Author's note: Every time I watch the scene in the movie (which I have seen seven times now) where Kirk forces Spock to show his emotions, I ask myself why is no one stopping him? I thought it very odd that no one says or does anything while Spock beats the shit out of Kirk. That's when this plot bunny crept into my mind. This fic explores what would have happened if Uhura had followed Spock from the bridge. I also think it explains why Uhura dislikes Kirk. Let me know what you think. Cheers!

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The Unraveling of Mr Spock

Why is no one stopping him? Why is no one saying anything? Uhura wonders to herself as she stands by, helplessly, and watches the man she loves beat the crap out of James Kirk. Kirk, that son of a bitch. Those things he said to Spock, he deserves this. Let Spock kill him.

Uhura looks around at the rest of the bridge crew. Everyone else seems to be in as much a state of shock as she. No one is saying anything, but everyone is watching, entranced. Beside her Spock's father is watching silently as his son strangles the life out of Kirk.

This isn't right, Uhura thinks.

Let Spock kill him.

No. Uhura opens her mouth to say his name, to make him stop, but the words won't come out. She tries again, but-

"Spock." Sarek says as firmly as Uhura has ever heard a Vulcan say anything. Spock's father has beat her to it and she is ashamed that she could not call him off before it got this far.

After a moments hesitation Spock lets go of Kirk's throat and steps away from him. Slowly, the half human, half Vulcan turns to face his father. Uhura stares in openmouthed horror at the look on his face; fear, rage, shame, and disgust mingled together. Spock's eye catches her astonished gaze, but he does not linger there. Uhura knows he is ashamed of his actions and cannot fathom how terrible he must feel. Without saying anything Spock moves further away from Kirk.

"Doctor, I am no longer fit for duty. I hereby relinquish my command on the grounds that I have been emotionally compromised. Please note the time and date in the ship's log." Without waiting for a response, Spock moves past McCoy and heads for the door which will take him away from the staring eyes of the bridge crew. Away from his father, and from her. As he nears the door Uhura finally regains control of her limbs and walks over to him. He pauses just in front of the door and turns to stare at her. The look on his face makes her pause. Maybe she should let him go. She tries to reach a hand out to him, but he is gone before she can move so much as an inch.

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Spock is halfway down the corridor when he hears her. "Spock, please," he pauses for a millisecond, but does not look back. He continues down the corridor, though he has no doubt that she is following him.

"Spock," she calls again and he can hear a sob in her tone.

"Return to your station, Lieutenant Uhura," Spock says, as carefully and delicately as he can manage. He can feel himself falling apart--no--imploding, just like his planet. He only hopes he has enough time to make it out of eyesight before the collapse.

"I can't do that, Spock." Her tone gives him pause. He stops in his tracks and turns slowly to look at her. Uhura's eyes are moist. She has been crying. She has been crying for him, he suspects, and for all that he has lost. He wants to comfort her, but he doesn't think he knows how.

"Lieu," A pause. "Nyota, please. I must be alone right now. I cannot be in the company of anyone at this time, you least of all." He refuses to meet her gaze, he cannot. He does not want to see the disappointment in her eyes. The disappointment he saw in his father's eyes only a moment before. He could not take that.

Suddenly she is in front of him. Her slender arm reaches up and brushes Spock's fringe out of his eyes. He closes his eyes, for he does not want to see what is in her gaze. "Spock, look at me, please." she purrs. He does as she asks and opens his eyes. She is staring up at him with, not disappointment as he expected, but kindness and tenderness.

"I do not think-" His hand finds hers and he clutches at it as if it where the last thing to catch at before a fall. "I need to be alone right now. I cannot maintain control much longer and I do not want anyone to be around me when my control falters. I especially do not want you there, Nyota. I do not want you to see," Bit by bit he can feel the emotions poking tiny holes in his cool exterior. Another minute or two and it will be too late.

"I will not leave you alone, Spock, not this time." Her voice grows firm as she continues. Panic creeps into her gaze. "You could have killed him, Spock. You could have-"

Crack!

"Do you not think I know that?" His hand tightens on Uhura's wrist and he is granted the small, shameful satisfaction of seeing her wince. "Do you think I do not understand what almost transpired, Nyota? What I almost allowed myself to do?"

"You could have killed him, but you didn't. You stopped!" She tries in vain to yank her wrist from his grasp, but he holds firm. To her credit, he can tell she is not afraid.

"Leave me," Spock's tone is different than before. It's harder, firmer. Chaos barely contained by a thin veil of control.

"No," Uhura starts, almost pleadingly.

"Nyota, I do not want to hurt you!" he shouts, loud enough that a passing Ensign stops in her tracks and stares. A quick look from Uhura sends her off again, this time at a faster pace. Spock swallows hard and slowly the hand not shackling Uhura's wrist finds her face. He gently touches the tips of his fingers to her flawlessly smooth cheek. He takes a moment to breathe in her scent: a heady mix of musk, patchouli, and sandalwood. It calms him enough to focus a bit more energy toward keeping the floodgates closed.

"Nyota, please return to the bridge." he says as softly as his crumbling calm allows. His gaze locks with hers and in her eyes he can see how much he is cared for, how much he is loved. "I am grateful to you, for you. I promise to call you when I am ready to talk." It is all he can promise at this point. He is not sure he will ever recover enough to speak again.

Slowly, his grip on her wrist relaxes and she turns her cheek into his hand. She places a gentle kiss on his palm and then nods. "Ok," is all she says.

She touches his cheek briefly. "Ok," she repeats and breaks the contact between them.

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Slowly Uhura turns around and heads back the way she came. She hates leaving Spock alone at such a vulnerable time, but it is his wish. If she loves him as much as she thinks, she needs to honour his wishes. The tears begin to fall down her cheeks. She is finally able to shed them now that she is no longer facing him. It would pain him beyond his capacity to see her cry, she knows, and she cannot bring herself to place more of an emotional strain on his already overburdened mind. As he promised, Spock would call her when he is able to talk. She must give him that, she must trust that he knows she is there for him.

As Uhura rounds the corner at the end of the corridor she see him. Sarek. He is on the opposite side of the corridor and Uhura has no doubt that he has seen the entire exchange. As she passes him, she inclines her head respectfully. Sarek dips his head in acknowledgment and Uhura moves past him.

"Thank you, Lieutenant Uhura," her name catches her off guard. She turns to regard the older Vulcan, but he is almost at the end of the corridor now. No doubt he is going after his son, as he should. Uhura stands slightly back from the door to the bridge and takes a moment to compose herself. The tears have stopped, but it will be a long while before she is able to come to terms with what has transpired this day. It is then Uhura makes a promise to herself and a promise to Spock. One of these days, she is going to make that bastard Kirk answer for his actions, for what he did to Spock. One day, but today is not that day.

Uhura takes a deep breath and enters the bridge.