Part of USS Solstice: Academy Life – Jackson Porter’s Starfleet Academy Story

Chapter 5 – So You Think You Can Dance?

Starfleet Academy
Year 1, Second Semester
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The Spring Formal was three days away. Jackson and Kayla both picked out their outfits for the dance a few days ago. In the short couple months since they met back in February, they also found time to hang out several times. At one point, they even went out on their first official date on a weekend when they both had some time away from everything.

After a long day of studying, Jackson walked back up to his dorm room where Jeremy was lying on his bed.

“Hey bud,” Jeremy said without looking up from his game on his PADD.

“Hey! Working hard, I see,” Jackson replied.

Jeremy sighed. “Well, I USED to spend some extra time with my best friend, but he seems to be busy with hearts in his eyes.”

Jackson dropped his backpack on his bed and sat down on it. He faced Jeremy and cocked his head sideways. “Dude, really? I see you more than anyone else.”

“Yeah, really,” Jeremy replied as he sat up. “I’m super happy for you that you found a new girlfriend, but I only see you in classes and when we’re back here.” He sighed again. “I miss hanging out, bro.”

Jackson hung his head and put his hands up. “Ok, ok, I admit it, it’s been a couple weeks since we’ve hung out, but needed a lot of help with midterms, and you know that our exams were pretty tough.”

“Yeah, true…” A somewhat-awkward pause followed. “Listen, I really am happy for you two, bud. Just promise me that you won’t forget about your ol’ boy too much longer.” Jeremy lay back down and threw his arm over his head. “I…I just can’t do it anymore, laddie!” he continued using his best Montgomery Scott impression.

Jackson chuckled. “For God’s sake, man, I’m a Cadet, not a doctor,” he said in a Doctor McCoy-like voice.

The two got a good laugh out of their impersonations. “Well, I am happy that you seem to have found yourself a girlfriend. And when you two eventually get married and have lots of kids, I can’t wait to tell you ‘I told you so’ about going to this dance. Plus, Jeremy is a good name for a boy.”

Jackson rolled his eyes and pulled out a PADD with some study material on it. As the two got to their respective tasks, the doorbell chimed. “Come in,” Jackson said. In walked T’Shaar, “Hey, T’Shaar.”

T’Shaar nodded towards Jackson. “Good evening, gentlemen. I see that you two are hard at work, like always.”

Without looking up from his game, Jeremy replied, “I see you’ve been working on your sense of humor. Well, you know what they say: all work and no play makes Jeremy a dull boy.”

There was a pause while T’Shaar processed what he just said. “I was not attempting to be humorous, and I fail to see how studying for exams will make you less sharp in any way.”

Jackson rolled his eyes. “Please tell me that was a joke.”

“It was, and a good one, if I may say so,” T’Shaar replied.

“It’s good enough for me,” Jackson answered. “So, what brings you here tonight, T’Shaar?”

T’Shaar placed her hands behind her back. “I require some assistance with the upcoming formal.” She took a deep breath. “It has come to my attention that I do not know how to dance.”

Both Jackson and Jeremy looked away from what they were doing and over to T’Shaar. “I’m sorry, what?” Jackson replied.

T’Shaar nodded. “While there are some dance styles on Vulcan, I never had the time to learn them. However, it appears that I may have to learn some…‘moves’, as you call them.”

Jeremy tossed his PADD aside and sat straight up. “So, you’re not joking? You really want to learn to dance?” T’Shaar didn’t reply, she simply kept looking at Jeremy with her usual calm demeanor. “Well, you have come to the right place to learn. Back in high school, the only people who danced better than me and my boyfriend were Jackson and whatever girl he was dating at the time.”

T’Shaar sighed. “Your dating patterns aside, I still require your assistance.”

Jeremy got up from the bed. “Alright, well let’s get to this. Computer, play some light jazz…something to dance to.” The computer beeped and started playing some music. Immediately, Jeremy started moving to the music. “So, the key to dancing is to just let your body move to the music.”

While Jackson watched Jeremy start dancing, he looked over and saw T’Shaar watching the dancing movements intently. If anyone walked in at this moment, one would think that T’Shaar was just being a creeper. As the music kept going, Jeremy kept trying to do keep it to the basic moves.

“Well?” Jeremy finally said, “give it a try!”

T’Shaar let out a sigh. She lifted her hands up to try and mimic the way Jeremy’s were, and started swaying back and forth in place. T’Shaar tried her best to copy Jeremy, using her Vulcan focus to pay attention to each little movement. This, combined with her stone-still face, was very humorous to Jackson, who let out a laugh.

“Is there something you find funny?” T’Shaar asked, not breaking her concentration.

Jackson put his hand over his mouth and tried to stop laughing. “I’m sorry, it’s just…you just look so stiff!” Jeremy started laughing as well, breaking his own dance moves.

T’Shaar stopped and sighed. “Computer, pause music. If you are going to laugh at my attempts to try something new, perhaps I should go find someone else who can teach me this.”

“Ok, ok, we’re sorry. It’s just not often that we see a Vulcan dancing.” Jeremy sat on his bed to take a quick rest. “How about we try slow dancing instead?”

“That’s a good idea! How about a waltz?” Jackson replied. He stood up, took one of T’Shaar’s hands and held it up in place, then placed his other hand around her waist. “Ok, so here’s the basics of a waltz. It’s a slow partner dance with steps based on a three count. It goes like this. One, two, three, one, two, three…” While he counted off, Jackson pulled T’Shaar along with the steps. For T’Shaar, it was odd at first, but she slowly started to understand the pattern more.

“Yeah, there you go,” Jeremy said. “See? It’s too easy!”

“This is certainly easier than the dancing that Cadet Ortiz was trying to show me,” T’Shaar replied, keeping her attention on Jackson’s movements.

Jackson nodded. “Looks good. Computer, play a waltz…uh, “The Blue Danube”, please.” The music started and the two started dancing as if T’Shaar had been dancing a waltz for years. “From what I’ve heard, there will be several slow dances, so this will help you for at least some of the Formal.”

“Now if we could only get you to be able to move around for the rest of the dancing.” After Jeremy said that, the clock chimed to signal that dinner hours for the Freshman class were starting. “Well, I don’t know about you guys, but all this dancing has made me hungry. Shall we head to dinner?”

T’Shaar and Jackson stopped dancing and stepped back from each other. “Sounds good to me,” Jackson replied. “Care to join us T’Shaar?”

“I have some classwork to do before I eat my final meal today. I thank both of you for showing me some…dance moves.” T’Shaar emphasized the last words as only a Vulcan can.

“Our pleasure, see you later.” Jackson nodded to T’Shaar as she nodded and left the room. When the door closed, the two men looked at each other with huge smiles. “Well, that was surely something special,” Jackson stated.

“Dancing Vulcans…now I can die happy,” Jeremy replied, “but I’ll be even happier getting dinner, so let’s go!”