Nearly halfway through her third year at the Academy Joanna busied herself in the clinic. It was a chaotic day since the yearly physicals were due on all the third year Cadets by the end of the week. Joanna was between appointments when a new arrival to the clinic caught her eye.
The thin muscular Vulcan's shock white hair made him a difficult sight to miss. She had seen him on campus before, but only from a distance. Being the only Vulcan currently at the Academy as well as an Admiral's son had made him the target of Academy Legend and Lore. Joanna had heard all sorts of odd stories about him, but she doubted that any of them were true.
Joanna was embarrassed by the fact that she didn't know his name, he was so often just referred to as 'the Vulcan'. Right now the Vulcan looked extremely nervous, his eyes darted around as the nurse checked him into the clinic. There was a debate around the Academy as to if the marks on his face and neck were tattoos or scars. Joanna's medical eye was confident that they were scars now that she'd had a closer look.
Shifting his weight from one leg to the other he looked like he was preparing to bolt at any moment. When Dr. Lancer approached Joanna mentally cringed, the Cheif Medical Officer was not exactly known for his bedside manner. Joanna knew she should be getting ready for her next patient, but she couldn't seem to look away from the Vulcan. When Dr. Lancer told him to come back to one of the biobeds he looked around as if planing an escape.
"Well come along, Boy, I don't have all day." Dr. Lancer snapped.
Joanna's heart instantly went out to the Vulcan as he bowed his head and followed Dr. Lancer. Lancer tapped on the biobed input to change its setting to Vulcan before instructing him to sit on it. Resigned to his fate he got up on the biobed and sat with his hands resting on his lap. Lancer ignored his patient and looked over the readouts from the biobed. Joanna noticed that he was chewing on his bottom lip and kept compulsively reaching up and tucking his white hair behind his pointed ear, but it wasn't quite long enough to want to stay there.
"Are you sure you are a full Vulcan?" Dr. Lancer asked suddenly.
"I don't care if you're not, but I need to know."
"I assure you, Sir, my parents were both Vulcan."
"Your heart rate is high for a Vulcan."
"I am simply...a little nervous."
"Is my heart rate going to keep me from passing my physical?"
"No, not on its own." Lancer looked the Vulcan over critically. "Why is your hair white? Are you albino?"
"No...no, Sir. My hair color has never been brought up at any of my other physicals, it is a problem?"
"Don't tell me how to do my job, Kid." Lancer huffed.
Joanna sighed sadly, the Vulcan looked so uncomfortable under Lancer's scrutiny. Lancer had a way of rubbing most people the wrong way, but this Cadet looked particularly intimidated by him. The Vulcan glanced over at Joanna and their eyes met. There was a silent desperate plea for help in his deep dark eyes. Joanna suddenly felt a nudge at her ribs followed by a gentle shove.
"Go on, Joanna, go save that poor boy." Joanna's friend and classmate Rachel chuckled.
"You think I should?"
"Absolutely. Dr. Lancer's bedside manner is atrocious, he's torturing that Vulcan, plus he's hot."
"No the Vulcan you idiot." Rachel rolled her eyes. "Go."
Joanna took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. She wasn't quite sure how she was going to rescue the Vulcan, but she felt that she had to try. When she walked up to Dr. Lancer he glared at her in irritation. She glanced at the Vulcan and a slight smile touched the corners of his mouth as he look at her through his ivory bangs. Lancer noticed the slight flush that rose to Joanna's cheeks.
"Yes, Cadet?" Lancer growled. "How can I help you?"
"Doctor, I have been considering going into alien medicine...perhaps this physical could provide me with good practice." Joanna said.
"Hmmm...very well. I'll expect a full report on his health."
Lancer handed Joanna the digital chart that was in his hands and then disappeared off into his officer. Realizing that she was still blushing Joanna stared down at the chart in hopes that it would go away. On the biobed the Vulcan had started to shift his weight again.
"Um...thank you." He said shyly.
"Thank you for rescuing me from Dr. Lancer. I saw your friend push you over in this direction."
"You're welcome." Joanna chuckled.
"My name is Salen."
"That is a very nice name." Salen smiled.
"You smile a lot more than I would expect." Joanna teased. "I...I mean...not that..."
"It is okay, I am used to it." Salen shrugged. "How is my health? Can I go back to class?"
"Your heart rate seems to have settled back down to within normal limits." Joanna looked down at the chart. "Everything looks great, although it looks like your hearing is damaged."
"It has been that way for a while. I have been assured that it still within acceptable Starfleet limits."
"Oh yes, all in all I'd say you are looking good."
"Um...okay. I never realize that my physical appearance was so important to Starfleet."
"No, no, I mean looking good health wise." Joanna chuckled.
"Oh. Can I go now?"
"I need a quick blood sample."
Joanna looked up in alarm at the biobed readings as Salen's heart rate suddenly shot up. He flushed in embarrassment as the biobed revealed his fear causing the scars on his face to glow brighter. As much as she hated the fact that she'd made him nervous Joanna couldn't help the fact that he was even cuter when he was blushing green.
"The blood draw won't hurt, I promise."
"Okay, I trust you."
It was Joanna's turn to blush and for Salen to get a smile at her expense. She took his wrist and pushed up his Academy uniform sleeve up to above his elbow. Joanna was surprised to find that his arm was covered with scars as well. He flinched as she traced one.
"If you don't mind me asking, how did you get those scars?" Joanna asked softly.
"I...uh...I was attacked by an animal when I was younger."
"From the looks of things you were lucky to survive."
"I'm going to do a blood draw, it will only take a second."
"What do you use the blood for?"
"There are a few tests that the biobed and tricorder can't do. I'm sure everything will come back negative."
Salen turned away and closed his eyes. Joanna felt bad about putting him through the blood draw, but she'd never hear the end of it from Lancer if she didn't. The hypospray extractor was painless to the point where her patient didn't realize that it was over and done with. Joanna studied his face for a moment while his eyes were closed. He was quite handsome and it was difficult to not to reach out and touch his pointed ears.
"You can open your eyes now, Salen."
"You were true to your word, that did not hurt."
Joanna chuckled and pulled down his sleeve. With his palm turned up she noticed a particularly bright scar across his palm. Without even thinking about it she ran her fingertip over the scar and then trailed across his fingers. Salen gasped sharply and the biobed heart monitor spiked even higher than before. He jerked his hand away and jumped down off the biobed. After pulling his hands through his hair he placed them behind his back.
"Ca...can I go now." Salen stuttered.
"We are all done."
"Perhaps I'll see you again?" Joanna asked hopefully.
"Do I require further medical checking?"
"Um...no. Never mind, you're in good health Cadet."
Salen looked like he was going to say more, but he thought better of it and left quickly. Joanna sighed heavily wondering what she did wrong. Rachel stepped up with a lupine grin on her face.
"So, how did your 'check up' with the Vulcan go?"
"I'm not sure. I think I scared him."
"I don't know, I just brushed against his hand with mine and he nearly went into cardiac arrest.
"You dolt!" Rachel laughed.
"That's how Vulcans kiss."