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19 May 2010 @ 07:53 am
fic: Captivity (3/?)  
Title: Captivity (3/?)
Word Count: ~8300
Fandom: Star Trek
Characters/Pairings: ensemble; eventual Kirk/Spock
Summary: Prompted by st_xi_kink, here: AU. Twenty-seven years ago, Earth initiated war with Vulcan. Twenty-five years ago, the Vulcans won. Twenty-four years ago, humans became their slaves. Three years ago, Jim Kirk met Leonard McCoy. Today, they - among others - are wanted for their roles in the resistance.
Notes/Warnings: I am-- there are no words for this ridiculous delay. I wasn't expecting university to skullfuck me quite as hard as it did, though. And as for now-- Um, damn you, Lord Stanley. BUT. That aside. No. I'm back, I'm working on this, and it would delight me ever so much to get some readers for this thing again, because I've been reading over my old notes the past few days and I'm still really excited to keep working on this WIP, so - yeah! (Oh, and, uh, there aren't really any warnings for this chapter. Mentions of abuse? That's about it.)

One | Two | Three | Four

Typically, their world is quiet. It’s always quiet at night, when most sentient beings take their rests, and even when awake and active when the sun is shining brightly overhead, there is often little need for commotion.

So blowing rock up, digging new holes into gigantic hills, and smashing technology to bits with harsh pieces of rock – remnants from the earlier explosions – is out of place. It creates a great deal of noise, abnormal at all times. And when it’s still dark enough to see multiple stars instead of just one, that level of noise – despite their impressive technological feats, they still don’t know how to make explosions silent (and aren’t even sure if they want to; really, half of the point is to create fear, and sudden eardrum-bursting sounds tend to be scarier than the continuous, regular silence) – is incredibly attention-grabbing.

Which isn’t something that they want. To be caught would be to be defeated, and absolutely nobody is ready to take such a course of action; nobody wants it. Neither Uhura, nor Sulu, nor Chekov have any intentions of going down that road in the slightest, so Sulu is given his moment to regain his breath and try to find his mind again. The last point isn’t fully accomplished before they’re back on their way to the outskirts of the Vulcan city and running towards the bay. There’s something about a large body of water that conveys safety.

They have to make their way quickly and silently, as always, of course. Anything disrupted from the small earthquake needs to be overcome without a moment’s hesitation. It can be difficult – none of them have ever felt the earth dislodging itself beneath their feet before – but luckily, this sort of thing really is Uhura’s forte. She’s quick in her head and even quicker on her feet. It’s just what she does, so she naturally assumes the roll of leader, going up to the front and navigating through the rocks and hills, raising up only a faint trail of dust that’s hardly visible amongst the surrounding hills and tall grasses.

Next in line is Sulu. Chekov’s faster than he is, and has a dual talent in being both proficient in sneaking about and running – like Uhura – and working with technology – like Scotty. But it matters more to ensure that Sulu doesn’t fall behind, for two big reasons: One, Chekov likes Sulu. They all like Sulu, really. So letting him fall into the enemy’s hands would be a good cause for massive guilt trips. Two? The very obvious fact that if Sulu were to be captured, he could bring down their entire small resistance. Really, if any one of them were to be caught, any one of them could destroy everything they’ve worked towards.

And they’ve really worked towards it. They’ve worked hard and while they have yet to actually directly accomplish anything, the seeds are definitely planted. They all know that they’re in it for the long haul and as long as there are seeds, at least, there will be progress. It may be slow-building. It may take a while. But it will happen – unless they screw it up along the way.

And with things suddenly being kicked into a hyperdrive, as a direct result of a natural disaster, they have to work extra hard now to ensure that nobody gets caught. That nothing goes wrong, while they maintain this fast and completely unfamiliar pace.

It means that they have to be more sure of each other than ever before. They have to maintain a solid, steady relationship within their group, and every person has to be even more trustworthy than they were previously, because now, there really is no room for error. They’re just going to keep going and going, taking this chance while they have it and they can’t afford to question themselves at all.

And this greatly unsettles Chekov, because for the first time in his life, he finds himself questioning Sulu. In his chaotic world, being displaced from his homeland at the age of three, and moved again at the age of seven, and yet again being forced to endure a change at the age of eleven, somehow, through some miraculous stroke of luck, Sulu was able to remain largely present for him. His friend was the one real, constant factor throughout his life, going back as far as he can truly remember. So to find himself suddenly uncertain of him is deeply unsettling.

It’s not just that he’s afraid of his friend’s current physical condition. Sure, he isn’t as fast as Chekov is, and his body has been damaged just a tad from being cramped up where they found him – and that was a horrible thing to experience. But never before had Chekov seen such blatant rage from his friend; heard such coldness in his tone, witnessed the… indifference.

As they get closer and closer to their destination, without stopping to rest, while Chekov keeps an eye on the person still in front of him – make sure he doesn’t stumble, fall, legs buckle or feet snag anything – the youngest of the group continues to dwell on it. He can’t get it out of his mind, really; he focuses on it to far too great an extent. And with what he’s been taught, his first course of action – the first thing that makes sense to him – is to blame himself. He must have done something wrong. Possibly he’s too dependent, and Sulu just doesn’t want to put up with that sort of thing anymore.

So he should change. Correct his behaviour so that Sulu isn’t mad at him. Because that must be what—

No, that can’t be it. Not this suddenly. After all, they’d found him confined. In a small box. Where he’d remained, immobile, for possibly an entire day. And his head was hurt, so maybe that’s causing the personality change? It can’t be Chekov’s fault. It’s head trauma and Dr. McCoy will look at that, and he’ll fix it. And Sulu will come to his senses once he realizes that he’s out in the open again, and not isolated and locked away. Humans are social creatures, they can’t tolerate that sort of thing, and that combined with the pain and head injury and that has to be the cause for this.

But he can’t help but continue to question himself, self-doubt too ingrained into his being to simply dismiss it. Maybe he should just go back, sneak back into the room Uhura was able to free him from with little incident, act as if he’d been there all along and just… stop. Stop and never return because it’s not like his presence is desired—No. No.

But still.

At least he’s able to stay aware of his surroundings while he thinks. At least they all are. Growing up in this world, turning to this sort of thing, you really have to be able to multi-task. You have to be smart and you have to be able to divide your attention amongst a few things at once. So at least he knows what’s going on; that while Uhura puts on a burst of speed with one of the entrances to their main hideout now in close range, Sulu actually flat-out stops and bends over, resting his hands on his knees and panting just a bit while his chest moves up and down while he breathes. So he doesn’t run straight into Sulu. Rather, he slows to a jog, and has to think for a moment – decide – and he decides to stop by Sulu.

Uhura reaches the entrance and glances back over her shoulder at them, from where her body is already partially descended. “Hey. Are you guys coming?” she asks, voice cutting through the night air, adrenaline still having a clear effect on her body.

Chekov turns to Sulu, helplessly, unable to bring himself to answer and expecting his friend to, but there’s nothing. Sulu’s sitting on the grass, not too far from the entrance but not particularly close, either, and staring at the ground with an intense gaze. He doesn’t even seem to have heard Uhura’s question. But she really should be answered.

Chekov’s throat bobs and he thinks, tries to remember how to do this sort of thing. The seconds stretch by for him much longer than they do for Uhura, time warping itself in his state of brief panic, but eventually he’s able to dredge up his voice and squeak out, “In—In a moment. If that is… If that is acceptable, if—“

Uhura smiles and Chekov notes just how white her teeth look; a miracle in and of itself, really, since McCoy is not a dentist and they hardly have the best access to anything related to dental hygiene. “That’s okay,” she says, “just as long as you boys don’t stray far. Don’t stay out for too long, though.”

Chekov nods his agreement and he isn’t sure if Uhura actually saw it, or if she’s just choosing to ignore him – it feels like everyone ignores him, but that’s something else that is his fault, he supposes – and just descend further anyway. He’s just not going to make any calls on it, and that seems to make the most sense. He sits down next to Sulu instead, and his fingers thread through the grass at his feet.

“Hikaru?” he asks. No response is given.

“Hikaru?” he tries again, this time reaching out to actually touch him. His hand extends, open, and he lightly closes it as best as he’s able on top of Sulu’s shoulder. Sulu just shrugs it off in response, so Chekov tries again, reaching up and grasping and giving it a light shake. “Are you okay?”

Sulu’s body shudders and he closes his eyes. His head dips further towards his chest and his messed-up hair follows along with gravity as well, dropping and exposing the blood still staining his head, leaving it there for Chekov to see it – or, rather, only some of it – clearly. Chekov flinches at it and removes his hand for a moment. “Hikaru?” he probes further.

“What,” Sulu says, or sighs, but either way the tone is deflated and empty and there’s a degree of hollowness to it that Chekov finds highly unsettling.

“Are you okay?”

Sulu’s eyes open just a little and he looks to his left, the barest of non-verbal acknowledgements. “What do you think, Chekov?”

“I do not know what to think. That is why I am asking you,” Chekov answers, treading as delicately as he can. “You were hurt before, and you were… You were, uh, you were very angry before, and I—“

“I still am angry,” Sulu mutters, more to his knees than to his companion.

“But are you okay?”

Sulu doesn’t answer, leaving Chekov to fidget. “Hikaru, please, talk with me. I am concerned, I have never seen you act in such a way before. You are hurt. Hikaru, please—“

“Look,” Sulu interrupts, “I’m just going to stay out here for a while longer. You should go down and see what they’re up to.”

“I do not want to go down without you,” Chekov replies. “I do not want to leave you up here, on your own. We should go back to the others together. You should not be alone… And you need Dr. McCoy to examine you.” He reaches for Sulu again. “Hikaru, please.”

Chekov continues to stare hopefully at his friend, and though it takes a while, eventually, Sulu turns to look at him as well. Their eyes connect and Chekov feels as though he should let go of Sulu’s shoulder immediately and jerk backwards; he doesn’t, but he feels as though he should. The look in Sulu’s eyes is cold and not exactly at peace, and it doesn’t fill Chekov with any form of comfort or hope at all. He can’t see his friend in the gaze and his mind stops, scrambling for what he should do now, and not finding it.

“Chekov, just go,” Sulu spits out, a certain amount of venom behind his words that the Russian had never heard before. Chekov opens his mouth, closes it, and Sulu has to remove his hand himself, grabbing the weaker wrist with his own hand and forcefully throwing it off. At this Chekov finally does jerk back. Sulu continues to glare at him, but he’s the first to break the gaze, turning his head back to the ground in front of him and staring down at it, eyes half-lidded.

Chekov can’t really understand what it was that he did. He was trying to look out for his friend and was so sharply rejected that—Surely Hikaru would not want to be alone after what he’d been through? Is it him, then, or something else? He wants to protest further, say that he at least needs medical attention, but he just doesn’t want that look directed towards him again. He doesn’t want his best friend – or what he thought was his best friend, he doesn’t know what to think anymore – to snap at him like that. He needs him. He thought that they needed each other.

The night remains calm and dark, with no atmospheric changes. It remains fairly cool, but not cold. There’s no wind. Everything is still and at peace out here, and Chekov just wishes that he could figure out how to transpose the feeling onto himself.

He moves away, quiet, feeling the sting at his eyes that he’d been expecting but now is unprepared for. Taking his thumb and index finger, he massages at them, pinching his fingers closer together until they meet at the bridge of his nose, and tries to have his breathing steady by the time he reaches the entrance.

It is just temporary, he tries to tell himself as he finds the hole, hidden amongst the tall grasses, and slips down into the dirt. He repeats it as a mantra, over and over in his head, conviction growing weaker as he feels warmer the further he progresses into their caverns. It is just right now, Chekov thinks, allowing the voices of the others to drown out his own thoughts because the others always seem to be more sure of themselves, anyway.

“… went to the best place I could think of. It was at about the mid-point, and the deepest crack I could find. A big one, too, since I was able to squeeze in a little. I figured that I might be able to inflict the most damage from there, so that’s what I did. I set the bomb’s timer, tossed it in, and ran. I almost got caught in the blast, actually – you didn’t tell me it would be that powerful, Monty!” Uhura’s voice rings underground as Chekov walks towards it, a part of him appreciating the bit of laughter seeping through, just a little. He’d allow himself a small smile but he really just… isn’t feeling it at the moment.

“It completely cleared out such a large portion, and—“

“Hey, Chekov!” Kirk’s voice interrupts, and he raises his good arm to wave him over. “There you are! This is great! Come on, sit!”

Still unsure of how to react, but clearly unable to refuse such a command – or friendly request, he’s having a bit of a hard time differentiating between the two at the moment – he walks over, anyway, and sits in the circle.

“Pavel,” Uhura smiles softly at him. “There you are.”

“Where’s Sulu?” Kirk interjects.

Chekov just shakes his head in response, having absolutely no desire to even attempt to find his voice for this one, knowing that it won’t come. He looks out at nothing, and just continues to shake his head. He knows that he isn’t going to be able to clear these thoughts, though. But it’s all he can do for now, and he hopes that the message is taken.

McCoy is the first to speak back up. Glancing at Chekov out of the corners of his eyes, he asks Uhura, “You said that he was with you, didn’t you?”

Uhura frowns. “Yeah, I did, and he should still be. He’s probably just outside. After how we found him—“

“How did you find him?”

Uhura’s voice becomes audible again as she speaks up, but Chekov feels it slipping away from his ears and the sound becomes distorted and unclear as he recalls the image of his best friend curled up in a tight ball with hardly enough room for himself, and the immediate desire to get him out of there.

And then the evident physical weakness, with his eyes tightly shut against so little light (or at least to him it was so little) and the awkward stumbling as he had to find his footing and couldn’t regain it immediately, the jerky way in which they ran as he had to drag him along behind him…

The tight grip he’d had on Sulu’s wrist, and then taking a breather and seeing the blood, the tears, the blood, and not knowing what to do because it was so much worse than his own bruises, and matting his hair, running down the side of his face and staining it; the scraped knees and the small cuts forming there that he’d put there by forcing him out of his cage before he was ready and scraping his knees along the edge of that metal box, and then how he’d made him run…

“Yeah, I looked at it and thought to myself that there was no way I’d be able to take care of it on my own. And since we’re aiming for speed here, it made sense to get it done immediately; besides, if it had been found unearthed then who’s to say I would have been able to do anything about it, anyway? I know that I wouldn’t have been able to drag you out along with me, Monty, so this gave me the perfect excuse to check up on—“

And then there was the unbridled fury that Sulu had unleashed upon a hapless, inanimate object, mere moments after he’d stepped aside. Not even that – it was immediate and he could have still been in there, but just… watching that…

Seeing Sulu act in that way had just made his stomach churn uncomfortably and he hadn’t been able to watch. He’d turned away after the first few blows and heard the relentless breaking, smashing, sheer destruction emanating from the one person he felt he could trust to make him feel safe, but this wasn’t about safety. No, from the frequency and the intensity it was just random, raw rage being unleashed without a care and it scared him. He really couldn’t watch.

“Of course, once I saw what had happened to them, there was only one thing to do, really. I already told you about that, and here they are, now; or at least Chekov. But I’m not surprised that Sulu would want to stay outside a little longer after—“

He lets her voice fade back into the background, because it makes sense that Sulu wants to be outside, but alone? And after snapping… Because now Sulu is mad at him and he has no idea what he’s supposed to do with that.

It means he’s lost his friend. It means he’s lost the single most important factor in his life, the one that directs him but without forcing him, the one whom he’s happy to listen to, the one whom he can just sit with and feel as though everything’s okay. The only person that can even come close to understanding him. The only one that he’s ever really known to encourage him.

He hates him now. His life is effectively over. It’s just like how his mom left him (Not her fault, Sulu’s voice fills his head, but he can’t trust that voice. That voice hates him now). He can’t remember much of her, anyway. It’s been ten years, and Sulu has been there far more than she ever has. (Through no fault of her own, but he doesn’t know if that’s actually true now.) He probably did something to anger her and get him taken away, and Sulu will probably do the same to him, now. After all that they’ve…

“Someone needs to go get him,” Kirk says. “He’s had his air. But the noise you made probably alerted one too many, and he needs to get inside. Just in case.”

“Besides,” McCoy chimes in, “I wouldn’t necessarily trust his mental state right now. He might wander off. If he wants the fresh air so badly, we should make sure that he’s at an entrance, and that someone else is close by.”

Scotty murmurs his agreement; Chekov can’t believe that they all have this concern for Sulu when he’s still trying to wrap his mind around the idea of Sulu being heartless; Uhura shakes her head softly. “Didn’t you guys listen to me? There’s no way he’s ready to go up and around. He isn’t going to wander off. The past twenty-four hours alone must have killed him enough already.”

“It’s still better to be safe than sorry,” Kirk says, standing back up. “I’ll go.”

Chekov finds his eyes watering as they remain open, unblinking, and completely out of focus. He’s staring at nothing – the walls, it would seem, then; different shades of brown of dirt and soil packed together in a secretly slave-made structure somewhere around his age. They swoop and curve and form a parabolic arc overhead. If he’d had the heart right now he might start sketching graphs in the dirt under his fingertips, but his life is ending. If Sulu doesn’t like him, then nobody here likes him. If nobody here likes him, then they won’t want him around. They can’t let him go, so they’ll just kill him. His life is literally—

“Lad,” Scotty says, right from beside him, and Chekov starts. He blinks and turns to look at the older resistance fighter, then shuts his eyes tightly in an extended blink. When he opens them once more, Scotty’s eyes are looking directly into his, soft and warm and filled with concern.

Chekov blinks again to make sure that he isn’t hallucinating this, that he isn’t misinterpreting this meaning, but still doesn’t trust his judgments when nothing has changed. He adjusts his gaze, only slightly, glancing down at his left shoe rather than Scott’s eyes. “Lad?” Scott says again, then, “Pavel?” Chekov looks back up, feeling lightheaded. His eyelids flutter a bit as he struggles to restore enough emotional energy to deal with this. “Are you feelin’ alright?”

Too tired to play tough, Chekov simply shakes his head. “What’s the matter?” Scotty asks.

Chekov shakes his head again, closing his eyes.

Scotty frowns. He wonders if Chekov went through anything as bad as what Nyota had described for Sulu, but from the sounds of it, his rescue was extremely simple. The kid is thin, of course, like a stick, and while he does look a little beat up, and a little tired, he doesn’t look… much different than himself, really, fucked up ankle aside. No bleeding, no scars, just a timidness he’s never known or seen elsewhere.

“Pavel,” he tries again, reaching over to lift Chekov’s chin up with a finger. “Come on, lad, open your eyes, look at me.” When he sees a small bit of white beneath the lids, he quirks his lips upwards, softly, and speaks just as soothingly as the image he’s doing his best to portray. “That’s it, that’s right. Now. Come on, I know you’re quiet, but it’s okay. I’m your friend. We can talk. Come on, tell me what’s wrong.”

Chekov again looks at Scott, trying to assess him. His voice is the same tone that Hikaru would often use with him whenever he got stressed out, worried because it had been so long since they’d last seen each other, or because he had fallen or gotten in trouble and then Sulu would find him afterwards and speak to him softly, gently, working him back up until he was okay again. Those times couldn’t have been fake, it wasn’t then that Sulu hated him, it’s just now. But it’s the same tone, so Scotty can’t hate him right now.

He opens his mouth to speak, but hesitates, and then closes it. Scotty sighs at this, and Pavel feels like he’s closer to death than ever, because he just can’t please anyone, but then Scotty looks back up at him, meeting his gaze head-on.

“It’s alright,” he says. “You can talk to me. It’s okay.”

Pavel thinks this over, opens his mouth again, then closes it and shakes his head. He can’t trust his voice, he’s never really been able to. Always stay quiet, never complain. He has his duties and his opinions are forever and always irrelevant. He isn’t supposed to talk. Don’t talk.

“Please,” Scotty says again. “Just tell me what’s wrong. I can help.”

Pavel looks around, seeing that the two are alone. It’s still night outside, he can just feel it, and so it’s very dark in here, with far more limited light filtering through their holes than in the daytime, not that there’s ever really a lot to begin with. He can make out Scotty’s form just fine, the details on his face; it’s clear enough for that. Kirk and Sulu are nowhere to be seen, and McCoy and Uhura are lingering near the entrance by the bay that Kirk must have gone out of. He and Scotty are very much alone, close together in a space not quite in the centre of the war room but not quite pressed up against one of the walls, either.

It’s only Scotty.

If he’s going to die, then he can’t lose by indulging this one request, which – upon first glance, but he knows better than to stop there – sounds totally reasonable.

Pavel opens his mouth again, and but no sound comes out. He swallows and clears his throat, then tries again, soft and meek and failing to keep the edge of being frightened out of his voice. “Hik-Hikaru hates me,” he finally manages to squeeze out, voice rusty. He clears his throat again for good measure, but doesn’t go on, instead choosing to watch Scotty’s face for a reaction.

Scotty frowns at this. “No he doesn’t,” he says. “You two are so close. He doesn’t hate you, Pavel. What on earth gave you that idea?”

“He would not come back down here with me,” Pavel says, looking at the ground. “He would not even speak with me.”

“Oh,” Scotty responds, and reaches his arm around to pull the small Russian closer towards him. “That doesn’t mean he hates you,” he continues, delicately, reassuringly. “It just means that he probably wanted time to himself. He’s probably like you, confused—“

“But I did not stop talking to him like he did to me!” It’s the first time Pavel has ever interrupted anyone, and he clamps his mouth shut immediately, eyes widening slightly in horror, ready to flinch away at the strike he’s expecting.

Scotty’s mouth shuts and his face goes blank for a few miniscule moments before he’s smiling again. He rubs Pavel’s back lightly and says, “Ah, now there we have it! I knew you could talk if you really wanted to.” Chekov flushes a little at this, and Scotty’s grin broadens.

“Now,” he continues, “it isn’t you he’s confused about. I know you’re the one confused about him, but he isn’t confused about you. From the sounds of it he had an unbelievably rough day, and he was probably none too happy about his circumstances.” Chekov can’t help but nod at this. “Aye, that’s right. So it probably isn’t even you he’s reacting to – it’s the past day. He still isn’t sure of what to do with it. He just needs time.”

Chekov shakes his head, thinks to himself that Scotty didn’t see what Hikaru looked like as he was smashing the generator, doing more than was necessary, since he himself had already ensured it would not function. He doesn’t say this, though. Instead he mutters, “He will come in when Kirk asks him to.”

“No offense,” Scotty says, pressing both of his palms against the ground in order to lift his ass up and shift a little, “but Kirk is much stronger than you are. That’s okay, though, because you’re smarter than him.” Chekov ducks his head down, hiding his small, unexpected smile at this. “Everything will be alright, you’ll see. In fact—“

Scotty is interrupted when the two of them hear sounds near the entrance, and both turn their heads to look as McCoy attempts to grapple with Sulu. “I can’t get a good enough look at you in this light,” the doctor grunts. “Move back up a little, let me see you a little better. … Jesus.”

Getting a glimpse of his friend – or whatever – keeps Chekov’s head down, but the smile is gone now, the bits of mirth he had been feeling along with it. He frowns and just about tunes out Scotty’s presence, were the older engineer not to start speaking again.

“Does he look really, really bad?”

Chekov remains silent, fixated on the ground. Scotty elbows him lightly in the side, and Chekov sucks air in through his teeth, grimacing at the pain from the contact made with a sore spot of his.

“Does he, Chekov?”

“Maybe,” Chekov mutters, grabbing at his side.

“Can’t be too good,” Scotty says absent mindedly, looking towards the entrance. Chekov raises his head to look back up at him, but finding himself ignored again, he stands up and starts to walk away. “Hey! Where are you going?” Scotty calls, turning his head around to look back at him.

“I should go,” Chekov mutters in reply.

Scotty shakes his head. “No, you need to stay here. You don’t look too good yourself, you know. Nobody should be leaving now.”

“I am tired,” Chekov says, voice flat and dull and, indeed, tired. But he still doesn’t make any moves to continue walking away, still watching Scotty instead, waiting for permission.

Scotty looks up at him, the shorter one now due to their respective perspectives. “That’s okay,” he says, slowly. “But please, just promise me you’ll stay down here? For your sake.”

Not for Scotty’s sake, or for anyone else’s sake, but his own sake. If he weren’t so afraid of seeing Sulu right now, his response might just have been a little brighter, but now he wants nothing to do with it, or anyone else – though this has to be the most he’s talked in, well, ever, without Hikaru around, and it’s been… okay. His voice is really quiet and it grates a little and his throat does hurt, but this was—He isn’t quite so afraid that they’re going to kill him, now. After all – for his sake.

“Okay,” Chekov says. He then turns back around and proceeds down a pathway, headed towards one of the rooms that makes for a temporary sleeping quarters. Only Kirk and McCoy really have their own permanent places, since the other four of them don’t necessarily stay all the time… But now that Sulu is… But maybe that’s just the anger talking, in the moment… But if it isn’t then he might not be able to go back, either…

Scotty watches him walk away, and then looks back at the entrance, shifting himself once more in an attempt to get a better view as to what’s going on; not that it does a lot of good, since they’re all too far up the entranceway for him to really even see.

“Turn your head a little,” McCoy instructs Sulu, holding either side of it and aiding Sulu in his own request. Sulu complies, cocking it slightly to the left, elevating the right side up so that it catches the moonlight from over the bay. McCoy sucks a bit of air in through his teeth at the sight, gently using one hand to spread apart the hair covering Sulu’s wound. “It’s near enough your hairline, but the way it’s there and with what I’ve got, there isn’t much I can do,” he muses aloud. He pries through the hair some more. “Fortunately this looks more superficial than anything. Hey. Follow my finger with your eyes.”

With the two of them in the tunnel, Kirk and Uhura had decided to go above them. Above ground and having left the entranceway clear in order for McCoy to have as much access to light as possible, they make their way out a little further, into the short grasses near the top of the hill, the outskirts of the city visible from this height. Kirk kneels down while Uhura remains standing, looking out, and then she points.

“Over there,” she says, using her other hand to hold away the stray strands of her hair blowing into her face. Kirk looks up from where he’s squatting, following her gaze. He then watches her move her arm just a little to the side. “And over there,” she finishes. “Not really where I would have expected it.”

Kirk appraises the distance between the two spots she’s singled out. While from here she didn’t have to move her arm that much, they’re also quite a distance away, so likely, the ground they would have to cover between Sarek’s security generator and Sarek’s place of residence is much greater than it appears. “Are you sure it’s his?” he asks.


“What, was it labeled or something?” Kirk pries further.

Uhura smirks. “Actually, it was.”

Kirk takes a moment for himself, then grins along beside her. “Ahah,” he laughs. “Because it’s logical to keep track of all of your possessions, right?”

Beside him Uhura giggles, before dropping down to his level. She kneels down on the grass, brushing aside a patch to reveal some bits of sand mingled with soft dirt underneath. Taking one slender finger of hers, she starts crudely sketching. “I think it would actually be fastest if we made our way to the generator first, and from there start to work up to his house. As far as we can get. That way you can see it for yourself, and we can bypass a lot of steep hills. Distance-wise it’s longer, too, so if we make our way out there quickly, there’s less chance of this place being found.”

Kirk looks over the lines she’s drawn, showing just the very arching path she’s discussing, and then adds on to it himself, splitting it into two different ones from in between the generator and the house. “We should go different ways,” he muses, then scribbles over one of his lines and draws another one circling around. “Would you object to something kind of pinscher-like? We aren’t attacking now, but it would be a good way of appraising both the front and the back.”

Uhura looks up at the sky. “You want to do this tonight?” she asks.

“Yeah, that’d be best. We don’t know how long it’ll take them to get their security back online, and we don’t know if we’ll be able to fuck it up again. We really need to work quickly here.”

“I think we’ve painted ourselves into a corner, then,” Uhura says. “Look. The sky is starting to brighten. Maybe we should wait for tomorrow night—“

“No. No, definitely not. It might be too late by then, in which case, we’ve wasted a golden opportunity. It’s still dark out, we can still make it, right? At least to basically scout it out. If you’re that worried I’ll leave before it gets too light. I know you can handle yourself…”

They aren’t too wrapped up in their own conversation to not hear anything else, so when McCoy barks out an “Absolutely not” from behind them, both turn to look.

“I’m fine,” Sulu says, pushing away McCoy’s arms. “I feel fine. I feel awesome. I can go, let me go, damnit!”

“No you can’t and no you don’t,” McCoy snaps. “You’ve got a head wound—“

“That you said was nothing—“

“I didn’t say that—“

“Then that it was inconsequential enough! Whatever! That I’d be fine! I’m going, I’m going out with them.”

Uhura sighs and rolls her eyes and gets up to go see what the fuss is about, while Kirk smirks to himself and resumes staring at the basic drawings. She strides over there, quickly and with purpose, then leans down into the entranceway and asks, “You’re coming?”

Sulu sighs. “Yes, thank you. I’m coming with you guys.”

“Do you know what we’re doing?”

“Physical activity?” McCoy snorts. Sulu turns to glare at him.

“Scouting. You’re just scouting. Totally harmless.”

“Yeah,” McCoy says, “until you get ambushed because you’ll slow them down and because it’ll be full daylight by the time you get out there. No. Stay put back down here and give yourself a chance to rejuvenate.”

Sulu turns back to Uhura. “No, no, I’m totally fine, it’s okay,” he insists, beginning to climb his way upwards. “See? Totally okay. I rested enough out here, and I’m good to go.”

“You’ll take two steps out there and collapse all over again,” McCoy says. “You’ve been running how much all night, exactly? And you want to go out again and do it some more now? You aren’t ready. Get back down here, goddamnit.” He makes a move to grab at Sulu’s wrist, but the kid scrambles out of the way and back out into the open, next to Uhura.

“See?” he asks, standing proudly. “Totally fine.” And with that he marches away, heading over in Kirk’s direction to see what he’s doing.

McCoy sighs but stays where he is. Uhura’s gaze follows Sulu before turning back to the doctor. “Okay, just between the two of us,” she says, kneeling down, “can he actually come out?”

“Definitely not,” McCoy huffs, folding his arms over his chest and looking away.

“Okay, so I’m going to take that as a tentative yes, and we’ll be quick,” she says, standing back up. “He probably feels like he needs to do something right now.”

“But he doesn’t,” McCoy says, getting another word in before she can turn to go.

Uhura shakes her head. “But he feels it,” she responds. “And if he needs to, then it’s probably better if he does. If he can’t handle it, then Kirk will just come back with him. It’s fine. I can look after them; you trust me, at least, right?”

McCoy smirks up at her. “You, yes. But,” and here he takes a look, can see the blues starting to brighten ever so slightly, certain stars having started to fade already behind him, and he turns his head back around, “do me a favour while you’re out there. If we’re moving this quickly, you guys are going to get hurt more often. If you’re getting hurt, I need to be able to treat you. If you’re getting hurt with a greater deal of frequency, then I need to be able to treat you better. So if you stay out there longer, I beg of you, I implore you, please, please bring me back things I can use. This is getting dire.” He finishes, totally straight-faced, staring up at her without a hint of humour in his eyes anymore.

Uhura looks back down at him. After a pause, she says, “Yeah. Yeah, I’ll do my best. I’ll get you whatever you need. Don’t worry.”

They stare at each other when she finishes speaking, and when she turns and walks away, leaving his line of sight, he ducks back underneath and descends to their main cavern, finding a curious and very awake Scotsman sitting there, waiting for company. “Where did the kid go?” McCoy asks.

“He was tired,” Scotty replies. “What’s going on up there?”

“Idiots are going out scouting even though two of them are hurt and the sun’s gonna be up in a few hours,” McCoy says, jerking his thumb behind him. “Might as well be productive while I’m stuck here. Let me check out your ankle, make sure that you can’t run out and join them.”


Between Sarek’s security generator and his house (mansion? It’s so huge, Kirk thinks) is a largely barren scrap of land, totally flat aside from the occasional tree or small bump or collection of rocks. Kirk, Sulu, and Uhura are all hiding within the hole created by the blast used in unearthing the power supply, peeking out over its edge to gaze at the vast building in the near distance. Despite the noise from earlier, it doesn’t seem as though anybody they don’t know has been here yet.

“This is why I wanted to come right away,” Kirk muses out loud to nobody. Uhura shoots him a glare.

“Shut up,” she hisses. “It’s twilight, and there isn’t much cover out there. So whatever we’re going to do, we need to do it right now.”

Kirk props himself up on his elbows, rising further out of the cracks. “Okay, okay. They’re all early risers, right? But they probably aren’t up right now-now. So. We can go, just run out across there as quickly and as quietly as you can, and take it from there, hugging walls and whatever it is you need to do. Just get a basic scope of the place, any possible entrances, whatever. Nothing too fancy.”

“Because it’s too bright out?” Sulu pipes up, mimicking Kirk’s actions in raising himself out of the hole.

“Because it’s going to be too bright out, asshole,” Kirk replies. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Sulu lowers himself back down into the cracks, rubbing at the side of his face absentmindedly, the blood stained on it starting to flake off. “Um, actually, no,” he admits, sheepishly, the intense rage having been processed out of his system, diluted over the course of time. He’s still angry, but he isn’t quite as determined anymore, and truth is, he really is rather tired and his legs are rather sore. “But how about this? How about I stay right here, hold the fort, and serve as a check-in point for whenever you’re ready to go back. That alright?”

“Sounds great to me,” Kirk says, not even looking back as he hoists himself out of the crack and scrambles up on top of the rocks. “I’m going around to the far side, so can you check the other three out, Uhura? Thanks,” and with that, he’s gone, sliding down as quietly as he can.

Uhura rolls her eyes and turns back to look at Sulu, sitting with his back pressed up against the machine he’d just taken a massive rock to only hours before. ‘Isn’t he unbearable?’ she mouths at him before turning around and pulling herself up and over the edge. From there she turns back around and whispers back to him, “Hey, I’ll be back a… lot later, actually. I’ll check everything that I can out, but then I’m going to head into town and try to pick up a few things. I should be back at the base before the day is over.”

Sulu mocks salutes her, and with that, she takes her own turn down the edge, going the opposite direction from Kirk, doing her best to fall into shadows and praying that it still remains somewhat dark out for a lot longer.

Kirk, meanwhile, has wasted absolutely no time, sprinting in effective bursts across the landscape until he’s pressed himself up against the wall they could see back from the security area. The sky is becoming increasingly brighter with every passing second, and his chest is heaving, but he’s never been this close before, never been able to get this close before, and it’s exciting. Upon reaching one of the edges of the structure he takes it far more slowly, being sure to not stir up any noise as he edges along, inspecting the clean, smooth metal walls for any signs of cracks or damage that might make for an effective bomb placing.

They’re too perfect, though, and he doesn’t dare to knock to find out if they’re hollow or not. Not now. Of course they were going to be sleek, but one tiny fault that this fucking oppressive species could have overlooked and—

That’s why he’s so surprised when he rounds the corner to get to the far side.

Because it isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s far from it. It’s made from bricks. A dusty, yet pale, reddish-brown, matching with the surrounding landscape in terms of colour fairly well. There are bits of grass growing out from its edges, but he doesn’t really acknowledge those.

Kirk looks upwards, noting how tall this brick wall is: tall, far too tall for him to climb, but not quite as tall as the more sturdy walls on either side. He takes the sky in, as well, and curses inside his head. The sun hasn’t risen yet, but the hue of blue of the sky has gone from semi-dark to grayish and pale and a lot lighter, rather uniform across the way. He chews on the inside of his mouth in thought, and then moves along, hugging the wall as he goes. Any small crack, anything he can use to look inside—


He almost says this out loud, as about a quarter of the way along, he’s met, right at eye level, with a gap in between the bricks just big enough for him to see through. Kirk looks behind him and notes the small posts forming a dotted parallel line, and that’s when it strikes him that he’s actually behind the barrier. And life is good.

He turns back around to press his eye up against the gap once again, looking around. It really wasn’t that great of an idea for a defensive move, to have this much of your defensive exterior lined by bricks, but looking at all of the plant life inside – it’s a garden. It’s a fucking garden. So this wall was probably only erected right here in order to make it look more natural. Which is fucking ridiculous, Kirk thinks. And not a very good security move. And fucking illogical, which is awesome.

“Is somebody there?”

Kirk freezes at the voice, soft-spoken but with an authoritative air to it. He looks around as wildly as he can without moving anything but his eyeball, ceasing his breathing and praying to god that he isn’t making any sounds.

He finally finds what he’s looking for. In a more open area, not too close nor too far away from the outer wall, which, as it would seem, is mostly bordered by plant life on the inside as well – Kirk has never seen so much green in his life, he really hasn’t – is a figure that’s maybe about his height, sitting in a meditative position. Its – his – eyes are open, though, and it’s looking around curiously. Kirk really doubts that it can see any of him, but he can see a lot of it.

The garments are right. The skin is smooth. The ears are pointed. The build is formed, the features strong.

It’s the kid, and his physical appearance would suggest him to be around Kirk’s age, at least in Vulcan years, or whatever fucked up time system they use.

“I would advise you to announce and reveal yourself,” the Vulcan speaks again.

And even though all of their language is formal… a young child wouldn’t say that.

Kirk grins so, so broadly, because this is awesome.

He ducks down, bending his knees and lowering himself as quietly as he can. He cranes his head back upwards – no sun yet, but a brighter blue – and shrugs, continuing to make his way along, inspecting the entire wall. That’s what he came out here to do, after all. That job is not being left unfinished.

Even if his heart is beating a little more quickly now, because a gap would have been good enough, but getting to see Sarek’s son? Dangers be damned, that just made this whole thing worth it.

He holds his tongue, keeps his mouth shut, and moves a little away from the wall, stepping back onto flatter ground and inspecting it as closely as he can, which is still fairly close, from there. But nothing’s going to compare to that, nothing.

Because the green light has been lit.

He leaves far more quietly than he came, not dashing so much as skulking, keeping low, and crawling along if there’s no other suitable form of cover for a distance. At least one of their enemies is perfectly awake right now, and just, oh boy, this is really, really awesome.

He travels back straight forwards, not taking a curved path even though it would be quicker to meet up again with Sulu that way, in order to get a different look. As far as he can tell the whole thing is secure metal walls, sleek and perfect and impenetrable, and even the other sides of the garden are surrounded by it – if he squints he might be seeing a secure doorway leading from the metal to the garden, who really knows – but that one far side is a huge fucking error.

And it is, of course, awesome.

“Hikaru, Hikaru,” he hisses, waving at him from where he’s standing a bit further back from the broken generator. “Come over here, take a quick look at this. Because I just found something, and I’ve got an idea, and oh, my god, this is going to be fucking great.”
(Deleted comment)
ball of Calgarian rage: star trek - kirk - satisfactionperiariyx on May 20th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
I told you it would be before May ended!! (Kind of!!) I'm so glad to see you're still interested! That comment you made a month ago picked up my spirits, like, so much. So you're all-too-lovely. And thank youu, it's always great to see someone else a fan of longfic; it's my favourite kind so that's probably why everything I do comes out this way and - nngh, just, I don't know. Thank you very much! I'll do my best to not take another eight months. :D Thanks agaaain~
hiddenfacade: kirkhiddenfacade on May 19th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Shiz, I'm so happy you've updated. I feared that this wonderful/amazing/stunning piece of art was going to be unfinished. This chapter was awesome and I can't wait for more.
ball of Calgarian rage: star trek - kirk - satisfactionperiariyx on May 20th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
Yee, thanks so much! You're too kind, seriously, far too kind. I'm sitting here gushing a little in glee over your comment, haha. Art. ilu. Good to know I can keep the quality level up, and things are starting to pick up a little more now so - I'm happy you're still in on this. Thank you so much, I'm gonna do my best to have more timely updates for sure! Thank you!
The sightly crazy Paladinrenuki on May 20th, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
Oh! You finally updated! :D

As for getting more people to read this, how about posting the link to the KirkSpock com and/or the newtrekslash com?

Oh yay! Spock! *grin* oh lawl, Spock notice Kirk...kinda of.

Hm, I wonder what the plan is going to be....
ball of Calgarian rage: star trek - kirk - drinkperiariyx on May 20th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
:D I did!!

I'm not too pressed about getting more people to notice... A few people following along is plenty for me. I'm also, for some bizarre reason squicky about advertising on more than one comm, plus there isn't even all that much slash in this, considering how much I've already written and it has... not come close to starting yet. I'm a bit more of a gen writer, really. :B But! That is always an option, true enough...

It's gonna come along, glad to see your interest is piqued though! Thank you so much!!
The sightly crazy Paladinrenuki on May 20th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
*nod* Aha okay, glad to be of some help. :D

Ya welcome. *sits and waits for the next part*
Pseudonymvervada on May 27th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
Yay, you updated! I had nearly forgotten about this, but I saw the update and read it all over again -- really amazing. I can't wait for the next installment. :D
ball of Calgarian rage: star trek - kirk - satisfactionperiariyx on May 28th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
Yay, I did! Thank youu so much. So, so happy to know it's still doing well and has retained some value. And that people are still around. Delighted that you're still enjoying it! Thank you so so much!!
zjofierosezjofierose on June 2nd, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
i'm following, i'm following!

more soon, please? :D
ball of Calgarian rage: star trek - xi; uhura.. drinkperiariyx on June 2nd, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
guhdsgf! Yay, yay, you sweetie! :D Thank you!

I was going to update last night but then I got distracted and then it was 6 AM. :< Hoping to have a new chapter up tomorrow~
acountrymouseacountrymouse on June 3rd, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
OMG YOU UPDATED!!! Patience does pay off!

Poor Chekov! He really doesn't understand Sulu's position, genius that he is. And he's so reliant on Sulu's opinion! Which is sad, as he doesn't trust anyone else because he's focused on Sulu. I hope he can be more self reliant, or reach out to the others more. Like, Scotty? And to have a better relationship with Sulu.

And you introduced Spock! I really like that we have Jim's pov here. How does the epic-friendship happen when Spock's the enemy? Do we meet Amanda? What's Spock's life been like as half-vulcan in an occupied Earth? Does he know that? Is Amanda known in Vulcan society or more of a behind-the-scene mistress deal?

To sum up, this is really great so far, and I can't wait for the next part!
ball of Calgarian rage: star trek - xi; kirk.. smirkperiariyx on June 3rd, 2010 05:47 am (UTC)
Your enthusiastic curiosity makes me so happy, let me tell you. <3 I'm so stoked to see that you're still interested in it in general, but at this level? Yay! Because this review has filled me with such warm fuzzies and aaw I could answer you right now for everything but I won't because I'd rather have you keep reading, haha.

I do have all of those things covered though!! And I'm really really looking forward to getting to them. And comments like this only encourage me all the more, so, thank youuu so much!