Saturday, January 20, 2007

Happy Birthday De Kelley 1920-1999

Love you, J.D. Rest in peace.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Why Not You? NC-17

Disclaimer: Paramount owns these characters in real life. I own them in my dreams.

Archiving: ASCEM, THFFF, Acidqueen. All others ask permission, please.

Why Not You? NC-17

Warning: Some explicit sex and dialogue. Blame it on Acidqueen.

Summary: McCoy’s got the blues but someone’s got the cure.

~Chapter 1

McCoy hopped off the streetcar at St. Charles and Lowerline, bowed his head against the rain and walked back the way he came with his hands shoved in the pockets of his chinos. His brown linen shirt was rumpled and open on his chest and clung to his back and shoulders with rain and sweat.

Spring in New Orleans was hot.

He heard the sirens of emergency vehicles approaching to clear the flitter bender that blocked the streetcar tracks.

He was trying to get to a small Italian place on South Carrollton but he wasn’t hungry anymore. He thought he’d grab a bottle somewhere and head back to his family’s old Greek Revival townhouse in the Garden District. But as he waited on the corner for the light to change, he thought that maybe he wasn’t even up for that.

He crossed Lowerline and glanced up at the sound of a hoverbarge humming along out of sight on the other side of the levee. Red and blue light caught the corner of his eye. Neon. One rarely saw neon these days.

Mildly curious, he walked a few yards down the street and saw a small, Victorian shotgun shack on the corner of Lowerline and Pearl that had been converted into a bar. The neon sign glowed in the dark recess of the gallery. He could just make out weathered green shutters opened to let in the late evening air. The whitewashed boards of the gallery groaned when he walked across them and the bartender looked up when McCoy stopped in the doorway.

The bar was dark and narrow. A man desultorily sank balls at a pool table and an Andorian sat at one end of the bar, his antennae drooping as he stared into the vapor that rose from his glass. The bartender went back to paring a lime, apparently uninterested one way or the other if McCoy came in or not. The place looked untouched by technology except for a sleek jukebox in one corner. Robert Johnson finished singing “From Four Till Late” and Howlin’ Wolf took over with “Backdoor Man”. Ceiling fans creaked listlessly overhead. It smelled of beer and sweat, tomatoes, laurel and cayenne pepper. The place was perfect. McCoy stepped over the threshold into 1949.

He swiped the water and perspiration out of his eyes and raked his fingers through his hair. He stood at the bar.

“Get you something?” asked the bartender, not looking up from his lime.


“Tennessee or Kaintuck?”

“Tennessee. Make that on the rocks. In a short glass.”

The bartender set the drink in front of him with a hard look. McCoy jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “How about a round for the house,” he said.

The bartender snorted. “Big spender.”

McCoy grinned internally. Just perfect. He grabbed a handful of peanuts from a bowl on the bar. He wandered over to the jukebox and programmed in Muddy Waters, Blind Willie, B.B. King and Bobby Bland. He went back to the bar and stared into his glass. He thought about the two dead kids. He thought about Jim. Jim always took it hard when he lost a member of the crew. But this time, McCoy didn’t have any words for him. All he could see was those two crewmen with their big eyes and their smooth cheeks.

“Cheer up, Charlie.”

He lost track of time as he stood with his forearms propped on the bartop and his glass held lightly between his fingertips. The ice had melted and a layer of clear liquid floated over the dark. He frowned and turned at the sound of the voice.

“Oh hi, gorgeous,” he said, his expression softening.

“Don’t you just hate when people try to make you smile when you don’t want to.”

“Anybody but you.”

“Aw. That’s sweet.”

He glanced over her head at the doorway. “You looking for me?” he asked.

“Sure,” she answered.

McCoy’s smile almost reached his eyes but he still did not offer her the empty stool next to him.

“Don’t mind if I do.” She tucked the skirt of her miniscule white sundress under her thighs and sat down anyway. Water dripped from her hair and slicked the smooth skin on her neck and shoulders.

“If you don’t mind, I’d rather be alone,” he said.

She shrugged. “Knock yourself out,” she said.

He sighed and turned back to the bar. He found himself wishing he’d left his communicator back at the house. He took a sip of his drink and grimaced. He signaled the bartender for a fresh one. He didn’t ask her if she wanted a drink.

The bartender took the old drink and set down a new one. “You gonna drink it this time?”

McCoy scowled and took a deep gulp. “Happy now?”

The bartender raised his brows and wiped his way down the bar with a dirty rag.

“I thought you drank bourbon,” she said.

“Whiskey is bourbon.”

“It looks different.”

“It’s how it’s aged and filtered. Where it’s made. Listen, I really don’t—.”

She motioned to the bartender. “I’ll have what he’s having.”

McCoy knocked back his drink. “Another for me while you’re at it,” he said.

The bartender poured their drinks and set the half-full bottle in front of them.

“I’m not staying,” McCoy said.

The bartender looked at the woman then looked at McCoy. “You’re crazy,” he said. He walked away, leaving the bottle.

She helped herself to another drink. “I don’t bite, you know. Not hard, anyway,” she said.

The corner of McCoy’s mouth crimped.

“No smiling,” she said, pointing sternly at his face.

He tried to hide his smile by taking a drink. Then he laughed. “I guess I am being a jerk.”

“Kind of.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s been a rough couple of days,” she said.

“Yeah.” He swirled the ice in his glass. He looked at her. “You’re all so young. You. Jim. Even Spock.”

“I’m not so young.” She took a long swallow of her drink and looked up at him with watering eyes. She couldn’t quite stifle a cough.

“You’re a child.”

“Thanks grandpa.”

That earned her another grin.

“A girl could learn a lot from a guy like you.”

A blush crept up his neck. His grin widened. “I know a little,” he said.

“Just a little?”

“Well, more than a little. I am a doctor, after all.” A hint of his normal flirtatiousness peeked through and she responded with a seductive smile of her own.

B.B. King came on the jukebox with “The Thrill is Gone”. McCoy slipped and arm around her waist and lifted her off the stool. He caught her hand in his and said, “Now, that’s enough of that. Shut up and dance. Then go away and leave me alone.” They did a slow two-step across the room to the tiny dance floor by the jukebox.

She looked up at him. “You blush easily.”

“Do I?” His face grew hot. “Damn it,” he muttered.

“It’s very charming.” She gazed at his face. “You’re not so old. You’re not even the next generation.”

“Well, I’m feeling it lately.”

She stood back in his arms. Her eyes wandered down his lean body. She stepped back in and wound her arms around his neck, laying her cheek on the exposed skin of his chest.

“Are you coming on to me?” he asked.

“What do you think?”

He snorted. “I should be so lucky.”

“I would be the lucky one,” she said. She pressed her lips to the hot skin on his neck. She pushed her fingers into his hair, brought his head down and kissed him. He tensed, relaxed then tensed again. When he opened his mouth to speak, she slipped her tongue inside and pressed her thigh gently between his legs. His arms came around her back and he gave into the kiss with the softest of moans from deep in the back of his throat. She leaned her lower body into to his.

He suddenly realized that she was serious. He drew his head back abruptly and set her away from him at arm’s length.

“You don’t want to start something you can’t finish,” he said. “Not with me. And not tonight.” He headed back to the bar.

After a moment, she followed him. When she reached the bar, he was pouring another drink from the bottle. He wouldn’t look at her.

“I know what I’m doing,” she said.

He shook his head. “No. No you don’t.” He downed his drink and wiped his chin with the back of the hand that held the glass. His blue eyes glittered at his reflection in the mirror behind the bar.

“Are you afraid of me?” she asked.

“What? Beat it, kid. I’m old enough to be your…cousin.”

“You are afraid.”

He looked at her closely. Even though the light was low, her pupils were far too dilated. He chuckled with something like relief. “You’re smashed, baby,” he said, turning back to the bar.

“I only had two drinks.”

“A girl your size, sometimes that’s all it takes. And I believe you had three.”

“If you think I’m drunk, then take me somewhere I can sleep it off,” she said.

“Go back to the ship.”

“I’d rather stay with you.”

He watched her in the mirror, then he shrugged with one shoulder and a tilt of his head. “Ok. But sleeping it off means sleeping it off.”


“Ok. Let’s go.” He handed his credit chit to the bartender.

The bartender swiped it and gave it back with a wink. “Have fun, kids,” he said.

McCoy snatched his chit back with a glare. “Come on,” he said and stalked out of the bar.

“We’re not going to call a cab?” she asked. She struggled to keep up with him. Warm, fat raindrops splashed against her face and on the tops of her breasts.


“Well, at this pace, I’ll be sober by the time we get back to your place.” She was practically trotting. He had shoved his hands back in his pockets and she linked her arm through his. He tried not to think about the feel of her breast against his arm. He slowed, but only slightly.

“There’s a streetcar stop a couple of blocks from here. We can catch it there.”

The streetcar thundered past them when they were about a half a block away from the stop. They ran and caught it as it clacked away; the other passengers reached out and cheerfully pulled them aboard the packed car. An elderly woman sitting in the seat at his hip smiled up at McCoy and said, “Well darlin’, don’t you just have the prettiest blue eyes?” He blushed and mumbled a thank you. “Aww,” she said.

They stood swaying in the crush of hot, damp bodies with her breasts pushed against his back. McCoy found a handhold on the rail above them, but she had only him to hold when the streetcar lurched forward after the next stop. Her arm came around his waist under his shirttail and she gripped the waistband of his pants to keep from falling. When the ride smoothed out again, she relaxed her hand and placed her palm against his flat abdomen. He turned his head slightly toward her but didn’t say anything. She slipped her fingers under his waistband and used her thumb to stroke the sparse, silky hair beneath his navel. He inhaled sharply. She felt the muscles of his belly quiver when she brushed her fingertips through his pubic hair.

“Don’t,” he said softly. His blood flushed hot under is skin. His scrotum tightened.

“What are you going to do about it?” she whispered.

He debated, but only for a moment. He turned carefully around and held the rail above him with both hands. Better to press his growing erection into her than the guy who was standing in front of him. He braced his legs outside of hers. Her dress was very short. She moved her hands under his shirt and hooked her thumbs through the belt loops at his hips. Her breasts brushed his chest. She smiled up at him but he wouldn’t look at her. She shook him gently by his belt loops.

“What?” he said, looking over her head out the front window of the streetcar.

“Kiss me,” she said.

He frowned. “No. You should probably eat something. Let’s go get some shrimp at Andre’s.”

She stood on her toes and got very close to his face. “Kiss me,” she said, louder.

The guy behind him nudged him in the back. “Saddle up cowboy or switch places with me.”

“Mind your own business,” McCoy said without turning around. The man snickered.

The streetcar shuddered to a stop and disembarking passengers pushed McCoy tightly against her. There was just a hairsbreadth between her lips and his. She closed her eyes and lifted her chin. He gazed in fascination at the dark silk of her lashes. The car leapt forward and his lips touched hers.

Her mouth parted and his will left his body the way warm water breaks through the bottom of a brown paper bag.

He held the rail with one hand cupped the back of her neck with the other. He thrust his tongue into her mouth and maneuvered her between his legs with his with his knees. The kiss went on and on until faintly, over the roar and thump of the streetcar, he heard the conductor drawl, “First St! St. Charles and First.”

McCoy grabbed her hand and they jumped off the car to a smattering of applause and good-natured hoots. The rain stopped but the breeze rattled the oaks, dousing them with water from the leaves as they walked quickly across St. Charles and headed down First. Gnarled, black branches overhang the cracked sidewalk and muffled the sound of the traffic from St. Charles.

McCoy stopped suddenly and backed her into a tree trunk. They stood in the fork between two massive roots. He pressed his hips gently against her and put his lips close to her ear.

“Do you feel that?”

She could feel his erection hard against her pubic bone. She nodded.

“I want to fuck you,” he whispered in her ear. He ducked his head and looked into her face. She nodded again.

“Yes,” she said. The word was soft, sharp exhalation.

“I want to put your nipples in my mouth. I want to lick your pussy and hear the sounds you make when you come.” He pushed away from her and backed a few feet down the sidewalk. He took his communicator out of his pocket and flipped it open. “McCoy to Enterprise. One to beam up,” he said, staring at her.

She held up her hands. “Wait a minute! What are you doing?”

“I just came to my senses.”

“You’re going back to the ship?”

“No, you are.”

“What? I am?”

“Ready to beam up, sir.”

“Stand by, Enterprise,” said McCoy.

“Leonard, I’m not drunk,” she said.

“That’s not the reason.”

“What is it, then?”

He paced back and forth in front of her. “You think you know what I want but you don’t,” he said.

“So, tell me what you want.”

“I just want to get laid, ok? I want to fuck someone. Get a blowjob. Feel live flesh under my hands with no strings and no promises.” He stopped pacing and looked at her. “I can’t ask that of you.” He started to flip open his communicator again.

“You think you know what I want but you don’t,” she said softly.

That drew him up. She raised a brow. “Ah, see. I cornered you with your own logic.”

He raised his arms then brought them down with an exasperated sigh.

She reached up and touched his lower lip with her fingers. He turned his head and kissed her palm.

“All the things we went through on the ship these last few days? I was there too. And just like you, I need to do something that will make me feel alive. To get a little piece of myself back.” she said.

“You came to me for that?”

She smiled and nodded.

“Why me?”

“Why not you?”

He closed his eyes and pressed his forehead to hers. “Jim would kick my ass if he found out.”

“He wouldn’t be all that happy with me either.” She kissed him. “So let’s not tell him.”

His communicator chirped. He flipped it open. “Never mind.”

“Say again, Dr. McCoy?”

“Cancel beam up. McCoy out.”


They walked down the root-buckled sidewalk. Neither of them could think of anything to say but it was not uncomfortable. After a while, he took her hand. When they reached the iron gates of his townhouse, she pulled him into a kiss.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked softly.

“Oh god, yes.”

They hurried up the stairs to the front door and before he could even palm the lock, she was fumbling at the buttons on his shirt and he was licking and sucking her nipples through her dress. They stumbled into the foyer and slammed into the wall next to the front door. They kissed hungrily, yanking in frustration at buttons and fasteners that wouldn’t come undone. McCoy grabbed her wrists.

“Wait,” he said.

“Oh Leonard, please don’t stop now.”

“No, no. I need to check to see if the caretaker’s still here.”

“I’m still here but I was just leaving, sir.” The caretaker brushed by them and opened the door.

McCoy turned and quickly blocked her body with his. She buttoned her dress and smoothed her hair.

“Monsieur Laurent, I was rude to you this morning. I apologize,” said McCoy.

“You are rude to everyone in the mornings, Doctor McCoy,” said Laurent, managing to look offended and amused at the same time. “There is brandy in the library and a tray of sandwiches in the stasis unit. I will see you in the morning.”

“Make that afternoon,” said McCoy.

Laurent nodded and fitted a canvas fedora on his head. “Oui. Demain après-midi. Au revoir, Doctor.” He nodded again. “Mademoiselle.” He pulled the door gently closed behind him.

“Would you like a brandy?” asked McCoy.

“Sounds good.”

He led her down the wood-paneled hallway to the library. He instructed the computer to raise the lights. The room was furnished with a combination of contemporary and antique furniture. Floor to ceiling mahogany bookcases lined the walls, the shelves filled with leather-bound books, art and mismatched bookends. The books alone had to be worth a fortune; a Degas sculpture was carelessly placed among precariously stacked padds. A com screen glowed discreetly in the alcove of an exquisite escritoire. He glanced at the screen, checking for messages while he poured their drinks from a crystal decanter. He turned to her.

“I’ve been dirtside five minutes and here’s Tulane asking me for a consult. I’ll just be a second.” He walked over and handed her her drink, then went back to the com.

She watched his slender body move beneath his damp, wrinkled clothes. As he scrolled through the medical read out, he pushed back his wet hair with two fingers, scratched the back of his head and stood with his hands on his hips. She wandered over and leaned against the wall, gazing at his face. He smiled without looking at her, his attention absolutely focused on what he was reading. She’d seen him like this on the Enterprise, on the rare occasions she had reason to visit the science lab: he and Spock, accomplished scientists, working almost in tandem, barely needing to speak to one another. To see his brilliant mind at work was thrilling to watch.

When he completed the consult, he looked at her and she could almost see McCoy the physician falling away, only to be replaced by this other man, this alluring, blue-eyed lover.

He sat down on a slightly shabby leather couch and held out his hand to her. She took his hand and sat next to him. He put his arm around her and settled her against his side, kissing the top of her head.

“This is a beautiful room,” she said.

“I’m sorry. Let me show you the rest of the house.” He started to rise but she pressed him back.

“Tomorrow,” she said. “Is this your family home? I thought you were from Georgia.”

“I am from Georgia and that’s where I live when I’m on Earth for any extended period of time. This is sort of a summer house. Back in the 19th century, one of my grandfathers bought this because he did extensive business in here. It passed down from son to son until I inherited it. My cousin and his kids mostly use it now. If they’re here, I usually stay in the garçonnière behind the house.”

“Was your family wealthy?”

“Sometimes,” he chuckled.

The vibration of his voice in his chest felt good against her back and she snuggled deeper into his embrace. He took her drink from her hand and set their glasses on the coffee table. He took her shoulders and laid her back on the couch. He traced her eyebrow with his fingers then trailed them down her cheek to her lips. He slipped two fingers into her mouth. She sucked them gently as he moved them slowly in and out. “I want to put my cock there,” he murmured. He removed his fingers and kissed her softly. He undid the tiny buttons down the front of her sundress but left it covering her breasts. She gasped as he trailed his fingertips down the opening and circled a finger around her navel. He continued down until he came to her underwear. “I don’t know why women even bother with these tiny, ridiculous things,” he said.

“They serve their purpose.”

He hooked a finger under the elastic leg of her panties and pulled it aside to expose the tender mound of her pussy. “I guess they do.” He stroked a finger between her labia. “Mmm. You’re wet,” he whispered. “That for me?” She caught her lip between her teeth and nodded. He slid his middle finger into her then brought his finger to his mouth. “I knew you’d taste good.”

He lifted her off his lap and stood, pushing the straps of her dress off her shoulders and baring her breasts. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured. He bent his head and sucked first one nipple into his mouth and then the other.

He led her upstairs to the bedroom.

He was a creative and directive lover, commanding her to put her hand here or there, telling her when to open her mouth, instructing her to turn over. He held her on the razor’s edge of orgasm with his fingers and tongue for long, tortuous minutes and when he finally entered her, he said breathlessly, “Oh, baby. You’re so tight.” He was vocal and expected the same from her, demanding answers to his questions.

“Does that feel good?”


“Say please.”


“Do you like it when I fuck you hard?”

“Yes. Oh! Yes.”

That night, he awakened her three times. And in the morning, incredibly, he was hard and ready and she pushed him off her, laughing, sore, spent.




McCoy leaned against the back of the turbolift wall with his head down. He caught a yawn in his fist.

“You look a little tired there, Bones. Too much fun on your leave?”

“I’ve been tired since medical school. That’s what us old doctors always say, anyway.”

Kirk grinned. “In other words, that’s your story and you’re sticking to it.”


“Anybody I know?”

McCoy blinked sleepily and shook his head, chuckling. Kirk gazed at him for a long moment.

“Bones, sometimes I think that I don’t know anything about you.”

“Who me?” he said, exiting the turbolift. “I’m an open book. See you around, Jim.”



Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Disobedience of the Heart NC-17

Disclaimer: Paramount owns these characters in real life. I own them in my dreams.
Archiving: ASCEM, THFFF. All others ask permission please.

The Disobedience of the Heart NC-17


And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes I will Yes.

---James Joyce, “Ulysses”


~Chapter 1

Kirk rolled over with soft groan. He winced and shifted his hips, arching his back a bit, trying to get comfortable in his bunk. His shoulder ached and his arm was numb. His bunk vibrated briefly beneath him. His eyelids fluttered open. It took a moment for his vision to focus. The light was wrong. It was cold and it smelled bad.

He sat up and the room did a tilt-a-whirl. He fell back and swallowed down a slow, oily wave of nausea. A kettle drum beat double-time in his head.

“Oh,” he breathed. He heard McCoy’s voice in his head: “Now just lie there and be happy you’re still alive.”

Good advice, that.

Kirk breathed deeply through his nose while he did a mental status report. He was lying on his back on a damp, gritty floor. His throat was raw and sore. His shoulder hurt, but it did not feel dislocated when he rolled it experimentally. He lifted his hands and saw that his knuckles bore abrasions and that there were dark ligature marks around his wrists. His lower back spasmed painfully. His right ankle was stiff and felt swollen. He probed gingerly at a loose tooth with his tongue.

“I’m alive,” he croaked.

“You should see the other guy.”

Kirk rolled his head and squinted in the direction of the voice.

“Wh--?” He licked his cracked lips with a sandpaper tongue. “What?”

“Here, drink this.”

A hand slid behind his neck and lifted his head. Cold metal touched his lips and water dribbled into his mouth. He grimaced. The icy water was murder on his tooth but he swallowed gratefully. The hand gently lowered his head.

“Thank you,” he whispered.

“Name, rank and serial number.”

He blinked and peered into the dark. “Yours or mine?”

“You memorized my serial number?”

He was quiet for so long that she thought he’d gone unconscious again.


“Yes. Mine, yours, Spock’s,” he said. He recited their Starfleet identifiers and before she could ask, he added the stardate, his mother’s name, the current Federation President and their destination prior to their capture.

“Anybody else?” she asked. He was quiet again. She touched his arm. “Serial numbers.”

“No, just ours,” he murmured. He gently palpitated the back of his neck with his fingertips. He frowned. “What other guy?”

“The guard. They wanted to strip search us, you refused, he ripped my tunic, you killed him.”

“Oh, him. Her. It,” he said.

“You nearly took his head off. And I don’t mean that figuratively.”

“One down, five million to go.”

She helped him to sit up and he leaned back against the bulkhead. His forearm brushed against her bare thigh. Their clothes were gone.

“I’m sorry Lieutenant, killing him didn’t seem to have deterred them.” His right ankle was cuffed to a flexible cord that was tethered to a ring welded to the deck plating. Uhura was not restrained but even in the dim red light, he could see the scraped skin around her wrists and ankles and a dark bruise on her chin. She saw where his eyes traveled and she looked away, drawing her knees up to her chest. Now that he was sitting up, he could feel dull pain in his groin and anus.

“They didn’t…?” he began.

“No, sir. Their examination was a bit rough but it wasn’t… It was just an exam. I think we disgust them,” said Uhura.

“Small favors.”

“Actually, that’s a huge one.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry, Lieutenant.”

“It’s ok, Captain. They took our clothes to humiliate us and make us feel helpless. A common enough practice for many species throughout--.”

Kirk held up a hand. “You’ve been spending too much time with my first officer.” His grin ended with a grimace. His stomach rolled over again. He tried to breathe shallowly through his mouth. “It stinks in here.” He leaned back and closed his eyes. God, he was tired. His head swam and he concentrated on keeping down his gorge. He swallowed thickly.


“I’m awake. I just needed to close my eyes for a minute.” He pressed the heel of his hand against his forehead. “Oh. Ah, fuck. That hurts.” He needed to pull himself together and figure out their next steps. He tried to scoot up higher against the wall. “Bring me up to speed, Lieutenant Uhu--.” He spasmed forward and vomited violently between his knees, helpless against a painful paroxysm that wrenched his lower back and made his head pound. He vaguely felt Uhura ease him onto his side, her cool hand holding his forehead. He lay curled into himself, gasping and shivering. She put the water bottle to his lips again. He shook his head.

“You have to drink, sir. You’re already dehydrated.”

“I can’t.”

“You have to. Open your mouth.” She positioned his head on her lap. “Don’t make me hold your nose.”

He drank a few swallows and promptly vomited across her thighs. He pushed at her hand when she held the bottle to his lips.

“No,” he groaned.

“You have to. Just until you can keep a few sips down.”


She bent forward and looked into his eyes. “You can’t help me get out of here if you’re dead, Captain.

He took the water. After several tries, he was finally able to keep a few ounces in his stomach. She held his head in her lap and stroked his temple with her fingertips.

“Can you stand, sir?”

“I think so.”

She helped him to his feet and propped him against the wall. He gripped her hands and held his eyes tightly closed. His thighs trembled with the effort to hold his weight. He swallowed convulsively.

“How do you feel?” she asked.

“Please don’t make me laugh.”

“Sorry, sir. I know you feel like crap. I just need to make sure that standing up didn’t make you feel worse. Basic first aid. ”

“I’m a little dizzy but it’s going away.” The kettle drum in his head slowed to half-time.

“How many fingers am I holding up?”




“I’m holding up two fingers.”

“Uh oh.”

“Please be serious.”

“I am.”

“How many now?”


“Good. Can you take a few steps? Any weakness on one side or the other? Squeeze my fingers.”

Kirk dutifully submitted to her examination. She briefed him on their situation. He tried not to think about his nudity while she washed the vomit from both their bodies and rinsed the floor around his tether. Fatigue weighed on him like a stone yoke. Finally satisfied that they and their sitting area were clean enough, Uhura allowed him sit down.

“Am I still in the game, Bones?”

“I’m glad you’re having such a good time.”

“Believe me, I’m not.” He sighed and massaged his sore shoulder. He drew his legs up and rested his forehead on his knees.

“I need you to stay awake just a little while longer.”

“I know.” Kirk rubbed his eyes and yawned. “Concussions suck like…something that sucks.”

“I see your famed eloquence is undamaged,” Uhura said. She sat next to him on the wet floor. “So what’s the plan, Captain?”

“We have to get out of here.”

“No shit.”

He would have laughed but that would make his head hurt. He settled for a small smile. “Ok, Lieutenant. Let’s see. We have no clothes, no weapons, no communicators, and no tools. It’s cold, we have no food and our water source might actually be a bidet. We don’t know where we are, who our captors are, how much time has passed and if we’re missed.”

“We’ve been gone about fourteen hours.”

“How do you know?”

“You feel that?” The deck vibrated.

“Yes. What is that?”

“I don’t know, but I noticed that it seemed to happen at regular intervals so I started counting in between. The vibrations cycle approximately every twenty-five minutes. I then started counting the cycles and we’ve been here fourteen hours. Now, fourteen hours, twenty-five minutes.”

“So we know how long we’ve been here. No one’s going to miss us for another ten hours.”

“Spock might,” she said. She avoided looking at him by rubbing at a bruise on her knee.

He’d been listening to her speak with his eyes closed; now, he opened them and gazed at the side of her face until she finally met his eyes. Kirk looked away first.

“All right, Lieutenant. When do you think Spock will start to miss…us?”

“About ten hours ago,” she said quietly.

“As early as that.”

“Yes,” she said.

Kirk nodded thoughtfully.

“But he’s got to convince everybody else that we’re missing,” she said.

“Somehow, I don’t think that convincing everybody will present a problem for Spock.” He picked up the water bottle and took a drink. He shuddered.

“Are you going to throw up?”

“No. This water tastes awful.”

“I’m trying not to think about what sort of microbes might be in it.”

“Thanks. Now, I might.”

“Sorry, sir.”

He hefted the bottle in his hand. “This might make a pretty good weapon. It’s kind of heavy with water in it. These containers are all over the place. We could fill a bunch of them.”

“I thought of that, but watch.” Uhura took the bottle from his hand and squeezed. It crumpled like paper. Water ran over her hand. “It’ll hold water but the slightest bit of pressure and it loses its shape. It would be like hitting someone with an egg.”

“Yes, but even hitting someone with an egg will distract them for a couple seconds.” He stood slowly. “Especially if that egg is filled with a nasty surprise. You said we disgust them? Let’s give them a run for their money. Excuse me, Miss Uhura.” He walked as far away from her as his tether allowed.

“What are you--? Oh! I see.”

Kirk glanced back over his shoulder.

“I mean, I can’t um, *see* but I understand,” she stammered. For the first time, she was conscious of their nakedness. The captain seemed to be taking quite a long time to finish and she realized why when he cleared his throat.

“Miss Uhura, can you ah, get me another? I can’t reach…this tether is too short.”

“Yes, sir! Right away.” She jumped to her feet and searched through the debris for another bottle. They awkwardly exchanged the filled bottle for the empty and when his fingers brushed hers, they nearly dropped both bottles.



She stood in front of him.

“If I could have a moment, Lieutenant?”

“Oh! Excuse me, sir.” She hurried back to their place against the wall.

He walked unsteadily back to her and slid down the wall. He set the bottle next to the other: away from them but within arm’s reach. “We could use a few more of those,” he said.

Uhura nodded.

“I’ll keep drinking water but I don’t think I could manage again for another couple of hours,” Kirk said.

Uhura nodded again.


She looked at him. He was watching her expectantly.

“Yes, sir?”

“Your turn.”

She blinked and stood. “Um, yes. I just thought--.”

“We need more than I can give, Miss Uhura.”

“The bottle opening’s not very big.”

“Aim carefully.” He waved a hand. “Look, I’m exhausted. I’m not watching. I’m going back to sleep. Will that make it easier?”

She nodded. Then she laughed. “This is going to be funny in our report.”

He chuckled wearily. “Yes.” He made himself as comfortable as he could against the wall. “When we get back to the Enterprise, we’ll have a good laugh.”

She watched him until his chest rose and fell in a deep, regular pattern. She moved to the other side of the hold and urinated carefully into the bottle. It wasn’t as difficult as she thought it would be. She placed her pee bomb--as she was starting to think of them—next to the captain’s. She gathered more of the bottles, filled a few with the fetid water and lined them up well away from the others. She had already searched the hold for possible weapons and exits while the captain was unconscious; now, she searched it again. It gave her something to do besides think about how very vulnerable they were. At least she didn’t feel the terror she felt when all she could do was wait to see if his slow, irregular breathing would cease.

This place was some kind hold, probably for garbage or transporting prisoners or both. Water trickled from a small pipe situated about one meter above a rank hole cut into the deck plating. A dim red light illuminated the water outflow and toilet hole. Uhura walked over and for the hundredth time, tried to decipher the hieroglyphics stenciled below the light. It seemed too uniform to be graffiti so she made an educated guess that the writing had something to do with the water and toilet. She was a linguist. If it said something like “potable water” or “non-potable water” or “shit here”, and they escaped, she might be able to recognize some of the glyphs and—what the hell was she thinking? That writing could mean anything or nothing. It was a pointless exercise.

Spock would comment that there was no such thing as a pointless exercise, even if its sole purpose was to prove futility.

She went back to the captain and huddled next to him. He stirred and dropped his head on her shoulder. She would wake him and check his orientation after two more vibration cycles. She laid her cheek on the top of his head. She fought back tears, pulling in a shaky breath.

She would not fall apart. Not yet.

She closed her eyes and held the memory of Spock in her mind, taking comfort from the knowledge that he would find them. And if Spock couldn’t find them here, Kirk would get them someplace where he could.

End Chapter 1

~Chapter 2

Uhura shook Kirk awake again. The first time she roused him, he fell asleep again almost immediately after she checked his orientation to place and person. Each time after that, he awakened more readily, stayed awake longer and when he did sleep, it wasn’t the deep, barely responsive state that he was in earlier. During this last cycle, he actually had a semi-erection.

Uhura took that as a good sign.

Kirk stood and stretched. He grimaced and flexed his lower back. Uhura looked quickly away from his outthrust pelvis.

“I’m surprised you didn’t dislocate something. It took three of those guards to subdue you before they finally knocked you out,” she said.

“Bonk, bonk on the head.”


“Nothing. I take it our hosts haven’t reappeared.”

“Haven’t seen hide nor hair or peeling, ulcerated scale of them.”

“How long has it been?”

“Twenty hours since they threw us in here, sir.”

“Four more hours and they send in the fleet.” He rolled his shoulder gently then bent to inspect the cuff on his ankle. “This feels like its loosening. Maybe they sized it after my ankle swelled. Let’s see if we can get it off.” They were unsuccessful. “Damn. Just a little more.” He gripped his ankle and massaged it in an effort to squeeze out some of the edema. He saw the row of pee bombs. “Wow. Three more bottles.”

She shrugged. “Following orders,” she said.

“Remind me to give you a commendation.”

“How’s your head?”

“Hurts like hell but less than before. I have that queasy feeling like when I’ve eaten something a little off and that I need to throw up, but can’t. You know that feeling?”

“Too much bile in your stomach. Drink some water.”

“At least the universe stopped spinning. I feel like I could sleep for three days but otherwise, I’ve come off of shore leaves feeling worse than this—in my much younger days, of course,” he added. He took a long swig from his water bottle.

“Of course.” She rubbed her belly. “I find myself wishing that I’d eaten more at the Gorn reception.”

Kirk passed a hand over his face and pinched his lips between his fingers. “Please, Lieutenant. Don’t.”

“What? Gorn dishes are becoming trendy delicacies all over the quadrant.”

“If you like raw, decomposed flesh.”

“It’s called “aged” in polite circles.”

“I call it carrion.”

“I thought the spices covered the smell,” she said.

“Ok. Enough.”

“Those giant grasshopper jerky things looked pretty good. At least they were cooked. Or dried or whatever. I had smoked grasshoppers once in Guatemala. They were much smaller than the Gorn ones. Tasted like barbequed sunflower seeds.”


“They kind of snap in half in your mouth.”

Kirk rose quickly and limped to the toilet hole. He stood with his palms pressed against the wall, panting.

“Except, sometimes you would get one that wasn’t completely dried. Those were kind of chewy. Man, I was picking legs out of my teeth all day.”

Kirk emitted an alarming croak and his torso clenched. He heaved violently three or four times before foul-smelling liquid finally gushed from his mouth. His knees buckled so Uhura went to him and helped him hold himself up. Tears streamed from his eyes and his face looked purple in the red light.

“You did that deliberately, Lieutenant.” He coughed and sucked harsh breaths through his mouth.

She handed him a bottle of water and he rinsed his mouth.

“Feel better?” she asked.

He nodded. “Yes, actually.” She walked him back to their spot.

“DeSalle taught me that. We were plebes in the same class. Stupid kids, away from home for the first time. Somebody got a supply of real ouzo from an uncle. To this day… ugh.” She shivered.

“I vaguely remember my plebian days.” He settled down on the floor. “I spent a little time puking my guts out, too. There was this upperclassman named Finnegan.”

Uhura snorted. Kirk looked at her. “You know him?” he asked.

“Uh, heard about him.”

“Finnegan loved to torment me. Thinking about it objectively now, he did teach me a good lesson about not always having to play by the rules. I do have to admit that he was a clever tactician. One time he--.” He saw that her teeth were chattering. She’d been taking care of him and he hadn’t once asked her how she was doing. He held out his arm.

“Come here. Sit next to me.” He motioned with his hand. “You’re freezing.” When she hesitated he said, “I’m naked, you’re naked. Forget it. Basic survival procedures apply, Lieutenant. Besides, I’m cold, too.”

She scooted over and leaned gingerly into the circle of his arm. He enfolded her and rubbed his hand briskly up and down her arm.

“Better?” he asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“Me too. My nausea is almost gone.”

“Sometimes the cure for nausea is more vomiting.”

“I should put you on report for that grasshopper story, though.”

“It worked, didn’t it?”

“I know, but really. You could’ve just jabbed a finger down my throat.”

“If I had to.”

“I believe you.”

She yawned.

He frowned. “When’s the last time you slept?”

“You were incapacitated. I was on watch.”

She felt his body grow very still.

“Captain?” She tried to look up at him but he pressed her head to his shoulder.

“It’s ok,” he said.

She yawned again. “Excuse me. Wow! I can barely keep my eyes open.”

“Well, you can sleep now,” he said in a rough whisper. “I’ll stay awake. It’s my turn,” he said, but she was already asleep. After a few minutes, she relaxed against his side. He shifted her carefully until he could hold her across his body with both arms. Her eyes rolled behind her lids. She whimpered softly but didn’t wake. “Shh. I’ve got you,” he murmured. Her hands were curled loosely against her chest. Her eyelashes rested against her cheeks and were matted and spiky as if she’d been crying. He smoothed her hair back and lightly brushed a bit of dirt off her cheek. He resisted the urge to press his lips to her temple. “I’ll bring her back to you, Spock,” he whispered. He rubbed the back of her hand and she gripped two of his fingers in her fist. The bruise on her chin looked deep and tender.

A wave of rage washed over him. Someone would pay for this.


Uhura awakened to the feel of a hand pressed over her mouth. She stiffened.

“Shh.” Kirk had his lips very close to her ear. “They’re back.” Uhura gave a small nod and he removed his hand.

Just before the hatch opened, they let their bodies go limp. She draped across his lap and he slumped against the wall. The deck vibrated with footfalls. Kirk tried to distinguish by the sound how many guards were present. He didn’t want to risk opening his eyes even a crack. The footsteps stopped a few feet from them. One of the guards shouted a guttural command. Kirk and Uhura did not move. The guard shouted again. A boot prodded Kirk in the thigh. Kirk moaned but did not move. The guards muttered to each other.

Kirk risked a peek through is eyelashes and counted three guards. They carried Orion disrupter rifles but the guards were a humanoid species that he did not recognize. The weapons were dented and scuffed but looked lethal enough—much like the beings who held them. They seemed to be arguing amongst themselves. The largest of the group threw up his arms and walked quickly towards them with his rifle raised. Kirk tensed his body, ready to spring to his feet. The other two guards continued their argument. Just as Kirk was about to make his move, one of the other guards barked an order. The big guard stopped but did not lower his weapon. The other uttered a low growl. The big one powered down his rifle with a frustrated grunt. The smaller guard shoved him aside and knelt at Kirk’s feet. He looked them over carefully. He roughly pinched Kirk on his calf, watching for a reaction. Kirk moaned and lolled his head.

Kirk felt the shackle fall from his ankle. The guard pinched him again. Kirk slowly moved his leg away, then went limp again. The big guard snorted with disgust and rested the butt of his rifle on the deck by his boot, holding it loosely by the barrel. He turned to the third guard and grunted a few words and the three of them laughed. The small guard at Kirk’s feet stood and clapped the big one on the shoulder. They threw their heads back and laughed.

Kirk’s unshackled foot shot out and kicked the rifle away. He swung his leg back and brought the top of his foot to the back of the big guard’s knee, knocking him off balance. In his peripheral vision, he saw Uhura scramble after the rifle. He rolled to his feet and lobbed a pee bomb right between the eyes of the bigger guard. The guard staggered back, howling and clawing at his face. Kirk ducked and turned just as the smaller guard flailed a truncheon-like weapon at his head. The truncheon grazed his temple but Kirk dropped his shoulder and rammed into the small guard’s chest. The guard doubled over and Kirk heard a disrupter discharge twice before he came up and butted the guard in the chin with the back of his head. The guard fell against the wall and slid down in a boneless pile.

Kirk spun around and dropped into a fighting crouch. He was seeing stars from head butting the guard. He shook his head to clear his vision and when he could see again, he saw the big guard blinking stupidly at a huge, smoking hole in his chest. The charred outline of the other guard lay twenty feet across the room. The big guard sank to his knees and crashed forward. Kirk looked at Uhura. He slowly straightened.

“I guess you have everything under control, Miss Uhura.”

“Piece of cake, sir,” she said.

Kirk raised a brow. “You’re kind of a badass,” he said.

“A little bit,” she said but her voice was shaky.

“I’m kind of disappointed. I wanted to kick the shit out of these guys.”

“And all those pee bombs gone to waste. Maybe next kidnapping.”

Kirk turned back to the small guard and searched him, taking his rifle, a Starfleet issue phaser and a vicious-looking blade from his boot. Kirk took the phaser and placed the other weapons next to Uhura.

“Cover him. I’m going to check what’s outside. If I’m not back in ten minutes…” They gazed at each other. “If I’m not back in ten minutes, standard procedure, Lieutenant,” he said.

“Aye, sir.” She gripped the rifle tightly and pointed it at the unconscious guard.

Kirk went the door and looked quickly in both directions. He set the phaser to kill and disappeared into the corridor.

The deck vibrated and Uhura began to count softly, “One, one thousand, two, one thousand, three…”

She heard Kirk’s voice.

“Captain Ssizzeen. It seems you have me at a disadvantage.”

“That is highly unlikely, Captain Kirk.”

Kirk stepped back into the hold and motioned to Uhura. Uhura sidestepped over, still holding the rifle pointed at the guard. She peered curiously over the captain’s shoulder. Six heavily-armed Gorn crowded in the corridor.

“Commander Spock sends his regards,” said Ssizzeen. He signaled to two of his crew and they entered the hold.

As Uhura moved into the corridor, she heard a sickening crunch. One of the Gorn came out of the hold. He looked at her and came to attention.

“Deucian slavers,” he rasped. “Not fit to eat.” His black tongue flicked out in anger.

The other Gorn came out with the contraband weapons. He showed them to Captain Ssizzeen, muttering in Gornii. “Bastards fuck their mothers.”

He would have been mortified to know that Uhura knew enough of their language to understand what he said.

“How did you find us?” asked Kirk.

Ssizzeen ripped his tunic and handed the top half to Uhura with a small bow.

“Thank you.” She gratefully pulled the colorful fabric over her head. It was surprisingly soft but even torn in half, the tunic came down to her shins.

Ssizzeen turned to his Second, who quickly tore his tunic for Kirk. Once they were properly covered, Ssizzeen answered Kirk’s question.

“How did we find you?” He paused and flicked his tongue politely. “Shall we say sir, that your Commander Spock will never make a diplomat?”

“I’m not sure I understand,” said Kirk.

Ssizzeen and his Second glanced at each other uncomfortably. “The Gorn Hegemony should like to keep the Vulcans…close,” answered Ssizzeen. “Your Federation would do well to do the same. It was a lesson hard-learned by the Deucian government. More than that, you will have to hear from your Federation superiors.”

“I see,” said Kirk. He glanced at Uhura. She was staring at the Gorn captain with wide eyes.

Ssizzeen inclined his head. “Shall we go to my ship? You require food and medical attention. And….” His nostrils flared.

“A bath. Yes, we know,” said Uhura.

End Chapter 2

~Chapter 3

The Gorn ship was hot and brightly lit. The interior was all smooth, rounded curves and seemingly random placement of crew quarters and operational sections. Clean, white silica was soft underfoot and warm, moist air blew against their faces as they were led to the baths.

The Gorn crew was represented by many different castes. Captain Ssizzeen was of the command caste: huge, bipedal, bright green and muscular, with docked tails. The warrior caste was even larger with thick, dark brown-green plating and razor scales on their supple tails. The physician was as tall as Ssizzeen but with spindly, pale yellow arms and legs, a potbelly and an expressive, multicolored frill around her neck. It ruffled with distaste when she heard of Kirk and Uhura’s treatment under their captors.

An engineer hung by his tail from a beam in the bulkhead. One eye followed them as they passed beneath him while the other eye remained focused on the open panel on which he was working.

The yeoman assigned to them was a tall, slender lizard with a blunt snout and a creamy, ribbed throat that rippled with iridescent colors. He was light-footed and darted about them, eagerly pointing out items of interest, his tail whipping in the air behind him.

"Ah, here we are," he sang, when they arrived at the baths.

Kirk and Uhura looked around curiously. Steaming mist poured from jets in the ceiling and walls. A medicinal scent suffused the air. It was not unpleasant, but it was strong and made their eyes water. There were no stalls or anything that would afford them some privacy. Communal bathing seemed to be the order for the Gorn.

Kirk and Uhura were suddenly shy again about being nude together.

The yeoman blinked at them expectantly. “Is this not satisfactory?” he asked. He scurried nervously to one end of the room and back.

They nodded quickly, not wanting to offend their sensitive yeoman. They peeled off the torn tunics and handed them to the yeoman, who raced off, talking to nobody about finding clothing for ‘my guests’.

Kirk and Uhura sighed gratefully as the hot mist puffed against their bodies. The steam contained some sort of oily substance that produced a thin lather and was the source of the pungent odor. For a long time they just stood and let themselves to be steam cleaned. The grime melted from their skin.

Uhura tilted her head back and let the steam roll over her face. She dragged her fingers through her tangled hair. She looked over at the captain. He stood with his head down and had pushed up against one of the jets so that it blew directly onto his lower back. He was bruised and scraped all over. His bicep flexed when he reached up and scratched his nose. He ran his hand down his body to his genitals, rubbed the soap under and over his scrotum and dragged his penis through his fist. It bobbed gently between his thighs when he released it, the head clearly outlined beneath his foreskin. He sighed deeply and rolled his neck. He opened his eyes and caught her watching him.

“Tea tree oil,” she said.

“Excuse me?”

“That’s what it smells like in here.”


“This soap is interesting. It doesn’t seem to need rinsing off. And it must have some analgesic properties because all my bruises feel less painful. I wonder—.”

“Lieutenant Uhura.”

“Yes, sir?”

“It’s ok.”


“This. We’re ok.”

“Yes, sir.” She sighed with relief and then she laughed. “I have the tendency to babble when I’m nervous.”

“I can’t imagine why you’d be nervous. Think of what I’m going through.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m standing over here calculating warp equations in my head, trying not to think about the fact that I’m in a hot, steamy room with a beautiful, naked woman.”

Uhura’s eyes grew wide and she covered her mouth with her hand. Then she started to giggle.

“Yeah, laugh it up,” he said and started to laugh himself. “That’s not the worst of it. Throughout this whole ordeal--my concussion, the fight with the Deucians, our rescue and everything--somewhere in the back of my mind was always the thought, “I hope Uhura understands that the cold is preventing a true representation of my assets.” She clapped her other hand over her mouth. Kirk chuckled. “At any moment, we could’ve been killed and I couldn’t stop thinking about whether or not I measured up.”

She collapsed on the floor, laughing. He plopped down next to her.

“You have no idea how glad I am that it’s hot in here,” he guffawed. She shrieked and fell against him. They laughed and laughed. The yeoman poked his head in the door, blinked at them and darted out again. Their laughter had been dying down but the sight of the yeoman set them off again.

She wiped tears from her cheeks. They smiled into each other’s eyes. She leaned forward and kissed the corner of his mouth.

“Thank you,” he said. He patted her on the knee and stood, helping her to her feet. “We better get out of here.”

They started toward the exit, but had gone only a few feet before Kirk turned and pulled her into his arms. He hugged her tightly for a long moment. Her breasts were soft and hot against his ribs. He pulled back and held her face between his hands. “Thank you,” he said again. She opened her mouth to speak but he pressed two fingers to her lips. “Don’t. You’ll break my heart.”

He released her and pressed the button for the yeoman. The yeoman gave them tunics to wear and showed them to their quarters. The yeoman’s chatter filled the silence between them.

“Our chef has some little experience in preparations for omnivorous species. He informs me that you feed on…fresh kill.” The yeoman’s throat flushed several shades of blue-green. “And require that it be…burned,” he finished with a delicate shudder. There was no equivalent word for “cooked” in Gornii.

“Well, yes but vegetables—roots and algae would be fine,” said Kirk.

The yeoman brightened--literally. “Very good! We have also a selection of crustaceans that you might enjoy. The chef will burn them if you wish.”

“Inform the chef that he may indulge himself,” said Kirk.

The yeoman nodded. “We have modified these quarters to suit your needs. That raised platform is for sleeping. It should be adequate for copulating as well.”

Kirk studied the far wall. Uhura carefully examined her fingernails.

“Is that not the correct word? Our preferred method for learning languages is to use the voder as little as possible.” He cocked his head and his throat suffused with reds and purples. His eyelids clicked when he blinked. His tail curved over his head.

“Er, yes, that is the correct word but--” answered Kirk.

“Will you be copulating now?”

Uhura spoke up. “Thank you, yeoman. The quarters should be quite comfortable.”

“Very well. Do you require anything else?”

“Only privacy,” she said.

The yeoman flicked his tongue and darted out.

“Thanks, Uhura. That could’ve gotten awkward.”

“What? We’re not going to copulate?”

He smiled and looked away, his face pink. “That’s not funny, Lieutenant.”

“What you said in the bath…”


The cabin door opened and a squat, mottled gray Gorn came in pushing a cart. “Here is your eat,” he said in heavily-accented Standard. He pointed a claw at a knob under a bubbling dish. “For you to have more burn.” He turned the flame up and down to show them. He whipped of the lids of the other dishes with a flourish and the low, hissing chuckle that was the Gorn laugh. He pointed at Kirk. “You. Experiment this.”

Kirk looked confused.

“He wants you to taste it,” said Uhura.

Kirk dipped a finger into the broth and cautiously brought it to his mouth. He raised his brows in appreciation. “It’s very good.”

The Gorn bobbed his head and hiss-chuckled. He thumped his chest. “I, Zzyxaen. Make good human burn.” He pointed at Kirk again. “You. Delicious.” He shuffled out, chuckling.

“I’m not sure I want to know what he meant by that.”

Uhura laughed. “Is it good or were you just being polite?”

“No, it’s quite good. It’s spicy, but very good.”

The food was excellent. There were no utensils other than serving tongs so they ate with their fingers. They sopped the sauces with bunches of tart, red algae. Their only conversation was sighs of pleasure. Kirk picked up a bottle and examined it.

“Scotty told me about this stuff. It’s called meridor.” Kirk poured a glass of the blue liquid and took a small sip. His eyes watered and he coughed. “Smooth,” he choked.

“You probably shouldn’t be drinking so soon after a head injury.”

“Their doctor certified me 4-A. My head doesn’t even hurt a little.”

“Dr. McCoy would have a fit.”

“I’m fine.”

“Your eyes look a little glassy to me.”

“I’m just tired.”

“Me too.”

They were quiet for several minutes. She watched him. He stared into his glass.

“Spock’s my best friend,” he said. He carefully set the glass aside.

She nodded. He finally met her eyes.

“I can request separate accommodations if you like,” he said.

“I don’t think I want to be alone right now.” She stood and took his hand. “I promise. All we’ll do is sleep,” she said softly. “That won’t break your heart, will it?”

He ran his fingers through his hair and blew out a breath.

“Ok,” he said.

She led him to the sleeping platform. She sat on the edge of the bed and scooted to the center. Kirk lay down stiffly on his back. They were fully clothed, even the soft slippers the yeoman gave them. She rested her head on his shoulder, slid her hand down his arm and grasped his hand. He brought their hands up and kissed her fingers. He rested their hands on his chest. After a while, he sighed, gathered her into his arms and pulled her on top of him. She laid her head on his chest and he twined his fingers in her hair. They fell asleep like that.

The next morning, Uhura awakened on her side with Kirk curled protectively around her, holding her to him with both arms. His breath was warm as he exhaled into the hair on her neck. His erection twitched against the small of her back. He had not relaxed his grip on her, even in sleep. Her muscles were sore and her joints were stiff. Her throat was very dry.

“Captain,” she rasped. His quiet snoring paused for a beat then continued. His arms tightened around her. She swallowed. “Jim,” she said, louder.

His snoring stopped and he grunted a question. He did not release his hold on her.

“I need to get up,” she whispered.

“Mmm.” He nuzzled his face in her neck. He shifted his arms and his palm brushed across her nipple, sending a shiver through her body. His hand cupped her breast and she felt his warm lips travel from her neck to her shoulder. Nyota sighed and closed her eyes. She leaned back into his embrace and felt his cock nudge gently against her.

Oh, god. She needed to stop this before…she couldn’t stop it.

“Hey,” she said softly. “Wake up.”

Jim froze and opened his eyes. He moved his hands from her as if she were on fire.

“Sorry, Lieutenant.”

She took a moment to recover her composure then rolled onto her back. She smiled at him. “Please stop apologizing to me.”

“I’m sor--. I thought I was dreaming. I wasn’t fully awake.”

“Part of you is fully awake.” She grinned.

He rolled quickly onto his back. After a moment, he folded his hands over his erection. “Sorry. Damn!”

She sat up. “To tell you the truth, I almost didn’t stop you—us.” She looked back at him. “I could easily delude myself into thinking that Spock would understand.”

Kirk sat up next to her. “You know, he *would* understand. But could we live with ourselves if we did?”

“Yes, but I’d feel really, really guilty,” she said with a straight face.

“I can’t believe you said that. I’m trying to be serious.”

“I’m totally serious. And by the way, your assets do measure up.”

He started to laugh.

“I don’t know why you’re laughing. I—Eeek!”

Kirk stopped laughing abruptly and rolled to his knees, looking around frantically. Three chubby baby Gorn blinked at them from the side of the bed. “Doesn’t anyone knock around here?” Jim asked.

One of the babies leaned over and caught Uhura’s foot in its mouth. It chewed on it for a moment with its soft teeth, then decided that its own tail was a better option.

“Oh, they’re adorable!” Uhura picked up the baby that had chewed her foot and held it in the crook of her arm. “Oomph. He’s heavy.” She blew raspberries at him and he stared at her curiously. He cautiously flicked out his tongue and peeped. Uhura waved a hand in front of her face. “Whew! What have they been feeding you? Don’t answer that.”

Apparently bored, the other two waddled toward the door. The one Nyota held squirmed out of her arms and went after his friends. Just then, their yeoman hurried in.

“Oh! Oh! Oh! Rude chicks. Go away! Bad! Naughty chicks!” He patted each baby on the head as it went by. They ignored him. “They should be in the nursery but Captain Ssizzeen indulges the little ones.” His throat glowed sky blue and he hissed a sigh. He brightened. “We will be in communications range of the Enterprise in three cycles—fifteen of your hours. I’m sure your Commander Spock will be pleased to hear from you.” He darted around the room then paused and flicked his tongue. His throat flushed oranges and reds with dismay. “You did not copulate.” His tail drooped almost to the floor.

Kirk opened his mouth but Uhura spoke first.

“Yeoman, what is your name?”

“I am Sam,” he said.

Uhura ignored Kirk’s snicker. “Sam, copulation is discussed privately between humans,” she said. “Please do not concern yourself.”

“Very well. The doctor would like to see you again, Captain Kirk. Praetor Zogozzin is aboard and would very much like to converse with you. After that, I can take you on a tour of the ship or you can peruse our library disks or you can rest here. Unfortunately, we have few entertainments that would appeal to humans.”

“Thank you, yeoman,” said Kirk.

The door opened and the squat chef shuffled in, pushing a new cart loaded with dishes. He lifted the lids on the cart from the previous evening’s meal and chuckled when saw that they were nearly empty. “You eat good.” He bobbed his head and thumped his chest. “Human feed egg like Gorn. Zzyxaen burn with juice. Bring shovel this now.” He held up two flat, square spoons and dipped into the air in front of his face to show them how to use them.

Their mouths watered from the odors wafting from the new cart. “Thank you, Mister Zzyxaen. That smells wonderful—very good,” said Nyota.

Zzyxaen chuckled and bobbed his head. “Wonderful,” he agreed. He shuffled out with the old cart, muttering and hissing and chuckling to himself.

Sam darted after him. “I will return to collect you in one of your hours,” he said before going through the door.

Kirk and Uhura raided the food cart. There was a big bowl of the tart red algae swimming in a sweet, creamy sauce. Dark, smoke-scented leaves steeped in a pot of hot water. The ‘burned’ egg dish was the lightest and most flavorful soufflé either of them had ever tasted. They stared at each other incredulously.

“Oh my god,” said Uhura.

“Nyota, this makes all of it almost worth it. If I wasn’t entirely convinced that I wouldn’t end up in the pot, I’d try to entice him to come to the Enterprise.” He poured them cups of the strong smoky-flavored tea. He took a sip. “Spock would love this tea.”

“He would really like the algae prepared this way, too.”

Kirk grinned. “You discovered his secret sweet tooth, huh?”

“After he discovered my stash of chocolate,” she laughed.

“He loves chocolate. And lemonade.”

“And pecans,” she said quietly.

Kirk pushed his bowl away and sat back. “Why do I feel guilty for something I haven’t done?”

“Please don’t, Jim. I don’t want you to feel guilty. Spock wouldn’t want you to either.”

“That’s the problem.” He looked at her sadly. “He’s so *good*, you know? And I’m an asshole for wanting you.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Let’s do one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Stop apologizing to each other.”

“I don’t know.”

“Why not?”

“”No apologies” sounds too much like permission.”

“Maybe I should ask for separate quarters after all.”

“That might be a good idea.”

“I’ll talk to Sam.”

“And Sam is here!” The yeoman breezed in and ushered them out, chattering happily about his plans for them that day. Kirk and Uhura were grateful once again that he filled the silence between them.

End Chapter 3

~Chapter 4

The next few hours were a blur of introductions and tours. Yeoman Sam finally led them to a large conference room where a reception for Praetor Zogozzin was in full swing. Musicians clashed and clanged in one corner and interwoven with the music was the sound of hissing laughter and the peeps and honks of Gorn young. The adults wore same colorful tunics that Kirk and Uhura were given, cinched at the waist with the same wide belt.

Uhura inhaled deeply. “You know, Gorn smell really good,” she said.

“And they’re great ones for parties,” Kirk replied.

Praetor Zogozzin approached with an entourage that he waved off when he reached them. “Yes, Captain Kirk. Any excuse for a celebration,” he said. Zogozzin was a small, non-descript, brown gecko. The sash across his narrow shoulders was heavy with medals and ribbons.

“It’s good to see you again, Praetor,” said Kirk.

“And you in one piece, Captain.” He turned to Uhura. “Lieutenant. I regret your ordeal with the Deucians. I trust you are recovered—as well as can be expected, that is.”

“I’m quite well, Praetor. Thank you. Captain Kirk fared far worse than I did, I’m afraid.”

“Tsk. Truly unfortunate. Well, rest assured that the Deucians have…paid in full.”

“Captain Ssizzeen made mention of Vulcan’s intervention on our behalf. He would not go into detail. Forgive me, Praetor but would you care to elaborate?” asked Kirk.

Zogozzin stared at Uhura, his sharp eyes assessing. “It is good to have friends in high places, yes?” he said. His gaze drifted back to Kirk. “They have gone through great lengths to secure your safe return.”

Kirk returned his gaze steadily. “I am a starship captain. I do have certain value to Starfleet and the Federation.”

“That too is a good thing, Captain.”

“Yes it is. It would be better, however, to get a straight answer to my questions, Praetor.”

“You’ll die before you get that from the likes of this one,” said Ssizzeen, walking over and clapping Kirk on the back. “Since we were children, I can’t tell you the number of fights that his mouth started and I had to finish with my fists. A politician from the egg. Nothing has changed.” He favored the Praetor with an ironic bow.

“Humph,” grunted Zogozzin. “I won my share of battles.”

“As you constantly remind us.” Ssizzeen gestured at the Praetor’s leaden sash.

“And you, Sizzy are far too genteel to be a ship captain. If you’d paid more attention to your studies, you--. Oh dear. We have a visitor.”

A Gorn from the warrior caste crawled sinuously toward them. It nodded to Zogozzin, then reared onto its hind legs, looming nearly head and shoulders above even Ssizzeen. It was as hugely muscular as the Gorn captain, but its movements were graceful and Kirk had the impression that it could be lightening fast. Its sharp, citrus scent wafted into the air when it curled its tail carefully around its feet. The warrior eyed Kirk curiously, then clicked on its voder.

“I am Xxusus.” Its voice rumbled from its massive chest.

“I am James Kirk. This is Nyota Uhura.”

“You are the Kirk who battled Captain Ssizzeen on the Metron asteroid?”

“I am.”

“You are smaller than you appeared on our screens.”

Ssizzeen made a discreet click-hiss sound. “Usus, perhaps this is not--.”

Xxusus gave him a sharp look.

“No, no, Captain. Let him speak. Please, go on sir,” said Kirk.

Praetor Zogozzin cleared his throat and plucked at a ribbon on his sash.

“It would have been better for you to have spent less time running and more time making weapons,” the warrior said.

“Captain Ssizzeen was a formidable opponent, but my strategy seemed to have worked for me.”

“You got lucky,” chuckled Ssizzeen.

“There was a certain amount of skill involved,” said Kirk.

“It was my understanding that ‘skill’ and ‘luck’ have very different definitions in your language. My apologies for misinterpreting, sir,” said Ssizzeen. “Perhaps my voder is malfunctioning.”

“Perhaps it is the deafness that I caused in your left ear that is the problem.”

“Perhaps, perhaps. How is your lower back these days?”

“Much the worse for wear, thanks to you.”

“I’m happy the two of you find nearly killing each other so amusing,” said Uhura.

“Here, here Lieutenant,” said Zogozzin, raising his glass. “It seems they learned nothing from the Metrons.”

Kirk frowned and Ssizzeen stiffened. “I’m a soldier, not a diplomat,” they said, almost in unison.

“You have more skills in that area than you know, Captains,” said the Praetor.

“Two shots. Two dead Deucians. That is skill,” said Xxusus.

“Quite,” Zogozzin quickly agreed.

Xxusus turned to Uhura and inclined his head. “My praise to *your* mother.” He dropped down to all fours and crawled away without looking back.

“Usus, please,” said Ssizzeen. Xxusus refused to acknowledge him. Ssizzeen sighed and waved a hand. “My mate, Xxusus.”

“Your mate?” said Uhura.

“Forgive her. She is pregnant and very unhappy with me.” Ssizzeen excused himself and strode after his mate with admirable dignity.

Zogozzin relaxed visibly. He glanced at Kirk then laughed quietly, taking a delicate lap of his drink. “A pregnant female of the warrior caste can be, shall we say, unnerving? Their moods are unpredictable. As are their cravings.” A frilled Gorn came up and took Zogozzin’s elbow, hissing softly in his ear. “If you’ll excuse me,” said the Praetor.

Kirk and Uhura stood next to each other after the Praetor moved away.

“Don’t say it,” Kirk said.

“I haven’t said anything.”

“Then just keep on not saying it.”

“I’m not the one who makes assumptions about gender.”

“You didn’t know either.”

“Right. But I didn’t call her him. That’s Xenobiology 101, Captain. And Basic Diplomacy and Protocol. Both required courses at the Academy.”

“Thanks, Nyota. I’ll remember that.”

“That “I’m a soldier not a diplomat” shtick will only get you so far.”

“I get it, Lieutenant. Can we stow this conversation?”

“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.” Uhura swallowed and looked away.

Kirk sighed and rubbed his brow. “Look, I didn’t mean to snap. Can we just forget it?”

Uhura nodded but didn’t say anything. There was a long moment of awkward silence. Kirk took a sip of his drink.

“I mean, you could have at least peeked under her tunic first,” said Uhura.

Kirk nearly choked on his drink. A passing Gorn thumped him good-naturedly on the back as he walked by, having no idea why they were laughing but joining in anyway.

Kirk looked down into Uhura’s face and stroked a finger down her cheek. “I love that you make me laugh.”

“You have a little tuck in the corner of your mouth when you smile. Spock has a dimple in this left cheek. When I first saw it, I thought to myself, “I’ll spend the rest of my life making that dimple reappear…” She trailed away as Kirk’s smile faded. “I didn’t mean to—shit. I’m sorry.”

“No apologies, remember? I’m happy that you can make him smile.” He gazed at her for a long moment. “Will you tell me how long you and Spock…”

“Since the Shore Leave planet,” she said. “We were on skeleton rotation and he and I were the only ones from the Alpha Command crew on the bridge. We ended up taking our meals at the same time and we were off duty at the same time. For three days, we pretty much had only each other to talk to. For months after that, it always seemed that we had an excuse to be together. We started my harp lessons. I even gave him a few voice lessons—not that he really needed them. He has a lovely singing voice. Did you know that?”


“He’s romantic, attentive, has a great sense of humor and can be a lot of fun. Our first ‘date’ off the ship was a jazz pub crawl on SB11.”

“I remember that. He invited me to join you. I enjoy jazz, but he made it sound like a lecture series on music theory so I begged off.”

“I guess he didn’t really want you to go,” she laughed. “It was the best first date I ever experienced. We ran into Dr. McCoy at the third pub and he stayed with us for the rest of the day. McCoy knew at least one musician in every band. It was incredible.”

“Bones never told me about that.”

“That’s interesting. We weren’t really trying to hide anything. People saw us together all the time. I was actually surprised that he was so open about being seen with me in light of how private he is. After a while, I started to think that maybe I got the wrong idea. I had sort of resigned myself to being just friends when suddenly everything changed.”


“Just after our trip to Vulcan.”

“That was six months ago.”

“Six months, five days, eleven hours.”

“I see.”

“I was a little unsure about him because one, I was pissed that he left out the tiny detail that he was married all this time and two, I was afraid that he was rebounding from his divorce.”

Kirk grinned. “Trust me, he wasn’t rebounding.”

“It didn’t take him long to convince me. He can be very…persuasive.”

Kirk blushed and looked away.

“I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”

“Uh, no Lieutenant. I just never thought about Spock in that way.”

Yeoman Sam scurried over. “Captain Kirk, Lieutenant Uhura! I’m so pleased that you are enjoying yourselves. Chef has prepared a meal for you but ah, er,…”

“It’s ok Sam,” said Uhura. “We’ll eat in our quarters.”

Sam flushed chartreuse. “Wonderful! I personally do not find the odor offensive but I think that would be best,” he said. He hustled them into the corridor. “I put fresh tunics in your quarters and should you like to ah, bathe—again, I personally do not find the odor offensive---.”

“Thank you, Sam. We don’t mind bathing. And if it is no inconvenience, would it be possible for us to have another cabin?” asked Kirk.

“The quarters are unsatisfactory? Oh my. That is why you did not copulate.” His tail thumped to the floor. Several Gorn looked in their direction.

“No, no. The quarters were fine. We simply wish to be quartered separately.”

“Ah. You wish privacy!” said Sam. “It is a foreign concept for Gorn, but we understand the human need for solitude. It is no bother! I shall secure private quarters for each of you,” he said as he herded them down the corridor.

“Thank you, Sam.”

“In the meantime, please enjoy your meal here. I will return shortly with the new arrangements. I shall leave you *alone*,” he said brightly. He scampered in a circle then darted away.

End Chapter 4

~Chapter 5

There was a cart loaded with fragrantly bubbling dishes waiting at their quarters when they entered. As usual, the food was exquisite but they were tense and kept quiet, except for the occasional comment about the meal. While they waited for Sam’s return, they sat silently and avoided each other’s eyes. Finally, Kirk reached for the bottle of meridor.

“It’s safe to drink some of this now, don’t you think?”

“I don’t think Dr. McCoy would mind,” she said, holding out her cup.

They both took a sip and coughed.

Kirk blew out a breath. “Whew. I don’t know what Scotty sees in this stuff.”

Uhura toyed with her square spoon. “Captain—.”

“Please stop calling me that. Just for these next few hours, ok.”

“Are you sure you want to stop being the captain?” she asked.

“I can’t tell you how much I wish I was someone else right now.”

She nodded.

“You were going to say something?” he prompted.

“I just…you know… How did things get so complicated?”

“Shared trauma can lend a false sense of intimacy to an otherwise casual relationship. That’s what Bones would say, anyway.”

“You think our relationship was casual before this?”

He didn’t answer.

“What are we going to do?” she asked.


“So, we should just forget about—.”

He pushed back from the table and stood.

“Forget about what, Nyota? There’s nothing to forget. What we need to remember is that one of us loves Spock.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“He’s my friend.”

“I love him too.”

“I won’t have him hurt.”

“*You* won’t have him hurt?” She stood and pointed a finger at him. “You started this, *Jim*, so don’t give me a bunch of ivory tower bullshit about friendship and loyalty.”

“*I* started this?”

“You asked me not to break your heart!”

“I offered to sleep somewhere else and you said you didn’t want to be alone!”

“You—you--.” She bit down hard on the inside of her cheek. “You squeezed my breast this morning.”

“You--this isn’t funny, Nyota,” he said. His lips twitched.

“It’s a fucking soap opera. And fighting about it is not helping.”

He barked out an exasperated laugh and rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands, coming around to her side of the table. “We could get drunk and blame it on the meridor.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

He dropped his hands from his eyes and gazed down at her. “What are we going to do, Nyota?”

“Keep talking ourselves out of it.”

He unhooked his belt and tossed it on his chair. “I’m tired of talking.”

“Jim--.” She took a step back and put up a warning hand.

“I only meant that my head is starting to hurt again and I think I need to take a nap.”

He moved slowly around her chair until he was standing just inches from her. His breath was sweet from the meridor. The eyes beneath his lowered lashes did not look sleepy at all.

“You said you were going to take a nap,” she said softly. She was suddenly very aware that neither of them had on undergarments.

“I wish Sam would hurry up and get those other quarters ready,” he said.

“I’m sure he’ll sprint in here any moment now.”

He stepped even closer. “Then maybe…”

“What?” she whispered

“Just one kiss. To see what we’re missing? Sam will barge in and break it up before…”

“Yes. Sam will…come…soon.”

He slid an arm around her waist.

“To see what we’re missing?” she said.

“Just until Sam shows up,” he murmured.

The kiss started out soft, just a gentle exploration of each other’s mouths, then Kirk gathered her more tightly to him and crushed her lips with his.

Even as heat exploded in her loins, she chuckled deep in her throat. He trailed kisses across her jaw.

“What’s so funny,” he whispered, kissing a corner of her smiling mouth.

“You. You kiss like a vid star.” She gasped as he caught her earlobe in his teeth.

“Hmm?” He tugged the strap of her tunic off of her shoulder. “Are you making fun of me?” he asked against her neck.

“I’ve seen you kiss a few women.” Her breath was whisper-soft in his ear.

“You’ve got a couple of moves of your own. The way you stand at your station sometimes. With your knee propped on your chair, taking notes on your padd.”

“I do not.”

“Then you chew on your stylus. That drives me crazy.”

“Bad habit.” She felt his fingers unhook her belt. “Don’t. We can’t. Sam…”

He cupped her face in his hands and stroked his thumb across her lips. He groaned when she sucked it into her mouth.


“What’s happening to us, Jim?”

“I don’t know. I just want to say the hell with it and make love to you right now. Forget about friendship and loyalty and honor.”

She pushed weakly at his chest when he pulled her against him. His erection ground against her hip.

“I’m about to make the biggest mistake of my life and I don’t care,” he said.

She covered his mouth with her hand. “Shh. We have to stop. Now.”

“I don’t care,” he whispered again. He pulled his tunic over his head and dropped it on the floor. He pushed her tunic up around her waist as he walked her backwards to the sleeping platform. The backs of her knees connected with the platform and she fell onto the bed.

“Oh, god. Jim. No. Please,” she pleaded, but she didn’t resist him when she felt his hands spread her thighs and push her knees to her chest.

He sank to his knees and pressed his tongue to her clit, feeling it pulse against his lips. He moaned and sucked it into his mouth, savoring the taste of her hot, sweet flesh. He held her down with a forearm across her hips when she cried out and tried to squirm away. She came quickly, with great shuddering gasps, her back arched, throbbing and wet in his mouth. The sight and sound of her almost made him come and he thought wildly that his cock had never felt this hot and hard before.

She reached for him, desperate, pulling him down on top of her. His cock nestled against the tendon where her thigh met her pelvis.

“Ah, Jim.”


He lifted off of her and gently rolled her unto her side. He settled himself behind her, slid his arm underneath her and around her waist and held her small body to him. He rubbed his other hand down her thigh and hooked his hand behind her knee, draping it over his forearm.

“Put me inside you,” he whispered.

She reached between them with a trembling hand and positioned him at the slick entrance of her pussy. She pressed her hips back and he pressed his hips forward. He closed his eyes and swallowed hard as he slid into her.

“Oh my god,” he breathed. “You feel so good.” He opened his eyes and looked down at her. He began to stroke into her, slowly at first, then harder and faster. He stared at her with a small frown and when her eyes drifted shut he said, “Nyota, look at me,” softly, urgently.

His orgasm was quiet as he emptied himself inside her. His body rocked with each strong pulse of his cock. His breath hitched and trembled in his throat, and his eyes never left hers. It frightened her a bit how much he was like Spock in this way.

She reached up and touched his face with her fingertips. Her eyes welled with tears. “Jim,” she whispered.

“Did I hurt you?” he asked. His voice was hoarse and uneven.

“Oh no,” she sighed. “You didn’t hurt me. How about you?”

He shifted his hips and slipped gently out of her, pulling her back into his arms. His cock was still hot and hard in the cleft of her buttocks. He laid his cheek on her shoulder.

“No. I didn’t hurt me, either.”

The door to their quarters opened and the chef shuffled in. He glanced casually at them and lifted the lid on one of the serving dishes. He bobbed his head and hissed happily. “Eat good,” he said. He picked up one of the square spoons. “Spoon, not shovel. Zzyxaen knows now this. Speak Standard good. No voder.” He thumped his chest and pushed the cart out.

They stared at the door. Nyota put her hands over her face and started to giggle. Jim fell back against the pillows and laughed.

She turned in his arms. “Are we ok?”

“Probably not,” he laughed. “But I don’t care. I can’t think about it right now.”

He leaned down and kissed her, pulling her tunic over her head and tossing it on the floor. She shivered and moaned as he kissed his way down her neck to her breasts. He gathered them in his hands and pushed them together, licking and suckling from one nipple to the other.

“Mmm. I’ve wanted to do exactly this from the first moment I saw you,” he said.

“That’s a pretty specific fantasy,” she said.

“You’re telling me. Halfway through that first shift, I had to leave the bridge. I’ve *never* done that. I almost rotated you off the Enterprise, but I realized that it was my problem and not yours.”

She ran her fingers into his hair and pulled his face up to hers. She captured his lower lip between her teeth and gently bit down. “I’ve wanted to do that from the first moment I saw you,” she said.

“Is that all?”

“No.” She reached down and gripped his buttocks in her hand. “This too.”

They both jumped when Sam whisked into the cabin.

“I’m so sorry I’m late,” he chirped. “Oh! You are going to copulate!” He flicked out his tongue, tasting the air. “Again! I’m so pleased! Not to worry. I will wait here until you are finished and then I will escort you to the baths!” He settled back on his tail and blinked at them.

“Uh, it’s all right, Sam. We’ll go to the baths now,” said Kirk.

“Very well. We will be within communications range of the Enterprise in one cycle. Your other quarters are ready if you’d like *solitude* before contacting your ship.” He dashed to the door and back. “Praetor Zogozzin is looking forward to meeting your Commander Spock.”

Kirk glanced at Uhura but she avoided his eyes. “Thank you, Sam,” he said.

They followed him to the baths, smiling as he hopped and stumbled over a gaggle of Gorn chicks. “Oh! Rude! Oh! No biting!” he said.

When they finally reached the baths, Sam scurried away, holding their old tunics at arm’s length, between two claws.

Jim and Nyota sighed with pleasure as they were blasted by the pungent steam. She watched him place a hand at his lower back and twist his hips. She went over, brushed his hands aside and dug her thumbs into the tight muscles.

“It’s ok, Nyota. You don’t have to—I can—Ah. Thanks,” he sighed.

She worked her thumbs in a circular pattern up to his mid back and back down to the base of his spine. “That’s good. Like that,” he said softly.

“Between the food and the baths, I wouldn’t mind spending my next shore leave on a Gorn ship,” she said. “They take good care of their guests.”

“I was just thinking the same thing. It’s not often that I feel safe and cared-for. Sometimes on the Enterprise, when we’ve had an extra long and uneventful patrol, Bones will order me go off duty early. If I give him a hard time, Spock will come over and they’ll gang up on me. Spock starts quoting reaction percentages and Bones flat out threatens to ground me. That’s another time I feel safe. And cared-for.”

“They love you,” she said.

He turned and faced her. She rested her fingertips on his hips.

“Then how could I betray him so easily?”

“You’re asking me? I want to make love to you again.” She stood on her toes and kissed his mouth.


They sat before the com in Ssizzeen’s ready room. Ssizzeen and Zogozzin peered curiously over their shoulders while the waited for Spock’s image to resolve on the screen.

Kirk tried to appear relaxed even though he could still taste Nyota on his lips. Nyota bunched her tunic nervously in her lap, trying to ignore the warm, pleasant tenderness left by the friction of Jim’s cock inside her. She could not look at him without remembering the intense concentration of his expression as he watched her suck him into her mouth. He caught her staring at him and shifted in his seat. His genitals grew heavy and warm at memory of her breasts moving against his chest as he pounded into her. Their desire for each other was palpable, hot and close. And utterly apparent. He dragged his eyes from hers and looked back at the screen. Spock was there gazing at him with his dark eyes. Jim had never felt so exposed in his life.

“Captain Kirk, Lieutenant Uhura. I trust you are well,” said Spock.

For a moment, Jim couldn’t speak. Nyota could only nod.

“They are quite well, Commander,” Praetor Zogozzin answered smoothly. “As you will see by the report that our physician is transmitting to your physician even as we speak.”

“Thank you, Praetor. You have the gratitude of the Federation.”

“It was our distinct pleasure. Well, then. We shall leave you to your captain and your er, that is, Lieutenant Uhura. My regards to Ambassador Sarek.” Zogozzin inclined his head and turned to leave. Ssizzeen hesitated and Zogozzin crowded him towards the door with a low, exasperated hiss.

Kirk waited for the door to close.


“Yes, Spock. We’re fine. And really glad to see you.”

“How are you, Spock?” Nyota asked.

He studied their faces for a long moment. “The two of you returned home safely is all that I require,” he said.

And just like that, they knew that no matter what happened between them, whatever the circumstances, they were forgiven. It did not make them feel any less guilty.

“I have duties on the bridge. I shall see you when you arrive. Spock out.”



The doctor took a moment to gaze speculatively at Spock’s back as he walked out of sickbay. He turned back to the biobed and continued his examination. “It’s certainly been an interesting three days.” He grinned at Kirk.

“What happened, Bones? We can’t get a straight answer out of anyone around here.”

“Ask Spock.”

“I’m asking you.”

“You guys got ambushed by the Deucians on your way back from Cestus III.”

“That much we know, doctor,” said Kirk.

“Once the Deucians were identified as being ‘in the vicinity’ when you disappeared, Vulcan sent a ship to the Deucian home world.”


“We were too far away. Spock made a call.”

“And then what?” asked Nyota.

“The Vulcans requested that you be returned immediately.”

Kirk gazed at the spot where Spock disappeared through the door. “And Vulcans never bluff,” he said.

“And threats are illogical,” added McCoy. “Anyway. The Gorn ship was closest to your location so they picked you up.”

Nyota stared at Kirk in disbelief. “Would the Vulcans have blown up the Deucian home world?”

“No, Lieutenant. They would have simply stepped aside and let the Orions do it. With deep regret of course.”

Uhura sat up on her biobed. “Over us?”

“Seemed like it,” said McCoy. He looked from one to the other. “You guys just got rescued by the Vulcan cavalry and you look like you lost your best friend.”

Kirk frowned. “When can I get out of here, Bones?”

“You can go now. Just take the rest of the day off and you can return to duty tomorrow.”

Kirk hopped off the bed and stalked out the door.

“What’s the matter with him?”

Uhura sighed and stared down at her hands. “Can I go too?”

McCoy nodded. He watched her walk out with her head down. “The face that launched a thousand ships,” he murmured. “Well. Shit.”


McCoy stepped out of the turbolift and onto the bridge. He stood for a moment and observed Kirk and Uhura. She was busy at her board, but he saw her glancing sadly at Spock’s station from time to time. Jim stood just to the right of the view screen, leaning against the bulkhead and gazing out at the stars--about as far away from Spock and Uhura he could get and still remain on the bridge. Spock hunched over his viewer, as cold and silent as a statue.

“Captain,” the doctor called softly, motioning him over to Uhura’s console.

“What is it, doctor?” Kirk asked.

“How are you feeling?”

Kirk frowned and shrugged. “I’m good. Why?”

McCoy walked over to the other side of Uhura’s chair and stood between her station and Spock’s. He looked down at Uhura. “How are you feeling, dollface?”

She gave a non-committal shrug. “I’m fine.”

“Did you guys eat okay on the Gorn ship?”

“We ate a lot, actually. They had an excellent chef who was kind enough to provide us with some very good cooked food. What is it? We didn’t have any raw meat, if that’s what you’re asking,” said Kirk.

“That probably wouldn’t have hurt you. Gorn spices are anti-microbial and—.”


“Well…” McCoy tugged thoughtfully on his earlobe. He glanced at Spock out of the corner of his eye. Spock was making notations on a padd but the doctor could tell he was listening. “I noticed that both your hormonal levels were a little high when you got back. It didn’t make sense, so I did a little research.”

Kirk pressed his lips together. Uhura stared up at McCoy with wide eyes. Spock stood stiffly at his station, stylus poised over his padd.

“It seems that not only do the Gorn make liberal use of their own flavorings, they also favor Deltan spices,” said McCoy.

Kirk’s mouth dropped open. Spock turned slowly toward them.

Uhura blinked. “Deltan spices?” she whispered.

“Yes. You didn’t report any abnormal effects but maybe I wasn’t asking the uh, right questions.”

Uhura slumped in her chair and covered her face with her hand. Kirk sagged with relief.

McCoy cleared his throat. “I see. Well that explains that, then. The effects should wear off in a day or two and everything should…get back to normal.” He glanced back at Spock and nodded. “Mr. Spock. Captain. Lieutenant.” He folded his hands behind his back and left the bridge.

Nyota leaned her elbows on her console and huffed out a laugh. Jim looked at Spock and grinned. Spock raised a brow. He strolled over to Uhura’s station with his padd.

“You made an error in your frequencies column, Lieutenant.”

“An error? Where?” She stood and looked at the padd.

“Here,” he said, pointing with his stylus.

She leaned over and her shoulder brushed his arm. He bent his head close to hers. “You forgot to carry the one,” he said softly.

Kirk stepped into the bridge pit and flopped heavily into the center chair. He smiled.

“Steady as she goes, Mr. Sulu.”

“Aye, sir.”


McCoy walked down the corridor on deck five snapping his fingers and whistling a tuneless song. “I didn’t actually lie,” he thought.

The Gorn did use Deltan spices. They just did not give any to Kirk and Uhura.

End Chapter 5


End ~~The Disobedience of the Heart