I don't own. I don't profit.
This story is for Notes, my ever patient beta. Notes started betaing for me back when I was finishing up Descartes. Since then she's stuck with me through several Spock/Uhura stories, Kirk/Uhura, T'Pring/Kirk and Sarek/Uhura. She's even ventured out with me to a Galaxy far, far away, into Narnia and into the Marvel Movie Universe.
In an even greater leap of faith she helped me edit and refine my first two original stories, "Murphy's Star" (which was almost a Spock/Uhura baby fic, but my husband's nagging to write something original and Notes' faith inspired me to self-publish), and "I Bring the Fire". Links to both are in my profile.
Notes herself is an amazing, published, award winning author in Real Life. If you're not reading her "Prodigal Son" you're missing out. (Link in my faves).
"Ummm..." says third year Cadet Nyota Uhura.
That something out of her mouth could be so inelegant might have shocked her just 3 minutes ago. She is a communications major at the top of her class at Starfleet Academy. Her Vulcan is so fluent she was allowed to participate in an exchange program with the Vulcan Linguistics Academy - which is why she is currently standing beneath a hot Vulcan sun in a courtyard in said Linguistics Academy's campus.
But, 3 minutes ago Spock wasn't standing in front of her. All things considered, Nyota Uhura thinks that she has the perfect excuse for such lack of eloquence.
Professor Soval tilts his graying head. "Cadet Uhura, perhaps you are suffering from sunstroke? Spock has just offered to show you a Pre-Surakian first source document which will undoubtedly aid you in your thesis. You have yet to answer him."
Spock stands before her. He is wearing a loose gray sweater that somehow manages to reveal the flat planes of his stomach and the wide set of his shoulders just as well as his black licorice instructor uniform ever did.
"What are you doing here?" Uhura says.
"He is a resident of Vulcan, Ms. Uhura," Professor Soval says dryly. "He could ask you what you're doing here."
"No..." says Nyota. It is at that moment Nyota's life flashes before her eyes.
x x x x
"Oh, look!" Gaila, Nyota's bouncy green roommate, declared gleefully, hopping up and down on her bed. "My score for covert operations aptitude is higher than yours!"
She waved a PADD in front of first year Cadet Nyota Uhura's nose.
Nyota ripped the PADD from her hands. "What? No!"
"Hey, you cracked my nail," Gaila said with a sniff.
Ignoring her, Nyota glared incredulously down at the PADD. Gaila's score was higher than hers.
"It's a test of personality," said Gaila. "I have more personality than you, so obviously -."
"This is all wrong!" said Nyota, pulling out her own PADD and thumbing through both their responses at once, seeing where they each lost points. Nyota was clearly ahead of Gaila through the first 76 questions of the test. Scrolling through her answers, Nyota nodded smugly; she was patient, she had a high tolerance for monotony, she didn't mind not being the star of the show...all excellent personality traits for a spy...traits that Gaila didn't have. And then she came to question 77, Have you ever fallen in love?
Nyota had answered 'No' and been marked down 20 points. Gaila had answered, 'Twice, and I had sex with both of them - at the same time!' She hadn't been marked down at all.
Nyota stared at the results. "You fall in love every day, Gaila..."
"No, I fall in lust everyday and act on it, unlike you repressed humans," said Gaila, flouncing down beside Nyota. "I do know the difference."
"It doesn't make sense! Why would your answer be worth more than mine?" Shaking her head, Nyota bit her lip, ashamed of the whine she heard creeping into her voice.
Gaila sighed. Sounding almost sad, she said, "Nyota, people who never fall in love invariably fall in love with the enemy. It's like an inescapable force of nature, or a law of nature, or something."
Nyota scowled. "That is completely illogical. Love is a choice, a choice I don't make. Period. I don't have time."
Gaila sighed again and patted her shoulder. "Oh, Honey, you poor thing."
Nyota rolled her eyes. "Poor because I've never fallen love?"
Gaila gave her a crooked half smile. "Yes. When it hits you, you're going to be completely blindsided."
The next day the elderly Andorian professor teaching her Level 2 Xenolinguistics class was replaced by a young handsome brilliant Vulcan with a voice like liquid silk. As Nyota sat in her first row seat, legs primly crossed, mouth watering, she couldn't help but rue her words. He was perfect and off limits. Unattainable...and doubtlessly emotionally unavailable - not that Nyota was one of those people who thought that Vulcans had no emotions, but they were bonded from the age of 7 telepathically...she was pretty sure that made emotional availability a physical impossibility.
The enemy indeed.
x x x x
Okay, maybe that isn't a whole life, flashback, but it is enough...enough to remind Nyota she should have nothing to do with Spock.
"Cadet Uhura?" says Soval. "I thinks she is suffering from sunstroke. Spock, take her arm and -"
"No!" say Nyota quickly. Even though for the first time in months the alien sun and the heavy Vulcan robes she wears have begun to feel sweltering.
Both Vulcan men tilt their heads.
"No, you will not view the document?" says Soval.
"No!" Nyota says, "I mean, no, I'm not suffering from sunstroke."
Soval looks nearly expressionless except for a slight widening of his eyes. Spock, that insufferable, sexy bastard, has a tiny little half smile on his lips. Nyota's heart flutters at the same time she fights the urge to kick him in the knee.
Regaining her composure, Nyota says, "Seeing the original document you've described would be excellent for my thesis. However, I have a class with Professor Soval this afternoon and -"
"You have my permission to miss the class, Cadet Uhura," Soval says. "In fact I insist that you miss it."
Nyota's lips purse. Is the whole galaxy aligned against her?
Spock's infinitesimally small smile widens...infinitesimally. Is he enjoying this? Does he know the effect he has on her? Do he and his little bond mate, who isn't little anymore, obviously neither of them are 7, do he and she enjoy the Vulcan version of a telepathic snicker at the poor little human who has a crush on him? People think Vulcans don't snicker, but Nyota's worked enough with them to know that they do. Their eyes narrow. Infinitesimally.
"It is decided then," Spock says. "I have a flitter with me. The book is in my family's private library...we can go there at once." Turning his body, he tilts his head in the direction of the flitter park.
Private library? That sounds...Private. Stepping forward, heart beating in her ears, Nyota says hopefully, "I look forward to meeting your mother."
A flicker of something crosses Spock's face. Disappointment maybe? "I'm afraid, Ms. Uhura, my mother and father will not be at home."
Nyota swallows. Alone. With Spock in a private family library. Forget the galaxy, is the whole universe aligned against her?
This isn't the first time he's rendered her nearly incoherent.
x x x x
"This is not your fault, Cadet Uhura," Commander Spock said, sitting in Nyota's chair in the language laboratory. "It appears that when the computers went offline unexpectedly last night, security protocols over wrote existing privileges. Let me show you how to reset them in the event this ever happens again. Do you mind observing over my shoulder?"
"Yes," said Nyota leaning forward, eyeing where his glossy black hair met the pale white skin of the back of his neck. She felt like gravity was pulling her lips forward, pressing her to kiss that neat hairline.
Spock spun around abruptly in the chair. Their lips were suddenly mere inches apart. Obviously startled by their proximity for a moment he did not move, nor did he say anything.
Eyes widening, Nyota jumped back. "No! I mean, no, of course I don't mind."
Spock blinked and swallowed - uncomfortable at the invasion of his personal space, no doubt. "Very well," he said. For a heartbeat he did nothing, but then he spun slowly back around.
Screwing her eyes shut for a moment, Nyota mentally cursed her clumsiness - and Spock's niceness. Okay, maybe Spock wasn't precisely nice. In fact, he had a reputation for the opposite. All of her fellow students seem to think he is an 'unrepentant hardass.' But they just don't see the real Spock, the Spock who will go out of his way to present new opportunities and assistance to students he sees determined to excel. He's invited Nyota and other motivated students to lectures, Xeno art exhibits, Vulcan tea tastings...he's even granted Nyota this challenging but career cinching assistantship in her second year - Enterprise, here she comes! Not many people are brave enough to take Spock up on his offers. But they're crazy.
Or as Gaila said, "They just don't want to be the third wheel around you two."
Gaila was crazy...well, half crazy. Nyota was completely smitten and she did like having Spock to herself, even if her ridiculous crush was completely one sided.
She stared down at Spock's neck and swallowed. She is going to kiss it...she is just going to lose all control and...
Spinning back around, Spock said, "And that is how you reset the security protocols, Cadet Uhura."
Nyota's eyes widened. So did Spock's. Nyota had accidentally leaned forward again. Their lips were again just inches apart.
Swallowing, Spock licked his lips ever so slightly. "Would you like me to demonstrate again?"
All Nyota could do was nod.
Spock spun around quickly again.
Nyota's stomach fell. She had to get away from this man.
x x x x
In the flitter Nyota glares at Spock. She put solar systems between them - escaping him was one of the reasons she'd applied for the exchange program on Vulcan. And yet here is.
"So," she says. "What are you doing on Vulcan?" She doesn't cross her arms, a gesture that is perceived as hostile by humans, Vulcans and seven other federations species. She wants to - she certainly feels hostile, but she doesn't.
"I have leave from active duty with Captain Pike," says Spock smoothly.
"How are you finding active duty?" Nyota asks. She doesn't huff.
When she first told Spock about her application for the exchange program on Vulcan he had pointed out how 'illogical' a year on Vulcan would be. Her combat and tactical training would invariably suffer - and anything she could learn from the linguistic instructors on Vulcan he could teach her in independent study himself.
In a moment of control she is immensely proud of, she'd smiled back and said gamely, "But the increased gravity will make me stronger - when I come back I'll improve my hand-to-hand combat scores, and be better at Parrises Squares, too!"
She swears to this day he'd narrowed his eyes at her.
And then after that conversation he went and applied for a one year stint in the fleet! If she hadn't participated in this exchange program, all those independent study courses he'd promised would not have been available. She wouldn't have had a chance to learn all three dialects of Romulan!
Spock tilts his head; a ghost of a smile comes to the corner of his lips. After three quarters of a year with full Vulcans, it is ridiculous how expressive that strikes Nyota.
"The stint in the fleet is providing me with unique opportunities," he says.
Crossing her arms, Nyota raises an eyebrow. "Good thing I made an illogical choice and came to Vulcan."
Spock's gaze flicks in her direction, and then just as quickly back to the horizon. "Sometimes we all behave illogically."
Nyota blinks. It's an oblique, Vulcan style, apology. She's just not sure for what.
The flitter begins to descend. Looking out the window Nyota sees a low dwelling of red stone. Her mouth forms a small 'o.' Even from here she can see it is enormous.
"We've arrived," says Spock, and she takes a deep breath. It's ridiculous how delicious he looks in profile.
Shutting off the flitter, Spock turns to her. "The book is very old. Special gloves must be worn to keep from damaging it with the oils of our skin."
"Got it," said Nyota, inclining her head. "Don't touch..."
"That is correct," say Spock. He swallows and Nyota follows the motion of his Adam's apple. Swallowing shouldn't be that attractive.
Don't touch Spock. How hard could it be?
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