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undo! undo!, [text] ctrl + z, 07

June 2015



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05, [Firefly] River, sad bunny

FIC: caught in the hands of fate

Title: caught in the hands of fate
Fandom: Star Trek (AOS)
Rating: PG (for mentions of genocide and death)
Word Count: ~840
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Winona Kirk, Jim Kirk; mentions of General Kodos, George Kirk
Summary: The tragedy of Tarsus IV as witnessed by Winona and Jim Kirk in a farmhouse in Iowa.
Disclaimer: Characters mentioned are used without permission and are trademarks of CBS/Paramount/Gene Roddenberry. I do not own them and am simply borrowing for my purposes. Also, title is from Martina McBride's song Concrete Angel, which I have no claims to. Please don't sue.

(pimped to st_reboot, startwek, tarsus_iv_fic, trekfics and where_no_woman)

there, but for the grace of God, go I - Proverb

Winona Kirk was tired. The kind of tired that went down to the bones, that came from too much work and not enough sleep. Unfortunately, her children never seemed to suffer from the same affliction. Jimmy in particular seemed to possess boundless energy. (She wished he could somehow share it with her.)

Today he exercised said energy by racing out to meet her when she reached home. This wasn't something he'd done with any regularity since he was still in primary school but Winona didn't worry. She knew her son, knew his guilty shuffle and excited bouncing step, and neither were present. Instead he just seemed-- impatient. (Hardly uncommon for a fourteen year old.)

As he dragged her inside, Jimmy babbled at a rate which her tired brain could not comprehend. "Whoa, Jimmy," Winona held up a hand, "slow down. What am I supposed to be looking at?" The question was out but the answer was staring her in the face even as her son pointed anxiously at the news feed.

The volume was off but images of emaciated people, of children with eyes that had seen too much and eaten too little, scrolled past. Winona picked up the discarded remote and unmuted the feed, her eyes never leaving the picture. "...here show the state in which the Starfleet relief workers found many of the survivors. The death count on Tarsus IV is estimated at over four thousand, although many of the deceased are still being identified. This massacre, apparently instigated by General Kodos, is being hailed as the largest tragedy in--"

Winona muted the television again, gaping openly at the screen. Tarsus IV-- she knew that colony; George used to talk about it sometimes. It was where his aunt and uncle had retired going on sixteen years now. He'd wanted both of their boys to spend a summer there learning the value of hard, honest work. (George had done the same during his youth, although they'd still been farming commercially for the Federation then.)

Jimmy's blond head poked into view as he perched on the couch and Winona's heart clenched. She'd never really considered sending Sam to them-- he'd been rebelling too much and she didn't want to burden the elderly Kirks. But Jimmy...

Squeezing her eyes shut for a moment, Winona focused on her breath. In and out. It helped very little.

Because Jimmy would have loved to go to the farm-- would have agreed in an instant if she'd given him the chance. But Winona was selfish. She hated the idea of coming home to an empty house, of letting her younger son go when the older had run off less than a year earlier for parts unknown. And it probably would've been this summer, too; George had done his turn just before starting high school.

It was too much. Winona reached over the back of the couch and hugged Jimmy to her chest. She needed this-- needed to know he was real. That he was here with her and not on Tarsus IV.

He looked up at her, confused. "Mom?"

Winona didn't trust her voice, so she just shook her head in answer. Thankfully Jimmy didn't object; he simply wrapped his skinny arms around her neck and let her hold him.

After a few minutes, her grip loosened and Winona took a few deep breaths. She released her son and forced a smile that was not even remotely believable.

Jimmy watched her carefully. "Mom, are you okay?"

Winona swallowed and nodded. "Of course, honey. But let's just," she took another breath, "turn this off for a while."

It was obvious Jimmy didn't believe her but he switched the feed off all the same. "Okay, Mom." Normally by this time, he'd head upstairs (if he hadn't already) but it was clear from his concerned expression that he didn't want to leave her alone. "Wanna watch a movie? Pop lent me some classics..." His nose wrinkled a little, but he still looked hopeful.

"Sure." Winona managed a much more honest smile, knowing her father's taste for screwball type comedies. She tweaked her son's nose, despite his indignant protests, and headed for the kitchen "You set it up; I'll make the popcorn."

Later, with Jimmy curled at her side snoring softly, Winona felt her heart ache again. She brushed some of the hair from his forehead-- he needed a cut, had done for a while now-- and let the tears she didn't shed earlier come. There were only a few but it was more than she'd cried in a long time.

Because this was her baby, her miracle. (The last piece of George she had left.) And she could've lost him. It would've been so easy. One different decision, one small change and he might've ended up hungry and alone-- or worse-- in that awful place.

And, for all that she loved the father of her boys, just this once Winona Kirk was grateful George hadn't been there to tip the balance.