Title: Life is Short R
Archiving: ASCEM. All others ask permission.
Summary: The morning after, the love note, Spock can't keep it
down, the morning after.
Spock and Uhura slept only a little that first night. They lay facing, their naked bodies separated by the bedclothes and a promise. They talked softly for hours, gazing at each other in the light from a single candle.
She told him of her life growing up in a family of high-achievers, the youngest child born late to happy parents and delighted older siblings. She astonished him when she revealed that her beauty was isolating, almost a burden, that no one she met was unaffected by it, often women more so than men.
He told her about his childhood on Vulcan, about T'Pring and about his relationship with his father. She listened with tears in her eyes as he told her about Zarabeth.
He stopped short of telling her about pon farr. Though McCoy's argument about the waste and destructiveness of shame was firmly grounded in logic, Spock did not feel ‘ready’ to reveal that part of him. It had been three years but not long enough to undo a lifetime of conditioning.
He got up early that next morning, two hours before the end of the night watch, before the corridors filled with crew headed for alpha shift, before anyone could see that he still wore the long formal jacket from last night's Tellarite reception. She got up with him, knowing that she would not fall back to sleep.
They stood by the door to share a final kiss.
He held her tightly for a moment longer.
"My apologies, Nyota. Are you damaged?"
"One of those buttons poked me. I'm fine." She looked down at her chest.
"Are you certain? Allow me to examine you."
A multi-faceted imprint dimpled the skin between her breasts.
"The skin does not appear to be broken." He brushed his fingers over the soft flesh.
"No. It's ok."
They both watched his fingers stroke slowly up and down in the cleft between her breasts. He bent forward and kissed the fading imprint. She stood very still. He slid his hands around her ribcage, pulled her closer and began to plant small kisses across the tops of her breasts. He moved his hands up and gently pushed them together, rubbing his lips back and forth over her nipples, the stubble of his beard scraping her sensitive skin. Her pulse pounded in her neck. He released her and stepped back, breathing deeply through his nose.
"I must go."
"I'm not stopping you."
"I—" He swallowed. "I require a moment."
She grinned at his discomfort. "What is that old Terran saying? An erection is a terrible thing to waste."
He started to move toward her again. "Perhaps—"
"Spock, I thought we weren't going to do this. Not yet."
"Then, it would be wise for us to remain clothed when alone, otherwise abstinence will be...challenging."
She laughed. "That's the understatement of the decade."
He dipped his head.
"Spock! Are you smiling?"
"I am not." He held his head up and looked at the far wall.
"You have a dimple!"
"Lieutenant, I am not smiling."
"Whatever you say, Commander. Now leave my quarters. My nipples are getting cold."
His eyes darkened. "Do not provoke me."
She laughed again, crossed her arms over her breasts and turned her back.
"Get out, you."
"This view of you is no less appealing."
"As you wish." He turned to go.
"Wait. I just want to make sure that this isn't just one of those things. I hope you understand," she said with her back to him.
He reached out and ran his fingers between her shoulder blades. "I am certain that this is not `just one of those things'. I am not so certain that I will not continue to try to convince you to reconsider making love to me." His fingers traveled to the cleft of her buttocks.
She shivered at his touch. "Spock," she breathed. "Maybe—"
She heard the door swish open.
The door swished closed.
Spock returned to his quarters, encountering only one crewman in the corridor who peered curiously at his attire. He decided to take advantage of the two hours before alpha shift began to meditate. He stripped, donned his meditation robes and lit the flame in his firepot. He settled comfortably on his knees, stretched his arms up and around and brought his hands together below his chin, fingers spread, fingertip to fingertip. As his body relaxed, he allowed his consciousness to drift, sifting through the events of the last evening, sorting and filing memories into their proper places. His mind's eye lingered on the images of Uhura...Nyota. She settled in his mind like dark brown velvet, the taste and smell of her flooding his senses. Her skin so warm for a human's.
The sounds she made as he worked his lips and tongue on her.
His eyes flew open. He had another erection! His first response was one of dismay and embarrassment, then irritation and finally amusement. McCoy was correct. To experience shame about a biological imperative was illogical. Nyota was rapidly becoming...an imperative.
This train of thought was not unpleasant, but his goal had been to empty his mind and restore his body. He stood with a wry twist of his lips. Perhaps a shower instead.
Uhura arrived for her shift a few minutes early and as usual, Spock was already at his post busily downloading data and running routine diagnostics. She smiled briefly at him and he returned her greeting with a nod, allowing her to see his eyes linger on the swell of her
breasts. She picked up her padd and sauntered over to him, stopping only when she stood just inches away. She looked up at him through her lashes.
"Is there anything I can do for you, Commander?" Spock watched, fascinated, as she caught a corner of her lower lip between her teeth, bit down on it softly and then released it.
"No thank you, Lieutenant." He gazed at her mouth. "Perhaps later."
"Very well, sir." She turned and walked slowly to her station, swaying her hips a bit, knowing he was watching.
Spock mused that it was definitely not appropriate for the ship's first officer to be flirting with the communications officer on the bridge. Still, it was curiously exhilarating to relax his
discipline a little and trust that they were both professional enough to not allow their interaction to interfere with their duties.
The rest of the bridge crew trickled in more or less on time. Chekov was visibly, excruciatingly hung-over and Sulu, who was generally cheery in the mornings, was drawn and subdued. Sulu
paused by Uhura's station and squinted at her, searching his memory for something that he had meant to ask. He soon gave up and grimacing around his headache, continued to his station. Captain Kirk gratefully accepted a cup of coffee from the bridge yeoman, but otherwise showed no sign of discomfort. When she turned to leave, he called her back and took another cup.
"Thank you, Yeoman," he said quietly. "Leave that pitcher of water, please."
Kirk rolled his shoulders, squeezed his eyes shut then opened them wide, blinking rapidly. Sulu stifled a yawn and Chekov stared listlessly at his instrument panel.
The turbo lift doors opened and Dr. McCoy stepped out. He surveyed the bridge crew, his blue eyes sparkling with mirth. He stood with his hands behind his back, a hypospray hidden in his palm.
"Good morning, everybody!" he boomed. Sulu jumped in his seat and Chekov groaned and dropped his head in his hands.
"Goddamn it, Bones!" Kirk massaged his forehead with his fingertips.
"Step right up for McCoy's all-purpose snake oil and hangover cure." The doctor wiggled the hypo between his fingers. "One part vitamin B-12, one part analgesic, one part mild stimulant. My own recipe. Any takers?"
Kirk waved him away but Chekov raised his hand in a pathetic plea. McCoy administered the medication and Chekov sighed with relief.
"Chekov, you look about fifty percent better."
"I hope I never see another Tellarite citizen ever again," groaned Chekov.
"Don't blame the Tellarites, Chekov." McCoy held up the hypo. "Mr. Sulu?"
"No thanks, sir. I'll just drink lots of water."
"Alrighty." McCoy walked across the bridge and stopped by the con chair. "Jim, are you sure?"
Kirk had his head bowed and was pushing gingerly at his eyelids with his fingertips. "Nothing a good steam wouldn't cure," he replied, not opening his eyes.
"Then I'll take my leave." He stepped out of the bridge pit and beamed at Uhura, bowing at the waist. "Miss Uhura, you're looking especially radiant this morning. Unlike these other idiots, I'm
sure you exercised some self-control at the reception last night."
Spock stiffened but didn't turn from his scanner. Uhura didn't miss a beat.
"Why doctor, you know a lady never gives in to temptation." She batted her lashes.
"Of course you wouldn't, gorgeous. And speaking of beautiful, that dress last night—"
Spock straightened and turned from his console. "Doctor. Just how much of your concoction have you had?"
"None, Spock. Didn't need it. Alcohol doesn't affect me that way."
"Said the pickle to the brine."
"Mr. Spock. Dr. McCoy. I am not in the mood." Kirk swiveled his chair around and gave them a dark look.
McCoy left the bridge with a huff. Kirk swung back and stared grumpily at the view screen.
Uhura smiled sweetly at Spock and winked, tapping her stylus against her lower lip. She held his eyes as she very slowly uncrossed her legs, primly tugged her skirt lower on her thighs and sat with her knees pressed firmly together. As he watched, she slowly re-crossed her legs and swiveled her chair so that her back was to him. Spock felt a slight warmth fill his genitals. It occurred to him that the bridge crew, himself included, would not be entirely prepared should
a Klingon ship appear off the port bow. He raised a brow and turned back to his console.
Uhura could be extremely seductive. Indeed, merely her presence was enough to unsettle most males of any species, even ones that didn't have a gender-specific preference. Kirk had recognized this and often placed her strategically at a conference table at some diplomatic negotiation or other function, just to keep his target unbalanced. Khan Noonien Singh was used to having the attention of every woman in any room he entered. But Uhura's beautiful eyes had
flicked disinterestedly over him once and then turned to the man seated next to her. Spock had observed, totally intrigued, as Uhura innocently toyed with her glass, repeatedly bringing her it to her lips while Khan watched her, his eyes lingering on her mouth, drinking when she did, unconsciously mimicking her actions, becoming increasingly pliable. Khan had erroneously assumed that Kirk had used Spock to outflank him, realizing too late that the captain and the lovely communications officer had played him like a drunken sailor.
Uhura was good, but Spock had spent the last four point eight years observing another master in the art of seduction and he had picked up a few tricks of his own. He inserted a data tape, leaned toward his console and murmured into the recorder. He ejected the tape and walked briskly over to her station.
"A private message for you, Lieutenant." He casually handed it to her and returned to his seat.
After taking a moment to enjoy watching him walk away, she clicked the tape into her personal padd and inserted her earpiece. As she listened to the tape, the expression on her face went from mild interest to sharp curiosity. After a moment, her lips parted and she blinked slowly once, twice. A small, breathy sound escaped her throat. She lifted her eyes and stared at Spock with utter disbelief. He was leaning back against his console and with great concentration, was entering information into his own padd. Her face hot and her heart pounding, she listened as Spock's voice sounded in her ear:
"Nyota, it was quite thrilling to kiss you and to hold you, feel your softness, taste you, bring you pleasure, finally, after desiring to do so for three point three years. I anticipate the time when I will feel myself inside you, hear the sounds you will make when I enter you, watch you react to my touch. Should you decide to reconsider your previous decision of abstinence, I am available."
Uhura punched a button on her padd with her stylus and erased the contents of the data tape. She stared at Spock, willing him to look at her. She coughed lightly but he would not look her way. He finished his entry and strolled towards her, still refusing to acknowledge her. She watched him expectantly but he passed her without a glance. She looked on with amusement as he spoke to the captain with his back to her. When he finally returned to his station, she went to him. His fingers played rapidly over his console.
"I'm going to get you for that," she said softly.
He stood and faced her, moving close enough that she could feel the heat of his body. "It shall be interesting to discover what that entails."
A tone from her board signaled an incoming message.
She grinned. "Saved by the bell."
Uhura dropped back into professional mode and hurried back to her station.
"A sub-space message from Starfleet, Captain."
Orion pirates had `accidentally' kidnapped an Andorian Ambassador. The Orion pirates were the worst kind of barbarian: greedy, violent, black-blooded slavers, but they were apolitical, outlaws even in their own culture and too clever to engage the Federation in a diplomatic incident without the back up of the ersatz Orion government. It was likely that the kidnap was not politically motivated and that the Orions had merely taken her captive in a raid.
They negotiated a drop on an uninhabited planet, no hard feelings. The Enterprise was to divert to Sector 003 and retrieve the Ambassador.
It was unlikely, however that the pirates would truly act in good faith. They would try to take advantage of the situation because they were after all, Orions.
Kirk frowned as he looked at Spock across the briefing room table. Spock shifted in his seat.
"Analysis, Mr. Spock?"
"It appears to be the warp signature of an F-class Orion freighter."
Kirk waited for him to continue. Spock gazed at the computer screen without speaking. He shifted in his chair again and drummed his fingers against the side of the monitor.
Kirk watched him with raised brows. Spock was fidgeting! The captain leaned back in his chair and folded his arms. He glanced at McCoy who gave him a baffled shrug.
"Am I boring you, Mr. Spock?"
Spock dragged his eyes away from the monitor. "Hmm?"
"Am. I. Boring you?"
Spock stiffened and his eyes regained their usual sharp focus. He cleared his throat. "No, sir. I beg your pardon, Captain. An F-class Orion freighter."
"You already said that."
"Ah, yes. It is likely the ship we are seeking. Based on the signature degradation, I estimate that it warped out of orbit from this planet approximately 3 point two six standard days ago. A ship
of this type cannot travel faster than warp factor two. At warp six, the Enterprise should overtake them in twenty-eight hours."
"Mr. Scott, can we maintain that speed for that long?"
"Don't be insulting, Captain," said Scott.
Kirk grinned and pressed the com button at this elbow. "Bridge, this is the captain. Helm, prepare to leave orbit, at warp six, the heading to be determined by Mr. Spock."
"Heading one two nine seven, mark eight."
"You heard the man, Mr. Sulu. Kirk out." He clicked off the com. "Twenty-eight hours, gentlemen. Not much to do until then. I suggest you try to get some rest. We're going to need it.
Dismissed." The men stood and began filing out of the room. With a last irritated glance at Spock, Kirk followed them out. McCoy lingered.
"Mr. Spock, I need to speak with you for a moment."
Spock turned and stood with his hands behind his back.
"What's the matter with you? First you act like you've got ants in your pants, then you're a million miles away."
"I do not believe there are ants included in the ship's cargo, doctor."
"Don't be a smartass, Spock. The last time you behaved like this was---" McCoy stepped close and laid a hand on his shoulder. "You're not having another pon farr are you? It's too
"No doctor, it is not pon farr. I have merely been distracted of late. Do not concern yourself."
"You gave your word that you would tell me anytime there was something wrong, Spock."
"I would not necessarily classify this issue as `something wrong'. I am just having difficulty with a Vulcan exercise that I had previously believed I had mastered. It is rather disconcerting."
"Maybe I can help"
"I think not."
"You don't know that."
"Then what's the harm in telling me?"
"It is a matter of a deeply personal nature."
"I have the feeling that we're talking about sex, aren't we?"
"Spock, I will never understand how you can be completely unselfconscious about being naked but cannot have a simple conversation about sex. I thought we were past this. I'm your doctor. Just tell me what is going on."
"Very well. I have been unable to completely control the erection reflex of my penis."
McCoy blinked. "What?"
"I have been unable to---"
"I heard what you said. I'm not sure I understand."
"The parasympathetic nervous system together with the sympathetic nerv—"
"I am attempting to explain."
"Out with it!"
"I will get an erection at inopportune times."
"On the bridge?"
"The bridge, the briefing room, the science lab—"
"I get it," said McCoy, holding up a hand.
"I am not troubled by a simple erection; it is my difficulty in controlling it that I find somewhat distressing."
"If it's not the onset of pon farr, do you have any idea what could be causing this?"
"I believe I do."
"Well? What is it?"
"A woman?" McCoy laughed. "A woman. Well." He thought for a moment. "Have you and she--?" He made an unspecific motion with his hand.
Spock raised a brow. "Not quite. That is likely part of the problem. She has refused." McCoy grinned. "For now," Spock added pointedly.
The doctor tried not to laugh. "Spock. You're horny."
"I would not state it in such crude terms."
"Is she a member of the crew?"
"Jim will rip you a new one if he finds out. Are you going to tell him?" Spock gazed at McCoy without answering. McCoy snorted. "I wouldn't tell him either. If there is a situation of discretion being better part of valor, this is it. What about the girl?"
"The 'girl' is an intelligent and professional woman. I have no doubt that she will be discreet."
"She must be something if you're willing to risk getting your ticket punched."
"She is exceptional."
McCoy chuckled and turned to leave. He stopped and turned back.
"Spock, you've endured years of celibacy before, what's different about now?"
"I beg your pardon, Doctor but I have not endured years of celibacy. I have voluntarily abstained for what you might consider to be extended periods of time. I assure you however, that I have my share of sexual activity. I am not bonded; it is my right."
"You've been having sex? When? Who?"
"Yes. Periodically. Various partners. Your questions are beginning to insult me."
"I always thought it didn't make sense that Vulcans could only have sex every seven years."
"What we experience every seven years is a loss of control. While it is not in the nature of Vulcans to be as promiscuous as humans, it is illogical to limit procreative activities to every seven years, especially between bondmates. Vulcan could not otherwise keep its population at acceptable levels. We can choose to have sex. Or not."
"And you have been choosing to do so," said the doctor with a wry grin.
"Only as an exercise in control." Spock folded his arms. "Rather like practicing martial arts."
"Yeah, right. Can I borrow that line?" McCoy laughed again. "An exercise in control, huh? Don't you find it to be the least bit fun?"
"The physical gratification is incidental. However, suffice it to say, that in the battle between will and desire, it is sometimes permissible to allow desire to win out."
McCoy regarded his friend. Spock calmly returned his gaze. Slowly a grin spread across the doctor's face as an eyebrow rose equally slowly on Spock's.
The retrieval of the Andorian Ambassador had not gone smoothly. The Orion pirates had scanner-jamming technology that lent them a type of invisibility as long as they remained out of viewing range. They positioned their ship just beyond the planet's north pole and sidled
around the planet, keeping out of sight as the Enterprise orbited. They set another jammer outside an abandoned mine and hid there, waiting to ambush the rescue team.
As the rescue team materialized, they saw the Andorian Ambassador sprinting toward them waving her arms and pointing behind her. The Enterprise security team had been wary of a trap and had quickly subdued the marauders, but not before the landing party suffered casualties. The Orion ship thought the better of firing on the Enterprise and warped out of orbit, abandoning their comrades—and their captain--to face their fates on their own.
There was no word about the landing party other than that Spock and two others were seriously injured enough to be beamed directly to sickbay.
Uhura walked down the corridor on deck five, her heartbeat loud in her ears. She concentrated on controlling her breathing to keep herself from hyperventilating. She came around a corner and saw Spock. His chin was smudged with dirt and his tunic was torn at the collar, a spray of red blood across the front. He was entering data into a padd when he looked up just in time to catch her with one arm when she threw herself at him. He walked backwards a few feet and stepped quickly into a briefing room, still holding her tightly against the length of his body.
She held him around his neck, her feet dangling in the air. After a moment, she took a deep sobbing breath. He bent to set her on her feet but she uttered a small cry and held him tighter. He dropped the padd on the conference table and pressed his hand to the back of her head.
He turned his lips to her ear.
"Nyota, dear one. Shh," he murmured. "I am safe."
He stroked her hair and held her until her sobs slowed. Her grip on his neck finally loosened and he put her down. She gripped his tunic in her fists and pressed her forehead into his chest. If she looked into his face, she knew she'd fall apart again. She took a deep, shuddering breath and stood back with her head down. She swiped her eyes with the back of her wrist. She peered up at him.
"I got snot on your neck."
"It is preferable to blood."
"Are you hurt?" She pulled back and looked him over.
"I suffered a dislocated shoulder and three fractured ribs."
"Spock! You should've put me down!"
"Dr. McCoy made his repairs."
"I could have re-injured you."
"The pain is under control and you would not re-injure me. I find I prefer to hold you than not."
She started pulling at his tunic. "Let me see."
He rather enjoyed the feel of her hands tugging at his clothing so he made only a token protest. She gasped out a sob when she saw the huge dark green bruise that covered most of the right half of his torso.
"It looks worse than it is and it is already fading. One hour in a healing trance should be sufficient for my full recovery by this evening. Do not trouble yourself."
"They said that you were crushed under some metal beams."
"An exaggeration. The Orion captain tossed a titanium keg at us. I prevented it from connecting with Ensign Park."
"You could've been killed."
"I am less fragile than Ensign Park. She would not have survived. My injuries are unimportant."
"Not to me."
"Nyota, we are Starfleet officers. We are constantly at risk for injury or even death. It is our duty--"
"Don't patronize me. I'm allowed to be alarmed when I hear that there was an accident with the landing party and you end up in sickbay."
"It is not my intent to be patronizing." He straightened with a small wince. "I will however, remind you of the incident with the landing party of which you were a part 10 days ago. Ship's
sensors picked up weapons discharge, communications were interrupted and there was no way to determine the status of the landing party for four point eight minutes. I reviewed the reports. One could say that you also acted with disregard for your own life by placing yourself in the path of a twenty-ton boulder. "
She grimaced. "Oh that. I just fired a shot that vaporized some falling rocks. I was quickest on the draw, that's all. It was nothing."
"Not to me."
"Touché." She ran a trembling hand over her face. She drew in a deep breath and felt her heartbeat begin to return to normal. She put her arms carefully around his waist. He did not return her embrace.
He looked down into her eyes. "It was a very long four point eight minutes."
"Commander, time is constant. It is illogical to perceive that one minute could be longer than another." She grinned. He was not amused. She dropped her arms. Oops. "I'm just glad you're ok."
"Nyota, I cannot reassure you that it will not happen again."
"I could say the same thing."
He brushed at a spot on her cheek that was still damp with tears.
"Will I see you this evening?" he asked.
"Yes, of course. If you're not too tired."
"Is 2100 hours convenient?"
Her door chimed at exactly 2100 hours. She had programmed her door to recognize him weeks ago so that he would not have to linger in the corridor. Interesting.
He entered her quarters and she was surprised to see him dressed in a burgundy sweater and dark gray pleated slacks. She realized that in the three months that they'd been together, she'd only seen him in uniform, once or twice in his meditation robes or in workout attire, but never in casual clothes. She'd thought black was a good color for him but this burgundy was stunning.
"Um, hello," she said. She wondered how many people saw him standing outside her quarters dressed like this.
"Good evening, Nyota. Stellar Cartography is having their mission-end gathering. I thought that you might like to attend."
"Did I miss something?"
"Our mission is over in three weeks. I see no reason to continue our relationship in secret. You deserve better."
She blinked in shock.
"Are you sure, Spock? I know how you value your privacy and we're skirting the edges of regulations as it is. It's only three weeks. I can wait."
"It is unlikely that we will be court-martialed for attending a ship's function together."
"You're not doing this just to get into my pants, are you?"
"Nyota, if my sole intent were to entice you to acquiesce to sexual relations, we would have consummated our relationship one point four three hours after we entered your quarters the evening of the Tellarite reception."
"One point four three hours?"
"That's how long you think it would take to talk me into bed huh, Mr. Irresistible?"
"There would have been very little talking involved. Any resistance on your part would have been futile." He pulled her to him and kissed her gently. "I have also given some thought to our
relationship as it relates to events that have occurred during our participation in recent away missions. I have come to the conclusion that an observation that Dr. McCoy repeatedly makes
"What is that?"
"Life is short."
"Give me a minute to change."
Stellar Cartography was the first department to hold their mission-end party as the ship returned to sector 001 through charted space. As she made her way home, the Enterprise would begin dropping off cartography staff at their new posts and this was the last evening
that they would all be together.
The party was being held on the forward observation deck. The lights had been extinguished and candles flickered all around the room. The ship had spent the past three days flying under the vast bright expanse of Nebula Nebeknezzer. The huge overhead observation port was open, allowing the cloud to add its reddish illumination to the room and affording the partygoers a spectacular view. The effect was extremely romantic. The music of Duke Ellington wove through the sounds of murmured conversations, soft laughter and the tinkle of ice in glasses. The atmosphere was intimate and welcoming. There was no dance floor per se, but couples danced randomly throughout the room. After five years of serving together, it was clear that for some of them, the dance was a final good bye, for others, the beginning of something new.
Uhura hesitated at the entry way but Spock gently placed his hand at the small of her back and kept it there as they maneuvered through the crowd towards the bar. It was clear to anyone watching that they came to this party together. They received a few lingering looks and there was a small ripple of silence as they made their way into the room but for the most part, their crewmates seemed more interested in their own affairs.
Sulu and Rand, who were inseparable lately, were telling "remember when" stories over by the bar but stopped mid-laugh when Spock and Uhura approached. Janice managed to keep her face empty but Sulu's eyes widened and his eyebrows shot up.
Spock turned away to get their drinks and Janice contorted her face with exaggerated surprise. Nyota gave her a big-eyed look, doing a bad job of feigning innocence.
"Hey Janice," she said warily.
Janice leaned over and gave Uhura a kiss on the cheek and a quick squeeze on the arm in encouragement. Spock turned back and handed Uhura a glass of white wine. He held a glass of sparkling water for himself.
Uhura glared at Sulu, whose mouth hung open. "Hicky," she spoke through clenched teeth. Sulu stood speechless until Janice elbowed him.
"Oh, ahem, good evening Mr. Spock. Lieutenant Uhura. Er, that's a good color for you, Sir." The corner of Rand's mouth twitched and her eyes were very bright.
Spock raised a brow. "Hicky?"
"Uh, long story sir." Sulu's face colored as Janice and Uhura muffled snickers. "Keep laughing, Lieutenant and I'll tell Mr. Spock why we call you Ny-tie." Uhura abruptly stopped giggling but
Janice let out a loud guffaw.
"I would." Sulu's eyes sparkled.
"I out-rank you, mister."
"Not for long."
Janice had tears streaming down her face as her body shook with silent laughter. Spock now had both eyebrows raised.
Uhura gripped Spock's arm and pulled him away. "I'll tell you later." She flashed an evil look over her shoulder at Sulu. Janice was nearly doubled over.
They walked through the room greeting crewmembers; Uhura talking and smiling and embracing a few, Spock simply nodding or saying "Ensign" or "Lt. Ke'Lan." At some point, she laced her fingers through his and he did not withdraw, even when McCoy and Barrows
approached. Spock stood with his body facing slightly away from Uhura as she chatted with Barrows, pleasantly exchanging barbs with the doctor, absently stroking the back of her hand with his thumb. McCoy glanced down at their laced fingers, smiled but said nothing.
Christine Chapel stood with M'Benga and was laughing at something he said when her eyes drifted over his shoulder and she saw them. Spock and Uhura were standing side by side, his head bent toward her listening attentively, a hand resting high on her back. Christine
frowned in confusion, her greeting dying on her lips. Their posture was not overtly affectionate but it was familiar, even intimate. A group of dancers moved too close and Spock pulled Uhura towards him, sliding his hand up and over her shoulder, resting his fingers lightly on the side of her neck. He looked over her head and met Chapel's eyes. He removed his hand and murmured a word to Uhura. She turned and saw Christine watching them.
Christine's eyes went from one to the other. Spock held her gaze with his usual impassivity but Uhura's eyes flicked away guiltily. Uhura took a step forward then stopped. She looked back at Spock who gave a tiny negative shake of his head, their silent communication loud testament as to the nature of their relationship.
Christine's face flushed dark with humiliation. She put down her drink as angry tears sprang to her eyes. She pushed past a puzzled M'Benga and walked quickly to the exit. Uhura started after her but was held back by a touch from Spock.
"It is perhaps not the most opportune time to have a discussion with her," he said.
Uhura sighed. "You're right." She looked up into his face. "I tried to tell her, Spock. It was just never the right time. I'm such a coward."
"I would never characterize you as cowardly, Nyota. While I appreciate your consideration for your friend, we are adults. We do not require anyone's permission to pursue a relationship. We have had this conversation before."
"I just feel so bad."
"I would not wish for you to feel that way about us."
She laid her hand briefly on his chest. "Never about us."
"That is pleasing to know."
Billie Holiday singing a very slow version of "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" began to play. Uhura smiled. "They're playing our song. Dance with me big fella."
"As you wish."
They danced that song and the next. Janice dragged Sulu over and soon McCoy and Barrows joined them. Later at the drinks table, Rand pulled Uhura aside.
"Hmm…didn't know Mr. Spock could cha cha," Janice remarked.
"Neither did I."
Rand sighed. "I don't know which is more disappointing: a man with a small penis or a man who can't dance."
Barrows walked up. "Keep your voice down, J.R." She turned to Uhura, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. "So, Nyota. We already know Spock can dance." She waggled her eyebrows up and down.
"Now Tonia, I'm sure I wouldn't tell you that. I mean, not that I could," Uhura replied.
None of them saw McCoy come up behind them. "Well, I'm his doctor and I can tell you."
"Dr. McCoy!" Uhura gasped.
"I was just going to say, he's a good dancer." He tipped them a wink and they shrieked with laughter. Just then Spock rejoined them.
"Ladies, Dr. McCoy. I heard your entire conversation."
"This is a good place to say our good nights." Uhura waved goodbye with two fingers and headed for the door. Spock nodded at the embarrassed trio and followed.
Spock and Uhura entered her quarters. She kicked off her shoes.
"Where was the captain this evening? Would you like a cup of tea? I think I still have some of the—"
She turned to see that he had not moved from the doorway. His dark eyes regarded her, traveling slowly up and down her body, lingering on her mouth, her breasts, the curve where her neck met her shoulder.
"Now that look could get us court-martialed."
"Nyota, I see no logical reason for us to continue with your policy of abstinence."
"That's the sexiest thing I've ever heard in my life."
"Then we are in agreement."
They stared at each other until she laughed, finally breaking the silence.
"I suddenly don't know what to do," she said.
"I am experiencing a similar dilemma." He permitted himself a small smile, something he was doing more and more when they were alone, but he still seemed embarrassed by it, dropping his eyes or looking away.
"You first," she whispered.
He held her eyes and slowly removed his clothes. He was lean and pale in the soft light of her quarters. She could see the green tracery of his veins under the skin of his smooth shoulders and down his slender biceps. His cock jutted from a thick black thatch of silky-looking hair. His testicles hung heavy and dark between his thighs.
He stood before her, waiting.
She went to him and ran her fingertips across his full lower lip. "Spock, you are so beautiful it makes my heart ache."
He captured her hand and kissed the inside of her wrist. He kissed his way up her arm, moving behind her as he reached her neck. His hands caressed her sides, slipping under her loose sweater. He unsnapped the front clasp of her bra, tore the straps from the cups, pulled it out from under her shirt, and dropped it on the floor. His hands traveled down into the waistband of her pants to her panties where his strong fingers shredded the elastic that held them
together. They fell from her body down her pant leg, landing at her ankle. He slid his hand further down and rubbed his middle finger between the lips of her vagina. Her pussy was hairless, soft and hot, slick with her juices. He moaned at the feel of her and she felt his erection surge against her. She sighed and leaned back into him. He ran his hands roughly over her breasts, cupping and kneading them through the soft knit fabric of her sweater. He twined his fingers in her hair, pulled her head back and kissed her deeply. Finally breaking the kiss, he took her hand and led her to the sleeping alcove.
"Take off your clothes, Nyota," he said. He watched her remove her clothes and when she was naked, he gazed at her body. "Come here."
She walked slowly to him.
He took her hand and wrapped her fingers around his hardness and squeezed. He closed his eyes and bowed his head, breathing deeply, slowly.
He reached for her, pulling her into an embrace that lifted her off her feet, burying his face in her neck. She wrapped her arms around him and he ran his hand down the back of her thigh, bringing her knee up to his waist. She brought up her other leg and crossed her ankles at the small of his back. He sat on the edge of her bed and held her tightly against his chest, his face still in her neck, breathing in her scent. His fingers dug into her skin. She leaned back and gently loosened his arms. She ran her fingers into his hair and gripped it, pulling his face close to hers.
"What's the matter, baby?"
"I was—this is—" He looked into her eyes. "Nyota, the force of my…emotions is unexpected."
"Don't be afraid."
"I am not afraid."
She stroked his face and smiled. "Of course you're not."
He lay back and pulled her on top of him. She touched her forehead to his.
"Spock, I will give to you what you need."
They did not make love that night, at least not in the traditional sense. They lay together much as they did that first night, bathed in the warm glow of a candle flame. They explored each other's bodies, trailing fingers and lips and tongues lightly over heated skin, discovering, smelling, tasting, bringing each other to orgasm with mouths, hands, fingers. And words. Spock wrapped himself around her, rested his hand lightly on her belly then brought his mouth close to her ear. He whispered softly in Vulcan for some minutes until she began to tremble and gasp. He moved his hand down to press the flat of his fingers against her aching clit, bringing her to a shattering, sobbing orgasm, her body covered with a sheen of sweat. She was almost angry with him after for being able to control her that way. She 'paid him back' with lingering, teasing
fellatio that lasted nearly an hour. He actually laughed with relief when she finally allowed him to come.
He left her quarters forty minutes before alpha shift began, walking down corridors that rapidly filled with crew going to morning mess before reporting for duty. He waited for a turbolift with a yeoman and two young ensigns who looked at his casual clothes and mussed hair with huge eyes. The lift doors opened to reveal Dr. McCoy in much the same casual disarray as Spock. McCoy took in Spock's appearance without expression and nodded a greeting.
"Doctor," Spock murmured, stepping onto the lift. They stood in silence, hands behind their backs, ignoring the waves of stunned curiosity coming from the crewmen behind them.
The yeoman and ensigns got off at the next deck, nearly crushing each other trying to get through the door at the same time.
"One at a time, gentleman," Spock said mildly.
Spock and McCoy glanced at each other when the lift doors closed.
"You have something--." Spock made a wiping motion by his mouth with his hand.
McCoy brushed his hand across his chin and felt something pull away from his skin. He looked at his fingers and saw a short, curly auburn hair.
"Thank you. You have a little blood--." McCoy pointed at the skin on the side of Spock's neck that was revealed at the open collar of his sweater.
"It is only a scratch."
The lift deposited them on their deck. They bid each other good day and parted company.
Moments later, that same lift picked up a uniformed passenger leaving the officer's mess.
"Bridge," said Kirk. He inhaled through his nose, trying not to yawn.
He cocked his head curiously. What was that smell? He sniffed the air trying to capture---ah, he had it. Bourbon. But there was something else underneath it. The lift doors opened to the bridge just as he identified the other scent.
"Dammit, Bones," he grumbled.