"I want to try something different tonight," Nyota says, her voice low and even in the twilight stillness of Spock's room despite the taut thrill in the pit of her stomach. To show her eagerness, her fascination, would be too much, would break this moment between them; for him to allow her the liberty to do as she wishes with his body, she must match his impenetrable calm.
It's good practice for when she's on the bridge. And an intimacy neither of them would allow anyone else.
Nyota pulls the pen out of its box, rolling the deep orange hardwood in her fingers. The nib flashes in the light.
"It's lovely, isn't it?"
Spock, watching from the bed, tilts his head slightly; in the angle and the faint relaxation she sees in his bare shoulders, she reads acquiescence and something she would never dare name. She smiles, only faintly, nods in return, thinking how simple a text he is when one understands his language.
"Rand carved it for me," she continues, moving over to settle next to him, her clothed hip against his bare side, "But I made the nib myself."
His heat radiates through the material of her skirt, and she leans in to kiss him, setting the tip on his shoulder. A dot of green wells up from the slight touch. "Are you ready?"
The slightest drop of his chin. But then, he so rarely speaks when they perform this strange, dangerous ritual.
She slides the razor-sharp nib of the pen over his skin, beginning to claim him just below the point of his shoulder with one simple word in Vulcan. Neither of them makes a sound, though his lips part slightly; hers are closed in concentration. Each stroke must be perfect, because she demands it of herself.
The first time, she'd left four thin crescents down his left side, a series of bites down his right, his blood tangy and strange on her tongue; a sudden, inexplicable desire to feel him trembling with restraint under her hands. She's cut into him since, more methodically; crude, unsatisfying markings using the fine-whetted point of her knife.
Unfair, untrue, to say he likes the pain.
She'd thought about trying a brush and inks, the fine line of a marker. And then, one afternoon, she'd been studying Rand's antique pens, the razor-edges of their nibs, and she'd known what she needed to do.
So much better to truly write on his skin, so satisfying to watch the blood following her careful strokes, fine as any ink she's used. So much more.
His dark eyes never leave her face.