A Brief Encounter: Part Ten – the conclusion (the “please don’t murder me in my bed” edition)

Authors note: My, my, here we all are again: at the end of one of my stories.  As some of you may remember, I promised you a “certain sort” of ending… and I always keep my promises.

Enjoy… or not!

“Good Morning, Mr. Spock.”

“Good morning, Lieutenant Uhura.  I trust you slept well.”

“Very well, thank you, sir.  And you?”

“Very well, indeed.  I take it, then, that you have received a clean bill of health from Doctor McCoy.”

“Yes, sir.  He suggested that I stay off the bridge for one more day, but I assured him that I am very well again.”

“Your absence from the bridge for the last two days has been keenly felt.”

“Thank you, sir.  I look forward to returning to duty.”

Spock nodded succinctly as he indicated to her that she should lead the way. And they fell in step easily together as they walked from the mess hall down the officer’s quarter’s deck.  They had not seen each other since returning to the Enterprise after shore leave and that had been three days previous.

Uhura wasn’t quite sure where their friendship now stood.  The last time they had been alone, something was about to happen, she was sure, but then Chekov had happened and their evening had quickly become all about long-winded conversations about Russia, Vodka, and past and future missions.  And after that: nothing… for three entire days.

Reaching the turbolift area, they waited for it to arrive at their deck.  Neither of them said a thing until Uhura recollected a benign subject that she could bring up.

“I will have the monthly communication’s summary report ready for your signature by this afternoon, Commander.”

“Very good, Lieutenant.”  Again, both were quiet before he recalled something benign that he could bring up with her as well.  “Lieutenant Palmer believes that the spatial anomalies indicator light on the communications board requires adjusting.”

“I will be sure to run a diagnostic first thing this morning, sir.”

He nodded, his eyes lingering on her for a moment longer than was usual.  And he was just about to say something more when the turbolift arrived containing none other than Ensign Pavel Chekov.

“Good morning!  Good morning!” Chekov said, brightly.

“Good morning,” they both chorused back to the Ensign as she stepped into the turbolift and stood to the left of Chekov while Spock stood on Chekov’s right.

Chekov beamed happily to see his friend back on her feet again.

“Nice to see you looking so vell again, Uhura.”

“Thank you, Pavel.  Doctor McCoy was just being overly cautious, as usual, by keeping me out of commission for the last few days; but I’m glad to be back to work now.”

“You must be coming to the recreation room tonight! Ve have been missing the music and the singing and the joking and the laughing.  Happy times when you are there; very, very boring times vhen you are away!”

“Aw!” she smiled, reaching out to pat his cheek affectionately.  “You charmer, you!”

“So,” he began, nodding enthusiastically, “You vill be coming tonight, yes?”

She did not get the opportunity to answer.

At that very moment something inside of the Vulcan snapped and Spock, with a definite look of impatience and irritation on his face, leaned forward to tower menacingly over the shorter man.  And when he spoke, there was an explicit tightness and commanding quality in his tone.

“I regret to inform you, Ensign Chekov, that Lieutenant Uhura has another pressing matter that must be attended to this evening.  I am certain that she will be pleased to share her company with you at some other more convenient time.”

Spock leaned back and simply trained his eyes on the red turbolift door, letting out a well-satisfied puff of breath in the process.

Both Uhura’s and Chekov’s brows furrowed in confusion.  Uhura knew very well that she had no previous commitments and Chekov knowing very well that Uhura always came to the rec room in the evenings.  Neither of them had a chance to respond before the turbolift arrived at the bridge.

Still taken aback at Spock’s uncharacteristic abruptness, Chekov stumbled off the lift first and out onto the bridge, glancing back to see just how closely the Vulcan would follow.

Uhura did not move.  She couldn’t; so shocked she was that she just stared up at Spock as if he had grown three heads.

Several other members of the bridge staff, sensing something out of the ordinary, swiveled in their chairs to regard the stoic Vulcan and the chief communication’s officer on the turbolift staring at each other as if in some sort of tense stand-off.

This entire scene lasted all of twenty or so seconds before the turbolift, receiving another summons from below, closed its doors, and spirited the two senior officers away.

The only thing about Spock that moved at first was his eyes and he looked down at Uhura for a long moment before he suddenly reached out with his right hand and pressed the ALL STOP button.

Uhura found his actions since entering the lift exceeding strange and she couldn’t help but be a little miffed at his presumption.  Yet, there was something very compelling, seductive even in the way he was regarding at her: there was seriousness, determination, and resolution reflected in his eyes.  And she knew in that very moment that Spock was going to do something bold, impetuous, and spontaneous… and she was going to let him.

In one broad, sure step he was across the turbolift, and his large, strong hands were gently cradling the sides of her face; his voice was urgent, insisting.

“I am going to kiss you, Miss Uhura.”

“I know, I know,” she said breathlessly while nodding rapidly as one single tear escaped from her eye.

“Do you have any objection?”

Her respiration increased as she began to slowly shake her head.

“No, I have no objection; I–.”

No sooner than the words were spoken, feverish lips pressed together in a coupling of pure, unadulterated passion.  His blood was so on fire that he momentarily wondered if these were possibly some lingering vestiges of his recent blood fever.

He dragged his lips from her mouth only to come to rest at her temple, by way of her cheek, her chin, and her neck and she made absolutely no effort to pull away.

“This is most uncharacteristic of me, I assure you, Miss Uhura; it will pass momentarily.”

There came a muffled laugh from the back of her throat as she replied.  “Do you hear me complaining, Mr. Spock?”

Her fingers, gripping the sleeves of his uniform tightly, released themselves and made their way upwards, her perfectly manicured nails establishing themselves in the soft black, precisely trimmed hairs at the base of his neck.

He pulled his lips away from her temple then.  And leaning back, he reached out with a long finger and trailed it down the length of her face, removing the wetness from her cheek in the process, before letting his finger come to rest on her chin where he elevated it slightly.  He captured her eyes with his.

“I feel I must apologize, Miss Uhura.  Vulcan males, at times, can be overcome with urges that can not be helped.  I was consumed with something—a yearning so strong and for a moment I was certain that I wished to kill Mr. Chekov.”

She had to laugh again at so honest an admission.

“Spock, please; whatever you do, do not kill Mr. Chekov.  I am very fond of my young friend.”

He now fully embraced her.

“I promise you, I will not kill him, if he stays out of my way for the foreseeable future.”

“And just how long is this foreseeable future of yours?”

He saw uncertainty in her eyes and quickly pressed his lips to hers once more as an offer of reassurance before drawing back.

“Today.”  He kissed her quickly once more.  “Tomorrow…” another kiss, “And all the days after that.”

His lips lingered for a long moment before making himself stop.  “I have wished to do this for several days now,” he said, resting his forehead against hers.

“What stopped you?” she asked, pulling back.

“Barbecues, Rigellian Rotoviruses, Ensign Chekov’s most indefatigable presence…”

She smiled and nodded, but remained in his arms, running her fingers through his short hair, putting it back into its usual, perfect order.

“I need to make several requests of you, Miss Uhura.”

“It’s still Nyota, Spock; and only Nyota for you.  Now tell me; tell me what you need.”

“In light of this new state of affairs between us, when we are on duty together, I need you to remain professional and to continue performing your duties admirably.”

Uhura had to laugh at that.  “I think I can do that.  Anything else?”

“Will you permit me to visit you in your quarters this evening?  I wish to explore this—these mysterious feelings inside of myself further.  May I?  Do you desire it?”

She smiled fully.  “You better believe it, Buster.”

They quickly shared another lingering kiss once more before she purposely stepped out of his grasp and released the ALL STOP button herself.

“Professionalism, Mr. Spock; professionalism.” She lifted one eyebrow herself before she directed the turbolift’s computer to set it in motion once again. “Bridge!”

However, before the turbolift doors had the chance to open, Spock used the back of his fingers to reach out to stroke her cheek a final time before the start of their shift.  And she gave him one last fleeting glance as the turbolift slowed and the doors swished open.

His hands rapidly found their way behind his back as he nodded to the Lieutenant to proceed out onto the bridge deck first where they each moved towards their respective stations just like any ordinary day.

They both chose to ignore all the curious stares.

Uhura was just securing her earpiece in her ear when Captain Kirk arrived on the next lift and stepped out, huffing and puffing with impatience while walking directly to Spock’s station.

“Are you well, Captain?” asked Spock, sedately, “I grew quite concerned when I noticed that you were one point forty-three minutes late for the start of the morning shift.”

“Late, Mr. Spock,” he bellowed, “Late?  I’m late because somebody’s been holding up the turbolift this morning!”

“Indeed,” Spock replied, lifting both eyebrows while nodding in his usual, taciturn manner.  “Perhaps I should issue a memorandum, urging the Enterprise’s crew to cease and desist with such a bothersome practice.”

Spock said nothing more before turning back to his console and Kirk eventually wandered off, knowing that sympathy for his momentary irritation was something that his Vulcan friend would never provide.

Uhura permitted herself one small, guilty smile before taking her queue from Spock and turning back to her station as well.

Happy in the knowledge that something wonderful was about to happen in her life, she busied herself with the morning diagnostic, while humming cheerfully in blissful anticipation.

And it was not thirty minutes later when she first heard the distress call coming from the Mallurian system; a distress call that would change the course of her life forever.

And the change had a name: it was called NOMAD.

—–

“So, what brings you here so bright and early this morning, Spock?” asked Doctor McCoy, smilingly, ready to start his busy day by exercising his wit on his favorite target.  “You sick or something?  You come to watch me shake my beads and rattles?”

As usual, the doctor’s jabs were ignored.

“I have merely come to inquire about Lieutenant Uhura.  How does her recovery progress?”

“She’s just fine and dandy, almost back to her old self again, if I do say so myself; fine and dandy for someone who had had all knowledge erased.  But, she learns very quickly and she’s made it up to the first year college level so far.  Nurse Chapel discovered the other week that she has an aptitude for mathematics, so I’ve got her working on the advanced calculus tapes this morning.”

“Then it is safe to assume that you anticipate no lasting damage.”

“Now hold on, nobody said anything about no lasting damage.  There is not brain damage, only the erasing of all knowledge and a few other odd bits and pieces that may or may not fall back into place.”

“Explain the nature of these odd bits and pieces as you call them.”

“Oh, she remembers who she is, alright, and she also knows that we are her colleagues and such.  But then, there’s these things called short-term and long-term memory and that’s a very tricky business.  You see, like I said, only knowledge was erased, like her education.  Her personal memories are another story.  As I am sure you know, human memories are formed most efficiently when said human has the opportunity to recall and to reflect.  The longer you hold onto a memory and think about it, the easier it is for it to become ingrained.  What NOMAD did was to interfere with that process.  Her most recent memories have been effectively wiped out as she has not had the opportunity to think on them.  She may get them back or not; I don’t know.  And her having that Rigellian Rotavirus in this last week has probably compounded the short-term memory loss a bit.”

“What time frame are we talking about, Doctor?  How far back do her short-term memories go?”  He held his breath.

“I don’t know; every human is different.  Could be an entire month lost, could be only a week or a day.”

“I see.”

At this un-looked-for complication, something inside of Spock’s chest constricted and he was suddenly gripped with an emotional feeling so powerful that it was all he could do to remain in control.

That emotion was fear.

Could it be possible that she would not remember what they came to mean to each other in the last weeks?  Had she forgotten what they had shared?  Was she lost to him forever?

“Hey, you all right?” said McCoy, reaching for his medical scanner out of habit.  “You look a bit green around the gills.  Then again—.”

At a moment such as this, Spock only wanted to be spared from the doctor’s humor.

“Doctor McCoy,” replied Spock, shortly, while moving towards the door.  “Would you please tell Lieutenant Uhura that I asked after her and that it is my hope that she recovers in due course.”

“Why don’t you tell her yourself?”

“I do not wish to be a strain on her recovery.”

“Stop being so ridiculous, Spock,” he growled as he pushed him towards the ward. “Go in and see her, you fool.  Everybody has been to see her several times already with the exception of you.  She’s beginning to think that you are avoiding her for some reason.”

McCoy had gotten him into the ward, and he called out to Uhura to get her attention.

“Look who I found wandering the decks,” said McCoy as he slapped Spock on the back, giving him a final nudge as he left the room.

Spock had hesitated at the door.  He was wrestling with an even stranger emotion: dread.  Yet, he had to be sure; he had to know.

Uhura smiled.

“Howdy, stranger.”

Hands tightly clinched behind his back, he nodded.  “Lieutenant.”

“I was beginning to think that it was my breath or something.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You haven’t been to see me; I was wondering if my breath was bad or something.  You know, keeping you away.”

“Your breath is always most pleasing, Miss Uhura.  Why should that prevent me from seeking out your company?”

“Never mind,” she smiled, while she shook her head in dismay.  “I don’t bite either… or at least, I don’t remember being a biter.”

Spock merely tilted his head and furrowed his brow.  He was having trouble understanding.

“I was only teasing.  That means that you are welcome to come a little closer.”

He took two steps in and stopped.  Uhura rolled her eyes, grimaced, and patted an empty area on the edge of her bed.

Spock paused for a moment longer, debating within himself if he should do as she asked.  And yet, he had to know, he needed to know if she remembered anything of their last week together.  He eventually moved forward and lowered himself down onto the bed, taking his time to sit gingerly on the edge.

“Doctor McCoy claims that you are making a remarkable recovery.”

“Oh, does he now?  What I’d like to know is if torture is a part of that process.”

“Torture?”

“Yes, torture.  He’s practically cramming all this Calculus down my throat.”

“You have always had an aptitude for mathematics.  When you calculate the frequency determinations on your monthly reports, you are never in error.”

“Oh really?  That’s funny; for I recall once, about two years ago, you told me that I made an error on that very same report.  Here I am a girl who has had her brain erased and I recall a small fact that even a Vulcan genius doesn’t remember.  I’ve got you now!”

“Got me?  Pardon me; but I do not understand your meaning.”

“I’ve got something to hold over your head, to tease you with, mercilessly, for the next fifty years… or in your case, the next one-hundred and fifty.”

Spock’s heart’s skipped a beat.  She had just alluded to the conversation that they had had only a week ago; a small flicker of hope rekindled.

Slowly, he let his fingers reach out and softly brush the back of her hand as it laid atop the blanket.

“Nyota,” he exhaled quietly.

Uhura looked down at his hand touching her hand for a moment.  She suddenly felt some odd sensations coursing through her body and there was something disquieting to her about the contact.  It wasn’t exactly an unpleasant feeling, it was just an unusual one and before she even realized what she was doing, she actually flinched.

Spock, sensing her worried, hesitant, and confused state withdrew his hand.  It was as if he was being stabbed in the heart.

“Hey, since when did you start calling me Nyota?  I mean, I guess I don’t mind, it’s only that you have never–.”

He stood up abruptly.  “Yes, of course, an error on my part.  Forgive me for being so informal.  I will not let it happen again and will endeavor to always keep a professional manner with you from here on out.”

Uhura wasn’t exactly sure what was happening, but she was certain that she had offended him in some way.  “Mr. Spock—”

Another stab.

He could not meet her eyes.

“Now, if you will excuse me, Lieutenant, I must return to the bridge.  I will inform the Captain of your progress, if you wish.  Additionally, if you require further assistance with your Calculus lessons, might I suggest Ensign Chekov; his command of the subject is unmatched on board the Enterprise.”

“With the exception of you, don’t you mean?” she teased.

“You and the Ensign have a certain report that would lend itself well to harmonious study.  My company would, no doubt, be quite unsatisfactory.  You will do much better having… a friend teach you.”

“Perhaps, one day, you will be my friend, as well; but I guess with all your duties and responsibilities you only have time for the Doctor and Captain Kirk.”

He blinked. “As you say, Lieutenant.”

She smiled at him.  “Thank you for visiting me, Mr. Spock.”

He nodded once and pivoted.

“Wait a minute, wait a minute; I just have to know, what happened to Mrs. Spock?”

He could not bring himself to turn around.

“There is no Mrs, Spock, Miss Uhura.”

“Are you sure?  It seemed quite clear to me for a moment.  I… I seemed to recall a wedding… or something.”  At the sound of hesitancy in her voice, he finally turned and saw that she was obviously experiencing a certain level of discomfort in conjuring the recollection.

“Wait a minute, it will come to me.”  She pressed firmly at her temple with her hand; there was a sharp stab of pain that caused her to wince.

“Please, do not injure yourself further, Miss Uhura, by trying to recall something that is of little importance.  I assure you, there is no Mrs. Spock.”

She finally let herself relax and then she laughed.

“Well, I guess you would know that better than me.”

“Yes,” he whispered, barely audible.

“Well, there is sure to be a Mrs. Spock one day; a handsome man such as yourself–you’re bound to get married someday.”

He took a small step forward.

“And you, one day for you also… perhaps?”

She laughed heartily at that.

“Who me?  Never!  If I do know one thing about myself, I have the word spinster tattooed somewhere on this body.  And besides, I only have need of a Starfleet issued blanket to keep this body warm.”

—–

“So,” said Doctor McCoy, when Spock returned to the outer office, “How did you find our favorite lady?”

“I found her… I found her… remarkably unchanged from how I found her in previous weeks.”

“See!  I told you; back to her old self again!”

“Yes, Doctor; back to her old self again.”

—–

Interior.  Day.  Cut to shot of Spock walking the lonely corridors of the Enterprise.  Several crew-members pass by, some running, busy at their duties, seemingly unaware of his presence.

SPOCK
(Unemotional, stoic, pensive)

Cue theme.

Roll credits.

Fade out.

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22 thoughts on “A Brief Encounter: Part Ten – the conclusion (the “please don’t murder me in my bed” edition)

  1. That was awesome, but very,very sad. I thought I was stabbed in the heart as well. You are so good in this ‘verse, sequel perhaps? Really good use of TOS episode, very clever writing.

  2. To quote some movie character whose name I can’t recall just now, “YOU BETTER RUN” (Oh, it was Bill Pullman in The Last Seduction). How could you? I mean, I see the literary sense in it and it was very well done, beautiful in its sadness in fact but honestly! They suffered throughout this whole bloody story what with the rotoviruses and fevers and Chekov popping up at the most inopportune times. I was sure they would have their happy ending. WAHHHH!

    Now I know which crew member to associate you with (yes I mean you Mademoiselle Chekov). But I still have to give thanks for the excellent story. Love is fleeting I suppose is the message here.

    • Thanks P, that means a lot coming from you. Yes, love is fleeting (I ought to know) but when you think about it, Spock (and Kirk) were always portrayed as tragic characters, of sorts. If I gave TOS Spock his happy ending, I would be doing a great disservice to the character as his creators imagined. Well, I guess I now need to rethink the ending to Full Circle, don’t I? 🙂

  3. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    He’s got to win her back! Doesn’t he? He’s just got to!!!

    • Oh dear. Such a long “no”. I will tackle an epilogue. Hopefully that will set you mind at ease. Thanks for visiting and reading.

  4. To have gained so much in one minute and lose it in the next….sad.

    I really enjoyed this story, but there has to be hope—please, please, pretty please.

  5. Strangely, I didn’t take the ending to be as sad as everyone else seems to have – that it might take some time but they could, given the right set of circumstances, be together in the end after all. Perhaps I’m more optimistic than I thought.

    Nicely done. Can’t have been easy to give the reader the conventional ending then whip it away from under our noses.

    Liked the bit where Spock snapped the best!
    Looking forward to the epilogue!

    • Kirsty, you are my hero! However, I hate to admit it, but it was rather easy to take away the happy ending. Jane Austen did it all the time, although as you know, she cloaked it in a series of brilliant matches for the heroines.

      For every Jane and Lizzy, there was a Charlotte tied forever to a Mr. Collins, a clueless Lydia waiting to wake up to Wickham’s worthlessness, a Maria Bertram closeted away in the country.

      With this story, it at least ended with the characters alive and well. Yes, Spock will have a struggle of sorts, but he will meditate on it and move on. Thanks so much for reading!!!

  6. I enjoyed this story so much! I really appreciate writers such as yourself that write with so much maturity and accuracy. You really do a great justice to the characters in the ST universe. The interactions and dialogue between the characters is amazing!

    Now for the ending! It was sad, but not totally unexpected from what we know of Spock and Uhura’s characterizations.. Had the show not been canceled, we would have a bit more story development between S/U to draw from. Nichelle Nichols has stated in some of her interviews that Spock and Uhura’s relationship was really going to be played up in season four if the show had not been canceled. So, we can surmise from that statement alone that after Spock has his different away mission liaisons; that he does come back to Uhura. Roddenberry wanted Spock and Uhura from the beginning but we all know that the 60’s attitudes about race prevented such things. Spock would not have been interjected into these different liaisons (which translates to poor writing in my opinion), if Gene’s vision for the show had been realized from the start. That’s why I like the new Star Trek so much. The writers and director made good on an old idea, and nuSpock and nuUhura will not suffer such attitudes and writing mistakes.

    I loved the story, the ending is plausible, and I look forward to reading your epilogue.

    • Maturity and accuracy, eh? OK, if you say so. 🙂 I hate to admit it, but a lot of my stories (in both of my genres) start out as larks that I don’t take very seriously. I eventually come around, but by then, it’s too late to go back and change the weak-ish beginnings.

      It’s strange, but when I was growing up in the 70s & 80s and watching the reruns of ST, I hated all the the “kissy-kissy” episodes and even today, when I watch an old episode and I see Kirk getting ready to “do his thing” I get all squeamish.

      And that episode where Kirk and Uhura kiss… I CAN NOT BRING MYSELF TO WATCH IT!!!! So, in a way, I’m sort of glad we didn’t get to see a Spuhura relationship develop in a fourth season. But of course, that’s all me because of my anti lovey-dovey ways. :-/

      Thanks for reading and for the great commentary!!

  7. Fear not, no more murders for me…
    *hides Chekov’s body*

    I really enjoyed this story. I can’t deny that I wanted the happy ending, yet what you chose to do was very fitting. They are both officers and have responsibilities to fulfill. Spock can cherish his memories and perhaps hope that one day she will remember too.

    • Thanks for the kind words. Poor Chekov; I’ve changed his perception in everybody’s mind forever. Oh and it’s funny that you mention it, but in my epilogue, that I’ve already begun to write, Uhura “just might” be getting her memory back after all.

  8. Oh! I knew you planned a sad ending, but oh! I hope Spock conjures the courage to pursue Ny again. But, there was her stab of memory and that gives me hope. Poor Spock 😦 He needs a cuddle! But Ny doesn’t remember that she has leave to give him one!!!! 😦

    • Hmmm? You just might see that come to pass. However, I will have to put my own subversive spin on it. 😉

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