A/N: I finally had to break down and get an account. I got the prompt from the ST XI kink meme, and it's taking on a life of its own. This is my first Star Trek fic and one of the first fics I've ever posted online anywhere, so be gentle. This is rated M for a reason, too--it's not terribly explicit, but there is some dark and messed-up content in here. Non-con, murder, Stockholm Syndrome, and all sorts of other psychological fuckery abound, though things do eventually get better for everyone.
The Narada was a little warm for humans.
Like Vulcans, Romulan body temperature ran significantly higher than in humans, and they were more at home in heat than anything else. What human crew had been brought over from the Enterprise were sweltering in their seats on the plate-metal floor of the cargo bay.
Only Spock remained unaffected by it, but he'd been hit with so much else that it didn't matter. Logic dictated he cooperate, that he rein in his rapidly mounting rage--he'd tried all his life to abide by logic, but it was rapidly failing him now. He'd handled it when they'd been captured, had even dealt with a decent beating without losing it, but now--now it wasn't himself his rage would hurt.
The bastard had Nyota.
How Nero had known about him and Nyota, Spock didn't know; so far as he was aware, even Captain Pike hadn't known. Romulans were not telepaths--there shouldn't have been any way for them to figure out what would hit him hardest. What--who--was next in line of the places and people he loved best.
He glanced at Kirk, slumped half-conscious on the floor. The kid was brave, if positively suicidal. He'd pitched the mother of all fits when the Romulans had boarded--had tried to take them on hand-to-hand when they broke his phaser, despite the fact that even one of them far outmatched him physically--and while they hadn't killed him, Spock had little doubt he'd come to wish they had. Unless something could be done first. If only the idiotic little hothead had shown some restraint--Spock could have used his help, whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Before he could think on it more, another Romulan arrived, and dragged him off deeper into the bowels of the ship. Kirk watched him go with bloodshot, unfocused eyes.
This happy little space had not, of course, been part of the Narada's original design. Mining ships, even Romulan ones, didn't usually have much use for interrogation rooms, much less the sort of torture chamber Nero had devised out of frustrated boredom. He was beginning to live up to the Earth emperor who had shared his name, and even he knew it--but it didn't matter. Revenge was revenge; he'd accepted long ago there could be nothing afterward.
Dear Captain Christopher had been bundled off to an improvised cell in an improvised brig, to stew and let that slug do its work on his brain stem. That pretty Nyota of Spock's had taken his place on the table, restrained but for now still fully conscious. That might change, depending on Nero's mood.
She was watching him now, huge black eyes in a face that struggled to remain serene. She was trying hard, he could tell, but she was only a cadet--the training given to soldiers to handle captivity wasn't fully ingrained yet. He couldn't fault her for being terrified; in a way he pitied her. What he was going to do to her was not her fault--her only fault was her association with Spock.
He half-sat on the edge of the table, staring down at her. Beautiful woman, though nothing like his wife--his wife had been fair, her long hair light and curly, whereas Nyota was smooth coffee, her eyes twin pools of liquid darkness. What he was about to do to her was a thing he would not normally allow; his crew knew better than to offer assault to its own female members or those of the Enterprise, but a point had to be made.
"I won't kill you," he said, running a thumb over her smooth forehead. "I probably should, but I won't."
She still looked up at him, wary, defiant, angry--but afraid. Not for herself--not much, at least--but for Spock.
Nero's eyes flicked up as they entered--Spock and his pair of guards. Green bruises were forming all over the Vulcan's face, green blood trailing from a spectacular split lip. The sight made Nero smile with incongruous, ominous cheer. "Good, we're all here. Now, Nyota, I'm sorry to put you through this, but Spock here needs to learn a few things, and you're my teaching assistant. Sit down, Spock."
Spock and Uhura's eyes met, and before his escorts could move he'd kicked one, punched the other, and fought his way through the dark warm water--
--only to have Nero crack him hard upside the head with the butt of a phaser rifle.
"I said sit down, Spock," he said, the affability gone from his voice. The guards, furious as well as embarrassed, tried to grab Spock even as Uhura struggled to free her hands, cursing in an astonishing variety of languages. She had a pretty voice, Nero thought, low and smoky and just now quite hoarse. Oh, she was furious too, now, which was unfortunate, but at least she wasn't going anywhere.
Nor was Spock, once they'd got him situated--restrained himself, though in a chair, giving him a convenient view. Once assured he wasn't going to be able to interfere, the guards vanished, leaving the three very much alone. Spock, his eyes full of very un-Vulcan rage; Uhura, a seething confusion of anger and fear and anguish--and Nero, impresario of this little show.
"Well, now that that's been settled, I want you to pay attention, Spock." He set the gun aside, and took up instead a very long knife--curved, utilitarian, glinting sharp in the harsh white light. A glance at Spock, who had gone quite still, and at Uhura, whose eyes were locked on the blade. "You see, I had a wife, once, as pretty as Nyota here."
Water rippled around his boots as he returned to the table, again sitting beside her. "And I lost her, because of you," he went on, but his tone was less conversational now. The knife was very sharp, and he couldn't afford to nick that coffee skin as, with exquisite care, he sliced the red fabric of that ridiculous Starfleet uniform. The steel had to be cold, he thought, but at least he wouldn't cut her…yet. Nero could feel her heartbeat flutter under his fingers as he worked--that's right, the human heart was in the chest, wasn't it? He didn't know enough about human physiology to risk too much damage; the last thing he needed was to kill her accidentally.
So cool, Nyota's skin, much cooler than his wife's. When he bent his head he caught a whiff of soap, light floral shampoo, and some faint, musky perfume that had mingled with the natural scent of her skin, and a bolt of desire that had nothing to do with his 'lesson' shot through him. No, Nyota wasn't his wife, but she was beautiful, and alive, and so very fragile.
And frozen. The knife continued down her abdomen, tickling as it sliced through her bra, the bunched red of her skirt. He could tell she wanted to fight, but was bright enough not to do so while something so sharp was so near. The flutter of her pulse increased beneath his palm, and did not slow when he made short work of the rest of her uniform. Her hands were bound over her head, but a little creative knife-work got rid of all that clothing.
"She was beautiful," Nero said again, hoarsely, and when Uhura tried to turn her face away he caught her chin and forced her to look at him. Lightly, very lightly, he drew the flat edge of the blade along her jaw, almost a caress. That did make her flinch, though she fought hard not to, and when he shut his eyes and buried his face in the soft dark fall of her hair, she lost her battle against a shudder.
Starfleet was realist enough to know there was always a chance its people might be taken prisoner, and that things of a specific nature might be done to those prisoners. Uhura had known it, too, objectively, but had not ever really thought she'd need the psychological training, the tricks they taught to handle anything like this. It was almost impossible to keep anything like equanimity when hot hands and cold steel traveled over her, ridding her of her uniform and leaving her more vulnerable than she had ever been. Uhura was not a vulnerable sort of woman; intelligent, self-assured, strong, but not vulnerable and certainly not like this. Despite the heat of the room she was shivering--part horror, part fear, and part humiliation. And Nero's eyes held her like a pair of black holes as the knife trailed over her face. She couldn't look at Spock--couldn't let herself even think that he was here, that he had to witness this.
She shut her eyes and flinched when Nero leaned down to breathe in the scent of her hair, and the knife trailed down her side--God, was he paying attention anymore? Would he stab her by chance, if not on purpose? An experimental tug of the strap at her wrists proved fruitless; nothing manufactured by Romulans would be broken by a human. If Spock couldn't break free of his, she didn't have a chance.
Another shudder, and Uhura tried to regain control of her breathing, her heartbeat. They'd taught all the cadets controls, breathing exercises, things meant to take the mind away from the body, but none of them were working. And they really quit working when he crept over her, resting most of his weight on one hand beside her head--she could feel his body heat even through all the layers of his clothing, hitting her like a furnace. Though his weight wasn't rested on her, she could still feel it--like Vulcans, Romulans had a denser body mass to go with that ungodly strength. Nero probably weight at least twice what a human his size would, and the effect was enough to suffocate her.
He'd apparently decided to abandon his verbal lecture in favor of pressing his mouth to her neck, her shoulder, hot breath and icy steel at her side. She bit her lip and shut her eyes, fighting another shudder, and tried not to wish she would die.
The last shreds of Spock's careful control had all but deserted him. He retained enough to be silent as he struggled furiously against his restraints, but there was murder in his eyes--eyes that couldn't look away, however much he wanted to.
But Nyota…however hard it was, she was holding fast to a stillness and dignity that was almost Vulcan, enduring as best she could the ultimate indignity one sentient being could inflict on another. Whenever they got out of here--and he had to think 'when', not 'if', however illogical such a thought might be--he was going to tell her what he had never yet said aloud: that he loved her. That she was strong and wonderful and deserved better than him and what he had brought on her.
After, of course, he ripped Nero apart with his bare hands.
Spock might not have the strongest understanding of other species' emotions, but even he could see that for Nero this had gone beyond simple revenge--that he saw Nyota now as more than a pawn, as a means to exact vengeance on an enemy he had made before he'd met. What he saw her as now, Spock couldn't guess, but the fact that he did was far more frightening than him regarding her as a tool and nothing more. The expression on his face before he bent his head to Nyota's neck said it wasn't torment he was after, now. And that was…very much worse. Starfleet conditioned its cadets against torture, but this was something else entirely.
Spock wished he had bonded with her before now. Bonded, he could try to reassure her, to stay in her mind and distract her from what was being done to her body. As it was, they were both on their own, separated by a half-mad Romulan bent on who knew what terrible purpose. Helpless.
Romulans might have lost the telepathic abilities of their Vulcan brethren, but Nero didn't need them to realize what he was doing to Nyota. That particular effect had been his original intent, but he didn't wish it now. In that moment he'd all but forgotten Spock, forgotten his reason for doing this to begin with.
He'd never formed any liaisons with any of his female crew. He knew others did--voluntary relationships, and he allowed it because they needed something to keep them sane. But even if he hadn't been the captain, he couldn't bring himself to be unfaithful to his long-dead wife, the woman he still loved after twenty-five years. His crew were his crew, valued, respected but none of them were his wife, and thus there had been little temptation.
He hadn't planned to lose his detachment to this extent--it hadn't occurred to him that it would be possible. Unfortunately for everyone, though, he had, and that brought him to do something quite worse than he had intended, or at least intended yet, for this reason.
He drew back, looking down on this amazing woman who still tried to hold still, to deny him the satisfaction of overtly reacting to what she still thought of as torture. Nero hadn't believed a human could be so strong--he'd always thought them soft, weak creatures, but though Nyota was no match for him physically, she had an inner steel he would not have believed possible. And he couldn't bring himself to break that--at least, not in the manner he'd first planned.
So he stood, ostensibly ignoring Spock entirely, and moved near silently to a metal table laid out with as unpleasant a set of instruments as Romulus had ever devised. He passed over most of them in favor of a plain, utilitarian hypospray, filled with a concoction his doctor had cooked up. When he returned to the table he found her staring up at him, and though there was loathing in her eyes there was also, deep behind it, fear. The loathing he could deal with, but not the fear. He didn't want her afraid now.
She did try to flinch away when he caught her chin and turned her head so he could inject the hypospray, but it did its work quickly enough--after scant seconds all the tension drained from her body, leaving her wholly relaxed, her eyes glazed and half-lidded, and with a very strange smile Nero tossed the hypo away.
God, it had been hard, so hard to keep still, to avoid betraying her complete revulsion. Uhura hadn't dared look at Spock--hadn't dared look at anything now, no aspect of this terrible prison. Not until Nero stood did she open her eyes, almost involuntarily. Despite the warmth of the room she shivered at the sudden loss of his heat above her, as air that now seemed cool hit her bare skin. She'd tried to ignore the fact that she was completely nude, to block it with everything else, but in that she failed as well.
She still couldn't look at Spock--couldn't look at anything but the array of tools on Nero's table, and wonder with growing horror what he meant to inflict on her now, how long he meant to draw this out. And then he injected her with the hypospray, and she quit wondering anything.
She was still conscious, in a way--still aware, in a dazed fashion, of where she was, and with whom. It was a fuzzy consciousness, though, fading in and out of degrees of clarity, and though she remained aware something terrible was happening, she no longer remembered why she should care. A delicious, lazy warmth infused her to her fingertips, a warmth so hazy and complete she didn't at first realize it when Nero lay above her again, the heat of his now-bare skin mingling with the internal heat that suffused her. When had he undressed, and why was that a bad thing? It was bad, Uhura was sure of it, but she could no longer remember why. And then he touched her, and she forgot why she should try.
It was a feather-light touch along her side, his fingers hot and rough, and she was only half-aware when something perilously like a moan escaped her throat. God, she'd never felt anything like that in her life--that simple touch was enough to send a white-hot spike of pure need through her. Her breath caught when his mouth found her neck again, her back arching as he kissed and then bit, still lightly, teeth grazing the hollow beneath her jaw. Quite suddenly she needed to feel more of him, to bring as much of her skin into contact with his as she could, and this time when she struggled to free her hands it wasn't to fight him, but to draw him closer.
Nero didn't free her hands, but his fingers did travel slowly up her arm, twining with hers, as his mouth trailed to her collarbone, her sternum, exploring every inch of dark, intoxicating skin. So soft, unbroken by the scars carried by every Romulan aboard, and cool, much cooler than Romulan. His hand traveled back down her arm, along her neck, skimming her breast, and when he pressed more of his weight onto her she cried out, a hoarse and ragged cry. His lips were on her cheek, her jaw, and then her own, and when he kissed her she parted her lips and kissed him back, hard and hungry. He tasted of…she didn't know what, some spicy liquor utterly foreign to her tongue, and she drank it in greedily, whimpering as his hands traveled over her and left trails of fire in their wake. No, she didn't care now, and didn't care that she didn't care--her whole consciousness was lost in this moment, drowning in aching physical need.
And then his mouth was beside her ear, his voice as hoarse as hers, whispering something in Romulan she was too dazed to decipher. His hand had found its way between her legs, long hot fingers stroking, exploring, and Uhura cried out again as he pulled her so close to the edge without actually letting her fall. Some wordless, begging whimper crossed her lips, and when he buried himself inside her, fingers twisting involuntarily in her hair, his groan almost undid her entirely.
He was slow, at first, if not precisely gentle, but when she moved with him, writhing desperately in an attempt to pull him closer, deeper, he seemed to lose what control he had. He was so hot within her, burning heat she had to have more of, and when he kissed her again she was almost too desperate to kiss him back. There was nothing in the world but her and Nero, the things he was doing and making her feel, and now she was so far gone it didn't seem wrong at all, and when his teeth again closed on her throat she screamed, a ragged cry of something beyond ecstasy. Stars exploded behind her eyes, and she actually greyed out for a moment as pleasure beyond what ought to be humanly possible overloaded her senses. It didn't ebb, but went on and on, and she was hardly aware when his fingers twisted painfully in her hair, his body tensing as he growled inarticulately in her ear. She couldn't breathe, but that wasn't a bad thing; all it did was finish the job and send her into a hazy, ecstatic darkness without thought or awareness.
Nero didn't know how long it took him to come back to himself, to regain the thoughts Nyota had so effectively destroyed. He was breathing hard, his fingers still curled in her hair, and for the first time in a quarter of a human century none of those thoughts were of anger, or grief, or revenge.
"I think I'll keep you," he murmured in Romulan, his fingers tracing lazy patterns over that perfect dark skin. No, he couldn't kill her, now--nor could he let her go. He'd deprived Spock of his home world as Spock had deprived him of his--it was only fair it go a step further.
He glanced at Spock--Spock, who he'd all but forgotten. The Vulcan had fought so hard he'd actually broken his arm in his attempt to break free, and the naked mix of rage and grief in his face made Nero smile again, more strangely still.
"Yes," he said again, turning back to Uhura's still, unconscious face. "I think I'll keep you after all."