Author's Note: This is going to be where I put my Cupcake stories. I never intended to write about this dude, but now that I have I can't seem to stop writing about him, so. It's become a series. Because I have no imagination, I am calling it the Grischa series.
So every chapter is actually a short story all its own. This first one is the first thing I ever wrote about this character I had no interest in. The pebble that started a frigging avalance.
Anyway, here. He's a minor character most people hate, but. You know. Have some Cupcake anyway.
Warnings for this chapter: Nothing, really. If you're easily offended and live in South Dakota, maybe don't read it? Though, for the record, I've lived in South Dakota. I like South Dakota. I'm not saying everyone who grows up in South Dakota is like this. I'm saying everyone from the future who grows up in a bastard family in South Dakota and is called Cupcake by Jim Kirk is like this. And I'm not even saying that, really, 'cause Cupcake isn't mine and it's all fiction and blah blah.
Notes: Okay, so I have NO IDEA where this came from. I had like no interest in Cupcake until he sprang into my head full-formed as just the guy in this story, cliches and stereotypery and horrible grammar and all. I just...lord. It's way too long and I don't know who this person even is. I don't even know, guys. Really.
Five Things Everyone Knows About Greg 'Cupcake' Harris:
1. He's big. Everything about the guy is big. Tall, square shoulders, big jaw, big voice. Strong as an ox. It's the first thing people notice about him. The identifier they use to point him out in crowds, or to warn new crewmen about who to avoid. "You can't miss him, he's the oversized ape in the huge red shirt." He even carries himself big, holding himself straight-spined and squaring his shoulders. Everything about him (and it's a smirking Gaila who makes it common knowledge that yeah, that means everything) is big.
2. He's violent. Not only Security Officer violent, but really alarmingly violent. His instinct in almost any situation is to hit first and ask later. He's been known to knock people out with a single hammy fist to the jaw if they sneak up too quietly. He'll throw a few punches just because someone comes at him too fast. He's never had a disagreement that doesn't end with some show of strength – when he can't fight back he'll crack his knuckles, loom too close, threaten in whatever way he can. Nobody wants to fight with Cupcake, which means nobody really talks much to him at all. No one but his fellow security guards, and even they watch their words around him.
3. He's dumb. Not an idiot, maybe, but not smart. Unless the conversation is about fighting or fucking he never bothers joining in, and he'll stand around with his forehead wrinkled in utter confusion while talk goes on around him. If you tell him a joke he won't get it. If you ask his advice about any given situation, and the answer isn't 'punch him', the guy's useless. He graduated from the Academy, sure, but the course load in Security isn't as taxing as a lot of the other fields of study, and hell, maybe some the instructors made an exception and eased him through a few classes; because
4. He is good at his job. Damned good at it. Everyone admits that, however they feel about him otherwise. He's got sharp instincts about danger, and he'll throw that massive weight of his between anyone in a Starfleet uniform and anything threatening them. Even Kirk, who everyone knows really doesn't like the guy, puts him on away teams more often than not. He can barely string a sentence together and there isn't a personable thing about him, but he's at the top of any list of any crewman on the ship if asked who they want watching their back in danger.
5. He doesn't like a single person in the universe, at least as far as anyone on the Enterprise can tell. He talks to his fellow security guards now and then, but given an option he doesn't bother talking to anyone. He doesn't show up at any of the crew's many optional social gatherings, and he stands around and glares whenever he's forced to attend some event. He hasn't put in a single comm hour to call home since the start of their mission. He never gets messages from friends or family on earth, and the people who knew him at the Academy remember him spending all his free time on his own, usually in the gym. He doesn't outright ignore people, but if you don't talk to him first he'll never talk to you, and if you don't keep the talk going the words shrivel up and die a hard, fast death. Gaila, the one person who actually claims to 'know' him in the biblical sense, admits that he'd been drunk and she'd maybe used some of her genetics to sway the issue. ("Come on," she adds when people gape at her in utter confusion. "Powerful guys are hot. When they don't talk back that just makes it better.")
And the one thing Cupcake knows about everyone else:
Everyone else doesn't know shit.
He isn't dumb like people think. He's stupid, yeah, but he isn't some idiot. He knows how people look at him and what they think, and mostly he doesn't much care. Because they don't know shit about him.
Yeah, Greg's big. Isn't his fault. His whole family's big. His brothers are bigger than him, mostly. Big midwestern farm family growing up in the middle of South Dakota. Being big's a good thing back home, when sometimes you've got to wade through three feet of snow, or manhandle a heifer into a pen, or wrench the seeder vents into place on the tractor because some rock or something knocks them loose.
He'd have to lug his dad into the house or up to bed when he drank himself half-dead, and a small guy couldn't have done that. He'd fight with his brothers all the fucking time, and sometimes with pissed-off locals who knew his family and hated them all and would jump any Harris they saw even though Greg himself never did anything to them anyway.
It isn't like being big means anything. It means he's big, that's all. He's known a lot of mean people in the world who are small. He's known mean women and mean kids and mean smart people.
Size doesn't mean shit.
Meanest woman he's ever known was his own momma. She wasn't big at all, she was like a skeleton, drinking all the time and forgetting to eat, getting hopped up on her pills and dancing all night in town. At least she was easier to carry than his dad when she'd pass out.
Mean, though. She didn't like Greg or her other kids, or her husband, and she was never shy about saying so. Used to bitch about being the only woman around – like it's Greg's fault he was born a boy. She would drag him around when he was a kid and go to bars that would let kids in the door during the day. She'd hang around the same mean-faced group of people and do nothing but drink beer and bitch about the idiot kid she still had to lug around because his dad couldn't keep it in his pants that last time.
She always knew he was an idiot, but it wasn't ever a secret. Teachers would call her and his dad up and say 'your youngest one's the dumbest of the lot' and they didn't give a shit. Wasn't like he had to be smart to manage the farm. And that's what they did in that family. Ran the farm. They were born on the plain and they'd die on the plain, and there was no shame in that. Wasn't anything that got wrote up in the papers, no, but they put food on tables all over the state, and that wasn't anything to be ashamed of.
They sure as hell didn't join up with fucking Starfleet to fly around in space. That wasn't for them, that was for fucking liberal idiots who always thought every place was better than their own planet. Let some green-skinned alien come around Hubert, South Dakota. They'd learn what real men were like.
Hell, wasn't just the aliens. Fucking foreigners, fucking dark-skins or slant-eyes or marble-mouthed Euro-fuckers. Women who didn't know their place, men who thought they were better than everyone else. There was nobody the Harris family didn't hate. Greg was taught that hard, and young, and was reminded of it all the time.
He only had one person when he was younger ever show him anything like nice, this doc from in town who patched them all up sometimes when they got hurt worse than whiskey and an ace bandage could fix. Once Greg's dad broke a bottle over his head and the doc, as he checked his eyes and did some kind of weird shit to make sure he wasn't brain-damaged (though who could tell with Greg, har har) looked at him as he put up his things. Looked real sad, too, though Greg wasn't nobody to him.
"Things ain't got to be like this, son. You ever think about that?"
He said no, because he didn't ever think about it. The doc talked to him a little bit about all the places out there and all the things he could try. Asked him, how did he really know he was happy where he was until he knew what else was out there?
Greg didn't think about it much, since being happy hadn't ever been something he worried about. But a few days later there were some kids in town. Fleet Fuckers, his brothers called them, corn-fed farmboys just like them who suddenly thought they were hot shit because they joined up and put on a fancy uniform.
Greg's brothers heard there were some of those Fleet Fuckers in town and they figured to go teach them about real men. Wasn't the first time. Greg watched them go and thought, how do they know they're real men unless they know what other kind of men are out there?
Wasn't much of a thought, wasn't anything big. But he heard the next day from some talk as he went through town that one of them Fleet Fuckers was in the hospital thanks to those asshole Harris brothers. Starfleet was sending people out to investigate and everything.
If anyone was to ever ask him, and no one ever does, Greg would say he doesn't know why the hell he went to that hospital. He doesn't know why he hung around the halls near the room they put the Fleeter guy in, and he doesn't know why he got in his three brothers' ways when they showed up to shut that Fleeter up before he could point any fingers, red from beer and pissed off at everyone who wasn't them.
He just knows that he doesn't like his dad much, or his mom. He doesn't much like his brothers. Sometimes he thought those aliens on the news seemed interesting. Sometimes he liked the idea of flying around the stars.
When the Fleeters left Hubert, South Dakota, Greg left with them. Signed some papers and put on a uniform and went to a classroom to learn what he had to know to get on a starship and fly around the stars.
Now Greg never gets letters from home cause he doesn't have family anymore. They don't want him and he doesn't want them.
He never talked to anyone his whole life who didn't hate him, so now he doesn't know how to talk to people at all. Sometimes when he sees an alien he thinks 'green-skinned bastard' even when they aren't really green, and he knows it isn't true but his dad's in his head sometimes as loud as any of Greg's own thoughts.
If his dad ever finds out he fucked one, he'd probably kill Greg himself. Even if the alien he fucked is beautiful like some lady on TV, even with green skin like she's got.
Greg won't tell his dad, though. He's never told anyone, since he doesn't remember much and he kind of likes thinking about it now and then, about what it probably was like. And he still sees that green girl around sometimes, and she seems nice even if she never talks to him or anything.
Greg's big. He's stupid, and he gets in a lot of fights, and he doesn't have friends and he isn't good at anything in the entire world except getting into fights and stopping smaller guys from getting hurt.
But he's trying. And that's something nobody seems to give a shit about, that he's a fucking world away from what he was raised to be, and he's trying.
Nobody who knows him now knows anything about Hubert, South Dakota, or his momma hating him, or his dad hitting him, or his brothers or the townies or that one doctor who told him there were other things out there because he was the first one not to care that Greg's an idiot.
So Greg doesn't care what everyone thinks about him, because the one thing he knows is that people don't really know shit.