Disclaimer: Characters contained within do not belong to me, but to Gene Roddenberry, Paramount Pictures, etc.
Author's Notes: Saw the movie. After I retreived my knocked-off socks, this little idea snuck into my head. I hope you enjoy it. But after you enjoy the movie. Otherwise you will be very spoiled.
The Opposite of Logic
by Kristen Elizabeth
"Have you ever heard of a planet called Betazoid?"
"Betazed." Staring into the tiny flames of the candles that lit his quarters, Spock didn't turn his head to acknowledge the man leaning in the open door frame. "Class M, Federation, home to a race of telepaths, I believe."
James Tiberius Kirk couldn't hold back a lascivious grin. "Now isn't that a happy thought? A woman who knows exactly what you want her to..."
"Is there a point to your inquiry?"
Undaunted, Kirk stepped into the semi-dark room; the doors slid shut behind him. "I used to know a guy at the Academy who said he heard that the Betazed's..."
"Betazoids," Spock corrected.
"Make up your mind, would you?" Kirk tried again, "He said that when the Betazoid's get married...they're naked." He paused for effect, but when he received no response, he added, "Everyone. For the whole ceremony."
Finally, Spock glanced at his friend and captain. "Fascinating," he dryly replied.
Kirk nodded his agreement as solemnly as possible. "So it occurred to me, as I was trying to figure out how fast we could make it to Betazed at Warp Eight, that I know almost nothing about Vulcan weddings."
Spock turned back to his meditation candles. "That information is easily accessible."
"Sure, the computer could take me through the particulars." Kirk grabbed the chair from Spock's workstation, turned it around and straddled it. "But you know me." He grinned. "Why not go straight to the source?" After a moment, Kirk's smile fell. "C'mon. You know you want to talk about it."
"There is nothing to discuss." With one breath, Spock extinguished the flames. "Computer, lights." He stood up and in the harsh glare of the overheads, it was impossible to overlook the dark shadows under his eyes. "The arrangements have already been made."
Looking up at the man who had gone from the biggest pain in his ass at the Academy to his greatest asset in the first year of his new command, Kirk shook his head. "You don't want this."
"What I want is irrelevant in the face of my duty to my people."
"Half of your people don't even consider you a true Vulcan." Kirk held up his hands innocently. "For once, I'm not saying that to piss you off. It's just a fact. Right?"
Spock stared at him before abruptly looking away. "There are less than 20,000 Vulcans left," he reminded Kirk. "They have lost the right to be..."
"Exclusive," Spock finished.
"So...what? They need babies and you're just supposed to marry some girl they picked for you and start making them?"
"Marriages and children go hand-in-hand."
Kirk snorted. "Not always."
"Is there something you wish to talk about?" Spock asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Hey, I've always been careful," Kirk defended himself. A moment passed. "Usually." Another moment. "For the most part." Shaking his head, he plunged on, "We're not talking about me. I'm not the one being pressured to help re-populate my species!"
"I doubt you would require any pressure to rise to the occasion."
A slow grin spread on Kirk's battle-roughened face. "I'll give you that one," he conceded.
There was an open case on Spock's bed, only partially filled with the clothes he would be taking with him on his sabbatical from active duty. Otherwise known as the first year of his marriage. He walked to it and closed the lid with a heavy snap. "If Vulcans are to survive, we must create a vast and diverse genetic pool." He picked up the case. "Everyone must do their part. Including myself."
Kirk let him get all the way to the door before asking, "What about her?"
Spock didn't turn around, but he stopped short, frozen in his tracks. "She...understands," he eventually said in a tone that was cool, but not entirely composed.
"Really?" Kirk swung himself up onto his feet. "Then I was right. She is a hell of a woman." He smirked. "But then I knew that from the first time I saw her take her shirt off."
Turning his head ever so slightly to the side, Spock replied, "I am familiar with that particular anecdote, and I am aware that the circumstances have never been duplicated."
"Doesn't mean they couldn't be," Kirk retorted. "There's nothing like the man she loves getting hitched to someone else to make a woman fall right into your arms."
At this, Spock finally turned back. Only his painfully tight grip on the handle of his travel case gave away any emotion. "I realize I have no reason to expect nor request your discretion in this matter, but if you could find it within yourself to not..."
"Spock." Kirk shook his head, slowly this time. "I'd never do that."
His friend's grip on the handle relaxed just a fraction. "I have never..." He hesitated. "I do not believe I have ever hurt anyone as much as I have hurt her, Jim."
Slipping his hands into the pockets of his dark uniform pants, Kirk lifted his shoulders. "She's Starfleet. She knows about duty."
"Did I not have a duty to her?"
"I don't know. Did you?"
Spock thought for a second. "How can I put my desires above the needs of my people?"
"Well..." Kirk scratched the back of his head. "No offense, but your people aren't gonna keep you warm at night. Trust me on this one." Off Spock's look, he waved his hand indifferently. "Another story for another day."
"She and I have never officially committed ourselves to each other," Spock continued, choosing to ignore the innuendo for the moment.
Kirk looked around the room. "Just how many more nights did she have to spend in here to qualify as a committment?"
Spock's slanted eyebrow spiked. "You think I have betrayed her."
"I think..." Clapping a hand on his friend's shoulder, Kirk sighed. "You're in a no-win situation, friend."
"You do not believe in no-win situations."
Kirk nodded. "True. But I do believe in duty. And love. And I'm smart enough to know that they don't mix well."
Spock looked down at the case in his hand. "She deserves better than half a man."
"Funny thing about Uhura...she's got a way of deciding for herself what she does or doesn't deserve."
"Perhaps one day," Spock mused. "When I have completed my duty to Vulcan."
Kirk gave him another solid clap on the back. "That's the spirit. Nothing says happily-ever-after like genetic obligation."
"Now you are mocking me."
"Only one of my many pleasurable vices." Kirk flashed him an irresistible grin. "Am I still invited to the ceremony?"
"There will be no naked women," Spock informed him.
Kirk shrugged. "I'll suffer through it."
On the other side of the Enterprise, a lone woman sat in the empty mess hall, staring down into a cup of mint tea. Although it had begun to cool, her slender hands remained around the glass mug, as if drawing strength from the remaining warmth.
Startled, Uhura's head lifted, but her shoulders relaxed when she saw who had entered. "Don't you think we've known each other long enough to forget about rank?"
Dr. Leonard McCoy conceded with a nod. "Yes ma'am." He walked to the replicator and stuck a mug into it. "Coffee, blacker than black and hotter than hell."
Uhura smiled softly. "How long did it take you to get the computer to acknowledge that command?"
After taking a sip of what materialized in his mug, McCoy scowled. "Who says I have?" He downed another gulp of lukewarm sludge. "Can I join you?" At her nod, he took the seat across from her. "It's a quiet night in Sickbay for once."
"That's good to hear."
"Yep." A couple of silent seconds ticked by. "And the bridge?" he asked.
"Also quiet." She lifted her cup to her lips, but didn't drink.
"Good. Real good." After taking another sip of coffee, McCoy set his mug down with more force than necessary. "So. How far along are you?"
The cup slipped from Uhura's grip and shattered on the tabletop, sending tea and glass flying.
"Careful!" McCoy reached for her shaking hands and examined them for cuts. Finding none, he sighed. "I probably could've put that better," he gruffly apologized.
Uhura stared at him. "I don't understand. Why do you think that...?"
"I'm a doctor, not an idiot," he scoffed. "No one drinks mint tea unless their stomach's flipping and flopping. Add in the fact that you've had to be relieved on the bridge twice in the past month, you turned down a Cardassian Sunrise the other night at the poker game and you have an appointment in Sick Bay next week...and there's really only one logical conclusion."
His use of the word "logical" was not lost on Uhura. Tears stung her eyes, but she bravely blinked them back. "Hardly conclusive evidence."
"Tell me you're not pregnant and I'll sing you an apology," McCoy said as he retreived a drying cloth from the mess line. "But if you are..."
"If I was..." she slowly began. "It would be a very big problem."
Giving diligent attention to the task of mopping the table, McCoy asked, "Does he know?"
"If I was..." Uhura repeated. "Why would I tell him?"
"Because if you were," the doctor snapped, reluctantly playing along, "it would be half his responsibility and emotions or not, arranged marriage or not, he'd be expected to live up to it!"
"So many people already expect so much of him. I told myself a long time ago that I would never ask for more than he could give me."
"And look at what he's given you." McCoy's expression grew dark. "I should grab him by one pointy ear and..."
She held up her hand. "The sentiment is appreciated. The gesture wouldn't be." She looked down at the pile of broken glass the doctor had gathered as he'd mopped up tea. "I'm carrying his baby." When McCoy opened his mouth, she cut him off again. "A child who is only one quarter Vulcan isn't going to help them re-establish their race." She drew in a ragged breath. "It's better that he...that he marry. Have children who are more...helpful."
McCoy sank into the seat beside her. "And what happens to you?"
Dragging her lower lip between her teeth, Uhura shook her head, her dark hair sweeping her shoulders. "He'll be gone for a year. He never even has to know."
"You'll have it then."
At this, she lost the battle with her tears. They spilled down her cheeks in twin rivers. "Of course I will. It's part of him. And even if he belongs to someone else now...I still love him." She shrugged helplessly. "I'll always love him."
McCoy took her hand again, awkwardly this time as it was the touch of a friend rather than a physician. "You won't be alone," he promised her.
Twenty minutes later, as she sat on the bridge, Uhura could barely hear the captain give the all-clear for the Enterprise's shuttlecraft to depart on its journey to the Vulcan colony over the roar in her ears.
Tearing off her earpiece, she shot to her feet. "Permission to be relieved, Captain!"
Kirk looked back at her. Their eyes met for a second before he nodded. "Granted."
Back in her quarters, she curled up in her bed, alone except for one tiny, unexpected, unplanned but already deeply cherished life.
The End or To Be Continued...you decide.