The last thing I need to do is start another story right now, but this idea just wouldn't leave me alone. Also, most chapters will be much longer than this. Just think of this as the prologue.

The One And Only Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.


Chapter One: Sins of the Father


James Tiberius Kirk wasn't very good at dying. He wasn't very good at staying in Sick Bay, either, but he was especially bad at dying.

He had done it before. Multiple times, actually. It never really stuck to him. It was like one of those little sticky rubber toys that you shoot at the glass so that it will stick, but then it ends up falling off after a few seconds because they're cheap toys, y'know? Death was a cheap rubber toy. It never stuck to him for more than a few seconds. Maybe that was where his false confidence came from. Maybe that was why he grinned at Death and Danger and greeted them like old friends. After all, they came to visit him so often. They might never have stuck to him, but he got to know them quite intimately. They were as familiar to him as his own scars.

Something had exploded and people ran screaming. That too, was familiar. What wasn't so familiar was that it had happened in the middle of a speech, and Jim was now being held hostage by a crazy Romulan while the audience had been herded out of the building by a set of timed explosions.

A phaser was pressed against his temple. It was at the wrong angle. If it went off at this very moment, he would get a bad graze, blood all over his face, and maybe a concussion, but it wouldn't blast his brains out, which was obviously what the Romulan wanted to do to him. He wasn't worried. Not just because of the fact that the Romulan was too incompetent to hold a phaser correctly, but because he was eighty-nine years old and he wasn't afraid of much. Old people often weren't, unless they had been scumbags all their lives. Then they were afraid, because whether they believed it or not, all sentient beings had that sense that they would pay for what they had done, in this life or the next. James Kirk didn't believe in karma, or that any amount of good could pay for the bad, or that any good deed he did could wash away the blood of even a single stolen life, but he was settled in that he was very, very sorry. Repentant. He knew that he had done bad things. No amount of good-doing would make up for any of it. He was sorry for them, because that was all that he could be.

It was nice, not being afraid of anything.

"Admiral Kirk," the Romulan said, rasping softly the way that most Romulans did when they were angry. Not that Jim knew all that many Romulans, but the few that he had encountered had spoken this way, and they were all very angry. Maybe they just sounded raspy all the time and it had nothing to do with them being angry. "I've always wanted to kill you."

"Wanting to kill me seems to be a running theme with Romulans," Jim admitted. This Romulan didn't look like Nero at first glance, especially not with that Vulcan-esque hair job. But there was something Nero-ish about him; about the angular shape of his face and his coal-dark eyes. Maybe it was that hint of kamikaze-craze on him. Nero had reeked of crazy. "And I would assume that this is important? You interrupted a speech. It was a good speech."

James T. Kirk wasn't good at dying, but he made some epic speeches, even at his advanced age. Today it was a dedication to the survivors of Vulcan's destruction, and to New Vulcan itself. Spock and Spock's father were there. The absolutely ancient and very, very important T'Pau was there (how she was still alive, Jim wasn't sure. That had to be some Vulcan voodoo). Of course it had been a good speech. It was an awesome speech.

He wondered, briefly, where Spock was. And Sarek, too. Jim couldn't say that he always saw eye-to-eye with Sarek, but he had grown to like the man. Had they gotten out? Was Spock outside, or had he moved against the crowds in order to find out what was happening? Spock was older, just as Jim was, but he hadn't aged as quickly. That hobgoblin-blood did him some good after all. Spock would still be able to beat the illogic out of this scruffy young Romulan. Not that Jim needed to be rescued. Of course not. Not from a Romulan who couldn't even hold a phaser at the right angle. He was James T. Kirk and he did not need to be rescued.

Unimpressed by Jim's snark, the Romulan asked, "Do you know who I am?"

You're the guy pointing a phaser at me. "No."

"My mother's name is T'Ret." He sounded amused. "You met her earlier."

Yes, he had. T'Ret was Vulcan, though, which meant that this Romulan was only half-Romulan. Still obviously Romulan, though. There was a shape to them that couldn't be mistaken for anything else. It was rougher and blunter than the smooth curves and sharp edges that made Vulcans look so crisp and clean even when they were filthy (not that you could very often find a filthy Vulcan, if ever).

"Lovely woman," Jim complimented. "Very logical, unlike you. You must get that from your father."

Maybe insulting the guy who was holding a phaser wasn't the greatest idea Jim had ever had, but he had done it before and it usually worked for him.

The Romulan hissed angrily. "I am the son of Nero."

Jim could have sworn several ways other than left that Nero didn't have children. But, then again, Nero had also been waiting around for, what was it, twenty-five years? Who knew what Nero had gotten up to in that time? Of course, Jim hadn't imagined that the hell-bent Romulan had been getting side-nookie while planning the destruction of the Federation and massacre of innocent peoples, et cetera, et cetera, but it wasn't as though Jim had spent a great deal of time meditating on that subject.

Spock might have, though. Did it seriously not occur to Spock to mention that Nero had left behind some vengeful spawn to ruin Jim's day?

Jim looked up at the Romulan out of the corner of his eye. He had Nero's cheekbones, and that same v-shaped face. "I am terribly sorry about that."

Coal eyes met blue and squinted the way Nero squinted. "Really."

"Yeah, I had an absent father too," Jim said, shifting uncomfortably. He was on his knees with his hands behind his head and at his age, he really couldn't hold that position for very long. His legs and shoulders were aching fiercely. His back couldn't take this. The sarcasm-producing centers of his brain, however, worked just fine. "Although, that was kind of Nero's fault. This is just a circle of dead dads, isn't it?"

The Romulan made a noise like the screech of an owl and kicked Jim in the ribs. Hard. And Jim, well, Jim was getting on in age, not to mention that he had taken some rather spectacular beatings throughout his life. His ribs couldn't really handle that kind of abuse anymore. They buckled under the pressure, cracking loudly as Jim was pushed onto his side by the force of the blow. At least he wasn't on his knees anymore.

Jim hit the floor with a dull thud. He coughed and tasted blood on his lips. "What's your name?"

At the unexpected question, the Romulan paused. "Adon."

Now that the phaser wasn't pressed up against his head, Jim took the chance to roll over and take the pressure off of his cracked ribs. This gave him a full view of Adon's face. It was definitely Nero's face. Lips, eyes, bone-structure. It was a Nero-clone with brown hair and pale skin, free of tattoos and scars. Poor boy was too young for this. How was he so young, anyway? If he was Nero's son, he would have to be… sixty-four years old at the very least. This punk didn't look any older than twenty-some. Was that a Romulan thing? Did they live even longer than Vulcans did?

"Did you know your father, Adon?"

At this, Adon's lip curled into a half-snarl. "I didn't have to."

Jim smiled without humor or any good feeling. "You look like him."

This time, Adon really did snarl.

"My mother wanted to kill you herself," Adon snapped, pointing the phaser at Jim's chest, "but I wanted to take a page from my father's book. Isn't that what you humans say?"

Jim shrugged and regretted it as pain shot through his shoulders. "Depends on the context, but yeah. Which, uh, which page are we talking about, here?"

Adon smiled and clicked up the setting on the phaser. "I'm going to make you watch."

It occurred to Jim that, if he were about ten years younger, he might still have had the dexterity to kick the phaser from Adon's grip and make a break for it. Or at least he could have given Adon a good hard knock to the gut. But Jim was eighty-nine years old and he had no such dexterity. He was rather sure that was the reason why he was the one asked to give this speech. Not because he was Captain James T. Kirk, but because he was a famous man whose age was showing and his health was slipping and that meant that they had to wring all the speeches and honors and snarky one-liners out of him that they could before he kicked the bucket. This was all for the sake of having nice things to put in the last few chapters of his biography, for course.

It was sort of funny, he thought, even as Adon prepared to fire. A Romulan was involved with bringing him into this world, and a Romulan of the same blood was taking him out. Funny, funny, funny. Hilarious. Even Bones would have to think that it was sort of funny. (No, he wouldn't. Bones would have told him to shut up and stop being an idiot, Jim, you're about to be killed, damnit.)

It was too bad that phasers made a zing sound. Going out with a zing wasn't nearly as good as going out with a bang.

Adon pulled the trigger. Jim was really very disappointed with the fact that he went out with a zing.


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