"what grew and grew"
Time Frame: Missing Scene
Characters: Nyota Uhura, Spock
Summary: "I think," she says with all seriousness, her lips tugging into something not quite unlike a curve, "that you may just be starting to like him." Spock/Uhura, Spock/Kirk bromance.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words.
(yet) "Little Beast", by Richard Siken
"History repeats itself. Somebody says this.
History throws its shadow over the beginning, over the desktop,
over the sock drawer with its socks, its hidden letters.
I know history. There are many names in history
but none of them are ours."
"Little Beast", by Richard Siken
He was fast and furious; and this she had known from the start.
He leaped across her perceptions like quicksilver; all a rush that came with too much coffee like the rush of stars before the viewport of a ship. He was completely confident, cocky and assured; with a restlessness that said that it was merely his skin holding him to his body. Even as he flirted with her, the scent of another woman's perfume gently rose from his shirt. There were blood stains on that same shirt – last evening's fight, and last evening's prize together for a whole. He had been amusing, and clever – but neither her own preferred brand of the word.
For, while he had been flame and heat; she thought him to be more flash than anything else. Such intensity couldn't last without burning itself out (oxygen depleted and the air emptied and dry); and she didn't have the time or the interest to see one James T. Kirk learn how to slow down and smooth out.
So she thought.
Now . . .
Now, she is not sure what to think. They had all gone through all sorts of trials by fire – and oh, how she had always thought that term to be overused and cliched. Now it bothers her especially . . . her crew was something different. Something more than the old adage; something that past mere stories or legends or tales. She has seen the bruises and the burns left from their trials, so much that she finds it hard to see what they accomplished at times. Kirk had . . . Kirk had led them through that fire, and even when she had expected them to go up in flames . . . they survived. Kirk didn't burn out on himself. He . . . he leveled out into something more . . . Ever glowing.
Like a star. Almost.
If not a star, some kind of warmth that one could almost convince themselves to put trust in. Not a 'the tides will always be', or 'the sun will always be where it has for centuries on end' . . . but something promising. Hopeful, even. Something that had the abstract concept of feeling right. Something she couldn't give word to – and oh, how she has tried. Something that she felt herself leaning towards, even when just days ago she would have just as easily leaned away . . .
Where he had been a force to be reckoned with in the high of the fight (both setting her teeth on edge, and enraging, and instilling her with confidence by turns), he had been a pillar in the aftermath.
And she had watched . . . carefully. Language was as much about the spoken as it was things unspoken, and her prowess with words and tongues came from her ability to twine the two together. The subtleties made up the whole as much as the large panes of sound did. It was not always the syllables that mattered, but the sound of silence slipped between that gave a sentence a whole new meaning.
And Kirk was all shattered glass put back together to form something that had the potential to be glorious. And it is the cracks that say this the most.
She wonders why she had never bothered to look before. The quickness of how he spun his way through the world had always rubbed her the wrong way before – and yet, she sees brakes being applied, and molding being done. He is . . . leveled by his command position. Leveled by the events he had lived through and triumphed over. He is leveled . . . by those around him.
It is this picture that draws her eye the most. Kirk and Spock . . . one tall and stern, one strong and liquid, like water. They walked the corridors of the Enterprise as the great ship limped brokenly back to Earth on impulse thrusters. Each deck was visited, and each crewman was greeted and commended on a job well done. Vulcan refugees nodded their head in respect to Kirk, and even Sarek watched Spock with something not quite unlike pride.
When Kirk faltered, it was Spock who insisted that he made it to Medbay and an irate McCoy; and when Spock went on his fourth day without sleeping, it was Kirk who relieved him of command and sent him to rest.
Spock found her when that happened – having given his own quarters to Kirk for the duration of their trip. She had junior quarters that she was sharing with three other women, and she hadn't moved up in the sleeping arrangements seeing as how there were so many extra to accommodate. Two of her assigned roommates had fallen when deck five was hit, and the third was currently on duty, so she had the cramped room to Spock and herself and no other.
Spock was silent when he joined her, and she let him have his peace as she curled up with him on the small bunk. There wasn't much room for one, let along two, but it didn't mater so much. It was easy for her to mold herself to him, pressed against his length as she stole his heat as her own. He laid on his back, and stared up at the ceiling, while she propped herself up on her elbow to look at him. She had a hand resting lightly on his chest, tracing gentle patterns until he trapped her hand under his own with a fond sort of gesture. The light contact was enough to open the bond at the back of her mind, letting her feed him her peace even as she took the weight of his pain into herself. It wasn't nearly enough . . . but it helped.
His brow was creased in thought. It was a wholly human gesture that he had never been able to completely rid himself of. It had been one of the first things to catch her attention when she had been just his student, respect and affection between them and not yet more. The high slant of his eyebrows would dip, knotting in the center. The movements would crinkle the corners of his eyes, making them darker, composed of some alien color that she couldn't exactly name. It was more than blacks and browns . . . it was dark. Not empty, but full like water. Fine brandy with the darkest Merlot swimming in the shadows . . . Spock caught her more more metaphorical comparisons, and he raised a brow, ruining the look.
"What were you thinking about?" she asked. It was second nature for her to trace his face with just her first two fingers, lightly touching at the link that bound them, but not completely opening it.
"A great many things," he murmured quietly.
Her fingers ghosted a path over his features, tracing where his forehead had crinkled just a moment earlier. "How many?" the words were a routine between them, human and needless, but . . . soothing, somehow. Memories of before twining with the calm after the storm to form something different . . . new.
He caught her hand again, and when he gently squeezed it, she was allowed into the surface of his mind. She saw his recent memories . . . the silent pain of his people, and the awe and the sorrow of the crew . . . She saw his strength as he strove to provide an example for others . . . His relief at Earth surviving unharmed playing a counterpoint to his pain over his own planet. His own planet . . . he could not think about Vulcan now . . . could not think about Amanda. About his father's weighty grief, or those words . . . Those words . . . love . . .
She tightened her grip in his, returning the emotion she felt welling in his, deep and plenty, contained under the great bands of control that made up his psyche . . .
And then she felt his perplexity . . . his confusion. So many warring opinions . . . Kirk; undisciplined student. Headstrong cadet. Hero. Captain. Strong . . . headstrong. Stubborn . . .
"Like you," she whispered across his mind.
A slight puff of air was the only response she received as she continued to sort through his feelings curiously. A conundrum . . . an enigma . . . Fast and furious . . . A liar and a cheat. But he saved lives – his crew's lives with that craftiness. Smarts without wisdom – he could beat Spock in chess with human moves, bluffs and trick-plays, but when it came to the fundamentals of the game, Spock would beat him every time . . . Kirk was all leap, and Spock was all think . . .
It suddenly clicked in her mind that they made a circle, complete.
The knowledge settled like a first drop of rain against the ground, still and silent. Slowly the drops trickled, one after another upon a fertile ground, making small canyons amongst fertile soil. She breathed in deep with the thought, savoring it like a first syllable of a new language.
For both of them.
"I think," she started to say, with all seriousness, her lips tugging into something not quite unlike a curve, "that you may just be starting to like him."
Spock blinked once, his gaze still on the ceiling. His hand was very warm in hers. "Perhaps," he said on an exhale. "A very little."