Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. All characters involved are the property of Paramount and the Great Bird (may he rest in galactic peace).
Star Trek: Glimpses
Scotty and Uhura
The early morning sun shone on the water as it lapped against the side of the boat. A soft breeze rocked it gently back and forth, and Montgomery Scott sat in his pajamas on the deck, looking up occasionally from his book at passing seagulls. The San Francisco Bay was always quiet this time of morning, though occasionally a low-flying shuttlecraft would disturb the otherwise peaceful setting.
The S.S. Robert Burns was a fine little vessel. Too fine, really, for Scotty's taste. He had always relished the chance to get inside the workings of a ship and see what he could do to improve upon its design. But what was there to improve upon with a little boat engine? It didn't matter. He had more pressing concerns on his mind this morning.
He leaned back, silently reviewing the events of the past few months. Jim Kirk was dead, sucked into space by a hull breach during a rescue mission. Starfleet had indicated to Scotty shortly thereafter that it was really time for him to begin considering retirement. He had settled for a partial retirement, and had been teaching a few classes at the Academy. He now spent much of his free time relaxing on this boat. Dr. McCoy kept telling him that he needed to get out more, go do other things. But Scotty didn't feel like it. He belonged on a starship, and nowhere else. Already, warp engineering was beginning to advance at such a pace that he feared he would become obsolete if he didn't race to keep up. Floating around on this little boat, it seemed, was the only thing keeping him from losing his sanity.
But then there was her. As if on cue, Uhura suddenly appeared in a shimmer of light. She was dressed less casually than Scotty, her dark skin framed by a flowing blue dress of sorts. To Scotty, it was as though an angel had appeared.
"Ah, ye're right on time, lass. I was just thinkin' 'bout ya!" She smiled.
"I'm sure you were, Scotty. I brought you something." She held out a bottle. Scotty took it, reading the label. Then his eyes shone with delight.
"Real Scotch! Oh, ye're a dream, lassie!" He stood and put his arms around her. Their lips met briefly. Then he pulled back awkwardly. For a moment he just smiled at her, gazing into her dark eyes. "Well, this calls for a wee celebration. I'll get a couple o' glasses." With that he went belowdecks, whistling a merry tune.
Uhura was alone on the deck, the breeze catching errant strands of her hair. She watched Scotty disappear into the mess downstairs. She hadn't been down there, but she was sure it was a mess. Scotty was a lot of wonderful things, but tidy wasn't one of them. She smiled a little, remembering her initial frustration with him. It had been on the Enterprise, how many years ago now? Too many.
So much had happened since then, some of it good, some not so good. Some old friends had departed. New friendships had arisen to take their place, but of course they could never really match up. All they could do was dull the pain a little, and occasionally bring a little laughter into one's life. It was a sad thing to live in the past, but Uhura had been doing it for years now.
She knew Scotty was the same way. The book on his deck chair was proof enough of that: History of the Enterprise under James Kirk. She picked it up, flipping through the pages, careful to maintain his place. The irony of their adventures being placed into an actual old-fashioned book struck her.
She heard Scotty coming back up the steps, so she carefully replaced the book and turned to greet him. He was carrying two glasses, each in a suspect state of being clean. That was all right, though. She didn't care. He removed the cork, took a light sniff of the liquor, and poured them each a small amount.
"To the Enterprise," he said, raising his glass. She brought her own glass up, clinking it against his.
"To old friends, living and otherwise." They drank, slowly, feeling the warmth of the Scotch spreading. Scotty smiled at her, his eyes twinkling. Uhura had known him long enough to discern that the smile meant something. He put an arm around her, leading her to the edge of the deck. On the horizon, the morning sun was rising higher, turning slowly from a deep blood red to an intense golden yellow. Scotty took a deep breath.
"I've been doin' some thinkin', lass," he said haltingly. Uhura could sense his tension.
"Thinking about what, love?" she asked. Scotty smiled, blushing a little. He always blushes when I call him that.
"Well, they're a'wantin' me to retire from Starfleet," his eyes fell a little, as though he were embarrassed at the admission. "And ah've been a'thinkin' about doin' it."
Uhura had to stop herself from gasping. Scotty retire? How could he live away from starships? From the life that he loved. From her?
"Why would you want to retire, Scotty?" she asked. He squeezed her shoulder a little, staring into the sun.
"Because ah don' seem ta belong here anymore. These young blustering lads, they know their way 'round things better than ah do." There was silence. Scotty did not dare look at Uhura. Finally, she spoke up.
"What will you do?" He sighed.
"Thair's a small ship leavin' the system in a couple days. The Jenolen. Fine little ship, ah suppose. Ahm gonna try out one o' those colonies somewhere."
"Where?" Uhura asked, her heart pounding.
"Norpin Five. It sounds lovely," Scotty said unenthusiastically. Uhura's face fell visibly, and Scotty brought up his other arm and put it around her. She began to cry. It was awkward for him, but Scotty held her.
"Shh. Now don' cry lass. Look," he said, taking her face in his hands. "Ah was wonderin', Uhura…" he faltered. Through her tears, Uhura saw a ray of hope. Sniffling a little, she wiped at an eye.
"Yes? Wondering what, Scotty?"
"Well…uh. Ah was jus' thinkin', what with the way things are for us and…" He turned away, reaching into a storage container that was attached to the deck wall. Uhura's heart leapt as he turned around, offering her a small black box. He opened it and turned it around, and inside she saw plainly the diamond ring. Slowly, Scotty lowered himself down on one knee.
"Uhura," he began again, his voice cracking a little with dryness. "Ah was wonderin' if you…if you would wanna go wi' me. As…mah wife." He scratched his head. "What ah mean is…will ya marry me?" For an eternal moment, she stared at him, pondering.
Maybe Scotty is right to retire. Maybe we're just a couple of antiques, brushed aside as soon as we're in the way. Maybe we could be antiques together. Maybe we belong together. After all these years together, why not spend the rest of them that way? Maybe…
"Oh Scotty! Of course, I'll marry you!" she said, her tears flowing freely now. Scotty exploded into joyous laughter. He tried to speak, but couldn't find the words. He embraced her, nearly crushing her in his great arms.
"Ah lassie! Ah've told ye before, and ah'll tell ye agin'. Ye're the most understandin' woman ah've ever known!" He was beaming, his laughter infectious; Uhura found herself giggling at him through her tears.
"But Scotty, there is one problem here. I can't just leave my post at the Academy. You say you're leaving in a few days, but the semester won't be over for another month and a half." Scotty's smile only widened.
"Och! Ah've already got that one figured out. Ye see, ah'll go ahead on the Jenolen, and get things settled in on Norpin. Then ah'll come back fer you when yer teachin's done. What d'ya say?" Uhura laughed. Leave it to Scotty to think of everything in advance. Her teaching position wasn't even a good one; she'd been relegated to entertaining junior cadets with bedtime stories about days gone by. To hell with them.
"I say 'yes', Mister Scott."
Again they embraced, sharing one of their silly, awkward little kisses. Then they turned toward the horizon again, watching the sun beat down with ever-growing fury upon the light waves of the Bay, each one silently dreaming about their future.