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‘A Vulcan Morning to You'

 

Officers' Quarters, Deck 6

Noah awakened rudely to rock music played at full blast in the anteroom to the quarters he shared with Ronak. He groaned as he buried his head under the covers to stifle the noise. He should have expected something like this! In truth, he had expected trouble last night upon finally discovering who his roommate was. However, things had passed relatively quiet last night.

Yes, there had been jibes from Ronak as Noah and Jex had made a hasty retreat from the quarters soon after discovering Ronak ensconced on the sofa. It hardly seemed likely that the troublemaker was going to give them the room so retreat had been the better option.

Although Jex had argued that allowing Ronak to take over the room was only giving him validation to continue behaving as such, her heart was not in her argument. No doubt, she'd have argued and stood up to Ronak herself, but Noah felt she understood that he himself would sooner avoid any confrontations. Therefore, they escaped to the movie-theatre to give Jex her fix of popcorn.

Capitalising on his reluctance to return to quarters and face Ronak too soon, Jex had easily convinced him to join her at the bar for the remainder of the Bountiful Bounty Day party. She prodded Noah with words of advice about how he had to make a greater effort to make friends with others. Duly noting her words, he had made an effort and he was grateful to Jex for the prompt. All in all, they had a great time altogether and Noah had come more acquainted with some others among the crew.

With the result, he ended back in his own quarters late and by that time Ronak was fast asleep. He was now evidently wide-awake. Reluctantly, Noah dragged himself out of bed and decided to grab a bowl of cereal from the replicator and retreat to his room afterwards. If he were quick enough he'd have to have very little contact with Ronak.

So he darted out into the shared living space in his vest and shorts and bed hair. Ronak was of course waiting for his emergence. "Good to see you up and about roomie!" His good humour patently false and smile mocking.

Subdued and hardly meeting his eye, Noah replied lowly. "Morning."

"Pardon? I can't hear you over the music!" Ronak raised his voice, smirking.

"Look I said morning." He then stepped in front of the replicator and ordered his cereal. His grabbed the bowl and jug of milk quickly, almost slopping the milk over the floor as he turned quickly to go back to his own room. Sadly, Ronak had raced to that end of the room and barred his way.

He stopped the music. "Pardon? "

"You heard."

"It's rude to not say hello, roomie. How do you expect us to get along with that kind of attitude?" He grasped Noah's face as if he were a child and scolded, "You're not a morning person are we, roomie woomie."

Noah staggered backwards at the attitude and being accosted so. He was especially surprised at the Vulcan making physical contact with him. And for a brief moment during the contact, Noah had felt an overwhelming sense of anger and bitterness. It gave bite to his next words. "I thought Vulcan's had a superior sense of hearing! You ought to have heard me despite the noise you insisted on making."

"You really aren't a morning person. And yeah, I heard you. Vulcans do have a superior sense of hearing. We are superior after all to humans." He wrinkled his nose then in disgust. "We also have a superior sense of smell too. You think you'd have showered already!"

"I'll shower after my breakfast. Now if you'll excuse me."

Ronak mimicked Noah with a high-pitched girly voice. "Now if you'll excuse me." He dropped his arm and allowed Noah to pass. As he did pass though, Ronak commented in a leering voice, "Nice bum roomie. Bet all the girls like you."

Noah flushed with embarrassment and anger. But bottled his sudden anger and stormed into his room, sealing the door after himself. On the other side, he could hear Ronak chortle.

Fifteen minutes later, showered and dressed for duty, Noah disposed of the bowl and jug with some milk still left in it into the reclamation unit. The items disappeared in a reversal of the replicator process. Ronak then came out of his own room at this stage and directed over a friendly smile that did not meet his eyes. "Ready for work?"

Noah's lip pursed carefully. He considered the dark emotional state that had washed over him and had abated. Though irked again at seeing the Vulcan he wondered about what effect the physical touch had had on himself, colouring his mood so darkly.

In response, Noah was determined one not to be in reach of the Vulcan and not to rise to his bait. So he announced in order to placate the Vulcan, "Yes. I'll be out of your hair shortly."

"Aw, I thought we might get to know each other better before you had to report for duty. Especially as you don't have to report for another two hours yet. Anyone would think you didn't want to hang around."

"Wonder why that would be?" Grabbing a PADD up, Noah though insisted, "I thought that I'd read a bit before duty. Somewhere where I am likely to get some peace."

"Whatever." Ronak shrugged as he leaned against the doorframe of his room. "I could have walked you to your shift otherwise."

"Huh! Somehow I doubt you know one end of the ship from the other." The door chimed then just as Noah was about to reach it.

"Oh is it you wittle fwend! She's hot. Where do her spots go to?"

Noah's features screwed up angrily as he answered the door and not Ronak. It opened to reveal Lt. Commander T'Vel. Quickly the angry face dropped from his countenance and a look of shock replaced. Noah stepped backwards, unwittingly inviting the impressive stoic bearing of the Vulcan into the quarters.

"Thank you Ensign Cutler." With her hands clasped tightly behind her back, she looked over to Ronak who now stood defensively and angrily with his fists balled up. The door shut behind her. In a cool voice, she offered what seemed most solicitous, "It is good to see you well, Ronak."

"Good to see me well? Hah! Somehow, I doubt it mother dearest." Standing on, transfixed and unsure as to what to do, Noah wanted nothing more than to slink away, but Ronak condescendingly drew attention to Noah. "Aren't you going to say hi to Mom roomie?"

This drew a cold penetrating look from T'Vel who scrutinised the ensign levelly. Noah felt like shrinking into a ball. He gulped worried as to what her reaction might be. Obviously, she put on a front of a Vulcan exterior but he had seen otherwise. The science officer seemed to recognise the ensign and his look betrayed his thoughts.

"I assume you have questions you would like to ask ensign."

Ronak clapped his hands, applauding mockingly. "My, my, my mother. Well played. But no point trying to deny anything, the little lamb here saw you in your full glory on the planet below. How do you expect him to reconcile the two conflicting images? Hmm? A drunken and disgraceful party girl, with the prim and proper science officer, and a Vulcan to boot. Go on, explain that!" He folded his arms in triumph, believing himself to have made a point.

T'Vel merely turned her look from Ronak to Noah now backed up against the bulkhead. Stammering he admitted his own confusion by saying, "I had assumed you were ... I mean you are ... I mean ... Are you v'tosh ka'tur? You know, a Vulcan without logic?"

Tilting her head to an even haughtier height, T'Vel, her stature towering over the ensign, looked down the length of her nose at Cutler. He shifted uncomfortably believing he had hit upon a sore point inadvertently. Ronak laughed at his statement. The malice of the laugh, confirming Noah's fears that his question was offensive and brazen, and made Noah want to squirm and run out of sight.

T'Vel arched an eyebrow testily. Her stoic demeanour wavering ever so slightly as she clenched her hands tightly behind her back and pinched her hips, drawing her thin lips into a thinner line. Even still, her face remained beautiful and smooth, almost ageless. With a modicum of composure regained, she opened her mouth to speak but found she needed to lick her lips.

Ronak took the opportunity to gloat. "Well played Cutler. Cut to the bone why don't you? Hee hee."

Pointedly ignoring the braying from Ronak, T'Vel answered coolly. "You are incorrect. I am not v'tosh ka'tur ."

"No? I mean sorry. I didn't mean to pry."

Ronak scolded, wagging a finger. "Now mother, don't lie - you are indeed a Vulcan of emotions - many, many emotions. Of course, you must be v'tosh ka'tur. How else can you explain your behaviour?"

T'Vel smarted from the taunt.  Her face coloured slightly. Her eyes narrowed in Roank's direction. "You are aware of the reasons Ronak." A heavy emphasis on his name carried an accusatory air to it. Fault, at least in part, lay with him Noah concluded. T'Vel turned to Noah, again trying for a calmer voice. "To be v'tosh ka'tur is a choice. However, abhorrent and unVulcan a choice it is. I have made no such choice." Her face contorted almost into an ugly sneer as she pronounced the words.

Ronak railed as he crossed the room. "But you do show emotions! You try to hide it but you show them all the time. Slips here and there and then succumbing to the depravity of your emotions you slink off to find the slums and wickedness of places like Aubrellis and seek comfort with the denizens of those vile hovels. Or do you deny it?" He spat his words angrily at T'Vel.

Coldly she retorted, the force of her words like a slap all the same for the tone they held. "I do not choose to show my emotions. I do not choose to allow my emotions to rule me." In part, she accused and derided Ronak for the obvious manner in which he displayed his emotions. She also seemed to berate herself for what she admitted next. "I fight constantly to control them. I struggle to rein them in. But that struggle fails all too often. That choice was taken from me. All because of ..."

She stopped short and turned to Noah. "It would be for the best ensign if you went about your day. This is a ... private matter."

Sarcastically directing his wrath at his mother, Ronak declared, "Yeah. A real family affair."

Noah flushed and eagerly grabbed his equipment and rushed to leave. T'Vel called after him, "Do not forget your side arm." He stopped at the open door; cursing himself he quickly fled into his room to retrieve his phaser. Strapping it to his belt, he again ran out of the room, never more thankful to escape a room.

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