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.

N’Tal wasn’t using the universal translator; she spoke English fluently but with a thick, beautiful accent in which she heavily rolled her Rs and tauntingly rasped her Ss. Each syllable rolled over him like a wave of danger, and her lashing comment instantly turned him on.

For several seconds, Hikaru simply gawked at her, unable to process anything past her face, with its beautiful full lips, dangerous dark green eyes, and daintily tattooed brow.

“Well?” she snapped, trying wake him from his stupor. “What is it?”

“You are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen,” he answered honestly, without thinking. He was awash with awe and heat, so much he didn’t even blush at his own confession. He couldn’t even blink, as though his eyes feared missing anything in the absence of sight.

N’Tal turned an ever deeper shade of green, whether from anger or from embarrassment. She averted her gaze, even as her breathing remained fast and her hands clenched and unclenched repeatedly by her side.

“You’re just saying that,” she ground out finally.

“No,” he shook his head slowly, still not taking his eyes off her. “I’m not…I mean I’ve never….”

“You’ve never seen one like me before,” she finished sarcastically.

“I have,” he nodded quickly, finally blinking and trying to recover his usually rapid wits. “My roommate is from Vulcan.”

Eneh hwau' kllhwnia na imirrhlhhse!” N’Tal spat harshly. “You dare! Do you even know what a Vulcan is? A Vulcan merely the result of a Romulan cutting off his own balls! Now are you going to start this tour or not, you miserable kllhe?”

Torn between aroused shock and the morbid urge to laugh, Hikaru merely nodded quickly and gestured for her to follow him. He tried to explain things quickly and concisely as they walked.

“You’ve been placed in Laidley House; it’s the place for highly analytical-minded students. It’s my house, actually,” he chuckled nervously, “and our house color is blue.”

“Whatever,” she growled.

“Um, okay…,” Hikaru swallowed nervously. “Um, I understand that engineering is your specialty, so most of your classes will be in the engineering labs. Your first class today is at 0900—Warp Theory 204. Most students find it very challenging; I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”

“Please,” she snorted. “I could probably teach the class.”

“Ooookay,” Hikaru nodded, growing anxious. “Your next class after this is Quantum Physics at 1030 hours.” Terrified pause. “Would you like to have lunch with me at 1230 hours? Viinerine is on the menu today. Your profile says it’s your favorite.”

“My profile says many things,” N’Tal rolled her eyes. The gesture made his chest and stomach tighten the way they hadn’t in a long time. He couldn’t even remember the name of the last girl who made him feel like this.

“Yes, it does,” he replied thickly. “I read that your favorite thing to do is to travel to Kalas Moon in the Kinntar Sector. This weekend, I have two hours of holodeck time reserved. I can recreate Kalas Moon.”

“And can you recreate the midnight breeze?” she snorted. “Can you duplicate the barren green and black valley of rocks? Will I smell the desert blossoms?”

“If it will please you.”

She stopped walking and turned to face him, almost as if in challenge. The moment those dark emerald eyes looked into his, Hikaru felt his whole body go weak. His heart wasn’t smitten; it was bitten by that brazen, unflinching gaze.

“You seem to be trying very hard to please me, kllhe,” she mused. “Are all humans so eager to please?”

“Um, no,” he replied honestly. “That was the other thing I wanted to talk to you about. See, we’re pretty much trapped out here in the mountains, and so the kids tend to get bored quickly. So, over the next few weeks you may notice people staring and whispering about you…a lot.”

“Because I’m a Romulan,” she smirked.

“No, because you’re new,” he clarified. “Humans aren’t the only kids who go here. We have all kinds of non-human students—Federation and beyond—attending Stellar Valley.”

“How quaint,” N’Tal snorted. “But I remain unimpressed. The Lloann’na is infamous for breeding weaklings.”

Hikaru began to rack his brain. Her hotness was undeniable, and once the other kids got past the whole “Romulan” thing, they’d be all over her. He couldn’t have that. He couldn’t have her looking him the way she was now from someone else’s arm—it would kill him.

“What will please you, N’Tal?” he asked her finally. “What I can bring you to make you happy?”

She snickered. “Give me a shuttle and a quick way off this planet. I have no desire to be a skirt-wearing, study hall-attending, mindless, dithering th’ann.”

Hikaru simply blinked at. Note to self: look over your Intro to Romulan notes ASAP.

***

“I thought you were having lunch with Hikaru?” Nyota asked her friend. “Where is he?”

“Still giving the new kid a tour,” Vira shrugged. “But it’s cool; we’re meeting you and Spock for dinner later. Last night, we had a wonderful talk over dinner, and it didn’t involve science at all!”

Nyota smiled brightly for her friend, taking a seat next to her. As soon as she was seated, her smile immediately faded.

“I’m glad you had a good night. Because last night,” she said very lowly, so only her friend could hear, “Spock and I tried to do stuff, and um, he finished…like, quickly.”

Vira’s eyes went wide. “No,” she gasped.

Nyota nodded, clearly horrified. “If Vulcans have superior strength and all, shouldn't their stamina be better too?”

Vira tried very hard not to laugh; her roommate looked genuinely pained about this. “He’s still young, Nyota, and this whole ‘sexual activity’ stuff is fairly new.”

“But he says he masturbates all the time!” Nyota rasped. “Shouldn’t he, like, know how to delay…stuff by now?”

Vira shrugged, nodding from side to side as if weighing things. “could be, could be. But Nyota, when you’re self-soothing, do you drag it out?”

Heated, Nyota looked away. “Not funny, V,” she grumbled. “This sucks! And after he finished, I had to leave ASAP because Hikaru was due back soon. It’s going to be a while before we can have some real alone time and, goddamn it, I’m hungry!”

Vira had to work very hard to say the next words with a straight face. “You know, you could always replicate, like, a cucumber or something to tide you over.”

The look Nyota shot was enough to make the Trill’s body temperature skyrocket. The spotted beauty doubled over laughing, drawing looks from neighboring tables.

***

“…this is Engineering Lab 9 and this is my roommate,” Hikaru introduced N’Tal. “Spock, this is N’Tal. You have warp theory together. If you have dinner with us later, you can meet his girlfriend Nyota.”

Jolan tru,” Spock greeted with slight bow. Hikaru noticed his roommate was extra emotionless today, as though he’d spent the whole night meditating.

N’Tal didn’t waste time with pleasantries. “Vulcan,” she began in crisp Romulan, “do you truly welcome me?”

Be welcome, N’Tal,” Spock assured her neutrally in flawless Romulan.

Your ‘girlfriend,’” she chuckled, “is human, yes?

Yes, she is,” Spock replied, though he could not see what business it was of hers.

Vulcans,” she sneered. “Traitors of the blood, supping and sleeping with the swine of the galaxy.”

You may count yourself amongst traitors, daughter of Mioral,” the Vulcan replied dryly. “Your father defied the Empire, did he not? ‘Twas Vulcans who delivered him from execution, was it not? You are at a human school now, are you not?

Vulcan logic,” N’Tal snarled. Hikaru honestly didn’t know what they were saying, but since N’Tal looked like she wanted to rip out his roommate’s throat, he guessed it wasn’t pleasant. “Twisted in whichever way the speaker chooses. All of you logicians lie to yourselves. You have a human girlfriend, but at seven a hru’fir was given to you, was she not?

“Yes,” Spock said, switching fluidly back to English, “but as my mother is human, her family will no doubt break that promise as soon as possible.”

At his admission, N’Tal’s eyes widened. She even took a step back, as though Spock were some sort of evil being.

“You,” she rasped, stubbornly sticking to her native tongue. “You are the abomination they speak of…spawn of Sarek, the one who married a—”

“Careful, Romulan,” Spock cut in suddenly, his eyes and voice like iron. “The last time a person spoke ill of my mother, the cleaning staff spent the entire evening trying to get his blood out of the carpet.”

“Spock!” Hikaru exclaimed.

“I must remind you,” N’Tal said slyly, not even remotely threatened, “you are amongst their kind now.” She gave a disdainful nod towards Hikaru. “They frown upon males hitting females, even if the two warriors are matched.”

Spock switched back to Romulan, not wanting to anger his roommate further. “And I will remind you that you are no longer among friends. Your precious Empire betrayed and slaughtered many, some whose descendants attend this school. It would be logical to consider that before you take that tone with someone else.” And without further ado, the Vulcan sauntered off.

“What was that all about?” Hikaru demanded, flabbergasted.

“Nothing,” N’Tal hissed. “Your roommate is a handsome one…for one of mixed blood.”

“Yeah, girls like him a lot.”

This surprised her. “Even though he is different?”

“He’s not the only non-human here; I told you.”

“That’s not what I meant,” N’Tal growled. “He is different. He is unfeeling, impassive, and without fire.”

“According to his girlfriend, he has plenty of fire,” Hikaru chuckled.

“Perhaps,” N’Tal grumbled, “for a human. I doubt your roommate could withstand a woman of the blood.” She paused, watching Spock carefully as he set up at a different workstation. “I look forward to speaking with him again.”

Hikaru was uncomfortable. This wasn’t why he’d introduced Spock to her. He understood why she’d be…intrigued by a fellow pointy-eared bearer, but no good could come from this.

Nyota is going to kill me.

Next ~ The Eris Effect

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The Romulans words are from an online Romulan to English dictionary.

Veruul is an insult meaning “fool”, much like the Klingon p’tak.
Areinnye is the Romulan version of Hell.
Kllhe means “worm.”
Eneh hwau' kllhwnia na imirrhlhhse is a long-winded obscenity that wasn’t translated.
Lloann’na is “Federation.”
Th’ann is “prisoner.”

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