Continuing Tales

For the Rest of Us

A Star Trek Story
by Psicygni

Part 7 of 10

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"M'sleeping you crazy woman."

"Gaila, I'm serious."

"Oh, good, cause I thought for a second you were waking me up in the middle of the night as a joke. Haha, I'm a human, surprise!"

"We only do that in the beginning of April, and it's not the middle of the night, it's 0953 and you asked me to wake you up so that you could finish your homework so that you can go tonight."

"Go where?"

"Thex and Schori's. It's Sunday. And what's wrong with you? How much did you have to drink last night?"

"I don't want to," Gaila groans, turning over in her bed and pulling the covers up over her head so that her words are muffled. "I'm too tired."

"You wanted to get your homework done because Spock's going to-"

"It's Vulcan night!"

Nyota resists the urge to rub at her ear, but doesn't bother stopping herself from glaring at her roommate, now sitting straight up in bed with the blankets pooled around her waist.

"It… is. Wow, you can be really, really loud."

"I can't wait! I'm so excited! This is going to be so- Wait."

"Wait, what?"



"I told you to wake me up at ten."

"I was tired of listening to you snoring."

"You are normally at the gym on Sunday mornings."

"I couldn't really sleep so I also slept in late – not this late, but I-"

"You always sleep well."

"No, it was just last night, I-"

"Nyota Uhura, you are freaking out."

"I am not, that's not, it isn't-"

"Spock's mom, who he adores, is coming today."



"She's the-"

"Nyota Uhura, is she or isn't she going to be there?"

"Uh, yes, I guess so?"

"You guess so?" Gaila asks, one green finger extended across the gap between their beds to point at the center of Nyota's chest. "All casual? You guess she's maybe coming, just possibly might swing by, totally not a big deal?"

"But it's not-"

"Have you eaten anything today?"


"What are you going to wear tonight? Answer without thinking go!"


"Are you going to bring your resume? You are, aren't you, that would absolutely be something you would do. Hi I'm Nyota, I'm perfect, your son is perfect, we kissed once for like two seconds so we're basically married and-"

"I don't know what he and I are doing and I don't know what he told her and I don't know where this is going with him and I don't know what she thinks and-" She tries to make some type of gesture that would sum it all up and just ends up kind of wildly flapping her hands at Gaila. "And we've talked for maybe thirty seconds since I saw him the other night and neither of us really said anything and we never said if we – if this was a thing and now she's going to be here and … and you're right, I don't know what to wear."

"Well," Gaila says, throwing the covers back and bouncing out of her bed. "That part's easy. I mean the rest of it is too, since you're just freaking out because it's basically your favorite hobby, but clothes are what I do."

"No lingerie, Gaila."

"Oh." Gaila only pouts for a moment before brightening again. "How about breakfast instead? Waffles?"

"No, I- I told Spock I'd go over to Thex and Schori's and help him with everything and he's back from Seattle and I need to get going and-"

"And so instead you're sitting here talking to me?"

"Yes. No. I'm going, I'm going right now," Nyota says, though she finds she doesn't move from her perch on the side of her bed, just keeps sitting there and staring at Gaila, who's staring right back at her.

"So go."

"I'm going."

"Wow, you're moving really fast, slow down there."

"What if she doesn't like me?"

"What if you sit there, unmoving, for the entire rest of your life and I have to explain to everyone I ever bring back to the room why my roommate who is at the top of her class, completely gorgeous and capable of doing basically everything perfect the first time she tries something, and knows more words than anyone needs to ever know – and I mean that literally – can't just say 'hi' to a woman who's probably predisposed to think she's the neatest thing since someone invented how to separate bread into pieces, because her son's tripping over himself about her?"

"That was a lot of pronouns."

"Out. Go. Now. Bye."



"But what if-"

"Nyota Uhura, you are fine. Repeat after me."

"Repeat what?" Nyota asks when Gaila doesn't say anything else.

"I don't know, that's just something humans say sometimes, you figure it out, it's your stupid planet and your stupid language."

"You are no help."

"It's because your bra selections are atrocious. Like, if we could just go shopping? Then we could get something really, really cute and you'd be so-"

"I'm going," Nyota sighs, standing up and smoothing her hands over her skirt, trying to calm the flutter of nerves that's sitting in her stomach.

"Like I said, slow down there. Don't hurt yourself running."

"You are not as funny as you think you are."

"I'm hilarious, and awesome, and pretty, and wonderful, and you're lucky to have me and Mrs. Spock's Mom is going to love you, so get."

"That's not her-"


Nyota's only a little late to meet him and is only slightly on edge when Thex opens the door and greets her.

"Good. Hi, I mean, thanks. Um."

"Spock is in the kitchen."


"It is to your left."

"No, I-" Nyota pauses, presses her lips together, and forces herself to actually breathe. She also forces herself to meet Thex's quizzical stare. "Good morning, how's your weekend been?"

"We painted the young one's room."

"Oh, great, that must of have been fun," Nyota says, unzipping her coat and hanging it where she normally does. "What color did you choose?"




"For, ah, all four walls?"

"And the ceiling."

"That's, uh…"

"It is so beautiful," Schori says, coming down the stairs with a wide smile on her face and one hand covering her stomach.

"I can imagine," Nyota says politely. "You two must be getting so excited. How long, exactly?"

"Several weeks," Schori says, her hand slipping into Thex's. "Not so very long at all, now."

"That's a lot quicker than for humans, then."

"I have been pregnant for fourteen Terran months."

"Oh. That's- Hi."

Spock looks so incredibly good in those slacks of his that he wears all the time and a thick, dark sweater that hugs his chest and falls just so across his flat stomach and narrow waist. And she hasn't seen him since she left his apartment that night and a couple of quick comm calls, and even briefer messages back and forth is nothing compared to having him standing there looking right at her.

"Is there something you need, Spock?" Thex asks and Nyota draws in a deep breath, realizing neither of them have spoken in too long of a time.

"Not at this juncture," Spock answers, only darting the briefest glance at Thex. "Was your weekend satisfactory, Nyota?"

"I finished that paper."


She brushes her hands down the front of her shirt and tugs at it to straighten it.

"How was Seattle?"


"Great, that's great."

"We need ice," Shori says.

"We have ice," Thex replies.

"We need to buy diapers."

"The young one will not be here until-"

"We need more black paint."

"We finished-"

"Let's paint the wooden containment system that humans use for their young, Thex." Schori tugs him past Nyota and over to the front door. "We will return with black paint. Please inform us if you need any further supplies while we are out."

"You know that Spock is typically prepared for-"

"We will also be getting ourselves lunch."

"You already had an early-"

"I am pregnant, Thex, I am having a second lunch."

Nyota's aware of them leaving, the rush of cool air flowing in from the door washing over her, but she's entirely sure that's not the source of the shiver that runs through her.

"Hi," she repeats in the quiet and stillness of the house when they're gone.


"How's it all going with-" she starts, then just gestures to the kitchen behind him because it's getting harder and harder for her to talk with him looking at her like that. "Did I miss all the baking?"

"You did not."


"Why did you want to make everything here and not at your place?" she asks since she's maybe a little disappointed – a lot disappointed – that they're not alone in his apartment.

"I would not have had time to both return from Seattle as well as transport everything from my quarters."

"Oh. Logical."


"I'm glad that Seattle was good."

"Indeed." He motions back behind him and she thinks that maybe she's not the only one slightly at a loss for words. "If you would like-"

"Yeah, sure, of course."

Everything is neatly arranged in the kitchen, all of his spices that are normally on his counter lined up on Thex and Schori's, and three kaasas in a row, and a small pile of hi'rats which look so much better than the ones the mess hall has that she has trouble not reaching for one, since he probably bought exactly as many as he needed.

"You have tried them before?" he asks, following her gaze.

"Yeah, they're good, they remind me of grapes."

"I have never tried grapes."

"You should, sometime."

"Perhaps I will."

"Not as good fresh as they are when they're fermented, though." He just looks at her and she feels that quivering, rushing sensation she gets whenever he's that close and is focused on her like that. "As in wine."

"I see."

"Good." she says.

"That fact is duly noted," he says, then leans down and kisses her.

His mouth against hers, the way he immediately cups her shoulders in his hands, and the way he presses towards her when she closes her hands over his elbows makes the knot of nerves in her chest loosen into excitement and happiness, a feeling that blooms through her the longer he kisses her.

She follows his mouth when he starts to pull back, pressing her lips to the side of his mouth, his chin, his own lips again, briefly, before letting her nose trace the length of his and letting herself smile. She curls her hand around the back of his neck and holds him there against her for a moment, her fingers skating through the short, silky hair on the back of his head, and their faces crowded so close that she can feel him breathing against her skin.

"I missed you," she whispers when she hasn't really stopped touching him and he hasn't let go over her, either. When he nods in agreement, his nose bumps against her cheek.

They share one more soft, lingering kiss before he steps back from her and she reluctantly lets her hands drop from him, her fingers drifting over his shoulder and chest.

"Are you going to show me what to do?" she asks. "How I can help?"

But he's just watching her, his gaze dark and steady and she feels herself flush, feels the urge to raise her hands to her cheeks to see if they're burning.

"Yes," he says, seeming to shake himself without actually moving. "There is much to prepare."

"I can tell," she says, nodding over at the counter.

"Thex had offered assistance as well, so without his help we might find that we are slightly behind schedule."

"Oh," she says lightly, her mouth strangely dry under his continued scrutiny. "There's a schedule?"

"Of course."

"Right," she nods. "Of course. And Thex did kind of skip out on us."

"He did."

He's kissing her again before she quite knows what's happening, her lower back pressed into the counter and her arms around his neck, his mouth insistent and tender all at once. He cups the back of her head in one warm hand as she tips her face up farther, to better reach his mouth, to better respond to the way he's kissing her, so precise and heated like he is.

She draws in a shaky breath when he pulls away enough to switch angles and then his lips are on hers again and she feels a low heat settle deep in her stomach at the slip of his tongue against hers.

"We should, ah, probably-" he starts to say, later, after she's breathless and flushed and there's a slightly green tinge to his cheeks.

"Baking," she says, her tongue darting over her lip and she watches his eyes drop back to her mouth.

"Baking," he repeats. "That is…"


He stares at her mouth for another long moment. "Unfortunately," he says and she can't help but smile.

"Show me," she says and when his fingers drift against hers, then tangle together briefly, she can feel the warm tingle of his happiness and beneath it a hot, coursing heat pass between them.

"Are you going to sing?" Gaila asks, squinting up at Spock.


"Are you going to play your thingy?"

"To what are you referring?"

"The-" Gaila gestures a bit wildly but Spock seems to understand.

"Ah, no, I will not."

"Is this going to be interesting?"

"I believe so."

"Is there any chance of alcohol?"

"I did not bring any."

"So probably no meat then, either."

"That is correct."


"I believe you can make a logical deduction as to my answer."

Gaila lets out a breath of air and gives Nyota a stern look.

"What?" Nyota asks, the hand that isn't resting on Spock's back raised, palm out towards her roommate. "Why are you looking at me like this is my fault?"

"Are you going to explain the eyebrows?" Gaila asks, apparently finally done skewering Nyota with that irritated look.


"Or why your ears are so pointy?"

"Gaila," Nyota says. "You can't just ask someone why they-"

"But I want to know," Gaila says, crossing her arms. "Or I want a drink."

"I believe that in all likelihood Thaalan will be bringing ale."

"Good." Gaila uncrosses her arms but is still giving Spock a look that suggests she thinks he's holding out on her. "I just think that if you're going to do a whole Vulcan thing tonight, something about your ears should be included."

"You did not explain why you are green when you were the host," Spock points out.

"That's true," Nyota agrees and gets another look, this time accompanied by a long sigh by her roommate.

"Don't be on his side."

"I'm -"

"And being green is awesome and requires no explanation."

"Then why do you insist upon-"

"I just really feel like I really, really need to know, Spock."

"I do not understand your fascination with this topic."

"Because," Gaila says. "Like, logic and stuff."

"That does not-"

"Does your mom know?"

"Do I know what?" Nyota hears from behind her and Gaila brightens, her gaze shifting to over Nyota's shoulder and a smile stretching across her face.

"Why Vulcan's ears are all pointy?" she says, her green hands clapping together and her fingers fluttering against each other. "And hi, I'm Gaila, it's so nice to meet you and this is Nyota, obviously, but you probably already know all about her, and this is your son and you know him, and there's zero alcohol but you probably didn't know that – and no dessert, either so you should really talk to Spock about how to throw a fun party because he doesn't seem to know and the other thing we don't know about is the ear thing."

"Mother," Spock says, turning away from Gaila and Nyota lets her hand drop away from him as he does so, swallowing against the jump that has seemed to settle in her throat.

"Hello," the older woman says, reaching out to touch her son's hand when Spock holds his fingers out to her. She's in robes, and her head is mostly covered, a couple loose strands of silvery brown hair slipping towards her dark eyes, and Nyota's rather surprised to find that she's shorter than herself, somehow thinking that Spock's mother would be a lot taller.

"Can I shake your hand?" Gaila asks, sticking her own out. "It's a weird thing to do, but I'm kind of into it."

"Nice to meet you, Gaila," Spock's mother says and when she smiles, just small and fleeting, it's so warm and kind that Nyota can't help but think that she knows exactly where Spock gets that particular expression.

"I'm Nyota," she says and wonders what she normally does with her hands when she's talking to someone, because right then they feel kind of in the way and like she doesn't know where to put them. Pockets, she thinks, and tries to swallow down the weird thing her heart is doing in her chest, like her stomach's trying to jump right past it. Any of her clothes with pockets would have been a good choice and of course she couldn't have actually thought of that before leaving her dorm that morning.

"Amanda," the other woman responds and her hand is soft and Nyota thinks that maybe she thought it would be warm, like how Spock is always warm, but it's just like any other human's hand she's ever shaken.

"Do you need any help?" Amanda asks Spock, her hand rising to smooth out the fabric of his sweater over his shoulder.

"Not at all."

"There's no drinks," Gaila says, her tone as forlorn as Nyota's ever heard it.

"There was a gentleman with a bottle of-" Amanda starts.

"I have ale!" Thaalan grins, appearing next to them. "For you, my dear," he says, handing Gaila a tall, full glass.

"Ah, there he is," Amanda says and Nyota watches her watch Gaila let out a small squeal of delight, already taking a long sip, even as the older woman's eyes shine like Spock's do, sometimes, when he finds something amusing.

"Mother, this is Thaalan."

"Welcome, welcome," Thaalan says, his hand first brushing over his chest in his own way of introducing himself, before he holds out a blue hand for her to shake. "We're so happy you could make it."

"Of course, I wouldn't have wanted to miss tonight," she answers.

"This is Didiza," Gaila says, pointing to where Schori is helping pull purple globs off of Yeinydd and hand it back to her. "And have you met a Seiliu ever? He's nice, his name's Yeinydd, but he's pretty quiet this time of year." Gaila's voice lowers slightly before she continues. "We keep telling Didiza not to give him hugs, that he's just going dormant for the winter, but she's so worried about him."

"I can imagine," Amanda says.

"And that's everyone – or not everyone, everyone, cause that's Schori and over there is her husband Thex and they have this awesome nursery for their baby – it's all black, you should totally see it, it's so amazing – and I think R'Eka's coming later with Crisaedh, and - look Hlaura and Chorenn just walked in - and Gouth and Trav are on their way and like lots of other people too. So that wasn't everyone," Gaila shrugs. "But anyway, don't step on Didiza cause I did once and I couldn't get all of her off of my shoe – I mean, they were Nyota's shoes, not mine, really – but don't do it cause then part of her will be all the way back on Vulcan and then where will we be?"

"That would be unfortunate."

"Exactly. Unfortunate. And you know what's even more unfortunate?"

"I am unsure," Amanda says carefully.

"That we don't know about this ear thing!" Gaila says, turning back to Spock, who's just been watching her silently, his eyes cutting back and forth between her and his mother. "I think that what's really going on here, Professor I'm-The-Biggest-Genius-Starfleet-Has-Seen-In-Like-Ever is that you don't know."

Spock opens his mouth to answer and Nyota watches his lips move like he's about to speak, before he closes his mouth again and his head dips to the side.

"Blue skin helps us blend into the glaciers at the edge of the sea, where our forefathers first emerged from," Thaalan says, downing half of his glass of ale in one gulp and smiling at Spock even as he does so.

"I can photosynthesize," Gaila says primly. "Which is pretty damn helpful when people don't bring dessert to parties, Spock. Just saying."

"It is dark out," Spock points out, gesturing to the window and Gaila crosses her arms again.

"Don't even try to change the subject, Mister I'm-So-Observant-I-Can-Figure-Out-That-The-Sun-Set-Two-Hours-Ago."

"Technically, it set one hour and-"

"I might recommend that Miss Gaila attend High Council meetings on Vulcan," Amanda says quietly and Nyota glances at her to find that soft smile pulling at her mouth again as Gaila cuts Spock off mid sentence. "I can think of a number of ministers who may very well benefit from such… forwardness."

"In her review from one of our professors last semester, she got called 'audacious'. I think she's maybe never been so happy."

"You are cadets?" Amanda asks. "I didn't realize that you're a student."

"Oh, I… yes, we are." It feels weird, suddenly, that she's a student and Spock's a commissioned officer, something that's readily apparent whenever they talk about their work and often isn't a big deal, but now seems strangely important. "Gaila's my roommate, actually."

"Spock told me that you worked in Xenolinguistics," Amanda says and either doesn't find the difference in ranks between Nyota and her son strange, or is completely able to hide it.

"I do, that's my focus, I'm in the communications track," Nyota says quickly. "But I'm a student, I don't work with him, not really." And then his hand's on her, gentle on the back of her neck, his fingers slipping under her hair to rest on the skin there and she feels a calm flow over her, laced with a hot, happy joy that makes something in her chest flush warm and thick. "We, uh, I was helping him on a project for some universal translators, though, a little while ago."

"And you speak Ociramman? Spock mentioned that," Amanda says and Nyota glances up at him. He doesn't look at her, still too focused on his debate with Gaila, but his fingers tighten slightly and he pulls her more fully into his side, their bodies just brushing together so that the heat of his skin rolls over her.

"I do," Nyota says and tries to remember how to carry on a conversation. "Not fluently, though, but I learned as much of it as is in the Academy archives."

"I went to Ociramman Prime with Spock's father last year."

"Oh," Nyota says. "Really? To the Floating City of V'Vilga? I've read so much about it."

"It was very beautiful," Amanda says. "I sent Spock some pictures."

"I'll have to have him show them to me," she says, leaning into him a little bit more.

"You know it's nice to finally meet you," Amanda says, looking at Nyota and then at her son. "Spock talks about you all the time."

"Mother. Please."

"You do," Amanda says, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. "And don't tell me that after all these years, I finally am able to embarrass you in front of your friends and that you'll have none of it."

"That is not-"

"You should have seen him when he was fifteen," Amanda says quietly, dropping her voice even as she smiles at Spock. "He had this whole group of friends he practiced suus mahna with, and there is nothing like Vulcan teenagers trying to very logically keep their parents from telling stories about them they didn't necessarily want shared."

"I have to hear this," Nyota says, feeling a smile of her own twist at her mouth.

"Mother, it is not necessary to-"

"Shhh," Nyota says, digging her elbow lightly into Spock's side before wrapping her arm around his waist.

"That does not render it-"

"And anyway, shouldn't we ascribe to the sharing of knowledge so that we're all better informed?" she asks him.

"Yes, however-"

"Interrupting is illogical," she says, squeezing his narrow waist, his body strong and warm against hers.

"Exactly, Spock," Amanda says, her eyes dancing as she looks back and forth

between them. "But I will give you the choice between sharing the time you were six and wouldn't come out from under your grandmother's dinner table, or the time you were three and pulled all the books off the shelf in your father's study and built a fort."

"I must go check on the preparations for tonight."

He's three times stronger than a human man, and yet when she tightens her arm on him, he stops trying to slip away from her.

"I want to hear the one about the fort," she says, grinning up at him. "I didn't know that you had early tendencies towards engineering projects."

"Then I'll also have to tell you what he did to his father's hover bike when he was fourteen."

"Both were rational decisions, if you and Father had simply listened to my line of reasoning."

"Is that so," Amanda says in a tone that suggests that's not the first time she's heard Spock say that and when she smiles, broader this time, her son looks like he very much doesn't want to mirror the expression, but can't seem to quite help himself, his hand warm and solid on Nyota's neck and the corner of his mouth curling just ever so slightly.

She can't help but admire the way the candle light flickers over his hand as he reaches to light the last candle.

"And then?" Gaila asks into the silence and even though it makes Nyota want to bury her head in her hand, she has to hand it to her roommate, that she's been quieter far longer than Nyota's ever seen her, which is not exactly easy for an Orion to do.

Spock just looks vaguely amused, and Nyota figures he was probably expecting that, was probably counting down the seconds until the likelihood that Gaila's would finally speak outweighed the chance she would continue to sit there in silence.

Spock doesn't answer, though, just glances up at Gaila, then over at Nyota, which makes a slightly warm flush spread through her, then returns his attention to the candles in front of him.

When he finally speaks, his voice is low and even and she lets it wash over her, sinking slightly deeper into the couch, and even Gaila, sitting there next to Nyota, stops fidgeting, her body stilling as the entire room listens to Spock.

"Before the Awakening, when the clans of our people were fractured by war and the sands of the Forge were stained with the blood of those fighting and dying, there was little respite or a chance for peace. The desire for such was even scarcer and times when a family would rest to celebrate their young or honor their dead were opportunities for attack, for the continuation of such savage violence, the likes of which Vulcan has not seen now for centuries." He pauses for a moment, his focus still on the flames, before he continues. "However, when arivn'van-kal'e rose in the sky, it was at a time of year when the springs had run dry, when crops withered, and when such paucity of resources necessitated a cessation of such brutality. It was the only time of the year that brought peace and we celebrate it still as a reminder of what we once were, and a remembrance of those who lost their lives in those years before we found peace, and as a commitment to honor what is now the Vulcan way, an ongoing peace which will remain unbroken now and forever more."

Amanda reaches over and lays her fingers in her son's palm. "And at this time each year, we come together as families to rest and to reconnect, in commemoration of ancient families and in celebration of every Vulcan family now doing the same."

"Can I ask a question?" Gaila asks, her hand sticking straight up in the air.

"Yes," Spock says.

"What does paucity mean?"

"You are incorrigible," Nyota mutters, shaking her head.

"No, I don't think that's the right definition, Ms I-Know-The-Definition-To-"

Thaalan dumps a dictionary into Gaila's lap, pulled from one of Thex and Schori's bookshelf and Gaila laughs loudly, cutting herself off.

"Paucity," Amanda says, smiling at Gaila. "Is something that we are lucky enough to not have to endure any longer."

"Luck is-"

"Illogical," Amanda says, patting Spock's knee. "As always. But you'd be surprised, dear."

"May I walk you home?" he asks, later, when Gaila's sitting on N'Takim's lap and talking to Didiza, and Schori and Thex are speaking quietly in the corner, their heads bowed towards each other, and as Gouth and Trav are arguing with Yeinydd over whether ceramic or plastic pots are superior for Yeinydd's dormant phase over the winter.

"Didn't you need to-?" she asks, nodding back to the house where his mom is still talking with Thaalan. Nyota had just said goodbye to her and had been zipping up her coat, trying to find Spock in the shifting crowd when he appeared at her elbow.

"I told her I would be back in a moment."

"Oh," she says, her hands fluttering over her scarf, tightening it around her neck, and down the front of her jacket as she adjusts it so that it sits rights, and then over the cuffs of her sleeves as she tugs them over her hands, before she realizes she hasn't answered him because she'd been too busy anticipating having him all to herself for a couple minutes. "Yes, of course."

It's cold outside, her breath making a white cloud in front of her mouth, and she stuffs her hands into her pockets, then thinks better of it and crosses them in front of her, burrowing deep into her scarf.

"It's nice to meet your mom," she says once they're at the top of the big hill outside Thex and Schori's house. "I like her a lot."

"I believe she returns that sentiment."

"She said that?" Nyota asks, her heart skipping slightly. "Really?"



She feels him glance at her. "Rather, I meant that I could discern as much. We share a familial bond."

"Oh, that's neat. That's so cool, so you can- I don't even know what to ask. What's that even like?"

He opens his mouth to respond, then draws it a breath and lets it out again. "I am not certain I am quite able to put it into words."

"Can you… feel it, or sense it, or whatever when you're not together?"


"That must be really nice."

"It is, especially considering the distance between here and Vulcan."

"And even more when you ship out on the Enterprise."


"I wish humans could have that," Nyota says. "Or, well, humans other than your mother. She got lucky, obviously. Illogicalness and all."

"She has expressed that she, also, believes that she is quite fortunate with her circumstances."

"Well, it's better than a comm call, I bet," Nyota says and wraps her arms a little tighter around herself.

"Have you been able to speak with your own parents recently?"

"Yeah, a little." She grins at him and bumps her arm into his shoulder. "Told them I met this guy who knows when the sun sets down the minute."

"The second."

"Oh, well now they'll be extra impressed."

"Is that so?"

"Well, I had to leave out the part about how you can reprogram universal translators in your sleep with one had behind your back, so that extra fact about your time keeping ability will be really important now."

"You were not able to impress that upon them?"

"They had to go. Work and all. And I had class anyway," she says, trying to keep her tone as light as it had been.

"That is unfortunate."

"Yeah, it's fine," she says, then tightens her arms around herself a bit more.


"I just really miss them," she says and wishes her voice didn't threaten to crack like that.

He stops right there on the sidewalk a half a block from the Academy gates, and grips her upper arm, his eyes gentle and soft.

"Are you well?" he asks when she pushes her face into his jacket and takes a deep, long, shivering breath.

"Yeah," she nods, pulling back and running her hand down the front of his coat, tugging slightly on the hem and worrying at it between her fingers. She's pretty sure some of her classmates from Orthography just walked by, but she ignores them, focusing instead on the warmth of Spock's hands seeping through her coat from where he's moved to cup her shoulders.

"Will you see them over the holidays?"

"No, I thought that maybe they'd come back, but they can't."

"And your siblings?"

"Also busy." She twists the hem of his jacket in her fingers. "Gaila will be here, though."

"Is that so."

"Yeah." She rubs her thumb over the fabric. "It's not the same."

"I expect that it is not."

"Literally," she says and tries to give him a small smile.

"Literally," he answers.

"Um," she says after a long moment, when she's still playing with his jacket and his hands are still on her, warm and heavy on her shoulders.


"Can I ask you something?"


She starts to speak, then stops, then starts again, then just takes a deep breath and lets it out.

"I've obviously never dated a half Vulcan before."

"That was not a question," he says and she smiles slightly and tugs at his coat.

"I know." She takes a step closer to him, unable to stop herself from moving towards his body. "I guess that I just want to say that I don't want to do anything that's not ok… or do something wrong? To mess this up?" She pulls lightly at his jacket again. "You've ended up being pretty important to me, mister."

His hands tighten on her shoulders and she feels his thumb rub over her collarbone.

"I will admit that I have not successfully carried the type of relationship that I would like to have with you," he says, his voice so quiet and low that it seems to reverberate somewhere deep down in her chest.

"You've haven't, uh… with humans?"

"I dated a fair amount when I first arrived on Earth as a cadet, but not in any sustainable or enduring capacity."

"And since then?" she asks, finding herself caring about this line of questioning in a way that makes her hand tighten on the front of his coat.

"Since then I have not found that it engendered the type of experience I thought it might."


"However, I have contemplated the correlation between the individual with which I was engaged in the process and its success."

"And?" she asks, feeling a grin tug at her mouth.

"And I have drawn the conclusion that perhaps I simply was undertaking such an endeavor with someone with whom I was not especially compatible."

"That does make a difference," she says, biting at the inside of her cheek and trying, and failing to staunch how wide her smile is.

"I believe so."

"Probably a big difference," she says, dropping her grip on his jacket to hold his waist between her hands.

"I would welcome the opportunity to further explore the association between the success of such an undertaking with how it pertains to specific individuals."

"Oh. Good. I could probably help you out with that, you know."

"You did prove rather helpful with baking."

"I did, so I have prior experience giving you a hand."

"And you were quite obliging with your assistance with the language tutorial modules in the xenolinguistics lab."

"I'm nearly entirely certain that you could have figured that out on your own."

"It might not have been as efficient."

"Efficient? Really, you're going to chalk asking me to help you all afternoon up to efficiency?"

"Enjoyable," he corrects.

"Oh," she says as a warmth blossoms through her chest. "You don't say."

That furrow that she's really quite fond of appears between his brows.

"I believe I just said that."

"I know," she says, and then reaches up and smooths her thumb over that spot. He leans into her touch, his eye fluttering briefly closed. His skin is warm and dry and it's hard to drop her hand from him so she doesn't, just lets it slide around to the back of his head as she leans forward to rest her forehead against his chin. He's so warm and she's so happy, and his thumb is still circling over her shoulder and she doesn't stop herself from wrapping her other arm around his waist and leaning into him.

A loud laugh from across the street startles her and she realizes only belatedly how long they've been standing there like that, pedestrians and cars, and probably more of her classmates and his coworkers streaming around them. She takes a slight step back from him, glancing over his shoulder at the group on the other side of the street, a mass of humans walking and laughing together, and it's startling, slightly unexpected that the world has continued to carry on, that they're not the only two people, quite lost up in each other.

"I will see you tomorrow, perhaps," Spock says, giving her shoulders one last squeeze before his hands drop from her. She immediately misses their heat, immediately wants to press back into him and never let go. "If you are not too busy with your work."

"That'd be good. I mean, I am, finals and all coming up, but…" She reaches out and runs her fingers over the back of his hand. "I still want to see you."

"I will call you after your classes," he says, then leans down and gives her a soft, gentle kiss.

"Night," she says when he slowly pulls back.

"Goodnight, Nyota," he says and she feels him watch her walk the rest of the way to the gates, and feels the lingering warmth of his touch on her long after she's back in her room, her thoughts full of him as she tries to go to sleep.

For the Rest of Us

A Star Trek Story
by Psicygni

Part 7 of 10

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