Nothing new. I'm just posting it all in one place.
*runs and hides*
Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters. I own them in my dreams. The creative content, plot, original characters belong to me.
The Prodigal Soul
A/N: Plak`matya is derived from the Vulcan words plak, meaning blood and matya, meaning feral animal. Vulcans do not claim what Terrans would call a ‘vampire’ in their mythology. Vulcans do not admit to much of a mythology at all.
Summary: Brotherhood, friendship, love and a vampire.
When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
lends the tongue vows.
I have shot mine arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.
--William Shakespeare “Hamlet”
Sarek made his way from his meditation cell and down the narrow, curving staircase carved in the living rock of the mountain, trailing his fingertips along the stone wall, allowing his mind to drift as his bare feet found their way in the opaque dark, his meditation robe open and billowing behind his hard, naked body like a cape.
There was a groove worn smooth from millennia of feet down the center of the stairs. How many times in his impatient youth had he jumped the final eight steps to the landing? The last time, he’d been plucked out of the air by Maxon, the captain of his father’s palace guard. Maxon set him gently on his feet but had sternly reminded him of his position as son of T’Pau and first heir in the House of Skon. Later that week, Maxon collected Sarek from his music tutor’s studio in Shi’Kahr. Just before they were in sight of the castle, Maxon flipped the powerful flyer in a dizzying triple barrel-roll then leveled out, his face impassive, staring straight ahead as if nothing had happened.
Sarek smiled—and leapt into the air. A blur of movement in his peripheral vision startled him, throwing him off balance. He hit the landing and tumbled head over heels, ending flat on his back. He lay there for a moment, blinking.
“General, you do not possess the reflexes of your father,” he said.
“I ask forgivness, S’haile,” said Golan, stepping out of the deeper darkness at the foot of the stairs. “I am not as young as I used to be,” he said, inclining his head. He looked down at his lord and friend. “And neither are you,” he added. He held out his hand. “Stand, and unfold yourself,” he said.
“Long live the king,” answered Sarek with a wry huff. He gripped Golan’s wrist and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. “It is too early in the night for Hamlet, my old friend,” he said, dusting himself off. “I should think—.” Sarek looked up sharply at Golan’s utter stillness, noticing for the first time that the other man was dressed only in loose sleeping pants and that he held a dagger in his hand.
Golan stood with his eyes half closed, the pointed tips of his ears flexing minutely as he listened in the silent darkness. Finally, he looked at Sarek.
“What is it?” asked Sarek. He slowly fastened his robe.
“I am uncertain. I felt—I sensed a…presence.”
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark?”
Golan peered into the darkness then shrugged with the flick of one brow.
“Or perhaps a midsummer night’s dream,” he answered.
Sarek tipped his head at the thick curving blade of Golan’s dagger. “And that is the weapon of choice against fairies and shades?”
“I believed it necessary,” said Golan.
They gazed at each other in the darkness.
“The sensors?” asked Sarek.
“Sleeping soundly.” The sehlat would pick up anything the sensors missed.
“Most unusual,” said Sarek.
Golan made a noncommittal motion with his shoulder. “The light of day may lend a different perspective. In the meantime, permit me to escort you to your rooms.”
“As you wish.”
They walked down the hall in companionable silence, easy with each other away from the eyes of the Council and the Guard.
“What did you find so amusing on the stairway, Sarek?”
“I do not understand.”
“That dimple is hard to miss, even in the dark,” said Golan.
“Ah.” The dimple threatened to reappear. “I was thinking of your father and the last time I threw myself down those stairs.”
“My father often provides sufficient provocation to smile,” Golan said fondly. “It exasperates my mate no end that I have inherited his tendency toward humor. It was nearly my undoing as a young man in the pomp and circumstance of the Guard.” He glanced at Sarek. “I do see your son’s face in yours when you smile.”
“The only thing of me that is in my son. Of all things,” Sarek sighed, shaking his head. “My skin is dark. His is fair. My hair curls. His is straight. Eyes, nose, mouth, ears. If he did not bear so striking a resemblance to T’Pau, I would wonder if he were mine at all.”
“And I wonder that you do not mistake him for your mirror image,” said Golan.
“If you do not see then I cannot show you.”
“Golan, I am uncertain who is more cryptic: you or Amanda.”
“I am honored,” said Golan.
They stopped at the door leading to the suite of rooms that Sarek shared with his wife.
“I have activated the force field around your chamber windows. Please secure your door from within before you retire,” said Golan.
“You are that disturbed by this…phantom?”
“Until I am satisfied that it is only a phantom.”
“Whatever you think is necessary. Rest well, Golan.”
“Rest well, Sarek.”
Golan waited until he heard the low hum of the door seal. He stared into the darkness behind him and then up ahead. He gripped his dagger more firmly in his fist and circled back to his own chambers high in the castle keep. He did not rest well that night.
In the meditation cell, a tall figure seemed to resolve itself out of the very darkness. The figure stepped into the middle of the room and turned its face into the red honey glow of T’Khut streaming through narrow window cut into the castle wall. A breeze from the desert below blew through the window, rifled through lush, silken waves of dark hair and tickled across the back of a strong, elegant neck.
A sculpted mouth curled up at the corners. Inch-long fangs glinted above a sensual lower lip. A dimple appeared in the left cheek. The figure basked in the liquid light until a night bird called the coming of the day. The figure stepped back from the growing dawn.
It spoke, its voice a low, rich rumble, dark with grief:
“Now could I drink hot blood. And do such bitter business as the day would quake to look on.”
Casting a last, longing glance out at the desert, the figure turned and slipped through a long-forgotten doorway hidden in the stone wall.
Admiral Nogura’s eyes drifted from her computer monitor after reading only a third of a report that scrolled slowly down the screen. Motley, her gigantic Irish wolfhound, grumbled and chuffed in his sleep, his big paws twitching as he chased Aldebaran hares in his dreams. She gazed out of her office window at the view of the girded underbelly of the Golden Gate Bridge. The day was overcast but sailboats and windsurfers bobbed and tacked across the frothy chop of the cold, gray bay. She’d refused the offer of a larger office with a view of the deck of the bridge and the hills of Marin beyond, preferring the solitude of the offices in Fort Point, crouched under the bridge like a troll.
She also liked the fog that rolled thickly against her windows and the nostalgic lowing of the old foghorn out on Alcatraz. In winter evenings, the colored lights of flitters, hoverbarges and the Golden Gate glowed and pulsed in the swirling fog, reminding her of the Nebula Nebek’nezzer--and of how much she missed being out in space.
She returned her attention to the report. She didn’t have to read the rest. Its content was familiar: the Enterprise returning from a mission after a successful first contact or the discovery of an unclaimed and uninhabited planet rich in natural resources--or limping proudly home, victorious, battered and painted in glory.
Nogura closed the report and pulled up a recent holostill of the Enterprise’s command clique getting yet another medal pinned to their chests. The captain and first officer stood side by side, achingly beautiful in their dress uniforms. The chief communications officer stood at attention in front of them; chin up and in dress heels, but still a full head shorter than Kirk. The chief engineer stood at Kirk’s left, stiff and masculine in his tunic and kilt. The chief medical officer stood to the right of Spock, slender and dashing in dress whites. They looked like heroes straight out of central casting, yet they bore the mantle of their heroic status with courage, grace and humility. They were the embodiment of all Nogura held sacred about the Service.
They did her proud.
The admiral studied Kirk and Spock in the holostill. Contrary to popular belief, they were of a kind, more alike than not. Both were rigid about loyalty and duty, and both possessed of a piercing intellect and an insatiable curiosity. And, obvious to everyone but they, both were adrenaline-addicted swashbucklers: one disguised as an explorer, the other as a scientist.
Nogura winced and cringed at reports of every bruise, broken bone and phaser blast. They should have been killed a dozen times over. Their detractors called them irresponsible and out of control, and claimed that eventually their luck was going to run out. Nogura did not believe in luck. It took skill to be able to talk or think or fight your way out of hopeless situations--and Kirk and Spock possessed those skills in spades.
Ultimately, no one could argue with their results.
But when Spock survived a lightening strike with nothing more than a singed tunic and Kirk was plucked from an eternity of oblivion in an alternate universe, she had to wonder that they weren’t blessed by a god with an outrageous sense of humor.
Unfortunately, both were also susceptible to occasional attacks of an almost irrational mulishness, making their relationship intense and volatile. In spite of that volatility, they were fiercely devoted to each other and anyone who dared step between them was likely to be burned to the ground, stepped over and quickly forgotten. She heard the rumor about them but she’d dismissed it without a second thought. Kirk and Spock were no mystery to her. Rumors and backbiting sabotage were beauty’s burden. At any rate, it didn’t matter to Nogura who they were fucking. Their relationship was an enormous asset to Starfleet; that was what mattered to her.
But she also knew that the same chemistry that made them so effective together, also threatened to tear them apart. That would not be good for Starfleet. Their fire needed to be tempered or redirected before they burned each other up.
Nogura pondered this dilemma until a chance encounter with a bright young lieutenant during a tour of the communications section at Deep Space 3. Nogura questioned the lieutenant briefly, staring down her hawk nose at the tiny beauty. If the lieutenant was intimidated, it did not show; and as she watched the girl walk away, the admiral believed that perhaps she wasn’t.
Nogura requested the lieutenant’s dossier.
Her service record was exceptional but the admiral’s arched brows climbed higher and higher as she reviewed the young woman’s vitae. She was ridiculously over-qualified for her current posting. Admiral Nogura was not one to tolerate the squandering of valuable Starfleet resources, and this Commodore Komack fool who left this girl to languish out in deep space would be hearing from Nogura forthwith.
The following day, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura received her new posting with nothing written in the orders other than the information that she’d been promoted to chief communications officer on the fleet’s flagship.
Three years later, Kirk and Spock were still together.
Nogura allowed herself the tiniest of self-satisfied smiles. She’d acted on a hunch, and that enormous asset to Starfleet was still firmly intact. Sometimes, one had to fight fire with fire.
An incoming call signal interrupted her reverie. Nogura read and acknowledged the message. She smiled again. She restored the holostill on her computer screen. She tapped a fingernail on the monitor.
“I’ll see you later, blue eyes,” she said softly.
Motley jerked his huge head up at the sound of her voice. Nogura patted her leg and he rolled to his feet and ambled over. She held his face between her hands. “Want to go to Vulcan, Mots? Huh, big guy? Yeah. Good boy.”
Motley thumped his tail on the floor. He’d go anywhere in the universe as long as it was with her. He did hope that this Vulcan had hares and cool, green grass like Aldebaran.
Alpha Quadrant—Sector 09
Sector 09 was Komack country. There were no stars, no planets, no comets or even an asteroid of significant size. It was excruciatingly empty, a desert--and the only space Starfleet entrusted to the inept but well-connected admiral. Komack, flexing his new Admiral muscle, assigned the Enterprise to patrol this region in an appalling demonstration of bureaucratic waste and fuckery. And possibly as punishment for some imagined—or real--insult from Kirk.
Nogura was aware of Komack’s actions. She did nothing. All in good time. Besides, it might do Jim some good to cool his heels a little bit. At least they’d be safe.
And she could sleep through the goddamn night for a change.
The Enterprise was three weeks into its patrol of desolate Sector 09. Long range sensors scanned this vast nothingness, finding only the occasional small cloud of space dust. The crew sat yawning at their posts. They were listless and irritable, walking through the corridors with glazed eyes and sulky expressions. They reported for duty early, gladly worked overtime and actually looked forward to battle drills. An anonymous comedian on the ship’s BBS suggested that this region of space be renamed to the “Ennui Sector” and that buoys be launched, warning other ships’ crews to kill themselves now to avoid a slow and painful death from tedium. To their credit, the crew did come up with creative ways to assuage their boredom. There was an interminable and convoluted combination of pick-up-sticks and kaltoh going on in main rec. An immense house of cards swayed in cargo bay four.
There was also a new game called “Let’s See Who Can Come the Closest to Getting Caught Having Sex by Mr. Scott in Engineering.” So far, Kevin Riley was winning that one.
But if the crew was irritable, Kirk felt boredom like an ache deep in his bones. He became exceedingly difficult, exasperating even Spock.
It was very rare that they clashed in front of the crew, and almost never while on the bridge but one day, Kirk began the alpha shift micro-managing Spock’s every decision. Spock patiently suffered 1.47 hours of querulous nit-picking then turned his back and bent over his scanner tower, his sudden indifference the Vulcan equivalent of “fuck you.” After a long moment of crackling silence, Kirk walked stiffly over to Spock’s station. He stood there until Spock slowly straightened and stared coolly down at him. The bridge crew hunkered at their posts and kept their eyes on their consoles. Scotty and McCoy stepped out of the turbo lift. Scotty took one look and hopped back into the lift before the doors could close again, leaving McCoy stranded. The doctor braced himself for the explosion then watched in fascination as Uhura rose from her station and casually inserted her small body between them. She handed Kirk a padd with a murmured word and a steady look. He signed the padd with a frown and strode back to the center chair. Since then, Kirk’s behavior had improved--somewhat.
His own boredom having reached critical mass, McCoy offered to teach Spock how to play poker.
“I wouldn’t play poker with Bones if you held a phaser to my head,” said Kirk.
“Don’t listen to him, Spock,” said McCoy. He leaned against the railing of the bridge pit and folded his arms. “I used to play penny ante with my old man, that’s all.”
Kirk snorted and swung the conn chair idly from side to side.
“Really, I’m not that good,” said McCoy.
Spock wasn’t buying it. He gazed blandly at the doctor. There was a snicker from the helm.
McCoy looked over his shoulder. “Tell him, Chekhov.”
“It would have been less humiliating if I’d just signed over my credit chit and gone to bed early, sir,” said Chekhov. He glowered at a smirking Sulu.
McCoy blinked blue-eyed innocence. “Come on, that was just my lucky night.”
“He can’t shoot pool either,” said Kirk.
“You’re not still on that? Seriously, Jim. I have no eye-hand coordination,” McCoy said.
“You’re the finest surgeon in the fleet.”
“That’s a whole different set of muscles.”
“That’s a whole different pile of bullsh--.”
“Wait--,” said Uhura. She held her middle finger to her ear bug.
They all turned eagerly toward her. Finally, maybe something to do.
She sighed and pulled the receiver out of her ear. “Quasar,” she said. “Sorry.”
“Damn,” said Kirk. He yawned and rubbed his eyes with the flat of his fingers. “I’m so bored, that I’m even bored in my sleep. Last night, I dreamed that I was reading the Tellarite diplomatic protocols manual.”
Chekhov dropped his forehead to his console with a loud groan.
“Yeah,” agreed Kirk. “It was an inch from my face and I couldn’t see anything else except those words running across the screen.” He stared at the doctor with wide eyes. “I couldn’t wake myself up.”
“That’s awful, Jim,” said McCoy.
“It was hellish.”
“Then what happened, sir?” asked Chekhov.
Chekhov gasped and recoiled in horror.
Uhura sighed and stood. “Can I have everyone’s attention, please?” she asked. “I ordered new vids. They came in our last SSEM three days ago.”
“What? And you’re just now telling us?” asked Chekhov. “This morning, I seriously contemplated blowing myself out of the nearest air lock just to have something to do and all this time you--.”
“Mr. Chekhov,” Spock said quietly.
“Yes, sir. I’m shutting up now, sir.”
Uhura ticked off her fingers. “We got “Casablanca,” “The Thing--.”
DeSalle spun in his chair. “Which version?” he asked.
“John Carpenter’s,” she grinned.
“Je’tadore, cherie,” said DeSalle, clutching his heart.
“And--.” She paused for effect. “Cool Hand Luke.”
Chekhov let out a whoop and he and Sulu jumped up and jitterbugged. Chekhov twirled Sulu under his arm and dipped him.
“You wild, beautiful thing,” said Chekhov.
“You crazy handful of nothin’,” said Sulu.
“Did you know that Paul Newman actually was a Russian immigrant by the name of Pavel Newmanov and—,” started Chekhov.
“Let me go, you idiot,” said Sulu. Chekhov opened his arms and dropped him on the deck.
“All right, all right. Back to your posts, gentlemen,” said Kirk. He turned to Uhura. “I’m sure the crew will be happy to hear it, lieutenant.”
“I thought we could do a couple of movie nights or people could stream it in their quarters if they preferred,” said Uhura.
“It will certainly clear the corridors for the next few evenings.” Kirk stood and stretched his back, grinning at the doctor. “I’ll be on the saucer track if you need me, Mr. Spock. Care to join me, Bones?”
“Sure. Let’s see if you can beat my mile.”
Kirk stepped out of the bridge pit. “Mr. Sulu, log some hours in the center chair, if you please,” he said.
“Yes, sir!” said Sulu happily.
“Our regular match at twenty-three hundred, Mr. Spock?”
Kirk motioned McCoy through the turbolift doors. “Age before beauty,” he said.
“Eat my dust, tubby,” grumbled McCoy.
At exactly 2300 hours, Spock stepped through the cabin door. He stood for a moment and listened to the sounds coming from the lavatory, then removed his clothes, folding them neatly and placing them on a chair. On a small table was a tray set with cups, a teapot and a decanter of brandy. He poured himself a cup of tea and wondered naked around the room, inhaling the familiar fragrance of the room’s occupant, relaxing his mental shielding a bit, allowing the tension of the day to drain from his body. He gazed at the objects on the shelves--arranged somewhat randomly in his opinion, but to pleasing effect. He liked this room and felt safe here. This was not just the quarters of the woman who lived here, but also the sanctuary of the relationship that nurtured and sustained him.
He took a book from a shelf jammed with an eclectic mix of other volumes. He heard the soft pat pat of bare feet then felt warm hands slide around his hips and cup his sex. He sighed deeply and closed his eyes as soft lips pressed against the space between his shoulder blades. He put the book back in its place on the shelf.
“You’re early,” murmured Uhura.
“I arrived at precisely 2300 hours,” Spock said. He gasped softly as she lifted his arm and nipped gently across his ribs with her teeth until she stood in front of him. She rose to her toes and gave him a lingering kiss, running her fingers into his hair.
“Raindrops on roses/ and whiskers on kittens/bright copper kettles/and warm woolen mittens/tall naked Vulcans who play the harp and sing/ these are a few of my favorite things,” she sang softly. She pulled back and looked at his face. As usual, his smile thrilled her to her bones.
He trailed his lips across her jaw and down her neck, bending to take a nipple into his hot mouth.
“God, you feel so good,” she sighed. “You should’ve joined me in the shower.”
“I am not dirty,” he said, nuzzling her neck.
“The night is young, darling,” chuckled Uhura.
He dropped his hands to her waist and lifted her. She gasped out a laugh that turned into a moan when he pressed his tongue into the folds of her vagina. He knew how much it aroused her when he used his strength in their lovemaking and he moaned himself when she arched her back and rolled her hips voluptuously, wantonly rubbing her pussy against his mouth. He turned with her and walked to the sleeping alcove. He lowered her to the bed and kissed his way up her body. He stretched out on top of her and gazed into her eyes.
“You are the most remarkable woman,” he said softly.
“And you are the most incredible man,” she said, stroking his cheek with her fingertips.
Spock shifted his hips, his cock slipped inside her, and his entire universe became the feel of her lush body moving beneath him and the sound of her voice whispering in his ear: “I love you, Spock. I love you.”
Jim stepped into the cabin and saw the folded uniform on the chair, with the boots neatly lined up beside it. He grinned and pulled off his tunic, throwing it carelessly on top of Spock’s clothes. He toed off his boots and kicked them out of the path to the head, but left a trail of pants, underwear and socks from the main room to the sleeping alcove.
He stood at the foot of the bed and saw the couple making love there. He sat on the edge of the bed and listened to the sounds of Nyota’s soft cries of pleasure, watched the muscles in Spock’s long body clench and flex with each stroke and gazed at their faces as they reached their climax.
He watched them and wondered what he’d done to deserve them and as always, was vaguely troubled by his good fortune.
Spock had had a peripheral awareness that Kirk entered the room but had reached the point at which he could not hold out against the force of his orgasm. He opened his eyes when Kirk sat on the bed and said, “Jim,” as his cock pulsed inside Nyota. He extended his hand, offering a link so that Jim could share in at least that.
Jim shook his head. He moved up the bed and lay down next to Nyota, kissing her lips and stroking her face until her body stopped trembling. He inhaled their scent and imagined that he could hear the rapid thud of Spock’s heart and the slower counterpoint of Nyota’s.
Spock rested his head on Nyota’s shoulder and looked at Kirk. “You are late,” he said.
“We’re sorry. We couldn’t wait,” said Nyota.
“It’s ok,” he said. “All I need is this, right now.” He kissed her eyelids closed and laid his cheek against hers. He gazed at Spock, their faces just inches apart. Whenever Jim and his brother Sam fought, their mother would make them stand with their foreheads together for some arbitrary number of minutes, sternly forbidding them to laugh when she left the room. They usually ended up in hysterics, buddies again as they did the extra chores that always came along with the “punishment”. As they grew older, touching foreheads evolved into a sort of all-purpose gesture of affection: congratulations after a winning football game, a hello or goodbye, a peace offering and sign language for “I love you, brother”. He and Sam stood with their arms around each other and their heads together for long minutes at their mother’s gravesite.
Jim pressed his lips to Nyota’s temple. He sent out a prayer of gratitude to the keeper of his good fortune, and as he stared into Spock’s eyes, he added a plea for protection. He reached up, gripped Spock’s hair and brought his forehead briefly to his own.
Spock pulled back. “There is something that troubles you, Jim,” he said.
“No.” Kirk rolled unto his back and stared at the ceiling.
Nyota nudged him in the ribs. “Tell us,” she mumbled sleepily.
“It’s nothing. Just me.” Kirk waved a hand dismissively. “In my head again.”
“Jim, you know that outside of the Academy, there are no Starfleet regulations against fraternization,” said Spock.
“I know, Spock.”
“Our arrange--,” Spock began.
“Hey…” said Nyota.
“Our relationship is the result of three adults who share a personal attachment of reciprocal positive regard. Furthermore--.
“Thank you, Spock,” said Jim.
“It is logical.”
Nyota sighed and opened her eyes long enough to roll them. She hooked a leg over Jim’s and pulled him closer. “Why were you so late?” she asked.
“I received a subspace packet. We’re diverting to Vulcan.”
“Huh,” she grunted, half asleep.
Spock tensed. “Why?” he asked. T’Pau had been ill recently.
“The Trill are trying to engineer a détente between Tellar and Andoria,” Jim said quietly.
“Ah,” said Spock, relaxing.
There had been talk of this probability for months. The Trill were natural mediators, more skilled at negotiation than perhaps even Vulcans. The parties finally agreed to meet again. But the Andorians declared that they would sooner peel the skin off their own bodies in thin strips than go to Tellar, and the Tellarites vowed to murder their own children before ever setting foot on Andoria. Vulcan had been suggested as a meeting place, and both sides reluctantly agreed.
“And we have to swing by SB7 and pick up Nogura and Komack,” said Jim.
“Komack? Shit. Of all the worst fucking luck,” mumbled Nyota.
Kirk and Spock stared at her in disbelief.
“What? I’m just practicing for the Andorian delegation. They love Standard profanity,” she said, yawning.
“I know, but really.”
Nyota chuckled. “Pussies,” she said.
Kirk sighed and tapped her lips with a finger. “Komack will be watching me like a hawk,” he said.
“Cocksucker,” muttered Nyota.
“Then we shall have to be discreet,” said Spock, covering Nyota’s mouth with his hand.
“I thought you were going to say, “We should suspend our sexual activities until our mission on Vulcan is concluded.” Or something like that,” said Jim.
“Why should I make such a statement?” asked Spock.
Uhura pulled Spock’s hand away from her mouth and said, “Your mother’s going to take one look at us and know everything we ever did.”
“As will Sarek. And T’Pau. And probably General Golan. ” Jim added.
Spock frowned. “My family would not consider my relationships to be any of their concern. I am an un-bonded adult male. It is my right.”
“I fucking love Vulcans,” said Nyota.
“They may find my taste in women questionable, however,” said Spock, raising a brow.
“Indeed,” Jim laughed.
“Kiss my ass,” said Uhura.
“Please go to sleep, Nyota,” said Spock.
She closed her eyes obediently. Jim kissed her lips and she smiled against his mouth. He gazed at her face and sighed.
Spock watched Jim and waited. He knew that Jim would eventually begin to talk. He had almost drifted into sleep himself when Jim finally spoke.
“I don’t think I can do this,” Jim whispered. He messaged his forehead with his fingertips. “Being happy,” he answered, though Spock had not asked the question. “It makes me anxious. We have no conflicts.”
“The woman sleeping between us would beg to differ,” said Spock.
“Yes. But even our fights are good, if that makes any sense.”
“She is a challenge that is most agreeable.”
“I’m not used to getting everything I want.”
“Jim, when have you not always been able to acquire anything you wanted?”
“You know what I mean.”
“I do not.”
“Everything I have, I’ve had to work hard—the Academy, my rank, the Enterprise.
This—.” He waved a hand between them. “This is easy.”
Spock sat up, careful not to jostle Nyota. “It is unwise for you to assume that our relationship is a given,” he said.
“I see no logical reason for our relationship to not continue. That is not the same as assuming that the status quo will remain constant.” He stroked two fingers along the curve of Nyota’s hip. “However, my logic is uncertain in regards to this woman,” he whispered. “We must remember that she does not belong to either of us.”
“I’ve been so lucky, Spock.”
“Luck is illogical. You just said that you worked hard for all that you have gained.”
Kirk’s eyes followed the path of Spock’s fingertips as they traveled over Nyota’s hip to her thigh. “Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of. That all this will be taken from me. That I don’t deserve it.” He laid his head on Nyota’s hip.
“You are being overly melodramatic, Jim,” said Spock. “But since it troubles you so then I assure you, that if it is within my power, this will not be taken from you.” He lifted his fingers from Nyota’s skin and lightly brushed Jim’s forelock from his brow before continuing on.
Kirk smiled softly. “Thank you, Spock,” he said. He leaned over and trailed his lips behind Spock’s fingers as they traced a lazy pattern across the smooth brown skin. Spock pointed to a tiny mole on Nyota’s thigh. When Kirk softly kissed there, Spock moved his hand to another beneath her navel. Kirk followed with his lips. Spock pointed to the slight protrusion of her hip bone. Kirk licked gently with his tongue. Spock rubbed his hand up her body and cupped a breast in his palm. Kirk sucked the offered nipple into his mouth.
“Helen Noel thinks that we make love to Nyota because we won’t make love to each other,” Kirk murmured, his breath deepening.
Spock gazed at Kirk, watching him nuzzle the dark nipple with his lips. “Interesting,” he said.
“That’s exactly what I said.”
“If that’s the case, then I’m the luckiest woman in the universe,” said Nyota. She rolled over onto her back.
“No, that is not the case. It’s Dr. Noel taking her new assignment much too seriously. And by the way, you’re supposed to be asleep,” said Jim, bending his head to trace her nipple with his tongue.
“How could I sleep with all this going on?”
“We did not wish for you to be awake at this moment,” said Spock. His fingers tickled their way down her body. He stopped when his fingers came to the area and inch above the tender bud of her clitoris. He pointed. Jim bent down and pressed his lips there.
“Oh,” she sighed. “Is that the game?”
Jim glanced at Spock who responded with a quirk of one brow. “Sure,” said Jim. “That’s the game.”
Nyota closed her eyes. “Wait,” she giggled. “Ok. Now.” She giggled again then was quiet.
Spock stroked a tapered fingertip up and down between the lips of her vagina then rested it lightly on her clitoris. Jim moved down and captured Spock’s finger and the hardening nub between his lips, swirling his tongue around both. Nyota gasped softly and opened her thighs.
“Jimmy,” she moaned.
He moved up and positioned himself between her legs. He looked down and let out a trembling sigh as he watched himself slowly enter her dark flesh.
“Oh, god,” he whispered.
She gripped his hair and pulled his face up to hers. “Remember when Psi 2000 was breaking up and we were about to burn up in the atmosphere?”
He blinked, disoriented. “You want to talk about this now?”
“I have to tell you, Jim. It’s important.”
“And you laughed at my discomfort when, last week, she wanted to discuss particle physics during fellatio,” said Spock, rolling back and propping himself up on his elbows.
“I--.” Jim inhaled deeply through his nose and blew out slowly through pursed lips. “Ok.”
“Just listen,” said Nyota.
Jim closed his eyes briefly. “I’m listening,” he said carefully.
“I was on the bridge running back and forth between my station and Spock’s, checking the hull temperature and calculating and recalculating our re-entry trajectory.”
“You called me from engineering and ordered a report every thirty seconds.”
“Yes, yes, I remember,” said Jim. “Can we--?”
“Wait,” she said, squeezing his hips with her thighs. She was trying to hold him immobile but her efforts served to inflame him even more.
“Nyota.” He pushed himself up on his palms and looked down to where their bodies were joined. “Please, baby,” he groaned.
“I was the only senior officer left on the bridge with a bunch of green kids. I couldn’t find Spock. Sulu was still in sickbay. I heard Scotty tell you the engines were cold. I should have been scared to death. But I wasn’t.”
Jim looked back at her. “What?”
“I wasn’t afraid because I knew--I knew that if it meant you having to throw your body between the ship and the planet, you weren’t going to lose us. Later, I listened to the tapes of my voice calmly ticking off the time and hull temperature. I knew you wouldn’t let us die and I wasn’t afraid.”
He lowered himself onto her body and buried his face in her neck. “Everything that I love is on this ship.” His voice was muffled against her skin.
“Oh, Jim,” she said, stroking the back of his head. “I hear you sometimes at night when you think I’m asleep. I don’t think you even know you’re saying it out loud. I hear you praying. I know you don’t call it that but I do.” She pushed her fingers into his hair pulled his head up so she could see his face. “I hear your prayers and you ask more for us—me and Spock--than you do for yourself. That kind of love…I don’t know. I guess I’m trying to say, don’t doubt it, Jim. Trust it. Trust this.”
“I believe that it was actually my intermix formula that prevented the Enterprise from incinerating in the atmosphere of Psi 2000,” whispered Spock, leaning in close.
Jim and Nyota looked at him. His expression was earnest and slightly puzzled. Jim started to laugh first. Nyota tried not to.
“Yes, it did, honey,” she said, then broke into laughter.
“I fail to see the humor,” said Spock.
Jim looked at him, wiping tears from his cheeks. “No, Spock. It’s just—.” He looked down at his friend’s body and guffawed. He gestured with a hand and Nyota looked down. She squealed with laughter.
Spock sighed and lay back, waiting.
When he could finally talk, Kirk said, “I’m sorry, Spock. It’s just the way you said that.” He swallowed another burst of laughter. “You were so serious.”
“I was under the impression that the subject matter was serious,” said Spock.
“Then I looked down and you had this giant erection and you were talking about intermix formulas,” said Jim.
“Yes?” said Spock.
Nyota clamped a hand over her mouth and snorted through her fingers. Spock frowned, confused.
“Spock, you--. Never mind,” said Jim.
“Then, shall we continue our game? That is, if I am not the only one who was able to maintain his erection?”
“I think I can manage, Spock. How about you, Nyota?”
“Actually, you’re getting a little heavy,” she said, pushing at his chest.
Kirk laughed and rolled over unto his back, carrying her with him. Spock rose to his knees and positioned himself behind Nyota. He slipped an arm around her waist and pulled her upright, holding her body against his, tilting her head back and kissing her deeply. He gripped her thighs and lifted her, spreading her legs wide. He very slowly lowered her until just the head of Jim’s penis pierced her hot, wet opening. He held her there, watching Jim’s face over her shoulder and murmuring in Vulcan into her ear. She laughed softly and shivered. Jim moaned with the effort to keep himself from thrusting into her.
“Spock,” he panted.
“Wait,” said Spock.
Jim dropped his head back on the pillows and squeezed his eyes closed.
“Look at us, Jim,” said Spock.
Jim opened his eyes and watched as Spock leisurely caressed Nyota’s sex with his fingers. She leaned against his shoulder, gazing down at Jim from beneath her lashes.
“Is she not beautiful?” said Spock.
“She’s so beautiful,” sighed Jim. He thrust up with his hips as Spock held her above him.
And later when the sight, the sound, the scent of her was more than Jim could bear, he sat up, looked into Spock’s eyes and whispered, “Now.”
Spock’s fingers found his contact points and they both came, their bodies shuddering, their breaths catching in their throats, Spock with his arms around Nyota and Jim with his arms around them both.
Jim fell back against the pillows. Spock gave Nyota gently into his arms and stretched out beside them. They were quiet a long time.
“Do you feel better now, Jim?”
Kirk chuckled. “Yes, Spock. Thank you.”
Nyota made a muffled sound. Spock slipped and arm around her waist and fitted his body to hers.
“Sa’kai, rom mu-yo,” said Spock.
Jim lay listening to the sound of their breathing and watching the minutes tick by on the chronometer projection overhead. He smiled to himself. Spock and Uhura almost always fell immediately to sleep after sex—that is, if Nyota didn’t want a cheeseburger. It was such intimate detail to know about them. He felt a tiny thrill of panic and his smile faded. He inhaled a shaky breath and let it out slowly. He felt Spock stir and forced himself to relax.
With Nyota’s head on his chest and Spock spooned against her, Jim’s arm was trapped between their bodies. He going to move, but his shoulder was a bit sore and he decided that Spock’s heat felt good against it.
He closed his eyes and let sleep take him.
General Golan’s eyes swept the Great Hall as he, several members of the High Council and the ranking officers of the palace guard awaited the arrival of the party from Starfleet. He observed Emony Dax in quiet conversation with Colonel Stonn. Golan discreetly rolled his massive shoulders. Dax had selected him to be her sparring partner in that morning’s martial arts practice.
She quickly put him on his back.
Dax glanced over at him. Golan inclined his head. She respectfully returned the gesture then winked. There was a muffled sound from Golan’s left. He turned to the man standing next to him.
“S’haile?” he said.
“General,” said Sarek, keeping his eyes focused at a point in the middle distance.
“You were about to speak?” asked Golan.
“I am certain you were, S’haile.”
“Perhaps a bit of dust in my throat, General,” said Sarek.
“Shall I send an attendant for water?”
“I require nothing at the moment,” said Sarek, nodding to a passing Council member.
Golan frowned at the side of Sarek’s head. “The Trill is sturdier than she appears,” he said.
Sarek took a moment to reset his expression before turning to Golan. “As you say, General,” he replied. He looked over Golan’s shoulder and his eyes darkened.
Golan turned and watched as she who was his wife and the Lady Amanda approached. As always, he had to suppress a flash of heat in his blood at the sight of Salaran. He watched the muscles in her long legs flex under the thin fabric of her form-fitting uniform. Her hair had grown since he last saw her six months ago and was cut in a sleek style that subverted the tradition of elaborate twists and updos that Vulcan women endured for centuries. Her hair was boxed high on the back of her neck and her bangs were razored in a straight line across her brow. The cut was easy to maintain and infinitely more practical for the captain of a survey ship. It was quite logical. It certainly did not detract from her beauty, and Golan anticipated the moment when he could slide his fingers into its shiny black thickness. Salaran glanced at her husband from beneath her lashes and flushed light green.
“Control, General,” murmured Sarek.
“As you say, S’haile.”
“Greetings, my wife,” Sarek said quietly. He held up two fingers as Amanda walked over.
Amanda’s eyes flicked to the green tips of Sarek’s ears. “My husband,” she replied. She pressed her fingers to his, allowing the contact to linger.
“S’haile,” said Salaran, inclining her head to Sarek.
“Captain Salaran,” replied Sarek.
Salaran turned to her husband. They did not touch fingers, only stood facing each other. Sarek and Amanda looked politely elsewhere, and after an appropriate length of silence, Amanda spoke.
“Salaran was just telling me about her survey of Belleri Prime,” she said. “If memory serves, Belleri Prime is a flat, wind-blasted wasteland and the entire planet is really just an eight foot crust of magnetized hardpack sand over a solid iron core. Ideal for war games but not for spelunking, I should think.”
“My wife--,” began Sarek.
“She is correct, Sarek,” said Salaran. “Belleri Prime is completely unremarkable, Amanda. My crew and I spent quite a bit of time re-verifying this fact.” Her eyes drifted over Sarek and Golan’s faces. She turned back to Amanda. “But mine is a survey ship and I am a geophysicist. I serve at the pleasure of the Council. However heavily refitted with weapons my ship has become of late, I leave the soldiering to he who is my husband.”
“Not that Vulcan has need of soldiers, as my husband assures me,” said Amanda, glancing over her shoulder at Colonel Stonn and his fierce-looking lieutenants.
“I carry no military title,” said Sarek. “I am as much a civilian as you, my wife.”
Golan coughed lightly into his fist.
“As you say, my husband,” said Amanda, her eyes sparkling.
“We live in…uncertain times,” said Salaran.
“Apparently,” replied Amanda.
“My lady,” said Golan. When both women looked at him, he did not go on. He glanced at Sarek, who seemed to have found the stone floor suddenly and extremely interesting. “Er, the Enterprise party is delayed twenty minutes,” Golan finished lamely.
“Then Salaran and I shall be in the gardens. Send my child to me there when he arrives,” said Amanda.
“As you wish.”
Sarek and Golan gazed after the women.
“Vulcan men command nothing, General,” said Sarek.
“I am reminded of such each time I look into the eyes of she who is my wife,” said Golan.
They looked at each other.
“Kaiidth,” said Sarek.
“Indeed,” said Golan. He watched his mate exit the great hall. After a moment, he frowned.
“Can I assume that you are still troubled by your night shade?” Sarek asked.
“It has been a tenday since. Perhaps it was only a phantom.”
“I sense a “however”,” said Sarek.
It was Golan’s turn to study the floor. “I, ah, I have--,”
Sarek took a discreet step closer to his friend. “Speak freely, Golan.”
“I have been …uneasy.”
Sarek could not stop his blink of surprise.
Golan looked away. “It is less an emotion and more a sensation. It is difficult to quantify.”
“I have awakened in the night on three occasions,” said Golan but he seemed unwilling to go on.
Sarek studied the big Vulcan. Though they were of different castes, he and Golan had suckled at the breasts of the same wet nurse, the only two babies born in the palace that season. They slept in the same bassinet and any attempt at separating them meant deafening wails of green-faced outrage that once brought Sarek’s father in an actual run from his study on the other side of the palace. They learned to walk by pulling up on each other, tottering along in a shuffling side-step, each gripping the arms of the other. They shared the same tutors until after their kaswan, when Skon put his foot down. Thereafter, Sarek went on to study science and music and Golan, the battle arts. But they remained the closest of friends; and though Golan often relied more heavily on intuition than logic, Sarek trusted him with his own life and that of anyone in his family.
Sarek turned and faced Golan full on. “Golan cha’Maxon,” he said quietly. “Thee acted as executioner at my son’s koon-ut-kali-fi. It is my honor to know thee as my more-than-brother.”
“This, I accept,” said Golan.
Sarek nodded and stepped to Golan’s side again. “Then tell your old milk-mate about this sense of unease.”
Golan was quiet for a moment, trying to put his thoughts into words. “There is another here.”
Sarek glanced around.
“No, Sarek, not at this moment—though I believe that he may be watching.”
“So you have seen him.”
“No. I have…felt him.” He raised a hand before Sarek could speak. “I have scanned the palace and compound multiple times and have searched with I’Tet inch by inch. I have set sensor traps. Further, I have scanned the planetary defense web for breaches.”
“And?” asked Sarek.
“Nothing. No sign of transporter activity, spatial distortions or phase variances. I have even taken to allowing I’Tet to sleep in my chambers and he snores loudly through the night.”
“Amanda over-indulges that animal.”
“Amanda?” Golan raised a brow. “Perhaps. However, he did something quite interesting last night. I awakened again so I took I’Tet for a final check through the palace with my hand scanner. I made a cursory check of your meditation cell and as I took my leave, I’Tet lingered. I turned back to call him to me and I saw him staring into a corner. I returned and took a careful scan of the room and again, nothing.”
“An insect on the wall captured his attention, perhaps?”
“No insects. But Sarek, I am certain that for a brief moment, I’Tet’s posture was one of welcome--welcome to one who is long familiar.”
“That could explain—.”
“That could explain why the sehlat has not reacted to an intruder.”
“I’Tet is familiar with this being,” said Sarek.
“A being that appears to move through the walls,” said Golan.
Kevin Riley skidded into the transporter room with Motley hot on his heels, their wild race through the ship the cause of a twenty-minute delay of the Starfleet delegation’s beam down to Vulcan. Komack frowned severely and opened his mouth to speak. Nogura glanced at him and his mouth snapped shut.
Good dog, Kirk thought.
“Motley, come,” commanded Nogura. Motley leaped unto the transporter dais and delicately placed all four paws on Nogura’s pad, looking up at her with a grin.
“Energize,” said Kirk, also grinning.
The Enterprise picked up the Admirals Nogura and Komack at Star Base 7 two days before and Kirk had given Motley free reign of the ship. The crew took to Motley instantly and he quickly adopted Riley as his puppy playmate. They careened around the corridors chasing balls, each other and Chekhov. The dog was intensely curious about engineering but stayed away after one stern look from the chief engineer. Nothing McCoy did could lure him into sickbay but second to the mess hall, the bridge was his favorite place to be. He curled his big body next to Spock’s chair and lay quietly for hours, staring up at Spock with adoring eyes and watching the bridge crew go about their business.
“I have no idea what he sees in you, Spock,” said McCoy.
“Dogs are very perceptive creatures, doctor,” said Spock.
“I’ve known him since he was a puppy and he never liked me that much.”
“I knew it,” said Kirk, grinning into his cup of coffee.
McCoy shifted uncomfortably. “You don’t know anything. And what you think you know has been over for years. Mostly.” McCoy frowned down at Motley. “What I want to know is why the dog was scratching at Uhura’s door last night? If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was looking for you, Spock.”
Jim snorted coffee up his nose. McCoy pounded him on his back.
“You all right there, Jim?”
“I’m fine, Bones. Just—wrong pipe,” he wheezed.
“It is true that I was in Miss Uhura’s quarters last night,” said Spock.
Kirk stared at Spock, openmouthed.
“I knew it,” said McCoy.
“I was teaching a music lesson, doctor.”
McCoy searched Spock’s face with narrowed eyes. “Liar,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?” said Spock. Kirk flushed dark red.
“Lyre, harp, whatever you call it,” said McCoy.
“Ah, yes. Lyre,” said Spock.
“Don’t change the subject, Bones,” Kirk quickly interjected. “Since we picked up the Admirals things have been interesting.”
“Indeed,” said Spock.
“I have nothing to hide,” McCoy said stiffly. “When I met Nogura, she was out of uniform. Oh, stop it, Jim. You know what I mean. She was still a captain and I wasn’t even in Starfleet yet. Over the years, we sort of kept running into each other. Now, we’re just friends. Mostly.” He ran a finger under his collar. “Emony, however, is another matter.”
“You know Emony Dax?” asked Spock.
“We uh, met when I was in medical school.”
“Bones, I do believe you have a secret history,” said Kirk.
McCoy shrugged and dropped his eyes. He gazed briefly at the two men from beneath his lashes before turning to leave. As he passed Uhura’s station, he dipped his head and murmured something that caused her to flush and giggle with a hand covering her mouth.
“Perhaps not so secret,” said Spock.
“Maybe not,” said Kirk.
When the Enterprise party beamed down to Vulcan, they were met by Stonn and his lieutenants.
“S’haile,” said Stonn, inclining his head.
“Colonel Stonn,” said Spock. He turned to the others. “Admiral Nogura. Komack. Lieutenant Uhura, Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy. The dog is called Motley.”
Stonn nodded to each politely--even the dog—his eyes flickering briefly, curiously over Uhura’s face. The colonel also took note of Spock’s omission of Komack’s title. “Greetings,” said Stonn. “And from all of Vulcan, welcome. Your presence honors us.”
“We are here to serve,” replied Spock
“They await you in the Great Hall, S’haile,” said Stonn, leading the way. His lieutenants lined up behind him and they proceeded from the courtyard.
Aside from the Admirals, only Uhura acted in any official capacity, tasked during this conference to run interference between the abysmally culturally incompetent Komack and the rest of the delegates. McCoy was on stand-by as the Starfleet medic. Kirk and Spock were there per diplomatic protocol as honor guard, relegated on this trip to the role of glorified red shirts. Once they dispensed with the formalities, Kirk and Spock were essentially on shore leave. Admiral Nogura listened with growing alarm as they talked quietly about para gliding out on the Forge.
“—the large, male raptors will not typically--.”
Nogura stopped and spun around. “No. No, goddamn it.” She leveled a finger at them, eyes flashing. “You two will not engage in any dangerous activities for the duration. Do I make myself clear?”
Spock and Kirk stared at her, astonished. They glanced at their companions. Uhura kept her eyes front. One look at McCoy’s stony expression and they knew no help was forthcoming from him. Stonn and his lieutenants paused a discreet distance ahead. Komack walked past them, completely unaware. They turned back to Admiral Nogura.
“Is. That. Clear?” she repeated through clenched teeth.
“Yes, sir,” they said.
“I’ve got enough to worry about without you two running around in the desert doing your best to get yourselves killed. You--.”
“Admiral—.” Kirk began.
“I don’t recall giving you permission to speak, mister.”
Kirk stiffened into attention. “Sir, no sir,” he said.
Nogura gave them each a hard look. “I have half a mind to confine you to the castle and the compound. There’s plenty to keep you occupied here.”
“I assure you that we will not engage in any dangerous activities, Admiral,” said Spock.
“Good.” She resumed walking. After a few feet, she stopped and glared at Spock, stepping into his personal space. “And don’t think you’re getting away with any Vulcan semantics of what constitutes “dangerous activities”. I don’t care who your father is. I will kick your ass, Mr. Spock.”
“Sir, yes sir,” said Spock, blinking.
“Do you have any idea how much the two of you cost?” she grumbled.
“Three—,” Spock began.
“Spock,” murmured McCoy.
Up ahead, Komack turned and huffed impatiently, already sweating profusely. “Is there a problem?” he asked loudly.
Nogura sighed heavily. They continued on to the Great Hall.
Motley lingered, sniffing around the base of a huge warrior statue carved bas-relief in an alcove of the castle wall. McCoy whistled softly and the dog loped after them. When he reached the humans, Motley looked back and whined softly, deep in his chest.
whispered gently into his doggy consciousness.
In the darkness behind the alcove, minute holes drilled long ago into the thick stone walls filtered the barest pins of dusty light at intervals along a narrow passageway that dead ended, mid-room, inside the walls of the Great Hall. Suvan the vampire moved from pin light to pin light, ears flexing to catch the muffled words of the Starfleet party as they walked to the hall. He knelt and lightly placed tapered fingertips against the wall. He cocked his head curiously at McCoy’s whistle. An instant later, Suvan felt
(i am motley!)
as the dog trotted away. Suvan fell back with a gasp, scraping his elbow on the rough stone behind him.
“Greetings, Motley,” he chuckled.
Vulcan engineering was a both a blessing and a curse to Suvan. Even after two millennia, the stones that built the castle’s interior walls were still joined seamlessly, admitting no light and very little air into the maze of passageways behind them. Secret doors remained secret--perfectly balanced, disappearing into the walls and floors, completely invisible if one did not know of their existence. There were chambers and chutes, stairs and trapdoors; and in the old nursery, a cradle hidden behind the wall was attached to rails and counterbalances that could whisk a child up five stories to the keep or drop him quickly down into the depths beneath the castle. There were also blind alleys and traps that could leave an enemy searching for an exit until he either starved or fell to his death down shafts dug deep into the mountain.
Maps detailing this intricate system were meticulously filed away in the castle library, deep in the clan archives, seen only by one set of Vulcan eyes in a thousand years.
Suvan watched the Enterprise party carefully as they walked to the Great Hall. Their leader was self–contained and almost Vulcan in her bearing until she spun around and angrily addressed the one called Kirk. There was a Vulcan youth with them. Suvan blinked in surprise at the formality with which Stonn greeted the youngster. Was this the son of Sarek? The boy’s resemblance to T’Pau was unmistakable, his accent the refined lilt of L’langon Mountain clan nobility. Surely this child was far too young to be an officer in the Starfleet, let alone old enough to leave the house of his father. Sarek would never allow it.
Suvan was fascinated with the humans. He longed to discuss these humans with someone, but he had no one. There was one book about Terrans in the palace library, a slim volume with perfunctory descriptions of human physiology, culture and history; and that, hardly enough information to warrant publication as a journal article. There were no details about their technology except one sentence on the last page about a person called Zephram Cochran that, were it not written by a Vulcan, Suvan would have thought it condescending. There was however, some detail about an engineer named Lily Sloan. There was also a long paragraph about a comestible called “chocolate”.
Suvan did not dare to remain near the Great Hall. He was confident that he would not be discovered--these passages were also built to conceal--but he had taken too many risks and the intelligent and empathic Golan was already uneasy. At any rate, Suvan was tired, still weakened from the effects of his Awakening. He sought succor in what small animals he could capture during his short forays to the other side of the mountain, but they provided meager sustenance. He needed to feed on much larger prey tonight and that meant hunting in the open desert.
The very thought of the hunt wearied him. Even the smallest of prey animals on Vulcan were difficult to catch. The night before, he saw a small herd of jarel picking delicately up the mountain side. At only twenty kilos they were fast and dangerous, their small sharp horns and spurred hooves, deadly. But he needed blood before his hunger grew beyond the tenuous control with which he held it in check.
The need. It would burn in him hot as the molten rivers of T’Khut, making the blind madness of pon farr seem a trifling, childhood fever in comparison.
Suvan rose to his feet in the passageway. He inspected the scrape on his elbow. He caught a tiny drop of blood on a fingertip and brought it to his mouth. It burned his lips. His breath hitched in his chest. His penis hardened. His eyes flared amber in the darkness.
“My heart is flame,” he whispered.
Kirk lay on the stone floor in Spock’s sleeping chambers and listened to Uhura’s soft, shuddering breaths as Spock’s mouth worked between her legs. He realized with a tiny pang of jealousy, that for the second time in as many weeks, they started without him.
He was in the transporter room the day Uhura first came aboard the Enterprise. He felt Spock stiffen beside him as she materialized. He glanced curiously at Spock and saw that his gaze was fixed on Uhura. Kirk could almost see an electric arc of lust and recognition flash between them, as if the two had been only been waiting for the other to appear. The air left his lungs in a soft rush and his hand had fluttered to his chest, his fingertips coming to rest gently over his heart in a gesture that was almost feminine. Uhura recovered her composure first, her dark eyes flicking toward Kirk as she asked, “Permission to come aboard, Captain?” Even then, in that tiny moment, he knew that her directing her question at him was not for the sake of military protocol but her generosity in including him in the relationship that formed instantly between her and Spock,. Now, despite their protestations to the contrary, there would be one day that conversation that would gently separate him from them, that would regulate him to that status of Favorite Uncle to their children and—
Kirk looked up with a start. Nyota looked down at him from the edge of the sleeping platform.
“What? I’m--,” started Kirk.
“We waited one point four three hours for you, Jim,” said Spock, peering over Nyota’s shoulder.
“Well, one of us waited, anyway,” Nyota grinned.
“Nyota, I implored you to cease your activities but—.”
“Since when has that ever been a problem, Spock?” asked Nyota.
“You are correct. I am Vulcan,” Spock said smoothly.
“Lucky for me,” she said nipping his shoulder with her teeth.
Kirk sighed. Uhura looked down at him.
“What took you so long this time, Jim?”
Kirk dropped his head back unto the stones and spread his arms and legs so that as much of his skin as possible came into contact with the cool floor.
“It’s hard to skulk around in a castle full of Vulcans. Between Stonn and General Golan, it took me and hour to nonchalantly walk forty feet to Spock’s rooms,” he said.
“Why would you have to “skulk” to my chambers, Jim?” asked Spock. “It would not be unusual for you to be here at any hour.”
“Guilt makes you skulk,” said Nyota.
“And sulk, apparently,” said Spock.
“Get serious,” snapped Kirk. “I don’t know how you got here so quickly, Nyota.”
“Golan escorted me,” Nyota shrugged.
“What?” Kirk sat up in alarm.
“Is there a problem, Jim?”
“Yeah, Spock. There’s a problem,” said Kirk. “This is a diplomatic mission. The appearance of professionalism must be maintained.”
“And yet, there you lie, naked, on my floor,” said Spock.
“He did say the “appearance” of professionalism,” said Nyota.
“Hence, the skulking.”
“Right.” Nyota rolled unto Spock’s back and nuzzled his neck. “Everybody knows, Jim,” she said. “Sarek, Amanda, Golan.”
“McCoy, Stonn, Admiral Nogura,” said Spock.
“Emony Dax and Ambassador Shras know. But I doubt the Tellarites have figured it out.”
“Nor has Komack,” added Spock.
“Don’t forget Motley. He knows.”
“As does I’Tet.”
Kirk stared at them with wide eyes. “This is not funny. Why is this funny?”
They watched him with straight faces for a long moment. Nyota pointed to a stack of padds on a side table.
“Golan thinks I’m here to discuss L’langon clan dialect and High Vulcan syntax,” she said.
“God damn it. Why do you guys do that to me?” cried Kirk.
“Because it’s so easy.”
“Really, Jim. For such an intelligent human, your gullibility never ceases to amaze me.”
Uhura patted the cushion beside Spock. “Get up here, silly,” she said.
“It’s too hot,” said Kirk. He brought his knees up and propped his forearms across them.
“I can assist you in regulating your body temperature,” said Spock, reaching for Kirk’s contact points.
Kirk tilted his head out of reach. “No,” he said.
Spock and Uhura glanced at each other.
“You and Nyota have engaged in sexual activity without me on occasion,” said Spock.
“Many, many occasions,” said Nyota.
“I mean, sometimes,” Uhura winced.
“You said many occasions.”
“Come on, Spock. You know what I mean.”
“Actually, you said many, many.”
Jim started to chuckle. He threw his head back and laughed.
“Shh!” giggled Nyota.
Jim pushed himself off the floor and plopped down on the pallet. Spock lay on his stomach with Nyota sprawled on his back. Jim gazed at them. Nyota placed a hand on his cheek.
“You are my love,” she said.
Spock brushed his fingers lightly across Jim’s forehead. Kirk felt his body cool slightly.
They were quiet, watching the flickering light of the candle on the walls. A hot breeze blew through the narrow windows, bringing to them the scent of sage and roses from Amanda’s garden. T’Khut burned low on the horizon and a raptor shrieked above the desert.
“I love it here,” said Jim.
“It is agreeable to be home,” said Spock, kissing Nyota’s fingers.
“Will you want to live here after Starfleet?”
Spock traced the lines of Nyota’s palm with a finger. He gazed at Kirk. “It is an option among many that we may consider, Jim,” he said.
“We won’t leave you, Jim,” whispered Nyota.
“I know,” said Kirk.
“We cannot,” said Spock.
Jim nodded. Spock frowned but decided to let the matter drop.
“So, are we going to engage in sexual activities or what?” asked Nyota.
“As you wish,” said Spock.
He flipped their positions, stretched out on top of her and nuzzled her breasts. She gripped his hair in her fingers and moaned softly. She opened her eyes and saw Jim watching. She lifted her head from the pillow.
“Aren’t you going to—.”
“I’m not really up for it right, now,” he said. He motioned vaguely at his flaccid penis.
Spock reached for his contact points. “I can assist you--.”
“Cut it out,” Jim said, grinning. He pushed Spock’s hand away.
“You seriously don’t want to now?” asked Nyota.
“Must’ve been all the skulking.”
“It is my understanding that your perception of the illicitness of our meeting would add to your arousal,” said Spock.
“Maybe it’s the heat,” said Kirk.
Kirk’s grin grew larger. “Gotcha,” he said.
“You can be a real jerk sometimes,” said Nyota.
“Indeed,” said Spock.
Jim pushed Spock off Nyota and pulled her on top of him. He kissed her deeply. “Vulcans aren’t the only ones who can control their erections,” he whispered.
“Oh,” she sighed. “Indeed.”
But as Jim neared his climax, he closed his eyes against the sight of Spock kissing her mouth, holding her face between the fingertips of both hands, and hearing
Spock say for the first time in all the years that they were together, the words that made him cry out when he came, eyes squeezed shut, his body clenched and his face averted:
“I love you, Nyota.”
Later, he made them wait while he lay on top of her. He was still hard when she pushed him gently away and he gasped and shivered as his cock and his ejaculate left her body. He rolled to his side and kept his back to them as they moved together. He stared at the far wall.
Suvan stepped back from the peephole. He breathed slowly and carefully through his nose. He was certain that the human male—Kirk—could not see him, but for a moment it seemed as if their eyes had met. Suvan could feel Kirk’s grief and his lust and he ached for the man. He knew this pain. It was part and parcel of his cursed blood. He put his eye to the hole again. Spock and Nee’ota held each other, their bodies trembling with orgasm. Kirk still lay on his side with his hands clenched between his thighs.
“Doubt thou the stars are fire,” whispered Suvan. “Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar; but never doubt I love. They are yours, Kirk. How do you not know this?”
Suvan turned from the wall and walked through the passageways with his head down. His hunger for blood was sated for the time being, but was now replaced with this new pain.
End Chapter 6