A piece a little darker for me and rating is for a few words that's all. Words that anyone who went to middle school have no doubt heard. This is a piece I threw together that takes place the morning after McCoy's visit to Kirk's apartment in ST: TWOK. Inspiration comes from that moment and Johnny Cash's 'Sunday Morning Coming Down'.

Nope, never have and considering my paycheck, never will own Star Trek or Paramount


THE CHOICES I LIVE WITH

God, his head hurt. He hadn't felt this shitty in years. If he ever had another sip of Romulan Ale in his entire sane life it would be too soon for him.

Sitting alone in the first stray rays of gray morning light on a cold bench over looking the Bay, Admiral James T. Kirk was unable to find a way to hold his head that didn't hurt. Closing his heavy lidded, stinging eyes he sat further back on the bench cautiously taking in another breath of sea air. His only solace was knowing that somewhere there was a bucolic physician who was wallowing in the same amount pain. At the moment though, he could've cared less if he just found out that McCoy was sitting in the Klingon's Rura Penthe on a murder charge. There was very little at this time of the morning and the critical shape he was in that he gave a rip about.

Head falling gently against the back of the bench, Kirk winced at the waves of the pain that rippled interminably through his brain. Once the roars had dimmed down to a dull aching drumming, he carefully squinted at the over head sky that was nearly pitch black yet, stars scattered freely in every direction as far as the eye could see. It was still one of the most beautiful sights he had ever seen, even in the state he was in.

"Get your ship back. Get it back before you really do get old.' Those words filtered through the alcoholic haze that was lingering in his mind as he foggily brought up the events of the previous night.

Did he want her back?

Closing his tired eyes again, Kirk tried to let his mind go blank but found the conversation from the night before coming back in snatches and pieces that did little to improve his hangover or mental condition that he had been dragging around with him for the last few years.

Damn, how did command think that he was going to be satisfied pissing away the rest of his life saddled behind a desk reliving what moments of glory on the floor, to him anyway, of a poor substitute of the starship bridge. He seriously doubted that anyone within the decision-making area of command truly gave a Trivlutenian rats ass what this assignment at the Academy was doing to him personally. It was what it was doing for the enrollment of the Academy and more importantly how it still made Star Fleet itself look, keeping a firm grasp on the man that was their living symbol of what they could forge at their best.

An icon was what he had been lulled into when he had stepped away from the 'Enterprise' to accept the promotion of admiral. He just hadn't recognized it then, not until he was repeatedly slapped in the face with the overly rapt adoration of the children he was expected to 'teach' what he gained from experience and an inner instinct that only a few were given.

The other option was returning to Operations as a Flag Admiral, something that was less appealing to him than being an outmoded, teaching paladin. At the Academy he at least felt as if he was contributing in some fashion toward the ever-expanding borders of Star Fleet. It was a good argument that he feed himself at night, when he was wide-awake and alone in bed. An argument that was loosening it's delusional persuasive sway, as his time was slipping away.

What else was there left for him though? What family that was left, those he knew of their whereabouts, were in the midst of their own lives and families to be able to turn their attention to charging into the universe troubles. Moreover, he was hardly the type to even consider the notion of camping out at a family or friends home while he sorted out his life. A life that held very little in his mind if he ever did decide to walk away from Star Fleet.

Opening his eyes he stared at the increasingly brightening sky, as a few stars glimmered brilliantly once before dying out in the morning light.

God did he miss having that dark cloak surrounding him, knowing that the freedom and endless possibilities were there among the stars separated by the few inches of a ship's thin metallic skin from him. Even in those last days before his return to Star Fleet Command as a newly appointed Admiral, he felt the allure yet of the adventure and mystery that lay just within inches of his fingers that itched to bypass earth to see what it was that kept calling to him.

The sound of someone approaching forced Kirk to pull himself together and try to straighten up on the bench with as little pain as possible trying not to out right cradle his throbbing head in the motion.

It was a young couple obviously in love or close to it by their amorous behavior when they paused at the fenced off edge of the park and proceeded to practice on their actual honeymoon routine. Entirely caught up in perfecting their technique to be aware of the legend sitting on the bench less than thirty yards away, that was nursing a hangover and wounded soul.

With a great deal of will power, Kirk pushed himself off of the bench taking a second then two to be completely sure of himself before warily walking away to leave the couple to their copulating maneuvers.

Bitterness was the theme of the morning he concluded, gingerly touching his right temple while trying to fight back the rolling ache that sloshed from one side of his head to the other. Everything he saw, heard or thought of late only reminded him more of what he had loss or had never gained.

He had no ship and no one person in his life either. No family of his own, no one to go home to in the evenings or even a loved one to send any type of mail to, if they were lucky enough to be assigned to a ship. He had a string of romances, or relationships would be a more appropriate word, since they had been only a momentary diversion for him from his other depressions. There had been one or two past lovers that had crossed his path, but the feelings had changed, some no longer existing he discovered when he wasn't able to find even the remotest inclination of desire let alone affection or what could be considered love toward any of them.

This factor seem to close the book on his other recent vanishing hope. A living legacy to follow him. A son. A daughter. A child.

With each year that was added to his life, he realized more and more that he wanted things that he knew when accepting that his life would be forever entwined with Star Fleet, he couldn't have and be able to live the life that had been burning in him since the first time he could remember looking at the stars.

After walking several yards away, Kirk paused at the fence and pressed against the cool metal while fixing his gold flecked gaze on the rocky beach below, his agonizingly aching head dealing with the hurtful ruminations that he kept torturing himself with.

There was Peter and his estranged brothers of course, but it wasn't the same by ten's of thousands of miles as having a child of ones own. Peter would always carry the title of James T. Kirk's nephew, and he was proud of the young man as if he was his son. However, he wasn't. There would no one to truly carry on, son or daughter, for him once he was gone.

He couldn't even look backwards, with both of his parents gone now. He had no past to return to try and find some consolation with the farm no longer standing. The future was running away from him and the past was dead without a place that he could place flowers at, let alone visit to reflect.

A hatred would boil up within him at these times, which surprised him and brought with it an ugly stab of guilt. McCoy had his daughter Joanna and grandchildren that he could now hold and love for how ever many years God granted him. Spock was blessed to have both of his parents alive yet, to speak with, to share with and care for. While he found himself confronted with a cold, hard reality of what you want and gain in life can leave you alone in more aspects than one can readily imagine.

Shit. Blinking he felt a tear silently run down his cheek to his chin then hesitate for a heartbeat before dropping off and falling into the frigid bay waters below. Damn it, of all the mornings to be hung over and blatantly self-reproachful.

Wiping at his face just as second tear started sliding down his face, he took a quick peek at his wrist chrono and realized he needed to head back to his apartment. The 'Enterprise' was set for a working inspection tour this day and wasn't going to look well in anyone's eyes if he was late because of a few rounds of Romulan Ale and a severe bout of depression.

Hands resting on the railing, Kirk gazed out at the 'Golden Gate' then stared up at the last remaining star and considered the words McCoy had said to him again. 'Get your ship back. Get it back before you really do get old.'

Did he really want her back?

'She' was his family. 'She' was his child. And yes, 'she' was in every sense his lover. 'She' was everything to him. The reason he awoke in the morning. The reason he fought anyone who dare to scar 'her' in words or physically. 'She' was the reason he was still breathing and why he was breathing.

All the decision's he had made left him alone and had taken 'her' away from him. From that morning on, every decision he would make would guarantee they would give 'her' back to him and he'd make damn sure they never thought of taking the 'Enterprise' from him again.

FIN