A/N Special thanks to hopefuladdict for her beta prowess. Check out her new fic Becoming Real. It's listed in my faves.

Standard disclaimers apply.

The Ethnic Enrichment Diplomatic Ball was well underway, and Spock sat alone at a rounded table attempting to subdue his parents continuous monitoring of him via the parental bond.

He thought the very idea of participating in a gathering which sole's purpose was to publicize the Federation's acceptance of all cultures, yet organized in such a way that each race was ultimately segregated—by seating arrangement, by food section, by temperament—thus negating its purpose, was completely irrational.

Unfortunately for him, he'd inadvertently—read: purposely—broadcast those thoughts across the familial link, along with a visual of exactly what he would do if another humanoid referred to his ears as adorable—highly illogical since they were obviously meant for increased auditory function.

In response to his musings, Spock had been encouraged by his mother to 'make the best of it' and warned by his father to exhibit more emotional control. Although his father, Ambassador Sarek, completely agreed with his assessment of the event.

Successfully admonished, he closed his eyes and slipped into a light meditative state so that he could close off the link and rein in his feelings.

First, he envisioned his abhorrent emotions as a computer file that needed to be guarded with the highest level of security. When this was done, he marked it as private and began encrypting the data within. He mentally stumbled as a pleasant woodsy scent invaded his sense of smell, but pushed forward in order to continue with his task.

Once he was satisfied that the file couldn't be easily violated, he assigned no less than four passwords—beginning at 67 and increasing in character length—until the fourth alphanumeric password was in place. The whole process took him precisely eight seconds. And the brief meditation was efficient enough that he didn't even acknowledge the swell of pride he felt at being able to center himself in record time.

"Were you saying grace?"

Spock's eyes lazily opened as he turned to gaze at the owner of the voice that was entirely too close to his person. It didn't take him long to realize that this was the source of that smell, the one that reminded him of the incense he burned in his asenoi.

"Perhaps this was the reason I was able to quickly regain control," he thought. The Terran female that was now sitting beside him canted her head to the right. The motion was oddly familiar; similar to a gesture his mother used when she declared herself amused.

The humans' skin was reminiscent of chocolate, which was strictly forbidden, and her sable hair hung loosely down her back. Her features were asymmetrical, which was on some level acceptable to his biological make-up because he noted his internal temperate had risen two degrees.

He blinked.

"I asked if you were saying grace," she repeated.

"There was no need to reiterate your question as my hearing is not impaired," he calmly replied. Was she the only being who hadn't noticed the superior size of his ears?

"Okay, okay. Don't get your panties in a bunch," she joked.

"I do not understand your presumption that I possess an agglomeration of female undergarments," he said, forcing back the flush that had surely reached his ears. "And in answer to your first query, any form of prayer is illogical."

"Then what were you doing?" she asked, leaning a quarter of an inch closer to him.

Spock inhaled deeply, bringing her delectable aroma into his being and answered her through his exhalation. "I was thinking." It was an evasive answer but not a lie. This alien didn't need to know about his fragile emotional control.

"I was thinking, too. Thinking that this is the only social I've been to where people weren't…well, socializing. It's ridiculous," she sighed.

"Indeed? I concur," he said. Although, he only agreed that it was ridiculous, not that he should be expected to fraternize with those in attendance.

Elsewhere, in his mind, he felt a mental security breach; someone trying to crack the passwords he'd meticulously established only minutes ago. Yet, he turned a blind-eye to the intrusion and focused back on the human.

His shields were impenetrable.

"Indeed," she nodded. "I thought I'd change that by coming over here and speaking to you," she added, a blinding smile stretching across her face. The gesture caught him off-guard as it reached all the way to her eyes and caused indentations in her cheeks.

"Dimples," he thought, remembering the human term for the feature while in awe of the aesthetic value the divots added to her already agreeable appearance.

After discussing a range of topics, Spock and his companion sat in comfortable silence. The girl would intermittently glance at him, only to turn away when she'd been caught staring. Spock did not turn away. He was too intrigued by her physical reaction when she realized that he had been observing her as well.

Her blood seemed to rush to her face, barely noticeable to some due to the amount of melanin in her skin, but easy for a being with his visual acuity to see. She would smile, not the one that pleased him most, but one that curved the corner of her full lips up a scant centimeter. She avoided eye contact, choosing instead to tuck her chin into her chest. And her fragrance would change, becoming slightly more potent—invigorating.

Spock was sure that like edible chocolate, this human was prohibited.

He recalled hearing his father mention some of the physical and mental consequences of the confection and realized that he was experiencing some of the symptoms. Sarek did not go into detail on all the reasons he shouldn't have the sweet, but Spock deduced it had to do with a specific effect. A reaction he now encountered.


"Well…?" the human said softly, interrupting his thoughts as she waited for him to supply his name. The human propensity to not say what they wanted, what they needed, was a fault: one that he would not indulge this female in.

"Well?" Spock teasingly parroted. Yet, his tone and lack of expression didn't portray that the comment was meant in jest.

"I wish to know your name," she finally said.

"I am Spokh," he provided, satisfied that she had taken the direct approach.

"I am Nyota," she returned, grinning again as she placed a cool palm on top of the table, on top of his hand.

Spock was suddenly inundated by the sensation of warmth, camaraderie, amusement and…infatuation? There was also something that sounded like screeching alarms and a computerized voice repeating 'trespasser: system breached', but he was too occupied observing the last emotion he'd gleaned from Nyota.

Moving his hand away, he evenly said. "It is considered rude and offensive to lay hands on a Vulcan without their consent." His eyes were wide in apparent shock at the contact, but there was no enmity in them.

"I regret causing you...wait. Were you offended? Do you think me, impolite?" she asked instead.

Vulcans didn't lie, and Spock chose not to, answering her without hesitation. "No."

"May I have your consent?" she asked.

Again, without wavering, he nodded in the affirmative.

"Then," Nyota said, rising to her feet and fleetingly touching his hand. "I enjoyed speaking with you, Spokh."

He couldn't ignore the endogenous opioid peptides that inundated his neurotransmitters when she correctly pronounced his name. Nor could he fathom why his internal temperature continued to rise while watching her mouth—her pink tongue, to be specific—push the word out.

"I hope to see you in the future," she finished, leaving him with another beatific smile before she swiftly departed.

Nyota was halfway across the room, speaking with a Tellarite, when Spock realized that their entire conversation—minus her name and the brazen human idiom—had been spoken in his native tongue.


Spock spent the remainder of the ball visually tracking Nyota.

He catalogued her every smile and noticed that none—besides the first he had received—produced the tiny indents in her cheeks.

She rarely spoke to other humans. Instead, she floated from Andorians to Cardassians; apparently insisting that they participate in her social experiment. As more cultures began to intermingle, he determined that her plan had been successful.

Faint traces of her psyche still flowed through Spock's mind which allowed him to feel her satisfaction at the turn of events she'd inspired. And he observed that everyone she interacted with seemed to enjoy her presence.

That wouldn't have been a problem if Spock were not half-Vulcan. And it would not have caused his hand to tremble with barely suppressed rage if she were talking to more adolescents of the female variety. But this was not the case.

The majority of species that she was able to engage in unnecessary small talk were all male, or from a species that partook in same sex mating rituals. For every antenna he watched become erect upon her moving past its owner—their eyes unmistakably drawn to her posterior—he would get this feeling; a dark, heavy sensation that he did not know how to assuage.

He noticed that when Nyota was with those whom she'd identified as her family, or simply by herself, the feeling lessened. It was then that Spock knew he had to get her back on his side. Where she belonged.


Watching as Nyota danced with an Arcadian proved to be more than Spock could handle. She kept a respectable distance, but occasionally leaned in to the male's side. Spock noted that she was examining the Arcadians' pointed ears with what looked like admiration. And with that thought he rose to his feet.

Apparently, he hadn't been mistaken earlier; Nyota had not noticed the exceptional apexes and size of his ears. She had not seen their 'cuteness'.

Without conscious thought, and ignoring the blaring alarms going off in his head, he made his way to the middle of the dance floor, standing eight feet away from the couple.

No, not couple, but rather individuals who happened to be dancing in the same vicinity.

Nyota would never be part of a couple with that Arcadian duhsu, that fool.

She was his. A thought he externally punctuated with an errant brow.

Spock, at 13-Terran-years-old, was aware that humans had certain customs, behaviors he could emulate to get Nyota to come to him, but he was too distressed to think of one. No, there it was: the act of 'cutting in' when you wanted to interrupt a dance between a coup…two entirely separate individuals.

However, he believed that simply would not do as he needed to do more than cause a polite disruption. He needed to lay claim to what was his.

After a moment's thought, a recent memory came to mind, a scene he'd witnessed between his parents. And immediately some of his peace was restored knowing that that was the answer he sought.

Spock remembered how his father had appeared to be as miserable as he himself now felt. And that shortly thereafter, his parents sent him away to stay with his grandmother. His father's voice had been hoarse, but the words he used were clear and concise. At the time, those words caused his mother to react instantaneously as she rushed to his father's side. That was the reaction he wanted in his Nyota, so he cleared his throat in preparation to speak.

A moment before he could utter the phrase that would grant him serenity, the Arcadian swine—illogical, he obviously was not a cloven-hoofed artiodactyl—veered down and began to sniff Nyota.

Scenting his Nyota.

Spock raised his voice—even if the decibel level he applied could still be considered normal for most humanoids—for the first time since he was an infant. With brows that were now hidden beneath his bangs and an erratically beating heart, he used his father's words to give voice to his every feral emotion.

"Wife, attend."

Spock did not notice the crowd of stunned onlookers that had parted to watch him when he made his way to the dance floor. He did not hear his father shouting kroykah, stop it immediately, nor feel his mother's glee through the parental bond. Spock wasn't even aware of his mental computer issuing orders to 'commence user sanctioned override'.

He was only cognizant of Nyota's head quickly turning in his direction. Her dimples as she smiled widely at him. Her graceful gait—at least, elegant for a 12-year-old human—as she hurriedly left the Acardian and moved to his side. And finally, the coolness of her body as he took her hand and led her to the building's vestibule.

Hours later, when he would be found and pried away from his chosen mate, he would use a logical argument to describe what had happened.

"Sa-mekh, Ko-mekh," he stated, "is it not obvious that I was under the influence of chocolate?"

He would not explain why he did not open the parental bond when he felt his parents looking for him. Nor would he tell them that he had melded with his Nyota and could still feel her presence in his mind.

As with chocolate, some things were just too valuable to share.

The End

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Sa-mekh, Ko-mekh—Father, Mother

Endogenous Opioid Peptides—endorphins