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As an ambassador’s son and a Starfleet officer, Spock had met many people. Over the course of his 34 years of life, even he couldn’t count the number. It was said that when Vulcans found a suitable mate, they would know by the immediate draw, the chemical connection-- pheromones that indicated compatibility. And yet, with all the people he’d encountered, he had never once felt such a pull. Indeed, he’d long come to terms with the fact that, due to his unique heritage, he never would.

 

Considering this also meant he would likely never enter Pon Farr, it didn’t overly disturb him. He wasn’t very good with people, preferring the logical constructs of his studies to the whims of romance and friendship, so learning that he did not have a suitable mate out there in the universe seemed inevitable, really. Sometimes, still,  loneliness choked him with its intensity, the understanding that he was an outsider in all things, even the possibility of love. But Spock was Vulcan, and he never allowed the emotion to linger.

 

Until James T. Kirk became captain of the Enterprise .

 

Spock had not been ‘sad’ to see Captain Pike go, as sadness was a human feeling and Pike had moved onto the next logical phase of his career, but he admitted to himself some trepidation at the new assignment. James Kirk had an interesting reputation as the youngest Captain in Starfleet, and some said he was too reckless. Spock wasn’t sure after reading his file that they would work entirely well together.

 

When they met, his doubts found a way to both intensify and abate all at once. Kirk strode onto the bridge that first day, and each of the bridge crew stood to attention. He made his rounds, strong arms laying relaxed at his sides, a smile on his charmingly boyish face, introducing himself in-kind to each officer and shaking their hands with both of his own.

 

When he got to Spock, the effect was almost immediate. He sensed it as Kirk approached, that nameless pull that almost shocked Spock into stepping toward the man. It wasn’t a scent so much as it was an instinct-- a sixth-sense that Spock recognized immediately, if only because he had met so many people and he’d never felt this before.

 

And, yes, it was a scent too. It wafted toward him at the captain’s approach, something bright and musty like wheat fields or desert sand, the impression of sunlight and sustenance.

 

He felt a green flush hit his cheeks, his pupils blown wide, nostrils flaring, all reactions completely outside his control. It was disquieting, the way his heart pounded in his side loud enough that he was sure it echoed over the bridge, the way he trusted immediately the smile in Jim’s eyes, the way he wanted to stand close and breathe him in, when usually he was the one who forced distance between himself and others.

 

Kirk did not shake his hand, knowing better than to do such a thing to his Vulcan first officer, but he did raise the ta’al and met Spock’s eyes with a grin. “Pleasure to make your acquaintance at last,” he had said, “I’m looking forward to working with you. Admiral Pike himself recommended you for first officer.”

 

Spock could only nod, returning the gesture perhaps a few seconds too late. “Indeed. If you require anything, I am intimately familiar with this ship and her crew,” Spock said dutifully. He’d planned to say that much, but suddenly the words didn’t seem to carry much meaning. They sounded far away, even as they came out of his own mouth.

 

“I’m counting on that, Mister Spock,” Kirk said, lowering his hand. “With your help, I hope to be as well.”

 

And that was that. Kirk took his place in the captain’s chair and began giving out gentle orders, an excitement in the gleam of his eye that was arresting. Spock did not allow himself to look at the man for long. Indeed, he had to stop himself from staring multiple times, especially if Kirk wandered in his direction or passed too close to his station. He could sense him even with his back turned, and he found himself afraid to relax lest his attentions wander.

 

Later, he questioned what he’d felt, tried to pawn it off as some strange human response to finding a person physically attractive. But Spock had never once found a person physically attractive, and he couldn’t explain why the wires in his brain had suddenly shifted. Yes, Kirk had wide shoulders and bright eyes and a sort of softness about him that Spock seldom saw in commanding officers, but he had met others with similar enough features that he should have noticed a proclivity for them by now. It was far more likely that something had just finally clicked into place that had never had the opportunity to do so before. Desire was a strange beast-- both its physical and emotional varieties.

 

Why, though, had it been a human male? Vulcans had evolved this hypersensitivity in order to find a suitable mate, to procreate. That his own instincts should draw him to a man who wasn’t even of his species was illogical. However, Spock came to understand that much about Jim Kirk was illogical, so it was really only fitting that Spock’s feelings for him should be so, too.

 

It made working alongside the man as effortless as it was impossible. Something no one had ever told him about the pheromones was that the scent allowed him to pick up the minutest tick in Kirk’s emotions. When he was frustrated, he gave off a different aura than when he was relaxed, and different still when he was intensely focused or upset or elated. Spock had the opportunity on the bridge to contrast each of these emotions, among others, and he found himself selfishly creating more opportunities as the months wore on.

 

They began to play chess together, to spar together, to sit in Kirk’s quarters under the pretense of work and take meals together. It was only occasionally, but enough that Spock grew used to the steady wave of longing affection that swept over him entirely unbidden at the sight and smell of his captain.

 

That was the hardest part-- because he barely knew Kirk as a person, and yet cared for him so deeply that even his strictest meditation practices couldn’t alleviate the emotion’s effects. It was frustrating, and yet Spock didn’t know how he’d gone his whole life without knowing the feeling of Jim’s warm smile or the way Jim could set fire to Spock’s blood with his presence alone. To balance out the intensity of these immediate desires, Spock tried to get to know Jim for who he was. He asked about his life, listened raptly to his stories, committed his likes and dislikes to memory.

 

But with familiarity also came doubt. Jim spoke fondly of past loves, shined that same smile that Spock treasured onto every attractive female they encountered, and even kissed some of them in empty corridors or on the sands of alien planets. Spock pretended not to know, but he could always tell when Jim had satisfied his desires-- at any level-- with someone who was not him.

 

And he always blamed himself for caring. Just because Jim was a compatible mate, and just because he was perhaps the only one Spock would ever encounter, did not mean that Jim was obligated to feel anything for Spock. Jim would never be able to sense the pheromones the way Spock did, and even if he did there was no guarantee that he would give into them. As far as Spock could tell, Jim’s interest lay entirely in the opposite gender (aside from the unsubstantiated rumors that had followed him out of the academy regarding one Gary Mitchell). And even if the rumors were true, Spock was about as far from Jim’s ‘type’ as he could imagine a person to be.

 

But over months Spock managed to cautiously slip himself into the folds of Jim’s life, forming careful connections over midnight cups of tea, over fried circuits in the middle of a red alert, over chess boards and potted plants and the wide, starlit expanse that shined through windows of Jim’s favorite observation deck.

 

And Jim did get to know the ship, and her crew, with the same intimacy Spock did. But that is where the line of intimacy was drawn. Professional, perhaps friendly, but never something that justified the gravitational pull between Jim’s body and mind and Spock’s own.

 

---

The smell of sweat made it worse. As did Jim’s panting breath and bare, heaving chest, but the sweat was always what did Spock in. It was only when they sparred like this, or when some other necessity exerted them, that those pheromones (which had become a constant strain on Spock’s emotional control) became a tangible thing, and unbearable in their intensity. Most days, he could almost ignore them, but not now.

 

Thankfully, they had the rec room to themselves this morning, so no one but Jim could bear witness to the green flush of his skin or his white-knuckled fists at his sides.

 

Jim put his hands on his knees, crouching as he gasped for breath. Spock saw a bruise blooming on his arm where he’d thrown him to the mat, and felt a twinge of guilt at the sight, though Jim had told him a thousand times to give their sparring matches all he had.

 

“Do you require rest, Captain?” Spock asked, settling his hands behind his back and repeating mantras of control in his mind. He didn’t know why he agreed to do this every time Jim suggested it. Even after almost a year of exposure to Jim’s effect on him, he craved it. This intensity of desire. He craved the way it started slow and mounted upon itself, each whiff of Jim’s skin like the buildup to orgasm, but without resolution. He craved the way it made him unable to think. He craved the push and the pull and the tease of it all. Almost as much as he craved its fulfilment.

 

Jim waved him away with a hand. “You’re unusually dedicated tonight,” he said, straightening up and smiling as he regained his breath. Sweat gleamed along the dip of his collarbone and Spock suppressed the urge to swallow. “Something on your mind?”

 

Sometimes Jim asked him questions like that at moments like this, when there was so much on Spock’s mind he could never actually say aloud. He wanted to tell Jim that he was on his mind, and had been since the moment he’d walked onto that bridge. He wanted to tell Jim that he had never in his life touched himself until the first time they’d sparred and he returned to his quarters with the image of Jim’s strong thighs in those tight red track pants-- the same he was wearing now-- and the smell of Jim’s sweat clinging to his own clothes. He wanted to tell Jim that in this moment all he wanted was to shove him down on these mats and tuck his face into the crook of Jim’s neck and inhale, lick the sweat from his skin--

 

“Nothing of importance,” Spock replied, realizing he had been silent too long. Jim glanced at him sideways, making his way to his duffel bag which lay against the far wall of the rec room.

 

There were still a good few hours before they were expected on the bridge, but Jim looked to be finished if the t-shirt he dug from his bag was any indication. “Spock,” he intoned gently as he turned with the shirt clutched in his hands, “I hope you know that you can be honest with me.”

 

Jim approached with some trepidation as Spock felt himself tense. Jim’s proximity was seldom a good thing when his restraint had already reached its limit. He wondered if Jim had picked up on his discomfort.

 

“I am aware, Captain,” he said stiffly. “Your concern, while appreciated, is unnecessary.”

 

Jim was too close, now, and without the distraction of combat or work or-- well-- anything , Spock allowed his gaze to flick over the golden flecks in his eyes, the pink of his lips, the heat in his cheeks. Jim huffed, then his lips ticked into a small, sad smile. “It’s been like this for months now. Sometimes you just clam up. If I’m doing something wrong--”

 

Spock felt his jaw clench and he tried to force himself to step backwards, but instead a hand came up to Jim’s arm, resting gently on the curve of his bare bicep. It was as though he’d reached out to comfort Jim, completely unbidden. But initiating the contact of their skin had been a poor impulse. His head felt cloudy with the emotion that simple touch instilled in him, and Jim’s heavy, humid, salty scent was making him dizzy. It took him off-guard, so much so that words tumbled out of his mouth before he’d had a moment to consider them. “You are incapable of wrongdoing,” Spock heard himself saying, distantly, “The fault is mine, but I cannot--”

 

Stopping himself before it could go much farther, he felt his hand tighten around Jim’s arm. Jim glanced toward the touch, then back into Spock’s eyes. Spock felt his heartbeat quickening, searching Jim’s eyes for something to either validate this need inside him or to destroy it-- something to satisfy him or assure him, finally, that there was nothing here between them.

 

That scent grew heady, thick, something Spock could taste on the flat of his tongue through his parted lips. Their eyes stayed locked, neither blinking. Spock felt a shift in Jim’s emotions that he couldn’t keep up with, and he allowed himself a single deep breath through his nose, eyes fluttering minutely with the spike of pleasure it shot through him.

 

Then, the shirt fell from Jim’s hands and suddenly a hot chest was pressed against his and Jim’s fingers were in his hair and a hot mouth found his and Spock was frozen-- eyes blown wide as Jim’s lips forced themselves against Spock’s.

 

His inaction didn’t last long. In moments, his hands had found the small of Jim’s back, still sticky with drying sweat, and he’d pulled the man closer, hips against hips, shoving his tongue between Jim’s lips like he’d seen others do and never imagined he’d be doing himself.

 

Jim’s hips canted against him and Spock pulled painfully off of Jim’s mouth, an embarrassingly transparent gasp breaking through his restraints. Jim chased the sound with smaller kisses and delicate brushes of his tongue along the seam of Spock’s lips. Spock felt feverish, overcome by heat, the intensity of Jim’s pheromones now tinged with arousal. He never thought he’d be allowed to feel it this close, but he was more than allowed-- he was invited, begged.

 

Mind overcome with wanting, Spock didn’t think when he brought a hand to Jim’s head and tugged him back by his hair, breaking their kiss so he could duck his head and press his face against the skin of Jim’s neck. He breathed in, and wavered on his feet, knees half-buckling with the drug-like effect of his scent. Sunlight, he thought again, something earthy and warm like forest air at midday when the leaves filtered light onto moist soil and--

 

No, no, this was too much, too much all at once and he was already achingly hard between his legs and he could feel the beginnings of Jim’s erection through those horrible tights and he didn't know if he had the self control to stop it but he knew he didn't want to. That was enough to scare him.

 

He pulled Jim roughly away by the shoulders, staggering backwards a few steps and nearly whimpering at the feeling of Jim’s hands falling from their hold in his hair. Those fingertips grazed his cheeks on the way down, but he tried to ignore the lingering trails of heat they left.

 

Jim’s arms fell to his sides and his expression bore tinges of guilt and concern. “Spock--” he said, but Spock stopped him with a weak hand, raised as though defending himself, but he didn't know from what.

 

“Please, Jim,” he said, raising that hand to his head to avoid looking at the man who had no idea of his effect on Spock. He’d convinced himself that Jim could never know, and yet here they were, with the slick of Jim’s saliva still on his lips, the evidence of Jim’s arousal apparent in the cling of his tights. Was it possible that Jim felt even a fraction of what Spock did? “You do not know the effect you have on me,” Spock said, voice practically a strained whimper as he gave voice to his tumultuous thoughts, finally raising his eyes to Jim’s. “It is overwhelming.”

 

Jim seemed to hold his breath for a moment, then took a step in Spock’s direction. Spock stepped back in turn, hand finding the wall behind him to steady himself.

 

“I have a pretty good idea,” Jim said softly, continuing his approach. “If you knew what you did to me --” He paused then, perhaps noticing the look in Spock’s eyes, or perhaps sensing Spock’s frustration. He hung back, close enough to touch but not close enough to suffocate Spock with his scent. “There’s more to it than that,” he said, not asking a question but certainly hinting at one.

 

“There is,” Spock confirmed, near breathlessly. Jim was still right there, and it took everything he had not to pull the man against him once again. “It is… biological. Your scent is-- I have always--”

 

He couldn’t say it aloud, couldn’t admit that for nearly a year he’d been lusting after his captain for no other reason than his basest, primal impulses. But, well, if he were being truly honest with himself, there were many more reasons than that. He cared for Jim, but he also wanted him, the emotions were at odds with each other because he could never wish the burden of himself on someone he cared about.

 

“What do you need?” Jim asked, taking a small, cautious step forward that sent Spock flat against the wall.

 

“You,” Spock replied without a moment's hesitation, “but I-- it is possible I will lose control. I’m already-- Your sweat…” Spock’s eyes fell hungrily on the shine of perspiration that slicked Jim’s chest, imagined in a brief moment Jim’s eyes screwed shut, sweat dripping down the divot of his chest, grunting with exertion as Spock held him down. His vision blurred at the image and he felt his nails scrape the wall behind him. “I cannot--”

 

Jim took another step forward and Spock took a breath, desperate for the feel of Jim’s intoxicating pull and terrified of its effect on him. Slowly, Jim laid a hand on Spock’s chest. He pulled his fingers down, catching in the fabric of Spock’s shirt. Then, he inched closer, moved lower, and soon cupped Spock through his own tights. Spock’s breath hitched, hardening noticeably in Jim’s hand with even that bare stimulation.

 

“I need you, too,” he said, bringing his body closer, lifting his lips to Spock’s ear. Spock felt dizzy, too hot, too desperate to trust himself with something so important as Jim. “I have for months-- I--” Jim swallowed audibly, pulled away just enough to look Spock in the eye, hand tightening around Spock’s erection. “I’m not worried about you losing control.”

 

Spock’s breath stuttered, eyelids sinking as he looked at Jim-- flushed and wanting and ready, just as Spock was. How many times had he envisioned this moment? And now it was here and he was terrified. He could hurt Jim if he wasn’t careful-- though the more present concern was that he would pass out. He’d never felt less in-control, less aware.

 

Jim seemed to notice his continued trepidation. “What do you suggest we do?” he asked, voice low and seductive and impossible to resist in Spock’s current state. He did not fail to notice the movement of Jim’s hand, rubbing him through that thin fabric, however gently. His whole body shivered at the sensation. “I--” he began, the weakness of his voice shocking him, “I cannot trust myself-- to complete intercourse with you,” he said, cheeks getting impossibly hotter at the admission. “But this…” trailing off, he managed to bring his hand to Jim’s wrist, effectively stilling him. Jim’s eyes widened minutely, just enough for Spock to notice. “This is acceptable.”

 

Jim’s face broke into a grin, and he laughed, something musical and bright that nearly brought Spock to his knees with wanting. “Acceptable, Mister Spock?” Jim asked playfully, fingers tightening around him. “It’ll be more than acceptable.” He surged forward, taking Spock’s lips again, tongue demanding entrance and receiving it, shoving himself against Spock, who shuddered at the feeling. Jim’s arousal pressed against his thigh as Jim slotted his leg between Spock’s and finally that hand on his erection moved upwards, dipped into his waistband and grasped his bare skin.

 

He whimpered into Jim’s mouth, his own hands finding purchase on Jim’s head, threading through his hair, but Jim broke the kiss before Spock could deepen it, this time tucking his own head into the crook of Spock’s neck. Spock exposed himself to the ministrations of Jim’s mouth, for the first time wondering if Jim could actually sense the pheromones between them. He was more… enthusiastic than Spock ever would have expected. After laving at the hollow under Spock’s ear for a moment, eliciting the barest groan from Spock’s reluctant lips, Jim pulled away and met Spock’s half-lidded eyes.

 

Then, Jim sank to his knees and pulled Spock’s pants down in one swift motion. Spock nearly gasped at the feeling of cold air on his erection, which already strained and pulsed as it reached upwards.

 

Jim didn't balk at the difference in their anatomy, the double ridges and green flush of Spock’s penis. Instead he met Spock’s eyes with his own, hooded and wanting, and trailed his tongue along the length of it.

 

Spock dropped his head against the wall behind him, glad for the hands that came to rest on his hips to hold him in place or he would surely have fallen. Jim hummed appreciatively and soon Spock felt that hot mouth laving at his underside, tracing veins with his tongue.

 

He brought a hand to Jim’s hair, curling his fingers into it, letting his eyes fall shut and losing himself to the sensation. The smell of Jim's sweat was farther away, lessening now that Jim wasn't exerting himself, and Spock’s mind felt clearer than it had before, those pheromones no longer drugging him even as he felt his pleasure building.

 

It was a satisfactory solution, he thought numbly as Jim took him into his mouth and sucked. To have the fulfilment of wanting without the danger of sweat and scent to pull him over the edge of control, even as a different kind of edge was fast approaching.

 

He felt himself trembling, and glanced down to see Jim's eyes shut as he pulled his wet lips up and down Spock’s length. Jim’s hand had fallen from Spock’s hip and now palmed his own erection through his tights. The sight was maddening.

 

And, it turned out, that sight was enough. Hips shuddering, Spock dropped his head to his chin, letting out a groan that hardly sounded like it had come from his own mouth, something guttural and savage. In a moment, he felt heat rising like a tidal wave inside him, vision spotting even as he screwed his eyes shut, and he felt himself pulsing against Jim’s tongue, spilling himself into his mouth.

 

Absently, he heard Jim choke and sputter as Spock came, but he couldn’t find the muscles to move. Spock had gone boneless, slumped against the wall as Jim caught his bearings and sucked down the rest, licking at Spock’s dripping head like water in a desert.

 

Spock felt his hips buck unconsciously against the insistent brush of Jim’s tongue, too much stimulation for him to take and still he wanted more. When Jim pulled away, Spock sank to the ground, shirt riding up as it pulled against the wall. His legs spread out on either side of Jim-- crouched before him, face-flushed, a self-satisfied smile on his swollen lips. And his scent--

 

Now that Spock was at his level, he reached out and dragged Jim to his chest, burying his face in Jim’s hair.

 

Steadying himself against Spock, Jim chuckled softly into the fabric of his shirt. “That good, huh?”

 

Spock was still struggling for deeper breaths, but each inhale brought him down from that extreme high. Jim’s pheromones, though excruciatingly present, were no longer overwhelming, no longer tantalizing or teasing. They simply… were. When he breathed in, he felt calm. Safe. Content, even.

 

Jim smelled like home. If this was the effect the pheromones had on him when his desires were satisfied , he didn’t know how he ever thought he could be content going on the way he’d been.

 

“I apologize,” Spock said instinctively, though his voice sounded foreign to his own ears-- relaxed in a way it had never been. “I understand it is not ideal to reach climax so quickly.”

 

Jim huffed a laugh and pulled back, propping himself up on his hands. His smile was bright as ever, as though nothing had changed between them. “I don’t know who came up with that. I think of it as a compliment.” Jim was close enough to Spock that his breath tickled, and Spock felt the corners of his mouth lifting at Jim’s easy acceptance. But just because he had been fulfilled in more ways than one didn’t mean he could relax entirely now.

 

“If I may,” Spock asked, bringing his hands up to Jim’s sides, “I believe you are still in need of release.”

 

Jim ducked his head, smiling with flushed cheeks. “Desperately. But now that you aren’t in danger of… well, whatever it was you were worried about,” he lifted his eyes to Spock’s, “maybe we could take this someplace with a lower likelihood of anyone walking in on us.”

 

It was only then Spock realized they were still in the rec room-- and neither of them had thought to command the door to lock.

 

He felt his cheeks heat a dangerous green and he practically shoved Jim off of him, ignoring Jim’s laugh as the man fell backwards onto his rear. Spock scrambled to his feet, still weak in the knees, and pulled up his pants, shooting Jim a look.

 

“We’ve behaved entirely irresponsibly,” he said, attempting to sound as admonishing as he wanted to, but it was difficult to do in the face of Jim’s grin.

 

“Now Mister Spock,” Jim said sweetly. He sat up and climbed with some effort to his own feet. Spock could see the erection still tenting the front of his tights, but he averted his eyes. “You’re the one who went off about biology and needs. It looked to me like there wasn’t a moment to waste.”

 

“I--” he started, unsure how to continue. Thankfully, Jim stepped in, literally, coming up to Spock and placing a hand on his cheek to turn his eyes toward him. “It was a little irresponsible,” Jim conceded reluctantly, thumb tracing the line of Spock’s cheekbone. Spock felt himself soften under the touch, under the pleasant wave of warm affection and arousal Jim’s body heat gave off. “But I’m not a strong enough man to keep my hands off you when you’re begging for it.”

 

Spock felt himself shudder with renewed interest, and suddenly their location seemed more than an inconvenience. He took Jim’s hand from his face and twined their fingers together, melting under the psychic hum of a more Vulcan kiss. “Nor am I,” he said lowly.

 

Jim’s eyes darkened and he brushed his thumb along Spock’s, sidling closer. “Then you’d better not make me beg,” he practically whispered.

 

Spock breathed in the now unmistakable scent of Jim’s wanting. Really, he was already begging, but in a way only Spock could sense. With a trill of anticipation, Spock released his hand. “Lead the way, Captain.”