**Sorry for the early sign-off everyone - I’ve got to get to campus early tomorrow for office hours. Chances are I’ll be sitting there twiddling my thumbs for a hour, in which case I will do drafts and such again.
**Everyone’s just picking the feelings tonight, aren’t they? But really, this much positive reinforcement for the one aspect of Khan’s personality that I always worry about over-doing is such a great commendation. I really try to keep true to Khan’s deeper workings, even if the situations I put him in are various.
**I think where a lot of that comes from is the interpretation that I have, which is actually decently supported by Khan’s dialog, that his strongest motivations are actually for love. Love of his people, love of his wife, etc. That he be pidgeon-holed into the stereotypical “I’M A VILLAIN THEREFORE I DO EVERYTHING OUT OF SHEER UNADULTERATED HATRED” box just doesn’t work for me, and I’m grateful that you appreciate it as much as you do.
**Well at least you did manage to pick one thing, after resorting to the “everything” clause. But I’m glad I can do him justice - I fundamentally feel like Khan is an emotionally complex creature, and that there isn’t enough representation of that part of him in Star Trek lore. But I am very glad that I don’t make him gross and unbearable.
**Tucker, you do realize that “everything” isn’t just one thing, right? You cheater, cheater-face.
"You misunderstand me, my friend." His panic subsided with the slap of words against his ears. His hysteria halted as he calmed himself. It is why Khan was the logical choice. Khan was his rock. His voice of reason. Eyes lifted to the other, jaw set tight. "Humanity is the perfection that was created. To become of what you are -" It is humbling. An honor. But it was not what William was created for. It was as if a cat turning into a dog. So much likeness yet so different. It was not his purpose.
His anger was set because William could not do what he was created to do. His entire being, his entire purpose, was set with controlling time. It was apart of him much like a heart was apart of any beast. There was not constant sound in his mind, no ticking. Just emptiness that will not be filled. The warmth that he felt, that was apart of him - was gone.
"We are in danger. All of us. Not just humanity, but the entire universe." His voice was still shaky as he tried to gain ground. He was lost without the sense of time. Buck it up. Always bury it down deep. He swallowed thickly, numb.
The watch in his pocket laid still.
Perfection. William had always spoken of the perfections and imperfections of the time stream, of history. He was sure that the other man had never anticipated the tables would turn against him, for his existence and his world to be turned upside down. But Khan knew, having been designed by men, that there no more flawed creature in the universe than man. Men were not born with any purpose - any idea of what they were to do with their existence.
Such, he knew, was their freedom. But it was also their fear, and fear was what drove them to such extremes. It was, now that William seemed snapped out of his melancholy, what would drive the man into his future. Whatever future that was.
"If the universe is at risk, it’s no time to be weeping, is it?" he said, hist tone gentler now that he at least had the impression of being heard by the other man. "It’s time to rally the troops, so to speak. And even if that’s just you and I, as a man, i can give you this one piece of advice: trying, no matter the odds, will always feel better and less hopeless than giving up."
John’s mouth dropped open a bit, eyes glancing about the small eatery with the brightest hints of red coloring the tips of his ears. God he felt like a showy teen again, but that wasn’t going to stop him from enjoying her attentions. Leaning forward he accepted the spoonful of the iced treat, smiling around the cheap cutlery at her.
There was a complaint at the tip of his tongue, under the melting ice cream. But it was swallowed away once he saw how delighted Khan looked. It wasn’t like there was anyone in the shop to see him mooning like a preadolescent. Even then, why should he let that stop them from their fun? He was a grown man, and she was a wonderfully grown woman and they where happy. That was the important thing.
"Well, If I’d of know you were inclined to hand feed me, I might of suggested we pick up something sweet with our drinks for home. Where we could be as messy as we liked." Came his soft grin, the image of her sprawled on his shabby couch and the two hand feeding each other clear and loud in his brain.
"But the night is still young, and well. We might get hungry later." He laughed, moving to scoot closer beside her. Wanting the little bit of extra intimacy he could snatch at the moment.
"Young indeed," she agreed, stealing a bite for herself once she’d reclaimed the spoon from his mouth. She could tell that he’d had some other comment, but had swallowed it for whatever reason. Perhaps later she could wile it off the tip of his tongue, if she played her cards right. And when it came to John and knowing what he liked, she had nothing short of a full deck at her disposal.
"Who knows what we might get up to once we’re finished. You know how open I am to new ideas. And if, as you say, we have all the time we need, I’m certain that we can think something up between the two of us,” she said, smirking around her mouthful, knowing full well that with how their conversation was going, they wouldn’t be long for the public venues.
"I try." Clint smirked, pulling the mask away. "So, what are you doin here?"
"They called me in to finish the fight," he replied, setting himself down next to the archer. "About bloody time they did, too."
"You really do have a way of making me feel good about myself. I had to grow up pretty fast, but I tried to stay a little… Well, not so serious. A lot of people say I’m just a slut and an insincere person, but… I guess it’s a coping mechanism."
"And here I thought that the future was beyond sexual shaming. Lord, that’s old news. I think you’re just a man who knows what he wants, and knows who he wants to be. I don’t see a whole lot to find shameful in that. We all make mistakes, wrong turns. But having the right idea can go a long way."
It was as if he was dreaming. This man, of who he had first been utterly terrified, was now offering him to help, and not expecting any payment of him! The Brit was in need for a moment of silence before he decided to speak again.
"Thank you, Mr. You are utterly kind." He flashed him a quick smile, before glancing off. “What do we do in the mean time..?”
"You’ll have guest quarters on the lower decks. I don’t imagine it will take us more than a few days to reach Earth, though we are pretty far out." Khan examined the estimations, knowing that it was over-estimating to think it would take his ship that long. But he still wanted to figure out where the man had come from, and how he had come aboard.
"I can either show you the way, or you can explore on your own. It’s completely up to you," he said when he was satisfied he could re-evaluate the readings from the man’s landing later.
”I must admit I want to convince you there is little in this world that I would care for in exchange for any information on you. That any experiments I wish to do is purely my own curiosity and knowledge. But it is still something I request your agreement on. Nothing will happen otherwise.”
"The extent of your experiments is where the danger lies. I trust you objectively as a scientist, but if word got out that you had figured out a chemical compound that could incapacitate me, or that you had done transfusion experiments, I would be dead in month."
"Well then, If this is us doing what we want. Then I want a bloody good kiss right now, and then we can pretend I asked you like a normal bloke and didn’t almost cry." John huffed, tone sounding far more assertive than the wY his hands still clung tightly to Khan’s arm. Pads of his fingers petting lightly and with reassurance as he popped his head back and pushed up on the tips of his toes to reach the man’s mouth.
Pressing a grateful kiss against those lips, and trying to convey the our joy he felt with each practiced nip and suckle.
Not even bothering to contradict the surgeon, Khan settled his hands around the other man and returned the kiss firmly. John was active, refusing to let the kiss remain idle, and Khan was only too happy to reciprocate.
It was a step he’d been anticipating for months, but now that it had been reached, he didn’t feel as comfortable or as unsettled as he’d expected. Living with John, it was what he’d wanted. But he wondered, worried, over whether his errant habits would just drive the other man from him. But for the moment, he was willing to suspend doubt and revel in the joy.
"I’m not…" Kirk paused again, looking down at his stomach and very carefully pulling his shirts up to reveal the small bump. At the sight, his heart leapt into his throat and a single tear slipped down his cheek. "I’m not going to terminate it, if that’s what you’re asking. Not that I’m saying it’s not okay to do that if it’s right for the person, but…" He swallowed hard, looking back up at his lover. "The chance that my body would adapt to have a baby was so minimal.. The trace of that DNA was so small I wasn’t even classified as part Dezalian. But I did get pregnant. And -if you’re willing to try again at being a father- I’d like to have this baby."
Khan couldn’t help the smile that threatened to break over his face. Now that Jim had calmed, now that they weren’t on the brink of an episode, he could let the realization sink in. In spite of the fear, there was still something giddy in him at the prospect. It came from having hope, which Jim had engendered in him from the very beginning. “Jim Kirk, God himself would be hard pressed to stop me.”
"Because there’s nowhere to run anymore, Thatcher. I didn’t come to hide. I came to say goodbye." Refraining from leaning on her doorway, wanting to keep as much evidence away from her door as possible. He wanted to be on the other side of a barrier from this conversation, but he wanted to face her before… they came for him.
"I thought…" she started slowly, taken aback; it was the first time he had ever raised his voice at her. You were the one who wouldn’t need a goodbye. "John, I—I’m so sorry. I just assumed…" The possibility that he might struggle with the separation hadn’t even crossed her mind. A struggle meant there was at least some level of attachment on his part, something which she hadn’t let herself dream of even being possible. Thatcher knew he would have said no if she asked for permission so she didn’t and closed the space between them quickly. She stood on tip-toe and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him into a tight embrace. "It’s okay to be selfish."
She pulled back far enough to press a firm kiss to his lips before speaking again. “God, I’m gonna miss you…”
This time, he didn’t have the heart to push her away. When she closed the distance between them, he let her, and wrapped his arms around her. It was his last chance to act like a human being, and he was going to make the best of it in all of the ways that his fear and paranoia had never allowed him to. God, he would miss her when. He was going to miss the fleeting life that she’d let him live. For all that it was impermanent, it had been no less important. “I’m going to miss you too,” he murmured into her lips, hoping that she understood how deeply he meant it. “You made the future such a better place.”
Given his years of experience, it took a substantial amount of interference to break through his emotional shield. He’d learned early on that combat never only affected the body - it tore up emotions and the soul just as easily. So that he skirmish with the Romulans had broken through his anticipated resolve was not something he had been expecting. Then again, he never could get over the deaths of children.
When the rest of the away team finally broke through the Romulan contingent that had cornered him, he’d taken more than a few blows, both physically and mentally. Raising his weapon was an instinctual response, but he lowered it immediately when he recognized Kirk. “Captain,” he addressed lightly, trying to ignore the low burn of the wound on his ribs. “Always a pleasure.”
After a moment of internal debate and trying to keep his emotions in check, Kirk nodded slowly. “Yes. If that’s what I have to agree to for you to come back to the ship, then I’ll agree.” He hated the words leaving his mouth, but Kirk knew that if he didn’t agree his love would die on the battlefield. There was still no guarantee that Khan would make it through this alive, but getting Bones to heal him gave him a fighting chance. “Enterprise, two to beam directly to sickbay. Medical emergency.”
His heartbeat was thundering in his ears, even as Kirk called in the order to have them beamed up. Khan knew that he was verging on having gone too far - knew even in his heart that Jim was right to have called him back. Even if it was a quick fix, it would probably be what would keep him from pushing himself over the edge. He closed his eyes when they beamed, sucking in a deep, pained breath when they landed in sickbay. If anything, it was to steel himself from the oncoming tirade from McCoy.