Summary: All you've ever wanted was somebody to love you and never leave you. If the Universe won't let you have it, then you'll just have to take it for yourself.
Pairings: James T. Kirk/Khan Noonien Singh
Disclaimer: Nothing in this fiction belongs to me.
Warnings: murder, manipulation, creepiness, dark!Jim
Some that smile
And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear,
Millions of mischiefs.
(W. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar)
On Kronos, you hate yourself for looking – for the hot, dark twinge of attraction you feel deep in your gut. This is Chris' murderer, for fuck's sake! Have you no shame?!
But then you find out the secret of the torpedoes, find his sleeping crew and... well, you're not made of stone, nor a Vulcan, okay? You understand now, and then later that same twinge returns, while you watch him climb down the garbage exhaust.
It's not because his ass looks great in that spacesuit – no, really, it isn't. It's because in that moment, you realize just how far Khan is willing to go for his family: here he is, dealing with unfamiliar technology, following a man he has no reason to trust in a mad, dangerous scheme, and all for his family's sake.
There's nothing he wouldn't do for them, is there? He'd travel to the ends of the Universe, he'd lie, cheat, steal and kill for them... He'd never leave them.
The universe really has a twisted sense of humor. Here's everything you have always wanted, always craved, everything you were supposed to have with Spock but never will... and just when you had finally convinced yourself that kind of perfect love didn't exist, you meet its living, breathing incarnation in an enemy. You get to see it and know that it's not for you, you can't touch it, it'll never be yours...
Something twists and burns inside you – envy, hunger, lust, all sinking their fangs into your soul like poisonous snakes. In this moment, you hate his crew more than you ever hated him.
Then, when you storm the bridge of the Vengeance, Marcus pulls a phaser and Khan goes down, wounded. Next he aims at you, but Carol dives for Khan's fallen weapon and stuns him before he can pull the trigger again.
As you look down at the unconscious Augment, a plan starts taking shape into your mind – honestly, it's quite simple. If the universe is set to deny you, why shouldn't you take what you want?
You return to the Enterprise, where you learn of Spock's plan and it should touch you, really, that he cares about you enough to try to lie, but it's not enough, not anymore. For a moment, you're actually worried his plan will derail yours, but thankfully, all the engineering and medical officers were too busy worrying about the torpedoes to get a good look at the cryopods.
So you order everybody to stand down and get some rest, it has been a monstrously long day. The night shift officers volunteer to take over anyway, but you insist the Enterprise can survive with just a skeleton crew right now and they're all too exhausted to complain, even Spock. So, the only manned stations will be the bridge, engineering, sick bay and the brig. Since Khan's crew is still frozen and harmless, nobody thought to post security officers to the cargo bay.
The beauty of late 20th century technology is that it's 70% mechanical and, even if everybody keeps forgetting, you double majored in Engineering: there are at least 40 different ways they can be sabotaged, that's just what you can think off the top of your head.
In the end, though, you keep it simple: you fiddle with the life support system, make sure it will keep running for a little bit more before inevitably breaking down. The cryostasis will further muddle readings: there will be no way to say when the sabotage occurred, or when the Augments died.
Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, it's nothing personal. Or maybe it is.
You return to your quarters and sleep like a baby.
The next day, when Bones tells you Khan has recovered and is about to wake up, you have him placed in one of the unused guest suites instead of the brig – after modifying it accordingly, of course. You justify it by saying it's better to keep all prisoners separated and you owe it to Khan for his help, but actually you want him in a private, secure place when the tragedy is discovered.
When it finally happens – almost a full 24 hours later – your react accordingly: shock, anger, frustration and a hint of sadness... it fools even Uhura. Nobody suspects you.
You insist on delivering the news to Khan alone, over everybody's objections: you talk of privacy and respect, but the truth is, if there are other people, he'll try to control himself, mask his emotions, and you want to see him break.
At first, there's only silence; he stares at you without really seeing you, lost...then there's only savage, unstoppable rage. When he launches himself at you, when he punches you, you don't even raise your hands, don't even try to protect yourself or duck his blows – you just watch him scream and cry and completely lose it. Fascinating...
Naturally, Spock rushes in and “saves” you – just like you predicted he would. The moment he grabs Khan, all the fight suddenly goes out of him: he just lays there on the ground, arms wrenched behind his back, shaking like a leaf. Then he looks at you, and his expression turns to horror.
He's a better man than you'll ever be, because you don't feel any guilt – only anticipation, because he looks ripe for the taking right now.
After that, it's easy.
You make yourself a constant presence, more annoying than welcome at the moment but there nonetheless. When the trial starts, at first he's beyond caring: all he wants is death and he'd even let himself be buried as John Harrison to accomplish it, but you convince him to fight, remind him that he owes it to his crew not to let Marcus win – you don't even blush as you say that.
You fight for him publicly, relentlessly. You never tire of saying that Marcus is the real culprit with his blackmail and threats, Marcus who almost started a war, who caused Chris' death and even went so far as to have 72 helpless men and women murdered...
Marcus, of course, loudly proclaims his reasons and his innocence on the last charge, but nobody believes him, not even his daughter.
At best, it is believed that one of his underlings acted with his implied consent, or thinking they'd have his consent and who engendered that belief in first place?
When the trial and the subsequent media frenzy reach their peak, Marcus is found dead in his cell. Poison, the coroner's report says. The inquest can't determine whether he killer himself or was silenced by one of his former accomplices, but Starfleet decides he took the honorable way out and takes it as an admission of guilt.
When Khan hears of his death, he smiles – genuinely smiles. You wish you could tell him the truth, then: that no living being can threaten your crew and live, and being Iowa's only genius repeat offender has taught you a thing or two about the detention system.
Khan would understand, he would admire you for it... But no matter how tempting it is, it's too dangerous: Khan is a genius, too, and this is too far from innocent, idealistic Captain Kirk's morals. He might start asking questions and you haven't gone this far only to be forced to destroy the object of your desire.
After that, you get your first result: Khan's sentence. It's years in prison, yes, but not life and with access to therapy and grief counseling. Nothing too invasive. Some people were pushing for full brainwashing and there's no way in Hell you'd allow that: you want Khan, not a mild puppet wearing his face.
Khan goes without complaint, clearly expecting to be kept there indefinitely and not caring one bit. He also expects you'll lose interest in him now that justice has been served – poor blind thing.
You are forced to scale back a bit, going from visiting in person to screen calls now that you're all back on duty and the Enterprise is almost ready, but you never stop.
The first year is not much fun – clinically depressed people usually aren't – but you persevere. Khan never refuses to your calls, either, even when you catch him at uncomfortable times (like that time he had just gotten out of the shower. That gave you jerk off material for weeks).
You have to make sacrifices, too: the 5 years exploration mission comes up again, and you could have it if you wanted, if you asked for it, but you don't. Let Decker and the Constellation have it, there will be others.
Eventually, routine and boredom start wearing down on Khan, and that's when you strike: get him interested in this century's technology, then get him interested in you. It's not that difficult, not when you can actually keep up with him, challenge him. You talk of literature and strategy, new discoveries and ship gossip, politics and food and alien civilizations – in short, of every topic in the galaxy.
Slowly, Khan starts returning to his old self – well, not quite as he was before. He's still stubborn, passionate and proud, but there's a new sense of vulnerability about him. You've never wanted him more.
The Enterprise gets border patrol, then, just when the Klingons are acting up again and isn't that just perfect? You show up for your weekly calls with a black eye, a bloodied lip, and watch Khan's eyes linger on them. Laugh them off, joke them off when he asks, as you'd do anyway, but with him, it only underscores the fact that you're a fragile human surrounded by – how did Bones put it? – disease and danger.
One day you don't call at all.
You're not actually that bad off, but Bones insists on keeping you overnight anyway and you don't fight him much, just ask him to inform Khan that your call is postponed. Bones grumbles he's not your social secretary, but he does so anyway, firing off a quick message that will be more alarming than reassuring in its brevity.
When you call the next day, Khan is frantic with worry and not even trying to hide it and it's a rush, a triumph. You've done it, you've reached your first goal: he cares about you.
Weeks later, when you lose two Security officers (not part of the plan, that's never part of the plan!) and you open your call with a sincere apology for your less-than-companionable mood, he comforts you, and what was supposed to be a few minutes' call just for courtesy's sake ends up being an hour long.
When his allotted time for personal calls runs out, he curses, unwilling to leave you. You end up reassuring him he helped you a lot, you're already feeling a bit better – and that's truer than he'll ever know, only not for the reasons he suspects.
You've truly chosen well.
Once you're back from patrol, you get shore leave – which you use to see him in person, and his reaction to your visit will keep you warm at night for months to come.
After that, all the new missions are well within the borders of the Federation; you manage to visit him more often, but it's not enough, for both of you: he worries about you, what will happened when you're sent back to deep space, and there's talk of another 5 years mission.
During one of such visits, he tentatively broaches the subject of Admiral Pike, and his role in his death – starts by saying there is no way he can ever atone for that, but you interrupt him and with three simple words (“I forgive you”), the ties binding him to you tighten.
He believes you, too, and that's just too sweet for words...
It's time to move again. You convince him to write about his crew and, more importantly, publish their stories: not only this serves to humanize Marcus' “weapons,” but also reinforces their status as helpless victims in the public eye – and raises the question of Khan's imprisonment again.
It takes a lot of covert maneuvering, but Khan is finally considered rehabilitated and offered not one, but several positions as Starfleet consultant.
He chooses the Enterprise. He chooses you, and you could dance down the street and scream it from the rooftops, but you just limit yourself to a bright, surprised smile – and Khan smiles back, small and shy but definitely there.
One the moment of euphoria passes, you start worrying because this is the most uncertain part of your plan: what if your crew doesn't accept him? What if Khan doesn't like it? Or what if he likes it too much, finds somebody else he likes better? What will you do if he falls for a member of your crew?
But your crew follows your lead – even Spock, however begrudgingly – and Khan loves it here, the two of you seamlessly working together like you did against the Vengeance, as though you never stopped.
Khan is cordial and polite to everyone, gets along especially well with Scotty and Chekov, but you're still his only close friend, the only one he constantly seeks out off duty. There are a thousand other little things too – the way his body is constantly angled toward you, the way his eyes follow you whenever you enter the room.... You've got your hooks so deep in him, he'll never break free from you.
The only unforeseen problem is Ensign McGyvers: she and Khan end up discussing 20th century history a little too often for your tastes. She tends to moon over Alpha males and Khan might be a little too broken for her tastes, but... well, the sight of them together in the mess hall, heads bowed over a book or a PADD, makes your blood boil.
A few words in the right ears and an extremely tempting offer comes her way: a comparative study of the history of the civilizations of the Alpha Quadrant, and it comes with a promotion to Lieutenant.
She's off to Starbase 3 withing the week. You know she and Khan will keep in contact, but it doesn't bother you: their relationship will forever be stuck at the friendship stage and that's all that matters.
Happiness makes you careless, though, and Bones notices a lot sooner than you thought he would. Worse, he corners you in Sickbay and starts asking leading questions about Khan and how you feel about him.
So, you break – or at least pretend to: after the usual attempts at deflection, you admit your attraction to him, claiming you feel guilty about it because of Admiral Pike and besides, you can't risk ruining your hard-won friendship, especially when Khan trusts you.
Bones, surprisingly, is very understanding – he even encourages you, pointing out the way Khan looks at you. That gives you pause, because Khan has always looked at you – has something changed without you noticing?
It's possible, but for the moment you won't push your luck. You do promise Bones you'll consider his words, since you're going to do it anyway.
Shortly after that, the Constellation disappears: Starfleet Command sends you to investigate, and once you confirm its loss, tasks you with finishing the 5-years mission.
It's a dream come true: deep space, and Khan at your side. Not quite the way he should be, but you'll get there.
In fact, you decide it's time to start planning again: this is the most difficult part and it might take a while to come up with something. How can you make Khan fall in love with you?
If it was just a matter of courting, you'd know what to do: you've gotten to know him pretty well, you have months worth of dates, years worth of presents all lined up and none of that will matter if he doesn't love you first. You can hardly ask him to give you his heart (and body, mind, and soul) in exchange for a real, paper copy of Shakespeare's complete and annotated works, even though you know he'd love to get it back.
Besides, you're saving that one as your wedding present.
In the end, it turns out you didn't have to do anything because Khan kisses you first. Okay, it's a bit more complicated than that: it involves shore leave, a day spent wandering museums, a gourmet dinner , a walk to the hills above the city to watch the stars and a seemingly out-of-nowhere speech about how good you've been to him and how grateful he is for your friendship. In retrospect, you really should have suspected this was a date, but it doesn't matter because Khan kisses you first!!!!!
You kiss him back, kiss him again and again until his lips are red and swollen and throw your head back and laugh at the sky, deliriously happy.
You've done it. You've got everything you wanted: your ship, several stars to steer her by and finally, finally Khan and all his love.
For that night, you don't do anything else. You take things slow, especially when Khan reluctantly admits he's a virgin – okay, only when it comes to sex with another man, but you can't have everything, now, can you?
Besides, he's so delightfully innocent... Helping him discover his kinkier side is the best fun you've ever had. Sometimes you have to push him a little, but not too much, no, never too much.
He belongs to you now and you always take of what's yours. If you break him down, if you make him cry, it's only to build him up again.
In the meantime, you keep exploring: some missions go well, others...don't. You face Klingons, dangerous planets, all-powerful beings, even the ghost of your past, always together.
Khan lies, cheats, steals, even kills for you and all the love poems, all the love songs ever written in every single language of the galaxy cannot compare.
Every day by your side, every night in your bed, and it's so good to watch him in both situations, knowing he'll never, ever leave you.
He'd die for you. He'll die with you if you have your way – and you will, but there's time for that. You've never been in any situation so dire you (or he) couldn't find a way out, but it has to happen some time – the heroic sacrifice, the doomed last stand.
It's the whole reason Starfleet hired you, isn't it?
Although some nights, as you watch him sleep, you wonder what would happen if you told him the truth – if he knew the man he loves, the man he fucks, is actually the one who murdered is beloved family, and all because of him...
It would break him, it would kill him, but sadly, all scenarios also end with him crushing your skull with his bare hands as he did with Leonore Karidian/Kodos.
Still, it's a thought. You're in no hurry to die, but if he ever tried to leave you... Then it would be worth it.
You press a light kiss against his temple, then settle down to sleep with a smile on your lips.