Title: But I Thought You Were Straight
Summary: Because even in the 23th century people still make assumptions. Five people who assumed Jim Kirk was straight and the one individual who knew better from the beginning but still got a surprise. Character Study
I started writing this on vacation as I was waiting for other stories to get back from my betas. This story is not betaed, so expect some of the craziest uses of homonyms you have ever seen. If you would like to stop this from happening in subsequent chapters, please volunteered to be my beta.
This story is dedicated to anybody who has heard any variation of "Jim Kirk is too much of a ladies' man (slut, ho, player) to be gay (sleeping with Spock, in love with Spock, married to Spock) " and tried desperately not to break out into laughter.
Rating T for sexual situations and frank discussions about sexual orientation
Warning: Assumptions are bad.
Other warnings in this section: Mentions of child abuse, allusions to sexual assault, sexual situations of multiple orientations, mentions of violence, genocide, and bad language.
Pairings: Various Jim/other ending with Jim/Spock. Mentions of Spock/Uhura because it's cannon
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. Fortunately, because I don't own it I only have to please myself.
Part One: Winona Kirk's Adventures in Denial Land
Part One: Winona Kirk's Adventures in Denial Land
She was never the best mom, although she didn't know that at the time. She may have raised the youngest captain in Starfleet history, but she wonders if that happened despite her efforts instead of because of her involvement in her son's life.
She provided her sons with everything they needed. At least she thought she did. They had food, a safe place to live (at least they did after she divorced Frank when Jim was 12), the latest clothing, and electronics. Her sons never wanted for anything that was tangible. (Love and affection from their mother was an entirely different issue.) It was years later after she became aware of how little she knew about her youngest son that she realized what a true failure she was.
She gave her sons all the material things they wanted but not her time or her attention. They had her love in word not deed. For example, when her youngest son drove her late husband's antique car into a ravine, she didn't bother to come back until the police showed her the images of her bloody and bruised child after her then dick of a husband beat the hell out of him. She will never forgive herself for what she allowed that monster to do to her baby because it was so much easier for her to function in denial land.
It was difficult adjusting to life after her husband George died. Maybe that was just the excuse she used to justify her decision to leave her children behind as soon as she could. She return to space when little Jimmy was only five months old leaving her two sons behind with various family members and later her new husband that she really didn't love.
It was easier to be a soldier then a mother. As long as she was stationed on a space station or a starship she could tell herself that George was just on assignment somewhere else. That delusion was broken the moment she stepped foot back on earth and encountered her fatherless boys who shared their father's looks or name.
It was too difficult to look into her dead husband's eyes every night as she put their youngest child to sleep. It was too difficult living in the house that she and George shared. It was too difficult to sleep in that empty bed that she used to share with George. Nothing is worse than sleeping in an empty bed crying yourself to sleep wishing the love of your life would return to you. Her loveless marriage to Frank doesn't make things easier. Instead she wants to run away even more than before.
She didn't completely abandoned her children. She talked to both boys at least once a week when she was in space. She told herself that this was enough. It really wasn't her fault that Jim never mentioned that Frank was an abusive alcoholic that enjoyed leaving adult shape hand prints on Jim's back. He never told her about all the times Sam tried to run away. She was completely unaware of what was happening. Yet the silence should've been enough to tell her something was wrong, but again it was easier to live in denial land.
At this time, their weekly conversations focused on Jim's crush of the week or being bored to tears in class. She remember the names of all the "girls" her son was in "love" with during his adolescence. Of course, she assumed that they were all girls because her son was into little league and GI Joe's Starfleet edition.
(Yes, she now realizes that this was a stupid outdated assumption to keep in 23rd century society. She conveniently forgot about all the members of the LGBTP community who proudly served with her during her various Starfleet commissions.)
In second grade he was in love with "Andi". Little jimmy loved "her" because she had the coolest vintage Hot Wheels collection. (Of course, when describing Andi he never actually use the female pronoun. She automatically assumed it was a little girl, despite the Hot Wheels, because of her own classic collection that she kept when she was a little girl. Also, the next year his new crush Candy, a girl two years his senior who she has known since her mommy took her from the hospital, played with action figures and later became the star of the River City High School Football team.)
In the fourth grade, Jimmy was in love with Tracy, the star of the school play. In fifth grade he was crushing on Jamie and Willie, which she assumed was short for Wilhelmina. (Again, that was a very silly assumption to make in the 23rd century.) Finally, in six grade he focused his attention on Alex who was on the coed baseball team with him.
She really did not know the identity of the objects of his affection beyond that time because he stoped talking to her completely after the car incident. In retrospect she realizes that she knew nothing about these individuals other than their name. Even than Jimmy was only giving her the bare minimum. She would find out later on that she did not even know the gender of these individuals. Other than Candy, only Alex from six grade was actually female. (Of course, she doesn't discover this until he's almost 18 during the mother of all arguments with her Jimmy. He blames her lack of knowledge on the fact she was too preoccupied with herself back then to ask any questions.)
The communication breakdown got worse after the incident with Frank and the car. He stopped even providing her with the names of his crushes after that. More importantly she stops asking. She knows that she lost his trust. He never volunteered anything to her after that. She knew he expected her to keep the monsters away and she failed miserably because she wasn't there. Divorcing Frank did little to rebuild that shattered trust. Looking back on it now, she wondered if she truly tried to rebuild that trust.
She took a job in the engineering department at the shipyard named after her late husband so she can stay on planet but the damage was already done. The fact that she's home again does little to make Jim feel secure. At the time she sure he believes that she will leave at any moment.
During that time, Jimmy only talks to her when she was discussing the design of the ship that would become the Enterprise. He keeps slipping farther and farther away from her. Sam graduates two years early just so he can start college and get away from her as fast as possible. She knows this because the only time he calls her is when he needs money or something else tangible.
Once Sam was gone, her little Jimmy started acting out. He starts skipping all his classes and only passes because of that perfect memory of his. She doesn't even want to talk about how many times he hacked into the school's computer system. She knows he did because there is no way his entire eighth grade class could possibly all score in the 98th percentile on the Sat9mmccxl. He gets in fights so often at school that she practically has her own parking space at the school. The principle has her number on speed dial. She really had no idea how to handle the situation.
The final straw came during his last week of eighth grade when she was called in because her son got caught doing certain "inappropriate things" with a classmate in a stairwell. She's too angry to even talk to Jim about the incident. Instead she gives up on him entirely and ships her baby off to live with her sister and her husband on Tarsus IV.
At the time she tells herself, her decision has nothing whatsoever to do with her being able to accept a promotion and a position that would take her off planet for two years and away from the shipyard named after her late husband. In hindsight she knows that was a lie she told herself so she could sleep during ship night. In the light of the darkness that occurred, she knows the truth reason for her decision. She will always regret her decision to send him to that horrible place.
After the famine and genocide, he comes back to her completely broken. He doesn't speak to her at all and begins hiding junk food under his bed along with other emergency rations. She is almost positive he developed an eating disorder, but doesn't have proof. It's not like her son will open up to the therapist that she forces him to see.
At that time her son was also developing a reputation for being the school slut allegedly sleeping with anything in a "skirt". The fact he was sneaking into the house at 3:21 AM smelling of sex and cheap alcohol in her mind confirmed the "will fuck anything in a skirt" rumor. (Again, she was the one who assumed the skirt part of that particular rumor. Was it really her fault she assumed Ernie was short for Ernestine? )
At the time she was still mourning the death of her sister and doesn't really pay attention. She's too busy dealing with her own pain to actually force her son to talk to her about what happen. She's too caught up in her own guilt to continue forcing Jimmy to see a psychologist.
She conveniently forgets that he was the one that watched the security forces slid his aunt's throat after she is "violated". She does nothing to keep him from finding solace in orgasms and Twinkies once he is safely back on Earth. Again, it's easier to live in denial land than in the real world.
Things become normal again or at lease as normal as they have been since her husband died a little after Jim turned 17 during his senior year. The binge eating stops as well as the food hoarding. He actually starts attending classes and getting grades that reflect his true intelligence. He joins the chess team and the basketball team. She even sees him fill out forms for various colleges with excellent engineering programs.
She knows the sudden change in behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with her and everything to do with Nikki, the person she assumes is her son's first serious girlfriend. Nikki is the one who gets Jim to study and stop riding his motorcycle around town at 3:00 AM on school nights. Nikki is also the one who keeps him from underage drinking and getting into bar fights when he is technically too young to be inside of one. She resents Nikki's ability to do this, but she says nothing.
Again, she assumes Nikki was female because up to that point the only people she saw taking the walk of shame from her house were female. Her son liked motorcycles, getting into fights, and vintage playboys therefore he must be straight. (Of course, she conveniently forgets about how disheveled some of his guy friends look when they leave Jimmy's room after several hours of "studying". She also conveniently forgets that just because her son enjoys making out with Margarita West from two farms over doesn't mean he couldn't be doing the same thing with her twin brother or has for that matter.)
She should have known better because Nikki was on the basketball team with her son and like to restore vintage cars at "her" mom's body shop. She knew the woman who took over the body shop in town after her husband's death, because they belong to the same support group. Winona knew she only had a son the same age as her Jimmy. Yet because of her own bias, she refused to draw the right conclusion.
In the middle of the 23rd century, people tried to assume prejudice no longer existed. Things like apartheid and eugenics died out long ago. People on earth tried to tell them self that prejudice no longer lives in the hearts and minds of humanity. She has served under at least one female admiral and has had several female captains from various planets during her long career. She has lots of friends that are members of the LGBTP community. Her son's principle danced with His husband, who coaches the girls basketball team at the local university after a successful career in the IBA (Intergalactic Basketball Association), whenever they chaperone school dances and nobody bats an eyelash.
However, personal bias, preconceptions, and assumptions are alive and well in people's hearts and minds. She still runs into people who desperately tried to hide their shocked when they discover she's the engineer in charge of a major project. She doesn't know how many ship she has served on where people only sat with other people from their planet of origin in the mess hall. She remembered listening to her mom say nasty and stereotypical things about their neighbor who happened to be gay when nobody was around to reprimand her.
Looking back now she wondered if she held onto some of those assumptions that her extremely homophobic mother had. When it came to her youngest child, she assumed too much and that put the final nail in the coffin of their broken relationship.
It was a rainy Tuesday afternoon when she walked in on her son unzipping Nikki's pants when she came to the revelation that Nikki was a boy. She was completely shocked because her little Jimmy was into leather and trying to get into the homecoming Queens pants. Gay boys do not make out with Sara Williams in the barn. Of course, bisexual boys do, but she really wasn't thinking about that at the moment. Maybe if she was thinking about that she wouldn't have said the following, "but I thought you were straight," the moment a very mortified Nikki ran out of her house without even grabbing his shoes.
The argument that ensued was epic. She and her son were screaming so loud she was positive that the argument could be heard five farms away. The argument really wasn't about Jimmy significant other being a boy. In a society where equal rights regardless of sexual orientation have existed on paper for centuries if not in practice, her son having a boyfriend was not a big deal even if her mom will find the entire situation a reason to write Jimmy out of her will. The real issue was the fact she was too oblivious to pick up on her son's sexual preferences, let alone a anything else about her son.
"That just proves you know nothing about me other than the fact you gave birth to me at the moment dad died. It's not like this is a new thing. Nikki is not even my first boyfriend. In second grade, I told you all about Andy. Of course, you were not around when Frank called me the other F word when I gave Andy a Valentine. You were never a around. You probably would have known that Tracy was a boy if you were planet side long enough to attend any school plays back then. You were too busy running away from the ghost of dad." Her son yelled at her with angry eyes as he started throwing various things in a backpack.
"I wasn't running away from you." She yelled at him in her defense.
"Yes you were. You've been running away since the moment I was born. You couldn't get me on the shuttle to Tarses IV fast enough. If you're not running away from me physically you are retreating into yourself. You probably want to run away right now that things are getting too hard for you. Let me make things easier for you mom. I will leave this time." Her son said this as he walked out with bag in hand and left on his motorcycle. She never saw him again in person after that.
A little less than five years later she gets a phone call from her old friend Chris about how he successfully talked her son into going to the Academy. She was too surprise to say anything. She just asked for the occasional update.
Three years later her son saves earth and becomes the youngest captain in Starfleet history. She tries to call him, but he doesn't return her calls. (Chris gave her the number.) She does not bothered going to his commendation ceremony because she knows she's not invited. It hurts to know he doesn't want her there.
Seven months later she gets a communication from her son. The man on the screen isn't the angry 17 year old that left her house after he realize how little she really knew about him. His time at the academy and his time in command had matured him a little bit. She knew that she had nothing to do with the person he has become in the last eight years. He was actually willing to extend an olive branch to her. For the first time since he was little they actually had a real conversation. They talked for almost 30 minutes about the silly and the deeply important things going on in their lives.
"I am happy that you called, but why did you call?" She finally asked.
"I blame my overly logical first officer."
"Your first officer made you call me?" She asked in surprise.
"Not really. Last night Spock and I were talking about his mom and dad. His dad wasn't happy that he join Starfleet instead of attending the Vulcan Science Academy. His father essentially disowned him." So far during this conversation his son has mention Spock 39 times in some form. He was acting the same way he did when he had a crush when he was a little kid.
At least this time she knew better than to assume Spock was a girl. (It helped that Jim used pronouns.) The fact that his image was plastered all over the media guaranteed she would not make that mistake again. Unfortunately, her son was a little agitated because Spock had a girlfriend at that moment.
"That's too bad."
"His relationship with his father is better now. However, it took his mother's death and the implosion of his home planet for the two to be on speaking terms again. I don't want that to happen to us."
"I don't want that either." She said right before he said his goodbyes and ended the call. A few weeks later he calls again and she listens to everything he says without making silly assumptions.
Three years later when the rest of the world was in shock because her baby boy was marrying his male first officer, she was not. She is just happy that she's invited to the wedding.
A/N: Should I write the other parts of this? I promise none of the other ones will be anywhere this grounded in angst. I will take requests for the other four individuals even though I have at least two in mind.