A/N: Pavel Chekov worries too much. WARNING: male/male SLASH! Kirk/Chekov, implied Spock/Uhura, no spoilers. I blame Digitallace for the inspiration for this quick one-shot, and you should, too.

Disclaimer: Inspired by Chris Pine and Anton Yelchin and the Star Trek 2009 film, which is INCREDIBLE!. I don't own anything related to Star Trek, but I did win the Star Fleet Battles Captain's Tournament in Dallas, TX many, many years ago. (Special thanks to S.V. Cole, ADB and Task Force Games for THAT!) Star Trek and the associated characters remain the property of...whoever owns them (not me, sigh), and this is not intended to imply anything about the characters or the actors who portray them...it's a FANFIC piece, for the love of Surak! I'm making NO profit of any material kind on this work, which should be considered an homage to the Great Bird of the Galaxy and the incredible vision of the future he gave to all of us!

DATING THE CAPTAIN

It is hard, dating the Captain.

Wait, that did not sound right. Of course, it is hard when we're together, both of our its...I am not saying this correctly.

Is difficult, dating my Captain. That is what I mean to say. If that is what we are doing, dating. I think it is.

I hope it is.

We are together almost every night, in his quarters. He has been wanting me to stay all night, but so far I have told him no, I must return to my quarters, which I share with three other ensigns on this great ship.

I think they wonder, about me, when I come in sweaty and rumpled late each night.

I tell them I have been exercising, which is only partly a lie. I do sometimes find an isolated corridor and do streches, other things, after leaving him. Is hard, when all I want to do is lie in his strong arms, but is necessary, I think.

There are regulations, many regulations, I think. I remember reading them, once, but there were so many, and they were so boring. I was also in an advanced mathematics seminar at the time I was to be reading regulations, and was learning multi-dimensional calculus. It was hard for me, but not as hard as some said.

Was much more interesting than regulations.

I ask him about that, sometimes, right after I slip into his cabin. I have been careful, and do not think anyone has seen me go to him.

He just laughs, and says something not nice about Starfleet, or regulations, or just smiles and tells me I worry to much, that I am a gloomy Russian and am much more pretty when I smile.

I tell him I am Russian, and gloomy is what we are. Once I did this, and he tickled me until I cried and begged him to stop. Then he held me and told me that I should laugh like that more often.

I asked him if that was an order and he made that smile he makes and whispered, "Of course".

I was not gloomy for quite some time after that.

He says that, because we began doing whatever it is that we are doing before we were assigned to this ship, that it does not matter. We were a "couple" first, and thus Starfleet can not say anything, even if they find out.

Still, I hope they do not find out.

I do not worry so much for me...I am just seventeen, an adult by Act of the United Earth Congress, an Ensign in Starfleet, and I have not much of a career to loose. I have a large and loving (some would say 'smothering', but they do not know us) family to which I could always go and they would be glad to have me. One of my cousins would have work for me in a day if I came back, so I do not worry.

But him...for him, I worry. He is Captain of the Enterprise, flagship of the Fleet, youngest Captain ever, and for him I want great things. I think he wants great things, too...he has shared with me some of the things that Ambassador Spock--not 'our' Spock, but the other Spock, from the future that now will never be--hinted at, in their time together. He will be an Admiral someday, I think, while I will be an Admiral only in my dreams.

He has already been given the finest ship in our poor, battered Fleet--and is small consolation that Nero and his ship did much more damage to the Klingons than to Starfleet--and we have talked about how this ship and her crew will likely be the one sent into the most dangerous situations, to the most dangerous places. When I worry about this, he laughs and pulls me closer, and tells me that he has best ship, and best crew in space. Then, he nuzzles my neck and tells me that he has best ensign, too, and he does not intend to give any of it up for any reason.

This makes me smile, and he tells me I am beautiful when I smile, which makes me blush, which makes him laugh and kiss me.

I believe him when he tells me this, but still I am Russian, so I worry. I do not worry about what might happen in the line of duty--space is, Doctor McCoy reminds us constantly, a dangerous place--no, I do not worry when I am at my station on the bridge, with him behind me, commanding his ship and his crew. It feels right in some way, like being where I am supposed to be, like we are all where we are meant to be, like a family but different, better in some ways. They are all my shipmates, my colleagues, and my friends--except for Mr. Spock, who says friendship is illogical but is friends with my captain, and something else with Lieutenant Uhura; and Doctor McCoy, who pretends not to be friends with anyone but really is like the uncle who slips you sweets when your mother is not looking then scolds you with a wink when she catches you--and I work hard to do my best, for them, each day. I think we all do, for each other, and we know this...so about this, I do not worry.

I worry that his career will be damaged if we are found out, that he will be disgraced. I have told him this, but have stopped because he is very, very good tickler and I am very, very ticklish. He is very good at everything he does, my Captain, so good that at times I am almost frightened by him...when I am not gasping out his name, that is. And then, I know I can never be frightened by him, only for him, because he is my lover and my Captain, and he is who and what he is.

I worry how other women look at him, every day, and not just the ones on the ship who are crew, but the others, as well. I know that he was with women, many women before me, and I can not be for him all they can be, want to be.

I told him this once, and he was angry with me, truly angry, and told me he would prove to me that I was enough for him, and more.

I was very late returning to my room that night, and quite sore, but it was good soreness...and next day he smirked all day, so much that Doctor McCoy made comments about it on the bridge. That night, all he did was hold me. Well, that and put a cream he had gotten from the Doctor on my soreness, so that I was not sore any more. And he did scold me, between gentle kisses, for thinking such things about him, but mostly about myself.

I was even later getting back to my own quarters that evening, and it was me smirking all next day that Doctor McCoy joked about. So, I am thinking that Doctor McCoy knows about us, but he will not say anything, especially to Starfleet, because he says worse things about Starfleet than my Captain does.

I sometimes wonder if the others do not know, as well, but they have not said anything, and I have not received any messages from Starfleet to worry me. I did receive a message from Ambassador Sarek, thanking me for saving him and as many of the Vulcan elders as I could. I sent back a message saying how sorry I was I could not save his Lady, Amanda, and he comm'd me for a face to face conversation shortly after that. He scolded me, in his own way, and told me it was illogical for me to assume I was at fault. He had examined the transporter logs himself, he said, and he believed all of his party would have died had I not acted as I did. In that way, he said I was responsible for saving not only him, but a significant portion of Vulcan's heritage in the persons of their Masters, and no person could have possibly done more. I told him I was still sorry, and he nodded and told me he understood my human emotion, then wished me a long life and prosperity.

The next day I received a message saying a special commendation had been placed in my file for meritorious service to the Vulcan people. Lt. Uhura read the message to the entire bridge crew, and Mr. Spock explained it was a rare honor for a non-Vulcan to be so honored. Sulu laughed and clapped me on the back in congratulations, and even Doctor McCoy made a comment about thanking God for Space Cadets, whatever that means, but I think he meant well because he was beaming at me when he said it.

The Captain smiled, and told me that he wasn't surprised, and agreed with Doctor McCoy, which made them both laugh. Then, when I blushed, everyone laughed--except for Mr. Spock, of course, but he did raise his eyebrow, which is close enough, I think, for him--but it was a good laugh, and I felt good all day. Even if, ever since, there have been jokes made about me being their very own Space Cadet, which I do not understand.

That night, my Captain was in a silly mood, and laughed about how honored he felt to be with 'a real space hero', which made me a little angry with him.

I did not stay angry for long...and he made sure that afterwards he used lots of the soreness cream before he let me leave that night, so that I was not sore at all. As I was leaving, he grinned and said that, as a famous hero, I deserved no less.

Apparently, even space heroes deserve a swat to the buttocks as they leave, if the Captain wants.

So maybe I am starting to worry less. My bunkmates no longer look at me as they did, when I come in late. Now, they just smile, and sometimes shake their heads, but they do not say anything, and they are still quite friendly with me. Last week I received an emergency call from my mother, about one of my favorite aunts who had been injured but would be all right, and it was evening and I was in the Captain's quarters. It was Lt. Uhura who took found me, even though she was supposed to be off-shift--she said she was working on another project on the bridge, and knew I would be difficult to find when the message came in, so as head of her department she handled it--and she did not say anything either that evening or the next day about me taking the call in the Captain's cabin. Instead, she smiled at me in that way she has, that makes me feel good, like my sister often does...and there seems to be no record of where I took the call in the official log, for some reason. I know, because I worry, and I checked...and she knows I checked, because she asked me why I was checking the comm logs...then she just smiled and told me not to worry so much.

I sometimes worry about Sulu, because he has been teaching a class in fencing, and the Captain and I both signed up for it, not realizing the other would also sign up. Sulu is very, very good, and a good teacher besides, but for some reason he never partners me with the Captain when he divides the class. I remarked about this, once, and he just grinned at me and slapped me on the back, and told me not to worry. I don't worry about the class, because I am making good progress, and I enjoy it, but I wonder why he told me that. I mentioned that to my Captain, and he just laughed, and asked me if I wanted to 'duel'...and when I smiled, and said he has a bigger sword than me, he grabbed me, and we 'dueled' for a long time that evening.

Sulu looked at me funny for the next few days, when I started giggling every time he said 'duel'. I hate it when I giggle, but I couldn't help myself. It has become something of what is called a 'running joke' on the bridge, for everyone except Mr. Spock, who of course never jokes. I do not think he jokes, at least. I am not so sure at times, because many of the things he and Dr. McCoy say to each other make everyone else smile.

It is times like that when I feel very, very young, and very much out of place.

And then, Sulu will look at me and say something funny, or I will tell him about something or other in Russian history that my family taught me, and we will all laugh and I will feel just right again.

Or Lt. Uhura will say something kind, or very smart, and I will feel just right again. Or Mr. Scott will say something about 'his' engines, or 'his' ship, or how annoyed he is at some mechanical problem or other, and I will feel just right again, because that is how he is.

Or I will look at my Captain, and he will catch me looking at him, and give me that look he saves just for me, and I blush and turn away before anyone else notices, because I worry I blush too easy, but I feel wonderful. For some reason, no one ever notices this, although it happens far too often for me not to worry.

So I worry, and I work extra hard to prove that I deserve to be here, at my post on the bridge and even on this ship. Mr. Spock has even said, once, that I push myself too hard, because he seems to know that I don't feel worthy of being here, even though he often tells me that he is satisfied with my work. I know enough about Vulcans to know that 'satisfaction' is high praise from a Vulcan, but still, I push myself. I push myself, because I worry that I might not be good enough, or know enough, and that I would fail my crew, and my ship, and my Captain.

I worry if I fail in some way, that I will be transferred to another ship, and would not be able to go to him almost every night, and I do not think that I could bear that.

I told him that, late one night just before I left his arms, and he became cross with me, and lectured me about how Starfleet would not dare transfer me without his say-so, and he was not about to let me go for any reason, and why didn't I believe him when he told me that? And then, I shrugged, and said I would understand if he was just saying that to try to make me feel comfortable; I knew about him before we met, and I would understand when he left me for a woman. That seemed to make him sad, but I told him that it would be fine, I would be hurt but understand, I wanted him to do what was right for him.

Then, he looked at me, and he looked like he was about to cry, and my Captain never cries but he almost did this one time, and he told me that he had found something with me that he had been looking for all his life. Something that meant more to him than Starfleet, or his career, or even this ship, if it meant he could not have me. So, even though I knew it was a lie, I kissed him, and he kissed me, and we both pretended everything was all right.

But since then, there are things I wonder about. Before, I would stay away from him in the recreation room, because I worried we would do something the other crew might notice. Now, he sits by me, or calls me over to him when I come in, even when he and Mr. Spock are playing 3-D chess, which I'm only just learning. He does the same thing in the mess, or in the gym, or anywhere else we both happen to be when we're off shift. When we're on duty, there's no question; he is the Captain and I am only an ensign...but he treats all of his bridge crew with the same respect and consideration that my Academy instructors talked about. And, when my Captain asks for options, or opinions, he means 'from anybody', even ensigns, which I think is not ordinary on most ships. I do not know, but about that, I do not worry.

And in his quarters at night, he is...different, somehow. Not in a bad way, certainly, not at all, but...different. We still tear at each other like angry tigers, most nights, but now he is more likely to want just to hold me and kiss me for a long time, before we move on to the angry tigers part. And, now we talk more, after, which makes me even later getting back to my quarters, but I do not mind because we talk about anything, everything in the universe...and sometimes, we talk about when we are old, and still together, and he askes me if I will still blush after a century together, which makes me laugh. Then, I ask him if he will still be trying to make me blush when we are both Admirals, which makes him laugh and say of course he will. Just last night he told me he now has a standing order with Nurse Chapel for soreness cream, and laughed when I pouted that now I had to worry about her, too.

But I don't worry as much, I think, because I think I may be moving to a new cabin, with fewer bunkmates. Last night he told me that there are several unused cabins on Deck four that are reserved for visiting dignitaries...or married officers. As Captain, of course, he uses the Captains cabin; while it is nice, it is only a single cabin. I just laughed, and asked him which crewwoman he was planning to marry, and if he was only doing that to get a bigger cabin, but he didn't laugh at my joke. Instead, he just gave me that smile of his that I do not understand at all, and shook his head, and changed the subject. Then, later, he was incredibly gentle with me for a long time until I couldn't stop sobbing his name with pleasure, before he silenced me with his kisses.

He did not want me to leave, either; but I insisted, and reminded him that I did not want anyone to know, for his sake.

He did not say anything else, but I don't know what the look on his face meant, because I have never seen it before.

In a few weeks, I will have my birthday, and he has promised me a surprise, even though I told him I do not want anyone to know, or make a fuss. I told him about how my birthdays were always filled with my family, and shouting, and food, and noise, and that all I wanted was a quiet evening with him, for once. He just smiled, then, and said he would have to head off Sulu and Uhura, who his spies had told him were already planning a surprise party for me.

He will not tell me who his spies are (I suspect Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy, but probably not Mr. Scott), but I begged him not to let Sulu and Uhura embarrass me. Of course, he said he could not do anything about what they were planning for our off hours, which made me sulk, which I hate--except for what he does to bring me out of it. But still, I am hoping I can avoid any parties and just spend the evening with my Captain.

I do not know what he is planning, but I think it involves a berth closer to his cabin, which would be easier for me, and he knows I worry about that. I do not have any spies, and for some reason Mr. Spock has locked off certain areas of the ship's computers from me. I am trying to break into them, but so far the deck plans, room assignments and laundry taggers--the computer codes that make sure we all get our proper underwear--are 'off limits' to me. I suspect that I may be part of the rumored crew rearrangement, since some of the crew have asked to have their cabins reassigned, but I can only guess. I tried joking about it with Uhura and Sulu, saying that Nyota would look silly in Hikaru's underthings, but neither of them thought it was funny, and both changed the subject quickly. One of the other ensigns mentioned that the Captain was exploring ways for all of the ensigns to bunk separately, or at least in double cabins, but it is only a rumor at this point. I would ask him, but I am afraid he will tell me the truth, or perhaps lie to me, and I do not know which would hurt more. I would like my own single cabin, of course--it would be much safer for him, after all--but even a double cabin, with an understanding bunkmate, would be better. Especially if my bunkmate was on beta shift, or perhaps delta....

But until I find out...or manage to work around Mr. Spock's new security protocols, which he has significantly improved since I was persuaded to access his Kobayashi Maru simulation by a certain handsome cadet...all I can do is wonder, and worry. Dr. McCoy must have noticed, because he called me to Sickbay for what he said was a routine physical. Of course, my physical should not have been scheduled for another seven months, but apparently parts of it, including measurements of my hands and fingers, needed to be re-done. And, I do not understand why the Doctor would screen Mr. Scott and send him that part of my file with the 3D scan of my hands, or why Mr. Scott would thank him for his help in machining a special 'thing' in time. What 'thing' would he need a diameter to size, that the computer could not provide him? I asked Doctor McCoy, but he just smiled and told me not to worry, everything would be 'plain as day' before too long. Then, when the Nurse asked him about it, he said that he was a doctor, not a jeweler. This, I did not understand, but the Nurse just looked at me and smiled, so I do not think it is anything to worry about.

So, I do not worry as much as I did. Our secret is safe, and my Captain is protected, and I am happy and content almost every night in his arms. It is only when I think about how it might hurt him with Starfleet and the crew if our relationship were ever revealed, I worry. But still, why would Mr. Scott be smiling every time we speak, and mutter about 'posting the bans'? I do not understand, not at all.

But, as I said, I am content in my Captain's arms, and I feel more comfortable there than anywhere else in the universe. I did tell him that, and he just smiled and kissed me, and held me more tightly, and said that it was fortunate because he didn't intend to let me go.

I just smiled, knowing that he eventually will, but happy in the moment nonetheless. After all, while we could legally marry, it is frowned upon by Starfleet for their Captains to marry. His own father was an anomaly, but one which he is proud of because he married young, choosing love over his career. My captain has told me on several nights that he plans to marry some day, Starfleet be damned. When he tells me this, I listen, and laugh, and make jokes about how lucky his wife will be someday, and then he looks at me oddly and just kisses me harder.

So for now, I am happy and content, and my Captain says he is as well, even though he is tired of me having to leave him each night. Someday soon, he says, almost like a promise, and I just hold him more tightly and think about having a single berth, with no bunkmates to worry about, no matter how late I stay with him.

And just today, I heard something more about our bunk rearrangements! Supposedly, a wedding has been scheduled for only a few days after my birthday, which means that some couple will be needing a joint stateroom, which makes room changes more likely. Now Mr. Spock's security I can understand--he is protecting the privacy of the engaged couple! Also, an engineering ensign has been complaining about having to machine a set of wedding rings under Mr. Scott's direct supervision, which also fits.

So, I have stopped trying to penetrate Mr. Spock's new security protocols, except as an exercise which I will show him as soon as I manage it--without looking at the new assignments, of course. Perhaps we can work together on further improvements, to make the computer safeguards even more stringent.

Still, I fear my Captain is plotting something special for my birthday, but I don't worry about that because even if he is in league with Uhura and Sulu, it will be like my new family giving me a party, which will be good, too. He has been almost too happy lately, and his eyes sparkle like a little boy's with his secret, but I don't mind because he is even more loving and passionate with me...if that were possible. So, I say nothing, just smile and be as loving as I possibly can, and enjoy this happiness while it lasts.

In fact, I am so happy most days I forget to worry at all, which is very un-Russian of me...but I do not worry about that much at all.

For now, I am dating--finally, I am certain--the man the universe knows as Captain James T. Kirk...but to me, when we are together, he is only Jim, my lover...and the captain of my heart!

A/N: I know, not quite the hound-dog Kirk we all know and love...but maybe, just maybe, if he found exactly what he was looking for, who knows? And this story only works because Chris Pine is sooooo sexy, and Anton Yelchin is adorable plus plus plus.

This story actually has a prequel, which is still in progress (I need to see the movie once or twice more, just to get the dialogue for a couple of scenes down correctly). Will there be a sequel? I honestly don't know. You tell me....