Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I own nothing. Paramount, et al. own all. I really wish they would let me borrow Spock for a while though.
Genre: Angst, Drama, Erotica, Hurt/Comfort
Word Count (Chapter Twenty-Nine): 3969
Warnings: Language, explicit and non-explicit sexual situations, slight dub!con, rape, violence, minor Fem!slash, torture.
Summary: Alternate Mirror Universe. He wants to protect me; I want that protection, need it, in fact. But I am willing to betray him if and when the time comes. We are not working together. I know my goals. But what are his?
The Chains Tighten Their Choking Grasp
I ache, my head leaning forward slightly, hindered by my shackled arms, chained above my head; my shoulders ache, a constant throbbing radiating throughout my entire body. I grimace slightly, feeling the stickiness of my blood, the errant strands of my hair trapped in the drying red fluid down my back. I have long forgotten to be concerned with my exposed flesh, my exposed breasts, exposed pussy. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters.
I take a deep breath. It’s difficult.
He laughed at me. I didn’t know him. I’d never seen him before. Some cruel man sent here to obtain information, sent here when Pike got bored—God, why don’t I say Pike’s involved?—when Barnett retired to his office. I haven’t seen Spock since… He grabbed the agonizer from the tray. He approached me, grabbed my chin and forced me to look at him. “You’re a little cocksucker, right?”
I tried to jerk my face away. No. I didn’t want to talk to him. I didn’t want him to touch me. My eyes trained to the agonizer in his hand. There’s only one reason he’d grab it.
My body ached, my back seared, stung. Blood caked to me; I felt it.
“I hear you fucked that Vulcan pretty fucking good.” He laughed. “Had him eating out of your hand. Or pussy.” He traced the agonizer across my lips, slow and steady; grabbed my hair, forced me to look at him. “You must be one hell of a cocksucker to get that bastard to become—what would he say?—emotionally compromised?”
I didn’t say anything. There was nothing I could say. I was terrified. Can’t just close your eyes and wish yourself somewhere else. Can’t hide. Not anymore. You can’t try to ignore it. It doesn’t work. It’s impossible to forget that this man standing in front of you, grasping your face, can bring you pain you have never discovered, never felt before.
He forced my mouth opened. Shoved the agonizer in. Turned it on. I couldn’t cry out. I couldn’t scream. And I couldn’t pass out, couldn’t escape into the realms of unconsciousness. Because that’s how it was designed, you know. The tiny little device and its larger counterpart standing across the room. What’s the fun, what’s the use of tormenting someone with it if she passes out within moments, seconds? The device rotated its settings, keeping me right on the edge.
I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t do anything. My body shook, seized.
He stopped when another man came in. A man with a Southern drawl. A doctor.
“Someone in that office likes you, doll,” he said, walking behind me. His feet shuffled along the floor; I didn’t look at him, my eyes squeezed shut. I was still trying to escape. “My services aren’t requested often on live patients.”
I panted, still reeling, but otherwise, remained silent. That accent. I knew it. I recognized it. That man, that doctor from outside the Wall. The one who forced me against the concrete wall, who nearly—if Commander Spock hadn’t interrupted—
I gasped, jerked away from him. “No.” I didn’t want his hands on me. I didn’t want him behind me. I was defenseless. If he remembered, if he wanted to continue what he started against the Wall, without his friends, with fear of being caught—who cares if the prisoner, the criminal suffers?—he could. I wouldn’t be able to stop him. But…God, I don’t want—I just want to rest.
“Now, now.” He healed the gashes in the my back; I felt the slight pull and stitching of my skin. The dermal repair kit, the other medical equipment doing their jobs. “Fix you up good as new.” I felt his wandering hands across my body. I was defenseless.
But it was pointless, the Southern doctor healing me, because the moment he left, the cruel man put them back.
I glance at the agony booth across the room and cringe. The pain is still fresh on my mind, even if it left no lasting effects. Not like the whip. The knives.
I hear metal scraping against metal and grimace, steeling myself for the pain I know will come.
It can’t possibly cause me any more pain than I already feel.
Does he care? The Commander? Does he care? I haven’t seen him since they dragged me in here—how many days was that? Three? Four? How long have I been hanging here; how long have I endured this? Maybe it hasn’t been days yet. Maybe it’s only been hours. I don’t know. I can’t remember.
Everything bleeds together, pain mingling with questions. Bright Red. Running down the floor to the drain.
My interrogator—my torturer, because that’s what he is, but interrogator sounds so much nicer, doesn’t it? Like this isn’t hell and I’m not being interrupted, and I’m not being pushed to the threshold, screaming; of course, ‘interrogator’ is a lie—he approaches, rushing across the small room, and grabs me by the hair, forcing my head back. He presses the blade of the knife—it’s the serrated one this time, I feel: the teeth prickle my skin—against my cheek. Cutting, he smiles—it’s a twisted smile, not at all pleasant—watching my blood flow. “When are you going to tell us?”
I spit in his face. Because I have told them. I’ve told them over and over and over. What difference does it make? It makes no difference. I could name another man, one still living—I could name Commander Spock, if I wanted; I should name Pike, I’ll try that next time—and I’d still be here, strapped to the ceiling with iron shackles so low-tech it’s astounding; when do I get laid out on the metal gurney in the far corner, the one Gaila was strapped to when the Commander killed her? It doesn’t matter, because I’m still guilty. I jabbed the knife in those men’s bodies. I watched their blood pour out of them. I didn’t care. I still don’t. I’d do it again if given a choice. I’m going to die.
Captain Pike knows the truth. And I do now, as well. I was never meant to survive. I am the lamb sent to slaughter. Robau? Pike? They were wolves in sheep’s clothing. Training me, protecting me until it was my time. Until the precise moment when it was time for the Emperor to die. I don’t understand all of it, I don’t understand their plan, their intentions, and I’m not meant to. I’m not privy to that information. It is none of my business. I was nothing more than bait, a decoy. A scapegoat. Get rid of the Emperor and then, in the impending chaos and anarchy, they slip in and take the crown. Take power.
I’m still not sure where the Commander factors into all of this.
The man growls, releasing a loud cry that echoes in this metallic room. He throws his fist back and punches me; my head flies to the side. “Bitch!”
I spit out the blood from my mouth, watching idly when it splatters against the harsh metallic floor. “Go fuck yourself.” My voice scratchy, hoarse. I’ve screamed so much.
The man’s eyes grow wide and his cheeks flush. He throws the knife aside—it clangs against the wall—and drops his hands to the zipper of his pants. “I think I’d rather fuck you instead.”
My eyes widen, revealing the first semblance of fear. I shake my head, pulling futility at my shackles, grimacing when the metal cuts into my injured wrists, when my weight aggravated my shoulders. I feel helpless—I am helpless—tears burning in my eyes. I don’t know why I’m fighting this. He’s not the first. He won’t be the last, I’m sure.
He laughs, pulling out his prick. He steps toward me, stroking himself.
“No!” I hate my moment of weakness, my cry. But I fear his actions more. I fight against my bonds, pulling at the chains. But my arms have been restrained for so long, my wrists have been rubbed raw. Agony sears down my arms and I falter, crying out. I won’t be able to escape. I can’t escape.
He flies across the room, slamming into the far wall and sliding down.
I gasp and look at my savior, his back turned to me.
“You are dismissed, Lieutenant.”
The man stumbles to his feet and leaves the room quickly, embarrassed and tucking himself back in his pants.
Commander Spock turns and faces me. We are alone for the first time since he—since he turned me in. Since we made love. That has to be what that was. Right? Please, tell me that’s what it was. But that’s a crazy thought, isn’t it? What do I know of love? What do I want to know of love? It’s not good. It hasn’t saved me. It hasn’t helped me. My parents’ love for me is what put me on the path that led to this very moment all those years ago. And the Commander? He’s Vulcan. He speaks so...unemotionally about his mother’s execution, his own commitment of patricide.
But that final moment between us. There was something there. Something I hadn’t felt before, something we hadn’t experienced, participated in. It might have been love. It might have been something else entirely.
But it doesn’t matter. Because he’s the reason I’m in this room. He turned me in.
He told me he would help me escape. I trusted him. Why? Why did I trust him? How could I? He forced me into that sexual relationship, used me for his pleasure. Threatened me so many times.
I’m so tired.
For the first time since I’ve been here, I don’t fight my tears and I let them finally fall freely, blurring my vision. It’s so tiring fighting them all the time. “Spock.”
He stands unmoving, his hands clasped tightly behind his back, uncaring of my nudity, just like me. “The decision has been made.”
I nod and my head feels heavy, like lead. They’ve decided what they’re going to do with me. Despair fills me with his cold stare. He is angry with me. Furious. His face is neutral, the very epitome of a Vulcan stoic, but his eyes reveal the raging storm inside. He is the one who decides. He is the one who will decide my punishment. That is his job, right? That was my risk when I continued with him despite his promotion.
Captain Pike referred to him as Lieutenant Commander. What the fuck’s the difference? It doesn’t really matter, does it?
“What will it be?” My words are quiet, resigned. Frightened.
He hesitates, his mouth opening and closing. His eyes close for a brief moment and he takes a deep steadying breath
I know what it will be. Why do I ask? Why do I want him to voice it? Do I need to hear it? Do I need to hear those words fall from his lips? Will they make it any more real that it is? I know that it will be—
I sob sharply once, the sound catches in my raw throat and I choke, nodding my head. I turn my face away from him, into my raised arm, burying myself. Hiding. Rationally, I knew the punishment the moment I was dragged in here. Even told myself it was going to happen. But, emotionally, I am frightened, shattered, broken. My lover—the Vulcan I’ve given my body to, allowed to use me because of a simple declaration that he would protect me—has signed my death warrant. My body will hang outside this building, swaying in the wind until it is remembered that it must come down: the smell of rotting flesh will be too much. I shiver, my teeth chattering. My breathing increases rapidly, my breaths shallow.
He inhales deeply—I look at him—his eyes close. “The punishment for treason, for the murder of the Emperor is death. That is the law. The law I must abide.”
The Empire, Commander Spock does not waste time with executions, as demonstrated by the bodies hanging, by Gaila’s swinging body. I will most likely be dead by tomorrow. Maybe sooner.
“T-t-thank you. You...you don’t have to stay.” I drop my gaze to the floor, my sobs quiet. I don’t know if I can bear his gaze any longer.
“You deceived me.”
I hold my breath, trying to regain control. I deceived him? Raising my tear-soaked face, I look at him, at his calm face, betraying none of the emotional turmoil bubbling under the surface. If there is any turmoil; I have my doubts. How can he talk to me about deception? How can he?
“You assured me that you would cease all relations with Mister Robau. That you would not seek him out. You lied.”
My eyes close. I could tell him that the truth. That it was Robau who found me, that I never sought him out, but what’s the point? I’m going to hang outside this place, swaying in the gentle breeze. “Yes. You were deceived. But I was the one more deceived.”
His eyebrows furrow and he tilts his head. “Explain.”
I cry, scream, choke. I don’t know. A strange noise escapes my throat. Explain? “You turned me in. You promised me you wouldn’t. And I believed you.” I believed you because I needed to. Because I needed to believe something. I hold his gaze, earnestly. I did the one thing I told myself I would never do. Not when I saw the costs. Not when I saw what happened to Gaila. I trusted him, I relied on him.
His eyes widen and he is silent for several moments. I can’t look at him, so I close my eyes, letting my tears fall. I’ve placed everything on the line. I’ve had dreams, I’ve had hopes. I’ve been deceived. By so many people. But also by myself. I was so desperate to believe, that I allowed myself to remain here. I should have run from the hotel. I should never have returned to his apartment, I should never have crawled into bed with him.
I can hear his breathing, deep and slow growing heavier. “I apologize, Nyota. I was under orders. It seems not all of us are strong enough to defy the Empire. Even if one tries.”
I shake my head. I’m not going to look at him. I can’t. And this was never about defying the Empire. Not for me. This was about changing the universe, making things better. Saving people. And maybe if I tell myself that enough times I’ll believe it, I’ll be able to deny that it was about me saving myself, finding freedom.
“They have been waiting for you to implicate me.”
“Captain Pike and Admiral Barnett. My loyalty to the Empire has been called into question a number of times since my association with you began.”
“Pike—” I interrupted. “He…he’s involved. He’s the one who got me inside—”
I open my eyes and look at him. He knows? “Then why—”
“You are not the only one on trial, Nyota. Captain Pike, he is most angry with me. I was ordered to turn you in. I could not disobey those orders, though it grieves me to see you here, because—” He halts and his eyes close. “Captain Pike ordered me to this place last night, under the guise of a discussion centering on the delay of the Enterprise. However, when I arrived, I was ordered to confess my conspiracy with you. Captain Pike knew of our relationship. He threatened me with the agonizer, amongst other implements. The Vulcan mind can withstand a great deal of torture, of pain, but it has its breaking point. This life is the life, the existence I am aware. I could not envision a life on the lam. My status within in Starfleet is the only thing that protects me; as you are well aware, alien races are treated with the same cruelness and inhumanity as the female human. I—” He hesitates. “—I was frightened of the threat that I would live the rest of my life either on the run from authorities or locked in prison like my father, tortured.” He closes his eyes. “Captain Pike offered me a deal. If I were to give you to the authorities, I would remain free, though I would be demoted and removed from my position here at Special Forces and from the First Officer position on board the Enterprise. I accepted.”
I look at him. Really look at him. He stares straight ahead, gazing at a spot somewhere behind me. He’s just as lost, just as confused as me. The Empire is, has been his life. A life he was forced into, just as I was into mine. He was taken from his parents, his mother was executed and his father arrested. They loved him. And he still remembers them, cursed or blessed with that photographic memory of his. He kept a photograph of his dead mother and himself. He searched for his father and was forced to execute him once he found him. He was forced into this life, just like me, forced to do things against our wishes. To survive. Beaten, threatened. Forced to comply. We are more alike than different. Two twisted fucked up people in a twisted fucked up world. We really are.
He takes a deep breath. “When Captain Pike and Admiral Barnett enter, I wish for you to indict me.”
I shake my head. “No.”
“I can’t. I won’t turn you in because you’re, what? Feeling guilty—”
“Guilt is a human emotion.” An automatic response, I’m sure. He tilts his head. “It is true that I was not the assassin, but I am just as culpable. I became culpable when I refused to obey the law and report your presence in the Academy.”
I shake my head. “No.”
“You are expecting that I watch another human, another person whom I have—” He halts his words. “You are expecting me to allow another death to mire my conscience. A death that would be my fault because of my cowardice.”
I sob, an ugly sound echoing in the room. “I’m sorry.” I drop my head, resting my chin against my chest. “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen. I didn’t mean to get you involved. If I wasn’t so careless, this wouldn’t have happened.”
He is silent and my sobs grew louder. I am scared, shaking horribly. I am heartbroken.
He moves, his clothing rustling, but I don’t dare look at him. When he reaches out and touches my injured cheek gently, I jump, startled. I raise my tear-stained eyes to his.
“Shh.” He breathes out, a whisper. He leans forward and kisses me.
I sob into his kiss.
“I am sorry,” he whispers. “I did not have a choice.”
I shake my head. “Why did you keep me secret for so long? Why didn’t you turn me in sooner?”
He opens his mouth. Closes it. A slight shake of his head. “I do—I cannot adequately explain it.”
The door slides open behind him and Barnett and Pike enter. Behind them, an unknown soldier, his face hidden behind a mask. My executioner.
“Oh, good, you’re already here.” Pike sidles up beside Spock.
“Captain.” Once again, Spock has shifted into that cold, calculating officer. He steps backward, away from me. He leaves me reeling.
My eyes dart around the room, to each of the men. Death. I’m going to die. It’s going to happen. Oh, God, it’s going to happen.
My eyes close. And I try to be that fucking butterfly. I try to escape this. I don’t want to be here. I—
The forest. The forest floor carpeted with butterflies. They dance around my feet, land on my legs, my arms. The wind tosses the leaves above. I can hear a bird. Its call—
“Nyota Uhura, you have been found guilty of the crimes of which you’ve been accused. The punishment for which is death. Do you understand?” Barnett’s voice is loud, booming in my ears, ripping me from my calm.
Tears blur my eyes, but I nod my head. I’m terrified. It’s stupid to say that you’re not afraid of death. Because when the moment happens, when it’s imminent, you’re afraid. What’s going to happen afterwards? Is there anything on the other side? Any sort of utopian paradise? Or is it just darkness? Silence?
“You’re in luck, Miss Uhura. Commander Spock here has elected that your death be swift. We’ve decided to honor his wish, as much as I’d love to hear you scream some more.” Barnett turns to the faceless soldier.
The man reaches for his phaser holster and unleashes the strap. He pulls the weapon out.
I stare at the phaser, unable to tear my blurred eyes away from it. It spells my death. I watch the Executioner bring it up chest-level, his fingers dancing across the controls. He raises it to my head.
My eyes close.
My eyes snap open and I look at Pike, at Barnett. Is he about to confess?
Pike smiles. “Have Commander Spock do it.”
I gasp and my eyes dart to Spock. His eyes are wide, staring straight ahead at nothing.
Pike laughs. “Yeah. I like that idea. Let’s have Commander Spock do it.” He grabs the weapon from the soldier. “You’re free to go.”
The soldier salutes and rushes from the room.
Pike moves to Spock and hands him the weapon.
Spock takes it slowly, his hand grasping the grip of the phaser. He looks at me and steps forward. His eyes seek mine.
I had not expected this. I don't want this. But I'm so tired.
He stands in front of me, close and blocking the other men's view of me. "Nyota." He's quiet, desperate to keep the others from hearing.
"Please, don't let them hang me on the Wall. Please." I plead before I can stop myself. I don't want to hang there. I don't want people to spit on me, to desecrate my body.
Behind him, Pike snickers. “She’s betrayed the Empire, Spock. She murdered the Emperor. She used you. Now, kill her instead. Show her who’s in charge. Show her she can never hope to topple the Empire.”
Spock’s eyes slide close for a brief moment. When he opens them, he looks at me. “Close your eyes.”
He doesn’t want me to see him when he pulls the trigger. I don’t want to either. I gasp, my body shivering uncontrollably, tears coursing down my face. I close my eyes.
The pounding of my heart echoes in my ears, nearly drowning out everything. Beneath that echoing sound, I can hear Spock’s slow, calm breathing, belying his own torment. He shuffles on his feet, moving behind me. He presses the phaser into the back of my head, his hand shaking, and I gasp, squeezing my eyes tighter.
Pike sighs. “It’s just a whore, Spock. We can get you another one.”
A sob escapes my lips before I can stop it. I don’t want to die. I don’t want Spock to kill me. I don’t want to be another warning to the citizens of the Empire. You better behave. Or they’ll string you up there one day.
I’ve heard them say that when you face death, your whole life flashes before your eyes. Not mine. I don’t want to remember my life. The only thing that flashes in my eyes is blinding whiteness.
The phaser fires.