A/N: I had been itching to write something like this for ages but I never could bring up the nerve to do it. I finally got over that and decided on another one-shot!
It started as an accident. She had been sitting with her back to him, gathering up essays she was to assist him with. Silence was something she had grown quite accustomed and while she loathed the silence she bathed in around her professor's company, she decided that she could handle silence a great deal more than absolutely nothing at all.
He shifted in his chair and she paused for a moment. While she wasn't necessarily looking in his direction, she could feel his eyes on her. Her head turned ever so slightly to the right and she used her eyes to move around. Out of the corner of her eye she found him still staring. Something stirred in her stomach and she turned back to the PADDs and continued reading the essay.
"Cadet Uhura," his voice... whenever he said her name she'd always felt a flutter against her ribcage. It was never in the pit of her stomach like the many times she wanted the affection of a young man she'd set eyes on growing up. Those feelings were reserved for silly crushes. There was nothing silly or crushing about this.
Her heart could argue with that crushing idea, though.
She sat the PADD down and turned around, giving him a small smile.
"Continuing the conversation from earlier..." he paused and tilted his head.
Nyota's smile never faded and she patiently waited.
They were discussing the USS Enterprise earlier. She expressed with way too much emotion that she wanted nothing more than to serve aboard the crew of the Enterprise. Spock had not replied but she'd known that he was listening to every single thing she'd said. As usual, when she'd become excited about something, her hands waved around excitedly and her eyes grew wide. The only thing that seemed to calm her and bring her back to Earth was the raised eyebrow of her professor.
"Sorry, Commander," she grew bashful but her tone was full of amusement.
Being in the presence of Commander Spock without the chatter and distraction of other students had been a learning experience for her.
She'd managed to differentiate between amusement, irritation, and genuine pleasure and sadness. Though, he'd never exactly been sad but on occasion she could sense a feeling of loneliness hanging in the distance between them.
It was amazing how much she learned through a simple lift of the eyebrow.
"I think you would be a great candidate for the Enterprise."
Her eyes grew wide but he continued on.
"You have shown an unparalleled ability to identify sonic anomalies in subspace transmissions tests."
"Thank you, sir!" Her voice was bright and full of joy when she spoke.
"I notice your tone rising an octave. I can only assume that this pleases you."
"You have no idea how good a thing this is!" She licked her lips and laughed albeit a bit nervously. "No offense, sir, but hearing it from my Vulcan professor makes it the most important thing in the world."
"I will remember this when we are assigning cadets to starships."
Now he had jokes.
She swung back around in her chair, the smile now a grin from ear to ear. Taking in a deep breath, she picked up the PADD and continued. She could feel his eyes on her and that (crushing?) feeling against her ribcage returned.
When it was time to leave, Nyota gathered up the PADDs and walked over to the commander's desk. His head was bowed and he was engaged in his own work.
Usually, she didn't say much when she left. A simple goodbye from her and curt head nod from him seemed to do it.
At times, their gaze lingered longer than she knew had been appropriate but she chalked that up to Spock's curiosity about her and all her odd mannerisms. Her own reasons however, were silly and borderline juvenile. Having a crush was harmless but Commander Spock finding out about it was catastrophic.
That was subject to change.
She stepped towards his desk and her foot became caught on the table leg of the desk where she worked and the PADDs had gone flying from her hand and she was about to embarrassingly crash against the floor.
He moved him from his desk with such grace she hadn't realized he was holding her forearm and saving her from having her pride shattered to pieces.
And the moment he'd grabbed her every single emotion she had about him rose to the surface. She'd tried so hard to block them but it was too late now, wasn't it?
She could see through his eyes and almost confused expression that every single emotion she'd felt for him reached him.
Would he ignore it?
"I'm sorry, sir."
He still held onto her arm. It was a firm but gentle grip and the tips of his fingers were warm, warmer than a human man's hands. She liked the way they felt.
Shutting her eyes tight, she sighed. He'd just gotten that thought, too.
This was horrendous.
"There is nothing to be ashamed of, Cadet." His voice was soft.
What was she thinking? He was half-human, he'd corrected her ignorance the first day of her aide-ship.
"Cadet..." he didn't seem angry or unsettled. But he was touching her and surely that had made him feel uncomfortable. Her thoughts must have been on fire now.
"Quite the contrary, cadet."
Oh God he was now replying to her thoughts. He must have seen everything. The enjoyment she got from seeing his face, the way her stomach tightened when he said her name. ...that feeling against her ribcage when he was in her presence.
There was more now. Her breathing was shallow, she couldn't think properly, all her words were running together in her mind (in Swahili!), her knees were weak and this was just embarrassing.
"Do not be embarrassed," his voice seemed to grow softer.
Suddenly, she was given the brief image of herself.
Was that herself?
To be specific, it was the back of her head. Her long hair trailed down her back and she slightly shifted her head to the side. Was that...
She frowned and looked up at the commander again.
"But..." she whispered, her voice laced with emotion.
She wanted to ask him how long. It had been ridiculous to entertain the very thought of it. Surely they had been committing some sort of debasement of regulations right now just thinking about doing the very thing they were doing. He hadn't kissed her but she wanted him to and oh God now she was cringing because he'd felt that thought.
He was quiet for some time. His eyebrows did not quirk, his expression remained neutral but he didn't have to say a word. His thoughts were enough.
She reminded him of home.
Without much thought, Nyota's hand reached up and tenderly cupped the side of his face. When he did not turn his head away, her courage only grew stronger. She stepped closer to him, not bothered at all by him not moving away from her.
"Commander Spock," she whispered softly.
"Cadet Uhura," his baritone announcing her name brought a smile to her face.
"Nyota. Just Nyota," she replied and leaned in close to him, pressing her lips to his.