Heart, We Will Forget Him by Djinn

Heart, we will forget him.
You and I, to-night.
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.

When you have done, pray tell me,
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste, lest while you're lagging,
I may remember him.

Emily Dickinson

Rand knew she shouldn't be following him. It wasn't in her job description to track where he went, what he did, who he saw. She was his yeoman: the captain's personal aide. Not his keeper. Not his guardian.

Not his lover. Never that.

He turned down a side corridor, and she realized he was heading for the rec lounge. Was he meeting someone? Could he be? They were between missions. If he met someone, it would be crew--and he never dated crew.

Patting her hair, she made a quick check for loose strands, then worried that her makeup might not be perfect.

Not that he'd notice.

But she knew he noticed everything, and she was part of everything, so he had to notice her.

He had to notice her legs. She had great legs, and these uniforms were very kind to those with great legs and a shapely derriere...and good breasts...and a tiny waist. She knew her body could stop men in their tracks. Her face was good, too, but it wasn't her face men tended to look at. They got caught up in the hair, in the body. She knew her assets; she was honest in assessing them. They'd been all she had for so long.

But he valued her for more than that. He talked to her--really talked to her. As if she had a brain. As if she was worth getting to know.

It was probably what made her want him so. It didn't seem to make him want her.

She followed him into the lounge. He was on the far side, talking to Mister Spock. She'd work her way around eventually. This had to be played delicately.

He could never know how much she wanted him.

--------------------------------

She thought Kirk was following her. Glancing back, she saw that he was, indeed, behind her. Her heart beat crazily, and she remembered how it felt to have him finally come to her quarters.

To finally want her.

To nearly rape her.

She ran for the lift. Heard him call, "Janice, wait," but the doors closed before he could get to them.

She got to her quarters--he wouldn't follow her there. The only time he'd come to her quarters had been that time, and that hadn't been him. Not all of him. She'd only gotten the mean Kirk. The one who wanted, but never loved.

She'd been terrified of that Kirk.

She never called him Jim. Not to his face. Only in her fantasies. Which now were colored with the feeling of her nails on his face. The feeling of being held too tightly.

Her chime went off, scaring her. She backed away from the door. It chimed again, and again.

He was out there.

"Come," she finally whispered.

He walked in slowly, holding his hands out as if she was a frightened animal. But then, she was a frightened animal, just like he'd been a horrible animal. A predator.

"I wanted to tell you how sorry I am...for what happened."

"For what almost happened."

"Right." He sighed.

"It wasn't you." But if it wasn't him, why was she sweating? Why was the room spinning?

"But it was me. A...part of me."

"Not the nice part."

"No. Not the nice part." He stood in her quarters--finally--and all she could do was stand frozen across the room, praying he wouldn't come any closer.

"Captain, I just need some time."

He nodded.

"Don't follow me anymore."

Again the nod. A tortured expression on his face. Then he left.

-----------------------

She packed slowly, nervous about her decision.

It was time to get off the ship. She knew it was time. But to leave him? To never see him again?

Only he'd be on Earth from time to time. She'd pass him in the hallways of Starfleet Command. They'd nod and smile and keep on walking. Kirk and Rand: two old...what?

Not lovers. Never lovers.

It had been seeing him with Lenore Karidian that had made Rand request the transfer. It had hurt too much: he could get close to someone, just never to her.

Her chime rang.

"Come." She turned, expecting Nyota. Maybe Christine. But it was him. "Sir."

He smiled sadly and nodded as if at her progress--was he glad she was leaving? And was that glad as in losing a pest? Or glad as in relieved the temptation would end?

"You're getting there," he said, gesturing to her bags.

"It's easy. Take all you have and put it somewhere. Then run like hell." She hadn't meant to say the last part.

His head shot up. "Are you running away?"

"Would you care if I was?"

His voice was very soft. "I care that you're leaving."

"Will you miss me?"

"Of course." He was staring at her.

"Me, your yeoman? Or me, Janice?"

"Both."

She turned, not wanting to meet those hazel eyes. "This is so hard."

She felt his hands on her arms, and he turned her.

"Saying goodbye is always hard," he said, and then he kissed her.

It wasn't a short kiss. It wasn't chaste, either. But he stopped it too soon.

"Good-bye, Jan." He smiled at her--that beautiful, wonderful smile--and then he was gone.

"Goodbye, Jim," she said to the now-closed doors.

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She paced her quarters. Five steps across, turn, five steps back. Relief warred with anger: V'Ger was gone, but why had Kirk treated her like she hadn't known what she was doing? Like she was a novice at the transporter controls? She hadn't ended up back on the flagship by being a goddamned novice.

He'd said, "It wasn't your fault, Rand." You bet it hadn't been her fault.

Her chime rang; it was him.

She kept pacing.

"I was out of line."

"You were." She couldn't stop walking, couldn't look at him. If she looked at him, she'd be lost.

"I'm sorry." He sat on her bed. "It was my fault they died."

She stopped pacing, sat on the bed next to him. "That was your wife on the pad."

"Ex-wife."

She'd known that. Wanted to hear if he sounded upset. He did. And...he didn't. "Real nice."

"It's been over for a while. She works--worked for Nogura. That's the reason she was coming aboard." He met her eyes, and she realized he looked haunted.

"It wasn't your fault, either, sir. It wasn't anybody's fault. It was an accident."

"Just because it's an accident, doesn't mean someone's not at fault. It just means they didn't intend to do it." There was an uncomfortable silence in the room.

"You weren't supposed to be here."

"Things changed. With Decker gone..."

"They gave you back the ship."

He nodded.

"I'll be transferring off as soon as I can."

"Do you have to?"

She laughed, too loud, too quickly. "You don't love me, and you don't trust me to do my job. I hate to think what's coming next."

"Jan..."

"As soon as I can, Jim."

He didn't seem to notice what she'd called him, just nodded and got up, leaving her alone.

--------------------

Rand followed Jim as he walked with Carol Marcus into the spacedock transporter room.

Jim touched Carol's arm, and she smiled at him, but not in a way that a lover would. She wasn't his lover, was she? Not like Antonia, that dark-haired beauty who'd made Rand feel brassy and hard.

Jim stayed with Carol until it was her turn to beam out. Then he gave her a kiss on the cheek and handed her the bag he'd been carrying.

She disappeared, and all energy seemed to go out of him as he made his way to the exit.

Rand stepped forward, and he stopped walking. She covered the rest of the distance to him. "You aren't going with her?"

He could still follow Carol down--maybe he had reports to finish? He'd always had reports to finish.

"No." Such a simple answer. Such a world of pain behind it.

"I saw the ship come in."

He made a sound. Not quite a sigh. More a muted cry for the beautiful ship he loved so much more than he ever had Rand.

"I'm sorry about Spock."

He nodded, made no sound this time. Too painful to let it out? He'd always loved Spock more than he had her, too.

"Why are you here, Jan?"

"I followed you. I do that, sometimes." Why she was telling him that? Did she want to hurt him? Or did she think that would comfort him?

"Oh." He frowned, like a man who'd gone too long with no food or sleep. She'd lectured him about that in the old days.

"Do you need company?"

For a moment, she thought he might say yes. But then he shook his head. "I have to get down to Bones."

It was always someone else with him. Never her.

-------------------------

Rand rang the chime of Jim's VIP guest quarters. He'd saved them from the whale probe: Starfleet had upgraded him from brig to carte blanche.

He answered the door immediately. His smile was radiant--and very surprised.

"I saw that another one got away," she said.

"I was hoping no one noticed how fast Gillian was running."

"I noticed."

"You always do, don't you?"

She nodded, then took a deep breath and pushed her way past him.

"Come on in." He was laughing.

"You'll be in space soon."

"I will." He poured something golden--Scotch, she supposed--from his well-stocked bar and handed her a glass. "To the new Enterprise."

She drank to her rival. "Since you'll be in space soon..." She let her voice drop into a purr.

He looked surprised again, but he didn't look away. "Since I'll be in space...?"

"Three months on Vulcan. Must have been boring?"

"I've had more exciting layovers."

"In the past"--her heart was hammering--"circumstances have always seemed...wrong for us."

"Wrong?"

She nodded.

"And they're right, now?"

"I'm not asking for anything enduring, Jim. I'm just asking for now."

He played with the golden curls she'd spent her life hiding. "This is the real you, isn't it?"

She nodded.

"I like her."

"Enough to...?"

"I can't promise--"

She kissed him, not interested in what he couldn't promise as she pushed him toward his bedroom.

"Jan, are you sure about this?"

"I'm sure."

He stripped off their clothes and took her to bed.

Morning came too soon. He lay next to her, rubbing her arm. "You okay?"

"Yes."

"When I come back...maybe?"

"Sure." But she knew he wouldn't look her up. It had been good between them, but it hadn't had the feel of forever--or even for a while.

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Rand sat by Christine and Nyota at Jim's memorial service. She wasn't crying. She'd shed so many tears over him, maybe there were none left.

He'd died a hero. Saving the lady he loved: that great silver ship who hated to share.

Closing her eyes, Rand tried to knock away the years to get to the one night when he'd loved her--or at least made love to her. She'd seen him since. Not that way, not that close. But at parties. Or in the hallways. He'd always been gentle with her. Too gentle.

She wanted passion. She knew he had it in him.

Just not for her.

She glanced at Christine. Rand had comforted her when Spock had died. Now it was Christine who cried for their captain. Christine who probably had been closer to him than Rand had at the end. A woman he'd look up for dinner when he was back on Earth.

Christine hadn't slept with him. Had looked shocked when Rand had asked if she had. "We're just friends," she'd said in her quiet way.

Rand had never been his friend.

She looked at Nyota, who had her eyes closed tightly, as if she was damming up the tears. Nyota was the one he'd trusted to go with them to Vulcan. The only one of the three of them who'd never left him when she'd had the opportunity to go.

Rand knew Nyota loved Jim. She'd just never been sure what that meant. Nyota held her cards close.

The chaplain opened the service up to anyone who wanted to remember Jim.

What would Rand say about him?

I loved him.

He didn't love me.

I loved him, anyway.

She thought it best to keep that to herself.

She knew that Jim would no doubt agree.

FIN