A/N Sorry it took me so long. Stuff and junk and crap got in the way!
Nyota's second year, a girl named Sadhika, was a gifted linguist who idolized Nyota and had a considerable fetish for all things Vulcan. During their sessions Sadhika would be effusive in her praise of Commander Spock and on more than one occasion expressed her desire to be his teaching assistant when Nyota's tenure was done.
"That's nice," Nyota had said at the time. "He's a great supervisor. I've learned a lot from him," she told Sadhika earnestly, suppressing a smirk as she imagined the look on Spock's face as Sadhika sat beside him in his office chewing his pointy ear off.
"I think he's so...inspiring," Sadhika would prattle breathlessly, although all credit to her, she would do so in passable Vulcan and so Nyota often let her continue. "He's so accomplished. I heard him play the Terran-touch-sensitive-keyboard-string-instrument (the Vulcan designation) at the faculty tea last term and it was...so restrained, heartbreaking really. Vulcans are amazing." Nyota found herself unable to disagree.
It was not therefore entirely a surprise when upon meeting Sadhika in the foyer of the library that the young ensign should be so exuberant in expressing to Nyota her unwavering admiration for Commander Spock's heroism in the mess hall not half an hour previously.
"Oh god does everybody know about that?" Nyota asked, her shoulders sagging as she dropped her head back to stare at the ceiling above.
"Everybody's talking about it, Nyota," Sadhika told her with a wide eyed, sincere expression on her face. "Not that anyone blames you or the Commander, I mean everybody knows what Jim Kirk is like..."
"Wait, what?!" Nyota choked. Sadhika gave her an innocent look.
"I'm just saying everybody knows that Jim Kirk is the biggest womanizer on the planet so naturally everyone is on Spock's side," Sadhika replied innocently. Nyota shook her head incredulously.
"Jim Kirk?!" she exclaimed. Sadhika wasn't listening and was staring into space with a misty eyed look as she continued.
"They say Commander Spock just picked him up and tossed him across the room like he was a banana skin!" Sadhika practically swooned.
"I...I..." Nyota sputtered. "I can't..." Sadhika patted her on the arm.
"I know right?" she said sympathetically. "Imagine! Trying to pick a fight with a Vulcan!"
"But...Jim Kirk wasn't even there!" Nyota choked. Sadhika's face screwed up in confusion.
"But...that's what everybody's saying."
"No!" Nyota practically screeched. "I...it...wha...what are people saying?" she rasped. Sadhika's brows went up and she shook her head gently as she explained.
"Well that you and Jim Kirk are having a thing and Commander Spock was jealous and..." Sadhika told her. Nyota stared at her in abject horror. "Are you feeling okay?"
"Oh my god," she wheezed, taking a step backwards and sinking down onto the stairs as she marvelled at the never-ending capacity of campus gossip mongers to mangle the truth beyond all recognition. Sadhika nodded and gave her a sympathetic look.
"Not that I can't imagine something like this from a Vulcan. All that restrained passion! So romantic," she crooned.
If Nyota was having a testing afternoon, it was not without difficulty for Spock. After she'd left him in his office he'd stood for a long time gazing wistfully at the spot where she'd just been before sinking down into his chair in an uncharacteristic daze. He'd performed a silent meditation to clear his mind of the tumult of emotions provoked by his altercation with the cadet in the mess hall and the memory of Nyota's lips against his cheek. A little while later and he was just logging into his computer console to get on with some work when he'd spied Nyota's scarf draped over the back of her chair across the room. He stood and approached cautiously, staring at it as though it were a venomous snake. The logical thing to do would be to place into his bag and return it to Nyota when he saw her later in his quarters. Later. In his quarters. When they were alone.
Spock gulped and tentatively reached out for the scarf, a delicate whiff of her perfume reaching his nostrils as he plucked it from the back of the chair. His mouth went dry as he turned the scarf over and over in his hands, imagining it wrapped around her neck as he bundled it into his bag. Her long, elegant neck.
Spock locked the door, darkened the window and pulled out a meditation candle.
After some intensive self examination, Spock was confident that he had regained control of his baser urges and extinguishing the candle, returned to his work. How foolish of him, he mused, to allow himself to be distracted by these events, to ascribe more significance to them than was logical. He was certain even Nyota's unusually physical display of affection could be explained rationally. She was a Human female of course, prone to occasional emotional outbursts and she had just been subjected to yet another affront at the hands of that barbarous oaf. It was to be expected that such a refined young lady might be disturbed by the cadet's effrontery in the mess hall, even a Vulcan woman would have been repulsed. Confident that he had sufficiently categorized and compartmentalized the days events, Spock rose from his desk and made his way along the hall to the small facility at the end of the hall intent on making a cup of tea.
As he entered he encountered Professor Lamb who was chasing a teabag around a cup with a spoon.
"Ah Commander," the professor greeted cordially as Spock approached and scanned the shelf for his mug.
"Good afternoon," Spock replied, his eyes flicking down to the familiar porcelain in the professor's hands. "That is Lieutenant Uhura's cup," Spock commented.
"Oh I'm sure she won't mind," the professor said with a dismissive wave of his hand..
"I'm sure," Spock replied smoothly, feeling slightly disconcerted by an odd flicker of dissatisfaction that sprung up within him. Most illogical.
"She's a lovely girl," Professor Lamb commented idly, his spoon clanging unconscionably loudly against the side of Nyota's cup. Spock eyed him with some suspicion.
"Indeed. Might I trouble you for the teabags?" he drawled, glancing at the box of tea on the counter that Nyota had brought back as a gift from her last visit to her home province and which Spock considered to be a highly pleasing infusion.
"Oh, sorry about that, I've used the last one," Professor Lamb told him and Spock looked at the empty carton for a moment, a single brow sliding unbidden up his forehead. "There's some of that other stuff though," the professor continued, fishing out a dusty old canister from the back of the cupboard. Spock's eyes narrowed imperceptibly but he took it without comment, his nostrils flaring slightly as he opened the lid and was greeted with a weak musty odor like old Terran paper. "Ah," the professor breathed with satisfaction as he slurped his tea. "That is a nice cup of tea."
"I am gratified," Spock uttered, spooning some of the limp tea into his cup and staring at the beige formica of the hot water dispenser as it gurgled impotently.
"Actually I'm glad I've bumped into you," the professor said, leaning back against the counter. "I've been going over the proposals from our meeting earlier."
"Yes," Spock uttered passively, removing his cup and staring down his nose at the insipid looking brew inside.
"Won't you step into my office for a moment Commander?" the professor implored in a friendly tone. "If you can spare the time of course."
"Of course," Spock replied blandly, giving his tea a tentative sniff and eyeing the dark red brew in the professor's cup with uncharacteristic envy. Perhaps his meditation was less effective than he had previously believed.
"You're rubbing off on her Commander," the professor continued as they ambled into his office. Spock froze.
"I beg your pardon, sir," he uttered sternly but the professor seemed utterly unfazed.
"Her proposal was...quite logical," Professor Lamb replied. "I must say I'm somewhat inclined to go with it. Although I have a few questions for her, I don't suppose she's around is she?" Spock took a calming breath before he replied.
"She is not," Spock informed him coolly.
"Oh that is a shame," the professor told him. "It would be good to have her input. It's a pity our discussion was cut short."
"Indeed," Spock commented, sinking down into a chair at Professor Lamb's hand gesture.
"These cadets, eh? All those hormones running wild," the professor uttered idly as he rummage through his desk drawer in search of a stylus. "Oh to be young again eh, Commander?" Spock was just about to take a sip of his tea when he hesitated and gave the professor an odd look. Was the professor implying that Spock was somehow past his prime? Such a description would be highly illogical and woefully inaccurate. Spock cleared his throat.
"I am not certain I understand Professor Lamb," Spock probed cautiously. The professor made a face that Spock found difficult to interpret and began to rifle through the assorted debris on his desk.
"Oh, well what I mean is...I suppose...well these young men, you know how it is," he said, finding a stylus under a PADD and hoisting it into the air victoriously. "Aha!" Spock looked at him askance.
"I hope you are not attempting to justify the actions of that cadet," Spock said primly. Professor Lamb glanced across his desk as switched on a PADD and scanned through the directory.
"Oh no, no of course not," he answered blithely.
"Lieutenant Uhura has explicitly rebuffed his advances on more than one occasion," Spock informed the professor unnecessarily.
"Oh? I thought they were an item," the professor quipped, not really paying attention. Spock repressed the urge to scowl.
"You are mistaken," Spock informed him confidently. The professor waggled his brows and pursed his lips.
"Odd, I'm sure I saw them together in the function room last week," Professor Lamb replied.
"Then you may also be aware that Lieutenant Uhura emptied the contents of her wineglass over the cadet's head," Spock told him with a hint of satisfaction. The professor cackled.
"Oh ho ho!" he gushed. "Oh I would have loved to have seen that!" Spock watched with concern as the professor's face went bright red. "She's a real firecracker that one! Lovely girl."
"As you have previously stated," Spock said, finding this entire conversation highly perplexing.
"Well, these young men can be persistent, especially when there's an attractive woman involved," he commented off-handedly. Spock's eyes narrowed.
"Lieutenant Uhura's physical attributes do not constitute an invitation to harassment," he continued and if the professor found him to be uncharacteristically impassioned he made no comment.
"Oh," the professor said, somewhat chastened. "Of course not, no."
"Lieutenant Uhura is a capable officer," Spock continued sternly.
"Yes, yes, a charming young lady," the professor agreed, although he was not really paying attention.
"It is an unfortunate tendency of Human males to lose all sense of decorum in these circumstances," Spock observed disapprovingly. Professor Lamb glanced at him and gave him a wry smile.
"Well, it wouldn't be the first case of a man losing his head over a beautiful woman," he quipped. Spock was disturbed by the professor's apparent preoccupation with Nyota's appearance.
"It is merely a matter of discipline," he answered haughtily, leaning back in his chair a little.
"Yes, I'm sure it is Commander," the professor answered, tapping his stylus repeatedly against the screen of his PADD. "Although of course, you must understand, we Humans do not live such abstemious lives as Vulcans." Spock was not certain if that was intended as a veiled insult and found it to be highly inaccurate besides.
"I am not certain I can agree Professor," Spock replied. "As you are aware, I am half Human." The professor seemed to find this somewhat amusing and began to chortle lightheartedly, setting down his PADD and reaching for his tea. "Is something amusing, Professor?" Spock queried, his brow furrowing in confusion.
"Oh no, Commander," Professor Lamb assured him. "Nothing you need concern yourself with," he continued before promptly changing the subject.
Meanwhile, Nyota was making her way back to her room having finally escaped from Sadhika's endless prattling. She had tried her best to steer the topic of discussion towards more academic subjects, like articulation of labiodental Vulcan fricatives but Sadhika had been so distracting she'd had a hard time focussing, her mind drifting instead to one particular Vulcan's labiodental region. His plump cupid's bow shaped labiodental region. It was highly disturbing, equally as disturbing as repelling the frequent solicitations for her version of the days events that she received from hyperactive cadets on her way home from the library. However, when she finally reached her dorm, it did not prove to be quite the sanctuary she was hoping for.
"How could you?" Gaila accused in a wounded voice as Nyota came through the door.
"Oh Gaila please, I am so not in the mood for this," Nyota said, shrugging dejectedly but Gaila wasn't really listening.
"All this time!" she squealed. "You knew that I liked him and all this time you've been sneaking around with Jim Kirk!" Nyota let out a dejected sigh and sank onto the bed.
"Gaila, I swear there is nothing going on..." she protested feebly but Gaila was practically climbing the walls.
"I don't get it!" she squealed. "Why did you even let me set you up with Christof if you were having a thing with Jim?" Nyota rolled her eyes.
"Gaila! I am not having a thing with Jim Kirk!" she screeched, the uncharacteristically shrill tone of her voice shocking Gaila into silence. "And I only went out with that creep because you asked me to!"
"Geeze Nyota, what's wrong with you?" Gaila asked, pulling a face like a prissy teen.
"Look, I'm sorry okay," Nyota breathed, sinking down onto her bed and gripping the mattress hard beneath her fingers. "I've just had a pretty shitty afternoon. It's bad enough that that creep was hassling me and now everyone is saying that I'm stuck in some kind of kinky love triangle with Jim Kirk and Spock and..."
"Ooh, I didn't hear this part?" Gaila crooned, slinking over to sit beside Nyota, suddenly very interested.
"ARGH!" Nyota exclaimed, flopping back against the mattress and attempting to smother herself with her pillow. She would never be able to face Spock again.