A Woman's Touch, Chapter 6
Uhura sat in the front of the flitter next to Spock as he brought it into the parking area by the Dantrian Spaceport. He had been quiet and withdrawn all morning, as if he had erected little walls around himself to keep her from getting too close. She didn't want to end her vacation on a sour note, but she couldn't help but be slightly irritated with him. Okay, more than slightly. Very irritated. Last night he had almost kissed her, for heaven's sake, she was sure of it, but today he was more Vulcan than T'Pau herself. Well, to hell with him.
Saavik rattled on, oblivious to the tension in the small vehicle. "When I am big, I will come on the Enterprise. With you! You will see! I would go sooner, but I have to grow up first. Will you show me how your communications board works? Nyota?"
"Huh? Oh sorry, Saavik. Yes, of course I will. And I'll even let you call someone, anyone you want."
"Well, Spock will already be on board, so I will not want to call him. I will have to meet someone! Or maybe I will call those stupid boys who gave me the flu. They will be surprised!"
She grabbed Uhura's arm and continued in the same vein as they left the flitter and entered the spaceport. Since Spock had still chosen to remain silent, Uhura was glad for the constant stream of chatter. It allowed her to just forget about him as he walked behind them. She wondered if he was planning on acting this way until she left. Would he even say goodbye?
She walked right up to the counter and handed her identification to the agent. The Dantrian spaceport was just like the Dantrian people: quiet and unhurried. It was also almost completely empty, with just a few Dantrian citizens leisurely moving here or there. As a matter of fact, she glanced around the area and noticed that she, Spock, and Saavik were the only non-Dantrian occupants of the whole spaceport.
The agent directed her to the nearest terminal, and they moved in that direction. There were empty seats everywhere; evidently even the shuttle was going to be mostly empty. That was fine with her. She ignored Spock as she settled herself into a seat near the door. Saavik plopped down next to her, and Spock took a seat across from both of them. He still did not meet her eyes.
She turned to Saavik. "Will you write me?"
"Every day! I will tell you about the garden, and the little animals, and my lizard. Only I wish you didn't have to go! Couldn't you stay with us? Just a little longer?"
Uhura melted at the plea in the little girl's voice. "Oh, honey, I have to get back to the Enterprise. I had a wonderful time here with you, and I'll think about you every day until I see you again."
Saavik was quiet, her face stony as she struggled to retain her control. Although her internal battle was more visible than Spock's ever was, Uhura was reminded of the times she had seen him do the very same thing. She couldn't resist glancing at him.
She caught her breath at the expression on his face. His eyes were so troubled—his features were completely still, but the pain in his eyes was unmistakable. His words from the day they had quarreled on the dusty road came back to her.
I was confused and unsure of myself.
An announcement came over the loudspeaker. "All passengers taking the shuttle to Starbase Four, please begin boarding." That was the hop that would take her to her connecting flight.
I was certainly not oblivious to the hurt I caused.
They stood and she picked up her bag. The other passengers were already beginning to move through the door at the edge of the area.
I will never forget the look on your face when I ignored your greeting that day, and I have always regretted that I did so.
The other passengers were gone, and the flight attendant turned in her direction. "Ma'am, it is time to board," he said.
She nodded distractedly, remembering what she had said to prompt Spock's words that day. I didn't know whether to smack you, fall out of my chair, or jump up and kiss you...
Struck by a sudden impulse, she acted quickly before she could change her mind. She took one step and then another, until she stood directly before him. Holding his gaze for a moment, she reached up and placed a gentle hand on his cheek, closed her eyes, and kissed him. Lingeringly, and on the lips. When she broke the kiss, she immediately bent toward Saavik and kissed the top of her dark little head so that she could avoid meeting his eyes, and she wondered if she had just made a huge mistake.
She rushed to the flight attendant, who took her ticket and motioned toward the exit. Uhura took a step in that direction, but then finally steeled herself to turn and face Spock and Saavik.
Saavik was bouncing up and down, waving furiously. "Goodbye! Goodbye, Nyota!" She reached for Spock's hand. "Say goodbye to Nyota, Spock!"
He swallowed and straightened. When he lifted his chin, she saw humor, appreciation, and... something else, something... dangerous, and masculine in his expression. Something she had never seen before on that serious, somber face. She could feel a slow, wicked grin spread across her own face in reply.
He raised his hand in the Vulcan salute. "Live long and prosper, Nyota Uhura. Goodbye, until we meet again."
"Goodbye, both of you! Keep in touch! I'll see you soon!"
The flight attendant, finally becoming impatient with her, reached for the control that would shut the door, and she dashed through in the instant before the door swooshed closed. As she rushed down the hallway and found her seat on the shuttle, she realized that she had felt Spock's fingertips brush against her arm when she kissed him. It was very, very light, but she knew that she had. She ran her hand over the spot where he had touched her and then brought her own fingertips to rest on her lips, remembering the heated feel of his skin against her own.
Another five months before he rejoined the crew of the Enterprise? Suddenly, she knew that it was going to seem like five years before she saw him again.
The next story in this series is The Taste of Snow.