Long time no post! I'm terribly sorry for the absence. The accident I had the year before last left me with some damage to my wrist that needed another bout of surgery earlier this year. Fingers crossed that is the last one, because I've run out of ways to make casts look cool and exciting.
Transitions takes place between IX and STID. Genesis is currently being revamped to be canon compliant so look for a sparkly new version of that coming your way in the next week or so. (And on that note, I have yet to recover from certain aspects of STID so expect lots of shameless Kirk!whump and protective!crew and happy-families-in-the-making as I attempt to cheer myself up.)
Several of the characters who appear in Transitions are pulled from TOS or Enterprise. I'm crossing over a bit with dates here, so technically Hoshi Sato and T'Pol could still be alive in reboot land.
I hope you enjoy, and thank you all for the encouragement and support you have sent my way the last few months.
"Yeoman, do you have a moment?" Alpha shift had ended only minutes ago, but Nyota Uhura had already missed her chance to corner the captain before he shut himself away in his ready room. The Enterprise was undergoing unexpected maintenance at Io Space Station and Kirk had put off reporting in to the Admiralty for almost a day before they finally pinned him down. Uhura had been the one to patch the comm. through before handing over to her relief.
Spock took the Con. for the start of Beta shift. Technically she could ask him, but she was wary of fueling the gossip mill. The request she had put in to attend a conference at Io Symposium was perfectly regulation, but it had been denied for no apparent reason. She didn't feel comfortable asking Spock for fear of being seen to be abusing her relationship with the First Officer.
Kirk, as contrary and contradictory as he was, could always be counted on for honesty. She might not like his reasons for denying her request, but he'd not lie about them.
But with Kirk shut away for the foreseeable future, there was only one person Uhura could turn to. Janice Rand was Kirk's personal Yeoman and as such she knew his schedule, prioritized his paperwork, and had more insight into his eccentric thought process than most on board. A quiet and studious woman, she was also McCoy's not so secret weapon – she had been known to bribe, blackmail and bully Kirk into sleeping, eating, and attending his physicals. Uhura admired Rand as much as she pitied her.
Clutching at a stack of PADDs, Rand turned at Uhura's call. "Can I help you with something, Lieutenant?" She asked politely. Even if they hadn't been vastly different ranks, Uhura doubted she and Rand would have been friends. They respected each other professionally but kept different social circles on the ship. Uhura didn't mind. She had her hands full with the friends she already had.
"I appreciate that you might not have had anything to do with it, but I sent the Captain a request to attend a xenolinguistics conference this evening. He's usually the one pressing us to pursue our professional development but he denied it. I was curious as to the reasons."
Rand frowned. "I'm sorry Lieutenant but I don't know anything about it. I can ask him once he is done with Admiral Archer if you like?"
Fighting her disappointment, Uhura shook her head. "No, that's fine. Thank you. Like I said, I was just curious."
Rand shifted the PADDs in her arms to make them more comfortable but declined Uhura's offer to help her carry them. "I'm sure the captain had his reasons. He usually does. Is it a very important conference?"
Uhura's shoulders sagged. "Hoshi Sato is speaking about the Xindi dialects and how they can help us better understand the way the Delphic Expanse was used to both protect and isolate the Xindus from outside interference."
"I understood about a word of that." Rand said sympathetically. "I'm sorry. Hoshi Sato is rather a big deal though, isn't she?"
Only the reason Uhura had joined Starfleet in the first place. "She is." The conference was the first – and if rumor had it – last that Sato would give since retirement. "Never mind."
"I am sorry." Rand genuinely looked as if she was.
Uhura smiled and shook her head. "Don't be. It's alright. Are you sure you don't need a hand carrying those?"
"I'm sure. Enjoy the rest of your day, Lieutenant." Rand turned and collected another two PADDs to add to her pile before letting herself into Kirk's ready room, regardless of the meeting-taking place inside.
Uhura turned her back to the bridge and headed to her quarters. Since she wasn't going to be doing anything tonight, she figured she'd put to use all the water rations she'd been collecting and take a nice long bath. Kirk handed out extra rations for exemplary work and she had amassed a considerable amount. Combined with the fact that she took sonic showers most days, and there was more than enough for a luxurious evening of bubbles and wine.
Slightly cheered at the thought, she made her way to her port side quarters.
Uhura had just pulled herself from the bath when her chime sounded. Hastily wrapping her hair up in a towel and shrugging on a robe, she opened the door.
Kirk was the last person she expected to see.
He stood in the entrance to her room, clad in a perfectly pressed grey dress uniform, cap tucked under one arm and his shoes polished enough to reflect the overhead lighting. He really was disarmingly handsome and she gawped foolishly in surprise before regaining her equilibrium and inviting him in.
"Captain. What can I do for you?"
Kirk's back was ramrod straight, something that only happened when he was on display, or nervous. It was a small tell, but one she had quickly learned. She frowned at the uncharacteristic nerves. "Actually Lieutenant, I was wondering if you'd do me the honor of accompanying me to the Io Symposium tonight."
Uhura's jaw dropped. "You're kidding, right?"
Kirk blinked. That clearly hadn't been the answer he expected. "Um, no?"
"You denied my request." Uhura pointed out in frustration.
"You didn't have tickets!" Kirk protested. "What were you going to do, watch from the gallery?"
You're stupid, she wanted to say. Once again she was reminded of all the reasons she'd wanted to strangle Kirk for when they had been students together. He was impossible.
"Do you have a better solution?" She asked him. He outranked her now. Calling him names was not only below her intelligence, but also a disciplinary offense.
"Yes, actually." Kirk huffed. "I was invited."
"You were invited." She echoed blankly. "To a xenolingusitics conference."
"Is that so hard to believe?" Kirk actually pouted at her. She had to resist the urge to say yes, because she knew how smart Kirk actually was and no, it wasn't really a surprise. It was just… "Look," Kirk said patiently. "Get dressed and meet me in the transporter room in twenty minutes."
"Is that an order, sir?"
"Does it have to be?" Kirk said in frustration. "I'm actually trying to do something nice here."
He sounded so incredibly put out that she bit back on the instinctual retort. Besides, she really did want to see the conference… "Twenty minutes?"
Kirk relaxed and nodded. "I'll see you there." He left, the door closing silently behind him.
Twenty minutes later, Uhura found him waiting in the transporter room. She'd dressed in her own formal uniform, tight, uncomfortable shoes and all. Her hair had been pulled back and braided away from her face to compensate for the dampness that had not fully dried from the bath. The fact that Kirk had been in her quarters while she wore nothing but a robe and towel and no innuendo had been made was something of a milestone for them.
"Lieutenant." Kirk looked relieved to see her. "Glad you made it."
As if she'd had a choice, really. She took her place on the pad next to Kirk. "The conference doesn't start for another two hours." She informed him.
"I know. We're going to the reception. You want to meet Doctor Sato, don't you?"
"Why?" Uhura asked dryly, "You planning on introducing us?"
"Yes, actually." The smirk was back on Kirk's face and all was normal with the universe. "Energize." They dematerialized to Kirk's delighted laugh and what was no doubt a look of complete incredulity on her own face.
Kirk hadn't been lying. After leading her through an elaborate collection of corridors, Kirk stopped at a reception desk and introduced himself as a guest of Dr Sato. The woman serving didn't so much as blink an eye before handing first Kirk, and then Uhura their passes.
"The reception is being held in the Orchid Garden." She informed them, boredom clear in her voice. She was young and clearly had better ideas of how to spend her evenings than herding groups of scientists and diplomats around. "All the way down and to the left."
Kirk's best smile did nothing to bring any animation to her face. Uhura sniggered at his feigned expression of hurt and herded him down the hall. They passed a large window that looked out onto the domed symposium. Beyond it were two galleries, already filled to capacity. She would have been vying for a place with half the galaxy by the looks of it.
Instead Kirk led her out into a garden strewn with lights and sweet smelling flowers. They weren't the only representatives of Starfleet, and several officers nodded their respects as they passed.
Uhura recognized many of her personal heroes in attendance. Xenolinguists who had shaped and reshaped their understanding of alien dialects and had helped mold her into the person she was today even without ever having met her.
And then the one person she really wanted to see. Doctor Hoshi Sato held court in one of the orchid strewn pagodas. Nearing one hundred and thirty years of age, there was no mistaking her for anyone else.
Uhura felt Kirk's hand on her elbow, gently pulling her forward. What exactly was she supposed to say? Should she even say anything at all? What would Kirk say? Why had she even agreed to this…
Sato looked up from her conversation, her eyes fixing on Uhura and Kirk as they made their way across the garden. She spoke briefly to her companions before walking towards them and folding her arms around Kirk. "My goodness Jimmy, look at you!"
Kirk bent himself almost double to embrace the elderly woman. "Hoshi-san." His smile was one of the rare kind: wide and comprised only of happiness. "Still as beautiful as ever."
Hoshi Sato was a small woman, shorter than Uhura and finely boned. Her pale skin was thin and papery and her hair a gleaming silver. She looked every inch her advanced age, but her dark eyes still gleamed with intelligence and kindness. She thwaped Kirk on one ear and rolled her gaze in Uhura's direction. "You have to put up with this impertinent brat on a daily basis?" she asked Uhura, who swallowed her nerves and nodded.
Kirk clutched at his chest as though wounded. "Hoshi-san, I'm hurt. I thought I was your favorite."
"You were everyone's favorite, Jimmy." Sato said fondly. "You also turned my hair grey. See?" She pointed at the neat crop of hair atop her head.
"Okay, now that's a lie. I have it on good authority that Archer was to blame for that." Kirk was a legacy, Uhura knew as much. His father's father had been in Starfleet, and his mother had come from a line of military officers stretching back to the Eugenics War. But still, the way he spoke to and of some of the greatest figures in Federation history…and he was Sato's favorite? What did that even mean?
"And whose authority was that?" Sato asked, her dark eyes narrowing suspiciously.
Kirk beamed at her. "T'Pol."
Sato cursed in Vulcan and shook her head at Kirk's laughter. "Meddling Vulcan. I hear you have your own now. Sarek's boy?"
"Commander Spock." Kirk nodded eagerly. "He keeps me in line." His expression was far friendlier than Uhura would have expected, especially in the light of some of Kirk and Spock's more recent disagreements.
"Now there's someone I'd like to meet!" Sato chuckled. She reached up and patted Kirk's cheek. "Now then, are you going to introduce me to your Lieutenant or are you just going to stand there looking pretty?"
Kirk actually blushed. "Shit. Sorry. Hoshi-san, I would very much like to introduce you to Nyota Uhura, Head Communications Officer aboard The Enterprise, linguistic genius, and the person who is going to break your record in the field." Uhura gaped at him. Sato chuckled and held out a small hand that Uhura quickly shook. Kirk continued, "Lieutenant, I am honored to introduce Doctor Hoshi Sato, whose long list of achievements you probably know better than I do, but also are unlikely to include her uncanny ability to clean house at poker."
"He's a charmer, isn't he?" Sato smiled, winking up at Kirk who grinned back at her. "Uhura. I've heard that name. You studied under Evat Jaardin at the Academy?"
"Yes ma'am." Uhura nodded. Jaardin had been a ballbreaker, but a brilliant instructor. He had been the one to recommend Nyota to Spock when her grasp of Vulcan began to outgrow his own.
"I thought so. He speaks very highly of you. You are here for the conference?"
"Captain Kirk was kind enough to grant me the leave." Uhura acknowledge, hoping that Kirk could read the appreciation in her expression.
"Yes well, he's not a complete tyrant at least."
"Hey!" Kirk protested, "I'm not any kind of tyrant. I'm positively kitten like." Kirk pouted but his eyes were bright with glee. He looked much younger when he smiled with genuine happiness, and it was clear he idolized Sato.
"He's a menace, and don't you believe otherwise." Sato sighed. She reached up to take Uhura's arm and sent Kirk off for refreshments. The captain laughed good naturedly and asked Uhura what he would bring her before vanishing off into the crowd. "Now then, Jimmy tells me you're something of an expert when it comes to the Romulan dialects. I never really liked them much myself, far too dry…"
Kirk returned half an hour later, a glass of wine for Uhura and a tonic water for Sato. "Now don't scowl at me, you know you're supposed to watch your blood pressure." He said, holding his hands up against the glare Sato fixed on him.
"I liked you much better when you were small enough to put over my knee." Sato shook her head, sipping at the water.
"Didn't everyone?" Kirk laughed.
"I'm sorry," Uhura cut in, her cheeks flushed from the thrill of having clashed intellects with someone whose knowledge far outstripped her own. "But how exactly do you know each other?"
"His batshit crazy mother left him and his brother with me for a few months when they were children." Sato said bluntly.
Kirk rolled his eyes. "What, like she was supposed to take us into the middle of an Orion slave trade? I was eight!"
"Wouldn't have been the first time." Sato said darkly. "You might have your daddy's eyes, Jimmy, but your crazy is all your mother's."
"You've known each other a long time, then?" Uhura broke in again gently, this time to stem the bickering before it became uncontrollable. Kirk really did have the ability to argue with anyone. It was impressive.
"We kept in touch." Kirk shrugged. "I stayed with Hoshi-san for a few months when I got back to earth." He didn't spell it out for her, but from the sudden tightening of Sato's jaw, and the serious way Kirk was not meeting her eyes, Uhura knew at once that he was talking about the months after Tarsus IV.
"You should have stayed longer." Sato poked him in the chest. "Maybe you wouldn't have ended up in jail, hmm?"
"You were in jail?" Uhura asked in shock. She knew Kirk had a criminal record that was no sealed up tighter than an airlock, but jail was considerably more extreme than anything she'd expected.
"Twice." Sato added flatly.
"Once." Kirk protested. "The second time doesn't count."
"They locked you up, Jimmy. It counts."
Kirk rubbed the back of his neck and looked up at Uhura through his lashes. "I'd appreciate you not mentioning this to anyone on board. It's not exactly a secret, but-"
"Of course, Captain." Uhura said, feeling uncharacteristically sympathetic despite having a long held suspicion confirmed.
Sato looked between them, her eyebrows rising. She looked at her wrist and then up at Kirk. "Well I need to start getting prepared. You two had better take your seats. No heckling, Jimmy."
"No ma'am." Kirk saluted cheekily. "Shall we?" he asked Uhura, holding out one arm gallantly.
Uhura stared at it pointedly and moved forward on her own, a small smile hidden from Kirk as he sighed dramatically and jogged to catch up to her. "You wound me."
"You'll live, sir."
"I suppose." Kirk sighed.
They were caught up in the bustle of people moving into the symposium chamber when Kirk's comm chimmed. "Spock. One moment," Kirk caught her arm and led her to a quieter area of the venue so he could hear his First Officer talk. "What's going on?"
Spock's voice sounded as calm as always, but Uhura could pick up on the tension underlying the words he spoke. "Captain. We have reason to believe that-"
Spock's warning as lost as the building exploded around them.
Uhura fell to her knees as shock waves rocked the ground and the walls exploded.
She felt Kirk wrap his arm around her waist, pulling her up and close to his chest as the floor beneath them collapsed entirely, plunging them into the darkness below.