Fandom: Star Trek XI/The West Wing
Spoilers: For the film.
Summary: President Bartlet requests the pleasure of a meeting with Captain James T. Kirk. (Sequel to This Is What's Next.)
Jim Kirk hesitated on the steps of the Palais de la Concorde in Paris, and stared up at the huge banner proclaiming the building to be the headquarters of the President of the United Federation of Planets. Admiral Barnett had drawn him aside immediately after the ceremony granting him Enterprise and told him the President of the Federation wanted to meet him. Which was great, but it had sort of slipped into the background of getting Enterprise reconditioned, going over all the work involved in getting ship and crew ready, and fitting in time to get to know his new crew better. And now here he was. It’s not like he was freaked out. Jim Kirk didn’t get freaked out. But he didn’t exactly deal well with authority figures, and President Bartlet was about as big an authority figure as you could get.
“Captain?” prompted the government lackey, who had met him in the shuttle bay beyond the Tuileries. Jim nodded absently, and continued up the steps, tugging at the bottom hem of his dress uniform top (not nerves, definitely not nerves). They waited in the large marble foyer as another anonymous governmental official checked Jim’s identity, and then a woman hurried over. Older than him, was Jim’s automatic assessment. Tall, short hair, kinda hot. He grinned at her.
“Hey,” he said.
“Captain Kirk?” said the woman, entirely ignoring the smirk. “I’m CJ Cregg, press secretary. It was good of you to join us.”
“Good of you to ask me,” said Jim.
She raised an eyebrow slightly as she gestured him to walk alongside her. “Not so much. Rumour has it you saved Earth from being destroyed, and we like that sort of thing round here.”
Jim smiled again. “Oh, one thing I’ve learnt is you should never listen to rumour, Ms Cregg.”
“CJ.” He followed her through the apparently labyrinthine layout of the executive offices of the President, past offices and meeting rooms and cubby holes. She pointed out various people as she went.
“And that’s Josh Lyman,” she added finally, nodding towards a man in the middle of a heated declaration. “Deputy Chief of Staff.”
“The Ascelians have only just finished a massive civil war. Their internal politics are unstable, they still hang people and, oh yeah, religious disputes accounted for 23% of all deaths last year. These people are not ready to be members of the Federation, Donna!”
“But, Josh, if you’d just look at the notes I made, you’ll see that they were occupied by hostile forces for centuries. It’s amazing that they’ve come as far as they have and I think with the Federation’s support...”
“Yeah, amazing. And when they’ve come even further and overcome religious intolerance and their habit of killing themselves and firing nuclear weapons at each other, then they’ll be welcome in the Federation.”
Donna frowned at Josh, accentuating the ridges down her nose.
“Josh’s assistant,” supplied CJ. “She escaped the Cardassians a few years ago. Just as well, frankly – someone needs to keep Josh in line.” She stopped outside a doorway, and nodded to the Andorian standing outside, who slipped away silently. “This is the Mural Room. The President will be along shortly.”
Jim stood by the old-fashioned fireplace, hands clasped behind his back, and went though his list of things to say. Thank you for the honour of inviting me. A pleasure to meet you. Couldn’t have done a thing without the crew. A credit to Captain Pike and Starfleet. The tragic loss of V---
“You know, I’ve often wondered if those damned dress uniforms are as uncomfortable as they look.”
“Pretty much,” replied Jim thoughtlessly, before closing his mouth with a snap as the President of the United Federation of Planets advanced on him, hand outstretched. “Sir.”
“Good to meet you, Captain Kirk. Thanks for coming over today, I know you must be eager to get back to San Francisco. You know CJ, of course, and this is Leo, my Chief of Staff.” There were desultory greetings, and Bartlet ploughed on.
“Terrible thing, what happened on Vulcan. I understand we have you to thank for making sure Earth didn’t go the same way.”
“Well, I just picked up where Captain Pike and Commander Spock left off, sir.”
“But it was your decision to come after the Narada.”
“And to destroy the ship. For which, I might add, we are all very grateful.”
“Thank you, sir. I will pass your thanks on to the crew.”
Bartlet beamed at him. He was shorter than Jim had expected, and a hell of a lot friendlier.
“You do that, Captain. Now, if you could only sort out the trouble brewing between the Klingon High Council and the Romulans, your work would be done.”
Jim shifted from one foot to the other. “I’m sorry about that, sir.”
Bartlet looked taken aback. “Sorry? Why? If it weren’t for you, neither we nor the Klingons would be around.”
Jim scratched the back of his neck sheepishly. “Right.” He pulled a face. “I’m just, y’know, trying to develop a more responsible attitude. They gave me Enterprise, you know, sir, while Captain Pike recuperates.”
“Quite an honour.”
“Yes. Yes, I know, sir.”
Bartlet clapped him gently on the shoulder. “But uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. You don’t need to tell me, captain.”
“No, sir. I don’t imagine I do.”
“So, on behalf of the entire United Federation of Planets, I would like to thank you for your efforts in the recent disaster. We are in your debt, Captain Kirk. Now,” he said, as they shook hands solemnly and the newsfeeders were herded out of the room, “let’s sit down. I heard about what you did with the Kobyashi Maru. I like it. I wish we could reprogram our enemies. Leo, are we working on that?”
“I’ll get a team on it right away.”
CJ sighed. “They’re joking. Don’t pay any attention. Or repeat it to anyone.”
“CJ!” Bartlet’s voice was indignant, and Jim grinned.
“With all due respect, sir, the Alpha Quadrant is on the brink of a massive war and I really don’t want the spark that set it off to be a rumour that the President of the Federation thinks ‘reprogramming’ other worlds would be a pretty neat idea.”
“You know what you are, CJ?”
“You are a spoilsport, CJ.”
“Yes, sir. And it just about breaks my heart.”
“Get outta here!” He flapped a hand and CJ smiled as she held out a hand for Jim to precede her.
“It was good to meet you, Mr President,” he said, and Bartlet nodded at him.
“You too, Captain. I look forward to you saving us again in the future.”
“Let’s hope we don’t have to.”
CJ led the way back through the offices, to be waylaid by someone waving a padd, and Josh Lyman sauntered over.
Captain Kirk, right? Josh Lyman. So, how’d it go with the President?”
“Fine. Thanks. Though I think he wants to find a way to reprogram anyone he doesn’t like.”
Josh considered this, head on one side. “Huh. Cool. We should totally do that. Why aren’t we doing that?” he asked CJ as she returned to Kirk’s side.
“I’m serious, CJ. How much easier would our jobs be if we could just get the Klingons and the Romulans to play jump rope together?”
Jim grinned. “He’s got a point, CJ. The galaxy would be a far safer place.”
CJ just glared. “No. You boys are a riot, but no. Captain, I hear a whisper of this outside these walls and I will be coming after you with a pulse cannon and very good idea about where to shoot it.”
“Oh, don’t you try that look on me, James T Kirk, Captain. I eat more charming men than you for breakfast.”
“And she enjoys it,” put in Josh.
“Josh, don’t you have anything better to be doing?”
“Right now? No.”
Donna’s head suddenly appeared from behind a glass partition. “He’s considering whether the Ascelians should be allowed to join the Federation.”
Josh scowled. “No, I’m not.”
“Consider it, Josh.”
“Donna, do we have to go through this again?”
“Yes, we do, right up until the point when you agree with me.”
“I’m not going to agree with you. You know why?”
“Because you’re wrong, and I’m right.” He turned away deliberately. “Hey, Kirk, I hear you once drove a vintage car off a cliff.”
Donna looked at him sharply. “Don’t get any ideas.”
“What? Do I look like I’m stupid?” Donna stared at him. He stared at her, then grimaced. “Never mind. Go and do some work, Donna.”
“Consider the Ascelians, Josh!” called Donna, heading down the corridor.
“Hey, how about I consider driving them off a cliff?” Josh shouted after her.
Donna glanced back with a pointed look. “You’re not funny, Josh.”
Jim was enjoying himself quite considerably – whenever he’d given any thought to how the Federation was run, he’d vaguely imagined old men in beards and women with serious hair, not this – but apparently not everyone felt the same, as a nearby door slammed open, and a Vulcan appeared. “Is it necessary that there be quite so much noise?” the man demanded. With his mostly bald head and bristling eyebrows, he almost gave the impression of being irritated without having to do anything about it.
“Tobin!” said CJ. “Come out and meet Captain Kirk of the Enterprise. Captain, this is Tobin, our communications director.”
Tobin narrowed his eyes. “I do not see how his presence can cause so much commotion. How do you do, Captain?”
“Good, thanks.” Jim waved a hand around him “This is quite some operation you guys have here.”
“Well, we are trying our best to run the Federation. A task that would run more smoothly without constant interruption.”
Another man, with dark hair and bright eyes appeared from behind him, and smiled. “We are trying to write the President’s address. It’s taking some time.”
“The threat has been defeated, thanks to the captain here,” pointed out Tobin. “It is illogical for people to be afraid.”
“Fear isn’t usually logical,” said the other man. He nodded to CJ. “You’ll excuse us if we go back to it. Captain, good to meet you.” He smiled directly at Jim this time, and Jim felt like this man, whoever he was, could see right though him. CJ just looked concerned.
“Don’t worry, CJ. I understand Tobin very well.” Sam disappeared back into Tobin’s office, the door closing behind them, and Jim glanced at CJ.
“Betazed. He’s very good at his job, and he helps balance out Tobin. Anyway, Captain, we should get you back to the shuttle. The Admiralty won’t be impressed if we delay you.” They continued on their way, back to the grandiose lobby.
“It was good of the President to invite me.”
“He’s a good man. And we are all in your debt.”
Jim shrugged. Maybe once he would have revelled in the praise, but they had come too close to failure, and too many people had died, for him to feel that way now. “Not just me. Couldn’t have done a thing without my crew.”
CJ smiled approvingly. “And I know you’ll pass our thanks on to them.”
They shook hands, and Jim watched as CJ once again entered the Palais. People came and went, some in pairs and groups, talking animatedly, some alone, heads dipped over padds. The familiar starry blue flag fluttered in the breeze. Jim stood a moment, and remembered the guiding values of the Federation: liberty, equality, justice, peace, and cooperation. Then he remembered that he was supposed to be meeting Bones, Scotty and Sulu for drinks, and he strode out towards the shuttle bay, the Federation flag flying behind him.
A/N: Fuckity rah! I cannot get this to go exactly right! Also, in my head, Leo is a seasoned Tellarite politician, but I couldn't write it in anywhere that didn't seem forced. And I know (I think) that contact with the Cardassians came later, but hey, it's canon in the reboot. And the ending is sort of cheesy. And, meh. Still.