Into the Valley ~ Stories, an Outtake #Uhura

Previously ~ All in the Family

A/N: During the original publication back ino 2009, Livejournal supremelurker asked me to write an outtake sharing one of Amanda's "stories" about Spock.

Spock led his mother and girlfriend into his dorm where, fortunately, his roommate was absent. Not that he didn’t think Hikaru was good enough to meet his mother; he just didn’t think it best if he met her now.

Amanda grinned broadly at her son’s room; to the right she saw the evidence of an obviously human roommate. His walls were plastered with posters of long dead musicians—Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Daft Punk, Atari Teenage Riot, Glassjaw—his blue comforter was a tousled mess, and his shoes were haphazardly strewn across the blue rug by his bed. There was a blue lava lamp on his nightstand (Heavens, these kids really take their house colors seriously!) which cast an eerie, distorted glow upon the room.

To the right was all the evidence of her dutifully Vulcan son. She snickered to see his immaculately smooth blankets (even though she knew he hadn’t been expecting her), his barren white walls, and the neat little altar at the foot of his bed. She laughed aloud at once.

“Oh, Nyota,” she giggled, “that altar’s just like the one Spock had when he was little. Reminds me of when he was about six years old—”

“Mother,” her son whispered, dark eyes imploring from a blanching face which clearly struggled to remain neutral, “I fail to see the necessity for telling this particular story.”

“Oh, it’s harmless, dear,” she dismissively waved, taking Nyota’s hand and leading her to sit down on Spock’s bed. “See, Sarek made him say prayers every night before bed, and as you know, Vulcan writing is so very beautiful—even the prayers for children are exquisitely written. When Spock was six, his favorite prayer went something like, ‘O Surak, Surak, wisest and most impassive of all the Forebears; kindly watch over this devout and humblest student…’or some such—you get the gist.”

As Nyota nodded, she heard Spock mumble, “Mother, I would prefer if you did not—”

“Hush, darling,” Amanda rolled her eyes, “It’s not that big a deal. So anyway,” she went on cheerfully, her hands delightfully animated, “Spock had this adorable speech impediment at the time which would later take a full year of therapy to correct. So every night, when I walked by his little bedroom, I’d hear this tiny voice reciting, ‘O Thuwak, Thuwak, withetht and motht impathiwe of awll the Forebearth; kindly watch ower thith dewout and humbletht thudent—’”

Nyota doubled over laughing before she could stop herself. When she caught a glimpse of her boyfriend out her tear-filled eyes, she saw him blush an almost toxic shade of green. That didn’t help at all. Nor did Amanda’s laughter. The two females laughed and laughed while Spock tightly shuddered nearby. He was all the more thankful his roommate hadn’t been around to hear that. Nyota would at least keep silent, but Hikaru….

“Oh, Nyota,” Amanda sighed, wiping her tears when she finally caught her breath, “so when do I get to meet your mother?”

Spock’s eyebrow raised as his blush withdrew; he tilted his head to the side, obviously intrigued by the thought. Nyota’s head suddenly filled with flashes of her chatty mother arriving in her prehistoric shuttle, and all laughter fled her chest.

“Never,” she answered immediately.

Next ~ The Praetor's Son

Into the Valley ~ All in the Family #Uhura

Previously ~ Amanda

Hikaru Sulu of Laidley House, please report to the Lobby. Repeat: Hikaru Sulu of Laidley House, please report to the Lobby. You have a visitor. Repeat: You have a visitor.”

Hikaru looked up from his homework and blinked. Next to him, Jim and Lenny stiffened in unison. All around them, the Hodges House Library went deathly silent. Quietly, Hikaru rose, signed off his personal computer and started walking out alone. One student started singing Darth Vader’s theme; another jumped in, and one by one the Hodges students added their voices in a carefully layered harmony. By the time he exited the room, the students had transformed into a resounding chorus.


Hikaru scowled as he made his way down into the Foyer. There was a single person waiting for him, regally clad in a red and black Starfleet uniform.

Hikaru twitched. Fuck me….

“Karu?” she turned to face him. Her hair was elegantly pulled away from her face, and she wore her makeup subtly. She laughed when she saw him. “Love the hair. And the uniform—schoolboy much?”

“Hiroka,” he twitchingly greeted his older sister. “I didn’t know you were beaming in.”

She shrugged. “The ‘rents asked me to check on you before I ship out. The Archer departs in two days for the Illias System. We won’t be back for a month.”

“Well, I’m here,” he said awkwardly, “and…I’m fine, so….”

“So,” Hiroka chuckled, “show me your room, show me your classrooms. I dunno…introduce me to your accomplices.”

He scowled. “That’s not funny.”

Into the Valley ~ Amanda #Uhura

Previously ~ Hikaru and the Headmistress

Amanda Grayson was a stunningly beautiful woman, and Nyota immediately saw the resemblance. Spock had her dark eyes, so human, so full of feeling. She was a tall, dark-haired woman; she wore a sheer veil and an elaborate, heavy Vulcan necklace of gems Nyota had never seen before. She smelled as though she’d just stepped from out of a Vulcan garden; her perfume was sweet with the flora of her husband’s world.

“Spock!” she greeted, her voice high and cheerful. “Did you get taller?”

The Vulcan merely blinked, unsure of what to say as his mother glided over to delicately embrace him.

“Still a bit too skinny for me,” she said lightly, pulling away. “I thought we agreed you start eating more than just plomeek soup for breakfast. Have you tried pancakes?” She turned from her speechless son to his speechless girlfriend.

“You must be Nyota! Nyota Uhura, right? Such a lovely name! Did you like the teas I sent you?” She came over to hug the shocked girl, talking all the while. “Oh, good—I was right. I used to be your size.” She winked. “I brought a few dresses for you; I hope you like them. I want you to look dazzling when we go see Aehallh Aidoann tonight.”

Nyota blinked, recognizing the Romulan. “‘Nightmare Moon?’”

“‘Ghost Moon,’ in this case,” Amanda chuckled gaily. “It’s a Romulan opera Ambassador Mioral introduced me to—so intense.” She looked at her son. “That’s whom your father is with right now. Last week they traveled to the Bolaris System, to Mioral’s moon. See, the Bolaris System isn’t under Romulan jurisdiction, so they couldn’t permanently freeze his property or accounts on Bolaria IX. I haven’t seen Mioral look this happy in weeks. Has N’Tal been made aware she can finally go back to being a spoiled little princess?” she blinked innocently, even as Nyota’s jaw dropped.

Into the Valley ~ Hikaru and the Headmistress #Uhura

Previously ~ Confessions Bitter and Sweet Pt 2

One day earlier

“Crystal, Patrick,” Lenny McCoy cocked his head to the side, “there are very specific rules for taking this shit.” He held up a dark bottle of the tincture, shaking it slightly.

“W-We know,” Patrick stammered, eagerness bright in his eyes. “We’ve heard a lot about this stuff.”

Lenny snorted. “I’m sure you have. Listen up, because I’m only going to say this once. You didn’t get this from me. In fact, you don’t know where you got this. We didn’t have this conversation.  Understood?”

The couple nodded quickly.

“Good,” Lenny continued. “You each take two drops before bed in a drink of your choice. However, before you take this stuff, you have to drink at least eight glasses of water over the course of the day. Trust me when I say you do not want this shit stuck in your circulatory system.”

Again the quick nods.

“I believe we agreed on three boxes of cigs?”

Crystal reached into her purse, pulled them out and handed them to him. Lenny accepted and gave them the tincture.

“So…,” she asked hesitantly, “if no one’s allowed to talk about it, how do kids know where ask for it?”

Into the Valley ~ Confessions, Bitter and Sweet, Pt 2 #Uhura

Previously ~ Confessions, Bitter and Sweet, Pt 1

“What?” Nyota demanded, so loudly and clearly he had to stop.

“Hikaru and Lenny created a tincture from a modified talon tree,” he rasped breathlessly, his head swimming and unable to think clearly. “Many students have been taking it, including us. We’re safe, Nyota. We don’t have to worry about conception.”

“I don’t recall agreeing to take any tincture of….” She trailed off as realization dawned. “The tea,” she gasped. “What’s that you once said about men serving women?”

The growing direness of the situation began to clear his head. All passion and heat soon vanished as Nyota pulled from him slowly.  He didn’t dare stop her.


“You poisoned me,” she bit out, as her eyes began to tear.

“No, no,” he shook his head quickly, now panicking with her. His heart thudded in his side as he dreaded what could happen next. “I monitored our blood chemistry, I kept the doses mild—it was safe! It was the only way!”

“Only way?” she asked, her voice shriveled and racked with sobs. She continued to back away from him. “So that what? So that we could—”

“We want each other,” he protested. “Remember? But we had…concerns. It’s torture, Nyota, utter torture to look at you, touch you, but not have you! It’s not fair!”

“And you couldn’t tell me? You didn’t even ask if it was what I wanted, or how I wanted!” She was out of the tub now, clumsily hiding herself behind a tiny towel.  “You poisoned me!"

Into the Valley ~ Confessions, Bitter and Sweet, Pt 1. #Uhura

Previously ~ Thoughts and Notions

Eventually Nyota left the table first, mumbling something about needing to study. Spock didn’t dare follow her. Vira and Hikaru excused themselves soon after, no doubt to go wreak havoc somewhere, and then finally it was Spock’s turn to flee.

Unfortunately, he didn’t make it back to his dorm before N’Tal caught up with him. Before he knew it, they were alone on the Laidley House turbolift.

“Why did you not tell her?” she demanded without ceremony. “You risked losing your human by remaining silent.”

Spock opted for honesty. Lying by omission hadn’t exactly done wonders for him today.

Without looking at her he replied, “Nyota would not have approved of our spending time together.”

“So you risked losing her…just to see me?”

“I wanted you to know me better,” he said tightly. “I needed you to know that I am more…than just my father’s money.”

If he expected N’Tal to protest her innocence or defend her actions, he was sorely disappointed.

Into the Valley ~ Thoughts and Notions #Uhura

Previously ~ Girls on Top

Two weeks later

Student’s Log, Nyota Uhura reporting.

Peace and quiet have come to Stellar Valley. Now, I don’t mean the rumors are gone. Not here. Not when there’s so much new stuff going on. Spock and I have been together a whole month now, can you believe it? My mom thinks there’s marriage potential, but I’ve been trying to nip that nonsense in the bud.

However, I’ll admit sometimes that I wonder….

Anyway, school is going great. I aced most of my exams, but I have to admit that my communications engineering courses have been a bit tetchy. Thankfully, that senior TA—Scotty?—has been a great tutor. Granted he’s a bit of a dry alcoholic, but the guy still knows his stuff.

In the meantime, we’ve been seeing a new side of N’Tal. She, like, laughs now. Jim’s been really good for her and quite frankly, no other guy could’ve handled N’Tal. She would have walked all over Hikaru and Spock. Lenny would’ve probably been driven to poison her and make it look like an accident.

Vira and Hikaru are getting the most whispers these days. They, like, fit. Really fit. Most people don’t get Spock and me, and no one wants to even touch the Jim-and-N’Tal sitch, but Vira and Hikaru really…fit.

She’s helping him ace senior level biochemistry and he’s helped her unleash her inner diabolical genius. Apparently, they joined forces to rig the Holderby Hall ventilation system to flood floors 2 through 4 with nitrous oxide. Kids were laughing so hard in the halls that there was an actual piss-fest.

Into the Valley ~ Girls on Top #Uhura

Previously ~ Settling Dust

Vira Zwan cursed her own integrity. If she didn’t feel the nagging need to fulfill her commitments, she wouldn’t be here in Botany Bay 6 spending her afternoon tending to this damn plant so the guy she liked who didn’t like her back could give it as a present to his roommate who apparently was a magnet to every goddamn girl in the universe.

I like Hikaru. He likes N’Tal. N’Tal likes Spock. Spock likes Nyota.

What kind of hell was this? In what universe did this make sense? What did things have to fall this way?

I like Hikaru; he’s perfect for me. He likes N’Tal; she’s beyond wrong for him him. She likes Spock, who is waaaaay too good for her. He likes Nyota, who’s perfect for him, but his father may not approve.


Why couldn’t people be more like numbers? Every equation had a solution; in the end, the numbers and symbols always worked things out. Why couldn’t Hikaru minus N’Tal simply equal Hikaru and Vira happily in love?  Why couldn’t people be less complicated?

Was it like this for adults? Or did things magically wear off once people got older? How did adults meet, fall in love, and stay together? Why was it so easy for them and so complicated for kids? Were adults less attracted to all things shiny and new? Did men prefer reasonable women over bitches?
Just how exactly did they make things happen?

Into the Valley ~ Settling Dust #Uhura

Previously ~ Tantrums

“So…let me get this straight,” Nyota rubbed her temples wearily. “You wanted to impress Hikaru and get closer to him by becoming insanely, impossibly, intolerably high?”

The Trill raised her throbbing head from her pillow and glared at her roommate. Nyota had been right to fear Vira’s falling into a coma; after her outburst in the mess hall she’d come back to their room and passed out for several hours.

“For the millionth time: yes, Ny.”

Vira was lying on her stomach in her rumpled uniform on her purple bed, looking like a plague-ridden zombie. Her golden-brown skin bore a sickly yellow tint, and her dark eyes seemed to have trouble focusing. Her long, twisting purple hair clearly needed to be redone.

She’s a total wreck!

Nyota’s lips twitched, threatening to smirk. It was always the unexpected things about the Trill which were so endearing. “And while you were playing a round of Puff the Magic Dragon with the boys, it never occurred to that brilliant little mind of yours that Andorian dream leaf just maybe, possibly, could have adverse affects on Trill physiology?”

“This isn’t about Trill physiology!” Vira snapped, and then winced. Lowering her voice to keep her head from shattering, she mumbled, “At my old school, lots of kids smoked the stuff.” She added miserably, “I just never realized I was allergic.”

Into the Valley ~ Tantrums #Uhura

Previously ~ No Fury

The best thing about Andorian dream leaf was it how it could be so…comforting. Vira Zwan inhaled deeply, not even sure how many hits she’d had. She just exhaled serenely and passed the bong to Lenny.

“So,” Jim coughed, “I take it you have a thing for Hikaru.”

She was too high to blush. Instead, she dreamily murmured, “Yeah? So what?”

“Must be hard, then, watching that Romulan crack her whip…seeing how he goes running when anyone so much as says her name.”

His words pierced her warm, fuzzy haze, causing the slightest twitch.

“It rankles,” she mumbled, still very high.

“You know, I hate to admit it, but sometimes,” Jim yawned. “Sometimes guys like a rough girl, you know? A real bad apple, with a naughty aftertaste.” He winked. Unlike Hikaru’s wink, Jim Kirk’s did nothing for her.

Into the Valley ~ No Fury #Uhura

Previously ~ The Vagina Monologues

“And…why were you bleeding again?”

Spock paused for a moment, as though considering not telling Nyota what happened in the holodeck. But then something instinctively told him it would go better for him if he were just honest with her.
Or at least…partially honest. Vulcans tended to handle complete honesty a bit better than humans.

So he told of how he went to his usual training session, only to find the Romulan waiting for him. He, ahem, briefly described their fight, and skipped entirely over the Pon Farr conversation. He didn’t want to keep her in the dark forever, but he didn’t want to discuss that with N’Tal hanging over everyone’s heads.

Oddly enough, his girlfriend remained calm. “I bet Hikaru helped her pull it off; it has him written all over it,” she reasoned. “He told her where and when you’d be training, and then hacked the system for her.” Nyota chuckled. “He probably thought it would be funny.”

It was astounding how humans could suddenly embrace logic when given disturbing news. Then again, she didn’t know the whole story.

“Indeed he may have,” the Vulcan nodded grimly. “I underestimated the thrall she has him under.”

“That may not entirely be it,” Nyota giggled. “I think some of it had to do with him wanting to irk you in a way. This is Hikaru we’re talking about.”

Into the Valley ~ The Vagina Monologues #Uhura

Previously ~ Hru'Fir

“You should talk to him, Ny,” Vira tried to soothe her roommate. “I mean, it’s Spock. You know he means it when he says he’s sorry.”

“Maybe I’m getting tired of hearing, ‘I’m sorry,’” Nyota sighed miserably. She was up and dressed in her uniform, wearing her desert flower perfume, but not entirely sure why she even bothered. Already she had skipped breakfast, in hopes that her outburst in Laidley House the day before would be forgotten. She was crossing her fingers, praying N’Tal had done something new to warrant attention.

“I get it,” her roommate assured her. “He’s a Vulcan, a member of an intellectually enlightened species. He grasps things fully even as he learns them—except this.”

“Why this, though?” Nyota cried. “You’d think that with a history like his, filled with treacherous lords and ladies, epic battles, tale after tale of savage passion—”

“But that’s Ancient Vulcan, Ny,” Vira reminded her. “Spock is a modern Vulcan. He’s been taught all his life to repress these feelings—that’s seventeen years. Did you really think he’d overcome them in a matter of a week?” She rose from her bed, smoothing her dress and patting her hair. “I have to go now, but promise me you won’t cancel your date with him tonight?”

“Fine,” Nyota sighed. “Where are you off to?”

Vira gave a sad smile. “I agreed to help Hikaru with a botanical project, remember? The plant sample he wanted arrived this morning.” Pause. “He’s already agreed to meet me in Botany Bay 6.”

“Carry some pepper spray,” Nyota warned, “in case he’s got the Romulan in tow.”

Into the Valley ~ Hru'Fir #Uhura

Previously ~ The Eris Effect


With N’Tal came the good and the bad. The whispers were directed towards her now, as where the looks in the mess hall. It was a great relief for Nyota not to have all the attention. When she ate meals with Spock or went to his dorm for a few pleasurable minutes, no one noticed. No whispered. They had N’Tal to whisper about now.

She’s a spy; I bet you she’s a spy. She’s going to soak up a bunch of Federation training and then take it back to Romulus.

Her dad is totally playing the Federation. Romulans are too patriotic to defy the Empire.

Is it just me or has Hikaru totally devolved into slave boy mode? I hear he carried her padds for her all day.

Did you hear what N’Tal did in warp theory? She cursed out the professor when he corrected her algorithms and actually flung a model engine at his head.

Did you hear what N’Tal did in Intro to Klingon History? She told the professor Klingons were dogs and said that, like humans, they’re a complete waste of skin.

Did you hear what N’Tal did? Did you hear what N’Tal said? Everyone asked. Everyone wanted to know. By Friday night the Romulan was starring in every single rumor at Stellar Valley.

 “So you going to Spock’s room?” Vira asked, as Nyota sprayed on her flower and desert perfume.

“Yeah, but don’t worry,” Nyota snorted. “I’ll be back in a minute.”

Into the Valley ~ The Eris Effect #Uhura

Previously ~ Bitten

Dinner arrived and the girls primped for the mess hall. Excitedly, they applied each other’s makeup and giggled about the boys they liked. As 1830 hours drew close, Nyota smiled brightly at her friend and said, “I have a surprise for you.” She went over to her bed and reached under her pillow to retrieve a gift she had replicated earlier that day.

“I think this would look really good on you,” she said, clasping it around her roommate’s neck. “The necklace is made from ivory—replicated of course, but the stones are real tanzanite. You know, to match your hair. And the ivory really brings out the golden brown in your skin.”

“Thanks, Ny!” the Trill exclaimed. “I actually have a present for you too!” She went to her bed and reached under her pillow to retrieve a small bottle of amber liquid. Before Nyota could speak, Vira began to spritz it all over. It smelled faintly of flower and desert.

“I know you’ve missed wearing perfume since you started going with Vulcan,” she grinned, “so I did some research. Spock was born in the city of Shi’Kahr. This is derived from one of the more prominent flowering plants in that entire region. This way, whenever he smells you, he’ll feel at home.”

Nyota was deeply touched. Vira’s ingenious nature once again endeared her to Nyota, who was beginning to think maybe Vira’s isolation wasn’t entirely her fault.

“Thanks, V,” she said softly, and the girls hugged.

“So, shall we go?” Nyota suggested, eyes twinkling with mischief.

“I suppose,” Vira sighed, linking arms with her roommate. “The boys are waiting.”

Into the Valley ~ Bitten #Uhura

Previously ~ N'Tal

Hikaru Sulu prided himself on being able to think on his feet. It was how he functioned; it was how he survived. Sure, he was a bit of a nerd, and yes, he could be ornery and underhanded, but these traits worked well together because there was a third part of his brain which always knew what to think.

Except now.

The new student was indeed a Romulan. Feral-eyed, with long, wild black hair with pointed ears poking through, and deep, rich olive skin glowing in the light of early morning, N’Tal was one of the most striking girls Hikaru had ever seen.

“Striking” being the operative word here.

Awkwardly clad in her white uniform blouse and her black and plaid skirt, she scowled deeply at him as he approached her in the promenade, no doubt under the watchful eyes of Jim and Lenny.

“Let me guess,” she hissed at him, before he could even say hello, “you are the spineless, weakling veruul sent to educate me about this human-infested Areinnye.”

It was like being hit with a sudden fever.


Into the Valley ~ N'Tal #Uhura

Previously ~ People with Agendas

“Class,” Professor Vladimir grandly greeted them, “today I need a volunteer to read ze Song of T’Lao. Any volunteers?”

Nyota eagerly raised her hand. She hadn’t ever read much of Slaris of Vulcan before, but she’d decided she liked him a lot. Slaris was already an old, graying man when he wrote the Song of T’Lao, some seven hundred years after the death of Surak. Slaris’s written tone reflected his age; she imagined him to be a kindly and gentle man.

“Miss Uhura, proceed.”

Nyota started reading aloud with a joyous song in her heart.

“I sing of T’Lao
Beauteous queen and consort to Goval
His Majesty of the South
Her hair and eyes, like starless night
Though her body ever ailing
—And never a courtier knowing why

“Cup to cup, Their Majesties sat
Enthroned and enchanted by minstrels a hundred
None but Goval poured his queen’s tea at sunset
None but Goval served her plomeek at dawn
None but Goval sat by her death-bed, lyre in hand
Singing heart-killing songs of good-bye

“Indeed, His Majesty played
Accompanied by a tender maiden’s hands
Shir’kanna, the ancients named the maid
Whose sweet voice was a hallowed dirge
Filling T’Lao’s royal chamber
Draped in new gowns, the maiden sang

“Ah, love betrayed!
Such sorrow unrivaled
Such beauty and grace unavenged
Tender T’Lao, sickly and dying
With none but her husband
Keeping all else at bay.”

Nyota sat back, grinning. This poem was cake; did they even need to analyze this one? “He poisoned her, didn’t he?” she grinned to Professor Vladimir. “Goval was poisoning his wife and no one figured it out.”

Into the Valley ~ People with Agendas #Uhura

Previously ~ No Good Deed....

“Whoa,” Lenny raised his hands in protest, “whoa, Spock; what you’re suggesting is seriously dangerous. There’s a reason why your ancestors called it the ‘talon tree.’ Granted, I’m a stoner, not a scientist, but if I recall correctly, the cilliodioxin present in the root of the talon tree has been known to kill humanoids. It tends to react negatively with our myriad circulatory systems, congealing the blood in some of us, and fatally thinning it in others.”

Once more, he got the “look” from the other boys. Sometimes Lenny McCoy got the impression they thought he was the village idiot or something. It was as though they kept forgetting the fact that even though he did get held back last year…he was still here. Like, did it ever occur to them there was an actual reason for that?

“Anyhoo, let’s not forget that a rak’charan isn’t a mere flower or primarily subterranean plant like a potato or a beet—it’s a tree,” Hikaru returned to the conversation. “I think the horticultural staff will notice a big friggin’ tree growing in one of the botanical bays.”

“Can’t you initiate genetic re-sequencing to breed a smaller, less toxic version?” the Vulcan suggested.

“Yes, but that would require the careful experimentation of a scientific genius, Spock!” Hikaru cried.

All the boys looked at one another at the same time before yelling in unison,


Into the Valley ~ No Good Deed.... #Uhura

Previously ~ What's the Difference Between a Slut and a Tease?

Spock blinked, trying to think and slow his breathing. He stared at her for several seconds, as though she’d uttered her objection in an unfamiliar language.

“What?” he asked finally.

Nyota was a torrent of emotions. She was afraid he would ignore her objection. She was terrified he would respect it, but then never speak to her again. And she was turned on—intensely.

Tears welled in her eyes and threatened to run down the sides of her head.

“I said,” she choked out with difficulty, “we need to stop.”

Disbelief spread out clearly across his face. For several moments he simply looked at her, even as his body still pinned hers to his bed. Slowly, the disbelief turned to confusion.

“I do not understand,” he admitted finally. “Do I do something wrong?”

“No,” she assured him quickly. “You were doing everything right—too right, in fact.”

“So you enjoyed my ministrations?”

Nyota swallowed tensely. “Yes.”

“And yet you asked me to stop,” he blinked, clearly not understanding. Whoever had been educating him about sex and girls had clearly forgotten to mention this part.

Into the Valley ~ What’s the Difference Between a Slut and a Tease? #Uhura

Previously ~ “Self-Soothing” for Dummies – Vulcan First Edition

The “Slut”

“I’m never speaking to him again.”

“It will be all right.”

“I can’t do this anymore. Our relationship is over. I never, ever want to see him again!”

“You’re overreacting. He misses you, you know; at some point you’ll have to answer his messages. People are already forgetting about that whole…mess. They’re now worried about the two of you. You’d be surprised to know how many people liked the thought of you two together. You were the paradigm of interspecial harmony.”

“No, you don’t understand! They heard him saying my name when he did it. The whole school is talking! I have never had so many people paying this much unwanted attention to me. They give me looks like…like…you remember that Orion chick? Gaila What’s-Her-Face? Those looks—I’m getting those looks!”

“You’re imagining things,” Vira Zwan cajoled, reaching out to gently stroke the quivering shoulders.

“No one thinks you’re a slut. No one even thinks you’re sleeping with Spock—it’s preposterous. You need rest, a proper night’s rest, in a real bed. Maybe if you started sleeping in your dorm room again—”

“Damn it, Vira!” Hikaru Sulu yelled, his face distraught and his hair wild from spending the night on a couch in Buskirk’s lounge. “I didn’t come here for advice, so could you not be a friggin’ know-it-all for thirty goddamn seconds?”

Into the Valley ~ “Self-Soothing” for Dummies – Vulcan First Edition #Uhura

Previously ~ The Ex-Files

A/N ~ This was the favorite chapter.  It drew more LOLs than any other.

“I cannot believe I’m actually doing this.”

Hikaru sat on his bed, hands between his knees, head miserably hanging down. Across from him, on his own bed, Spock lay on his back, eyes closed as instructed, and hands dutifully lying at his side.

“Belief is irrelevant,” Spock reminded him. “We had a wager. I wagered that Nyota would not be upset by my oral mel—kiss—with Vira. I spoke with her in Vulcan Literature this morning and not only did she already know about the kiss, she was not upset. You wagered she would be, and you lost. Now you have to…‘pay up.’”

“Spock,” Hikaru groaned uncomfortably, “please don’t make me do this. This is So. Not. Human.”

“On the contrary,” Spock countered, almost robotically, “I have heard other male students—Jim Kirk included—discuss the group form of self-soothing; in ancient times, humans referred to it as some sort of circle.”

Knowing exactly what Spock was referring to, Hikaru shuddered. “Man,” he cried desperately, “can’t you just ask for something else?”

“Negative. Please proceed as per our agreement.”

Into the Valley ~ The Ex-Files #Uhura

Previously ~ Aftermath

The Boys

“I am not going to teach you how to masturbate.”

Spock merely blinked at his clearly appalled roommate; he was too confused to be offended by the crudeness of that statement. “Hikaru, I was merely inquiring as to how human males—”

“Look, I know we’re close,” Hikaru cut him off, hands raised in panic as if to ward him off, “and I’m flattered that you trust me, and I am so glad we get along. But this…this is going too far. If we don’t end this conversation now, it could seriously fuck up our relationship.”

“I’m merely trying to understand the adolescent human male ritual of…self-soothing,” Spock finished delicately. “What is its true purpose? How is it done? Why is it such a necessity for human functioning?”

“Why the hell are you asking?” Hikaru hadn’t meant to sound so shrill, but the Vulcan was sincerely freaking him out. And the really bewildering part was that Spock, despite all that brainpower, couldn’t even realize what he was doing. To him, things were either cultural or clinical, with no human in between.

“If I am to understand my human half, should I not be more participatory in traditional human male activities?” Spock asked. “So far, my willingness to indulge certain human customs has produced satisfactory results, therefore the reasonable course of action would be to explore them further. The flower, for example, seemed to charm Nyota. The wine allowed her to better understand my time on Illias Prime, thereby bringing us closer together—bonding us, if you will. And the traditional ‘goodnight kiss’—”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!” Hikaru stopped him. For a moment, he stared at his roommate, unable to recognize him. “You kissed Nyota?”

Into the Valley ~ Aftermath #Uhura

Previously ~ Niorah Plak

The Girls

“You cried?”

For a split second, Nyota was seriously afraid her roommate was going burst a blood vessel.


“You cried?”




“Was the universal translator, like…malfunctioning this morning or something?”


“‘Don’t cry! Don’t! Cry! Do not cry!’ Exactly what part of ‘don’t cry’ did you not understand, Nyota?!”

Into the Valley ~ Niorah Plak #Uhura

Previously ~ Guy Talk, Girl Talk


One minute she was all smooth-groove, and utterly invincible, and the next, Nyota found herself back at square one.

As 1000 hours grew closer and closer, her body’s behavior became increasingly annoying. As she slipped on her uniform (since Spock found it logical to wear the same thing every day, so would she), the crisp white blouse felt too tight, and the purple and black plaid skirt seemed too high. She knew it wasn’t the uniform that had changed; it was the circumstances. He was going to be looking at her, talking to her, possibly even kissing her goodbye at the end of the date, thereby potentially triggering a violent mating cycle, and the mere thought of it all left her feeling naked and exposed.

Where was her resolve? Two days of self-confidence and willpower—gone. Already she was wondering how dark the auditorium would be, how close they’d be sitting, and if Niorah Plak was going to be even remotely interesting enough to distract her from his presence.

And her roommate so wasn’t helping right now.

“…now,” the Trill was saying, and she seemed just as nervous as her friend, “remember: no touching.”

Nyota stopped in the middle of clasping on a necklace of replicated bone set in Bolian silver. She swiftly turned to stare at Vira in bewilderment. “No touching? At all?”

“He’s a touch-telepath, remember?” Vira stomped her foot impatiently. “We don’t know how mature his abilities are, but what we do know is that we don’t want him knowing your thoughts while you’re sitting next him on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”

Into the Valley ~ Guy Talk, Girl Talk #Uhura

Previously ~ The Softer Side of Science

Later that afternoon, the boys decided to get together for an “herbal session.” As the smoke and smell of burnt leaves filled the Laidley dorm room, a single irritable voice stated, “There are too many damn rules at this school.”

“What’s wrong, Jim?” Hikaru snickered. “Still can’t get the replicators to make contraceptives?”

“Precisely,” Jim complained. “Which means that when I hook up with your cousin—”

Hikaru coughed out his interruption, “You will never hook up with my cousin.”

Jim Kirk’s lips bore confident sneer. “Sure about that? ‘Cause it’s a Mission Impossible you’ve got going on there, bro. Face it; you’re going down.”

“You wish,” Hikaru snorted, passing the bong to Lenny McCoy. He had to jab the bong into the poor boy’s chest a couple of times to wake him. Lenny woke with a start before accepting the bong.

“You know, bro,” Jim suggested, eyebrow raised, “you might wanna cut back.”

Lenny ignored him and took a deep hit instead.

“So anyway, I’m ahead,” Hikaru relished. “Spock already asked Nyota Uhura out. They’re going to the holodeck this Saturday.”

Lenny choked on the smoke while Jim’s jaw hit the floor.

Over on his bed, nestled in the corner with a book, the Vulcan in question sighed loudly. While his roommate was well aware of the fact he did not like being spoken of as though he wasn’t in the room, Hikaru always persisted in doing so, as though he were attempting to provoke an emotional response. Normally, Spock would ignore him, however, this time another person was involved and he didn’t want to subject her to fresh rumors.

“Hikaru,” he began clearly, “it is not a ‘date.’ Vulcans do not date.”

“Aha!” Jim shouted. “Loser! Give me your cousin’s frequency right the hell now!”

Instead, Hikaru slyly turned his head slightly to the right, asking over his shoulder, “Spock? Does Nyota know this little trip you planned isn’t a date?”

The Vulcan paused for a moment, before inquiring, “Why would she think it’s a date?”

“Because she likes you, and you asked her to be your only guest to the holodeck,” his roommate snickered.

“And therein lies the flaw in your logic,” came the dry reply. “Nyota is not attracted to me and school regulations only allow two students at a time to participate in recreational holodeck activities.”

“Not if you reprogram the biosensors in the central simulation processor to ignore additional lifesigns,” Lenny choked out. “A standard hexadecimal algorithm should do the trick, now that I think about it.” For a split second, sheer silence filled the room, with all eyes on the only student ever to be held back at Stellar Valley. It was as though the Klingon tobacco he smoked last year had made him dumber, while the Andorian dream leaf was now having a reverse effect. The silence ended with Lenny coughing for a moment before passing the bong to a wide-eyed Jim.

“Anyhoo,” Hikaru redirected, “I’ve spoken with her. She does find you attractive, Spock, and very much so. She wouldn’t admit it to me, but Vira knows.”

Except for Spock, all the boys looked at one another and chorused, “Vira always knows.”

Spock’s voice came out a bit tight. “But Nyota does not consider our appointment a ‘date.’ Need I remind you that I’ve been bonded to a Vulcan female who awaits my eventual return home? For me to even attempt to pursue a romance with another female would be—”

“—illogical,” the boys finished together. The Vulcan raised an eyebrow. Was triangular telepathy a side effect of Andorian dream leaf as well? The corners of Spock’s mouth twitched, but he masterfully resisted the smile. Just as their abysmal leaf smoke was rubbing off on his clothing, he himself appeared to be rubbing off on them.

“You’re evading,” Hikaru accused playfully, repacking the bong. “You haven’t said anything about how she feels.” He lit up and took another long draw.

“I cannot say anything when all I have to go on is hearsay, Hikaru.” Spock swung his legs over the edge of his bed and leaned in, but not so much that he’d get a good whiff.

“Evading,” Lenny yawned, taking the bong from Hikaru. “Spock, do you think she’s hot or not?”

All heads turned toward him, and they could swear they saw him flinch. Their slightly glazed eyes were still clear enough to bore holes into him.

“I am…flattered, by her attentions,” Spock admitted. “Nyota is an intelligent and insightful person.”

“Like your mother,” Hikaru shrugged, his voice light. Even though he was facing Lenny and Jim, he could practically feel Spock’s whole body going rigid behind him. The Vulcan was probably trying to decide whether to feel insulted or informed.

“I will admit,” came the tentative, measured response, “that Nyota’s personality does bear some resemblance to that of my mother’s.”

Hikaru nodded his head from side to side. “Would explain what your dad saw in her then. Girls like Nyota…they don’t come by the dozens, if you catch my drift. You’ve been taking Vulcan Lit all semester long and not a single girl—or guy—in that class has been able to properly interpret any of the work; you’ve stated this on multiple occasions. But then she comes along and in two days—two days, Spock—she’s analyzing Vulcan Literature better than you!”

He finally turned to face his roommate, who was now visibly perplexed—or at least the Vulcan equivalent.

“You came to Earth, of your own free will. Your continued stay is in direct defiance of your father’s wishes.” By Spock’s slight wince, Jim could tell Hikaru’s words had hit close to home. “Why? What you are looking for that’s so important?”

The Vulcan averted his gaze, swallowing as he carefully considered his response. “I’m not looking for anything—or anyone, Hikaru. I’m seventeen. I have my whole life ahead of me.”

“Exactly. So what’s one harmless date, Spock?” his roommate insisted. “Your father says he married your mother because it was the best way to fully understand the world he was an Ambassador to. No one’s asking you to marry Nyota,” Hikaru added quickly, when Spock would interrupt him. “But if you came to Earth to understand humans better, to understand your mother better and why your father would marry her, wouldn’t it be logical to follow in their footsteps…at least, in a ‘junior’ sense?”

His words were clearly sinking in; Spock’s body language had loosened a little, and he had on his “deep thinking” face. It was a rarely seen expression, as Hikaru rarely ever convinced Spock to do something.

“I supposed,” the Vulcan began falteringly, “that I could pursue…a…a…,” he quickly grasped for an appropriate term, “…an acquaintance with Nyota.” His eyes snapped sternly to his roommate.  “Strictly in an exploratory fashion, of course.”

“Of course,” Hikaru beamed, before triumphantly turning to a gawking Jim Kirk. For him, Hikaru had only two words.

“Keys, bitch.”


Later that evening, Vira joined her roommate in the dorm right before they were to go to dinner. She triumphantly slammed a padd down on Nyota’s bed.

Pon Farr!” she exclaimed, eyes shining.

Her roommate raised an eyebrow. “Pon what?”

“Pon Farr,” Vira clarified, “also known as the Vulcan time of mating. It occurs every seven years in mature Vulcans. It is characterized by a neurochemical imbalance which causes sweating, irritability, and a loss of focus, control, and appetite. Then,” she sat down by Nyota, “the final stage sets in—the plak tow. Translation:—”

“‘Blood fever,’” Nyota rasped. “How’d you find all this?”

“Well,” the Trill drawled, “thanks our original Vulcan bad boy Kurik, the infamous scholar-turned-soldier, I managed to cross-reference his experiences with numerous others—Vulcan diplomats on assignment to interstellar conferences, officers aboard starships, scientists aboard survey vessels—you name it. In each instance, the Vulcan in question came down with a sudden fever and loss of self-control. The attending physician would then note the symptoms of a neurochemical imbalance, but before she or he could continue analysis, the patient would request emergency leave…right before returning to Vulcan.”

Vira knows, Nyota grinned broadly, increasingly amazed by her roommate’s research abilities. Vira always knows!

“The plak tow,” Vira continued gleefully, “is a really cool phenomenon. It’s when a Vulcan’s hormones peak; they become so aroused they actually start going crazy—like full-out insane!”

Each day my mind is fragile and frayed, Kurik had written. Turns out he wasn’t exaggerating.

“And the only thing that can calm them down is…is…well—” Nyota had talked enough about sex for a week; she didn’t trust herself to speak on it anymore.

Of course, Vira on the other hand….

“Copulation quells the madness,” she nodded avidly. “And not just any copulation. We’re talking raw, brutal, anything-goes, beast-like fuc—”

“Vira!” Nyota cried, her face heating. Elsewhere, she felt her body responding to each enunciated syllable. Her roommate’s words from earlier echoed teasingly inside her mind, like a naughty whisper. Vaginal moistening in response to a sexual stimulus is common in most humanoids….

“But, wait!” the Trill exclaimed. “It gets better!”

“No, no,” Nyota nervously shook her and waved her hands. “I think I’ve heard enough about hormones and imbalances for one day.”

“Actually,” Vira laughed, “I was about to mention their mythology.” She picked up the padd tapped a few times. “See, according to a Vulcan philosopher who lived around a hundred and fifty years after the death Surak, Vulcans who followed Surak had renounced the gods of war, passion, and the hunt. They embraced logic, the pacifist philosophy of Nom, strict vegetarianism, and maintained very strict mating practices in an attempt to control and diminish their desires.” The Trill’s dark eyes suddenly gleamed impishly. “But then came the Pon Farr, a time when Vulcans became stripped all of their carefully developed discipline, and this philosopher—Silorian of Gauth—theorized that the Pon Farr was punishment, a penalty exacted by the neglected gods who sought revenge for being abandoned.

"Of course,” Vira chuckled, “Silorian’s work was immediately dismissed as antiquated superstition.”

'The Twilight Scholar’' is a deliberately neglected work in the world of Vulcan literature, Spock had told her. Kurik wrote it the year he turned twenty-one and went to serve under his father, Commander Syal.

“Spock’s seventeen,” Nyota said suddenly. “Does this mean the Time will come when he’s twenty-one or…did he go through it at fourteen or—how does that work now?”

“According to my research, teenaged Vulcans don’t usually go through it. However, he’s half-human, and the first of his kind.” Vira shrugged. “He may go through it sooner or maybe later—or maybe not at all.”

Nyota’s mind was suddenly rushed with images of a trembling Spock trying desperately to hold on to his self-control. His blue tie was loosened, and the top button of his black uniform shirt was unbuttoned, giving the slightest peek of pale, sweaty skin. The effect her imaginings had on her body was something akin to an explosion.


“Which brings me to another issue,” Vira said softly, and Nyota immediately braced herself. Vira in soft-voice, empathetic ‘teacher’ mode was never a good thing. “Human boys are far more hormonal and less controlled than Vulcan boys. Why, statistics on the masturbatory practices of the average human male alone—”


“Sorry, sorry,” the Trill relented quickly, getting back to her original point. “What I’m saying is this: Vulcans don’t masturbate; they meditate. It keeps them calm and in check at all times. But with human males, it’s like Pon Farr Junior all year round. Spock is half-human. If he were to become aroused, it could very well trigger an early onset of Pon Farr which, as a human female, you might not be able to handle.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Nyota blinked. “Um…WTF? Pon Farr is dangerous to me now?”

Vira’s tone turned apologetic. “Vulcans are three times faster and stronger than humans, Ny. They sometimes call Pon Farr ‘the unleashing’ because they can’t control themselves when they mate. All that repressed emotion—seven years’ worth—doesn’t just bubble to the surface; it erupts. Now, it’s one thing when it’s two Vulcans going at it; but with you…Spock could accidentally snap your neck, break your arm, or even completely, like, destroy your pelvis when he’s—”


“But he’d feel really sorry about it!” Vira added quickly.

Nyota stared at her, horrified and agape. “What happened to sweaty, hot forbidden-ness?” she finally asked sheepishly. “I finally learn that Vulcans actually do have a sexy side, only to find out it’s more than I can handle? WTF?”

“Well, Nyota,” Vira said, painful discomfort clouding her eyes, “you’re sixteen. Do you really want to start having sex? They don’t provide contraception to minors for a reason, Ny; it’s a deliberate deterrent to something we shouldn’t be indulging, no matter how much we might want to. You could get pregnant.” Pause. “It would destroy your future…while he could just hop the next ship back to Vulcan, honorable or not.”

Nyota hadn’t thought of that. This wasn’t ancient times, when people were confined not only to one planet, but single continents with a limited set of opportunities. These days, the sky wasn’t the limit, but the universe itself.

Did she really want to risk all that because of a crush?

And it was strange, once she asked herself this. A new confidence infused her; an odd calm comparable to that of a Vulcan came over her for the next two days. She started paying stricter attention in class, taking more detailed notes, participating in discussions, and even going to the Buskirk House library to stay on top of homework.

On Friday, in Vulcan Lit, the class discussed the tragic tale of Princess T’Nani, whose father reigned five hundred years before the time of Surak. T’Nani’s handmaiden was a dedicated and devout servant girl who brought her mistress a handsome lover. The tryst ended up impregnating the Princess, who was to be bonded to a northern King. In despair, fearing shame and the wrath of her father, T’Nani beseeched her handmaiden to help her. So her maid brought her the root of a something called a “talon tree” to kill the unborn child, but T’Nani, in her zeal to free herself, took too much of the root and died.

“Comments?” Vladimir asked the class. “Miss Uhura?”

“That’ll never be me,” she replied flatly, causing the other girls to laugh in agreement and the Vulcan to raise his eyebrow.

Friday ended uneventfully, and Saturday dawned, finally bringing about “the date.”

Next - Niorah Plak

Into the Valley ~ The Softer Side of Science #Uhura

Previously ~ It's Called a "Crush" for a Reason

“It won’t work.”

“It’ll work!”

“It won’t work.”

“Nyota, I’m telling you…it’ll work!”

“Vira, once again, you’re not getting it.” Nyota sat back in her chair, her frustration with the entire world growing by the minute. She’d only been here four days and already she was starting to seriously hate the Valley. “I don’t want to be the hunter here. Call me an old-fashioned female by I prefer to be pursued. I don’t want to be yet another drooling human chasing after the school’s only Vulcan.”

Vira paused, mulling this over for a moment. Nyota resisted the urge to smirk; she knew her roommate was going to have another one of her resolutions very shortly. Her thoughts echoed back to her conversation with Hikaru earlier.

Vira knows. Vira always knows.

Nyota smiled. As if on cue, Vira exclaimed, “Got it!”

Dear, God.

Into the Valley ~ It's Called a "Crush" for a Reason #Uhura

Previously ~ Rumors

Tuesday morning dawned brightly, and Nyota readied herself for her 0900 class, Introductory Romulan. Vira had another one of her long-winded seminars to go to, and she was eager as hell. She couldn’t stop talking about it as they got dressed and fixed their hair.

“…and Dr. Lerik is coming in all the way from Vulcan to talk about the redundancy of Klingon organs. It’s only going to be two hours long, but I can’t wait. He’s even bringing a real Klingon corpse!”

Nyota’s head snapped towards her, almost burning herself with her curling iron. “What?”

“Yeah!” the Trill beamed excitedly. “I’ve never seen an actual Klingon corpse before. I mean, I’ve seen Denobulans, Tellarites, a whole mess of dead of Trills—”

“What?” Nyota asked again, even more appalled than before. “Why he can’t he just use simulations?”

Vira appeared slightly miffed. “Lerik thinks that as future doctors, we will be dealing with the real thing anyway, therefore it is logical to start now and build up our detachment.”

“Thank God I’m just here for the languages,” Nyota cringed. “Honestly, Vira—you amaze me. I’m surprised you can stomach all that stuff.”

“You mean, for example, studying reproductive systems?”

“For example.”

“You know,” Vira drawled, “because they’re an essential part of mating habits.”

“Well, duh,” Nyota muttered absently. She turned off her curling iron and rose to straighten her purple and black plaid skirt. Her white knee socks itched a bit; she was going to have to switch to a different fabric.

“’Cause everyone has mating habits, you know,” Vira smirked. “Including Vulcans.”

Into the Valley ~ Rumors #Uhura

Previously ~ Boys and Girls

Of course she didn’t say no.

Instead, Nyota managed to somehow scramble to her feet, and nervously, wordlessly follow Spock out of the mess hall. At first, she was excited. Then, the fear began to settle in. Did he know about her eavesdropping earlier that day? Did he wish to confront her about it?

They walked for a few minutes in complete silence, and Nyota felt her nervousness suddenly draining from her. It was a strange feeling, but the more she thought about it, the more she realized how hard it was to be nervous around him. He wasn’t just calm, he exuded tranquility. It wafted off him and onto her, like a serene gift.

She could smell the fading scent of Andorian dream leaf; it tickled her imagination, igniting flights of fantasies. She suddenly had visions of Spock on his homeworld, meditating in a temple hall.

…His eyes were closed, the soft candlelight casting a golden glow upon his pale skin, turning his face and pointed ears to a pale olive shade. He looked so peaceful, so utterly composed it was mesmerizing, lulling, spellbinding even.

Spock suddenly shut her fantasy down. “I take it this is your third day in the Valley?” he asked.

“Yes.” She was actually tempted to say, Yes, sir. It was hard not to; he looked so regal with his hands behind his back, his shoulders broad, his back straight, and his gaze level and confidently raised.

“Is the school to your satisfaction?”

“It exceeded my expectations,” she admitted honestly. ‘Exceeded my expections?’ Nyota blinked. She didn’t normally talk like that! What the hell was happening here?

Into the Valley ~ Boys and Girls #Uhura

Previously ~ The Ambassadors's Son

That afternoon, when Vira came to the mess hall for lunch, she found a dazed Nyota sitting alone at a table, staring blankly ahead while her coffee and chicken sandwich grew cold. Vira smirked to herself, figuring Nyota must have had another run-in with the Vulcan. He seemed to have a strange power over Nyota; the mere sight of him seemed to rob the girl of all her brain cells. Vira sauntered over to the nearest replicator, ordered an Idanian meat pie and a black soda before coming to sit with Nyota.

“Well,” she grinned at her roommate, “how was your first day?”

“Awful,” Nyota replied mechanically. Worry slowly began to furrow her brow.

“Can’t be worse than mine,” Vira snickered. “I spent the whole morning studying Enaurian lymph nodes, and this afternoon I have to attend a four-hour seminar on the Vitellian reproductive system.” She sipped her soda. “Try to beat that.”

Nyota’s response was almost robotic. “I think I may have outed myself to my Vulcan Literature class.”

Into the Valley ~ The Ambassador's Son #Uhura

Previously ~ New Girl

Vira helped Nyota immensely over the next few hours. As night slowly descended, Vira showed her some classrooms and the Buskirk lounge. Everywhere they went cold white walls followed them, even in rooms filled with equipment. White walls, gray carpet, no nonsense.

The uniforms at Stellar Valley were mandatory and very old-fashioned. Girls wore plaid skirts and white blouses, and special hosiery during the colder months. Green plaid for Holderby, red plaid for Hodges, purple plaid for Buskirk, and blue plaid for Laidley. Boys wore black slacks and shirts, and ties which also matched their house colors.

“Uniforms are mandatory, except on weekends,” Vira explained as they entered the mess hall for dinner. “Have you replicated yours?”

“Not yet,” Nyota replied, nervously smoothing her green dress. Eyes kept drifting to her; tables of students murmured as she and Vira stood in line at a replicator.

The mess hall was vast, with a wide, glass dome ceiling. The stars sparkled teasingly in the distance, and there was no moon tonight. The replicators were all in one wall and several lines stretched from them. The rest of the mess hall was filled with a sea of white circular tables, and matching chairs.
The room was rather chilly and Nyota suddenly wished she’d brought a sweater with her. Everyone else was dressed for both fall and the weekend; they had on snug fleece sweaters and comfy pajama pants. Most of the students had already gotten their food, and were enjoying hot soups.

“No matter,” Vira assured her, absently. “You have another day before school starts. Too bad we don’t have any classes together.”

“Yeah,” Nyota mumbled, acutely aware of all the eyes on her. There was a sandy-haired, blue-eyed stoner in particular who watched her every move, barely blinking. His friend was practically snoring into his spice pudding.

“What’s your first class on Monday?” Vira asked.

Nyota floundered, racking her brain to remember. “Introduction to Vulcan Literature at 0900. It’s a prereq for the Vulcan cultural course next year.”

“Mmmmm,” Vira nodded, smiling dreamily. “Professor Vladimir’s class. He’s a cutie.”

Into the Valley ~ New Girl #Uhura

A/N  ~ Clearly, I'm becoming an old woman.  It's taken me days to figure out how to work my Microsoft OneDrive to move the necessary files over to the laptop.

It was great to see files I haven't looked at since 2009.  I wrote Into the Valley, fresh off the Spock/Uhura high the new movie had given us that summer.  While my interest in that ship has waned somewhat (I was originally a Sulu/Uhura shipper, for obvious reasons), Into the Valley is highly significant to me for several reasons.

For one, it's my first ever actual fanfiction, published online and everything (back when I was on LiveJournal).  It introduced me to the fanfic world, and the sociology and psychology of fandoms overall.  Secondly, the Spock/Uhura fandom introduced me to my beloved nerd soulmate Amaya, who was later to become my BFF and business partner.  Thirdly, it introduced me to blogging, and you've all seen how that turned out.  Fourthly, writing Into the Valley made me realize that I am by nature a creative humorist; I had originally thought I was a dramatist, but really, I'm a comedian.

And lastly, although it was my very first fic, and I had no idea what I was doing, and no clue what I was getting myself into, Into the Valley was nominated for "Best Humour" in the 2009 Spock/Uhura Awards.  I didn't win, but I didn't need to.  The amusement I brought to many readers (along with the idea of Andorian dream leaf) was reward enough, and it encouraged me to keep doing what I do, and to go on being just me.

Into the Valley features a shout-out to Appalachia, where I was raised, and the four dorms of Marshall University, my alma mater.  And though I incorporated plot elements from 2009 film, my characters were inspired by the original cast from the 1960s, whom in my humble opinion, bear no rivals.  My Spock/Uhura will forever and always be portrayed by the immortal Leonard Nimoy, may he rest in peace, and the incomparably beautiful Nichelle Nichols, the Original Babe of Star Trek, who will look as amazing in her hundreds as she currently does in her 80s, for she is the paradigm of beauty only becoming greater with age.

So with a tearful eye, I present to you Into the Valley in memoriam of an icon.