Disclaimer: I own nothing. "Vulcan Adviser 2" has no lines, four small scenes, and is background scenery at best. But who says he doesn't have a story?
A/N: I do not mean to poke fun at Jamaicans. I believe they are a wonderful people, resilient and cheerful. I want to compliment that, not mock it. I apologize if my attempts at transcribing what a Jamaican native might sound like seem awkward or just wrong.
Meral glared out the high window at the rain pounding against the glass. Rain was all too common in this city, on this world, and it had the irritating habit of making everyone in it feel cold and uncomfortable. Even inside, he felt a chill in his bones, and he sighed, turning back to his report.
"Meral," L'Vek said, stepping out of his office. His aide raised his head in acknowledgment.
"Go to the grocery store on Fifth Avenue and get these items," the adviser instructed, handing him a hand-written list. Meral raised an eyebrow, and before he could protest, L'Vek was back in his office and the door was closed.
Meral could only sigh.
The rain and chilly winds seemed to grope his flesh despite the layers of clothes he had on. His robes were designed to keep the heat out, but what he needed now was a robe to keep heat in. Even in the full light of day, San Francisco trembled with chill. He hated the rain. He hated the fog. He hated the city, the people, the entire planet. He wanted to leave and go back to Vulcan, but Osu Soval kept him here for some reason only the ambassador knew.
The harsh fluorescent lights of the grocery store brought him no comfort. The air was still and stifling, yet still managed to be too cold. He was used to still air, but the bellicose winds rattling the windows made him feel uneasy. The dank, frigid air stole away any warmth in his body, and with the warmth went any tolerance he had for these irrational humans.
Very few humans were in the store, not that he blamed them, and he wandered around, glancing at the list Osu L'Vek had given him. It was only then that he realized he had no idea what any of the items were exactly, and he sighed, forced to ask for assistance.
He pushed his cart towards a wizened old man gazing intently at a light green, head-sized bulb of frilly leaves. The old man seemed to know what they were, because he picked one up and put it in a bag. Meral approached him before he could move away, not that the man was moving especially fast.
"Could you help me with this list?" the Vulcan asked. The man turned and peered at him with beady blue eyes.
He took the list and raised an eyebrow at it, then handed it back. "Forgot my reading contacts today. I know this store inside out, and I don't need no list to tell me what my Meredith needs...sorry, sonny."
"My name is not Sonny."
"I never said your name was Sonny. You're a young thing, though. Still got hair on yer head, don' cha?" Meral noted that the man was balding.
"I am nearly 96 years old."
"What? You're just pullin' my leg, aren't cha? Young upstarts always bothering the older folks...wasn't like that in my day...people had respect for each other, don' cha know."
"I do not," he said, then sighed. "Do you know someone who can help me?"
The man was already walking away. "Can't forget those tomatoes, Cleo will want those...don't grow 'maters like they used to..."
The elderly human had apparently taken leave of his sanity. Meral hurried after him. "Do you know someone who can help me?" he repeated, chiding himself for the desperation in his tone of voice. He wanted nothing more than to get out of this place and go back to the Consulate. At least it was warmer in there.
"Huh? Oh!" the human exclaimed, apparently remembering that Meral had asked him a question. "Eh...ask Judith Keeler...last time I think I saw her in the flour aisle. That's baked goods, aisle 13."
The old man shuffled off, moving slower than a sandworm's pace, still muttering about tomatoes.
"Are you looking for Judith?" a woman asked, coming up to him. Her hair was graying, and she looked concerned. At least she was helpful.
"Yes," he replied. The woman pointed him to aisle 13 and strolled off towards the old man. "Jimmy!" she greeted him, but he turned away, not wanting to witness their emotional greetings.
He walked towards the aisle, wondering if the woman had impaired vision as well. Both the man and the woman directed him towards this aisle, towards Judith, whoever she was.
Meral pushed his cart down the aisle, but no one was there. He suppressed a growl of irritation and made to turn his cart around and head back to the other woman, but as he did, his cart crashed into another cart, and a human woman fell backward onto the floor.
He frowned and flared his nostrils at the woman on the ground, his eyes pouring over her mocha-toned skin. She had on next to nothing in his opinion, and no self-respecting Vulcan woman would ever be caught outside the bedroom in such attire. He heard very soft music, and he realized it was coming out of the tiny little earbuds that she yanked out of her ears.
"Eh," she greeted, her accent different than any he had ever heard. "Watch dat cart dere, man." She smiled up at him though, seemingly unaffected by the fall.
He stepped forward and hauled her to her feet in one fell swoop, then dislodged his cart from hers.
"Perhaps you should take those things out of your ears and watch where you are going," he said coldly, staring at his list as if it too were offending him. "Illogical humans," he muttered in Vulcan.
Her cheerful attitude was, strangely enough, making him even more irked at this entire situation. It was rainy and cold outside. How could she be so cheerful? In his opinion, there was nothing about this situation to be cheerful about.
"It is good you are not injured," he conceded, then moved on, trying his hardest to decipher his list.
She grinned at him "I 'ate to be da one using the logic 'ere Mr. Vulcan, but I was standing still 'ere, you were moving, so da laws of physics..." She shrugged. "Objects in motion an' all dat."
He ignored her and stared at the list. The other humans in the store had suggested finding Judith, and he sincerely hoped it wasn't this insufferable cheerful woman standing beside him. He felt her look over his shoulder, and he glared at her, inching away from her and her cart. Didn't she know anything about personal space?
"Oh dearie, you won't find dat list 'ere. But I know where you can," she said, but shrugged when he glared at her.
He debated with himself, watching her, keeping her in sight as she walked away down the aisle, scanning the items for what she needed. She knew where he could get these things, the things he wasn't even sure how to pronounce. She seemed friendly enough...
"Are you Judith Keeler?" he asked, walking back up to her. She turned and gave him a bright smile.
"Yes ai," she said cheerfully.
"An old man named Jimmy told me to ask you for help with this list," he explained, handing it to her.
She frowned. "I don' know no man named Mister Jimmy," she said, put she looked at his list again anyway.
He frowned as well, both at the old man knowing her name when she claimed not to know him in return, and at her use of a double negative. Her improper English and her thick accent made her hard to understand. He made a mental note to look for the old man again. Perhaps Judith was much less observant than the old man, or perhaps she had forgotten him, or simply knew him by another name.
A crack of thunder shook the building, and he shivered in the cold. Even the light from above, the fluorescent lamps, were cold and sterile, and the sooner he got back to the Consulate, the more content he would be.
"You're lucky I'm goin' dat way," she murmured, making him snap to attention. She tucked the list into the strap of her bra and pushed her cart to the check out. "Of course you gonna 'afta follow me. Dis place I goin' is a wee bit out da way."
She paid for the things in her cart and walked out of the store. When she was almost to the door, she looked back over her shoulder at him. "You comin'?"
His eyes slid down to her hips, and he watched for a moment as her backside swayed, as if in invitation. He blinked rapidly and stuck his hands inside his robes as defense against the cold, and he flared his nostrils again and narrowed his eyes at her as he glanced sidelong. She led him through the streets, covering him with her umbrella, and for that, at the very least, he was grateful.
"Don't fret, me brotha Vulcan!" she said cheerfully, holding out her hand to catch some of the rain. "De sunshine come soon."
Soon they were in a tiny ethnic cuisine store, and he took one breath of the air and felt the cold melt from his shoulders. Something in this shop smelled...heavenly, and he blinked, flaring his nostrils so he could take in more of the pleasing scent.
"Welcome to 'eaven, Mister Vulcan man. Dis is where you gonna find all you need." She grinned and pulled the list from her bra strap. "Ok 'ere, first we gonna be in da spices."
He followed her lead and walked with her down a cramped aisle, and the scent of the place, though pleasing, was slightly overwhelming. She took a deep inhale of the aromas swirling around in the air.
"Tell me Mister Vulcan man, who be cookin' for that need all dis? You 'ave yourself some special woman. She be 'uman if you do. Egyptian if I'm not goin' crazy. Dis be an Egyptian recipe you cookin' for."
She pulled a scoop from the bulk spices and held it out to him. "Dis is cinnamon. 'Ave yourself a smell of dat."
"She is not my mate," he insisted, taking a sniff of the substance as he was instructed to do. He growled softly and closed his eyes, breathing in deeply. When his eyes opened again, his gaze was focused on her shoulder, and he knew his eyes must be dark. The smell had hit his brain like a psychoactive drug, and his mouth was beginning to water as he stared at the creamy flesh of her shoulder, smooth, unmarked...
He caught his train of thought and blinked rapidly, handing her the cinnamon and turning away, discreetly pinching himself under his robes. Now was not the time to lose his head...his fever wasn't for another three years, so why was he suddenly feeling...beastly?
Her tank top was not designed to be modest, and he could clearly spy the smooth curve of her breast, the smooth expanse of her collarbone...his mouth was watering again, and he swallowed thickly.
Judith bagged up some of the cinnamon and handed it to him. "Der you go, dat's one ting off your list." She winked and walked with a sway down the aisle, collecting the spices from the bulk containers, then handing them to him.
She looked at the list again, and a mischievous gleam twinkled in her dark eyes. "Dis gonna be romantic meal, dese are da spices and tings of love."
She gathered up a substance called chocolate nibs, and she even took one for herself and popped it into her mouth. She handed him the other one, and he looked down at the tiny shriveled brown nib in his palm.
"By da by, what kind of gentleman lets a girl 'elp him but does not give dat girl 'is name?"
He let the chocolate melt on his tongue before swallowing it, and he closed his eyes at the bittersweet taste. He was feeling a little...lightheaded, and the sooner he got out of this shop, out of this smell, away from that exotic beat...he thought he heard the Vulcan lyre playing over the speakers...and was that a marriage gong and drum? He breathed in slowly and got a good inhale of the chocolate she was shoving in his arms, and his eyes snapped open as she walked away, swaying her hips at him.
"De music entrance you, Vulcan?" she teased, handing him another item on the list. "Now, me brotha, tell me yer name."
"My name is Meral, Ms. Keeler," he said softly, accepting another one of the items she handed to him. "Is that everything?"
"Yes, Mr. Meral," she confirmed.
He followed behind her and quickly paid for the wares with the credit stick L'Vek had loaned him, and his haze ended swiftly when he discovered the downpour had increased.
Judith flashed an open smile at him. "You be frettin' da rain, but moisture, it bring life, brotha Vulcan."
She handed him her umbrella, opening it for him. "Consider it a gift Mr. Meral, da Vulcan man." She stepped out into the rain, and even as it soaked her, she smiled. "It wash away a multitude of problem, no?"
She blew him a kiss and then casually walked down the street with her packages in her arms. She glanced back at him, her eyes cutting him like the cold wind, then she rounded the corner, disappearing from his sight.