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[personal profile] 1lostone
Author's/Artist's name: [livejournal.com profile] 1lostone 
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] joanne_c 
Pairing/Characters: Galia/Uhura
Rating: PG-13 (language, mostly.)
Prompt: Even in the 23rd century, there are misconceptions about lesbian relationships
Warnings: None except that I’ve never written anything in this pairing before. :)
Disclaimer: ←-- Written for Round 1 of the [livejournal.com profile] nutrekexchange 


Jim Kirk was willing to admit that he was somewhat of a dick. He knew it. People at the Academy knew it. Hell, half of the population of Iowa knew it.  He just didn’t see the sense in pretending to be something you weren’t.  He was your average red-blood Terran guy. He liked meat and potatoes. He liked women with big boobs and bigger asses. (Of course, this wasn’t really saying much; he also liked women with tiny tits, women with big mouths, and Andorians with all three nipples. In fact, as Bones could be heard muttering at extremely frequent intervals, Jim’s only requirement for sex was that his partner be legal and breathing.) He practically got hard when he heard his bike make a funny noise, and would spend blissful hours tinkering with it until it began to purr the way it was supposed to.

It took him awhile to realize what was going on. Sure, when Uhura found him fooling around with Gaila, part of that could have been explained by her utter and complete hatred of him.

Okay, so he could be really slow sometimes.

There he was, just sitting in the mess, when he saw Uhura casually reach over and wipe a dab of something off Gaila’s mouth.  It wasn’t that the move itself was even sexual. If he hadn’t been looking that way then he wouldn’t even have noticed. The slight way that Uhura’s fingers slid against Gaila’s cheekbone didn’t give them away.  Neither did the way Gaila’s whole face lit up in amusement in that way she had; her Orion heritage making it impossible for her to hide her emotions.  It was the way that Gaila’s hand covered Uhura’s, their fingers linking together for just a moment. It was the way Uhura’s whole face relaxed... just for a moment.

Jim’s overactive imagination had him picturing everything that he could imagine. Everything that was red-blooded and male in him seemed to sing for just a moment.

Lesbians.

Les....bi...ans.

If he had an ounce of shame, he would have been ashamed at the lecherous grin on his face, or the way his brain immediately went from the two of them studying in their underwear, to studying together naked.

Gaila looked over for a minute and Jim couldn’t help the little eyebrow wiggle he gave. He saw the emotions shift on her face, and for a second felt guilty for taking her out of her little lovefest with Uhura.  He watched as Gaila made a beeline for the door, tossing one unreadable look back over her shoulder. Then Bones threw his tray down besides him, muttering something under his breath about stitching up the damnfool kids with more spunk than sense and why the fuck was Jim staring at him like that couldn’t he see he’d had a bad day and …

Jim completely forgot about the look that Gaila and Uhura had shared.

A few weeks later found Jim busy on his PADD. Bones was gone for the evening, and Jim had finished studying. He didn’t feel like braving the rare San Francisco winter weather to go out and drink, and wasn’t too keen on getting shitfaced by himself, either.  

He sighed and stretching, decided to make his way to the gym. Bones was fond of saying that when Jim got bored, his two default reactions were to fuck or fight. Jim changed into workout clothes and grabbed a towel, making his way to the recreation areas of the Academy.

He was completely floored to see that Uhura was there, running steafastedly on a treadmill, her dark skin glistening with a fine sheen of sweat.

Jim’s lips twisted in a smirk; his brain sliding into overdrive. “You know, when I told you that you had a talented tongue, I never really thought about just how... talented it had to be.”  He allowed his lips to stretch a little further, tilting his head so that he met her eyes, winking.  She ignored him. If it wasn’t for the way her lips tightened just enough, Jim would have believed that she didn’t actually hear him.  He tried again, lowering his voice to something much more intimate, the flirting completely second nature.  “I guess now I understand why you weren’t interested in all of,”  he gestured to himself, “this. I wouldn’t have hooked up with me either if I had something that hot waiting for me. Tell me, is it true what they say about all the... pheromones?”

Okay, that might have been a little out of line. Jim had a split-second of guilt by the time his brain caught up with his mouth. Of course, by that time, Uhura had slammed her hand down on the emergency stop and had whirled around so quickly that Jim didn’t even see her knee move before it was buried in his balls. She pulled the kick at the last possible second, but he still felt it; falling to his knees in stunned agony as his balls tried feebly to crawl back inside his body.

“Look, Kirk.” She hissed. Jim could hear her clearly through the haze of agony that was painting his vision red. “I already filed a complaint with Pike over you little … farmfed...bastards. I haven’t done anything to warrant that kind of harassment!  I would think, what with your background and all, that you would know all about people making bullshit a-ssumptions.”

Alarms were going off in Jim’s head. Nausea crept up from his stomach to lodge in his throat at the way her voice hitched on the last word. He blinked to see that her eyes were shining, so furious that she was almost crying.  “What?” It was a stupid thing to say, but Jim was completely stunned by both her reaction and the fact that she was so quite obviously hurt.

Uhura just took a deep breath, the look on her face illustrating that Jim had dropped from ‘mildly annoying’ to ‘wish you’d die in a fire’.  He didn’t even get to choke out an “I’m sorry” before she disappeared.




Jim stood at attention, feeling more humiliated than he has ever felt before. Pike had this way of making you feel lower than a worm with very little facial expression.  Jim shifted uneasily, fully aware that he was in the wrong, here. 

“So let me get this straight. You came up to Cadet Uhura, made sexually offensive remarks to her, whereupon she physically lashed out at you. Then you came here to file a... complaint?” The look on Pike’s face is mild, but the inflection in his voice is colder than anything Jim had ever heard before.  He was used to Pike being frustrated, annoyed, amused and even exasperated with him. 

But never disgusted.

“No!” Jim broke his attention and ran a hand through his hair.  “Not a complaint! I’m the asshole, here. I swear, sir, I didn’t know someone was harassing her. I was.. It’s just.... aw shit.” He felt the redness creeping up his face. “What I said was just me being... well, me. I didn’t mean any harm.”

“You didn’t mean any harm in making sexually offensive and disparaging remarks.”

Jim winced. 

“Anyway, sir. I’m not making a complaint. Actually just the opposite. I want you to encourage Cadet Uhura to.. uh. report me. Officially.  I didn’t mean anything rude. I mean, I love the gay people! I know they’re misunderstood and all. But she was completely in the right and I was...” Jim trailed off, too ashamed to admit that he’d lashed out because she wouldn’t give him the time of day. It was petty. It was a total dick move.

Pike looked at him for a long moment. It was pretty clear to Jim that he could fill in the blanks.  “Cadet Kirk. You  are confined to your immediate dormitory and general areas except for attending classes. You know, you can’t really judge a person until you’d spent a few days in their shoes. Maybe you should think about some of those misconceptions for awhile, Cadet. Write them down and really look at what they mean. I believe a week of downtime will give you ample opportunity to do so.”

Jim nodded, saluted and turned sharply on his heel to leave the room. He stopped right before the door censor could open.  “And, sir? Can you please tell Cadet Uhura... that I’m sorry?”

“Absolutely not.”

Jim froze.

“I think, Cadet, that if you’re really sorry, you will tell the Cadet that yourself.”

Jim just nodded and left, so preoccupied with his thoughts that he didn’t see Uhura’s thoughtful face as he walked right by her, unnoticing of his surroundings. For the first time since he’d taken Pike’s dare, Jim’s uncompromising confidence had been shaken.

You should think about some of those misconceptions for awhile. Write them down and really look at what they mean.

Jim was shocked to find that he did exactly that.




5-  All Lesbians are Hate Men-

Jim wasn’t expecting to see Gaila there. Reflex had him ducking back before the small group of people could see him.

He still felt a little creepy when they ran across each other. Their tracks were completely different, and while it was inevitable that they would share some classes together, usually he managed to never see either Gaila or Uhura outside of a classroom. To be honest, he really preferred it that way. It didn’t matter where it was that he saw them; he always felt lower than dirt when he did. 

Jim never knew if the people that had been harassing Uhura ever tried anything with Gaila or not. It became sort of a non-issue, because soon after Jim had stammered his way through an apology to both Uhura and Gaila, the two women had (according to Bones who was like an old woman when it came to gossip) requested that they no longer share a dorm room. He had tried to corner Gaila in the mess to try to apologize again. Jim had always thought that Gaila had never really held a grudge before she looked right through him, bluntly explaining that her decision to move had nothing whatsoever to do with Jim Kirk.

Jim had slunk out of the mess hall feeling like a complete and utter tool. 

Now, he continued to peek around the corner, cataloguing everything he saw. The bright burst of laughter from the rec room drew his attention like a magnet. Gaila sat there, talking causally with some other Cadets. She had a large pile of credits in front of her and was in the middle of a laugh, her long, curly, red hair falling down her back. Jim looked quickly to the men that Gaila was currently skinning, and blinked, surprised.  She looked at home. Completely and utterly relaxed, trading raunchy jokes and conversation with a group of people that she obviously knew quite well. 

Jim cringed when he heard Bones’ laughter at Gaila’s punchline. Bones had an uncanny way of knowing exactly where Jim was in any given moment. This was no different. Jim felt a deep spurt of shame at the way he was spying on Gaila. He couldn’t seem to move, even when Bones met his furtive gaze with a cocked eyebrow as though to ask what the fuck he was doing.

Jim just shook his head and walked back to his room.

He was sprawled on his bed, PADD in hand, staring off into space when  he heard Bones keying in his door code.

Jim felt himself tense. He knew it was stupid to feel guilty; he hadn’t done anything wrong.  In fact, Jim couldn’t really explain why it was that he had such a squirmy, uncomfortable feeling in his stomach. 

“What’s got your ass?”

“Nothing.”

Jim could feel Bones’ other eyebrow practically reach out and smack him.  He continued looking blindly at the PADD, stubbornly refusing to meet Bones’ gaze.  It wasn’t even like the other man was that much older than Jim. Maybe four years? Five? But he had a way of treating him like a mix of best friend, father-figure and irritating conscience, frequently all at the same time.

“Jim, you gonna tell me what’s wrong or what?”

“No.”

“Suit yourself, then.”  The door to the ‘fresher slid shut. A few minutes later Jim could hear the shower.

Jim shook his head and forced himself to study for awhile.  He kept losing his train of thought.   Jim could picture Gaila in his mind’s eye, completely relaxed during her down-time.  He didn’t understand how those guys could have also felt so comfortable hanging out with such a knockout like Gaila. He’d watched for awhile and hadn’t seen any evidence of sexual … anything.  Gaila wasn’t flirting with the guys. The guys hadn’t been flirting back either- and it wasn’t like they didn’t know she was a woman.

“Galia wasn’t acting like a guy. Even though she’d been playing poker.”

“What?”

Jim jumped a little hearing Bones’ thick voice behind him. His accent had a way of making his words sound like they had about eight extra vowels in it.

“What do ya mean, ‘acting like a guy?’” Bones finished drying off his hair and stretched out on his bed to finish drying off. “Jim?”

Jim bit his lip. “I just... she having fun.”

“You don’t think Gaila is supposed to?”

“No! Of course not. I just mean, I thought that girls. Who, uh. You know. Like girls don’t like men. But she was....” Jim trailed off at the look Bones gave him.

“Wait a second Jimmy boy. That don’t make any sense. You think that lesbians are gay because... what?” Bones stared at him, dropping the towel down to the floor.

Jim blew out a breath through his teeth, trying to explain himself without sounding like a complete douchebag. It wasn’t like he was prejudiced or something. It’s just that when he said the stuff he was thinking it sounded all wrong. “No, it’s like this. I saw you guys playing, right? And it confused me because Gaila, when she used to talk to me and stuff? She was all, Hey Jimmy, hows things, baby?” Like her voice, right? Sexy as fuck. But with you guys she was all... different. Poker is like a man’s game, right? She was totally comfortable with that, but she wasn’t like... trying to be a man. Or act... masculine, you know?”

Bones stared at him, blinking slowly.  “Jim. Do you ever hear yourself when you speak?”

Of course he did. That was the problem. It was just that just recently he figured out that he wasn’t very proud of what he heard.

-4- All Lesbians Cheat on Their Girlfriends-

When it happened, the disappointment was like some weighty thing that crashed around his shoulders. 

He couldn’t help but feel that the last year that he’d been at the Academy had been leading up to this. Jim stuck to the shadows, watching Uhura as she looked around quickly, her ponytail flipping over to her other shoulder. Every line in her body practically screamed that she was acting furtively. 

Jim was surprised at the way his throat tightened. The disgust and yeah... the anger he felt tasted bitter. He’d spent a lot of time with Gaila and Uhura and counted them both as friends. Well, maybe Gaila more than Uhura. Uhura still treated him like she wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire, but she tolerated his presence enough in her and Gaila’s apartment when he visited. When Pike had told him all those months ago to write down all his misconceptions, he probably hadn’t anticipated the way Jim would go about fixing them.

He’d written all ten out, cannily entitled the message ‘Help a Dick Out-’  and sent it to both Galia and Uhura.

It had resulted in some very tentative conversations; luckily, they had thought it funny instead of insulting.  He hadn’t been trying to to be funny, or cute, or anything of the sort.  Uhura of all people seemed to understand how his mind worked. She’d said something that Jim had never forgot. “Jim, if you were really as ass-backwards as you seem, you wouldn’t be trying so hard to fix the fact that you hurt both of us by being such a callous and total ass.”  She had turned to Gaila, whose skin had turned mottled with anger, whispering something into her ear that had turned Gaila’s look of disgust into something more curious and less like she wanted to impale his eyeballs with her fingernails.

Jim could almost hear her now as he shifted to follow the shadow. Uhura had to be meeting someone. There was no other explanation. Jim felt the rough stucco of the Xenolinguistics building against his back and pressed a little harder to ensure that he wouldn’t be seen.

In all the conversations he’d had with Gaila and Uhura, one thing that Gaila had been absolutely solid on was trust. On how much she trusted Uhura. 

Fucking trust.  This was going to really, really hurt her. Bones was always going on about the fact that most people didn’t look at the world like it was about to shit on them, but fuck. In Jim’s experience it always was. This was just another example.

JIm felt angry again, and part of him wanted to stalk over to Uhura and shake her; to demand to know what the hell she was doing meeting someone in the dark like this....  He had actually shifted his weight forward when he heard a single footstep behind him and froze, trying to melt into the stucco wall again.

The area that Uhura had chosen to meet her hook-up had a lot of trees. There was one streetlight, but it was shining onto the small bench, leaving the rest of the area in shadow.  Uhura was sitting, nervously jumping her boot against the concrete. When the scrape of the man’s boot slid against the gravel she straightened, jumping up.

“Professor.”

“Cadet.”

Jim couldn’t place the man’s deep voice. He’d never seen him before. The man stood so that the shadows from the trees obscured his face. All Jim could see was his back, the way he stood rather stiffly  with his hands clasped loosely behind his back.

“Thank you so much for meeting me here, professor. I know that this is out of the norm for you.”

Jim began to have the slightly squirmy feeling deep in his gut.

“It is of no consequence. I find myself intrigued by the incongruities of the situation.” The man waited a moment. “Most student’s queries are presented during my office hours.” There was the slightest hint of rebuke to his words that caused Uhura to jump up, linking her hands together in front of her in a move Jim had seen her do hundreds of times when she was nervous about something.

Jim wrinkled his nose. This guy, whoever the hell he was, had a hard-on for ten-point vocabulary words.

“Yes, Professor. Thanks for going to all of this trouble. My friend has kind of... immature tastes. We wanted to surprise him for his birthday. This is perfect.”  Jim could hear the smile in Uhura’s voice. He leaned forward, not hearing the small scrape of gravel against the concrete as his weight shifted. He still couldn’t see clearly, but a small beam of light illuminated the small package that the man in black gave to Uhura. Jim squinted, trying to see clearly what it was that she held.

“Indeed. Good night, Cadet.”

Jim expected the man leave first, but the bright grin of delight on Uhura’s face distracted him enough that he completely missed her when she left. Jim blinked, a little stupidly as he watched the man take a step then another, stopping so that he was discernible only as one dark shadow of many.

“Cadet. I do not know, nor indeed to I care to know, what possessed you to spy on Cadet Uhura. She has gone to quite a bit of expense and trouble to procure her gift. I find it illogical that you would chose to repay her thoughtfulness by such an act of mistrust and abject childishness.”  There was another footstep, and the man disappeared into the foggy night.

The man’s voice sounded completely flat, like he was commenting on a particularly boring weather pattern. Still, his words caused Jim’s insides to squirm again. Jim winced again.  Shit. Shit, shit shit shit.

3-  All Lesbians Are Good At Sports-

“Shit! Duck!!”

The football came crashing onto the picnic blanket with a muffled clink of sound, sending a fork spinning off onto the potato salad, knocking the whole container over onto Jim’s shirt.  A huge glob landed on the side of his nose with a splat.

“Aw, what the fuck.” Jim flung the glob of potato off with one long finger. He heard some pounding feet and looked up. Shit, he was going to have to go into the bay to wash this crap off.  Gaila and Bones, who had been yammering on about some ancient Terran music, both tried to keep the amused  smirk off their faces, with varying degrees of success. 

“Hey, man can you throw back the ball?” There was a shout and one of the guys, a Cadet from engineering that Jim vaguely knew from his warp theory class, jogged up, gesturing for the football that lay innocently in the middle of Jim’s lunch. 

“Nah, that’s okay guys. I’m about done.” Uhura pulled off the velcro, handing back the flag she’d worn around her waist with a little smile of thanks.

The guy laughed, giving Uhura a once up and down that made Jim’s skin prickle.  “Yeah that’s completely not your game, huh? Funny. I always thought you’d be all butched out and good at sports.”

Jim saw the polite smile slide off of Uhura’s face like a switch had been thrown. He didn’t even realize that he’d taken a step until the glob of potato salad slid off his chest and onto the guy’s foot.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

The guy’s eyes widened. He held up both hands as though to fend off Jim’s next step. “Nothing man. I didn’t mean anything. It’s just.. I thought she’d be good at sports.”

“She is good at sports. She came in fourth during the San Francisco marathon, and second in the relays on Rigulus II. ”

“Dude. I didn’t mean...”

“Yeah, I know what you meant.” Jim bent down to pick up the ball and thrust it at the other guy, still glaring, about two seconds from shoving it down the guy’s throat. Maybe some of that was on his face or something, because the guy just turned and jogged off, quickly joining his friends.

Jim sucked his teeth and exhaled shortly, staring after the guy with a dark look on his face. “God, what an asshole. I’m just gonna go and wash this off. I’ll be right back.” Jim was still pissed when he hit the waterline, and completely missed the slow, proud and pleased grins that Bones, Galia and Uhura shared as he jogged away.

2-  All Lesbians Are In It Just to Have a Good Time-


It was one hell of a birthday.

Usually he just spent his birthday drinking somewhere, fucking someone whose face he couldn’t remember after the hangover wore off, trying to not feel like the sacrifice his dad had made for him and his mom was such a damn waste. The past three years had been slightly different. One year Bones had put him to work in the clinic, and he’d crawled into his dorm bed so exhausted that he couldn’t even think about feeling sorry for himself.  Last year Bones had shared a bottle of Bourbon with him, trading shots and confessions. Neither of them had ever felt the need to discuss what they had talked about: Jim’s anger or Bones’ tears over not being allowed to see his kid. To be honest, he’d expected the same sort of send-off this year. 

But Uhura and Gaila had different plans. Three different courses. Conversation. Laughter and affection. The strange realization that he was friends with these people, and a humbling feeling of awe that they allowed him into their lives.

Jim was pretty sure that he was actually floating. He hadn’t intended to get drunk. But whatever had been in the cut glass container that Uhura had given him had really done something crazy with his head. Uhura had said it was called Vulcan Hooch- or some shit like that. Actually what she had said had been in Vulcan and sounded a bit like she was gargling with popcorn kernels, but whatever. The feeling was the same.  His head wasn’t connected anymore. His thought processes were long and full of rhetoric.  Jim wasn’t sure if that’s what drunk  Vulcans felt like or not, but it was extremely nice.

“I think he’s out.”  Gaila sounded amused.

“Yeah. Looks it.  Why don’t you get him a blanket. I don’t think Leonard is in any shape to carry his heavy ass back to their dorm.”

Jim would have grinned at that- if his face didn’t feel like it had slid off into a puddle onto the carpet.  Bones was passed out on the other couch, mouth open and snoring loud enough that Jim was pretty sure that the girls would have a noise citation if someone didn’t poke him and make him turn over.  He smelled Gaila’s perfume and floated for a few more seconds as a blanket was pulled up over him.

“You got him?”

“Yeah. He’s out.” There was a click and the light behind his closed eyelids changed as Uhura clicked off the lamp. The drink had made everything seem louder. Jim’s thought of Uhura caused him to focus on the sounds she was making as she cleaned up.

“I can help you know.”

“I know. Not necessary though.” There was a gasp and a giggle, and Jim couldn’t help but grin at the sound. He cracked open one eye, the perv in him not able to keep his eyes shut at the teasing sound. They were outlined against the bay window, the lights from the city enveloping the room in a pale blue luminescence.  Gaila was standing behind Uhura, leaning against her girlfriend. Jim watched as Uhura turned her head, blinked as their lips met softly, the light outlining the shape of each lip, slowly disappearing as they touched. Jim could hear a soft gasp of breath and with a lurch squeezed his eyes shut.

He felt like a sicko, listening to this. Jim made a fairly loud snuffling sound and rolled over, turning so his back was to the two of them. Jim could see them still, the soft, relaxed way they held each other; two lovers completely at home in their skin behind his closed eyes. He felt like an interloper, as though he’d somehow taken something away from them by seeing the two of them in such an unguarded moment.

There was the wetslick sound of tongues gliding together in a kiss.  Bones chose that moment to snore so loudly that Galia snorted and began giggling. Bones was completely oblivious. Either Galia or Uhura must have poked him or something, because the timbre of the snores changed.

“We should probably continue this later. Come help me in the kitchen?”

“You know, these two are kind of adorable. It’s like a painting: Drunk Asshole and Snoring Bear.”

“I don’t know. Jim’s not even close to the schmuck he was three years ago.”

“Yeah, I know.”  Uhura’s voice was much closer than Jim realized. The carpet must have muffled her footsteps, because when she bent down to kiss the top of his head, Jim’s whole body flushed at the small gesture.  “Night, Jim.”

The door shut with a small snap. Jim was still shocked stupid, his eyes wide open in the not-quite darkness. His smile was slow, but stretched his lips so widely that his jaw popped. He was quiet though, listening to Bones’ snores and sleepy mumbles and loved the three of them so fucking much at that moment that he pitied anyone in  this galaxy or next that took this family away from him.

1-  Lesbians Don’t Fall in Love Like Straight People-


“Jim. Jim.”

Jim blinked at Bones, surprised that he was there. He hadn’t heard him come onto the Bridge- hadn’t heard much of anything in fact.  Even now, Bones’ voice seemed to come at him as though through a long tunnel, fading in and out of clarity like a kid with their hands cupped over their face.

There was the smell of smoke and ozone that still hung in the air from when the bay was destroyed.  Bones looked dead on his feet. He was impeccably clean (Bones would never tend to a medical injury and risk infection by being dirty; apparently that rang true even when the ‘tincan’ he was so fond of had been blown to hell and back.), but underneath that was the smell of gauze and antiseptic, smells that usually made Jim want to run for the hills.

Now though, he couldn’t do much of anything. Jim was kind of afraid to do much of anything.

“Okay, kid. Just hang tight. Let me just fix up a few things and then you can go fall on your face.”  Bones had only had that tone of voice with him once. It had taken a dark room and over half a bottle of Bourbon before Jim could even begin to understand Bones’ careful questions about Tarsus. Now, Jim hated to hear that same careful compassion in Bones’ whiskey-rich voice. But he couldn't sum up the energy to tell him off. Not now. Not after.... everything.

So he just sat there and watched Bones begin the process of putting him back together again. He knew he had a slight concussion. His throat was so swollen that he couldn’t swallow without feeling something painful click and catch, he was pretty sure he’d rebroken the bones in his hand, and he was equally certain that he’d broken his ankle when he’d landed on the metal grating after he’d shot the Romulan that had strangled him. 

“Jim, I’ll have to do the dermal regeneration later. It’s healed enough to get you to your bed though.”

“Hm?”  Jim watched Bones’ eyes darken.

“Now, you look here Mister Captain. You better go to Pike’s quarters and sleep for at least six hours. I want you to do eight, but I know you and your fool ass will only do six, so that’s all I’m gonna say. I got too damn much stuff to see to before I go to sleep, so I need to be able to trust you that you’ll go and sleep, Jim.” Bones’ eyes flickered over the older Vulcans huddled together in the corner of the room, half-way hidden by a small partition. “I don’t wanna waste a bed on your stubborn ass, but I will if you press me. None of this ‘But Bones I gotta be on duty.’ That pointy-eared bastard is on duty, and told me that we’re at least seven hours out before our rendezvous with Starbase 11.  It ain’t like we can warp there the way this bucket of bolts is limpin’ through space. Now what’s it gonna be, kid? Sleep or sickbay?”

Jim blinked, forcing himself into some semblance of coherency. He doubted that he was fooling Bones for one second, but it was enough to get his exhausted body moving. He nodded, and Bones pulled him into a rough hug before pushing him out of the door. Jim blinked at the bright lights in the corridor, seeing instance after instance of damage they’d taken from that fucker Nero. He began walking, had to detour around a lift that was offline, and double-back on the next deck on his way to the Captain’s quarters. 

Later, he was never sure what had drawn him there. It wasn’t much of an observation deck really. More of a nook that was just out of the way enough that Jim could pretend that he was alone for awhile. There was no way that he could sleep in Pike’s room. That seemed blasphemous, like he was tempting fate. 

The small, stifled sob almost sent him out into the corridor. Jim had to blink rapidly after the brightness of the corridor to allow his eyes to adjust to the dimness of the room. His whole body slumped for a second.  Fuck. Was it too much to ask that he just have a second--- but, no. He was the captain. Maybe there was something he could do. Selfishness had no place in a commanding officer onboard the Enterprise.

Jim would do well to remember that.

It was almost like a physical blow when he saw Uhura, face buried in the couch, rocking back and forth on the floor with her hands crossed over her chest, like she was physically trying to hold in what she was feeling.

“Oh, Ny,” Jim breathed, stumbling in his haste to get to her. Jim’s whole body seemed to give out on him as he collapsed next to Uhura’s leg, drawing her small, shaking frame into his arms. She let him, and Jim closed his eyes as she began to sob in earnest, tears and drool and snot wetting his neck and his blacks as she cried. Jim felt his own exhaustion and pain rise up, and let his own tears go. He rested his chin on the top of her head and held her, drifting for a few minutes as he listened to Uhura’s violent sobbing. After awhile, Jim wiped his eyes with his sleeve, then arranged them so that his back (which still ached like a motherfucker) was braced against the couch, Uhura sprawled on his lap, her lithe body still shaking with the force of her crying.

“She-  she- she---”

Jim swallowed back his own tears, biting his lip hard enough to taste blood. She. Gaila. Of course. Jim wasn’t the only person who had been on-duty for over twenty hours. Uhura had been on the clock just as long as he had. She hadn’t had a chance to mourn.

“Oh Jim, she was so excited to be posted on the Farragut. Her whole face lit up when she heard that we were there together. And I-- I....” She broke off with a hiccup, overcome for  a second.

Jim waited while she found a handkerchief from somewhere and blew her nose, listening to her breaths as she tried to keep sobbing. Jim wiped some of the tears off of her face with his thumbs, watching as she started to rebuild some of the persona she had spent so much time cultivating. Jim knew what she was going to say, almost before she said it. The Farragut was one of the many of the ‘Fleet starships that had been destroyed in the airspace around where Vulcan had once been. It seemed impossible to think of Galia … gone.

“You didn’t have any control over where she was posted. Come on, honey. You couldn’t do anything.” Jim murmured over and over, stroking her thin and shaking back. Whatever he said had the opposite effect, causing her muscles to tighten with distress.

Uhura just shook her head. “You don’t understand,” she whispered. Her eyes looked huge as she looked up at him, her brown gaze begging him for forgiveness. “I made Spock reassign me to the Enterprise. I should have told him to assign both of us. I should have--”

“Now wait just a second.”  Jim knew there was a slight bite of command in his voice as he interrupted the trip of guilt-filled words. “Galia would have been pissed if you took her off the Farragut, Uhura. Hell, she drools over the engineering schematics in her spare time. And she fucking hates Olsen; she would have hated being on the Enterpr--” Jim broke off, wincing.  She … drooled. Hated. Past tense. God, it was almost impossible to believe. And Gaila was just one person. How many of his class were also dead because of the ‘Fleet’s order to respond to the distress call?

“Yeah, but she’d be alive! She’s dead and I’m alive and I don’t know... I ...don’t know...And Spock! I don’t even know what the fuck I was...” Jim watched as her whole face seemed to crumple in on itself as she broke down. “What do I do, Jim? How do I do this without her? It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Not like …I...”

Jim resumed stroking her back. Holding her until she relaxed enough to talk. “So, uh... Spock?” Jim heard the watery chuckle Uhura gave against his neck and allowed himself a small smile. “Yeah, that was kind of unexpected.”

“No shit.” Uhura shook her head and sat up a little. Jim expected her to leave, but instead she just pushed him more firmly against the couch, worming her way under his arm. She sighed. “His whole planet. His mom. That was... I mean,he’s my advisor, you know that?”

Jim’s mind flashed around for a few minutes. He really, really didn’t want to know anything about … anything having to do with Spock. With either one of them, come to think of it.  And fuck, that just made his brain hurt. “Uh, people just do.. um weird shit when they’re trying to comfort people. We could totally make out if you want. I’d go for that.”  He waggled his eyebrows in a half-hearted attempt to lighten a mood that was impossible to lighten. He laughed when she elbowed him in the ribs, then tightened his arm around her shoulder, curling her into his body when she started to cry again, softly, helplessly. Jim hissed when her hand found his broken ribs and turned a little so that she wasn’t brushing up against him. “Computer, lights. Zero percent.”

Uhura’s body was shaking again in her misery. Jim hated to feel helpless, but there was nothing in the world that he could say that would make Uhura feel better. 

“I just. I. I just love her... so. So muh-muh- much.”

Jim stroked over her sleek hair with his other hand, closing his eyes and leaning his head back against the couch cushion, shifting a little as his ass fell asleep.

“I know. She knows. Shhh. Shhhh, now. I’m here. You can cry all you want. I’m not going anywhere.” Stupid words. But what could you say to someone whose heart had been ripped out of them? He listened to her quiet sobs and sniffles, to the indiscernible mutters as she settled, then broke down again, settled, then broke down again.  It took awhile, but Uhura eventually cried herself to sleep, utterly exhausted.

When Bones managed to check on Jim, hours later, he found the two of them supporting each other; like debilitated bookends, matching lines of sadness pinched into their faces. Bones’ shoulders slumped as he pinched the top of his nose. He didn’t have the heart to wake them up. They’d both grown up so much in the past hours that he knew it was going to take a long, long time before any of them were even close to being all right.

Best to take what comfort you could, when you could. That’s what family did.

+1

‘Captain Kirk, sensors are reporting what appears to be an escape pod. The singularity must have pushed it into orbit around Delta Wega, sir.”

Jim jumped at the sound of Lieutenant Chekov’s voice. His whole body felt like someone had used it for a punching bag, then healed him only to use it for crash dummy practice. They were almost back in familiar space. Too familiar. Things were pretty tense as everyone acknowledged that two days ago, there had been an entire planet here without actually saying anything to each other. Jim was glad that Bones had insisted that Spock remain in Sickbay to assist with the Vulcan refugees. This was heart-breaking and tense enough without the stubborn bastard insisting he remain on duty. 

“Designation?” He winced as he leaned forward in his chair, his back and shoulders popping as they protested his sudden movement. 

“It is the Farragut, sir.”

Jim’s whole body tensed.  His blood roared in his ears for a minute before he forced himself to take a slow, deep breath. Hope was like being punched in the gut. He lost his air for a second and had to pause to remind his lungs to breathe.

“Scan for lifesigns. Ensign, put it on screen, highest magnification.”

“Yes, Keptin. Scanning.”

Nothing had ever seemed to take physically as long as waiting for Chekov’s response.

“Lifesigns sir. They are weak but.. yes.” Jim bit his lip so that he would bark at the poor kid, watching as his fingers flew over the console. “They are Orion, sir.”

Jim’s eyes slid shut. He heard Uhura’s sharp gasp of shock, but couldn’t make himself move; all at once so tense that he couldn’t turn to look at her. His throat closed with emotion, and for a second he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to speak.  “Sickbay.”

“Yeah, Jim.”

Oh god. Bones. Jim’s lips began to stretch in a grin as his throat tightened still further. He turned in his chair to see Uhura, clutching her console with knuckles that had gone white, hope and desperation and yearning warring with each other on her beautiful face.

“Prepare for a direct beam-out. Weak lifesigns, Orion in origin from a pod from the Farragut.” His voice was a choked whisper, but he knew Bones heard him from the  whoop that came, loud and clear over the open line. 

“Chekov, you handle the beam out,  please. Cadet Uhura?” 

Their eyes met for one bright, incandescent moment. He somehow managed to force the words out, each one sounding like glass scraped over sandpaper.

“You are relieved from shift duty until further notice.”


THE END! :D



Thanks to [info]jlm121  and [info]littleboycalico  for all their help and ideas! :D And of course, to [info]jademac2442  for her beta work. I love you all, bbs. [info]joanne_c , I hope you liked this story as much as I enjoyed writing it! :)

Date: 2011-07-09 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] secretsolitaire.livejournal.com
Aw, I enjoyed this! Nice to see Jim grow up a little.

Date: 2011-07-14 11:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fannon-fodder.livejournal.com
Tears, crying actual tears ... SO good.

I don't usually read flemslash, but I trusted ya and I'm so glad I did :) Even from an outsider's POV the love between Uhura and Gaila was palpable, and Jim's struggle to grow as a person was incredibly good to see.

Loved it :)

Date: 2011-07-14 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 1lostoneficspot.livejournal.com
Lol, bb I I've never written it before- so yeah it was a new experience for me too. :D SO glad you enjoyed it!!

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