and they won't believe you when you write home about it, Spock/Kirk, PG-13
Pairing(s): Jim Kirk/Spock
Genre: humor, outsider!POV, established relationship ('cause that's how I roll, baby)
Disclaimer: Not mine, never was, never will be.
Warnings: swearing, m/m relationship
Summary: Hikaru Sulu knows everything, but he didn't know this.
Author's Note: Thanks the prompter here for this entire idea. Also, re: Kirk calling Spock sweetheart in this. He so would and you know it. He would call Spock sweetheart because he is kind of an asshole, and Spock would despair of it and be all Vulcany but secretly love it and throw little pouting fits when Kirk stopped. Or maybe I just want Chris Pine to say 'sweetheart' because it's my favorite endearment. You may choose based on how shallow you think I am!
Hikaru Sulu does not gossip. He is just present when other people say things about people who are not present, and then he sometimes repeats it to more people who might be interested. He doesn't gossip, because most of it is true.
OK, sometimes he's wrong, but it's not like he's going to do research. And it seemed totally plausible at the time that Uhura and Spock broke up because Uhura was pregnant with Chekov's lovechild. Chekov disagrees. Uhura disagrees louder. Spock hasn't heard anything about it, or Sulu probably still wouldn't be alive, he's pretty sure. Spock does not approve of the sharing of information about the personal lives of others on the crew. It's really not gossip. Kirk keeps him in check because Kirk understands that a ship without gossip would be a ship full of people who have lost their fucking minds.
The rumor mill doesn't do Kirk any favors in return - Sulu hears at least three times a week that Kirk's about to be removed from command because Spock's finally reported him for being completely fucking insane, even if it does work. Because Spock hates Kirk and serves on the Enterprise out of some twisted sense of duty. Everybody knows that. It's not so much gossip as fact. Kirk will fuck anything that moves (but he does it pretty discreetly because there's never any proof), Sulu knows everything and will tell you if you just ask, Kirk and Spock hate each other and the sky (on Terra) is blue. Everyone knows these things. They are nice, and stable. Like if your parents are happily married when you’re five. Except in this case, the parents hate each other, but Sulu is under a little stress and he can be forgiven if his similes have gone a little wonky.
So, you know, the mission when everything goes wrong and then there’s the unexpected and sort of horrible revelation? Kind of comes out of nowhere and bites them all in the ass and freaks Sulu the fuck out because has no one gotten the goddamn memo? He knows everything and people tell him what he didn't know and he did not know this.
It starts like this: Kirk and Spock have a ten minute fight on the bridge about who is and who is not going on a potentially dangerous away mission. Spock quotes regulations and Kirk turns bright red, issues a direct order and storms out of the room. Spock tenses and settles into the Captain's chair. Spock, Sulu has decided in six months of serving under him, isn’t actually emotionless. He experiences annoyance, just all the time. Spock barks orders and they get followed. Sulu is relieved of duty and sent to the planet with Kirk, who is in a weirdly good mood for a man who has a good chance of being killed in his sleep by his first officer (Sulu once heard that Spock even has a knife ready to do it, as soon as he deems it logical).
The away mission goes wrong, because this is Jim Kirk, and this is the Enterprise and they don't have missions so much as new opportunities to get battered and broken. They get to a cave, two men left behind them and Kirk's practically bleeding out. Sulu has a bit of med training but really, really just not enough to deal with this. He can pack the wound and he can make soothing noises, but that's kind of it. And Kirk won't be soothed anyway, so there's no point doing that part. He also has a hypospray full of sedative, but Kirk is weirdly good at batting him off. Maybe there is something to those stories about McCoy back at the Academy. He'd never told those, because he really likes Dr. McCoy.
"Get me your communicator," Jim says, finally, his having been lost or fried by the fire, maybe. Sulu hands it over. "Kirk, Enterprise. It's not going so great down here. Can you get a lock on us?"
"Negative, Captain," Chekov's voice, sounding a little nervous. Sulu's almost entirely sure he'll survive - you tend to, when you're with Jim Kirk. He's still kind of pissed he never got the rations Chekov owed him before he sacrificed his life for the Federation. Or at least came damn close to it. "Can you come out of the cave? I should be able to beam you from the mouth."
"No, he can't," Sulu says before Kirk can start. He has enough medical training to know moving Kirk is signing his death warrant.
"Why not?" Spock, this time. His voice tight.
"The captain's severely injured," Sulu says, before Kirk can make it sound like he's fine.
"Should I advise Dr. McCoy?" Spock, again.
"Yes," Sulu says, and he can tell Kirk was about to say no.
"What can you do from up there?" Kirk says, struggling to sit up. Sulu pushes him back down, by the shoulder on his uninjured side. It's probably not insubordination if it saves his captain's fool life. "Do we have anything you could fire near the cave, scare them off? They're nasty, Spock, but they're primitive."
"We could modify a torpedo. It will take approximately thirty-eight minutes," Spock answers. "I will contact Lieutenant Commander Scott." There is a three minute lull. Kirk gasps, Sulu puts more pressure on the wound and Kirk swears. He hears something from the ship at that, sounds like Spock - he can't imagine even the tight assed Vulcan XO would reprimand a man for swearing while he dies (and Sulu's starting to get genuinely worried about that being one of the possibilities, Captain James T. Kirk or no).
There's the sound of movement, and then of the turbolift.
"Jim?" Spock, who Sulu has heard use the captain's given name all of once. He sounds unusually soft. "How badly are you hurt?"
"You know Sulu's getting all of this, right?"
"How badly are you hurt?" Much more emphasis than he's heard since the Narada incident. He's going to have to tell someone that Spock apparently doesn't actually want Kirk dead. Then, what happens next. Well, it happens.
And Hikaru Sulu knows everything, and he normally only speaks the truth, everybody knows that. But there is no one who is going to fucking believe what he hears down in that cave while Captain Kirk is dying and Spock is on his way to Engineering.
"I'm fine," Jim says, Spock makes a noise that sounds kind of like a scoff. Closest to laughing Sulu's ever heard him, and he thinks it's a bit insensitive at a time like this.
"Sweetheart," maybe the captain's not going to die if he can still put that much effort into making Spock uncomfortable. Maybe he's got superpowers. Sulu wouldn't put it past him. Though he sounded oddly serious. "I always come back, don't I?"
"I cannot predict whether you will survive these injuries on the basis of your surviving past injuries."
"It's kind of sweet how worried you get about me, you know. Makes me think you kind of like me or something."
"You know my feelings for you," Sulu has no idea what the fuck is going on. He sits very still, moving only to stop the Captain from sitting up when he tries. Maybe if he's very quiet and very still no one will notice he's here and Kirk won't kill him for hearing this. He's pretty damn sure he won't survive once Spock figures out what he's hearing, and who he is (Spock must know how Sulu works when he finds out something this damn good even if Sulu still doesn't really believe it).
"Not going to tell a dying man you love him, huh?"
"You are not a dying man," Spock says, oddly heartfelt. The turbolift stops. "You would need my permission for that. I am not ready to assume command."
"I'll keep that in mind. And hey, sweetheart?" Seriously, that is never going to stop being very fucked up. "Love you, too."
"Sulu, you will make sure he survives until I can bring a rescue mission," Spock says, "and you will keep this to yourself."
The fuck he will.
Three days later, Kirk is recovered (limping, but recovered), and he throws them a coming out party in the mess. Well, it's his fault that there is a party, Dr. McCoy does most of the actual throwing, this shit-eating grin on his face and laughing himself silly most of the time.
Kirk looks like he thinks it's kind of funny.
Spock looks like he's planning Sulu's horrible death.