Disclaimer: The rights to Star Trek belong to Gene Roddenberry, and NuTrek belongs to J.J. Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman.
A/N: Sorry it took so long to get this updated! The end of school is drawing near and I was swamped with a writing portfolio and finals and ugh. So yeah, here you go.
A/N2: My readers are seriously the best. Props for those of you who reminded me that Jim is allergic to strawberries. Duh, SpirkTrekker. It has now been changed to blueberries, to which Jim is NOT allergic. Thanks so much!
Ch. 8: Surprises At Work
The next morning, Kirk awoke to find himself alone in bed. It wasn't surprising, as Spock needed less sleep than humans did. What was surprising was Kirk's twinge of disappointment at Spock's absence. He chalked it up to a loss of warmth – he'd never slept with anyone who was a better bed-warmer than Spock. In the literal sense, of course.
Yawning, the cadet forced himself out of bed. He and Spock were due to start jobs at Starfleet today and he didn't want to be late. Jim hurried through his morning routine after he smelled the aroma of pancakes beckoning from the kitchen. Yum! He hadn't had his mother's homemade pancakes in years, not since he was little.
Jim bounded down the stairs to find Spock, George, Winona, and young Sam seated around the kitchen table digging in to their pancakes. Well, Spock was nibbling on his. Did anyone follow the rules of politeness more than Spock? Jim doubted it.
"Morning," Jim announced. "Those pancakes smell really good, Mo- er, Mrs. Kirk."
"Help yourself, dear."
Jim did, and carried his tall stack of pancakes over to the table. He plopped down next to Spock, and lathered his plate in maple syrup and blueberries. He was about to pick up one of the pancakes with his hands, but Spock unleashed his Eyebrow of Doom and Jim decided against it. Unfortunately, after using utensils and neatly cutting his pancakes into eight equal squares, Jim barely had time to take a few bites before George asked,
"So, as far as jobs go, what fields interest you two?"
"Oh, anything's fine," said Jim, his mouth still full of pancakes. "Whatever you got."
"Nonsense," said Spock. "Just last night, Augustus informed me that he'd considered the command track-"
"That's not completely true, Spock," Jim hissed. "I said I was thinking about it. That doesn't mean I'm committed. Command is a lot of responsibility; I'm just not sure if I'm ready for that."
"I believe he would make an excellent candidate for command, sir," Spock said innocently.
"Well, if a Vulcan says it, it must be true," said George with a wink. Jim didn't know how Spock managed to compliment and infuriate him at the same time. Winona smirked at 'Augustus' and was about to add her two cents when Sam started fussing. Not wanting to disturb her guests, she took her young son into a different room to deal with him.
"You alright, hon?" George called over his shoulder as he watched them leave out of the corner of his eye.
"I'll call you if I need you," was his wife's response.
Satisfied that Winona was taking care of their son, George returned his attentions to his guests.
"You know, now that you mention Command, I have just the job for you, Augustus."
"What's that?" Jim nervously bit his lip.
"One of the new instructors has his hands full training cadets on the command track and is badly in need of an assistant. Lieutenant Christopher Pike, I believe is his name. Nice guy, a little enthusiastic, but nice." George chuckled, remembering his first encounter with the lieutenant, who worshiped the ground he walked on. "I think you'd like working with him."
"I'll take it," Jim beamed, sending Spock a furtive smug look. The man was like a second father to him in his own time. How awesome would it be to get to know a Pike that was close to their age before he was burdened by all that responsibility?
"Great." George gently slapped Jim on the back.
"Glad I could help out." Jim replied with a smile.
The Vulcan watched this exchange with tepid fascination – would humans ever cease to surprise him? His father certainly would've never slapped him on the back. If his mother was here, Spock imagined she would say it was an 'illogical male human tradition' and leave it at that.
"So Spock, what about you?" George interrupted the Vulcan's thoughts. "I think it would be best to place you on the opposite side of campus near the computer center. Unless you can't stand being away from Jim and want to be assigned near him..."
"No!" Jim and Spock cried in unison.
A slow green blush materialized on the Vulcan's face as he considered what George's comment would mean by Vulcan standards. If a Vulcan couldn't stand being away from another, more than likely they would bond for life. Parted and never parted. Touching and touched…
"Ahem, no. I believe Spock's into science," Jim said quickly, coming to his rescue. "I'm sure he'd be a great help in one of the labs."
"Of course!" George exclaimed. "Vulcans are almost always interested in that particular field of study. I should've remembered that. How about it, Spock?" The Vulcan lifted an eyebrow.
"I do not mean to be rude, sir, but I would prefer to serve with the tech support unit. I have considerable experience with computers and would enjoy the challenge of working with them."
"Very well." Jim's dad shrugged. "The IT guys would love to have you on their team. Don't worry, Spock, we'll be sure to give you plenty of work to keep that complex Vulcan mind of yours busy."
Spock's eyes softened a tad as George took his suggestion into consideration.
"I appreciate your consideration, sir."
"Good. I'll text you the locations of your new jobs as soon as I file the correct forms," said Commander Kirk. "You two can use the public transport system to the academy – be there at 0900 sharp!"
"We will endeavor to arrive on time," answered the Vulcan. When Jim said nothing, Spock subtly nudged his arm.
"Me too - what he said." Jim smiled sweetly at his father, who looked like he was holding back a laugh.
"Goodbye, fellas." After checking on his wife and son, George Kirk walked towards the garage that housed his hovercar, shaking his head at Kirk and Spock's antics. He wondered how long they would be staying with him, and hoped it would be for awhile.
"What was that all about?" A puzzled Jim asked Spock. "Why wouldn't you want a science job? You LOVE science. In fact, you probably secretly get off on science. And logic."
As usual, Spock ignored Jim's innuendo. But this time, he had a hard time controlling his natural impulses. What would Jim say if he knew Spock really did find sexual relief when thinking about complex equations and indulging a fantasy of joining minds with one who would forever complete him? He'd never hear the end of it.
"I believe I can cause less damage to the time stream history if I fix computers, as opposed to me taking part in science experiments." Spock turned to Jim, leaning just slightly forward. "Even the slightest divergence in the time stream could have catastrophic consequences."
"Sounds logical," Jim admitted. "So I guess I have to be careful what I say to Pike, huh?"
"That is correct."
Spock watched as Jim swallowed his last bite of pancake and licked his lips. The Vulcan blinked, filing that moment away in his eidetic memory. So far he'd observed Cadet Kirk run his tongue between his lips twelve times. Not that he was fixating on this particular behavior; Spock was just very thorough in his observations.
"Cadet, I believe there is an errant piece of blueberry on your chin."
Jim shrugged, a tiny smirk gracing his full lips.
"So get it off."
Spock looked affronted.
"Cadet Kirk, might I remind you that while we are trying to repair the space-time continuum, you are still expected to adhere to Starfleet's regulations."
"Sorry, Spock. I didn't mean anything by it." He wiped the tiny blueberry slice off his chin. "But we did sleep in the same bed, last night."
"With much emphasis on the word 'slept'." Spock said, a small frown growing on his features. "I would prefer if you did not inform anyone of our sleeping arrangement. They might infer that we are having sexual relations."
Jim's smirk grew.
"What's wrong with that?"
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"That is certainly not the case; I would not wish to encourage a fallacy. Also, it is common knowledge that Vulcans mate for life. I would not wish to bring shame on my species."
"You're half human too," Kirk reminded him.
"I identify as Vulcan," Spock stated, sounding a bit frosty.
Kirk held up his hands in defense.
"Dude, why you gotta go all ice queen on me?"
"Ice queen?" The Vulcan blinked, genuinely confused. "I do not understand that reference."
"Forget it," Jim said, bracingly. He gently patted Spock on the back, and thankfully the Vulcan didn't flinch at the contact. "Look, if my teasing really bothers you, I can stop."
"I will not ask you to alter your personality just for my sake, Cadet Kirk. Your actions do not greatly distress me." Quite the opposite... As a matter of fact, Spock actually enjoyed the light teasing. The fact that Jim wished to make it known that he'd shared a bed with Spock pleased him more than it should have. Luckily, Jim didn't notice.
"Spock, for chrissakes, will you please call me 'Jim'?"
"Is addressing you by your first name vital to the success of our working relationship?"
"Yes!" Jim looked Spock squarely in the eyes. "To me it is. It puts us on even ground. Not Spock and Cadet Kirk, but SpockandJim." Kirk slurred that last part as he trailed off, glancing sheepishly at Spock.
The Vulcan's eyes softened.
"Very well, Jim. I shall endeavor to remember this in the future."
As they headed for work, Jim congratulated himself on winning a personal victory, even if it was a small one. Perhaps he could crack this Vulcan's shields yet. Jim knew that Spock needed a true friend even more than he did. Lucky for Jim, he had Bones, but who did Spock have? Did he even interact with others outside of work? Did he have his own version of Bones to celebrate with and to help him get through tough times? Jim vowed to find out soon.
Location: Starfleet Academy
One hour later
Jim bid Spock goodbye and headed toward Cochran Hall, where the command classes were being taught. He found Pike's classroom easily – he could recognize that voice anywhere. It didn't have the rough edge that Pike must've gained after logging countless star-hours over the past twenty-five years, but it still commanded respect.
"Augustus Kirk, reporting for duty, sir." Kirk gave him a mock salute. "But you can call me Gus," Jim added in an afterthought. Augustus was a little lofty for him. It was okay around his family, but he needed Pike and the students to like him, and not think he was a threat.
"Kirk?" Pike couldn't control his surprise. "You're my new assistant? And you're related to George Kirk?"
"Guilty as charged." Jim laughed it off, but inside he was hurt that, even going back in time, he was still compared to his father. "It's good to meet you, Lieutenant Pike."
"And you. Call me Chris." They shook hands and Pike handed him a PADD to use. Then he resumed teaching. "Now, we're just in the middle of a debate. Each small group has a different scenario in which their ship is facing. In this exercise we are not only evaluating their final solution but how well they work together. Why don't you join Cadet Riley's group over here?"
Jim did, and the rest of the class flew by as he rotated from group to group. Each had varying ideas on how to deal with impossible situations. He'd listened to almost every person give their input. While most of them didn't think to solve the problem in a way that he would, their answers were at least well-formed, if not completely practical.
The bell rang and Pike dismissed the class with a reminder of their reading for the next day. As soon as the students had all filed out, Jim approached Pike.
"Chris?" Pike turned around to face Jim.
"What can I do for you, Gus?"
"I just had a question. Are they going to have some actual experience in training for command? I mean, yeah, theory's important, but it's not the same as-"
"I couldn't agree more." Pike grinned at him. "Next week we begin the practical training, and that's when I'll really need your help."
"Glad to do it." Jim shifted his weight, debating how he was to go about asking Pike some questions. "So how many missions have you gone on so far?" Jim wanted to know more about his hero's younger days. Even now, Pike was a bad ass, and he imagined there were some cool stories about him.
"Really?" Jim gaped at him. "But you're so… I mean, I think you would be awesome at command."
"Thanks, Gus." Pike gave him a wry smile. "But we all can't be George Kirks. My fiancée was killed in a space battle last year, and I've taken ground jobs ever since. My heart's just not in it anymore."
"I'm sorry." Jim hadn't known that. He knew there was a story behind the fact that the Pike of his time was single and never dated anymore, but he never would've guessed that he'd suffered such a personal tragedy. Kirk placed his hand on Pike's arm, hoping his touch would be a comfort.
A misty-eyed Pike cleared his throat, and Jim removed his arm.
"If you don't mind me asking, how are you related to George?"
"We're cousins, not first cousins, but something once removed…" Jim trailed off and shrugged. "I've lived off planet for a good while, and just dropped in for a visit. I'm interested in applying for the academy, and George thought it would be a good idea if I could have some first-hand experience."
"I see." Pike regarded him quietly. "You know, I've decided to pick George Kirk as the subject for my dissertation. I can't think of a better example of a leader than him. I tried to make an appointment to interview him, but the secretary said his schedule's booked until he returns from his mission on the Kelvin."
"You might want to get that in before he leaves," Jim managed to choke out, trying not to dwell on the fact that his father wouldn't be returning from that mission.
"I can't get past the secretary. But maybe if you helped…" Nodding, Jim slung his arm around Pike.
"C'mon. Let's go check out his office. One way or another, I'll get you that interview."
Once they found Commander Kirk's office, they were told to wait by the secretary. Then "Augustus" dropped his last name, and they were told that Commander Kirk would be with them in fifteen minutes.
Jim and Chris Pike had barely sat down in the waiting room when the secretary rushed in to warn them that a campus-wide alert had been issued. Apparently one of the kids had escaped from the daycare center, broke into the med bay, and had stolen an entire case of hyposprays.
Jim started laughing. He hadn't meant to laugh, but he knew exactly what was going on. It was an incident that was very familiar to him.
"You think this is funny?" Pike frowned.
"No, I just-" Jim gasped, holding his sides. At that moment, someone overrode the code to Kirk's office and stepped inside.
Standing before them, with a crazed expression on his face, was a young Leonard McCoy. In his right hand was a fully loaded hypospray, filled with who knows what. The secretary screamed shrilly, attracting the kid's attention.
"Woah, hold on there little buddy," Jim cautioned, bringing attention to himself. He didn't want to reveal that he knew McCoy's name unless it was absolutely necessary. "What's that you got there?" Pike stared at Jim like he was nuts, but made no move to interfere.
"Hypos," the young Bones said promptly.
"Why did you take the hypos?" Jim asked, in a tone that sounded like they were just discussing the weather.
"They wouldn't let me play doctor. In daycare, I mean," kid McCoy elaborated with a sniff.
"So you decided to go get the real stuff." Jim hid a smile.
"Uh huh. I 'jected myself in the neck, see?" He pointed to a rapidly-swelling bruise on his neck.
"How do you feel right now?" Jim squatted down to the kid's level. The last thing he needed was to threaten him with his size.
"Kinda angry." McCoy's eyes grew large and his hand began to shake.
"I'm sorry. Can you tell me what else happened?" Jim knew he had to keep the kid talking until help arrived.
McCoy scowled at Jim.
"This morning my dad said I wasn't smart enough to be a doctor like him and-"
"What's going on?" George Kirk burst into the room, effectively cutting off the boy.
"Ahhhhhh!!" A startled McCoy whirled around and went to stab George Kirk in the leg, but a concerned Pike pushed him out of the way.
"I'll save you sir!" Unfortunately, Pike wasn't fast enough to avoid the hypo.
Hiss. Jim and George Kirk watched in amazement as Pike dropped to the ground like a dead fish. He was out cold.
"Give me the hypos, Leonard," Jim said sternly. This had gone on long enough.
"You know my name?" For the first time, McCoy looked the tiniest bit afraid.
"I know a lot more than that." Kirk smirked. "I know you were born in Georgia, your favorite food is grits, and despite your southern upbringing you hate country music." McCoy gaped at him.
"How could you know all that?"
"Future Temporal Time Police, Agent Smith." Jim quickly flashed his ID before McCoy could get a good luck. "Hand over the hypos, kid, and you won't get hurt. It's a matter of Federation security."
Young McCoy gulped in fear as Jim narrowed his eyes at him.
"Oh crap. I'm sorry!" The future doctor immediately dropped the case of hypos, and Jim swooped down to retrieve them. "Am I in trouble?" McCoy bit his lip, staring up at the pair of Kirks and the secretary in dismay.
By that point, security forces had arrived with McCoy's father in tow, who, after checking Pike, gave him a hypo to counteract the effects of the sedative. Dr. McCoy Sr. apologized for his son's behavior and dragged him out of the room by the hand. But before they left, Jim had to say something, even if it was breaking the Prime Directive.
McCoy turned around, his brown eyes pleading for Jim not to make things worse.
Jim smiled encouragingly.
"You'll make one hell of a doctor."
Young Bones grinned back at Jim, and waved as he turned the corner.
"Ow, my head," Pike groaned as the security guards helped him up. Then he noticed that he was still in his idol's presence. "Oh. Sir! I-"
"Take him in my office," George ordered the guards, cutting Pike off before he would embarrass himself. "I want to thank him personally." The security workers nodded, and began to drag Pike toward George's office.
"Thank you, Gladys, that will be all." The commander's shaken secretary straightened her skirt, and returned to her desk. Then George rounded on Jim.
"Okay, I want to know exactly how you knew all that stuff about that kid." Jim smiled sweetly.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." George regarded his 'long lost cousin' for a long moment.
"Fine," he sighed. "But I'll be keeping my eye on you."
Jim followed his father into his office. He tried to look on the bright side of the situation - at least Pike would be getting his interview.
While Jim was forging a friendship with young Christopher Pike, Spock reported to the technology center. The moment he crossed over the threshold of the entrance, he was immediately greeted by an overenthusiastic human.
"You must be Mr. Spock." The curly haired female beamed at him. Thankfully she didn't reach for his hand and greeted him with the customary split-fingered ta'al. "It will be so exciting to be working with a Wulcan! I heard your species can perform multiple caluwations in your head, and you can feel others' emotions through your skin!"
"What is your name, Cadet?" Spock interrupted the squeaky voice, which was starting to give him a headache.
"Ensign Olga Andreivich, at your service, sir! Now, we are needing your assistance on a wery classified project. We are designing a program to test the critical thinking skills of each cadet. You see, right over here-" She directed him toward a computer console.
Inwardly, the Vulcan sighed as he took a seat. He'd deduced that they were designing the forerunner to the Kobayashi Maru, the model that had been perfected only when he arrived at Starfleet. Unfortunately, he was forbidden by the Prime Directive to help them.
The shrill voice was still speaking quite close to his sensitive ear and it was all he could do to keep his emotions in check. It was going to be a long day…
Later that afternoon
Once they returned to the house, Kirk and Spock eagerly told each other about their individual experiences at 'work'.
"I can't believe you got stuck with that Russian chick!" Jim crowed when Spock brought his story to a close. "She kind of reminds me of this fourteen year old genius kid I had in my physics class. But what are the odds?"
"I do not have sufficient data to complete that calculation." Kirk sighed and decided to take this opportunity to get to know this Vulcan a little better.
"Speaking of girls, are there any chicks back at the academy that you like?"
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"The academy is not a housing facility for the offspring of rooster and hens, therefore-"
"Girls, Spock, girls!" Jim interrupted. "Do you like any girls?"
"Of course. I appreciate the talents of all the females in my classes-"
"No, no, no. Do you like them in a romantic sense?"
Spock blinked, his face a mask of concentration. He was not sure how much to reveal to Jim. If only we could meld, then he would understand. While Spock was definitely flattered by the attention Nyota had been giving him, he wasn't positive if he was attracted to her, or if he was just impressed by her intelligence. And if his life wasn't complicated enough, now he was beginning to feel something for Jim…
"I am not certain. There is one young human female who has expressed a wish to interact with me on a personal level, but I told her I would need time to think about it."
"You stud! Alright!" Jim tried to give him a high-five, but failed. He slowly brought his arm back down. "Right, the touching thing. So, who is she?"
Spock decided it couldn't hurt to reveal the some of the details, as he was beginning to trust the human.
"Are you familiar with Cadet Uhura?"
Jim's eyes bugged out of his skull.
"No freakin' way! You scored Uhura?"
Spock's brow furrowed.
"I do not appreciate the way you refer to women."
"I don't really mean it like that, Spock." Kirk insisted. "It's just how guys talk sometimes. Trust me, aside from some harmless flirting, I could never treat a women with disrespect." Spock carefully sized up the human. Jim didn't flinch even under such close scrutiny.
"No, I do not believe you would," Spock finally realized.
"So what is it you have that I don't?" Jim frowned, taking this moment to closely scrutinize the Vulcan, who happened to be quite a gorgeous specimen.
"I believe the human idiom is 'tall, dark, and handsome'."
The Vulcan's eyes glinted with veiled humor.
"Hey!" Jim protested. "I'm plenty tall and handsome. And women go wild for these baby blues." He batted his eyes at Spock, causing that eyebrow to twitch. "It must be that you're a Vulcan. She's probably turned on by your logic and intelligence." Not that I blame her. If only I knew what makes you tick, Spock. Then, I'd have a shot.
"I am not certain why she has an interest in me."
"Really? Hmm, let's see, you're probably the smartest person in Starfleet, have a calm demeanor most of us would dream of, and when you open up, you can be a good friend. Also, you're fucking beautiful."
"Jim, it is not necessary to exaggerate my attributes." Don't believe him, he's just looking for another conquest, Spock reminded himself. It would be foolish to assume otherwise.
"I wasn't exaggerating." The Vulcan and human held each other's gaze for a long moment. "Spock, I really like being your friend."
"I too find pleasure in our friendship."
"When this is all over," Jim considered, "maybe we could-"
"Dinner's ready!" Winona called from the kitchen. And just like that, the moment was broken.
End Ch. 8