Author's note:

Hello all, back with a little one shot attempt. This continues into the "darkness" movie of 2013 (didn't see a section dedicated to this year). Anyway as usual feel free to comment and review.

Star Trek and all associated characters are copyright of their respective owners.


He sat at his desk: pining away at all that had transpired… everything happened so fast. In a way, he expected it; Leopards cannot change their spots… anymore than a Vulcan could lie.

But still, he couldn't help but feel anger driving through his body… not just anger, but disappointment. This was his protégé; and in many ways… very much as a son.

"Damn you Jim!" He yelled in the quiet of his office… he gripped his cane and stared out his window...

To think he saved his life and did a hell of a job commanding the Enterprise; winning a battle against a seemingly unbeatable enemy; to think that he was revered by many as the diamond in the rough that became the "gem" of Star Fleet for his actions and his brash ways… his "never believe in no win situations…" To be proud that he was dared to do better; and that he did.

And now this…

VIOLATING Star Fleet's NUMBER ONE RULE… LYING on a report… and worse yet, acting as if he SHOULDN'T be reprimanded because he is who he is…

He didn't realize that he was yelling out aloud; as if his protégé never left the room. With a deep "sigh" he relaxed back into his chair… shaking his head as he still was coming to terms with the fact that Jim Kirk could have been so reckless… so foolish that he would jeopardize his command also the lives of his crew; and now lose it all because of it. However the fact remained that it was his firm belief he was just not ready for the chair: the power went to his head.

But still…

That performance under pressure he exhilarated; that never say die mentality… the brains he showed when he used it... what fascinated him and what drew him to convince this young man to enlist… it played on his mind.

(beep… beep… beep… beep)

The familiar tone of the portable communicator pierced the silence. He opened it to the familiar chirping shrill:

"Admiral Pike here…"

"Sir, Admiral Marcus has called for your presence at 1730 hrs."

"Understood… Pike out."

He didn't realize time flew by so fast. Later, as he stepped out his office towards the transport vehicle, he could not help but wonder what the 5 star Admiral and other members of command would have decided: Perhaps they would promote Spock to Captain: though he had his role in the situation, he still follows the rules… The crew is already quite capable and they in his opinion… are the best crew out there.

Or was…

It all seemed null and void without having someone as Kirk there. Someone that was termed "a prize stallion" in the report he read from Spock in a conversation with Dr. Mc Coy…

The thought "prized stallion" made him laugh as he thought of Jim at this moment as more of a "wild ass"…

(Moments later)

Admiral Pike edged closer to the main tribunal hall; his cane bearing the weight of his injured leg. Again he could remember that moment in shock that Kirk came back for him.

"What are you doing here?"

-"Following orders…"

He owed his life to his crew… and especially to Jim. It was yet another quality that he bore… and one that in his mind; Star Fleet definitely lacked.

The door opened… and in view was Admiral Marcus… and a few others of the command.

"Chris, so glad you could make it under such short notice…" Admiral Marcus stated, shaking his hand.

"Of course sir."

"Well by now I assume you have an idea why we called you in… "

-"I assume for your directives of assigning a new captain to the Enterprise…"

"Pretty much that's the jist of it. Now you already know we're sending Kirk back to the academy as he needs to have his ass straightened out properly; we can't be having loose cannons out there making trouble for us when we're not looking for it in the first place."

The 5 star Admiral paced back to his chair where the rest of the members sat…

"Now the fact is, we need someone to captain the Enterprise… someone who we believe that will be a logical replacement who will follow the rules and get the job done."

-"Yes sir I believed that Mr. Spock would be a proper replacement as captain for-"

"No, we're reassigning Spock to another ship that we believe would be better suited: U.S.S Bradbury."

The interruption by Admiral Marcus took him by surprise….

"Well sir, if not Spock, who do you have in mind?"

-"We're giving the Enterprise back to you, Chris…"

Any brief surprise earlier was trounced by those very words. That was honestly the last thing he thought he would hear: He was an admiral now… why would Marcus want him to take command the Enterprise?

"Sir… you'll forgive me if I'm a little taken aback… but why would you want me to command the Enterprise when there are other officers that can fill that role?

-"Come on, Chris, you're asking answers: You were the first to command her… you oversaw her construction and her tests… it's only natural that you command her again. Besides the obvious fact that you're one of the few senior commands we have left, we believe that you're the best man for the job and that's that."

Admiral Pike nodded in approval. There seemingly was little argument to be had: Pike would command the ship. In a way he was exhilarated and yet also disappointed. Because he believed that role was destined to be someone else's. However, a thought flashed through his mind at that moment:

"Admiral I accept the command of the Enterprise… but I still need a first officer…"

-"Well Chris, I'm sure that I can leave that up to you. Choose who you think is best."

"Actually, I do have someone in mind… James T Kirk."

With that statement, Marcus's face changed; his eyes piercing… seemingly scanning Pike for what logic would bring him to make such a crazy admission… the others started mumbling amongst each other…

"I know you must be excited that you got back the command but it wasn't for you to lose your mind on it… Kirk messed up… disobeyed the prime directive and could have cost us a ship and a crew. Now I don't know about you but I'm not so sure I want that sort of liability-"

-"I know your feelings against what he's done sir but I assure you that he's a good man." Pike stated while cutting his superior…

"OUT... of the question Pike there's no argument to be had here."

With that, Admiral Pike stepped towards Marcus and the others…

-"Sir, do you remember what you told me once? About making a difference? Do you remember when you had me enlist all those years ago what I told you? That you don't need me being a Space Soldier… you guys got all the folks you need…"

Admiral Marcus sat quietly in his chair…

"You told me that there's a difference between many people doing something and one person doing something great… that, we're human… we're born to show what we're capable of even if we make mistakes…. We can rise to become the best IF we want it badly enough…"

-"Chris you're forgetting one key difference here: Kirk ISN'T you. He's brash, impatient, keen to lie when it comes to important things and THAT'S NOT the person we need on board a starship!"

The 5 star Admiral's voice raised to the point that everyone in the room began to look at him. This did not faze him in any way as he continued to stare directly at his lower ranked colleague…

Admiral Pike stated this with his eyes firmly focused on Admiral Marcus. It had the makings of a traditional Mexican standoff…

"Look Admiral, Jim may be arrogant and caused a lot of trouble, but he has also done many great things that we also have to consider. And I wouldn't be here now fighting for him if he hadn't saved me from that Romulan ship. Heck, we may not have even had an EARTH left. And personally…."

He paused for a moment while his head was bowed down. Every one sat waiting for a response…

"Admiral, is something wrong?" one of the senior command members asked

-" No," Pike replied smiling, " It's just that over the years, I've come to think of him almost as my own son. And I know he listens to me when I get down on him. He definitely listened today. And I remain firm in my belief he'll be fine. I want him as my first officer on the Enterprise."

"Why do you fight for Kirk so much despite all that has transpired?"

Marcus stood up and stepped towards his protégé. And there was only one thing Chris could utter:

-"Because… I believe in him. And if there's anybody who deserves a second chance, it's Jim Kirk."

The high ranking Admiral turned to view the rest of his colleagues… most had a look of satisfaction on their faces based on his case. They glanced at Marcus and most nodded in approval.

"Alright Chris… if you believe in him so much then he's all yours. But the moment he messes up, I'll have his and your ass on the cross am I clear?"

-"Yes sir." Pike stated as he nodded in approval. "And thank you."

"I hope you remember that if you both have to be back in this room…" Marcus retorted

-"Over my dead body sir…"

That statement made both men laugh. Marcus knew that Pike would do all in his power to make sure something was done… even in keeping his new first officer at bay.

"Alright Chris, you're dismissed."

-"Thank you Admiral…commanders, it was a pleasure."

And with that, Admiral Pike left the room. He couldn't help but feel a well of joy within him; despite all, Kirk would still serve aboard the Enterprise. He smiled on his way to his transport vehicle.

"Computer, contact Jim Kirk"

-"Jim Kirk's communicator is disabled. Would you like to leave a message?"

"No, that's fine."

He knew the earlier news would have hit the young officer hard, so much he probably is out throwing a tantrum… and then he thought:

"Computer, scan for all bars in the area.

The end.