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How would she describe the quality of light on Vulcan? 

Nyota had noticed protective filters over the windows – sixteen of them across two of the bedroom walls.  Very likely they were required, stipulated in a Shi’Kahr city policy for residential construction.  But it was a close battle fought between technology and the intense glare from outside.  Spock, standing in the path of all this barely tamed brilliance, appeared beatified, like a naked angel. 

Nyota made her steps across the floor small and careful. 

When they made love in the dark, in the desert, they did not know what would happen the next day.  Spock might have been charged by the High Council and imprisoned, or forced to bond with Lelar.  Because of that, their touches seemed outside all rules, stolen. 

Now he belonged to her.  And whatever anyone else might say, this would be another first time.  They had the same bodies, but different minds. 

Nyota especially.  The katra of T'Shin was talkative, wanting to give advice.  It spoke when Nyota hesitated too long on the wrong side of the dressing room doors, held back by the feeling there was something inappropriate about wearing Gaila's red bikini on the planet of logic. 

But her mother said,  -Hold back nothing-  

Nyota fingered the string ties at her hips, pulled them up a little.  T’Shin tried to reassure her. 

-Vulcan culture protects this time of irrationality.  For centuries before Surak, and some time after, there was an annual festival named Rumarie.  It was given over to uninhibited sexual activity.  The belief was, and is yet held that a designated time of carnal indulgence assists self-control afterwards.  The festival is history.  But in private, the term may be used to refer to the first days a bonded pair share the same bed-   

And so Nyota emerged into the light.  She could see, as she approached, that Spock’s eyes would not keep still, would not settle on where to look, sometimes blinked as if overwhelmed or disbelieving.  That was why she took her time.  He stood between the foot of his bed and the edge of a large, elliptical rug.  A moment of curiousity flitted through Nyota’s consciousness as her bare feet made contact with the opposite edge of that rug and felt its coarse texture. 

- Tedvu -  

Nyota recognised the Vulcan word root denoting curvature, pliancy, flexibility. 

T’Shin explained more. 

-This is the term for the textile.  Made from fibrous plants similar to those belonging to genus Linum on Earth.  Extremely durable-    

Spock had his own reaction as she crossed it.  His eyes opened wider and he seemed almost … afraid? 

Yet that did not make sense.  As soon as she was near enough to reach out, the fingers on Nyota’s left hand spread gently over his chest and she murmured, “Let’thieriashal-veh.”  

When that did not change his expression, she skated the same hand up and around the back of his head, pushed his mouth down against hers and worked her tongue over his lips because they had become dry since their last kiss. 

In his mind there was a storm.  Nyota could feel the force of it, blasting like a desert wind against her consciousness, with an abrasive quality gained by carrying so many grains of brown sand.  They were together in a featureless place, an all too familiar place.  The katra of T’Shin was just as puzzled as her daughter. 

-Why does he recall Eiktra T’Plak ?-  

The wind swept up more and more sand, until their surroundings no longer mattered.  Spock seemed helpless.  And yet he ached with bolaya guvik.  Nyota, with her body against his, could feel the rigid head of his lok pressed into her bellybutton. 

She coaxed his tongue to come out from his mouth and taste her.  That gave her a breakthrough --  shok created a tingle in the back of Spock’s throat and made him crave.  In this new mental climate the wind died back, and a sensation like mist seemed to clear the air.  And then the katra showed them both what they looked like, if they could have stepped away from their own bodies.  Nyota’s left hand mashed Spock’s right ear.  Both his hands were held up in the air, the style of Terran surrender when confronted by greater firepower. 

Gradually those hands relaxed.  The fingers wilted and curled into his palms, wrist joints softened.  His kisses opened out to get more stimulation against his soft palette. 

The katra of T’Shin began to mark time, not by counting but perception, and suggested a pause when she thought it was wise. 

That was easier said than done.  Nyota might move her head right, left or back -- Spock detected her decisions and reacted to keep their mouths connected.  Finally she rolled her head over his and put their faces cheek to cheek.     

“Ny …,” his protest, if he meant to begin one.   

“Maybe you should pace yourself,” she said.  “We have a lot more time than we did in my tent.” 

She felt him swallow twice, inhale and exhale.  Where their meld points met Nyota did not detect a thought or mood that would explain his strange paralysis before.  There was nothing negative at all.     

“I have dreams about this,” he said softly. 

“Dreams about what?” she asked. 

“About …,”  

Nyota watched as one of his hovering hands began to move.  The middle and index fingers straightened, joined together in ozh'esta and Spock bestowed this kiss on the shoulder strap of her bikini top, gliding the touch along the red braid. 

“About --,”  

Then hand drew back to the place it had been, all fingers spread in that baffling gesture of surrender.  Nyota adjusted her cheek against his, hoping something helpful would bleed through the skin connection.  No memories were visible, no speech, only a feeling that eluded even her talent for language.  The best reaction her own mind could muster was to repeat the words, ‘too much, too much’. 

“Yes,” Spock agreed with this fumbling translation. 

“We are talking about many, many dreams?” she asked. 


“Then choose one.  Tell me about that.”