Title: What Words to Say
Fandom: Star Trek XI (AOS, Reboot, nu!Trek, etc.)
Disclaimer: Really, totally not mine.
Word Count: 356
Warning: OC character death, angst
Summary: jim_and_bones community Flash Fic Challenge (locked, join for pretties); prompt by rubynye: The first time Jim has to write a letter home because a crew member died, and Bones trying to comfort him.
The blank terminal screen sat waiting, the cursor blinking. The computer had been waiting for him to speak for...minutes? Hours?
Did it matter?
“Dear Mrs. Jacobson – computer, delete.” The words disappeared, leaving the screen blank, and him back where he started.
“To whom it – delete.”
He didn't – couldn't – look away from the flickering cursor when Bones entered. Just stared, trying to find the right words. Were there any?
How do you tell someone that their child, parent, sibling, lover, spouse – was dead? Their body committed to space, their belongings sealed up a stored, their name added to the Starfleet Memorial
There were over a thousand languages in the Federation. Did any of them have the right words?
“No, darlin'. There aren't any that'll make it easier.”
“You a mind reader now?”
“Only with you, Jim. Besides, you were speaking out loud.”
A warm hand settled against his neck, rubbing the tense muscles there. He pressed back into the touch, but didn't look away from the computer.
“I know it's hard, darlin' – the hardest. It's never easy, never routine. You learn the words that work best, that bring some comfort if there's any to be found; you learn to make it quick, like taking off a bandage. But it's never easy, and it shouldn't be.”
He thought of the box in his quarters, hidden in the back of his closet. A handful of medals, a Federation flag, a letter of commendation. All that remained of George Kirk.
He closed his eyes, leaned back against Bones' solid warmth, and spoke the words that would break a mother's heart.
“To the family of Crewman Elliot Jacobsen: It is my sincere regret to inform you that, in the execution of his duties as a member of Starfleet, Crewman Jacobsen was killed in the line of duty on this day, Stardate 2258.286. He was a valued member of my crew, respected by his colleagues and a good friend to many. His loss diminishes us all, and he will be missed.”