Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. And regardless of how long I live and prosper, I doubt I ever will.

Counting Steps

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Ninety degree turn to the right.

It was not at all logical to walk the campus's many hallways this way during the day; but in the early mornings and late nights he preferred to read reports as he walked. He always walked at three miles per hour, unless impeded in some way, thus his stride never changed he quickly memorized the number of steps taken in the hallways, stairwells and on the sidewalks from building to building. It is in the back of his mind, barely noticeable, but he is always counting his steps like a long, silent mantra.

Seven. Eight. Nine. Stairs. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Turn one-eighty right with one-half step. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve.

He awoke at 0400 hours as always and walks to the officer gymnasium for his morning physical training. He stretches before lifting weights, it is Thursday and the day he focuses on the triceps and biceps. He does not attempt to do any research or reports while doing so. It would be illogical to not focus his entire attention on these tasks with no one here to assist if anything should go wrong or the equipment break. He does however listen to calming music of his homeworld. He finishes his exercises and goes over to the cardio equipment. Setting the treadmill to the maximum height he proceeds to walk for five minutes, before setting the machine to five mile per hour for a steady jog. He calls up the lesson plans and lecture notes for the day looking over for anything amiss. Thirty minutes later he sets the machine's incline back to zero and his walking speed for a five minute cool down. He then stretches and returns to his quarters.

Turn one-eighty left with one-half step. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. One. Two. Three. . Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ninety degree turn to the right. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven.

He bathes and dresses in his black uniform. He mediates briefly to center his mind. Then, eats a simple breakfast of fruit and bread, while looking over the notes left by the previous professor of the classes he is taking over. She taught Vulcan III and Romulan III along with Orion II and Klingon II and the pre-requisite class for all of these. She has had to take a medical leave two weeks into the term due to complications during her pregnancy. He has only been asked to take over the Vulcan III and Romulan III courses, while the rest are divided among the Phonology professors for the next year. She has made comments on some of the students. One of the students she emphasizes the most is Cadet Nyota Uhura who apparently goes by her last name. The professor notes she has taken all the basic language courses available and seems to be attempting to take advanced class in all of them as well. She calls Uhura extremely intelligent and comments that she has an amazing ear for any sonic deviations or dialect differences. He is fascinated by this taking this into account but will investigate for himself the accuracy of these conclusions. He will be able to do so today, as she is on the roster for both the classes he teaching. He packs his bag and leaves for his office in the Phonology Building at 0555 hours precisely.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Enter turbo lift press ground floor. Wait 33.2 seconds. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Open door. Ninety degree turn to the left. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen.

He reads the PADD in hand and tries to decide whether the assignment he has to assign, while appropriate for what he expects from the class is to difficult a transition. He considers changing the week's worth of assignments slightly to the students a chance to acclimate to their new teacher and he to them. He noticed that sudden change caused great distress to his peers while he was a student, and once even causing him mild annoyance. He decides he will change the assignments, but warn the students that this is a transitory step to get use to the new layout of their homework and the next week's assignments will be full length. He notes to also to write down his office hours and that they may come if they need help with the material or the new layout. He finishes marking this and starts changing the assignments on his PADD as he enters the Phonology building. Not even looking to open the door.

Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Ninety degree turn to the left. Stairs. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Enter Hallway. One. Two. Three. Four. Turn ninety degrees to the right. On--- stopped. Crash?

Confused he looks up from his PADD to the cadet sprawled on the floor. He sees a PADD on the ground beside her. Realizing she was doing the same as he was and they had unfortunately turned the corner at the same time, He reaches down to assist her in picking up her belongings. While thinking he can deduce no logical reason for her to be here this early in the morning, a full two and a half hours before classes start. As she gets up she he hands her belongs to her.

"I'm so sorry, Sir, I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and didn't even hear you walking," the Cadet sputtered while retrieving her items.

"There is no need to apologize, Cadet, I too was not aware of my surroundings. It is much my fault as yours," he replies.

"Yes, Sir, but I'm guessing you were thinking there would be no one else walking around the building at this hour."

"A most astute observation, Cadet, and a correct one. May I inquire as to your presents here? I was did not know of any special classes this early."

The cadet fidgets slightly, before responding; "My teacher, Professor Brown, has given me special clearance to the language lab and library in order to work on my independent study courses, along with getting more experience at recognizing languages and translating quickly and accurately."

"The dedication you show to your studies and career path are admirable, Cadet. However, I believe that Professor Brown is on medical leave and can no longer authorize this."

"Yes, Sir, but when I asked her about that last week she said to continue my usual schedule and studies until my first class with my new teacher. Then, talk to them about setting up something similar. My first class with my new professor should be today in approximately two and a half hours."

One of his eyebrows rose slightly as she answered his next question before he could voice it. Fascinating. Perhaps I shall keep an eye on this student. She has potential to be an exceptional officer. "In that case it seems logical to allow you to continue for the day and I hope your new professor will allow you to continue your studies."

"Thank you, Sir!" She replied with a smile. She moves to continue on her way when he realizes he does not know her name.

"Cadet," She turns back to face him, "I apologize, I forgot to ask your name, in case someone should ask to check on you."

"My names Uhura, Sir, and thank you again. Have a nice day, Professor…?"

"Spock," He supplies.

"Have a pleasant day Professor Spock," she says in Vulcan as she raises her right hand and splits her fingers two the sides forming the trade mark V of the Vulcan greeting. She smiles as his eyebrow lifts again. Then turns and proceeds down the hall to the language lab.

"Have a pleasant day, Cadet Uhura," he replies in kind, then stares for a few seconds, reevaluating his need to check Professor Brown' conclusions about the girl. As he turns to continue to his office he realizes that for first time he has lost track of his steps entirely.

AN: May continue if this seems to be any good.