Spock’s head shot up from where he was leaning over a PADD with his new assignment. His graduation earlier had been swift and relatively painless, though he never appreciated being in such a large crowd. When he had spotted Nyota among those gathered to watch the ceremony though, he’d felt somewhat more comfortable. She’d been in civilian clothing: a long dress his mother would have referred to as a sun-dress in a bright yellow that contrasted beautifully with her skin. He’d been nearly breathless when his eyes landed on her and they hadn’t left her until his name had been called.
Now she stood before him in the same yellow dress, around the corner from where the other graduates were still gathered, and it was only through great restraint he didn’t reach out for her. Nearly a month prior they’d engaged in a mind-meld that had ultimately led to their ability to pursue more intimate contact without him fearing he would violate her mind. The night of the meld, they had fallen asleep in his quarters with their bodies intertwined and only limited clothing between them. Sadly, the completion of his graduate studies had forced them to minimize their time together. And now, they would need to discuss what lay ahead for them.
“You looked handsome up there in your dress uniform,” continued Nyota, a soft smile tugging at the corner of her lips. “I think half the women in the audience swooned when you stepped up to receive your pins.”
“I highly doubt that, as such an event would had garnered attention and the call for medical assistance,” stated Spock, tucking his PADD behind his back and curling the fingers of his free hand around his wrist to ensure he did not reach for her.
Nyota laughed softly, stepping closer to him until there was only 5.7 cm between them. Her amusement faded rapidly though, her eyes meeting his in concern. “What’s wrong, Spock?”
“I believe that is a matter we should discuss in private,” stated Spock quietly, his eyes darting around the crowd once more. “For the security of both our positions.”
“Alright,” murmured Nyota, following his lead as he turned and entered the long hallway which lead out of the ceremonial hall.
Spock's apartment wasn’t far from the ceremonial hall and they both quickly followed the curving path to the small block of dorms that housed graduate students and temporary faculty. Spock silently lead her up the steps, all the while wondering how she would take the information he was about to convey. Though he despised the idea anyone would assume he was involved with a student, Nyota Uhura was, in fact, a student. She was no longer his student, but he was unclear if that would actually matter.
Entering his quarters as they had many times before, Spock removed his shoes and jacket before crossing the room towards his kitchen to put on tea. He could hear Nyota doing the same at the door, the soft click of her shoes as she placed them beside his own soothing.
She appeared behind him a moment later, crossing into the kitchen as well and retrieving a glass from his cabinet. Filling the glass, she quickly drank it and turned to face him. “So, care to tell me what’s got you on edge?”
“I believe some tea may be in or-” began Spock, only to fall silent when she lifted her hand to cradle his cheek.
“Spock, what’s going on?” asked Nyota simply, her expression open and accepting even as the edge of nerves worked their way to him through where her fingers pressed to his bare skin.
He relished the contact, recognizing it would likely soon be impossible. They could not, in all good conscious, continue their association given the rules governing appropriate conduct. It pained him to acknowledge the fact their association would soon have to end. He valued both her opinion and her ability to accept him completely despite their very different cultural backgrounds.
Nyota was, by nature, exceedingly accepting. She embraced his non-human ticks and biological features with the same ease which she embraced new languages and concepts. Though he had feared early into their association that his Vulcan attributes might dissuade her from continuing their association, he found his early assessment incorrect. She had never flinched at even one of his more abnormal actions, save the first time they engaged in a mind meld. Her hesitation as a psi-null individual was not surprising though. That she had agreed with as little resistance as she had still amazed him. It made the fact he would have to terminate their personal relationship all the harder to accept.
Meeting her eyes, he took a slow, deep breath to center himself and explained. “I fear my shift in position and my subsequent posting may prove detrimental to our personal relationship.”
Nyota paused for a moment, her head tilting slightly to the side as she considered him before sliding her hand down to rest on his side directly over his heart. “Where were you posted?”
“I have been asked to act as the Chief Science Officer of the Enterprise, as you are aware,” began Spock, his lips compressing further. “As a result, Starfleet has assigned me a temporary posting here at the academy as a visiting professor in the computer science division with a specialization in simulation development until the Enterprise is prepared to launch.”
“But you’re not faculty,” stated Nyota slowly, her fingers tracing over his chest. “You’re just a visiting professor.”
“Yes,” confirmed Spock, his brow furrowing. She could not be suggesting they continue their association. It was inviting trouble. There were many fraternization rules concerning associations between cadets and instructors.
“Well, I’m not in computer science,” started Nyota slowly, the hand over his heart stroking his side as she offered her first two fingers of her other hand to him. “And the rules for fraternization pretty much deal with faculty and not commissioned officers or visiting professors unless there’s a direct line of command or power over grades.” He carefully wrapped his fingers around hers as she spoke, pressing their finger tips together. “You have no control over my grades or my career and you aren’t faculty, either.”
“It is still questionable,” objected Spock, though he could feel his resolve to terminate their association fading.
The hand at his heart slid back up to curl around his neck and pull his head down. His forehead came to rest against hers and he used their twined fingers to draw her closer as well. Before he could consider further ramifications, his free arm was around her waist, drawing her flush against his body.
“It's not against regulations though,” repeated Nyota gently, rubbing her nose against his lightly. “Besides, technically our relationship is a pre-existing one.”
“One that began immediately following your completion of my course,” reminded Spock, his eyes locking with hers. “The argument could be made that it is improper.”
“It could also be made that we were doing nothing wrong then and aren’t doing anything wrong now,” countered Nyota softly before she pressed her lips to his in a quick kiss. “There is nothing in the rules about students dating, even graduate level students. I checked.”
“But I am no longer a student,” countered Spock softly, catching her lips in another kiss.
Nyota allowed him to kiss her for a moment, then leaned slightly away and turned her head to nip at his earlobe. “Our relationship started while you were a student, though. And as long as there isn’t a conflict of interest or chain of command to worry about, we can continue it. Plus, we aren’t exactly overt.”
“I do not wish you to get in trouble,” whispered Spock, his voice catching a little as she nipped up his earlobe and kissed the tip of his ear. “It is not simply my career I am concerned about.”
“And I’m telling you that we’ve done nothing wrong, so we have nothing to be afraid of,” murmured Nyota, her breath caressing his ear.
With a faint groan, Spock rapidly turned his head and captured her mouth. His hand that wasn’t entangled with hers slid to hold her head in place so she would not escape again. Nyota alone had the ability to distract him so thoroughly that he could not continue a conversation. Perhaps after they were both satisfied, they could continue this discussion. But even as he released her hand and head so he could slid his hands under her legs and pick her up, he knew that wouldn’t be the case. He would never be satisfied where she was concerned.
As he carried her to the bedroom, he dismissed any thoughts of ending their association for the moment, as well. Logic dictated that he should cease this personal relationship that could easily be misrepresented as a form of fraternization. But he knew he could no more end their association than he could cease to be Vulcan. Not for the moment at least. Maybe later, but not right now when she was tugging at his shirt and toying with his ears. Not now when the weight of her felt so good after a day surrounded by other students he had little interest in getting to know. Not right now when she was in his arms.
And certainly not when they had far more interesting things to do.