DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2004 by Djinn. This story is Rated R.
Right Side Out Again (Inside Out Coda)
What if at the end of Inside Out, the beam out (and subsequent attempts) hadn't worked, and Kirk and Chapel were stuck in that alternate universe and left to figure out how to live in their doppler's lives? In this story, Kirk has gone home to Earth and Chapel stayed on the Carter with Spock and Kerr. This is about 4 weeks later.
Chapel stood at Kirk's door nervously. He wasn't expecting her. Might be in there right now enjoying a quiet dinner with someone else. She shouldn't just drop in on him, she knew that. But she didn't really care.
She rang the chime.
The wait seemed endless. What if he wasn't there? Then he opened the door. His smile was immediate and lit up his face.
"Hi," she said. "I was in the neighborhood."
"Come in then." He stepped aside, let her pass. Then he looked into the hall. "Where are your boyfriends?"
"On the Carter. I'm here alone."
"My lucky day." He grinned again, led her into the living room. "Can I get you something?"
She looked over at the table by an overstuffed leather chair. A glass of amber liquid sat next to an old-fashioned book. "Still drinking Scotch?"
He nodded. "As I remember, you like Scotch?"
She laughed. "You have a good memory."
"About some things, I do." He poured her a glass. "To unexpected visits."
They tapped the glasses, then he sat down in the chair. She settled into his couch. It was almost as comfortable as Spock's Deltan furniture on her Carter. She felt a pang for what she'd lost. The Spock in this universe didn't have the same furniture.
"How are you settling in?"
She shook her head. "I want to go home."
"I know." His voice was gentle. "Me too." He pointed to a lump of black fur she hadn't noticed sitting on the windowsill. "She'd like it if I went away and brought back the real Kirk."
"You don't seem like a cat person."
"I'm not. I don't think he was either. But according to the neighbor who feeds her when I'm--he's gone, she just showed up one day and moved in. He was apparently smitten. I'm not so taken with her, which is good, because she feels the same way." He shot her a crooked grin, as if in surprise there was a female he couldn't charm.
Chapel smiled. "It gets confusing, doesn't it? He and you, she and I. " She shook her head.
He nodded. "So much is the same. It makes it easier. But there are still days when I'm reminded that this isn't where I belong."
"I know." Christine felt a pang, looked down as she said, "I transferred off the Carter."
She nodded. It was harder to talk about than she'd expected.
"Chris, why? They loved you."
She shook her head. "No they loved her. I was just the next best thing."
He stared at her with concern. "I'm sorry. I thought things would work out for you."
She took a long sip of the Scotch; it burned all the way down. "Things haven't been doing that lately."
There was an uncomfortable silence.
Then he asked, "Did you...with them?"
"Oh yeah." She looked away. "I was okay until then. I should have been happy, but I was miserable. Something inside me, I guess. The fundamental difference between her and me is that she would choose that for herself and I can't. And I can't be happy living her life." She realized her hand was trembling, set the glass down. "The hell of it is that I know if she's with them both in my universe, she'll really be with them both." She could feel her expression turn sulky, resentful. "She gets it all no matter which universe she's in."
"Maybe not. Maybe they're different the same way you are and won't want it?"
"Randall will hold back. For a while. But Spock will jump at the chance. I know him too well by now. Spock might hope Randall would walk away and leave me to him. And Randall would, if I did that to him. But she'll be much more persuasive. She already thinks it can work. Because it did work for her."
"But not for you. You didn't enjoy it?"
She rolled her eyes. "Of course I enjoyed it. That's not the point. Pleasure ends, Jim, and then you're left in the middle of the night lying between two men you love and wondering how you got there. And how the hell you're going to get out."
He didn't say anything, just sipped his Scotch and studied her. "It's always sturm und drang with you."
"It does seem to be." She shook her head. "I couldn't stay on the ship and not be with them. It was too uncomfortable. I did try to back off and just be friends with them, but then I'd lose my resolve and for a little while I'd be happy."
"Maybe in time you'd get used to it?"
She'd thought that too. But each time she'd felt worse. "Enough about my melodrama. Don't you have a girlfriend?"
"I appear to have lots. None of whom mean a damn to me. Or him." He looked out the window. "I tried to find Antonia. She's married to someone else. I don't think she even knew who I was." He set his glass down.
"I'm sorry. I know you love her."
"I do. I wonder if the other Kirk ended up in my universe or in yours?" He looked over at her. At her shrug, he asked, "So what are you going to do now?"
"I got a teaching position at Starfleet Medical." She felt restless, stood up and began to pace. "I think it will be a good thing."
He nodded, watching her as she moved back and forth across the carpet.
She looked over at him, started to say something, then lost her nerve. His room seemed very small.
"Chris, stop pacing." He got up, carried the Scotch over to her. "Just say what you want to say."
She shook her head. It was too hard to say. She'd put him out of her mind and heart for so long. She'd buried him in her memories. Now he was back and she felt confused and guilty. She wanted to go home. She wanted to be with her Randall. To try to rebuild a friendship with her Spock.
And she wanted this Kirk to touch her. To kiss her and never stop.
She turned away. "I should go."
He reached out, stopped her. "Should you?"
She stared helplessly at him.
He dropped his hand and dipped his forefinger into the Scotch. "You don't have to go this time." He held his finger out to her, painting the Scotch onto her lips, watched as she licked the Scotch off. Another crooked smile grew as he held the Scotch out to her. "Make a choice, Chris."
She didn't move.
She felt as if she was drowning as she dipped her finger in his drink, held it out for him. He slowly sucked it, pulling and licking and igniting nerve endings she'd forgotten were in a finger.
She pulled away from him, sat down on the couch quickly. "We shouldn't."
"Why the hell not?" He sat next to her, pulled her to him. "We're not going home, Chris. Admit it to yourself."
He shook his head. "No. Embrace the second chance you've been given." He brushed her hair back from her face. "The second chance we've been given." He pushed her backwards. "Do you have any idea how hard it was not to do this when we were on the Carter?" He pushed up her shirt, slowly nuzzled the skin under her breasts.
She groaned, slid down the smooth leather so that she could pull his face down to hers. His kisses were nothing like the sweet embrace they'd shared on the Carter. This was the dangerous, heady passion she remembered from their time before.
He pulled her pants off roughly, pushed the shirt over her head and tossed it aside. Her underwear followed, and she lay exposed on the couch. He stared down at her, his smile a mix of pure lust and utter sweetness. He bent down, kissed her again, then began to move down her body. His lips fell on her neck, her collarbone, lingered on her breasts, sucking hard and making her cry out. Then he moved lower.
She bucked as his tongue touched her, as his fingers went deeper. "God, Jim. So good. Please don't stop."
He didn't stop. The pleasure crossed over her like waves. She came down but he still didn't stop. His touch was almost painful, her body made extra sensitive by the pleasure he'd given her. She tried to squirm away, but he wouldn't let her. His hands held her hips as she cried out again. His tongue worked her as the overstimulated sensation became unbearable. Just when she was about to push him away, he moved off of her, kissing back up her body, stopping to stare down at her.
"I never forgot the way you feel. The way you taste." He touched her lips. "The way you kiss me."
She pulled him down, kissed him hard. Pushing his shirt off, then the t-shirt he wore underneath, she moved on to his pants. She pushed them down his hips. He worked them the rest of the way off.
"I love you," she said, as she pulled him down, pulled him into her. She arched, throwing her head back. She had not forgotten either what it felt like to make love to him.
"Chris." He pushed her hair back as he thrust hard into her. "Love you." He kissed her again, moving almost frantically against her. "Need you." He cried out then, pushed himself against her hard, his body shuddering.
He eased his weight down on her, and she wrapped her arms around him. Good, it was still so good between them.
He nestled against her, his voice soft in her ear. "I hated leaving you there with them. I wanted to drag you away with me."
"You should have."
He kissed her. "No. I think you needed to find out if that life was for you. And I needed to accept that I'm never going to see Antonia again." He kissed her again, his lips gentle now on hers. "I love you."
She ran her hands down his back, her fingers lightly touching down on his skin. He shivered.
"God, no. It's good." He smiled, eased himself off her and pulled her up to cuddle against him.
The cat was glaring at them.
"I think she's jealous," Christine whispered.
"Let her be. I'm quite content."
He kissed her forehead, one hand running over her back, the other finding her breast. She shivered as his fingers began to tease her.
"Stay with me?" he asked.
"I don't mean for the night, Chris. Stay with me. Stay here with me."
"Live with you?"
He nodded. "We've wasted so much time already. I don't want to lose a second more."
She smiled, touched at how easily it came to him to be romantic. How honest he was in it.
"You'll stay?" he asked.
He smiled. "You bringing her stuff?"
"I left most of it on the Carter."
"Even the goddesses?"
She smiled. "No, I brought those. All except the Saraswati." Odd to think they'd never been together, that he'd never given her that here.
"What happened to the Saraswati?"
She looked away. "I gave it to a friend."
He nodded, seemed to
understand perfectly. "We could go
"Sad memories were better than no memories."
He smiled. "I never forgot about you. I tried to. But I never could."
"Me either. I love you." As they kissed, her stomach rumbled.
He laughed. "Are you hungry?"
"I'm starved." She laughed too, suddenly a little embarrassed to be sitting naked with him.
He kissed her on the lips. A sure kiss, one that promised more. Later. Then he rose and walked into his bedroom, emerging with a robe that he slipped around her, tying the belt loosely in front. "That should be more comfortable."
He pulled his own clothes back on.
"How come you're getting dressed and I'm in a robe."
"I'm not done fixing it yet." He pulled the robe back, exposing her skin, hiding nothing from him. Grinning wickedly, he said, "That's better. Gives me something to look at while I'm making dinner."
He turned away and she said, "Jim?"
He looked back at her.
"I presume this means that when I cook, you wear the robe?"
The smile he turned on was all the answer she'd ever need. In any universe.