Spock slowly paced around his quarters, deep in thought. It was now about thirty earth minutes past the time when Uhura ended her shift and arrived at his quarters for rest. Since she was not here, it was only logical to assume that either she was still on shift for some sort of emergency communication, or she was elsewhere on the ship.
He paused, reaching a wall. Turning around a little too sharply than he had intended, he resumed his pattern of thinking. If there was indeed some sort of emergency on the bridge, even if it was related to communications only, the captain would most certainly have called upon Spock to return to the bridge to assist the situation.
Since he had not, that only left the last logical explanation, he thought as he once again reached a wall and turned around sharply. Uhura was somewhere else on the ship and did not feel the need to inform him of her delay in arrival to his quarters.
Such an act was certainly not something Uhura would usually do. Always punctual to her shifts and previous engagements, she was not one to make people wait for her.
Perhaps...she was in trouble? Spock surmised, pausing in his pacing. Some ill may have befallen her, in which case she would be in sick bay. His pulse raced as possible options ran through his mind, one of the most logical was perhaps an after effect of their recent trouble in Tholian space. Willing his body to cease the irrational effects, he stood quietly until his pulse was at a normal pace.
Quickly exiting his quarters, he immediately headed towards sick bay.
"Spock, I thought you went off your shift duty an hour ago."
Spock turned around and saw Dr. McCoy walking down the passageway. He turned around and placed his hands behind his back.
"I did," he acknowledged.
"You, uh, wandering the ship?" McCoy grinned. "I do that sometimes when I can't sleep."
"I am not wandering the ship, Doctor," Spock replied, trying to determine how he might inquire about Uhura's health without raising questions. It was Uhura who asked Spock to keep their relations a secret on board the ship. Seeing as how a relationship between a ship's first officer and communications lieutenant would not be taken lightly with the Star Fleet, Spock thought it reasonable to accommodate the request.
"Oh?" McCoy's head tilted back. "Then it must be something important. I've never seen you exit your quarters at night before."
"Doctor, we are traveling through space," he raised an eyebrow. "There is no 'night' aboard the ship."
"Well, you know what I mean...rest time," he corrected himself.
"I find it surprising that you seem to know my daily habits, doctor," Spock's head tilted to the side.
"Well we're located on the same floor, and like I said before...when I can't sleep, I wander the ship," he explained, a grin still stuck on his face.
Spock's eyebrows went up in genuine surprise. "I had no idea our quarters were located on the same floor, doctor." He tilted his head in thought. "I suppose now I'll have to see to it that the ship resources officer relocate me to a different area of the ship."
The grin disappeared from McCoy's face. "Well, I tell you..." he started.
"Have you checked in on those who were affected in Tholian space, doctor?" Spock interrupted him.
"What's it to you?" McCoy eyed him up and down. He had thought that he and the half-vulcan had reached a truce after working together in the absence of the captain that day, but he could see now that everything was going back to the way it was before.
"I am first officer on this ship, doctor," Spock reminded him. "It is only logical that I keep track of the safety of this crew."
"Yeah yeah," McCoy reluctantly nodded, his eyes projecting restrained hostility. "I've checked on everyone that was affected...they're completely back to normal. My antidote worked."
"I see," Spock nodded. "I had no doubt in my mind that your antidote was of the highest quality. Have you checked on Lieutenant Uhura as well?"
McCoy blinked. Was...was that a compliment that came from the vulcan? "Er, yes, I have," he stumbled over his own words, still trying to process the nice words he had received. "She's perfectly fine...I checked her out and she went straight to her quarters." He frowned, suddenly aware of what he was saying. "Why are you asking about Uhura?"
"Well doctor, I was about to ask you about each and every affected crew member that I was aware of, but now I see that asking you in this manner would be time consuming and illogical. Therefore, I shall have to assume that when you assured me you checked on everybody, that it was indeed the truth," Spock replied. "Thank you doctor." He turned on his heel and strode away, leaving McCoy abruptly and swimming in confusion.
He was reluctant to trick the doctor so quickly after it appeared that they had found a way of working together without his human emotions conflicting the process, but Spock had already calculated that such a relationship would have only worked for two point five days, at which point the doctor would go back to questioning Spock's every action.
Walking to the lift, he frowned inwardly. Uhura went back to her own quarters? He pondered that action as he entered the lift and directed it to operate. After several moments he could not come to a logical reason as to why Uhura would not come straight to his quarters after her shift had ended. The only logical explanation was that she was avoiding him for some unknown reason.
As he exited the lift on the appropriate floor, he carefully made his way down the passageway, looking for any other crew members. It was imperative that nobody see him enter her quarters. Fortunately for Spock, the passageway was completely empty. Walking up to the entryway, he entered his override passcode and the door opened softly to reveal a dark room.
Stepping inside and allowing the door to shut behind him, Spock waited until his eyes had adjusted to the darkness before walking over to Uhura's bed. Focusing on the dark lump underneath the covers, he gently allowed his mind to reach out to hers. She was definitely awake, and...upset. She gave him a mental push out of her mind and he allowed her to drive him out temporarily.
"Uhura?" Spock called out quietly, allowing his hand to rest on her covered shoulder.
'Please go away,' her melodic voice entered his mind. He welcomed it willingly.
"Uhura, may I inquire as to why you are here in your quarters instead of mine, as is our custom?" He asked, ignoring the mental plea.
'Please Spock, I don't want to talk right now. I'm very tired.'
"Yes, I can understand that," Spock remained where he was. Normally, at such a request he would simply honour it and walk away. At the present moment, however, something was tugging at him to stay. Perhaps it was his human side, as it certainly seemed to be that this was an action that would certainly cause great annoyance.
'If you understand, then why aren't you leaving?'
"You see," he began slowly, unsure of how to proceed. It was obvious she was emotionally distraught over something. He had very little experience in dealing with humans in an emotional state, and was unsure of what to say or do. "I find myself...rather...inclined to....ascertain the reason why you feel the need to stay here instead of my quarters."
'Of course you are,' her voice seemed sad as it reverberated in his mind. 'Why else would you be here? You only wish to find the reason why.'
It became clear fairly quickly that he had chosen the wrong words. Sighing softly, he moved his hand from her shoulder down to where her hand rested underneath the covers. "No, that is not the only reason," he admitted. "I wish to...comfort you in some way."
'I don't wish to be comforted by you Spock.'
He paused and raised an eyebrow. "By me? Or by anybody?" He inquired, an answer slowly forming in his head. She was upset with him.
Her silence confirmed his answer.
"Uhura, please explain how I have offended you in some way. I wish to make amends."
Uhura rolled over, ignoring him further and tucking her hands under her body so that he could not lay his hands over them.
"Uhura," he called out again, confused as to why she was not allowing him to comfort her physically. Just a week ago, she was delighted that he had initiated physical contact and had expressed her joy by kissing him in such a way that his logical mind could not even begin to rationalize the sudden onslaught of pleasure that ran through his body.
Ever since that day, Uhura would seek out opportunities to touch him at random, to move her head slightly when he leaned in to kiss her goodnight so that his lips would land much further south from her temple, where he usually kissed her. She would smile with genuine affection whenever he would, at times, reach out and tuck away a stray lock of hair or absently run his fingers over her hand while they ate their morning meal in his quarters. He had thought that Uhura appreciated his touch whenever it was given.
He could see now that this was not true when she was upset with him. Which was a logical assumption, he thought to himself, but not one that he appreciated.
"Uhura, you will tell me why it is you are upset with me or I shall not leave these quarters," Spock called out once more. Although his patience was infinite, he felt no logical need to proceed slowly with this situation any longer.
"You didn't believe me."
Spock blinked as he heard her hoarse voice sound out the words slowly. He immediately understood the incident in which she was upset about.
"You have been crying," he stated.
"You hurt me," she explained slowly, as if he were a child. "Humans cry when they've been hurt."
"Yes Uhura, I understand this concept," he replied with a sigh. "What I do not understand is why you felt the need to cry over the fact that I did not believe you about seeing Captain Kirk today."
"Do vulcans not take offense when someone dear to them does not believe their words?" Uhura shifted under the covers, releasing her hands and turning towards Spock.
"At the time, I believed that you were under the same affliction that had taken over the other crew members," Spock explained, reaching down and covering her hand with his once more, hoping physical contact would put her at ease. "It was not a matter of not believing you, it was a matter of getting you to sick bay as soon as possible before the affliction grew worse."
"But you knew the others were angry," she countered, apparently not even noticing his hand upon hers. "You knew that I was not. I was simply trying to explain that I had seen the captain in my quarters."
"Doctor McCoy explained to me that you were emotionally distraught, possibly psychotic," he explained further. "I had to take him at his word. I could not leave the bridge."
A long pause drifted over the both of them and Spock noticed that his body seemed to be holding his breath in as he waited for her to answer. It seemed as though his body was experiencing...anticipation...and even anxiety. Since entering a relationship with Uhura, his body seemed to be experiencing quite a large range of emotions even though his mind did not. It was curious, and oddly fascinating to be observing his own reactions during times like these.
"I.." Uhura's voice reached him once more, seemingly more stable than before. "Somewhere in the back of my mind, something is telling me I'm being irrational about this whole situation."
"Are you certain that it is not me?" He raised an eyebrow.
Short and sudden laughter broke free of Uhura. "Why, Spock, did you just crack a joke?"
He could see her smiling up at him through the dark and was pleased to see that she appeared upset no longer. "No, I was not, but if you took it that way, by all means," he shrugged lightly. "It is possible that our minds are so deeply connected after all this time that we are subconsciously feeling one another's thoughts and emotions."
Even though he had given a rational explanation for his words, Uhura was still chuckling under her breath. "I think I'd prefer to remember it as a joke," she smiled at him. "It was quite funny, especially coming from you."
"Especially coming from me?" He repeated.
"Yes, well," she set up slowly in bed. "I'm still rather upset that you didn't believe me, Mr. Spock," she gave him a rather disappointing look.
"Mr. Spock?" he cocked his head to the side. "I do believe that title means...you are still upset with me."
"Well," she looked down at her hands. "I think I should get back into the habit of calling you that. I slipped twice in front of Doctor McCoy today. I kept calling for 'Spock' before I realized that I had dropped the formality in front of him."
"I do not believe he noticed," Spock nodded his head. "But I certainly understand if you wish to continue addressing me in such a formal manner."
"I'm still upset with you," she raised her head and gave him a stern look. "In the future, I'll expect that you'll believe me no matter what I say."
"Is this where I should again assume that there is an unspoken 'otherwise...' hanging over my head?" He inquired, remembering a previous discussion several months ago.
"Yes, you should," she smiled. "I can handle a lot of things Spock," she paused and corrected herself, "Mr. Spock, but I cannot handle being called a liar, intentional or otherwise."
"Duly noted," Spock nodded his head at her. "And Uhura?"
"I find myself...incredibly displeased with the formality you are attaching to my name. Would you mind not using it again? Although illogical, I find I would actually prefer if you 'slip' in front of others again rather than have to use such a formality when we are alone in private quarters."
A slow smile eased onto on her face. "I think I can handle that."
"Thank you," he nodded again and pat her hand with his own, an entirely new experience for him. He had seen such an action before between a human mother and child and was told it was a gesture of affection.
Uhura blinked and stared down at their hands, confused by the action. "What was that for?" She asked him bluntly, confusion contorting her facial features.
He paused and looked down towards their hands. "I believe it was a display of physical affection, was it not?"
Uhura laughed and he saw that teasing glint form in her eye. "Oh Spock, you know you could always kiss me instead," she invited, leaning forward towards him.
He stayed where he was and stared down at her expectant face, an eyebrow slowly rising.
"Oh, there goes the eyebrow," she winked at him. "I guess that means no kiss for me."
A sudden need for spontaneous action gripped the half vulcan and he slowly leaned forward towards her, stopping mere millimeters before his lips touched hers. With his eyes open, he could see the surprise register on her face. Inwardly pleased at this reaction, he quickly leaned back to his former position.
"I find myself unable to perform such...affectionate gestures outside of my own quarters," he said, looking around the room slowly. "Your quarters are simply...too small for such actions."
"I beg your pardon?" Sudden outrage entered her voice and a strange emotion passed through Spock's system. "Small?"
"They are quite smaller than my own comfortable quarters," he continued. "So small, in fact, I now see why you constantly arrive at my quarters at the end of every shift to sleep in my bed."
"I see what you are doing Mr. Spock," Uhura replied dryly and without emotion. "Your...interesting attempts to try and annoy me never cease to amaze me."
"Fascinating," he leaned in closer to her face. "I was not aware that mimicking superior beings was an action that humans partook in when they express their anger."
Uhura leaned in closer so that their noses were touching. She reached up and lightly grasped hold of his uniform shirt. "I don't know when or how you learned the fine art of teasing," she began quite seriously, "but I can assure you that I do enjoy this new expression from you."
"I am pleased," he nodded his head.
Uhura smiled and cocked her head to the side, thoughtful. "How is it that I don't even quite remember why I was upset with you in the first place?"
"I could explain it to you in medical terms once we reach my quarters," he offered.
She smiled again and leaned in closer to him, pressing her lips to his softly. "I've already changed into my sleep shirt. I'm staying right here."
"You wish for me to leave?" He asked, finding it fascinating that his lips were still tingling two point four seconds after her lips had left his.
"No," she reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. "I wish for you to sleep here with me."
"That would be quite difficult," he replied, allowing his hands to reach down and rest at her waist. "I do not have any sleepwear here, and I do not think you have anything that would fit my size."
"Well then," Uhura leaned in closer and whispered against his lips. "I suppose you'll just have to sleep without any."