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"What Nero Stole" - Uhura, Spock/Uhura

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Mar. 17th, 2010 | 12:06 am

Title: What Nero Stole
Characters/Pairings: Uhura, Spock, Kirk, Gaila; Spock/Uhura
Rating: PG-13 for death
Summary: It's been two days since she helped defeat the Narada, but the destruction caused by the crew of the Narada had yet to him home for Uhura. This is about to change as death sinks in for not just Uhura, but those she's closest to as well.


Author's Note: I've been working on this bad boy since early September; I got stuck on it for a long time. It only recently fell together for me (after persistent pleading!). I'm very happy to finish this one and proud of how it turned out.

And a big fat thanks to clarkoholic for being my beta. She also helped me clean out the problems as I tied everything together. Thanks for being there, sweetheart.





Two days had passed since the crew of the Enterprise defeated Nero and those aboard the Narada. The officers that returned from battle had been subject to interviews and paparazzi invasions from the media and intensive rounds of questioning by Starfleet. Those in the highest command positions had it even worse, and were starting to feel the strain that came as a by-product of being hounded.

The campus was unusually quiet; the media had little to report on now and the high-ranking Starfleet officials were off in meetings and cleaning up the damage. Spock and Uhura decided that it would be okay for them to spend a couple of hours together during the hazy afternoon. There was still the risk that paparazzi could be hiding amongst the trees, but Spock decided that there would be only a slight chance of them still being on the grounds as Starfleet frowned upon them being there anyway. Uhura just needed to see Spock, be around him; the past few days had been especially hard on her nerves. She had tried to see Spock the night before after seeing him only fleetingly that day; they had passed each other in corridors and doorways while being ushered between debriefings and news conferences, but didn't once get to exchange words. However, the entry to his apartment was blocked by a group of over 40 reporters trying to talk to both Spock and Pike.

They were quietly walking a path along the shore, words barely spoken. Uhura just needed his company; small talk was not necessary. In fact, neither person had spoke when young cadets congratulated them on a job well done or gave them their condolences for those friends lost in the battle. Uhura's heart ached every time this happened; many people asked her if Gaila had made it. Uhura didn't know. She didn't have a clue. Gaila was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Endeavor, which was destroyed by Nero in the Battle of Vulcan. It was very likely Gaila had been killed in action. In fact, Uhura had no doubt in her mind that her best friend had perished.

She had no desire to bring it up—not yet—but she kept lulling into heavy bouts of silence. Spock asked her to speak her mind, saying that it was a necessary step in the grieving process for humans. She didn't want to. She was still in shock that she and Gaila fought the night before they were sent to Vulcan. Their words were harsh, loud, unnecessary and the grudges they created were strong. Gaila tried to be over the fight the next day as they heard their ship assignments, but it was obvious even her smiles were fake. Uhura didn't even want to be back on speaking terms with her best friend at the time. Now, she couldn't be more angry at herself.

The fight was almost the entire reason she wanted to stay the night at Spock's, even though she had never stayed in his quarters before. Her room was now poisoned, tainted with a memory she wished would disappear.

Spock took a large step to place himself before Uhura, stopping her in her tracks. He opened his mouth to speak as she looked away from him, but no words came out. She knew he was going to try to talk to her about Gaila—

Just then, the communicator at Spock's hip went off. "Spock here."

It was Kirk. "Commander, the teleport hall has just received ten crew members from the U.S.S. Endeavor—"

Spock's eyes widened and Uhura felt her knees give out. As she reached for his arms to hold herself up, he grabbed her shoulder. Kirk is lying. He has to be. Uhura thought, feeling her breath catch in her chest.

"Captain, I do not believe you should—"

"A pod landed on Delta Vega and must have gotten to—"

"I must ask you to cease this message—"

"Just don't mention this to Uhura, okay?"

And Uhura ran. That's all she needed to hear. There were people safe and one of them had to be Gaila—why else would Kirk bring up Uhura's name? She sprinted across the grounds faster than she ever had run before. Long strides, heavy breaths, determination. Adrenaline spread through her being as fire ripped through the muscles in her legs and the edges of her heart and lungs.

Spock and Gaila were pretty much the only two people in her life that meant anything to her. She had seen her family only four times in the past five years, and she hadn't seen two of her sisters in nearly seven. Gaila was her rock; she kept Uhura from going insane. She made life pleasant, enjoyable, uplifting. Even though Gaila had the occasional bad idea and constant hormone-driven moments, she really was a great listener and a great comfort. Loyal through and through to the first girl she met on earth, her first true friend.

And now she was back.

She felt like nothing on earth could stop her from getting to Gaila's side, except for one thing: the Vulcan nipping at her heels. Spock was hot on her tail and when he tried to grab her arm she pulled it away. Why is he trying to stop me? she thought as she dodged his grasp again. She knew he would catch her any second; he had a good half a foot on her height as well as being a species with stronger muscles and better stamina.

"Get off of me!"

"Nyota, it is imperative you—"

"Spock, stop!" she cried, throwing her arm back violently when he grasped her wrist. It threw him off, making him stumble and fall. Uhura heard him lose ground but never turned around. She was very close to the teleport hall now. She started climbing the steps two at a time, her thighs burning with each step she took. They almost felt like ripping. She didn't care. Within seconds she'd jump into Gaila's arms, cry into her shoulder and apologize with what little words she could muster.

She could hear that Spock was getting closer, so when she reached level ground she pushed her legs to go even harder than before. Through the tall glass windows she could see numerous people and objects, as well as a certain dirty blond running in her direction.

She dodged the Captain as he approached her. His turn in direction to try to grab her was too sharp, and his sneakers squeaked across the marble floor as he lost his balance. She heard him crash painfully onto the ground, but once again, she didn't care. He swore loudly before painfully crying out, "Spock! Stop her!"

As she got closer, she searched for a green girl with flaming red hair. There were twelve people standing or crouching: nine Starfleet officials and employees and three people in torn officer uniforms. None of them were green. Also not green: eight black objects on the floor—

Uhura stopped suddenly when she realized what these objects were. Black bags were opened partially as people identified the bodies inside, battered and bruised people, their skin torn, burned and faded, almost purple. One of the people in the bags wasn't a shade of brown, but rather an extremely faded shade of kelly green. Red hair, in limp ringlets, fell over her shoulders and onto a red uniform top, stained with maroon from blood of an extremely large gash across the abdomen.

"No," Uhura whispered as Spock reached her. He picked her up by the waist and turned her way from the deceased crew of the U.S.S. Endeavor and her best friend. She repeated herself over and over, trying to turn herself in his arms, needing to see it again to believe it. Lies. Her eyes were deceiving her. If she just turned around she could get rid of this feeling. Her stomach surged, her head felt like it had been hit with a hammer and her heart...her heart felt like exploding.

He tightened his grasp on her as she battled to turn around. When he managed to pin her arms to her side, she started pleading with him. "Please. She's...she's alive. Just let me turn around. I saw...it was a lie, let me—"

"Ashayam," he said sternly, interrupting her stutters. "Please stop fighting—"

When her other arm was pinned, she started to yell. She was past whispers now. Disbelief was turning into denial. She stomped her feet, trying to land on his toes. She wriggled violently, banging the top of her head on the bottom of his chin. This wasn't real, so why wasn't he letting her turn around? The bags were for hypothermia. It's cold on Delta Vega—

Spock hissed as she ran her fingers along the underside of his wrists, the only thing she could reach. She felt a warm, sticky wetness slide down her fingers: his emerald blood. Nothing could stop her from turning around and greeting Gaila, nothing.

Kirk was now in front of Uhura, taking a hold of her fingers so she couldn't scratch Spock any longer. He was inches from her face, his chin a shiny red and his eyes glistening with tears. "Let. Go," Uhura ordered, trying to drive her head forward to head butt Kirk. He dodged it, not unlocking eyes with his newly instated Chief Communications Officer. "I want to see Gaila!"

"You cannot see her," he said firmly.

"Yes, I can!"

"Uhura! This is not a dream,” Kirk nearly yelled, trying to keep his own composure.

"Gaila is alive!"

"She's dead, Uhura. She's dead!" Kirk's words got the best of him as well, because then his lip trembled and a single tear rolled down his right cheek.

It hit her then. She had nothing left in her throat to yell. The sudden silence rippled through the hall as her legs went numb, her stomach surged with bitter bile, and her vision blurred. Like black ink bleeding through paper, it started to sink in.

And she gave in.

Untightening her muscles, she let out one muffled cry. Kirk immediately let go of her fingers, stepping back two steps before turning around and throwing his hands to his eyes. Spock held on for a minute longer, making sure that she had finally given up. She had. Her legs buckled and she crumpled in his arms. The numbness spread like wildfire through her abdomen, her shoulders, her fingertips.

Spock set her gently on the ground, and then quickly positioned himself in front of Uhura. With hesitation, he brushed a strand of stray hair behind her ear. She knew he was trying to find the words to say, but he was at a loss. His lips were parted, moving lightly like he was trying to form words, but nothing came out.

The more she looked at the concern in his eyes (it wasn't present anywhere else on his face), the more she wanted to cry. She turned her attention to Jim, who still had his back to them with his hands to his face. "Why did you call him?" she whispered, the last bit of her energy being used on an angry tone that reverberated through her words.

This was all Kirks' fault. Had he not said words that made her believe Gaila was alive, none of the would be in this situation. Kirk lowered his hands, but said nothing at first. It took a light growl from Uhura's throat to get him to look over his shoulder.

"Spock said that the paparazzi were all over him. I didn't think you two would be together because of it," he whispered, a raspy tone to his voice.

"He is speaking the truth," Spock said calmly, wiping his bleeding wrist on the jeans he wore in an attempt to make him less noticeable. "I had informed him we were not seeing each other until the crowds dissipated. I did not anticipate we would be able to be together for quite some time."

And then there was silence. Kirk made a noise that sounded like the muffling of a sob, then a cough before he turned around and crouched beside Spock. His eyes were suddenly puffy and his mouth still trembled. Uhura audibly gulped down the developing knot in her throat and let her posture suffer. Her chest was just inches from her knees when she looked away and whispered words she didn't want to say.

"Is she really gone?"

It was Kirk who responded, but he did it without words. He reached out to Uhura's hand, and squeezed her fingers tightly. She then released her first sob. It was small, barely noticeable, but she still did it.

She tried to control it. No, it couldn't happen here. Not in front of Gaila—

Uhura started to fall over, but Spock's cat-like reflexes caught her shoulder as he bridged the foot-wide gap that had separated them. She buried her head into his chest as he sat on the ground, nuzzling his collarbone as she painfully tried to hold back her tears. She moaned uncomfortably, huffing jagged breaths into his sweater.

Kirk placed a hand on Uhura's back, tapping his fingers close to her spine. "Uhura, it's...it's okay to cry."

"No," she mumbled, pushing her face even harder into Spock's chest. "I can't."

"You need to."

"I can't," she repeated, her bloodstained fingers now grasping onto the dark sweater. She was quickly losing control, though, and the first tear fell a few seconds later. When first audible sob escaped her throat, she climbed into Spock's lap and moved her face to the crook between his neck and his shoulder. The soft fabric quickly dampened as more tears escaped her eyes and more noise escaped her throat, getting louder and louder as the seconds progressed. Spock cautiously put his arms around her; Kirk scooted closer so he could rub one of her shoulders.

"I don't want her...to be gone. I...I love her so much," she wailed, choking for the air necessary to create speech.




Spock, Kirk and Uhura made the evening edition of the newspaper. As expected, the media caught word of the Endeavor crew within a matter of minutes. Just as the three got up to leave, they arrived. The photograph showed Kirk and Uhura in a deep hug as Spock hung his head to the side. In the background was the blurred imagery of the body bags.

Uhura was sitting at the foot of Spock's bed at 3:37 in the morning, the article and photograph in her lap. The now tearstained article had been hard for Uhura to read because when the article mentioned Gaila, it mentioned Uhura in turn. Xenolinguistics specialist and hero Lieutenant Nyota Uhura was the roommate and good friend of the war casualty Gaila Jaxa. Not only did it twist the dagger lodged in her heart, but also made her blood boil. "Why are they focusing on me! She died for the Federation and I'm the one still...living," she cried earlier in the night, crumpling the paper into a ball in her frustration.

Now the paper was flat and wrinkled, lying over her folded legs. The moonlight made the headline only barely visible: U.S.S. Endeavor Had Survivors; Three Crew Members Bring Eight Casualties Back to Earth. She swore softly, sniffing.

She then felt the bed move behind her. Spock crawled across it and sat a foot behind Uhura. He reached around her and slowly took the paper from her lap. She didn't even attempt to stop him. Her energy was non-existent. Tears were rolling freely, silently down her face.

"Nyota, please come to bed," he whispered and she hung her head. "Are you listen—"

"I heard you," she whispered, her voice scratchy from all the yelling and sobbing she had done in the day. "I just can't sleep."

"Eventually sleep will take you."

"But, I'll get nightmares...I...keep seeing her face."

He was going to say something, but once again stopped himself. Instead, he lightly ran his fingers down her spine and arranged the words in his head, trying to cater them to the moment. His normal cadence and choice of words were not appropriate for her, not now. Uhura could tell he was doing this. "If you," he started, pausing for a second. "If you hadn't pushed me down shortly after Kirk's message, I could have—"

"Spock," she whispered, halting him mid-sentence. He must have taken the hint (she was glad he did), and crawled back across the bed. Hoping he had given up and was now at least pretending to sleep, she wiped the salty tears from her face again.

He wasn't even lying down, let alone pretending to sleep. She could feel him looking at her, and when she turned around, she saw he was leaning against the headboard. He rapped a hand on his thigh, asking her to join him, and she almost smiled. Two weeks ago he reluctantly sat like this for her so she could sit between his legs and rest her head on his chest. It was her favorite way to cuddle, a comforting feeling for her. She was thrilled with his gesture and slowly made her way across the bed and in between his legs. She turned around slowly, cuddled in, and sighed when he wrapped his arms loosely around her shoulders. She had no words to thank him with, so she turned her face skyward and kissed the bottom of his chin.

They sat like that for a long time; Uhura guessed over an hour. The patch of moonlight had crept off the edge of the bed and had moved to the floor. Spock tensed, taking in a slow breath. "Neither Vulcan nor Orion have moons."

Uhura suddenly felt uncomfortable, anxious in her own skin. She had been spending this entire day grieving the loss of her best friend while Spock was grieving his own loss. His statement hurt her in two ways: she felt selfish for forgetting and her heart ached knowing that he still referred to his home planet like it still existed. Tears threatened to fall again, so she swallowed deeply, coughing down the rising pain in her throat. "Nero took something from everyone, didn't he?"

He nodded, placing his lips into the back of Uhura's head, pressing them hard against her skull. She was a bit stunned by the reaction, something so strong, open, and affectionate. Was he finally opening up?

She turned quickly in his arms and immediately pressed her forehead against his. He pulled back quickly, almost bouncing his head off the wall. However, she knew him well enough to know that these were just momentary flinches, his body still cautious to touches he rarely experienced on Vulcan. And she was right, within a second, he slowly moved his forehead back to place it on hers. She could now hear his breathing; jagged, unrhythmic. The skin on his forehead tensed and she knew he was battling some heavy emotions. Once again, she felt bad for concentrating on herself all day, but she said nothing. She knew he would not want to talk about it; just her being there for him would be enough. A physical closeness, a light touch...

After a few minutes he cocked his head sideways, like there was something bothering him under his skin. He breathed out slowly, his jagged breathing even more apparent when it was escaping. Not knowing what else to do, she placed her hands on his cheeks and pressed her forehead harder against his, clicking light sshes against his lips. "Ashayam, darling—"

He cocked his head the other direction, closing his eyes tightly. He then wrapped his arms tightly around her back, pulling Uhura against his body. His head nestled in a spot hers had been on him earlier, the junction of the neck and shoulders. His breath rattled against her neck, and she let out a whimper.

"Do you miss her?" he cried, painfully, letting his voice crack for the first time since his mother's death. She cradled his head in her hands, forcefully running her fingers over his scalp. Both of their pain was begging to be released, just waiting for something to give. She let go first.

"Yes."

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Comments {15}

snitches be crazy

(no subject)

from: shighola
date: Mar. 17th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
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This is amazing, such an honest portrayal of grief. Thank you.

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I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

(no subject)

from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 17th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. :)

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(Deleted comment)

I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

(no subject)

from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 18th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
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In my head Gaila and Kirk were dating but were not to the exclusive point. *shrugs* He was very attached to her, though; she was a free spirit and a challenge. See my fic Third Base for how I saw them together.

I'm glad you didn't leave. :)

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clarkoholic

(no subject)

from: clarkoholic
date: Mar. 17th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
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I love your spin on this... it's so honest and visceral.

Great work, my Meg!

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I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

(no subject)

from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 18th, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, my Sarah!

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(no subject)

from: kayekaye1
date: Mar. 18th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
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Poor Jim. He gets blamed for everything. I loved how tender Spock is to Nyota and how she, in return, wants to comfort him.

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I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

(no subject)

from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 18th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
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That's what happens when you become Captain at such a young age. I have faith in him, though. He'll get over it. ;)

And thank you! It wasn't ooc, was it? *biggest fear*

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(no subject)

from: kayekaye1
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 10:48 am (UTC)
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Oh who really knows what's ooc? I think too much emphases is placed on that. Just do what feels right! LOL!!!

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Kat

(no subject)

from: kats_house
date: Mar. 18th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
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Excellent story, Sad but true and authenic. Spcok and uhura interaction was excellent.

Dumb, Kirk, should have listened to Spock, Still I think he was hurting too as he a Gaila were, at the very least, fuck buddies. I suspect they may have been fuck buddies who understood each other.

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I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

(no subject)

from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 18th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Aww, thank you for all the kind words. Kirk doesn't usually think before he speaks, but his poor world was just turned over again. *strokes his head*

I think I need to write another Kirk/Gaila. I really enjoy writing them and there doesn't seem to be an awful lot of the pairing...everyone's wondering how close they were!

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(Deleted comment)

I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

(no subject)

from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 18th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
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:'(

I apologize for this hitting so close to home! I'm...wow. I'm sorry you had to go through this.

*hand clasped over mouth*

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Spockchick

(no subject)

from: spockchick
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
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I'm off to bed in the UK, really, lovely fic, please do not apologise, perhaps I'd like to do a small drabble on this, can't figure how to PM you m'dear :-) but I'd like to.

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I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

(no subject)

from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
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It's quite the possibility! We'll talk.

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Spockchick

(no subject)

from: spockchick
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
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Got up. Wrote a whole lot of outline, deleted my comment - sorry! Thought on reflection I was a bit too heavy! Sorry!

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I got a fever and the only prescription is more ZQ

(no subject)

from: forthisreason
date: Mar. 19th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
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Nope, that's just fine! You're all right.

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