(trigger warning: Certain sections of this work may cause negative reactions for sexual assault/abuse survivors. Unfortunately, being true to the character as presented & interpreted didn’t leave me a whole lot of room; also for transphobic language)
James T. Kirk. Galactic hero. Defeated the Narada. Every morning, looked into the mirror and tried to see something familiar in that face. Just a sign - or maybe two - of the person inside. Walking around the ship with a spring in the step, it was easy enough to believe the Captain had no personal troubles in the world, only the ones that every ship captain in history shared.
One would be wrong.
Alone, at night, restless in bed, there was one little problem.
There was one little thing in a successful life that didn’t fit.
James Tiberius. The last legacy of George Kirk’s love for his family. A name chosen in the last moments of his life, sacrificing himself to save his wife and child.
James Tiberius. A name that the younger Kirk would have to painfully shed... in order to reach for her destiny.
The Crossworlds Affair
Based upon situations created by J.J. Abrams
Based upon “Star Trek” Created by Gene Roddenberry
Kirk stood nervously in front of Spock. The Vulcan was, as usual, inscrutable. They say a little honesty’s good for the soul? Well I feel really damn uncomfortable right now. Her whole body was shaved (thank heavens that her body hair was lightening and thinning), slowly lengthening hair fluffed into as feminine a style as she could manage. She was wearing a pair of long blue loose-legged pants and a copper-colored top that accented her blue eyes.
She sighed exaggeratedly. "No, Spock. Anything but Jane Kirk. I'd never, ever hear the end of it."
She told him her new name.
"As you wish. Captain."
“For real, Spock?”
“Captain, it’s only logical that if your mind truly feels conflict with the sex of your body, that you would seek to change the latter and not the former. The literature shows that changing the former only leads to further and deeper conflict, while changing the latter leads to resolution.”
Kirk found herself hugging Spock tightly.
* * *
Lieutenant Commander Scott broke into a huge grin. “I’d say ye were kiddin’ meh, but I had a great friend in E-School, midway through second term said ‘he’ couldn’t live the lie o’ bein’ a man anymore, it wasn’t right, an’ quick as ye know it, Sean became Sarah - and Sarah was as much the life of the party, as Sean had been a sullen little drunk. So what I’m tryin’ to say - in a probably stupid kinda way, lass, is that you go through this, be the best Captain you can be, and I’ll keep followin’ ye to Hell an’ back.”
Kirk couldn’t help but smile at Scott’s enthusiasm. The man was not one to damp down a sunny day, and he was making her feel a lot more at ease.
* * *
It hadn’t gone so well with Leonard.
McCoy looked skeptically at her. “I’m your doctor. I’ll support you if this is what you need to do - my oath and everything. But as your friend... I know Jim. I like Jim. Whoever you’re becoming... I don’t know her.”
“Bones... Doctor... There’s something like three centuries of medical research behind this by now. Look into that? Personally, me, I feel like, the best parts of me are staying around, and the stupid bonehead crap is withering away and dying, like it should. For lack of a better way to say it, I feel calm right now. I mean, I’m a little bit upset because it hurts to think people want the stupid, bonehead crap to stay around - but other than that?”
“I said I’ll support you, my friend.” McCoy looked like he had his reservations. Kirk figured that it would be all right. She’d make it all right.
“Trust me, it’ll be all right.”
* * *
Kirk looked fidgety in front of Admiral Pike. She felt very uncomfortable right now, and the fact that she was binding didn’t help matters any. "Sir, let me tell you a story. You know how I was when you met me. All my life, I've been looking for a way to get rid of feeling wrong... misbehavior, borderline crime, fighting, drinking... becoming the best Starfleet Officer I can be... but it's just something I can't deal with. I've been doing some reading on my off hours and I really can't deny anymore that I'm... well, transsexual." She looked like she would rather swallow her tongue than say that.
Pike sighed, then grinned lopsidedly. "Oh, is THAT all, Ms. Kirk? I thought this was something serious." At her confused look, he continued, "Captain, I've been in this Starfleet for twenty-five years. I've been everywhere in the galaxy, seen everything. I've seen a few very good officers, including one very good friend, go through what you're going through now. You're an excellent officer, and one of the best students I've ever trained. You want my opinion? You're going to get through this in style."
* * *
Chekov smiled and hugged Captain Kirk. That was not the response she’d expected.
“Let me tell you a story, Keptin...”
* * *
"Kirk, I have no idea why the hell you thought this was funny, but it's not. Now go the hell away!" Uhura smashed her hand down on the door close button, virtually slamming it in the captain's stunned face. Kirk blinked a few times before she even had to start forcing back the shock reaction. It simply would not do for junior officers to see the Captain break down. She managed to hold her poker face together until she reached the turbolift - which thankfully wasn't that far away.
Kirk took a few tries before she could summon an even enough voice to dare trying the intercom. "Kirk to Spock."
"Here, Captain." The Vulcan's voice somehow managed to sound concerned, even though he was as even as ever.
"Could you have a... talk with Lieutenant Uhura? Gently?"
"I take it yours did not go well?"
"That's... putting it mildly."
"Captain, I would recommend going off-shift early. Judging by the strain in your voice, the correct response..."
"Spock... thank you. Sulu has the conn, I'll be in my quarters."
"You are welcome, Captain."
Uhura was still fuming by the time Spock reached her quarters. When he refused to respond to her throwing herself into his arms, she suspected something serious was up. “Lieutenant. Captain Kirk asked that we should speak.”
It slowly began to dawn on her what she’d done. First rage drained away, and then was replaced by horror and self-doubt. Uhura had always prided herself on being a sensitive person, attuned to others’ needs and feelings - and she’d slammed her door on Captain Kirk when... oh hell.
“I am not the one to whom you should be apologizing, Nyota.”
“I... holy shit... and I...”
“I wish I could shield your feelings at the moment, but hers have not been, and my duty is to the truth. The Captain is in a state in which she is unlikely to accept an apology at this moment, but when she has had some time for her emotions to settle, I would recommend seeking her out. Until then, as humans are wont to say, you must live with what you have done.”
“You and h... she are hardly that close, how...”
“On Vulcan, when a mismatch between the sexes of mind and body occurred, the correction of the body to match the state of the mind was a routine procedure, normally performed in childhood.”
“You - and the Captain - have given me a lot to think about.”
“Then, I would suggest you think as quickly as you are capable of, Nyota. You have a very short window of time to repair the damage you have done.”
When Kirk was angry, she paced. She felt like she was wearing a hole in the decking of her quarters right now. The door buzzer sounded.
A familiar voice came from the other side of the door. “Whoa! Cap’n, it sounds like ye need tae get shit-faced even worse than I thought!”
Kirk hit the door. “Sorry, Scotty,” she said, “I thought you were Uhura coming to rub it in.”
Scott looked aggrieved, but said nothing.
“Right now? A drink sounds good. I could use something to settle my nerves.”
“An’ probably a talk. I’m not the best at personal advice but...”
“That’s ok, Scotty. If I needed personal advice, I’d be talking to Bones right now. What I need is someone to listen.”
Scott shrugged. “I can do that.”
Over the course of half a bottle of Scotch, Kirk poured out her story to Scott. Scotty listened intently - he was always good at that. “The way I see the problem, J...”
“Please no, Scotty.”
“Well I’ve got tae call ye somethin’...”
“The way I see the problem, Captain, is that ye’ve embedded yeself in the Letenant’s mind as a troublemaking frat boy. An’ so she saw ye’ as that, an’ seriously overreacted.” When Scott started getting drunk, his accent started getting incomprehensible rather quickly.
Kirk groaned. “Gimme another drink.”
Some hours later, a still half-drunk Kirk answered her door. “You.”
Uhura flinched from the verbal slap. “Captain, I’m...”
“Haven’t you said enough already?”
“I deserved that. Captain... I’m sorry.” Uhura’s body language told Kirk that she wasn’t just saying that.
Her whole posture read of someone who knew she’d grossly overstepped the limits not just of the relationship between a junior and senior officer, but of common human decency.
Kirk sighed, a woman less than wholly pleased with the hand life had dealt her. “Yes, Lieutenant, you really did. Thank you for the apology, though. It means more than you might think at the moment. I’ll be going on leave for a couple months. Once I get back... that’s that.”
Uhura paused. “Captain... if I haven’t stepped too far into it, I would like to know... What’s your name going to be?”
Kirk paused. “I spent a lot of time talking with my mom. About this, about growing up with my Uncle Frank trying to ‘beat the pussy out of me,’ about a whole lot of stuff that she never, ever knew was going on. Uncle Frank... is very, very sorry right now. Probably not that he did it; certainly that he got caught. Mom helped me pick a name - Veronica Olivia. Her maternal grandmother, and my dad’s. She’s proud that I’m the second generation of Kirk women to command a starship.”
“Veronica Olivia Kirk.” Uhura rolled it around in her mouth, tasting it. She decided it fit. The first name had just the slightest hint of self-sure arrogance - perfectly fitting for the Captain. “Then, I guess I’ll see you when you get back... Veronica.”
The door closed, and Veronica Kirk smiled just a little bit.
“State your name for the record.”
“Veronica Olivia Kirk.”
“Now, because of your duties to Starfleet, you are being permitted to record this testimony rather than giving it in person. Please state your legal name at the time of the offense.”
“... James. Tiberius. Kirk.”
She swallowed nervously.
“Please, Veronica, tell us what happened on June 7, 2245...”
June 7, 2245
Veronica Teresa Kirk stood nervously at the bus stop. She was wearing a neat black satin jacket, a short jean skirt, and white sneakers. Her short blonde hair was fluffed out into a feminine blur; she had just the slightest hint of makeup on. She was, in short, trying to look like a reasonably mature teenager, not a little girl running away from home, which was what she felt like right now.
Over the last six months, she had befriended an older girl named Julia, who lived in Minneapolis. It was closer than Seattle, but she hoped far enough away that Uncle Frank wouldn’t be able to come get her without alerting her mother to his real intentions. Julia promised to put her up for the summer, until she could figure out what was going to come next.
The ticket clenched in her hand seemed to be almost running from the sweat. Every pair of headlights that came, she almost wanted to leap out of her skin, terrified that it would be Uncle Frank. What he would do to her if he caught her like this... not pleasant...
“Captain, you stated that your preferred name then was Veronica Teresa. Would you explain the difference for me?”
“Gladly. Tiresias was the name of a legendary Greek prophet, a transsexual woman herself according to some interpretations of the legends about her, and I wanted the name to honor her.”
“You changed this later?”
“Yes, after a great deal of discussion with my mother, I chose “Olivia” to honor her grandmother.”
“Thank you, Veronica. Please continue.”
It was almost midnight! Where was the damn bus, did it break down somewhere?
Suddenly, Veronica felt a terrific blow.
“You little shit, what the hell do you think you’re doing, all tarted up like this out here? Who the hell do you think was gonna come along?”
Oh hell. Her worst nightmare was steadily coming true...
Veronica licked her lips, took a long drink of water... chose to tell a little lie. She wanted to tell the truth, wanted Frank to pay for the... the violation he’d done her, but when she felt close to forming the words... she felt a little of her mind cracking. Finally she said, “He... I must have hit my head against the shelter after that... I don’t really remember what happened...”
But she did.
Veronica huddled in the corner of her bed at Uncle Frank’s farmhouse. She was naked, and bleeding. Her waist was scrubbed raw where Frank had brutally ripped the skirt off of her... and further down... down... no...
“And the next day...”
“Yes. The next day was the arrest documented in the police report filed 2245, June 9th.”
“Thank you, Veronica. I know this must have been very hard for you.”
The camera went dark. Veronica smiled to the cameraman until he left her quarters; only then did she let the tears flow.
You have no idea.