Not Like You
As Spock walked hurriedly down the corridor of the starship, he hardly heard the words of Kirk on the intercom. The echo of own shouts filled his ears, deafening him to all else, as they had when he uttered them, his anger blinding his eyes, strength flowing through his limbs and making them powerful and uncontrolled. His breathing filtered vaguely through to his senses, and he registered painfully that it was twice its normal rate. The excess oxygen filled his lungs, and was dispersed through the blood that pounded through his veins, fueling his hasty retreat from the sight of sentient beings and the memory of his father, who had witnessed the disgraceful outburst. The feelings that tormented his childhood returned in great, thronging masses, to plague his thoughts and scatter the order there; he was a child of two worlds, not enough of a human to be valued, and not enough Vulcan to be accepted. His worth had been found in his work, in the exercising of his extraordinary mind. As long as he stayed within the realm of reason, logic, and intellect, he was respected, desired, even. But when it came to the emotions, running deep within him by most people's standards, but much nearer the surface of his whims than a Vulcan could possibly imagine, he was lost, a ship in space with no sensors, a floating, pilotless mass, dangerous to those within and without.
He could see before his mind's eye as clearly as if it were yesterday the white-hot anger that filled him, flooding his senses and making rational thought a secondary function, lying on his bed as a child, the tears trickling from his eyes no matter how hard he willed them to stop. It seemed the harder he tried to deny them, emotions would return. His chest would ache with the shame of it, with the fear that his father would see, or worse, his mother. Yes, worse. For his mother would come with her compassion and say all manner of senseless, illogical things, things that Spock had heard from her lips time and time again, and which provided for him no answers. He loved her. But she could not help him and he did not want her pity. Pity, for him, was the worst of all. His greatest shame was flaunted before him on the day he was accepted into the Science Academy: to be told that he had achieved a passable status despite his unfortunate heritage. Anger had boiled in him then, and he had allowed just enough of it to escape to inform his father of his decision. But never since then had he allowed feeling to rule his actions. Not until today.
He tried to tell himself this was the truth, but the regulatory part of his brain rebelled. While at Starfleet Academy, he had permitted himself small traces of feeling, of logical thought that led to a hormonal reaction which was properly controlled, he amended, toward a certain tawny-skinned cadet. Her mind attracted him. It was so logical in an absolutely illogical way. Her thoughts in themselves were orderly enough, it was the fact that she had them ordered every which way that amused Spock. He asked her outright if fascination was an emotion. He had always wondered. In his case, he said it was a rational decision – the locical need to know more about a certain situation, location, object, or individual. But he knew very well there was nothing logical about his attraction to Uhura.
As his thoughts raged through his head faster than warp five, Spock realized that Kirk had finished speaking, and was likely reversing their course. Regret filled his cells, something that had not resurfaced since the moment he saw the rocks crumble beneath his mother's feet, and the dusty red avalanche carry her far away below him, the pre-glow of the beaming process obscuring her final features, leaving behind in his mind an indellible imprint of horror, of pain, of desperation... and resolve. The emotion hit him like a blow to the solar plexus. An emotion that resulted in direct action. Curious. She had resolved to her fate. And yet he could not give up the thought that if he had acted quickly enough, if he had wasted less time for speech, if his stride had been a few fractions of a millimeter longer each step...
Footsteps behind him filtered vaguely through his disorderly mind, and he calculated by their weight and speed to be Uhura's. She entered the periphery of his vision more hurriedly than he had anticipated, and he turned his face away.
"No," he said simply, but she ignored him, walking silently by his side until he reached his chamber, the door sliding open, then shut upon the two. He stood, motionless and pale within the entry and made no effort to speak or move. To most it would seem he had drifted to some place far off, memory, perhaps, but he was very near, so near that it hurt, a deep pain that filled his chest and choked off words. The warmth of her body heat made his skin prickle with an unnameable feeling and he let his eyes fall shut, his chest rising and falling noiselessly as he struggled to regain control of the carefully organized system that was his mind.
"Spock," she spoke, her voice a husky sound in the quiet room. Only the faint hum of the ship beneath them penetrated the thick walls of the chamber. She did not have to say more, his name was sufficient. He resisted the thread of memory that began to wind itself around his thoughts and pushed it in an untidy, tangled heap in the back of his mind for a later time. He reached out a hand, which he was disgusted to find was shaking, and she took it, silently leading him to the bed where he sat, leaning his head forward in his hands.
"Are you okay..." she murmured irrelevantly, her hands going to and fro over his stooped back.
"I find it unthinkable that you would ask such a thing," he murmured, "when it is quite apparent that I am not."
"No one blames you," she replied, pausing to brush her long ponytail over her shoulder. "Not a single person. We all couldn't believe Jim was –"
"Please." He lifted his head. "No more words."
"But there is so much I want to -"
"They will not help."
Uhura looked affronted. "How do you know. You don't know what I am going to say."
He blocked out the sound of her voice, feeling his heart rate gradually slow from its pounding in his side. The room slowly came into focus around him, and he was able to think clearly for the first time about what had happened. Jim, in his personal space, closer than he had ever allowed anyone beyond his family and Uhura to be to him, his clear blue eyes locked to his own. In that moment, Jim's thoughts, irrational, and ridiculous, had radiated from him like the heat from the burning Vulcan sun and Spock had reacted in kind, the over-developed part of his mind quickly being overpowered by the bursts of adrenaline that swept through him like a fire-storm and rendered logical processing impossible.
Delusional. Spock had deluded himself, his father, everyone, into thinking that he was stronger than he was. And in allowing this outbreak, he knew, he had paved the way in his mind for future explosions, the synapses tingling, and awaiting to fire at any moment, given the slightest provocation, pathways that had not been used for years, and which were all the while striving to gain independence from the rest of him. The room wavered around him as he lowered his eyelids in a slow blink, and willed his hands to steady. Words, such as his mother used to senselessly lavish upon them, wrought with quasi-logic though they were, would not avail him. But he knew Uhura would try. They always did. An alternative presented itself to him. A distraction. Anything. Something to confuse him in his own turn and set his mind to rights – the addition of a negative to a negative to produce a positive.
"This will be sufficient." He regained grasp of her hand, his grip strong, but gentle, the touch providing the link to her mind that he desired. He probed the outer layer, filled with half-finished sentences and scraps of unsequenced information, number combinations, and images of her work, and then very gently pressed deeper.
He returned to the previous theory he had formed, that his mind alone was what enabled him to function, and that his logic and intellect had been what had struck Uhura as attractive in him when they first met. He encountered the surprising answer that came to him unbidden, a complete thought, and a rational argument. The only flaw was that he could not believe in its premise. Feeling, not thought. Her mind was great, but her heart was greater. And she had desired him from her heart, not her mind. That call had echoed with the surety of a sonar from her heart, to his. No wonder it was being repulsed by his mind. That was not its charted destination. The vibrations of the concept filled his cranial cavity and rendered him unable to progress for a fraction of a second. And then he continued to probe, drawing peace and calm from the sorting of her mind.
The two sat, side by side, for a time that neither knew. When Spock finally withdrew from her, he left behind a thought that cut her to the core.
I have been emotionally compromised.
"You were just being human," she muttered, realizing too late what she had said.
I am not human.