Fandom: Star Trek: XI
Rating: NC-17 (violence, disturbing/adult themes, consensual and non-consensual sex)
Pairing: Sulu/Chekov (includes non-explicit Sulu/OFC and explicit Chekov/OCs)
Warnings: Angst, Non-con and Dub-con (of the unsexy variety and not between Sulu/Chekov), and M/M/M with dual penetration. The sex scenes are mostly rapes of Chekov by OCs. It may be triggering.
Disclaimer: I do not own, and I wish this weren't so because I'd love to make Kirk/Spock canon!
A/N 1: So. This one took forever to write. I thought it would be about 5,000 words long at first. Obviously, I underestimated by just a little. Anyway, it’s done now, hooray! I love this to bits, but I’m happy to be able to move on to other things.
A/N 2: I have no idea how medically correct this is. I did my best to research everything I could, but some of the medical bits have fairly little information about them online. Sorry!
A/N 3: I can't write Chekov's accent to save my life. I did attempt to give his voice a flavor though by having him avoid contractions and having him use the conventional fandom "Keptin".
Summary: Chekov is Sulu’s best friend. He saved Sulu’s life, shares some of his hobbies, and knows him better than anyone. But Chekov is different now. Sulu doesn’t know what to make of his friend or if he’ll ever understand Chekov again.
Sulu is Chekov’s savior. He is Chekov’s best friend, the man whose memory keeps Chekov sane when he is sold into sex slavery, and the person Chekov loves. But the man and the memory are not the same. Sulu doesn’t love Chekov and now that Chekov has been ruined, he never will.
“Who do you trust, boy?” The slave leaned forward, pulling against the chain wrapped around her long, thin neck. “Who do you trust?”
Chekov didn’t bother to turn his head and look at the slave. That involved moving, and moving meant pain. “No one,” he whispered.
The slave settled back against the wall. Chekov could see the bones beneath the woman’s purple skin. He had never seen the species before he met the slave, so he didn’t know if being able to see the bones was a normal thing. He doubted it. The slave traders fed all of them the smallest amount of food they could. If Chekov looked down, he’d be able to see his own ribs. In a few more weeks, he’d probably be able to count them all.
“I’m impressed. Only took you two months to learn. Took me six to get it through my skull.” The slave cackled. “But I know it now, and I tell it to every new person they put in here with me. You can’t trust anyone!”
Chekov closed his eyes. He had told the woman that he trusted no one, but it was only to get her off his back. There were still good people out there. Chekov remembered them. Captain Kirk did anything he could to save his crew. He would come for Chekov soon. And Dr. McCoy might grouch, but he would make Chekov healthy again. Uhura would be instrumental in understanding the slave traders’ language and discovering where he was. Even Spock would use his logic to determine how to retrieve Chekov safely.
And then there would be Sulu. His best friend would never abandon him. When Chekov was feeling his worst, when a “customer” had raped him to near unconsciousness, when he hadn’t been given any food in two days, he thought of Sulu. Sulu would pilot the Enterprise right up to the slave trader’s ship. He would beam down, sword in one hand and phaser in the other, and kill every man who held Chekov down and forced him to do things. Sulu would gather Chekov close and order a beam-up. He would carry Chekov to sickbay himself and stay by Chekov’s side until Dr. McCoy forced him to leave.
Sulu would protect him and hover over him for weeks until Chekov would be ready to scream. Except Chekov wouldn’t scream because the worrying would always be better than the raping, and Chekov didn’t even scream for the worst of the bastards.
Chekov trusted Sulu. His best friend would come save him. Chekov knew he would.
“Does anyone else think that moon looks a bit obscene?” Kirk asked about a moon that looked a bit like a human butt.
Sulu turned to Chekov, wanting to laugh at the Captain’s weird statement with him. Then he remembered that Chekov wasn’t the navigator anymore.
Two months. He hadn’t seen his friend in two months. This first month hadn’t been unexpected; the Enterprise had been spacedocked for some repairs and upgrades. The month-long shore leave had been well-earned. Everyone fled the ship to spend some time lounging on Earth.
Chekov had said he was going home to Russia for most of the month. Sulu had protested—he wanted to spend some time with his best friend in San Francisco—but Chekov was barely eighteen and he had missed his mother terribly during their first six-month long mission. So Sulu let him go without too much of a fuss.
And he never came back.
Sulu didn’t know Chekov’s mother’s name or how to contact her. Chekov didn’t reply to any of the transmissions Sulu sent through Chekov’s Starfleet account, nor did he reply to the messages Sulu sent to his personal account. The captain said Chekov never contacted him when Sulu asked. Uhura, Spock, even Dr. McCoy… no one had heard from Chekov. Sulu had no idea why Chekov hadn’t come back. He could only assume that Chekov decided he wasn’t cut out for space travel after all.
It hurt that Chekov had abandoned him. He thought they were friends. Best friends. But apparently Chekov had never felt as close to Sulu as he had felt to Chekov.
Sulu glanced back down at his console. It didn’t feel right to pilot the Enterprise without Chekov by his side. He wondered if Chekov would ever try to contact him.
Chekov started screaming at the end of five months. He was skin and bones now, and no respectable customer wanted him. So he was given to customers who made the rapists seem like they had made love to him.
These were the kinky customers. They liked chains and whips. They liked ball gags and butt plugs. They liked nipple clamps and cock rings. And they really liked using them without consent and causing pain.
Once upon a time, Chekov had liked a bit of kink in his bedroom. Chains could be fun, and his first boyfriend had put a pair of handcuffs to good use. There had also been a judicious use of safety words.
Now the sight of any kind of toy filled Chekov with terror. The butt plugs were too big and tore him apart. The customers used the ball gag to shut him up then whipped him until he bled his way into unconsciousness. The nipple clamps weren’t too bad, until a customer tightened one too much and ripped a whole nipple off. And safety words didn’t exist.
The worst was the cock ring though. For the cock ring to work the way the customers wanted, Chekov had to enjoy what they were doing to him. The fact that it was only physical pleasure meant nothing. Chekov didn’t want to orgasm. He didn’t want his body to like the things they did to him.
He kept screaming for seven weeks. Then some men decided they wanted two slaves at once, so they could have an orgy. Chekov didn’t learn this until he was dragged into a cell where a young girl was already being ravaged. Things happened quickly after that. Chekov’s underwear, the only piece of clothing he was allowed to wear, were ripped from his body. The men took their time with him, stretching his ass slowly and poking at his prostate until Chekov was erect. Then they added the cock ring, shoved a dick in him from both ends, and proceeded to violate him.
Chekov tried to hold back the screams, but they came anyway, drowning out the laughter of the men. And when they finally took off the cock ring and forced him to come, the screams were louder than ever.
The men abandoned them in the room when they were done. Chekov did not bother to check the door. He knew it would be locked. It had taken four months for him to break the habit of checking for unlocked doors. Now he saved his energy. The slave traders would leave them in the room until the next customers arrived. If Chekov was lucky, the slave traders would leave him in there until the next evening. If he was really lucky, he’d even get food. He closed his eyes and imagined the food: just gruel and water, but so much better than the gnawing hunger pains.
He calmly opened his eyes again when something touched his shoulder. He wasn’t expecting it, but unexpected touches had stopped shocking him months ago. The slave girl was sitting next to him.
“Are you alright?” she asked softly.
Chekov sighed. “You must be new.”
She tilted her head to the side. The slave traders had chopped off her hair; it hung down to her chin in uneven clumps. “What makes you say that?”
“After a few months, you realize that nothing will ever be alright again.” Chekov closed his eyes again. Her big blue eyes seemed too innocent. “They will fuck the life out of you. They will take away your soul.”
“Not if I do not let them.” She radiated warmth beside him. “The mind is a powerful tool. If you do not let them reach your soul, they can only destroy your body.”
It sounded lovely. Everything had sounded lovely in the early days. He had told himself that if he did not scream, they could not hurt him. He told himself that no matter how they made his body feel, they could never destroy his mind. But then he realized that six months had passed and no one had come for him. No one would ever come for him. They had stolen him off the streets of San Francisco during shore leave. Everyone probably thought he had simply gone home to Russia, afraid to face space again. No one was looking for him.
Chekov opened his eyes. “They will break you soon. Six months. At six months, we are thin and ugly. Then they give us to the bad ones.”
She laid a soft hand on his face. It was warmer than a human hand should be. “I have been here a year and a half.”
Chekov scoffed. “You lie.”
“Let me show you.” The fingers on his face moved. “My mind to your mind,” she whispered. “My thoughts to your thoughts.”
Images flooded Chekov’s mind. He was surprised to discover that the girl was a Vulcan. Her ship had been captured by space pirates when she was fourteen years old. The older Vulcans had been killed and the younger ones had been sold into slavery. She had not seen or heard from the real world in two years. She would not know about the attack on Vulcan then.
In his mind, Chekov heard her gasp. His memories of the attack bubbled up, pulled out of his subconscious by her. Then he felt her emotions rolling over him. Sadness and anger, the likes of which he had never faced, enveloped him. My planet. My people! echoed in his head.
She fell out of his head then and scuttled away from him. “I had always assumed that when I escaped I could return home. I never thought there would be no home to return to.” She covered her eyes with her hands.
Chekov felt bad for having destroyed her hope. He was amazed that she still had any. “There is a home for you.” He tried to give her back as much hope as he could. “They have colonized a new planet, named it New Vulcan. You will be most welcome there.”
When she drew her hands away from her face, Chekov expected to see tears on her cheeks, but her eyes were dry. “Then I must help rebuild my race.” She nodded slowly. “It is good that I met you and discovered this now. It will increase my desire to escape and help me retain my sanity.”
Chekov wished he had a reason to remain sane. “How do you do it? How did you last this long?” His mother in Russia would be fine without him, if sad, and Starfleet had navigators available to replace him. Chekov wanted to believe that people would miss him, but hope lay in that direction and hope led to disappointment.
The girl pointed to her head. “Vulcan meditation. I do it while I am being… used. It keeps me from thinking about what is happening.”
“How do you empty your mind during that?” Every time they touched him, it was another reminder of what had already been done to him. He tried to ignore what they were doing, but the pain made it impossible.
“Vulcan meditation does not rely on clearing the mind. Instead, we focus on one thing, considering it from all aspects.” She ducked her head shyly. “I choose to focus on my bond mate—my fiancé, in your terms. He was sold as well. I know he is still alive, for I can feel him in the back of my mind. I focus on him and imagine what we will do when we escape.”
“He is here?” Chekov asked.
She looked up at him. Her lips were ever so slightly turned down. “I do not know. I have not seen him since we were sold.”
“I am sorry.”
“There is nothing to be sorry for.” She looked around the room, as if searching for a window. There was none. “It is getting late now. We must sleep.”
Chekov nodded. “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, Pavel Chekov.”
He glanced at her. “My name…?”
“It was in your mind. I am T’Plen.” She laid down on the floor, the only bed the slave traders provided. “Consider meditating. It will make things more bearable.”
“Alright.” Chekov closed his eyes. He hoped this would be a day of rest for once. “Goodnight, T’Plen.”
Chekov woke up when they came to take T’Plen away. They said nothing to each other as she left. Talking amongst the slaves was not allowed. Chekov hoped she continued to stay hopeful. She was a sweet girl. He did not want her to end up like him.
A customer came in for Chekov soon after. Chekov scrambled to his feet to face the man. He was a Klingon. The man had weapons strapped at his waist, and one of the slave traders had brought in a chest of bondage toys.
“You are disgusting.” The Klingon snarled at him. “Still covered in the fluids of others, they dare to present you to me? You are filth, and I shall cover you in it.”
Chekov watched the man disrobe then closed his eyes. At least the Klingon wouldn’t use the cock ring.
When he felt hands grab his arms and twist them behind his back, Chekov thought of what T’Plen had said. He couldn’t forget what was happening to him, but he could focus on something else. As rope was wrapped around his arms, Chekov thought of the Enterprise. He was forced to his knees while he was imagining himself on the bridge. The Klingon shoved his cock into Chekov’s mouth, but Chekov was navigating by then and navigators did not have cocks in their mouths.
A scenario played out in his head. A Klingon warbird was attacking the Enterprise. Chekov was busy working with Sulu. They shared the duties, locking on and shooting the warbird in turn. The shields were steady, but slowly being forced down. Chekov looked for a way to escape and saw it. If they hit the warbird’s flank, they might damage the ship’s starboard nacelle. The warbird would be unable to follow when they fled.
As if Sulu had read his mind, he locked on and fired. Chekov began to lock in a course before the reports even came in. When Sulu announced, “The enemy has been disabled,” Chekov steadied his hand over the final button. When Kirk called, “Take us out of here, Mr. Chekov,” Chekov pressed the button.
“We are already gone, Keptin.”
The crew relaxed slowly, the threat of attack left in their stardust. Sulu grinned at Chekov, and Chekov smiled in return.
Kirk pumped his fist in the air. “Yes! Great job crew! And just in time for shift change.”
Chekov laughed because that would, of course, be the first thing that came to Kirk’s mind. The captain was never really off duty, but he knew the rest of them looked forward to shift change. Chekov began to set things up for his relief.
By the time the ensign arrived in the turbolift, Chekov was set. He passed off the controls, waited for Sulu to hand over the flight controls to his relief, and then both of them headed for the lift. Sulu grinned at him when they got inside of it. “We did awesome today.”
“We did! Your maneuver was perfect!” Chekov couldn’t hold back the happy laughter inside of him.
Sulu just kept grinning. “It was only because I had your help with the lock-ons. You are the king of lock-ons, I swear.”
The lift arrived at the mess hall and Chekov headed straight for the food synthesizers. “It was nothing,” he said then added, “Fried rice with pork, please. Oh, and a fortune cookie!”
Sulu made a face. “Have you ever eaten real Chinese food?”
Chekov picked up his rice as it materialized in front of him. “This is not real?” he teased. The food was real and edible, but not authentic.
Punching him in the shoulder, Sulu said, “When we go home for shore leave again, I’m taking you home and making my mama cook real Chinese for you.” He turned to the food synthesizer. “Two slices of pizza with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, sausage, pepperoni, and extra cheese.” He grabbed his pizza when it arrived and then they moved to a table. Chekov went back up to get drinks and Sulu got the utensils, and then they both settled down to eat.
“I thought you were Japanese,” Chekov said before he took a bite of rice.
“I’m half Japanese, a quarter Chinese, and a quarter Filipino.” Sulu took a minute to eat a bite of pizza. “Though, if you’re going by where I was born, I’m pure-blooded American.”
“Ah, I see.” Chekov opened his fortune cookie since he’d eaten a few bites of food. It was bad luck to open the cookie before eating, but he could never wait for the end of the meal, so he compromised. “You will go on a long journey,” he read aloud.
“…in bed,” Sulu added.
Chekov just rolled his eyes. “You do not have to say that after every fortune.”
“Yes, I do!” Sulu laughed. “Anyway, considering you are on a long journey, that’s kind of anti-climatic.”
Chekov shrugged. “It is still fun.”
“Don’t you get the same fortune every time? I mean, everything else comes out of the synthesizers completely identical.”
Chekov tried not to smirk. “They used to always be the same, but then I reconfigured the synthesizers. There are now one hundred possible fortunes. Plus, the fortune cookies also come in chocolate!” It had been hard to create scans of the molecular structures of one hundred different fortune cookies. Then Chekov had to create a subroutine in the computer to allow for random selection of any of the cookies when the general request “fortune cookie” was made. Then he had repeated the process for “chocolate fortune cookie”.
“And let me guess… you didn’t ask permission before hijacking the synthesizers either.” Sulu shook his head. “It’s a good thing you’re on Starfleet’s side. If our enemies had got you first, you’d probably be able to bring down the entire Federation by programming all the food synthesizers to spit out nothing but fake Chinese food.”
“No, no. I would use Russian food!” Chekov nodded seriously. “I would make it so the only thing people could eat was Borscht. And I would give you nothing to drink but vodka. You would eat until your stomachs were ready to burst and then you would drink yourselves to death with vodka.” Sulu burst into laughter. Chekov chuckled along with him. They spent the rest of the meal eating and talking.
Chekov let whole conversations play out in his mind. He imagined things Sulu would say to make him laugh. He pretended they had all the time in the world to sit in the mess hall talk about anything and everything. And when Chekov finally came out of his mind, the Klingon was gone.
His body was sore. He had been whipped and the Klingon must have used one of his weapons because Chekov didn’t know where else he could have got bruises shaped liked stars. Chekov had felt none of it though. He had buried himself far enough inside his mind that the Klingon hadn’t been able to touch his soul, just like T’Plen said.
For the first time in over six months, Chekov smiled.
Sulu looked around the briefing room. Captain Kirk had received orders about a new mission and asked them all to join him in the conference room to talk about it. Sulu had no idea what the mission was about, and nobody else seemed to know either.
Uhura, Spock, Scotty, McCoy, and Twilit were seated around the table with Sulu. Kirk looked around the room when he entered. Apparently satisfied that everyone had arrived, Kirk took the seat at the head of the table. “I know you’re all wondering why I called this meeting,” Kirk said. “It’s because I’ve received orders from Starfleet about our next mission. This is incredibly confidential, and what I say must never leave this ship. Do you all agree to maintain your silence?”
Sulu nodded along with everyone else.
“Very well.” Kirk took a deep breath. “Starfleet has been tracing a slave ring for six years now. They only just managed to place a spy in the ring. The spy has sent Starfleet the coordinates where the slave traders’ ship will be in three months.”
“Why three months? Why not now?” McCoy asked.
“Partially because the slave ship is stationed far out in the Beta quadrant and it will take us that long to get to it, but also because we need to train operatives to go in undercover and rescue these people.” Kirk sighed. “These aren’t just any slaves—they’re sex slaves. We’re going to have to look like a pretty rough group if we want to get access to them. In fact, Starfleet has ordered us to pretend to be renegades from the law. Starting tomorrow, we are officially on the lam.”
Twilit frowned and his antennae twitched. “Why are we going to so much trouble to stage a rescue mission?”
Sulu knew he was gaping, but he couldn’t stop. Really, how could anyone ask that? These people needed to be rescued, and so the Enterprise would rescue them. It was as simple as that.
Twilit was an idiot. Yeah, the Andorian was one of the best navigators in Starfleet, but the man was fucking stupid. Of course, Sulu was also judging him against Chekov, and there weren’t many people who were as smart as Chekov.
Sulu propped his chin up with his hand. Uhura was scolding Twilit for being stupid now, which meant Sulu had plenty of time to think. So he thought about Chekov. He still hadn’t heard from his friend. It had been seven long months, but there hadn’t been any word from Chekov. Sulu felt abandoned. Sulu still tried to get in touch with Chekov, sending him a note every other week. He didn’t understand why Chekov wouldn’t reply to him.
He was starting to lose hope that Chekov would ever contact him.
Sulu was startled out of his thoughts when Kirk suddenly growled. “Enough! We’re going to rescue these people because they deserve to be rescued. Period.”
Twilit nodded. “Of course! I never meant to imply that we wouldn’t rescue them. I was just wondering why we had to go to such lengths to do so. Couldn’t we simply attack the ship and beam the slaves aboard?”
“The ship’s decked out with high-grade military features that we could never hope to defeat. They have transporter dampeners installed and the spy has informed us that the ship is set to self-destruct if capture seems imminent.” Kirk crossed his arms. “The head honcho of the ring doesn’t stay on the ship, so he’d rather kill hundreds of innocent people and his crew than have us get a hold of them.”
Sulu let out a whistle. “Hundreds?”
Kirk nodded. “Hundreds of men and women of every alien species you can imagine. That’s how they caught Starfleet’s eye—they’ve been attacking Federation ships, killing the older passengers and taking the younger passengers on board as slaves.”
Uhura shook her head. “All those poor people…”
“Exactly.” Kirk stood. “And now that you all understand, I need you to hold down the fort while I talk to the rest of the crew. Nearly every crewperson is going to have to take part in the rescue mission, which means all of us are going to have to learn how to act like the kind of people who would solicit prostitutes.”
The meeting adjourned quickly and Sulu took over the conn so his relief could attend the meeting in the mess hall. He did not envy Kirk having to explain to the entire crew that they were now deserters.
The repercussions of this act would be huge. For the slave traders to get the news that they had abandoned Starfleet, the whole Federation would have to hear about it as well. Sulu couldn’t even imagine what his mother would say when she found out. And he wouldn’t be able to tell her what was really happening until it was all over.
Chekov soon lived primarily in his fantasies. He didn’t think that was what T’Plen meant when she described the meditation, but it was so much easier to live in his mind than in the real world.
He spent most of his time on the Enterprise. Sometimes he imagined going home and visiting his mother, but there wasn’t much to imagine when it came to his home. When he thought of the Enterprise, he imagined all kinds of strange adventures. It kept him busy, thinking up things for the crew to do.
His favorite storyline evolved slowly. Chekov always wanted to be braver. He was smart, but his intelligence made him cowardly. Chekov considered how each move he made would affect his next actions, and it slowed him down and made him afraid to do anything. In his brain, his actions didn’t matter and it was easy to be brave.
The fantasy began with Chekov and Sulu on an away mission. The planet they were on was uninhabited and seemingly only had plant life. Sulu was excited and babbling on about every plant they saw.
“Oh! Look! This is a climbing vine. I’ve never seen one with orange leaves before. I wonder if they’re the plant’s flowers, and not actually leaves.” Sulu stooped down to grab the plant. It released a puff of orange pollen into the air.
Chekov laughed when Sulu turned around and wrinkled his nose. “Your face is orange, Hikaru!"
Sulu sneezed. “Ugh. I should know better than to touch random plants by now.”
They returned to cataloging the plants and landscape. As navigator, Chekov had to map sections of the planet in each of its climates to provide a base upon which the computer could extrapolate the foliage and landform coverage of the planet. The forest climate they were currently in was pleasant. They were scheduled to visit the tundra the next day, and Chekov was not looking forward to it.
Sulu grumbled but kept going. He wiped most of the orange pollen from his face, but the remainder smeared on his face as he sweated, and he kept sneezing violently. Chekov offered to return to the ship for medical treatment, but Sulu insisted that he was fine.
As they walked, the sky grew dark above them. Chekov did not notice the gathering rain clouds until they opened up and poured down on them. There was no cover in the forest except for the trees. Chekov chose the shortest tree he could find and led Sulu to it. Lightning crackled above them and Chekov cursed. The Enterprise wouldn’t be able to beam them aboard if the air was filled up with ions.
He turned on his communicator anyway. “Chekov to Enterprise. Can you beam us up?”
Uhura’s voice greeted him. “Sorry, Mr. Chekov. Scans are showing too many ions in the atmosphere. You’ll have to wait for the storm to clear.”
“All right. Chekov out.” They couldn’t beam and the shuttlecrafts couldn’t fly through lightning storms. They were trapped on the planet.
Sulu sat on the ground next to Chekov. His head lolled to the side and he looked like a rag doll.
“Hikaru? Are you all right?”
Sulu moved his head a little, as if he was trying to shake it, but it mostly just flopped around on his neck. “I don’ feel good. Head’s dizzy.”He sneezed again and his whole body shuddered. “I think I’m allergic to tha’ pollen.”
Chekov wasn’t sure what to do, but he knew that he needed to get the pollen off of Sulu. He yanked off his shirt and held it out in the pouring rain until it was completely soaked. Then he gently wiped all the pollen off Sulu’s face. There were orange stains on his nose and cheeks that wouldn’t come off.
Sulu started shivering and wouldn’t stop. “So cold,” he murmured. His eyes closed and he slumped against the tree. Chekov didn’t think Sulu could move.
There was nothing Chekov could do except try to keep him warm. He curled up next to Sulu, wrapping his body around Sulu’s. The rain wasn’t letting up. He rubbed Sulu’s hands and arms to generate heat. Shifting Sulu gently, he tried to use his body to shield Sulu from the worst of the rain.
When Chekov first heard the sound, he thought it was just a strange thunderclap. Then it came again, closer, a deep rumble just behind Chekov. He spun around and found himself face to face with a giant cat. The cat had fierce claws and long eyeteeth, like the extinct saber tooth tiger on Earth. Chekov slowly moved Sulu behind him and tugged his phaser from his belt.
The cat growled and swiped a paw at him, but it was too far away to reach him. Chekov set the phaser to stun and fired. The blast hit the cat in the head, and it fell over dead. Chekov felt badly—the cat was only trying to eat or protect itself, it didn’t deserve to die, and Chekov only wanted to stun it, but stuns were notoriously off when it came to animals—but he didn’t regret killing the cat. He had to protect Sulu.
The phaser in his hand gave him an idea. There was no dry wood in the area thanks to the rain, so Chekov couldn’t start a fire, but if Chekov blasted a few rocks with the phaser on stun, it should warm them up. Chekov made sure that Sulu was alright and then he left to go find some larger rocks. There were a large number of rocks the size of his head nearby. Chekov carried them over to Sulu one by one. When he reached Sulu, he set the rock to the side, blasted it with the phaser, and checked to see how hot it was. If it was touchable, Chekov set the rock next to Sulu. He didn’t let the rocks touch Sulu, just in case they were warmer than they seemed. Extended exposure to moderate heat could burn human skin.
By the time the rain slaked off, Sulu was surrounded by rocks that Chekov warmed every once in a while with his phaser. Sulu was no longer shivering. “The rain is slowing,” Chekov said. “We’ll be able to beam onboard the ship soon.”
Sulu’s head flopped in parody of a nod. “‘Kay.”
Chekov stood and pulled Sulu up with him. Sulu sagged into his arms, and Chekov wrapped an arm around his waist. Chekov tapped his communicator on. “Chekov to Enterprise. The lightning is over and we are getting soaked. Please tell me you can get us out of here.”
Scotty’s voice jumped out of the communicator. “We’re still reading high levels of ions in your area…”
“Sulu is hurt. He needs medical treatment.” Chekov stared at the sky. The dark clouds were clearing rapidly. “Please send down a shuttlecraft with a med team.”
“I’m on it,” Scotty promised and ended the transmission.
Chekov led Sulu over to a large patch of grass that had some sun on it. Their clothes were soaked, so he stripped off his undershirt and helped Sulu take off his shirt and undershirt. The grass was damp, but the ground was warm, so he laid Sulu down.
Sulu squirmed a little in the sunlight. “It’s warm.”
“Good.” Chekov peered up at the sky. Average response time of a shuttlecraft was fifteen minutes. The rain itself lasted for thirty-five minutes, but the time they had to wait for the shuttlecraft stretched out endlessly before them.
Once the shuttlecraft landed, Dr. McCoy scrambled out of it. “What happened?” He loomed over the two of them. “Mr. Sulu, what did you do to yourself now?”
Sulu didn’t answer. His mouth fell open and he puffed out a little breath.
Chekov brushed a finger across one of the orange stains on Sulu’s face. “He touched this plant and it poofed orange pollen into the air. The pollen got on his face and he ended up like this.”
McCoy’s medical tricorder was out in a flash. He knelt down to run it over Sulu. “Heart rate down to 46, apparent bradycardia. Body temperature down to thirty-four degrees Celsius.” McCoy prodded Sulu in the side. There was no reaction. “Reflexes and nerve sensations diminished.” He pried open Sulu’s eyelids. “Pupils abnormally contracted.” He sat back on his heels and waved a hand at the crew members exiting the shuttlecraft. “He’s in shock. We need to get him back on the Enterprise as soon as possible.”
Chekov helped McCoy tug Sulu up and they helped Sulu walk over to the shuttlecraft. McCoy and two nurses prepared hyposprays for Sulu while Chekov strapped him into a seat and the pilot readied the craft for take-off. Chekov took the seat next to Sulu, even though he knew it made more sense for the doctor to sit there. After a few hyposprays, Sulu was looking a little more alert and Chekov grabbed Sulu’s hand to reassure him that everything would be okay.
The nurses and McCoy took their seats and the shuttlecraft lifted off the ground. Sulu frowned. “I hate flying when I’m not the pilot. We could crash and I wouldn’ be able to do anything ‘bout it.”
His speech was still slurred, but it was the most he had said in an hour. Chekov squeezed his hand. “We will be fine. You are feeling better?”
Sulu managed to nod, but his head still flopped around a little more than normal. “I’m glad you were there.”
Chekov was glad too. He couldn’t even imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t been there. The cat could have gotten Sulu, or he might not have found cover and been hit by lightning. If he lost consciousness before he could call the Enterprise, the pollen could have killed him. The possibilities were frightening, so Chekov pushed them out of his mind. Sulu would be fine because Chekov was there to help him. Because Chekov didn’t panic and because he killed the cat and kept Sulu warm. Because Chekov was brave.
The dream usually ended with Sulu getting checked into sick bay and Chekov reporting to the bridge where Captain Kirk commended him for his quick thinking with the rocks. Chekov came out of the fantasy then, only to find a huge Orion buried inside him. His mind skittered away from the green skin and bald head and fastened onto what it had just been thinking of: Hikaru Sulu.
A new fantasy built itself in Chekov’s mind, one he had never considered before. Sulu was his best friend. He loved Chekov platonically. But what if that love wasn’t platonic? What if Sulu loved him passionately? His imagination took the images of the Orion and superimposed Sulu over them.
No! That wasn’t right. Sulu would never take Chekov that harshly.
Chekov imagined how Sulu would take him. There would be no pain. Sulu would use lube, lots of it. He would be afraid of hurting Chekov as he slid inside. Once he was inside, Sulu would go slowly, frustrating Chekov to the point that he would beg, “Faster, Hikaru. Faster!”
Sulu would make love to him, holding his gaze as they moved together. He would press kisses to Chekov’s cheeks, chin, nose, forehead, eyelids. He would hold Chekov close and whisper sweet words in his ears. He would bring Chekov to the edge of oblivion and then slip over it with him, their hands clasped together tightly as they fell.
Then afterward, Sulu would clean them off and cuddle close to Chekov. They’d have murmured conversations about botany and literature. Chekov would jest that every great thing ever made was invented in Russia and Sulu would pretend that everything could be fixed with a plant or a sword.
Chekov rose from the fantasy slowly. The Orion was gone, but Chekov wasn’t alone. There was a new client gearing up for him. This one was fondling a spiked cock ring.
The fantasy world washed up around him. Chekov didn’t bother to call to mind one of his storylines. Instead, he just thought of Sulu. Sulu always tried to protect Chekov from things like this. He refused to take Chekov to bars or clubs on shore leave until he was eighteen, and even after Chekov turned eighteen, Sulu wouldn’t enter the nastier places if Chekov was with him. Chekov didn’t mind though because Sulu never abandoned him to go hang out in a pub with his friends. Instead, he chose activities they could do together. He taught Chekov some of the basics of fencing and Chekov taught him some Russian in return. They spent time together in the greenhouse, Sulu working with his plants and Chekov working with his formulae.
Even when they didn’t spend time together, Chekov knew Sulu often thought about him. Sometimes Sulu would bring him a little trinket from an away mission, an interesting rock or a strange plant that Chekov usually killed within a week. And Chekov tried to be just as friendly, sharing his stash of Russian vodka, courtesy of his mother who understood what alcohol meant to a man, and taking the time to make sure Sulu’s PADDs and other electronics were in tiptop shape.
Chekov had seen his mother do the same things for his father when he was still alive. She hadn’t catered to his every whim, but she had always had a bottle of his favorite whisky stashed away. If he had a bad day at work, she would pull out the bottle and rub his feet while he drank a couple glasses and decompressed. In return, he would treat her to a night on the town when she was feeling run down and then he would do his best to clean the house for her, though she usually had to go along behind him and finish the job.
His parents loved each other terribly. His mother’s heart broke the day his father died, and Chekov doubted it would ever heal. And even after watching his mother suffer through the loss of his father, Chekov always wished for a love like theirs. He kissed his fair share of toads while at the academy, and never found a prince. Then he met Sulu and the need for a white knight to rescue him didn’t seem so pressing. Chekov liked spending time with Sulu and getting to know him. Even though Chekov was homosexual, he didn’t feel the need to consider Sulu as a potential suitor. Being friends was enough.
Chekov might have started to consider them more than friends though. He was never as close to any of his ex-boyfriends as he was to Sulu, and he never found a relationship so like his parents’ before. If Chekov had not been kidnapped, perhaps he and Sulu could have fallen in love. Perhaps he could have had the quiet romance of his parents.
The man finished. Chekov’s thoughts were barely on the surface of his mind as he fought exhaustion. Maybe he loved Sulu, just a bit. It was a friendly love, at least. As sleep pulled Chekov into unconsciousness, he wondered if he would ever see Sulu again.
The three months were almost over. The entire ship was moving about with baited breath now, waiting for the moment when Kirk announced they would be launching the rescue mission.
Sulu spent the three months tending to his plants and reading some Terran novels Chekov had given him before he disappeared. His mother sent him a message every day, berating him for staying with a bandit crew. Sulu hadn’t replied to any of them. He almost wished the three months would never end, just because he didn’t want to face his mother’s wrath.
The crew had settled into their roles. Even though they were officially renegades, they’d been mapping an unexplored sector of the galaxy for Starfleet. Sulu went on more away missions to explore new planets in the three months than he had in his entire prior year on the Enterprise. He kind of resented that Starfleet had, in essence, abandoned them but was still forcing them to work. He knew it was a waste of personnel to just sit in space for three months, but at least they were training! Would it really have killed the high command to give them a little time off?
Actually, the high command was pretty anal about shore leaves. Giving them extra time off might have given one of the geezers a heart attack.
They were finally completing their training though. A week or two more and they would be infiltrating the slave ship. Everyone on board had received combat training. Phaser targeting had been a mandatory class for all of them, and each person had been expected to learn a new method of person-to-person combat. Sulu had taught the swordsmanship class and taken the martial arts class.
Outside of combat, they all practiced their deception skills and ability to make decisions under pressure. Assignments for the mission had been made based on who came out of the psychological tests most intact. The lives of hundreds of people were in their hands, and every skill set they owned needed to be as sharp as Sulu’s katana.
Kirk was, unsurprisingly, the leader of the assault team. Their captain had proven, under a harsh battery of testing, that he was scared of almost nothing. Spock had the second lowest fear score. Most of the other crewmembers with low scores were members of security.
Sulu had scored surprisingly high for a pilot. He couldn’t help it though; when they had placed him in the artificial simulator, the first slave he met was a Human boy with big hazel eyes and curly hair like Chekov’s. The sudden fear that Chekov was out there somewhere, being held against his will, had frozen him long enough for the slave traders to “kill” him.
Sulu was prepared for the mission though. He was going to get those people out alive.
One day, Twilit leaned over the navigation console and asked, “Do you think you will make it out alive?”
The question irritated Sulu. Just because Twilit was Andorian and fatally allergic to phaser fire, he had been excused from the active fighting. He didn’t have to worry about anything except getting the Enterprise as far away from the slave traders as possible when the Captain gave the signal. “I’m not going to die in there, and I’m not going to let any of the slaves die either.”
Twilit had nodded. “Good. Andorians have always respected those who fight for honor.”
The statement had appeased Sulu, but it had also made him think. He wasn’t sure he would make it out alive. If it came down to it, Sulu would fight to the death to save those people and he was proud of that.
He brought that feeling into the classroom with him. When he swung his sword, he swung to hurt, to kill. He fought hard, anxious to bring his students up to par. He expected them to fight back, to want to win.
He expected too much. Out of a class of nine, there was only one person who tried to meet his expectations. Ensign Teresa Vargas was remarkable with both the broadsword and the short sword, but her real skill lay with the machete.
“You did great today, Teresa,” he said after one class.
She smiled at him and wiped down the machete blade with a soft cloth before sheathing it. “Thank you, Lieutenant.”
On impulse, Sulu clapped a hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “We’re off duty. Sulu is fine.” He grinned. Teresa was a good looking woman and an engineer, which meant there were no rules about fraternization among the chain of command to deal with. “Or if you want, you could call me Hikaru.”
“I’d like that.” She turned toward the door. “I’m free till Gamma shift. Would you like to get some dinner?”
“I’d love to. I’ll drop my stuff off in my room and meet you in the mess hall.” Sulu walked her to the lift and then headed off in the other direction. While he was in his room he took a few minutes to tidy things up and he put his equipment away in the closet for once instead of leaving it in his chair. Gamma shift didn’t start till 2400 hours. There was plenty of time to eat dinner and maybe come back to his room for a little… stress relief.
Sulu felt a little odd for anticipating sex when he knew that the people they were going to save had to have sex all of the time, regardless of whether they wanted it. Sex should be fun or exciting or beautiful, not something to be dreaded—regardless of how often people joked that one should “just lay back and think of the Federation.”
He sighed and checked that he hadn’t left any dirty clothes on the floor. He liked Teresa, and he hoped she was equally interested in him. There wasn’t anyone on the ship he was close to anymore, and even if they didn’t end up dating, it would be nice to be friends.
Chekov sat against the wall of the large holding room. He didn’t bother to look at the other slaves. Before she tossed Chekov into the room, one of the slave traders had grinned maliciously and informed him that there was a whole shipload of customers coming that day. Chekov had no idea how long he had until the customers showed up, but he was going to spend the time thinking up a new fantasy.
He thought of his new favorite scenario: Sulu and him, together. Usually he imagined what sex would be like with someone who loved him, but he didn’t want to think about sex right now. Instead, he tried to decide what a date for the two of them would be like.
Sulu liked plants and swords and old movies. Chekov liked books and running and experiments. They both liked computer simulations and swimming. On nights when they used to hang out, they spent most of their time playing computer simulations. Chekov always wanted to play the historical ones because he knew what to expect in those and what he had to do to win. Sulu liked the random simulations that involved away missions gone wrong. Chekov thought he just liked having an excuse to battle monsters with his katana.
So, a date for them would probably start in one of the recreation rooms, playing a simulation. If Sulu were the one arranging the date, he would pick a historical simulation to make Chekov happy, maybe even one set in Russia.
They would finish the simulation, winning—of course—because they were an amazing team. Then they’d be tired and hungry, so they’d stop by the mess hall for some food and take it back to one of their rooms. They’d watch one of Sulu’s favorite movies while they ate and laugh over the stupid parts of it.
By then it would be late. Chekov would try to stifle his yawns, but Sulu would catch him in the middle of one and laugh. He’d tug Chekov over to the bed and pull off his clothes. They’d both slip under the covers in nothing but their boxers.
If they were really tired, they would kiss a bit before they fell asleep. If they still had a little energy, the kisses would deepen. Sulu would let Chekov take the lead, rolling onto his back so Chekov could climb on top and kiss him harder. Chekov would—
The door to the room suddenly burst open. Sulu stood there, katana in one hand, phaser in the other. He wasn’t wearing his yellow command shirt, but it was obviously him. “I’m here on the order of the United Federation of Planets. You’re being saved.” None of the slaves moved. Chekov wondered if he had slipped into another fantasy or if this was really happening. “Come on, guys. We have to get to the transporter room before the ship self-destructs.”
Chekov had never imagined the ship self-destructing before. This had to be real. He clambered to his feet as fast as he could, which wasn’t very fast at all, and threw himself at Sulu. The other slaves followed his lead and began to stand up.
Sulu staggered as Chekov hugged him. “Oh, Hikaru, I have missed you.”
Sulu’s hands came up and grabbed Chekov’s shoulders. He shoved Chekov backwards and stared him in the face. “Pavel?”
Chekov couldn’t hold back his smile to save his life. “Hikaru!” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Sulu’s. It was a soft kiss, nothing like the ones he had often dreamed they would share when Sulu rescued him, but they had to hurry. There was no time to make out. He released Sulu and stepped back, putting himself into a more business-like train of thought. “What can I do to help?”
Sulu blinked a few times and his mouth fell open. “What did you… What are you doing here?”
“No time!” Chekov shook his head. “Tell me what I must do.”
Sulu cleared his throat. “We’ve got to get to the transporter room. The turbolifts are shut down, so we’ll have to make our way there through the service tunnels.”
Chekov turned to the other slaves. He didn’t know any of them, but he knew they would trust him more than a stranger. The slaves were united in their common suffering. “I served with this man before my capture. He tells the truth. Follow us.”
There were nearly thirty slaves in the room, only a fraction of the number Chekov knew must be on the ship. They moved to the door slowly and steadily. No one had the muscle strength to move fast anymore, but there was a determination in their steps that Chekov felt in his heart.
Sulu checked outside the room for any slave traders. There was no one there, so he ushered them outside. “We have to move as fast as we can. I’ll lead the way.” Sulu turned to Chekov. “Can you follow behind and make sure everyone gets there?”
“I will do my best,” Chekov promised.
“Alright.” He handed Chekov his phaser. “Be careful. We’re going to be going one hundred meters up and then seventy-five meters over. We’ll come out in the transporter room itself. Everyone be ready to beam out as soon as you step on the pad.”
The slaves nodded and Sulu pulled open the entrance hatch to the service tube. “See you on the other side,” he said to Chekov.
Chekov smiled. “I look forward to it.”
Sulu climbed into the service tube and the other slaves followed. Chekov was the last person in the tube, and he closed the hatch behind him. Movement through the tube was slow and difficult. Chekov hadn’t exercised some of his muscles in months, and the stretch and pull of climbing the tube’s ladder wore him out quickly.
Above him, one of the slaves lost his grip on the rails. He slammed into the person beneath him, knocking him backwards. They both fell into Chekov. He held his grip on the ladder as best as he can, the pressure of the two slaves pulling his arms painfully.
“Are you all right?” he asked them.
The first man who had fallen let out a broken gasp. “Sorry. Too weak. Couldn’t hold on.”
The other man wiggled around a bit. “You have to keep going. We’re almost free.”
The man who had fallen grabbed the ladder again. “I’ll try.”
Chekov helped the other slave boost the man up, then he waited for them to move ahead in the tube. He followed them slowly, the muscles in his arms burning in protest. At last they reached the tube junction where they were to turn. Now they were crawling along a tunnel. It was as uncomfortable as the vertical tube, but it was easier to move in and Chekov could rest for a few seconds when he got tired.
The tunnel ended with an open hatch. Chekov watched the people in front of him climb out and followed them quickly. They were in the transporter room. Sulu and a female ensign Chekov had seen once or twice on the Enterprise stood by the transporter controls.
Sulu nodded at Chekov. “That’s everyone from this group. We’re transporting you in batches. As soon as the pad clears, take a spot and you’ll be sent to the Enterprise.”
“I can help more with the rescue. Tell me what to—”
Sulu cut Chekov off. “Believe me, I’m glad for the offer, but I’ve never seen anyone who looked as awful as you do right now. Go to the Enterprise.”
“I can help!” Chekov frowned. “They did not show us much of the ship, but I know where all the holding rooms are.”
Sulu approached and grabbed Chekov’s arm. The transporter pad cleared of one group and the last few slaves stepped up onto it. Sulu pushed Chekov up with them. “We’ve got a spy onboard who sent us the blueprints to the ship. Everything’s under control.”
Chekov sighed. In his fantasies, he and Sulu had always freed everyone together. Real life was not as heroic as fantasies. Reaching up, he brushed his fingers across Sulu’s cheek. The unshaved hair prickled his fingertips. “I will go.”
Sulu stepped away quickly. “Good. They’re ready to be beamed, Teresa,” he said over his shoulder. Chekov held his position as Sulu stepped over to the woman. “I’m going to go back out and look for any more survivors.”
The ensign entered the command that would beam them away, then turned to Sulu. “Please, be careful.”
As the tingle of beaming began to trickle through Chekov’s skin, Sulu stepped closer to the ensign. He put a hand on her shoulder. Then Sulu, the man whose memory had kept him sane for so long, leaned forward and kissed the woman.
Chekov realized then that this was real life, and real life was usually closer to a nightmare than a dream.
Chekov closed his eyes as the beam started to blur everything. He was going back to the Enterprise, back to his life. This was a good thing. Real life was real and thus better than a life of fantasies. Still, he almost wished he could go back to living in his imagination.