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Fic: Observations, Ch 225
Star Trek

He is exhausted.  I am exhausted.  I do not hold it against him that he has avoided the emotions associated with traumatic memories.  It is amazing that he has survived to this point without developing some major psychosis.

Jim sleeps while I am on the bridge.  After that conversation, he was drained.  I was drained.  But Nyota is getting some much needed sleep and time with Scotty, Sulu is in Sickbay going through physical therapy, and there is actual need for me to be on the bridge.  We are coming upon the ion storm, and while there should be no problems navigating and charting the phenomenon, I am loath to have a junior officer in command during such a situation.

I asked Dr. McCoy to provide some stimulant.  He yelled at me as Christine scolded him and injected me, an understanding look in her eyes.  Sometimes I believe that Christine Chapel is the only sane individual on this ship.  I do not know how she manages the stresses, particularly the stress of dealing with Leonard when he is particularly irate and irrational, yoga notwithstanding.

I had not intended to force Jim’s hand in that manner.  But I find I cannot regret it.  It is a relief.  I am not sure how much more the crew could have borne, despite Jim’s charade and pretense of normality.  The extent to which his mood and our interactions have come to set the tone of the ship is somewhat disconcerting.  If the crew were less emotionally invested in his well being, it would be much easier to run the ship.  It has been my observation, however, that being emotionally indifferent to the captain is impossible.  Everyone reacts to him—it seems to be written into his being.

I am no exception.  I find myself saying things, doing things, bearing things, that I would never say or do or bear, for this man.  How is it possible that he can set forth so many changes in me, simply by existing.  Jim need not do anything but breath, and he would still induce some response from me, be it exasperation or fondness or amusement.

He is not broken.  He is asleep.  So many of our crew have been hurt, yet we must continue our mission.  We deal with everything by whatever means we can, shifting the collective weight of emotional stress around the group to those who are most able to carry it.  It is exhausting.  Jim’s disappearance and silence have only made us that much more aware of how much we rely on him, not only as a leader but as the foundation of our confidence.  He has somehow always been able to defuse tense situations with a careless joke, a wide smile.  It was his idea to organize the talent show and after party as a means or relieving the accumulated stress of the year.  He organized the wheelchair basketball for Sulu, he still makes regular rounds with the crew to listen to their concerns.  Now—

These past shifts, it has been as Nyota says—la kuvunda halina rubani.  A vessel running aground has no captain.  I feel, everyone has felt, the ship running aground, because the Enterprise needs her captain.

He trusts me but he does not know what to do.  I am not sure that I know what to do.  I am not sure what that trust means—does it mean the full disclosure of the events that transpired while he was alone?  What does it mean to remember?  Will it be in a meld?  Will it be a matter of revisiting the past, falling into the neutron stars and experiencing everything again?  Will he choose instead to tell me, vocalize and organize the events through a narrative?  In remembering, does it mean that he and I will go through the emotions of that moment, or emotions of the aftermath?  Will he choose to distance himself again by looking at them without the emotional content?

When he says that he does not want to go back, what does it mean?  Is he totally immersed in the memory of the experience, or do the emotions feel amplified and uncontrolled?  What does it mean to remember trauma?  Why is it necessary to remember it at all?  He has done well up until this point by willfully forgetting.  Why does it fail him now?

Enough.  We will cross that bridge when we get there.  It does me no good to consider those questions here.  I will find no answers.  Perhaps there are none.

He is exhausted.  I am exhausted.  Jim sleeps while I am on the bridge.  I deal with everything by whatever means I can, shifting the weight of emotional stress away to deal with at another time.

For now, I must attend to my duties and wait.


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This is so intense that my body aches, and I'm grinding my teeth.

I remembered to breathe by the end, but it was a near thing.

My heart breaks for Spock.

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