Author’s note: Reminder: This story is the second part of a Trilogy of three separate stories. I am writing them concurrently, but you can read them out of order. And yes, I know it’s not the story that anyone wants, but at least it is a story. 🙂
Parts 1-3: HERE if you need to remind yourself where I left off.
When Uhura returned to her quarters she found Gaila wearing her brand new Elaasian silk robe that she herself had not had an opportunity to wear. The Admiral was sitting on the edge of the bed, with her her arms folded and a scowl on her face. Captain Kirk stood before her, smiling brightly, while explaining his plans for her disembarkation.
“–then tomorrow morning when we put into Star Base Ten, the entire complement of the Atraides will be put ashore. From there, arrangements can be made to transport you back to Earth or wherever else you wish to go.”
Gaila’s expression went from sour to contemptuous.
“Can’t wait to get me off your ship, can you, Kirk?”
Kirk did what he did best when standing before a difficult woman: he flashed her his most flirtatious smile.
“On the contrary, Admiral. The Enterprise is always honored to host one of Starfleet’s most distinguished flag officers. But, I am certain you recognize that you will be much more comfortable on a Starcruiser better suited to passenger transport.”
Gaila stood and answered him sarcastically. “So you can, what, rush back to patrolling along the Romulan border?”
Kirks eyebrows rose in surprise. “I didn’t think you knew—”
Gaila rolled her eyes and looked heavenward. “Just because I’m in Starfleet Public Affairs, doesn’t mean I don’t keep my eyes and ears open as to what’s going on in Fleet Operations. Admiral Komack and I meet regularly—someone has to smooth things over in the press when you throw the prime directive out the window.”
“I’m certain that—”
Gaila didn’t let him finish.
“I’ve lost count of how many times you’ve bent the rules. And that little stunt you pulled on Ardana—well, let’s just say, I wrote the press release on that one personally.”
Kirks eyes glowed mischievously and he waved dismissively. “I assure you, Admiral that it was no more than a simple misunderstanding–”
“You kidnapped their High Adviser from Stratus!”
Kirk held up a finger to make his point. “Kidnapped is a very strong word.”
“–and forced him to mine zenite with his bare hands!”
Kirk made an impatient tugging motion at the sides of his service tunic. “But, we eventually settled our differences.”
“Differences which sovereign governments have a right to maintain regardless of how James T. Kirk personally feels.”
Uhura had to blink at that statement: she never thought of Gaila as the type to be “up on things” like reglations, let alone even know what a sovereign government was.
Kirk shrugged and took a deep breath, obviously looking for a new angle and failing. “I uh—you see, it was like this–.”
Gaila, done with Kirk for the moment, cut him off again by raising a hand in front of his face. She now turned to Uhura.
“It’s about time you showed up. You said we’d have dinner at 1800 hours—it’s now 1837.”
Uhura sighed. “I’m sorry; I had to speak to the first officer.”
Uhura answered sarcastically. “Nothing that would interest you, I’m sure.”
Kirk cut his eyes at her, communicating in that one, serious glance that she was walking a very fine line.
Uhura now took a cleansing breath. “If you are ready to eat now; I can have something sent up from the galley.”
“What, you don’t want to be seen with me or something?”
“I was only going on by the way you are currently dressed and thinking that if you were still tired–”
“If you usually eat in the officer’s mess, Nyota, then that is where I will eat, as well.”
Kirk, however, had other plans.
“Actually, Admiral,” he said making his eyes do that “sparkling thing” that they sometimes did, “I thought that you and the Lieutenant might like to join me for dinner in the Captain’s dining room. You could also meet with some of my other officers.”
“Is Captain Mar-Ku-Sett going to be there? I’m not eating with you if that fellow’s going to be in attendance. He handles his ship like an Bolian garbage skoal. I wouldn’t have broken my wrist if he navigated half a damn.”
“No, the Captain and his crew have chosen to enter into a prayer state for this evening to thank their deity for a safe deliverance from the ion storm.”
“Good; somebody needs to pray for his ass. When I get back to headquarters I’m going to look into getting his master’s license revoked.”
Kirk just wanted to do something right in her eyes and was quick to change the topic. “Shall we say Captain’s mess in one hour, then?
Gaila’s face showed her impatience. “Listen Kirk, I will eat with you and your officers if you like, but none of that spit and polish nonsense. Casual dress this evening, no uniforms, dress or otherwise; is that understood?”
Kirk nodded, happy that he could get her to agree on something. “As you wish, Admiral.” Turning and exiting quickly, he left the two ladies alone. Gaila immediately lit into Uhura.
“You didn’t answer my question. What was so important that is kept you from returning to your quarters on time?”
Uhura blew out a stream of air. “Commander Spock and I were merely discussing a personal matter.”
Gaila did not believe in fishing for information and got right to the point.
“Is there something going on between you and Kirk’s Vulcan?”
Uhura’s temper reasserted itself. “What?” she snapped.
“I’ve been looking around your quarters while I was waiting. You seem to have a lot of Vulcan stuff in here: a Vulcan harp, Vulcan clothes, Vulcan perfume–”
“And so from there, you leapt to the conclusion that, what– that we must be sleeping together?”
Gaila gestured widely. “The signs are all here.”
Uhura’s had known all along that she and Gaila would have it out before long, she had merely hoped that on this occasion she could keep here temper in check until the Admiral left the ship. But Gaila had now crossed the line and there was no turning back.
“So, what does that mean for you? Full-steam ahead? How long will I have to wait for you to entice the first officer into your bed, or should I say, my bed since you are the one sleeping in it at the moment!”
“Dammit, Ny, it was just a question! I was only curious about what’s going on in you life right now.”
It was out of her mouth before she could stop herself. “Just like you were curious about Djefre?”
Gaila tensed, closed her eyes, and spoke very slowly as if to make herself perfectly understood.
“Djefre was a mistake–I told you; I couldn’t help it—it’s biology—Orion biology. I can’t turn it off. Most men, especially human males can’t stop—they don’t have any resistance to our pheromones—pheromones that, I might remind you, come out on their own!”
For Uhura, to hear those words again cut through her like a hot knife through butter. “I don’t want to hear it. We’ve been through this before.”
“But apparently I need to keep saying it again and again. I’m sorry, Nyota, and I will keep saying I am sorry until the end of time if it’s necessary!”
Uhura threw up her hands. She loved Gaila and yet she hated her. She wanted to forgive her, and yet, at the same time she wanted to strangle her. Her relationship with Gaila, it would seem, was doomed to be forever warped and twisted.
“I’m taking a shower.”
Gaila stepped before the bathroom door and blocked her path.
“Nyota, will you try to listen to me. Besides my husband, you were the only real friend I ever had and I would do anything—anything to have that friendship back again.”
Gaila’s eyes were bright with unshed tears, and she looked at Nyota so beseechingly that Uhura had to turn away. After a long interval of silence between them, Gaila spoke again.
“If the Vulcan makes you happy, then I’m happy,” she said sincerely, only to screw it up a moment later by adding, “Besides, I’ve never had much luck with their kind anyway.”
Uhura groaned and pushed pass Gaila to enter the bathroom; there just wasn’t any getting through to her sometimes.
When Uhura emerged from the bathroom to begin to dress, she noticed that the quartermaster had found something for Gaila to wear. Gaila was zipping up a deep green jumpsuit and then began to tug on a pair matching boots. The outfit, though somewhat form-fitting, was, in itself very modest and left no actual flesh exposed. However, the combination between Gaila’s emerald skin tone and the color of the outfit created the illusion, upon first glance, that the wearer was completely naked.
Uhura said nothing and merely pressed her fingertips to her temples while shaking her head.
When she herself had finished dressing in a short, white tunic of Andorian design and a pair of white jeans and sandals, she led her temporary roommate out the door and down the corridor into the direction of the Captain’s mess.
They had not been walking ten seconds before Uhura guessed what exactly was going on: apparently the Admiral’s pheromones were wafting off of her at full force and the effect it had on the male crew-members passing by was instantaneous.
Those she walked by, who were not tripping over themselves to get a better look at the sultry red-headed siren, contented themselves with just stopping and drooling. And Gaila did not need to do a thing to attract their particular attention; she simply glided by and they ogled.
And the tangibly giddy atmosphere was doubled in effect within the enclosed confines of the Captain’s mess. Captain Kirk was being far too solicitous. He kept asking after the Admiral’s comfort or about her enjoyment of the evening. And when he wasn’t grinning at her inanely, he was fetching drinks and tidbits of food from the sideboard like an eager young errand boy of twelve and making his equally oblivious and distracted steward, Holliday, superfluous.
McCoy was a little better at controlling himself, although he had a very noticeable shimmer of perspiration across his brow and upper lip which he kept nervously swiping at with the back of his hand.
However, the most obvious one of the bunch was Mr. Scott. He kept grinning stupidly at Gaila throughout the entire meal, with his eyes drifting to the swell of her bosom at every opportunity and making no effort whatsoever at hiding his admiration. When he wasn’t staring at her chest, he was licking his lips lasciviously while his eyes glazed over at some far-away thoughts probably best not shared at a dining room table.
Nyota found that the only rational creatures in the room at that moment were herself, Mr. Spock, and Nurse Chapel. She and Christine shared wry glances and rolled their eyes in unison at every ridiculous thing said by the human males in the room. Commander Spock merely kept silent and contented himself with his meal.
Holliday absentmindedly placed a basket of bread next to McCoy—the same McCoy who had not touched a morsel of food on his plate the entire evening because he had been far too busy hanging on every word the Admiral had said.
“Would you pass the bread, please,” asked Christine.
Doctor McCoy started, as if suddenly remembering he and Gaila weren’t the only two people in the room.
“Sorry, you say something?”
“The bread,” she pointed, “may I have it?”
But the doctor had already turned his head back towards the conversation, forcing . Christine to nudge him with her elbow, hard.
“What?” replied the doctor, impatiently.
“Oh, never mind,” said Christine, reaching across the doctor’s plate to get the basket for herself.
Gaila was in her element: holding court effortlessly as a heady mixture of sweat and testosterone floated throughout the room. Kirk, McCoy, and Holliday may have been distracted by the Orion’s presence, but Gaila hardly seemed to notice, for it was the chief engineer who had the benefit of all her attention.
“…and just a week ago, at lunch, Admiral Fitzpatrick said that he always favored the Farragut, but I had to put a stop to such nonsensical talk. It has always been the Enterprise which I had a great fondness for.”
Uhura resisted the urge to roll her eyes for the tenth time; she was quite sure that Gaila had never set her eyes on the ship before it came to her rescue.
“Do try these Rigillean keva fruit tarts, Admiral,” said Kirk, interrupting. “They are one of my chef’s specialties.”
As soon as Uhura reached over to select one of the delicacies herself, Gaila flicked her wrist for Kirk to take them away, leaving Uhura’s empty hand hovering in mid air.
“Aye, the Farragut is a fine ship, lass, but you are correct: she is no match for the lovely lines of the Enterprise.”
Spock, hearing something quite illogical, finally spoke at length for the first time that evening.
“Mr. Scott, your comparison of the two ships is flawed. The Farragut and the Enterprise are of the same class and configuration: they are virtually identical in every way.”
“That cannae be right, Mr. Spock.”
“Really,” said the Vulcan, raising his eyebrow in what would have been a challenge if he made a habit of challenging people. “How so?”
“Well—the uh—the arboretum on the Farragut is to port, while the arboretum on the Enterprise is to starboard.”
Spock’s lips thinned in a manner that Uhura recognized as his way of silently saying: indeed but at the time finding his verbal opponent somewhat ridiculous.
“More wine, Admiral?” added Kirk, as if totally unaware of what exactly was happening around him. “I obtained this bottle on space station K-7 a few of years ago. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion and having you, Admiral Nogura, on-board the Enterprise, counts as a very special occasion,” oozed the Captain.
Kirk filled Nogura’s glass even before she asked for any and he totally ignored Christine when she held out hers.
Apparently excited at what she’d just heard from the chief engineer and not from the Captain, Gaila reached out and touched Mr. Scott’s arm and gushed, “Ooh! An arboretum, you say? I just adore an arboretum. How did you know, Mr. Scott, that an arboretum is the very thing I so admire on a starship—so large and airy—one is able to breathe in an arboretum. My quarters here on the Enterprise are so small and confined, nothing like what I am used to at all. I feel so very closed in there.”
Uhura reeled. Gaila, in her hormonal silliness, had just criticized and complimented the Enterprise in the very same breath and Montgomery Scott was currently too simple-minded at that moment to either know or care.
“Might I remind you, Admiral,” exclaimed Uhura, not giving a second thought to what the Captain might say, “that it was you who insisted on staying in my small and confining quarters!”
Her statement fell of deaf ears.
Scotty beamed to be so singled out. “Then a turn around the arboretum just might do the trick, lassie.”
Gaila brushed aside his casual way of addressing her and favored the Chief engineer with her largest smile.
“That seems a excellent idea, Lieutenant-Commander. But how am I ever going to find my way there on my own? I guess I will have to ask an Ensign to show me to way.”
The Admiral’s voice was so girlish and absurd that Uhura thought that she was going vomit.
“Aye, I can do better than that,” answered Scott, his thick, lusty Scottish brogue getting thicker and lustier by the second. “I’ll escort you there personally and, if I may, I will see that you get back to your quarters in safety.”
Gaila eyes widened in a way that Uhura thought artful and disingenuous, but she used everything within herself to keep from fleeing the room in disgust.
“Would you do that for me, Mr. Scott?” grinned the Admiral.
“Admiral,” Uhura interjected, icily, “I feel it necessary to remind you that you have a long day of travel tomorrow. Surely you wish to turn in early.”
“Oh, Nyota, such nonsense! It’s not even 2100 hours. The Enterprise may be a large ship, but I shouldn’t think that a turn in the arboretum requires more than thirty minutes.”
“Now, Nyota, there is absolutely no need to worry–”
“Worry?” About you? It’s Mr. Scott–”
“–and I will be back in our quarters long before you miss me.”
“Now, now, Lieutenant,” she said sternly, then quickly going back to her girlish lilt. “I insist.” She turned back to the chief engineer and seemed to inch a little closer. “You heard him, Nyota; Mr Scott said that he would take care of me for the rest of the evening, won’t you, Mr. Scott?”
Scott, hoping that her words “take care” actually meant something totally different, was on his feet in a fraction of a second, pulling out the admiral’s chair.
The other officers arose as well, with Kirk and McCoy watching helplessly as a man of lessor rank, lessor male beauty, and lessor romantic ability, easily out-maneuvered them both.
Nogura, in a rush to be gone, stood as well.
“Thank you, Captain, for the meal and the, uh—well, good night.” She nodded towards the doctor, nurse, and first officer. “Gentlemen, I’m sure I will see you all in the morning,” said Gaila, who then glanced briefly over her shoulder at Uhura’s incredulous face before she left the room on Mr Scott’s arm.
And it was officially morning when anyone did, indeed, see Gaila again. In fact, it was at three in the morning when Uhura, hearing the door to her quarters swish open, sat up. And in stumbled a supposedly dignified Starfleet Admiral, clearly disheveled, singing a raunchy highland’s drinking song, and reeking strongly of Scotch.