3/14/15

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?

“As it did mine,” he nodded. “Its curricula are almost comparable to that of the Shi’Kahr Science Academy. I have met some…challenging classmates here.” They drew looks from the other students as they headed towards Buskirk House. Whispers abounded behind them, but the Vulcan smoothly ignored them.

“I wish to congratulate you on your interpretation this morning,” he went on. “A 16-year-old human who reads literature in High Vulcan and can fully understand the author’s meaning is a rare find indeed.”

“Thank you,” she nodded briskly. She suddenly noticed her hands were behind her back. How’d they get there? Her back was straight, and she looked straight ahead as she walked. When did that happen?

“As you can see, Stellar Valley is a large school, home to thousands of students and hundreds of staff,” Spock continued. “However, you may have noticed by now, size and quantity quickly become irrelevant when a population is isolated in the mountains.” He stopped just before they reached the Buskirk House turbolift. He turned to look at her, and all of her innards quivered. Thank heavens for her hands behind her back; her palms were getting sweaty.

Out of nowhere, elated realization dawned on Nyota. He walked me home!

This day…this day!

“I would prefer not to give you advice, as I am neither your parent nor your teacher, and would not like to appear presumptuous,” he began, “but I shall offer you words of caution nonetheless. Students here are easily bored and often trade in rumors as a source of entertainment. You would be wise to neglect these rumors. I myself was the subject of several speculations when I first arrived.”

“Such as?” Nyota asked. It was nice of him to walk her home, but she didn’t want the conversation to end already. She needed to forge a connection of some sort, and now. How did one ask a Vulcan out on a date anyway?

Fortunately, Spock was kind enough to oblige her. “One rumor postulated that I came here in denunciation of my Vulcan heritage. Some students believed I came here to try to be more like my mother. But what they didn’t realize is that despite my human heritage, my Vulcan genes are dominant and I was raised in a Vulcan manner."

He said it with such control and self-assurance, her knees threatened to buckle. She suddenly imagined him in dark robes, surrounded by other students, taking lessons from a Vulcan scholar. He looked less serene and more focused in this fantasy, as he intently studied the wisdom of some long dead master.

Oh. Nyota felt flushed, and not in her face. What the hell was that? She’d had fantasies about boys before but they’d never done that before.

Spock seemed oblivious to the effect he was having on and just kept on talking. “Another rumor decreed my father had banished me here, as he did not want to have to look upon his half-breed son,” he continued. “The creators of that rumor clearly ignored the fact my father married a human and had a child with her of his own free will.”

“Why did he marry a human?” Nyota asked without thinking, and then immediately wished she hadn’t it. It was rude and prying, and made her no better than the rumor-mongers at Stellar Valley.

Oddly enough, he was not offended. If anything, his response came out laced with what she could best describe as sarcasm.

“My father often says that as Ambassador to Earth and therefore an observer of human culture, marrying my mother was logical.”

Spock just said ‘logical.’ Nyota had to work to keep from grinning like an idiot. He just said logical!
Oh, my God—I’m standing here listening to a real, live Vulcan talk about logic!

Oh. There it was again, that heated dampening in a place not often mentioned in public. Nyota felt
her whole body warming now, as a prickly wave of electricity wafted over her.  This was getting serious.

Spock remained oblivious. “Clearly,” he raised an eyebrow, “his logic is flawed.”

Nyota was amazed at how steady her voice came out. “How so?”

“I have been a science student since I was thirteen,” he began. “I have gone on many excursions on varying planets to observe the cultures of various, non-humanoid life-forms. Did I have to marry a fanged sehlat to understand its nature?” He gave that look again, that carefully masked expression of sarcasm. “Hardly.”

Nyota laughed before she could stop herself. When it made him raise that eyebrow again, she confessed, “You’re very witty.”

He bowed slightly. “I am honored.”

Oh.

Now would be a good time to terminate this conversation, a voice in her head told her. And it was right. If she kept talking to him, looking in those dark eyes, seeing those elegantly pointed ears, and listening to sheer refinement pour through that full-lipped mouth, she was going to do something really, really stupid.

“Well,” she began politely, keenly away her unmistakable growing moisture, “thank you for escorting me to my house. But it is getting late.”

He gave that slight bow of his head again and Nyota felt her chest pleasantly constrict.

“It was my pleasure,” he said neutrally. “Sleep well.” He turned to go, no doubt to his house, just as Nyota put her first foot inside the turbolift.

“Nyota?”

She paused mid-way, preventing the doors from closing, and turned to face him.

“If you are interested in furthering your knowledge of Vulcan culture, I have the holodeck reserved for 1000 hours this Saturday. School regulations state I am allowed to bring a single guest.”

It was Nyota’s turn to bow her head politely. “I would be honored.”

He nodded a farewell, turned and left. Nyota entered the turbolift, and as soon as the doors closed behind her, she immediately sank to the floor.

***

“…I know, I know, I’m late…but, Nyota, Dr. Liora friggin’ Matair was visiting from the Trill Science Ministry—and I’ve been a fan since I was twelve! I got to ask her, like, a billion questions about her treatise on the enzymes and neural structures of Trill symbionts and she was just so—Nyota? You okay?”

Nyota sat on her bed, staring ahead in a daze, with a weird, faint little smile on her face.

“Nyota? Are you even listening to me?”

“He walked me home,” came the murmured reply, as though it was being transmitted from another dimension.

Vira blinked, pausing in the middle of taking off her sweater. “He?”

“He asked me to the holodeck this Saturday.” The faint smile spread into a grin. “He thinks I’m a rare find.”

Vira came to sit across from Nyota and leaned in. “He who, Nyota?”

Finally, Nyota looked at her roommate. She was positively aglow. “The Vulcan,” she answered, and it came out as a breathy, dreamy whisper. “Spock walked me home from the mess hall and then asked me to be his holodeck guest on Saturday.”

Vira’s eyes were wide as saucers.

“Oh...oh…we need ice cream!”

***

The lounge of Buskirk House had white walls, gray carpets, couches, chairs, and curtains, but the large area rug was purple, with the Buskirk crest of the deer. There were matching purple cushions on the couches. The tables between the couches and chairs were wooden, with synthetic candles. They “lit up” when students sat down around them, and then “went out” as soon as the last student rose and walked away. It was quite charming, and all the lit candles gave the room a cozy golden glow.

Unlike the mess hall, the lounge had replicators in every wall, but they were smaller, and as Vira had said early, only served snacks. The two roommates ordered soft serve vanilla ice cream over Jabalian fudge brownies, drizzled with steaming Ktarian chocolate sauce.

The richly sweet desserts melted luxuriously in their mouths as they lounged on a comfortable couch by the eastern window. Outside, night reigned, bejeweled with stars.

“So,” Vira smirked, “start from the beginning.”

Nyota told her everything, beginning with the conversation in Comm Lab 4.

“He’s so polished, you know?” Nyota sighed blissfully, when she finished her story. “So sophisticated and distinguished. Human boys…human boys scratch their heads and rearrange their scrotums in public. They come to the best school on the planet, just so they get high all day. It’s like they lack…they lack—”

“—discipline,” Vira finished for her, nodding softly. She was using her soft voice again, which meant that what she was about to say next was either going to really sting, or….

“Are you sure you’re not developing an alien fetish?”

Yup. Stingage.

“What I mean is,” Vira rephrased, “are you sure you’re not seeing Spock through intergalactic love goggles? When you have a crush on someone, it’s hard to see the reality of the situation. Factor in different planets and vastly different cultures, and you have a recipe for disaster.”

It was Nyota’s turn to get impatient. If she was going to be roommates with this Trill, she couldn’t very well walk on eggshells around her every time the subject of “aliens versus humans” came up. And she didn’t appreciate Vira’s insinuation that she couldn’t think for herself.

I don’t need you and your over-sized brain explaining every single friggin’ thing to me. And I certainly don’t need you to fuck up the one thing good thing which has happened today. It’s not my fault you’re the misfit who got shipped off-world because you're a freak who writes songs about calculating pi.

Unfortunately, Vira was still talking. “Alien fetishism is common, and not just among humans. I’ve had to pry Denobulan boys off this body. And humans! How many times have I been asked how far my spots go—”

“Vira!” Nyota snapped. “I don’t have a fetish. I met him, okay? I spoke with him. I learned things about his parents and his upbringing.” That last part was a bit of an embellishment, but she didn’t care; she was on a roll. “I like him because he’s self-assured and responsible—17-year-old human boys aren’t, okay?”

“You know,” Vira shook her head, clearly not getting it, “I get that people would like to think we’re all really, really different, but if you open us up and look at us from the inside and see how our bodies strive to keep us all functioning—”

Vira!” Nyota barked, and this time, heads turned. She could practically hear what the other kids were thinking.

Ohhhhh, Vira’s gone and made another roommate snap. What’s this—five, six, seven now? And after only three days!

And they were right—for once, the rumors were on to something.

“Look, Vira,” Nyota tried to keep her voice calm, “when it comes to understanding people at the molecular level—that’s your forte. But interspecial communication? That’s my domain. And the first thing any true communicator understands is that we’re all not just walking, talking cells. There’s much, much more to people.” She stood up for emphasis. “Stick to what you know, okay?”

She started to walk off when Vira lightly called out to her.

“Which holodeck program he invite you to?”

Nyota froze. She hadn’t asked. It hadn’t mattered. He could have asked to her to attend a five-hour recording of a physics lecture and she still would have said yes.

Vira seemed able to read her thoughts. She mildly inquired, “If you don’t know what you’re going to attend, how will you know what to wear?”

If Vira Zwan had a history of driving people away, then at least she’d gotten smart enough to learn how to diffuse a conflict. That night, in their room, she helped take out Nyota’s black and copper cornrows, and replaced them three layers of with black and purple cornrows. This allowed the long, unbraided hair to hang loose, perfect for curling or leaving straight.

And in addition to making Nyota even prettier, Vira had acquired important info.

“Hikaru finally responded to my message,” she was saying, as she rubbed a soothing oil into Nyota’s scalp. “It took him a while to bypass security protocols and access the holodeck database. Anyway, he says Spock has reserved Holodeck 14 for 1000 hours. Apparently, he does this every Saturday, but he runs different programs. This one is going to be Niorah Plak.”

“‘Dark Blood’?” Nyota raised eyebow.

“Apparently, the eccentric Klingon composer Ch’Rak was inspired by the life of Lady Mikonna,” Vira mused. “He composed an entire opera about her, and wrote in it Vulcan as a present to his friend Silar, the Vulcan Ambassador to Kronos.”

Nyota didn’t know what to say to that other than, “He’s taking me to an opera?”

“Elegant, huh?” Vira chuckled. “And very grown-up. He’s either a really big fan of this ‘Mikonna’ poet or he chose it because you like her. Either way, it works in your favor.”

Nyota nodded mutely; the nervousness was coming back and robbing her of words. It was starting to hit her that this was a real date, a serious date.

Well, maybe not an official date, but that didn’t matter. She was going to be alone with Spock, attending a grand opera, for two whole hours! She was going to be sitting by him in a darkened auditorium, soaking up his serene presence, inhaling the faded scent of the incense he burned, listening to his slow breathing in the dark.

Oh…dear God. Did she just…tighten? Down there? Was it supposed to do that? Was that…was that supposed to be like an orgasm or something?

Oh, dear God!

Vira would know, a voice snickered inside her head. She’ll know exactly which nerves and muscles are doing what, and she’ll even explain it all in the proper medical jargon.

Nyota was too flustered to laugh at her own thoughts. Instead, she worked to help Vira quickly finish her hair. When it was done, she wrapped it up in a silk scarf, and then both girls went to bed.

At first, sleep eluded Nyota. Buried under her warm covers, her head pressed against a soft, cool pillow, she found herself thinking about Spock’s controlled, level gaze and how it betrayed none of his thoughts. She could hear his low, deeply masculine voice in her head, each word neutrally spoken. She wondered if he would kiss her after the opera ended, how his soft, full lips would feel pressed against her own.

She wondered what his tongue would feel like, probing inside her own mouth.

Oh. Dear. God.

It…it did more than moisten. And tighten. She wasn’t even sure how to describe what her body just did.

Vira would know—

Nyota pressed her pillow tightly against her ears, rolling over to face the wall.

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

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