As soon as Spock begins attending school, she goes to T'Pau afterwards, stays through dinner, and is sent home after.
Her grandmother teaches her many things; proper High Vulcan, etiquette befitting a daughter of Surak, the many different hairstyles and their meanings. She teaches her to hold her head high, that no one is above her, not her classmates or their parents, not even the High Council. T'Pau teaches her to hide her poison in her words, to insult someone and leave them feeling complimented. She teaches Spock to go unobserved, to be meek and mild and to take down her enemies and leave no one suspecting her for it.
The day Spock's father brings her to T'Pau with a split lip and a mulish glare, T'Pau tells her a mantra to repeat that will stick with her for the rest of her life.
She is Spock of the house of Surak and the house of Greyson, daughter of Sarek and Amanda, sister of Sybok and Michael.
She is Spock, and none can do anything to her without her consent.
After Sybok leaves, Spock begins to simply say 'daughter' and 'sister'. It's easier, somehow.
The day Spock goes before the Council, her grandmother comes over and does her hair.
It's full of loops and curls, braids marking her family and her position. Spock thinks of telling her grandmother of her Starfleet application.
But T'Pau's eyes meet hers in the mirror, and it's been twelve years that she's been going to see her grandmother now. Her grandmother knows her as her mother does.
How foolish of Spock to think T'Pau wouldn't already know.
Her grandmother pins the last long loop into place and brushes her fingers along Spock's cheekbone in a kiss. She leaves without a word.
Spock will never see her again.
At the Academy, Spock stops braiding her hair. Her family is spread across several different planets, Michael even in space, and it does not feel right to tell these cadets, loud and rude and sneering, who she is, when all she really is is alone.
After years under Captain Pike, Spock accepts a teaching position at the Academy with him. She'll be his First when they go back out, but until then she teaches and helps with the Chess and Xenolinguistic Clubs.
It's there that she meets Jim Kirk and Leonard McCoy.
Spock will admit to being shocked the first time Kirk beats her at chess.
They rematch again and again, even carrying on electronic matches over their comms, until Kirk becomes Jim and McCoy becomes Leonard, and in Jim and Leonard's third and last year, they become something more.
Spock hadn't wanted to take her Jim to trial, had found his coding ingenious and his reasoning logical, but the Admiralty had wanted to pin something on him, and they'd used her to do it.
She stands when they call her name and tries to ignore the hurt coming from both of her mates.
She'd wanted to do her hair, to mark herself as a person not to be used by those higher in rank, to show her lineage and her identity, but Jim had coaxed her back to bed and Leonard had helped keep her there, and in the end she barely had time to put a uniform on.
She tries not to hurt Jim more, but she can see him react to an inadvisable remark about his father, and then the distress call comes in from Vulcan and it all escapes her mind.
She meets them in the shuttle bay long enough to remind Leonard of regulations and tell Jim that she's sorry, and she'll have to explain later, and then she's boarding a shuttle to go and save her parents.
As soon as Jim and Sulu beam up, Spock steps onto the transporter pad, ready to go down. She and Jim argue, and in the end he comes with her, something Spock will never be able to express enough gratitude for, considering he grips her wrist with one hand and yanks her mother forward with the other, using her as an anchor to keep her mother from falling to her death.
She'd like the little consciousness within her to have a grandmother, after all.
Later, after everything is over-after Nero has been defeated and Pike is out of surgery and they're slowly limping back to Earth, Spock sits in her quarters with her mates and talks. She tells them about growing up, about the trial, about what has happened. When they're done, not angry anymore and laying in the bed curled together, Spock lets her lips curl up and tells them about the mind she can feel slowly developing inside her.
Both of her mates spin her around and cry, and both agree it's only logical to be her husbands, too.
The day Spock gets married, she does her own hair. She loves her mother, really-but her hair was something she'd shared with T'Pau, and it's something she'll do alone until she teaches her husbands and their children the meanings and nuances.
She braids in the clan braids, the family braids, the braids marking her as a daughter, the one that marks her the sister of a female and the one that marks her as the sister of a male. Tomorrow, when she begins the traditional days of wearing her hair up after the wedding, she will put in marriage braids, one for each of her husbands. Before the year is out, she will have one marking her as a mother as well.
Spock pins the last loop in place, then raises her head high. She can almost feel T'Pau with her, on this day of joy for a species that has not had enough of it lately.
She is Spock of Vulcan, of the houses of Surak and of Greyson, of Kirk and of McCoy. She is a daughter, and a sister, and will soon be a wife and a mother. She is a member of an endangered species.
She is Spock, and she is strong.