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Story Notes:

Academy fic, but also an AU - because nothing ever happens the way it should - wherein James Kirk, prolific bed demon to the sexes, goes on the hunt for true love - or something as close as - by the means of internet dating. 

 No copyright intended. I do not own anything of StarTrek. 

Chapter 1: 'Rattleeee Snake'

---

Internet dating hadn't been his thing. Now in his twenties, it hadn't been something James Kirk had ever had to think about, and thought he never would. In fact, he had dated a lot over the past 15 years - Acquiring a mate had never been one of his many problems.

That in mind, he set up a very minimal profile page on hit site at the academy (that everyone in the whole fucking world had been talking about) 'Rattleeee Snake'. It'd originally started up on some Orion planet (Jim recalls having said 'go figure', but was sure he was now eating his words), in which the term rattle snake was the closest equivalent to their meaning. Jim wasn't really sure where it had come from, just that he was now shamelessly, tirelessly, inputting information about himself In such a way that, should anyone be looking at his profile geographically, they wouldn't be able to guess it was that second year cadet at Starfleet Academy, the one with wheat-blond hair, the blue eyes, the wink, you know, James T Kirk.

If anyone made that connection...well, there was no room for error.

So, what was the point again, he asked himself, stopping mid-typing to loosen his Levi 501's, untucking his crisp white shirt. He had, in fact, only just arrived back to his dorm from a date, so he was not lacking in that department.

No; Jim's problem was entirely different. It wasn't lack thereof with regards to dating. It was, however, very much....how to say---

"Fucking boring as sin, Jimbo!"

McCoy often wandered in without both invitation and permission, and Jim was finding it more and more disquieting why he allowed it.

The good Doctor had the decency not to gaze upon Jim's Padd at least, as he flopped down on Jim's freshly made sheets, hands tucked up behind his head, eyes closed to the world, a faint smell of brandy lingering.

"Did I ask you anything?" Kirk turned from the desk, peering over at an already half-dosing McCoy. He was wearing those bootleg indigo jeans with the tan belt and his favourite blue checkered shirt, the ones he always wore for dates, or, as Jim would always say, for accompanying women to dinner and drinks then accompanying himself out.

"Just thought I'd offer it up," came the grumbled reply. "Just incase you were wondering how my date went."

Kirk, deciding now wasn't the best time to be setting up his profile, closed the screen down, rolling his chair until his knees just barely touched his companions, whose were half hanging off his bed.

"What was shit about it?"

"Well," McCoy started, and that always indicated how long the conversation was going to be. 'Well' was long, 'okay' was short, 'fine' was both long and complicated, and 'uhm' ....don't even go there. "It started alright. Picked her up from some god damned place outside San Jose. She looked hot in this short lil' black mini skirt and pInk crop top, hair all loose curls and pretty. Then, she gets in the the car."

"So, when you say it started alright, you meant she looked good up until she opened her mouth?"

"Precisely." He stops, thinking of his next sentence, and Jim can practically see the brandy fogging his vision. He's definitely drunk too much, Jim thinks, but doesn't voice. "Didn't even get a thanks as she got in. Strike fucking one. Strike two, gets talkin' about starfleet and all that. Then she gets political on me, says shit about how we're all actually going round killing aliens and alien babies. I said I ain't killed no baby, no aliens either, then she says I'm part of the system though. Strike three, she had these blue things on her eyes; says they're exotic or some shit. I tells her they look shit. She gives me the heave-ho shortly after midnight when I order myself another brandy. I mean, I put up with her damn stupid over-sensitive political crap, but soon as I gets myself a beverage, the woman be like 'I don't much like drinkers'." Then he makes a face and a gesture with his palms up facing open to the sky as if the whole world has gone to pot and no one has the answer. "Is it me? Seriously? Was any of tha' my fault?"

"Yes; alien killer's a trick question. You say, why yes ma'am, I'm up for hire."

McCoy lets out a desperate sort of chuckle, leaning over just to slap his friend across the knees before he flops back down, covering one arm over his eyes. "God damn it," he laughs on, peering over at Kirk under his arm. "Oh yeah shit - how'd your date go?"

He thinks about telling McCoy about the brunette he reunited with from his High School, in which their total history together consisted of a few sneaky make out sessions behind the bike sheds after Phys. Ed. and a quick fumble in her pants at a house party before graduation. He had taken her back to his dorm, and they'd fulfilled their childhood dreams of finally getting to the bed post. She left with a smile, wishing him luck for the future, as Jim escorted her back to her hotel. Then, that was it. There was no real conversation beyond the subtext 'let's get busy'. There was no real excitement; she'd already said she was horny during dinner, so sex was pretty much guaranteed. It was all a bit....stale.

"Uhm..."

"Oh. Like that, huh?"

"It was fine, I guess. She's beautiful. Came back here. You know how it is." McCoy hummed in agreement. "Then she left about....20minutes ago?" He checked his watch. Tapped it. "Yeah. About 20 minutes."

McCoy cleared his throat, sitting himself upright on the bed, just as Jim lent his elbows on his knees, his face in his hands. "Any plans to see her again?"

"Nah." He sniffed, feeling a bit tipsy himself. He reached over to the window ledge, pushing the side window open a fraction. "She's going back to Iowa next week. Only came here to see her friend or something... I don't know. Jeez." Rubbing his hand over his face, he added, "is it bad that I don't really care? She was nice and all, but, like, I'm kinda over it."

"Over what? Her? Dating? Females? Humans? What?"

Jim stifled his laugh. "No man, I mean... We got exams next month and I'm still way under prepared. Think I need to, you know, stay in; do some home study instead of going out spending credits on women."

McCoy sat bolt up right at that, wagging his finger in Jim's face. "I hear ya, Jimbo. Bro's before ho's!"

That wasn't exactly what Jim had intended, but he decided to let McCoy have this one and he spent what was left of their night lounging in their poky living room, McCoy providing the brandy and Jim letting the doctor rest his feet across his lap.

It was 10.34 the next morning when they felt a phone buzzing through the couch (Jim having fallen as sleep sat up, McCoy having fallen half off the sofa).

"Ah shit," McCoy groaned, picking his head from the floor, tucking his phone back into his pocket.

Jim stirred, looking down at his friend, watching him scratch his stubble. He looked stressed already. When did it ever end for McCoy, Jim would wonder. When did he ever get to run away from all his stress?

"The Bitch?"

He groaned again, beginning to stir, but before he could get up, Jim tackled him down onto the sofa, prying a laugh from under him.

"Get off o'me, you idiot!" he laughed, trying to tickle him to tackle the heavy bulk of Jim's body. But he was pinned.

"I'm not ticklish," was the squeamish reply, holding back his laugh; no way would McCoy think he had won this. But the doctor was determined, and as he lowered his attack from Jim's pits to his flanks, Jim squealed, rolling off onto the floor with a thump!

"Not ticklish my ass!"

As he sat up, stepping over the crumpled mess on the floor that was Jim, he rapidly text on his phone, and Jim looked over the room at him with those eyes McCoy would never admit to being partial to. He couldn't figure what that look was, which was how, he supposed, Jim remained somewhat of an enigma. He could admit, from one man to another, that Jim had...something.

"What?" he asked of Jim over his phone, and, by God, if that hand-caught-in-the-cookie-jar look wasn't just the damn cutest.

"Nah nothing man," Jim replied, brushing his hand over his face, coming to stand. "Just that she's so annoying. It irritates me how she's, like..."

"A bitch?"

"Yeah."

He returned to his phone, slowly making his way to his room. "Nothin' surprises me anymore."

~~~~~

Jim was only three quarters of an hour late for his first class, in which he was told to stand outside and make pretty for the remaining half hour. Then his regiment commander joined him, giving Jim the biggest 'you pile of shit' lecture whilst trying not to use those exact words. Jim was rather impressed, until another commander approached and, by that mop of black hair, Jim knew who, he was on shit street.

"Good morning Commander Daris." The cool, calm, collected posture of the Vulcan barely nodded to his colleague, as molten brown eyes fell on Jim Kirk with that displeasing, almost irritated look. Except it wasn't irritated, of course; Jim had once made the mistake of suggesting likewise about the ferocious Vulcan Commander, in which he had been on the receiving end of what Jim could only describe as the 'biggest tirade of bullshit' he'd ever heard - Bullshit because he knew 'pissed off' when he saw it.

"Are you Skipping class, Cadet Kirk?"

The commanders now stood side by side, arms across their chests, staring at him as if he had just defaced a national landmark, not arrive late. They were determined to make an example of him, Kirk had to give them credit. Determined, he thought, but hardly formidable; everyone knew Daris had just come off sick leave after he was sent to escort an Orion Ambassadors son to Earth and misunderstood a custom, in which he was pummelled in the chest and knocked unconscious. Then he was all high and mighty about his Rights. Kirk just thought it made him look just a tad foolish, but who was he, a mere cadet, to argue with his commander. Then there was Commander Spock of Vulcan, all lean figured, pale skinned, dark featured, with that look of superiority as if he wasn't half human. But Jim knew a Vulcan equaled the biggest pacifists n the known galaxy. Still, the Vulcan had been known to deliver hefty penalties for punctuality, aggression, even untidiness. It was the Vulcan he had to be wary of.

"Yes, Cmdr. Spock. This one causes me a lot of problems." He pauses looking between Jim and Spock, then back to Jim. "You miss class again, for any reason, I'll personally escort you back to the farm on academic suspension, is that clear?"

Jim wanted to reply 'Crystal clear, sir'.

Instead, what came out was, "But Cmdr. Daris, you'd miss me too much."

"Get out of my sight!" came the shout of retaliation. Jim bent to grab his bag, not looking back as he whistled to see the red faced commander and his Stoney faced colleague.

Jim made it until 1950 that evening without getting himself into any other trouble. He had arrived back at his dorm room just as a pretty young, blonde thing whisked out of McCoy's room and into the bathroom, wearing just a towel. He watched the door for a moment, waiting for his brain to get up to speed.

Then a grin found itself planted to his face, and for all the money in the world, he couldn't be rid of it.

"Ooooh MCCoy! What do you want to tell me?" he cried as he bounced into the doctor's darkened room, making a running start before jumping with a thud onto the bed. Or on McCoy, if the gruntled cry of pain and annoyance had anything to do with it.

"Hey! Get out! she'll be back in a minute! What are you doing back here so early on a Friday anyways?"

"Bored."

"Well, can't you make yourself scarce? God knows the amount of times I've hidden myself in the med-labs to give you privacy."

Jim thought about sticking around, just to be an annoyance. Then he remembered how McCoy had once gracefully slept in another dorm room whilst Jim got busy with a girl from communications track, and suddenly he felt all kinds of sympathy.

"I'll take one for the team," he agreed begrudgingly, scooting off the bed and hovering around the door frame. "But you owe me big time."

Then the click of the bathroom door indicated her return, and McCoy was waving his hand in the air in hysterics. "Alright!" he hissed. "Just go!"

A meek call for McCoy came when her petit face poked through the gap of The bathroom door, noticing Jim's silhouette from the corner.

"I'm leaving," Jim assured, pushing his head around the corner, giving her a wink, in which she squealed and retreated back into the bathroom.

"Get out of here!"

"Okay I'm going!"

With that, Jim grabbed his Padd and a few other belongings, threw them into a duffel bag, changed from his cadet reds into his casual denims, then left.

There were plenty of places he could have gone; plenty of people would have housed the genius cadet from command track, the one with the easy smile and the utterly charismatic manner that could charm the horns off a bull. Instead, he opted for the library to spend the remainder of the evening; then he might go bug the Orion girl, just for fun.

He plopped down onto the snug leather armchair, the one he had once received the most amazing blowjob in. Then he remembered how awkward it had been after when she had wanted more and he had to regretfully decline her offer for what she promised would be a very open relationship, though he was quick to realise she wasn't exactly the kind of girl who liked to share, having then sent him endless text messages and sent photos of himself to him whenever she happened to just see Jim around. Jim thought the stalking was actually pretty funny, though McCoy failed to find it funny when he started to get harassed too. But that was over a year ago. Jim was sure she had moved on. Then he looked down and saw their initials carved into the wood. Yes, that was a little creepy.

Moving seats to one adjacent, he flipped open his Padd, in which the first page to awaken was website 'Rattleeee Snake'.

"No time like the present."

'Alias?' Now that was a toughy. What name would he register himself under? Anything too much to do with the legendary Kirk name would give him away...And anything to do with Starfleet. No; he had to be smart about this.

[random name generator] he typed into the search engine, a whole list of possibilities cropping up.

"Yeah, real smart Jimbo."

[kenneth p. yale]

[generate new name]

[joseph o.p. lawrence]

[generate new name]

[alexander t. mace]

He wasn't sure why, but he liked the sound of that. And that was how James T. Kirk became Alexander Mace. With the push of a button, he was away. The lies only continued for quarter of the page. The rest was pretty easy to finish because, although he did wish to conceal his identity, he still wanted to be himself.

He thought about all the possible ways he could make his page interesting, how to attract to the masses, how to really sell himself. Then he stopped. What he had just written was merely fodder for the likes of his resume, not a dating site. Who was he? he contemplated. He decided he had to be honest.

[what do you look for in a potential partner?]
[bed eyes. Sucker for that 'come hither']

[what would be your idea of a perfect date?]
[naked ;-) By the river. Lighting a fire. Watching the sunset. Waiting for the moon.]

[what music do you listen to?]
[anything with a beat.]

[what movies do you watch?]
[No time for movies. Though there's this one movie with this blonde girl whose shirt keeps falling off...]

[How would you rate the importance of the following;
1) Personality. 2) Sex. 3) Humor. 4) Compatibility. 5) Employment. 6) Wealth. 7) Ambition. 8) Appearance. 9) Tolerance. 10) Race/Specie.]

[Okay...
-Personality would definitely be a 10.
-Sex? 10!
-Humor? Duh...10!
-These questions are stupid! Of course I'll want to be compatible, in more ways than one ;-p 10!!
-Ah-ha; Employment. As someone who spends a huge amount of his time at work, I would stress that I am my work, and I can't expect everyone to understand that. 8.
-Wealth. Irrelevant if you so far comply with the above. If you don't, you're buying. Kidding. 0 - really not important.
- yes, of course, ambitious. 8.
-  just want to see your life in you eyes when I wake up in the morning (probably wanting sex). Appearance. 6.
- Tolerance? Yeeeeeah. Dah. 10.
- I reeeeeally don't care about race. Seriously. I love all forms, all shapes, all sizes, all colours, all species. I ask only for your acceptance in return (and I'll promise to find your sweet spot, 'cause we all gots one, even those Vulcan's, right?)]

He clicked off his Padd shortly after the clock struck Eleven, and, figuring he had made himself disappear for a suitable length of time, gathered his belongings, heading back to his dorm. However, as Jim's luck would have it, he decided to take a sneaky detour around the Commander quarters (because walking all the way round was just a massive pain in the ass), when he smacked into Cmdr. Spock, of all people. With a thud, he collided with Spock's papers, sending them scattering across the darkened courtyard.

For a moment, all he could do was stare into the shadowed hollows of the Vulcan's eyes, the fear taking hold in the dark of the night.

Finding his tongue, just as the Cmdr bent to kneel to collect his items, he stumbled, "Cmdr. Spock! Please allow me-"

"Cadet Kirk I must implore you to desist your actions." He looked up, the scowl prominent, even on the schooled features of a Vulcan. Kirk wasn't sure how he managed to make Jim feel 3 inches high just by looking at him, but he did. Jim registered the feelings at odds with his usually confident nature, though he knew there was something all together more intriguing (and terrifying) about the Vulcan than any other non-human, or any human, he had met before. As the Cmdr stood, he buried the feelings somewhere safe inside himself, to be analysed later, where no touch telepath could wander upon.

Adjusting the weighty papers in his grasp, he took a decidedly longer minute to intimidate Kirk further, before adding, "Must I cite regulation, Cadet Kirk?"

"Uh, pardon sir?"

Before Kirk could even home his well-oiled farm boy charm, the Vulcan had keyed his Padd with a bleep bleep bleep, and suddenly; "Cadet James Tiberious Kirk on academic suspension, as of 0600 hours-"

"What the hell--"

"--failure to comply will--"

He pulled the Padd from the Vulcans grip. "You reported me for trespassing?"

"These are Commanders quarters, are they not?"

"Yes but--"

"And are you not fully aware of the consequences of--"

Throwing the Padd back, he waved his hands in front of him, his anger blinding him, taking a step back. "Yes, I understand, commander, however--"

"Then there is little more to say," Spock ended, balancing the papers in his grasp, before adding, "Perhaps you ought to educate yourself fully on regulations, should you wish to graduate, Cadet."

With that, the commander vanished into the night.

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