Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ship's Night R

Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters.

Title: Ship’s Night 1/4
Author: T’Prahn
Series: TOS
Rating: R
Pairing: S/U, K, Mc, Barrows
Archiving: ASCEM, Acidqueen. All others ask permission, please.
Contact: frokitt@yahoo.com


“You look so cool, so cool, so enviably cool.”

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”—Tennessee Williams


Summary: Babel ends, dinner on Vulcan, a malfunction turns up the heat.

~Chapter 1

Journey from Babel

Uhura leaned against the wall and indulged in a little sightseeing while she waited for a treadmill to open up. It looked like pretty much everyone from Alpha shift was in the ship’s gym, plus a few of the remaining passengers from the Babel Conference.

Scotty spotted the heavy bag and yelled unintelligible instructions to a grimly determined Chekhov. DeSalle and Sulu were engaged in a soundless but deadly-looking fencing match in a far corner.

Dr. McCoy was using one of the treadmills. He seemed only slightly out of breath, though he’d been running at a near sprint for the last twenty minutes. His thin Grambling Tigers tee shirt was sweat-soaked and clung to his lean torso.

Spock and Golan, one of Ambassador Sarek’s ‘aides’, sparred with lirpas, moving in time with the sound of a Vulcan drum. Spock was lithe and finely muscular under his thin jumper, but he looked almost like a child next to the massive Golan. Uhura winced in sympathy at the heavy thud of the lirpa’s bludgeon as it connected with Spock’s midsection. She clearly heard a rib snap but Spock spun and sank gracefully to one knee, ramming Golan solidly in the chest with a backhanded uppercut of his own.

Captain Kirk was near the top of the climbing wall and hung casually from the fingertips of his right hand as he watched Spock and Golan. McCoy flashed him a warning look and Kirk dutifully placed the toes of his right foot lightly against the wall.

The air was warm and leaden with sweat and testosterone.

“Watching your favorite show?”

Uhura barely glanced at a smirking Tonia Barrows. “Hey, Toni,” she murmured.

“I just have two words.”

“What’s that?”


“That’s one word,” Uhura laughed.

Barrows stepped around Uhura. “I need a better view,” she said.

“Don’t hurt yourself.”

“Not me.” She wiggled her fingers over her shoulder. “Call you later.” She stalked slowly by the treadmills and every head turned to follow her progress. She locked eyes with Dr. McCoy and bit down on her lower lip. McCoy smiled with one side of his mouth then looked away, blushing. Barrows glanced back at Uhura with a grin.

Uhura rolled her eyes and commandeered the treadmill that had just been vacated next to the doctor.

“Ah, Lieutenant Uhura. Your lovely presence just made a painful activity slightly less painful,” said McCoy.

“Thanks, I think.”

McCoy chuckled.

“You know the captain’s not wearing a harness,” she commented.

“It was either that or let him eat one of those horrible Tellarite cheeseburger things. I figured the food would kill him faster than a broken neck, so I let him climb without the harness.”

“He’s a tough negotiator.”

“Well, I’ve decided not to watch. Healthier for my heart.” He glanced at Kirk anyway. “He calls this ‘taking it easy’.”

The sound of a lirpa blade whistled in the air. Uhura looked up just in time to see a thin line of green appear in the small of Spock’s back.

“They’re really using those things, aren’t they?”

McCoy closed his eyes briefly. “I’m not watching them either. But, best I can tell, Spock’s winning.”

They watched Spock block a series of blows and thrusts that blurred in the air. Golan was armor plated with heavy slabs of middle-aged Vulcan muscle and looked as solid and immovable as a cliff face, until he sprang into the air and executed a forward summersault over Spock’s head. Spock jumped, twisted and ducked with supple grace, always in rhythm with the beat of the drum, his movements almost balletic. The weapons connected with enough force that the runners felt the vibrations through their feet on the moving treadmills.

McCoy snorted. “Mild-mannered Science Officer my ass.”

Uhura raised a brow. “That’s exactly what I thought when I first met him.”

McCoy pursed his lips and widened his eyes.


“I didn’t say anything.”

“You were thinking it.”

“I’m just hanging out on the treadmill, minding my own business, gorgeous.” He gave her a smile that warmed her entire body.

She gazed at him in wonder. “How do you do that?”

He hopped lightly off the still-moving treadmill and looked up at her through his dark lashes. “How do I do what, baby?”

She laughed and shook her head. Time to change the subject. She pointed at his tee shirt. “I thought you went to University of Mississippi,” she said.

He chuckled. “This is…a souvenir.” He looked down and laughed. “Let’s just say I was getting dressed in the dark. In a hurry. Like my life depended on it.”

“Sounds like an interesting story.”

“Maybe I’ll tell it to you one day.” He wiped a towel slowly across the back of his neck.

“You’re doing it again!”

“I might be.” He looked back and saw Spock standing over Golan, pressing his lirpa blade tightly against the big man’s neck. The other ‘aide’—the drummer—shouted, “Kroykah!” McCoy winced. “But I don’t live dangerously—anymore.” His eyes traveled around the gym until they connected with Tonia’s. He held her gaze briefly then turned back to Uhura. He cleared his throat. “Gotta go.”

“See you later.” Uhura kept any expression from creeping into her face.


“I’m just hanging out on the treadmill, minding my own business, gorgeous,” Uhura said with a grin.

McCoy flushed deep crimson and hurried from the room. Tonia finished ‘lifting weights’ and followed after about five minutes. As she passed by Uhura, she winked without looking at her. Uhura watched her leave and sighed with something like envy. She instructed the treadmill to increase speed and tried to concentrate on her workout.

She’d been on the Enterprise for nearly two years and hadn’t had any real romantic liaisons. She’d been happy to see Etienne DeSalle when she arrived. They were old friends from their Academy days. He was smart and funny and it was great to have someone with whom she could practice her French. But that big, gorgeous hunk was not attracted to women—not human women, at any rate. He had eyed the Klingon females at the Babel Conference with obvious interest, however.

Scotty, Sulu or Chekhov would be with her in a second, but while she felt deep affection for each of them, that affection ended at friendship. There was a flicker of something with Sulu, but he was fickle in his relations with women and his ambition for his own captaincy could pose a problem down the road. Scotty was a man’s man, a good soldier and fiercely loyal. He fell in love quickly and deeply; he would make another woman a good husband some day. And Chekov? That was just plain silly. He was a kid, a rambunctious puppy. He would make her laugh her whole life but she’d spend too much time rapping him on the nose with a rolled up laka leaf.

Dr. McCoy was as coolly seductive a man as she’d ever met but he was a total mystery to her. They flirted shamelessly with each other but that was as far as it went. She did sense however, that his openness, his flirtatious charm and the way he wore his passions on his sleeve were misdirection. Laying himself bare was a clever way to make people believe that they knew him, while he concealed his true self behind a fortress of intellect, wry wit and sexual innuendo. Tonia Barrows was determined to break through that barrier and seemed to be making some headway. Turns out McCoy has a weakness for redheads.

Jim Kirk was out of the question. She had no desire to end up a pile of ashes.

There was the shy, sweet Lt. Brent who spoke to her in a soft stammer, blushing furiously the whole time. He was quite attractive, tall, dark, and looked a lot like Spock from behind. He was always there, quiet and efficient on the bridge, brave and resourceful on away missions, sitting unobtrusively at the periphery of the Alpha command crew clique in the officer’s mess, his huge eyes missing nothing. He received commendations from both Kirk and Spock for his performance during the PSi 2000 incident. She considered asking him to dinner in her quarters, until one day he presented her with a drawing. “This is for you,” he’d said quietly, then turned and rushed away. It was an incredible sketch of her and Spock on the bridge. They were standing together by Spock’s station and Uhura was giving Spock a data tape, something she’d done a hundred times before. They were looking at each other and their fingers were touching. Their lips were parted and Spock’s dark head was bent almost as if he was going to kiss her; desire and longing smoldered in their eyes.

It was a beautiful rendering, but perhaps Brent saw something that wasn’t there. Spock was utterly unavailable to her, impenetrable, completely out of reach. Of course, he was the one she wanted.

Spock and Golan finished their match and were leaving the gym. A cut on Golan’s huge bicep bled freely. As they passed Uhura’s treadmill, she could actually feel the combined heat of their bodies, and in their hot wake, she could smell the scent of Vulcan blood and musk. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. She looked up and saw Golan watching her with glittering eyes.

She ducked her head and instructed the treadmill to go still faster.

End Chapter 1



~Chapter 2


“Thee are called?”

“I am Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, Madame.”

T’Pau’s eyes flickered to someone off screen, then resumed their intense scrutiny of Uhura.

“Thee will dine on Vulcan,” she said finally. “As my guest.” It was not so much an invitation as a command.

Uhura maintained her calm expression but her grip on her stylus nearly snapped the soft metal in half. “I am honored, Madame.”

T’Pau inclined her head slightly and the screen went blank. Uhura sat at her console, too stunned to do much more than blink at the dark screen. She swiveled her chair and stared at the captain with wide eyes.

“What was that all about?” she asked.

“You still don’t know why she contacted the ship?”

“No, sir.”

Kirk shrugged and rose from his chair. “Lieutenant, you’re with us. Call your back up and meet us in the transporter room in thirty.” he said.

“Thirty minutes? I can’t possibly be ready in thirty minutes!”

The captain looked puzzled. “Why not?”

“My hair? My nails? What am I going to wear?”

“It’s not a cold-engine restart, Uhura. Put on your dress uniform and be done with it,” Kirk said dismissively.

Uhura opened her mouth in horror. “Captain Kirk!” she gasped. She turned back to her console, summoned her back up then rushed to the turbolift with a, “Brent, take over for me.” thrown over her shoulder.

Thirty minutes later, Kirk, McCoy and Spock waited in the transporter room. Spock stood near the transporter platform with his hands folded behind his back. He was dressed in all black. McCoy groused alternately about the transporter and the fact that there would be nothing ‘decent’ to drink on Vulcan. He wore his dress whites which were slightly cooler than his dress blues. His eyes blazed blue fire in contrast with the white of his tunic. Kirk looked handsome and fit in his olive vest. The gold braid reflected warmly against his smooth skin. He rolled his broad shoulders impatiently. The medals pinned to his chest tinkled tinnily.

“What time is it?” asked Kirk.

“Twenty two point four seconds later than the time you last asked, Captain,” answered Spock.

“Where is she?”

“Women are always late for these things, Jim. Calm down,” drawled McCoy. “You’re going to get all sweaty and need a triox hypo before we even get down there.”

“Goddammit, I said thirty--,”

The doors swished open and Uhura entered. All three officers and the transporter technician froze. Kirk’s mouth snapped shut. The technician’s mouth dropped open. McCoy blew out a quiet breath. Spock’s hands tightened behind his back.

She was exactly on time.

Uhura wore a sand-colored, floor-length strapless dress made out of a light cotton-like fabric with intricate, purple single-thread embroidery. The tops of her breasts mounded from the tight bodice and there was a slit up to her left hip that bared her smooth, muscular thigh with every step. She had pulled her hair into a high, tight bun with one thick ringlet left out that lay curled against the nape of her neck. She wore dark plum lipstick and no jewelry. She carried a wrap the same dark plum color of her lipstick that was as fine and lightweight as a spider’s web.

She swung the wrap around her shoulders and fastened it with a wide gold clasp at her throat. The wrap covered her from neck to feet but any modesty it lent was illusory. The delicate cloud of knit obscured the shape of her body except where it touched her skin. With each step, her lovely leg revealed itself then retreated into the folds. She stepped onto a transporter pad and looked at them expectantly.

“Well, what are we waiting for?” she frowned.

They moved quickly to the platform. They were all looking at her when the captain somewhat breathlessly ordered, “Energize.”

They materialized in the palace courtyard and felt the heat like a soft hot punch to the midsection that briefly stole the air from their lungs—except for Spock. Spock inhaled deeply and there was a subtle adjustment of his body that seemed to realign his muscles more comfortably against his bones. Amanda and her attendant, T’Lan, met them. Amanda looked as cool and fresh as some exotic white flower.

“Mrs. Sarek.” Kirk inclined his head. “Thank you for having us.”

“Really, Captain. It’s Amanda. While I am delighted to have you, you are here at T’Pau’s… request.” She seemed to be suppressing a grin. She turned to the doctor and Uhura. “Dr. McCoy, Lieutenant. Welcome.”

Just then, a thunderous roar shuddered through the air, startling only the Outworlders. Amanda sighed impatiently.

“Spock, darling, please go and greet I’Tet before he has a fit. He’s been yowling like a new cub since our return. I swear he knew you were coming before you completely materialized.”

“*What* was *that*?” asked McCoy.

“That, Doctor, is a Vulcan teddy bear,” said Spock. “If you’ll excuse me.” He left them.

McCoy’s eyes were big. The corners of Amanda’s mouth twitched.

“We acquired I’Tet when Spock was about ten after I’Chaya died,” she said. “Spock and Sarek were reluctant but I insisted. A boy needs a dog, er, sehlat. As it turns out, Spock and Sarek have I’Tet hopelessly spoiled, though they would never admit it.” A gong sounded. “Ah. T’Pau has arrived. This way, please.” She paused. “Gentlemen, Lieutenant, before we go in…Vulcan communication is extremely subtle. They read much into the slightest facial expression and they miss nothing. While they do not make it a habit of eavesdropping, their hearing is acute. Please be mindful that there is no such thing as a private conversation if you are within a hundred feet of a Vulcan. Do you understand?”

They nodded.

She regarded them with her clear grey eyes. “Good. Shall we?” She motioned for them to follow.

Kirk and McCoy battled briefly over who would escort Uhura. Kirk tried to pull rank, but Uhura gently nudged him into place in front of her then maneuvered McCoy behind as they followed Amanda into the slightly cooler Great Hall.

Amanda spoke without turning. “I regret that I was not able to see you when you were last on Vulcan, Captain. The Ambassador and I were off world and there was…not time to get here to meet you.”

“No need for apology, Mrs. Sarek. Our visit was a short one,” replied Kirk.

“And eventful I understand, was it not, Dr. McCoy?”

McCoy stiffened. “Am I in trouble, Miss Amanda?”

“Twice you’ve outsmarted a Vulcan. Let’s just say that T’Pau may have a bone to pick with you.”

“I thought Vulcans didn’t eat meat,” muttered McCoy.

Amanda chuckled discreetly. “Don’t forget what I said about Vulcan hearing, Doctor.” She glanced back. “Your gown is lovely, Lieutenant. Who is the designer?”

“Thank you. It’s an Ava`iddy Thelahdi. And please, call me Nyota.”

Amanda glanced at T’Lan as a signal to remember the designer’s name.

Spock met them at the entrance of the cavernous dining hall and fell into step slightly ahead and to the left of his mother. Kirk looked back at McCoy with surprise. McCoy lifted a shoulder in puzzlement. Uhura gave him a stern look and Kirk quickly faced forward as they entered the hall.

In the middle of the room was a very long, very narrow and elaborately laid table. Crystal goblets glittered in the golden light of hundreds of candles in huge chandeliers overhead. Torches guttered and snapped in sconces along the wall. Attendants moved with unhurried efficiency around the table, setting out dishes of food, pitchers of water and decanters of what McCoy hoped was the fabled kasa juice.

Ambassador Sarek and Golan stood near the head of the table conferring with a group of Vulcan dignitaries. When the Enterprise party entered the room, Golan shifted slightly and Sarek looked over. His eyes flicked from his son to Kirk and McCoy, then lingered briefly on Uhura. He nodded a greeting and continued his conversation. Amanda excused herself and went to speak to a member of the Council. Golan’s eyes swept over them swiftly and expertly, noting the bulges of their communicators under their clothing, evaluating their posture for any sign of the peculiar tension in which assassins held themselves. Satisfied, he returned his attention to Uhura. His gaze was discreet, but definitely appreciative. Kirk and McCoy missed none of this inspection. Golan was an excellent guard and, Kirk noticed with an internal grin, he had equally excellent taste.

“I think I like him,” murmured McCoy. The doctor was just as much an expert at the visual diagnosis.

“That’s the guy you want to have your back in a knife fight,” answered Kirk.

Uhura adjusted the clasp on her wrap. Spock stepped closer to her. He made the barest signal with his hand and an attendant approached with a tray of drinks.

“Are you uncomfortable, Miss Uhura? Perhaps a glass of water?”

“Thank you, Spock. I’m fine. It’s only a couple of degrees hotter here than summer in Africa.”

“Very well.”

Kirk selected a glass of water but the doctor took a small goblet of thick amber liquid. McCoy took an experimental sip. He coughed lightly but his eyes sparkled with pleasure.

“That’s good!”

“Kasa juice is rather potent and highly effective in suppressing inhibitions in humans, Doctor. I suggest you limit yourself to one drink until you have eaten.”

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m going to take your advice.”

Spock held out his elbow. “Brace yourself Miss Uhura. The ground may open up,” he said.

Uhura laughed delightedly and laid her hand on Spock’s arm. Even McCoy had to smile. Several dark heads turned curiously in their direction. Uhura’s laugh was as sweet as her singing voice.

There was a flurry—well increase--of activity at another entrance and a hush rippled through the room. T’Pau was here. Sarek went to her and greeted her formally.

“Na’shaya, T’Pau.”

“My son.”

“Your guests await you.”

T’Pau shifted her gaze from Sarek’s face to a point over his shoulder. Spock and his friends approached.

“Greetings, T’Pau,” said Spock.

“Spock.” She looked him up and down. “Thee looks well.”

“I am well, Grandmother.”

She turned to Kirk. She stared at him without speaking as she did the day of Spock’s ku’nat’kali’fee, apparently still undecided as to her opinion of him. She turned her attention the doctor.

“McCoy. Thee will attend me.”

McCoy bowed deeply then offered his arm. “My honor, Madame.”

The set of her mouth grew fractionally less severe--as close as T’Pau would ever get to simpering. Sarek met Amanda’s eyes across the room. She was amused; he was bewildered.

As T’Pau stepped forward with the doctor, and without looking back, she said, “Spock, thee will attend Uhura.”

It was Spock’s turn to look at his mother with surprise, but Amanda was suddenly extremely interested in the thread on her sleeve.

“As you wish, T’Pau,” said Spock.

McCoy and T’Pau, Spock and Uhura walked to the dining table. Kirk frowned in confusion and turned to the Ambassador. Sarek inclined his head and indicated that they should follow. It seems that he had no more idea of what was going on than Kirk. Jim glanced back at Golan. The Vulcan gazed politely into the distance, offering nothing.

T’Pau virtually ignored the Ambassador and the members of the High Council in attendance and focused her attention on McCoy, and to a lesser degree, on Spock and Uhura. The dinner progressed uneventfully, if somewhat mysteriously.

McCoy was a skilled courtesan. He behaved with just the right mix of charm and flirtatiousness, flattery, candor and sharp, dry wit. He let his blue eyes do the rest. And T’Pau *was* charmed, but she wasn’t distracted. She allowed herself to be flattered and seduced by those eyes, but she didn’t forget why she brought them here tonight. After the other guests left, she spoke.

“McCoy,” began T’Pau.

“Please call me Leonard, Madame.”

She raised a brow. “I prefer to address thee as McCoy.”

“By your command, my lady,” said McCoy graciously.

She simpered again. “I am prepared to forgive thy…subterfuge.”

“Thank you.”

“Thee are responsible for saving the lives of my children.”

“Your ‘children’ have such incredible physiology, that I fear that my part in their survival was minimal.”

“Thee underestimates thy skill, McCoy. The healers have examined Sarek. They could not have done better. Thee has my gratitude and that of all of Vulcan.”

“I am honored.”

“Thee shall be rewarded. Ask, and I shall grant thee if it is within my power.”

“Your gratitude is reward enough, Madame. I require nothing else.”

T’Pau’s eyes flashed. “I do not offer this lightly, McCoy. It is not our way.”

“Permit me to explain, my lady.”

She sat back in her chair. It seems T’Pau liked being called ‘my lady’. “Proceed,” she said.

“I was doing my job. Their lives and the lives of the people on that ship are my charge. My responsibility. But more than that, healing is my calling. To be called is its own reward.” The doctor shifted uncomfortably and glanced shyly at Spock. “Spock is my friend. What I do for him or his family, I do gladly. He would do the same for me.”

McCoy lifted his chin. “As for the subterfuge, Madame, it was necessary. Your children are so stubborn, they make Aldeberan mules seem easy-going.”

T’Pau gazed at him for a moment then raised a brow. The humans at the table laughed outright. Spock and Sarek held identical stony expressions.

Sarek flicked a brow at Golan. “You find this amusing, General?”

“I find I have sufficient provocation, S’haile,” said Golan. “I beg forgiveness,” he said but it was clear that he was not at all contrite.

“I quite agree with him, my son,” said T’Pau. She turned to Uhura. “Thee also names my grandson ‘friend’?”

Uhura was startled to be addressed so it took her a moment to answer. “Y-Yes, Madame. I do.” She glanced at Spock. The tips of his ears burned bright green.

“To my eyes, thee has the look of a beautiful child. Hardly old enough to be playing Starfleet officer.”

“I’m well-qualified to serve,” Uhura replied. “But I am sure you are already aware of that.” She gazed at T’Pau steadily.

T’Pau nodded once, impressed at Uhura’s boldness. “I am aware of thee.” Her eyes drifted to Spock. “I can only ‘hope’ that I am not alone in my awareness.”

Spock’s blush could have lit a dark room. This time, Golan took better care in camouflaging his grin.

“I shall take my leave of thee, my children. McCoy, Uhura.” Spock helped T’Pau to her feet. She turned and studied Kirk with slightly narrowed eyes. “Live long and prosper,” she said. Amanda left with her.

A plaintive howl ululated through the air. Spock excused himself and left the hall. Sarek and Golan stood with their heads together over a personal data device, speaking in low tones. Sarek glanced up at Kirk.

“Captain, we require your opinion.”

“Certainly, Ambassador.” Kirk joined Sarek and Golan and the three of them conferred quietly over the padd.

McCoy leaned back in his chair and grinned at Uhura.

“You see something amusing, Doctor?” she asked. She had to look away from those eyes.

McCoy shrugged.

“T’Pau has fallen in love with you, I think.” she said, trying to divert his attention.

“I have that effect on older women.”

“You should be a diplomat.”

“Bite your tongue, Lieutenant,” he said looking at her mouth.

“Doctor…” she smiled and flushed, in spite of herself.

Spock returned with I’Tet. The sehlat sniffed happily around the room then settled his rump comfortably against Kirk’s shins, watching the strangers with bright, interested eyes. An attendant brought over a tray of large carrot-like roots. I’Tet politely waited while Kirk selected a root then took it gently from Kirk’s hand, carefully avoiding the captain’s fingers with his six-inch fangs. He plopped down on the cool stones and crunched his treat loudly; a fang occasionally struck the stone floor with a sound like a sculptor’s chisel against marble. He lifted his stubby tail and broke wind contentedly.

“He’s, um, adorable, Spock,” said Uhura.

“He is quite handsome; though, he will not be fully mature for another five years.”

“That behemoth is still a puppy?”

“Sehlats take approximately thirty years to grow to adulthood, Doctor. He may yet gain another one hundred and fifty kilos.”

“Holy—ahem, wow. He seems comfortable enough with Jim. Will he let me look him over?”

“He will welcome the attention.”

McCoy walked slowly nearer and stood warily watching the sehlat. I’Tet rolled and presented his belly for scratching. McCoy knelt and ran his hands through the thick fur with pleasure.

“He’s so friendly,” commented Uhura.

“I’Tet would allow the Romulans free run of the palace for the price of one marshmelon. I fear we may have over-indulged him. I find myself often revisiting my memories of his antics.”

“You miss him.” Uhura smiled up at Spock.

“Perhaps,” he said.

They gazed into each other’s eyes for a moment then looked quickly away. They stood in awkward silence until Spock cleared his throat.

“We will be returning to the ship in one hour. Would you like to see my mother’s gardens before we return, Lieutenant?” he asked.

“Yes I would, Mr. Spock.”

They walked across the courtyard and through an inconspicuous gate near the twenty-foot stone wall that enclosed the front part of the compound. I’Tet loped ahead of them, snuffling the ground and rumbling low in his chest at the le’matya that prowled the desert on the other side of the wall. The hot night air blew in Uhura’s face and tugged at the edges of her wrap. The gardens were beautiful. Spock began a scientific lecture on the flora but stopped after a look from Uhura.

They walked without speaking for several minutes.

“I trust you enjoyed yourself this evening, Lieutenant?”

“Yes, Mr. Spock. Very much. I’m still not certain as to why I was invited, however.”

“My grandmother was impressed by your ah, discretion on our previous…visit to Vulcan.”

“I see,” said Uhura.

Spock turned to her. “You neglected to inform us that you contacted T’Pau after I returned to the ship.”

“I did? I could have sworn I put it in my report.”

“You did not. T’Pau informs me that you were quite forceful in your refusal to speak with her aides, insisting on speaking only with her.”

“I only knew that you were ill and that it was a private matter. I thought she should hear it from me directly.”

Because of the nature of her position as Chief Communications Officer, Uhura was privy to a host of confidential information. With the exception of ‘eyes only’ communications to the captain or medical information to McCoy, Uhura reviewed everything that came to the ship, including private messages from family. She knew that Spock’s mother was Amanda Grayson and that Amanda Grayson was married to Sarek of Vulcan. From what she’d learned of Vulcan clan systems, it was logical to deduce that Spock was at least a member of the Vulcan ruling class, if not directly related to T’Pau. Spock never spoke of his family and Uhura would never discuss any information that she learned from reviewing communications, so she wasn’t sure about the nature of his relationship to T’Pau. In a flash of inspiration, she pulled up a holo of T’Pau, took one look and made the call.

“You actions prompted her to contact Starfleet Command.”

“I knew what Komack’s orders were. I knew that it had to be life or death for Captain Kirk to risk his career to get you to here.”

“You have T’Pau’s gratitude.” He looked down. “And mine.”

She smiled warmly. “You’re welcome.”

They sat on a stone bench that was carved into an alcove in the compound wall. Light from the palace barely reached this part of the garden and it was very private. Roses and night blooming jasmine scented the warm air. Uhura removed her wrap then inhaled deeply, closing her eyes. She leaned back on her palms and crossed her legs. The slit in her dress fell open, exposing her brown thigh. It took Spock some effort not to stare.

“It’s lovely here. Your mother’s roses are astonishing.”

Grayson Beauties were coveted throughout the galaxy and one of the most expensive flowers in the sector. The roses were dark, dark green with big, tight heads, thick woody stems and curving, inch-long thorns. The cut flowers lasted for weeks.

She fingered the spiny leaves of a Rigellian shrub. “I could spend a week exploring these gardens,” she sighed.

“They are another of the things that I ‘miss’,” said Spock. He watched as I’Tet stretched out further up the path and sharpened his fangs on a large rock.

Uhura studied his profile in the darkness. “You and your father seem to have come to a truce of sorts.”

Spock was silent for so long that Uhura was about to apologize for bringing it up.

“I suspect that it is a very fragile one. He is waiting for an opportunity to convince me to leave Starfleet. When he is not successful, our relationship will return to its former status. My father can be... intractable.”

“He does love you.”

Spock raised a brow. “My mother says that often. I see little evidence of his regard.”

“You really don’t know, do you?”

“Know what?”

“Spock, why do you think your father came out of retirement?”

He learned long ago that when a human — especially a human woman-- answered a question with a question, it was usually rhetorical. He waited for her to continue.

“He’s keeping you safe.”

Spock was surprised. “That is illogical.”

“Ending wars, forging accords, keeping the peace.”

Spock looked puzzled. “He is a diplomat. That is his function. It is his duty as a Vulcan to foster peace among all races.”

“You don’t find his timing suspicious? He was content to teach computer science at VSA until you joined Starfleet. I think it’s rather sweet.”

“You are mistaken, Lieutenant. He often risks his own life in his efforts. He does not do this for me; he does it to bring peace to the entire quadrant.”

Uhura didn’t point out that Sarek reinstated the Vulcan Imperial Guard—historically, the most feared army in the galaxy--naming it a ‘peacekeeping taskforce’, claiming that it was a conglomerate of the members of the High Council and was purely ceremonial. In a pig’s ear. Try feudal lords and their lethal, highly trained and well-equipped private armies, all of whom pledged utter fealty to T’Pau and the House of Sarek. Uhura could not imagine Sarek ever deploying this army, but he *was* the only ambassador at the Babel Conference to bring a general as one of his aides. An action like that brought a tacit understanding any proceeding: I may speak softly, but I carry a big stick.

“Yes, well. Perhaps I am mistaken. Vulcan men don’t display that level of devotion,” she said, looking around the gardens. “I pity your mother that Sarek cares so little for her that he had six acres of desert terraformed just so she could grow roses and lemons. It couldn’t have cost that much to do.”

Spock opened is mouth to reply.


“Spock here.”

“Whenever you’re ready, Spock.”

“Aye, Captain. The Lieutenant and I will meet you in the courtyard.”

“Very good, Mr. Spock. Kirk out.”

End Chapter 2


~Chapter 3

Hot as Vulcan

The Enterprise cruised away from Vulcan and headed to the Romulan Neutral Zone for three weeks of patrol. There was a lull in the aggression between the Federation and the Romulans and assuming that the lull held, it would mean three weeks of nothing to do. It was nine days through empty, de-militarized space to the RNZ--nine days of less than nothing to do.

It would have been a welcome respite for the crew, were it not for a Tellarite.

The Tellarite delegates had complained incessantly about their accommodations on the Enterprise. The engines were too loud. The quarters were too small. They could smell the Andorians. They were hungry all the time. But their loudest complaint was that the ship was too cold. Why were the Vulcans and the Be`kahrs allowed to keep their rooms comfortably warm but Tellarites were not? It was yet another illustration of Starfleet’s bias against Tellar, they proclaimed.

Mr. Scott adjusted the temperature in their quarters no less than six times and still they were not satisfied.

“If I was roasting them in a pit, I couldn’t get them any hotter, Captain,” said Scotty.

Finally, the Tellarites took matters into their own…hands. No one realized that the Tellarites had re-routed the vent-off from the deuterium tanks to blow into their quarters and the Tellarite’s manipulation caused a cascade of the ship’s entire heating system. The freezine gel paks boiled away, and one after the other the thermostats burned out. The ship heated to a suffocating 48.7c.

Kirk convened a meeting of his senior officers in the briefing room.

“Reports, gentlemen.”

“If I could get my hands on him, I’d make haggis out of the Tellarite that hurt my poor thermostats!” wailed Scotty.

“I’m sorry about your ‘poor thermostats’, Mr. Scott but what can be done about it?”

“There’s nothing for it, Sir. We need to replace the entire system. He messed it up but good. The way he’s got it looped through our life support systems, I can’t even turn it off. We’d be oxygen-starved in a matter of hours. I tried to bleed some of the cold air from the hull insulation but I nearly ruptured my eardrums. We’ve got cool rooms in sickbay and the bio labs but that’s it. We passed the point of no return to Vulcan but we’re three days out from Starbase 11. We’ll have to dock there for repairs.”

“All right, Scotty,” said Kirk. “Bones?”

“Well, Jim, it won’t kill us if we stay hydrated and take the proper precautions against heat exhaustion. It’ll be manageable if we don’t go longer than a week. We can’t let anybody work too hard unless it’s absolutely necessary and those people get first dibs on the cool rooms.”

“Thank you, Doctor. Would you like to add anything, Spock?”

“I concur with Mr. Scott, Captain.”

“I wouldn’t be so blasé about it if I were you, Spock,” interjected McCoy. “The temperature may be more comfortable for your green blood but it will become increasingly humid in here. It’s not like dry Vulcan heat. In about twelve hours you’re going to be as miserable as the rest of us.”

“That is unlikely, Doctor.”

McCoy lifted a hand, palm up. “Let’s just see how you do in one hundred percent humidity. And Jim, we gotta do something about these kelyon leotards they call uniforms before we all melt into jelly.”

“What do you suggest, Bones? We can’t very well go around without clothes.”

“I didn’t say that. As much as some of us would prefer it.” He cast a wry glance at Spock. Kirk and Scotty shared a grin.

Spock looked affronted. “Gentlemen, I--.”

McCoy waved him quiet. “Never mind, Spock. Anyway, I prescribe light, loose, natural-fiber clothing until we can turn the heat off. We don’t have any new crew. Everybody knows who everybody is. It shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Alright, then,” agreed Kirk. “Lieutenant Uhura, coordinate with sick bay and spread the word.”

“Aye, sir.”

“If there’s nothing else?” Kirk looked around the table. “Dismissed.”

Uhura caught up with McCoy in the corridor. He gave her one of his slow smiles.

“Slow down, dollface. We wouldn’t want you to get all hot and bothered.”

“What was that all about?”

“What was what all about?”

“That thing with Spock.”

He thought for a moment then laughed. “Now, that’s a shore leave story I’ll never tell. I will say that self-consciousness about nudity is a human hang up.”

“I see.”

“You sound like Spock when you say that.”

They arrived at sick bay and entered the doctor’s office.

“I’m thinking that we should employ skeleton crew protocols. What do you think?” asked Uhura.

“Sounds like a plan. We’ll have to start with the species on the crew with the lowest tolerance and go from there.”

They spent the next forty-five minutes organizing the shift rotations. There was much laughter and not-so-innocent flirting going on and each of them parted company wistfully thinking, “If only….”


“I wish people would stop buying me these goddamn caftans,” grumbled Uhura. She rummaged through a drawer.

“I thought you liked caftans?” said Barrows.

“Wear something one time and you’re marked for life. I was just trying on the stuff my grandmother sent me because I was homesick and feeling sad about the captain being lost. Then I see the captain’s space ghost, run out of my quarters to find Spock, and bam! My next birthday, I get four caftans. They make me look like an elephant in pajamas.”

“What? That’s not true. You look beautiful in them. But then again, you’d look beautiful in a burlap bag.”

“Thanks and by the way, so would you.”

“You know? I know. What confuses me is why we can’t seem to attract the man we want.”

Uhura rolled her eyes. “Tell me about it.”

“At least McCoy talks to you. The only time he talks to me is if his back’s to me.”

“Give him some time.”

“He seems to like *you* well enough.”

“That’s just a…thing we do. It’s safe. It won’t go any farther. I will admit to sometimes wanting to jump his bones. Ha! Bones. Get it?”

Tonia huffed out a laugh. “I wish I could.”

“Seriously, Toni. He’s much more relaxed when he’s off the ship. You should arrange to accidentally bump into him on shore leave somewhere. Aha! There you are, Peter.” She pulled out a blue tee shirt imprinted with a picture of a man whose huge belly ballooned over a very small bathing suit. He was watering his lawn and there was a white dog and an angry-looking toddler in the background sitting on lawn chairs drinking cocktails. ‘Family Guy’ was written across the top. “See? Why can’t people give me cartoon tee shirts? I wear these all the time.”

She studied Uhura. “You know who’s sweet on you?” she asked.

“Michael Brent,” answered Uhura.

“Really? He’s so good-looking.”

“And kind and smart and funny.”

“There’s a ‘but’ in there.”

“A nice one, too,” she smirked. “I don’t know. I almost asked him out but then he gave me this.” Uhura pulled out the drawing.

“Wow. You and Spock?” Barrows tilted her head. “Hmm.”


“I was actually thinking Kirk.”

“No way. Never happen.”

“Why not? After the mission, you could get together. I can tell he’s hot for you.”

“He’d burn me to the ground.”

“I think you could handle him, Nyo.”

“I’m kinda pissed at him right now. He yelled at me three times during the Babel transport.”


“I was a little distracted. But so was he.”

“Distracted by what?”

“We were both worried about Spock,” she said quietly.

“Spock? Nyota you--- Wait a minute. Spock?”

“I know, I know. Not in a million years. Even if it happened, it could never work. Kirk might burn me up but I could get over that. Spock would turn me inside out. I’d never recover.”

“That’s funny. I feel the same way about McCoy. But then, it might be worth it. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?”

End Chapter 3



~Chapter 4

In the Heat of the Night

It was ship’s night and the simulated evening light softened everything around the edges. Half the crew was awake and some stood outside their quarters in the marginally cooler corridors. Others drifted listlessly about. It was too damn hot. The humidity wrapped them in warm, damp fur. It was impossible to sleep. Even the pool provided no relief. After a few hours, the water was soup.

Many of the crew cut the collars and sleeves off their black Starfleet issue undershirts and most of them had kept the loose workout pants from their Academy days. Ironically, without even trying, they managed to create a type of uniform.

“Jim, I need you bust me down to Ensign,” whispered Dr. McCoy.

Kirk followed McCoy’s blue gaze. Barrows and Uhura had just entered the rec room. Uhura had her ‘Family Guy’ tee shirt tied in a knot above her navel and her black workout pants hung low on her hips. Barrows had cut the collar of her undershirt into a deep V and her lightly freckled skin glowed against the dark material. Her hair was pulled up in a loose ponytail.

“Which one?” asked Kirk.

McCoy waved is glass of iced coffee. “Take your pick.”

Jim ran his fingers through his damp hair and down the back of his sweaty neck. His eyes were brown tonight and his scent rose in warm waves from his skin. He blew out a breath. “If only, Bones. If only.”

McCoy turned to him with a raised brow. “I was just thinking that this morning.”

“Weren’t you working with Uhura this morning?”

“Yeah, but--.”

“You two seem to have a…thing. I’m not sure exactly what it is.”

“That’s because it’s nothing.”

Kirk looked skeptical.

“Well, there is something. I mean, how could you not?” He gazed at her. “She’s a complete mystery to me, Jim. Sometimes I’ll have a conversation with her and everything I think I know about women blows out the hatch.” He took a deep breath. “But it’s just not meant to be, and both of us know it. So, it’s safe to kid around a little. But let me tell ya; I’d sell the farm to get a look under that goofy tee shirt.”

“You’re her doctor. Haven’t you, uh seen?”

“It’s not the same. When I’m working, it’s just body parts.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean.” Jim stared into his glass of water. “I owe her an apology.”

McCoy looked at him curiously and Kirk gave him one of his lopsided grins.

“I acted like an ass during the Babel transport. I was stressed. I took it out on her. We were all tired. I should’ve cut her some slack. She’s never let me down before.”

“Uh oh.”

“What is it?”

“You look a little serious, Jim.”

“Don’t worry, Bones. It’ll never happen. She’d chew me up and spit me out.”

“You think so?”

“I knew from the first moment I saw her—standing there with my mouth hanging open like a dumbass, by the way.”

“You weren’t the only one.”

Kirk elbowed him. “You played it pretty cool.”

“I wasn’t talking about me.”

“Who else was there? You, me, Spock.” Jim frowned. “Spock?”

McCoy nodded.


“I think the feeling might be mutual, Jim.”

For a moment, his face looked so vulnerable and sad and young that McCoy caught his breath.

“Huh,” was all he said.

McCoy shrugged. “But what do I know? I’m just an old country doctor.”

“Don’t worry about me, Bones.” He gave him a small smile. “Worry about yourself. Barrows has got you in her bomb sights.”

“That girl makes me nervous.”

Barrows looked over and smiled.

“Bombs away,” murmured Kirk.

“Let’s go see if Scotty’s got any cold beer stashed somewhere.”

“Running, Doctor? I’m surprised. You’re the bravest man I know.”

“I’m a chickenshit. Let’s get out of here.”

“Ok, but let’s go to my place then call Scotty. General Golan gave me a case of kasa juice.”

“I love that big ass Vulcan,” McCoy said seriously.

“You can help me craft my apology and then make me send it to Uhura.”

“You’re not going to apologize in person?”

“Bwaak, bwak, bwak, bwaaak!” Kirk curled his hands into his armpits and flapped his elbows.

McCoy threw his head back and laughed. Some of the crew laughed with him, unsure why their captain was imitating a chicken. McCoy knocked back the last of his iced coffee. “Come on, chickenshit.”

Barrows watched them leave the rec room. She elbowed Uhura.

“Did you see that? I smiled at him and he left the room.”

“That wasn’t about you, Tonia.”

“Yes it was,” she said. “That’s ok. It’ll just make victory all the much sweeter.”

“Be careful, Toni. Some men don’t respond well to being chased. I know that’s old fashioned, but McCoy’s really skittish. Take it easy. You’ll scare him away. He’s nervous now and that’s a good place for him to be. Now back off and let him miss you.”

“You’re right. Good strategy.”

“I’m serious.”

“Me too.”

“Just be careful.”

“I will.” She snapped. “Listen Nyota, we can’t all get dinner invitations from planetary rulers.”

“What’s that’s supposed to mean?”

“You got to get dressed up like a fairy princess and have supper in a palace with three of Starfleet’s finest. And Sarek of Vulcan. It seems like an unfair advantage to me.”

“I didn’t ask for that Tonia. I was summoned. I couldn’t refuse T’Pau.”

Barrows smiled apologetically and gripped Uhura’s wrist. “I’m sorry, honey. Don’t listen to me. I’m tired and it’s too hot to sleep.”

“I’m hot and tired too and I’m getting a little sick of people taking their shit out on me.” She looked away, her eyes burning. A couple of crewmen glanced their way.

“Ok. I hear you. Why don’t I go get us some juice?”

“I think I need to go for a walk. There are too many warm bodies in here.”

“All right. Breakfast tomorrow?”

Uhura softened. “Sure.”


It was 0220 and there were crew members everywhere. There was nowhere Uhura could be alone. She tried her quarters but they were stifling. She drifted through the corridors with her head down, barely acknowledging greetings, so desperate for solitude that she struggled to hold back a sob that ached in her throat. She took random turbolifts and kept making left turns and ended up in the small aft observation lounge. Miraculously, she was alone.

She leaned her forehead against the clearsteel portal. After a moment, she jerked her head back. The window was cool! How could that be? All of the metal surfaces of the ship were very warm. She pressed her palms against the portal. She could feel the slight vibration of the ship’s engines down here. She closed her eyes, laid her cheek against the pane and sighed with relief. Tears she’d been holding back since Babel spilled from her eyes.

She’d worked double shifts for sixteen days straight. Sixteen days of whining, arrogant, xenophobic ambassadors and delegates, some of whom made it a sport of whispering obscene comments in her ear, believing that she would not understand their language, wanting their communications to go out right now!, each with its own encryption and alien frequency that she was supposed to wave a magic wand and pull out of the air. Sixteen days of routing com traffic and translating messages and bearing the brunt of everyone’s frustration and then getting accosted in the turbolifts when she finally went off duty and dodging groping hands in the corridors on the way to her quarters. She was angry with the captain for being such a jerk to her. Then he had to go and get himself knifed. There was the attack from the Orion ship, and the unbearable minutes while she waited to see blood bloom on the back of the captain’s shirt from his wound, or hear from sick bay that Sarek or Spock or both had died.

She was tired. She was hot. A sob began from somewhere deep inside her and came out in a soft, hiccupping gasp. Oh, Spock. You could have died.

For some reason, he didn’t startle her when he spoke.

“This space is six point four degrees cooler than the rest of the ship.”

“Mr. Spock,” she sighed, not opening her eyes. She felt him move closer.

She opened her eyes and turned around. Spock was dressed in a long, off- white, sleeveless shift. The front was open on his chest and sweat glistened in the hollow of his throat. His feet were bare. Even in the low light she could see the green flush of his blood through the surface of his skin. His lips were very pink and looked swollen. She watched a trickle of sweat roll down the side of his neck. His hair was damp.

“Am I dreaming?”

“No, Lieutenant,” he answered softly. He reached out and pressed his palm against the portal just centimeters from her head. “This is not clearsteel. It is the last of the old transparent aluminum portals. Aluminum is a poor conductor of heat.” He turned his face to her. His movement was languid and his eyes blinked sleepily.

“Are you all right, Mr. Spock?”

“Dr. McCoy was not entirely incorrect in his prediction that I might have a reaction to the humidity. I…feel strangely lethargic. For the first time in my life, I can say that I am hot.”

Uhura nodded. “That sounds normal considering the circumstances.”

“I have not experienced the inability to control my body temperature before.”

He leaned his cheek against the cool portal much the same way she did. His scent, usually dry and sharp, was deeper, darker, as if it rose from his sex. She was not convinced that she wasn’t dreaming.

“Would you like some water? Maybe a sports drink? You’re not used to perspiring like this. Maybe your electrolytes are out of balance.”

“No. I do not require more liquids.” His eyes traveled over her face. “You are crying.”

Her eyes welled up again. “I’m so tired.”

“Can you not rest?”

“Too hot.” A tear rolled down her cheek.

“I—I am sorry, Lieutenant Uhura.”

“Don’t be, Mr. Spock. It’s not your fault.” She swiped her fingers across her cheeks. “If it were even just a few degrees cooler, I could sleep a couple of hours.”

“You must go to sick bay. Do not allow yourself to become ill.” His eyes fluttered and he seemed to sway a bit.

She reached out and gripped his arms to steady him. He stumbled forward and she pressed a hand against his hip. His skin burned through the thin, damp fabric of his garment. His hands came up and held on to her shoulders.

“You’re the one who needs sick bay,” she said.

“No, Lieutenant. My mental shields are weakened. There are too many people in sick bay. It would worsen my condition.” He closed his eyes and swallowed hard. “If I could escape this humidity for even an hour…” He trailed off. He opened his eyes and they gazed at each other for a long moment.

“Escape pods,” they said in unison.

“I won’t tell if you won’t tell,” she said.

“I will not disclose our actions unless someone asks me directly.” He paused. “If we are discreet, I do not believe anyone will ask.”

“There’s a bank of pods just down the corridor. When I came in there was no one else around.”

They peeked into the corridor. It was clear. They slipped around the corner and stood in front of a pod. Spock typed in a code on the keypad and the hatch opened with a hiss. They ducked inside and Spock closed the hatch.

“If I initiate diagnostic mode, it’ll bypass the task manager and will not show on the boards in engineering,” said Uhura as she worked the pod’s console.


“Just a second, I’m almost there.” Her fingers played gracefully over the panel. Cool, dry air sighed into the tiny compartment.

“Miss Uhura.”

“One more thing, Mr. Spock.” She punched a few more buttons. Uhura turned in the chair. “How about a little night music?” The low voice of Nina Simone came to their ears. “We’ll still be able to hear if we’re paged.” She inhaled deeply. “God, that feels good!”

“In our haste, we selected a single pod and there is only one bunk. I will be quite comfortable on the deck.” He braced his hand on the low ceiling. His breathing was shallow and perspiration beaded at his hairline.

“No, Spock. Look at you. You can barely stand up. You take the bunk; I’ll sleep on the floor.” She held up a hand. “Don’t argue. I insist.”

“I will not argue. It will take some time for me to return my core temperature to normal. I confess that I can perform this more efficiently if I am lying down.”

She helped him sit and lifted his legs onto the bunk.

“Thank you, Lieutenant.”

“Spock, please call me Nyota. We’re partners in crime now.” She smiled down at him when he raised a brow. She stifled a yawn and plopped down into the chair.

“Nyota, you are exhausted. There is room enough for two on this bunk.”

“I do want to lie down.”

“I will be in deep meditation for some time. Please lie down. You will not disturb me. ”

“If you’re sure.”

“We are ‘partners in crime’.”

“Yes we are.”

She lay next to him, carefully avoiding touching him. He laced his fingers on his chest and closed his eyes. He inhaled and exhaled slowly once, twice, and then his breathing assumed a deep, regular pattern. There was less than an inch of space between them and she could feel how hot he was. She eased onto her side and faced him. She’d never been this physically close to him for this long. She’d sat next to him for almost two years and never noticed the tiny notch in his earlobe. Her eyes drifted shut and she fell asleep with the sound of the rapid thud-thud-thud of his heart in her ears.


He reached out and brushed his fingertips across her lips, down her chin, along her collarbone. He turned his hand over and brushed her nipple with his knuckles. “You are beautiful,” he whispered. He slid his hand behind her head and cupped the back of her neck. He pulled her to him and pressed is soft lips to hers. His mouth was sweet and he held her against the hot length of his body. She could feel the rapid beating of his heart in his side.

“Nyota,” he breathed.



She opened her eyes with a start. She lay with her head on Spock’s chest and one leg hooked between his, her breast pressed against his arm.

“Nyota, it is time to wake up.”

“Spock! I’m sorry, I--.” She sat up quickly.

“Do not trouble yourself. You were very tired. I did not wish to disturb you.”

She rubbed her eyes. “How long did I sleep?”

“Four point two hours.”

“I hope you haven’t been waiting too long”

“Only an hour. Ironically, it became a bit too cool in here for me and your body heat was most welcome.”

“How do you feel?”

“I am much improved. And you?”

“A lot better, thank you.” She smiled. “You make an excellent criminal, Spock.”

“I am honored,” he replied.

She laughed.

After checking the corridor for crewmen, they slipped out of the escape pod and walked casually to the turbolift. No one saw them. In the lift, Spock turned to her.

“Do you require a meal?” he asked.

“How about an iced tea and some fruit?”

“I will meet you in the officer’s mess in thirty minutes.”




Keeks said...

This was what introduced me to you, girl 6. I'm looking to see if you've continued with this story but if you have not then that's all right. You certainly satisfy my craving for Spock/Uhura fanfiction. You also inspire me to write fanficiton, something that I've tried but never done for a great length of time.

Jahkotta said...

Thank you for writing this, it was a real treat to read!