And We Stood Still
Note and Disclaimer: Of course, nobody here owns Star Trek. All events happen directly after Vejur in The Motion Picture and move through all of the movies, from each person's point of view. I hope you all enjoy!
The Motion Picture
Perhaps it had been his fault all of this all happened. Perhaps it was not. But Admiral James Kirk was not faulting himself much for taking control of his beloved ship. It was necessary and saved them all. So much swirled in his head, though, enough that his weaker human emotions took over.
Kirk settled in his quarters, dimming the lights as he laid down on his bed. He allowed Spock to handle the bridge as he rested quietly. Well, as much Spock can control the bridge anyway. It was difficult to gauge how his old friend was doing actually and if he was still capable of command, but Kirk had faith in him. He was utterly stoic, as logical as any Vulcan can be, and had refused to volunteer information on why he returned other than he had a connection to Vejur. That enough wasn't enough to shed him of being second officer and McCoy already deemed him fit for duty.
That was not what bothered Kirk the most, though. It was his previously appointed science officer and second officer. William Decker, the original captain of his love, the Enterprise. He sacrificed himself, merging with Ilia, and allowed them time to escape. Decker said that he wished it, just as Kirk desired the refitted Enterprise. It was a jealousy and a love that saved everyone
What did it matter?
Either way, William Decker was gone. While just as brave as his father, Commodore Matt Decker, it was the same guilt that plagued Kirk upon their loss. When personnel are missing, injured or killed on his watch, it was grief that keeps watch over his off time. Only now, he had watched both father and son disappear. Just like when he was captain, Kirk mulled over the possibilities and what he could have done differently. The people he negatively affected also poked at him in his imagination.
The first one that came to mind was not returning to space. Decker was right. He had not logged in a star hour in years. He was not experienced in handling the new class of starships. He could have left the threat of Vejur to Decker. As captain, Decker was capable of tackling Vejur and eliminating the threat.
Lieutenant Ilia could have been spared. The Deltan may have forsaken her sexual urges and forged a career on the Enterprise, but it did not mean she would have been safe with Decker as her captain. If anyone else found out about her relations with Decker, she could not have arrived onboard. Even if she renounced her Deltan emotions, Starfleet would not have tolerated two ex-lovers on the same ship. She would have been spared Vejur if regulations had been followed.
Spock could have been denied access to the ship. After all, it was Chekov was the one who permitted him to come aboard because he was no foe. The Vulcan even admitted that he had a connection to Vejur and Kirk believed him. There was no reason not to. Without the reactivation of his Starfleet position, Spock would have imparted his wisdom about Vejur and perhaps gained another position on Vulcan. With no such knowledge, Decker would not have had any idea of how to deal with Vejur and why it exists.
Lori Ciana was another that Kirk apologized for profusely. Her death was not necessary. If only she had not come aboard. It would have saved him the heartache of watching her die. Dammit, it was unfair! Lori was the reason for his elevation and his promises and partially why he strove to regain his ship. Why did she have to die? What did she have to say to him, even after their split? She did not need to interfere with Vejur. Knowing that Kirk was on the Enterprise possible did not help matters. She always had to meddle and be in the middle of the action.
And McCoy…what had Kirk done to him?! He was happy being away Starfleet. He quit because Kirk was promoted to admiral and nobody listened to his psychological evaluation after the Enterprise docked after five years away. In the ensuing years, McCoy had built a reputation as a recluse and a rebel. To pull him in for the Vejur threat had been unfair, regulations aside. It meant displacement and disappointment. McCoy was full of those when he was in Starfleet.
This directly dug into Christine Chapel's ambitions too. Without Kirk's interference, she would have achieved the position of Chief Medical Officer. Decker had her lined up and ready. She was familiar with the old and new staff of the Enterprise and most certainly was more updated than McCoy on regulations and procedures. It was unjust to block the promotion of such a brilliant medical officer. Kirk's despair knew no bounds.
To Sulu, he felt the worst. He too asked for his helmsman back. While Sulu was supposed to only train the new crew, Kirk instigated and switched the orders. Sulu was attached to the Enterprise until such a time he is needed elsewhere. Sulu, of all people, had the ability to command and deserved a ship of his own. Without Kirk changing orders, Sulu would have taken the shuttlecraft out by now. Without Vejur, he'd be stationed on Earth, docked in with a new ship and crew and enjoying the fruits of his labor.
All the while, the elements combined and combusted.
Kirk sat up and folded his hands. His decisions had been fair in the end, he reasoned once more. Without his interference, none of this will be here. Earth might have been consumed by Vejur. Nobody would have survived the invasion. Then, what would have happened? Where would they all be?
Despite the heinous way he climbed to the top, he still had his greatest love and his home planet and more saved. Decker wanted the same with Ilia, despite the great loss. Kirk could not regret that.
The communicator in his quarters beeped. It was Spock. "Captain, we are approaching Starbase Twelve. Should we dock?"
Kirk pressed a button to answer. "Is there any available space for personnel to have shore leave?"
"I am unsure, Sir. I can consult with Commodore Mueller."
"Commodore Mueller will have a social if he could fit everyone on the starbase."
Kirk paused. "Yes, of course, Mr. Spock. Check in with Commodore Mueller. Kirk out."
The admiral could almost imagine his friend raising an eyebrow before disconnecting. Kirk had been socializing with the top brass since his promotion. Nobody was going to understand his distaste for them and how it was necessary to mingle anyway. Spock, most of all, will not see this point. He was a scientist above all things.
But that did not matter. His crew was his top priority. Let Mueller show off and throw a party. Kirk will enjoy it, no matter what the commodore did or said. He had the Enterprise in his hands for the moment. Mueller could not say he had his own ship.
He stood to leave and check for those eligible for shore leave. The guilt can stay in his quarters. It had no place elsewhere on the ship. No one will have confidence in him if he showed his emotions so freely.
And it stood still.