This is it everyone, the final chapter of 10 signs Spock edition. I would like to thank everyone who has reviewed this story or added it to their alerts. At the time of this post, 113 people have this story on alert and 56 individuals have added it to their favorites. I thank all of you for your support throughout this process.
In addition, I like to thank Vampirewine for reviewing this chapter. We are currently collaborating on a surprise based in this universe. More details will be available eventually.
The title for this chapter comes from the Madonna song of the same name.
It is amazing how much one can accumulate over what seems like such a short period of time. After 30 months on Enterprise her quarters seem to be filled with mementoes of missions that went right and certain missions that she will be trying to repress until retirement. (Particularly any mission where Jim and Spock got stoned on aphrodisiacs and she accidentally walked in on them having sex. Honestly, you'd be amazed how many times they've ran into random aliens that tried to force Jim and Spock to have sex. Much to Jim's disappointment they have not run into a polyandrous society that has forced a threesome.)
Over the last 30 months, this place has become her home. The first real home she has had in a very long time. It seems shocking that this occurred considering everything that happened. She realizes it could have easily gone the other way.
Most people don't even speak to their ex-boyfriend, let alone become his best friend. She has gotten very good at giving Spock advice when his husband is a complete idiot. Jim Kirk being Jim Kirk he can do some pretty stupid things. Fortunately, he hasn't done anything recently that could get him strangle in the not fun way.
She is unsure how it happened but the Enterprise became her home. It became the one place where she truly felt comfortable. It became the one place where she felt nurtured. Over the last 30 months this ship, but more importantly the people on the ship have become a home that she doesn't want to leave. However, she knows it is time for her to go.
19 months ago, she thought Spock would be the one that would be leaving. She thought her friend would be leaving her and his accidental husband behind. Instead, it would be her that would be leaving him and her other best friend.
As the first graduate of the command retraining program she will become the First Officer of Captain Jordan Jackson of the USS OBAMA. (Yes, that Jordan.) It turns out that Jim and Spock's mutual nerdy ex-boyfriend was actually a Lieutenant Commander at the time she convince Spock that she was much more deserving of his attention. Jordan was the Commander who was promoted to captain after the Admiralty realized they had no choice but to leave Spock on the Enterprise.
Brittany who is now Chief Communications Officer on the ship at the new record breaking age of 23 thought he was an incompetent ass that would drop dead if he didn't have a decent First Officer. He was not a risk taker. Unlike Jim, he did believe in no wins scenarios. She had her work cut out for her. Spock believed she would make an adequate First Officer to his ex and she trusted his judgment.
Jim thought it was funny that she would be working with Spock's other ex. That comment got him a pillow to the head. She personally wasn't looking forward to it because Jordan was nowhere near as gracious as her.
As she packed up her things, she realized how much things have changed since she stepped on Enterprise over 2 ½ years ago. She came on board as Spock's girlfriend who was still shell-shocked from losing all of her friends thanks to one very troubled individual. Before that battle she thought she would be lucky if she ever became a Chief Communications Officer before she turned 35. She did not expect to earn that position within a matter of days.
She leaves the ship happily single with two good friends and a sense of inner peace. She also leaves with the rank of Commander and will become the First Officer of the OBAMA. She is also on the fast track to being the youngest female Captain in Starfleet history. She still has six years to beat the late Captain Evelyn Thompson's record. Her husband Admiral Thompson is looking forward to that occurring.
During her first year on Enterprise, the biggest transition was the changes in her relationship with Spock. It surprises her how easy the transition from lover to friend really was. They were definitely better as friends then lovers. She had someone she could tell her deepest secrets to again and support her when things were falling apart like when her dad died in a car accident last year. With Jim's consent, he accompanied her to the funeral on Earth and stayed by her side the entire time. She seriously doubted she would have received the same emotional support if they were lovers.
She will admit that having an overprotective ex-boyfriend makes hooking up on shore leave with a random stranger very difficult. One time during shore leave, Spock started touching every guy that tried to buy her a drink. She later found out that he was vetting all of them to see if any of them were suitable candidates for her. It was kind of funny. It was his way of paying her back for setting him up with Jim.
19 months ago, she started the command retraining program. The hours were long and having Jim breathe down her neck every time she did something wrong was stressful. She had the urge to strangle him at least once a week. However, she knew in the long run that she would be a better commanding officer for it.
16 months ago, she started leading away missions on her own occasionally. Her absolute favorite away mission that she led, was when she had to rescue her Captain and his husband from a planet by dressing up as their goddess. She enjoyed having the locals throw rose like petals at her feet.
The next major transition was watching her two friends go from being single to married to being family men. Six months after the (real) wedding, Jim and Spock adopted two young girls who lost their parents during the destruction of Vulcan. T'Pong was shoved in an evacuation pod by her mother just minutes before the planet was destroyed. She was only four at the time. Amanda, who already had that name, was two when she lost both parents. They were serving on separate ships when they died in the ambush.
Both girls were doing well adjusting to life on a starship. T'Pong loves living on Enterprise in a very Vulcan way. She personally thinks that is because living on Enterprise is like living on a big science lab.
Spock is a great dad to his two daughters. He completely understands that they have very different needs. When they were together, Nyota could never picture him as a father. Yet the role truly suited him. His Vulcan patients came in handy when a then three year old Amanda created a picture of the entire Enterprise crew on the walls of their quarters.
Spock also become adequate at playing Barbies, various video games, and tea party. Although she is pretty sure he prefers teaching both girls how to play chess.
Fortunately, the Kirk girls were not alone on Enterprise. As part of the Kirk Amendments to the Starfleet personal policies involving family, all ships underwent renovations to allow family to lived together on the ships. Enterprise was retrofitted with classrooms and play areas. The Enterprise currently has 16 children living on the ship. This meant that the Kirk girls had other children their age on board.
These children included Dr. McCoy's now preteen daughter, who he won custody of after she almost died at some boarding school her mom sent her to. The doctor was a lot less grouchy now that his daughter was on board. She was sure Joanna and her favorites nieces were secretly conspiring to set the two of them up, but it didn't work.
She will admit that she had mixed feelings when she found out two months ago from now Admiral Rodriguez that she was chosen to be the new First Officer of the OBAMA. She didn't want to leave her two best friends behind. She didn't want to miss out on seeing her two favorite nieces grow up. She didn't want tell Jim or Spock about this because she knew that they would pressure her into taking the position for the sake of her career and for the good of Starfleet.
The only somewhat neutral friend she really had was "Grandpa Spock". She still calls him that as sort of a term of endearment. It's kind of funny when the Kirk girls call him that. Over the last 2 ½ years they've definitely become the best of friends. So much so that she took a two week vacation to new Vulcan for the sake of a certain biological imperative. Although pon far seems less intense once your partner makes it passed the century mark. Let's be honest, if you were in a must have sex or die situation wouldn't you rather sleep with a friend then a complete stranger? It made sense considering the love of his life was long gone.
"Congratulations on your promotion Nyota." The older version of her best friend said as soon as he popped up on the screen.
"How did you know?"
"I have my sources." He said seriously with what passes as a smirk for any Spock.
"Jim or Spock?"
"Actually it was Admiral Pike. I feel that there is no one else who is as deserving as you to receive this promotion."
"Don't celebrate just yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to take the position."
"Do you doubt your abilities?"
"No, it's just everything I will leave behind. Did my counterpart ever serve on a different ship?"
"At times she had different assignments. However, as I have said repeatedly, you are not her. She was not raise by a stepmother who instilled a spirit of determination and leadership in her."
"Sulu hates me because I've received a commission to be a First Officer before him."
"I am sure he would be. Let me give you the same advice I gave my counterpart several years ago when he was at a crossroads. Do what feels right. Just because you will be on a different ship does not mean that you will lose this family."
As much as it pains her to admit it, it felt right to move on. It felt right to take this commission. Although she also knew it was difficult. So difficult that two hour before she was scheduled to depart her room was still somewhat unpacked.
"I do not understand why you waited until the last moment to pack your things."
"It's a human thing. We procrastinate sometimes."
"Are you sure that your procrastination is not caused by a reluctance to leave? Are you sure you want to take this commission?"
"Shouldn't you have asked me that question when your husband was trying to talk me into the command retraining program?"
"You have a very logical point. Neither one of us thought you would be leaving so soon."
"You're good teacher. I know I'll be able to come to you whenever I need advice on how to be a good First Officer. "
"Of course, but I doubt you will need my help. You have always performed admirably."
"Trust me I'm going to need a lot of help. In a way, you're right. I don't want to leave. However, I know it's the right decision. It's kind of like when we broke up."
"Even though I knew it was for the best I was still afraid to do it. In the long run it was the best decision. You're now with the true love of your life. You are a wonderful father to your two daughters. Just as I knew then that it was the right decision for us to break Up, I know it's time for me to leave."
Saying goodbye to everyone was hard. Sulu was finally no longer jealous that she received a commission before him. He got over himself as soon as he found out that her future commanding officer would probably hate her instantly.
Saying goodbye to the girls was difficult. All three have a special place in her heart. The almost five year old Amanda was crying. Jim tried to stay the epitome of the perfect Captain, but she swore she saw him shed a tear. Just one, but it was there.
She took her time walking to the transporter room. She wanted to take in the sites of the ship one last time. She wanted to permanently enter every inch in her memory. Maybe someday she would be back. Maybe someday, when they finally talked Jim into becoming an Admiral, she will get to be the captain of this fine ship. The long walk to the transporter room was her own special goodbye. However, the hardest goodbye took place in the transporter room.
"I guess this is it." She said to Spock.
"It has been an honor to serve with you for these last 30.3 months. You performed your duty most efficiently."
"To think you almost assigned me to a different ship."
"That was a grievous error on my part."
"Yes it was. It worked out in the end. Make sure you keep your husband on his toes."
"I will endeavor to do so."
"I'm going to miss you." she said leaning over and kissing him goodbye on the forehead.
"I will miss you as well." It was the last thing she heard as she felt that tingle that signified the transporter was functioning. As she dematerialized she realized this was not the end it was merely a new beginning.
The epilogue for the other story will go a bit farther in time. This was originally how I was going to end the other story but it fit better for this one.