Disclaimer: Am not God, Gene, nor JJ. Do Not Own. No money. (aka: It's 3 in the morning and I don't have anything you could possibly want to sue me for.)

This started as part of a 5and1 I was working on, but the other chapters fell short of this one, and I couldn't bring myself to keep them together. So this will be a angsty little oneshot, and I'll write something to replace it for the 5and1 later.

Title: Misunderstanding
Characters: James Kirk, Nyota Uhura (no pairing)
Summary: Jim just wants to drink alone. Uhura arrives and makes some assumptions.
James T. Kirk is not so easily understood.
Rated: T

Jim slips into the bar quietly, sending an insincere grin at the girls whose eyes follow him, and heads straight for the bartender. He's wearing his grungiest civvies, and this bar is just far enough from anything Starfleet that he shouldn't be recognized.

He's alone on this outing, a first since he was given the Enterprise, and he wants it, no, needs it that way. So he dodged questions about his plans, distracted anyone who hinted at inviting him to anything, and spent all day hiding from Bones. He'll make it up to them all during their next 48 hour shore-leave. Because he needs it this way, tonight.

Tonight is for anonymity, solitude, and strong liquor.

He takes a stool, away from the large group crowding the holo-screen and cheering at some game or another, and orders a glass of top-shelf scotch, neat.

The throw-back is easy, the burn is bliss. The second only feels better.

Before he can motion for another, the bartender slides him the bottle.

He is so going to be tipping generously.

Somewhere between full bottle and half-full bottle, he really can't be sure when, a woman seats herself next to him.

This isn't new; he's been gently and oh-so-politely declining offers all night. Unfortunately, this is one woman he can't brush off.

"Scotty's going to be disappointed he lost the bet on your plans, Captain."

That much disdain and near-insubordination without directly breeching protocol? Jim doesn't bother to look. Uhura has somehow managed to find him, and it takes a surprising amount of self-restraint not to order her out of his bar, his escape.

He can practically hear Spock chastising him for being illogical, and Bones calling him a territorial scoundrel.

"Yeah, well, he should know better than to bet against me. And you, Uhura? Have I confounded you with my unpredictable ways?"

Scotty's not the only one who should know better. It's never a good idea to provoke the darkly cunning communications officer.

"Not at all, Captain. Drinking your way into a bar fight is precisely your style."

Jim flinches, but refuses to let his face show how much her words sting.

"I guess it is. If you'll excuse me, Lieutenant, I'm going to search for my compulsory bar fight elsewhere."

He drops the credits on the bar (generous tip included), bids the bartender farewell with a grateful nod, and slips away into the crowd.

He briefly wishes he were sober enough to disappear properly, because it appears she's now following him to the dark little table in the corner.

"Do you really have to tarnish Starfleet's reputation every time you go out?"

He probably should have some witty repartee ready for her demand, but his eyes are glued to the old-fashioned paper calendar, and the date in big black bold text.

Those numbers are mocking him, taunting him. Yet he can't look away.

He takes another swig from the bottle.

Uhura shoots him a disgusted glare. Good. Maybe now she'll leave him to drink in peace.


That's what he's looking for, elusive and fickle, in the bottom of this bottle.


He hasn't earned it. Doesn't deserve it. Still, he wants it. Needs it. Craves it.

If just for tonight, he wants to silence the screams.

Uhura's waving her hand in his face, calling his name. He may be more intoxicated than he thought, but it's no where near enough. She calls him childish, alcoholic, sluty, irresponsible, reckless, and a few things he forces himself to forget, because he really doesn't want to court martial her.

"Please, Lieutenant, refrain from giving me motion sickness and just tell me what I can help you with."

She stops, thank god, taken aback. He knows why. His tone is flat, professional, cold. His face is blank, and his eyes are still glued to that damn calendar.

"Uh, right, Kirk, Captain. Sorry. Captain. I'll, um, see you on the bridge."

She rushes off, and he's relieved. The indifference slides away, and the overwhelming emotions take over.

Rage, fear, hatred, panic, terror, anger, loss, grief, pain, so much pain.

He barbarically chugs what's left of the bottle.

The clock strikes twelve, and he's yet another year away from Tarsus IV.


Angst-muse is still behind the reins, for now. Smut-muse is plotting and laughing maniacally.

Hope ya'll enjoyed. Drop a line with your thoughts.