Pride and Logic Chapter 30
By the time Spock and Nyota returned from the brief tour of the house and putting the twins back to bed, the first party guests had already arrived. The air was abuzz with conversation and laughter as Nyota led Spock out onto the patio where everyone had gathered. Uncle Jomo was entertaining a group by the grill, regaling them with stories that they no doubt had already heard numerous times while he dutifully tended to the peach halves and fruit kebabs caramelizing over the flame. Aunt Tonya was the first to spot them and broke away from a group of friends sipping sangria by the railing.
"I thought you two might have gotten lost," Aunt Tonya greeted them. "Would you both like to join us for a little wine and dessert or do you two need to make a graceful escape?"
One of Spock's eyebrows inched towards his hairline at Aunt Tonya's smirking comment. Nyota felt her own cheeks warm and made to reply before a high pitched yelp interrupted her.
"Is that Miss Nyota? All grown up?" A copper skinned woman with black tightly curled hair generously streaked with silver made her way towards them, glass of sangria clutched in one manicured hand while the other tugged along a more sedate woman of similar age and darker coloring.
Nyota leaned in towards her aunt and whispered, "We could use a graceful yet hasty escape."
"Tia Maya," Nyota turned and opened her arms to receive the expected hug and kiss from her honorary aunt.
"Oh, Nyota, you have grown up to be such a beautiful woman! Isn't she beautiful, Lupe?"
"Muy bella," Lupe Torres replied, leaning in to give Nyota a hug of her own. "We haven't seen you since you were knee high, mija."
"I know. I think I was not yet finished primary school," Nyota smiled as she stepped back. "It has been a long time. It's so good to see you both."
"And who is your handsome young man?" Maya asked, examining Spock approvingly.
Nyota glanced quickly at Spock who stood watching her intently.
"This is Commander Spock," Aunt Tonya cut in. "Commander, meet Dr. Maya and Lupe Torres, two of my oldest friends and colleagues."
"I am gratified to make your acquaintance," Spock replied as he inclined his head towards the couple.
Aunt Tonya smiled. "Commander Spock is Nyota's professor at Starfleet Academy. He actually just arrived to speak with Nyota about some official Starfleet business. Isn't that right, Nyota?"
Nyota blinked rapidly. "Yes...yes. I was just coming down to make my regrets so that we could go and speak privately. Isn't that right Commander?"
Spock glanced quickly from Nyota to Doctor Torres. "Yes. I came to speak with Cadet Uhura about some pressing business."
Dr. Torres chuckled. "My, it must be serious if you had to come all the way from San Francisco to speak with her. This couldn't have been done over the comm ?"
Nyota felt her face warm. She dared not correct her. Spock had come from Vulcan and not San Francisco. Her head swam again as she considered the fact.
"The nature of the business that I need to discuss with Cadet Uhura is best handled in person," Spock replied as he placed one hand on the small of her back. He continued, ignoring Nyota's answering shiver. "I do apologize for the need to deprive you of Cadet Uhura's company this evening." Spock bowed slightly at the waist, pressing his free hand to the upper left side of his chest in a gesture of apology.
"Oh, why, but of course," Dr. Torres stammered before turning to Nyota. "Mija, you must promise us that you will come for brunch before you leave Chicago."
"I promise. How does this Saturday sound?"
Nyota had to make her excuses to three more honorary aunts and uncles and a few other family friends making their way into her aunt's house. Spock managed to keep his hand pressed into the small of her back as they wound their way through arriving guests and out the front door. Nyota marvelled at the slight intimacy of it. As if recognizing the import of the gesture, Spock dropped his hand as they stepped onto the sidewalk in front of the house. Uhura immediately missed the heat and weight of his touch.
The weight of Spock's sudden appearance in Chicago hit her again as they slowly made their way over the footbridge spanning Lake Shore Drive. There were so many things that she wanted to say to him, so many questions that she wanted to ask him. Well, there was one question she wanted to ask him. Why? Why did he commandeer a private ship to chase her down? Why did he fill a case full of latinum bars for her ransom? Why did he fight off a contingent of Orion pirates? Why did he kill his own brother with his bare hands? As Nyota led them off of the path and towards the bulwarks bordering Lake Michigan, she realized that none of those questions mattered.
Nyota turned towards Spock, her back facing the water as she looked up into his face. His eyes were warm as he regarded her expectantly.
"Thank you," Nyota whispered. "Thank you for coming for me."
Spock broke his gaze, looking at some point on the water behind her. He squared his shoulders and clasped his hands behind his back.
"I do not understand."
"For rescuing me. Len told me everything."
Spock's mouth tightened. "I regret that this information has caused you disquiet. I had thought that Cadet McCoy was one to be trusted."
Nyota reached out and touched his arm. "You mustn't blame, Len. He tried to keep it from me, but I forced him to tell me everything he knew. I am glad that he told me. Otherwise I would have never known what you did for me. What it cost you to save me. The Orions, the ransom, the ship...your brother."
Spock covered her hand with his, stopping her explanation. "I never took into account the costs financial or otherwise. I confess that I only thought of you."
Nyota gazed up at him speechless, her eyes widening and her mouth forming a silent "oh." She fancied that she could read many unspoken promises in his warm gaze: that no cost would be too high; that he would traverse the known universe for her. Nyota shivered and stepped away from him, an uncharacteristic fear gripping her. Hadn't she mourned the loss of his affections during their long separation? Yet, here he was before her, looking at her with such open want, and she was at a loss for words.
"I...I don't know how I could ever repay you," Nyota began after a moment's silence. "You saved my life."
"You do not owe me anything. I did not want you to know of my involvement precisely for this reason. Your predicament was entirely due to my inaction. I do not deserve your gratitude."
Uhura turned to him in disbelief. "How can you possibly believe that? All of this was Sybok's doing. Not yours. For goodness sake, you almost died!"
Spock's dark eyes flicked briefly over her person before focusing on some distant point above her head. "I assure you that my blame is not misplaced. It was my reticence to disclose my family's history with Sybok to Starfleet authorities that led to your exposure to Sybok's machinations. If I had acted sooner, no harm would have come to you. Sybok targeted you to exact his revenge upon me."
"Look at me, Spock," Nyota demanded. "Sybok made his own choices. How could you have known what his plans were? You killed your own brother to rescue me."
Spock refused to look down at her. "That was an unfortunate act of violence which occurred only due to my..."
"I was so afraid that day" Nyota began in a rush causing Spock to finally meet her gaze. "I hoped against hope that someone would come for me. That someone would notice my distress beacon or hear my distress call. I was running on adrenaline, too focused on surviving by any means necessary to give way to the hopelessness that gnawed at my heels. Not even being attacked by that creature made me give up. It wasn't until I was tied up in that Orion camp shivering from the cold and blood loss that I really gave into despair." Uhura slid her hand from his forearm to grasp his hand. "Do you want to know what my last thoughts were before I lost consciousness?"
"My last thoughts were of you. I was sure that I was about to die and my last coherent thought was that you were out there somewhere thinking ill of me."
"Nyota," Spock's voice dropped to a rough whisper. " I have always held you in the highest esteem. When I discovered that you had been kidnapped I felt such rage, such helplessness. You can not know how it has distressed me to be the cause of your pain."
Uhura offered him a shaky smile. "Since you insist on shouldering the blame for what happened, know that I forgive you. And no matter what you say, I reserve the right to consider you my knight in shining armor."
Spock turned the hand she held over until their palms were pressed together and intertwined his fingers with hers. He gently broadcast his affection and regard for her through the tentative link formed by their joined hands. A broad smile slowly formed across Nyota's face at the feel of it, a liquid warmth that started in her chest and gently flowed through her torso and limbs. Nyota closed her eyes and focused on pushing back some of her happiness and affection. Spock's grip on her hand tightened.
"Please, I must know if your feelings remain unchanged since last we spoke. My affections remain constant," Spock implored, his voice low.
Uhura rolled her eyes and let out a nervous laugh. "My feelings...my feelings are very much changed. I don't know if I am ready for marriage, but I would very much like to explore the possibility."
Spock lifted his free hand to caress her cheek as the corners of his mouth tipped upwards into a near smile. Nyota leaned into the touch, nuzzling his palm before turning her head and pressing her lips to his skin. A low rumble sounded in Spock's chest causing Nyota to lift her head in surprise.
"Did you just purr, Commander?" Nyota asked, her mouth open in wonder.
"Nyota, would you permit me to kiss you now?"
Uhura giggled. "Mister, don't try to change the subject by asking for some sugar! You just purred, admit it!"
Spock's lips flattened into a thin line as he tried to appear serious as he dropped her hand to snake one arm around her waist and pull her towards him.
"Vulcans do not purr," Spock replied with one arched brow.
"Uh huh," Nyota huffed in reply as she looped her arms around his neck. "I'll take that kiss now."
Spock obliged, bending his head to gently press his lips to hers. The kiss started out as the gentlest of pecks, as if Spock was still unsure of his reception. Nyota soon alleviated any of his lingering doubts by deepening the kiss, sucking gently of his bottom lip as her fingers slipped into the silky black hair at the nape of his neck. The low rumbling in Spock's chest resumed as his tongue sought hers. Uhura soon felt drunk from his kisses, a giddy lightness filling her chest and causing her to giggle against his lips. Her mouth was soon freed to laugh openly as Spock's lips pressed feather light kisses across jaw and behind her ear. Uhura distantly realized that the overwhelming joy she now felt was not all her own. She shut her eyes against the tears that threatened to spill down her cheeks as Spock pressed his nose into her neck and inhaled. When they eventually parted, Nyota pressed her cheek to his chest and tightened her hold on him.
"That was amazing," she sighed and she sought to steady herself. After a few moments when she felt more like herself, she lifted her head and looked up at him with an impish smile. "You totally do purr."
Spock looked down at her, his face the definition of Vulcan imperiousness. "As I stated earlier, Vulcans do not purr."
Nyota stepped back from him, resting her hands on his chest as she smiled up at him. "It's alright, Spock. I like it."
Spock let out a slight huff, his eyes sparkling with amusement as he regarded her. Uhura laughed and wrapped her right arm around his waist, tucking herself into his side as she urged him to continue their walk along the lakeshore path. Spock obliged, curling his arm around her shoulders and basking in their newfound closeness.
They walked for several minutes in silence ignoring the curious looks of passersby unaccustomed to seeing a Vulcan sharing an affectionate embrace with a human.
"What made you come seek me out?" Uhura asked him after a time. "When your mother told me you had gone to Gol, I never imagined that it would be possible for us to be," Uhura paused searching for the words. "Like this."
"Following the events of your recovery, I was in a state of severe emotional turmoil. I will not go into detail about my state of mind. It is sufficient to say that I concluded that the most expedient way to regain mastery of my emotions was to undergo kolinhar. However, I was unable to achieve kolinhar after several weeks of deep meditation. It was impossible for me to suppress my need for you."
Nyota's breath caught at the admission.
"However, I was satisfied at having regained an acceptable level of control. I was myself again and able to accept all that had transpired. I returned to the home of my parents, intending to spend the rest of my sabbatical in their company. My mother then informed me of your singular encounter with Lady T'Pau and I immediately sought you out."
Uhura laughed. "Yes. Lady T'Pau paid me a personal visit to frightened me away from you. For some reason, she was sure that we were engaged or would soon be. Perhaps she was wiser than I gave her credit for. She left our meeting most dissatisfied."
"My mother was very impressed with you." Spock continued. "I find myself grateful for Lady T'Pau's interference. It enabled me to hope."
"Isn't hope an illogical human emotion?" Nyota teased.
Spock gifted her with the smallest of smiles. "I am half-human, after all."
They walked on. After a time, Uhura looked up at him, her lips quirked mischievously. "Perhaps I should send your aunt a thank you card."
Spock simply replied with a raised brow.
"It is a customary human expression of gratitude," Nyota explained. " If not for your aunt's visit, we would still be miserable and convinced that the other wanted nothing to do with us. Maybe I should send her flowers as well."
Spock nodded his head. "Flowers are an illogical gift. A small potted plant would be a more thoughtful token."
Aunt Tonya and Uncle Jomo were ecstatic the next morning over breakfast when the couple informed them of their new status. Aunt Tonya had assumed that their conversation had ended satisfactorily when the couple had returned to the house in the wee hours of the morning, Nyota sleepy and content as Spock nearly carried her up the stairs to her room. Aunt Tonya had gently shut the door to her bedroom as she spied them cresting the stairs. Uncle Jomo had refused to let her wait up for them in the foyer arguing that Nyota was an adult and Spock was a fine boy.
Spock and Uhura decided to inform his mother together. Nyota was not surprised that her Aunt Tonya had already messaged Amanda not long after herself being informed of the good news. Spock bore his mother's expressions of delight with patience and promised to bring his new girlfriend for a visit home at the next opportunity.
Gaila shrieked when Nyota told her the news over the com, declaring that it was about time and quickly pressing Nyota for details of Spock' sexual prowess. She was very distraught to learn that they had not yet had sexual intercourse and were taking things slowly. Gaila scoffed, grumbling that things could not go any slower. She was quite put out to learn that Nyota had no intention of sharing such details with Gaila when she did sleep with Spock in the future. However, she was somewhat mollified to learn that Vulcans purred and dutifully promised to take that knowledge with her to her grave. Relations between the best friends were fully restored when Nyota allowed Gaila to pick out her outfit for her first date with Spock. (Uhura felt safe giving Gaila free reign as the clothing selection was limited.)
At the end of a week spent together in Chicago, Uhura and Spock prepared to return to Starfleet Academy. Spock contemplated rescinding his acceptance of the assignment of the six month research expedition on the Wangari Maathai, but Uhura argued vehemently that the assignment was too good to pass up and that their relationship should not impede their careers. Spock had been reluctant to agree until he recalled the availability of winter break internships on the ship. If Uhura could secure a communications internship, they would only be parted for one quarter. Spock assisted Uhura in submitting her application and amending her course schedule to accommodate. Uhura was displeased to have to take the two-quarter Advanced Communications Programming course during the spring and summer quarters, eliminating the opportunity to take an off planet summer internship. However, she was mollified by the news that Spock would remain planetside and at the academy with her and that they could both look forward to a brief summer vacation on a planet with lots of sand, beaches, and single cabin resort islands.
AN: Thank you so much for reading this story, especially those of you who have been reading since the beginning. It is finally finished! This chapter was the hardest to write and I had to force myself to just sit down and finish it. I hope that it did not disappoint. I've made a new resolution for 2016 to limit my Hulu and Netflix consumption to less than 2 hours per week and to dedicate at least 2 hours each week to writing. I also purchased a nice lined moleskin so that I can write on the go again. I now turn to my other unfinished stories: An Illlogical Woman and, my neglected stumped baby, Love and Prejudice.