icemink: (Spock)
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Title:Someday, and the Rest of Your Life
Paring: Spock/Uhura
Summary: When the Enterprise receives a distress call from a Vulcan rescue vessel, Spock finds himself confronted by his past, and he must choose whether to uphold Vulcan traditions or find his own way.
Rating: NC-17. . . eventually

Previous chapters can be found here.



Nyota turned over and over in her bed. The breathing device that soothed her throat, was always in her way. Still, it did numb the pain, leaving her with only a headache and a dull ache that seemed to permeate her whole body.

A distraction would have been nice; something to read, to listen to. The problem was that the computer that gave her access to everything was voice activated. She could, of course access everything through her PADD, but it seemed so tedious to use. It required searching for what she wanted instead of simply asking for it. If she couldn’t speak for the next couple days, they were going to be long days indeed.

She blamed the early 21st century.

Linguistically speaking it had a been a pivotal moment in Earth’s history. A proliferation of mobile devices marked the period, but with inadequate human interfaces. A new form of written language which historians now referred to as TXT grew out of that period. English teachers despaired as capitalization was abandoned spelling became a half phonetic, half vowelless hybrid, and punctuation was used in ways that made Strunk and White turn over in their graves.

While most people lamented it, as the death of grammar, a few linguists pointed out that the only natural language was spoken language. They argued that all written forms were artificial, and that native speakers routinely said things that would cause them to flunk English 101 if they were actually examined for supposed grammatical correctness. If spoken language used inflection to communicate emotion, why should written language not use punctuation even if it came in the form of smilie faces. Punctuation was after all, only politeness.

And then came the Alwari Algorithm. Voice recognition no longer required tediously training a computer to understand the speaker. Suddenly anyone could dictate anything to a computer and be fully understood. Within a decade Earth entered into a new kind of oral tradition. People stopped writing, and instead learned to dictate their thoughts, whether they were writing a novel or a legal brief.

This was the sort of society Nyota had been raised in. Everything from the routine report to the Captain’s log was dictated and recorded by the computer, so that it could be read later. Almost everything was voice activated, the bridge being a notable exception. In the middle of a crisis it would be too confusing to have a half dozen officers all speaking to their computers while the captain yelled orders, so it was one of the few parts of the ship that used manual controls.

Nyota made another attempt to find something to read, but was again frustrated by trying to navigate the computer’s organizational structure by hand. Giving up for the moment, she rolled onto her back. Her mind immediately drifted to Spock.

She had seen the mind meld he had shared in sick bay with T’Pring. It had looked intense. Had it been more intense then the one that she herself had shared with him? There was really no way to tell. Watching a mind meld, was not amazingly interesting. But something must have happened. Before the meld McCoy had written off T’Pring as too far gone to save. Afterwards he had had her moved into surgery.

And Spock. . .

Something about the mind meld had troubled Spock. He hadn’t looked all right. It wasn’t anything she could put her finger on, but she was sure there was something wrong. And she couldn’t help but worry about him.

More than anything she wanted him there, wanted to talk to him, to be with him. She supposed it was irrational. She had just pushed Spock away because she had told him she couldn’t deal with losing him again. And now T’Pring was here and it seemed certain that Nyota and Spock had run out of time. It should have proved that she made the right decision. Instead it only made her want what little bit of Spock she could have, in what little time was left.

But did they only have a little time? T’Pring was not a subject they had talked about much, and Nyota had never gotten a straight answer on when the marriage was supposed to occur. All Spock would ever say was things like, “At the appointed time.” What wasn’t clear was just who appointed the time anyway.

So Nyota had done her own research. The problem was, there wasn’t much research to be done on Vulcan marriage traditions. It was almost as if Vulcans refused to admit that they got married at all, although she did find some more vague references to, “when the time was right,” or “when the time of marriage came upon them.”

It gave her the idea that maybe Vulcans married at a certain age, like on their thirtieth birthdays, or something. It seemed like the sort of thing Vulcans would do considering that they arranged marriages for their offspring when they were only seven years old. So she pulled the census data for the planet Vulcan and had the computer analyze it.

She didn’t find what she was looking for, what she did find was incredibly surprising. Vulcans seemed to marry somewhere in their late thirties to early forties. All of them. Okay, maybe not all of them, but a surprisingly high number. In fact, Vulcan had a significantly higher percentage of married couples than any other Federation world. As she dug through the numbers some more she found that when a Vulcan became a widow or widower, they almost always remarried within a few years.

And yet the Vulcan texts she shifted through were largely silent on the subject. It was a mystery she could find no answer to, and now the question plagued her once again. When would T’Pring and Spock marry? If she were to go by the census data, it would still be many years off. On the other hand, considering what had happened, maybe they would accelerate the marriage date?

In the end, it didn’t really matter. She’d pushed Spock away, even if she hadn’t, she couldn’t hold on to him.

It wasn’t as if she could talk to him right now anyway. Without her voice she couldn’t so much as let him know she was thinking about him.

Or could she?

She looked at the PADD lying on her bed. Spock was the First Officer. From any PADD she could send a report to him for approval. It was common practice, and until he approved it the report would never appear in the ships logs. It was probably a horrible misuse of ship’s systems, but she didn’t care. She was going a little crazy in the isolation of her room with nothing to do.

Of course the PADD was also designed for dictation, but it wouldn’t be too bad to tap out a short message.

“Are you okay?” She hit the send button.

As soon as she did so, she wished there was an unsend button. There wasn’t. Would Spock be mad at her for trying to use official channels for personnel chit chat? Would he even see it any time soon, or would he suddenly find the fake report days later? What if someone else saw it? What if-

A light on the PADD flickered. Her ‘report’ had been read, and amended. Of course it had. This was Spock. He was bound to read any report that came to him right away. Nervously she opened the report.

“I am well. Are you in any distress?”

Okay. So not mad. If he’d been mad he would have quoted a regulation, or pointed out the illogic or something. At least that’s what she thought he’d do. Spock was easy for her to read when he was actually there. She had no frame of reference for communicating with him in this manner.

“I’m fine,” she tapped out.

This time there was no response. She waited, but nothing came. Of course not. She hadn’t asked him for anything, hadn’t given him anything to respond to. At least not from a Vulcan point of view. Vulcans rarely participated in small talk.

The minutes seemed to drag by even slower than before, and still nothing. It was unbearable. Finally she couldn’t take it anymore.

“I miss you,” she tapped out.

There was no response. She felt miserable. Partly because she wanted more contact with Spock. Partly because she felt guilty for sending him mixed signals.

She began to toss and turn restlessly on her bed again, hoping that she would be able to sleep. Suddenly the door buzzed. Reflexively she tried to say, “Come in,” but all she got out was a painful croak.

She tried to get out of bed, to get to the manual door control. What if it was Spock? What if he went away because she took too long to answer? That was beginning to seem a real possibility. Her body clearly did not think getting up was the right thing to do. She only made it to a sitting position before the door slid open on its own revealing Spock.

“I apologize if I am intruding, Lieutenant,” he told her. “But it occurred to me that you might not be able answer in your current condition. I will leave if you like.”

She shook her head and gestured for him to come in.

He came to the edge of the bed, studying her for several seconds before nodding, “You seem well considering your injuries.”

She shrugged and scooted over to make room for him on the bed. He didn’t take it. Instead he crossed the room restlessly.

“I . . .” he halted not finding the words. “That is to say . . .” He stopped again. It was very unusual for Spock, who always seemed to know exactly what he wanted to say.

He turned to face her shaking his head. “There is a great deal I wish to say, but it seems unfair when your condition precludes you from responding. Perhaps I should go.” He began to move towards the door.

She reached for him, desperate for him to stay. It was enough. He did not come any closer, but he did not leave. Instead he sat down at the table.

Silence stretched between them. It was strange that the silence was so uncomfortable. They were used to silence. How many times at the Academy had they spent long hours in research or grading papers without a word passing between them? But back then there had been nothing that needed to be said.

It was by necessity Spock that broke the silence. “Your actions are confusing. I can not find the logic in them.”

She wanted to say that feelings weren’t logical. She normally didn’t mind Vulcan logic, but right now it seemed badly out of place. Instead she picked up her PADD again and quickly tapped out, “Saving her, or now?”

It forced Spock to come over to the bed to read what she had written. He sat down carefully, keeping a significant distance between them considering how the the bed was only designed for one person.

“Both matters confuse me. However I was referring to the present.”

She held out her hand trying to offer him a glimpse into her mind.

He shook his head. “It would require a very deep connection for you to communicate your motivations. It is a draining process, and I have engaged in it too much recently.”

She suspected he was being purposely evasive, but if he he didn’t want to link minds with her, she certainly didn’t want to force it on him.

Think Uhura, she told herself. She was a linguists, she was trained in initiating communications in first contact situations where there was no common language. There had to be some way to communicate with him. Of course one of the first rules of first contact scenarios was to keep all communications on a simple level. Use concrete words and ideas like ‘chair’ not abstractions like, ‘that binary star system seems to look at you no matter where you move.’ A bad example, but the point was to avoid metaphor. Except this wasn’t first contact. There had to be some sort of simple way she could express herself.

An idea occurred to her, and she tapped it out on her PADD.

Spock read it and looked at her confused. “I do not understand. We have never been to Paris together, and I do not see the importance if we had.”

She sighed. And that’s why we don’t use metaphors for communication with other cultures she told herself. No common shared background.

Except, she thought, this was something she could share. He might not get it, or at least what she was trying to say, but it had to be better than sitting here in silence.

It was a struggle to navigate the computers database, but finally she found the file she was looking for.

They were both startled when the rather loud music filled the room, and Nyota hurriedly turned down the volume while Spock stared, perplexed by the black and white images that flickered on the rooms small view screen.

“We have never been to Casablanca either,” he pointed out as he read the words on the screen.

She signed, and pointed to the screen, trying to get him to just be quite and watch.

~~~~~~~~~~~

As the credits began, Spock was pleased to see that Nyota had fallen asleep. She clearly needed the rest. He carefully pulled her PADD away from her, using that to turn off the view screen.

He had been fascinated by the historical piece she had shown him. It demonstrated a level of logic and sophistication that he had not thought existed on earth at the time.

He let himself lay back on the bed, careful not to touch or disturb Nyota. He probably should leave. That seemed to be the message of the movie, and yet everything else Nyota had done indicated that she wanted him to stay.

Clearly he had not done a detailed enough analysis of the film. It would, he decided, be imprudent to leave until he felt sure he knew that was the message she was trying to send.

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