Disclaimer: Don't own Star Trek, never will. It's a shame, but life goes on.
AN// This is a slash story focusing around the progression of the relationship between Chekov and Sulu through Spock's POV. If you don't like this sort of fanfic, don't read it.
Points of Distraction
, Or Four Times Spock witnessed emotions and the one time he understood them perfectly
All was as it should have been on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. The ship was on route to the Tedelga system, where the Enterprise was to escort a ship carrying the current High Priestess of Alman and her courtiers back to their home planet. There had been threats made against the High Priestess by a rogue group of Romulans who were unhappy with the high trading taxes the Priestess had set up around Alman and it's three neighbouring moons, so the Enterprise was to be present as protection should any attacks occur, but also as a deterrent. Most Romulans weren't stupid enough to attack a Federation starship.
Spock looked up from the analysis he was scanning through on his PADD to survey the bridge. Jim was twisting about in his chair, an apple in one hand and a progress report in the other, the look on his face suggesting his displeasure at having to engage in such an uninteresting task. Uhura was scanning for any nearby ships that could cause a threat to the Enterprise, entering her findings into her computer as she listened intently into her earpiece.
Sulu was up at the front, but instead of focusing on the screen ahead, his concentration was focused on Ensign Chekov who was working on a console near Uhura, monitoring their navigational passage to the Tedelga system. But like Sulu, his eyes were not on his work and it appeared that the two helmsmen were having a conversation. It was an illogical thought on Spocks' behalf but however improbable the theory seemed, it was well grounded. Both Chekov and Sulu seemed to be reacting to each other's facial expressions and in turn replying with a quirk of the eye or simply mouthing silently one or two word phrases.
Since humans were a non-telepathic species, Spock suspected some sort of covert means of communication and his suspicions were proven when Chekov suddenly grinned, a small laugh escaping his lips; too quiet to be distracting but loud enough for Spock to hear. Sulu turned around, a smile on his face, and caught Spock looking at him, one eyebrow raised, as did Chekov and the two immediately went back to their respective jobs.
It wasn't until a few seconds later that Chekov looked over at Sulu and smiled again, but Spock noticed that the look in his eyes was different then before. It was a kind of thoughtful happiness; the Russians face lighting up with an innocent caring joy that didn't seem place on a starship.
"Mr Chekov" Spock said, causing the ensign to jolt out of his reverie "Is there something you find amusing?" Spock assumed that Chekov was smiling because he found something humorous about Sulu or was remembering the helmsman's earlier joke. It hadn't crossed his mind that Chekov might be smiling with such happiness simply because Sulu was there
The Russian coughed, embarrassed, his cheeks tingeing a light pink as he diverted his eyes down, all trace of a smile gone.
"No sir. Sorry, sir"
Spock nodded as a reply, before going back his analysis. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Sulu look over at Chekov with a concerned look, but the bridge remained quiet except for the hum of the machinery, and Chekov did not look up again until they reached their destination.
Spock was on his way back to his quarters when he passed by the medical bay. He never really went in there by way of choice; he found Dr McCoy's attitude unnecessarily emotive towards him, being a "green-blooded hobgoblin" as the doctor himself put it, but today as he looked inside the open door, he saw the Captain was inside chatting away in his usual manner to Ensign Chekov, who had been detained in the medical bay after catching an air-borne virus while on an away mission. Although the disease had not affected his health badly-indeed Spock had been told that its effects were similar to that of a human cold- the Russian had been kept in isolation in order to avoid infecting anyone else.
As Spock surveyed the scene, it seemed to him that Chekov looked a little overwhelmed with the overt attention the captain was paying him and in truth, Spock observed, seemed a bit uncomfortable.
It was then Spock noticed Sulu, who like him had stopped to watch what was happening inside the med bay. In his hand he held a card and a small purple flower-, which Spock assumed he had picked from one of the plants he was tending to in his own collection. As for the card, Spock supposed it was for Chekov. It was well known around the ship that Sulu and Chekov were very good friends, and the helmsman had been considerably worried when he had heard of Chekov's condition and subsequent isolation.
Spock had learned that humans liked to give cards for many of their cultural events and since there was none he could think of as occurring today, it was either a birthday card or a get-well-soon card, which people gave to ill friends or relatives to wish them a quick recovery. Spock assumed it was the latter, due to Mr Chekov's present condition and a lack of a present that Spock had been told usually accompanied the card on birthdays. Giving a get-well-soon card seemed an illogical practice; a person would get better at a steady rate regardless of a card being received or not, but it was the look in Sulu's eyes that interested Spock more then the accessories in his hand.
If Spock had been human he would have recognised a look of burning jealousy in Sulu's eyes, directed at the way the captain was acting towards Chekov, but since the Vulcan was only half human, although he knew of such emotions, he had yet to master being able to recognise some of the subtler ones in other people.
"Can I help you lieutenant?" Spock enquired. Sulu started at the sound of his voice, having been totally focused on the med bay and Chekov. His brown eyes focused on Spock then gazed downwards at the flower in his hand "I was going to give these to Chekov" he said as way of an explanation of why he was there. "But it seems he already has a visitor" Sulu spat the word out as though it was distasteful on his tongue. His eyes darkened, and he held the flower so tight, Spock saw he was crushing it, some of the delicate purple petals falling to the floor, before the helmsman turned away, crumpling the card in his hand, before dropping both the remaining flower and the crumpled card to the floor, walking away without looking back.
Spock would have reminded Sulu of the rules concerning littering on the ship, but it seemed an unwise choice given the lieutenants' present emotional state. Even Spock was human enough to see that the helmsman was upset about something, although he couldn't think of what exactly had caused Sulu to exhibit an emotional reaction, although it seemed as though it was related to Chekov's conversation with the Captain. Instead of enquiring into the nature of the lieutenants' displeasure, Spock picked up the card and the flower, un-crumpling the paper and straightening it out as he walked into the med bay, intending on delivering the items to Chekov.
As he walked in, he noticed more then he had upon first glance. The captains close proximity and general demeanour as he leaned in close to Chekov suggested that he was attempting to flirt with the ensign. Spock wouldn't put it past him, although he would have thought due to the captain being a superior officer and Chekov being both a member of his bridge crew and being technically still a minor, that the Captain would have been a bit more professional. However, professional was a word that Spock suspected he would never use when referring to James Kirk, and regarding his apparent flirting, the Vulcan was not completely surprised. It was well known on the Enterprise that Kirk was promiscuous and Spock recalled that Bones frequently commented on the fact that Kirk would "sleep with anything that had a pulse"
However, it did not escape Spock's notice that Chekov did not look very happy in his current position and the wary uncomfortable look in his eyes turned to relief when he caught sight of Spock.
"Ensign" Spock said, handing over the crinkled card and worn looking flower, which was missing several petals.
Kirk laughed "Didn't take you for that sorta' guy, Spock. I'm sure Uhura'd have something to say"
Spock, as usual, ignored him and continued "These are for you from lieutenant Sulu. I believe they are to celebrate your return to health after your period of isolation"
"Sulu?" Chekov said, twirling the flower around with his fingers "Vhere is he? Vhy did he not come in himself?"
"Lieutenant Sulu was going to give you these items in person, but I assume that your current visitor and the proximity between the two of you convinced him otherwise"
Chekov frowned and then groaned loudly "Oh god, he must think…" he bit out a single word, and although it was spoken in Russian, it was said with such force it could only be an expletive of some form. "I'm sorry, keptin, commander, but I have to go" Chekov apologised, moving past Kirk and heading towards the door.
"Hey Chekov!" Kirk shouted after him "What about that drink?"
Chekov turned, and Spock thought he looked momentarily irritated, although the emotion passed quickly to be replaced with worry.
"I'm afraid I have other plans, sir" he replied, exiting the med-bay, leaving behind Spock and a disappointed Kirk.
"Fascinating" The Vulcan raised his eyebrow after the panicked ensign, one corner of his mouth twitching in what could have been viewed as a smile.
It was almost half an hour after the away team had gone down to the planet surface that a message came through to Spock who was Acting Captain of the ship while Jim was down with the away team, which consisted of Kirk, Sulu, and two security ensigns whose names Spock was unfamiliar with.
There was an urgent beep on the comms situated on the captain's chair. Spock clicked the receive button immediately.
"Captain?" his voice rang out over the bridge. "I thought that you ordered no direct contact during the diplomatic meeting with the Thirg. You said it might be seen as a breach of trust…."
"Trust me, Spock, we're way past that now" Jims voice came out breathless "You need to get us out of here. Right now"
"But the negotiations…?"
"This isn't a negotiation, it's a bloody massacre Spock! Josephs and Tomlinson are dead and if we don't get out of here soon, me and Sulu will be heading the same way"
"Beaming you up now" Spock said sharply, clicking his commbadge "Mister Scott, prepare to receive Captain Kirk's coordinates and beam up two when you're ready. Dr McCoy? Your services are to be required in transporter bay two"
"Tell me something I don't know" came the Doctor's gruff reply
"Mister Scott, have you beamed the Captain and Sulu back to the ship?" Spock asked, and the whole bridge, which had been listening intently to the conversation, was silent as they waited for the Chief Engineer's answer
"Aye sir, but Sulu's been hurt badly. Bones is here now, checking them both over, but it doesn't look good."
"I'm on my way Mister Scott" Spock said, cutting off the comms, and rising from his seat " Lieutenant Uhura, you have the bridge"
"Sir" Spock turned round to look to see Chekov standing up, looking pale and shaky, although when he spoke, his voice was perfectly controlled "Sir, I vould like to accompany you to the medical bay"
"Your presence is not required" Spock replied, not unkindly "You should maintain your current duties. Take us out of orbit, and send a message to the nearest Starfleet outpost of what has occurred. If you are concerned for Lieutenant Sulu's welfare, you will be able to visit him after your shift has finished"
"Those are your orders, ensign" Spock didn't notice the fall of Chekov's shoulders, the look of fear shining brightly in the navigators big blue eyes. It seemed as though the Russian was going to argue again, but the defiant reply Spock was expecting never came.
"Aye…sir" Chekov whispered, sitting himself back down, turning back to his console as though dazed, functioning on auto-pilot.
Spock would have deliberated further on the navigator's concerns, but there was a crisis in progress and that had already swamped his mind as he walked out of the bridge, leaving Chekov to sit at his console and quietly pray that Sulu would be alright
Spock was just coming off his shift when he saw Sulu and Chekov holding hands. It was an innocent gesture; their fingers interlaced as they walked down the corridor on their way to the rec room. They were talking quietly and Spock was too far away to hear what they were saying until Sulu stopped, looking at Chekov with an angry look in his eyes. Although Spock was meant to be going to a meeting with captain, he found he was simply too curious about the situation and he stopped at the top of the corridor, catching snippets of what the two men were saying,
"What did you mean you don't deserve me? Pavel, I thought we talked about this"
"But I do not, Hikaru. You are an officer, a superior officer and I am holding you back. It is not fair on you"
"Pasha, you aren't holding me back. The reason I turned down the promotion is because I don't want to be on another ship if you weren't there with me" there was a pause as Sulu wrapped his arms around Chekov's waist, resting his forehead against the Russian's. "Don't you get it yet? I love you"
Chekov's eyes lit up with a grin "You really mean zat?"
"I'll always mean it" Sulu replied, before pressing his lips against Chekov's gently. Spock found himself slightly uncomfortable at being privy to such an intimate emotional display, regardless of the fact that the way the two men were holding hands was seen on Vulcan as being almost obscene in public company. It was something to be done in private, and although Spock knew that this action had different meanings within earth culture, it still made him edgy.
Spock saw no sign of Sulu and Chekov breaking off their kiss, indeed according to what Spock was witnessing, the kiss seemed to be deepening and to all intents and purposes would probably carry on a lot longer.
Spock coughed loudly, startling the two helmsmen and causing them to separate. He hadn't wanted to disturb them but they were blocking the corridor and he had needed to get past.
"Gentlemen, I suggest that you take your fraternization elsewhere, if you are unable to refrain yourselves while off duty"
Instead of being embarrassed or angry at the interruption, Sulu smiled, grasping hold of Chekov's hand again.
"Aye, sir" he said, a strange light present in his eyes "Sorry, sir. We'll take our fraternizing elsewhere" Spock nodded as the two walked off in a direction opposite to the one he was going, rather faster then they had been walking before, and Spock swore he heard Sulu say "Your place or mine?" as the men continued down the corridor. After looking after Sulu and Chekov, Spock shrugged, unable to grasp at the meanings behind the question. Anyway, it was no longer his business.
It was going to be a dangerous mission, and both Sulu and Spock were aware of the perils they faced in beaming down to the planets surface of Dektov Five in a mission to destroy a bomb that if detonated, was programmed to annihilate the five nearest planets, each of which housed a population of six billion.
Spock was about to step into the transporter bay, when he heard the sound of rushing footsteps and saw Chekov running towards him.
"Is Sulu there?" the ensign asked worriedly "Has he gone yet?"
Spock studied the panicked Russian "Lieutenant Sulu is still on the ship although we will be departing to Dektov Five soon. If you have anything to tell him I advise waiting until his return"
The Russian shook his head vehemently "Nyet, nyet, I need to see him now, to say goodbye"
"Ensign, although I can understand your concerns, I feel it is in the best interest of Mr Sulu to remain focused on the mission at hand. You presence could be…" Spock paused for a suitable word "…distracting"
The young man however was adamant, walking up close to Spock and looking up at him
"I need to see him" Chekov said, and in his eyes, just for a moment, Spock saw a flash of the worry and hidden fears Chekov was feeling inside, his concern for Sulu's well-being and safety. However what surprised the Vulcan more was that he understood the reasoning behind the emotions. They may not be logical, but Spock had learnt over the years that emotions encompassed a different sort of logic altogether; one with it's one rules, and although at times it was flawed, it offered an insight that was just not possible with only logic. Spock understood Chekov's fears because he had had experience of such emotions. When Uhura had to accompany the away team in a dangerous environment, and when he was on the transporter pad about to beam onto the Narada, and he had been kissing Nyota and wondering whether he would survive to do so again. These emotions of fear and worry were the emotions he remembered the most and the emotions that at this moment, Chekov is experiencing.
"OK, Ensign" Spock said quietly, moving to allowing Chekov past, following behind him as they walked into the transporter bay.
Sulu was standing on the pad, a thoughtful look in his eyes, which quickly changed to surprise when he saw Chekov.
"Pavel?" he said, questioningly "What are you…?"
"I came to wish you luck" Chekov said, walking up to Sulu "I know vhat you vere trying to do, sneaking off vithout a vord"
"I didn't want you to worry" Sulu murmured softly, pulling Chekov into a deep hug, burying his face in the younger mans hair.
"I'd worry anyway, 'Karu" Chekov whispered back, pulling gently away from Sulu to cup the helmsman's face with his palm "You just come back to me, da?" The worry was clear in his voice. They both knew the risks on this mission
"OK, Pasha. I promise"
Chekov smiled and pulled himself anyway, but not before pressing his lips hard against Sulu, trying to pour all the words he couldn't say into that one moment.
"Now you must go save the vorld, Hikaru" Sulu grinned at Chekov's word, hugging him tightly and kissing his lips chastely, before allowing the Russian to step back and off the transporter pad.
"Ready to beam down gents?" Scotty's voice carried over from where he had been standing at the console.
Spock caught Chekov's eye and the two shared a look.
"Bring him back to me, please?" Chekov whispered, the question almost a plea and directed at Spock.
"I will, Mister Chekov" Spock replied seriously, knowing how much the response meant to the concerned human in front of him, before looking over at the engineer. "Ready to beam down"
"Aye sir" was all Spock heard as he saw the world disappear around him.