A/N: A bit of fluff exploring how Uhura and Spock's relationship might be affected by his growing friendship with Kirk. And of course, Kirk meddling.
Note on dates: I've tried to look up information on how Star Trek dates are configued. I couldn't find anything that made sense. If anyone has any information, pass it on.
The Pick-Up Line
Wednesday, November 17, 2258
"So there I was surrounded by fifteen busty blondes who were all itching to know what it was like to mate with a human male-naturally, they'd never seen a specimen quite as attractive as me before-when out of nowhere…" Jim's comment trailed off when he realized his first officer wasn't paying a whit of attention to him and was instead attempting to bore a hole through the chess board with a heated glance.
"Fascinating," Spock responded the moment Captain Kirk paused. The half-Vulcan's brow was slightly furrowed, an expression most people would have missed, but Jim recognized it to be consternation or an emotion in a related category up to and including being outright upset over something.
"What's the Half Life of Carbon?"
"Approximately five thousand seven hundred years. If you wish to hear a more accurate response, you must include the presence and amount of radioactive material within the surrounding soil in your question as radioactivity degenerates carbon at a more rapid pace."
"So your lack of focus doesn't extend to scientific matters. It's only me who bores you so thoroughly to tears you're zoning out in the middle of a chess match."
"A Vulcan is never bored. Neither is it probable for me to become so emotionally upset over boredom I would shed tears," Spock said in an even tone.
"Eat me." Yanking his king off the holographic board, he shut down the program when it became obvious his first officer's mind wasn't on the game. Winning against Spock under those circumstances would feel rather like cheating.
The half-Vulcan's glance finally lifted, his lips turning down a fraction of a millimeter. "Now I've upset you as well? Human sensibilities are more fragile than I was previously aware."
"Check and mate," Jim said when he deftly maneuvered Spock into revealing what was eating him. "You used a contraction; someone must be really upset with you. Please, don't tell me you made our new science officer cry by nit-picking at his Scientific Method."
Spock's jaw shifted as though he were about to say something, but the half-Vulcan must have changed his mind, because he remained silent for a full minute, the nearly-imperceptible ridges between his brows deepening. Captain Kirk took it to mean his first officer was examining something, turning it over in his mind as though it were a scientific puzzle to be looked at from all angles.
"Come on, Spock, spit it out. My shift on the bridge starts in an hour, and I'd rather not spend the day with your face shoved in your computer console sulking." The communicator in his ready room beeped a message, but he ignored it.
"Lieutenant Uhura is upset with me," Spock finally said.
"One of the joys of being in a relationship is getting on each others nerves. You're lucky if it's only once in a while. Not that I know anything about committed relationships." He tacked the last on in a rush in an effort to protect his reputation. A committed relationship? Not Jim Kirk!
"I do not like quarreling with Lieutenant Uhura." His tone shifted a degree toward the realm of annoyance.
Bracing himself for the worst, Jim plowed on. Maybe other people would have left Spock to stew in his own juices, but after four months in space with the half-Vulcan, he genuinely liked his first officer. "Why don't you start at the beginning?"
"Knowing when the quarrel began is difficult as we did not have a vocal disagreement to cause her displeasure with me."
"Then start when you first noticed she wasn't acting like her normally loving self." That was a stretch. Uhura? Loving? All he'd done was pester her about her name, and she still acted cold toward him.
"The first time I noticed a change in her behavior was last Saturday morning when…"
Saturday, November 13, 2258
Nyota woke to the feeling of Spock's lips grazing her bare shoulder, a pleasant sensation to start the day with. She smiled. A caramel hand lifted to brush over the silken strands of his black hair, now disheveled from a night in bed. Her entire relationship with him could be boiled down to one moment when Gaila had pointed him out during their first week at the Academy with a flippant "I'd so do him just to find out if his hair is glued in place."
"Good morning, Nyota," he said in a sleepy tone.
"Morning." Another soft smile curved her lips as she rolled into his bare chest to kiss his jaw. The idea of getting up to go about their business was a dreaded one. Living and working together on a starship meant they had to appear professional when on the bridge together. No affectionate touches. No casual kisses. Just a knowing smile thrown his way whenever someone wasn't watching. She tossed back the covers to get the inevitable over with.
Spock, who seemed to be feeling amorous, had other ideas, because he rolled her beneath him, their legs tangling together, so his weight could press her down into the mattress. He murmured, "There is no logical reason for either of us leave the bed so early on Saturday morning."
"Actually, there's a very logical reason. I like you too much to subject you to my morning breath. Teeth first, and then I'll come right back."
A pang of disappointment widened his eyes and flared his nostrils a fraction, but she'd been with him long enough to read his expressions when others would pass them off as slight muscle twitches. Palms flattened over his back to allow her fingertips to trace the ridges of muscle along his spine while he made up his mind whether or not he was going to let her escape for a few minutes.
When he finally rolled to the side to allow her up, she slipped out of bed to pad naked into the bathroom. "You were late getting in last night. Was everything all right?"
"A curious question, Nyota, as I am incapable of determining whether everything in the universe is all right."
Nyota stuck her head out of the bathroom door with her toothbrush hanging out of her mouth and an arched brow, but the expression on Spock's face-a tiny smirk curled the corners of his lips-almost made her laugh when she realized he was teasing. Spock teasing wasn't so uncommon as most people would think.
"I was late in arriving to our quarters due to a personal discussion I wished to have with the captain," he finally responded.
After rinsing her mouth out, she ducked out of the bathroom to climb back into bed with him as promised, though she didn't immediately press herself against his naked chest to continue where they'd left off. On the contrary, she grazed a chaste kiss on his forehead, her expression one of sympathy and concern.
"Do you want to talk about what's upsetting you?" she asked.
"Such is not necessary. Captain Kirk's advice was suitable for the situation. The dilemma I was faced with has been resolved."
An unwarranted moment of jealousy turned her lips down in a decided frown upon hearing that Spock had gone to Kirk for advice and had shared his confidence with the captain instead of her. There had been a time when Spock had talked to her about everything that was bothering him, but since coming aboard the Enterprise, that had been happening less and less. The captain, and even McCoy on more than one occasion, fulfilled one of Spock's needs that she had once fulfilled. They were forming a Boys Club. Girls need not apply.
"You are unusually quiet, Nyota. Have I said something to upset you?" His fingers traced her collarbone.
One thing was certain; she wasn't about to cop to the fact that she was jealous of Kirk and McCoy. She wanted Spock to have friends, but after being the only person he'd counted on for support for so long, it felt rather like she was being replaced.
"No, I just realized I have some very important work waiting for me on the bridge." Having said that, Nyota tensed to move. Problem. Spock's arm was draped around her, and he didn't seem inclined to let her up just yet.
"You would not hide your distress from me, would you? Bearing in mind, of course, that I am touching you."
A soft snort was her reaction. "You haven't said anything to cause me distress, so let's just leave it at that." Inside, she was scrambling to bring her emotions to something more akin to contentment or even neutrality. Anything but the seething jealousy roiling inside her. Having a relationship with a man who could pinpoint her feelings just by touching her had advantages-sex tended to be amazing when her partner knew where she needed to be touched, precisely for how long, and with just the right amount of pressure before even she knew it-but also its disadvantages. Like when she wanted to rip Kirk's eyes from their sockets for horning in on her territory.
Spock opened his mouth for further comment, but there was a chime indicating someone was trying to reach him through the ship's intercom. "We will continue this discussion in a few moments."
It was with great relief for Nyota that her lover left the bed to answer the summons rather than ignoring it, because she was granted a few minutes of reprieve, a few precious moments to calm the Green Monster that currently wanted to deck Kirk. Honestly! The man had tormented her at the Academy with his constant demands for attention, and she got stuck with him as her captain too boot? Life wasn't fair sometimes.
Wednesday, November 17, 2258
"I was summoned to the bridge to peruse an anomaly picked up by the ship's scanners. Since then, Lieutenant Uhura has been distant."
"I bet she hasn't been giving you any nookie either," Jim responded with an amused smirk.
"That is hardly any of your business, Captain Kirk."
Seeing as how Spock never referred to him as Captain Kirk when they were alone anymore, Jim figured he'd struck too close to the truth. Uhura wasn't giving it up, and he'd bet money she was staying in her own quarters rather than Spock's. "She's hiding the fact that you pissed her off, which means you really haven't done anything wrong. She knows it and doesn't want to upset you with her wayward emotions."
"Any negative emotions pertaining to something I have done, whether or not I am directly the cause of said emotions, makes me responsible for her feeling poorly toward me. I would solve this situation quickly did I know what caused her distress by reassuring her of my affection."
Jim leaned back in his chair and propped his feet up on his desk, his fingers lacing over his stomach while he gave the situation some thought. "Her attitude changed when you told her that we had a conversation of a personal nature, a conversation you weren't willing to share with her."
The half-Vulcan's eyes twitched. "I had already deduced the catalyst, but there is still no answer as to why coming to you would upset her. Christine Chapel's unwarranted infatuation with me is something I prefer Lieutenant Uhura not be exposed to. Since Gaila's death aboard the Farragut, Lieutenant Uhura has found difficulty in being on friendly terms with people. I would not see her budding friendship with Nurse Chapel ruined when a few words to Nurse Chapel could put an end to her infatuation."
"Actually, I'm in agreement with your assessment for once. Chapel lost her fiancé during the Nero incident, so I think her infatuation with you is a direct result of knowing you're safely off the dating market. There's no reason to get Uhura's panties in a twist over it."
"A curious metaphor when panties are unable to twist when on a woman's body. We are restating the same things said during our last discussion. Please focus on the one at hand, Jim."
"I'm not sure what advice I can give you considering Uhura would rather skewer me like a kebab than give me any insight into her state-of-mind. I certainly hope you're not asking me to talk to her and get to the bottom of this."
"Lieutenant Uhura would think amiably toward you were it not for your attention-seeking behavior. She does not have the type of patience necessary to coddle someone so high maintenance, as a desire for constant attention is often a sign of poor self-esteem."
"Ouch." Jim shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He offered up no comment on his self-esteem, redirecting the conversation toward its original purpose when he said, "That's not the point. The point was that I really don't know how Uhura thinks. Maybe she thinks you're emotionally withdrawing from her for some reason. Maybe she's on the rag. Get all those hormones surging at the same time, and women become completely irrational."
His first officer's lips turned down a fraction of a millimeter toward the realm of disapproval. "I am not emotionally withdrawing from Lieutenant Uhura, and the timing of her monthly cycles are none of your concern."
"It should be my concern when it directly affects the safety of the bridge crew," he muttered. "You're going to have to get her alone to find out what's eating her."
"How am I expected to do so when she avoids being alone with me of late? Any time we are in a situation where I could touch her, she claims to have important work."
"We could always have Bones sedate her and lock her in a storage room with you." Spock didn't like that idea judging by the immediate and full-fledged frown. "No? I guess you could try flirting with her. If she sees you're making an effort to pay more attention to her, she might open up."
"I have witnessed this human courtship ritual of flirting in the past but am uncertain of the rules of engagement."
"There aren't any rules. You see a woman you like and come up with a pick-up line you think she'll find intriguing or cute enough to talk to you. Try this one…"
Thursday, November 18, 2258
A case of unwarranted jealousy had exploded into full-blown irritation after she'd discovered the nature of the personal discussion Spock had partaken in with Jim. Did he honestly believe she wouldn't find out about Chapel's little crush when they lived on a starship packed with people? Rumor was impossible to squelch aboard the Enterprise, so it had taken only a day for word to reach her ear that she had competition when it came to Spock's affection. Naturally, she hadn't believed particular parts of the rumor that said he was secretly meeting Chapel in the sickbay's storage rooms. He would never be unfaithful, was incapable of betraying her like that.
No, her present irritation, bordering closely on outright anger, was due to his silence on the matter. He hadn't felt it necessary to warn her, hadn't so much as made a single peep about the situation, and had instead allowed her to be stunned and taken off-guard. He'd shielded her from the news for whatever reason, and she detested being coddled. Perhaps Spock thought she wasn't strong enough to hear that a woman she had befriended had a crush on her man? Maybe he even wanted to protect Chapel, in which case, Spock must not think very highly of her if he thought her capable of demeaning the poor woman over a silly crush.
The tines of her fork squealed against the glass plate when she raked it through her mashed potatoes while ignoring the conversation Junior Lieutenant Sheffield was attempting to have with her. Attempting was the key word, because Nyota's mind had phased out of the conversation a good ten minutes ago in favor of heaping blame on Spock's head. That Spock might start keeping things from her had never been in the realm of possibility as far as she'd been concerned. They'd always shared their troubles in the past. Why he was suddenly behaving differently was a mystery.
"Lieutenant Uhura, are you all right? You haven't been listening to a word I've said for the past fifteen minutes."
"Huh?" She jerked her attention away from the bits of chive dotting her mashed potatoes to look at her fellow communications officer.
"Point and match. You've been staring at those mashed potatoes like you're going to find the answer to universal hunger secreted there. Is something bugging you?"
"It's nothing for anyone to be worried about."
"Come on, Uhura, we all get worried when you're not acting like yourself. If there's anything I can help with, just let me know."
She was loathe to discuss her relationship issues with anyone, not because most people weren't aware they were dating-after that rather heated kiss in the transporter bay before Spock and Jim had left for the Narada everyone knew-but because she didn't want anyone to think poorly of Spock. Still, the longer she stewed in her own juices, the harder it became to justify never being caught alone with him. The last time she'd pulled away from him, he'd looked at her as though his heart was breaking. She'd spent the remainder of the day trying to remember that she was in the right.
"I'm having a disagreement with someone," she finally said with a heavy sigh. "I just found out someone I care about tried to hide something from me when I never imagined this person could hide anything that directly affected our relationship."
"You know, there's really no reason for you to be so vague. We all know you're dating Spock, and not a one of us think it's a dirty little liaison that should be hidden away behind closed doors."
"That's good to know, but I'm not used to talking about personal things with other people. I just don't know what to do."
"Is this about the whole Chapel rumor that's flying around the ship? You don't actually think he's getting a bit of crumpet on the side, do you?"
"God no! Nothing like that. I'm upset that he didn't warn me ahead of time. He chose to talk to Jim instead of me," she responded tentatively.
"He probably didn't think you would be concerned about Chapel's alleged infatuation, so why mention it?" Sheffield craned her neck when people in the mess started greeting Commander Spock and continued, "Just talk to him about it. That's got to be better than being angry over something you don't have the whole story to." The communications officer shot to her feet and hurried away.
Nyota would have called the other woman back to avoid being alone with Spock until she'd had more time to figure out what was going on inside her head were it not for Spock arriving at her table. She offered him a strained smile, that ever-present ache to touch him gnawing at her insides. "Good evening, Commander Spock."
Spock's lips turned down a fraction before whispering, "Your legs must be exhausted, Lieutenant Uhura, as they have been running through my mind all day."
Shock sufficient to cause to her to drop her fork was her immediate reaction. It clattered loudly against her plate. "Pardon?"
"Your legs, they have been running across my brain all day," Spock reiterated again with far less confidence the second time.
Asking him whether or not someone had slipped him chocolate was on the tip of her tongue, but then she realized Spock had been talking to Jim again. Only Jim could convince him to say something so ridiculously un-Spock-like. Him taking advice from the captain was what had gotten him into trouble in the first place! Her lips tightened into a thin line as she got to her feet. Until Spock started listening to his own intuition again, he didn't deserve to be put out of his misery.
"You're correct, Commander Spock. My legs do feel rather exhausted. I believe I should head to Sickbay and ask Nurse Chapel for a muscle relaxant."
That said, Nyota hurried away to avoid snapping at him. Maybe if he would start talking to her instead of Jim, he would figure out that spouting Jim-isms to her wasn't going to do him a whit of good. By God, she sometimes wished the captain would fall into a convenient black hole.
Thursday, November 18, 2258
One look at Spock's face when Jim commanded the door of his private quarters to open, assured him his suggestion hadn't gone over well. The half-Vulcan looked miserable. In fact, his first officer looked so miserable he was tempted to find Uhura and give her a piece of his mind. No matter what had crawled up her nose, she shouldn't have treated Spock with so much disregard.
"I take it things didn't go as well as we hoped," he said while padding over to his replicator to dial Spock up a cup of tea.
"Your assumption is correct. Lieutenant Uhura looked at me in disbelief and left, claiming she would retrieve a muscle relaxant from Nurse Chapel for her exhausted legs."
Okay, so that had been a rather clever rejoinder from Uhura, but he refused to snort, snicker, or outright laugh, not when his first officer looked like he wanted to jump in front of a bus. Jim really should have known Uhura wouldn't respond to that old line anyway. He settled the cup of tea on his dining table in front of Spock and sat down.
"That's because we picked the wrong pick-up line to use on her."
"We, Captain?" Spock asked in a tone of voice Jim took to mean all the blame was being heaped squarely at his feet for that fiasco.
"All right, so I chose the wrong pick-up line! Uhura's obviously not going to respond to just any old human bit of fluff. She is dating a Vulcan, after all."
"Perhaps if we returned to the basic fundamentals of this flirting ritual, I could determine what type of line best suits Lieutenant Uhura."
"That seems rather like taking two steps backward, but whatever makes you comfortable?" Trying to explain human flirting to a Vulcan was a difficult task when human flirting was so illogical. "The intention behind using a pick-up line is to stand out from the other guys who are flirting with a woman. You're just trying to get her attention, to make her talk to and get to know you better."
"But this pick-up line should be constructed to suit the type of woman whose attention you are attempting to attract, correct?"
"Precisely. Some women think cheesy lines are cute. Some are turned off by them. There are women who prefer creative lines they haven't heard a million times, women who respond best to reverse psychology where you reassure them you're not trying to use a pick-up line, and women who don't respond to pick-up lines at all, but if you ask me, they're probably not interested in men to begin with."
"Then it must be determined to which type of flirting Lieutenant Uhura will respond best." Spock took a contemplative sip of his tea before continuing, "and the purpose of a line is to express one's interest in knowing this woman intimately."
"Now you're getting it. Do you want me to make up another line for you?"
"That will not be necessary, Jim, though I do express my appreciation for the information you have shared with me tonight."
Jim sat back in his chair, wishing his first officer luck when Spock left his quarters. Reason number three hundred twenty-one why he despised the idea of a lasting relationship: Chasing a woman was fun. Keeping her interested on a long-term basis? Not so much. Women were such complex creatures that totally figuring them out was impossible. Uhura was a great example. She obviously loved Spock, so why give him the run-around when he hadn't done anything wrong? Why not just come right out and tell Spock what had pissed her off instead of playing hard to get? Yeah, he'd dodged a bullet with that woman.
Friday, November 19, 2258
A frustrated puff of air expelled from Nyota's lungs and was followed up by her striking the edge of her computer console with the heel of her palm. Attempting to work on a universal translating device had become rather like pulling teeth in the last few days, rendering her on the verge of just giving up altogether, something that was totally against her very nature. What else was she supposed to do when the numbers were running together like old-time mascara on the eyes of a woman crying her heart out? She may as well have been doing just that for all the distress her estrangement from Spock was causing.
Yesterday's fiasco was still fresh in her mind when she flopped back on her stool in the computer lab, folded her arms overtop of the console, and plunked her head down. Not for the first time since then, she experienced a sharp pang of regret for walking out on him the she had. After all, it had taken a lot of guts on Spock's part to do something so totally different from his normal behavior. She'd behaved like a petty child instead of just taking half an hour to explain why she was angry with him.
Caving, tracking him down, and having a good talk with him sounded better and better the longer she sat there, right up until the point she received a communication on her handheld from another concerned crewmember.
"I don't normally involve myself in the relationships of fellow Starfleet personnel, but have you heard that Spock has been romancing Nurse Chapel? I don't know if anyone else has informed you." The transmission was signed "a concerned woman."
Something in between a strangled yowl and a whimper issued from her before she slapped her handheld down on the computer console. Spock wasn't romancing Nurse Chapel! Nurse Chapel wasn't romancing Spock! She knew that the way she knew her bed was waiting for her in her personal quarters, but the transmission served to remind her how little regard Spock was showing for her feelings in not warning her about the fallout of the stupid rumor.
That was one Vulcan who deserved every ounce of misery her silence brought with it. If he wanted to be forgiven, he could find her himself and properly apologize, because were she just a little less confident in her relationship, she might be sitting there agonizing over whether or not her man was cavorting with another woman. How did he know she wasn't when he refused to talk to her about it?
Her head jerked around when the door of the lab swished open, a soft groan her response when Spock walked into said lab with his hands clasped behind his back. His expression would have been unreadable were it not for the slight stoop of his shoulders that clearly indicated he was battling a case of nerves. Nervous in her presence? He should be. She was more inclined to smack him right now than run into his arms and alleviate the tension between them.
"Commander Spock," she said, unable to keep the note of anger and dread out of her voice.
"Lieutenant Uhura." His greeting was followed by a moment of uncertain silence before he plowed ahead in a more confident tone of voice. "Nyota, your reproductive anatomy appears to be compatible with my reproductive anatomy. As such, the only logical course is for us to combine them."
What did that even mean? It took her a few seconds to figure out what he was saying, that they should jump in bed together because their reproductive organs allowed for it. Her lips tightened into a thin line, which should have been the first warning that his attempts to smooth things over between them had failed.
"Considering I haven't said more than a dozen words to you in the past seven days, the last concern on your mind should be getting me in bed. In fact, your reproductive anatomy is no concern of mine right now."
She cut him off before he could finish. "I have a marvelous idea, though. Your reproductive anatomy seems to be compatible with Nurse Chapel too. Why don't you go try using that line on her instead of me?"
Emotion clogged her throat as a knot of tears welled when she swept past him out of the lab, tears she swallowed down while hurrying toward her quarters. Wallowing in her own self-induced unhappiness sounded like the perfect plan for the rest of the day. He could have asked how she was. He could have come right out and inquired about what was upsetting her, but no, he chose to continue with Kirk's plan for winning her back, a plan he didn't seem to be getting right.
Friday, November 19, 2258
"Captain Kirk, I believe I have discovered the reason for Lieutenant Uhura's recent distress," Spock suddenly said behind Jim's back.
Kirk, who had been leaning over a treadmill in the gym catching his breath from a two mile run, jumped as though someone had struck him with a cattle prod when, without preamble, Spock took him by surprise. He hadn't even heard the half-Vulcan approaching! Grabbing a towel, he mopped at the sweat on his face and neck before turning around.
"You know, Spock, it's rude to sneak up on people like that."
"I made a sufficient amount of noise while approaching that you should have been aware of my presence in the vicinity."
A pair of ear buds dangled over his shoulders that had been previously jammed in his ears, so Jim pointed to them with one hand while grabbing a bottle of cold water with the other. Only after taking a gulp did he speak. "What blessings from the heavens gave you this fortuitous insight into Uhura's recent bout of moodiness?"
"Her response to my latest attempt to win back her affections, naturally," his first officer said. "She made a reference to Nurse Chapel's reproductive organs being compatible with mine. It is my belief she has been made aware of Nurse Chapel's infatuation with me."
"Why would that upset her? It's just a stupid infatuation that has been blown way out of proportion by Scuttlebutt. The poor woman has been made the butt of every joke on this ship since word got out. In fact, she asked Bones if it was likely I would agree to give her a transfer to another ship."
"Though I do not believe I have given her reason to question my fidelity, she seems to believe I am a willing participant in Nurse Chapel's infatuation, as she suggested I use my latest pick-up line on her instead."
Laughter bubbled up from Jim's chest. It built until he was holding his side, leaning against the treadmill, and gasping for breath.
"I cannot fathom why you find this information so amusing, Jim. Lieutenant Uhura believes I am being unfaithful to her, something I am incapable of doing when my intention is to, when the appropriate time has come, make the lieutenant my mate."
Jim sobered immediately upon hearing the obvious distress in Spock's voice. "Hey, Uhura's just suffering from a good, old-fashioned case of jealousy. That doesn't mean she's thinking of leaving you. It just means knowing Chapel is infatuated with you is driving her crazy. Not literally."
"I've done nothing to incite this infatuation."
"A contraction and undue emphasis placed on 'incite.' You really are getting worked up over this. Look at it this way, Spock. Everywhere she goes, she probably hears about Chapel's infatuation. She's probably got people messaging her daily to warn her about another woman trying to get with her man. Rumor places you being caught coming out of storage rooms, your quarters, and even my ready room with a disheveled Nurse Chapel on your arm."
"Such rumors are completely inaccurate, as I have never done anything untoward with Nurse Chapel. This human penchant for gossip and bandying about false information is…" There was a quick pause before Spock continued, "frustrating."
"I'm sure it is frustrating. Chances are, Uhura doesn't believe the seedier parts of the rumor. She doesn't strike me as a very unconfident person, but she's inundated with it daily, and that can be more frustrating. Sit her down and tell her none of it's true."
"You do not understand the gravity of the situation, Jim. Lieutenant Uhura refuses to allow me to sit with her and explain. Her mood is becoming increasingly emotional and even flighty, and the lieutenant is not a flighty person by nature."
"How's it coming on the flirting angle?"
His first officer released a breath that was more forceful than needed and responded, "Painfully."
"Tell me what line you used on her last. Something about your anatomical parts being compatible obviously."
"Your reproductive anatomy appears to be compatible with my reproductive anatomy. As such, the only logical course is for us to combine them."
"Oh," he said baldly. "I don't think you should have taken me quite so literally when I said the purpose of a pick-up line is to express your desire to get to know a woman intimately. Subtlety, Spock. It's your friend."
Saturday, November 20, 2258
"Lieutenant Uhura, I appear to be caught in your undeniable gravitational pull. Let us hope I do not burn up upon entry into your atmosphere."
"Oh, so I'm as big as a planet now, am I?" she inquired furiously before throwing up her hands and storming away from the holodeck where she'd been intending on relieving some stress with her favorite program, a simulation of her home and family back in Africa.
Everywhere she was, Spock found her. Every time she saw him approaching, she thought that would be the time when he acknowledged his unwillingness to tell her about Chapel's infatuation. Each time, she was left feeling hurt and uncertain, and now was no different than before.
Sunday, November 21, 2258
"Nyota, if you were a phaser, you would be decidedly faulty in manufacture as your only plausible setting would be stunning," Spock said in a reasonable tone.
"You just don't get it, Spock," she responded, her arms full of clothes she'd just picked up from the laundry facility. "Come back and see me when you buy a clue."
That said, she swept down the corridor away from him, shuffling her load around when her handheld chimed and incoming message.
"Have you talked to Commander Spock about your relationship troubles yet?" inquired Junior Lieutenant Sheffield.
"He doesn't even know what's wrong," she messaged back.
"A sure sign that you need to talk to him. Have mercy on the guy."
Logically, she knew she should listen to Sheffield's advice. It was good advice, but if Spock couldn't figure out why she was upset in the first place, he wouldn't grasp the gravity of his choices and how they affected her. She paused on her way to her quarters to wonder how this had all become so convoluted.
Monday, November 22, 2258
"Lieutenant," she heard Spock say the second she stepped outside the mess hall. "May I have a word with you?"
Nyota's heart rocketed into her throat when he greeted her with something other than one of his attempts at a pick-up line. All she could do was nod in a dumbfounded manner, hope bringing the sting of tears to her eyes.
"I believe I have discovered the clue you asked me to purchase the next time I spoke with you. Combining the initials of our names and arranging them in a more logical fashion produces the word 'sun.' As there is no solar body more life-giving than a sun, it is only logical our relationship began. Therefore, there is no other choice but to continue with our union."
All right, so that did get a snort of laughter out of her, but it also wasn't the type of clue she'd been looking for him to buy. "Spock, this has to…" Her voice trailed off when the red alert signal activated, prompting both of them to run for their stations aboard the bridge.
Wednesday, November 24, 2258
The expression that more than vaguely resembled physical pain on Spock's face when he approached her outside the cargo bay where they'd just received a shipment of supplies, including some components for her universal translator, was like a fist in Nyota's gut. She ached to touch his face, to show him everything that had been bothering her for the past week. Her hand lifted, prompting his eyes to widen, only for her to let it drop back down to her side.
Spock squared his shoulders and forged ahead by saying, "A Vulcan requires three point five liters of water daily to maintain optimal physical condition. This requirement can only be substituted with three point five minutes with you."
"Talk to me, Spock," she said, something close to pleading in her tone.
"Nyota, I have been attempting to do just that for more than a week, but you avoid me as though you have no desire to speak with me."
"No, you've been attempting to play James T. Kirk for the past week and a half, and he is the reason this whole fiasco began."
She ran down the hall in tears to get away from him, this time more to protect him from seeing her so emotional than because of anything he'd said. There'd been enough clues dropped by that point for him to figure out the nature of their estrangement, but he just wasn't picking up on them, and she didn't know what else to do aside from cave. Maybe Sheffield was right. Maybe if she just took him aside and pointed out what was wrong, he'd understand.
Wednesday, November 24, 2258
"Spock, I love a good drama, and while I find it immensely entertaining watching you get a handle on human flirting, you two can't keep doing this indefinitely." This time it was Jim who had sought Spock out in the science lab where his first officer had been holed up since they'd had a run-in with Romulans on Monday.
"As you can see, Captain, I am currently busy with an ongoing project. If there is nothing related to our duties as captain and first officer, I require silence and concentration."
"Stuff it, Spock. You haven't said one word to me that didn't revolve around our duties since Friday night. Either you're annoyed because our plan hasn't worked yet, or you're pissed at me for advising you to flirt with her in the first place. Spit it out, and let's move on with our lives."
The half-Vulcan appeared as though he might say something, apparently thought better of it, and looked down at his work instead, his brow twitching like it was trying to furrow in thought. Finally, he did say, "Lieutenant Uhura claims you are the reason she has been upset with me for so long."
A light bulb may as well have appeared over Jim's head when Spock revealed that little gem of information. Two and two always made four. "Well that makes sense now."
"How is it logical that she is angry because I have been speaking to you?"
"She's not. She's angry because you haven't been talking to her. Think about it. This all started when she found out you'd had a personal discussion with me that you weren't willing to have with her. How long have you two been together?"
"Lieutenant Uhura and myself engaged in a personal friendship since the final year of her studies leading up to the attack by Nero, though we did not engage in physical affections with one another until after she had finished all classes in which I would be her professor."
"Think about it, Spock. For more than a year, she was the only person you shared your confidences with. Enter James T. Kirk, the one man she named her nemesis. All of a sudden, you're talking to me instead of her, so I'm willing to bet she's feeling a little like she's being replaced."
Spock's lips turned down in a fully-formed frown.
"And if she's upset about that, imagine how much more upset she was when she found out about Nurse Chapel's infatuation. She puts two and two together and comes up with the reason for our secretive, personal discussion."
"That is illogical. Lieutenant Uhura has always expressed a desire for me to associate with people other than her. Therefore, there is no reason for her to be distressed when I take her sound advice."
"Sure, but you're thinking of Uhura as a creature solely capable of thinking in logical patterns. All those human emotions that come with her mean she's not always going to behave logically."
His first officer's frown wasn't so apparent after that comment, but he did appear to be contemplating something on such a deep level warning bells went off inside Jim's head. Spock thinking that deeply usually meant trouble for him of some kind.
Thursday, November 25, 2258
"What did you do to Spock?" Nyota demanded once Jim had given her access to his ready room. Her hands were planted on her hips. Her eyes were narrowed as though ready to go into battle. She wouldn't have been entirely surprised if smoke had billowed from her ears so angry was she with Jim.
"What did I do?" he demanded. "You're the one who's been ignoring him and making him jump through hoops for the past week and a half."
"And what have you been doing the whole time but leading him around by the nose convincing him to do things that aren't in his nature? What did you say to him? Because when I last left him, he was swilling glasses of chocolate milk like it's going out of style and asking Ensign Stanford and Ensign Barrowman to teach him bawdy songs!"
"Sounds like he's relieving some stress. You know, the kind one gets when one's girlfriend is being obtuse. Good for him for finally getting a little drunk."
"Obtuse? If you weren't the captain of this starship, I'd box your ears. This whole mess started because you advised him not to tell me about Nurse Chapel's infatuation. Kindly keep your nose out of our business."
"Hey, that wasn't my fault! I didn't advise him not to tell you about it. I just agreed with his assessment when he said he didn't want to tell you and endanger your budding friendship with Chapel over some silly little crush."
That took some of the wind out of her sails and allowed her to relax her posture. "Then it wasn't your idea for him to leave me out of the loop?"
"Jesus, you really do think the worst of me, don't you. Don't answer that. Despite what you seem to think, I'm not out to sabotage your relationship. In fact, I think it's a good thing you and Spock are a couple. Why do you think I've been trying to help him get you back?"
A heavy sigh escaped, and she slumped into the chair across from Jim's desk before saying, "I don't think the worst of you, Jim. I just don't understand you. Nothing ever seems to be enough for you. You're obviously intelligent, yet you act like an imbecile. You're attractive, yet you behave obnoxiously. You seem confident, yet you constantly want your ego stroked. I don't get it."
"Okay, well, this isn't Jim Kirk's therapy session, so we won't get into any of those things. So all this time, you were mad at him because he didn't talk to you about Chapel? Why didn't you just tell him like a normal person?"
"Because Spock is a logical man who understands things better when he figures them out on his own. If I just told him what was wrong, sure he would understand it, but he wouldn't really get it without going through the thought process himself."
"Plus you were jealous and just wanted to sulk a little."
"I suppose that was part of it. Ever since he started… What am I telling you all this for?" she demanded more of herself than of Jim.
"Because I'm convenient?"
Nyota knew the answer to her own question; Jim understood behavior more than he let on, so perhaps she was hoping for some of that knowledge into her own behavior of late, into that tiny seed of jealousy over losing the sole position of being Spock's confidante. She finally said, "I should go make sure Spock gets to bed."
"Good luck with that. Our Vulcan friend has had this rip-roaring good time coming for a while, and I have a feeling that once he lets go, it'll be a while before he sobers up again."
Friday, November 26, 2258
Her lover was hunched over his personal computer in his quarters the following morning when Nyota pressed her thumb against the key pad to be allowed inside. He looked miserable. His fingers were pressed against his temples as though that would fight back a pounding hangover headache. Strong shoulders were slumped almost in defeat. Even his hair was disheveled in a sure sign he hadn't bothered taking a comb to it since last night's drunken escapade.
Nyota padded over to his desk and plunked a hangover treatment tablet along with a mug of tea beside his elbow on the desk. Sturdy fingers then proceeded to knead his shoulders and neck. "Spock, if I were given the privilege of rearranging the Roman alphabet, I would endeavor to move U closer to I."
He reached over his shoulder to take hold of one of her hands, which he then brought around to his lips. "You are no longer upset with me?"
"A little, but I shouldn't have given you the silent treatment, especially for not so long when you were trying so hard to give me what you thought I needed."
"I believe I understand now what you were trying to convey to me. The uncertainty of your silence is not something I ever care to experience again. Is it true you are angry because I have been discussing personal issues with the captain?"
"No, I was upset because you weren't sharing them with me too. I want you to talk to the captain and McCoy or anyone else you think you can share things with, but that doesn't mean I want you to stop sharing them with me."
"That is not logical, Nyota. If Jim or McCoy are able to provide a solution to my dilemma, why should I then trouble you with said dilemma as well?"
"Because listening to you, being there for you, is not troubling to me. I love you. I want to know what you're doing, how you are, what you've been up to whether or not you think I'll like them."
"Then you did not believe the rumors regarding Nurse Chapel and myself?"
"Not for a moment did I think you would be unfaithful. I just wish you'd told me, prepared me for the firestorm of rumor that gripped this crew. I'm not going to stop being friends with Chapel because she has a crush on you."
"Such is a relief." It must have been, because the tension finally drained out of him, allowing him to slip an arm around her waist and pull her down on his lap.
"Are you mad at me?"
"How could I ever be upset with you, Nyota? Perhaps I wish you had chosen a less drastic method of informing me of your wishes, but I am not angry."
"Then what prompted you to get so drunk yesterday?"
"Something Jim said," Spock responded while resting his brow against hers.
"I just knew that was going to come around to Jim Kirk somehow!"
"You misunderstand. He informed me that, though you are normally a logical person, there would be times when you behave illogically because of your human emotions. There was only one way for me to be illogical enough to anticipate how you might be thinking."
Nyota chuckled. She chuckled and wound her arms around his neck, her lips grazing over his. Her Vulcan man was willing to behave completely illogically, to even go so far as to get drunk enough to endure a hangover the following morning just to anticipate how she was thinking. She would have to remember that the next time Spock did something that irritated her.