Disclaimer - I don't own Star Trek, not making a red cent here

My apologies but, there is a lot of the movie in this first chapter and the introduction of my Jim. There is also movie in the second chapter. I will say that similarities to the movie will end after the first couple chapters. Even when we get to Vulcan and Nero things will be different.

Very edited from the original first chapter that was posted on and Ksarchive.

To those who read it before: Constructive criticism was taken into account so there were dialog changes so that it's not as much the same as the movie, certain references to a bad part of Jim's life removed, all tense mistakes repaired, but the action remains basically the same. Thanks for the help making me a better writer.

A Thanks to all my loyal readers. I hope you like the changes and that they make it better. It's still a lot like the movie though. Let me know what you think of the changes.

Special THANKS to my Beta Trekkergurl for everything!

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Chapter 1 - You've Gotta Be Kidding

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Jim was tired after a hard day finishing his neighbors car at Goremans garage where he worked. He decided to head to his favorite bar in Riverside Iowa. Most nights it was a quiet place. There were a dozen or so workers from the Riverside ship yards, hanging out after their shifts. All in all it was a normal evening. He looked out the window where he could see the magnificent ship being built in the distance and let his mind wander and he slipped into a light trance.

Jim didn't notice the fact that a load people had invaded his haven until the found himself battered by the emotions of the excited cadets. Ruth, the beautiful waitress, knew Jim well and brought him another pint of ale. They had dated for several months when he returned from Veenu, but he had not been able to form a bond with her. He sighed, smiled and thanked her for the brew. Jim licked his lips and strengthened his shields. The room slowly grew quiet, until Jim felt that he could relax.

He watched the people for a while and being a bit buzzed decided to flirt. Jim knew that he had two things going for him, charm and good looks, so maybe he could have some fun with these cadets. He noticed one particularly lovely cadet at the bar ordering a whole bunch of drinks. She had beautiful mahogany colored skin and dark eyes that sparkled in the light. Her long hair was set in a tail high on her head. He just had to flirt with her.

So Jim sauntered over and slipped up next to his friend J'Mul at the bar. "Are you drinking all of those by yourself?" Jim looked over at her.

J'Mul had seen him play this game before and was wondering to himself how this was going to work out. So he observed the exchange with interest.

The beautiful vision glanced at Jim, raised an eyebrow, huffed then added more to her list. "And a shot of Jack straight up."

Jim thought that a perfect time to try to buy her a drink. "Make that 2, her shot's on me."

"Her shot's on her, thanks but no thanks." She replied barely looking at him.

Jim was undeterred by her rebuff. "Ah, come on, don't you at least want to know my name before you completely reject me."

J'Mul looked between them and shook his head. He'd watched Jim play this game with men, women, human and alien, for over a year and seen him regularly get into fights because of flirting with the wrong person. He wondered to himself how this was going to turn out.

"No, I am perfectly fine without your name." The women snipped.

"You're right. You are fine without it. I'm Jim. Jim Kirk." He paused, waiting. "If you don't tell me your name I'm going to have to make one up."

"It's Uhura."

"Uhura, no way. That's the name I was going to make up for you."

J'Mul looked at Jim in disbelief at such a stupid line, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. It was the exact same line he used with Ruth.

Jim downed his shot of Jack and asked. "Uhura what?"

"Just Uhura." The beauty replied with disgust.

"They don't have last names on your world?"

"Uhura is my last name." She gave Jim one of those looks that said 'if looks could kill you would be dead right now'.

Even with his shields up, Jim still felt her emotions; a mixture of disgust and amusement. With the buzz he had going and the amusement of J'Mul, Joe the bartender and Ruth when she heard what he was doing, he kept pushing. "So they don't have first names on your world?"

Uhura just shook her head and thought 'will this guy give me a break!'

Jim decided that it was time to step it up a notch so he took the conversation directly to her. "Excuse me J'Mul." He patted J'Mul on the shoulder as he moved around him to her.

He gave her a nice smile. "So you're a cadet, you're studying. What's your focus?"

"Xenolinguistics. You have no idea what that means." Uhura replied sharply, giving him a pointed look. Thinking she tripped him up.

"The study of alien languages. Morphology, phonology, syntax. It means you have a talented tongue." He said thinking, 'I bet I even know a language or two you don't honey.'

She turned to look at him more closely and smiled evilly. "I'm impressed." Uhura looked him in the eyes for the first time. "For a moment there, I thought you were just a dumb hick who only had sex with farm animals."

'Alright, two can play at this game.' He thought. "Well, not only." He made sure his reply had swagger.

A big, hulking cadet came up to her trying to be protective. "This townie isn't bothering your, right." He tried his best to look intimidating. Little did he know that Jim Kirk wasn't easy to intimidate or that under most circumstances Jim could easily kick his ass.

"Beyond belief. But it's nothing I can't handle." Uhura replied turning back to the bar.

"You might be able to handle me. But I'm not so sure." Jim said in a sultry voice as he waggled his eyebrows and winked at her; in general being as suggestive as possible.

Obviously the big cadet thought it was part of his job to protect Uhura's honor, so he stuck his nose in further. "Hey, you better mind your manners."

Jim reached up and patted him on the shoulder. "Relax Cupcake, it was a joke."

At that point Cupcake got pissed and grabbed Jim by the shoulder and turned him around. "Hey farm boy, maybe you can't count, but there are four of us and only one of you."

Jim could feel the emotions of Cupcake and his friends. It had him beginning to itch for the fight that he could feel that they wanted.

With full knowledge that his next action would incite a fight and adrenalin coursing through his system Jim looked Cupcake in the eye. "So, get some more guys and then it'll be an even fight." Then to seal the deal he reached up and patted Cupcake on the cheek turning back to Uhura.

'Here it comes.' Jim thought as Cupcake spun him around and clocked him in the jaw. Years ago Jim decided that whenever he got into a fight like this he was going to surround himself with the entire experience; so he totally dropped his shields. He reveled in the irate anger of Cupcake, and the fact that Uhura was upset that they are fighting about her. If he couldn't have sex, pain was the next best reminder for Jim that he was alive.

When Cupcake came around for a second hit Jim palmed him in the chest and sent him flying. One of the others attempted to hit him with a bottle but Jim got it first and hit him with it instead.

Not wanting to hurt anyone he decided he wouldn't use anymore martial arts. However, being as drunk as he was that was a mistake. He felt himself grabbed by one while the others hit him, 'cheap fuckers'. He managed to twist out of that hold but found himself on his back on a table getting hit repeatedly in the face. In the background he heard Uhura yelling that he had had enough. Inwardly he laughed because at the moment testosterone is ruling and she was ignored.

Jim heard a loud whistle and an eerily familiar commanding voice "Outside. All of you. Now."

Fists stopped immediately and he heard the cadets reply stiffly, "Yes Sir!" Emotions immediately quieted as the room emptied.

Jim, his head still hanging off the end of the table looked up at the upside down face of Christopher Pike. "You whistle really loud, you know that?"

Pike helped Jim into a chair. "Well, well, well, Jim Kirk, it's been a long time. You've grown up since I saw you last."

"When was that Captain Pike?"

"I think you remember perfectly well Jim since you remembered my name without prompting."

"Yeah, I do." Jim looked down at the table. "Not a time in my life of which I am particularly proud. Nor do I particularly want to remember it."

Pike, tactfully changed the subject. "You held your own pretty well with four big guys."

"Ha! If I was sober I would've wiped the floor with them Chris. Since..." He took a drink. "What happened, I've studied various martial arts and have integrated them into a fighting style all my own. But, here I didn't want to hurt anyone, so I kept my feet on the ground and my hands in fists." Jim smiled, dabbing at the blood still leaking from his nose. "Well, except, I just couldn't resist a good palm hit to the chest on Cupcake that threw him across several tables." Jim laughed the little he can without causing his nose to start bleeding more heavily.

"Who?"

Jim stuck a piece of napkin in each nostril before pinching the top of his nose. "Massive guy, brown hair, what's left of it, I don't think he's 100% human."

"As, yes, Sam Giotto he's rather protective of his fellow cadets. If I recall he has some Belten blood and Belte has twice the gravity of Earth. He's going into security."

"How Apropos. He'll make a good security officer. Of course, he'll be even better when he can learn how to discern a joke from something serious." Jim pulled the tissues from his nose and was happy to find it was no longer bleeding.

"Look, Kirk, I know who you are." Pike stated flatly.

That caught Jim's interest, 'this should be interesting' he thought. "You do? I really want to hear this. Who am I Captain Pike?"

"You are just as much your fathers son as you are your mothers. For my dissertation I was assigned the USS Kelvin. Something I admired about your dad, he didn't believe in no win scenarios." Pike explained.

"Seemed like he learned his lesson!" Jim snorted.

"You're here, aren't you? You know that instinct to leap without looking, that was in his nature too. And, in my opinion, it's something Starfleet has lost." Pike hoped that Jim would pick up where he was going with the conversation.

"Yeah, so what do you want with me? Why are you even talking to me, man? You know what I can do if I ever unleash, don't you think I'm a bit too dangerous for your precious Starfleet." Jim asked. His irises were glowing a pale blue, leaning over the table searching Pikes eyes. Jim was genuinely excited. He couldn't be sure if Pike knew how to read Veenan eyes; he really didn't want to give anything away, but he couldn't help the reaction of his body.

"Look Jim, all the counselors both Human and Veenan have given you the OK. Your aptitude tests are off the charts. So what is it? You like working in a garage, getting in bar fights and being the only genius level repeat offender in the Midwest?" Pike was very familiar with Veenan eyes, having been good friends with his parents. He could also read body language. So he was well aware that Jim was intrigued by what he was saying.

"Jim can you really settle for a less than ordinary life? I mean, really, working in a garage with masters degrees in engineering and xenolinguistics? Don't you feel like you were meant for something better? Something special? Enlist in Starfleet."

Jim snorted a laugh. He'd been waiting for this line. He really need to see how serious Pike was about having him. "Enlist? Look Pike, be serious now, you've seen what I can do, you know my history, do you really think they would let me in?"

"Jim, if you're half the man your father was, Starfleet could use you. You can be an officer in four years. You can have your own ship in eight." Jim really didn't need to hear anymore, he was pretty convinced. But Pike wasn't finished. "You understand what the Federation is, don't you. It's important. It's a peacekeeping and humanitarian armada…"

Jim interrupted Pikes speech and tried to give him the eye of doom. He really needed to go home and contact his mother and he didn't want Pike to realize his level of interest. "Are we done?"

"I'm done. Riverside shipyard Shuttle for new recruits leaves tomorrow 0800." Pike stood and looked down at Kirk. "Now your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives, including your mothers and yours. I dare you to do better." With that he turned left Jim with a lot to think about. There was a salt shaker on the table shaped like the Kelvin which Jim picked up and examined while he thought about all the years he had felt the call of the black.

However, Jim still felt conflicted. Starfleet, in many ways had always been a source of pain in his life, and yet it was one of the best ways for him to get out into the black and see the stars. He really, really needed to talk to his mother.

As soon as he got in the door he put in a comm to her. Winona choose to remain in Starfleet after George died. She would stay home for a few months now and then but as soon as she had orders it was back into space. Throughout everything Winona and Jim maintained a very close relationship. Sure she had lapses in judgment: the time she left him & Sam alone with him alone with that neighbor Frank until her sister could come (by the time her sister arrived Sam was gone and both of her children had been raped); sending Jim to live with her sister on a colony that turned into a flat out clusterfuck. Neither of those things would have happened if she had been home for him and Sam. By the time they finally caught up with Sam he was married and studying science in his own right.

The comm unit finally beeped. He hit the button and his mothers face appeared, "Hey mom, I hope I didn't take you from anything important."

"No Jimmy. You know, nothing is more important to me than you are. It's good to hear from you. Something's up. It's written all over your face, along with the fact that you've been fighting again." Winona frowned.

"Yeah well, I didn't start it, but I sure enjoyed it." He laughed. "Some big cadet thought I was just some average homey. Ha, knocked his ass across several tables!

"While I was there I ran into Chris Pike. He challenged me to join Starfleet, even with the, well you know. I wanted to get your take on the whole thing. You know Chris." The entire time he was talking he continued cleaning up his face.

"Jimmy, I can tell you feel strongly about this, but I can't tell which way you feel. Colors aren't coming through on this monitor so I can't tell the color of your eyes. So, tell me, what is it that you truly desire? You used to want to go to space and see the stars. Is that what you still want?" Winona really wished that she was there for him at that moment. Her baby was making a life altering decision and she could only talk to him over a comm unit. She could see his irises were glowing but she couldn't tell if they were blue or green.

One of the reasons that she had brought her son back to Earth after they had finished on Veenu was so that he could be exposed to Starfleet. She knew that Jimmy had too big of a mind to be tied to a single planet. He needed the stars.

So Winona watched as Jim looked around the house, then back to her. She could tell he made his decision. There was a determination in his eyes she hadn't seen in way too long. "I want to go into the black mom. More than anything. You're right, it's something I've always wanted. The stars are like a sirens song to me, always have been. I guess that's why I've always been so restless." He broke into one of his Jim Kirk smiles that could light up the sun. "Well Mom, I guess the next time I talk to you it'll be from San Francisco. Thanks Mom."

"Jimmy, I'm only too happy to help, you know that. I love you."

"I love you too Mom. I'll call you as soon as I get settled in at the Academy." He kissed his hand and blew it to her. She did the same and they cut the transmission.

Jim checked the time. Just enough time left to take a shower and meditate for an hour before he had to head out to the shipyard to catch the shuttle.

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