The shuttleport was dusty and dry, a hot breeze gusting in off the desert across the city. Spock's inner eyelids fluttered imperceptibly as he cast his eye across the skyline, the faint whine of the transit in the distance.

"You seem eager to depart," his mother said and he turned to face her.

"Now that my business here is concluded it is the logical thing to do," he replied.

"I wish you could stay longer," she answered with a hint of a sigh.

"I cannot remain," he explained gently, reaching for her hand. She nodded, pressing her lips together in that typically Human manner.

"You have duties to attend to," she replied in understanding.

"Yes," Spock said. He opened his mouth to say more and when he hesitated his mother's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, one brow raising questioningly.

"Spock?" she queried gently. He licked his lips and reminded himself that dishonesty was unbecoming of a Vulcan.

"On Earth there is...," he began slowly. "One who waits for me." He watched with some apprehension as the corners of her mouth slowly turned up.

"A woman?" she asked, making a poor attempt to disguise her delight.

"Yes," he breathed, his eyes darting from side to side.

"A...Human...woman," she said, her smile growing into a broad grin. Spock's brow furrowed a little. "Oh," she chuffed, scowling in an effort to stifle her emotional display.

"This pleases you," he noted and she pursed her lips for a second.

"I am sure it is a... perfectly... logical... arrangement," she stated with a nod of her head.

"It is...a delicate situation," he added with the slightest tilt of his head. "But it is what I choose."

"As it should be, my son," his mother replied sagely. "You must make your own way."

"I must," Spock told her, his gaze as soft as his voice.

"This..." she began, gesturing vaguely with her eyes at the Shi'Kahr skyline beyond. " not the life for you."

"It is not," Spock agreed. Amanda dropped her eyes and stared at where their hands were clasped gently together.

"I regret that your Father is not here," she confessed quietly and Spock blinked, staring with unfocussed eyes over her shoulder. He took a shallow breath.

"He would not approve," Spock murmured. His mother's lips quirked up at the corners in a ghost of smile.

"Oh I don't know Spock," she told him knowingly, looking at him with eyes that were the mirror image of his own. "I think he might be more understanding than you think."

Spock held her gaze for a second before he squeezed her fingers gently and released her. "Goodbye Mother," he said, taking a step back.

"Live long and prosper, my son," she replied and he looked into her eyes for just a moment longer than was logical before turning and climbing the stairs into the shuttle.

A/N Thankyou everyone for all the encouragement. I hope you enjoyed it, I wrote it for you so it tickles me to get your positive reviews. It might help to go back and read the entire thing in one sitting, it makes some of the jumps easier to understand and the little clues are clearer. I have done so and there are lots of things I'm not happy with but it is what it is. I can't imagine Spock Prime behaving like this but I can imagine Nu!Spock. He's very different to the original altho I have used Spock Prime as the model - the Shakespeare, the music, the wife etc. Poor Nyota, she's had a tough time but I think all in all, she can consider herself a very fortunate Earth woman.

PS Chapters 39 & 41 are flashbacks to their first sort-of-not-quite-accidentally-a-date. I didn't forget to put them in the first time round, I kept them back on purpose.