One Hell of a Weekend: Part One
It was Friday, March 26th, exactly a month since their lives had all taken a turn for the better.
And exactly two days before Easter Sunday.
Jim woke with a grin upon his face; one more day of classes, then a four-day break filled with chocolate and fun.
This was going to be one hell of a weekend.
Spock woke with his usual sense of calm, until his memory supplied him with the date, and the upcoming events for the next week. He had never celebrated a Terran Easter before, yet he knew he would not enjoy it.
This was going to be one hell of a weekend.
Leonard McCoy (or ‘Bones’ as a certain bird-brain had taken to calling him) was already up, slurping on a giant mug of coffee, when Jim’s sleep-tousled head nudged itself into his field of view,
“Hey, Bonesy. Got any more of that?”
“On the counter, kid. I ain’t your mother.”
Jim’s smile seemed to drop a few degrees at the reference to his mother, the tension lasting only a moment before the boy’s usual grin returning to his face as if nothing had happened. Maybe it hadn’t happened. Maybe it was just a trick of his eye.
Yeah, and maybe he was a half-assed mule too.
“You okay, kid?” McCoy’s eyes followed Jim around the kitchenette with concern.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Mum’s just a sore spot, that’s all. You know… she could never really accept me,” Jim replied in a wistful tone with his usual level of perceptivity, knowing exactly what McCoy had meant with his question. He still hadn’t gotten the hang of this whole ‘shielding’ business, and surrounded as he was by damn mind-readers he supposed it’d be a good idea to actually try.
He gave the boy a sympathetic look, “Yeah, me too, but with my pa instead. And I saved his sorry ass too,” he added bitterly, taking another swig from his mug. The two boys sat in companionable silence for a few minutes, each wrapped up in their own thoughts.
“I used to get along real well with my pa,” McCoy broke the silence, staring intently into his mug as if it held the secrets to the universe. Hell, maybe it did.
“We weren’t the closest of family, but we used to spend a lot of time together, when he was home. He’d take me out to all these old country shows, like the rodeo and stuff. Wanted to instil some good old-fashioned Georgia spirit in me,” he took a swig, the memories coming faster now, “I never really realised how close-minded he was until my powers came out. But looking back, I can see bits and pieces that I didn’t pick up on at the time. He was dead-set on me and my sister being religious; when Jo told him she just couldn’t believe in such ‘out-dated ideologies’, he wouldn’t let her back in the house for a week. I was ten at the time.
“Then there was that time that we got new neighbours, about the time I started middle school. They had a boy about my age, nice kid, bit clingy if you ask me. Pa picked up on that. He forbade me from playing with him, on accounts of him being a ‘fag’,” he shook his head, running a hand through his thick hair, “Poor kid committed suicide a year later. The Bible Belt still ain’t friendly to people who are different.”
He finally looked up at Jim, expecting some kind of judgement or pity in those azure eyes.
What he didn’t expect was compassion.
“How’d he react when your powers came out, then?” The kid’s voice was gentle, giving McCoy all of his attention.
He sighed, draining his mug, “He… he thought I was a freak. That I was some devil’s spawn or something, I guess. I didn’t end up staying with him much longer though - pretty soon after the accident, he shipped me off to my aunt in Utah.” He snorted, remembering his first encounter with his Aunt Gabby. He’d thought she was going to be some terrifying twin of his father, all wrath-of-God and hell bent on setting him straight. Turned out she’d changed a hell of a lot since his pa had last spoken to her - she said she’d found the ‘True God’, and He was accepting of all His creations.
He was damn fond of Aunt Gabby. He should really get around to comm-ing her more often.
Jim’s mouth stretched into a forced imitation of a smirk, “Well, my mum was never really around enough to be of much use. She could hardly bear to look at me as I got older - I reminded her far too much of my dad,” he grimaced, resting his chin on one hand as he ran a finger around the edge of his mug, “She married this son of a bitch, Frank, pretty much to just keep an eye on us. He was an alcoholic, a mean drunk. Used to… to hurt me and Sam, my brother. He ran away when he was fourteen, when I was nine, he just couldn’t stand living there any longer. He told me he couldn’t be a Kirk in that house.
“I don’t know how I survived as long as I did. There’s a bunch of stuff that… that I’ve never really told anyone. Not the full story, anyway. Bits and pieces, never the whole truth. It hurt too much.” Jim shrugged, turning his gaze back to McCoy, whose mouth was pressed into a hard grimace, one hand balled into a tight fist. Heck, he’d only known this kid a month, but damn if he didn’t feel protective of him. He’d suffered, hell, they’d all suffered because of their differences. And none of them deserved it.
“Listen, kid… If you ever feel like talking ‘bout it, just… I’m here for you, you know that, right?” He looked earnestly into those blue eyes, those eyes that shut away Jim’s emotions, hid his true feelings from the world. His outside might be gruff and irritable, but inside he was a papa bear, wanting to protect everyone around him from ever getting hurt. It was rather fitting that his powers lent him the ability to heal most wounds, both physical and psychological. It was all he could do not to just reach over, and try and make it better.
But no, he couldn’t do that without Jim’s permission. And if Jim couldn’t even talk about it yet, then there was no way he’d let some guy he’d only known a month into his head, with access to his memories.
It was hell, having the power to fix something, and not being able to fix it.
But it was a lesson he had to learn - you couldn’t fix everything, no matter how bad you might want to.
Just then, his PADD dinged, a new message icon appearing in the corner of the screen. He tapped on it, quickly reading the short message.
“Who’s comm-ing you?” Jim leaned over, trying to read over his shoulder, but McCoy closed the window before he had the chance,
“Sorry kid, gotta run. Someone’s expecting me,” he grinned, tucking his chair neatly under the table as he made to leave. He hesitated for a second though, the grin falling into a more sympathetic smile, “Thanks for sharing with me. I know it’s hard to talk about that kinda stuff, but trust me, time heals. The memories will never go away, but things get better with time.”
Jim gave him an odd look, a half-smile quirking the corner of his mouth, “Thanks… Leonard. Thank you for sharing, too.”
They shared a grin, each feeling a little bit closer to the other than they had before. For Jim, he felt like he might’ve finally found someone to fill the hole that Sam had left all those years ago. For McCoy, he felt like he’d found the younger brother he’d always wanted.
But Bones was expected elsewhere. That little message had left a warm feeling in his stomach, completely different to the warmth he’d felt in Jim’s presence a few moments before.
Gaila was waiting for him.
Jim was left standing in the small dining area, jumbo mug in hand, an amused grin on his face. Bones was terrible at shielding. And even if he wasn’t, Jim could recognise that kind of excitement from a mile away.
“Hey, Jim,” Sulu was the next to appear, a sleepy Chekov in tow. Jim had noticed Chekov sneaking out of Sulu’s room plenty of times in the small hours of the morning, looking slightly dishevelled. He had his suspicions, but unless Chekov was some kind of master manipulator, he didn’t see Sulu letting the boy get up to too much mischief.
“Hey, Chulu,” he smirked. Their couple name always pissed Sulu off, but Chekov loved it, as proven by the giant, albeit sleepy, grin on his face. They obviously hadn’t slept that much last night.
“Hey, Spirk,” Sulu retorted, drawing a snort from Jim,
“Firstly, we are not a couple. Secondly, that only counts if we’re both here.”
“What is ‘Spirk’?” Spock’s dulcet tones sounded from behind them, causing the Chulu to jump in unison, “And what is ‘Chulu’?”
Jim smirked, spinning a chair around and straddling it, “Well, when two people are in a romantic relationship, it is customary to make up some collective nickname for them. In the case of these two,” he gestured, “Ch-Chekov and S-ulu makes Chulu.”
A raised eyebrow, “I see… And ‘Spirk’?”
“Sulu was just teasing,” he threw a glare at the boy in question. Not that he wouldn’t mind, but he was pretty darn certain that the iceblock wasn’t into him.
Not that he was an iceblock. More like a little campfire surrounded by a wall of clear ice. One that you could sometimes see through, to glimpse the flame inside.
“…Fascinating,” was all the response he got, as Spock set about preparing himself breakfast. Only Jim could tell he was amused by the concept of couple names. Amused, and a little bit of something else…
“Hey – I haf just realised!” Chekov suddenly looked more awake – possibly something to do with the pot of coffee sitting in front of him, “Eet is Easter zis veekend!”
Around the table, there were two grins, an amused chuckle, and one decidedly unimpressed frown.
“I do not see the logic in celebrating a holiday which began as a Terran fertility celebration, appropriated by a Terran religion as the day of resurrection of a deity, and is now only an excuse for a respite and the gorging of oneself on confectionary goods of little nutrients.”
Yeah, the Vulcan was not amused.
Sulu was the one to speak up, “Spock, humans love their celebrations. And their chocolate. Have you ever had chocolate? It is the most fantastic thing in the world!”
Spock looked torn between debating the issue of ‘the most fantastic thing in the world’, and getting to class on time. The start of the school day would commence in twenty minutes, and he had yet to brush his teeth.
Jim saved him the trouble, “Oops, look at the time. Discussion tabled for the time being, you guys can pester him later.” He guided Spock away, the Vulcan throwing him a grateful look as he went to retrieve his toiletries.
What was so wrong with chocolate?
This day heralded the arrival of the last of the Academy’s staff - a few Starfleet scientists, hell bent on figuring out what made them tick, a Betazoid engineer with theories on how to combine psionics and machines, and a combat instructor. Finally, some fun.
The combat instructor was tall and heavy-set, with a brown mop of short, curly hair tickling his ears. Cold, grey eyes watched the teenagers as they filed into the gym, its faux-wood-panelled floors covered with foam mats, ready for the inevitable rough-and-tumble that would transpire.
The kids that had some combat training had been separated from those who had none. Sulu had opted to place himself in the advanced class, even though he technically hadn’t had any training - his natural proficiency needed only be refined. The others in the advanced class (which also included Spock, Jim, and another boy) were all surprised to see Chekov there - the adorable blonde fourteen-year-old didn’t look like he could hurt a fly, let alone fight a full-grown human. They weren’t as surprised to see Gaila entering behind him though - she could be pretty badass when she wanted to be.
“Alright kids, form a line. I’ll need to see what kind of levels you’re at before I can start teaching,” he announced in gruff tones, examining each of them in turn. They shuffled into something that resembled a line, Gaila, Jim and Spock ending up at one end, and a kid called Matt, Chekov and Sulu forming the end of the line.
The instructor eyed Gaila with some incredulity, not quite believing this young, green-skinned woman could be capable of much.
“Alright then. Let’s see what you can do.” He shifted into a defensive stance, beckoning his half-Orion opponent forward. She walked up to him casually, not even bothered to switch into a fighting stance, just bouncing on her toes as she started to circle him. Her eyes flickered around the man’s figure, analysing her larger opponent.
She shifted without warning, suddenly seeming to transform from a cuddly kitten to a dangerously sexy tigress. Her feet were placed farther apart, one knee bent, one hand on the ground in front of her as her teeth flashed in an almost menacing grin, equal parts alluring and terrifying.
The instructor stumbled one step backwards at this sudden transformation, eyebrows rising on his forehead, before Gaila burst forward, taking a running leap and somersaulting over his head, landing in her feet behind him as she twisted around to give him a swift kick in the kidneys. The instructor found himself on the ground with the Orion girl straddled on top of him, absolutely no way of defending himself.
So he reacted offensively.
“That’s cheating!” He focused on shallow breaths, fully aware of Orion pheromones, “I need to assess your combative capabilities. Not manipulative abilities.”
“These are my combative capabilities,” she positively growled in return, levering herself up, “I learned to fight using my natural abilities.” She bounced off to the end of the line, whipping her hair about in an indignant hmph!
The instructor sighed, rubbing a hand over his face as the girl’s pheromones dissipated. Why on Earth had he agreed to this? He could be on a starship, exploring the stars, but nooo, he had to go take the job with the extra pay.
Just think of the money, Bob. You’ll only be here for a few months.
The next up was a cocky-looking blonde kid, with bloody great wings attached to his back. He’d seen aliens with wings before, but never had he seen a human running around with those fluffy extra appendages. Probably screwed up his balance something awful. He should be able to deal with this kid without too much trouble, right?
The blonde had watched him with amusement in his eyes, starting off the same way the Orion girl had, relaxed posture, but somehow looking ready to spring in whatever direction the moment called for.
Damn, this kid was fast! He hardly saw the foot coming before it connected with the side of his head, sending him stumbling sideways as he attempted to regain his balance. Another foot flew in his direction, and he just managed to sidestep it, grabbing hold of the boy’s foot and twisting him around, in theory leaving the kid face-down on the ground with his legs trapped.
Theory didn’t include wings.
The kid flapped his wings hard, buffeting the instructor into taking a step backwards, as the boy’s leg shifted in his grip. Not quite able to lift himself up, the kid resorted to whipping a wing around, hitting the instructor with enough force to make him let go of his foot.
He spun around, launching a few more kicks at the instructor, which he was barely able to dodge, completely on the defensive now. He tried catching the boy’s foot again, twisting him around, but with a sudden twist that only the double-jointed could manage, the blonde’s foot was free again.
The kid then stepped forward into his personal space, delivering a few quick jabs to his solar plexus, and a knee to his groin.
Damn lucky he’d decided to wear padded clothes and a little bit of armour for the more sensitive places, cos this kid fought dirty. As it was, he was left wheezing on the ground for a few moments as the blonde moved to the end of the line, a cocky grin on his face. That kid was going to be fucking irritating later on, he could just tell.
When a Vulcan kid stepped forward next, he almost groaned in exasperation. He had definitely underestimated these kids, he was certain of it.
This round lasted only a few seconds, the solemn, dark-eyed boy delivering a few well-placed hits seemingly to humour his comment before about “combative capabilities”, before holding him down just by staring at him. The fuck was this kid doing?
“Let me up!” he growled at the kid, who looked as impeccable before, as if he had just stepped out of his wardrobe. Damn Vulcan hadn’t even exerted himself.
“Of course,” there was a very slight quirk to the boy’s lips, before he found himself being lifted up into the air, and dropped in his feet. He watched the boy move away with some apprehension. Vulcans couldn’t normally do that, could they? Must be his ‘mutation’. Freak.
A relatively normal-looking kid who insisted on introducing himself as Matt stepped up as he hauled himself onto his feet, holding a hand out to help him. After losing to a bunch of kids already, the instructor wasn’t feeling particularly charitable. Taking advantage of the proffered hand, he pulled the kid into a headlock,
“Now, show me how you’d get out of this, kid.”
The boy stood completely still, and he could practically hear the cogs turning inside that head covered by a mop of dark red hair. Then the kid just sort of… moved through his arm, leaving a really weird sensation behind, like when you hit your elbow just wrong. The kid spun around with a grin on his face, asking him if he wanted him to do anything else.
The instructor suspected that this kid was just a little wrong in the head.
After that, the sparring match went as he’d initially expected them to go - the kid had some training, sure, but he wasn’t some kind of superman like the other three so far. Finally, his first win! Though he really shouldn’t be thinking about it like that - he was here to assess their capabilities, not get competitive with them.
A Japanese boy was up next, cracking his knuckles with a grin that was, to be truthful, a little intimidating. This fight lasted longer than the others - the kid seemed unused to hand-to-hand combat, seemed like he almost had no idea what he was doing, but somehow still managed to end up with him on the ground, the teenager standing over him with that scary grin again, something almost predatory in his gaze.
The last one up was this tiny blonde kid, a little boy, looking innocent and fragile. He’d go easy on this one - he didn’t doubt the kid had training (he did doubt the Japanese one, but then again, guy had beat him), but he was pretty sure that the kid would break if he didn’t reign in his attack.
He didn’t even get a chance to go on the offensive.
Didn’t even get a chance to react.
The kid surged forward without warning, a lightning-fast kick to the jaw spinning him around, then a hand on the shoulder, a twinge of pain, before everything went black.
“Dude! What did you do?!”
Jim ran up beside him, looking openly amazed. Chekov couldn’t help but smirk in the face of the teenager’s open astonishment at his skill. One of the best feelings could be experienced when someone who underestimated you finally realised what you were capable of.
“He delivered a Vulcan nerve pinch to our instructor’s right shoulder,” Spock stepped forward to examine the man before turning his gaze to Chekov, face blank as ever, yet clearly radiating disapproval, “Where did you learn of this technique?”
He scowled slightly at the Vulcan, raising his head and drawing himself up to his full (if relatively small) height,
“I vas, let us say, acquainted, vith ze son of a V’tosh Ka’tur,” he stated, not letting any emotions show. This Vulcan may have been without logic, but he did see the sense in learning to control his emotions and reactions - something which he had also taught Chekov, and which had come in handy in those few times he’d been… caught.
“How did you come to know such an individual?” Spock’s eyes narrowed, facing him with his hands behind his back, using his (rather significant) height in a subconscious attempt to intimidate him. Well too bad - Chekov had met a lot more intimidating people, one of which had been the Vulcan boy’s father.
“Ve vorked togezzer on a project,” he replied, mimicking the Vulcan’s stance. He didn’t care that he was screwing up the adorable-child persona that he’d cultivated in his time here. It was getting boring anyway. He did feel a slight twinge at the thought of Hikaru though - he forcibly stopped himself from looking over at him, not wanting to see the confusion and hurt that no doubt was his reaction to the sudden change in attitude from the Russian boy.
The Vulcan held his gaze for a few moments longer, eyes flicking back and forth as he tried to determine the truth of the subject. Chekov tightened his mental shields, even though he was mostly certain Vulcans were only touch telepaths. Better safe than sorry.
“You are not who you say you are,” he stated simply, an affirmation not a question.
“Somevhat,” was all he would give the teenager.
“Pavel? What do you mean?” Chekov closed his eyes, taking a deep breath in before turning his gaze to Hikaru. Eyes filled with confusion and hurt met his, driving the breath back out of his chest.
Yes, against his better judgement, he’d developed… feelings for the boy. They had spent a lot of time together in the past month, talking and gaming and just hanging out really. And through it all, he’d learnt so much about Hikaru, and had barely given anything of himself away. All Chekov had wanted out of this, was to learn to optimise his abilities, nothing else. He hadn’t counted on making such a close friend along the way.
“Wait, wait, wait,” Jim interjected, pushing in front of Spock and Sulu, “Russian, knows a logic-less Vulcan, and from what I’ve seen, is scary good with computers?”
“Da…” Chekov affirmed reluctantly, not sure where this was going.
“Mister Clean Up?”
His eyes widened, and he had to make a physical effort not to take a step back, “How do you know zat name?”
“Dude, it’s me - Captain,” Jim looked ridiculously happy, picking up the fourteen-year-old in a great bear hug, “Dude, you were the best of us! I had no idea you were so young!”
“Keptin?” Chekov couldn’t believe it. One of his old team, here? What were the chances?
“Aaaaah, yeah, oops. Cover. Right,” Jim scratched the back of his neck, looking chagrined as he looked around at the others. Both of Spock’s eyebrows were raised now,
“The Captain and MisterCleanUp? Both of the Blue Fedora cyber terrorist group?”
“We prefer ‘hacktivists’” Jim retorted, slinging an arm around Pavel’s shoulder. Spock looked rather agitated now - for him, at least, which involved a raised eyebrow and clenched hands,
“You are both criminals,” he Vulcan-sputtered. Which is to say, he looked mildly indignant.
“Ve are grey hat hacktiwists,” Chekov finally managed to get a word in, stepping out from under Jim’s arm, “Ve find holes in national security netvorks, and ve stop criminal actiwities.”
“Ah yeah, like the Russian Mafia. That was the first time we actually met, remember? Damn, I just thought you were some short alien or something!” Jim was definitely not taking this seriously. Chekov glanced at him with some irritation, before returning his attention to the slightly more worrisome barely-concealed-rage (or perhaps a feeling of betrayal?) emanating from the Vulcan,
“Look, Meester Spock, ve do not target ciwilians, nor do ve attack beneficial organisations. Ve help protect ze awerage person’s security and rights.”
Spock hesitated, seemingly caught between moral indignation, and the logic of Chekov’s argument,
“Nevertheless, you have broken the law. You must be reported,” he insisted, swaying to the side in an aborted motion to walk away, as Jim stepped closer to the Vulcan, into his personal space, a slightly pleading expression on his face,
“Dude, I’m still me. I haven’t changed. That stuff was in the past, and anyway, we really were helping people. We disabled the Russian Mafia’s online branch, we took down the Humans First hacker group – now those guys were criminals, not us. They destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of non-humans living on Earth. We never harmed ordinary people, Spock. Surely you can realise that.”
Throughout his small speech, Jim had held the Vulcan’s gaze, never letting him look away, practically broadcasting his sincerity. And Spock’s gaze had softened, his non-expression morphing from accusation into… understanding. Jim would never harm an innocent. He knew that.
A groan sounded from behind the group, everyone looking over in unison to see their instructor levering himself into an upright position, massaging his neck as he blinked blearily at them,
“Ok, you have got to teach me that,” he smirked slightly at Chekov.
There their ‘lesson’ ended, the instructor citing his need to move on to what he called the ‘Noob class’, ushering them on to their next destination: Lunch break.
This age was plagued by weakness.
Technology had advanced to the point where there was no competition for survival, no pressure to separate the weak from the strong, no evolutionary progress; simply the re-emergence of the genes suppressed centuries past.
He watched the crowds of ordinary folk flow around him, standing still as a fixed boulder in the midst of a raging river. He could sense them around him, their hopes, their desires, their fears. This area wasn’t so infested by the offworlders that had infected other parts of the city, yet there was still the occasional alien mixed in with the throng.
Their minds were different. Harder to sense. Warped.
His curiosity warred with his hatred of weakness, wanting to learn more about the aliens that had integrated themselves into the population, yet knowing that even they were not worthy of this planet.
Perhaps when he was done cleansing the Earth of the less evolved, he would allow the stronger and more intelligent of other species to co-inhabit with the New Humans. It would be interesting to see how the X-gene abilities could mix with the exotic strengths of alien life.
But first, he must gain allies, for what he had planned for this city could not be achieved by one man alone, no matter his superiority.
He closed his eyes, sifting through the minds of the crowds around him. No one paid him any notice, too wrapped up in their own insignificant lives to wonder what the strangely clothed man was doing in the middle of the square.
They were so few and far between, and those with power had little skill.
But there was one, not too far from here, a middle-aged man with connections to an organisation called The Brotherhood. He remembered the original society, the ones who instigated the Battle of Alcatraz, the Mutant Revolution. The fool in charge had let loose the Phoenix, causing irreversible damage to both sides, the panicking humans leading to the widespread administration of the “cure”, negating that which made the New Humans superior.
He would take command of this present-day incarnation of the organisation, and lead it on the path of victory over those who had long rejected them, shunned them, refused them their rights.
Oh, yes. The humans would have their due. This he promised them.
It took some work, but eventually he was able to win them over. Their leader had thrown down the gauntlet, the woman’s psionic strength presenting him with an invigorating challenge. It was a good fight, and she a worthy opponent. It was truly unfortunate that she would not submit to him - he could have used an ally like her.
He had to dedicate himself to the task of organising the ragtag bunch of New Humans, still stuck in the stigma of calling themselves ‘mutants’. They had to be told that their actions so far were not enough to convince the public of their superiority - they must take control, and cleanse the Earth of the scum that currently ruled them.
To create, they must first destroy.
To start anew, first they must cleanse with fire.