The Green Hooped Earrings

Cross posted on Archive of Our Own: [link]

Nyota Uhura stood at attention in her Star Fleet regulation uniform best. Her lieutenant’s rank appeared on the edge of her short sleeve in embroidered gold that sparkled, and she admired the way the artificial suns of Yorktown struck the threads.

She was proud to be here. She held the necklace that Spock had gifted her, and looked over the heads of Scotty and Sulu to smile at him, even though his gaze was resolutely forward. She was proud to stand beside Kirk and the rest of her crewmates.

They had saved each other.

They had saved Yorktown.

Uhura closed her eyes for those they hadn’t been able to save. For Ensign Syl. For even Krall, who had once called himself Balthazar Edison.

Her heart hurt, and she could not stop from silently weeping as Commodore Paris acknowledged their bravery, as an excerpt of the Beastie Boys played for a scant few moments, to acknowledge how they had defeated Krall’s forces.

She wished she felt happier. She and Spock might be able to mend their relationship. They had won. They had saved most of the crew with the power of music. But she was not happy. She was sad, and she had to force a smile as she shook the Commodore’s hand.

She knew the Commodore would understand. She knew that the Commodore would be able to see through her shining eyes. The Commodore had probably seen all this and more besides.

After the ceremony, they were forced to mingle. Nyota ate her h'dourves. They had toothpicks, or something similar to toothpicks. She held it between her fingers and closed her eyes before flicking it into the trash. Her mouth swelled with the taste of something like olives. They weren’t olives, but they reminded her of olives.

Her eyes closed, and she took a deep breath.

She wanted to return to her quarters. She wanted to sleep. She wanted to rest. She wanted not to speak.

Someone tugged her hand, and she glanced down to see Demora Sulu clinging to her fingers. “Hi,” she said.

Nyota looked around for her father even as she bent so that she was eye level with Demora. “Hey,” she said back.

Demora blushed and fidgeted as she held up a clumsily wrapped present. “I got these for you,” she said.

Nyota smiled. “Oh my goodness, thank you!” She took it from Demora’s hand.

“Open it,” Demora insisted, looking so pleased with herself.

Uhura did, and gasped when she saw what was inside. It was something simple, just a pair of green earrings made of something cheap like plastic. “They’re so beautiful,” she said.

Demora smiled. “You like them?”

“I love them,” Nyota said as she took out the silver dangling things she wore and put them in her pocket. She took out the green hoops that Demora had given her, and put them in her ears. She posed then. “What do you think?”

Demora grinned at her and clapped her hands. “They’re beautiful!”

“Thank you so much,” Nyota said, as she hugged Demora.

“Thank you,” Demora said softly into her neck. “Thank you for keeping my daddy safe.”

Demora flung her arms around her shoulder, and Nyota returned the hug. “Thank you,” she said again. “I’m going to wear these always.”

And she did.