Fandom: Star Trek 2009
Once again, Pike has to lecture Jim about his constant fighting. The converation turns out a little different than he planned, though...
As always: I don't ownn it.
James Tiberius Kirk was undoubtedly the most difficult, troublesome, obstinate cadet Captain Christopher Pike had faced in his twenty years of serving in Starfleet. He was also a personal favorite, but Pike would rather have bitten his tongue off than letting the brat know about that.
He was staring at that youthful, deceptively innocent face from behind his desk, wondering how many times he would have to tell the boy off, until he would finally release that you didn't become a Starfleet officer by bragging and brawling. It seemed as if his sermons washed over Jim Kirk like a tidal wave; a regular occurrence that failed to leave a trace.
"Cadet Kirk, I do believe you know why you are here," Pike began, mentally bracing himself for his usual speech and the young man's impenetrable indifference.
Kirk nodded, looking somewhat bored, but not the slightest bit uncomfortable.
When did I cease being a daunting authority figure? Pike wondered idly. Or is it just that this kid has no respect for anyone? He simply doesn't care. He knows no boundaries, and he's as unruly and untamable as a wild colt.
"Is there anything you want to tell me about last night, before I tell you what I heard?"
"I got into a fight."
"Yes, I gathered as much. Considering that it isn't the first time, I would even go as far as to suspect that you actually picked the fight. What did you do this time? Cast an eye on the wrong girl? Taunt the wrong guy?"
"Okay, so you don't want to tell me. That's fine with me, because actually, I'm not all that interested in the ostensible reason for your constant fighting. I just want it to stop. I have a pretty good idea of what your real problem is by now, and the only thing I can tell you is that making enemies wherever you go won't help you to fit in."
"Maybe I don't want to fit in."
Pike fixed him with a stern gaze. "You should."
With a deep sigh, Pike leant back in his chair. "Look, I realize it can't be easy, being George Kirk's son. You are set apart from your peers by your family history alone. Not to mention the fact that you are probably smarter than the lot of them together. But you could at least try to get along with them. It would make your life a lot easier, I think."
"And yours," Jim observed.
"And mine. Because I would rather commend you for your academic achievements than lecture you about your misbehavior. I'm growing tired of constantly defending your continued presence at the Academy to the Cadet Master. She's after your head by now."
"Then why do you do it?"
"Probably because I'm still hoping that you'll get over your family issues someday. Look, Jim, I know what it means to tragically lose someone you hold dear… that you never stop missing him and asking yourself whether or not you were in some way responsible for his death… And you have lost both your parents; but maybe it's time to move on and realize that whatever scars they left you with, you are still responsible for your own life and what you make of it."
Jim was quiet for a moment, before asking in a different, somewhat more subdued voice: "You lost someone?"
Pike nodded gravely, thinking that of all the things he had just said, that wasn't the one he had wanted Jim to focus on.
"Who was it? Brother? Father? Friend? Child?"
"That's none of your business, actually." So now the stern mentor was back. Nevertheless, Pike new that Jim would probably catch the flicker of pain that crossed his face. The kid was very observant, you had to give him credit for that. He just kept looking at Pike, waiting for his reply, until the Captain finally sighed and gave in.
"You're persistent, aren't you?"
"Just wondering. You don't have any kids, do you? And you never did."
Pike nodded. "And my only sibling is a sister, Laurel, who is still very much alive." He offered Jim an ironic smile. "So…"
"So I'm guessing it's the second or third…?"
Pike shook his head. "Boyfriend. When I was about your age. But it really doesn't matter who it was. What matters is the stupidity of him dying that way. Yes I know, young men are often foolish. But getting into a drunken fight and dying because someone you provoked pulls out a knife is the most meaningless and idiotic way to die. And I don't want that for you. I want that for none of my cadets."
Jim hesitated a moment, before giving a slow nod.
"I hope so. Frankly, I'm not convinced you do. But I'm not lecturing you for the fun of it, Jim. I want you to grow up to be a responsible adult and live up to the challenge I presented you with."
"To save more people than my father did?"
"That's an honorable pursuit, don't you think so?"
Jim pursed his lips, considering the statement. "I guess…"
"Well, then you better get started." Pike paused a moment, before waving a hand. "Get out. I'm sure we both have better things to do – you ought to concentrate on your studies, and I ought to concentrate on preventing Captain Anderson from kicking you out of the Academy before you've had a chance to prove yourself."
Jim grinned at that. "She's not really that scary."
"Oh yes, she is." Pike watched him stand up and turn to leave. "Oh – and Jim…?"
The young man turned at the door. "Yes?"
"Do me a favor and keep it quiet." You know what I mean.
Jim nodded. "I won't tell anyone."
And he kept his promise.