Title: The Best Thing
Characters/Pairings: Explores Spock and Amanda's relationship, but has Spock/Uhura at the end.
World Count: 4,573
Disclaimer: Don't own Star Trek.
Summary: Spock's humanity allows him to be with Uhura.
The sound of her infant son’s cries filled her ears, and she released the breath she had been holding as an overwhelming sense of relief, accomplishment and pride crashed over her, causing her shoulders and arms to relax as she leaned back against the pillows. She shut her eyes and listened to her son’s cry; so beautiful. Then she opened her eyes and noticed the slightly knitted brows and thin-lined mouths of her Vulcan doctor and husband as they cut the umbilical cord and cleaned the infant.
“What is it?” Amanda asked. The year she had spent on Vulcan was enough time for her to learn to distinguish the minute changes in a Vulcan’s face that betrayed their emotions, and the two grown Vulcans who stood before her were definitely casting concerned glances at the infant in their arms. “Is he ok?” Amanda reiterated when neither answered.
Sarek glanced at her, then walked around the bed with their son in his arms. He leaned over and gently placed the infant in the crook of Amanda’s elbow.
“He’s healthy,” Sarek assured.
Amanda looked down at her son; he had been cleaned and wrapped in a blanket, but a few moist tears lingered on his cheeks as his cries turned to hiccups. Amanda brought a steady finger to wipe the tears away.
“Then why did you look at him so?” she asked. As far as she could discern, the child in her arms was an 8 lb, 20 in bundle of perfection.
Sarek pressed his lips together briefly, as if he did not want to say; but he eventually announced: “He has tear ducts.”
Amanda gazed incredulously up at her husband for a second before a laugh broke free. “Of course he does,” she said. She glanced down at her son; his little hands poked through the blanket, and she offered a finger from him to grasp; he gripped it tightly, causing Amanda’s heart to beat a little faster. She didn’t know that she could love someone so much.
“He obviously inherited them from you,” Sarek continued.
Amanda smiled up at him teasingly. “Right, because Vulcans never cry,” she teased.
Sarek’s raised eyebrow told her that he did not appreciate her jab. “It will be prudent,” he continued evenly, “for us to advise against crying when he gets older.”
Somewhere deep inside of her chest, her heart broke just a little as she realized just what it would mean to have a Vulcan son.
“I can agree to that,” she said at last. A small, sad smirk played across her lips. “After all, even human parents tell their kids to stop crying eventually.”
Over the coming years, Amanda couldn’t help but wonder just how Vulcan her son was. He had the pointed ears and eyebrows of a Vulcan, as well as the higher body temperature and green blood. Physically, he appeared to be split evenly between his two species. Mentally, however…
As an infant, he cried when hungry or tired or hurt or dirty. He smiled widely whenever she entered his room and picked him up from his crib. And he giggled whenever she pushed his shirt up and blew raspberries onto his stomach. In all respects, he acted like a normal human child.
And then he hit his terrible twos and threw tantrums unlike any child Amanda had ever seen before.
“Vulcans have emotions,” Sarek explained as he joined her. They stood off to the side as their son continued to scream and beat his fists onto the floor of their living room. “We also have an instinct to suppress our emotions,” he continued. “It appears as though Spock’s human side is causing him to experience these emotions as oppose to inhibiting them.”
“Do you honestly think that Spock could act like a Vulcan?” Amanda asked evenly.
“I have no reason to believe that he can’t,” Sarek answered. “He merely needs to learn how.”
Sarek glanced at her, as if asking for permission. Amanda closed her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest as her heart broke just a little more. She nodded once.
A year later, Spock behaved almost exactly like the other Vulcan children. He held her hand with only two fingers. He rarely smiled or laughed. Never cried. He did, however, continue to hug and kiss her goodnight. She knew that it was hard for her husband to watch his young son climb up into his mother’s lap, place his hand – his hand, not two fingers – on one of her cheeks while he kissed her other cheek, then proceeded to wrap his arms around her neck in an embrace as he told her goodnight.
It was such a human gesture, but it was also one that Spock would not desist from doing no matter how many times his father told him not to.
On the worst day of Amanda’s life, Spock came home from school with a busted lip. Sarek explained that their son had been a part of a physical fight after his lessons which had resulted in the cut lip and minor bruises.
While no mother is pleased to hear that her son had been fighting, it wasn’t this piece of news that had made her day miserable. Spock’s injuries were minor and would heal over in a few days, and, despite the green, the clot on his lip actually made him look more human.
No, the reason why this day was the worst day of her life was that it was the first night that Spock did not kiss her goodnight. He appeared before her like he always did, and she opened her arms, ready for her hug, but he did not move. His eyes, which he had obviously inherited from her, betrayed him, as they always would, and shown with pain and regret.
“I believe that I have approached the age in which I am too old for a goodnight kiss,” he said evenly.
Amanda swallowed the sob in her throat, knowing that any emotion on her part would only hurt him more. She understood why he was doing this, after all: He was trying to be completely Vulcan.
She forced a smile and held out two fingers. Spock grasped her two fingers with two fingers of his own, and Amanda was painfully reminded of the day he was born and how he had grasped her finger tightly with his entire hand.
“Goodnight, Spock,” she whispered.
“Goodnight, Mother,” Spock echoed.
And then he turned his back on her and walked away.
For the next five years, Spock acted no differently than any other Vulcan child. Occasionally, Amanda thought she saw his lips quirk upward in a smile at her jokes, but the expression was always so brief that she wrote them off as figments of her imagination.
Sarek was proud of his son. Spock had grown into the perfect logical and stoic Vulcan son. By his seventeenth birthday, Amanda was convinced that the only human in the boy was his damn tear ducts, which he didn’t even use. Therefore, she was immensely surprised when her son came to her, a month after his birthday, looking very ill at ease.
“Spock, what’s wrong?” she asked.
The teenager, keeping his eyes on the floor, shifted from one foot to the next.
“I am curious about human mating rituals,” he admitted at last.
Amanda found herself smirking and placing a hand on her hip. “Why? Are you hiding a human girlfriend under your bed or something?” she joked.
A corner of Spock’s mouth did a nearly imperceptible twitch upward. “No,” he said. “As you know, I am to meet T’Pring next week, and I would like to know what,” he paused, “not to do.”
The sting that occurred whenever Spock rejected his human side was so familiar to Amanda that she barely even felt it.
“The basic mechanics of sex is the same for humans and Vulcans,” Amanda explained. Her voice sounded a bit cold to her own ears, and she wondered if her son remembered enough about his emotions to be able to detect it. “As for the other courting rituals… Don’t worry; you’re not human enough to do them.”
Spock did not appear satisfied with this answer. Confusion shown in his eyes as he turned and walked back into his bedroom.
The next day, Amanda found her son in his room, sitting on his bed while a human pornographic video played on the screen in front of him. It was such a human occurrence for a mother to walk in on her teenage son watching porn, that Amanda had to pinch herself to convince herself that she was not dreaming.
“I understand why he’s touching her there,” Spock said, his eyes fixated on the screen as if he was studying a textbook. “My health lesson at school informed me that it’s a sensitive area for females. But he’s also calling her derogatory names, and she appears to like it. It’s illogical.”
Leave it to her son to find porn illogical.
“Spock, where did you get this?” Amanda asked, striding across the room and turning the screen off.
“I downloaded it off of Earth’s Internet for research purposes.”
“Still curious about human courting rituals?”
Spock glanced down at his floor. “I do not wish to shame the family.”
Amanda sighed. “You can’t learn these things from porn,” she said at last. She stared at her son and knew what she had to do. “Pack your bags. We’re going to spend a few days on Earth. It’s time for you to learn about your other planet anyway.”
“These fried strips of potato…”
“French fries, dear. Or chips if you’re not in America.”
“They do not settle well in my stomach.”
“That’s because your system’s not used to them.”
“I do like this ketchup sauce though.”
Amanda smiled. They had been on Earth for three days and this was the first time Spock had said anything complimentary about it. Otherwise Earth was too noisy, too cold, too illogical for him.
Despite the indigestion that he was sure to get, Spock continued to eat the fries, dipping them into copious amounts of ketchup as his eyes examined the humans around him.
“How can humans be so physical in public?” he asked suddenly, his eyes staring over Amanda’s shoulder.
She was about to give him some vague answer about different cultures when she turned to look over her shoulder and saw a couple necking inappropriately over their forgotten burgers.
“That’s actually considered rude to humans too,” she answered. “See how the others around them are glaring?”
Spock nodded. Amanda returned to her fries, but Spock had already found something else to question.
“Those girls have been staring at me for a prolonged amount of time.” He paused. “And I don’t think it’s just because I’m dressed unusually.”
Amanda glanced to her side, where she found the group of teenage girls in question. They were staring at her son, their eyes shining brightly and coy smiles pulling across their lips.
“Well,” Amanda said, somewhat shocked. “You do have some human instinct in you after all. They’re looking at you like that because they think you’re cute.”
Spock’s eyes widened ever so slightly; his eyes always gave him away. Amanda kicked him lightly under the table, gracing him with a warm smile.
“Go talk to them,” she said.
“I have nothing to say to them,” Spock reasoned. He kept his eyes on his food, though the tips of his ears were tinged green.
“That doesn’t stop human boys.”
“I am not human.”
Amanda wondered when his rejection of her culture would stop hurting her so much.
“They might kiss you if you’re lucky,” she tempted. “Consider it part of your research.”
Spock glanced at her, then at the girls. “You won’t tell father?” he asked.
“It’ll be our little secret,” she assured.
Spock stood from the table and walked stiffly over to the girls. Amanda tried not to watch, but her eyes kept drifting over to see how her son was doing. He appeared as awkward as a twelve-year-old, but the girls thankfully found it endearing. She could see his lips move as he talked to them, but she could not hear what he was saying. Whatever it was, however, it caused the girls to giggle uncontrollably. And then one of them stood on her tip toe and leaned forward.
Amanda glanced quickly away, giving her son some privacy for his first kiss. She counted to sixty, then cautioned a glance, shock washing over her when she saw that they were still kissing – that her son was returning the kiss.
’That’s my boy,’ she couldn’t help but think.
A few more seconds passed before Spock broke away and excused himself, returning back to the table. He seemed dazed, his eyes staring at nothing and his lips slightly parted. Amanda smiled smugly as she stood and threw their garbage away. He followed her to the street where she hailed a cab.
They were both quiet for most of the ride back to their hotel. Spock stared up at the stars outside his window, and Amanda wondered if he wished to be back on Vulcan.
“I can still feel it,” Spock said at last as their hotel came into view. Amanda glanced at him and saw him touching his lips with his fingers.
“You’ll feel it for a long time,” she told him as she paid the driver.
The loud crunching sound that came from her son’s bedroom told her that he had punched a hole into his wall. It did not escape her that the act was a normal occurrence for human teenage males; though, judging from Sarek’s knitted brow, not so much for Vulcan teenage males.
“I’ll see to him,” she told her husband as she rose from the couch.
“Remind him that punching the wall is illogical,” Sarek mumbled as she passed.
“I will,” she replied, though she had no intention of doing so. She grabbed the first aid kit from the bathroom, then entered her son’s room. He stood in front of the hole he had just made, gazing down at his injured hand. Without saying a word, Amanda took out some gauze and antiseptic and began tending his hand.
“She asked me to,” Spock said at last, his voice low and hoarse.
“Asked you to what?” Amanda questioned.
Amanda nodded as the situation became clearer to her. T’Pring had visited earlier that day. After dinner, she had asked Spock to show her his room. Amanda had thought the idea of letting the two teenagers be alone in a bedroom a bad one, but the other Vulcan adults did not seemed concerned, so she hadn’t said anything. A half an hour later, T’Pring’s parents had went to Spock’s room to collect her, and they had left in a rush, proclaiming that the engagement was off, that Spock was too human for their daughter.
“She wanted me to do it,” Spock continued in disbelief. “How can I be too human if she was the one who requested it in the first place?”
Amanda sighed as she began wrapping Spock’s hand. “It was unfair of T’Pring’s parents to react the way they did,” she comforted.
Spock pulled his hand away and wrapped the bandages around his hand himself. He walked over to his bed and sat down. She could see the pain and embarrassment in his all-too-human eyes.
“I hate myself,” he said at last.
Amanda winced, then picked up the first aid kit.
“No you don’t,” she said as she made her way to the doo. “You only hate your human half.”
“He gets it from you, you know.”
Amanda looked up from her drink and was surprised to see that her husband had joined her at the bar. Earlier that morning, she had dropped her son off to become completely Vulcan. She wanted him to be happy, so she was glad to do it; however, she also felt that she deserved a drink for giving her son up, and so she stopped off at a bar afterwards instead of returning to her empty home.
“He gets what from me?” she inquired, taking a sip of her third margarita (she had forgotten how much she had loved them on Earth). “Tear ducts?” she suggested.
“Impertinence,” Sarek answered. He ordered a chocolate beverage. Amanda frowned; what happened to cause her husband to want to drink?
“How was he impertinent?”
“He declined his spot at the academy.”
Amanda blinked. Surely she heard him wrong. “I’m sorry?” she asked.
“He declined his spot at the academy,” her husband repeated. “Not only did he do that, but he also said ‘Live long and prosper’.”
“He always says that.”
“It was the inflection he used,” Sarek explained. “He said it as though he were actually saying…”
“Fuck off and die?” Amanda supplied.
“Crudely stated, but yes.”
Amanda smiled; she knew her son had inherited her sense of humor. Then she shook her head. “But what will he do now?” she asked.
“He’s already boarding a shuttle,” Sarek said.
Sarek’s drink arrived, and he took a long sip before replying: “To Earth. He’s joining Starfleet.”
“You have a visitor.”
“Please identity, computer,” Amanda said as she rose from the couch.
“Your son,” the computer replied.
Amanda paused and shot a glance at her husband. Spock had not set foot on Vulcan for almost nine years. While he sometimes called home to talk to her, he had never visited.
“Let him in,” Amanda ordered, even though her husband’s mouth had become a thin, dissatisfied line.
Amanda walked to the door and was there when it slid open, revealing her grown son to her. In many respects, he looked almost the same as he did when he had left. He was tall, clean-shaven and still sporting the traditional Vulcan bowl cut. However, he was dressed in human clothes; true, the garments he wore were Starfleet regulation, but seeing him in a human style of clothing still filled her with an overwhelming sense of pride.
“Mother,” Spock greeted evenly. He stepped in side and, to Amanda’s complete shock, placed a quick kiss on her cheek. He hadn’t kissed her since he was a child.
He straightened once again and he turned his head slightly to address Sarek, who was standing on the opposite side of the room.
“Father,” he added, inclining his head respectfully.
Sarek approached them, but he did not stop to greet his son; instead, he strode right by them and out the door. Amanda almost swore she saw Spock roll his eyes as he turned back to her.
“I’m sorry I did not announce my visit,” he told her once Sarek had left them. “It was my intention to surprise you.”
“You succeeded,” she told him. She held out two of her fingers, hoping to lead him over to the couch. He stared at her gesture for a moment before offering his arm instead. “So,” Amanda said as they settled on the couch. She watched Spock set a shopping bag down by his feet; she hadn’t noticed it before. I appeared that being so surprised to see her son in her living room had rendered her partially blind. “What brings you here?” she asked, tearing her eyes away from the bag.
His lips twitched as he leaned down and pulled a package wrapped in greens and reds out of the bag.
“It’s Christmas on Earth,” he explained. “And I have learned that humans give gifts during this time. I thought you might like one.”
Her hands shook as she accepted the wrapped gift, and tears stung at her eyes. “Oh Spock,” she whispered.
“You never told me about Christmas,” he said.
“It’s not a Vulcan holiday, now is it?” she replied. Her fingers ran over the wrapping paper lovingly.
“No,” Spock agreed. They stared at the gift between them for a few moments. “I was under the impression that it is customary to open the gift,” Spock said, and Amanda swore she could hear the smile in his voice.
“What is it?” she asked as she ripped through the paper, exposing what appeared to be a PADD.
Spock’s voice was low when he replied: “It’s Shakespeare, Austen, Steinback and Rowling. It’s Beethoven, Mozart and The Beatles. It’s art and history and those horrible reality shows that were so popular at the turn of the millennium.”
The tears left wet streaks down her cheeks as she stared at her son. Yes he still had the Vulcan haircut, ears and eyebrows, but he was also sporting a very human smile.
“I wish I had a gift for you,” she whispered earnestly.
An almost playful glint shown in his eyes, and Amanda wondered just how much Earth had changed her son.
“I have not eaten at a Vulcan restaurant in years, and I coincidently forgot to procure Vulcan currency,” he offered.
The likelihood that her astute son had forgotten to bring Vulcan money with him on his trip was…illogical. Amanda knew he was doing this for her.
“Well then let me treat you,” she said, her smile widening.
“Uhura accurately translated the scrolls, however, and I was therefore able to deduce the correct amount of uranium for the project. It was a great success. Every Earth journal for the sciences wanted me to write an article, describing my assessment. Uhura purchased some champagne to celebrate. I believe it was her intent to get me intoxicated, but of course I’m immune to the affects of alcohol. She, unfortunately, is not immune to the affects of alcohol, and I had to walk her back to her dormitory. It was very unprofessional of her, but I couldn’t bring myself to scold her because she looked so…” Spock paused, catching himself, “…amusing.”
Amanda laughed over her own glass of wine as Spock busied himself with his meal.
“You’re in love,” she stated, in English. Her change in vernacular caused her son to look up. And, she suspected, her announcement made his ears tinge green. He opened his mouth, but she cut him off. “Don’t try to deny it,” she told him. “A mother always knows.”
Spock closed his mouth and returned his gaze to his plate. “So that’s what this feeling is,” he said very softly.
Amanda signaled to the waiter to bring the check. They sat in silence as she paid. He stood and helped her from her seat, then offered his arm as they walked to the front of the restaurant.
“Would you like me to call for transport?” he asked once they had exited and entered into the night air.
“I would prefer to walk,” Amanda said.
Her son nodded, and allowed her to continue holding his arm as they walked down the street. The stares from other Vulcans did not seem to perturb him.
“Does she return your feelings?” she asked at last.
“I do not know,” Spock replied. “She did hug me for a prolonged amount of time before I left. And she…kissed me. On my cheek, but it also lasted longer than what seems customary.”
“Does she find excuses to touch you?”
“I think that’s in her nature.”
“I think you should pursue her.”
“That would be unwise. She does not graduate for another couple of months.”
They had reached their home and Spock paused as Amanda ascended the few steps to their front door. She turned back to gaze down at her grown son.
“Remember when you were a teenager and you did not understand why the man in the pornographic video was calling the woman derogatory names?” she asked.
“Unfortunately I do,” he replied.
Amanda’s lip pulled upward. “Well, sometimes humans find going against the rules to be…desirable.” She leaned forward and placed a quick kiss on her son’s forehead.
She straightened and made to turn and enter her home when Spock’s hand reached out and grasped her own.
“Mother, I…” he paused, choking on the word that did not translate into Vulcan. He reached up and cupped her cheek, bringing her slightly forward so that her forehead rested against his own. She felt his emotions flow from the hand on her cheek into her consciousness. She had previously had no idea that her half human son could mind meld, but his emotions told her what he could not say with words.
He pulled apart and took a step back, releasing her.
“Your humanity is the best thing about me,” he said at last before turning and walking out of her life once more.
Spock had not slept for almost two days. The start of term was always so busy with lesson planning and organizing faculty functions. However, his last class had ended for the day, and he wasn’t scheduled to do anything until the next morning. He was going to go back to his quarters and sleep.
He entered the turbolift and, because he was alone in it, he allowed himself to lean against the wall, his hands resting on the railing and his eyes closed.
“Long day?” came an all-too-familiar female voice as the elevator opened on the next floor.
He opened his eyes to see Uhura smiling at him as she stepped into the small compartment. She pressed the button for the floor she wanted, then leaned beside him, her fingers gently grazing his on the railing.
“I am simply experiencing exhaustion,” he explained as the door slid shut once more.
“I didn’t know that Vulcans could get tired.”
Spock opened his mouth to respond, but before he could do so, the turbolift shuddered to a stop. The lights flickered, then went off, leaving them in complete darkness for a few moments before the emergency lights glowed dimly.
“Oh god,” Uhura moaned.
“It’s just a technical difficulty,” Spock assessed. “I’m sure it will be fixed within minutes.”
“Oh god,” Uhura said again.
“Uhura?” Spock asked, noticing that her breaths were coming in ragged gasps. “Uhura, are you claustrophobic? If so, you need to calm down.”
“Calm down?” Uhura asked, and there was a strained note in her voice. “How can I calm down when the room is getting smaller?”
Spock felt his lips twitch into a slight grin. “It is illogical that the room is getting smaller,” he said.
Uhura did not appear to hear him, however. She merely continued to hyperventilate.
“Perhaps if I distracted you?” he suggested.
“And how are you planning to do that?” Uhura snapped irritably.
The smirk that Spock knew he had inherited from his mother pulled at his lips as he stepped closer to Uhura and placed his hand on her waist. Her hyperventilating turned into a shocked gasp as he covered her mouth with her own, and her gasp quickly turned into a low moan form the back of her throat as she responded to him.
He turned her and gently pressed her against the turbolift’s wall. She sighed against him and he took the opportunity to taste her. Her hands tightened their grip on him and she wrapped one leg around his hip, drawing him closer.
He pulled back then, not wanting to lose control so soon. Uhura stared at him breathlessly.
“I didn’t know Vulcans kissed like that,” she whispered.
His mother’s smirk returned.
“Then it’s lucky for us that I’m half human.”
End Author's Note: I got the idea for this last night and spent most of today writing it. I apologize for it being so Spock/Amanda (as a son/mother relationship, get your mind out of the oedipus complex) heavy, but I don't think the Spock/Uhura at the end would have been as poignant if we didn't see how he and Amanda had struggled with his humanity.
Also, I'm still trying to work on the next chapter to Recruiting Iowa, but it's proving to be a bitch. Every time I try to write it, the flow seems forced or rushed and all of the characters are emo for some reason. It's not going well at all, so that fic is on hiatus until my muse decides to cooperate.