Basically, a character study (yes, another one) of James T. Kirk, this time through the eyes of Uhura, and, to a certain extent, Gaila. This is based largely on that one line from the sex scene: "That's so weird."
I thought it was a strange response, and so this was born.
That's So Weird
Nyota turned around and sighed. "Gaila…"
"I know, I know, I promised, but you said you wouldn't be back until late."
Nyota glared. "Oh, so this is my fault?"
Gaila glared back. "Funny, Ny. You know that's not what I meant."
Nyota gave in and smiled, "I know. And I am trying to be more understanding. But… did it have to be Kirk?"
"I like Jim!" Gaila said defensively. "He's funny, he doesn't treat me like I was born to be a sex toy just because I'm Orion, he actually interacts with me normally outside of the bedroom… and he is really good in bed."
Nyota rolled her eyes. "So I've heard."
Gaila sat up and frowned. "Why do you hate him so much, Ny?"
"You know why," Nyota said, exasperated.
"No," Gaila said, "I really don't. Sure, he sleeps around a lot. So do I."
"Well, yes," Nyota admitted, "but he's just so arrogant about it…"
"And I'm not?" Gaila pressed. Then she smiled. "It's because he hit on you, isn't it?"
"No!" Nyota insisted. "I mean, a lot of men hit on me, and I don't hate all of them. But Kirk… he just won't take no for an answer!"
"So, it's because he won't stop hitting on you," Gaila summarized. "You know he isn't serious about that anymore, right? And it does make you laugh."
"Yes, fine, it makes me laugh," Nyota conceded. "But that's not all it is. I mean, what about the Kobayashi Maru? It's unbeatable; why can't he just understand that?"
Gaila smirked. "You're just afraid he'll beat your boyfriend's test."
"Gaila!" Nyota hissed.
Gaila rolled her eyes. "Oh, relax," she said, "it's not like anyone takes me seriously when I say something like that. Your secret is safe. But seriously, is that what's going on here?"
"He's not going to beat the test," Nyota insisted.
Gaila smirked. "I don't know," she said, "he seemed pretty confident…"
"Exactly," Nyota burst out. "He's always confident—always over-confident. Have you seen him in class? He doesn't take notes, he doesn't study, he only shows up half the time. He barely pays attention—"
"And yet, somehow, his grades are some of the best at the Academy," Gaila finished. "
Is that the problem? Are you jealous?"
"I am not jealous of Jim Kirk," Nyota protested.
Gaila raised an eyebrow. "Sure you aren't."
"I'm not!" Nyota insisted. She sighed and took a moment to calm herself down. "I don't like him," she said, "because he always acts so entitled.
"He expects to do well in class, so he doesn't study. He expects to pass every test, so he refuses to acknowledge the fact that the test is unbeatable. He expects every woman to fall in love with him at first sight—"
"No, he doesn't," Gaila interrupted.
"He doesn't expect women to love him," Gaila repeated. "I mean, he expects us to find him hot, but you can't honestly say that he isn't. But love? Ny, he doesn't expect anyone to love him."
"What does that mean? Gaila, what's wrong?"
Gaila sighed. "I told him I love him," she confessed.
Nyota groaned. "Gaila! Again?"
"Oh, come on," Gaila said, "what's wrong with it?"
"Well, for one thing, you don't love all those men," Nyota pointed out.
"Yes I do!" Gaila insisted. Nyota raised an eyebrow. "Alright, not how they think," Gaila confessed, "but that isn't the point. I don't say it unless I have feelings for them, and I'm not only saying it because it's funny."
Nyota crossed her arms and looked at her roommate skeptically. "Okay," she said, "why else."
"You'd be surprised what you can learn about a guy from his reaction to something like that," the Orion girl said.
"Alright, fine," Nyota said, "how did Kirk react?"
Gaila stretched and settled back onto the bed. "Well," she said, "what would you expect him to say?"
"Uh…" Nyota faltered. "I don't know, something along the lines of 'Of course you do, I'm James Kirk.' Why, what did he say?"
"That wasn't what I expected," Gaila told her instead of answering. "I always thought of Jim as the sort of boy who just likes to… have a good time. I mean yeah, he sleeps around, but only with girls who know what they're getting into."
"She was crazy."
"She tried to blackmail him into marrying her, faked a pregnancy that wasn't even possible because Jim's too smart to not use protection, and then, when all that failed, she tried to get him thrown out of the Academy by screaming rape. She was crazy."
Nyota laughed. "Yeah, she was crazy. But you have to admit, it was funny."
Gaila shrugged slightly and grinned. "Maybe a little bit," she admitted.
Nyota settled onto her own bed. "So," she said, "what did you think he would say?"
"I kinda thought he'd freak out," Gaila admitted. "You know, something along the lines of 'Love was never part of the deal'? 'Gaila, I can't give you that'? Something."
"So what did he say?"
"'That's so weird.'"
"He said it was weird?"
Nyota rolled her eyes. "Gaila."
Gaila shrugged and grinned.
"Okay," Nyota said, "maybe he just… didn't think you were that kind of girl?"
"You know, the type who would fall in love with a guy just because she was sleeping with him."
"Well, that would make sense if we never saw each other outside of the bedroom, but we're friends, too. We hang out enough that it wouldn't be outrageous for me to start falling for him…" She sighed, now completely serious. "No, I think he found the concept of anybody loving him weird."
Nyota laughed uneasily. "Are you sure we're talking about the same Jim Kirk?"
"Nyota," Gaila said, "think about it: Jim's been a cadet for three years. In all that time, he has never gone to visit friends or family during breaks. He has no one off campus, and he doesn't really have many people on campus either. He's smart enough to see that he's pushing people away, but he does it anyway. Maybe he even does it on purpose.
"Ny, I've seen it before. In myself.
"He spent most of his life feeling like no one loved him, and eventually came to consider himself unlovable, so he convinced himself that he doesn't care and began to intentionally act unlovable.
"Look, I know he doesn't act like someone you want to spend time with, but give it another chance. Please."
Nyota bit her lip. "It's late, Gaila," she said. "Go to sleep."
"Just think about it," Gaila requested before she did, "for me if not for him."
And Nyota did. But her conclusion did not change. Gaila was wrong. If Jim Kirk had that kind of depth, she would have noticed.
And that's what she told herself as he sat in the test casually eating an apple and barely paying attention to the simulation, but still somehow beat it.
That's what she thought as he tried to argue that the test was a cheat; that Spock was the cheater.
That's what was going through her mind when he suddenly appeared on the Enterprise, and when he wouldn't stop arguing even though Spock had just lost his planet, and when he goaded Spock into an emotional outburst by bringing up the half-Vulcan's dead mother.
Even when Kirk saved the planet, she struggled to judge him favorably, and almost failed.
But then, just days after Nyota and Gaila had discussed Jim Kirk, (Oh god, how could everything have changed so much in a few days?) the surviving members of the Enterprise crew held a memorial for all of Nero's victims as the ship limped back to Earth.
Nyota watched out of the corner of her eye as Acting Captain James Kirk (and wasn't that a strange thought. Captain Kirk?) laid a picture of Gaila and a sheet of paper—actual, honest-to-god paper, which wasn't easy to find in the 23rd century—on top of the pile of pictures, mementoes, and gifts from the mourners to the lost. She herself had placed on the pile a perfume which Gaila had loved to borrow, and she had seen Spock add a single rose.
"I never apologized, Bones," she heard Kirk say, and there was a tone in his voice she'd never thought she'd hear; something almost like regret, or even heartbreak. "I never got a chance to explain."
"She'd have understood," McCoy said quietly. "She knew you pretty well."
Kirk laughed bitterly. "She told me she loved me," he revealed. "She can't have known me that well."
"Dammit, Jim," McCoy growled, "you just saved the entire damn planet! When are you going to stop selling yourself short?"
But Kirk just smiled sadly. "Today's not about me, Bones," he told his friend. "If you really have to worry about me, do it some other time."
His face took on an expression of controlled regret—Captains can't show weakness, Nyota recalled—and walked over to another grieving crewmember.
"Think about it," Nyota remembered.
It had been Gaila's last request.
She would, she vowed.
She would watch Kirk, this time with an open mind.
She would give him a chance, because she now believed, as Gaila had, that once given the chance, James Kirk could impress her.
Well? What do you think?