Fandom: ST Reboot
Summary: “Naked Time” Reboot style, shaken but not stirred… “It was a sight that Jim knew he wouldn’t ever be able to strike from his memory no matter how many times he beat his head against a wall in an honest effort to try.”
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, I’m just using them for a little non-profit fun.
Kudos: To sundara for the awesome beta work and for the title!
Dedication: To the lovely sundara who suggested a TOS episode done in Reboot-verse for a prompt.
Notes: Because I’m a bit of a geek, there are a couple of nods to ST:TNG in here. Points if you can find them! ;-)
"Captain's log, supplemental. Our orbit tightening, our need for efficiency critical, but unknown to us, a totally new and unusual disease has been brought aboard." ~ The Naked Time
Nothing said, ‘I drank way too much caffeine this morning’ like the sight of your helmsman brandishing a sword on the bridge of the Enterprise, sans shirt, his lightly toned chest glistening proudly for all and sundry to see. It was a sight that Jim knew he wouldn’t ever be able to strike from his memory no matter how many times he beat his head against a wall in an honest effort to try.
It was one of those days Jim just knew he should have stayed the fuck in bed.
The mission was doomed from the start. An outpost filled with dead scientists on a planet about to explode was really the first clue, and a pretty telling clue at that. There might as well have been a sign that stated ‘Some crazy shit went down here’…but to watch as his own crew started to prance around like it was double shot night at the Puss ‘N Boots gentlemen’s club was enough to start a headache.
And on his bridge! Was nothing sacred?
“Sulu, man, I don’t think that now is the time to whip out the sword. A write up doesn’t even begin to cover what I’m going to do to you if anyone gets hurt. We’re talking brig time here, pal. It won’t be pretty, trust me on this,” Jim said calmly, slowly walking towards the would-be samurai while reaching towards his side for his phaser.
It was times like this where it really sucked being Captain, faced with the choice to stun a loyal crewman and friend and a damn good officer, or letting the clearly insane officer hurt the rest of his friends and crew. They didn’t teach a class for this crap at the academy. Of course they didn’t teach a class on weird space pathogens that caused otherwise sane people to go apeshit crazy, either. If they escaped this mess, Jim would suggest it to Pike at his next check-in.
“Stand, no farther,” Sulu sang out. “No escape for you. You'll either leave this war bloodied, or with my blood on your swords.”
Jim could only shake his head in dismay. And Bones accused him of being a drama queen?
“Uh, Sulu? Have you been watching those old holovids from the 20th century again? ‘Cause I’ve got to tell you, Shakespeare you’re not. Might want to take a refresher on the acting, just a suggestion,” Jim stated, trying to draw the helmsman’s attention to him and away from everyone else. It seems, however, that once the sword-wielding Casanova caught sight of Uhura, his efforts were for naught.
“I'll protect you, fair maiden,” Sulu called, rushing over to Uhura and using his free arm to wrap her in an embrace.
“Sorry, neither,” Uhura ground out, annoyed.
Jim couldn’t help but wince on poor Sulu’s behalf. He didn’t have to see Uhura’s face to know that her lips were pursed. And on Uhura, pursed lips meant one of two things, either someone was going to get their ass kicked, or someone was going to get a dressing down the likes of which could send a Klingon running home crying for his mommy. One minute Sulu was undoubtedly feeling downright manly, the virus fueling a sense of invincibility as he toted his ‘little woman’ in hand, and the next he was crouched on the ground holding his male bits, sword all but forgotten, while every other male on the bridge was visibly shielding their own out of empathetic reflex.
Jim could only hope, rather fervently, that Uhura didn’t get infected as well, because he didn’t think she needed to be more scary.
“Call security to have someone come and take D'Artagnan here to sickbay,” Spock commanded, and Jim held back a smile.
So Spock could crack a joke…who knew? It was just one more thing that Jim would add to his rapidly growing list of things about Spock that he appreciated. Watching his First drop random pop culture references to 19th century literature was kind of awesome. Jim wondered if Spock knew that he liked to collect old books of the paper and print variety.
He would think about it later. First he had to deal with the problem at hand.
“Kirk to McCoy,” Jim called, tapping his communicator.
“McCoy here,” Bones replied, tone distracted.
“We’re sending another one your way. Sulu this time…entered the bridge wielding his sword. Are you any closer to discovering what we’re dealing with here? Because I’ve got to tell you, they seem to be dropping like flies,” Jim inquired, worried. Finding dead scientists in a space station on a deteriorating planet was one thing, but for the madness of this mystery disease to start affecting his crew? His bridge? That was way too close to home for his comfort.
“A sword? Really? I always miss the fun, I want to see a security tape of that later…. I’m working on it, Jim. I’ve got the samples from Tormolen and I’m trying to isolate it to work on a cure. I’ll let you know as soon as I have something concrete,” Bones replied.
“Thanks,” Jim replied, cutting the comm and turning to a suddenly agitated and gesturing Uhura.
“Captain, the gravitational force of the planet is dragging us in. We need to move out of range,” she announced, looking concerned.
“Right, the further away from this hell-hole, the better,” he muttered under his breath. “Patch me through to engineering.”
“Aye, captain,” Uhura responded as she hailed engineering… then hailed them again… then hailed them yet again.
Jim loved Scotty, in fact he absolutely adored him, but if the bastard did not answer their call right the fuck now, he’d lock him in the brig with Sulu sans shirt but toting the sword…though the horny Scotsman would probably enjoy that too much for it to be a proper punishment. He struck Jim as the type to get off on, well, pretty much anything. Man after his own heart.
“You rang, sir,” came a sing-song voice over the comm system. A voice distinctly not Scotty, unless Scotty recently became a eunuch and somehow switched nationalities.
“Chekov? Get your ass out of engineering and up here to your station, now! And when I say now, I mean yesterday-now! I need Scotty. We need power, pronto!” Kirk ground out, growing more agitated. Okay, so the whole virus thing might have been slightly amusing at first. Just slightly. But now the weird occurrences taking place on his ship were getting fucking annoying.
“I haff relieved Mr. Scott of his duties and taken over this wessle. I am captain now, Captain,” Chekov responded, his smugness over his announcement audible through the comm..
The hell? Oh, that so wasn’t happening. Jim was so going to kick the kid’s ass, adorable or not. Like hell he was going to be usurped by little man Tate.
“I’m warning you, Chekov, you’re skating on thin ice here, buddy. You either get out of Engineering and walk yourself to medbay as fast as your legs will carry you, or you’re going to regret it,” Jim ground out.
“No, I don’t tink I will. I’m far too busy. And now crew, the captain vill sing “If I Vere a Rich Man” from old Russian musical, Fiddler on Roof,” the wiz kid announced, prior to breaking out in song.
It was a good thing the stupid planet they were orbiting was breaking up and imploding on its own, because if it wasn’t, Jim would do the deed himself with a song in his heart and a swing in his step.
There were times, though very, very few and far between, that Jim wished he had told Pike to take his offer and shove it all those years ago. Watching Sulu brandish a sword as if he were a Musketeer from 18th century
At least in
The universe had a truly fucked up sense of humor, of this Jim had no doubt. In fact, he wondered if this was karma’s way of paying him back for every drunken brawl he’d ever engaged in. As soon as Bones found a cure and Psi 2000 finished its disintegration, Jim was going to order his crew never to mention Psi 2000 again. Ever. And he was going to order Chekov to update his musical repertoire…who the fuck listened to that type of shit anyway?!
The whole experience was giving him a migraine, and if Bones didn’t find a cure soon, he could not be held accountable for his actions.
Right, so he had contacted Bones just five minutes ago, but that was then.
“Kirk to McCoy.”
“No, Jim, not yet.”
God fucking damnit! “When, then?” Jim inquired, not bothering to hide the desperation in his voice or care if he sounded like a child in the back seat of a shuttle asking his parents are we there yet? Bones could tease him for it all he wanted later, when Sulu was properly embarrassed for his Lancelot impersonation and Chekov never looked him in the eye again.
“Maybe you’re unaware, but the kid is singing musicals, Bones. Mu-sic-als! What the fuck did we ever do to deserve this? We must have been total assholes in a past life.”
“Oh trust me, I hear it. I practically choked on my coffee and had to give myself the Heimlich maneuver to recover. And by the way, we’re both assholes in this one, no past karma coming to bite us in the ass necessary. It’s why we get along so well, Jim. As for the antidote, unfortunately the answer I have for you is the same answer I gave you last time: when I find it, you will be the first to know. By the way, this would happen faster if you quit calling me,” Bones responded dryly, clearly amused by Jim’s plight.
He would be. Jim loved him like a brother, but Bones was a sadist if there ever was one. Evil bastard.
“Do it in the next five minutes, and I’ll give you the best review in the history of CMOs everywhere and the largest raise I’m authorized to give,” Jim replied, kidding…kind of.
“You’re going to do that anyway because I’m that good. Now leave me alone to do my job,” the doctor said with his usual exasperation and cut the contact.
Well, that was just great. Just how many verses were there in If I Were a Rich Man, anyway? Though he supposed it didn’t matter…one verse was too many.
The sooner they got that seriously off-key, yet cute, devil’s spawn out of engineering, the better.
“Scotty, I want good news…please,” Jim pleaded, walking down the corridor to spot Scotty cutting a hole into the
He paused, shaking his head sadly at the fate of his poor girl. That she had to be hurt on account of her insanity-ridden crew, that they had to put holes in her gorgeous walls because some idiots had delusions of grandeur while their inhibitions were lowered, instead of finding a willing partner to have wild rounds of sex with like normal acting-like-drunk, virus-ridden people…it broke Jim’s heart. Whether Chekov was responsible for his actions or not, he was going to be the one to fix the fucking wall once this whole horrible experience was over, Jim would see to it himself.
“I’m sorry we have to do this to you, baby,” Jim purred to the
“Should I give you two a minute alone, Captain?” Scotty asked with a smirk, flashing the captain a strained grin.
“Oh, don’t pretend that you’re not equally disturbed we’re reduced to this,” Jim snorted, clapping his chief engineer on the shoulder.
“Oh, it’s disturbing all right. I don’t even want ta know what the lad has done to my engine room,” Scotty said, frowning and shaking his head.
“Hopefully he’s been too busy, uh, singing to do any considerable damage,” Jim muttered, though he didn’t really believe it. He wasn’t the glass half-full type, never had been, especially since his luck seemed to be total shit today, and the fact that all power to the bridge had been cut was not a good sign.
He nodded to the two security officers who joined them, each with a tense expression on their face. Jim knew that it wasn’t a fear of Chekov that was getting to them, the kid was a light-weight at best. Hell, Keenser could probably take him. No, it was a fear of catching whatever this disease was that was turning his ship into a giant frat party after midterms.
He couldn’t really blame his officers for it. He didn’t want to catch it, either. Oh hell no. His ship and his crew--insane, flying swordsman, Russian crooner, or otherwise--were depending on him to have a clear head to get them out of this latest debacle alive, preferably with the ship intact.
And oh, the blackmail material he was going to have on all of them for years to come. His ship had better be kept running at maximum efficiency for as long as he had it, otherwise security tapes would be shown, for open viewing in the mess, set on replay. He might also be inclined to send a copy to Chekov’s parents.
Besides, Jim knew what he would do if his inhibitions were lowered, or rather who he would try to do, and he doubted his stringent, logically-minded first officer would appreciate being hit on by a compromised, albeit completely charming, pathogen or not, captain. Especially since they were really starting to get along rather well and had developed into a highly synchronized and efficient command team. Even despite Jim’s rapidly developing, extremely manly crush (which was more of a fascination instead of a crush, really.).
Although, it might be kind of neat to see Spock under the influence of the thing…. It would probably be an educational experience. Jim already knew that Spock was capable of great passion, for all that his glimpse was more on the side of fury than of pleasure, but oh, what Jim would give to see him channel that freely toward passion, with no constraints. With that Vulcan strength and those deep, dark eyes…it would be all kinds of awesome.
“We’re ready, Captain,” Scotty announced, petting the wall the same way Jim had been doing only minutes before.
“Okay, then,” Jim said, turning to his security officers. “Set your weapons on stun, unless, of course, he starts the song over again. Then you’re authorized to make it sting a little.”
The quip worked, and the two officers flashed a grin, their demeanor physically brightening. Jim only hoped the lightened mood would last while they did what they needed to do to gain control of his ship back.
Yet before they took this step….
“Kirk to McCoy.”
“No Jim, not yet.”
God fucking damnit all to hell!
“Musicals, Bones, mu-sic-als,” he replied before cutting the connection.
“All right, let’s go,” Jim nodded to security, and the four of them moved cautiously into engineering.
It only took a matter of seconds to overpower Chekov, as Jim suspected he was a bit of a lightweight, and it certainly helped that the pathogen slowed his reflexes. That was one positive, at least.
Jim took a second to revel in that before turning to security. “Take him to medbay.”
“Aye, Captain,” they replied, and turned to leave right as Jim heard Scotty gasp.
"Captain – he's turned the engines off. They're completely cold. It'll take thirty minutes to regenerate them!" Scotty announced, his eyes full of fear.
Great. Just great. Jim felt his migraine ratchet up a couple of notches.
“We don’t have thirty minutes, Scotty! The
"I canna’ change the laws of physics…I've got to have thirty minutes! You canna’ mix matter and antimatter cold,” Scotty replied, just as strained.
“There has got to be a way. Let me go mull this over with Spock, I’m sure he can come up with something,” Jim responded, throwing his hands in the air.
God, he fucking hated no-win scenarios.
Whenever Jim had thought of his death, he always thought it would be doing something heroic, like his dad. That he would go out in a blaze of glory. But not this. Nothing like this, with half of his crew insane, and the other half working beyond their capacity.
He started jogging through the corridors, inwardly searching for the calm he usually found during dicey situations.
He would find Spock, and he and Spock would come up with a solution, and they would get their asses out of here, while Bones cured everyone infected. He and his two favorite guys were just that remarkable of a team. Besides, any other outcome was simply unacceptable.
“Computer, locate Commander Spock!” Jim inquired as he sprinted.
“Commander Spock is located in conference room one,” the computer responded, and Jim sped up a little more, only pausing briefly to call Bones.
“Kirk to McCoy.”
“No Jim, not yet!”
Shit! God fucking damnit all to hell, times two.
“You know, if we die today, you’re going to regret that your last words to me were ‘no Jim, not yet,’” Jim retorted.
“Yes, I’m sure it will haunt me continuously in the afterlife,” Bones responded dryly, once again cutting off Jim’s retort by shutting down the comm.
Well, at least he knew that Bones had not yet been infected. Though Jim supposed he might still be even now. He had known Bones long enough to realize that the man could do sarcasm, even while under the influence of viruses, alcohol, or Jim’s thrilling inspiration.
But he’d worry about Bones later. Right now, the immediate concern was getting the ship the hell out of dodge, otherwise it wouldn’t matter if Bones found a cure or not.
Jim skidded to a halt in front of conference room one, pausing as the door slid open and he caught sight of something he thought he’d never see: Spock sitting at the table, his head buried in his arms and his shoulders shaking.
Jim had to do a double-take. Right, so this was normal… in a virus-ridden, fucked-up type of parallel universe where down was up and up was down.
Surely Spock couldn’t be crying, because that would just be too weird even for inhibition-suppressing pathogens. Shit like this just did not happen. Not to Spock. Not to the guy who had been most likely voted ‘one you’ll never find sobbing his eyes out’ in his graduating class. Spock had always seemed so above everything, even viruses. There was no way the illness had infected his first in that way…. Jim knew he had thought it would be cool to see Spock lose it, but now, he took it back. This type of emotional Spock was not a Spock he wanted to see. Not a broken one, not a crying one. It broke Jim’s heart.
“Spock, are you okay?” Jim asked, unsure how to proceed.
“I never told my mother that I loved her,” his first replied, his voice uncharacteristically sorrowful. It was a tone Jim decided then and there that he didn’t like from Spock at all. Even a furious, I’m going to choke the living daylights out of you Spock was less painful to watch than this.
He hated Psi 2000. Hated it with a fury he hadn’t felt since Nero. God damned planet and its god damned bugs. Starfleet so owed them all for this one. They had better assign a fucking masseuse to the ship after this fiasco.
“I’m sure she knew, Spock,” Jim responded softly, slowly approaching his first, uncertain of where the influence of the pathogen would lead Spock’s mood next.
“No, how could she? I always had to hide my emotions, even as she reminded me that I was half human. I had to be more Vulcan than anyone else - more Vulcan than my childhood tormentors. As a result, I never let her know just how much she meant to me….” his first continued, driven to admit it all as if he were in a confessional.
He felt a twinge of empathy for Spock…. So his first was tormented as a child. That wasn’t really news, as children were notoriously cruel, but it did sound as though Spock’s childhood hadn’t been a bed of roses, almost as traumatic for him as Jim’s own had been. Though to have that come out now, when the ship had the potential to go down with the planet and Spock in no shape to help, was a testament to Jim’s recent luck at its finest.
The effects of Spock’s breakdown were not unlike a dam giving way, an analogy that Jim thought more than a little ironic considering that the whole damn
Not for the first time, Spock’s emotional state could make or break them all. Jim knew if they survived this, the irony of that might amuse him at some point in the distant future… that the fate of four hundred lives and the Federation’s flagship seemed always to hinge on the emotional state of their Vulcan first officer.
Jim seriously wondered if he and his crew were the butt of some sort of cosmic joke.
“Spock, trust me, she knew. I never knew her, but I know you, and I know how dutiful you are, how protective you are of the ones you care about. There is no way she couldn’t have known,” Jim replied sincerely.
Jim was torn. He wanted to be there for Spock, wanted to talk him through it. He knew it was the pathogen speaking, knew that Spock would probably hate Jim for witnessing him like this later, which was reason enough to put a stop to this as quickly as he could, despite his morbid fascination with witnessing this side of Spock. Yet, at the same time, the
“Kirk to McCoy.”
“For the last time, Jim….” he heard his friend grind out, obviously at the end of his tether.
“Spock is infected,” he replied simply, waiting with bated breath as he heard Bones exhale sharply.
“Well, fuck,” came the gritty reply, which Jim thought the most apt assessment he’d heard all day.
“You said it,” Jim responded, still cautiously eyeing his first.
“I’m working as fast as I can, Jim. The lab department is infected as well, so I’m having to do all of the testing myself,” Bones continued, voice strained. “Spock’s autoimmune system works faster than ours. It’s possible that his body will flush this thing out naturally. Meanwhile I’m doing the best I can.”
“I know you are. I appreciate it, thanks, Bones,” Jim replied, shaking his head and ending the call.
Large, almost human brown eyes, the only trait Spock seemed to inherit directly from his mother, were watching him unblinkingly during his conversation with Bones.
“You love this ship,” came the soft voice of his Vulcan first, permeating through Jim’s feeling of dismay.
“Yes, of course I do,” Jim replied, wondering where this was going. He felt like he was navigating a mine field, and Spock was the ticking time-bomb. “She’s mine. One of the few things in my life I can point to with absolute pride.”
So Spock knew. Somehow Spock had sensed his interest and Jim felt his heart sink. This was the absolute last conversation he wanted to have on the verge of his ship’s destruction. But there was some small consolation in getting it out, some sort of relief in clearing the air before the shit completely hit the fan.
“No, the ship isn’t the only thing I love,” Jim answered, turning his eyes away.
“There are times when I’m ashamed of myself, of how much I want you,” Spock continued, “ashamed of the emotions you evoke within me. I am not supposed to feel like this, and yet, you manage to make me feel. You have always managed to make me feel, and have from the moment we met. The rest of the crew senses it, for all that I’ve attempted to keep it hidden. Nyota terminated our romantic association because she, too, sensed it was you that I want, and she gave me her blessing to pursue you should I chose to act on these feelings.”
Spock stood abruptly from his chair, moving swiftly to approach Jim, his hand coming up to cup Jim’s face under his chin.
Jim felt his heart squeeze tightly in his chest. He was exhilarated at hearing his interest was reciprocated, at hearing that Spock was available and wanting him just as profoundly as he had been wanting Spock. He was also slightly unnerved that Uhura had sensed something between them. Her scariness, in Jim’s estimation, just went up a few notches.
However, there was a shred of doubt, though Jim hated to ponder it. He couldn’t help but wonder how much of what Spock claimed was real and how much of it was the result of the virus that had most of the crew acting completely insane. Obviously Spock had chosen not to act on his feelings until now, under the influence of the pathogen, which was a pretty telling sign if there ever was one.
Relief and uncertainty warred within Jim, making him feel slightly unhinged.
Then another feeling came, one more physical. All at once, there was fever and panting…a sudden rush in his bloodstream and a strange fuzziness to his mind, not unlike being completely intoxicated. And Jim knew with more assurance than anything he had experienced these past couple of days that he too was infected, and that somehow the pathogen had been passed to him through Spock. Yet even knowing that, he couldn’t bring himself to pull away, and allowed himself a brief second to savor the feeling of his Vulcan first officer’s warm fingers against his skin.
And then he had to speak his peace before he lost his mind entirely.
“Spock, it makes me unbelievably happy to hear you say that,” he replied, trying desperately to gather his thoughts. “And I want to explore this further, more than anything, trust me on that. But the ship is caught in the gravitational pull of the planet, and Chekov shut the engines down when he locked himself in engineering. Unless you can find a way to get the engines up and running right now, we’re all dead.”
Something snapped in his First, Jim could physically see the difference. Spock’s knowing brown eyes cleared and his posture straightened, and Jim still had enough presence of mind left to feel hope swell within him.
“I will not let you die!” Spock announced fiercely, putting every bit of the last of his emotional display into that statement, while clearing the way for logic to once again take precedence in his mind. “Captain, there is an intermix formula... it's never been tested. It's a theoretical relationship between time and anti-matter. Yet to use it, we risk implosion. There is only a one in ten thousand chance we will succeed."
“One in ten thousand is certainly better than nothing, do it!” Jim replied, feeling the last of his mind descend into a kaleidoscope of dizziness, images, and color.
The sequence of events following his conversation with Spock were hazy in Jim’s mind, and he would only later recollect them with enough coherency to note that some serious repression was the order of the day.
He remembered vaguely stumbling onto the bridge and draping himself in his chair. Semi-remembered hailing the entire ship with an announcement that it was time for everyone to hear some ‘real’ music, and breaking into the Beatles classic “All You Need is Love” while dedicating it to his ‘Vulcan stud of a first officer’. And then vaguely recalled Bones flouncing on the bridge to save the day, hypospray in hand, and injecting Jim with a muttered, “Thank god I got here before he moved on to Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’,” while Spock worked to save them all with his one-in-ten-thousand chance of success, which, when it came to Spock pulling off the impossible, was really more of a one in two chance… everyone but Spock seemed to know that.
What he did remember with absolutely clarity was his mind clearing enough to note that an odd occurrence had taken place with the ship’s chronometer once Spock’s miracle had successfully been pulled off. Apparently playing around with antimatter to boost start a starship engine was some extremely serious shit, in more ways than one.
"We have regressed in time seventy one hours, Captain. It is now three days ago. We have... three days to live over again," Spock announced, inquisitiveness and curiosity leaking through his cool Vulcan resolve.
Jim smiled, widely. His shoulders visibly sagged as he released a long breath at this unexpected turn in his fortune. Now that was the best news he’d had all day. In fact, it almost made the entire nightmare worthwhile.
“Oh, really. Three whole days to completely unwaste. Whatever shall we do?” Jim asked his first officer. His tone was light, purposely so, but within that question was an underlying one. If Spock knew him as well as Jim thought he did, he would answer both.
“I believe the obvious answer, Captain, would be to ‘make up for lost time’,” Spock responded, dark eyes flashing in amusement despite the deadpan tone of his voice.
Check and mate. Jim re-evaluated his previous assessment… unknown space pathogens were awesome.
“One of your better ideas, Mr. Spock. Why don’t we go, uh, discuss it in more detail,” Jim replied, aware of the other eyes on the bridge, but also wanting Spock to know, with no cause for uncertainty, that Jim was totally game.
“Indeed,” Spock replied, the edges of his mouth twisting into a small smile.
“Right. Lieutenant, you have the conn,” Jim announced , exiting the bridge shoulder to shoulder with his first.
As they left, Jim heard Uhura whisper, “Do they actually think they were being subtle?” to Bones.
And Bones replied, “Don’t know, don’t want to know. But Jim will probably tell me, and for that very damn reason, later on.”
Jim couldn’t help it, he laughed.
Seventy-one hours and two minutes into the future a planet called Psi 2000 bursts into pieces that spread out through the galaxy, and on the Enterprise, seventy-one hours and two minutes in the past, Jim Kirk felt the jagged pieces of his heart come together.
The sequel, a "Dagger of the Mind" Reboot, found here: "Sensible to Feeling as to Sight"