chasmas: (Default)
it's a kat! ([personal profile] chasmas) wrote2013-08-21 02:21 pm


rating: pg-13
fandom: star trek: aos
summary: grief is a long and disjointed process

Jim gets into a bar fight the night before Pike's memorial service. He gets drunk and says just the right words to get just the right reaction out of the big guys at the other end of the bar. The feeling of a fist smashing into his cheek (he'll have a nice shiner in the morning) is just what he wanted to try and erase the itch under his skin. He stumbles back to the Academy dorms with a broken nose and a fractured hand, covered in blood and looking nothing like the golden boy of Starfleet.

It's not until he's in the dorm room, huddled in a corner with his aches and pains that he realizes he's in Bones' room. That turns out to be a good thing, though. He doesn't ask many questions, just patches him up with a shake of the head and a muttered, Dammit, Jim.

He doesn't want to listen to Spock. He doesn't want to listen to Scotty. There's a familiar anger in his blood, boiling hot and threatening to scald anyone who comes to close to it. It demands violence for violence. A life taken for another life taken.

Do you feel like you were meant for something better?

He listens to his crew.

The admiralty ask him to speak at the memorial. They know that Jim was close to Admiral Pike, they say. Some words from his favorite student wouldn't be out of place, they say.

Go fuck yourself, Jim says.

The horrified and worried look on Uhura's face makes something in his chest clench. Jim doesn't even want to think of what Spock must think of him, even as he flashes back to You never loved her. He thinks that maybe he should be disappointed in himself for losing control so completely and thoroughly.

He doesn't.

Attempting to beat the shit out of Harrison was the best feeling he's had since he got back from Nibiru.

(That's a lie. The best feeling was when Pike called him "son.")

He wakes in the middle of the night from a nightmare about Pike. Everything aches, his hands, face, and heart especially. He's shaking so hard part of him wonders if he might be seizing. But Bones is there, wrapping himself around Jim and holding him tight. Anchoring him. That's when Jim realizes he's got mumbled words spilling out of his mouth like some kind of awful, guilty mantra.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I should've been there, I'm sorry

Crying has never really been his thing. Not since he was a little kid, anyways. But it's three in the morning, he's still a little drunk, and Bones is hugging him (he can't remember the last time he had a real hug) and he just sobs until he feels like he might start dry heaving.

In the morning, Jim acts like he doesn't remember any of it.

It's only after he's touched Spock's shoulder that he remembers Vulcans are touch telepaths. He feels a little bad for the wave of grief, anger, guilt, love, no why did this happen this shouldn't have happened why the fuck was i off playing hero, not you, not you, not you he might've been privy too. Mostly he just wonders if Spock will have any luck untangling the mess of Jim's emotions. Because Jim sure as shit has no idea where to start.

When he's on his deathbed, he's scared out of his mind. He's never really thought about the afterlife. Science doesn't really have any proof for one, but he's always liked the idea that maybe someday he'd see his dad again.

As everything starts going dark, he wonders just which one it'll be better to see.

Thinks, Something tells me this isn't what he meant when he said "I dare you to do better."

The night before the Enterprise is rechristened, he doesn't sleep. He stays up and sorts through the meager belongings he'd been willed after Pike died. Rereads old correspondence and replays memories in his head over and over and over again. A year has done a lot to dull the pain, but it still feels a bit like an open wound as he prepares his speech.

He talks about Pike the way a student talks about a teacher, a mentor. In his head, he's thinking of him differently.

When he stands up there on that podium, he has to try very hard to not laugh inappropriately when he recalls the conversation he's talking about. It wasn't anywhere near as poignant and memorable as he's making it sound. If only the audience knew.

He can almost feel the familiar cuff of Pike's hand on the back of his head. He can almost hear the Not now, James. Keep it together.

Jim smiles.

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