Chapter One: Kid Kirk and Bitty Buffy
When Jim Kirk was eleven, he stole a car.
Not just any car, either. It was his father’s car. The one that he had heard some of his brother’s older friend call a “cherry little ride” and how they were jealous that Sam would someday be able to drive it. The one that his mother had promised to teach him and Buffy how to drive one day when they were old enough. The one that his brother had told him a half an hour before he took it that his stepfather planned on selling after Jim finished washing it.
Jim never thought that Frank would have the balls to do something like that considering how his mother felt about that car. Frank once made the mistake of suggesting to Jim’s mother that they should sell it because it was worth a lot of money. Jim remembered the look on his mother’s face and how Frank seemed to almost physically shrink back from the woman. Like Buffy, Jim’s mom was a small woman, but she could also be incredibly frightening when she wanted to me. Again, just like Buffy.
Frank dropped the idea and didn’t suggest it again. Instead, he did what he usually did when it came to him doing things that he knew Winona would not like. He waited until she was off planet and did it what he wanted.
Out of the three Kirk children, Jim was probably thought to be the least likely one to steal a car and for good reason. He went to school (something they couldn’t always get Sam to do), got good grades (something that Buffy wasn’t really all that interested in), and never really gave his parents any problems (outside of the ones that Buffy helped create, that was). Aside from being a little mouthy from time to time, he was considered to be a really good kid.
Even after this, he was still a good kid. He just discovered that he liked being wild a little bit more than being the ‘good one’.
Buffy hadn’t known he was going to take the car. If she had, she would have tried to stop him; so he hadn’t dragged her into this.
Jim had no delusions about what was about to happen to him. If Frank didn’t kill him, his mother certainly would; but at least Frank wouldn’t be able to sell the car. The last real owner would still be George Kirk and no one else.
Sitting on a bench at the police station waiting for Frank to show up, that thought alone gave Jim something to smile about.
For a police station, though, it was kind of boring. There weren’t a lot of criminals in chains or scantly clad women trying to charm their way out whatever trouble they found themselves in like Jim had always pictured. There were people sure, but it all seemed more like an office somewhere than a place where bad guys were taken. Jim was actually kind of disappointed that the worse criminal there seemed to be…well, him.
In his opinion, that did say much for his hometown.
Making himself more comfortable on the bench, Jim took to watching the people that were there.
A burly looking alien sitting behind the Sergeant’s desk glanced up from whatever he was working on to look at him. He tilted his head in a way that seemed to make his single raised eyebrow go even up his ridged forehead before he shook his head in a way that said ‘humans’ and went back to work.
A few minutes later a pair of cadets in their red Starfleet uniforms past him. One stumbled a little while the other scolded him and warned about the consequences when their commanding officer found out what he had done. They were walking quickly like they were late for something. Jim tried to hear him say what it was that they were going to catch hell for; but they were gone before he was able too.
In past half an hour, that was probably the most entertaining thing to occur. At this rate, he would gladly take that officer scolding him again for just the want of something to do.
Sighing, Jim sat back only jumped when he found Buffy suddenly standing next to the bench. A deep frown was stretched across her face as she held her arms crossed tightly across her chest. Even with her hair done up in two sloppy buns on top of her head, she was scary.
He took it back. He’d rather go back to being bored.
Jim hadn’t seen her come in, but that wasn’t really surprising. Buffy could be really stealthy when she wanted to be. He had heard Frank tell their mother more than one that they needed to put a bell on her just so they’d known when she was coming. Of course, Buffy now made it a point to sneak up on Frank whenever she could, but she usually made her presence known so not to startle Jim or Sam.
Not this time though.
Shifting uncomfortably, Jim licked his lips. An explanation was on the tip of his lips, but he never got the chance. Before he could get a word out, her foot shot out and kicked him right in the side of the leg.
“Ow,” Jim said as he tried to draw he leg away to safety but only managing to knock the other side against the bench’s leg. Buffy could kick really hard and seemed to know instinctively just where to hit you to make it really hurt. It was skill she seemed hell bent on using against him today.
“That’s for stealing Dad’s car and not telling me,” she hissed.
She then kicked him again almost right on top of the same spot she had just hit.
“That’s for getting arrested.”
Again, she kicked.
“That’s for nearly getting yourself killed!”
Jim tried to scoot down the bench to get away from her near constant attack, but it didn’t do any good. She wasn’t about to let him escape her now that she had him just where she wanted him.
There was a moment when Jim considered calling out to the Sergeant for help, but one glance at the alien told him that would be useless. In fact, the police officer seemed to think that the entire thing was rather amusing if that smile on his face was anything to go by.
After a few more well placed hits, Jim finally cried, “Ow, Buffy! Stop kicking me!”
Surprisingly, she did. Not so surprisingly, she then reared back and smacked him hard in the shoulder.
“That’s for being a complete and utter jerk!”
To Jim’s relief, she seemed to have reached her violence quota for the day, though not her yelling.
“Do you have any idea how much trouble you’re in?” Buffy asked. “Frank’s going to kill you. Mom’s
going to kill you.”
“I know,” Jim replied.
It wasn’t like he hadn’t thought the same thing, so why should he act like he hadn’t?
“So why did you do it?” she asked.
Jim started to shrug a shoulder but decided against it. If there was one person out there who he thought would understand, it was Buffy.
“Frank was going to sell Dad’s car,” he said plainly.
Buffy’s face was carefully held in a way to appear neutral. Apparently, she had been in the dark just as much as Jim had been about what Frank planned for their Dad’s car. Jim had only found out because Sam had told him before he stormed off. Buffy had ran into the house by then to try and contact their mother about what was going on and hadn’t heard their brother’s declaration. Frank, obviously, hadn’t felt the need to tell her either.
Buffy knew better than to think that was a lie. It wasn’t like Frank had ever made it a secret that he wanted to sell the car, but none of them ever thought he would actually go through with it. Sam’s tone today, however, had told Jim that this time Frank was really going to do it. He was really going to get rid of one of the few things that actually belonged to their father that they had left. So Jim had taken care of it. His sister knew him well enough to know that Jim really and truly believed that the car was going to sold -- and soon -- to do what he did because Jim Kirk (the good
twin) would never do anything like this otherwise.
Accepting this, Buffy sat down on the other side of the bench. With a deep sigh, she blew a some loose strains of hair out of her face and tucked her hands into her jacket’s pockets.
They sat like that watching a few seconds tick by on the clock on the wall before Jim finally asked, “So where is Frank, anyway?”
“Sitting in the truck, trying to make himself look like he’s not going to commit homicide the moment he sees you,” she said. “It’s not working out too well since his face is kind of purple, and he has this whole ‘Die! Die! Die!’ look whenever he says your name.”
Jim wondered if it was really necessary for her to mimic someone being stabbed each time she said ‘die.’
Groaning, he turned his head towards the ceiling and said, “I’m so dead.”
“Yup,” Buffy agreed. “Which is why I just told that cop that arrested you about Frank’s ever growing collection of traffic tickets.”
A smile tugged at the edge of her lips.
“I might have also did my oh so famous impression of his ‘Like hell I’m going to pay those pigs!’ speech,” she added.
Pig? There was a reference Jim was pretty sure the police officer wouldn’t really get. It was old -- really old -- but it rolled off Buffy’s tongue like it was still common, every-day language. Jim knew where she got it from. They had recently read a book from the twentieth century in their English class, and Buffy had fallen in love with the language. For the past few weeks, she had speaking more and more like the kids from the book than people her own time period.
It annoyed Frank and Sam, but Jim just chalked it up to another weird Buffy thing. She was always doing stuff like that, and he had learned it was just easier to go with it. Besides, it was kind of fun because he understood what she was saying when most other people didn’t. They never did that whole ‘twin-language’ thing that they had heard their teachers ask their mom about once or twice, but this was close enough.
When Jim didn’t say anything, Buffy said, “We’ll all be walking home, but at least you won’t be the only one with a court date.”
Again, Jim groaned. Great, a ten mile hike. Just what Jim was looking forward too. Though, speaking of walking…
“Did Sam come back?” he asked.
Buffy pressed her lips. “Not by the time we got the call that you were taken here.”
“Oh,” Jim said.
He had hoped that when Sam saw him drive by in their Dad’s car that he would go back; if for no other reason than to be sure that Frank didn’t kill him. Maybe he didn’t realize who it was that honked at him, but Jim couldn’t make himself belief that. Sam knew. He just must be counting on the fact that Jim had never done anything like this before and that Frank wouldn’t try to hurt him. At least not while the police were watching anyway.
Slouching, Jim said, “I guess that means it’s just you and me now, huh?”
“Guess so,” Buffy agreed.
They sat in silence for a few minutes: Jim brushing at some of the dirt that now stained his favorite pair for pants, while Buffy pulled at the hem of her blue skirt. There was enough space between them for a person to sit, but neither of them moved any closer to each other. When Buffy finally had her skirt in a place where she liked it, she sat up properly with her hands in her lap. Jim, however, slouched down lower on the bench as if he were trying to slid right off of it.
Buffy cleared her throat.
“So I guess since I’m not the one with a criminal record this now makes me officially the good twin?”
Buffy was not surprised when she started to have nightmares again that night.
Ever since Buffy Kirk was a little girl, she had had night terrors: horrible dreams that were full of violence, terrifying creatures, and blood. There was always so much blood. They didn’t happen every night or week or even month, but they still came often; particularly after a trying day. Her brother taking a joyride in their Dad’s old car and nearly getting himself killed in the process so definitely qualified as ‘a trying day.’
She had thought that if she did have a nightmare it would be about that. However, it seemed her subconscious or whatever decided that Jim’s mangled and bloody corpse at the bottom of a very deep quarry was only going to be the opening act.
In the rest of her dream, Buffy had been somewhere underground in a large tunnel that lead into a cavern. A little boy was there. He was probably her age but seemed younger at the same time for some reason. Though he had looked normal, she knew he was…different. Evil. Buffy hadn’t know how she knew that, but she felt deep inside her that he was. He lead her to a larger cavern with a bunch of broken rocks and debris, and she remembered thinking that she didn’t want to ruin her dress. It seemed weird when she thought back, but it had felt perfectly natural in the dream. She was armed, too, which was also weird but right too.
Then this person appeared, but he wasn’t really a person or alien or anything she had ever seen before. His face was pinched and deformed, and Buffy thought that he looked a lot like a bat. When he spoke, she was rooted in her spot and was compelled to listen. He said things that didn’t make since now or then. Buffy knew that she had to kill him, but the one-sided conversation continued. Even though she knew she had to or he was going to kill her, she couldn’t make herself move.
Then he bent her head to the side and bit into her neck.
Buffy’s eyes snapped opened with a start, but she had managed to bite off the scream that tore at the back of her throat. It almost felt like she could feel every vein in her body was pulsating as her heart tried to find a way to literally beat its way out of her chest. It took more than a few deep breath to calm it down to where she felt comfortable again, but there was still a very slight trimmer that was traveling through her body that had nothing to do with the cold spring night.
Sitting up on the smaller couch, Buffy looked across her uncle’s dark living room.
Fun fact that apparently Frank did know. If you don’t pay those stupid traffic tickets, you get to sit in jail. Buffy hadn’t known that at the time when she ratted on him. If she or her brothers had, she was sure that Sam would have turned him in months ago.
It probably didn’t help he still looked like that if they let Jim leave with him then Jim wouldn’t make it home.
Nor did it help when they found out that he had basically thrown Sam, a fourteen-year-old boy, out of the house earlier that day.
Or that Frank was pretty well toasted when he finally decided it was time to leave the truck and talked to the cops about Jimmy.
This all lead up to a quick phone call to the Kirk kids uncle who lived right outside of town, and Frank getting to have an all expense paid vacation to the local jail cell. They could keep him as far as she was concerned, but she somehow doubted that would be the case. Still a night away from step-daddy dearest was always of the good especially after the colossally stupid stunt that a one James T. Kirk had pulled that day.
Adjacent to the couch she was laying on, Jim was curled on his side and seemingly dead to the world. His faint snores drifted through the dark room as one foot made a small kicking motion under the blanket he had wrapped himself up in. Even in his sleep he couldn’t be quiet or still. She wondered how Sam had put up with living in the same room as him.
Sighing, Buffy laid back on the couch. She didn’t know where Sam was, but she wasn’t really surprised. Like the rest of them, once Sam made up his mind, it was made up. Unfortunately, this time it meant that he wasn’t coming back. It was just her and Jimmy.
Jimmy who had nearly gotten himself killed today. Jimmy who hadn’t seemed at all worried about the fact that he had almost left her completely alone with Frank. Jimmy who she was still upset at but who acted if nothing really bad could have happened.
Yeah, she was kind of being unfair, but it was two in the morning and she had had a bad day and an even worse night thanks to those stupid night terrors. But did he care? Nooo, he was just snoring away without a care in the world like his little joyride wasn’t causing them a bit of trouble. Well, if she couldn’t sleep, than neither was he.
Reaching out, she grabbed the blanket that Jim had wrapped around himself and pulled with all her might. Buffy always knew that she was a lot stronger than she looked, but even she was surprised at how easily her sleeping brother was yanked from his comfortable spot on the couch and sent sprawling to the floor with a yelp. Jim’s reaction time was a bit comical though as he fought with the blanket that had fallen with him and sat up with a groggy snort.
Maybe she did it because the toil of the day had finally caught with up her or maybe she did it because she was just feeling bitchy; Buffy wasn’t really sure. The only thing she was sure about was that she felt slightly better seeing him sit on the floor with that stupid confused look on his face.
Besides, if he thought that her hitting a couple of times and yelling at him today was the worst thing she was going to do him after what he pulled, he seriously mistaken. The best she could figure, Jim had years of small torture before she forgave him for that.
“Careful,” she said rolling over to face away from him, “or you might fall off a cliff someday.”
Buffy smiled as she felt his hateful stare burn into the back of her head.
Oh, yeah, years of this to go.
Feeling slightly better, Buffy drifted off to sleep to the sounds of her brother’s grumbling and this time no nightmares followed. Just a weird dream about a guy with a tray of cheese.
Disclaimer and summary found with the prologue. Thank you to all those who reviewed the last chapter, and I hope this one wasn't too bad.