Disclaimer: I don't own Spock or Uhura.

So "The Gift" just got too long....and then I started "The Vulcan." I may come back to "The Gift", but if I do it will probably feature Nyota and Spock's bonding as well as Kirk's memory fixing. I do love T'Quill…

Anyway, this is just a short little chapter on things going on in the galaxy since the Fall of Vulcan once Pon Farr is discovered by the galaxy at large. Told from the POV of Spock and Uhura's human friend Patrick -- just for an outside human perspective. If you want to know about the meeting they're talking about its in "The Vulcan" -- Chapter 3 "Goodbyes"

…also, if you like action…there is a lot more of it in "The Vulcan"…starting in Chapter 5…

Accessories of Choice

Commander Patrick O'Hara shook the water off of his sleeves as he stepped under the umbrella his friend Professor Toshi Matsumura was holding. Patrick hated the San Francisco monsoon season.

"I told you to bring an umbrella," Toshi said.

"Yeah, yeah..." grumbled Patrick. His friend Toshi never forgot things like umbrellas. Patrick hated that almost as much as monsoons.

"Ah, look there they are," said Toshi nodding across the street.

And there they were, both in civilian clothes...wearing raincoats, sharing an umbrella. Spock probably never forgot umbrellas either...

How long had it been...five years now? Not seven years...had Spock gone through It?

Across the street Uhura flashed her patented melt your heart full face smile and waved, Spock nodded and the two of them began to walk in Toshi and Patrick's direction.

So much had changed in the past five years. Vulcan was destroyed. Vulcan dominance of the Federation was over...but what was more, the Vulcan reputation as the logical moral soul of the Federation was gone. Where once they were viewed as bastions of unmitigated integrity now they were seen as something different -- dishonest...sometimes dangerous.

But it was Spock. He'd saved Earth. And more important he was Toshi and Patrick's friend...besides, Uhura was smart as a whip. She wouldn't put up with any nonsense from anyone, much less a husband.

Would she? They said the bonding mind meld could do strange things to you. Had they been bonded when Spock left Earth that first time? Certainly they had been something...

"Patrick!" said Uhura. She darted from under the umbrella Spock held and caught him in a big hug. Patrick returned it awkwardly and looked over her shoulder at Spock. They said the last thing you should ever do was come between a Vulcan and their bond mate....

Spock met his gaze for a moment, stiffened infinitesimally and then turned to Toshi.

"Thank you for joining us for lunch today, Toshi...Patrick," Spock said.

Uhura let Patrick go and smiled, "We are so glad you're coming to the wedding! But we wanted to thank you personally, for letting us see each other that night..."

Patrick felt himself go warm...because, well, he was a sap. He looked down at the ground. He heard Toshi cough.

"It was nothing," Patrick said.

"It was not nothing," said Spock. "Your reputation and career could have been compromised."

That was true. Taking a cadet to see her former commanding officer who was under observation so they would have a last chance for...well, Patrick and Toshi had discreetly left the room, he didn't know exactly what for. A quick mind meld?

" you're getting married, even though you're already bonded..." Toshi said, probably as anxious as Patrick to change the subject.

Uhura put her hand on Spock's. Patrick blinked. She could do that now…It was such an easy gesture...he'd only seen them touch one a few other times before…and except for that one time it always seemed nearly accidental...a brush of shoulders, a slightly intoxicated Uhura briefly touching Spock while she told a story…

"When we bonded there wasn't an official New Vulcan," Uhura said, "And although it was done on a Starship it was overseen by a Vulcan healer unaffiliated with any official state, not the our union is still unofficial."

Spock raised an eyebrow. "And she won't let me wear the ring unless we 'make it legal' as they say."

Ah the wedding ring...most male Vulcans wore wedding rings these days if they were bonded. A ring told others they were not a threat; a ring said I have someone who will take care of me when the time comes. A ring...

"Wedding rings..." Spock said raising his eyebrow again, "Are the accessories of choice for discerning male Vulcans everywhere."

Cheers! I still have Spock's first and second Pon Farr's to write about for this series...or maybe I will make them their own things. Haven't decided yet.

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