"not all light is sunshine in space"

Genre: Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Rating: PG
Time Frame: Post ST XI
Characters: James T. Kirk, Nyota Uhura

Summary: "Sometimes, he has to remind himself that she only seems ten feet tall because she carries her head that high." A mission goes south . . .

Notes: My muse is on a drama-kick, and she's rather fascinated with these two. Don't know why. Everything is completely platonic here, so you can read safely . . . Well, unless that's your cup of tea, then by all means - feel free to read into whatever you want.

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me.


-

"not all light is sunshine in space"
by Mira-Jade

-

You're only on your third mission when things go so incredibly wrong.

You remembered but small things of it – a ring of zealots and a repentant acolyte leading you and Uhura through the catacombs. You remembered a shout of warning, and your reflexes sending you to the dirt as shots rang out over your head. You remember hearing the bang and the clatter of a body hitting the ground – and oh God, but for a moment you had assumed the worst . . .

For nothing, it would seem. Uhura was standing ten steps behind you, her eyes wide, and her fingers clenched too tight over her phaser in a white knuckled grip. The red of the safety spoke of her lethal action, and when your eyes connected with the corpse that she had dropped, you feel a moment's pity. Her job was not one that was made for the more violent sort of things, and the wide look to her eyes spoke of a tender place inside that had just been scabbed over where no callus should ever have been.

You stop for a moment, ask if she's okay, and she snapped back to attention within moments – every inch the competent officer, fully dedicated and determined.

She's fine for the few minutes, you think – fine being silence stretching on and gaping, and her steps a little more forced than usual. You know that determination sometimes holds no weight in the face of more more human emotions, but you are silent to it,

Not even a half a mile away from the body, she started trembling. Her skin was pasty, and her eyes were wide. You know about shock, and things of those sorts, so when you wave the acolyte aside for a moment, and steer Uhura to an abandoned room in the caverns, you tell yourself that you are just doing your duty as her commanding officer.

You know that she isn't sorry, not nearly, but you can see the lament in her eyes. You can see her thoughts as clearly as if you were hooked up to her mind through one of her boyfriend's meldy thingy's.

Murderer. Murderer. Murderer. Her hands fairly shake with the words, her eyes traced out the letters against the slivers of light that made it through the criss crossed rock from the world above.

You think of her back when you first met her - back when she had been all fierceness and daring, something exotic to his ground struck mind. Her words had been spiced and taunting, and your admittedly practiced charms did naught to sway her, making your exchanges all that more interesting. And then there was the little bit of awe you always seemed to feel when she twisted her tongue over foreign words, a passion in her determination that she had never thought to spare for you.

She was something strong and beautiful, and over time, her friendship became more than you ever knew you cherished. And now she was shaking in front of you, a dent in her armor, her hands trembling with heavy and burden things . . .

She had always seemed ten feet tall to you, and in a way you had always held your head up that much higher in her presence. Now, she was huddled in on herself. The top of her head just came to your eyes, and her slender form seemed so incredibly small.

You wanted to hug her in that moment, embrace her and hand her world back to her in gleaming pieces. You know that the sentiment would not be wanted – needed – or appreciated. And the time it would take to convince her that the gesture meant nothing more than what it was would be just enough time to ruin the feelings bubbling beneath it.

So, you merely step closer to her. There's still a few strides between your bodies – uncrossed chasms, and things of the like – and you reach out a hand to rest it on her shoulder. You feel her tense. She's stiff, unnaturally still and quiet. You know that if you were to take her hand, you would feel her pulse hammer at her wrist like a possessed thing. Instead, your hand trails over just slightly so that your fingers rest on the high raise of her collar. Your last finger just grazes the skin of her neck, and even that feels like you are crossing into do-not-touch ground. The curling ends of her ponytail feel frail over your skin.

You know that she doesn't need you to hold her together – she doesn't need anyone really, and if she did, she had a support waiting and ready for her. Yet, you have a knowledge of the universe's more harsher things, and it is that understanding that makes you expend yourself now.

You want to see her ten feet tall again, and so you press your fingers just slightly into the material of her uniform in an assurance – a comfort. She pressed into the touch just slightly, drawing a breath in deep before shrugging you away. Her eyes were still clouded, but she was relaxing again. In the moment, it was all that you could expect.

When you turned out into the main tunnel, she was starting to walk with that same determined gait. If her hands wanted to tremble, they didn't – there would be time for falling apart later, you know, when she was far from your presence, and in that of another.

And then seconds later, when she tossed the phaser to you and teasingly asked you not to get yourself killed, you see something a little more like the girl you had with you at the mission's start.

When she walked ahead of you, her head was held up high.

You fell into step next to her, just a step behind so that you could watch the way she challenged the sky.

FIN

~MJ