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A small frown marred Jim's features as he looked around the small coffee shop where Buffy had asked him to meet her. It was a good distance away from the heart of the city and wasn't a place they tended to frequent. Not to mention the odd request of her wanting to meet him separate from Bones was raising all sorts of red flags for him.
For the most part, he ignored those little niggles in the back of his mind about her once she had started dating Bones. His friend was happy and she just as obviously adored him. She never once did anything that suggested she intended to harm them or anyone else, she just had these rare moments where she was just absolutely clueless about something that should be general knowledge. Not to mention the weird random things she would say with a smile on her face, only to see it falter slightly before she forced it back into it's normal brightness.
The bell above the door jingled as it opened and Buffy stepped through. She waved at him before she went to the counter to place her order. He brought his cup of coffee up for a sip to prevent his frown from deepening. Whatever reason that caused Buffy to bring him here, it was making her nervous, and Buffy didn't do nervous. It set his teeth on edge.
“Hi,” she said, a little breathlessly as she set her purse and drink on the table. She adjusted the chair slightly so she could still see him and the front door.
“Hi,” he said with an easy smile. He took another sip of his coffee as he waited for her to get settled, before he asked, “So why the need to talk?”
Another nervous smile flitted across her face before it settled into something more resolute. As if she was forcing herself to go through with something. “You're one of the few friends I've got, Jim. I mean yeah, I know people, but you and Len are sort of it. And I thought it was time you knew the truth about me. I'm not who you think I am.”
Something ugly twisted in Jim's gut and he tampered it down enough to ask, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, you know me, but not really. I mean, you kinda know me but there's this huge chunk of who I am that you've got know idea about. Something that is so out in left field,...” she trailed off and then let out a frustrated sigh. “This is not coming out right. Let me try again.”
She looked as though she was about to cry, and as much as he wanted to know the truth, he didn't want it like this. “Buffy, you don't have to tell me.”
“I do,” she said with a shake of her head. “I'm tired of hiding and covering up with everyone. I've already told Len and you deserve to know as well.”
“Alright, go ahead, but take your time,” he said with what he hoped was an easy smile but probably looked more like a grimace. “I don't have any plans for the day.”
“So, I'm from Sunnydale. But not Sunnydale, a random colony planet out in space, but Sunnydale, California, on Earth.”
“There isn't -”
She interrupted him. “I know the town doesn't exist here, but it does,” she insisted. She took a deep breath and then looked him straight in the eyes. “It exists on my version of Earth.”
He couldn't help but stare at her for a long moment before he slowly said, “Your version of Earth.”
“Yes, my version. I'm from a different dimension, or alternate reality, or something. To be honest, I don't really understand it, just that this is not the world I'm from.” Her sad smile was back. “For me, one day it was 2005 where we barely have space stations orbiting Earth and illegal aliens entering the US and the next it's 2253 and there are actual outer space aliens living on Earth and we're colonizing planets in outer space. All I could hope for was that my friends would find a way to bring me back home, and for years I had hoped. I finally just gave up staying in one place and decided I had to do something so I managed to get someone to forge records for myself and enrolled in Starfleet.”
Jim couldn't help but stare incredulously at her. Of all the things he had expected for her to say to explain away the inconsistencies he had noted about her, this wasn't even anywhere on the list. And yet, it made sense in a weird, roundabout way.
“So, 2005 for you?”
Her head bobbed nervously. “I had just picked my kid sister up from finishing her year at college.”
“That means you're a Eugenic. It would explain how fast and strong you are.”
“No,” she said and he was taken aback by how forceful it was. “No, not a Eugenic. Scientists on my Earth are no where near that stage. My... abilities come from a different source. If I haven't lost you on the different dimension thing, you might be able to keep up.”
Jim snorted. “It can't get much weirder than you time traveling through dimensions.”
“Oh, but it can,” she said with a smirk, that surprisingly made him feel more at ease. This was the Buffy he was used to dealing with.
“On my world, the things that go bump in the night are real. Vampires, werewolves, demons, you name it, they're there. Most people aren't aware of them, but they exist. I've been magically enhanced to fight them. That's how Len knew that there was something different about me. He said there are strange chromosome pairs in my DNA that he's never seen before.”
“Wait a minute!” Jim said holding up a hand. “He knew something was different about you and never said anything?”
She shrugged. “You'll have to talk to him about that, not my story.”
Jim scrubbed his face with his hands. “Give me a minute to process all of this.”
“Sure,” she said before reaching for her now lukewarm coffee.
She seemed truly honest and sincere in her telling of the fantastical story that sounded more like it came from the old fashioned science fiction stories he loved to read as a child rather than real life. But if her story really was true, it went a long way to explain why she lacked the knowledge on some extreme basics, even if she was able to grasp the concepts once they were explained to her. For her to accomplish so much in a world that was utterly foreign to her was nothing short of amazing.
He watched for another long moment and went with his gut instinct. “Okay.”
Buffy frowned at him. “Okay? Just okay? No more questions or accusations? No this is ridiculous, I don't know how you expect me to believe this?”
“Are you planning on destroying the world?” He asked.
An indelicate snort escaped her lips. “I know you have no way of knowing this, but I used to save it on a yearly basis, so no.”
“Do you plan on hurting Bones?”
Her eyes widened in horror. “How could you even ask that?”
“Then okay. I know it sounds crazy, but I believe you.”
“This is going a lot easier than I thought it would.” She gave him a suspicious look. “Are you sure you're really Jim Kirk and not an impressive imposter?”
He chuckled. “No, I'm the real deal.” He paused and studied her for another long moment. “You know, you're a lot smarter than what you give yourself credit for.”
“Yeah, no,” she argued. “I'm the go beat them up kind of gal who just tries to make sure she's looks good doing it.”
“No, I'm serious. You came from, for us at least, antiquated technology and ideas but you've still managed to succeed at Starfleet and fool everyone into believing you've grown up in this era.” He gave her a calculating look. “You are intelligent.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “Whatever, believe what you want, just as long as you believe my story.”
“Oh, I do. And you now realize that when I become captain one day, you'll be serving on my ship as either chief of security or tactical. Just like Bones is going to be my CMO,” he said smugly.
“You'll have to become captain first,” she pointed out.
“Oh, don't you worry about that.”