"as it is, I'll be thinking of him tonight"
Genre: Humor, Friendship
Rating: T (for nothing more than Gaila being . . . Gaila)
Time Frame: Pre-STXI
Characters: Nyota/Spock, Gaila
Summary: It takes Nyota Uhura a whole three weeks for her to come to the horrifying realization that she fancied a senior officer. It takes a whole of three days for her roommate to catch wind of the whole thing . . . It doesn't get much better from there.
Notes: Because everyone needs a laugh to kick the year off with.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine but for the words.
"as it is, I'll be thinking of him tonight"
It takes Nyota Uhura a whole of three weeks being a TA to Professor Spock to realize that she fancied the man. In the end, she guesses that she should be so surprised with her own shortsightedness. After all, she had spent two years under his tutelage, and in that time she knew that she had a respect for his genius, and appreciation for the time he spent with her in particular. And yet, it had taken three weeks as his assistant for her to realize just what was going through her mind when she heard him speak, what was clenching at her stomach and beading on her tongue whenever he looked at her alone out of a whole class full of students . . .
It was a horrifying realization, in more ways than one.
And while the realization was enough to top her admittedly precise world, she thinks that she could have handled it in time – if she was to stare a little longer in class, and work a little harder than she normally would when she was in his presence, then that was hardly detrimental. If she was good at fooling herself, which she was, she knew that she could call this crush (and that was all that she was calling it) a good thing.
It took a whole of three days after she recognized and acknowledged the said crush before her roommate picked up on it as well . . . And that fell into the category of 'all sort of bad things.' In the Bad Things category she was merely figuring out just where to place it – above or below a full scale Klingon invasion. Obviously, this was a difficult conundrum indeed.
Her plans of hiding and sulking over the aforementioned attraction before promptly getting over it worked at first. While Gaila had known that something was up, she did not know just what or who. The worst grief she got was Gaila's annoyed morning proclamations of, "Seriously, whoever you are crushing over – you need to do something about it! Your pheromones are really starting to give me a headache."
She could handle that, she really could.
And yet, all of her careful concealment was ruined one day late after the closing of midterms. Gaila had been taking Nyota out to reward her patience with her for getting her through Transgalactic Translation Theory – a requirement for every Cadet in Starfleet. Many nights of moaning and groaning and 'seriously, three languages for Romulan. And twelve for Ganriti? You only can talk with one at a time!' and 'I don't see how you need to learn dead dialects when there are dozens of living ones to choose from.' were finally over with when Gaila brought back a shining 82 percent on her final. Uhura just thanked the stars for her tutorship finally being over while leaving her sanity intact.
They had been leaving the quad – Gaila in something shining and sparkling that may have passed for a dress in Hendrian society only, and Uhura in her uniform still – when she had heard a voice call behind her. She had drawn up short, every nerve ending in her body flaring to life as she turned smartly on her heel. When she walked up to greet the Commander who had addressed her, her entire demeanor was calm. Her face was perfectly neutral, her form perfectly poised. If her hands fidgeted from where she had them clasped too tightly behind her back, then no one could tell. She hoped.
Spock was walking over to her and Gaila, still in full uniform even though the hour was late, and his eyes were bright in the lights that were just starting to flicker to life on the campus green. She tried to quell the silly little feelings that threatened to jump to life at the sight of him.
I am an ocean, I am calm, I am an ocean, I am -
"Cadet," he intoned, his voice velvet and smooth.
She faltered just a little. "Commander," her voice hardly shook. Behind her she could feel Gaila's eyes sharp on her back, suddenly very interested.
Calm, calm, calm! An ocean, Uhura – focus!
Spock nodded once at Gaila before turning his attention back to her. She smiled a bit at it, once again appreciating his frank way of meeting her eyes. When he spoke, he had a way of making one feel as if they were the only one around. His voice was precise and his language perfectly exact, something that her translator's ear appreciated immensely. While Standard was not his first tongue, he spoke it as no other she had heard before . . .That may have been the slightly biased part of her talking though.
. . . probably, anyway.
"Is there something I can help you with?" she asked, and mentally triumphed over her smooth execution. Inwardly, she envisioned nothing but her tripping all over herself every time she talked to the man.
"I was merely going to congratulate you on your nearly flawless performance in today's examinations. You are a true credit to your chosen field, and Starfleet as a whole," he said smoothly, his eyes locked on hers still.
She tried not to melt into a puddle of goo right there. "I've had the best instructors," she said in return.
He inclined his head. "Perhaps," he said, and if she didn't know any better she would have sworn that there was something like amusement hiding in the corners of his eyes. "I was also requesting your help in the long range sensor lab the day after next. I have some transmissions that I am sorting through for a colleague of mine, and would appreciate your input on the matter."
"I would love to be of assistance." See, she could be Vulcan-ish too.
Her blood was heating sharply through her veins when she felt Gaila's stare moved back and forth between them, and she felt an uncomfortable suspicion steal through her when the Orion woman's lips turned upwards in a smile.
Stars, if she is thinking what I think she is thinking . . .
"I will see you then," Spock concluded. "I shall not keep you from your prior engagements any longer. Good evening, Cadet." He nodded to Gaila. "Cadet Falan-Raz," he excused himself from her as well.
If she took a few moments to watch him walk away, then she didn't think that anyone would be any the wiser for it. When Gaila pointedly cleared her throat she snapped her eyes away from the commander's retreating figure, and back to her clearly amused roommate.
"What?" she asked when Gaila's stare became just a trite too frank for her tastes.
Gaila's smile merely grew. "Nothing, Nyota. Nothing at all."
Nyota spent the whole dinner wondering when Gaila would say something about what she saw. She said nothing . . . She was silent the whole of the next day, as well.
When she got ready to meet Spock the day after, she put more care than she normally would into her appearance. If she was to put on a pair of earings, and a black pair of boots that weren't precisely regulation, she doubted Spock would notice, but it did loads for her self confidence. Her extra measures earned the attention of her roommate in the form of a smug smile and coy wink. "So, who's the lucky guy who managed to worm his way into a date with you?"
Nyota managed a halfhearted glare. "I'm not going on a date . . . and you know that," she added. "I'm meeting the Commander in the long range sensor labs. Remember?"
"So . . . you're getting dressed up for a Vulcan . . . to study?" Gaila's voice was dubious.
"Yes," Nyota replied, her voice clipped.
"Just study?" Gaila simpered mischievously.
"Just study." If her voice was a bit above a growl, then Gaila took no note of it.
"Studying," she was whispering in a far off sort of voice, a smile on her face and her bubbly tone alive with all sorts of frightening things like wonder, and dare she say it – pride, even.
Nyota moaned in misery before turning to face her roommate. "What, Gaila?"
"You are totally crushing on the Commander!"
She counted to ten. It didn't seem to work well. "Come again?"
"I know you heard me," Gaila said brightly. "You are totally crushing on him."
Nyota snorted. "Please, I'm not that stupid," she tried to brush it off.
Gaila blinked. "What does your intelligence level have to do with anything?"
"Everything," Nyota returned glumly.
She shook her head. "So, why didn't you tell me!?"
"Because there's nothing to tell!" she insisted, but her voice sounded weak to her own ears.
Gaila caught up on it. "You know what? I knew that you couldn't have been interested in him just as a study buddy this whole time."
Uhura rolled her eyes. "Think whatever you want."
Gaila's smile turned lascivious. "And a Vulcan, huh? I mean, they're not my first choice, for obvious reasons. But . . . on second thought . . . the ears are kinda hot. And ah! They can mind meld, you know?" Her eyes fluttered sultrily, her voice a low purr, "It would be practically sublime used during -"
"- Gaila!" Uhura cut her off, her cheeks flushed a telling shade of red.
She smirked innocently. "What?"
"You know what," Nyota growled, looking under her bed for her boots.
Gaila tossed her hair, smirking over at her friend. "So you like him – good for you! It's been what – two years for you? That's way too long, it's not healthy, you know. And I know that if anyone can bag the professor it's you! Knock the Commander's pants off! With you on the prowl, his logical self won't know what hit him!"
Uhura sighed as she dragged her boots out and sat on the bed to zip them on. "It's knock his 'socks' off. That's how the phrase goes."
"Why would you want his socks off?" Gaila wrinkled her nose in thought.
Uhura just shook her head. "Nevermind," she muttered. She got to her feet and started looking around for the PADDs that she was supposed to bring.
"Fine, knock his socks off," Gaila made a face. "Even though I'm sure that he wouldn't mind if you wanted to knock off more than that, just saying. He could use it." She winked at her mortified roommate.
"I'm not jumping the Commander," Nyota finally insisted.
Gaila rolled her eyes. "I didn't say you should – I said he needed it, but I didn't say you had to. Not yet anyway . . ."
Nyota rubbed her eyes. "I can't believe we're having this conversation."
Gaila blinked at her. "I will never get why you are so taboo about some things," she muttered.
"It's not taboo, it's just . . . private."
Gaila raised a brow.
Nyota sighed. "And besides - you've been telling me for two years to 'get laid', not enter into a relationship that could end in the termination of his career and mine! There's a difference there."
Gaila rolled her eyes, waving a hand in the air. "Trifles."
Uhura took in a deep breath, and counted to ten. Twice.
Gaila's eyes went dark. "Because there are some things that need to be talked about. And you're too stubborn for your own good sometimes."
. . . and who knew that Orions were that strong? Gaila pushed her down into her desk chair and stooped down so that she was eye to eye with her friend. "Now, you're going to use your renowned talents and listen very closely to what I have to say: you, my friend, are unaware of your own potential as a woman sometimes."
Please, not this conversation again.
She moved to get up.
"I'm not done!" Gaila insisted, pushing on her shoulder to get her to sit back down. "You, my dear, are a beautiful woman at her prime. He is a fine specimen of a man with a brain big enough to match yours. You like him, he likes you. It sounds like logic to me. Now, why exactly are you fighting this?"
Nyota looked at her long and slow from the corner of her eyes, wondering if she should slip from the room and forget that this whole conversation ever happened. In the end, she decided to stick it out, if not for her own peace of mind, as well as Gaila's. "It would be stupid," she finally muttered. "I had a plan, a good plan – I was going to do my four years, be the top of my class and not let any guy get in my way. I will have a posting on the Enterprise, and I will be one of the top linguistic officers this fleet has ever known."
Gaila looked confused. "And taking the delicious Commander for a spin would ruin that how?"
She rolled her eyes. "I don't want to take him for a spin – I don't want anything with him past the knowledge he can offer me."
The Orion snorted. "Sure, that's why you were ogling him the other day on the green."
"I was not ogling him!"
"Please," Gaila continued, "you were looking at him like he was a Clandian fowl and you were a Hantriss."
"Was not," she insisted mulishly.
"Denial, hon!" Gaila exclaimed merrily.
Nyota shook her head. "I am not in denial!"
"Would it help you if I said he was looking at you exactly the same way?"
Nyota went very, very still. Her eyes were narrowed as she looked at her roommate. "He was looking at me in no such way," she said, and when she did her voice was very low, very dangerous.
She thinks that Gaila understood the exact moment when this conversation was not fun and games any more. "He was looking at you in every such way," she said it simply, nothing about her tone flirty and every lascivious thing about her smile gone.
Nyota tensed at it.
Gaila went on to explain. "Look, Ny, I've known you for what – two years now? and I know what you look like when you like someone. And you like the Commander. A lot – I know body language like you know the spoken language. And trust me, for all of his Vulcan-ness, there are some things he couldn't hide if he wanted to. He's totally into you – his eyes were smiling, he was turned in towards you, his entire form relaxes around you."
"It doesn't mean he likes me," Nyota whispered.
Gaila rolled her eyes. "You are the dumbest smart person I know, sometimes," she muttered. "Listen girl, he's not the type to shout from the rooftops his affection, and he's going to be even less encouraging seeing as how the both of you have a lot to lose -"
" - exactly," Nyota tried interrupting, triumphant. "That's exactly why this will never -"
"- seriously, the 'nevers' are really starting to annoy me."
Gaila continued. "You are his pet student – he goes to you for everything, he asks you for help on things he does not need help with. You both use up his office hours gibber gabbering even though there is a hall full of seething cadets waiting outside -"
"We do not!" Nyota protested.
Gaila raised a brow.
Nyota faltered. "Okay, maybe once or twice."
Gaila raised the brow higher.
Nyota slumped in defeat. "Continue," she sighed.
"All I'm saying is that man is as crazy about you as his Vulcan-ness will show. The little things say all, and his little things says he has it bad."
Nyota was very, very silent.
Gaila took this as a good thing. "And if that mind and that body are interested, what's stopping you?"
"Everything," Nyota muttered.
She snorted. "Not if you let it. Seriously, you humans complicate this a ridiculous amount. I joke about this, but really – you need to loosen up. This is a good thing, and you're treating it like a Klingon invasion."
"It is a good thing . . ." Nyota whispered, her voice a little detached.
"It's a very good thing," Gaila stressed with a toss of her hair.
Nyota didn't say anything to that. She was merely staring straight ahead. She was quivering, her limbs were shaking. She doesn't think that she has ever been this scared before . . . Gaila understood, and tilted her chin up, smiling widely. Nyota had learned to not trust that smile over the past few years.
"And look on the bright side," Gaila chirped merrily. "If things don't work with you and the hunk of a Commander, then I can be there to put his poor misplaced heart back together again." She blinked her eyes in a deceptively coy manner, her smile turning lascivious.
Nyota rolled her eyes and got to her feet, wiping at her eyes. "It isn't misplaced," she said, trying to fight a smile.
"It's in his hip. It's weird."
"No weirder than you having green skin."
Gaila sniffed. "My skin is a prime example of Orion beauty the whole galaxy wide. It's way cooler than a heart being in a weird place."
Nyota rolled her eyes. "I'll see you later, Gaila."
Gaila raised a copper brow insinuatingly. "Not if things go to plan."
When Nyota threw her pillow at her, Gaila had no reason to say she didn't have it coming.
"Later, Gaila," she repeated firmly,
The Orion woman waved mockingly, rolling her eyes one last time. "Whatever, Ny." Her smile was knowing.
Shaking her head one last time, amused despite herself, Uhura checked her hair in the mirror and then walked to the door. Before she left, she waited for just a second.
And then it came. "And remember this, my gorgeous Terran friend: You are one smokin' hot example of human femininity! Use what you've got, hon!"
Nyota rolled her eyes. That was more in keeping with the girl she knew.
When Uhura walked away with a determined stride, Gaila stretched out on her bed with a contented smile. Man, but when she was good she was good.