They literally bump into each other on a crowded street in Berlin. It’s fate.
Nick has learned, from years on the run, to recognize others of his own kind. It isn’t an ordinary that he bumps into. It’s a special.
Nick knows that the man recognizes him for what he is too.
“It’s ok, Nick,” Cassie says from behind him, and Nick winces. Names aren’t something he makes a habit of exchanging anymore, at least not real ones.
“Cass-” Nick starts, but she cuts him off.
“I saw this. They’re going to help,” she says, and Nick glances at the man again.
“Watcher?” comes a dry voice with a southern accent dripping off of it, and he sees a second man standing behind the first. “Always fucking hated Watchers.”
Nick tenses and moves just a little, so he’s blocking the second man’s view of Cassie.
“Relax,” the first man says. “Bones is all bark and no bite.”
The second man, Bones, snorts. “You can relax, Nick was it? I’m not going to do anything to your girlfriend. Its Jim here you ought to worry about. All I do is Stitch.”
Pusher, Nick thinks, and assesses the man again. He’s muscled, all blond hair and blue eyes, dressed in jeans and a worn leather jacket. His companion, Bones, is dressed much the same.
Behind him, Nick hears Cassie sigh, and then feels her tug on his shirt.
“They’re against Division too, Nick. We can trust them. They’re going to help us bring them down,” Cassie says.
“Alright, fine,” Nick tells her, and the two men who are going to apparently help them take down Division both shake their heads.
“Just like that?” Jim asks.
“Just like that,” Nick agrees. “I trust her. Mostly”
“I know the feeling,” Jim says dryly, casting a look over his shoulder at Bones.
They get a hotel room, or Cassie does, one room, two beds, which, while normal for them, doesn’t take into account the fact that there are now four of them. Nick’s got half a mind to make the new fuckers sleep on the floor, near the door, so he and Cassie have more time to get away.
Cassie smacks him when he voices his idea. Bones, real name Leonard, and Jim are charming an extra set of room keys out of the maid down the hall
“Stop that,” Cassie orders. “They’re friends.”
“Whatever,” Nick tells her, rolling his eyes. He may be going along with this but he doesn’t have to like it.
Their new friends come back, an additional two keys in hand, and Nick suddenly wonders why Jim didn’t just Push the maid into giving them extras. Maybe, he thinks with a chill, he was wrong about what Jim was.
“What are you?” Nick asks, the question directed at Jim, one hand going to the gun he has at the small of his back.
Jim tenses, following the movement of Nick’s hand. Cassie makes an exasperated noise behind him.
Jim’s pupils expand until he eyes are black as midnight. “You don’t want to do that,” Jim says, and suddenly Nick doesn’t.
“I could have told you that, idiot,” Cassie snaps at Nick. “What are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking I’m not letting some fucker I don’t know about near you, Cassie!” Nick yells, wishing he still wanted to shoot Jim. Everything is easier when he knows who he’s supposed to be shooting and who’s on his side.
“Alright, fine,” Nick says, pouting. “They’re friends, and I trust you.”
“Thank you,” Cassie says, giving him a brilliant smile. Nick wishes he wasn’t so easy that a 15 year old could play him like a fucking harp.
USS Enterprise, Stardate 2259
“Emergency beam up for 3, now Scotty!” Jim yells into his comm, keeping a hand on Nick’s arm.
“Shit, Jim, she’s not breathing,” Nick says.
“It’ll be fine, Nick, we’re-” Jim starts, and is cut off by the transporter locking on and beaming them up.
“-going to be fine,” Jim finishes and Nick lets loose a sob as Dr. McCoy immediately steps forward and takes the girl from his arms.
She’s limp in McCoy’s arms as he transfers her to the gurney. She’s got blood caked in her hair and thin limbs and torn clothes and it’s obvious that at the moment, she’s the only thing that matters in Nick’s world.
“Captain, may I request a debrief?” Spock says, as formal as ever.
Jim wipes his dirt streaked face with a trembling hand, and shakes his head, then changes his mind and nods.
“Ya, sure, just. Can we do it in the infirmary? I’m not leaving Nick right now, and he won’t leave Cassie,” Jim says, watching McCoy hustle the girl, Cassie, away.
Nick still looks wrecked, clothes torn, dirty, and blood spattered. He’s shaking slightly, all over, like he’s just run a marathon, or like he’s coming down from a high.
Jim places a gently hand on his shoulder and says, “You can watch the Bones work, okay?”
Nick nods and follows Jim as he leads the way to the infirmary.
“The debrief, Captain?” Spock requests again, quiet nicely Jim thinks, considering he had brought an unknown man, possibly dangerous, onto his ship, defying protocol. Not to mention the half-dead girl that Bones was currently working on.
Jim knew Nick, but Cassie. He didn’t know who she was or what she could do. It could be a problem, but he honestly didn’t think it would be. Nick wasn’t stupid, or reckless.
“Ya, ok,” says Jim, because there is no fucking way he’s up to fighting anyone about anything, at least not without Pushing, and he can only Push one person at a time so that option is out if he doesn’t want to get stunned by his crew. Federation has a strict policy on specials. But that was beside the point.
“It’ll be easier and solve more problems if you just meld with me,” Jim says tiredly, because he doesn’t really want to inflict his past on anyone, but he could use some back up this time, and this is the fastest way to get it.
“Well,” Jim amends, “it’ll show you why I brought a strange special on board, and what happened on the planet.”
He can see Spock thinking about it, and isn’t surprised when the man nods. Spock places his fingers at the meld points on Jim’s face, and isn’t this a flashback.
He’s fifteen and proud, on the transport to the school for specials on Tarsus IV. There is a Mover in his cabin, and he grins and reaches out a hand to introduce himself-
He’s fifteen and running, trying desperately to get away from Kodos’ compound, Nick running a few feet ahead of him, Nick slipping through the fence, getting away, and then Jim is taken down with an honest to fuck bullet in the knee-
He’s fifteen and terrified, trying to Push Kodos and finding out that you can’t Push someone who is insane, and then the guards are beating him-
He’s fifteen and broken, chained in Kodos’ room while the man plays with the blood dripping from his cheek and tells him how Jim was the brightest of them all, and then Nick is there with a stolen gun and there is a loud crack-
He’s twenty-six and seeing Nick for the first time since the whole clusterfuck on Tarsus IV and he’s seeing him bound up like a dog while a girl is screaming in the next room over and Nick looks like he is dying-
He’s twenty-six and repaying the debt he owes Nick, fucking Federation relations with Lycos VII and breaking out Nick and the watcher girl, Cassie, stopping the illegal experiments they’re running on specials, watching Cassie go down in a spray of blood, watching Nick Move the very earth beneath them-
-and then he’s himself again, Spock in front of him, trembling, looking like he’s been broken into pieces and put back together inexpertly. Not much time has passed at all, really.
“Good enough?” he asks, because Spock is kinda anal about reports.
“More than sufficient,” Spock says with a jerky nod.
Jim nods and turns back to watch his Bones work his magic and save two lives.
Starfleet Academy, Stardate 2255
“You know, you can’t even complain, Nick,” Cassie says archly.
“Oh can’t I,” Nick mutters darkly glaring at his PADD.
“Nope,” Cassie says, sucking on a cherry lollipop, which is just mean, because she’s fucking fifteen and that’s 7 months away from the age of consent on any self respecting Federation planet. “One Cadet Pavel Andreievich Chekov is thirteen.”
“What the ever loving fuck?” Nick demands, looking up from his PADD. Thirteen was not nearly old enough to be in Starfleet. Fifteen was not nearly old enough to be in Starfleet. Not that he could actually come out and say that near Cassie, because he defiantly liked his balls where they were. Bitch was crazy. Cute, but crazy.
Cassie pops the lollipop out of her mouth and laughs, deep throated and way too sexy to fit her lithe frame. “And just think, Nick, in six and a half months you’ll have no more excuses at all.”
“Shut up,” he says, blushing.
“Aren’t you a little young to start birth control,” the doctor asks Cassie doubtfully, and she rolls her eyes. Men.
“I turn sixteen in three months, Doctor, and it takes about that long for birth control to kick in properly. You’d think with all the great medical advancements someone would do something about that.” She’s being mean, but to be fair, age of consent is waved when you enlist in Starfleet, and this doctor has no business questioning her. She’s being safe.
He holds up his hands in an age old gesture of submission and surrender. “Christ, kill a guy for asking a question.”
“Bones!” comes a voice from right outside the room, and the door bangs open. She glares, because hey, this is a private consultation.
“I’m busy Jim,” her doctor says.
“I can see that,” Jim says, and she glances sharply at him, but his eyes are serious and he gives her a small nod. She relaxes. He’s like her, she’s safe. Like recognizes like.
“I just wanted to let you know there’s a human male in the waiting room demanding that you stop corrupting his roommate. I thought you could, you know, use some extra protection,” the man says.
Cassie sighs, because Nick never learns. She’s surprised she didn’t See this.
“I assure you, I can handle myself,” her doctor says, waving a hypo, and the man grins.
“Excuse me for being a little worried about you then, geez,” Jim says, a wide grin on his face.
Cassie rolls her eyes. “The two of you can flirt after you give me the hypo and I take care of the stupid lug in your waiting room ok?”
The two men share a grin, and she can’t help grinning too. Starfleet was the best decision she ever made.