He grabbed his keys off the counter. Sun was slowly creeping in the window. It was 6:45. Jim sighed and looked around the house he’d grown up in. He reached into his wallet and pulled out the picture of his father. He was a good looking man, Jim couldn’t deny it. His smile was wide and he looked so happy. He had just graduated from Star Fleet. Jim hung his head and put the picture on the counter. It was time to let go. He couldn’t go around carrying a picture of his father his whole life.
He walked outside and clambered on his bike. He got to riverside shipyard at around 7:43. He sat there, looking at it. Ships flying around, smoke billows filling the skies. He looked around and then thought back to his old life. He was 22 years old, it was time to do something. He couldn’t just stay at home with Bill and his Mom his whole life. But the thought of Emily all alone, left a pang in his heart. And it wouldn’t go away. He sighed deeply and pressed the gas and drove forward. He left it just outside the ship, gave it to a random worker.
Christopher Pike welled with satisfaction. Jim came forward and said, “4 years, huh? I’ll do it in 3.” And he climbed on board. He looked around, and missing the whole ceiling he ran into it completely.
“Nice.” Came a loud, sarcastic voice. He looked over to see the girl he’d talked to the night before.
“At ease, gentlemen.” He said to the men he’d gotten into a fight with the preceding night.
He took a seat directly across from the girl and smiled at her. She just sat there. Hiding back a grin, however, Jim noticed. He knew she liked him; and she knew he liked her. She was beautiful. Why hadn’t he realized it before. He looked across at Uhura. “Never did get that first name!” She shook her head and smiled.
“Why are you here?” The woman asked.
Jim shrugged,” Not really sure. Captain Pike said they needed me. So…Here I am.”
“It’s not easy.” She said.” You’ve got a lot of work to do.”
“Yeah, I know. You think I’m slow?”
“Sometimes I wonder.” She said moodily. Shifting in her seat, and looking to her left.
“You barely know me.” Jim said indignantly.
‘Oh, I know you.” She retorted.
“What’s my first name?” Jim mused.
“James T. Kirk.” She said expertly.
“Hah. Good one. What’s yours then?”
“Michelle.” She replied.
Jim smiled.” That’s pretty.”
She laughed, “Oh fuck off!”
“Sir! Sir, get back to your seat, please!” A woman was yelling in the background,
“I had a seat! In the bathroom!” A man hollered back. “And it had no windows!”
“You need a doctor!”
“Dammit, I don’t need a doctor I am a doctor!” He snarled at her.
“Then you need to get back to your seat!”
“I suffer from Aviophobia, it means fear of dying in something that flies!” He sounded like a mad man! Jim and Michelle looked over at him. Completely unsure of how to feel about this current situation.
“Sir, sit down. Or else I’ll make you sit down!”
He glowered at her then snapped, “Fine.”
He sat beside Jim, Michelle and he exchanged looks and smirked. The man leaned over near Jim and said, “I may throw up on you.”
“Um, I think these things are pretty safe.” Jim said.
“Don’t pander to me, kid, one tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in 15 seconds. Solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats. And wait till you’re sitting pretty when a case of Andorian shingles. See if you’re still so relaxed when your eyeballs are bleedin’.” Jim looked at him as if he was crazy. “Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence.”
“Well, someone’s pessimistic.” Michelle sighed.
“I hate to break it you, but Star Fleet operates in Space.” Jim told him.
The man sighed and said,” I know. I’ve got nowhere else to go. The ex-wife took the whole damn planet, and all I’ve got left is my bones.” He took a sip of the tiny bottle of vodka he’d brought along. Offered it to Jim, and Jim took a sip.” Name’s McCoy. Leonard McCoy.”
“That’s Michelle, and I’m Jim. Jim Kirk.” Jim said, handing him back the vodka.
“How come this is all you have to go to?” Michelle asked.
McCoy sighed,” Well, since we’re in for a long flight. I suppose I might as well tell you.”
“You don’t have to do that,” Jim said, tossing Michelle a dirty look. He really didn’t want to hear about anyone’s else’s hardships.
“It’s fine. I’ve got nothing else to do anyway.”
“Jessica was my everything.” McCoy began as the shuttle lifted for takeoff. She was beautiful, charming, sweet, and funny. Everything you wanted in a wife. All you ever wanted, really. Well, one day she just up and left me. I was coming home from work. And all of the sudden she was just gone. I looked for her everywhere. Then I heard someone coming down the stairs. It was Jessica, with two bags. She was leaving me. Times had been hard, money was scarce. I tried, dammit, I tried. And I begged I said, ‘Baby, please don’t leave. I love you with my whole heart.’ She told me she didn’t think it would work anymore. This made sense to me, in a way. I hadn’t been the biggest bag of sunshine at the time. I saw her hop into a convertible with some guy. And they drove off.
So, I went back inside and almost drank myself to death. I OD’d on some pills. All of that stuff. I’m ashamed to admit it, really. It was a mistake, I swear. I didn’t wanna be that way. But I walked outside--figuring I could clear my head. Some guy was selling coke on the pavement.” He chuckled, it made the irony more sweet. “I took it. With what little money I had, I told him I’d be interested in helping him, since he casually mentioned it. So, I started my business of selling coke. Just coke, no crystal or Mary Jane none of that shit. That stuff’s dangerous, crystal. Just the soft-core stuff. Then, I got caught one day, by an undercover police officer. My mother paid bail.
She was, understandably, very upset. She sent me to rehab, and I’m better.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out some pills.” These are anti-depressants.”
“Shit.” Michelle said, stunned.
“I don’t take ‘em. I don’t need ‘em.” He said this more to himself than anybody else.
“I think you do.” Michelle said frankly.
McCoy glanced up at her and said, “Really?”
“No I’m not . I’m just fine. I just don’t wanna be here. My mother said it would be the best thing to do.”
“It is. If you’re ever in any trouble. They work wonders. Right, Uhura?” Michelle asked
Uhura tossed her a frantic look and cleared her throat,” I guess.”
“What kind of trouble were you in?” Jim asked.
“That’s none of your business.” Uhura said stiffly. “Nor yours, Michelle.”
“I’m sorry. I was in some trouble, too. Too much bar hopping and bed hopping.”
“Sex addict?” Jim giggled.
“Hah! No. You wish…I was just a whore.” Michelle said.
“Were you in any trouble?” McCoy asked Jim.
Everyone was so honest, Jim wanted to say,” My mom neglects me.” But he couldn’t find the heart to say it. That was too much information. He shook his head slowly.” Nope. Captain Pike wanted me to come.”
“Ah.” McCoy said.
San Francisco was beautiful from the air. The golden gate bridge was amazing to witness for Jim-being such a small town guy. Uhura didn’t talk much during the flight. But Michelle and McCoy and him all became such good friends. They had to decide their dorms when they got there. McCoy and Jim chose each other, while Michelle chose Uhura. They had classes that evening. Just one. Which really annoyed Jim seeing as he was so drowsy.
They got in and he collapsed on the bed. “Fuck, I’m so tired.”
“This is so cool, the sink runs by itself. Everything is automatic.”
“What were you expecting, Bones?” Jim asked.
Jim laughed,” Yeah. Seeing as that’s all you got left.”
Bones grinned,” Bones. I like that. Bones.” He walked over beside his bed and looked at it and sat down.” You like Michelle.” He said after moments of silence.
“Hm?” Jim said, half asleep.
“You like Michelle.”
Jim laughed, “What makes you think that?”
“It’s pretty obvious, man. Plus, she’s a cutie. You don’t want her, I’ll take her.”
“She’s not a prize, Bones.” Jim said protectively.
“A woman like that is a prize.”
“Yeah, well, it’s Uhura I’m after.”
Bones laughed,” She doesn’t even like you, dude!”
“She will!” Jim said indignantly.
“Surrrrre. You might wanna rethink there.”
“Well, should I go for Michelle?” Jim asked.
“I would.” McCoy said honestly.
“Dude, how old are you…35?”
“I’m 28 and a half, thanks very much.” Bones said airily.
Jim chuckled,” I’m gonna sleep.”
“Me too, class starts at 6. And it’s already 2:30.”
“Set the alarm for 5:15.”
This class was the basic learning of space. It was taught by Montgomery Scott. Or, as he was called by everyone, Scotty. He was an okay looking man. But he made his way around campus with the young ladies. It was obvious when he was flirting with you, and he wasn’t ashamed to show it. Jim learned this immediately when he caught Scotty staring at Michelle’s chest. He sat by a little boy that looked very young.
“Woah dude, how old are you?” Jim asked him as he answered two “pop questions.
“14, sir.” The boy replied with a thick Russian accent.
“Holy shit, why are you here?”
“I vas transferred here.” The boy replied simply.
“Damn. You’re smart.”
“That’s a compliment, right?” The boy asked.
“Haha, yeah.” Jim nodded. “My name’s Jim.”
“My name is Pavel Chekov.” The boy replied.
“Nice to meet you.” Jim said.
“This is my friend, Sulu.” Chekov replied to an Asian man sitting next to him. Starting straight ahead and taking notes.
“You guys take this seriously, don’t you?”
“Not really.” Sulu said. “My Dad’ll kick my ass if I don’t get good grades or become a pilot of a star ship.”
“Man, you’ve got it made.” Jim said.
“Definitely. And this kid’ll get kicked in the balls if he doesn’t do good.”
“My momma sent me all the vay here from Russia.” Pavel said.
Jim nodded. “I’m from Iowa.”
“Contrary to popular belief I’m from here.” Sulu said with a grin.
Jim laughed at this. He was making friends already. And he couldn’t help but be grateful for this. He didn’t know the answer to any of these questions Mr. Scott would ask. Chekov, of course, would always raise his hand. After awhile, he had competition. A pointy-eared fellow with a bowl cut would raise his hand. Sulu was making fun of him, as well as Bones. He later learned his name was Spock. And he was Vulcan. And he was after Uhura. He noticed this, as every now and then he would glance over at her. Jim suddenly had competition.
He later met two other people, a green woman named Gaila. She was charming and had flaming red hair. She seemed very interested in Jim. However Sulu seemed more interested in her. And Michelle. It was a never-ending circle, Jim realized. Everyone was interested in one another. And someone had their eyes on Spock. He wasn’t sure why. The guy was nothing special, big nose, big ears, big brain. He was nothing. Young, Christine Chapel. Who was majoring in medical training-like Bones. Maybe everyone would get each other and they could all go out on double-dates. Or. Octo-dates.
There was a bar on campus, Jim stopped at the end of class to go get one. Uhura and Michelle were sitting there. Having a very animated discussion about someone. Jim could only hope that it was him. He smiled and strolled over to where they were.
“Hello ladies.” Michelle turned around and smiled, whereas Uhura looked upset that he had dropped by. “Can I get you a drink?”
“You never stop, do you?” Uhura asked.
Jim shook his head, “Nope.”
“Well, no thank you. I’m going to bed. It’s been a long day.”
“It’s only 8:15.” Jim said.
“See you back at the dorm!” Michelle called after her.
“What were you two talking about?” Jim asked. Michelle gave him a look and he said,” Aren’t we friends now?!”
“I guess.” Michelle shrugged. She then looked around and said, “Fine. Spock.”
“Why were you-”
“Uhura likes him.”
Jim snorted, “you’re kidding!”
“Nope. I think they’d be cute together. Seeing as she’s ‘stunning’” Michelle glared.
“You’re not so bad.” Jim said.
“You’re a fantastic liar, farm boy.” She laughed.
“I’m not lying.” Jim insisted. “You’re lovely.”
“What are you after, me…or my tits?” Michelle asked.
“Both.” Jim said.
She looked at him and burst into laughter. “And aren’t you after my big cock, right?!”
“Yeah…Sure. That’s what I want!” She said sarcastically.
And they both laughed so loud, everyone looked over at them. She said through laughter that they should leave. They laughed all the way over to the edge of the bay. There was a perfect view of the bridge from where they were. They sat down laughing. She leaned against him, and he snaked an arm around her.
“You’re hilarious.” Michelle said, finally once the laughing had ceased.
“Thanks.” Jim said.
“Why are you here, really?” She looked up at him curiously.
“My mom hates me.” Jim said.
“Yeah, she doesn’t give a fuck about me. So, I left. She didn’t try and stop me.” Jim said.
“Didn’t your Dad die?”
“My mom’s dead, too.” Michelle said.
She looked up at him and kissed him on the cheek. He looked at her and then kissed her square on the lips, and she kissed back. She wrapped her arms around him, and they stayed like this for several minutes. “She died of cancer.” Michelle said when they broke apart. “I was two.”
“I was barely even out of the womb.” Jim sighed.
“I know all about it.” Michelle said.
“Who doesn’t!” Michelle said.
“I’m talked about?”
“Your Dad is. He’s a legend.” Michelle said.
Jim looked stunned and fell back on the grass and exhaled loudly.” Damn.”
“It’s a hard life.” Michelle said, laying down beside him.
“So, your Mom doesn’t like you. Does this have something to do with your Dad?”
“She says it doesn’t. But I know it does.” Jim said.
“You look a lot like him.”
“I guess.” Jim said.
“You do! Look, your Dad was great. But you don’t have to be like him. I mean, hell, you could take Scotty’s job if you ser your mind to it.” Michelle said.
“I do. Anyone could take his job. He’s gonna get fired soon, anyway.” She said absentmindedly.
“Why is that?”
“Have you seen the way he is with chicks? It’s unbelievable. Court Martial has already given him 5 warnings. He doesn’t have much time.”
“I like you, Michelle.” Jim said.
She laughed, “It’s not gonna happen.”
She just lay there. And it was silence. Jim didn’t push it, that would be a mistake. He waited for her to speak and when she finally did, she blew him away, “Because, I’ll break your heart.”
“Maybe I’ll break yours.”
“No, because nobody breaks your heart. And, anyway, why would I want that?”
Jim shrugged, “I’m worth it.”
Jim rolled over on his knees and his face was hovering from hers. “Oh yeah.” And he leaned down and kissed her. Sweet at first, then more demanding and fast. It was sweet, the waves coming in, along with the chirping of crickets in the distance. All the night sounds of San Francisco.
He pulled away and she looked at him and said, “We wouldn’t be good together.”
She sighed, “We’re too much alike. I’m typical for girls, you’re typical for men.”
“So, let’s be typical together.”
She laughed, “You’re silly.”
She leaned up and kissed him. Pulling him back down. He didn’t dare pull anything on her. He wanted to make this last. To be with her. Just like this. It was sweet and serene. She was amazing. He didn’t get why it had never worked before. With anyone. It al seemed so simple with Michelle. And suddenly, he didn’t miss Emily at all. Or his mother, or Bill. He missed that warm, fuzzy feeling when he went back to lay in his bed. His heart hammering. Bones was in his bed already. Softy snoring. Jim could still taste her mouth. He could still feel her body beneath his. Her soft hair on his fingers. And wondered how he’d been living his life.