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.
A/N: Thanks so much for all the comments. They always mean a lot to me, but the ones from last chapter really blew me away. And thanks to [info]ida_pea for betaing this chapter for me.
Rating: NC-17

Previous chapters can be found here.




“So are there any rules we should know about?” Kirk asked as he and Spock headed to the transporter room to greet the Vulcan judges that were coming aboard.

“Rules, Captain?” Spock asked.

“You know,” Kirk elaborated. “Who goes first, the prosecution or the defense. What’s objectionable, what can be overruled? That sort of thing.”

“Ah, I see,” Spock nodded. “T’Pring will present her arguments, then I will present mine. If necessary we will ask the witnesses for clarification. However we don’t have the sort of rigid structure of Earth courts. It is not needed. A Vulcan can be trusted to make his or her argument succinctly and not to interrupt the other side.”

Kirk looked at him skeptically, but before he could say anything the transporter pad engaged, brining the five judges aboard the Enterprise. Spock recognized four of them. T’Pau and his father were the first two. Next were two other members of the Vulcan High Council, who like T’Pau and Sarek, Spock had personally rescued from their crumbling planet.

They seemed an overly august group to decide what was at its heart was a domestic matter. But perhaps there was no one else they could find under the circumstances. The last member was a woman he didn’t recognize. She was young, possibly only sixty or so and he wondered briefly how she had ended up on this council.

The Captain led the way to the room that had been prepared. T’Pring was already waiting for them, with McCoy hovering nearby. The Doctor had insisted he be present on the grounds that T’Pring’s condition could be made worse by ‘undue stress’. Spock suspected that the doctor simply wanted to see first hand what would happen.

Nyota was also there, waiting, sitting stiffly in her dress uniform. She didn’t look up as the small precession entered the room. It had been an awkward morning to say the least, and Spock did not let his eyes settle on her for long.

The Council took their places, and without any more ado, the sha’to’gav began. T’Pring seemed to have decided on a chronological organization to her arguments, and so she began by pointing out the Spock was the only person ever accepted to the Vulcan Science Academy who had turned down the honor. She argued that he had applied out of pride, and that his decision to decline had been emotional, not logical.

Spock was impressed. She very carefully avoided the false syllogism that if no Vulcan had ever declined a position with the Science Academy then Spock could not be a Vulcan. Had she said that, the Council would have instantly spotted the faulty logic. But she did imply it and it seemed to hang in the air.

She paused, and looked at him, providing him with his chance to rebut the statement. He only shook his head. He had not expected this line of questioning, but he felt that there was no need to counter her argument. In fact overall, Spock had decided the less he said the better. Appearing sure of the outcome could not hurt him, and the less he spoke, the less chance there was of him saying something he’d regret.

“Why did you turn down the Science Academy, Commander Spock?” It was the youngest member of the Council who spoke.

Having no choice, Spock stood and addressed the woman. “I applied to both Starfleet and the Science Academy because of my interest in studying astrophysics. Both institutions provided unique opportunities to continue my studies. I was not decided on which path I would take when I came before the Council to hear if my application had been accepted. When they told me
I had been accepted they also told me that my achievements were remarkable considering the disadvantage of my human heritage. My desire in joining the Science Academy was to do research. It seemed logical that if I was required to continually prove that I was not at a disadvantage I would have less time for my research and work. Therefore Starfleet seemed the better option.”

The Councilwoman nodded, and Spock returned to his seat. He noticed Kirk as he did so, and to Spock’s surprise Kirk seemed upset about something. Perhaps Kirk did not approve of the fact that Spock had considered other options than Starfleet.

T’Pring seemed content to move on. Leaving her first argument, she called Kirk as a witness. A bit hesitantly the Captain stood up and moved to the center of the room to stand next to T’Pring’s chair. She began to ask him about what happened in the aftermath of Vulcan’s destruction, and how it was that Kirk had ended up in command of the Enterprise.

The Captain was clearly uneasy with the questions, and hesitated before answering. Spock was simply glad to hear that all Kirk’s answers were truthful. Still it was painful to relive what had happened. He still found it embarrassing that he had had to relieve himself of command.

“Look, you have it all wrong,” Kirk protested. “You’re implying that being logical and being a Starship Captain are the same thing. They’re not.”

“Are you saying that you do not use logic in your decisions?” T’Pring asked.

“No, but look you have to understand,” Kirk explained. “I served under Captain Pike for all of about fifteen minutes. And in that time he had me do a precision space dive from orbit into Vulcan’s atmosphere onto a mining platform that was maybe twice the size of this room. And then engage in hand-to-hand combat with a couple Romulans. And I never even thought to questions the guy, I just did what he asked. He literally said jump, and we did it, because it was him. If you ever meet him, I think you’d understand.

“If Spock made a mistake,” Kirk continued. “it was being too logical. Pike gave us two orders when he left the Enterprise. One was to rendezvous with the fleet, the other was to come back and get him. Like I said, I barely knew Pike. Sure he recruited me, but after that I only saw him in passing. But Spock, Spock was his XO. I can’t imagine the amount of time they must have spent together getting the Enterprise ready for her commissioning. The hours they would have spent going over personnel files, learning the specs of a brand new ship. If they hadn’t been able to get along, Pike would have replaced Spock long before the Enterprise ever saw space. Going after Pike was the emotional decision. It also turned out to be the right one.”

Spock was surprised by Kirk’s words. They showed a remarkable understanding of the situation. Spock had been very close to Captain Pike, and he had wanted to pursue the Narada. But it hadn’t seemed the logical decision, and if Spock were honest with himself, so soon after witnessing his mother’s death he had felt the need to cling to logic above all else. He just never expected the James T. Kirk would understand that.

“By your own reasoning then,” T’Pring countered. “Spock should not be First Officer since you do not consider him qualified to be in command.”

“I didn’t say that,” Kirk backpeddled. “Spock’s a qualified command officer, it’s just he’s the XO type, not so much the Captain type.”

T’Pring raised one eyebrow. “That does not make sense. Is not the first officer the one who replaces the captain if necessary?”

“Yeah, but the idea is not to have to replace the captain,” Kirk joked. “Look, the captain is in charge of the ship in general, and makes the big decisions. And he needs to be the kind of guy you follow without question. But it’s the XO who keeps things running, deals with all the minor disciplinary issues, things like that, and Spock, he was born for it.”
Spock leaned forward, just slightly, curious to hear why Jim thought he was a good executive officer.

“Look the XO is the bad guy” Kirk explained. “Say some ensign forgets to monitor the power cycle on the dilithium crystals and now the Enterprise can’t go above warp one for the next twelve hours while they recharge. You want a guy like Spock talking to the ensign. ‘Cause here’s this guy who seems like he’s never made a mistake in his life, and was probably charging dilithium crystals in his crib, and he’s not even yelling at you. He’s just pointing out calmly and logically every mistake you made and how to fix it in future, and that’s just. . . terrifying. I mean you have an XO like that, and you have a crew that’s extra careful and scared of making a mistake just to avoid a lecture from Mr. Spock.” Jim ended his little speech with a broad smile on his face as if he couldn’t wait for the first such mistake to be made.

“Commander Spock,” T’Pau spoke up. “We are not military and not acquainted with the running of a starship. Is the Captain’s characterization of your roles accurate?”

Spock rose to address the Council. “The Captain is correct in his breakdown of the executive officer’s duties. However, I would not characterize myself as terrifying. When I have had to discipline a fellow officer in the past, I have always striven to make the encounter purely professional.”

The other Vulcans nodded, but Spock was sure he heard McCoy snicker in the background.

“My point exactly,” Kirk added, still grinning.

“You’re point is taken,” T’Pring said, a little shortly. Clearly this line of questioning had not gone as she hoped. “There is another matter I wished to ask you about, Captain. What orders did you give to the rescue party on the Nightingale?”

“Let’s see,” Kirk said trying to remember. It was clearly not a question he had expected. “We established a safe transport point. The other members of the team were to bring any survivors to that point so we could safely transport them to the Enterprise.”

“And were there any instructions on how far a member of the rescue team was to go save one of the survivors?” T’Pring asked.

“I told them to remember their training,” Kirk said vaguely.

“And what does Starfleet training say about risking your life to save another?” T’Pring pushed him.

Kirk sighed. “The first rule of any rescue operation is not to need to get rescued yourself. It only endangers other members of the rescue party and Starfleet considers the lives of all its officers valuable.”

“And did Lt. Uhura follow this guideline on the Nightingale?” T’Pring asked.

“No, she did not,” Kirk shook his head. “She risked her own life, and I had to pull her out of there.”

“Thank you Captain, that is all I have.” T’Pring finished.

She looked at Spock, but he merely shook his head. He had no questions to ask the Captain.

T’Pring turned her chair to face the Council. “I would now like to question Lt. Nyota Uhura, also of the starship Enterprise.”

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