A/U: For those of you who read Clandestine Orders in the past, it has now undergone some revisions, to improve pacing on some parts of the story, so I am reposting from the beginning, under the new title, What Dreams May Come. Thanks to all who read, followed, and reviewed, and my apologies that the original story was never finished. I don't like leaving things unfinished, but found myself with nowhere to go, which is one of the things that prompted the revisions you will see in this new version of the story. Happy reading, and I hope you enjoy.

I do not own Star Trek or any of the characters or world within, save those that are my original creations. No redshirts were harmed in the writing of this story. Please read and review. I don't write slash. Thank you.

Chapter 1

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearnéd luck,
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long:
Else the Puck a liar call.
So good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends."

Kirk stifled a yawn, and glanced at McCoy, who sat next to him. They joined the rest of the crew members in the ship's theatre in granting the request of the young, black Lieutenant and applauding the members of the crew who made up the cast of the play. The lights came up then, and the applause grew more enthusiastic while the cast took their curtain call. The play itself was one of Kirk's favorites, and this was an especially meaningful performance, partially because it was the first for the new dramatic ensemble that had recently formed aboard ship, but also because it was some sort of milestone anniversary for Shakespeare, and this script had come from Earth in a special dispatch as part of the celebration. A holovid of the performance would be sent back to Earth to be judged in a special contest, and they would receive the word on who won in just over a month.

"Nice evening, wasn't it, Captain?" McCoy said, as the applause finally died out, to be replaced by the happy noises of people leaving a place, after a good performance.

"Very nice, Bones."

"Heading for bed, soon?"

Kirk laughed. "Trying to tell me something, Doc?"

"As a matter of fact—"

The doctor broke off as he realized his Captain was no longer listening, but was instead looking at something over McCoy's right shoulder. He turned around to see what all the commotion was about, and saw that Kirk was looking at Lieutenant Uhura,( still dressed in the knee length green dress that represented the character of Puck and with a vine painted up one leg), and trying to catch her eye. She saw him looking her way, and walked over to where he still sat, half reclining in his chair, one knee bent with his foot resting on the now vacant chair in front of him. He looked tired, which was no surprise, but with everything that the ship had been through in the past weeks, she was mildly surprised that he had found the time to come.

"An inspired performance, Lieutenant," he said, smiling, as she stepped up beside him.

"Thank you, sir. I'm glad you came." She returned the smile.

"Wouldn't have missed it for the world. You've all done the ship proud. Good luck in the contest."

"Thank you, sir. Some of the crew are having a small celebration as soon as everyone has had a chance to change. It's not really a cast party, sir, as we've opened it to anyone in the crew who would like to come. Will you join us, sir?"

"Thank you for asking, Lieutenant, but I think it's past my bedtime, for tonight anyway."

"Sleep well, sir."

"Good night, Lieutenant."

He turned to leave the room, McCoy in tow, when suddenly, a harsh raucous squealing assaulted him from all sides, and the urgent voice of the night shift Communications officer spoke over ship wide intercom.

"Red alert. All hands to battle stations. Repeat, report to battle stations. This is not a drill."

Kirk hit the button, on the nearest comm unit, which opened a channel to the bridge, and said calmly, "Kirk here."

"Davies here, sir. Unidentified ship off port bow. She's not acknowledging our hails, sir."

"On my way, Lieutenant."

"Aye sir."

He turned to McCoy, and said simply, "Well, Bones. Shall we?"

"Wild horses couldn't keep me away."

(0o0)

"Fire phasers, Mr. Chekov."

"Firing phasers." A pause, then the Russian lad's voice again. "A clean miss, sir."

The ship shook with the force of the blow the other ship dealt them, and Kirk was thrown to the ground for the fifth time this battle, along with the rest of the bridge crew. He hit hard and sat stunned for a moment.

"Shield integrity at fifty percent." This was the voice of his First Officer and Science Officer.

"Ready photon torpedoes." Kirk gingerly climbed back into the command chair, and sat mindlessly rubbing his right knee. He had injured it before, and couldn't tell if this was remembered pain or a new injury. The pain in it was increasing steadily.

"Photon Torpedoes armed and ready, sir." Chekhov again.

"Fire photon torpedoes, wide scatter." He began rubbing his left knee, which was apparently having sympathy pains for the other one.

"Torpedoes away." He watched as the weapons found their mark on the other ship, hating the fact that weapons were necessary, but knowing that sometimes the quickest way to keep peace was a show of force. "A hit, sir." Chekhov's voice swam up through his thoughts and brought him back to the action taking place before him. Captain James T. Kirk sat in the center seat of his ship, watching the ship on the view screen directly in front of him. The enemy ship hung dead in space. He just wished he could verify that it was an enemy ship. The identification code and configuration were both unfamiliar to members of Starfleet, but the ship had engaged them, and they had been forced to defend themselves. His crew was at least as battered as his ship, though both were holding together for the moment, and those who were still able were working to repair the damage and trying to recover any survivors from the other ship.

Undoubtedly, Bones was quite busy at the moment, and the Captain hesitated to disturb him, but Scotty was probably just as busy in Engineering, and Kirk was not a man who was good at waiting. He wanted to know what was wrong with his ship and his crew, and he wanted the assurance from friends that the damage could be repaired. Engineering first, then.

Kirk hit the button on the side of his chair that would allow him to communicate with the rest of the ship, and winced as stabs of pain shot through his wrist to his elbow and radiated up to his shoulder. Or maybe sickbay was the logical first choice. He shifted position, trying to hide his discomfort, and cringed as pain shot through both knees all the way down to his ankles. Kirk clenched his teeth, and shifted again, trying to find a comfortable position. He finally found a position that, while not comfortable, allowed him to make his announcement in a voice that did not betray his command presence. "All hands, this is the Captain. You all conducted yourselves admirably. I am sure your department heads will join me in congratulating you all on a job well done. Kirk out."

The restless energy that was so much a part of Jim Kirk's makeup forced him up out of his chair, but he sank back down into it again as he discovered the full extent of his injuries. Immediately noticing his distress, though no one else seemed to see, Spock swiftly and silently moved up behind him and spoke quietly into his ear. "Captain." A pause. "Jim, you are injured. I believe you will find it beneficial to rest. May I suggest that you report to your quarters until Dr. McCoy finishes his work in sickbay, at which time I will send him by to see you?"

"I'm fine, Spock."

"Due respect, sir, you will be no good to anyone very shortly if you continue trying to work with injuries of the severity that yours are." Kirk wanted to snap at his First Officer for his interference, but stopped himself as he realized that was the pain. McCoy would tell him that Spock was doing his job, and he was, but that did not mean that Kirk had to like it. He grunted noncommittally, and grew annoyed for a moment at the hint of amusement he thought he saw in Spock's eyes, but when he looked again, it wasn't there, and he wasn't sure it ever had been.

"Very well, Mr. Spock, you have the con. I trust you will let me know of anything that needs my attention, and stay out of trouble."

"That is always my intention, sir."

Too much a command presence to let any of his pain show on his face, and too stubborn to admit that he might not make it to his quarters, especially in front of the Vulcan, he turned and made a good show of stalking to the turbolift, then as soon as the doors closed, he said, "Captain's quarters", turned the handle to start the thing, and slid down the wall to the floor, where he could stretch his legs out. He wished he hadn't when he reached the corridor leading to his quarters and could not stand up. Hoping fervently that he met no one in the corridor beyond, he crawled out and sat leaning against the wall until he was able to climb up the wall and stand. He allowed the wall to support him to the door of his quarters, then keyed in his code, and gathering his energy, vaulted himself through the doorway, bounced himself off of his desk, and sank with relief onto his bunk.

Just as he did so, the communications unit on his desk whistled. He pulled his bedside viewer unit closer and turned it around then tilted it down until he could see the entire screen. He flipped a switch to open the one way visual channel, so he could see his caller, but opened a two way audio channel, not wanting any member of his crew to see his pain, and no longer having the energy to keep it off of his face. He did manage to keep it out of his voice, though.

"Kirk here."

"Scott here, Captain. We've rescued the only survivor of that ship out there. I think you need to hear her story, sir. Shall I bring her down?"

"Not now, Mr. Scott. What's her origin?"

There was a long pause, and then a slight increase in the Scotsman's brogue, and he finally said, "She's one of us, sir." Kirk fought the urge to ask Scotty to repeat what he'd just said, knowing he would not find it any more believable the second time around. "I believe she has some explaining to do, but for the moment, she can do it to Mr. Spock. I'll catch up with them later. Kirk out." He reached out and turned off the comm. unit. Kirk pushed the viewer away, and sank back onto his bunk, thinking about other injuries he'd incurred in the fleet, both on this starship and others. He'd been lucky, as far as that went. There had been relatively few. Still, he had a tendency to incur major injuries when he was injured.