As they steadily made their way out of the star system of the last landing party, if no new orders came in they would be back at earth within three weeks.
Uhura sat at her station beyond worried. Tonight was the night of truth. She would speak with the Lady Amanda and Spock with speak with her father. She used to have the bad habit of chewing her nails when she was nervous. It had taken three years and five different methods of behavior modification to stop that bad habit. She was strongly tempted to bite her nails at that very moment.
Her screen lit up with a message:
I sense you have not allowed yourself proper nourishment today, My Nyota.
She blushed as she quickly read the message and then erased. Spock knew her well. She most certainly had not had breakfast that morning. Her stomach growled in protest. She was just too nervous to eat.
She looked over at him and was met by his eyes. Her heart beat just a little bit faster for a second and she was swept up by the look in his eyes. Even after so many months, it still made her catch her breath. She looked away quickly and tapped out a quick message and sent it to him:
I told you not to look at me like that when we're on the bridge!
Within seconds, she received an answer from him she wouldn't expect to see in a million years:
Perhaps punishment of some kind would cause me to behave.
Her mouth dropped open. As her hand shot up to cover her gaping mouth she was just in time to stifle her involuntary laughter. But still, a small sound escaped her.
"You say something, Uhura?" asked the captain as his chair swiveled around.
"Oh, no, sir," she said as she cleared her board quickly. "Just yawning."
Of course the captain took that and ran with it. He gave Spock a 'lucky devil' grin before turning back around to read whatever he was about to sign on his electronic clipboard. It only made Uhura want to laugh again, but that time she was able to keep it inside.
Nyota marched herself to her quarters and forced herself to immediately put in the call she was so nervous about. It was right after her duty shift and she figured whether the call ended well or not, at least she would be relieved enough to eat right after it was over.
She was only kept waiting for about five seconds when the screen activated and the dignified but merry face of Amanda Grayson appeared. "Lieutenant!" she greeted her. "I haven't seen you in so long!"
"And you either, Lady Amanda," she greeted as the nerves in her stomach kicked up some more.
"Oh, dear, you look so nervous," laughed Amanda. "I don't want you to think I'm apart of the Inquisition or something!"
Nyota let go of a huge breath she hadn't realized she was holding. "I know, I just… I guess I can sort of figure out how a mother might feel in this situation when her son has decided on the woman he's going to marry and I just wanted to touch base with you on that."
The radiant smile was still there as she said, "If there's someone I'm nervous for right now, it's you. Marrying a Vulcan, even a half Vulcan, is no easy task."
Nyota found herself laughing. "Several times already things have happened and the thought crossed my mind, 'I sure wish I could call up Spock's mother and ask her about this'."
They both enjoyed a laugh over that as she asked, "All right, which one, so far?"
"Well," Uhura paused. "The possessiveness, for starters" she said almost shyly.
Amanda's voice lowered as she said, "Isn't it just ridiculous? By the time we were married about two years Sarek finally learned to put it in its proper place. Well then there was that time I poured a drink over his head because he made me so angry about the ambassador from Trandis V."
Nyota's mouth dropped open. "You poured a drink over Ambassador Sarek's head?"
She only halfway smiled. "I had a bit of a temper back then. I still do, but I've learned how to control it. I was so young when we got married and I didn't know how to deal with certain things. Sarek and I got married so quickly and…oh, you didn't call to talk about me, you called to talk about you and Spock. How's my son doing?"
She smiled involuntarily at the mention of his name. "He's fine."
Amanda's heart soared when she saw the smile on the young woman's face. Her son was loved, she could already tell. "Has he been eating enough? Sleeping well?"
"When he's not engrossed in some project, yes, he eats and sleeps the way he should."
She sighed contentedly. "Good."
"I just called to tell you I-" She paused as an unexpected lump formed in her throat. "I love him very much and I promise I'll treat him well."
Amanda found tears in her own eyes as she said, "Nyota, I never doubted that you would be good for my Spock from the moment he told me about the two of you. I look forward to welcoming you into our family. And Sarek, too, did you know that?"
"No, I didn't."
"The first thing he said when I told him about you two was, 'Spock has a penchant for Earth women the same as his father'."
They both laughed as Uhura said, "Oh, good! I was so nervous about Sarek, but I really wanted to speak with you at least and make sure we talked."
"How did you like the ring?" she asked happily.
Uhura showed it to her. "I love it so much, thank you for letting me wear it."
She waved her off. "I'm just glad it's being passed on. I didn't think that was going to happen," she said as the shadow of something passed over her face. Then her countenance brightened again. "But there it is, on the finger of the woman my son loves."
Nyota found herself sputtering, "Well Spock hasn't said anything about that-"
"I know my son," said Amanda with a confidential tone and look to her face. "And he loves you. Never doubt that, Nyota."
She swallowed back tears. "Thank you, Lady Amanda."
"Call me 'mom'," she said. "Anytime you need advice or need help understanding something, anything, just call me and I'll be there."
She sighed, relieved. She never imagined the conversation would go this well in a thousand years. "Thank you so much for being so nice to me."
"I couldn't be any happier about my son's choice," she admitted. "And we can't wait to see you when you get to Earth."
They talked for a few minutes more and then signed off. Relieved, Nyota finally made her way to the mess hall and wound up having dinner with Sulu and Chekov.
Spock's precise features awaited the greeting of Nyota's father. "Sir," he greeted him. "I have called to speak with you in a formal capacity."
Feisal Uhura Senior smiled at the Vulcan on the screen. He thought he wasn't going to like the commander, but something about the way he was up front with his business made him interested to at least hear the Vulcan out. "You're Commander Spock, I presume."
"And you've called about my Nyota," said the father.
"Yes, sir, I have. I have called to officially ask for your permission to marry she who is your daughter so that she may officially be 'my Nyota'."
He looked at Spock for a few seconds, trying to figure out exactly what was going through the Vulcan's mind. "Son, is there a reason you're chasing an Earth girl?"
"My mother is also a woman of Earth, in case you were not aware."
Mr. Uhura nodded and tried to hold in his smile. Everyone knew who his mother was…and his father for that matter. "How do your parents feel about you marrying my daughter?"
"My mother is very pleased with Nyota. And my father has been pressing me, for sometime, to marry, therefore his goals for myself will have been satisfied once our union is established."
"And how do you feel about my Nyota?" asked Feisal Senior, having a little fun at the Vulcan's expense.
The Vulcan's eyebrow rose. "'Feel', sir?"
"Yes, feelings. Do you love her? Are you crazy about her? Would you kill for her?"
Spock didn't think it was wise to tell Nyota's father just how terribly he would kill anyone that hurt his Nyota. "Sir, you must understand, I am a Vulcan above all other things and as such I will not go against my nature at anytime. That being said, if there were not certain sentiments shared between your daughter and myself, I would not be looking to enter a permanent union with her."
He smiled. "I'll take that as a long-winded roundabout 'yes' on the love question."
Spock relaxed slightly. He hadn't realized, up till then, that he was not at all relaxed. "I wish to seek your permission to marry your daughter."
He saw then that he was going to be persistent about getting his permission. And then he laughed. "Treat her good and my answer is yes."
"I have only ever endeavored to treat Nyota with the utmost respect, sir. And I have succeeded."
He read between the lines and found himself nodding emphatically. "Well if it's like that, then, I more than appreciate how good you've been to her. And I thank you for that, too."
"Sir, we shall meet on Earth very soon. My parents are already there."
"Funny," he smiled. "But your mother's already invited me to the embassy for dinner."
His eyebrow rose. "Is that so?" he asked.
"Nice lady, your mother," nodded Feisal with sincerity. "If that's the woman that raised you, I don't mind my Nyota marrying you in the slightest."
"Then I have your permission, sir?"
"Of course, son, you have my permission."
"If you ever find the need to ask me anything at all, feel free to contact me at anytime."
He had the funny feeling that this young man meant that very literally. "I believe you," he said with a smile.
The party was well under way. All of the bridge officers and most of the heads of the departments had shown up. It had been posted in the ship's official announcements and most of the crew had met it with wide-mouthed amazement. To have the rumors not only confirmed, but to know that the subjects of the rumors were getting married was still unbelievable. And yet here this day was.
James T. Kirk looked around the room. He hadn't expected to feel this emotional about the occasion. But his friend was going to get married someday soon and to a woman without equal. Two better people, he felt, couldn't have found one another and decided to spend their lives together. It only emphasized his loneliness and not for the first time did he question his decision to pursue his career in Starfleet and leave all other options by the wayside.
He knew Spock as well as anyone could know a best friend, better even. And he knew that Nyota had made him very happy. Of course the Vulcan never came out and said that. Jim only knew because of the offhand comments Spock made during their weekly chess matches. "Nyota wishes to explore the caves of Varin X during our next shore leave" or "Nyota has found it beneficial to finish the reports for her duty shift ahead of time and that is why I am early this evening."
The first time it happened, it took him by surprise. But he got used to it quickly. Not a week went by that he didn't find himself teasing the Vulcan about his attachment to 'our Uhura'. And Dr. McCoy had, of course, lost his mind with teasing Spock every chance he got. Jim couldn't help but suspect that the Vulcan didn't mind one bit.
He realized they were late. Where were those two anyway?
"Nyota, if you do not stop moving, I will be unable to fit this pin into the proper place."
"Spock, I can't help it, I'm itching!"
"Dr. McCoy warned you that this fabric might cause discomfort."
"You of all people reminding me of what Leonard said?"
There was no answer as he concentrated on putting the last pin in place. "I am done," he finally announced.
She sighed. Revealing their relationship to the crew had been strange, to say the least. She had been given 'looks' by almost everyone, even members of the bridge crew. But the looks all said different things. Hikaru was still obviously shocked. Pavel thought it was just plain funny and teased her every moment he got. And Scotty…she couldn't read Scotty.
Jim and Leonard were openly delighted. Then again, they'd known before everyone else. Them and Christine. The nurse, at least, seemed to be as supportive as possible under the circumstances. Her and Nyota had had occasion to speak in the last few days. She was doing just fine and assured her friend that not only would she continue to be fine, but that she wanted their friendship to continue. Nyota agreed.
He held up two fingers to her. "I will escort you, Nyota."
She knew what he meant. She had seen his parents travel in the same way, not exactly hand in hand, but there looked to be something so delicate and intimate about the gesture all at once. She put her two fingers into his and felt a reassuring warmth pass from him and into her. She swallowed back the last of her nerves and let Spock's confidence carry her past the threshold into the watchful gaze of their fellow crewmembers.
"I don't know, Jim," said McCoy. "I think there's hope for him, yet."
"It's not him I'm worried about, Bones."
"You think Miss Uhura's going to get run over by that green-blooded Vulcan?"
"You have to admit that Mr. Spock is quite stubborn when it comes to his thoughts and ways. And Nyota, she's such a sweetheart, she just might give in to everything the Vulcan has to say."
They watched their friends from afar, the tall Vulcan and the petite curvy communications officer. They'd taken a moment out of the night's festivities to speak confidentially about whatever it was couples spoke to one another in moments like that. Spock's face looked ever blank and unreachable while Nyota beamed with a smile that bespoke her personality. In the flash of one instant, they saw him look down into her eyes, and he stared just a little too long at his bride-to-be without speaking a word. Then the Vulcan's ears turned an unmistakable shade of green as he looked down at their connected fingers.
"She's going to be just fine, Jim," Leonard smiled. "She's got that boy wrapped around her finger like a ribbon that's been glued on."
He found himself unable to hold back laughter. Yes, Uhura was going to be just fine.
A/N - The next story in this series is a 3-shot. It's called 'Meeting of the Minds'. I don't know when I'll post it, but I've already begun writing it so you know you'll get your next dose of Spock/Uhura fic from me soon! LOL!