The doors swished closed behind her and she took a moment to let her eyes wander around his quarters. Everything was neat and orderly, just a few personal things, strange sculptures from Vulcan, as well as some archaic weapons and that altar-like thing in his sleeping room. His desk was strewn with some research discs, and she dropped her duffel bag on the floor to sit in his chair, swivelling it round so she had a full view of the doors. She let her fingers slowly wander over the discs, reading the topics, fanning them out, when she discovered a slim book lying beneath the computer console. It was a real book, old, compact, and she felt the cardboard bindings, the used surfaces, when she picked it up. It was a volume of poetry, ancient, speaking in voices long forgotten. She held it carefully, moving her fingers over the pages, catching the peculiar scent, the rustle of turning the pages. It suddenly fell open at a certain page, as if it was used to being opened just there and was accommodating the reader.
„She walks in beauty, like the night…“she read, and a smile of joy crept over her face. She animatedly read the rest of the poem, then closed the book carefully, put it down and leant back, looking inwards, savouring the feeling, imagining him sitting there holding the book in his slender fingers and contemplating the lines.
The subdued noise of the doors opening and closing brought her out of her reverie. There he stood, holding a status report and a stylus in one hand, stopped in his tracks, his face impassive but one eyebrow on the rise, questioning.
She refused the impulse to get up quickly, both a schoolgirl response at being there unasked and a gesture of respect towards a superior officer, and stayed put, giving him a grin. His eyes travelled to the duffel bag next to his desk.
„As you know I had to relinquish my quarters to the doleman. Thanks to her impressive entourage as well as that of the ambassador of Troiyus, there were no free quarters of adequate standard. Christine offered to share with me, but she keeps moaning your name in her sleep, which I find rather disconcerting. And when she’s awake her favourite topic is – well, you. So I thought we could have some quality time together instead.”
His pose relaxed by an inch, and she detected a glint of humour in his eyes, before he reassumed a rather pensive expression.
“As to your quarters...” he said slowly, carefully, gauging her reaction, “I am afraid the doleman is not an accommodating woman. I believe the term irascible is applicable, at least within amicable terms. I believe the good doctor called her an outright bitch.” He paused.
“You might have to redecorate.”
“I don’t care right now.” She had been angry on the bridge, when he first reported the trouble the woman was kicking up. Kirk had a lot on his hands with her, all right.
“Where does Christine think you sleep instead?”
Trust him to come right to the point.
“I told her I bunked down in the machinists’ emergency quarters. I even got a permit from Mr. Scott.”
He acknowledged her precaution with a respectful nod of his head.
“Is she attractive? I haven’t seen her yet.”
“Who, the doleman? She is a physically fit female specimen, intellectually unassuming and with a most irritating personality. I am rather afraid the captain might find her much to his liking.” He looked vaguely annoyed. She could fathom it; if the captain got himself into trouble again, it would have to be Spock, as usual, who’d have to get him out.
She did finally get up and closed the space between them. She had to tilt her face up to meet his eyes. He put the status report on the desk behind her, thus leaning closer at the same moment; both an economical and elegant movement, the way he always moved, characteristically slow, careful and elegant, never expending too much energy, almost hesitant as if he was afraid a sudden movement could harm someone in his vicinity.
He let her move against him, put her palm on his chest to feel his muscled leanness, let her bring her other hand up into the nape of his neck, pulling him down gently into a kiss, before he enfolded her in his left arm, gathering her in, the fingers of his right hand gently trailing over her cheek, her brow, in a caress that sent showers of pleasure down her spine.
Under his fingertips he caught her emotions like small fireworks, going straight to the brain. He felt her joy, her desire, felt it rise and grow, until it was a vortex of emotions that pulled him in, as mesmerizing as staring into a fire. There were no mental inhibitions there, no barriers; she opened under his mind and body like a precious blossom turning towards the sun. It was nothing like making love to the closed-off entity of a Vulcan woman. Kissing her made him understand his father, finally, over and over again when he made love to Uhura, an epiphany that could be re-lived time and again.
She felt him lean into the kiss, felt him give, surrender. He picked her up effortlessly and carried her to the bed, stopping short to set her down at the foot. In one swift motion of his practised fingers, her uniform came undone and slid down the suave curves of her body. She stood there, entirely unselfconscious in her nakedness, all her senses tuned to him. He was such a wonder to her, the strong line of his jaw, his sensuous lips, the black glossy hair always so neat on his head, his elegant ears giving him a regal, superhuman aspect. She put her hands under his uniform shirt to feel his lean chest, not an ounce of fat, like a whippet, the dark line of hair trailing down below his waistband. She stood on the tips of her toes, cradling his face to kiss him again; he pulled off his shirt, never letting his hands entirely leave her body; her hands went to his fly and she pulled him in, then she laughed and he smiled as they quickly wriggled out of stockings and boots and trousers, items of clothing randomly strewn on the floor until he finally caught her against him again and they sank down on the mattress, already joined in a kiss once more.
His hands worked their magic on her even before he joined them with his lips, taking in the hills and valleys of her body, the smooth expanses of skin, her suppleness compared to his hard muscle. His fingers were cool against her skin, leaving trails of desire in their wake. She arched beneath him, pulling him up for a kiss, her gasps mingling with his even breathing, their bodies melting together in the half-light of the cabin, his paleness entwined with her darkness.
She was already close to the edge, teetering, opening up to him, taking deep breaths to accommodate him as he slowly, carefully eased himself in, taking her, waiting for her to get accustomed to his size without hurting her; she felt herself clenching the moment his hips met hers in the first gentle thrust. With any other man she would have tried to fight it, to wait for his brief pleasure to join hers, a few precious minutes before they were both spent – with him, it was just the beginning.
The muscles of his back and shoulders worked beneath her palms, her hands wandering lower towards his hips and buttocks, urging him on. He caught her when she shuddered helplessly beneath him, his hands under her neck, waiting until she went limp under him, floating in a cloud of hazy bliss, then he carefully turned over and let her rest on top of him, never leaving her, feeling her lips on the side of his neck while he stroked her soft hair that spread over the pillow.
After a few minutes she recovered herself, her body shifting from delicious aftermath to re-gained arousal, conscious once more of his sheer physical presence beneath her, inside her, and for a while she delighted herself in kissing him, deeply, passionately, relishing in the fact that she could indeed touch him, that for this moment, he was hers.
She rose above him, hair cascading down to her shoulders, palms on his chest, straddling him, setting the rhythm, their eyes meeting and locking, hers dark with adoration and desire, his gentle and filled with wonder. He rose to meet her, kissing her breasts, her neck, holding her safe in the circle of his arms, pulling her onto his lap, the rhythm now his; her head thrown back in ecstasy, clinging to him, his lips, his breath against her throat, until she cried out and collapsed against him. He held her, skin to skin, still in control, her face buried against his shoulder. Her body shook like a leaf in a breeze; a single tear fell against his neck and he felt it there, a peculiar sensation of hot and cold all at once.
He let himself sink back against the pillows, pulling the blanket over them, still entwined, and they rested once more.
They made love until dawn – simulated - was but a dream away, his skill and self-control taking her higher and higher each time, making her lose her senses, herself, until she felt she consisted only of animal instincts and the feel of him enveloping her. Not even the most daring female whispers that abounded all aboard came close to his prowess, a secret that she knew she must bury deep within her heart, when she wanted to sing of his glory all over the intercom.
His breathing was deeper now, too, a little faster, and she kissed him with abandon, rocking in motion with his hips, his face close above her. She could feel him holding back more consciously now, careful of his strength, and she put her palm to his cheek, a soft caress, her other hand finding his, their fingers entwining, an unspoken communication. He closed his eyes, and she could feel his chest heave with his intake of breath; for a brief moment his eyes screwed shut as if in pain, the lines of his face deepening. The thrust of his hips was powerful now, though she knew he was desperate not to hurt her; her pelvis rose to meet him, the sensation overpowering; and then she felt the fire spread out from her core, like small flames of lust that devoured her, spreading through her veins, engulfing her, travelling through to her fingertips, down to her toes, as if she was alight with St. Elmo’s fire. They both gasped, together now, straining, the last throes slowly abating, and it was her turn to hold him as he rested his brow in the hollow of her throat, her fingers running through his hair while their breathing levelled.
Time stood still.
He finally withdrew, and she felt the loss of physical contact as acutely as pain, but he lay back and she snuggled up against him on the narrow bed – Starfleet never issued king-size beds, not even for commanding officers; a problem the captain probably faced quite often – and she threw a leg over his, her head on his chest, then reached down to cup him under the blanket, her small hand not nearly covering his manhood; she felt him smile.
She dozed, then felt him put a kiss on her head as he disentangled himself. He got up and tucked the blanket around her. She murmured something and heard him reply,
“I’ll be back soon. Sleep.”
She heard him walk across the cabin and then the sound of running water soothed her. She knew he was going to do a round, first the bridge, then down to the machine deck - Scotty probably up by now, too, babying his engines - the ship always on his mind, going through all logs and entries hours before his shift, while everyone save the night shift crew was still asleep. The Klingon ship was still out there, on parallel course – and yet she found that she couldn’t care right now.
She drifted off. When she woke, he was lying next to her, close, his arms at his sides, fully dressed, motionless and unmoving, eyes closed. She knew he was catching up on sleep, deep in a trance. She watched over him for a while, this man who read Byron in the secrecy of his cabin, who had saved the ship so many countless times, who was a hero to her and many others. He looked peaceful. She tenderly stroked his face, the fringe of hair that fell over his brow, his elegant eyebrows which could rise so characteristically if he permitted himself some kind of facial expression. She settled herself back next to him and fell asleep again.
He woke, and even before he opened his eyes, he caught her scent, her perfume of wild exotic flowers. She was softly humming a song from her homeland. He opened his eyes and raised his head, saw her through the grille that separated the bedroom from the rest of the cabin, dancing barefoot in a flimsy shift, colourful and see-through, her head ensconced in a turban made from a bath towel. She was carefully laying out a uniform over the back of his desk chair, and she had opened one of the drawers of his dresser, sorting in a few items of clothing from her duffle bag. He caught sight of a hairbrush lying under the mirror.
He got up in a single fluid motion and stepped into the room. It always surprised him to see her face light up when she looked at him in private; she kept it well-hidden on the bridge, where they were both careful to never overstep the boundaries of a professional relationship.
She crossed over to him, hugging him close, another gesture that still surprised him. For a moment he stood quite still, unmoving, before he put his arms round her.
“Half an hour, Lieutenant.” His face was blank but his voice was smiling and low.
“Blessed be your inner clock, Mr. Spock, sugah. I’m quite ready.” She stepped back, winked at him, and the shift fell to the floor. He looked. The eyebrow went up.
She picked up her uniform from the chair and managed to slip into it in ways that were very suggestive.
“Help me with the zipper?”
She backed up against him, curves that fit themselves perfectly against his crotch, and she felt his reaction. He reached around her, drawing her closer, holding her for just a moment before the zipper went up. He kissed the nape of her neck before he let her go.
She shook out her hair and reached for the brush, carefully working it through thick ebony curls.
He went over to his desk to gather the necessary data discs. Meanwhile she fixed her hair up into its normal arrangement.
“We have chosen a very slow cruising speed to give the ambassador of Troiyus ample time to introduce the doleman to her new duties as royal wife. An endeavour that has very little chance of success, I would estimate. Though it bears remarkable similarities to an antique earth play by Shaw: Pygmalion. The Klingon ship is still out there on parallel course.”
She pulled on her boots and took his status report chart from his desk.
“I’ll see you at breakfast in five minutes, commander.”
“Can you explain the term sugah to me, please.”
She smiled at him, that warm, dazzling, open smile.
“Why, because you’re sweet.”
He looked decidedly puzzled.
“It is an old earth slang term, probably coined by the Afro-American population. It is a form of endearment that carries various meanings, sometimes all at once, depending on inflection and pronunciation. Used by a female regarding a male, it is an expression of affection, with undertones of sexual innuendo, adoration regarding his looks, demeanour and sexual performance, signalizing that she has enjoyed his attentions and is looking forward to repeating the experience.”
His expression was priceless.
“Thank you for clarifying.”
“Any time, sugah.” She couldn’t resist a last, lingering kiss. Sometimes he was so innocently cute it tore her heart out.
She paused in front of the door, looking at him. He cocked his head, listening, then nodded.
“The corridor is empty.”
The doors swished, and she was gone.
He gave her an adequate head start then left his quarters, too. By the time he reached the canteen, he was outwardly stoic and inwardly composed enough to face the day.
Carefully balancing his tray he wound his way from the food dispenser through the queues and crowded breakfast tables towards the officer’s table. Sulu, Chekov, Scott and Uhura were already seated, having left him the seat at the head of the table. McCoy was late as usual. The doctor was not a morning person, especially since he sometimes spent his nights up at the lab searching for a cure to yet another unknown infection they’d managed to contract in space.
Kirk usually ate in his quarters or during a break on the bridge, his personal yeoman – usually some appetizing young female – always attending to his needs. Spock had the same privilege but refused to use it.
He put his tray down and returned the collective nod of the others.
“Good morning, gentlemen. Lieutenant.” He slid into his seat with cat-like elegance.
They were already used to the morning routine. Each officer gave a brief summary and update on their respective field of duty, then talk turned to more private gossip while everyone tucked into their food.
“I cannot believe the gall of that lass. She called my crew, and me included, slaves! Drug her bonnie ass all over my deck, those gorillas of hers always in attendance. All she was interested in was how the Enterprise would do in a fight.” Scotty shook his head.
“Fair looking lass she might be, but a personality like a Scottish highland goat. Can’t see the attraction, really.”
“Oh, but did you see her curv...” Chekov had a leer like a true Russian Tartar. He was just about to illustrate the female form with his hands, when Sulu dug an elbow in his ribs, making him drop his fork, and Spock cleared his throat and said,
“Really, Mr. Chekov. I don’t believe this is a fitting topic for the breakfast table.”
“Aye, lad.” Scotty, always the cavalier. And usually backing Spock up. “We’ve a lady at our table.”
Uhura waved his concern away.
“It’s all right, gentlemen. I am used to male banter. I don’t mind, really.”
“By the way, Lieutenant.” Scotty turned to her. “How did you fare down in the emergency quarters? It’s a downright broom cabinet, and the engine noise is rather loud.”
She busied herself taking a sip of coffee.
“It was quite all right, Mr. Scott. I assure you, I had a very...pleasant... night.” From the corner of her eye she could see an ever so slight hesitation of Spock’s fork in mid-air.
“Well I hope so, lassie, for at the speed we’re doing, you’ll be enjoying that broom cabinet for quite a while yet.”
“Indeed, I will, Mr. Scott.”
Sulu cut in, diverting Scott’s attention.
“I came past your – her – quarters, I mean, the doleman’s quarters, on the way here...I could hear screaming! The ambassador left rather quickly, and she threw something after him...nearly hit me, too.”
Spock pushed away his plate and got up, the unofficial signal that breakfast was over.
“Gentlemen. Lieutenant.” With a polite nod he turned, and headed for the bridge, the others scuttling to get up and after him.
The ride up in the turbolift, all of them filling up the small space, was something she enjoyed. She was the first to get off, a woman’s privilege, then watched him pass her and take up his station, just a few yards away from her own, always close, always in her field of vision. She did the routine morning computer diagnosis, checking her console, resetting her instruments, getting ready for action.
He was going through the same movements, and she had trouble taking her eyes off his slender fingers going through the motions, those hands that had owned her, which he usually kept locked behind his back, careful not to touch other people – a defence mechanism because he would catch primitive emotion even with a slight touch. She knew that really only the captain was allowed to touch him openly, the only contact he endured from other people save from their own secret involvement.
She saw Jim in his seat, swivelled to face Spock, his attention concentrated on his first officer, unawares that his own face betrayed a deeper emotion than expected in a captain towards his No.1.
Jim and Spock – she wasn’t ready or willing to step between them. Those two were closer than brothers, closer than twins, even; they needed each other. Jim’s emotional need perhaps greater than Spock’s, but to Spock Jim was family, was someone he looked out for, always ready to protect, always willing to sacrifice himself. In basically every way they were the perfect couple, each completing the other, save for the fact that Jim went to sleep with everything that wore a skirt, perhaps, in her opinion, in a desperate attempt to prove something to himself; and Spock, well, Spock, unknowingly breaking most of the hearts of the female crew 24/7, had let her into his life.
From that first moment when she had seen him stepping out of the lift onto the bridge behind Kirk, his regal presence making Kirk’s boyish good looks pale into insignificance, she’d been hooked. She knew right well that this applied to most female crew members. Christine, especially, had fallen for him helplessly, heart and soul. But Uhura was the only one who got to work with him closely, and she decided to learn as much about him as she could. The more she learnt, the more she loved. But she also began to understand the depth of his character, and the depth of his burden. From her racial background, she had some insight into what he suffered, though her people had overcome this centuries ago. Now he was the alien, the half-breed. He was the one constantly at war with himself.
He was an intensely private person, reticent, shy. Everyone except Jim was kept at an arm’s length. But as time passed, she felt him become more at ease around her. They worked well as a team, their duties often overlapping; he’d be over at her workstation, bending over her, both of them trying to solve some problem. He accepted her as an equal, something she sometimes found lacking in the captain. She noticed that he went out of his way to explain things to her, always courteous, friendly. He made more conversation with her than with other bridge crew members. Those were only miniscule signs, but she decided to test the waters.
In a quiet moment on the bridge, while he was seated in the captain’s chair, having taken over command while Kirk was accompanying McCoy on a routine inspection, she handed him her report, having put in a slight mistake in a subspace frequency log on purpose. She stayed close, and sure enough, he noticed it.
It was her first direct attempt; she knew it was a risk. She flirted with him, unabashedly. When she told him to call her an attractive young woman, his hand went to his collar, an age-old unconscious signal; the hidden rise of body temperature a clear indication she had gotten through to him.
Seconds later, all of them shocked by the announcement that one of the landing party had died, she reprimanded him. It was her first reaction; it was out before she could stop herself. He growled, unnaturally irritated; but he still made the effort to explain his motivation to her – and she knew something was there, between them.
He stayed friendly towards her.
She decided to take it a step further; it was a spontaneous decision, rendered possible by circumstance; he was tuning his lyre in the recreation room, she was humming along; he had often accompanied her before, much to the delight of the crew, the lyre enhancing her fresh soprano. He had paused, looked at her...and suddenly he smiled, inviting her to sing with the first accords. She was staggered, exhilarated, and before she knew it she was putting all the words in her head to song, and she sang to him about love, and more so, about actually sleeping with him, about her fantasies, in full view of a peopled recreation room. The others went from gaping to smiling, cheering. Her eyes never left him; his smile never waned, like a secret promise. It was the first time he had smiled at her like that.
A few days later, she’d asked him if he would give her lessons on the Vulcan lyre, as she was truly interested in that instrument. Surprisingly, he agreed. They met off-duty in the recreation room, whenever they could squeeze in an hour, which wasn’t often given their duties on the bridge, and all the emergencies that constantly occurred in uncharted outer space. But several times a week, they would sit at a lone table and he would demonstrate; at first she just watched while he explained. Then it was time for her first tries; he was painfully careful not to touch her at first, but playing an instrument was a tactile business, and they frequently ended up with his arms reaching round her, guiding her fingers on the strings. She could feel his closeness, his breath on her neck, the touch of his fingers like small electric currents. But she never moved, never hurried. Gradually she felt him become more at ease. If the hubbub in the recreation room got too loud, drowning out the music, they retired to an empty briefing room; still neutral territory but much more private. They talked music, and theory. She transcribed some earth songs into notes for his lyre, or let him correct her drafts. She would explain the background of each song, its heritage, its purpose. He listened. Sometimes they would drift into a discussion on linguistics about one word, or one of them would consult the library archives about a special meaning.
Christine, under the influence of infection, poured out her heart to him. She left nothing unsaid. Though his own defences were down at the time, he refused her. Steadfastly. When she came to her senses again, she realized the full extent of his refusal. All she had left was a simple “I am sorry.” from him. She cried herself to sleep for several nights. Uhura offered what comfort she could, while feeling a terrible guilt about the relief that had washed over her.
She had an animated discussion with him in the briefing room about the mathematical vs. emotional side of music; the spark that sent it off was a medieval earth love song that they had transcribed together, Greensleeves. She told him that the motivation for writing music was always an emotional one, not the striving for mathematical perfection of harmony; he held against it by demonstrating the mathematical and harmonical intricacies of Beethoven and Mozart, the messages hidden in the formulas of music. She countered that the hidden messages once more pertained to expressing emotions; furthermore, that humans could grasp the full beauty and impact of music simply through emotion, even if someone knew nothing about music or notes and had never touched an instrument. Her argumentation was that the beauty of music was only palpable via emotion.
“I can write you a perfect harmony using a mathematical formula,” he said. “Through its perfection, it will sound beautiful to you, though there was no emotion involved in its creation.”
“But you cannot write a love song without having experienced its emotion. And approximately 90% of all music pertains to love.”
In the end, they agreed to disagree. But it was a conversation that stayed in their memories, often revisited in the reclusion of their respective cabins.
Then came the break.
One morning, after a night shift of duty on the bridge, she found a note in her cabin. It lay on her desk, and what made it spring to the eye was that it was an actual sheet of paper, with handwriting. That was something sensational in itself. But the message made her heart wrench in her chest, and she had to sit down to re-read it a second time.
He respectfully apologized, but they had to discontinue their lessons for the time being. Nor could he have any other relationship with her save a purely professional one at the moment. He asked her not to question his motives and to adhere to his wishes. He had signed it, somewhat informally, Spock.
The only thing that was left to her now was the fact that he had written the note itself, and the use of “for the time being” and “at the moment”. She understood what poor Christine went through every time she encountered him. For a second she contemplated rolling into a ball and crying, then she resolutely got up, put the note away safely, and decided to carry on...for the time being.
He didn’t speak to her, let alone with her. He didn’t look at her, but completely ignored her. He withdrew from everyone, even Jim, but the captain was too busy at the time to notice. His movements had an edge to them, something jerky, and he looked pale as death.
She watched and waited, unsure what to do, respecting his wishes.
Christine, on the other hand, tried to reach out to him; without success. It all cumulated when Uhura found her in tears once more, in her quarters, because he had thrown a plate of soup at her, with an outbreak of fury that would have been unusual in a human, let alone a Vulcan.
The ship changed course several times; no one knew why. He stayed in his quarters and shut himself in.
Finally the course was set to Vulcan; the crew remained uninformed. But Uhura encountered a white-faced Christine on her way to sickbay, tears streaming down her face unheeded. She pulled her into a nearby briefing room, and dried her face.
“What happened? Are you hurt?”
“No. I am fine. I just...I couldn’t...” she was as if in shock. Uhura sat her down, took her hands.
“Where have you just been?”
“I’ve been to Mr. Spock’s quarters, to inform him that we have set the course to Vulcan. He’s...ill, really sick, Dr. McCoy did a full check-up ordered personally by the captain...he says Mr. Spock has to get to Vulcan or he’ll die within a week.” She paused, her eyes once more filling up with tears.
“He...he wasn’t himself. First he said that he had dreamt of me...and then...then...”
“What, Christine? What then?”
“He...touched me. He reached out to me and he said something about that it would be illogical to protest against our natures...Uhura! He asked me to...to sleep with him! That’s what he meant. And yet, I couldn’t...he doesn’t love me; he couldn’t even call me Christine when he said it! He scared me. I refused him, God, I refused him and told him we were going to Vulcan...my only chance and yet I could not...he would have regretted it and so I would I. But right now I feel I have ruined my life either way.”
Uhura hugged her, let her cling to her shoulders, speechless herself.
“He wasn’t even happy about the fact that we were going to Vulcan!” Christine sobbed.
Uhura was about to find out what exactly waited for Spock on Vulcan...or rather, who. When the screen filled with the icy beauty of the Vulcan woman he called his wife, she felt a stab through her heart.
The rest of the that memorable day passed in a trance for her; she was stunned, shattered, her insides in pieces, tiny fragments that she thought everyone must hear rattling inside her when she walked.
Hours later, she got an intercom call from Christine. She had lain on her bed staring into nothingness, trying to find a way to rearrange her life in a way that would run its course without ever seeing him again; probably he would stay on Vulcan...with his wife. She failed at working it out. The intercom beeped. Automatically she answered, and Christine excitedly babbled into her ear,
“They are back, all of them! I don’t know what happened, the three of them are not talking about it, some kind of fight, but they are all back and he is NOT married!!!”
“I’m coming over! Wait for me in sick bay!” Uhura was out of her cabin and down the corridor at full flight.
When she arrived, it was busier than she’d anticipated. There had been a short-circuit on the machine deck and several men had burn injuries – nothing life threatening, but very painful. McCoy treated them one by one, Christine dosing the waiting men with painkillers.
Uhura was about to turn and leave when Christine called her back.
“Uhura, wait!” She indicated a tray standing abandoned on the doctor’s table.
“The doctor ordered Mr. Spock to eat; I made him some Plomeek soup, I promised...but I can’t get away right now and I...” she trailed off and Uhura saw the look of desperation, shame and fear on her face.
“I can’t...” Christine trailed off.
“I’ll take care of it.” Uhura took the tray.
She paused in front of his door, steadying herself. Finally she pressed the buzzer, and heard him say, “Come.” The doors swished open.
It was nearly dark inside, the lights dimmed. Together with the dark red fabrics that abounded, the ancient weapons, it gave his cabin a cavernous appearance. The lion’s den, she thought. A fitting metaphor given my ancestry.
He sat at his desk, elbows on the table, hands locked together. It took her a few seconds to get used to the dimness. He didn’t look up, and she could see that his shoulders were shaking ever so slightly. His knuckles were white with tension.
She set the plate down carefully, a little out of his reach.
“Mr. Spock. Are you all right?”
“Lieutenant. Please go.” There was a strain in his deep voice, something strangled.
She surprised herself. “I am not going anywhere.”
He looked up at that, and she could see despair behind the mask of his face, and his eyes were burning strangely in the half-light.
Her mind was suddenly making leaps and bounds, dizzyingly fast, her instinct taking over.
“You went to Vulcan to take a wife. You did not.”
She stepped closer before he could react, swivelling his chair away from the desk to face her. She took his face in both hands, leant down and kissed him fully on the lips. For a moment they were both overwhelmed, then he jerked his head back.
“Don’t.” he said, and his voice was hoarse now, dark and wild.
“I could hurt you. I don’t want to, but I am...not myself.”
“I want this. I want you. I am here, and I am staying.” She could feel the vein in his neck beat strongly against her palm.
They faced each other; a battle of wills ensued in silence. Through the enticing veil of her beauty, he saw her inner strength. She saw the physical effort it took him to stay put. Handsome, tall, his brown eyes in turmoil, tortured. She had never wanted anything, anyone, as much in her life.
He turned his head towards the desk, indicating. It was surrender.
“You’ll have to shackle me.” She started to protest, but he cut her off. “I mean it.”
She followed his glance, saw the contraption lying on his desk; strong military shackles, one piece of steel that closed around the wrists; she had seen them in use during the upheavals on Ceti IV.
She picked them up reluctantly; her eyes fell on his computer console, or rather, what was left of it. The apparatus was completely mangled, beaten to a pulp, a horrifying wreck of metal and circuits. She could not even begin to guess at the physical power needed to destroy it so thoroughly.
He saw her notice it; she turned back to him, but her face was resolute. He put his hands behind the back of the chair; she got up and the shackles clicked shut around his wrists.
They looked at each other for a moment, he seated in his chair, his uniform shirt pulled tight across his chest; she standing, looking down at him. The last stop before the point of no return. She sat down on his lap, straddling him, her arms going round his neck, and she kissed him. She felt as if she was dreaming; surely this wasn’t really happening, she was in her cabin, asleep, entwined in her blanket. But his lips against hers were warm and real; her breasts pressed against the muscles of his chest, moving with his breathing. Nothing could discount the distinct feel of him against her where their hips met. Her hands moved down over his shoulders, his chest, reaching lower...
There was an audible crack as the shackles broke.
Her hazy mind dimly recognized the thump as the pieces hit the floor; realization struck her when his arms came round her waist. Things happened fast, in a blur. He got up swiftly, lifting her on his hips as if she weighed nothing, a moment later she was backed up against the wall of the cabin next to the door so forcefully it knocked the air out of her lungs. A stab of fear went through her body, but it went straight to her core, spiking her arousal. She felt the fabric of her uniform tear, ripped right through, the tatters falling away, leaving her naked; the wall was cold against her back.
He took her right there against the wall; her head thrown back out of her own accord. His size took her by surprise; she felt herself impaled, helplessly, the sensation washing over her, the friction of each powerful thrust driving her over the limits of sanity until there was nothing but lust and a thousand explosions that turned her inside out. At the height of this peak, fire flooded her veins unlike anything she had ever felt before, a wave crashing over her head, spreading out all through her, softening to a tingle when it reached her fingertips and toes. She felt him shudder and understood.
They clung to each other, upright against the wall, holding on to each other. She whispered his name in his ear.
They slipped to the floor in a heap; they rolled over, made love right there in the middle of the room. Her fingers grasped the corner of the desk to steady herself; the desk shook and trembled and a shower of data discs rained down on them unheeded. The cold soup heaved and spilt over the sides of its bowl, filling the tray.
They fought their way closer to the bed, inch by inch, giving and taking, a wild tangle of limbs and movement, caresses and kisses, muscle and flesh.
She reached the foot of the bed on all fours, her hand on the coverlet; his hips lifted her up from behind, his weight pinning her down on the mattress; she moaned, felt his teeth graze the back of her neck; she arched under him, bracing herself on the bed head; his outstretched arms came down to frame hers.
Hours later, she wasn’t sure if she fell asleep or passed out.
She woke slowly, drifting towards consciousness, stretching, feeling her muscles ache. Memory trickled back, and she sat up with a start.
He sat at the foot of the bed, watching her, already fully dressed. By his posture she could tell he was his old self, finally. But when their eyes met, his were honest and full of emotion. There was no denial, and she could see no immediate regret. A heavy weight inside of her evaporated.
She knew him well enough by now to know he was probably ridden with guilt.
“Are you all right?” his voice was very low and subdued.
She stretched again, testing her sore muscles. A few bruises, a few strains, nothing that wouldn’t mend in one or two days. The feel of him, still all over her; inside her.
“I am perfectly fine.” She reached out and took his hand. He let her. She kissed the inside of his palm. He remained still as a statue.
He took a breath as if to speak. She silenced him with a finger to his lips.
“Let me say something first.”
“This doesn’t have to be complicated. We are both adults; we can both admit that we enjoyed what happened. I make no demands – you don’t have to tell me you love me, we are not going to make any announcements whatsoever. Don’t feel pressured, don’t feel guilty. It’s all right.”
He inclined his head, acknowledging it. He made no move to take his hand from hers.
“As an illogical woman, let me try to give you a logical motive. Would you agree that you most likely are the physically strongest male aboard this ship?”
He raised an eyebrow. She continued.
“And would you also agree that you probably are the most intelligent, intellectual person aboard this ship?”
He waited for her to go on.
“Therefore, the logical choice for any female falling in love would be, following the natural selection of course – you.”
He considered this, sighed. “Right now I cannot find a fault in your argumentation.”
“I decided to act on this impulse. And here we are.”
She edged closer to him; the sheet was slipping off her shoulders. He reached out to touch her face, his fingers gentle on her cheek; his face relaxed and she understood that he had caught her emotions. She leant in and kissed him; a slow, tentative kiss on both sides, in a way their first real kiss, after the fever of the past night. He was completely in control of himself now; but deep down the fire was still there, and she felt it as their kiss deepened.
The door buzzer sounded.
Like lightning, Uhura scrambled off the bed and dropped out of sight behind it, on the floor. He was upright and in the next room by the time he said, “Come.”, a mere second later. A quick kick of his boot let the shreds of her uniform fly into the bedroom. Uhura reached out a naked arm and yanked it out of sight. No problems with teamwork there, she thought.
The captain strode into the cabin. Uhura peeked out from behind the bed, saw Kirk’s concerned face, scrutinizing his friend.
“Are you fit for duty, Spock? Everything...settled...?” He seemed at a loss of how to phrase it. But he put his hands on Spock’s shoulders, taking comfort in the touch.
“I am fine, captain. Ready for duty.” He was his old self indeed, hands linked behind his back. Letting Kirk stand close, unwilling to let go of his friend just yet.
“Well then!” Kirk’s smile could be charming, the happy smile of a schoolboy. He clapped Spock on the back. “Let’s go!”
Spock stayed put.
“I’ll join you on the bridge presently, captain. I just need to collect my reports.” He paused.
“And, I think I’m going to get some breakfast. I feel ...hungry.”
“All right. Shift starts in twenty five minutes.“ Kirk turned, already on the way out. “It’s good to have you back, Spock.” There was true affection in his voice; love, actually.
“Thank you, captain.”
A tousled head of ebony curls and long eyelashes peeked out at him from behind the bed.
“I’m afraid we have a slight problem” she said, holding up her ruined uniform.
“Indeed. I’m sorry.”
“I’m not.” She winked at him. “But I’ll need to borrow something. I don’t suppose you’ve got the odd female uniform lying around?”
In the end she had to slip into a pair of his trousers and one of his shirts. Arms and legs were too long, the rest was rather tight, making the whole combination rather daring. The only pieces that were hers were her boots.
He held her at an arm’s length, shaking his head.
“You’d better not be seen in this.”
“I’ll do my best.”
They spent a relatively quiet day on the bridge, the Enterprise heading to rendezvous with the two other Starfleet ships.
At first Uhura found it hard to fight distraction; she was glad the shift was uneventful. He seemed unperturbed, quite his usual self. She envied him.
After several hours, the past night seemed like a remote, surreal dream. Had it really happened? Was there any chance that he, the Untouchable, would actually let her close again? Could it have been more than a temporary lapse of sanity on his side?
The shift was over, the bridge crew left. He stayed behind, conversing with Kirk as the turbolift doors closed in her face. She retired to her quarters, took a shower, went to take dinner in the canteen. If it hadn’t been for the sore muscles she felt with every step, the bruises hidden under her uniform and invisible on her dark skin, but nevertheless there, she would have been sure by now she had dreamed everything.
People talked to her; she heard their voices from far away. She declined the offer to sing to the crew again, and headed back to her quarters.
She tidied her desk and found the sheet music of Greensleeves between linguistics journals. She held it in her hand and studied it, softly humming the melody.
“Alas my love, you do me wrong, to cast me off discourteously. For I have loved you so long, delighting in your company...”
The door buzzer sounded. Her heart jumped to her throat. Her “Come.” sounded shaky.
The doors opened.
He stood there, silent, composed, watching her trying to un-freeze herself, looking at him saucer-eyed, her face so hopeful, so unsure.
For a long moment, they stood unmoving, just looking at each other.
Slowly, inch by inch, she watched him thaw, his expression turning from stone to affection, until the shadow of a smile twitched the corner of his lips, lighting up his eyes, making his dashing features even more irresistible.
She took him by the hand and pulled him into the room, into her arms.