Name: It's a Mixed Blessing, Really
'Verse: ST '09, post-movie
Characters: Jim Kirk, Chris Pike
Rating: T (some cussing)
Summary: Jim learns of his fate after they return to Earth after the Narada. Pike is diabolically pleased to be delivering the news.
Little burst of inspiration. I love those :D Do not own Star Trek, as you are well aware.
"... You're... rewarding me? For a mutiny and a hijacking and being a jerk and a stowaway and...!" Jim had to pause to breathe, and found he couldn't continue once he had the air to. He just leaned back in the chair opposite Pike's desk, gripping both armrests until his fingers turned white.
Pike was laughing at him with his eyes, if only grinning with his mouth. "Well, it's something of a mixed blessing."
"Come again?" Jim frowned, squinting suspiciously at the evident humour on his mentor's face.
"You did good, Jim. But - as you pointed out - you also did not so good. Since I know you so well, the Admiralty consulted me extensively on what to do with you." Jim paled further at that, his heart beginning to pound. "Well, it seems to me that you're just too damned valuable to waste on anything less than captaincy. You've already proven yourself, albeit," His eyes flashed jovially. "Unconventionally, as usual. It was then just a matter of which ship to assign you to."
"But, the Enterprise?" Jim all but babbled.
"Yes, yes, the Enterprise. She's a great ship, isn't she, Jim? Constitution class, of course. Outfitted for any sort of mission you could dream of. The flagship of the entire Federation."
Jim's senses were overtaken all of a sudden by the unfiltered glee the newly-appointed admiral was now radiating. Pike was enjoying the hell out of himself, with a joke Jim didn't get. His eyes narrowed, and then flew open. He understood.
"You cold, sick bastard."
Pike's face was overcome with his grin. "Yep; the flagship covers everything from exploration to confrontation to diplomacy."
"Lots. And lots. Of diplomacy."
"She is one of the only ships we'll be sending out for First Contacts, naturally."
"I get the picture!" Jim hollered, face turning red after its previous ashen state.
"I hope you enjoyed your classes in Interspecies Politics, Jim," the admiral crooned.
"... Shit. You," Jim hissed, levelling an accusatory finger at the smirking officer. "Are sick. Sick and twisted. Sir."
"That is insuboordinate, Captain Kirk. I could have you court-martialled."
"My apologies, Admiral." Kirk jumped to his feet, grinning. "You're still a sick bastard. But... shit, the Enterprise?"
Pike's grin matched Jim's. "The Enterprise." His expression sobered into something that Jim didn't recognize - warm, but not friendly, exactly. He was at a loss to define it before Pike spoke again. "I'm proud of you, Jim."
His heart physically clenched at that. Well, that would explain why he hadn't recognized the look, but what the hell do you respond to that? He stared at the ground and was silent for a good while, before lifting his head and meeting Pike's accepting gaze. "I wouldn't have done it without you."
"No," he smirked, shifting his weight onto one leg and crossing his arms. "I always could have done it: I'm brilliant." Pike rolled his eyes, and then Jim's grin softened from infuriatingly cocky into something unfamiliar even to himself. "But I wouldn't have done it without you."
Pike nodded, half of his mouth curving into a smile. "If you insist, I will bask in your glory."
"Feel free, old man. I have plenty to spare."
"'Pup'? Seriously? If you're trying to convince me that you're not old, you're doing a really crappy job."
With another exaggerated roll of his eyes, Pike leaned forward on the desk, lacing his fingers together and settling his weight on his forearms. "You will need to select your command crew before your shipping orders can be given."
"Yes, Sir!" came the enthusiastic response.
"Just one." Pike raised his eyebrows, inviting Jim to continue. "The exact crew that we had during the Battle of Vulcan."
"Why am I not surprised?" His face suddenly slackened as a thought occurred to him. He refocused on Kirk with humour shining in his eyes. "You're going to ask Spock to be your first officer?"
"I certainly am."
"The Vulcan who you baited into strangling you half to death on the bridge? Against whom you mutinied during a crisis after the total destruction of his homeworld? Who marooned you on a deserted ice planet? Who is currently in the process of charging you with the academic misconduct of cheating on the Kobyashi Maru? That Spock?"
"Um," the young captain's bravado faltered only slightly. "Yes, Sir."
"... Can I please be there when you do?"