Fandom: Star Trek VI
Character(s): Jim Kirk and Uhura, with an appearance by Bones
Prompt: “As resulting directly from the events of the new movie:
Bereavement, grief, survival, remember.”
Word Count: 1,271
Author's Notes: This is my very first attempt at writing Trek fic, and all my knowledge about the fandom comes from the movie and other fanfiction so hopefully the voices sound right! Hope you enjoy!
Summary: Jim Kirk comes to terms with his new life after the awards ceremony.
Jim hadn’t wanted to go to the bar, but Bones had insisted, and eventually Jim had given in because Bones was awfully hard to get rid of when he wanted something. The truth was that Jim had been too emotionally unsettled to put up much of a fight, and the harder he tried to push his feelings away, the more they threatened to rise to the surface, and the last thing he wanted was to be around anyone when that happened.
But he could at least indulge Bones for a little while before thinking up some excuse to escape—I have to go cry now would hardly be appropriate, and was definitely damaging to the very essence of his manliness. He knew Bones would start to suspect something sooner or later because the man was suspicious by nature, and Jim Kirk hardly ever needed to be convinced to go out drinking. Yet past events had forced him to adjust his outlook on just about everything, including himself.
Though he knew he could be an arrogant bastard, he’d never found much reason to change that, and frankly hadn’t been bothered to give a damn. Yet for the first time in three years, he was really questioning himself, realized he wasn’t even sure he were here for the right reasons.
He was lucky to be alive, let alone have the Enterprise, but he knew he didn’t deserve either, and he couldn’t shake the guilt. The only reason he was standing here right now was because of some stupid dare, and everything he’d done had been for selfish reasons, bred from the desire to prove everyone wrong.
He was no hero.
Why couldn’t anyone else see that?
“Have you been listening to anything I’ve just said?”
Blinking, he looked over at Bones, who was giving him The Eye.
Jim’s answering cheeky smile felt forced and wooden. “Do I ever?”
Rolling his eyes, Bones grumbled, “I don’t even know why I still try.”
“Because I’m irresistible?”
Though Jim’s heart wasn’t really in it, Bones was choosing not to comment if he were picking up on that, and for that Jim was grateful. Besides, he could almost convince himself that things were back to normal, and he clung to the delusion because he honestly had no idea what would happen if he let his emotions take over completely, and that unnerved him a little.
Releasing a long suffering sigh, Bones grumbled, “Just try to be on your best behavior tonight, all right?”
Jim shook his head. It was nice to know that some things would probably never change. “Yes, mother.”
Bones snorted, and Jim saw they had finally arrived at the bar. Well, maybe getting drunk was just what he needed, after all. At least he’d be able to forget for a night.
Pushing open the door, they were greeted with an almost deafening cheer of “Congratulations, captain!” and Jim froze on the spot, eyes wide with surprise as he saw his entire crew there in the middle of the bar.
Patting his shoulder, Jim was only dimly aware of Bones saying, “After everything that’s happened, everyone wanted to celebrate—it was actually Spock’s idea.”
The bridge crew was all there—Spock, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, even Scotty and other faces he recognized but couldn’t place a name—and suddenly it was too much for Jim. He tried to swallow, but couldn’t get it passed the lump in his throat, and his eyes were stinging from more than the smoke, and—oh dear God, he was going to lose it. Maybe everyone else had managed to find a moment to grieve, but Jim hadn’t had any time to himself except for when he had been unconscious for two days in sickbay after they’d escaped the black hole.
And this was the worst timing ever for everything to come crashing down.
But he knew he couldn’t just turn tail and run, so he fiercely told himself to get a grip and chatted with everyone until he was sure they wouldn’t notice him leave. Just as he thought he wouldn’t be able to stand another minute of this, he managed to slip away and didn’t stop until he was sitting on a bench outside.
Letting his head fall limply into his hands, it didn’t take long for the tears to come, and his shoulders shook as he cried as he hadn’t done since he had been a teenager. He’d spent his entire life learning not to depend on anyone, to be self-reliant and independent because people just let you down.
Bones had been his first real friend, the first to show him things didn’t necessarily need to be like that. It had taken a while for him to get used to that, but Bones had somehow patiently put up with him until he’d earned Jim’s trust.
And now he had an entire crew who looked up to him, expected him to lead them and make the right decisions. He wanted this, he did, but he’d never really stopped to look at the bigger picture before, and now that he was it scared him.
Was he ever going to get used to this?
“I hope you’re not out here feeling sorry for yourself, Kirk.”
Jerking his head up, he found himself looking into the unexpected face of Uhura, and he wondered briefly how much of his little display she’d seen, hoping his face didn’t give anything away.
At least he’d finally stopped crying.
He tried to grin at her, but was pretty sure he failed miserably. “What, did you miss me?”
“Ha, ha.” And then she really looked at him. “Anything you want to talk about?”
No, he wanted to laugh. Uhura’s dislike of him was no secret, and she’d never bothered to approach him like this before. He certainly helped contribute to that dislike, and though he’d been pleased to see she’d wanted to continue serving on the Enterprise, he was pretty sure he’d had nothing to do with that decision.
Eyeing her suspiciously, he asked, “You do remember who I am, right?’
She snorted. “Unfortunately, yes.” Sighing, she moved to sit next to him, and he just stared at her. In spite of all his efforts, he was convinced he was never going to figure her out.
“Look, Kirk…I know you’re probably thinking that Spock is my reason for staying, and if you are, you should know he hasn’t yet made up his mind, and I would never make such a huge decision for a man. I’m staying because, in spite of your crazy, unorthodox methods, I think you’ll make a good captain, and I might even respect you a little now.”
She was being absolutely serious.
He would never admit how much he’d needed to hear that, how much more it meant to hear that from Uhura, of all people, and when he grinned at her this time, it felt real.
“Just a little?”
Rolling her eyes, she said, “Don’t push it.” As she stood up, she added, “We should probably go back before people start wondering about us.”
“Don’t worry,” Jim said, “I only have sex with farm animals, remember?”
She laughed, and though he knew she was perceptive enough to know the effect her words had had on him, the moment was about to disappear, and he needed to say something.
Forcing his pride back, he called her name just as she was about to walk back into the bar, and she turned to look at him expectantly. With all the sincerity he could muster, he said, “Thank you.”
She just smiled.