Disclaimer: I do not own any of this. Paramount does.
A/N: This story takes place six months before the events of Star Trek.
She had found the miniscule crack in his wall and had unknowingly exploited it. Years of patient meditation and unwavering devotion to Surak's teachings had built this wall. Years of being treated as an outsider on his own world had fortified it. His four years as a Starfleet cadet and three as an officer and instructor had justified that wall and its place inside of himself.
But one small word had undermined it all.
Spock face had remained impassive and unreadable as she confessed it, but underneath a maelstrom churned in his stomach and logic left him.
"Yes, Commander. I am attracted to you…"
He should have never brought up her inappropriate feelings for him. He had had many female, and some males, become attached to him. Most of them were human and he merely dismissed it as illogical human emotion that would soon be replaced by another once they found him unresponsive and boring.
But Cadet Uhura was different. She was just as dedicated to her studies and to Starfleet as he was. Her knowledge was supreme in every area. Her work impeccable. He sometimes thought she would have been a proper Vulcan if she were not human. But that thought had only lasted for a moment.
So it led to his befuddlement when she had touched his ear. It had been a long day and even a longer night. Their research into the multiple languages of the Gouri had produced many good findings. It would be an excellent thesis for her to undertake and flesh out for her graduation project.
"Yes, Cadet Uhura."
"I…let me do this."
Her hand reached out suddenly and she softly touched his inner ear and tracing it outside to the pointed tip... Spock held back a shudder from her soft fingers and then flinched backwards.
"Cadet Uhura, this is highly inappropriate."
She stayed silent but her eyes were resolute.
"It would be unfortunate to know that your feelings go beyond our roles as instructor and cadet. It serves no advantage. It is highly illogical."
She met his eyes and Spock was transfixed. How could he have been caught so unaware of her growing emotionality? Humans were simple and easy to read. Spock was perplexed.
"Yes Commander, I am attracted to you. And if that offends your Vulcan sensibility then that's too damn bad."
She collected her PADDs and stood up to leave from his office. Spock sat there and watched her go.
It took him thirteen seconds to submerge his emotions at her outburst. He regretted that it did not take one.
"Shit! Shit! Shit!" Nyota Uhura whispered and closed her eyes. How could she have been so stupid? How could she have thought to risk her career over caressing a Vulcan's ear? Her walking pace became faster as she made her way through the Academy quad. There was no one out this late at night and she was grateful. This way she could work on her anger and disappointment with no one watching.
For two years she had kept her emotions for Commander Spock bottled up and she couldn't hold it in anymore. Her small bout with insanity shamed her but at the time it seemed her only choice. In that moment he had looked so touchable and somewhat venerable. Her reaction had been months in the making after all of his small quirks of the lips when he was amused to his eyebrow arches when he was curious. From his deep thoughts on what others would call scientific minutiae to his interesting views of human frailty, she had fell under his spell and made the worst assumption ever.
That he could return her affections for him.
"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"
She had put her position as his aide in jeopardy. She could get serious demerits for this if the commander took her remarks personally. He may even assign her to another advisor for her paper on Gouri dialects. How would it look on her record? How would she ever get her dream assignment to the Enterprise if she had that black mark?
She had worked too hard to fail at this point in her life. Uhura sighed. She was going to sleep on it and see Commander Spock in the morning to smooth things over. It was her best chance.
"Commander Spock, I am glad you made it on time. At ease."
Spock slightly relaxed in front of Captain Ailes and took a seat when Ailes gestured toward it. They sat in silence for a few seconds as Ailes signed off on a couple of padds and moved them to the side of his desk.
"Sir you wished to see me?"
"Indeed, Commander. " Ailes tented his fingers. "We are going to send a Starfleet crew to research a small Gourian planet…Gourian V to be exact and we want you to be involved."
Spock's eyebrows raised.
"Gourian V has become an amazing planet, Spock. There has been unequalled growth there as well as newly discovered underground cities with new technology that could be beneficial to the Federation. I thought of you when the Captain of the Meridian asked who would be a good pick for this mission. You were one of my best pupils and I believe you would be an asset."
"Fascinating." Spock's eyebrows lowered as he thought over the request. "I will consider it."
"Good. And you can pick anyone to travel with you, preferably someone who is familiar with Gouri culture. These text should be hard to crack."
Spock sat still for a moment. His mind went through calculations and addressed candidates who could journey with him. His mind flipped over and over his choices until he came to the only logical choice.
"I believe Cadet Uhura, my student aide, would be ideal for this mission."