Rating: very hard R
Warnings: it's SLASH that means m/m love, don't like don't read
Disclaimer: i own nothing, and there is no copyright infringement intended. i also don't earn any kind of money by writing this.
A/N.: so, just as promised here is ch11. thanks for all the positive responses, i'll do my best, as always, to update quickly.
i took several creative liberties with this chapter and will add some end-notes. feel free to ask if there is anything on your mind!
let me know what you think!
The air was so cold that Jim could see his breath in a cloud in front of his face. It was not quite as cold as he remembered Delta Vega to be, but cold enough to make him shive despite the thick coat he was wearing.
There was no snow, at least, and Jim was enormously grateful for that. He wasn't really crazy about cold, wet things (which definitely included rain and snow).
Glancing to his right, Jim threw a concerned glance into Spock's direction. He knew that despite having taken the precaution of wearing a much warmer coat, the Vulcan was most likely very uncomfortable in the icy cold environment.
The Peronians' greeting was warm, a sharp contrast to their planet and Jim could not help but notice the irony. Vulcans, who preferred desert-like environments, could have the most chilling attitude, whereas the Peronians, who lived in the cold all year round, seemed to be one of the most friendly and open races Jim had ever encountered.
"Please, follow us, you must be freezing.", said the older Peronian who had been the one to officially greet them, introducing himself as Lahs, "My wife is waiting with hot teehan in our home."
Lahs' Standard was flawless, though not without an accent. Compared to the away team, which consisted of Spock, Ensign Reynolds, Ensign Thomas and Jim himself, who were all buried in heavy clothing, the Peronians, although clad in heavy coats which reached to the ground, seemed in no need to protect their heads or hands from the harsh weather. It was, therefore, easy to notice that all of them had flaming red hair and skin as pale as snow. Other than that, they were humanoid, their features maybe a bit softer and rounder.
Jim knew that Peronians were telepaths, though there was no information as to what kind of telepaths. Until now there had been no outward indication of it and Jim wondered if their telepathy worked through touch, just like the Vulcans'. Though on second thought that was probably pretty unlikely, seeing as the Peronians were quite touchy-feely, at least as far as Jim could tell.
The walk to Lahs' home was mercifully short, but Jim soon discovered that Peronians obviously didn't live separately, but together in a huge building. It was the plainest architecture Jim had ever seen and it looked more like an uneven shaped block of stone than anything else. It was unpainted and featured many windows. Sweeping his eyes over the monstrosity, it took Jim only a minute before noticing that one section of the building lay in ruins, the remaining stone black from a fire that had obviously raged there not too long ago.
When they entered, warmth washed over them almost immediately along with the pleasant smell that was probably the equivalent of cinnamon on this planet. Jim didn't know what he was supposed to expect, but this surely hadn't been it.
The room they had entered was, in fact, a huge hall. Big, soft couches, various armchairs, coffee tables, bookshelves and several other things one would find in a living room occupied almost every free space in the room. It all seemed to have simply been dragged there and left with no particular order in mind. Actually, Jim could see two Peronian boys who were currently relocating a couch in order to join a bigger party of already seated girls.
Jim's initial observation seemed to hold true. Every Peronian in sight was just as red haired and pale as the ones who had greeted them. They also seemed to have an affinity for old fashioned clothing. Every female in sight was clad in a long dress and the males all wore button down shirts, no t-shirts.
Sharing a fleeting look with Spock, Jim could see how uncomfortable the Vulcan was in a setting that was the complete opposite of what he was used to. The murmurs of hundreds of voices chatting animatedly together had to be anything but soothing to his sharp ears.
Jim wished that he could touch Spock, to take his hot, slender hand in his own and curl their fingers together.
Shaking his head, Jim tore his gaze from the Vulcan. This was not the time for fantasising about Spock. When Jim focused his attention back on Lahs and his fellow Peronians, he saw that some women had joined them. One of them, a particularly round faced, small elderly woman approached him and helped him out of his heavy coat with a big smile.
Risking another glance at his crew, Jim saw Reynolds and Thomas smiling back at the Peronians who were currently taking their coats while Spock stood ramrod straight, face tight and unsmiling as he tried to avoid physical contact.
Jim sighed quietly. Had he known that the Peronians were this affectionate, he would have taken Bones or Sulu with him instead.
"This is my wife, Hehda.", Lahs voice tore Jim from his thoughts and he turned his head, a smile of his own stealing onto his lips as he met the round-faced woman's gaze who had just taken his coat.
Their smiles seemed to be infectious.
"Pleased to meet you, ma'am.", Jim answered politely.
Reaching out with both hands Hehda offered the traditional Peronian greeting, clasping his fingers in a warm and gentle grip as Jim returned the gesture.
"It is my pleasure.", she answered brightly, her accent so thick Jim had to concentrate to make out the words, "We are honoured over your visit, please, you and your crew sit in warmth."
Jim had to suppress his amusement, unable not to find Hehda and her broken Standard kind of endearing.
"Thank you, Hehda.", he said mildly.
They were ushered further into the hall and Jim chose the first available couch, thinking that it might help Spock to be seated closer to the entrance.
"I believe you would like to warm yourselves before we begin with our discussion about politics.", Lahs said, "My wife will bring you teehan and something to eat and I will have you escorted to the conference room in thirty minutes."
"Thank you, Lahs.", Jim said, and meant it.
The Peronian smiled at them one last time, before departing with his wife.
While Reynolds and Thomas were busy following several pretty Peronian girls with their eyes, Jim turned his attention to his First Officer.
Spock's eyes were studying the room and its occupants carefully, his expression closed off.
"I'm sorry, I didn't know they'd be quite like that.", Jim said quietly, trusting Spock to hear him nevertheless.
Spock's eyes turned to look at him and Jim couldn't remember when they had last been this unreadable.
"Indeed.", he answered, seemingly tight-lipped.
Jim studied him more closely, trying to find a way beneath his mask.
"They haven't really touched you or come near you at all.", he said carefully, "They seem to know you don't like it."
Spock's expression was almost hard when his eyes darted across the room before settling back on Jim's face.
"They are aware of all our preferences.", he said, voice so soft Jim had to lean closer in order to understand him, "They are mind-readers."
When they finally emerged from the conference room, where they had spent the last five hours with Lahs, Hehda and several other Peronians discussing the current situation with the Taurians, Jim still wasn't sure if he had wrapped his brain around the fact that all of these people knew what he was thinking.
Not once after officially informing them of their ability had the Peronians made any indication that they were aware of their thoughts, but Jim's head was aching from the effort it had cost him to keep his mind off everything except the meeting and the political situation of the planet.
If the Peronians' descriptions were correct, and Jim saw no reason why he shouldn't trust them, the Taurians were a very primitive but also much larger people. Taurus was more than twice as big as Peros Theta IV and their birth rate about four times higher. Their culture was simple and they had no telepathic abilities, which was why they wanted the Peronians as their slaves. Lahs had also informed them that they intended to cross-breed Peronians with Taurians in order to produce telepathic Taurian offspring.
Stumbling back towards the main hall, Reynolds and Thomas looked as exhausted as Jim felt, but when he looked at Spock he was unsurprised to find the same stony expression on his face that he had worn since arriving on the planet.
Lahs welcomed them to mingle until dinner, encouraging them to take a look around and after seeking Jim's permission, Reynolds and Thomas went off to do exactly that.
Jim was about to address Spock, when he saw that Lahs had engaged his First in conversation. Far too trained in diplomatic relations, Spock politely focused his attention on the Peronian.
This left Jim at something of a loss.
He let his eyes sweep the hall, before shrugging and aimlessly walking in no particular direction. There were more people around now than before, all engaged in social activities and looking absolutely content. Jim couldn't help but admire the way that the Peronians seemed to be one big family.
He had never seen so many books in once place, but Peronians didn't seem to be very fond of technology. Maybe that was also the reason why there was so little data about them.
After having examined some of the books, which were of course all written in Peronian, Jim let himself fall onto one of the big couches at the edge of the room. They still had another two hours until dinner and Jim hadn't had the heart to refuse Lahs' kind invitation to stay for the meal.
Involuntarily, his eyes sought out the tall form of his First, easily spotting him on the other side of the room, still talking to Lahs, his dark hair and height giving him away easily.
He wondered what it would be like to read Spock's mind, to try and follow the completely different mind patterns of a Vulcan brain. Jim contemplated whether it was true that they could think of several different things at once, if Spock thought in formulas or charts.
Shaking his head at that bizarre thought, Jim smiled sardonically, forcing his eyes to look away. He was treading very dangerous territory and it was time he got a grip on himself.
"Good afternoon, Jim."
Jim jumped, completely taken by surprise by the unfamiliar voice that had addressed him from behind with his name.
Turing his head sharply, Jim's breath caught in his throat and he all but forgot breathing.
Green skin, wild red hair and a slender body clad in a cream dress all swam together in front of his eyes. His heart clenched in his chest.
"Gaila…", he breathed, almost choking on his own breath.
The Orion smiled softly, before extending two hands to him in greeting. Jim reached out numbly, grasping her warm fingers in his. Her skin was soft and her hands small, curling around his own.
He had to blink to clear his vision and found big, dark eyes looking at him carefully. Jim inhaled sharply.
Of course she wasn't Gaila. Gaila had had steely grey coloured eyes. Her form had been taller, her breasts bigger and her hair shorter. On closer inspection, the girl in front of him only distantly resembled the Orion friend he had lost forever.
"May I sit with you?", she asked, her voice softer and more girlish than Gaila's.
Swallowing hard, Jim nodded, not yet having regained enough control over himself in order to pry his numb fingers from the Orion girl. If she minded, she gave no indication, simply lowering herself onto the couch next to him in one graceful move.
"I am called Laiha.", she informed him with a smile, "I did not mean to frighten you. I was…curious I believe is word you use."
Jim's eyes were glued to her, unbelieving, his brain unable to catch up with the current events.
"Curious?", Jim echoed numbly.
Laiha blushed quite colourfully, casting her eyes down and finally withdrawing her hands. Jim let her, retracting his own quickly when he realised he had still held on to them, nervously rubbing his palms on his black uniform pants.
She glanced up at him from under her lashes, suddenly shy.
"I must admit I have been reading your mind.", she confessed hesitantly, "It is interesting. Different from others."
Jim blinked, instinctively leaning back and slightly away from her as if physical distance could shield his mind from her scrutiny. He still didn't know enough about Peronian telepathy and was unsure how to act, how to reply.
He shifted uncomfortably on his seat and when he re-focused back on Laiha, he found her eyes wide with alarm.
"Please do not tell Grandfather.", Laiha said softly, abruptly grasping for his hands once more, "He would be unhappy. He told me not to be rude to our guests, but…I could not…"
She trailed off suddenly looking as unsure as Jim felt, her eyes darting around the room before coming to rest on him once again as if wanting to assure herself that her grandfather wasn't in hearing distance.
Jim took pity on her, his head still spinning in confusion.
"I won't tell him.", he reassured her, even as he wondered who her grandfather actually was.
His own eyes swept the room briefly, wondering if the Peronian in question was present.
"You know him as Lahs.", she answered the unasked question, startling Jim with the knowledge that she had, once again, read his mind.
Recoiling slightly, he wondered if it would help to try and clear his mind. It was strange that a whole conference room full of mind-readers had alarmed him less than one girl. But Laiha was different, seemingly able to tear open wounds he had believed healed long ago with nothing but her presence.
"I see.", was all he was able to choke out.
Laiha withdrew her hands as if stung and Jim regretted his thoughts, while at the same time trying to suppress the emotions that threatened to arise. His chest ached and he tried to remember to breathe.
"Forgive me.", her voice was so soft it was almost a whisper and remorse was written all over her, "I did not mean…I saw someone like me in your mind and…I know no Orions except mother, and grandfather says she is different. I wanted…forgive me, Jim."
The way she said his name felt like a punch to the stomach. It was as if he was catapulted back in time.
"Jim", he could hear Gaila insist in his head, "You promised me, so move your ass and meet me at the front gate. You can even bring the grumpy doctor if you want, but no backing out this time."
It was a random memory, about Gaila dragging him to a new club Jim had found horribly tacky. He had no idea where it had come from, could only remember the way her face had lit up when he had finally kept his promise and endured a whole night there.
Jim shook his head and ran a hand through his hair as if this way he could erase everything.
"It's not your fault.", he said softly, forcing himself to look at her, "So, uhm,…your mum's Orion? Isn't that a bit far from home?"
His attempt to lighten the mood was met by Laiha's own efforts as she shifted in her seat to look at him, using one of her delicate hands to throw long strands of red hair over her shoulder with practiced ease.
"She was sold to the Taurians long years ago, but my father saved her.", she said, not a trace of discomfort visible despite the private nature of the topic, "They bonded, so she never went back. But she does not want to tell me information about Orion or about her life before bonding with father. I do not know anything about planet or language. I have never left Peros, but it is my dream."
Jim nodded thoughtfully, knowing how hard it was to crave information about yourself and be refused. His mother had been just like that, too sad to talk about his father even years after his death. He knew nothing about him, nothing that was important or personal.
"I am sorry for your father.", Laiha said gently, tearing him from his thoughts as one of her slender green hands found its way back into his own, "You carry great pain in you, great…conflict I believe is word. I like you, Jim, I do not wish you pain, only happiness."
Jim's eyes snapped to hers, studying her dark eyes carefully. They were almost the same shade as Spock's, though Jim doubted he would have been able to find eyes more different from the Vulcan's. She was so open, so ready to embrace his pain.
Her hand felt strange, so much smaller than Spock's. He had become so used to the Vulcan's touch lately, that it was hard to remember anyone else's.
Jim felt cornered, unused to someone giving so readily without him having to beg for it in some way or the other.
"You don't know me.", he sounded more defensive than he had intended.
Nevertheless, Laiha smiled at him and for a moment she looked much older than the girl she seemed to be. It made Jim feel stupidly young and he hated that.
"When one can know people from the inside it is quick to know if you like or not. It is the way of our people.", she said, "And I like your mind, Jim."
There was his name again and he was still unsure whether he was okay with hearing it from her or not. Gaila's face surfaced once more and the guilt almost suffocated him when he thought that this was all that was left of her. A timeless memory that couldn't change.
"You like her a lot.", Laiha said gently and the way her fingers curled tighter around his own somehow helped him breathe, "I believe she like you too. She not someone who would want you to feel guilt."
Jim inhaled, his lungs burning as much as his eyes and he looked away. It felt wrong to not talk about her somehow. He had never been good at this, talking about the dead. He was too much like his mother, suffering in silence and unwilling to show anyone the extent of his pain. Why rip open the same wounds by dragging memories to the surface and taking them apart with words?
But Gaila deserved to be talked about. She had been a good friend, a good person. Her memory was too precious to be killed with silence. Jim had caused her enough pain, he owed her this much and more.
"We became friends in my second year at the Academy. She was in more of my classes than Bones. She was very loyal, very caring despite what other people thought of her.", Jim forced the words out, voice rough, "She was a brilliant mechanic and so excited at the thought of serving on a starship. She would've been a good Chief Engineer…She didn't deserve it, none of it. It should have been me on the Farragut and her on the Enterprise. She was…She was better than I could ever be."
The words left a bitter taste in his mouth and Laiha's hand gently squeezed his, her gaze warm and full of sorrow.
"Blame makes heart heavy, Jim.", she said sadly, "And does not bring loved ones back."
A small, harsh sound that might have been a laugh tore itself from Jim's throat as the burning in his eyes intensified.
"I know.", he rasped, "God, do I know that."
Silence stretched between them and Jim focused on breathing. Somehow, even though the guilt was still there, his heart felt lighter. Maybe all those people were onto something, maybe talking about things did help.
Laiha was quiet next to him, her eyes busy darting around the room. When they finally turned back to look at him, Jim had managed to collect himself considerably.
"I believe your bondmate is searching you.", she said.
Jim wasn't sure he had heard her correctly, his brow furrowing in confusion.
"Bondmate?", he echoed, unable to follow.
Laiha looked at him searchingly and Jim became aware that their hands were still linked. He drew back instinctively, wary of having his mind read again.
Laiha let him, folding them in her lap instead. She fixed her eyes onto something across the room.
"Your Vulcan.", she clarified.
Jim stared at her for a moment, before following her gaze. Spock had not moved from his previous spot, but Lahs was nowhere to be seen and his dark eyes were scanning the room.
The thoughts of facing Spock in his current emotional state made him lean back, deeper into the shadows of the surrounding bookshelves. He wouldn't be able to explain and he knew the Vulcan would feel it once he was close enough.
Turning back to the Orion, Jim picked up the thread of conversation, wanting to rectify her assumption.
"Spock isn't my bondmate, Laiha.", he said, the word feeling strange and unfamiliar on his tongue.
This time it was Laiha who frowned. It didn't suit her.
"But you love each other and he is Vulcan.", she said, all her attention fixed on him, "He would not be with partner that is not bondmate. It is the way of our people also."
The air he had inhaled seconds before got stuck in his throat and Jim choked, coughs wrenching from his lungs as his body protested.
Laiha's hand landed on his shoulder, her frown now one of concern.
"What?", he rasped, panting harshly as the last coughs forced their way out.
Suddenly her eyes widened.
"He has not told you.", Laiha gasped, before a million different emotions flitted across her face, "Forgive me, I have been hasty. It was not mine to tell. I did not know,…your love is so clear…"
Her hand slid from his shoulder and she fidgeted nervously, seemingly just as taken aback as Jim himself was. He made a frantic, uncoordinated gesture which even he himself didn't know what it was supposed to convey.
"I'm not-", he started to protest, reacting almost allergically to the word 'love', before halting in mid-sentence.
Wasn't he? How was he supposed to describe what was between him and Spock? But love?
Jim blanched, feeling suddenly sick at the emotional overload. His old instinct to simply run was so strong he almost jumped up and followed it.
Laiha regarded him with ever deepening concern, before wordlessly standing and tugging him to his feet, her eyes scanning the area around them.
"Come with me, Jim", she said gently, ushering him forward, "I believe you need air."
Jim stumbled forward, uncaring how Laiha knew exactly what he needed right this moment.
They passed several bookshelves, shrouded in shadow as they made their way along the wall. Jim didn't even see where they were going.
Icy cold air hit his face as soon as they stepped onto the small balcony, a harsh wind whipping through his hair as he stepped forward towards the railing. They had come outside without coats and Jim was sure that his blood would freeze in his veins any minute.
Thick white puffs of air clouded his vision as he slumped against the railing, his elbows digging into the stone uncomfortably. His head was spinning and he closed his eyes for a moment.
Laiha said nothing, doubtless aware of his need to regain composure.
When he finally looked back up at her, she hadn't moved.
"So you think Spock…loves me?", Jim almost whispered, as if saying the words hurt him and unsure whether he wanted to know the answer, "Did you…did you read his mind too?"
Laiha approached him slowly, carefully as someone would a wild animal. She came to stand beside him, leaning her back against the railing in order to be able to look at him.
"He is well trained.", she told him softly, "We cannot read him. He is aware of our constant communication and does not want part of it. Vulcans are too private. They do not understand us."
"So you don't know if…", Jim trailed off.
Laiha shook her head, red strands flying in the breeze.
"I did not say this.", she interjected, "A bond is already forming. Have you melded minds with your Vulcan?"
The fist around his heart squeezed tighter and his elbows grew numb from the cold stone beneath them.
"No", he replied, thinking intently about their encounters up to now, "Spock never mentioned it."
Laiha turned her head slightly, brushing some of her long hair off her face and tucking it behind her ear as she studied him carefully.
"He does not want to force you.", she mused, "Melding minds would strengthen the bond and make it real. You are not pleased with idea of bonding, your Vulcan must sense it in you."
Jim let out a frustrated, harsh sound. What the hell else had Spock not deemed important enough to fucking tell him? Before he knew it he was swinging his fist with the need to hit something in a feeble attempt to release some energy. It connected painfully with the stone, ripping away skin and leaving his knuckles throbbing and bleeding.
"Great!", he yelled, unable to reign in his anger, "Fucking fantastic! So, what? I'm hurting Spock because he knows I don't want to bond with him? That I don't want something I'll have no chance of escaping? Cause that's what it is, isn't it? Something that ties you down and makes you all vulnerable and dependant on the other person, right?"
Laiha regarded him silently, seriously and was seemingly unfazed by his outburst.
"And you do not depend on him now?", she asked quietly.
The words sliced through him like a knife. Despite being outside, Jim suddenly felt as if walls were closing in on him, trapping him.
Why hadn't Spock told him?
His lungs constricted and he couldn't breathe. What had he done? He had chased Spock - determinedly, passionately, relentlessly and so very, very selfishly. He couldn't do this. How could he be with Spock knowing he was hurting him? Knowing that he needed something he couldn't give, something he was incapable of.
He was not that other Jim Kirk, he could not give Spock what he wanted.
But Jim did want Spock. So very much. With every choking breath he took he burned for Spock.
Why hadn't he told him?
Bones had warned him.
Fuck, Bones must have known!
Suddenly, Laiha's hand was gripping his arm so tightly it hurt, nails digging into his flesh through his uniform. She was stronger than Jim had thought.
"Jim!", her voice had lost its calm, his name coming out as a hiss, "Taurians! They are attacking!"
Jim looked around wildly, scanning the sky. His head was spinning with the sudden change of events. Two warships were flying towards them at full speed. His change to Captain-mode was instinctive and immediate, almost painful considering the force with which he pushed his feelings aside.
The first line of phaserfire set a group of trees aflame, the second blast hit so close to them that Jim could feel the heat as the shot missed them and hit the wall only two meters to their left.
Bits of stone were catapulted everywhere and Jim covered his eyes, feeling them bounce off his skin. Within seconds they were covered in scratches, which burned as the fine dust found its way into the open wounds.
Instinctively, Jim grabbed Laiha, shielding her with his body as he pushed her back inside the building. He needed to find his men.
Keeping a firm grip on Laiha, Jim scanned the hall for his crew, but chaos had already broken out. The Peronians seemed to all be running in the same direction, helping and dragging each other along. They were a sea of red hair, and dust mixed with smoke was already thick in the air, pricking Jim's lungs as he breathed.
He whipped out his Communicator, needing to return to his ship as soon as possible. If the Taurians had attacked Peros with the Enterprise orbiting above it then it was almost certain that the Enterprise itself was under attack. Also, there was no way of fighting the Taurians from Peros.
Through one of the many windows Jim could make out one of the ships and suddenly Laiha was on top of him, all of her weight sending them both crashing to the ground at the same time as the phaserfire hit the bookshelf next to them with an earsplitting crunch.
Pain exploded in Jim's head, his vision turning blurry for a moment and he blinked rapidly. He reached upwards with a shaky hand, feeling sticky warmth on his temple, but Laiha was already tugging him upwards and Jim came back to his senses, springing to his feet.
They needed to keep moving.
It was only then that he became aware that his communicator was no longer in his hand. Looking around wildly, Jim scanned the ground, his vision swimming in and out of focus, only to find it shattered into pieces and half melted close to where the remains of the bookshelf were burning.
"Fuck", he cursed.
He needed to find his crew. Needed to find Spock.
Please be safe, Jim thought frantically as he tried to look for his First again, but to no avail. Fires were burning everywhere now and the hall was alight with phaserfire, things exploding at random every second.
"We need to get to the shelter!", Laiha told him loudly, trying to make herself heard over the sounds of war, "It is underground. We always safe there until they retreat."
Jim was about to protest, when yet another bookshelf exploded. They ducked reflexively, before trying to escape the next line of fire. Laiha dragged him forward with astounding strength and Jim was scanning the area strategically, trying to ignore the waves of dizziness.
Over half of the Peronians had already cleared out and Jim spotted Lahs as he frantically observed his people making their way to, what Jim now knew, was a shelter underground.
They were halfway there, when Jim saw more phaserfire come towards them almost in slow motion. It was going to hit Laiha straight on.
Unthinkingly, Jim threw himself in front of the Orion girl, his back connecting painfully with her front, making them both stumble back. A fact that saved Jim's life.
Instead of receiving the hit directly into his chest, the streak of light grazed his right side. It was as if someone had suddenly switched off the sound, the explosions and frantic shouting fading away into muffled nonsense.
Numbness crawled through him, spreading through his body rapidly as he tried to understand what had happened. His knees gave out from under him and he distantly heard Laiha yelling somewhere next to him.
Looking down, completely dazed, Jim saw that part of his uniform had been burned away along with a good portion of his flesh. The smell made bile rise in his throat and he fought the urge to vomit, already too busy choking on his own breath.
Red covered him, drenching his uniform and his hands. He must have touched the wound at some point, as if he needed to confirm it was really there.
Bones would kill him, Jim thought, his brain already fuzzy with blood loss.
His vision blurred further, losing the last of its focus. Black was creeping in from the corners of his eyes and Jim allowed his heavy lids to drop. His head fell back against something soft and there were hands on him, pressing into his side.
Jim's body jerked, protesting at the rough treatment that kept him aware for another painful moment.
Coldness was slowly spreading through him and the pain started to surface, fighting the blissful numbness. As the pain grew, his body finally gave in and his mind shut down as darkness swallowed him.
end-notes: first of all, pls don't kill me for the cliffy lol.
also, what i've been meaning to ask you: would you prefer my A/Ns at the end instead of the beginnings of chapters? i'm aware not everyone reads them, but for those who do what do you think?
as to the chapter:
again, i am aware that i have taken liberties. i hope that doesn't offend anyone and here is a list of some of my reasons. should you still have questions etc. after looking this over, feel free to ask!
1) Standard: i don't know what you think about it, but for me there has been some confusion about Federation Standard as a language and the use of Universal Translators. i did research on the topic and haven't really found anything useful. i know that TOS-Jim did use Universal Translators but that they weren't very developed yet. but seeing as STXI-Jim is younger and also judging by the dependance on ppl like Uhura they couldn't have been very well spread at that time. also considering that races who don't depend too much on technology (like here the Peronians) would prb prefer to learn another language for trading purposes.
2) The Peronians & Taurians: i created their little worlds in my mind and their background somehow developed along with their own culutre. i'm not going to bore you with any details, but if you feel like you are missing some in order to understand the plot better just ask. this, of course, also applies if you have some closer interest in them in general.
3) i completely disregarded the deleted scene where Jim 'apologises to the green girl'. i'm glad they cut it out, to be honest, because i really don't think that even though Jim is a womanizer he wouldn't recognise Gaila if she stood in front of him. also, in my storyline they were quite close friends before the whole 'sleeping together to get the Kobayashi Maru codes'.
4) Orions: i admit i have never really seen TOS (only some key-scenes (read K/S scenes lol) and all the TOS-movies) so i don't really know for sure how they were portrayed there. i did some research on the topic and as far as i can see, JJ Abrams took some liberties with Gaila as well so i don't feel all that guilty haha. so pls forgive me if Laiha's family connections seem strange.
5) Laiha: i know there are pretty mixed feelings about OCs and i'm not necessarily always a fan of them either, but in this case pls bare with me. she is an important plot device for the progress of the story. i really hope you don't find it too hard to like her!
okay i think that's it, i hope i haven't forgotten anything. i was really nervous posting this chapter, cause it's quite different than the others and an important turn in the storyline. so i hope you enjoyed it anyway!