I know I should be working on my Avengers fic but I just had to dish this one out ASAP after the movie :P... IT WAS KILLING ME half way through the movie.
The sun was setting on the monument in honor of one year since the destruction of downtown San Francisco. Jim Kirk was descending the town hall steps when he was stopped short by the call of his heavily accented navigator.
"That vas a great speech Kaptin."
"Thanks Chekov, glad I didn't make too much of an ass of myself," Jim smirked and clapped the smaller man companionably on the back. The youth stumbled, almost rolled down the last flight of steps.
"Yes Kaptin, I can imagine the experience vould have been nerve vrecking."
Chekov walked down the last few steps along side him before stepping in front of Jim to cut him off.
"Mr. Spock vould like a vord with you Kaptin, in the Commemoration Hall."
"Right avay sir."
Jim nodded and changed direction. By-stepping the Russian he made his was to the building and was surprised to see not only his First Officer but also Bones and Uhura sitting at the director's table.
"Ok what's going on guys?"
"Captain we need to discuss with you our five year away mission, or more precisely the first destination."
"Ok Spock, but this couldn't wait until closer to departure date because..."
"If you agree with my suggestion Captain, I cannot afford to wait and must make all necessary accommodations immediately if this mission is to be handled in time with our schedule."
"Ok", Jim stretched the word slowly and plopped himself into a seat facing his FO and the two equally befuddled crewmembers, "lets hear it Spock".
"I propose we make our first mission to New Vulcan. I can have the S.S. Botany Bay crew sent to New Vulcan this week and have Khan and his people treated by a team of Vulcan healers specializing in mental health. If our first destination was to be New Vulcan we can make it there just in time to collect the reprogrammed crew, provided we leave earth precisely and without delay on the date of the departure"
"You think a bunch of shrinks can fix Khan? Have you met the man?" Bones yelled, motioning rudely with one hand, in a 'you're of your nut' gesture.
"Yes I believe I am well acquainted with Khan, doctor."
"No you id…"
"What he means Spock," Uhura is quick to interrupt, "is that after the encounter we had with Khan, how can you be certain that Vulcan healing can affectively alter his character?"
Spock gave his girlfriend a blank look, and smoothly pitched an eyebrow.
"I believe the Vulcan approach to mental health is majorly advanced. With the right team of professionals Khan and the crew can be healed of their current cognitive malfunction that causes destructive behavior and superiority syndrome."
"Jim, you can't think this is right?" Bones implored. Jim all the while deep in thought, sent a meaningful look across the table at Spock, who in turn was watching the captain expectantly.
"I think it's a great idea!" he announced and banged his hand on the table for emphasis. Bones swore under his breath.
"But Captain," tried Uhura, "what if the Vulcan's fail and we unleash a whole new reign of terror on the galaxy?"
"Spock thinks it will work, and I'm sure he's got a list somewhere, a mile long why he thinks it will work. Overall I prefer to trust him. Plus is it really fair to leave 72 time bombs on earth waiting for some imbeciles in the future to hack them open. If there's any way we can fix the problem now, we owe it to the future to at least try. You have my approval Spock, make all the necessary arrangements."
Spock nodded and rose from his seat, exiting via the side corridor with Uhura hot on his heels, undoubtedly with a string of questions a mile long bursting on the tip of her tongue. She will most likely want to know why Spock didn't think it wise to share this idea with her earlier in the privacy of their quarters. Jim smirked at the thought of all the ways she could make the half-Vulcan pay for the withheld information.
"I hope you know what you're doing Jim."
Kirk turned to face his best friend with an easy smile.
"Not a clue. But I hope Spock knows what he's doing. How about we hope together, while we get drunk huh?"
The treatment ended on the day the assigned shore leave came to an end; and Kirk could not be more excited to meet the new additions to the crew. Spock had been informing him that the treatment was going very well and no complication arose through the entire process, which in itself guaranteed a terrific statistical probability of success. Memories of destruction were wiped and replaced with extensions of simple space voyaging and exploration. Personal self-image views were altered to replace racial superiority with acceptance and appreciation for all species and their individuality. The knowledge bank however was left unaltered, in hopes that the crew will be able to assist the Enterprise with yet unknown discoveries. Overall the transformation was major gossip and the crew gathered in front of the ship to watch the new passengers come aboard.
Khan was leading his people, dressed in simple black leggings, boots and skintight, turtleneck jumper. A small, gold, Starfleet pin adored the right breast pocket. The rest of the crew, an even mix of men and women, were similarly dressed; the women clad in simple black knee length dresses and standard female boots with a professional high heel. They appeared to all be a mix of platinum blondes or coal brunettes, pale and delicately featured and in all physical comprehension, a superior species. Jim stood at the top of the entrance stairs ready to welcome the new passengers.
A part of him couldn't help but detest Khan with a burning passion; more due to Pike's death than his own betrayal at the hands of the man. Even recently reprogrammed, Khan appeared to ooze arrogance as he marched ahead of his party, back straight and chin up; hands crossed smartly behind his back. Jim wanted to dunk him face first into a toilet. It was at this realization that he wondered if it was possible for him to even give Khan another chance. What if he couldn't hold back the anger? Jim didn't notice that he spaced out until someone cleared their throat right in front of him. Khan stood inches away from Jim, unintentionally (or at least Jim hoped it was not intentional) invading his personal space.
"Good morning Captain."
"Ah, good morning Khan. It's a pleasure to have you aboard the Enterprise." Jim managed to sound professional and almost convincing, and if Khan curved one side of his mouth just slightly in a mockery of a smirk that's his business. Jim was only so good an actor.
"Likewise we are honored to have this opportunity to assist you in your five year mission." Khan nodded respectively at his captain and Jim found himself begrudgingly returning the gesture, though never taking his eyes of the predatory gaze. It was weird speaking so politely to this man, as if they were meeting for the first time. The history between them that only Jim could remember burned through his veins like acid.
"Please come through, there will be ensigns down the hall ready to assist you and your crewmates to your assigned quarters."
With another nod, Khan strode smoothly through the entrance, lightly brushing shoulders with the captain. Jim jerked and tried to stop himself from spinning around at what could very well be described an almost personal gesture, but the other man was already far down the hall, leading a line of his crewmates, who each nodded respectfully at the captain before moving onto the ship. Once the whole crew of S.S Botany Bay was aboard the rest of his crew followed, chatting excitedly among themselves. Jim overheard Nurse Abrams and Nurse Elfins discussing how handsome the gentlemen were; and wouldn't it be splendid if they were single as well as gorgeous? Kirk rolled his eyes and cut around them to walk ahead. On deck his crew was already setting up for departure. Chekov and Sulu were amicably bickering between themselves while they prepared the navigation system for take off. Spock was doing something or other on his data-pad while Uhura was typing with remarkable speed on her computer.
"How soon are we departing Chekov."
"Halv an hour sir, at ze latest. I'm just vaiting on Scotty to send us a go ahead from engineering."
"Excellent," Jim looked over at Spock who looked up from his data; they exchanged a smile. "You know I think this might be our best mission yet"
It wasn't Jim's fault. It just so happened that every time he looked up his eyes would meet Khan's. At the mess hall, the dinning hall, the exercise room and occasionally when his expert knowledge was needed the command deck. It really was the other way around; creepy Khan and his constant gazes. Like he didn't know quite how to figure him out.
It didn't help that everyone else aboard found Khan and his crew very companionable and related easily to the other members of S.S. Botany Bay. Uhura made friends with three of Khan's female crewmates, Jun, Ora and Frida. Now they spent every lunch and dinner together, sitting around a table, and chatting away like some S.S Enterprise parody version of his mother's old Sex and the City DVDs. Not that Jim ever watched them. And if he new Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, he'd die before admitting it. A man has his pride after all.
Bones adapted easily enough to the new comers when Nurse Abrams, who boarded the ship eight month pregnant to be with her husband from engineering, went into unexpected labor three days after they left New Vulcan. One of Khan's nursing staff, Elsa volunteered to replace Nurse Abrams for the duration of her maternity leave, and thus began a charming if not somewhat rocky relationship Jim lovingly labeled 'The tale of the Nag and the Ass'. Elsa outsmarted the doctor at every turn, questioning his medical methods, giving alternative suggestions for treatments and overall challenging Bones at every given opportunity. Bones in turn grouched and growled at her like a bear. He drank heavily and bitched to Jim endlessly, over the futility that was his life. But as the days passed it was obvious to everyone except perhaps the good doctor himself, that under all his grouching he held a soft spot for the girl. Perhaps, thought Jim, even saw in her the daughter he'd lost so long ago.
The rest of his crew integrated themselves easily enough with Khan's people, like they were part of the Enterprise all along. Rumor had it that even Cupcake had managed to bag himself a super hot blonde babe, that used to be Khan's chief of security. Jim however was nerve wrecked and on edge only two weeks into the journey. They were due to make first port since New Vulcan in; he glanced at his clock, 8.3 hours. From what they knew the planet, according to Spock and translated by Uhura, was occupied by a race of violent, giant cannibals. Jim was going to lead the introductory party. Sleep was a must before charming cannibals. He was just drifting of when a buzz rang through the room indicating that he had a visitor.
"God damn it," Jim swore under his breath as he untangled himself from the sheets. "Coming" he yelled when the buzzing rang again, more prolonged as if the impatient visitor was holding his finger on the button.
"Who the fuck…" he groused, pressing the release button on the door and coming face to face with none other than the man behind the nightmares.
"Good evening Captain."
Jim stared stupidly for a full minute at the exceptionally groomed man, staring somewhat disdainfully down his nose at him. 'Well its quarter past one in the morning, and he can go fuck himself,' Jim thinks and narrows his eyes in what on anyone else might have been an intimidating look.
"Can I help you?"
"Indeed," the brunette easily stepped around the morose captain, like these were his quarters to begin with, and what in the name of space was someone as uncouth as Kirk even doing here? Jim rotated slowly to follow the other man's movement, his temper threatening to boil over with the additional helping of unexplained rudeness and sudden bout of fatigue.
"How can I help you?" Jim stressed the word 'how' with an air of a man at the end of his tether. Khan spun around and promptly linked his hands behind his back.
"I believe captain, that our relationship is considerably more strained than that between me and your colleagues, therefore I propose we attempt to engage in relationship building activities to assist us in overcoming our differences."
Jim's mouth dropped open halfway through.
"Relationship?... Engage?... What?"
"Since your human intellect is inferior to my own, I will consent to giving you a few minutes for comprehension."
"Hey, now wait just a goddamn minute…" Jim's brain finally catching up and screaming, 'hey moron you've just been insulted!'
"I see you play chess," the ex-conquer looked over to the small coffee table, where a chessboard lay already set up from when he played with Spock the night before. He looked vaguely interested and crossed the room in two strides to drop gracefully into Spock's vacant seat.
"With Spock," grouched the defeated Kirk. It was clear even to his befuddled brain that at least for the moment the superhuman freak was going nowhere.
"I see, it must be redundant playing against a Vulcan; never winning a game."
"I'll have you know I win every other game." Jim dragged himself over to the other chair and plunked heavily into his seat, glaring at the other man who had of all things the audacity to be smirking; that tight-lipped smirk of his that looked self-righteous and forced-to-boot. 'He doesn't believe me,' thinks Kirk, 'well fuck him! I'll show him a things or two on the board.' This competitive line of thought died together with a massive yawn that broke through his glaring; announcing once more his beyond exhausted state.
"I don't care! Believe me, don't believe me. I'm going to bed! I'm tired…"
Khan's permanent smirk widened, crinkling the corners of his narrowed eyes and making him look positively evil.
"Shut up!" Jim hissed and lifted himself heavily from the seat walking purposefully towards the entrance door. This was more than a fair indication.
"I didn't say anything Captain."
"You didn't have to."
He will bodily remove the menace from his quarters if it killed him; which it more than likely would.
"I see," lifting himself with ease, Khan moved smoothly to the entrance where an impatient Jim was holding the sliding door open. Stopping short of crossing the threshold, the brunette leaned in, breaking through Jim's personal space to…smell him? Jim drew back as if burned. Honestly what the hell?
"Goodnight Jim," the whisper barely brushed his cheek on the way to his ear, and the blonde suffered a manic shudder down his spine at the strange sensation.
"That's Captain to you," he managed to hush out; breathing heavily and leaning back as far as the doorframe allowed him. Drawing away, that infuriating smirk already in place, Khan slipped past him and around the corner as if he was never there at all.