Type:Gif

Spock and Uhura - “trying to avoid the appearance of favoritism.”
Zachary Quinto
Spock and Uhura - “trying to avoid the appearance of favoritism.”

Farragut? she thought. She’d heard right, but that didn’t make it right. Straining to see over the heads of her fellow cadets, she finally found who she was looking for and broke from the crowd.
Noting the look in her eyes, more than one person hurried to get out of her way.
Spock was conferring with several other officers and did not notice her approach. She waited impatiently for the conference to finish. Waited, in fact, exactly one minute. No doubt the Vulcan would have appreciated the precision, but Uhura had no intention of alluding to it.
“Commander—a word? If you can spare me some time?“

Their eyes met and he favored his fellow officers with a slight nod. “Gentlemen, if you’ll excuse me for a moment.”  Commander and cadet moved off to one side. Spock’s stance was wholly professional.
“Yes, Lieutenant?”

Her tone was even and controlled, but there was fire in her eyes.
“Was I not one of your top students?”
“Indeed you were,” he replied without hesitation.
“Did I not receive a gold rating for xenolinguistic skills in all categories, from constructive verbalizations to click, whistle, and atmospheric manipulations of all kinds, giving the Academy first place over Kyoto and MIT at the Oxford Linguistics Invitational?” 
“An exceptional achievement, to be su—”
Heedless of his superior rank, she interrupted him without so much as a raised hand. “And did I not, on multiple occasions, make it clear that my dream and the reason behind four years of hard work was to serve on the Enterprise?”
“Vociferously and repeatedly, perhaps even to the point of obsession,” he admitted. “Your ability to communicate in that regard was the equal of any of your classroom efforts.

Uhura took a step forward. Anyone other than Spock might have found the movement threatening.
“And yet I was assigned to the Farragut?”

Time hung suspended between them.
Viewing the confrontation from afar, a neutral observer might reasonably have expected the Vulcan commander to upbraid the aggressive cadet, not only for her increasingly aggressive tone but for perceptibly intruding on a superior officer’s personal space. The actual consequences were rather different.
Spock looked away. It was impossible to tell if he did so to avoid the cadet’s laser-like stare—or to see if anyone was watching. His voice also changed, its tenor becoming a touch less professional, a tad less…Vulcan. His reply clearly indicated concern for the agitated young woman standing before him. Concern—and possibly, just possibly, something more.
One couldn’t tell from the actual words he spoke, of course.
“I was simply,” he murmured low enough so that no one else could possibly overhear, “trying to avoid the appearance of favoritism.”

She advanced another step, which put her not quite inside his uniform, but close. “Uh-huh.”
Fiery eyes dropped to the readout sheet he was holding. The gap remaining between them was barely wide enough for him to hold the thin sheet of radiant plastic without crumpling.
“A simple entry mistake by Personnel. Happens all the time. Anyone would understand. I’m on the Enterprise.”

Their eyes held for a long moment. Without further comment he let his gaze drop to his readout. One finger moved against the touch-sensitive material.
“Yes, I believe you are.”
A thin smile crossed her face as she nodded, pivoted smartly on one heel, and stalked off to see to the transfer of her personal effects. Commander Spock watched her go, his gaze following her for longer than was necessary before returning to the essential work at hand.