neigedens: shirley examining tiny nipples (uhura hearts you yes you)
Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? ([personal profile] neigedens) wrote2010-09-02 01:10 am

STAR TREK FIC POST: "Love in Technicolor," Uhura/Gaila, PG

Title: Love in Technicolor
Fandom: Star Trek (2009)
Warnings: None.
Notes: This is my [community profile] femslash10 fic, written for [personal profile] karmageddon. Big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] custardpringle for the beta job and not letting me panic/procrastinate. Title from Janelle Monáe's "BaBobByeYa."

Summary: Gaila had been on the only escape pod that had failed to reestablish contact after the Narada attack, so, all in all, Uhura wasn't very surprised when Gaila and the rest of the previously dead crew showed up again on the Enterprise six months after. Or at least, not as surprised as she could have been. Gaila had always had a talent of showing up in the middle of confusing situations.

The door had barely slid shut on Kirk's smirking face when Nyota made another frustrated noise and rounded on her. "How are you so stupid?"

"Oh, shut it, you prude," said Gaila moodily, but then almost instantly was sorry. "Oh, you're angry. I'm sorry you're angry, why are you so angry?"

"I'm not angry."

"You are! Look, I'm sorry. I wouldn't have brought anyone back, I honestly thought you'd be gone all night. I swear." When Uhura's stony expression didn't change, Gaila got exasperated. "Oh, come on, Nyota, I'm considerate! It's not like we were going to fuck on your bed or anything like that."

"I wouldn't put it past Kirk," said Nyota, shooting another dirty look at the door, and suddenly Gaila understood.

"It's him, isn't it?" she asked with relish. "It's not that I brought another date up to the room, it's that it's him."

Nyota, in the kitchen, was looking for some strawberries Gaila had seen her buy earlier that day and that Gaila had been hoping she would be willing to share. Based on the dirty look Nyota shot her just then, it seemed unlikely. "You're imagining things again."

"Wow, I'm really sorry. I definitely wouldn't have brought him back here if I knew you two had a history."

"There's no history."

"You just don't like him?"

"I don't. If you knew him better you'd understand."

"Oh, I do know him. We're in love," said Gaila, standing up and stretching as she walked over to the kitchen to stand across the counter from Nyota.

"Really."

"We're going to be married soon. Can I have one of these?" She leaned over the counter and took a strawberry from the bowl. "We were planning it when you kicked him out. You really killed the mood."

"Oh, well, sorry."

"Bet you are," said Gaila darkly. "We were having a moment. Really transcendent, too."

Nyota laughed. "Gosh, I'm really sorry to hear that. I've walked in on your transcendent moments before, usually they're a lot louder than that...." She trailed off when Gaila started eating the fruit. "OK, I think we've talked about this before, but eating strawberries like that is really...." She watched as Gaila's lips wrapped around the smooth, dark skin of the strawberry and the juice welled up in her dark green mouth. "Look, I know you think that that's the way to make friends but it's fucking distracting."

"What is?" asked Gaila as she licked the juice from her lips.

"Honestly, are you always on?"

"On what?"

"Just the...you know. You can't just eat a strawberry, you have to do it all sensually. You can't just bring a nice normal cadet back to the room, no, it has to be Jim fucking Kirk."

Gaila suddenly felt like she'd been punched in the gut. She couldn't remember when she had been more offended. She grabbed the bowl of strawberries and took it over to her bed, glaring at Nyota the whole time. Nyota followed, sitting next to her on the bed and grabbing the bowl back but biting her bottom lip in a way that was as close to apologetic that Nyota could get.

Gaila grabbed the bowl again. Normally she thought herself to be very respectful of boundaries, but suddenly she had a childish urge to spite her roommate as much as she could. "You know, Nyota, if I wanted all this judgmental shit I would have roomed with Cadet I-Have-Evolved-Beyond-Sex down the hall there." She was referring to Cate Shaw, who was Gaila's roommate for a disastrous three months at the beginning of her career in Starfleet. Nyota hadn't been there for the fight itself, but every other cadet in their year seemed to have been and Nyota had to have gathered that "depraved" and "nymphomaniac" had been the least of the insults exchanged. Gaila had come to Nyota's room right after the fight, and she had been sobbing so hard that maybe that explained the slightly guilty look on Nyota's face now, and why she didn't insist that Gaila return the bowl of fruit. She took the bowl of strawberries and set it gently on neutral ground between the two of them as Gaila continued. "Maybe you're jealous or something. I don't know."

Nyota settled in against the headboard. "I don't think it's that. Jealous of who?"

"What a question," said Gaila, trying to sound humorous and instead just sounding a little mystified even to her own ears. "What do you think?"

Nyota just shook her head. "I try not to, when I'm around you."

That broke the tension nicely, or at least in Gaila's mind it did. There were times when she found Nyota insufferably prissy and times when she wanted to do nothing but sit close together on the bed with her and eat strawberries in what was apparently an insufferably sensual way. Gaila shrieked with laughter and Nyota watched her eat the rest of the strawberries with a distracted look on her face. She had apparently forgotten they were hers to begin with, or she didn't care, or just maybe she felt a bit bad about insulting Gaila's choice in fuck buddies earlier. Long experience told Gaila that she probably wouldn't apologize, at least not directly.

"Look, are you all right?" Gaila finally turned and fully took in her roommate for the first time. When she had first entered their room, Gaila had been too panicked about hiding Jim to worry about her state of mind, but now she had to wonder. "You look all strung out and." She didn't trail away, just stopped in the middle of her sentence because Nyota had turned to look at her with a hard glint in her eyes. Not an angry glint, exactly, but it was...exhausted. Tired. For the first time, Gaila wondered how long Nyota had been in that comm room, listening to the sudden disappearance of those Klingon warships or whatever it had been. She didn't know how long it had been, she realized, and right then she almost stood up and let her roommate have the run of the apartment for the night, but then instinctively decided that wasn't what was called for, either because of her half-hearted rage at Jim Kirk or the slightly bitter way she had watched Gaila eat the strawberries earlier.

What was called for, Gaila decided in that instant, was not alone time, not the quiet stepping around each other that had characterized their first weeks rooming with each other. No, what was called for was very brash honesty, which was probably the type of honesty Gaila was best at. "My offer still stands, if you think it'll help," she said finally, managing a wide smile that was so dirty it was almost a leer.

Nyota laughed, but not dismissively and not rolling her eyes like she used to. It was an old joke of theirs; one night (apparently) Gaila had drunkenly issued a standing offer to have sex with Nyota and was unpleasantly surprised to find out that Nyota had remembered almost all of it the morning after. Gaila had gotten over her initial embarrassment. She honestly didn't remember making such an offer to her rooommate, who was so prim and initially so stuffy that Gaila had a hard time picturing her having sex with anyone, but afterwards she successfully turned it into a joke between the two of them. They had stopped telling it lately, maybe because it had gotten a little old or maybe for a reason Gaila had been too distracted to notice lately.

"Oh, your offer," said Nyota, and Gaila was instantly glad she'd brought the joke back up, even though it wasn't that funny anymore. Maybe it had never been that funny. "I thought since you were, you know, getting married that was all off the table."

"Yeah, well." That joke had gotten old pretty quickly, too. "I'm sure Jim Kirk'll get over it."

"I'm sure he will," said Nyota dreamily. "No thanks, anyway, Gaila. I appreciate the offer." She smiled and so did Gaila. That was almost part of the joke; it was part they both knew. "Maybe someday," she added, shrugging her shoulders and slouching down. She was almost laying down now. Her bare shoulders moved up and down lazily, and as she blinked her eyes stayed closed for a few seconds. "Damn, I'm falling asleep in your bed. Sorry."

"It's not a big deal." Because it wasn't, or at least not for the reason Nyota would think it was. "It's not a great way to reject a proposition, but I don't really mind," which was also true. Nyota snorted at that, but so softly Gaila felt it through her body. "You've been working so hard lately."

She shrugged again. "It's just...nerve-wracking, I guess. Everything's going to change soon. We'll all be stationed somewhere in the middle of space. Millions of light years away. I'm totally not nervous."

"You're not nervous."

"You're not nervous?" asked Nyota, sounding a little panicked even in her exhaustion.

Gaila shrugged this time. Nyota, she knew, had always viewed deep space exploration as both an unattainable but glorious dream that would probably kill her in thousands of different ways. "I'm pretty used to it, I guess."

"Yeah, I suppose you are." Uhura sighed, long, drawn-out sound. "It's just going to be a bit of an adjustment. A bit weird at first. That's all."

Gaila shrugged again. "One thing I know is that things can get pretty weird no matter where you are. Even if you were back in Mombasa right now, you know?"

"Mmm." Nyota looked even more tired; her eyes weren't even open now. "That's a good point."

There was a very long pause. Gaila finally thought of something else to say, but by the time she turned to say it Nyota's closed eyes, her slightly parted lips, and her steady, regular breathing stopped her. She couldn't bear to wake her and thought of falling asleep too, but after a second's thought she got up very carefully to put the strawberry dish back in the kitchen and go to sleep in Uhura's bed.

~


Six months later

Seven escape pods from the USS Constitution had jettisoned from the craft before the whole ship was destroyed. One was blown to pieces by a lucky shot from the Narada, presumably, because it was the only one not to reestablish contact with the Federation after the fighting was over. According to the (very hastily composed) flight logs, Gaila had been on that pod, so, all in all, Uhura wasn't very surprised when Gaila and the rest of the previously dead crew showed up again in an Orion flagship that had hailed the Enterprise in deep space after appearing, seemingly, out of nowhere. Or at least, not as surprised as she could have been. Gaila always had had a talent of showing up in the middle of confusing situations.

"I thought it would be more fun," was the first thing Gaila said to her after emerging onto the Enterprise's shuttle bay, looking dazed all through their tight embrace. "I mean, not." She stopped midsentence, just like she always had, to collect her thoughts. "I mean, it sounds more fun, doesn't? Marooned in a tiny vessel with twenty other people, depending on your wits to survive?"

"Like the Swiss Family Robinson."

"Sure. Were they lost in space?"

"In a sense."

"What does that mean?"

"Never mind," said Uhura, sensing a tangent upcoming. "Come on, let's go to the mess. I want to hear everything." She grabbed Gaila's arm and barely nodded at the captain before dragging her from the shuttle bay. "I mean, if that's OK. Did you want to go to your cabin first?"

Gaila looked like she was about the burst out laughing. She had a very piercing laugh, Uhura remembered, so she was glad Gaila was keeping it under wraps. "Kind of killed his fire there."

"What?"

"Jim. It looked like he wanted to say something."

"Oh. Sorry, I--." Uhura stopped, but one look at Gaila's face told her that she didn't need to apologize.

"Come on. I'm starving."

"Wait, literally? I didn't know they weren't feeding you--"

They had been, of course. Uhura had read the whole report that Gaila's commanding officer in the escape had written up following his crew's. "He had a high opinion of you, I guess."

Gaila snorted. "Despite himself. If it had been up to him they probably would have shot us." 'They' were the Orions that had found the lost Farragut crew after the escape pod's navigating system was damaged in the attack. "We were lucky to be found at all, to be honest. And lucky to get out, even then. The captain was sort of an acquaintance, you see. He knew my father, apparently. Small universe, huh?" She smiled bleakly. Uhura winced. The connection hadn't done much to help, apparently.

Tensions between the Orion Empire and Federation are such, Gaila's commanding officer had written in the report, that they were reluctant to allow us to leave, and they felt uneasy about allowing us to contact any starbase.

"That's amazing, though," said Uhura. "You talked them into letting you all go?"

"Not really," said Gaila. "I mean, not all alone. Me being Orion didn't help much. The captain didn't think too highly of ex-pats. But he probably would have figured out eventually that he couldn't keep there indefinitely without letting us go or, you know, killing us."

"Well," said Uhura, smiling more deeply than she had in awhile. "I'm glad--"

"Don't even say it," said Gaila, smiling even wider. "I've said I'm lucky not to be dead enough for everyone in the last six months, honest."

Uhura couldn't eat anything. She'd been up for hours the night before, combing the mission report and arranging with another officer to get her shift on the bridge covered so she could see Gaila right away when the former Farragut crew arrived onboard. She felt jazzed on the synthetic coffee and on seeing Gaila again. She watched Gaila, who really did seem famished.

"Sorry," she said. "Am I eating too sensually again?" She was still smiling.

Uhura laughed, but felt a familiar pain in the back of her mind at the memory. It was pretty hard to make eating the food that was in the mess sensual, but Gaila gave it a pretty good try. Uhura grabbed her free hand and squeezed it tightly. Gaila stared at her hand, then at Uhura, then back to their clasped hands. She leaned forward. "I'm sorry. Are you trying to grab my hand sensually?"

She wanted to laugh, but she suspected that would ruin it. "Yeah, I am."

Gaila finished her glass of fruit juice, licked her lips, and leaned forward so she could speak in a lower voice and still be heard. "Are we...not kidding this time?"

"I guess not."

She nodded, looking down thoughtfully. "It's been some six months, has it?"

"You said it," Uhura said, and led Gaila back to her cabin. She didn't have to tell Gaila that being on the /Enterprise/ was both worse and more magnificent than she had ever expected. She didn't have to tell Gaila because Gaila understood. Gaila belonged back home, back in San Francisco and here in the literal middle of nowhere because Gaila had the knack for getting herself in the middle of all sorts of situations, as Uhura had always said.

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