I don't own Star Trek. This is just a little something I wrote to start getting in the proper frame of mind for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month; if you don't know what that is, you should look into it. It's actually a lot of fun).

At first glance, everyone always assumed that Nyota Uhura hated Captain James Kirk. The way she spoke to the Captain almost always bordered on insubordination, and whenever they were off duty and happened to run into each other in the mess hall or the gym, Uhura would go out of her way to say something sarcastic to him.

In reality, it was all just an act.

At one point, Uhura had tried to hate Jim (because he was Jim to her now, even though she would never call him by anything other than his title: Captain), but even though she had genuinely disliked him, she wasn't sure she could ever call it hatred.

The first time Uhura laid eyes on Kirk, he was drunk and trying to hit on her. She had watched with amusement and no small amount of exasperation, but even she couldn't deny the genuine spark of concern when her fellow cadets had started beating him to a pulp. Looking back on it, it was probably that right there that had prevented her from ever being able to hate James Kirk. That concern she had felt had cancelled out any of her anger or exasperation, leaving room for more protective emotions to take root.

The next time Uhura saw Jim, he was still bloodied and hung over and dressed in civvies as he boarded the Starfleet shuttle. She hadn't liked him much better at that point than she had the first time she'd seen him, but the pathetic, lost look on his face appealed to her maternal instincts.

For the next three years at the Academy, Uhura and Jim had a volatile relationship. Jim would always try to come up with new ways to flirt with her, and Uhura, without even thinking about it, would spit back increasingly snippy and hurtful rejections. These exchanges, which she deeply resented at first, soon became commonplace. She grew to expect them and tolerate them, and soon enough she even found, to her disbelief, that she looked forward to them. Without her knowledge, Jim Kirk had somehow become a normal fixture in her day to day life.

Nero complicated things.

Uhura was sure that Jim was just using Gaila in order to gain status and power, and when Nero wreaked havoc on the Federation and Gaila died and the situation remained permanently unresolved, Uhura found some of her old feelings of resentment towards Jim coming back with a vengeance. And then, when Jim stood on the Bridge of the Enterprise and provoked Spock into attacking him, Uhura was angry enough to see red. For weeks afterward, Uhura refused to speak to Acting Captain Kirk.

Underneath that anger, though, Uhura recognized that none of it was really Jim's fault. He couldn't have predicted that Nero would attack. He couldn't have known that Spock would be too stubborn to see reason. And with that knowledge, Uhura began to once again forgive Jim. She became more receptive to his teasing, coming up with creative retorts almost before the words were even out of his mouth. The two worked together like a well-oiled machine, and even though their relationship was based on disagreement after disagreement, there was no true animosity there.

Everyone always thought that she hated him.

The reality, though, is that Jim Kirk was the brother she always wanted. And even though neither of them ever came right out and said it, Nyota knew that Jim felt the same way about her.