Hello loves! I promised fluff, and here it is! I seem to be incapable of writing pure fluff with zero conflict, but this is about as close as it's going to get, I think. Certainly less heavy than It Goes On!
This is also one of my first attempts at writing pure romance, so I hope it turned out alright. I adore Spock/Uhura in the AOS. Enjoy!
This story takes place just after Spock is beamed back from the volcano. In that respect, minimal spoilers for Into Darkness.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek.
The silence, Uhura thought, was infuriating.
Yes, part of it was her doing—she stubbornly refused to even look at Spock as they walked—but the fact that he didn't make any attempt to break the muteness made her steadily more angry. A simple, "Is anything wrong, Nyota?" would have been lovely. Even an "I'm surprised to be alive" would have sufficed.
Hell, she'd take "Captain Kirk's actions were in error" if that meant the Vulcan would speak.
As it was, he walked quietly, with the same impassivity with which he always carried himself. Uhura kept her mouth clamped shut, determined not to speak first.
They made it as far as Spock's quarters before he gave in.
"Would you care to assist me?"
"Of course," Uhura said, too formal. Spock's gaze lingered on her face for a split-second too long; then he turned, and Uhura followed him through the door.
The heat-resistant suit he still wore was in stark contrast to the neutrality of his quarters. Uhura could see now the extensive blackening across the suit's once-shining exterior. The material had stopped smoking, finally, but the tarnished metal was still a painful reminder of Spock's close call.
Uhura didn't realize she'd been staring until the Vulcan spoke again.
"Is everything quite alright, Nyota?"
Uhura looked at him shrewdly. "Why do you ask?"
Spock cocked his head infestiminally to the side, a look Uhura recognized as one he adopted when analyzing a particularly interesting scientific puzzle. "One would expect, given the distance from the transporter room to my quarters, ample opportunity for conversation."
"You're not one for conversation," Uhura said wryly.
One eyebrow raised. "However, you are. May I ask what is causing you distress?"
"You almost died, that's what," she snapped. "Not ten minutes ago you were trapped in an active volcano, communications fried, and you refused to let us help you." She grounded herself as she would facing a threat and screwed up her face. No, she refused to break down here. "We almost lost you."
Not the full truth—the fact that Spock had almost died was not the complete depth of her frustration, but she wasn't about to go breaking open that can of emotional worms just yet.
However, Spock visibly loosened. "Nyota."
Uhura closed her eyes briefly, composing herself, then moved forward and grasped the sides of the suit's helmet. "Come on, you. Let's get you out of this thing."
As she set the helmet down and turned back, she could feel the intensity of Spock's gaze on her. However, when she looked up into his eyes once more, she was taken aback at the tenderness she found.
"I would like to apologize for the fear I caused you," Spock said. "Though my actions were necessary given the circumstances, I would regret the grief my death would cause you."
And that, Uhura supposed, was the closest she'd get to a human apology. She exhaled, unable to contain the small smile that tugged at her lips.
"That's why I love you," she said. "You're too damn selfless for your own good."
A momentary look of bemusement crossed the Vulcan's face. "Though framed in a somewhat derogatory light, I do believe that was meant as a compliment."
Uhura leaned closer to the still-warm suit. "I'm just glad you're safe."
"As am I." The Vulcan lowered his head a fraction, angling down so their foreheads met. It was a purely human gesture, and Uhura was surprised he'd picked it up. They remained that way for several seconds, silently thanking each other's closeness, listening to the quiet breaths with closed eyes. It was Uhura who finally broke the tender gesture, her hands at Spock's collar.
"Come on," she said, starting to unfasten the suit. "McCoy is probably anxiously awaiting your arrival in sickbay for your eval."
A corner of Spock's mouth twitched. "A lesson in patience will serve Doctor McCoy well."
An uncharacteristic giggle, the product of tension release, bubbled past Uhura's lips. Her fingers found the clasp and she released it, gently sliding off the plating from Spock's left arm. She then began on the right arm, ever-aware of his observation as she peeled off the layers one by one.
Because that's what she did, Uhura mused—she hulled the Vulcan's outer shell piece by piece, layer by layer, with every interaction. She mined, chiseled away, painstakingly working to reach the precious slivers of human in his eyes.
A soft electricity thrummed between them as she quietly continued her work. When she slid off the second piece from his right arm, her hand lightly trailed down Spock's. For a moment, their fingers twined; it was a brief gesture, but enough.
Then, slowly, slowly, she worked off the breastplate and, finally, the pieces restricting his legs. At long last, there he stood, dressed in his simple black undershirt and pants—infinitely more fragile, but every bit restored to the Vulcan she knew.
Again, she couldn't contain a laugh as she looked at him. "You've got helmet hair," she said, striding over to him and reaching up to fix his bangs.
He was quiet for a second longer. "I must admit, Nyota, that I do not believe I reacted in a satisfactory manner to your confession of distress, nor was I attuned to your emotional state. For that, I would like to apologize once more." He paused. "In such circumstances I believe it is customary to offer a token of favor."
Uhura raised her eyebrows and leaned closer. "So…what does that mean?" she asked playfully. Again their foreheads met, Uhura's eyes inches from the fascinating depths of Spock's, and on one side their palms pressed together tenderly.
Surprisingly, Spock didn't even flinch when the doors to his quarters slid open; he kept his stare fixed on Uhura.
"Spock, I expected you in my sickbay ten minutes ago. You think—Oh, for the love of Christ—God damnit—if I ever wanted to see the private life of Vulcans—"
The doors slid closed again as a thoroughly flustered McCoy backtracked out.
The soft whine of the doors sealing, then stillness.
"He'll probably drink away all memory of this," Uhura said, grinning.
"I find that theory highly probable," Spock said dryly. Uhura leaned into him once more.
"You were saying…" Uhura teased. "You want to apologize. You mean you're going to…make it up to me somehow?"
The ghost of a smile curled up the corner of Spock's mouth. "Vulcans do not lie," he said, and with a tilt of the head, he brushed her forehead lightly with a kiss.
So, what do you think? Okay? Failure? Let me know!
Another one-shot is in the works, so see you then!
Thank you so much for reading,