Author's note-- This is my first time writing an actual fanfic, please read and review and tell me what you think! Constructive criticism more than welcome. This is looking to be a kind of longer fic if I get my butt in gear and actually write the darn thing.... The stuff between Uhura and Kirk here is purely friendship :)

The Enterprise fights to prevent a genocide when a race with highly advanced bio-weaponry decides to make even on a grudge they've been holding against a separate race living on the same planet.

Chapter 1

"Go!" He meant it to come out as a shout, but the breath required for such a command failed him, and instead he wheezed the word, barely more forceful than a whisper.

"But, Kirk—"

"This is a direct order, now GO!" He had regained his composure and with it came his voice, this time full of the authority granted to him.

"Kirk." She drew herself up as much as she could from behind the shredded sheet that provided the little cover they had amidst the melee before them. "Captain. I'm not—I won't leave you—"

He didn't allow her to get another word further in her sentence. Cutting across her, he held up his hand, "Lieutenant, we don't have time for this. Now this is an order. Go back, find Spock, find the crew, give them the device, and tell them what happened. I'll cover you from here."

Uhura hesitated. A tear glistened in the corner of her eye but she brushed it away impatiently. "We can go together—I'm gonna get you out of—"

"We're wasting time right now with this conversation. There's no way you could get this damn thing off me, now quit protesting and get the hell out of here. I'm not having you die as well." He paused, the ghost of a cocky grin flitting across his haggard face. "Spock'd kill me."

Uhura stared down at the captain in front of her. She could hear shouts and screams mingled with the fires and blasts emitted from phasers coming steadily closer to their position, but none of it seemed to matter in this moment, these seconds trapped behind their fragile screen. James Kirk was bleeding profusely, a gash in his chest slowly seeping blood through the makeshift bandage and onto the floor, and a collapsed support beam trapping his broken legs beneath its impossible weight. In his hand he still gripped the one good phaser they had between the two of them, and on the floor beside him lay the remains of two broken communicators, the first smashed by the beam, the second disintegrated when Uhura's foot had connected with it in her haste to reach the fallen captain. She reached out and gripped his arm with a shaking hand. "You're Jim Kirk," she whispered urgently, "You're Jim Kirk and you—you never give up. You fly into trouble, dive off cliffs, get beat up, shot at, threatened, and all sorts of horrible stuff but you never give up. Now, come on. I'm not leaving you," she reiterated, blinking the hot, frustrated tears out of her eyes. "I'm not."

Jim's eyes, glazed though they had been a second before, cleared as they searched for Uhura's. Piercing blue found deep brown as Jim struggled for the breath to issue one last command. "Give up? Uhura, please," he wheezed with the little disdain he could muster, the half smile back upon his whitened face, "I'm not giving up. Now if you please, I've got a crewmember and friend's life to save, so if you'll just start running I can do my job, and you can do yours." He lifted the phaser in determination, locking it to the kill setting.

Uhura glared at Jim. Lifting her chin and blinking furiously she drew a shaky breath, fully intending to state once again her desire to stay with her dying captain, but he spoke before she had the chance to protest. "Uhura," he said, holding her gaze. "Uhura, that device has to get back to Starfleet command. Without that information, we have no proof, no evidence of the Maridians' plan. Without it we can't prove anything. Can't save any lives, can't stop this genocide, can't change anything—you have to get it back to the Enterprise." His breath was coming in gasps now. They both knew he had little time. "Please," he whispered.

And the quiet plea scared Uhura more than anything she had heard that night. It scared her more than the sight of the dead Shenkaran council's bodies strewn about the floor of the Great Hall, scared her more than Spock's last urgent glance at her before they had parted, scared her more than all the near misses and near deaths the crew had experienced during the entire horrific encounter. Here, in this moment, James T. Kirk was going to die. James Kirk, who had cheated death knowingly for years with that cheeky grin on his stupid face the entire time. James Kirk, who never accepted death because death simply wasn't an option. James Kirk, who gave her hope in her own stubbornness through his abject unwillingness to surrender. She gripped his arm more tightly still.

He breathed in once. Again. The seconds dragged on, his eyes bright; determined. "You can't save me. But you can save them. We can save them. Please. Go."

"Okay." She whispered, finally submitting to the inevitable. "Okay, Jim."

She bent down and kissed him on the forehead lingeringly. When she drew back, he was grinning through his haze of pain and blood loss. "Better not tell Spock about that." He gripped her hand with his free hand, gently removing it from his face. "Now go."

With a shuddering breath, Uhura sat up straight, jerked her uniform smooth, and wiped fresh tears from her face, suddenly business-like. Snatching the small data disc off the floor beside her, she tucked it into her belt and prepared to sprint for the open blast doors directly ten meters to their left. Kirk's face was so white he looked as if he hadn't any blood left, but he gripped his phaser doggedly and nodded to her.

With one last glance at Kirk, Uhura braced herself and then ran faster than she had ever run in her short life towards the opening that was her one hope that this mission had not been a failure; that some good could still come out of tragedy. Phaser blasts erupted above her head and shattered rock and stone about her feet, but she passed through untouched. She heard a strangled cry from her right and turned just in time to see a Maridian soldier fall, shot from behind. Kirk, despite his closeness to death, was doing his job to the very end. With a duck of her head and a final sidestep of a fallen Shenkaran, she fell into the opening, gasping with the pain of loss and desperation. For several long moments, Nyota Uhura remained where she had fallen, sobbing, face pressed against the cool floor of the deserted corridor while hell raged on behind her. But she could not stay in this position no matter how much she wanted to. Rolling to her feet, she dragged herself to the control pad on the wall beside the opening and closed the heavy blast door that was her last link to the doomed captain of the Enterprise. With shaking hands, she keyed the command to seal the door. She could not help but think irrationally that with the seal of that door, she had betrayed her friend. It was the final condemnation. There was no help for him now. She dissolved into sobs once more as she made her way up the corridor, trying to run but unable to shake the horror that plagued her.