to grasp stars in your hand

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by templemarker

Notes: For the Fusion Challenge on star_trek_flashfic, sneaking just under the West Coast wire. For marcolette, who is a ridiculous enabling enabler. The challenge was to fuse two universe, and because I am on the crack, I fused American Idol with Star Trek XI. God help us all.


Kris Allen had gone into Starfleet after watching the terrifying spectacle of a Romulan drill careening into Earth, nearly destroying it like Vulcan just before. He was sitting in his mother’s house, eating roast chicken and thinking about work the next day and smiling at his best girl, when the alert came over the wire and everyone scrambled to see what it was.

He had watched the battle live from the feeds, watched the metal fall screechingly into the San Francisco Bay, watched the pride of Starfleet take on this enemy greater than anything he could ever have thought up, and went to his PADD and filled out an application then and there.

Kris worked hard, pushed himself, made Ensign by third year and was assigned to the Enterprise upon his commission. Katy had said, “I can’t follow you there,” and his father had been proud but worried and his brother had wanted to follow him in. Kris hadn’t known much, before the threat of hostile forces became apparent to everyone with a pulse, but he knew this: Starfleet was what he needed to be doing.

On the day before he was due to be activated on the Enterprise, he was sitting for a routine physical on Starbase One, swinging his feet against the biobed. He was going over the planned upgrades for the navigational systems he’d be implementing, trying not to notice all the other hominids in this wing of the sickbay. He wished they’d give him his black undershirt back. It was brand new.

“I thought they had height regulations in Starfleet,” came a teasing voice across the room. Kris came back to himself to see another human-looking male also undergoing a physical, black hair hiding half his face and freckles dotting every available surface.

Kris smiled tentatively, rewarded with a broad one from the guy in turn. “It’s hard to enforce height regulations when non-hominid persons don’t conform to enrollment standards,” Kris pointed out. “They threw those out when the Andorians from Septa continent started enlisting.”

The guy laughed. “I know, I was just breaking the ice,” he said, flipping his hair out of his face with a practiced move. “If your bed monitor isn’t lying, I bet I saw your name on the incoming crew manifest for the Enterprise, right?”

Kris hopped off the bed and padded, barefoot, to the other bed. “Kris Allen,” he said, holding out his hand.

“Adam Lambert, Chief Petty Officer. I transferred from the Constitution,” Lambert said, smile still touching his eyes.

“Navigation,” Kris offered. “Everyone’s trying to get a spot on the Enterprise,” he said, pushing to sit next to Adam when he made room. “I’m still not sure how I got assigned to her. I was certain I’d be on the Hood.”

They watched the medical staff move from patient to patient, the tenor of the room never dropping from slightly harried importance. Kris fiddled with the fabric of his trousers.

“Are you worried?” he asked quietly. “I know Kirk has the best track record for pulling missions and being out in the unexplored parts of space. But I heard he lost twenty men in the last twelve months.”

“No,” Petty Officer Lambert said, staring straight ahead. Kris looked at the line of his jaw and felt something shift in his chest. “I’m not worried at all. Kirk’ll sacrifice himself before he’d endanger a crewman, and that’s the only kind of commanding officer I’m interested in serving.” His gaze flicked down to meet Kris’s, and he shifted back into good humour. “And I hear they have a pretty mean karaoke program in the rec lounge, so that’s a bonus.”

“You sing?” Kris said, raising an eyebrow.

Lambert’s face transformed into something lovely, and Kris felt that damn catch again. After Katy’d broken up with him he’d put his head into his books and didn’t look up for four years. Hell, he hadn’t felt that flicker at all since he was with Katy anyway, so it didn’t much matter in the scheme of things. He had a goal, and he worked hard at it, and while he’d never regretted enlisting, he’d been sad that he’d lost something in the bargain. Kris wasn’t much for self-punishment, but it had definitely been easier to go home and study instead of talking to people he didn’t like in bars he didn’t frequent.

“Damn right I sing,” Lambert said, grinning. “Give me your Etta James, your Queen, your T’panga of Vulcan, I’ll do ’em all.”

Kris couldn’t help but smile back. “My guitar was my major personal item,” he confessed, rubbing a hand along the back of his neck. “I gave up an extra tape library to bring it instead.”

Lambert’s eyes fell on him again, and this time when Kris shifted it wasn’t because he wanted to ask a difficult question. “I think we’re going to become friends, Kris Allen,” Lambert said, knocking his shoulder companionably. “What’s your rank again, Mr Starfleet Academy?”

“Ensign,” Kris replied. “Hey wait, how could you tell I was enlisted?”

The corner of Lambert’s mouth crooked up, and Kris was grateful the biobed was only attuned to Lambert’s vitals and not his own. “You have that fresh Academy graduate look about you,” he teased. “I can practically see the command stripes on your wrist, they go so deep.”

Kris shoved him a little, but laughed along, until a nurse came to herd him back to his biobed.

“Hey Ensign Allen,” Lambert said, causing Kris to turn his head. “Meet me at the Deck Ten Bar at 1800. I promise I’ll show you a good time.” Lambert tilted his head when the doctor pushed it, causing his hair to fall over his face, but he never broke contact with Kris’s eyes.

“Eighteen hundred,” Kris echoed, launching up to his biobed, trying to force himself back to baseline normal so his readings wouldn’t be off. And here he thought that getting assigned to the flagship was the troublesome part of his life; he was damn wrong about that.

2 Responses to “to grasp stars in your hand”

  1. paraka Says:

    Hi templemarker,

    I was wondering if you’d be ok with having this fic turned into a podfic? I won jaebi_lit’s podficcing services to raise money for help_japan (on LJ) and really love your fic. With your permission, I was hoping she could podfic this story.

  2. via_ostiense Says:

    Hi templemarker,

    paraka won an audiofic from me in help_japan, and the audiofic is available at amplificathon:

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