This could probably be titled the fic in which everyone is crazy - no one more so than Jim - shenanigans are had, Klingons are battled, McCoy still doesn't know why he agreed to be here in the first place and Mysterious Pasts become unraveled. Tropes will be abused, everyone gets beaten up a bit, McCoy will scowl a lot and Jim will jump/fall off cliffs while Spock and Pike vie for most put upon person aboard. Uhura, Sulu, Scotty and Chekov will encourage and or enable, as and when required.
In other words, this a serious fic you should probably not take seriously. Enjoy!
It was misleading to say that no one in their right mind wished to serve as First Officer for Captain Christopher Pike. There were plenty of people who wanted the job. Pike was captain of The Enterprise. That alone was enough to attract the career officers. The fact that Pike and his crew also got their pick of assignments only sweetened the deal. Presently, there were nineteen applicants awaiting screening for the position.
None of them would be selected.
A year into their mission and The Enterprise had seen three XOs come and go. The first had suffered a nervous breakdown after an unfortunate incident with the Romulan High Council. The second Pike had put to Court Martial himself. The third had lasted less than a week before throwing himself out of an airlock.
After six months the position had yet to be filled and the Admiralty had learned the hard way that forcing someone on Pike was entirely counterproductive.
For the time being the administrative duties of the First were overseen by Commander Spock, The Enterprise's Chief Science Officer. In a moment of uncharacteristic frustration Pike had offered Spock the job on a permanent basis. Spock, being Vulcan and more than capable of inserting subtext into everything he didn't and didn't say, had politely declined on the grounds that it took focus away from his actual field of interest.
The rest of the crew heard the 'not on your life' loud and clear. They didn't need Doctor Leonard McCoy's muttered talk of superstitions and crazy people to know that the job was cursed.
With that information well known to even the least gossip curious members of Starfleet, the arrival of Jim Kirk aboard The Enterprise, and his subsequent appointment to a previously jinxed role caused no small amount of rampant speculation.
The known facts about Jim Kirk stood as followed: his middle name was Tiberius. He had blue eyes.
Everything else was just hearsay.
If the day of his birth hadn't coincided with the founding of a Federation wide holiday there were some who were willing to claim that Pike had cooked Kirk up in a lab to spring fully formed into life, the Federation Charter tattooed on the insides of his eyelids.
The only people who could claim to know even half the truth about who Jim Kirk was and how he came to be on Starfleet's flagship were Pike, Doctor McCoy and Kirk himself. The rest of the crew knew only that one day they were patrolling the Neutral Zone and the next they were taking possession of a stranded Klingon shuttle.
The technicians who had been on duty when the ship docked hadn't had to buy their drinks in weeks as they addressed crowded Mess Halls with hushed voices, telling eager ears of the way the captain had stormed into the hanger bay like a man possessed, Doctor McCoy hot on his heels. The two men had entered the enemy shuttle and not emerged for almost twenty minutes. The captain had then ordered the entire area cleared and even the most curious of crewmembers had known better than to disobey when Pike used that tone of voice.
The rest of the details seemed to vary from telling to telling, with some swearing they had seen the captain carrying a human body from the ship while others were convinced the shuttle carried valuable Klingon weapons that had been squirreled away for study by Section 31. By the time Kirk stepped foot on the bridge three days later most of the crew were convinced he was the one Pike had carried from the shuttle. What a human was doing aboard a Klingon prison transportation ship was anyone's guess.
It was a conspicuous start to any officer's career, but there was still speculation as to whether or not Kirk was actually an officer at all. He wore no rank or insignia and donned only the black undershirt of his office. Pike called him Number One. The crew called him 'Sir'. The one exception seemed to be McCoy, which meant little. Rumor had it he called Pike all kinds of things in the privacy of the Senior Officers Mess so no one was surprised to hear him call Kirk 'kid' or 'brat' or 'you absolute goddamn moron' when the two passed by. The only surprise was Kirk's reaction. Or lack of.
A more affable, likable man could not possibly exist. Within hours of being paraded in front of the assembled crew, Pike's gruff introduction of "This is Kirk, he'll be our First Officer from henceforth. Treat him with the respect his position deserves and you won't have any problems with him." And Kirk had already appeared to memorize most of the crew by name and face. By the end of the week there wasn't a person on board who didn't have something nice to say about him.
It was unclear if his popularity was linked to the fact that his predecessors had all been universally disliked or merely a product of his own friendly disposition.
Within six months it was as if Kirk had always been their First Officer and still no one knew a damn thing about where he had come from or why he was there. Most had reached the conclusion that they didn't care. They only other fact they had been able to establish about Kirk was the one that made everything else irrelevant.
Kirk was mad.
One hundred percent batshit crazy.
And that was if they were being polite. Other words that came to mind were reckless, wild, impulsive… dangerous. Very dangerous. He knew the rules and how to break them. He fought when he should have negotiated; he negotiated when everyone else would have run; he leaps without looking and somehow managed to make it seem like he always knew exactly where he was going to land.
He was, apparently, just the type of man Pike had been waiting for.
The rest of the crew? They were just glad Kirk was on their side.
For now, anyway.