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Chapter Twelve


Epilogue
2258 - Reboot Universe



There was a remarkable amount of work involved in preparing to live in the past of an alternate timeline.

One of the first things they had to do was register with the Department of Temporal Investigations, which had at least managed to procure identification for them. They decided to keep their own names -- both James Kirk and Spock were common enough names among their peoples, and keeping them made this universe feel a little less alien.

Besides, they very much intended to keep a low profile. No one should have reason to connect them to their younger counterparts.

And already plenty of people knew who they were. Jim hadn't exactly kept it secret, and Spock had only said they were already in an alternate timeline and therefore any possible changes they made would have no effect on the future of the timeline -- beyond the effect any individual being had, at any rate.

But even given that, they hadn't yet come to a decision about how much they would reveal about their own universe.

The destruction of Vulcan had changed the map of the timeline significantly. There were only about 15,000 Vulcans left from their own planet, plus the scattered millions of their few colonies, which meant it was highly likely most of the Vulcans from future generations of their own universe would never be born.

Vulcans were some of the greatest scientific minds in the galaxy. They had created numerous technological innovations -- innovations that might never now be discovered, or discovered much later than they had been in Jim's universe.

Jim and Spock had not yet been able to decide on their responsibilities regarding discussion of future events. Spock was inclined not to interfere, but he had to concede Jim had a point when he mentioned the future invasions of the Borg and the Dominion, and Jim's question of whether the Federation would be able to handle them as well without all of Vulcan's previous contributions. Putting the Federation's guard up now could help them significantly in the long run.

But Spock too had a point when he said they did not have the ability to tell the future and could not know if the Borg and the Dominion would even be an issue, and they could not know exactly what would result from warning the Federation.

They still argued about it, but they had time. They'd come to a decision eventually.

In the meantime, Spock had been looking for planets on which to establish a main Vulcan colony.

Vulcans were not the colonizing force humans were. They had a few, but ultimately Vulcans were very connected to their planet, in a way mostly spiritual but also partly biological. Pon farr had not been dependent on Vulcan, after all, but it had always been the urge of every Vulcan in his Time to return to the sands of his home. Even Spock had felt that urge, though they had not always been able to indulge it.

The Vulcans need a place for the Vulcans as a people to call home. The new planet would not be Vulcan, but as future generations were born, perhaps those children would grow up with a connection to the home of their birth. But they needed a place that would ground them better than to just be sorted into their already existing colonies.

Spock had even found a likely planet, and was organizing a joint Vulcan and Starfleet expedition to ascertain its suitability. Alpha Sigma II was of a comparable size and distance from its sun, and also primarily desert, though it also included some few oceans. Like Vulcan, though, it was primarily land rather than water.

They also spent a lot of time simply walking their old haunts in Starfleet Academy, which had once been home to both of them. They had a couple of times run across Sulu, Chekov, and Scotty, and once McCoy, who had looked entertainingly disturbed at meeting an older Spock.

But they had not yet seen their counterparts, and they had not yet seen Uhura. Jim was actually quite relieved about that last, since he had no idea what to say to her. He was also pretty sure that any interactions of his with Spock she observed would be a dead giveaway about the state of their relationship.

He'd confessed her revelation about herself and the younger Spock to his Spock a few days into their stay on Earth, still disquieted by it.

"Jim," Spock had said in response, watching him. "You are bothered by this, beyond the possessiveness even you know is irrational. I am yours, and I will always be yours. You even acknowledge my counterpart's right to make his own decisions."

Jim grimaced. "Yes, I know," he conceded. "It's not like I need another Spock when I've got my hands full with just the one." His expression eased when Spock raised an eyebrow at him. "But I'm not sure how to explain it."

"I will listen, despite your level of articulation," Spock assured him, and Jim made a face at him.

"Funny," he said. He paused, gathering his thoughts. "It's just...I don't know what I think about destiny. I don't know if it exists, or even if I want it to. I mean, I've always been one for self-determination." Spock nodded. "But I've also found it...sort of comforting. I mean, I've worked very hard for my command and for my relationship with you. They didn't just fall into my lap, a product of a nebulous destiny. But they've also...felt so completely and utterly right. Like this was how my life should go in order to be as amazing as it could be.

"You're so much a part of that, Spock. Honestly, you're even most of it. Even back during the first five-year mission, I was willing to sacrifice my captaincy if it would keep you safe. My feelings for you -- they've been part of my foundation for a very long time. So have your feelings for me. And it just...shakes me, a bit, to think of a Spock who's not in love with James Kirk."

"T'hy'la," Spock said, and Jim knew he used the word deliberately, "do remember our counterparts have only just met. Who knows what the future will bring for them?"

Jim nodded. "I know that too," he agreed. "But I mean...damn. It's just, when I think of how long it took you to accept your love for me, and I think of this younger Spock in a relationship so much sooner..." He shrugged. "It's disturbing. I'm not doubting the strength of your love for me, but..."

"As much as I might wish it otherwise," Spock said slowly, "for Uhura's sake if nothing else, have you thought perhaps it is the strength of the emotions that provides the difference? Do remember I once attempted a relationship with Leila Kalomi before I met you, though it ended very quickly when she grew unsatisfied with my inability to be demonstrative. But Jim, I also did not love her, no matter what she wished. I simply found her a logical choice for a relationship partner until it became clear I could not meet her needs. She was someone whose company I enjoyed and who was intelligent and a scientist. Nyota Uhura, though not a scientist, fulfills the other criteria. And I do remember there being an attraction between the two of us in the early years of our mission, though I decided against pursuing it." He gave Jim a fond look. "My captain consumed much of my time."

Jim felt simultaneously lightened and burdened. If this were true, God, poor Uhura. But as much as Jim hated to admit it, Spock's reasoning made a lot more sense than the younger Spock being able to accept being in love at this point in his life.

But he was different. Jim couldn't forget that. Nero's destruction of the Kelvin had rippled out to affect the younger Spock, and who knew what kind of difference it had made.

Though this younger Spock, from what Jim had seen, didn't seem to find accepting emotion any easier than his own Spock had in his earlier years. The younger Spock was just not as good at repressing it.

Jim shook his head to dispel the thoughts. "I think I'm going to stop worrying about it," he decided. "I'll just depress myself, and give myself a headache, and those haven't yet been eliminated in this time."

Spock gave the twitch of his lips that was his equivalent of a smile. "A wise choice," he said. "You must think of your health."

"I have Bones for that," Jim replied, waving it off and grinning. "You know he sent me a message reminding me not to overexert myself?" The message had given Jim hope that Bones wouldn't always find him so disconcerting. His own Bones had often just needed some time to get used to strange new ideas.

"Dr. McCoy has always been very particular about your health," Spock agreed. "His behavior seems to be another universal constant."

Jim nodded, and they left the subject of their relationship and destiny behind. Jim couldn't help but feel cheered, though. If their entire core crew could meet seven years early and end up on the Enterprise together, and if the younger Kirk could end up meeting Spock on Delta Vega despite having had an entire planet to get lost in, and if the younger Kirk could still end up the captain of the Enterprise despite the changes in the timeline...

It didn't seem so unlikely the younger Kirk and Spock would be intrigued by each other, which already seemed to be happening. And from that, it also didn't seem so unlikely that their relationship would evolve from there until they possibly meant as much to each other as Jim knew he and his Spock did.

All he could do, though, was wait and see.

--

A few days after the younger Kirk's official promotion to captain, and after an afternoon spent calming Kirk's nerves, Jim hunted down Spock. He found him meditating in their garden, and a wave of fondness washed over him -- Spock could have been meditating in their temperature-controlled room, but instead he sat out there in the garden. In the wind, which was, of course, cold even to Jim.

Spock liked to test himself sometimes -- vary up the conditions under which he'd meditate. He also liked being out there among growing things, and said he'd grown accustomed to it from all the time he spent on Earth, which was certainly abundant with verdant plantlife.

But, Jim thought, he also sat out there because he knew it was the first place Jim would look for him. Jim didn't like spending too much time in their room at the Academy. The room was fine for when they slept or pursued intimate activities, but otherwise it was too small.

Jim carefully knelt in front of him, deciding to join him in meditation. He found the sense of Spock in his mind, and, taking a few deep breaths, matched himself to that sense.

Some time later, feeling very centered, Jim opened his eyes. He'd timed it well; Spock was also just exiting his trance. The smile appeared in his eyes when he saw Jim waiting for him.

"Jim. How was your afternoon?"

Jim made a noncommittal sound. "The kid wanted my advice on all the paperwork that comes with preparing for a mission. He had it well in hand when I left. I think he'll do okay, Spock."

"I am more than confident in his abilities. He is James Kirk, after all."

Jim laughed softly. "And people tease me about my ego! I'm going to have to send anyone who complains about it to you."

"I will certainly assure anyone who asks that I have it monitored carefully."

"Monitored for what?" Jim grinned. Then, while he still had the upper hand on Spock, he asked, "Did you do anything interesting today?"

Spock gave him a look that said he wasn't fooled, but he answered the question. "My younger counterpart sought me out earlier." He paused, and when Jim gave him an impatient look, he smiled slightly and continued. "He wanted advice on his future career path. I believe you intrigued him in your brief interactions."

"Oh?" Of course, that had been his purpose, but he was glad to hear Spock thought it fulfilled.

"Indeed. He said you assisted him in beginning to process his grief and anger."

Jim nodded slowly. "That's all well and good," he said, "but what, exactly, did he need advice on?"

"Whether to remain in Starfleet, or to resign his commission and join the rest of the survivors in building the colony," Spock replied calmly.

Jim frowned. For the younger Spock to leave Starfleet, and not serve on the Enterprise -- it just seemed wrong. But no -- Spock was too serene for that to have been the outcome of their conversation, and his eyes glittered with amusement.

"I assume you advised him to remain in Starfleet, then," Jim said.

Spock inclined his head. "I merely assured him you and I intended to join the colony," he replied. "He agreed it was not necessary to have two Spocks attempting the same work."

Jim snorted. "He was leaning towards Starfleet anyway, wasn't he?"

"Indeed. I did receive the impression he found the younger James Kirk...to be an interesting puzzle, particularly with you as another example. He seemed up to the task of deciphering the illogical behavior of a Kirk."

Jim smiled. "Then I wish him luck," he said. "The kid's going to need a competent first officer. Someone who will steady his impulses."

"And my younger counterpart will need someone to show him the value of intuition and instinct and its place in command, as well as the rewards of the emotional path."

"It does have plenty of rewards," Jim agreed. He held out his first two fingers, and closed his eyes at the buzz of love and joy that rushed through him when Spock's fingers met his.

He curled his fingers around Spock's, keeping them locked together. The Earth kept spinning, shifting towards night, and the air grew colder, but Jim barely felt it.

This was a brand new universe, and they would be all right.

So good!

Date: 2011-11-20 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I could not stop reading this- thank you so much for this wounderfull story. There are not enough about kirk prime living through generations.

Re: So good!

Date: 2011-11-26 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
There are not enough about kirk prime living through generations.

I agree -- there really isn't. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-11-21 04:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sierra-scarlet.livejournal.com
So, I loved this story a lot. I'm still a little bit in shock that this story appeared right after I started to wonder what would happen if Jim Prime entered the reboot verse, but I hadn't imagined something this well done. Great job telling two stories at once and thanks for the wonderful read.

Date: 2011-11-26 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Date: 2011-11-21 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shatfat.livejournal.com
Aw, what a lovely story, all the things they go through and nice job of integrating the comicbook prequel. I think their love is all the sweeter for having fought so hard for it. I want to see how they get along on Vulcan, though, with Sarek and what remains of their people. I like how affectionate Kirk is feeling towards his younger counterpart. It's so nice for him to be around people he knows again, sort of makes him feel alive again, I think. I like how you handled his grief over losing Bones earlier in the story.

I love the movie Kirk and Spock so I am quite partial to any stories featuring them. I like how you didn't stop at the surfaces but delve more deeply into what these events mean for the people who are living them. You even brought the TNG characters in, which is pretty cool. And Kirk being roommates with Scotty was pretty funny. I could totally see them as the Odd Couple.

Date: 2011-11-26 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm really glad you've enjoyed the fic.

I want to see how they get along on Vulcan, though, with Sarek and what remains of their people.

That is, actually, the next fic in the series, whenever I get around to getting it betad and revised. And once I have time, I'll definitely be doing more with the Reboot versions.

Again, thank you for all the comments!

Date: 2011-11-24 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wingstar.livejournal.com
OHHHH my goodness I loved this! I started it and just could not stop. I want to write you essays and essays about how much I love this fic but don't have a lot of time, alas...

But yes, I LOVE the way you tell the story of Kirk and Spock prime, and how very much in love they still are after all this time. I'm a sucker for long-time established relationships and couples who face troubles but always come back to each other, and this story is just hitting all my favorite fic-buttons. <3 Basically, I LOVE IT, thank you for writing it.

Date: 2011-11-26 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
I'm a sucker for long-time established relationships and couples who face troubles but always come back to each other

As you maybe can tell, I am too. :) Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2011-11-26 05:53 am (UTC)
ext_622632: (planets)
From: [identity profile] aldora89.livejournal.com
Wow... it's like you took all the things that bothered me about the 2009 movie and put a big FIXED IT stamp on them. By adding old, married space husbands! I'm thrilled you retconned the whole "supernova threatening the galaxy" thing so well, and had a great explanation for red matter, and gave Nero some understandible motivations in the process. Some of that stuff is totally going into my headcanon.

Seeing the NG crew have buddy-buddy moments with Jim and Spock was just glorious. So much to like about them hanging out in the NG-verse: Riker hero-worshipping Jim, and all the difficulties Jim had adjusting to the Federation, and CAPTAIN DATA OMG YES - you fused my two favorite Treks in a way that obviously requires exhausive knowlege of both, which was damn impressive. It was painful to watch Jim be lost in the future at first, but I feel like that's exactly what would happen. I loved the whole visiting the crews' graves thing, and the Georgia segment made me tear up. It was interesting to watch the whole dynamic of Jim and Spock's relationship shift as Jim started playing second fiddle to Spock's diplomatic work. I love that you explored how relationships, even happy ones, always have their struggles and misunderstandings.

He gave Scotty his best innocent look. "I already know what's reasonable," he said. "Anything a captain needs."

This line was made of 100% pure win, so I just had to single it out.

Also, I love nu!Bones nagging Jim about his health at the end. I could just picture him sitting there glaring at a console for ten minutes, dwelling on the freakiness that is time travel, then eventually grumbling something like "damn Kirks, the universe was bad enough with one of you" and typing the message. I can't wait to see how the TOS boys will manage in the Reboot verse in your future writings! Absolutely lovely fic - it's given me a lot to think about in terms of both timelines, and the psychology of the characters, and all that fun stuff!

(And finally, I think you've given me a new kink for nonsexual naked cosleeping. Which doesn't even make sense. XD )

Date: 2011-11-26 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
I'm thrilled you retconned the whole "supernova threatening the galaxy" thing so well, and had a great explanation for red matter, and gave Nero some understandible motivations in the process. Some of that stuff is totally going into my headcanon.

That stuff is actually what came from Star Trek: Countdown. I read that comic in preparation for writing this fic, and it was just...the 2009 movie MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW. It's really too bad more of it didn't make it into the movie itself.

you fused my two favorite Treks in a way that obviously requires exhausive knowlege of both, which was damn impressive.

Something I really like about Star Trek is that it is all interconnected, all just different aspects of the same universe being highlighted. It was fun thinking of ways to integrate them, and I'm glad you thought I handled it well.

It was interesting to watch the whole dynamic of Jim and Spock's relationship shift as Jim started playing second fiddle to Spock's diplomatic work. I love that you explored how relationships, even happy ones, always have their struggles and misunderstandings.

I hate how so many writers (most egregiously those in TV) believe that established happy couples are automatically boring. I think it's a supreme failure of imagination, because dude, people are complex. There's always something new to discover about a person, and that's not even with circumstances drastically changing and people having to deal with that. I think that people figuring out how to make their relationship continue working can be just as interesting as working out a relationship for the first time.

(And finally, I think you've given me a new kink for nonsexual naked cosleeping. Which doesn't even make sense. XD )

Heh. I have a huge thing for physical affection. I could read a big bang about Kirk and Spock cuddling and be happy. XD

I'm so glad you've enjoyed the story! Thank you for the lovely comment!

Start Infinity Again

Date: 2012-02-21 12:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
K/s is not my favorite but I thoroughly enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the next part. Great characterizations

Re: Start Infinity Again

Date: 2012-02-23 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Date: 2012-04-20 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 1bill-sookie.livejournal.com
Such a good fic. Will we see more of this verse soon?

Date: 2012-04-20 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I hope you'll see more of this verse soon -- the problem is actually more in finding a beta than getting stories written. :p

Date: 2013-08-08 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fizzicist.livejournal.com
I can't believe I didn't find this until now! It's incredible. I love the way you blended the prime and reboot universes, and brought Jim back into both.

August 2013

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