This story contains ADULT material
of a same-sex nature. If you're UNDER 18, or if such things offend
you, read no further.
Turning Point is reposted with permission of the zine publisher
who was kind enough to print the thing, as well as patient enough
to introduce this one-time newbie to the wonderful world of slash.
Major, major thanks to Kathy for all her indulgences. For info
on obtaining the zine, please write
James Kirk stood gazing at
Floodlights traced her outline, shaping her elegant curves against
the gridwork of steel which housed her. The arc of her sheltering
hull promised sanctuary. Unaware of the stir his presence had
engendered, Kirk had been drawn irresistibly to the window-wall;
he was quite oblivious to the busy comings and goings of the
officer's club, and to the subdued hush which had followed his
The resident brass knew the significance of this homecoming,
knew the finality of it. The low voices that had trailed in Kirk's
wake carried mixed reactions: awe and respect from the younger
officers, sympathy from those who knew better.
In the hangar bay, the Enterprise serenely awaited her fate.
Finally, recognizing the self-destructive direction his thoughts
were taking, Kirk made a sound like bitter amusement and turned
away from the glass, meeting his companion's gaze for the first
time. "She looks like she's glad to be home," he said
softly. The other blinked, and Kirk's lips twisted faintly in
acerbic self-mocking. It was not a statement which could be answered
logically. "Never mind," he sighed, and moved toward
one of the small tables nearby...one which did not face the hangar
bay. "I guess I'm not making much sense. I think I need
The Vulcan sat across from him, watching in silence as Kirk punched
in an order on the tabletop touchpad. "Probably should make
it a double," Kirk murmured, the irony heavy in his voice.
Spock did not comment, only reached to place his own order: Terran
His concern, carefully concealed, was rapidly turning to unwelcome
certainty. Kirk leaned forward, resting his elbows on the tiny
table, covering most of his face with his hands. Weariness was
written in the lines of his body, a kind of resigned defeat which
served to confirm Spock's suspicions about what exactly had transpired
behind the closed doors of Nogura's office.
The Vulcan had filed his own preliminary report with the Records
office some hours before. It would be at least a day before they
would call him for debriefing--and that would be a long, exhausting
affair at best. Logically, he should have found quarters on the
officers' level and made use of them, in preparation for the
ordeal ahead. But he had delayed, trying to make himself inconspicuous
in the commanding Admiral's outer waiting room.
He had waited nearly an hour before Kirk appeared in the doorway,
looking faintly shell-shocked.
Kirk's eyes had registered Spock's presence, communicating grateful
acknowledgment. Neither of them had spoken. Kirk had led the
way to the officer's club in silence, and Spock had followed,
knowing that Kirk would tell him what had happened in his own
time. Now he found himself increasingly uneasy in the face of
Their drinks arrived; Kirk's glass contained a conservative portion
of amber liquid. Its potent aromatics teased the Vulcan's nostrils
even from across the table, and his misgivings increased. Kirk
was not, by habit, a whiskey drinker.
The human raked one hand through his hair, and tossed back half
the contents of his glass. The liquor made his eyes water. He
eyed the beverage wryly, eyebrows arching in an eloquent tribute,
and he flashed Spock a fleeting grin of appreciation. He seemed
content to drink in silence.
Watching him, the Vulcan found himself struggling with a steadily
increasing tension, pressing on him from within.
All these last months he had succeeded in concealing the truth
from himself--had gone on, allowing himself to imagine some future
that would surelrise. Had not imagined himself anywhere but at
Kirk's side, as if five years was not a finite measurement of
The self-delusion seemed painfully clear, now.
The Vulcan's gaze was pulled toward the great panes, toward the
vessel which hung suspended beyond them, a silver bird captured
in a durasteel cage. Somehow he had allowed the realities of
Starfleet Command, the wanton capriciousness of the universe
to catch him unawares. Somehow, he had managed to deafen himself
to the voice of logic.
His eyes returned to the human's and found Kirk watching him
over the rim of his glass.
Some time in the last few minutes, Kirk had polished off the
shot of whiskey and ordered a second. Spock registered that fact,
one eyebrow lifting involuntarily, and Kirk interpreted the look
with a sardonic grin. The hazel eyes lowered a fraction, some
kind of apology.
And then the human closed his eyes and sighed, looking suddenly
weary to his soul. He took a sip of the fiery drink and grimaced,
his blunt, square-tipped fingers cradling the glass as if he
could draw strength from it.
Spock felt the sudden, irrational desire to flee, escape to a
place where he would not have to hear Kirk's next words.
"They took her from me, Spock," the human said, in
a small voice devoid of emotion.
The Vulcan was unable to prevent the convulsive contraction of
the muscles in his throat.
Having gotten the words out, Kirk drew a breath and looked up
again, capturing Spock's gaze with his own. The Vulcan saw him
try to smile; he didn't quite make it. Spock's lips parted, but
the human shook his head wearily.
"Don't say it," he said quietly, odd shadings in his
tone Spock could not identify. "There's nothing you can
do-- nothing anyone can do. It's out of our hands." He drained
the whiskey in one swallow and set the glass down with a deliberate
thump; he reached to order a third.
The Vulcan moved, preventing Kirk's hand from completing the
motion with a touch, warm fingertips on Kirk's wrist. Surprised,
the human looked up, hazel eyes wide.
Spock drew his hand back uncertainly, but did not drop his gaze.
"Tell me what happened," he said in that low voice,
the first words he had spoken.
Kirk swallowed, visibly touched by the simple fact of the Vulcan's
hand on his wrist. He had obviously not expected it.
He smiled, the smile too bright, and suddenly Spock could read
the anger in him, the despair. "I've been promoted,"
Kirk said, looking, for the first time in Spock's memory, every
day of his thirty-seven years. "My friend, you're looking
at the new Chief of Starfleet Operations." His lips curled
downward, as if the news left a bad taste in his mouth.
Spock searched for words, but the chaos of his thoughts did not
provide him with any. "It is... rather sudden," he
said at last, and immediately chastised himself. He was not doing
Kirk gave a derisive laugh, short and without humor. "But
it's not, Mister Spock. I should have seen it coming." His
mellifluous gaze slid away from Spock's; he stared into the distance.
"Nogura warned me. He warned me, and I didn't listen. At
least--not hard enough."
The Vulcan sought some logical response, some magical answer
for the bitterness in the other man's face, for the finality
of his words. But logic deserted him; the sinking feeling in
his abdomen worsened. "It is an important posting,"
he offered quietly. "A great deal of responsibility."
The words were true, of course. But he did not believe in them,
any more than the man sitting across from him did, and Kirk had
the grace to ignore them.
"They asked me for a recommendation," Kirk said softly.
He met the dark, questioning gaze. "For my replacement,"
he clarified, and managed to keep his voice neutral.
Spock only gazed at him.
"I recommended you." His voice was even. But his eyes
were hooded, unreadable.
The Vulcan could not immediately find words. He had never envisioned
this moment--for the simple reason that he had never envisioned
an Enterprise without Kirk at her helm. In that moment, certain
self-truths struggled to make themselves known. There was suddenly
an unsteadiness in the region of his heart.
"Captain," he began uncertainly, "your confidence
is appreciated." He looked down at his hands, unable to
hold to that bright, searching gaze. "However, I should
like to..." The words lodged in his throat; he had to swallow.
"That is, my preference would be to... remain here. At Starfleet
Command." He looked up, unable to stop himself. The words
were on his lips, inexorable. "With you."
His words fell into a sudden silence, a stillness which stretched
out across the little distance between them, shaping truths neither
of them had foreseen. For a long moment, they did not speak,
or move, each testing the feel of the words, weighing them. They
might have meant only, in that pedantic Vulcan fashion, "I
see no logical reason to separate an efficient command team."
Might have... but Spock had been saying something else entirely,
and both of them knew it.
At last the Vulcan could not bear the pressure of Kirk's gaze
any longer, and he looked away.
Jim Kirk found himself studying the chiseled profile, searching
his friend's face for answers to the chaotic jumble of questions
in his head. He didn't trust his instincts, couldn't quite believe
what they were telling him. He felt an uncontrollable need to
get out of this place, to be somewhere far away from Starfleet
and duty and the vessel which hung motionless in spacedock behind
He stood up, suppressing the rush of vertigo as the alcohol he
had consumed worked its will on his equilibrium. Across the table,
Spock stiffened, startled by his sudden movement. He looked up.
"You wanna get out of here?" The words came out in
a rush. Kirk's heart was beating too fast, with an emotion he
could not define--something willful, reckless, dangerous. It
grabbed hold of him, and he was powerless to fight it.
Spock got wordlessly to his feet.
A warm breeze wandered across
the open square, carrying with it the scent of the ocean. Midafternoon
sunshine filtered intermittently through the sullen clouds, struggling
for dominance of the skies, the clouds painting their shadows
on the ancient bricks at Spock's feet. He stepped off the transport
platform, breathing deeply of salt air heavy with the fragrance
The wrought-iron sign read: Garden District, New Orleans.
"I thought you might appreciate someplace warm for a change."
The Vulcan turned in time to catch the glint of affection in
Kirk's eyes. The expression unsettled him in ways he did not
want to contemplate. "I know Earth-normal climates don't
exactly agree with you."
Spock did not have an answer for such a statement, did not know
how to react to the unexpected directness of the human's gaze.
The first officer seldom admitted to any kind of physical limitation.
He had certainly never complained about the ambient temperature
aboard the Enterprise, though in truth, he had never gotten used
to the persistent chill which humans found comfortable.
"I do...appreciate it," he said awkwardly. Kirk rewarded
him with a smile, the first real smile he had displayed in several
weeks. Spock felt himself responding involuntarily, a sudden
lightness in his stomach, an irregularity in his pulse he could
not quite suppress.
They descended the steps to the walkway below.
It was springtime in the northern hemisphere, but here at the
mouth of the Mississippi, summer had already taken over. Heat
rose from the uneven brick. There was something dreamlike about
this place, about the lazy movement of the air, the enveloping
warmth. Spock trailed in the human's wake, some Vulcan within
him quietly apprehensive, asking in a small voice what he thought
he was doing here.
The breeze off the gulf promised rain.
"New Orleans never changes," Kirk mused, as they followed
the curving walk along the river. Out on the water, a riverboat
made its stately way inland, carrying sightseers up to Audubon
Park. "Ignore the superficial, and you could almost believe
you'd stepped into another century."
They walked, watching the antique behemoth churning through the
brown water. "I have never been here before," Spock
Kirk glanced at him sidelong, veiled meaning behind his too-long
eyelashes. "Well, I'll have to give you the tour, then."
They passed a couple on the path, a young man and woman, deeply
engrossed in one another. The two did not spare the Starfleet
uniforms a glance, did not even seem to notice them. Spock averted
his eyes. He felt a powerful desire to make Kirk stop, ask him
the dangerous questions which hovered unsaid on his tongue. Demand
an answer for that provocative look.
"What is our destination, Captain?" he asked instead,
a much safer line of inquiry.
And then that, too, backfired on him. Kirk laughed, amusement
mixed with bitter irony. "Captain," he repeated softly,
in a tone which made Spock look at him. "Not for much longer,
Spock." And then his face altered, as if making a conscious
decision to ward off self-pity. "And not today. I intend
to lose this gold shirt at the first opportunity. And as to where..."
his eyes glinted mischievously "...you'll just have to wait
and see, my friend." The eyes widened, mock innocence. "You
do trust me, don't you?"
They had stopped under the arch of a moss-draped oak. The Vulcan
gazed back at him for a long moment, feeling as if he stood abruptly,
inexplicably at the edge of some deceptively deep chasm. But
there was, of course, only one possible answer to that question,
and Kirk knew it without having to ask. "Yes," he said
Kirk's lips smiled, but his eyes were suddenly serious. "Then
no more titles, at least for today, all right?"
Spock could only nod, accepting.
At some point Kirk cut away from the river and headed up a residential
street, ungainly antebellum houses looming out of snarled green
jungles, manufactured diamond panes sparkling in the windows.
Most had been restored over the last century. Here and there
contemporary aircars gleamed through ancient foliage-laden trellises,
a surreal juxtaposition.
Nature had triumphed in places, green vines and a tangle of tree
roots taking over many of the old streets. No one had bothered
to reclaim them; the sidewalks, however, had been fiercely defended.
At Saint Charles Avenue, Kirk turned and began heading east again,
toward the Quarter. The avenue still ran unhindered in a mostly
straight line, though the old street cars had been replaced by
their twenty-third century counterparts. Huge oaks drooped over
the flagstones, heavy with Spanish moss and their own immensity.
It came to Spock that he was wholly exhausted, and he realized
that it had been a month since either of them had gotten two
consecutive nights of uninterrupted sleep. Recent Klingon forays
into Federation space had meant weeks of Neutral Zone patrol
for the Enterprise, on constant yellow alert. The resulting skirmishes
had not left them unscathed, and the prolonged stress had taken
its toll on both captain and first officer.
He glanced at Kirk, unobserved. And now he will lose his ship,
he thought uneasily. That thought led to others, images of an
uncertain future. He didn't want to think about what it would
mean for James Kirk to sit behind a desk. Didn't want to think
about the unnamed hollow feeling the idea gave him, an emptiness
behind his sternum.
They came upon an ancient cemetery, crumbling stone and rusted
iron, the crypts almost entirely smothered in tangled growth.
Kirk stopped, leaning on the decayed fence.
"Look at this place," he mused quietly. "I wonder
how old these are."
The Vulcan came to a halt beside him. What little was visible
of the gravestones had long since eroded to illegibility. "Unusual,"
he said thoughtfully. "These above- ground sepulchers..."
"The water table's too high for proper graves," Kirk
explained. "There aren't too many like this in the western
hemisphere. And this one looks really old."
"On the order of five centuries, I would say," Spock
agreed. "Perhaps older than the surrounding neighborhood."
Kirk wandered a few meters further down the sidewalk, studying
the epitaph fragments. "I wonder who this one was,"
he murmured, reaching through the iron fence to brush fingertips
across the barely discernible relief of a sailing vessel.
"A smuggler, in all likelihood."
Kirk chuckled absently. "Probably." He scrubbed at
the inscription with his fingertips for a moment, trying to make
it out. At last he gave up and resumed walking, more slowly than
before. Spock caught up with him; the human cast a pensive look
up at him as they walked. "I'm curious. Do Vulcans believe
in such a thing as an epitaph?"
Spock blinked, eyes on the path ahead of him. It was a vaguely
repulsive thought, though he was not certain why. He supposed
that most beings found the death rituals of other cultures to
be disquieting. Such customs were difficult to explain without
a common frame of reference. "No," he said neutrally,
"we do not." He hoped Kirk would leave it at that;
it was not a thing he felt comfortable discussing casually. But
Kirk only nodded, respecting the veiled hint.
Then he grinned, an expression of self-mocking. "What do
you think, Spock?" he said, only half-joking. "What
will my epitaph be? I shudder to think."
"Sir?" The Vulcan was startled by the question.
"Come on, Spock. Admit it. You and Bones never thought I'd
manage to keep my skin in one piece long enough to see this day."
Spock had no words to answer that. It was only the truth, of
course--one he and the doctor had shared for years, an understanding
which had nothing to do with their frequent personal discord.
But he had not known that Kirk was aware of their collusion,
their unspoken agreement to protect their captain from himself.
Kirk was going on, unrelenting. "Now that the Enterprise
is home, we can joke about it, right? How about this one... 'Here
lies James Kirk--'"
"Jim, don't," Spock said harshly, wanting to stop him
before he said too much. Not wanting to think about the images
such words would shape between them.
The human stopped, taken aback by his companion's tone. He looked
askance at the other man. "It's only a joke, Spock--"
"Not to me." The Vulcan halted a few steps further
on, not turning. "It is not a joke to me."
They stood like that for a long moment, Kirk trying to find his
voice, his throat suddenly very tight. "I'm sorry,"
he said when he could get the words out, his voice small. Spock
only nodded, an almost imperceptible motion in the shadows. At
last they walked on in silence, each lost in his own dark thoughts.
In the French Quarter, the noise of shops and restaurants seemed
to revitalize the human, for he shook off his distracted look,
inclining his head toward the Vulcan with a little smile. "What
do you say? A change of clothes first, then something to eat?"
Spock had not intended to abandon his uniform, but a quick visual
survey of the local population told him that their regulation
garments would be painfully conspicuous here. "As you wish,"
he said resignedly. Kirk seemed entirely in control of this situation;
the Vulcan surrendered to his will out of force of habit.
The human strolled unhurriedly from shop to shop. Near the waterfront,
he found what he was looking for; the rich, unadorned fabrics
in the window display drew him through the doorway.
Inside the shop, he pulled something from a display shelf and
disappeared into a changing cubicle. The Vulcan chose a simple
black tunic and stood looking at the garment for a moment, draped
over the blue velour of his sleeve. It was the first time he
had made such a purchase in years, having long ago ceased to
feel comfortable in anything but Starfleet blue.
He brought it to the clerk, who ran his credit chit through her
scanner with a laconic sweep of her wrist. She handed it back
to him and asked if he wanted his purchase wrapped, her dark
eyes watching him with some intensity. He declined, uncomfortable
in the face of that open appreciation.
Just then, Kirk appeared, his uniform tucked under his arm. He
had donned a pale green silk tunic and loose-fitting trousers
in a slightly darker color. They suited him as if they had been
made for him.
"Ready?" he asked cheerfully, handing his own chit
across the counter, the question aimed at Spock, his attention
on the young woman. He was smiling at her; she fumbled with the
small storage wafer, the Vulcan forgotten.
"Affirmative," Spock said dryly, observing her reaction
to Kirk's smile with a mixture of irony and something darker,
more primal. He interred the flash of jealousy before it could
His own gaze had been drawn to the other man, captured by that
frank physical appeal. Not for the first time. He subverted that,
too, and moved to escape the suddenly confining space.
It wasn't until he was standing on the sidewalk, outside the
shop doorway, that he realized he had forgotten to change his
clothing. He stared for a moment at the tunic in his hand, blinked,
as if seeing it for the first time. What was the matter with
"You all right?"
Jim, at his shoulder, hand half-raised. Not touching. Spock was
saved from having to answer; at that moment, it began to rain.
Kirk gave a small, startled laugh, and looked up. Rain beaded
on his face. He ducked under the balcony of one of the old row
houses saved in some long-ago renovation project--pulled Spock
in after him. For a moment they stood there under the cover of
cast iron and oak, watching the water come down.
The shower was an unhurried, gentle affair, as rain often is
in New Orleans. For the starship captain, it was boyhood memories,
dimmed by long years in space. But for the Vulcan, a native of
a desert planet where every drop of moisture is conserved, hoarded--it
was a kind of scandalous excess. The very air seemed to coalesce
in moisture. It puddled on the bricks, murmured secrets to itself
on the ironwork above.
After a moment, Kirk smiled to no one in particular and stepped
out from under the shelter of the balcony. He lifted his head
very slightly, tilting his face toward the clouds, and closed
Spock's gaze followed beyond his will. He could still feel the
place where Jim's hand had gripped his arm. He suddenly wanted
to feel the drops on his own face, to step over that threshold
and not look back. But the training went too deep in him; he
stood watching the human from the refuge of the covered walkway,
not crossing the narrow line of the curb.
They sat drinking coffee,
dark and sweet, in a cafe that was open to the square.
The room was crowded, fragrant with spices and the odor of fresh
seafood, but the great glass wall panels stood open, diffusing
the noise. Green moss and wet brick smells wafted back in, so
oxygen-rich, the Vulcan suspected, as to make one faintly euphoric.
Kirk had found them a table in one of the open archways. The
afternoon had turned considerably cooler, and Spock was grateful
for the dark warmth of the hip-length velvet tunic he had donned
in the restroom of the cafe.
"You don't have to drink that, you know."
Spock followed Kirk's gaze to his own rapidly-cooling beverage,
realized he had been staring out at the rain for some time. "It
is not unpleasant," he said quietly. "I was merely...
enjoying the ambiance."
Kirk's eyes lightened, approving him. The lines of weariness
in his face had eased considerably. "Spock, you never cease
to amaze me."
The Vulcan gave him a questioning look. "Specify, please."
The other smiled, wistfully, studying his fingertips. Then he
lifted his gaze to Spock's. "Why are you here with me?"
he asked, his tone deceptively gentle, his eyes suddenly penetrating.
For an instant the Vulcan felt an odd constriction in his lungs;
he forced himself to lightness. "You did not provide much
alternative," he said, eyebrow canting, just the right shading
of long-suffering tolerance.
But Kirk only smiled, a kind of private irony. "No, I suppose
I didn't," he said softly. And now there was a sadness in
him, fleeting and poignant. Spock immediately wished he had chosen
"Jim..." he began awkwardly, had to drop his gaze "...it
is not a hardship."
He risked a glance at the human in time to see him swallow heavily,
something shimmering briefly in the gold- flecked eyes. Spock
felt an answering tightness in his throat.
"Thank you," Kirk said unevenly, not specifying. He
turned his gaze toward the fountain in the center of the square,
and the Vulcan perceived the heightened color in his face. Kirk
was, perhaps, as uncomfortable with the unaccustomed emotion
That revelation made him brave.
"Jim," he said, and suddenly the question was on his
lips again, the question he had not asked beside the river. And
it was, after all, the same question Kirk had asked, or another
side of it. Another step in a set formation, dancing around the
Kirk's head turned slightly, waiting.
"Why am I here with you?" Spock asked simply, surprising
himself with his daring.
Kirk was still gazing out across the square, still watching the
rain fall into the moss-choked fountain. For a long moment he
said nothing, as if weighing the answer to that, searching for
a way to explain. His expression was distant, opaque. And then
he turned back to Spock, smiling that little half-smile, eyes
alight with some unidentifiable secret. "I believe I would
like to postpone the answer to that question, on the grounds
that it may incriminate me." There was an odd glint in the
hazel eyes, daring Spock to speculate.
That look awakened unspeakable whispers of heat in the Vulcan's
insides. Speculation ran rampant in the unordered tangle of his
thoughts, despite his best efforts to subdue it, the possible
answers too outrageous to contemplate. What was happening here?
He found himself sinking deeper into those liquid gold eyes,
found himself unable to look away.
It was Kirk who broke eye contact finally, spreading his hands,
palms down, on the table in front of him. "Are you scheduled
for debriefing yet?" he asked, too casually.
The non-sequitur caught the Vulcan off guard. He had to make
himself focus on the question. "No," he answered carefully.
"It is unlikely that I shall be called before eleven hundred
tomorrow, San Francisco time."
"Well, then..." Kirk's eyes flickered to Spock's, then
down again. "...would you like to have dinner with me? If
you don't have plans, that is?" There was a long pause,
in which Kirk seemed to be holding his breath.
Spock gazed over the human's shoulder, seeing shapes of a future
he could not guess at. It was a crossroads, one he did not fully
comprehend--one he had never, in any forbidden corner of his
most deeply buried imaginings, anticipated. Out in the courtyard,
the rain had stopped.
"I do not have plans," the Vulcan heard himself say,
in a voice not his own.
And the other looked up, searching his face. Whatever he sought,
he seemed to find it; the ghost of a smile found Kirk's lips.
"I'm glad," he said simply, his voice low, suddenly
intimate. "I know just the place."
The late afternoon sun chased the last rain clouds out of the
They took the monorail out onto Pontchartrain, the lake reflecting
a sky streaked with madder and gold.
On the trip, they talked of history, safe subjects. Kirk waxed
poetic about the heyday of the peninsula, a barbaric era of slavery,
piracy and unrestrained carnality. When Spock expressed this
opinion, the human evinced mock offense.
"You've got it all wrong, Spock. It was a slender line between
those people and the wilderness. They carved a rich and lasting
culture out of a few dozen miles of bayou. They were living on
the frontier--and you know as well as I do that the same rules
Spock knew he was being baited, but shook his head. "You
cannot mean to say that you would wish to actually experience
such a barbarous culture firsthand."
"But we are experiencing it," Kirk protested lightly.
"That 'barbarous' enclave has outlasted more than four centuries
of history. The Quarter has remained virtually unchanged since
the 1800s--at least, unchanged in any significant detail."
The Vulcan gave him a knowing look. "I suspect it is the
clipper ships of that period which appeal to you most, in truth."
Kirk chuckled softly. His eyes grew distant. "Yes, I suppose
you're right," he admitted. "Some things never change."
The image of billowing sails seemed to awaken unwelcome thoughts.
Melancholy overtook him, and Spock could see the reflection of
the morning's ordeal in his face.
"Nor would we wish them to," Spock murmured. Kirk shot
him a startled glance, but the Vulcan kept his expression carefully
bland. Their eyes met, something flashing between them, a fleeting
The monorail slowed, nearing its destination, and Kirk leaned
over to look out the window. "Look," he said quietly.
Spock followed the direction of his gaze.
A crystalline structure rose gracefully out of the water. Silhouetted
against the evening sky, it traced a single arcing line, upswept
in an inverted wing shape. The curved transparent panes reflected
the purpling sky behind them. Adjoining shapes annexed on to
the original sprawled outward across the surface of the lake,
making the little cluster of buildings an island unto itself.
Their car glided silently to a halt.
"Shall we?" Kirk smiled, and got to his feet. The Vulcan
nodded slightly, followed him out onto the small docking platform.
A number of private yachts and other vehicles of varying description
were moored at the foot of the dock. Iron gas lamps swayed in
the evening breeze. They strolled up the walkway toward the beckoning
It was a club of sorts, Spock saw at once. Kirk led him through
a kind of courtyard lined with Japanese trees in planters, tiny
white lights winking from their branches. Through the latticework
of the flooring, the dark surface of the lake reflected them
Glass was the predominant building material--real glass, made
from silicon, with all its imperfections. Scatterings of iron
and red brick mitigated the pristine austerity with hints of
warmth. Abundant vines and bromeliads lined still, rectangular
pools on either side of the elongated courtyard, and concealed
the lighting fixtures overhead.
They reached the entrance, and the glass doors slid apart to
admit them. A wave of sound spilled outward from the open portal,
enveloping them, drawing them in. Spock caught a glimpse of the
club's name, etched in glass above the door: The Lily Pad. Baroque
representations of water lilies framed the words.
"Welcome, gentlemen," said a woman's voice, and Spock
lowered his gaze to find a pair of large, blue-grey eyes meeting
his own expectantly. "May I ask your pleasure this evening?"
"Indeed you may," Kirk offered warmly, and they moved
off, discussing particulars. The Vulcan trailed a pace behind,
allowing his gaze to wander over his surroundings as the hostess
led them deeper into the club.
Tiers of tables with bench seats rose up to the right, following
the sweeping shape of the glass enclosure. Many tables were occupied,
though the room had not yet neared capacity. The acoustics directed
sound upward, so that a hush subdued the animated conversations
from above. To the left, at the base of the lowest terrace, there
was a kind of raised platform. Spock suspected it was a stage
of some kind, though he could garner no clues as to what type
of entertainment might take place there. Soft music was playing
from hidden speakers: a NeuRomantic concerto by a twenty-first
century Terran composer.
The hostess led them up a curving flight of steps to the third
level. Her long sweep of blond hair swayed as she walked. The
Vulcan's gaze returned to her pleasing shape, admitting in some
dark corner of his brain that she was, indeed, lovely--refusing
to admit to that brief, sharp wave of possessiveness which rose
as he witnessed the easy repartee she maintained with Kirk, the
effortless exchange of trivialities.
She seated them at a table overlooking the stage. From this vantage,
they commanded a one hundred-eighty degree view of the lake.
To the west, the sun was just sinking below the horizon, while
below, on the docks, the gas lamps were coming on. "Lovely,
thank you," Kirk murmured to the woman, and with a final
smile and a small nod, she left them.
The table was, in actuality, a kind of booth, with a semi- circular
bench built into the floor in place of chairs. The high back
provided a considerable measure of privacy and quiet; in addition,
Spock perceived, the shape would allow the sound to carry from
the stage below without amplification, catching and drawing it
in like a shell. He turned to find the human watching him.
"Do you approve?" Kirk asked shyly, with the tone of
a little boy, wanting to please.
"It is most pleasant. May I ask what sort of entertainment--?"
"Would you care for something to drink?" a soft tenor
inquired, unintentionally interrupting. They looked up, unexpectedly,
into the startlingly beautiful face of a young Deltan male.
"Yes," Kirk said after a moment, forcing himself not
to stare, feeling the sudden warmth he knew must be visible in
his face. "Spock, may I?" He glanced at his companion,
was surprised to find the Vulcan equally discomfited. Spock blinked,
finally, and seemed to shake himself.
Kirk ordered a beaujolais, the warmth fading slightly in his
face by the time he got the words out, though his body was still
painfully aware of the proximity of the young man. "Very
good sir," the waiter said when he had finished, the model
of propriety and restraint. Poor kid Kirk thought fleetingly,
all these immature, uncouth humans lusting after him all the
time. How does he stand it? Then it occurred to him that
hiring a Deltan wait staff in this place could be nothing but
Well, he had known what he was getting them into, even if the
Vulcan had no idea.
And that thought awakened a voice of rational conscience in him,
and he suddenly asked himself what the hell he had thought he
was doing, bringing Spock to a place like this. For a long moment
he hovered on the brink of chickening out, one breath from standing
up and running down the stairs, making a break for it. It wasn't
too late. Yet.
Then he looked up, his gaze resting on his enigmatic companion,
dark and severe and supremely elegant in his black velvet, and
Jim seemed to hear that deep voice, caressing him. My preference
would be to remain here. With you.
Now, or never, Kirk thought fatalistically. He did
let me order the drinks... He decided to take encouragement
from that fact. The moment passed, and he did not make a dash
for the door.
Instead, he picked up the translucent sheet of display crystal
in front of him and began to peruse the menu.
Kirk glanced up, over the
top of his menu, catching his companion's gaze.
"Do you trust me?" he said aloud, for the second time
that day. He had spoken casually--had referred only to the selection
of the evening's repast. But when the words were out he heard
the vulnerability in his voice, the search for some unnamed reassurance.
Spock inclined his head, an eloquent gesture of acquiescence.
Had he heard? Or was it only the spoken question he answered?
The young waiter brought the wine, and Kirk found that preparing
himself in advance for the effect of the man's blatant sensuality
made little difference. Intellectually, he knew the Deltan pheromones
didn't give his body a say in the matter--but that didn't help
much, sitting here, in this place, next to his imperturbable
Vulcan first officer.
Kirk glanced at the bottle, hardly seeing it, and nodded to the
waiter. A pleasant buzz of awareness was singing in his nerves.
The Deltan uncorked the bottle with practiced smoothness, pouring
the rich liquid into two glasses. He turned, fluidly graceful,
and set them on the table, his lithe, white-skinned hands seeming
to caress the stems before leaving them. Kirk couldn't quite
make himself look away.
Then the waiter bowed faintly, and stood waiting with an expectant
air. Kirk realized, belatedly, that he was waiting for them to
order. "Um, yes," he said finally. It sounded all right.
He ordered for both of them: Altairan truffles and pasta and
green nut salad for the Vulcan, shrimp creole and spiced rice
for himself. He added a loaf of dark bread, and more wine.
"Very good, sir," the young man said, with another
faint bow of his head. He turned and headed down the steps; Kirk
prevented himself from watching him go with some effort.
He looked up to find the Vulcan's eyes on him, and his face felt
suddenly very hot. He suspected that he was blushing furiously.
He lifted his wineglass and smiled brightly to cover it. "What
shall we drink to, Spock?"
Spock's eyebrows quirked upward a fraction, and he tilted his
head. He lifted his own glass slowly, considering . "To
homecomings," he said finally, the rich timbre of his voice
a low murmur. He met the human's gaze above the rim of his glass.
Kirk smiled at Spock's choice of toast, eyes approving. "To
homecomings," he echoed, and they touched their glasses
together with a low chime, eyes locked as they sipped the sweet,
Warmth followed the wine down Kirk's throat, heating in his stomach.
He knew it would go straight to his head; he had eaten nothing
all day. But that was what he wanted, what he needed. If he was
going to go through with this, he definitely did not want to
be cold sober. He watched the Vulcan surreptitiously, relieved
to see that he displayed no visible hesitation in downing the
Jim wasn't sure what effect the wine would have on that alien
physiology, but figured it couldn't hurt.
The idea had seemed so natural, so right, sitting in the cafe
with the rain falling all around. Now that they were actually
here, the nervousness which had been curiously absent up till
now was catching up with him. Butterflies in my stomach, like
a goddamned teenager, he thought uneasily. Spock seemed to
sense his agitation; Kirk could feel the weight of the dark eyes
studying him. He couldn't make himself look up, face that self-possessed
Kirk glanced toward the stage involuntarily. Perhaps an hour
before showtime, or a little more. And then there would be no
more veiled hints, no more unreadable looks between them. Even
a Vulcan would have little difficulty reading that message,
loud and clear.
He gulped down another mouthful of wine, found it reassuringly
The room was fast reaching capacity, though the soundproofed
booths kept the noise to a low murmur. The sun had dipped below
the horizon. As if in response, the indirect lighting dimmed
a fraction. Out on the lake, stars danced on the surface of the
water, the lamps swaying gently in the evening breeze. They looked
a little like living creatures, made of light.
Kirk gazed into his glass cradled between his hands, feeling
the Vulcan's scrutiny. He couldn't know that his eyes were pale
green, in this light, the precise shade of his elegantly cut
silk tunic. He couldn't know how the soft light played over his
face, shaping his sensuous features as if sculpting him out of
shadow, concealing the expression in those eyes behind the dusky
crescent of his lashes. Couldn't know that the afternoon spent
out of doors had drawn a golden flush from his pale skin--or
that the combination of these things was awakening a curious
feeling in the Vulcan's stomach, like a hunger for something
other than food.
"So," Kirk said, the silence finally too much for him.
He was gazing out over the lower terraces, as if there were something
fascinating down there inviting his attention. "What do
you think of Dixon?"
Spock blinked. It seemed to take him a long moment to realize
that Kirk was referring to the composer of the cello sonata currently
playing over the club's speakers. It took him a longer moment
to assimilate the uncharacteristic question, to formulate a coherent
response. "Somewhat romanticized," he said at last,
as if musical critique were something James Kirk asked his opinion
on every day. "However, extremely compelling."
Kirk turned, meeting his gaze curiously. "I'm surprised.
I would have thought him a bit too... theatrical, for your taste."
The Vulcan gifted him with a brief softening of the severe mouth,
fleeting and sardonic. "I suspect it is my long association
with humans which allows me to appreciate many forms of Terran
art," he said quietly. Kirk smiled, sharing the long-standing
joke. The low, warm notes of the adagio washed over them.
"Don't worry," Jim offered in the same tone, "I
won't tell McCoy."
"Appreciated." Spock lifted his wine glass to his lips.
He sipped at the tart liquid and sat back.
Kirk sensed the restoration of that unspoken accord, that indefinable
rightness which had always existed between them. It spread through
him like a low current, and suddenly everything was all right.
He sighed, surrendering to the inevitable tides of fate without
regret. It was out of his hands, now--no going back. He had lived
his life by following his instincts, and he would just have to
hope that this time they would not prove faulty.
"More wine?" he asked innocently.
They had finished the bottle by the time dinner arrived.
Kirk was feeling dangerously euphoric, alternating between nervous
anticipation and morose fatalism. As far as he could discern,
Spock remained unaffected, though the first officer had downed
two glasses of the potent beaujolais. Jim's own face was very
warm, the warmth spreading outward from his belly, curling pleasantly
in his extremities.
He could not keep his eyes off the waiter. Something about being
in this place--or maybe it was just biochemistry, and months
of deprivation. Kirk's body didn't seem to care which.
Impervious, the Deltan arranged the dishes before them and opened
the second bottle of wine, setting it on the table in front of
Kirk. "Will there be anything else, sirs?" he inquired
in that low, melodious voice.
"No--" not unless you want to do something about this
incredible hard-on you've given me "--no, thank you. That
will be all." Kirk murmured aloud, amazed at his own acting
I guess bluffing your way out of a confrontation with a Klingon
battlecruiser is good practice for something, he thought,
a little hysterically. He barely managed to keep a straight face
until the man had gone.
The smell of garlic and cayenne reminded him that he had not
eaten since the previous day, and he dug into the peppery shrimp
with enthusiasm, a different kind of gratification, but no less
satisfying. The food was as good as he remembered.
Spock, too, appeared to be eating with relish, though his precise
maneuvering bore little resemblance to Kirk's all- out attack.
Nevertheless, the truffles disappeared with alacrity. The Vulcan
caught the direction of his glance, and bowed his head slightly.
"They are delicious," he acknowledged. "Thank
Kirk felt himself redden slightly with pleasure, and inwardly
cursed his fair coloring. "I'm glad you like it," he
returned. He had felt a little uncertain about ordering for both
of them after he'd done it...after all, Spock was a grown man,
perfectly capable of deciding such things without Kirk's intervention.
Command had become very ingrained in him, and it occurred to
him now that he would have to watch that. It could get him in
"Your judgment has always proven sound, in my experience,"
Spock said, as if reading his mind.
Kirk made a choked sound, amused disbelief. "You may not
think so, after tonight," he muttered, under his breath.
The sharp eyebrows drew downward in puzzlement. "I beg your
"I said, you didn't always think so." He looked up
at the Vulcan, a sidelong glance, enigmatic and unreadable. A
little smile played about his lips.
Spock considered that, nodding finally. "It is true that
I did not, at first, understand your methods of command. But
I always respected them," he said with that guileless honesty.
Kirk's smile deepened, reaching his eyes, full of shared memories.
"We've come a long way since then, my friend." He looked
shyly down at his hands. "Can I tell you something?"
"Yes, of course." The Vulcan was obviously intrigued
and trying not to show it. James Kirk seldom volunteered any
information of a personal nature. In that respect, he had always
been as reticent as any Vulcan.
The blush in Kirk's cheeks darkened, spreading to his ears. "I
was terrified of you, back then," he blurted. "I mean,
not literally, but--"
"Well, yeah." He grinned self-consciously. "I
mean, there I was, thirty-two years old, still wet behind the
ears, and suddenly I've got command of a starship. And not just
any ship, but Chris Pike's--Pike the paragon, the textbook example
of what a starship captain should be. And there's this Vulcan
science officer, see, and he's brilliant, and experienced, and
superbly aloof and unreachable, and I'm so scared of screwing
up in front of him that I can't bring myself to talk to him for
two whole weeks except to give a direct order, and that only
"I was...'terrified' of you, too," the Vulcan said
quietly, when Kirk stopped to take a breath.
Kirk's eyes went wide, incredulous. "You?"
Spock nodded. He folded his hands in his lap. "Yes. I knew
something of your history. You had become known to me, your actions
aboard the Lydia Sutherland... your penchant for ending up in
the middle of any spectacular crisis. I did not know if I could
trust you. But more than that... I did not know if I would be
able to work with such a person without losing--perspective."
He glanced up.
"You thought I'd be a bad influence on you," Kirk translated,
eyes glinting with wry humor.
"Indeed," Spock conceded, making Kirk smile. Then one
eyebrow lifted eloquently. "Unfortunately, I did not foresee
the arrival of Doctor McCoy."
Kirk chuckled outright at that. He reached to pour more wine,
his eyes on Spock's as he did so. "And am I not, Mister
Spock?" he asked provocatively. "A bad influence, that
"Frequently," Spock admitted, in a tone of chagrined
resignation, and lifted his glass to his lips. Kirk raised his
own, making the Vulcan hesitate.
"To the Enterprise, for bringing us together, all those
years ago." He saluted the Vulcan, and drank.
The words were out, the affirmation of that presence, that shape
which had been sitting invisibly between them all along, waiting
to be spoken. Kirk had said the name, and now the other truths
were there, crowding silently into the space left by that acknowledgment.
Kirk's eyes were on the Vulcan, suddenly bleak. They locked gazes
for a long moment.
"To her captain," Spock said at last, surprising them
both. He set the glass deliberately on the table in front of
And then the waiter was there, clearing their dishes away, shattering
the moment with perfect ease. Kirk gave a start, blinked. He
broke the hold the dark eyes had on him. Then realization hit
him, and his breath caught, and he turned to look out over the
On the stage below, the footlights were coming on.
Kirk turned back to his companion,
a sinking feeling in his stomach that did not seem to end. An
expectant hush fell over the room, as the last melancholy strains
of the sonata died away softly.
The wall sconces dimmed further, until the Vulcan was only a
shadow across the table from him. Kirk opened his mouth. He didn't
know what words he intended, knew only that he had to do something,
now, before it was too late.
Spock was looking at him. Kirk made the muscles in his throat
let go. He started to say the Vulcan's name.
But then the stage went dark, and there was music, and it was
too late to stop the inevitable downhill course of events. Too
late to turn from the path he had chosen. As if in slow motion,
Spock turned and looked down on the stage below.
The music whispered through the hushed audience like a fluid
thing. Soft at first, the liquid, silver notes unfurled, undulating
ripples of some stringed instrument played with the fingertips.
Haunting and ethereal, the sound wove its spell in the expectant
silence. For long moments, there was only the music, and the
Then there was a faint sound, like a sigh. At first, the subtle
illumination of the footlights made it difficult to understand
what was happening. The mosaic set into the stage floor seemed
to be moving, the stylized lilies reshaping themselves, as if
the visual metaphor had suddenly become reality and they had
transformed themselves into real flowers, floating on the surface
of the lake. Tiny points of light appeared, spreading outward
in a slow bloom, faint and incorporeal.
The mosaic set into the floor had concealed an elaborate seam.
The stage, which had appeared solid, was in fact comprised of
several curving shapes independently mounted on a sophisticated
hydraulic system. These shapes had begun to separate. The center
of the stage had risen slightly, while the flanking sections
had withdrawn into some hidden recess in the floor. Hidden beneath
the stage, now revealed, was a semi-circular pool; the tiny lights
were stars, reflected in the water through the transparent ceiling.
The music paused, as if taking a silent breath. In that hush,
Kirk was certain the Vulcan would hear his heart pounding audibly,
even from across the little table. He felt sudden dampness on
Pinpoint lights came on beneath the water, all at once. At the
same moment, the music began again, slightly faster now, the
first instrument joined by others, minor key of exotic harmonies
and soft percussion. The lights began a slow, rhythmic dance
in time with the music. The wall sconces had dimmed entirely,
so that the only light emanated from those underwater lamps,
and from the stars overhead. The firefly glow silhouetted the
single remaining section of stage which remained.
The visual metaphor was now complete. They were now looking down
into a sea of stars, upon which the shape of a single lily pad,
sculpted in mosaic tiles of green and blue, appeared to float
"Remarkable," Spock said faintly, under his breath,
and the human felt his heart skip, felt a dark blossom of hope
in the center of his chest. He swayed toward that lean shape
in the darkness, his pulse suddenly accelerating in anticipation.
There was movement, then, where there had been none a moment
before. A tiny ripple, a silent, collective intake of breath,
ran through the audience. Outlined by glints of light from the
water below, supine on the glistening tiles, a figure moved languidly.
Separated itself from the shadows in one luxuriant, unhurried
Beside him, the human was holding his breath. He, too, was captured
by the unfolding drama.
He was like some dark water nymph--or a god, risen from the sea.
As they watched, the fingers of light found him, tracing his
shape for a moment. Shadow sculpted the smooth curves and planes
of him, the dark mane of his hair spread beneath him, and he
turned his head, very slightly, toward the audience. His eyes
were closed. And then the music altered, and he moved, a fluid
gesture of muscle and bone.
It was a kind of dance, hypnotic, that sinuous figure always
in the shadows, never quite entirely visible. There was something
disturbing, darkly exciting about the way he danced with such
unselfconscious sensuality--the eyes closed, as if totally unaware
of anyone watching him.
Then he moved, so that the rippling light from the pool touched
him for a brief moment, and it became apparent that he was touching
himself, caressing himself with unabashed pleasure as he danced.
A graceful, dark-skinned hand teased one erect nipple for an
instant, before melting away into the shadows. The music pulsed
Spock went very, very still.
And suddenly he could feel the human close beside him, could
almost feel the low, heavy pounding of the other's heart. Spock's
own pulse was racing in his throat. His mouth was suddenly very
dry. There was a moment in which he could not think, would not
have been able to move or speak if his life depended on it.
In that instant, he felt something fundamental give way inside
He could not look at Kirk, could not summon the necessary strength
that motion would require. He thought that if he saw Kirk's face
in that moment, it might drive him right over the edge. Incoherence
was shouting in his head, a ragged cacophony of disorder.
Did he know? Did he mean--no, no, he cannot have meant--
I know just the place, Kirk's voice said in his memory, that
low, intimate invitation.
The Vulcan's eyes were riveted beyond his will to the stage below.
The music had altered again, the pinpoint spotlights shifting
with it. And then there was another figure in the shadows, pale
hands entwined in the dancer's dark hair. And the second figure
moved, and Spock could see his face clearly, chiseled features
under a shock of dark gold silk. The image imprinted itself on
the Vulcan's brain
Absolute clarity. Inarguable certainty.
Even a Vulcan could not fail to see it.
Kirk felt it, in the moment when the second dancer appeared--felt
the abrupt stillness in the other's body, sensing it across the
scant inches between them. That's it, then, he thought
despairingly. And then a sudden calm came over him, the visceral
relief of knowing it was out of his hands. His stomach unknotted,
sending tremors through him. It felt like the fleeting moment
of serenity after falling from a very high place, when one comes
to terms with the inevitability of hitting the ground.
For a long space of heartbeats, the Vulcan did not move. He could
not seem to draw air. All thought deserted him. And finally he
could not bear it any more, watching the erotic performance below,
feeling the heat radiating from the human beside him.
He turned, feeling like the effort tore something out of him.
He felt his hands trembling, locked them together beneath the
table. A tremor he could not suppress ran through him, and he
Kirk was sitting very still, less than twenty centimeters away
on the velvet bench seat. His hands were clasped around his empty
glass. Spock could not see his eyes.
A lifetime of training reasserted itself, slicing mercilessly
through the Vulcan's awareness, setting off a chain reaction
of inner alarms. Get up. Now. Go far away from here and do
not look back, it commanded, the cold voice of reason. Sudden
rationality returned, shocking him with the reality of the unspeakable
thing which had risen in him, a terrifying beast looming out
of some dark fissure within. The shape of it filled him with
profound mortification. The need to escape became an imperative,
driving him inexorably away from Kirk and that perilous chasm.
Then his companion looked up, met his gaze across the little
distance between them. The human's eyes were burnished copper
in the shadows, clear to their depths, full of the single, overwhelming
question, which had grown so large it seemed to fill the room.
In the face of it, Spock could not make his limbs obey the directive
Do you trust me, Spock?
The Vulcan's heart had begun that uneven pounding again, a nearly
unbearable pressure against his ribs. He felt himself answering
silently, against his will, the only answer there could ever
be. Yes. Always.
Acknowledgment of that, in the wide, expressive eyes.
Kirk moved then, a subtle shifting in the dim light, and awareness
narrowed to the two of them, shutting out everything else. He
brushed the back of the Vulcan's hand lightly, an almost nonexistent
Then trust me.
Spock's lips parted slightly. A current seemed to follow the
touch of Kirk's fingertips on his skin, electric and overwhelming.
And suddenly he wanted more, wanted to feel those hands on him,
the wanting a bright flame he could not deny. It threatened,
in that instant, to ignite the dry tinder of his soul.
He couldn't look at Jim. Couldn't bear it, that too- familiar
gaze reading him without effort, witnessing this catastrophic
breakdown of Vulcan discipline. Couldn't bear it any more than
he could escape it.
And so he turned, and there was nowhere for his eyes to go except
The dancers twined together now, and still it was a thing of
stark beauty, more than a seduction. The dark one's shape appeared
in flickers of light, in relief against the other's luminous
paleness. The alabaster hands wove a dance of their own on that
ebony skin. Still the first dancer's eyes were closed, as if
the pale one were some dream conjured from his private imaginings,
touching him with innocent reverence...his hair, his hands.
The Vulcan's pulse throbbed dully in his ears.
Then Kirk touched him, warm fingertips brushing his thigh under
the table. The touch was feather-light, only centimeters above
his knee--but Spock felt it like an electric shock. Liquid heat
curled in his stomach. His hands clenched into helpless fists.
Kirk felt him stiffen at the touch, felt the tiny, aborted movement,
as if Spock would leap to his feet and run from him.
But he did not.
Kirk was having difficulty breathing. Some voice of sanity was
demanding to know what abyss of dementia he had jumped into.
But he could not take his eyes from the place where his hand
rested against the Vulcan's thigh, trembling almost imperceptibly.
The sight was making him utterly crazy with disbelief, and dismay,
and sudden, crippling desire. He tried to swallow, couldn't.
He realized, with a kind of dull shock, that he was picking up
the barest trace of Spock's own natural scent: charcoal and copper
and something fainter, indefinable. The melting in his belly
seemed to go on forever.
He could feel Spock trembling.
And that undid him. He couldn't stop himself--he reached up with
his other hand, very slowly, and stroked the ebony silk of the
Vulcan's hair behind one elegantly upswept ear. He was utterly
hypnotized by the vision, by the feel of that inhuman softness
against his fingers. He thought he made some sound.
Spock's eyes closed.
There was a slackening in the Vulcan's rigid form then, a kind
of shudder passing through him. Kirk felt it touch something
vital in him. Spock leaned back, very slightly, pressing his
body against the velvet cushion; his face turned imperceptibly
toward the human, lips parted.
Kirk thought he would go right out of his head.
His fingers were laced in the dark strands now, beyond his control.
Then lower, tracing the warm, soft hollow behind that gorgeous
ear, feeling the rapid pulse leaping beneath the skin. His touch
trailed along Spock's throat, slid around the back of his neck,
that heated softness cupped against his palm. The short, silky
hair at Spock's nape teased his fingers. The angular face was
still, expressionless, eyes closed so that Kirk could not read
his reaction--but there was a kind of taut vibration in the Vulcan's
stillness, which told him all he needed to know-- told him his
instincts had not been wrong. Kirk's other hand trembled with
the effort it was taking to keep it still, on the Vulcan's thigh,
and not slide it upward.
He suddenly knew that he was perfectly capable of ravishing Spock
right here and now.
It occurred to him, like an afterthought, that they were sitting
in the middle of a crowded room. There was no way they were going
to get out of this place unseen before the performance ended.
For an instant he didn't care. Darkness and the curve of the
booth enclosure would have been shield enough for him, he was
so hot. But this was Spock--and Kirk's fear of screwing this
up gave him strength to gain some margin of self control.
He felt the slender body tremble in response to his proximity.
The rush which followed that realization almost undid his noble
intentions. He had to stop for a moment, master the overpowering
desire to press his lips to the place his fingers had caressed
at the Vulcan's throat.
When he was able, Kirk leaned forward, until his lips were only
millimeters from that delicious curve of the other's ear. He
had to draw several steadying breaths before he could make the
"Spock," he whispered, very softly.
The sound of his name in that breathy, intimate voice, the feel
of it teasing his ear and throat, sent a wave of shivery electricity
all down one side of Spock's body. He was drowning.
"Spock," the human said again, in that rough-soft rasp,
"I want to take you somewhere. Where we can be alone."
He had to stop, had to swallow against the sudden upsurge of
emotion. "But I'm scared to death that if we move from here,
you won't let me keep touching you like this." The Vulcan's
head moved against the cushion, a tiny, involuntary response.
Kirk found Spock's hand, clenched on the seat between them, covered
it with his own. "Will you promise me that if I get us out
of here, you won't change your mind?"
He waited; after a long hesitation, Spock nodded, once.
Kirk swallowed, had to hold himself still against an overpowering
flood of lust, and relief, and a deeper emotion he could not
name. When it subsided, he reached a trembling hand to the side
of the table, touched the control which would signal their luscious
Deltan waiter to bring the check.
That silent promise was the
only thing which prevented Spock from bolting to the nearest
available ground transport station--back to San Francisco and
Fleet Headquarters and the safe haven of familiar sanity.
Somehow, Kirk got them down the steps past the room full of curious
eyes. Spock could not have said what thoughts were in his head
during that seemingly endless journey, could not have said what
force of physics prevented him from simply splintering into unidentifiable
fragments. They reached the foyer and Kirk said something to
him, words which barely managed to penetrate the numb disbelief
cloaking his brain.
"Don't go anywhere." The words meant little; it was
the sharp vulnerability in his eyes which communicated itself,
pleading with the Vulcan silently to do as he asked. Spock managed
to nod affirmation. Kirk left him standing there beside the oblong
reflecting pools, went to find the hostess.
Spock waited, eyes fixed on nothing. A curious stillness seemed
to hold him in place. It was not a sensation of calm, not an
absence of feeling--but a kind of inert panic, as if any motion
might shatter what fragile control remained to him.
By the time Kirk finished making arrangements over the club's
comphone, his body's urgency had damped down a little, enough
for him to breathe. He had to force himself to focus on this
linear course of action, not to think too much about just what
he was doing, and with whom, or he would lose it. In spite of
his fiercely exerted control, he kept remembering the feel of
that midnight silk sliding between his fingers. His feet carried
him across the lobby on autopilot.
Then he saw the Vulcan standing motionless in the lamplight,
all planes and shadows and ebony softness, and that electric
vibration started again, singing up from some deep place. I'm
going to make love to him, the thought came, very clearly.
He stopped, neural commands shorting out somewhere between his
brain and his feet.
Spock's eyes lifted, dark and unreadable.
After a small forever of looking at him, drinking in the unreal,
forbidding, utterly beautiful sight of him, Kirk managed to make
his lungs perform their function again. Words deserted him; he
could only turn and lead the way back through the courtyard in
silence. He heard, after a moment, soft footsteps behind him.
The taxi he had summoned was waiting at the dock, idling on its
air cushion a meter above the surface of the lake. The passenger
door slid open at their approach. Kirk stopped at the edge of
the walkway and half-turned toward the Vulcan, a little motion
of uncertainty. The dark eyes were distant--as if Spock had gone
somewhere far away inside himself, leaving behind only a physical
shell. That look sent a stab of unease through the human. He
hesitated, searching for words. But Spock only moved past him,
stepping up into the little craft, without looking at him.
Then, unexpectedly, Spock turned in the doorway. Looked down
at him, his eyes beckoning, an infinite velvet darkness. He extended
Kirk knew, then, that it was going to be all right. Better than
all right. His heart was suddenly beating very fast. Knowing
Spock would hear the ridiculous, illogical jumble of his thoughts
when they touched, not caring, he reached up and took the Vulcan's
hand. The warm, strong fingers closed on his; Spock lifted him
For a moment, they held to each other, standing too close, not
speaking, their joined hands the only point of contact. Then
Spock let him go, even that touch more than either of them could
bear for long. Kirk turned away, felt for the chair behind him.
Sat in it before his knees could give way entirely.
Somehow, he managed to give their destination to the navigation
They sat next to each other, facing forward, in chairs separated
by a small aisleway. The aircar pivoted silently away from the
crystal contours of The Lily Pad, and began its long, slow arc
back across the lake, toward the winking lights of the peninsula.
Unreality seemed to cloak them. The little craft sped soundlessly
across the silvery surface of the water.
Kirk ventured a glance at the Vulcan. Spock was facing away from
him, gazing out the window as if watching the moon. It raced
alongside them, painting fragments of itself on the wavetops.
Seeing him like that, silhouetted against the transparent pane,
moonlight tracing his outline, Kirk felt a painful tightness
somewhere. It came to him, in that moment, just what Spock had
risked for him this day, just how vulnerable the Vulcan had left
Just when I needed him, he thought wonderingly. He tried
to remember back to the morning, to that hour-long purgatory
he had spent in Nogura's office. But it felt like another lifetime,
someone else's. How the hell had they arrived at this moment?
He decided he didn't care. Didn't care how, or why, or what this
constant, sweet ache in his chest meant. Soon he would be able
to pull the Vulcan to him and just bury his face against his
neck, just inhale the essence of him, and in the face of that,
nothing else mattered.
Soon! God, not soon enough, he thought wryly, and turned
to look out the front window of the taxi.
They were over land now, featureless dark as they passed over
the bayou--protected acreage which had been allowed to return
to its natural state two centuries earlier. Once the city had
extended to the lakefront, smothering the cypress and palmetto;
in this century, there was only darkness, speeding below the
In moments they were crossing over the park, faintly illuminated
boardwalks snaking between the trees, and then they were in the
The taxi descended toward a lamplit, walled expanse of gardens.
Flagstone paths curved away from a central patio, disappearing
into a profusion of green leaves and hibiscus blossoms. Spock
caught a glimpse of the oak-lined street beyond the wall. Then
the craft touched down, quiet hiss of hydraulics and pressure
He turned, as the passenger door slid open, and caught the breath
of sweet humidity which swept into the antiseptic interior of
the taxi, washing it clean. And then he was looking at Kirk,
couldn't help it. The human's hands were very pale, clenched
on the arms of his seat, and for a second Spock thought Jim would
look at him, break this silence which held them captive. But
Kirk moved, swift economy of motion, swung down from the aircar
to stand on the rose-colored flagstones. His back was to Spock,
and he did not turn.
There was something so vulnerable, so irresistible about the
way he stood there, compact form outlined in flickering light.
Standing in the hatchway, Spock felt it reach out across the
intervening space, grab hold of him. He wanted, with a sudden,
overpowering intensity, to just go to him, hold him, protect
him from the willful wrath of a universe not made for such brightly
lit souls as his.
It was no more than he had wanted to do for years.
That truth came home to the Vulcan in the instant before Kirk
turned, met his gaze. They stood like that for a long moment,
speaking in the silence things long left unsaid. Then Kirk smiled,
small upturn of the sensual lips. "Come on, Spock,"
he said softly, the words filling the silence as if they had
been shaped long ago, for just this moment. "We've waited
His words freed something in the Vulcan, and Spock stepped out
of the hatchway, crossed the little distance between them. Took
Kirk's upraised hand in his own. The falling sensation he had
been feeling for the last hour ceased, as the human's fingers
closed gently on his.
Kirk led him deeper into the garden, following one of the broken,
twisting paths through clusters of jasmine and oleander. His
hand was warm in Spock's. That low current hummed between them.
They came out into a second, smaller courtyard, an overgrown
pool at its center. Ancient cherubim observed their approach
with wise, knowing expressions. A little cottage stood beyond.
Cloaked in vines, windows glowing softly, it invited them closer.
Spock stopped beside the crumbling basin.
Kirk felt the Vulcan's hesitation, turned, smiling reassuringly.
"It's all right. I arranged everything through the reservation
But Spock only looked at him. The Vulcan's fingers tightened
on his, holding him there, an insistent pressure. The dark eyes
threatened to swallow him up. And then Spock let go of his hand.
Without warning, the panic rose up in Kirk, total and overwhelming.
The terrible certainty gripped him, that Spock would refuse to
go on, would leave him here in this garden and not look back.
A wave of desolation threatened to close his throat. "Spock--please,
if you can't... I mean..."
"Jim," the Vulcan interrupted him, the familiar baritone
soft, layered in enigmatic shadings. It made Kirk stop, made
him catch his breath. Still Spock was looking at him with that
peculiar intensity, as if he would consume Kirk whole, where
he stood. Very gently, he reached up, brushed the backs of his
curled fingers fleetingly against the human's temple. And Kirk
became aware, with a kind of visceral shock, that he could feel
the whisper of Spock's thoughts as he did it--brief and indistinct
and exquisitely intimate. In that moment there was nothing but
honesty between them.
"I am not so fragile," the Vulcan said at last, a low
murmur. And suddenly, astonishingly, there was amusement in Spock's
eyes, in the warm tone. "You need have no fear that I will
run away from you." His gaze deepened, a look that made
Kirk's knees go suddenly watery. "I could not, even if I
Kirk made a sound, low in his throat. His heart's pounding made
it impossible to breathe.
And then that heat was flooding through him, threatening to incinerate
him. He stepped forward, a motion he could not control, and his
hands were lifting, his fingers twining in the dark hair, and
he pulled Spock down, lifted himself up. Their lips touched.
The shock jolted down the Vulcan's spine. For a second it was
all he could feel, a white-hot impact like raw voltage. Then
Kirk moved against him, the velvet of Kirk's lips so much softer
than Spock had imagined--
--and that awareness came crashing through him, tearing down
layers and levels of carefully placed defenses. Imagined, yes,
in all those dark, forbidden hours of the night. Dreamed of,
yes, though Vulcans claimed not to dream such things. He had
wanted this for so long that he could not remember a time before
he had wanted it. His eyes closed against his will, and he moaned
faintly against the human's mouth.
Kirk felt it, felt the shudder which ran through the Vulcan's
body. He drew back a fraction, ran his thumbs down the soft hollows
on either side of Spock's nape, coaxing the other to open to
him. They were kissing in slow motion, ragged, clinging caresses,
little retreats, pulled back each time by the inexorable current
of electricity between them. That feather-light contact was almost
more than Kirk could stand. His fingertips were pressing lightly
against the base of the Vulcan's skull, trembling with the unbearable
exquisiteness of it.
Something shifted, and Spock moved, his hands closing around
Kirk's waist, sliding against the silk of his tunic, pulling
the human against him with irresistible power. The feel of that
compact form, steel softness and silken warmth, sent fingers
of heat through the Vulcan's insides. And suddenly he could not
stop ravaging Kirk's mouth, could not get enough of him.
Kirk gasped, leaned into that embrace, the Vulcan's hands at
the small of his back the only thing holding him up. They were
kissing open-mouthed--deep, soul-shattering kisses, the heat
of it a forest fire, out of control. Spock tasted-- incredible,
indescribable, like some forbidden drug. He could not think.
Somehow he had backed Spock up against the fountain. The Vulcan's
arousal pressed against his own rigid erection through their
clothing, throbbing between them. Kirk knew suddenly that if
they did not stop, he was going to come right here and now.
He broke away, clinging to the Vulcan for support, crushing the
velvet of his tunic. Fought for breath. "Spock--" he
grated, battling for some measure of control.
"Yes," the Vulcan breathed, interrupting him. He was
shaking, waves of tremors overwhelming him. "Anything you
Kirk swallowed, pressed the side of his face against the other's
sharp collarbone. That exotic, heady scent reached him again,
and he had to close his eyes. "Let's go in," he choked,
hardly able to find breath for it.
For an instant Spock's arms tightened on his waist, as if the
Vulcan would not let him go. Their trembling seemed to reach
some kind of harmonic convergence. Kirk pushed slightly against
the other's chest, a gesture that did not have his heart in it.
But Spock, after a long moment, released him. They stood unsteadily,
inches apart, fighting for the will to move. Kirk made himself
open his eyes, focus on the stone walkway beneath his feet. He
couldn't look at Spock. If he did, he would never be able to
move from this spot.
Those last steps, up the little path to the French doors of the
cottage, were the most difficult Kirk had taken in his memory.
His feet did not want to obey. In the end, Spock took his hand
and led the way.
At the threshold, a small keypad glowed expectantly; Kirk gazed
at it blankly for nearly ten seconds, before remembering that
the desk clerk had given him an access code. His hand was shaking
as he entered it.
Candlelight and flowers greeted them within, flickering illumination
glinting in the deep luster of antique mahogany. A great four-poster
stood in the center of the room, draped with muslin. Glass bowls
stood on a low table near the door, white blossoms floating in
water. The faint scent of magnolias embraced them.
Kirk found himself standing on the Spanish tile of the entryway,
staring at that bed, his mind utterly blank.
Then Spock touched him. It was only the barest brush of his fingertips,
warm on Kirk's wrist--but it broke the spell which had captured
him. He turned, lifted his eyes to Spock's solemnly.
That electric jolt again. Spock felt it in some deep place, couldn't
breathe for looking at him. Kirk was all softness, in this light,
gold and copper and rose, eyes misty green with desire. The molten
heat in Spock's insides welled up, threatened to drown him. Sudden
unspeakable urge to bury himself in that softness, throw the
human down on the deep pile rug, right here on the floor, and
just take him in all his golden glory. The violent, terrifying
need robbed the Vulcan of breath.
And then Kirk's hands were on him, gently demanding, and they
were kissing again, Kirk's tongue in his mouth, stroking him,
and the need burned white hot, consuming him.
Spock's hands were in the human's hair. He didn't know how that
had happened. That crisp softness slid between his fingers, the
whisper of the human's thoughts dancing just below the surface.
Kirk's hands spread against his back, pulling him closer, Kirk's
arousal a searing heat against his stomach.
Spock felt the dark imperative closing in on him. His fingertips
were close, so close, the scintillating pattern of the other's
thoughts a siren call, tantalizing. Just a slight motion, just
let go for a moment, and they would be one. The instinct to reach
for that link was almost irresistible.
He fought it, barely retaining enough control to remember why
he must not do it.
They were moving together now, an inferno between them, a kind
of swaying dance, clinging to each other to remain upright. Kirk
moved against him, delicious scrape of silk and velvet and hot
human flesh against Spock's urgent erection. The flood of pleasure
surged in the Vulcan's blood, nearly sent him over the edge into
oblivion. His knees gave out. Kirk caught him, held him against
it, held himself up.
Their mouths broke apart, and they stayed like that for a long
moment, trembling against each other.
Kirk wanted to make this feeling go on forever. But his body
was warning him otherwise. It overrode his efforts at self-control
with laughable ease. He could feel the Vulcan's readiness, too--wet
heat through the layers of clothing.
He backed up, pulling Spock with him, until he felt the soft
crush of the small, luxuriant rug beneath his feet. He made himself
draw several deep, steadying breaths. Then he buried his face
against the velvet-clad shoulder, found Spock's hands with his
own. "Spock," he managed, a hoarse whisper. "I
can't--I'm not going to be able to wait much longer." He
made himself hold to the hands. "I'm sorry--I wanted..."
The Vulcan didn't want to think. He wanted to be lost. "Jim,
please. Do not talk any more." The words came out of him
like wild, winged things released from captivity.
Kirk's grip tightened on his hands. There was an electric stillness,
in which Spock could hear the human holding his breath.
Then Jim's lips were on him.
And Spock was falling, falling into the incandescent core of
him, last shreds of control melting into nonexistence. His knees
gave out entirely, and he sank down onto the bed, pulled the
human down on top of him. Delicious weight, silk and heat and
softness fitted perfectly in his arms. Jim's tongue was touching
his again, licking him like cool flames.
The human's scent assaulted him, raw and overpowering. Spock
thought he might drown in it. Nothing in his life had prepared
him for this primal joining, this intoxication of James Kirk's
mouth on his, devouring him entire. Jim was straddling him now,
the incredible heat of him pressed against Spock's thighs, his
sex pulsing against Spock's with every beat of his heart. The
Vulcan wanted it never to end.
But they had to stop, had to come up for air. Oxygen reached
starving nerves, and Spock gasped with the force of his own need,
suddenly sharp and overwhelming. Jim's hands were at his waist,
at the hem of his tunic--and then they were sliding underneath,
spreading against the Vulcan's ribs. Kirk's fingertips drew upward,
dragging waves of shivers along the heated flesh. Spock made
a sound of incoherent pleasure. He clenched his fists against
He wanted, with a ferocity he could barely contain, to just let
go, pull the human against him, rip the elegant green silk off
of him with his hands. But the need had become too great; it
would be impossible to touch him like that and not surrender
utterly to the inner imperative. Impossible to put his hands
on that golden, satiny flesh and not touch him everywhere, not
reach for the link, reach into him.
"Don't fight it so hard," Kirk whispered, feeling the
tension vibrating in the lean body under his hands. He stroked
the inhumanly silky skin at Spock's navel, coaxing with his fingertips.
He felt himself shaking with the effort to go slow. "Just
let go, Spock," he urged softly. "Give in to me."
It reached something in the Vulcan, something unexpected, and
a kind of peace spread outward from Kirk's touch on his bare
flesh. He felt it shift in him, miraculous surrender, and suddenly
he found that he could let go. It would be all right. Jim would
He said the human's name, breathless prayer in his throat. And
then his hands found Kirk's hips, shifted upward, shaking with
the sudden need to feel more of him, feel that rich smoothness
of human skin against his fingers. Kirk was helping him, fumbling
with the hidden seam. He found it; the silk garment parted, and
Spock's hands were on his bare chest.
Kirk moaned, arching back at the feel of that superheated touch.
His nipples were instantly hard, pulling a deep, tingling rush
of pleasure up from the base of his cock. The soft slide of fabric
as his shirt fell away was an almost unbearable sensation. Then
the Vulcan cupped his palms over the hard nubs, brushing them
gently, and the waves of pleasure didn't subside, only mounted,
shuddering through the human's body. Helplessly, he began to
rock back and forth against the other's thighs, his scrotum rolling
gently, exquisitely against Spock's. He was breathing hard, nerves
singing with that torturous, overwhelming vibration. Spock shifted
under him, and the pleasure leapt upward, threatened to spill
"Gods!" Kirk gasped out, forcing himself to stillness,
trembling on the edge of coming in his pants.
The sight of him made sudden heat rise in Spock's throat. Kirk
was more beautiful than he had imagined, arching above him, smooth
and golden and tousled, flushed with passion. The lion eyes were
closed as he fought for control, the bronze softness of Kirk's
lashes curling against his cheeks. The Vulcan had to swallow.
"Jim," he said hoarsely.
A little tremor ran through the human; his hands closed on Spock's
forearms, as if seeking to draw strength. Finally, he opened
his eyes. They looked at each other, each seeing, in that moment,
his own profound wonder reflected back at him.
Spock didn't say anything more, couldn't. But the communication
passed between them, sent and received with crystal clarity.
Kirk slid backward, pulling Spock with him, moving to stand on
unsteady legs. His eyes never faltered, only gazed at the Vulcan
with that open certainty. His lips were trembling faintly.
Spock let himself be pulled upright, until he was sitting on
the edge of the bed, his face centimeters from the warm satin
of the other's belly. Breathing the scent of him. Then the human
lowered his gaze, a curiously vulnerable gesture. That little,
demure dip of the too-long eyelashes captivated Spock utterly,
and he watched, breath held, as Kirk shrugged out of the silk
shirt. It slid to the floor in slow, liquid motion.
Kirk moved, then, smooth poetry of muscle and sinew and bone,
bending to unzip the side fastenings of his Starfleet boots.
He stepped out of them, one at a time.
Little flicker of the molten eyes, up to Spock's and back down,
as if he could not prevent himself from gauging Spock's reaction.
What he saw in Spock's face made him blush, faintly; that shyness
annihilated the Vulcan. Spock couldn't think, or breathe, for
Incredibly, Kirk turned his back, with a little glance over his
shoulder and that delicious heat in his face. He reached around
to the side of the silk trousers, unfastened the hidden catch,
the muscles of his back rippling fluidly under the skin. Pushed
the waistband down, palms brushing the creamy skin at his flank.
The fabric slid into a puddle at his feet.
Too-brief vision of luscious curves, assaulting the Vulcan's
senses. But then Kirk was turning around.
His face was flaming, but a tiny curve shaped his mouth, sardonic
acknowledgment of his body's eagerness. He stood still for a
moment, as if waiting for some appraisal, some sign of approval.
Spock could see him trembling.
But he could not spare eyes for it. Could not stop drinking in
the vision of him, rose and gold and umber curves shaped by candlelight,
hard little nipples, standing up against the golden expanse of
his skin. His cock arched proudly forward, framed by bronzed
chestnut curls. Moisture beaded at the silken tip.
The god made flesh.
Before the Vulcan could move, or draw breath, Kirk had dropped
to his knees at Spock's feet. "Shh," he whispered,
soothing the small, involuntary sound of protest the Vulcan made.
He was unfastening the boots, removing them, Spock sitting stiffly
on the bed, looking down at the top of that tousled head with
a kind of dull shock. The unreality of this situation was suddenly
hitting him, hard. This is Jim undressing me...these are Jim's
hands on me. He is going to--
Somehow Kirk was kneeling, in all his naked glory, between the
Vulcan's bare feet. Gazing up at Spock with those molten eyes,
tilting his head a little on one side, that recalcitrant lock
of hair curling over his eyebrow. He was waiting.
Spock moved, in answer, hands opening in an awkward gesture of
And then Kirk was coming up from the floor, against him, into
his arms, and the feeling of unreality shattered--and suddenly
everything was very, very real. Kirk bore him down full length
onto the bed. Then the human was working at the velvet tunic,
his hands encircling Spock's narrow waist and drawing him up,
his lips and tongue and teeth attacking the delicate place where
Spock's shoulder met his throat. The Vulcan moaned aloud, unable
to stop the sound. Delicious, unbearable suction, wet caresses
against his neck. His hands found sweet curves, kneaded that
luscious flesh with desperate force. The heat within seared his
Kirk's head bowed for an instant against his shoulder, and Spock
could hear him panting. The human's hands were between them,
fumbling with the Starfleet fastenings, then shoving Spock's
trousers down savagely. The Vulcan arched upward, struggling
to help him. Between them they got the confining fabric out of
the way, all the way off.
Kirk was between his thighs then, unbearable friction of skin
on skin, simultaneously sliding the black velvet upward, off--and
teasing the Vulcan's nipples with his mouth. Spock's sex was
crushed between them, slick with arousal, sliding against the
cool, satiny smoothness of Kirk's belly. The sensations were
too powerful; Spock closed his eyes, unable to do anything but
lay shuddering beneath him, little mindless sounds of pleasure
escaping him. His hands opened and closed on the muscular shoulders.
Kirk lifted him, pushed them further up on the bed. For an instant
they only held together, helpless in the tide of desperate hunger.
Spock was aware only of the damp heat of Kirk's face against
his neck, the infinitely hotter wetness pressing against his
flank. He was burning, flaming, ablaze with light.
And then they were kissing again, Kirk's mouth on his, that unbearable,
consuming, open-mouthed kissing--and the human began to move
against him slowly, helplessly, grinding their hips together.
His hands found Spock's ass, cradled that sensitive flesh gently
against his palms. Guiding him gently into that overwhelming,
The rigid, silken heat of him scraped against the Vulcan's cock,
his scrotum, the tender skin of his upper thighs; Kirk's tongue
stroked his in slow counterpoint. Spock moaned into his mouth,
again and again, felt the vibration of the human's answering
cries against his lips. Waves of excruciating pleasure were welling
up in the Vulcan, unlike anything he had ever experienced, shattering
Too much, for both of them. Annihilating scrape of skin on skin,
wet silk on silk, and the Vulcan's hands found the back of Kirk's
neck, the long fingers lacing in his damp curls, and he went
rigid in the human's arms.
Shuddering, obliterating explosion of heat. A deep, ragged sound
was torn from Spock's throat, raw ecstasy, and he clutched Kirk
to him, helpless in the face of it. His teeth found Kirk's shoulder.
He cried out again, the waves of pleasure going on and on.
That suddenly slick friction, the throbbing pulse against his
sex, that sharp prick of the Vulcan's teeth--orgasm crashed over
James Kirk, slammed through him, destroyed him.
He fell into space, went on falling, until he couldn't bear it
anymore. He did not recognize the sounds coming from his own
mouth. Spock's hands in were in his hair, touching more than
his body--that fierce, unendurable awareness of that presence,
all around him, inside him--
Finally, mercifully, the pleasure released them.