“She said she hates her life and wants to change her ways
She wakes in the night and whispers
Oh so quiet
Hold onto me, Hold onto me
Don't you ever leave, Don't you ever leave
I know I've got my problems and it’s probably me
So hold onto me, Hold onto me.”
“Be quite,” She whispers and refrains from placing her hand over his mouth out of courtesy for his culture and his aversion to being touched. He’s older than her but her eyes have a certain look that hints to the fact that she was forced to grow up too fast and he’s new and has not yet learnt the inner workings of their foster home; mostly every night her foster father comes home intoxicated and beats anyone in his path and destroys everything. They hear a glass bottle break and the gruff voice, clearly belonging to a man, raised in anger. Their foster mother screams and there is more breaking of bottles and furniture and her eyes find his in the dim lighting of the hallway closet tucked behind a wall of coats and suitcases.
His face is stoic, he looks unfazed but she could almost see a flicker of fear in his eyes behind his Vulcan calm and she smiles sadly. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” Her voice is firm and unwavering and she actually believes herself.
“Stayed up to late and it hurts to breathe
Said it's 4 A.M., girl go back to sleep
Sometimes at night I can hear her dreams
Come rescue me, Come rescue
Don't you ever leave, Don't you ever leave”
Spock watches as Nyota flicks the old lighter thoughtfully and gazes out of the dirty window. “I want to get out of here Spock,” She whispers and she turns to look at him, giving him a sad smile. He offers her his index and middle finger in the Vulcan kiss and she accepts almost gratefully allowing him to send reassurance and calm through their point of contact, she sighs and withdraws.
“It feels like I’m losing it… I know I was young but I still remember their screams. They were killing everyone.” She trails off when she hears the front door slam and a string of slurred curses escape in huff. Her eyes widen and dart to Spock who gave an almost human expression of panic; they’re too far from any of their designated hiding spots to make a dash for it so she raises the window as quietly as she can and motions Spock out of it.
Nyota’s about to follow him when hands grab her hair and pulls her back in. She’s barely able to let out a yelp before her foster father has her pinned to the couch and his stale breath is fanning out over her face and his long greasy locks are tickling her forehead. His hand travels up her skirt and she gasps, shutting her eyes tightly.
“No, stop!” She shouts willing herself not to cry, she’s not 9 anymore “Stop!” She shouts again and he tries to cover her protests with his lips but his weight is yanked off of her suddenly.
She sits up and Spock is holding Jeff, their scumbag of a foster father by his hair, making him kneel on the floor. Anger raises up in her chest so forcefully that it hurts, forcing her to swallow more times than necessary. Even though Spock is the size of a seventeen year old human, he’s able to keep the man on the ground easily.
“Show me,” Spock says still keeping his firm grip on Jeff, who sways drunkenly on his knees and feebly tries to fight back. Nyota shakes her head and looks away from him.
“Nyota, show me,” He says a bit more forcefully and she looks at him, stepping closer for his hand to come in contact with her psi points. She can feel him sorting through her memories and his growing anger at the human at her feet. She flinches when he sees the first time it happened, it was before Spock was placed in this house, and she had now turned 9.
She can still remember his hot breath on her shoulder and the feel of his right hand sliding up her nightgown to touch her and him making her touch and lick parts of him that made her feel dirty all the while her pleads for him to stop go ignored.
Her eyes prickle with tears when she remembers him getting on top of her and putting his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams of pain and sobs as he took her virginity.
A single tear slides down her cheek as she relives the guilt, pain and self-loathing she feels as he leaves and she cries for hours before going to clean herself up.
Spock’s hand falls from her face and his normally stoic expression hardens into one of cool rage. He lets go of Jeff’s hair so he falls to the floor and rolls over onto his back. Spock steps on Jeff’s right hand, shattering the bones in a casual display of Vulcan strength. Jeff’s cries fill the shabby room and Nyota folds her hand in front of her chest unable to not let that dark part of her –The part of her that has been losing its grip on sanity. The part she’d taken great measures to hide. – derive some sort of pleasure from the scumbag’s pain.
The scream and sobbing coming from Jeff is interspersed with profanities and Spock steps on his other hand careful to grind his booted foot into the appendage. Spock holds Jeff up by the throat, his feet dangling a few feet off the ground and Spock looks at her sideways, waiting on some sort of confirmation from her as his grip tightens on the man’s neck.
Nyota holds her head up and retrieves the pocket knife she keeps tucked away in her boot during the day and under her pillow at night. She flicks it open and approaches Jeff, her rage causes her to shake slightly. She chuckles darkly when reaches him and his red face stares at her, blinking slowly and his lips moving incoherently. He tries to move his useless arms but she imagines they hurt too much to be of use.
“Ple- please…stop,” He manages to choke out and Spock struggles not to just snap his neck or rip out his trachea…with his pointy Vulcan teeth; he not only witnessed everything the scum did to Nyota but everything she felt as well. A wave of anger overcomes Nyota and she positions the blade of the knife between his rib cage; her face calm but her eyes seething.
“Did you ever stop when I asked – no begged you to?” She didn’t wait for his response before driving the knife forward and upward. She let the warm, sticky blood coat her hands as she watched the light go out in his eyes and the blood tumbled past his lips as he tried to make words.
She pulled out the knife and let it clatter to the floor as she stared at the crimson stain on her hands with a crazed look. She lets out a strangled chuckle of pleasure before she feels nauseous at her reaction and her eyes flicker to Spock who had let the limp body drop to the floor. He stepped closer to her, his left hand cupping her face and the other hovering right above her psi points waiting for her permission. She nodded slightly and he entered her mind and she entered his, sharing their thoughts and emotions. His forehead rested against hers and her eyes closed.
This time, I’ll take care of you. He pushes the echo of her words she’d used when they first met and his resolute towards her and she nods, wrapping her arms around him and letting him comfort her.
Her head is held high and her long dark hair is flowing down her back, stopping just before the delicate curve of her behind. She has an air of superiority and the feline walk of a predator and all eyes follow her movements carefully even his own. Dangerous. He can tell she’s not much older than him, there’s subtle youth on her face but maturity in her dark eyes. There’s an alarm going off in the back of his mind, he unconsciously thinks that she shouldn’t be here. He keeps his eyes on her.
She doesn’t stop at the bar though, she moves past it to the back rooms which dabbled in less than kosher activities under the cover of darkness. He drowns his shot and moves through the thinning crowd of bar patrons with lithe grace, following her. She walks past gyrating bodies in the dim lighting of the hallway to the last door down the hall. He’s pretty sure, it’s the back entrance so he loiters for a minute or two before going outside.
The cool air mixed with cigarette smoke, vomit - and he’s certain at least 7 other inter-galactic contrabands - hits him square in the face. He looks around the dim alley, they’re two people in the corner of the alley. Either they hadn’t notice him as yet or deemed him insignificant. His Klingon is more than a bit rusty but he’s pretty sure they’re talking prices.
There’s a pause in the conversation and the girl frowns thoughtfully and then she has a phaser in her hand, pointing it to the man’s temple. Her stance is loose and relaxed like she’s not at all fazed by the Klingon warrior who’s got about 6 inches and 70 pounds on her.
She switches to Standard, he’d like to think for his benefit but she doesn’t know he’s watching.
“You’re wanted dead or alive and it’s a hell of a lot easier dead.” The Klingon man lunges for her but she’s quick on the trigger and he’s on the ground. She puts away her phaser and bends over him to pat his body down for any personal affects.
She stands and then her eyes are on him, searching. She slowly, fluidly walks over to him and he doesn’t move. “What’s your name?” She asked when they’re almost close enough to touch.
“Jim,” He says after a beat. He should be scared but he's not.
“Okay Jimmy,” She smiles but it doesn’t reach her eyes. “I’m Nyota.” She steps closer to him and he steps back right into the wall.
There’s movement at the mouth of the alley but Nyota doesn’t move just keeps her eyes on him. The tall figure ghosts past them quickly, reaching down to examine the Klingon. His head cocks to the side letting Jim see his pointed ears. He scans the body with his tricoder before his head turns around sharply. Answering an unasked question.
“He’s a human being Nyota, one with a complex thought process. We cannot ‘keep’ him,”
Nyota pouts and there must have been more silent communication because she responses in kind.
“I can tell you’re interested, Spock... He has eyes like the deepest ocean,”
“He has to wake up,” The Vulcan, Spock, says.
Jim finally finds his voice “Wake up? I’m already awake,” He says but as soon as the words leave his lips, the already dims lighting of the alley turns blood red and his heart rate increases. Both of their eyebrows raise in unison, which would have been comical if the situation wasn’t so confusing.
He can feel his body grow lighter and the world around him blurs out of focus. He tries to take large gulps of air but his lungs fail him.
He’s rising or falling; he’s not sure which because he couldn’t tell up from down. He still feels her small warm hand on his face and he grasps at it, probably holding too tight but if he’s hurting her, she doesn’t protest. Her warmth seems to calm him down and he’s finally able to draw a breath, deep and necessary, like if he has just broken through the surface of a body of water. The shivers that ripple through his body is not unpleasant and he feels the thug of a body that is not his own – at least one he does not remember - and he is anxious and he fights against it but then there is another hand on his face, one too warm to be human and he succumbs, feeling a giddy-ness through the touch.
“Don’t worry,” Says a soft voice as he goes under, “I’ve got you,”
“I'm a drifters body in an open sea
And I've seen my reflection staring right back at me
With no place to go and you're left all alone
There's no place like home
Hold onto me, Hold onto me
Just stay with me, Just stay with me”
Three months have passed since Nyota and Spock had found him in a cryogenic container deep in an abandoned spice den on Orion. He was barely holding on to his life and just like her - and by extension Spock – he was barely holding on to his sanity as well.
He had created a world inside his head to protect him from the harsh reality that he was going to die there in a cryogenic container some drunk Orions had pushed him into jokingly to preserve his fleeting human good looks. He had crafted a world where he could run free unhindered.
It would be easy to say he is a loud, self-absorbed man, his presence an offense. But it would depend on which angle you are standing in relation to the light. Here, where Nyota was perched, the dying sun had escaped into his presence and you are instead conscious of warmth and fierce energy like motes of dust on sunlight rush, swirl, eagerly towards him, he draws them in and flings them out. He’s like a constant wave of the sea, not a river. Not rivers with their dark runes and murmurous secrets.
When he had been well enough, she had asked
“Isn’t there somewhere you can go?” He had looked up, a flush making its way up his neck, frowned and fiddled with the edges of the PADD before he looked away,
“No, there’s nowhere…” She had waited for him to elaborate like he excitedly does with his equations or his likes and dislikes but he doesn’t. He just smiles a bit sadly and goes back to his calculations. And then Nyota thinks that she might have been wrong… he may be exactly like a river, full of secrets.
It’s times like this when Nyota’s defences breaks down, when it’s quite and she has time to let her dark thoughts fester and consume her.
The swirling of thoughts and memories jumble into her head, the roaring pains of the screams in her ears has her curling up into a ball onto her bed like a wounded animal, praying she can get a reprieve.
Prayers tumble from her lips in every language she knows, to almost every deity out there and it all falls on deaf ears.
She stays in bed, the memories of blood flowing freely through the streets are on a loop. She bathes in the blood of her sister, her father, her neighbours. Everyone she knows, the faces come back a blur from her childhood memories but she can still feel the warmth of her family and then the sickening hollowness. A hole too wide to fill and you’d be a fool to try.
There is screaming and Nyota doesn’t know if it’s in her head or if it’s out loud but hands are on her shoulders shaking her and she’s pushing and fighting. She can’t die too.
“STOP!” She shouts and the whole world slows down except for her; her heart beat is erratic and her eyes are open staring up at the ceiling. There are two weights on the bed near her feet but she doesn’t look because she can feel tears running down her face.
They sit in a heavy silence until she whispers “I’m fine,” in a hoarse voice before turning unto her stomach and burying her face in her pillow.
When she stirs a few hours later in the dead of the night, she whispers “Hold on to me… Don’t you ever leave.” And they don’t their weights move to either side of her, entangling their limbs and whispering “We’re not going anywhere,”
He’s free and running, as far away as he can and as fast as possible. If he was back there on that god forsaken planet, he’d be punished for trying to escape. He’d fall under the weight of the blows but no sound would escape him.
The idea that he’s free and his own person is staggering, he has belonged to someone as long as he can remember. Probably he can belong to them, he muses when he finally reaches to the top of a hill.
He’s not sure how far he ran but he has a stitch in his side and a light sheen of sweat coats his lean, scarred body. The gravity is denser than he’s accustomed to and he drops unceremoniously to his knees, uncaring if he skinned them or not. He lies on the grass, watching as the three suns set before going back to them. Their unstable dynamic that’s almost certain to leave them all worse than when they first went in but what they have now is enough. It’s about to crumble and fall apart soon but he can still at least hold on to the now.
Since Bones had basically been kidnapped, he had noticed lots of things about the trio. The girl, Nyota, seemed to have an aversion to chairs, she could always be found perched in Jim’s or the Vulcan, Spock’s lap and when they were unavailable to act as her seat; she’d stand, shifting her weight to either leg. She also had trouble sleeping, she’d drink tea and throw herself into a new language- as Bones discovered she was very good at- and when she did manage to get any sleep it would be fitful as evidence could be seen the next morning.
Jim, he seemed more at ease than Bones had ever seen him, they had met on Terra, when they were children and Jim always seemed alert and probably a bit scared. But here, with them, he’s relaxed.
“Come on Bones, you’re nearby just help us out,” Bone’s old friend, Jim had pleaded to him. “She really needs a real doctor to look at her,”
Bones grinds his teeth together and them vocalises his displeasure by his extensive vocabulary of cuss words before taking one look at the man he hasn’t seen in several years and relents
“Lead the way,”
Jim smiles that sly smile that makes Bones regret agreeing but he swallows his displeasure and just follow after his friend’s long strides.
They made their way to a docking station under a dilapidated neon sign that sparked and was way outdated.
She was inside the shuttle siting on a stool smeared in wet and dry blood and in nothing more than her black lace underwear. Leonard stared at her and she stared back at him with the same intensity but a bit warily. If she was at all uncomfortable with his once overs she didn’t show it.
She flicked her gaze over to Jim who nodded and then to the Vulcan on her right before brushing her hair from her shoulder and revealing the long gash running from the top of her shoulder to her elbow, it's deep and still bleeding.
“Can you just clean it up and makes sure I don’t get any infections.” She says to him.
“Can I just ask who the hell you people are?”
“You can,” she says “But who’s to say we have to answer,”
“Can you do this or not? I can always find another doctor.” The way she tilts her head and narrows her eyes has him thinking that he really has no choice in the matter. So he does it all the while her eyes on him, distrustful.
When he’s finished she narrowed her eyes at her clean, unblemished skin. “Thanks we can always use someone like you,”
“Glad to be of service,” Bones says tightly and stands, handing the medical kit to Spock.
“So we’re keeping you,” She continues without preamble, shrugging on clothing.
Bones sputters, “Like hell you are! I’m not property you cannot keep me. Jim!” Bones turns to his friend who looks unapologetic “She cannot keep me!”
Jim’s eyes move to Nyota who has taken perch on Spock’s lap. “I think she’s accustom to getting what she wants Bones,”
Bones is about to retort but the look that falls upon the girl’s face has him keeping his mouth closed.
She’s scary and scared and halfway out of her mind, Bones thinks now as he watches her stand by the window with a PADD in one hand and a cup of tea in the other.
“What’s your deal?” He asks and she looks up at him slowly. “You’re always so reckless and you seem so lost,”
She takes long, confident strides over to him and crouches so they’re eye level.
“Everything is just a means to an end,” She says quietly “In the end we’re all going to burn,”
A dark chuckle escapes her lips and Bones could see it in her eyes, the dark flames destroying everything in its path. Everyone going up as one and he shrinks back from her because it’s a fire she lit just for the fun of watching the world burn.
I wanna watch the whole world
I wanna watch the whole world burn down, burn down
I wanna watch the world burn
I wanna watch the whole world burn down, burn down