Notes: In celebration of my novel being published, I have unburied myself from mapping and bring fic! Reading both my fic and my novel would mean a lot to me ^_^ Details can be found on my profile page and my website. Or Google 'Matthew J Metzger, Our Last Summer' and it should pop right up. Self-promotion done, on with the story!

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009, and I make no profit from this work.


The Threesome

When you get promoted to captain, by the field route or the paper-and-interview-panel route, they tell you a whole bunch of things. Like what the XO actually does and why you're screwed if the XO hates you. Like why the maintenance department might sound like a bunch of kids whining and wanting to show their art projects to Daddy, but you'll miss them when they're gone if you piss them off. Why, really, you shouldn't piss anybody off, ever, on your entire ship. Especially not your yeoman.

They did not, when Jim was promoted, say one word of rumours.

At no point did somebody sit him and say, "By the way, people on big tin cans get bored, and bored people gossip. Heads up. It's usually pretty freaky shit, too." Not even close. He got sat down and talked at about plenty of other useless shit (and man, if they'd told him about all the lecturing, he might have taken being a lieutenant and staying happy and drunk instead) but not that.

And, really, he should have guessed. The Academy was full of who-was-fucking-whom - both officer and cadet levels - and Jim's heard (and been part of) a lot of rumours in his training time. He even had a huge row with Bones once because the rumour mill pinned them both to fucking the same girl at the same time. (Not that, Jim can much later reflect, Rachel would have been too opposed to the idea.)

But he hadn't put two and two together to make four. Or rather, he had, and had promptly forgotten the lesson applied to advanced-space-exploration. Professionalism only goes so far; off-duty, they're still human. (Ninety-five percent of them, anyway, and of the non-human crewmembers, Spock's the only one not equally prone as his human colleagues.)

Not six months into his captaincy, and Jim's ready to scream.

He doesn't mind the smaller stuff - why Yeoman Finn keeps coming out of Yeoman Jones' quarters at obscene hours of the morning; whether that new intern in the medical bay trained on Andor Prime or is just feely touchy-feely with his patients; what the hell Lieutenant X'Te'Nnan's first name is. He doesn't mind. It's the bigger stuff.

It's this latest one. The one that, it seems, everyone is talking about.

"You just don't like it when the mill focuses on you for a change," Bones snipes the first time Jim complains, so Jim's stopped complaining to him, but goddamnit, it's awkward. It's approaching problematic. If it gets back to the brass, he'll get hauled up - for a rumour!

The rumour is this - no, wait. The rumour evolved from a short-lived rumour, just after that Kelomiran disaster of a first contact, which sprang up from Jim having to carry Lieutenant Uhura to the medical bay thanks to her horrifically broken leg and a severe shortage of medical staff. Boom. By the time his concussion was treated and he was able to take back his ship from Spock, Jim was dating Uhura.

Obviously.

Only the rumour mill, it seemed, was a clever fucker. Spock and Uhura were blatantly still dating - as in, no rumour mill required for that one. They took leave together. She could talk Spock into playing that lyre in the rec room. He had definitely come from the wrong part of the living quarters on some emergency call-outs in the night.

So the new rumour - the bastard, stupid, downright fucking moronic rumour that was going to get Jim killed, fired, or both - had bounced merrily up to replace it. Jim wasn't dating Uhura anymore.

No, no, no. He was dating Uhura and Spock.

You see the problem.


The first time he noticed its appearance, he kind of...didn't. It was the day after the Kelomiran disaster: Uhura was still laid up in Sickbay under a bone-knitter, and as she was his resident expert on the Kelomir, Jim had zipped down after shift to ping some ideas about what went wrong off her oversized brain. (Besides being hot, Uhura was freaky for being able to listen, shoot, and run like hell all at the same time.)

Of course, Spock had been there. Jim hadn't walked in on them making out or anything, and he hadn't thought much of it. Spock was just there, sitting beside the bed with a lapful of padds showing squiggles from the sciences that Jim didn't pretend to understand. They just nodded at each other, and Spock ignored them while they talked shop. It was how they always were. It was normal.

Nurse Portman walking in, squeaking, dropping her padd, and scuttling back out again wasn't.

Uhura had looked kind of amused, but Jim had ignored it. Spock didn't even seem to have noticed her entrance, though he almost certainly had. And anyway, not like any of them should care. Everyone knew about the Spock-Uhura thing.

So they'd carried on working, and about twenty minutes later, Spock had said something about a meeting with Scotty, and had disappeared like a ghost in a blue tunic.

"How's he doing?" Jim had asked - he wasn't stupid, whatever Bones and Uhura seemed to think in their girly chit-chats, and he knew Spock hadn't just walked away from the Narada mission without problems - and Uhura had shrugged a little.

"A little better, I think," she'd said, staring at the closed door. "He's not so..."

She trailed off; Jim let her, and they'd carried on.

Nurse Portman popped back in a couple of minutes later, asking if they were alright and if she could get them anything or help at all, but at the time, Jim hadn't noticed.


Now, Jim's convinced it started with Portman. Or at least, the green-light for the yes they totally are! camp had been given by her.

It was Uhura herself who told him - sort of. He'd heard the whispers, but about three weeks, she stuffed it in the endnotes of her end-of-shift departmental report. A proper old-style postscript. A simple little, For your information, Captain...

For your information. FYI: you're apparently banging me and my boyfriend. Depending on who you ask, this is a full triad or a v-formation; the current trend is towards the former. Spock takes beta shift sometimes so that you and I can get it on without the Vulcan mind-powers weirding up perfectly normal, dirty human sex. And this is all happening because hey, everyone knows you've got the hots for me, and Vulcans are way too repressed to keep up with the human sex drive, even though there's a still-existing rumour from my cadet days that I dropped Advanced Andorian Etymology because I was too tired from the insane Vulcan sex. Have a good evening, sir.

Okay, no, it hadn't looked remotely like that, but Jim could read between the lines.

Thing is...thing is, the whole banging-Uhura half of the rumour? He can live with that bit. It's not he'd ever say no - well, okay, maybe if she offered and Spock was loudly not cool with it. He doesn't feel like getting throttled again. But, y'know, any other world? He'd be up for that. Who wouldn't? He might be her commanding officer now, but she's just as hot as that first night they met in that bar. (Just as dangerous, too, but a small part of Jim has to admit he gets off on that scary factor.)

It's the Spock part that weirds him out.

Fact is, Jim's not gay. And he's pretty one-hundred-percent sure that Spock isn't either. He just can't picture Spock screwing guys (and he doesn't try for long, because the image is not one that he ever needed, thanks). He can barely imagine him screwing anyone at all, but the guy's...straight.

"That's outdated," Bones says, when he mentions his theory, but Jim's not so sure. So maybe it's fashionable to call everyone pansexual (or is it omni? He can never tell the difference) these days, but it was bisexual when he was getting sex ed at school, and his Mom used to refer to open and closed, and before that was straight and gay and...

He's digressing. But the point is, Jim's pretty sure the whole straight-gay thing still exists. He likes women. He's pretty sure Spock likes women. And there was that rumour about Uhura and Gaila in the Academy, so maybe she doesn't fit into this theory, but - but it still works. Spock's straight. He's straight. Uhura's...probably straight.

And the idea of screwing Spock...it's weird. Flat-out, one hundred percent weird. Jim can see that he's reasonably good-looking, and he's a great guy to have on your side, and he's a good friend once you get past The Eyebrows, and they make a heckuva command team, but...he's not attractive. And the idea that people on the ship are gossiping about what they do in bed together...

It almost makes Jim's skin crawl.

He's had his share of experiments. High school, Academy, the usual. Couple of one-night stands here and there. He even fucked Bones once, just after the Narada thing, when they were both crazy with the not-being-dead thing. They'd gotten wasted and ended up at a shitty hotel on the wrong side of Los Angeles. It had been...okay - there wasn't really such a thing as truly bad sex, in Jim's view, because even pretty crappy sex still was good enough - and they'd never talked about it or done it again. But it wasn't his things. Ongoing sex with a guy? With the same guy? Relationships with guys?

Nope. Jim's brain didn't work with that kind of material.

So this rumour? Frankly, it's freaking him out a little.


He doesn't know - doesn't dare ask - if Spock's heard about it. Uhura has, obviously, and he suspects she's let her boyfriend know about it (or, hell, he's going to have to get security on captain-watching detail for if Spock actually finds out via the rumour mill) but he doesn't know.

So it surprises him, six weeks after that thing at Kelomir and right in the middle of a scientific study on a newly-discovered planet, when Spock turns to him and says, "Captain, there is no need to act as though I am about to erupt in a jealous rage whenever you mention Nyota's name."

Jim almost says, "Nyota, huh? So this is a personal natter?" but has better self-preservation instincts than that. Instead, he grunts. In a manly way. (Fuck Bones and whatever he says, that noise is not a squeak.)

"You, uh," he manages. "You know about that, huh?"

"The rumour? Yes, Jim."

"And, uh...it doesn't...you know. Freak you out at all?"

"I have heard worse," is Spock's blithe reply.

"Like?" Jim prods. He can't help it. Vulcans can't gossip, he figures, and he says so.

"Vulcan children certainly do 'gossip'," Spock says. "They are as subject to rumours as human adults; Vulcans are simply educated out of spreading unfounded statements at a younger age."

"So tell me some Vulcan gossip," Jim says, without thinking.

It's...sad, in a way, and nice in another. Maybe Spock is getting better. He's stopped correcting his tenses about his own species, and it doesn't...hell, Jim doesn't know. It doesn't look like it hurts, anymore? It doesn't even make sense, but there he has it.

"There was much gossip, particularly around my mother and her...role in my household," Spock says slowly. "I became involved in a lot of physical fighting as a child."

"You totally brained another kid for name-calling your mom."

Jim has no idea whether Spock understands that jumble of non-Standard, but Spock simply inclines his head and returns his attention to his tricorder. He gets the gist of it, then.

"So what do we do?" Jim blurts out. "No offence, man, but you're not really on my to-do list, you know what I'm saying?"

"We do nothing," Spock says simply. "Nyota assures me that human gossip is fleeting. The crew will find something else to discuss - particularly if another rumour is started in its place."

"Such as?"

Spock eyed him with that unreadable stare, and Jim feels a prickle of unease working its way up his spine.

"What's she doing up there?" he asks slowly.

"Communications is in an excellent position to create rumours," Spock says. "Not," he adds, "that I have knowledge of such practices."

"Of course not, Mr. Spock," Jim says, and he can't help but grin.

She's foisted them off on this little green dirtball in the middle of space, while she goes about pointing the mill laser at somebody else. Forget the weird threesome thing - Jim would quite happily kiss her for her deviousness.

"Sometimes, I fucking love your girlfriend," he says aloud, possibly ruining her attempts, but nobody's in earshot.

Spock simply gives him The Eyebrow, and turns away.


(It doesn't work. For eight weeks, the rumour is that Jim's screwing Spock. Just Spock. Behind Uhura's back. Fuck. His. Life.)