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"Subspace communication number 490744-D12 from Commander Spock, origin Terra. Do you wish to receive this transmission?"

"Receive," Nyota replies in Graalen, and hurriedly straightens her clothing, flicking her hair behind her shoulders. The screen flickers, and her research on abstract quadriliteral roots is replaced by the impassive face of her Vulcan instructor. Nyota composes herself.

"Hello, Commander," she says, and suddenly realizes she's perched on the edge of her bed, her research materials and other miscellaneous objects strewn around the mattress. Hardly professional, she swears mentally, and tries to angle herself in front of the mess. "What can I do for you?"

"Cadet Uhura," he greets, inclining his head in acknowledgement. "I require an update on the progress of your thesis."

"Oh! Right, yes, I was planning on sending you a message later tonight. Sorry."

"There is no need to apologize." His eyebrow quirks, an indication that he finds her apology amusing, and she can't keep a smile from stealing across her face. "I assume your time on Andoria is proving constructive?"

"Very much so, sir. I've been doing research on the cultural aspect, mainly - Andorian religion hasn't been looked into much, so there's a wealth of new information that's really fascinating. For example - " She turns to the pile of PADDs and papers on her bed, freezes a moment, then shakes her head. It's silly to worry about what he'll think of her messy workspace. As she sorts through the papers, she continues, "Their god, Uzaveh the Infinite, bears a strong resemblance to the deities of other communities with a semetic root language. The text of the prayers they use, even before translation, is startlingly similar."

Her fingers skitter over a narrow rectangular box, postage stamped with the emblem of Starfleet Academy but with no return address, and she feels heat rush to her cheeks. There's no way he knows what that is, she reassures herself, and closes her fingers around the PADD she needs.

"You imply that triconsonantal-root languages may be influenced by the deities a culture chooses to worship." His tone is deeply skeptical.

"Not quite. I think there's a certain something in the way those triconsonantal-root languages are spoken that draws sentient life to arranging the words in specific orders that end up resembling each other. A sort of rhythm that seems to beat on a higher level, if you will. Here, I'll send you the statistics. It's like all of these cultures with this type of root language gravitate toward a certain type of religion, which if proved would be absolutely invaluable to diplomatic affairs, especially with unfamiliar cultures."

She watches him onscreen as he reads the data she sent on his personal PADD. She loves the angles in his face, the sharp cut of his jawline and the cold black of his hair. She wants to run her fingers along his collarbone, drag her lips across his palm.

He glances up at her, meeting her eyes through the viewscreen, and she jumps just a bit. She'd been staring; she forgot how fast he reads.

"Your thesis appears to be progressing admirably," he tells her, and she grins. Coming from him, that's a massive compliment. "Continue in this manner. I look forward to reading the finished draft."

"Thank you, Commander," she says, smiling despite the pang of disappointment that their conversation will be cut off so soon. "Would you still like me to send you a status report?"

"This will be sufficient, cadet," he says, and she nods.

"Goodbye, Commander."

"Cadet Uhura." His voice is smooth, lower in pitch than normal, and it's enough of a difference to make her pause as she reaches to end the transmission. "I notice you have received a package from the Academy."

Nyota blinks, and a nervous grin twitches onto her face before she manages to wipe it off and compose herself. "I did, Commander. A gift from my roommate, Cadet Gaila."

His eyebrow arches. "Indeed? From what do you draw that conclusion?"

"Um - from the nature of the gift, sir. She's an Orion," Nyota adds, as if that explains anything.

"I am aware," he replies obliquely. "Please bring the box over here and remove its contents."

"Sir?" Nyota cannot believe this is happening. She sits absolutely still, a hot coil of excitement slowly uncurling in her stomach.

"While I may have phrased that as a request, cadet, it was an order. Take the contents out of the box." His voice, quiet, precise, authoritative - she's not going to refuse anything that voice asks her, even if the more sensible, moral side of her is yelling for her to do the opposite.

Nyota turns around, suddenly extremely, strangely aware of how her uniform's skirt rides up on her thighs as she does so; it's like she can feel the hemline rasping against her leg, showing far too much skin than is appropriate in front of a commanding officer. (This commanding officer, her mind whispers, and the thought thrills her.)

She faces the viewscreen with the box in her lap, eyes averted from the commander's face. Her fingers tremble over the contents, but she doesn't actually touch them.

"I gave you an order, cadet," Spock says, just a little hardness added to his tone. She glances up then, and he is sitting straight-backed at his desk, hands steepled, calm and composed, but his eyes are intent on her. She locks gazes with him as she picks up the device and sets the box on the floor.

"Enlighten me as to the purpose and use of this object," Spock says. It's not so much a request as a command. Nyota looks at the device in her hand, and wonders for a moment at the surreality of the situation - but only a moment. She strokes a thumb over the dark green plastic, and answers.

"This is known as a Shusa 360. It's a device designed by Orion craftsmen for human women as a tool - " Her voice fails her, and she swallows hard before continuing. "As a tool to help relieve the symptoms of sexual arousal." Like right now, for example, she adds silently.

"Sir." His word is clearly a reminder. "I remind you that I am your instructor, and you are my student. I will be addressed with the proper honorific."

She inclines her head, and repeats, "A tool to help relieve the symptoms of sexual arousal in human women, sir." The heat in her stomach has spread to her entire body; her skin seems ultra-sensitive, the smooth plastic in her hand slick and sensual.

"Explain the construction of the object to me, cadet."

"Of course, sir." She holds the toy up, running her fingers along the shaft, inviting him to look at it closely; he's leaning slightly forward, his expression still entirely professional. "This is meant to simulate the sex organs of the human male - organs that are similar in all humanoid and vulcanoid species." He blinks, rather too hard for it to be completely instinctive. "It's meant for vaginal penetration, although it also has a vibrating feature that can be used for non-penetrative stimulation. This arc curving this way - " her fingers trace the shape of the plastic offshoot, "is used primarily for clit stimulation. It vibrates too."

"And what differentiates this object from other standard human sexual aids?" His eyes are far too intense, they're making her molten inside. Nyota squeezes her thighs together and licks her lips.

"The Shusa 360 differs from human toys due to the inclusion of a neurostimulator, a web of wires in the surface layer of the plastic that prolong and intensify sensation using tiny electrical charges, sir."

"Is it effective?"

Nyota opens her mouth, shuts her eyes. She thinks she knows where this is going. She's both incredibly aroused and slightly terrified, but fairly certain she's going to go through with it.

"I haven't had the opportunity to test it, sir."

"Do so now." She opens her eyes, stares at him; his expression is still entirely composed. When she doesn't move - the amount of Starfleet regulations they're breaking is staggering, and her obedient side is battling with her sexual side, which is currently winning - he says, a bit impatiently, "I believe it is common practice to undress, cadet."

"Yes, Commander." Nyota stands, placing the toy on her bed, and shucks off her clothes, letting the uniform drop to the floor, stepping out of it and kicking it away. She strokes the flat plane of her stomach, raising goosebumps there, and slips her fingers under the elastic of her panties, tugging them off, bending straight down to the floor. It's a dance, almost, slow and sexy, and when she straightens, now wearing only her bra, the commander's lips are parted, just barely, and his eyes are following the path of her hands. Hands are important in ballet, crucial to the form, and Nyota pays very close attention to how she takes off her white cotton bra: she lets it hang on her shoulders by the straps for a moment, slides it down her arms, hands held delicately as it drops off the tips of her fingers. She looks up; his head is tilted back, and he's watching her from under lowered lids. His right thumb is rubbing lightly against the knuckles of his left hand, almost sensuously.

"Are you aroused, cadet?" he asks her, voice dangerously low.

"Very much so, commander," she replies, her voice somewhere between properly respectful and moaning, and glides the pads of her fingers along her thighs, brushing against the triangle of hair between her legs, stroking the ticklish spots on her hips that make her shiver. Her nipples are pointed and stiff; she licks her fingers before circling the nubs with them, the saliva leaving damp trails against her dark skin.

"Do you have any orders for me, commander?" She likes using his title, loves it when he calls her cadet; it adds the thrill of the illicit to an already taboo encounter.

"Touch yourself, cadet," he instructs. "Do not use the toy until I tell you to do so."

Nyota sinks down onto the bed, sweeping her files to the floor - they were a total mess anyway - and peers up at the screen. She runs her fingers along her inner thighs as she spreads her legs, displaying herself to the commander - oh fuck, she thinks, that title shouldn't turn me on this much - and licks her fingers again for lubrication, taking extra care to suck them into her mouth, curl her tongue between them, practically fellating them, and Spock inhales sharply and places his hands flat against his desk, leaning closer to the screen.

His reaction makes her feel extraordinarily wicked, so when she slips a hand between her legs, delicately tracing her folds, smearing her own wetness across her slit, teasing herself as much as him, she keeps the fingers of the other hand in her mouth, tongue flicking them slightly, letting them catch on her lip as she drags them down to cup her breast and tease her nipple before sucking them into her mouth again. His eyes follow her every move; now he's tracing the lines on his palm with his nails, interlacing his fingers and stroking his knuckles - hands have got to be an erogenous zone for a Vulcan. She'll remember that for later.

Now, though - the thought that he's touching himself, because of her, looking at her - she spreads herself with practiced fingers and sketches little circles around her clit with the pad of her index finger. She lets her head fall back, reclines so that she's supporting herself on her elbow, and half-closes her eyes, little shivers already tingling through her nerves. She taps her clit a few times, quickly, and her hips jerk in response; she whimpers, slides her finger to gather more liquid and applies more pressure, gasping as she does so.

"Stop," Spock orders, and his voice is rough. She obeys immediately, raising her hand to her mouth and lapping at her juices, eyeing the vidscreen. It takes him a moment to gather himself, then he says, "Use the toy, now, cadet."

"Yes, sir," she groans, and fumbles for the green plastic. It's in her hand and she's already spat on it, rubbing her saliva across its surface briskly, before she realizes something's wrong. "I don't have the remote, sir! I can't use the vibrate function - "

"Cadet," he snaps, "I gave you an order."

"Sorry, sir," she says, and presses the toy against her cunt, angling it to hit the right points inside her. "Like this, sir?"

"Precisely, cadet," he replies, and as she cants her hips to slide it slowly inside her, gasping a little as the neurostimulators activate and her muscles tighten, he adds in a low voice, "You have always been quick to learn new things."

"This is hardly new to me, sir," she points out, and pushes the toy firmly, beginning a slight thrusting rhythm that makes her breath shaky.

"You perform like this for other men often, then?" The inquiry is threaded with light malice.

"No, sir," she gasps, "never. I meant - Only for you, sir."

"Good," he replies, and the toy buzzes inside her, the clit stimulator bumping against her and making her shriek - the wires laced in the plastic make every little touch almost overwhelming. "Increase the depth of your thrusts, cadet, and quicken your pace."

"Do you want me to - to do it rough, sir?" she pants.

"Yes, cadet. That is exactly what I want."

She works her hand around the back of her thigh, adjusting the angle, and slams the toy inside her, crying out, her movements harsh and juttery and god, so fucking delicious, she arches her back and rolls her hips against the bed, sweat breaking out on her forehead, upper lip, shining between her breasts. "God - fuck - "

"Are you fantasizing at the moment, cadet?" Fuck, his voice is so fucking unsteady, she can't really see him from this angle but she can imagine it, his hands down his regulation trousers, eyes never leaving the sight of her fucking herself open for him -

"Oh god, sir, yes, I am, I am - "

"Tell me what you're thinking."

"You, sir, oh god, you, I want you to fuck me, want you in my cunt, Commander, I want to suck your cock - " she's squeezing and rubbing her nipples, ah sweet friction, it hurts but she needs that sting, " - any way, anywhere, I want you to fuck me over your desk - ah - want you to take me, want to be your little whore - " Every muscle in her body is contracting, she's flat on her back, legs in the air and shaking, slamming that fucking thing deep inside her and it hits a place that jolts straight down her spine, she can't last much longer, " - please, Commander, can I come? Let me come, oh god, please sir - "

"Do you want me to fuck you?" Oh god, obscenities rolling off that tongue - she babbles her consent, and he hisses, "Do you want me to hurt you?" and she is whimpering, actually crying, the vibration's just barely too gentle to tip her over the edge, god, she wants him -

"I want you to - do anything you want with me," she cries out.

"You may come, cadet." And the toy jumps in her hands as the buzz increases and she squeals, writhing on the bed, "Oh Commander, fuck, yes yes yes - " then she tries to scream but her voice is hoarse and her entire body convulses and she is sparking from every nerve, exploding, bursting, and it goes on and on and on -

"God," she pants, rolling onto her side, legs clamped together, "oh god, god, god," and giggles erupt out of her. She buries her head in the blankets and cackles until her body unclenches and she can loll onto her back and look at the screen.

Spock's head is bowed, his hand clutching that silky black hair, bite marks on the fleshy web between his thumb and index finger rising green against his pale skin. His other hand is hidden by his desk, in his lap. His breathing is ragged, and he gulps air for a moment before looking up at the screen, visibly dragging himself together.

"Exquisite, cadet," he says, and clears his throat. Mussed hair, glassy eyes, he looks well-fucked and Nyota wishes she could be there to pin him against that desk and kiss him. "Simply exquisite."

"Thank you, Commander," she replies, and hesitates a moment. "Can I ask - "

"I will require another update on your thesis in two weeks," he says, and presses his hands flat against the desk, as if seeking control. She sees the remote to the toy, sitting primly on the edge of the surface. "I trust you will make considerable progress. Live long and prosper, cadet."

He terminates the transmission before she can get a word in, and leaves Nyota sprawled on her bed, sticky and satiated and completely, utterly confused.

. . .

Two weeks later, she's laying belly-down on her bed, organizing her files and chatting to Gaila. She's nearly finished with the research part of her thesis, and is almost ready to come back home. She looks forward to it; as fascinating as the study of Graalen is, she really misses Gaila. Misses the sun, and the roar of the ocean. Misses - well, she still doesn't know how she feels about him, or what she should think about what they did, so she just won't go there now.

"You okay, leaflet?" asks Gaila, forehead creased with concern, and Nyota realizes she's left the conversation hanging; in fact, she doesn't even remember the last thing Gaila said to her.

"Yeah, I'm - " Nyota shakes her head, not so much in dismissal as in an attempt to clear her mind. "Actually, no. Something really weird happened a while ago."

"Something sexual?" Why else would you ask me? she seems to imply. At Nyota's nod, Gaila leans closer to the vidscreen, eyes gleaming. "Do tell."

After Nyota's poured out the whole story, in considerably more detail than she would for any human friend - after all, Gaila is not going to judge her - the Orion props her chin on her hand, a little smirk dancing on her lips, and says, "I don't see what the problem is here."

"What? Seriously? I mean - not only is it breaking practically every Starfleet fraternization policy on the books, but it's also completely unlike him. Vulcans are reserved, emotionless. I really don't think they have vidscreen sex with former students, you know, just as a weekly routine."

"Maybe they should." Gaila taps her finger against her chin suggestively. "Anyway - let's just say, hypothetically of course, that a certain Vulcan instructor - we'll call him Smock - had realized that he might be a little bit in love with one of his former students who he's currently advising, a sexy woman working on her thesis named - oh, your name is really hard to twist around. We'll just call you Nyota."

"Gaila, what are you talking about?"

"So this Vulcan, Smock, is in love with Nyota. The logical thing to do is to act on those feelings, because the need for companionship is strong in both of their species. Also, he really wants to fuck her, and no man can argue with his prick when he's really, really horny. So he goes to her fantastic, awesome roommate, who knows her better than anyone else in the galaxy, and asks what human courting rituals would be appropriate to use in her case."

"And her roommate suggests some Orion courting rituals instead?" Nyota asks acidly.

"For expediency's sake. There's no knowing how long you'd've danced around each other before really getting dirty," Gaila says smugly. "Completely hypothetically, of course."

"Gaila, honestly."

"You can't tell me you didn't enjoy it!"

Nyota shakes her head and stares at the floor. She can't decide if this news is great or horrible; the idea that her emotions as well as Spock's were manipulated by Gaila is disheartening. On the other hand, he wouldn't have approached Gaila in the first place if he didn't - what, love her? Isn't that a huge commitment for a Vulcan?

"Gaila," she says thoughtfully, "Vulcans are an entirely monogamous species, right? They mate for life. Generally speaking."

Gaila makes a disgusted noise of assent; she does not like the idea of monogamy.

"So if he's courting me, then - "

"I guess he wants you to be his 'mate for life,'" Gaila says, air quotes and everything. Nyota hasn't the heart to tell her how dated that gesture really is.

"Huh," she says, and a slow grin spreads across her face. "That does not sound bad at all."

"Considering you've been mooning after him for the past two and a half years?" asks Gaila. "Yeah, I thought you'd like it."

Nyota remains in thoughtful silence for a moment.

The computer whistles, and says, "Subspace communication number 6092181-G16 from Commander Spock, origin Terra. Do you wish to receive this transmission?"

Nyota looks at the computer, then up at the vidscreen. Gaila's raising an eyebrow, a sly smirk on her face.

"Status update on my thesis," Nyota explains, feeling suddenly overheated.

"I'm sure that's all it'll be," Gaila says with a wink. "Bye, Nyota."

"Talk to you later, Gaila." The computer starts to repeat its message, sounding rather doleful, and she cuts it off, saying "Receive."

She rearranges herself, reclining on her elbows on her bed, her thesis neatly stacked before her and ready to be discussed. The Shusa 360 is tucked under her pillow. Nyota tries to compose herself, but she can't keep her lips from quirking as the screen flickers to show her commander, straight-backed at his desk. She locks eyes with him, and says, "Hello, Commander."

This is going to be quite - fascinating.