**AN: This is where the one-shot stops. After getting to know these characters, I decided I just couldn't leave it at a couple one-shots, so starting here, a real plot begins. I would really appreciate you guys sticking with me on this, as you've been so supportive before. 3 OK, time to boldly go.**
Nyota rolled over on her cot, stretching. When her outstretched hand brushed something, she froze, momentarily confused until she remembered fully where she was and the identity of the sleeping form next to her.
Ever since she had begun sharing Spock's compartment, her nightmares had all but disappeared. She knew that she and Commander Spock weren't exactly a rom-com couple, but for some unknown reason, the Vulcan's steady heartbeat beside her was an enormous comfort when the bridge burned its way through her mind; and although his ceaseless logic could be irritating at times, it seemed to be exactly what she needed when she woke up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.
The crew had eventually stopped the teasing and gossiping, although the Captain was always ready with an innuendo at any given time; and while it made Nyota want to slap the little smirk right off of his face, she had to admit that the violent shade of green that flourished on Spock's ears at these occasions was endlessly amusing. Nyota smiled at the memory, and let herself slip back into a deep sleep.
She stole a couple more hours of peaceful, dreamless rest until the compartment rang with the sound of Spock's alarm clock. The Vulcan instantly sat up, displacing Nyota from his shoulder and causing her to ungracefully flop back onto the thin cotton pillows.
"Hey!" She protested groggily. "Apologies, Nyota." He stepped out of the bed and offered her a hand. Nyota took it, grumbling. "You really need to learn about common courtesy." She yawned and let herself be pulled out of bed and onto the chilly floor of the compartment.
"I have read many studies on human etiquette, and none of them report-"
"Shut up, Spock," Nyota waved him off with a grin and grabbed her uniform from its place, folded on top of Spock's dresser. She had taken to leaving a spare in Spock's compartment for convenience's sake. As she removed her plain cotton t-shirt, Spock respectfully turned his back and pulled on his own uniform. Nyota laughed. "Spock, you know you don't have to turn around. We literally sleep in the same bed."
"I do not see how we could figuratively sleep in the same bed," he commented. Nyota grinned and finished dressing, then pulled her long black hair out of her face and tied it up. She turned to find Spock waiting by the door, somehow completely dressed, shoes and all.
"I appreciate the gesture, Spock." She smiled and kissed him lightly. "It's very chivalrous of you."
"I believe it is what you refer to as 'common courtesy,' is it not?" He raised an eyebrow, his dark eyes glinting. Nyota rolled her eyes. "All right, smart-ass, time for bridge duty."
It was an exciting day on the bridge of the Enterprise. They were en route to a new, never-before-seen planet that the scanners had located in a system similar to Earth's. All signs indicated that it should be able to support life, and Star Fleet had sent in orders to explore the surface for any undiscovered civilizations. They had recently entered into the planet's orbit, and were now preparing the landing party that consisted of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and decidedly not Nyota. Although she had requested to join the landing party, she had been declined by the captain on the grounds of "Three's company, four's a crowd." That was always the excuse that Kirk provided, except when they ran into Klingon trading ships and she was the only one that could save their sorry asses.
The Captain, Spock, and Doctor McCoy had already been outfitted with phasers, medpacks and comms systems and were awaiting Chekov and Mr. Scott to beam them down onto the planet's surface. Nyota stood by the transport station, calibrating the comms systems to the ship's frequency.
"Almost ready, Mr. Scott?" Kirk called as the three of them walked through the sliding doors.
"Aye, Captain," the engineer replied, "Or, at least, very, very close. We seem to be having a wee bit of trouble with the signal tracker, but Mr. Chekov will fix it soon, won't you, laddie?" He directed the latter sentiment toward the young ensign, who was furiously tapping away with his brow furrowed. "Yes, sir, Mr. Scott, almost finished." He responded absentmindedly.
Nyota finished the calibrations and folded her arms across her chest. She turned to face the three men on the transport pad. "Captain, I would like to request the permission to join the landing party."
"Lieutenant, we've been over this," Kirk replied with a groan. "We have enough as it is."
"I hardly think three people are sufficient to carry out a mission on unfamiliar territory," Nyota said. "Captain." She added.
"Are you implying that Spock, Doctor McCoy, and I are unfit to complete this mission?" Kirk retaliated. "Not at all, sir, I am just respectfully suggesting that my knowledge of linguistics and communication will be beneficial to the cause." She lifted her chin and stared Kirk down.
"Captain, a word?" Spock asked and pulled him aside. They mumbled back and forth for a while until Kirk let out an exasperated sigh and turned back to Nyota. "Fine!" He said. "You can come along, Lieutenant, just this once." Nyota grinned. "Thank you, sir."
Kirk searched the room until he found a cadet standing by the doors. "Cadet, get Lieutenant Uhura a landing kit." The young man nodded and hurried off. "Maybe by the time he gets back, our transport system will be ready," Kirk nodded towards the engineers huddled by the station.
"Working on it, Captain!" Mr. Scott called.
"Thank you, Mr. Spock," Nyota flashed him a grateful smile as Kirk retreated to talk to Doctor McCoy. "I was perfectly capable of convincing him myself, you know." She reminded him. Spock nodded.
"I am aware of that," he said. "However, I also understand that it would be more efficient to add my endorsement to the matter, as I am far more familiar with your aptitude, having been your professor." He commented, referring to their years at the Star Fleet Academy.
The Vulcan hesitated. "I am obliged to inform you that this mission has the potential to be quite dangerous, as we have never encountered its inhabitants before and do not know of their attitude towards unfamiliar encounters." His brow furrowed. "I… I do not want any harm to come to you, Nyota." He said haltingly.
Nyota smiled. "Oh, Spock," she said. "I'll be fine. I'm a grown woman, I can handle this." Spock pulled her into a tight embrace. "Let us hope you are right." He murmured and kissed the top of her head.
The doors slid open as the cadet returned with Nyota's gear belt. She pulled away from Spock and hurried to take it from him, shooting an excited smile over her shoulder at the Vulcan. As she was setting the calibration on her comms system, Mr. Chekov finished tinkering with the transport system and nodded to Mr. Scott.
"Transports are a go, Captain," he reported. Nyota joined the three men on the transport pad.
"Beaming you down in three… two… one."