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Story Notes:

Working on "Meld Away the Butterflies" has refreshed a lot of my own college memories. One of the strongest that I can remember about student housing was my own wish (and the wish of a number of my friends, both male and female) for alternative housing choices on our college campus for GLBT students. Maybe one day it will become a reality.



Resting on the bed in her dorm room, Uhura looked up from her data PADD when she heard a knocking sound at the door. “It’s open,” she called out loud enough to be heard through the thick oak barrier.


A human woman, probably in her 40s or early 50s, stepped into the room. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said upon seeing Uhura, “I must be lost.”


Uhura smiled at the woman. She was one of those people who instantly came across as a nice person. “What room are you looking for, ma’am?”


“Cadet Accommodation 212, Serenity Building.”


“No, you’re in the right place. Do you want to come in?” Uhura ushered the woman, who Uhura thought still seemed like she was under the impression that she was in the wrong place somehow, into the room.


“Thank you.”


Uhura pulled out the chair at her own desk. She would never think of touching her roommate’s possessions without permission. “Would you like to take a seat?”


The woman wrung her fingers together. “I’m sorry. I really think that I’m not in the right place. I think that I should just go.” She moved quickly back towards the door.


“Are you looking for Spock?” Uhura asked kindly, trying to put the woman at ease.


“Yes, I am actually. I’m his mother, Amanda.”


“Oh, it’s nice to meet you!” Uhura held out her hand. “Spock told me that his mother was a human. I’m his roommate, Nyota Uhura.”


“Roommate, dear?” A look of confusion came to Amanda’s face. “I’m sorry, Nyota. I don’t understand – I thought that all of the dormitories at Starfleet Academy were assigned to same-gender cadets.”


“Well, most of them are that way. The Serenity dorm is different, though. It’s…alternative housing.”


“Alternative housing?”


The smile on Uhura’s face faltered slightly. “Maybe I’ll let Spock explain when he gets back.” Uhura knew that line when somebody stepped right up to it. If Spock hadn’t told his mother, then it certainly wasn’t right for her to go talking about his private life without his permission with Amanda.


Amanda nodded, sitting down in the chair that Uhura had pulled out for her.


Uhura grabbed up the data PADD that she had been reading, tapping her fingers against the back side of its cool surface. She was torn between staying and leaving, not sure which one would prove more awkward for when Spock did finally get back to their dorm room. She ultimately decided that staying was the better option.


The two women didn’t have to wait long. Spock returned back to the dorm room less than five minutes later.


Spock had walked into the room with a full head of steam, but he came to an instant stand-still when he saw Amanda sitting in Nyota’s chair. “Mother.” There was a few seconds of silence while he recovered from the shock of seeing her there. “I did not know that you were planning to visit.”


Amanda stood up from the chair, rushing over to her son’s side. “Oh, I know that you hate surprises. But your father needed to come to Earth for a diplomatic summit, and I wanted to come see you. It’s been so long since you left Vulcan…”


“Your presence is not unwelcome, mother. Simply unexpected,” Spock said softly. “I assume that you have met my roommate, Cadet Uhura?”


Amanda glanced over her shoulder at Uhura. “Yes, she made me feel quite welcome.”


Uhura swayed back and forth on her feet, feeling uncomfortable. “I’m sorry, Spock. I didn’t know what to tell her exactly, or whether I should have stayed or not.”


“Do not apologize, Nyota,” Spock instantly reassured her. “The fault for not being straight forth with my mother about our living situation is entirely my own.”


Spock turned his attention back towards Amanda. “The Serenity Building provides housing for cadets who have sexual preferences that lay outside the norms of the majority heterosexual society, mother.”


Amanda looked appraisingly at her son. “I see. So you…?”


“I prefer the company of men, yes.”


“And Nyota prefers women?”


Uhura moved to stand next to Spock. “Actually, I’m heterosexual myself. I’m…I guess the best term for me is ‘fag hag’ or ‘queer dear.’” She frowned slightly. “They’re not really very nice terms, actually, but there’s really no better description; the origins of both expressions are somewhat archaic, stemming from a few centuries ago. I’m somebody who enjoys the company of gay men on a comfortable friendship basis.”


“Oh, I understand.” Amanda smiled slightly.


“Yeah, it’s a nice solution,” Uhura continued as Spock nodded his approval to her. “Spock can live in a dorm room without worrying about being hit on by a male roommate, and I get the option of living with a good friend who just happens to be a member of the opposite sex.”


Spock tilted his head forward slightly. “Are you displeased by this knowledge, mother?”


“Surprised, maybe. But displeased, Spock?” Amanda touched her son’s shoulder lightly. “You will always have a mother who is proud of you.”


Spock lifted a hand, taking a gentle hold of the fair skin of his compassionate and loving mother’s hand. “I am gratified.”


Amanda cupped her other hand around her son’s. “I know that I shouldn’t pry, but call it a mother’s prerogative: do you have a boyfriend?”


Spock nodded. “As a matter of fact, I am currently engaged in a…romantic relationship.”


Delight spread to Amanda’s face, first because her son had a significant other, and second because Spock described that relationship in an emotional context. “I would really love to meet him, Spock, if you feel comfortable with that.”


“It would please me very much to introduce you to Jim.”


Uhura grinned brightly at both Spock and Amanda. “Do you want me to call him up right now, Spock? Tell him that he should come over?”


“That would be more than acceptable, Nyota.”


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