A/N This was written for UtopiaBB. Thanks MamboMama for betaing.
I only own the errors.
Vulcans mate for life.
That little tidbit of information did not surprise Nyota Uhura. Out of all the limited resources available on the Vulcan species, it was the one piece of data that was easily accessed. They were a proud, self-sufficient and very private race of people, and this was one of the first things she learned about them. The very first being that they liked their space; something she became aware of after (sort-of) meeting one at the tender age of four.
The memory was still fresh in her mind's eye.
Asha Uhura, her mother, tightly held Nyota's chubby palm as they walked through the busy streets of San Francisco. The cool wind whipped her braids to and fro, irritating the toddler, but not enough to ruin the experience of being in a new place.
Nyota felt completely and utterly amazed looking up and seeing so many different people. She was used to seeing the many varied shades of brown of those native to her land. But when a very tall—and very blue—man passed her by, she erupted in cheerful fit of giggles. Upon sensing her pleasure, her mother laughed right along with her.
As the wind picked up, Nyota released her mother's hand to tuck her beaded braids behind her ear; the little baubles continuously slapped against her face. She hated wearing braids, yet equally hated being teased for having naturally silky straight hair. It was annoying enough being born the lightest-skinned Uhura child! The indignant four-year old wouldn't stand for anything else branding her as different from her own people. Therefore, she tolerated the hairstyle right down to its wooden adornments.
Once the errant tendril was put into place, she resumed walking only to come to a halt again. Standing a mere three feet from her was a slightly green man, and his ears…
"Mama!" Nyota absently called out, unconsciously moving closer to the man.
He wore a long ochre brown cape that had a funny red swirly design down its side. The shade of his skin against his clothing reminded her of the Kahlahari desert in New Congo, and she knew right then that they could be friends.
Unaware that the man had tensed when she shouted for her mother, she swiftly closed the distance between them, tentatively reaching out a finger to trace the elegant designs on his robe.
"Habari bwana," she greeted, turning her head up and offering a soft smile. The man looked down at her, but didn't smile in return. Nyota wondered if she'd said or done something wrong, but quickly remembered something her cousin had once said before kicking her out of his room.
"Some people just like their space, msumbufu!"
With that in mind, she took several steps back and tried again.
"Hello, sir," she attempted in heavily accented standard. Maybe he didn't speak Kiswahili.
Nyota saw his mouth twitch briefly and wondered if a mosquito was buzzing around his lip. Mosquitoes were common where she came from, and she hated them more than braids! She didn't get a chance to ask about it though, because as soon as she opened her mouth, the tiny quiver had stopped.
"Greetings, young one," he replied in standard, lifting his hand and stretching out his fingers. Mimicking his posture and movement, she raised her own hand with a gap in her fingers and smiled widely with the gap in her teeth.
"Ni'droi'ik Nar-tor, La-kuramano," Asha calmly interrupted, lifting her hand exactly like the green man before quickly bowing. When she rose, she turned fierce eyes onto Nyota.
"You are not to leave my side, mwanangu," she whispered-shouted to the child, pulling her away.
"Semara," the man stated. Nyota didn't understand what the man had said, but her smile got impossibly wider at the sight of his eyebrows disappearing underneath his bangs.
After that day, she wanted to know everything about the green people…and the blue ones…and any others she had yet to see.
She learned much of many, but retained a special place in her heart for the people she came to know as Vulcans. She wanted to blame her single-focused curiosity on the fact that you couldn't find out much about them. But deep down she knew it was due to an eighteen-year old crush she harbored for a man with clothes that reminded her of home, eyebrows and ears that pointed toward the heavens, and a slight twitch she now knew was a smile.
So, now, sitting in the phonology lab, pretending not to notice a certain—handsome half-Vulcan, half-human and definitely all man—instructor, Nyota pondered over that small detail.
Vulcans mate for life.
There was definitely something between her and the Commander, something they both politely and assiduously ignored. She'd planned to address that something on that very day—her last day as his student. Yet, even without rules and regulations to stop them from broaching the subject, she couldn't speak on it. She wouldn't lend words to what had remained unspoken for so long. And it was all because of one phrase she typed in a paper wrote eons ago.
Vulcans mate for life.
In the essay, she attempted to prove or dispel rumors on the Xindi, Romulan, Human, and of course the Vulcan races. The effort she put into it was abysmal at best, yet she was encouraged by her Academic Advisor to 'clean it up' and update it with what she'd learned since her freshmen year. Her advisor wanted to submit it for publication.
Commander Spock offered to help, telling her in that wonderfully overly-worded way of his that he would not be leaving Earth for the summer break and would gladly be of service if she needed him. Nyota liked to think he wasn't speaking about the paper at all, but she couldn't think that way because now she had to actively consider that Spock mated for life.
Does this mean they don't just date? Maybe he already has a girlfriend…or wife?
The endless barrage of questions and angst only served to irritate her, and she found herself releasing the heaviest of sighs. Unsurprisingly, the Commander caught the exhalation and raised a brow that she knew meant 'hmm?'
Shaking her head in what he knew meant 'don't mind me', Nyota attempted to rearrange her features into something more…tamed. She was successful, but the irritation was still there when her eyes skimmed the words again.
It wasn't just the phrase that bothered her, nor was it the electronic red script the Commander used to point out that some of her research—on Vulcans specifically—was highly illogical. The trouble was with the editing section displayed to the right of that particular myth.
Nyota wouldn't have noticed it at all if her PADD hadn't malfunctioned and applied the 'track all changes: accepted, rejected, and other' function from the 21st century. How archaic she'd thought at the time, but it had happened, and in that portion there was no comment from Spo…the Commander at all.
The only proof Nyota had to show that he even reviewed the Vulcan mating portion was written in SF1 binary code; which for Nyota, a linguist in every sense of the word, was just another language.
Once Nyota translated the comment, or lack thereof, she squelched any excitement she'd had about this day. If she wanted to even consider a relationship with him, she needed to be ready to settle down and commit.
For the rest of her life.
She blamed her current headache on her advisor. If she hadn't mentioned that paper, Nyota never would've revisited the confusing fact. Therefore, the Commander would not have had a reason to make preliminary edits. Most importantly, his lack of comment in that one section never would've been apparent to her.
She sighed again.
Nyota wanted Spock, more than anything, but she didn't know if she would feel that way until the end of time.
Her philosophy on languages was the same she lived her life by. Explore all, learn all, and if possible, know all. She didn't want to be proficient in any single thing. No, she needed to constantly discover.
So when Nyota ate, she tried everything from Kolaran quale to Cardassian smelk. On the weekends, when she could finally dress in civvies, she wore anything from jeans to traditional Kuba-cloth robes. When she entered the Holosuite for her mandatory physical fitness regime, she didn't just run like most cadets. No, she climbed mountains, swam in deep sea caverns, and did back handsprings off balance beams.
The side effects of some of her choices weren't always pleasurable, but definitely memorable.
And now, now that Nyota would allow herself to date, she couldn't quiet the inner voice that was persistently telling her to know all. She was young. If she decided to—possibly embarrass herself—reveal her feelings to her favorite instructor, and he took her seriously. Perhaps he even returned some of her feeli…regarded her favorably…
She couldn't go there.
As the old Terran idiom went: Variety is the spice of life. How could she know what she truly wanted in a life-mate if she hadn't explored all of her options?
"Spock," she exhaled, barely able to stick to her decision now that those dark, soulful, expectant eyes were on her. "I…I'm going to head out." When he made it to his feet and stood close enough for her to feel his heat searing through the back of her uniform, she hastily moved to the exit. With space between them, Nyota finally looked up.
"Nyota," he began, his features as placid as ever, but the timbre of his voice—the way his lips puckered to produce the word—made her feel like she was being exalted. "I trust that you will have a safe journey home and I will be here if ever you decide you require me."
He's certainly not talking about the paper.
With a swift nod, she turned and walked away. Even with her aural sensitivity she missed his last words.
"Dungi bek-tor." I will wait.
Over three months went by and Nyota remained true to her word.
She dated men that could hold a decent intellectual conversation, and sometimes she said 'yes' to dates based on physical attractiveness alone.
Even Jim Kirk got a chance before she departed from Starfleet. It was memorable date, but not noteworthy.
Her hand had been kissed, laved by tentacles and snuggled by snouts. For those that introduced her to their families, she found easy acceptance despite their cultural or biological differences. On a higher level were the few suitors that she shared intimacies with, and although the number of them was low (read: two) she learned what it was like to see the metaphorical stars.
During it all, there was one person who remained in Nyota's thoughts, his face and voice permanently ingrained within. She made no attempt to rid his visage from her mind, even when her recollection of their past conversations saddened her, because after all, the thing she felt between them could very well be one-sided and unrequited.
In spite of that, she walked to the Faculty Housing section and stood at the end of Spock's hallway.
It was true that Nyota liked variety, but she quickly found her preferences. She could sample food all day, but she had an inclination for Japanese fare. She had a penchant for dancing above all other forms of exercise, and years later, she still didn't like her hair braided. She was more than content to let the soft tendrils hang down her back, loose and unadorned.
She sampled enough men to know that no one could bring her the peace she felt in his presence. No one could raise her heart rate the way he did by merely gazing at her. And absolutely no one came close to piercing her soul, showing her that nothing else in the world mattered but him.
Nyota finally admitted to herself that she never had any other options. It was, and would always be, Spock. She arrived back on StarFleet campus a few hours after her epiphany. It was a few weeks before she was due back but…
Kalidth, she happily thought. What is, is.
Resolve firmed, she was floored when she walked to his door, noting that it opened with a gentle swish upon her approach. Leaning over at the waist, she peeked inside his domicile, wondering if the door had some systematic failure.
There was no way he programmed it to recognize and allow my entrance. Right?
"Spock?" she called out, taking a step forward.
Before she could call his name again, he was coming out of what she presumed was his bedroom—dressed in dark robes that went down to his ankles. An untied belt hung loosely at his sides, shielding some familiar looking script from her eye, but revealing his pale sinewy form and a fine trail of hair that began at his navel and disappeared beneath his pants.
All coherent thought fled and Nyota suddenly felt hot.
Later, she doesn't remember what was said or how she ended up in his bedroom, in his bed. She doesn't recall the moment she stood completely bare before him while she undressed him in return. What she remembered with perfect clarity was when he touched her, caressed her mind.
She saw herself through his eyes and glimpsed the daily struggle it was for him to keep his distance from her. He showed her the disappointment he felt when she abruptly left and his ensuing loss of control for not attempting to stop her.
"Shameful," he said through the temporary bond, letting her see the hole he'd punched in the wall. "I didn't know if I was human enough for you."
"Don't be ashamed," she whispered, flooding him with all the unrestrained love she had for him. Spock inhaled sharply at the blissful assault and pulled her closer.
Their nude bodies were perfectly aligned limb for limb, Nyota on top looking down into Spock's obsidian eyes. She explained verbally and through their empathetic link her reasons for leaving. How she just needed to be sure about her feelings. How, if he felt the same way about her, she didn't want something like her natural inquisitiveness to hurt him in any way.
"Ashayam," she said, feeling a pleasant surge through the bond at the endearment. "I didn't think this area of my life would be any different. I owed it to you to be sure."
"That was…reasonable," Spock agreed, still feeling irrationally angry by the way she went about it. He didn't hide his thoughts quick enough and she sensed his displeasure.
Instead of a verbal response, she started to kiss him, leisurely moving her hips over his lok until nothing but lust penetrated the bond. Flipping them over, Spock pinned her to the mattress as he situated himself at her entrance. At her nod of approval, he slowly entered her, pausing when he met resistance. The question was clear in his eyes.
"Rai. Ishinai seisha rim satik ik itisha heh dungau kwon-sum t'du," Nyota proclaimed in his native tongue. At her utterance, Spock lost all control. His hands moved to her meld points as he pushed through the barriers of both her mind and body.
When she awoke the next morning, Spock was leaning over her inspecting the teeth marks he'd left with something akin to smugness in his eyes. She caught his attention and smiled.
Tucking her into his side, he pressed his forehead against hers and expressed his relief.
"Finally, Nyota. You are mine."
Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a review : )
Loosely translated, of course.
Habari bwana—Hello sir.
Ni'droi'ik Nar-tor La-kuramano—I am sorry, honorable ambassador.
Rai. Ishinai seisha rim satik ik itisha heh dungau kwon-sum t'du—No. I've given no man that which is, and will always be, yours.
LTCOM SPOCK COMMENT: Delete: comment: delete: user paused: comment: delete: final