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Title: Burden of Command (The Captain Knows Best Remix)
Author: [personal profile] velvetmouse
Fandom: Star Trek (technically Reboot, but there's only a passing reference to distinguish it from TOS here)
Summary: Sometimes the orders he gives don't quite go as planned.
Characters: Jim Kirk/Hikaru Sulu
Rating: PG-13 for language
Word Count: 1274
Warning: Swearing, implied D/s relationship
Original Story: Five orders Hikaru Sulu hates by [ profile] curiouslyfic
Notes: Many thanks to my beta, C.


Leave it to me

Jim looks back and forth between his away team and the platoon of spear wielding lizard-men that met them when they beamed down. Someone in Starfleet intel fucked up big time, because these sure as hell aren't the pacifist Ghoti he was expecting to meet.

One of the lizard-men in the back rattles his spear (seriously? People - er, lizard-men - actually do that?) and mutters something that sounds threatening, although for all Jim knows, it could be "crap, I forgot my wife's birthday." The two groups size each other up, and everyone knows that there is no way this can end well.

With a purely internal sigh, Jim straightens his shoulders and does what a captain must do.

"Mr. Sulu, take everyone else and get the hell out of here. I can handle this."

"But Captain - "

"Leave it to me. Get Mr. Scott to beam everyone else back up to the ship."

Jim locks eyes with his pilot and sees the same flinty determination that he saw in Hikaru on the drill over Vulcan. The same look that says "any shit you can dish out, I can be right there with you." The look that says "I've got your back."

"That's an order, Mr. Sulu," Jim says through gritted teeth, and is relieved when Hikaru's shoulders slump in compliance.

His last thought, as he feels one of those damned spears crash into the back of his head, is that he hopes Hikaru is alive to hate him.

Play nice with the natives

Jim deserves a gold medal for keeping a straight face. "Play nice with the natives," he'd said. Meaning don't stare at them, don't be offended by the things they say, accommodate their indigenous practices. The usual.

Apparently something got lost in the translation (although why you have to translate when everyone in the briefing speaks Standard, he isn't quite sure), because he's pretty sure he didn't say "Fold like Scotty on poker night and let the natives talk you into anything they want."

And yet that is exactly what happened. Which is how Sulu now finds himself married to three of the leader's handmaidens and the proud owner of the third largest goat herd on Tk'likt.

"Do you think we should tell him that it is purely ceremonial?" the leader, who is proving to have a surprisingly human-like sense of humor, asks Jim.

Jim thinks it over for a moment as he watches Hikaru squirm under the attention of his wives. "Nah. Not yet anyway. Besides, you never know when a herd of goats will come in handy as a bargaining chip."

The leader waves his tentacles in a way that Jim has learned means he is laughing. "You speak truly, my friend. Now come, let us talk of affairs while your pilot entertains himself with his wives."

Jim knows he is risking a short date with the pointy end of Hikaru's sword, but he doesn't even crack a smile as he turns away. Yup, definitely a gold fucking medal.

Take this down to Bones

Jim doesn't do it deliberately. At least, he doesn't think he does. He knows, intellectually at least, that Hikaru and Bones are not particularly good friends. Hell, Bones spoke with great relish about how he scared the ever-lovin' shit out of the young pilot with his Thou Shalt Not Knock Up The Aliens speech. Hikaru had another description for it. The pilot's retaliation, in the form of a particularly bumpy shuttle ride taking the good doctor planet-side at Calder III, has become the stuff of legends.

It's not until Rand smirks at him when Jim hands her the assignments for Pike's visit that he realizes something is up.

"First McCoy and now Pike? What'd your boyfriend do to piss you off this time?" she asks with that infuriating I know better than you but you're the captain so I'm going to let you figure it out yourself look that she gets whenever Jim is being particularly dense.

"What? Nothing!" He doesn't even try to deny the 'boyfriend' crack. Janice is privy to nearly all of his secrets, and probably a few he isn't even aware that he has, as well. "I just. . . I -"

"Wanted Pike's approval? What is this, some Starfleet version of 'meet the parents'?"

Jim opens his mouth to object, but Rand simply raises one delicate blonde eyebrow (dammit, Spock is a bad influence), and he knows he's beaten. He bangs his head lightly on his desk, wondering what will happen when word gets out.

Use any advantage you've got

There are times when Jim wishes he wasn't such a hands-on (and feet-on and fists-on) kind of person. He wishes he wasn't so damned determined to be the best captain he can be, not for Starfleet's sake, but for the sake of his crew, the people who trust him to get them out of the shit that Hikaru flies them into at maximum warp.

"Use any advantage you've got," he's told them time and time again. Unfortunately, more often than not, that means he's beaming down into that shit himself. He, and his uncanny Kirk luck, is their biggest advantage. He can think laterally, diagonally and sometimes even in tesseracts, if it will help get his people home safely. But he can't do that stuck on the bridge. He needs to be there, in the thick of things, for those instincts to kick in.

He tries not to see the pained look Hikaru gets every time he turns the ship over to Scotty and drags Spock off to the transporter room. He tries not to see the worry in Uhura's eyes or the tightening of Chekov's shoulders when he's told he has the conn. He wants to protect them all, to make it so he's the only one who ever gets hurt. But he can only do so much.

He has to trust them, to trust Spock, to trust his bridge crew. He has to believe they will cover his back. He is their biggest advantage, but they are his.

Get your ass over here

Jim's seen the way the pilot looks at him, has since they stood together in that transporter room three life-times ago, preparing for a jump that neither of them should have come back from. But Sulu keeps his distance, and for the first time, Jim curses his position as captain. He usually has people throwing himself at him; he's not used to being the aggressor.

For three months they dance around each other in an exquisite pavane. The advance and retreat is as beautiful and deadly as a swordfight. Jim hints and Sulu smile mildly. Jim flirts and Sulu narrows his eyes. Finally, Jim loses patience.

"Get your ass over here, Sulu," he says. Then things are a blur of lust and pain and heat and violence and release, and that's the last order he can give for a good long time.

There are few soft words and no gentle caresses. Jim offers submission, but not subservience, and Hikaru wields his body against him with as much ease as he does his sword. In the bedroom, all rank is left aside and the master pilot becomes Master of all things. It's casual but not, intense and comfortable, contentious and cooperative, and a whole bunch of other contradictions that Jim refuses to analyze.

Mostly, he just finds blessed relief in not being the one to give the orders, calculate the risks, live with the consequences. Hikaru somehow fills in all the blanks, and hears all the orders he can never give.


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