primetime: (uhura)
primetime ([personal profile] primetime) wrote2009-06-17 06:54 pm
Entry tags:

Hand Over Fist, girl!Kirk/Uhura, NC-17

Hand Over Fist
girl!Kirk/Uhura; 6,950 words; NC-17
Holy shit, it's been a long time since I posted fic. I think close to 7,000 words of Kirk being the worst temporary roommate ever is a good way to break that streak.





Kirk’s supposedly some kind of genius. Nyota’s never taken a class with her – they’d managed to skip entirely different gen eds, and Kirk had turned up a year after her anyway – but she’s got friends in the command concentration, and they’ve said that Kirk screws up the curve in every course she takes.

When Kirk’s haphazardly painting her nails on Nyota’s bed, kicking back with her boots on top of the sheets that Nyota had sent to the laundry center yesterday, it’s hard to believe.

Nyota vows patience. She’s had worse roommates before, and she’s never snapped and punched one yet. “Hey, so, Gaila and I try to stay on our own sides of the room,” she says, trying to keep her tone not too pointed. It’s not technically true, but where Gaila’s a good, close friend, Kirk’s just a temporary inconvenience.

“That is so interesting,” Kirk says, as she drops a smear of hot pink on Nyota’s sheets on her way to paint her left hand.

“So,” Nyota says, feeling her mouth thin, “maybe you could do that on your own bed. Or there’s a counter in the bathroom.”

Kirk springs up, twisting the bottle shut and waving one hand absently to dry her nails. “No, it’s okay. I’m finished. So, what are you up to today?”

“I have a tutorial later,” Nyota says, trying to keep her posture from becoming defensive. It doesn’t really work, and she gives up and crosses her arms across her chest. “Intro to Delta Quadrant morphologies.”

“Didn’t think you still needed remedial courses.”

“I run it,” Nyota emphasizes, slowly, because if Kirk’s going to treat her like an idiot she’s going to be condescending right back.

“Lighten up,” Kirk says, rummaging through her closet. Or, rather, through the pile of clothes at the bottom of her closet. Nyota wants to ask her when she’s going to unpack but is too afraid that the answer will be along the lines of, “What, more than this?”

“Look, Kirk, have you thought about requesting another placement?” Nyota asks. It’s as subtle a hint as she can give.

“Nah,” Kirk says, with a sunny grin. “I think we’re going to do just fine.”

*

Nyota has friends, even confidantes. It’s just that roommate problems seem so trivial up against the avalanche of work that comes in final year at the academy. Her thesis is barely half-completed, the students in her tutorials seem more unprepared than ever – Nyota empathizes, remembers when she felt ignorant and lost among the bustle of cadets, but god, some of them need more help than she can give right now – and trying to keep in touch with friends eats up the rest of her time.

“You seem stressed,” Professor Spock says, meeting her to drop off some materials, and it’s a tribute to how little sleep she’s been getting that he’s questioning her abilities.

“I’m fine,” Nyota says, trying to paste on an even, not manic, smile.

“Emotional health is a significant requirement for the high-quality work you typically produce,” Professor Spock lectures, without any change in his light tone.

“It’s just my temporary roommate,” Nyota explains.

“An inconvenient time for a transition period,” Professor Spock notes, and Nyota can’t agree more, but she waves off his concern and heads towards the library. It’ll be fine. And Gaila will be back soon.

“Nyota!” she hears, and winces. Kirk’s jogging up behind her, dragging a man behind her.

“This is Bones! Have you met Bones?”

“Hey, Nyota,” McCoy says.

“Hey, McCoy,” Nyota says. They met in the required basic med class, where McCoy was student-teaching. He gave her a well-deserved A and they get along just fine, coexisting separately but peacefully.

Kirk looks thrilled. “You guys are totally friends already. Awesome. Okay, Nyota, Bones and I are going for a drink, and you’re coming.”

“It’s two-thirty,” Nyota protests, thinking of her plan for peaceful silence in the room through as little interaction as possible.

“You can have water.”

“It’ll be laced with something,” McCoy warns, in a voice of deep and miserable experience.

“I should-“ Nyota starts, but she goes when Kirk pushes. She really, really does not have the energy to work on her report today.

*

McCoy bails after the first twenty minutes, and Nyota tries not to believe that Kirk would ask him to come as a kind of buffer.

“So, how’d you pick the command concentration?” Nyota asks, trying to avoid the glances of the men sitting in a dingy bar at three in the afternoon. Kirk had brought them to this place, pretty far from campus; she’d said the booze was cheap and McCoy had gone along, so Nyota hadn’t put up a fight. She’s kind of regretting it, especially since her shoes keep sticking to the dirty floor.

“Oh, let’s not small-talk,” Kirk says, pushing another shot towards her.

“Fine,” Nyota says, and throws it back. “What would you like to talk about?”

“You,” Kirk says, leaning back in her wobbling chair.

“What would you like to know?” Nyota says, wary but hey, a little more willing to talk in exchange for the free drinks Kirk keeps buying.

“Tell me about your first kiss,” Kirk says, and Nyota bursts out in laughter.

“Seriously?”

Kirk looks her straight in the eyes, but the crinkles around her nose expose her playfulness.

“Dead serious. Tell me. A good first kiss story always reveal a person’s character.”

“All right,” Nyota says, shrugging, still grinning. “I was-"

“How old were you?” Kirk interrupts.

“Am I telling this story?” Nyota rebukes. “Twelve.”

“An early bloomer!” Kirk says, and then catches her look. “I’m shutting up.”

“He was kind of nerdy,” Nyota says. “But brave. And he invited me to an exhibit at a museum nearby on some new PADD technology.”

“And you went.”

“And we went. And didn’t understand anything,” Nyota says, remembering how small she’d felt against the giant projections, the displays of tiny bits of ingenuity that did so much, and how determined she’d been to do similar things, one day. To travel in space.

“And then he kissed you.”

“I kissed him,” Nyota says, and Kirk looks at her with new respect. “And then he moved away and I haven’t seen him since.”

Kirk takes another sip, and Nyota can practically see her brain thinking it over.

“Good enough?” Nyota asks, and Kirk raises her glass in salute.

“Good enough,” Kirk says, and they clink their whiskeys together.

Kirk lets her switch them to small talk after that, walks her to the library afterward and waves her goodbye at the door. Nyota falls asleep into a pile of notes, but when she comes home, Kirk’s under the blankets up to her chin, in the peaceful sleep of the drunk and charming.

*

“Oh, fuck,” Nyota says, blocking her eyes with her hand and grappling for the door frame at the same time. “Kirk, didn't we talk about this?”

Kirk's trying to stall over the sound of zipping and buckling, probably to convince the guy to stay with a cocky look and a series of nonchalant but totally ineffective gestures. “Thought you weren't coming back until tomorrow, Nyota.” Kirk hasn't stopped teasing her about her name since she got her temporary roommate assignment, like she's pleased at having one more tiny incursion into Nyota's private life.

“Conference ended early,” she says, peeking through her fingers. The guy – goddamnit, her research partner in Swarm species syntax – has managed to scramble fast enough to cover himself, but Kirk's still lounging on her bed, looking lazy. At least it's her own bed, this time.

“Hey N'gashi,” Nyota says, rolling her eyes and tossing her bag by her dresser.

“Hey, Uhura,” he says, and his cheeks are burning. God damn it, Kirk; he'd been a good lab partner and a pretty decent acquaintance, and now he's not going to be able to look her in the face. Kirk's not even blushing as she slides her arms gracefully into the straps of her bra, navy blue, functional but still vaguely shameless.

“See you in class,” Nyota says to N'gashi's back as he beats a hasty retreat into the hallway.

Nyota runs her hands over her face again, trying to regain her composure. The conference had been brutal, one delicate interview after another. Networking is not Nyota's favorite way to spend a weekend.

“Yeah, this was totally not my bad,” Kirk says, and Nyota doesn't even have to look at her to know she's trying not to laugh under a smirk.

“Right,” Nyota says, rummaging for meds in her dresser. She's pretty sure she's got some kind of painkillers lying around for her headache.

“So how'd it go?” Kirk says, watching her head toward the bathroom. Maybe they're in one of the cabinets.

"Fine," Nyota snaps, a little shortly. "Have you seen my painkillers?"

"Oh, shit," Kirk says, and she hears the snaps of Kirk pulling on her cadet pants. "I finished yours up while you were gone- I'm sorry, I meant to replace them, I just have this bruise from training-"

"Goddamnit," Nyota swears, slamming the cabinet closed.

Kirk follows her into the bathroom, a space barely big enough for Nyota to turn around. She smells like sweat, good sweat, like she's just started the training exercises she does every night before bed. Hell, N'gashi probably smells like that too, Nyota thinks, and momentarily starts at the tinge of bitterness. "Look, I think there might be some left over, up here," she says, and leans up to reach for the drawer above Nyota's head, in close enough that they're barely brushing at hips and shoulders and tits. Kirk's still shirtless, and the faintest touch of her warm skin against Nyota's arm is too much, too hot, frustratingly intense when Nyota just wants to lie down.

"Back off, Kirk, I'm fine," Nyota warns.

"God, such a stick up your ass, Nyota," Kirk teases, and she knows it's just gentle teasing, just Kirk's way of playing, but she's tired and hot and can't take it for one second longer.

"You're a jerk," Nyota spits, "and stop calling me Nyota. You're not my friend. You're an inconvenience I'm trying to manage to get through this term with until Gaila comes back from her research-" and even though she knows Kirk deserves it, even though the fact Kirk had spent hours moaning unabashedly as she fucked one of her TAs the night before one of Nyota's final exams and probably dropped her grade four points, even though Kirk's still got a fixed grin on, Nyota knows she's gone too far.

Kirk squirms out from underneath her, ducking so that her bangs fall to cover her eyes.

"Yeah, sorry," she says, biting her lower lip into a tight white line. "There's a cadet party on floor six- I'm gonna go, I'm gonna clear out for a while. Want me to pick you up anything?"

"Kirk-" Nyota says, reaching for her wrist.

Kirk twists away, tucking her hands in the pockets of her uniform. She's breathing harder than normal, definitely above her resting heart rate; Nyota can tell because she's still not wearing a shirt, the navy blue of her bra not hiding the trembling of her abs- which are fucking cut, Nyota notices. Probably all the martial arts elective training she's been taking. Nyota would admire this more if she hadn't caught Kirk banging the instructor in their bathroom.

"Kirk, I'm sorry," Nyota says, and Kirk nods, pulling a shirt on over the uniform pants. She looks messy, pretending to be half-assed like she does everything, but she's still gorgeous. She'll find someone else tonight.

"Yeah, forget it. I deserved that," Kirk says, shrugging it off and laughing just a little too low to be normal. "Anyways, I'll try to steer clear tonight. Nyota."

"Thanks," Nyota offers, picking up and textbook and gripping it tight against her stomach. Kirk heads for the door, ducking her head as she goes.

"Oh, hey," Nyota interrupts, "You can- it's okay if you call me Nyota."

She might just have blinked a little too long, but it looks like Kirk stands up a little straighter. Kirk's laughing again as she disappears into the hallway, calling behind her, "Sure thing, roommate. Power cells are on top of the dresser, if you get lonely." She gets louder on the last sentence, almost yelling in the middle of the hallway. God, Nyota's going to kill her.

Kirk stumbles in again six hours later, smelling like smoke and Saurian brandy, and she’s laughing that full-throated laugh that had drawn the attention of the whole room during Admiral Pike’s speech on the first day of training. There’s another female shape close behind her, barely visible in the dark of the room.

Not again, Nyota thinks, screwing her eyes shut and pressing her face harder into her pillow. Not twice in one day.

“Shhhhhhh,” Kirk whispers, loudly, exaggerated and drunk.

“You’re such an ass, Kirk,” Nyota groans, not that the couple can hear her over the sounds of, god, whatever they’re doing, and pulls her pillow over her head. She’s pretty sure it’s scientifically impossible to smother yourself, but she’s going to damn well try.

*

Gaila calls her a week later, to catch up. She’s on a remote mining colony for an internship, studying the conditions and preparing a report on the safety hazards to the workers and their intergalactic rights, and when she pops up on Nyota’s screen she’s got gray dirt tangled in the ends of her (still perfectly conditioned, Nyota bets) hair. She looks happy.

“You look dirty,” Nyota says.

“Wipe that grin off your face and give me the real dirt,” Gaila says. “Who’s dating whom, who’s having breakdowns, is Professor Moxtss still trying to buy his way into a promotion-“

“Me,” Nyota says.

“You’re trying to buy your way into a promotion?”

“No. I’m having a breakdown.”

Gaila’s already laughing. “You? You couldn’t even pretend to be thinking about potentially having a breakdown. What’s the problem?”

“Your replacement,” Nyota says, already sighing.

“Can’t live up to my standard? That’s only to be expected.”

“True. But she’s driving me nuts.”

“How come?” Gaila says, getting serious, and god, Nyota’s missed her.

“Where do I even start? She’s messy, she takes my things, she blew up some kind of experimental phaser on my desk, and she’s always bringing people home-“

“I always brought people home,” Gaila interrupts.

Nyota levels her with a significant look.

“Wow, that is a lot of people,” Gaila says, impressed. Nyota’s glad Gaila won’t be meeting Kirk any time soon, because she thinks it might honestly end in high-fives. On the other hand, at least Gaila might distract Kirk enough that Nyota could get some work done in the room occasionally.

“You’ll get through it,” Gaila assures her, and even though Nyota’s told herself the same thing three hundred times, it sounds more reliable from her best friend. Gaila puffs up her shoulders and asks, mock-boasting, “She as pretty as me?”

“No one is,” Nyota says, playing humble servant, ignoring the memories that flash of Kirk’s sports bra revealing her sweaty, taut skin after training; of Kirk in a little skirt and tall heels, legs wrapped around another girl’s waist; of Kirk emerging from the shower dripping wet, with nothing but the skimpiest, most threadbare towel Nyota had ever seen wrapped tightly around her curves.

“Good,” Gaila says, and Nyota jerks her mind back to the conversation at hand. She turns the talk towards Gaila’s work and the miners she’s interviewing. It’s safer.

*

Nyota’s sure that Kirk studies sometimes. No one, no matter the quality of their aptitude tests, could pass – even excel, if the rumors are to be believed – in these classes without some serious work.

That said, she’s never caught Kirk at it, so Nyota’s more than a little surprised when she walks into the room and Kirk’s got a PADD open on her lap and stacks of notes surrounding her. The notes appear to be mostly on bar napkins, with smudges of what Nyota presumes are neon drinks coloring the equations, but they’re definitely notes.

“What are you working on?” Nyota asks, leaning over Kirk’s shoulders to peer down at her screen. She can’t really make what she’s working on; it’s some kind of simulation coding, but she doesn’t recognize its function. She does, however, recognize Professor Spock’s proprietary symbol, repeated every fifty lines or so.

“Nothing,” Kirk says, trying to shrug her off. She looks intent, almost serious.

“What are you messing with?” Nyota says, curious and wary.

Kirk sighs and pulls up another document, hiding the scrolling lines of code behind what looks like a report on the defection of the USS Moran. “Just a little project,” she says, but she’s not quite fast enough to hide it before Nyota can glance at the title.

“You’re going to take the Kobayashi Maru again?”

“What!” says Kirk, swiveling around on her desk chair.

“Come on,” Nyota says, rolling her eyes in exactly the kind of immature gesture Kirk’s been forcing out of her since the day she moved in. “I’m the best cadet xenolinguist in this academy, and probably in the top three among the professors. You just transliterated the name of the Kobayashi Maru into Denobulan.”

Kirk quirks up the corner of her mouth, in almost a grin, and it’s like she’s remembering all over again that Nyota doesn’t do all of that stick-up-her-ass studying for nothing.

“Trust me,” Kirk says, “you’re probably better off not knowing about this.”

Nyota looks her over, weighing her sincerity. “Okay,” she says, and even though she’s already half-pissed at Kirk for whatever the hell Kirk’s trying to pull, she has to tamp down the thrill of excitement that runs through her at the thought of Kirk trying the test again.

She ignores the voice inside her that says if anyone can beat it, Kirk can.

“Forget it,” Kirk says, throwing aside her PADD in a careless way that makes Nyota wince. “Want to go get drunk until it takes both of us to figure out how to open the door to our room?”

“You know what?” Nyota says, grinning back. “I do.”

Kirk’s got her boots on and her shirt off before Nyota can even finish answering. She catches Nyota’s look at her skimpy bra and shrugs. “This could totally pass for a shirt.”

“In another galaxy, maybe,” Nyota says dryly, and follows her out the door.

*

“This party is great!” Nyota says, beaming. She should go out with Kirk all the time.

Kirk stumbles a little as Nyota tosses an arm over her shoulder and kisses her sloppily on the cheek.

“I’m so glad you made me go out,” Nyota says, and she’s sure she’s not usually this effusive, but she’s still feeling a happy kind of dizzy from the hours of dancing. And probably, Nyota considers thoughtfully, from trying to match Kirk drink for drink.

“Yeah?” Kirk says, wrapping an arm around her waist, and Nyota ignores the note of genuine happiness.

“Yep,” Nyota says, “God, dancing. Dancing is so much fun.”

“Hell yes,” Kirk affirms, smiling as she plucks Nyota’s drink away and shoves it in the hand of a passing first-year.

Nyota laughs into the curve of Kirk’s bare neck. She smells really, really good, even though they’ve been dancing and sweating and bumping into people holding drinks for way too many hours.

This productive discussion is interrupted by one of Nyota’s students, a girl in her Delta Quadrant tutorial. Ywen’s holding two drinks, dripping with condensation, and Nyota wonders who the other one is for. “You ready to go?”

Nyota barely has time to look confused before Kirk’s throwing back the other drink and apologizing.

“Sorry, darling, I’ve got my hands full. Rain check?”

Ywen’s eyebrows shoot up into her hairline. It reminds Nyota of Spock, and she giggles a little into Kirk’s shoulder, picturing Spock here among the partying cadets.

“Rain check?” Ywen repeats, with a weird combination of indignant and confused tones. It slurs her vowels enough that she almost sounds Haliian, and Nyota wants to find a piece of paper and note that down.

“Sure,” Kirk says, pulling Nyota closer as she tries to drift back towards the bar. “See you later.”

Nyota doesn’t really notice much about the walk back to their room, just the way Kirk tangles a hand in her hair, wrapping long straight locks into curls around her fingers. Their feet bump into each other as Nyota stumbles, over and over again. When they reach the room, Kirk props her up against the door until she can get it open.

“In you go,” Kirk says, and Nyota almost trips over her own feet going in. She manages to recover some dignity and walk unsteadily over to her side of the room mostly on her own, though.

“Let’s get you to bed, drunky,” Kirk says, heaving her legs up onto the sheets. Her breasts are practically falling out of her bra. They’re really nice. And firm. Kirk has great tits.

“Yeah, I know, you cockblocker,” says Kirk as she places a glass of water next to Nyota’s head. Nyota doesn’t know where she got the water, but she’s going to be pretty grateful in the morning. “You gotta learn how to party.”

“I party,” Nyota says defensively.

“I know you do, Nyota,” Kirk says, affectionate.

Nyota blinks up at the ceiling as Kirk bustles around. “I like that you don’t use any of those dumb nicknames with me.”

She can’t hear anything after that, so she props herself up on one elbow to get a look at Kirk’s response. She’s not in Nyota’s line of vision, though, so Nyota twists around to find Kirk practically at her side.

“Like Bones?” Kirk asks, quiet.

“Like darling. And sugar,” Nyota explains.

“Okay,” Kirk says, picking up Nyota’s pillow where it’s fallen off the bed and tossing it back onto Nyota’s head.

Nyota catches it and plumps it up, sliding it under her head. “And sweetheart. Oh, especially sweetheart.”

“Okay,” Kirk says again. “I’ll just call you Nyota then, okay?”

“Okay,” Nyota says, pushing her face into the soft pillow, and then she’s asleep.

*

She doesn’t see Ywen again until tutorial, and she hasn’t seen Kirk talking to her, but Kirk doesn’t exactly stay celibate for long. Nyota’s in their bathroom, washing her face, when she hears Kirk come into the room. Under the door, the lights of the main room go dark, and she can hear the thump of bodies hitting a mattress.

“You’re so hot,” she hears someone say; Nyota can’t make out who.

“Yeah, okay,” Kirk says. “Wanna chat about it or do you wanna do this?”

Nyota presumes, by the muffled silence that follows, that the other person picks the second option. She looks at her face in the mirror, still covered in a thin layer of moisturizer, and then closes her eyes and listens.

There’s some panting (not Kirk; Kirk likes to vocalize everything she feels), and then the harsh sounds of a uniform zipper. Nyota doesn’t hear anything for another moment, can’t stop her mind jumping from one possibility to another. Then:

“Don’t stop,” Kirk orders, bossy as ever, and Nyota catches herself in a smile.

“Oh shit, I forgot-“ Nyota hears her partner grunt.

“Damnit,” Kirk says.

“You got anything?”

“Yeah, be right back,” Kirk says. “Don’t move from that exact spot.”

Nyota looks around the bathroom in a panic, but there’s really nowhere to go, and she’s not that crazy anyway. She tries to wipe the guilty look off her face – and she shouldn’t be feeling guilty anyway, Kirk was the one to trap her in the bathroom – and holds her toothbrush to her, like the most pathetic shield ever.

Kirk’s busts in, almost hitting her with the door, and the bathroom’s always felt small but now it’s way too cramped, quarters tight, no space to breathe or think. Kirk’s not wearing anything but an unbuttoned dress shirt, and Nyota looks her up and down automatically before she can stop herself.

When she looks up against, she realizes Kirk’s been tracking the movements of her eyes, and Nyota waits for the inevitable joking, but Kirk’s just silent.

“Sorry,” Nyota fumbles. “I didn’t hear you come in,” she says, and waits to see if Kirk will let it slide.

“Sure,” Kirk says. “Okay.”

“I guess I’ll-“ Nyota says, and gestures vaguely towards the door.

“Yeah, sure,” Kirk says, and doesn’t move as Nyota slides out between Kirk and the doorframe. She’s too close, and she bumps into Kirk at elbows and hips before she can get out. Nyota keeps her eyes away from Kirk’s bed and goes quickly for the hallway. It’s not until she’s standing outside and can finally breathe that she realizes she’s in nothing but tiny sleeping shorts and a blue tanktop. Nyota sighs, puts it all out of her mind with the firm resolution that got her where she is, and heads for a friend’s room, one floor up.

*

She doesn’t know how it happened; she’s been spending more and more time with Professor Spock, and no matter how much innuendo Kirk puts into her comments, it’s been platonic: advice and mentoring over endless cups of tea on his delicate saucers.

But she looks up at Professor Spock one day, bent over her latest draft with nothing but concentration, and she realizes he’s laughing at the joke in her four-in-the-morning-haze title, even if she can’t actually point out a single muscle moving in his face, and she wants to see more of him, wants to be the one he lets his guard down around, and she knows she could do it. Knows that sometimes, when she’s looking the other way, his eyes are on her. Knows that she could be sneaky and subtle and, above all, respectful of his culture and modes of behavior, and convince him to bend the rules a little.

She goes home to think about it.

*

“Another long night with Professor Dreamy?” Kirk says when Nyota comes in, her bare feet kicked up on Nyota’s desk chair. “Wasn’t expecting you home any time soon, if you know what I mean.”

“Yeah,” Nyota says, putting down her bag, and even if Kirk’s not Gaila, not a real friend, Nyota knows that Kirk understands people, innately, in a way the best leaders do and Nyota will never. Kirk knows where the lines are, knows exactly how to grate or bend or charm to get people to do what she wants. So she asks:

“Is it wrong- would it be wrong to,” Nyota searches for the right words, “pressure him? Into something- more?”

Kirk’s boots hit the floor.

“Spock?”

“Yes, Spock,” Nyota says, and hasn’t Kirk been implying this all along?

“He’s a professor!” Kirk says, with a note of genuine shock, and Nyota cannot believe that Kirk is going to pull that card.

“You’ve fucked like ninety percent of your professors!” Nyota says, and wow, that comes out a little bitchy. Still, where does Kirk get off judging her for her sex life?

“Yeah, but that’s- me,” Kirk says, calm like she’s still trying to recover from the shock.

“Well, I like him,” Nyota says, still pissed. “I like him. He’s smart-“

Kirk interrupts with a dry “No kidding.”

Nyota stops her with a glare. “And patient and funny- so funny-“

That I don’t see,” Kirk says.

“Yeah, because you don’t even know him!”

“I know you still call him Professor Spock! You can’t even drop the title!”

“Shut up,” Nyota enunciates clearly, furious.

“You-“

“No!” Nyota interrupts. “Kirk, you’re just- you’re just temporary, and soon you’ll be out of my hair and I can go back to my regular life with my real friends and be rid of the most annoying roommate ever!”

“I am not,” Kirk says, quieter.

“You get kicked out of room after room,” Nyota says.

“They’re just jealous,” Kirk says, slowly and low.

“They’re not jealous!” Nyota snaps. “They’re pissed! They’re pissed because you’re selfish, and self-centered, and fuck people on their sheets!”

“Bones says-“ Kirk starts, looking defensive.

“Bones loves you,” Nyota says, and hastily corrects, “like a friend, and he thinks all the bullshit you pull is funny. And it’s not!”

Kirk pauses, looking down like she’s actually considering what Nyota’s saying, then shakes her head. “No, I still can’t- you should be with someone else.”

Nyota’s ribs hurt from the pressure of her arms clutched so tight across her chest. “Who, then? Who do you honestly think-”

“Someone, you know, lighter! Someone who can see through all that uptight, stick-up-your-ass bullshit, someone smart enough to respect you but still challenge you, someone who knows when you need distracting and will make you go to a fucking party every fucking once in a while, because you’re hot, Uhura, you’re hot and you’re badass and anybody I know would fucking fall all over themselves to get with you,” and oh my god, Nyota puts together the white line of Kirk’s lips and the way Kirk’s hunched over a little when she always, always stands up tall and proud, and gets an answer for which she’s totally, completely unprepared.

“Kirk-“ Nyota stops her speech.

“No, forget it,” Kirk says, grabbing a box. “Go bang Professor Douche, he’ll love it. You’ll both love it, and you can be uptight and prissy geniuses together and have uptight and prissy pointy-eared babies. That’s awesome. Good for you.”

She storms out, banging the door behind her. Nyota sinks down on her bed, in the half-empty room stripped of Kirk’s messy clothes everywhere and Kirk’s toiletries taking up the whole bathroom and Kirk’s nonstop chatter and doesn’t move until Bones comes to pick up the rest of Kirk’s stuff.

*

Gaila comes back and it’s great. More than great; but where Gaila had usually seemed loud and upbeat before, now she seems quiet, like she can’t quite fill up all the empty space Kirk had left behind.

She listens to Gaila tell stories about her time abroad, absently doodling on a couple scraps of napkin Kirk had left behind, and thinks about the look on Kirk’s face when she had stormed out, and the way Kirk had tucked her in when she was tipsy and had snuck out quietly the next morning with a couple painkillers left on her dresser for her hangover.

And when she sees Kirk next, gesturing like a performer in front of a crowd of cadets, laughing as she does her dead-on imitation of Professor Moxtss – Nyota can recognize it from fifty paces- Nyota makes a decision.

“Hey,” she says to Kirk, as she mimics Professor Moxtss trying to subtly pick his nose, “Can we talk?”

“Shouldn’t you be sucking up right now? Or rather-“

“Please!” Nyota interrupts, because Kirk’s heading toward a mean, not playful, kind of crude.

“Yeah right,” Kirk says, and it’s a pretty bad sign that she’s not just burying her anger and playing nice.

McCoy pulls her away gently by the elbow and starts to talk to her, head bowed, bodies turned in and intimate. Nyota bites at a hangnail while she waits, then deliberately relaxes. McCoy’s a sensible guy; if anyone can talk Kirk into giving Nyota a chance, it’s him. Their muffled fight turns louder as the other cadets disperse.

“Fine!” Kirk yells, stomping over. “What, Uhura?”

“I wanted to apologize,” Nyota says, and the way Kirk’s shoulders relax makes the tight knot inside her chest loosen a little. “I shouldn’t have said – some of the things that I said.”

“No,” Kirk says, less stiff with every passing moment. “I guess I shouldn’t have, I mean, I don’t really have the right to tell you who you can fuck. I’m sure he’s – nice,” she says, but her eyes are narrowing. Nyota lets it go, because this is more important.

“I don’t think things with Prof- him,” Nyota corrects, remembering the public space, “are going to work out after all.”

“Yeah?” Kirk says, and the crinkling of her nose as she grins makes her freckles shift minutely. Nyota wants to see more.

“Yeah,” Nyota says, and takes a risk, steps in and puts her hand on Kirk’s waist, deliberate and slow.

“How come,” Kirk says, and it’s not coy only because Kirk’s still hurting.

Nyota leans in closer, enough so that their foreheads lean together and their noses brush in the lightest of touches. “Because you drive me crazy,” she whispers, looking down at their entwined boots, and that seems to be it for Kirk, who puts a hand on the back of Nyota’s neck and pulls her in, not gently.

It’s an irritating kiss – Kirk holds her face still with the palm of one hand, biting not entirely playfully at her lower lip – and kind of an inconvenient one, since they’re practically in the middle of the courtyard, and at one point McCoy comes up to slap Kirk congratulations on the back of the head, but Nyota just fists her hands on the fine slope of Kirk’s lower back and leans in so that they’re touching at breasts and hips and toes, all the way down.

*

Nyota skips her afternoon meeting with her supervisor; but she makes Kirk let her call to reschedule on the way back to their room. There’s only one small problem:

“Gaila, right?” Kirk says, friendly, hand wandering south down the back of Nyota’s uniform skirt.

“That’s me,” says Gaila, still laughing.

“Get out,” Kirk says.

“My pleasure,” Gaila says, and she’s out the door in seconds, pausing only to wink at Nyota with as much licentiousness as an Orion can put into a single gesture.

Once she’s gone, closing the door behind her, Nyota walks Kirk toward the nearest bed, their legs tangling as Kirk surges back up against her, hands pressing at the small of her back, creeping up underneath her uniform shirt. Kirk’s biting expertly at her lower lip, with practiced movements Nyota wants to mess up, disarrange, take apart until Kirk’s nowhere but here, right now.

Nyota catches Kirk’s wrists and pushes them behind her back, shoving her gently forward with her hips until Kirk falls back onto the bed, hands trapped underneath the expanse of toned, tan thighs revealed when her skirt rides up.

“Keep them there,” Nyota says, leaning down to nip at Kirk’s earlobe, to bite at the hot, vaguely salty expanse of neck revealed when Kirk moans and arches back.

“You gonna prove how uptight you aren’t, Cadet Uhura?” Kirk says, still grinning even as she sits on her own hands, and Nyota takes it as the challenge it is.

Nyota strips off her own shirt in one smooth movement, holding in a smile at Kirk’s attempt to play it cool even as her eyes darken and her mouth gapes open, just a little. She takes the zipper to her skirt a little slower, keeping her gaze averted even as she keeps a careful eye on Kirk’s hands, which are sliding closer to freedom.

Her panties and bra are just gray and functional; this morning, she would have said that they were boring, but the way Kirk tracks her movements with a barely hidden desperation makes her think differently.

Nyota kicks her skirt away and steps closer, ignoring the thrill that runs up her spine when Kirk sways in to rest her head against Nyota’s tight stomach, pressing wet kisses everywhere she can reach without moving from the spot where Nyota put her, and god, Nyota’s so wet at the way Kirk’s obeying, keeping in her obvious urge to sass Nyota back. She puts a hand in Kirk’s hair, pulling only half-gently so that Kirk is forced to look up at her, lips wet and shining, eyes dark and still tight at the edges with laughter.

“You want this?” Nyota asks, running one thumb across Kirk’s cheekbones. Kirk nips at it when she gets near her mouth, then pulls it in and slides her tongue over it, teasing, her hands finally coming out to pull Nyota’s hips closer.

Nyota takes it as all the response she wants or needs, gloating in finally keeping Kirk quiet. She pushes Kirk back and drops to her knees, and Kirk is moaning before Nyota even manages to push Kirk’s skirt up past her hips far enough to get at her red boyshort panties, dark and wet in the center. Collapsing onto the bed, back arching, Kirk’s loud and begging again at the first touch of Nyota’s tongue through the cotton.

She’s got two hands in Nyota’s hair, pulling out her ponytail so she can run her fingers across Nyota’s scalp. Kirk’s loud in bed; Nyota knows that already, but it’s a totally different thing to make Kirk moan herself, to finger Kirk until she can’t do more than call Nyota’s name, until Nyota crawls back up Kirk’s body and licks at her mouth shamelessly.

“Hey,” Kirk says when she pulls back, looking a little lost, and Nyota feels a tug at the unfamiliar expression on Kirk’s face.

“Hey yourself,” Nyota says, and grins until Kirk’s smiling back up at her.

“Should I,” Kirk says, with the barest hint of uncertainty, and Nyota bends down to lick a stripe up the hot skin of Kirk’s neck.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Kirk says, and reaches a practiced hand into Nyota’s panties, and even though Nyota knows Kirk’s deft because she’s kind of slutty, she’s also pretty sweet when she’s working two fingers up Nyota’s cunt and staring at her face like she thinks that if she blinks, Nyota’s going to disappear.

When Nyota rolls off of her, the room too hot and their skin too sticky to stand any more contact, Kirk’s biting her lower lip to hold in a grin. They wait a minute, panting.

“Do you want to move back in, Kirk?” Nyota says, into the content silence.

Kirk twists around to stare at her.

“You still call me Kirk? Seriously?”

“Sorry. Jane,” Nyota corrects, the warmth in her voice probably obvious.

“Could’ve called me that from the first,” Kirk mutters, but she’s grinning, and she leans over to press a kiss to Nyota’s bare shoulder.

*

They don’t let Nyota participate in Kirk’s retake of the Kobayashi Maru test; there’s a policy in place against the inclusion of romantic partners on the crew. But she stands with Spock in the observation room, nervous as hell, because Kirk’s been frantic but grinning the last few days.

“Are you aware of her intended plan of action?” Spock asks, before the lights dim a little in the other room to signal the start.

“No,” Nyota says, and thanks Kirk that she can tell him the truth.

“I am interested to see her results,” Spock says, in that dry way that means he’s anticipating some entertainment.

“Me too,” Nyota says, and rubs at her chapped lips. The simulation begins, and Kirk smirks in the direction of the observation room, obviously scanning the spectators. Nyota gives a little wave, even though she doesn’t think Kirk can see her. Spock arches an eyebrow and Nyota feels her cheeks heat up with embarrassment.

Kirk kicks ass, as Spock tenses minutely and the admirals huff, and after Kirk kisses her in the hall outside the testing center Nyota doesn’t see her again until she’s standing in front of the tribunal, her back straight and her fingers clenched.

But she looks over, two hours later, and Kirk is across the aisle on the shuttle to the Enterprise, sitting next to Bones and winking at her even though she looks like she might vomit at any moment, and Nyota reaches across to squeeze her hand. Kirk’s hand is clammy, fingers cold and sweaty, and Nyota’s so grateful that she’s there that her chest tightens with it, and then they’re taking off, the shuttle rumbling as they go.

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