Angelic Paranoia

Paranoidangel's Fanfic

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Don’t Talk to Me

Rating: General
Pairing: Unrequited Pike/Number One
Spoilers: Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach
Summary: After Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach, Una tries to talk to Pike.

At the first chime Pike took a sip of his drink and returned his gaze to Majalis, which looked peaceful from orbit. And it was on the surface. It was below the surface where the truth lay.

When the chime sounded for the second time he drained the glass.

Una commed him. “Chris, if you don’t open that door I’ll assume you’ve drowned in a whiskey bottle and open it myself.”

Although he knew she would make good on that threat he still waited long enough that she might have gone away. Of course, she was still there when he finally opened the door.

He gave her a smile he didn’t feel. “Drink?”

She stepped inside. He could have stopped her but it wasn’t worth the effort. “No, thank you.”

He knew she’d say no. She always said no.

She made herself at home on the couch and looked up at him with a worried expression. “Tell me what you’re brooding about.” As if she couldn’t guess after that debrief.

“I’m not brooding.” She didn’t argue, as he poured himself another drink and chose the chair beside the couch. He tried waiting her out, but he was never going to win that battle. He sighed into the expectant silence. “Alora told me the boy would die if I unplugged him. But what if that’s what he wanted?”

She shook her head. “You can’t know that.”

What she didn’t know – and he wasn’t going to tell – was that he’d thought about it himself. He’d seen himself paralyzed, unable to speak, and in pain. Did he really want to live like that? He didn’t know, but by the time he’d made a decision would he be able to communicate it to anyone?

“And wouldn’t they just find another child to plug in?” she asked, having no idea of what he was thinking.

He nodded and turned the glass in his hands. It meant that he couldn’t do a thing to help. Except for one boy, perhaps. Which wasn’t enough.

“You can’t help everyone, Chris,” she said softly. She knew him well enough that sometimes it felt like she could read his mind.

“I know.” He stared into his glass. He did know that, but it didn’t mean he had to like it. “The worst part…” He stopped to take a big sip of his drink. “The worst part of it is that their medicine might have been able to heal me, in the future.”

She laughed at that, and at his quizzical look explained, “Christopher Pike, thinking of himself for once.”

The trouble was he’d been thinking of himself far too much the whole time. Which is why it felt like Alora had betrayed him and lied to him. Which was the worst part also. He finished his drink, ignoring her raised eyebrows.

“You told Alora about your future?” She was back to serious again. “I didn’t think you knew her that well.”

“You jealous?” he asked in a joking tone. He’d been trying to keep the mood she’d attempted to start by laughing, but he instantly regretted it. She’d gone stiff and was no longer looking him in the eye.

After Talos they hadn’t discussed what feelings she may or may not have had for him. The Talosians had said she had fantasies about him, but they didn’t know humans. It was possible they were misinterpreting dreams.

However, he hadn’t wanted to ask. It was already awkward and had the potential to make things complicated. She hadn’t brought it up either and they’d ended up with a tacit agreement not to talk about it.

And now he’d talked about it. Her reaction was enough to answer the question he’d never asked. But right now, it wasn’t something he wanted to think about. Not with everything else going on.

“I’m sorry.” He found he couldn’t look her in the eye either.

“Don’t drink the whole bottle.” She’d gone as unemotional as a Vulcan. Which meant he was not going to get anywhere if he tried. So he didn’t try.

He didn’t move as she headed for the door. It was only once it had closed behind her that he put the glass on the table and hung his head. She’d come here for a pep talk. Discussing things with her always ended up making him feel better. But now she’d cut it short and left him feeling worse. And it was all his own fault.

Yet he knew tomorrow she would act like it had never happened. It would end up being another thing they never talked about.

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