T’Pring had no more than a passing awareness of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s arrival on Vulcan. She’d overheard that most of the crew was taking shore leave on the planet for a few weeks, likely due to the heritage of the ship’s first officer, but that was about all she knew. And, if she was being honest with herself, it was all she really cared to know; she wasn’t eager to run into her ex-betrothed again, especially since she and Stonn, the man she’d spurned Spock for in the first place, were no longer intimately involved. Not that she felt any shred shame about that. She definitely didn’t. She just didn’t want to concern Spock with any of the messy details.
T’Pring kept herself as ignorant to the Enterprise’s arrival as possible, keeping herself concerned with other, much more important things. However, that proved to be a foolish approach to her dilemma. She was strolling to her little garden to meditate, a small area away from the city, shaded from the hot sun and blooming with all kinds of Vulcan plant life that T’Pring cultivated in her free time. T’Pring was under the impression that she was the only person who knew of the garden’s existence, but she realized the untruth of that assumption as she stepped into the shade of the overhanging outcropping. Perhaps if she hadn’t tuned out the news of the Enterprise’s arrival, if she had kept track of who was coming to Vulcan and where they’d be staying and how long they were scheduled to be planetside, she would’ve known where to go to avoid bumping into any humans. But as it stood, there definitely was someone in the garden, clad in striking Starfleet red and standing with her back to T’Pring. Hm.
T’Pring knew that the logical next step of this interaction was to call out to the stranger, to establish contact so that their encounter could progress beyond T’Pring’s silent staring, but something within her hesitated. A shaft of sunlight from the setting suns cut through the air and landed on the woman before T’Pring, illuminating her silhouette and reminding T’Pring of the ancient paintings that depicted the goddesses of the old traditions. Her voice inexplicably caught in her throat, all T’Pring could do was stand at the edge of the shade and stare until the oddly ethereal human turned around.
“Oh,” she spoke, her voice airy and sweet, like golden honey dripping down, shining translucently in the sunlight. “I’m sorry. Am I intruding?”
T’Pring found herself shaking her head before even considering the answer. Her eyes were transfixed on this woman, taking in her strong arms, smooth skin, the curve of her lips and the shine of her hair. It took T’Pring another good moment to realize that this woman’s arms were full, bundles of carefully picked flowers pressed delicately to her chest. T’Pring blinked at the flowers for a moment, choosing to get stuck on them rather than getting stuck on her. “My flowers,” she remarked plainly, repressing the surge of T’Pring you imbecile that’s not an appropriate response to her question nor is it a productive line of conversation to be pursuing right now that burned in her chest.
The woman looked down, seemingly forgetting the flora she had collected. Worry painted her features. “Oh, is this your garden? Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, it was all the way out here in the middle of nowhere and there were no signs or anything so I assumed it was alright and McCoy said he needed some samples for sickbay because they were running low so I just thought I’d come out and get him some and oh gosh I’m so sorry-”
“Please,” T’Pring started, raising a single hand to stop this woman from her embarrassed babbling. For some reason, T’Pring did not like seeing this woman upset. “Do not apologize. It’s alright. These flowers are just as much yours as they are mine. Please help yourself to whatever you’d like.” A warm smile spread over the woman’s face, and T’Pring felt something in her abdomen flip. The sensation was most unusual, and she made a mental note to analyze it in meditation later on.
“Thank you,” the woman said, adjusting her grip on the Vulcan roses she was carrying. “Next time I’ll refrain from wandering into other people’s gardens.” The twinkle in her eyes was so subtle that T’Pring almost missed it, but once she caught it, it was blinding.
The woman began to walk towards the garden’s exit, towards T’Pring. Still in some form of shock, she found herself sputtering, “My name is T’Pring.” The woman stopped walking, landing only a step or two away from T’Pring. The warmth in her eyes was so overwhelming that T’Pring felt herself crumpling under it.
“I’m Nyota. Um, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura. Of the starship Enterprise.” T’Pring raised an eyebrow, suppressing the tug of a smirk pulling at the corner of her mouth. The two maintained eye contact for a moment longer, the ghost of a smile on both their faces before Nyota blinked and scurried away. “See you around?” she called over her shoulder, what T’Pring would dare to describe as hope seeping in her tone.
T’Pring’s quasi-grin had faded into something more quizzical, confused. “Perhaps,” she said softly, possibly too quiet for Nyota to hear anymore. T’Pring watched as Nyota’s red uniform faded into the sands of Vulcan before blinking harshly and turning back to her garden. What an odd occurrence.
T’Pring managed another couple of days without encountering another human. She paid a little more attention to the gossip of her friends, learning where the Starfleets frequented and where they were least likely to appear at any given time. Not to say that another encounter with someone like Nyota would be the worst thing that could happen, but T’Pring wasn’t convinced that all Starfleet officers would be so charming.
However, T’Pring was going off of probability and suppositions, not concrete facts, so it stood to reason that she’d bump into another human on shore leave sooner or later. What T’Pring hadn’t counted on was the statistically unlikely event that she’d be faced with Nyota (and only Nyota) again when it happened. So despite her acceptance of an eventual second meeting with a member of the Enterprise, T’Pring was genuinely surprised to run into Nyota in the center of town. She was (to T’Pring’s stifled delight) devoid of any human (or half human) companions, and was again carrying flowers in her hands. This time they seemed to be the smaller wildflowers that dotted Vulcan’s less inhospitable soils, not the fickle flora T’Pring tended to in her little alcove. Another notable detail was that strings of the same flowers were woven into Nyota’s hair, bursts of purple and yellow and red laced into her intricately styled updo. It had taken a moment for T’Pring to confirm it was in fact Nyota - she was out of her uniform, wearing what T’Pring could only assume was Terran fashion: a white crochet top and denim shorts with the cuffs of the legs rolled up. T’Pring knew on an intellectual level that Vulcan was among the hotter planets, especially for humans. But what she had previously failed to conceptualize was that humans would need to dress in accordance to the heat so that their bodies had the chance to cool themselves off. Had T’Pring had the foresight to mentally prepare herself for the sight of Uhura in her foreign dress, perhaps she’d have the ability to speak like a normal, composed Vulcan. But as things stood, most of her logical reasoning was devoted to repressing the odd sense of breathless curiosity that was creeping over her, so she was, again, less self-possessed than she’d have liked to be.
“T’Pring!” Nyota called as she caught T’Pring’s frozen gaze. Nyota made her way over to her, eyes shining and completely devoid of the quiet panic that was illogically flooding T’Pring’s senses. “How are you?”
“I’m well,” T’Pring managed, feeling her heartbeat leap to her throat. Nyota was close enough that T’Pring could pick out the soft pinks of her eyeshadow, the fan of her dark eyelashes, the subtle gloss of her lips. She was distracted enough that the How are you? she intended to say came out as, “There are flowers in your hair.”
Nyota blinked, an odd smile crossing her face. “Perceptive,” she remarked, and T’Pring felt her ears burn. “I was with Chekov and Sulu, and they suggested we try it. I liked it a lot and so did they, so I went to gather more so we could try putting flowers in their hair!”
T’Pring nodded, her eyebrows raised. She had never heard of using flowers as hair accessories. It must have been an Earth practice. “It suits you very well,” she said, her voice coming out softer than expected. Nyota cocked her head to the side and smiled.
“Thank you! Y’know, I bet you’d look absolutely divine with flowers in your hair. You already style it so intricately, it’d be super easy to just…” And Nyota reached up with her hand, a pale purple flower balanced between her fingertips. T’Pring’s eyes followed the movement, an illogical impulse in her gut willing her to reach out and touch Nyota’s hand with her own. After a moment of staring, T’Pring understood what Nyota was attempting to do and lowered her head, putting herself into a position where Nyota could work in the buds wherever she pleased. T’Pring closed her eyes and momentarily allowed herself to get lost in the feeling of nails lightly scratching her scalp, puffs of warm breath fanning out over her skin, the sound of Nyota absently humming as she secured the flowers in her hair. T’Pring was just about to look up and say something when the sound of two very loud voices cut her short.
“Uhura! There you are!”
“We worried you had gotten lost! Vulcan’s a big planet, y’know. Can’t be too careful!”
T’Pring jerked back as soon as the stranger’s voices rang out, inhaling sharply and straightening to her full height. Two men had surrounded Nyota, presumably the Chekov and Sulu that she had mentioned earlier. Nyota was laughing goodnaturedly, smiling and assuring the two that she was alright. T’Pring, after a moment of indecision, turned and walked away as quickly as she could without breaking into a sprint, pulling the flowers out of her hair the second she was out of the humans’ sight.
She returned home to find that she’d missed one flower, a small, four leafed plant that faded from purple at its extremities to white at its center. She pinched it between her fingers, twirling it and fixing it with a hard stare, as if it could somehow answer her internal line of questions or quell the turmoil churning within her. What was she thinking?
T’Pring had hoped that their last encounter would be the end of her time spent with Nyota Uhura, but of course, she hadn’t gotten off so lucky. She was browsing the local market, searching for a particular spice she had run out of when she saw Nyota flitting around from booth to booth with a long stemmed flower in hand, looking distraught. T’Pring sighed. She couldn’t just leave her. No one else seemed to notice that she needed help, or perhaps they did, but didn’t want to get roped into the personal problems of a human. Either way, she was very clearly panicked and had no one else on this planet to fall back on. So T’Pring made her way to Nyota, who’s worried expression melted into one of complete relief when they made eye contact. (That in it of itself seemed to make this endeavor worth it, which was a disconcerting thought that T’Pring didn’t have time to make sense of at the present moment.)
“T’Pring! Oh thank goodness you’re here. You ran off so quickly last time I didn’t even get to say goodbye, or introduce you to my friends, or-”
“What’s wrong, Nyota?” T’Pring interrupted, forgoing social niceties so that she didn’t have to relive their last meeting.
Nyota exhaled, blinking and straightening her posture, seemingly sorting herself out. “Spock’s taking Jim to meet his parents tonight. I mean, they’ve all met before, but not when it was official, you know?” T’Pring nodded. She did know. She’d been there the day Spock had almost killed his captain in bloodlust. She’d felt their connection just as strongly as Spock must have. It was one of the many reasons why she didn’t feel any guilt about her actions on that day - she might not have wanted to marry him, but T’Pring still respected Spock as a Vulcan and an acquaintance. Nyota gave a frustrated sigh and continued. “ Well, Jim thinks he can just waltz in there and charm the uncharmable without so much as a second thought. I told him there was no way I was letting him go in there and announce himself as Spock’s t’hy’la without so much as a present for Spock’s family, so I’m trying to put together a bouquet. Spock told me Amanda likes carnations, but I’ve only been able to find the one,” she gestured to the pink flower in her hand, “and I’m not sure what else to do.”
T’Pring considered this for a moment, hands resting idly behind her back. After a beat, she responded. “I may be able to help. Much like on Earth, Vulcan flowers have come to take on specific metaphorical meanings. They aren’t applied practically nowadays, but the connotations still linger. I am not the most knowledgeable on the subject, but I can assist you in putting together something that will accomplish what you need it to.” T’Pring thought that her offer would be satisfactory, but the worried wrinkle between Nyota’s brows had yet to disappear. T’Pring felt the intrusive urge to smooth it away with the pad of her thumb.
“Are you sure, T’Pring? You really don’t have to if you don’t want to. I mean, I know you and Spock…” T’Pring’s brow furrowed. That’s what Nyota was worried about?
“Trust me when I say that I am fine, Nyota. Spock and my separation was for the best. Without that having happened, I couldn’t be here with you.” Nyota fixed T’Pring with another look that T'Pring couldn’t hope to decipher, twirling her flower between her fingertips. T'Pring felt heat rise to her cheeks as she stared at Nyota's hands, fixating on her nimble movements and delicate fingers. The silence between them spread until T'Pring caught herself, blinking and dragging herself out of her admiration. "Come on, this way." She turned on her heel and launched into a brisk pace, fearing that looking at Nyota for a second longer would render herself inoperable.
Nyota, not wanting to lose T'Pring in the bustling crowd, grabbed T'Pring's arm. T’Pring’s mental reflexes were quick, but she got a fleeting sense of admiration and something else from Nyota before she could fully bar herself from receiving empathic signals. Something prickled in T’Pring’s chest. The unidentifiable emotion was ineffable, yes, but not entirely unfamiliar. T’Pring wasn’t sure if the familiarity was reassuring or terrifying.
T’Pring led Nyota down the busy street, shielding her from the uncaring Vulcans who shouldered their way past anyone taking up a slower pace than they were. She did her best to collect an assembly of flowers, both Vulcan and Terran, that complemented each other aesthetically and metaphorically. They had put together what seemed to be a more than adequate bouquet, when some small flowers caught T’Pring’s eye. They were a deep purple that came to a bright yellow point in the center, clearly Terran in origin. Nyota followed T’Pring’s gaze and smiled, inclining her head towards the small booth that the flowers were being sold from. “You like those? I think they’re violets.”
T’Pring pursed her lips. “Not for Amanda and Sarek. But I do like them, yes.” She turned to Nyota, who was making her way over to the vendor, presumably to inquire about purchasing the flowers. For T’Pring. Something in T’Pring’s chest seized, and her mind raced to find an excuse to make Nyota do literally anything except that.
“Nyota,” she said swiftly, reaching out and grabbing Nyota’s wrist. “I-” she attempted, but as Nyota turned around to meet her eyes, she found that her words died on her tongue. Her fingers felt searing hot where they met Nyota’s skin, and she pulled them back dumbly. “It is getting late. If you do not get our bouquet to Jim soon, I fear it will be too late.”
Nyota furrowed her brow and nodded, a businesslike expression replacing the playful glimmer in her eyes. “Oh, you’re right.” T’Pring wasn’t the best at deciphering human emotions (as if that beared explanation), but she could’ve sworn there was a note of disappointment in Nyota’s voice. “I, um. I guess I’ll see you around?”
T’Pring’s mind raced, and for some reason her thoughts seemed to be geared towards ritualistic acts of affection that typically occurred at the end of a date. Were they… on a date? Had this been a date? Did Nyota want this to be a date? Did T’Pring? And even if they both did, how would they agree on a goodbye that was both not too forward and still conveyed enough affection in both of their cultures?
Luckily (or perhaps not), Nyota cut T’Pring’s inner panic off, flashing her a quick smile and a wave before turning and walking off, presumably back towards her captain and his t’hy’la. T’Pring blinked, balling her fists and letting her nails dig into her palms. Despite T’Pring’s own wishes and their respect for one another, she and Nyota were nothing more than friends. And that in and of itself was unlikely enough that T’Pring supposed she should be grateful for whatever she was getting, even if some unnamable ache in her chest yearned for more.
Time passed, and T’Pring would be remiss to ignore the frequency with which Nyota crossed her mind. She couldn’t get her mind off of the bright, warm woman, the way her eyes always twinkled like she was letting you in on a secret, the poise and grace that glazed her every movement, the way her whole face lit up whenever she laughed, how she always seemed to be carrying flowers whenever T’Pring ran into her. There was something ethereal about her, something that made T’Pring’s stomach flip uncomfortably and her fingers fidget restlessly. After meditating for a good while on the subject (and eventually, begrudgingly consulting Spock, the only other Vulcan T’Pring could think of who had enough experience with humans to be of any help), she came to the conclusion that she was likely suffering from what humans referred to as a crush. Spock had advised her to seek out Nyota to discuss this and agree upon a logical course of action, which had been a very levelheaded, logical way of putting something that made T’Pring’s blood pressure spike when she thought about it. But Spock did have a point; she’d accomplish nothing by sitting around and letting opportunity pass her. At the very least, it was an excuse to see Nyota again.
Spock had informed T’Pring that Nyota was currently in the arboretum, doing some light reading. Jim Kirk, who had refused to leave the room for this interaction (despite T’Pring’s pointed glares) had called her and Nyota “crazy kids” and informed them to “be careful out there.” T’Pring would’ve questioned what the hell he was attempting to convey with that statement, but the expression on Spock’s face told her that Jim was just like that. Humans.
She spotted Nyota sitting under a tree with drooping branches, shaded from the golden light of the suns. She was flipping through a book (a physical book, T’Pring marveled) and humming to herself, with what looked to be a Vulcan orchid pinched between her fingers. “Nyota?” T’Pring called, caught off guard by the flower.
“T’Pring!” Nyota answered with that disarming smile of hers, but it faded from her face when she followed T’Pring’s gaze. “Um,” she started, but T’Pring spoke first.
“It is strictly forbidden to pick flowers from the arboretum,” she said plainly, almost hoping Nyota caught the faint amusement in the tone of her voice and the angle of her eyebrow.
“Um!” Nyota repeated, this time considerably more panicked. “I know, I know, but it was so gorgeous and I only picked the one and the color reminded me of those violets you liked and I just-”
T’Pring raised a hand to stop Nyota, the tiniest of smiles curling her lips upward. Nyota had broken the rules because a flower had reminded her of T’Pring? The very thought of that made T’Pring’s heart flutter. “You know,” she started, her voice soft and the unfamiliar feeling of what might’ve been cherishment burning in her chest, “I’m no gardener, but I’ve tended to my small patch of greenery for long enough to know how to pick Vulcan flowers both without hurting the plants and without leaving a conspicuous trace of obtrusion.”
Nyota frowned for a very quick moment before realizing what T’Pring was saying and breaking into a beaming grin. “Isn’t that against the rules?” she asked, but the smirk through which she delivered her stage whisper suggested that she too was in favor of breaking arbitrary rules in the name of having fun.
T’Pring just nodded before reaching out her hand and taking Nyota’s wrist, hoisting her up and pulling her off towards some of the arboretum's more exotic specimens. They talked and laughed together as the carefully extracted the flowers Nyota liked the most, T'Pring doing her best to not outwardly shiver whenever their fingers accidentally brushed.
They returned to the tree Nyota had originally stationed herself at, laughing under the whispering leaves. At T’Pring’s suggestion, they started pressing the flowers between the pages of Nyota’s book to better preserve them, allowing them to dry out in the hot Vulcan air.
“Nyota,” T’Pring started as the first sun slipped below the horizon. Nyota turned to her, the two of them sitting so closely that their legs were touching. T’Pring took a deep breath to steel herself and continued. “I’ve, um. Greatly enjoyed the time we've spent together. I-" She struggled to find the words, settling on an embarrassingly transparent sigh of frustration. But Nyota, in her infinite wisdom, seemed to understand.
She reached out and took T'Pring's hand, the pads of her fingers dragging across T'Pring's skin and sending electricity out across her neural network. T'Pring closed her eyes and let out a shaky breath, feeling, rather than seeing, the radiance of Nyota's smile. "Me too, T'Pring," she said, barely louder than an exhale, and the intimacy of her touch combined with the sweet sound of her voice and the kind meaning of her words was overwhelming. T'Pring's mental walls shattered, and waves of affection and sincerity and warmth crashed over her, making her sigh and slide her fingers against Nyota's. Their fingers interlocked, and they sat together in the quiet of the sunset.
The time came to leave and T'Pring mourned the loss of Nyota's touch. It wasn't until T'Pring returned to her house when she remembered - Nyota was a human. Logically, T'Pring understood this, but she had failed to process the implications of that until now - humans didn't kiss with their hands. It was entirely possible that Nyota had not intended to kiss T'Pring at all, and that the emotions T'Pring gathered from Nyota's thoughts had been misinterpreted, or projected onto Nyota, or an infinite amount of other possibilities that, if T'Pring were to objectively analyze them, would be entirely illogical, but seemed like the only possible answers to her at the moment. How could she have been so foolish?
Days passed by and T'Pring did her best to keep away from where she deduced Nyota would be. She didn't want to know what would come of another meeting between the two of them. Despite T'Pring's desires, her crush had been illogical from the moment it was formed. Nyota was a Starfleet officer. She was only stationed on the planet for shore leave. Her home was on her ship, with her crew and her adventures and her life that she wanted so much more out of than what T'Pring could be. For all T'Pring knew, Nyota and her crew were back on the Enterprise already, blasting through the stars, light years away from T'Pring and her senseless wishes. Why would Nyota settle for her when she had the whole galaxy at her fingertips?
Because of this self deprecating introspection, T'Pring was unable to mask her surprise when a knock rang out against her front door. Hoping against hope, she straightened herself out in the mirror before going to the door, taking a deep breath to compose herself before pulling it open. And standing there in Starfleet red was Nyota, clutching a bouquet of Vulcan roses and Terran violets.
"You know," she drawled, the humor of her smirk sparkling in her eyes, "I wasn't under the impression that Vulcans were the type to kiss and leave."
T'Pring absolutely blanched at that. "You- you knew? " Nyota laughed as T'Pring continued her panicked babble. "I realized afterwards that you may not understand Vulcan displays of intimacy so I surmised that your kisses had been unwitting and thusly concluded that the best course of action was to allow you to return to your normal life and let-"
" T'Pring," Nyota cut her off, holding up her free hand delicately. "I have a Vulcan Commander. You think I didn't pay attention in cultural sensitivity training?" All T'Pring could do was blink helplessly, color rising to her cheeks. That would've been the logical conclusion, yes.
Nyota continued, looking down at the bouquet. "Do you know what violets symbolize on Earth?" T'Pring shook her head, knowing all too well that any vocalizations on her part would compromise her Vulcan dignity. "Innocence," Nyota said, dangerously innocuous. "Faithfulness." Her eyes, which had been roaming her bouquet with a deliberate, playful levity, snapped up to meet T'Pring's. "True love. Often between women. Sappho used them all the time in her poetry." T'Pring felt something swell in her chest. Something big and hopeful and terrifying and- "The roses are Vulcan, but on Earth they symbolize romance, passion, respect."
"And love," T'Pring finished for her. Uhura nodded. "They have much the same meaning here." She was breathless, seeing Nyota here, back for her, bearing the same flower Nyota had held when they first met and the flowers T'Pring had found so beautiful back in the market. Nyota pushed the bouquet into T'Pring's hands and she took it, wonderstruck. "Nyota, this is so thoughtful of you. I can't possibly think of how to repay you-"
"Be my girlfriend," Nyota blurted, and her eyes widened for a moment as if even she was surprised by herself, but a moment later her expression had solidified into something concrete, self assured, the commanding confidence of a Starfleet Lieutenant. T'Pring blinked, an eyebrow instinctually arching.
"Aren't you going back to your starship?" she asked, and Nyota mirrored her raised eyebrow with an impressive amount of incredulousness for someone without a drop of Vulcan blood in their body.
"Are you not planning on calling me?" she fired back, and T'Pring had to concede to that. Never in the universe's history had it been easier to maintain a long distance relationship, and if that’s what Nyota wanted then T’Pring was more than happy to oblige.
"I suppose you have a point," T'Pring said.
Nyota didn't miss a beat with her smug, "Nothing feels better than out-logicing a Vulcan." That startled T'Pring enough that she let out a puff of air through her nose that almost could've been categorized as a laugh. "Can I kiss you now?" Nyota laughed back, equal parts teasing and affection intermingling in her tone.
"Vulcan or human kiss?"
Nyota met T’Pring’s sass with an ambitious grin. “Both.” And Nyota brought one hand to the back of T’Pring’s neck, pulling her down into a human kiss while T’Pring reached out to trace Nyota’s free hand with her fingers, initiating a Vulcan kiss. The duality of sensations, both familiar and pleasantly unfamiliar made T’Pring’s head spin until she was practically swooning from the sheer force of their shared feelings.
Nyota pulled back, practically holding T’Pring up on her weak knees. “You alright?” she asked, and her laugh was music.
“Yes,” T’Pring exhaled. “I’m… I’m wonderful.”
“I-” Nyota started, “I have to get back on my ship. But I’ll- I’ll call, okay?”
T’Pring clutched her flowers in her hands, grabbing Nyota’s hand one last time and pressing a slow kiss to her cheek. “Please do.” And she watched Nyota walk away, the sweet aroma of flowers making her heart swell with contentment.
Nyota had stuck to her word, calling T'Pring whenever their time zones and free time aligned. They had even gone through the trouble of sending each other letters, physical letters, each carefully composed with swirling calligraphy and, on occasion, pressed flowers. Nyota gladly reported that Dr. McCoy had only needed to commandeer T'Pring's gifts as the missing ingredient to a medicine that would miraculously cure the mysterious extraterrestrial illness threatening to destroy the Enterprise a grand total of two times. Which, from the little that T’Pring knew about starships, seemed like a pretty impressive track record.
The two of them had been apart for a few months now, Nyota having no idea when she’d even be in the same star system as T’Pring. Which was why when T’Pring found herself spending time on a distant planet coincidentally adjacent to the starbase the Enterprise was currently docked at, she decided to keep her arrival on Nyota’s ship a surprise.
T’Pring had arranged for Nyota to be present in the transporter room for her arrival, but kept ignorant as to who was being beamed up. When the Enterprise’s exterior visualized before T’Pring, her eyes immediately found Nyota, whose expression immediately broke into one of bewildered confusion and unyielding joy. “T’Pring!” she called, forgetting her practiced Starfleet diplomacy in favor of rushing over to T’Pring and pulling her into a tight embrace, fingers squeezing into her skin as she laughed out expressions of affection and gladness.
T’Pring returned the embrace, careful to not damage the long stemmed rose she had transported up with her. Nyota pulled back, holding T’Pring’s elbows as her eyes flicked over her face, as if she was confirming that T’Pring was really here. T’Pring held up the rose (Terran in origin, grown by T’Pring on Vulcan after a sizable amount of struggle), and Nyota let out the smallest of gasps. Holo-communications were improving all the time, and even their handheld devices were usually able to pick up on conversational subtleties like that, but there really was nothing like the real thing.
Nyota reached for the flower, pressing her fingertips against T’Pring’s as she did. Neither of them moved, simply enjoying the feeling of one another’s kiss after what felt like so long. “How long are you on board?” she whispered, almost conspiratorially, like this was a secret for only the two of them.
“I’m under the impression that this is my ride home,” she said, eyebrow quirked. “Your captain couldn’t guarantee a concrete timeline, but I assured him that I’m alright with whatever is convenient for him and the crew.” Nyota’s eyes gleamed, and T’Pring could already feel the thrill of adventure already stirring up in Nyota’s chest.
“So you’re…?” she trailed off, but T’Pring knew what she was asking.
“Yes,” she nodded, lacing her fingers between Nyota’s. “With you.” After placing a quick kiss on T’Pring’s lips and tucking her rose behind her ear, Nyota tugged T’Pring out of the transporter room, excited to show T’Pring her ship and her friends and to dive into this new beginning together.