Fandom: Star Trek (nuTrek)
Characters/Pairings: Kirk/Chekov, McCoy, Sulu
Spoilers: Movie only.
Warnings: Men kissing and discussion of feelings
Disclaimer: Star Trek sure doesn’t belong to me.
A/N: Written for brighteyed_jill, who wanted to sigh.
Summary: When Jim Kirk’s latest love affair comes to an end, it take’s Chekov’s friends and all of his courage to convince the young navigator to go after him.
“It happened again.”
Bones paused, glass of whiskey to his lips, as Chekov came around to sit at his table. Normally Bones wasn’t one for drinking socially. But he knew the significance of this day as well as any member of the Enterprise crew, and twice as well for its navigator.
“The captain broke up with the Antarian princess.”
Bones sipped his whiskey to buy him time for enough for Sulu to slide in right between him and Chekov, preventing the need for him to speak.
“And the Tulusian ambassador before that, and the Ir’chock diplomatic aide before that, then that captain of the freighter we rescued, the Usuian pilot, the Yemlat engineer, the Calypso peace-dancer…” Sulu ticked off each of Captain Kirk’s past conquests on his fingers, only breaking off to take his beer from the waiter.
“But, he is free now! Perhaps I have a chance with him,” Chekov said hopefully. Bones sighed and signaled for vodka from the bar. It wasn’t as good as what Chekov kept in his quarters, but something had to be done before the kid fretted himself into a froth.
“You say that every time the captain breaks up with someone. And then he hooks up with someone else!” Sulu pointed out.
Bones snorted and took another sip of whiskey. The three of them had been in this situation far too many times over the past two years. It had gotten to the point where the crew had started laying bets. The tradition had become so ingrained that the vodka was at Chekov’s elbow within fifteen seconds of Bones’ order.
“But… perhaps this time I will get lucky…” Chekov said plaintively. He automatically poured and slammed back a shot, looking around at his friends with hope in his eyes.
“You sad, sorry bastard,” Bones said, shaking his head.
“Doc!” Sulu hissed in warning.
“It’s true, dammit! Kid, I’ve watched you pine after Jim Kirk for two and a half years. What are you going to do to change this situation?” Bones growled.
Sulu groaned and took a long swallow of beer as Chekov stared. Shuddering, eyes reddening, he poured and downed two more shots in rapid succession; Bones reached over and moved the bottle before Chekov could trash any more brain cells.
“You’re right,” Chekov whispered, his voice a little quavery. He took a few deep breaths and firmed his chin. “Yes, doctor, you are right.”
“Damn straight I am.”
“You wait here every time, and you never take part in Mr. Scott’s bets,” Chekov continued, both hands clutched around the small shot glass. Sulu shot a glance over at Montgomery Scott’s table; as usual, the engineer was taking bets as to how long it would take the captain to find another conquest.
“Because someone on this boat has to act like they actually give a crap about what Jim’s doing to you,” Bones said darkly.
“It is not the captain’s fault!” Chekov exclaimed, thumping the shot glass down with a loud crack. “He cares for them! Every single one of them! I have seen him, when he takes them here or on the observation deck; he cares for them, truly! He loves them and wants the best for them. He is sad, very sad when it does not work out between them!”
Sulu caught Bones’ glance and nodded sharply, hiding a smile behind his beer. They’d been waiting for Chekov to see it for himself. All he needed was a little push…
“Why doesn’t it work out, do you think?” Sulu asked out loud. “If the captain’s so caring and all?”
“It is the travel, always. He cannot be with them, and they grow to resent it. They cannot understand his devotion to duty, and to the ship. He has tried, with ambassadors and pilots and travelers, so they would have a chance of meeting up many times, but… One cannot help but love the captain, and want him with you always…” Chekov trailed off, eyes looking dreamily into space.
Sulu coughed, but Chekov remained caught in his mind. The other hypospray, as Bones had pretty much expected it, didn’t inject. Time for a professional’s touch.
“If Jim is such a catch, you think they’d do anything to stay,” Bones muttered.
“They do not understand the Enterprise, the Federation.” Chekov stared into his glass, and Bones reached over to fill it up again, this time putting a restraining hand on Chekov’s wrist before he could down the shot.
“Then I suspect Jim’s perfect partner would be someone who’s already here. Who understands,” Bones said, very slowly and clearly.
The light went on behind Chekov’s eyes; the hypospray had been successfully injected.
Sulu pushed the bottle of vodka into Chekov’s hands. “I think the captain’s in his quarters.”
Chekov was out the door before Sulu could even finish speaking. Bones chuckled and drained his whiskey glass with a grimace.
“So, shall we go bilk the crew out of their hard-earned gambling money?” Bones said, nodding towards where Scotty was holding court.
Grinning, Sulu palmed Chekov’s shot glass and lead the way.
Pavel Chekov tapped the announciator on the captain’s quarters, sweaty fingers clutched around the neck of the bottle Sulu had shoved into his hands, a transparent excuse if things didn’t fall out the way he wanted. The way they’d always fallen out…
Jumping in surprise, Chekov tapped open the door and entered the oddly dim captain’s quarters. Larger than his own, that was to be expected, and decorated with odds and ends from the dozens of worlds they’d visited and things they’d survived: a gray-brown rock from New Vulcan, a small piece of the Narada’s hull, a piece of ice from Delta Vega in stasis… a woman’s red shawl, a captain’s insignia from a deep-space freighter, a crystal goblet, a dancer’s ankle bells.
The captain was sitting at a small table near the window, the faint lights sparking hints of gold from his hair and throwing his face into shadow. He was toying with a length of silvery silk in his hands, which he quickly put down as Chekov entered.
“Ensign? What do you need?” Jim’s voice was a bit sharper than normal, with more of the parade-ground bite he only tended to use in moments of danger or high stress.
Words deserted Chekov, his high confidence of a minute ago dissipating with the speed of an explosion in vacuum. Wordlessly he held out the vodka bottle, and heard the captain chuff out a soft, explosive sigh.
“Yeah. I could go for that. Bones send you?” the captain, Jim said, waving Chekov further into the room.
“Not… exactly,” Chekov managed. Jim had pulled up glasses from a desk drawer, plucked the bottle from his navigator’s nerveless fingers, and already poured them two shots. Within a breath of each other, they downed their respective drinks.
“Then what, exactly? Usually Bones prefers to chew me out himself.”
“I came for what you need,” Chekov blurted, grateful for the dim light that hid his sudden blush.
“What I need?” Jim paused, and finally put the bottle back down.
“That you might need to… talk?” Chekov offered in a fit of desperation. “About Ameril?”
“I think we already said everything, me and her. Lovely lady. Classy, confident…” Jim shook his head, a faint grin on his face. “Completely out of my league. Never tried royalty before. Let me tell you, more trouble than they’re worth.”
“But you and she had three months together!” Chekov pointed out, clutching his glass with fingers gone sweaty.
“Her tour of the sector is over. I’d never see her again if I didn’t head her way specifically. The Federation isn’t much for rearranging its flagship’s schedule for the captain’s love life. Her family felt the same. So-,” Jim picked up the length of silvery silk and ran it through his hands once, his smile turning bitter. “Another piece for the scrapbook.” He waved at the walls of his cabin, filled as they were with the memories of past loves.
Chekov looked at each of them in turn with a growing feeling of panic. All of Jim’s lovers had been exceptional people, talented, beautiful, special. Chekov was clever, but how could he measure up to government officials, heads of state, galaxy-renowned artists, and dashing adventurers? How could he ever earn a place amongst them?
“You sad, sorry bastard.”
Bones’ words came back so strongly Chekov almost started. The doctor was right. Chekov wasn’t trying to earn a place on the wall. He never wanted to be on the wall. He wanted to be here, with Jim. His captain, friend, mentor. Chekov worshiped him blatantly, the entire crew did (even Bones did, in his own way), but he could hold his own. Jim encouraged that just short of mutiny, something that Uhura and Spock were glad to do; “therapeutic deflation of egos” was necessary for a captain of Jim’s caliber, according to Uhura.
Thusly, Captain James Kirk was closer to his crew than any other captain in the fleet. How could any outsider, be they ambassador or alien princess, understand that? How could they have a chance with Jim when Chekov had not? How could they? No, how dare they have taken up Jim’s precious time when they truly never had a chance of understanding?
Gathering up his courage, Pavel put his hand on Jim’s wrist, trapping it on the table where he had set down the scrap of silk.
“I have nothing for your wall,” Pavel whispered, the warmth of vodka finally loosening lips that had been frozen in deference and fear.
Jim looked up, actually looked straight at Pavel, seeing him in the dim light of his quarters.
“Jesus,” he whispered, his wrist flexing under Pavel’s hand. “Bones was right.”
“The doctor is usually correct,” Pavel said with a tremulous smile.
Jim stood, taking Pavel with him, walking him backwards step by step until Jim had him pinned against the wall, bits of cloth and jewelry from a dozen blighted loves digging into Pavel’s back. Pavel could feel his heart pounding, his breath coming in almost random gasps as Jim loomed over him, hands on either side of Pavel’s body.
“Bones says I have issues.”
“You yourself have said so, many times,” Pavel pointed out, leaning up just a little, enough to feel Jim’s breath on his cheek. He felt a dizziness that not even the vodka in his system could explain.
“I always pick the ones that’ll leave.”
“But you loved them. I know this!”
Jim shook his head. “I love this ship more. I love the stars more.”
Pavel closed his eyes for a moment and shuddered in something like ecstasy, opening them to look past Jim’s shoulder at the stars outside the window before turning back to Jim’s gaze.
“I know this.” He pressed a hand over his own heart as he spoke, and watched out Jim’s eyes widen as he did. Feeling uncommonly bold, Pavel reached out and pressed his hand into Jim’s chest, feeling his pulse under his hand. It was pounding as hard as Pavel’s.
“I will never leave, Jim. I have always been here.” Air seemed to disappear as Jim reached up to clasp at Pavel’s hand, holding it against his heart.
“I always will be,” Jim whispered.
It only took them moving a fraction of an inch for their lips to meet, and light years to fall away.