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{Fic} Waiting For The Fall | Star Trek XI

Waiting for the Fall
By Clarity Scifiroots
Rating: Teen (for language)
Characters: Gaila, Uhura/Spock, Kirk/Spock
Prompt: Uhura isn't ok with K/S (click for full details) st_xi_kink_meme
Summary: Gaila's the best friend, which means she knows all the details of Uhura's relationship and rocky road when Spock takes up with Kirk after that relationship failed.
Notes: I liked the prompt a lot. I also love that Uhura's usually respected by K/S writers I read, but it's also hard to imagine that she would be perfectly graceful in a situation where K/S get together soon after her relationship with Spock ends. I've always liked Gaila, so I liked the idea of writing this from her point of view and getting an outside view of the situation. Also? Happy ending.

Uhura confides in Gaila when she first realizes her crush on Spock is more than a passing fancy.

Uhura spills all the details about the little indications that Spock cares for her in return. Gaila listens with a smile and giggles appropriately when Uhura bemoans acting like a little girl with her first crush.

Gaila gets the full story of the transporter room kiss, though she knows of the event due to the gossip flying between anxious crew members during the Enterprise's risky maneuvers during the Crisis.

Gaila is the first to know when Uhura and Spock officially start dating (not that there really seems to be some "official" title to the relationship).

Gaila is the only one to hear about Uhura's irritation regarding the Captain's weird fascination with her relationship.

There are plenty of things Uhura tells Gaila that the Orion is pretty sure would cause Spock to have an understated Vulcan fit if he knew what his girlfriend is revealing.

As Uhura's best friend, Gaila knows about many of the ups and downs Uhura faces every day. She also knows enough to understand a few things before Uhura becomes aware.

Gaila watches Kirk after Uhura mentions his curious fascination and she realizes within a week that the captain's attention centers on his First Officer. It doesn't take her much longer to recognize his expressive gaze as one of resignation and jealousy. She doesn't mention her observations to Uhura. In this case she wishes she was closer to Jim so she could offer a supportive shoulder to lean on. It wouldn't have felt awkward for Gaila to offer comfort sex - she did, after all, care a great deal for him and the sex had always been good - but she knows this is a case of more than simple pining.

Some months into the Enterprise's voyage, Uhura begins spending more of her time off with Gaila rather than Spock. The communications officer confesses that she has difficulty sorting through her emotions - anger, love, hurt, affection. It is harder than she expected to be with the Vulcan and her frustration is only compounded as Kirk seems to have taken to monopolizing more of Spock's time. The thing that stings, she explains, is that Spock stopped turning down the captain's requests. Spock no longer makes an effort to keep himself free for time with her.

Gaila is there to hug Uhura fiercely and crack jokes to make them both laugh. She offers support and comfort and shares in her friend's frustrations. Even so, in the back of her mind she recognizes the likely outcome. She prepares herself, waiting for the day that her friend announces that the relationship is over. She keeps a sharp eye on Spock - and Kirk, too - just in case; if Uhura gets screwed over in this, Gaila's ready to send both men to the infirmary for a month. No one fucks around behind her friend's back and breaks her heart.

The day does come when Uhura shows up in engineering to drag Gaila away early. Gaila lifts a bottle of Scotty's best before they leave. Uhura doesn't cry, though her eyes shine with unshed tears. Gaila learns that Uhura was the one to call it off, though Spock readily agreed. Both women recognize that he was likely preparing himself to do the same. Gaila listens as her friend runs through a gamut of emotions, the same feeling she's dealt with for months finally breaking through without restriction.

They're both plagued with headaches during their next shift and their moods are less than cheerful, but coworkers seem to sense it's not a good idea to call them on it.

Gaila and Uhura eat lunch together every day and more often than not spend their free time together doing various and sundry. Uhura's getting better acquainted with engineering since Gaila's made a lot of friends in her section. In turn, Gaila gets to meet Chekov and Sulu from the Bridge crew and is charmed by their awkward flirting and obvious sexual tension. She and Uhura start making plans to push the two closer together and that distraction seems to be the best medicine for Uhura.

It's almost three months later that Uhura slams her lunch tray down across the table from Gaila. The communications officer seems like she should have smoke coming out her ears, she looks that angry. Gaila's eyes widen and she leans back for a moment, stunned by the amount of anger on her friend's face. She doesn't ask what's wrong, knowing she'll get the story in a matter of minutes.

"Fuck him!" Uhura nearly shouts. She visibly struggles for a few moments before getting her voice under control so that when she next speaks the whole commissary doesn't hear. "That goddamn bastard calling himself a fucking Captain is going straight to hell!" Uhura continues with a string of curses in languages Gaila doesn't know.

The Orion doesn't say anything although she's certain that she knows what's happened. She'll let Uhura tell her story at her own pace.

"That... that horny jackass was always after Spock!" Uhura stabs at her food with a fork. Gaila sets aside her own food, devoting her full attention to her friend. "I should have known, damn it. He chases anything on legs that breathes and he's obsessed with challenges. How long was he planning this?" Uhura's anger is interrupted by a strangled note of desperation. "I can't believe Spock's falling for this!"

Gaila sees her opening and quickly reaches across the table to grasp her friend's hands. She smiles sadly and says, "I'm sorry." Uhura's anger is still visible in the set of her jaw and tenseness in her shoulders, but her hurt shines brightly in her eyes. "If he's been caught up in the Kirk charm..." She isn't sure what she wants to say or what she should say to help. Shrugging helplessly she offers, "So, McCoy owes me a bottle of Romulan ale. Your place or mine?"

Uhura's still angry but Gaila can see it's tempered by her fierce assertion that Spock's going to find out soon enough how unreliable Kirk is when it comes to relationships. Gaila's relieved that Uhura has calmed enough that their conversations aren't always centered around Kirk and Spock's growing relationship. Well, Uhura doesn't acknowledge the growth part, but even though Gaila doesn't often have opportunities to see the two men, she sees enough to know that the relationship is going somewhere. Her friend might be convinced that it will end in disaster, but Gaila knows Jim Kirk and she recognizes the deep affection in his eyes.

"He's going to screw up," Uhura mutters one evening when many of the crew are gathered in the rec room to celebrate Sulu's birthday. By now he and Chekov have started a relationship - Gaila's proud to say that she and Uhura had a hand in that. Chekov is a bit tipsy and taking charge of handing over presents. Every time he does, he pecks Sulu on the cheek, making the pilot flush. Gaila's amused by the interaction but it seems that Uhura's attention is locked on Spock and Kirk standing off to the side, their shoulders touching.

It's been two months so Gaila decides to take a chance. "I'm not so sure," she says quietly, casting a sidelong glance at her friend.

Uhura turns to her with an incredulous expression. "Gaila, the man's fallen into countless beds - and other places - with half the people and sentient beings he's ever met!"

Gaila frowns. "Nyota, aren't you being kind of harsh? You used to say you were impressed how well he was settling into the captaincy," she reminds. "You know he was seeing me exclusively before the Crisis, right?"

Uhura's expression changes to one of confusion. "What are you talking about? I distinctly remember no less than three other boys making poor attempts to hide under your bed during your months with Kirk."

"Well, yes..." Gaila grinned. "I had extra company, Jimmy and I had an understanding it wasn't an exclusive relationship. But he said he wasn't keen on the feeling like he was cheating on one of his partners so he was just seeing me." She's relieved to see that Uhura's caught off guard by this information and seems preoccupied with trying to absorb it.

Gaila adds gently, "Even if Jim had tried anything when you and Spock were together, you know handsome pointy-ears wouldn't have betrayed you like that. They weren't doing anything when you were together, Nyota. I don't think they even started anything until long after your relationship was done."

Uhura's jaw tightens, anger again flashing in her eyes. "Kirk was watching for a long time. He had to be planning something." She looks again at the pair in question and her lips compress in a thin line. "He's going to screw things up. I don't care if he's my commanding officer, I'm going to kick his ass when he dumps Spock."

Gaila holds back a sigh and instead wraps an arm around her friend's shoulders. She feels eyes on her and when she looks up she meets Kirk's wary gaze. She offers him a bittersweet smile before looking away.

Uhura's laughing at Gaila's latest gossip about the engineering crew when Gaila glimpses command gold closing in. Her gaze flickers up and she takes in the captain's carefully guarded expression. She winces internally, knowing this will not go well.

"Uhura." The communications officer stiffens at the sound of his voice. She sits up straighter and doesn't turn to acknowledge him. Gaila can tell Kirk's tempted to roll his eyes. Instead, he moves so that he's standing to the side and visible in Uhura's peripheral vision. "I'd like to speak with you," he says, voice lowered just enough to carry only to their table.

Gaila bites the inside of her cheek as she watches.

Eventually Uhura responds. "Is that an order, Captain?"

Kirk sighs quietly and Gaila watches his shoulders slump just a little. "No, Lieutenant."

"Then I decline your request. Captain."

Kirk stays put for another minute. Eventually he looks at Gaila and offers a weak smile. "Good to see you, Gaila." She inclines her head silently and watches him walk away.

Uhura takes a few moments to relax. When she does, she stares down at her lunch with a frown.

Gaila opens her mouth, ready to tell her friend that eventually Uhura will have to face one of them, but she stops herself at the last minute. Uhura knows this, she's just not ready.

The following day at lunch Gaila finds Jim sitting at her usual table and Uhura's nowhere in sight. She sits down and gives him a curious look. He smiles tiredly at her.

"Spock's taken over," he explains.

Gaila reluctantly surrenders her desert - a double layer chocolate cake - when she notices he doesn't have any food in front of him. "Probably for the best," she says. When he just stares at the cake she shoves a fork his way and demands, "Eat, you idiot."

He smiles at her in amusement. "Yes, Mom."

"I kind of draw the line at incest, Jimmy," she says with a disdainful glare. Jim rolls his eyes, Gaila grins. "Do you think Spock's going to survive this little talk?"

Jim winces. "God, I hope so. But she's mad with me, right?"

Gaila shrugs. "Maybe moreso with you than him, but trust me, there's a lot of emotions tied up with the both of you."

"She really thinks I'm going to fuck him over, doesn't she," Jim says reluctantly. He takes a large bite of cake, looking miserable.

"Stop being a drama queen," Gaila scolds. After a moment she sighs. "She knows you were looking at him when they were still together. She really wanted it to work out, you know. She might have broken it off, but she still likes him a lot. She doesn't know you, Jim, and what she thinks she knows comes from your exaggerated sexual exploits."

Jim snorts, a small smile turning up the corner of his lips. "Hey, I'm a sexy, sexed man."

"Really not helping your case, Jimmy."

"Yeah. I know."

They eat silently for a few minutes. Gaila watches as Jim takes the last bite of cake and then use his fingers to grab up the last of the crumbs. She smiles as he licks his fingers with relish.

"Do you think she'll come around?" Jim asks, expression serious.

Gaila thinks about it for a moment. "I do. She's already getting better, you know. These days it's like she's trying to convince herself that you're going to screw up. It'll take longer for her to trust you, but I'm betting you'll work it out."

Jim breathes a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Gaila."

"Any time, Jimmy," she replies. As he stands up she adds, "You know I'll gut you if you really do fuck this up, right?"

He gives her a weary smile. "I'd let you do it. But I don't plan on making a mistake like that."

Gaila nods in approval.

It's a year into the Enterprise's voyage when Gaila shows up for poker in the engine room and finds the entire Bridge crew has joined her game with Scotty and McCoy. She takes a seat between the doctor and Uhura, curious as to how this came about. She's seen Sulu here before, Chekov comes less frequently, and even Uhura has shown up a time or two. But the captain and his first officer? It must be a good sign, she tells herself.

A few rounds in, the betting's down to Jim and Uhura and they've already bet the credit limit. Uhura demands alternative bets. Jim eyes her with a mischievous spark in his eye.

"Ok, Lieutenant. I lose, you get to kiss Spock."

Gaila joins most of the group with a stunned expression.

Spock clears his throat, eyes narrowed as he stares at Jim. "Captain, I believe bets should only involve oneself. It is inappropriate to involve someone without their permission."

Jim smirks, but his gaze remains locked with Uhura's.

The communications officer wears an indefinable expression as she apparently considers the offer.

"Captain, Spock is right," she replies coolly. Gaila sees a twitch of lips, revealing that Uhura's holding back a smirk. "I believe the bet would be that I would get to kiss you."

Jim looks surprised at the response. Spock looks rather stunned - for a Vulcan.

After a few moments Jim grins broadly and agrees. "You're on."

Two minutes later they reveal their cards and Uhura smirks at the captain. "I believe you've lost."

Jim's jaw drops as he stares at the cards. "God damn."

Gaila hears a muffled chuckle from beside her and glances at McCoy, who's hiding a smile behind his hand.

"Time to pay up?" Jim asks with a dramatic sigh.

He and Uhura stand up in tandem and Gaila feels bemused at the strange animosity-free tension between them.

Spock stands abruptly and says, "I believe you have matters to attend to, Captain."

Jim doesn't take his eyes off Uhura as he replies, "I believe you're mistaken, Commander." He rounds the table, closing in on Uhura.

Spock's lips thin and he tries again. "It is my understanding that acceptable terms of betting must be established at the beginning of the game."

Jim looks like he's trying hard not to smile. He and Uhura are close enough to touch now and Gaila stares as Uhura's hands slide up the captain's arms. "It's a friendly game, Mr. Spock. Rules can be adjusted as the need arrises," Jim says.

McCoy snorts loudly and Sulu's shoulders are shaking in silent laughter. Scotty leans back with a grin, arms crossed as he watches the show. Chekov bites his lip but his smile is still obvious. Gaila doesn't hide her grin when she notices the amusement lighting Jim's eyes.

"Jim," Spock's voice is almost a growl.

Jim and Uhura glance over at him with identical looks of innocence.

"What?" Jim asks. "I pay my debts."

Spock is clearly unamused. He strides around the table and grabs Jim's shoulder to pull him back. He raises an eyebrow at Uhura. "I would expect you to understand the inappropriateness of this foolish bet, Nyota."

Uhura raises her own eyebrow mockingly. "It's a friendly bet," she echoes Jim's words. "Surely it's not a problem."

Spock frowns and his gaze darts between the two. Gaila knows he's realized that he's being played.

"I believe we are needed elsewhere, Captain," Spock insists, pushing Jim towards the door.

The captain grins as he calls over his shoulder, "Good night, guys! Don't be late for your shifts!"

McCoy mutters, "Fucking love birds."

Gaila glances up at her friend, noticing that Uhura's still watching the door. She worries a moment until she notices a soft look of affection in her friend's eyes. Gaila breathes an internal sigh of relief and reaches out to clasp her friend's hand. "C'mon girl, I think you have a couple more rounds left in you."

Uhura sits down and casts Gaila a private smile of assurance. Yeah, things are finally settling.

Tags: challenges, fandom: star trek aos, fic, genre: drama, genre: hurt/comfort, pair: kirk/spock, pair: spock/uhura, pairing: het, pairing: slash, rating: teen
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