by JS Stephens
Copyright © 2020 All Rights Reserved.
Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: I am borrowing characters and other elements of the Star Trek universe, which is owned by CBS these days. I mean them no harm.
This story is loosely based on the Original Series third season episode, "Is There In Truth No Beauty?"
There may be actual or implied relationships between members of the same gender. If this bothers you, please leave quietly and shut the door behind you.
Dr. Miranda Jones' mind-link with Medusan Ambassador Kollos, who in turn had linked with Commander Spock, allowed her to see through Spock's eyes for a short time. Having been born blind, she could not conceive of sight, yet the experience shook her to her core.
Dr. Jones, through Spock, turned to gaze upon Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, the ship's communications officer. Ambassador Kollos said through Spock, "And Uhura, whose name means 'freedom'. She walks in beauty, like the night."
Something in Dr. Jones stirred as the first officer's eyes landed on the communications officer. She had never missed sight, having never experienced it, but now she wanted more. Turn back to Lt. Uhura, she thought, but her thoughts were disregarded as Kollos/Spock followed the captain's directive and turned to the task at hand: setting the course back to their galaxy. She felt something surging deep in her soul, a jealousy that Spock had linked completely with Kollos, but also that Spock could see. She nudged Spock to forget his protective visor, regretting it as she saw through Spock's eyes the horror on Lt. Uhura's face as he went mad from viewing Kollos.
The rest of the day was a blur, metaphorically speaking. Dr. Jones reluctantly melded her mind with Spock's to bring him back to sanity. She felt jealousy and rage, unacustomed to such emotions, but not so much as Kirk charged, but that Spock could see Uhura. She had always heard others speak of beauty, of the curves of a woman's body, but had no frame of reference. She had gladly escaped to Vulcan to study techniques to block out others' thoughts, to still the emotions within herself, but for the first time, she felt doubt about the wisdom of her choice to abandon emotion.
She would accompany the Ambassador to the next destination in the morning, but for now, she had the evening and night to herself. She could still feel tendrils of Kollos/Spock touching her mind, and for once, it felt wrong. She knew the Ambassador had feelings for her now, but not ones she could truly return. She felt...lonely.
"Computer, where is the nearest recreation room?" she asked.
"The main recreation room is Deck Five," the computer answered. "I can give you the coordinates for your sensor net," it offered.
"Yes, thank you," the doctor murmured. Coordinates received, she ventured out into the corridor, following the coordinates that were fed into her net.
The room was almost empty as Dr. Jones walked in, only a few people were loitering around, listening to Lt. Uhura singing. She could feel the minds of the others gathered around the communications officer, sense them looking at her. She was about to turn and leave when the singing stopped. "Dr. Jones, won't you come join us?"
She paused, torn between leaving and staying, her loneliness winning out. "I will join you for a few minutes," she conceded. "Please, keep singing, your voice is lovely." Did I really say that? she wondered, but it was true. The woman did have a quite pleasing voice.
Dr. Jones felt Uhura smiling, warmth flowing toward her. "All right, an oldie but a goodie," she promised. "Crewman Karnes, care to accompany me?" She heard the first few notes from a keyboard and struggled to place it.
The look of love
is in your eyes
a look your smile
A memory tugged in the recesses of her mind. Where had she heard this song, and under what circumstance?
I can hardly wait to hold you
feel my arms around you
how long I have waited
waited just to love you
now that I have found you
The memory rushed back now, the scent of a woman sitting very close, her sensor net picking up on all sorts of signals. It was in a small café on her home planet, she was in her undergraduate program and had gone out with classmates. The café featured live music on the weekends, and the small trio played tunes from all over the Federation, but tonight, tonight the trio played songs from Earth during the 20th century. Her study partner, Patricia Forta, was sitting close, singing softly with the vocalist. Patricia's voice was a rich, mellow contralto, sending shivers up and down her spine. Miranda was still learning to integrate data from her sensor net that overlaid her clothing with her physical senses and her mental senses. Patricia's mind and emotions were riding against Miranda's, an almost physical touch.
Be mind, tonight
let this be just the start of
so many nights like this
let's take a lovers vow
and seal it with a kiss
Stronger memories rushed through Miranda, a walk home with Patricia taking her hand, a dizzying sensation of the physical and the emotional, stopping at the door of Miranda's apartment, a soft voice asking permission to enter. Soft kisses leading to more, a night full of passion, declarations of love, months of passion culminating in a marriage proposal. The agony of receiving the message that Patricia had died in a shuttle accident. Shutting down and throwing herself into her studies, shutting out emotion, galloping though her degrees, grasping the opportunity to study on Vulcan and shed her pesky emotions.
I can hardly wait to hold you
feel my arms around you
how long I have waited...
Miranda's hands clenched together fiercely as she willed back the memories, the emotions. "The Look of Love", her traitorous mind informed her, and Patricia sang it to her often. Now Uhura had just finished singing it to light applause. I have to get out of here, she thought as she stood abruptly, stumbling to the doorway.
"Dr. Jones, are you all right?" Uhura's voice asked, suddenly so close. A gentle hand grasped her upper arm, "Shall I take you to your quarters?"
"Yes, please," Miranda whispered. She knew her sensor net was automatically feeding her data, but she was having a hard time integrating it and stumbled as they entered the corridor. "I'm sorry," she automatically apologized, "I'm not usually clumsy."
A warm supportive arm wrapped around her waist. "You've had a long day, don't worry about it," Uhura said, "let me take care of you."
The two women walked silently to the turbolift, Miranda finding herself leaning on Uhura for support. The turbolift doors opened and they entered, with Uhura giving the command for the guest quarters. Despite the precision of the sensor net, Miranda found herself nearly stumbling, overwhelmed with sensory input and long-suppressed emotions. Somehow she managed to press the button to open the doors, hearing the whoosh as the doors parted.
"Thank you," she managed to choke out.
"My pleasure, Dr. Jones."
"Nyota, you have a beautiful voice," Miranda said. She paused, wondering where to sit, as the guest quarters had a desk, two chairs, and a double bed as options. Chairs felt too formal, and she was overthinking again. "Thank you for bringing me back here, I shouldn't keep you any longer."
"Miranda, I will stay as long as you need me to," Nyota offered warmly. Miranda started to speak, but was overwhelmed again. She made it to the bed, dropping on the edge of it, burying her face in her hands as she tried to will the feelings of loneliness and grief away. She felt Nyota sit beside her, wrapping her in her arms, humming a soothing tune. Miranda gradually relaxed, pressing her face into Nyota's neck, breathing in the light scent the other woman wore. "Miranda, tell me what is troubling you," Nyota whispered.
"The song you sang, it reminded me of someone," she finally confessed, "someone I loved years ago."
"Did you lose them?"
"Yes, in a shuttle accident. We were engaged, and she died in a shuttle accident coming back from work. I was finishing my undergraduate degree and Patricia had already graduated, and she died in a stupid shuttle accident. It hurt too much, I couldn't bear it, and I could feel and hear other people's pity, so when I had the chance to study on Vulcan, I jumped at it. I don't want to feel any more, I don't want to love any more, and that stupid Larry Marvick kept mooning over me, saying he loved me, wanted to marry me, but I lost my only chance at love and I always wondered what it would be like to see a lover, and when Kollos/Spock saw you today and exclaimed at your beauty-"
"It brought up painful memories for you," Nyota finshed for her. "Oh, Miranda, I can only imagine the pain," she said, "but you can see with more than your eyes, you know. When you are with someone you love, you can see them with your fingers gliding over their face, you can know them by their voice, you can feel them close to you. You don't need eyes to see how beautiful someone is."
Miranda stood up and took off her sensor net, laying it carefully on the dresser. Memory told her how many steps to take to get back to the bedside without groping, and pride propelled her back to the bed, sitting gracefully. She lifted a hand, reaching for the other woman's face, delicately tracing the contours of Nyota's cheeks down to her lips. Soft, warm lips, like Patricia's, slightly parted. She swayed toward the other woman, finding her lips with her own, impressing the sensation into her memory.
They kissed tenderly, hesitantly, on the precipice of a tsunami of passion. Miranda pulled back abruptly, embarrassed by her forwardness with a woman she barely knew. She forced herself to gather her dignity around her as she pulled away. "My apologies, Lt. Uhura, it is not right for me to force my attentions on you."
Nyota reached for Miranda, saying, "Miranda, sometimes we just need someone to help us heal, and believe me, I was not resisting."
"Nonetheless, I only met you today," Miranda persisted.
"And when you met your Patricia?" Nyota asked in a husky voice.
Miranda felt herself flush at the memories of throwing caution to the wind and falling into bed with Patricia that first night. "But that was a different time, and we were young. I don't want to use you, it would not be right. Besides, it is late, and I'm sure you have an early shift tomorrow."
"If that's what you want," Nyota said, leaning forward to brush another kiss on Miranda's lips."If you change your mind, just call me." She stood, pulling Miranda up with her, wrapping arms around the doctor's waist. "I can also just stay and hold you."
Miranda allowed herself to be held, wishing she could take the other woman up on her offer. "It would not be right, but I appreciate the offer," she said.
"Then I'll say goodnight, Miranda," the officer said quietly. "Sleep well, and good dreams."
Dr. Miranda Jones stood on the transporter pad, waiting to be transported to the surface with the Ambassador. As she said her goodbyes, she irrationally wished that Lt. Nyota Uhura were there to say goodbye, knowing it was irrational, but still wishing for one last embrace, one last kiss. She hardly heard what Captain Kirk and Commander Spock said to her. Just as they started to beam down, she heard the Ambassador reach into her mind and say, "I am with you, you are not alone."
Back to the Academy
But would it be enough?