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Turn Left

There's always a split second decision that changes everything in your life. You never know when it's going to happen, and that's why you always live in the moment. You know firsthand that life can tear all you hold dear away from you before you can blink, that you can be left alone and cold in the night before you even realize what's gone.

Like when your best friend, the only person you can say with absolute certainty that you love (and you can say you love him now, but you have to keep it in the present tense, because he can't be gone, he just can't), says he has to go. They're waiting for him. He's sorry.

So you put on your braveface. It's not his fault, he has his duties, and if you hadn't been such a little shit, you'd be off with him right now instead of hanging back because you're on academic probation. You shake his hand, one last touch, and order him to stay safe. It's the only thing you can do to keep the disappointment away.

It's not fair. This was supposed to be your dream together. The only reason he kept at it this long was because of you. Sure, he says it's because he had nowhere else to go, but you two had this unspoken way of communicating. You knew what he really meant when he said it. You agreed on the hilltop your first year here that one day, you'd be captain and he'd be your CMO. That was always the plan. Traveling the stars, even though he hated the thought of space. At least you'd be together.

But now that dream has been ripped to shreds. You're sitting alone in the room you two share, holding a blue uniform shirt that will never be worn again. Not by him, at least. Because he's gone. There were only a handful of survivors from the Enterprise, and he wasn't one of the lucky few.

You like to think that maybe, in another world, he stopped and turned back. Caved to the puppy eyes and pout you didn't know you were wearing. That maybe, he stayed and snuck back to the dorm with you, or somehow pulled rank and snuck you onboard. That maybe, if he had, he'd still be alive.

That doesn't change reality, though. Reality is still that the Enterprise met up with the rest of the armada in the Laurentian system. They were able to defeat Nero and save the world, but most of the fleet limped home with heavy casualties. Notably, on the Enterprise. It turned out that some commanders aren't very good captains, and cool logic alone isn't enough to win the day.

You sat on the edge of your seat, listening to every transmission you could find, trying to track his progress. You never stopped listening, not until you heard his name on the list of those killed in action. You still didn't believe it, though, not really. You wouldn't believe it until you saw it with your own eyes. So you dutifully lined up to claim the body. If nothing else, you could see him one last time.

That's when you got the news. There wasn't a body. He was sucked out a hole in the fuselage, thrown into the vacuum of space. They weren't even sure when or where it happened, just that it did. So now that means the last thing you ever saw of him was his back as he walked away.

That's when you quit. Because if you can't do it with him, you can't do it at all. It's now abundantly clear that you need him. Badly. And you can't do it alone. You did it alone for 22 years, and now that you've had a taste of doing it with someone else, you can't go back.

You don't just quit Starfleet, though. You pick up a hypospray, fill it with something you know he'd never approve of, and stick yourself in the neck. As the world quickly dissolves to black, you think for just a second, you can feel him again. Feel him laying next to you, with his arm around your waist, holding you safe and secure in a way that only he could. But then it stops. Like everything else.

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Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
laughter_now
Nov. 15th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh.

I don't normally read death-fics (for the very reason that they upset me, damn it), but this, in all its shortness, is so incredibly beautiful and sad and I'm somehow not regretting that I clicked this despite the warning.

You capture Jim's emotions beautifully, and it's such an interesting take on the question of what would have happened if Bones hadn't snuck Jim on the Enterprise.

It really got to me, and the language you used is beautiful. But poor Jim! As wonderful as the depth of his emotions is, that ending, while fitting this piece perfectly, completely got to me.

Just for the record, I only have something in my eye. Yeah. I'm not crying or anything.
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:26 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! He really is so very miserable without his Bones in TOS (TMP and Generations especially), I really didn't see a way around that ending.

No, no, of course not. And I didn't sob like a newborn while I wrote it, nooooo...
phoenix_ringo
Nov. 16th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC)
And I didn't sob like a newborn while I wrote it, nooooo...

Well if you didn't I certainly did when i read it...
tanzanick
Nov. 15th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
*wibble*


So sad!! Oh my god the angst!! It was gorgeous but it made me cry!!

I love it....and I should stop using so many exclaimation marks!!
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
But exclamation points are love!!! :D And thanks!
indigocat
Nov. 15th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
Good, but sad fic.
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Thanks!
samueljames
Nov. 16th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
Glad I've tissues beside me. Very well written and so sad. Poor Jim, to not even get to say a proper goodbye.
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Poor Jim indeed! I love how so very broken he is in the reboot.
dr_mccoy1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
GUH! This never stops hurting. /Every/ time I read it, it breaks me.
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
*huggles* Well, don't tell me to write angst and it won't hurt! :P
(Deleted comment)
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Awww, thanks! *hands tissue*
eclipse4815
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Wow.
I'm honestly crying right now. That was beautiful. I wish I could be more coherent, but this fic has reduced me to a blubbering mass.
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
I shouldn't be so thrilled with a reaction like that. I really shouldn't... Thanks!
royal_chandler
Nov. 16th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
This is so sad. I don't know how to handle it, I usually avoid the deathfics. Bones dying in the black that he so feared is incredibly heartbreaking. The only thing more heartbreaking is that Jim is left alone.

I'm so glad that this didn't happen (of course it didn't, there would be no movie!), however this is wonderful. Great job!
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
Thanks! I hated leaving Jim alone, that's all that seems to happen to him...
monkeyonthelam
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
I see you there, subtle Doctor Who reference.
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
You got me! I couldn't pass it up...
tonks07
Nov. 16th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
D': oh Jim. This is beautifully written.
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 05:59 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
shirozora
Nov. 16th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
I'm kind of just sitting here with my jaw unhinged and now my eyes are not tearing up and oh god the melancholy in this is just beautiful.
toboldlygo1701
Nov. 16th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you!!
melovetv
Nov. 16th, 2009 09:54 am (UTC)
Aww - now I want the Doctor to come and save the ..um.. doctor! Very well written though, just shows how easily things can be different. So sad with Jim waiting for the news, then waiting for a body and just not getting that closure.

Turn back Bones! Take Jim with you! :(
lizzie_marie_23
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
Oh god. I'm stunned and oh my god. I'm sorry I can't say anything more, but Jim... and Bones... and... oh god. I've read deathfic before but it's never made me cry like this. Great job. ;_;
swingandswirl
Feb. 1st, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
brb, in the corner bawling my eyes out.

Beautiful work, and such an aching look at what could have been.
secretsolitaire
Feb. 1st, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
*sniffles* Of all the painfully ironic ways for Bones to die... :-(
syredronning
Feb. 1st, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
I love well-done what-ifs, even if they break my heart like this one :(
laurenbrent
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
Now that I'm caught up on Doctor Who...
This story broke me on a whole new level. It is so very well written, though, I can't not like it... Even though it rips my heart out... :)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )