Author's note: This fic takes place immediately after The Unraveling of Mr Spock and The Edge of Logic and Emotion. You may want to read those first simply because there are references in this fic that you may not get if you read this one first. Then, after you have read this fic you can read Why Doesn't She Like Me? as it will make a bit more sense. Wow, was that a shameless plug of my earlier works or what?? I hope I haven't gone too sappy on your bums, and that I got Spock right. He's so hard to write sometimes. Anyway, let me know what you think. I can take it.
Stitched Back Up
Nyota Uhura was both expecting it and surprised when her door chimed. It had been almost an entire day since she and her half-Vulcan had had a chance to be together privately. She remembered their confrontation in the corridor; what seemed like ages ago:
"I promise to call you when I am ready to talk,"
He had been about ready to crumble then, she thought. It made her happy to realise that he was going to confide in her. Uhura was across her room in a second and the door was sliding open in another. The normally stoic Vulcan stood before her, still in uniform, and looking for all intents and purposes like he was falling apart at the seems. Uhura's heart faltered for an instant–had something else happened that he would look the way he did?
Then he spoke, "Nyota,"
In that one word–her name– was so much pain. It all came back to her. The events of the past couple of days: Gaila and thousands of other cadets, Vulcan, Spock's mother, some of the Enterprise crew–all gone. All dead. Moisture sprang into her eyes and she stepped back, an unspoken invitation for him to enter. And he did.
As soon as the door slid shut behind him they met in one another's arms. Uhura held Spock as tight as she dared, afraid to let him go. She was rather hoping that by squeezing him tight enough she could transfer some of that pain and grief from him onto herself. There was too much of it, though, way too much; too much pain for either of them to handle alone. But together...
Of course, Spock pulled back first. Uhura was used to this. It was then that she noticed a smudge of green under the Vulcan's right eye. "Spock," she chocked out, shocked. "You're bleeding." Her hands went to his face at the same time as his did. They met on his cheek and he clutched her warm hands in his.
"I am well, it is nothing," his voice shook a bit, which frightened Uhura.
"What happened?" she was imagining the worst. Another death? Another planet gone?
"I..." Spock hesitated for a fraction of a second and in his beautiful black eyes Uhura saw anguish. Pure, uncontrolled anguish. "I let my emotions take over for an instant and I threw a Vulcan plate at the wall in my quarters."
Uhura stared at him, mouth slightly agape. "You...what?" the last bit was rather strangled as she was trying very hard to suppress a giggle. Uhura quickly sobered at the look on Spock's face.
"I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at you," Uhura stroked his cheek with her hand, then moved it up to brush the speck of green blood off his face. "It's just that I can barely picture you angry, let alone throwing anything."
Spock remained silent, looking at her contemplatively.
"I hope it wasn't valuable,"
"It was a Vulcan artifact. All artifacts have some form of value." he replied, flatly.
Artifact. Uhura's eyes filled with tears again. "I'm sorry," she whispered, barely audible.
Spock closed his eyes for half a second, then brought her hand to his lips. "My emotional outburst was illogical and the fault of no one but myself. Nyota, you have no reason to apologise."
She said nothing at that, but simple drew him with her as she walked over to the small couch on the opposite side of the room. They sat and she turned to face him.
"I'm glad you came to see me, Spock. I've been trying to work a lot of things out in my mind, but I can't seem to get anywhere with my thoughts. They all return to death–to Gaila, your mother, Vulcan–and I don't want to go there. I don't want to process all that's happened."
"Gaila," Spock's voice came as close to breaking as Uhura had ever heard it. "She was assigned to the Farragut."
Uhura nodded and ducked her head so she could wipe at the small tears that spilled from her eyes.
"I assigned you to the Farragut." she looked up to see that Spock was studying her intensely. The smallest amount of guilt darkened his beautiful eyes.
"Please don't feel guilty about that," Uhura began, sounding silly even to herself. Who was she to tell a Vulcan not to feel something?
As if he hadn't heard her Spock continued, his head bowed so that Uhura couldn't see his expression. His voice was barely above a whisper. "You would have been another death on my hands." he looked up and Uhura was shocked to see what looked like moisture in his eyes. Or was she just imagining it? "Can you forgive me?"
"Spock, don't. That is an illogical thought." she placed her hand on his cheek and pressed into his warm skin for emphasis. "What's done is done and I'm not dead. I'm right here. Furthermore, none of this is your fault."
He gazed at her. "I am unsure how to deal with I am feeling, Nyota. I do not know how to come back from the dark place where my mind resides." he broke eye contact with her and stood up. "You do not know what it is like, to go through your life learning that emotions are something which need to be controlled and then to feel so many forbidden emotions in the span of a few days."
Uhura wanted desperately to reach out to her Vulcan and soothe him any way she could, but she knew it would not work. So, she tried a different tactic. "What does your Father say?"
Spcok's eye narrowed almost imperceptibly. "He says not to try to control what I am feeling." his stance softened a bit. "I do not know what to make of his advice, for I believe he is as lost as I am without Mother."
"He loved her very much, didn't he?"
Spock sat back down on the couch next to her and nodded once, crisply. "He told me once it was 'logic' that necessitated their marriage because he was Ambassador to Earth."
Uhura reached for him again, but pulled back at the last minute. "I cannot fathom what your Father is going through." her throated closed up as the emotions raged within her.
"I, too, cannot comprehend fully, though I can make an educated guess." Now it was Uhura's turn to raise her eyebrow. "When I was on Nero's ship and my chances of making it back were less than four per cent you were all that I could think about, Nyota."
She was too shocked to say anything at his admission and so he continued. "It was highly illogical. I needed to concentrate on the mission at hand, yet I could not stop picturing your face," here Spock raised his hand to touch her cheek. It was hardly a caress. More that he wanted to reassure himself that she was, indeed, still alive. "Then, you were suddenly the force that directed my actions."
Here Uhura frowned. "But, Spock, your ship was on a collision course with Nero's."
"Indeed," he dipped his head once. "All I could think about was protecting you."
Uhura simply gazed at the Vulcan for a moment. A million thoughts were racing through her head at warp speed and, yet, all she could come up with was, "I don't know what to say."
At this Spock recoiled. Had it been anyone else but her, no one would have seen the slight drop in his eyelids, or the way he moved his shoulders back ever so slightly.
"I have upset you." It was a statement.
"No," Uhura shook her head, pointedly. "No, you have not. The whole time you were on that damn ship I was scared to death for you. I had no idea if you were going to make it back, despite what you said to me on the pad."
"It was an error in judgement to promise something like that."
"No, it was not." here Uhura smiled. "It may have been a bit of error in judgement to do what we did in front of the Captain-"
"Nyota, I do apologise-"
She cut him off with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Oh, please Spock. I took way too much pleasure out of him hearing you say my first name."
At this Spock sat up a fraction straighter. "I have been wanting to ask you about that."
Uhura narrowed her eyes, the ghost of remembrance in her gaze. "Oh, that is a story for another time. My point is, you don't need to apologise for anything. You, of everyone on this ship, get a free pass to be as pissed off as you want. Logic be damned."
She thought Spock looked slightly admonishing as he said, "Nyota, I cannot forsake years of mental discipline for the sake of a 'free pass' as you say."
"Why the hell not? Nero took everything from you. Allow yourself that little bit of grief, that little bit of anger-"
Spock's expression and tone betrayed no emotion whatsoever as he said, "That is not who I am."
"No, that is not who half of you is. The other half is happy Nero is dead and that's OK. Now you need to allow that half of you to mourn your losses."
"I do not want to be..." Spock trailed off and Uhura could tell he was holding the rest of his statement back.
For a moment she bristled. "Don't want to be what? Human?" Sometimes he could be so arrogant.
The way Spock looked at her told Uhura that was his conclusion. He didn't want to be weak like a human. Uhura shook her head and closed her eyes for a moment, trying to regain her composure. "Do you really see me as being so flawed?" she wondered, more to herself, but of course she knew he would answer. Leave it to a Vulcan to not understand the concept of a rhetorical question.
"I do not see you as being flawed, Nyota." he made no move to comfort her physically and for a second she was glad for it. She didn't know what he'd think if she shook him off. "You are human, after all, and it is expected that your emotions get the better of you."
Uhura decided to take that as a back-handed compliment.
"Spock," she sighed. She forced herself to see things from his point-of-view, though it didn't really make her feel like kicking him any less. He was the one who was hurting here, much more than she was, and he needed to know that she was there for him. No matter how high and mighty he got.
"I have offended you." he stated matter-of-factly.
Uhura smiled and was a bit stunned at how genuine it felt. "You have not offended me. In fact, your very presence here makes it hard for anything you say to upset me."
There went the eyebrow. "How so?"
Here she touched his folded hands, gently. "The mere fact that you think highly enough about me to confide in me and tell me what you are going though. I am touched that I was the first person you came to."
Spock looked even more confused. "I have always thought very highly of you, Nyota. Your marks as a Cadet and then your attentiveness as my Assistant have only furthered my belief that you are one of the most intelligent and capable humans I have ever met."
Spock paused and locked gazes with her. Her vexation at his use of the word "human" faded when, in a rare show of tenderness he almost whispered, "There has never been a second person for me. It has only ever been you."
As much as she didn't want to Uhura began to cry. She hastily wiped the tears from her eyes and tried to smile at him. She wasn't quick enough to reassure him, however, because he looked pained and said, "I have said something to upset you again."
Uhura shook her head, not trusting her voice just yet. After she cleared her throat, twice, and wiped the rest of the moisture from her eyes, she looked at him. "Humans have this weird thing where they can cry and be happy at the same time."
She laughed gently and took Spock's hands in hers. "Not really. Embarrassing is more like, but thank you for saying those things. It means a lot to me."
Spock nodded solemnly and suddenly the tension was back in the air. He looked serious and so Uhura wiped the smile off her face, a small crease forming between her brows.
"Nyota, I must ask you for a personal favour, but I am unsure how to do so." Despite herself, Uhura's insides burned with passion. She had no idea what he would ask her and, thus, it was illogical for her to hope he was thinking what she was thinking.
"Ask me, Spock. Whatever you need, just ask."
He swallowed, another tiny, almost insignificant sign that he was distressed. Uhura's heart squeezed in response. "When we reach Earth my Father and I will be joining my Mother's side of the family to honour her memory at a memorial service. We are told it is human tradition to hold such a service and," here he hesitantly held her gaze. "I would be very grateful if you would accompany me."
For a second all Uhura could do was stare at him. She was shocked that he would ask her something like this, then shocked again at how touched she was. Slowly, she nodded. "I would be honoured to accompany you, Spock." she squeezed his hands for emphasis.
"I believe Mother would have liked you very much, Nyota." Uhura's heart ached again as she saw the sadness return to his eyes. She hated to see those dark, lovely depths clouded with pain. "I only wish you could have met her."
"Well," Uhura replied, gently. "You'll just have to tell me all about her."
At once Spock said, "She was a highly illogical woman." Uhura smiled at that, or maybe it was how he said it: both in awe and in disbelief. "She would not have approved of the way I acted on the bridge earlier."
Before she had even formed a thought, he was talking again. He touched her arm lightly, a mere butterfly kiss of his fingertips, like he was afraid his touch might offend her. "I am deeply sorry for what transpired there and in the corridor afterward. My actions were inexcusable." "I wanted to stop you," she confessed, feeling as guilty as she surmised he did. Though, unlike her, Spock was not showing it. "On the bridge. I wanted to call you off the Captain, but to be honest, there was a part of me that wanted you to strangle him."
Spock's eyebrow shot up into his hairline. "You have no reason to apologise. That emotional outbusrt had nothing to do with you, or Jim for that matter. It was ill-"
"No," Uhura hissed, heat suddenly rising in her tone. "Don't you dare say illogical. What he said to you was uncalled for. You had every right to hit him."
"On the contrary, Jim said nothing to me that should have offended. He was merely trying to regain control of the Enterprise in order-"
"He had no right." Uhura crossed her arms in a somewhat childlike fashion. If Spock wasn't going to get upset, then she would get upset on his behalf.
"I do not hold him accountable." Spock said simply, face betraying nothing.
"Well, I think he's an ass."
"If it were not for James Kirk none of us would be alive." Uhura had the uncanny feeling that she was being talked down to like a child. Though Spock's tone was measured it reminded her of the times when her mother would speak slowly and simply to her when she was little, so that she could understand the conversation.
Uhura's resolve faltered for an instant. Then, her eyes narrowed. "I still think he's an ass."
A small light began to form at the corners of Spock's eyes. Uhura knew this to be his version of humour in an expression. "He is still your Captain. And mine."
"Only until we get back to Earth," Uhura retorted with more venom than she intended. "Then hopefully he'll get his sexist ass court-marshaled."
Spock frowned, or did his version of a frown anyway. "I must confess I am most curious to learn what transpired between the two of you before we met."
Uhura scoffed and shook her head. "It didn't transpire before we met, although Kirk didn't know that at the time, and that's the main problem. He's such an arrogant ass that he doesn't even stop to consider if the woman he's drooling all over is even available."
At Spock's look she simply shook her head and stood up. She offered him her hand before she thought the gesture through and was more than surprised when he took it. "Come on, Spock," she said as she half-hauled him off her couch. "I'll tell you all about it over some coffee."
Uhura found her hand in his as they crossed the short distance toward the door and almost sighed in relief when he dropped it right before the doors slid open. He turned and regarded her with a look that she thought may have been the Vulcan version of sheepishness.
"I hope you are no offended when I say I do not think it is wise for us to be seen being affectionate outside of closed doors." At the mention of "outside of closed doors" the burning from before returned. Uhura didn't want to remind Spock that Kirk, Scotty, and the entire transporter room crew had already seen them being affectionate. "We are, after all, senior officers and I am your ranking officer."
She suspected Spock had no idea just how much his words thrilled her. It was like the Academy all over again. Secret. Taboo. Inexplicably sexy.
Then, taking her completely by surprise Spock bent down and planted a soft, yet passionate kiss on her mouth. When they broke apart Uhura all but gasped for air. "I can live with that," she replied, rather breathlessly.
As they left the room, side by side, Spock marveled at how he had come to be in Lieutenant Uhura's quarters. Feeling as if he was unraveling, he'd come seeking her comforting presence. In less than an hour, and by her hand, he was stitched back up. Not completely healed as Spock knew, logically, that would take a lot more time. But with Uhura he felt certain that, eventually, it would all come right.