Disclaimer: Star Trek belongs to Gene Roddenberry. The movie rights belong to J.J. Abrams and Paramount. Thanks to Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine for inspiring me to write about the young versions of Spock and Kirk! And to Leonard Nimoy, bless him, for his flawless portrayal of Spock Prime.
Warning: This story contains SLASH. As in a male/male relationship. If you don't like it, don't read it. Thank you.
Title: Teach Me
Summary: K/S. Set during the new Star Trek movie, which means minor spoilers. My take on Kirk and Spock's first meeting at Starfleet Academy. Spock is Kirk's teacher and they really don't get along! Just how much do they *hate* each other? Pre-slash. Spock POV.
Published: 04-15-09, Updated: 05-07-09
This fic has just been moved from the TOS TV show section and to the ST 2009 movie section. However, since I wrote it before I saw the movie with little spoiler knowledge, so some events will be altered, omitted, or out of order.
A/N: So I decided to write a fic about the new Star Trek movie, set during the Academy years. It contains some minor spoilers so if you are avoiding them totally don't read this. However, I only have a rough idea as to the plot of Star Trek XI, so I decided to write my own take on the first meeting of Kirk and Spock before I see how it unfolds in the movie. The story begins with the first time Kirk and Spock meet and how their relationship develops from there. Pre-slash.
Edit on 6/17: I went back through and changed a few details so they would fit better with the movie and ST 2009 canon. However, the plot of the story remains the same. I just had a little polishing to do.
Ch.1: My Deepest Wish
Cold - bitter, stinging cold! Sheets of crystalline snow battered my body as I trekked across the white barren wasteland. What a godforsaken planet! How did I end up here anyway? I could not recall. All I knew was that if I didn't find shelter soon, I wouldn't live to see the day that I would attain my ultimate goal – to be assigned as Science Officer on a starship.
Then, right before my eyes, a fellow Vulcan materialized. For a moment I was afraid, but as I looked at that wizened face I saw great wisdom and peace reflecting in his dark eyes. I knew then that I had nothing to fear from this visitor.
"Who are you?" I demanded, perhaps sounding a bit more accusing than I meant to. "Why am I here?"
"Why are any of us here?" Came the calm, logical reply. He rather reminded me of someone I knew but I couldn't quite place who it was. Then I had a wild thought.
"Are you Surak, coming to aid me in my darkest hour?" To my surprise, the Vulcan actually chuckled. Well, he cannot be Surak, I thought, trying not to feel too disappointed. Our society's founder of logical philosophy would never allow himself such a display of emotion. That action would be quite illogical, not to mention disgraceful.
"You would like to think so." The elderly Vulcan's eyes twinkled with amusement. "No, I am not Surak. I am you, Spock."
"That claim is most irregular," I muttered, not sure if I should believe him. Or perhaps I was so far gone that I had started to hallucinate. On second thought, maybe I should believe him.
"I came to deliver a message to you," the Vulcan-who-claimed-to-be-me elaborated. "Do not completely immerse yourself in the teachings of Surak. This time around, you must get it right."
"I do not understand," I said, raising an eyebrow. Distance myself from the teachings of Surak? Unthinkable!
"I have traveled back in time to warn you of what is to come," the elder Spock explained. "Due to the rash action of a rogue Romulan, the fabric of the space-time continuum has been disrupted. This means that your life will not have to follow the same path as mine."
"You mentioned something about 'getting it right', I reminded him, still not sure if I should buy his story about time travel. Somehow, it seemed a little too convenient.
"You must not let your shame and despair consume you," my old self cautioned. "If you choose as I did, you will be missing out on the best years of your life."
"You are speaking in riddles," I replied. "I am not overwhelmed by despair, nor have I shamed myself."
"Spock, tomorrow your life will change forever." The elder Vulcan looked upon me with much concern, and was that a shred of pity? I certainly hoped not! "This will all be new to you, but you must learn not shut out your feelings. Instead, you should embrace them."
"But that goes against everything I have learned on Vulcan," I pointed out, trying to keep my voice steady. At the same time I was also contemplating what kinds of external factors could cause my life to change so drastically.
"Everything you learned on Vulcan taught you to suppress your human half," said the Old Spock with a sigh. "That was a mistake. If not corrected, you will be paying for it for a long time. You must face tomorrow with an open mind, for if you do you will be granted your deepest wish. And perhaps more." Both my eyebrows flew up at that.
"This change, does it have anything to do with my receiving an assignment to a ship?" I asked, doing my best to sound casual.
"Is receiving an assignment your deepest wish?"
"I am certain that nothing would please me more," I answered. Old Spock sighed.
"You are not receiving an assignment tomorrow."
"I see," I said evenly, trying not to feel too disappointed.
"That is not your deepest wish, is it?"
"It is my goal in life, my top priority," I returned. "I wish to become the greatest Science Officer that Starfleet has ever seen and serve until I am no longer fit for duty."
"You are not being true to yourself, Spock," frowned the old Vulcan. "We both know what our deepest wish is, and it certainly is not that." I processed his words for a moment, making a concerted effort not to frown. How could I speak of this deeply personal wish, as it was tied with emotions? But it would be just like having a conversation with myself, as strange as it may seem. I decided it would not be shameful to speak with Old Spock about these matters, as I would not be sharing them with anyone but myself.
"I have often wished for a… friend," I whispered. "I have plenty of acquaintances but there is no one that I would call my 'best friend', to use the Terran expression."
"Now we are getting somewhere," the elder Spock mused. "Go on."
"But it is illogical to hope for something that has a slim chance of occurring," I continued. "My presence embarrasses Vulcans and Humans find me odd. Those of other species do not find me good company either. All I need is one Being to see me for who I am inside in order to find my company agreeable, but that will never happen. Such an event has never occurred before, so why should it occur now? "
Old Spock actually grinned at me then. The nerve of him! What had happened in my life that caused me to disregard Vulcan philosophy? Emotion is not logical! Why would my old self embarrass me this way in his golden years?
"Do not be so certain, Spock. How I envy you; tomorrow you meet him." Before I had the chance to ask him who 'he' was, my aging manifestation had vanished. The biting wind swirled around me once more, rattling me to the very core. Never before had I felt so lost and alone…
"Mr. Spock, report for duty."
At the sound of the cool, feminine voice of the computer, my eyes flew open to observe the familiar surroundings of my quarters at Starfleet Academy. My textbooks, my science journals and equipment, my beloved harp – they were all there. My teeth continued to chatter and my body shook with cold as I realized what had happened. I must've forgotten to adjust the temperature controls last night! That must be why I dreamt about the ice planet. I threw on a robe and changed the temperature accordingly, finally able to relax as heat was pumped into the room.
After congratulating myself on that excellent deduction (and simultaneously deciding to forget about the part of the dream with the old Vulcan) I checked the computer for my new message. To my surprise, it was from the headmaster himself!
Dear Commander Spock,
You are required to teach History of Starfleet today, starting at 0900. Admiral Morrow had to take a leave of absence but you will find his notes to be in order.
I mentally groaned. History of Starfleet? What a waste of time and resources that class was! While I certainly understood the value of learning history, most of the students at the Academy were human and did not take it seriously. If you have ever studied Terran history as I have, you will find that, excluding most of the past century, humans had a horrendous track record of repeating their mistakes. Admiral Morrow was no exception, and he had a notorious reputation for letting students slide in his class. However, Starfleet wasn't concerned about the importance of a lower level one-credit course. As long as they continued to produce well-trained and qualified cadets, the United Federation of Planets board members were satisfied.
This was all very well, but why had I been asked to teach the class? I was already teaching classes in Advanced Phonology and Interspecies Ethics, as they were subjects that I had intensively studied. I read a little more of the message, hoping for a reasonable explanation.
No doubt you are wondering as to the nature of your assignment. If you recall from our last meeting, one of your goals is to improve your relations with humans. Teaching this class will give you an opportunity to do just that, as it relies heavily on discussion. Also, I have not forgotten that your areas of expertise are Phonology and Interspecies Ethics, and not History. However, I know you have an interest in the subject, as well as a vast knowledge and understanding of significant events relating to Starfleet. No doubt you will find today's topic most fascinating to share with the class.
-Admiral Barnett, Headmaster
As irked as I was that I was being ordered to teach an extra class, my curiosity was peaked. I opened the attachment on the message in hopes of finding a carefully constructed curriculum that would include a schedule of topic for the lectures. When I located today's topic, I was impressed by the headmaster's sense of intuition. Indeed, it was fascinating.
Lecture topic: The U.S.S. Kelvin incident
The Kelvin Incident was a historical event that I had studied extensively in my own spare time. This was the story of the brave First Officer that took command of the starship after Captain Robau was killed in the line of duty. He only lasted twelve minutes as acting captain, sacrificing himself to the enemy to save the lives of every man, woman, and child on the Kelvin. Kirk stayed behind to operate the Kelvin's defenses, as the autopilot had been overidden. After all of the shuttles were underway, Kirk set a collision course for the enemy ship. He lost his life, but managed to cripple his opponent long enough for the shuttles to warp out. Even in death, Kirk was victorious, for he had saved all those who escaped in the shuttles, including his pregnant wife.
Even as a child on Vulcan, I was moved by this tale of personal sacrifice. It might even have had a hand in my decision to join Starfleet instead of the Vulcan Science Academy. My father, the Vulcan ambassador, was less than pleased with my fascination with all things Starfleet when I was growing up. He found my hero worship of George Kirk disturbing and illogical. I secretly wondered if my life would've been different if my father had been George Kirk instead of the overbearing Sarek and often envied George Kirk's sons. Their father was dead, but he left behind a great legacy. Surely they would have no difficulty being accepted into Starfleet, should they choose it.
It was at that moment when I recalled the most recent rumor floating around the Academy; George Kirk's younger son had enlisted in Starfleet and was making quite a name for himself, academically and socially. I had never heard if this rumor had been confirmed or denied. All I knew is that I certainly hadn't had a student in my classes with the last name of Kirk. But if the lecture topic of the day was concerning the valiant actions of First Officer George Kirk on the Kelvin, perhaps his son might stop by to listen? Shaking my head, I pushed the absurd thought from my mind. I should know better than to listen to rumors, but sometimes my human curiosity tends to overcome logic.
Checking my chronometer, I calculated the amount of time I had to dress and prepare for the class. Spurned on by the thought of lecturing on one of my favorite events in Starfleet history, I completed my menial morning tasks more quickly than usual. Deciding to arrive at the classroom early, I set off for lecture hall 4-B. Not surprisingly, I was the only one who bothered to show up early. No matter – I took out some light reading on computer programming and waited for the students to show.
They trickled in slowly, laughing and talking with their friends about the newest training simulation or their latest night on the town. How I envied them! Even among Vulcans I never was much for socializing. With humans, it was almost impossible to understand when they were being serious and when they weren't. I tried to return my attention to my reading material but it was difficult when my sensitive ears picked up snippets of their conversation. My facial expression stayed deceptively impassive, but it was difficult to pretend that their taunts of 'pointy ears' and 'half-breed' didn't hurt. I also wasn't amused by a group of Andorians who were taking bets on who could get the unemotional Vulcan to crack. The teasing was not nearly this bad in my other classes, perhaps because my students and I had a love for the subject in common.
By 0900, I had had enough. I called the class to order and explained that I was Admiral Morrow's replacement. Not many of the students bothered to listen to me until I threatened to keep them in class through lunch break. After that they were all ears, although I did pick up on the occasional grumble that Professor Morrow would never make them stay during lunch break.
I was just about to begin my lecture on the Kelvin incident when the double doors at the back of the hall burst open with a whoosh. A stunningly handsome human male sauntered in amidst catcalls and whistles of admiration. I inwardly groaned. Hadn't I endured enough from the students for one day? The last thing I needed was someone who wanted to make an entrance.
I watched as the boy took his time walking down the main aisle. He high-fived a couple of his classmates in the back of the room and winked at a group of Human girls who then swooned. Had I been a full human, I would've rolled my eyes at this childish behavior. I waited for the boy to choose a row before acknowledging his presence.
"You will sit up front today."
"Alright," the boy said easily. He chose a seat in the middle of the first row across from where I was standing and looked up at me expectantly. "Aren't you going to ask me why I'm late?" He had a pleasant, almost commanding voice although I did not appreciate his mocking tone.
"I was not, but perhaps you should enlighten us," I said.
"I don't need to be here for this lecture today." He gave me a winning smile, which only served to frustrate me further. How could he not wish to learn about the Kelvin incident?
"Are you even aware of the topic for today's lecture?" I asked. The overconfident boy turned back to glance at the class, and then turned back to me again. Most of the students snickered, as if they were in on a joke that I was not privy to. How had the boy done that?
"We're learning about George Kirk's important contribution to Starfleet history," the boy replied, placing his arms behind his head and stretching out in his chair. He yawned lazily as he made himself comfortable. "Am I right?" More giggles ensued.
"You should not treat today's topic with such nonchalance," I growled, letting my emotions seep through my voice. "This event is perhaps one of the most significant in Starfleet History in terms of moral character. It is also a personal favorite of mine."
"Yeah… I really think I can be excused from class today," said the youth, as if he hadn't heard a single thing I said. "It's not like I don't already know this story." What was his problem? I couldn't overlook his insubordination any longer.
"What is your name?" I asked, my cheeks twitching in anger.
"My name is Jim. What's yours?" The golden-haired youth smirked at me, as if daring me to question him further. The other students whispered amongst themselves – I knew they were waiting to see how I would deal with him.
"You will address me as Commander Spock," I said through tight lips. What was it about this human that irked me so? He radiated arrogance, and I would have thrown him out of my class right then had I not noticed the mischief in his icy blue eyes. At least he wasn't tormenting me out of cruelty. This human seemed to thrive on the attention from his peers, who began snickering when he began to give me a hard time. Had I not been his teacher, perhaps we could have had some interesting conversations as he appeared to be close to me in age. The boy certainly knew how to banter, that was for sure.
"Nice to meet you, Spock," said Jim, deliberately leaving out my title. Still smirking, he stuck out his hand in the traditional human greeting. I raised an eyebrow at that – he should know by now that Vulcans do not like to be touched unless absolutely necessary. But I wasn't about to let him get the best of me in front of the class. Tentatively, I moved my right hand to meet his. As he shook my hand, I unconsciously absorbed his feelings. This usually happened when I touched others, but I had never before encountered emotions of this magnitude. Enthusiasm, intense passion, pride, fear, raw pain… each one washed over me like a solar flare. I couldn't help it - I had to jerk my hand a way before I mistook his emotions for my own. Losing composure in front of my students was not something I could afford to happen.
"So, am I excused?" Jim asked. He shot me a confused frown, as if he was insulted I had pulled away from his handshake sooner than what was deemed polite. I had been expecting such a remark and already had a rebuttal prepared, even though I was shaken up from making contact with his skin.
"If you believe you already know everything there is to know about the Kelvin Incident, why don't you teach the class?" I countered. That should get him to sit down.
"I think I will," said Jim with a grin as the class cheered him on. "No disrespect to you, Spock, but I'm more qualified to teach this topic than you are." What? That wasn't supposed to happen! He was supposed to take a seat, thus allowing me to begin my lecture.
I suppose this instance proves that sometimes even Vulcans can be mistaken when predicting human behavior.
End Ch. 1
A/N: What do you think? Should I keep going?