Author’s note: The story continues…
She entered the captain’s private dining room to find Kirk alone. She immediately came to attention.
He was staring at her, a good, long stare, almost as if she was a Gorn and he was determining his next strategic move. And when he spoke, Uhura immediately knew that his voice was deceptively calm.
“At ease, Lieutenant, at ease. Have a seat.”
When he moved to hold out the chair for her, she gulped; this couldn’t be good.
“Thank you, sir.”
Kirk took his own seat and a second or two later, the Captain’s steward appeared with two steaming plates of spaghetti and meatballs. Uhura licked her lips, briefly wondering if the meatballs were real meat or the horrible kind usually served in the officer’s mess, the kind made from reconstituted protein granules.
“Ahhh!” said Kirk, moaning in delight, “Real meatballs? Holliday, you’ve been holding out on me.”
“Aye, sir,” replied the steward, smilingly, as he placed the steaming plates in front of them.
Kirk looked into her eyes then and grinned, the kind of smile that he reserved for the things that he was about to devour… whole.
“Do you want know what’s funny, Lieutenant Uhura?”
She nearly said no.
“The fact that we’ve served together for almost five years and I have no idea if you even like spaghetti and meatballs.” He cocked his head to one side, his eyes doing that twinkling thing that they sometimes did. “Do you, Lieutenant?”
She laid her napkin neatly across her lap and waited. She knew that it couldn’t be long. This had always been Kirk’s way: polite conversation, first, the dressing down, second.
As Holliday fussed about, pouring out the glasses of iced tea from a carafe already on the table, Kirk continued playing the patience card.
“Funny isn’t it? All the new things you can learn about a person in one day, one hour, one minute, even; amazing!”
Uhura really didn’t have a ready reply; she just parroted back his words even though she actually wanted to groan in agony.
He took a slow sip from his own glass, leaned back in his chair, and regarded her narrowly until Holliday disappeared back though the galley doors. Uhura’s insides clinched in anticipation.
“That was quite a show you and Admiral Nogura put on this morning, Lieutenant!” he snapped.
Uhura rushed to explain. “I apologize, sir–the Admiral and I—there’s a history; it’s complicated. It won’t happen again.”
“You’re damned right it won’t happen again!”
“Of course, sir.”
“I won’t have it said that the crew of the Enterprise don’t know how to carry themselves with the proper decorum and protocol befitting senior officers in the service of Starfleet!”
“Not only was your attitude totally uncalled for, your use of explicit language was absolutely deplorable. If anything like this ever happens again, it will be your head on a platter. Is that understood, Lieutenant?”
“Yes, I understand, sir.”
Silence reigned for a good thirty seconds as the captain’s words hung in the air. Uhura’s appetite for real meat was now completely gone.
Kirk then took up his fork and began hacking away at the large meatballs. He sighed deeply and lowered his voice.
“Well, if she didn’t bust you down to crewman recruit for speaking to her in the way that you did, I can’t very well do so myself, now can I?”
“No, sir.” Once the words were out of her mouth, Uhura winced and squeezed her eyes shut. “I’m sorry, I mean, yes, sir.”
He glanced up quickly then looked back down at his food.
“How do you and the Admiral know each other, anyway?”
“She was my roommate at the Academy, sir.”
“I take it, then, that you have not kept in touch over the intervening years.”
“Not really, sir; the last time I had any information about her, I heard it from Sulu.”
Kirk’s brow furrowed. “Sulu?”
Uhura paused for a moment. She didn’t exactly want to out her friend. She had faithfully kept his secrets all these years.
“Sulu and Gaila—it’s not really my story to tell, sir.”
“Come now, Uhura. It’s not as if I’m the gossiping sort. What you tell me will be held in confidence. So, what is it? Do they know each other?”
The way Kirk’s eyebrows rose, she could see what his assumption was, which was wrong.
“Sulu and Gaila are—.” She looked heavenward for strength. “Sulu and Gaila are related—through marriage, sir.”
Kirks’s eyes shifted back and forth a few times as he processed this new information.
“Wait a minute! Are you saying that Sulu and Admiral Nogura—Admiral Heihachiro Nogura, I mean, are—what to each other, exactly?”
“His uncle, sir; his mother’s half brother.”
Kirk’s voice rose. “Why don’t I know this? How is it possible that I don’t know this?”
“Sulu doesn’t broadcast the connection, sir. He wishes, like most people, to be judged on his own merits and abilities, not on the accomplishments of his prominent relations.”
Kirk’s look was incredulous. “Are there any more secrets about my crew that I should know about, Lieutenant?”
Uhura chuckled slightly. “Other than the fact that Chekov is the Tsar of all the Russia’s?”
Kirk flashed Uhura a look that clearly said that he was not amused by her attempt at humor. Kirk spoke again.
“It is the general understanding that Admiral Heihachiro Nogura died almost two years ago on Orion Prime–some sort of diplomatic mission gone array—all very hush-hush and swept under the table, as I recall.”
“It was a little more personal than that, I’m afraid, sir.”
“Oh? How so?”
“Admiral Gaila Nogura has a younger sister. The plan, as I understand it, was to negotiate her release from the… establishment that she was contracted to. Somehow it turned into a midnight rescue attempt which he was undertaking on his own—very much alone. He ran afoul of Orion security—and Sulu—.”
Kirk twirled the pasta around his fork, one eye quirking in her direction. “No, let me guess: Sulu blames this Admiral Nogura for the loss of his uncle.”
“Yes, sir; he was his favorite uncle, responsible for pushing him in the direction of Starfleet and he was like a second father to him. Plus, there was all that talk back when she first made Admiral, just before she married Nogura–those hints of favoritism and all. Sulu believes that Gaila used her… talents with his uncle and—possibly with others to influence them in her elevation. It grated on Sulu at the time to think that his uncle, always so stalwart, so beyond reproach, could be made so gullible by the face of a lovely woman.”
“So, I take it then, that our esteemed helmsman will not take kindly to her presence on the Enterprise once he returns from leave in two days time.”
“Then we’ll just have to get her off this ship as soon as possible. If we didn’t have the Atraides under tow, I could drop her off tonight. That being the case, we will put into Star Base 7 in the morning to let off Captain Mar-ku-set and his passengers and crew. She will naturally go with them and that will we that and we can all breath a little easier. Agreed?”
“Yes, sir; agreed.”
Kirk nodded down to her plate.
“Something wrong with your spaghetti, Lieutenant?”
“Well, eat up or my steward will think you dislike his cooking. We only have a month left on this mission and I very well can’t have Holliday crying for that entire time. Sometimes, dealing with him is worse than dealing with an entire squadron of Klingons.”
Uhura allowed herself to smile and Kirk smiled in return, only this time, there was a definite friendliness behind it. And to add to his devilish charisma he graced Uhura with wink when she finally picked up her fork.
To be continued…
Author’s footnote: Kirk was NOTORIOUS for not knowing general things about his crew. What can I say, he was too busy being awesome. The most famous incident was when Kirk met Sulu’s daughter having never realized that Sulu even had a daughter. McCoy pointed out to him that Sulu made time for those things that were important. Which is very telling when you realize that Kirk had a son that he did not make time for. Like I said in a previous post, Kirk is a very tragic figure… you can fall in love with him, but he would or could never make you happy.