jaylee_g: T'hy'la (Kirk/Spock)
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posted by [personal profile] jaylee_g at 01:04pm on 18/08/2012 under ,
Title: Let Us Move On, Step Out Boldy
Author: [livejournal.com profile] jaylee_g
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2688
Status: Complete
Universe: ST:Reboot
Summary: "So here they were, their first bridge shift over, locked together in Jim’s new ready room, meeting for the first time, one-on-one, as Captain and First Officer for real, and not because of a field promotion and an extremely unfortunate chain of events, participating in a staring contest."
Notes: Written for the 2012 KiScon zine.
Notes 2: Yes, I know I completely disappeared for awhile and believe me there are reasons, a lot of them. I will make a post about it, promise, but my daughter has a birthday party to go to in about an hour and I don't have time for more than a fly-by posting. In the meanwhile, here's fic, hopefully I'm forgiven for the disappearing act? *sheepish grin*
Special Thanks: to [livejournal.com profile] dracavia, [livejournal.com profile] silvershadowkit and [livejournal.com profile] sandyk199 for the excellent beta work and [livejournal.com profile] arminaa for the additional editing.



*****

Dark eyes stared at him, unblinking, from across the table.

And because Jim had never back down from a challenge in his life, least he die a thousand deaths only to be resurrected to die a thousand more, Jim stared right back.

A small paranoid part of him wondered if Spock could read his thoughts. Oh, he knew Vulcans were touch telepaths, that Spock’s vast repertoire of skills didn’t include “Jim Kirk 101: Learning Your New Captain Through Osmosis”, thank the stars, but well, Jim knew just enough about his First Officer to know not to put anything past him.

If it could be done, Spock would be the one to accomplish it through sheer pigheadedness. Not that Jim knew anything about being pigheaded, not at all… Okay, okay, so he was known to be a bit stubborn every now and then, and he resented it a little that the new Vulcan in his life was after his record.

And it didn’t help that Jim was thoroughly convinced that his First was actively giving the osmosis-Jim-reading the ol’ academy try.

Still neither of them spoke.

Awkward, thy name is… Something, Something, Something more Jim couldn’t pronounce, Spock.

So here they were - their first bridge shift over, locked together in Jim’s new ready room, meeting for the first time, one on one, as Captain and First Officer for real, and not because of a field promotion and an extremely unfortunate chain of events - participating in a staring contest.

Jim wasn’t sure how well this boded for the next five years.

There were probably prior points in his life Jim could point to where silence was thick, repressive, and stifling, but he didn’t think any of those moments were quite as… loaded as this.

What happened here had the potential to mean everything.

The problem wasn’t a lack of things to say. Oh Jim had plenty. Ranging from: ‘So, those things I said to you on the bridge that day? I didn’t mean them, I just didn’t see any other way,’ to ‘You rubbed my father’s death in my face, then left me to become a Jim-sized popsicle for the local giant ice lobster, all in the same day, you bastard! Word of advice, try that shit again while I’m captain and you and I are going to have words.’ To ‘Thank you for agreeing to be my First, thank you, thank you, thank you. I truly believe we’re going to be awesome together. I’ll make sure that you never regret it, that is a promise’ and back again to ‘Three words: Giant. Ice. Lobster!’

But because his older brother Sam had always been the one to win the ‘let’s see how long we can look into each other’s eyes without blinking’ contests as a kid, and because Jim didn’t want to give Spock long enough to figure the osmosis telepathy thing out, he blurted, “I know you know about the other you!” and then blinked in surprise at himself for having said it.

Well, not exactly his first choice of topics to bring up with Spock, not even his tenth (which involved the aforementioned giant Jim-eating lobsters), but since it was out there…

“We were friends, he said, you and I, in another life. Amazing friends, friends who accomplish great things together,” Jim announced, leaning back in his chair lest Spock make any sudden moves, all the while praying his voice didn’t give hint to just how much he wanted that fact to become true in their own fucked up universe as well.

For someone who had always felt separate, smarter than his peers, forever curious, and filled to the brink with an unquenchable wanderlust, a soul deep friendship that spanned decades and shattered foundations with another hugely intelligent, curious, and wanderlusty person was like a Holy Grail: coveted, longed for, held in reverence.

Possession of such a friendship would be like Fate, herself, had come in and announced, ‘Hey, Jim Kirk, sorry about giving you the brains to recognize that Riverside, Iowa was about as exciting as a box of rocks and then dropping you there to wallow in that fact for the bulk of your childhood, but guess what? Turns out you’re not alone after all, there are actually others like you in the universe. You’re welcome.’

“I know that you were set to leave Starfleet and go with your people, and because I know for a fact that old you is one sneaky son of a bitch,” Jim tried, very hard, to keep the irony out of his tone as he said that, though it was considerably difficult. “I mean that as a compliment by the way, I look forward to seeing that side of you,” he added, smiling at his afterthought, “but I digress, anyway the only explanation for you leaving all of that and taking this position under someone you had a shaky start with was that he got to you, too.”

While Jim wasn’t naive enough to believe Spock would praise his deductive reasoning and fall worshipfully at his feet (and if that was a secret fantasy of Jim’s what of it? He was a healthy, red blooded, adult male… it was when he didn’t have fantasies involving other healthy, attractive, intelligent beings that one would have to worry), but he was expecting more than he actually got in response, which was a single elevated eyebrow.

Granted, it was a high elevation, and how in the world did Spock do that with just the one? Did Vulcans have more facial muscles or something? Jim couldn’t raise an eyebrow that high without closing the other eye to accomplish it. Jim felt a strong desire to touch it, see if he could work out the mechanics of it, but he, wisely, squelched that particular impulse. Spock may be a fellow nomad and all, but Jim knew enough about Spock to know not to encroach on his personal space uninvited. He liked his balls attached to his body, thank you very much.

Spock followed the eyebrow with another minute or two of silence, probably because he liked making Jim nervous, the sadistic bastard, before finally replying, “Your observations are astute.”

“You say the nicest things,” Jim said dryly, “don‘t strain yourself with the compliments on my account, I mean, please attempt to hold yourself back before this gets any more embarrassing.”

The very corner, of the very tip, of the very edge (and a millimeter after that) of Spock’s mouth twitched, and Jim felt his heart (and his ego, he was man enough to admit it) take flight.

He had made Spock almost-smile! ….That was absolutely fantastic. See, now this is what he was talking about. Jim being his normal smart-ass self and Spock completely getting him. They were on their way to bosom compadres already.

And suddenly, as if that not-quite-but-almost-smile had been a signal from the (metaphorical) heavens, Jim knew exactly what to say, and just how to say it.

“I want it, too, Spock. What they had? I want it, too.”

He could have elaborated. Could have waxed poetic on how epic their future partnership would become, the two of them becoming thick as thieves, closer than brothers, could have brought up every pop culture reference at his disposal from Holmes and Watson to Sam and Frodo, but he didn’t feel he had to.

And that feeling, the feeling of not having to explain himself, of just knowing that he would be understood, was positively liberating.

He couldn’t say he’d ever experienced it before with anybody, wasn’t even sure such a phenomenon existed in reality, outside the confines of a collection of cheesy daily affirmations. And he certainly didn’t believe in signs, aside fromthe one that existed in an empirical sense and usually read something along the lines of ‘Beware of dog genetically engineered to have the teeth of a shark’ or ‘Stan and Miriam marriage on Tuesday, Bingo on Wednesday’. But he did believe in patterns, and this was the start to a rather brilliant one…

Except for the fact that Spock continued to stare at him, still and stoic. If he’d been moved at all by Jim’s confession, he didn’t show it. If anything, Spock was sitting even more rigid than before (a feat Jim wouldn’t have thought possible five minutes prior, when Spock was already in the process of breaking the Federation record for it, previously held by a totem pole). Thus any exhilaration Jim had felt at working towards a higher level of understanding between them was dismally squashed.

Rejection was not a nice feeling at all. Never had been. He hated it, each and every time it had happened to him during the course of his life. And just when he was contemplating between cracking a joke to hide his vulnerability and asking Spock just why the hell he was here then - and did he not get the part where being Jim Kirk’s First Officer meant that whether he liked his captain or not they would be working closely together for five years; if they were to be effective as teams go those five years would have to include some kind of mutually amicable working conditions, whether Vulcans did amicable or not (and Jim had proof in Old Spock that they sure as hell did) - Spock opened his mouth to deign him with a response…

“You do not fully comprehend what it is your words imply.”

With that simple statement Jim deflated, but almost immediately (because he hated living in a universe where powerlessness had the audacity to exist) he got a little bit angry. Did Spock truly think him that unobservant?

He’d been called a lot of things throughout his rather short life: prodigal son, louche, sleaze, a dumb hick who only had sex with farm animals, and on one memorable occasion ‘strumpet’ (Bones really needed to work on updating that antiquated vocabulary of his, particularly when intoxicated). Usually he would merely laugh at how easily impressions could be made or broken, but one thing he would not stomach, not with the passion of a thousand fiery suns, was for Spock to think him an idiot, and a blind one at that.

Jim would never forget the look in the old man’s eyes when they had first landed on him in that cave on Delta Vega, the way the cave went from cold to hot in that moment. Nor the way he’d said Jim’s name, as a whisper of a long forgotten stanza of pre-Surakian poetry, like Jim were the answer to every conundrum he’d ever logicked himself over… like Jim was chocolate syrup atop chocolate sprinkles, atop chocolate ice cream over a chocolate brownie, and the old guy the Vulcan equivalent of an chocoholic (or Sam after a bad break-up, but you know, potato, potahto).

Bones may be the one on-board the Enterprise with a degree in psychology (and every other kind of ‘ology’ there was that he could use to drive Jim batty in that lovable Bonesian way) but Jim played chess, dammit, more than that he was good at it, and one didn’t become a grand master at that particular game without becoming an astute observer of the nature of man (or alien) kind.

“Just how much of an idiot do you think I am, Spock?” he asked, not bothering to keep the indignation out of his tone, and adding a dash more intensity for dramatic effect. “Forget what you’ve heard or what rumors have circulated, we’re so far past that it’s ridiculous. You’ve seen me in action and I’ve seen you. We’ve been to hell and back. And I know that you and Uhura broke it off when you decided to give up Starfleet for the colony. So could you give me a little credit here? You know, I don’t want you to strain yourself too hard or anything, but if you haven’t yet exceeded your daily quota of random acts of kindness today, picture a world where I know exactly what I meant… t’hy’la.”

Jim not only knew how to read and predict behavior in people, he damn well knew how to read. Enjoyed it, in fact. When he retired, assuming that dreaded, awful day ever did come (‘retirement’ was such a dirty word), he planned to do so in a library of some sort. And lately he had found himself drawn rather singularly to Vulcan texts: Vulcan culture, Vulcan history, Vulcan mythology…. More particularly, because it had far more blood, guts and sex in it, and was therefore far more interesting than blah, blah, blah logic, blah, blah blah more logic, blah, blah, blah we are logical, ask me how, he found himself devouring pre-reformed Vulcan history.

Spock didn’t bother to hide his shock at Jim’s use of that word. And Jim would be lying if he said he didn’t feel a small bit of satisfaction in that, but he also felt a small flame of hope spark to life once more in his heart.

There was only one term in the Vulcan language that described someone remembering the name, face, and touch of a friend, one hundred odd years or so after that person had died. Not only remembering said person, but doing so with a reverence that had both shaken and touched Jim to his core when he’d witnessed it.

He could make Spock feel: shock, amusement, anger, all of it.

He’d done it from day one, albeit unwittingly and not exactly pleasantly at first, but the thing is he had challenged Spock, and Spock had challenged him, and neither one of them could look away nor back down. Jim had always prided himself on being pretty resilient, and sweet Gorn-on-a-cracker he knew Spock prided himself on being taciturn, everyone knew that, but all the resilience or taciturn-ness in the world couldn’t protect them from each other. Not since the second they had met.

That had to mean something.

Not destiny, destiny was a cop-out, a man made his own destiny, but patterns.

In two universes now, the combined team of Kirk and Spock had kicked all kinds of ass. And they’d done it by bringing out the very best and the very worst of each other.

The opposite of love wasn’t hate; it was indifference. There was no indifference going on anywhere close in proximity to he and Spock. Hell, indifference might as well live in another galaxy altogether. Jim knew that just as sure as he knew that he and Spock should combine their mad skills for the greater good.

He’d been meaning to wait the romantic aspect of their epic opus out. Show a little patience. Become Spock’s friend first, get to know him better, see where the mood took them from there. And if, one day, Spock came to whisper his name like ardent, fiery poetry, and look at him as if he were a syllabus, the way Old Spock had, Jim would consider himself blessed. But since Spock had forced his hand (hand, pride, same difference), well, Jim could work with that, too.

With his heart rate increasing dramatically, he stated again, just in case there was any confusion on Spock’s part, “I want it.”

It was then Jim discovered that, somewhere in the moments between shock and the present, he hadn’t lost his ability to conjure forth more of Spock from beneath the Vulcan façade. That kind of power was positively heady.

Spock’s eyes gaze grew intent, the pupils of his eyes dilated, his posture was rigid still, but with entirely different purpose… more concentrated.

The transformation was probably barely evident to anyone not paying exceedingly close attention, but Jim saw it, oh yes, noted it, and felt his poor abused heart beat even faster in result of said observations.

He could devote a lifetime to studying Spock. He’d welcome the challenge of it. Looked forward to it, in fact.

“It is fortuitous then, that our goals are aligned,” Spock announced, as he stood slowly, surely, and moved with all the grace of a panther towards Jim.

It didn’t take a genius of either his or Spock’s caliber to know that Jim was in for one wild ride, both short-term and most definitely (if he had anything to say about it), long-term.

…He wouldn’t have it any other way.


The End!

Mood:: 'busy' busy
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