Disclaimer: I don't have 'Roddenberry' or 'Abrams' stamped on my forehead. :(
Notes: Unbeta'd. First Trek fic. Inspired by the song 'Last Christmas'. Comments are most welcome. :)
The room was crowded, the sound of teasing banter and laughter mixing seamlessly with the holiday music in the background. Co-workers, friends, companions, the Enterprise family littered about. Eating, chatting, dancing, socializing.
Yet you sit here with your back to the corner, alone.
You frown, sullen that everyone else seems to find enjoyment in the festive season while you simmer, angry at yourself for being so vulnerable.
Your hand dances around the edge of the glass, cool against the tips of your fingers, as you try to look anywhere else but at him.
It doesn't work of course; you keep coming back.
Your eyes, try as you might to find interest elsewhere, always comes back to his perfect figure. Even though it pains you to watch him with someone else, you can't help but be captivated by him simply because that's how he is. How he, without even trying, can draw your attention like that moth to its proverbial flame.
You lick your lips, remembering that night, a year ago, when you went to him, told him how serious you were, how much you –
You stop yourself from remembering, your eyes shifting from his form to the glass in your hand. Punch, spiked with what you assume is Scotty's Secret Stash. You would have reported him if you weren't so appreciative of the buzz it brings; something to dull the ache. You'd think after a year it would have gone away, made better with time.
It doesn't. It still hurts, seeing the object of your affections everyday and know that no matter what you do, it will never be reciprocated.
Your frown deepens before you close your eyes, gulping down the drink. You choke, not from the alcohol but from the memory rekindled.
Placing the cup down with more force than necessary, you take a moment to think back; remembering what happened even though you've replayed it in your head every waking minute since. You can't help yourself as you close your eyes, the image burned to the back of your eyelids so vivid it was like it happened yesterday.
~You enter his room, the temperature warmer than the rest of the ship's to accommodate for his difference in physiology. You spot him sitting by his desk, those deep eyes turning to you before he gracefully rises to greet you. You even remember how you felt when he did, charmed by how this man never did anything without grace. And how, as impossible as it may seem, you keep falling in love with him more than you already have.
He makes his way towards you and you meet him halfway, knowing that if a serious relationship was to arise between you, it would be on equal footing – you were merely setting a precedent for all future encounters and you knew he'd interpret the subtle hint as you'd intended.
You give a warm smile despite the nervousness settling in the pit of your stomach. You try to hide your apprehension but know that no matter how you fake it, he can easily see right through you.
He opens his mouth to say something but you raise your hand, shake your head with little effort, in a motion for him to let you speak first – in case you suddenly chicken out.
The words come out easier than you thought they would. You tell him how you appreciated all his hard work, his guidance, his help, his mere presence here with you. You continue with how you are glad to be his friend, how he's welcomed you into his oh so private life and how you were gratified when he comes to you seeking advice; but you also tell him you want more, felt it was only right that your relationship continue on a deeper, more personal level.
You tell him how you've never felt this way about anyone else and how you know, down to your very core, that being together made sense.
You notice a cloud of worry and doubt descend over his usually stoic features; his eyes darkening with an emotion you couldn't name. You bite your inner cheek, uncertain of what was to come, but you brace yourself and force yourself to be strong.
You know he needs time to think this over because, that is who he is. You know that he must have time to analyse this so you don't push him for an answer now. You give him the space he needs, in part because you understand his propensity to dissect every situation, and also because you're afraid of a hasty rejection.
You tell him a reply now was not necessary before you lean up and give him a kiss, pouring all your passion and hopes and dreams of a future with him into that single chaste touching of lips. You close your eyes to commit that sensation to memory, and you remember how you tried to hide your insecurities because you know of his ability to read others with just a touch. He is tense, you can feel it, but you trudge on; the warmth coming from him so different than the others you've had in the past.
When you pull back, you find a small sense satisfaction in how he is not as completely centered as he usually is.
You tell him you love him just before you leave his quarters, giving one last smile to reassure him that you mean every word of it.
You find out the day after, when he's cornered you on your way to the mess hall, that he cannot give you what you ask of him because he's promised his heart to another.
He does not explain much; then again he is a man of little words. He apologises and you somehow find the irony that feeling remorse was essentially admittance to having emotions.
You fail to mention this as he walks off, your heart broken in a million and one pieces and you don't know if you could even breathe much less stand in the middle of a hallway.
You rush back to your room before you break down. You lock your door, leaning against it heavily as you bang your clenched fists against it hoping to somehow diffuse your frustrations through the act. You refuse to cry, knowing you're stronger than this.
It was the end of your lunch break by the time you manage to coalesce some semblance of control. ~
Opening your eyes brings you back to the present. The music has taken a slower tempo, the chatter replaced with softer murmurs and the crew seemed to putter about at a pace more relaxed than a regular day on the Enterprise, courtesy of the eggnog you figure.
You find him amidst the crowd once again, constantly drawn to him despite his attempts to not stand out. He looks so alone, so distant and you are unable to stop yourself from thinking how he deserves it, being so cold, so heartless before he turns and there, you see, in his dark brown eyes warmth that you have always sought but never found. A tenderness that you knew he is capable of but he has never allowed you or anyone else to see.
You try to swallow but find it difficult because he looks so happy, so content in that moment and it hurts more that you were not the cause of it.
You see he relaxes ever so slightly as the source of his happiness moves to stand beside him, their fingers grazing against each other in greeting. You are familiar with the non-terran custom as your eyes move skywards, landing on the sight of a white and green sprig taped up as part of the decoration.
You let a gentle smile slip at the idea of the mix of Vulcan and human tradition, very much like the man you used to be in love with. You pause at the thought, finding that perhaps you've already started moving on before you even realised it yourself.
You let your gaze descend upon the pair once more and, for an unexplainable reason, you find comfort in seeing that blonde head tucked protectively under his chin, his blue sleeved arm wrapped tight around a waist covered in command gold.
You watch them one last time as they delicately swayed to the music before you stand up and leave, telling yourself, 'Yes, Lt. Uhura, it's time to move on.'.