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Subtle Appreciation

Note: This is a Star Trek 2009 Movie fanfiction.

A wet smack could be heard echoing across the abandoned playground in the late afternoon sunset. Two figures held a third, smaller figure up by his arms, his face staring defiantly at large boy. His mop of untidy black hair covered the beginnings of a swelling black eye, and blood trickled slowly down his nose. He showed no sign of pain. The large boy he was staring at twitched a little at his defiance, not expecting it to come so readily.

“Think you’re smarter than us, He-care-oo?” he growled, deliberately butchering the small boy’s name. He hit the boy again, and his head snapped to the side, but still, he uttered no sound. This seemed to unnerve the bully further.

“Let’s just go home, Harvey,” one of his cronies offered nervously. “He’s had enough.”

“Not yet,” Harvey sneered. “I still don’t see the fear in his eyes. Drop him.” The other two boys did, and Hikaru fell to his hands. He smiled.

Kicking his feet out behind him, he hit the two boys hard in the kneecaps and they went down, crying in pain. Getting to his feet, he glared at Harvey. The boy was livid now. “Damn chink!” he shouted, aiming a huge, beefy fist towards Hikaru’s face. The smaller boy ducked with ease, leaning forward to propel the top of his head into Harvey’s chin. The large boy went down hard, cupping his hands to his mouth which was oozing blood. Tears trailed down his face as he moaned and cried loudly. His cronies scampered away quickly.

“I’m Japanese, you idiot.” Hikaru said, leaving the pitiful boy on the blacktop behind him.


With practiced ease, Hikaru gently slid the blunt knife along the alien plant’s seed. The outer shell fell away, exposing the delicate fleshy part underneath. He plucked it out, placing it in a jar that had several already.

The botany lab was nearly abandoned at this time of day. But he had missed a few classes due to a case of stomach flu. He didn’t mind the extra after-hours work. Sure he had had to miss Swordsmanship Club as a result, but at least he was missing it for something with which he had equal passion for.

A soft cry of dismay caught his attention from across the room, and he studied its only other occupant. A young woman, who was also a classmate, seemed to be trying to accomplish the same task he was, but with much less success. A few ruined seed pods were scattered on the desktop around her. He got up, and approached her table. “Can I help you?” he offered.

“No,” she snapped. Then sighed. “Yes.” She pushed her chair back from the table. He picked up her knife, and the seedpod she was about to butcher.

“You can’t cut too deeply, or you’ll ruin it. Try sawing gently until you feel it give,” he explained showing her. The pod popped open.

She laughed lightly. “You make it sound so simple.” Taking it from him, she peeled the outer shell away. “So what are you in for?” she joked.

“Sorry?” He asked.

She shrugged. “You know, what did you do wrong? Like, I stayed up all night having an actual good time, so botched the midterm last week.” She grinned.

“Oh, I was sick.” He said.

“Huh.” She said. Interpreting his disapproving tone correctly, she said “So you actually like this stuff?

“Um, yeah,” he said going back to his desk to continue his work. She followed him there. Before he could ask what she was doing, she hopped up onto it, and he didn’t miss the smoothness of her athletic legs barely contained by her cadet uniform.

“Think you could show me sometime?” she smiled seductively at him.

He grinned back.

“I’d like that.”


“A helmsman? Why would you study to be that? We’re not paying for your education so you can be…be…” his father threw his hands in the air in exasperation. “The daring space pilot, or whatever flight of fancy you have in your head!” His mother sat silent on the couch.

“I was top of my class in astrosciences,” Hikaru started quietly, but his mother interjected.

“And we are very proud of you. But Hikaru, this is…well, you’re just gifted at so many things,” she seemed unsure of how to finish. So many higher-paid things, he thought to himself.

“And a Battleship?” his father asked. “Things that blow up in two seconds after they’re torn apart by Klingons?”

“Hikaru, if piloting is what you really want to do, there are plenty of science and hospital ships-”

He sighed. “This is what I want to do,” he said quietly. His father sat down heavily on the couch next to his mother, defeated.

“We’re just worried,” he said, the anger he had just expressed had seemed to drain out of him like a deflating balloon. “We’d just imagined you’d be on a science expedition, studying new plant forms. Things you love.”

“I do love those things,” he said, his voice almost pleading. “But I also love piloting. I can’t explain it,” he finished quietly. His mother moved off the couch then, over to the chair he was sitting in, and embraced him. Surprised, it took him a moment before he moved to embrace her back.

“As parents we may not like it,” she said into his ear, “But we will always support you.”

“Thanks, Mom,” he whispered back.


They were deep in it now.

“Dammit Jim, breathe!” Sulu couldn’t spare a glance behind him as Dr. McCoy fought to keep their captain alive. She ship rocked and the lights shuddered as another asteroid bounced off the hull. Sweat beaded his brow and he fought to stay in his seat as the ship rolled wildly to the left.

“Lieutenant Sulu! The rail gun iz activating again! Anuzzer barrage iz incoming!” Chekov shouted from his right. He saw them both on screen and on his radar. Asteroids, each too thick in diameter to be blasted apart without creating dozens more that would pepper the hull like shotgun pellets.

Some damn alien race had contacted them, claiming to want to make an alliance with the federation, but instead had been after their more advanced weapons and warp technology. They had poisoned the captain, with a late acting food that caused him to go into anaphylactic shock once back on the bridge. They had hailed them briefly to say if they did not surrender, they would activate their massive, orbiting rail gun which used magnetism to pull asteroids out of orbit around the planet and launch them at terrifying speeds towards the enemy. The first barrage had hit their vital warp drive systems. Which is now why Sulu was trying to outmaneuver the rest.

Chekov spared Sulu a worried glance. The asteroids were headed right for them, but Sulu hadn’t moved the ship out of their path yet. “Sulu,” he said with a quiet alarm.

“Spock! Get the anti-histamines out of the med kit! Hurry!” Sulu could just hear McCoy performing rescue breathing on their captain. The loud hiss of a needle being applied could be heard. The other medical staff hadn’t been able to arrive yet because of the wild piloting. The asteroids were almost on them.

“Sulu!” Chekov shouted.

With a guttural growl, Sulu pitched the ship forward into a steep dive. Loose articles on the bridge flew forward in the artificial gravity of the ship, and there was a loud, angry “Holy Christ man, we’re tryin’ to treat a patient here!” from behind him.

Sulu couldn’t help himself before snapping back “I’m trying to keep us all from being patients, Doc!” Or worse.

“Engineering to Bridge,” Scotty’s frenzied voice sounded over the comm. “I’ve fixed the Warp well enough to get us outta here!”

“Do it now!” Spock shouted from behind them. Sulu didn’t have to be told twice. Swiveling the ship into a patch of clear space, he engaged the warp engines. The stars on the view screen lengthened, and the Enterprise made the smooth jump to hyperspace. Sulu sagged backwards in his chair, breathing heavily. He hadn’t noticed before, but wet coughs were sounding from behind him.

“Did we win?” a shaky voice asked. He swiveled his chair just in time to see the doctor give a very disapproving look to Kirk who was struggling to sit up.

“We are alive, Captain.” Spock said, his voice back to its normal, unshakable tone. “Due to some masterful engineering by Mr. Scott, and amazing piloting work through an asteroid storm by Lieutenant Sulu.

“Really?” Kirk wheezed. “I missed Sulu flying the ship through asteroids?” The doctor gently pushed him back down on the floor before he said quietly “I hope someone recorded that.”

“Sorry, I was too busy saving your ungrateful life,” McCoy said sarcastically.

“It’s ok, I forgive you,” Kirk said. “Now help me back into my chair.”

Before McCoy could utter his angry disapproval, Spock stepped in, hoping to diffuse the situation. “Captain, I believe it would be in everyone’s best interest if you allowed Dr. McCoy to accompany you to Medical Bay.” Kirk, for once, reluctantly agreed. As the doctor was ushering him out, he turned quickly in the doorway.

“Hey Sulu! Nice flyin’! Glad to have you on the team.”

Sulu gave a genuine, though tired, smile. “Thank you, Sir. Glad to be here.”

A/N: Sorry to the people expecting more chapters in my other fic, “Revenge is a Dish Best Served Freeze Dried.” I’m still working on that, but this is a plot bunny I had stuck in my head, and since it was a one-shot, I let it have its way. In case you were wondering, the girl in the second part is not a Mary-Sue. You will never see her again. Ever. So you don’t have to worry about that. Reviews much appreciated.

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Freeze Dried- Chapters 1,2 and 3.

Post Star Trek 2009 movie. Multi-chapter installment. Khaiel Tovan watched from a small shuttle along with a handful of other Romulan survivors as their last hope was decimated. Silence permeated the small craft, other than the lou...

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