The first time Jim saw Pavel Chekov was in the beginning of his first year at Starfleet. He wouldn't have given the kid a second look, or even a first, if they hadn't walked straight into each other.
"Sowy! Sowy sowy," the kid repeated as he hurried to pick up books and PADDs he had dropped. "Sowy, I was not looking."
"It's fine," Kirk had said as he helped. He had been having a good day and wasn't going to let a small incident like that bother him. He read the titles of some of the text books. "Delivering these to a sibling?" he asked.
The kid frowned at him. "No. I ha' no siblings. Zes are for my classes."
Jim looked at him carefully, then laughed. "Good one, kid. Want help getting these where they belong?
The kid's frown deepened as he grabbed his books and quickly walked away. Kirk just shrugged to himself.
It wasn't until the beginning of his third semester that Jim found out the kid hadn't been joking. He walked into the lecture hall for Advanced Theoretical Warp Physics, a class he had to fight very hard to get into before his final year. There were only seventeen other students and, according to older cadets, chances were that only five would pass. Kirk knew he would be one of those five.
He thought the kid looked almost silly in the red cadet uniform; like a child playing dress-up. He sat in the front row, PADD already out and ready. Kirk slid into the empty seat next to him.
The kid looked at him and smiled cheerfully. "Hello." It was obvious he didn't remember the run in from the year before.
"Hey," Jim replied. "You do know what class this is, right?"
His expression turned to one of mild confusion. "Yes. It is Adwanced Zeroitical Warp Physics. I wanted to take it last year, but zey were worried zat four adwanced classes would be too much."
"Dude, how old are you?"
"Wizteen," he said proudly. It took Kirk a moment to translate that into 'fifteen'.
"Damn, kid," Jim said, not knowing what to add.
"My name is Pavel Chekov," the kid said as he held out a hand.
"Ah, Kwik. I ha' heard about you."
"That's never a good sign."
Chekov just smiled.
Jim walked through the Academy hallways, relieved that classes were over for the week. It was time for him to find Bones, then go out and get plastered.
"Nyet!" he heard from inside one of the classrooms.
"Fucker barely even speaks English!"
He hurried towards the voices.
"What, Mini? Not gonna fight back?"
"Let me go!"
"You and your fucking brain are making the rest of us look bad! So now we're going to make iyou/i look bad."
"Leave him alone!" Kirk snapped from the doorway. Three large students were gathered around a fourth who was holding something against the wall. From the accent he had heard, Jim figured it had to be Chekov.
"This has nothing to do with you. Get lost."
Kirk carefully put down his PADD and approached them.
Three minutes later the four large cadets were gone, at least one with a broken nose.
"You alright, kid?" Jim asked, helping Chekov off the floor.
"Da. I mean, yes. Just a few bruises. I will be fine. Zank you for helping me. You did not ha' to."
Kirk smiled. "Of course I did. Us geniuses gotta stick together."
Chekov smiled back. He grabbed his own PADD from where it had fallen then looked at the clock. He exclaimed something, Jim assumed it was a swear, in Russian. "I am late for class. I must go now." With that the kid was running out the door.
Kirk was in the Academy sick bay, getting yet another lecture from Bones.
"You're damn lucky I'm here to patch you up. Don't know why I haven't given up on you. Here," he shot a hypo into Jim's dislocated shoulder. "That will help the pain when I do this." That was all the warning he got before Bones pushed his shoulder back into place.
"Shit! Couldn't give it another minute to kick in?"
"Stop bitching. You're lucky I give you anything at all anymore."
"Excuse me? Doctor McCoy?"
Both me looked up to see Chekov hovering by the bay door. "Hello, Mr Chekov. What brings you here?"
"Why don't I get any of that bedside manner?" Kirk muttered.
"Because you don't deserve it."
"I, uh, need somezing for a migraine," Chekov said.
"Another one? That's the third time this week."
"I am sowy. I would try to rest it off, but I ha' much to do."
"Nuh-uh, kid. These migraines are from all the work and stress. Working through them will just make them worse. Doesn't matter how much I drug you up."
"I am sowy. I will find more time to rest."
"Wrong answer," McCoy said as he filled a hypo. "You're resting here for a few hours. No excuses. Lay down."
Jim could see how much the kid wanted to argue, but Bones was scary in protective-doctor-mode, so instead he did was he was told. McCoy gave Chekov the hypo, being much more gentle than he ever was with Kirk.
"Why don't you ever let me sleep off my migraines here?"
"You don't get migraines, Jim. You get hangovers."
"Aren't they the same thing?"
"You're an idiot."
Jim was surprised to see Chekov at the party. From what he had seen of the kid, he was all work; and he was defiantly to young to be drinking. Yet there he was, on the couch, talking to some other cadet.
The party had been going on for a few hours and Kirk was starting to get a little tipsy. He went over and plopped down next to Chekov.
The kid turned from his conversation with the cadet (a pretty young man, Jim thought). "Good ewening, Mr Kwik."
Kirk chuckled. "I would say 'call me Jim', but, damn, I love the way you say 'Kirk'"
Chekov looked at him curiously. "You are dwunk, Mr Kwik."
"Naaah, only a bit buzzed." It would have been more convincing if he didn't spill some of his beer as he said it. "It's been hours. Why aren't you passed out shit-faced on the floor?"
"I am Russian, sir. It takes more zan a glass of wodka to get me dwunk, and much more zan zat to get me zat dwunk."
"Damn you Russian's and your high tolerance." Jim stared at him for a minute. "I wanna make out with you. I want you in my lap." He didn't even know he said it out loud until Chekov answered.
"Zat can be awanged."
"No, no, can't do that. Too young and inexperienced."
"Are you sure? I ha' been told I am a wery good kisser. Wickter, tell him."
"Oh, the kid is very, very good," the other cadet said. "Amazing at sucking cock, too."
"See? Not inexperienced." He climbed into Jim's lap and pressed their lips together.
It was a pity that, come morning, Jim didn't remember a thing.