Pairing: Nero/Winona Kirk
Fic Title: Until It Sleeps
Rating/Warning(s): Dark themes, mentions of insanity, depression, suicide, Stockholm Syndrome
Why This Must Be Read: Immediately after the Narada destroys the USS Kelvin, Nero captures Winona Kirk and her newborn son, Jim. Driven mad with grief after losing his own pregnant wife in the destruction of Romulus, he decides the universe owes him one and keeps them as a surrogate wife and son.
This fic has become my latest fannish obsession, because it's so well thought out, the characters are believable, and the plot is simple but enthralling: Nero tries to win over the woman who's husband he killed. The author wisely chooses to put the creepiness of this relationship front and center, and doesn't shy away from depicting the Stockholm Syndrome growing between Nero and Winona.
The characterization of Winona is superb; she's obviously a capable, smart woman who's lost everything and is trying to make the best of a very bad situation. The author takes a character who was onscreen for five minutes and creates a woman who is definitely Jim Kirk's mother. But Nero's characterization is perhaps the most remarkable: he's delusional along with being homicidal, but he's so damaged and intense that the reader can't help but comprehend some of his appeal. It's obvious from watching the movie that he was not always a madman, and the author gives us glimpses of the kind, sane man he might've been before Romulus was destroyed. There was a point in this story after I devoured the sixth and most current chapter, where I thought to myself, What kind of person am I that I'm actually hoping they'll get together? This is an emotionally complex story perfect for the twisted romantics out there.