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Chapter Notes: I went with 'Gaila died in ST2009' for this one, but in general I think she made it and have written such elsewhere. I didn't really feel like changing this one, though.


"He can be so infuriating." Nyota is well aware that she's preaching to the choir, but after two glasses of wine that's what she needs to do. The wonderful thing about Spock is he doesn't mind one bit. "Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have to work so hard at something, while someone like him doesn't have to expend a single ounce of effort?"

Spock looks up from his tablet raises an eyebrow at her.

"In our engineering and math classes, he'd do some of his assignments an hour before class. Or during another class, and still get good marks in that class too. Meanwhile Gaila," her voice doesn't crack on saying her former roommate's name, thankfully, "and I'd be up half the night trying to work out those proofs and warp diagrams." She sighs again and shakes her head. "So much comes naturally to him. I don't think he really knows what it's like to not be able to do something. Even the basic linguistics classes, the ones everyone has to take? He had good scores in those too."

"Yet the captain can only speak two languages."


Spock frowns. "Three?"

"He can speak Latin. His parents made him learn it, something about religion when he was a kid."

Spock blinks at her, and Nyota shrugs, so he amends his assessment to, "Two living languages, one dead. A good deal fewer than you in either case. The captain will not be able to converse with Klingons, probably at any point in his career, with the fluency and idiomatic comprehension you can, Nyota. That is an invaluable skill."

She finds Spock's compliment soothes her a little, and admits, "I guess it's at least as good as being able to understand Scotty's reports."

"To be sure, the captain is very talented. And so are you." Spock surveys one of said reports. "And one can argue that things coming too easily to someone sets that person up for failure when they inevitably are faced with something which is truly difficult for them."

Nyota watches him, certain she can see strain in his features. "Well. Maybe he's learned a lesson or two from...all of this," she says, and tops off Spock's glass.

He meets her eyes, then takes a sip of the wine. "Perhaps."

She gives him a dry look. "That sounded like 'if he didn't, I'll beat one into him'."

"Regulations would label such an act as insubordination at best, and mutiny at worst."

"And yet I think you'd do it anyways."

"Let us hope I am never faced with such a possibility."

She's been joking, mostly, but now she knows he's not. She reaches across the table and takes one of his hands, giving it a gentle squeeze. He stops reading the report and looks up at her, and she can see he's worried this isn't the last time something like this will happen. She says, "If we ever are? I get first dibs."

Her support seems to ease some of his concern, and one corner of his mouth quirks in a suppressed smile. "I believe you will have to take that up with numerous other members of the crew."

She laughs, and has another drink of wine.

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