-AN-

Yay for Thanksgiving break! I was able to write again! Hope you like the update! :)

-Spock-

"Holy crap Spock you look like shit!"

At today's staff meeting I was inevitably sat next to Professor Briggs.

"In what way do I resemble fecal matter Professor Briggs?" I replied back.

"Well for one your nose is a bit swollen and your lip is split. What'd you do? Get in a fight with a Gorn?"

Professor Briggs snorted and laughed as I tried to procure an answer.

"…I tripped in my quarters."

"You tripped? Oh my god Spock it sounds like you're in a bad relationship. Should I go talk to the guy? Because nobody puts Spock in a corner."

"As I have told you before, I do not understand your movie references."

I pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration. This resulted in Briggs laugh even harder.

"I joke I joke Spock. Just be a little more careful uhh…walking around I guess. I didn't even know that Vulcans could be clumsy."

"I am fully capable of losing my equilibrium just as you are."

Briggs stood up and slapped me on the back. "That's the spirit! Everyone has off days now and then. Well I've got to get to my class, tell me when you need me to start working on your project Spock."

I raised my hand in affirmation, Briggs laughed again and left. Currently I was alone in the staff meeting room. I ensured that no one was looking before placing my face in my palms and releasing a sigh of frustration. How could I possibly tell Briggs that my injury was from a startled female cadet? Although she was stronger than I had anticipated, it was still an uncomfortable subject. However, it did reflect well upon the academy's self-defense classes.

I had over an hour until my next class so I permit myself a small bout of meditation. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to drift further into my subconscious. The usual glow from my familial bonds appeared before me. T'Pring's minor presence in my mind was growing even smaller. I did not even attempt to locate my bond with cadet Uhura. I silenced them and allowed my mind to drift freely in the black expanse. I could feel a calm wash over me as logic returned to my mind.

"Oh my god Spock I am so sorry. Let me go get some bandaging and a towel. And an umbrella!"

Cadet Uhura's voice unexpectedly rang throughout my head. It echoed through my mind as the memory consumed me. Feelings from that moment reemerged as I experienced the moment again. As soon as she had said my name the slight pain she had inflicted upon me was gone and replaced with pure joy. I had begun to have great disdain for my title of commander as it limited the opportunities that cadet Uhura could say my name. If the only time she could say it freely was after injuring me, I would allow her to do so every day.

More sensations and images from that moment flooded back to me after I had suppressed them. Her cold touch on my neck as she applied the hypo. The slight hints of her warm breathe on my face as she disinfected my upper lip. The smell of citrus lotion on her hands. The way her head cocked 20 degrees to the left as she focused on me. Her pupils dilating to 0.002 times the normal diameter as she bandaged me.

I knew my face had flushed. I was embarrassed, not because of my injury, but because I had enjoyed being taken care of by her. I enjoyed being the only thing that held her focus. Perhaps that was why I was mildly jealous of cadet Kirk. I wanted her attention to only be held by me. For the entire time I was being treated by her I had the resist the urge to grab her face and forcibly kiss her. I only wanted her.

As my meditation began to slip I was brought back to reality. My senses began to return and I became fully aware that there was a presence sitting next to me.

"Well hello there Spock. I didn't want to disturb your little space out moment there."

The figure next to me was Professor Harari.

"Do you require something from me Professor Harari?"

She giggled softly. "Well Briggs told me that you were probably still here spacing out and what do you know! He was right."

Her response confused me so I asked her the same question again.

"So straightforward! I've always liked that about you. No funny business." She smiled and tried to hold eye contact with me.

I stared at her expecting an answer.

"Oh alright! I was put in charge of ensuring that all the staff members were reminded that the Academic Gala that is going to be held the day after mid-term results are released."

"I received a message yesterday reminding me of the event. I will make sure to inform the top students in my respective field that they will be required to attend the event as will I."

"…Well that's good that you knew about it. Make sure to dress up! It's a formal event."

Professor Harari leaned in close to me and I moved away in response. In a low voice she said "I sure can't wait to see you in a suit."

I stared ahead not sure how to respond. "I will see you at the event."

As she stood up to leave she squeezed my shoulder. After she left I felt slightly violated.

-Uhura-

"Wow Ny! You got invited to the Academic Gala! Only the cadet's with the highest scores on their midterms are invited to that!"

Gaila and I were lounging about in our room after a long week of midterms. Both of us were frazzled and exhausted. Gaila was so tired that she wasn't even going out to celebrate tonight.

"Yeah it's neat that I got invited, but what exactly is that?" I asked her while reading a magazine article on Klingon speech patterns. The commander had messaged me that I and one other linguistics majoring communications student had been selected. Due to the stress of midterms I had been unable to see the commander outside of testing or work on the Kobayashi Maru project so it was nice to hear from him.

"Well Ny, It's this thing that the academy throws every semester to encourage the cadets. So like all the smarty pants people can feel like hot…" Gaila looked over at me and realized what she was about to say. I glared back at her. "Anyways the top students in each field will be awarded a fancy academic star fleet pin, get to eat some fancy food and are entered into this raffle for a mystery prize. The Gala happens only once a semester. I heard that if you can get a pin every semester you win some other big award too... Or maybe you'll get magic powers!"

Gaila squealed and rolled around on her bed frantically. I narrowed my eyes at her, how could she still have so much energy?

"Well that sounds tedious. Can I just have the pin sent over to me?"

Gaila shot up in her bed, her hair a frazzled mess. "Ny if you don't go I'm going to smother you in your sleep. I wanted to go so bad! But I didn't do so well on my midterms…" Her mouth quivered as if she were about to burst into tears. "So you have to go!"

I flipped the page that I was reading. "I'm burnt out and I don't have anything to wear. Maybe you could go in my stead?"

"…Trust me Ny I would totally do that if I could. But I can't. So you have to go. Just borrow one of my dresses and you'll be fine! I can do your makeup up all fancy again!"

"That sounds like even MORE work. Just let me study in peace."

Gaila flopped back onto her bed and released an unattractive groan. "You know I heard that the raffle prize is pretty cool this year. My friend who organizes the volunteers told me a little bit about it. I could uh… tell you a little bit about it."

Damn her. She knew I couldn't resist knowing. "Fine what is it Gaila?"

"The prize is…." She dramatically paused, "…A trip to the shipyards to see the newest starship being built! My friend said that you'll get an in depth knowledge of the new crop of starships that no other cadet could have! It'd make you that much more qualified to be stationed on the starship of your dreams."

Aw crap. That was a really cool prize. I clenched hard at my magazine. Was the slim chance that I could win that prize make it worth going to?

"…Fine Gaila fine! I'll go to the thing."

"Oh my gosh no way!" She sprang out of her bed and began tossing dresses out of her closet. "I know just the right one. You'll love this Ny! Oh I'm so excited!"

I watched in horror as Gaila nearly disassembled her entire closet. As a child I had been forced to attend a lot of fancy parties so I was less than enthused to be forced to yet another one. I better win this prize otherwise my day in hell tomorrow won't be worth it.

-Spock-

It is a requirement of all Star Fleet Academy professors that they have at least one ensemble for formal occasions. Since I rarely bought human clothing, finding a suit had been a challenge. My mother being the person she is caught wind of my plight and sent me a rather extravagant geometric suit. I expected to be a fashion outlier at this gathering. My lip had healed so at least that would not attract attention. As I prepared for the event I began to wonder what type of attire cadet Uhura would be dressed in. I had found that any type of clothing she wore suited her no matter the circumstance. While the thought of cadet Uhura in formal wear was nerve wracking, it was still something to look forward to. I found these types of events rather tedious and as far as I could tell over the bond, cadet Uhura did as well. The only respite I found in the whole event was the chance to interact with cadet Uhura. During midterms I had rarely spoken to her, even during my own classes. As I was the professor who would be presenting her with the academic pin the chance of talking to her was at 89%. There was at least that to look forward to in this overwhelming ordeal.

-Uhura-

The Academic Gala was held in the Star Feet Academy ballroom. The ballroom was created to aid students in their handling of diplomatic matters by giving them mock parties to attend. However, when it wasn't in use it was used to hold all of the academy's social events. While this was convenient it made Gaila feel as if she had the entire day to primp me. I had to sprint to the event to make it on time. Thankfully I was wearing knee length boots this time instead of some ridiculous pair of heels. Just as the event started I took my seat next to the other communications student that had been invited. I took a quick glance around the table and noticed that commander Spock and a few of the command line cadets were also sitting at the table with us. I gave him a quick smile and he gave his usual nod in response. As Admiral Barnett took the stage I couldn't help but wonder if my hair really looked alright.

-Spock-

Cadet Uhura was wearing a long sleeve black geometric dress that was the same length as her uniform. She wore sheer black tights and tall black boots that had a slight heel to them. Her hair was down and slicked backwards. Her eye makeup was simplistic with only a sweep of black eyeliner that I have been informed is known as the "cat-eye". Her lips were a dark red. The overall effect was aesthetically pleasing. Although I could only see her full figure for 7.1 seconds, her profile as she watched the admiral speak was equally attractive.

-Uhura-

As we were slowly being called up on stage to receive our pin I found myself becoming increasingly nervous. I had attended plenty of awards in my time at high school and college, but never in front of such a large audience. After about an hour I saw the commander take the stage. I was so nervous that I hadn't even seen him leave the table. He was wearing a gray suit that had a geometric cube pattern sewn onto it. Surprisingly he didn't look out of place in a suit. I looked over at the other top scoring cadet in my division. She was a Caitian and I believe her name was M'Ress. She must be in the commander's earlier class. Her dress was black but made of a light and flowy material. Our department was going to look like a rather serious group up onstage.

"Cadets M'Ress and Uhura were the top performing students in the linguistics division of the communication branch." The commander spoke authoritatively into the microphone.

M'Ress and I stood up and took to the stage. My heart was beating like a Klingon war drum as we stood there with countless eyes on me. The commander and M'Ress seemed indifferent towards the situation and I hope that I looked at least half as composed as they did. The commander handed us each a small black box and the audience applauded for us. I took a quick peek into the box and saw that the pin was shaped like the new constitution class starships. After receiving the award M'Ress, the commander and I all stood together for a commemorative photo. I had a feeling that I would be the only one grinning in the picture.

-Spock-

After all of the recipients were awarded their pins, the students and faculty were invited to try food from various planets that were being served at individual stations. As I got up to inspect the variety of delicacies Cadet Uhura called out to me from across the table.

"Commander wait for me!" she got up and came to stand beside me.

"Did you need something cadet?"

Cadet Uhura fidgeted before answering. "…I wanted to thank you for inviting me to this."

I was disappointed that that was all she had required of me. "I see. You were the highest scoring cadet out of all of my students. It was logical that you be invited."

Cadet Uhura shook her head. "Okay that's not really what I wanted to say."

She looked around us to see if anyone nearby. The area had vacated. Cadet M'Ress was already over at the food stations.

"What did you need cadet?" I asked again in a softer tone of voice.

Cadet Uhura's features seemed to relax. She leaned in closer to me, I did not retract. "I was wondering if you would sit at the table with me for a bit. I'm not hungry and I really….actually hate these kinds of events."

I did not hesitate. "That would be acceptable." I sat back down in my chair and cadet Uhura sat down next to me. A sense of nostalgia arose from this kind of situation. Relief flooded into me from cadet Uhura.

"Sorry that you aren't able to go and enjoy the event commander." Cadet Uhura said sheepishly.

"It is fine cadet. I am not one to enjoy such large gatherings anyways. If I did not assist you during a crisis I would not be an effective advisor to you."

Cadet Uhura smiled but did not look at me. "Thank you."

We sat together in silence as the ballroom bustled around us, observing them in an environment of our own.

"This is very déjà vu huh commander?" Cadet Uhura said as an Andorian cadet walked by.

"That would be affirmative. The situation is uncanny."

"You know that was the only time I was ever excited to go to one of those big meetings. My father had forced me to go to so many that I had lost count." She stared out at the throngs of people passing in front of our table.

"I had a similar experience as a child. I remember feeling stifled by them. The conference in Kenya would be my one exception."

Happiness was emitted from the bond. Cadet Uhura took a napkin from the seat to her right. "Do you have a pen?"

"I do not. I will procure one for you."

I got up from the table and made my way over to the open bar. To my displeasure cadet Kirk and McCoy were operating it.

"So what's your poison commander?" cadet Kirk asked me this while leaning over the bar structure.

"I was not aware that the both of you were volunteering at this event." I did not change my position.

Cadet McCoy released a loud sigh. "In all actuality I was supposed to be attending this event. But the guy to my left just HAD to get us in trouble."

Cadet Kirk shoved cadet McCoy in a playful manner that was accustomed to human males.

"C'mon Bones haven't you ever heard of guilty by association?"

Cadet McCoy rolled his eyes. "Okay get this. I get a call at 4 in the morning from Jim. He spent the night at some girl's house off campus and needed to be picked up. I being the great friend I am go to this RANDOM girl's address only to find this guy in front of her house in nothing but his boxers! She had thrown him out without his clothes just before I got there. So I gave him my coat and we ran to campus hoping to get there before classes started…" cadet McCoy shot cadet Kirk a malicious look.

"And we got caught. There Bones are you happy? I guess there are some rules about not being partially nude on campus or something."

"There's also rules about not staying the night outside of campus, but I was going to overlook that one. See Jim! I could've been out there in a nice tux eating a sandwich and getting an award. But no I'm stuck here with you."

"Oh buck up Bones! At least we are getting punished together."

Cadet McCoy rolled his eyes. Cadet Kirk dismissed his statements and focused his attention back on me.

"So commander what'll it be? A glass of water to suit your personality?" He grinned quite pleased with himself.

"I require a pen."

The two cadets gave each other sideways glances.

"Ah, okay. I'm sure we have one here." Cadet Kirk began fumbling around underneath the bar station. After 34 seconds he emerged from underneath it. "Here you go commander!"

He handed me the pen. "Thank you cadet."

"No problem, we always have our pen supplies stocked. They're always in high demand at fancy parties."

I narrowed my eyes at cadet Kirk. His sarcasm was starting to wear on me.

"Cadet McCoy I regret that you were unable to attend this event as a guest. I hope you two have a…tolerable time."

"Uh, same to you commander." Cadet McCoy replied.

The walk back to cadet Uhura felt unnaturally long. I had felt waves of uneasiness emit from her the entire twelve minutes and 54 seconds that I was gone.

"Spock! There you are! I've been searching for you all night."

I stopped moving and looked back to see who had addressed me. It was Shoshana Harari. To my displeasure I realized that I would have to leave cadet Uhura unattended for even longer to socialize with her.

"As it has only been 2 hours since this event began I doubt that you could have searched for me 'all night'" I replied quickly.

She laughed. I noticed that she was wearing a long red form fitting cocktail dress. It was quite revealing.

"Oh you and your logic. Are you in a hurry Spock? Could I talk to you for a bit?" She came within 5 inches of me. In a hushed tone she added, "Maybe privately in the foyer?"

I did not know what she required of me but the faster we could talk the sooner I could return to cadet Uhura. "If the discussion can be had in under ten minutes then I will agree to it."

"Oh of course! I would never want to waste your time."

She grabbed my sleeve and pulled me into the foyer. I reluctantly followed. The doors to the ballroom closed behind us and we were alone.

"What did you wish to speak of professor Harari?"

She said nothing, her eyes shifted about the foyer.

"Professor Harari?"

Suddenly her lips were pressed against my own. I recoiled from the unexpected touch and pushed her away from me. A bond formed between us and I felt an influx of unidentifiable emotions from her. I quickly severed the bond but her emotions still lingered within me. My rage began to boil. I turned away from her and started back to the ballroom.

"Spock wait!" She rushed forward and grabbed my shoulder.

I stopped moving. "Do not touch me."

"I won't let go until you listen! You don't have to look at me just listen. Please."

"Speak then."

"I've… liked you since we were in the academy. It was never more than a crush until this year. I always thought that you were just someone who was fun to flirt with and tease because of how stoic you were… but I was wrong. I noticed some changes in you this year and I can't say what exactly has happened, but you're different."

Her voice was shaking as was her hand.

"I thought that if I confessed or did something that maybe you'd stop changing. You're becoming someone that I don't know and that scared me. You weren't my Spock anymore."

"You never held ownership over me."

"I know that. I was just scared. Scared of everything that's changing. What I did wasn't right and I'm sorry about it. But please know that I really do like you... I hope we can still be friends."

I was silent for a moment unsure of how to respond.

"…I appreciate your feelings but know that I do not feel the same way."

I could hear her start to cry.

"However I would appreciate it if we were to remain as we are. You are my esteemed colleague and it would be fitting for you to stay that way."

She let out a small laugh and let go of my shoulder. I was unsure if that was what she wanted to hear, but that was all I was able to give her.

"…Thank you Spock. I think I can finally move on now." She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "I'm going to the bathroom before I go back in so go on without me."

I nodded and headed back into the ballroom. Although I was not sure at what point, I found myself running through the ballroom. I evaded throngs of people and maneuvered around 23 chairs and 15 tables. My body was screaming with rage at what I had allowed to happen. My first kiss was stolen by a woman that I had no interest in. I felt dirty and wanted nothing more than to leave the event and go take a shower. However I had another urge that needed to be satiated first. My bond was pulling me towards cadet Uhura. I needed to see her. I had left her unattended for almost an hour which was unacceptable.

I could not remember a time that I had moved so quickly. The event was drawing to a close and nearly 79% of the crowd had dissipated. The chance that cadet Uhura was still at the table was almost down to 12%. As the table came within view I noticed that there was only one person still sitting there. I sat down next to them without even looking to see who it was.

"Commander?"

It was cadet Uhura. She was still here.

"I apologize for my prolonged absence cadet."

Her eyes were red and on the verge of tears. She took a sip of her wildly vibrant drink before replying to me.

"That's alright commander, Kirk and McCoy came and hung out with me. They even got me this drink…" She sniffed back her emotions. "I'm just glad you're here now."

I did not know what to say. I was pleased to know that she had not been alone at the table for the remainder of the night, but I was jealous that it had been those two who had kept her company. But more important than my jealousy was the reason behind cadet Uhura's distress. Had someone seen me with professor Harari and informed cadet Uhura on the matter? No, that would be presumptuous to think that my actions had that great of an impact on her. Perhaps it was…?

"Is something … wrong? I apologize that it took me so long to retrieve the pen. I have it now. You can create as many puzzles as you'd like now. "

I motioned for her to hold out her hand. She held it out slowly. I placed the pen in her hand and closed her fingers around the pen. I kept my hand on hers for 8.4 seconds longer than necessary to enjoy her touch. She looked at the pen and burst into laughter.

"I'm not upset about that commander. Thank you for the pen though."

"…What are you upset about cadet?"

She eyed me cautiously. "Do you promise not to laugh? I mean you wouldn't laugh but… Do you promise not to judge me internally?"

Without hesitating I nodded my head.

She exhaled loudly and dabbed at her watering eyes. "I didn't win the raffle."

I stared back at her blankly.

"See! I told you not to judge me! I just wanted to win it so bad commander! That's the only reason I came to this party. Now I'll never get assigned to a good starship!" She put her hands in her face and began to sob. "You were the one person I didn't want to see me like this commander. You must think I'm terrible."

I wanted to hold her hand, but I couldn't.

"I do not think any less of you cadet. The level of dedication you have for your job is admirable. You are…" I restrained myself from saying what I had wanted to. "…an ideal cadet."

She stopped crying and was now wiping her face with a napkin. In between sniffs she managed to blurt out, "Do you mean that commander?"

"Vulcans are not capable of telling lies."

She blushed and smiled at me. Not even the makeup running down her face could mar that image for me.

"I guess I'll just have to try and see the shipyard by my own means then."

Had she always been so interested in seeing the shipyards?

"Would you enjoy seeing the shipyards cadet Uhura?"

Her eyes widened in surprise.

"Do you have access to it commander?"

"I worked on some of the design aspects of one of the newest ships. I have access to the shipyards at all times. We could go see the ship I will be assigned to as early as this weekend if you wish. I was unaware of your interest in the matter."

Cadet Uhura reached out and hugged me. The rare warm feeling sprung out from the bond. I did not reject her touch nor reciprocate it.

"Thank you thank you thank you commander. This means so much to me. Being able to understand the inner workings of the ship will make me that much more capable of being assigned to a constitution class ship!"

The warm feeling was gone almost as soon as it had arrived. Now I only felt the analytical excitement that cadet Uhura often felt during classes. I was displeased that the feeling had not lasted longer.

"Can we walk home together so that we can talk about it some more commander?"

I of course agreed and we left the ballroom immediately. She walked ahead of me and spoke only of starships and their communication systems. I enjoyed hearing her speak so eagerly and did not mind that she did not once turn back to look at me. She asked me numerous questions about the shipyard and ensured that we would be going this weekend. Being with her for this brief moment made me realize that the confrontation between Shoshana Harari and I had not been without merit. Her kiss made me realize that Nyota Uhura was indeed the only touch I found desirable. She alone could stir the emotions within me. She alone held my attention and she alone was the catalyst for the change within me.