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Balance

Chapter Text

I was uncertain how it first came to my attention, since I was not ordinarily in the habit of gazing at that particular part of the Captain’s anatomy. That we were in the midst of a deadly, protracted engagement with a Romulan Bird of Prey made it all the more extraordinary.

“Debris on our scanners.” It appeared we had scored a direct hit.

I had come to learn in the 163 solar days since Captain Kirk had taken command of the Enterprise, that he had an exceptional and intuitive mind. As now, he refused to accept the danger was over until he had been furnished with irrefutable proof. “Analysis, quickly,” he demanded.

“Same as before. Except...” I glanced up at him, “one metal-cased object.”

“Helm, hard over! Phasers, fire point-blank. Phasers, fire!” The Captain walked across the forward section of the bridge, his voice calm as he gave the order to destroy the booby-trap. He had an ability to control his emotion in such situations as well as any Vulcan, a feat I had come to respect.

It was in that moment that I noticed he had an erection.

Given there were no obvious sexual stimuli in his vicinity that I was able to discern, while keeping my main focus on the confrontation, I calculated a 0.64% chance of an outside agent being responsible for the Captain’s condition. Despite this low probability, logic dictated that I investigate whether other human male bridge crew were similarly afflicted. Our present battlefield situation demanded peak performance and such physical distractions had the potential to prove fatal to all on board.

A cursory visual examination was rendered more straightforward than would otherwise be possible, when all personnel were thrown from their positions by the detonation of the device. I was able to determine from this investigation that the Captain was the only male affected and given his successful tactics thus far, I concluded that his command ability appeared entirely unimpaired.

Having ascertained that injuries among the crew were minor and did not require immediate attention, I stepped over to the Captain’s chair to await further orders. This move provided me with the opportunity to observe that the erection was still in evidence. My highly tuned olfactics also detected a change in his natural scent – an added musk.

Unlike my human colleagues, I would have found it a simple matter to continue to focus on the red alert situation while simultaneously deliberating what was the likely cause of the Captain’s current state of arousal, as Vulcan brains are exceedingly efficient and fully capable of working on a multitude of problems concurrently. Indeed, I could have done this with no detectable decrease in the performance of my duty. However, I judged the matter to be an inexplicable and temporary aberration and closed the subject in order to give one hundred percent of my capacity to the Captain and the current situation.

The episode would have remained consigned to long-term memory storage had it not been reactivated by an incident twenty four days later at what remained of the Earth Observation Outpost on Cestus III.

Both the Enterprise and landing party were under an unprovoked, heavy and sustained attack from an unknown alien source. From the ground, the Captain was directing the defense of the ship as well as our own defense.

Leaping into a crater to join the Captain as the barrage continued, I realized something was amiss when I detected a high-pitched whine emanating from the device I held.

“They've locked onto my tricorder!” I threw it as far as I was capable and we both ducked, huddling from the ensuing explosion. “Very ingenious. They fed back my impulses, and built up an overload.”

“We'll see how ingenious they are,” the Captain countered. “Here. Give me a hand with this grenade launcher.”

After helping to stabilize the weapon which had fortuitously survived the bombardment, I observed the unmistakable sign of arousal.

My curiosity was now piqued. Perhaps I could turn these puzzling circumstances into an intellectual pursuit from which I would derive benefit. Conducting research had the potential to lead me to an increased understanding of humans generally and this highly complex human in particular.

It took three solar days of meetings, briefings and the completing of reports concerning the destruction of the Cestus III outpost and this first contact with two new alien species, before I had sufficient time to devote to my private research.

In the privacy of my quarters, I analyzed the two events to identify what patterns, if any, existed between them. The data overwhelmingly pointed to a connection centered on the elements of risk and danger.

Having studied Human anatomy and physiology in my life-sciences classes at the StarFleet Academy, I already understood how hazardous conditions frequently induce a release of epinephrine. Further investigation indicated a surge of adrenaline is generally accompanied by an increase in endorphin activity, a compound responsible for feelings of well being as well as pain relief in humans. The latter, I concluded, could prove useful should the hazard be severe enough to lead to injury.

I reflected on the data I had so far gathered, yet could discern no logical connection between the circumstances the Captain had been in and the physiological reaction such as he had evinced. Further research was required, to which I diligently applied myself.

I located additional data that demonstrated a statistically significant association between adrenaline-charged peril and sexual arousal in 14.8% of human males. While he was not unique in this, neither did this condition occur consistently across the species.

I had yet to reach the heart of the matter. I cross-matched the studies I had found thus far in order to eliminate common references, and focused instead on those that were unique, following them up until I found what I was looking for: a number of early psychological studies linking sexual arousal to both fear and aggression. It appeared that the physiology of the adrenaline-fed autonomic arousal brought about by conditions of aggression or fear were found to be similar to those found in sexual arousal. Logical, since both required the body to prepare for strenuous physical activity.

For a percentage of men in the study, the physical conditions experienced were so similar that one frequently led to another. In addition, there was an almost perfect correlation between these men and those who deliberately sought situations that would provide them with the ‘adrenaline rush’.

Commanding a starship would certainly place the Captain frequently in such circumstances. I found it surprising that he had risen to such a rank without this matter ever being discovered during psych evaluations, since it had the potential to impair his judgment and potentially put the ship at risk. I resolved to watch closely for any sign that he was deliberately putting himself at further risk.

I did not have to wait long.

18 days later, the Enterprise was en route to Starbase 9 for resupplies when the ship was pulled into the gravitational field of an uncharted black hole. Using all our warp capability we tore away but were slingshot back in time and space to 20th century Earth.

In order to retrieve incriminating evidence of our existence that violated the Prime Directive as well as potentially disrupting the correct temporal sequence, thus creating a new timeline, there had been a necessity to visit an airbase.

While on the base, the Captain had put himself in grave danger by attempting to fight with three armed station security personnel who subsequently overpowered him. It would have taken but one to have overstepped his mark, and Jim could have lost his life. The notion caused me to experience a physiological reaction, that was unpleasant, but which I immediately quelled.

This put me on my guard and I observed the Captain closely over the following months, and found my concern regarding his risk-taking was justified. Repeatedly he put himself in a place of danger and, as I was frequently with him on such occasions, I was provided with the opportunity to employ my olfactory chemoreceptors to confirm these situations were often accompanied by a state of arousal. It fortunately rarely manifested in any visible sign, leading me to believe it was not obvious to other crewmen. I was certain from his behavior that he had no knowledge of my awareness.

With enough evidence gathered, it was logical that as First Officer, I bring my concern to the Captain’s attention. I reflected on the approach that would maximize the potential to bring about change. I was not sanguine, having frequently witnessed Doctor McCoy’s unsuccessful attempts to persuade him to alter certain patterns of his behavior, such as his eating habits.

I had come to regard the Captain as a friend and we had taken to playing chess regularly, frequently in his cabin or mine. Perhaps an informal discussion over a game would be less likely put him in the defensive position which so often occurred with the doctor. The raising of awareness might be sufficient to cause him to reflect and acknowledge the veracity of my observations, leading to change.

“It has been my observation, Jim, that at times you appear to take unnecessary risks.”

There had been no preamble, nor any prior discussion that would likely prompt such a remark and he did not disguise his surprise at the sudden introduction of the subject. I had anticipated he may have attempted to prevaricate by requesting a definition of and debating the word, ‘unnecessary’. However he was more direct.

“Name me one time,” he challenged.

I had also prepared for him to take the discussion in this direction, which would likely lead to him rationalizing every incident I used as evidence.

“Providing you with examples would merely pitch my judgment against yours. I will cite logic and probability; you will likely counter that it has been your intuition which has kept you safe thus far. The result would therefore be a stalemate.”

“You mean an exercise in futility?” he suggested.

“I believe I just said that.”

He smiled broadly. “So, Mr. Spock, are you saying you don’t consider my intuition useful or effective?”

“On the contrary, Captain, I believe it has saved your life – and The Enterprise – on frequent occasions. However, it is not an exact science. The possibility for error…”

“…has so far not been an issue,” he interrupted mildly.

A more direct approach was required. “I am aware that some Humans deliberately put themselves in danger in order to experience an adrenaline rush.”

“Are you calling me a ‘thrill seeker’, Commander?” he asked, looking genuinely amused.

Was he truly so unaware of his own nature? I wondered.

“Spock,” he said, his tone changing to a more serious note. “The risks I take are calculated ones. I assure you I would never deliberately put myself or my ship in jeopardy. Besides, something like that would’ve shown up on my psych profile and I never would have gotten a command.” He smiled again. “Now quit mother-henning me.”

I understood he was ending the subject. I did not wish him to have any ill feeling regarding me so I responded in a slightly offended tone, “I fail to see any similarity between myself and a maternal fowl, Captain.”

He laughed and then proceeded to check-mate me in 24 moves. My game was most certainly off.

As his subordinate and also as his friend, I could do no more than raise my concerns. Since I had no intention of bringing the matter to the doctor’s attention and Jim clearly had no intention of altering his command style, it was logical to say no more on the subject.

During that period of increased observation, having noted the conditions which frequently led to the Captain’s arousal in dangerous circumstances, it was perhaps inevitable that I was unable to avoid noticing when it occurred under other circumstances.

I have, on occasion, heard the Captain referred to as a ‘ladies man’ and I, personally, have witnessed his affinity with them. While he made it a rule not to fraternize with his crew, he appeared to regard any attractive and available female passenger as ‘fair game’. The same was true at official functions he was required to attend. In those circumstances, having become attuned to the Captain’s ‘scent’, where numbers provided him with a choice and when he was so inclined, I was able to predict with a high degree of accuracy, which woman he would select.

Despite his regular successes, having spoken to him of it on one occasion over chess, I understand none of Jim’s liaisons resulted in a relationship serious enough for him to consider a marriage proposal. As I overheard one of my lab tech’s remark to a colleague, Captain Kirk is married to his ship.

One night in my quarters an insight came to me in a flash. Since Jim was aroused by both the promise of a sexual encounter and danger, it was logical that should he have access to the former on a regular basis, he would find no need to seek the latter.

The person to provide him with the necessary sexual distraction would have to be someone on board, and of command grade. However, with no females who fit the description, I considered the males, since Jim once indicated, while inebriated on shore leave, that he had occasionally found males attractive, but had never acted upon that attraction. I immediately discounted Mr. Scott, since their relationship was purely professional. Much closer to Jim was Doctor McCoy, but although their friendship was a close one, it was more of an avuncular relationship.

Having eliminated everyone else on the crew, logically, that left only me.

While we were temperamentally well-suited and I was not averse to taking on such a liaison if it would ensure the Captain’s continued well-being and safety, I was already betrothed to another. Thus I was, as McCoy would no doubt have put it, back at square one.

*

I will never be certain whether the timing was purely coincidental. 6 days after this insight, I detected an alteration to the balance of my hormones, though I initially – and almost disastrously – discounted the reason, since my Pon Farr had been due ten years earlier, and I believed my Human blood had spared me. The bond with T’Pring was weak, yet eventually I was able to sense her summons. Illogically, I fought it for days – this was not a time, however, of logic.

Eventually, my inconsistent and erratic behavior came to the Captain’s attention and I was forced to accept the reality of my situation. Although a matter to be dealt with in private, I had no choice but to enlist his assistance to return me to Vulcan.

“Well, there's no need to be embarrassed about it, Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees.”

How could I make him comprehend? Anger rose within me, but I was able to control it so that no outward manifestation was visible. “The birds and the bees are not Vulcans, Captain. If they were – if any creature as proudly logical as us were to have their logic ripped from them as this time does to us...”

I asked him if he had ever considered how Vulcans choose their mates. His flippant answer demonstrated that he had yet to understand that there were but two choices left to me: to reach Vulcan in time or succumb to a fatal madness.

“You humans have no conception. It strips our minds from us. It brings a madness which rips away our veneer of civilization. It is the Pon Farr – the time of mating.” For a Vulcan, this time of such profound loss of control is undignified and base, rendering the male of our species into little more than a savage, rutting animal. So alien to me to speak aloud of such matters, I had to force the words from my lips.

I attempted to help him understand with analogous examples with which he would be familiar. It was not that Jim was so unworldly that his mind could not conceive – he had encountered in his own lifetime hundreds, if not thousands, of alien species, with all the diversity that implied. The issue was that what I was describing was so far removed from any point of reference he had with specific regard to the Vulcan people, that he continued to struggle with the concept. "But you're not a fish, Mr. Spock. You're..."

"No. Nor am I a man. I am a Vulcan. I had hoped I would be spared this, but the ancient drives are too strong. Eventually, they catch up with us, and we are driven by forces we cannot control...to return home and take a wife, or die.”

Just as I reached a point of complete exasperation, the Captain finally understood the full import of my predicament. “I haven't heard a word you've said, and...I'll get you to Vulcan, somehow.” That Jim was prepared to keep this matter confidential caused an overwhelming sense of both relief and gratitude to rise within me.

After he left, still seated at my desk, I rested my head on my folded arms, feeling utterly enervated by the exchange. And I was filled with shame.

The depth of our friendship had become such, that he was willing to risk his career for me. However, I was unable to comprehend the significance of his sacrifice at that time.

With the ship on course for Vulcan, the lessening of the physical – and therefore the psychic – distance between me and my people furnished me with some modicum of control. But it was not complete, and the irony that it was my Captain who was witness to my own occasional physical arousal was, at the time, lost on me.

I have only vague memories of the events on Vulcan. The fever of Pon Farr rapidly advanced to the all-consuming fires of plak tow; hotter than The Forge, it attempted to cleave every shred of civilization from my being. Though it should not have been possible, I cared sufficiently about Jim to find sanity long enough to appeal to T’Pau in an attempt to prevent him once again placing his life in danger. I was overruled. This time, a death was assured – it was to be either his or mine. Across the bond, I sensed T’Pring mocking me and I was overcome with rage and insanity.

Clarity did not return until I found myself staring at the face of my Captain, his neck cradled in the ahn woon that I still held. I found myself in shock. How ironic that such a state temporarily drove all Pon Farr-induced emotion from me, as I was entirely unable to contend with what I had just done.

“Live long and prosper, Spock.”

All I could feel was utter emptiness, a profound sense of loss. “I shall do neither. I have killed my Captain...and my friend.”

The emotions that had plagued me for the past 9 days took me from despair to elation when I discovered Jim yet lived. My loss of control was regrettable, not least because McCoy witnessed it and would likely reference it at every opportunity. The thought…irritated me.

My attention was diverted from this concern with a message from the bridge. T’Pau had evidently placed a retrospective request for the Enterprise to divert to Vulcan, and Komack – no doubt reluctantly – agreed to it. I was gratified as the captain would not now formally face charges for failing to follow orders. Knowing the Admiral, it was likely, however, that there would be some form of repercussion.

On the bridge, I sensed the curiosity of the crew who had seen T’Pring and were clearly baffled as to why I had not remained with her, at least for a time as is customary after a wedding, before rejoining my ship. I was relieved that none overtly asked me about it. Their professionalism and discretion was most welcome, yet nevertheless I experienced a degree of embarrassment – an emotion with which I was all too familiar from my conversations with the Captain prior to our diversion.

Shortly after I had taken my seat at my station, new orders came in. Too late for the Altair inauguration, it had been decided we should break orbit from Vulcan immediately and proceed to Sector 08 to carry out star-mapping for an unspecified period. En route, we were to make a brief visit to the Alpha Honorus system to carry out a geological survey of a planet. The R&R that was planned following the inauguration was therefore canceled. Everyone knew the orders for what they were, and on the Enterprise, news travels fast.

Thirteen minutes later, McCoy arrived on the bridge and stood beside the Captain. “I hear we have exciting times ahead, Jim – Komack exacting his pound of flesh.”

I recognized the reference and acknowledged it was likely the truth, and that I alone was responsible for the Captain and crew being penalized. It was not logical to feel a sense of guilt, yet I did.

“Let it go, Bones,” the Captain said quietly.

“Jim, this crew needs a rest. We’ve gone from one crisis to another without a break. After Altair we were scheduled R&R…”

“Bones!” Although his voice was barely above a whisper, there was an edge to it giving a clear warning. “I said that’s enough. If you want to discuss this, we can do it in your office later.”

“I’m just saying what everyone is thinking!”

Having gotten in the last word, McCoy quickly retreated and I heard Jim’s footsteps approach. He leaned down, his mouth level with my ear. “I’m sorry about that Spock, he was out of line.” His voice was so quiet it was unlikely any other of the bridge crew could hear. “Although I have to say, that was one of his tamer rants,” he added.

“Nevertheless Captain,” I responded equally quietly, not looking up, “what he says is factually accurate, we are overdue a period of R&R; it is likely you are being punished…”

“Spock,” Jim cut in and gently spinning my chair counterclockwise to face him, waited until I looked directly at him. “If I could go back and change anything, I wouldn’t.”

Standing up, he casually leaned against my station to face the centre of the bridge and folded his arms. In a louder voice than before he said, “Well Mr. Spock this will undoubtedly be an exciting time for the science department. After our diversion to the Honorus system, are there any ‘fascinating’ stars or celestial bodies in that sector you’d recommend we visit?”

I understood this was the Captain’s way of publically making his position clear on the matter. It gave me a positive feeling that I identified as gratitude.

“I will call a meeting of my department heads to gather data and will report back to you with suggestions, Sir.”

“So, Mr. Spock, what can you tell me about our first stop?” There was some unnamed emotion that sprang from the thought that the Captain simply assumed I would have the knowledge he sought; and indeed I did not let him down.

“Sir, Honorus is a trinary star system. Alpha Honorus has one class M planet in its orbit: Alfa 177. The planet is reported as having an unusual geological make-up according to a recent scanner survey carried out by the Potemkin. I welcome an opportunity to investigate the native ores further and to gather some specimens.”

“And so you shall in five days,” the Captain said, smiling.

Chapter Text

It is illogical to suggest that the pace of time changes depending on circumstances, as we physically experience it as a linear constant. Yet I have frequently overheard crewmen complain during periods of relative inactivity, that time is passing slowly. I now began to understand what they meant. We were travelling at Warp 4, scheduled to arrive at Alfa 177 in five days. I was aware I should be starting to prepare a schedule for the cartography department, considering what data we wished to collect and how, assigning different teams to different stars and systems, begin long-range scanning of that area of space for any interesting or unusual celestial bodies. Instead, I simply sat at my position and counted down the 56.6 minutes to the end of the shift. I required a period of meditation in order to begin rebuilding my controls.

The Captain and I made our way towards our quarters together. I invited him in to my cabin, but remained standing just inside the door. He took my cue, eschewing the comfort of a seat.

“Captain…Jim…” I stumbled on my words, realizing too late that, uncharacteristically, I had failed to prepare what I wished to say. It was a clear indication my condition remained far from ‘normal’. In addition, his proximity was most distracting and my heart rate had accelerated 23% since we had entered my cabin. This was a unique and somewhat disturbing phenomenon that required contemplation. He gazed at me patiently and waited, his head cocked slightly to one side.

I breathed, needing to refocus. “Prior to…recent events, I was conducting research that stemmed from our first contact with the Horta. There is also much data from the Potemkin as it relates to Alfa 177 that requires analysis.” To my chagrin, I realized I was almost babbling and took another deep breath. “Sir, request permission to work my next three shifts here in my quarters.”

“Permission granted, Mr. Spock…on one condition,” he smiled.

I felt my eyebrow rise before I could control it, and this seemed to amuse him as his smile broadened. “I don’t want you locking yourself away in here. I’ll drop by at nineteen hundred hours every evening; we can eat – in here if you prefer – and you can tell me about your research and I’ll fill you in on ship’s status. Deal?”

“Deal, sir,” I replied seriously, knowing such an answer would get a response. It did as he laughed, and I felt gratified to have been the source of his amusement.

Then his face became more serious. “Spock, I don’t want you blaming yourself for what happened today…” He held up his hand, instinctively knowing I was about to counter. “No, let me finish. You weren’t in your right mind. No recriminations. It’s past and no harm done. All right?”

His voice was gentle and full of understanding. How perceptive this man was. I nodded, and satisfied, he turned and left.

I sat down heavily in my chair. A brief review of the conversation that had just transpired together with my own internal reactions to it were dramatic evidence that I required a period of meditation without interruption. That would have to wait until Gamma shift, at which time, because it was my scheduled sleep period, I would only be contacted in an emergency.

In front of me was a new monitor. The engineering department, with its usual efficiency, had replaced the one I had destroyed. It was a reminder that so many of the crew had been witness to my undignified lack of control. A sense of shame swept over me. I applied a Vulcan breathing technique learned at age three as a first step towards control. As it always had, it worked for me now.

I estimated it would take 5.5 days for my endocrine system to return to homeostasis and for the excess hormones to dissipate. Until then, I would be subject to a deficiency in my ability to suppress my emotions that would gradually lessen. I experienced a sense of relief that the crew would not further witness me while compromised.

Prior to the visit to Vulcan, I had been distracted by other matters. Now I felt I was drowning in a sea of emotion without the lifeline of being able to understand them or know what to do with them in the way humans did. By all rights, these emotions should have been purged as I slaked my need with my bondmate. But with the bond severed and my needs denied, I had no distraction. They mocked the heritage of my father’s people from the time of Surak – surely a full Vulcan would not be so weak. Logically, my flaw was the human part of me, and that conclusion pained me.

I felt frustrated, yet ironically experienced a sense of frustration that I should feel frustrated and not be able to suppress it. Clearly I needed a distraction, so turned to my work, but the words on the screen failed to register.

I found myself unable to quell fragmented memories of the kal-if-fee that rose unbidden to my consciousness, accompanied by attendant emotions. With a sigh that would have shocked my mother, I gave up any pretence of control and allowed the memories and feelings to freely surface. What good would my planned meditation do if I could not succeed to reach even a basic level. Perhaps allowing my unconscious to share what it will, I could then accept and move on. Imagining what McCoy would make of my amateur psychology, I allowed myself a small smile.

I closed my eyes and attempted to remember. The color red – sky, sandy soil, Jim’s blood… My eyes opened as I recalled how I had gashed his chest with the lirpa and the look of shock on his face that I was no longer the Spock he knew, that he was not safe with me. He had fought well, but even accounting for the fever, he was no match for me. Then came the ahn-woon. I had taken him by surprise, throwing it around his legs and knocking him off his feet. And then…

Then…

I had felt his arousal. He had been on top of me, his body the length of mine and I had felt it, hard against…my own. And then I had throttled him.

A sound came from me. A sob, and a bitterness rose in my throat which I swallowed heavily. My heart rate had increased to 54% above normal. Breathe.

‘No recriminations’. That is what I had agreed to. He understood perfectly. With my Vulcan integrity I did my best to do as promised and let it go, since logically, I could not change that which had already come to pass. Yet a sense of guilt lingered.
A question remained. How could Jim find such a situation arousing? It surely must have been the danger.

I had never fought in hand to hand combat with the Captain and had always refused to work out with him in the gym for fear of inadvertently injuring him. The first time he had challenged me to a judo match, I had related the story of how, as an Academy cadet, I had seriously injured a classmate and following that incident, had refused to wrestle with anyone not from a planet with higher than Earth-normal gravity.

Although he had used every persuasive technique he knew, he had never made it an outright order and eventually he gave up asking. I speculated that perhaps he had, in accepting the challenge, been seizing an opportunity that had thus far eluded him. Yet the notion was absurd – Jim must surely have been aware that I was in an uncontrolled state and that injury was certain.

The guilt became anger as I considered how Jim had essentially forfeited his life in a ritual he had not understood. While I was gratified that he believed he was saving me from combat with Stonn, it is basic Starfleet training: do not enter a game if you do not know all the rules. On this matter, I remain uncertain of T’Pau’s motivation for not revealing them in a timely manner, since even she must have realized Jim did not understand the fight was to the death. I, of course, did and have a vague memory of begging...the memory brought me more shame…begging T’Pau to release him from the challenge.

Yet, how could I hold Jim accountable when it was I who had been remiss. Since my condition was already known to the Captain, there was no logic in feeling too embarrassed and ashamed to speak openly of all aspects of the koon-ut-kal-if-fee, including the possibility of challenge, even though the probability of such an occurrence was vanishingly small. Such emotional weakness had almost cost Jim’s life. With this thought, my guilt returned. My head was spinning.

I stood up and paced back and forth in my room like a caged animal. My body was still in a highly imbalanced state and although I required rest, I also needed to work off an excess of energy.

My mind made up, I prepared to go the gym. I would work out in a private cubicle and follow it with Tai Chi in preparation for my meditation, with its flowing movements tuning mind, body and spirit into One.

On arrival, I was surprised to find the Captain in the changing room, dressed for Judo. “I didn’t think I’d see you until tomorrow evening,” he said with a smile. I could see the concern in his eyes.

“I find I need to...I have…a great deal of surplus energy.”

He nodded. “Bones said it was like having your body pumped full of adrenaline.”

“Indeed. If you will excuse me, Captain.” I needed to escape from him, though I was perplexed why I found his presence disturbing.

*

Both the workout and the meditation were effective and I awoke more refreshed than I had since the onset of Pon Farr. Forcing a light breakfast – my appetite had yet to return – I was able to focus on my work.

I received a summons from McCoy to report to sickbay for a check-up. I had been expecting it.

I found him in his office and his blue eyes regarded me with concern. “I half expected you to put up a fight.”

“Illogical since you would have made it a medical order.”

He sighed. “I have no idea what’s going on in the Vulcan head of yours, but I can at least check to see how that weird physiology of yours is doing.”

I saw little point in providing him with anecdotal evidence that my condition was improving since he would insist on a formal examination, so I remained silent as I lay on the bed while he checked readings.

“Hormonal levels returning to normal. No damage from the overload to other systems. Heart-rate high, but normal for you.” I sat up and as I did so, he scrutinized my face. “You’re still looking peaky, Spock.”

I suppressed a sigh. “Might I remind you, doctor, that green is my normal coloring.”

“Hmmm. Did you sleep all right last night?”

“Yes.”

“How’s your appetite?”

“Improved. I had breakfast this morning.” I was beginning to find his questioning irritating.

As if reading my mind he said, “I expect you’ll probably have difficulty keeping your emotions in check for a day or two. Jim tells me you’ve requested to work in your cabin for a few days.”

The doctor’s statements required no answer, so I stepped off the bed to leave, thinking that he had been less intrusive than I had anticipated. He allowed me to get almost to the door before quietly asking the question I knew had been inevitable.

“What are you going to do next time, Spock?”

There was nothing to be gained from pretending I did not understand his question, since he would surely press me on it until he had received what he deemed to be a satisfactory answer. I remained facing the door as I responded, “Next time will be after this mission has ended, and will not be a concern for you.”

“You can’t be certain of that with your hybrid physiology. This has come years after it should have. Next time might be seven years or ten, or it could be two. Who knows what effect your Pon Farr ending as a result of combat, instead of mating, will have on that cycle. You’re an unbonded male – you need to make plans.”

McCoy had clearly been doing his research and I wondered who, on Vulcan, had provided him with what was deemed by the Ministry of Security to be classified information.

“The matter is closed Doctor,” I said, and stepping into sensor range of the door, promptly left.

It was a relief to return to the sanctuary of my quarters. Today’s experience had not altered my belief that visits to sickbay were something to be avoided at all costs.

Later, when the chime went at my door, it took a moment for my time sense to tell me it was 18:57 – Jim was early.

“I was going to bring some food but I had an idea. How about you work off more of that excess energy in the gym with me? I thought we could do aikido, or wrestle.”

My lack of control was clearly in evidence on my face. As I was about to speak, he held his hand up to stop me and quickly continued. “I’ve been thinking about it. You’ve probably got a lot of images in your mind of what happened yesterday. By doing this, you can replace them with ones where you’re fighting but in control of your faculties.”

“Captain.” I felt a need to keep my distance from this persuasive man. “For the same reason I declined in the past, I will do so, now.”

“Right – your superior strength. So, you’re not able to control it then,” he asked, his smile a challenge.

“We have discussed this before, Captain. I am able to control, but I am concerned about injuring you…” The word ‘again’ was not required for us both to understand.

“Did you do as I asked, Spock?”

There was no need for him to elaborate. We had reached a point some time ago when half sentences were frequently enough for understanding.

“I am still troubled by the events on Vulcan,” I admitted.

“Then let me help. Try it, and if it doesn’t work, I won’t ask you again.” He looked at me intently and quietly added, “I can’t make it an order, Spock – nor would I want to. It’s your choice.”

I felt forces beyond my control compel me to do this man’s bidding. My heart and respiration had increased, but I was unable to tell if it was from fear or… something else. “Very well, Jim.”

In the changing room, we slipped into snug shorts and shirts and then chose a private cubicle. The windowless room was five meters by four meters and decked in thick mats to absorb any heavy falls. As we began our warm-up stretching exercises, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach, which I considered. Apprehension, perhaps? Having had little experience with emotions most of my life, I was simply incapable of identifying half of those I was, at this time, unable to suppress.

Jim wished to wrestle, yet even when in full control, such extensive body-contact with another would be undesired. While that control was at best, tenuous, I refused, suggesting alternatives. However, the captain was insistent and I found myself eventually reluctantly agreeing. He clearly felt vindicated when early on into our bout – after he had flipped me onto my back for the third time – he pointed out I was somewhat ‘rusty’.

Temporarily winded, I lay on the deck looking up at the gray ceiling.

Jim stood astride me with his hands on his hips. “I’m not made of glass, Spock.”

I had underestimated him. Unable to match me in strength, he made up for it in both speed and agility, as well as a somewhat unorthodox approach, which frequently caught me off guard. I applied myself more diligently, yet still found myself, on several occasions, locked down and looking up into his smiling face.

And then it happened.

We had rolled over several times as we each tried to gain a hold over the other. I felt his arousal pressing into my abdomen. His face was covered in a sheen of sweat, his breathing labored and his eyes…almost feral in their intensity. I pushed with my leg to create leverage and rolled again so that I was now on top. His movement was so fast I was unable to determine how, but a moment later he was above me again, holding my arms down, the exertion causing him to breathe even more heavily, each breath gusting on my face.

It was not logical. While almost his entire body was pressed to mine, all I appeared to be aware of was his erection and the heat of it pressing urgently against me. He looked down at me, his flushed face only centimeters from mine.

A heart beat…two…

The intense moment was broken as he suddenly rolled off me, sat up and smiled. “I need to eat. Hungry?”

Before I could answer, he departed in the direction of the changing room.

I pushed myself into a seating position and, illogically, could still feel the imprint of that pressure and heat on my stomach. My mind was a most un-Vulcan jumble of incoherent thoughts which included surprise at Jim’s physical reaction; consideration as to why it had occurred; my own reaction to it, which was to be utterly focused on it as though it were something fascinating.

I put thoughts of it away and joined Jim to get changed and then went with him to the Mess. I had intended for us to eat in my cabin but at that moment, I did not wish to be alone with him. It was 20:24, so the large room was busy with over half of Alpha shift dining, although no other senior crew was in attendance. We found an unoccupied table and, as had been agreed, he updated me on general Starfleet ‘scuttlebutt’, as he put it, and on ship’s business and I provided him with an update on the Horta and her hatchlings on Janus VI. After the earlier tension, I was surprised how easily the discussion flowed on that, and other subjects we segued to.

Alone in my cabin later, I acknowledged Jim’s wisdom. The kal-if-fee images had indeed lost their strength. What was unexpected was that they had been replaced with others that disturbed me in an entirely different manner. All of my recent encounters with Jim had elicited similar physiological reactions in me that were consistent with sexual attraction. I considered whether the loss of my bond with T’Pring was causing me, unconsciously, to regard the captain as a suitable alternative. It was certainly a possibility that I found intriguing. This then left me with one question in my mind: was Jim aroused by the combat in general, or by combat with me, specifically? I had scrupulously shielded myself from his thoughts, so I had no way of knowing.

It was to be another 21 hours before that question was answered.

*

“Evening Spock,” said Jim cheerfully as he entered my cabin promptly at 19:00. “How’s your day been?”

“Most satisfactory. I have finished the first draft of the research paper on the Horta. I anticipate completing it tomorrow. And yours, Captain?”

“Oh, meetings and reports, bureaucratic nonsense…”

It was at that moment I came to understand the phrase ‘a stab of guilt’, which appeared to have both a physical as well as an emotional manifestation. It was prompted by the knowledge that undoubtedly Jim would have had to report on the trip to Vulcan. Admiral Komack would have demanded it.

“Spock, I was wondering… if you’d like to wrestle again this evening. I don’t think there are any crew on board this ship who could give me the workout you did yesterday.”

My system clearly remained in a lamentable state of disarray, as I was dismayed to feel my heartbeat increase by 19% at the mere thought of further bodily contract with Jim. He made his request in terms of an activity that he would benefit from – how could I refuse my Captain, especially as it would provide me with an opportunity to gather more data.

“Indeed Sir, I believe I would also derive benefit – your wrestling ability greatly exceeded my expectations.” I hoped that my face did not betray my eagerness.

“Why Mr. Spock – I do believe you’ve just complimented me!”

As we made our way to the gym, I told myself that after a day at my terminal my energized state was likely due to the anticipation of some much-needed exercise required to work off the effects of my regrettably chronic case of excess hormones.

I began my stretching routine. Although Jim had taken no specific notice the previous day, this time he paused his warm-up to watch me with interest. “I guess I’ve never thought about it before, but of course your different musculature would need different stretches.” He smiled broadly and added, “I probably should’ve paid more attention in my life-sciences classes, but what I know about Vulcan anatomy I can write on the back of a 5 credit disk!”

I explained some of the fundamental differences and the exercises required to stretch the most important muscle groups before a workout, demonstrating them as I explained, and then he astounded me.

“I’ve always thought you were graceful, Spock. But watching you now, there’s such a flow to your movements, almost like a dancer or gymnast.”

I had no answer and thankfully, he chose that moment to resume his own exercises.

When we were ready to begin, Jim warned me, “I was holding back yesterday because I wasn’t sure what shape you were in – I won’t be doing that today. Let’s go for no holds barred – are you alright with that?”

Amused, I was about to answer when with a hook of his foot, he took my feet out from under me and I was lying on the deck. He was on me in a moment and before I knew it, he had me in a lock from which even my Vulcan strength could not gain release.

“You could at least try, Spock,” he chided, his mouth so close to my left ear I could feel his breath. He released me and before he had time to draw breath, I had him in a similar hold.

“Indeed Sir, as suggested, I have increased my endeavors.”

Captain Kirk is a man who does not believe in losing. His agility was second only to his deviousness and all too often I found myself forced to concede points to him.

After 30 minutes, we were both breathing heavily and he was sweating profusely. Up to that point, there had been no holds which could be considered illegal if it had not been an open match. I saw it in his eyes a moment before he moved. He was so fast, I am uncertain how we ended up in such a position. We rolled several times and then he was above me, panting, his body stretched the length of mine and I could feel and smell his arousal. It was a heady scent.

It was an unforgiveable act, yet I cannot bring myself to regret it. For a moment, for the length of a heartbeat, I removed my telepathic shields and was almost overwhelmed. Now I had my answer. His arousal was from a physical attraction to me. What I was less certain of, was how consciously aware he was of this attraction and what, if anything, he would wish to do with it.

In a rare moment of spontaneity, I allowed my body to answer his call.

His eyes widened as he felt my penis lengthen and harden against him. “Spock?” It was almost a whisper. He was clearly surprised, but he was not rejecting me.

In response I asked him, “Did you engage the privacy lock?” My voice sounded shockingly gravelly.

“Yes.”

Before he had time consider what my question might imply, I flipped him over so that I was now lying above him, holding him firmly in place. I managed to maneuver my legs between his and our penises pressed together, separated by two layers of thin material.

His wide eyes narrowed. “Get off me, Spock.”

It sounded convincing. But I had seen in his mind and knew what he wanted and I was surrounded by the sweet smell of his arousal. Had I not still been in a state of imbalance, I never would have taken it this far. Indeed, I never would have wrestled with him in the first instance. My own body called out for a completion it was starved of by the kal-if-fee.

“Mr. Spock, I’m ordering you to let me go.” His voice was low and threatening. Yet I could sense that he was not being sincere, that a greater part of him wanted this. His behavior was most illogical. Since he wanted it to be a battle I would, to use his parlance, ‘play along with it’. “No.”

One word galvanized him and in a blur of movement he was out from under me. Just as fast I grabbed him and brought him down again, thankful the thick mats would ensure no damage was incurred. This time he was lying face down and I was above him, my erection pressed against his buttock crease. I rocked back and forth several times, and with his writhing beneath me, enjoyed the intensely pleasurable sensations.

I felt exhilarated by the power and liveliness of his body, by its hard lines, by its simple yet paradoxically complex beauty.

My mind momentarily distracted, I was suddenly flying sideways. Landing on my back, I was temporarily winded. In that moment, had he wished to, Jim could easily have left. But that was not what he wanted. He wanted to be here with me. He wanted me.

And I wanted him. All of him. Body and soul. I felt it with an utter certainty that transcended all my other knowing, from every particle of my being. This thought came to me in an instant. I had no time to ponder its source nor its validity.

Before I could regain my breath, Jim had launched himself at me. He twisted himself around so he lay along my length, pinning my arms at my side with his own, his legs holding mine together and began to thrust himself against me. It would have been an easy matter to dislodge him, and indeed I made a token attempt at escape which ended when he bit hard into my shoulder. He left his head there his chin over my shoulder and with only my heels and shoulders for leverage, I moved against him. Through our gym wear, I pushed my penis against his as I felt his hot breaths against my left ear.

With my eyes tightly shut, I focused on my other senses; the feel of his hot, sweating body over mine, his breaths a counterpoint to the movement of his hips, the smell of his arousal… I wanted to taste him, yet I knew with a certainty that I didn’t comprehend that to do so at that time would have been too intimate a gesture. I could wait. These thoughts were being processed in a different, serene and expansive place in my mind, quite separate from the reality of the moment where the remainder of my attention was focused on my desperate need for completion. I could feel a pressure building up in me, drawing up and demanding release. Sensations starting at my groin were radiating outward in pulsing surges, setting my body alight.

Jim’s thrusts were speeding up and he was now grunting with each push, which I matched, allowing him to set the pace. I could hold on no longer, and with one final push and a half cry I orgasmed, my ejaculate pouring out of me in wave after wave, the intensity of it both pain and pleasure, a wet warmth spreading across my abdomen. A moment later, Jim was following me, and with his last thrust he froze against me, crushing me to him as I felt his penis jump several times.

Gasping for breath, we lay on the deck until our hearts and our breathing had slowed. Then Jim got up and, adjusting himself as he walked towards the door, unlocked it and left without a backward glance. I was at a loss to understand his contradictory behavior.

I lay there for several minutes, staring up at the light gray ceiling, feeling…nothing but an emptiness. I had just experienced my first sexual encounter and I was missing the weight of Jim upon me, his warmth, his scent, surrounding me. I sat up and surveyed myself. Two intermingled wet patches adorned my shorts and the outline of my still semi-erect organ was clearly visible through them. I willed the arousal away and standing up, I swayed a little with lightheadedness. I paused to regain my equilibrium. The thought of passing out and being discovered in this condition was too terrible to contemplate.

Chapter Text

The changing room was empty – no sign of Jim. In a private cubicle I showered and dressed and then made my way back to my cabin. I wanted Jim to be there waiting for me, but I knew he would not be. I slowed as I reached the door to his cabin, thought better of it and continued to my own.

I knew I stood little chance of meditating that night. My mind in its current undisciplined state was a jumble of thoughts and feelings vying for attention and I had no idea where to begin.

Still feeling a sense of emptiness, I stood in my bathroom and glancing in the mirror, saw Jim’s teethmarks on my shoulder. My stomach felt a little tender where the material had chafed. With little difficulty, my eidetic memory supplied me with the memory of the feel of Jim’s penis pulsing against me just… I touched the place, recalling the wet warmth that had spread from there.

Had I made an error?

My life until this point, although unconventional by Vulcan standards, had nevertheless been one of order and predictability. Logic had always ruled my thinking and therefore my actions, which I had always strived to carry out with dignity.

Moreover, I am, by nature, cautious. My natural state is to reflect, to consider an action from every angle, the first and foremost being whether it is logical. Where possible, I also consider the likely reactions my action will elicit and plan a response for those. After all due consideration, when I feel as prepared as it is possible to be, I judge on the evidence I have considered from my ruminations, whether to carry out that action or not.

Impulsiveness is not a part of my make-up, so I rarely do anything spontaneously unless the situation demands immediate action. Even then, I am able to make complex calculations and review outcomes in a fraction of a second.

Yet, this night I took one of the greatest steps of my life and I gave it no thought. I acted purely on impulse, based on information garnered in an unethical manner and urged on by the hormonal imbalances that continue to afflict me. Perhaps, then, it was the aftermath of the madness of Plak Tow that had driven me. Certainly the lack of tenderness and the animalistic intensity of our coupling had a quality to it not dissimilar to the blood fever.

While the sex had been an unexpectedly pleasurable release, a greater revelation was the discovery of my desire – that I wanted Jim in every way. While I had previously considered providing Jim with sexual relief in a bid to curb is more alarming tendencies to throw himself into dangerous situations, that had been a purely hypothetical exercise. At the time, I had not given the matter sufficiently serious consideration, since I was at the time betrothed to another, to examine my own desire for such a union.

I was now convinced, since my behavior in the gym had been so atypical, that as a result of my aborted marriage, my mind was instinctively seeking a new, compatible mate with whom to bond, and my body was simply following where my mind led.

I was in no doubt that Jim was one of the most extraordinary and charismatic men I had encountered. Already at such a young age he was fast becoming…a legend. The term reminded me of T’Pring’s rejection of me, her use of the word as a pejorative, and the status as something to be shunned. Yet when I applied it to Jim, it honored him, encompassing as it did all his many extraordinary and far-reaching accomplishments. Unlike many men for whom success had come early in their careers, Jim’s ego did not appear to blind him to his own faults – I had known him to be harshly self-critical at times – nor did he fail to recognize the part others had played in that success. I was reminded of the value this man placed in me, the friendship he had offered me and the risk he had taken to keep me alive.

Yet, what drew me to Jim was more than all these things. It was his essence, that ‘something’ inside of him that I could not put a name to, that had awoken that same ‘something’ inside of me that could not be denied.

I recalled how only two weeks before the onset of Pon Farr I had hypothesized that Jim needed an intimate relationship to prevent him taking risks and I had concluded that the relationship should be with me. This I had arrived at in a most logical manner.

In fact, as I now began to consider it, being drawn to Jim did not feel new.

Then, like the tantalizing and compelling pursuit of a complex mathematical problem, a battle without conflict, where great satisfaction is derived as every equation perfectly aligns to prove the theorem, I observed as each piece of this puzzle I had been enacting, swiftly fell into place to create a surprising picture.

With the perfect vision of hindsight, I was able to see how my interest in Jim went back many months and my memory helpfully supplied me with the exact moment. In the midst of a battle, although not consciously done, I had been looking at Jim in an intimate place and noticed his erection. To have been observing him in this way suggested I was already feeling an attraction towards him. I had then given myself permission, justified as private research, to monitor Jim at every opportunity.

Had I been able to, I would have laughed at the discovery of how capable the dispassionate, logical mind was at deceiving itself so thoroughly.

While I was drawn to Jim physically, I was uncertain of my feelings towards him. I could identify emotions such as loyalty and friendship – they were not new, since I had been drawn to Jim from the day he first set foot on the Enterprise. This exemplified our compatibility on a non-intimate level.

Yet there was something more – other emotions – that I could not put a name to. Perhaps it was affection, perhaps it was love – I had no way of knowing. My ineptitude stemmed from a lifetime of ruthlessly suppressing these feelings and therefore having no frame of reference by which to identify them.

I reflected back to two nights previously and how I had experienced shame at my human weakness. Shame was one emotion I did recognize, as I had experienced it before, on occasion. Perhaps with my current predicament with the unpredictability of Pon Farr due to my heritage, there was a lesson for me. The fact that I could not even predict my mating cycle was incontrovertible proof that no matter what I did, how hard I strived, no amount of work would rid me of the human parts of myself.

Indeed, it was illogical to deny my human half existed and attempt to purge its influence from me, since it is an integral part of who I am. Moreover, I had learned that attempting to suppress it will simply cause it to emerge in other surprising and unexpected ways. Therefore, rather than continue the internal struggle I had waged for the better part of my life, perhaps the way forward was to use the power of my intellect to find a balance of the Human and Vulcan within.

I pondered what this could mean and how it might affect who I am. I considered my self-identity – I am Vulcan. I live by logic. I had no desire to change that as a primary function, nor to alter its outward manifestation in terms of my behavior – my crewmates would notice no change in me.

The shift would be internalized in the acknowledgement and acceptance of my human elements and to end the inner strife. I would no longer ruthlessly suppress emotion and deny its existence, but rather control and harness it so that I could bring the best of my two heritages together to form something that is greater than the sum of its parts. IDIC.

With this new understanding and acceptance came a sense of inner peace – not the detached serenity of absolute logic and pure thought, but a sense of beauty and rightness that I could acknowledge and appreciate – that I could feel. It was as though the noise of war which had gone on for so long that I no longer noticed it, was suddenly silenced by the ceasefire I had called.

I turned my thoughts to Jim, acknowledging that he had become the single most important person in my life. Yet despite the depth of our friendship, I had no knowledge of what he was now seeking from me, nor if he knew himself. When I had touched his mind, it had been at a superficial level where I had seen and understood his wish to experience a sexual encounter with me, even if, at a conscious level, he had felt ambivalent about it. Since Jim was clearly experiencing difficulty accepting his own desires, would he see through his own mind’s deception?

There was a complexity in his response to me. If he believed his arousal was centered around what he considered to be a dangerous situation due, for example, to combat with someone of such superior strength, it would be easy enough for him to claim that his arousal had stemmed from the sense of danger when I had taken the upper hand, rather than from the attraction I had seen in him, and that he had been confused. He could then rationalize it as a temporary aberration.

Jim’s sexual response to me aside, I had no idea what his feelings were towards me – whether he loved me – as I had not allowed myself to go deeper to see if there was an attendant emotional component. His action – in abandoning me following our sexual encounter – demonstrated he was clearly conflicted. I had no idea if he was experiencing a high degree of uncertainty, or if he was in denial. If the latter, I was aware that this could have serious repercussions on both our personal and professional relationship were I to push and he didn’t accept it.

Yet now that I was now certain what I desired, I was strongly motivated to find some method to convince Jim. I decided it was up to me to take our contact to the next level and placed trust in him that he would follow.

*

The following day was my third and final shift in my cabin. I awoke feeling refreshed and energized and as anticipated, I finalized the Horta paper and had begun sifting through all the datafiles from the Potemkin’s Alfa 177 visit. I had called for a meeting of my department heads at 10:00 the following morning and a full survey briefing with the Captain at 13:00.

Now, with a little less than an hour to go before 19:00, I reflected that after what had taken place between us the previous evening, and Jim’s complete lack of contact with me since, there was no certainty that he would come. Yet something told me that he would. I immediately searched for signs that a new bond had been created, but I could see none. So what was the origin of this belief then…? Intuition?

With the change in me I considered whether I had I inadvertently opened a window to my intuitive sense. Vulcan discipline demands facts and hard evidence, yet I was willing to listen to…a hunch, most especially because there was very little about human behavior in general, and Jim’s in particular, that was logical.

I explored this sense more and came to an understanding of what I needed to give Jim. It was a gamble – the knowledge sent a shiver through me and I wondered whether this was something akin to what Jim experienced in his risk-taking. I went into the bathroom, and stripping, I carefully and thoroughly prepared myself. Redressing, I made for the gym, trusting when he found my quarters empty he would know where I was, and changed into workout clothes.

Jim arrived at 19:02 and paused just inside the door.

We meet at the appointed place…

To have gotten here so soon after our agreed time, I calculated he must have gone to my quarters early. I was seated in one corner carrying out lower back stretches and did not look up.

Despite my outward detachment, my continued endocrinological imbalance – although considerably less severe than it had been – meant control of emotions remained a challenge. This resulted in an inner turbulence of feelings, the primary ones of which were relief and pleasure. He had come. Yet, not having spoken to me since he had left this room the night before, he had no idea if I would be here. I could already smell his scent, although he was feigning nonchalance.

“Spock, I…shit.” I looked up at him to see he was still in uniform – his entire body tense and a pained expression on his face. I was witnessing Jim as few others had: vulnerable, unsure and not in command. A feeling surged within me that he trusted me enough to allow me to see him thus.

“Help me out here, will you? My head’s a…mess.” He paused and then added quietly, “Spock, what the hell happened between us yesterday?”

I have heard it said that actions speak louder than words. I knew with a certainty that I did not comprehend, that now was not the time to have a protracted dialogue, dissecting the events of the previous day, or analyzing our feelings. I wished to convince Jim that his reaction had not been a ‘one-off’ by having him experience more – he would have greater difficulty dismissing a second occurrence.

“Are you familiar with the history of the Olympic Games, Captain?”

My non sequitur left him looking confused. “Some. Why?”

While my heart raced, I stood up and schooled my features to their most implacable. “I thought perhaps tonight we could wrestle in the traditional Greek style.”

His mouth opened and closed as he studied my face, trying to read me. “You mean, naked?”

“Affirmative,” I responded with my most Vulcan demeanor. I narrowed my eyes and adopted an aggressive stance, tensing my entire body, bunching muscles and exuding a sense of my power and strength.

He glanced at the door and I knew he was confirming he had locked it. It was time to move to the next stage. Looking challengingly into Jim’s eyes, I removed my shirt. I ignored the urge to fold it tidily – which would have destroyed the image – and allowed it to slip from my hand to the deck. I paused as his gaze travelled around my chest. When it drifted downwards, I followed his line of sight and drew my shorts down, neatly stepping out of them.

I stood and held the tension and became aware that every point of my body that his eyes alighted on, I felt a tingle like an electric current. It took every ounce of control to prevent myself physically responding. While it was clear what this encounter would lead to, I believed an erection before we had even begun might have been too much for Jim. Better for him to become aroused and for me to allow myself to respond to him then.

After a minute, he accepted my challenge and drew his shirt over his head. I treated him to a similar appraisal, noting how his pectoral and abdominal muscles were highlighted by the gym’s soft illumination, showing him to be in the peak of fitness. I allowed my face to show my appreciation of his masculinity. After removing his footwear, he then pulled his pants down, a wry grin spreading across his face. He had been wearing no underwear.

I was immediately drawn to the sight of his penis which was already plump from arousal, almost obscuring his testicles. His pubic hair was darker than the hair on his head, and thinned out at the juncture of his groin and his muscular thighs.

I walked over to him, my eyes entirely focused on him as I allowed my body and face to speak of danger. This was the Spock he craved. He crouched in preparation, ready to spring at me. I anticipated the moment he was going to move and with all my strength, lunged towards him to catch him off balance and shouldered him to the deck. His combat training kicked in as he easily absorbed the fall and rolled to land back on his feet. Then he was on me, but whatever hold he had been about to institute failed as he struggled to gain purchase. That was the moment he discovered I had applied a form of oil before leaving my quarters, that did not create a sheen on my skin, but left it somewhat…slippery.

It was no longer a wrestling session. Jim fought ferociously using every method he knew. Yet, he remained controlled, careful not to cause injury and I matched him in this.

I knew the moment that Jim ended the battle. I was lying face down with one arm twisted behind me and he lay along the length of me, his penis settling neatly between my buttocks. He started to slide hard and rhythmically, the movement made easier by the extra oil I had put there. I drew myself up, offering and he paused.

I was thankful he released my arm, allowing circulation to return. He probed me carefully with a finger and it was the first time there had been any gentleness from him.

“You knew.” He sounded surprised, having discovered that I was already well-lubricated.

“Yes.”

Though the next words were difficult to say having never used such language before, I reminded myself given the intimacy we were already sharing, of the illogic of self-consciousness at a time like this. I knew with absolute certainty that it was what he wanted and needed to hear. I spoke the words quietly, my voice pitched low. “Fuck me, Jim.”

He needed no further encouragement. As he pulled my hips up so I was in a kneeling position, I willed my muscles to relax and in one smooth move he was fully sheathed. I felt a stabbing pain as my rectum went into peristaltic spasm and Jim paused as he was gripped tightly. We were both panting heavily. When the spasms ceased he began to move within me and then after a moment, he leaned forward and took my penis into his hand. Since our configurations were similar, he knew instinctively how to bring me pleasure.

It was not a gentle joining. I was somewhat surprised as I had imagined Jim would be a gentle lover, using subtle techniques to arouse and delight. Instead, with his left hand, Jim gripped me by my hip, his fingers digging into my skin and each forward thrust was hard, driving until our testicles kissed momentarily, while his other hand held my penis firmly.

The sensations were unlike any I had ever felt, caught between two points of bliss. Each pistoning movement massaged my prostate causing a shudder of pleasure to rush through me counterpointed by his grip on me bringing me closer to that point of no return. But beyond that, there was a beauty in being joined thus, in providing pleasure for this man, in the unprecedented intimacy of what we were sharing and above all, in the affirmation that we were both, against all the odds, together alive here in this moment.

Jim’s thrusts and hand speeded up and I knew I could hold off no longer. The mounting pressure in me demanded release and allowing his name to escape my lips, my voice sounding guttural to my ears, I began to orgasm, setting off a chain reaction. My rectum clenched around him and in two more thrusts, grazing the gland and in the midst of my release, pushing me impossibly to even greater pleasure, I felt him pour his essence within me, each spurt marked by a low grunt that sounded almost pained.

I remained kneeling, and he fell upon my back, still within me and we both fought to regain our breath after our exertion.

A moment before he spoke, I felt his body tense. “What are we doing, Spock?” It was almost a whisper.

I knew it for the rhetorical question that it was, yet it demanded an answer. “We are each fulfilling a need in the other, Jim.”

I was not being entirely honest. I wanted more from him, but was uncertain if he would willingly give it to me at this juncture. Yet by saying what I did, there was a danger I was setting the tone for future encounters.

I felt him relax a moment and then with a gentle touch to my right hip – a caress? he pulled out of me. Without meeting his eyes, I stood up stiffly and walked to where I had stripped. As I bent down to retrieve my clothes, I heard the door open and close and he was gone.

In my quarters, I cleansed and then knelt before the shrine, although after what I had experienced and how I was feeling, it was unlikely I would be able to meditate. Yet this position brought me a sense of peace – perhaps a conditioned response in anticipation of the stillness of meditation, that had been reinforced over many years.

Here in my cabin I was physically alone, yet I could still feel the ghost of Jim inside me. I had taken him in, emotionally and physically, the only outstanding act left to us was the meeting of our minds. It was too soon for that, the intimacy too great when there was still such uncertainty.

I considered what the next step might be. I knew from what I had said about meeting a need, that Jim would likely assume I would want to wrestle again the following evening. Yet, we could not go on indefinitely meeting in the gym. Although arguably ‘something’ with Jim was better than ‘nothing’, I could not help but believe that the quality of that ‘something’ could be so much more than it currently was.

I knew in that moment I needed to change the pattern we had established with combat followed by frantic coupling. What I desired was a physical relationship in which we demonstrated our love…in which we made love – in fact, not unlike the warrior kinships of ancient Vulcan, or indeed the Persian and Greek warriors of ancient Earth. Ultimately, I wished a bond.

I reflected on Jim’s silent vacating of the gym – this abandonment becoming another pattern that I did not understand. Perhaps our sharing had been too much for him to take in. He had followed an impulse he had not properly understood to share an extraordinarily intimate act with me. My own nature when faced with a puzzling or challenging situation is to spend time alone, analyzing and reflecting on options before deciding an appropriate course of action. I have come to understand that despite Jim’s apparent extraversion, he is also a private man. His instinct is to withdraw rather than show any sign of weakness that could lead his crew to believe he is not up to the job. I have observed how he has chosen to deal with personal issues alone and indeed even McCoy has failed to make any significant inroad on that count.

Based on these observations, I had faith that time and space would allow Jim to unravel all that was going on inside him until he truly understood what he felt and what he wanted. All I could do was hope that he would want what I wanted. Meanwhile, I would wait for him to approach me.

*

With my staff briefing at 10:00, I went to the mess for breakfast before beginning my shift on the bridge. Because I had no idea what conclusion, if any, Jim had come to about last night, I identified a sense of ambivalence about facing him. I experienced a strange sensation in my stomach and after ascertaining it was not a health issue, logic dictated I accept that I was ‘nervous’. Indeed, on a number of occasions I had heard Humans describe this affliction as ‘butterflies’. I found my appetite lacking but nevertheless consumed an adequate meal before I left for duty.

As the turbolift ascended towards the bridge, I once again began to experience the unwanted sensation, but with a degree of concentration I was able to quell it with some measure of success before the doors opened. I was greeted by the Gamma shift communications officer who relayed a message for me that the Captain was busy but would see me at the 13:00 briefing. I experienced a surge of disappointment and paradoxically, relief. As the crew changed over, the helmsman formally passed me the conn.

The first meeting took place in my science department briefing room and focused primarily on the Alfa 177 expedition. From the information shared, it was by no means certain the survey would go ahead due to certain challenging conditions. Mr. Sulu had left a request to be put in charge of the landing party. It would be the Captain’s call. The remainder of the time until lunchtime was spent discussing potential areas for stellar mapping.

The 13:00 meeting took place in Briefing Room 2. I met Scott and Sulu at the door, coming from the opposite direction, so that we arrived simultaneously.

“Gentlemen,” the Captain acknowledged, already seated in his usual position. We took our seats and I maintained my usual Vulcan facade. When all invited personnel had arrived, the briefing went ahead and had I not been witness to the events between us 17.3 hours previously, I would not have deduced from Jim’s manner that anything out of the ordinary had taken place. A consummate professional.

The first issue I brought up was whether the survey should go ahead.

“Explain,” he asked, sitting back in his chair.

The way he was looking at me…I could not quite identify what the difference was, but it was as if he was regarding me for the first time. It was not obvious in that others would notice, but I could discern it. “We’ll be unable to use the shuttles, Captain, as the unusual properties of the most prevalent element on the planet – an unidentified magnetic ore – would interfere with the navigation systems. Were we to attempt its use, I estimate the probability of a malfunction at 84.3%.

“Transporters?”

“Operable Captain,” Scott confirmed. “Although Potemkin carried out a scanning survey only, they reportedly beamed up several items from the planet surface without incident.”

“Sir, Lt. Sulu has requested permission to head the landing party,” I added. Up to now, the Captain had not questioned his presence at the briefing. It was a sign of his implicit trust in me.

He smiled at the helmsman. “Very well, Lieutenant. It’ll be good development for you.”

Sulu returned the smile. “Thank you, Sir. It’ll be a great experience.”

The Captain asked if there were any other issues and I invited the meteorological technician to speak, briefing him on the planetary conditions. She explained that at its most temperate zone along the belt of its equator, the temperature at night falls to below that of Earth’s polar regions. This left us with a narrow band of time to work in.

We selected the site from a number of possibilities and discussed in detail how we would coordinate personnel and samples, what the potential hazards were from local flora and fauna and any other health and safety issues. I was impressed when Sulu made a number of useful suggestions, demonstrating he had spent time conducting research while off-shift.

“And here I was thinking this was going to be a walk in the park, Mr. Spock,” he said, amused. “We’re going to have to time this to the second to get everything done in that narrow window of time. Will you be going down?”

“Negative, Captain. I intend to continue scans from the ship.” I did not need to explain further. Jim knew I could run analyses as well as alter scan areas and parameters according to the data steam faster than any other crew member.

“Well, I’ll be going down for a short visit to see what all the fuss is about. Dismissed,” he smiled. “Except you, Spock, if I might have a word.” he added.

I felt the flutter reappear in my stomach.

He waited until the last person had left and the door had closed behind them. “I asked Bones to send me a basic report on your health this morning, from the check-up you had with him a few days ago. I know he cleared you for duty, but I needed to know…if you are in the clear from the Pon Farr. I gather your system hasn’t returned to normal yet.”

I considered requesting to see the report, but dismissed it – patient confidentiality meant it would contain only the most rudimentary information and I was already well aware of my body’s status. I understood the need for the report given my prior unpredictable behavior and was thankful Jim had honored his word and had kept it off the record.

We were now in the role of Captain and First Officer and it was important to demonstrate to Jim how the integrity of that relationship could be maintained and kept separate, even when there was more between us privately.

“Captain, the doctor is correct. However there exists now a negligible deviance in my hormone levels – I anticipate endocrinological homeostasis in 1.2 days.” I was aware how formal my voice sounded even to my own ears.

I could see him searching my face for something. I softened my voice as I added, “I can assure you I am perfectly well and more than capable of carrying out my duties, Sir.”

And then there was silence. I could hear Jim’s breathing, calm and measured. He looked tired, his face pale with dark circles under his eyes. Would he speak of what had taken place between us the previous night?

Apparently satisfied with my answer, he nodded once.

“If you’ll excuse me Captain, there is much to prepare.” He nodded his dismissal and I departed, leaving him alone in the briefing room. It was illogical to feel disappointed that he had not broached the subject. I was confident he would when he was ready.

The thought came to me that perhaps Jim had had other reasons for requesting McCoy’s report. It was possible that he could believe my participation in our sexual encounters had arisen from a need in me to mate in the aftermath of Pon Farr, rather than because it was what I desired, and that perhaps he had responded from a need in him to help a friend in a way he was willing and able. The words I had used the previous evening could be interpreted that way. The thought unsettled me, as it was yet another reason Jim could use to avoid further intimacy. I ruthlessly quashed a rising sense of fear at the thought and was gratified to find my ability to control was almost returned to normal. Despite the risk, I resolved to abide by my earlier decision and would not visit the gym that evening.

Chapter Text

The survey team was due to beam down the following morning at 08:34 ship’s time, when the sun had reached its zenith at the chosen survey site, and the ambient air temperature had had sufficient time to reach an acceptable level.

There was much to do in preparation, so alongside members of my team, I worked in the science lab until late into the night. I was aware when 19:00 came and went – Jim knew where I was but made no attempt to contact me. It was perhaps an indication that he was viewing our encounters as something purely physical. The thought brought forth an unnamed and uncomfortable emotion, which I then ignored in favor of concentrating on my work.

I didn’t see him again until the following morning when he visited me in the lab after beaming up from the planet surface. The survey had begun an hour earlier when I heard the door open behind me. “So this is where you’re hiding, Spock.”

I stood up from the scanner and turned to face him. “Sir?”

He came and stood close to me and I could smell his arousal. “I waited for you in the gym last night, Spock. You didn’t show up.”

“I was unaware…” He didn’t let me finish.

“Don’t give me that bullshit, Mister!” he yelled at me. “You knew damn well I’d be there. You’ve been avoiding me!”

He circled behind me and then suddenly grabbed me from behind, pushing his erection into me. “I waited for you. I wanted to give you some more of this, before it’s over. You like me to fuck you up the ass, Commander, don’t you?” His voice had dropped to little more than a whisper, for which I was grateful – this was not a conversation I would wish to be overheard.

I was appalled that my body betrayed me, as I became instantly hard. He knew I was responding.

“All that power, Spock, all that raw strength of yours…you could kill me if you wanted to with one hand, and here you are, mine to command.” His hand had been moving down my arm as he talked, and now he rubbed his palm over my erection. “I see you can still get it up.” He thrust himself suggestively against my buttocks and squeezed my engorged penis. “I can harness all that power when I hold this. Do you have any idea how much that thought turns me on, Spock?”

Yes, I did. And what he was doing to me sent fire through my veins.

“It’s a shame it’s going to end soon.” I felt his hot breath on my neck as he massaged the length of my shaft.

“End? Why end?” I felt a knot in the pit of my stomach.

“When the effects of your Pon Farr finish. I could get used to coming to you when I need a fuck.”

This power struggle was not what I wanted; I had made my decision and despite my body’s craving, I now needed to act on it. In one movement I released myself from his hold and pushed him hard against the bulkhead, temporarily winding him.

“I am capable of sex at any time, but I do not want it like this,” I said and left, not waiting for his dismissal.

As I made my way to the bridge, I brought my body back to normal and began to wonder at Jim’s openly aggressive behavior. There was no time to consider it now as we had only 3.8 hours left to complete the survey.

I continued scans from the bridge and had been working for fewer than nine minutes when McCoy urgently summoned me to sickbay. Jim had visited, behaving erratically and demanding brandy. Surely my rebuttal could not have affected him so profoundly. However, I could not tell the doctor what had happened, so I remained silent. While his outward aggression had been out of character, the Captain drinking while on duty was completely unheard of. I had no choice but to confront him and hoped he would not try to attack me again.

In his quarters, Jim’s state of semi-undress took me aback. But perhaps more so was his demeanor – as though he were another person. My surprise and confusion was evident and he appeared amused. With the time-critical schedule pressing, this was not the moment to have a protracted discussion regarding what had taken place between us in the lab, so I merely relayed McCoy’s concern. As he stood there with no shirt on, I found I could not take my eyes off him. His face looked different…younger…happier.

“Our good doctor's been putting you on again,” he said with a smile.

I felt as if I were in a dream where everything looked normal, yet was not. Jim changing from crazed to docile in the space of minutes, and McCoy, who knew the science team were working against the clock to get as much done as possible under challenging conditions, playing a practical joke on me.

“Well, in that case, if you'll excuse the intrusion, I'll get back to work.” I wanted to stay, but I knew there was still so much to be done and I had now been interrupted twice.

“I'll tell him you were properly annoyed,” Jim said, very evidently amused.

The temperature in his cabin had remained constant throughout this interchange. It was therefore illogical that I had begun to feel overly warm. I had almost reached the sensor to his door, when he whispered my name.

I turned and the sight that greeted me almost took my breath away. The look on Jim’s face was soft, tender and gentle. In that moment, I knew exactly what love looked like and Jim was aiming it at me.

I felt an aching response in my chest, a feeling that nothing mattered more than this man in my life. That if I were to expire in this moment, I would die happy, knowing I loved him and that my love was returned.

“Spock, there’s something I need to know. Can Vulcans mate outside of the Pon Farr?

I wondered how he had not understood what I had said to him earlier in the lab. For emphasis, I made my answer personal. “I am capable any time I wish, Jim.”

“Thank god,” he said with clear relief. “When you didn’t show up last night, I…I thought it was over. I thought you didn’t need me any more.” His voice cracked with emotion. “Oh Spock…” He held his arms open and without conscious volition, my feet took me back to him. It was testament to my continuing lack of control that I did not put duty first, as I should. Jim had no such excuse and while I was aware his behavior was highly irregular, I nevertheless acquiesced. In four steps we were together, his arms about my waist and mine about his shoulders, my hands caressing his cool skin as we held each other tightly. I could smell the pine and lemon scent of his soap from his recent shower.

“Jim,” I said quietly into his ear, almost a gasp. This was what I wished for from him, this gentleness, this peace together.

I felt his grip loosen and he pulled away a little. Then with one hand, he pulled my head towards his so that our lips brushed in the lightest of touches. A shock wave like electricity passed through my body at this gentle contact. Again he pulled back and I looked deep into his eyes as his hand caressed my face, his thumb following the line of one eyebrow, fingers tracing the curve of my ear from bottom to tip.

“You’re so beautiful Spock,” he whispered. “I’ve felt that since the first day I met you. But as I’ve gotten to know you, I realized that you have an inner beauty that’s unmatched, revering and respecting life in all its forms. You’re IDIC in motion and the people of Vulcan should be proud to count you among their number. I’m proud – proud to know you and to call you friend.”

IDIC – it was as if he had heard my thoughts from a few days previously. “Jim, I…”

He silenced me with a shush and his fingers on my lips. “No, don’t say anything. This moment is for you. I love you, Spock and I want…I need you to know how I feel. I’ve been too afraid to even admit it to myself until now.”

He then pulled me back into an embrace, our bodies once again molding together.

“I love you too, Jim,” I whispered in his ear, my voice coarse with the strength of the feeling surging through me. “You have become my life.” With my declaration, he held me tighter and feeling the stirrings of my arousal, I quelled it. We had much to discuss, not least about what had happened earlier. But it would have to wait. Just as I prepared to pull away to return to my work, the comm whistle sounded. Mr. Scott was requesting us to report to the transporter room urgently.

The moment I saw the two dogs, I was certain that the captain who had assaulted me in the lab was not the same as the one who had greeted me with such tenderness in his quarters. I should have questioned it more deeply at the time, but I had been blinded by…my feelings.

I was unable to say anything as I would have been obliged to explain in what way the Kirk who had visited me in the lab was different to the one standing beside me now. Not even this captain needed to hear how I had been assaulted, so I said nothing.

I was concerned about the ‘other’ Kirk wandering the ship. It was clear he was not bound by conscience or empathy – if he had attacked me, it was entirely possible he might attempt it with someone else. Yet illogically, I said nothing. Instead I focused my attention and energy into repairing the transporter in order to beam the landing party up before they froze to death.

The events began to unravel with an attack on Rand. I could no longer remain silent yet I felt a need to protect the Captain’s reputation. If his crew believed him capable of attempted rape, they would never trust him again. An idea formed and I spoke up for the first time.

“There is only one logical answer. We have an impostor aboard.”

It was a fight against time. On the planet, members of the landing party were in a critical condition, and it was becoming evident that the Captain’s split condition was weakening him both emotionally and physically. Without reintegration soon, he would die.

Scott and I worked on the transporter and believed we had made the necessary repairs. The time came to test it on the canine, but when it came back to us, it was reintegrated but dead. I was convinced it had died of shock. While Jim was willing to accept my theory, McCoy refused without evidence from an autopsy. We did not have the time.

“Don't risk your life on a theory!” McCoy said, frustrated at Jim and angry at the whole situation. He had never trusted transporter technology and this critical incident was bringing that fear to the surface.

The events over the past two weeks and the insights I had gained through much soul-searching were strikingly pertinent to our current situation.

“Being split in two halves is no theory with me, Doctor,” I explained, calmly. “I have a human half and an alien half at war with each other. Personal experience, Doctor,” I emphasized. “I survive because my intelligence wins, makes them live together.” And it was true. I had finally learned how to balance the two within. I turned to Jim, the next words not just for now, but for a future together. “Your intelligence would enable you to survive, as well.”

Jim accepted, he understood.

Later, when he and his double stood on the transporter, I felt my chest constrict. I had convinced him he would survive the shock of the unifying of his two halves. I had to believe it was true.

Jim looked at me. “Mr. Spock.”

“Captain?” My voice sounded calm, no sign of the inner turmoil in evidence.

“If this doesn't work...” He did not need to finish the sentence. If this fails, this would be the last time we would be together. I was grateful for the earlier moment in his cabin, for having had the opportunity to declare our love for each other.

“Understood, Captain.”

That illogical sensation that time had slowed almost to a dead halt; seconds and a lifetime and then he was back and whole. No time to revel, the landing party, in an advanced state of hypothermia, had to be brought aboard without delay.

With our transporters potentially inoperative, we were ordered to abandon our star-mapping assignment and proceed to Starbase 6.

*

That evening, at precisely 19:00 Jim entered the private gym cubicle we had been using. I was in uniform, kneeling on the deck in a semi-state of meditation.

“I thought I’d find you here,” he said, with a small smile. He appeared nervous.

“Indeed. It seemed…logical.”

He came and sat down on the mat in front of me. All I could do was drink him in as he spoke.

“This…” he waved his arm to encompass the small room, “isn’t the first place I’d pick for a romantic tryst, Mr. Spock. The observation deck maybe, or the hydroponic garden in botany…” his voice faltered. “You told me today you love me, but I guess I’m still making a big assumption here…”

“You would not be in error Jim, ” I affirmed, allowing a small smile.

I watched as the tension left his body and a broad smile lit his face and his eyes. Then he became serious. “I don’t deserve you.”

“I might say the same were such a statement not illogical. It’s not a matter of deserving; I choose you for who you are. I assume you do the same.”

“But who I am is an asshole!” He ran his fingers nervously through his hair. “I nearly raped my yeoman! Hell, I came close to raping you.” He shook his head as though he still couldn’t believe it. “I’m so sorry, Spock.”

“Jim, you were no more responsible for the events today than I was responsible for the events on Vulcan.” And it was true. At some level within me, I had reached acceptance and now it was Jim’s turn.

“I have an animal inside me, Spock. And God knows you’ve seen it over the last week. Today I saw it for what it is and I…hated it…hated that it’s a part of me.”

“As we came to understand, it is an important part of you,” I pointed out mildly.

“For command.”

“And more…” I said with emphasis.

He picked it up. “More?”

“Jim, how much do you remember of today? Have you integrated the two memory strands?”

“I think so. It’s disorientating because there isn’t the usual continuity of one event leading to another – it kind of jumps about from one place to the next and I’m not sure what order everything happened in, in the end.”

“You recall I came to your quarters. We kissed.”

“Yes,” he said with a smile. “Yes, I remember that.”

“We embraced and we spoke of our love for each other. The touch of your lips lit a fire within me, but it had no such effect on you, Jim. There was no…passion in you.”

I could see him processing that information. “My negative…animal side drives my passion…my… instinct to mate.”

“Indeed. And in our encounters, it has dominated to the exclusion of that other half of you, the compassionate half.” Before he could chastise himself, as I knew he would, I added, “I was complicit in that, Jim. I had a choice.”

“I don’t understand why I was like that with you…I’ve never been that way with female partners.”

“Jim, when did you realize you were attracted to me?”

Jim looked down, embarrassed. “I still hadn’t admitted it when we had sex in here. I made out to myself that I was helping you out…in lieu of a honeymoon. I’m not sure why I was in denial about how I was feeling, why I was scared to face it. I guess I was thinking as long as it was about you and was purely physical, it couldn’t harm our friendship, but feelings kind of complicate matters. You know what Napoleon used to say?”

“He said many things, Jim.” I was puzzled by his non-sequitur.

“Well one of the things he said – bearing in mind he spent most of his life with his army waging wars on various of his neighbors – was, ‘In the dark, all cats are gray’. That’s like saying, it’s all right to have sex with a man…a comrade in arms, when the need arises. That’s what I thought I was doing, helping you out with the aftermath of your Pon Farr. I thought once it was over, that would be it and we’d go back to just being friends. And don’t look like that!” he said when I raised an eyebrow. “I’ve stayed friends with a lot of women I’ve slept with! But, then today happened, and I realized that I was meeting needs of my own as much as I thought I was helping you out.”

Jim described how when the two halves of him split, it had separated love and lust. With his dominant, aggressive side no longer there, he was able to recognize aspects of what he shared with me that the other half had buried.
He was able to accept that what he felt for me was love.

Meanwhile, the dominant, aggressive half had learned that I was capable of sex outside of Pon Farr. Once Jim had reintegrated, the possibility that he and I could potentially continue our liaison had caused arousal in him, forcing him to question his previous motivation as perhaps not being entirely purely altruistic. In addition, he was still able to acknowledge the love he felt for me.

He nodded. “So where does that leave us? What are you after?” he asked me quietly.

“I wish to have a relationship with you that is balanced. As I balance the Human and Vulcan in me, and you balance the light and dark in you, our relationship can be a blend of those and a balance between our work and our private time. I ask no commitment of you at this time. But what is it you want, Jim?” I searched his face, seeking an answer before he spoke.

“I want what you’ve just described, Spock. But I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep. I don’t know if I can always be balanced. Sometimes I’m going to be a jerk. Sometimes I’m going to work so hard or work you so hard there’ll be no private time. Sometimes,” he looked down and I noticed color suffuse his face. “Sometimes…I’m going to just want hot sex and to fuck you into tomorrow.”

He looked up to gauge my reaction and I allowed a small smile. “As long as you are willing to reciprocate on occasion,” I responded.

He chuckled, looking relieved. He talked of his commitment to Starfleet and to the ship and his inability to form lasting meaningful relationships. “I’ve never been able to figure out what it is I’m looking for. It’s ironic, Spock, that I can easily promise you the stars, but I don’t know if I can promise me.”

“Then let us make no such promises and take each day as it comes,” I suggested.

“I’ll go with that. Now that we’ve been ordered to Starbase 6 for repairs, how about we take some R&R together? Scotty’s going to want to do a complete overhaul of the transporter, so we should get at least a few days layover.”

“That would be…” As if some magnetic force compelled us, we moved together until our faces were centimeters apart and I could feel his breath on my face. “Jim.”

“Mmmm?”

“I would prefer…”

“…if we went somewhere more comfortable…”

“…and private.” I finished.

Chapter Text

My heart rate had accelerated – apparently it was becoming a chronic condition whenever around Jim – and I was surrounded by his heady, musky scent. I stood up but didn’t dare help him up. I was certain that were I to have any physical contact with him, all control would be lost. As we walked to the door, he too, kept his distance.

“My place or yours, Spock?” he asked in the turbolift.

I looked at him. “You are nervous,” I realized with a sense of wonder.

“A bit. Actually, a lot.”

“As am I,” I admitted.

As the doors slid open at our deck, two crewmen waiting for the elevator were witness to the Captain emerging, laughing and his First Officer with his ‘Vulcan mask’ firmly in place. As we walked down the corridor, each time Jim looked at me, he began to laugh again.

“Mine,” I said in response to his earlier question when we reached the door to my quarters.

Once inside, the doors shut and we stood looking at each other. I could see Jim was clearly exerting as much control over himself as I was over my own errant body.

“You know, the chances are pretty high that one or the other of us is going to get interrupted this early in the evening,” Jim pointed out.

“You suggest we wait?” I asked, disbelief clear in my voice. I was uncertain whether I could.

“Or we could…take the edge off things until later,” he suggested.

A number of ideas sprang to mind and I smiled. I stepped forward and cupping his face in my hands, I leaned down and brushed my lips over his. Through my hands, I felt him tremor and repeated the action, pressing a little harder. Our lips moved, gently touching and caressing at first, but the kiss became harder, and then I felt his tongue lick along my lips, sending tingling sensations through me that centered in my groin. When my tongue touched his, he groaned and, closing the distance between us, he pressed himself against me.

We were both already fully aroused and he swayed his hips so that our erections brushed tantalizingly as our mouths made love. His hands gripped my buttocks, massaging while my hands played with his hair, his ears, his neck. The two of us together, sharing this intimacy, felt so right, as if it had been destined.

Suddenly he pulled his mouth away and pulled out of my embrace. “I’m so turned on, I’m on the verge of coming just from kissing,” he explained between gasps. His face was flushed, pupils dilated and he looked…wanton.

I knelt down in front of him and reached for the clasp of his pants.

“Spock?”

I managed to maneuver his pants and briefs down enough for him to spring free only centimeters from my face. “Did you not suggest a ‘quickie’, Jim?”

“A quickie…oh god it’s such a turn-on when you talk like that!”

His musk surrounded me and I watched, fascinated, as a pearl of fluid seeped from the small slit. I licked it away and my taste buds discerned both bitter and salt. Above me, Jim gasped and held onto my head.

I leaned forward and swirled my tongue over the corona, before taking it whole into my mouth. I was about to reach for the shaft when Jim unexpectedly exploded in my mouth, so I sucked as each pulse sent forth more liquid, taking it all greedily in.

“Ohgodohgodohgod…”

To be able to do this for Jim, to be the source of such pleasure for him was most gratifying. I turned my attention to his ejaculate, which had been a unique consistency and I found myself mentally identifying the elements of the taste which encompassed a flavor of his musk, together with salt and iron and…

“Stop sucking, Spock! It’s too much!” he said hoarsely, interrupting my analysis. Perhaps now was not the time. I pulled away and looked up.

“Sorry, it gets hypersensitive after I come. Do you have any idea what a turn-on it was to see you do that, Spock? When you licked me, I thought I was going to faint.”

“I am pleased you did not, as I require…attention.” I stood up and Jim started to put himself away, but I stayed his hand. Leaning forward, I kissed him again, aware that he would taste himself on me. The thought was arousing.

As our tongues played together, his hands were working on the front of my trousers, his fingers occasionally brushing me. Then he was reaching inside my briefs and gripping me, and I gasped into his mouth.

He pulled away from the kiss. “Your turn,” he said, and knelt on the deck in front of me. He had pulled my penis out of its confines so that it pointed directly at his face. Then, holding my gaze, in a mirror of what I had done, his tongue licked at the tip of me. The sight of him in that position before me, with his own half-erect penis hanging shamelessly from the front of his trousers, together with the intense sensation of his touch almost caused me to…come right there and then. I carded his hair with my fingers, the strands soft to my touch.

“What do you want me to do, Spock?” he asked, his cool breath washing over the head of my penis. I knew what he wanted to hear.

“I want you…to suck my cock until I come.” My voice sounded impossibly deep – I was so aroused I could barely speak.

“Yes, oh yes…” and leaning fractionally forward, he obliged. Gripping the shaft, his mouth plunged down on me, and I was surrounded by a sweet, hot wetness sending me to a place that was beyond my ability to control.

As he sucked I felt him gently take my testicles into his hand and roll them, adding to the barrage of sensations that rocked my already over-sensitized body. I felt the orgasm starting deep inside and radiating out, filling my whole being. And then I exploded and my world seemed to white out, as if the sensation had been too great and my system had been unable to cope with any more. I opened my eyes, which I had not realized I had closed and looked down to see Jim looking at me…lustfully.

He stood up and we pulled together, sharing more deep, languorous kisses, our…cocks…kissing. I had never tasted myself before and I noticed the flavor was different, more bitter, less salt…and something else.

Our passionate kissing lasted for several minutes before Jim pulled away, panting, his face flushed and perspiration ran from his temples. “Spock, if we carry on like this, I’m not going to be able to stop.”

I watched as he put himself away, having difficulty adjusting his semi-hardness into the confines of his uniform trousers. I discovered I had a similar challenge.

Knowing that control for us both was tenuous, but not wishing to lose all contact, Jim took my left hand and held it, examining it with his own fingers. I remained silent as his touch sent strong sensations through me and as I picked up stray thoughts and emotions through my fingertips, I found myself longing to touch him more deeply, to initiate a full meld.

“Do you have any idea how erotic that was?” he asked me. “I mean, to watch you – you’re always so in control, so private and mysterious – kneeling in front of me, sucking my cock?” He shook his head as though he still could not believe it and smiled ruefully. “It’s no wonder I only lasted five seconds. And then, for me to do the same for you, to have your cock in my mouth, it was as if I could taste your power and your alienness, and…to know I’m the source of your arousal, that you’re like that because of and for me. In the moment that you came, I felt so alive. Does that make sense?”

“I felt much the same – the juxtaposition of what we were sharing and who I was sharing it with. It will take time to grow accustomed to this shift in our relationship.”

“Right now, I want to stay here alone with you,” he admitted. “But I just know this early in the evening, we’ll get disturbed by someone needing something or wanting something done and that would frustrate the hell out of me. So what do you say we go get something to eat? At least we’ll have to keep our hands off each other while we’re in public.”

I concurred.

He stepped back away from me. “How do I look?”

I regarded Jim for a moment so that I could provide him with an accurate appraisal. He looked relaxed and happy. “You look beautiful,” I replied truthfully.

He smiled. “I mean am I fit to be seen in public Spock? Here…” and he reached up and played with my hair. “Just straightening you up,” he explained.

“You would pass muster,” I replied. Stepping forward I gave in to the urge to kiss him and he immediately responded as our arms went about each other. It was in danger of turning into more, so I pulled away. “It appears,” I explained, “that I cannot get enough of you – my ability to control myself where you are concerned is deplorable.”

Jim pulled his tunic down and then headed to the door. Over his shoulder he said, “As long as you confine those urges to either of our quarters or…”

“Or?” I asked as we turned into the corridor.

“…Or maybe the odd jeffries tube!”

As we rode to the main mess, I pressed him to reveal if he ever had, and he denied it. Given his willingness to pursue sexual activities in a gym cubicle, I found myself in doubt. He laughed and looked at me, and there was such love in his eyes. In the privacy of the turbolift, I gave in to a need to touch him by placing my hand over his heart for a moment, feeling it beating beneath my palm. I wondered in that moment how I had come to have such a special man enter my life and turn it so thoroughly on its head.

“Jim,” I said as the doors opened. “May I respectfully suggest if you wish to keep this private, that you cease regarding me in that way.”

“I could say the same of you!” he countered, and I wondered in what way my expression had deviated from normal.

As if he had switched off a light, it was gone and he was once again my commanding officer. My own Vulcan control came easily to me.

The mess hall was busy and as soon as we entered, McCoy waved us over. Evidently he had just sat down. Waiting in line at the replicators, Jim admitted in a quiet voice that he was not particularly hungry. So it was when the two of us sat down opposite McCoy, he looked at Jim’s plate with suspicion.

“What?” Jim asked. “You’re always trying to get me to eat more salad.”

“Doesn’t mean you actually do it though,” McCoy countered. “Are you still feeling the effects of the reintegration?”

McCoy’s voice held concern. As soon as he had stabilized the various members of the landing party, the doctor had been adamant that Jim report to sickbay for tests and had spent over an hour with him.

“I’m fine, Bones. Honestly. What did your tests show?”

“That you’re as fit as a fiddle,” he scowled.

Very subtly, I felt Jim move his leg so that his thigh pressed against mine.

A young engineering tech approached our table. “Sorry to disturb you, Captain. Mr. Scott requests you sign this requisition as he wants to send it ahead of our arrival at Starbase 6.”

He handed Jim a padd and the Captain began to laugh. “Looks like you’ll get that R&R you wanted, Bones.” He handed the padd to me and our fingers brushed as I took it.

The top item on the list of replacements was for a warning beacon as we had deployed one in orbit about Alfa 177 to warn others of the danger of using transporters. I could see what had amused Jim and began to read the list aloud. “One feinberg compensator, two autosequencers, one energizing coil, one quantum resonance oscillator, one targeting scanner…” I stopped partway down and looked at the Captain with one eyebrow raised. “Is Mr. Scott intending to construct a new transporter from scratch, Captain?” I handed him back the padd and again our fingers caressed.

Jim smiled. “Looks like he’s not going to take any chances that we have a repeat of what happened today. At any rate, the Starbase won’t have all that in store, so we’ll just have to wait until all the spare parts arrive.” He appended his signature and handed the padd back to the tech. “Tell Mr. Scott I appreciate his…attention to detail and hope that any delay at the Starbase won’t be too onerous for him.”

“Aye aye, sir!” the tech replied with a broad smile.

McCoy smiled too and waved his fork in the air. “Well there’ll certainly be plenty there for you and me to do…”

“Let’s see how long we’re going to be there before we plan anything,” Jim suggested.

McCoy nodded and changed the subject. “Have you been to your quarters in the last hour?”

“No, I’ve been with Spock, why?” I felt his leg momentarily press harder against mine.

Having ceased eating during the performance, I found myself instantly fascinated by several spinach leaves I was attempting to spear with my fork. Standard is such a rich and versatile language. The words ‘I’ve been with’, I realized, had a number of connotations.

“So you won’t have seen the transfer request, then.” McCoy sighed and explained, “I’ve already put my signature to it. It’s Janice Rand. She wants to get off at Starbase 6. Can’t say as I blame her.”

“Doctor!” The word was out before I could stop it. Beside me I felt Jim’s withdrawal. “The Captain cannot be held accountable for the events today.”

“Don’t get on your high horse, Spock. That’s not what I meant. Stop and think about it. Intellectually, Janice knows it’s not Jim’s fault and that’s why she’s not pressing charges. But emotionally, every time she looks at him…”

“…she’ll remember the assault, because he looked like me…he’s a part of me.” Jim finished.

“I’m sorry,” said McCoy. “Just so as you know, I’ve unofficially released her from all duties that involve interaction with you.”

“Why unofficially?” Jim asked.

“If I did it on psychological grounds, it’d go on her record and she doesn’t want that. I think she knows she’s not cut out for these five year missions, but she wants to stay in Starfleet. When we write this up, it’s going to show that the other Kirk attacked her, but not in what way.”

Jim nodded. “She carried out her duties to the highest standards – she was always very efficient. I’ll see to it that Rand goes with a glowing report.”

“To be honest,” McCoy responded, “even without what happened today, we all know she was infatuated with you and as you’ve never fraternized with crew, it was always going to be unrequited – that’s not a healthy place to be.”

Jim’s non-fraternization rule had apparently ended a few days earlier and as the color rose in his cheeks, it was his turn to find sudden interest in his food, filling his mouth so he would not have to respond.

McCoy misinterpreted Jim’s absorption as moroseness. “Look, why don’t you make your next yeoman a male one. No chance of any infatuation then as you don’t go for males and everyone knows it.”

McCoy’s pounding on Jim’s back brought a pinenut flying out of his mouth. The doctor studied his puce, tear-streaked face. “Careful there, Jim. I’ve been telling everyone how healthy salads are. I can’t have the Captain dying from eating one!” He picked up his tray. “I’ve got some frost-bitten patients to see to, I’ll catch you later.” Jim, still unable to talk from coughing, nodded and waved him off.

I did not like the thought of Jim and McCoy carousing at the Starbase. When the coughing had almost stopped, I asked him quietly to ensure we would not be overheard, “When do you plan to tell him?”

“To be honest, I hadn’t thought that far ahead, but his plans on this layover may force my hand,” Jim responded in an equally low tone. The comment was reassuring. “Can you imagine me having to tell him I’m not going to be visiting all the regular nightspots with him because I’ll be busy holed up in a nice luxury hotel with my sexy Vulcan lover for a few days!” He was clearly amused by the notion.

“Yet you will have to tell him. Even were you to find a means to avoid joining him while at the Starbase, the doctor will discover at my next physical that I have participated in anal intercourse for the first time.”

“I knew that,” he replied. “I’d just forgotten. And it’ll be the same for me.”

The acknowledgement sent a frisson of lust through me. I chose to respond in a manner I knew would incite him. “You intend to allow me to…fuck you?” I cocked my head slightly to one side, raised an eyebrow and gave him one of the ‘almost smiles’ that I was comfortable showing in public.

Twenty seconds later, Jim was propelling me down the corridor in a most unseemly way. Apparently that look had always got to him, and only now did he understand its full import. When coupled with my words, he had been unable to control a swift physical reaction.

As soon as the door to his quarters closed, we were in each others’ arms. Jim was an inventive kisser, alternating light nibbles and sucks with deeper, more fervent tonguing. His hands, which had been kneading my buttocks, began to move and at that point I pulled away from his embrace. It was not a simple matter, as every cell of my being wanted to fall back towards him as though they belonged in his orbit.

“I fear we will soon reach a point of no return…” I said, a little breathlessly.

“And..?” he asked, puzzled. His face glowed and his lips looked…thoroughly kissed.

“You have already had to deal with Mr. Scott’s requisition request. To avoid the possibility of further interruptions, as your First Officer, I advise you to ensure all ship’s business has been dealt with before we proceed…to other things.”

“Good advice, lousy timing.” Jim was actively pouting.

Aside from Rand’s transfer request, there were, in fact, a number of items that required immediate responses, including a dinner invitation from Commodore Enwright on Starbase 6. I was accused of looking smug. While he worked his way down the list, I stood behind him and massaged his shoulders, causing him to make appreciative noises.

“There’s one for you, Spock.” From behind him, I bent down to read the screen and allowed my arms to fall over his chest, effectively enveloping him. It was a note from the Starbase head of sciences saying her geologists wished to analyze particles from Alfa 177 to ascertain which property had caused the transporter malfunction. I could see the potential for sabotage if it got into the wrong hands. This went some way to explaining why we had been immediately ordered away from proceeding on to our star-mapping assignment.

Jim twisted in my arms. “I could get used to this: massages and hugs while working.”

“Will we be able to effectively separate our work and private life?” I asked him, none too sure of the answer, having been unable to exert much control all evening.

“Yes. Because we’re both too professional to let our personal life get in the way of our duty.” What he said was true. Today had been something of a test, though in truth we had no other option since both of us had known that Jim’s reintegration could have ended in his death.

“It’s new to us right now, Spock, so we’re having a hard time keeping our hands off each other, but that urgency will die down…but not too much, I hope!” he added with a lascivious look.

Given its proximity to my mouth, it seemed natural to use my tongue to explore Jim’s left ear and I felt him shiver at my attentions. There were many intriguing curves and folds and I discovered different areas elicited different types of vocal responses – it was clearly an erogenous zone for him. Fascinating.

Jim, feeling at a disadvantage because he was unable to reciprocate, called a halt.

A few minutes later, he had turned the lights to a low level and we stood face to face beside his bed. “I know we’ve seen each other naked but…humor me.”

I gave him ‘that look’ again.

“Behave,” Jim said affectionately and reached up to unfasten my tunic, pulling it over my head. Next came the black undershirt. “Dear god Spock,” he asked when faced with my silk thermals. “How many layers are you wearing?”

“There is a disparity of eight point four degrees Celsius between what Earth Humans and Vulcans regards as a comfortable temperature,” I explained mildly.

“Then I shall consider it my duty to keep you as warm as possible, Commander.”

With that, he removed the final layer and exposed my chest. I refrained from pointing out that the removal of my clothes would hardly assist him in this endeavor, though I did raise an eyebrow and his answering grin told me he had understood my thinking.

Placing his hands gently on my shoulders, he then ran them down and up my arms, causing the hairs in their path to stand on end. I was also fully erect and uncomfortable within the confines of my uniform pants. As Jim’s hands continued to play patterns across my chest, fingers running through the hairs, I watched his face, fully absorbed in what he was doing…I had never before been the focus of such attention from him and I felt a surge of…love?

A sudden burst of sensation and all thought fled. Jim had seen my reaction and smiled. He repeated the action with his thumb and index finger, pulling gently on my right nipple and I shuddered as a flash of pleasure coursed through me. He repeated it with both nipples and I gasped aloud. A moment before he made contact, I realized what he was about to do and closing my eyes, braced my body. His mouth was warm and wet as it encased the areola. I felt his tongue play with the nub and I blindly searched for support from him, clasping his shoulders as I shuddered. When he sucked, I was undone.

“Too much?” he asked with a smile, as I opened my eyes. He was standing back from me, giving me space, while I struggled to regain my breath.

“I was unaware…”

Jim nodded. “Well, you can always play with me for a while, while you calm down,” he suggested and spread his arms invitingly.

I closed the distance between us and kissed him hard, allowing my passion full rein. Since he had too many clothes on, I removed his shirt, thankful it was the only layer. We kissed as my fingers danced over his cool skin, feeling the contours created by muscle and bone. When I alighted upon his nipples, I was disappointed there was little sensation there for him.

Jim gently pushed me away and proceeded to remove his boots, socks and pants before kneeling on the deck and doing the same for me. He ran his hands up the outer side of my legs, going against the direction of hair growth.

“Your muscles are rock solid,” he commented, squeezing one thigh.

My patience was wearing thin. “They are not the only thing that is rock solid,” I said pointedly.

He looked up at me, his eyes wide in an attempt to create an air of innocence, but I could see he was holding back laughter. Indeed, given that my erection, only just contained by the thin fabric of my briefs, was but a few centimeters from his face, I knew it for the artifice that it was.

Unexpectedly, he pushed his face into my groin and inhaled deeply. “Do you know how good you smell?” he asked with a muffled voice.

No doubt it was a combination of the toiletries I had used when showering immediately before meeting him, and my own natural aroma, enhanced by my sexual excitement. One day soon, I thought, I would tell him of my experiences with the scent of his arousal and how it had led me to be sharing this moment with him now.

His face pressed against my erection was almost too much and it jumped. He pulled his face away and smiled up at me, but his expression had changed to one of clear arousal. I was fast losing control. Before I knew it I had lifted him onto the bed and was pulling down his briefs. I then removed mine and straddled him and at that point, became aware of how narrow the bed was. It was certainly not designed for two.

Jim watched me quietly as I sat back on my haunches and surveyed his body. I felt as a beggar might when offered a feast – I wanted it all but had no idea where to begin. I moved further up the bed and leaned down to take his mouth with mine. When I felt his arms move to hold me, I gently pushed them back to his sides. I sucked avidly on his lips and tongue and then moved down to focus attention on his right ear, sucking the lobe and immediately getting both a vocal and physical response as his body bucked. His nipples may not be an erogenous zone, but his ears clearly were.

“Spock, you’re driving me insane,” he said between clenched teeth.

Sitting back up, I gazed at the masculine beauty of my lover, heightened by the flush of arousal and a fine sheen of perspiration on his face and chest.

I mapped Jim’s face with my fingers, smoothing the lines of his forehead, gently running my thumbs outward along each brow and following the lines of his cheekbones down to his jaw. Through my sensitized fingers I could feel Jim’s aura, like a veil of electricity surrounding him, thrumming with life, although I was careful to keep my telepathic shields up so that I did not tap into Jim’s psionic energy.

With my left hand, I followed the line of the carotid artery down his neck until I reached the pulse point, pausing to feel its animated beating.

“Your heart-rate is somewhat elevated, Jim,” I noted.

“No kidding,” he responded, affection in his voice.

I swept along the line of his collar bones and down his bare chest, pausing to manipulate his nipples into arousal, with no success. I fanned my fingers out across his chest, and felt his rib cage expand and contract with his heavy breathing. At his heart, the auric energy was stronger, making my fingers tingle.

“What are you doing – when you touch me like that?”

“What do you feel?” I asked, curious.

“I can’t really describe it – a sensation…it’s calming but arousing at the same time.”

“You are aware Vulcans are hand-oriented people,” I explained. “My fingers at this moment are ultra-sensitized and even with my telepathic shield in place, I can feel your life energy around you. This is an intimate act – when I touch you in this manner it’s as erotic for me as a kiss is for you.”

Jim brought my left hand to his mouth and sucked in my index finger experimentally. The sensation was so immediate and intense it took all my control to avoid crying out. He stopped, realizing I found the sensation too great.

I lay down along the length of Jim, trapping our erections between us, our bodies undulating together as we kissed deeply.

“My turn, Mister,” he said after a few minutes, shifting his weight from under me. It took careful maneuvering on the narrow cot to reverse our positions.

Jim appeared to be as fascinated by my ears as I was with his, touching them with both fingers and tongue, and gratified to discover, from my reactions to his caresses, that they are as sensitive as his. Where I used my fingers, he used his mouth to learn and catalogue regions of my body. It was with a sense of trepidation, given my earlier physical reaction, that I noticed he had begun to move down my chest towards my nipples.

He fastened on one like a limpet and used the tip of his tongue to tease it erect. I gasped and held onto the side of the bed as each touch sent a wave of shocking sensation through my body. Moving to the other, he gave it similar attention.

He pushed himself up to look at me for a moment. “Do you think if I sucked your nipples I could make you come?”

“Yes.” There was no doubt in my mind.

“Not this time,” he said and bent to trail his tongue down my stomach, before languidly swirling it over the corona of my penis, which was lying flat across my abdomen. I gasped. His tongue continued its journey down the shaft to my testicles and then he engulfed one with his mouth, gentle sucking and rolling it within the scrotum before moving to the other. The area being so sensitive, the feeling wavered between pleasure and pain. I widened my legs instinctively, which he took as an invitation and began to lick along my perineum, pushing with the flat of his tongue. It was taking all my control not to grab hold of my penis and stimulate myself.

I pulled my legs up and Jim began to rim my anus, alternating between using the flat and tip of his tongue to create different sensations that shot through my groin and radiated out along my abdomen.

He then travelled back up again and shifting his position, pulled my penis away from my abdomen and engulfed it with his mouth. My body was, at this point, so sensitized that it was almost overloaded.

“Stop!” I gasped.

Jim immediately obliged and sat back on his haunches while I calmed my breathing. I opened my eyes to find Jim pleasuring himself.

He was kneeling between my legs, the low light from the room highlighting his hair and glinting off his body, the muscled contours shaped by shadow and light. He held his shaft in his fist, moving it up the length and over the glans, and back again, his other hand fondling his testicles, all the while watching my face closely. Occasionally a drop of fluid would appear and he would pause to rub his thumb in it and spread it around the crown so that it glistened. The sight was intensely erotic, not least because seeing my Captain in such circumstances was so novel.

“I want you to fuck me, Spock. Fuck me into tomorrow.”

I sat up, allowing my legs to fall either side of the bed, leaned forward and took his penis into my mouth, putting my hand over his fist. I ran my tongue around the spongy crown, dipping into the slit and lapping at the frenulum, breathing deeply of his musk.

“I want to come when you’re inside me,” he said. “You’ll find some lube in the cabinet beside the bed.”

I reluctantly pulled away and found what I was looking for. Jim had moved to lie back down on the bed, on his back.

“I want to see you when you come in me,” he added.

I knelt on the bed between Jim’s legs and using the oil, first prepared myself and then I gently prepared him. Each insertion of my fingers caused his penis to jump and I wondered how long he would last once I was inside him. When he was ready, he pulled his legs back and I moved into position. The initial entry was tight – almost painful – and I asked Jim to tell me immediately if I was causing him discomfort.

After a minute, I was fully sheathed and tightly gripped along my entire length. I withdrew partway experimentally and had less difficulty doing so than I had anticipated. I began to thrust slowly, each movement causing bolts of pleasure to radiate throughout my body. Jim gripped himself and pumped to the rhythm of my thrusts.

“If you meld us…will we feel each other?” he asked between gasps.

Incapable of speaking, I nodded.

“Then…do it. I want to feel it.”

I ceased all movement.

“Jim, our minds are highly compatible and should we meld, there is a danger that a link may form between us not unlike the one I shared with T’Pring.”

“I’ll take that risk.”

“You are certain?”

“Just do it!” Kirk said impatiently, grabbing my hand and pulling it towards his face. I breathed deeply and then placed my fingers on the points, thankful that the intimacy we were already sharing would preclude the need to include the formal words of preparation.

Jim’s dynamic personality almost exploded into my mind and after orienting myself, I experienced a momentary sense of vertigo coming from him, as his brain attempted to make sense of two sets of data – his experience and my experience of our lovemaking – and then there was a shift and our minds flowed together like the confluence of two great rivers, side by side but no longer a discernable difference.

I began to thrust and I felt the stimuli from my body as I filled him and the stimuli from his body of being filled by me. I felt his wonder and his love for me and I felt his lust and an aspect of his arousal that centered around his fascination for being the source of my loss of control, the intimacy with someone he viewed as normally so detached and private and untouchable. I thrust into him again and again, holding his gaze as the images of the meld ricocheted back and forth between us.

He started to say my name over and over and I could feel through the meld that he was close, that he was trying valiantly to hold on to the last vestige of control, that he had let go of his penis to delay the inevitable; but through the meld he continued to feel my arousal and above him my face was contorted with lust as I pounded into him and each time I did, I touched his prostate which sent him nearer the edge, which in turn fed a fire that had taken hold in me. I saw him take himself in one hand and begin to pump hard and frantically, while the other hand reached out and took hold of one of my nipples and that was the point at which I exploded into incandescent light that fused us together as I poured myself into him and he took me into himself.

“Ohmygod! That was…indescribable,” Jim said in wonder. He grunted and added, “Can you shift your weight?”

My breathing still labored, I gently pulled myself from him and watched as he stretched out his legs and we moved to lie side by side, facing each other. It was several minutes before we got our breathing under control.

Jim leaned forward and kissed me lightly as his hand played in my hair. “I feel…fucked!”

“As do I,” I said, which made him laugh.

Then his face became serious. “I love you, Spock – god knows it’s taken me until now to realize what I’ve been feeling for a while.”

“And I love you, Jim. The Vulcan part of me knows the logic of it and the Human part of me feels its truth.”

We lay there for several more minutes in contented and companionable silence until we were forced to acknowledge more practical issues.

“I need to clean up,” Jim said and winced as he began to move off the bed.

I nodded and watched as he stiffly walked across the room and into the bathroom. When a few minutes later, I heard the shower start, I went to join him.

I generally prefer sonics, but I found the shower invigorating as the water pounded my sensitized skin. After cleansing, we were too drained to take advantage of the potential eroticism of a shared shower, so we did no more than share a token kiss before stepping out.

“Do you think either of us will get any sleep if we share that bed?” Jim asked when we reached it.

I was unsure if he needed some space. “Would you prefer if I returned to my quarters for the night?”

“No, absolutely not. I’d rather sleep on the floor than…Spock, I have an idea!”

Several minutes later I found myself wondering just how far I would go for this man, as I carried my mattress through our shared bathroom and into his room to lie it next to the one he had pulled off his bed. It was, in fact, a most efficient compromise, as I was able to add several more blankets to ‘my side’ of the bed.

After ordering the lights off, we shared a few gentle kisses and then moved to lie ‘spoon fashion’ with my chest to Jim’s back. I knew he was exhausted from a lack of sleep that had gone back several days. Although it was only just after 23:00 I felt him rapidly fall into a deep sleep.

With the feel of Jim close to me and engulfed in an utter sense of peace, I allowed the cloak of sleep to enfold me in its darkness.

Chapter Text

I came to awareness with a most pleasurable sensation – Jim was beneath the sheets diligently applying himself orally to my penis. Such was my distraction that it took me several seconds to access my timesense and determine that it was 05:06. With the knowledge that we yet had an hour and a half before we would be obliged to prepare for the day, I relaxed.

“Jim.”

“Mmmm?” I felt his response vibrate along the length of my shaft.

Commanding the lights to twenty percent I called him again and this time he appeared, his hair awry and a mischievous look on his face. Lying on top of me, he kissed me thoroughly, and I discovered, that tasting the tang in his mouth of what I had come to recognize as me, was curiously erotic. I felt his erection slide against mine, so I pulled his hips closer to increase the friction as we undulated together.

After some minutes had passed Jim pulled away and looked at me, and I could clearly see his need. “It would appear, Captain, that we both could do with …”

“…a good blow-job?”

“Indeed, colorfully put, but nevertheless accurate,” I responded with a small smile.

Pushing the blankets away, Jim maneuvered us into what he described as the sixty nine position, which transpired to be a most efficient method of mutual gratification.

I ventured the thought that Jim’s taste could become addictive as I used my tongue to explore the different surfaces and textures of his penis. I noted the actions that brought the greatest responses and then alternated between them, adding caresses and strokes of his scrotum to increase sensation. Then, experimentally I took the entire shaft into my mouth until my lips were touching his pubic hair and I inhaled a concentrated version of his heady aroma. I found it possible to hold this position and employ the same mechanics used for swallowing to massage the corona.

Jim froze and looked up. “Oh dear god Spock, that’s…” He was unable to complete the sentence as he came down my throat. He told me later it had not been purely the sensation of what was being done to him, but also the erotic vision of who was doing it, that had brought about his thorough loss of control.

When his orgasm had ended, mindful of the oversensitivity he felt after ejaculation, I gently withdrew, keeping my lips firmly in contact with the shaft so that no drop of his precious semen would be spilled.

Jim got up and knelt between my legs, telling me to lie back on the pillow and ‘enjoy’. Pulling my erection away from my stomach I watched as his mouth engulfed me.

In the time I have known Jim, I have observed how, in the face of a challenge or situation, he applies himself with singular focus. To find myself the object of that intensity, specifically while he was diligently applying his mouth to my penis and creating the most exquisite sensations, was incredible.

I was rapidly discovering that there was an astonishing eroticism in simply watching Jim pleasure me which, when added to the sensations his actions caused, shattered my ability to control. I found myself sympathizing with his earlier plight. I knew if I closed my eyes and denied myself this magnificent vision I would likely last longer, thereby amplifying the strength of the orgasm. But I could no more do that, than hold back its inevitability. To see my Captain thus, this extraordinarily beautiful being, spinning a web of bliss so artfully with such simple actions was, to coin an old, but apt phrase, mind-blowing.

With licks, nibbles and sucks, Jim teased me to the brink, but ceased before the point of no return, leaving me gasping for air as the pressure in me dissipated. After he had repeated this for the third time, I realized it was he, not I, who was in control. I ached for release.

“Jim, I cannot…”

“Yes you can,” Jim countered with a smile, his eyes full of love.

“Then, share with me,” I said holding my hand close to his face.

He nodded and I touched the meld points as he bent to take me once more into his mouth. I had simply thought for him to share in the pleasure he wrought, but to add a third dimension to what I could already feel and see by experiencing all that he did was so overwhelmingly powerful that nothing could have prevented the onslaught of the final eruption. It was as though I was suspended in space and I was instantly annihilated, every particle of my being flung to the distant reaches of the universe. However, even though I had been so completely deconstructed, the power that was Jim acted like a gravitational force, so that all of me was pulled back to coalesce as myself, the same as before…yet different.

I came to awareness, to see Jim looking at me in awe. His thighs, spattered with his own semen, bore evidence of the intensity of what we had just shared.

He touched the temple where my fingers had been. “I can still…feel you in here,” he said quietly.

I, too, could discern a link, providing me with an awareness of Jim and through it I could sense both puzzlement and excitement.

“I warned you a link may form – our minds appear to have a powerful attraction for each other. What you sense is the spontaneous beginnings of a bond.”

After what we had agreed the previous evening in the gym regarding taking each day as it comes and making no promises, I was compelled to add, “Jim, we must exercise caution – I can no longer initiate a meld when we make love. The psionic energy created at such times weaves our minds closer together, deepening the link.”

Jim pondered that for a moment and then said, “Tell me more about bonding.”

I should have been surprised, given the previous evening’s conversation, but Jim is someone who likes to be in possession of all the facts. So, I related the history of Vulcan’s war-torn ancient past, where bonds were commonly formed between warriors caught by the Pon Farr on the battle fields that lay vast distances from their tribal lands. I explained how during a particularly violent period, population numbers had dwindled to such dangerously low levels that the elders of tribes began to insist on childhood bonds being formed. Where this became the norm, at the onset of their time, the warriors were drawn back to their ancestral homes, as I had been two weeks earlier. Such tribes thrived and became strong and powerful, thus the practice spread.

I went on to describe the mechanics of a bond and how each partner controls it, how it deepens the relationship and that it compels honesty, since little can be kept hidden. I suggested that as non-telepathic beings, Humans would likely find a bond intrusive.

“Do you think your mother does?” Jim asked.

Although it had been half my lifetime since I had last had contact with my mother, I reflected back to what I remembered of my parents when together. “I cannot be certain,” I responded honestly. “However, I believe I would have sensed it had she experienced any discomfort or distress. It’s likely my father controls the bond and ensures her privacy through careful shielding.”

“What sense do you have of me through this link?” Jim asked.

I focused on it for a moment before responding. “I have an awareness of you and I can sense superficial emotions, although I am not adept at reading and understanding feelings. You are…happy.” Jim must have projected a feeling more strongly because its force hit me and flowed through me. I reached out and touched his cheek, ran my fingers down his face and along his jaw. “I can feel your love for me, Jim.” It warmed me to the core of my being to feel so much from this man, to be the object of such adoration. I carefully projected my love back and asked, “What do you sense in me?”

He smiled. “Your love; your desire; your absolute belief in me. It’s hard to describe how I experience the link – it’s as though a door’s opened in my brain to a place I didn’t know I had, and through it, I can sense you. I don’t know how I’m able to tell the difference, but I seem to be able to instinctively sort out what’s me and what’s you.”

“I am gratified you do not find it intrusive,” I said, experiencing a sense of relief.

“No, not at all. I’m surprisingly comfortable with it. Is it really possible to get all that from just a light link? My god, what would a full bond feel like?”

“There are different depths of openness controlled by one or both mates,” I explained. “It can range from a general awareness of the other, to allowing telepathic communication, to at times of intimacy, what we shared last night and this morning.”

Jim went quiet for a while as he took in and processed all the information, before saying, “Pre-reform Vulcan bonded opposite genders to populate the tribes. I imagine post-Surak, logic would dictate mates bond to produce offspring. Right?”

“For childhood bonds, opposite gender is the Vulcan way. However, if the bond is broken, the person is free to choose whomsoever they wish, regardless of gender. This change came about as a decree passed by the then Vulcan Council 414 years ago in response to a recognition that the planet’s resources could not sustain a growing population indefinitely.”

I watched a smile cross Jim’s face. “Logical.”

“Indeed.”

“So,” said Jim, “roughly what percentage of bonded couples are same sex?”

“Roughly twelve point three-seven-four percent.”

“Roughly?” Jim said, his smile broadening. “Have you, by any chance, been conducting research into it?” His face became serious as he asked me quietly, “Spock, what is it that you want?”

“Jim, as we spoke last night – I will make no demands of you. I am content to remain as we are.”

“What I said last night was based on a lifelong inability to figure out what it was I wanted or what I was looking for. Since that discussion, we’ve shared two melds and they were…incredible. Don’t you think our minds are trying to tell us something, Spock? We’re naturally being drawn together because we’re so compatible.”

I was concerned that the link might be influencing Jim’s ability to be objective and was about to respond to his rhetorical question when he held up his hand.

“No, let me finish, Spock, then tell me your thoughts. I want to get this out first, though. I honestly can’t imagine finding anyone more perfect for me, than you. People dream of finding their “other half” – their soulmate. I’m one of the lucky ones…because I have.” He smiled at me, and his face – his eyes – were full of love, reverberating across the link we now shared. “The idea of you going through your next Pon Farr with anyone but me is…unthinkable. And you can’t tell me that a loving and sexual relationship with someone without the bond isn’t like being only half alive for a telepath.”

I held my breath and searched his face. All I could see was absolute certainty. “Jim, may I?” I asked indicating with my fingers a wish to meld. At Jim’s nod, I touched the points and immediately felt the force of him rush to meet me, as though a large volume of air were suddenly filling a vacuum. I was instantly surrounded by the power and the light of his love and his utter conviction that this was the right step to take. And I was in awe. I had my answer and it was what I wanted more than I had ever wanted anything.

As I gently withdrew from the meld, my fingers lightly caressed his face. Jim leaned up on one elbow and kissed me tenderly then lay in my arms, his head pillowed on my shoulder.

After a few minutes, he broke the comfortable silence. “Shall I let you in on a secret, Spock? I’ve been having erotic fantasies about you for months.”

Jim told me how it had begun two nights before the Romulan encounter with a vivid dream in which he and I had been captured by a powerful being who would only release us unharmed on condition that he had sex with me. “I wasn’t ready for the truth,” he explained, “so I concocted this dream where I was coerced and it was the most erotic wet-dream I’ve ever had.” He laughed, a note of chagrin in his voice as he added, “The power of the mind to deceive!”

I thought back to that same time and the first occasion I had caught him on the bridge in a state of arousal and was certain the timing was not a coincidence. I sensed Jim had more to tell me, so I remained silent.

“So there we were a couple of days later, playing cat and mouse with an invisible Bird of Prey and you spent hours bent over the scanners trying your best to keep track of where they were. Every time I turned round, you seemed to be presenting your ass to me and after that dream, I was having less than professional thoughts about what I would like to do with it – with you.” He smiled ruefully at the memory. “Round about then I stopped trying to get you to agree to a work-out with me in case I embarrassed myself.”

His admission prompted a discussion of our sexual encounters in the gym and how he had still been in denial until my actions forced him to accept his attraction for me. “When I felt you come against me, Spock, it sent me over the edge and I was so turned on, I nearly blacked out with the intensity,” he admitted. “How could I have been so blind?” he wondered. “Over the last few months, I’ve found myself with hard-ons around you at the most inappropriate times, when we’ve been in danger and had to huddle up close, and I prayed you wouldn’t notice. Were you ever aware?”

My mind was spinning, taking in what he had just told me, seeing my carefully constructed hypothesis crumble. It was not the danger which had aroused him, it had been me and my proximity to him in those adverse situations.

“Yes, I believe I was aware on every occasion.”

Jim groaned and interestingly, I was able to sense embarrassment from him through our new link. “After everything we’ve shared, I shouldn’t feel mortified, but I do.”

“You were not the only one who was blind,” I said, and then proceeded to tell him my own story.

By the end, he was leaning up on one elbow, laughing and shaking his head. “I remember that ‘thrill-seeker’ conversation! Oh god, what a pair we make pussyfooting around each other; both of us willing to trade sex for the other, for the other’s benefit. Spock what I feel for you isn’t something that’s happened over night. I want us to bond. I want this to be forever.”

I wanted it too. Jim had been correct; for me to share this relationship with him without the bond would be like living life seeing only in monochrome. I had hoped Jim would change as our relationship deepened, but to be handed this gift so soon was almost too much to take in.

“We could allow it to form naturally but as you are a non-telepath I would prefer to take a cautious approach and enlist the services of a Vulcan healer. I believe there is one stationed on Starbase 6 who can assist us.”

“Sounds good to me. Our shoreleave will be our honeymoon!” he grinned and leaning down, kissed me thoroughly.

The door chime sounded.

“Shit!” Jim whispered pulling away from me. “Who could it be this early?”

“Regrettably, my telepathy is generally restricted to touch, Jim.”

Jim snorted as, in a moment, my mind had gone through several scenarios that the caller might do next. “I shall return to my cabin,” I said quietly, beginning to rise. “I suggest you turn out the lights and pretend to be asleep. I can find my way in the dark.”

The room was plunged into darkness at Jim’s quiet command just as the chime sounded again. Almost immediately it was followed by the sound of the door opening. The personnel on the ship who could override the Captain’s locked door numbered two and I was one of them. As McCoy’s distinctive voice called for Jim in the dark, I dove under the covers.

“Bones, I was asleep. Come back later.”

Clearly, Jim’s voice was not coming from the direction the doctor would expect it to, had he been asleep in his bed. From under the covers, I heard McCoy call the lights up to fifty percent and then there was silence, presumably as he took in the situation and as Jim tried and failed to find the words to explain.

“Jim?”

“Shit!”

McCoy was going to need to know at some point, and given the doctor and Jim appeared unable to find the words to have a discussion, I decided that perhaps discretion on this occasion would not be the better part of valor. Emerging from under the blankets with as much dignity as was possible given I was naked in bed with my Captain, I ensured my most neutral expression was in place on my face.

“Spock?” McCoy’s voice was almost a squeak. I was all too aware of the surreal nature of these circumstances.

“Doctor.”

I felt it before I heard it. The makeshift bed started to shake and then Jim began to laugh, quietly at first and then louder at the absurdity of the whole situation.

Ignoring Jim, I addressed the doctor. “It would appear that you need have no further concerns about me and future episodes of Pon Farr.”

It took a second or two and then a broad smile spread across the doctor’s face. “Well I’ll be damned!”

Jim finally calmed down. “Look Bones, this isn’t official – we want to keep this private for the time-being. We were planning on telling you in the next day or so but you’ve pre-empted us. Now why the hell did you come barging in here at this ungodly hour?”

“It’s 6:15 – it’s not that early!” he said defensively. “I came to tell you I got a message this morning confirming my winning bid on the last two tickets for Varaalgeria on Starbase 6.”

I had no idea to what he was referring but I sensed from Jim that it was not something I would want him involved with and stared at McCoy with disapproval. I did not look to see Jim’s face but I suspect it was not one indicating interest, as McCoy paused awkwardly before saying, “Er…guess I’ll see if Scotty wants to go instead. Sorry to disturb you both,” he said and left with alacrity.

Jim rolled over to face me and intertwined our hands and feet.

“I feel kind of bad, but there’s no way I’m going to that.”

“Varaalgeria?” I asked.

“It’s a famous interactive sex-show – one of the higher class ones. They sell out pretty quickly, so I’m guessing someone had to cancel and he got lucky. Scotty’ll love it and I’ll find a way to make it up to Bones.”

I leaned forward and kissed Jim tenderly. It was an erotic act for which my enthusiasm was rapidly increasing. Jim appeared equally devoted.

“Carry on like this and we’ll never get out of bed,” Jim said after some minutes.

“The notion carries some merit,” I pointed out.

Jim grinned. “At least we won’t have to figure out how to tell him now. I honestly didn’t know what to say when he came in like that. It was obvious there was more than one person in this bed.” He began to chuckle again. “When you came out from under the sheet, the look on his face was priceless!”

“Indeed, it is more than recompense for his being witness to my happiness at finding you alive after the kal-if-fee.”

“Everything that’s happened,” Jim said quietly, a sense of awe in his voice, “has brought us to this moment, beating astronomical odds. And it feels so absolutely right.”

Jim was correct, there was an overwhelming sense of ‘rightness’ to be lying here with him in my arms. Never in my life had I felt so much at peace. I had found a sense of balance within myself between my two heritages and a balance in my life with Jim – my bondmate-to-be. Not only did we complement each other as a command team, but also as people, with our different personalities but with common personal values and goals. With an absolute sense of knowing, I felt certain Jim and I had always been destined to be together.

I smiled at my beloved. “Yes you are correct, it does feel absolutely right, T’hy’la.”

[finis]