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On the Enterprise, everything was silver. This included Nyota’s quarters, the walls of which were barren but for a framed painting of a Kenyan landscape. She would have brought some of her paintings from the Academy, but she couldn’t bear to be reminded of that.

Nyota’s room at the Academy had been filled with color, but most of it hadn’t been on the walls.

For instance, in the middle of the floor, between the beds, was a stubborn spot of pink.

Gaila had been sitting on the floor naked, her hair in pigtails, painting her toenails. Nyota had said something – she couldn’t remember what – that had made Gaila laugh so hard she’d forgotten the dripping brush in her hand.

Nyota had been annoyed at the time.

Nyota remembered finding Gaila’s hair in the shower, long copper-colored fibers that wove themselves together when wet and clogged the drain much worse than human hair.

That had irritated Nyota, too. She regretted that.

On Gaila’s head, her hair had felt like strands of silk, so soft and fine that Nyota couldn’t fathom how it held its curl. Gaila’s head was bright copper in sunlight and almost crimson under fluorescent lights.

And her skin.

God, her skin.

Gaila smelled like freshly cut grass, vanilla, and something animal and heady. And her color – the way she blushed spinach green when she was happy, or once when Nyota had gotten a little bit drunk and kissed her just to see how it felt.

Gaila had never mentioned it except with a smile and a wink the next morning, but after that night they would sit together on Gaila’s bed sometimes, and once or twice Uhura fell asleep and woke up to find their limbs tangled.

Nyota slid her fingernail down the cold silver surface of her wall and closed her eyes.