly from Orion with her curly-red hair and green skin.

Jamie responds automatically, “He’s a doctor, so that’s fine.”

The nurse leads them to an examination room and tells them to change into scrubs. Once the nurse is out the door the dark haired man starts in, confused.

“First, don’t call me Bones. Second why does it matter if I’m a Doctor?”

Neither move to put on the scrubs, “Oh, uh- well, I mean- Listen Bones-”

“McCoy.”

“Right, well, I- can you keep a secret?”

“I don’t like the sound of that.”

With a roll of her eyes she gives him a pointed look before turning her back to grab the scrubs. She hands him a set when he sighs and nods his ascent.

Her voice is in its normal tone, too high for a man but still a gentle alto, “Bones, I told you my name is Jame, and that is what my family calls me. But my real name is Jamie Tiberia Kirk, and- and I’m a woman.”

“Oh Christ, I told you the shuttle wasn’t safe! Either I’m hallucinating or-”

The second Bones starts to negate Jamie begins to change and when she is standing in her underwear Bones’ mouth clicks shut. Jamie starts to untie the wrap around her chest, Bones protests.

“What do you think you’re doing?!”

“Don’t be such an infant. I thought you were a doctor? Besides I’m wearing a bra.” The fabric is that of a medical wrap you would use for chronic ankle injuries. She rolls the wrap and pulls on the scrub pants before sticking the wrap between the pants and her hip. She’s putting on the scrub top when she reminds him he needs an examination too.

“Just, turn around will ya?”

“What? Why?”

“I may be a doctor but you’re not.”

“Oh please, Bones, I’m a woman and I majored in Xeno-Biology and Economics, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single type of dick that I’m unfamiliar with.”

Bones grumbles before taking off his pants and shirt, Kirk is certain she hears something about “untamed youth” but leaves it alone. Once he’s in scrubs he sits in the chair by the door and Kirk sits on the examination table.

“So, Xeno-Biology, huh? You wanna be in the science division or medical?”

The girl smiled at the man, “Neither, I want to be a captain.”

“You’re joking right? It’ll be a quiet day in the hen-house when a woman is captain-”

“That’s why no one’s going to know until it’s too late, right Bones?”

“Stop callin’ me that. Besides, you’re getting a physical, they’ll know.”

“And it clearly states in my file what my sex is, people aren’t as perceptive as you might think. Hell, you thought I was a man!”

“You read the code of conduct on the way here. You know dress code is pretty strict. People might think you’re a man until not only you’re forced to take off your hat but when you stand up wearing a skirt!”

“I’ve got it figured out, Bones, don’t worry.” At this moment the doctor walks in.

“How are we today, Mr. McCoy, Ms. Kirk?”

Bones grunts and Kirk says, “Fine, we’re both fine.”

“That’s good. Sorry about the accommodations, but the sooner we get you two checked out, the better, sound good?”

“Yes,” Kirk responds and Bones grunts again.

“Let’s start with you Ms. Kirk, since you seemed to be a bit more responsive. We’ll be doing all of these tests the old fashioned way, with so many people in and out we want to double check the Tricorder readings. Your nose was bleeding recently, bruising around the eyes, one on the jaw. Your pupils dilate well. Now if you could stand Ms. Kirk…”

It was painfully boring, but when Bones got up there it was a hell of a lot funnier. “I don’t need a doctor; I can do these tests myself. Why’re you prodding me with that cattle crop? Jame, you wipe that smirk off your corn-fed face. My blood pressure is perfectly fine!”

An hour later, Bones and Kirk are changing back to their normal clothes. They put their scrubs in the bin and are about to leave the office when Bones stops her.

“From now on I’m your Doctor. If you get hurt or have an allergic reaction, you come to me. You understand?”

“You see me practically naked and now you get sentimental?” The joke was light but Bones was having none of it.

“You remind me of my daughter, Joanna… She’s still a kid, but the point is I don’t want these goons to screw anything up, you hear me? I’ll take care of anything except a hangover, or sex-related issues.”

Kirk puts her long hair in her hat with a soft laugh, “Okay Bones. Though you don’t have to worry about sex, I’m not- I haven’t… Despite the rumors I’m willing to bet you’ve heard; I’m a Virgin.” The man sneered and opened the door. “How’d you know I’m allergic to things?”

“I offered you a drink on the shuttle, you declined. You still reeked of the bar-fight you got into so you either don’t share drinks or are extra cautious about what goes in your body. I’m a doctor, not a detective, so I took the medical leap.”

“Bones, are we- Am I… Are we friends?”

“Do you think I’d be putting up with your ass if we weren’t?”

They shared a smile and a look. When they get back to the waiting room of the clinic Pike is standing there with three military-grade duffel bags. “These are your uniforms, four sets in each bag, two pairs of boots and shoe polish, and two sets of sweats. Kirk, I’m allowing you to wear the men’s uniform but if anything official should come up, like a hearing or a ceremony you’re to wear your female uniform, understood?”

“Yes, sir.” After handing them both their bags, two for Jamie, he hands them each a Manila envelope containing room assignments, key cards, class course schedules, and a copy of the rules and regulations handbook. “Sir, it says there aren’t any courses on Saturday afternoon or Sunday-”

“The weekend is free for you do as you please, so long as you’re back by curfew and you don’t miss class. Curfew is only dismissible for academic reasons. Miss a class three times, without just cause, and you’re recycled, and you have to wait a full calendric year, 365 days, to start over.” During this they had made their way outside and across a green expanse of the campus before they stopped.

“Understood, sir.”

“I’ll see you on Wednesday Kirk, bright and early for Command 101. Mr. McCoy, take care.”

Bones grunts and nods in response. Captain Pike leaves them there and they head toward their dorm building together, “If you keep grunting like that people will think you can’t talk.”

“I talk when it’s necessary. Have you got any overnighters?”

“Doesn’t look like it, maybe one depending on the professor’s methods. You?” She replies once they’re in the elevator and she can double check her schedule.

“Just Graveyard shift in the clinic. Guess they did take my medical and educational history seriously after all. I’ll see you around, Kid. In Phys. Ed. on Tuesday if nothing else… your secret’s safe with me Jame.”

“No, we’re going shopping tomorrow; we both need clothes and supplies. I don’t want to hear it, I’ve got it covered. We’re going.” There is a moment of silence where Bones simply huffs. “Thanks, for keeping it a secret.” With that the elevator door opens and Bones steps out with a half wave, half salute gesture.

Chapter Text

Chapter Five

The Roommate and Classes

 

Walking into the dorm suite, the living space is clearly untouched, but there are a few bags open in the kitchen. Making her way into the bedroom, Uhura has already marked her side of the space with personal trinkets and pictures. She is currently crouched on the ground laying tape down almost bisecting the room equally.

“Hey Uhura, I’m uh-”

“I’m aware. Let’s get one thing straight.” She rips the tape from the roll and finishes laying the tape before standing and walking up to the blonde. When their faces are an inch apart she continues, “I don’t care if you’re a homosexual and I quite frankly don’t care that you cross dress, but if you or your things come across this line without my permission- What are you doing?”

Jamie crouched down and started peeling up the tape. She adjusted the tape line so that Uhura had 77% of the bedroom space to herself. When Kirk finished she set her bags on the bed with the manila envelope before walking back to the door where her roommate stands, dumbfounded.

“I don’t have much.” She brushes past the linguist before adding, “Don’t worry- I’ll stay out of your way.”

 

 

The next few weeks flew by in a flurry of knowledge and expectations. All teachers called students by Cadet and their last name, as the students were expected to call them Professor X, Y, or Pike, or sir/ma’am.

They all have to take a Starfleet regulations class, similar to the University 101 class Kirk managed to ace with her eyes closed. She literally slept through that class, but she quickly realized that this is a much more taxing course. They are tested, mentally, physically, and emotionally and the worst part is that Kirk doesn’t recognize a single soul, not even from the bar fight.

Xeno-biology and linguistics are pretty easy considering; the Xeno-culture classes however, are torture. If Jamie thought Starfleet was strict, she quickly realized that other planetary customs are much more trying. Plus big parts of the Xeno-Culture classes are in knowing that not everything is discussed to outsiders, some planets are hostile, and some have yet to be discovered. That discussion always leads to why Starfleet is important and what they do as officers of the federation.

She’s glad she only has to take the basic culture courses to be a Captain; it’s different for the head of the Science division, the Linguists, and those vying to be the Captain’s First officer. It’s unusual for a Captain to go on landing parties, in accordance to Starfleet code Section 12 Paragraph 4, which recommends against the Captain joining away mission teams. Also, it’s against regulations to have both the Commander and the Captain off ship at the same time.

I’m sure those’ll be some of the first rules I break. I won’t ask someone to do a job I won’t do myself.’

Physical Education is more like a military boot camp, learning defensive maneuvers, testing physical strength and limitations, and overcoming obstacles, figurative and literal, in any situation. Two days ago Kirk was thrown into a pool wearing a chained vest of weights. The Instructor had said it wasn’t about winning, but the ability to think while under pressure. Jamie managed to get out of the restraints anyway, and was glad she pinned her hat to her hair before Phys. Ed.

Command 101 with Pike is a bit more fun. He likes to use mnemonics, jokes, and poems to help his students remember the more important notes that will be on tests. He calls on her a lot, “Cadet Kirk, When is an action supererogatory?”

She stands, “When an action is morally praiseworthy but not morally obligatory, sir.”

As she moves to sit down he continues, “Expand your answer if you can.”

With a sigh she looks at the Captain, he’s smirking slightly, “It means that you do something because it’s in your ability to do so, sometimes sacrificial, even if it’s not your duty and sometimes against your duties.”

“And Cadet Kirk, why is this both a good and bad thing?”

“It shows courage to do something you think is right, even if it risks your own life. However, supererogation can lead to a break in the system; if everyone did what they thought was right, especially when it goes against regulation, there would be more lives lost than saved.”

“And Lastly Cadet Kirk, when is it appropriate to exhibit such a choice?”

“I believe the answer you’re looking for is ‘Only when there’s no other option’ however that is, in and of itself, a contradiction. Supererogation is a choice and I don’t believe in no-win situations, sir.”

The man smiles softly, “Thank you cadet, you may be seated.” After Pike dismissed the class he called after her, “Cadet Kirk, a word if you please.”

Some students lagged behind recognizing the name, but also the fact that Pike never makes anyone stay after. The students eventually trickled out and the remaining Student smiled at her teacher.

“Yes, sir?”

“You are putting up one hell of a fight for this.” Pike had long since given up on watching his language in their private conversations. “I was curious how you thought you could manage more courses over the next two years.”

“I was hoping to discuss the matter with a few teachers. I have nowhere to be over holiday breaks or the summer, so I thought I could get a few credits by taking a few extra courses, maybe night classes, before and during the breaks.”

“Sounds like a good plan. Which is why I’ve already set up a schedule for you, it starts the night after Halloween, so don’t get wasted.”

“Thank you sir,” She paused for a moment to gather her courage, “Will you be here over those breaks sir? I enjoy your class, but I believe I could handle the next course load in a short matter of time.”

“No, Jame, I’ll be home for holidays. However, this summer I’ll be around so I can teach your second command course, we’ll discuss a time for your Focus on Bridge Work course. If I think you’re falling behind kid, I won’t pick you up.”

“Understood, sir.”

“Good, now get out of here.”

 

 

It was a few weeks after thanksgiving break when Uhura went to the club. Kirk had had an extensive, private lecture about Romulan Culture to get her second semester credit. So she was pleasantly surprised when the dorm room was silent when she returned so late after curfew.

It isn’t until she gets to the bedroom that she becomes worried about her icy roommate. The bed is empty, and it’s past curfew; it’s only Saturday, but this is unlike Uhura. Kirk starts turning on lights, expecting to find some form of note or indication that the linguist is alright.

After finding no such evidence, Jamie spends the next hour pacing. The young woman glances at the clock every five minutes and rethinks if there was something she missed. She’s seconds from calling campus security when Uhura stumbles through the door in a fit of giggles.

“Uhura, where’ve you been?”

“Gurl, I wuz out Clubbin’ and you should’a,” she’s interrupted by a hiccup, “Seen this fine piece of Deltan ass. Mm! He wuz soooo hot!” A couple giggles before a hiccup.

“Uhura, are you alright?”

“Ugh, I’m fine Gaila! Stop mothering me! I’m so exhausted! Bedtime!” The dark-skinned woman brushes past and crashes on her bed. Kirk decides she’ll ask more questions in the morning and gets some much needed rest.

The only problem was Uhura didn’t wake up. She got a really bad fever with a thick, cold sweat. Jamie felt a jolt of realization and bolts down to Bones’ room. She pounds on his door painfully for a minute or two before the Doctor throws the door open.

“What?!”

“Bones! Uhura’s sick! I think it might be Corellium Fever, I need your help.”

The man pulls on a shirt and grabs his medical bag before he’s out the door. In the minute and a half it takes to get to her room, Jamie’s hacked into her roommate’s medical file and answered all of Bones’ questions. Kirk hands back the PADD to the doctor.

“I’ve had it before, if you haven’t you should stay out here.”

“How d’you expect me to get an accurate examination done from out here, kid?” Kirk makes Bones stop outside the room, “I’ve had it Jame. No need to get your horses in a hold-up.”

When they enter the room Uhura is up, and when she sees them she attacks Jamie. Whilst screaming about her freedom being taken away, calling them multiple names in multiple languages, Bones manages to sedate her.

Bones starts by testing the theory, which seems obviously plausible, and when it’s confirmed he gives Uhura a hypo to break the fever, and one for the head ache she’ll no doubt experience. They put her under multiple blankets before Bones stands to make his way to the front door.

“I’ll bring a vaccination hypo this afternoon; it has to be administered when she’s awake. You give it to her as soon as she wakes up, let her walk around, make her eat and drink lots of water before you tell her she’s condemned to bed rest. I’ll write up a few doctor’s notes for her Monday professors, she should be fine by Tuesday.”

“She’ll need four notes.”

“I don’t even wanna know how you know that.”

The door slides open and Kirk kisses McCoy’s cheek, “Thanks Leonard, you’re amazing.” A few wolf whistles and cat calls were heard in the hall, but the two friends ignored them. “I’ll see you later Len.”

She spent the day in her room, only leaving for two hours for one of her private lectures.

Chapter Text

Chapter Six

The ‘Not-Nosy’ Professor

 

The next morning she is brushing her teeth when a knocking on the dorm room door interrupts her. She glances at Uhura still asleep but it’s a natural sleep; she’ll wake soon. Jamie makes her way to the door in her Pajamas, tooth brush in hand, and slides it open.

The door’s barely opened when she speaks, “She’s alright Bones, she’ll- Oh I’m sorry, sir, how can I help you?”

“I have come to inquire about Cadet Uhura.”

“Oh, well she’s not- I can tell her you came by.”

“The Cadet has missed my class this morning and I wish to remind her of the regulations stating a three day absence from any class will result in immediate dismissal.”

Kirk, being over-protective, defends her, “Well, unfortunately the Cadet is sick. So you’ll have to wait to discuss it with her.”

“I do not require a secondhand account of the matter; I respectfully request to speak with the cadet personally.”

Jamie was livid, but she moved out of the way. He walks into the living quarters and quirks an eyebrow. She sighs before moving down the hall to their bedroom, ‘Are you following me, you pointy eared bastard?’

The Blonde opens the bedroom door, “Computer, lights to 37%.” The, very obviously, Vulcan man stops just before the doorway. Jamie can practically feel him assessing the living quarters, taking in information, she feels almost smug that there’s nothing on display to give away her identity.

The professor observes first the tape line on the floor and chooses to look at the smaller marked space after. There are no distinguishing marks in this area, regulation bed sheets, no personal photos or telling decorations. The desk next to the bed is also mostly devoid of personal clutter. A PADD is resting next to a small pile of paper. There is however a hard-cover book wrapped in brown paper for protection, but nothing to give away what the text is, a watch, and what appears to be a black ribbon.

Kirk sits on Uhura’s bed and shakes her awake, “Uhura, you need to wake up.”

She receives a groan in protest. Uhura’s eyebrows scrunch and she speaks, finally, “Ugh- The line…”

“Yeh, indeed, you’d be surprised how often I’ve crossed it in the last thirty-four hours alone, but your professor of Vulcanology is here.”

Uhura’s eyes fly open, “I’m late.”

“You missed.”

“What? Help me up.”

Doing as she asked, “It’s okay; you had Corellium Fever, now hold still.” Kirk hypoed Uhura.

“Ow! What was that?!” She whines.

“A Vaccination; you need to eat something, drink a lot of water, and get your professor out so you can rest.”

“Vaccination? I was still contagious? How did you know I have Vulcanology?”

“I’ve had it, so don’t worry. The cool part is, it’s like chicken pox, once you’re over it you never have to deal with it again. As for knowing your schedule, that would be the first time I crossed the line… I was trying to stay out of your hair. Sorry.”

The three relocate to the living room. No one speaks as Kirk makes Uhura eat some grapes, a bagel, and two glasses of water. She sets the third glass down before straightening, realizing the Vulcan is waiting for her to somehow disappear.

“I have to take a shower before my first class, but you still have to drink that.” Addressing the professor, “I respectfully request you keep it a brief conversation, sir.” And without waiting for a response she goes into the bathroom.

Seven minutes later Kirk is clean and in a robe. She exits the bathroom to see that her roommate is still talking to the Vulcan. Both are standing, and Jamie distinctly makes out what Uhura’s saying.

“…If you’ll excuse me I have to get ready for my classes.”

Jamie steps out and cuts in, “I don’t think so Uhura. You aren’t medically cleared to return to class until tomorrow.”

“Oh please, I feel fine, besides I’ve never missed a day in my life.” The dark skinned woman passes her in the hall to their room. “Besides, this is easier, I don’t have to explain it to everyone.”

“You have doctor’s notes, there, on my desk.” Following her into the room, the professor follows behind (He is NOT curious.), “Don’t make me do this Uhura.”

“Do what? You can’t physically make me stay here. I’m not missing class over this.”

With a giant sigh, Jamie walks up to the girl, “Uhura, I’m really sorry, but I can’t permit you to leave. You might be vaccinated but the delusions still might crop up, and I can’t follow you around with losorin and inpedrazine.”

“I’ve never missed a whole day-”

“There’s a first time for everything, don’t make me make you. Which I CAN do.”

“I’d love to see you try.”

As the linguist makes to exit the room, Jamie catches her arm and spins her around, barely muttering an “I’m sorry,” before using the signature Vulcan nerve pinch against her. Kirk grunts as she catches the unconscious woman and puts her back in bed.

“You have just assaulted another student, I-”

“No, sir, I simply incapacitated a friend for medical purposes, to protect her from herself. Computer lights out.”

Once Jamie finishes with her friend, she grabs a doctor’s note from her desk. She makes a point to invade the Vulcan’s space causing him to take a step or two back.

“Where did you learn that particular technique?”

“Schools are wonderful places, are they not, professor?”

She closes the door and walks back out into the living space picking up Uhura’s PADD and typing away.

“I’ve just sent you a copy of the assignment cadet Uhura had prepared for your class today, this is her doctor’s note confirming she has just cause for missing your class. I had intended to give it to you on my way to my own class; I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused.”

“Apologies are illogical.”

“Of course they are, to a Vulcan,” she mutters. The quirk of an eyebrow, and a feminine sigh before, “Is there anything else Uhura is missing or needs?”

“There is not.” The two make their way to the door and it slides open with a gentle hiss. As he steps from the room into the hall, “Cadet,” He turns to her, “I believe I do not know your name.”

Jamie resists her smug grin; impassivity is vital for this to work in her favor. “No, sir, I don’t believe you do.” Chew on that! “Now if you’ll excuse me I have to prepare for my 0900 Xeno-Bio. Class.” And at the clearly frustrated look on the Vulcan’s face she closes the door and makes her way back to the bedroom.

She makes quick work of her Uniform and hair/hat. Her books and PADD in hand, she picks up the three remaining doctor’s slips. She exits the room with plenty of time to make it to Uhura’s teachers and to class. She’s about to round the corner to the lifts when she catches a reflection of the Professor standing there, waiting for something.

She quickly dashes back to her room, thanking God as she goes. She quickly picks up a female uniform and heads out of the room; she turns right, the opposite direction of the elevators, and heads down the stairs to Bones’ room. She knocks three times in rapid succession.

When Bones opens the door he starts to ask if Uhura’s alright before he’s pushed into the room. Jamie lays her Female uniform on Bones’ bed.

“Jame, what’re you doing?”

“Bones, I need a HUGE favor.”

“Again?”

“This is different. A teacher came to our room this morning to talk to Uhura and I think I got under his skin. He’s waiting for me on my floor by the elevators. I need to leave these here just in case I come back and he’s still there. You don’t have a roommate so it won’t be weird.”

“That’s not so bad-”

“It’s worse… I kind of didn’t tell him my name when he asked. Well he didn’t ask but the point is I need to use your name tag.”

“What? No way! I could-”

“Bones it’s just your name tag. When, IF, he comes around asking just tell him you let me temporarily borrow it. Not a lie. And if he asks my name then just tell him it’s not your business to tell, or it’s a violation of doctor patient confidentiality; it’s not lying, I promise. If it comes down to it, I WILL lie and say I coerced you. Please?” She gave him her saddest, pleading look.

“I was coerced! Okay, but if I get recycled for this I’m comin’ after you.”

“You’re the best Bones! I promise I’ll make it up to you! Now come on, we’re gonna be late!”

They made their way out and to their separate classes; Kirk nearly fell asleep in her unnecessary bio class.

 

 

Spock stands in the Elevator alcove for twenty minutes AFTER the Cadet’s Biology class would’ve started before returning to the room and knocking. Upon receiving no response he leaves the building and enters a teacher’s common area.

Spock sits down with his PADD at a table, going over the various works the students had submitted for their assignment. It doesn’t take him long to finish them, a few minutes at most; which is why Spock would’ve been shocked at the presence of Mr. Pike, if Vulcans could feel such things as shock.

“What’s on your mind, Mister Spock?”

“I do not understand.”

“Don’t you? Clearly you’re trying to figure something out that has nothing to do with a student’s response on Vulcan housing. So what’re you thinking about?”

“I had an encounter of a most unpleasant variation this morning. A student, Cadet Uhura, was absent from my Extensive Vulcanology lecture and I sought to inquire of her unusual absence. The Cadet’s roommate was volatile in a most peculiar way.”

“Oh? How’s that?”

Spock then discusses the exact happenings of the morning with the elder gentleman. “… ‘No, sir, I don’t believe you do. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to prepare for my 0900 Xeno-Bio. Class.’ End quote, and at that moment she closed the door. I chose to confront her about it, and I awaited her inevitable arrival at the elevators. However, she did not come, even well after any such subject would have commenced. I then returned to the room and knocked, when I received no reply, I proceeded here. I am considering renewing my efforts after the course has concluded.”

Pike could only smirk behind his coffee mug, ‘Jamie you’re in deep shit now; you’ve got a Vulcan hound on your trail. You owe me kid.’ “Mr. Spock, You were granted early acceptance to Starfleet academy and you graduated only last winter. You’re half human, half Vulcan, you are extraordinarily intelligent; you find science more fascinating than any other subject and, despite your recent graduation, you’re teaching an advanced course and are responsible for the Kobayashi Maru.”

Spock quirks an eyebrow at him in query. “I cannot perceive how that is relevant to our previous discussion.”

“My point IS that in a little more than four years, that’s all I know about you. You’re a private person; perhaps the cadet in question is just as private.”

“I am Vulcan, therefore I cannot lie. Nor would I, had I the capability.”

“But neither did she. She simply evaded giving you the answer you sought.” Pike sighed, “Look, if I believe anything about you it’s that you’ll want to solve the mystery of the unnamed Cadet. You know that, as humans, we don’t have control over our emotions like Vulcans do. So I wish to inform you that some humans wear masks to hide what they don’t want others to see. Figurative masks Spock. These layers are the only protection we have against others.”

Spock sits there for a few moments in silence before he looks at Pike, “I will reconvene here during the mid-day meal with more information. It would be illogical not to ask for your assistance.”

With a chuckle the human nods and stands, “My lecture will end at noon so I’ll be here after that.”

The 0900 Xeno-Biology lecture lets out late this particular morning, causing Kirk to be late to discuss Uhura’s condition with her teachers, and receive her assignments before getting back to the dorm building.

Bones opens the door after the first knock, “You said he’s Vulcan? He came in, right after me.” With a nod she changes quickly. She thanks him again and he fixes her, or rather his, name tag. “Now get out of here kid.”

Jamie, now appropriately dressed, steps into the lift and nearly runs into over six feet of Vulcan as she exits. “Oh, I’m sorry.” Upon realizing who she’s talking to, “Oh, apologies are illogical. Back again, sir?”

“I do not see how my actions pertain to the Cadet, however I was resolving a personal query pertaining to a student.” There’s a glance at the uniform and the Vulcan has all he needs.

“Do you always seek out students who miss your class?”

“No. Excuse me.” With that Spock entered the elevator and left. With a sigh Jamie took the next lift to Bones’ room and got her uniform and returned his tag. She would return later with a thank-you note and a bottle of scotch.

Spock avoided looking into the Cadet’s file until Pike’s class had officially ended. When he types the name McCoy into the Starfleet student verification system, the Dorm building is correct, room number unlisted. The cadet, L. N. McCoy, schedule is brought up and as Spock suspected the first class on Monday is NOT Xeno-Biology. Rather, it’s an advanced medical class dedicated to state of the art instruments and studies.

Spock comes to the realization that the student archives give none of the information he’s really seeking. He rapidly finds the personal files on L. N. McCoy and opens it without a second thought. The unfortunate sight of a rugged, 34-year-old, brunette male brings a sudden rush of something Spock is unfamiliar with.

A laugh from behind him brings him back to the moment, “Find what you were looking for Mr. Spock?”

Spock immediately tried to school his expression and emotions, “In my time of research I seem to have found more questions than answers.”

“She got you good, she looks nothing like you described.”

“Do you know the Cadet, sir?”

Pointing to the screen, “THAT is Doctor Leonard McCoy, a grouchy sort of man. What made you think McCoy was the right name?”

“The unnamed Cadet was wearing identification that would suggest that was her name.”

“You saw her in uniform?”

“Yes, Sir. She seemed quite uncomfortable with the situation. I, in fact, was on my way out of the building when we quite nearly collided. She is quite inquisitive.”

‘Well done Kirk, pulling an old switch-a-roo. One of these days your luck’s gonna run out, kid.’ Thought Pike before he responds to his colleague, “You have to admire the kid’s forethought and creative solutions.”

“Indeed.”

“Look, Spock. I’ve gotta ask that if she throws you through another loop, you acquiesce to her unspoken request. Clearly, she doesn’t want you to know about her, maybe she has a rough past or trust issues she’s still working out. So if you hit another proverbial road block, just respect her wishes. I’d ask the same of her if the situation was reversed.”

“So you do know the Cadet in question?”

“I didn’t say that. I’m serious Spock. Why is this causing you such… frustration?”

“I do not feel Frustration, it is illogical. In fact, it is illogical not to question a student who wishes to conceal information from a professor, is it not?”

“Are you her professor?”

“I am not.”

“Then I’d say it’s completely logical to hide something from someone you don’t know.”

The rest of the lunch hour was spent in silence. In which Spock concludes that he will not gain any insight through this Doctor McCoy. He would ask his student about it after their Wednesday lecture.

And ask he did, “Cadet Uhura, a word.”

“Yes, sir?”

“Firstly, I would like to inquire as to your health; I presume you are adequately healed?”

“Yes, sir, thank you for coming to check on me. I apologize if my roommate is a little- well, different.”

“Indeed, that is my next quandary, what is her name?”

“Oh, well, um professor, I… It’s not my place to say. I would tell you, but she’s a very… private kind of person. She asked me not to tell anyone from the start. I- I’m sorry.”

“There is no need for apologies. It is only logical you should respect her wishes. Have a pleasant evening Cadet Uhura.”

“You too, Professor.”

As the student left the lecture hall, Spock could only find one viable option left. Saturday, 1100 hours, Spock made for the dormitory the unnamed cadet resides in. He is a breath away from knocking on the door when it slides open the reveal the dreaded woman.

She gasps and drops her old hard-copy book, “Professor Spock, I’m sorry; Uhura has left for the day.”

“I am not here to converse with Cadet Uhura.”

She picks up her book and closes the door as she says, “Well, Uhura and I are the only ones who live here so, I hate to inform you,” She turns and Spock is right there, so close to her, a barely-there scowl on his face. “You’re at the wrong room.”

Spock blocks her against the door; his hands slam down on either side of her. If he notices her cheeks flush he doesn’t show it.

“Your name is not McCoy.”

“That’s right-”

“I know I am correct, Cadet. The name tag which you wore on your uniform at the beginning of the week was not yours-”

“And how exactly have you come to that conclusion?” Jamie isn’t sure if she’s embarrassed, scared, both, or something else entirely, but she does know it’s suddenly hard to breathe steadily.

“You lack all physical indicators of being Doctor McCoy. You are not-”

“The only way you could know that is if you knew Leonard,” He growled at being interrupted by this insolent woman, causing her to press further into the door, “which clearly you didn’t. Or if you looked at a particular, Student-Teacher confidential file your current status isn’t privy to. But that would be highly illogical.”

Another low rumble sounded from the man, “How have you managed to extricate such knowledge?”

“You’re not the only tech-savvy smart-ass around this campus, despite what you may think.” She’s staring him directly in the eyes, her breathing still shallow and shaky.

“You will tell me your name, Cadet.”

“Or what?” Taking in his proximity, he leans closer and she bites her lower lip, “You’ll kiss me?” The Vulcan growls softly again, his eyes narrowed, “I can really get an emotional response from you, can’t I? And here I thought you had a lid on it.”

It was this comment that makes Spock take in his surroundings, his mental state, and his posture snaps back to a parade rest position. The second his hands are behind his back Jamie takes a shuddering breath in and moves to her right.

“Cadet, forgive my intrusion.” His ears coloring a pale apple green, his cheeks slowly start to flush as well.

“Apologies are illogical, Mr. Spock.” She responds still panting slightly.

“Indeed.” She takes another deep breath before continuing down the hallway. “Cadet, the lifts are in this direction.”

“Yes and the stairs are in this direction.” As she’s about to go down the stairs she stops and looks at the professor. Spock has not moved from his position, facing the cadet’s door in a parade rest stance. “Don’t take it personally, sir, I’m just a private person. You understand?”

When she received no response she left. Once the door to the stairwell shut he whispered, “Indeed.”

He then moves to the lift and manages to get down to the lobby before Kirk, his unnamed cadet. He exits through the doors and is greeted by Pike. The older man sighs heavily and gestures him over.

“How did I know you’d be here today?”

“I do not know, sir, I did not inform you of my decision in advance.”

“It was rhetorical, Spock. I had hoped you’d have listened to me. The cadet is doing no harm by concealing her name, therefore I have to-”

“I have come to the conclusion that I do not wish to disrupt her privacy. As I wish my own privacy not be disturbed. Furthermore I-” Kirk and Bones come out together.

“I’m sorry Spock, give me a second. McCoy, make sure Kirk doesn’t miss my lecture.”

The girl turns, with a glance at Spock, to the nodding man. A look of shock on her face, and a slight blush- Spock notes, she says “You know Kirk?”

The doctor scowls and Jamie laughs, the Vulcan speaks softly, “Forgive me, sir, I need to meditate.”

And without much ceremony the Vulcan left, pondering why he reacted as emotionally as he had to such folly, and he pursued it no less!

Spock could think of only one thing he definitively knew about this Blonde cadet; she was infuriating.

Chapter Text

Chapter Seven

Repayment

 

At 1300 hours that same day Kirk, in full uniform, meets her father-figure of a professor outside his lecture hall. She’s quickly led out of the building and across campus to a simulation room. It’s an exact replica of a starship’s bridge, which explains the course ‘name’: a Focus on Bridge Work.

“Now Jame, I’m sure you’re aware of this room’s function. The course you would be taking next semester is usually taken with four or five other students and expands over the course of two months. It’s traditionally a lesson learned by rotating stations with fellow cadets.

“A captain should always know the function of every button, switch, lever, circuit breaker, and control panel in the bridge. Now, you’re the only one in this room, I’ve bumped your other private lessons to tomorrow. You have the rest of the day before I, and two of my colleagues, test you. The Exam will appear on the view shield, requesting certain actions be taken. You are to follow the directions that appear on the screen as they appear. You are not allowed to make any signifying marks on any of the consoles. I’ll be back at 2100 hours.”

“Sir, I have to learn a two month course in under eight hours?”

“That’s what you get for messing with my first officer.”

“Your first officer? Mister Spock is your first officer?”

“He will be when the new starships are finished. Now, I don’t know why he reacted the way he did, but next time a professor asks for your name you give it to them.”

“He didn’t ask, plus he started it!”

“Jamie, how old’re you? Five? If you want to be Captain you have to learn that you won’t always like people, or you won’t always want to answer questions, but sometimes it’s necessary. He’s your superior! He’s also half Vulcan so he could very well not understand why the beginning of the conversation offended you. If you want to be a leader you have to act like an adult.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I know you, Jame; you’ll do fine. You’re a smart Kid, just don’t dawdle and you’ll ace it.”

“Thank you, sir.”

With a nod, the man left. The first thing Kirk does is to take in the room and to mentally catalogue every unit. She then meditates and creates a room in her memory palace specifically dedicated to the bridge. She spends the next six hours utilizing every option available. She spends the last hour in the Captain’s chair with her eyes closed, reviewing the commands and functions of the room.

Pike, Spock and a Mr. Becker, an instructor for communications, enter the command center of the simulation room to find Kirk in this position. Pike sighs and enters the “Bridge” and taps the young girl. She opens her eyes and looks at him quizzically.

“Kirk, you fell asleep. You ready for your test?”

She nods before mumbling, “I wasn’t asleep.”

“Right, well, Good luck kid.”

She nods once more as he leaves and stretches her arms when the view shield lights up. Cadet Kirk, if you are ready to begin your examination put the starship in warp.

Kirk rolls her eyes at the wording. Most Cadets would just push the lever to top speed and fail before they even started. Jamie is anything but a moron.

She sets a course to, for shits and giggles, Vulcan, disengages the external dampener, and then puts the ship in position to ‘safely’ warp. It’s only a simulation but Kirk is proud when the screen blinks up, Well done and welcome, Cadet Kirk. Continue to the linguistic control panel. Communicate to your destination your estimated time of arrival.

It continues like this for an hour and when the test has finished the screen says, Your examination is finished, Cadet Kirk, your adjudicators shall present themselves momentarily.

Spock is vividly aware that this cadet is somewhat familiar, but can’t seem to focus on it. The test needs his attention and since his emotional break that morning, he can’t find it in himself to question the student, nor can he focus on multiple issues simultaneously.

At the end of the exam, the three men enter the simulation room. The cadet stands at parade rest, her eyes focused on the bottom of their regulation jackets, hat covering her eyes and hair. Her posture is rigid, as she realizes that Spock was there the whole time; she’s in a panic trying to figure out if she gave herself away, even by a microfiber.

“Congratulations Cadet Kirk,” Pike says, “You passed with flying colors, there was only one issue that we managed to see. Mr. Spock?”

“In your rush to complete the examination, your sleeve caught on a precarious switch. This has gone without deduction because you noticed your mistake. Furthermore, you remained calm enough to reset the procedure thus protecting your ship as well as your crew. Congratulations, Cadet Kirk.”

“Thank you, sir.” She says in a low voice as she bows her head to him. The Vulcan returns the gesture, does an about face, and exits the room.

“Congratulations Cadet, I was sure you would stumble when the commands started appearing in Klingon.” Mr. Becker seems extraordinarily pleased, “It was very wise to check and reset the language of your ship’s system, instead of trying to guess or, worse, translate it, as most students tend to do.”

“Thank you, sir. I admit I don’t know very much Klingon, but I’m positive one of the words roughly translated to ‘dishonorable idiot’.  I did what I could in the moment.”

“You’ll make a brilliant Captain one day, son. Have a good evening.” With that it was Pike and Kirk alone on the ‘Bridge’.

“I knew you could do it. I’ll have the paperwork filled out by tomorrow, and your course curriculum altered. You officially passed an entire course in one day with the best score I’ve ever seen.”

“Thanks…”

“Is something wrong?”

“I just wish I didn’t have to pretend to be my father’s ‘son’ to be the captain we both know I can be.”

“Me too, Jame, me too.”

 

 

Winter break came sooner than Kirk had liked but she’s prepared. Pike will be leaving in two days, with the other staff members who leave. Uhura has decided to visit her grandmother in Africa, and will be leaving tomorrow afternoon. Bones is staying, as well as the Phys. Ed. and Tamarian instructors. Of course other students and teachers are staying, but these are the ones that are relevant to Kirk.

The next day Uhura came back from her last class to find two wrapped boxes and a card sitting on her bed. Kirk is sitting at her desk, “Jame, do you know who put these here?”

“A couple of people came by, said they wanted to surprise you without holding you up with goodbyes. I think one’s from Bones.”

“Yeah, and one says to wait until Christmas.”

Jamie chuckled softly, “That does kinda suck. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Uhura”

“You too Jame,” Uhura packed her gifts with her travel bags and was headed out of the room but stopped short. “My first name’s Nyota.”

Jamie turns in her chair and smiles, “I know.”

“Then why don’t you call me by it?”

“I didn’t think you wanted to be my friend, so I called you by the name you gave me. Out of Respect…”

“Well, after the Corellium Fever incident, which I want to thank you for, I think we can both agree we are friends.” With that Uhura pulled up the tape dividing the room. “Merry Christmas Jame.”

“And you, and tell your grandmother I say so as well.”

“Will do.” And then she was gone.

After Nyota left, Kirk got up, pulled out a stack of sealed envelopes and left the dorm. She made her way across campus to the teacher’s living space. Jamie popped the collar of her jacket and pulled on a beanie before she made quick work of the letters, dropping them under her teacher’s doors. She had just finished and stood up in front of Pike’s door when Spock came around the corner.

“Cadet, what are you doing here?”

“Mister Spock, oh I um- I just came by to give something to Mr. Pike. I was just leaving. Have a good holiday, sir.” As soon as the words were out she moved past the Vulcan, who simply stared at her with a quirked brow.

 

 

It was early when the knock came to his door, a few days later. His meditation had only just finished when the unusual rhythm, distinctly sounding of “Jingle Bells”, sounded throughout the space.

Upon answering the door he found no one but on the ground was a small colorful bag with a note attached. It’s supposed to snow tonight into tomorrow, and even though you don’t seem to like me much I thought you could use these. Have a Merry Christmas even if you don’t celebrate it.

He looked down the hallways, listened for any sound, and when nothing came to him he crouched and picked up the parcel. In his rooms he did a quick scan to ensure his safety, and viewed the security footage to see a student he couldn’t accurately recognize.

It took only a second to realize it was from his unnamed cadet, and he pulled out the contents: a black thermal sweater with temperature control, and matching ‘science blue’ Scarf and Hat resting with another note. Stay warm, sir.

 

 

That night in the Cafeteria McCoy and Kirk walked in late, together, to cat calls from the students. The teachers remaining on campus have been eating with the cadets and most only rolled their eyes.

“Get some, McCoy!” rang out above the others before the room burst with laughter.

“What are you gettin’-” Kirk cleared her throat and glanced up sheepishly. Bones snatched the offending weed down, “Do you know what this is? It’s a vehicle for a medical epidemic and you’re just lucky that-” A kiss to his cheek shut him up.

Hoots and hollers sounded, his face was flushed despite his scowl. Jamie giggled softly at the priceless look, before moving away, “You coming, Len? Red’s a good look for you.” Some voices could be heard through wolf whistles and playful jeers, asking who she was, and why they’d never seen her before.

They got their dinner together and sat beside each other, and they managed to finish eating before most of the others. McCoy threw away the mistletoe as Jamie got a cup of hot chocolate before they left. McCoy was still visibly upset, so Jamie stopped him in front of the teachers.

“Hey, don’t be such a Grinch. They had their laughs; it’s over.”

“You don’t have to deal with any of them regularly, and Grinch? Can you get any more 21st century?”

“You are the Grinch!” She steps up close to him, setting her cup down to poke him, “You’re a grouch,” another poke with the other hand, “you’re furry and mean,” She pauses with her fingers pointed up, “But by the end of the holidays, your heart will grow twice its size.” At the word heart she put both pointers over his heart and he slaps them away.

She laughs and picks up her cup, taking a sip when he replies, “Good Luck with that one, Kid.”

“Just you wait, it’ll happen.” Spock took this moment to leave, just before the two cadets.

 

 

The next morning, snow covered the ground, by the time the sun rose Jamie already had a plan in motion. She is in the middle of her extra Physical Education ‘class’ when she hears all of the devices go off. Even she receives an e-mail notifying her to meet in the delta courtyard for a ‘snowprise’ at 1700- just before the sun starts to set.

A lot of students show up, including Bones and Cupcake, even though no one recognized the e-mail address. Even a teacher or two are here, in Delta courtyard. At exactly 1700 she throws three snow balls at random.

The three students all call out for the perpetrator, looking in the direction the snow came from. However, Jamie had already vacated to a new snow bank and threw a few more. The Snowball war quickly starts after that. Kirk however stays well hidden.

It isn’t until Bones sees her duck behind a fifth mound of snow that he joins in. He follows her and hits her from behind. She throws two back at him.

“Hit me again darlin’ I dare ya.”

So she does and he tackles her into the snow, shoving her face in it. It’s the first time she sees him genuinely laugh. Unfortunately, Mr. Spock shows up, “Doctor, what is the meaning of this?”

The man looks up at the young teacher. Jamie uses this to flip them over and takes a handful of snow and shoves it in his face before getting up and running off. She pauses to watch Bones who gets up, ignores the teacher and yells after her, “Yeah you better run ya little urchin!”

Bones moves just in time to cause another student to throw a snowball into Spock’s face. The Vulcan is not amused. Kirk slaps the cadet, who’s apologizing profusely, on the back with a “Nice one.” Before making more snowballs. Jamie is happy that the professor is using his gifts.

The sun goes down about ten minutes later, a lot of the students get cold and leave. Others cuddle up with their partners to take a romantic walk. Kirk, Bones and Spock are the only ones left in the courtyard. Spock had decided to observe the display in an attempt to understand the allure.

“Come on Kid, it’s gettin’ dark.”

Her response to this is to plop down into the snow and look at the sky. The doctor walks up and looks down at her and the professor, with a slight shiver, also makes his way over. He keeps his distance, still observing, unsure what causes the curiosity.

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they Bones?”

“What?”

“The stars. I used to go out at night and lay on a roof or in the fields and just look at them. It’s been so long since I just stopped and watched, you know? You can’t see as many here…”

Bones looks at the sky before smiling at his best friend, “Yeah kid, they’re great. Now it’s time to go somewhere warm so you don’t catch your death.”

“Okay,” instead of getting up, however, she starts making a snow angel. “You know, you can’t make a perfect snow angel? You’ll always end up with hand prints somewhere they don’t belong.”

“If you draw horns on your head I’ll give ya a perfect one.”

“Horns don’t go on angels Bones.”

“True, but you’re no angel; I know you orchestrated this whole snowball fight.”

“True, okay.” She makes the horns and Bones pulls her up. She laughs at the perfect demonic angel. She snaps a picture of it before shaking from the cold.

“You too, Mr. Spock, I’m surprised you’ve lasted this long in the snow.” The teacher nods, and Kirk rubs her wet, cold arms. “If anyone gets sick I’m blamin’ you. Rub your chest, warm heart equals warm blood, warm blood equals warm limbs. Goodnight, Professor.”

They start back to the dorm building and Bones wouldn’t shut up about Vulcan temperatures, Jamie admits to the gift and how it works. Jamie is aware that the Vulcan can still hear them.

“I thought you two hated each other.”

“I don’t hate anyone, except my Uncle Frank. I’d say he hates me, but he’s Vulcan.”

“Cute, kid, but I thought-”

“Look, there are some seriously strong emotions there. Most of them seem to cause rifts, but that doesn’t mean he should freeze. It’s the first time it’s snowed in San Francisco in 17 years. Anyway, I admire his perseverance; it seems he still hasn’t quite given up on my name.”

“Okay, okay, come on before you get hypothermia.”

 

 

It’s Christmas Eve. Bones and Kirk are in his room just talking over some Cocoa.

“Okay, I fess. I have something for you. This isn’t my intended gift, you’ll have to wait a bit for that, but I hope you appreciate it just the same.” She then hands him a gift bag containing a 13 year-old scotch, the book ‘Conquering Aviophobia for Dummies’ and a card. “Don’t open the card until tomorrow okay?”

“Thanks, I made you something… it’s on your PADD.”

At midnight they parted with a Merry Christmas and a hug.

The next day Bones opens the card and is surprised to see his friend has cancelled all his clinic hours from the 27th to the 2nd. He immediately goes to her room, to find she isn’t there. He waits for her return.

Kirk is at that moment on the other side of campus. Standing in front of Spock’s apartment door she slides a card under his door and books it to the corner, holding her breath when she hears his door slide open. She hears him take a step toward her, and she sprints as fast as she can to the lift. She can hear him following, but she’s in and closes the lift before she can see him.

He, however, sees her and catches the next elevator to the empty lobby. Noting her scent is faint in the area, he reads the card as he waits.

The front shows a cardinal on a snow laden branch, the inside has a generic ‘Hope your holidays are heartwarming’. A personal message has been added. Merry Christmas! I know it’s a human tradition, and it probably seems extraordinarily illogical, but as it is Christmas no one should be alone. Most people spend today with friends or family, and I understand if you wish to spend it alone. But I just couldn’t stand knowing that, so I wanted to wish you good tidings anyway. -Cadet

She watches him from around the corner, having gotten off a level up and taken the stairs down. She didn’t expect him to wait so she makes her way back up a floor and out a window, landing gracefully in the mud.

Spock, with his superior hearing, follows her up the stairs and watches as she drops from the window. She perplexes him and, he concludes, she is still infuriating.

Her letter, however, convinces him to contact his mother. She is clearly ecstatic to hear from him on Christmas. He can still hear her voice, filled with so much love, ‘Merry Christmas, Spock.’

 

 

She returned to Bones lecturing her about why he needs his clinic hours. She says she understands and that it’ll all get sorted out. She also thanks him for the digital photo album before gently dismissing him from her room.

The morning of the 27th Bones is woken by a soft knocking. He pulls on sweat pants and a white undershirt. He opens the door after another, more hesitant knock. At first he’s sure he’s delusional, but then the visitor speaks.

“Dad?” All the doctor can do is fall to his knees, his hand on her beautiful eleven-year-old face. “Are you okay, Dad?”

“Joanna,” He pulls her into a hug, tears falling down his cheeks, “Of course I’m okay sweetie, how did you get here?”

“I took a shuttle, all by myself! Oh! And I’m supposed to say ‘Merry Christmas Bones.’ But I’m not supposed to say who said it.”

He pulls away to look at her, smiling softly, “Does your mother know you’re here?”

“Of course, she took me to the station and she wants me to give you something, but you can’t have it until New Year’s Day.”

He holds her tight to his chest in another hug, “I love you so much, baby doll.”

“I love you too daddy and I miss you all the time. Oh, I got your present!” She pulls out the heart shaped locket from under her shirt. “I love it! I’ll wear it forever and always!”

Wiping his tears away, he brings her into his room, promising breakfast and adventure, after she’s caught up on her sleep of course. McCoy takes a moment after making pancakes for his daughter, to appreciate the pain it must’ve been for Kirk to pull this off and he resolves to repay her for it. Someday.

When Joanna is asleep he goes up to Jamie’s room to find a note waiting for him.

Dear Bones, I’m sorry about your clinic hours but I can’t get them back for you. I hope you enjoy the next week off, try to relax… or at least have some fun. I’ll be mostly out of room until New Year’s Eve, so hopefully you don’t run into anything you can’t handle. And Bones, I love you; you’re like the dad I needed growing up. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to be fatherly.

Taking the note back to his room he cries again. McCoy knows he’s not very sociable, but he’s suddenly glad that he let Kirk in, that he endured all the pranks and irritations. Because, surely, there can be no friend, in this universe or the next, like Jamie T. Kirk.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eight

A New Year

 

Uhura came back on New Year’s Eve, thanking her profusely for the gift.

“How did you know I wanted a copy of Macbeth in Andorii? And how did you get one?”

“That’s simple, I’m a genius and I’m magic.”

“Yeah, right, fine, you keep your secrets.”

They laughed it off and spent the day with the two McCoy’s; they stayed up till midnight and watched the fireworks burst over the golden gate bridge. In the morning Uhura is gone, so Kirk makes her way down to the Cafeteria and eats breakfast.

She’s about to leave when Bones, Uhura and Joanna walk in. They sit together and talk, laughing and smiling. When Joanna pulls out a Manila Envelope and gives it to Bones, Jamie gets up to avoid seeing her best friend cry, again. She’s talking to Pike when McCoy finishes reading the document and follows her over to the staff table.

“Dammit kid, how’d you do it?”

“Sorry, sir.” To Pike and to Bones she starts, “I don’t-”

“Don’t. I was married to that heartless woman for over a decade and couldn’t convince her to give me even visitation rights. You manage to talk her into not only a week-long visit, but partial custody. And I want to know how.”

Jamie heaves a sigh and looks at her teary-eyed companion, “Perception and word usage are important, especially to women. I’ll admit I played dirty on this one. I knew, months ago, that there’s only one thing in the universe you want. No kid should be without a father and no parent should lose a child.”

The man swipes at his cheeks, “You still didn’t answer the question, but as I’ll never be able to repay you for this-” She stops him with a hand on his shoulder.

“And you never have to.” Uhura gets up with the eleven-year-old, “It’s done. You have the rest of today together before she has to go back. Don’t waste another second talking to me. Now, get lost old man.”

Kirk leaves the room, holding her emotions in and ignoring the stares from the staff table.

She finishes the Tamarian class and the teacher has the paperwork filled out and her course curriculum load lightens. Her P.E. instructor says he’d rather sign off on it all at the end of summer, when she’ll have most likely passed all the physical courses she’ll need.

The 2nd passed with a lot of tears and hugs. The 3rd came and went, Uhura and Bones were in and out. The 4th however, started with a rude awaken. A terrible gripping nightmare about a starship exploding while she was still on board causes her to wake in a cold sweat, gasping for air.

Also, classes started back up. ‘Knowledge is a great birthday present.’ Kirk thinks to herself as she comes out of an exhausting seminar. Her two friends are acting strange today; she hasn’t seen them since she met up with them at breakfast and that event was strangely quiet. They made no quips against her, in fact they barely said hello.

Jamie, on her way to her next class, is lost in thought over what could’ve happened between them when she runs into Captain Pike, literally. She falls to the ground, and curses. Her butt will be covered in dirt. She looks up to apologize but quickly looks back to the ground. ‘That would NOT be a very good birthday present.’ Spock stands there, having steadied Pike, staring at her.

He is studying her strongly, he recognizes it to be Cadet Kirk, but there is something off-putting about the student and he is unable to comprehend what it is.

“Cadet Kirk, keep your head outta the clouds and your eyes on the road, kid.” Pike says. The student nods and sprints in the other direction. The gait of the run is vaguely familiar to Spock and he becomes frustrated that he’s missing something.

The day only gets worse as her Starfleet history lesson revolves around today’s date. They talk about the U.S.S. Kelvin. A lot of students whisper about her, some look apologetic, but she doesn’t want their pity. She tells her teacher she isn’t feeling well, the professor nods hesitantly and tells her to go the clinic.

Bones has clinic duty so she goes. It’s the first time she’s been back here since the initial examination. When McCoy hears the name Kirk he goes out into the waiting room. Kirk stands there looking at a Christmas picture of the staff, including Bones.

“What’s the problem, Kid?”

“It’s neither hangover nor sex-related, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“It says here, you felt ill. As your doctor, I need you to tell me what’s wrong.”

She turns to face him, tears in her eyes, “I was in History… and we were- and I just. Their pity makes me sick. As if I don’t know what today is.”

He uses a tissue to wipe away her tears. “What d’ya need from me? I’ll do whatever.”

“Could you just send a note to my History teacher? Tell her you checked up on me and that I’ll be alright.”

“Yeah, kid. I’ll let her know. I could get you out the rest of the day, if you’d like.” He says.

“Nah, I just, I just needed a friend.” She hugs him before he tells her that he’ll send a message via PADD. Then she makes her way to her next class. She’s the first in the room, so she chooses to sit closest to the door, so she can be the first out as well.

It’s not until that evening that she understands what’s happening. She returns to her room to find a note from Uhura. Professor Pike came by; he said he wanted to see you. So she changes into street clothes, makes her way to the teacher’s apartment building, and knocks on the door.

The Professor is still in uniform but he answers the door with a smile and a glass of champagne. He looks her over, laughs and gestures her in.

“Having a bad day?” Jamie just gives him a look as she pulls off her jacket and shoes. “You’re wearing all black, or didn’t you notice?”

She takes a minute and looks down at herself, before laughing, “I guess you could say that, sir.”

“Call me Chris, we’re friends here, and I haven’t had a chance to thank you; the opera was beautiful, my wife and I had a great time. Now come on.” They turned around a corner and Jamie was, indeed, surprised.

This moment was all she’d need to turn her day around. Bones and Nyota stood by a couch talking to her therapist, and mother-figure, Amy Jones, before they all shouted surprise, and happy birthdays.

“How did you- You guys knew and- Amy when did you-?” Jamie can’t finish a single sentence, but they know what she’s asking.

Amy starts first, “Well, a little over a week ago I received a call from Starfleet academy. The man asked about our relationship, how close we are, and I refused to tell him. He then explained all of the wonderful things you’ve done for people, what he wanted to do for you, and that he knew exactly who you are.”

Christopher Pike picks up where she left off, “I told her I wanted to give back to you; surprise you on your birthday. So I made the travel arrangements and decided to talk with your two best friends. Uhura was away so I asked McCoy.”

“I hadn’t really thought about when your birthday was, so it came as a bit of a shock. He asked me if I wanted to be in on it, of course my answer was yes. The next step was to talk to Uhura, so I sent her a message via PADD and when she got back, she came straight to me. The next morning when we came late to breakfast-”

Uhura interjects, “We were sure you’d ask questions. I was a bit shocked that you didn’t comment on my constant absence, but I knew if I was around you I’d want to say something. Then, yesterday we all got together a couple of times to set it up. We almost blew it at breakfast this morning; you walked up right as we were discussing how to get you here.”

“Then when you came to me in tears; I almost told you that the day isn’t over, that it’ll get better. I knew the only thing that would make today worth it, would be this. Happy Birthday, Darlin’.”

She hugs him; he’s closest, and thanks them all profusely. They have dinner set up, Pasta with garlic bread, her favorite. They sing happy birthday, off key and obnoxious in the most loving way, and they eat cake. They’re in Pike’s living room when there’s a knock at the door.

“Who’s that?” McCoy asks.

“It can only be one of two people. Let me get it.”

Pike leaves the room for a minute and when he comes back this is what he says, “So, my gift is a bit late, fashionably late I should say, but I hope you still appreciate it.” With his eyes trained on Jamie he steps out of the way, and there he is; the one man who made her crazy and sane, the man who taught her love and anger, the man who made her run.

George Samuel Kirk. He stands there, stronger, taller, and more handsome, but he’s still the same fifteen-year-old that left. For a minute they just stare at each other, looking the other over, noting the changes and similarities. Both sets of blue eyes glistening from unshed tears.

“Jame- Jamie, I’m so glad you’re alright. I thought about coming back and I-” She runs into his arms and hugs him. He’s the first to break, his tears soaking her hair and shoulder. “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too Sam. Where have you been? When I got away from Frank, I tried to look you up, but there was no history. Nothing.” Then remembering herself, she turned to Pike, “How did you find him?”

“It wasn’t easy. But I knew if he was anything like you, he’d have changed his name, likely keeping his initials. He made it easy, changing his name to Gregory Samuel Kissner. He majored in Biology, he’s an important researcher with a non-federation science group. Hence the name change.”

“I didn’t want them to hire me just for being a Kirk but if Jame was still looking for me...” He says to Pike before turning to his sister. “I had no idea you’d major in Xeno-Biology. Before you ask, Ms. Jones and I have to leave for Iowa tomorrow. As you have class and our shuttle leaves at noon, we only have tonight, so let’s make it a happy one.” George responds.

“I don’t think I could be happier than I am right now. Thank you all, so much.” They spent the night sharing stories, laughing, and explaining all the things that didn’t make sense. George kept an eye on her until she went to boarding school, that’s how he knows Amy. They explained Frank to Bones, Uhura, and Pike. Bones explained how Jamie dresses like a man to gain respect. Amy shares embarrassing outbursts that happened in the first weeks of therapy. Uhura and Pike talk about the bar fight Jamie could’ve won, but didn’t. Not necessarily in that order.

She received hard copy books of her favorite stories, from Uhura and Amy, and Bones got her two 21st century movies. George said she had to wait for his gift. They said their goodnights to Pike and made their way out.

Jamie is putting her hat on her brother when Mister Spock comes around the corner. Jamie bumps into him and falls to the ground, her brother goes to help her up. George laughs, “That is so like you, to run into people. Clutz.”

Jamie gives a half-hearted chuckle, but then she gets a brilliant idea. She is, after all, anything but a moron, “Oh whatever, Kirk! Like you’re any better- Just help me up.” George does, with an amused yet confused look on his face. She gives him the Just-Go-With-It look.

‘It’s still not lying, implications are EVERYTHING.’ George wraps his arm around her waist as she apologizes to Spock.

Spock says, “Mr. Kirk, I would like to once again congratulate you on your examination for ‘A Focus on Bridge Work.’ I do not know of anyone who has passed with so little time to study.”

George looks at Jamie for a split second, and rubs the back of his neck nervously, “Oh um, Thanks; it was nothing, really.”

“Anyway, have a good evening Mister Spock.” Jamie responds, shoving her brother into the lift.

Once they are out of the building Spock reflects on the small group. ‘Something is not right with Cadet Kirk. It is improbable for him to have grown over the course of the day. Perhaps I was mistaken this morning.’

Once at her room they have a few heartfelt, teary goodbyes with promises to visit. The two siblings hug each other tightly, and when George pulls away he pulls out a data chip and hands it to her.

“There’s only one thing on there; it’s your birthday present. I was planning on giving it to you on your 25th but when Pike called, I knew I couldn’t wait. I love you Jame. We’ll see each other soon. I promise.”

“I’ll hold you to it.”

“You always do.” With a smile and a wave, he left.

Chapter Text

Chapter Nine

School’s out

 

The rest of school passed rapidly with little to report, (just a prank or six, one in particular leaving a certain doctor without hair on his arms) and before she knows what hit her, it’s the last day of exams. Jamie and Bones decided a week ago that they’d be going to the Party, being held at a club down the road, for underclassmen.

Uhura has a shuttle to catch so Jamie’s helping her pack. “You know Nyota, I’ll be here all summer; you don’t have to pack up all your stuff. You can leave some of it here.”

“Look, I trust you, I do, but Campus security? No way. Half of them are students still learning how to put someone in a headlock. Thanks for helping me though.”

“It’s no big; I have to wait for Bones to get out of his last exam before we can go to the club.”

“Have you looked at your present from George?”

“No.”

“Why not? He wants you to look at it.”

“He wanted to wait until I turned 25. Whatever it is can wait until I graduate.”

Uhura looks at Kirk and smiles, “You still think you’re going to graduate early?”

“Why not?”

“You have to serve on a starship before you graduate. You have to write a paper on it. And no one has graduated more than six months early, not even Professor Spock!”

“I believe I’ve said this before, there’s a first time for everything. I’ll work it out. Now, Come on, you’ll be late for your shuttle.”

It gets quiet after Uhura leaves, so she watches one of the movies she got from Bones. Letters to Juliet is based, loosely, off of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and it has Jamie laughing, crying and yelling for and at the characters. She’ll be quoting this movie at some point in her life, she’s sure of it.

Finally, the sun is setting and Bones knocks on her door.

A few hours, and several loud songs, later, Jamie leaves Bones on the dance floor, trapped between two girls with tails and stripes. Her hair is in its natural, gently- curled state, causing her to continually tuck it behind her ear as she asks the bartender for two beers. She chugs the first one once it’s in reach.

“You should probably slow down, Kid.”

Jamie turns to her right and gives the man a questioning look. “Professor?”

“Yeah, it’s shocking, I know. Trust me kid, we teachers,” gesturing to his pointy eared companion, “are just as relieved to be rid of you kids, as you are of us professors. Anyway, I thought McCoy was your date tonight.” He says, pointing to the doctor across the room, who still hasn’t noticed her absence.

She laughs out loud before responding, “Who Bones? Not a chance. Just because we came together doesn’t mean we’re even remotely, romantically attracted to each other.”

“Why not? He’s a good man, southern, but a gentleman. You could do a lot worse.” He responds as she starts up on the other beer sitting on the bar.

“I have done worse, WAY worse, than him, and I know he’s a great man, but even if I was into guys who are over a decade older than me, he’s not really my type. Nor am I his; he probably sees me more like his eleven-year-old daughter than actual dating material. Besides, the only relationships I’ve had were shit.”

The doctor comes up behind her with a warning. “If you keep drinking the way you have been, you’ll get drunk.”

She turns to him, leaning against the bar, “I drink,” she finishes off the beer and set the cup down, “I don’t get drunk.” She turns toward the Captain and his First, “You know I don’t need a man, I just miss having someone to be there- to care. I miss being held, the touches, and being kissed. Someone to love me, you know?” Looking back at her friend in realization, “And you’re a guy! Oh God, it’s gotta be so much worse for you. Bartender, I need two shots of Bacardi 151, straight up.”

“Two shots of Bacardi? You really are drunk.” Bones replies.

“Dear God I hope so…”

“What?”

When the shots are set down, she pays for the drinks and picks them up, handing one to McCoy, “You’re gonna need it” at his look she continues, “I’m gonna get you laid.”

His face is priceless, “I don’t need-”

“When was the last time you had sex anyway?” When her friend’s mouth gapes like a fish, “That’s what I thought, so here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to walk away, and you’re going to follow because this conversation will be unfinished. I’m going to walk across the room and then I’ll stop, turn toward you and kiss you.

“Naturally you’ll push me away. Try to be gentle about it. At which point I’ll start yelling at you, shrieking really,” she stops, turns, takes her shot, and slams the glass on the bar. She shakes her head with a grimace, the alcohol burning down her throat, as she turns back to Bones, “You’ll respond in the only way that makes sense to you.

“Try to call me Darlin’ with that southern drawl of yours. Then something shocking will happen, I’ll walk away, and a woman will appear. At which point you will, again, respond as best you can, and you'll go back to HER place. In the morning you’ll be sitting pretty and this will NEVER be discussed again. Okay? Okay.” She thumps him gently on the chest as she passes him.

“Now you wait a God damned minute,” in realizing she’s not going to stop, he takes the shot and follows her.

The music at this point has turned into a low bass beat, so when it all transpires it’s heard by the whole room. Jamie stops, turns, and kisses McCoy. His hands go to her shoulders and push gently. When he looks at his best friend she’s crying, just a few tears sliding down her cheeks. That’s when the high-pitched yelling begins.

“How could you do that to me? After all we’ve been through! Did this past year mean nothing to you?”

His confusion is obvious, “I don’t know-”

“You don’t know?! I love you! Don’t you feel anything for me, even a little?”

His anger, easily misconstrued, “Of course I care about you, Dammit!”

“Then why were you dancing with those girls? I left you for two minutes and that’s what I get?! How could you?”

He’s playing right into her hands with no knowledge of it, “Don’t be like this, you know Damn well what happened Darlin’ and-”

“Don’t you Darlin’ me! I can’t- I just… Get lost!”

“What? It was just a dance! You’re being irrational!”

She slaps him, the snap of it resounding throughout the club, anyone not paying attention is now, “If you won’t leave, then I will!”

So she walks right past him and heads back to the bar. Once there she grips the back of the bar stool, where her jacket is resting, ducking her head. Pike puts his hand on her shaking shoulder, slightly confused. She looks up, a mischievous sparkle in her eye, glancing at Spock and then back to Pike.

“The things I do for my friend.” She chuckles before winking at her teacher. Pike looks over to McCoy who is currently being hit on, ‘She couldn’t handle a man like you anyway, wanna have a real wild night?’

“You’re devious, Cadet.”

She shakes her head, “And I didn’t lie once. I implied a shit-ton…” Still hiding her face from view she asks, “Curfew, professor?”

“Schools out, just don’t give security a hard time and don’t be late for anything important.”

“Yes, sir.” She replies before standing straight, pulling her jacket from the chair, and whipping it on. She then struts out of the club like she owns the place.

Spock quirks his brow, “Captain, I am unsure of the events that have just transpired. How did the Cadet accurately predict the exact occurrence that progressed?”

“Because she orchestrated it.” When Spock still looked perplexed, by Vulcan standards of course, Pike continued, “Your unnamed cadet, the one that just left; she’s- She is something special. Unique by anyone’s standards. She knew the outcome of this situation based on how Mr. McCoy might react. She may have even confronted the other woman beforehand.

“She has talent coming out her ears and she can’t see it. She’s a genius, beautiful, and successful in almost all she does, and yet she’s exceptionally modest; painfully so. On top of that, she would do anything for someone she cares about. But it’s getting her to care that’s the hard part.”

“I do not comprehend.” At this moment McCoy and the woman passed the two professors. The woman giggling obscenely and McCoy flushed a deep scarlet.

“You already know she’s a private person, what you don’t know is that it takes a lot to get more than a few words out of her. She doesn’t trust people easily because she has a troubled past. A person should count themselves lucky if they get a whole, intellectual, conversation out of her, and even more-so if she’s taken the time to trick you.”

“You are suggesting that I am of significance to the Cadet?”

“Maybe you can’t see it. Hell, she probably doesn’t see it, but she only ever does things for a handful of reasons, but always with reason. The fact that she has no real reason to hide her name from you is telling. Furthermore, the first interaction you two had, and many thereafter that I know of, were significantly long. I still think you should let her be, but count yourself lucky that she responded to you.”

“The example you give is inadequate. I am a professor and she is a student. She was required to answer my direct queries.”

“To what extent, Spock? Clearly the conversation could’ve ended earlier had she given you the note straight off. And not to mention she out right denied your request of her name, more than once I presume.” When Spock’s face turned a slight green from them memory of his emotional break, the Captain continued, “She’s not one easily understood, Spock. Now let’s get out of here, I’ll bet the music’s driving you crazy.”

With that they left, heading towards the Teacher’s apartments. They stop right before the building. The lights in the Beta courtyard that are normally lit are completely black, save the one by the entrance of their residence. There’s one figure in the darkness, the silhouette coming through due to the lights not too far away. The feminine figure is staring up at the sky, and she slowly lies down in the grass.

“She really is something special.” Pike says under his breath before turning toward the building.

“Should we not inform someone of the outage of lights?”

“Something tells me they’ll all be back on tomorrow. Goodnight Mister Spock.”

The next night, Spock stood outside, waiting to make sure that all 18 lights came on without a problem. When they did, he simply went inside to meditate.

Chapter Text

Chapter Ten

The Slip Ups

 

That first Summer, Jamie woke up early, did basic exercises, and ran the perimeter of the campus before the sun rose. She then had her sophomore year command lectures. She ate lunch with Bones when he was on campus; he travelled much more than he thought he would because of his daughter. She would then engage in one of her two final Physical courses: Survival Instincts and Combat readiness. She would then run the perimeter of the campus again, usually with Bones at her side making comments, ‘I’m a doctor not a personal trainer!’ ‘You run like a wolf in sheep pen.’ And ‘Slow down, dinner’ll still be there when we get back.’

And it always was. She spent dinner the same as lunch. Then she would spend most of her nights working on homework, reading, writing, or watching movies just to avoid any nightmares she may or may not have. She would only sleep once she was utterly exhausted, only to wake up and do it all again.

There was one day when Jamie ran head-long into the new Xeno-Bio teacher that was different. After the collision Jamie helped the new professor with her things and found out the next day that J.T. Kirk’s Course Curriculum had been changed. She no longer needed her Biology classes. The teacher wrote a note in her file that, ‘with such an extensive back ground in the field, a student shouldn’t have to waste their time taking all the same courses twice.’ Pike confronted Jamie, but the student hadn’t even told the teacher her name. Surely the teacher’s explanation was sound.

The next year passed in much the same as the first, with less Spock and more homework. In fact Spock made every effort to not even see his unnamed cadet. At first Kirk wasn’t sure why it bothered her that she didn’t see the professor so much, she even went so far to ask Pike if something happened to his First during winter break. Spock went back to Vulcan for the holidays. She was glad to hear that- she still missed him.

The only thing of interest that happened was in January. It was a few days after Kirk’s birthday; they were at a bar, a lot of cadets were, when Jamie heard one student talking to Cupcake about her father. Cupcake said that what George Kirk did was an honorable thing; to give his life for the crew, and his family. The other student, Ryan Ghouling, laughed and said that ‘George Kirk is a selfish bastard, who got tired of playing house with a bitchy-’ that was as far as he got before Jamie punched him. Bones grabbed her from behind, whispering in her ear that she’ll give herself away.

She could still hear what happened next, once she was calm and back with Nyota, who was almost as irate. The student, ‘What the Hell?’ Bones replied, ‘You don’t recognize her? Hell if were her I’d punch you too. You’re gonna wanna put some ice on that black eye. And stop hitting on girls you sick, misogynistic Bastard!’

It was the end of the second summer, unbeknownst to Jamie, when someone slipped up in her cover. Only one person would notice such an infinitesimal comment other than Kirk.

Pike is sitting in the teacher’s common area, with Spock, drinking his usual cup of coffee. The Physical Education coach has just finished a long, animated conversation with the History professor when he comes and sits next to Pike.

“You recruited Kirk didn’t ya Chris?”

The man cleared his throat nervously, “I did, is there a problem?”

“Only that the kid is his father’s son, and that he’s going into junior year with only eight courses left. I just got finished talking to Velma Grist about him. He could be finished by winter.”

Pike chuckles softly, “Kirk is something else. You’d never know it just by appearance.”

“No kidding, the man’s a genius! He finished every physical course I have, in a year. I threw him in the pool with the weight vest on, first couple months he was here. He’s the only student to get out of it without assistance! That’s talent.”

“Like I said, Kirk is something special, though the kid would never admit to it.”

“No kidding. He’s set to take the Kobayashi Maru this fall isn’t he?”

Spock responds immediately, “Indeed, Cadet Kirk is scheduled to take the exam November 13th at 1500 hours.”

“I hope I can be there. It’ll be the only test he’d fail.” Turning back to Pike, “Do you know why he wears the hat?”

“I don’t like to pry, privacy’s important, and you know me… I’m kind of loose on the rules anyway.” Pike replies.

“I guess I just assume he’s got some kind of scar, so I let ‘im wear it. It really is too bad he’s never been on a starship before. Well, Aside from his birth, you know. I’d like to see him graduate this year.”

“Yeah, it really is too bad. Kirk will make a great captain.”

“You’re right. He is something else, just like his father was.”

The Phys. Ed. teacher then left, leaving Spock alone with the new information, Pike’s words turning themselves over in his head. ‘Kirk is something special, though the kid would never admit to it.’ It was highly improbable, and very illogical to entertain such thoughts. So he didn’t.

He does, however, find the file on Cadet Kirk when he gets back to his apartment. He studies the students file trying to calculate how to make the Kobayashi Maru most trying on the Cadet. When he opens the file to find that there is no photo, he reads further into the file.

Date of Birth is accurate, academic schedule is available, Maternal bio is available, paternal bio and dormitory assignment are not. The student’s grades are flawless, and available, medical history is mostly attainable, small information is missing. J. T. Kirk is becoming a bit more of a mystery, as more things are missing from the file. It is apparent that Kirk has an older brother, seven year age difference that is all that’s known. Only one piece of information slips by the half Vulcan, it is also missing: Gender of the student.

As neither McCoy nor Nyota are on the command track they only have to take part in someone else’s Kobayashi Maru examination. In November, the trio takes their positions on “The Bridge” and despite all of her best efforts, she fails. The feeling in her gut is insurmountable, the shock written on her face. It is inadequacy, failure, her lack of confidence, and everything her Uncle Frank ever said, all eating away at her abilities and her heart.

“Come on, kid. No one passes, don’t take it so hard.” Bones says after she has yet to get up. These words only strengthen her resolve.

She talks to Pike that night and gets a retest, despite the teacher’s best efforts to sway her. The second shot, after Christmas break, is just as bad, but Jamie had had no intentions of beating it. This time, that is.

“I have no interest, Jame.” It’s early February as she’s asking her best friend to take it with her again.

“I didn’t ask if you were interested, I asked if you’d do it.” She says as she skips down some stairs.

“I’m going to ask the obvious. Why bother?”

“Because I’ve failed it twice.”

“And you’re determined to make it three times? Dammit kid, I’m a doctor, I’m busy. It’s the Kobayashi Maru, everyone fails- and that’s the point! No one goes back for seconds let alone thirds. It’s not like you need to pass it in order to graduate.”

“Exactly Bones, doesn’t that bother you? If no one passes, why do they make us take it?”

“You’d drive a hornet from its nest, you know that?”

“You’re the best Bones! I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Where you going? Aren’t ya gonna study?”

“Pike wants to talk to me; I’ll study when I get back. Tomorrow Len, 0600!”

With a roll of his eyes and a ‘Christ help me’ McCoy makes his way to the clinic. Jamie enters the lecture hall just as Pike’s Command 101 lets out, freshmen and sophomores trudge out yawning from the early hour. Jamie walks in as Pike talks to a curly-haired boy. His Russian accent is thick, and he’s very young but Kirk knows the kid; he’s extremely bright.

“I still don’t know why you didn’t take Command two years ago. But I’m signing off on your courses; you’re too smart to be here.”

“Thenk you Wery much Keptin.”

Kirk winks at the young man as he passes her. The student leaves, closing the door behind him, and Kirk goes to see Pike. The man looks exhausted.

“Kirk, can you tell me what changed your mind that night? When I told you to enlist you clearly thought it was a joke, so tell me what changed your mind.”

Jamie sits down in the front row, “Well, it was a lot of things really. You were right… About everything. When I left the bar that night I talked to my dad, telling him how lost I was. Of course he couldn’t respond, so I left and without paying much attention I ended up in front of a starship. All I could see after that was me, in command gold, in the Captain’s chair of that ship.”

“You want to Captain that exact ship? Tell me, do you even remember the hull number?”

NCC-1701. Of course I probably won’t be her first Captain. Last I heard she’ll make her maiden voyage this coming summer.”

Pike replies with a knowing look that Jamie doesn’t understand, “That’s right, kid; now tell me this… Why are you going into the Kobayashi Maru a third time?”

“I don’t know, I just feel like I should, sir. Is that all? I have to study.”

“I won’t be there, so good luck, and try to pay attention to the lesson kid.”

“Yes, sir.”

When Jamie got back to her dorm, late that night, Uhura was there, waiting to talk to her. “So you know how I was supposed to be in the long-range sensor lab all night?” Jamie nods, “Well It’s crazy… I was. I was tracking solar systems when I picked up a Klingon emergency transmission. There was a break out on a Klingon Prison planet- They stole a giant ship that decimated a whole armada, 47 Klingon war ships.”

“What could do something like that?”

“Jame, I know you’re going again. Don’t pretend to be interested to get me to help you.”

“I really do find it very interesting, but I do need you there. I can’t do it without you.”

“You can’t do it WITH me either! You’re SUPPOSED to fail Kirk. You’re GOING to fail.”

“I promise this is the last time! If I fail again, I’ll give up. If I pass I’ll have no desire to take it again, please? Just one last time Nyota?”

“Fine! But you owe me for this. I have to go back to the lab; 0600 tomorrow right?”

“Yeah. I’ll see you then.”

 

 

“We are receiving a distress signal from the U.S.S. Kobayashi Maru. The ship has lost power and is stranded. Starfleet command has ordered us to rescue them.” Nyota Uhura says in the most professional way.

“Starfleet command has ordered us to rescue them… Captain.”

Nyota shakes her head and rolls her eyes, smiling at the ridiculousness. McCoy pipes up, clearly tired and agitated, from the main console, “Klingon vessels have entered the neutral zone and are locking on us.”

“That’s okay.” Kirk says. She really should be more serious but she can’t help being smug.

“‘That’s okay’?” McCoy and Uhura look at her like she’s lost her mind.

“Yeah, don’t worry about it.”

It’s clear that the testing administrators are frazzled, two of them come to the window talking with one another, “Did he just say ‘don’t worry about it?’?”

“Is he not taking this simulation seriously?”

McCoy, with more readings, “Three more Klingon war birds decloaking and targeting our ship- I don’t suppose this is a problem either?”

Kirk, with a smile pulls out an apple rubs it off on the uniform another student pipes up, “They’re firing, Captain.”

“Alert the medical bay to prepare to receive all crew members of the damaged ship.”

Nyota seems genuinely pissed now, “And how do you expect us to rescue them when we’re surrounded by Klingons, Captain?”

Kirk turns to her, taps her hat up, winks and says, “Alert Medical.”

With a huff, Nyota does it. McCoy speaks up again, “Our ships being hit! Shields at sixty percent.”

“I understand.” Kirk responds looking at the apple.

“Should we at least, I dunno, Fire back?”

“mmm, nah.” She responds before taking a bite.

McCoy mutters darkly, “Of course not, this’ll be the third time I’ve been killed by Klingons because of you.”

Somewhere, on the other side of campus, Ryan Ghouling’s PADD received an E-mail and started beeping obnoxiously until he opened it. Upon opening the message there was only one thing written. George Kirk is a Hero. Before his file, his PADD, and everything on them were wiped clean.

At that same moment the monitors and lights started to blink and fizzle out before coming back on. Kirk does take a moment to make herself look flustered. When power returned Kirk stood and gave her first command, “Arm Photons and prepare to fire on all enemy war birds.”

“Kirk, their shields are still up.” Bones responds.

“Are they?” Kirk smiles at him slyly before taking another bite of her apple. When he answers ‘No, they’re not.’ in disbelief, she continues, “Fire on all Klingon war ships. One photon each- let’s not waste ammunition.”

“Targets locked and acquired on all war birds, Captain. Firing.” Says the Student sitting to Kirk’s right.

“Begin the rescue of the stranded crew.” She continues as she takes a turn around the room, “So, we’ve managed to eliminate all enemy ships,” looking at Uhura who scoffs, “no one on board was injured,” to Bones, who’s still trying to figure out what happened, “AND the successful rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew is,” taking a breath and turning to the teachers window, “Underway.”

In the testing room a teacher turns from the window, “How the hell did that kid beat your test?”

Spock replies, “I do not know.”

Kirk stays behind until all the other students have cleared out before heading out herself. The teachers and students have thinned out quite a bit but she still gets cornered instantly.

“How did you do it?”

“I told you before… I’m a genius and I’m magic.” She backs away from Nyota getting ready to make her escape, “Besides, third times the charm. Sorry, I can’t chat, I’m gonna be late.”

“Late for what?” The dark skinned woman questions, the hall having emptied save two or three other people.

Jamie takes a step toward her, voice still masculine- deep and low, “Life, Nyota, Life. Live a little and you’ll understand.”

At this moment Spock enters the hall and he quickly recognizes a scent. Turning in the direction he sees Cadets Uhura and Kirk conversing in a seemingly intimate way. As Kirk turns and leaves, Spock walks by Uhura leisurely and takes a deep breath. The scent is not coming from her, though it is permeated around her. He walks out of the building trying to both remember the scent he picked up and figure out how the test was tampered with.

It is still relatively early in the morning when he has finished filing paperwork for a trial and is on his way back to his apartment when the scent hits him. It is stronger than the last time, he is stopped, trying to understand where it is coming from when Jamie barrels right into him, falling on her backside.

She is dressed in regulation sweats, her hair up in a pony-tail, headphones in her ears, when she runs head-long into Mr. Spock. Her face flushes as she stands up, wiping her ass of dirt. When she looks at the teacher his nostrils are flared and his eyes are slightly wide. Other than that the teacher is unmoved.

“Sorry Professor Spock, I wasn’t paying attention. Have a good day.” With that Jamie smiles brightly and continues running until her afternoon course. ‘The unnamed cadet was not a part of the Kobayashi Maru. Her scent should not have been there… Perhaps she has had intimate relations with… Improbable.’ Spock is unwilling to admit what is clearly presenting itself, because to know such a thing would mean that the cadet had not only fooled him once or twice, but every day since her arrival.

Later that day, Jamie and Bones are sitting in a lecture together when a student aide comes in requesting the presence of the class at a hearing. Uhura, not in class, was summoned as well as their whole dorm building. Nyota quickly thought to bring a spare uniform in a duffel bag, just in case she sees Kirk. Unfortunately, Kirk’s already in and seated before she gets the chance.

“This hearing has been called to resolve a troubling matter. J. T. Kirk, step forward please.”

Looking at McCoy sitting next to her, and Uhura across the room, she swallows heavily before standing. Kirk moves slowly down the steps, Spock tenses as she passes, the scent is now unmistakable. Pike sighs and rubs his temples, his disappointment evident. Jamie steps up to the podium closest to her.

“Cadet Kirk, evidence has been submitted to this council to suggest that you violated the ethical code of conduct pursuant to the regulation 17.43 of the Starfleet code. Is there anything you care to say before we begin?”

“Yes sir, I believe I have the right to face my accuser directly.”

Spock stands and straightens his jacket, “Step forward please; this is Commander Spock, one of our most distinguished graduates who has been programming the Kobayashi Maru since his senior year, four years ago. Commander?”

He stands in front of a second podium, conveniently previously placed, “Cadet, before we continue I request that in respect of the board, the hearing, and myself that you remove your cover.”

Jamie clutches the podium and takes a deep breath. She then removes her hat and shakes out her waist-length blonde hair that is miraculously still straight from that morning. The room fills with gasps and whispers; Jamie refuses to respond to them. The Academy president has to take several moments to regain composure of the crowd.

“Now that my suspicions have been confirmed, I would like to inquire as to why, Cadet Kirk, you are in violation of the student dress code as well.”

“Had I been given time between my previous lecture and this hearing I would be appropriately dressed. However, this-”

“That does not explain why you have violated the regulations previously, on multiple occasions. Nor does it explain why you lied.”

Before Jamie could get a word out the President reins them in, “I’m afraid that Mister Spock is correct, it is requested that the cadet change into appropriate attire. If you are unprepared we may provide the uniform for you.”

Uhura stands, causing more whispers, Jamie turns and walks up to her. She hands Jamie the bag and is about to apologize when Kirk cuts her off, only the Vulcan hears her as well, “It’s my own fault. Now sit down before you get yourself into trouble.”

Jamie then walks past Mr. Spock with a glare, before entering a separate room to change. Once she’s changed, she returns to the podium, head held high. The Academy President is about to return to the original point when Jamie interjects.

“Sir, I would like to explain my actions before we proceed.” After she gets approval she turns her gaze to Spock. “I wear the men’s uniform for a multitude of reasons, one being that I find the female uniform inappropriate and I am uncomfortable in it. I would also like to say that I have NEVER lied, in any way. I simply did not correct those who made mistakes. I saw no harm in allowing others to believe I was a man, so I neither confirmed nor denied any such information. The issue at present, however, is purely academic, is it not?”

“Indeed Cadet Kirk. It is obvious that you somehow managed to install and activate a sub-routine in the programming code thereby changing the conditions of the test.”

She responds, refusing to meet his eye and trying her damnedest to remain neutral, “Your point being?”

“In academic vernacular, you cheated.” The President says.

“With respect, define cheating.”

“To deceive by trickery.” Mr. Spock responds automatically.

Jamie continues, as if he hasn’t spoken, “Then allow me to ask something I think we all know the answer to: the test is rigged isn’t it? It’s programmed to be unwinnable?”

The Academy President again cuts in, “Ms. Kirk, I don’t see how the intent of the exam is relevant to these proceedings.”

“Because if I’m right, sir, then the test itself is a cheat.”

Spock looks at the cadet, staring quizzically and intently, “Your argument precludes to a no-win scenario-”

“I don’t believe in no-win scenarios.” She interrupts, gripping the podium roughly. Pike finally looks up and is proud of this woman and her outright guts. Of all the students, Jamie would be the one to fight back, and he is invested in seeing the outcome.

Spock has turned completely toward her now, “Then not only have you violated the rules, you have also failed to understand the principle lesson.”

Finally looking at him, “Please, enlighten me.”

“You of all people should know, Cadet Kirk. A Captain cannot cheat death.” Gasps and whispers follow this statement.

Kirk is surprised that the Vulcan doesn’t even look like he’s dealt such a low blow, “I of all people…” she whispers.

“Your father, Lieutenant George Kirk, had assumed command of his vessel before he was killed in action, did he not?” Pike looks like he’s going to be sick, Bones looks ashamed for the professor, and Uhura looks like she was slapped after her favorite puppy was drop kicked into acid.

“How long did it take you to look that up?”

“How long did it take to program the virus that allowed you to cheat?” The Academy president briefly thinks to end the battle but finds he is too amused.

“I don’t think you like the fact that I beat your test.”

“I am Vulcan ‘like’ is not a verb in our vernacular. I’ve simply made a logical deduction that you are a liar.”

“I am not a liar; I avoid giving unnecessary details. What an idiot I would be to take such a comment personally.”

“Agreed. Furthermore you have failed to divine the purpose of the test.”

“Enlighten me again, sir.” Sir is laced with slight venom. Pike now sees a whole new side to this argument. The two clearly have strong emotions for each other, the question is- can they use them for good?

“The point, Cadet Kirk, is to experience fear. Fear in the face of certain death. To accept that fear and maintain command of one’s self and one’s crew. This is a quality expected of all Starfleet Captains. Which is, as I’ve come to find, your goal.”

“So, you’re saying the whole point, of the exam. Is to be afraid?”

“Fear is necessary to command, yes.”

“Have you taken the test Commander?”

“As a Vulcan I do not require additional training to control my narcissism when making command decisions.” Spock is completely aware that this is a low-blow and it shows in his eyes.

Kirk has hit guys for a lot less but she has a plan, and she’s sticking to it, “You keep reminding everyone of your Vulcan heritage, as I’m sure you’re quite proud of it. Hell, who wouldn’t be? But isn’t it true that your people don’t experience fear- at all?” She pauses to take note of the almost indiscernible eyebrow quirk, she plows on noting the weakness. “And if that’s the case, Sir, What does that say about YOUR ability to make command decisions? As you are slotted to be a Commander of a Starship, I think it should be noted that you haven’t taken an exam you deem necessary to Command a crew; furthermore you are incapable of feeling fear, a VITAL EMOTION-!”

It is quite evident to many in the room, had the student aide not come crashing into the room, the Vulcan may have gone postal. Kirk looks back at her podium, flushed and frustrated that she would sink to such a low level.

She sighs briefly before the Academy President speaks, “We have received a distress call from Vulcan.” Spock and Kirks eyes snap to the head of the board. “This hearing is in a recess until further notice; with our primary fleet engaged in the Laurentian system, I hereby order all cadets to report to Hangar one, immediately. Dismissed.”

Chapter Text

Chapter Eleven

Disobeying orders… you’re doing it right.

 

“…Uhura U.S.S. Enterprise- Good Luck and God Speed.”

“They didn’t call my name,” Kirk follows the barrack’s officer; Bones follows Kirk, “Excuse me, Sir, you didn’t call my name. Kirk, Jamie T.?”

“Kirk, you’re on academic suspension. That means you’re grounded until the Academy board rules.”

“Right, thank you, sir and Good luck.” Jamie stands with her back to her friend, eyes welling up with tears.

“Look, Jame, the board’ll rule in your favor. Most likely.” She doesn’t respond; she knows she’ll crack. “Well, I- I gotta go, kid.”

She nods and takes a deep breath before turning to him, “Yeah, no, you go. Get your ass outta here, I’m good. And be careful okay?” She hugs him and pushes him toward the shuttle. It’s no use; he notices her glistening eyes and curses softly.

With her back turned to him she’s surprised when McCoy pulls her away, “Come on, follow me.”

“Bones, what are you doing? You’re gonna miss the shuttle.”

They step into an empty room when Jamie questions him again and he responds calmly, “I’m doing you a favor. I couldn’t just leave you there, lookin’ all pitiful with your teary puppy-dog-eyes. Hold down your collar for me.”

“No, Bones you could get into so much trouble for this!”

“Sit down, shut up, and hold your collar.” She does as she’s told, “I’m going to inject you with a vaccine against viral infection from Melvaran Mud Fleas.”

He injects the Hypo-spray, “Ow, what’s it gonna do?”

“It’ll give you the symptoms, you’re gonna lose vision in your left eye-”

“Yeah- I already have.” She says looking around the room, blinking furiously.

“Oh and you’re gonna get a really bad headache and a flop sweat.”

“You call this a favor?” she says in a grumble, the headache already severe.

“A simple ‘thank you’ would suffice.” McCoy wraps her arm over his shoulder and hoists her to her feet; they make their way back to the shuttle.

The Scanning officer stops them, “Kirk, Jamie T. She’s not cleared for duty aboard the Enterprise.”

McCoy is having none of it, “But I am, and according to Medical Code the treatment and transport of a patient is to be determined by his or her attending physician, which is me. So I’m taking Miss Kirk aboard, or would you like to explain to Captain Pike why the Enterprise warped into a crisis situation without one of its senior medical officers?”

“As you were.”

“As YOU were.” McCoy responds sassily. The shuttle lurches both as it takes off and as it exits the atmosphere.

Kirk is shivering and sweating, “I might throw up on you.”

“Jame, you gotta see this... Jame, look.”

She looks out the window and is in awe, that’s when she sees it, NCC-1701 in other words, the U.S.S. Enterprise. She can only think of one thing to say, “You gotta be shittin’ me.”

They’re on their way to medical, “We gotta get you changed.”

“I don’t feel right, Bones, I feel like I’m leaking.” She says squinting and blinking.

“Look out; it’s the pointy eared bastard.” McCoy says as he pulls Jamie around a pole and out of sight.

Spock enters the turbolift to exit on the bridge moments later. He walks through the glorious, gleaming new space, taking his position at the science console. Pike comes up beside him.

“Captain, engineering reports ‘ready for launch’.”

“Thank you,” The captain makes his way to the command chair, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the maiden voyage of our newest flagship deserves more pomp and circumstance than we can afford today, but her christening will have to be our reward for a safe return. Carry on.” He opens the ship-wide intercom. “All decks, this is Captain Pike. Prepare for immediate departure.” Addressing the Bridge, “Helm, thrusters.”

Hikaru Sulu turns to Pike, at 25, he's the Federation's best pilot. As he works the controls he calls out to his captain, “Moorings retracted, Captain. Dock control reports ready, thrusters fired, separating from space dock.” The Enterprise moves away from the dock. The other five Starfleet ships are already ahead and moving into position. “The fleet's cleared space dock, Captain. All ships ready for warp.”

“Set course for Vulcan.”

“Aye-Aye Captain, course laid in.” Sulu responds.

“Maximum warp. Punch it.” Pike orders. Sulu does but nothing happens, the other five Ships snap into warp but the Enterprise remains. The entirety of the Bridge looks at Sulu, who is confused and concerned, searching the controls frantically.

“Lieutenant, where's Helmsman McKenna?”

“He has lungworms, Sir. He'll be fine but couldn't report to his post. I'm Hikaru Sulu.”

Pike is a good guy but decides to screw with him a little bit, “…and you are a pilot, right?”

“Ah, Very much so, Sir… I'm not sure what's... wrong here...” The 25 year-old responds nervously.

“Is the parking brake on?”

The young man gives a half-hearted chuckle, “no, I'll figure it out, just-”

Spock chimes in, eyebrow raised, “Have you disengaged the External Inertial Dampener?”

Sulu checks and realizes Spock is right. “Ready for warp, Sir.”

“The external inertial dampener?” Pike smiles with a mischievous glint, “That's... the parking brake.”

With a blush the pilot replies, “yes, sir.”

Pike chuckles before giving the command, “Let's punch it!”

 

 

Back in the medical bay, staff is doing prep when McCoy enters with Kirk, in amusing agony. McCoy helps her onto a bed, prepares another hypospray.

“Where are we?” Kirk starts.

“Medical Bay.” Bones curt response.

“Oh, this wasn't worth it…”

“A little sufferings good for the soul.”

“My mouth is itchy, is that normal?”

“Those symptoms won’t last long. I’m going to give you a mild sedative.”

“Ungh, I wish I didn't know you.”

“‘Don't be such an infant.’”

He shoots Jamie with another Hypo, she winces before she speaks, “How long is it supposed to-” Before she passes out. Bones moves the curtain so he can change her clothes, muttering to himself. He gives her another Hypo to alleviate the symptoms.

Back on the Bridge:

“Engines at maximum warp, Captain.” Says Sulu.

“Good, Russian Whiz kid, what’s your name again?”

The curly-haired teen sits at the main console next to Hikaru Sulu, turning to the Captain, “Ensign Chekov, Pavel Andreievich, sir.”

“Alright, Chekov, Pavel Andreievich, begin ship-wide mission broadcast.”

“Yes, sir. Ensign Authorization code: Nine- Five- Wictor- Wictor- Two.” The console flashes and announces, Authorization code not recognized. The Russian genius, Starfleet Academy Senior, takes a deep breath and tries again, slowly and with great effort, “Ensign Authorization code: Nine. Five. Wvictor. Wvictor. Two.” Access Granted. “May I hhave your attention plees: et 2200 hours telemetry detected en anomaly een zeh Neutral zone. What appeared to be eh lightning storm een space. Soon efter, Starfleet received eh distress signal from zee Wulcan High Command zat zeir planet was experiencing seismic Ecktivity. We zhen lost contact with Wulcan entirely. Our mission is to ehsess zee condition of Wulcan, and assist in ewacuations if necessary. We should be arriving at Wulcan in five minutes. Thenk you for your time.”

Kirk sits bolt upright in the bed, wearing a Black regulation undershirt and a pair of Bones’ black pants, her chest wrap in her pocket. McCoy starts chewing her out, “Jame, I told you to stay down- Good God!” McCoy rustles in his med bag.

“What- AH! What the Hell’s this?” she squeaks out, looking at her ridiculously swollen hands.

“An allergic reaction to the vaccine, Dammit.”

McCoy moves to get something from another doctor and Kirk steps up to a monitor rewinding to play the beginning of the message. “Lightning storm…” McCoy is back and scanning her with a Tricorder when she grabs his face, “Bones, we’ve gotta stop the ship.”

“Jame you need an antidote, or you could die.” She takes off out of the sick bay, stopping at another computer. “Jame, I’m not kidding! You need to keep your heart rate down!”

“Computer locate crew member Uhura.” A map shows up with a blinking red dot.

“I haven’t seen a reaction this bad since med school!”

Jamie takes off, Bones barely keeping up. “We’re flying into a trap!”

“You know you could be delusional, right?” Once on deck four Jamie stops to look for station 12, where her roommate should be. “Dammit, Jamie, stand still.” He gives her another injection.

“Ow! Stop it!” Rushing forward she pulls at Nyota’s shoulder. “Uhura! The transmission from the Klingon prison planet-”

“Kirk what are you doing- Oh my God! What’s wrong with your hands?”

Waving her hands a bit, Jamie continues, “Look, who is responsible for the Klingon attack and wath tha thip rommoolin.”

“What?”

“Whath hapnin’ to mah mouthhh?”

Bones eyes widen slightly, “You got numb tongue? That’s bad.”

“Numb Thong?!”

“I can fix that.”

Jamie turns back to her female friend, “Was the ship what, Jamie?”

“Rom-uh-lin”

“What?”

“Rom-oo-lan”

“Romulan?” Jamie nods excessively, “Romulan, yes! Yes!” Bones hits Jamie with another Hypospray.

“Ah-Ack dammit!” The feeling returns to her tongue rapidly and her hands are no longer swollen. She sprints down the corridors as fast as she can, her friends calling after her. She runs into a few people causing a lot of loud ruckus.

On the Bridge the Captain hears the commotion, “Display security camera’s 12, 13, 14, and 15.” The view shield lights up as Kirk leaps gracefully over a cart of cargo boxes. Bones and Uhura apologize to the attendant as they pass.

Kirk then uses the wall to evade a cluster of security cadets, flipping back to the floor without missing a step. Uhura and Bones excuse themselves to part the group. Next thing Pike knows Kirk is on the bridge, panting but talking, “Captain Pike, Sir, we have to stop the ship.”

“Kirk, what are you doing on the Enterprise?”

“Vulcan isn’t experiencing a natural disaster; it’s being attacked by Romulans.”

“Romulans? Cadet Kirk, I think you’ve had enough attention for one day.”

Bones and Uhura finally enter, “Sir, this cadet is experiencing severe allergic reactions to a vaccine, she is delusional and I take full responsibility-”

“Bones, shut up, your dialogue is both unhelpful and untrue, not to mention irritating.” Jamie says quickly before turning back to the Captain.

The Commander stands, interjecting, “As you know, Cadet Kirk is not cleared to be aboard this vessel. So by Starfleet regulations she is a stowaway. Moreover she is disregarding basic codes such as state of dress.”

Jamie turns to the Vulcan, looking up into his eyes as she steps into his space, chest heaving, “Look, I understand how sexually frustrating it must be to get your ass handed to you by a woman, men don’t like to be dominated- I get it. You’re a fighter and that’s admirable but your inferiority complex is not a justifiable reason to-”

He cuts her off, looking to the Captain, “I can have her removed from the bridge, Sir-”

She gives him the same treatment, “Try it! This cadet is trying to SAVE the bridge!”

“By recommending a full stop, trans-warp, in the midst of a rescue mission?”

“It’s not a rescue mission! Damn it! Listen to me! It’s an attack!”

“Based on what facts?” Spock is on an edge, nearly shaking from restraint.

The sound of a hypospray hissing open gets an immediate reaction, Jamie steps away from Spock and blocks McCoy with her forearm. “Jame, I have to-”

“Give me a sedative? I don’t think so.” She grabs his wrist, gently but forcefully.

“How did you-”

“I’ve been counting, Bones, have you? While it is mid-debate, it’s still against Starfleet medical regulation to medicate a patient more than 3 times in half an hour, unless you’re sedating them or in an emergency situation. If I go down, we’ll all die.” Bones looks as hurt as Jamie feels, clearly he doesn’t want to do it, but she turns toward the Captain before looking at the Commander, “You want facts? I have them. Fact: The same anomaly, a lightning storm in space, that was seen again today, also occurred on the day of my birth. Before a Romulan ship attacked the U.S.S. Kelvin.” She turns to Pike briefly, “You know this sir, I read your dissertation.” Back to Spock, “Fact: This ship, which had formidable and advanced weaponry, was never seen or heard from again.

“Fact: The Kelvin attack took place on the edge of Klingon space and at 2300 hours last night there was an escape from a Klingon prison planet –Rura Penthe- Fact: The escaped prisoners were Romulans, Sir, and it was reported that they stole a ship from the prison dock. Fact: 47 Klingon war birds were destroyed, it was reported that the Romulans were in one ship, one massive ship.”

The Captain is calm, “And you know of this attack how?”

Jamie inhales deeply, looking at the floor, “My roommate intercepted the transmission-”

Uhura interrupts, “I was in the lab last night when the transmission came in; I intercepted and translated the message myself. Kirk’s information is accurate.”

Jamie looks up to the two commanding officers, she looks pained, “We’re warping into a trap. Romulans are waiting for us, I promise you that.”

The Captain and his First look at each other, Spock glances at Kirk before speaking to Pike, “The cadet’s logic is sound, and Lieutenant Uhura is, as I recall, unmatched in Xeno-linguistics.”

“Scan Vulcan space, search for any transmissions in Romulan.”

“Sir, I’m not sure I can differentiate Vulcan from the Romulan language.” A lieutenant responds.

Jamie jumps in, “Uhura can; She knows all three dialects of Romulan, Sir. She could tell you the difference between the dialects of the Bronx vice Harlem, if asked.”

“Cadet Uhura, relieve the lieutenant. Hannity, hail the U.S.S. Truman.

“Yes, Sir.”

Hannity speaks up, “The other starships are out of warp and have arrived at Vulcan, Sir, but we seemed to have lost all contact.”

“Captain, I pick up no Romulan transmission, or transmissions of any kind in the area. There seems to be something jamming all communication around Vulcan.” Uhura adds.

Jamie sighs heavily, shoulders slumped, “It’s because they’re being attacked. Please, Captain…”

Pike looks around the room, ending on Spock and Kirk, “Shields up. Prepare all weapons. We’re at red alert.”

Sulu’s voice is heard above the sirens; Spock and Jamie spare a glance at each other. “Arriving at Vulcan in Five, four, three, two-” The ship drops out of warp into a massive debris field. The remains of the U.S.S. Farragut directly ahead.

“Emergency Evasive!”

“On it Captain!” Jamie and Spock are pressed together as the ship hits several pieces of the U.S.S. Endeavor. Spock grips the bar on either side of Jamie tight enough to leave indents.

“Drop us down, underneath them, Sulu!” Once the bridge stops shaking, Spock moves to his position in the science station. Jamie steadies herself, using the indents in the bar for grips.

Spock’s calm voice resounds through the bridge, “Captain, they are locking torpedoes.”

“Divert auxiliary power; report the power to forward shields.”

After an explosion on Deck 6 Sulu announces the obvious, “Shields at 32 percent. Their weapons are powerful, Sir, we can’t take another hit like that!”

“Get me Starfleet Command!”

Spock responds quickly, “Captain, it appears the Romulan Ship has lowered some kind of high energy pulse device into the Vulcan atmosphere. Its signal seems to be blocking our communications and transporter abilities.”

“All power to forward shields, prepare to fire all weapons.”

Suddenly Uhura stands, “Captain, we’re being hailed.” The screen comes to life. The Romulan says Hello.

“I am Captain Christopher Pike, to whom am I speaking?”

“Hi Christopher, I’m Nero.”

“You’ve declared war against the Federation, withdraw, I’ll agree to arrange a conference with Romulan leadership at a neutral location.”

“I do not speak for the Empire. We stand apart. As does your Vulcan crew member, isn’t that right, Spock?”

All eyes turn to the now standing Commander. He moves next to the Captain, “Pardon me, I do not believe that you and I are acquainted.”

“No we’re not, not yet. Spock, there’s something I would like you to see. Oh, and look, there’s Jamie Kirk.” The young woman stands a bit taller and glares, “Still so young, and a cadet? It’s a shame, really, all that potential gone to waste.” Her fists clench and shake in anger, “Captain Pike, your transporter has been disabled, and as you can see by the rest of your armada, you have no choice. You will man a shuttle, come aboard the Narada for negotiations. That is all.”

Once the screen goes blank Kirk starts in, “Sir, you can’t- He’ll kill you, you know that!”

“Your survival IS unlikely.” Spock chimes in.

“Captain, we gain NOTHING by diplomacy. Going over to that ship is a mistake.”

“I, too, suggest you rethink this strategy.”

Pike holds up a hand, ‘of course you two work together. Only when it’s inconvenient for me.’ “I understand all that. I’m giving you an opportunity. I need officers who have been trained in extensive hand-to-hand combat, Kirk that means you- you’re not supposed to be here anyway.”

Sulu raises a hand, “I have training sir.”

“Good, come with me.” He turns to Chekov, “Radio the engine room, have Chief Engineer Olsen meet us at Shuttle bay five.”

“Aye, Keptin.”

The small ‘away team’ and Spock are making their way to the shuttle bay, the Captain’s speaking. “Without transporters, we can't beam off the ship, we can't assist Vulcan, and we can't do our job. As I said, I'm creating an opportunity: Ms. Kirk, Mr. Sulu and Mr. Olson will space-jump from the shuttle. You'll have chutes; you'll land on that machine they've lowered into the atmosphere that's scrambling our gear. You'll get inside, disable that thing then beam back to the ship.” Kirk and Sulu share an intense look. “Mr. Spock, I'm leaving you in command of the ship. Once we have transport capability and communications back up, you'll contact Starfleet and report what the hell's happening here. Something you've got only precious few minutes to figure out. If all else fails, fall back and rendezvous with the fleet in the Laurentian System. Kirk, I'm promoting you to First Officer.”

“What?”

Spock’s eyes widen slightly, “Captain?”

“While I'm gone we need to keep the chain of command. And you two make a great team.”

“Captain, please. I apologize, but the complexities of human pranks escape me.” Normally Jamie would take offense to this but she’s still having trouble comprehending it herself.

“It's not a prank, Spock. And I'm not the Captain. You are.”

Kirk finally shakes off the shock of her promotion, “Sir, with ALL due respect,” She stops and puts hands to his chest, “I lost my father to Nero, he might as well have taken my mother. I can’t lose another parental figure to him.”

“Then I guess you’ll just have to come and get me, won’t you?” He steps around her.

She doesn’t move, nor does Spock, “Sir, I beg of you, please reconsider. Send me to the Narada, I can stall long enough for Sulu and Olsen to knock out the machine. You could warp out and get help.”

Pike turns and looks at the woman, “Jamie, you understand what that would mean, don’t you? I will NOT send you to your certain death. I have information. Information they probably want. That alone will keep me safe for a little while.”

“Now is not the time for Supererogation!”

“It’s the only option left Jame. So stop arguing and get your ass in the lift.” She huffs and with a shake of her head, does as she’s told. She turns to face her Captains, “Careful with the ship, Spock. She's brand new.” Spock quirks a brow and nods. “Kirk, Sulu, suit up.”

Once on the shuttle Kirk turns to Olsen, “You brought the charges right?”

“Oh yeah, I can’t wait to kick some serious Romulan ass.”

The eagerness in his voice makes Jamie nervous. As she braids her hair back, she asks Sulu, “So, what kind of training do you have?”

“Fencing.” This does not reassure her in the least.

“Fencing? You know that’s not technically hand to hand combat, right?”

“I’m aware, but don’t worry, I got this handled.” He spares a glance at her, “I had no idea you were a woman.”

“I AM a woman. We were partner’s freshman year in Bio, I was sure you’d have noticed.”

“Nah. But it’s cool, smartest and strongest girl I ever met. I still think you’ll be a great captain.”

“If the board votes in my favor… but thanks.”

“Pre-jump.” Pike says. They pull on their hoods and helmets. The doors to the cockpit slide shut with finality, “Alright, we’re approaching the drop zone. You have one shot to land on that platform; they may have defenses so pull your shoot as late as possible.” Kirk grips the overhead bar, going over all of her training, clearing her mind, “3, 2, 1,” Their bodies hit the ceiling on the shuttle, “Remember, the Enterprise can’t beam you back up until you knock out that drill. Good Luck.”

With that the air locked bomb bay door opens and they fly out. The Silence is almost frightening, and the weightlessness causes a slight shudder in Jamie. It gets loud and hot as they enter the atmosphere. Chekov chirps in her ear, “Away team entering zee atmosphere, Sir, 10,000 meters.” Olsen shouts in excitement, Jamie closes her eyes for a second, “Approaching zee platform in 5800 meters.”

“Kirk to Enterprise, distance to target 5000 meters.”

“4600 meters from zee platform,” Chekov announces.

Sulu, “4500 meters to target.”

Jamie, “4000 meters.”

Olsen, still excited, “3000 meters, 3000 meters!”

Jamie, “2000 meters.”

Sulu, “Pulling chute.” Jamie also pulls her chute.

“Come on, pull your chute, Olsen!” Kirk yells at him.

“No, not yet, not yet! 1500 meters!” He gives another excited shout.

“Olsen, pull your chute!”

“1000 meters!” He finally pulls his chute, but slams into the platform. He’s yelling, rolling, and bouncing across the platform; his chute gets pulled down and into the drill.

“Olsen!” Sulu and Kirk yell together.

“Olsen is gone, Sir!” Chekov sounds off in her ear.

Kirk is next to the platform, feet hitting, her chute flips her. She scrambles to find purchase on the surface of the drill. Finally she grips a vent before smacking the pull chute button on her chest. Once the chute is stowed, she pulls off her helmet and lowers her hood. A Romulan emerges from below and attacks Kirk.

During the scuffle, four holes are burnt into Sulu’s Chute, causing him to veer off course. His chute catches on the platform, swinging him dangerously close to the drill’s beam. Pushing off and away, Sulu hits the recoil button on the vest. The cord pulls him up but doesn’t stop even though he’s inches from a fire blast.

Kirk manages to knock one Romulan to his knees before another comes up behind her and kicks her phaser off the drill. Jamie uses her helmet and thwacks the Romulan back. Sulu manages to pull out his sword, it clacks out to its full extent; he cuts the cords to his chute and starts fighting the first Romulan.

Jamie knows that, while she is still on her feet, her punches are doing little to the much stronger Romulan. Her opponent knocks her back, once, twice, and she kicks him back. He runs at her with enraged yell, picks her up flips her and tosses her toward to edge. Jamie’s holding on by her fingertips as her enemy approaches.

Sulu is doing some hardcore acrobatics, back flipping and rolling out of the way. The Romulan attacks with an axe-like weapon. Sulu matches parry for parry, blow for blow, when he’s knocked to his knees. Another blast of Fire crops up behind the unsuspecting warrior, giving Sulu a bright idea. The killing stroke is a simple shove; the Romulan stands on the vent and has a second of realization before the heat destroys him.

Jamie’s barely keeping her hands from under a heavy Romulan foot, which unfortunately finds her left on the next step. She yells out in pain just before the Romulan does as well. Jamie looks up to see the shaft of a sword coming out if his chest.

The enemy falls from the platform and Sulu grabs her hand and pulls her up, “Olsen had the charges!”

“I know!”

“What do we do?”

Jamie looks around the drill, spotting the Romulan’s rifle like weapon. She picks up the two and hands one to Sulu, “This.”

They start shooting at the core of the drill, trying to sever it from the Narada. Suddenly the drill stops.

On the Enterprise :

Uhura speaks up, “The jamming signal’s gone; Communication and transporter capabilities are reestablished.”

“Transporter control is re-engaged, Sir.” Chekov responds.

“Chekov run gravitational sensors. I want to know what they are doing to the planet.” Spock says.

“Aye Commander, eh Keptin sorry, Keptin.”

“Kirk to Enterprise. They just launched something toward the planet in the hole they just drilled. Do you copy Enterprise?”

“Gravitational sensors are off zee scales. Eef my calcoolations are correct, Ze’re Creating a singularity, zat will consume zee planet.” Chekov says as he turns to Captain Spock.

Spock takes a moment to think through the options, “They are creating a black hole at the center of Vulcan?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“How long does the planet have?”

“Minutes, Sir… Minutes.”

Spock stands and turns to Uhura, “Alert Vulcan High Command to signal a planet wide evacuation. All channels-”

“Mister Spock!”

“-all frequencies, maintain standard orbit.”

Uhura follows him to the turbolift, “Sir, where are you going?”

“To evacuate the Vulcan High Council, they are tasked with protecting our cultural history; my parents will be among them.”

“Can’t you beam them out?”

“It is not possible. They will be in the Katrik Arc, I must get them myself. Chekov you have the Con.” The Turbolift doors slide shut. As the Russian boy says nervously, Aye Keptin.

Back at the Drill

“Kirk to Enterprise Beam us out of here!”

A female voice comes to them as there’s a sudden shaking and the platform shudders and rises, “I can’t lock onto you, don’t move, don’t move!” Sulu falls over the side.

“Sulu!” Jamie runs and jumps off the platform. She angles her body to gain a more rapid descent, her braid whipping back and forth in the wind. “Sulu!” The man is spread eagled trying to slow himself down. “Hold on!”

She grabs him mid-fall; they’re grappling, twisting over each other before they gain a steady hold. Jamie wraps her arms around him, under his shoulders and her legs around his waist. He’s gripping at her back in a panic.

“Sulu, I’ve got you, now pull my chute!” He remains calm for long enough to do as she said; only to watch as the hooks in the pack snap off, and they are once again falling rapidly and out of control. “Kirk to Enterprise we are falling without a chute! Beam us up!”

“I’m trying, I can’t lock onto your signal, you’re moving too fast!”

“I can do zat. I can do zat!” Chekov stands at with a shout, “Take zee Con!” Chekov rushes from the bridge toward the transporter bay; yelling at everyone in his way to “move! Move! Move!” and “I can do zat!” He announces “Move away from zee control, I can get eh lock on zem!” as he enters the room. “Hold on, hold on, hold on!”

Jamie sees the ground and is determined to hit first, Sulu’s eyes widen as he sees their proximity. Light is surrounding them, swirling and pulling. They hit the transporter pad with a thunk and a couple groans.

Sulu sits up first, “Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it…”

Spock steps up to the pad, “Clear the pad. I am beaming to the surface.”

“The surface of what?” Jamie responds as she steps off. “What, you’re going down there? Are you nuts?! Spock you can’t do that!”

Spock crouches and looks at her with an expression she’s not sure she wants to recognize, a combination of fear and anger. “Energize!”

“Spock wait, No! Damn it!” Jamie says as she watches him go. She presses the Starfleet insignia, releasing the chute vest, and unzips the suit. She steps out of it as she gives her first order as Commander, “Get me as close to him as you can! And get McCoy up here to receive us!” She steps up onto the transporter pad.

“Kirk, are YOU nuts?” Sulu responds.

“He can’t do whatever it is he’s doing alone! I won’t let him! Mr. Sulu, report to your station, we’ll need to make a quick exit once Spock is back on board, understand?”

“Yes Commander.”

She turns to Chekov, “Energize!”

She’s beamed down to the surface on the edge of a cliff. She backs away and takes in her surroundings. The planet is crumbling, to her left a drop off and to her right is an arched cave entrance; she can only assume this is where Spock went. She takes off running. She notes the cracks, the small rocks falling, and shaking. That’s when she hears another pair of footsteps in front of her.

A woman’s familiar voice, “Spock?”

“The planet has only seconds left, we must evacuate immediately.”

Jamie halts once she’s in the massive chamber but calls out to him, “Spock! We have to go, NOW! The walls are about to collapse!”

His head snaps to her, he nods. She notes his urgency with a woman, taking her hand in his, “Mother, now, hurry.” As he makes his way to her it’s clear he wants to argue with her.

“You two go; I’ll bring up the rear. No one’s being left behind. Go.” Amanda looks to Jamie for a moment, before they continue running.

A statue falls, barely missing a Vulcan, Jamie continually gestures for them to hurry. Once the last man is in the tunnel, Jamie follows suit. Part of the wall almost crushing her, she thinks to herself, ‘Faster, we need to go faster.’

The exit is in view, almost everyone is heading out down the slope as the entrance starts to cave in. Spock stops for a minute to hail the Enterprise, when he sees her.

Falling rocks distort their image but she pushes the last Vulcan out and jumps through the opening. She rolls down the slope, stopping in a crouched position next to him.

Jamie looks out to the devastation and calls up to the starship, “Enterprise, Beam us up now!”

Chekov responds as Amanda and Sarek move toward the edge; both finally understanding the distress of their son. Everyone looks as if they’re condemned to death, except Jamie. Spock takes a moment to look at Kirk; she’s sitting on one leg, her braid falling over her shoulder, an intense expression on her face, but not of fear.

She’s panting and her muscles ache, but when she sees the cliff edge crumbling she’s already running. She shouts as the two fall. Leaping she grasps a forearm with her left hand and grabs the edge with her right. Her arms over-extend in the wrong direction making her shout as she once again makes contact with the Transporter Pad floor.

She looks up at Spock, his arm out-stretched, and then back at the Vulcan man lying on the floor next to her. She distantly hears Chekov call to the bridge that the Captain is on board. Bones grabs everyone’s attention.

“Everyone on the transporter pad is to follow me to the Medical Bay.” Jamie gets up and makes to leave for the bridge. “That means you Kirk.”

“I just over-extended my arms, I’m fine.”

“I don’t care, I want you checked out. Come on.”

Jamie does an about face, and hurries by everyone to get to sick bay. It’s quite obvious she’s upset. Once there they do a quick Tricorder sweep and tell her she’s medically cleared for duty. She’s about to exit the bay when Bones, once again, stops her. He takes her to an office and as soon as the door is closed, Jamie punches the wall.

Outside the room Spock has just finished his Acting Captain’s log, and looks up at the noise. His hearing tells him the whole conversation inside. He doesn’t think of how illogical it is to eavesdrop.

“What the hell Jame-?!”

“I couldn’t save her! I couldn’t- I wasn’t… I couldn’t save Spock’s mother.”

“But you did save his Father. You had a second to choose, and with your past, I’m not surprised you chose the man. Jamie, people die. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

“I was right-” Slam! “-THERE!” Bang! Ring out distinct punches to the wall.

“So, what? You did everything you could. You’ve only got two hands! If you want to Captain a ship you’ve got to stow this shit, here and now. An innocent life was lost; billions of lives were lost today. It’s terribly sad, but you did what you could. You’ve gotta learn how to turn death into a fighting chance to live- You saved his father, be proud of that.”

“Len, you don’t understand…” Her voice trails off in a mutter he can’t make out.

“I’m Sorry, Jame. Damn, kid, I’m sorry, but there was no way you could have saved them both.” A moment passes in silence, “You okay, kid?” She must’ve nodded because they exit the room, “Nurse I need a check for fractures.”

“Bones-!”

“Next time you get cleared, don’t punch the bulkhead.” He then walks over to Spock. “Look, you’re cleared medically, for duty, but I think you should take a bit. Just, stay here for a minute and think, before returning to the bridge. I’m sorry Spock.”

Spock just gives a tight nod, and looks around the room. His father glances at him before moving to one of the elders. Doctor McCoy uses a device to view any brain damage that may have occurred. Kirk is sitting obediently with another doctor who has miraculously deemed no fracture, but is wrapping the cut, bleeding knuckles on both hands. She meets his gaze, a melancholy expression in her red, teary eyes; he looks away and leaves for the bridge.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twelve

Delta Vega

 

Once everyone is back on the Bridge, Kirk sits in the Captain’s chair and Bones leans against the railing, vaguely noting the indents caused earlier. Spock is taking a turn around the room.

“Have you confirmed that Nero is headed for Earth?” Spock asks.

“Their trajectory suggests no other destination, Captain.” Uhura replies.

“Thank you Lieutenant.”

Kirk speaks up, “Earth may be his next stop, but we have to assume all federation planets are a target.”

“Out of the chair,” Says Spock as he steps onto the platform. She rolls her eyes and moves.

Chekov speaks, “Well, eef zee federation is zeh target, why didn’t zhey destroy us?”

Sulu pipes up morosely, “Why would they? Why waste their weapons? We’re obviously not much of a threat.”

“That is not it,” Spock says, he moves toward the view shield, “He said he wanted me to see something, the destruction of my home planet.”

“How the hell did they do that by the way?” Bones says. “Where did the Romulans get that kind of weaponry?”

“The engineering comprehension necessary to artificially create a black hole, may suggest an answer. Such technology could theoretically be manipulated to create a tunnel through space time.”

“I’m a doctor, Dammit, not a physicist. Are you actually suggesting they’re from the future?”

“If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.”

“Sherlock Holmes? Really?” Jamie pipes in, at Spock’s irritated look, “Okay, then what would a pissed off Future Romulan want with Captain Pike?”

Sulu responds, “As Admiral he does know details of Starfleet’s defense systems.”

Jamie continues, having already gotten there, “What we need to do is go after them, catch up. Disable the ship and get Pike back.” Everyone looks at her like she’s lost her mind, so she rolls her eyes about to continue.

Spock cuts her off, “We are technologically out-matched in every way; a rescue attempt would be illogical.”

“Illogical,” Jamie chuckles humorlessly, “You’re funny.”

“Nero’s ship would hhave to drop out of warp for us to owertake it.” Chekov assists the Captain.

“Okay, well, what about getting the engineering crews to try and boost our warp yield?”

Spock looks at her as if she’s five and doesn’t know red from blue, “Remaining Power and Crewmembers are being used to repair radiation leaks on the lower decks, and damage to the main deflector shields- without which we cannot communicate with Starfleet.”

“Oh for Fuck’s sake, Okay! There’s got to be SOME way!”

“We must gather with the rest of Starfleet to balance the terms of our next engagement-”

“There won’t be a ‘next engagement’, Spock! By the time we’ve ‘gathered’ there won’t be anything left worth saving! We’ve lost Vulcan, are you really going to condemn Earth as well? How many planets are you willing to risk?” Jamie shouts earning her a nasty Vulcan-ish Glare.

Bones jumps in before it turns into an all-out war, slightly siding with Jamie, “You say they’re from the future, they’ll know what happens next. Then the logical thing would be, being unpredictable.”

“Doctor, you’re assuming Nero knows how events are predicted to unfold. The contrary- Nero’s very presence has altered the flow of History, beginning with the attack on the U.S.S. Kelvin,” He glances at Kirk pointedly, “culminating in the events of today- thereby creating a new chain of incidents that cannot be anticipated by either party.”

Bones is stumped, “Does anyone understand what he just said?”

Uhura in shock and Jamie in irritation respond together, “An alternate reality.”

“Precisely. Whatever lives we might have lived, if the time continuum was disrupted... our destinies have changed. Mr. Sulu, plot a course for the Laurentian system, Warp Factor Three-”

“Wait- Don't do that! Spock, running back to the rest of the fleet for a confab is a massive waste of time!”

“These were the orders Captain Pike issued when he left ship-”

“Yeah, you’re right- If all else failed! He also ordered us to go back and get him! Spock, you're Captain now-!”

“I am aware of my responsibilities, Ms. Kirk!”

“Every second we waste, Nero's getting closer to his next target-!”

Spock continues as if she’s not talking, “-that is correct and why I’m instructing you to accept that I alone am in command.”

“I will not allow us to go backwards, away from the problem, instead of hunting Nero down!” She yells, making him listen. Bones is yelling at her, reminding her of her place.

“Security, escort her out.” They’re standing toe to toe, Jamie flushes from not anticipating the reactions that occurred. Ryan Ghouling steps up and grabs her arm; another officer comes up on the other side.

She is not happy and Bones sees it, “Jame, don’t do anythin’ stupid.” She’s stepping down from the command platform and she pulls her arms out of their hold. She elbows the unknown officer in the gut and Ghouling in the back. “Jamie, stop! Don’t-!”

Uhura is yelling her name, but she doesn’t hear it. Another guard appears; phaser in hand, she grabs his arm causing him to stun the first guard; she kicks him back as Ghouling gets up. She breaks his nose, turns, and nerve pinches the next officer to attack.

She turns around quickly and barely feels Spock’s hand as she goes down. “Get her off this ship.”

She wakes up with a pulsing headache, in a deployment capsule, twenty-five feet below the icy surface. Rubbing her aching shoulder she talks to herself, “So that’s what that feels like… Computer, where am I?”

The pod talks back to her, Current location Delta Vega, class ‘M’ planet. Unsafe. There is a Starfleet base 14 kilometers to the northwest. You are ordered to remain in your pod until retrieved by Starfleet authorities.

“Bite me, how’s that?” She opens the pod canopy door and pulls out the duffel of survival supplies. Jamie manages to climb to the surface with bare hands and when she gets up, she falls back to her knees and Cusses out the Vulcan Captain, “There’s not a damn thing here you shitty cold-hearted, nerve-pinching, mother fucking asshole!”

She opens the Duffel and pulls out the gloves and jacket. Putting them on she continues talking to no one, increasing in volume until she’s screaming, “Yeah Pike, we work together REAL well. If he’d get his impressively placed foot out of his mouth connected to the head up his ass, he might be a semi-nice guy. Damn, shit-eating- Vulcan!”

She starts walking, and before long the wind picks up. As she walks she decides to record her rebuttal for the court-martial. “Stardate 2258.42- or whatever. I’m preparing a testimonial for the court martial, assuming that Starfleet still exists. Acting Captain Spock- who’s only form of expressions apparently limited to his left damn eyebrow- has marooned me on Delta Vega, which is in direct violation with security protocol 49.09, governing the treatment of prisoners aboard a star-”

There’s a growl in the distance that makes her stop. “-Shit” She turns and sees nothing, but she picks up her pace all the same, another much louder growl and she turns and can make out a grey and white creature. It growls again and she’s out of there.

Unfortunately she trips, not once but twice. On the second fall she turns and sees the first animal is devoured by a large crab-like animal. Jamie quickly gets up and starts sprinting again, the 30-foot alien species is right behind her. She turns to take a look but the ice drops out from under her. She tumbles down the mountainside.

The red creature stops at the edge, roars, Kirk takes a deep breath or two and has just gotten up when the ice shelf cracks and falls, bringing the monster with it. Kirk looks around quickly as the beast gets closer. ‘There! A cave, if I hurry-’ She tries to make a break for it; the ice beneath her feet causing her to slide around. Jamie finally gets footing and moves, not looking back; she knows this is her only option.

Kirk races through the darkened cave, barely seeing the pillars of ice to evade them. The Creature gets stuck and latches onto Kirk with its tongue, slowly pulling her in. After having remained mostly calm she screams, fights, and tries to claw into the ice below her.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, fire- a torch- frightens the beast away. Panting, she removes her hood. “Thank you… Thank you.”

The elder, very obviously, Vulcan man turns with a brave expression, which falls immediately. “Jamie Tiberia Kirk.”

“Excuse me?”

“How did you find me?”

She gets up, “What-Woah, How do you know my name?”

“I have been and always shall be, your friend.”

She chuckles to herself, “Look- ah, I-I don’t know you, the only Vulcan I know isn’t exactly a buddy… and Bones would say I’m probably delusional-”

“I am Spock.” He cuts her off.

Kirk stops and looks at him, really studies him. He has an almost pained expression on his face, those eyes- brown and emotional, there’s no denying it. But Kirk tries to, because it doesn’t fit. She says the only thing she can, “Bullshit.”

He walks toward a fire, stokes it, and sits on an ice block. She follows and sits across from him. “It is remarkably pleasing to see you again, old friend- especially after the events of today.”

“Uh, Sir, I appreciate what you did for me today,” She stands and paces, “but if-if you were Spock then you’d know that… We’re not friends. At all. You hate me. You marooned me here for mutiny.”

“Mutiny?”

“Yes.”

“You are not Captain?”

She stops and looks at him for a moment; she takes a deep breath, “No, no- You’re the Captain… Pike was taken hostage-”

“-By Nero.” Spock says, finishing her sentence. He watches her as she looks at him.

“What do you know about him?” She asks, and he goes rigid.

He looks straight ahead, “He is a particularly troubled Romulan. Please,” He says as he gets up and walks over, “allow me, it will be easier.”

His hand held in front of her she shies from his touch, “Woah woah woah, what are you-?”

“Our minds, one and together.” He places his hand on the meld points, “129 years from now, a star will explode that would threaten the entire galaxy.”

His eyes close and she feels him in her head; she’s overwhelmed with colors and sounds and emotions, then she sees what he’s showing her. Stars speed by, “That is where I’m from Jame, the future.” His voice echoing in her mind, she passes a planet, moves through an asteroid field to a star, which then explodes, “The star will supernova, I promised the Romulans I would save their planet,” A group of Vulcan’s nod and Spock turns around, facing Jamie in her mind’s eye.

The image changes to machinery she doesn’t recognize, and an advanced jellyfish-shaped ship, “We outfitted our fastest ship,” Jamie assumes, knows that she’s viewing the inside of the ship, watching three or four Vulcans work; A large red sphere in the center of a tube, “using red matter I would create a black hole, which would absorb the exploding star.

“I was on route,” The ship is finished and speeding through space, “When the unthinkable happened,” Jamie sees Spock in the pilot’s seat, expression serious. “The supernova destroyed Romulus.” She watches the planet crumble, and feels insurmountable guilt blow through her. “I had little time,” She sees Spock preparing the red matter, “I had to extract the red matter and shoot it into the Supernova.” The ship turns swiftly, an object flying out of the ship. Then there’s darkness, surrounded by the light of the explosion; the black hole. “As I began my return trip I was intercepted, he called himself Nero.” There’s fear and sadness and more guilt with the image of Nero.

She hears a whisper of an echo, “The last of the Romulan Empire.” Before Spock continues in full voice, “In my attempt to escape, both of us were pulled into the black hole.” She watches in horror, she’s sure is her own, as the Narada and the Jelly-fish Ship are pulled through opposite sides of the artificial Black hole.

“Nero went through first,” It shows the attack of the U.S.S. Kelvin “He was the first to arrive.” Another whisper of an echo, “Nero and his crew spent the next 25 years awaiting my arrival.” The view of Nero on Rura Penthe, breathing heavily, but still standing strong, “But what was years for Nero, was only seconds for me.”

Jamie once again panics as she sees the Vulcan ship get pulled through the Black hole, this time she knows it’s hers because there is an over-whelming calm coming from Spock. “I went through the black hole, Nero was waiting for me.” She sees Spock looking at the Narada.

His ship is captured, he lands in the Narada, resignation of death fills Jamie, “He held me personally responsible for the loss of his world.” She sees Spock kneel in front of the Romulan, “He captured my vessel, forced me to view the tragedies from his memories, and then spared my life, for one reason, so that I would know his pain.” Spock stands on the desert tundra of Delta Vega, watching Vulcan collapse. “He beamed me here, so that I could observe his vengeance. As he was helpless to save his planet, I would be helpless to save mine. Millions of lives lost.”

The pain and grief were overwhelming; she could feel the tears on her cheeks. “Because of me Jame, because I failed.”

She feels him pulling away, he stops when she asks, “You volunteered to do it; you were resigned to die… Why?”

Jamie sees flashes of herself, smiling gently through the years. She knows it’s her despite the aging. She feels extraordinary emotions, ones she can’t even name, and sees memories of laughter and moments of gentle serenity. “I had nothing left to live for. I knew I would not return. My sacrifice, in service of all races, seemed logical as I alone had no reason to come back.”

Jamie knew he was talking about her death, that if she had been alive he wouldn’t have gone. Jamie was more than friends to Spock in another dimension, she just isn’t sure how much more. He must’ve felt the direction of her thoughts, “Death is natural; we must learn to cope with it. But a life without my Jame- was not the same as it was with her.”

He pulls away, but she knows that when he says ‘my Jame’, he’s not referring to his dimension. She feels faint and grabs his hand, falling into him. “Forgive me, emotional transference is an effect of the mind meld, I should have given you warning.” He wipes her tears away before they freeze.

Looking up to him she says, with a bit of mirth, “Apologies are illogical… but you do feel?”

“Yes, Cthia is the stricture that binds our emotions... but few of us are that perfectly Vulcan.”

Kirk gathers herself, wipes her eyes on her sleeve before stepping back a bit, “Going back in time... you changed all our lives.”

He nods gently, brushes a stray hair behind her ear, “Yet remarkably, events within our timelines, characteristics, people... seem to overlap significantly. Tell me about the rest of the crew? Chekov? Uhura?”

“Tactical and Communications.” Jamie responds, curiously.

“Sulu-?”

“-he's the helmsman. Why?” She finishes for him.

“Dr. McCoy would assert our meeting here is not a matter of coincidence... but rather, indication of a higher purpose.”

She beams up at the Vulcan, “... he'd call it a ‘damn miracle’.”

“Yes he would. Perhaps this is the time stream's way of attempting to mend itself. In both our histories, the same crew found its way onto the same ship in a time of ultimate crisis. Therein, is our advantage.” He steps away from her and turns around, “We must go; there's a Starfleet outpost not far from here.”

“Where you came from- did I know my father?”

“In my experience, the fact that you are asking, precludes that you already anticipate my response.”

“I just- I need to know.”

Spock turns with a solemn expression, “Yes. You often spoke of him as your inspiration for joining Starfleet. I am sorry you did not get that chance, but you should know. He proudly lived to see you become captain of the Enterprise.

“He was my inspiration. Still is…” She pulls her collar down to show the black ribbon, her father’s Starfleet insignia still pinned to it. She also pushed up her sleeve to show the watch.

“He left you that watch in his last will and testament. He knew you loved old technology. You left it to me.” He pulls up his sleeve, the clock ticks softly.

“That I do...” She says distractedly, watching the exposed gears. When she looks back up she has her defensive playful look, “I’m a Captain?”

This brings him back to the present, “Of a ship we must return you to as soon as possible. Come with me.”

As she moves to follow him a beeping from her pocket tells her she’s recorded all of it. She rolls her eyes, pulls out the device, and stops it. “Damn it all.”

“Your language has not improved, I see.”

She looks up at him quizzically before she laughs, “You just told a joke. A legitimate- That was good.” She says between laughs.

“I was taught under the best instructor. Now come along.” Jamie is positive she sees a small smile and knows he’s talking about her.

Chapter Text

Chapter Thirteen

Emotional Transference

 

Back on the ship, on the Bridge, McCoy walks out of the turbolift, “You wanted to see me?”

“Yes, Doctor. I am aware that Jamie Kirk is a friend of yours. I recognize that supporting me, as you did, must have been difficult.” Spock says to him, quietly and away from the crew.

“… Are you thanking me?”

“I am simply acknowledging your difficulties.” Spock is unsure how the Doctor is reacting to his statements; it would appear as if he isn’t.

“Permission to speak freely, Sir.”

“I welcome it.” Spock says logically.

“Do you? Okay well- Are you out of your Vulcan mind?” Spock quirks his brow, “Were you doing the logical thing, sending Kirk away? Probably. But the right one? One thing’s for damn sure, that kid doesn’t know how to lose. Just isn’t in her DNA. Now back home we’ve got a sayin’: ‘If you’re goin’ to ride in the Kentucky Derby, you don’t leave your prize stallion in the stables’.”

“An interesting metaphor Doctor, for first a stallion must be broken before it can reach its potential.”

“She is broken Dammit!” He yells, catching Uhura’s secret attention, “She has been beat down- every day of her life. She’s still been top of her class, broken records, and saved lives.” When the Vulcan doesn’t move, “Good God man, you could at least act like it was a hard decision!”

“I intend to assist in the effort to re-establish communication with Starfleet. However, if crew morale would be better served by my roaming the halls weeping, I will gladly defer to your medical expertise.” Spock gives him a stern look before turning to speak with Sarek.

McCoy mutters, green-blooded hobgoblin and is about to exit through the turbolift when Uhura comes in behind him. The lift doors close and she stops it. Bones isn’t looking at her, “I’m worried about her too.”

He sighs and sniffs, fighting his fears, “If anything happens to her… I don’t know- I can’t. Nyota, she’s like Joanna to me.”

“I know… She’s the sister I never had. But Len, fighting with the Captain won’t help any.” She starts the lift back up and before he steps off she hugs him and says, “It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be afraid. But it IS Jame- She’ll be alright. And back before you know it.”

Bones nods, wipes away a tear and steps out of the lift.

Back on Delta Vega-

A blizzard has hit, Jamie yells over the wind to Spock Prime, “I’m really pissed at the other you right now!”

Twenty minutes later they’re opening the door to the Outpost. Jamie struggles to pull the door shut. She’s shivering when she comes up to the elder Spock. The door slamming shut echoes in the empty hall. Footsteps and a small, dark alien appear.

The alien eyes them curiously, “Can I help you?”

“Are you the Station Chief?” Spock Prime asks as he pulls his hood apart.

The alien glances once again at Jamie, who is refusing to remove the warmth of the hood. “No… This way.”

They followed the being into a warehouse type room, where a man was sleeping with his feet upon a desk. The small alien taps the officer’s feet. “Wha’?” The man grunts.

‘Probably been here for a while, hasn’t seen anyone but the alien. I’ll lower my voice, screw with him.’ Jamie thinks to herself.

“Visitors.”

The man looks up from under his hat, glaring at them, “Do you realize how unacceptable this es?”

Spock replies immediately, “Fascinating.”

At the same time Kirk, in her masculine voice, says “Excuse me?”

Spock then turns and looks at her, slightly amused, and says again, “Fascinating.”

Kirk looks at him, “What?”

The Starfleet officer sits up properly, “I’m sure it’s no’ your fault, and I know you’se lads are just doin’ your jobs, but could you no’ have come a wee bit sooner?! Six months I’ve been livin’ off nothin’ but Starfleet protein nibs and the promise of a real food delivery! Six months boys! You know wha this es… It’s pretty obvious wha’s goin’ on here, esn’t it? Punishment! Ongoing! For somethin’ tha was, CLEARLY, an accident.”

“You are Montgomery Scott.”

“Yes, tha’s me- Scotty- you’re in tha right place! Unless there’s another hard-workin’ and equally starvin’ Starfleet officer around here.”

“Me.” The short alien replies.

“Keenser, Shut up. You eat nothin’, a bean and you’re good for a week. I’m talkin’ aboot food. And now you’re here, so thank you. Where es it?”

“You are in fact the same Montgomery Scott that postulated the theory of trans-warp beaming.” Spock prime says, still in slight awe Jamie notes.

“Thas wha I’m talkin’ aboot! How d’you think I wound up here? I got into a little debate with my instructor on the issue of Relativistic Physics as they pertain to subspace travel… He seemed to think tha the range of transportin’ say, a grapefruit, was limited to aboot- a hundred miles. So I told him tha I could not only beam the fruit from one planet to an adjacent planet in the same system, which es easy by the way. I could do it with a life form. So, I tested it on Admiral Archer’s prized beagle. Which was a mistake…”

“I know that dog… What happened to it?” Kirk says, her voice rising in tone a bit. Keenser looks her over again.

“I’ll let you know when it reappears. I don’t know; I do feel guilty aboot tha though.”

“What if I told you, your trans-warp theory was correct? That it is indeed possible to beam onto a ship that is travelling at warp speed. And that you only required the correct field equation to recrystallize dilithium?” Spock says.

Scotty looks at him like he’s crazy, “I think if tha equation had been discovered, I’da heard of it by now.”

“The reason you have not heard of it, Mr. Scott, is because you have not discovered it yet.”

Scotty stands, slightly bewildered, “I’m sorry, are you from the future?”

Kirk replies, “He is, I’m not.”

“Brilliant, d’they still have sandwiches there?” Scotty responds, clearly still hungry.

Kirk rolls her eyes; Spock ignores the comment proceeding to the point, “Allow us access to your shuttle, and I will show you the genius you actually are.”

“She’s a wee bit dodgy, shield emitters are totally banjaxed as well as a few other things. On you’se go.” Kirk follows him to the engine and he gestures her to the doors. “So, the Enterprise has had its maiden voyage, has it? She es one well-endowed lady. I’d like to get my hands on her ample nacelles if you’ll pardon the engineering parlance. You must’ve done somethin’ right kiddo, if you got assigned to her.” He says as they climb onto the craft.

“It’s a long story,” Kirk responds, embarrassed.

Scotty then swings next to Spock Prime, “Except the thing es even if I did believe you, right? Where you’re from, wha I’ve done, which… I don’t, by the way, you’re still talking aboot beaming aboard the Enterprise while she’s travellin’ faster than light without a proper receiving pad.” Crossing the space, he yells at Keenser, before continuing, “The idea of trans-warp beaming is like tryin’ to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet, whilst wearing a blind-fold. Ridin’ a horse.”

“I estimate no more than a four meter margin of error.”

“Well tha’s all well and good, unless you rematerialize four meters outside the ship.” He crosses back to Spock, “Wa’s tha?”

“Your equation for achieving trans-warp beaming.” Spock responds simply and stands.

Scotty looks at the monitor, “huh, imagine tha. It never occurred to me to think tha space would be the thing tha’s movin’.”

“Point of fact: it did occur to you. You will be beamed into the aft Engineering bay as your best option. A large space with no unpredictable airlocks.” Scotty then moves and talks with Keenser.

Jamie pulls down her hood, “Wait, you’re coming with us, right Spock?”

“My destiny lies on a different path.”

“He’ll never believe me-! You have to come; you have to explain to him-”

“No Jame, under no circumstances should you inform him of my existence. You must promise me this.”

Jamie looks up at him, hurt and frustrated that he would use a promise against her, “Why?”

“Trust me, Jame. To stop Nero, you alone must take command of your ship. Promise me, Jame.” He holds out a hand toward her.

She sighs and takes his pinky to hers with a gentle smile. “Glad to know this hasn’t changed.” She then removes her hand to question him, “How though? Over your dead body?”

“Preferably not. There is however regulation 619-” She looks confused, “Forgive me, I often forget you had little regard for such things. Regulation 619 states-”

“-States that any commanding officer who is emotionally compromised by the mission at hand must resign said command.” She finishes for him, “I may surprise you yet. My problem is how do I emotionally compromise you- guys?”

“Jame, as I recall, you never failed to bring forth my most superior and my most irrational moments. I have just lost my planet and I can tell you- I am emotionally compromised. What you must do, is get me to show it.” She huffs but throws her arms around him in a hug; pulling away Jamie is surprised that he is not surprised.

Scotty comes around to the transporter pad, “Aye then, live or die, lads. Oh, you’re no’ a laddie.”

She rolls her eyes, “I am a Lady.” she says mocking his accent. She steps on the pad and turns to Spock, “You know, coming back in time, changing history- That’s cheating.”

“Another trick I learned from an old friend.” He gives a small smile, a twitch of the lips really, to her. He gives the Vulcan salute, the Ta’al, “Live long and prosper,” just before the light of the transporter beam picks up and swirls around them.

She believed everything he said, but she’s still ecstatic that she made it back to the starship. “We made it Scotty! Mister Scott?” Then there’s a pounding on a tank. She turns to see the engineer get sucked into a tube. She unzips her coat and throws it to the floor, “Scotty! No- Shit!” He’s pulled through the pipe and she tries to follow him.

“Hold on Scotty!” She hits a dead end and heads back following the pipe with her eyes she sees a release valve, drop door and runs to the panel. She has one shot; if she misses he’ll be slices in a massive turbine. One gigantic blender of Scotty stew. Her worst subject was math, so the calculations are run three times over in her head to make sure. She counts down in her head before hitting the release button.

For a minute she panics, and then she hears the thump of a body hitting metal and the gasping coming from the man. “Scotty, are you alright?”

“My heads buzzin’ and I’m soaked but otherwise I’m fine!”

On the bridge Chekov gets readings in, “Keptin Spock, detecting unauthorized eckcess to a water turbine control board.”

“Bring up the video.” The footage barely shows two figures getting up off the floor and leaving, but he gives the command, “Security, secure the engineering deck. We have intruders in turbine section 3. Set phasers to stun.”

The two run up and down stairs and around turbines until they’re blocked by security. Jamie is anything but a moron, she surrenders. “Come with me, Cupcake!”

“You recognize me, or just my name?”

“Don’t press your luck with us.” Ryan Ghouling says. The two ‘intruders’ are taken in custody toward the bridge.

Kirk smirks a bit, “So, Ghouling, I thought your file was wiped out, how’d you get onto the Enterprise?”

“I wasn’t a stowaway like you.”

Scotty pipes up, “A stowaway?”

“So says Spock, who has a rod up his ass. I told you it’s a long story.”

“He seemed pretty nice to me.” Scotty says.

“No- not… Scotty, do try and keep up. Captain Spock, the one who marooned me-”

“With just cause.” Ghouling interrupts.

“Be careful princess, you might get another broken nose. Bones already reset it once, and he’s not a fix-me-twice kind of Doctor.”

“Is that a threat?”

She answers when they enter the bridge, “It can be, or would you rather me make sexual innuendos to bolster your ego while simultaneously insulting you? I can work around either. Just let me know pretty boy, now get lost. Cupcake, good day to you, the captain and I will bore your simple minds with logical argument; It’s a Mommy-Daddy fight, kiddies should be in bed.” She turns with a sly smirk to Spock, “Surprise! You miss me, Spock?” Jamie says, before lightly noting both of her friends are on the bridge and blushing slightly. As well as Ambassador Sarek.

“Who are you?” Spock speaks to Scotty.

“He’s with me,” Jamie says and Scotty, a second behind, “I’m with him-er uh her.”

“We are travelling at warp speed, how did you manage to beam aboard this ship?” Spock says addressing Kirk. She spends a moment looking the young Spock over- There’s something odd, different, in seeing him now. Jamie has an immense want for what she saw, but feels after these events there will be no recovery.

“You’re the genius, you figure it out.” She responds, “And again with the sexual frustrations at getting a female ass-whooping... I’m starting to think you really do get off on it!”

“As Captain of this vessel, I order you to answer the question.”

“Pulling rank, wow, now that’s impressive… but I’m not telling, Acting Captain.” She responds snidely. “What-? No… that doesn’t frustrate you, does it? My lack of cooperation, that doesn’t make you angry. You’re Vulcan-”

Spock turns to Scotty looks him over, “Are you a member of Starfleet?”

“I- Umm yes, can I get a towel?” He responds.

“By penalty of court martial I order you to explain to me how you were able to beam aboard this ship while it’s moving at warp speed.”

“Well-”

“Don’t answer him, Scotty.” Kirk says, staring Spock down.

“You will answer me.” Spock’s eyes stay on Scotty’s.

“Man, the power really must’ve gone to your head.” Jamie muses with mirth.

“I’d rather no’ take sides,” He says looking between the Acting Captain and the would-be Captain.

“What is it with you, Spock?” She says, invading his space, getting inches from his face. She can feel the warnings going off in her head, but this time she has to press on, “Hm? Your planet was just destroyed, your mother murdered, and you’re not even upset.”

“If you are presuming that these experiences in anyway impede my ability to command this ship, you are mistaken.” He catches right on, but she doesn’t even flinch.

“And yet you said fear was necessary to command, so which is it? I mean, did you SEE his ship- did you SEE what he did?”

Spock is tense; she realizes in this moment that she won’t be able to do this without injury, “Yes, of course I did-”

“So are you afraid or aren’t you?” She presses closer to him, nearly touching him.

“I will NOT… allow YOU to lecture me on the merits of emotion.” Spock responds, just a little push and he’ll fall into her trap. His eyes are already closed, trying to avoid the situation.

“Then why don’t you stop me?”

“Step away from me Ms. Kirk.” He knows that if he steps away it will be seen, at least to Jamie, as an act of submission.

“Or what?” Her breathing is erratic, she doesn’t care, “You gonna kiss me?” The Vulcan’s eyes snap open to hers at the memory, he growls softly. ‘This is going to hurt,’ “What’s it like? Not to feel? Anger- Heartbreak… Or the need to stop at nothing to avenge the death of the woman who gave birth to you.”

“Back away.” It’s low and volcanic. She thinks to herself, ‘If I live through this, if you don’t kill me, I promise you I will apologize a hundred times over, for everything.’

“You feel NOTHING! It must not even COMPUTE for you! You NEVER loved her-!” The first blow is a punch to the face, that’s all she knows for sure. Jamie tries to block the advances, but he is delivering multiple blows that could have killed her if he used his full strength. Kirk is laid out on a console, the Vulcan’s fingers wrapped around her neck, squeezing.

When Jamie can’t take a breath she grabs his other hand and presses his fingers to the meld points. In his haze, his moment of uncontrolled rage, his mind melds with hers. She forces his thoughts back- the colors, feelings, and pain overwhelming- and mentally yells with all her might, ‘You need to let go! I’m sorry- I didn’t mean- Spock- I can’t breathe! Let me do this! 6. 1.. 9…!’ His hands fly away from her as he stumbles back, nearly tripping.

She coughs roughly, and holds her throat, she hears Sarek call Spock’s name, then Bones yelling at him, “Are you insane? You could’ve killed her!”

She moves to stand up, stumbles, and ends up on her hands and knees, “the point is he didn’t,” she rasps out. Spock looks at her, concern mixed with loathing; his face is green from either a blush or exertion. She looks back with compassion and an apology. Everyone else is terrified.

He turns and announces, “Doctor, I am no longer fit for duty. I hereby relinquish my command based on the fact that I have been,” He pauses with a glance at Jamie, “emotionally compromised. Please note the time and date in the ship’s log.”

Spock then leaves the Bridge; Sarek follows him out calmly and quietly. Scotty, “I like this ship, you know? It’s all, excitin’!”

Bones speaks up, “Well, Congratulations Jame, now we have no Captain and no God damned first officer to replace him!”

“Yeah we do,” She says getting up to her feet and making her way to the Captain’s chair.

“Pike made her first officer- said the two would make a good team-” Sulu clarifies.

“Oh Hell! You’ve gotta be kiddin’ me!”

“Thanks, Bones.”

Uhura comes up next, “I sure hope you know what you’re doing, Captain.”

Jamie looks at her in the eye, briefly showing her fear, “So do I.” She then opens the ship-wide intercom. “Attention Crew of the Enterprise, this is Jamie Kirk. Mr. Spock has resigned commission, and advanced me to Acting Captain. I know you were all expecting to regroup with Starfleet in the Laurentian System, but I’ve ordered a pursuit course of the enemy ship to Earth. I want all departments in battle stations and ready in ten minutes. Either we’re going down, or they are. Kirk out.”

Spock stands in the empty transporter bay, staring at the place where his mother should have arrived, but didn't. Sarek enters and sees his son. They're alone for the first time in ages.

“You must not punish yourself. Speak your mind, Spock.”

“That would be unwise.” He says, not even blinking.

“What is necessary is never unwise.”

“I feel as conflicted as I once was. As a child. Have I made so little progress?”

“You will always be a child of two worlds. I am grateful for this, and for you. And not only because you are all I have left of her.” Sarek responds, watching his boy try to cope. Spock looks at Sarek. This is as close to emotion as his father will get.

“I feel anger. For the one who took her life. An anger that I cannot control…”

Sarek crosses to stand in front of his son, “I believe, as she would say... do not try to.” He pauses, “You asked me once. Why I married your mother… I married her because I loved her.” Their look holds and for Spock, a revelation.

On the bridge, Kirk pulls out her braid, listening to everyone talk at once. Chekov, the youngest of the bunch, gets up the courage to chime in, incidentally becoming the very first officer to say, “Keptin Kirk? Excuse me, plees, could I...?”

All eyes shift to the wonder-kid who awaits permission to speak. No one notices the half-Vulcan entering.

“You don't need to ask permission to-” She sighs, “Yes, Chekov.”

“Based on zeh Narada's course from Wulcan, I hhave projected zat Nero will travel past Saturn. Like you said, we need to stay inwisible to Nero, or he will destroy us. If Mr. Scott can get us to warp factor four and we drop out of warp behind one of Saturn's moons, say, Titan, zee magnetic distortion from zeh planet's rings will make us inwisible to Nero's sensors. From Zere, as long as zee drill is not ecktivated we could beam aboard zeh enemy ship.”

“Aye tha could work,” Scotty responds, in an engineering uniform, drying his ears with a towel.

“Wait a minute. You understand all that? How old are you, kid?” Bones bites out. Kirk runs her hands through her, now unruly and curly, hair before tying it in a high ponytail on the top of her head.

“I am seventeen, Sir. How old are you?” The Russian is just as sassy.

“We're all old enough to shave here. Seventeen, Jame-!”

Kirk comes in with “Bones let him talk.” As Spock enters the conversation, “Doctor, Mr. Chekov is correct.” Jamie fights the joy she feels at his arrival. Everyone turns, surprised, as he continues, “I have reviewed his telemetry. If Mr. Sulu can maneuver us into position, I can beam aboard Nero's ship.”

She feels a sudden fear, “I won't allow you to do that, Mr. Spock.”

“Romulans and Vulcans share a common ancestry. Our cultural similarities will make it easier for me to access their ship's computer to locate the device.” His eyes shine with emotion, “Also, my mother was human. Which makes Earth the only home I have left…”

Spock stares at Kirk, assessing the damage. He notes the purple bruising around her throat and on her cheek. He reminds himself of the unseen damage he may have caused, even as the crew looks at this very courageous Vulcan with deep respect. A respect, Kirk believes, is only a wish for herself; it will never be hers. “Then, I'm coming with you.” She says as she steps toward him.

Spock pauses in consideration, “I would cite regulation, but I know you will simply ignore it.”

“See, we are getting to know each other.” Kirk says in her defense mechanistic playful tone. With a small smile she taps his shoulder and heads out of the bridge, gesturing for Scotty to follow.

They take the Turbolift, Kirk stops him before he can exit. “Once you’re done with the warp core, I want you in the transporter bay. I want you to make sure Spock gets out first if it comes down to it. He’ll be in more immediate danger. Do you understand, Mr. Scott?”

“Aye, Captain. But I’ll be gettin’ you out too, lass.”

“If you can. If you can’t, your main priorities are Spock and Pike; I’m last on that list. That’s an order.”

“Aye Captain, and when I’m asked why I didn’t beam you out-?”

“Tell ‘em the truth. You were following orders.”

Scotty nods and exits the lift, Kirk takes it back to the bridge. Spock is there when she comes up, “Captain?”

“I had to talk to Scotty.” She steps onto the bridge for a few moments, “Chekov, you have the Con while we’re away.” Turning back to Spock, “Come on, we’ll need phasers.” They leave the bridge, retrieve a pair of phasers, and head for the transporter bay minutes later. “How we doing, Scotty? Mr. Sulu, whatever happens, if you think you have the tactical advantage you fire on that ship, even if we’re still on board, that’s an order. Otherwise, we’ll contact the Enterprise when we’re ready to be beamed back. Remember what I told you Scotty.”

Uhura followed them down to the transporter pad, and is now talking to her in concern, “Jame, don’t do anything stupid! I realize I haven’t been a great friend, and you won’t tell me how you beamed aboard but I doubt you could do it again-”

“Nyota, stop. Do you believe that everything has a reason, and that things happen for that reason? Don’t answer that. I do. I believe I am here to protect people. From others, from themselves… and I need you to know, that whatever should happen- it isn’t your fault. And that it was because I was doing what I believe to be the right thing. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. Now go back to your station, I’ll need you there... and make sure Bones is here when we get back.”

She huffs, “You better be fine, Captain Kirk,” And leaves.

“Fine has varying definitions. Fine is unacceptable.”

“Thank you for waiting until she left to say so, Mister Spock.” She replies looking straight ahead.

“If you are aware then why did you lie?” He turns to stare at her.

She remains unmoved, but whispers, “I didn’t… I implied.”

“Okie Dokie then, If there’s any common sense to this ship, I should be puttin’ ya right in the middle of the cargo bay. Shouldn’t be a soul in sight.” Scotty says.

“Energize!” Kirk Commands.

Chapter Text

Chapter Fourteen

The Battle of Narada

 

They arrive on the enemy vessel and it takes a moment for anyone to move, but then there’s shouting, Kirk turns and runs, her Phaser still in its holster. “Damn it all, Scotty! Spock!” Her phaser hits the floor so she tucks and rolls, hiding behind a console, pulling out a personal blade from her pocket. She silently thanks Bones.

Kirk peeks out to assess, then rushes in. She kicks the gun away from the first Romulan, elbows him in the gut, and throws her fist up into his nose before a phaser blast hits him. She moves to the next Romulan, he’s expecting her. She throws a punch and he blocks. He punches and splits her lip. She uses the blade to slice down on top of his forearm, causing him to yell. She kicks him in the lower abdomen, knocking him to the floor.

Jamie turns just in time to dodge an axe-like weapon, leaning way back so her upper body is parallel with the floor. Upon standing straight, the Romulan has been hit; she turns and smiles at her Vulcan counter-part, who has one Phaser holstered and the other at the ready. She stows her blade in her boot quickly, and makes to move toward Spock.

However, she very suddenly can’t breathe. A bleeding Romulan arm is wrapped around her neck, cutting off air; the other is firmly holding her arms down. Jamie is staring at the wrong end of a dangerously high charged Starfleet issue Phaser.

“Go ahead, try and shoot me, you’ll only hit her.” The Romulan says, with a malicious laugh. With swift thinking, Jamie bites down roughly on the bloody, wounded arm; clamping her jaw down until his other hand moves. She then lets him go and swings him around so Spock can shoot him.

“Blech, Gross!” Jamie says as she wipes her lip. She takes a second to look at the mixing green and red blood, slightly mesmerized how easily they change and mix together. Spock hands her, her phaser, “Thanks.” There are footsteps echoing toward them, Jamie at the ready sets her phaser to stun. The Romulan comes around the corner and gets stunned, “Go, I’ll cover you.” She says setting her phaser back to kill.

“Are you certain?”

“Yeah, I’ve gotcha.”

Spock goes up to the stunned Romulan and enters a mind meld. Jamie shoots another Romulan trying to attack Spock. Once he starts to pull away she starts to question him.

“Do you know where it is? The Red matter?”

“And the location of Captain Pike.” Spock says as he gets up and heads out.

“Is he alive?”

“Unknown.”

In the atmosphere of Earth, the drill lowers and stabilizes. It locks into position and fires up. The Drill beam is visible from Starfleet headquarters and the academy, causing all personnel to view the situation.

On the Enterprise, Chekov is in a panic, “Zeh drill has been Ecktivated!”

Uhura responds, “Transporter and Communications are inoperable! Sulu, tell me you’ve got them.”

Sulu gives the grim statement, with finality, “Kirk and Spock are on their own, now.”

 

 

The two commanding officers stop at the sight of the futuristic ship. Jamie gets hit with another stab of guilt, and a resignation of death. Those feelings only a whisper of what they were previously. Shaking it off, she looks around the hangar before sprinting over to it, Spock right behind her.

Once on the ship Jamie turns to Spock and says to him, “You’re going to be piloting this ship alone, Spock.”

“-Which may be problematic, as I am unfamiliar with this ship’s design and it is far more advanced than I have anticipated.”

“Voice print and facial recognition analysis enabled, Welcome back Ambassador Spock.” The familiar computer’s voice comes.

Jamie flushes a soft pink, and turns from him, “Wow… That’s weird.”

His eyebrow raised, obviously more confused, “Computer: What is your manufacturing origin?”

“Stardate 2387, commissioned by the Vulcan Science Academy.” The computer responds. Jamie is moving toward the pilot’s seat, the images coming back, pressing gently against her heart. She looks out the viewshield to ensure no one has been alerted to their where-abouts.

“It appears you have been keeping important information from me.” Spock accuses.

“You’ll be able to fly this thing, right?”

“Something tells me I already have.” He replies, an icy undertone.

After a moment of staring, “Good Luck.”

“Jamie- The statistical likelihood that our plan will succeed is less than 4.3 percent-”

She stops by the cockpit door, “It’ll work.”

“In the Event that I do not return please inform my father-”

“Spock, you’re going to tell your father- and whoever else- whatever it is, in person. It’ll work, can’t you trust me?” When she gets no response she quickly adds on, “Pike and I will see you soon.” Before running off the small ship.

Jamie sets her phaser to kill and heads back in the direction of Pike. It frustrates her, the amount of water underfoot causing her steps to be noisier than usual. She exits a tunnel and there he is: Nero. They stand there staring for a moment before she goes in for the threat.

“Nero, order your crew to disable the drill or I will-” she gets hit in the temple by a Romulan weapon, a man she didn’t see. She’s laid out flat, phaser sliding and falling off the edge of the platform.

Next thing she knows, Nero is standing over her, “I recognized you from Earth’s history, Kirk,” He picks her up and throws her down, closer to the edge.

He punches her gut, then her side and shoulder, each causing a grunt and knocking her backward. She swings around and punches his jaw but he reciprocates, sending her to the floor again. She’s panting, the force Nero is using is brutal and on top of the injuries caused by Spock- She’s having a hard time stabilizing.

“Jamie T. Kirk was considered to be a great woman. She was a woman above and beyond her time, a woman who could run with the best of the men. She went on to Captain the U.S.S. Enterprise, and made a multitude of discoveries with her crew.” He grips her neck, squeezing incrementally, “But that was another life- A life I will now deprive you of, just like I did to the man you resemble, your father.” She’s turning a deeper darker color from a lack of oxygen.

“Captain Nero, the drill has been destroyed.”

He lets go yelling one thing, “Spock! Spoooock!” Nero then runs and jumps to a platform lower down and across the way. Jamie rolls to her hands and knees.

Upon looking up she sees the other Romulan, the one who first attacked, he smirks. Jamie gets up, runs and jumps. The feeling of weightlessness, momentarily present, ends and her chest makes impact with the metal. She claws at the smooth surface, crying out as she barely holds on.

The Romulan drops down in front of her, picks her up by her throat like a rag-doll. “Your species is even weaker than I expected.” She gurgles out a response, her eyes watering. “You can’t even speak. What?”

“I got your gun.” She repeats. His look of shock, she shoots. She once again hangs off the edge, using all her strength to get back up. Once she stands, gun in hand, she feels the familiar hum of being at warp before dashing off to get her Captain.

Once Jamie finds Pike she tucks the gun at the back of her pants and removes his restraints. “Kirk, what’re you doin’ here?”

“Came Back for you, Cap. Just following orders.” She pulls the first strap open when three Romulans come round the corner. Pike sees them first, grabs her gun, fires. Not a single miss. She smiles softly at him as she continues, “Thanks.”

“Anytime.” It’s clear he’s exhausted; his body is sweaty and limp as the gun drops down into the water.

Once Pike is free, Jamie wraps his arm around her shoulders and hoists him up. She leads him down the corridor to the open platform area. She freezes and turns her head to her worn out Captain. She leans him against the wall, “I need you to hold on- can you hold yourself up on the wall?” He nods. She calls the Enterprise, “Scotty, any minute now would be nice!”

She lets him go and turns to her opponent. He has a spear in hand; no blast capabilities or she’d already be dead. Jamie briefly looks at Pike before she charges. Ducking under the first swipe of the blade she punches his gut, a few more blows. He jabs at her. Then she kicks him off a platform. She pulls something out of her pocket.

On the ship a few moments later the three show up on the transporter pad. “Nice timing Scotty, Bones, take Pike to medical immediately.” Kirk says, her voice gruff.

“I’ve never beamed three people from two targets to one pad before.” Scotty says in excitement.

“You did great. Now quickly, get back to Engineering, we’ll need to make a quick getaway.” Kirk says as she passes him. He gets up with a quick, ‘Yes Captain.´ and leaves.

“Spock, Kirk, what about you two?” McCoy asks as her takes Pike from Kirk. “Good God, woman! Your neck is practically purple!”

Pike opens his mouth to speak, but Jamie intercepts, “That doesn’t actually surprise me. It has taken a beating today. Bones, I’m fine.” Spock looks at her quizzically for a breath. “Take care of Pike first, that’s an order.”

“Yes, Captain.” Bones replies, irritated.

“If you’re still worried, I’ll be on the bridge.”

She runs out of the transporter bay and to the bridge, Spock right behind her. She stands next to Sulu, gently holding her side. The Narada is in critical condition as Chekov so states, “Keptin! Zee Enemy ship is losing power- it’s shields are down.”

“Hail them, now.” Once Nero is on screen, she and Spock move in front of the main console, “This is Captain Jamie T. Kirk, of the U.S.S. Enterprise, your ship is compromised, and too close to the singularity to survive without assistance- Which we are willing to provide-”

Spock looks at her, turns and quietly questions, “Captain, what are you doing?”

Jamie also turns her back to the screen, and in equal volume, “We show them compassion, it may be the only way to keep peace with Romulus- It’s logic, Spock. I thought you’d like that.”

He gives her an almost smile, the twitch of his lips, “No- not really… Not this time.”

Nero brings their attention back to the screen, “I would rather suffer the death of Romulus a thousand times; I would rather die in agony, than except assistance from you.”

Kirk replies in kind, “You got it.” She moves to sit in the Captain’s chair, “Arm phasers, fire everything we’ve got.”

“Yes ma’am.” Sulu says, looking up and firing.

Once the Narada is successfully destroyed, “Mr. Sulu, let’s go home.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He replies once again, turning the Enterprise around he moves to put the ship at warp.

“Why aren’t we at warp?”

“We are, Keptin!”

“Kirk to engineering, get us the hell outta here Scotty.”

“-You bet your ass Captain!” A minute later the engineer comes back, “We’re stuck in the gravity well! It’s got us!”

“Go to maximum warp! Push it!” Jamie’s in a panic now. It’s the Kobayashi Maru all over again.

“I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain!”

Cracks start appearing in the ceiling of the bridge, “All she’s got isn’t good enough! Come on Scotty! What else’ve you got? You’re the Trans-warp guy, a genius! Come on Scotty- Think!”

Jamie and Spock move back in front of the main console, the viewshield has begun to crack. “If we eject the core and detonate, the blast could be strong enough to push us away but I canno’ promise ya anythin’!”

“Whatever it is Scotty- just DO it! DO IT DO IT DOIT!” Jamie yells. Spock looks at her, and moves a step closer. Jamie is focused on the shield, her crew and, just as the cracks are about to meet, she glances at Spock. She moves to stand in his space, in front of Sulu.

She looks as if she’s about to say something to him, when the blast throws her into the console. Her side slams against the table top, and Spock knocks into her back. His hands are on either side of her body, his eyes closed to the bright light; he doesn’t see her look of pain, her mouth open to scream- the sound not coming out.

Once safely away, Spock turns toward the viewshield in slight surprise. Jamie manages to shut her mouth and eyes in a grimace, she’s breathing deeply. There’s a whoosh, someone’s entered the bridge. She stands as straight as she can manage.

“Spock?”

“Yes, captain.” She sucks in a breath through her teeth and he turns, “Captain?”

A gasp, she opens her eyes, sweat is beading down her forehead, “I’m hereby-” a shuddering breath, “I am hereby re-reinstating you as acting- acting captain.” Looking up, her vision is fuzzy but she sees him.

She moves her hand under her shirt and pulls on a knot. Her wrap that she usually uses on her chest, falls away from her abdomen, soaked in blood. She looks toward who came in, “Bones… I’m not- I’m not doing too hot. I’m not okay-”

McCoy moves toward her and lifts her shirt to look at the gash in her side. Spock’s eyes are wide and Jamie is shaking, “I know, Pike told me whatcha did. It was stupid, Brave, but stupid. I’m gonna give you a sedative and carry you down to sick bay, okay kid?”

Her eyes keep falling shut, she nods and grips his shirt, “That sounds smart.”

She hears the hypo and falls. McCoy catches her, picks her up- noting her light weight, and takes her down to Medical. Spock leans down and picks up the wrap. Uhura watches him the entire time he’s on the bridge; He doesn’t let go of the bloody fabric. Not once.

Chapter Text

Chapter Fifteen

Decision Making

 

Jamie wakes up the next standard morning, a bright light overhead, surrounded by the smell of anti-septic cleaners. She groans and, upon trying to sit up, is pushed back down by a pair of strong, hairy arms.

“You’re not going anywhere for a while darlin’.” Bones says to her. He moves a curtain to reveal Captain Pike, but Kirk is still fuzzy in the eyes so when she turns to look all she sees is a gold and black blur.

She rubs her eyes, and groans again, “Can we turn the lights down?”

“Nope. You’re going back to sleep anyway.”

She can finally see him clearly; he looks hurt and tired, “Whaddya mean-?” He’s hit her with another, minor, sedative before she can finish.

Hours later Bones comes back into the medical bay with Spock. Kirk and Pike are talking so Bones stops the Vulcan from approaching. When their eyes meet McCoy gestures for him to stay quiet- they sit on the other side of a curtain from Kirk and Pike.

“-So how’d you managed to get Captaincy while I was away?”

“Well… The short story is after Vulcan fell, I was marooned for mutiny where I met Scotty; I came back on board, said a lot of shitty things, that I didn’t mean, to Spock, to get him to show his emotions- to initiate regulation 619. You made me First Officer so when Spock resigned… yeah… Definitely in my top three worst moments. The stupidest thing is? I keep dreaming about the damned hearing.” There’s a pause. “And the possibility of a court martial if Spock files for it. His hatred for me, while probably justified, is so strong it rolls off him in waves…” Jamie Closes her eyes, recalling her dream, “I keep hearing him, seeing his unyielding gaze- feeling it penetrate my very soul… Calling me a Liar; telling me to feel my fear- accept it- because it’s necessary to command…”

“I wanted to say something to you then- About the hearing… Cheating isn’t winning.” There’s a sigh, sounds like Jamie, “I am glad you fought against the strictness of it, it was refreshing. But what you did-”

“I know. I DO know- it was wrong. I hadn’t- when I failed the first time… it was like hearing every negative thing said about me and my father all at once. Like being sucker punched and spit on at the same time. I couldn’t- I won’t- How do I put this?... I couldn’t live with myself, knowing that I had killed not only myself and a stranded crew… but MY crew- The people who looked to me, trusted me to make the right decision. I’d rather take a hit, a million times over, than fail my crew.”

“That’s part of being a captain, Jame. It’s your job to protect your crew, but you also have to be able to handle the fact that you CAN’T save everyone. You’re brave, strong, and smart just like your father. I’ll tell you that every day if I have to, but no amount of lives saved will make up for the ones lost. He’d be proud of what you’ve accomplished. But you’re GOING to make mistakes, because Fear is a reality, and VITAL in a Captaincy. The Fear of Death can sometimes be the only thing keeping you alive. Being captain isn’t fun and games, I know you know that. You need to know that when you make choices- some will be right, some wrong, some are easy; others hard, and sometimes the right choice will cost you a good man.

“A Captain and first officer have the hardest jobs- A Captain is solely responsible for everything and everyone, and anything that goes wrong is on you. Your first officer is solely responsible for you; he must be your greatest advocate and confidant, but he has to be able to motivate you- he is also the only one who can declare you mentally unfit for duty. It’s a fine line that separates love and hate between a Captain and Commander. Officially, you take full responsibility, but a First officer is your advisor and they are just as much to blame and they know it. Whether you took their advice, if you didn’t take their advice- they’ll believe they could’ve convinced you to, and sometimes- they just don’t have the advice TO give. They often put themselves in danger, to protect their Captain; it forms a delicate balance, but a strong bond.”

“Are you speaking from experience, sir?”

“My first officer? …from before Spock, you mean? Well, I married her so, I sure hope so.” They share a soft laugh before Pike becomes somber. “What I’m trying to say is that, high times or hard times, you as a Captain have to be able to handle your fear and loss, because everyone will be looking to you for answers. Your first officer will help in every way he can, but, in the end, it’s up to you and you have to be able to cope with that.”

Bones stands then and pulls the curtain back. He pulls on Kirk’s shoulder until she’s lying flat on her back. “Don’t make me restrain you. Minimum movement, doctor’s orders.”

“Bones, I’m completely healed! There’s barely any scarring! The wound was just dermal-”

“There was a lot of blood loss and nerve damage-”

“Which, clearly, you’ve handled. What did I do to deserve this?”

“You lied to me.” That hangs in the air for a long moment. It’s thick and heavy; the guilt has sunk into Jamie, especially given the nature of the previous conversation and her dreams. McCoy continues, “It’s the first time you have ever outright lied to me! To anyone! You’re right, it is punishment, and I’m going to enjoy every last second of it until we’re safely docked. Why would you lie about your condition?”

“I knew Chris needed your attention, and I thought it could wait. And I would’ve been fine if we hadn’t been so close to the singularity! Besides, Spock will have you know that Fine has varying definitions and is unacceptable-”

“Indeed.” Spock says finally moving into view, “That is not, however, a valid excuse for lying.”

“How long have you been there?” Jamie says, slightly shocked.

Bones replies before Spock opens his mouth, “It doesn’t matter anyway, because you’re never leaving the transporter bay without being medically cleared, again. Or at least until I say so. Doctor still rules over Captain, Captain.

“I’m not Captain, Spock’s Captain.”

“When I submitted your status of health this morning, the Hobgoblin declared the acting captain to be on medical leave. He never accepted his reinstated status- it was never logged. Therefore it never happened.”

Jamie looked at Spock, and he stared right back. She’s not sure she can decipher what he’s thinking, or what he was thinking when he said it, “Spock, why did you-?”

He simply places her bloody wrap in her lap. He then nods to her and Pike before doing an about-face and leaving the medical bay. Jamie couldn’t know that he would return that night, and every night thereafter, to monitor her status.

Once the Enterprise docked, several days later, Spock made every effort to avoid Jamie Kirk. Cadets were excused from classes for an additional week. Spock, however, returned to his position immediately while simultaneously packing his belongings. Pike is released from medical a day or two later, in a wheelchair.

A week after that, Spock and Pike are having breakfast together when McCoy and Uhura enter. “Admiral, have you seen Jamie today?” Bones asks.

“Last time I saw her she was running, why?”

“I told you Len- She won’t stop, she’s not listening. Whatever she’s thinking about- she thinks she has to handle it alone!” Uhura speaks.

“What’s going on?” Pike says, now fully concerned. Uhura and Bones exchange a weary look.

“Jame- she hasn’t been sleepin’ well the last few days. She was fine and then all of a sudden, Nightmares.” Bones says.

“Three days ago she started waking up early and making breakfast,” (“that she won’t eat” Bones mutters), “agitated with herself- but last night… She woke up screaming. Twice. When I tried to ask what was wrong she just kept repeating ‘I’m sorry- I’m so sorry.’ And I’m pretty sure she wasn’t talking to me. She passed out after the first time, but after the second- She snapped out of it for a second. She told me to go back to bed- insisted. She left in sweats ten minutes later.”

“Perhaps Miss Kirk’s coping mechanisms function through physically exerting activities.” Spock deduces simply.

“No shit Sherlock. But she’s been at it since 4 AM and its 9:30 now. Not to mention, she had a class this morning.” Spock glares gently at the doctor, “She told me once that running and combat training clear her mind, but obviously she needs to rethink her strategy.”

Pike jumps back in, “Well then let’s intercept her. She always runs up the stairs to the auditorium on the west side of campus, by the channel, after every lap of campus she runs. We can catch her there.”

The four relocate easily and just in time, Bones stands at the top of the stairs waiting for her. Jamie reaches the top and sees the doctor standing there and quickly retreats. “Jame, stop!” She falters- wanting to listen but not wanting to think. She’s almost on the gravel when Bones grips her arm and spins her around, “Jamie Tiberia Kirk, stop- we’re going to talk. Right now.”

“Bones, I can’t- I have to keep moving.”

“No, tell us what’s going on.” Uhura says, pushing Pike forward, and Spock moves in behind her. She turns to run away but moves headlong into Spock’s chest. “You’ve got nowhere to hide. Spill it.”

“They were nightmares! It’s a natural phenomenon that occurs during the sleep-”

“Don’t get snarky on me girl, clearly those nightmares did a number on ya. You’re not getting outta this one. When was the last time you slept a full eight hours? Unaided.”

“Sleep’s overrated-”

Uhura interrupts and moves to stand by Bones, “We’re worried about you Hun. We just want to help.” There’s a long pause where everyone just stares at Jamie. She Sighs heavily.

“I uploaded the data chip Sam gave me, I’d hoped it would cheer me up after- everything, and the video he made was beautiful. A mixture of files of me and my father, He ended saying that Life is like the stars- One may die, but the light left behind will remain for years to come. That a person’s life could be like that and he insisted he was talking about me. But the only thing I could think of was the Kelvin so what did I do? I looked it up.”

McCoy’s eyes widened, the rest looked slightly confused, “No, Kid, tell me it ain’t so. I told ya not to-!”

Jamie’s eyes are watery, “I hacked in- it was so easy- and he… Bones, the last thing he said was to make sure we knew he loved us. He cried for me- ‘n’ I never knew- I- Starfleet security sucks.” With a deep breath she straightens and pushes her way by Bones. “I don’t want to talk about this.” She’s about to start jogging but Spock reaches out and stops her, a stern look in his eyes.

Bones glances at the muscle spasms in her legs, “Jame, you’ve gotta stop running- You’re gonna tear something, if you haven’t already! You’re showing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

Uhura adds in, “What about your lectures Jame?”

Jamie looks embarrassed for a minute but refuses to speak. Bones huffs and rolls his eyes; Uhura puts her hands on her hips- waiting. Then Spock speaks, “I will tutor you in Suus Mahna in exchange for your cooperation; simply answer the questions we ask honestly.”

Despite the other three surprised stares Jamie responds smarmily, “Don’t Vulcans believe bribery is illogical?”

“Indeed, however my suggestion is a negotiation, not bribery.”

“Suus Mahna is a Vulcan secret. And from what I’ve heard it takes years to master.”

“Do you accept these terms, Miss Kirk?”

“Why do you think I would trade my nightmares for a fighting style?”

“I believe your Terran colloquialism is ‘Quid pro quo’. A secret for a secret. What are these ‘nightmares’ about?”

“Won’t you get in trouble for telling me?” Spock remains unmoved so Jamie sighs slowly and heavily. “I used to have dreams that I was in my father’s place, on a collision course. But last night… I was on a shuttle, strapped down.” Jamie stares at Spock, she can’t look at the blatant pity in the other’s eyes. “My crew was still on board- I could see their faces, all telling me that it’s the only way to save me.

“When I fell asleep a second time- Everyone was telling me that I’m worthless; I couldn’t save them. All of the people we lost… From John Carter on the Intrepid to Olsen and-” a hushed breath of the next word, “Vulcan…” The name Amanda need not be said. She continues at a distraught whisper, “All are screaming, begging me to help them- asking why. ‘Help us Jamie, why won’t you save us?’

“You see Mister Spock, I haven’t ever really been afraid of the idea of death; I believe I can embrace my own imminent end. However, I have difficulties allowing others to pass, especially if I believe I could have saved them. I would take the fall a thousand times over, if it saved someone else pain.

“The nightmares will fade, with time. The guilt takes longer, and it never really goes away. I realized, long ago, that Family is what you make of it; so my crew- my friends, are as much my family as my brother is. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my family.”

Pike clears his throat after a minute or two of silence. “What about your lessons? You can’t have given up on being a Captain…”

Another heavy blush, “Well, I still have the hearing to go to on Friday. And I kind of, maybe- possibly finished all my courses. As well as my dissertation.”

Uhura’s shocked, “How? When?”

“Friday I finished all my assignments, Saturday I submitted my Dissertation, and Sunday I received E-mails from the professors saying that I didn’t have to attend their courses…” Jamie continues, changing subjects, “I heard a rumor… and was rummaging through some things. Congrats guys. The cadet crew of the Enterprise is graduating early for heroism. Clearly I have a lot of things to think on…”

A splash behind Spock draws her attention, shouting ensues. Then Jamie sprints toward the rocks, diving into the water without a second thought. Her companions follow quickly. Jamie is under for a sizeable amount of time before breaking the surface, a pale body in her arms. She manages to get to shore, shouting at the newly formed crowd to scatter.

“Come on kid, breathe please breathe. Damn.” Jamie pulls off the young man’s jacket, his curly hair sticking to his forehead. She’s barely finished the chest compressions and transfers her breath when he starts choking up water. She helps him onto his side, patting and rubbing his back, “Let it out, that’s a good man, breathe…That’s it Chekov, Breathe. Good man.”

“Thenk you.” The Russian says before passing out.

She rubs his chest over his heart, “Bones!” She moves to pick the 17-year-old up but falls to the ground clutching her leg, “Fuck! Charlie Horse! Bones, take Chekov!” The Doctor is there, the Russian in his arms.

“You have to relax your leg, rub it out, I can’t do much here. We need to get to the clinic- Sulu, what happened?” Jamie’s rubbing her muscles, gritting her teeth.

“One minute Pavel and I were talking out on the rocks; the next Ghouling shoves Pavel in. I didn’t know he couldn’t swim, so I started yelling at Ghouling. I should’ve- I could’ve-”

“Calm down kid, I’ve got enough problems without you going into a full blown Panic attack. It wasn’t your fault, he’ll be alright. Jame, you ready?”

“Yeah I think so. Just go! I’ll catch up…” She stands, water dripping out of her clothes. McCoy jogs toward the clinic. She limps in the direction after him, stopping in front of Uhura, Pike, and Spock. “Nyota, can you get me some dry clothes? ’m Sorry I ran out on the discussion.”

“We shall escort you to the infirmary. Your legs are very weak you have only a 27.4% chance of making it to your destination unaccompanied.”

“Spock, you go with her. Sulu, come here, let’s go have a cup of coffee.” With that Sulu and Pike left, leaving the two alone.

They walk at a steady pace, “So, why do you care?”

“I do not know the subject of which you speak, however Vulcans-”

“Don’t. Just don’t pull that ‘Vulcans don’t feel’ crap with me. Why is it so- IMPORTANT to you, that I talk about my nightmares?”

Spock glances at her, ‘Eleven steps’ he estimates by the shuddering in her muscles. “It became apparent,” One, Two, “that your usual method of diversion,” Three, Four, “was unsuitable.” Five. “Also, it is my duty as a professor to protect a student if possible.” Six, Seven, Eight.

“But Suus Mahna?” Nine, Ten.

On the eleventh step she falters with an intake of air. She curses, and falls backward gripping her leg. Spock is there, gently lowering her to the ground. Her back arches and she groans as another spasm overtakes her leg.

The Vulcan kneels between her legs; his hands grip the cramping muscle- the pants squish quietly. Jamie’s shoulders fall to ground as she groans again, back arched off the gravel. She releases another expletive.

As he massages her leg, starting from the ankle, he speaks softly, “Suus Mahna is a martial art of my people; it is to be utilized in self- defense situations only. I will teach you the basic maneuvers. It has come to my attention that you are exceedingly fascinated with Combative techniques…?” The last, said as a statement, but Jamie hears his curiosity.

“I had a rough past, my brother taught me some basic offensive moves but I never really felt safe. Between my Uncle and the school bullies, my mother was always off planet; the only one I could trust was Sam- my brother.”

“I, too, was made a mockery by my peers. Their attempts to antagonize me were quite redundant.” Spock says, his hands moving up past her knee.

“Attempts?” she gasps and moans, back arching. Spock pays extra attention to this spot. “So they never got under your skin?” His hands slide up her thigh with pressure to rub out the knots, her Eyes rolls up and close accompanied by a satisfied groan. She flushes scarlet as his palms pause just below her buttocks and crotch.* Spock presses back down her legs, easing the strain.

“On the contrary, their 35th attempt to elicit an emotional response resulted in an altercation. My parents had a fascinating dispute over it. Do you feel adequately rested?” Jamie nods quickly, finally opening her eyes. Admitting to herself she may have enjoyed that a little too much.**

“We have more in common than I thought,” Her words come out a bit gruff, so she clears her throat. Spock took that moment to lift her to her feet, the sleeve of her sweatshirt dripping water through his fingers, “So what happened?... I mean- you don’t have to tell me. I just thought- we’re still a ways from the clinic-”

“It commenced each day after our lessons. On Vulcan, I was seen to have a disadvantage for being half-human.”

“Which is complete bullshit- Sorry… continue.”

“I would not have acted illogically had my mother been left out of the equation. However, the disrespect to both of my parents resulted in the quarrel; my peer was lead to the clinic and I, with only a split lip and minor bruising, to my parents.

“I recall their discussion; my mother was quite displeased with my father.” the next step causes Jamie to wince, Spock slowed their pace, “Their exact words were, ‘Where I’m from when someone hits you, you hit them back- and you think that’s not logical?’ ‘Spock had no reasonable expectation of being physically injured’ ‘They pick on him, tease him, every day.’ ‘-Which is precisely when reason must guide his actions above all.’ ‘I want him to embrace Vulcan, you know that… but he has to be himself- and that means, occasionally, being human.’ ‘His humanity is the very source of his ostracism.’ ‘When Vulcans get disgusted with each other, they don’t just walk away, do they?’ ‘No.’ ‘Well, humans do.’

“She then proceeded to leave the room, thus leaving Sarek to speak with me.” They enter the clinic and tell the receptionist to alert McCoy. “It was at this time he told me, his marriage to my mother was only logical. It was not until recently that I discovered he loved her, as well.”

“…Of course he did. He may not wish to admit it, but he loves you too. I saw it with every look he sent your way.” She held his hand in a gesture of comfort; he snaps his hand away as if she burnt him, “I- I- I am so sorry I forgot-! I didn’t… I’m sorry-!”

Bones burst through a set of doors, “You better not be- if you’re sorry it means I have more work than I should.”

“No- Bones not you-! Spock I-”

He held up a hand, instantly shutting her up, “Apologies are illogical, Miss Kirk. You are now safely in the hands of your attending Physician; I must take my leave.”

He left the clinic calmly, however his thoughts were running amuck with emotions that were not his own. The mixture was strange given the conversation, but he couldn’t find it in himself to be upset with her. Her compassion, pain, and understanding are acceptable but her melancholy and happiness and love- He didn’t quite comprehend. He needed to meditate.

 

 

Bones fixed her up in no time at all, but enough time that Pike had made an official order for Jamie to talk to the Starfleet shrink. He’d set her up with a time and everything. She wished he’d simply asked her to talk to Jones.

 

 

As it turns out, talking about it really helped. She still has the nightmares but she doesn’t scream upon waking and she can work her own way through to reality. She’s back to eating normally, and her physical routine is back to its usual capacity. Therapy is good. That Friday, Jamie arrived at the auditorium, for the final ruling on the Kobayashi Maru case, to find it empty. She walks down to the podium and looks around; confused she checks the time, confirming the hearing time. She’s startled when a door opens.

“Miss Kirk?” The academy president looks up at her from his Data Pad, “I apologize that you weren’t informed before now but, with so much having happened recently, the board decided to reschedule the hearing. Your verdict will be given, here, 1500 hours- in a fortnight.”

“Sir? Isn’t the graduation of the Enterprise crew supposed to be here at that time?”

“Yes. The board came to the conclusion- kill two birds with one stone- everyone would be present for the proceedings. Think of it as a two-week reprieve; after all, you’ve finished your courses, haven’t you?” Jamie nods, she’s secretly panicked. “I’ll see you in two weeks, Good Day.”

She makes her way to the cafeteria in a haze- a million thoughts running through her mind. ‘What if this is a part of their punishment? To slight me in front of the entire crew… It could mean that they’re ruling in my favor- So I’ll be at the ceremony, in uniform. But Starfleet is usually so straight forward.

‘What if it’s WORSE than I thought? What if it becomes a trial-? But no, they would have to notify me if I’ve been court martialed. Which begs the question- Why didn’t Spock file against me? It was clear insubordination; he’d win the case. I don’t think I could fight it if I wanted to, so why? Maybe he likes that I fought back, fought him, fought logic.

‘Spock, you’re a bit of a rebel, aren’t you? Well, he is CLEARLY sassy, rebellious isn’t too far a stretch… Especially after that story about his past; Never thought he’d be in a fist fight, let alone with another Vulcan. Though it’s a little reassuring to know he loves his mother- I mean you don’t react that violently unless you take it personally.’ Jamie was absently chewing on a carrot when her mind finally caught up with her.

Spock noticed when she came in. Jame meandered to get lunch, and sat down in her usual seat. It is several minutes later when she looks around the room as if she’s never been there before, blinks like her vision is blurred, and rubs her neck- flushed a deep red. He thinks it fascinating. That is, until her gaze meets his. She looks away quickly, blushing deeper; Spock just quirks his eyebrow- confused at her reaction.

Embarrassment. Embarrassment is definitely a word. She has no recollection of her walk, entering the building, or retrieving lunch. To top it off, Commander Spock had been staring at her in his you’re doing something odd and I find it fascinating look- it appeared he’d been staring quite a while. Glancing back up at him, through her lashes, she notes he’s still staring- a bit questioningly.

They stare at one another for several minutes before Uhura comes up behind Jamie and hugs her, “I just heard- what do you think, is it a good thing or a bad one?”

Finally pulling her eyes from the Vulcan, “Huh?”

“That your ‘hearing’ is at the ‘graduation’? I know you’ve thought about it.”

“It’s- It’s hard to tell.” Spock was still staring she could feel it. Apparently, so could Uhura. Nyota looked at Jamie, glancing in his direction, CLEARLY indicating to something more. “No Nyota. He’s not interested; he just caught me being weird. I COMPLETELY zoned out, he’s probably silently laughing at me… in a very Vulcan way.”

“Oh so you’re interested?”

“WHAT?!” The room goes silent. Nyota snorts a laugh when Jamie, practically plum in the face, stands and rushes from the room. The gym session with the half Vulcan that night would be extra strange.

‘Yes, embarrassment is DEFINITELY a word.

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter Sixteen

Toe to Toe

 

The night before the early Graduation there is a party; it’s being held in a banquet hall a few blocks off campus. Jamie wasn’t intending to go, but a week beforehand Uhura dragged both McCoy and Kirk to go shopping. It wasn’t even 20 minutes out that Jame realized that Nyota was going to put her in dresses too- she insisted that since no one knows the verdict Jamie should celebrate, like everyone else.

Nyota was wearing a long, gold, asymmetrical dress; it has one strap and rhinestone embellishments throughout the bodice. Bones looked mighty dapper in his suit and tie- Jamie fought tooth and nail until she was forced into a chair. Her nails were done with French tips, a smokey-eye bringing out the blue hues. Her lips were glossed and her hair is curled elegantly on her head.

Walking into the room she had hoped to stay invisible. Unfortunately, it was like a freaking fairy-story in that everyone stopped and looked at her. Her grip tightened on her punk black clutch that matched her shoes. Her dress cuts off at the knees, it’s spaghetti-strapped; she’s left feeling exposed.

Nyota’s only words before heading for the dance floor, “I told ya, you look hot.”

Once Nyota is gone Jamie turns to Bones, they say in unison, “Bar.” And head in that direction. Kirk isn’t sure how much time passes before Nyota’s back at their sides coaxing them toward the dance floor. Jamie encourages the two to dance together when the song turns slow. Finding her way through the crowd, with a glass of champagne, she ends up standing in front of two teachers, one in a wheelchair.

“Well whaddya know? Admiral Pike, you here to show up all the students in swag?”

The older man chuckles, “Unfortunately, I’m still bound to the chair, doctor’s orders.”

“Aw well, shucks! We have to have a father-daughter dance sometime then… You’re not getting out of this one, sir.”

“I had no intentions of it. I just have to get my sea legs about me.” They share a laugh, “You look absolutely stunning. You look good in that color.”

“You guys are lucky you get to wear your uniforms. But thanks, Nyota insisted on it, it’s the ‘color of my eyes’.”

“The color of your dress is in fact 12.47% greener than that of your eyes.” Spock says from beside Pike.

Kirk finishes the last of her glass before muttering amusedly, “Not that you’ve noticed or anything.”

A waiter comes by and takes her empty glass and she thanks him politely. They stand there quietly for two more songs before the young Russian ensign approached them. Or rather her.

“Miss Kirk, you are looking wery… wery pretty. In Russia I would say ‘Вы отлично выглядеть’.” You look gorgeous.

“Oh, you too, my Russian is a bit rusty but- Вы слишком добры; моя красавица ничего рядом с вашим.” Jamie rubs her neck nervously. You're too kind; my beauty is nothing next to yours. Chekov looked shocked.

“I didn’t know you spoke Russian! Your eckcent is a leettle off, but I thank you for zee compliment. Would you do me zee honour of dancing wiz me?”

“Oh, it’s been a while since I’ve danced-”

“You need not worry, I hhave mastered many forms. Did you know zat zee waltz originated in Russia?”

“Okay, but only one dance. The waltz?” Pavel nods then leads her to the dance floor; everyone stops to watch as they glide gracefully around the space. The song is close to its end when Chekov spins her out and Hikaru intercepts her. She laughs out loud as the next songs starts up. “You know, Pavel was at least decent enough to ask me to dance.”

“I would never be able compete with his Russian pick-up lines. What did you two say?”

“Don’t you worry, he wasn’t hitting on me.” Jamie says as she spots Chekov standing nearby watching the two of them dancing.

“Why would I care-?” He never finishes his sentence because Kirk spins him right into Chekov. The two men blush before coming to a steady rhythm together. Jamie makes a discreet exit back to her previous position. A heavy beat filled the air and the two still hadn’t parted.

Jame is content to just smirk at them, but Uhura comes rushing over, “Are Sulu and Chekov gay?”

Jamie just watches, shrugs and says, “Don’t know- don’t care to know… and if I DID know, I certainly wouldn’t spread information that isn’t mine to share. It’s not like it makes a difference-”

“So they are.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t have to-”

At this moment Bones comes up to them, interrupting all conversation, “I owe you a fall.” Jamie takes a step back, shaking her head no. “Do you know the Texas two-step Jame?”

“I know it, but it’s hardly appropriate for this music. Did you know the waltz originated in Russia?” Jamie’s eyes twinkle, she’s smiling.

“Who told you that horse shit?” Jamie gestures to the young man dancing with Hikaru. “Seventeen… Do you know what I was doing at seventeen?”

“I’d really rather NOT know. Whoever you shagged in high school is your business; I don’t share my teen stories, please don’t scar me for life by sharing yours.”

Bones chuckles and shakes his head, “I’ll tell ya what, since we’re gonna end up on our asses anyway…”

He pauses and looks at her with meaning before they say together, “Swing.”

They make their way to the floor on the next song, Bones facing Jamie with a warm smile. The dance is basic but they have a lot of fun twisting their arms around each other, spinning around, and laughing. As the song ends, McCoy dips her low to the ground with a mischievous look. Then, he drops her.

                When she gets up she punches his shaking shoulder. His laugh fills the room; so she chases him across the room to the bar.

                “What’s with you Bones? Are you drunk?” Jamie says quietly.

                “No, I talked to Joanna today. She and her mother will be there tomorrow. I missed her so much!”

                Kirk laughs and rolls her eyes, “Bring me another drink, I’m going back to talk to Pike.” She left him there and crossed the room, “Hello again!”

                Pike smiled at her, Spock elected not to acknowledge her. Jamie realized that Sulu and Chekov sat down at a table not too far away. They’re just talking quietly, genuinely interested in the other. The attraction is obvious; Sulu leans in toward the other man and Chekov can barely glance at the pilot- too nervous to keep his eyes from shifting.

                “So, Chekov and Sulu, what d’ya think Kirk? 6 months, a year?” Pike looks at her intense gaze; the crew is already in her heart. “I know this is kind of your area of expertise.”

                “Admiral, I’m surprised at you… gossiping like a girl. As for how long, well, I say it’ll take a year- give or take a month or so- UNLESS they’re put in a crisis situation. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. For how long they’ll last… I think they’ve got something here, sir.” Jamie kneels next to Pike to point out the details, “You see Hikaru leaning in, he’s a go getter and, based off how much he’s been nodding, a partner pleaser. Chekov, he’s still young, so you can notice his obvious tension. His fist is clenching the fabric of his pants, restraining himself; and yet he can barely look at Sulu. Pavel is quiet, shy, and afraid to mess up what they have.”

                “So you think Sulu will make the first move?”

                “Absolutely not. They’re opposites for the most part, but they both want the other to be happy- no matter what. Hikaru will wait until he thinks it’s appropriate, which will never come. Pavel will wait until he’s analyzed the obvious a half a dozen times- until he’s as close to 100% sure as possible that his affections will be returned. But when they come together… they’ll be a powerful team, for sure.”

                “Jame! I brought your drink. You’re gonna end up plastered.” Bones says as he hands off her high content drink. Jamie chugs the drink and rolls her eyes at her friend. “It’s going to happen one day, and I’d rather be there for it.”

                “Concerned?”

                “Hardly, I want hard-copy footage of it.”

                “The reason we’re friends, ladies and gentlemen. I told you before, I don’t get drunk I-”

                “Miss Kirk, may I have the next dance?” The man asking holds out a tentative hand for her, but she glares at it with a growing intensity.

                “What makes you think I would even listen to you, Princess?”

                “Look, I want to apologize… I’ve said some really terrible things in the past and I want you to know that the things I said about your father- I was just frustrated with the assignments taking place that week. I thought, maybe we could start over?”

                With a glance over his shoulder at the unofficial couple sitting behind him, she nodded, “You’re Ryan Ghouling, right? I guess, I could… give you a shot.”

                Bones gaped at her like a fish, but she just winked at him. They walked out to the floor and danced for a minute or two before his hand moves too close to her rear; Kirk smacks the shit of him. Returning to her position the small group can hear the conversation.

“You’re not sorry! You don’t even know what to be sorry for-! Ryan Ghouling, I swear you’re so dense! Yes, my original distaste for you came from the insults to my parents, HOWEVER, more recent events must be taken into account!”

“The argument on the ship? Please, everyone was pissed at you for lying-”

“That wasn’t even a conversation; I knew the outcome from the beginning. I was talking about two weeks ago! Your offenses against me mean little to nothing in comparison; you think I would allow you to hit on me, when you could’ve killed one of my close friends?”

“How was I supposed to know he can’t-”

“You’re in Starfleet! You shouldn’t have been acting that way to begin with! You had plenty of time to realize he couldn’t and fixed it-”

“I was held up by-”

“Sulu. Yes, the concerned friend- who also didn’t know he couldn’t swim. I’m sure he would’ve understood, Princess. As for the other things, just more reason you should have known- You have NO chance with me.”

“I told Giotto you would never go for it, thanks for helping me win a bet, frigid bitch.”

“Lie. You’re just butt hurt because you know, and I know, that even if I were to hit rock bottom- right now- I would be more of a man than you ever will be. I, as a woman, can out ‘man’ you. How mortifying, and in front of everyone. Now, Princess, I think you have to pay up on the bet you just lost.”

She turns away from him and immediately engages in a medical conversation with McCoy. Ghouling stomps off in irritation; it becomes obvious Jamie was right about the bet when he hands a credit chip to a man around McCoy’s age.

Bones starts laughing, Jamie gives him the Vulcan look, “I’ll never understand how you do that- but that one was HILARIOUS! What are you going to do if you’re assigned to the same ship?”

“Kill him.” Uhura pipes in. A smirk on her face, she hugs Jamie, “You act so cute when you’re dressed like a girl; so fierce.”

Jamie rolls her eyes, “Actually, I’d probably just pull pranks on him until he requested a transfer. I can be quite ruthless.”

“Why does it matter? I mean, ya got him back didn’t ya?” Bones inquires.

“I would have saved his pride, had he not insulted my father. The people I consider family- you just don’t want to mess with them. The only reason I speak to him is to find his faults.”

“That’s awfully menacing, isn’t it Jame?” Pike speaks up.

“I’m speaking in extraordinarily hypothetical terms, I’d never intentionally ruin ANYONE’S life. I’m just kidding around anyway, I’m still not sure if I’m technically a student here… WHICH is why I shouldn’t even be at this stupid thing wearing this circus tent-”

Uhura cuts her off, “Mister Spock! You should dance with Jame, she makes an excellent partner.”

“Nyota that’s a terrible idea-!”

“Is it so distasteful to you, Miss Kirk?” Spock responds.

“No, I just, you’re a touch telepath- and my thoughts can be… well it’s like a loose cannon I wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable. Besides dancing isn’t exactly-”

Nyota steps in with a too bright smile, “If he keeps his hands on your waist and yours on his shoulders there won’t be any accidental mind tap.”

“If Miss Kirk does not wish to dance I will not-”

“I want to dance with you-! That is to say, I’m not opposed to the idea; I was just worried about your peace of mind.”

“I am capable of shielding my abilities; furthermore lieutenant Uhura’s summation is correct.” Jamie nodded and glared at Uhura, “If you would prefer not-”

“No, I will. If you would like to…” They made their way to the dance floor once the next song (A slow song- thanks to Bones) started up. It was awkward to start, a slight sway, silence and no eye contact; then she tried to talk, “Look Spock, I just wanted to say… well a few things… First, I need to apologize for what’s happened.”

“Apologies are illogical Miss Kirk. I have stated this numerous times.” They began to sweep across the room in tight circles. “There is no need to apologize if nothing needs to be forgiven; if you can accept that things are as they are, there is no need for either.”

Looking to their feet she poses a question instead, “I heard you’re going to help relocate and rebuild Vulcan, is that- is it true?”

“It is my intention to do so, yes.”

“Oh, well… I was hoping-” She pauses and looks into his eyes, “-to wish you luck, before you left. But I suppose you don’t believe in luck.” Mentally kicking herself, she barely registers his confirmation.

So Jamie sighed, but she rests her head against his shoulder. Her feet and body follow his implicitly, putting Spock in a position of absolute power. They danced to two songs together, not quite realizing the time that passed, but the silence was comfortable now.

When Jamie looks up Spock is staring down at her. Their eyes lock together and they slow to a stop.

“Miss Kirk, perhaps we should cease.”

“We have.”

Spock looks away from her for a moment, “Indeed we have. Shall we rejoin the Admiral?”

“Oh, um, sure.” So they make their way back, just in time for the music to pick back up. They all remain in silence for a few more songs.

“Well, Mister Spock, I think I’m going to retire for the evening. You can stay if you like.” Pike says after watching the students form a mosh pit.

“Sir, do you mind if I escort you back?” Kirk says before crouching next to him, “Please say yes, I have a feeling Uhura’s going to come over and throw me in there. You’re my only chance of survival.”

He laughs when Bones comes up behind her; she jumps ten feet when he speaks, “You’re not going anywhere, at least, not without me.”

“Neither of you are being held hostage, you’re welcome to leave with me.”

“You clearly don’t know much about Nyota Uhura.” Jamie responds standing back up. As they leave Kirk says her goodbyes to Sulu and Chekov, who have yet to move from their table. Standing outside on the sidewalk, Bones tries to find a cab to hail. “Well, Len, I think I’m going to walk. It’s only a couple of blocks.”

“You’re not going alone.”

“Who’s gonna stop me? You? Bones it’s a mile or two at most-”

“And you’re dressed like a woman.”

Jamie starts walking away, “You think I can’t handle myself? Careful Bones, your concern is showing. Again.” He sighs and looks at the two professors, upon turning around Jamie is there swinging around a street lamp. “So you coming or what?”

“Damn it Jame, I’m a Doctor not your babysitter.”

Pike smiles at her, adding only this, “It’s a nice night, and it really isn’t very far, whaddya say Spock?”

“It is reasonable. It will be difficult to find transportation this late into the evening.” He responds quietly.

“See Bones? You’re the only one opposed, let’s go.” She turns around and starts to walk down the sidewalk; the men catching up, to hear her humming a tune to herself.

“That’s it, you’re drunk.”

“Ever heard of the word tolerance Bones? Surely someone with your medical background knows the meaning.” Jamie takes off her shoes and puts her hands behind her back, heels bumping her backside gently.

“No one can have that amount of tolerance.” She just gives him the ‘I can’ look. “Okay, enlighten me, oh perfect one. For medical purposes, of course, tell me about this super-tolerance you have.”

“Well, I know you’ve read my file…”

The doctor takes a moment to look abashed, “Yeah, Jame, I’m sorry. I took your gender out of your file to protect you; I honestly didn’t think anyone would notice-”

“Don’t worry about it, I fixed it. Not the point. Point is, if you’ve read my file you know that I was in and out of trouble at school. And you know my Uncle Frank wasn’t a great role-model.” She turned to walk backwards in front of him, “You know it says I was suicidal? ‘Clinically Depressed’ it says.”

“So you weren’t? I mean driving a car off a cliff seems pretty… dangerous. You know for twelve-year old standards.”

She chuckled softly, before turning back around and walking normally, “Well I was depressed… I got into a spot… it’s a long story, but here goes. When my brother ran away, my mother didn’t believe what was happening to us. SO, I decided then and there I would do whatever it took to make her hate me. There’s nothing worse than hating the one thing that reminds you of the one thing you loved most.

“Now, mind you, it wasn’t all destructive. I actually realized a lot of my talents, in that time. However, Frank was a drunk old fool, and his liquor stash was ‘password protected’. So, naturally I had it open in under five minutes. Originally, I was just going to dump it all down the drain, but I got curious. I drank a whole bottle that night, alone. The next morning was awful, but I decided it wasn’t so bad. I’d rather be hungover than emotionally empty; I was eight and I spent a lot of time drinking after that. Thus, my tolerance level; I don’t drink often now though. I’m surprised I didn’t have alcohol poisoning.

“Anyway, over the years, one thing people always told me is that I’m a genius. I decided to test that theory at age twelve… I calculated it twenty times over. I took my DAD’S car and ran away with it. I passed a kid from my school-

“I almost didn’t make it out of the car. I didn’t account for inertia, so opening the door was extraordinarily difficult. But I worked on a farm most of my life so I pushed against it with all my might. There was a moment where there was nothing. I was hanging in the air, all sound just gone. Then I hit the ground and had to grapple for purchase.

“I experienced it again, space jumping to the Romulan drill. It’s silent in space, the floating feeling was more intense and then hitting the platform there was that same panic, the fear that I had mathed it out wrong.”

Bones looked sternly at the ground in front of him, “So you have a high tolerance for alcohol because you started drinking at eight, and your suicide attempt was really an act of rebellion? I don’t know if I’ll ever figure you out kid. What are you- you’re so weird…” Jamie jumps up onto a bench, running to the end and spinning as she drops back to the ground. “You’re wearing shorts under your dress?”

“And you were looking… which is worse?” Jamie says with a smirk.

“Don’t you go talking to me about right and wrong. You cheated on the Kobayashi Maru, not me. I still don’t know how you did it.”

“And you never will. There’s only one person who will, if I ever get the chance to tell that particular person.”

“And who is this extra special person?” Bones asks.

“Don’t be like that; even if it is one of you three the point is there are three of you here. Only one person, other than me, will know.”

Spock interjects quietly, “So you admit that you cheated?”

“Of course, I’m not proud of what I did, but it’s done. I thought it was creative though- and it’s not like I FAILED- I did learn a lot in that simulation. That’s including how I react to Fear. Not to mention I managed to out code a Vulcan. I would apologize for it but I know what your response will be.”

They’ve made it to the campus and they’re stopped outside the teacher’s compound. Bones bids them goodnight and leaves for the dorm building.

Pike is wheeling himself toward the doors of the building when Jamie calls out, “Mister Spock? May I speak with you?” Pike nods to him and the Vulcan comes over to the young woman, “I want you to know, though you probably already do, exactly how I did what I did on the test. More importantly, why.”

“You’re assumption is correct. I am aware of how the subroutine was applied.” Jamie wandered to the center of the courtyard, Spock in tow.

“Well, it comes down to my bullies. Throughout my life people have either put me on a pedestal because of who my father was, or they buried me in my worst fears. One day, I will die; It’s a fact. However, I hope that on that day, I can say that I did everything I could to be the only one to die that day. Do you understand? I cheated because I was angry. Not at you or the test or at how unfair it was, but at myself- for not making the right decision.”

“This is the reason you gave to Admiral Pike, however, there is another reason. Of this I am certain.”

“Wait, you knew- what makes you say- What reason?”

“You do not wish to be seen as inadequate. It is the same reason you impersonated a man; you seek respect, but you do not feel as though you deserve it. I want to impress upon you, before I leave, that you will make a superior leader. However, you must not forget the regulations, they were made with purpose. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to meditate. Good night.”

“Goodnight, Mister Spock.”

Chapter Text

Chapter Seventeen

In the Beginning

 

The morning sun is shining in through the high windows of the lecture hall, it’s still very early. Jamie walks down the aisle, in full female uniform- hat in hand. The room is empty and the only light is filtering through the windows high on the wall.

“Hello?” She calls out; her voice echoes in the classroom. No answer, so she makes her way to the first set of tables and sits on the desk.

“Miss Kirk, tables were not created for you to sit on.” She stands up in a flash, her back ram-rod straight.

“Mr. Spock, you um… you wanted to speak with me?” She turns around, looking around the room. She squints to look into the darkest corners; nothing. She moves full circle to find the Vulcan standing in his signature parade rest, right in front of her. “Where did you come-?”

“Yes, Miss Kirk,” He steps into her personal space, and she backs up into the desk, “I wished to discuss our current predicament.”

Looking back at the obstacle she questions absently, “Our Predicament?”

“There is an obvious and substantial amount of tension between us. This can be removed thus,” He takes her chin in his hand, forcing her to look at him.

“I think this just made it worse.” Jamie says in a joking tone.

He silences her with a kiss to the lips; a kiss that moves from gentle caress to searing passion in under a second. He has her gasping and panting before long; She’s not sure when she ended back up on the desk, but Spock is leaning into and over her as she wraps her legs around him.

“Spock, oh, my God.” She whispers as he nibbles on her ear.

He pauses momentarily and looks at her sternly, “Spock is sufficient for now. I much prefer to hear my given name.”

Jamie is stunned long enough by the joke that she’s shocked when he bites her neck. She gasps and groans before pulling him back to meet her lips. She calls his name every time they break to catch their breath or he moves his attention elsewhere. His hands stay, firmly on the tabletop, while hers dishevel his hair.

He’s kissing a trail from her ear to her neck when she feels a pressure on her shoulder, “Spock…?” He bites her neck affectionately-

She’s awake, sweaty and frustrated, rubbing her neck repeatedly. Then she notices Uhura sitting on her bed, hand on her shoulder- smirking.

“Sooo, what was your dream all about? I heard some pretty specific indicators-”

“What did you hear?”

“A lot of gasping, moaning, and a name- Spock!” Uhura giggles.

“It- It was a memory, of the bridge incident… He was choking me. This time he wouldn’t stop.” Uhura’s smirk slipped off her face instantly, “I know he’d never really try to kill me… just you know- in the dark of the night.”

“Right… That’s why you rubbed your neck.”

“Something like that, what time is it?” Jame feels guilty and nauseous for lying.

“About 10, you overslept for the first time in weeks. Mister Spock came by this morning to say goodbye but-”

“Goodbye? What do you mean goodbye?”

“He’s leaving today- to meet with the remaining Vulcans. The shuttle leaves this evening,” Jamie is up and throwing clothes off, on, and around the room, “He’ll be in the loading bay the majority of the day, making sure everything goes just so.”

“I promise I will be there at lunch, I’ll be back.”

“Where are you going?”

“To change destiny… Hopefully!”

And with that Jamie ran for the loading bay in jeans and a tight-fitting retro t-shirt. Her hair was still curled from the night before but falling gracefully down her back, her make-up had been removed last night. Her retro Converse caused her to slide as she took a turn by a docked shuttle; she finally stops in front of an office door and knocks three times rapidly.

The half Vulcan commander opens the door with a quizzical look, “Miss Kirk, what are you doing here?”

“I need to… to talk to you… It’s Important.” She says between pants. He steps out in the hall and gives her the ‘I’m listening, continue on’ look. “Well, um I just- It’s about… I mean-” She finally straightens and rubs her neck in embarrassment. “You’re really going to leave?”

“Yes, Miss Kirk that is my intention, as I stated last night.”

“I know. I don’t, I was hoping- You’re going to… DAMN IT ALL!” She pauses and looks him in the eyes, “Sorry, I just don’t know how to say it. I want you to know- It’s all just… Would you-?”

“Miss Kirk, I must request that if you cannot finish your thoughts, you allow me to finish my duties.”

“I don’t want you to go!” She’s almost mortified she said it. Almost. “I understand the importance, they need you. You’re intelligent, hardworking, and something they aren’t- Emotional. I know you would say you don’t feel, but you do when it counts- and that’s NOT a weakness. So, I get it I do, I was just hoping that we could be…”

She runs her hands through her hair as she turns away from him. He looks slightly stunned. Jamie starts pacing back and forth and Spock can only watch; his curiosity makes it impossible for him to walk away, so he waits patiently for her to finish.

“I want to be friends. I want you to be around when I do something stupid- Which I will do several dumb things- we both know this. This is what I really wanted to say when we danced last night.” She can’t look at him, she can’t stop pacing and wringing her hands. “It’s selfish and wrong and I know you’re probably 100% set on leaving so nothing I can say will change that, but I had to tell you. I wish we could be friends… I know that Chris is right, we make a great team and we belong on that bridge together.

“Maybe, in a different time- a different place, we could’ve grown to be closer… I guess I just- I need you to know. More than anything else…” She stops right in front of him, staring into his eyes, “I’ll miss you, friend.” She then throws her arms around his neck in a tight hug and runs away. She does, however, get a glimpse of a green hue painting his cheeks and ears.

She returns to her dorm to shower and change, and then meets Bones, Uhura, Chekov, and Sulu for lunch. It didn’t take long for her friends to notice she was sulking, it only got worse when Spock made his way into the Cafeteria; his exchange with Pike was short and he looked directly at her toward the end.

“Sorry guys, I’ve got to- I have to get out of here.” There’s an ache in her chest as she literally runs from the room. She chalks it up to having another person leave her life. She thinks about going back to her dorm room, but it was only 1300. So instead she wandered around campus, letting the memories overtake her.

‘It’s Uhura… Just Uhura.’

‘I couldn’t believe it when the bartender told me who you are…’

‘Space is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence.’

‘I believe I do not know your name.’ ‘No, sir, I don’t believe you do.’

‘You can never make a perfect snow angel…’ ‘If you put horns on your head I’ll give you a perfect one.’

‘No one goes back for seconds, let alone thirds!’ ‘You’re GOING to fail!’

‘I still think you’ll make a great Captain.’ ‘Mutiny? You are not Captain?’ ‘Keptin Kirk, Keptin Kirk!’

‘… Why did you lie?’ ‘I didn’t… I implied.’

‘Cheating isn’t winning.’

‘I’ll miss you, friend.’

She’s passing the shoreline, the waves lapping at the rocks, when the new memory hits her. She can see herself, running down the halls of the Enterprise. She comes to a stop in the Medical bay; Spock’s lying on one of the beds.

She’s not sure how, but she knows a creature did this- THE creature. She says something, but it’s garbled- the only thing she knows for sure is that she takes his hand and grasps it strongly. Their eyes meet and the ‘memory’ is gone. This is not hers, she must remind herself. It was a vision of a different time and a different place.

She takes a deep and shaky breath before going to her dorm. Uhura’s there, applying make-up; Jamie brushes out her hair before the two girls make their way across campus. Kirk can’t find it in her to worry about the verdict.

 

 

Spock watches as she runs from the room, Pike’s concern floats through his voice, “I wonder why she’s so upset. She never runs off like that.”

“Perhaps her morning has been unpleasant.”

“She’s probably just worried about the verdict. You’re not going to be there, are you?”

“I do have things I must attend to, sir.” Spock says before Pike wishes him luck and they say their goodbyes. The Commander moved swiftly back to the loading bay, making arrangements. An hour passes before he wanders into the hangar; where he sees a familiar figure, “Father?”

The figure turns slowly, “I am not our father.”

An incredible beat, the two Spocks lock gazes, both minds processing conversational possibilities at an incredible rate; surreal extensions of each other, separate but connected. By the Shoreline, Jamie is experiencing a memory that is not her own.

“...Fascinating.” Spock says quietly.

Spock Prime nods, “There are so few Vulcans left. We cannot afford to ignore each other.”

Young Spock’s eyes flicker in astonishment, “Then why did you send Kirk aboard when you alone could’ve explained the truth?”

“Because you needed each other. Opposing yet complimentary opposites, it was that balance between us- I should say you and Kirk- that often made the impossible, possible.”

“It was a test?”

Spock Prime replies, his heart heavy, “I am in no position to pass judgment, my actions have robbed you of much. I could not also deprive you the revelation of all you can accomplish together, of a friendship that will define you both in ways you cannot yet realize.”

“How did you persuade her to keep your secret?”

“She inferred universe-ending paradoxes would ensue should she break her promise.”

Spock is slightly confused, “You lied.”

“Oh- I implied.”

“Miss Kirk does not seem one to be deceived by such a gamble...”

“It was an act of faith. One I hope you’ll repeat in the future.” Young Spock considers an enduring friendship between him and Kirk. But-

“The future is not what it used to be... in the face of extinction, it is only logical I resign my Starfleet commission and help rebuild our race.”

“And yet, you are in a unique position, you can be in two places at once. He pauses and appraises his younger self, “I urge you to remain in Starfleet: I have already located a suitable planet on which to establish a Vulcan colony, and assist in the foundation of a new science academy.”

“My future cannot be determined by your past. We are one, but not the same.”

“Then I ask that you do yourself a favor. Put away logic and do what feels right. I did not allow my emotions to rule my judgment until I was shown the power of such an act. However, I believe you will find emotion to be more beneficial than you believe.

“The world you have inherited lives in the shadow of incalculable devastation, but there is no reason you must face it alone.” From around his neck, he removes a pendant and places it on the table beside his younger self. There is profound emotion in his eyes, “This was a gift to me representing… a dream. One we were unable to fulfill.” His voice softens, it’s clear he is having trouble staying in control, “The way you now can.”

Looking to the pendant Spock realizes it’s a Holo-Emitter. After considering a beat, he hits an activation button. Captain Jamie Tiberia Kirk appears before them; she is brash, wry, and confident, she’s singing to him- this is unusual to young Spock.

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Spock…” She stops and gives a mischievous grin, her eyes twinkle, “I know I know, it’s illogical to celebrate something you had nothing to do with, but I haven’t had the chance to congratulate you on your appointment to the ambassadorship! So, I thought I’d seize the occasion... Bravo, Spock!

“They tell me your first mission may take you away for a while, so I’ll be the first to wish you luck... and to say...” There’s an emotional pause, “I miss you, old friend.” Spock’s eyes widen slightly, but he knows instinctively that Jamie has never seen this. “I suppose I’d always imagined us outgrowing Starfleet together. Watching life swing us into our Emeritus years...

“I look around at the new cadets now and can’t help thinking... has it really been so long? Wasn’t it only yesterday we stepped onto the Enterprise as the Young ones? That I had to prove to the crew I deserved command... and their respect? I know what you’d say, `It’s their turn now, Jame...’ And of course you’re right... but it got me thinking: Who’s to say we can’t go one more round?

“By the last tally, only twenty five percent of the galaxy’s been chartered... I’d call that negligent. Criminal even-! An invitation. You once said being a starship captain was my first, best destiny...

“If that IS true, then yours is to be by my side. If there’s any true logic to the universe, we’ll end up on that bridge again someday.” She smiles warmly, lovingly at the two Vulcans. It’s obvious this part is important to her; eyes welled up with tears, “Admit it, Spock. For people like us, the journey itself... is home. And I hope you’ll be waiting for me on that bridge.”

Young Spock’s face is lost in feelings that flood through him. The Holo-Emitter shuts down and Spock Prime replaces it around his neck, “Follow me.”

“Where are we going?”

“In my time, I missed this moment; I do not wish for you to make the same mistake.” Spock prime leads his younger counterpart to the assembly. They stand on the balcony above the student body.

“As our last order of duty- this assembly calls Captain Jamie Tiberia Kirk...” Kirk stands from her assigned place between McCoy and Sulu; she passes Uhura, Scotty and Chekov on her way down, and marches down to the Commandant.

She makes her best effort to ignore the absence of Spock. Kirk, after descending the stairs, snaps to attention. “Your inspirational valor and supreme dedication to your comrades are in keeping with the highest traditions of service and reflect utmost credit to yourself, your crew, and the Federation. By Starfleet Order 28455, you are hereby directed to report to the Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise, for duty as his relief.”

Kirk turns, barely containing her joy, moves to Pike in his admiral’s Uniform. They salute each other, “I relieve you, Sir.”

“... I am relieved.” Pike responds in a way that indicates more than just his position. He opens a box in his lap revealing two medals. “And as Fleet Admiral, for your... unique solution to the Kobayashi Maru, it’s my honor to award you with a commendation for original thinking. And in light of recent events, you are being awarded a commendation for Bravery and Logic in the face of true peril.”

Pike, containing a smirk, pins the medals to Kirk’s chest. He adds a touch choked up, “Congratulations, Captain. Your father would be proud.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“Let it be known to history, that on this day, Jamie T. Kirk is the youngest and first, official, Female Starfleet Captain!”

Kirk turns to the crowd, glancing up for a brief second; she smiles brightly, stronger now. Bones leans in to Sulu, rolling his eyes, “Same ship, different day.”

Kirk’s new crew comes up to give hugs and congratulations. Her brother and his family, and her MOTHER are in attendance, as well as her therapist. Everyone trickles out with well wishes and talk of after parties. She tells them all she’ll be right out, that she needs a moment. The room empties and she makes her way up to the balcony.

Spock prime turns to his younger self, “This will be easier on us all if you step around the corner for a moment.”

He moves just in time, Jamie moves through the door. Her eyes sweep the balcony momentarily, “Well, look who it is! I thought for sure you would be stuck on Delta Vega forever.”

“An illogical notion, as I would not have lasted eternity. Furthermore, I am the reason you left- Did you not think I would be likewise capable?”

Jamie just chuckles and moves to the edge and leans on the railing. “I know, at least you were here…”

“You are referring to my counterpart.”

“Yeah, how did you know he wouldn’t be here?” Jamie responds, a twinkle in her eyes.

“I did not know; however, I was not in attendance of your graduation the first time around. Why does his absence bother you?”

She sighs heavily, “There’s so much I want to say to him, but I get so tongue-tied! Or he interrupts- we’ve made a habit of interrupting each other. I want to tell him I’m sorry, Thank you, and what he means to me.”

“And you believe you cannot say such things to him?”

“Of course not! You’re so calm and collected and logical…” She pauses, recalling what Pike said. “You sneaky bastard.”

“I assure you, I neither know that to which you are referring nor is my birth illegitimate.”

“No, not you… well you- but the other you! He had to have talked to the board; he stood up for me against the admiralty…” She sighs and shakes her head, “Just another thing I’ll never be able to thank him for.”

“Why do you not say to him what you have said to me?”

“It’s different… I don’t know- I feel responsible for the loss of Vulcan and more-so his mother, your mother-” She shakes her head in confusion, “On top of that, I said some really AWFUL things to get a reaction. And every time I try to apologize… you KNOW what he says, don’t you?”

“Apologies are illogical. An apology is an attempt to make oneself guilt free. Being forgiven is affirmation that your actions were viewed as acceptable by another.”

She rolls her eyes at him, “And you wonder why I can’t talk to the other you. The human way of forgiveness is not that the action is excusable, rather you are no longer willing to let it bother you.”

“We are Vulcan; such things do not ‘bother’ us, as they would for you. Spock will only understand you if you allow him to. He is only half human; therefore he will not understand unfinished ideas and feelings will often be foreign to him.”

She harrumphs, and there’s a long pause before she speaks again, “So I need to ask you something. Before you go all mystic future Vulcan on me- which you will end up doing, no doubt- can you tell me about myself? I mean, about what you and I were, where- when you’re from?”

“Why do you wish to know?”

“Don’t worry; you couldn’t influence my feelings, besides it won’t matter after he leaves.” When the elder doesn’t speak she continues, “I’m just curious, I know you were more than friends, but I feel like you also-weren’t. Does that make sense?”

“We were very close, Jame and I. It took quite a while for me to become emotionally pliant, and more so to admit feelings for her. We were T’hy’la but we only had a superficial bond. We never married- each other or anyone else.” Around the corner Spock balks, going completely rigid.

“What’s T’hy’la? And if she knew how you felt- and you her, why didn’t you marry or bond or whatever…?”

“There is no Terran word for what T’hy’la is. My Jame was not fond of mind melds; she kept her thoughts to herself but would be unable to block them against a meld. A bond is a joining of two minds, permanently; it would have made her uncomfortable therefore I never suggested such a thing.

“Our emotions were not often a topic of conversation, and as I was not raised to be human, marriage did not seem logical. I had believed if she wished for such a thing, she would have told me. As no such discussion became known, we never became legally-”

“Oh my God! A miscommunication kept you two apart? If you never asked, if you never talked about it, how do you KNOW she didn’t want to be bonded or married? You just assumed she would talk about it. You said yourself she kept her thoughts to herself! How can you be ‘T’hy’la’ and not…”

“Jame, please, I have already spent several decades pondering this.”

“Decades?”

“I was not present when you passed. It is my greatest regret. I was accepted as an ambassador, and my first mission took me from Earth for quite some time. I believe Jame knew she would pass while I was doing my duty; she always said she would die alone. It was my only personal mission, and I failed her. I had not known such pain could exist, I knew the moment she was gone, and I am unaware how I have endured without her.”

“Spock… I- I’m so sorry. I know it doesn’t help or make it better.”

“It is not your fault, but I thank you for your condolences. Though I shall always miss her, it was a very long time ago. Now if I recall, you have people waiting for you. I hope to see you again.”

“Soon hopefully. The Enterprise needs to finish repairs. I don’t know who I’m going to make my first without Spock but…. Wait, if you and Spock are both going to be on this new Vulcan- How are you going to avoid each other?”

“You once quoted a 21st century movie, ‘It will be alright in the end, for if it is not alright, it is not yet the end.’ You need not worry.”

“Alright, you keep your Vulcan secrets. If you need anything on the new Vulcan, you know how to reach me.” She gives him a hug, which he returns, “I’ll miss you Spock. So stay out of trouble.”

“If I recall correctly, it was you who was always in trouble.” She rolls her eyes at him, “Live Long and Prosper Jamie.”

“And you as well, Mister Spock.”

She then left, to be barraged by reporters. Eventually, Pike rolls up with a garment bag, “Your first Command Dress, made custom for you. Don’t worry; I made sure it was an appropriate length. There will be others waiting for you in the Captain’s Quarters.” Several images of such quarters flit through her mind; of late night Chess matches and intellectual discussions about Crew morale.

Back inside, the Spocks are having another silent moment. “So, you see, the decision is yours. This universe, your destiny, it is all in your hands. Another Shuttle will depart in two weeks if you need time to decide.”

“Why did you not explain to Miss Kirk what T’hy’la can mean?” He is utterly shocked, thinking to himself- ‘He is myself. Only half Vulcan and yet he found T’hy’la? And in Jamie Kirk of all beings.’ “Why did you not tell her how rare and sacred a bond it is?”

“If she is to know what it means, her answer will not come from me,” Spock prime nods and moves to exit. The young Vulcan’s face closes off completely.

“It is illogical to assume that she and I will be involved in any form of relationship, beyond professional queries, simply because you yourself had an intimate relationship with your Captain. Our future will have been radically changed; even if I should choose to remain with The Enterprise there is no logical reason to presume that your past shall be repeated in this universe.”

Stopping in front of the door, “I do not presume to know your future Spock, but there is an old Terran saying about ‘soul-mates’ in reference to love, fate, time and distance. I shall not speculate on the probability of its accuracy, however, I must ask you to be honest and open with who you are. Do not make decisions based on someone else’s expectations, even my own, as it is you who will have to act on and live by those choices. I believe I must now take my leave,” He looks at his younger self and nods once briefly, “As my customary farewell would appear oddly self-serving, I will simply say... good luck.” He gives the Ta’al and he leaves.

In the next two weeks Kirk visits with family, monitors the work on her ship, and views the crew roster a hundred times over. She was cleared on her Psych Evaluation and is ‘medically fit’ for duty. It would appear, the PTSD has subsided- thankfully quicker than most cases.

Spock stays away, meditating on the issues he faces. Does he follow his heart, or his mind? The others continue on, none the wiser. Bones spent the first week with his daughter, laughing and smiling, but this last week- without her- he’s been extra sulky.

“I’m telling ya Jame, I think there’s a place opening up that I could-”

“Bones, do you hear yourself? Joanna is so proud of you! And God knows I need you as my CMO. I need you at my side. Don’t back out on me now.”

He grunts and sneers at her. The next week, their belongings are on a shuttle and they’re strapped in. Kirk checks in around the ship, talking with people, before making her way to the bridge. The turbolift hisses open as she takes command of her ship for the first official time.

Sulu turns to her, “Maneuvering thrusters and impulse engines at your command, Captain.”

“Weapons systems and shields on standby.” Chekov informs her next.

She looks to her friend in communications, “Dock control reports ready. Yard Command signals all clear.” Uhura sends her a smile.

Kirk stands by the Captain’s chair, opens a line to engineering, “Scotty how are we?”

“Dilithium chamber at maximum efficiency, Cap’n,” Comes the response.

Bones mutters behind her and Kirk moves to him, smacking his shoulder, “Bones! Buckle up.”

Then her eyes go over to the empty science console with a sense of emptiness. She moves to sit in the Captain’s chair- resigned to this incomplete feeling. In fact, everyone on the bridge feels it. A bitter truth they’ll all have to accept.

She taps her fingers for a minute, looks to all the exits before sighing, “Mr. Sulu, prepare to engage thrust-”

She’s cut off by the sound of the turbolift doors, “Permission to come aboard, Captain?” His voice is like warm butter- smooth.

Jamie is pleasantly shocked, “... Permission granted.” ‘Please tell me you’re here to be my first; please tell me we’re going to be friends.’

“As you have yet to select a first officer, respectfully, I would like to submit my candidacy. Should you desire, I can provide character references.”

Kirk nearly laughs, Spock’s eyebrow goes up and something passes between them... it carries acceptance, and trust. “It would be my absolute honor, Commander.” She turns away from him with a wide smile, “Maneuvering thrusters, Mr. Sulu. Take us out.”

“Aye, Captain.”

As the ship maneuvers out of space dock, Spock takes his place standing next to Kirk; Gold and blue, side by side. As Chekov opens a ship-wide intercom to brief the crew of their mission, Kirk notices the fighting with the device for a moment.

The young Russian grumbles, “Aigh, zees is zee 23rd Century! What good is woice recognition zat doesn’t recognize your woice? Nine-Five-Wvictor-Wvictor-Two.” Access Granted.

They leave the dock and Spock makes his way to the science console. Their mission, to observe an uninhabited world a week trip away; made up of mostly water they’ll only need a small landing party.

Jamie’s first shift ends sooner than she was ready for, so when her replacement comes in for beta shift she’s a little confused. However she removes herself from the bridge and follows Spock out into a hall.

“Spock!”

He turns to her, “Yes Captain?”

“I’m glad to have you aboard.”

“It is satisfying to be back aboard the Enterprise.

Jamie finds they’re heading in the direction of the command suites, and then comes to realization that they’ll be sharing a bathroom space. She blushes at the thought, but continues the conversation, “Perhaps we could play a round of chess later? It’s been so long since I’ve had good competition… I have to go down to engineering but maybe when I get back-”

“I think, in the best interest of the function of the ship, our interactions remain in a professional capacity, Captain.”

“Right, of course… We should set a good example for the crew.” ‘For the ship… my ass. If you don’t want to spend time with me just say so. You wouldn’t be the first.’ “Well, I guess I’ll talk to you later then Mister Spock, Good day.” Without waiting for a response she does an about face and heads down to the engineering deck leaving Spock to be slightly confused.

“Ah, Captain Kirk, I was startin’ tah wonder if you were ever gonna come down here.”

“What seems to be the problem Scotty?”

“Keenser will no’ get down. Wha’s he doin’ here anyway? I thought we left him on Delta Vega, I wish he’d’ve stayed there!” He looks up to the small alien, “You hearin’ me, ya bauchle?”

“Scotty… He’s a good engineer, besides he’s not hurting anything by being up there. Is that really why you called me down here?”

“You’re jus’ gonna let ‘im stay up there? He’s no’ done a single thin’ since leavin’ the dock!”

Kirk sighs, “Keenser, Scotty’s the Chief Engineer; you’ve got to follow his orders and work. Scotty… Don’t be such a hard-ass. Some of the Alpha-shift bridge crew is getting together in Rec room 6 after dinner tonight, if you’d like to join us. So unless you have any real issues, I’ll be in my room until then. Learn to Relax.”

So she left. She ate lunch alone in her room, read for a few hours and left for the galley to eat dinner with her bridge crew.

They sat at a round table, a seat open between Spock and McCoy. Uhura sat to Bones’ right, Chekov on her right and Sulu between the Russian and Scotty- sitting beside the Vulcan. Jamie moves to the replicator and made ‘comfort food’. Grilled Cheese and tomato soup.

When Kirk closes in on the table Sulu shouts loud enough for the room to hear, “Captain, I have to say, you look ravishing in a dress.”

“Bones, when was Mr. Sulu’s last Physical? Because clearly his vision is impaired.” The table laughed at the exchange.

“I don’t know darlin’, I think I’m still in shock myself. I was sure you’d make out like a buckin’ bronco if they made you wear that.”

She rolled her eyes and sat down. It’s a surreal moment; knowing all that they’ve overcome already and realizing that they’re all really here.

“Why does it always taste like cardboard?”

“It’s replicated food in space, what did you really expect?”

“Not everything is Space’s fault Bones.”

Dinner passes amicably, leisurely. Small talk and underhanded jokes are interrupted when Bones is called to medical.

“It’s probably some poor ensign who got in a scuffle.”

“It better not be. If a couple of idiots got in a fight- you’ll tell me. Right Bones?” Kirk says, completely serious.

“Yeah, yeah. Point is it can’t be anything serious. See ya in Rec 6.”

“On that note, I’m gonna grab some stuff from my room before I meet you all in the Rec room.” Kirk makes her way to her room, picks up two chess sets and goes to meet her friends. Upon entering the room, she’s the first there; she claims a table in the far corner and sets up her two and three dimensional chess sets.

She’s playing against herself in 3D chess when Chekov and Sulu enter together, laughing at Scotty who enters after them. Spock enters with a data PADD and Uhura comes in with her copy of Macbeth in Andorii.

Several more people come in and set up card games, among other things.

“Keptin, you are playing chess by yourself?”

“Yes, I’m afraid no one will play with me. After the first week of learning- no body’s beaten me.”

“I bet Chekov could, the kid’s a genius.” Sulu says, clearly doting on the other man.

“If he wants to find out that’s fine.” She pauses and resets the board, “But I think you should give it a try Hikaru, you’re smarter than you give yourself credit for. It’s up to you which board we use- it doesn’t much matter to me who starts or which version we play.”

Chekov nods encouragingly, so the pilot sits across from her.

He chooses the old fashioned board and to go first. It’s only a few moves in when Kirk knows she’ll win and a few more moves- she does. He requests a rematch and chooses to go second. Uhura’s interest is piqued when Hikaru loses again.

“Let me try, we roomed together- her tactics can’t be too complicated.” Uhura seems confident. Choosing the three-dimensional set and to go first, she declares Jamie was boasting earlier. However, Kirk handles her in four moves. Slightly embarrassed she, too, requests a rematch. This time it lasts much longer.

Spock is now engaged; he had the intent of doing paperwork via PADD and leaving for his quarters. He watches intently from his seated position. Several other crewmembers have also begun to watch. When the communication’s lieutenant loses again, and Chekov takes over- deciding to go first and to use the 2D board- people actively gather around them.

When she defeats him in two moves everyone gasps and she laughs. “Don’t worry Pavel, you weren’t paying attention.” She smiles at him before resetting, “let’s start over; you didn’t mean to make that rookie move.”

So they play again, he starts again and they go for several minutes before he says- almost absently, “You know, Keptin, Chess was inwented in Russia.”

“You don’t have to call me Captain, we’re off duty. Call me Jamie, Pavel.”

Only five minutes elapse before McCoy enters with a snide remark, “I heard that you were playing chess- Had to make sure the kid wasn’t delusional.”

“Check. You know I play chess, Bones.” She glances up at the doctor. “We play all the time.”

“I’ve never seen you play in public before; I thought you were too cool to let people know you’re smart?” The Russian is too focused and is about to make a bad move, “Don’t make that move kid.”

He changes tactics last second, but it does him no good because in two moves, “Checkmate.”

“You’re a bully ya know that? Picking on these kids. I know her strategies.”

“You think you know them, besides I’m not bullying them, they knew full well when we started that I have yet to lose.” Resetting the board Kirk gets a devious idea. She opened up her own PADD and for every move she made she would write in a note. For example pawn to A4 she would right in an A or the fourth note in the B flat octave (depending on which would sound better) on the music staff.

Once she beat McCoy, having avoided the H column completely, they start another match and she plays the music through a program on the PADD. Spock is the only one who realizes what she has done- the Chess Match Song is very basic but sounds pleasing, even to his ears.

In the middle of the second match Kirk is called to the bridge, and as she’s leaving she turns to Bones, “For what it’s worth, you’d have lost this one anyway.” His King is in H8.

“How d’ya know that? I could’ve-”

“Rook to H5.” She says calmly.

“Pawn takes rook.” He’s done this with her before, but it’s harder for him to keep up.

“Knight to F6.” She stares at Spock who has raised a curious brow.

“Knight to C3?” Bones is analyzing the board.

“Bishop takes knight.”

“Rook to C5.”

“Other Rook to G8. Checkmate. Can you put them away for me?”

“Yeah sure, but I’m not your housekeeper, kid.”

“Never said you were. Thanks Bones.” She’s gone and the room is abuzz. No one knew she was so smart.

McCoy automatically stands up for her, “She was trying not to mess up the ‘Grading Curve’ for the rest of you- and she’s smart enough to know exactly what to do to get the exact grade she wants. She’s a genius, just cause she doesn’t flaunt it doesn’t mean anything. ‘Cept that she’s Humble.”

An hour later, Jamie is almost to her room when Spock intercepts her. “Captain, if I am not mistaken, we have a standing engagement. Every evening I am to teach you the ways of Suus Mahna.”

Kirk is stumped by this Vulcan. She thinks she has him figured out and then he shows up at her door at midnight. “Of course, just let me change into training clothes.”

“That would be most illogical. If you are to be attacked you will be dressed as you are.”

“O-okay.” They go to the closest training room- it’s empty due to the late standard hour. After spending an hour learning the defensive martial art, Jamie is ready for bed.

However, when they reach her room Spock speaks, “After Alpha-shift you inquired if I would desire to play chess with you during personal hours. I had believed you were mocking my intelligence- that it was a simple human prank. However, if your offer is still valid, I would quite enjoy such an activity.”

“You would enjoy it?”

“Your illogical strategy to the game has my curiosity piqued.”

“You noticed the song… didn’t you?”

“Indeed.”

“Well, if you’re free during lunch tomorrow…”

“Quite. Have a pleasant rest.”

“And you too, Mr. Spock.” With that she heads into her room, brushes her teeth, and barely changes into her PJ’s. She flops down on her bed when a voice comes in over the com. Captain to the bridge. “Oh, for fuck’s sake!” she yells. She doesn’t know that her voice carries to the connecting room.

Not changing back into uniform she stomps into the turbolift- sweat pants and tank top ruffled, hair askew. Upon entering the bridge she sees the same two offenders from two hours ago. The new bruises decorating their faces are nothing in comparison to the shock of seeing their captain in Pajamas.

“Look, I will have words with both of you tomorrow morning, when I’m in for Alpha shift. But for now, stow this shit. I don’t care if it’s a girl, a bet or debt, or if he drop kicked your cat. If I’m brought up here to break up another fight, McCoy will have to dislodge your heads from each other’s asses. Am I understood?”

“Yes, Captain.” “Yes, ma’am.” They say together.

“Is there any real cause for me to be here, Mr. Riley?”

“No, Captain. Have a good night’s rest.”

“Next time they start to fight, you stop them or call security, got it? Throw ‘em in the brig if necessary!”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Good NIGHT gentlemen!” She stalks back to her room and groans as she falls to the bed and into a fitful nightmare. The beginning of this voyage is not starting out the way she planned.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eighteen

Observation

 

The next morning Kirk replicated a cup of coffee and an apple. She was not in the mood for anyone’s crap; she felt like she’d been hit by three trucks and then held underwater.

So when, upon sitting down, Bones criticizes her breakfast, “You haven’t eaten any protein in over 24 hours.”

She snaps back, “You can shove your protein up your ass McCoy.” Everyone looked at her like she grew a second head and sang La Traviata at the same time.

“I have the ability to put restrictions on your diet at any time, remember that Jame.”

His stern voice makes her realize why everyone is acting like she’s a freak, “I’m sorry, Bones, I just… I was called to the bridge last night.”

“I’m fully aware.”

“No, again- two hours later; I was about to fall asleep. The same two… idiots. On top of that, my legs are killing me. Inter-ship transporting would be awesome.”

“You had a nightmare too- didn’t you?”

Kirk rolls her eyes, neither confirming nor denying, “I’m alright. I have to get to the bridge. I have two ensigns to reprimand. I am sorry, Bones.”

“Yeah, yeah, get lost kid.” Jamie smiles at him and makes her way to the bridge. Spock falls into step next her.

“Captain, are you sufficiently rested?”                                                                                                

“I’ll manage, but if our practice tonight could start a bit earlier I would be grateful.” She yawns as they enter the turbolift.

“Affirmative. Perhaps after our evening meal, we may convene in the training room instead of the Rec room.”

“Sounds like a plan.” She’s half an hour early reporting to her post but she’s still not sure what she’s going to do about the two bickering ensigns.

She starts humming the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen until the rest of Alpha shift enters. The two Ensigns from the night before move from their posts to the Captain’s chair. It’s clear they’re nervous; that they don’t understand why she hasn’t already said something. The entire bridge is watching her ignore the two men at attention in front of her.

After an intense minute or two she stands, “Conference room three. Chekov you have the Conn. Mr. Spock, please follow me.” The two officers leave the bridge and enter the conference room. Spock is slightly confused but does as requested.

The taller of the two men starts, “Captain I just want to-”

She raises a hand to stop whatever it is he was about to say, “What are your names?”

“Dean West.” Is the one who tried to speak.

The other one- quieter, “Misha Castle, everyone calls me Cas.”

“Alright, Mr. Castle, I want your side of what happened first. Mr. West, you’re next.”

“Well Captain, it started out as a joke. At the academy- we were in a few classes together and I thought maybe if I tried to talk to him… Anyway, being friends with people isn’t really my strong suit. So I thought maybe horsing around would work. It started out innocent enough but a month or two ago we got into a physical fight… I made a comment about his brother and he hit me. Yesterday, when we found out our shifts are the same- I’m not really sure how it started, we just went at it.”

Dean looks shocked and Kirk just gestures for his side of the story. “I had no idea he wanted to be friends. I took every joke, every word, everything personally. Last night he kept muttering under his breath so, naturally, I thought he was talking about me-”

“So you hit him.” She sighs and rubs her eyes. “Miscommunication. I’m not going to change anything- I’m not going to punish either of you. But I will not stand for fighting amongst my crew. So, either you two will figure it out and learn to accept each other, or you’ll find yourselves stuck on the next Class M planetoid together. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes Captain.” They respond together.

“Dismissed.” They scramble out as quickly as they can.

“Captain, may I inquire as to why my presence was requested?” Spock says as they make their way back to the bridge.

“Having you around clears my head- Not to mention the fact that if I had tried to kill them you would have stopped me…. Plus, having you there made it seem like we’re a united front; that we, as a team, won’t allow for that kind of behavior.” The doors slides open, “Thank you for accompanying me, Mr. Spock.”

The Vulcan nods, still not sure he understands this woman. “Keptin on zee Bridge.”

“Jame, what’d you do to ‘em? I haven’t been called down to the Med. Bay yet-”

“I ate them Bones, don’t worry about it.”

McCoy looks at her with a sneer, “Don’t screw with me kid.”

Kirk gives her most winning smile, “Bones, report to medical. Nothing’s happening here- not at Warp one. Don’t worry about Dean and Cas, they’ll be friends in a matter of weeks. Maybe more in a few months.”

“You still need to have your Physical done- How about Lunch?”

“Can’t- I have a date. But I’ll be free around 1700, for your quarterly torture slash lecture. Really Bones, go yell at someone else for a while.”

With a grumble the southern man left. Shift was very quiet, nothing new to report. However, she received several glances from Uhura and Spock during the few standard hours they were all on shift.

“Captain, Lieutenant Phillips here to relieve you for Beta Shift.”

“Thank you Mr. Phillips,” With a wink and smack on his shoulder she says, “Don’t work too hard.” Then she moved to the turbolift.

Spock slides in between the doors just before they close. “Captain, I was unaware you had a previous engagement arranged with a partner-”

“Partner? Wait- Spock, what are you talking about?”

“The conversation between yourself and Doctor McCoy at the commencement of Alpha Shift implied that you have the intention of meeting with a partner of intimate relations during the course of your Lunch hour.”

Jamie stepped off the lift laughing so hard she had to support herself on the wall. The Vulcan simply raised a quizzical brow. Kirk wipes her eyes and smiles up at the man who was stoically still.

As she makes her way to their rooms, “Spock be honest- brutally, am I the type of person who would make, as you would say, a suitable mate? What gave you the idea I was in a relationship with someone?”

“Vulcans cannot lie, Captain. However, you have many desirable qualities. Your intellect and bravery are highly commended. You are perfectly amicable when you choose to be- You are strongly built. You are also aesthetically pleasing… there is no logical reason to presume you will not make a suitable mate. Furthermore, your usage of the Terran phrase ‘I have a date’ would suggest that you have romantic intentions that prohibit you from both getting an examination and to play Chess.”

They were very near the captain’s quarters, “I was referring to you!” She smiles softly at his innocent mistake. “On Earth, sometimes saying ‘I’ve got a date’ is just telling someone that you have prior plans. Plus, Bones knows me well enough to know that I’m not much of a relationship kind of girl. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve dated before… just- I’m not always a great judge of character.” She sighs, standing next to her door, “You do still want to play, right?”

“Of course, Captain.”

She opens the door to her room and gestures him in, “You don’t have to call me Captain, we’re off duty.” The Vulcan gave a firm nod. “Would you like something to eat or drink?”

“I am quite sufficient.” Kirk rolled her eyes and pulled out her three dimensional chess set.

“I assume you’d rather play 3D chess; it’s the preferred form on Vulcan, isn’t it?”

“Affirmative. May I inquire as to how you have acquired such information?” They sat down at a table on opposite sides.

Jamie slowly started setting up the board, trying to be tactful in her answer. “I knew a woman who visited Vulcan. She spent a lot of time off and on there until me… After we met, she spent a lot of time with me. She spoke very highly of your people, very often. She stayed with a family, who had a boy about my age. I spent a year between schools learning from her, and she used things she learned from your culture to capture my attention. Would you like to move first or second?”

He simply made his move, processing this information. They played quietly for a few minutes- Jamie was intently analyzing her first’s strategy. “Captain, why are you unable to report to medical until 1700 for you medical examination? Check.”

Jamie takes several long seconds to think about her next move, “I spent yesterday making my quarters more personal. Today, I plan to get to know some of my crew- going to different stations talking to officers. A captain can’t command people they don’t know and understand.”

She uses a pawn to save her king and Spock raises his brow, “Fascinating. Your strategy is quite illogical.”

“So, I’ve been told.” She replies with mirth.

He makes a new course of action, “I admit I do not understand why you would not just read their files. Surely it would be more efficient-”

“Actually, no… I mean it would take less time, and I have read the files. But there’s something files can’t tell you, what a person is like. The only way to know someone’s intentions, the things that motivate their decisions, is to know their heart.”

“Your usage of the word ‘heart’ would infer the emotional complexities of an individual, not the organ, correct?” With a nod from Kirk he continued, “Then it is necessary to inform you, there are over 400 crewmembers on the Enterprise and it is highly improbable for you to have a personal relationship with each.”

“It’s not probable but still possible.” Kirk smiled at the Vulcan sitting across from her, before she turned her attention back to the board. Spock stared at her for longer than he would be apt to admit- Jamie’s eyes twinkled with emotion and he couldn’t ignore that he wanted to know which ones.

Several minutes of silence later, they both only have a handful of pieces left on the board and Jamie’s brow is furrowed in concentration. There are only so many moves that can be made at this point.

She moves her remaining rook into position and opens her mouth to say ‘Check’ upon realizing it was more, “Checkmate…?”

Spock’s eyebrows rise in slight surprise, “Your countenance would suggest that you are shocked.”

“I am,” She rubs her neck, She is embarrassed- he notes mentally, “I actually was two moves from check in my head. I guess I’m a bit distracted.”

“Perhaps that will work in my favor during our next engagement.”

Kirk looked up from putting the set away, “Our next engagement? You want to play chess with me again?”

“I do not see why not. If this is agreeable to you as well, Captain.”

“Yes! Yes of course!”

“Then might I suggest we arrange for Chess after our hour of training together?”

Kirk’s eyes sparkle and she smiles at him genuinely. It’s soft and sweet unlike her cocky half smirks. “That sounds great.”

 

 

The rest of the afternoon passes rapidly and before she knows where the time went, Jamie finds herself in the medical bay face to face with Bones. He runs a few basic scans. She’s pulled through a few physical tests.

“Your vitals are normal. Now I want to talk to you.” They walk into his office and he sits down behind the desk and sighs. Jamie remains standing, shifting her weight from foot to foot. “Tell me what’s on your mind, clearly what happened this morning is more than lack of sleep.”

Jamie bites her lip, debating it before she starts pacing, “It’s my dreams. You know I suffer from nightmares on a regular basis.” She sighs heavily before sitting down across the desk from him, “The problem is… I’ll have horrible nightmares and then I’ll have a really weird dream about Spock. I don’t understand where it’s coming from.”

“Weird dreams about Spock? Care to Clarify?”

Jamie flushed pink at the thought, “They’re innocent enough but, no I don’t really care to clarify… you wouldn’t want me to. I mean it’s all PG-13 stuff, but…”

“Yeah you’re right. I don’t want to know, but if you need someone to talk to… We are best friends, if you need to get it out there- I’m here to listen.”

“Thanks Bones. Do you mind, not mentioning it to Nyota? She’s already trying to hook us up and I really don’t need Spock to go into cardiac arrest.”

“Doctor Patient confidentiality, I promise. If that’s it you’re free to go. I’m going to stay here for dinner,” Jamie’s at the door when he calls out, “Eat a steak or something kid!”

“You got it Bones, Thanks!” and she was gone.

She made her way to the mess hall with a bounce in her step. Maybe Bones can’t take the dreams away, she may never even talk about them, but it is nice to know he’s there. She bounds over to the replicator deciding to take her friends advice.

She sits down next to the Half Vulcan with a giggle and everyone turns to stare openly.

Sulu recovers first (Yes, even before Spock), “Kirk, did McCoy drug you?”

She looks at him with a vibrant smile, one that could light an entire city, “Of course not! It was a routine Physical! Why?”

“Did you get laid?”

“What?” Jamie looks at the rest of the table. Chekov’s mouth is hanging open slightly; Nyota’s eyebrows are scrunched down while Scotty’s are raised high on his forehead. Spock is simply staring at her analytically, with a spark of disappointment.

Uhura snaps out of it next, “Hun, you’re beaming. Practically glowing, what’s got you in such a fine mood?”

“I can’t have a good day? So what, I’m happy… or I was until my friends looked at me like I just sprouted wings and a tail.”

The others finally seemed to figure out they were staring, all except Spock who continued to look at her with a sadness resting just beyond the logical appraisal. Kirk stares back at him, spectacularly annoyed, until Uhura continues speaking.

“Well, you can’t really blame us, after how you acted this morning.”

“I swear that was just a lack of sleep, and I’m sorry if it… disturbed anyone. I just had a nice afternoon, a good conversation with Bones, among other things. And before you repeat your question, no, I did NOT have sex. With anyone.”

Silence fell on the table, but only for a moment before a tall, burly, bald security officer walks up to their table. “Captain, May I sit with you?”

“Cupcake! Of course, just pull up a chair! Nyota, I’m sure you remember Mr. Hendorff. Cupcake, this is, as I’m sure you know, Mr. Spock, Mr. Scott- Scotty, Pavel Chekov, and Hikaru Sulu.” She points to each respectively, “So what brings you to the Dark side, Cupcake?”

“I- uh… I recently decided that Ryan Ghouling is…”

Kirk sees his struggle, “an asshole?”

“Yeah, a bit. I thought we were friends, me, him, and Giotto used to hang out and then… I don’t know.”

Jamie smiles at him tenderly, “That always sucks, but you know what Cupcake? A crew is more than a group of friends, we’re family and there’s one in every family. Mine was my Uncle.”

“Why do you call me Cupcake?” Kirk just shrugs.

Sulu laughs softly before warning the security officer, “You’re stuck with it now; once she comes up with something you no longer have a name. I’m almost afraid of what she’ll call me.”

“Ewery one gets one ewentually. So I’m told, she has yet bestowed one on me. Pavel.” The seventeen-year-old shakes hands with the red shirt.

“Daniel Hendorff. Dan.”

Dinner passes with friendly conversation, a few laughs and shared memories. As the conversation runs down both Kirk and Hendorff stand simultaneously, and in a tangle of chairs, a twist of footing, and an unbalanced sway, Jamie ends up in Spock’s lap- blushing furiously.

“Captain! I’m so sorry, I-”

“Non-Nonsense Dan, it- it wasn’t your fault.” She replies staring into the dark eyes of her commander.

The Vulcan breaks the eye contact and helps the Captain rise to her feet, “You are wrong Captain, the cause of your stumble was indeed Mr. Hendorff. Had he not-”

“Spock… It wasn’t anyone’s fault.” Jamie looks at Spock with a large amount of confusion.

The Vulcan seems momentarily shocked. That is to say his eyes widened fractionally before he stood erect, in a parade rest position, “Forgive me, Captain I-”

“Apologies are illogical Mr. Spock,” Jamie smiles at him with a softness he’d only seen in his mother’s eyes. She turns, with another brilliant smile, to Mr. Hendorff, “You’re welcome to sit with us anytime you’d like.”

Hendorff bid his goodbyes before he and Kirk moved to put their trays away. From where Spock sits he makes out Jamie’s laugh, she touches his shoulder and smiles. Before they separate she fist bumps his chest and winks. Spock turns back to his soup before the Captain turns back to their table.

Jamie is halfway to her friends when she starts tip toeing behind the Vulcan, It would be really funny to catch Spock off guard. She’s right behind him, leaning in next to his ear, “Captain your attempt to surprise me is illogical.” Kirk jumps about a foot in the air, earning a laugh from the table.

Her face is pink but she still wants to get a rise out of him. So she leans in close to him letting her breath tickle the tip of his pointed ear. She whispers barely audible, “Now that’s no fun, Commander. You should live a little.”

She stands tall and Uhura gives her a sly look when she reclaims her seat. “So Jame, how was that date of yours? You know, your lunch date?”

“My lunch hour was pleasant enough, and yours?”

“Oh you know; it was nothing special. What did you do?” Nyota says, smirking and making obvious glances at the Vulcan, catching everyone’s attention.

Kirk recognizes the pass and decides to thwart the notion immediately, “One of the science officers, hard and fast. You know… nothing special.” With that she gets up and pushes her chair under the table, as smug as she is. Everyone, once again, is gaping at her. “If anyone needs me I’ll be in training room 3. Goodnight.” She then leaves with a smirk, a sway of the hips, and a bounce in her step.

Spock is visibly tense; he doesn’t know why this bothers him so. Especially since Kirk had already negated any reason to believe she’s been with someone; not to mention he was with her during lunch. His Captain is free to be involved with others. However, there are regulations against certain relationships. I should take my leave. The Captain will be waiting.

He rises silently, nods to the group before heading for the exit. He makes out a quiet “He is so meeting with Kirk” come from the linguist. The training session was quiet with only instructional information passing between the two. It was particularly challenging for Jamie, so when Spock bids her goodnight after beating her in a round of chess- she practically runs for the shower.

Water is a luxury on a Starship but Jamie refused to have a sonic shower after sweating so much. She turns up the heat, and takes her time, singing softly to herself. Feeling clean and relaxed she steps out of the shower, towel wrapped around her body.

She brushes her hair, still singing before she curses. She left her toothbrush in her room. Jamie quickly exits and returns silently. The only noise is the door, her tooth brush against her teeth, and every once in a while when she spits.

Suddenly the opposite door swishes open. The Vulcan Commander takes two steps before freezing. Kirk is still wearing not but a towel, standing rigidly. The only movement in the room comes with a shift of brown eyes over tanned skin and blood rushing to both faces.

Spock tries desperately to keep his eyes averted, not wishing to meet her gaze nor offend her. However, a drop of water falls from her hair down her arm to her hand, where it drops to her exposed thigh and continues to the floor. His eyes follow, sweeping over her body a second time.

He forces his line of sight to her eyes, noting how flushed she is and recognizing that he is probably lime green. He clears his throat, which is suddenly very dry, and looks out of the corner of his eye to the shower.

Jamie looks him over quickly; the green of his cheeks and ears highlighted by the black sleeveless undershirt, which is untucked from his regulation slacks- his science blue uniform shirt in hand. She vaguely registers that he’s barefoot before he starts to speak.

“Captain, forgive me… you are indecent. I was under the impression that you had retired for the evening. I will return later, when you-”

“I was done anyway.” She finally moves, cleans off the excess toothpaste from her brush, packs it in her ‘bath bag’. She crouches carefully, putting the bag under the sink. Upon standing she clutches the towel tightly, “Goodnight Mr. Spock.” She says, taking in the strong, pale, slender arms one more time.

She turned and fled the small space.

It took 2.67 minutes for Spock to move from his position and continue his evening routine. On the other side of the captain’s door, Jamie sits in a towel blushing furiously as she hears the sonic shower start up.

The next morning is quiet, even during Alpha shift. She tells Sulu to go to Warp 2; there couldn’t be any harm in getting there early. Lunch is filled with wistful ramblings, nothing from the Captain or Commander is added. Kirk spends her afternoon in the science department, getting to know her crew; Spock stays in his quarters- meditating.

It was at dinner that the rest of their friends realized the tension between them and Jamie decided to set things straight. She stood up once finished, “Mr. Spock, I’ll be in Training room 3 again.”

She leaves and Uhura is about to explode “Is there something going on between you two?”

Spock looks to the linguist, “Yes, every evening I train her in a martial art.”

Nyota sighs, rolling her eyes and a few of the boys’ chuckle. Chekov speaks up, “I think she means, are you romantically inwolwed wiz zee Keptin?”

“I do not understand how this information pertains to Lieutenant Uhura. However, my relationship with the Captain is purely professional. If this discussion is finished, I must take my leave.” And he does.

Kirk was nervous but halfway through their session he gives her a minute to catch her breath. She’s leaning over her knees panting when she comes outright and says it.

“Look Spock, this has to stop.” She holds up her hand to keep him from speaking, “We barely said, what, five things to each other today? And none of it was conversational. Even now, you give instruction and then nothing. Everyone noticed and it was a one day difference.

“You saw me in a towel. Big deal! I’m sure you’ve taken at least one human anatomy class; I studied Vulcan anatomy in Xeno-Bio. There’s nothing I have that you haven’t already, theoretically, seen. And maybe even in Practice! But that’s your private business… I mean, yeah okay, you checked me out, but any guy in a similar situation would. I’ll admit I looked you over too.” He quirked his eyebrow at this, “You apologized last night, and I should’ve apologized too, for taking so long, and for not locking the doors and probably a hundred other things I should or shouldn’t have done. Can we just go back to the way things were? Go back to being friends?”

“If that is what is desired-”

“Damn it all Spock! I don’t want you to do what I want you to do!” He’s confused, very obviously not understanding Jamie. “I want you to do what you want… I want you to forgive me for my mistakes, but only if you really mean it- if you’re REALLY willing to forgive me! I want you to want to be my friend but I want YOU to choose it… Doesn’t that make any sense?”

“Indeed...” He takes a moment to digest it. “I shall forgive you, if you forgive me, Captain.” Her smile could’ve lit up her hometown in Iowa, “Now, if you are sufficiently rested I would like to continue.”

She nods and moves back onto the mat. Spock circles around her and shows her the proper positioning. I must teach her proper posture at a later date. Spock thinks to himself.

“I am about to take you in a hold from behind. Against one of your own mass and density you will easily be able to flip their body, using your own weight; as my body make-up varies from yours this will be unachievable unless I am taken by complete surprise.

“In this maneuver, your assailant will attempt to secure you from behind; you will grip their body, throw your weight forward, and flip both bodies to the floor. Your weight against your assailant’s chest shall render their respiratory track momentarily disabled. You will then use the opportunity to your advantage. Shall we begin?”

“I’m ready when you are.” Jamie is devious, this she knows, and on top of that she doesn’t like to lose. Spock has just become a victim, and he is unaware.

The Vulcan moves into position and moves to grip her. Jamie is quick, moving her right hand up behind his neck. She then grips his ass with her left hand; she hears the intake of breath and throws everything she has into flipping them. After landing on the Vulcan’s chest she scrambles to flip herself around and sits down on his waist; pinning his hands above his head.

She smiles at him before whispering, “Pinned ya.”

“May I inquire as to why you feel the need to touch me inappropriately?” Spock says, his ears turning a green that he wills never to appear on his cheeks. ‘She is unaware of the Vulcan kiss. She knows not what she is doing.’

“Well, you said the only way was to surprise you. So I took that as part of the lesson.” She leans forward, closer to his face. She starts to caress his hands subtly, “I’ve never been this close to you before. Your eyes are beautiful.”

Spock is getting strong emotions from the copious amounts of touching, ‘Happiness, Embarrassment, Humor, and an intense emotion I do not recognize.’ He removes her hands from his, gripping her wrists, and sits up. Their gaze never breaks and he moves closer to her, observing the way her eyes dilate and her pulse elevates. “Fascinating,” he whispers.

Her eyelids flutter and her breathing picks up, she’s about to move in when the training room door opens, “Jame, I need you in-” Bones stops and blushes, as does Jamie.

“Fascinating,” the Vulcan says again, observing both humans flush red.

Jamie stands at attention much like if she were being scolded by the admiralty. “What do you need Bones?”

“Brain Bleach and to never see you like that again!” The doctor exclaims pointing emphatically in Spock’s direction.

“The statistical likelihood that you will see the Captain engaged in a sparring match would preclude an inevitable outcome.” Spock says as he rights himself.

“Sparring match, my ass! That’s not what it looked like!” McCoy replies turning on the Vulcan.

“Bones, Vulcans don’t lie.” Kirk responds, not meeting his gaze.

“Yeah well this one is half human; he’s just as capable-” He is cut off by Spock.

“Doctor, do not insult me-” who is cut off by Jamie.

“What did you need when you came in Bones?” Both men look at her, looking at the floor.

“I need you to come with me back to Medical. I think I have a solution for you.”

Spock quirks his brow, “It looks like I’ll need a rain check on our chess match Mr. Spock. I’ll see you tomorrow morning, Goodnight.”

“And you, Captain.”

Jamie left with Bones to Medical, thankful that he didn’t say anything until they were behind closed doors.

“What the hell was I looking at back there?”

Jamie sat in the chair in front of his desk, in his office. Her fingers fidgeting and eyes shifting, she replies, “We were sparring, and I managed to pin him. I was joking around with him… and then he sat up. He was so close… I would’ve kissed him. I would have regretted it once our tentative friendship shattered but it would’ve been worth it.”

Bones sighed heavily, sitting in his own chair. He bites his lip gently and his foot starts to tap sporadically. The man runs his hand through his hair and is about to say something when Jamie speaks up.

“I don’t like the look of that… you’re being a spaz and that’s never good…”

He looks at her with the most distraught fatherly look she’s ever seen, “Look Kid, when you left for the training room… Nyota asked if there is something between you two. Chekov had to elaborate, but in the end, well…” He sighs and rubs his neck, “He responded by saying your relationship is purely professional. I- I’m so sorry kid. But I um… I think I have a solution for your dreams though. I know it’s not-”

“No, that’s good. It’s good to know. How’s this cure work? God knows I need it…”

“Well, first things first, it may take a while to work. And I can’t give it to you very often.” He looks at her and thinks ‘She’d make a damn fine Vulcan, if it ever came to it.’ “That being said, this drug should put you under in a very deep sleep. However, the brain functionality will be that of a light twenty minute nap. Essentially, you’ll get the sleep you need, but your brain won’t create dreams.”

“Okay, then why are we still talking about it?”

“Like I said, I can only give it to you in moderation. I can give it to you 3 days in a row to start with. You should be well rested by the time we reach Viridis 3. But after that it’s recommended every other day for a week and then once a week for a month. Then done. Psychologists believe that that is the safest dosage; they also believe your nightmares should cease by that point.

“Now, it can be administered orally or by hypo- and before you decide to take it by mouth know that it’s scientifically proven to work better MY way. The pills are guaranteed to start slower- so at this point of the process I ask which you prefer. I’ve already made the decision so I’ll inject you with it and escort you back to your quarters.”

Jamie had every right to look accosted, but she doesn’t. Her emotional state stopped at Purely Professional. She would never admit how much it hurts, and she can’t understand why it hurts. Just because in another place, in another time, Jamie and Spock were more than friends, doesn’t mean they will be here. She understands that, better than anyone would know.

She registers the pain in her neck and cusses out her friend, as is expected. But her thoughts lie on her first officer and an old Vulcan she would consider a close friend. She decides on her way back to her room, ‘just because I’m not Spock’s friend doesn’t mean he can’t be my friend. I still trust him, even if he wouldn’t necessarily do the same. I mean, I can handle this one of two ways; I could be reasonable and still try to become friends or I could be spiteful and give up on him. Clearly, I never give up on anyone- I’m really tired.’

It’s at this moment, when she starts to sway and McCoy reaches out to stabilize, that Spock rounds the corner heading for his own room. Jamie finds out the hard way that these drugs she’s on are powerful.

“Hey Spock!” She pulls away from Bones enough to invade the Vulcan’s space. Said Vulcan is looking for answers from the doctor, “Spock, I am so sorry. I should never have done what I did in there!” Her speech starts to drag from exhaustion. “You really do have pretty eyes; Bones I’m so tired… But I never should’ve, and I couldn’t’ve known how you felt… I just DO. That’s all I’m good at… doing. I don’ think, I don’… I’m no good, defective- just like Frank said. Bones… sleepy.”

“Alright Jame, come on. Sorry Spock, an unfortunate side effect from medication. She’ll be just fine in the morning. Come on sweetheart, your rooms this way.”

Jamie groaned, “You know I don’t really hate you right Bones? I love you. Hypos just hurt like a… like I dunno…” They moved the last little bit down the hall and when Jamie saw her first officer again she acted like it was the first time, “Spock! Hey man, how’s it? Are you as tired as I am… don’t answer that. Damn it Jame, you’re such an idiot! Fuck!” She can no longer filter thought from speech. “How’re things in Science? Yeah Jame let’s talk about work, no wonder nobody bloody likes you, you’re so stupid! The Captain’s Quarters! G’night Gents!”

She tries to release McCoy’s hold on her but she stumbles and he’s right there, holding her tight, “Slow down darlin’, ya can’t just waltz off without another word. I have to take you all the way in. I hope this isn’t what you’re like when you’re drunk. C’mon kid.”

“When I’m drunk Bones, you’ll know.”

“That’s good to know, now- Shit!” She’s unconscious so Bones picks her up bridal style and Spock feels an irrational anger, possessiveness almost overtakes him. “Goodnight, Spock.”

“I will accompany you until she is safely in bed,” Spock responds without another logical thought. “As is my duty as first officer to see to the Captain’s needs.”

“Sorry Spock, I can’t allow that.” The Vulcan looks ready to fight about it when Leonard continues, “I have to change her into her night clothes; I’m the only one on ship other than Uhura who’s seen her in a state of undress.” Spock now looks absolutely lethal. “As her doctor it’s my job to see to her well-being and as a FRIEND it’s my job to see to her emotional needs.”

With that, Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy left a nearly seething Vulcan in the corridor. Spock had enough logic to know he needs to vacate the premises. He takes the few extra strides and he’s in his room, pacing the living quarters trying to think rationally. There was a battle inside his head.

‘He is her Doctor. McCoy is the Ship wide doctor. He will not harm the Captain; he will use the utmost care.

But why has he seen her in a state of undress? When has he seen that which is not his to see?

A routine physical could easily explain-

But she does not belong to him!

Nor does she belong to you! You yourself stated quite clearly, this very evening, that your relationship is strictly professional.

I have seen her in an indecent fashion; why was the doctor, her closest friend, not informed?

She may not be inclined to speak of the incident and perhaps there is more to the relationship between Doctor McCoy and Captain Kirk; she is well within her rights-’ his thoughts are interrupted by a feral growl. He stops in front of a mirror- the growling is being emitted by his own vocal cords.

He stands erect, eyes wide. He recognizes the expression he displayed, but he dare not think it. Spock’s heart rate sped up and he quickly acquires his meditation mat and candles. He repeats one thought the rest of the night.

She is not yours, Jamie Tiberia Kirk is NOT your bonded.

 

 

The next morning’s breakfast is silent. Scotty is absent, Sulu and Uhura look disappointed, and Bones is too tired to think properly. Spock is Vulcan, incessant chatter is illogical. No one speaks until Five minutes before shift, “Where ees Keptin Kirk?”

 

 

Shit! Late, late LATE! I don’t even have time to replicate coffee, just get to the bridge! Late, late, LATE!

She runs barefoot from her room, boots in hand. Her hair is neatly tied in a ponytail and her dress is just so, but her appearance radiates frantic. In the turbolift she pulls on her socks and a boot before the lift opens. Chekov looks up and announces her entrance.

“Keptin on Zee Bridge!”

She replies after pulling her other boot on, “Thank you, Mr. Chekov.” Once seated in the command chair she ties her boots up. “Status report.”

“We’re ahead of schedule and should arrive at Viridis 3 the day after tomorrow. Otherwise, a positive no change, ma’am.” Sulu responds.

“Blech, Ma’am? You make me feel like my mother, Mr. Sulu.”

“Sorry Captain.”

Jamie smiles softly and walks over to him and pats him on the shoulder before doing a turn about the room. McCoy catches her gaze, “Cutting it a bit close today, did it help?”

“No.” She chances a look toward her Head Science Officer, “It made it worse.”

“Worse? You sure it was the medication, because your actions may have made things…”

“Whatever Len, it sure didn’t help.” She makes her way past Spock’s station.

“I’ll give you the next dose tonight, like I said, it may take a while, maybe 24 hours. We’ll see how it goes tonight.”

Jamie is monitoring a few readings over an ensign shoulder, “Sure, sure.” Spock glances at her from a foot away. The ensign is both nervous and excited that she’s paying attention to his station. “Did you run the numbers on this?”

“Yes ma’am, I mean uh, Captain.”

She smiles at him, drapes an arm over his shoulder and leans in closer to the screen, “I don’t expect you to treat me any different than I would you, Mr. Sullivan. They look a bit high, is that right?”

“Yes, Captain. Better high than low, though.”

“Absolutely. Keep an eye on it. Let me know if and when it changes,” She straightens and McCoy is standing next to her. “Bones! Still here? What, is sick bay too quiet? You need me to entertain you, Darlin’?

Neither notice as the First officer stiffens, “I’m just makin’ sure you’re alright. Did you eat this morning?”

“I thought you said you were a doctor, not my babysitter?” Jamie replies before making her way back to the captain’s chair.

“And as your doctor, I need to know about your diet.”

“And here I thought you just CARED about me! I thought you were concerned that I haven’t eaten anything today!”

He sighs, rolls his eyes and leaves the bridge. Jamie giggles at this. Twenty minutes later Yeoman Brittany Williams enters the bridge, a steaming cup in hand.

“Captain, your coffee, just the way you like it.”

Jamie accepts it with a quizzical brow, “Thank you, Yeoman, but I didn’t-”

“Doctor McCoy requested it for you. Said you didn’t have time for a proper meal this morning.”

“Thank you Brittany.”

The Yeoman left and the rest of the day progressed normally. Upon leaving the training room with Spock, talking about ship schedule rotation, Bones meets up with them. He walks with them to her quarters and when McCoy tries to dismiss Spock, Jamie laughs.

“Bones, we’re going to play chess before bed. You’re welcome to watch; Spock had me on the ropes last time.” She opens the door and ushers a rather smug Vulcan in, “Come on, sit and have some tea with us.”

Without asking Jamie makes a cup of tea for both men and makes hot chocolate for herself. An hour later, Jamie’s eyebrows are scrunched down and she makes her next move. Then the ax falls.

“Well, I’ll be damned. So, you’re not perfect after all.” Bones says incredulously.

“Shut up Bones, I never was. Not by your perception or anyone else’s. I’ll be back in like 10 seconds.” She enters the bathroom and returns in her pajamas.

“Captain, your calculation of a ten second absence was incorrect.”

“I know Spock, it’s- it’s just a human saying. Illogical, I know.” She takes a minute to put away the three cups and the silence that follows is thick and awkward. “So, just curious… how much did I- What did I say last night?”

“You do not remember, Captain?”

“That’s not surprising. Don’t worry about what you said, Jame; It wasn’t anything embarrassing, personal, or life altering. And the only ones to see ya were me and Spock. Though, eventually you said everything you thought, but you were so tired it wasn’t that substantial. Speaking of, time to dose you up; Mr. Spock, I enjoyed watching you beat Jame at chess but as she was almost late for shift today, I really have to-”

“Bones, if he wants to stay and watch me pass out, that’s fine. But that is all that’s going to happen.” So with that they relocated to her sleeping quarters. The hypospray is injected and Jamie feels it’s effects sharply and lays in bed.

Bones chuckles at her and tucks her in. Her eyes are already drooping, so he leans down and kisses her temple, “Goodnight sweetheart, I’ll see you in the morning.”

Spock uses all his control to remain stoic, but Jamie smiles, “Night Bones… Spock?”

“Yes Captain?” He asks and steps closer to her.

Kirk opens her eyes for a second, “Thanks for the game,” she taps his upper arm with her hand, “See you in the morning Spock… G’night.”

When her hand falls from his arm he catches it in his own, gently resting it next to her side. His fingers caress hers briefly before doing an about face and leaving the room, McCoy following behind him. Once they are out in the corridor, Spock turns on the Doctor.

“Is the Captain suffering from insomnia?”

“Even if I could tell you what’s going on with her, I wouldn’t. It’s Jame’s business what she’s going through.”

“Doctor, it is illogical to-”

“Spock, I’m not going to tell you what’s going on. Drop it and I won’t tell Jame you kissed her in there.” The Vulcan stiffened visibly, “Yeah, I saw. What was that all about? I thought your relationship was professional?”

“It is not necessary for me to explain myself to you, but if you are so inclined to know, I simply observed your actions expressing affections and utilized my own devices to convey comfort to the Captain.”

“Mmm-hmmm. I’ll see you tomorrow, Mr. Spock.”

“Doctor.” He says before leaving for his own room.

The next morning Jamie wakes up feeling substantially rested and excited for the day. She makes breakfast and a cup of coffee from her personal, in-room replicator and leaves for the bridge. The day moves by slowly and it’s not until lunch that Jamie realizes why she’s in such a fine mood.

She gasps in the middle of lunch, “Bones-!”

He laughs at her, “It took you long enough to realize- I take it you feel better?”

She joins his laughter, leaving the rest of the table confused, “I didn’t even realize! Bones, you are amazing! I know I don’t say it enough, but you absolutely are!”

“I’ll try to remember that when you get yourself into trouble. Speaking of trouble, Scotty said he needs help on a repair in one of the Jefferies tubes. One of the G.N.D.N. electrical pipes has a malfunction, thought you’d want to know.”

“Well then, I better get him some help, huh?” Jamie smiles and moves to leave the Mess, “I’ll see you guys later, which sector?”

“Five, he’s working in 117.”

The next day, the bridge is in awe of the planet. “I guess that’s why it’s called Viridis. Latin for green.” Uhura says from behind her.

“We’ve obtained standard orbit Captain.” Sulu replies.

“Thank you Mr. Sulu. Mr. Spock, planetary report.”

“It is Class M, the planet’s surface is 87.26% water; it is largely the reason for the planet’s coloration. I will beam down to collect samples for research.”

“Thank you; Mr. Chekov, you have the conn while we’re planet side.”

“Aye Keptin.”

“Captain?” Spock says.

“You didn’t think you were going without me did you?” Jamie presses a button on the Captain’s chair, “Mr. Hendorff and Mr. Giotto, report to the transporter room for departure.”

The two commanding officers move to the lift and when the doors close Spock asks, “It is a routine survey of an uninhabited planet, why are we bringing Security officers instead of science officers?”

“It’s not something you would understand.”

“Enlighten me Captain, what is it I would not comprehend?”

“I have a bad feeling about this. It’s an illogical nothing, telling me something is going to happen. You use your head to make reasonable decisions; I use my heart to make emotional decisions. Point is I’ll feel better having a few extra eyes and ears down there, including my own.”

“My mother would say such things; she called it ‘woman’s intuition’. Is this correct?”

“Yes and no. Human women use that label to justify being right. It’s a human thing, letting our feelings give us insight. Kind of like a sixth sense… Either way I don’t like this.”

“You are correct, Captain.” Spock says as they enter the transporter room.

“About what?” She says with a smile.

“It is quite illogical to assume something is amiss based purely on an emotional reaction.” Jamie laughs at Spock’s entirely serious face.

When she calms down enough to breathe, she ties her hair off in a braid and says to the officer at the control panel, “Give us a few hours, we’ll let you know when we’re ready to beam back.”

The security officers show up, “Captain, we’re ready to depart.”

“Thank you Daniel. Look, the planet’s uninhabited so you’re coming along as a precaution. Once down there I want you to scout the area, but stay within contact range. This should be a walk in the park.”

“Or, more accurately, a walk on the beach.” Daniel says with a grin.

“Exactly! Alright gentlemen, hop onto the pad.” Once situated, “Energize.”

The small group on the planet splits up. The security officers begin to ‘scout the area’ for any threats or points of interest, checking in every 15 minutes. Kirk and Spock are left alone together- the Vulcan collecting samples from the dirt to the foliage and the human stares in awe at the intense greens appearing everywhere.

“Captain, it has come to my attention that you are having difficulties sleeping.”

Jamie turns her back to him to hide her shock, “Who told you that?”

“I was informed by observation. The doctor comes to your room to administer a drug that puts you in a deep sleep. It is not, however, a standard sedative, leaving only a handful of options all having to deal with sleep deprivation.”

She refrains from sighing, barely, “It’s nothing I can’t handle. I haven’t been feeling well, and I have had difficulty sleeping. I’ll be better faster than you can blink.”

They make their way to the mass of water, “That is a highly illogical statement, Captain, as I have already-”

“Spock, human phrase… It just means I’ll be okay- That you shouldn’t worry.”

Spock is crouched, taking samples of the water when it happens. “Captain! Captain Kirk! Come in!”

“What is it Mr. Giotto?”

“Hendorff went into the water! He said he was pulled in, dragged under! He’s soaked through!”

Jamie looks to her first officer as she responds, “Get him back to the Enterprise before he freezes! Spock and I can manage.”

“But, Captain-!”

“Beam back up, and stay with him until he’s well enough to walk out of sick bay. That’s an order.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Jamie closes her communicator and starts to pull off her boots and socks.

When she makes to take off her dress, Spock shoots to a standing position, “Captain!”

“Yes, Spock?”

“What are you doing?”

“One of my officers claims he was pulled under water by something. I’m going to find out what’s going on here. I’m taking off my clothes because when I get back I’m going to need something dry and warm to put on.”

“The water is too cold. Captain, I must insist that you do not endeavor-”

“SPOCK! I’m doing this.” Spock turns away when her dress hits the ground. Jamie rolls her eyes, “It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.”

“You wore a towel then…”

“I’m still in my underclothes.”

“Captain, I must reiterate that this is an illogical notion.”

She steps in front of him to make him look her in the eyes, “I need five minutes. Give me that. It may be that one of our crew was attacked; I need to know why... Hold these for me.” She places her father’s watch and pin in his hand.

She walks to the edge of the water and glances at an irritated (though it doesn’t show) Vulcan who is now facing her. “I will time you. Five minutes only Captain.”

She smiles and looks at the water, when she takes a step in, she falls. She comes up sputtering, “It’s a sheer drop off,” She shudders and realizes the Vulcan is kneeling next to her. “Start the count down.”

“You have 4 minutes and 43 seconds.”

She smiles and takes a deep breath. She’s under for 1 minute and 38 seconds before breaching several feet from land. “There’s something down there!” and before he can respond she’s gone again. His heart is hammering in his side when she comes back up after another minute and 5 seconds, further out than last time. She gulps in air and submerges again. No report.

Jamie has 2 seconds left on the clock when she breaches, it takes her 17 seconds to return to Spock. The Vulcan promptly yanks her from the water, pulls off both his shirts and brings her in a tight embrace. He’s using his black under shirt to dry her hair and skin, his free hand is rubbing circles over her heart on her back.

“Th-th-there’s a who-whole c-c-city d-down th-there! Spock… What’re you d-d-doin’?” Her teeth are chattering in an uncontrollable way.

“If the blood in your body moves too rapidly into your heart, it may fail. Skin on skin contact may be the difference between your life and your death.”

“I th-think I’ll b-b-b-be alright.” She tries pulling out of the hold but he uses his controlled Vulcan strength to stop her.

“I will release you when your lips are no longer purple.” They sit there for a long moment until the bodily quivering sets in at a dull roar. Spock quickly pulls her dress over her head, zipping it quickly. “Spock to Enterprise, Beam us up, have Doctor McCoy ready to receive the Captain for hypothermia.”

Spock picks up the excess clothes and shoves them into his satchel full of samples. He straps on the bag and lifts his captain into his arms just as the golden swirl takes over. In the transporter room, Kirk is fighting consciousness, Bones is in the room- not in medical as Spock had suspected.

“Captain, I must request you keep yourself alert.” Spock steps off the pad quickly.

Bones moves to take her and receives a growl from deep within the Vulcan. He puts his hands out like approaching a wounded animal, “Spock let me take her.”

Spock’s baser instincts have taken ahold of him, “I will bring her to the medical bay, I am stronger, my body heat is more prominent, and I am physically more capable to protect her.” This need to prove himself has never been so evident.

“Then move your ass, she’s in a critical state and needs treatment immediately-!”

“I am aware of this fact, Doctor.

Jamie groans a barely audible, “Don’ fight…” before her eyes shut and Spock is sprinting for sick bay. Bones is right behind him, but the Vulcan is stronger and therefore faster.

“Nurse Calloway, the Captain needs immediate attention for hypothermia.”

“Yes Commander,” and in a flurry of action the Captain is wrapped up in heated blankets and Mylar. McCoy is there, the machines are beeping, buzzing, and whirring. Spock feels sick; he growls and barks orders about Kirk’s wellbeing.

Soon thereafter, Spock’s thumbs are absently stroking Jamie’s watch and the pin on ribbon. He sits shirtless on the floor, attempting (and failing) to meditate, just outside of medical. He’s been banned from the clinic until further notice.

Chapter Text

Chapter Nineteen

Onward and upwards?

 

Spock’s eyes open at the sound of footsteps heading his way. He hasn’t heard anyone in this area of the ship for some time. It’s been a little over an hour since they returned to the Enterprise and Spock has yet to move from the position he chose after being kicked out of sick bay. The doors open before him and he stands.

McCoy exits with a heavy sigh, “Spock… You’re still here.” It’s a statement, but the Vulcan nods once anyway. “You left your bag in there… you better get those samples down to the labs.”

“Is the Captain unharmed?”

“She’s still unconscious but she’ll be fine.” Spock pulls his shirt on and moves to leave “Hold on there, Spock. I’m not done talking to you.” The commander stops and turns back toward the doctor looking over his shoulder- blatantly avoiding eye contact, “Look, what is going on with you?”

“If you could, Doctor McCoy, you must elaborate if I am to give you an acceptable response.”

“You growled at me in the transporter room! You berated the majority of my staff, AND you stayed out here, shirtless, until you knew that Jame would be alright!” Bones is growing increasingly agitated with the First Officer.

“It is a part of my duty to ensure the safety of our Captain. I was adhering to my-”

“Bullshit!” The Vulcan’s eyes snap to the doctor’s, “You need to figure out what you’ve done and said and why you did them. Preferably, BEFORE you end up hurting Jame!” Bones and Spock take a moment to just stare at the other. McCoy breaks contact first, sighs, and rubs his neck, “But I know Jame, which is why I’m letting you back in there, AFTER you get those samples up to Science AND report what happened to Pike. I’m serious Spock; you need to get a grip before you hurt her.”

“Understood, Doctor,” Spock says icily as he leaves for the Science Department. ‘I would never intentionally hurt the Captain. I am aware of my own physical strength; if it were not for me then surely the Captain would be dead.’

 

 

‘Nurse Calloway! Are you incompetent? The Captain needs far more coverage and there should be an attendant stationed with her at all times!’

‘Spock, stop harassing my medical staff- get out of my sick bay! NOW!’

‘Why isn’t she waking up?’ ‘I don’t know Nyota, sometimes the body needs time to recuperate.’

‘Let’s name her after your father.’

Her head is pounding and the voices are coming in as echoes. She starts to fall deeper into sleep, when a new, clearer voice comes to her, ‘Jamie, it is time for you to awaken. My counterpart is worried for you.’ ‘Spock? Is that really you?’ ‘In a sense, but you must wake up.’ ‘How can I hear you?’ ‘I will explain at a later date, Wake up, dear one.’

“She’s waking up! Jame, Darlin’ how are you feelin’?” Her vision is flooded with light when suddenly Bones is there, smiling at her.

She smiles too, “is warm… is nice…”

“You’re bundled up pretty good, how’s your head? Can you wiggle your fingers?”

“Mhmm” She nods and curls up, closing her eyes.

“No, Jamie, look at me, you can’t go back to sleep yet, what do you remember?” He pulls one of her hands from under a blanket and asks her to wiggle her fingers again.

“I remember greens, variants of green I never knew existed! I- we were planet side… Spock and I, and Giotto- Hendorff… and we-” She gasps and flies into a sitting position, the mylar crinkling obnoxiously. “Where’s Daniel? Is he alright?” Bones fights to push her down, “Bones!”

Spock stands from his chair next to her, forces her to lie back down. Jamie’s thought process stops as she stares up at a clearly unrested Vulcan. She grips her head, that’s now aching, and remembers what she was trying to ask.

“He’s alright; he just left his own heat burrito about two hours ago. Giotto stayed by his side, just as you asked.” Bones checks her temperature and vitals. “Spock said you saw something down there, tell me what you saw.”

“It-” she clears her throat twice, “It was a city; huge, glowing yellow domes. I could see movement, but it was too deep for me to see anything clearly.” Jamie looks back to her First, “Did you-Spock did you talk to me while I was unconscious?”

“That would be highly illogical, Captain.”

“Why, did you hear something?” Bones puts a tricorder up to her face and she rolls her eyes.

“Yeah, I uh, I heard Nyota ask why I wasn’t waking up, I heard you two yelling at each other… I heard a memory of my father… then I heard someone tell me to wake up… I thought maybe it was Spock, just because he was sitting next to me when I woke up.” She looked to the ceiling. “How long was I out?”

“Just a day, give or take a few hours. Did you recognize the voice that you heard?”

She was about to lie, say no, but it didn’t feel right. She thought about the old Ambassador; the Spock with salt and pepper hair and a loving air about him. “Yeah, he’s an old friend… But It wouldn’t make sense for it to be him. He’s not here and it’s not a memory because he’s never said that… to me before.”

“Hypothermia can cause delusions- it’s perfectly normal. Spock’s already filed the paperwork on this one… Expect to hear from Pike in the morning.”

“I can leave? You’re letting me go back to my room?”

“No." Bones says pointedly. "You’re staying here where I can keep an eye on you, but if you can walk when you wake up in the morning, I’ll let you go back to work. But you have to actually SLEEP here tonight.”

“I am a bit tired.” She yawns then laughs, “Clearly…”

“You want me to give you the medication?”

“Might as well stay on schedule…” He gives her the hypospray and says goodnight. He leaves the two commanding officers alone, “Hey Spock?”

“Yes Captain?” 

“I wanna thank you, for a lot of things. I mean, obviously for getting me back to the Enterprise in one piece, but… Also, for being kind and patient with me. I know I’m not a great Captain, not even a good one... and I’d be nothing without you. You should know that you’re important to me.”

“Captain-”

“No Spock, I need you to know this stuff. I need you to know how sorry I am that I failed to save not only your planet but your mother. I need you to know that I didn’t mean any of what I said on the bridge, that I deserved worse than what you gave me that day!

“I’m so sorry… and you’ll never let me say any of this, and I- you can tell me anything, talk to me about stuff, ask me any question. I need you to know that, even though you don’t trust me enough to talk about feelings…. I’m so sleepy. I know I may not be your friend, but you ARE mine.”

“Captain…? You say I may ask anything?” It’s hesitant and quiet.

“Mhmm,” Her eyes are closed, but she’s facing him on her side. He reaches up; brushing a hair from her face and Jamie takes his hand and holds it in hers. Spock's face flushes and he fights to force it back; his captain is tactile, with everyone, no more, no less. There is a long pause, comfortable and warm, just sitting together.

“Are you romantically involved with Doctor McCoy?... Captain?” He looks to where their hands are folded together, “perhaps I shall ask when you wake.” He stands and pulls her blankets up before settling back in the visitor’s chair for the night.

The next morning, when Jamie wakes up, she’s a bit disappointed to see that Spock isn’t there to greet her. But she reminds herself of what Bones told her and sits up. She dangles her legs over the edge of the bed and notes the obscene amount of sweat that collected in her dress. Guess I should get a shower before heading up to the bridge.

She’s on her feet and moving for the door when Bones intercepts her. “Where you going, Ace?”

“To the Captain’s quarters, to shower. If I’m going to be around my crew I should at least SMELL nice, and feel clean. I can walk just fine. I really need to change.”

“I’ll be at your side all day. If you look faint I’m pulling you out.” She nods and they make their way to her room, she showers and dresses in the bathroom. On their way to the bridge Spock joins them.

She plops down in the Captain’s chair; giving basic orders- stay in standard orbit, continue reviewing data, as you were- and an hour into shift she stands, moving around the bridge slowly.

“Alright, ladies and gentlemen, Admiral Pike will be calling to communicate our next mission, among other things. The transmission will be transferred to Conference room 1. Mr. Chekov, you have the conn while Mr. Spock, Doctor McCoy, Lieutenant Uhura and I are otherwise engaged. As you were. Nyota? I need you to reroute-”

“I’m already on it Captain. It’s good to have you back Jamie.”

“I wasn’t gone long, but it’s good to be back.” She moves back to her chair and presses a button, “Kirk to Security, I need Giotto and Hendorff up in Conference Room 1 for a debriefing.”

Twenty minutes later, in the conference room, Kirk is sitting at the head of the table, Spock on her right, Bones on her left and the security officers on their other sides. Uhura sits at a communication’s station by the door. There’s a PADD in front of everyone and Jamie is scribbling away on hers already.

The screen lights up as Uhura calls out, “Incoming transmission Captain, Admiral Pike.”

“Thank you Nyota,” Christopher Pike shows up on screen, “Good morning, Admiral. It’s awfully late there isn’t it?”

“One of the joys of being Admiral, Captain, but it’s early technically… 1 a.m.” Pike gives her a small smile.

“Well, we’ll make quick work of this, so you can get home to your wife.”

“Alright, let’s start with how, in God’s name, you managed to land yourself in sickbay when you were supposed to survey a planet.”

Jamie has enough decency to look embarrassed, “About that, sir, everything was going as planned; we were ahead of schedule. I went planet side with Mr. Spock and two security officers-”

“And why were they present? Mr. Spock’s report says you had a ‘bad feeling’?” The admiral looks pointedly at his PADD where the report is displayed.

“That’s right sir, I felt we should take extra precautions-”

“To study an uninhabited planet?” Pike looks like he has a headache.

“Sir, I believe the planet does have life. It’s the reason I ended up in the medical bay. Mr. Hendorff was pulled into the water by something while scouting the area with Mr. Giotto. There’s an entire city down there… I’m sending something to your PADD.”

“Jamie…” He really must have a headache, the way he’s rubbing his temples. “Are you forgetting I read Spock’s report? You were probably hallucinating; Hypothermia causes delusions…” Every data pad in the room dinged to life. Pike looked down at his with a sigh, “What is this?”

The room was looking at an underwater city made up of Golden Domes and metal piping, glowing brightly in the dark water. A few shadowy figures can be seen either in the dome or just outside of it, the image isn’t clear enough to tell.

“That’s what I saw when I was dragged under! I- I… it… Did you draw this, Captain?” Daniel ‘Cupcake’ Hendorff practically shouts out.

Jamie addresses the admiral, “After ordering the two security officers back to the Enterprise, I went under. I had to investigate whether my crew was in danger. However, this city is far too deep to get to without proper equipment. I drew this this morning before the meeting. Do you still think I’m making it up sir? It’s highly improbable for two people to have the same exact hallucination.

“And I’ve been reading some of the calculations, sir, from our own research and studies past.” She pauses, makes sure everyone is following, “They don’t fluctuate. At all. Now that seemed a bit odd to me so I checked Starfleet records and the Stardates of previous expeditions and it turns out… Sir, we monitor this planet at the same time every other year.”

“What are you saying Jame? That we just miss the locals?”

“Essentially yes, sir… I did some computations, arithmetic and estimations, and I came up with one solid answer. Tectonic Recurrence could cause rapid liquefaction rates. It happens on Earth, why not here? What if this city spends half it’s time above water? How would we know, if we study it at the same time every other year?”

“The Captain’s theory is not illogical, Admiral. The make-up of this planet is quite similar to that of Earth. I, too, find the lack of fluctuation in data unsettling. Perhaps if Starfleet stationed an outpost to monitor the planet’s status in the next two years, we may have more accurate data.”

“Thank you Mr. Spock.” Comes from both Jamie and Pike, who continues, “I will present this to the Admiralty. In the meantime, let’s discuss your next mission.”

“Yes sir,” She nods towards her security officers, who stand and leave the room, “what are our orders?”

“We need you to go to New Vulcan; they’ve found something of interest and requested our assistance, yours specifically Jamie.”

“Mine, sir?” Jamie is slightly confused, looking at the others in the room. It would make sense for them to want Spock there, but why do they need her assistance?

“They requested your help Jame, by name; they wouldn’t say why, we didn’t ask. We did however decide you would remain there for a few weeks to help with the rebuild. There are a lot of different races that pulled together to help build up New Vulcan.”

“Is that the official name of the planet, sir?”

“It is… a new ambassador decided it was appropriate, Ambassador Saleek. When you get to New Vulcan, You, Spock, and Doctor McCoy are to beam down to meet with Him and Ambassador Sarek. They will then take you to this ‘object of interest’; you’ll decide what to do from there. The weeks following, you and the crew of the Enterprise will help in any way you can to rebuild Vulcan. Understood?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“If that’s all you have, that’s all I’ve got for you.” Pike says.

“If I may, sir, might I have a private word with you?” When Pike nods, Jamie dismisses everyone, Spock stays behind- listening from the other side of the door. “First, I want to know how your recovery is coming. How are you doing?”

“I’m mostly out of the wheelchair. I’ve got to lean pretty heavily on a cane, but at least I’m walking. How’s everything out there?”

“Everything’s alright. I mean, it’s great, until you have to spend over 40 hours in a hot blanket burrito... Sir, I seem to have found several male uniforms in my closet; at first I thought maybe some of your belongings made their way back. Until I realized they were a size too small…”

“Remember what I told you when you first joined Starfleet? Any official business should be done in your official uniform; I just saw no point in making you uncomfortable all the time. Anything else, Captain Kirk?”

“Just, one last thing, Sir.” She paused, smiled at him, “Thanks… for always believing in me Chris.”

“You make it easy kid. Just try to stay out of trouble on Vulcan, will ya?”

“I’ll try but I’ve always been told that I’m a bad luck magnet. Have a goodnight, sir, and tell the missus I say hello.”

“You got it Jame.” With that the connection disengaged and Jamie made her way back to the bridge.

“You know, eavesdropping isn’t logical, right?” Spock falls into step next to her.

“I am aware of the fact, Captain. However, I was simply waiting for your orders.” They slipped through the bridge doors together.

“Oh, so anything you overheard was just, what, a bonus?” She smirks at the Vulcan before turning to the Command console, “Mr. Sulu, chart a course for New Vulcan, our assistance has been requested.”

“Aye, Captain.”

She turns back to talk to Spock but he’s returned to his position at the head of science. So she tip-toes over to him, “Captain, it is illogical for you to attempt to frighten me. I have already informed you that an attempt as such, would be futile. I have exceptional hearing.”

She snaps her fingers dramatically in defeat, “One day Spock, I will surprise you.”

‘On the contrary, Captain, you already have.’ “If I were human I would simply wish you luck.” He glances at her as she makes her way to the Captain’s chair.

“But you don’t believe in Luck, so the gesture is lost on you.” She looks to him with a genuine, tender look that seems reserved for her closest of friends.

“Indeed.”

She nods and comms. Down to Engineering. “Scotty, how’re we looking down there?”

“The Enterprise is ready for anythin’, Cap’n!” Comes the reply, as chipper as ever.

“Thanks Scotty.” She closes the line of communication, “Mr. Sulu…?”

“Coordinates locked in, Captain. We’re ready when you are.”

“Let’s get there within the next twenty-four, shall we? Warp factor 5. Let’s Punch it.” Five minutes later, Jamie stands up with a hand on her head. “Spock, you have the Conn.”

A diligent ‘Yes, Captain’ comes from the Vulcan and Jamie moves to the turbolift. “You doing alright kid?”

“I’m pulling myself out Bones; I’ve got a headache the size of Jupiter and I’d rather not actually pass out on the bridge. You coming with me?”

“I told you, I’m keeping an eye on you, of course I’m coming.”

So they made their way to her room where Jamie promptly falls asleep and Bones sits and reads until she wakes up. He makes her eat something before they walk the ship together. Jamie talks pleasantly with each person they come across. If she knows them she asks about their health, family, and work; if she doesn’t know them she takes a moment to learn their name, plan on meeting again for a more personal conversation, before asking what their function is on the ship.

They entered the mess hall chuckling at something that was said, and Spock’s attention is immediately pulled to them. Their arms are linked and they’re chatting happily. After retrieving their dinner, they come and sit in their usual seats. They all eat quietly, listening to Chekov tell Sulu about summers in Russia.

Uhura is first to speak once that’s done, “Leonard, I’m surprised at you! Not only did you allow our fearless leader to play hooky; you were her accomplice!”

“Accomplice? Yeah, right. As soon as we left the bridge we went to her room and she practically leapt into her bed. She slept until after lunch!”

“Oh, Bones, you enjoy watching me sleep. You can deny it, but no one here will believe you. Admit it Bones…” Jamie’s eyes beam with mischief as she leans in closer to him. She pushes her empty tray away as she invades her best friend’s personal bubble.

“Jame, get out my face.”

“Not until you admit it. Admit that I’m right. Your southern heart loves me!” She is inches from him.

“Not gonna happen Darlin’, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it.” His face is in his natural scowl, but his eyes are nervous.

Her smirk widens, “There is one thing… Uhura?” Nyota sighs, rolls her eyes, but nods. “Admit it Bones, before I make a 5-year-old out of you.”

“I double dog dare ya to-”

He would never finish that sentence because Jame flicked his temple before getting up and running out of the room; the doctor is hot on her trail, shouting expletives at her name. Everyone’s eyes are wide except Scotty and Uhura- who is diligently picking up their forgotten trays.

“Yer gonna lose tha bet, Lieutenant, I guarantee it! The Cap’n’s in deep this time!”

“I look forward to seeing you in a dress Scotty, because there’s no way I’m wrong.” The communications officer smiles and walks away. Spock suddenly feels sick.

“Wait, what bet? I want in!” Hikaru laughs out light heartedly when Nyota returns.

“The Lieutenant an’ I are bettin’ on who the Cap’n’s got feelin’s for. It’s plain as dey tha she’s flirtin’ with McCoy, but Uhura thinks tha she likes S-Oi!”

Uhura kicked Scotty under the table, “Someone else. Besides, just because she flirts heavily doesn’t mean she likes him. I mean, she flirts with me sometimes! It’s just one of the many layers that is Jamie; she really is an adult size seven-year-old sometimes. Joking around can make all situations and conversations okay if done properly, and if you ever get to see more than one or two of her layers, you’re lucky.”

“So you’re betting on who she likes? No way is it McCoy! She acts like a third grader around him! Plus she calls him Bones… Not exactly ‘sweetheart’ is it?”

“We’re all fools en love, ain’t we laddie? Besides, Bones could be an appropriate nickname if ya know what she’s refarrin’ to.” Scotty replies haughtily.

“So you agree with me then, right Sulu?” Uhura is smug; Spock wonders absently why he has allowed this conversation to continue. Is it possible that Spock, like everyone else, was simply curious? Or perhaps he found himself unable to deny the hole he illogically felt directly where his heart resides and needed an answer?

“I would say, if any one on this ship, she either likes Pavel or Daniel. I mean just basing it off amounts of touching and how fast she tries to protect them.”

Scotty and Uhura respond in rapid succession, “Are ye blind?! The Cap’n’s practically attached to McCoy!” and “You men are all blind!”

“Eef zee Keptin was interested in me, I would feel wery bad.” When the table just stared at him he flushed scarlet. “I admire zee Keptin greatly, and do not be mistaken- I do care for her, but she ees like a sister. She ees zee only one I have told- until zees point zat I am…” He took a breath, “We are not inwolwed because I am homosexual.”

Sulu’s eyes sparkle with excitement and he says with a smile, “It could still be Hendorff, I mean she DOES call him Cupcake! Plus she jumped into frigid water to find what attacked him.”

“I was there when she first called him that… It’s almost an insult. I mean it did start as one but now it just kind of stuck.” Uhura keeps glancing at Spock who’s listening intently.

“You do not mind zat I- I”

“It would be highly illogical to change the status of personal relations for the simple factor of sexual preference.” Spock says and there’s a group wide smile.

Hikaru speaks up, “Besides, in today’s society homosexuality is widely accepted. The only thing that people are still wary of is when you’re intentionally and actively choosing to go against regulations or laws. Such as the Starfleet stardard dress code… Which is why it was so shocking that Kirk is a woman not a man, she went to such great lengths to hide information about herself that she broke the rules. And if she's willing to break some rules, what's to say she won't break other, more important ones? Regardless, I trust her with my life. But When- Who harassed you about your sexuality?”

The 17 year-old scratched his neck, “Zee last person was Ryan Ghouling. Zee first was some time ago… Keptin Kirk realized zees wery quickly- our freshman year I believe. She haz hhelped me considerably in accepting myself…” He straightens up and shifts gears suddenly but solidly, “I am conwinced zat she has feelings for Kewin Riley. I heard she went up to zee bridge in her nightwear, during his shift.”

“Alright then lads," Scotty says, accepting that the young man wanted to move on. "What are yer stakes? If I’m wrong I have ta wear a dress for a whole day. When Uhura loses she has ta give free kisses ta any brave enough ta ask- fer one dey tha is. Ye can change yer guess at any time- so, what’ll it be lads?”

Sulu smirks, “I’m right, I know I’m right. I’m so sure, that if I’m wrong, I’ll spend a whole day in just my briefs.”

Chekov blushes, “I wheel respond to my name by reciting poetry for one day.”

“Alright boys, the game is on. Now let’s get out-”

“Lieutenant Uhura, might I inquire as to whom you believe the Captain is secretly admiring?” Spock says quietly, his side feels hollow- like the simple conversation has created a vacuum that sucked away his heart. Illogical.

“Now tha’s the funniest part! She believes tha Cap’n likes y-oh!” Uhura punched him, mid-sentence, “Oi! Stop hittin’ meh!”

“Mister Spock, if you’re so interested, why don’t you share your theory- surely you must have one?” Spock raises the You are an illogical human; I would never lower to such a level, eyebrow. “I’m afraid the only way anyone is finding out who I think it is, is if they’re in on the bet. So, when you’re ready to get involved come see me. Scotty- If I find out you’ve told anyone who I’m betting on, just remember that this threat is unfinished. Therefore you won’t know your punishment until AFTER it’s happened.”

She left the table with the pilot and navigator. So Spock spoke to the Scotsman, “I have never understood the female capacity to avoid a direct answer to any question.”

“Women, can’t live with ‘em, ya cannae live without ‘em.” They both retired for the evening. Little did they know how long the weeks to come would really be.

The next morning neither the Captain nor the Doctor are in the galley. Jamie is already on the Bridge when the rest join her. She’s wearing a male captain’s uniform; her long hair tied back in a low ponytail. She appears to be nervous, in fact, Uhura is barely in the room when Jamie orders communication to Vulcan High Command. They’d just obtained standard orbit around New Vulcan when Kirk had arrived and she’s anxious to find out why she, specifically, was needed.

There’s a level of seriousness in Jamie that is almost startling, but they all leave it alone. However, everyone is staring at her when the Doctor walks in.

“Jame, did you kiss an intern?”

Her laugh sounds out loudly on the quiet bridge, “No, Bones, besides I thought you’d appreciate the silence- it’s been this way all morning. How’d you sleep?”

“Fine, just fine. I will have my revenge Jame- you remember that.”

“Oh Len- you forget that I created this game- I built this city… I built this city on rock and roll.”

“Don’t you even start singing that ancient shit you call music. I’ll hypo you into next week.” The Doctor sounds on the verge of explosion but his eyes convey a certain fondness not lost to a certain science officer.

“Mister Spock?” Jamie calls him from his ponderings.

“Yes Captain?” He replies automatically.

“Are you prepared to go planetside?”

“Yes Captain.”

“Then we should get down to the transporter room shouldn’t we?” Her eyes never leave his- even when Uhura reports that they’re ready for them. “Thank you Lieutenant. Doctor, Commander, let’s get this show on the road.” She then stands and moves to the young Russian, “Chekov-”

“I hhave zee conn?”

“Right on.” The trio then enters the turbolift with a tense silence among them. Jamie is uncertain as to why there’s so much animosity between the two men. The intensity of it all dims as they enter the corridor and move to the transporter bay; Jamie stops them to clarify, “This isn’t going to be a problem is it? The two of you, working together? I don’t know why they asked for the three of us but… I expect you both to be on your best- not bickering with each other- behavior, understood?”

“Yes Captain.” Spock replies at the same moment McCoy says, “We’re fine- don’t get your panties in a twist.”

Needless to say Spock is unhappy with this turn of phrase, but he says nothing. They step on the beaming pad and before long the golden swirl of light overtakes them. He looks to his Captain when they arrive. The hall they’re in is empty save for two Vulcans he can make out from the corner of his eye. Jamie looks around with a big grin on her face.

Suddenly she squeals, “Spock!” and she is in his arms. He picks her up and spins her once; his eyes conveying a blissful happiness that doesn’t quite manifest in a smile. “I missed you so much!” But those arms belong to another; they are his but not his. Those arms and the Vulcan version of a smile belong to an elder version of the same man- a man who cares deeply for his Captain. The hollow feeling in his side has returned.

“I am known as elder Saleek at this time. You are not upset with me?” He says as he places the young captain on the ground.

“For what? Why would I be mad at you?” Her smile is incandescent.

“I have not been entirely honest with you. I implied a universal catastrophe-”

“No, you just said that I couldn’t be the one to tell him about you; which I haven’t.” The doctor now moves toward the captain.

“Am I the ONLY one confused here?” Jamie laughs and greets the other Vulcan who calls out to his son.

“Father, you have requested our presence?” Spock questions emotionlessly, finally closing in on the group.

“Indeed, there is an object of interest Captain Kirk must be witness to.” Sarek says equally dispassionate.

“However," Saleek continues, "we wish for the public of New Vulcan to be as unaware of the circumstances as possible. The fewer oddities the better for this young planet, I should think. It is why we have kept my identity secret for the time being.”

“I guess I am the only one confused here.” The doctor looks disappointed that Jamie would keep something from him but she smiles and explains.

“This is, as you know, Spock. He is our head science officer and first Commander of the Enterprise. This is his father Ambassador Sarek. Lastly, this is Spock, now known as Elder Saleek; he is from a different universe. Remember how Scotty and I beamed from Delta Vega to the Enterprise while it was still at warp? Well he’s the missing link so to speak.

“He asked me not to tell Spock, so I didn’t tell anyone so that word wouldn’t get back to him. By the time Graduation rolled around, I’d practically forgotten that I was keeping a secret. That is until I saw them at the ceremony- Together. I went to go talk to them about it but our Spock was already gone. I did however talk to Spock the Primary.”

“Spock Prime?” McCoy’s eyebrows crinkled.

“Our universe was derived from his; as you know, we live in an ‘alternate reality’ of sorts. I figured, when I met Spock prime, the elder and original, it was…”

“Logical,” the elder supplies, with a glint in his eyes.

“Right… So about this object- why are we keeping it under wraps? What’s this all about?”

“All will be explained in due time. First you and Doctor McCoy must put on these robes. You will draw less attention this way.” Spock Prime/Elder Saleek says gently.

“And because Spock is Vulcan he’s fine as is, right?” After she receives a nod of affirmation she turns to her best friend, “You heard the man, time for a change up.”

“Doctor McCoy first, if you please.” Spock says quickly in an attempt to keep them separated. The good Doctor moves into the room next to them and Jamie just rolls her eyes at him.

“So, Elder Saleek, that will be so hard to get used to, how are you? How have you been? Is everything going as planned…?”

“I am adequate. It has been difficult to adjust to a new life here, but everything has been well organized. There was only one setback last week; with so many races coming together to help rebuild our people there is a margin of miscommunication. All obstacles have been taken care of.” They share a look before Jamie turns to the other two. Elder Saleek has yet to look away from the young woman.

“And Ambassador Sarek, it’s a pleasure to see you again. In better circumstances. Last time we spoke we didn’t have an opportunity to be properly introduced; I’m Captain Jamie T. Kirk. I hope you are well, also.”

“I am of good health, thank you. Your journey here should not have been a hardship.” Sarek is a blank canvas, showing nothing beyond the logical front.

“It was smooth sailing, so to speak. Your son is an immense help; he’s the best first officer Starfleet could have. I’ve come to understand that apologies are illogical; however, I feel it necessary. I’m sorry that I have taken him from such important work here, but I am extraordinarily thankful to you. And him. I wouldn’t be half the Captain I am without him.”

Saleek watches her with pride, as both Sarek and Spock move to reply. However, a rather loud string of expletives floats through the door. Jamie’s eyes widen before she moves to the door.

She knocks hesitantly, “Bones? You alright in there?”

“Yeah, just peachy. This circus tent might as well be an algorithm for an isotopic particle theory. I can’t tell what- Dammit!”

“It really shouldn’t be that complicated…” The door flies open and Jamie jumps back revealing a tangled mess of Vulcan Robes. Saleek moves to adjust them but Kirk steps up to him first with a laugh of course, “Oh Bones, look at the mess you’ve made!” It only takes her a moment or two to right the garment, but both Spocks are stunned.

“I can’t wait to see your attempt.” Normally, Jamie would give a smart-ass remark back to him, but she feels slightly embarrassed. She pats his cheeks in an amused patronizing sort of way; she then turns to elder Saleek and he hands her the robes. His two fingers gently graze Jamie’s and Spock’s look is beyond deadly.

She makes quick work of the robes, but after a third failed attempt with the scarf she exits the room (in less time than Bones she notes proudly). Spock looks her over, not once or twice but three times, before clasping his hands behind his back and averting his eyes.

“The scarf is… tricky. I- I don’t know how to… I can’t-” Jamie stumbles over voicing her weakness, blushing heavily.

“Allow me. I have much practice with my own Jame.” Spock prime then moves and quickly wraps the scarf around her hair. An errant, rebellious strand of hair dangles in her face and without thinking the Elder tucks it back into place behind her ear; incidentally he creates a miniscule connection and read a few errant thoughts. His eyes widen fractionally and his hand snaps back, “Forgive me; I should not have done that without your permission. It is not-”

She takes his covered wrists in her hands gently, “It was an accident and besides, you will always have my permission, Spock. You never need to ask, I have nothing to hide from you!”

“You do not know the implications of what you say. Though, I thank you for your understanding. Years of habits I thought were long behind me," he whispers while searching her youthful face, "suddenly reappeared the moment you stumbled into my life.”

The commander, very visibly tense and irritated, speaks, “If you are quite finished, we should be getting underway.” Though ‘speaking’ is relative, it should be considered more of a low rumble.

All eyes turn to him, but Kirk simply gestures for someone else to lead, “The Commander is quite right; if you’re ready, we will follow.”

They walk in silence through the hall for a moment or two. Elder Saleek leads, Jamie right behind him, Bones kind of hanging out in the middle and pulling up the rear are Spock and Sarek- speaking rapid Vulcan. “My counterpart seems, I believe you would say, ‘on edge’.”

“Yeah, I don’t know what’s gotten into him. He’s been acting weird lately, especially in the last 24 to 36 hours. I mean, he’s probably just mad that I took a needless risk. Are you going to tell me how I heard you in my head?”

“I will, at a later time. Your mind will be preoccupied tonight.” More silence passes, and slowly the volume of Vulcans increases.

Jamie glances to the ambassador from another universe and straightens; she clasps her hands in the Vulcan way. She fixes her gaze ahead just before he glances at her. He moves his hands and she does the same; this reoccurs a few times before Spock’s attention is pulled to the movement and his ears perk up when Saleek questions her.

“Miss Kirk, are you mocking me?”

“No, I am observing your posture.” She says with a soft smile.

The Elder lowers his voice, only those listening for him would hear, “Your posture is quite accurate, though your expression is far too open.”

Her smile is immediately gone, though her eyes still twinkle. As they exit the building, the heat is nearly overwhelming but Jamie says nothing and looks to Bones- obviously unhappy with the temperature. They walk for a while past newly-developed buildings.

Suddenly, they turn toward the desert, pink sky and orange sand dunes stretching on and on. Jamie is caught up in the beauty of it so she doesn’t notice the rest waiting for her. Her CMO tries to clear his throat but in the end Spock, her Spock, comes to stand next to her. “It’s so beautiful…”

“Vulcan was very similar to Earth’s deserts.” Jamie jumps slightly and looks at him, he stares right into her eyes. “It is not home here. But I can agree there is beauty to be seen on this- New Vulcan.”

Their gaze is intense, “I thought home is where the heart is. Home is full of Family, and friends you care for… isn’t that here for you?”

“Is Iowa home to you Captain?” He pauses but she makes no move to respond. “The Enterprise is as much home for me as it is, I assume, for you. My father resides here, yes, but I belong with you.”

“Your place is with me?” She whispers. She dare not hope…

“Yes… it is my duty to stay with you; I am your first officer. As I shall remain unless you wish otherwise.”

“Oh…” she says dejectedly, hoping her disappointment goes unnoticed, “umm I guess they’re waiting for us.”

“Indeed.” Spock steps back, breaking the staring contest, and Jamie sees the other three on a roofless hovercraft. The vehicle is obviously built to take on large quantities of weight- a construction cargo transport. They both climb on and they’re off.

The dunes fly by silently and before long they’re slowing down. Elder Saleek moves to stand by the young Captain, “We will walk from this point. Ambassador Sarek must maneuver the craft quite rapidly; it would be hazardous for us to be on board during such unstable motions. It is not much farther.”

She simply nods- a feeling of foreboding, which is becoming far too familiar, falls over her. They walk for a few minutes in silence when Elder Saleek speaks softly.

“I recall once, you called me a ‘stubborn man’.” He says wistfully.

With a glancing smirk toward her own Spock- who is looking to the ground in front of him, (But still listening intently) she replies gleefully, “Now why in the world would I say that?”

“I, at the time, refused to admit that I had emotions, let alone felt them; you seemed persistent in your attempts to force my acknowledgement.” He looks at her with a light in his eyes. “We were on route with medical supplies for New Paris colony; however, with prior orders, crewmen were sent in a shuttle to study Murasaki 312, a quasar-like formation. Mr. Scott, Doctor McCoy, and I were among them; seven in total.

“We crashed to the surface of Taurus 2, lost contact with the Enterprise, and amidst repairs we lost two good men. You would inform me the following week in confidence between friends, how emotionally compromised you, yourself, had become. However, two days after crash landing, we managed to achieve orbit, and in a last attempt of survival I jettisoned the fuel and ignited it-”

“A distress signal! Like a flare… But the Enterprise would’ve been mandated to leave by then… It would’ve been a truly desperate attempt to- mmmm.” Jame trails off as she realizes that that is exactly what happened, “And how exactly did you convince me it was a logic based decision and not an emotional one?”

“I examined the problem from all angles, and it was plainly hopeless. Logic informed me that under the circumstances, the only possible action would have to be one of desperation. Logical decision, logically arrived.”

 Jamie smiles up at him, “You ARE a stubborn man. That’s fantastic… but what brought this on? I mean great story, but why now?”

He stops and an old, boxy cargo shuttle can be seen half lodged in sand. Sarek is standing by. Saleek looks to Jamie, “When you are anxious, or thinking too hard, a square forms between your furrowed eyebrows. It also appears when you do not believe me, like now.”

Jamie laughs and rubs her forehead, “I’ll have to keep a look out for that.”

“My point is that I was stubborn, but you are as well. It is apparent that when a being holds unsettling information within themselves for any length of time, they become distressed. Please feel free to speak openly with me.” She nods and turns to move forward when something large, brown, and furry leaps at her, causing her to scream.

Chapter Text

Chapter 20

Rebuilding What We’ve Lost

 

Jamie’s shriek of terror is cut short by a big, sloppy kiss. Well, sort of. Jamie scrambles to her feet and away from the beast. “K’diwa, t’nash vey besu, Spock sarlahtor.” Beloved, my companion, come to Spock.

The young Vulcan’s head snaps up at this, the elder pets the animal affectionately. “What the hell is that thing?!” Jamie cries out.

“It is a Sehlat, she was a gift from you to me; she is a token to have of my Jamie while I was away.  You named her K’diwa, a Vulcan term of endearment. I beamed her here as soon as I emerged from the black hole, to save her life, as I knew I would not have much time to do so. She must recognize your scent; one of the many attributes that remains unchanged, an Interdimensional constant.” The bear-like creature bounds toward Kirk and licks her again. The Spocks both look at each other communicating silently and Jamie’s head spins. She falls to her knees, eyes clamped shut.

‘An older Kirk shifts back and forth, a young sehlat nudges her legs. Spock walks through the bedroom door holding a dish and a note. “Ashal-veh, I do not understand.”

“Well, that is a first!” Her laughter is well worn and sounds of wind chimes and rain in the distance, “While you were visiting your mother last month she smuggled something to me. A gift I’ve been meaning to give you. But you've been gone so much... and you just got back...” The sehlat then comes around and nuzzles into the Vulcan, who then picks her up.

The man smiles softly, a real, human smile, and the sehlat licks his face. “What shall we call you little beloved one?”

“Funny you should say ‘beloved’… K’diwa kind of stuck. It means ‘half of one’s heart and soul’ right? Well, I figured, she’ll be your connection to me whenever we’re apart. Is that… okay?” Kirk is nervous; she still knows so little about Vulcan culture.

“K’diwa is traditionally reserved for bondmates. However, I believe it is fitting. Also, you are not known for being exceptionally traditional. I thank you.” They smile lovingly at one another. “Jame… Jamie, you are aware that you have my heart, are you not? That my thoughts are with you, Always?”

“Of course Spock! Even if that weren’t the case… you know I love you, and nothing can change that.” She runs two fingers along Spock’s.’ Her eyes snap open, sweat is pouring down her face, and she’s panting as if she has just been held underwater.

“Jamie what’s wrong?” Bones has a tricorder up to her face and is doing scans, “I’ve never seen readings like these. Her hippocampi just lit up like a damn Christmas tree! Something is happening in her memory bank; Jame, what happened?”

“It’s nothing…” She stands slowly K’diwa nudging her back lovingly. “It’s happened before. I’m okay, really Bones. Let’s do our job, come on.”

“It’s happened before?! Jamie!” The doctor runs another quick scan to find she is completely back to normal. “Jame-”

“I’ll explain later. Come on K’diwa.” The sehlat nuzzles it’s head under her palm, so she scratches her favorite spot, behind her ears. “What are we looking at Ambassador Sarek?”

“Captain Kirk, are you quite alright?”

“Yes, I’m good, just tired…”

“You are not a very good liar, Captain. Though, my wife often expressed this to be an admirable trait amongst humans, so perhaps I shall accept your reply for now.” Sarek says as he leads her to the half-buried compartment. “It was meant for your father; it is password protected.”

Saleek speaks from behind her, “I presumed it would be a date of significance to your father- An anniversary or birthday. It is a seven-digit code. Your brother was born in the summer, correct?”

“Yes, but the code wouldn’t be so simple. He wouldn’t choose a date because that’s the most common code use… yet it would be important to him, and I assume my mother, so they wouldn’t forget it.” Jamie steps up to the key pad, “The 6 and the 2 are both well worn. The heaviest oil deposits are on the first key stroke…” She types in 6220514 and jumps back as a panel drops down.

It’s a retinal scanner, making quick work of her eyes the computer speaks as a door opens, “Welcome back Lieutenant Commander Kirk.”

“How is that possible?” Bones asks as Jamie walks into the compartment lights flicker on, “Jame, are you okay?” Just then a holovid shines in front of them. Winona Kirk smiles at them, a toddler pulling at her hair.

“Hey George, we miss you a lot, but we know why you can’t be here, right Sammy? Say Hi to daddy.” The young boy waves and returns his attention to his mom’s hair, “Well, when I was pregnant you played me music and I know you’ll be planet side for a while out there. Sounds like a pretty big discovery here on Earth; anyway, I just thought I’d return the favor by sending you the music too. We love you a lot, and I hope to be with you on the next big adventure. Come home soon! I love you!” The transmission ends with them waving goodbye.

Jamie pulls a sheet and underneath is a piano, sleek and black with a folder of unfinished sheet music on top.

“I’m okay… the password was 6220514… NCC-0514, the Kelvin.” She tinkers around the compartment and finds another data chip. “My mother always ranted about how much I looked like him- like my father. Retinal scanners have always proven to be predominently faulty, even at the best of times; it was a last resort to protect the instrument.

“Sam said we shared a love of old technology. I suppose I inherited much more of my father’s attributes than I should’ve. People assume that preferences, habits, likes and dislikes that we share with our parents are learned behaviors.” Jamie hesitates before switching the data tapes, “Like when a toddler refuses broccoli for no apparent reason; a psychological nuance. The child sees that one parent does NOT eat a certain substance so it also rejects it. But it would seem that some are more hereditary than one would originally think.”

“Jame, kid-” Bones starts, putting a hand to her shoulder; he recognizes the tone and speech pattern, she becomes matter-of-fact when she’s choking on her own emotions. She smiles at him and waves him off; then a switch is flipped and another holovid appeared.

Winona Kirk appears alone with a tender smile, “Hi again, I just want to take a minute without your son tugging on me. I know you know how much I love you and miss you when we’re on different assignments, different schedules; I know because I’m sure you miss us just as much. So! I found some things, videos and pictures, to… you know… help you compose, and help you through the time apart.”

Just then a thread of home videos and pictures lit up the room. Sam and George playing together, the family laughing together, first Christmas, first birthday; all memories Jamie Kirk never experienced herself. When it was through, she collected the data chip and looked around the compartment for anything else.

Finding nothing she stepped up to the piano, heaved a sigh, and put a single finger on the piano. The moment the D filled the room, her eyes fell shut. An old basic song comes to Jamie’s mind, but she dare not play it. So instead, she moved over the keys in a simple scale… perfectly tuned.

“How’s that possible?” Bones asked from right behind her, “It’s been sitting here for at least-”

“Over a quarter century, Bones. The cabin was pressurized, a vacuum to preserve the instrument- protect it from the elements. Not only that but, we had one like this when I was younger- Frank lit it on fire in a drunken rage. My father refurbished old things as a hobby, and he made it so a baby grand piano, like this one, would tune itself every 5-6 months. He knew he’d be away, often enough to do real damage to vintage equipment. It looks like this one prints what you play…" Jamie trails off as she takes another good look at it. “Sam told me that it cost him practically nothing. He pulled things from the junk yard, he’d bet his friends he could fix it, and then he would. I guess this was one of his projects.”

“Do you play Captain-?” “I guess we should get this out of your way-” Spock and Kirk speak at the same time. It’s clear from the way they look at each other that they both heard the other, but Jamie makes no move to answer.

The silence drags on longer than one might perceive, and the moment McCoy opens his mouth to rattle out a snarky retort, “Spock, we must return to the citadel; the weather on this planet can be quite formidable to Vulcans.” The first officer’s gaze is drawn to his father as soon as the Ambassador speaks. “Let us make haste; we will transport the instrument to the Ambassador’s lodgings where you three shall reside for the duration of your stay.”

The three Vulcans lifted the instrument with relative ease and secured it to the cargo hover craft. The trip back to the growing city was quiet, Jamie whispering words of affection to the Sehlat cuddled up beside her; Clouds rolled in rapidly as a horn blared throughout the construction zones and on the streets.

McCoy asks what’s going on, not to anyone in particular but Saleek responds, “Rain storms crop up once or twice weekly; they are swift moving and short lived. The sound system warns all of the oncoming inclement weather.”

“Can you not continue work in such circumstances?” Spock inquires.

“The rain is quite glacial, particularly to Vulcans. The first week of colonization left a multitude of Vulcans too ill to leave the Medical ward. However, all have made full recoveries.” Kirks feet swing back and forth as she catches a glimpse of the approaching storm. The clouds are a deep purple, trailing a gray shadow she knew to be the impending precipitation.

Buildings rise up around them and Sarek navigates the 'streets' with ease. They pull up to the edge of the embassy unloaded the piano through two sets of hidden double doors. They push the piano into a service lift and they rise up directly into a grand dining hall, the lift doors practically disappear behind them. The room is filled with Vulcans, some other species scattered here and there; The Andorians and Orions sticking out by their skin color and the Boglodite’s dreadlock hair style setting them apart.

They maneuver the piano into the nearest corner and Jamie calls up to the Enterprise with instructions to send down Uhura and a communications team, for translation purposes, Scotty with a large group of engineers, and at least thirty security personnel to help with the rebuild tomorrow 0730. She also instructed them to beam down equipment, including, but not limited to, enough Pup Tents for Enterprise temporary staff housing, Welding instruments, as well as a few repair kits meant for emergencies.

When she’s finished her communication, Spock and Bones are already seated at one of the tables. Saleek and Sarek stop mid conversation and turn to her.

“Captain Kirk, would you be opposed to speaking privately with me for a moment?” Ambassador Sarek says lightly.

Jamie’s shock is surely written across her features, “Oh um, yeah. I mean No! That is, I’m not opposed to…” she clears her throat awkwardly, Saleek’s eyes sparkle softly in amusement before moving to sit in the space between her CMO and First Officer.

Both men look on, clearly confused- having been saving that spot for her, as per usual. She and the ambassador pass right by their table and Spock, briefly, looks terrified. So Jamie, also briefly, smiles at him- thoroughly aware that she is still dressed like a Vulcan. Sarek leads her out into an empty hall.

Jamie watches as the rain pounds against the window; there’s a long pause where the human watches the rain and the Vulcan watches the young Captain.

“It has been brought to my attention, Captain,” Sarek starts quietly, understanding the importance of this moment. “That you grieve my wife and my planet. My son is unsure the extent of your-” he pauses, the discussion of emotions an unfamiliarity, “regret?”

There’s a long pause between them where Jamie moves to the window and watches the storm. Rain pattering on the window, lightning flashes, thunder rumbles in. She’s thinking of how to answer. There is no awkwardness to the silence, no sadness, though one might think there should be, just remembrance.

“I don’t regret saving your life, Ambassador. But... I suppose I should start from the beginning and I apologize in advance for the amount of personal information I’m about to impart on you. I’m sure you know what happened to the Kelvin and therefore my father, so logic would dictate that I simply grew up without a father. But that’s not the case here. My mother couldn’t bear to see me, to be reminded, every day, of what happened… Who was to blame… She left me and my brother on the family farm, with our Uncle... who abused us, among other far worse things...

“The other variable to the equation is that,” She finally turns with a sigh and looks at Sarek, “I care for your son. Very much. I know Vulcans don’t think on an emotional level, but I know you feel them. That day? Stardate 2258.42, had already been a whirlpool of feeling; then the adrenaline of the moment, I had MAYBE one second to see the ledge crumble and choose who to save. It happened so fast, it wasn't really a conscious decision.” There’s another long pause as they remember that day. “Doctors McCoy and Jones both believe my past determined your, and Spock’s, current reality. I will never regret choosing to save you... even having lost Lady Grayson; I simply wish I could have saved you both; I blame myself for losing her. Illogical, I know, as it was a physical incapability.

“But, Sir… If I could, I would like to encourage you to stay in regular contact with your son. And I know it’s not really any of my business- but I also know you two have not communicated since parting. I understand that it’s difficult to express how you feel- but for Spock, you’re the only family he has left. Neither of you may want to talk specifically about sentimentalities, but I think Spock needs to know that you care for him. He needs to be able to talk to someone, to have someone there for him. He’s your son, he’s half human… and he needs some inclination that you do, despite being logic based, love him. And my fear… my fear is that I took the one person in the universe who would openly SAY THOSE WORDS, away.”

The awkward tension that was not present previously is very clearly here now, in this silence that seems to stretch on for an eon. “You say that Spock needs someone to care for him.” She nods hesitantly, “You have also said that You care for him.”

“As much as I wish I could fill this void, even IF Spock could reciprocate my feelings for him, which he doesn’t, I can’t. I’m not his mother, and any feelings I have for him would vary a great deal from that which Lady Amanda gave him, what you can give him. As a parent… Like I said, it’s not about heart-warming or tear-jerking conversations; it’s about him knowing he CAN talk to you if something is wrong- even if it’s an emotional or illogical situation.”

“I cannot guarantee to be successful.”

“I didn’t ask you to promise anything. I was simply answering the unspoken question of why I feel the 'regret' that I do. No child, no matter how old, should lose their parents to such tragedy. Not the way I did, and certainly not the way Spock did.” She gave a dry, humorless laugh, “Our parents are supposed to live long, healthy lives and pass peacefully in their sleep. Not be taken from us…”

Jamie returns to looking at the passing storm, a little misty-eyed but otherwise holding strong. The rain pitter patters and a distant melody comes to her mind. She knows there are other things, other questions, to come so she won’t leave until he gives a clear end to the discussion. She hears him move closer, barely; she can feel his presence to her right. She isn’t surprised when his voice breaks the quiet.

“If one were inclined to ask after another being’s emotional state without them inferring deficiency on their part, how would one discreetly inquire after them?”

A soft chuckle and a shrug, “Unfortunately, it's different with everyone... With us Humans being discreet isn’t necessary… just be direct, but if you feel it’s necessary, you could trick them into open honesty. You could start by sharing your thoughts with him, but it doesn’t much matter how… We’re nostalgic beings…” She huffs another humorless laugh at a memory. “For example, when I was a kid, a young boy moved into the farm adjacent to mine. I was very lonely at that age, I had no family, no friends, and life was looking pretty bleak. So, when this four-year-old started looking up to me, talking to me, with no knowledge or care for who I was, I grew attached to him.

“After I got out from Frank’s control, the trial was put on hold for some time; Frank made bail, so Amy thought it would be best to get me off planet for a while. Thomas Leighton was almost seven when he practically demanded to come with me. I promised, swore up and down, that I would take care of him... When nights ran cold, and the children were hungry I’d say to Tom, ‘Do you remember our bus stop?’ He would nod and I’d tell him, ‘well, before you moved there, before I started school, my brother was the only one in a 10 Kilo distance to ride that bus. I remember walking to and from that rickety old bench, fields of corn swaying in the breeze. I used to imagine being in a forest, or swimming in the green seas of another planet.’ Or something therein.

“It was comforting enough to convince the other kids share their own thoughts, feelings… memories… and it reminded the Children that it was okay to pretend that they weren’t where we were. For a time they could forget the famine… forget how one man ordered the slaughter of so many… we could pretend Tarsus didn't exist... Forgive me, I only mean to give an example of how to handle an emotional situation. If I divulged my own truth, they always followed. An unspoken Quid Pro Quo.

“But for two Vulcans to discuss tragic events, I can only advise that you be as direct as possible. Subtleties may be misinterpreted, just try asking him directly, ‘How are you feeling?’ I think Vulcans could benefit from simply acknowledging that emotions do exist. I know it's NOT the Vulcan way, but in light of recent events, recognize the agony within. Even if it is only to those closest to you. It’s only logical to accept all of one’s being, is it not? Doesn’t mean you have to act on them… and how can you purge an emotion, if you don’t first acknowledge it’s existence? Process the feeling, learn from it, then embrace a logical solution… I don’t know, I’m hardly an expert in this area… but accepting oneself is the first step to any success, right?”

“Indeed…”

When Sarek makes no other reply, Jamie looks to him. His countenance calm, his eyes slowly become easier to read. She says the only thing she deems appropriate for the look in his eyes, “Tushah nash-veh k'odu.” I grieve with thee. “Fam du sa’awek.” You are not alone.

He looks back to Jamie, his expression composed, “You speak Vulcan?”

“It isn’t something I speak of, but yes. One of my little secrets. I know some of my pronunciations aren’t quite right but-”

“Thank you Captain.” The storm is almost over; the planet’s star setting can just barely be seen in the distance below the clouds. “My son thinks very highly of you and I can see why, however he has also expressed that you are highly illogical and often confusing. I believe my wife would have found this quite amusing.”

Jamie Smiles at that, but worry speaks for her, “Sir, if I may be so bold, why did you truly ask for this private conversation? I would hope these admissions will stay between us, in complete confidence.”

“You are very perceptive.” He says while appraising her reaction, “Spock has asked me to converse with you, evaluate the discussion, and give my opinion of you.”

“How am I doing so far?”

“It is yet to be determined.” He says this with a glimmer of something, perhaps insight, in his eye. “However you show a great deal of intellect, leadership skills, and loyalty. As you now know the reason for my askance, I will keep, at your request, the more personal information to myself. Speaking Vulcan as an example, the least of your concerns I believe, but a valid example nonetheless.”

Jamie smiles softly, “I would greatly appreciate it.” And for a moment she thinks on what he’s told her. “Why would Spock ask your opinion of me? Shouldn’t he have the most accurate data on my character?”

“There are innumerable reasons one may ask for a third party opinion, perhaps he needs an unbiased assessment.” Another hint of something in his eyes, it seems he’s being almost playful. Her heart swells at this, even if she is projecting. “In his respect, and yours, I will keep personal conversations with myself, therefore, that is the only indication I will give.”

“I understand. Shall we return to the grand hall?”

“I do have one final query,” Jamie gestures for him to continue, “What happened amongst the dunes today?”

Jamie heaved a sigh of hesitance, “I’m not entirely sure of the cause,” she glances out to said dunes, “but for some reason I’ve been experiencing… memories that are not my own. It’s only happened twice, I believe- maybe three times… but they are very vivid and strong. I don’t mind them; they’re what I would expect of myself- if that makes sense.” She looks at Sarek, “there is… something else… something constant, tugging at the back of my mind, comforting and warm, safe. It costs nothing of me-”

“Nothing, except your ability to remain standing.”

Embarrassment floods Jamie, “That hasn’t happened before… and-” a hesitation, “and I-” ‘Dammit, WORDS’ “I…” She looks at Spock’s father, brow raised in concern- or confusion or something else, she couldn’t tell- “Honestly? I’m afraid Bones will find a way to… fix it.

“If you are receiving memories, then it may be that the being intruding your mind may be invading your most private thoughts. Therefore, ‘fixing it’ as you say, may be for the best.”

“But they’re not, I know they’re not. Don’t ask me how, I just know.” She has started gentle pacing, with a gripping of her hands, “There’s no malicious intent, sometimes sadness, irritation, or confusion, but never malice. It’s the only-” She stops, physically, mentally, vocally. Once her thoughts come back online, a mere moment, she thinks back on every moment in her life. Her voice continues, softer, “It’s the only time I’ve ever felt even close to being whole. The only time in my life that my entire being is at peace; I don’t want to lose that. To lose a connection like this… would be devastating.”

“I am merely asking after your wellbeing, Miss Kirk. Perhaps a Vulcan healer can simply assess whether or not this, presence, is a threat?”

Jamie knows it’s not a request, “So long as it’s just an assessment, no unnecessary actions without my approval-”

“I believe you know that such actions would be a violation of Vulcan Law. The penalty for which is very high for any and all who attempt to alter or steal another’s thoughts or memories.”

“Yes, sir, I understand. Perhaps after my team has their orders and are settled?” She feels every bit as outranked as she is on this subject.

But Sarek understands the trepidation, “I shall make arrangements for a healer to meet with us both the night after next.”

“Thank you… You’ll be there? The whole time?” There’s a warmth blooming in her heart.

“Yes. Despite the unfortunate circumstances of our meeting, I sense that my Amanda would have very much liked you. She would have accepted you and treated you as if you were her own child. So I shall attempt likewise.”

“That means a great deal to me, sir. More than you know.” Then a moment passes between the two, Jamie could never have hoped for this- to be accepted so easily, so fully, for no other reason than his Wife would have wanted it. Sarek appraises the young woman in front of him once more- perhaps the sudden loss of so many of his people has made him susceptible to his emotions- however, he approves of her, in all of the facets that he has yet seen of her. “Should we return? I’m sure Spock wants to hear from you.”

With a gentle bowing of the head Sarek allows Jamie to lead them back. By the time they both retrieve sustenance the hall has mostly cleared. Jamie sits across from Saleek and next to Sarek, eating quietly. She removes the scarf from her head- 'no point in a disguise now, right?' Then they spoke with relative ease about work margins, open projects, the extent of voluntary aide- which should be considered astonishing given that Vulcans have been, and continue to be, extremely private; and most federation planets were, at one time or other, weary of them. Once finished she returns her dinnerware and heads for the piano in the corner; as she is passing, she hears her first ask his father’s opinion.

He responds simply, “Ma kotik ish-veh t’nash vey messaya, sa-fu.” She has my approval, son. Spock seems to tense but accept this answer with a sharp nod; Jamie analyzes the new data.

Kirk sits down in front of the sleek, black instrument, ignoring the looks from the other beings in the room. Allowing the overwhelming emotions of the day to flow through her, She straightens her posture and taps the D key with her right index. The sound rings out and the room falls to near silence, she breathes deeply. She plays it a few times, almost like a heartbeat, before flowing into heartbreaking chords. After a few measures, she quietly begins to sing.

Say something I’m giving up on you. Bummm bummm bumm bum bummm. I’ll be the one if you want me to.”

She feels, more than hears, the Vulcan come up behind her, presumably just standing by. Her eyes close as she continues singing, with more confidence.

Anywhere, I would have followed you. Say something, I’m giving up on you…” The ambassador sat next to Jamie and readied his hands on the keys.

And I-” more chords come in, in a different pattern, “Never thought that I- had anymore to give. You’re pushing me so far- Here I am without you. Drink to all that we have lost- Mistakes we have made. Everything will change, but love remains the same.

A few measures of chords, the tempo increases, “I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you. So much more to say. So much more to be done. Don’t you trick me out- We shall overcome… Say something I’m giving up on you.

It’s in this moment she realizes the tears on her cheeks, as her voice breaks, the volume and tempo drop dramatically, “And I will swallow my pride… You’re the one that I love… and I’m saying goodbye.” Her voice quiets to barely a whisper.

A Thousand times I’ve seen you standing, Gravity like a lunar landing, makes me want to run ‘till I find you.” A measure, “Anywhere, I would have followed you.” Another quiet moment, “Half the time the world is ending; everything we know, fades to black.

She sweeps up the Piano, coming back in at a full forte, “Truth is I am done pretending! I- never thought that I- could feel this small. It was over my head- I know nothing at all. And I- will stumble and fall, I’m still learning to love, Just starting to crawl.

Her eyes open, tears on the keys, slows the tempo again, “I- Oh, I- ‘m sorry that I couldn’t get to you. Say something I’m giving up…” Full stop, complete silence, a breath, “Say something…

                Have you ever actually experienced the So-quiet-you-could-hear-a-pin-drop silence? That is the atmosphere in the dining hall. Spock Prime takes the quiet to ask, “When did you write that piece, Miss Kirk?”

                She takes a second to try and compose herself, “It just… came to me, I guess… In light of recent events- all we have lost… the two songs; It just, fell into place.” The piano sliding out a copy of what was just played. Saleek flips a switch once it stops spitting out paper.

                So, Jamie plays a few simple tunes, just puttering around the keys, still trying and failing to pull herself together. Saleek’s hands follow hers as they had a thousand times before; hearing a few keys, adding his own. When the young Captain stops, sniffles, and takes a shaky breath, the wise ambassador places a hand on her back, rubbing slowly. “Come, I will show you where you will be staying.” He says softly.

                “Embarrassed that I’m sobbing like a child, Ambassador?” She gives a half-hearted chuckle.

“Not in the slightest."

Jamie swipes at her cheeks, "Ugh, I don't know what's gotten into me, I was fine twenty minutes ago."

                "Tears are expected during distressing times, the difficult trials that life inevitably brings forth.” The two stand at once and he hands her a handkerchief which she uses daintily under her eyes before returning.

                “Thank you. Have you ever cried Mister Saleek?” She asks while picking up the fresh new sheet music and locking it away in the bench, noting the PADD jack for further investigation.

                “Indeed, I have. Some believe that it is weak- where in fact, it relieves exceptional levels of stress, it is also…. Natural, to cry.” Jamie looked at him incredulously, “I understand that this defies all that is known of the Vulcan culture- however, as Vulcans feel on a much deeper level than humans, I find it no longer bothers me to openly admit- I shed tears on the Last Day of Vulcan. It is liberating to acknowledge this pain and to be able to overcome it.”

                “Well said.” By this point conversations had long since resumed around the room, Spock, Bones, and Sarek made their way over, and Jamie realized how exhausted she truly is. “So, you mentioned a place to stay,” she yawns and chuckles, “With a bed I hope?”

                The small group leaves the dining hall heading for the lifts “Yes, as not many buildings have been finished, rooms are scarce; therefore, you shall stay in my quarters while Your Commander and Doctor McCoy share a separate room.”

                “Is this quite logical-?” The youngest Vulcan starts before his captain cuts him off.

                “If you don’t want to share with Bones I don’t mind staying with him.”

                “Negative.” Spock says quickly, “I only mean… to inquire after Ambassador Saleek. The Captain has been having trouble sleeping-”

                “Spock!”

                “-and It may disturb your meditation.” Spock is looking blankly forward, fully aware he just lied, as they climb into the lift. “It would not, however, faze me, should she-” Spock is cut off again, but this time by his older self.

                “I will not mind,” There’s a not-smirk on the elders face, who is also looking straight ahead, “In fact, I rather enjoy the Captain’s company. Moreover, your personal effects have been sent down and have already been put in the corresponding rooms.”

                A moment of silence before Sarek leans over to Jamie and says quietly, but loud enough everyone hears, “I apologize on behalf of my sons, it appears they are both quite intrigued by you. So much so they have completely. Forgotten. to ask YOUR opinion. If you are uncomfortable in any way Captain, you may stay in my rooms.” The lift opened on their floor, and they all filed out, “You are welcome at any hour; my room is marked with my Family name and will be down this hall.” He indicates to the right.

                “My thanks to you, Ambassador; for tonight, at least, I believe I will stay with Saleek. After all, all my things are there.”

                The Ambassador lowers his head in a form of a bow, “A logical conclusion, for now then, I shall bid you good evening.” He looks up and gives a meaningful look to both forms of his son, who both have enough grace to look down and away. Bones is snickering softly.

                “Goodnight Ambassador.” Jamie says as the Vulcan takes his leave. “So, where to?”

                “Forgive me, Miss Kirk,” Jamie waves the Elder off, gesturing for him to lead the way. “Our rooms are down this hall,” Gesturing to the left hall.

**

                There is a calm silence for a time as they walk down the corridor. Jamie has so many questions that one finally bubbles out, “How did you know that was where I was going with the piece? How did you know what I was going to play before I played it?

                “Jamie, I believe this is one of those moments where you should not know what I have to say.” Saleek responds. She glances at him solemnly, from the corner of her eye, effectively taking on the look of a kicked puppy. As soon as He looks at her, he starts “My Jame…” He clears his throat softly, “For a time, was pregnant. We had only known for little more than a month when…”

                Jamie stopped in her tracks with a horrified gasp, “No…”

                Saleek couldn’t look her in the eye, “Nothing could console her. She would spend hours staring at nothing. Until the day we sat down at the Piano… I placed my hand on the piece’s initial D. Her grief, our heartbreak, spilled out into notes, into words, before either of us really knew what had happened.”

                Jamie came to rest with her left hand gripping the fingers of her right, as it lay over her abdomen. She bites the inside of her cheek- Bones is a half second from wrapping an arm around her shoulders when she whispers, “That’s awful…”

                Saleek gripped her shoulders to get her to look him in the eyes, “This is why I must stop telling you my past. Jamie, just because this misfortune happened to us, does not mean it will happen to you.” He notices the doubt in her eyes, “Jame and I had many misadventures, and in another universe, we met a young man. A young man, who claimed that he was the son of 'The Prestigious Captain Kirk'. In some ways, My history cannot and will not define your Future as it will vary greatly from that of my past.”

                Jamie gives a half-hearted smile and moves to continue down the hall, “You sure do get around…”

                Saleek did not move, “It is strange… the way you recoil. Have you thought of… having children?”

                Jamie stops and turns to the wall of windows on the right. Spock and McCoy barely breathe, afraid to call attention to themselves and break the moment. “I have… but only seriously, maybe, twice? Each time I thought I might make a good mother, but then I would think of my own mother, my past, just me in general… I guess you don’t really know how much you want something until you think you’ll never have it. Not that I’d ever get pregnant; who, in this universe, would marry me?”

                Saleek smiles softly, a human smile, “You and I both know that being unmarried is not a reliable birth control.”

                Jamie smiles sadly back at him, “True, I suppose fate is fickle.”

**

                “You once theorized that fate, destiny, was more of a road map. Certain stops unavoidable and ‘meant to happen’, but there are hundreds of roads, paths, that can be taken to get there. Some of those have complications- mountains, swamps, and storms that lay in wait, but all lead to the same predetermined destinations. It seems to me, that Kirk shall always become Captain- a doctor and young half Vulcan at your side, Kirk will never truly be alone, and Kirk will always find trouble.” A single laugh bursts out of her at this, “How Kirk may get there, in what form, is uncertain, but those three things I know to be a destined truth.”

                She hugs him, “Thank you.”

                “You are most Welcome my dear, but I must ask you to refrain yourself from asking questions of this nature. I was always too inclined to acquiesce to your requests. And I do not believe you knowing my past will change your fate, but I am under orders. Once I take my oath of silence, I must stop speaking of my world, of my time, except in the most dire and extreme of circumstances.”

                She pulls away with a slow, sad nod. Jamie then wipes her eyes, sniffles. ‘Ugh what is wrong with me, being a freaking crybaby today…’ She gestures for him to keep leading, “Okay, no questions of that nature… So…" She clears her throat and mind, "Why is this building completely finished and not the majority of others? It even has security systems.”

                “Yes. Logic dictated that we needed a place for everyone to stay. Naturally everyone worked together to rapidly create what will eventually be the I.A.E., forgive me, the Intergalactic Ambassador’s Embassy.”

                “Logic, Logic, Logic. I suppose it’s just a bad situation. It would take too long to create individual homes, so the alternative is to have every remaining survivor living on planet, in the same building. Quite the risk.”

                “But necessary." He turns his attention away from her, "Now, Doctor McCoy, young Mister Spock mentioned that the Captain is having trouble sleeping? I assume you prescribed the recently approved Starfleet medication for her particular…” he glanced at the young captain, “Affliction?”

                Bones checks with Jamie, she nods approval, “Uh yeah, she’ll need a dose tonight.”

                “How long have you been administering it?”

                “She’s almost halfway through. That is, it’s the fifth injection.” Bones responds. He queries, Saleek answers. The conversation progresses quietly.

                “I suddenly find myself to be, as you say, the ‘odd man out’. You know the medication she has been prescribed?” Spock tries to cut in, confused.

                Kirk shrugs, smiles and falls back to walk with her Commander. “You guessed I had a sleeping problem- but you don’t know ANY details. The other Jamie likely had the same issues. I’ll tell you all about it.” She pauses for effect, “Someday.” She chuckles and nudges his shoulder with hers. “You didn’t tell me you could play piano.”

                “That is because I cannot.” Spock stops, agitation flowing briefly through him. Jamie stops next to him, letting the other two move further ahead. “It would seem you have forgotten that I am not my counterpart. You seem quite comfortable with a being you have not known for very long. Perhaps you-” He refrained from finishing the humanly spiteful remark. ‘-would prefer his company? Perhaps you wish for him to be your first officer?’

                “Perhaps what Spock? I haven’t forgotten- I made an assumption…” She sighs glancing at her two friends who have stopped a few doors down. Bones actually chatting animatedly. “But you are right, that isn’t fair to you. There are a lot of differences between the two of you. Age obviously, but” She started walking, knowing he’d follow. “also personality. I mean he really would not talk so much about his past if he REALLY thought it would affect us that deeply. And I mean Sure you both play chess, but that doesn’t mean you like ALL of the same things. Music, history, art, mechanics…” she trailed off in a way that said she had just one more thing to say.

                They got to Bones who promptly, smarmily, stated, “Alright, PAL, this is our room. Just gotta get coded for it.” Spock and Bones both got scanned in and the door opened with a click and a swoosh. Bones waved goodnight and went into the room.

                Spock turns, appearing as though to speak, but Jamie starts first. “You’re right Mister Spock. You two are very different, with different likes, desires, passions… I will do my very best to remember that in the future.” She looks between them, “So very different… I mean” She looks directly at Saleek, “one of you actually ‘enjoys my company’ and the other,” Jamie turns to Spock, pain evident in her eyes, “I just seem to piss off. Have a good night, Commander.” Jamie gave a quick bow and then started walking back in the direction they came from.

                Saleek speaks quietly to Spock in Vulcan, “Du ki’tor suk lafosh; du ki’dash-tor kosu. Du ki’dash-tor tu Khart-lan.”

And Spock’s mind went back to what McCoy had said about hurting Jamie. Saleek’s words, ‘You have made a big mistake; you have hurt her. You have hurt your Captain.’  plays in his head accompanied by the Doctor having said something similar after Viridis.

“You must make amends,” Spock takes a step forward but Saleek puts a hand to his chest to stop him, “In the morning. You are still new to her emotions, she needs time, and you do not yet understand this hurt. Meditate on what transpired between you and apologize in the morning.” Saleek then makes his way toward Jamie who had stopped about five doors down and was looking out the vast windows.

                Spock enters the room he is sharing with the Doctor, which turns out to be more of an apartment, with the CMO in the Kitchenette making coffee. The Vulcan stops next to a counter and taps a finger three times before effectively scaring the hell out of McCoy. “Doctor-”

                “Jesus H. Christ, Man!” Bones jumps out of his skin, spilling some coffee in the process.

                “I apologize; I did not intend to startle you. I only wish to inquire after your meaning.”

                “Meaning of what?” Bones says, cleaning up the mess. “Your gonna have ta be more specific…”

                “You told me to be mindful- that I may… hurt the Captain…” Bones stiffens immediately. “At the time I had made the assumption that you meant the term in a Physical sense.” The doctor sighs and shakes his head slowly. “I find that I may have said something that has upset our Captain. Doctor?”

                At this point Bones moves to grab his bag, pulling out a bottle of very strong whiskey. Spock can only just make out the label- Bruichladdich X4. “Lemme ask ya somethin’ Spock-” His southern drawl is making itself known. He pours a generous amount of alcohol into the coffee before taking a swig. “-First though, I’m not surprised you’ve already fucked up. She’s…uh… never mind, Anyway, POINT is, you’re sending some pretty harsh mixed messages. My question- How d’ya feel about her?”

                “She is my Commanding Officer-”

                “No, Spock. Not duty. FEELINGS. How do you feel about her? Does she irritate you? Make yer heart flutter?” He stops, takes another long swig from his mug. The young Vulcan opens his mouth but McCoy shuts him down. “Stop, yer just gonna embarrass yerself. You do some pretty ridiculous things when it comes to her, illogical things. So you can’t admit to Emotions, talk about how she makes you act.”

                There’s a pause, with scrunched eyebrows and a southern swallow, “I find myself exceptionally protective of her. A Logical response to such reckless behavior and-”

                “Spock- I don’t give a shit about your excuses, or mental justifications. Just give me facts.”

                “I am attempting, doctor, to explain my actions. I cannot think of any other reactions I have had to her that are abnormal.”

                “Oh really? Then I suppose you’ve forgotten the entirety of our academy days, The Vulcan secret thing; and that’s not even mentioning the throttling on the Bridge. She gets you all kinds of riled up, man. You GROWLED at me.” He takes a drag straight from the bottle. “Spock, do you see yourself in any form of a romantic or sexual relationship with Jame?”

                “Negative.” stated with zero hesitation.

                There’s a heavy sigh, “Look, whether that’s true or not, no one else can tell. One minute you’re shielding her with your own body, the next you’re practically snarling at her for something stupid and after THAT you ask her to play chess.” His accent is really making itself known, “I mean, yer practically PMS! THAT’S why, er how, yer gonna hurt her. Is she unpredictable? Absa-Damn-lutely. But you? Yer a Vulcan, supposed to have a lid on yer emotions? I ain’t drunk enough for this conversation…”

                “It would appear you are correct. I have reacted in a demonstrative manner…” Spock is recalling every moment with Jamie and he comes to the same conclusion. “I must meditate, regain my control; I will be in the living area should you need me Doctor.”

                “Damnit Spock, we’re sleepin’ in the same quarters. You had better get used to callin’ me by my name in private. Leonard, Len, McCoy, hell even Bones is more appropriate for this situation.”

                Spock quirked an eyebrow, “Have a pleasant evening... Leonard.” With that he moved to the meditation mat, sat down, and started looking inward.

                “Yeah, yeah, I’ll be back in five.”

 

 

                “Are you alright, Tal-Kam?”

Kirk smiles at the term of endearment, Dear, before reminding herself of Spock. She sighs heavily, “I will be… I just don’t know what I do that gets him so irate! I never intend to… Sos’eh kah-if-goh t’nash veh lafot. K’puu tu tishau t’nash veh khaf spol.” Spock stands ramrod straight and looks in her eyes. Maybe it is only my fault. At least you care for my Heart.

“Kwon-Sum.” 'Always.' He pauses. “Though your phrasing is-”

“I butchered it?”

“Not spectacularly, no. However, you need not say kah-if-goh simply kah-if; though it is NOT your fault. Similarly, the way you mean heart in comparison to the word you have used, have different meanings. I do care for your physical heart, if only because it is vital to your life. I may say, to convey affections, Taluhk nash-veh k’dular.”

“You say Always when I say that you care for me, and then you say I Cherish Thee. I thought those were like saying ‘I love you’?”

“Indeed.” Saleek looks out the window to the stars, taking a deep breath he continues, “I do love you Jamie; however I do not know YOU as I should. My counterpart is correct; You are not my Jame, much as Spock and I are separate beings. Yet you share the same genetic code, the same mind, and the same Katra; therefore I find myself incapable of not caring for you even though I have not known you long. It is a complex situation not easily understood.”

“But I think I do.” She smiles at him and chuckles, “It is kind of complicated. You know, the Ancient Greeks had SEVEN words for love.” She sighs, “Do me a favor? Don’t tell Spock I speak Vulcan… Please…? I've told two people about it today and no one's supposed to know.”

“He is not the one teaching you?”

They share a confused look, “No…”

“When did you learn?”

Jamie hesitates, “It was years ago… and I haven’t used it in a while, which is probably why so much of it gets mucked up. Vulcans have always intrigued me.”

“Who was your teacher?”

Jamie’s eyes well up with tears again, “A friend of a friend. Amy had friends on Vulcan… She came to visit for a couple months, her husband had rare business on earth; we kept up contact off and on for a few years.” She chokes a little trying to hold back the tears, “I only saw her son from a distance once; he wasn’t interested in humans back then, but she… She was an amazing woman.”

“She did not survive…” The young captain merely shakes her head. A door down the hall hisses open so Saleek guides her into his temporary home. He holds her close, “How certain are you of this? Many were off planet, during the incident…”

“Pretty Damn certain.” And for the first time, Jamie let herself truly grieve. She acknowledges her guilt for surviving that day when so many had not. Her tears roll down her cheeks and onto his robe. Sniffling she could feel the stress lifting from her shoulders. She thought nothing of it when she felt his hand cupping her cheek; She did however reach out to the warmth coming from the back of her mind. Enveloped in both embraces she lets herself succumb to the full powered emotions she has denied herself.

Grief, by definition, is keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss. Synonyms include Anguish, heartache, misery, woe, and melancholy. In short, Jamie, with such overwhelming sorrow, was unfit to command her crew. Even with emotions strong and deep enough to rival a Vulcan’s, she continued on, as if unbothered by it all, until this moment.

Assessing all of this in a breath of a moment, she breathes out a shaking, heavy sigh. Jamie can feel each and every muscle in her body loosening, relaxing, in a way they hadn’t in a long time. The young captain realizes the power within herself; she can heal now, it won’t happen overnight but she can take those steps; she can make that choice. Steps to forgive herself and to become the Leader she is destined to be.

Then, all of a sudden, there’s a knock on the door. Saleek pulls out of the embrace slowly; his thumb brushes her cheek to wipe away her tears. “Forgive me,” he whispers, “I will just be a moment. I believe it is Doctor McCoy.” He pauses, “Do you wish to speak with him on this matter?”

“No, please, I don’t want him worrying…” He nods once and turns toward the door. K’diwa presses her head against Jame; she turns to her new furry friend. “Hey you! I was wondering where you ran off to.” Jame sniffles and hugs the Sehlat around her neck. She hears Saleek talking to Bones but she just rubs her face into K’diwa’s fur.

“Jame, darlin’ I have to approve this with you. It’s your medication, your treatment. You know protocol; Are you giving Ambassador Saleek your permission to administer your injection this one time?”

She takes in a deep shuddering breath. “Yes, Doctor McCoy. I, Captain Kirk, give Ambassador Saleek my explicit permission to administer my medication via Hypospray.”

The heavy southern sigh floats into the room and Jame makes out his soft words, “Just this once. She’s not emotionally stable right now- she lost someone; I think bein’ ‘round here’s bringin’ up memories… Anyway, she might say things before fallin’ asleep-”

“Leonard, you have already forgotten that I have endured a similar situation with my own Captain. All will be well.”

“No- I know, just- keep me posted, okay? I don’t want her gettin’ any worse.”

“Of course, Good evening Doctor.” His voice calms her frayed nerves; she sniffles some more and wipes her cheeks; then the door swishes closed.

“So much for not worrying him…”

The older man moves quietly behind her, places a hand on her shoulder, “I believe you will find, soon enough, that Leonard is very intuitive. He always seems to know when you have managed to get into trouble, when you are about to ingest something potentially hazardous, and when you are… emotionally compromised.”

“It probably has something to do with the fact that I told him I lost someone… He is something though. I wouldn’t have made it through the Academy without him. Even being the giant pain in the neck that he is… literally.”

There’s a soft huff of a laugh from behind her, “I believe it is time you readied yourself for sleep.”

“Oh no no no.” She turns to him, wagging her finger, before crossing her arms over her chest, “We have to talk first.” Quickly wiping tears off her jawline, she attempts to appear commanding.

“I am open to any topic of conversation you choose, given that you attempt-”

“You’re not sleeping on the couch.” Paired with her tear stained cheeks and pink nose, her furrowed brow simply serves to make her look a bit like a grumpy pup.

“…Apologies, might I inquire as to how you arrived at this statement?”

“My stuff isn’t in the living room. This would strongly suggest that my things are in the bedroom; which denotes your wish of my residing in your bed during the nocturnal hours.” She pauses with a look of affectionate annoyance, “Am I being technical enough for your sesquipedalian tendencies?”

K’diwa nuzzles her head against Jamie, so she scratches behind her ears. Spock Prime opens his mouth to inhale, with the intentions of responding.

“Don’t even start up with the ‘Vulcans require less sleep crap’. Yes, LESS sleep but you still need it; and you can’t just meditate the entirety of our stay! And you will require adequate rest. So, you’re not sleeping on the couch. This was, of course, your initial intention. Because these may be temporary quarters for other people staying here but you are an Ambassador who, once everything has settled, will need a place to stay during diplomatic discussions. Therefore, this room will remain yours even after construction is finished- meaning there is only one bed, unlike most of the other rooms I presume. So, you have two options and ONLY two. One, I move into the living room and sleep on the couch-”

“Absolutely not.” He cuts in with an amused air.

“Then option Two. After you’ve finished meditating, you go to bed as you normally would, despite my ass likely being in the way. There's no reason we can't cohabitate.”

“Very well Miss Kirk.” There’s a pause where Kirk simply stares at Saleek. “Now may we please retire for the evening?”

K’diwa bounds into the bedroom and onto the bed. “That’s it? No convincing needed?”

“I have long since given up on arguing with you over the sense of propriety. You have stubbornly come to a conclusion and I will not deny the lack of decorum nor will I deny that your logic is sound. It is, as you would say, ‘a massive waste of time’.”

“Okay…” She goes to the bathroom to get ready for bed, and when she comes out in Starfleet sweats, Saleek is dressed in a soft, elegant, dark green robe with gold swirls in the Traditional Golic Vulcan script. She can only fully read two of them, but they all appear to be poems about the stars.

Stars shine through the Night,

Bold and constant as our love.

With you, my Heart is Light.

________

Jamie steps forward, “What’s this word here?” She brushes the back of her fore and middle fingers, over his heart.

“That is T’hy’la.”

“I made this?” She whispers in awe. She shakes her head, clearing it, “She did… your Jamie?”

“She never took well to being idle. Before sewing and embroidery she engaged in recreational sports, after sewing she took to art. She was fond of trying to capture life on the Enterprise. But no hobby ever held her attention for long, though she became very talented in many of these fields. She was rather terrible at crochet and pottery, though she never quite stopped attempting them…”

“Ugh, same. Crochet hooks are so hard to manipulate…” K’diwa huffs from the bed and Saleek scratches under her chin. Jame sits on the edge of the bed next to a small medical case, “I suppose it’s time you drugged me up, huh?” She says with a deep sigh.

He allows himself a small sigh as well, “A crude turn of phrase, but yes.” Saleek then moves to stand in front of her, removing the Hypo from the case. “Take a slow, deep breath in.” She does, “Now slowly out.” And as she breathes out, he injects the medication.

“Hey! …That worked, why did that work?” She sits with confusion all over her face.

“It is not a trick of breathing, simply of your mentality. You need not tense so much for an injection; it will not prevent the process. Now, into bed my dear.”

She sighs heavily and lays back against K’diwa; turning on her side, Jamie wraps her arms around one of K’diwa’s big paws. “You know, I’m sure you do… I really like Spock. He’s very… very…” She yawns. Saleek sits on the edge of the bed and sweeps her hair behind her ear; he feels a small swell of jealousy that fades immediately with her next sentence. “Why is it that he doesn’t like me?” It’s written on Jamie’s face that this hurts her, a lot.

“Give it time, he may yet surprise you.”

“He won’t surprise me, if he surprised me then he would surprise himself… and Spock doesn’t like parties…”

Saleek quirks his brow with mirth; he stands, turns off the lights, and climbs into bed turning his back to her. “He may not be fond of parties but he is fond of you. Of that, I am certain. You must simply wait.”

“I don’t wanna wait… I don’ wanna… waid…” Another yawn. “I just wan’ ‘im ta see into my heart an’ soul like you do. I want him to love me too. I don’ have much… he can do better but… I wan’ T’i’ler.”

“T’hy’la, Jame, T’hy’la. Just rest my dear, tomorrow is another day.”

“Mmm kay.”