Your chest felt heavy, it was hard to breathe and you felt like you were almost suffocating. It ate at the back of your mind, guilt perhaps in some odd way. You wanted to erase the words from your mind, completely and fully. It was illogical to feel such ways, you knew that. Why would you feel so horrible from a comment from someone you didn't actually care about? You already decided it wasn't supposed to make you feel bad, you must have deserved it or else she wouldn't have said it.
But it still gnawed at you and kept you awake at night- or what counted as night based on standard Earth time.
You felt a hand softly lay on yours and you instantly pushed it away. It was the first time you did so and it made you feel worse. Until the feeling of nausea ran up your body, making you feel uncomfortable in your own body.
"K'diwa, is something on your mind?"
You didn't respond, shifting fully to face away from the half-Vulcan. The man didn't say anything for awhile before you felt the back of his fingers on your cheek. You knew the moment his fingertips themselves touched your skin he could delve into every bit of your mind. He already mapped it out a million times over, a mental connection between you and him unbreakable.
"That would not explain your change in behaviour."
You shook your head, feeling those thoughts and emotions rise up in you again. What if they were true? What would hurt you more (if it was true- a part of your brain kept voicing out)? Knowing Spock lied or the fact your entire career was pointless. That you were useless and didn't deserve to be around. To which your only purpose on the ship would be Spock's 'K'diwa'.
You got up from the bed and walked into the bathroom. You closed the door behind you, fingers gripping the sink as you tried to keep yourself steady. You were unwilling to look yourself in the mirror so you bowed your head. You tried to focus on anything else. But all you could think about was related to the Enterprise or Spock. Both those thought subjects made you feel even worse. Why were you making such a big deal about this?
"K'diwa, tell me what the matter is. Are you feeling unwell? I- I'm... worried... for you."
"When does your shift end?"
You smiled slightly at the half-Vulcan's question and touched two of your fingers against his. The tips of his ears blushed the slightest hue of green. He lowered his head in the barren hall to press his lips quickly to yours. You kissed him back softly as his eyes closed briefly for a prolonged moment. He then pulled away, his posture back to being tall once more and almost tense looking.
"At nine, ship's time."
"Then I shall see you in my quarters then."
You couldn't help but feel your heart beat at his words. He didn't say anything, his taste still on your lips and your heart hammering away in a way which would worry even McCoy for awhile.
Spock turned away and vanished into a turbolift to head to the bridge. You smiled to yourself as you went to collect more data chips for a presentation to an alien race.
As you slid open the door to the computer's 'library', you couldn't help but hear some ensigns speaking rather loudly. This room was usually empty from senior officers such as yourself, but you needed a place where the computer would react faster to finding out knowledge. And the bridge had a maximum number of searches which could be made before it would interfere with the efficiency of the computer during a red alert.
You sat down at a computer and began writing data and making up some reports and presentations. You flipped through McCoy's request that you make a presentation for a similar plague that the aliens were experiencing that had happened a decade or so ago on another planet. You worked slowly through Sulu's confusing instructions to upgrade the computer's maps due to a change in political power in some remote quadrant of the galaxy. Spock's requests were even more daunting, and Scotty's you put word for word into the computer, as you knew practically none of them. This had to be the least exciting work you've ever done.
You leaned back on the chair, watching the computer run through the typed instructions you gave it. Meanwhile, your attention drew to the group of ensigns nearby. They were around your age, maybe one a bit older and one somewhat younger. Most were human though tails, forehead ridges and then ears told you some were of another species.
They were gossiping which the thought alone made your insides feel hit. You simply hated the act like nobody on the ship did. McCoy simply didn't 'give a damn', as he said. Spock found it 'illogical to interfere unless it degrades work efficiency'. Kirk was somewhat flattered, Chekov and Sulu ignored it. Uhura ended up sometimes being a gossiper herself. Regardless, you always thought there were better things for them to do the complain and badmouth their superior officers. People who risked and sacrificed their lives for the entire ship. Respect was always somehow lost among the lower and newer ranks.
"I really would like to go on the bridge though."
"Well, anybody can. It's easy."
"Well, that commander chick is there. She does, like nothing at all but sleep with the first officer. She got her position by being a slut."
There was few moment's pause, enough for your disbelief to fade as your hands balled into fists. Nothing at all? Nothing when you almost died last week? Nothing while you neglected sleep for the last few days just to get some random alien race to get a new vaccine they didn't want? Nothing? What did they know about that?
And you being a slut? You and Spock had been working for entire years before either of you started a friendship, nevertheless romance. You still hadn't even made love yet. Those ensigns had no idea what they were talking about.
But it still hurt you, because it sounded plausible coming from them. It sounded like they truly thought nothing of you. Maybe it was true. You weren't such a key member like Kirk or McCoy or Scotty or even Uhura... But still... You were needed... Right?
"It's not like she even does anything on the bridge. Honestly, I bet Spock would promote anybody who'd give themselves to him. He's a perverted alien bastard."
Your jaw clenched at that. You knew Spock to many things. And none were even close to that. Spock was always the first to risk himself over anybody else, he was the hardest working officer. He was loyal and simply the best first officer in Starfleet. And that was final.
"She's a slut. Not to mention how she looks. She always looks like someone-"
"Bridge to main resource room. Commander, we need that presentation up here in twenty minutes."
"It'll be there in five. Commander out."
You stood up and collected your ideas, ignoring the snickers from the others. It was as if you were in the academy again, the odd kid because you studied and found an interest in all your courses. As if you were the freak as a younger child because you wanted to work up in space. A crazy kid with no real goals. Someone who teachers marked unmotivated and who kids always made fun of. And you hated the scars and memories it brought back.
You left the room with your head high, eyes a blank from emotion. But your legs felt like they'd fail you. Their words jumped around your head. You felt to unconfident to speak to those aliens. Kirk took over the presentation without missing a beat.
But that wasn't the words of just those ensigns. It was so hurtful because you worked so hard each and every day towards your goals. To show the world you could get into the academy, you could be a stop student, that you could get into Starfleet. But now even as a senior officer to Starfleet's flagship, you were still obsolete, expendable, no good, worthless, weak, unneeded. A million insults sunk from your memories to your current thoughts.
"You shouldn't worry for me, T'hy'la. I'm fine."
Spock didn't respond, hearing the way your voice sounded broken at your final words. You bowed your head, too many ideas crashing in your head and nowhere to escape to. You felt thrown back into the abyss you tried so hard to escape when you were younger. One of pain and hell and everything else which made you want to hide. But there was nowhere to. Not when the pain was carried in your mind. Those memories were the only ones you could remember out of your entire childhood. And now even universes away, the same problems came to face you.
The door opened and you soon felt a hand on your cheek. You didn't bother looking up, that touch so familiar to you. You didn't feel much at this meld, as if it had been a quick search. Once Spock found out the cause of your emotions he lowered his hand. He stood beside you for a moment until the first tear ran down your cheek.
"It's illogical to listen to crew member's opinion on yourself as they have never met you."
"Th- That's not the point. They're still true. I'm useless. Everybody hates me and everybody already has."
"I do not."
Spock's words were somewhat quiet and he spoke them with a sincerity which was almost foreign to his tongue. It was raw and full of emotions which laid inside of him.
"Because Vulcans don't have emotions!"
You snapped out at the half-Vulcan who didn't say anything to you. He staid steady for awhile then simply strode out. His pose was unwavering and eyes hollow, unlike any other time you saw him. You recognized that expression. A mask.
"Spock, I'm sorry. That was-"
"Don't apologize over the truth. You are correct. I am a Vulcan. Therefor, according to human beliefs-" The teasing, taunting, and insults he endure during his academy days on Earth. "-I am not only incapable of showing emotions but having any. I understand."
"Spock. It slipped-"
"Words which slip are not created spontaneously."
You didn't say anything else, walking towards him where he sat in a meditation pose on the ground. He faced away from you and you wrapped your arms around his waist lightly.
"I love you, Spock. And I know that it's not just because you're half human. Everybody has emotions, no matter how well you hide them. I know that."
"You scorn the fact I do not share mine, but you also hide yours from me. You refuse to let me see you while you're emotionally compromised."
You sighed along the half-human's neck, breath warm on his flesh. You laid a small kiss there which Spock showed no reaction to.
"Why do you place so much stress on what strangers say, but find no sincerity in my own comments. I was under the belief we were more than that. That we were T'hy'la."
You stroked a hand through the half-Vulcan's hair, trying to physically show him love. He still pays no heed to the ministrations.
"You're my k'hat'n'dlawa. I love you, Spock. I truly, honestly, do."
You take his hand out of slight desperation, holding it against your cheek. He pulls it away though, turning to face you. He pressed two fingers to your lips to both silence and kiss you.
"I do not need to meld with you to know your love. It's returned to the highest degree. I wish to know why you trust words- words from strangers- speak louder to your then actions. Why lies are stronger than all the love I try to give you."
His fingers slid down slightly to allow you to speak, and you look at his chocolate brown eyes. You then bow your head, trying to collect your thoughts.
"I want to blame it on my childhood but that's not correct... It's embarrassing, makes me feel useless-"
"But you are not, K'diwa."
"My mind tells me that, Spock. But it FEELS like something else. I can't explain it."
Your voice sounds almost broken then Spock rises slightly. In one sudden move he has his arms around you, holding you close to his chest with a softness adopted into what you could have swore was a tackle. The moment you realize what happened you smile softly to yourself and wrap your arms around his waist again.
"Do you still feel that pain?"
The half-Vulcan sounds the tiniest bit desperate, as if this was his last possibility to try out. You touch two fingers to his hand and look up at him with truthful eyes.