Disclaimer: I do not own, nor do I make any profit from, Star Trek.
Kirk stared at her thoughtfully accross the bridge. She was beautiful, there was no denying that. Why hadn't he noticed before? Was it because of her skin that she had never occurred to him as an available specimin? The Federation boasted acceptance and equality for everyone, regardless of race and gender; but there were sitll occasional qualms and a good bit of tension concerning the matter. But, no; he hadn't discriminated racially before and odds of him doing it now were not good. It could only be their close work that seperated them.

But she was beautiful, and kind, and the sweetest, most optimistic person on board the Enterprise. And to learn that she put such confidence in him, got such comfort from him without his knowledge... Well that just made him swell with pride and burst with the feeling that he must protect her. Of course, as captain he was responsible for the safety of all his crew-men; but somehow this particular woman, this radiant goddess who had been providentially placed in his bridge-crew, he now saw in a completely different light.

Uhura, whose name means "Freedom," would never be the same to him again. And that really didn't bother him at all.

/\

"I'm not going to say it again, Spock. If I have to I'll have Jim order you. Report to sickbay. Your physical is long over-due."

"It will not be necessary to disturb the captain, doctor. I shall report momentarily."

"Well, be snappy about it. McCoy out." The screen faded and for the first time in ages, Spock sighed audiably. He could no longer avoid sickbay and could only hope, useless though it was, that Nurse Chapel would be elsewhere. Despite his Vulcan composure and mental capacity, the incident of a few days past still preyed on his mind and gnawed relentlessly at his insides.

It was, of course, illogical to worry, especially about an occurrance which niether he nor the nurse had encouraged or willfully partaken of. He was unharmed and had kept from harming her. So why did it trouble him so? The one problem with planet-wide emotionlessness was that when something like this was eating at him, there was no one to explain the inexplicable.

Not that he would have sought advice if he could have. The memory was entirely too humiliating to even consider discussing it's results. Spock was fairly certain he would prefer death to reliving the scene through words. Yet, try as he might, he could not stop it from playing over and over in the recesses of his brain. He struggled and failed to forget her warm lips.

He was surprised to feel that his cheeks were flushed, hot with the green blood that no-doubt gave him a rather sickly appearance at the moment. He carefully regulated his blood-flow and felt the excess color draining from his face as he stepped into sickbay. Control was vital.

/\

Uhura tried not to squirm under the captain's lingering gaze. It was pleasant, if not unnerving, that he had finally taken notice of her. Certainly, she wished it hadn't required such a fiasco to gain his interrest, but still she felt somehow accomplished, as though it had been she alone who made him kiss her, made him look into her eyes, deep into her eyes. She had looked into his eyes too, and seen there something more than humiliation, something apart from the resentment and hatred toward the mocking onlookers. Was it possible he had enjoyed himself? Were her feelings for him remotely mutual? Who could know?

/\

Too late would the doctor realize his mistake in having Christine oversee Spock's physical. It would be awkward and any conversation would be more onesided that ever before. Something between her heart and her stomach, a part of every human that takes no physical shape, churned sickeningly when she recalled the day with the Platonians. At the same time, her heart jumped and grew more determined to get close to him.

She blushed heartily when he came through the door and it took every bit of strength and will not to run to him crying, begging forgiveness even though the blame was far from her. She blinked and her professionalism returned. It was up to her to make this bearable.

"Good day, Mister Spock," she said chipperly. "How do you do?"

The Vulcan blinked. "How do I do what?" This could easily have been genuine, but she suspected he was simply being cheeky and thus chose to ignore it, smiling still.

"I'm overseeing your physical. You're not ticklish, are you?" She groaned inwardly. This was a joke meant to comfort children. There were none aboard the Enterprise, and she bit her tongue to prevent anything else slipping out.

"Ticklish?" the Vulcan raised an eyebrow.

"Well," she said thoughtfully. How could she describe it? "It's a sensation similar to an itch, yet simultaneously pleasant and unpleasant, generally caused by light touch."

"No," Spock said flatly.

"Good," she said, and they began the physical. She chatted away about anything she could think of, occasionally asking a question. How were things going on the bridge? Had he played much chess of late? He answered mechanically to everything and said no more than was absolutely necessary to answer her. She soon ran out of things to say and they were forced to endure one another's silent company. When her work had ended and Spock lingered for the report, she said it. She said what she must and was grateful they were alone.

"I love you." She looked at eyes that would not meet hers. "Niether you, nor the Platonians can do anything about it."

Spock tensed noticeably and some of the green returned to his cheeks, but still he was silent.

"Good day, Nurse," he said when he was able to leave.

"You too, Mister Spock." She smiled to herself as he walked stiffly from the room, and hoped she had made amends.

/\

She had. While, as a general rule, Vulcans did not love, he found he did not mind being the recipient.

/\

Uhura walked casually toward the turbo lift and was surprised when, who should fall into step with her but James T. Kirk. She was even more surprised when he joined her on the lift.

"Luietenant," he said casually.

"Captain," she returned. "May I help you?"

"I think so," he said matter-of-factly, turning toward her and gently grabing her shoulders so that she did the same. She looked into his eyes, and there it was. She couldn't place a name for the tell-tale glint in his eyes and she trembled as he stared down into hers. The trembling, however, became a warm, comforting sensation as he touched her chin and gently drew her lips up to his.


Not one of my favorite episodes, but it was somewhat thought-provoking. Please R&R.