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19 February 2010 @ 04:58 pm
Textual Attraction | STXI | R | Part 1/2  
Title: Textual Attraction
Author: lalazee 
Beta: rainbowstrlght ; She managed to turn my ramblings into the coherent story you see today! She is my Queen of Commas!
Series: STXI (Academy Days)
Rating: R
Length: ~15,900
Warnings: I faded to black this time. And you shall hate me.
Summary: Valentine’s Day does not bring up pleasant memories for Cadet Kirk. But the serendipitous switch-up of his cell phone with a particular Vulcan professor’s will make his day far more interesting –and romantic. Perhaps some new memories can be made!
A/N: THIS is the ridiculously tiny, three inch screen, super sexy phone featured in this fic! <3 Thank you again rainbowstrlght for finding it!


***

The hollow, mechanical squawk of the digital alarm alerted Jim Kirk to one dreadful, discouraging realisation. It was Valentine’s Day.

While the young cadet spent much of his day-to-day life basking in the attention of both the male and female population of Starfleet Academy, it was this particular day that he loathed the idea of being suffocated with cards and chocolates and teddy bears expressing undying love with blank, beady eyes.

To put it straight, everything about the holiday was bullshit.

With a bleary-eyed groan, Jim rolled out of bed. The thin mattress creaked with the released weight and caused his roommate to stir beneath his blanket. Jim was up early - far earlier than usual. What Jim really wanted to do was bury his head under the pillow, skip classes and sleep the day away.

But even behind the selfish desire lurked a singular sense of duty; the knowledge that he was being given a special opportunity with his life by coming to Starfleet. Jim could menially goof around all he wanted as long as at the end of the day, at the end of all of this, he bested his father.

That’s what he’d told Captain Pike and that was how it was going to play out.

Jim may have been blind to the facts three years ago, but he now understood how carelessly he’d been wasting his life back in Iowa - and how much it meant to him to become something of worth, some day.

But this wasn't to prove anything to anyone. Jim would ace classes for himself. He liked to think he’d never done a selfless thing in his life. He didn’t need another person’s love, acceptance, praise. Jim had himself. That was all he needed – right?

Jim didn’t bother to shower. He tugged on a pair of basketball shorts and a shirt, and zipped up a hoodie to battle the damp morning air. He slung the prepared gym bag over his shoulder before slipping quietly out of the room.

Jim understood himself well enough to be cognisant of the fact that he needed to stay busy for the rest of the day. He would not let himself fall into an unwelcome state of self-pity over the unwelcome emotions that bled through his defences on Valentine’s Day. That was a weakness he simply couldn’t afford, especially with all the eyes on him day in and out.

When he arrived at the gym, Kirk realised with dismay he’d forgotten the key to his locker. It was no matter, though. The gym was practically empty at this time of morning. Jim tossed his bag on one of the benches in the locker room and was about to head out, when he heard a vibration murmur from his duffel.

With an uncharacteristic scowl, Jim ripped open the zipper and pulled out his sleek, petite phone.

It was a single text message from his mother.

“Okay...” Jim murmured to himself with distinct unease. He and his mother rarely spoke. There was too much to say and never the right words; so they simply didn’t bother.

Check your messages when you have a moment. Love you.

Blinking owlishly at the screen for a brief moment, Jim sharply slid the phone in place within his fist. What the hell was a cryptic text like that supposed to mean? What was so important? Jim forcefully banked the sense of anxiety clenching at his throat as he carelessly tossed his phone upon the surface of the bag. As Jim turned to stride blindly out of the locker room, he did not hear the device clatter to the floor.

Jim found a treadmill and started off on low, rhythmic jog. He forced his fists to unclench and took deep soothing breaths as the pounding of his feet upon machinery shook him straight to the core. Jim set an easy pace that lulled him into his head, the distant sounds of the surrounding gym fading away.

Hidden high in the attic of his consciousness sat a large crate, dusty, long forgotten. A single streak of light from a smudged porthole window highlighted the motes that spun in and out like grey, lifeless confetti.

Jim had been ten years old when he’d come across that crate in the hidden heights of their quaint farmhouse. Over ten years had passed since he’d discovered the life his mother had locked away; forsaken for a life of endless boyfriends, an abusive second husband and hollow relationships with every man in her life, including her sons.

Dad.

Jim sped up on the treadmill, his breath coming in short heaves, bright eyes glassy and blank as he stared into nothing and remembered. Recalled the stacks of hand-written love letters, the errant faded photograph, old holo discs, Christmas cards, birthday cards - Valentine’s Day cards.

So much love.

There had been so much love in that discarded box in the attic. Young Jimmy hadn’t known how to accept it all. His mother had always spoken fondly of her husband, but in a detached manner. In a way that a historian might reverently speak of a lost hero, or an important figure in time that now had no correlation with life in the present.

But it was as if the moment George Kirk had died, Winona Kirk had simply locked her heart away and refused to open it to anyone for the rest of her days. Maybe she’d passed it on, Kirk mused. Maybe he’d been born with his heart shut – maybe that was what was wrong with him all along.

How could Jim ever show love and trust to another? The only example he’d ever experienced was buried under a lifetime’s worth of dust. The faded words on a card, the handwriting of a dead man - the listless faraway expression in a distant mother’s eyes.

Jim was wholly unsure of how long he’d been running, but when he slammed back into reality he found himself racing at full speed. His sneakers slapped in quick succession upon the spinning belt, chest lurching with each breath, sweat pooling at the small of his back.

You can’t run from memories, Jim reminded himself with chagrin. He finally slowed himself to a halt.

Enough of this crap!

Jim shrugged off the mood. He wandered back to the locker room to shower and change into his academy uniform. Even with the expected weight of Valentine’s Day resting upon his shoulders, Jim could not remain in a slump for long. He simply wouldn’t allow it of himself. His intellect pointedly reminded him it was a day like any other and held no particular significance to the grand scheme of things.

So, basically - deal with it Jim.

Snapping the final clasp of his uniform at this neck, Jim pursed his lips, brows raised as he noted his phone sitting atop a neatly folded pile of clothing.

“What the...” He grabbed the phone and shoved it into his pocket before heading out.

Apparently he’d run far longer than he’d imagined, because he barely had time to throw his gym bag into his dorm-room and grab a quick breakfast in the mess before rushing in last-minute to his morning class.

Jim’s impervious grin was met with the professor’s sour look as Jim swept through the door. He took the stairs of the small auditorium classroom two by two, flopping into a seat near the back. The back was always safe, just in case you happened to fall asleep or needed to wait out a hangover in relative peace.

As if the professor had been waiting specifically upon Jim’s arrival to begin the class, the droning commenced. Jim paid attention for a good twenty minutes of class before his mind began to wander, as it always eventually did. He could ace this tactics class with his eyes closed. It was all merely an application of common sense to the crafty James Kirk. He tactically avoided people – or ran into them if he so chose - on a daily basis. In Jim's opinion, t certainly didn’t require a class.

Then again, not everyone was as awesome as he was. That’s what he enjoyed telling himself.

Jim slipped his own communicator from his pocket and slid open the screen. He had high hopes of harassing Bones while he was in the middle of something important like delivering a baby – though Lord knows why he would have his phone with him at the time.

“Wha-” he intoned under his breath, cutting himself off quickly. He didn’t want to get an earful from his instructor for speaking aloud.

His phone wallpaper had somehow been changed. Gone was the sexy Orion girl pinup in a tiny excuse for a Supergirl outfit. In exchange was an explosive nebula, all midnight blue and shards of gold reaching towards the very limits of the small square screen.

With his lips weighted in a frown, Jim thumbed agilely through the menus and into the inbox without a second thought.

If the first thing that alerted him to the fact that this was not his phone was the wallpaper, then the second was the fact that the inbox was not clogged with two-hundred and something messages. Third, who the hell was Nyota?!

All right, so clearly Jim had been an idiot and just stolen someone’s phone. He’d stolen worse, and on purpose - but in this case he felt like a dick for simply taking someone’s communicator that happened to be so innocently sitting on their clothes. And if Jim didn’t have his cell, who did? Well, now was as good a time as any to delve into the mystery.

Chewing idly upon his lower lip, Jim entered his phone number into the address book and quickly typed out a message to himself, who also happened to not be himself.

Um, hi there. You have my phone. Or, hopefully someone does. And I just might have yours. Yes? No? Maybe?

Jim slumped back in his seat, hooded eyes inspecting the back of some chick’s extreme beehive hairdo. He toggled the phone from one palm to the other, impatiently waiting on a reply as he calculated how many cans of hairspray that girl must waste in a week.

Jim’s thoughts wandered towards the fun things he might be able to do with his hair had it been longer –fauxhawk, anyone? Oh hell, he’d try anything once. Thankfully that dangerous path of thought was interrupted by the low buzzing in his palm. Jim quickly twisted the phone open, pleased to note there was a reply from his phone, and an established channel of live text communication had been opened.

It seems you are correct. When would you prefer I return this to you?

Whenever. I’m not picky.

Although sooner was probably better than later, Jim mused. Especially around Valentine’s - or any big holiday - he was swamped with texts inviting him to parties and whatnot. But he was the one who’d been stupid enough to accidentally steal another person’s phone, so he wasn’t going to be making any demands.

Tonight?

Jim squinted at the screen incredulously, but his reply was quick and sure in his usual manner.

Tonight? It’s Valentine’s Day. Don’t you have a hot date or something?

The reply came immediately.

No. I do not.


Mirth pulled at the corners of Jim’s mouth as his fingertips sped lightly across the tiny keys.

I hear ya. Valentine’s isn’t my thing either.

Your thing?

Jim stared quizzically at the screen. Maybe he was speaking to someone whose first language was not English.

You know, I’m not into it.

You cannot be ‘in’ a holiday.

Time skipped a beat, and Jim found himself snorting a laugh through his nose. He jerked his gaze forward quickly; no one had noticed the small utterance. His inherent spark of playfulness threaded through his words as he took the reply as dry wit, rather than blatant rudeness.

Oh, you’re sassy! I like it. Anyway, I’m just saying I don’t like Valentine’s either.

I do not like or dislike the day. It is highly illogical to relent to an emotional preference for a contrived festivity. So we are in agreement to meet tonight?

Jim made a childish face at the text popping up before his eyes. Someone was a bit grumpy today! Oh, maybe it was because they had their phone stolen. Oops.

Yeah, why the hell not? Where do you want to meet?

You reside at the Academy, correct? I deduce our phones were switched at the gym.

Yes... switched. Jim certainly wasn’t going to correct that.

Yep. You wanna meet on campus or something?

That is sufficient.

How about the fountain near the West Entrance? 18:30?

Affirmative.

Jim was about to end the communication, because he was getting the impression this person might be aggravated with him or simply busy, until he realised he didn’t know who he was meeting. The west side of the school would be bustling with students rushing out into the city for their nightly fun, and many people met up at the large ornate fountain.

Who do I look for? I mean, what do you look like?

There was a beat of a pause before a reply came.

I am Vulcan.


Jim’s face lit up like Christmas, eyes sparking with genuine curiosity as he hurriedly replied.

Seriously? Awesome!

He’d never met a Vulcan before. This explained the formal speech patterns and dry undercurrent of humour. Well, it didn’t explain the sarcasm, exactly, as Jim had heard that Vulcan’s couldn’t even crack a joke; but in the past moments he’d been chatting away Jim had been positive he’d detected a flash of wit.

I am always serious.

The reply had Jim stifling a laugh. Oh yes, he did enjoy the serious type. It was those people who tended to have the most forceful and entertaining wild side.

I can see that! I like it. So, do you have the ears and everything?

I have ears. Do you?

This time around Jim slapped his free hand over his lips, just as a chuckle rumbled in his chest. Oh yes, he was absolutely enjoying his new Vulcan friend. A sharp look from his professor had Jim making a failing attempt to sober up; the laugh lines around his eyes clearly indicated his irrepressible cheer. The moment the teacher’s hawk-like gaze shifted from him, Jim was glued to the screen once more.

You’re a funny guy. Or, girl?

I am male.

Jim had gotten that impression. He could usually tell when he was speaking with a woman; just one of those things. At this point he was getting rather excited to meet a Vulcan for the first time –or, to be exact, this Vulcan in particular.

I can’t remember ever seeing a Vulcan around campus before. I think I’d notice.

The reply was snap-quick, coaxing a slow smile from the cadet.

It appears you have deduced your powers of observation incorrectly.

Jim replied good-naturedly.

You got me there!

Where?

Jim blinked slowly, refraining from shaking his head with muted laughter. Were Vulcans always this endlessly entertaining? He’d have to find out.

Don’t worry about it.

Vulcans do not worry.

He didn’t believe that for a second, but who was he to argue? Jim could practice tact... sometimes.

Learn something new every day!

“James Kirk!” The instructor’s voice boomed from the front of the class.

Jim snapped to attention, eyes a bit wide, but an infuriatingly stubborn curve remained at his lips. His professor barrelled on before the cadet could speak. “I suggest you either pay attention in my class or leave. I’ve had enough for your insufferable snickering for one day.”

Jim ran a hand over the back of his neck, offering a sheepish expression as he mumbled his half-hearted apologies, slipping the phone away into his pocket. He found himself staring listlessly at the back of that beehive hair-do for the rest of the class.

***

“There you are!” Strong, insistent fingers wrapped around Jim’s forearm and jerked him into the open doors of the infirmary. Jim yelped his surprise in a rather feminine octave, hopping sideways unsteadily on one foot as he was yanked unceremoniously around like a ragdoll. Sometimes he forgot Bones was bigger than him.

“Goddammit, lemme go!” Jim batted Bones’ hand away and made a show of straightening out his uniform, despite his obvious lack of annoyance. “I’ve got a class to go to, you know. Unlike some people who lounge around with sexy nurses all day. Lucky bastard.”

“Yeah, because all the cysts I drain just ooze glitter and life threatening diseases are cured with chocolate! My job is easy.” Bones growled sourly, earning a smirk from Jim.

The cadet clapped his best friend on the shoulder with unrestrained glee.

“Now that’s just ridiculous. We both know your cure for fatal diseases is a finger or two of bourbon.”

“Or a mint julep.” Doctor McCoy added pointedly. There was an exchanged warmth of camaraderie in their look, but the moment was quickly dispelled by the sudden sheen of panic glazing Bones’ eyes. “Shit, you pulled me off track. What I meant to –“

“Technically you pulled me off-track.”

“Just zip it and listen up, all right?” the doctor snapped, looking rather unwell for his usual robust self. Jim’s eyes softened with concern, though his even tone betrayed none of the compassion that the doctor would most certainly bristle at.

“Okay, hit me.”

“I need ya to be my wingman.” The words stumbled uncharacteristically from Bones’ lips as if it were a relief to release them in one breath.

Jim waited a beat, “You need...” he remarked incredulously. “Why?” Not that Jim wasn’t wholly dedicated to helping out his one best friend with whatever he needed, but first his unquenchable curiosity had to be satisfied.

Bones’ hand was on Jim’s shoulder once more, pulling him conspiratorially close. “Ya know Nurse Chapel, don’t ya?”

Scrolling through his endless mental rolodex of Academy women, Kirk pulled up the image of a tall, pretty blonde with kind hands and patient, but no-nonsense demeanour.

“Blonde with the voice?” Hers was incredibly sexy. If Jim recalled correctly –and he most often did - Christine Chapel had graduated just last year and had chosen to remain at the Academy infirmary until she was assigned to a starship. She’d even patched up Jim a time or two. But then again, what medical team member hadn’t had their hands on Jim Kirk at least once?

That could probably be taken in more than one way.

“You’ve got a classy way of stripping people down to their best attributes,” Bones noted pointedly, though it was clear by his tone that he didn’t actually find this to be a good thing. Jim had a habit of depersonalising acquaintances so they meant less to him when they walked away. It was his simply his innate defence. “But yeah, that’s the one.”

Jim nodded dutifully. “She’s a smart lady.” He waited a beat, cracked an inevitable smile. “You sure she’s even gonna be interested in you?”

The comment gleaned him a whack upside the head. “Ow!” Kirk complained with little heat. “Keep your hands to yourself.”

“Then keep yer thoughts to yourself!” Bones ordered, before folding his arms stubbornly across his chest. “All you need to do is show up at Neon Club at seven sharp and give me the edge to go up and talk to her.”

Jim didn’t need to think twice about it. Not when it came to his best friend. He shrugged. “Yeah, of course. No problem.”

Despite all of Leonard McCoy’s tough cowboy talk, he was still raw from his divorce a few years ago. He liked the ladies well enough, and had always been more than happy to share a wild story or two in exchange for some Jim’s own. When push came to shove, Bones tended to shy away from relationships just as much as Jim did. So if there was any way Kirk could encourage his friend to get out there and be happy, he would.

***

Jim’s pleasure at seeing Bones excited about something – anything - overrode any lingering disappointment he might have felt for having to go out for Valentine’s Day. Anyway, he was confident his friend would get the girl in the end, and it was more than likely Bones would forget about Jim at his side the moment his eyes locked with Nurse Chapel’s.

Like he’d told Bones, it was the least he could do after all the shit the good doctor had pulled him out of.

His Social Psychology class brought on a pop quiz on cabin fever to start things off; a surprise to which most of the class groaned aloud over. Jim had little need to commiserate with the class. He’d read the assigned chapters for the week, and rather enjoyed sociology and psychology.

Getting into peoples’ heads could be rather fascinating and it was a skill he employed on a day-to-day basis.

That aside, hadn’t anyone noticed the blatant fact that Professor G’Rong tended to give a pop quiz every third Tuesday of every other month? Maybe it was just him who recognised the pattern.

Finishing the quiz well before most of the students, Jim pulled out that familiar phone and lounged back in his seat. He didn’t question the impulse to text his new Vulcan friend. Why would he?

I just got talked into going to a Valentine’s party.

A reply popped up from the bottom of the screen within the minute. Jim wondered what classes this guy was taking so that he managed to reply so quickly, but the thought fluttered away easily as the conversation ensued.

I see. Will you not be able to meet at the allotted time?


No no, I’m still going to meet you.

That is fortunate. You have been receiving a multitude of texts.

Jim inwardly winced.

Oh... did you read any?

The reply was slow to arrive.

One, unfortunately.

Graphic?

This time the reply was quick.

Rather.

Sorry about that.

It was not beyond Jim to deduce how easy it would have been for the Vulcan to simply say nothing at all. The fact that he’d mentioned it in the first place was of interest to Jim. It suggested to him that the Vulcan had his own brand of humour and spunk hidden somewhere.

I can find no reason to apologise. I had initially assumed the text was from you and opened it.

Sorry about it, anyway. The girls get kind of... frisky around Valentine’s.

His fingertips hovered in a moment of uncertainty over the smooth keys; gaze flickering back and forth over the already-typed message. Worrying his bottom lip with his teeth, Jim briefly considered scrapping the urge to ask the next utterly out-of-line question.

It didn’t make any sense, this disconcerting pull in his gut. But when had Jim Kirk ever gone against his gut? Shoving uncertainties aside with shaky enthusiasm, Jim finished his reply.

Anyway, do you want to come to this party with me?


Jim almost immediately regretted asking. He didn’t even know what this person looked like. Not that appearances were everything, of course. Despite oft-made claims, even Jim was not that narcissistic. In fact, it would come as a shock to most everyone but for Bones, that Jim Kirk’s self-esteem hovered at the same level as an average person. He had doubts and fears as much as anyone else.

Jim’s bravado and stubbornness, however, remained unrivalled at Starfleet Academy. That made a world of difference.

Why would you want me to come?

Releasing the breath he’d been unaware he’d been holding, Jim squirmed in his chair, displeased with the line of conversation he’d opened. Why on earth would he have asked this person to come to a Valentine’s party with him when he didn’t like Valentine’s, nor did he want to go to a party?

There was only one true answer. In the short time Jim had ‘spoken’ to the part-time possessor of his phone, he’d smiled more than he had on any other Valentine’s Day since he was ten years old. Ridiculous, but true. And absolutely not what Jim was going to say right now. Or ever.

You don’t have a date, I don’t have a date.

It is my prerogative not to have a date for a meaningless Terran festivity.

Jim merely smiled, ignoring the twin pricks of relief and disappointment in his breast.

Is that a no, then?

There was no reply. Not for some several minutes. Jim fiddled with the phone and spun it idly upon his desktop as he sent sidelong glances about the room. He hoped that the remaining students would finish up so they could continue with class.

Reopening the chat box with a few expert clicks, Jim stare weighed heavily upon his last inquiry. The lack of reply could mean one of several things. He was busy and couldn’t reply. He was insulted or put-out and wouldn’t reply. Or he wanted to say yes and wouldn’t admit to it. The first two options were far more plausible, Jim decided. And yet, he felt somehow spurned on.

So, what are you wearing?

The reply was almost immediate, which led Jim to believe his earlier question had been pointedly ignored. Which was likely for the best, he reasoned. Despite his new fixation with getting a rise out of the Vulcan, they would probably have little to talk about in real life. Probably.

Is this a human euphemism? I do not understand.

I’m bored. So we’re playing.

You play by inquiring into my attire?

Uh huh, now you tell me. Make it sexy.

I will not make it sexy. I am wearing my black regulation uniform.

Jim froze, eyes anchored to the words imprinted there like a death sentence. Black regulation uniform. That could only mean one thing. Panic bubbled.

Okay, wait. You’re a teacher?

Indeed.

Shit.

Shit. You’re not going to report me or anything, are you?

Sexually harassing a professor had to be a criminal offence of some sort, surely.

The Jim Kirk of three years ago might not have given a flying fuck about the consequences of his actions – in fact, he would have welcomed the attention it would have gotten him.

The Jim Kirk of now - wild and irresponsible as he still was - did not want to be kicked out of the Academy for some unintentional offence.

This place was all he had. All that ever mattered.

I am afraid I do not understand the logic behind your inquiry.

Relief flooded through Jim in waves and tensed muscles loosened. Obviously this professor guy was easy-going by both Vulcan and Academy standards. Either that or Jim had encountered a stroke of luck, and the Vulcan had had no idea he was being playfully hit on.

Either way, Jim was thankful he’d come out of that awkwardness unscathed and was happy to move on. Unfortunately, his curiosity did always get the best of him.

Oh. Okay. That’s good. So, um, how old are you?


I am 27. Not that it is your business.

Jim baulked at the text. The guy was barely older than him, for Christ’s sake! And he taught at the Academy? From the little Jim knew of Vulcans, he was aware that they were extraordinarily intelligent - which he supposed would account for this strange turn of events.

Still... twenty-seven? Even Jim, who was blatantly aware – and more than pleased - that he was a genius, knew he couldn’t teach in a couple year’s time. Not that he would ever want to pursue teaching, but the point was his respect for this Vulcan had just swelled tenfold... as well as Jim’s interest in him.

Very true. But you told me anyway. Want to know what I’m wearing?

Not particularly.

Playing hard to get, I see! I love a challenge.

No.

Jim repressed a chuckle and was about to reply, when the last student handed in their quiz and class officially began. The conversation would have to continue at another time.

***

When Jim’s lunch hour rolled around, he bypassed the sea of massed maroon uniforms flooding the mess hall and made a beeline for his quarters.

Jim disliked skipping meals because he was an extremely active, jittery guy much of the time - but right now a kernel of worry had buried itself deeply beneath Jim’s skin. He’d spent the good half of a day distracting himself from thoughts of his mother’s awaiting communication, but now it could not be denied that it had been shadowing him since this morning.

Jim needed to get this done. Food could wait.

Jim allowed himself no mental preparation as he hunkered down before the monitor and scrolled right to the message from his mother.

Winona Kirk’s face flickered onto the screen, her gently ageing appearance clenching at Jim’s heart for an alarming moment. Jim had not seen his mother’s face in some six years or so. Now her quiet eyes reached out to him, uncovering places Jim vehemently wished would remain hidden.

“Hello, James.”

His mother’s voice reverberated straight through him. Jim stared despondently at the screen, as if Winona herself would know if Jim visibly reacted to seeing his mother.

His mother continued on, voice a bit tight with some mixture of anxiety and excitement.

“How are you? I haven’t heard from you in so long, but I guess that’s a good thing in your case.”

Jim shifted uncomfortably in his seat at her nervous chirp of laughter.

“It means you’re staying out of trouble - at least, big trouble. I’m so proud of you.”

Kirk sucked in a shallow breath as her hushed swallow sounded like a gong.

“Um, anyway, I have some news!”

Jim sent the monitor a narrow look at the attemptedcheer in her voice.

“I’m – I’m getting married! Richard proposed to me today on Valentine’s Day, of all days. It was so romantic...”

Winona Kirk’s voice faded out, garbled and muffled as if Kirk had been hurled into the ocean and water clogged his ears. His lungs felt full, swelling heavily as Jim simply drowned in his own panic, horror. Anger.

His mother’s mute face chattered on before his eyes, which had suddenly become frustratingly wet. Jim didn’t bother to swipe away the moisture pooling at his thick lower lashes; he hardly comprehended their existence.

Married. The word sank into him like a dull-edged knife; slow and painful realisation.

Jim hated that he cared.

Hated that this bothered him at all. He didn’t want to give a fuck about a woman who’d left him to the dogs so long ago, however unintentional the abandonment may have been.

Jim didn’t want to feel that deep pang of sorrow for the life he could have led had his father lived, had they been a happy family.

Hell, he hadn’t even needed a happy family. A mediocre one would have suited him well enough.

Instead he’d gotten the back of his first step-father’s hard-knuckled hand and harsh, crass reprimands. The abuse had only worsened when Jim had found his silver-tongue and learned to fight back with both words and fists.

Jim Kirk had learned how to fight back early. Problem was, fists couldn’t fight back the sorrow of life without his dad.

The communication had long since terminated.

Jim felt stiff, his pulse heavy and thick throughout his addled muscles. He stood without turning off the screen. With great force of will he moved to the bed, flopped back onto the mattress with a quiet thud and stared at the ceiling.

Why couldn’t he simply be happy for her?

Jim practically demanded the emotion of himself, but failed to unearth a scrap of pleasure for her sake. She deserved to be happy. Enough had happened to his mother in her life that he knew this. Jim loved his mother. He had no ability to carry a grudge so deep.

But the fact of the matter was that Jim simply couldn’t comprehend how seemingly easy it had been for his mother to move on from Captain George Kirk. Hell, he hadn’t even gotten over it yet.

Jim didn’t think he ever would.

Still riding high on waves of unreasonable emotion, Jim rummaged with clumsy fingers through his pocket and pulled out the phone. The text scrolled out of him without conscious thought.

Ever wish your life had turned out differently?

The pause was long; excruciatingly so.

Once again, Jim found himself regretting his actions with this person he’d never even met.

Jim was not the sharing type of guy – ever. He hadn’t met a person yet who had been able to get near his heart with a ten-foot pole. And yet, here he was, blathering complete shit to a stranger.

Maybe that was the charm of it. Jim didn’t know this person and at the end of the day they would exchange phones and likely never encounter each other again. There was a freedom to that.

Rarely.

The soft snort from Jim’s nose was a weak laugh. Rarely. He could read around that. If the answer had been ‘never’ the Vulcan would have said so. His reply clearly insinuated to Jim that even Vulcans had doubts. It was an oddly comforting fact for him.

I wish I wasn’t bothered by the shit other people do. That there was just some switch inside me that I could just flick off and I could go on living exactly as I wanted.

I believe that is termed ‘wishful thinking’ on your planet.

Jim’s lips tentatively as his warming gaze enveloped the Vulcan’s words.

Yeah. It is. I hate feeling guilty, though. I don’t know if I hate anything more. Is it too much to ask that I just not give a fuck about anyone?


Guilt is a fruitless and utterly illogical human emotion. What is done is done. What is felt is felt.

A Vulcan talking about feelings, Jim mused, his thoughts idly wandering away from the dark place he’d fallen into as it wrapped around the puzzling mind of his texting buddy.

Very logical, Professor. Not that I’m not happy with where I am. I am. I’m awesome. But sometimes I wish life came with an instruction manual. Or, you know, free booze to get you through.


Fascinating. You do not seem like the type to read instructions.

It took a moment for the joke to sink in - if it even was a joke. Maybe it was simply a wonderfully truthful observation. Nevertheless, Jim was taken aback when he heard his own airy laugh break the stiff silence of the room.

Who said Vulcans aren’t funny?


I could not tell you.

Despite everything, Jim found himself weakly smiling. Though the coarse ache remained atop Jim’s chest, the feeling had dulled considerably with each passing sentence exchanged between them. How could he ever have imagined that a Vulcan, of all people, could invigorate him so effortlessly?

How did you manage to cheer me up so quickly?

Your query is certainly a conundrum.

Soothing warmth bloomed within Jim’s chest and thawed the icy chill of sorrow that clung to his ribcage. He felt... not healed, but bandaged. Most definitely bandaged.

Well, thanks all the same.

***

The first half of astrophysics was a bit of a blur, and not simply because a single algorithm was beginning to take up an entire PADD screen.

As much as Jim was struggling to put this entire marriage business out of his mind, it was proving rather difficult when flashes and memories of his first step-father wormed their way into his consciousness.

Of course, Jim knew this would be nothing like the first time around – he was a grown man now and would likely never even meet the guy. Yet the knowledge that his mother was moving on once more, and leaving her son behind, plagued him.

What nagged at him all the more was Jim’s inability to let go of things long past. Where was his carefree attitude when he really needed it?

The sudden buzz from the Vulcan’s phone in Jim’s pocket had him physically jerking out of his reverie. The student a couple seats away noted the twitch and goggled at him as if he were a mental patient. Jim aimed a sheepish smile at him and sent a sidelong glance towards the instructor, grateful to find his intent was on teaching and not Kirk.

Jim realised, with peaking interest, that this was the first time his Vulcan friend had texted him first. To be honest, the guy really didn’t seem like the type to start a conversation at all. It occurred to Jim while he was artfully sneaking the phone from his pocket, that maybe he was being contacted to be cancelled on.

Disappointment lurched in his stomach and Jim frowned. With a single shallow breath he opened the text.

What is the implication of being called ‘impossible’?

Relief and humour irked a small curve of lips from the cadet, even as he cocked his head at the curious words. Unless Jim was totally insane – and he’d been told he was a time or two - he would swear that the Vulcan was coming to him for advice, after Jim had done so of him only a couple hours ago. No one ever came to Jim Kirk for advice.

It felt – well - kind of nice. Not that he wanted to make a habit of it for the world or anything.

Hey, you stealing my nickname? It means that, as a person, you’re incredibly difficult to deal with. And probably exasperating on top of that.

I see.

You don’t seem very impossible to me.

Jim paused. In fact, he found he took pleasure every time the Vulcan indicated he was being purposely difficult. It was a challenge. It was fun.

Who said that to you?

A friend.

So Vulcans could have friends. Jim sensed it was uncommon for them, though. Things were starting to come together now.

Ah. A GIRL friend?

Indeed. How did you come to that conclusion?

I have some experience with this sort of thing. She ask you out?

No. She inquired as to my plans for the evening. I told I was retrieving my phone and returning to my quarters. She stared at me for an inordinate length of time, I inquired into her well-being, at which point she stated I was ‘impossible’ and walked away.

Kirk was beginning to glean the sneaking suspicion that there was a lot more to this Vulcan than one would think. He was a genius, he was rather amusing in a quiet, understated way, and he had girls chasing after him despite, or because, of his alien demeanour. Jim found himself positively gravitating towards this faceless person.

...Yeah, that was her wanting you to ask her on a date.

Why did she not speak her mind in a straight-forward manner?

That’s an easy answer, Jim thought with an ironic grin.

Because she’s a woman.

Human females are most perplexing.

Damn straight.

Vulcan or not, all men appeared to agree on a similar base of rules. No exceptions. Jim wondered just how challenging it was to get this particular man to go on a date. He scowled, promptly tucking the phone away as he wondered why he would even care.

***

“Dammit, Jim, are you gonna spill the beans, or what?” The familiar southern twang yanked Jim from his morose reverie as he looked up from his scant-touched dinner.

“’Or what’?” Jim offered with a toothy grin that was utterly artificial.

“What good are you to anyone when you’re like this, huh?” Bone’s waved a fork at Jim’s face from across the table. Jim didn’t flinch at the meaningless threat of flying cutlery. He was used to McCoy assailing him with hypos – Jim far preferred the element of danger that a fork carried.

“I’m good no matter what. Seriously, have you learned nothing in the span of our friendship?” Jim pointedly took a bite of his food to prove to Bones he was in perfect working order. His dinner stuck in his throat like glue.

“You’re the biggest bull-shitter in Starfleet, that’s what I’ve learned.” Bones had one crazy-eye scanning him, a feral look that only the good doctor seemed to be able to pull off. “And that you don’t give two shits about yourself where it really counts.”

Jim quirked a brow and coughed a laugh. “Yeah, because you’re not the hypocrite here.”

“I’m older than you. I’m allowed to be a hypocrite.”

“Likely story.” Jim sighed dramatically into his food and moved his potatoes around on his plate so it appeared as if he were eating. When Kirk looked up he realised Bones had yet to halt his impromptu diagnostic exam. Jim’s sigh was genuine this time.

“I lost my phone. Or, er, accidentally got mine switched with someone else’s identical one. I’m gonna switch them back before I come up to Neon.”

“Dumb as a bag a’dirt about some things.” The doctor grumbled under his breath, taking a hefty bite of his food and chewing in amiable silence for some time.

When Jim’s mood continued to remain low, Bones jabbed at the cadet once more. “And that’s all that’s wrong, huh? Fuckin’ liar.” Count on Bones to state his opinions right out.

Jim already knew he wouldn’t be telling Bones of his mother’s remarriage. Ever, if he had anything to say about it. He didn’t need the pitying looks he knew he’d receive behind his back. He already got enough of those from the Academy students and faculty who simply viewed him as ‘poor Captain Kirk’s unfortunate offspring’.

It made Kirk sick.

“I just hate Valentine’s Day, okay? You know I’m lactose intolerant. Fuckin’ chocolates being practically shoved down my throat left and right.” Jim grumbled, and it was the truth - even if it wasn’t the entire truth. “And every girl n’ guy wants a piece of you like you were on the butcher’s block for sale to the world or something.”

Truth by omission – Jim Kirk’s favourite brand.

“I hear you, buddy, I hear you.” Bones seemed appeased with this explanation for the time being. “So who’s got your phone?”

“Some Vulcan professor.”

If Bone’s had been drinking he would have spat everywhere. Instead, his eyes simply widened to that impossibly manic appearance that no doctor with a proper bedside manner should really have. “You pullin’ my fuckin’ leg? You’ve got Professor Spock’s phone? I didn’t think computers needed their own separate communicators.”

“Wait wait wait!” Jim flung his hands up and waved them before Bones’ face. “Spock? Professor Spock? You sure it’s this guy?”

The doctor nodded in affirmation. “Only Vulcan professor I’ve had the misfortune of meetin’ in this damn place.”

Jim frowned. “So he’s not... a nice guy or whatever?”

“He’s not anything!” Bones rolled his eyes. “He’s just there, bein’ all emotionless and mightier-than-thou. He thinks he’d head honcho, kid. Trust me on this one.”

“Sorry Bones,” Jim leaned across the table and clapped a hand upon his best friend’s shoulder. “I think I’ll make my own opinions from here on out. You tend to be scarily biased.”

“Fuck if I do!” Bones retorted, but Jim was already sliding out of his seat and ambling out of the mess hall.

***

Jim dragged his feet as he returned to his quarters. The weight of the day was like a leaden cloak upon his shoulders, heavy and unrelenting. Every moment Kirk stood tall was a moment he felt weaker than before.

Tossing his uniform to the floor piece by piece, Jim padded quietly up to his top drawer and yanked it open. He found a simple white v-neck t-shirt and slipped it over his head. But when he made to shut the drawer, the corner of a shoebox caught his eye from the back of the compartment.

Of course Jim had known it was there. Of course he knew he was going to take the box out and sit on the bed like he was robotically doing at that very moment. It seemed like no matter how hard Kirk attempted to incinerate his need for acceptance and comfort, the emotions remained steadfast. He knew why, too.

Jim simply could not forget what lay inside the box.

Tentatively opening the shoebox, Jim placed the fragile cardboard lid upon the rumpled bedspread and began to shift through the items within. An old baseball card, a picture of his father, a shark’s tooth necklace, a tattered copy of Tennyson poems, a pocketknife, his brother’s lucky shoelace and a small toy Starship.

But fingertips recognised the feeling of the smooth, paper card immediately. Unearthing it from the bottom of the box, Jim pushed everything else aside but for the item delicately laying in his hands.

A Valentine’s Day card.

A simple red heart decorated the cover; Jim already knew what the jotted scrawl would look like inside the card. Jim had even practised the handwriting so his scrawl would look identical to it. He did not have to read the words his father had written to his mother a lifetime ago. They were simple and ingrained into his mind since he was ten years old.

Winnie,
This is forever.
-George


Forever. What did that even mean? What did forever consist of? Jim's mother certainly didn’t believe in forever. If she had, would she have pawned herself off time and again to a veritable fleet of men? Had George Kirk understood that forever was simply a pipe dream; something silly to imagine was even possible?

Forever was a fairy tale. Happily ever after was a sham. Love was a whim caused by the insistent breath of lust.

Jim would liked to have seen proof that this was not the truth; but he’d yet to encounter any definite evidence to the contrary.

Life was simply one punch after another. Roll with the punches, get a little bruised and continue on.

With his face awash and haggard, Jim read the card one time over before shoving it back in its box and quickly tucking it away amongst his personal belongings. He needed to meet this Spock now.

***


Part Two Here <3
 
 
Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Lala Zeelalazee on February 19th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I also like Academy Fics and am working on another, ridiculously longer one right now. Thank you for reading! <33333
i'd rather be a mystery: spock keep calm (by summer_sun18)mordainlove on February 19th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
It is only logical, after reading this, to love you.

SERIOUSLY. Loved this story so much. *bookmarks* The perfecy sort of story - sexy, nice build up, completely... emotional. <3
Lala Zeelalazee on February 19th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!! It was my first fic ever, I was very nervous hehe. <33
i'd rather be a mystery: spock omg omg omg (by mediocrechick)mordainlove on February 19th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
You should have seen my face when I reached the end of the first part and didn't see a link to part 2. I was freaking out on the inside ("Wait, what? NOOOOOO!") ...

First ever? Well, it was fantastic. I really hope you write more in the future. I'll try to be patient waiting for them. ;)
lrndnglrndng on February 19th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
This story is great. I can't wait to read more.
Lala Zeelalazee on February 19th, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! i hope to post more soon <333
davincis_girl: Trek: new kirkdavincis_girl on February 20th, 2010 03:17 pm (UTC)
This is brilliant! I am waitinng in anticipaiton for the next part.

I love this take on Jim Kirk: "In fact, it would come as a shock to most everyone but for Bones, that Jim Kirk’s self-esteem hovered at the same level as an average person. He had doubts and fears as much as anyone else. Jim’s bravado and stubbornness, however, remained unrivalled at Starfleet Academy. That made a world of difference."

Great work.
karmic_fickarmic_fic on February 21st, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
this was absolutely wonderful and doubly awesome for being your first, can't wait to read more!
Lala Zeelalazee on February 21st, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
thank you so much!!! i hope i give you more to read, and soon! ♥
crazyelf84captain_fine on February 21st, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
Ah! I can't wait until the next part appears!

FANTASTIC job!
Lala Zeelalazee on February 21st, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I really appreciate hearing that from you! ♥
ALONG WITH MY HOODIE AND MY FUCK YOU FLIP FLOPSranka_lee on February 21st, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
OH, I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS! :D
Totally meme-ing it ^^

I loved this line:
Oh, you’re sassy! I like it.
My sister and I joke that the only 'emotion' Spock shows is sass~ So that was spot on xDD
Lala Zeelalazee on February 22nd, 2010 07:36 am (UTC)
THANK YOU!

You're so right. Spock = Sass. Always and forever!!!
cruxaffinity92 on February 21st, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
=)
AAHHH! this is so freakin amazing you have me hooked!!!! I cant wait to read more!!! please please please please post more soon!!
This is the first fic ive read with Jim still at the acadamy and i freakin LOVE it!!!!
:3
Lala Zeelalazee on February 22nd, 2010 07:38 am (UTC)
Re: =)
Thank you so much!!!

I'm glad I've turned you to the side of the Academy -BECAUSE THERE IS MORE ACADEMY FIC TO COME! YAAYY! hehehe
drinking rum and writing some: kirk motorbiketherumjournals on February 22nd, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
really really love this so far, and i'm going right to part 2, but i wanted to comment here first.

so many good lines and images in here. first of all, i would love to see jim (or chris pine) with a faux hawk.

"so do you have the ears and everything?" - jim, you can't just ask people if they have the ears!

"Love was a whim caused by the insistent breath of lust." - great line

and i love the banter between jim and bones.
adn i LOVE the texts, but i'll say more about that in the next part...
Lala Zeelalazee on February 22nd, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
LOL I imagine Jim has made some poor/hilarious/awesome hair style choices in his time at the Academy.

WHY? BECAUSE THATS HOW I IMAGINE IT OKAY LOL xD

Omg, Jim you really can't ask things like that! -facepalm- NO TACT.

YAY for you liking this! Im so happy! <3
twilightscribetwilightscribe on February 24th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
*taking quick inventory of what organs/body parts she has left* OKAY I HAVE IT.

YOU GET MY LEFT OVARY FOR WRITING THIS. UNLESS YOU WOULD PREFER MY FOOT BUT I DOUBT IT CAUSE MY FEET DON'T SMELL TOO NICE MUCH OF THE TIME – STUPID FEET

CAPS ARE NECESSARY TO EXPRESS MY LOVE FOR THIS FIC. IT IS AWESOME. MY MOTHER STARED AT ME AS I READ IT IN THE KITCHEN AND JUST GAVE ME A O_O LOOK WHENEVER I LAUGHED AT WHATEVER WAS SAID AND/OR HAPPENED.

YAY MISPLACED PHONES.

IS THERE MORE? I NEED MORE! THIS IS MAKING ME TOO HAPPY AND I'M SITTING ON MY BATHROOM FLOOR WITH THE PRAYER THAT THERE IS. :D
Lala Zeelalazee on February 24th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
OMG LOL. YOU ARE AMAZING. THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! AS A CAPS USER MYSELF I UNDERSTAND THE NECESSITY OF IT'S USE!!
twilightscribetwilightscribe on February 25th, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
NO. YOU ARE AMAZING. :D
wendiferouslywendiferously on February 26th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
Omg. I loved this. Is there going to be more?
lady_blue_peach on March 31st, 2010 07:37 am (UTC)
Forever. What did that even mean? What did forever consist of? His mother certainly didn’t believe in forever. If she had, would she have pawned herself off time and again to a veritable fleet of men? Had George Kirk understood that forever was simply a pipe dream; something silly to imagine was even possible?

Forever was a fairy tale. Happily ever after was a sham. Love was a whim caused by the insistent breath of lust.

Jim would liked to have seen proof that this was not the truth; but he’d yet to encounter any definite evidence to the contrary.

Life was simply one punch after another. Roll with the punches, get a little bruised, and continue on.

With his face awash and haggard, Jim read the card one time over before shoving it back in its box, and quickly tucking it away amongst his personal belongings. He needed to meet this Spock now.


This feels so true. Seeing all the deception and hate in the world you wonder...is there anylove? Is there such thing as a happy forever...Good chapter...

Spock's humor...dry as wood but just to funny...
More matter with less artterytrixie on April 16th, 2010 11:09 am (UTC)
This quickly became one of my favorite fics - it's just soo adorable <3
Great job!
Lala Zee: happylalazee on April 16th, 2010 11:57 am (UTC)
Thank you so much my darling! I'm ridiculously flattered and happy that you're enjoying this <3
crackemodcrackemod on April 20th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
Hi, just to let you know, your story has been recommended here at crackenterprise.
sunny_rainfallsunny_rainfall on July 7th, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
oooo awesome story. angsty kirk is usually a bummer to me but this is realy good
Ze Germanamerasu1013 on September 11th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
OMG why haven't I commented on this before? Why??? I thought I did?
Anyway: great fic! I love the banter and the flirting (I have ears, do you? ahahaha) and Kirk's voice was so perfect!!!
Also lol at Bones!
<3<3<3 so much at you, because clearly you are awesome.
And I'm gonna rec the sh*t out of this one, just so you know! ;-)
Lala Zee: kirk teeheelalazee on September 22nd, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
YAY! Thank you my darling, I really appreciate hearing that. You're the best! <3
Nekoii Hiwatarinekoii_desu on October 10th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
You seriously had me rolling and spinning between two polar emotions.

Hilarious text messaging, dry Vulcan wit, and plain simple poke-fun. Such grin filled and turn-head-shyed smiles moments.
-then-
Sadness, and despair and just that feeling of falling back on the bed and staring at the ceiling - uncomprehending, and just lost, and empty, and full of sighs.

wow man... such depth! Ummph!

I'm off to the next part stat!