Zuberi Uhura was sitting alone on a bench amidst Tamu's assorted potted flora on the terrace.
There were seven different varieties of terran roses that that Spock could see. They reminded him of his mother. He idly wondered if varieties that thrived in Nairobi would survive in Amanda's gardens on Vulcan. Zuberi had a several PADDs stacked beside him and a large mug of what Spock's nose identified as chai black tea on the tiles near his sandaled feet. He had exceedingly large toes. Spock stared at them transfixed for a long moment before consciously looking away so as not to stare.
Zuberi glanced up at Spock's approach. His human smile of greeting was not as wide as it usual was. Feeling somewhat unsure of himself, Spock took a seat beside him. He cleared his throat. 'I wish to apologise for injuring your brother and nephew this morning Zuberi. My actions were inexcusable.' It was very rare for him to make an apology, but there was no doubt that one was required in the current situation. His behaviour had been illogical and indefensible.
Zuberi frowned. 'Spock, there's no need. Don't forget last night it was me on the mats with Abasi. He was the common denominator in both situations.' He paused. 'If anything I'd like to thank you for your restraint over his 'visit'.' He met Spock's eyes. 'Tamu told me you understand Swahili?'
Spock inclined his head. 'That is correct.'
'Well, considering I only heard a few of their comments and I felt obligated to kick my dear brother in the head repeatedly, I would say your actions were perfectly understandable.' Spock looked over Zuberi carefully, trying to tell if he truly believed his own words. He could not be certain.
'… I severely injured your brother.' Regenerating broken bones was a painful process and could result in lasting weakness or other health complications.
Zuberi gave Spock an irritated look. 'Abasi spent his entire visit trying to goad you into a fight, and he got exactly what he wanted. You aren't responsible for his stupidity.' He exhaled through his nose clearly attempting to remain calm. '… Admittedly it's a little confronting seeing your little brother hurt, but…' He paused and Spock saw his jaw clench. 'He hit Nyota. My daughter. Your wife. I don't think even Surak himself would have expected you to sit back after he did that.'
Zuberi sounded completely sure of his final sentiment. This reassured Spock somewhat. He supposed it was more or less accurate, Vulcans weren't pacifists to the point of stupidity, however he should have found a less violent way to ensure Nyota's safety. There was no logical need to inflict the level of injury on her uncle that he had.
'And clearly your control has improved, so don't beat yourself up.' Zuberi continued.
His statement confused Spock. 'I am afraid I do not follow.'
'The last time someone hurt Nyota you were much rougher on them weren't you? Nyota said she had to intervene, but you stopped yourself this morning.' Zuberi frowned. 'Admittedly you broke Abasi's arm in three places, but well, my brother ought to know better than to raise his hand to a woman, especially his own niece.'
Spock debated if it would be wise to confide in Zuberi the extent of his loss of control. As Nyota's father, he had a right to know that his son-in-law was liable to go 'berserk' as the terran phrase went. 'The incident you refer to… The only reason former Lieutenant Sparcs is alive is due to the fact that I was unable to decide on a method of ending his life. I contemplated snapping his neck or removing his trachea. I debated the choice for 12 seconds, long enough for Nyota to distract me. Had she not done so I am certain I would have killed him.'
Spock fell silent and waited a response. It was difficult to keep his face free of the anxiety he felt inside.
Zuberi was still for 27 seconds before replying, 'That's a worst case scenario Spock. Chances are you will never be in a situation that… volatile again. And well, I think if you were to discuss it with your father you'd discover your reaction where Nyota is concerned is more commonplace than you think.'
The reference to his father confused him, as did Zuberi's casual dismissal of his admission that he had intended to kill someone. 'My father would not approve of such violence. No Vulcan would.'
Zuberi took a sip of his chai. 'Perhaps not. But he would understand it I think. Tamu told me a story about your father after the Sparcs incident. Three Klingons broke into your mother's rooms at a Federation Peace Summit.' He looked at Spock speculatively. 'I wasn't there, I was still serving in the fleet at the time. However you would have been a few years old so you might been with your mother. Anyway, your father killed them, all three. He didn't render them unconscious or summon security or whatever the logical thing to do at the time would have been. He killed them.'
Spock did not recall ever hearing about such an incident. He did remember several security breaches as a small child when he and his mother had accompanied Sarek on Ambassadorial duties however. It was possible that some had been more serious than he had realised. He should perhaps make an effort to discuss his reactions with regards to Nyota with his father, distasteful as the prospect was to him.
'You love Nyota don't you Spock?'
The question seemed quite out of context in Spock's opinion. He was not comfortable discussing such a thing with anyone, let alone Nyota's father. 'What I feel for her is quite different to what humans refer to as 'love' but I am confident that it is the Vulcan equivalent.' he answered stiffly.
Zuberi raised an eyebrow but didn't inquire further. 'Okay, well, that being the case, you are just going to have to accept that you won't always be able to behave in a purely logical manner where she is involved, the same way I, as her father, can't. But since you're aware of your lack of control in this way, I'm sure you can use that big Vulcan brain of yours to make sure you stay out of situations where you might start tearing people limb from limb.'
That was logical. If he could not completely control is emotions where Nyota was involved, he could make sure the triggers for such behaviour were avoided. He had sensed her regret at her interference that morning. He was confident she would not put herself in harm's way intentionally in such a manner again. He nodded. 'That is true.'
Zuberi sipped his chai silently for 2 minutes and 12 seconds before he spoke again. 'In what way is Vulcan love different to human love? If you don't mind me asking.'
Spock raised an eyebrow. He thought of Nyota's love for him and his own affection for her. He could think of no way to detail the difference in a manner that was acceptable to him. 'It would be impossible for me to explain. Suffice to say they are two quite distinct emotions.'
'I'm guessing Vulcan feelings are more logical and reasonable?' Zuberi speculated.
I took Spock 34 seconds to come to a decision. 'Quite the opposite in fact. I cannot accurately verbalise the differences, however I could show you, if you so desire.' He was not entirely comfortable with what he was offering, but Zuberi was family and, selfishly, Spock thought it would help his father-in-law understand his violent reaction to Nyota being harmed - explain things he could not say out loud.
Zuberi looked at him in confusion. 'Show me?'
Spock made a gesture with his right hand towards Zuberi's brow. 'I could show you with my mind.'
Although Zuberi's eyes widened in shock, he was silent for only three seconds before responding. 'Alright.' He regarded Spock expectantly.
Spock shifted slightly closer to his father-in-law and lifted his right hand to make a superficial connection against his psi points. 'My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts…' He deepened the connection but held himself back from Zuberi warily, wondering if he'd have the same mental 'hoverbus' approach as his daughter.
It appeared not. Zuberi's mind was quite different to the other humans he had melded with, which was admittedly a small sample size consisting only of his mother and Nyota. Much less emotional. This surprised him. He knew it was generally considered fact that there were differences in terms of logic and creativity between males and females of the human species, but he had not expected such a noticeably difference. Zuberi's thoughts followed much more logical and uniform patterns. In comparison Nyota's spiralled and grew like living things. What he felt was still completely alien to his Vulcan mind however.
He carefully reached towards Zuberi's consciousness. He felt his father-in-law's fascination at the unusual sensation. He was not alarmed at all. Spock allowed their superficial surface thoughts to merge. Zuberi was thinking about how warm Spock's fingers were. He was curious and excited. Spock did not try to communicate or initiate a deeper meld.
He focussed his mind on Nyota.
He sank down to the place within him that a part of Nyota dwelt, parted and never parted from him. She was asleep upstairs. He could feel the blur of her dreaming mind just out of reach. His adun'a. His Nyota. He let that deep well of complicated feelings that was his love for her flow through to the surface of his thoughts where Zuberi would feel it.
He felt Zuberi's shock and amazement just before he broke the meld, pulling his hand from Zuberi's face. Only 8 seconds had passed since he'd spoken the ritual words and joined their minds. Zuberi's eyes were wide open and staring at him. He was blinking back tears. Spock could feel a very faint echo of his feelings. Shock. Awe.
'Forgive me, emotional transference is a side effect of a mind meld.' he said.
Zuberi waved his concern off with a hand and took several deep breaths. 'My god Spock. How can you... how can you bear it?' Zuberi was shaking his head. 'So much. I had no idea… Vulcans felt so much…' He wiped his eyes and looked at his wet fingers in apparent shock.
'Emotions run deep in our race. This is why we turned to logic and the teachings of Surak, so they no longer ruled us.' He remembered similar words spoken by his father to him as a child with a bloody lip.
'Well.' He swallowed and spoke in Vulcan. 'Thank you for sharing that with me Spock.' He switched back to standard, his head still shaking in disbelief. 'I will not soon forget it.' He was silent for a long moment. He did not appear disturbed by the violent and possessive nature of Spock's feelings. This surprised him. 'I understand now, when you talk about controlling your emotions. I think just I learnt more about you in a few seconds than I did in the last three years.' At his last sentiment he reached out and squeezed Spock's shoulder in a gesture of human companionship Spock had often observed.
Spock was slightly surprised to find he did not regret melding with Zuberi at all. He was hardly in the habit of performing mind melds so casually, but it seemed to have served a worthwhile purpose - Nyota's father seemed reassured, and he found he did not mind having shared such private feelings with him. He spent a few seconds analysing his opinion of Zuberi Uhura. He felt... affection. He liked Zuberi. He wondered if what he felt for him was friendship in the human sense or the Vulcan. If Zuberi's personality and traits made him superior in Spock's sphere of acquaintances, then feelings of appreciation for his company were logical were they not? His thoughts became knotted. He had often had similar internal debates about Christopher Pike. He dismissed them to consider in more depth at a later date.
His father-in-law picked up the PADD he had been reading and cleared his throat. 'U.S.S Caelus patrolling Section 2A of the Federation Central Sector. Unlikely I'll run into any Ferengi smugglers or kidnapped Romulans, but I'm looking forward to serving on a ship again.' The traces of strain and awkwardness Spock had detected when he first approached Zuberi were gone from his voice.
'Section 2A includes Vulcan space. This is your new fleet assignment?' Spock inquired.
'Yes. Scouting ship based out of the 40 Erandani A Starfleet Construction Yard and Space Station.' Zuberi confirmed, giving the federation name, 40 Erandani A, for the star Nevasa which his home planet orbited.
'That is most convenient. By shuttle under impulse power the shipyards are only 4.2 hours journey from Vulcan and at warp one less than a minute.' The shipyards were located in a mineral rich asteroid belt between Vulcan and the second planet of the system, Delta Vega.
Zuberi nodded. 'Yes, I'll be able to spend my RTO's in Shi'Kahr with Tamu.' He didn't sound at all concerned at no longer cohabitating with his wife on a permanent basis. Scouting vessels assigned to the central sectors usually spent only weeks out of base at one time with accumulated leave in between. Zuberi would most likely spent approximately 20 days with the ship then have a rostered recreational period of perhaps 5 days before departing once more. It seemed quite a comfortable arrangement to Spock.
'Might I enquire as to your post?' From previous discussions Spock was aware that Zuberi had been a navigator out of the Academy before being promoted to helmsman and later first officer of an Ambassador-Class ship.
'I will be relieving Captain Thurst as commanding officer of the Caelus.' Zuberi sounded quite pleased.
Spock raised an eyebrow. 'Are additional congratulations in order… 'Captain' Uhura?'
He grinned. 'Not yet. But I'll outrank you again in a fortnight.'
'Allow me to offer them prematurely then, Captain.' Spock wondered at his father-in-law's sudden promotion however. It was most unusual. 'Might I enquire as to how you managed to obtain such a fortuitous posting?'
'I turned down command when I accepted the post in Nairobi. My promotion is much delayed as opposed to sudden.' That was plausible. 'Captain Thurst made a request for a transfer closer to his home system some time ago, but out of the central sector postings Vulcan space isn't too popular - too boring for most - so my return to fleet service is fortuitously for him.'
Spock tilted his head. 'Indeed. I am curious however - you turned down your own ship to take a planetside posting?' It seemed illogical, as did his choice of posting. Nairobi was one of the larger cities on Earth, Capital of the United States of Africa, but Paris and San Francisco were home to the largest Starfleet bases. Either would have offered far more interesting commissions. A teaching role such as his own in San Francisco for example.
'Tamu and I needed to stay in one place for a few years while Nyota and Zanta went to school. We both have family in Nairobi so we settled here.' He paused before continuing. 'Living off planet and travelling so much was fine when the girls were little, good for them even, but kids need some stability, time to make friends and get a decent education.'
Zuberi's explanation offered adequate reasoning. 'My own childhood was not dissimilar. My mother and I accompanied my father on his Ambassadorial duties until I was of an age to begin my schooling after which my mother and I stayed on Vulcan.'
Zuberi shot Spock a look he did not quite understand. 'Your mother lived with you alone on Vulcan?'
'My father was away for extended periods of time but remained with us when he was on Vulcan.'
'Still, that can't have been easy on your mother.'
'She is a capable woman and appears content in Shi'Kahr.' Being far more familiar with humans now, Spock was certain his mother's early years on Vulcan would indeed have been 'trying' for her, but she had made herself a comfortable life there and appeared quite happy.
'She certainly seems capable.' Zuberi paused. 'Do you know she gave Tamu a subspace call the morning after Ambassador Palas' function?'
Spock couldn't restrain the shock on his face. 'Pardon?'
His father-in-law smiled. 'Yep. Called her up and they spent half an hour gushing over you and Nyota. I had to excuse myself from the room. Too many female emotions flying around. And crying.' He shook his head in distaste.
Having now had insight into the male human mind, Spock found the confusion and discomfit with which they regarded human females' emotions as more understandable. He himself was uncertain how he felt about his mother's actions. 'That was quite… presumptuous of my mother.'
'Tamu was thrilled. Sent her holos of you two at the function.' Zuberi gave Spock a teasing look. 'You'll probably find them blown up to life-size and framed on the wall next time you go home.'
Talk of his mother reminded Spock again of the one issue he had been carefully avoiding thinking about over the last few months. His father.
Sarek would know of his marriage, he sat the Vulcan High Council after all and T'Sul had validated his marriage to them. He had been expecting his father to contact him when that occurred, but he had not. Even if his father had somehow not been made aware of his marriage via the Council, which seemed highly unlikely, his mother had known for some time. She would have been unable to keep the fact from her husband and Spock had not asked her too. He determined his father might be giving him 'the silent treatment' in human vernacular.
The current situation could not continue for much longer however. Tamu Uhura, as Earth's Ambassador to Vulcan, would be dealing a great deal with his father. Sarek could hardly ignore or insult the Terran Ambassador. Spock supposed he should perhaps forewarn his mother-in-law of her likely frosty reception from Sarek. Although if she was communicating with his mother she would probably be well prepared. He was tempted to just let his parents and in-laws meet and sort out their differences themselves.
He was distracted from his introspection by Nyota awakening upstairs. Unconsciously he looked up towards her room, as if he could see through the walls of the house. He turned back to Zuberi. 'Nyota has awoken.' He was already on his feet.
Zuberi chuckled. 'Off you go then.' He gestured towards the house.
Spock inclined his head and departed.
Nyota awoke to the muted light of mid-afternoon. She was naked, as she always seemed to be when she woke these days. The bed was empty beside her but she could feel Spock nearby. Yawning she stumbled to her bathroom and bushed her teeth. Sleeping during the day always left her groggy. She pulled on a dress and headed downstairs.
Her mother was in the kitchen with Zanta. They both looked up at her oddly as she entered.
'Are you okay Nyota? Mama said Uncle Abasi hit you?' Zanta was frowning, her eyes scanning Nyota's face for injury.
Nyota pressed fingers to the split in her lip. She'd almost forgotten. She shifted her hand and touched her cheek. She felt the tenderness of a bruise forming. 'I'm fine. Just a little bruise.'
Tamu huffed. 'I can't believe Abasi raised his hand to you! His own niece!' Her cup of tea hit the table with more force than was necessary. 'And he and those boys of his trying to gang up on Spock! With a shock baton at that! I don't care if they are family, they certainly aren't welcome in my home anymore.'
Zanta smirked. 'Well I think they all got that message loud and clear when everyone went home this morning mama. You and mémé throwing their things out the window was a nice touch.'
Nyota couldn't help but smile. 'Mama! You didn't!'
Tamu pouted. 'They should be pleased I didn't pile them all up and set them on fire in the driveway.' She paused and added defensively. 'Besides, I called a doctor to see to Abasi's arm first. I wasn't unreasonable.'
Nyota poured herself a cup of tea and sat down beside her sister. She felt a twinge in their bond as Spock reached towards her. Moments later he appeared from the terrace doorway. She stared at him silently for a few moments, her affection for him welling up inside and making her smile. She noted he'd changed from his torn shirt into a fresh one. She made a mental note to check on the burn on his shoulder later. She'd been distracted earlier. He crossed the room, stopped beside her and to her amazement, curled a hand around her bicep and bent to drop a kiss upon her brow. A very small gesture of affection for a human, but another entirely for a Vulcan considering they were not alone.
She lifted herself on her barstool and pressed a kiss to his cheek in response, restraining the urge to wrap her arms around him and kiss him properly. It was highly unlikely he would allow a display of affection of that magnitude in front of her mother and Zanta, even if they were family.
Instead of offering her a greeting he said 'Your father has been offered his own command Nyota.'
Her eyebrows raised in surprise, both at his unexpected words and their lack of introduction. He really wasn't very good at casual conversation. 'A ship?'
He nodded. 'A scouting vessel patrolling sector 2A based in the 40 Eridani A system.'
Nyota looked to her mother recalling her comments about Zuberi serving in the same system as her. 'Well that's just about perfect mama.'
Tamu smiled. 'Yes, he will be spending down time with me on Vulcan.' She took a sip of her tea. 'He's very excited. Like a child waiting for Christmas.'
Zanta sighed dramatically. 'Meanwhile I'll be all by myself on Orion.'
Tamu raised an eyebrow. 'All by yourself? Don't you mean lounging about all day with Shaira?' Shaira was the name of Zanta's girlfriend. Nyota wasn't sure what their relationship was exactly, nor did she want to think about it too much. With the things Gaila had told her about just how the pheromones of an Orion woman could affect a human, it worried her. She knew the effects were muted on human females, but still. She didn't like the idea of Zanta being involved with someone who could manipulate her. Although Zanta often spent extended periods of time in Nairobi far apart from her Orion and her feelings for Shaira seemed constant, so Nyota hoped her fears were unfounded.
Zanta flicked her hair. 'Actually I was speaking to the junior ambassador the other night at Palas' and she mentioned a need for translators and cultural advisors in the Federation Liaison office there. So I'll be working.'
Nyota couldn't help her scepticism. 'As a translator?' Zanta was no linguist.
Her sister sniffed. 'I've been there on and off for almost five years Nyota. My Kolari, Prime, Trader's Tongue and Yrevish are all fluent. Shaira is still teaching me Imperial Kolari, but that's hardly going to be needed dealing with the Federation. And my French and standard are perfect of course, so the junior ambassador seemed very interested.'
Nyota tilted her head. 'That's impressive Zanta. Yrevish is quite difficult and even I'm not fluent in Imperial Kolari.' She glanced at Spock. 'I don't think even Spock is.'
'Fluency in High, or Imperial Kolari is unnecessary as a non-Orion as its primary purpose is to confuse or insult other Orions.' He paused, frowning ever so slightly. 'It is a highly illogical language.'
Nyota smiled. 'It is pretty much the polar opposite of Vulcan. All those litotes, double negatives and flowery metaphors.'
'Indeed. Fluency in standard provides confusion enough without making in-depth study of even more illogical dialects.'
Her mother snorted. 'Now now, stop your teasing you two.'
Spock raised an eyebrow. 'Vulcans do not 'tease'.'
'Of course not Spock dear.' her mother replied diplomatically.
They ate a late lunch. Nyota doubted she'd have much of an appetite for dinner, but knew Spock wouldn't have any issue. She continued to be amazed by the amount of food he ate. After lunch he excused himself to make a subspace call to his mother on Vulcan and Nyota picked up a PADD loaded with a book she was reading and headed outside to enjoy the afternoon sunshine. Spring wasn't quite finished yet so it was the perfect temperature. Deliciously sunny and warm without the draining heat of the Kenyan summer.
She'd gotten through three chapters before she heard footsteps.
Nyota looked up to find Spock approaching her. He still wore the same starfleet under shirt and trousers as earlier, but he wasn't wearing shoes. It was odd to see him barefoot outdoors. She leant back against the tree and smiled at him in greeting. He stopped nearby and looked down at her with a curious expression on his face.
A wave of déjà vu washed over her. She recalled her strange dream like memory she'd relived when Spock lay dying. Of Spock and her beneath this very tree during the mind meld what felt like a lifetime ago.
'You don't appear to be wearing any shoes Spock.'
He silently reached a hand down towards her. She took it, feeling the brush of his mind gently against hers, and he effortlessly pulled her to her feet.
'Why would I want any?' he said quoting her words from the dream. It appeared they had switched places.
She stood before him, her hand still held in his, smiling and enjoying his proximity.
'It is illogical to go outdoors without footwear.' She said, repeating his words from long ago. She tilted her head to look up at him. He was standing very close to her. His thumb was drawing little circles on the soft skin on the inside of her wrist sending little warm bolts of awareness through her. She could feel the sharpness of his mind just barely touching her through the contact.
Spock reached out with his free hand and stroked an index finger along the line of her left eyebrow. Nyota stilled beneath his touch. His finger felt hot and dry against her skin. He pressed his remaining fingertips gently to her brow, bringing the feel of his mind much closer to hers, and then slid them across her skin and into her hair.
'Nyota.' Perhaps his voice was as calm and Vulcan-like as ever, but she could hear the emotion in it and feel it within. Affection. Love. She couldn't help but smile at him.
She lifted her free hand to mirror his own, stretching her fingers against his cheek, delighting in the heat of his skin. 'I remember this. I thought it was a dream, but it wasn't was it?' She didn't wait for him to respond, just stood on her toes so she could kiss him.
His lips were warm and gentle against hers. She pulled his bottom lip into her mouth so he would deepen the kiss. She sighed a little and melted against him. She could kiss Spock forever. His fingers in her hair tightened and tilted her head so he could kiss her more thoroughly. His tongue twisted against hers in a way that had her shifting her grip to his shoulder so she could press herself more firmly against him. She could feel the teasing sharpness of his teeth against her tongue and lips. Who knew that Vulcan's could be such good kissers?
He slipped his fingers from where they curled around her wrist, sliding them down to press against hers. She groaned into his kiss as the teasing brush of his mind suddenly came into focus sending a wave of reflected desire between them. Yes. Kissing her Vulcan was definitely one of her favourite things in the universe. If the secret ever got out there would be a mass exodus of hysterical human women for his homeplanet.
Eventually the need for oxygen forced her to pull her lips from his. Spock's breathing was slightly uneven and his expression held that dazed, glassy-eyed look kissing seemed to leave him with. 'We were here. I dreamt of this place when I was injured.' she said.
Spock nodded. She watched as his eyes darted to her lips and back to her eyes. She felt his desire to kiss her again. He pulled her slightly closer. He was comfortingly warm and solid against her.
Nyota let a smile spread over her features as she slowly leant up towards him once more. 'I wanted to kiss you so much. Even then I loved you.'
Spock leant closer. 'Perhaps I should have let you.'
Her lips brushed against his as responded. 'Perhaps.'
He kissed her.
Thank you for reading!
There are two sequels posted to this story.
Spear in hand Spear in Heart covers the movie and All things that Burn is set six months after that.
Spear is only available as an M rated story at the moment, but I'll most likely make a T rated version of that so all three are are available for those classy folks who don't like gratuitous smut. I've posted Burn as a T rated story on this site with the MA version at archive of our own, and I'll probably keep doing that with future stories.
I also have a Sarek/Amanda origins story set in this universe and another set ten years after the movie that I'll be posting at some stage.