A/N: Yes, this story is a high school AU, which means you're probably skeptical about it. Don't worry—so am I.
Rated M not for explicit sexual situations, but for language, sluttiness (no, seriously), drug use, alcohol consumption, and some graphic violence.
being a high school AU of ST: XI
with many hijinks
and much angst
Chapter One: The Enterprise Incident
"My God," said Bones, "You really haven't changed a bit, Jim."
James Kirk laughed and threw his arms around his old friend. They were standing outside of a rundown house in a suburban neighborhood near West Portal in San Francisco. Bones hugged Kirk tightly, his hands digging into his friend's shirt. Bones was nineteen. Kirk was seventeen.
"It—has—been—ages since I last saw you, man," Kirk said, emphasizing each word with a clap on the back. They let go of each other, grinning hugely. "What's up?" Kirk said.
Bones shrugged, hands in his pockets. "Not much. You excited about startin' school tomorrow?"
"Am I! Enterprise High School, located at the intersection of Sotomayor and Laurel, student body four thousand five hundred and sixty eight, founded—uh, okay, I was bullshitting that."
"You bullshit everythin'," laughed Bones. "Enrollment's more like two thousand, and it's Morrel Street, not Laurel. I missed you. You couldn't tell me sooner you were movin' back?"
"It's not like they have internet in Iowa."
Bones's eyes widened. "They sure as hell had it in Mississippi. Y'all—really didn't have internet?"
"Of course we had internet, you idiot. Want to get dinner?"
"Well…" Bones scuffed his shoes on the dirty concrete driveway. "Sure. But I have a meetin' pretty soon."
"A meeting? What is it?" Kirk looked like a curious puppy.
"Well, it's just a school thing, a year ago some of us got together and founded a club…"
"What, a youth chapter of AA? Tell me, Bones."
"It's a hovercar club," said Bones. "I know, I'm a pre-med student, not an engineer, but this girl I know convinced me to join…"
"It all makes sense, then," said Kirk, looking satisfied at Bones's motivations. "Was she pretty? What was her name? What base did you get to?"
"Halfway to first," said Bones. "Her name's Nyota. She's just a friend. You want to come? It won't take more'n an hour."
"An hour? Bones, it's six thirty. I'm seventeen, you've got to feed me three meals a day or I dwindle to nothing."
"It'll be fun, Jim! You can meet people, and… and that girl'll be there…"
"Ooh, yeah? Alright. Let me grab my coat. Wait—" Halfway across the yard, he turned back to Bones with a expectant expression. Bones rolled his eyes.
"She's a C, alright? And she's single. But I'm tellin' you, she's the type to rip your balls off if you look at her crosswise."
"My type exactly," shouted Jim as he disappeared into the house.
Spock had lost his glasses.
Lips tight, the young half-Vulcan got out of his Volvo and pushed the seat all the way back. Nothing. He touched his ear, something he tended to do when puzzled or frustrated. He went to the other side of the car and pushed the passenger seat back. Again, nothing. Nothing in the glove box. Nothing on the console. Nothing in the arm rest, or in the doors, or on the backseats, or in the trunk.
Flushing green with frustration, Spock took a step backwards. His heeled boots came down on something delicate. That cracked.
Spock stood there for a moment, utterly still, waves of anger rolling over him. Then, slowly, he moved his boot to reveal the two pieces of glasses. The right arm had broken off. Spock picked them up, sat against his car, and rummaged around in his bookbag for tape, wondering how on earth they had ended up so far from his car. They must have been in his jacket when he had pulled it out of the car and flown out of their pocket.
He looked up as a beat-up old Chevy pickup pulled into the parking lot. A sleek silver motorcycle whizzed past it, did a few loops, and came to a screeching halt next to the driver's side of the truck. He recognized Leonard McCoy, but not the sandy-haired boy on the back of the motorcycle.
Shaking his head slightly at the boy's helmetless antics, Spock finished up his hasty repair job, slipped his glasses over his nose, locked his car, and proceeded inside after Bones and the newcomer.
Hikaru Sulu sat up in bed. He stared at the clock.
"Fuck," he whispered. "Fuckfuckfuck—"
He bounded out of bed and threw on clothes pell-mell, nearly forgetting socks. He hated it when he fell asleep so late in the afternoon. The quick herbal dosage of mary jo he'd taken after lunch must have done him in—he got lazy when he was high. He dashed out of his house and then had to dash back in to retrieve his backpack, which he threw into his vintage VW van so hard he heard one of his PADDs break. Dammit. At least they were old.
Sulu revved backwards out of the driveway and almost ran into a boy on a bicycle. The bicyclist overcorrected and ran smack into a taiga tree on Sulu's front lawn.
"Shit!" cried Sulu, shoving his van into park and leaping out. It occurred him that the only words he had said today were curses. The bicycle rider was sitting on the grass next to his bicycle. One of its wheels was still spinning.
"Are you alright?" asked Sulu, kneeling next to the rider, who turned to look at him, dazed.
Woah, thought Sulu as soon as he saw the rider's face. His mind was on pause. Woah, he repeated, quite unable to think anything else.
The bicycle rider was the most attractive human being he had ever laid eyes on. The boy had huge blue eyes, curly brown hair and a practically sculpted visage. As Sulu helped him to his feet, the boy's shirt rode up, and Sulu got an eyeful of ridiculously defined abs. And dear god, were those freckles scattered adorably across his nose?
"Hi," said Sulu in a higher pitch than bats could hear. He coughed and tried again. "Hello," he said, this time so deep he sounded like a walking cavern.
The boy smiled shyly and Sulu melted some more. "Hello," the boy said back. His voice was light and accented. "Thank you wery much. I am sorry, I did not see your car, and I was afraid you were going to run into me."
"No, no, it's fine, I'm sorry, it's all my fault, I'm so sorry, I really, really apologize—here, let me grab that." Sulu propped up the boy's bicycle, which was unharmed. "I'm, uh, Hikaru Sulu."
"Pavel Chekov. It is nice to meet you."
"Oh, you too, you too," Sulu said passionately.
"Actually I haf a question," said Chekov. "I haf moved here only recently, and I was wondering, where is the high school?"
"The high school?" said Sulu, utterly unable to believe his luck. "I'm on my way there right now."
"Really? Could I follow you?"
Sulu picked up Chekov's bike, walked it to his van, and secured it to the bike rack at the front. "You can ride with me. Get in."
Montgomery Scott and Nyota Uhura were tired, sweaty, and hot. They sat down on the cool grass outside of the shop yard at the back of Enterprise High School, exhausted. Scotty couldn't keep his eyes off of the gleaming body before him.
Uhura had to snap to get his attention. "Monty. Monty. You there, man? Quit looking at that thing like you're going to jump it."
"Ah I just might," said Scotty, gazing reverently at the hovercraft he had just finished assembling. "Ah mean, look at those panels. She could go four, five, on a good surface. There's twenty carpower in there."
"Yes, Monty," said Uhura, rolling her eyes. "It's very nice, I'm sure it will beat anything Pride or Economy or Valor have to offer."
"Well," said Scotty, finally turning to look at her, "Pride High might enter some great stuff. Their club president, Nero—"
"There you two are," said a voice from inside the shop. Uhura and Scotty turned to see Mr. Christopher Pike, the head of the physics department and club sponsor, standing at the door to the yard, grinning at them. "The meeting's about to start, come inside."
Pike didn't know two of the boys in the room, although there was something familiar about one of them, so he decided to do introductions. There were only eight people at the meeting; he figured they should all get to know each other.
"Okay, people," said Pike, clapping his hands to get everybody's attention. "Get in a circle."
Kirk shot Bones an incredulous look and mouthed, "Team bonding? Seriously?" But everyone else looked happy—or at least, not unhappy—to comply. Kirk accidentally elbowed somebody's side as he sat down. The boy he hit, a cold-looking Vulcan, shot him an almost venomous look and scooted conspicuously closer to Scotty (which was a mistake, since Scotty had been outside for the last three days finishing the hovercraft and smelled much like a landfill). Kirk shrugged. He didn't like the look of the Vulcan anyway.
Pike settled down between Uhura and Bones. He was a strong-looking man, forty years old with graying hair and wearing a sporty blue golf shirt and khakis. He smiled at everyone.
"I'd like to start by saying that it's nice to have everyone back. Christine is sorry she couldn't make it; her family is off-planet until tonight. And I see we have two new faces. Would you guys like to introduce yourselves?"
Kirk, being Kirk, started.
"Uh, hi guys. I'm Jim Kirk, I just moved back from Iowa. Bones here is a good old friend of mine—"
Spock interrupted. "Bones?"
"Yeah," said Kirk, turning to Spock. "It's my nickname for him."
"I have always questioned what purpose nicknames serve, considering they have no logical function. Names are unique to their bearers, and if differentiation is required, surnames can be applied."
"Stuff doesn't have to have a logical function to—"
Pike coughed. "We should probably continue with introductions," he said patiently.
"Oh," said Kirk, turning away from Spock, slightly angry. "Well, have I said I just moved back from Iowa? I'm from here, actually, but we moved away a while ago, and uh… well, I came back. And actually I only showed up at this meeting because Bones promised me a bite to eat afterwards." His eyes couldn't help but turn to Uhura, who was watching Spock, who was still watching Kirk, something strange in his black eyes. "Not that I'm not interested in hovercrafts! They sound, uh, very interesting…" He trailed off.
Chekov swooped to his rescue. "My name is Pavel Andreievich Chekov, and I am wery interested in howercrafts." (Sulu nearly swooned at Chekov's pronunciation of 'hovercrafts.') "I haf recently moved from Tula, Russia with my parents, who are professors at the Academy. I am looking forward to attending Enterprise High with you this year."
Pike nodded approvingly at Kirk and Chekov. "It's nice to meet both of you." His eyes seemed to linger on Kirk for longer than usual. "The rest of you, would you mind introducing yourselves and stating your positions on the team? Spock, if you would begin?"
The five of six original club members made their introductions, and with that, Pike suggested that they go visit the hovercar.
On their way down to the shop, Pike drew Kirk aside from the group. "Do you remember me?" he asked.
"I can't say I do, sir," said Kirk politely.
"Ah, well," said Pike. "I was assigned to the USS Kelvin."
Kirk stopped in his tracks. "Really?"
"Yes," said Pike, taking Kirk's arm and moving him forwards so that nobody would notice Kirk's reaction. "I knew your father and mother very well. I was injured in the destruction of the ship and offered a teaching position at the Academy as a result. So you know, I'm here and not at the Academy because I retired two years ago."
"From the Academy?"
"And from Starfleet. The bureaucracy got to be a bit much for me. I headed into the educational sector and found this wonderful high school. You'll love it here, James."
"I sure hope so. I like it already." Kirk gave the gleaming walls an approving glance. "They've got good design sense. Better than back at Riverside, at least."
"The school is beautiful. Listen, can you do me a favor? Mention me to Winona." Pike paused. "If she's with you. You didn't move here by yourself, did you?"
"No, she's with me," said Kirk slowly. "She's not—yet. She stayed in Iowa for a bit, to—finish selling the house, stuff like that. But yeah, I'll say something to her. I'm sure she'd be glad to see you."
"Yes, I'm sure she would," said Pike. "She likes old friends."
They arrived at the shop.
"Here she is," said Scotty proudly after everybody had filed outside. He threw back a sheet to reveal the hovercar. "We're not quite done with her. She can be driven, but at th' moment she's got a hydrogen combustor in her since we couldnae get th' lithium crystals in from Ophiucus III in time for th' qualifyin' round. And we've got a wee bit more paintin' to do. And a name—ah figure we'd call her after th' school."
"Quite logical," said Spock, circling the vehicle. He stopped, staring at something near the tail end. "What is this, Scott?"
"Oh, er," said Scotty nervously, stepping back a little. "Well, I thought it'd be easier all around if ah went and got her registered as a proper motor vehicle, so she's got a license plate and everythin'. NCC 1701, ah think the number is."
"I'm sure you never drove it on roads unregistered," said Pike dryly.
"Of course not, sir," said Scotty, shaking his head energetically.
"So it has both the components for hydrogen and lithium crystals in it?" asked Chekov. He moved forward to look more closely at the engine and tripped magnificently over a little cardboard box on the floor. Sulu dove forward and caught him, and Kirk moved over to help the both of them upright. He snatched the cardboard box off the ground and inspected it. He was about to ask Scotty what it was when, to his surprise, McCoy asked a question instead, proving himself to be at least a bit of an engineer and not just a pre-med student. McCoy's query provoked another from Uhura, and soon everyone but Kirk was standing (or sitting) in and around the car, inspecting it closely.
The hovercar was a little shorter than a standard car these days, about nine and a half-feet long by four feet wide. The front part of the vehicle was a circular disc with a black windshield and windows. At the back, two long, blue-flamed boosters thrust out from the disc. The hover cushion was two feet thick, one of the thinnest cushions Kirk had ever seen on a non-professional hovercraft. He wondered how Scotty and the club had built it.
"Ah think we're ready for a practice run," said Scotty to no one in particular. This caught Kirk's attention. He couldn't volunteer to drive the thing, could he? No, Spock was climbing into the vehicle, much to Kirk's disappointment. That Vulcan would be an absolute bore in the driver's seat, Kirk could tell already.
"Let's move to the field," said Pike, ushering everyone outside.
The large recreational area behind the high school was under construction. The ground was torn up; deep gouges showed where trees or buildings had been ripped from the earth by the construction machines lining the field. Chekov and Kirk exchanged worried glances as Pike and Uhura held up the caution tape lining the edge of the field for Spock to drive under.
"Excuse me, Mr. Pike, but is this legal?" Kirk could not help asking. Bones looked absolutely shocked by Kirk's sudden interest in the rules. Kirk was more worried about everyone else getting in trouble; he wouldn't have hesitated before taking a spin in a construction area.
"Yes, I have clearance from the principal," Pike said. "But thank you for your concern, James."
"Most uncharacteristic," drawled Bones. Kirk winked at him.
"Just looking out for your back, Bones," said Kirk.
"How kind," said Bones sarcastically.
"Let us discuss our goals," said Spock, buzzing down the windows in the Enterprise and leaning an elbow out. Uhura, who had been falling in love with Spock all summer, made sure to stand close to the window. She ran her gaze over his appearance. He generally looked slightly awkward and geeky, but today, with his half-zipped flight jacket and broken glasses, he looked rather dangerous.
"Ah'd like to see her go two hundred, laddy," said Scotty. "She'll go faster once I've got th' lithium crystals in and that heavy hydrogen body out. But for now, ah'd like t' make sure she runs fast an' sweet."
"You are simply interested in assessing the velocity performance of the hovercar, then?"
"Well, if you want t' make racing sound borin', then I suppose so."
Spock nodded sharply and retreated back inside the hovercar. He closed the windows, started the nearly silent engine, and started to move forwards, away from the group and into the field, which was long enough for a five-second burst at two hundred miles an hour, plus acceleration and deceleration time and a safety net of fifty feet. Once finished, the huge field would easily hold all of the school's stadiums, courts, and other sports facilities, but for now, it was ideal for a training run in the hovercar.
Kirk remembered the little cardboard box in his hand. He looked down at it and read the phrase on the side. Something large and dangerous clicked into place in his head.
"No!" he shouted, springing towards the quickly accelerating vehicle. "Wait! Spock! Wait!" He ran after the hovercar, waving his arms wildly. Spock ignored the frantic boy in his rearview mirror. He accelerated, approaching one hundred miles per hour.
Bones took off after Kirk, yelling curses at him, quickly followed by Uhura, then Pike, then the rest of the club. Spock had reached the edge of the field and turned left. Kirk could see a particularly large hole in the ground halfway back across the field. The elevation compensators on the vehicle were not up to strength, Kirk knew; they had been manufactured for a lithium crystal-driven hovercar. If Spock hit that hole, the car would explode.
So Kirk did something incredibly stupid, and incredibly Kirk. He was about a fourth of the way across the field by this point. He sped up, his legs pumping faster, and made sure his course would obviously intersect with that of the approaching hovercar.
Confused, Spock slowed down well in advance of both Kirk and the hole. A half a minute later, Kirk arrived panting at the side of the vehicle. Spock was already halfway out of it, speaking in what for him must have been an angry tone.
"Mr. Kirk, what were you thinking of by attempting to intersect this hovercraft in such a reckless manner? Observers of potentially dangerous sports and games remain, for perfectly logical safety reasons, on the far edge of the field of play, and never attempt to intervene in a game in progress!"
Kirk was panting too hard to reply. Bones staggered up next to Kirk and fell against the hovercraft. He tried to say something to Kirk, wheezed pathetically, and simply shook his fist limply at his friend.
"What is the meaning of this?" Pike demanded breathlessly upon arrival. "James, Spock might not have seen you, you could have been hit—"
"The car," puffed Kirk, "could have exploded."
Spock raised an eyebrow. "What proof can you provide?" he said coolly, taking the opportunity to move closer to Kirk.
"This," said Kirk, holding out the little cardboard box.
There was a moment of silence as everyone stared at it. Then Scotty gasped.
"Oh, Mary, Mother of God. Th' fasteners."
"The what?" said Bones irritably.
"The fasteners for the hydrogen fuel cells," said Pike, his face going pale. "You forgot to put them on, Scotty."
"What does that mean?" demanded Bones.
"It means the fuel cells weren't hooked securely to the body of the car," said Sulu quietly. "They were close to the process engine, which runs at temperatures of three hundred Celsius and up. If the cells had come loose and run into the engine, they would have caused a massive explosion. And since the car is heavier because of the hydrogen system, the elevation compensators wouldn't have been able to entirely still the car as it traveled over that big hole. So they probably would have come loose then."
There was a pause as everyone processed the potential consequences.
"Kirk," said Spock shortly, approaching him. "I would like to thank you for noting the flaws in my vehicle and halting my piloting of it. I must excuse myself." He nodded to Kirk and started back across the field, pushing his hands into his pockets to hide their trembling. Uhura, wide-eyed, hurried after him.
"Well," said Scotty, shaken. "That could have ended quite badly. Ah'll just… take that," he murmured, plucking the box from Kirk's palm. He walked over to the Enterprise and tried to open the engine, but the heat had warped the surface of the hatch panel slightly. Bones and Chekov went to help him.
"Very well done, James," said Pike, resting his hand on Kirk's shoulder. "I cannot thank you enough. I would like to promote you to vice president of the club."
Sulu's draw dropped. Kirk blinked.
"Excuse me, Mr. Pike?"
"I'll let Spock know in the morning. You should go home; take Leo with you. You too, Hikaru, and take your friend. I'll see you tomorrow, James. Once more, thank you."
"Anytime," said Kirk, bemused. "Anytime."
"That," said Bones, "was fuckin' impressive."
"Wasn't it?" said Kirk, who had practically recovered. They were sprawled in the living room of Kirk's house, talking over a steaming pizza. "I'm really quite incredible, you know."
"Okay then, no more complements for you," said Bones wearily. "This hero of the hour thing really boosts your ego, huh?"
"'Course it does. I saved a man's life! Speaking of, why do you think he didn't stay to chat more, to, you know, give me more of an opportunity to bask in the warm, golden glow of glory and all…"
"Spock doesn't chat," said Bones. "Spock probably doesn't even know what chat means. I'm bettin' he was pretty freaked out by what happened. Plus, I don't think he likes you."
"What gives you that idea?" said Kirk, grinning. He didn't like Spock much either. He was a little too nerdy for Kirk's taste, and he had never seen anything sexy about Vulcans.
Bones laughed. "Dammit, Jim, he's half-Vulcan; that's about as emotionally repressed as you get. You're—well, you're you. You couldn't define 'inhibitions' if your life depended on it."
"That's not true! As long as I had a PADD with me, I could let you know what it meant in a nanosecond."
Bones shook his head. "You're incorrigible. Listen, it's late. I should go."
Kirk's face changed; he looked, suddenly, incredibly sad. "Oh, please don't, Bones. I've missed you." He looked into Bones's eyes. "I've missed you so much. Can't you—stay the night, or something?"
Bones sighed. "Well, if you insist, Jim. I missed you too. As long as you get a bed made up for me, I'll hang around."
Bones woke up the next day with Kirk's arm around his naked torso and knew immediately that this was going to be a very interesting year.