It's been three months since the Nero Incident, and they have finally located a suitable planet for the New Vulcan Colony. What began as a celebratory drink soon changed into recollection of the old days when Starfleet still had most of their Academy students. Through the throngs of talking about old conquests and silly tales of misadventures, Jim found himself sitting with his back against the bar counter, watching a live reenactment of the time Sulu snuck out of the girl's dorms with nothing but a stolen thong on (There was no actual thong involved in the reenactment, much to the disappointment of the audience).
It was perhaps because of this position of his placement that he noticed the pale man with grieving blue eyes. This man sat in the corner of the room, far away from any other drunks recounting the stories of the Academy days. For the most part, the man sat with his head down, letting his black locks fall in front of his face. But whenever there was loud enough reaction from the crowd, he would glance up, his blue eyes burning with rage and grief (the strangest combination that Jim ever saw).
“Hey, who's that?” Jim asked the bartender, pointing towards the man in the corner.
“No clue. It's my first time seeing him here,” the bartender stated with a shrug. Then he leered at Jim, giving a look that the young Captain knew only too well. “Don't tell me the gloomy, 'I want to be alone' types turn you on, Kirk?”
“Only if they're that hot,” was Jim's answer before he ordered two more drinks. “You have to admit there's a charm to that.”
“Yes, and his body language is screaming for people to stay the fuck away. I'm not looking forward to throwing you out again.” The warning was obvious but Jim just rolled his eyes.
Taking the drinks he ordered, he gave the bartender a wink before making his way over to the other man.
It wasn't his name. It wasn't who he was. But right now, he was supposed to be Ensign John Harrison, here in the San Francisco Starfleet Headquarters for a presentation on photon torpedoes that he was supposed to take notes on for Admiral Marcus who was celebrating his daughter's birthday off-planet. It was the perfect time to do something that wasn't under close scrutiny.
He just wished that this presentation had been in London where he could have attempted to at least free his people. Instead, here he was at a Starfleet bar, surrounded by inferior idiots who seemed to be celebrating one thing or another. He could figure it out if he really wanted to, but he really could care less. As long as they left him alone.
So much for that.
Khan did not lift his head. Instead, he just glared from under his bangs, glowering at the blond man who was holding out a drink for him. The man was undeterred and instead grinned brightly at him, almost as if he wanted to be killed by the superhuman. He grinned what he probably thought was a charming smile, and with the way it made his blue eyes shined, Khan couldn't blame him. With blond hair just gently mussed and his clothing slightly off-centered, this man stank of someone who had experience in bed and most likely a lot more in getting people into bed.
In other words, he was the type of the lowly scum that made Khan want to destroy the human race.
“I didn't order that.”
The man chuckled lightly before sitting down. Khan growled lowly, but again, the man didn't seem bothered by it at all. “It's on me.”
Figuring that the man would leave if Khan ignored him, the superhuman turned back to his drink (gone slightly stale from nursing it for too long), trying to think of quantum equations, his crew, and different ways to kill Marcus. Slowly and painfully. Even better would be if he killed the daughter first, mutilate her limbs in front of his eyes...
“You look like a kicked puppy.”
Khan's head snapped up and he glared at the man across from him, who just grinned widely before taking a sip of his drink. He placed the extra drink he got for Khan on the table's center. Why wouldn't this man just get the hint and leave? Khan wasn't in the mood. Couldn't a guy drink moodily for once without being bothered by every annoying humans in the world?
“That is to say,” the man with too blue of eyes continued, “you look like your everything has been taken from you.”
How oddly accurate. Khan looked back down to his drink before taking a swing. He looked back into the blond's eyes (What shade was that blue? Ice? Light? Sky-colored? And why was it suddenly important for him to figure out that shade?). “An apt description,” he conceded. Well, seeing that the man won't leave, Khan would just demonstrate his superiority. He would crush this annoying blonde's ego to the point of never being able to recover. “And I suppose you're an expert on folks without their 'everything?'”
The man chuckled lightly, but his eyes were dark, a sharp pain reflected there. It was a look that Khan recognized when he looked into the mirror. The sharp reminder that he could do nothing. That despite all of his modifications, his and his crew's lives were being held on a thin string on the palm of a war-crazed Admiral. That he was powerless in this instance. As powerless as the beings he called inferior (or perhaps it was more correct to say even more powerless than those beings).
“You're not from around here are you?” the man with the blues eyes asked, looking at Khan with a little more sadness and a little less arrogant grin.
What was this? The man wasn't just a lowly scum that he had initially categorized him as? How strange, Khan had never gotten this wrong before. Who was this man and why did he dare to challenge Khan like this?
“What makes you say that?” Khan asked, baring his teeth in a feral grin.
The man didn't even hesitate. He just gave Khan a charming smile before pointing out the obvious. “For one thing, despite the Starfleet uniform, you're not hanging out with the rest of us. For another, you aren't giving them even a scant of attention unless they make a loud noise. Which implies that you don't give a crap about what we say and do. But if you were from around here, you would know exactly why we're all gathered here for and you would give a crap. And lastly...”
Here the man stopped for a second to tilt his head and look at Khan in the eyes. The superhuman was rather impressed. So there was some form of a brain in the lowly scum in front of him. And now he was curious. What else did the other man find? What did Khan do to tip him off?
“You don't recognize me at all, do you?”
Now that was interesting. Recognize? Why should Khan recognize this man? What was this man that warranted that kind of reaction from him? Could it be that this man's ego was so big that he thought everyone would recognize his face?
“Should I?” Khan asked before taking a sip of his drink. His eyes never left the other man's.
The man paused, and Khan could see the gears churning as the man in front of him seemed to come to a decision. Then that infuriating grin was back and the man took a swing of his drink.
“Nah,” the man said. “Ain't nothing important.”
“Perhaps I would recognize you if you gave me your name,” Khan suggested. How curious. Why was he offering to exchange names with this scum? Was it because there was obviously something there that Khan wasn't seeing? Was it because this man seemed to know something? Was it the grins? What was it?
“I'm James. You can call me Jim.” Then he looked at Khan, expectedly.
Sighing mentally, Khan replied, “John.”
Jim beamed, but there was a flash in his eyes that assured Khan that the blonde didn't fully believe him when he said his name. But the flash was gone and if Khan wasn't a superior human, he would have thought that he had imagined it.
How interesting. This human was proving to be a far better amusement than the thoughts of killing of Marcus. Seeing that Khan couldn't exactly get back to London to save his crew, perhaps he could try to ease his mind by spending more time with this man. With that thought in mind, Khan dedicated his entire attention to the blonde.
Now then, James, Khan thought to himself as a small amused smile graced his lips. Entertain me. “And now you know my name and my lament. What do you propose to do?”
Jim grinned, confident and proud. “I propose that I save you.”