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Old Skool
pike/number one
'shipping it old skool
Pike/Number One Prompt Table #1 
7th-Jul-2009 08:24 pm
star trek (pike/number one so into her)
To christen our wee tiny comm, feel free to write fan fiction or create fan artwork about Pike and Number One (AOS or TOS) based on any of the following prompts:

1. abandon 2. academy 3. altered 4. ambition 5. belief
6. blue 7. broken promises 8. chain of command 9. choice 10. coffee
11. command 12. computer 13. confession 14. dancing lessons 15. discovery
16. fantasies 17. fear 18. first contact 19. first impressions 20. friend
21. games 22. gamma shift 23. hands 24. holiday 25. landing party
26. lies 27. mess hall 28. mirror 29. Mojave 30. mornings
31. oath 32. phaser 33. picnic 34. protocol 35. reputation
36. respect 37. restraint 38. reunion 39. scuttlebutt 40. secrets
41. shadow 42. shuttlecraft 43. stakes 44. stars 45. touch
46. trust 47. truth 48. uniforms 49. waiting 50. whisper


NOTE: you do not need to claim a prompt. Anyone can write any prompt they like, and prompts can be written by multiple authors.
Comments 
8th-Jul-2009 03:29 am (UTC) - 29. Mojave
Occasionally, while they were still serving together, he talked about his childhood home, neither genuinely nostalgic nor deceptively bitter, but in such a way that (for reasons she has trouble articulating) she is embarrassed to find herself unmoved by the desert when he invites her to come back there with him. After everything.

She has a vivid appreciation for forms of beauty that run quite contrary to her temperament, as a rule. The overstated, the ruined, the gloriously strange. It's not what brought her to Starfleet -- probably Starfleet is what brought it to her, although she observes, with mild interest, that she does not care enough to analyze the memories and ascertain that. But it is... useful. A taste for excess, he's called it. Nothing refined about it, but it made -- makes -- exploration surprisingly pleasurable, since the galaxy was not crafted with subtlety in mind.

And she's well aware, from extensive experimentation, that Earth rarely satisfies her inexplicable urge for such loud loveliness, except from outside the atmosphere, that old blue fire. So it really shouldn't embarrass her, throw her, that the hard-cut lines of dirt and sky don't reach somewhere deep in the way that the hard-cut lines of skin around Christopher's mouth do, now, when he stands on unsteady legs next to her at the gate. Their hands are flush, palm to palm, fingers flat against each other, not intertwined.

It occurs to her that she expected a place that owns any part of him to be extraordinary. It occurs to her that she is being ridiculously sentimental. A bad habit. She suspects he approves of it, and half-turns to measure his silent, intent profile, bracing herself for the sight of him drinking in the lay of the land like a drowning man.

But he is staring up.

Ah, she thinks, and: thank God. The slight niggling shame eases like a sour aftertaste under her tongue, and she curls her thumb around his wrist. They are what they are. Ungrateful and hungry for other worlds and together, alone, hardened into something that doesn't belong in this gravitational field.

"I'll show you around Mojave," he says, haltingly. "You'll like it."

"Tomorrow," she replies.
8th-Jul-2009 03:38 am (UTC) - Re: 29. Mojave
I love you so very much for this. Jesus, it's stunning.

the hard-cut lines of dirt and sky don't reach somewhere deep in the way that the hard-cut lines of skin around Christopher's mouth do, now, when he stands on unsteady legs next to her at the gate.

This is my most favourite thing ever.
8th-Jul-2009 11:48 pm (UTC) - 12. computer
Eight minutes into the Enterprise's maiden voyage, Christopher gives up on trying to suppress the frisson of pleasure that accompanies the computer's aural directions. He has no idea how this kind of ridiculous coincidence could happen, but whatever the source of it he recognizes the pre-programmed vocal patterns as being unmistakeably hers. She used to work on these; he's teased her about it before. Well, the joke's on him. Or something. He listens.

She doesn't -- it doesn't -- it's not an extraordinary voice, cleanly enunciated and clear as glass and sharp. He knows it so well, with all its cracks, and if he loves it a little, he tells himself, it's as much thanks to the association with countless rescue missions as to the level rhythm of it or the other associations (words or numbers pressed into his ear for entirely practical purposes involving Klingons a corridor away, slipping from her uncurling tongue). It makes sense for him to enjoy those recollection of old days among friendly colleagues, while he surveys his bridge full of strange children. It makes sense for him to appreciate Chekov's fumble, since it means he gets to hear that much more of her, the flat reprimand disturbingly familiar, haha. Loads of sense. It's no more than that.

Besides, nine minutes in, he has other things to think about.

And when the Narada has come and gone, when his eyes can't stop trembling in their sockets, it's just that there's no reason not to let the computer's statistics roll across him aloud.
9th-Jul-2009 05:21 pm (UTC) - Re: 12. computer
oh, that's lovely! I hadn't even thought of that...
10th-Jul-2009 10:05 pm (UTC) - 16. fantasies
These days, she is an uneasy dreamer, always somehow at odds with the tangled threads of subconscious wants that come halting late in her alloted sleeping period, bright vivid lines on the insides of her eyelids bespeaking possibilities she prefers not to contemplate, awake. It can take her hours to drift off, the pressure of those building dreams making her face ache.

The worst arrive in the aftermath of rescue missions, because -- well.

Well.

(Example of issue, exhibit A: Captain Pike, tied to a wall, again. He's suspended an inch too high to stand easily, the toes of his boots trailing. Stretched out, the long lines of his body forcibly uncoiled, shoulders slouched and straining all at once -- his lopsided exhaustion made her breath catch in her throat.)

And later, which is to say, now and forever, in these warm hollow moments: later, she is haunted by the way he glanced up when she strode in, the way he pulled toward her, cords of muscle in his forearms standing out under the bruised skin. It was dark, that room -- that skull, technically, but there are more pressing concerns for her exhausted self-defeating brain than those particular aliens' choice of living arrangements -- and for a while all her concentration goes to trying not to wonder how he would look bound in better light. The walls dissolve by merciless degrees, until her throat is full with images. She sleeps. She drowns in echoes.

("...although she seems to lack emotion, this is largely a pretense. She often has fantasies involving you.")

"Unfair, damn it," she whispers. Her left hand rests on the pillow by her head, slim fingers closing around untrustworthy hope like an egg.

*

If I end up filling out this prompt table single-handedly, SOMEONE is going to be sorry. Although it won't be me. *fixed stare*
10th-Jul-2009 10:13 pm (UTC) - Re: 16. fantasies
I AM WORKING ON IT. "Gamme Shift" is ending up being about 4 times as long as I meant it to.

also, GUH at mental imge omg. Seriously.
10th-Jul-2009 10:44 pm (UTC) - 23. hands
Her hands are not delicate or feminine. They are not pale, or smooth, or dainty.

She has long tapered fingers, but they are strong and clever. He's felt them wrap securely around his forearm as she catches him before he can go skittering off a tilting catwalk rocked by seismic activity. He's seen them tap in course corrections for years from his vantage point in the command chair, first as the XO of the Yorktown, then as her captain. He'd let himself be mesmerised by the way her gold command tunic sleeve would lie against the bones of her wrists. The way the tendons standing out in sharp relief when she gripped the helm console when they'd be hit the weapons fire or buffeted by ion storms. The quick darting movements always sure and steady, like a concert pianist giving a masterful performance.

He used to wake up in the "morning" (ship's day is as much a myth as night in the cold spaces between the stars) and as he dragged on a clean tunic and ran the beard repressor over his chin, he would try and guess what colour she'd have lacquered her short nails that day. As the turbolift doors would slide open, the bridge crew snapping to attention, he'd think blue or silver or blood red and then his breath would catch as he'd steal a glance to confirm the validity of his guess.

It was a game, and he'd never told a soul. Not even Boyce. But he noticed over time that as if there was some sort of pattern to it, he got better at guessing. He's started counting the days in a row he was correct, rather than just instances.

She had a scattering of small scars around the bases of her thumbs that could have been easily fixed with dermal regeneration, and once in a moment of weakness he'd reached across the table in the officer's mess to hold one hand in his, turning it so he could take a better look.

"What happened?" he'd asked, running his thumb over the marks.

"Soldering burns, from repairs to the helm console," she'd said, and the catch in her voice made him look up to see her eyes wide and he'd suddenly realised the casual intimacy of his touch.

It had taken him a beat to recover, and he released her hand, trying not to show how rattled he was.

"You should have Dr Boyce take a look at it," he'd said stiffly, and she'd nodded.

His fingers remembered the warmth of hers, and he'd made a fist beneath the table, digging his nails into his palms.

The next day he'd sat with Tyler and Boyce, barely paying attention to their conversation, while she sat across the mess with Cait Barry, their heads bent over a PADD in deep discussion.

Somehow, he knew he'd missed a chance he hadn't been aware was there for the taking. The day after that, she stopped painting her nails. Or if she did, it was with clear polish meant to accentuate the smooth pink nails themselves.

He'd never told her how much he missed that split second of uncertainty.

Not until they sit in the porch swing of his parent's home in Mojave, watching the sun go down, and she laces her fingers through his. And he looks down at their hands and thinks about how her hands are not pale, or feminine, or dainty.

But they fit perfectly in his.

Edited at 2009-07-10 10:47 pm (UTC)
10th-Jul-2009 10:54 pm (UTC) - Re: 23. hands
ALL DELAY IS FORGIVEN, STARTING NOW.

omnomnomnom handssssses.
11th-Jul-2009 11:14 pm (UTC) - 6. blue
"Where the hell did you get Romulan ale?" Pike demands. And then falls over.

Boyce sighs, but at least has the decency to sigh quietly. Which is out of character. He must be look pretty pathetic if he's moved goddamn Boyce to a smidge of sympathy. A smudge. A smidge. Wait, no, that's a bird. Isn't it? What? Yeah.

"You're probably thinking of a midge."

"Answer the question!"

"Which question?"

Pike concentrates. "Romulan... ale. Where. No, wait, no, I don't want to know. Why. Why'd you have to get it."

"I thought you needed to decompress. I've since figured out that I should have just put a hole in your head and had done, but we live and we learn, eh, Chris?"

Pike glares at him for a while and then gets a little distracted by the way the drinks reflect flickering shadows on the ceiling. "Next time, get something else. Vodka is good."

Boyce blinks. It makes Pike queasy. "Less ethanol content. Why, what have you got against Romulan ale? Don't tell me you're worried about tomorrow morning, at this BAC there's no way you're retaining that kind of foresight."

"'s the color."

"The hell?"

"So fucking blue. I feel like I'm licking her eyeballs," Pike says. Then: "When really I mean I'd much rather be licking her not blue bits. And, what? I mean I don't want to lick her."

He passes out with spectacular timing, and doesn't hear Boyce mutter "Because that's not the point at all, you imbecile", sigh, and get out the ol' hypospray.

*

...:'D Mm, eyeballs.
11th-Jul-2009 11:42 pm (UTC) - Re: 6. blue
"Where the hell did you get Romulan ale?" Pike demands. And then falls over.

Oh Chris.

YAY BOYCE YAY!
13th-Jul-2009 06:10 pm (UTC) - 28. mirror
He doesn't want to shred her flat effortless self-control with pain. He never takes a knife to her, although he is briefly tempted, the first time she bares her slim back to him, leaning over and peeling off yellow silk in one graceful contortion of arm over bowed head. That's when he sees the scar tissue slanting back and forth across her shoulder blades like the teeth of a zipper, and thinks, a little longingly: it must hurt, to be cut so close to bone. He wouldn't mind splitting those fine lines with a plastic edge, reopening shallow wounds – but just because god, what a sight that would be, the skin peeling off in neat triangles. Not because he's interested in the unpadded scapula beneath.

Actually, a rather appropriate comparison: he doubts that peeling off her lovely mask by force would expose much in the way of fleshy, blooded emotion, that there is anything to be unveiled but bone-dry thoughts of murder. Another ambitious flame, unremarkable in the candelabra that's the bridge crew. Unremarkable, yes, even if he does stop leaving his drinks unattended after she comes to his quarters that night. (It was entertaining with her predecessor, who was a creative coward and looked very pretty in a sweat; with her, it's just unnecessary risk.)

Anyway. When she's lying draped across his bed, he leaves the ridiculous agonizer in the drawer. It will do him no good, and he's not curious about whatever madness he could unearth from out the thin, immaculate layer of competent blankness if he pushes her far enough. It catches him by surprise, his own careful disinterest in seeing her wild and broken. Pike has a history of dissecting fragile minds. She's the only person he's ever encountered with a steady facade worth studying, worth lusting after, in its own right.

Well. He assumes it must be the facade's fascination that holds him back. It's certainly not what other kind of fracture he might be able to induce, if he learns her well enough to unlock the door rather than break it down. That would be inane. Inappropriate. Possibly illegal, and probably fatal. No, it's not that. It's her calm, her absence, her mouth drawn as if to match a ruler.

(“No emotions at all. The perfect woman,” he tells Boyce, who shakes his head, eyes cool and bitter and hopelessly amused.)
13th-Jul-2009 06:51 pm (UTC) - Re: 28. mirror
This is SO MESSED Up. Needless to say, "whoa".

what other kind of fracture he might be able to induce, if he learns her well enough to unlock the door rather than break it down

*fangirls u*
17th-Jul-2009 05:46 am (UTC) - 14. dancing lessons
He's not a terrible dancer, exactly, but -- well.

She's both guilty and amused the first time it occurs to her while she's watching his trembling legs, the pressed clean lines of cloth around the deteriorated muscle in his thighs smudge, blurring like graphite where the weariness threads him through. Blinding afternoon sunshine bleeds the scene of color, and her old friend is reduced to an animated sketch on yellow paper, drawn in pencil by a hand that got shaky halfway down.

Nevertheless, tracking the shape of the carved air around him with her eyes, she can't help but come to certain unexpected conclusions. The fact of the matter is -- well.

His rhythm. It's terrible. And, she thinks, it has nothing to do with his trembling legs.

So afterwards, when the six-eyed physical therapist is gone, her brisk high-pitched encouragement cooling by the door, she stops him.

"What?" he says.

"Your rhythm needs fixing," she says, not quite smiling.

He snorts. She slides into the space his body is curved more or less correctly around, does not pause to wonder what imaginary partner's skin she is fitting as she takes his left hand.

"Count, sir," she says. "Count and move. I'll lead this time, shall I?"

"All right," he says, an odd expression changing the shape of his eyes.

They circle. The music ended some time ago, and the silence is layered softly across her face like a hot cloth. He improves when she guides him thus and so, a shade too quickly, for no reason maybe but that they are who they are, and describing parallel stories with their feet is familiar as breathing. "It'll probably help if I bring a phaser next session," he says, laughing, touching her cheek with his spread fingers, stealing the memories of ridiculous battles fought back to back from her slightly open mouth, his thumb against her lip.

She nods. His rhythm. It's still terrible, she can feel it there, awkward under the startling, impossible ease.

But every rule has its exceptions, and they've always moved in time.

*

/sap
17th-Jul-2009 11:41 pm (UTC) - Re: 14. dancing lessons
I LOVE HER LEADING OMG.

touching her cheek with his spread fingers, stealing the memories of ridiculous battles fought back to back from her slightly open mouth, his thumb against her lip.

This is stupidly HOT. *flails*
9th-Aug-2009 01:51 am (UTC) - 15. discovery
It had started out so well. The second call, less barely-hidden-by-their-admittedly-high-standards hysterics, more gentle affection. Subdued but warm greetings. Sympathetic noises all around. The gloom of the sickbay had made it quite safe. He'd thought.

But he had a way of losing track of time when talking to her.Suddenly, it was alpha shift, and the lights were up to 100%, and... this happened.

"Please, don't restrain yourself on my account," Pike said, sighing. "I'd prefer if you didn't rupture anything important."

The only response from the woman trembling with the force of repressed laughter on the comm screen before his eyes was a faint choking sound, the bubbling edge of laughter easing out of her closed mouth. She wasn't usually this easily amused. He'd have liked to think it was the stress.

"Just, you know, let it out. I mean, who needs shreds of self-respect and common dignity when it comes at the expense of their former XO's diaphragm, right?"

"It's hardly my fault," she gasped, after an incredibly painful stretch of not quite silence. "Bonnie, Admiral. Bonnie."

"That's her name, yes."

"You do realize this is as of now only a semi-classified comm and is going into the official records, right?"

"I don't know why I married you."

"Says the man with the tribble on his head. You make a terrible trophy husband. You're lucky I'd just lost half the blood in my body when you proposed, and you are never going to be able to wear a hat again."

"So I gathered," he moaned. "Also, trophy husband? Seriously?"

She ignored him. Smugly. "Say, are you keeping her? Of course you are."

"The hell I am!"

"Low maintenance pet, therapeutic, humiliates you in public... I don't see any downsides."

"Oh my god. This is all. Kirk's. Fault."

"Thank him for me, will you?"

"I most certainly will not."

But someone had followed her onscreen and was doing a little amateur pantomime. Crude but effective enough, Pike decided, having a great deal of experience with such efforts. It was the fingers across the throat and the other fingers jerking up into someone's implied but invisible jumper that really made it.

"My presence is required on the bridge," she said, standing abruptly. "Don't remove Bonnie before we resume this conversation. Number One out."

The threat was all in the tone, he thought, with grudging admiration, and buried his face in his hands.

Bonnie cooed, and rolled over.

*

Guess what THIS is follow-up to, hurr hurr hurr.
10th-Aug-2009 10:13 pm (UTC) - Re: 15. discovery
I swear I replied. TRIBBLE ON HIS HEAD NEVER STOPS BEING HI-LARIOUS.

*snuggles you*

you love me. you relly love me.
12th-Aug-2009 11:19 pm (UTC) - 32. phaser
He has faster reflexes; she has better aim. They have a way of ending up paired in battles, which is sensible: it compensates for their treacherous asymmetries, the instant when her hand rises a second late and he blows a hole in the wall by the Klingon's head. ("It's a goddamn small target," he says, at her disbelieving look.)

Well-matched would be the name, if they had a name for how she fits him and he fits her, sliding into just-vacated spaces, never tripping up over the other's heels for all that the sides of their boots are worn thin from scraping.

They don't have a name for it, because they don't enjoy violence, for all that they're good at it.

But they do, in the privacy of their thoughts, admit that they enjoy sinking into that brief chaos with shared heat to rely on, just behind or at their elbow, coiled and ready and equal if unalike. They've beaten stupid, impossible odds together more times than he can count in the folds of his adrenaline-blurry recollection, or than she cares to (reserving her precisely mapped memory for higher things, like recording where his left shoulderblade dug into her spine as they wheeled around a corner).

They admit to their respective selves, bleeding into one another across the lines of scraping fabric, that what civilized distaste they have for the weight of their phasers and the blazing intersecting afterimages of crossfire drains away, here and now, back to back.

*

SHIT SON IS THAT THE THIRD PERSON PLURAL I JUST WROTE?
26th-Aug-2009 07:11 pm (UTC) - Re: 32. phaser
ack, how did I miss this one?

*flails*

This was NIFTY. I love the image of them back-to-back, moving in tandem.
26th-Aug-2009 02:18 am (UTC) - 30. mornings
Pike wakes up too early and for who knows how long lies absolutely still under her comfortable weight, his insides suffused with teasing impossible pains as he fights to drag the minutes back by the force of his furious tranquility. The window full of sky is dark; a faceless blotting-paper dark that lines bedrooms and, he knows all too well, signals the onset of -- not dawn, but a considerably more beautiful, uneven gray, watered to translucence.

The beginning of the end.

Not fucking fair, Pike thinks, contracting his core, breathing shallow breaths while Number One shifts on top of him, her silhouette just an extension of this unexpected mercy. And it really isn't. This kind of darkness bleeds him of memories and reason; by rights it should not have an end in time any more than it has one in space, so impersonal and so loving is its weight on his skin (her hand skittering along his ribs). It is an illusion of depth, of thin treacherous ice over winter water, of being where he belongs, four feet of metal and plastic away from airless death, and thus too precious to lose casually to mere billion-year-old rhythms.

But after too brief an oblivion the weak half-recovered muscle in his legs unravels and his legs twitch and like the alien dance he watched once, tied to a stake, that wave of movement, slamming through him, summons a paler spectrum up from behind the flat horizon, touches highlights on her sloping shoulders, gorgeous and so honest he can't even look at it full-on.

Son of a bitch, Pike names the gentle gray.

"I hate mornings."

"Good to know some things haven't changed," Number One mutters, her voice mud-smooth, a pleasant visceral thrill.

"Wouldn't be so sure of that," he says, bitter despite the saner sort of pleasure gathering in his gut at the sound of her, and ashamed of it.

Her eyes are deep-set and buried just now in their strikingly shadowed sockets, but her stare is tangible and she hums thoughtfully, low in her throat. Maybe she's hiding a star drive under her tongue.

"Well," she says, "we don't have to get up just yet."

She pushes herself up from his chest, spine curving up like a stretching cat's, and kisses his forehead before he can get out the first syllable of a protest. Her hair falls forward as she inclines her head, veiling the juncture formed by their open mouth. Their faces are still stinging with the chill of a desert night, but they are sewn together at the lips, and they share unspoken, yearning heat from throat to throat.

Her hair is thick and fine and mussed. At the heart of each delicate tangle, a little light penetrates in slivers, shaped like stars.

*

okay. so. basically I'm a complete and utter sap.

I blame you.
26th-Aug-2009 07:10 pm (UTC) - Re: 30. mornings
I cheerfully accept blame!

*glees*
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