If I Knew Then
Rosalinda StMatthew

Truth be told, I wasn't looking for an epic romance. Okay, I wasn't looking for anything but beer and some ass when I got roped into this gig, but whatever. Shit happens, life is unexpected, space is crazy, so on and so forth. I was comfortable with my new life. I'm a hero, I made good, my hometown gets another fancy statue or whatever, I got my mentor's super fucking awesome job, what's not to love? And I swear I wasn't making eyes! He'll probably swear up and down that I was, and that's the kind of guy I am, and I'm all kinds of uncool but it never once crossed my mind to put either of them - any of us - in that position.

Okay, this probably isn't making a ton of sense.

Um, so my understanding is that they were on the outs as it was. I kept my nose out of it. Basically, as long as it didn't affect their performance on the bridge, who was I to judge? It isn't like I ever behave like a good and proper captain (and I know -now- that my crew respects me all the more for it). So I ignored them. Funny thing is that I could have saved myself some heartache and time if I'd been paying attention.

Of course, if I'd been paying attention, they might still be together. Whatever. I feel a little bad for her, but seriously, if she'd been putting up with that all this time, then she should count her blessings.

Listen to me, mister high and mighty. For all I know she's still pining.

Yeah, right.

Anyway, it took weeks for me to figure out that 1), the breakup had finally occured, and 2) apparently I played a vital role in the breakup. She never said anything to me directly about it, either. I dunno, I'd have thought with our amazing history that she'd have tried to engineer my demise in a transporter accident or something, but I guess she likes her job too much to worry about me. Maybe she figured I'd get my comeuppance.

Maybe she figured he'd get his comeuppance.

Whatever the case, I never heard it from her that my behavior was a problem. And, now that I'm thinking about it, that might have just been him covering his ass, so he wouldn't look like the bad guy.

Either that, or I'm just still kinda pissed off at how shit turned out in the end.

Yeah, okay. Still not making sense. Sorry.

He told me about his heartache over chess. He told me a lot of shit over chess. It was one of the things that was supposed to cement our bond, I guess. Our epic bond that trancends time and space and physics and all kinds of shit.

Gee, I don't sound bitter at all, do I?

Chess. Heartache. Yes. Um. He told me she didn't appreciate his hypocrisy. "Apparently, Jim, she has been aware of our chess game for some time now."

Man, when he told me that, you could have knocked me down with a feather. "Okay...? What, you can't hang out with your friends? What, how is that hypocritical? Are you bugging her for going off with her friends after shift, Spock?"

"Our most recent arguments to date have centered around her behavior towards other persons who have attracted undue attention."

"I see." I totally didn't see. "So… what you're saying is… our games… have attracted… your undue attention?"

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not blind. He's a stone cold fox, a lady killer, bitchin', hot, heaven must be missing an angel, etc., etc. I could see that shit when he was trying to get me drummed out of the Academy because I broke his test. But the first time it occurred to me that he might actually have a passing interest in sex beyond the clinical was when I caught them kissing on the transporter pad. He'd throtled me, I'd pretty much stolen his ship, he'd punted me off the ship onto fucking real-life Hoth, I BROKE HIS TEST (goddammit, that is never going to be not-awesome to me), so it wasn't like I was exactly hoping to score with him. In the year I'd known him up to that point, he was frozen in my mind as the-dude-that-scored-with-the-hot-chick-that-got-me-in-this-mess. It didn't matter that I'd met a future version of him, it didn't matter we were supposed to bring the universe to its knees just by being in the same room together, it doesn't matter that even today I get butterflies in my stomach when he stands in my personal space (which, fortunately, isn't happening so much these days). He had someone, and that was that.

"Our games are merely a forum to allow us to continue our current pattern of socialization - a pattern that very closely resembles the pattern Lieutenant Uhura and I followed in the days immediately prior to our coupling."

Or not.

"Wait, so. Wait. Are we… what are we?"

So here's the thing. When he wants to be, Spock can be the most charming being from here to Antares VII. And he's good. Really. Much better than I am, despite all the apparent expectations. He's got all the moves, including coy avoidance, which is what he used on me that night.

But, yeah, we were. Maybe not totally, but at that moment, yeah, shit was on.

It was ON.

We moved pretty fast after that, really. Ugh, let me be honest. He moved pretty fast after that. I was just along for the ride. Don't get me wrong - best. ride. ever. But I was pretty much flying along in the sidecar. Well, not to say he controlled me. I just… didn't take responsibility for the way shit was turning out.

I suppose the honeymoon period ended about a month into it? Don't really remember - meh, it's not important. The point is, it ended, and it ended badly. This is what I wanted to tell you. I know tons of people are probably telling you about his cold heart and ignorant shit like that, but that's not true, not even remotely. Vulcans are only cold when they need to be. When they don't, they aren't. They really aren't.

They really aren't.

Remember Gamma Sigma III? The natives call it Zortu? The whole big fiasco with the Regent and his daughter? Well, I'm going to tell you something you'd damn well better not repeat to anyone, because I will deny it up and down the sector, jettison you out an airlock without an escape pod, and smear your name in all the logs.

The Regent isn't the one who caught me talking to his daughter. Spock did.

I still don't know what he told the Regent. I honestly don't know how a discussion of xenohorticulture could possibly be 'rife with sexual inneuendo', I think is the phrase the Regent used, but apparently it was.

I also don't know exactly what Spock said to him, but I do know that he knew perfectly well that it would cause an incident if the Regent thought I was going to insult him by hitting on his kid when he wasn't looking. That cost us a lot of time and energy to clean up, and I lost face in that. It really pissed me off.

But I had ideas about this epic trancendental friendship, so I agreed to fudge the reports and let it go.

This is what they mean by 'love is blind'.

He started nitpicking at every goddamn thing I said and everything I did to everyone I saw. Everything. Every. Thing. "Must you speak to her in that tone of voice, Jim?" "Captain, I do not believe your behavior in the transporter room was appropriate, nor called for. The ambassador need not be made to feel that you are available for every desire he might have."

"I do not appreciate the proximity which you chose to maintain with Mr. Sulu in the mess hall this morning. You will desist in such behavior immediately."

"If you do not cease this overtly sexually charged conversation with the Shirvarkian delegation, I will be forced to take drastic action, James."

Everyday, no matter what I did, no matter who I saw, there he was, growling at me, hissing at anyone that tried to have a fucking conversation with me - it was ridiculous. It couldn't go on. I had to do something. So, you know what I did?

Yeah, no, dumping him would have been, you know, sane.

Um, so, this is embarrassing to admit, but that period where Bones eventually put me on Myartalin? When I was clearly the most depressed thing since Nero reached the event horizon? Yeah, no, that wasn't really depression.

Aaaaaaand now you know why I was fucking delirious four days into treatment. Although, I gotta admit, standing on the biobed and screaming about being the warrior king was pretty epic. Haha, yeah, that does make more sense to you now, doesn't it? Yeah.

I thought that would be the end of it, you know? Like he would be all okay, we tried it my way and you had a psychotic break because you decided to change the way you spoke to people, now we'll try it your way where you just are who you are and that's okay because I like who you are, right?


He actually cornered Mr. Leslie and made him cry.

He made one of my security officers cry.

We were discussing the after effects of FDA approved chemical stimulants (he was on them for awhile before Bones and Ramierez found an alternative with fewer side effects - wait, you probably already know this), and I guess I just looked too fucking happy or some shit.

I didn't find out for two days that he'd emotionally assaulted Mr. Leslie, and even so, I never heard from him. I heard it first from Riley, who didn't want to name names, but was trying to figure out if he should report something he saw, yadda yadda.

I heard it next from Spock when I confronted him about it.

I'm not gonna knock anyone's preferences here, but people who say they like rough sex are either lying, never had it, or never had to be on the receiving end. Shit's not fun. Well… not as fun as other kinds of sex. Definitely not fun when you're literally in the middle of fighting about dating a jealous… person. Ahem.

And yes, I tried it more than once. Mostly because I tried discussing this shit with him more than once. But he just wants to be fucking dense.

So I ended it.

And now he's telling you all about what a horrible flirt I am, and how he's so wounded, and all I've done is toy with him.

I have no idea how Nyota feels about any of this, I really don't. But I'll tell you two things:

She seems happy. Really happy. Happier than I've ever seen her.

I'm happy. Really happy. Happier than I've ever been.

I don't think that's a coincidence.

I don't think that it's unreasonable to ask for love that's patient and kind and trusting. And I don't think it's unreasonable to pass up the first attractive thing that comes along to wait for something better. There's always something better, something just for you.

And, yes, the honeymoon period is over. I think I'm going to break Bones' neck if he gets between me and my goddamn morning brew again. But I'm not talking to you about me and Bones. I'm talking about you and Spock.

I don't want you to get hurt. I don't want him to hurt someone else. I… he's still my first officer, and, despite our differences, I still need him, at least in that capacity. I can't justify keeping him here if he decides to wreak havoc on someone else's heart. And on the same token, Bones needs you. You help him hold this place together - he'll probably never tell you to your face, but he'd be lost without you. If you wind up trying to transfer because of a personal snafu… I don't know how any of us would survive that.

Besides, I can't not say something. I know, maybe I'm out of line, jumping in your business like this, but, like I said, if Nyota had told me what he was like… oh, who the hell am I kidding? But you aren't me. You don't take stupid, unnecessary risks, because you gotta know for yourself. You'll listen to sound advice. Not that anyone has ever called my advice sound before, or anything, but…

Well. Just… be careful, Christine.


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