Title: don't last like the feeling
Fandom: Star Trek (new movie 'verse)
Pairing/Rating: Spock/Uhura, Kirk/Spock; really soft R
Word Count: 2,622
Date Completed: 16 May 2009
Disclaimer: These people? Aren't mine.
Author's Notes: Another piece for </a></b></a>st_xi_kink, this time for the prompt of Kirk and Spock's relationship developing while Spock is still involved with Uhura (really short summary). I tried to hit most of the major themes requested (Uhura realizing the rightness of Kirk&Spock, progression of feelings, conflict over pre-existing relationship, denial, etc.), but I'm not entirely sure if I got them exactly as the OP intended. Sorry, OP; hope this still works for you. Also, written from Uhura's PoV, and seeing as I've never written her before, I'm really hoping this doesn't come across as totally screwy characterization. I should probably find myself a beta to help reduce this issue, yeah? *makes mental note*
It goes like this:
Kirk is named Captain, Spock joins up as First Officer, the Enterprise embarks on her first official mission, and nothing really changes. Nyota and Spock are still them (whatever them means, as she’s never been fully clear on that, only sure enough of liking the feel of him, warm and strong, beneath her hands and lips and body to keep things going). She still kisses him in the ship’s lifts in the quiet moments between decks, and he still pushes her into silent corridors or dark alcoves (or both, one inside the other, and that’s total isolation, that’s how Nyota likes it best) after or before or during shifts. She wouldn’t quite say it’s love, but they’re two young people mutually attracted to each other, and as much as Spock’s Vulcan side hates to admit any human weakness like lust, it’s only logical to Nyota that they’d be touching and feeling, testing each other and their boundaries, as much as possible, in rare moments alone even more so.
So for a while, that’s them, not exactly in love and not exactly out of it, either. Nyota knows that she probably spends more time than she should covertly watching Spock move about the observation deck, but she’s also caught him a few times looking at her, one hand pressed over the receiver in her ear and the other extended to tap out translated characters lightly on her computer screen, its blue light reflecting in a way she knows from experience looks good. They dine together in the ship’s canteen or in Spock’s quarters, and while no one could say that their conversation is deep and meaningful and soul-changing, it’s quick and easy, banter-filled and light and laced with enough tension, just the right amount of innuendo and flirtation, to keep easy, self-assured smiles on both of their faces.
And at night, Spock fucks her, sometimes soft and slow, others fast and hard (it often depends on how much of a bastard Kirk’s been that day, although Nyota knows Spock would never admit it), and in all cases like neither of them can get enough of each other. Spock’s hands roam over her body, never quite staying in one place, and she kisses him (or he kisses her, it gets muddled, sometimes), hot and wet on the throat, the mouth, the any place that makes him shiver and press just that much deeper, makes him hold her that much tighter both during sex and in the sated after.
It’s comfortable, it’s easy, and it’s good. It’s them; it works.
And it goes like this:
Spock and Kirk, as everyone on the Enterprise knows, don’t get along. At all. Kirk is loud and abrasive, cocky and arrogant and impulsive in ways that grate obviously on Spock’s composure, his carefully-practiced shield of Vulcan apathy (what Nyota has come to associate logic with, though she’d never tell Spock this, of course). It’s obvious to anyone with eyes, but especially to Nyota, who is alone in actually seeing occasional glimpses of Spock’s emotions beyond the uncontrollable outbursts Kirk so frequently riles him into.
Kirk goads him one day, carelessly tosses out taunts about Spock’s ears or hair or cold exterior, and Nyota feels it later. It’s not a bad thing, not abuse, but it’s there for her to see and feel: an extra, invisible-to-anyone-else thread of tension in the line of Spock’s tight shoulders on the observation deck; a slight hitch in the rhythm of Spock’s hips as he thrusts into her later.
Of course, Kirk doesn’t know about that second one, but watching him sometimes, Nyota would swear that he can see the slight tensing in Spock’s posture. She would swear that once it appears, once Kirk catches sight of it, his eyes light up in amusement and one corner of his mouth lifts ever-so-slightly in a smirk. He’s a bully, reminiscent of primary school and stolen lunches, and Nyota finds herself more often than not getting angry on Spock’s behalf, defensive of what’s hers, even if it’s not official in any capacity.
(What Nyota doesn’t see, or chooses to ignore as justice, are the days when Spock taunts Kirk. Spock doesn’t use open insults or verbal stings, but his total unresponsiveness, his complete calm in the face of Kirk’s biting comments – they anger and drive Kirk to more. They fuel each other’s fires, those two, only Spock is better at hiding the small quirk in his eyebrows and the tiny glimmer in his eyes that appear as he watches Kirk bite at his lip in annoyance, face flushed and brow furrowed, the very picture of frustration.)
It slows like this:
For the life of her, Nyota couldn’t say when, exactly, the taunting changed; all she knows is that it did.
What she knows is: On the bridge one day, Kirk started throwing out snide remarks like always, only they weren’t malignant this time. They were just teasing, an implied invitation to jab back, to banter.
What she knows is: Spock got that, deciphered and translated and understood the tone, and his shoulders didn’t tense.
What she knows is: Spock quipped back, something monotone and fact-based and filled with unadulterated sarcasm, if you knew where to look. Clearly, Kirk did, if the way he smirked (just like before, only broader, less of a smirk and more of an actual smile) was anything to go by.
What she knows is: They bantered, traded jibes and digs light-heartedly, easy and fun in a way that made Spock’s eyebrows twitch in what could have been a surprised grin on any other person, any one not Vulcan and emotionally repressed.
What she knows is: Spock fucked her almost teasingly that night, hands dancing around the spots she wanted them most and mouth never quite where she needed it and eyebrows still caught in that peculiar, almost-happy arch.
What she knows is: They did it again, all three of them, the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next, until now, when Nyota almost can’t remember the last time Spock channeled frustration, the last time he gave her anything not fun and contentment.
It stops like this:
Nowadays (and this is months after Kirk gets the captaincy, months after Spock joins up, and still months after they stop outwardly hating each other), the observation deck is still dominated by Kirk and Spock and the whatever it is between them, but that’s the major difference: Whatever. It’s “whatever” now, not outright, bitter rivalry, and Nyota’s fine with that, really.
Or she would be, except it’s also been months since she caught Spock watching her fingers dance over the computer screen, her features tinted slightly blue in the light. Now, she catches Spock watching Kirk, following the roam of the captain’s blue eyes over the deck.
Nowadays, she and Spock dine in the canteen more often than his quarters, separately or with a group (McCoy and Kirk and Sulu, plus, on occasion, a few of the crew she works with directly) more often than isolated together. They talk, and it’s still light and easy and amusing, but the tension of impending sex and intimacy is unwinding at a rate Nyota can feel.
(She’s trying to ignore the way it’s been cropping up, more and more steadily, in Spock’s quips with Kirk on the bridge. It’s not working all that well, to be quite honest.)
One thing that hasn’t changed is the sex. Spock still takes her to empty rooms and hidden spaces, and they still touch each other with heat and urgency and mutual want behind every move, and Nyota can still see every impact Jim Kirk has had on Spock that day through the way Spock thrusts into her, the rhythm he sets and the quiet sounds he makes and the way his fingers stroke over and inside her. But now, she’d never call it love. Whereas before they were on a precipice, not yet fallen but close to it nonetheless, they’ve found their boundaries now.
She’s finding that with every tryst they have, they step further away from them, further into a relationship defined purely by lust. She’s finding that with every time she has Spock, she loses another piece of him.
If her suspicions are correct (and she knows they are; Spock’s not the only one who can decipher and translate and understand the implied meanings of countless tones and looks, and Lord knows they’ve given her enough material to study), she’s finding that she’s losing Spock to Jim Kirk.
It starts again like this:
What Nyota will always remember as the Last Time occurs towards the end of Kirk’s first year as the Enterprise’s captain. What she remembers is this:
- Kirk and a team (Spock included, as it seems that more often than not, he’s where Kirk is, these days) beam down to a new planet, seeking to establish diplomatic relations for the Federation, and
- Kirk and a team beam back up later that day, only when they do, Kirk is unconscious and covered in blood and a torn uniform, a large, visible gash gaping in his right side, and
- Spock, in his way (which means a slight squint to his eyes and a nigh-unnoticeable purse to his lips, plus that thread of tension in his shoulders that Nyota’s almost forgotten how to spot, it’s been so long since she last saw it), looks more worried than Nyota has ever seen him apart from Vulcan’s destruction, and
- McCoy whisks Kirk away to the medical bay, which leaves Spock alone and shaken even as he tries to maintain order on the deck, so
- Nyota grabs him, takes him to the lift and then her quarters, where
- Spock fucks her, hard and angry for the first time in months. She has bruises on her hips and her neck, and it’s still not enough, so later
- Spock fucks her again, only now, it’s slow like molasses, like quicksand, like something Spock is trying and failing to keep hold of, and Nyota aches for him. His eyes are closed the entire time, and when he comes, it’s with a strangled noise that could be something in Vulcan, but is more likely just Jim. Throughout it, one of his hands, normally free-roaming and uncontrollable in their movements over her body, rests always on her right side, stroking gently and repetitively (frantically, she tries and fails not to think, in need of reassurance) over unbroken skin – a motion continued after they are both sated and sleeping, curled together in Nyota’s bed, where
- Nyota wakes, alone, in the morning, Spock having been called to the medical bay (to Kirk, she thinks, with admirably little bitterness, if she may say so herself) sometime in the night. He doesn’t return.
[It ends, officially, like this:
Spock finds her later that day – the day after the Last Time, the day that Kirk wakes up, injured and in pain, but alive. He pulls her into isolation – a half-hidden alcove within a deserted corridor – only she doesn’t love it now.
It’s different this time, but she is expecting that, has been for months now (since she first saw anyone not her, namely Kirk, pull an emotional response out of Spock, if she’s quite honest with herself). That doesn’t mean it hurts any less when Spock looks at her, eyes unreadable to her for the first time in a while, and says in a tone that drips with calm and apathy:
“I regret having to tell you this, Lieutenant Uhura, but I feel it is illogical for us to continue our intimacies at this time.”
She closes her eyes, laughs softly her herself. “Let me guess: It’s not me, it’s you, right?”
Spock blinks at her. “I am afraid that your exact meaning escapes me.”
“Old Earth saying for people who can’t think of a proper excuse for dumping someone.”
“Oh.” A pause. “It is only a method of preserving your well-being, I would have you know. I find myself confused of late, and I – ”
She presses her index finger against his lips to silence him. “I know, and it’s okay.”
“I find that hard to believe.”
“It’s getting there, then. Really. I’ll be okay.”
Spock’s eyes open to her a bit, allowing her to see both confusion and slight relief. “You have a strong spirit; it is only logical that you should be.”
He stares at her for a few seconds more. Her hand still hovers by his face, and for a second, she’s tempted to reach out and touch him, to pull him close and try to fix this. But at the same time, she knows that whatever it was they had, their not-quite love – it’s gone now, lost to something (hopefully, or she will personally maim Kirk) greater, for Spock at least, and what she said earlier is true: She’s not fully okay now, but she’s getting there.
He nods once, stepping back as if to leave, before she drops her hand and speaks up again.
“I’m happy for you. Both of you. Really.”
Nyota smiles at him and his eyebrows do that funny little quirk again, the one that could mean I am about ten seconds from taking the logical action to end my headache and killing you now, but that here means simply thank you.]
It goes like this now:
Nyota thinks she’s doing a remarkable job of not being jealous, of not being bitter. It’s hard to watch, sometimes, the way Spock’s eyes fly to Kirk whenever the latter walks into the room, and the way Kirk’s do the same for Spock. And it’s hard to see them not only approach that precipice Nyota and Spock came so close to, but also to go beyond it, while Nyota herself is stuck alone. But she’s getting over it.
She can’t say it’s been easy, but that’s because it hasn’t been. It’s taken a long time for her to stop automatically rising from her seat to follow Spock into the lift, and it’s taken a long time for her to stop subconsciously looking for him in empty corridors or around dark nooks (the one time she did, she was blessed with the image of Spock pressing Kirk back into the wall, knee shoved between the captain’s legs and tongue thrusting vigorously into his mouth, if Kirk’s moans were anything to go by. As much as Nyota respects them both, and as cool as she’s trying to be about this, that’s definitely a visual she doesn’t need again, thanks very much).
It’s also taken a fair amount of adjustment to accept that she’s no longer the only one who can read Spock’s emotions. Kirk’s still new at it, and he accordingly has his fair share of mistranslations and screw-ups. But for the most part, he’s surprisingly well-versed in the Signs of Vulcan Emotional Repression – occasionally better than Nyota herself, even if she’ll only ever admit this under torture.
In all, though, she’s pleased with how things are developing. It stings a little less every time she catches them looking at each other, largely because Spock is happy, and Kirk is happy, so it’s impossible for her not to be happy for them. She’s still damn good at her job, and she’s able to work amiably with Spock when the need arises, so no worries on that front. And it’s holding true, what she said to Spock after the Last Time – she really is getting to be fine.
Spock is happy, and Nyota’s almost there. They’re still them, whatever them was and is, only they’ve shifted a little.
Nyota’s finding that it more than works.