Log in

No account? Create an account
10 July 2009 @ 21:55
Her Hands  
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: Inspired by a prompt at the Pike/Number One Challenge.

Her Hands
by LJC

Her hands are not delicate. They are not pale, or smooth, or dainty. She has long tapered fingers, but they are strong and clever.

Chris Pike had felt them wrap securely around his forearm on a mining colony in the Argos System, as she'd caught him before he could go skittering off a tilting catwalk when the installation was rocked by seismic activity. When they'd materialised on the transporter pad, he could still feel the imprint of her fingers on his arm, though her grip had left no marks.

He'd seen them tap in course corrections for years from his vantage point in the command chair, first as the XO of the Yorktown, then as her captain. He'd let himself be mesmerised by the way her gold command tunic sleeve would lie against the bones of her wrists. The way the tendons stood out in sharp relief when she gripped the helm console when they'd be hit the weapons fire or buffeted by ion storms. The quick darting movements always sure and steady, like a concert pianist giving a masterful performance.

He used to wake up in the "morning" (ship's day is as much a myth as night in the cold spaces between the stars) and as he dragged on a clean tunic and ran the beard repressor over his chin, he would try and guess what colour she'd have lacquered her short nails that day. As the turbolift doors would slide open, the bridge crew snapping to attention, he'd think blue or silver or blood red and then his breath would catch as he'd steal a glance to confirm the validity of his guess.

It was a game, and he'd never told a soul. Not even Boyce. But he noticed over time that as if there was some sort of pattern to it, he got better at guessing. He'd started counting the days in a row he was correct, rather than just instances.

She had a scattering of small scars around the base of her thumb. Once in a moment of weakness he'd reached across the table in the officer's mess to hold her hand in his, turning it so he could take a better look.

"What happened?" he'd asked, running his thumb over the marks that could have been easily fixed with dermal regeneration.

"Soldering burns, from repairs to the helm console," she'd said, and the catch in her voice made him look up to see her eyes wide and he'd suddenly realised the casual intimacy of his touch. He released her hand, trying not to show how rattled he was.

"You should have Dr Boyce take a look at it," he'd said stiffly, and she'd nodded. His fingers remembered the warmth of hers, and he'd made a fist beneath the table, digging his nails into his palms.

The next day he'd sat with Tyler and Boyce, while she sat across the mess with Cait Barry, their heads bent in deep discussion over a PADD. He saw her smile at something the chief engineer had said, and tried to remember the last time she'd smiled so easily around him.

He'd barely been paying attention to Joe and Phil's conversation, and Boyce had ribbed him about it later in his cabin. When Chris had nearly bitten his best friend's head off, Phil dropped it and never said another word about it.

Somehow, Chris knew he'd missed a chance he hadn't been aware was there for the taking. The day after that, she'd stopped painting her nails. Or if she did, it was with clear polish meant to accentuate the smooth pink nails themselves.

He'd never told her how much he missed that split second of uncertainty, while the 'lift doors swished shut behind him and he stepped towards the chair.

Not until they sit in the porch swing of his parent's home in Mojave, watching the sun go down, and she laces her long fingers through his. And he looks down at their hands and thinks about how her hands are not pale, or delicate, or dainty.

But they fit perfectly in his.
SLWalkersl_walker on 11th July 2009 03:29 (UTC)
Beautiful! And a beautiful ending, too.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one)taraljc on 11th July 2009 06:09 (UTC)
Thanks! Commentfic reminds me why I used to love ff_friday so much, back in the day. It's keeping me writing every week, even if it's just wee snippets like this.
midnightsjane: my fragrant cloud rosemidnightsjane on 11th July 2009 04:27 (UTC)
This is perfectly lovely.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one so into her)taraljc on 11th July 2009 06:07 (UTC)
Thanks so much! Just trading commentfic with my enabler possibly_thrice means I may end up writing the entire table eventually (well, until Yuletide rears its shiny head and I disappear until new year's).

Edited at 2009-07-11 06:08 (UTC)
rubynye on 11th July 2009 05:48 (UTC)
This is really beautiful and evocative. Mmm, nailpolish and hands and moments.
ljc: star trek (number one = made of awesome)taraljc on 11th July 2009 06:06 (UTC)
I have always loevd that she painted her nails blue, for some reason. It's like Uhura Prime's many pairs of earrings--the tiny little ways kickass women in Starfleet express their personalities through their choices of still-within-regulations attire/make-up while still being kickass women in Starfleet and no-one bats an eye.
(no subject) - rubynye on 11th July 2009 16:31 (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - taraljc on 11th July 2009 23:39 (UTC) (Expand)
is that BABOU?!: {st} respect the miniskirt.oltha_heri on 11th July 2009 06:01 (UTC)
This is so sweet and sad in some ways (I just got a vision of TOS 'verse and was very upset) but fantastically written and very pretty.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one so into her)taraljc on 11th July 2009 06:03 (UTC)
I can see TOS Pike/Number One being ultimately VERY UPSETTING TO ME, given canon... which is why I am clinging to my AOS universe characters right now.
blcwriterblcwriter on 11th July 2009 13:05 (UTC)
So satisfying. Thank you.
ljc: star trek (nuTrek number one)taraljc on 11th July 2009 17:56 (UTC)
I hadn't intended on writing so much more, but the prompt table is SO LONELY. And I've got a story about Gamma Shift I've been playing with as well.
TeaJenni: teacuplullabymoon on 11th July 2009 15:54 (UTC)
So beautiful. Awesome stuff.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one)taraljc on 11th July 2009 17:56 (UTC)
I'm really loving exploring these characters through snippets.
abi z: holding hands (chris?)azephirin on 11th July 2009 15:54 (UTC)
Aw, this is really nice. There's not nearly enough Pike fic for me, and I enjoyed this a lot.
ljc: star trek (pike)taraljc on 11th July 2009 17:57 (UTC)
Thanks so much. pike_2009 has been amazing this last month. If you checked it out yet, I highly recommend it.
(no subject) - azephirin on 11th July 2009 19:46 (UTC) (Expand)
StClair: oopscmdr_zoom on 11th July 2009 16:55 (UTC)
I'm running out of ways to praise your excellent work. :/
MJ: winona kirkmaidenjedi on 11th July 2009 23:27 (UTC)
Ooo, I love this - and it's my first Pike/Number One. Thank you for sharing!!
ljc: star trek (pike/number one)taraljc on 11th July 2009 23:39 (UTC)
hooray! They have taken over my brain of late. I need to finish more prompt table fic.
infiniteviking: 5infiniteviking on 12th July 2009 11:46 (UTC)
This is lovely. Evocative hands always make a good fic foundation, and I like the way you pulled this one off.
ljc: star trek (gaila squee)taraljc on 13th July 2009 00:35 (UTC)
The drabble challenges and prompt tables are reminding me why I used to love ff_friday so. it's got me writing again steadily, even if it's just little snippets. But I forget how the muscles atrophy when you don't sue them, and hoping to hang onto this momentum for as long as possible, because when all is said and done, I am always happier when I'm writing.
aspiring iconoclastantihysteric on 12th July 2009 17:04 (UTC)
ooh, this is great! I love the nail polish thing, and how Pike gets attached to it - that split second of uncertainty.
ljc: star trek (pike/number one)taraljc on 13th July 2009 00:34 (UTC)
That bit was my fave bit to write. So glad you like!
igrockspock: womenigrockspock on 13th July 2009 02:14 (UTC)
This made me weirdly teary-eyed, although I can't pinpoint why. You have somehow made Pike/Number One an OTP for me even though I've yet to even go back and review the one episode of TOS with her in it.
ljc: star trek (pike old skool)taraljc on 13th July 2009 02:46 (UTC)
I am crazy in love with them, and I'm so glad you are digging my wee snippets of the Number One who lives in my head. ALso, for all I wince at bits ("I'm not used to women on the bridge." being LOLARIOUSLY made of fail), "The Cage" is well worth watching. For Number One is MADE OF AWESOME.
GIRLS IN SPACE BE WARY: st // backstage and allmllesays on 17th July 2009 18:48 (UTC)
This is so lovely! I really enjoy how there is so much going on so far underneath the surface with them.

I'm pretty sure you have singlehandedly encouraged my insane love for Number One and Pike, but then you write wonderful things like this, so I forgive you. ;)
ljc: star trek (number one new old skool)taraljc on 19th July 2009 00:46 (UTC)
HOORAY for another convert to the cause! I'm enjoying the hell out of this tiny corner of Trek fandom.
(Deleted comment)
ljc: star trek (pike/number one sexyfuntimes)taraljc on 21st July 2009 00:11 (UTC)
zomg! Thank you for the kind words. I can't remember the last time I was this taken by a pairing--or this prolific. I've been archiving all my AOS Pike/Number One stories here, and I've a few more stories in the works--one based on Vulcan's Glory for treknovelfest, another based on a prompt from the prompt table, and I've just signed up to write another TOS Number One story for matrithon.

Here's a mix of TOS and AOS (and of gen, and romance) recs:

A Fresh Coat of Paint by minerva_fan
Faith by calapine
It's Not All About Simplicity by possibly_thrice
Expanding the Oecumene by Anna Amuse
Home Fires by medie
Relieving Pressure by jedibuttercup (this is Pike and Kirk, with just a mention of Number One, but I love love love her Pike here)

[i can spell. I swear! I just can't type.]

Edited at 2009-07-21 00:12 (UTC)
prophetkristy on 9th September 2010 06:09 (UTC)
d'awwwwwww! <3