"To you, Jimmy!" She pauses with her bottle half-raised and a mischievous look on her face, "Oh, sorry. Captain Jimmy." He's pretty sure the extra emphasis on the title is uncalled for. Jim rolls his eyes as she lowers herself, laughing, back to the damp grass after taking a long drink from the bottle of (actually Jim isn't at all sure what, exactly, his mother is drinking).
"Whatever, Mom. It's okay," he soothes, grinning widely at her suspicious look, "I'm pretty sure they won't assign you to my ship." The suspicion melts away into sudden, unmitigated horror, and he has to grin when she shudders melodramatically and points an accusing finger at him.
"No," her expression is completely serious as she sits up again and stares at him, "no way in hell, Jimmy. I'd throw you out of the airlock."
Jim snickers at the absolute conviction in her voice, trying not to laugh at the decidedly insulting look of complete disbelief she's directing his way. Well, to be fair, he had been pretty wild growing up. Winona, Jim was sure, had probably wanted to strangle him many, many times. Still, he grinned in memory, she had posted his bail anytime he'd needed it.
"Oh c'mon. I'm hardly that bad. If anything you would lead the crew in mutiny and take over the damn ship less than a week out of space dock." Now it is him who sounds accusing, but Winona just laughs at him, and smiles sweetly, flailing one arm out in a misguided, drunken attempt to ruffle his hair.
She ends up hitting him in the nose, grinning gleefully as he hisses and flails upright to glare pathetically at her. (It just makes her laugh harder.)
"I'd never do that Jimmy," she says, completely serious.
Jim stares at her suspiciously, blue eyes narrowed, and she smirks at him, gesturing with her bottle, "I'd wait at least a month, earn your crew's loyalty enough to plant seeds of dissent and turn them against you," she pauses to enjoy his look of feigned betrayal, "and then I'd lead the ship in mutiny and throw you out of the airlock." She finishes triumphantly and giggles, prompting his glare to melt away as he joins in, shaking his head.
"No way. Pike, at least, knows better. Besides, you'd totally scare my entire fucking crew off, you crazy bitch." He snorts, nudging her shoulder with his and not worrying that she'll take offense. They don't work like that.
Winona, as he knew she would, just laughs; a light, amused sound, and nudges him back while knocking down the rest of her drink. Her mirth even reaches her eyes, and something in him warms at the sight of his mother, not-really-drunk, but letting herself be happy.
"That makes you a crazy son of a bitch," she informs him primly, lips twitching in barely-contained amusement. He grins at her, full-on and as genuine as he can make it.
"Damn straight." There's pride in his voice as he turns his eyes to the Iowan sky, dark with low clouds; there's a storm rolling in that he can taste on the heavy air. He can almost make out the lightening in the distance and something about the sight of it calms him, and he leans against his mother's side.
"You're gonna make one hell of a captain, Jim," she pauses, lets those words sink in and he relishes the absence of anything comparing him to his father. He could always trust her to let him be himself, and he loves her for it.
"Don't screw it up." This is her command voice, and he smiles to hear it despite the fact she's leaning against him, too, letting herself be his mother over the more-familiar persona of Starfleet Officer. He thinks maybe its okay that she always left, back then, because they're too alike, and they never would have been able to live with each other. She taught him how to live, and be himself, and she loved him more than anything else. He glances over at her, then, and she's looking towards the coming storm with the weight of memory heavy on her shoulders.
"Yes, ma'am." She looks back at him, then, and smiles and it reaches her eyes.
George Kirk may have been his father, but Jim is Winona's son. They sit there, leaning on each other as lightening rips the skies open, letting the rain pour down from the summer storm and Jim likes to think maybe its washing away the blood that has stained them for twenty five years, leaving them cleansed and fresh; ready for a new beginning.