Author’s note: I have decided not to give the chapters titles anymore. They just don’t suit me or this story.
Leaving the briefing room, the bridge officers all moved to their stations. Nyota and Spock never conversed on private matters while on the bridge as they had chosen to keep their private and professional lives separate long ago. Yet today, after the extraordinary announcement by the captain, Spock could almost sense Uhura’s eyes on him every so often, letting him know that she wanted to talk.
So, it was eight hours later at the end of their shift, when, instead of her going directly to her own quarters as she usually did, she followed him back to his.
The door whooshed to a close upon her entrance and she spoke immediately. Her voice was gentle, but direct.
“Do you want to talk about what the captain said today?”
He stood in front of his food dispenser entering the code for tea.
“I am fine, Nyota.”
She crossed her arms and took two steps further into the room.
“Aren’t you the one who’s always saying that the word “fine” has variable meanings?”
When he did not respond to her attempt to get him to speak on his feelings, she tried another avenue. She reached out and touched his shoulder in a gesture of sympathy.
“I only think that the captain–”
“–has his own agenda.” He sighed but went on. “It does not take an advanced degree in psychology to see that the captain is concerned with how I may react and has chosen not to include me in any of the preparations for the visit to Haven. Not only does he put the mission in jeopardy by not including his first officer, but his logic is flawed; he forgets, I am a Vulcan; I endeavor to control my emotions so they do not control me.”
“He cares about you, Spock, we all care. I am sure the captain doesn’t want you to feel–”
As Spock stiffened at the word “feel”, Nyota thought it best to course correct.
“It’s been over a year since the Vulcan people went into seclusion. They haven’t asked for the Federation’s assistance in all that time, so none of us know what to expect once we get there. For the first time in your life you may witness your people in a somewhat diminished state, possibly struggling to rebuild a life after so many have been taken from them. You’ll also be visiting a planet for the first time that you have no familiar bonds with, no home, no ancestral lands. That won’t be easy.”
“As I said, Nyota, I am fine and nothing else needs to be said on the matter. You and the Captain have no need to be concerned with how I will react.” He quickly glanced back at her for the first time since her entrance and then returned to the tea preparations.
She nodded her head. “OK, so you’re fine. But, do you mind if I talk about my feelings on the subject, because I am not fine.”
“As you wish.”
Setting the teacups on the coffee table, Spock proceeded to remove his blue service tunic. but kept the black undershirt on. He then assumed his customary position on his sofa that he knew was always most conducive to Nyota for talking.
With his own back pressed into the back of the sofa, Spock laid down on his side and Nyota laid down beside him, pressing her back into his chest. She snuggled in closely while he brought his left arm around the front of her. She grabbed his arm with both of her hands and stroked his wrist with her thumbs. She was completely silent for nearly ten minutes, obviously thinking and working out all she wanted to say. He waited patiently, knowing that it was always best to let her initiate any emotionally charged conversations.
“I know that life must continue and that it’s not logical to wallow in sadness forever, but I’m human, I can’t help it.”
She kissed the back of his hand almost as if offering an apology for dismissing the logical arguments that he could possibly have, first. She was silent for a few more minutes and when she spoke again, Spock immediately knew that she was on the verge of tears.
“I’ve been thinking about Gaila and Selkek all day.”
Here her voice broke and she sniffed loudly; Spock tightened his embrace while kissing the back of her head to encourage her to continue.
“Gaila knew what enlisting in Starfleet meant, but Selkek, sweet, wonderful Selkek: he never hurt anyone. And when I think about Selkek, I can’t help but think about how Jenusia just disappeared into thin air with no explanation to me or her parents. And then there’s Turok and Solev—and sweet, beautiful, Amanda.”
Spock made no comment on those mentioned, now gone. He remained silent for a time. And yet, when he did finally speak, his voice was soothing and deep.
“Their memories will live on in your heart.”
Her grip then tightened; she had a more delicate matter to bring up.
“And even though he wasn’t your friend, nor mine, I can’t help but think about Stonn and T’Pring.”
Nyota sniffed loudly once more, not so much for any one person’s lost, but just by the shear weight of it all pressing down on her heart.
“Shhh. You did not receive the appropriate amount of rest last night and I can sense that you are very fatigued.”
“It’s just–we have all been through so much.” She released Spock’s wrist and ran a hand over her wet eyes. “So much…”
“With your current emotional state,” added Spock, “you are experiencing distress of the highest degree. I can help you relax if you wish. Close your eyes.”
“Close your eyes,” he whispered into her hair.
She closed her eyes then and Spock placed three of his fingers to the side of her face.
“My thought to your thoughts, my mind to your mind.” He did not actually speak the words aloud, but she could hear them none the less. A second or two later she was a lone figure standing in a field full of purple wildflowers. She wore a light blue garment in some sort of flowing, diaphanous fabric. The wind was blowing gently while a stringed instrument, barely indistinguishable from the sound of the breeze itself, played softly in the background.
“Nyota.” A gentle, familiar, melodic voice was calling her as if on the wind itself. “Nyota, where are you?”
“I am here, beloved; I am here.”
“Then call to me and I will come.”
“Then come, my love.”
In the distance, on the gentle rise of a hill, the figure of a man appeared. He was on horseback, a large, black, powerful looking animal at his command. He was clad in riding breeches, polished black boots, and wore a white lawn shirt, open at the collar.
And it was Spock.
“You are so good to me,” she whispered.
“I know,” he whispered back.