Summary: “The strangest thing happened to me, Jim. I’m not sure I believe it.” He turns back to Jim. “But if it’s true, then I’m done with investigative reporting for a long time. Because I think I just found the best story on the face of the earth.”
Rating: PG-13, for swearing
A/N: It's an AU where the Star Trek characters are actually characters in the DC Universe. WHAT WHAT IN THE BUTT?!
Written for shewhohashope's prompt: Superhero AU
Pavel sits in the car for fifteen minutes, bent over in the driver’s seat, head clutched in his hands. He’s still high on adrenaline, the blood rushing through his veins, his heart beating a mile a minute. He can’t even comprehend what just happened.
He’s still curled in on himself when he hears a sharp tapping on the window.
He throws himself out of his position, skull slamming back on the head rest with a slapping sound. He looks, terrified, out the window.
He unlocks the car. Jim walks around the front and opens the side door, slipping into the passenger seat, a look of relief evident on his face. Pavel locks the car immediately after Jim closes his door.
Pavel sighs, head tilting forward to hang limp on his neck. It’s taking more energy than he has at the moment to keep it upright. He closes his eyes. “Pavel.”
“Call me Pavel, Kirk.”
Jim grins shakily. “Okay, Pavel. But that means you have to call me Jim.”
Pavel’s eyes snap open and he whips around to face Jim. “Okay, Jim. Where were you, Jim? I needed backup, I needed someone to cover me, Jim. I turn around and, instead of you, there’s some Romulan, with a gun at my back, whispering rape threats into my ear like sweet nothings. What were you doing, huh, Jim? Why weren’t you there?”
Jim’s weak grin dissipates quickly. He’s left with a sad look on his face, a look of self recrimination and a set of kicked-puppy eyes like none Pavel’s ever seen. But Pavel stays strong. He needs answers, dammit.
“When you jumped over the crates, I wasn’t ready. I didn’t follow you right away. I took the chance to check out my surroundings in the five to seven seconds that I waited. And after you jumped? All of these Romulans crawled out of the cracks, like so many spiders. I was all ready to follow you before then. But looking into the tattooed faces of that many gang-members? No way.”
Pavel rolls his eyes and nods reluctantly. He understands caution. When he was a beginning reporter he used to have an excess of it. Apparently now, as a seventeen year old protégé, he doesn’t have enough.
Trust Smallville here to show him how sloppy he’s become. Pavel bites the inside of his cheek. He can’t afford to become cocky.
Jim sees Pavel’s brief look of approval and carries on. “So I was all ready to run and get help when I saw one of the Romulans see me. So I ran. I was so scared, Pavel. I lost it. I panicked.”
Pavel looks at Jim, staring at the other man before reaching over and patting the other man on the shoulder, smiling sheepishly. “I get it, don’t worry about it, Jim. You’re new, you silly greenhorn. It’s normal to fuck up.”
Jim laughs a little at Pavel’s horrible attempts to comfort him. But he stops after a couple of chuckles and looks Pavel in the eye, frowning.
“So, how did you escape? There were so many of them. You can’t have outrun them all.”
Pavel’s smile snaps off like a light. “Nah. Didn’t outrun ‘em all.” He pauses here, frowning at his feet. “The strangest thing happened to me, Jim. I’m not sure I believe it.” He turns back to Jim. “But if it’s true, then I’m done with investigative reporting for a long time. Because I think I just found the best story on the face of the earth.”
Pavel and Jim switch seats, because Pavel’s still too shaky to drive. They cruise slowly down the dark streets of the shipping district and then up the blazing ones of restaurant row. Finally they reach Jim’s apartment. Jim pulls up outside and turns the car off, slipping the keys into his pocket before he remembers the car is Pavel’s. He hands him the keys.
Pavel is jolted out of his daze. He turns quickly to Jim, not wanting him to think he was zoning out. Jim smiles softly. As if he couldn’t tell.
“So a superhero? A villain? Henchmen? Sounds an awful lot like one of those crappy DC comics, don’tcha think?”
Pavel frowns at him. “First of all, don’t mock me. Or my story. Secondly, DC does not make crappy comics. They’re a legitimate, successful media enterprise.” He pauses, looks down and then, because he’s so tired or shaken up, he doesn’t know, he says, “And I like them. Used to read them when I was a kid. My mom bought them for me. Wanted to be a superhero so bad.” He looks up at Jim guiltily, as if just realizing what he’s said.
Jim sighs. “Are you going to be okay, Pavel? Do you have someone waiting up for you?”
Pavel closes his eyes. “No. But it’s okay. Don’t need anyone. I’m fine.”
Jim leans back and looks at the ceiling of the car, as if that’s where he’ll find his answers. “Well, I don’t... don’t want to leave you alone, Pavel. You’ve just gone through a crazy ordeal. God, I’m willing to call it a traumatic event. I’m not letting you go home to an empty apartment. You’re staying here with me, tonight.”
Pavel snorts softly, eyes opening slowly. “Yeah right, Jim. Your inevitable girlfriend would be real cool with that, I’m sure.”
Jim shakes his head, smiling at Pavel. “Walter left me four months ago. Is that the information you needed to know?” Pavel raises his eyebrow, to which Jim responds, “Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m going to jump you, Pavel.”
Pavel laughs. “Jeez, that’s not what I was questioning. I’m just surprised that a guy as clean-cut as you can bat for that team.”
Jim blushes and ducks his head. “Well, thanks. But…. well. Are you sure it doesn’t bother you?”
Pavel narrows his eyes and grins, a look which his mother used to say was just asking for it. “Well, that would be rather hypocritical of me, wouldn’t it?” And then he unbuckles his seatbelt and climbs out of the car, gesturing up the steps of Jim’s apartment building. “Well, you did say I could stay. Lead on, good man.”
And Jim does.