AUTHOR'S NOTE:

All right, so Pup-of-Power, author of the ingenious story At the Gates of Silent Memory, has given me a Star Trek Challenge and I am going to go ahead and try to do it justice.

Jet over to read her story.

As to this one, I am already having fun with it.

And I really hope you don't mind that I crossed her over just a tad, Pups.

ENJOY!

****

Isobel Kirk looked at her reflection in the mirror and made a face. Her hair wasn't entirely what she wanted it to be, and her uniform felt a little itchy. She knew part of it was her nerves, but the other part of it wanted to make a good impression. Her twin brother was the captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise—she had to somehow pave her own path…not just rely on her familiar ties.

"Maybe I should have cut it all off. What do you think, Is?" She asked her reflection and then crinkled up her nose again and shrugged. "Yeah, we look fine, I give up."

Taking a deep breath she stepped away from the medicine cabinet, and she pulled her light brown hair up into a ponytail and decided to call it good. Today was the day she was taking a shuttle up to the Enterprise, and she knew that it was a good thing she was going. She'd been feeling a little lonely in the house, and as she turned off the bathroom light and walked past her mother's old room, she smiled sadly.

It felt like only yesterday that she, Jim and their mother were in this house together. Now Jim was about to run his own starship, and he'd pulled some strings with Admiral Pike to station her on board. He was the only family she had left, and so it was only natural that the two of them should spend this time together. So wiping off a single tear, she headed out of the house and drove over to catch a shuttle.

"Almost there, Jimmy." She said out loud, taking a deep breath and then she boarded the shuttle and strapped in.

"What do you think the Enterprise will be like?" A cadet asked his buddy excitedly.

"I think it's an honor that we even get to go up there." His buddy replied.

Isobel smiled a little, and then she twiddled her thumbs just a little, waiting patiently and keeping to herself as they docked in the Enterprise's Shuttle Bay. Suddenly she felt a surge as excitement, unbuckling herself and heading for the door. When the door opened, she saw her brother standing there waiting for her, a large grin on her face. She started running towards him, but then slowed down a little, rolling her eyes and throwing care to the wind—jumping on him, whether it was professional or not.

Jim smiled as his sister jumped on him, holding her tightly and spinning her around a bit. He'd missed her more than he could have imagined, and it was nice to have her with him. He knew that as hard as he had taken their mother's death, she was taking it a lot harder than he was. She'd been there when it all had happened, and she was the one who had to take most of the responsibility for the funeral, and getting the house in order. She was the rock of the Kirk family, and he was so proud to be her twin.

"That's my Jimmy!" She exclaimed, kissing his cheek before getting off of him and planting her feet on the ground.

She moved some of her flying hair out of her mouth, and then shrugged as she smiled embarrassedly. She smoothed down her skirt as her brother straightened out his shirt, and then hugged her again.

"It's really good to have you here, Is." Jim told her, and kissed her cheek swiftly.

"No doubt here as to whose Captain's pet." The excited cadet from the shuttle scoffed.

"Yeah." His buddy agreed.

Isobel pulled away and brushed off her brother's shoulders. "So tell me I'm here cause you need my expertise, and not just because you pulled some serious strings."

Jim laughed. "Of course we need your expertise, Is—Lieutenant Commander Scott is actually dying to meet you."

"Well then we shouldn't keep him waiting. I already have a dozen ideas as to how to make this ship run more efficiently." Isobel told him, both of them linking arms.

"Probably not, but I do have others to welcome, Miss I-Left-Academy-A-Year-Early-Cause-My-Brother's-A-Starship-Captain." Jim told her, looking at the two cadets she'd ridden with. "Welcome to the U.S.S. Enterprise. I am your Captain, James T. Kirk, and as far as I am aware, you are all serving under different parts of the ship."

"Yes, sir—I am Timothy Harold, and I've been training as a tactical officer." The once excited cadet introduced himself as.

"And I'm Doctor Lewis Martin." The other one explained.

Jim smiled at them. "Welcome. You all need to report to Sick Bay so that our Chief Medical Officer Doctor McCoy may look you all over and sign off that you are fit to report to duty—right this way."

"That's Bones, right?" Isobel asked Jim. "The one that you're always talking about—the one that helped you get onto the Enterprise when Nero attacked?"

"One in the same." Jim replied.

"Right…I hate him." Isobel told him.

Isobel, still linked with her brother, followed him into the lift as he laughed and shook his head, the other two joining. They kept staring at her, and she figured it would only be polite if she introduced herself. Jim was looking at the way they looked at her too, and couldn't help but chortle to himself.

"I'm Isobel Winona Kirk—I'm somewhat of a ship specialist and this as you have probably figured out by the looks on your faces, is my technical big brother, Captain James T. Kirk." Isobel explained.

The men just nodded and then the lift doors opened and we walked down the corridor to the ship's Med Bay. When the doors slid open, Bones looked up and came over with a scanner, asking them all to have a seat on the hospital beds. Isobel took her seat and frowned just a little—this was the same man that had gotten her brother on board when Nero attacked…the same man that could have in his act of 'doing Jim a favor' could have gotten him killed.

"What exactly do you need to know, Doctor?" She asked him. "Just the usual? Blood pressure? Heart rate? My diet maybe? If I have any allergies? I believe that's all in my profile from the last time I was examined to make sure I was fit to come up here and serve."

Bones smiled a little, raising an eyebrow. She was sassy—spunky even—but the look her eyes also suggested that though she was talking tough at the moment, she wasn't feeling tough inside. Her lip was quivering ever so slightly, so he knew that she was just standing up for something. But for what? For whom? What exactly was she blaming him for?

"Something tells me you don't like me." Bones told her, scanning her body to make double check her physical fitness.

"I don't particular like anyone who puts Jimmy in danger." She replied.

Jim took a step towards them. "Don't pay any attention to her—she's just upset that everyone almost died when Nero attacked."

Bones nodded. "You know, it's not my fault that Nero attacked—I wouldn't have smuggled your brother on board had I known that a psychopath from the future was bent on killing everyone. Hell, I wouldn't have wanted to go up there myself. By the way—you're fit for duty."

"Thank you, Doctor." Isobel said, blushing a little. "And thank you…for caring about Jimmy."

****

"No way!" Isobel laughed as she held a french fry. "You're kidding!"

Jim shook his head and laughed too. "I'm really not!"

Isobel snorted. "You are so still whoring yourself out, Jimmy—what about love?"

"You are still naïve." Jim replied and then shrugged. "Where does love even factor in up here? We're heading out on a five year mission to seek out new civilizations, Is—we're up here to explore, learn, and have as much free unattached fun as possible."

Isobel rolled her eyes. "Same ol' Jimmy."

She smiled at him a little and then poked at her food. She and Jim had been eating dinner in his quarters when he'd gone into a detailed story about his last date, and Jim sighed a little. He reached out and held Isobel's hand, seeing right through the brave smile she plastered on her face.

"Stop thinking about Lon, Is. He was a jackass and he didn't deserve my baby sister." Jim said, kissing her hand.

"I had the perfect dress and the perfect shoes, and my hair was fashioned up the way Mom had done it and…he never made it. I had my something old, my something borrowed, my something new and my something blue…and he just never showed up. Maybe you're right—love is kind of overrated. You think you have it and it bites you in the ass." Isobel said cynically.

"Don't do that—love is your thing, Is." Jim tried.

Isobel had always been the optimistic ray of sunshine—but lately she'd just been sad and trying to pretend for everyone else's sake that she was happy. Part of why Jim had wanted her with him, was because he didn't want her to feel abandoned anymore—he wanted his baby sister around him so he could show her she wasn't alone…to show her that she still had someone to lean on and confide in.

Isobel smiled sadly. "Everyone I love tends to leave—Mom, you, Lon."

"Oh see, but I'm here." Jim told her, scooting his chair closer to her. "Plus, Lon and Mom can't go in the same category—Lon was a jackass and he left because he was a coward on top of being a jackass. Mom? She didn't leave because she wanted to. You know that."

Isobel waved it off. "I know, you're right. Bleh. We were talking about your latest conquest—let's go back to that."

Jim laughed a little. "Trust me…there's really nothing more to tell."

Isobel laughed too. "She was just so easy it was over just like that?"

"Apparently." Jim replied smiling as his sister started eating her food again. "Would you…like to go and think?"

Isobel was still amazed at how well Jim knew her, and she nodded. He kissed her swiftly and then sent her off, waving to her until the doors to his quarter slid shut. She wandered down the corridor, getting into the lift and thinking things over. She was on a beautiful starship with her brother, and she should be feeling safe and grateful—not lost. She sighed dismally and then stepped off of the lift, walking into Engineering.

Whenever she was feeling down or her brain was too crowded for to think straight, the hum of engines always made her feel at peace. So she stood by the Warp Core with her eyes closed and then opened them to work a little. When Scotty had shown her the calibrations for the engine, she knew there was a little tampering she could do to make them more efficient. She and Scotty already had a love/hate work relationship, because though they argued all the time, they loved arguing about it and coming up with new ways to improve the ship.

Isobel turned around suddenly as she heard footsteps, seeing Bones come in and stand by the Warp Core as well, closing his eyes as she had. She smiled a little, and tried to get up slowly to give him some privacy, making the chair squeak accidentally. Bones jumped a little and turned to face her, smiling at her as she blushed embarrassedly for the second time since they'd met, and she held her hands up.

"I'm really sorry. I was going to try and leave quietly to let you be alone." Isobel said.

"No, it's all right. I come down here sometimes when I know either hardly anyone or no one will be here to think. It's far too quiet in Sick Bay." Bones told her.

Isobel smiled at him. "There's something calming about the humming of something isn't there?"

Bones nodded. "Indeed there is."

"Hey, look—I'm really sorry about earlier. I'm just really protective of Jimmy and he's my only family I have left and—" Isobel tried.

"—I get it, Is, I do. I know what it's like to feel like you have to protect what's the most important to you." He told her. "I understand your hatred for me."

"I don't hate you." Isobel said softly and walked up to stand next to him, both of them looking at the Warp Core. "I was just mad at you for no good reason."

Bones found himself turning his head to look at her, smiling a little. She was a lot different than Jim was, but they had similar traits. Isobel could feel his eyes on her and blushed a little, Bones smiling even more at the pink color in her cheeks, and the slight smile that was on her face. She really was a beautiful woman, and he didn't quite know why he was so attracted to her—part of it her knew was the way she'd spoken to him when they'd met.

"I should go." Isobel told him. "It was nice…chatting."

"Don't leave on my account—if you have things to figure out, you should stay. I have some things to tend to in Sick Bay anyways." Bones replied, heading for the door.

Isobel turned to him as he left. "I hope we can talk again soon, Doctor."

Bones turned to face her as he made it to the doors. "You too, Lieutenant."