Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)
"I have been... and always shall be... your friend. Live long and prosper."
– Spock to James T. Kirk, 2285 (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

A friend was someone who was more than an acquaintance but typically did not belong to one's family. The relationship between friends was called a friendship.

In 2258 in the alternate reality, James T. Kirk discovered the Spock of the prime universe while marooned on the planet Delta Vega. Surprised thtat Spock knew his identity, he asked how this was possible and Spock replied "I have been, and always shall be, your friend." When he then stated that he was Spock, Kirk replied "Bullshit." (Star Trek)

Over time, James T. Kirk and Spock came to share a deep friendship. In 2285, Spock, dying of radiation poisoning after sacrificing himself to save the USS Enterprise, told Kirk that he had been and always would be his friend. He then gave him the Vulcan salute with the traditional accompanying phrase "Live long and prosper." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

For much of Human history, the ceremony of breaking bread was a symbol of friendship and community. This tradition was less practiced in the 24th century. (TNG: "Time Squared")

Sylvia Tilly claimed a roommate was an automatic built-in friend. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings")

According to Jean-Luc Picard in 2364, close friends were quite rare for him, with two of his oldest and closest friends being the deceased Jack Crusher and Walker Keel. For Picard, friendship "must dare to risk", or it was no friendship at all. (TNG: "Conspiracy")

Data defined friendship as "I experience certain sensory input patterns, my mental pathways become accustomed to them. The inputs eventually are anticipated and even missed when absent". Data considered both William T. Riker and Deanna Troi to be his friends. (TNG: "Time's Arrow") By 2367, his best friend was Geordi La Forge. (TNG: "Data's Day") Data and Worf also both considered each other to be a friend. (TNG: "Gambit, Part II") He also befriended the young boy Timothy, telling him that he had many Human friends. (TNG: "Hero Worship")

Guinan made fast friends with Ro Laren in 2368, with Jean-Luc Picard later commenting that Guinan was very selective about whom she called a friend. (TNG: "Ensign Ro")

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