"Are you all right?"
Ensign Pavel Andreievich Chekov looked at the little boy with the tears in his eyes. His parents and world and mobility were all gone. He was plainly not all right.
"No. My leg braces ran out of power. I cant walk."
Chekov sighed, and grabbed the nearby wall to brace himself as he helped Peter Kirk up. "You know, those things arent recommended for long walks. You should be more careful."
"Yeah, but I wanna walk again."
Chekov helped him along, and nodded. "Then you know what has to be done. Grabbing the bars to strengthen your legs. Spinal massage. Swimming. The whole works."
A patient Christine Chapel waited to take the boy back. He turned and looked at the ensign. "Thank you, sir."
And Chekov would recall that little boys voice for years to come. No one on board had called him anything but Ensign or Chekov or even Pavel, on some rare occasions. Peter Kirk was the first, however to call him sir.2277
It was only by chance that Pavel Chekov had caught any of the fight. He was at the Academy on an errand for Captain Terrell. But having watched the young man take on twenty of his very worst tormentors, Chekov knew that the cadet was plainly not all right.
"No. They teased and pushed me, but Im getting punished, too."
Chekov sighed. "Then I suggest you not throw the first punch in front of so many witnesses. Also, apologizing to the first man you punched might make you look better to the Dean, and it might even make you feel better."
And when that soon-to-be former cadet emerged from the Commandant's office, Peter Kirk indeed moved gingerly toward him to apologize. The upperclassman nearly panicked. "Ke-ke-keep him away from me!"
Peter Kirk sat back down, confused. Pavel considered that as often as he had given advice that wasnt an order in nature, he had never really seen someone take it so seriously before. Chekov pointed at the door the cadet had hurried through. Both had slight smiles, despite the situation.
"You see? It did make you feel better!"2287
The prisoner had literally forgotten that the brigs force-field was there. In addition, his rage and snide quips had given way to an uncharacteristic silence. How had all this come to pass?
"No. I did stupid scummy things, and now Im going to jail."
He still hadnt gotten off the floor. Chekov drew his sidearm, nodded to his men, and dropped the field. It was almost sad when the prisoner made no attempt. He had surrendered in more ways than one. Pavel helped him back into the seat/cot.
"Vwell, you likely are going to jail, deservedly so, I might add. But Peter, even in the harshest of Federation penal colonies, you will find help for your pain. Take that help. You didnt always hate us or yourself. So take that help they offer. Drink it in, like water in the desert. Because the desert is where you are."
From behind the field, the prisoner shook his head. "I never hated you. And I try not to hate Jim. He just doesnt make it easy."
And at that moment, Chekov would have gladly quoted the laundry list of why Jim Kirk should be the one doing the hating, in this accused criminals case of very real crimes. The problem was, he found that for the first time, an unspoken sentiment of his had been seconded. He muttered, well away from the cell and its broken occupant.
"Da. He does not make it easy. Have a piece of the wedding cake. It wont help how you feel, but it may take your mind off of it for a while."2291
His back now fully healed, Peter Kirk put down the gift-wrapped package, his face beet-red. "No. I just gave a wedding anniversary gift to a man whos been divorced. And begging the chiefs pardon, but your silence tells me that maybe it wasnt all that amicable."
Chekov opened the gift, a stylized wrist exerciser made for those who had to use weapons constantly. "I like it. Besides, Ensign Kirk, this thing is truly unique."
"How so, sir?"
Chekov began to work a sore wrist and hand. "Simple, lots of people gave us gifts of various kinds when I got married. But this is the first one I get to keep!"
Peter Kirk smiled. "You didnt have to bring a piece of wedding cake by the cell, you know."
Chekov thought for a moment. "Cake? Cell? Oh, bozhe moi. Id nearly forgotten. Nyet. I did. That cake was a caloric nightmare for a chief of security. You did me a favor. Why do you think you only got three years?"July 22nd 2295
"Are you all right?"
The datapadd closed, and Lieutenant Kirk looked at his captain. "I am now, sir. They finally stopped coming around."
Chekov had nearly kicked himself. How some crew could misconstrue his instructions for Peter to aid the grieving Willis OBrien was beyond him. But now that was done with. Doctor Beals had an office, said captain to crew. They should use it, and not the Assistant Science Officers station, as their source for "increasingly less-than-friendly advice," as Saavik had wryly observed.
"You could have said something to me, you know. I do listen, on occasion."
Kirk shook his head. "Always. Youve always listened to me, Captain. From the very earliest times aboard Enterprise."
Chekov nodded. "Da, but at times Ive listened better than others. Plus, you have quite a few untapped talents. I sometimes get the yen to see them come out more. Thats probably where I stumbled. You need to be able to tell me when I have. So, in recognition of your loyalty and service, when we are in private, I wish you to call me"
Wincing, Kirk interrupted, "Youre kidding, sir!"
Chekov looked him in the eye, smiling. "Say it."
So it was that for the first time in his life, Lieutenant Kirk said a certain word to Captain Chekov. "Pavel."
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