Hate...college...-.-x God, I'm so sorry its taken me so long to post this!! My professors are trying their best to pile on as much school work as possible during the week so I haven't had any time to write!! O.o My profuse apologies for the wait!
That said, I just wanted to say thank you all so much for taking the time to read my story. I means the absolute world to me and I'm so happy I was able to write something you all enjoyed!! A thousand thanks yous from the very bottom of my heart!!! :D
Jim sat down slowly, his stiff muscles protesting weakly. He was still sore, the recovery taking much longer than he originally anticipated. It was the first time he'd been anywhere out of the infirmary in a little over a week and a half and even then it was with Bones hovering over him like a hawk. The tongue-lashing he'd gotten from the older man once he was conscious enough to appreciate it had been brutal. Lots of "dammit Jims" and other strings of curses that seemed to fit unusually comfortably into the doctor's gruff vocabulary. He'd gotten the same explanation about Frank that Spock did and wasn't nearly as calm and stoic as the Vulcan had been; a lot more "dammit Jims" ensued. A lot more threats as well.
The recovery period had been a long, boring process; Jim never was good at sitting still for any long period of time, and, thanks to the multiple broken bones, lacerations, and a nifty little bullet wound in his side, laying still happened to be the only thing he could really do for several days. The rest of the crew had come to visit him while he recovered, offering a combination of admonishment and company at the same time. Uhura came in the first afternoon after he'd woken up and politely threatened to punch him if he ever did anything that stupid again, Captain status be damned. However, despite her threats, she visited a couple times a day and would offer to sit with him if he wanted. Sulu and Chekov wandered through a few times, bringing with them either cards or a chess/checkers board. Kirk could clean them out in poker and most other card games they offered but they were able to beat him pretty severely in chess. By the end of the week though, he'd managed to pick up a few skills in the game and was able to at least stand a fighting chance. Scotty visited a few times as well but it was usually for a very short period of time before he was sent running off to reprimand some unfortunate crew member who happened to do something just slightly off kilter. Even Bones found time to come and sit with him, listening bemusedly as Jim bitched and griped about being stuck in the bed. He'd patched Jim up enough to know that being damn near immobile was the last thing the younger man ever wanted. He absolutely hated it.
And then there was Spock, impassive and emotionless as always. However, despite his stoic expressions and monotonous voice, the Vulcan visited the young Captain daily, sitting by his bedside and offering a silent yet consistent presence. He kept Jim updated on what was going on in the Enterprise and the incoming reports that required the Captain's attention, keeping the younger man occupied enough to not go completely stir crazy. It was a nice change throughout the day and Jim actually found himself enjoying the visits. He wasn't, he reminded Spock, the Captain anymore though so the constant updates were no longer necessary. The Vulcan said nothing, simply continuing on with his reports.
Pike appeared in his room one afternoon, sitting down so silently that Jim jumped when he finally realized he was there. He smiled at the younger man, a kind, fatherly smile Jim had never gotten while growing up. "How are you feeling son?" He asked, keeping his voice low to prevent waking any of the other patients in the surrounding rooms.
"I'm ready to get out of this God-forsaken bed." Jim mumbled, trying to keep the irritation out of his voice as he spoke. It wasn't Pike fault, he was just sick of staying in the same room and not being able to leave the bed.
Pike smiled and shook his head. "Still a fighter." He said quietly, more to himself than anyone. He sobered and looked back at Jim. "You know they've transported your step-father off the planet, right? You won't have to worry about him getting out again for a very long time."
Jim nodded, unable to meet the older man's eyes. "Yeah, but for what? He accomplished what he set out to do: I resigned and he got the satisfaction of being a bastard all over again."
Pike was silent for a minute. "Jim, do you know why I pushed you so hard to join Starfleet? It wasn't because of your father, though that did play a crucial role. It was because I saw a fearlessness in you that most people your age don't possess, its something that usually takes years to develop and its never a very pretty journey." Pike paused, watching the younger man's face. "You have the makings of a great Captain in you James Kirk, its something you were born to do. Now I know you have your reasons for what you did but just know that, even with your skill, there are some things you cannot accomplish alone. The dynamics between you and your crew members are what makes you a great Captain, not the Enterprise of the Federation or anything else. They need you, Jim, just as you need them."
"Yeah, but that doesn't really help now." Jim mumbled bitterly. "I resigned remember?"
Pike smiled and nodded. "Yeah, I remember. Which is why I never authorized it."
"I never authorized your resignation, Jim." The older man continued, waiting for him to catch on. "You turned in your resignation, yes, but it needs to have an official signature before its enacted. I wasn't about to let you squander everything you worked for for an undisclosed reason. You're still the Captain, Jim. You always have been."
For a long minute, Jim couldn't say anything; for the first time in his life he was completely speechless. Finally, the words seemed to find him again and he opened his mouth. "Pike I-"
Pike cut him off with a wave of his hand. "You don't have to say anything, Jim. I'm going to let your actions speak for you." He smiled and stood up slowly. "The Enterprise is in your hands Captain Kirk, time to prove that you were the right choice."
The day after Pike's visit, Jim was up and ready to get back to his ship. There were no missions scheduled but he was sick of being stuck in the Academy's infirmary and needed the familiar feeling of the Enterprise's walls around him. With Bones' help and his crew by his side, the made their way to the shuttle that would take them up to their ship.
Sitting back down in the Captain's chair (which he was still ridiculously proud of) was like being welcomed home and the faces of all of his crew members around him was more than anything he could have ever hoped for. This was what it was like to have a family, a real family. A few years ago he hadn't known any of the men and women standing around him and now he couldn't imagine life without them. He smiled, more content to be here with his crew than anywhere else in the universe.
Sulu and Chekov walked over to their station, Uhura following their actions and moving to hers. Scotty disappeared around the corner to sit in his position and Bones took a step back to survey the Bridge. Spock stood stoically beside him, hands folded lightly behind his back.
"Where to, Captain?" Sulu asked, turning around in his chair to face Jim.
"Wherever she'll take us." Jim smiled, looking out into the yawning openness of space. He didn't care where they were goin, as long as he was here with them. The engines rumbled to life and the course was set and Jim couldn't be happier.
So there it is :D Once again, thank you all for joining me through this journey; though some chapters took longer than others (angry fist shake at Blinn professors XP) You guys are the best!