Hello! This happens to be my first Star Trek story and I'm really excited about it! After obsessively watching the new movie, the old ones, the original series, and reading tons and tons of the amazing fanfiction like a crazy person, I feel like I'm ready to dip my toes in.

Disclaimer: No, I do not own Star Trek...sigh...

Spock hates Jim's guts.

Okay, maybe not all Jim's guts. The Vulcan did come back and ask to be considered as his first officer. Still.

Spock hates most of Jim's guts.

Jim knows this because with nearly every decision he makes, Spock is immediately on his ass, quoting regulations and spouting logic like he's a fucking geyser. It's infuriating for the both of them. Jim doesn't understand why Spock won't let him do his damn job and Spock is desperately trying to counteract the torrential wave of illogic that is James Tiberius Kirk.

And neither wants to give in.

"Captain, I see no reason as to why your presence would be required – "

"There are kids down there, you uptight – "

"It is unwise to have both the captain and first officer beam down during a hostile – "

"I'll show you hostile – "

"We were ordered to wait until assistance arrived –"

"I'm not going to sit here and let them die!"

The captain and first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise stare each other down, oblivious to the other crewmembers who are gaping at them with various levels of shock. Uhura is worrying her bottom lip between her teeth, Chekov is trying to hide behind his work station, and Sulu's expression is grim as he watches his commanding officers argue. The two of them have had some pretty impressive arguments over the six months since Jim became their captain, but none of them have ever gone this far.

Jim looks like he wants to murder the Vulcan standing resolutely in front of him and Spock looks as if he is seriously reconsidering trying to squeeze Jim's tonsils out through his throat. The Vulcan exhales once through his nose and seems to try calming himself down.

"Captain, you must – "

"No, Spock! I'm done arguing!" Jim turns on his heels and heads to the turbolift. Once inside he turns around, still glaring at Spock. He considers the Vulcan for a moment before suddenly stepping to his right, his foot tapping impatiently. "Are you coming or not?"

A tense silence fills the room. The entire bridge watches their Commander, who has his dark gaze locked on their Captain, his features hard as stone. His jaw ticks once, and then he briskly follows Jim into the turbolift. The captain sweeps his eyes over his bridge crew, and he is unable to ignore the intense fondness from sweeping over him as he takes in their determined faces. Spock is still as a statue by his side.

Everything will be all right.

Jim smirks.

"Don't worry guys. Sulu, you have the conn."

As soon Jim lays eyes on the children, he doesn't see them for who they really are. He sees Kevin. He sees Thomas and Lisa, Mary and Jacob. Starved, hungry, and broken. He doesn't hear Spock's warnings at his side or the rapid phaser fire. His mind is set on one thing.

Got to save them, I have to save them they're so young and they don't deserve death, they don't have to die but they do, no matter how little I eat or how fast I run or how many men I kill, they die.

Later, when the children are rescued and in sickbay, hushed whispers of the crew move like ghosts throughout the ship, telling of the fierceness of their captain, of the almost feral glint in his gaze as he executed every last member of that slave ring. That same glint remains as he keeps a watchful eye over the children as they get examined.

"Chapel, take them to mess hall. Make sure they get something nutritional, no sweets," Bones orders as he finishes up with the last child, a little girl no more than eight.

"I'll take them."

There's something that is to be taken seriously in Kirk's tone, something that no one is willing to mess with, not even Bones. When he asks where the fifth child is, a boy, Bones points behind himself and his reply is hesitant, unused to Jim's strange and unsettling behavior.

"He's in one of the private rooms. He's not doing so well, Jim. He won't talk or let anyone come close to him."

No one stops Jim when he heads into the room.

Two minutes later the door opens and Jim steps out, leading a small boy with messy dark hair by the hand. The boy is skinny and he keeps close to Jim's legs, his head down, eyes on the floor. Everyone in sickbay watches as the captain ushers the children out the doors, all of them eerily silent as they surround Jim like small apparitions.

Nurse Chapel doesn't know what to make of it all. She's used to Jim flirting and generally being the worst patient he can be, but never has she seen him behave like this. Bones nods at her once and she heads for the mess hall. When she arrives she spots Jim immediately due to the lack of crewmembers surrounding him. He's near the wall, the children sitting across from him in a line. The quiet boy is sitting beside him. Chapel can see their hands linked under the table.

Since she probably looks weird just standing there, Chapel decides she might as well eat. While she gets her food she notices that not a single crewmember goes anywhere near Jim and the kids. It's almost like they've been sequestered from the rest of the hall. Deciding to go along with everyone else, Chapel chooses a seat that is not too close with a clear view of the children. True to McCoy's word, Jim has made sure that the children are eating a decent meal. There is a plate in front of Jim, but she doesn't see one for the boy next to him. Before Chapel can ponder this Jim picks up an apple slice from the plate and pops it into his mouth. The boy does the same not long after. They continue with this odd display, the boy not eating until after Jim does. When they are all finished, they gather and dispose of their plates and Jim leads them out of the hall. Chapel can't help but think of ducklings following their mother.

Jim never lets go of that boy's hand.

In his bed that night, Jim thrashes and twists in the sheets, sweat mats his forehead, and Tarsus is in the forefront of his mind again, clawing and scraping at him until he wakes with a choked sob, shivering like a newly born lamb in the darkness of his room. Suddenly the dark is oppressive and cold, and the familiarity of his room has been swallowed completely. Jim imagines a huge beast with a gaping hole for a mouth swallowing up the sun and he knows it would look like this. His thoughts are panicked, locked in a mantra of notsafeneversafeneverneverneverNEVER-

With a pained sound ripping from his throat Jim bolts out of his bed and into the bathroom, colliding with Spock's unyielding body in front of the sink. Jim flails backwards, startled, and Spock stands there, his eyes narrowed as he takes in the ghastly and haggard appearance of his captain. Jim's harsh breathing is the only sound in the bathroom as the two stare each other down. Outwardly Spock's features are neutral, but his mind is reeling. Waves of fear and other tumultuous emotions that Jim should not be feeling are rolling off the human, setting Spock on edge. He has never seen Jim like this before. And despite the fact that they were in a heated argument earlier that day, Spock can't bring himself to ignore the small stirrings of concern in his chest. He restrains himself from taking a step closer to the human.

"Are you alright, Captain?"

Jim stands there, frozen, his eyes shadowed and dark. He doesn't respond and the idea of calling McCoy flits across the Vulcan's mind. Just when Spock decides that he will in fact call the doctor, Jim shakes his head and takes a step back, the motion itself slow and deliberate. He takes another step, and another, until he's back inside his room, leaving the door ajar.

His eyes never once left Spock's.

In his bed that night, Spock doesn't sleep at all because every time he closes his eyes, he sees the haunted blue of his captain's and he knows that only a certain kind of pain can cause that, the kind that leaves people twisted and scarred.

So Spock lies there and listens to the muffled sobs that float through the small crack of his door, wishing that he could take away his captain's pain and ignoring how illogical that wish truly is.

Both of them know that in the end, wishing gets you nowhere.

Phew. I hope that was okay! Was it okay? Should I continue? You must review, yes?


Please keep in mind that if you do not review, somewhere, a tribble dies.


I know! Who would want to kill a tribble? Do you? I think not! You know what that means! :p