One: When she was a child, she invented her own language – complete with proper syntax, morphology and phonology.
It is a complete accident that he finds the traditional paper notebook, filled with strange words that he doesn't understand. Which, for Spock, has become a rare occurrence.
It's the last day of her third year and despite his better judgement Spock agrees to accompany Nyota to dinner. He stands awkwardly in the doorway to her bedroom, attempting to keep his eyes fixed on a single spot on the wall. It's not simply a Vulcan thing, but a study into the human concept of 'chivalry' has taught him that it is impolite to look through a woman's personal belongings. So he's not trying to find the notebook, it just... happens.
Nyota dashes past the doorway, muttering how sorry she is but Gaila took forever in the bathroom so she's running late, but he should stop standing there so awkward and sit down. She's locked away in the bathroom before he has a chance to protest, and even a Vulcan knows that a female can spend far longer than necessary in there. So he sits at her desk, hands folded in his lap. There's an irrational urge to pick up the various pieces of clothing that are scattered on the floor but he resists, gaze falling down to the desk instead.
It's there, right in front of him, a battered looking red notebook. The lettering on the front is Standard characters, in a childish scrawl of someone who hasn't mastered the art of writing completely. Yet he doesn't recognise any of the words.
Of course, curiosity is a highly illogical emotion for there is nothing of importance to be gained by reading this old piece of literature – in fact, it is considered rude in all cultures he knows. But still he cannot help himself from turning the front page, trying desperately to make sense of it. If there is one thing that Spock enjoys, it is a puzzle, something he has to figure out. While he wouldn't dream of looking down on these people he shares half his biology with, it has been a long time since he come across something that he doesn't understand.
He's halfway through the thing before it registers that Nyota is stood behind him, looking over his shoulder with a raised brow that mimics his own perfectly. And not for the first time in her company, he has no idea what to say except quickly issue an apology for prying.
There is a Terran saying, Spock remembers. Curiosity killed the cat. Given the Vulcan resemblance to felines, it strikes him as rather ironic as he waits for her inevitable anger.
To say that he is surprised when she laughs would be, perhaps, a strong understatement.
"It's Uhuran." she informs him, picking the notebook up and flicking through the pages.
"Uhuran?" he repeats.
"I was the youngest of four siblings who all ignored me. I had to find something to do with my time. So I made up my own language. I know, the name is really tacky but in my defense, it seemed like a fantastic name when I was five. I just keep it, read it sometimes. It reminds me of being home."
They don't make it to dinner that night. Instead, Nyota spends the evening teaching him her language and by the time he leaves her room at one thirty-three am, he is conversational in Uhuran.
Two: She has an irrational fear of arachnids.
He learns this one afternoon in the lab, during her first year at the Academy. They are merely good acquaintances at this point, working together in the same space. He on his reprogramming of the Kobayashi Maru – minor improvements to make the test three-point-two-nine percent more efficient – and her on pinpointing and eliminating certain variables in her subspace transmissions.
Their comfortable silence is broken by a loud gasp of surprise, and he looks up to see Nyota pushing herself away from the console. He watches carefully as she picks up a plastic file and flicks it at the screen, lingering a moment as her eyes dart down to the floor.
"Cadet?" he questions when she finally settles herself back at her work station, his eyebrow darting up in slight confusion. He has not seen a human do this before, and the actions seem extremely illogical.
"Spider." she sighs, once again looking nervously at the floor.
From then on, whenever there is an arachnid in the vicinity, Spock makes sure he has disposed of it before she catches on to its presence.
To her credit, she only faints once when they encounter the arachnid based lifeforms of Zaegeth Delta.
Three (a particular favorite): She keeps her skin smooth with a moisturizing mix of oat milk, almond oil, lavender and honeysuckle. This is applied every morning.
They are two months, three weeks and one day into their new courtship before Nyota spends the night in his quarters. She cites regulation at him – a fascinating turn of events – and mentions that staying in his quarters would only draw suspicion to the fact they are breaking various rules. He has his own theory about her reluctance to spend the night in his room, but does not push the matter.
Once he discovers a particularly effective form of persuasion, however, it doesn't take her long to concede. So waking up with her becomes a regular occurrence. If she stays during the week, she returns to her room in the early morning to get ready for classes. But at the weekend she brings a bag of things over, not leaving until she absolutely has to. He doesn't mind this at all, and after a while he even comes to find her inability to keep her clothes off the floor a comfort. (In fact, he enjoys putting them there himself.)
His particular favorite part of these visits – aside from the obvious – is her morning routine. When she's brushed her teeth, washed her face and combed out her hair, she stands in his bathroom in her underwear and smooths lotion over every inch of her bare skin.
It's an extremely distracting display, and Spock knows that she knows. Whenever she catches him watching, her motions become slower, more languid, her fingers making delightful circles in her own skin. He watches the lotion smooth on, able to pick out the complimentary notes of lavender and honeysuckle.
"It's completely natural." Nyota informs him as she pushes him to sit on the edge of his bed and climbs onto his lap. Her skin is silky to touch, even more so than normal thanks to the recent application of her lotion, and he finds the experience of running his fingers over it extremely pleasurable. "Keeps my skin just how you like it."
Spock's favorite smell is lavender and honeysuckle.
Four: Her favorite color is green.
Although she never said as much, Spock knows without a doubt green is her favorite color.
He has no further comment on the matter.
Five: After a trying experience, she will always watch her favorite Terran classic over and over until she finally falls asleep.
The first time Nyota sees a person die - really die, killed right in front of her – she doesn't say anything for hours. They beam up from the surface of the planet and Kirk orders them to warp as far away as possible from it. His immediate instinct is to make sure she's alright even though he knows she's not. But McCoy orders him out of his sickbay, and it's another three hours before he's allowed in.
She asks him to take her back to her quarters, which he does without question. He realizes, as he watches her lay on the bed and stare up at the ceiling, he has no idea what to say or do. Not for the first time – and he's certain it won't be the last – Nyota has completely puzzled him. The Vulcan side of him is urging to tell her that to blame herself is entirely illogical, but the human part knows exactly how it feels. So he sits at the foot of her bed, carefully watching her in silence.
It's at least twenty minutes before she sits up and says, "computer, play file one-three-eight." The console on the wall flickers into life and begins to play a Terran film he is unfamiliar with, and he moves to leave her alone.
"Stay." That's all it takes for him to obey, that one broken word. So he settles himself next to her on the bed and watches the film with her.
It plays through six times before Nyota finally falls into a feverish slumber, and he doesn't move once, except to order the computer to shut it off.
Every time something goes wrong, Nyota doesn't cry. And Spock knows that he will always find her in her quarters, watching 'It's a Wonderful Life' over and over until she falls asleep.
And one that not even Nyota knows: She is carrying his child.
Three years, eighteen weeks and five days into their mission, Spock finds himself laying in bed and watching his bond-mate sleep. He requires less rest than she does, but he still joins her every night, perfectly content to lay in silence and simply watch her chest rise up and down slowly.
He shifts down onto his side and slides an arm around her middle, fingers brushing against the cool skin of her stomach before he presses a palm flat against it. One of the more enjoyable experiences of their telepathic bond was the feelings and images he received when she slept. His own dreams are distinctly lacking, and more often than not he doesn't dream at all. When he does, they are not pleasant and the blank void becomes preferable.
But Nyota dreams in vivid colors; of burnt orange sunsets above lush green plains leading out to the deepest blue oceans. There is the occasional nightmare that she experiences, but they are few and far between – even her subconscious refuses to bow down to terror and fear. So he is entertained with these landscapes, with memories of people she holds dear and hopes she has for the future. There are also certain fantasies that she cannot voice, and he takes mental note of these for his next efforts to please her.
But tonight is strange. His mind pushes against hers, seeking out whatever she is dreaming before it's ripped away and down, down through her body to something else. Some anomaly. He has never experienced that before, and while he drags his mind back to hers to be granted access – tonight she is dreaming about a world made entirely of chocolate, fascinating – he is distracted and cannot help his own thoughts wandering.
Then it hits him, hits him so hard he has to pull his hand away and gasp in air.
Nestled safely within her body is the beginnings of another mind; she is pregnant.
For a moment Spock wonders if Nyota knew about this and was planning on surprising him, but he would have been able to sense it through their bond. No, this is new. He leans back in and presses his palm back to her stomach, far more eager this time, and seeks out this growing consciousness. It's so new, barely there which was why he hadn't picked up on it earlier. By his estimations – which are just that, because he had no idea it was possible – she is around six weeks. There are no images, no conscious train of thought. Just a feeling, the knowledge that it is his child.
As Spock closes his eyes and allows himself to be lulled to sleep by the warm comfort of Nyota and the knowledge of this development, he can't help but do something he has only done three times before in his life; he smiles.
After all, it's a chance in a lifetime he has the chance to surprise Nyota and tell her they are going to be parents. In fact he'd go as far as to say it's a miracle.