“... so make up a duty schedule for the crew and other arrangement. I wish you all a happy shore leave in Risa, ” Jim said, smiling at the barely-concealed excitement among his bridge crew. While the crew were leaving, Jim added, “Please stay behind, Mr. Spock. We have some ship's business to discuss.”
Spock nodded. When everyone else left, and the door was closed, Jim said, “This is our new mission dossier. We need to play couriers for Intel at a nightclub in the Risa’s capital. ”
“The shore leave will be a perfect cover up,” Spock said.
“Exactly. Here’s the catch. The exchange will take place in Sonui Club, an… adult club.” Jim pinched the bridge of his nose. "Are you sure you're alright with this? It's an ... unconventional assignment and if you have reservations, I can make other arrangements . "
"It is unwise for you to go without a backup. I volunteer myself for the mission. I am confident I can survive any affront to my dignity." Spock’s eyes twinkled.
"And you don't mind that we may need to be... physically demonstrative?"
"We have survived more compromising situations before. I am certain we will succeed as usual," Spock said with such conviction Jim’s heart was warmed.
"Thanks. That means a lot. "Jim smiled at Spock, trusting none of his feelings showed as he changed the topic to specific mission details.
Briefing finished, he sighed.
"Who came up with the bright idea to send us to a sex club? " And with Spock, of all people...
"As the club in question is the largest on Risa, the size of the crowd and numerous chances for physical contact will be sufficient to conceal a live drop. As the Enterprise is the only Constitution-class starship in the quadrant, the confidential nature of the mission makes us the logical choice."
"Well, at least the bill’s on Starfleet, and the crew gets to enjoy shore leave. It’d be awkward if I went with Lieutenant Commander Giotto, " Jim sighed. "I hope the message is worth this. Thanks for taking one for the team."
"I am not aware of any teams here," Spock said dryly and raised an eyebrow.
Jim laughed. This was a simple mission. They would succeed as usual. He just had to keep his own desires under control.
Control, he reminded himself. Keep control. Jim could feel his teeth grinding beneath his smile while he tried to keep his eyes on Spock's face when they prepared to beam down. Spock's dark silk robe, embellished with golden threads, showed off his sharp features, and the deep-cut neckline tempted Jim with glimpse of Spock’s chest. Jim balled up his fists to stop himself from untying the belt keeping the robe closed.
"Nice robe," Jim took a deep breath. This was Spock, his best friend and trusted First Officer, not someone he could casually ogle .
"Thank you. I have researched appropriate outfits. This one matches the club's clothing guidelines, and facilitates movement. Your suit fits well and is also pleasing to the eye."
"Thanks. I've had this since our last shore leave. Never really thought I'd wear it again.” Jim straightened the hem of his dressed-down suit, startled by Spock’s compliment. “Two to beam down, Mister Scott."
The external decor of Sonui Club reminded Jim of a golden jewellery box, and a grim Andorian bouncer inspected Jim and Spock before waving them inside. The stars displayed on the ceiling moved in their paths, grew, expanded and exploded. The walls were decorated with flaming white and red tulips, and showy multi-layered white queens of the night cactus flowers. Jim stopped to appreciate the depiction of the legendary tulips. He thought he might enjoy returning to this club when he wasn't on duty.
"Keep close," Jim whispered, feeling many hungry eyes on both Spock and him. Spock's aloofness only made him more irresistible, and soon a middle aged Tellarite men offered to massage Spock's feet, pointing to the fenced playroom area.
"I must decline your offer, " Spock said, and Jim tensed up, waiting for the Tellarite's next move. Some of his tension eased when the Tellarite left with a wistful grin.
Jim leaned towards Spock and whispered, "A polite Tellarite. I almost thought that was an oxymoron. "
"Jim, it is illogical to think a general stereotype applies to every individuals of the group, " Spock said.
"How many Tellarites have you known?, " Jim said. "Let's check out the snack bar. "
There were a wide variety of fruits: strawberries, watermelon, grapes, and pineapple from earth and less identifiable fruits from other planets, including Vulcan. They were accompanied by trays of assorted vegetable skewers, cucumber slices, celery sticks and other.
Jim winked at Spock.
"Really, your type of party." Jim picked up an eggplant and carrot skewer, licked at the sauce and sighed. "Real food. "
Spock turned away to the fruit.
"A display of good taste, Jim. "
A couple nearby fed each other strawberries, one taking a bite and feeding their partner the rest in turn. Jim watched Spock eat a strawberry, his tongue licking away the juice, and felt a familiar heat. He turned away and took another vegetable skewer, watching the crowd for any suspicious movement.
They followed the crowd when soft music played and the stage lit up. The singer blew a kiss at the audience, and started to sing, her deep voice making the word play more suggestive. Some of the dancers around her stripped half-naked and threw hot glances while they strut their barely covered bodies, others caressed and made out without missing a beat. Some of the audience kept their eyes glued to the show, others cheered and whistled.
Jim said in Spock's ear, thrilled and guilty to take advantage of their cover. "How's the dance? "
"Adequate. " Spock crossed his arms and looked distant, his mind probably working out scientific hypotheses and mission reports simultaneously.
"I would like to watch you dance, " Jim said, and then blushed, grateful the lighting covered the reddening of his skin. To cover, he added, "I've always wondered what a 'logical' Vulcan dance would look like. "
"Dance is an exercise to help children to develop the discipline of their bodies and improve coordination. " Spock tilted his head.
The tempo had accelerated, and acrobats anchored by velvet purple cloths joined the stage to twirl, jump and dance in mid air, surrounded by a light show. Servers in dark suits moved through the dancing crowd silently, with trays of sex toys, including handcuffs, plugs, clamps, collars, dildos, vibrators, and rings, as well as lubes and condoms. Jim’s face continued to warm when he took lube, condom, and a dark leather collar to blend in. The server ghosted away.
Spock examined the collar, the sharp contrast between the pale skin of his hands and the dark material of the collar made Jim’s mouth water. Wanting his hands free, and reminding himself they were on duty, he put lube and condom in his pocket. Jim's eyes swept the club again, and he wondered when the exchange would take place.
“Interesting. Despite the high quality, Tau’ral fish leather is rarely used outside its place of origin,” Spock said, long fingers twisting the collar. “Would it be more appropriate if one of us wears it?”
Jim almost choked, visualizing Spock's pale neck embraced by the dark leather collar, matching his eyes, hair and outfit, a sign of willing submission to the outsiders. Alternately Spock could put it on him, touching the vulnerable skin of his neck…Control, Jim. “It's not necessary.”
“More active participation will help us blend in, and this design will allow the wearer to breathe naturally. ”
Jim gave a short nod of his head, unable to trust his ears. “If you want to put it on me… I don’t mind. I mean for appearances and all.”
Spock put the collar on Jim’s neck, slipping his fingers under the collar to check how it fit, and Jim shivered at his touch and the soft texture of the leather. Even just for show, for a moment Jim felt as if he had just been permanently claimed by Spock where everyone could see Spock’s mark on him. Control, control. Jim breathed slowly to relax himself.
“Is it alright?” Spock asked, his fingers still testing the collar.
Jim allowed himself to indulge in the sensation for a moment. “Yes.”
Spock nodded. Jim felt the lowering pull of regret when Spock took away his hands. The collar felt heavy around his neck, but the leather felt nice. Jim returned his nod to reassure Spock’s concern in his eyes. This might just be a new favourite fantasy to indulge in during long lonely nights.
Several people looked at them and smiled. Jim felt self-conscious and oddly proud. To distract himself, he said, “Bones will never believe me if I tell him I brought you to a sex party. He would drag me to a psych bed for check up as soon as I finished the sentence.”
“Based on my observation of Doctor McCoy’s past behaviour, that would be a probable end result. Fortunately, as we are on shore leave, he does not need to know.”
“Well, what happens on Risa… Look at that.”
Young men and women in sailors' suits danced on and improbably under the stage. One of the pair jumped up and balanced on her partner’s hands, somersaulted to the ground, hurtled through the small rings suspended from the ceiling. Other performers undertook similar feats of rhythmic athleticism. Despite the superb performance, the crowd around the stage was thinning and Jim could hear faint sounds from the playroom area. Servers in black and white suits slid among the patrons and invited some of them away to private rooms. Would this be their chance?
One Arcadian server, wearing purple eyeliner, came to Jim. “Would you like to go deeper to the night?”
“Sure. Lead the way” Jim said, glancing at Spock, who stepped up to follow him. The server led them to one of the smaller rooms and turned a handle designed as a pair of outstretched human hands.
“Welcome,” a masked woman rose from a Rochelle wooden chair, her simple red dress contrasting with the room adorned in intricate designs of butterflies and metallic blue beetles. “Have a seat, my guests. My name is Ziva, and it's my pleasure to see you both.”
The only place to sit in the room was a couch barely big enough for two grown men, and Spock’s body pressed against Jim’s, his body heat radiating through his thin robe. Jim unbuttoned his shirt, seeking more space to no avail, and guiltily enjoyed the sensation.
“The night is a ripe time for secrecy and taking risk. Don’t you agree?” Ziva smiled at them. “Why don’t we play a questions game? It will give us a chance to know each other better.”
“Sure,” Jim said.
Ziva flipped the top card of a deck on the table and smiled, teasingly.
“The first question: How do you spend your time alone, which your partner may not know about? I enjoy a bubble bath, with or without my partners, but what about you two?”
Several inappropriate answers ran through Jim’s mind, but he settled on: “I love reading paper-bound books. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the texture and smell of paper. But surely you know about that.”
He smiled at Spock, intent on his performance.
“One of your interesting quirks,” Spock replied. Jim shot a glance at him, but Spock's face remained impassive. “I meditate, as the custom of a Vulcan.”
Ziva offered Jim the deck.
Jim flipped the next card and read, “'I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.' How does this quote apply to your view of your relationship? ”
Ziva watched him with the same enigmatic smile, but Jim couldn't stop his wince. He could handle this with an awkward teenager boy and an energy cloud, but talking about love while Spock could hear his every word?
Jim coughed, and shook his head.
“It's better to let love happen. If you love and care for someone, and they return the feeling, they'll let you know. ” He maintained his silence because Spock showed no signs of reciprocation of his feeling.
“A self sacrificing type. Very noble. But how can another know your true feelings?” Ziva turned to Spock. “What about you? ”
Jim’s mouth dried up when he waited for Spock's reply, expecting a version of "Vulcans do not love."
“While I see the merit of this approach, I think one should take more initiative when the evidence is in their favour,” Spock said, holding Jim's gaze. He gave the tiniest twitch of an eyebrow. .
Jim almost choked. He was never one to back down from a challenge but he had to be sure. He flipped the current top card before Ziva could move it to Spock.
“If I compare my partner to an animal, it would be...A falcon. Proud, free, aspiring for the sky and beyond. It is its own master, and only people who have earned the right can bond with a falcon.”
He swallowed. Too obvious?
Spock's fingertips brushed lightly over Jim’s hand.
“Fascinating. I think of him as a falcon too. Wild falcons, on Earth, are fearless and free, but they have a better chance of survival under an experienced falconer’s care and training. ”
Ziva looked at them knowingly. “I am sure that the taming of your bird is demanding, but most rewarding. Who wouldn't love what returns to you of its own free will?”
She waved her hands. “The night's still young. I will release you gentlemen from this realm. Enjoy your…conversation.”
They returned to the main room; someone brushed by them, and Jim felt something drop into his pocket.
He whispered to Spock, “I think we should return to the Enterprise for more conversation. ”
“Yes, Jim, ” Spock said. His hand moved to Jim’s collar. “It will be most prudent to take this off. ” He slipped the thin strip of leather into his pocket.
Jim smiled. They were going to have the best conversation back on their ship and, if Jim had his way, for the rest of their lives.
Jim remembered getting to the ship with Spock, putting the object in his pocket, which turned out to be a chip, in safe storage, but he couldn't quite remember how they'd gotten from safe storage to his room. Pressed against the wall, Jim panted, “I didn't know you were interested. ”
“I saw signs of your regard, but I could not be certain whether they were real, or a projection of my illogical hope., ” Spock said, and kissed Jim.
Spock's lips were hot, and the way he gently nipped Jim’s lips made him moan and open. Spock's tongue thoroughly mapped Jim's mouth, tangling with his own. Having Spock's full focus on him made Jim feel he were a scientific mystery to be unraveled. He grasped Spock's robe for support, and felt the thicker material of the collar still in his pocket.
When Spock released Jim from his kiss, he whispered in his ear, “Would you like to put the collar back on? ”
Spock's hands were gentle and careful when he put the collar on, despite his erratic breathing and the way his pupils darkened with desire. He kissed and nipped the thin skin of Jim's just below the collar, one hand caressing it.
Jim tilted his head backward, exposing his neck to Spock.
“You love me wearing your marks, right? ”
Spock paused his kissing and lowered his eyes, “You are wholly beautiful, and I find it… pleasant...when you allow everyone to see that you belong to me, but I can better control myself-”
“Hell no,” Jim said, pulling Spock closer to him. “You can be the best Vulcan in public, and that's all fine by me, but in here is a sanctuary for us both. We can figure out what we want together.
Jim felt the heat rise back up in his face as he continued, “I love it, too. I love that I can give myself to you like this, and know you will treasure me. ”
“You are a treasure, ” Spock said, “I am honoured to have you in my life and, if you are willing, for my whole life. ”
Jim raised his jaw further against threatening tears. “Prove it.”
He wrapped his arms around Spock's shoulders for support, wrapping his legs around Spock's waist. Spock's silky robe was slicker than he expected, and Jim started to slip. Spock caught him in his arms and steadied himself. Jim shifted against Spock’s warm and hard body to get their bodies lined up, breathing in Spock's clean scent, while Spock looked totally at ease supporting his weight.
“That's so hot. I bet you can hold me here as long as you like. ” Jim said, squirming against Spock, his nipples hardening under the stimulation.
Spock raised an eyebrow.
“You do not need me to tell you Vulcans are three times stronger than humans on average. You will not fall.”
Then he kissed Jim again.Jim rolled his hips against Spock, thrilled and honored that Spock allowed him to feel the few quiet gasps he let out. When he ground his erection against Spock, the friction from the rough denim gave him a haze of pain and pleasure.
Spock adjusted his hold, dragging their erections against each other, and Jim threw his head back, shouting incoherently.
Then Spock carried him to his bed, while holding their bodies together. Jim’s laughter died when Spock knelt down to pull off Jim's jeans and underwear, and put his mouth around the head of Jim's cock. Jim pushed his nails into his thighs to stave off his ejaculation.
Spock licked the head like a little kitten, pressing butterfly-like kisses to the tip and the ridge. One hand caressed Jim’s balls, and the other moved gently up and down the shaft. He looked so reverent and blissful that Jim felt he was about to burst with joy
“So good, ” Jim panted, tapping Spock's face as a warning right before he came, and Spock swallowed everything. He kissed and licked Jim clean before joining Jim on the bed, lying face to face with each other, and Jim could feel his hard erection against his thigh.
“It's your turn, ”Jim said. He kissed Spock, loving his taste in Spock's mouth. Pulling open Spock's robe, he reached for Spock's erection, moving up and down along the whole length while Spock thrust into his hand, breath quickening . When he came, warm liquid wet most of Jim’s hand. Jim held Spock's penis gently until he calmed down. Then Jim broke away from his kiss to lick his hand.
Spock's eyes grew hungry and he reached out to pull Jim tight, one hand caressing from his back to his ass, while the other tortured his over-sensitive nipples.
“You are so beautiful, ” Spock said after pressing a kiss to the skin just above the collar. His eyes were soft and warm.
“You too, ” Jim said, his hands enjoying the contrast of the silky robe and Spock's furry skin. With low-grade arousal warm in his stomach, he twisted and circled Spock's nipples to see if Spock liked the same treatment as he did. Spock leaned into his touch. He enjoyed how soft Spock's chest hair felt, and how Spock sighed when Jim kissed and touched over Spock's heart.
“Do you want more?” Spock asked when Jim's fingers teased his inner thighs.
“Not yet. It's nice just doing this.” Jim drew circles around Spock's navel. “I love that you trusted me enough to let you go.”
He was honoured by Spock's every slightly quickened breath, his softened eyes, and quiet gasps, all the signs of Spock's trust in him.
“No one deserves it more, ” Spock said, his right hand caressing the collar. “It is an honour to be with you. ”
“You're making me emotional, my romantic Vulcan. ”
“One should not begin a relationship with insult, ” Spock's eyes twinkled.
A relationship. Jim felt warmth radiating throughout his body, and his thoughts were too scattered for him to come up with a worthy reply. Finally, he burst out, “I wish I could wear this for you on the bridge.”
“It would be non-regulation, ” Spock said after long silence. “You should rest.”
“Take a shower with me? ” Jim looked through his eyelashes.
The shower took quite a long time, longer than regulations would approve. Afterward, Jim draped himself along Spock in their bed. He should send a thank you message to Command.
One month later:
Jim tipped over his king in defeat; they were playing in Spock's quarters this evening. Spock nodded, then handed him a small gift box. Jim opened it and found a dog tag, with his initial, surname, service number, blood group, and “Starfleet” printed on one side, and Vulcan script on the other side. He rubbed over the script,
“What does it mean? ”
“‘My captain’, ” Spock said. “While identification tags are not compulsory in Starfleet, I felt this would be an appropriate addition to your uniform. ”
“Ingenious as usual, Science Officer. ” The he covered Spock's hands. “Put it on for me?”
Spock's eyes softened so much that Jim could drown in them, and he gently put the dog tag on Jim.
Jim hugged Spock and said, “I am yours as long as you want me. ”
“I have been, and always shall be, yours, ” Spock said, and their lips connected, sealing their oath.