Contrary to popular belief, James T. Kirk is not an idiot.

He's not a complete asshole, either, although that's not what he sees scrawled over the faces of the bridge crew. They might not have agreed with how Spock had been leading the Enterprise, hell, they might not even have liked the guy, but the fact remains that he's lost his entire planet, his mother, and Jim just pointed this fact out to him in the cruellest way possible. So he could become Captain, although they don't know that yet.

He knows what this looks like. He knows exactly what this looks like.

"Well congratulations, Jim. Now we've got no captain and no goddamn first officer to replace him."

Even Bones is staring at him with some weird mix of shock and disgust, like he can't quite believe it's his best friend he's staring at, and Jim feels something twist on his face, awful and resigned, because he had to do this. There was simply no other choice. Or at least, that's what he tells himself, and tries to ignore feelings of anger, heartbreak, the need to stop at nothing to avenge the woman who—

Except those aren't his feelings, and now he has to ignore the fact that he just rubbed the loss of an entire freaking planet in the face of the guy they did belong to.

"Yeah, we do," is all he says, feeling the stares of curiosity, animosity and pure dislike directed his way. Well, it's not like he hasn't experienced any of that before.


God, that word shouldn't hurt as much as it does. Jim shoves it aside, frustrated at – something. Himself, Bones, this entire goddamn situation that is not working out the way it was meant to. He makes sure none of that shows on his face, because what this ship needs right now is sure as hell not a Captain who's doubting himself.

"Pike made him first officer." He thinks that's Sulu. Maybe buddyship does prevail, sometimes. Or maybe the guy is just as shocked as the rest of them.

Yeah, it's probably that second one.

"...You gotta be kidding me," and Jim sees suspicion flash across his features for a split second, the niggling 'would he/wouldn't he', and, uh. Ouch.

"Thanks for the support." If it's bitten out slightly, like something that was a little tough to chew on, you can hardly blame him.

...Well. Maybe you can blame him a little.

But maybe Bones hears it in his voice or something as he sits down in the Big Chair that is definitely way too big for him, because he backs off. And maybe there's even a little bit of guilt flickering across his face, because despite everything Jim is a good guy and Bones knows that.

Then it's Uhura's turn, and hoo boy, is that an ugly look on her face. The sheer disgust evident might've hurt a little less if...yeah, Jim can't imagine that look hurting much less, unless he really was the asshole that expression suggests that he is. Which would be some asshole.

"I sure hope you know what you're doing," and he doesn't his eyes against the blow he knows is coming, because Jim isn't a coward either. More than that, he figures she deserves to have his full attention, regardless. "Captain."

It's a punch that hurts more than you'd think, because he knows that Uhura has always suspected that he's not as much of a prick as he pretends to be, but unlike Bones, she's never been sure. One word shouldn't be able to convey so much feeling, and it doesn't, not really, but it is enough to let him know that every negative thought she's ever had about his character and more has just been confirmed. And that kind of sucks.

It's something else that he can't afford to regret right now, however, because that'll just make it look like he doesn't know if he's done the right thing or not, and if he hasn't just done the right thing, well. He really will be the world's biggest asshole, which is one title he's not in the mood for claiming right now.

So he shoves that regret (and yeah, a little bit of hurt) to one side, tucks it away with the rest of his clamouring, conflicting thoughts and lets Uhura see the last glimpse of 'Jim', a faint uncertainty, the determination to go through with this anyway, before it's all packed away and he becomes someone else entirely.

"So do I."

And maybe it's the look in his eye or the tone to his voice, but something about his demeanour stops the woman from decking him in the face and go to her station. She'll obey his orders, then. She won't like it, but she'll do it, and right now that's really the only thing that matters. With Uhura's acquiescence, everyone remembers that they have a starship to keep running, and there's a sudden flurry of activity.

"Attention crew of the Enterprise, this is James Kirk..."

Captain of the USS Enterprise.

...Well, shit.