SUMMARY: Kirk receives a letter from an old 'friend' and recalls the time they first met.
DISCLAIMER: The Great Bird of the Galaxy created "The Universe" we play in. Paramount owns "The Universe" that we play in. They will have all the headaches and the monetary gain..... we will have all the fun!
"MOMENTS TO REMEMBER"
By Gayle Rochefort-Potts
If it wasn't one thing it was another today. Alarm didn't go off. Transport was late. Forgot part of his homework that was already late. Then, as he was rushing to his class, he didn't notice her dropping her books and bending to pick them up. That is, he didn't notice until he walked into her, literally. She went flying, in a blur of black denim and long dark hair and ended up banging her nose and her nose started bleeding.
"Oh, God, what next!" He dropped his books and began to check on this poor girl that he had just assaulted. He helped her sit up, tried to organize her hair as he continuously apologized. "Are you okay?" He asked as he sat down beside her. He helped to deflect the other students that threatened to run her over again. He was the first to notice that her nose had started bleeding and swore under his breath. Luckily, he had the handkerchief that his mom insisted that he carry with him.
He handed it to her after pulling it out of his back pocket. "Here." He looked around. "When the crowd dies down, I'll walk you to the medical room." He sat back slightly resting on his heels. He covered his face and sighed. "I am really sorry." He shook his head and offered her his best I-am-trying-not-to-laugh smile because of the way this happened.
She sat with the tears stinging her eyes and this white cloth held up to her aching nose and staring into a pair of the most gorgeous eyes she had seen since leaving home. She sat with her legs drawn up, her arms resting on her knees as she waited for the crowd to disappear. This was humiliating! Especially for the first day at a new school! She didn't even have a shoulder to cry on or a girlfriend to gossip with over this.
She moaned as the headache started.
"Are you okay?" He asked again then looked around, most of the kids were in class now and it was safe to stand now. He stood then offered his help to her. He looked around at the books strewn everywhere. "Let's get you to the med-tech and I'll come back for the books."
He stood, outside the medical room, with the stacks of books on the chair beside him. He had gone into the office and reported what happened and then collected the books from the office that someone else had turned in. He looked to his watch, it was almost lunch and then he was off for the day. It was his short day. Four classes and that was it. He closed his eyes and leaned his head on the wall. "What else can go wrong?"
He was getting curious about the identity of his ... victim. He reached for one of the books that wasn't his and peeked at her name. "Mitchel?"
"Mee-shell.." She corrected him. "And yours?"
"Kirk. James Kirk." He grinned.
"Well, James Kirk. Do you always greet de girls dis way?" She loved his smile!
Jim looked to the floor and shook his head. "No. Not usually. My usually line starts out with, Hello." He found himself staring at her dark brown eyes and dark hair and he was trying to place her accent. He offered his hand. "Hello, my names Jim Kirk. Are you new here?"
She laughed. "Oui. I am. Dis is my first day. I do not even know where de classes are!" She folded her arms across her chest.
"Not from around here I gather?" He picked up her books, then his own.
"No. My fader was transferred and we have been ... relocated 'ere."
"I can show you where your classes are. Then would you accept an invitation out tonight? As an apology for the way we met." He tried not to check on her slightly swollen nose. "I can show you around."
"Would it be safe?" She smiled.
Jim laughed. "I promise, Meechal." He knew he was pronouncing it wrong.
"It is Mee-shell-l."
He nodded then noticed how the tip of her tongue would touch her upper lip. His body started reacting to her. The books were held a little lower. "I'll keep trying."
"Bien. Dat is all I can hask." Michelle took the schedule that was tucked onto her book. She checked the list. "I need to find de room tree-four-one."
He frowned then looked at her list. "Oh. Three-four-one." He grinned. "I like your accent."
"I like your ac-cent as well."
"I don't have an accent." He started heading towards the room in question.
"To me, you do." She started to look at the doorways trying to figure our how she was going to find anything in this school. "Parle tu le francais?"
Jim shook his head. "No. But I wish I did."
"You will show me around de school. I will teach you francais. No?" She looked to him and found him to be staring at her again. Her hand shot out and pulled him back just before he walked onto the doorframe. "Garde-tu." She smiled. "You do not watch girls and walk." She giggled when he blushed.
James T. Kirk smiled as he thought back to how he had met this 'friend'. That fateful day when he thought the whole day was going to be a bust. He grinned. She had those too. He looked down at the hand-written letter that he had received and was disappointed that she hadn't sent a vid-tape. He loved her accent. He could listen to her voice all night long, and had on a few occasions. She was the one that had introduced him to books. Reading out loud and escapism in a fantasy.
He heard a shuffling sound and looked up. "Bones." He smiled then pulled the multi-paged letter closer. He wasn't sure he wanted to share the words with anyone else. He thanked him for the coffee he dropped in front of him.
McCoy sipped on his coffee then gestured towards the papers. "Don't see those too often."
"No." Kirk folded the pages slightly, he hadn't finished the letter yet. "A lost art form, according to Michelle." He was pleased that he had surprised McCoy. "I hear from her every few years and we catch up with each other." He looked through a few of the pages that he had already read. She always used decorated stationary and it was scented. He sipped on the coffee and pushed aside the cup he had finished ages ago.
"Don't think I ever heard about Michelle?" McCoy knew that this man had a string of women, some of them meant something others only occupied his time for the duration. "The Academy?"
"No, high school." Kirk licked the coffee from his lips. McCoy was curious and he was going to give this man as little information as he could. Stretch it out until the good doctor was ready to bust.
"How old were you?" McCoy sensed this was going to be one of 'those' conversations.
Kirk thought about it for a moment. "Fifteen? No, sixteen." He paused. "Just before I left for the Academy. My last year in a civilian school." He sipped on the coffee and watched as McCoy tried to act disinterested. He put the cup down then picked up the letter. He leaned back in the chair and started to read the letter again.
"Met her in school?"
Kirk nodded. "Knocked her to the floor and gave her a bloody nose." He said it as calmly as he could.
McCoy leaned on the table. "You what?"
Kirk grinned. "You heard me."
"And she still talks to you?"
Kirk nodded. She did a lot more than just talk back then, he thought to himself. He shifted the papers so he could read the next page. The letter started out with the usual 'conversation' stuff and after about four pages, it changed. She was writing him to let him know that she needed to talk. Her husband had died. Jim was not surprised that she had told him this way and touched that he was the one she shared this with. She knew that he would have read it in Starfleet's casualty list with his next communique with Command. He lifted the cup to his lips and drank some down as he read her very brief accounting of the incident. She was presently recovering in the sickbay on Starbase four nine. That was where the survivors were for the present.
"How is this Michelle doing now?" McCoy was hoping Jim would finally tell him about this woman. She was a mystery to be solved and there wasn't much about Jim's life he didn't know about. He looked to Kirk's face; it wasn't good news by the sudden change in his expression. "I am here if you need to talk..." It was an unnecessary reminder but it kept the conversation going.
Kirk cleared his throat to get rid of the lump in his throat. He put the letter down and silently wished he had read this in his quarters rather than here in the mess. He hadn't expected any negative news. He finished the coffee then looked to McCoy. "Michelle is recovering on Starbase four nine. The ship she served on was attacked and the captain was lost." He knew the officer, Captain Etienne DuMonaire, he had been her husband. She served as his communications officer.
"Did you know him?" McCoy's voice was softer.
"Yes." Kirk had met him. She had insisted on it, just before they were to be married. Etienne had shook his hand then said, 'So, you are de one dat will approve or disapprove of me as her 'usband'. "I met him just before they were married. We were too far out on patrol to make the wedding..." He remembered sending her flowers, French lilacs, for her day. He hadn't known until she sent him a picture that she carried them down the aisle in place of her own flowers. "I was asked to give the bride away." Her parents had died a few years earlier, first her mother due to illness and her father shortly after. Michelle had told him it was because her father had missed her mother too much and simply couldn't live without her.
McCoy put aside the cup. "Are we able to swing by so you could visit her?"
Kirk nodded. "We are scheduled to pulling in a week or so for general maintenance and we are overdue for shore leave." He had been debating the issue just as McCoy asked. "It would take us a day to alter the schedule and see if Four nine could handle us."
"What ship was it?"
"The U.S.S Coronation, a diplomatic mission that went wrong." Kirk folded the letter and tucked it into the envelope it had come it. His fingers ran over the raised pattern of lilacs. "I heard about the fact that a ship had been damaged but there were no details. It happened ..." He thought about it for a moment. "... three days ago. I am expecting the brief details to be in the next message from Command."
"She must have pulled every string in the book to get it here that fast." He watched as Kirk dealt with the news.
"She was on diplomatic status, it was delivered by courier earlier today." He remembered grinning when he was called down to the docking bay and was handed this. It had been sealed in a pouch and would only open to his touch. "She started this a week ago. The last three pages are about the mission. What she could share."
"Why don't you let Spock know about the change, let him worry about how to do it and you take some time to deal with it." McCoy watched as Kirk continued to tap the envelope on the table. "Does she mention the doctor's name?"
"I'll make a few calls and see what information I can get." McCoy stood.
Kirk looked up at him. "Michelle gave me my first book. It was one we had read together. Out in the barn." He grinned as he recalled the time they had spent in there after classes. Getting homework done, reading to each other and talking. And sometimes not talking.
"What was the book?"
Kirk smiled. "The first one was 'The Three Musketeers'. Takes on a whole different feeling when someone reads it with a French accent. And you act out some of the scenes."
"So do we have her to thank for this very expensive hobby of yours?"
Kirk stood, tucking the letter into his pocket. "Partially."
McCoy collected the empty cups and put them in the recycler. He waited for Kirk at the doorway. "What other influence did she have on your life? Speaking French?"
Kirk grinned then laughed a little. "I'll never tell..."
McCoy grinned back. "I have ways of getting the truth out of anyone." He bragged half-heartedly. "I am a doctor."
Kirk started down the corridor first, slowing his pace until the doctor caught up. "She never used drugs to get the truth out of me." He stated with a sigh. He stepped into the lift, programmed in the levels then looked to McCoy. "She is going to be so lonely." He looked to the carpeting wishing he could fix this for her.
Captain Kirk nodded to the med-tech that was on duty as directions were given to him. He smiled then headed down the corridor. One hand held a wrapped gift and the other held a bouquet of lilacs; appropriated at a great expense. He lifted the flowers and smelled them. "Worth every credit as well."
He stopped in front of the door that held the name he was looking for. DuMonaire, Michelle. He cleared his throat and braced himself for what he would find in there. McCoy had reached the medical staff here and found out her condition, the prognosis and arranged for permission for him to visit.
He tucked the book he had bought her under his arm, then smoothed his tunic. He pushed open the door and stepped in quietly. The room was dimly lit and she was, as McCoy had said she would be, immersed in a regeneration tank. Severe chemical and fire burns over sixty percent of her lower body. She would recover. She was in no pain or discomfort and she was awake most of the time. All very good signs, McCoy had added.
As he moved into the room a little further, her eyes opened and she looked his way.
"Qui est...? Jim." She smiled. "You came. I did not expect you to." She smiled even more.
Jim moved closer. Her body, from just under her arms down, was immersed in the thick gel.
Her arms lifted slowly towards him and he dropped the flowers and the book into the chair. He bent down to kiss her neck as she hugged him. He felt her hand moved into his hair and her grip tighten.
"Etienne. He is gone." She whispered in his ear. So softly and so full of pain. "One moment flirting with me and den a call came in and everyting went wrong." She drew in a short breath. "They fired on us. De shields would not go up. Mon Dieu, dey did not stop. Explosions, everywhere." She held onto him. "I remember 'earing him call me. Dat is the last dat I remember..." Her voice only a whisper. She touched her lips against his face. "It 'urts."
He saw the change in her face as she had reached to him and knew what was coming. He held her as tightly as he could. His hand cradled her head and he listen to her sobs. He adjusted his position so he could sit on the ledge that ran around the tank. He held her as best he could, gently rocking her and letting her cry. His tears mingled with hers after a time and he shared her sorrow. He whispered the words that needed to be said but offered no real comfort for her pain.
It had taken about an hour before she released her tight hold on him. A medical assistant had come in, twice to check her readings, nodded to him and then left without a word. She kissed his cheek then slowly laid back down. Her hand rested in his hand.
Jim brushed back her hair. He had not been prepared for her short hair. She usually wore her hair down, at least in school, and it had reached to the tops of her thighs. He had teased her one time about not needing clothes. He kissed her forehead.
"I smell lilacs." She smiled at him.
Jim reached to the flowers and unwrapping them for her. He placed them on the tray and pulled that over in front of her. He took her hand and placed it on the tray. He smiled when she did as her hand brushed the coolness of the blooms.
"Dey are purple? No?" She reached to his face then traced his lips.
Jim kissed her fingers and held them against his mouth for a moment. "Yes."
She drew her hand back then lifted the blooms to her face and drew in a deep breath, taking in the perfume of these flowers. "You tried how many places tis time?"
"Only four." Jim smiled then pulled the chair closer and moved over. He stretched the kink out of his back from being hunched over for so long. "Worth every surprised look and credit for the smile on your face." He had placed the book in his lap and was folding up the paper that was wrapped around the flowers. Bones hadn't mentioned that she couldn't see. "I was telling Bones how we met." He knew because of the way she looked towards him, not at him.
Michelle nodded. She remembered that he referred to his CMO by that name. "And what did he say?"
"He was surprised that you talked to me again."
"How could any girl not listen to tose eyes of yours." Michelle shifted slightly in the gel, her arms rested on the 'shelf' that went across the tank, her hands moved to the tray and the flowers. "And your apologies." She sighed. "I needed your shoulder for the tears."
Kirk cleared his throat. "Glad to be of service."
They fell into an awkward silence for a few minutes. Jim knew how important it was that she do the talking right now.
"Did you read de report?" She asked, her fingers playing in the coolness of the flowers. Etienne would always get white lilacs for special occasions and even had a lilac bush planted in the botany lab on the ship. She drew in a sudden breath. There was no vessel or bush left.
"Yes." He had used his pull and McCoy's to get copies of the official documents that were filed. More than half the crew had been lost. "Nothing could have been done to change what happened."
"Is dat said to make me feel better?"
"No. Just the facts as I see them."
"Good. Because I am not some fragile doll dat needs a protecteur."
Kirk grinned, her accent was getting thicker. It always did when she started to get emotional. He would tease her just to hear her voice. Pretend he did not understand what she was saying and then she would stomp off muttering in French and he would laugh. She would glare at him then threaten him with bodily harm. He would laugh, take her in his arms and more often than not, they would make love.
She was the one that taught him the difference between having sex and making love.
"Mon cher?" She looked towards him, her fingers still playing with the blooms.
"Oui." He grinned. That was the extent of his French, well that and 'Voulez-vous couchez avec moi se soir?' and that did not come up too often in conversation. She would tease him about it constantly.
"I will be out of de jel in two more days. Will you be here?"
"If you want me to be."
She nodded then brushed the tears from her cheeks. "Tell me about your Vulcan officer. Tell me about what you do. Tel me about anyting..." She held her breath wishing she could stop crying. "Do you buy books still?"
"As a matter of fact, I bought one today." Jim placed the book on the tray pushing the flowers aside for the moment. He watched her as her hands touched their way to unwrap the book. Her hands caressed the textured cover and her fingers ran along the lettering on the spine. He wanted to turn back time and have brought a slate and a reader instead.
"You have de time to read it to me?" She smiled at him. "S'il-vous-plait?"
"Are you sure you're up to it?" He began to unfasten his tunic, slip it off and placed it on the back of the chair. He moved to sit on the edge of the tank again then lay his hand on top of hers. "I can come back later after you have rested."
"You have not the time now?" Michelle wanted the company.
"Sure. I just don't want to tire you out." He adjusted his position so that he was a little more comfortable. "Need anything?"
"Just your company." She moved her hand to rest just above his knee.
McCoy walked through the medical center without a problem. No one questioned a Starfleet medical officer walking through the corridors of the Starbase sickbay. He came to the room and slowly opened the door. He was met by a gentle laughter and then Jim's lowered tone. He tapped on the doorframe.
Jim turned. "Bones, come on in." He stood.
McCoy was slightly surprised to see the two of them smiling. "Just wanted to check on you. Haven't seen you in three days and Spock has only heard your voice." He grinned. He looked to the patient. She had colour in her face that wasn't there a few days ago, according to the report and she was out of the regen bath.
"Bones. May I introduce Michelle." He grinned. "Michelle, Leonard McCoy."
"Enchante, Madam." McCoy lifted her hand and kissed the back of it, then winked at her.
"'e is a cute one." She looked back towards Kirk. "You said he was crotchity. 'e is not you know." She smiled then tapped the side of her bed. "Der is room for you 'ere, Docteur."
"How are you feeling?" McCoy couldn't help but be a doctor.
"Better." She looked down towards the bed. "De service is tomorrow. I will be up and around for dat." Her hand reached out to Jim; he held her hand. "Jim says 'e will 'elp me den."
"How are your eyes doing?"
"Better. I can see shadows only."
"Since when?" Jim tugged on her hand a little.
"You do not speak of it. I do not speak of it." She smiled at him then turned back to McCoy. "Do you want to do your medical duty and check dem yourself?"
McCoy felt himself blush slightly. "Not necessary."
"But if you wished to, do it. " She squeezed his hand. "Jim would stop worrying."
"Well since I have been invited to..." He reached to the medkit that had become a permanent fixture on his hip whenever he left the ship. He used the scanner, made a few adjustments and then nodded. "They were damaged from the heat. The swelling is going down. Keeping the room a little darker might help." He nodded at Kirk. "She'll be fine in a few weeks, a month at the most."
"Thanks" Kirk sighed.
"Has Jim told you of 'ow we would read in the 'ayloft?" She pulled her legs up slowly and Jim sat at the foot of the bed. "Or how I taught 'im 'ow to kiss?"
"How to kiss?" McCoy laughed. "This I have to hear."
"No you don't." Jim shook his head. "Not one bit of the stories."
Michelle laughed. Tomorrow would be time enough for all the tears and the hurt that she would feel. She held onto Jim's hand. "Jim was not shy."
"No." McCoy grinned.
"But 'e was... how you say... gauche. 'e did not know de correct way to treat a girl." She reached up and caressed his face. "And dose heyes of 'is.. oo la la." She did not have to see him to know he was blushing. He was never shy but he was one that did not like being talked about.
"You were just fussy." Jim countered with.
McCoy looked to the grin and how Jim's face was lit up. When they left here, he would ask why they didn't stay together. He folded his arms and laughed as Michelle continued to tell him about the very young Jim Kirk. This was good medicine for her, she would be able to deal with tomorrow a little easier.
Jim Kirk tapped on the door to Michelle's room.
He walked in and was surprised that she was not dressed. "Morning." He went to her side then kissed her cheek. She had been crying. "How are you doing?" She was wearing her robe and slippers but she smelled of lilacs.
She didn't answer him, but her foot started to tap and she clenched her jaw as she turned to face him. She shook her head. Her arms were folded across her chest and her fingers were dug into her arms.
He sighed then looked down at the carpet. There were no words that could take away any of the hurt she was feeling. He rested his hand on her shoulder then rubbed her upper arm. He used his fingertips to brush away her tears. "Did you eat this morning?"
She nodded. She felt as if she were dying.
"Did they bring your uniform?" He decided that just guiding her through it would be the best. He smiled slightly. "I don't think I've ever dressed you before..."
She shook her head. "De place dat you found de lilacs...."
"I ordered them at the beginning of the week." He smiled at her then brushed her hair back. She had to style it differently and he was surprised that even the short hair suited her. "They will have them ready and waiting at the service. Twenty, right?"
She nodded. They had talked at the beginning of the week about the service. She was still numb from everything that had happened and they both knew it was the best time to clear up the details. She had asked him for twenty blooms if possible... one for each year they had been together.
She was up before the sun was and she stood here until the sun did show up. Two hours she stood and waited for the sun to come up and her tears to stop. Her tears didn't stop. And the sun came up as it always did, as it always would. She cleared her throat. "In de closet."
He nodded then went to the sliding door and pulled out her uniform. He started taking the pieces off the hangers and laying them on the bed. He was just here to help if she needed it. "Do you want me to stay?"
"Oui." She turned slowly from the window then crossed to the bed. She untied her robe and carefully slipped on her pants. Her legs were still sensitive. She sat down on the bed for a moment. She watched Jim move to stand in the window. "When do you ship out?"
"Day after tomorrow."
"Can you arrange a tour? I have never seen a ship dat big." She sighed then slipped on her shirt. "Dress uniforms. For de best of times and de worst of times. N'est pas?"
"Seems that way." He turned back to face her. "Need some help with your boots?" He was moving before she answered. One boot was in his hand and he crouched down waiting to slip it on her foot.
She rested her hand on his shoulder. "Merci." She lifted her other foot and slipped it into the second boot. When Jim stood she held onto his arm. Her arms went around him and she buried her face against her shoulder. His hands rubbed her back.
"Come on." He spoke softly. "Don't want to be late."
She took a deep breath then reached for her tunic.
It had been the typical service. The funeral tubes were draped with a Federation flag that was folded with military precision and awarded to surviving family members. The tubes that were not being shipped home were sent out into space.
Michelle walked beside Kirk as they left the service. She held tightly onto the folded flag with Etienne's rank pin and honours attached to it. She had asked for one lilac bloom and Jim had tucked it into the flag. She reached to his arm then stopped. "I do not want to return to de room."
"Do you want to get something to eat?"
"Can we go on your ship?"
Jim nodded. "Sure. You won't see much.." He tapped her hand that was holding onto his arm. "Anything you want, Michelle." He turned down another corridor then headed towards the Enterprise docking bay.
Captain Kirk walked down the corridor, in his hand was a lilac bloom.
McCoy stopped him just as he started into his quarters. "Jim?"
Kirk turned. "Come on in." He had just seen Michelle off. The ship that was taking the Coronation crew home had arrived a day early. He was pleased because he was having a hard time with the fact that he would have had to leave her here. Kirk placed the bloom on the desk then ordered some coffee and a couple of cups. He placed everything on the desk then slipped off his tunic. "I had her promise to write or call often for a bit." He poured the coffee, handed one cup to McCoy.
"Why did the two of you break up?" McCoy had made a promise to himself to find out. "You two seemed as if you'd never lost contact with one another."
Kirk smiled. "I know. It's always been like that. Even that first day, we fell into a friendship without all that awkwardness. But as comfortable we were with each other..." He sighed. "There was never a passion." He smiled then chuckled. "Even that's not right." He thought about it. "We knew we were not destined to be together. But we had one great year and have a lifelong friendship."
"How was she when you left her?" McCoy sat back in the chair.
"Lonely." Kirk looked into the dark liquid then drank some. "She'll be okay. She's going to ask for a ground assignment but she not sure if she wants to stay on Earth."
"Does she have a place to call home?"
Kirk shook his head. "When they were not out on patrol they stayed in hotels. Michelle hates to cook." He smiled again. "She hates to clean as well." He finished off the coffee then filled both cups. "She asked me why I never married."
"And you said...?"
"I told her I had not found anyone that could compete with her accent." One of his reasons was so that he would not have to lose anyone the way she did, but he was not about to tell her that.
"I meant to ask you, what was the book?"
Kirk smiled. "Lady Chatterley's Lover." He sighed. "I read the whole thing to her. She told me the next time we get together she would read it to me, since it was written from a woman's perspective." He licked his lips. "I asked her if we were going to act out any of the scenes."
"And she said?"
"If we find a 'ayloft." Kirk grinned. He finished off his coffee then put the cup aside. "I am tired, Bones, so I am kicking you out. I need some sleep."
McCoy finished off his coffee. "Okay." He stood. "If you need to talk..."
The intercom sounded. Kirk reached over. "Kirk here."
"Captain, message for you on channel two. Personal from a Commander DuMonaire." Uhura sounded curious.
"I'll take it." He sat down then flicked over to the other frequency. He gestured for McCoy to leave.
"Jim? Es-tu .." She paused. "Can you talk?"
"Sure." Kirk glared at McCoy then grinned as he headed out. Jim leaned back in the chair and turned the screen slightly. "Miss me already?"
"You know I always miss my garcon gauche."
Kirk's smile widened. He was glad that McCoy had not heard that nickname. "Are you okay?"
"I will be, Chere. Tell me what you are doing?"
She was lonely and wanted someone to talk to. His 'nap' could wait for his next off-duty period. "Missing you." She laughed a little and he could tell it was an effort to. "I was just telling Bones about the book...."
Feedback cheerfully accepted, send to Gayle
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