~Disclaimers: All the usual ones, I own nothing and I make no ducats. This is done purely for entertainment and because I have to

~Feedback feeds the muse, so let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is always welcome

~Each chapter is complete on its own, first time I've tried this but I so enjoy these types of fics, so what the heck. Right? But it is in chronological order, so it flows from beginning to end. Just a warning, most chapters are short...so don't be hatin' the length.

~Unbetaed, so all mistakes are mine ;-)

The First Time He Saw Her…

The first time he saw her, really saw her, wasn't when she entered his class. He had noticed her; certainly, one would have to be blind not to notice this woman. Her ramrod straight carriage, the swing of her hips, the upturn of her chin, the beautiful mocha cream skin and that long dark hair, begging to be wrapped around his hand and just ever so slightly tugged. She was a magnificent example of human genes falling into just the right sequence. And she had a brilliant mind, as Captain Pike informed him before Cadet Uhura's arrival. Yes, he'd noticed her as a woman and as his student, and that was the last he thought about it.

"We pretty much pursued her as soon as we got a look at her transcripts. She's fluent in 27 or 28 Terran languages as well as Vulcan, Romulan, Denobulan…well, you get the gist. She's one of the best, so don't let her get bored." Captain Pike handed him a PADD with her information. "She'll be in your class first thing Monday."

And she was. Her intellect shone. Her need to excel was apparent. And they developed a student – mentor relationship that he appreciated but quickly dismissed when class was over. Spock challenged her and she challenged him right back. But still, he didn't really see her. Not then, not yet.

It happened at the beginning of their second year together. She was no longer his student, but his teaching assistant and their relationship was progressing as such. Still professional, but she now insisted he call her Nyota and she took it upon herself to call him Spock when they were alone. At first he was uncomfortable with her familiarity, but she didn't make the same advances other students had made the mistake of making. She only wanted to learn. And she wanted to be his friend. She had informed him that he was too isolated, too secluded.

'You live on Terra now, you need to blend. Remember, when in Rome. If I was on Vulcan, you can bet your best ceremonial robe I'd be so stand-offish even the Vulcans would think I was a bitch.' She laughed at his expression, but he was pacified by her words and a friendship began.

The Vulcan has risen early on a Saturday with the intent to go on a 10 mile run before returning to his apartment to grade papers. Although Cadet Uhura – 'Nyota, Spock, remember? Nyota' – took care of most of these menial chores, he decided to give her a break to participate in the usual weekend activities of Star Fleet cadets.

He stretched and walked swiftly to the trail he favored. It ran along a cliff that afforded a view of the ocean and was backed with dense woods that was rife with wildlife. He would never admit it to anyone with the exception of Captain Pike and his mother, but he enjoyed the beauty of the wildlife preserve that was so close to the Academy.

Just as he was picking up speed, he saw Cadet Uhura standing on the path, she was in her running clothes as well, but something had made her stop. She looked up as she heard his approach and slightly waved her hands for him to slow down. Walking to greet him, she smiled up at him, grabbing his hand she pulled him down to whisper into his ear.

"Oh, you have got to see this, Spock. It's just…exquisite!" She pulled at him, and for some inexplicable reason that he still had a difficult time comprehending, he followed her. The emotions she was emitting were almost over-whelming. But he couldn't find the fortitude to break the bond.

She led him to a small path, still pulling him along. Suddenly stopping, she dropped his hand, putting her arm around his waist and turning him to view her objective. "Look." Her voice was filled with awe.

Spock mentally calmed himself, the Cadet's arm still around him as she moved closer to his side. "Can you believe how lucky we are?" She whispered.

Looking in the same direction as his student, Spock saw what so enraptured the girl. In a nest of branches and leaves lay a doe and her fawn. Both looking up at them, their brown eyes trusting. A beautiful sight indeed, he silently agreed. He looked down at the cadet as she turned to look up at him. Her face was filled with love and hope and happiness. And Spock felt it fill him, as well. And for the first time, he felt her, he felt as if he was looking into her soul and it shook him to his core.

This was not the over-achieving first year cadet, always trying to make a point. Not the brilliant linguist, bombarding him with questions, striving to milk every ounce of learning out of him. Not the pushy, jovial young woman attempting to humanize him. But a soft, sweet young woman, filled with all the optimism and hope he so desired to feel.

And as he looked into her eyes, he felt her respect, her admiration, her…desire for him. She didn't see an alien when she looked at him, she saw a man who met all her requirements as a worthwhile being. And it touched his heart, it touched his soul. And he saw her, for the first time, he saw Nyota, his Nyota. And for the first time, he knew that she saw him, too.