A/N: Let me first say that I have been so thrilled and touched by the lovely reviews for my two Spock/Uhura one-shots. You guys are awesome! I wish I were actively writing Trek fic right now, but I do have a few things stored away that I've decided to post here. These are a series of one-shot prompt responses I wrote for a challenge at LJ's spock_uhura comm (definitely worth a look, if this is your pairing). I'll put them all up over the next few weeks, and I hope you enjoy them.
To my gorgeous reviewers, this is for you.
It was 11:32 on a Wednesday morning when Cadet Nyota Uhura realized that she had completely unprofessional feelings for Commander Spock.
Two weeks earlier, she had gone to his office to drop off a PADD of graded papers for his Klingon Phonics class. It had been 7:53 on a Monday evening, and she was cold and cranky.
It was mid-December, and although she'd lived away from home for years, this was always the time of year that made her miss Mvita most, the time when she'd been away from it the longest, the time when she felt almost sick for want of the scorching heat, the cool salt air off the ocean, the white sand beaches and the white, pebble-dashed high-rises that abutted them. She missed speaking Swahili to people who could understand her, missed hearing multiple languages in one street, missed street venders selling cherry Ice Planets, and the sounds of old-style Bhangra and hip-hop floating down the whitewashed, balcony-lined alleys of the Classic Sector. And she definitely missed wearing something other than a regulation miniskirt and red turtleneck all the time.
Nyota was used to missing Mvita, however, and she could put it aside. She brought it out when she spoke to her parents and sister once every two weeks, and could see the ocean out the window opposite their communicator. Beyond those moments, bouts of homesickness were easily manageable, especially with her intense third-year schedule. There were about thirty other African students at the Academy, and they would all shake their heads and complain about the cold or the rain or the lousy beaches when they passed each other on campus, but the bottom line was: Nyota was exactly where she wanted to be. Most of the time.
As she'd stepped into Commander Spock's office that evening, however, a wave of dry heat had hit her, warming her to the bone, loosening muscles that had grown stiff in San Francisco's damp winter chill, and she missed Mvita like a tug on her heart.
She had been unable to resist an audible sigh of relief. "Finally, a room that's a decent temperature," she had said, smiling at the Commander as she placed the PADD on his desk.
"The graded Phonics papers," she'd explained.
He gave her his by-now-familiar curt nod. "Thank you, Cadet. Your efficiency is appreciated."
She'd smiled to acknowledge the compliment, saluted, and turned to go, perhaps with less of an attempt at conversation than she would have made if she hadn't found the Commander so unnervingly attractive.
"I take it that you find the recent temperatures below your standards?" his voice said from behind her, and she had turned back with a surprised smile.
It wasn't flirting, but it was talking. That was nice. And new.
"Far below them, Commander," she said with a grin. "Your office is very comfortable, though. Vulcan is much warmer than San Francisco, isn't it?"
"Much," he had agreed. "Vulcan's weather is rather close, I believe, to that of your home region."
She had blinked at him, momentarily surprised into silence. He knew where she was from?
"Yes," she'd said quickly, recovering with another smile. Of course he knew where she was from; it was in her file. Which, of course, he had read.
"Do you miss Vulcan, Sir?" she had asked, unsure exactly how the conversation was meant to proceed.
He raised an eyebrow at her, but appeared to consider the question.
"Vulcan and Earth have many differing, yet favorable, elements," he answered after a moment; a non-answer that seemed to her to be a very clear answer, meaning, "yes, frequently." She wondered what he would think of her mentally translating his Vulcan English into Human English.
"I feel the same way about Mvita and San Francisco," she had said, hoping that her translations of his emotions were accurate.
He had nodded silently, his head and eyebrow cocked slightly as if considering her. It was a dismissal, but not, she thought, of their conversation, or of her.
"Have a pleasant evening, Commander," she had said, saluting again before moving to the door. As an afterthought, she looked over her shoulder and added, "Stay warm."
She had recalled their conversation a few times during the following weeks, mentally cataloguing his face, his way of speaking, his look when considering her, during the moments before she fell asleep. It wasn't a crush, exactly. More a fascination, mingled with a significant amount of attraction.
Then, at 11:32 on a Wednesday morning, she walked into his lecture room and he looked up at her from his PADD and said, in perfect Swahili, "Habari ya asubuhi" – good morning.
"You speak Swahili?" she asked in the same language, delighted.
He smiled slightly and shook his head, seeming almost awkward. "A little."
She stood there grinning at him in happy surprise as the rest of the class filed in behind her.
"Luga moja haitoshi," he added: one language is never enough.
His tone and demeanor had returned to their usual rigidity, but then he raised an eyebrow at her, and it seemed almost like an invitation to speak freely to him, without reference to protocol or rank. Nyota realized that, although they had been alone together before, this conversation, in the middle of an increasingly crowded lecture hall, felt like the most private interaction they had ever had.
"I agree completely," she said, and he almost smiled again.
She moved to take her seat in the front row, still grinning uncontrollably in spite of the nervous throbbing in her stomach and the worrying realization that her position as Commander Spock's aide had just become incredibly complicated.
It was not until later that she realized he had learned Swahili only to speak to her.
A/N: Thanks for reading! As always, I love to know what you think.