Disclaimer: I do not own anything you recognize. I just play in the sandbox, and give it all back when I'm done.

no mercy for the soulless

It was beautiful, once.

He stands perfectly (eerily) sill, gazing up through the pouring rain at the hulking corpse of his beautiful, faithful lady. She was the only girl he ever loved, and he would never feel the same fervor; the same burning passion, for anything again. His fists clench at his sides, his knuckles turning white against the pressure as searing rage shoots through his system like liquid fire.

No right.

They had no right to take her away and effectively chain him to a desk; to rip her apart while binding him to Terran soil. He can feel the loss of his freedom keenly in the way the earth feels beneath his feet, never quite right and far too still; too quiet. He is too used to the hum of his starship vibrating through his very veins as she carries him through the stars to more adventures than anyone can imagine.

Captain (soon-to-be-Admiral) James T. Kirk stands on the ground, staring up as they disassemble his beloved Enterprise, and he can feel her keening, calling out to him, every time he closes his eyes.

The rain washes paths down his cheeks in place of the tears he will never let himself shed.

He is shaking, he can feel it, but doesn't care because fuck, he is completely fucking alone now, watching them kill the last tie he has to the stars that birthed him. He's tied to the Earth now, bound by invisible chains to this place that has never been home. He's completely alone; deserted, he thinks bitterly, ignoring the prickle of guilt that stabs at him. They made their choices, and he made his.


He opens his eyes, too-blue that crackle with the memory of a lightening storm in space, and remembers a sight twenty-five years gone.

His face fucking hurts, and he can still taste his own blood as he pulls the bike to a stop, staring up at the shipyards passively. They could almost be impressive, he thinks almost unwillingly, sullen resentment of a dead man rearing up briefly before he stamps it back down, eyes narrowing against the wind as it stirs up dust and corn.

'I dare you to do better.' Who the fuck was that guy, anyway? Still, it was a challenge, and Jim never turns down a challenge.

Do better? Hell, he would become the goddamned definition of better. He blinks slowly, hazy gaze catching on the sight of the partially-built starship in a dismissive pass. He sucks in a breath and just stares.

It's beautiful.

The flag-ship, he knew, half-built and rough around the edges still. She is still mostly skeletal, but one of the most beautiful things he has ever seen. He can almost make out the sight of her engineers working on her, putting her together. Giving her life, he thinks, then snorts at the absurdity of his thoughts.

Still drunk, Jim. He ignores himself and starts his bike again, heading for the shipyards to catch the shuttle and prove everyone wrong, the sight of the partially-built ship lingering in his mind.

Jim heaves a sigh, ignoring the burning in his eyes, the way his stomach twists and writhes in seeming protest. He shouldn't be here, has a million fucking things he should be doing back at Command, but someone should witness this; he owes her at least this: the dubious honor of having her Captain with her at the end, and he will stay until the end.

Enterprise was always his, in a way; she claimed him before he stowed away in Starfleet reds to end up as her Acting Captain, or sat in the center seat in command gold, her Captain in his own right. She will always be beautiful to him, and he has always fought for her, earned her loyalty with his blood, and the blood of their crew. This is the only battle he couldn't win, the only one he lost before he could even being to fight it. This is the only time he has failed her, and the worst of the many times he has failed himself.

His own fucking personal Kobayashi Maru, except this time there is no way to change the rules and cheat.

So Jim stands there in the Iowa rain, alone, while his ship dies in front of him, unable and ultimately unwilling to leave her.

A Captain, after all, always goes down with his ship.