Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters.
Title: Untitled 1/1
Pairing: K/U/S (implied)
Archiving: ACSEM, THFFF All others ask permission, please.
No beta. Just me. Bored and way too tired one late night.
Summary: Why Kirk risked Jamal but not Uhura with the giant flying boogers from "Operation-- Annihilate!".
Kirk stepped onto the turbo lift.
“Deck five,” he snapped.
Uhura moved fractionally away and stood stiffly with her padd clutched tightly in the crook of her arm, her other hand gripping her stylus in her fist like a woman holding a dagger. It took her some effort to keep her arm by her side. She looked straight ahead with her chin up, her soft mouth a grim line.
Kirk stood equally rigid. A muscle in his jaw flexed. “Stop,” he commanded. The turbo lift halted. He inhaled deeply through his nose, held his breath for a moment then blew the air out slowly through his pursed lips. He turned to Uhura. She stared straight ahead, unblinking.
She lifted her chin and turned only her eyes to him, giving him just enough to avoid seeming insubordinate. He glared at her. She held his gaze for two beats then focused her eyes on a spot just beyond his right ear. He fought down a surge of anger. He took another deep breath and relaxed his hands, only just realizing that they were clenched into hard fists.
He looked down at her and was suddenly amused. He outweighed her by about forty pounds and was a head taller, but she looked ready to take him off at the neck. It would be like being beaten by a kitten wielding dandelion puffs. He lifted a hand and rubbed beneath his lower lip to hide his smile. She glared at him in outraged disbelief.
“You think this is funny, Captain?” she asked.
Kirk straightened and made his face stern. “I do not think that this is funny in the least, Lieutenant,” he said.
The lines around her mouth had softened but there was still an angry, defiant light in her eyes. He had no doubt that she could hold her own in hand-to-hand combat—she was good with a dagger--but she was no match for him. On the other hand, he didn’t like the way she was gripping that stylus. He folded his hands behind his back and moved casually to the front of the turbolift—and out of her reach.
“You and I have had this conversation before,” he said.
Her lips parted then clamped shut. She returned her attention to the spot by his ear.
“Look at me,” he said quietly.
She frowned slightly and shifted her eyes to his face. He realized then that it was a mistake to do this here, with her, now. It was the end of a very long day. He was exhausted in the extreme. His defenses were down, his judgment off. He struggled to keep his attention on the matter at hand rather than on the inviting fullness of her lips.
He cleared his throat. “Your orders were—.”
“My orders were to perform my duties as a Starfleet officer,” she interrupted.
“Your. Orders. Were--,” he began again.
The turbolift doors swished open, startling them both. Spock stood in the corridor.
“Spock?” said Jim.
“I overrode your stop command,” he said.
“Is there something wrong?” Kirk asked.
Spock stepped onto the lift and locked the mechanism when the door closed behind him.
“Perhaps,” he replied. He stared at Uhura, his eyes glittering darkly.
She stared back at him uncowed. “I suppose you are putting me on report, too sir?” she asked. She looked braced to throw a punch.
Spock gazed down at her, his jaw set in a severe line. Though she stood stiffly erect, he could see her exhaustion in the dark circles under her eyes and the bright shimmer of tears that threatened to spill over. She only cried when she was very, very tired or very, very angry. He himself felt curiously giddy from fatigue.
His eyes drifted down to the hand that held her stylus. He folded his hands behind his back and moved opposite of Kirk. They exchanged a glance over her head. Jim bit down on the inside of his cheek.
“I am not putting you on report, Lieutenant.” said Spock. It took a tremendous amount of willpower not to stroke his fingers across the skin where her neck met the curve of her shoulder.
She widened her eyes and blinked rapidly a few times. She still wouldn’t look at them.
“You can’t treat me--,” she started.
“We know,” said Jim.
“You promised,” she said.
“We did,” said Spock.
“I won’t stand around like some ornamental piece of furniture,” she said.
“Okay,” said Jim.
“I received the same training you did at the academy.”
“You are correct,” said Spock.
“You wouldn’t be saying that if I were Scotty or—or Chekhov,” she said.
Kirk huffed out a laugh.
The corner of Spock’s mouth crimped ever so faintly. “Mr. Scott, perhaps not. Mr. Chekhov has shown himself to be rather reckless as well,” he said.
“You think I was being reckless?”
“No, just--foolishly brave,” said Kirk.
“I was doing my job!” she said.
“Yes, you were,” said Kirk.
“Don’t patronize me.”
“Of course not,” said Spock.
“I am a Starfleet officer.”
“Absolutely,” said Kirk.
“Don’t do that again,” she said softly.
“You scared the hell out of us, Nyota,” said Jim. Spock nodded in agreement.
“I’m sorry you were frightened,” she said. “But you may one day have to order me to my death.”
Kirk’s lungs seemed to seize for a moment. Spock closed is eyes briefly.
“Yes,” said Kirk.
“Yes,” said Spock.
She looked from one to the other. “Okay, then,” she said. “Deck five.”
The turbo resumed it progress. Uhura yawned. When the lift stopped, she turned to them.
“I’ll see you later? After today, I could really use some—.” She grinned tiredly.
“Me too,” Kirk said.
“In thirty,” said Spock.
“We could try that wine I picked up at Rigel IV.”
“I’m glad we were able to straighten this out,” she said. “I’m as expendable as anybody else. It’s only fair.”
When the turbo lift doors closed, they were quiet for several decks, staring straight ahead.
“Never,” said Spock.
“In her dreams,” said Kirk.