I look out the window, see a sweet young thing
At first she doesn't think Kirk's worth the time. Another easy Terra-bound boy, prettier than most but nothing else to recommend him. He smiles, so bright and forward, like he thinks he owns the world and she knows without asking that she could show him the limits of what he owns without breaking a sweat.
It would even be fun, but she's got better things to do and the fact that within minutes of meeting him he's involved in a bar fight and bleeding on the floor doesn't help his cause. Still... there's something loose about him that's tempting, something that a person in the right frame of mind could just pick up and take. She's not going to lie about wanting him, not to herself.
There's another world where the fight doesn't happen and she takes him to her hotel room and leaves scratches up and down his smooth pale back. Leaves him with a blown out grin and herself with a nice little memory to take to the stars with her.
That's not this world. This is the world where he's still flat on his back and bleeding when she leaves and then he has the bad taste to turn up on the shuttle shipping out, grinning like he thinks he's pulled one over on her.
She smiles, but not at him, and looks away. Jim Kirk is too loose for any one person to hold and if it's more than a few nights, Uhura's not the type that likes to share what's hers.
Wild card up my sleeve
In another world, he'd disappear into the masses at the Academy and she'd never see him again until he pulled a stunt wild enough to get him kicked out, the end, amen. That's not this world. In this world, he turns up at the first meeting of the xenolinguistics club with a smooth smile, a smoother tongue for grammar and pronunciation and a bright blue stare, like he's laying down a challenge.
She could pick it up, it would be easy. A little too easy. Instead she smiles at him, politely, and saves him a seat, like they're friends. That sets him back quicker than anything else she could have done, she sees it in the widening of his pretty blue eyes.
He takes the seat anyway and smiles right back. This time it's almost tentative under the smooth white surface and she thinks that tentativeness might be his saving grace. Maybe.
Later, she sees him when he's sitting by himself at lunch, bent over a PADD and ignoring his sandwich. She sits next to him. His eyes go a little bit wider once again and he doesn't flirt once the entire meal.
People say 'beware', but I don't care
Given the way she met him, it shouldn't be a surprise when her comm goes off at one in the morning and it's the hospital, calling about him and the fight he got into, the one he's been dragged into the clinic to recover from. She just doesn't get why they're calling her. Understanding is not increased by the fact she's been dragged out of her bed at not the fuck now am and her eyes ache and she's got an exam in the morning.
"Jim Kirk has me as an emergency contact?" she tells the bored looking nurse on the other side of the screen. The insides of her mouth taste disgusting. "I don't even like him."
"He listed you as his second emergency contact," the nurse says, his mouth stuck in an exhausted looking deadpan. "His first emergency contact is out on leave and his roommate told me to give him a dose of opiates and send him out to play in traffic. I think he was drunk."
She nods, as if this might be sensible. Being drunk seems very sensible to her, at least. She opens her mouth to tell the nurse that sending Jim out to play in traffic sounds like a fine plan to her too, but what comes out is a muttered, "I'll be there in twenty." She stifles a yawn.
So, that's how she ends up taking him home at a truly disgusting time of the night in some truly disgustingly chilly, San Francisco weather. The fog tries to penetrate her bones while Jim tries intermittently to apologize and cajole.
"They made me write someone's name down when I first got here," he mutters and his mouth is bruised enough to distort the words. They definitely weren't too generous with the dermal regenerator for him. "And you were the only person other than Bones I'd even talked to. I'll change it."
Please, do, she thinks. "Don't bother," she says.
"I don't know why they called you anyway," he continues, like he didn't hear her. Not one of his saving graces. "I told them I was fine. I can get back to the dorm on my own." He punctuates the words by a timely attempt to trip over the smooth, flat concrete of the path they're on. She barely steadies him-- he's a heavy bastard.
"I can see that. You are obviously completely fine," she agrees, smiling despite herself. "The sidewalk should be scared in case you try to break it with your nose."
That makes him laugh. "Nah," he says, still slurring the words, but seeming more alert. Adrenaline of his near fall, probably. "I already broke someone's fist with my face and that's enough for me for one night."
She takes him home only to discover the angry roommate is not in evidence. If she'd been the sort of person she always imagined herself to be, she'd have tucked the covers up over him, poured him a glass of water and went home to her own bed. They wouldn't have released him if he were in any danger of dying in his sleep. She doesn't think.
She's not that person, though, and anyway, she's been dragged out of her own warm bed long enough ago that sleep seems futile, and it's cold outside. And yes, they sent him home, but he's beaten badly enough that he obviously still feels it, probably high on painkillers and clearly not quite in his right mind. She locks the door from the inside, sliding a chair under it so that if his roommate does make a belated appearance, he won't get in. Then she takes the opportunity to kiss Jim on the mouth, kick off her boots and crawl into bed with him.
His eyes are huge and blue, like a little boy's. He touches her cheek and his hands shake. She doesn't smile at him, she just says, "It's too cold to walk home and anyway, you might pass out and die if I leave you alone. Go to sleep, Jim."
"I won't die. And I thought I wasn't your type," he mumbles.
"You're not. You like to play the field and I don't like to share," she says. He looks like he might want to say more, but he doesn't.
In defiance of all expectations, or at least hers, they both fall asleep almost right away.
I'm movin' in this here atmosphere, well, anything's allowed
She fucks him for the first time about four hours later, right after her alarm goes off, telling her she's got an hour before she needs to be in class, writing that damned exam. They don't discuss it, she doesn't ask permission. She knows he won't say no.
She's on top but he reaches up for her, with palms and knuckles that are bruised, green and yellow and blue. When his hands are molded around the small of her back like he's looking for something to cling to she can't see them anymore, but he's still got a desperate spectacular shiner on his right eye. He pants while she rides him, a low whining noise, like a creature. He winces when she kisses that particular eyelid and then tries to crawl closer.
"What happened last night?" she asks him later, when he's sprawled out exhausted, legs spread wide and lips slightly parted. "You know brawling's against regs."
He shrugs and looks away instead of answering and she just shrugs back instead of trying to force him. She leaves him there, tangled up in his own messy, sweaty sheets. His eyes cling to her when she walks out the door.
She gets the top score in her class on the exam, but she still blames him for the fact she got the last three questions wrong.
When she leaves the exam room and turns on her PADD, there's a message waiting for her. I was looking for a rush. I found it. But you are going to have to learn to share. JTK.
They screw for the better part of a year. They argue about language and he tries to argue with her about math, but she lets it go because he cares more than she does. She picks him up when he gets into pointless fights. He helps her reprogram translator sims so that they actually make sense. They have more sex in those months than she had in all the years before and most of the ones after.
Then she dumps him to play house with a Vulcan who is fine with no sharing (says him) or he dumps her to play sex games with Gary Mitchell, the roommate who wants to send him to play in traffic (says her). The truth is, she falls in love, and he smiles and nods and lets her go, because he's brave enough to be up for anything she asks him to try and too much of a goddamned coward to just ask her to stay.
In the vast majority of worlds, Uhura is good and Jim wants so badly to be and that means this is the end of it. That's not this world. She does try, though. She makes it all the way through the Academy trying.
Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine (they belong to me)
She's in love with Spock, and Spock would never ask her to share. But he'd never let her tie him up and lay him out with a whip. He'd never spread his legs and let her slick him open with her fingers until he turned to jelly or shine a flashlight inside him because she's drunk and she wants to see what he's made of, she wants to spread him open and see. He'd never get on his knees and eat her out in a back alley, less than a block from the open street, her back pressed up against the brick wall until her shoulders went numb. He'd never put on a red woman's uniform with a skirt hiked up so high it barely covered his ass and take her out dancing and laugh if anyone stared.
Even if he did, it would only be because she asked. He wouldn't love it, crave it, crawl for it. She doesn't even want him to, not him. She loves him exactly as he is. And yet...
"I want what I'm not supposed to want," she tells Spock, because he, of all people, understands her best. He understands the absolute depths of her hypocrisy.
He nods gravely, as if what she wanted were in any way acceptable and kisses her cheek. "Ashayam," he says. "What is it you believe I would begrudge you?"
When he puts it like that, it seems so stupid. She tells him. He nods. The edges of his lips curl up thoughtfully.
Two nights later, she comes off shift and comes to Spock's quarters. All unexpectedly (or perhaps not), Jim is there, on the bed, smiling at her. There are shadows under his bright eyes, like he hasn't slept well in weeks. Months.
"Spock suggested I might want to be here," he says, looking up at her from under bright lashes. "That you want me to be here."
In some world, somewhere, Uhura says no. In some world, Jim isn't here, loose and offering and ready to be taken. In this world, she sits down on the bed next to him, the bed she shares with Spock and kisses his sweet, open mouth.
"I learned to share," she tells him.
That startles a laugh out of him and a nervous swipe of tongue on lips. "Who? Spock? Sharing's probably not necessary, I don't think he likes me that way."
"No," she says, though, she'd be surprised if Spock didn't. She's not the only one with eyes. "You know what I mean."
He makes a face, but he nods. This time, he's the one who reaches out. His hands are strong and sure and he kisses like he's been wanting to for as long as she has.