Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek or any of its associated characters, places or organizations.
In the autumn, when Nyota had returned from Korea but before she had to begin preparing for the Kobayashi Maru, she met up with her father and brother for lunch. Basim was working for the Federation Chronicle as an intern, the youngest on record, for a semester. Nyota did not bring Spock along because he tended to monopolize Kiano's time. While Nyota had been away, Spock and Kiano met weekly for chess games when Kiano's schedule did not require him to be off world. She had heard from both men about how remarkable the other was and was unsure that she really wanted to be an audience to the mutual admiration society just before Kiano went into full campaign mode. She would not be seeing him very frequently until the campaign was over.
Kiano had returned to Nairobi during the summer and retrieved his things. The house was standing unused, a thick layer of dust on every surface. Naima had not called Kiano but he had heard from her father, famed physicist Dr. Omar Hassan, that she had been in the Sudan for a few days to visit the graves of her brothers and mother. Kiano had always gotten along well with Omar, but the man was timid, a lifetime of living with a wife that was very similar to Naima. Omar had asked after Nyota and Basim, and when told that they were doing very well had been content to send them his love and hang up. No one else heard from Naima directly though. Spock had seen her name in a genetics journal at the end of the summer with a byline that indicated that she was living in Glasgow and was teaching at a university there. Kiano grieved, but he hoped that Naima found whatever she was looking for. He had made terrible choices based on his hope that things would change and it had gotten him nowhere; now, he would use his optimistic nature to move forward, but he would have to stay to be realistic. He'd served the divorce papers there and received them, signed, less than a week later without a word.
Over pasta with with cream sauce, roasted onions and mushrooms Nyota asked her father what his backup plan was if Matsuzaki lost the election. The competition was stiff this cycle and Matsuzaki seemed to be polling lower off world than she should have been. Kiano told her that he had already started the process of buying a house in San Francisco. He thought that he might want to be an ambassador if he lost his job as chief of staff, but that he would try to connect with Spock's parents to see if it was something that would really suit him. He promised to be discreet about Spock and Nyota's relationship since it wasn't clear that his parent's knew of it; Kiano intended to ask Dr. Tyvoc to make the connection. Beyond that, he didn't know. He just wanted to continue to interact with people, that's where his heart was at.
Basim, who was taller than Kiano but resembled Naima more than Nyota did, thought that he might like to relocate to San Francisco too. He was living in England for school, but he thought he liked the wider variety of people here. He also thought that he'd get better stories in San Francisco. Nyota nodded encouragingly. Basim was a really curious young man and he would do well here, just as long as he stayed on the right path. It would be good for him to live in the city near their father and to have his support, Nyota told him. He had been sober for nearly a full year. No one said the obvious, that he'd been sober from exactly the time that he'd left Naima's house.
Kiano had accidentally revealed that Spock intended to propose to Nyota while she was in Korea. Nyota'd had a feeling, but had not had it confirmed yet. Now, both Basim and Kiano teased her about it; the three of them laughing in the late September sunlight. Nyota stopped suddenly, looking at their reflections in the window of the restaurant. It was a scene that was unfamiliar to her, the three of them together, laughing. She felt a pang of regret that things had ended this way, she would have preferred that everyone be happy together, but this was acceptable too.
In the days that followed Naima's departure from their lives, Kiano had sat next to Nyota on a park bench and tearfully apologized for failing her. She had put her hand on his back and said nothing. She knew Kiano had tried. There had been a reason that she had grown up listening to meetings in Andorian and being carried on the shoulders of Tellarite dignitaries. Kiano always told people that he traveled with an infant or two because he missed his children and that running his own firm gave him the luxury of keeping them with him; however, Nyota and Basim knew the truth was more complicated. Kiano had tried, but for all of his knowledge of various species and they way they interacted, he had been at a loss as to what to do about his own wife. He felt like a failure in so many ways; he hadn't been able to fix his family or to protect them. Nyota understood that he wanted his children to have their mother, but that their mother was the last thing they needed. Finally, Nyota had leaned toward Kiano and put her arms around him, whispering that it was okay because they were starting over together.
As she stared at their reflections, it seemed that all three Uhuras had opted to choose happiness over misery, and that, for Nyota, was a welcome surprise.
Thank you so much for reading! I wanted to add a little note about this story. Someone I trust says that falling in love isn't about being beautiful or charming (although I'm sure that it is-- I'm neither; however, I've had a moderate amount of success in that department :)), but about finding someone who takes care of the parts of you that aren't quite whole and I wanted to explore this with Spock and Nyota. I think it is easy to see what parts of Spock Nyota might take care of (she offers him the encouragement, comfort and emotions that he could not get from his father) and I wanted to explore what someone like Spock would give to Nyota (a scientific mind that is inspired by her difference from him; someone who is proud of her and says so easily, someone who trusts her judgment; someone who is willing to stand up for her) and why she wasn't whole in this area to begin with. I also wanted a story where Nyota consciously chooses to be the woman that we see at the beginning of the film: confident, brave, empathic, and intelligent. I think that for Nyota to be bold enough to jump into things with Spock, she has to be stronger and braver than your average cadet. Those of us that have lived with abusers like Naima learn quickly to internalize and hide the affects of the abuse to appear functional and normal. It strengthens us and breaks us at the same time; frequently making us attuned to people in a way that others often aren't. Like anyone who is in the process of healing, certain choices have to be made to move forward, and that is where this story took me.
When I began this story I originally envisioned Spock as the neutral observer of Nyota's family dynamics, but realized that it wouldn't work both because of his own strained relationship with his father and because of his emotional connection to Nyota. Enter McCoy-- who was able to see all sides reasonably, without the burdens of the past. McCoy experienced Naima in an accelerated way, similar to what Kiano experienced; charm and beauty at the beginning (she was on a high from the conference), then he sees her as just a little disagreeable (her barely masked xenophobia and anti-Starfleet tendency), and then he realizes that she's completely off(she's been either lying or very confused about the members of her family). I am not sure if I was successful, but I enjoyed writing this and I hope you enjoyed reading! I got so many different kinds of comments to this story, that I decided that I should provide a little bit about my thought process. Thanks again for reading and responding.