DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2023 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.

Tomorrow's Tomorrow

by Djinn



She can only cry so long. Tomorrow is gone. Today is saved. And she is alone.


As she always is.


Only now there's one living person who owns a part of her history. And she's on the ship, no doubt trying to figure out where to store her booty.


La'an grabs the watch and strides down to Pelia's quarters.


She answers immediately and peers intently at La'an. "Ah, you've been back."


She nods.


"Your young man?"


La'an shakes her head as she hands her the watch. "This is yours."


"Do you want to come in?"


There is very little room—it looks just like the store in Vermont did—but she accepts the invitation, finding the couch behind crates and the framed picture and sitting.


Pelia sits next to her and studies the watch. "So long ago."


"Yes, and only a moment." She smiles. "You must be great at poker. I had no idea we'd met before."


"You live long enough, you get good at everything. Although I have you to thank for the engineering part. Time travel's a trip, isn't it?"


She nods, then the tears start again and Pelia murmurs, "Oh, sweetheart."


She lays her head in Pelia's lap and lets go.


She feels soft hands on her head, the touch like her mother's, a soft murmur of nonsense words meant to soothe but not lie to.


There was no "It'll be all right" or "Everything happens for a reason" and for that La'an was grateful. "I think...he was...I lov—" She won't say it, not when he still exists, just not in the same way as the James Kirk she met and fell in love with.


That Kirk was hers alone. At least from this perspective.


"They always tell us to let people in," Pelia says very gently. "But why would we want to when it just leaves cracks in our heart?"


"Exactly." She sits up. "There's more though. There was a child who will grow up to be a monster. I didn't let someone kill him." She looks down. "But I left him the means to kill himself."


"What do you mean?"


"A gun. I left a gun with a little boy. So many ways that gun could be important. He could use it on himself by accident or deliberately—or he could use it on others. As fate says he should or in some other way. He was my ancestor. Will I wink out if he does, I wonder?" She closes her eyes, seeing again the sweet child that would grow up to be her nightmare. "They say the universe is self-regulating."


"They do say that."


"Scant comfort when you're in the middle of chaos."


"I wouldn't know. I avoided being in the middle of anything until very late in life." She pushes the watch back into La'an's hands "I was too intent on hiding who I was, what I was. I don't need to hide anymore. And neither, my dear, do you."


"As long as I'm a Noonien-Singh, I'll be marked."


"You could have changed your name ages ago. You chose not to." She closes La'an's fingers around the watch. "Some things are too precious to give up. Even if they hurt us."


She stands, putting the watch back around her wrist. "But the gun..."


"If you left a gun behind, then it was meant to be left behind. Maybe you're the reason he becomes who he is just as you were the impetus for me becoming an engineer."


She frowns. "That's a horrible thought."


"I don't know. Better to be a change agent than fate's dog."


She thinks about that. She's not sure it is.


She's not sure it isn't either.


It's at least something to think about other than the crack of a gun, the smell of blood, the way the alarms hid the sound of James' last breath.


"Thank you," Pelia says, "for letting me keep my things."


"Thank you for helping us."


She puts her hands on La'an's cheek. "I'm always here if you need a place to break down."


"Thank you. I owe you."


"No. We're even, believe me."


Her own quarters feel cold, even though they're warmer than the hotel room she last slept—or rather tossed and turned—in.


He had been just down the hall. She could have—should have... But she didn't and now she never can.


She wants to call the James of this universe again.


She resists the urge.