New story! My 26th-ish? fanfic that I've published online!

This is a Star Trek AU where everyone's a mutant and Pike runs the Starfleet Academy in order to locate and train these gifted individuals. Jim's insanely powerful and a complete ass with an abusive family, Spock has a dark past that he's struggling to hide, and Bones is caught in the middle between the sarcastic brat and emotion(full)less Vulcan. In the end, perhaps they're exactly what the other needs. *hint hint* This is McSpirk *nudge nudge*

It's Third Person POV, told from a mixture of views, and hopefully, you guys will enjoy!

Rachel :)

Chapter 1

Jim blinked.

Around him, ash drifted through the air like charcoal-coloured snow, and he felt an odd sense of serenity as he gazed at the crumbled walls, blackened charred wood still smouldering on either side of him. The floor was still smoking, golden embers flickering in the night breeze.

The same flames that licked his hands and simmered at the ends of his fingers.

Black dust and cinders hung in the air and invaded his lungs, the sounds of shattering glass and creaking beams still ringing in his ears, the beginnings of sirens echoing in the distant.

It seemed only seconds ago that his step father had been standing in front of him screaming.

Glancing down, he stared at the pile of ashes by his feet.

Not even an article of charred clothing remained.

Jim blinked once more, and slowly began walking through the burning wreckage, the flames burning his clothes and almost caressing his skin, but no marks were left upon him.

He could still smell the acrid scent of burning flesh.

Stopping outside the door of his (burned) bedroom, he gently reached up and pushed at the door.

It fell to the floor with a resounding *crack* and he was momentarily overwhelmed by the pure heat that rose as a result.

Stepping into the room, the sound of sirens got closer and closer. Whether police cars, ambulances, fire brigades, or all three, he didn't know.

What he did know, was that he'd be arrested on sight if he was found out.

He was too young to go down for murder.

Picking up his pace, Jim quickly marched over to the semi-collapsed wrought iron bed and fell to his knees. Reaching underneath, the blonde sent a wave of heat to snap the floorboards, and pulled out the slightly-singed-but-otherwise-intact backpack from underneath.

He always swore to himself that he'd run away.

Guess it just took him exploding to do so.

Sharply looking up at the sound of doors banging, he recognised the blue and red flashing lights through the haze.



Spinning around, he ran for the remains of the back door, swinging the bag on his back as he kicked it open. From behind him, there was a yell.

Grabbing his bike, he jumped on and spun around in the same moment, pedalling with all his might past the house, past the cars, past the men in uniform screaming for him to "Stop! Stand down! You have the right to remain sile-"

He blocked them out and continued, ignoring the yelling, ignoring the fire engines on the other side of the road, and ignoring the wet tears as hot as the flames that embraced him in a protective ball of heat from the onslaught of a bad temper and too much liquor and pain and pain and pain and-

Jim didn't know where he was going.

He didn't have any family asides from his mother, step-father, and brother.

His mother was on a year-long expedition to some planet a million miles away, his step-father was staining the floor in what used to be his home, and Sam, being four years older, had gotten out while he could the second he turned eighteen only a year previous, and Jim hadn't spoken to him since.

It's okay, though, he reasoned, I'm used to fending for myself. It's not like Frank ever provided for me.

The adrenaline made the highway rush by.

Jim wasn't stupid, he knew what shock was.

And he knew that when the panic and excitement and oh my fucking god what the fuck did I just do?! wore off, he was going to crash, and he was going to crash big time.

And his last crash?

That had resulted in arson and first-degree murder.

It took him three days to make it to Nevada.

Between a mixture of cycling, pawning, hitchhiking, and stowaway-ing with no real aim in mind, he found himself heading west.

He passed through the gentle rolling hills of Nebraska, the cold forested Rocky's of Colorado, the pine woods in Utah, and the north-west corner of Arizona, finally ending up in the desert basin of Nevada.

He had intended on finishing the last 200-odd-miles to Los Angeles, or perhaps turn North to Sacramento, or even go further south to San Diego.

Direction didn't matter when you didn't know where you were going.

Once he hit Sin City, however, those plans quickly got derailed.

Just like every other wanderer before him, he was immediately captured by the bright lights and exotic dancers and the shiny glitzy skimpy outfits of the smiling show girls and the smirking show boys.

Despite his step-father's opinion, Jim was a very smart 15-year-old.

He may not have had the patience for school rules, or the concentration to focus in English or Maths class, but if he was interested in something?

Then the devil himself couldn't stop him from learning.

And one thing in particular that he had a serious interest in?

Counting cards.

And where better to use that skill than in downtown Las Vegas?