Author’s Note: Yes, I know that I “said” that I wasn’t working on this story, and I’m not. However, when I woke up this morning, this diverting little scene just appeared in my brain while I was laying in my bed… like magic, Enjoy.
When they were to meet in the transporter room at the start of their journey together, Spock was confronted with, what he considered, an alarming amount of luggage.
Compared to his one duffel bag, her two larger bags plus one smaller case sitting on the top, were very much in the extreme. Additionally, there was the unsettling fact that Lieutenant Uhura was late and nowhere to be seen.
His eyes moved from the bags to Mr Kyle.
“She forgot something, sir,” Kyle grinned, knowingly, almost as if he could guess exactly what the first officer was thinking.
Spock considered that a person with three pieces of luggage could hardly have forgotten anything— until he saw the forth piece of luggage hanging from her shoulder when Uhura, dressed in civilian attire like he was, finally breezed through the door.
“I know, I know; I’m late,” she said, thinking it best to cut him off before he could complain.
She headed straight for the transporter pad, pausing, only momentarily, to retrieve the smaller of her three original pieces of luggage.
Spock glanced down at the two remaining pieces on the floor and then looked up at Uhura, raising an eyebrow in a silent question. She merely countered with a look that was the visual equivalent of the word: Well?
Frowning, he slung his own duffel bag over his shoulder, bent down, and picked up hers bags with both his hands and stepped on to the platform himself.
“Energize,” he sighed.
– – – – – – – – – – –
They were met by an Argusian attendant who would lead them to their transport for their overnight trip aboard the Vulcan freighter, Rushan.
The attendant bowed and addressed Uhura.
“I regret to inform you that the Rushan is delayed with repairs. They expect to get underway in two hours time. If you and your servant will follow me, I will conduct you to the waiting area.”
“Thank you,” she said, grinning, noticing the thinning of Spock’s lips upon hearing the word servant.
“This way, if you please,” said the man, moving off to lead the way.
“Yes, come along, Servant. You heard the man, and quickly now.”
Spock rolled his eyes heavenward, but said nothing; she reminded him so very much of Doctor McCoy at that instance, and like the doctor, Spock would let her amuse herself at his expense… for now.
They were shown into an large, empty lounge inside of a bio dome, and both looked up, just in time to see the Enterprise warping away in a flash of bright light. They both then turned their attention to the room itself and observed the various entertainment consoles and stations all around.
The attendant again addressed Uhura.
“The beverage center is programmed with fifteen hundred selections, several of them palatable to a human, and one, so I am told,” he eyed Spock briefly, “very adequate Vulcan tea. You are free to use the entertainment facilities. An officer from the Rushan will come for you at the appropriate time. All of Argus II wishes you a most satisfactory and uneventful journey.”
“Thank you,” said Uhura, nodding, as he left them alone.
Once he was gone she sighed and looked around.
“I’m up for a cup of coffee; how about you?” she asked stepping to the beverage station.
“Oh?” replied Spock, evenly, both brows lifted. “Are you sure you wish to get it yourself. As your servant, isn’t that my job?”
She giggled. “Now don’t be mad, it was all in good fun. He saw you with the luggage and just assumed.”
“Obviously,” said Spock, still sounding somewhat put out.
“Come on, Mr. Spock, don’t be like that, we’re on vacation; let’s start this time out on a pleasant footing. Now tell me what you want to drink.”
“Apparently, I have little choice beyond a very adequate Vulcan tea.”
She waved that statement away.
“You can drink all the Vulcan tea you want for the next fourteen days. You’re on vacation; live a little! I know, let me choose.”
However, before he could reply, she was making the selection for him.
“Computer, two raktajinos, extra hot, extra foam.”
“Raktajino?” questioned Spock, as he set their bags in a corner.
“Trust me, you’ll like it,” she smiled, looking, in Spock’s estimation, somewhat mischievous.
“I do not believe I wish to–”
She cut him off again. “You’re on vacation, remember; try something new!”
Spock conceded the point, sighed, and selected a table with a games unit in the center. As soon as he sat down, a holographic projection materialized up on top of the console.
“PLEASE STATE THE TYPE OF GAME YOU WISH TO PLAY,” stated the computer’s mild feminine voice.
“None,” said Spock, succinctly.
“WORKING—”NONE” IS NOT A GAME CURRENTLY IN MY DATABASE. PLEASE STATE THE TYPE OF GAME YOU WISH TO PLAY.”
“I do not wish to play a game.”
“WORKING—”I DO NOT WISH TO PLAY A GAME” IS NOT A GAME CURRENTLY IN MY DATABASE. PLEASE STATE THE TYPE OF GAME YOU WISH TO PLAY.”
Uhura laughed as she set his raktajino before him.
“Computer,” she said, addressing the game console, “show us a selection of games from Earth.”
“CLASSIC OR MODERN?”
“Oh, classic.. make that classic card games.”
“PLEASE STATE THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS?”
“Two,” she said, lifting both brows, daring the first officer to contradict her.”
“PLEASE STATE THE METHOD OF GAME INTERACTION FOR PLAYER ONE. EXAMPLE: HANDS, TENTACLES, TELEPATHY?”
“Hands, for both players,” she said.
“PLEASE STATE THE NUMBER OF HANDS AND DIGITS ON EACH HAND.”
“Two hands, five digits, for both players.”
“WORKING… THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF VARIOUS CLASSIC CARD GAMES ORIGINATING ON THE PLANET EARTH: POKER: FIVE CARD STUD. POKER: TEXAS HOLD’EM. CRAZY-EIGHTS. FISH. OLD MAID. UNO.”
“That’s it!” exclaimed Uhura, excitedly. “Computer, bring up Uno.”
“WORKING… DO YOU REQUIRE INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PLAY THE GAME: UNO?”
“Well, Mr Spock, would you like instructions on how to play the game: Uno.”
“Miss Uhura, I hardly think–”
“No,” she cried, smilingly, cutting him off before he could wiggle his way out of it. “We do not require instructions. Deal.”
Two visual barriers rose up between them to prevent them from seeing each others hands just before the cards were dealt as digital projections on the table surface before them.
As Spock glanced down towards his cards, he got his first look at the beverage Uhura had provided him. It was dark and thick and steaming and possessed a frothy, white head. It did not look at all appealing.
“Miss Uhura, might I inquire what a raktajino is exactly?”
“No,” she said, suddenly, “now drink up. And I get to start the game first.”
Between them, on the table surface, the computer had projected a blue card with the number eight as the “up” card. Uhura smiled smugly and tapped the screen behind her barrier. A Wild card appeared… a wild card that also said Draw Four. The computer dealt four additional cards behind Spock’s barrier.
“PLAYER ONE,” said the computer, “PLEASE STATE THE COLOR YOU WISH TO PROCEED WITH.”
“Blue,” said Uhura.
Spock looked up and locked eyes with his fellow officer.
“That is illogical, Miss Uhura.”
She flashed an incredulous expression before asking, “Why is it illogical?”
“Because, if you had a blue card to lay down to begin with you should have laid it down on the blue eight.”
“I didn’t want to. Besides, just because I didn’t lay a blue card down right then, doesn’t mean that it is illogical.”
Looking doubtful, Spock said nothing more, and laid down a blue five on top of Uhura’s Wild Card..
Uhura now tapped her screen in rapid succession. On top of Spock blue five card, she laid down a blue Skip card, another blue Skip card, ending with another blue card that said: Draw Two.
“Who’s illogical now?” She teased, smiling widely, her eyes shining.
“I do not wish to play this game any more,” said Spock, highly perturbed and not caring in the least that he was showing it.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Author’s footnote: According to Memory Alpha, Raktagino was not known to Federation citizens until sometime before Benjamin Sisko’s time (it was his favorite drink). I sort of like the idea that Uhura is a lot more “worldly” than Spock, so she would have leapt at the opportunity to introduce him to something out of the ordinary.
Additional footnote: I have to fix a part in Chapter 8 in Heart’s Guardian, but rest assured, it is in the starting gate.