I decided to explore a new dynamic in regards to friendships and family relationships within the S'Chn T'Gai clan as well as the relationship between Spock and Nyota (as always). T'Pring will be visiting as well as Sybok, Sarek, Amada, T'Pau and some new characters.

This is may seem OOC, but in private, who knows? Are Vulcans always so stoic, even amongst their families? Maybe…maybe not.

Many thanks to Saissa, who has so graciously agreed to beta for me! Woo hoo!

If you are diametrically opposed to out of character portrayals, this may not be for you, but if not, give it a chance.

Hope you enjoy! Cheer

Nyota Uhura looked up from her desk as she quickly swallowed her sip of tea. "May I help you?" The blond woman who entered the office quickly hid her surprise.

"Oh! Yes, well…this is Professor Spock's office, correct?"

The cadet smile. "Yes, I'm his aide." She quickly looked over at the day's appointments.

"I'm afraid I don't have anyone scheduled for an appointment at this hour…" Nyota let the words hang as she looked up for clarification.

"No, I don't have an appointment with him. I'm Dr. Kalomi. I was hoping Spock was in, I…just a quick visit." The woman bit her lip.

"Oh, Dr. Kalomi." Nyota smiled as she rose. "The Professor will be back in approximately 13 minutes. You're more than welcome to wait, please, take a seat. Would you like a cup of tea?"

The doctor smiled and nodded. "If you're sure he won't mind."

Nyota chuckled and shrugged. "He doesn't like surprises but I'm sure he'll be just fine. We need to push that spontaneity button sometimes. Tea?"

Leila Kalomi's eyes slightly narrowed at this young woman's familiarity, but she quickly disguised it. "Tea would be lovely. What do you have?"

"Hmm, let's see." Nyota walked over to their small kitchen area. "Earl Grey, Green, a nice African blend my mom sends over and a really nice Vulcan blend."

"Earl Grey would be just fine." The doctor adjusted her skirt before crossing her legs. "So, you bring in your tea to share with the professor?"

Nyota laughed. "No, actually my mother sends this directly to Spock. She just adores him and is always sending little things I have no knowledge of. Actually, I think she has a little crush."

"Your family knows the professor?" Dr. Kalomi was surprised.

"Umm hmm." Nyota decided she better change the subject rather than admit Spock usually attended dinner whenever her family came to town or that he had spent a few holidays with her at her family's home. "Several of my friends are taking your botany classes and they love them. How long have you been teaching?'

"I've been at the academy two years…." She was interrupted as Spock entered his office, looking down at his PADD.

"Nyota, I need you to respond to…" He stopped as he looked up and saw Leila Kalomi sitting across from his aid.

"Dr. Kalomi, I was unaware we had a meeting scheduled for today." He turned to Nyota. "Did you fail to add this to my calendar?"

"No, Spock, I just stopped by for a quick visit." Leila forced a smile at her sometime lover's response to her presence.

"I see." He responded although he was unsure of her motivations.

"I was hoping we might have dinner later…" Spock quickly cut her off.

"You should have commed me, Doctor." His voice was curt.

Nyota grabbed her bag. "I'm just going to run out to grab us some lunch. I'll be back in about half an hour."

"Cadet, there is no need to depart." Spock turned to her.

"Oh, I know, but we have to eat. I'm starving, actually. Be right back." She turned to Leila Kalomi. "It was nice to meet you, Doctor."

Once Nyota left the office, Leila turned on Spock. "How dare you treat me like a bothersome student! Especially in front of your aide. I'm your…just what am I to you Spock?" Her voice rose.

"Please keep your voice to an acceptable decibel, we are in our place of employment." Spock's already Vulcan demeanor became even colder and Leila had to fight a shiver.

"Okay, fine. Please answer my question."

"I do not understand what sort of response you are searching for aside from the obvious. We are co-workers, friends, who have engaged in a mutually beneficial sexual association. When we began said relationship, we were in agreement that neither of us desired an emotional tie. Our similar interests allowed us to engage in social functions which led to physical intimacy. Is this not what was discussed and agreed upon?" His voice was hard, icy.

Leila licked her lips. "I…well, yes, in the beginning. But I thought…we seem to have this connection, Spock. I feel for you, I have feelings…oh, Spock, I can sense your loneliness, your isolation." She went to him and put her arms around his neck.

"I love you, I want to always be here for you…Spock, please." Her voice was begging.

Spock removed her arms from his neck and stepped back. "This is not the place to be discussing this. But as you have made this declaration I believe delaying would be detrimental. I took you at your word, Leila. Your desire for a friendship that included 'a physical relationship with no romantic entanglements', and I am quoting you. I do not require anything else. As for your concern for my 'loneliness' my 'isolation'. I can assure you I am quite content, I have family and friends, relationships that are satisfying and complete."

Leila huffed. "Oh, and I'm quite certain that little cadet is very satisfying and completes you in all sorts of ways!"

Spock's nostrils flared, the only indication of his anger. If Nyota had been there, she would've laid her hand on his sleeve and spoken softly to him until he calmed. "You will not bring my aide into your agenda. She is a co-worker and a friend." He took a step forward and Leila took a step back.

In a small voice she repeated his words. "A co-worker and a friend. That's what you said I was." She raised glistening eyes to the person she thought was her lover. "Okay, I'm sorry I mentioned her, I'm just really upset. So I really mean no more to you than sexual release?"

Spock fought the impulse to deeply sigh. He knew humans well enough to know that a simple yes or no answer would not suffice in this instance. "Leila, you are an interesting, intelligent woman. I respect your knowledge and abilities, I respect you as a peer. I do consider you a friend. The addition of sexual intercourse was…also satisfying, but there was no more to our relationship other than the parameters we agreed upon."

"I see. Fine. I was going to discuss a position I've been offered, but I now presume you really wouldn't care. So, I suppose I'll be joining Elias Sandoval's Omicron colony expedition, we'll be leaving once the semester's done."

"I've heard of it, it should be a rewarding endeavor. I wish you the best." His relief was almost palpable.

Straightening her spine, Leila nodded. "Yes, I'm sure you do. Good-bye, Mister Spock."

"Good-bye, Leila. Live long and prosper."

Nyota walked back into her shared office and set down her bags in the kitchen before looking over at Spock. "You okay?"

Spock looked up at her. "I am fine."

"So, that's the famous Leila Kalomi. I gotta say, she is gorgeous. Good job, Professor." She smiled.

"Dr. Kalomi is joining the Omicron colony expedition at the end of this semester." He replied to her unasked question.

She sat down next to him. "Oh, Spock, I'm sorry. Are you…" She let the words hang, not sure how her boss would react to his girlfriend leaving.

"I do not understand you Terran women, Nyota." He set his PADD down. "Dr Kalomi and I enhanced a friendship with sexual intercourse. However, she wanted to revise our original parameters and was upset, angered, when I did not comply."

"Wow, so you and the doctor were what, friends with benefits?" She almost laughed. "Sorry if this sounds condescending, but Spock, I'm so proud of you. You've done a most human thing."

"That is beside the point, Nyota. Miss Kalomi was angered that I had no desire to become romantically involved. We had agreed upon our sexual liaison and when I had no intention of altering it, she told me she was leaving the planet in three weeks time. This makes no logical sense." He looked upon his aide to once again clarify human intricacies.

"Oh, poor Spock." She chuckled. "The thing is, she fell in love with you. I'd say she was probably half way there when she agreed to add sex to your relationship. I would guess she believed you'd fall in love with her once you were physically intimate. Sometimes it's hard to separate sex and love once you're in the throes of it."

"Not for me."

"Well, that's because you're a man." She laughed before quickly sobering. "I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at you and I feel really bad for Dr. Kalomi. She's actually leaving the planet because of you."

"Not because of me, because of her unrealistic and illogical assumption that I would love her merely because she loved me." He turned to Nyota. "Expectations rarely correlate with reality…or logic."

Nyota frowned and got up to sit on the edge of Spock's desk. "Hey, we aren't talking about Dr. Kalomi now, are we?"

"We are not talking about anything. This is a closed subject."

With a sigh, Nyota shrugged. "Okay, I know when I've been dismissed. Want some lunch?"

"Yes, thank you." Spock returned to his computer screen and resumed his work.

Nyota sighed and stretched. Spock had gone to a department meeting and she had decided to stay a bit later and finish up her work. Her thoughts moved towards Dr Leila Kalomi. She was Spock's lover…well, sex partner. And for some reason she found this fact unsettling. She knew Spock was attractive to the opposite sex, hell, to the same sex. And she knew he wasn't a virgin. But to actually meet one of his…relationships…she shook her head. This feeling, she identified it as jealousy. Okay, she reasoned, the first time she entered his class her heart beat a little faster. He was gorgeous. And when they had their first one on one conversation, she realized all the things people said were true – he was a genius. But she quickly overcame what she considered a school girl crush and did her best to stay at the top of his class and when she was offered the position as his aide, she jumped at it.

Becoming friends with her boss was a unexpected and appreciated perk. She would never jeopardize it by trying to force something like romance into their relationship. Her mother would never forgive her, a thought that caused her to chuckle. Besides the fact that Spock had a fiancé back on Vulcan and she was not one of those women who would infringe on an established relationship.

But she had to admit to a certain possessiveness to her mentor, even Spock had admitted that no one knew him quite like she did and she liked it that way. She had to smile at her musings as she shut down her computer and gathered her belongings. Better to be friends for life than lovers for a finite amount of time.