Characters: Jim Kirk, Spock, Bones, Carol Marcus, Amanda Grayson
Warnings: Violence, language, references to drug and alcohol abuse
Link to Art: At Carouselcycles's Journal
Summary: Hello, criminal underworld. Jim Kirk is here to fuck your shit up.
Background: First contact happened, but Starfleet never formed. Earth became isolated from the rest of the universe, for the most part, with Vulcans occasionally settling in the sort of way the Vulcan High Council did (which is how Spock came to be). Earth has gradually come to be less isolated, but has more or less become a den of scullery and villainy. The worst of the galaxy come to San Francisco, which has unofficially become an apolitical zone for the sad excuse for a federation in Starfleet's absence.
Jim Kirk has lived in San Francisco since he was 16. His father died fighting for some protection for Earth, and his mother faced too much substance abuse, as introduced by the scum in San Francisco. He initially went to San Fran for the sole purpose of ruining the city and trying to understand how it could have become so degraded, but after meeting Carol Marcus and Leonard McCoy, he decided he needed to try to save it. He worked hard to clean the city, often making use of whatever weapons the last people he took down made use of. Despite being seen as a vigilante, he still manages to help the city.
Jim’s never been a big fan of phasers, to be honest. They’re too flashy – or, at least, they’re the wrong kind of flashy. They’re small, trendy, shiny, and their discharge is just outright ridiculous. He’s seen more tasteful lights in a rave. And he can’t quite adjust to the toy-like feeling of the weapon; there’s something in the way it slides cool into his hand and stays cool regardless of how frequently it is used. It’s the lack of a kickback that gets him the most, though. If he didn’t have his eyes open, he’d never know if it fired or not.
Plasma rifles, on the other hand, are heaven. They’re not as…clean, he supposes, as these new phasers. He can feel the grime in the barrel and the scorches where they haven’t been properly maintained. They’re heavy; it’s like the weight of each shot he takes is in his hands whenever he picks one up. And the feeling when he fires it – the blast, no matter how quiet, ringing in his ears while the weapon itself bucks against his shoulder or elbow or whatever else he’s braced it against this time – reaffirms his convictions.
Hello, criminal underworld. Jim Kirk is here to fuck your shit up.
Tonight has been a fairly standard exercise, he finds. There’s no information to be found about the lynchpin connecting the six major drug cartels in San Francisco, and as usual he’s had to keep himself busy with the everyday scum. He’s two low-level dealers, a lab, and a convenience store hold-up into a six-hour shift, and he’s down to those goddamn phasers. If he’d had a mugging or a hit to interrupt, he’d at least have a plasma handgun to content himself with – mafia lowlifes tend to have similar preferences in weaponry to him, after all. But of course, it’s a Thursday. And everyone knows the cheapest dealers come out en masse on Thursdays, so even robbers and hit men take the night off. No one wants to deal with desperate druggies taking too many hits and working themselves into a rage.
He pauses for a moment with that thought, and then lets out a snort. He’s been doing this too long. He’s starting to empathize with some of the scum he’s supposed to be cleaning up.
A fist brushes past his cheek before he ever realizes he’s dodged, and it takes another moment for him to figure out that someone’s decided to attack him. Oh. He pivots on his ankle to face whoever figured it’d be a good plan to mess with him. His eyes travel over blue skin, antennae, and eyes far, far whiter than is healthy, and he cocks an eyebrow. An Andorian high off her ass on something, from the looks of it. He squares his hips and shoulders, readying himself for another attack.
She stumbles, unsteady on her feet, and he freezes.
Either she’s just shoplifted a salad bowl, or she’s very, very pregnant.
He stands up straight, dropping his guard. She’s not so much rounded as she is distended. Aside from her belly, she resembles a mummy. Even from a distance, he can see the bones in her wrists, watching them shift as she flexes her hand, seemingly confused. There are sores on her elbows and knees, and her short skirt reveals more bruises and contusions stretching up the length of her thighs. A pregnant, high, likely illegal Andorian hooker. This really isn’t his night.
“Hey,” he says softly. She startles, eyes fixing on him like she’d forgotten he was there. She very well might have; she looks like her brain’s been put through a blender. He holds up his hands, trying to placate her. “Are you okay?”
She blinks slowly, hands coming up in front of her even as her antennae curve outward in suspicion. “You’re with them, aren’t you,” she says, and it isn’t even a question. Her accent is thick; she can’t have been on-planet for more than a year, he’s guessing. She’s probably a trafficking victim, promised paying work and a diplomatic visa. He’s come across a number of them the past few months. “I told Gire, I told him. I’ll have the money by morning. I’m getting helicopters, you know. And I’ll pawn them. The helicopters, you know?”
“I know,” he says gingerly, letting his hands drop to his pockets. She watches them fall. “What’ll Gire do if you don’t get the money?”
He doesn’t really need to ask. She shakes her head and curls up into herself. She must have peaked before she even tried to hit him, if she’s coming down already. He steps forward, and she rears back. He stops, hands coming back up to signify that he’s not planning anything. She doesn’t relax at all.
He tries again. “You’re no good to us if you look sick and hurt,” he lies, holding out a hand. She stares at it, expression clearly wary. He clears his throat. “We’ve got a doctor waiting on hand. He’ll have a look at you and get you back out so you can make the money more easily. We won’t even take it out of your payments.”
The Andorian stares for a moment longer, then slowly extends her hand. He grips it lightly and pulls her towards him. She’s unsteady on her feet; it’d take more time than he really has to walk her all the way back. Her pimp is bound to have some tabs on her, and he’d rather not run into any ‘enforcers.’ He pulls his communicator towards his mouth. “Bones?”
It takes a moment, but there’s an answer. “God damn it, Jim; I was almost asleep.”
Jim grins at his friend’s resigned tone. “Good thing you weren’t. Listen, I’ve got someone I need you to look at. Think you can lock onto us? We’re in teleporter range, I think.”
There’s some rustling from the communicator, and the Andorian trembles. Jim holds her hand more tightly; he can’t afford to lose her now. “Yeah, I see your signal. Hold on a sec; I’ll let Carol know you’re on your way back, then I’ll beam you in.”
“Great. See you soon,” he says, and he looks to the Andorian again. She’s looking him over now, antennae quirked in confusion. He grins. “It’s hot here.”
One of her hands travels over his exposed stomach as her eyes drop lower and lower. He’s gotten used to this sort of response, and he’s learned not to explain. Shorts and a cutoff sweater might not be the most common clothes around here, and he certainly stands out in them. But they’re functional and comfortable, and they show off his best features, if he does say so himself.
He feels the familiar pull of a transporter, and he pulls her tight to him while they dematerialize. The last thing he needs is for her to panic and attack him or Bones when they rematerialize. He has no doubts that she would end up hurting herself and her baby if that happened. She’s stiff as a board when they rematerialize, and he’s hesitant to let go. The familiar lights and junk in the transporter room crowd around them as he adjusts to the difference, and then a hand touches his arm.
“What’ve we got?” Bones asks gruffly. Jim pulls back, relatively sure that she isn’t going to attack. She’s looking around in awe – or in disgust. He can’t tell which. “Ah. I see. What’s her name?”
The Andorian stares at his friend. “Her name is Tollik,” she says, stepping back from Jim. “What’s his name?”
Jim grins, even as Bones shakes his head. “That one’s Jim,” the doctor explains, gesturing at Jim. “I’m Dr. McCoy. I’ll have a look at you, Tollik. I’d like to make sure that your injuries are healing well and that your baby is okay.”
Tollik glances at Jim, and for a moment it seems like she’s asking permission. He nods, placing a hand on her shoulder and turning her towards the door. Bones steps up alongside her and takes her by the elbow, frowning and shooting Jim his patented we-are-discussing-this-later look. Jim shrugs, and his friend leads her out.
“That’s four this month,” a familiar voice drawls from the corner. Jim doesn’t bother turning around, instead checking the power draw of the transporter. “You can’t help but wonder if Gire’s expanding his operation.”
Jim shakes his head. “He’s just getting sloppy, Carol,” he says easily, shutting down the system. “I’ve gotten enough of his enforcers to skeletonize his business. He can’t keep track of all his ‘employees’ anymore.”
Heels clack on the floor, and a warm hand massages over the back of his neck. Carol swings in front of him, severing contact in a second. He can’t help but smile. She looks more severe than usual, glaring through those cat-like eyes of hers at the newest of his bruises.
“You keep pushing yourself and you’re going to be ‘skeletonized,’” she says. He shakes his head, grin getting wider just to spite her. “Seriously. You can’t keep this up. It was bad enough when it was five or six hours a night. Eight? Nine? One of these days, you’re going to wake up and realize you haven’t seen daylight properly for months, and you’re going to go crazy. And I’ll be there to say I told you so.”
Jim snorts. “I bet you will,” he says. “And I’ll be there to make you feel awful about saying it.”
Carol crosses her arms under her not-so-inconsiderable bust. “You can’t do it all yourself,” she warns him. “Your dad couldn’t, and he was as strong as they come. Don’t assume that—”
“Don’t talk about my dad,” Jim snaps, good mood gone in an instant. Carol, to her credit, doesn’t recoil or flinch. She simply hardens her stare and squares her hips.
It’s a shame they couldn’t have been more compatible, he thinks. He’d have rather liked having someone to greet him with a kiss after a long night, and he knows Bones would sooner swallow his own tongue than stick let it anywhere near Jim’s mouth. Carol would probably bite through his lips nowadays if he got them in range. And frankly, he’s not going to risk it.
“Eat something,” she scowls. He blows her a kiss anyway. “Ugh. And put on a proper outfit. You look like a boy band member.”
“Yes, Mom,” he sings, and she flings a spare screwdriver at him. He barely manages to dodge it, even as he makes his way through the door. After six years cleaning up the city, he’s got reflexes like no other. He’ll have a sandwich or something, and then he’ll head back out to patrol more.