idea_of_sarcasm: (Default)
idea_of_sarcasm ([personal profile] idea_of_sarcasm) wrote2009-05-29 09:55 pm

Fic: Things Unsaid (Gen; side Spock/Uhura)

Title: Things Unsaid
Author: [livejournal.com profile] idea_of_sarcasm
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Spock; Spock/Uhura; Kirk, Sarek, Amanda, McCoy
Summary: Four times Spock couldn't say 'I love you', one time he tried (and one time he did)
Author's Notes: I thought I could stay anonymous. I learned I rather suck at it. I have this weird thing where I *like* replying to comments. Written originally for the [livejournal.com profile] st_xi_kink meme for the prompt here: Spock/Anyone, Five ways Spock says 'I love you' through technical terms. Writing in the new fandom makes me nervous, eep.



Spock is younger than most when he learns exactly what his true weakness is. It's his upbringing on Vulcan that allows for this; human children are hardly so self aware. It comes even before the other children provoke him into a fight, as it only took them so much longer to learn what he had been aware of previously. It comes well before the Vulcan high council comments on his mother, though that certainly validates it.

It's not emotion, not that general term, it's love. That's what makes him weak.

Every other emotion that becomes his undoing stems from that, and is a reaction to it.

He tries to control it like he does every single other feeling that springs up in his consciousness. That is what he has been taught to do, and that is what he believes is the correct way to live. He must suppress the emotions that run deep, rather than let them control him. However, just because he doesn't acknowledge it does not mean that it does not exist.


*****************



It is almost demeaning the way his mother fusses over him, but yet he allows it.

He allows it the same way he allowed the comfort in the toys she used to bring home for him, and the joy. In the same way that he and his father indulge her frequent hugs, and simple touches. Vulcans do not touch, not like Amanda does. She is a constant whirlwind of intimacy. What is second nature for her is a novelty for him. Even as her fingers fuss with his hair now Spock feels it deep down in his bones. He should not welcome it, but yet he does. There is no logic in why the simple brushes should provoke such a physical and neurochemical reaction, but yet they do all the same.

"You are growing up," Amanda murmurs, letting her hands run down his shoulders once she is done with his hair. "Your future is ahead of you, and I'm going to have to learn to let go."

He is due to appear before the high council soon, but Spock knows they have another ten minutes and thirty seconds before they must leave if they do not want to run the risk of being tardy. Like the first day at school, he knows his mother will be the only parent there. At least the only parent not sitting on the council itself. Spock has explained to her time and time again that he does not need her presence - events will unfold as they will regardless, but she always waves her hand dismissively and murmurs about emotional support. She has never changed that terminology even when he or his father point out that that is hardly a concern with a Vulcan child.

"Things will be as they have always been," he says firmly, "this is simply another step in the maturation process. I have already entered into personal habitation rather than residing with you and father. There will be no difference."

Amanda shoots him a look tinged with sadness, and he knows that there is something he's not understanding.

Before he can inquire, she's bustling around in one of her drawers, looking for something. Twice he opens his mouth, and tries to discuss with her the topic he has been to bring up, but has not managed to address. If he is going to make the decision to complete the ritual to purge all emotion - something he has not yet decided, though he is leaning in the affirmative - he will need to address it with her. But, like all times he has tried before, he says nothing.

"Here," Amanda says finally, turning back to him with a smile. In her hands she holds a sweater. It is obviously one from her own hand, a new project of hers. "I made this for you Spock. It will do you well to wear it today. You know how cold it gets in those antechambers."

He arches an eyebrow towards her and she simply smiles. It is only an excuse. She wants him to wear it very badly.

Spock takes it in his hands, turning it over. It is a far cry from the normal sedate robes that are worn by most Vulcans. It is slightly misshapen, and looks like something the northern mountain dwellers on Bitsmishess would wear. He can honestly think of nothing that he would like to wear less when appearing before the high council on the day that will be deciding his future. Starfleet is an option, but not one he has cultivated seriously. He is Vulcan, or rather he wants to be.

However much as he would like to set the sweater aside, his mother is looking at him expectantly.

He wants to tell her that should he complete the ritual, it does not diminish the life she has given him - something apart from the Vulcan. It is not that he is trying to purge any part of her from his life, and it is not that he does not treasure her. It is a step to belonging, and a step to success. He still and will always be her son, no matter what comes to pass in the future.

Instead of saying all that, Spock pulls off the tunic he had been wearing, and slides the sweater over his head. There is something to be said for the light that comes in his mother's eyes.

"I appreciate the time you have taken to create this garment," he says, his voice as stiff as ever.

But it is saying a lot more.

*****************



When Spock enrolls in Starfleet it is never his intent to become less Vulcan.

It is not that a relationship negates that half of him; his parents are mated, as are many on his planet. It is a necessity for procreation, and an integrated cultural more that is beneficial for people of their species in other ways. It is logical. It is actually more uncommon to find an unmated male than the reverse for reasons beyond the biological predictability of the pon farr.

However, that fact aside, everything has shifted with Nyota Uhura. And somehow, he feels somehow a little less Vulcan. It is disconcerting.

She is his student first. There is no favouritism in the marks and commendations he offers - she earns those. There is nobody matched in their ability with xenolinguistics. It is only logical that she work with him in projects on the ancient Romulan texts that have been uncovered by Starfleet.

She is then his friend. It is the terminology she chooses, but he deems it apt.

She is then something more.

It is not logical. It is nothing to do with the fact he is years her senior, and nothing to do with the fact he was her professor first, but yet reason cannot be truly applied. It is unexpected, despite her intellect and the fact she is pleasing aesthetically. His mother marrying his father was the exception to the rule rather than the norm - and even then it was a matter of duty. A matter of integrating two strong planets within the Federation. It was not something that came from a brush of hands one night that prompted the change of everything. It is not something that is integrated with a desire he does not understand, and cannot suppress - though he has tried.

They are private about their relationship, but not ashamed. They are breaking no rules, and are as she put it, 'mutually consenting adults'.

She understands him in a way that is surprising, a fact which cannot only be attributed to her studies of different cultures in the course of her learning - it is something which is unique to her. She understands that physical intimacy is not the same for Vulcans, that nothing is really the same, and she accepts it. Spock can read her frustration occasionally, but she understands it. More importantly she accepts it, and him. It is only logical that they can form an intimacy based on that. He knows for her it is not about logic though.

Even if he doesn't realize it, it's not for him either.

One night he goes out to the club with her. It is loud and unpleasing, and he wishes nothing more to be back in his quarters, but he stays. They have chosen a booth near the back, and though he sees cadets shoot curious glances their way he is careful to ensure there is nothing untoward in their behaviour. They are colleagues out for a drink. It will simplify matters for both of them if it appears as nothing more.

As Nyota goes to grab them something from the bar, he watches her.

Her smile is wide across her face as she greets the friends she knows. There are casual touches, and warm comments. She fits with these people. It is peculiar in the fact that surprises him. He has seen her in the academic environment, and in their private interactions. That seemed her niche. However one does not preclude the other it seems. There are men whom approach her, and they are all rebuffed - some more gently then others. However they seem more obvious fits for her. There is no logic behind why she has chosen him, and it bothers him that he cannot ascertain why she has entered into this intimacy.

When she comes back, she seems to notice something is different, but cannot pinpoint it.

They leave relatively quickly, though he cannot detect any upset on her face. He still has not adapted to reading human emotions however, much as he is indeed more attuned to hers. They walk side by side back towards her dorms, not touching.

"Are you okay?" She asks, then shakes her head, answering the question herself before he has a chance. "Never mind, I know you hate questions like that. The definition of okay has many meanings, and is entirely too imprecise." He searches for mocking in her tone, but finds none. Only a gentle amusement.

"I am well," Spock says simply. It is obvious she doesn't entirely believe him.

There is the thought in his mind that this will be fleeting. That she is going to tire of this, and will move on. It makes sense after all, that they will not last. If nothing else they will not likely survive a meet with her family, or more so with his. It is the sensible thing to end it immediately, before there is more emotional attachment on her part that makes it that much harder to untangle.

Instead, he shrugs off his coat and drapes it around her shoulders.

It bothers him he is not making the logical choice.

When Nyota looks up at him in surprise he offers, "I am worried that you may feel chilled. Regulation female Starfleet uniforms differ greatly in coverage."

She looks bemused, but accepts his coat.

There is something else he should be saying right then. He is well aware of the stiff formality in the exchange. Term will be ending the next day, and she will be off for her final break back to friends and family. He will do as he always does, continue with his research until he is inundated with students and classroom work yet again. She will find herself amongst those who are his polar opposites, and those who are her contemporaries.

When they reach her dorms, there is no passionate embrace, nor an invitation back up to her room. Instead there is merely a hand slid into his, and a slight squeeze before she draws back.

"I will be monitoring the conditions in the United States of Africa," Spock says abruptly. "And will ensure things are optimal for a safe shuttle flight."

It is not what he meant to say.

Somehow, she is not bothered.

"I will be back," Nyota says, a smile playing around the edges of her lips. "Soon."

"Term break lasts for one hundred and forty four hours. In the relative scheme of things that is far from a significant interval that. . . "

The rest of his words are cut off by her hand over his mouth. Smiling still, she waits until he narrows his eyes at her before she pulls her hand away. "I'll miss you Spock." She lets her hand drift over his ear, and he shudders slightly at the intimate touch.

This time, embarrassed, she is the one that pulls away. Surprisingly, despite their locale, he is loath to let her.

"I will await your return."


*****************


Once, he really tries to say what he means.

When the end is near, and there will be no other chance, emotional discipline cannot play the only part.

"If I do not make it, please tell Lieutenant Uhura that. . . ."

I love her. The words are on his lips, and he has never meant anything more. He cannot help it. There is severe impropriety in offering this through Jim Kirk, but somehow he feels it must be said all the same.

He feels. He cannot deny it.

There is almost anger when the words are refused. He does not know if he can acknowledge them again verbally in such a way, no matter what he feels for her underneath.

For nearly thirty years he doesn't.


*****************



His friendship with Jim Kirk is not the defining relationship of his life.

He has a wife in Nyota, and later there will be children. Those define him and his legacy more than anything else could. He knows what things were like if not for Nero, but he knows they are different for him.

Still, looking at it reasonably, that friendship plays a large role in his life - more than he would have expected. It is surprising for all it is destined, but they become close all the same. More so than his relationship with Nyota, it is completely illogical.

But it works.

They play chess into the wee hours, until he is sliding into Nyota's bed and she only mumbles in her sleep and moves over for him. However it is the only thing they have in common, the rest works because of their differences. He knows Jim takes great pleasure in provoking him, and in trying to get a rise. It's not the same glee the doctor gets every time something proves Spock the least bit human, but it's there all the same. He is a frustrating man. But, as time progresses, and they get to know one another - he is also a friend.

It's on an away mission to Orion one year that things go badly. It is not an unusual occurrence, as things normally go badly. It's also not completely unusual in the fact that this time things go badly because the captain, as Nyota likes to put it, 'can't keep it in his pants'.

An intimate moment with a supposed slave girl he was trying to free (she later disappears, and parts of her story start to unravel), and he comes back to the ship in the throes of some kind of fever.

McCoy makes his requisite joke about spatial STDs, gives him an antibiotic hypospray, and everybody expects he'll recover.

He doesn't.

The fever holds the captain in it's grip, even as his skin begins to melt in on itself. It is hideously painful, and near everybody is banned from the medical bay as the captain screams in agony, the sedative and painkillers McCoy gives him giving no relief. Spock leads a team down to the surface, and tracks down the woman whom turns out to be a Klingon in disguise. When he returns it's with the apparent antidote, which he gives to the doctor.

"Cold blooded bastard," McCoy grumbles as he prepares the hypospray with the formula the woman gave them.

Spock raises an eyebrow. "I can assure you doctor that while my blood is green, it is far from cold. In fact you will find it measures 4.6 degrees warmer than the average human's."

"Three days. Three days he has been like this, and you haven't bothered to come visit. He was dying, man. Does that even register?"

"I was attempting to find a cure, doctor. However, if you feel my time was better spent wailing and beating my breasts at his bedside, I will not argue with you." Spock does not point out that his actions went against protocol, given he was acting captain, and the fact they risked diplomatic incident if the slave woman had indeed turned out to be of Orion.

McCoy does not respond directly. Administering the drug to Jim's neck, he lets his hand draw across the other mans brow in comfort before he steps back.

"Based on my best estimates the likelihood of this antidote working is 50.5%," Spock says, his voice calm.

It's odds that make nobody happy.

It's obvious the doctor wants to stay by the bedside of the captain, but a crewman with a severed foot is brought in screaming, and he is off running. Spock waits for him to go, then draws the curtain around Jim's bed to half shield them, settling down in the chair that has been provided.

He looks down at the captain, normally the picture of vitality and health. Instead, the man is hovering near death, and there is nothing to suggest that he will recover. Nothing except an antidote which was obtained under duress. Jim's skin is thinned and translucent in the areas it is melting, and he is moaning in his delirium. They might actually lose him this time.

Spock might lose him.

He takes Jim's hand in his. The flesh is warm to the touch. He would estimate it to be 20.3 degrees higher than the man's normal body temperature if he was paying close attention.

Which he isn't.

"I expect you to be at our next appointment for chess tomorrow," Spock says finally.

The doctor might not be right beside him, but somehow he can practically hear the man's disgusted snort in his head.


*****************



It isn't often Spock visits his father.

It's even less often the man visits him on the Enterprise.

However, he is part of the Vulcan leadership they are providing escort for, and duty brings him aboard in ways that sentimentality does not. It is almost jarring, the contrasts between what is and what might have been. Spock knows that if his mother had been alive their interactions would be different. Sentimentality did, and now would have, moved her to frequent visits and more virtual interactions. However without that influence they are content to keep the standard relationship.

Apart, except as circumstance and need demand.

It is welcome however, to see his father. They have not crossed paths for the previous two years. Now, with duty fulfilled for the day, they sit alone in his quarters. Nyota is on duty, which is perhaps fortunate. It is not that they do not get along, but she does not understand his father - she thinks he disapproves. There are words Spock could offer her in reassurance, how much his father does understand, but they are too private to be shared. Their two year old daughter, Amanda, plays on the floor as father and son sit and watch.

"She will be raised on the Enterprise?" His father asks.

"Indeed. Until she is of an age where she requires an education that cannot be provided here." It was something they discussed, and something that was discussed by the crew. The Enterprise does not do families, none of the ships do, but for them it is being allowed. By the grace and stubbornness of Jim Kirk. It is that or one of them resign their commission, which neither want to do. It is a dangerous environment, but so is everywhere these days.

"Do you deny her a Vulcan upbringing? She is your daughter Spock."

"It is illogical for her to leave when neither Nyota nor I are able to accompany her."

His father contemplates him for a moment. "I did not realize it was your intent to ignore your Vulcan heritage." With a human, Spock would be looking for signs of hurt, but there is a peace he had forgotten possible in not having to read the emotions in every situation.

"On that contrary," Spock says, honestly surprised. "I am nothing except what I have always been, father. However, there was barely any place for a half Vulcan amongst the race. I do not think Amanda would be welcomed."

Sometimes, he forgets they are an endangered species. Here on the Enterprise he is not faced with a planet everyday that is a shadow of the thriving Vulcan society they once had. He knows that any Vulcan blood cannot be ignored, not when there are so few of them left, but he also knows there has and always will be purists; those who do not want to dilute the bloodlines as it will change everything that has always defined them. Even if they would accept his daughter, he knows Nyota would not allow her to go alone, nor would she accompany him back to live permanently. They are not a mirror of his mother and father.

They sit in silence then, and Sarek watches Amanda as she plays.

However, Spock watches his father.

Age has settled into the other man's face, but only in a few lines and crevices. He has many years left in him yet. He is the same man he has always been, outside and in.

Sarek was never Amanda, but he is Spock's father. The lack of the human element does not diminish what that relationship means.

His father stands to go as they are about to enter the planets atmosphere, and they give their customary farewell. Spock tacks on a, "I look forward to the next time you have reason to be on the Enterprise, father."

They're Vulcans. Neither can hear the subtleties of what's actually said.


*****************



Even to Vulcans, to half Vulcans, death is always an abstract.

It is an entirely different thing to be faced with one's own mortality.

They are in a nebula, and yet another enemy has decided to kill them. There is a device that is reorganizing all matter in the nebula, which will include the Enterprise if they cannot escape it. The warp drive is damaged, and thrusters are not enough. He is the only one with the physiology capable of living through exposure to the excessive radiation for long enough to complete the task to repair it. It is the logical decision for him to take the task himself, even if it is not the easy one.

There is no means of survival.

Though those in engineering are well aware of how the task was completed, Jim is not aware until he comes down - until the ship is safe. He is grateful they have not had the presence of mind to call down Nyota because there is no reason in making her live with the images of him dying for the rest of her life. As Jim is ranting against Scotty, Spock knows she can hear him through the comm devices, but knows by the time she can sprint down it will be too late. The weakness is already settling in him, and he has to lean against the glass even as he slides to his knees.

"There is no such thing as a no-win scenario," the captain is basically yelling the words, "there has to be a way. We can fix him - I will fix him. There has to be something."

Spock wants to tell him that this is real life. In real life, sometimes people have to lose. It is logical, that balance.

He wants the man to calm down, because there is much he would say, but that is a futile hope. McCoy is trying to explain, but Jim is having none of it. He doesn’t understand that sometimes even the great James T. Kirk cannot cheat death. It doesn't matter because in seconds he is going to learn, in a way Spock wished he would have with the Kobayashi Maru back then. A poetic ending is unnecessary, but he cannot die silently when he will have no other chance.

He raises his right hand, splitting his fingers as always, this time his hand weak against the glass in his final salute. However, 'live long and prosper' dies upon his lips before it can be uttered.

Looking around, he sees all the people he has served with for so many years, and has bonded with. He can hear his wife's voice in his ear, admonishing him that he better not fucking die - and his friend in front of him ready to go insane from grief in that he might not make it. He knows his daughter is safe in their quarters, alive and well because of what he has done. He knows and acknowledges, for once, what he actually feels when he thinks of them all.

"I love you."

It's not a strictly Vulcan end, but it's his.

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