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A DIFFERENCE THAT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

By Jane Jones

Aka

Ray Newton

With the end of his five-year tour of duty on the Enterprise only months away, James Kirk was reviewing the options that awaited him on Earth. He knew that Nogura was anxious to have him at Fleet Headquarters, not only for his publicity value to Starfleet but also because as the most successful Starship commander of his day he would prove invaluable as Chief of Operations. For the first time there would be a young man in the position with recent experience in the field, rather than one of the senior Admin officers who normally filled it. He could understand Nogura's reasoning and could even sympathise with it, but the thought of a deskbound position had always been something he had dreaded - and at this stage in his career it would seem like a death sentence, not the honour it would no doubt appear to others.

He could leave Starfleet, of course. It was flattering in a way to know that he could walk into almost any position he cared to name with one of the commercial spacelines, but it was decidedly not what he wanted - the boredom would drive him crazy in months.

No, there was only one future he wanted - to see the Enterprise through her scheduled refit then take off again for another five-year tour.

He'd spoken to most of his senior officers. Uhura, Sulu and Chekov had already applied for reassignment to the ship; Scotty could not more be prised out of his engine room than a hermit crab from its shell; Bones - despite a tempting offer to research Fabrini medical techniques - would return to the Enterprise if Kirk did.

That left only Spock. Kirk was sure he knew what the Vulcan's choice would be, but he wanted to hear it confirmed. It was strange Spock hadn't said something already... Still, they'd talk about it tonight after dinner; the Vulcan's shy invitation was an indication that he was ready to talk to him.

Exactly on time, Kirk buzzed at Spock's door. It opened for him, admitting him into the spice-scented warmth of the Vulcan's cabin, into the peace he always found there.

"You are punctual, Jim." Spock came to greet him, offering a glass of water, the ritual welcome to a Vulcan home, the gesture emphasising that he was greeting his friend, not his Captain.

"The politeness of princes - and Vulcans," Kirk teased gently. "And for once, of Captains. I was dreading that something would go wrong, that we'd have to cancel this evening." He handed the empty glass back to Spock and looked around with a smile. "I've been looking forward to this - I always feel so welcome here."

"You are, Jim." Spock indicated the table laid for two. "Shall we eat, and talk later?"


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After a simple but delicious meal the two men moved to loungers. Spock handed Kirk a glass of brandy, took a much smaller one for himself, then looked directly at his friend.

"There is a question you wish to ask me, Jim?"

Kirk nodded, acknowledging with a grin his awareness of how well Spock could read him. "What will you do when we reach Earth, Spock? Will you request reassignment with me on the Enterprise?"

Expecting an instant affirmative answer Kirk was at first surprised then troubled by Spock's long silence. At last, the Vulcan sighed.

"That is what I would wish to do, Jim. It may not be possible, however." He raised a hand, seeing that Kirk was about to speak. "Let me explain. Once before I spoke with you on this subject. You respected my confidence then, I trust you to do so again.

"Jim, I am Vulcan. My ways are not the ways of Earth. This has caused misunderstanding between us in the past. I wish you to see, to understand, the alternatives that lie before me, and the consequences of each. Will you try?"

"I will, Spock," Kirk said seriously. "But are you sure you want to tell me? I know how important your privacy is to you."

"So is your friendship." A faint smile touched the dark eyes for a moment, "It is logical that I speak plainly. How else are you to see..."

"Go on." Kirk leaned forward attentively.

"You remember the circumstances of your first visit to Vulcan. If I rejoin the Enterprise that Time will come to me again before the conclusion of our mission. I must therefore seek a bondmate. Only if I am accepted can I remain on the Enterprise. I dare not leave Vulcan unbonded."

"And if you are... not accepted?"

"Only one choice remains. I must seek the Masters of Gol, and either attain Kolinahr or perish in the attempt. Only the discipline of perfect logic, the final purging of all emotion, can free me from the threat of pon farr."

Kirk swallowed painfully. On his last visit to Vulcan he had met one of the Masters, and had recoiled from the passionless, sterile perfection of the man. It had shown him once and for all the difference between Vulcan control and the utter absence of emotion.

That such a thing could happen to Spock was... an abomination.

"If you attain this... Kolinahr I'll never see you again?" he asked at last.

"It is possible, Jim." Spock thought for a moment. "Logic would indicate that I resume my career in Starfleet, perhaps even aboard the Enterprise, but things will not be as they have been. Our friendship will mean nothing to me. I will not remember you, my more-than-brother... and what is worse, I will not care."

"But I'll know you," Kirk murmured almost to himself. "Still, Kolinahr is only one of your alternatives. You may find a bondmate." He hesitated, knowing that his next question was going to sound clumsy, intrusive. "Do you think you'll be accepted?"

Spock bowed his head. "I have a little hope - a very little. When my childhood bonding to T'Pring was broken I was free to seek my own mate, the one to whom mind and body and spirit alike were drawn. I found...perfection... but now I can take no other. If my Chosen rejects me, then I must turn to Gol."

"Your Chosen?" It was a question, and he had his answer when the dark eyes met his, alight with a mixture of shyness and pride.

"You, Jim."

"Oh dear god!" Kirk whispered, and there was wonder in his voice. "Spock, you honour me. I never dreamed... never dared to dream..." He looked away, half ashamed of the tears that stung his eyes.

Spock nodded thoughtfully. "I knew you would not turn from me in disgust, that you would hear me. Jim, I do not ask for your answer now, and I could not accept it if you gave it. A Vulcan bonding is a very strange and alien concept for a Human to contemplate. All I ask is that you consider carefully, and answer as your... heart bids you."

He rose and held out a hand to draw Kirk to his feet. "I have no words," he continued awkwardly, "to tell you how much I love you. If you refuse the bonding, I have no right to speak so to you; if you can... accept, I will ask you to teach me the words of Human courtship. But you must know that my desire to bond with you is out of love for you, not from need only."

Mutely Kirk nodded. "You never had a selfish thought in your life," he managed at last. "Spock, I..."

A fleeting brush of warm fingers on his lips silenced him. "No hasty answer, Jim. Search your mind and heart, and give me the answer you find there - that is all I ask. I know you will not insult me with pity." The Vulcan crossed to his desk and returned with a sealed tape, which he handed to Kirk. "This may help. I have described what is entailed in a bonding. Study it, and ask any questions you wish."

"Thank you." Kirk took the tape and headed for the door. Almost there, he paused and turned. "Spock, whatever my decision... your offer honours me. I... Goodnight, Spock."

It was with a visible effort of will that Kirk allowed the door to slide open, then close behind him.


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With a sigh Kirk switched off the viewer and leaned forward on the desk, his face buried in his hands. He had viewed the tape several times now, had listened to Spock's deep voice describing the realities of a bond, its wonders and its terrors, what he would expect from Kirk and Kirk from him.

It was... glorious. An almost physical hunger for that closeness, that belonging, filled the Human, bringing an ache to his throat and a lump to his belly. Dear god, he was being offered everything, unashamedly, unreservedly, and the compulsion to accept was almost overwhelming in its intensity.

But... was it possible? Great joy lay in the bonding - and great danger.

Refuse - and lose Spock to the discipline of Kolinahr. A certainty.

Accept - and lose him to...

Perhaps.

And perhaps not.

After all this time, surely there was a chance? So many things had changed - why not this also? Any chance - even the slimmest - and he'd grasp it with both hands.

Only one man could tell him...

Slowly, reluctant to hear that final verdict, afraid of what it might be, Kirk straightened and snapped on the intercom.

"Bones, are you free? I need to talk to you..."


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It was very late into the ship's night when Kirk let himself out into the corridor, heading for Spock's door. He wondered if the Vulcan was awake, if he even knew that Kirk had returned aboard. It wouldn't surprise him - Spock was always uncannily sensitive to the Human's moods.

The Enterprise was currently in orbit around Starbase 2, and Kirk had authorised shore leave - it would be a last chance for the crew to relax before the last leg of their journey to Earth, and the arduous spit-and-polish sessions to prepare the ship for inspection by Nogura.

Kirk had gone down himself, but had slipped away from McCoy and the others. They probably thought he'd found himself a companion for the evening, but he'd chosen to return to the Enterprise to see Spock. The three days they would remain at the Starbase would give them a little time and comparative privacy to deal with the implications of the decision he had made - a decision he must now impart to Spock.

As he raised his hand to the buzzer the door slid silently open.

"Please enter, Jim."

Kirk obeyed. Spock was waiting for him, almost as though he'd known Kirk would come tonight. And perhaps he had. The dark eyes went at once to the Human's face, and after a moment Spock nodded.

"You have made your decision, Jim."

"Yes, I..." Kirk's mouth was dry. "It's not..." There was no gentle way to say this. "Spock, I'm sorry. I can't."

Before his anguished gaze something - hope? - flickered and died in the Vulcan's eyes. Ridiculously, Kirk felt like a murderer. Spock's lips tightened and he turned away.

"I... accept your decision, of course. I will not speak of this again. I will contact my father and inform him that I will be returning to Vulcan. Now please go, Jim. Quickly. I cannot bear..."

Nothing had ever hurt so much as the resigned acceptance in the quiet voice. Kirk reached out to touch the thin shoulder, and felt it quivering under his hand.

"Spock, don't ever think it's because I don't love you!" he burst out impulsively. "I want the bonding more than you can ever know... I want you... I want to hold you and love you, to keep you safe... I want you for my lover, my friend..."

Bewildered eyes met his. "You wish for the bonding? Then why do you refuse me? I do not understand why you are doing this to us."

"Because however much I want you, I won't risk your life." Kirk had intended simply to announce his decision and leave, but in the face of so much grief and pain he knew he owed the Vulcan the truth. It was unimportant that Spock should learn of his shame and weakness; it was important that the Vulcan should understand why he was being refused by his chosen mate.

"Gol will keep you alive, Spock. I can't. How could I bond with you, knowing it could kill us both?"

"Kill?" Spock was totally confused. He shook his head, his eyes narrowing thoughtfully. "Jim, I know you do not fear pon farr, and I do not believe you are swayed by any possible reaction to our bonding - male pairings are common enough. I sense fear in you... fear for me. Can you not tell me what is wrong?"

"I'll try." Kirk swallowed nervously. "I learned from that tape you gave me that bonded partners do not survive each other. If... if anything happened to me, the odds are you would die too... And if you were... the cause of my death..."

"You cannot seriously believe I would harm you, Jim."

"Not intentionally, no." Kirk ran a hand through his hair. "I've never talked about this," he murmured. "Bones knows, of course - it's on my medical record - but he's never asked about it." Kirk laughed harshly. "I haven't even thought about it for years... it was over and done with... but now... now it's going to wreck both our lives..."

Spock waited patiently, half afraid of what Kirk would tell him but knowing he had to hear it.

"It happened on Tarsus IV," Kirk continued at last, speaking very softly. "Oh, not Kodos himself, one of his aides. I was listed for execution; he hid me away, forced me to have sex with him. He said no-one would ever know, because he'd kill me when he'd finished with me. But some of the colonists fought back, and he was killed in a riot. The rescue ships found me... Spock, I was only 12, and small for my age. The damage he'd done... I nearly bled to death...

"When you offered me the bonding, I spoke to Bones. I thought maybe I'd healed enough to make it possible. Oh, I didn't tell him about you - I only said I'd been in contact with someone I used to know, and that I wanted to... Anyway, he said it would be impossible. Too much scar tissue - they can't fix it even now. Penetration would tear me apart again... From that tape I know that just... masturbation... won't be enough - you need to be inside me. I want to have you, Spock... but I can't and live."

Kirk hesitated for a moment, and when he continued his voice was thick with longing. "If it would save your life, if I could be sure you'd never find out, I'd do it in a heartbeat, Spock - I love you that much. But because of the bond you'd die with me anyway... and even if you didn't you'd be left with the grief and the guilt of what you'd done to me. So however much I love you, I can't give you what you need. Go to Vulcan, to the Masters. Stay alive. Forget me, if that's what it takes. Just... forgive me."

Spock lifted his hand to Kirk's face, his fingers settling into position for the mind-touch, although he made no attempt to initiate contact.

"Jim, is that truly the only reason for your refusal? If there was no danger to either of us, you would bond with me?" There was a note of urgency in the deep voice.

Kirk nodded. "That's the only reason, Spock. God, I want the bonding more than anything! But I can't have it." The bitter laughter came again. "You know, it's almost funny. All my... loves, and it made no difference. I could have had any one of them for the asking. But now... the one person to whom I can make a total commitment wants me, and because of a selfish pervert and my damned pretty-boy looks, I've got to send you away! So don't talk about what might have been, Spock - I don't think I can bear it!"

"Jim, please listen. Listen and believe. You know that I have never lied to you?

Kirk nodded, his eyes on the intent face so close to his. He had grown used to, almost expected, Spock to provide answer to insoluble problems, and something in the dark eyes brought hope to life now. But he fought against it. He was being foolish. This wasn't some problem of action to be solved by the application of rational thought. This was a matter of fact, cold, hard, medical fact, and all the logic in the world wouldn't change a thing.

Spock was speaking again. "Then believe me now. We can bond fully, with no danger to either of us. Do you think I would permit a moment's risk to touch you? Trust me, Jim, and grant me the bond."

Hop was fully alive now. "I don't understand, but if you say it's possible I believe you. Bond us, Spock... and make love to me."

"With you," the Vulcan corrected gently. Then he drew back a little, his eyebrow on the rise. "Do you not wish me to explain first?"

Kirk shook his head. "Not necessary," he said with quiet serenity. "You say it's possible and that's enough for me."

Spock touched one finger to the full lips. "Your trust honours me, Jim." Then his voice took on a teasing note. "It shall be as you wish. However, you may care to consider this as we prepare. You have always been so careful to remember my emotional and mental differences, T'hy'la, that you sometimes forget that my physical structure is also Vulcan."

Physical structure? Kirk frowned for a moment, then grinned. "Doesn't matter. I'll find out soon enough. Now, about this bond..."

"If you agree, the formal ceremony required by our laws can be held on Vulcan, but the act of union is for us alone. The bond itself will be most easily formed if I link with you when I take physical possession of you as my mate, and it will be locked into place when you so claim me." Spock smiled faintly. "You need have no fear, Jim. I can accommodate you easily. The... differences... between us present no difficulty."

"So - when?" Kirk demanded.

"Whenever you wish, T'hy'la."

"Now!" Kirk lifted his head, seeking the Vulcan's mouth. "Make us one, Spock - please!"


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Kirk lay in the warmth of Spock's bed, his eyes fixed on the bathroom door, nervousness and anticipation warring within him. He was not afraid that Spock would hurt him. The savage rape he had endured years ago had been the greedy lust of a sadist, not the tenderness of a lover, and he well understood the difference. Still, for all his experience he had never invited the touch of a male, and he was not quite sure what to expect.

At least Spock seemed to know. He'd never thought that Vulcans would accept male pairings, though now that he actually thought about it, it was logical that they would, given the value they placed on mental affinity.

But how could Spock achieve the physical penetration he needed without causing injury? It seemed impossible, for Bones had been adamant that anything as bulky as a penis inserted into his rectum would rupture the scar tissue, however careful his lover was, and only immediate surgery would save him. Hardly practical to have a doctor on call every time he made love with his bondmate, Kirk thought wryly. So there must be a way, because Spock said there was...

His train of thought was interrupted as the bathroom door opened. Spock emerged, wrapped in a long robe, and came over to stand gazing down at him.

"May I look at you, T'hy'la? Show yourself to me."

With a shyness he had not felt for years Kirk pulled the bedcover away, colouring faintly at the glow of pleasure that lit the dark eyes.

"Beautiful," the Vulcan murmured, his gaze almost a caress as his eyes travelled from the flushed, expressive face to the rich promise of the genitals, lingering there.

Kirk felt the first stirrings of arousal as his cock lengthened and thickened; he longed for the Vulcan to touch him, and knew that his face showed his need.

Spock smiled and reached out, tracing gentle fingertips over the cool skin, pausing inquisitively at the dormant nipples until they strained firm and erect under his hand. He bent his head, his tongue probing at the sensitive flesh, and Kirk groaned in surprised pleasure at the surge of arousal he felt. The hands were on his thighs now, parting them, testing the softness of skin, the strength of muscle; they explored his belly, a fingertip catching in his navel; then the dry heat enfolded his penis, stroking softly, coaxing a response that was eagerly given. Kirk had never aroused more strongly or fully in his life, his groin aching as the maddening stimulation drew him higher and higher, demanding more and more from him. His hips lifted, thrusting into the tight grip; the friction was intoxicating, and he moaned in frustration when with a last squeeze the hands moved away.

Spock, please..."

Kirk lifted his head from the pillow as he felt the Vulcan move on the bed. Spock was leaning over him, studying his swollen cock with fascination.

"Beautiful," he murmured again, then as though feeling the Human's gaze he turned to look at Kirk, half smiling, the dark eyes promising unimagined pleasures.

Slowly the silky head bent down and a hot wet mouth slid over Kirk's straining erection, sucking and licking. Kirk's hands tangled in the soft hair as he forced himself deeper into Spock's mouth. He moaned in delight as a hand cradled his balls; another slid under his buttocks, silently encouraging him to thrust. He felt the gathering rush of orgasm, and with a choking scream that he scarcely recognised as his own voice he came, pouring himself into his lover's throat.

Spock's hands moved to his hips, holding him as he continued to suck; draining Kirk completely; only then did he release him and allow him to fall back onto the bed where he lay panting with exhaustion, a vast contentment filling him as he whispered his lover's name.

"Spock..."

The Vulcan leaned over him, nuzzling the parted lips. "So much to share, T'hy'la," he whispered, his voice thick with arousal. "But I wish to enter you now, to bond us, so that we may know the joy of total belonging. Will you consent, my Human?"

"Yes. Oh, yes..."

Kirk slid his hands over the Vulcan's shoulders, pushing the robe away. The skin beneath felt oddly dry to his touch, with something of the texture of suede, the curly body hair in contrast as fine and smooth as silk. He was aware of Spock leaning over him, and parted his legs so that the Vulcan could kneel between his thighs.

Spock pushed one of the pillows under Kirk's hips, raising his lower body, exposing him to the watchful gaze. The Human's breath came faster as careful fingers stroked across his belly, down, and back, seeking the tight entrance to his body. The Vulcan made no attempt at penetration; he merely fingered the clenched knot of muscle, his eyes intent as he studied the shudder that ran through Kirk at even that delicate touch.

Aware of his instinctive reaction, and that it might look like lack of trust, Kirk grimaced apologetically and forced himself to relax, spreading his legs wider as he invited the caresses he both longed for and dreaded.

Spock reached for a tube of cream that lay ready on the bedside table; allowing Kirk to see what he was doing he squeezed it generously over his fingers, then returned to his exploration, spreading the smooth silky stuff over the tiny opening.

Slowly Kirk began to find the gentle probing pleasurable. There was no pain, even when one finger pressed a little harder, then slipped inside. He considered the sensation and decided that he liked it, aware that Spock was carefully dilating his anal muscles without deepening the penetration.

Indeed, it was so pleasant that the Human sighed with disappointment when the finger withdrew at last; it its place something thick and hard nudged at him, throbbing rhythmically as it eased its way in. Kirk lay still, fighting the fear that returned unbidden at the knowledge that the head of Spock's penis was actually inside him. So far all was well... but could he take the full length and thickness of the Vulcan's organ? And when Spock began to thrust - as he'd eventually have to do to reach orgasm - the scar tissue would rupture under the pressure...

Moments passed, and as Spock made no further movement Kirk slowly realised something else; he could feel the brush of pubic hair against his upturned buttocks. Surely that was only possible if the Vulcan was fully inserted? Yet there could be no more than an inch of the penis inside him... Startled, he met Spock's eyes.

"Differences, Jim," the Vulcan reminded him, tenderness in the quiet voice, laughter softening the dark eyes.

"But... Ahhh!" Kirk broke off with a gasp as he began to experience the strangest sensations. It was as though a thousand tiny fingers were inserting themselves into his rectum, rubbing insidiously against the tender flesh as they inched deeper and deeper. Too slender and flexible to thrust harshly into him, they were producing an almost unendurable ecstasy and they twisted and writhed and probed, feathering over his prostate, uncoiling themselves further into his body until he could almost believe they were enfolding his heart in their soft caress, taking possession of him with a completeness no Human penetration could have achieved.

Almost frantic with delight Kirk arched upwards, listening with disbelief to the harsh pleading cries he could scarcely believe came from his own throat. It was almost frightening, to feel so much... Frightening, but also the most erotic sensation he had ever known.

Dazed, he looked at Spock, and his heart lurched at the rapt ecstasy on the usually calm face, the sensual wonder that blazed in the all-too-revealing eyes. He was not sure what they had conjured up between them, or how they had accomplished it, but in that moment the one thing he was certain of was that he could not bear to lose this, whatever the cost.

Something nudged at his straining penis, then wrapped warmly about it, milking him. For an instant he thought that Spock was masturbating him, then he realised that the Vulcan's hands were holding his hips. He wondered confusedly what it could be as the caress intensified, touching him in just the right way, but the sensations were so intoxicating he could not concentrate for long on the cause. Later for that - for the moment he would simply enjoy what was being done to him. His mouth opened in a gasp of pleasure and Spock was there, tongue thrusting deep in a richly sensual kiss; then the Vulcan drew back to look at him, tender triumph in his eyes.

"Pleasure only," Spock murmured, lowering his head to take a swollen nipple into his mouth.

Kirk felt himself building towards climax. As the first tremors shook him the supple fingers lashed wildly at the walls of his rectum, and as the semen spurted from his straining cock he felt Spock's ejaculation, as though a fine spray of warm liquid had been released within his body.

With the last of his strength Kirk drew Spock's mouth to his for a lingering kiss, then slumped back onto the bed, his lover close-held in his arms. He could feel the Vulcan withdrawing from his body, the retraction of the probes a caress in itself as they slithered over the damp sticky flesh. Bemused, he blinked up at his lover.

"What...?"

The Vulcan turned onto his side, leaning up on one elbow. His free hand tipped Kirk's face down. "Look," he said, laughter in his voice.

It was only then that Kirk realised he had never seen so much as a picture of a nude male Vulcan. Berating himself for his stupidity, he realised he had been guilty of assuming that Spock's humanoid appearance meant that his genitals must correspond to the Human pattern - a subconscious assumption strengthened by the awareness that Spock himself was living proof that the two species were compatible. That was, as he now saw, one of the biggest mistakes he had ever made

The Vulcan had no visible testicles. Perhaps they were internal, Kirk thought, or perhaps the reproductive system was so different that there was no corresponding organ. At the groin - Kirk's eyes widened in surprise - was a bulge of flesh scarcely two inches long, and about as thick as a Human penis. The layers of skin had retracted, revealing the interior, a mass of delicate, pale green tendrils some eight inches long, each so fine that together their bulk was slightly less than the circumference of the Human organ. At the moment they were lying fully extended against the Vulcan's thigh, each gleaming wetly with a viscous green liquid. Involuntarily Kirk glanced at his own body; the same green fluid was seeping from his anus to trickle down his legs, staining the sheets.

"Can I touch?" Kirk asked hesitantly - the tendrils looked so fragile...

Incredibly, Spock chuckled. "They are more robust than they look, and are most... responsive... to stimulation with the hand - or the mouth," he said softly.

Kirk unconsciously licked his lips as he inched his hand closer, imagining how the writhing fronds would feel as they explored his mouth, his throat... And how would that shining green semen taste? He longed to know...

The tip of one finger stroked one of the lax tendrils; at the touch it stirred, coiling itself languidly around his finger. Fascinated, he edged closer, grinning in delight as his hand was captured and held.

"Most responsive," Spock murmured, sliding and arm around Kirk's shoulders and drawing him close. "You understand now why there was no need for you to fear a forceful penetration? Only as many as you could comfortably accommodate inserted themselves, and as they are capable of independent movement there was no need for the violent thrusting that would have damaged you."

"How does it work - uh - normally?" Kirk asked, too interested to remember that it was a very personal question.

However, Spock answered readily. "It is necessary that ejaculation takes place much deeper within the Vulcan female than the Human. Some of the tendrils insert themselves to deposit sperm in direct contact with the ovum; others are designed to apply stimulation to encourage the ovum to enlarge, so stretching and weakening the membrane to allow the sperm to penetrate more easily. It was because of the differences in the reproductive systems of Humans and Vulcans that my conception had to be artificially induced."

"So when I thought you were milking me, it was some of those tendrils," Kirk chuckled, stroking the writhing fronds. "Best of both worlds, in fact - I get fucked and masturbated at the same time."

"You did not find it... distasteful?"

Kirk looked up sharply, hearing the note of anxiety in his lover's voice. "Nothing about you is, or could be, distasteful to me," he said firmly. "Especially this. It's given us the bonding, Spock - it's given us each other." He shivered, aware of what he might have lost, and his fingers combed through the stirring fronds with possessive gentleness.

"I should have realised," he continued, "that... this... would be different too. But all I could think of was my own fear, or injury for me and death for you. All I could see was that I was going to lose you whatever I did. Now...we'll be together on the Enterprise instead of me at Starfleet and you at Gol."

A delicate eyebrow arched in Spock's most teasing expression. "Indeed, I am grateful for that," he said solemnly as his fingers wandered inquisitively over Kirk's belly.

"Oh? Any special reason?" Kirk leaned against his lover, reluctantly releasing the fronds to explore further.

"There is... this... of course. I fear Master T'Sai would consider you a... a distraction. Which you are..."

Conversation was halted for a few moments as their lips met in a hungry kiss, but Kirk's curiosity had been aroused.

"Any other reason?" he asked, lifting his hips to allow Spock's hands to search between his legs

"Well... as you know I am trained to disregard physical comfort..."

Spock..." Kirk said warningly.

"I have heard, my T'hy'la, that the food at Gol leaves a great deal to be desired."

"Oh?" Kirk was startled for a moment, then his lips curved in a wicked grin. "Then, my self-indulgent Vulcan, I'll just have to find you something more to your taste... won't I?" he purred as he guided the dark head firmly to his groin.


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Duet XI

1984


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