*Author's note: Shortly after writing Stitched Back Up the idea for this little fic came to mind. These things seem to come in short bursts for some reason and always when I'm in the shower...I wonder why that is? I wonder if that happens to anyone else. It kinda sucks having to jump in and out of the water in order to jot things down so that I don't forget them. Perhaps one of those dry erase board things are in order, you know, so I can jot down ideas while I'm showering. Huh. Anyway, yeah, so a short little Oneshot this time featuring Uhura and Kirk. Let me know what you think. Peace.
The Mess Hall was rather quite when Uhura entered, which wasn't surprising considering it was technically the middle of the night. She grabbed herself a cup of tea from the synthesizer and made her way over to a small corner table. She sat so her back was to the rest of the room, not wanting to invite company as she had a PADD full of reports to go through. Since gaining the rank of Lieutenant and the post of Chief Communications Officer on the bridge Uhura's work load had nearly tripled. Though she was tired, and though it was the middle of the night, she found herself unable to sleep. She briefly contemplated a visit to the Science Officer's quarters, but knew that he was either in deep mediation or asleep and she had no desire to disturb him from either. The thought of being alone for a few hours until her reports were done was enticing, but her quarters were too small.
It was with much chagrin, then, when out of the corner of her eye she saw someone approaching her table. A moment later the chair opposite hers was pulled aside, flipped around, and James Kirk sat down. His normally lopsided grin was even more askew and from the mug in his hand Uhura could smell strong black coffee and single malt. With a very big, outward sigh Uhura put her PADD on the table and locked gazes with Kirk.
"Good Evening, Captain," she greeted formally, and just a bit icily. Maybe if she let the icy tone leak onto her features he would go away.
No such luck. As Kirk's grin spread from ear to ear he said, "Hey, Uhura," and half-raised, half sloshed his coffee mug in her direction. "How are you doing this fine, fine evening?"
When she didn't answer, Kirk continued, unabashed. "I just got done playing a wicked game of Poker with Scotty, Sulu, Bones, and Chekov." He pointed his finger at her. "A word to the wise Uhura: don't ever drink whisky and play cards with a Scotsman because you won't win."
Uhura made a show of rolling her eyes, hoping that Kirk would notice. Of course, he didn't. He did keep talking, though. Maybe slurring was a better term. "You know, I shudder to think how badly that poor kid Chekov is gonna feel in the morning." He took a swig of his drink. "I mean the rest of us are seasoned and whatnot, but Chekov? He'll be feeling it, I'd wager."
Suddenly Kirk was looking intently over her shoulder, scanning the Mess Hall as if he was looking for someone. He hiccuped, then whispered almost conspiratorially, "So, where's your other half?"
At the mention of her Vulcan, Uhura bit her cheek to keep from telling Kirk to mind his own damn business. "I would say probably meditating. He's been doing that a lot. I don't know though, it's not like the Commander and I keep tabs on one another."
Kirk took another sip from his mug and Uhura had to swallow the bile that rose in her throat as she caught a strong whiff of whisky. "He should keep tabs on you, Uhura. I would."
"Is there something I can do for you, Sir?" Uhura asked, pointedly. She was determined not to rise to his taunts.
"Actually," Kirk paused and seemed to catch his breath before continuing. "There is. You can accept my whole-hearted apology, Uhura." Kirk placed the hand not holding his mug over his heart, or rather in the general direction of his heart. It didn't quite make it to his chest.
Uhura raised her eyebrow. "What exactly are you apologizing for, Captain?"
Kirk made a face. "Will you quit being so formal. We're off duty."
Uhura said nothing to that, but continued to eye him suspiciously. Kirk rolled his eyes when she didn't reply.
"Fine, have it your way, Lieutenant." He took another sip from his mug. "I'm apologizing for all sorts of things, but I suppose I can start with the incident at the bar."
Uhura's eyes tightened at the reminder of their first meeting and the hand that was resting in her lap clenched into a fist. She waited for Kirk to continue, which he did after downing what was left of his drink.
"I am sorry that I hit on you, Lieutenant. I am sorry that I grabbed your, well, your um…" he made a face and an ambiguous gesture with his hand. "You. I'm sorry I grabbed you. It was uncalled for."
Uhura made a "hurmph" noise and crossed her arms over her chest. "Are you apologizing to all the women you've hit on, Captain? If so, I'd imagine that would take a while."
Kirk smiled, it was a brief and sarcastic look. "No, I am not apologizing to every woman I have ever hit on. Just to you. Had I known you were with the Commander at the time-"
Uhuara sat forward so abruptly that she bumped the table. Kirk's mug fell on its side. Quickly, Uhura shot a glance over her shoulder and then turned a mutinous gaze on her commanding officer. "Captain, I would very much appreciate it if you did not refer to the Commander and-"
Kirk held up his hand. "Relax, Uhura. I'm not going to tattle on you." When she relaxed a bit, he continued. "As far as I am aware there is nothing untoward going on between you and my Science Officer. That's my story and I am sticking to it."
Uhura sucked in a ragged breath and let it out slowly. She lowered her eyes to the table for a minute, not wanting to look at Kirk. "Thank you, sir, I appreciate that."
"It's nothing," Kirk shrugged. "Because there's nothing going on," He wagged his eyebrows at her and she laughed, despite herself. Kirk was an arrogant ass, but he could be a charming, arrogant ass.
Kirk sobered suddenly, his gaze going very intense. "I would also like to apologize for what I said to Spock on the bridge, the day I took command."
"You should be apologizing to the Commander, sir, not to me." Uhura replied, rather stonily. Her momentary onslaught of humour at Kirk's previous action was completely gone. Uhura now recalled why she disliked Kirk so much. She set her jaw and glowered fiercely at him.
"I did. Well, I tried." Kirk shrugged. "He insists that I meant no harm and that my actions 'were necessary'." Kirk air quoted the last bit and looked rather grumpy about the whole thing, Uhura thought. "I wish he would have yelled, or hit me again, or something. Instead,"
Kirk shook his head and glared at the table.
"Well, I could always yell and hit you, if it would make you feel better." Uhura offered, sweetly. Kirk barked a single, rather loud laugh, and turned the full force of his blue eyed stare upon her.
"He's a lucky SOB, that's for sure. To have you, I mean, someone so fiercely loyal to him." If Uhura didn't know better she would have said Kirk sounded jealous.
Uhura smiled dimly. "I know that, but sometimes I wonder if he does." Her voice took on a faraway quality as she remembered past fights they'd had. Or rather, past incidents where she yelled and he took it silently. Had Spock remained silent to placate her, or because he hadn't understood her emotional need to get things off her chest?
"Do you ever think I'll find someone as fiercely loyal?" Kirk inquired suddenly very intent on picking a small scab over his knuckles. He refused to look up, even when Uhura didn't answer straight away.
"I think you've found fierce loyalty in every single Starfleet officer aboard this ship, Captain. Not many commanding officers can say that. I think this crew would follow you wherever you wanted to take them."
Kirk met her gaze and his eyes shined with pride. Then he dipped his head again. "I don't have the fierce loyalty of all the crew, Lieutenant."
Uhura gave him a rueful smile. "I'll come around," she conceded, her tone only slightly morose. Then, her smile brightened as she was suddenly reminded of their first conversation. "I mean, who can possibly resist a charming farm boy?"
"Yeah," Kirk was smiling outright now.
"Having said that though, if you ever, ever put Spock in another situation like that again I will kick your ass. Sir."
Uhura stood up, and Kirk followed suit, swaying a bit. He held her gaze for a moment before replying and there was not a hint of the sarcastic Kirk anywhere. "If that day ever comes, Lieutenant, I look forward to the beating." He frowned. "Though, I must admit one fight with a pissed off Vulcan is enough to last me a lifetime."
She smiled, a genuine smile this time, and a small giggle escaped her lips.
Kirk's mouth dropped open, an astounded expression on his face. He recovered quickly, though, and saluted the woman as she turned to go.