Author’s note: I know, I know, it’s very late, but this story had some MAJOR, MAJOR problems with it. I had to re-write 90% of this chapter to get to where I could at least stand to look at it. What I wrote over two months ago just stunk up the place. I’m posting Chapter 4 in three parts as the other two parts needs a bit of a re-read. Plus, this chapter is long–very long, and I wanted to give you all a few breaks in the middle. Come back tomorrow, posts 2 and 3 “should” be up by the afternoon.
Part 4 – Couples
“So, let me see if I’ve got this right,” Gaila exclaimed, practically snorting with hysterical laughter after every other word, “You kept the coat on all throughout dinner, while Selkek’s mother, thinking that you were cold, kept plying you with hot tea? Vulcans; I just love them!”
On the other side of the cafeteria table, Nyota, who was trying to keep her best friend from seeing just how humorous she found the situation, too, was hiding her entire face behind her hands, hoping that would help suppress her laughter. She failed miserably. She had been in the Vulcan embassy before; she knew exactly how hot and uncomfortable it could be.
“I would have given fifty credits to see that,” Nyota cried, before collapsing on top of the table in a fit of giggles.
“No, no,” added Gaila, enthusiastically, “I would have given a hundred!”
Jenusia, silently fuming, eyed them both with contempt. She was not amused.
“That’s right; laugh it up! Let’s see how funny it is when I stop speaking to you both for the rest of the semester.”
Jenusia’s petulant tone sobered them slightly.
“Oh come on, Jen,” said Nyota, “don’t be like that. You have to admit it, it’s pretty funny,” She shot Gaila a look that clearly said, ‘now you say something nice.’
“And look at it this way,” said Gaila, adding her own unique spin on things, “if it had been me, I would have had nothing on under the coat in the first place; the better to jump Selkek with the moment dinner was over. You did jump him, I hope?”
“Gaila!” Nyota exclaimed in exasperation.
But Gaila wasn’t finished; she was caught in the excitement of the stimulating panorama spinning around in her head.
“I can just visualize the scene now. I’d open my coat, real slow like, flash a little green flesh, give him a coy little smile and then I would be, like, BAM! Give it to me baby!”
Gaila, while saying all of this, was demonstrating that very action with her cadet jacket, causing a male cadet to stumble and drop his tray as he walked by.
Jenusia gave Gaila an irritated look that seem to ask the Orion how did her way have any bearing on the current discussion. She turned back to Nyota.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that there was some sort of conspiracy going on. Don’t you find it strange the way his parents just turned up out of the blue?”
Nyota became all seriousness.
“Well, you and Selkek have been spending a lot of time together and Selkek was supposed to have returned to Vulcan some time ago. Someone from the embassy may have simply grown concerned and informed his parents.”
“Then someone must have informed my parents, as well, because guess who’s coming to Earth now!”
“No way!” exclaimed Gaila.
Nyota waved her hand dismissively. “It’s just a coincidence.”
“And I really can’t deal with my mother right now. She’s already angry with me for something I did.”
“Why is she angry?” asked Gaila, grinning wickedly, thinking that she knew exactly what it was just by the glow she’d recognized in Jenusia’s cheeks.
“Nothing that I want to discuss with you, of all people, Miss Gaila!”
“Did your mother say why they’re coming?”
“Get this, Ny, she’s been having the Imperial Intelligence Service tracking me… again! They have been checking up on my movements, gathering information, and happily reporting back that I have been with a Vulcan male all over town. And now my mother will just use that as an excuse to drag me home and marry me off. She refuses to believe that I have committed myself to Starfleet, not to pumping out babies.”
“Do you really think she’d make you give up your place at the Academy? I thought you said that your father was on your side.”
“My father has always been on my side, and I am counting on that to continue. My mother on the other hand… I think she hates Vulcans.”
“Come on, hates, Jenusia?”
“Hates, despises, abhors—I think a Vulcan ditched her once, now she’s touchy about them all. So now my mother wants to meet my Vulcan boyfriend face to face and I just know it’s going to be awful and awkward. And you know what, Nyota, I blame you. Why did you get me mixed up in all this?”
Nyota’s eyes grew large. “Wait a minute, boyfriend? Selkek’s your boyfriend? I mean, officially? I mean—you’ve taken the next step?”
“The next step? Do you mean sex? Are you serious? Sheesh, Nyota, haven’t you heard anything I have said? I’m talking about something much more significant: my mother is coming to Earth to ruin my life!”
“Yes, of course I heard you; but Selkek? Really?” Sweet, sensitive, naïve Selkek had seized the moment and forged on ahead and Nyota was having a hard time wrapping her head around that particular fact, especially since Spock had not.
“I knew it,” said Gaila grinning lasciviously, “As soon as I saw you this morning, it was written all over your face. You must tell us the secrets of hot, Vulcan, lovin’! Vulcan brows are pointed, Vulcan ears are pointed. So Jen, what else on a Vulcan is pointed?”
As if on queue, Commander Spock, walking alongside Captain Pike, paused at their table, his eyes sweeping over each of their faces, lingering momentarily on Gaila with something that Nyota thought looked like disapproval.
“Cadets,” he said in greeting.
“Commander,” they chorused together, guiltily.
Captain Pike did not stop; he merely smiled at them and went on his way.
As Spock turned to follow Pike down the aisle, Nyota’s eyes flicked slightly to the right, her gaze directed squarely on his backside. When he was out of sight, Nyota’s eyes returned to her friends.
Gaila, as usual, missed nothing. “I saw that!” she hissed.
“Saw what?” asked Nyota, suddenly feeling the need to tidy up her area in preparation for leaving the cafeteria.
“You were looking at the Vulcan’s butt. Let me guess, you were wondering if that was where he keeps his brilliant mind.”
“I was not looking at anyone’s butt!”
“Do you like the Vulcan’s butt?”
Actually, she was pretty sure she loved the Vulcan’s butt, but Gaila didn’t need to know that.
“Do you want to touch the Vulcan’s butt?”
“Stop it, Gaila!”
“Do you dream of seeing the Vulcan’s butt?”
“I do not!” Which wasn’t an actual lie; she just dreamed of eventually seeing other parts.
“Um, guys, we were discussing my problems,” interrupted Jenusia trying to deflect Gaila’s attention away from Nyota. Her success is distracting the Orion proved instant; Gaila’s one-track mind made her snap back to her own desires.
“Hey, does this mean that if your mother drags you back to Troyus, Selkek will finally be free and I will finally get to have my turn?”
“Gaila, you are nothing is not consistent,” said Nyota, giving Jenusia a grateful look.
“There’s something else,” continued Jenusia, “Selkek did something very strange.”
Interested in the possibility of hearing something juicy, Gaila leaned forward, placing her chin in the palms of her hands, giving Jenusia her undivided attention.
“Ooo! While you two were doing it, did he put his tongue down your throat while his hand went up your–?”
“What did he do?” asked Nyota, loudly, interrupting Gaila on purpose.
“Selkek seems to be considering remaining on Earth. He’s actually considering taking a professorship at Stanford.”
Nyota naturally beamed. “I think that’s great! I would love having Selkek here all the time.”
“Come on, Ny; it’s weird.”
“Why does that have to be weird?”
“To announce something like that out of the blue; I mean, why should he remain on Earth? He has spoken of his commitments back on Vulcan several times since I have known him.”
“Come on, Jen, it’s pretty obvious. He likes you; he wants to stay to be near you.”
“Ny, I’ve known him for what–all of three weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I do like having him around and all, but I never asked him to make any sacrifices for me.”
Gaila was scandalized. “I knew it! Didn’t I tell you, Ny? Jenusia, goes through men like… well, like I go through men. Just admit it, Jen, you have commitment issues; all you Troyan women do; it’s hard-wired into you from birth with that multiple marriage crap. You just can’t settle down with just one until you have to settle down with one. You’d better get a clue, girlfriend, Vulcan’s are hard-core monogamists and if you don’t nip that nest-building thing in Selkek now, you’ll find yourself stuck.”
The two women who were actually dating Vulcans looked at the Orion in disbelief: Jen, looking at her when she said nest-building, Nyota looking up because Gaila had just voiced her own thoughts.
“What?” said Gaila, her face all seriousness, “I’ve been reading up, plotting my strategy just in case Jenusia dumped the hot Vulcan and I finally got my turn, which is now looking better and brighter everyday.”
“Shut up, Gaila, you don’t know what you’re talking about. He is not building any nests for me! He has to know that my career in Starfleet comes first! Besides, if my mother hasn’t found a way to trick me into marriage, I doubt very seriously if the Vulcan I’ve been dating for less than a month can convince me.”
“That’s right, how could I say such a thing?” said Gaila with a dismissive wave of the hand. “Why would anyone want to settle down with a hot Vulcan when they have the rewards of wearing the red shirt of death to look forward to?”
“Why does everybody keep calling it the red shirt of death?”
Gaila grinned, knowingly. “Because it is!”
“It is not!”
“The awesome. Red. Shirt. O’death,” she sing-songed.
As she sat and listened to her two friends bickering, Nyota quickly glanced over to the table on the far side of the dining hall where Spock sat eating with Captain Pike. Pike was gesturing wildly with his hands while Spock listened attentively.
Unable to catch Spock’s eye, she then looked back at her friends. Gaila, for all of her crazy opinions about men in general, was correct. Jenusia, probably out of some latent, ancestral need to sew her wild oats before settling down, had never kept a boyfriend for over a month.
She glanced back over to Spock. As if sensing her eyes upon him, he looked up and nodded his head infinitesimally. And even though they had not taken their own “next step”, Nyota could clearly see that Spock communicated with that one look, all of his fidelity and his, for lack of a better word, his love. Vulcan’s were hard-wired for monogamy and that was alright with her.
But Jenusia? No. Just no.
With a sudden realization, it all came crashing down around her. She had set Selkek up for a huge disappointment. Spock had cautioned her about matchmaking for a Vulcan. He had told her all along that it wouldn’t work and that they did not take commitment lightly. Spock certainly did not.
Oh G-d, she screamed silently in her head; what had she done?
Part 4 to be continued…