Required Reading

I don't own anything Star Trek, The Dark Knight Rises, The Fantastic Four, or Ninja Assassin. Characters you don't recognize belong exclusively to me. I tend to pair male protagonists with women of color, specifically black women. If this poses a problem with your ability to suspend disbelief, then this fanfic blog isn't for you. Otherwise, do enjoy.

11/06/2011

Folie a Trois (3/15)

Spock: Fascination




She was 170.2 centimeters high, and had a mass of 57 kilograms.  Across the chest and hips, she was 91 centimeters, and her waist spanned 61 centimeters.  Spock was very familiar with the dimensions of every aspect of the bridge, and Uhura’s placement at the communications console enabled him to calculate her measurements. 

He overheard Kirk ask McCoy if she was a 36-24-36, as the doctor had just completed her health screen.  He was curious.  How Kirk came about his information was logically suspect, as Commander Spock doubted that Lieutenant Uhura would allow the captain to come anywhere near her with a measuring tape. 

Humans and humanoids could not be perfectly symmetric, but she was as close to having faultless proportions as any being could get.  Anthropologically speaking, she would make the ideal mate for a human male.  Physically, she was fascinating.

He told himself that it was perfectly logical to collect quantitative data on Lt. Uhura, as she was the only female in the command crew.  The information could prove to be useful one day.  He, however, did not take any quantitative measurements on any other crew members.

She was a gifted communications officer, an exceptional student, a skilled marksman, quite proficient in hand-to-hand combat, and adept at keeping her emotions under control, especially when the captain did all he could to bait her.  Although it appeared that the captain was fond of the lovely xenolinguist, Lt. Uhura did was not as enamored of him.  Spock could tell, when he observed, by the minute way she rolled her eyes in Kirk’s direction whenever he irritated her, but she never lost her professionalism.

She was very accomplished and did her best to excel in every subject she was introduced to.  He knew that while the Enterprise was being repaired, she spent her time completing her personnel paperwork and learning the details about the Enterprise’s communications center and nuances of the bridge consoles, as well as the vernacular specific to the Enterprise herself.  He himself checked out the manuals to her and she returned them to him two days after the starship left space dock.  In the short time that she had been an officer on the bridge, she proved herself worthy of Admiral Pike’s initial promotion and her fellow officers’ appreciation for her unparalleled sensory abilities.  Intellectually, she was fascinating.  He could actually have a conversation with her.

Spock kept his observations to himself.  It was inappropriate and illogical not to do so.  He merely found the ship’s communications officer intriguing.  She was different, a human to be observed and studied, for all of the potential she possessed.  It was perfectly logical.

At least, that was what he concluded.
*          *          *

Prior to working on the Enterprise, one of his duties as a post-doc Starfleet graduate was to be an instructor.  Because he was considered an expert in many areas, the Academy deans allowed him to choose what subjects he wanted to teach.  He decided to teach Humanoid Semantics and Syntax, Advanced Morphology and Phonology, Political Systems of non-Terran Societies, and Advanced Translations.  For senior cadets, he allowed linguistic participation in the Kobayashi Maru exam as part of a seminar course on subspace transmissions.  His classes were such that he was able to get the best of the best; all others were weeded out in previous semesters.

However, even the best of the best were far below his standards.

He first encountered Uhura as a second-year cadet in his Humanoid Semantics and Syntax course.  She was attractive, eager, punctual and studious.  Her grades were decent.  However, she had an annoying habit of sneaking and eating candy in his class.  He did not allow food or drink to be consumed in the lecture hall, so her complete violation of the rule made him want to kick her out of the class.  But, even though her grades were merely decent (high Bs, low As), she was still the best student in his class that semester.

However, Spock did not take violations lightly.  He waited until he saw her pop a chocolate sphere into her mouth to ask her a question.

“Cadet Uhura,” he said, staring directly at her, “please clarify the specific distinction between Vulcan and Romulan hermeneutics.”

She, her mouth full of chocolate, could not answer right away.  Spock raised an eyebrow and stared at her.

“Cadet, is there a problem?  Do I need to repeat the question?”

He watched her struggle to swallow the chocolate.  “Sir…Vulcan…hermeneutics…and…”

“Cadet, is there a reason why you cannot answer the question?”

“No…sir.”  The chocolate was thick, silky and wonderful.  It was also stuck in her throat.

“Then please, answer it.  We are waiting.”

Uhura closed her eyes, took a deep breath and tried to swallow the lump in her throat, started coughing and had to excuse herself for a drink of water.  Spock watched her excuse herself, and then turned his attention back to the class.

When class was over, she was the last to leave.  He waited patiently for her to pack her things.  When she was finished, she was prepared to stomp out of the hall, but he called her over.

“Cadet.”

She glared at him, her dark eyes flashing with anger and embarrassment.  “Sir?”

“There is no food or drinks allowed in this lecture hall.  I suggest you keep that in mind.”

“Sir, I did not have any—”

“I beg to differ,” he said.  “The chocolate you were eating when I called on you, is that not considered food?”

She closed her eyes.  “I apologize for my violation of your rules, sir.  It will not happen again.”

“I trust that it will not, Cadet.  You are dismissed.”

It didn’t.

In her third year, she took his Advanced Morphology and Phonology course, as well as Advanced Translations.  He found her to be more controlled, less impulsive.  He never saw her with a chocolate sphere.  Her grades were much better as a junior cadet (mid-range As), but still below his considerable standards.  She sat front and center, recording his lectures, scribbling notes and listening intently.  He knew from her questions that she studied her material every night.  He was pleased that she had made some progress.

The midterm in the AMP class was a twenty-five page analysis of Cardassian, Romulan and Klingon phonology.  Although it was evident that she studied hard, her analysis left a lot to be desired.  When he returned her paper, her face fell when she saw the abysmal grade at the top.

He was in his small, sterile office when she showed up.  She was furious.  He was fascinated.

“Commander, may I speak with you please?”

“Of course, Cadet.  Please close the door.”

She wanted to slam the door but didn’t.  Uhura pulled out her paper and held it out to him.  “Commander, I do not understand why I did not get a satisfactory grade on this analysis.  I spent two weeks writing this, and I included all of your requirements.  I do not understand why I got a B-plus.”

He barely glanced at the paper and it irritated her.  “You confused the plosives and the fricatives of the Cardassian language with that of the Romulan language.  You did not include the sibilants of the Klingon language.  Such omissions are worthy of failure, Cadet.  However, you were thorough in the other components of the paper, and so the percentages reflect that.”

She was holding back tears.  “You didn’t even look at it.”

“I beg to differ, Cadet.  As you can tell by my markings, I examined your paper minutely.”

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.  “May I do a re-write?”

“It will not change your midterm grade, Cadet.”

“Commander, may…I…do…a…re…write?”

“If you have the time to do so, of course you may. I will even look at it, if you wish.”

“I will wish,” she said, trying hard not to snap at him.

“Then, unless there is anything else, I have other matters to attend to.”

“No, Commander.  There is nothing else.”  She turned and stalked out of his office, leaving behind a mixed scent of salty tears and jasmine.  He could not help but inhale.

When he got up to stand at the window, he saw her sitting on one of the quad benches, her face buried in her hands.  She appeared to be crying.  He was fascinated.

Her rewrite was exemplary and her final exam was perfection.  She ended up with an A-minus in the course. 

By the time she was a senior cadet, she was his only selection for participation in the Kobayashi Maru simulation and seminar.  Uhura was often utilized often as a communicator for cadets who had to take the test.  She had unmatched linguistics skills and incomparable sensory ability.  She thrived under his tutelage and instruction.  He could, if he chose, engage her in dialogue on any number of subjects. He admired her perseverance and devotion to be the best at what she could be.  He appreciated her metamorphosis from an impulsive cadet to a devoted officer.  He knew that she would excel in Starfleet.  He took a modicum of credit for his part in her future success.

Spock assigned her to the Farragut.  He knew that she wanted to work on the Enterprise.  But he considered his high regard of her a sign of favoritism, so he assigned her to the Farragut.  She wasn’t hearing any of it.  When she questioned him about it, he could see the change in her eyes.  She was livid that he did not take her request seriously.  After challenging and quoting him verbatim, Spock realized that he was the one who had to back down this time.  The Uhura before him was a force to be reckoned with.  Without a word, he made the adjustment on his PADD and clarified that she would be serving on the Enterprise.

She was, if possible, even more fascinating.

When Nero killed his mother and destroyed Vulcan, he had to abandon the captain’s chair and she was there.  There was no reason for her to be there; he had not endeared himself to her in any way, but she was there nonetheless.  The turbolift air was tinted with her fragrance and he could not help but inhale.

“I’m sorry,” she said.  “I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.”

He stared into her beautiful luminous eyes, filled with tears and compassion.  She felt the pain he could not express.  She closed the distance between them, but hugged herself as if she did not know what to do with her hands.   He knew that she wanted to touch him.  He could sense that she wanted to hug him, but she didn’t cross the line.

“What do you need?  Tell me, what do you need?”

An inappropriate question coming from a subordinate, but Spock could not bring himself to call her on it.  He looked at her, at her radiant eyes brimming with tears at his great and terrible loss, at her desire to console him when no one else bothered to do so, and something inside of him, something undeniably human, cracked his Vulcan exterior.

“I need…everyone to continue performing admirably,” he was able to say.

She ran her hands over her arms and hugged herself tighter.  She nodded, blinking slowly.  “Okay,” she said.  Her eyes said more than that.

The turbolift doors opened and he walked out, not looking back.  But he knew that she was.  If he had been able to channel any emotion other than rage, it would have been fascination.

After his physical altercation on the bridge with Kirk, he learned that his father loved his mother.  He learned that a pure Vulcan could love a human.  He was half-human and he had the capacity to love as a human.  But as he embraced his Vulcan heritage, he understood that they loved harder and deeper than humans, and such an expression of emotion was illogical.  For his father to acknowledge that in the wake of his mother’s death meant that he loved her deeply.  And that it was all right for Spock to love that way as well.

That was another crack in his Vulcan shield.
*          *          *
A month after the Enterprise returned to Earth for repairs, Uhura came to him with a request.

“Sir, I would like to borrow the Enterprise’s manuals for the communications lab and the bridge consoles.”

He raised a brow.  No one else had even bothered to inquire about such things, not even the captain.

“Commander, I need to be prepared for when we leave space dock.  I need to examine those manuals and learn the specifics of how the ship works and my part in it.  I was winging it for the most part during that first mission and I find that unacceptable.”

“Certainly, Lieutenant.  Your logic is sound.”

She followed him into his office and waited while he stacked several PADDs on his desk.  When he was done, he looked at her.  She stood perfectly straight.  Her uniform was impeccable.  She was staring at him, her expression soft.

“Sir, are you all right?”

“I am perfectly well, Lieutenant.  Why do you ask?”

“Commander…you recently suffered a great loss.  I’m just concerned.”

“There is no need to be,” he said.  “I am quite capable of performing up to task.”

“Yes sir,” she said.
“I shall carry these PADDs to your destination, as there are several and they are heavy.”

“Thank you,” she said.

They walked to the tiny flat where she was staying and she let him in.  “You can sit them there, sir.  Thank you again.”

He put the PADDs down and adjusted his black Starfleet-issued jacket.  “You are most welcome, Lieutenant.”

Instead of leaving immediately, he took a moment to stare at her.  She smiled and cocked her head to one side, much as he did when he was in thought.  She was far more relaxed around him now than she used to be.  He respected her.  For Spock, that was significant.

“Commander?”

“Please return those manuals as soon as you can, Lieutenant Uhura.  Have a pleasant day.”  He turned and walked out.
*          *          *
As a favor to Admiral Pike, he was sent to retrieve a pair of officers at a bar where many Starfleet officers gathered on their time off.   Friday nights, beer went for the low price of $2 a pitcher.  Which was why the place was fairly crowded.  Spock did not like being in or around such places, but he admired the Admiral and was agreeable to his request.

When he entered, he realized very quickly that this was no ordinary Friday night. The bar was packed with customers, and it appeared that every person was focused on what was going on near the front of the bar.  Curious, he turned to see what held everyone’s attention.  He realized that his observations of Lt. Uhura were incomplete.  He also realized that his breathing had quickened. 

There she was, in the middle of a sixteen square meter hardwood floor.  She was moving to some music with which he was unfamiliar and her movements were…fascinating.  She was graceful in her motions.  He then recognized her attire was more revealing of certain physical characteristics than her Starfleet uniform was.  Her hair moved as she did.  There was a look on her face that he didn’t immediately recognize, but when she smiled, he understood that she was enjoying herself.

Spock noticed that she captivated every single male species in the room, himself included.  He forced himself to slow his breathing.  He wanted to know why she was behaving in such a fashion.  A forbidden thought slipped out of his controlled mind, leading him to understand that when it came to her, he did not have as much command of his emotions as he thought he did.  He found himself watching her hands move over her body, her eyes closed, and her expression…fascinating.

Her obvious pleasure did nothing but emphasize his thought.  It was unrestrained and fervent—what does she feel like? 

Being a tactile telepath, Spock did not like to touch or be touched.  He thought it was intrusive and impolite. Yet he was awestruck.  And he found that he wanted to know.  What did the lovely Lt. Uhura feel like?  He already knew how she smelled and how she looked.  There were only three more senses to investigate.  He found he wanted to do so.

Quantitative measures and intellectual observations were insufficient to answer that question.  He inclined his head and raised his eyebrow, staring at the beauty on the floor.  Spock found himself content, for now, just watching.

He was unable to get the images out of his mind.  Outwardly, he was the epitome of helium gas; cool and inert.  He was his normal, analytical self until she was around.  He was not so preoccupied as to show it, but the fact of the matter was, he was distracted.  He never spared her but the slightest of glances, addressed her using as few words as possible, and avoided standing near her unless duty warranted it.  He needed to maintain control.  He did not want any more unbridled thoughts surging forth.  That last one was a mental adhesive.  For her part, Lt. Uhura appeared not to notice any change in his behavior.

*          *          *
Vulcans required little sleep.  Spock himself needed only three hours and when he needed them varied.  Sometimes he walked at night.  His favorite destination was the observation deck.  There, he could stand in darkness and stillness and watch the stars.  It was akin to meditation.  The obs deck was a peaceful place.  He chose a corner cloaked in shadows and could stand for hours.  Here he could sort out his thoughts.  Here he could tidy up the more tedious aspects of his position, aspects that the captain could not or did not want to be bothered with.  He planned rotation shifts, personnel actions, consultations with the department heads, any number of menial tasks.  He could reflect.  It was on the observation deck, watching the stars elongate in colorful ribbons, that Spock found some peace with all that happened in the past few months.

One night, not long after the Enterprise left for her mission, he was joined by someone else.  He was standing in his favorite far corner when he heard Lt. Uhura say, “Computer, front central lights, thirty percent.”

The area was immediately lit.  She walked into the spot, tossing a towel nearby.  She wore a tank top and Starfleet-issued sweats.  Spock, despite being shrouded in darkness, could see her clearly.  He was fairly confident that she could not see him.  He was curious.  It was 0230 hours and she was not resting in her quarters. Why? She worked an eight-to ten hour shift on the bridge and a four-to-six hour shift in the communications lab.  She should be fatigued.

She freed her hair and removed the sweats.  He ceased to wonder why she wasn’t in her quarters and focused on her clothing. The white shorts she wore were a serious violation of Starfleet dress code and were completely immodest. They left nothing to the imagination. She began to do simple calisthenics and once again Spock’s breathing accelerated.  He flared his nostrils—she smelled of Lonicera japonica—Terran honeysuckle.  An enticing fragrance, to be sure.

Then she stood, adjusted something to her ears, stretched her arms and began to dance.  For Spock, time fell away.  Despite himself, his heartbeat quickened.  All he could see and smell was her and he really wanted to know…’what does she feel like…?’

No one would have recognized that Spock was aroused.  Only the merest tilt of an eyebrow and the minute flaring of his nostrils gave it away.  His intense scrutiny merely led to more questions he would not be able to answer appropriately.  Or logically, for that matter.

Another powerful thought:  ‘There is nothing logical about what you are thinking right at this moment.’

And there was another crack to his Vulcan exterior. This one was fatal.

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