A/N: The consequences of beating the no-win scenario play out. Jim Kirk is a horrible boyfriend, and Pavel knows just how to punish him. Then, the happy ending. Yep, it's still SLASH, don't like, shouldn't be reading it.
Disclaimer: nope, still don't own the franchise or characters, still not making anything, just writing it the way it should have happened….
"I was never that young."—Captain Pavel Chekov, in Star Trek: Generations
The post-simulation briefing was, not surprisingly, very well attended.
Every instructor, supervisor and technician who had been in the control room was there, as was almost every cadet who had been in the simulator 'crew'. At the head of the room, Captain Delatorre stood behind the podium as the last seats filled and the room became 'standing only'…and still more people kept coming in.
When the walls had been covered with bodies and the ranks were beginning to be two deep in the back, the Captain ordered the doors closed.
"Well, Mr. Kirk, that was an interesting outcome for this simulation. Care to comment?"
Jim Kirk sat in the 'hot seat'—the briefing chair to the left of the podium—his coprophagic smile still firmly in place. "About what, sir?" he asked cheekily, causing a ripple of snickers to go around the room.
"About your simulation performance," Delatorre said calmly. Veteran of years at the Academy and hundreds of cadets, it would take more than Jim Kirk to rattle him. "Overall, what grade would you give yourself?"
"Overall?" Kirk asked, the considered the question for a second before replying "A". Still smiling, he sat back, looking for all the world like he had just swallowed the canary.
Well, we'll see, Delatorre thought. "Explain," the Captain said, with just a touch of edge to his voice.
"As I said at the end of the simulation, we rescued the crew of the Maru without a single injury to our own crew…and destroyed all of the ambushers. I'd say we did a pretty good job, too," he smirked, while several people worked hard to stifle their laughter.
"And how do you explain the abrupt loss of power in the simulator, right before your amazing victory?" Delatorre asked carefully.
"Power fluctuations happen, even in Starfleet," Kirk said smugly. Not a lie, but probably not even remotely connected to what had happened, either; it was a perfectly true statement that didn't say anything at all.
"True, Mr. Kirk, true. Still, I find it rather interesting that you appeared to have some prior knowledge that it was going to occur. Based on your behavior earlier in the simulation, that is," the Captain prodded.
"Prior knowledge of a power fluctuation? Hardly, sir," Kirk answered, once again answering with a phrase that was probably not a lie, but not an answer, either.
"I see. Well, Cadet Kirk, at this time I have no more questions for you. However, given that no one else has ever performed as well on this particular scenario as you just did, I should inform you that the system will be put through a through series of diagnostic tests to determine if some…system flaw contributed to your success today."
"Or maybe it's just that I'm that good," Kirk added, as people began to file out.
"I'm sure it's something like that, Mr. Kirk," was all that the Captain had to say.
Leonard McCoy was waiting outside of the debriefing room when Jim Kirk came out.
"Jim, you damn fool! What the hell did you do?" the medical cadet hissed, grabbing his friend by the arm and pulling him away from the crowd.
"Not here, Bones, not here…besides, who says I did anything?" Jim smirked, trying and failing to look innocent.
"Now see here, Jim, I know you too well…and I've seen that scenario trash the simulator too many times to believe that hogwash about 'power fluctuations'. You knew something was going to happen, didn't you?" he accused.
"Maybe," Kirk said, with a sly glance. "But I'll never admit to anything, Bones, you know that."
"I know that when they find out how you reprogrammed the simulator they'll throw you out of here so fast you'll skid all the way back to Iowa," McCoy ground out.
"Relax, Bones, I didn't reprogram the simulator…and I don't think they'll find anything unless they take the simulator apart piece by piece."
Leonard McCoy had heard enough patients lie to him over the years to immediately pick up on the subtle emphasis in his friend's statement. "So, Jim…if you didn't reprogram it, who did?"
"Bones, Bones, Bones…you don't trust me?" Kirk asked, trying for 'wounded' and 'mildly insulted'. He failed.
Bones McCoy just snorted. "Not for one damned minute, no…not about this. But, I also know that you're not good enough to have done it yourself."
"True, unfortunately…or in this case, fortunately, for me," Kirk's smile was back. Then, noting that the pair was safely away from any prying ears, he turned to McCoy and whispered softly, "Ever hear of a young Russian named Chekov?"
McCoy froze in place. "Jim! You didn't! Not Pavel Chekov?" he whispered back.
"Yeah, Pavel…sweet kid, I need to introduce you two. Bones, you wouldn't believe how great he is…" Jim began.
McCoy cut him off abruptly. "Jim, I realize that you're clueless about a lot of things, but you're trying to tell me that in the three years we've been here you haven't heard about Pavel Chekov? Or, what happens to people who mess with him?"
Jim shook his head, confused. "No…and why would people bother Pavel? I mean, he's practically the 'innocent angel' poster child! I can't see him getting on anybody's bad side. Just the opposite, in fact."
"That's just it, Jim. That boy came here when he was only thirteen, and he's been here ever since. At least half the females—and a fair number of the males—here at the Academy have effectively adopted him as a baby brother, or something." He sighed, then went on. "Remember that case I told you about, where the guy had to have both kneecaps and a testicle regrown?"
"Yeah, I think so…something about a freak accident, where he fell down two flights of stairs, or something?"
"Or something. Jim, that guy made the mistake of pushing Pavel Chekov down a flight of stairs, which broke his collar bone and his left arm in two places. Two days later, a group of cadets—including an Andorean and two Rigellians, who declared it a 'matter of clan honor', along with a whole gang of humans—'arranged' for him to 'fall down' those same stairs—twice. The 'tripped and fell down' version was just the cover story, since nobody would come forward or turn anybody in, and the guy claimed that he was taken from behind." McCoy just shook his head. "I think he knew that worse things would happen to him if he didn't keep his mouth shut. Still, he apologized to Pavel…and your boy charmed the idiot so much that he was Chekov's unofficial bodyguard for the rest of the year."
Kirk had been on the verge of loosing his temper as his friend described his lover's injuries, so it was probably a good thing the incident was long in the past. Then, when he heard how the story ended, he couldn't help but smile. "That's him, all right. Charming enough to win anybody over," he said, a fond look spreading across his face.
"Yeah, that's him, all right. And now, you've gone and involved him in what could be the biggest cheating scandal in years? Oh, Jimmy boy, you've really gone and stuck it in the grinder this time."
"Don't you 'now, Bones,' me! Dammit, Jim! Why in the bloody blue blazes were you so caught up in trying to beat that thing? It's a no-win program, set up to be that way. You know as well as I do that the computer can always pull another dozen Klingons out of its electronic arse, so why even bother?" The doctor just shook his head, still unwilling or unable to believe what his friend had just done.
Jim just smiled and clapped him on the shoulder before he walked off. "Bones, I don't believe in the no-win scenario."
Jim had just stepped through the door into Pavel's room when he found himself with an armful of giddy Russian.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Chekov kept repeating, in between laughing and kissing the older cadet furiously. "I was watching on my terminal, and saw everything! Was perfect! No, beyond perfect! Now, no one can say they have never had person beat no-win scenario!"
"Easy, Pavel, easy," Jim laughed, gently disentangling himself from the hyperactive boy. "Yes, it did exactly what you said it would do, and yes, the instructors are well and truly steamed about it. Now, when do you think we'll be able to go retrieve your little toy?"
Pavel sobered considerably. "Not for some time, I think. But, data transmitter looks like regular system component, and should be invisible to regular diagnostics, so we have few worries there. How did simulator Captain react?"
"About like I though he would. He's royally pissed, and said something about an investigation, so I expect I'll be called before the Commandant tomorrow or the next day." Jim shrugged. He expected a dressing down, at the very least, but it had been worth it just to see the expression on their faces. And, he was actually looking forward to being able to argue against even having such a test in the first place, for the same reason Bones McCoy had given him.
"I will worry about that, then," Pavel was saying, becoming almost glum.
"No, no, no, no…that will never do, Pavel Andreievich! Now, put on your shoes! You're coming with me, and we're going out to celebrate!"
It was several minutes past curfew when the pair returned to the dormitory. Kirk had the whole day off, and had cajoled Chekov into ditching his classes so that the two of them could spend the entire rest of the day away from the Academy. For Pavel, it was a wonderful experience, as he had rarely been very far from the grounds. When he heard this, Jim immediately rented a ground car, and the two had driven north over the Golden Gate, through Marin County and towards the Sonoma wine country. After a day of sightseeing, they returned to the City for dinner and an evening of strolling around San Francisco on foot. When they finally returned, both were pleasantly exhausted and more than content to lean on each other as they walked.
They did not expect the Security Detachment that was waiting for them at the dormitory entrance.
Shortly thereafter, Kirk found himself sitting outside the Academy Commandant's office for what seemed like hours, while Pavel was being 'interviewed' by Admiral Izikawa, Commandant of Starfleet Academy, himself. Finally, a pale, shaken Pavel Chekov was escorted out of the office, and Kirk was briskly ordered inside. Behind him, he saw Pavel sinking slowly into the chair he had just vacated, before the door shut firmly behind him.
In addition to Commandant Izikawa sitting behind his massive desk, Captain Delatorre sat off to one side. Motioning Kirk to a seat, the Security guard took up a position of parade rest just inside the door.
Commandant Izikawa said nothing for several long moments, choosing instead to sit quietly, looking at the cadet across from him. Finally, he spoke.
"Well, Mr., Kirk, what do you have to say for yourself?"
"Regarding what, sir? If I may ask?" Jim kept his tone light, neutral, respectful.
"Oh, come off it, Kirk! You know perfectly well why we've dragged you here in the middle of the night! What did you do to the simulator?" Izikawa thundered.
"Sir, if this is going to be a formal hearing, I respectfully request that I be allowed access to council, pursuant to Academy regulation seventeen dash…."
"Shut it, Kirk!" Izikawa cut him off. "Of course this isn't a formal hearing, you idiot. I'm doing everything I can to try to keep it from coming to that. Now, just what did you do to Captain Delatorre's simulator?"
Jim relaxed inside, but tried not to show it. If Izikawa was trying to keep this out of a formal setting, then there was a good chance that it would end right here and now. "Sir, I would like to start by questioning the appropriateness of the so-called 'no-win' scenario. Since the computer has an essentially infinite number of opponents which it can generate for any given scenario, I fail to see the wisdom in such a blatant demonstration of this fact, absent any other educational objective."
"Which you can see," Delatorre put in, from Jim's left.
"Pardon, sir?" Kirk asked.
"Any other educational objective which you can see, Mr. Kirk. Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, we had a goal in mind that the magnificent James T. Kirk couldn't discern?" Delatorre spat. He was mad and it showed, and the marked contrast between his demeanor now relative to his calm in the briefing room was beginning to unnerve Kirk.
"I'm sorry, sir, but I fail to see…" Jim began.
"Exactly, Kirk!" Delatorre cut him off. "You failed to see…and you wrecked the Kobayashi Maru program so badly that my computer experts say it'll take at least a week to straighten out." Actually, once his team had found Chekov's device, Commander Spock had raised one eyebrow, pronounced it 'fascinating', and then stated flatly that he would have the program corrected and returned to working order in three hours, seven minutes. Still, Delatorre would be damned before he would tell James T. Kirk that!
"Sir, given the impossibility of the scenario, I thought that it might be a kind of test within a test…a chance to assess our ability to think outside the box, as it were," Jim said quickly. He wanted to put this idea out before the conversation went any further. Hearing this, Delatorre snorted and shook his head, but Izikawa silenced the Captain with a raised hand.
"Explain, please, Mr. Kirk," the Commandant said. Polite as it was, it was not a request.
"Thank you, sir. My reasoning was this: since the computer can always beat any cadet in the simulator just by generating an impossibly large number of opponents, then why bother putting us through such a stressful and complicated scenario? Since the Academy is not known for wasting time or resources, and essentially everything we're exposed to has a purpose behind it, then it stands to reason that the no-win scenario must have a function other than to humiliate every command-line cadet. That being said, I set out to try to find a way to defeat the no-win scenario. And, it would appear that I was successful." Kirk grinned and sat back, doing everything he could to project an aura of respectful satisfaction—the face of a man who has done his best and now expects to be rewarded for finding the solution that was hidden all along.
Izikawa's face would have done a Vulcan justice. "I…see, I think. So, you believe that the Kobayashi Maru scenario was set up to encourage cadets to cheat by reprogramming the simulation?"
Kirk saw the trap in the innocent-seeming question and phrased his answer carefully. "Sir, it was never my intention to cheat on the scenario. Rather, since the program itself seemed to be the weakest link—the most obvious target for a counter-move, if you will—it was logical to work to overcome that particular obstacle and allow me to complete the scenario successfully…which I did, this morning."
"You sure as hell got that right," Delatorre snorted, and took a drink of what Jim thought might be scotch, neat.
Izikawa merely nodded fractionally, whether to him or to Delatorre, Jim wasn't sure. Still, he hadn't rejected the argument out of hand, which had to be a good sign.
"Commandant, Captain, here at Starfleet Academy we are constantly encouraged to look beyond the obvious, to 'think outside of the box', to generate novel solutions to the problems we encounter. We're told that this is the best way to prepare us to face the unknowns of the galaxy, always looking to see what lies behind the deceptively simple. Was it wrong of me to assume that the Kobayashi Maru scenario was the only single exception to that philosophy? And, if so, could you please tell me just what clues to this I missed, because I certainly haven't been able to find them on my own." His best arguments made, Jim sat back and tried to breathe normally.
Finally, Izikawa spoke. Delatorre seemed content to nurse his scotch and wait for the Commandant to make up his mind.
"An interesting argument, Mr. Kirk, and one I find…compellingly original in its conception and structure. Now, about Mr. Chekov's involvement…."
"Sir, with all due respect, this incident is completely my responsibility," Jim said quickly. "I was the one who conceived the plan to modify the simulator program, I sought out Mr. Chekov for his expertise in programming, and I was the one who convinced him—using this same argument—that altering the simulator programming was an acceptable, perhaps even desirable course of action. If there has been any error made here, it's been mine and mine alone."
"Very gallant, Mr. Kirk. So then, would it be accurate to say that you seduced Mr. Chekov into assisting you in this little demonstration of yours?" Izikawa asked without expression.
"Sir, while I would not use that term, it is correct in that I convinced Mr. Chekov to assist me in the necessary program modifications. As you are no doubt aware, Mr. Chekov's computer skills far exceed mine, which are rudimentary, at best."
"You're damn right about that, Kirk," Delatorre put in sharply. "Of course, you'd have to have help hacking my simulator. There's no way you'd ever be able to pull that one off by yourself."
"Calmly, Captain," Izikawa said, glancing at the instructor. "And what about your…personal relationship with Mr. Chekov, Mr. Kirk? Was that a part of your…plan to convince Mr. Chekov to assist you?"
Jim stiffened, and felt his face burn. "Respectfully, sir, my relationship with Mr. Chekov is none of your damned business!" he said hotly, then immediately regretted it when Izikawa raised his eyebrows.
"Mr. Kirk, are you aware of Mr. Chekov's age?" the Commandant asked in the same flat tone.
"Yes, sir…Mr. Chekov is seventeen years of age, which makes him a legal adult in the eyes of the City of San Francisco, the State of California, the planet Earth, and the Federation…as well as multiple other entities, all of whom recognize him as having attained his majority."
"What about the sex?" Delatorre snapped.
"Sir, as an adult, Mr. Chekov is permitted to engage in consensual sexual activities with whomever he pleases."
"So you admit to having sex with Mr. Chekov, Mr. Kirk?" Izikawa asked.
"Again, sir, with respect, that's none of your business." Jim answered, more calmly than he felt. Inside, he was raging at himself for saying too much.
"You can't nail him on that one, Izzy, the kid's legal," Delatorre put in, then went back to nursing his scotch.
"It has never been my intent to 'nail' anyone, Captain. My intent is to determine what happened and why, and where we should proceed from here." Picking up a datachip, Izikawa held it up for Kirk to see. "Mr. Kirk, here I have Mr. Chekov's sworn and witnessed statement to the effect that it was he who first came up with the idea of reprogramming the simulator, he who convinced you to repeat the test until he could modify the program, and his invention which made the entire sordid affair possible. He says that he did it as a prank, but convinced you with some idiotic story about 'hidden lessons' and 'secret test goals' to get cadets to 'think outside the box'. He further stated that he finds your own computer skills to be laughable, and that he selected you as the cadet most likely to be stupid enough to repeat the no-win scenario multiple times for his benefit. He also says that you are at best an adequate bed partner, and that he seduced you to satisfy his own curiosity—apparently you have quite the reputation, Mr. Kirk—and that as far as he's concerned, he is finished with you."
As Izikawa's calm voice and piercing gaze bored into him, Jim felt his soul begin to wail. Why was Pavel doing this? And, why would he say those things, about their relationship…about him? Biting the inside of his cheek to keep from screaming at the Commandant, Jim replied in a tight voice.
"Sir, with respect, Mr. Chekov's statement is inaccurate."
"All of it, or just the part about you being lousy in the sack, Kirk?" Delatorre asked casually.
Commandant Izikawa shot a glare at the Captain. "Quiet, E.D. You're not helping." Then, he turned back to the fuming cadet. "So, Mr. Kirk, you dispute Mr. Chekov's sworn statement?"
Jim almost snapped 'damn straight, you arse!', but caught himself. "Sir, with respect, I have not personally seen the statement to which you refer, and so I am unable to either confirm or dispute its particulars at this time." Then, fighting his emotions, he sat still, waiting.
Izikawa sat there, just looking at him, then set the chip down. "Mr. Kirk, you have the makings of a fine adjudicator. Have you considered a career in the Starfleet Justice division?"
"No, sir," Jim managed to get out.
Izikawa merely nodded. "I see. Mr. Kirk, are you aware that Mr. Chekov is a terrible liar?"
Jim blinked, caught off guard by the question. "Sir?"
Izikawa gave a small, tight smile. "Son, that boy spun us a web of lies a blind man could see through. Of course we know you went to him first, and that he did the programming while you were going on sandwich runs. Oh, and tell him that we found his device, too, by the simple expedient of doing a subspace sweep when we tried to reboot the program. Esteban, it took your team, what? Three or four hours?"
"Four and a bit," Delatorre said, rising to refill his glass from the sideboard. "But still, those damned things are going to make my job a lot harder when they become widespread."
"Oh, shut it, E.D.," Izikawa said lightly. "You know they'll be just as useful to you, if not more so." Turning back to Kirk, he went on, much more pleasantly. "Kirk, this Academy is under surveillance around the clock, every day of the year. Did you honestly think that you could pull something like this off without me finding out about it? Especially since you used a Maintenance passcard to open up the computer room? Son, did it ever occur to you to wonder where that card came from?"
"Sir…I was not aware of the surveillance, and would that not be a privacy violation?" Kirk asked, flummoxed. "And…I thought the card was a forgery." He winced at having to make the admission, but since they obviously already knew about it….
"If this wasn't technically a Starfleet instillation, then probably, yes. But, you sign away a large chunk of your privacy when you join up…especially if you wind up serving on a ship." Izikawa grinned. "Also, did you ever think to wonder just why that 'forged' card works as well as it does?"
"No, sir," Kirk said, honestly. It was one of those things he'd just accepted as a given…and the expense and difficulty he'd gone through to get the damn thing argued that it had to be quality goods.
"It's inevitable that a certain number of forged access cards like that will circulate every year," Izikawa was saying. "I've got over a thousand highly intelligent people here, some of whom aren't very good at following rules. So, one of the first things I did after I became Commandant was to corner the market on them. Your 'forgery' was actually made in the same shop as standard-issue cards. I just arrange for them to be distributed through somewhat unorthodox channels." He chuckled openly at the look on Kirk's face. "Oh, come now, Mr. Kirk! Surely you can see the advantage in having the ability to track people's late night escapades! Remember, not all of the people here are future officers…and the Klingons and Romulans have been known to use a spy or two, on occasion."
Kirk nodded, a bit overwhelmed. Once it had been point out to him (by rubbing his nose in it) he understood the Commandant's reasoning. And, he found himself reluctantly nodding in agreement with the policy.
The Commandant was eyeing him shrewdly. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't spread that little bit of information around, Kirk. Oh, tell Chekov…he's probably figured it out by now, if the gaps in the standard Security logs are any indication…but tell him that he missed a set of backups—and I don't want him looking for them, either."
Captain Delatorre shook his head. "Izzy, you're wrong about that. The day after Chekov graduates, I'd turn him loose on every so-called secure computer on this campus. Then, when he's laid them open like a slut's legs during Fleet Week, have him tell you how to make them truly secure."
"So noted, Captain," Izikawa smiled. "I'll take it under advisement. So, Mr. Kirk…I have a statement from your Mr. Chekov, confessing to multiple violations of Starfleet regs and various assorted laws. By his own admission, he's guilty of numerous crimes including breaking and entering, destruction of Starfleet property, theft of intellectual property, violations of secrecy and security protocols, incitement to malfeasance—that would be you, Kirk—and a good half dozen others. I can't charge him with sexual misconduct, because you're technically an adult, too, but I've got more than enough to not only have him expelled, but sent away to a rehabilitation facility for at least twenty years."
"Sounds to me like the boy's pretty well screwed," Delatorre said casually. For all the concern in his voice, he might have been commenting on the weather.
Jim Kirk thought his heart was going to stop. "No…" he whispered, then went silent as his throat closed off.
"Yes, Mr. Kirk? You have some objection to that?"
"Please…sir, you can't!" Jim managed to choke out.
"I assure you, Mr. Kirk, the Commandant can do exactly what he just described in this case," Captain Delatorre said dryly.
"Sirs, please…don't do this to Pavel! You know that he's not the one who put this whole thing together…I did it, and dragged him into it, so punish me, instead." Jim was as close to begging as he had every been, and would have gotten down on his knees if he thought it would make any difference.
"You would be willing to sign a statement of confession to that effect, Mr. Kirk?" Izikawa asked coolly.
Jim set his jaw and nodded. "If you'll agree to clear Mr. Chekov of all charges, then yes," he said. He hoped that the two officers wouldn't hear the quiver in his voice, but they probably did. "Give me your word that you'll let Pavel go free, without repercussions, and I'll sign anything you want me to sign." He stared directly at the Commandant, willing Izikawa to believe him, to let Pavel go.
Delatorre sipped his scotch while the Commandant just looked at Kirk like he was being measured for a prison jumpsuit. Finally, the training Captain spoke up.
"Told you, Izzy. Offer to let the Russian go, and Kirk'll fall on his sword in a heartbeat."
"I didn't say he wouldn't, E.D., only that he'd insist on Chekov being cleared, first." Izikawa shook his head. "Unfortunately, Mr. Kirk, that's not what I've decided to do," he said.
Jim swallowed, his mind racing. There seemed to be nothing he could do right now to salvage the situation, so, "Sir, before you go any further, I would like to formally request that I be allowed to seek legal council, and that these proceedings be transferred to an open forum."
"Request denied." Izikawa's voice was as cold and implacable as an Andorean winter. Then, he softened just a bit. "Son, if I had wanted to crucify you two boys, I wouldn't have stayed up this far past my bedtime talking to either of you." Ignoring his friend's snort from the general area of his wet bar, the Commandant favored Kirk with the first friendly look he'd had since entering the room. "No, I wanted to make you sweat, just a little, to drive home just how serious this potentially could have been," he sighed. "Sometimes, I have to do things like that, to keep you young fools from doing stupid things like this down the road. I trust I've made my point with you, Mr. Kirk?"
Kirk swallowed heavily, then nodded.
Izikawa nodded back, pleased. "Somehow, I think I also made my point with Mr. Chekov, as well…but it's something I want the two of you to discuss over the next few days. Understood?"
Kirk nodded again, very serious. He had a lot of things that he and Pavel Chekov were going to be discussing in the very near future.
The Commandant went on, and this time there was no mistaking the smile on his face. "Overall, I think you two did a damn fine job of making a lot of people around here, like E.D. over there," he nodded at the Captain, "look like prize chumps."
"You'll pardon me if I'm not laughing with you," Delatorre said, but he was making a wry grin when he did, so Kirk began to relax every so slightly.
"Personally—and if you let this go any further than this room, or maybe Pavel Chekov's ears, I'll have you flayed alive, understand me?—I think you're exactly right about the damned no-win scenario. Of course, I keep getting overruled every time I try to kill it, so part of me is glad that somebody finally came up with a way around it that makes it sound like that's what we were looking for in the first place." Ignoring Delatorre's snort, Commandant Izikawa went on. "Still, you've managed to ruffle a lot of feathers, and there are going to be those who will be screaming for your head on a platter. I can keep Chekov's name…and neck…out of this, but it'll mean that you have to shoulder the whole thing yourself. How do you feel about that, son?"
Jim didn't have to think about it. "I'm fine with that, sir. Just keep Pavel out of it."
Izikawa nodded. "I thought you might say that. Good enough. Now, there'll have to be a formal session before the Academy Board, in which they'll drag you down front and try to eviscerate you publicly, but ultimately Admiral Barnett will turn it over to the ethics committee for a hearing, where it will be ruled a brilliant but somewhat misguided attempt to circumvent the no-win scenario, and then quietly allowed to drop. I may be able to get you a commendation for original thinking—the gods know you deserve it—but don't count on it. Acceptable?"
"Acceptable," Jim stammered, more than a bit overwhelmed. "Sir, you can do that?" he asked, then realized how out of line the question was.
Izikawa smiled, while Delatorre choked back a laugh, then coughed as scotch came out of his nose. "Kirk, they're only Admirals, and this is my Academy. Of course I can do that." He paused, shook his head at a memory he didn't choose to share, then sat back in his chair. "Now that we've gotten that out of the way, Kirk, I need to ask: just how much do you know about Pavel Chekov?"
"Sir? I don't understand," Jim asked, honestly. Just what was the Commandant asking him?
"All right, I realize that was a 'what am I thinking?' question, and gods know I don't want you anywhere near something like that for at least the next week." Izikawa nodded to himself, then continued. "So, let me tell you this: Pavel Chekov is easily one of the smartest people here at the Academy, people in this room included. Had you figured that out?"
Kirk nodded. It had been fairly obvious, after spending time with the young man.
The Commandant went on with his explanation. "Kirk, I know that you're no fool, yourself, but Chekov is…something very rare, indeed. As a child, he was teased for being 'different', and Medical says he'll always carry some of the personality traits—shyness, reluctance to speak up—he picked up from hiding his intellect for the first few years of his life. Nothing we can do about that, I'm afraid, but hopefully he'll be more confident as he grows up. When he was nine, his local school discovered that they had a prodigy on their hands, and immediately pulled him out of his age group for 'special' classes far beyond other children's abilities. Same psychological situation as before, only more so, because now it was adults doing it to him. At twelve, he was sent to Moscow University for a year, where he almost completed the requirements for a degree—would have, it they had let him take all of the courses. Fortunately, we got him at thirteen—and believe you me, that was no small feat—and we've had four years to do everything we could to challenge him. Trust me, it hasn't been easy, and until you came along, I was worried that he'd be bored during his last weeks with us. Now, he's about to graduate."
Captain Delatorre strode over to lean against Izikawa's desk. "We had to fight off Moscow, MIT, Cal Tech, Auburn, Cambridge, Johannesburg, Bejing, you name it…every school with a reputation for science or engineering wanted him, but we got him. There was even a rumor that the Vulcans were considering him for their Science Academy, and you know how they are about the 'smelly humans'," he grinned.
"I…never knew," Jim said quietly.
"And you never would have known, not from him," Izikawa said. "And, I don't want you to let him know that you know…but I don't think that you will. Just be aware of what a treasure he is, and what a terrible tragedy it would be for someone to break his heart and his spirit. Starfleet needs him, Kirk! Oh, he'll never be a starship Captain, he doesn't have the psych profile for it like you do," the Commandant waved his hand negligently as he gave out that little bit of information. "But, the Captain who has Pavel Chekov on his bridge will have a pearl beyond price…if he's smart enough to use it."
Kirk nodded slowly. Having Pavel on your bridge would be an asset a Captain would practically kill for, and he had very nearly gotten them both expelled just to satisfy his ego. He frowned as that thought hit him, and he looked up to meet Izikawa's eye.
"So, you've just realized what kind of disaster you almost caused, eh, Kirk?" he asked quietly. When Jim nodded, he nodded back in acknowledgement. "Well, you're both young, gods help you, and from all the signs that young man is well on his way to falling in love with you. How about you?" the Commandant asked.
Jim paused, began to answer, and then stopped. Did he really know? And, was it any of their business?
He was saved from having to say anything by Captain Delatorre. "Don't say anything, Kirk, because it will come back to haunt you. Neither Izzy nor I claim to be matchmakers, by the way. We just want what's best for all of our students."
Jim just nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
"Just so you'll be aware, Kirk…Chris Pike has already claimed Chekov for Enterprise, as soon as he graduates and she commissions. Chris also told me that he wants you, too. I don't know if it matters, but it looks like the two of you will be serving on the same ship for quite a while." Izikawa was once again boring into Kirk's skull with his gaze. "So, I'm going to give you some advice…either decide you're serious, or break it off in a friendly way, and soon. One way or another, Starfleet won't care. Despite our 'unwritten rule' about couples in the Fleet, we're not stupid enough to ignore the reality of what invariably happens between people. One of the reasons we monitor you all so closely here at the Academy is to try to catch potentially ugly situations before they get out of hand. In other words, forget the 'unwritten rule', if you two will be more effective as a couple than apart. What the Fleet will care about is if your relationship breaks one or both of you, because quite frankly, you're two of our very best." When he said that, the Commandant looked away briefly, almost like he was embarrassed by his admission. Then, he picked up the data chip and snapped it in half. "So much for that pack of lies," he said, grinning. "Kirk, you need to teach that boy to either stop lying, or learn to do it better, and that's an order. Now, you're both suspended for the next three days while I sort this mess out. Get out of my Academy until four days from now, get out of the City, even…and take that little Russian with you! Dismissed!"
Jim didn't need to be told twice. Bouncing to his feet, he walked quickly through the open door (the Security guard holding it for him gave him a smile and a wink) into the waiting room, where Pavel Chekov sat fidgeting.
"Jim, I wanted to tell you…I told them that I planned everything, it was I all along…" he began.
"Not here, Pavel…let's go back to your room, okay?" Kirk gave the younger man a solemn look that calmed him down a bit, and then the pair walked quietly back to Pavel's quarters. Once they were inside, Pavel locked the door and turned…only to be pushed up against the door by a furious Jim Kirk.
"Mr. Chekov, what the hell were you thinking?" Jim hissed, eyes blazing. "Telling them that it was your idea to reprogram the simulator? You almost got yourself expelled, Mister!"
Pavel shrank away from Kirk's fury, but couldn't escape the arms that pinned him in on either side. "I…was taking blame for damage to simulator, protecting you," he whispered. "You will be great Captain some day, so you must stay, at Academy! For me, is not so important…I can go to University, or back to village and teach…" he finished, misery coming off him in waves.
Kirk exhaled, then reached out to cup Chekov's face gently, his demeanor completely changed in a matter of seconds. "Oh, Pavel," he whispered, just as softly as the other man had. "Why?"
"I have said already," Chekov answered, refusing to meet Jim's eyes. "You must stay in Starfleet to become ship Captain. I…may do other things."
"But not go to the stars," Jim said gently. "Pavel, they told me what you tried to do, and I'm grateful, really…but it couldn't work, for three reasons."
At that, Pavel's eyes snapped to meet Kirk's, making Jim smile. "First of all, they know me too well. Second, they know you too well. And third, you can't lie worth a damn, love," he smiled, then leaned down to press his lips gently against the younger man's mouth.
Pavel returned the kiss just as gently, his arms coming up to wrap around Jim's neck. Shifting their bodies together in a way that was already becoming a habit, he broke the kiss so that he could whisper. "But, they said they believed, and you would not be expelled if I confessed."
Jim laughed, and if it was just a bit giddy with relief, then it was understandable under the circumstances. "Pavel, they have this place wired up, down, across and sideways. It's probably got as many cameras as a Klingon prison barge! They knew exactly what was going on, even before we did it."
"What? You mean..?" Chekov blanched as he realized just what that meant.
Kirk moved in to nuzzle his lover's neck as he whispered in his ear. "Oh, yes…they know just how you seduced me and took advantage of me, just to prove that you could break into their computers and show off."
Pavel was too busy squirming with pleasure to react immediately, but then he jerked to his full height. "What? I seduced you?" he asked, his tone and posture indignant.
Kirk leaned back so that he could meet his lover's eyes, and so that Pavel could see his face. "Oh, yes, you seduced me. You, with those beautiful eyes," he grinned even more when Pavel began coloring. "And those kissable lips," Jim leaned in and give those same lips a quick brush. "And most of all, that spectacular butt," he finished, giving said buttocks a good squeeze, making Pavel 'eep' and jerk forward into Jim's arms. Jim allowed the force of Pavel's motion to drive him backwards to the bed, where he toppled down, pulling Pavel down on top of him. The lighter man shifted just enough to land gently on Kirk's chest, then looked down and growled at the older man.
"You told Commandant I seduced you! Now who lies?" he snapped, eyes flashing.
"Oh, yes…I told him I was helpless before your charms, and fought all the way back here each and every time you dragged me to this very room to ravish me senseless. I even asked him why Security didn't come to rescue me, given how loud I was screaming in pleasure…" Jim finally had to stop to give in to the laughter he could no longer hold back. The look on Pavel's face was truly beyond price, as he was embarrassed and angry at the same time.
"You… are horrible boyfriend," Chekov finally declared, huffing and trying to roll away from the disgustingly happy man beneath him. Unfortunately, Jim had wrapped his arms around him, and Pavel Chekov was not going anywhere in the near future if Jim Kirk had any say in the matter.
"I know…and I think I deserve to be ravished again as a punishment. Don't you agree?" Jim asked, trying to reach up for a kiss.
"No! No more ravishing for you, maybe ever! Horrible boyfriend," Chekov repeated. Of course, Jim couldn't miss the faint twinkle in his eyes as he said that, so Jim immediately tried pouting.
"Please, Pavel? I'm sorry…will you please ravish me? Please, please?" He tried to look pitiful, but the giggling (which he couldn't stop) probably ruined the effect.
"No. Not for weeks, months even. Maybe not even until…tomorrow," Pavel narrowed his eyes as he made his proclamation.
Jim kept pouting, then looked over at the chronograph display. "But Pavel, it's already tomorrow…look! And," he gave up pouting and went back to grinning, "Izikawa gave us the next three days off, and told me to take you somewhere away from here while they 'investigate'. Won't it be a long three days if you don't ravish me?"
"Da. Three days is very long time not to be ravished. Poor, poor Jim," Pavel said sadly, shaking his head.
"I know. I don't know how I'll ever stand it, especially since the Commandant ordered me to take you out of the City for the next three days." Jim was still grinning, and he hoped that Pavel didn't notice what he was getting ready to do.
"He ordered you to take me and go?" Pavel's eyes widened in surprise. "Why, if I am such awful ravisher?"
"I guess he thought I needed it," Jim said, then pounced. His fingers reached up and dug into Pavels' ribs, causing the younger man to squeal and jerk away, falling off Jim's chest onto the bed. Jim was ready for that, however, and twisted to keep up the tickling while Pavel fought back uselessly. Finally, when they were both winded, Jim relented. As they lay there gasping, Jim pulled the unresisting Russian into an embrace, kissing his hair while they settled together.
When Pavel could speak again, he said, "You are still horrible boyfriend, most horrible boyfriend of all time."
"I know," Jim said, contentedly.
"You do not deserve me," Pavel went on.
"Absolutely not," Jim answered calmly, kissing Pavel's hair again.
"No ravishing for you, ever again," Pavel snuggled closer, settling his head firmly into the hollow of Jim's neck and shoulder.
"Never," Jim agreed, not worried in the least.
"You will take me…where?" Pavel asked.
"Where do you want to go?" Jim asked back.
"Perhaps…to beach? I have never been to beach," Pavel said in a small voice.
"We can do that," Jim replied. "In fact, I know this great little place in Cozumel that's just spectacular. We can swim, and sun ourselves…."
"And make love?" Pavel asked sleepily.
"And make love as much as you like," Jim assured him. "We'll leave just as soon as we can get packed tomorrow, and be on the beach by tomorrow afternoon, if you want."
"I want, very much. But most of all, I want to be with you," Pavel said, his voice small and full of hope.
Jim smiled, thinking about what Izikawa had said about Enterprise.
"Love, I think that we can manage that."
And, that being settled, they snuggled into each other comfortably. Within minutes, Pavel's breathing became deep and regular as he slept, while Jim lay there, thinking. If he hadn't taken the Kobayashi Maru, he never would have sought out the young man in his arms, never would have gotten to know him, and probably never have fallen so deeply in love with him.
Jim's last thought, as he drifted off, was that for him, the Kobayashi Maru had actually been a win-win scenario. Smiling, he joined his lover in sleep.
A/N: Well, that's it for this story. Now you know, as Paul Harvey used to say, 'the rest of the story', including just why Captain Pike referred to Chekov as a 'whiz kid' (I couldn't let that one go, now could I?) Thanks to Salima Master of Light and Hatori Soma, the only two people to review chapter 2 as of yet (What is WRONG with you people? Don't you know that I'm feeding hungry plot bunnies here? Or have you all forgotten that plot bunnies only eat reviews?). Figures…just as soon as I start getting the hang of writing Pavel's accent, the story is over. *sigh*
Now, I wonder if we'll see these scenes in the Director's Cut of the movie, when it comes out on BluRay? I guess we'll just have to see.