"No!" Andrew fingers were stretched wide, like they just weren't big enough to contain his frustration. "It doesn't make any sense for Uhura to be a brilliant xenolinguist and not even know the basic syntax for Klingon."
"Maybe her specialty was Romulan," Xander reasoned. "Maybe she flunked Klingon every semester of school."
"She's not stupid, Xander," Andrew said witheringly.
"Hey!" Xander said, stung. You didn't have to be stupid to flunk classes.
Andrew rolled his eyes. He had a way of doing it that made him look both dismissive and repentant. "Sorry. It just doesn't make sense."
Xander shook his head. "It's an alternate reality," he pointed out. "Maybe that's something … alternate."
"Nope, doesn't fit. One of the guys on my forum has a chart of changes to the timeline, and there's nothing that comes close to influencing Uhura's language competence."
Xander took a moment to truly appreciate the true scope of Andrew's geekiness. He didn't even try to hide it, just wore it proudly for the world to see. Xander had spent enough years hiding his Ewok bed sheets to be impressed by that level of unconcern.
"Even if it doesn't fit," Xander said. "Even if it contradicts Undiscovered Country, isn't it a good thing that they gave her real skills. Beyond telephone operator in space."
"No." Andrew lifted his chin. "She wasn't the captain or the genius engineer or the awesome Vulcan. She was just … there, doing her job. Monitoring transmissions. And she was important, even though people didn't always know it."
Andrew was staring up at Xander like he was trying to communicate something more than words, even though Xander had told him that the mind link only worked if Willow was witching it. His eyes were wide and intent, and his mouth had the lines at the corners that he only got when he was really serious. It was kind of the way he looked when he talked about Starbuck's fate at the end of BSG.
"Andrew," Xander said slowly, "We know you're important." He was; they'd never keep the girls fed without him. But Xander meant personally, too. Andrew - doofy, formerly evil Andrew, with his terminal case of Little Brother Syndrome - was someone Xander counted on. Someone who helped him and supported him and made him smile (and not just out of mockery).
Andrew scrunched his face. "I'm not Uhura, Xander." He was still watching Xander's face with that sharp focus, though, so he had to be making some kind of point. Xander opened his mouth and Oh! He got the point so suddenly that he could almost feel it pierce his heart.
Xander reached out a hand and cupped it against Andrew's jaw, and it was a sign of how far they'd come that Andrew didn't flinch. Andrew's breath hitched, and Xander rubbed his thumb gently across the soft skin under his ear as he leaned in to kiss him.
He'd worry later about convincing Andrew that this didn't make him Spock.