gaila: g is for

STXI Fic: A More Imperfect Union (Gaila/Kirk)

Title: A More Imperfect Union
Rating: Teen
Pairing: Gaila/Kirk
Summary: Dishonesty and subterfuge are not a good basis for a relationship -- unless you're Gaila and Jim.
Notes: Originally written for medie at Fandom Stocking
Word Count: 2000

Read on AO3


When the silence on the bridge is too much to bear, Jim wanders down to Bones' office and stands silently at the door for maximum irritation.

"What?" Bones snaps.

Jim waits for Bones to take a sip of his coffee before he says, "I think Gaila and I are in a relationship."

Much to Jim's disappointment, Bones swallows his coffee with equanimity. "Hooking up is not a relationship."

"It is if you do it enough," Jim says. He honestly had no idea it would happen that way. Well, maybe some idea -- at the Academy, he'd made sure he never slept with anyone twice in the same month. Still, it's a shock to see Gaila's toothbrush in his bathroom every morning, and to know that it's there because neither one of them is sleeping with anyone else.

Bones is still flicking through his padd, only half-looking at Jim. "Don't think I can't recognize an excuse to tell me your latest sexcapades."

Jim settles into one of the uncomfortable plastic chairs in front of Bones' desk. "Tell me how long it's been since I've done that."

The answer is three months, exactly as long as he's been sleeping with Gaila. Of course, Bones is justified in doubting his feelings, so Jim isn't exactly surprised when he says, "That means absolutely nothing except that you've learned to recognize one sensible human boundary."

Jim snatches the padd out of Bones' hands and starts taps it against the desk. "Really, Bones, listen to me. I know what I'm talking about. I like Gaila, and we are in a relationship."

"Stop that racket." Bones snatches the padd back from Jim, who starts tapping a stylus against the desk instead. He can't help it; he's full of nervous energy and oddly disappointed. He didn't know what he wanted from Bones, exactly. A hug? A congratulations for finally manning up and admitting his feelings for another sentient being? Not constant doubt and dry humor, that was for sure.

Bones takes the stylus from Jim's hands, more gently than he'd taken the padd. This has the disconcerting effect of making Jim look directly into Bones' face, which he'd kind of been avoiding.

"Really, Jim?"

"Really, Bones."

Bones looked concerned. Not in the annoyed-concerned, you're-going-to-blow-your-damn-fool-head-off way, but sincerely worried. "Look Jim, if this makes you happy, then I'm happy for you. God knows you could use a little more stability in your life. But are you sure Gaila's the woman for that?"

"Hey," Jim says, not bothering to conceal his irritation. He and Gaila lie to each other for fun, and they're totally open in bed. She likes everything he has to suppress to be a good captain -- and a good human being, really -- and being with her makes him feel like he's actually okay the way he is. Of course an escaped Orion pirate slave is the woman for him.

Bones sighs. "I like Gaila a lot, Jim. She's fun. But she's a little fickle. She does what -- and who -- she wants." Bones' voice trails off into something that sounded suspiciously like, "I don't want you to get hurt," though it's hard to tell around all the gruffness.

"You know, a lot of people could say that about me," Jim says. He fills in Bones' reply automatically: Could and frequently do. Myself included.

Instead Bones fixes him with a hard stare and says, "Would they be right?"

Jim chuckles nervously. "I forgot about all that psychiatry training," he says, by which he means talking about feelings is hard. Bones stays silent, which is probably also psychiatric training, and Jim finally says, "No. They would have been right to say that about me before I became the captain of this ship, but not anymore."

"Okay then," Bones says, and his face shifts back to its familiar blend of annoyance and concern. Jim knows then that Bones is going to tell him what to do, and he'll be right, which might be what Jim had come here for in the first place. "If you want this thing with Gaila to work, do yourself a favor, take her out to dinner, and apologize for using her to beat the Kobayashi Maru."

"Right. I'll do that," Jim says, trying to pretend the thought had occurred to him before. How could it not have? He had lied to Gaila about his feelings so that he could beat a test, and now he wanted her to believe he really did care about her. That was going to be a problem.

***


Jim tugs and his collar and shuffles his feet. The dress shirt, which he'd had to borrow from Bones, doesn't quite fit right, and he feels like an awkward sixteen-year-old taking a girl to the prom for the first time. At least, he imagines he feels that way; he wouldn't actually know, since he went to prom by himself, completely loaded, and got suspended from school for the sixteenth time.

Beside him, Gaila sighs.

"I know it's not great, but it's the best Deep Space Two has to offer," Jim says. The white tablecloth is smudged, and quite frankly, the waiter could use a bath.

"No, the food is good," Gaila says around a mouthful of calamari. "I just don't get why we're not eating it naked in bed."

"You look great in that dress," he says, which sounds kind of smarmy even though he means it.

Gaila doesn't look appeased. "Do we have to participate in human dating rituals because we figured out we're in a relationship?" She shakes her head. "I'm sorry, that was inappropriate. I will engage in the customs of your people if it makes you happy, but I hope we can observe the customs of my people soon. Is that better?"

Jim shifts in his chair. "I don't know how to do this whole relationship thing," he confesses.

"Yeah, that's a little obvious," Gaila says. She's drinking the marinara sauce that came with the calamari in dainty little sips, and she cocks her head and asks, "Why are you acting so weird?"

Jim reminds himself that this can't be harder than negotiating a dilithium treaty with hostile space gorillas, and says, "I took you out because I did something wrong, and I owe you an apology."

Gaila's eyes narrow instantly, and Jim is suddenly reminded that she hijacked an Orion pirate ship to reach the Federation. He swallows hard.

"Did you sleep with someone else without inviting me?" she asks. "That would be very disappointing, especially if it was that cute girl on the bridge with the afro."

"Why would I have a twosome when I could have a threesome?" he asks, and Gaila looks mollified. "Also, you want to have a threesome with Ensign Kayiza?"

Gaila shrugs her shoulders. "Yeah. Don't you?"

"I don't sleep with bridge officers," Jim says, which is really a shame. He has the best girlfriend ever, and he's going to say something that will make her not want to talk to him ever again, which is also a shame. "That's not what I wanted to talk to you about," he forces himself to say. "I used you to beat the Kobayashi Maru, and I never even thought to apologize for it. If there's anything I can do to make it up to you, I would like to have the opportunity."

There, Jim thinks, that wasn't so bad. Bones would be proud. Hesitantly, he looks up at Gaila's face. She's laughing. Her little giggles quickly give way to wild cackles and snorts that make the other patrons stare.

"That, Jim? Really?" She waves a dismissive hand. "That was child's play. I mean, I was a little pissed at first, but I had to give you points for double crossing me. Most people couldn't. Anyway, I hacked your access codes as soon as you were assigned to the Enterprise, so I figure we're even." She sits down the empty cup of marinara sauce and licks her lips. "This stuff is really good. Can we take some more back to the ship?"

Jim blinks. "As your boyfriend, I find your hacking skills strangely attractive. As your captain, I need you to explain exactly how you got my access codes and what you did with them."

Gaila offers him her most lascivious grin. "I just got some toys for engineering, sir. I'll have a complete inventory for you tomorrow." He can see her fingers tapping on her communicator under the table, probably telling Scotty to come up with a suitably illicit list of spare parts.

"When you show me the still tomorrow, Lieutenant, it had better be fitted with the most advanced fire retardant system I have ever seen," he says. "And you can tell Scotty to stop manufacturing a fake list of 'toys' you bought."

He thinks he should also say something about how trust is important -- Bones would want him to -- but he can't help but admire her brazen subterfuge. It's exactly what he would do, or what he would like to do, if he hadn't somehow become the captain of a starship.

Gaila studies him appraisingly. "You're good," she says. "It's pretty hot."

"Show me how to think like an Orion hacker, and we're even," Jim says.

"You're on."

They spend the night doing computer code in their underwear, and Jim wishes he could keep his own secret captain's log: Stardate 2259.47. Beautiful, topless woman wearing hot pink thong teaches me how to hack anything.

If he'd known being in a relationship was this much fun, he would have done it a long time ago.

***

One month later

Jim wakes up in the middle of gamma shift, convinced that something is wrong. Beside him, Gaila's spot in the bed is cold; she'd gone to her shift hours ago.

"Lights on," he tells the computer, but there's no response, not even a flicker. He fumbles for the control panel by the bed, but it doesn't light under his touch. His communicator is dead, and the door won't open for him either. He's trapped. So he does the logical thing: he rams his shoulder into the door over and over again before he remembers that it's designed to repel specifically this sort of caveman-style attack.

His mind is whirring with all the things that could be happening to his ship when the Jeffries tube pops open and Gaila slithers out with a cat-like grace he's never seen before.

"Pirates," is all she says.

"Computer virus?" Jim pulls on his boots without waiting for a response.

"I've seen it before."

"And you left yourself a backdoor into the system when we patched the security code last month," he says, half accusatory and half grateful.

Gaila's eyes meet his in the dark. "I'm sorry if that hurt you. I don't know how to be sorry I did it. The thing you have to understand about me, Jim -- Captain -- is that I always leave myself a way to survive. That can't ever change. But I'll keep you and your ship alive with me." She tosses him a phaser rifle. "Are we okay?"

It's weird, he thinks, and flawed, but somehow it's enough. He brushes away a curl that's crept out of Gaila's pony tail.

"I don't want you to be anyone other than who you are. Now let's catch some pirates."
Aaaaaah you're everything I love about the ST fandom -- insanely solid writing and a commitment to representing all the awesome characters who got the short end of the stick in the movie.

I want a threesome with Ensign Kayiza too.
Absolutely great fic. Kirk/Gaila are one my favorite pairs - so right for each other in all their wrong-for-everyone-else ways.
This is unsurprisingly and delightfullly brilliant, and of all the ways I imagined Jim's apology for the KMaru going (including the ones I unsuccessfully tried to write) this was so unexpected I whooped in delight.

Plus, PIRATES. *cheers*
Delurking myself!
AAAAAH, okay, so you don't know me from Adam, but I'm one of those terrible creepers who goes through the entire contents of a person's fic archive without actually saying something because I'm too distracted by reading, but after realizing that I'd exhausted nearly your entire Star Trek collection (fell headfirst back into that fandom & cheerfully in love with Jim Kirk after watching a couple of fluffy kids' movies starring Chris Pine, BRING ON THE JUDGEMENT), I figured I should actually drop a note. Which is basically that I really love the care and thought you've put into all your characterization, which always rings true for me in your stuff, so thank you?

Also, Gaila and Jim are a wonderful, wonderful duo, and I love them here. I hope you don't mind me friending you? Along with my headfirst dive back into Star Trek, I've been looking for likeminded Star Trek people for my flist, so! /waves!