This is a disclaimer.
songs that remind me of you
The first time Janice Rand meets James Tiberius Kirk, it's not so much a meeting as a chance passing in the corridors.
She's running through the Enterprise carrying things and taking messages and stuff like that, because even a ship staffed mostly by cadets in the middle of a crisis that could destroy their home planet needs Yeomen to run and fetch and carry, and he's being escorted through those same corridors by Security, beaten and bruised and bloody, and he looks up and catches her eye – blue chips of determination and a towering self-confidence – and smirks at her, the arrogant bastard, before being swept away, trailed by Security and a bedraggled little man with a broad grin who in turn is trailing water behind him like a snail trails slime.
Twenty minutes later, he's her Captain. Several hours after that, he's dropping that psychopath Nero into a black hole and blowing the bastard's ship up around him as he falls.
Three weeks after that, they ask her if she wants to stay on the Enterprise as the Captain's Yeoman. Janice Rand thinks, for a minute, of sky blue eyes and the Narada falling apart on the viewscreen in front of her, and then she says 'yes'.
When James Tiberius Kirk is introduced to her properly, his grin lights up his face but doesn't touch his eyes in the slightest, and he promises solemnly to behave himself if she'll help him keep the paperwork under control.
Janice thinks that's a fair trade.
She pulls an all-nighter with him for the first time after their first mission, stuck in his office in Starfleet Command, and Jim's irritated and snappy and tossing papers around like leaves because they've only just got back but Command has decided that they want the Enterprise reports a week earlier than they'd originally set the deadline for.
"It's like being back at the Academy," Janice blurts.
"It's worse than that," Jim says grimly, "because at the Academy four hundred and twenty seven other people weren't dependent on my papers."
He didn't look up when he said it, and he doesn't make any sign that he expects an answer, hair a tousled mess, pen in one hand and stylus in the other, the desk lamp throwing messy shadows across his face and hands and the papers in front of him. Janice is almost sure that he wouldn't have said it if he hadn't been so distracted.
They get all the reports in on time, and Command is forced to admit, grudgingly, that the Enterprise's first mission with James Kirk as her official Captain is a complete success. Even down to the footnotes.
She tells him once about her brother and his kids, and ever after, when she comes back from shore leave, he remembers to ask about them.
Once, she does the same for him, and then wishes she hadn't.
When it finally dawns on her, they've been on the Enterprise for a little over six months. Jim and Spock are engaged in what Nyota (fondly) calls their 'daily work out', which mostly consists of them being insulting and snide and superior to each other, and everyone on the bridge can see the kick they both get out of it and the underlying fondness and trust behind every barb that's getting stronger every day.
Janice carries up a datapad for Jim's approval – requests and reports and God knows what else – and he takes it from her with a faint smile and rests it on the edge of the command chair to sign it. It's a position that brings his tousled head dangerously close to Janice, and she can see the uneven parting of his hair, the dampness at the roots that speaks of a shower taken not long ago, the tan line at the back of his neck, revealed by the shifting of his uniform shirt.
She forces a smile when he looks up at her, but she can feel him watching as she leaves the bridge, eyes puzzled.
She watches him a lot, after that.
Brings him lunch and sorts out his schedules and helps Dr McCoy collar him for his physicals and more than once has tossed his latest girl out of his quarters and off the ship of a morning before they leave orbit with crisp efficiency and stands quietly in a corner with the relevant datapads when he makes his reports to the Admiralty, dashing and calm and confident in his dress uniform, and can't help but stare a little when his hair starts getting long and he flicks his hands through it to keep it off his forehead because Janice has a little bit of a thing for Jim's hair.
But most of that is just her job; she's his Yeoman, after all.
Which is a bit like saying "his PA" and exactly the same as saying "the one person on the ship who makes sure his day runs exactly the way it should so he can get his job done".
"Most Yeomen," Nyota tells her at lunch one day, "do not watch their Captain enter a room the way you do."
"Shut up," Janice hisses at her, flushing bright red.
"He does look pretty lickable when he does that sprawl-thing of his in the command chair," Nyota adds with a wicked grin.
The Enterprise is officially on shore leave. Janice has no idea how McCoy and Nyota and Jim organised it, they're some kind of Shore Leave Gods or something, but they've rented an entire San Francisco club out for the whole night, private function for the Enterprise crew. And it's so awesome there aren't even words. Everybody's there, and everybody's drunk and loud and happy and sequestered with friends they won't see again for a month, and it's like a family reunion only better, because no one is going to get annoyed over those kid's table manners, and her mother isn't there to ask about her love life and look disapproving when Janice drinks a bit too much.
She doesn't even realise it's Jim who's come up beside her at the bar until he pays for her drink, blue eyes bright. He's more than a little drunk himself, she realises, loose limbed and relaxed.
"Having fun, Rand?" he shouts over the thrum of the music, and Janice nods at him and smiles, flushed with alcohol and the success of their missions and the delight of knowing that she's a part of something as special, as unique, as this crew of theirs.
Then, in a sudden fit of daring that would never have come to her had she been entirely sober, she tugs him out to the dance floor. Jim's hands land on her hips and stay there for entirely too long. He's not grinning exactly, but his eyes are, and they dance until Nyota slides an arm around Janice's waist and puts her mouth close to her friend's ear to ask if she's seen Spock anywhere.
Janice turns her head to answer, and when she looks back at Jim, he's slipped away through the crowd.
It is a proven fact that Jim Kirk gets more tail than anyone else on board the Enterprise, even though it's also a proven fact that he doesn't sleep with his crewmembers (Lieutenant Rose Worthing provided said proof for nearly two whole weeks, alternating between admiring Jim for his stance on the subject and finding it impossible to believe that he'd actually turned her down).
So it doesn't occur to Janice that Jim might have... shall we say, noticed anything back. She's his crew, and Jim doesn't sleep with his crew. And she's younger than he is, by several years; one of the youngest on the ship, in fact. And she works with him, every day: he's seen her at her snappy worst and he can tell when she's on the edge and remembers how she drinks her coffee from that first night they spent preparing the Enterprise reports and he'll even joke with her about how he forgets to update his Captain's log.
But he's still Jim Kirk, and she's his Yeoman, and it's not till they're on Westros and the Chief, or King or whatever, is asking Jim to trade Janice for the supplies they need that Janice thinks maybe she's not so alone in this as she thought, because the sheer fury that flashes across Jim's face for a split second is absolutely terrifying.
Then he gets his expression under control and makes a polite counteroffer. His eyes are burning though, and the King, or Chief or whoever, accepts without further question. Jim puts a hand on Janice's elbow to lead her back outside so the Enterprise can get a lock on them, and doesn't breathe again, it seems, until she's safely off the transport pads.
After that, Janice can't stop noticing him noticing her. She jumps when their fingers brush, and swallows when his eyes flick downwards and brush along the curves of her legs, nicely put on display by the regulation mini dresses.
Damn those hideously skimpy things anyway.
And there's the debacle with the archaeologists and the lost civilisation that turns out to be neither lost nor particularly peaceful. Let's not forget that. The worst of the lot.
The worst of the lot, because Jim nearly dies and Janice can't function when he does stupid reckless idiotic shit like that. It's just not in her anymore. Janice cries into Nyota's shoulder for a full ten minutes, until her friend has to get back to the bridge, and her hands shake for the rest of the day. The idea of Jim being – or rather, not being – someone else in that command chair and no more silly jokes when it's quiet and boring on the bridge and a total lack of anything resembling friendly bickering because it amounts to insubordination and – oh, Jim.
He is the Enterprise, she thinks. Without Jim, they're just another starship with just another crew. A good crew, but not – not the Enterprise crew.
When Dr McCoy announces over the comm system that Jim's going to be OK, his voice harsh and tired and ice cold because that's the only way the man can handle spending nearly two hours elbow deep in his best friend's intestines, Janice cries again, hidden in her quarters, her whole body shaking with relief.
Afterwards, she goes to see him in Sickbay with a pile of reports and a request from Scotty about doing something to the engines to boost their power, which Jim rejects for the time being – "let's get back to civilisation first", he says to Janice wryly.
And she tosses the last datapad down on the bed and says, very seriously, "We can't do this."
Jim raises an eyebrow in a trick he learned either from Mr. Spock or Dr McCoy. Or possibly both. "Do what?"
"This," Janice says, waving a hand between them. "Don't do that. You know what I mean." Her mouth is aching to form the word Jim, but she won't call him by his first name for the first time now when she's practically breaking up with him even though he's never even kissed her, and she can't use his title. Not for this. "It's against regs, as you perfectly well know, and it's – detrimental to – oh, look here. I'm Pepper Potts, OK? I'm the Pepper Potts to your Tony Stark. And everyone knows that Pepper and Tony do not get it on."
She's halfway across the room and almost out the door before she realises it or he answers, and when he does, he sounds amused, the smug bastard.
"The trouble with analogies, Rand," he says, "is that they're not exact mirrors. They're approximations."
Janice wants to slam a door on him, but they all slide, so she can't.
The only thing worse than being stuck in an alien holding cell over a diplomatic misunderstanding and some idiot at Starfleet Command who can't do his job properly is being stuck in an alien holding cell alone with Jim.
His shirt's torn, because his shirt's always torn, and his face is bruised and bloodied and his eyes are puffy and all he's doing is watching Janice, for God's sake. She's crouched against the wall opposite him, arms wrapped around her knees, hands twisting together.
"Are you OK?" he asks at last.
Janice shakes her head in answer, because she's hurt and aching and cold and her head is spinning like a top. Jim holds out a hand to her, knuckles swollen and cracked with the punches he'd thrown earlier.
Against her better judgement, she goes to him. Despite everything she said, everything she knows she should be doing, she goes to him. They're ten minutes away from being dragged out and executed, and she can't get her head around that, it's too much to take in, so she's not really frightened, but she's far from OK, and she goes to him. Rests her head on his shoulder and her body against his side and closes her eyes.
In the end, it's so ridiculously simple that Janice wants to laugh. This thing, whatever it is, isn't going to go away. That's become clear.
So she'll have to find another way to deal with it.
It's about eight in the morning when Jim crashes into Janice's quarters like a whirlwind, and Janice almost drops the datapad she's holding in shock, because Jim's never this awake at this hour of the morning. Never.
"Captain!" she says, rather blankly, torn between astonishment at his intrusion and admiring the way his hair's falling into his eyes. He needs a haircut. She'll have to get Nyota to annoy him into it.
"Janice," he says, and there's another shock, because he never calls her by her first name. "Janice, what the hell?"
Jim's holding a datapad in his left hand, waving it indignantly in front of her, and suddenly Janice knows exactly what's on it.
"Erm," she says, and hopes the room is dim enough that he doesn't notice her blush.
"You're applying for a transfer," Jim says. "A transfer! What is that? I mean, barely two years into - into this, and you're applying for a transfer. Why, for Christ's sakes? What for? Am I giving you too much paperwork?"
Janice isn't sure whether to laugh or cry. He looks so puzzled, and so indignant, and barely awake, and so completely in the dark about everything that she's sure, now, that there's no way he – just no way.
"Jan," he says again, coming closer. "If you want it, I'll sign. You know I'll sign. I just. I don't get it. I thought - things have been good, haven't they? Two years, and now - which I just... ah, Jan, you know what I'm talking about. Don't you?"
Close enough to touch. Janice swallows hard. Of course he calls her Jan. Of course. What else would Jim Kirk call her but a nickname no one else uses? "Captain," she says unsteadily, and oh that was a mistake, because something in him freezes up when she uses his title, and the blue eyes darken a little. She can see him shutting down right in front of her, realising that her shift doesn't start for another hour and her hair is still wet from the shower and loose around her shoulders and he'd just barged in here without knocking and honestly, how does all this look?
She catches his sleeve before he can move away from her. "Jim," she says, fingers clenching in the heavy gold cloth. "I. The transfer. It was. I mean, tell me now, and I'll withdraw the request, but if - I'm not saying this very well, am I?"
"No, not really," Jim says, but there's a spark burning in his eyes that's making her skin feel tight and her mouth go dry. "Do I get three guesses? I know you're not transferring because there's a better offer. We're the flagship of the fleet. We're the best they've got right now. Faster promotions than on the Enterprise, in your dreams. So, it's personal."
He's put the datapad down somewhere. She didn't see him do it. His fingers are sliding up her lower arms to her elbows, slow and sure, pushing her sleeves back and caressing her bare skin. She turns her arms over and grips his, realises her hands are shaking. A little. A lot. Janice can't think, damn him, she needs space. Needs a step or ten between them for this to sort itself out. Needs to move closer still and breath in the smell of him (bacon and coffee and shampoo and the detergent they use for the uniforms and Jim) and kiss that hollow below his throat that's just on a level with her nose.
"Jim," she tries again.
"Why'd you apply for a transfer, Jan?" Jim Kirk asks softly, head bent towards her, and oh, damn him. Damn him for doing this, for coming here, she'd had it all planned out, she was gonna – she wants to -
Janice swears at him, frustrated and nervous and irritated that he's gone and jumped the gun on a plan he didn't know about, ignored a timetable he's never been aware of, and then tightens her grip on his arms, hitches herself up on tiptoe and kisses him.
Instantly, without a second's hesitation, Jim's arms go round her, one hand coming up to push into her hair and cradle the back of her head, and it's several rather glorious minutes before Janice pulls back, mouth swollen and breathing hard, and says, "So I could do that, you arrogant overbearing ass, it's eight in the morning, you couldn't have just waited -"
He kisses her again. She guesses that's a no.
"Technically you're in violation of all sorts of regs right now," she says when he draws back.
Jim starts to laugh. "I guess I'd better sign those papers then," he says, eyes bright. She loves that smile on him, the one they see so seldom. The one that reaches his eyes.
"I guess you had," Janice agrees, and presses her fingers to his mouth when he leans in again. "Jim. Sign the papers!"
Jim steps away from her, and Janice prays to God he doesn't see the way she clutches at the chair to her right for support, knees decidedly wobbly. His ego doesn't exactly need the boosting. She doesn't want to think that being away from his solid warmth is like being deprived of the sun on her face, but she does anyway, because thoughts like that go with moments like this. But then he pauses with the stylus in his hand and looks back at her, solemn now and quiet.
"If we do this," he says. "I mean. I don't want you - throwing yourself away if this doesn't work. Because. I've never actually. It could suck, is what I'm saying. You know?"
He doesn't even look vulnerable. Just worried. Worried for her.
Janice glares at him. "I don't know where you get the idea from that I'm doing this for you," she says in blatant contradiction of everything that's just passed between them. "Officer training, Jim. I'm sick of making other people's sandwiches and running around with piles of filing."
Jim's smiling again when he signs the papers.