Disclaimer: Star Trek, owned by Paramount.
Author's Notes: SPOILER ALERT...if you have not seen "Into Darkness" yet, then do NOT read this fic unless you want to be spoiled. Also, the character that Kirk is talking to is technically canon (though they really didn't do much with the character except for a couple mentions in the novels and one appearance in Voyager)...although he has grown up a little.
He always thought that his life would flash before his eyes just before he died. Instead, he just felt cold and could feel his strength slip away rapidly as his hand slid down the reinforced safety door of the reactor. He could see the turmoil and anguish on Spock's face and then he had the weirdest thought: So that's what Spock looks like when he lets go, huh? That's seriously fucked up.
For a few seconds, that's all there was, blackness...then he thought he heard music of some sort...and then he had a headache. It was the kind of headache that one had after being in a brawl while suffering a hangover. The music got a little louder and he opened his eyes to be welcomed with blurred vision. He blinked a couple times and, when his vision cleared, he found himself staring up at a ceiling fan with a couple weird colored lights on it.
For some reason, it looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn't quite place it.
“Wow,” he heard someone say. “That really could have gone better, don't you think?”
James Kirk groaned as he propped himself up on his elbows and brought himself to a semi-groggy sitting position on the floor of...he looked around and shook his head in disbelief.That's not possible,
he thought as he recognized the place. I haven't been here in-
“You haven't been here in the four years since left this little hick farming town in Iowa,” the unknown voice said to him. Jim turned and saw a young man who looked to be about his age, maybe a couple years younger, with short spiky black hair. The young man was wearing what appeared to be jeans, a leather jacket, and, of all things, what appeared to be a real cowboy hat from the old west.
Jim slowly got up on his feet, keeping his eyes on the stranger as he stood up. Pain still racked his body and a quick glance down at himself revealed him to be wearing his torn Starfleet uniform. He looked around at the bar that appeared deserted except for him and the other man.
“This can't be real,” he finally said.
The man sitting at the table smirked at him. “Wow, the legendary James T. Kirk and his stunning powers of observation strike again.” Then he laughed, his smirk giving way to a friendly chuckle as he gestured at the empty seat across from him. “Have a seat, Kirk.” He made a gesture with his hand and a bottle suddenly appeared in his hand in a flash of white light along with a couple empty glasses with some ice. “And how about some bourbon? With the kind of day you had, you look like you could use a drink.”
Jim, still not sure what to make of the situation, sat down while the stranger filled his glass. He nodded his thanks and took a sip, savoring the cold burning sensation as it went down his throat. After he managed to gulp that first sip down, he looked up at the man who was just sitting there looking at him while he swirled the drink in his own glass.
“Okay,” Jim said, “I have a lot of questions, and don't take this the wrong way, but...who the hell are you?”
The man only smiled before taking a sip of his own drink and then setting it back on the table. “Not sure how I should answer that, Jimmy. I mean, if I were anything like my father, this would be the part where I scoff at you and talk about who and what I am is completely incomprehensible to a pathetic lower species such as yours...but....I ain't him. Besides, it's really not important. Although, right now, let's just say that I'm a faraway traveler who happens to be a friend...well sort of...we really don't know each other. But trust me, I'm a friend...or at least not someone who wants to kill you.”
The man paused for a moment as he realized what he just said.
“Then again,” he continued, “since you kind of died...killing you would be kind of redundant, don't you think?”
“Kind of died?” Kirk asked.
“Kind of died,” the man repeated. “Though I gotta' tell ya, James Tiberius Kirk being the guy who died in the warp reactor chamber...really didn't see that coming. Though, to be fair, all the elements were there...Khan Noonian Singh was involved, but everything in this timeline is just fucked up and crazy. Hell, this shit wasn't supposed to happen for at least twenty years and it was Spock who died, not you.” He paused again to take another sip of his drink. “Alternate timelines,” he continued, “especially new ones like this are really messed up...but kind of fun.”
Realization suddenly dawned on Kirk. “You...you're from another reality, like the old Spock,” he said.
“Well....kind of,” the man replied. “I'm familiar with that timeline...hell, you could say I was born in that particular reality of the multi-verse...though I've spanned back and forth through thousands of years since then.”
Jim's eyes narrowed in suspicion. “You're not going to to try to tell me your God, are you?” Jim asked as the man took another sip of his drink.
The question made the stranger choke on his bourbon and he set the glass down. “Damn, Jimmy...don't make me laugh like that, okay? No, I'm not THAT GUY...actually...to be sure, I'm not sure if He's a he or a she...or if it really matters. Last time encountered THAT BEING, it was a young woman listening to a media player and playing a Gameboy.”
“A Gameboy? What's that?”
“Never mind that, Jimmy,” the man said. “I'm not God,” then he held up a finger to forestall Jim's next comment, “and I'm not that OTHER guy either. Besides, if you ask me, Louie is a whiny bitch with some serious emotional issues.” He clasped his hands together, pointing both his index fingers at Jim. “But we're not here to talk about me...this isn't my life, it's yours.”
“Yeah, well, my life is, as you put it, kind of over, so there really isn't much to talk about.”
The stranger laughed again and shook his head.
“Did I just say something funny?” Jim asked.
“Yeah, you did. I'm sorry...it's just that I'm talking to THE James Kirk and he's all upset about being 'kind of dead'. Trust me, Jimmy, if you only knew what I knew about you, you'd say it was 'just another day at the office.”
“So what happens now? We just sit here, have a drink, and then I go...wherever I'm supposed to go?” Jim looked around at the empty bar again before focusing on the man sitting across from him. “And why here? I mean...if this is the after life, why can't it be-”
“A nude beach with hot green skinned women or those twins you were doing a couple weeks ago?”
The stranger shook his head. “Focus, Jimmy, focus...you're here because this is the place where your life was at a crossroads...something that every sentient being encounters and you made a fateful choice that forever changed things, not just for yourself, but for everyone you encounter. I conjured this place up because I figured it would give you a chance to just kick back and take a look at where you are and how far you've come in just four short years.”
“And you're doing this out of the goodness of your heart?”
“Nah...I just wanted to meet you, see if you were anything at all like the legend from the other place.”
“Some legend,” Jim grumbled. “I'm dead.”
The man smiled held up a thumb and index finger. “Just a little dead...but trust me, you'll get over it.” He then picked up his glass and finished off his drink. Then, with a simple gesture, his glass vanished once again in a tiny flash of white light. “The point is, your story, James T. Kirk, isn't over yet. While some things may be different this time around, some things are still the same.” Then his grin returned. “After all, if a tribble can come back from the dead...I think there's a chance for James Kirk.” He pushed his chair back and stood up. “Well, Jimmy, I'd like to stick around and chat, but it looks like we have to part company for now.”
“Wait, what do you mean? Where are you going?”
“A new universe, Jimmy, one with a lot of potential and plenty of things to see.” Then a haunted look formed on the young man's face. “One that is untainted by forces darker than what most species would consider malevolent. And I intend to enjoy it and help it along once in awhile.” His smile returned. “But don't worry, I'll be seeing you around.” He then turned and started to walk towards the exit.
“Wait,” Jim said again as he stood up out of his own chair. “Hold on, who are you?”
The young man stopped, reached up to slightly adjust his cowboy hat, then looked back over his shoulder. “Well, I could just give you the enigmatic and pompous response my father gave the members of your species who encountered him, but I won't. Just call me...Quentin.” He then stepped up to the door that opened up to reveal a blinding white light that suddenly enveloped the entire room for a moment...and then...
But he could hear voices...familiar voices. His throat felt dry and he felt very weak...then he opened his eyes to see Bones standing over him saying that he, James Kirk, was only “a little dead”...or something to that effect.
Author's Notes: Okay, that's the end of this crazy little ficlet.