Summary: Nyota meets Amanda for the first time as Spock's girlfriend, later she seeks to learn more about Spock after he shares a difficult family situation in his past with her.
Rating: M overall, though not for this chapter
Warnings: NO SEX!, moody Vulcan
A/N: I meant this to be purely smut, but plot kept interrupting me. So no sex this chapter, but I'll turn up the heat in the next chapter. Previous Story: Ashayam Next Story: Wink of an Eye. References TOS episodes Amok Time and Journey to Babel.
Nyota couldn't tell exactly when it happened, but at some point in the four months that they had been together officially, something had changed. She couldn't put her finger on it since they were currently on separate shifts, but Spock seemed increasingly withdrawn.
She'd finally had it with him one day after he'd been particularly abrupt with her, so she cornered him in his quarters during the shift change. Barely holding on to her patience, she waited for Spock to stop his typical verbal gymnastics on how he wasn't actually avoiding her since they'd engaged in coitus that very morning. Her eyes narrowed and she pinned him with a dark look before he finally admitted, 'My mother wants to meet you.'
She sighed, 'Oh. Is that it?' Nyota was surprised this was the cause for Spock's moodiness, and she could only call it that because his behavior lately was uncharacteristically abrupt and impatient. But he wasn't normally so reticent with her about discussing his family….for the most part.
Spock folded his arms and fixed his gaze on the ceiling, 'Yes, somehow she found out about our relationship. I suspected that Dr. McCoy told her since he occasionally calls her to inquire after my father. He said it just slipped out–'
At this revelation, Spock actually raised both of his hands to make air quotes with his fingers, indicating to Nyota his high level of annoyance. Spock continued, '–which is quite doubtful since you are aware of the mischief he enjoys making.'
She raised her eyebrows and tried not to laugh in his face, 'Well, ok. So when did this happen?'
'Three months ago.'
'What?!' Her amusement fled, 'Three months ago?! Why didn't you tell me sooner?' She folded her arms and turned away, muttering angrily, 'I thought you wanted me to meet your mother.'
Nyota threw up her hands in frustration, 'Don't answer all at once, Spock!' She was about to walk out in a huff when Spock grabbed hold of her forearm to turn her around.
He canted his head slightly, frowning, 'Please do not misunderstand—'
'Oh spare me, Spock. Just say it–you're having second thoughts about this whole thing. I mean, three months, Spock?'
It was Spock's turn to give her a questioning look, 'It was still too soon for us. My…hesitation merely stemmed from wanting to protect you from my mother's overzealous concern about my love life as she so quaintly puts it.' His hand released her arm to flutter up gracefully, making more air quotes.
'Oh! I see!' Nyota laughed with relief, though still feeling somewhat peeved, and leaned against the wall, 'So she tends to offer unsolicited advice?' She watched his face closely for any shift in expression, but there was none.
His eyes drifted to a point over her shoulder, 'Her methods are not quite so obvious, but she claims to have an intuition about people and I–'
She inched closer to him, putting her hand on his arm and said softly, 'Spock, what are you so afraid of? You don't think she'll like me?'
He pressed his lips together in a tight line, 'I am not afraid of anything, Nyota. But…I have never–' He stopped abruptly, then walked away from her and sat down at his desk, staring at his computer screen. 'I need to meditate.'
She stared at his back, then sighed, wondering how one talked to a moody Vulcan who'd never admit to such a state. 'Come on, Spock, would you just tell me what's bothering you?' Nyota sat in the chair opposite him and leaned forward on his desk, 'Why do you put me in this position of having to bug you?'
He looked away, as if speaking to the wall, 'I have been–had been– betrothed to T'Pring since I was seven years old.' Spock took a deep breath, 'My…relationships…were not meant to progress to an introduction with my parents.' He finally looked down at his hands, the fingers loosely clasped together on his desk top. His left thumb slowly tapped against the back of his other hand, seemingly lost in thought.
Nyota leaned back in her chair and took a deep breath, letting it slowly escape. She couldn't pry it out of him now, not when she was about to go on shift. Spock certainly had a knack for timing. She'd gotten so adept at reading his silences and omissions, which were very loud right now, that she knew that there was more to the story. But she couldn't figure out if his reluctance to share was based on his private nature or if it was because he was ashamed of something.
Spock, until fairly recently, had always been an enigma to her. Ever since she was at the Academy, he'd always been someone that she looked up to as a mentor, first academically then later, professionally. He'd been a superstar student, graduating valedictorian of his class and then later, for a short time, a teacher that everyone mostly talked about with tremendous respect and a touch of fearful awe, but whom no one really knew.
That changed for her once she was assigned to the Enterprise, which had thrilled and terrified her all at once. Once she'd finally gotten to know him, it had been a revelation to her that Spock was a flesh and blood man, with an actual personality and flaws. As it was right now, learning that her boyfriend had a past and a human, and Vulcan, family that had shaped him was still a bit of a surprise to her.
Nyota resolved then to catch up with her readings on Vulcan society and cultural traditions. There had to be some insight into this man's mind somewhere. Maybe Vulcan male psychology too while she was at it, especially now that Spock was starting to really open up to her more about his emotions and particularly how he felt about his family.
But then, she wondered about those relationships he'd referred to and whether he'd intentionally pursued short-term affairs, or even one night stands, despite being engaged to T'Pring. Was that even allowable in Vulcan tradition? It certainly hadn't held T'Pring back from having Stonn. Or maybe he was just a cheater, hence his shame and embarrassment?
Had he rebelled against his parents choice of T'Pring? Acted out in some way? And when had that happened? He seemed so morally upright now that she had a difficult time imagining Spock ever being rebellious or worse, self-destructive in some way.
She leaned forward again, wanting him to look at her, but he kept his eyes away from hers, 'Ok, Spock. I've got to go, but remember, it's not that bad. It's not like we're total strangers. We already know a few things about each other. Plus, your mother and I share a mutual interest.'
She got up and walked around the desk, putting her arms around his shoulders and giving him a hug. 'We'll talk later, but I want to meet your mom, Spock. Make it happen.' She dropped a kiss on the top of his head and he sighed.
As she walked away, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her back into his lap for a quick kiss. She laughed into his mouth and returned his with a chaste one. 'See you in in a few hours, baby.'
The bridge was quiet enough for her to pretend to do some work while she did another search of the ship's library for more texts on Vulcan male psychology. She'd compiled a very long list of potential reading materials when she was first dating Spock, but had only managed to read a few books. There were some that sounded very interesting, but needed special permission from the Vulcan Science Academy archives to access.
One title had her stop in her tracks and do a mental double take. Something that she'd previously requested access to had actually been approved some time ago and she either hadn't realized it or had just completely forgotten about it. She scanned the summary, then smiled. Oh yes, she definitely remembered this one.
She grinned openly when she recalled how Spock had once commented that humans were too enthusiastic for pre-Surakian literature. But this was too delicious not to get excited about, since it was about the inner workings of the Vulcan elite right before Surak's revolutionary ideas of nonviolence swept across the planet.
It was also noted for containing several erotic passages between an older woman of noble birth and a young man of lower social status. Nyota downloaded the novel onto her padd, refusing to feel guilty for anticipating a scandalous, juicy read.
But her plans on a quiet night in with Spock were thwarted when she returned to his quarters to find him at the comm unit waiting for her. With a surprise. Nyota hated surprises.
'Nyota, when you have a moment, could you please come here and say hello to my mother?'
She muffled a groan as she put her things down on his kitchen table and took a deep breath before plastering on a smile and walking over to Spock's side. She nodded pleasantly as she made eye contact with Lady Amanda.
Amanda smiled brilliantly at her, 'Nyota, I can't tell you how thrilled I am to finally meet you in an official capacity. It's so wonderful to finally see you again. I've always heard such intriguing things about you from Spock. And others. But I really must apologize for the surprise, I do know you two must have other things to do. I told Spock it wasn't urgent, but he never listens to me.'
Nyota drew up a chair and sat down next to Spock, 'Hello Lady Amanda, thank you so much. It's great to finally meet you too.' They smiled at each other, before Nyota continued, 'I'm sure it would've happened sooner if Spock hadn't…forgotten.' She kept her focus on Amanda, but could see Spock shifting in his chair out of the corner of her eye as she fibbed to cover Spock's alleged oversight.
Amanda chuckled, her head tilting to the side as she contemplated the two sitting before her, 'Oh yes, do call me Amanda, Nyota.' Then, her blue eyes focused back on her son, 'Spock, why don't you go make Nyota some tea. She's coming off such a long shift, I mean, really Spock. Haven't I taught you anything?'
Nyota laughed and surreptitiously put her hand on Spock's knee under the desk, 'That's ok, Sp–'
But he shot Nyota a knowing look before getting up and going into the kitchen.
Amanda whispered conspiratorially from the screen, 'Now that you're dating a Vulcan you can appreciate the little things he can do for you, my dear.' Her voice returned to normal volume, 'And now that my son is busy, why don't you tell me about that research you're doing on Vulcan history.'
Nyota pulled back slightly in surprise, 'How did you know about that?'
'Ms. Uhura, I've been a linguist specializing in all things Vulcan for over 30 years. Just how do you think those archive requests get approved? And some of the more interesting ones get sent my way.' Amanda smiled slowly, revealing a perfect white smile.
'Ohhhh, I had no idea!' She lowered her voice and leaned closer to the screen, 'I just saw some reading I'd requested a while ago was suddenly approved!'
She chuckled, 'Well, of course I'd put your request through!' Then whispered with a wink, 'Though please don't mention it to anyone else, since many people get denied. It's not easy to acquire this information through the…proper channels.'
'Oh, I understand. But why was I approved then?' Nyota was beginning to see just how well connected Spock was by virtue of his lineage.
Amanda smiled and said resolutely, 'Because you're chief communications officer of the Federation flagship. Though, I'm sure you'll glean more…personally useful things from it as well.'
Nyota smiled back and nodded, but secretly searched the older woman's face. It was easy for many to say how much Spock took after his father, since he looked more Vulcan than human, but there were features from Amanda that one could see in Spock's face too, though in a more subtle way.
But by then, Spock had returned with Nyota's tea and the conversation switched to more general topics for which Nyota was grateful, since it allowed her to observe Spock interact with his mother.
She couldn't understand why he was so concerned earlier about this meeting. The way he treated his mother was actually quite sweet as it was unexpected, though not really surprising considering who Spock was as a person. It was still highly amusing to see the stern First Officer Spock gradually cave to his human mother's demand, which had been phrased in a variety of ways, to update her on his life.
Spock proceeded to do so, of course, but in such a frustratingly oblique way, that Nyota knew he must be doing it on purpose. Amanda seemed to know it too, pausing every once in a while to silently glance at Nyota, but his stone walling hadn't deterred her from pressing him for more details.
Still, from what Nyota could see, it was a very different dynamic from the extreme tension that had occurred between them during the mission to Babel. During that time, she and Spock had only been good friends and she really hadn't gotten a chance to meet and talk with either of Spock's parents.
Amanda had a very mischievous and charming quality and Nyota could see why McCoy would be inclined to follow up on Sarek's health so frequently. Though she wondered what Sarek thought about that, since she'd learned firsthand just how territorial Vulcans could be. She'd have to remember later to swing by Sickbay and find out what she could from McCoy about Spock's mother.
'You know, Nyota, when you and Spock come to visit us–'
Nyota smiled, though surprised, 'Oh thank you, Amanda, but I'm not sure whe-'
'It would be very difficult for us, Mother,' Spock interrupted.
She waved a hand, 'I know, I know. But I'm sure we can arrange to meet you two somewhere halfway. That wouldn't be such a burden, now would it?' She smiled innocently at her son.
Spock was silent for a moment, 'We'll see, Mother.'
But that seemed to satisfy Amanda, who replied breezily, 'Ok that's fine then. I'll just leave it to Nyota to keep me updated if your schedules change. Actually, while I have you now, why don't I show you that adorable holo of Spock with I-Chaya–'
Nyota leaned forward excitedly, this was what she was hoping for all along. 'You have cute holos?' She glanced at Spock with a smirk, 'I would love to see cute holos, Amanda.'
Spock sighed, ignoring Nyota's look, 'Unfortunately, Mother, we no longer have adequate time to view your very extensive holo collection. You will just have to be patient and show Nyota at a later date.'
Amanda's smile wavered, 'Oh, alright, Spock.' A mischievous glint returned to her eye, 'It's clear my son doesn't wish to speak to me anymore, so I will just wish you good night, but please don't hesitate to call me about any other research questions you might have.'
She smiled back and nodded, 'Thank you, Amanda. I'll do that.'
Amanda looked at her son and nodded once, 'Thank you, Spock. Good night.'
'Good night, Mother.' Spock ended the call, while Nyota got up to clean their empty tea mugs in the kitchen.
'That wasn't so bad now was it, Spock?' She finished sanitizing the mugs and returned them to the shelf, 'I'm glad you're my boyfriend, though. It seems to have its advantages.'
He folded his arms across his chest, 'Is that so?'
'Apparently, your mom has pull at the Vulcan Science Academy archives. There was some stuff I'd requested permission to read a while ago and she pushed it through for me.'
'I see. Should I know what stuff you have requested to read?'
Nyota shrugged, 'Just some very salacious reading material that I'll derive great satisfaction from reading, my dear.' She sat on his lap, putting her arm around his shoulders.
'Utterly predictable.' He dropped a kiss onto her collarbone, 'What is the title of this romance novel?'
She hit him on the shoulder, 'It's historical I'll have you know. Actually, it doesn't have a title from what I can see. It was just labeled An Accounting of the Ruling Clans of Shik'har, by Anonymous.'
Spock's wandering hands stilled on her back for a moment, 'What is the subject matter that piqued your interest?'
'Well, it looks to be a snapshot of daily life right before the Great Reformation.' She paused, 'But there are a few erotic passages that seemed like good reading.' She tapped him on the shoulder thoughtfully, 'Do you know the story at all? From what I could see on the archive summary, it hasn't been accessed for many years.'
Spock's hands slipped under her skirt and he murmured, 'Yes, I know it. I read it when I fifteen. My mother had been working on a Standard translation at the time.' He kissed her neck.
She moved back out of reach, 'Oh wow, I didn't even know that there was a Standard version.'
'There isn't any. Or rather, none available to the public and none stored at the archive. My father did not…approve of the content.' His hand drifted up to caress her breast, but she put her hand over his, stopping him.
'Ohhhh, it's like that.' Nyota had always known Sarek to be something of a hard ass, but hadn't seemed like one to encourage censorship.
'Yes.' Spock finally leaned back and looked at her, realizing now that she wanted to talk.
'I'm really looking forward to reading this then.'
He raised his eyebrows, 'Indeed.'
'Ok.' She watched him in silence for a few moments, 'So…are you going to tell me what's gotten you….concerned lately?' She had to choose her words carefully about certain emotions, to find words that weren't so emotionally loaded for him, which was ironic really. She had learned to avoid particular terms he found objectionable, lest it send him into a glacial freeze of such rigid mental control, that it would take days or even weeks for her to thaw.
It was proving to be a challenge dealing with someone who had rather strong emotions, but could not or would not talk about them or even identify them. It ran completely against what she felt to be right, but she couldn't really see any other way of dealing with it.
Spock looked back up at her, 'That story my mother was translating happened during a very…chaotic time for me and I associate…unpleasantness with it.'
She watched him as his eyes looked down again at his hand resting on her thigh, 'I'm really sorry to hear that, Spock.'
'It doesn't matter now.'
'Yes, it does! You're still bothered by it. So let me guess, you read the book and your father didn't approve of it. So what'd he do, ground you for a month?'
'No, it wasn't the book.' He took a deep breath, his hand moving down to her knee, 'My grandfather died at this time. It was an unexpected death and my mother was devastated by the news.'
Shocked, Nyota took a moment before responding, 'I'm so sorry Spock.'
She could feel him shrug under her arm that was slung around his shoulders, she squeezed him reassuringly.
'She buried herself in her work and did not return to Earth for the funeral.' Spock moved to stand up and Nyota got off his lap. He went over into the bedroom, laying down and putting his hands behind his head.
She propped her chin up on the back of his chair, 'Wow, Spock. That's really surprising. You all seemed so close. Why she didn't go back home for the funeral?'
'At the time, I was…under the care of a healer at Gol. She was not allowed to contact me, but would not go home unless she could take me with her.'
'Gol? So what happened? Why were you at Gol?' The only thing she knew about Gol was that it was a sanctuary for monks.
'Sarek seemed to think that I was not functioning correctly as a Vulcan.'
Aghast, Nyota nevertheless prodded gently, 'Why did he think that?'
He shrugged, 'Most Vulcans perceive humanity as a treatable condition.'
Nyota shook her head, 'I don't even know what to say to that. That's some downright xenophobic bullshit right there.'
He looked over at her, amused enough to give her a small smile, 'Thank you for saying so. I wish I knew you then, Nyota.'
She went over and sat on the bed, resting her hand on his chest, 'You don't wish very often, Spock, so thank you.' She stroked his forearm, enjoying the heat he generated.
He pulled her down gently into the crook of his arm, 'I think I would have benefited greatly from your wisdom.'
Nyota settled her head on his shoulder, 'Oh? Let's see now, you were fifteen at the time and I was…around ten. Yeah, I was a real know-it-all back then. So tell me what happened when you got back from Gol.'
'I signed up for Starfleet.'
'Now wait a minute, you're really leaving out a lot. Could you fill in the blanks, please?'
'Sarek and I were at odds over my future and after my time at Gol, he had decided he would make my decisions for me. I did not agree with that course of action, so I packed some clothes and left Vulcan the day I had returned.'
'Did Amanda know?'
'No. I…could not tell her what I was planning.'
'You'd planned this already?' She snuggled closer to him to give him comfort and slipped her hand under his shirt. She sighed and closed her eyes, listening to his low voice rumble in his chest.
'Yes, my grandfather's death only pushed to the forefront my ongoing differences with Sarek. Fortunately, I had planned well in advance.'
'What plans? Did you run away from home to join Starfleet?'
'Simplistic, but yes, in a way I did. I had not made a firm decision about Starfleet, since I was only exploring that option in discussions with my grandfather. After his death, however, I was sure of what I needed to do.'
'You were close to him.' She thought that maybe he was even closer to his grandfather than Sarek.
Spock smoothed back her hair that was tickling his chin, 'Yes, I was.'
'How'd you get off the planet though without anyone knowing?'
'A day trip to T'Khut. When I arrived there, I merely changed my itinerary and continued on to Earth. I already had my new identification card that reflected my change of residency, so that when I landed in Boston, no one could force me to return to Vulcan.'
'But how did you manage to do it so quickly? You were only fifteen, how did you manage to change your citizenship without your parents approval?'
'On my last visit to Earth, I petitioned a court in Boston to become an independent minor.' He hurried on before she could interrupt with another question, 'That is merely a legal proceeding where the court decided if I could be declared an adult and able to handle my affairs. They ruled in my favor and I applied for Terran citizenship that same day.'
'Why'd you even bother returning home then if you were already a legal adult?'
'I had planned to finish my last course of study at school. I also needed to speak to my mother about how I planned to live and support myself while attending Starfleet. And to say…goodbye. But when I arrived home to Shik'har, Sarek was not satisfied that I was spending my time on Earth, so he demanded that I enter Gol for a–a re-evaluation of my priorities. At that particular juncture, I had not received notice on whether or not my citizenship was approved, so I had no choice but to delay my departure.'
'Spock…I don't know what to say. I'm in shock with this whole thing. I'm just…amazed that Sarek was so unhappy with how you were. I mean, you turned out just fine.'
He replied in amusement, 'Thank you.' He shifted his position so that she was laying on the bed looking up at him, her hands resting against his chest.
She looked up into his black eyes, 'I mean it, Spock. That was really brave of you. I can't even imagine just…leaving. What happened when you got to Boston? Where did you stay? What did your parents do?'
Spock kissed her, then said, 'Another time, Nyota. I have…other activities that I would like to be doing to you now.'
Later, after she had gotten up and then returned from the bathroom, she picked up the padd she'd left on the table and brought it back to the bed to read.
The novel wasn't quite what she expected, but the author had a lively wit and it read like a very thinly disguised political satire, since several figures were relentlessly skewered for their ignorance, stupidity and whatever else that offended the author. But then, before she could read any more, Spock woke up and she had to set her reading aside until tomorrow.
A/N: Like, whoa, this was supposed to be one chapter, but it got so long. I'm halfway through writing the second chapter now. Thank you for reading! Please comment and be sure to visit my wordpress site located on my profile for the pictures, as well as other fanfic and commissioned fanart.
ETA: The plot point of Spock using legal means to get into Starfleet is something I read in a fanfic last year, but I can't remember the name of it for the life of me. I'm almost positive that it's AOS, but I could be totally wrong. If this rings a bell for anyone, could you send me a link so I can acknowledge that story's author? It was a great story and I wish I had bookmarked it now. Thank you! :D
Son of ETA: Thanks to knowledgeable readers for the pointer to Pat Foley's Holography story as the one I was thinking of. ~hat tip~ :D