“Captain, what is our destination?”
Kirk grinned at his first officer’s question as he chucked a pair of swimming trunks on top of the other items of clothing already stuffed haphazardly into his bag.
“That would be telling, wouldn’t it?” he replied, his smile getting wider at the thinly disguised look of exasperation on Spock’s face.
“Obviously,” the Vulcan said. “I would not be asking if I did not wish to be told.”
Kirk stopped packing and turned to face his friend, planting his hands firmly on his hips.
“It’s a surprise, Spock,” he said, with exaggerated patience. “If I told you where we were going then it would ruin the surprise; so I’m not telling.”
Spock, his own neatly packed and ready-to-go bag at his feet, sighed as he watched the captain recommence his preparations for shore leave, which seemed to consist largely of opening drawers, peering inside and shutting them again, without removing anything.
“Where are they?” Kirk was saying, “I know they’re here somewhere…”
“To what are you referring?” Spock asked.
Kirk frowned as he looked around the cabin. “My sunglasses,” he replied.
“There,” Spock said, pointing to the bookshelf.
Kirk followed the direction of the raised arm and frowned. “Where?” He couldn’t for the life of him see what Spock obviously did.
The Vulcan walked over to the bookshelf and plucked the sunglasses from their resting place behind two volumes on Earth history. “There,” he said again as he handed them over.
“What would I do without you?” Kirk said, flashing another bright smile as he threw the sunglasses into his bag and closed the seal. “Right, I’m all set. Are you ready to go?”
Spock raised an eyebrow but decided not to mention that he had packed in preparation for their leave the previous night and had been fully prepared to leave at the agreed time - ten minutes ago.
They found Scotty manning the console in the transporter room. The chief engineer really had no need to be there but he claimed he liked to ‘keep me hand in’. Kirk knew it was more that he just couldn’t resist being behind the controls.
“Morning, Scotty,” he said, cheerfully. “All set?”
“Aye, Captain,” the engineer replied, “All ready to go, co-ordinates set as per your instructions.” He gave a big grin as he turned towards Spock. “Enjoy your holiday, Mr. Spock. Don’t do anything I wouldnae do!”
Spock raised an eyebrow. “I am certain I do not know what you would or would not do while on leave, Mr Scott,” he replied.
“Aye, sir,” Scotty sighed in reply, “I suppose not.”
Kirk jumped up on to the transporter platform. “Come on, Spock,” he said. “We’ll be late if you don’t get a move on.”
Scott couldn’t help but smile at the look of haughty disbelief Spock threw at the captain , who grinned happily at the Vulcan as he, apparently deciding the comment unworthy of reply, stepped up onto the pad beside him.
As the two figures disappeared into the shimmer of the transporter beam. Scotty shook his head. The captain had set about the task of persuading his oh so proper first officer to take a vacation with him with the same determination that he tackled anything else in his life. In the end even the Vulcan’s stubborn insistence that he did not require such a rest had crumbled in the face of the arsenal of weapons Kirk used in the campaign to get his agreement.
It was beyond the engineer why his captain would want to spend four days attempting to coax the straight-laced Vulcan into unbending enough to enjoy a typical Human vacation. It was even more beyond him to try to understand what his captain so obviously saw in the uptight Vulcan; but each to their own.
The two Starfleet officers materialised on a sandy path. The air was pleasantly warm without being too hot and there was no one in sight.
Kirk had a wide grin on his face as he turned towards his companion. “It’s just like I remember it,” he said happily. “Come on, Spock, follow me,” he yelled as he dropped his bag before turning and setting off at pace down the path.
“Cap..” Spock began to answer.
“Spock, come on. You’ve gotta see this,” came the floating reply before the Vulcan had a chance to finish his sentence.
Spock decided he may as well give in to the inevitable and follow Kirk’s lead. He picked up the discarded bag and proceeded in the wake of his friend, choosing to move at a rather more dignified speed. He found Kirk standing at the edge of a cliff looking out towards an ocean with his arms spread wide.
“Look at it, Spock,” he said, smiling over his shoulder at the Vulcan. “You’ve got to admit this is pretty amazing.”
Spock joined him and looked out at the view. Below them, golden sand stretched out in either direction. Majestic granite cliffs curved around the bay and a little town could be seen tucked into another bay to their left, distant fishing boats bobbing in its harbour.
The ocean stretched out beyond it all; the crashing of waves on the sand a stark contrast to the stillness further out, where the sun sparkled on the deep blue water.
“Indeed,” the Vulcan said softly.
“This is going to be great,” Kirk said. “A good, old-fashioned vacation; No red alerts, no galaxies needing saving, no Klingons popping up when you last need them to…no Tribbles…no Harry Mudd...”
“Yes,” Spock interrupted as it appeared his friend’s burst of boyish enthusiasm might cause him to carrying on listing obstacles encountered by the Enterprise and her crew ad infinitum. “It does appear a most restful place.”
Kirk fixed the Vulcan with his most dazzling smile. “The chalet is just along here,” he said and started walking in the direction towards which he was gesturing.
“Captain.” Kirk stopped at the word and looked back questioningly. “Where are we?” Spock asked.
“Cornwall,” Kirk replied. “In England. I used to come here to visit my aunt when I was a boy. “Her chalet is where we’re staying. It belongs to my cousin now but she’s taken her boys off to visit various people and she said we’re welcome to make ourselves at home.”
The chalet was with a small group of others; set back from the path, with a neat little garden at the front, surrounded by a white picket fence.
“A lot of these aren’t occupied full time,” Kirk said as he opened the gate, “but Ella and the kids live here all year round. She thinks it’s such a waste for them to stand empty, even if it does get a bit bleak out here in winter.” He pushed open the door and stepped in, Spock following close behind.
It was more spacious than it looked from the outside. It was neat and tidy but homely, with striking art work, mainly featuring the surrounding coastline, adorning the walls. Brightly coloured throws partly covered what looked to be rather tattered armchairs and a large sofa. There was an open fireplace and shells and rocks had been scattered along the mantelpiece. Thick rugs were thrown over the wooden floorboards and a large chest in the corner had the names ‘Jake’ and ‘Kym’ scratched into the wooden surface.
Kirk strode across the room and started opening the doors that led off the living area. He looked over his shoulder at Spock. “You can take the spare room,” he said, “and I’ll take Ella’s. If that’s ok with you?” Spock nodded.
“That would be acceptable,” he said as he walked into the room Kirk had indicated to stow his belongings. Kirk smiled fondly as he leant against the door frame and watched as the Vulcan carefully removed each fastidiously folded item of clothing from his bag and placed them into a waiting chest of drawers.
Spock was dressed casually by his standards and Kirk couldn’t tear his eyes away. His first officer looked wonderful in his uniform but when he put on civilian clothing Kirk found it even harder to pretend he wasn’t looking. Today the Vulcan had donned black pants and boots and a form-fitting grey t-shirt that looked to be made of some sort of silk-like material. Kirk watched, mesmerised by the way the garment stretched over tight muscles as Spock, oblivious to the attention he was receiving, moved about the room.
Kirk could feel himself getting aroused and took a deep breath to try to calm down. If Spock had looked around at that moment he would have seen a look of steely determination settle over Kirk’s boyishly handsome face. If he was able to read his captain’s mind at that moment, he would be left with no doubt that Kirk would not rest until his plan of seduction had worked, until his friend became his lover.
‘Oh God,’ Kirk thought as visions of slowly stripping those clothes off the Vulcan danced across his mind, ‘how the hell can he have no idea what he does to me?’.
He cleared his throat and Spock looked at him questioningly. “I’ll just go, um, unpack,” he managed, gesturing in the direction of the bedroom in which he’d be sleeping. He gave a vague smile and began backing out of the room as Spock nodded in response, a quizzical look in his eyes at Kirk’s inexplicable distraction.
In the privacy of his cousin’s bedroom, Kirk flung himself onto the bed and lay there staring at the ceiling. ‘This has got to stop,’ he told himself sternly. ‘One way or another, I have to find out; and it has to be soon.’ He sighed as he rubbed his eyes. He’d fallen for Spock in a big way the moment he’d first clapped eyes on that lean frame; the first time his eyes had met the cool, measured gaze of his first officer. Over the year they’d served together it had only gotten worse.
He knew the Vulcan, who had always kept a polite distance from the rest of the Enterprise’s crew, maintaining his privacy at all times, had been surprised when the new captain had started to seek him out off duty - engaging him in companionable games of chess, surprisingly challenging work outs in the gym or simply in conversation - but the two had become firm friends. He found that his attraction to the Vulcan’s body was more than matched by his attraction to his mind and personality.
He had tried to persuade Spock to accompany him on leave before, but had met firm resistance. Vulcans apparently did not require a vacation in the sense that Humans did. To Spock, rest meant rest; either sleep or meditation. He failed to see how Kirk’s idea of leave - which generally consisted of clambering up the nearest mountain, racing into the nearest sea or, in complete contrast to his mainly physically draining pursuits, simply lying in the sun doing nothing, stretching his body out so the maximum of his skin was burnt - could possibly be described ‘restful’.
But this time Kirk had refused to take no for an answer. He had no idea whether there was the slightest chance Spock might be interested in more than friendship but he was determined to find out. The vacation would be a chance for them to spend some time together, just the two of them, away from the ship. He smiled. It was going to be great.
Spock emerged from the room that would be his home for the next few days at the same time Kirk came out of his. The Human grinned.
“You hungry?” he asked. At Spock’s nod, he turned and walked towards the kitchen area. “Ella, said she’d leave us a few supplies, until we can get something in.”
He started opening cupboards and peering inside. Finally reaching into one and pulling out several tins, an onion and a packet of dried spaghetti. “Pasta and sauce do you?” he asked, and Spock nodded once again.
The pair prepared the simple meal together. Once the pasta was cooked Kirk heaped it generously in two bowls he found in one of the kitchen cupboards and poured the freshly made tomato sauce over the top. It was slightly less spicy than he’d personally prefer but he’d laid off the dried chillies he’d seen in the cupboard in deference to Spock, remembering with chagrin the time a few months back when he’d persuaded his friend to try one of his favourite Mexican dishes only for it to send Spock dashing to the bathroom with as much dignity as he could muster while tears streamed uncontrollably from his eyes. Vulcans, it seemed, did not do ‘hot’. He grinned as he set the food on the table. “No chillies this time. I promise.”
Spock nodded as he reached for one of the chunky slices of bread he’d put on the table to go with the pasta dish. “I am, I admit, most relieved to hear it,” he said, solemnly. “I would prefer to avoid the slight adverse physiological reaction that particular ingredient prompted when I last indulged.”
Kirk snorted with laughter and Spock raised his eyebrows as he picked up his fork, his expression one that would have looked like innocent bewilderment to anyone who didn’t know him better.
The grin stayed on his as he tucked in. He knew he could see an echo of his own amusement in the other’s dark eyes. It was one of things he’d grown to really love about Spock - the way his subtle, deadpan humour would peek through the sombre persona when you least expected it and, Jim admitted to himself, the way he was one of the few who knew it was intentional. Others, he had noticed, if they picked up on the humour at all, would peer at the Vulcan for just a second before dismissing the very idea he might have been making a joke. Kirk treasured the way Spock would catch his eye at these moments; the spark of appreciative understanding that would be there, for them alone.
After their meal he suggested they go for a walk along the beach. According to the tide timetable pinned on a notice board in Ella’s kitchen, it was almost low tide. They walked down to the beach, and a large expanse of damp sand spread out in front of them as they headed towards the water before turning to walk along the waterside, just out of reach of where the waves broke on the shore.
‘So peaceful,’ Kirk thought, a feeling of contentment washing over him. If ever there was a romantic spot, this was it. He glanced to his side and opened his mouth to speak, wondering if Spock felt the same sense of peacefulness, only to realise the Vulcan wasn’t there. He whipped around quickly, swallowing the words he’d been about to speak. Spock was further back along the beach, crouching by one of the large rocks dotted across the sand. His back to Kirk, he was peering intently into a rock pool. Kirk sighed. This wasn’t exactly what he’d had in mind when he suggested they go for a stroll, but he guessed he should have expected it. You could take the first officer out of the ship but you could never take the scientist out of the science officer.
He started to trudge back along the beach. No doubt Spock had found some fascinating piece of seaweed he would have to examine in detail before they could move on. Come to think of it, he thought, his heart sinking slightly, as Spock hadn’t been to this part of Earth before, there would no doubt be countless life forms - flora or otherwise - to catch his attention. Then there was the uniquely Cornish geology, the area’s geography, its rich sociological history - the list of things likely to fascinate the Vulcan could go on and on.
As Kirk walked up behind his science officer, who was engrossed in what did, indeed, appear to be a piece of fairly innocuous looking dark green seaweed, he sighed again. ‘Perhaps,’ he pondered, as he looked down on the cap of shiny dark hair that he itched to run his fingers through. ‘Perhaps a walk wasn’t such a great idea after all’.
Spock found lots more things to study on the beach, from the looming formations of the high granite cliff faces to the tiniest of molluscs nestling in the nooks and crannies of the plentiful rock pools. Kirk found himself getting more and more frustrated. It wasn’t that he begrudged his friend having what was, for him, fun, but he had hoped the fun would be more the sort in which they both could share. He was having difficulty sustaining enthusiasm as Spock found yet another small, shelled creature at which to point the mini tricorder he’d produced - from where exactly about his person Jim wasn’t exactly sure - shortly after spotting the first piece of seaweed.
“This particular species of marine gastropod,” the science officer was saying, for what seemed to Kirk about the fifteenth time, “is, despite its relatively small size and deceptively harmless appearance, a voracious carnivore…”
Kirk finally snapped. “Spock, for God’s sake!” he exclaimed, causing the Vulcan to break off mid-sentence to look at him, with the slightly altered expression that Kirk recognised as his version of surprise. “Spock,” he continued in a more measured tone. “Look around you.”
The Vulcan’s eyes followed his outstretched arm as he swept it around to encompass the undoubtedly impressive sight of the sun beginning to slowly set, casting a glow of deep red, burnt orange and a thousand shades in between, across the blue/grey calmness of the water. His eyes returned to meet Kirk’s, asking the question without needing to speak.
“It’s beautiful, Spock,” Kirk said in response. “And you’ve had your head stuck in some rock pool or other ever since we got here!”
The little puzzled creases around Spock’s eyes deepened as he considered his captain’s words. He tilted his head to one side as his gaze returned once again to the sunset. “Indeed, Captain,” he intoned. “It is beautiful. But I fail to see the reason for your words. The beauty of the sunset is not diminished by my appreciation for the intricacies of nature that have allowed this whelk,” he held out a small spiral shell, “to develop into a tenacious scavenger perfectly suited to the natural habitat in which it now thrives.”
Kirk stared from his first officer’s face to the little shell in his hand and back again. “Oh, I give up,” he muttered under his breath. Spock gave him another questioning look and he raked his hand wearily through his hair. “Uh, I’m tired, Spock. I’m going to head back and leave you to carry on taking your readings in peace.”
Spock inclined his head slightly. “As you wish,” he said.
By the time Kirk was a few metres away and turned to look back, Spock was already peering into the rock pool again. The captain felt his irritation melt away as he watched the being he had come to love so dearly place the little be-shelled creature carefully back on the underwater shelf from where he had retrieved it, his reverence for life as clear in his dealings with what had to be one of Earth’s lowliest creatures as apparent as it would be if he was dealing with the most powerful being in the universe.
Kirk smiled fondly as he turned to head towards the cliff path that led back up to the chalet. Ok, so a romantic evening stroll on the beach wasn’t the way to go - too many distractions that he should’ve considered. He stuck his hands in the pockets of his pants and whistled as made his way up the steep slope. He smiled to himself. Tomorrow was another day and another opportunity.
The next morning Kirk woke feeling energised and ready for anything the day might throw at him. The ‘always prepared’ quality that ended up being ingrained into every Starfleet officer, showed no signs of deserting him just because he was on vacation. The stillness and the quality of the sunlight that streamed through a chink in the old-fashioned chequered curtains hanging in the bedroom windows told him it was fairly early and a quick check of the wall chrono confirmed it was just a little after 7am, local time.
He allowed himself the indulgence of stretching out fully on the bed, like a cat basking in the warmth of the summer sunshine, and pondered the day ahead. While he’d lain in bed last night, waiting until he heard the gentle click of the door catch telling him Spock had returned safely before he let himself fall into sleep, he’d thought about what they could do on the first full day of their leave. He’d decided that as a peaceful walk appeared to offer too much scope for distraction, it would be as well to try the opposite tack. Perhaps they needed something more energetic - something that would require them to concentrate on the task at hand, to stick together and, preferably, to be in closer contact than they were while he was walking along thinking he was talking to Spock only to find his friend had quietly disappeared into a cave in search of possible hidden sea creatures.
He could hear movement in the room outside his door. Spock was an habitual early riser and had likely been up since sunrise. Kirk swung his legs over the side of his bed and headed out into the living space. He could hear Spock in the kitchen and walked over to stand in the doorway, wearing just the shorts he had slept in. He leant against the door frame and stretched again as he scratched his tousled hair.
“Surfing,” he said loudly as Spock turned to look at him, his own morning greeting dying before it passed his lips.
“I beg your pardon, Captain?” he said.
“Surfing, Spock,” Kirk repeated. “It’ll be fun; just you, me, a couple of boards and the great white ocean. And call me Jim would you? We’re on vacation. Whaddya think?”
The look the Vulcan gave him was sceptical. “Certainly, Jim.”
Kirk peered at him. “Certainly what?” he asked. “Certainly you’ll call me Jim, or certainly you’ll go surfing with me?” Spock picked up a mug of coffee he’d prepared when he heard Kirk stirring, and passed it to him.
“Certainly I will call you Jim, should you desire it. I just have.” He paused. “What is surfing?”
Kirk took a grateful sip from the steaming mug of coffee and grinned. “How can you have spent all that time at the Academy, in San Francisco, and not know what surfing is?!” he exclaimed, knowing full well what the answer was likely to be as he pictured in his mind’s eye the studious Vulcan bent over his textbooks, ignoring the extra curricular activities going on amongst the other, mostly Human, StarFleet cadets.
Spock simply raised an eyebrow, apparently following his thought processes and deciding the question was one that did not require an answer.
Kirk smiled at the expression. “Surfing, Spock,” he continued, “is being at one with the waves. It’s about freedom, but also about control. “It’s fun!”
Spock looked at him wordlessly, the wariness on his face increasing with each of the enthusiastic pronouncements. Kirk stopped and quickly regrouped before continuing. “It’s just simple maths really - vectors and dynamics. You get the surfboard and your body at the right angle and in balance in relation to the waves and you’re away. You should be a natural.” He looked away and gave a carefully nonchalant shrug as he moved to sit at the kitchen table. “But if you don’t think you’ll be up to it…”
“I did not say that,” Spock said, more quickly than was probably deemed seemly for a Vulcan, and Kirk looked down to hide the triumphant smile he couldn’t quite stop from quirking the corners of his mouth.
After breakfasting on the surprisingly delicious wholemeal pancakes Spock had whipped up from more of the supplies left in the cupboards at the chalet, the two men found themselves standing outside a rickety shack that advertised itself in garish letters as ‘Pete’s Place’. The business, which had been there for as long as Kirk could remember, was a café, surf hire shop and meeting place all rolled into one.
The sun was struggling to peak out from behind the clouds, but it was warm enough. Kirk had already pulled on his wetsuit - left at his cousin’s home for just such a visit - up to the waist before they left, and held his newly hired board tucked comfortably under one naked arm. He glanced over at his friend.
Spock stood stiffly by his side, dressed in neat cream-coloured pants and a t-shirt that could easily have passed as the undershirt he normally wore on the ship to ward off the chill he felt at the Earth-normal temperature. He was holding the surf board gingerly at his side, giving it an occasional wary look that Kirk was sure would have caused McCoy to admonish him that it wasn’t likely to bite. The wetsuit he had just hired was folded carefully over the arm not holding the board.
“Come on then,” Kirk said, his cheeriness hiding the slight misgivings he was now feeling as he regarded his First’s uncomfortable posture. Maybe this wasn’t such a good plan either, he thought momentarily, but then shrugged it off. It was too late now, anyway. He strode off towards the beach, Spock following a pace behind him, looking about as at home as an Orion in a Catholic church.
When they got to the beach Kirk threw his board down onto the sand and starting pushing his arms into the top half of his wetsuit. He looked over at Spock, who was still holding his board as if it were some sort of distasteful object that he didn’t quite know how to be rid of.
“Can you zip me up?” he asked as he shrugged first one shoulder and then the other into the skin tight suit.
Spock laid his own board carefully on the sand and Kirk held his breath as he felt the Vulcan’s hand on his back, pressing the two sides of the wetsuit together so he could use the other hand to pull up the zip. He forced himself to breathe deeply and think of something other than what his mind was careering towards. If there was a less convenient time to get a raging hard on than while in close quarters to his extremely attractive, but so far completely unobtainable, science officer, than in the middle of a family beach while enclosed in tight-fitting neoprene, he couldn’t think of one right now.
The wetsuit on, he turned around to look at Spock. “Your turn,” he said, grinning. He fully expected Spock, who he had long held up in his mind as the very image of modesty and decorum, to turn and head for the covered changing area provided just down the beach and he nearly fell over in shock as the Vulcan calmly began to remove his clothes in the middle of the packed beach.
Captain James T Kirk, whose reputation of being able to seduce any being - male, female, human, alien, tentacles or no tentacles - had spread from the halls of StarFleet Academy around the many worlds of the Federation - found himself blushing like a teenager. He supposed modesty must be yet another of those Human traits Vulcans saw as illogical, but he didn’t know where to look. He risked a glance up just as Spock peeled off his pants, the t-shirt having already been discarded. He quickly lowered his eyes again as he found the restrictive neoprene suddenly feeling even tighter around the groin area than it had a moment before.
He took a deep breath as he stared at the sand, trying to ignore the movements beside him as Spock, his outer garments fully removed, pulled the wetsuit on over the shorts he’d worn under his pants. When he finally risked looking up again it was to see the Vulcan carefully folding his garments, before straightening and pulling the suit up over his arms. Kirk cleared his throat.
“Um, need a hand with the zip?” he managed to ask. At the Vulcan’s nod he moved over to him and managed to will down a physical reaction to their proximity as he pulled the fastener up to fully encase the slim but muscular torso in the protective suit.
The pair headed down towards the water. The waves were perfect, Kirk thought, not too big but not so small that it wasn’t worth bothering. There were plenty of other surfers already in the water, bobbing up and down as they sat on their boards, waiting for the next good wave to come towards them, their brightly coloured wetsuits dots of vibrancy against the deep blue of the water and the lighter hue of the sky beyond.
Spock still looked wary, even more so when they got to the wet sand at the water’s edge. Kirk grinned as he suddenly remembered standing here as a child, his toes curling into the sand against the sudden, somehow always unexpected, chill of the ocean. Growing up in Iowa, the cold of this sea always, however many times he visited Cornwall, made him feel a mixture of thrilled and horrified.
He recalled standing at the water’s edge the first time he was old enough to remember the visit, hoping to stay there for a while to acclimatise to the cold before getting anything other than his feet wet, without anyone noticing his misgivings. Ella had rushed past him in a whirl of youthful enthusiasm, laughing gleefully at her ‘farm boy’ cousin standing gingerly in the shallows as she flung herself into the waves. It was the last time he’d done anything other than run headlong at the water himself.
Now he found himself once again standing in the shallows, looking over as Spock stared down at his feet. He felt a pang of sympathy. He imagined that if the temperature of the Atlantic had come as a bit of a shock to an Iowa farm boy, it would be even more so to a being raised on a desert planet. Even with the booties he’d made sure they’d got with the wetsuits, the initial rush of the cold water flowing in between suit and skin was enough to take your breath away.
“Jim,” Spock said, still looking in disbelief at his neoprene-shod feet. “The ambient temperature of this water does not appear conducive to any sort of activity that even Humans would term as ‘fun’.”
Kirk laughed. “Look around you,” he replied. “There are little kids in the water who don’t even have wetsuits on. Surely if they can handle the ‘ambient temperature’, then so can you?!” Spock got a look on his face that McCoy would doubtless categorise as ‘huffy’.
“The children,” he said, fixing Kirk with a glare, “are Human and, as such, are unlikely to have considered the detrimental effects of immersing themselves in saline of a temperature likely to impair their bodily functions.”
As he spoke a small boy trotted past them, heading out of the water. His skinny frame was almost the colour of his pale blue swimming trunks and his teeth were audibly chattering. Spock glanced at the boy, then back at Kirk, and pointedly raised an eyebrow. Just then a young woman ran up to the water’s edge and smilingly gathered the boy up in a huge beach towel so that just a little tousled head peaked out. Kirk raised his own eyebrows right back at his friend.
“Look, just give it a go,” he said, “and if you go blue, or whatever colour it is that Vulcans go when they get cold, I promise I’ll find a big fluffy towel to wrap you up in…ok?”
He ran off into the water, board tucked firmly under his arm, without waiting for a response, leaving Spock staring after him.
When he was waist deep, Kirk held the board out beside him. It was firmly attached to his wrist by a Velcro tether, the design of which hadn’t changed in hundreds of years. He took a deep breath and immersed himself in the next wave, gasping as the cold water flooded into his wetsuit. He stood again and turned back to Spock, who was still standing in the shallows, looking askance at the very Human scenes of play in front of him.
“Come on, Spock,” he yelled. “It’s not so bad once you’re in.”
The Vulcan’s expression was dubious in the extreme but he resignedly started walking out into the water. He drew level with the captain just as a larger swell passed them just before breaking and Kirk stifled a grin at the way Spock’s eyes widened as the cold hit a part of his anatomy it hadn’t previously reached.
“Yeah, that bit’s always a shock,” he said, then continued without giving him a chance to respond. “Right,” he said. “It’s best if you duck down so the water can get in your suit and start soaking up your body heat; then it won’t be such a shock when you fall off the board for the first time.”
Spock carefully held the surfboard to his side, mirroring his earlier actions. Kirk could see the next wave was going to break earlier than the last one but just as he opened his mouth to warn him, Spock, obviously deciding it was best to just get it over with, ducked down in the water. Kirk winced as the wave crashed over the neat black hair. When the Vulcan emerged, gasping in shock, Kirk couldn’t help laughing. He looked like a really indignant seal.
Kirk had thought Spock would take to surfing, he really had. It was after all, as he’d said that morning, really all about vectors and dynamics. But Spock was unexpectedly awful - really, truly awful. Each time he tried to raise himself to a standing position on the board, listening carefully to Kirk’s shouted instructions, it shot out from under his feet and he flew into the water. Kirk couldn’t understand how someone usually so poised and elegant could have been transformed into a completely graceless mess of flailing limbs by the simple addition of water, but each time the Vulcan surfaced after yet another dunking, he looked more and more defeated, misery written all over his face.
‘Oh god,’ Kirk thought, ‘this was such a bad idea’. He watched as Spock attempted to stand once again. This time he somehow managed to pitch forward off the board, which flew up behind him and promptly crashed down on his head. Kirk winced in sympathy but Spock didn’t let out a sound, just righted himself and stood there looking at him balefully.
“Oh hell, Spock,” he said, finally admitting defeat. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“Well,” he said as they headed back up the beach, “maybe you just need some more practice..” his voice trailed off as he caught the look on his friend’s face, daring him to keep on talking, “…or, maybe not,” he finished under his breath. He decided that now maybe wasn’t the best time to bring up the fluffy towel idea again.
Kirk spent the rest of the day lying spread-eagled on a beach towel on the sand, soaking up what little there was of the sun. Spock had declined to join him. The Vulcan had suffered the indignity of being manhandled out of a wetsuit that Kirk, if he didn’t know it was impossible, could have sworn had shrunk in the water, but then stayed only long enough to impart a lecture about the dangers of exposure to the sun before announcing he had some reading he intended to do back at the chalet.
He’d set off back up the cliff path - holding the still wet surfboard out in front of him for all the world as if it was an unexploded bomb. Kirk sighed. He hadn’t even managed to get a word in edgewise during the anti-sun lecture to ask the Vulcan to help him get the lotion on his back.
‘Maybe it’s a good thing it isn’t that hot after all,’ he thought, as he allowed himself to drift off to sleep.
The first thing he was aware of as he slowly emerged from his slumber several hours later was the tightness across his shoulders. He groaned as he shifted into a sitting position in the blazing sunshine that had apparently managed to find its way through the clouds while he was sleeping. He squinted up at the sky to discover there was now not a cloud in sight. He experimentally lifted his arms out in front of him and then promptly dropped them as the pain across his shoulders increased.
‘Oh that’s great,’ he thought, ‘just great’. Spock was going to be smug in the extreme when he found out he’d not only ignored the ‘dangers of the sun’ lecture but had been foolish enough to fall asleep on his front with his largely unprotected back fully exposed to the elements.
Cursing the mercurial Cornish weather that meant you could find yourself drenched as the heavens opened in one minute and burnt to a crisp the next, he carefully shrugged on the t-shirt he’d brought with him. There was only one thing for it; he’d just have to make sure he stayed covered up when Spock was around - which was really not what he’d been planning - and that he avoided wincing every time he moved. The latter was not going to be easy, he admitted to himself as he tried to ignore the pain when he reached down to pick up his gear.
When he arrived back at the chalet after dropping the surfboard back at Pete’s Place, he was greeted by the smell of dinner being cooked. Spock looked up from where he was standing by the stove in the kitchen, neatly dressed in dark pants and a thick long-sleeved tunic that Kirk thought was a little over the top despite the changeable weather. It made him suddenly aware of what he must look like.
He felt more than a little bleary-eyed after his unscheduled nap in the sunshine, his bare feet were coated in sand, his hair was no doubt standing up on end after being allowed to dry untamed in the open air and his white t-shirt was smeared with luminous pink wax from the surfboard he’d just carried back to the hire shop.
“I guess I need to go clean up,” he said, grinning sheepishly. Spock looked him up and down and nodded.
“Yes,” he agreed amiably, before turning back to whatever he was cooking.
Kirk sighed as he headed off to the bathroom. If ‘romantic’ walks on the beach and ‘fun’ in the surf weren’t going to win over the Vulcan, he thought, then turning up looking like something the cat dragged in wasn’t likely to do the trick either.
He wracked his brain to come up with a better idea as he undressed and absently set the shower to the temperature he always favoured, only to barely supress a yowl of pain as he stepped in and the steaming water cascaded over his sunburnt skin. He leapt out again, puching the control panel to turn the temperature down, taking a deep breath before stepping back in. He closed his eyes as the now barely warm water soothed his mistreated skin. He had a banging headache and he tipped his face up into the water to try to wash it away.
When he came out of the bathroom he went into Ella’s room and pulled on a clean pair of pants and a nice, crisp, clean shirt. The headache was making him a little light-headed and, as he walked out of the bedroom and made his way through the living room to join Spock in the kitchen, he hoped some food would make him feel better. The Vulcan was just dishing up what looked to be a hearty vegetable stew. He must have gone for some provisions while he himself was sleeping on the beach, Kirk realised. He sat down at the table and picked up the spoon Spock had placed next to his bowl of stew.
“This looks good,” he said, although in fact, it seemed to be strangely out of focus, and his voice sounded weird to his own ears. He frowned and looked up at Spock, who seemed to be looking rather concerned, though in a similarly blurry way. He gave his head a little shake and determinedly scooped a portion of the stew into his mouth. He was not going to further muck up this vacation by being ill. As soon as the rich taste of the food filled his mouth, he knew he’d misjudged . His stomach lurched alarmingly and he leapt to his feet, knocking over the chair behind him in his haste to get to the bathroom.
‘Oh God, can this get any worse?’ he thought several minutes later, his throbbing head resting against the edge of the can as his now empty stomach still churned. Spock was standing beside him and he peered up as his friend reached out to put a hand on his shoulder. He couldn’t help it - he winced at the touch. A brief flicker of something that looked like distress flitted across the Vulcan’s face before his expression settled into one of suspicion.
“Please remove your shirt,” he requested, and Kirk somehow managed to find a weak smile.
“I thought you’d never ask,” he murmered through his disorientation.
Spock folded his arms across his chest. “Jim…” he said, the warning tone clear in his voice.
The captain of the Enterprise just managed to lift his head from its inauspicious resting place and to shift from a kneeling to sitting position. His fingers worked automatically to unbutton his shirt and he eased it back off shoulders that seemed to be giving off nearly as much heat as the sun had earlier. He was still finding it nearly impossible to focus.
Spock was speaking but his voice was muffled and seemed to be coming from a long way away. Kirk heard the odd word - ‘nausea’, ‘disorientation’, ‘temperature’ and ‘heatstroke’ were in there, as were a good number of ‘illogicals’ - but he was finding it hard to concentrate. Then the Vulcan’s hands were gently stroking his sore skin, rubbing in some sort of lotion. He heard a giggle from somewhere and hazily wondered why Spock would make such a sound before registering that it was him; which just made him giggle some more.
"Fail to see the humour,’ he heard dimly, then he was being picked up in strong arms and carried out of the bathroom.
Nice Spock,” he heard himself saying, “nice hands, nice arms…touch any time.” He snuggled into the warm body holding him close.
As he gradually came back to awareness, Kirk wondered where he was for a moment, before remembering the chalet, his vacation with Spock.
‘Oh God, Spock,’ he thought. He suppressed a groan and turned his head carefully to one side on the pillow. The Vucan was sitting in a chair by his bedside, fast asleep. He looked so sweet when he was sleeping, Kirk thought; innocent and younger.
Moving carefully so as not to disturb the other’s rest, he attempted to sit up, cataloguing his body’s reactions as he did so. His shoulders were still hot and tight and he felt weak and very hungry, but he could see straight and the headache and strange feeling of not really being in his body had gone. Spock shifted in his chair and Kirk looked over to see a pair of brown eyes fixed on his, managing to look concerned and reproachful at the same time. Spock opened his mouth to speak but closed it again when the captain held up a hand to stall him.
“I know,” Kirk said, “you don’t have to say it. I was a total idiot and I brought this all on myself. I should’ve listened to you.”
Spock got up from the chair. “I can only assume you are still disorientated and are confusing me with Dr. McCoy,” he said. “I certainly had no intention of referring to you as a ‘total idiot’ or of being presumptuous enough to insist that you always follow my advice.” He tilted his head to one side, “Although,” he added, “on this occasion it would have been in your best interests to do so. I merely thought to offer you some breakfast.”
Kirk smiled up at him. “Of course you did, Spock,” he said fondly, “and I’m starving.” The feeling of fondness that washed over him at the Vulcan’s kindness in avoiding the ‘I told you so’ statement he was perfectly entitled to offer, suddenly reminded him of the previous evening in the bathroom when, even through the haze he’d seen the humour in finally having Spock stroking his naked skin when he was in nowhere near a fit state to enjoy it. He gulped. What had he said? He was fairly sure there was something about liking his soft hands. Had he really told Spock he could touch him any time? The Vulcan was heading towards the door, presumably intending to make good on his offer of preparing breakfast.
“Um, Spock?” he said, the words coming out before he’d really had a chance to consider what he was going to say. The Vulcan turned back to look at him. “About what I said in the bathroom..” his voice trailed off and Spock took pity on him.
“There is no need to refer to it, Jim,” he said. “You were ill and did not know what you were saying.” He turned back towards the door. “I will bring your breakfast to you.”
Left alone, Kirk slumped back against his pillows. He didn’t know whether to be relieved the words spoken through his delerium weren’t being held against him, or annoyed that Spock obviously had no idea he’d actually meant them, fever or not, and that he’d just missed a chance to tell him so. He touched his fingers to his forehead, dimly remembering a soothing touch on his brow the previous evening. Spock must have stayed by his side all night.
Despite the Vulcan’s assertion he would bring him breakfast in his room, Kirk forced himself to give up the downy comfort of the bed. He was damned if he was going to let his own stupidity get in the way of his determination to salvage the rest of what he was beginning to think of as ‘the vacation from hell’. He would find something Spock would enjoy doing even if it killed him, he vowed to himself. Although, he thought ruefully, maybe he should re-phrase that silent promise, given the way things were turning out so far.
He decided to err on the side of caution this time and suggested a day of sightseeing. It wouldn’t exactly allow them much alone time but at this point, he decided, he’d settle for just a quiet day when nothing went wrong.
The two friends decided to visit the nearby town of St Ives, the one with the bay they could see across from the beach near the chalet. Kirk had been there years before and remembered it as every bit as charming as it looked from across the water. They hired an aircar from a place just a few minutes walk from the chalet, and were at their destination in less than 30 minutes. Kirk felt much better with some food inside him and began to relax and enjoy himself as they strolled along the quaintly narrow and higgledy piggledy streets. The town was obviously geared up for the tourist industry but it was also, just as clearly, a centre where local artists converged. Every other shop seemed to be an art gallery.
“Look,” he said, pointing at a painting in the window display of one. “Doesn’t that look like the same style as that one Ella has in the chalet? The one just to the side as you go in the door.” Spock went over for a closer look.
“Indeed,” he said, reading the signature in the corner of the canvas. “It is by the same artist.”
Kirk smiled to himself. He might have known that Spock would have noticed that detail of their surroundings back at the chalet. Suddenly he an idea and grabbed Spock’s arm. “Let’s go in,” he said, pulling the Vulcan towards the shop.
He wanted to buy his cousin a painting to say thank you for the loan of the chalet and what better choice than another work by an artist she obviously liked. Ella had been a good friend to him over the years. They didn’t see each other often but when they did they did they had an enormous amount of fun. He felt relaxed and comfortable in her company. As children they’d kept in touch between visits, something they’d continued to do into adulthood, when his career had taken him even further away from Cornwall than Iowa had seemed when he was a boy. Ella was the only one he’d confided in about his feelings for Spock, although he was pretty sure some of his senior officers on board the ship were half way to figuring it out, and she’d given him the idea of taking some vacation time with his First.
Once he’d picked out the work he believed Ella would like best - a simple beach scene that he thought was beautiful and restful to look at, and Spock considered showed ‘admirable brushwork’, he handed over his credit chip and arranged to have it framed while they looked around the rest of the town. They could call back and pick it up when they decided to head back to the chalet.
Outside the shop he turned to his companion. “How about some lunch?” he suggested brightly, his illness the night before long forgotten. “You can’t come to Cornwall without trying a Cornish pasty!” Spock, once he’d explained what a pasty was and assured him there were vegetarian options available, still did not look convinced, but he gamely followed as Kirk headed off in the direction he vaguely remembered as leading to the café that served up the best pasties in town. He was pleased to find the café was still there and still exactly as he remembered it. He was even more pleased he remembered that eating outside was probably not a good option in St Ives, despite the number of people who were doing just that.
“The seagulls are really tame,” he explained when Spock questioned the reason he was determined not to join the tourists eating on the nearby beach, “and they’re wise to how much easier it is to steal food off people than to catch fish. If they see you eating there’s a good chance they’ll swoop down and grab the food right out of your hand, giving you a nasty peck in the process.”
“In that case,” Spock said hastily, clearly alarmed at the thought of being set upon by a large gull, “it would seem there is considerable merit in deciding to eat indoors.”
The café was fairly busy but Kirk managed to nab a table for two in the corner and left Spock sitting there while he went to order their food. He came back with a plate in each hand. The pasties sitting on the crockery were so large they were virtually hanging over the sides of the crockery. Spock’s eyes widened and Kirk grinned as he placed the plates on the table.
“I do not seem to have any utensils with which to eat…” Spock began, stopping abruptly as Kirk picked up his pasty in his hands and took a big bite.
“Umm,” he sighed contentedly, his mouth full of pastry, and gravy-soaked beef and vegetables. He swallowed. “This is delicious,” he said. Spock looked from the captain to the pasty in front of him and back up again. Kirk laughed. “You’re supposed to eat it with your hands, Spock,” he said, “otherwise people will think you’re a tourist.”
Spock raised an eyebrow. “I would imagine most people would be quite capable of surmising that I, at least, am a tourist, without recourse to examining the method by which I consume my lunch,” he replied, but nevertheless picked up the pasty - Kirk had picked out a vegetable and cheese one for him - and took a careful bite.
“Well,” Kirk said as the Vulcan chewed and swallowed his first mouthful. “What do you think?” Spock peered at the pasty as if it were some particularly fascinating lab specimen.
“Interesting,” he said. “I would imagine the nutritional benefit provided by the vegetables in the filling is largely outweighed by the high calorific value of the cheese and the outside covering.”
Kirk snorted. Sometimes, just sometimes, he could see why Bones found the Vulcan so frustrating. However, despite his words, Spock finished every last crumb of his meal and Kirk smirked at him.
“Ice cream?” he suggested.
They got back to the chalet just after 5 o’clock in the afternoon, Kirk’s gift for Ella wrapped up safely on the back seat of the air car. He felt relaxed and happy. It had been a good day. After lunch the two friends had spent an enjoyable few hours looking around the Tate gallery, which stood close to the seafront, and had then gone on a tour of the lifeboat station and seafarers museum.
Kirk had been entranced by the ocean since he was a small boy and he was fascinated to learn about the shipwrecks of the past and the brave souls who had been willing to put their own lives on the line to try to save the people caught up in them. Spock seemed just as interested and Kirk was pleased he’d managed to get this day right. Hopefully the rest of the vacation would go as smoothly, he thought, starting with tonight. He was thinking a nice restaurant, candlelight, music…the works.
As he manoeuvred the aircar to the ground back at their temporary home, musing happily on his plans for the evening, the chalet door flew open and two small figures burst out and ran out towards them in a blur of excited arm-waving and yelling.
“Your cousin’s children, I assume?” Spock said as he moved to get out of the aircar. Kirk briefly closed his eyes and took a deep breath before following suit. The little boys had stopped in their tracks and were staring at the Vulcan, their eyes wide. Kirk wasn’t sure if their rapt attention was because Spock was an alien, or simply because he was a stranger. They seemed to be eyeing him nearly as warily. It had only been just over a year since he’d seen them. He’d visited to say goodbye just before he took command of the Enterprise. But, he guessed, a year was a long time when you were six, or three. He swallowed his disappointment at this disruption to their plans. It was great to see them, he thought. They’d both grown so much since he’d last seen them. Little Kym had lost his toddler puppy fat and Jake looked so grown up. He walked up and knelt down in front of them, his arms outstretched.
“So, how’re my future shipmates?” he asked, grinning widely. “Gotta hug for your cousin Jim?”
The older boy abandoned the shyness as quickly as it had overtaken him and propelled himself into Kirk’s arms, but the younger one still hung back. Kirk could see by the look on his face that he didn’t want to miss out, but he was too unsure of this almost stranger to move forward. He winked at him and the boy smiled quickly before turning and running back towards the still open door of the chalet. Kirk looked after him to see Ella appear in the doorway. He stood and took Jake’s hand before walking over towards her, Spock following behind. Ella, Kym now peering out from behind her legs, mouthed ‘sorry’ at him as he approached. When they got to the door Ella turned to her eldest son.
“Jakey, take your brother inside to wash up for dinner, sweetheart,” she said. Jake looked up at her and opened his mouth to argue, then promptly closed it again as she fixed him with a stare that he obviously knew indicated she meant business. He grabbed Kym’s hand and pulled him into the house and his mother turned to fix a warm smile on the two StarFleet officers.
“Hi,” she said, tucking a strand of her flyaway brown hair behind her ear as she spoke. “I’m really, really sorry to interrupt your vacation like this. I did try to call…”. Kirk cut her off by enveloping her in a hug.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said as he lifted his slightly-built cousin off the ground as easily as if she were a child. “It’s great to see you.” He kissed her cheek as he set her back on the ground and stepped back, turning to indicate his first officer, who was standing to one side, observing the reunion.
“Ella, this is my friend, Spock. Spock, my cousin Ella.” Spock inclined his head in greeting as she turned to look at him.
“A pleasure to meet you,” the Vulcan said formally. “And you,” she said enthusiastically in return, “I’ve heard loads about you.”
Spock looked at Kirk and raised an eyebrow. “Indeed,” he replied. Kirk felt his heart sink as his cousin continued.
"Oh yes,” she said. “Jim talks about you all the time. All good, of course.”
She gestured to Spock to lead the way into the chalet, fixing his back with a speculative look as he moved past them before turning back to Kirk and raising her eyebrows.
‘Ooh, cute,’ she mouthed, and he shot her a look he intended as a warning but, he feared, came out more like a silent plea for mercy.
“It’s only for one night,” Ella explained as she laid the table for dinner. “Then we’re heading off to stay with one of my old school friends, so we’ll be out of your hair.” She grinned apologetically at her cousin. “You know me, Jim, best laid plans and all that!”
Kirk sighed, he was certainly familiar with her ‘best laid plans’, which, more often than not, could only very loosely be described as ‘plans’ and even more rarely as ‘best laid’. “So, what happened?” he asked, not sure if he really wanted to hear the answer.
“Mummy doesn’t like Robbie any more,” came the answer from behind him and he turned to see the two boys standing in the doorway. They walked over to the table and hoisted themselves up onto a couple of chairs.
“Jake!” Ella exclaimed, “that’s not true.” She turned to the two men, looking slightly pinker than before. “It’s really not that big a deal,” she said but got interrupted before she could explain.
“The aircar got broked and Mummy lost my Tigger,” Kym piped up, fixing his mother with a baleful stare.
“Enough already!” Ella said. “Jake, I love Uncle Robbie,” she added firmly, looking pointedly from one boy to the other. “You always love your brother, even if you argue sometimes. Kym, Tigger must be in one of the bags somewhere and the aircar is broken not broked, and will be fixed by the morning.” She took a deep breath and smiled at Kirk and Spock. “Juice?” she asked.
Dinner was not exactly the romantic interlude Kirk had hoped for. Jake kept firing excited questions at him, wanting to know all about the monsters he’d seen and the baddies he’d defeated, cheerfully ignoring his mother’s assertions that she was sure not all Klingons were bad. Kirk wasn’t entirely convinced of that himself but decided, in the interests of raising a child to be open minded about other cultures, and understanding that the world was black and white when you were six-years-old, that it was best to keep his mouth shut. Spock, it seemed, felt no such compunction.
“While it may be true that the Klingons most often encountered by the Federation are warlike in the extreme,” he said to the boy. “There must also, of necessity, be Klingon agricultural workers, scientists and teachers who are presumably less bellicose in their tendencies than those of their race who choose a military career.”
Jake stared at him for a moment, speechless for the first time since he’d come back into the room, then turned back to Kirk.
“But you’d still phaser them, right?” he said. Kirk didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Kym, always the quieter of the two brothers, said little while Jake chattered through the meal. But as they were finishing he suddenly reached over to towards Spock, who was sitting next to him. He tugged on the Vulcan’s sleeve and Spock turned to look at him.
“My Tigger has pointy ears,” the little boy said mournfully.
After he and Spock helped Ella clear the table, Kirk went out to retrieve his gift from the aircar. When he came back into the chalet his cousin was nowhere in sight. Spock was sitting in an armchair with Jake, who was building a model of what looked like a Constitution-class Starship, a look of intense concentration on his face, at his feet. Kym was curled up in the Vulcan’s lap, little fingers clutching the front of his tunic. Kirk stared at the unlikely sight.
“It would appear,” Spock said at the questioning look, “that in the absence of his ‘Tigger’, I am an appropriate substitute.” Kirk nodded weakly. “My ears,” Spock clarified, helpfully.
“Found him!” Ella proclaimed triumphantly as she emerged from the boys’ room, waving a dogeared, rather chewed looking stuffed toy in the air. Kym immediately leapt down from Spock’s lap and ran to reclaim his beloved Tigger, glee written all over his face. Kirk wondered whether to mention the marks his sticky little fingers had left on the Vulcan’s tunic, but figured that discretion was the better part of valour in this case. Ella gathered up the boys with her eyes.
“Come on,” she said. “It’s getting late and it’s been a long day. Time for a bath and bed.” The children followed her, Jake grumbling about not being allowed to finish his model, Kym grinning in delight and apparently filling in Tigger on what he’d missed while buried at the bottom of a travel bag.
When they’d left the room Kirk turned to Spock with a wry smile. “I’m sorry about this,” he said. “It wasn’t quite what I had in mind for our vacation.” Spock returned the smile with that slight crinkle he got around his eyes.
“Do not concern yourself, Jim,” he replied. “Your cousin and her children are quite…” he paused, seemingly searching for the right word, “…charming,” he finally settled on. Kirk’s smile widened into a knowing grin.
“Yeah, they are,” he agreed, “but I’m glad they’re only here for one night as well.” His smile faded to be replaced by a look of concern when Spock suddenly sneezed. Kirk didn’t think he’d ever heard his friend sneeze before - if he’d thought about it, he wouldn’t have supposed Vulcans did sneeze. It seemed rather too undignified. Judging by the look on Spock’s face he was just as surprised. “Are you all right?” Kirk asked.
“I believe I require meditation,” the Vulcan answered, “If you will excuse me, Jim.” He headed off towards the spare bedroom. Kirk sighed. He was willing to bet that, rather than meditation, what Spock needed was to be tucked up in bed with one of the old-fashioned hot water bottles he’d spotted in the bathroom. He felt his hopes for their remaining two days on Earth rapidly fading.
When Ella returned from settling the boys in the bedroom she’d informed him they’d refused to give up sharing, despite their frequent arguments, Kirk explained Spock’s absence before handing over the parcel containing the painting. His cousin squealed in delight and threw her arms around him when she saw what it was.
“Thank you so much,” she exclaimed. “He’s my favourite artist.” Kirk smiled back at her. He couldn’t regret having some unexpected time with her, even if it did interfere with his plans to seduce a certain, now rather snivelly, Vulcan. “So…” Ella was saying, nodding towards the closed door of the spare room as she took down one of the prints adorning the chalet wall to replace it with his gift. “How’s it going?” Kirk sat down heavily in the armchair Spock had not long vacated.
“It’s not,” he answered. “Everything’s been going wrong. I still haven’t talked to him about anything and I still have no idea how he might react.” He put his head in his hands and groaned. “After these few days he probably thinks I’m a total idiot and will never want to spend any time with me again, let alone consider a relationship with me!”
Ella sat down in the chair next to his. “Oh come on, Jim,” she said. “It can’t be that bad! Tell me exactly what’s happened so far and we’ll come up with a plan.” Kirk wasn’t convinced that following a plan Ella helped formulate was ever going to be wise, but he was starting to get desperate so he filled her in on the events of the past few days.
“Jeez, Jim,” she said when he’d finished. “You love this guy, right?”
Kirk let out an explosive breath. “Yes! of course I do,” he replied, certain of that if nothing else.
Ella shook her head exasperatedly at him. “But so far all you’ve managed to do is half drown him, throw up on him and give him a stinking cold?”
Kirk glared at her. “He didn’t half drown and I didn’t throw up on him, just…near him.”
Ella looked at him sympathetically and reached over to pat his leg. “Have you considered just telling him?” she asked.
Kirk sighed. “Yes, of course I have,” he replied, “but I wanted to pick the right moment and I, wrongly as it turns out, thought a nice, relaxing vacation away from the ship might provide a good moment.”
Also, he admitted to himself, he’d hoped to get some clue to how the Vulcan might react to the news his captain was in love with him if they were both away from the ship’s routine, from their usual duties. He knew Spock regarded him as a good friend, had let him into his life as he had no other, but he really didn’t know if he would be interested in more.
“I guess I’m nervous,” he finally admitted. It was hard for him to say. He wasn’t used to feeling so out of control of a situation. “I wanted to be alone with him to see if I could figure out how he feels about me.”
Ella sighed. “Jim, he’s Vulcan. I think you’re just going to have to ask him.”
“Ask me what?” said a voice, coming from behind them.
Kirk and Ella both whipped their heads around. The Vulcan was standing in the doorway, his curious regard fixed firmly on Kirk. Ella quickly jumped to her feet.
“Uh, I’m shattered all of a sudden,” she gabbled nervously. “I think I’ll head for bed.” She flashed an unconvincing smile at Kirk. “You don’t mind if I take my room back, Jim, do you?” She continued, as she started backing towards the bedroom. “I’ll uh, I’ll leave you guys to, um, um…share.”
The door closed behind her and Kirk slowly looked up to meet the pair of brown eyes that he knew were still fixed on him, their owner waiting for an answer. Then Spock broke the tension of the moment with another loud sneeze and Kirk got up and rushed over.
“Never mind,” he said. “I’ll explain in the morning. Right now you need to be in bed, mister, before that cold starts getting any worse.”
Despite the earliness of the hour, Spock allowed himself to be shoed into the bedroom. “Vulcans do not get colds,” he said once they were inside.
“Right,” Kirk said, relieved his friend had taken up the change of subject. He didn’t think he’d heard any more than Ella’s last sentence. “I suppose they don’t sneeze either?” he added.
Spock didn’t answer, just started undressing. Kirk looked nervously at the one bed in the room then at the floor, anywhere but at the Vulcan flesh slowly being revealed in front of him as Spock removed first his tunic then his undershirt.
“Jim,” Spock said, and Kirk forced himself to look up. He didn’t usually embarrass easily but the sight of Spock’s naked chest combined with the shock to his nerves of the narrow miss in the living room was enough, even for him. He felt himself going red and knew that his companion couldn’t fail to notice. “Is there something wrong?” Spock continued.
“No,” Kirk replied. “No, everything’s fine. Look, you have the bed, I’ll take the couch, let you get a good night’s sleep.”
Spock frowned slightly. “There is no need,” he said, gesturing towards the bed. “This bed is more than large enough to comfortably accommodate both of us,” he raised one eyebrow as he looked at Kirk. “Unless,” he continued, “you do not wish to sleep with me?”
Kirk gulped. He couldn’t mean that the way it sounded. Could he? He stared at the Vulcan. Spock looked back at him, his gaze steady.
“Ask me what, Jim?” he said quietly. Kirk moved forward until he was close enough to touch him. He took a deep breath and reached out his hand. He trailed his fingers slowly down the beautiful, green-tinged skin of his chest, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on the other’s. It was a wordless question. Spock answered just as silently by reaching out his own hand to gently stroke his face. Kirk closed his eyes. This was utter bliss.
Suddenly there was a crash and the door flew open. Kirk jumped feet and Spock leapt backwards as if he’d been burnt. A sorry looking little figure in red pyjamas stood in the doorway.
“I’ve lost my Tigger,” he wailed.
The two Starfleet officers looked at him, unsure what to do with a small, crying child who, despite his assertion, was holding his precious stuffed toy in one hand. To the relief of both, Ella quickly came bowling out of her own bedroom and raced over to scoop up her son.
“It’s all right, darling, mummy’s here. It was just a bad dream,” she said, holding the child close as his sobs began to subside. She looked over his shoulder towards the two men. “I’m sorry,” she said. “He has nightmares sometimes…and sleepwalks.”
She looked from Kirk to Spock, taking in the latter’s state of semi-undress and the former’s still red glow. “Oh,” she said, going slightly pink herself, “you were, um, well, I guess I’ll just, uh…leave you to it!” she finished brightly, heading towards the boys’ room, still hugging the now quiet Kym.
Kirk looked at his ‘oh so nearly’ lover and sighed. There was no way he could enjoy any sort of sexual assignation, however much he wanted to - and he wanted to more than he’d ever wanted anything in his life - if they could get interrupted at any moment by a sleepwalking child.
“I guess I’ll go sleep on the couch,” he said resignedly.
“Indeed,” Spock agreed, offering no argument this time.
The couch in Ella’s lounge was, Kirk soon discovered, far more comfortable to sit on than to attempt to sleep on. It felt like he’d only just drifted off when he woke with an oomph of exploding breath as what felt like a couple of Gorn landed on his belly. On closer examination, it was proved to be two small, but surprisingly heavy, boys. He peered up at the two excited faces looking down at him.
“We’re going to see Max and Charlie, we’re going to see Max and Charlie,” they were chanting.
‘It’s too early for this,’ Kirk thought. “Who?” he said out loud.
“My friend’s Labradors,” Ella answered, emerging from her bedroom. “Boys!” she yelled when she saw where they were sitting. “Get off Jim and go get dressed.” As they ran off, still chanting, she came over and perched on the edge of the sofa next to her cousin. She reached over and fondly ruffled his hair.
“So, you asked him, huh?” she said, smiling. Kirk grinned back at her, the answer obvious in the happiness he was sure was radiating from his body, despite his tiredness. She kissed him on the cheek.
“We’re heading off as soon as they’re dressed,” she added. “I have a feeling the second part of your stay might be an improvement on the first.”
After breakfast Kirk took the hired aircar and dropped Ella and the boys at the nearest public terminal, their own car having not been fixed as promised, before dropping the hire vehicle back to its owners. He walked back to the chalet where Spock was waiting for him in the living room. Kirk smiled at him.
"Do you wanna hear my next idea for having fun?” he asked. Spock actually rolled his eyes and Kirk laughed delightedly. “It’s a better one, I promise,” he told him.
The Vulcan looked at him, raising his eyebrows. “Does it involve any type of watersports?” he asked.
Kirk almost did a double take. Was that a joke? ‘Nah,’ he told himself, Spock wouldn’t know what that term could mean to Humans, would he? He peered suspiciously at the Vulcan. He looked the picture of innocence, but there was a glint in his eyes. Kirk grinned widely; two could play at that game.
“It’s not something I’m really into, commander,” he said, his tone low and teasing, “but if you really want to…” he let his voice tail off.
Spock cleared his throat. “I would be open to other suggestions,” he replied.
Kirk wanted nothing more than to just reach out and grab him, but he had to be sure it was what they both wanted. “You heard everything I said to Ella last night, didn’t you?” he asked.
Spock looked briefly downwards. “Most of it,” he admitted. “Forgive me, Jim, it was not my intention to eavesdrop. Vulcan hearing is far more sensitive than that of Humans.”
Kirk nodded. Of course. He should’ve remembered. “So you know I’m serious about this, then?” He took a deep breath. “You know…” he was cut off mid-sentence as a pair of soft Vulcan lips captured his own.
‘Oh God,’ Kirk thought, ‘I’ve died and gone to Heaven’. Spock was doing the most amazing things to his mouth and he had never been so turned on. He felt light-headed, and all they were doing was kissing. Spock was placing a series of sweet kisses on his lips, starting with one corner then the other before moving to the centre.
Kirk closed his eyes, hardly daring to move in case he shattered the magic of this moment. He caught his breath as he felt a hotter than Human tongue brush along his lower lip in a gentle question. In response he opened his mouth in an invitation for the other to deepen the kiss. Spock obliged, moving closer and wrapping his arms around him, as his tongue caressed the inside of his mouth.
Kirk felt the nature of the kiss changing. What had been gentle and sweet was deepening into something more passionate. He let out a moan as their tongues danced between them, twisting around each other as if they wanted to taste as much as they possibly could. His vocal appreciation seemed to further enflame the Vulcan who roughly grabbed his ass and pulled him closer. Kirk let out a gasp as he felt his own hardness matched by Spock’s.
He thrust up against him and it was the Vulcan’s turn to let out a low moan. A jolt of desire shot through Kirk at that noise. The thought that it was he who had provoked that helpless sound of pleasure from the usually so controlled Vulcan was nearly enough to send him right over the edge there and then.
He pulled back, breaking the connection between their lips and resting his head on Spock’s shoulder, breathing heavily. The Vulcan seemed to understand, just holding him for a few moments while he drew back some semblance of control.
“You do not need to hold back,” Spock said softly. Kirk lifted his head from its resting place and Spock took the opportunity to move his own head down to kiss his neck.
Kirk groaned again. “God, Spock,” he said, starting slightly at the delicious nip of teeth against the soft skin just below his ear. “I’ve been lusting after you for a year,” he managed to get out. “If I don’t hold back, I’m gonna come in my pants!”
Spock pulled back from the close attention he’d been paying to his neck and met his gaze. Kirk shifted uncomfortably, embarrassed he’d gotten so turned on so quickly. His eyes widened in surprise as Spock smiled at him. He’d never thought to see such a loving expression on the austere features, and he felt a sudden rush of love flow through him, mixing with the heady desire, as he realised he was the only one who would ever see that look.
“Perhaps,” Spock said, reaching down and, in a gesture that made Kirk moan even more, using one finger to stroke the length of his cock through his pants. “Perhaps it would be efficacious if we were to remove this particular item of clothing.”
If you’d asked him yesterday, Kirk would have laughed at the suggestion he could be turned on by any sentence that included the word ‘efficacious’ but now he doubted if he would ever be able to hear that word again without thinking of the moment his first officer slid down his body and knelt in front of him as he trembled with desire.
Spock reached to free the catch on the front of his pants. Kirk held his breath as the Vulcan hooked his hands in the sides of the pants and lowered them and the briefs underneath in one move. The sense of anticipation was driving Kirk wild and Spock seemed to be very aware of what he was doing to him as he reached out to caress his balls. His face was so close, Kirk could feel hot breath against his throbbing erection. It was almost painful.
“Spock, please…” he said, and immediately felt his penis engulfed in the hotter than Human wetness of Spock’s mouth. He was coming almost from the first moment. He looked down to see a pair of brown eyes looking up at him as he sucked him off. They were lit with a wanton passion that was more than he’d ever imagined. It was all he could take and he cried out as he shot his seed into that welcoming home.
Spock stayed keeling in front of him, holding his hips and resting his head against his belly, as he shook with the force of his orgasm. He rested for a moment and then let out a soft chuckle.
“Do you like my latest idea of fun, Spock?” he asked, stoking the silky black head that rested against him.
The Vulcan looked up at him. “I believe it to have rather more merit than some of your previous ideas, sir,” he replied solemnly, his serious tone completely belying the fact that he’d just given his captain the sexiest blow job of his life. “However,” he continued, “I do have some ideas of my own.”
Kirk laughed as he reached down to haul him up into a standing position. “Is that your way of saying ‘my turn’?” he asked.
Spock inclined his head slightly. “It would seem only fair,” he agreed.
When Kirk woke up the following morning it was to find a smile already on his face. Spock was pressed tightly against him, one arm slung over his chest, still fast asleep. Under the covers their legs were twined closely together. He didn’t think he’d ever want to sleep any other way from now on. After that amazing blow job yesterday, Spock had taken his hand and led him into the bedroom, where he’d discovered that the taste of Vulcan semen might just be one of his favourite flavours.
The whole day had passed in a blur of love making and talking - the kind of talking that you only had with someone you loved as dearly as he loved Spock, he thought. Even food had been forgotten unless, he smiled at the memory, you were talking about delicious whipped cream being licked from an even more delicious body. Then, just as he was about to admit he’d have to eat before he keeled over, a delivery driver had turned up with a picnic hamper packed with all the makings of that romantic meal for two they’d never got around to having.
“Dear Jim and Spock. Enjoy. Love Ella, Jake and Kym,” the card said.
Kirk sighed contentedly and snuggled against his lover, who stirred and made a little snuffling sound. Kirk looked at him in amusement, then frowned. He didn’t know if little snuffling sounds were normal for Vulcans, or if the threatened cold he’d forgotten all about in the light of yesterday’s events, had finally arrived. Spock opened his eyes and looked up at him.
“Good morning, Kirk said. “Are you feeling ok? You made a snuffling noise that sounded a bit like that cold might be getting worse.”
Spock somehow managed the quite difficult task of looking both affronted and dignified while curled up in bed with his commanding officer. “I am fine, Jim,” he insisted. “As I said yesterday, Vulcans do not get colds.” He paused. “Nor,” he added, “do we ‘snuffle’.”
Kirk laughed. “Ok, ok,” he said holding his hands up. “I give up, you win.” He rolled over to face his lover. “So, what fun do you feel like having on our last morning of leave?” he asked, kissing him on the nose.
Spock looked thoughtful, as though he was considering the options available to them very carefully.
“I believe,” he said slowly, “that it would be wasteful to spend our final hours here in any way other than exploring the variety of ways in which two beings can be intimate.”
Kirk’s grin widened and he rolled over to lie on top of his lover. “You mean you want to get it on?” he chuckled.
Spock brought his arms up to clasp him around the waist. “I believe that is what I said,” he replied, for once not bothering to pretend he didn’t understand the idiom.
Kirk wiggled his hips suggestively, feeling Spock’s growing hardness, which mirrored his own. He moved his head down to kiss him firmly on the lips. As the kiss deepened, Spock began stroking his back, the touch loving and tender.
Yesterday their love-making had been almost frantic in its intensity, each of them so eager and passionate. The passion was no less this morning, but Kirk wanted to learn more about his new lover, to discover the ways to bring him the greatest pleasure.
He pulled back from their kiss and smiled when Spock looked at him questioningly. He moved to lay kisses on his neck and Spock obligingly tilted his head to one side to allow him access. He tried an experimental bite, carefully low enough that it would be hidden by the Vulcan’s clothing when they returned to the ship later that day. The intake of breath let him know his lover was enjoying what he was doing as he moved slowly down, planting a row of kisses along his collarbone before taking a green-tinged nipple in his mouth.
Spock moaned and Kirk reacted by moving his hand up to squeeze the other nipple as he sucked enthusiastically on the one in his mouth. Spock writhed underneath him. He took his time, licking and gently biting the little nub, enjoying every groan that escaped, before turning to lavish the same attention on the other one. He worked his way down the Vulcan’s body, running his hands lightly along the sides of his waist in a way that made Spock shiver. He licked his bellybutton, tracing his tongue along the light dusting of black hair that led the way from there down to his rock hard erection.
When he reached his penis he took it in his hand and gave it a gently loving squeeze before letting go. Spock made a sound of protest and Kirk looked up. The Vulcan was gazing at him, his eyes wide and his lips parted in desire.
Kirk smiled. “Patience, love,” he said. “I’ll get there. I just want to taste as much of you as I can first.”
Spock’s head fell back on the pillow and Kirk drew his tongue once up the hard length of his cock, eliciting another shiver, before moving to coax the Vulcan’s legs apart. He stroked and kissed the inside of one thigh, and then the other, running his hands across the long, lean flanks of his legs. He didn’t want any part of his lover’s body to miss out on his attentions.
Spock was breathing hard, moans escaping his lips each time Kirk found a particularly sensitive spot. Kirk knew neither of them could get any harder but he didn’t want this to end. He pushed the back of one of Spock’s knees to shift his leg further up the bed and moved to press his nose against the other’s groin, breathing in the sweet, almost earthy, smell. He brought his hand up to take the weight of the Vulcan’s sac, carefully rolling the balls in his hand, aware of how sensitive he himself was here, and not wanting to cause any pain.
Kirk took one of the balls gently in his mouth, lathing it with his tongue, moving his fingers to rub the spot between the balls and the anus, wondering if a touch here would be as erotic for Spock as it always had been for him. He got his answer when the Vulcan’s head began to thrash from side to side on the pillow, his moans getting louder.
Kirk felt his own excitement building. He loved that he could do this, loved the way the normally so reserved Vulcan was letting himself express so much. He slid his fingers further back, touching the spot he hadn’t dared to the previous day. Spock stilled at the press of his fingers on this most intimate area, and Kirk looked up to meet his eyes, silently for permission to continue. Spock almost imperceptibly inclined his head before dropping it back on the pillow.
Kirk knelt between the Vulcan’s legs as he reached over to the bedside cabinet to retrieve the lubricant he’d stashed there, more in hope than expectation, at the beginning of their stay. Spock watched him the whole time, and the intense gaze made him slightly nervous.
“Are you sure..” he began, the words trailing off as the Vulcan gave him another of his rare smiles. Kirk opened the tube and squeezed some of the gel onto his hand, his eyes never leaving Spock’s, and moved to smooth it onto his penis, his breath catching as he caressed himself.
Spock pulled his legs back and Kirk leant down to kiss him before moving to spread the lubricant around his lover’s tight hole. They were both ready. Kirk reached down, taking hold of his own cock and positioning himself at the entrance to Spock’s body. He gasped at the sensation as he moved forward just a bit, determined not to cause his lover any pain. But Spock bucked his hips upward and he felt his whole length sliding in.
“Oh Jesus, Spock!” he cried out. He couldn’t have stopped himself from thrusting up inside him, even if he’d wanted to. His whole body was crying out for completion. Spock reached down to grasp his own penis as he reached up to Kirk’s temple with his other. The feeling was like nothing the Human had ever experienced. The mind touch was filled with light, and love and colour. His seed filled Spock as the Vulcan’s exploded across his belly.
When he came back to his senses Kirk found he was still draped over his lover, his face pressed into a warm shoulder, his now softening penis still inside the Vulcan’s body. One of Spock’s hands was across his back, the other resting against the back of his head, the head he just about managed to lift up enough to meet a pair of dark eyes. “I love you,” he said, sleepily.
“And I you,” came the reply.
Kirk felt blissfully happy for the rest of the morning, glowing with a mixture of post-sex happiness and the after effects of that awesome mind touch, which he couldn’t wait to experience again. The two of them ate a leisurely breakfast and took a long bath together before reluctantly packing up their belongings. The vacation may have got off to a bad start but, Kirk thought, the end couldn’t have been better if it had been drawn straight from his imagination.
When the call came from the ship, they were both perfectly groomed and back in uniform, ready to go back to real life. As the transporter beam took hold Kirk glanced over at Spock and was sure he saw an answering echo of his own smile.
As soon as they materialised, the captain stepped down from the transporter platform, completely back in the persona of command. Scotty was once again behind the controls and Kirk briefly wondered if the rest of the engineering crew had much left to do once the chief was through ‘just keeping me hand in’.
“Did ye have a nice time, gentlemen?” the Scot asked, and Kirk couldn’t for the life of him stop the happy smile that spread across his face as he looked over to briefly meet his lover’s eyes.
“Oh, we did, Scotty, we did,” he answered as he set off towards the exit, Spock, as usual, just a hairsbreadth behind him. As they drew level with the engineer, Spock turned his head towards him.
“Mr. Scott,” he said, his voice barely more than a whisper. “I can now inform you that I certainly would do what I sincerely believe you ‘wouldnae’ while on vacation.”
Scotty did a double take as the door shut behind his two superior officers. He could hear Kirk’s delighted laughter ringing in the hallway outside. He shook his head, unsure if he’d heard what he’d thought he’d heard. He pondered the way the two of them had looked at each other as they stepped down off the platform, and what had previously been suspicion became certainty. He grinned fondly.
“Aye,” he said to the empty transporter room. “Each to their own, and that’s just how it should be. Each to their own.”