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08 June 2009 @ 00:31
Skinned Knees and Second Chances  
Disclaimer: Star Trek and all related elements, characters and indicia © Paramount Pictures / Bad Robot / Spyglass Entertainment 2009. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations—save those created by the authors for use solely on this website—are copyright Paramount Pictures / Bad Robot / Spyglass Entertainment 2009.

Please do not archive or distribute without author's permission.

Author's Note: Number One's planet of origin comes from Dorothy Fontana's novel Vulcan's Glory. Thanks to my fab betas yahtzee63, rheanna27, calapine, and malleablyfic.

Skinned Knees and Second Chances
by LJC

Pike refused to use the antigrav chair when he's at home.

The ranch house was one level, only a few short stairs for him to contend with. The leg braces and forearm crutches were better than nothing, and made him feel less like an invalid.

He spent the week in San Francisco at Fleet headquarters, chained to a desk when he wasn't being tortured by his Deltan physiotherapist, and week-ends in Mojave. The Academy transporters deposit him right in his living room, sparing him the journey by flitter, and it got him away from the army of yeomen Barnett had waiting on him hand and foot in the recruitment offices. There was something to be said for the peace and quiet of the Pike family ranch.

That particular Saturday dawned bright and cloudless. In the distance, he could see outgoing traffic from the Air & Space Port like flocks of birds crossing the blue expanse of sky. He stared at the wisps of grey for a moment, his coffee cooling in his mug. He skipped breakfast, going straight out to the barn to turn Tango out the way he did every Saturday morning since being reassigned to Earth.

When he went out to unlock the paddock, she was standing at the rail.

Her dark hair was blown back from her cheek by the wind. She had a light jacket on over a grey knit top and jeans, and yet she still looked just as crisp and in command as if she was wearing her fleet tunic with captain's braid.

"Gimmie a hand with him, will you?" he said before she could say anything, and she took the horse's lead while he fussed with the gate. Tango tried to nudge her aside with his shoulder to her hip, but she didn't budge. Instead, she adjusted the halter, scratching his nose while Pike leaned one crutch against the fence so he could walk the wide gate open.

"So who told you I was out here? Boyce?" he asked as he unclipped the lead from the halter, then didn't even wait for her answer. "Of course it was Phil."

The second Enterprise had returned, the acting CMO had beamed him straight to Starfleet Medical. Phil Boyce and Sarah April had pounced on him like the leeches they were, and he'd spent two hellish days being treated like a prized lab rat as they'd analysed the critter that had latched on to his brainstem. In the end, no matter what they'd tried—and they'd tried everything—there was nothing left but surgery. They wouldn't know for weeks or months if the damage was permanent or could be mitigated with the use of nanotech. Sarah had explained using words like "traumatic spinal injury" and "Anterior cord syndrome" and outlined all the various treatment options. Boyce, however, had summed it up over a shot of whiskey a bit more succinctly: It's just gonna take time.

Time. Chris Pike had spent the last four years with a fixed goal in sight, and always moving forward. Being reduced to taking life a day at a time was a special kind of hell.

Losing Enterprise had hurt almost more than the use of his legs. Pike had spent the last four years watching her take shape, first in the Riverside shipyards, then in the orbital drydock everyone called the San Francisco Yard despite the fact that it was two hundred thousand miles up.

He'd toured her wide white corridors while they were still empty. Spent hours combing through every inch of her vast and cavernous engine room. He'd wanted to memorise every rivet in her hull, be able to navigate her miles of decks with his eyes closed. She was beautiful and she was his, and now... Now she was Kirk's. With his blessing, because at least it felt like some small part of him would still be out there, through the cocky kid he'd scooped up off a barroom floor and ended up plunking down in his own command chair. But that didn't mean he didn't mourn the loss of his command. That it didn't hurt, knowing she was out there without him.

The rank of Admiral and the desk that came with it wasn't exactly something he had earned so much as won as a consolation prize for having survived. Everyone pretended he was recovering from the damned slug. But the truth was, it would take a hell of a lot longer to recover from losing the stars.

"Phil said you have six weeks of accumulated medical leave that you could have taken," she said, tucking a lock of dark hair behind one ear.

"You and I both know I'd go crazy with boredom inside three days. Anyway, this?" He gestured to the crutches, and the braces giving his legs the illusion of stability. "This is just... skinned knees."

"Skinned knees?"

Pike felt a tightness in his chest that wouldn't settle as she leaned on the wooden fence beside him.

"Just something Phil said, when they were patching me up. This isn't going to lick me. I won't let it."

They watched the horse gallop in a wide circle around the paddock, tossing his head, chunks of turf churned up under his feet.

"I wish I'd been there, Chris." She didn't make eye contact. Just kept gazing out over the field. "Yorktown could have been at Vulcan, if CNC had given the order to rendezvous with Enterprise. Instead, I had to sit on my hands in the Laurentian system."

"I'm glad you weren't. It was a massacre, plain and simple. If I hadn't had a green kid at the conn, we'd have been destroyed as we came out of warp, just like the others." He almost shrugged, but caught himself. He didn't want to lose his balance. That would just be embarrassing. "I can't play the 'what if?' game. And you shouldn't either, Captain."

"Aye-aye, Admiral."

He winced. "Now that's just mean. I didn't think you had it in you."

She'd finally laughed then, low and musical. He couldn't remember the last time he'd heard someone laugh around him.

He turned back toward the house and she fell in step beside him. She let him negotiate the shallow stone steps to the deck by himself, but he noticed she was close enough to catch him if he took a spill. For some reason, it made him smile again. Maybe because it reminded him of how his sister used to follow her youngest around when he was just learning to walk. It wasn't so much that she hovered—it was that was there to let him learn and make his own mistakes, but not crack his head open on the flagstones if he did take a tumble.

"Coffee?" he asked, already starting over to the dispenser before she nodded. If he remembered correctly, she took it black, no cream, no sugar. One of her very rare vices.

She carried both mugs over to the sofa, where they had a clear view through the large bay window of the paddock and meadow. He appreciated the gesture, because it was hard enough getting around on the crutches without trying to balance crockery along with it. More than that, he appreciated not having to ask—partly because she was a captain of a ship of the line and shouldn't be fetching coffee like a yeoman, and partly because he was still coming to terms with needing help and too damned proud to admit it.

But that was the thing about her: she'd always anticipated his orders back on the Yorktown. It spoiled him for working with anyone else. He got used to having someone he could count on, who could practically read his mind. And read him the riot act, if he crossed a line.

If the timing had been right, he'd have brought her with him to the Enterprise as XO. But he couldn't ask her to take a posting at the Academy as he had, waiting for the gleaming metal shell taking shape in the Riverside shipyards to emerge from her cocoon as the most advanced starship in the fleet. Instead, he'd recommended to Starfleet brass that his former exec get another braid and take his slot on Yorktown.

He'd been surprised at how quickly the brass had got back to him with an affirmative. Then again, she was the best XO in the fleet. It was only a matter of time before she got offered her own command. He'd felt a flash of guilt as he'd scanned that Eyes-Only brief, wondering if she would have made captain far earlier, had he not been unwilling to break up his 'dream team'. But then, if they had offered, she could have taken them up on it at any time. It flattered his ego to believe she stayed on the Yorktown because they worked so well together. But for all he knew, it could have been the truth.

"How are you?" she asked as he lowered himself to the cushions, leaning the crutches against the arm of the sofa where hopefully he wouldn't knock them over. "I mean, how are you really?"

The ghost of a smile crossed his face at her impeccable bullshit detector. "Busy, actually. Losing several thousand seasoned officers, crewmen, and two thirds of a cadet graduating class means the Academy is stepping up recruitment."

He still remembered the first time he'd scanned the butcher's bill from the Battle of Vulcan. Over three thousand names: some of them his peers, most of them strangers, too many of them men and women he'd recruited to the service. At least the Kelvin had had time to get shuttles away, thanks to Richard Robau and George Kirk. Those seven ships had been obliterated as soon as they came out of warp. They'd never known what hit them.

Neither had the six billion on Vulcan.

"There was a big jump in enlistment when Vulcan was lost, but it's tapering off now. They want to send me on a speaking tour of Federation member worlds."

He watched her face as she raised the mug to her lips to take her first sip of coffee, and he smiled at the way she closed her eyes for a second, savouring it. Aboard ship, they both got so used to the replicated swill that had the audacity to call itself coffee, that planet-side he always ground fresh beans for each pot. If there was one thing besides Starfleet that Christopher Pike took seriously, it was coffee.

"You hate giving speeches," she pointed out, setting the mug down on the coffee table so she could tuck one leg up beneath her and lean toward him, her arm on the back of the sofa, cheek resting against the heel of her hand.

"Tell that to Command. I just go where they send me."

That was met with a decidedly unladylike snort of disbelief.

"Okay, so I didn't exactly protest this particular assignment. It'll be good to get off-planet again. And it's about damn time the 'Fleet stopped being so... Tell me, what do you think of the word 'homogenous'?"

She raised both brows, eyes going wide for a second before they narrowed shrewdly. "Not as loaded as 'xenophobic', while still carrying the meaning to those who are actually listening."

"Good. I joined up wanting to see strange new worlds, and explore new civilisations. Just like the recruiting vids. It's about damn time we got back to that."

"A strong military is important, to protect the member worlds."

"Now you're just playing devil's advocate."

She picked up her mug and took another long sip. He kept staring at her hand wrapped around the chipped mug. She had long, tapered fingers, and she used to wear blue nail varnish back when she was his exec, but not today. She even had a hangnail on her thumb. It almost made him believe she wasn't perfect.

"There has to be a balance. We barely avoided another war with the Romulans after the Kelvin, the Klingons have been raiding border worlds, and the Orion Syndicate—"

"Defence is defence. But exploration... it should still be Starfleet's primary mission." He frowned, the ease and comfort he felt in her presence leaching away a little as reality got in its way. "We got spooked, after the Kelvin. Convinced the bogeyman was going to leap out of the dark. Well, the bogeyman's finally dead, and the cost was too damned high."

"How is Spock?" she asked, her expression creased with concern. "I read the mission report. But there's a lot that I'm guessing isn't in the official brief."

Spock had served under them as second officer on the Yorktown, and she'd been impressed enough with his performance that when she got her stripes, she'd asked Chris what he thought about asking Spock to take the XO position.

He'd given his honest answer: a ship needs a first officer who will balance her captain out. Not two peas in a pod.

You think I'm practically Vulcan? she'd asked, raising one eyebrow in a fair imitation of their young Science Officer.

Maybe I think he's practically Ilyrian, he'd replied, refusing to fall into her trap. But I know one thing for sure—half my command decisions came straight from my gut. Instinct. If you're smart, you'll look for an XO who has something you don't, someone who you can draw on to see different perspectives. That's why I was glad as hell I had you. My command record wouldn't have been half so good, if your cool head hadn't been there to back up my gut.

She'd actually blushed—something he'd never seen before or since.

"Hell, I'd be emotionally compromised if I lost my planet, my people, and my mother in a day. The fact that he held it together as long as he did... well, pretty damned Vulcan of him." Pike said, staring out at the paddock where Tango still ran in lazy circles. "He almost resigned his commission."

"He wouldn't be the first. Scuttlebutt is nearly all the Vulcans in the 'fleet have asked for reassignment to the colony. T'Meni and Sunak mustered out last week. You said 'almost'. What changed his mind?"

"I'm not sure," he said, though remembering the way Spock had stumbled off the transporter pad and straight into the waiting arms of the communications officer, he had a pretty good idea. "At the eleventh hour, he put in for Enterprise first officer. It got approved less than an hour before they broke orbit."

"And you didn't have anything to do with that?"

He smiled into his coffee cup. "Maybe I gave Command a little push."

"You just can't resist picking a fight with the brass, can you?"

"Hey, now I am the brass. So at least it evens up the odds, right?"

"I still wouldn't take odds against you."

They fell into a companionable silence. Anybody else would try to fill the silence with meaningless small-talk. Not her. He'd always appreciated that about her. And that wasn't the only thing.

They'd been together for four years, Captain and XO, and she'd never been overly familiar. He'd had his CMO, Phil Boyce, for his confidant—a solid shoulder to pour out his troubles, if he needed to. But she had always kept herself aloof and apart. Hell, it had taken him nearly three years to get her to call him by his actual name when they were off-duty. And even then, when she said "Chris" he still heard "Sir."

However, once they were peers, something had shifted. The communiqués over subspace stopped being about him checking up on his former ship and crew, and became two friends trading war stories, amusing anecdotes, and reminiscing over shared experiences. When she was on Earth, they always made time to catch up in person—even if it was just coffee in the Academy mess. The last time he'd seen her had been weeks ago, and he'd told her how Cadet Kirk had been the first cadet in history to request to perform the Kobayashi Maru simulation for a third time. It seemed like a lifetime ago, now. A lifetime and light-years away.

Looking at her now, how comfortable she was sitting on his sofa like this wasn't the first time she had ever been out here, he had to work hard to keep thinking of her as a friend and confidant and nothing more. It got a little harder each time. She was a beautiful woman, smart as a whip, and on the fast track to being one of the Fleet's most decorated captains. And he felt like a dirty old man sometimes.

"So where's the Yorkie off to next?"

She winced at his use of the nickname—he knew she hated it (She's a starship—not a puppy, Chris.) but old habits died hard.

"Patrolling the Klingon Neutral Zone."

"So a milk run, then?"

"Hardly. There're rumours the Klingons have dissolved their alliance with the Romulan Empire. Starfleet Intelligence wants us to keep an eye out for anything... untoward."

"You know... If they really are going to send me out to show the flag, I'm going to need a ship to get me there."

Her lips quirked in something almost like a smile. "You asking for the Yorktown as taxi service?"

"Unless you'd rather spend the next six months scanning the DMZ for warp signatures, and twiddling your thumbs?"

"You just want somebody in the chair who you can boss around, so you get your own way."

"I never bossed you around. Not even when you were my Number One."

She looked for a second like she was going to argue with him, but said instead ,"You can't have your old quarters back, you know."

"Lemme guess—you turned it into a sewing room?"

She laughed. "Yes, for the Starfleet Ladies' Auxiliary Embroidery and Baking Society."

"You just made that up."

"Ask me the next time you get a 'Starship, Sweet Starship' sampler."

"You couldn't sew on a button."

"You're right, I'd have my yeoman do it."

"Can she sew?"

"He's very handy."

He thought of a thousand things he could have said just then, and was proud of his self-control when none of them were uttered. But it was worth it to see the dimple appear in her cheek when she smiled.

"It would be just like old times," he said trying to tempt her. Instead, the easy smile faded as she stared at him like he was a particularly thorny maths problem.

"But it wouldn't be like old times," she said. Her gaze was frank and honest. And maybe a little bit more than that. "And she may be many things, but the Yorktown isn't the Enterprise."

"I know she's not." He reached out to lay his hand over hers. Her lips parted at surprise at the gesture. "But the Yorktown's still a damn fine ship. And she's yours. You earned her. Hell, you're a better captain than I ever was."

She curled her fingers around his. "Now you're just fishing for compliments."

"Is it working?"

"It is quite possibly one of the sweetest things you've ever said to me. While sober," she amended. He was trying to remember what exactly he might have said the night Phil had shown up with a bottle of Draylaxian whiskey to celebrate her promotion, when she leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his cheek. He felt her eyelashes brush his cheek, and before he even had time to process exactly what had just happened, she kissed him softly on the mouth.

She tasted like coffee, and he forgot to breathe. She pulled back, a faint blush colouring her cheeks. He never thought he'd see the day again when she'd blush. Twice in one lifetime seemed like pushing his luck.

Before she could say anything stupid like I'm sorry or I should go or any of the things he was pretty sure were on the tip of her tongue, he took her face in his hands and pulled her into another kiss, this one decidedly less tentative.

Her hands tightened on his shoulders as her mouth opened beneath his, and he let himself get lost in the warmth of her pressing against him. His heart hammered crazily in his chest at tiny sound she made in the back of her throat as his tongue slid against hers, and this time when they parted she wasn't the only one flushed.

"I always wondered what that would be like," he said, his breath coming a little faster and stirring her hair.

"So did I," she admitted, and he felt her breath warm on his lips. He buried his fingers in her dark hair, exploring the soft skin behind her ear with his thumb as he caressed the nape of her neck.

"Remind me again why we've never done this before?"

"You were my captain."

"And you were my XO."

"Sometimes fear of the unknown isn't just about the stars, Chris. You were never tempted to change the status quo?"

"Now who's fishing for compliments?" She was so close that could feel rather than hear the silent chuckle that shook her shoulders. "So why now?"

"Seven years is a long time to wonder. I don't know how many more second chances we'll get. Seemed stupid to waste this one."

"I always said you were the smartest woman in the fleet."

"You do realise you're going to have to start calling me by my name," she said as she leaned her head on his shoulder, twining her fingers in his in her lap. He rested his cheek on the top of her head. Her hair smelled faintly of shampoo, and nothing else. No perfume needed.

"I can't pronounce your name. It has thirty-two syllables. You laughed at me, the last time I tried. What does your XO call you?"

He was still massaging the nape of her neck, and she leaned into his touch. "He calls me 'Captain.'"

"I'm serious."

"So am I."

"Don't you have a nickname?"

"Ilyrians don't use diminutives."

"Yeah, well I'm not Ilyrian. I could call you 'Maureen'."

"My name is not 'Maureen'."

He could feel the curve of her smile against his mouth.

Eventually, their coffee went cold.

"So where do we go from here?" she asked, her cheek pillowed on his chest. He had one of her hands in his, and pulled it up to his mouth to he could kiss her fingertips.

"I don't know about you, but I'm not in much of a hurry to move from this spot at the moment."

She pinched him.

"I mean... where do we go? What's next?"

He stroked her hair. This morning, he'd been rudderless, adrift, without any real direction. But there was at least one frontier left. One uncharted land left for him to discover.

"How 'bout we take it a day at a time?"
 
 
 
mollior cuniculi capillo: ael with bloodwingsineala on 8th June 2009 16:31 (UTC)
This is entirely, one hundred percent made of awesome.

I think you should write more Pike now. :)
ljc: star trek (nuTrek number one)taraljc on 8th June 2009 18:02 (UTC)
I think eventually, there will have to be epic adventures on Starbase 12, or the Yorktown. Yes.

I know they felt they were rewarding Pike by giving him an Admiral's fruit salad, but this man is only 52 years old. He's IN HIS PRIME. He has decades of adventures left to have. I hope fandom provides.
devohoneybee: swedish horsiedevohoneybee on 8th June 2009 17:46 (UTC)
or a dolphin swim. he should do a dolphin swim.

*hearts* Pike. Great story.
ljc: star trek (pike)taraljc on 8th June 2009 17:59 (UTC)
I am now picturing Chris with Icarus and Winter, the dolphins from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers and it amuses me MUCHLY.
(Deleted comment)
ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 8th June 2009 17:58 (UTC)
Have you seen possibly_thrice's It's Not All About Simplicity? It makes me GLEE. I love brisk in charge Number One, being all sexypants and wry Pike is wry and happy and GLEE.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - taraljc on 8th June 2009 18:33 (UTC) (Expand)
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ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 8th June 2009 19:42 (UTC)
Thanks so much!

The name thing is... challenging. I really wasn't wild about the names used in the tie-ins (I mean... Eunice? Really?), and kinda like the idea of letting Number One keep her air of mystery. But it is stupidly difficult to write. So I may have to decide on a name for her, and then teach Chris to pronounce it.

(Spock and Uhura, of course, would have no problems pronouncing it--even if it really did have 32 syllables. Which it doesn't, I just like hyperbole. It might have lots of consonants, tho. Like the interstellar equivalent of Welsh.)
obsession called while you were outflyingcarpet on 8th June 2009 19:47 (UTC)
I love this. All the fanfic around her is making me very intrigued about Number One. :D
ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 8th June 2009 19:47 (UTC)
SHE IS MADE OF WIN.
(Deleted comment)
ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 8th June 2009 23:53 (UTC)
yays! *does the happy dance*

Dood. I am loaning you Vulcan's Glory, for it is WIN.
petronelle on 8th June 2009 21:31 (UTC)
The hope all through this makes me beam.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one)taraljc on 8th June 2009 23:54 (UTC)
I think, no matter how cynical and pragmatic I want to be to better survive, at heart I am both an optimist and a romantic. And that pretty much comes out in everything I write. Also, just the fact that this Pike will be spared the fate of Pike Prime makes me SO HAPPY. And I love imagining his and Number One's adventures.

Edited at 2009-06-09 00:18 (UTC)
A work in progress: Trek Beam Me Upancarett on 8th June 2009 22:02 (UTC)
Oh, this is just perfect. I am so happy that Number One's having a fandom resurrection because it always ticked me off how she was dropped in the reworked series. (Even if Majel Barrett got to play Christine Chapel, who's another favourite but not so kick-ass as Number One.)

This definitely is leading somewhere really wonderful, though!
ljc: star trek (pike/number one sexyfuntimes)taraljc on 8th June 2009 23:58 (UTC)
Inside my head, eventually there will be sexy grown-up adventures. Since they made Pike an Admiral, I'm gonna send him to Starbase 12 so he can still have the stars along with the damned desk.

I love this Pike. I love that in only a few short scenes, we get such a solid sense of what kind of captain he is and what kind of man he is. I love the twinkle in his eye, I love him walking into what he knew from the Kelvin would be his own death in teh hopes Vulcan might live. And I really love the idea of him finding a new adventure in his relationship with his former XO.
(no subject) - ancarett on 9th June 2009 00:05 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 9th June 2009 02:10 (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
ljc: star trek (pike/number one)taraljc on 9th June 2009 02:07 (UTC)
thanks so much! I love friends-turned-lovers as a dynamic.
ain't no party like a dalek party: stxi; fiercer than anybodyarefadedaway on 9th June 2009 01:56 (UTC)
God, I love this so much I can't even tell you. I adore your Pike, still resolutely full of such hope, and your Number One, and the beautifully easy and comfortable way they relate to one another. Basically I just have an ENORMOUS CRUSH on Greenwood!Pike and he and Number One are so OTP it makes my soul ache. <3
ljc: star trek (pike/number one sexyfuntimes)taraljc on 9th June 2009 02:09 (UTC)
I know! I've been searching the interests all week, turning up pre-TOS Pike/Number One goodness, and I love that they are starting to pop up in AOS comms and at the kinkmeme.
is that BABOU?!: {st} xi; what do you need?oltha_heri on 10th June 2009 05:32 (UTC)
This is really sweet, and the ending is just perfect, nice structure there. AND I LOVE IT 'CAUSE IT IS PIKE/NUMBER ONE MADE NU, AND IT IS AMAZING!!!!!! AND YAY! and okay I'll stop now.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one sexyfuntimes)taraljc on 10th June 2009 05:40 (UTC)
They make me so happy, so I'm always glad to find other folks who love them as much as I do!
grime and livestockcofax7 on 12th June 2009 05:30 (UTC)
Oh, Number One! And Hottie Chris Pike!

I am all flappy hands with happiness at this. How lovely!

ljc: star trek (pike/number one)taraljc on 12th June 2009 05:54 (UTC)
YAYS!

They are my new shiny. And they are SO SHINY. And the hotness is only made hotter knowing they could so totally take down a Klingon warbird with one hand tied behind their back. AND EVERYONE CALLS THEM 'SIR'. And also, Chris-in-my-head is going to go off to Starbase 12 and be sector commander and the Yorktown will be stationed in that sector adn then they shall HAVE ADVENTURES.
Domenika Marzione: mccoy zenmiss_porcupine on 12th June 2009 20:49 (UTC)
I can't decide if I'm more jealous or just plain appreciative. This is the Pike voice I wish I could write, that I would love to read (much) more of, that I wish others would pick up on.

On the me-checklist of great fic attributes: It's respectful to the character and to the nature (and vicissitudes) of service. It's not maudlin or bitter and thank you for not turning Pike into a permanent cripple so he can mourn what he's lost below the waist. Instead, you've got him wryly appreciative of the unkind irony of having all of his waiting, of his sacrifice even, for the Enterprise coming to such small fruition. And still not moping about it too much.

And bonus points for the delicate way you got around Number One's nominalism issues.

Lovely read.
ljc: star trek (pike)taraljc on 12th June 2009 21:21 (UTC)
Thanks so much for the lovely, lovely feedback! I had such a STUPIDLY good time writing it. They are SO my new shiny.

I'm loving writing Chris because I get the chance to tell a very different story from the TOS Chris. AOS' Chris has that commanding presence and is a damned good captain who thinks on his feet, finds out who has the right skills to hand and assigns people based on that, and walks with his eyes open into what he knows (from studying the Kelvin) is most likely his death. But he puts the Vulcan people first, and knows his death may at least buy them time. I love that while strapped to a table he still tries the diplomatic route with Nero, before he figures out he's utterly mad, and then he does everything in his power not to give Nero Earth. And this is a guy who, tortured and a mess, still grabs Jim's gun and takes down two Romulans whilst being rescued. DOOD. HE'S MY HERO. And so i want better for him than to smile while Jim Kirk takes Enterprise out in space and he's stuck at a desk. Plus it doesn't make sense to me that in this story, he'd permanently loose the sue of his legs. So I'm gonna assume he'll recover, and continue to have adventures. And Number One is such a huge part of that for me. I love that Chris, Boyce, and Number One are this funhouse mirror of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. And I loved playing off "The Cage", Vulcan's Glory and The Rift that Pike and Number One shared a mutual attraction they never acted on. And now I get to follow that without Talos IV, Vina, and the J-Class cruiser radiation leak. It's bringing me SUCH JOY OMG. Cos I never ever bought the end of "The Menagerie" cos I couldn't see Chris accepting a dreamworld. Never being able to lose himself completely in something he will always know is a lie. That goes against the ending of "The Cage" completely, and it always bothered me.

Also, I like writing grown-ups. I get to write comfy long-term established relationship goodness with two grown-ups who know each other inside out, >while still getting to write the giddy "let's make out in a parked car" type early stages of infatuation, as the two of them indulge themselves, after denying themselves for so long. The Pike in my head is the kind of guy who doesn't do casual relationships. So he's pretty lovely. They just fit.
Barbies May Bite Meobsession_inc on 12th June 2009 23:41 (UTC)
OH MY GOD. No, seriously, you have no idea; I ran around the room squawking when I saw the pairing listed and I am FREAKING OUT right now. FREAKING OUT.

Fandom needs to have, like, an altar or something where I can leave little offerings of cookies and wine, because I feel like putting something out there for whatever gods put this idea in your head. BLESS you. Reboot!Pike!! NUMBER ONE!!! Sarah April (YOU KNOW FINAL FRONTIER!)! "I can't pronounce your name!" Referencing Spock as their #2! AND THE AWESOME SWEET SEXY KISSING. AND ONE DAY AT A TIME. OH GOD.

(Side note: OH MY GOD YOU REFERENCED "SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL" VERSUS "PRETTY IN PINK"; SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS THAT REFERENCE, OH MY GOD. That's it, I'm friending you now. This kind of stalkery love cannot be denied.)

Dude, I can't even. This is magnificent. It fills a void I did not know I had. I am so happy. It needs its own SHOW. I am now going to go re-read this and wallow around in it. It is, literally, no joke, the best thing that has happened to me all week. ::blows many kisses::
ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 13th June 2009 06:50 (UTC)
*hugs you tight*

I was stuck at work and couldn't reply to this when it first came and SERIOUSLY. YOU MADE ME GLEE. I still need to watch the ST:TAS ep with Robert adn Sarah, cos I actually only know her from Final Frontier and the bit of Best Destiny Iv'e read, but OMG Vulcan's Glory is MY FAVROUITE BOOK EVER OMG. Okay, after the late great Mike Ford's How Much For Just The Planet?. And I have a soft spot for Uhura's Song by Janet Kagan. But NUMBER OEN IS SO AWESOME. I lvoe that the new film is letting me play with giving her and Chris a future.

(and believe me--I have a whole past and future mapped out for them inside my head.)
a proxy yousomedaybitch on 13th June 2009 04:28 (UTC)
i will be crushed if Pike isn't in the sequel.

also? i'll bet he's a *royal* pain in Starfleet's ass in the 'boot!verse, and the recruiting of Kirk is just one of many things in a long line of things they want amused vengeance for.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one)taraljc on 13th June 2009 06:51 (UTC)
hehehehehehehhee. I almost hope he isn't, if only cos then I can keep on telling stories without being made canon fodder. but the lack-of-Pike would make me sad as well, for dear God Bruce Greenwood is amazing. Also, I keep hoping somehow that my icon will become canon.
(no subject) - somedaybitch on 13th June 2009 07:04 (UTC) (Expand)