Author’s Note: It took everything out of me to finish this. We’ll talk about it more after you read it.
BTW: on the Fan Fiction melodramatic scale of 1 to 10, this “Finale” is a solid 10. Enjoy… or not.
EDITED TO ADD: Sheesh! What a Type-o’d riddled mess. I have gone back thru and fixed my glaring mistakes. Ed.
Nyota sat on the opposite side of the infirmary with Gaila as a fidgeting med-tech paid far too much attention to the Orion’s cleavage than he did to the abrasions on her chin. Incensed, Nyota tapped him on the shoulder and then shoved him out of the room, snatching away the dermal re-generator from his hands and attended to Gaila’s wounds herself.
Nyota had placed herself with Gaila on purpose, not to take sides, but to keep Gaila from lunging across the room towards Jenusia while Selkek did the very same thing for his wife.
Nyota still couldn’t get her head around that situation and explanations weren’t exactly forthcoming from either of her two friends. Jenusia had maintained an icy silence since being carted away by the security squad, a silence which Nyota determined that had more to do with the humiliation of being carted away by a security detail composed entirely of the members of her first period class.
Commander Archer, the dean, sensing some of Jenusia’s uneasiness demised the squad, and took it upon herself to stand in front of the door, her hands on her hips and her eyes fixing each of the players in the little theatrical with a stare communicating that she wasn’t having anymore nonsense. Archer knew very well that everyone currently in that room represented some different faction within the Federation, and if she could somehow avoid the situation becoming a highly embarrassing diplomatic incident for the academy, it would be a miracle.
Selkek hovered protectively at the edges of the bio bed where Jenusia sat being attended to by a nurse. More than once he tried to take his wife’s hand or to explain himself and more than once were his explanations rebuffed or his hands swatted away. Jenusia refused to look at him, refused to talk to him, and refused to acknowledge him in any way, shape, or form.
“You’ll need to come back first thing tomorrow morning to see one of the doctors, Miss Pentaurian,” said the nurse who had earlier identified herself as Christine Chapel. “I don’t have much experience treating a Troyan,”
“Why, what is wrong with her,” asked a deeply concerned Selkek, stepping further into Jenusia’s personal space.
Jenusia made her feelings known by turning her palm up to make him keep his distance.
“I’m not going to tell you again, Selkek, you don’t get to ask questions about me!”
Nurse Chapel eyed the Vulcan curiously before she spoke again. “Miss Pentaurian is correct; on earth an individual’s medical care is a strictly private matter.”
Selkek lifted his chin in a manner, that seemed to Nyota, was meant to exert his rights more than anything. “What concerns Jenu also concerns me; I am her husband.”
“The hell you are!” cried Jenusia sarcastically.
“Jenu, my concern for you in perfectly natural. As my wife and as a member of my clan–”
“Not for long,” she hissed, seething with rage.
Chapel intervened, hoping to defuse the tense stand-off between the two by giving only a vague explanation.
“I believe it is nothing more than an infection; nothing too serious. A doctor’s examination will, most likely, confirm it in the morning.”
“That green slag bit me,” shouted an indignant Jenusia. “She probably gave me some sort of incurable Orion STD.”
Hearing this, Gaila tried to leap up from her own bio bed.
“Why you prissy, little–!”
Nyota pushed her roommate back down again. “Arguing is not helping the situation, Gaila, so shut up!” She turned to the other bio bed. “That goes for you, too, Jen!”
In a huff, Jen folded her arms across her body and angled herself away from everyone in the room.
Selkek spoke up as well. “That is very logical advice, Nyota.”
“You need to shut up, too, Selkek!” replied Nyota, a dangerous edge to her voice. “I don’t like you very much at the moment.”
Selkek, having been admonished in the manner of a child, turned away too. Placing his hands behind his back, he moved to stare out of a window on the other side of the room.
At that moment, the door to the infirmary swished open and everyone turned in the direction of the sound. Commander Spock had entered and everyone gathered had a completely different and totally unique reaction to the presence of the newcomer.
Selkek hung his head as if disgraced to the extreme, Nyota’s breathe caught in her throat, Jenusia rolled her eyes, Gaila screwed up her face in disgust, Nurse Chapel beamed as she had never beamed before, and Commander Moira Archer, relieved, instantly grasped Spock by the sleeve and steered him to a distant corner of the room.
“Commander Spock, thank the gods you’re here.”
Spock nodded in greeting before quickly glancing around the entire room to assess the current situation based on everyone’s facial expressions alone. He had no success.
“Lord,” Archer exclaimed, “why I didn’t follow my grandfather’s example and ask for a deep space assignment instead of babysitting these children, I will never know.”
“Commander?”asked a perplexed Spock, endeavoring to understand her curious statement.
The dean moved closer and lowered her voice. “And if Troyus doesn’t declare war on both Orion and Vulcan tonight, it will be a miracle.”
“I am sorry?” Spock replied, tipping his head trying to decipher the Dean’s words again.
Seeing his confusion, Archer glanced once more at the cadets before moving Spock deeper into the corner. She got straight to the point.
“Tonight, in Archer Hall, an altercation broke out between Cadet Gaila and Cadet Pentaurian.”
Spock sighed, mostly from the relief that this incident did not seem to involve his relationship with Nyota at all. The dean continued.
“This Vulcan citizen, who I understand you know,” she paused and nodded minutely towards Selkek, “is apparently involved romantically with both or possibly all three women. I haven’t exactly worked out the particulars and I really don’t want to know. But this is the most shocking surprise of all, apparently Cadet Pentaurian has found herself married to him.”
Spock glanced up sharply and turned an incredulous glare towards the couple before briefly flicking his eyes in Nyota’s direction. He had never had reason to be so astonished at anything before in his life, and for a Vulcan, it was a foreign emotion.
Archer continued. “I took the liberty of speaking to Miss Petuarian alone for a few minutes. Her father, the younger brother of the Troyan king, no less, is currently on Earth and I gather that all this is part of some sort of Troyan marriage ritual. I wasn’t able to get much out of her, however, one thing is very clear to me: the cadet wants absolutely nothing to do with this gentleman. While waiting for you, I took a moment to pull up Mr. Pash’Tirith’s file. His credentials all check out; excellent student, excellent family; by all accounts he’s perfectly harmless. How he came to get tangled up with both these women is anybody’s guess. But I have seen it all before: one culture misreads the intentions of another culture and the next thing you know it’s Earth versus the flying saucers.”
The Dean heaved a great exasperated sigh; obviously she had more to say.
“I don’t pretend to know about the dating, mating and/or marriage rituals of every single alien species on this campus, but what I do know is, I can not have Cadet Pentaurian in this difficult situation, a situation, it would seem, she did not ask for, Troyan tradition or not”
“What would you have me do?” asked Spock.
“Since Mr. Pash’Tirith Selkek came to this planet under your sponsorship, more or less, that makes you somewhat responsible for his actions while he is here, that is, unless you’d rather get the Vulcun consulate involved?”
Spock inhaled sharply and stood up straighter.
“Yes,” said Commander Archer, thinking that she was seeing something very much like misgivings reflected in the Vulcan’s eye. “I didn’t think so. Find out what you can; I’m going to let you deal with him in the way you think best. I can’t make him leave Planet Earth, but if Miss Pentaurian insists that he leave, get him off this campus and away from the cadet, understood.”
A silent agreement was made between them, and Spock nodded his agreement. And before Archer made her exit, she made one last request. “Take my advice, Commander and have this whole thing cleared up and resolved by the end of this weekend. Come Monday morning we risk the Academy Commandant finding out and I think we can both agree that Admiral Barnett will not see the, for lack of a better word, humor of this little melodrama.”
With that she nodded, gave a very stern parting glance to the cadets around the room, before she quickly left the room.
Spock sighed, placed his hands behind his back, walked to the center of the room, and stopped. They all looked at him expectantly, each wanting to make sure that they were the first to be heard. He gave them each an assessing glance before speaking.
“Who would like to go first?”
They all began talking at once, which immediately proved to Spock that he had made an error in judgment. He raised a hand to stop them all from speaking.
“Very well, let us start from the beginning. Cadet Uhura, you will proceed. What happened after you left the long-range sensor lab?”
Nyota was equal parts devastated, angry, and embarrassed. Devastated that she had somehow caused all of this business; angry at both Gaila and Selkek, for doing, what she could only assume, was something they had no business doing, and embarrassed that she had to fess up to Spock that she had made a mistake by playing matchmaker when he had expressly warned her against the practice.
“I arrived at my room and saw Gaila, I mean, Cadet Gaila and Cadet Pentaurian engaged in a quarrel.” She didn’t feel the need to elaborate on Selkek’s half-naked appearance.
“A quarrel?” Spock raised an eyebrow. “Correct me if I’m wrong, Cadet, but a quarrel generally involves shouting and an exchange of harsh words alone. Do you mean to tell me that Cadet Gaila received the bruising about her face from the shear force of Cadet Pentaurian’s words? That seems both improbable and illogical.”
Nyota gritted her teeth; she hated when Spock got up on his Vulcan high-horse.
“OK, so it was a violent quarrel.”
“Again, unlikely. Spock, seeing that he wasn’t going to get anything of use from Cadet Uhura, he turned to the Orion. “Cadet Gaila, can you elaborate more fully on Cadet Uhura’s somewhat improbable report.”
“I certainly can! It was a fight, that I did not start! That Troyan she-devil over there just came into my room, uninvited, and jumped me for no reason!”
“Who are you calling a Troyan she-devil, you Orion slag?” shouted Jenusia struggling to lean forward while Nurse Chapel reached out to restrain her.
“You didn’t want him, so that made him fair game. I told you at least ten times over the last three weeks that I was going have my go!”
Spock tilted his head to one side, confused again.
“Have a go? Have a go at what exactly?”
Gaila rolled her eyes. “If you don’t know what have a go means, lord help you,” said Gaila, smirking. “Vulcan’s must be the most frigid creatures in the entire universe.”
“Says the slag who was having a go with my Vulcan husband!”
“The Vulcan husband that you don’t want! And give it a rest, Jen! I don’t know why you refuse to listen to what I’ve been attempting to explain to you since you tried to pull my hair out: I was trying to have a go, your frigid Vulcan husband just wasn’t interested. Sheesh! What does an Orion have to do around here before someone will believe her? We didn’t do anything!”
Spock, growing impatient and uncomfortable with the nature of the conversation, now turned to Selkek for confirmation.
“And Selkek, do you have anything to say to Cadet Gaila’s claim?”
Selkek was thoughtful for a long moment before he responded perfectly seriously.
“Cadet Gaila is incorrect. Since my exposure to the rain, and with the cadet’s assistance, I was able to dry off. I am no longer frigid.”
His response had a singular effect on Gaila; she began to laugh so hysterically that she could not draw breath for a full minute.
“Great husband you have there, Jen; and you are welcome to him!”
Both Selkek’s and Gaila’s words made Jenusia’s cheeks burn with embarrassment causing her to lash out.
“Oh, just shut up, Gaila,” she shouted, now beginning to feel the first stirrings of mortification at what she was coming to see was now a complete over-reaction on her part.
“No, no,” exclaimed Gaila, making sure that she would have the last word. “This only proves my point. Your Vulcan husband admits it himself, he’s clueless, absolutely clueless! I would have had more luck having a go with one of the ice machines in the cafeteria before I got anything from a Vulcan. Now, just so everyone understands, I did not have sex with Selkek! I tried, he resisted! I tried even more, he resisted even more. Satisfied?”
Spock briefly closed his eyes. This conversation was extremely distasteful on so many levels. He wanted nothing more than to wrap up this disagreeable matter as rapidly as possible so he could go home and meditate to purge his mind and order his thoughts.
“Selkek,” asked Spock, “Is there anything more that you would like to add to the cadet’s statement?”
Selkek, knowing that he had now crossed a line with Spock, continued to stare at the floor and only shook his head.
“There!” exclaimed Gaila looking around the room. “Is everyone in agreement that I am the injured party in all of this?”
Nyota covered her eyes with a hand and shook her head tiredly before saying irritatedly, “We get it, Gaila, we get it.”
“Thank you, Nyota Uhura,” she said sarcastically. “At least we got that cleared up.” Gaila then turned to Jenusia. “Face the facts, Jen; Selkek only wants you and for the life of me I can not figure out why. ”
Having finally said her peace, Gaila got up from the bio-bed, covered herself with her blanket, and slammed her way out the door and into the waiting room.
A long, tense silence now descended down upon the room. Nyota looked longingly at the door herself, wanting nothing more than to escape as Gaila had done. But no, she had started this mess and she wanted to see it to it’s conclusion, good or bad.
Spock was the first to speak.
“I believe I have now heard all that I need to.” He turned to his former bond-brother. “Selkek I now leave the matter with you and… your mate. “ He cleared his throat and continued. “Commander Archer has asked that you take your leave of the academy if that is what Miss Pentaurian wishes.”
Selkek was thoughtful for a moment.
“I would like to speak to she who is my wife alone, if I may?”
Spock nodded once and held out his hand to direct both Nyota and Nurse Chapel towards door. The nurse gathered up her things and left first, but not before stopping before Spock and bestowing a sympathetic smile in his direction.
Nyota, though conflicted and wanting to stay, turned to go as well, and with an apologetic look for both Jenusia and Selkek followed immediately after the nurse, her head bent low.
Spock, had one final thing to say before leaving.
“Whatever you both decide I will endeavor resolve the situation for both of you to the best of my ability I will await your final decision in the next room.”
Once out in the waiting area, Nyota watched the nurse go into her office. She then glanced over to her room mate. Gaila, huddled in her blanket, was sitting on the far side of the room and had her body turned away. Nyota moved to stand in front of Spock; she lowered her voice.
“I know what you are going to say.”
Spock placed his hands behind his back and stared above her head, off into the middle distance. “I think not.”
“You were going to say, I told you so.”
“I was not going to say that, Cadet.”
She flinched at the way he said the word: cadet. She swallowed.
“Then, you were going to remind me that eighty-five percent of these sorts of relationships never succeed.”
“I believe the figure that I previously stated was 89.763 percent.”
Nyota thought she heard Gaila stir, but when she looked over, Gaila appeared to be merely wrapping the blanket around herself tighter. She looked back up to Spock who was still not looking at her.
“I admit that I was wrong. I know now that should have left Jenusia and Selkek to their own devices.”
He just stood there and said nothing and Nyota could no longer bare it. Reaching up with both her hands, she grasped the front of his dark gray tunic in a bid to make him look at her. She felt his resistance through her fingers and Nyota knew that Spock’s high regard for her and her judgment were in the beginning stages of slipping away.
“I only thought—I only hoped–I should have just listened to you.”
Spock, finally allowing himself to look down, locked his eyes with hers and fixed her with an imperious glare.
“Yes, you should have.”
After a few seconds of silence, Selkek stepped forward out of desperation. He had much to do: to ask for forgiveness, to try to win her love, and to convince his wife of only a few short hours to remain married to him.
“I ask… I plead again for your forgiveness, Jenu. It was very wrong of me to submit to the ministrations of the Cadet named Gaila. My defense must be my own distraction, my complete and utter fear of loosing you. If I must get on my knees–”
“If I must humble myself–.”
“I will beg like a human if you require it–.”
Jenusia squeezed her eyes shut. “Stop it, Selkek, please–”
But Selkek did not stop; it was almost as if he wasn’t listening.
“I will make you a good husband, Jenu; I swear. I swear it. You will like my home world, I think. My family has extensive lands. My father has already granted me a portion of it on which to build you a dwelling. I know you are use to palaces and all that is the finest that life has to offer, and I will do anything that you wish to make you happy.”
Jenusia opened tear-filled eyes. To see her husband, so proud a Vulcan, so tall and regal, actually pleading–she cried out in agony; she could not take it anymore.
“Please, Selkek, please. Do not do this to yourself. Please, just stop!”
Selkek stopped himself and not wanting to see the anguished face of his wife, looked down and in doing so saw one tear drop from his eye and land on his chest. Taking his right hand he wiped at his eyes, before slowly moving his hand out before him. He studied the curious wetness on his fingertips for a very long moment: it was the first time that he had ever cried.
He had thought that he had embraced all of his emotions, but this… this crying, this begging… he felt ashamed.
Jenusia could not explain the feeling that suddenly came over her in that very moment: she could actually sense Selkek’s feelings of shame. She reached out to him with her mind and her husband came forth and was instantly in her arms. They clung to each other desperately, she sobbing into his neck, he grabbing at her back, moving his fingers up into her hair in a attempt to hold on for dear life when he knew all along that this must be goodbye.
“I am so sorry, Selkek, sorry for hurting you. But don’t you see, we’re not ready to be married to each other, probably not to anyone. We haven’t had a chance to get to know each other, I haven’t had a chance to live the life that I want and neither have you. We are so very different, you and I.”
Selkek nodded sadly, knowing that she was right.
“I would wish–I would wish–.”
“I know,” replied Jenusia somehow understanding what he was trying to convey. “I wish it too.”
She pulled back and dried her face with the back of her hand.
Selkek spoke, his voice thick with emotion. “I must leave you now.”
Jenusia took a shuttering breathe. “Where will you go?”
“Do you ask that question as Jenusia of the Pentaurian or do you ask it as she who is my wife?”
“I ask it as your friend.”
“You will always be more to me than a friend; we are joined–”
“I know,” she smiled sadly, “joined of the body.”
They each stood together in silence simply touching each other and being touched. Selkek fingered her temple several times, very, very tempted to meld with her and join his mind to hers for all eternity. Jenusia hands caressed his handsome face, wishing for once she could make him happy without having to sacrifice her own desires and wishes.
“Go home to Vulcan, Selkek, and find yourself a nice Vulcan girl to marry and make her happy; build her that house upon your family’s land and fill it with beautiful Vulcan children. You deserve–”
Selkek reached out and placed a finger to her mouth to silence her. He then took his finger and outlined her lips as if making a memory for himself.
“I deserve–” he looked deeply into her eyes. “May I kiss you one last time, my wife? May I kiss you goodbye?”
Jenusia could not make herself speak; she could only nod her agreement. Selkek moved forward very slowly and lowered his lips down upon hers. It did not last very long, but in it’s briefness Jenusia felt all of his love and devotion. Selkek then stood tall and backed away while watching her the entire time. He raised his right hand, his fingers splayed and for the first time since their brief marriage, he did not use her married name.
“Live long, Jenusia of the Pentaurian. Live long and prosper.”
And he turned and walked away, wishing, for the first time in his life that he did not possess the deep emotions of a V’tosh Ka’tur.
If Nyota hadn’t seen it with her own eyes, she would have sworn she was under the influence of some alien mind-altering drug. Jenusia was sitting at their usual cafeteria table actually talking to Gaila.
Two of the young ladies had been tip-toeing around each other for several weeks now. Since Nyota roomed with Gaila, their conversations had been limited to the business dealing with being roommates only. Gaila, if she was seeing anyone, Nyota certainly did not know it. Gaila kept her associations to herself and thankfully, for now, out of their room.
Jenusia was another matter entirely. She had not seen anything of her friend. Since their individual courses of study were polar opposites on the spectrum, they shared no classes together. And the usual times when they would see each other, such as meal times or at Buckie’s Tavern, Jenusia took care, Nyota assumed, to keep herself apart. Whatever emotions she was dealing with concerning her parting from Selkek, she chose to deal with on her own.
It was Gaila who saw her first and who waved her over to join them.
“Nyota, over here!”
Jenusia just looked straight ahead, not even trying to acknowledge her. Nyota gripped the sides of her tray a little tighter and approached the table.
“Hello, Gaila,” she said, and, adding a little more cautiously,”Hello, Jenusia.”
Jenusia glanced up quickly and just as quickly looked away. “Hello, Nyota.”
“Finally,” said Gaila from across the table, clearly pleased with herself. “There, that wasn’t so hard, now was it? Now sit down Ny, you’re making my neck ache just looking up at you.”
“I don’t wish to intrude.” This was said mostly to Jenusia.
“You’re not intruding,” Jenusia replied.
“But, if I were,” returned Nyota.
“Great Tyvan’s beard, Ny, sit,” exclaimed the Troyan. “You’re making my neck ache, too!”
Nyota sat next to Jen and was silent. She wasn’t sure what to expect next. She had not seen nor spoken to Jenusia since the events of that night in the infirmary. She was going to leave it up to her best friend to be the one to break the ice. She immediately got her wish, though, it was an odd topic to begin with.
“Gaila was just telling to me all about her strange family. Apparently, she has a fourth cousin who’s a freighter captain out on the edges of the galaxy.”
“Third, and he’s not so much a freighter captain as he is a smuggler. Family rumor has him hauling ill-gotten dilithium from the Corydon system.”
“Not so loud, Gaila,” admonished Jenusia, “don’t you see Captain Pike sitting over there? If he gets wind of your third cousin’s illicit activities, he’ll be firing up the engines of that old-rust-bucket, Columbia, and then where will we be?”
Nyota glanced up to look in Pike’s direction herself and quickly regretted it. For where there was Pike, Spock was never far behind. But Spock did not look up at her. Now, no longer interested in her lunch, she pushed the tray away.
Jenusia had followed the direction of Nyota’s glance and was all ready to say something, when she looked over at Gaila and stopped herself.
“Go ahead, Jen, you might as well say what you were going to say to Nyota. I know all about her and,” she lowered her voice to a whisper, “Commander Spock.”
Nyota glanced up, alarmed.
Gaila just went on matter-of-factly. “Well, it was pretty obvious that night–” she would not say ‘in the infirmary‘– “that night when we were all last together. I must say, Ny, I’m impressed; I didn’t know you had it in you. I should have figured it out when I first caught you checking out the Vulcan’s butt.”
Nyota slid her tray back to herself and picked up her fork to attempt to eat something. “I am sure I don’t know what you mean. Commander Spock and I are nothing to each other.”
“Anymore,” added Gaila, smugly.”You should have been there, Jen. Nyota didn’t think I was listening, but I was. Nyota was all wretched and feeling sorry for herself for getting you involved with, you know, that marriage that you were mixed up in, and the Vulcan was all like, I will avenge my countryman, you ignorant Earther and Nyota was like, oh, where shall I go, what shall I do and the Vulcan was all like, frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Nyota looked at Gaila in exasperation which made Gaila immediately check herself.
“OK, well maybe it didn’t happen quite that way. But now, Nyota has been moping around the room for the last month all unhappy and pitiful, making me feel all unhappy and pitiful, too. Good thing I have a date with that Rigellian exchange student, Veslo Nurdo; he has the most enormous–”
Nyota and Jenusia didn’t miss a beat, they both turned to the Orion at the same moment and said, “Shut up, Gaila!”
“What? He has big ears.”
Jenusia glanced at Nyota sympathetically. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know, Ny. Where do you two stand now?”
“I don’t know where we stand; he hasn’t spoken to me and I haven’t tried to speak to him.”
Jenusia came to the defense of her friend. “That’s just ridiculous! This wasn’t your fault. If anything, it was all my fault. Would you like me to talk to Spock?”
“For what, there is nothing left to be said. I’m done. Perhaps getting involved with a Vulcan wasn’t any good for me either.”
Jenusia reached out and took her friends hand.
“You should talk to him, Ny. I’ll wager he’s just as miserable without you; well,” she smiled sadly, trying not to think of her own misery, “as miserable as a Vulcan will allow himself to be.”
“Oddly enough,” added Nyota as she poked dejectedly at her lunch, “I talk to his mother, Lady Amanda all the time. She doesn’t ask me directly about the state of my relationship with her son, but I can tell that she really wants to. Besides, I’ve decided I’m joining the Oxford Invitational Team. I’ll be up to my neck in all the alien languages I can shake a stick at. There will be no time for regrets. I will not have a moment in my schedule for boyfriends and I’ll barely have a moment in my schedule for you two.”
Jenusia smiled sadly but knowingly at her friend; she didn’t tell her that the general report in the security division was that Commander Spock had signed on as faculty adviser for that same Oxford Invitational team himself; most likely trying to fill in his empty days as well. Nyota and Spock would be back together inside of a month she wagered. She only patted Nyota on the hand and changed the subject.
“H-Have you heard from–.”
Gaila, sensing what Jenusia was about to say, saw this as her time to make her exit.
“Well, will you look at the time. What was I thinking? Gotta run.” She grabbed her tray. However, before she left, she eyed Jenusia. “Remember, Jen, that thing that we were talking about. Don’t be late.”
“I won’t; thanks for all your help, Gaila.”
“No problem,” she said confidently. “Later, slags.”
Nyota found the exchange curious, but felt that her relationship with Jenusia was still a little tenuous and she was far too polite to ask. Jenusia turned back around and asked her question again.
“I was asking if you have heard from Selkek.”
Nyota laid her hand on Jenusia arm in a gesture comfort.
“No, I have not… not directly, I should say. Lady Amanda mentioned something the other day about how handsome he looked at the wedding.”
Jenusia’s eyes widened in horror and Nyota immediately saw her mistake. “I’m sorry, I mean, his sister’s wedding.”
Jenusia tried to make it seem as though she had not gone through the shock of her life.
“Y-Yes, that’s right; he mentioned something to me once about being home in time to shake the bells.”
“Yes,” said Nyota, squeezing her friends arm, seeing right through her brave front. “Anyway, your divorce, I mean, he can not marry so soon, surely.
“N-No; on Troyus it takes six months, six months if there are no–” Jenusia stopped herself, and began pressing her temple as if in pain. She abruptly stood. “I have to go.”
Nyota, seeing her friends anguish, had to ask. “Are you well, Jen? What’s wrong?”
“I’m perfectly fine; just a little something I have to deal with on my own.” Jen tried to smile, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes.”
Taking out her communicator, Nyota made to flip it open. “Let me message McCoy; maybe he can take a look at you.”
“I’m fine, Ny, really. Besides, I’ve already seen McCoy. It’s nothing. Truly. I am well; in the best of health, so the good doctor tells me.”
“Oh, OK, it’s just… I want to be there for you Jen. Remember, you can come to me anytime if you need to talk.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, Ny, but I just feel it’s high time I grew up a little and learned to take care of things on my own, don’t you?”
Jenusia suddenly leaned down and caught Nyota up in a fierce embrace.
Nyota, standing up and returning the hug just as fiercely, pressed again.
“Come to me tonight or I can come to you.”
“I can’t tonight, Ny, I’m sorry,” said Jenusia, wiping quickly at her cheek before smiling her sad smile once again. “I love you, Nyota. I love you. Always remember that.”
“I do, Jen, I love you, too,” Nyota replied, though a little perplexed at their odd emotional exchange.
Jenusia released her friend, picked up her own tray, and now hurried off. And just as she reached the door to the cafeteria, she turned, smiled once more and raised her hand to bid farewell in the traditional Vulcan way.
Lieutenant Nyota Uhura sat at her station on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise and reflected sadly on the significance of that days date: it marked the two year anniversary of the last time she had seen Jenusia, standing in the doorway of the cafeteria giving her the Vulcan salute
But it was not merely that heartbreaking occasion that she recalled. Soon, very soon, it would be time to reflect on the one year anniversary of the destruction of Vulcan. She was not looking forward to that occasion at all, for thinking of that day only reminded her of all she had lost. In the aftermath of that tragedy, Selkek was gone along with his entire family; so too was her friend Amanda who she was only just beginning to know, and Gaila, gone as well in the proceeding battle. Her heart ached with the loneliness she now felt.
Her attention to her duties returned when her board beeped to signal an incoming message and she tapped a key to pull it up. It was marked private and it was addressed to her.
After reading it, she glanced to her left to the science station and smiled. Of course he did not look over; he was always the consummate professional while on the bridge, but she didn’t mind and she smiled again nonetheless, before turning back to her communication’s board and to her work once again. And just before deleting the message she read through it once more.
MESSAGE FROM COMMANDER SPOCK: Always remember that you are cherished, esteemed, and greatly valued and that you are not alone.
To be continued in the third and final part of the trilogy: Heart’s Guardian
Author’s footnote: Now that you have had a chance to read the last part of Full Circle, you all now know why it has been extremely difficult to write and to post this. I know just how much you HATE when I end my stories on such a sad note. I can only ask forgiveness and say that it was very necessary to the plot. I do hope you will not be angry with me to the extent that you refuse to read Heart’s Guardian. I have been talking about that story for nearly two years now and the plot has been spinning around and around in my head inducing madness.