Title: A Vulcan Walks into a Bar.
Code: Spock/Uhura, TOS
Type: Humour, Romance
Beta Credit: SpockLikesCats
Warnings: Beware…here be fluff.
Summary: A Vulcan walks into a bar. Nyota Uhura intends to find out why.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star trek or any of the characters. I do not make any profit from this work.
AN: This fic was inspired by a photograph of the gorgeous Nichelle Nichols in a slinky spangled gown. I believe it is a publicity shot from the time she was working as a singer. I wondered when Uhura would dress like that and this story was the result. It's sat on my hard drive for over a year and I decided it was time to dust it off and send it into the world.
Three cheers for my beta reader SpockLikesCats who helped whip this into shape.
A Vulcan Walks Into a Bar
Why does the Vulcan walk into the bar?
I know, it sounds like an old joke … with a corny punchline like "he didn't see it" or perhaps the groan-worthy "it was logical".
The Vulcan has walked into the bar, and oh! he stands out…in a good way. Crisp, immaculate, he approaches the bar and sits on a stool. This is the absolute epitome of "sitting on a barstool," by the way. He combines looking poised with looking relaxed, not an easy trick. His very presence makes the others seated around him seem ... diminished. Just minutes ago I was thinking the man in the green jacket looked well-dressed and vaguely interesting, now he seems slightly tarnished. It's like an invisible spotlight is shining on the Vulcan, making him more completely "present" than the others.
The question remains … why has the Vulcan walked into the bar? He doesn't seem to have any specific goal. He's just sitting and you and I both know Vulcans don't "just sit". He places an order in a perfunctory way. When it arrives he examines it with a critical eye, lifting the glass and taking a sniff. For a second I had a vivid mental picture of my mother's finicky Siamese cat sniffing his saucer of milk … .
The Vulcan isn't as fussy as that darn cat because he takes a sip and considers the flavour. He appears to decide it's "acceptable" … not "good," not "bad," not "pleasant" nor "unpleasant"… remember, he's a Vulcan.
So why did the Vulcan walk into the bar? This bar? To me it's a question of great interest. You see, I'm a woman disappointed in lust … lust, not love. Before me stretch a rare two weeks of freedom and ... I relish being on the bridge of the Enterprise, there are times when I truly appreciate getting away. One of the things I've planned for this shore leave is some …. stress reduction … away from prying eyes. Forget all the romantic hype, a starship is a little flying village and everybody knows everybody else's business. They know when a couple hooks up, when they break up and most of what's happened in between. I'll be blunt, all right? News spreads through a star ship faster than a communicable disease spreads through an U'teng'ian open brothel. And sometimes a girl likes her privacy, especially if that girl is a little … exuberant and … vocal … at certain times.
Where am I, oh yes, disappointed in lust. I'd hand-picked some company for my leave, he was a fine physical specimen and had a nice way with a vowel, there's no denying that. I know that sounds shallow, but we're talking lust, not love. I'm not looking for lifelong commitment, I'm not even after a fortnight long commitment, but I do find some intelligent conversation between bouts of …. stress-reducing aerobics enhances my enjoyment. Unfortunately I'd quickly discovered the gentleman in question lacked any conversation not focused on him …. and that's just not attractive. After two and a half hours in his company I was torn between the desire to scream or pour my drink over his head; ... not the desire I've been planning for. At times I'm as finicky as my masa's cat, once I go off something I go way off it, so for me it was a clear case of "thanks, but no thanks."
So here I am, sitting at the back of the room, all by my lonesome, nursing a drink, considering my options. I know I look good, if you like self-assured and curvy. I know the dress looks fine. It clings just where I want it to cling, it's "much," but not "too much." I am primed and ready to go. I've got that itch and I know if it's not scratched my mood can easily turn from bright to bitchy, you know what I mean? Even I don't like myself when I'm in that mood.
Which brings me back to my original question; why has that Vulcan walked into this bar? Have I mentioned, the Vulcan in question is in plainclothes? That's extremely unusual. Instead of the usual science blues he's wearing plain black trousers and a dark grey shirt with a collar and a chesterfield sort of front, it really accents his shoulders and chest, nipping the waist in a tailored way, not tight and sleazy. He looks just fine.
And I'm looking. He's sipping his drink, scanning the room and sees me. Looking.
I let him see.
I look, he looks, then we both look some more.
He raises an eyebrow and nods. I return the nod, but not the eyebrow.
That's when I begin to formulate a Bold New Plan. It's come to a pretty pass when I start thinking in italics.
Ordinarily I don't mix work with pleasure, but that Vulcan is Commander Spock, and "ordinary" does not enter into any sentence with "Spock" in it. Besides, my interest is piqued and I'm not a woman to let a piqued interest pass. So I slide off my chair, with my empty glass, and sashay towards him.
A good sashay isn't easy, it's sinuous and casual, yet deliberate … it tempts. A woman needs a certain build to sashay properly. To sashay you've got to know who you are, what you want and what your hips are for. To be blunt, Nurse Chapel couldn't sashay to save her bony behind.
Feeling sensuous and playful I stop next to Commander Spock and lean with my back against the bar counter, displaying my assets to advantage, before raising my empty glass. With a sorrowful expression on my face, I turn to look at Commander Spock and say mournfully, "There must be a really high evaporation rate in this place. Just look, my glass is completely empty."
He looks at the glass and says, "Given the ambient temperature and humidity, it appears unlikely that evaporation alone was responsible for emptying your glass."
Not bad, a pretty good attempt of playful … for a Vulcan.
I pout slightly and say, "You're probably right, let's run an experiment shall we?" I turn around and stand leaning with my elbows on the bar and my hips slightly cocked. I know my dress is pulling suggestively across my buttocks. I move my weight from my right to my left leg, feel the silky fabric slide and pull; the effect should be interesting … if anybody's interested.
I put the glass down on the bar with a definite clunk. The bartender, a man who knows a clunk when he hears it, comes over and asks, "The same?" I nod and he pours.
Drink in hand, I turn slowly, like I'm - rolling over in bed, look at Commander Spock and say, "So why did the Vulcan walk into the bar?"
Spock looks slightly perplexed.
"This isn't the sort of place you usually frequent unless the Captain and his partner in crime, Doctor McCoy, drag you along." I look around in an exaggerated way and shrug. "Yet here you are, by your lonesome, all dressed up and nowhere to go."
"On the contrary I have somewhere to go." His eyes meet mine. "Here."
"Mr Spock, there are only three reasons people come to an establishment like this." I say all matter of fact, "to drink, to dance, or to pick up a partner for a mutually beneficial – and physical –relationship." I let the statement hang in the air. He doesn't respond, but I definitely notice a greener shade to his ear lobes. Fascinating.
I keep looking at him and raise my eyebrow. He's not the only one who knows how to use the eyebrow query.
The silence stretches out like a long slow exhalation, so I take a breath. "We both know that," I nod to his glass, "will have no effect on you … sad but true." I smile at him regretfully. "And Mr. Spock, I've never seen you dance in all the time I've known you; it's a pity."
I look him right in the eyes. "That leaves option number three ... you have come to pick up a partner for a mutually beneficial physical relationship." I pluck each word slowly like pulling petals off a daisy … he wants me, he wants me not, he wants me … "Did you have anyone in particular in mind or ore you just ... playing it by ear?"
For the first time since I've known him Spock looks slightly uneasy. He breaks my gaze and shifts on the stool. "I was aware you were coming here and I've also been aware for several weeks of your growing … restlessness." I can tell he's selected that last word with care.
I know I've been "restless," I'm a grown woman and I have that itch but no way to scratch it and shore leave has seemed a long time away. But I'm always a consummate professional when on duty, I pride myself on it. And it nettles me to think everyone knows what I'd rather keep private.
"I wasn't aware that my 'restlessness' showed." I reply, making sure my voice doesn't show my irritation.
"Perhaps only to someone who knows you very well."
"Someone like you?"
"You believe you qualify as 'knowing me very well,' do you, Commander Spock?" I still feel slightly vexed and there is a challenge in my voice.
"I very much doubt, Lt. Uhura, that anybody on the Enterprise knows you as well as I," replies Spock. "We sit alongside each other, and share 65% of our shifts; as Bridge officers, we regularly attend department head briefings and discussions. You have taught me Trill, or endeavoured to. I still lack your proficiency. I've spent many hours teaching you the lyre and we perform music together in the mess and at concerts. In addition we've shared numerous conversations on a broad range of topics, as well as serving together on various away missions. I believe I am justified in saying I know you."
I concede he has a point. "Yet in many ways, Mr Spock, you don't know me at all." I can't suppress a slow smile. "Am I correct in thinking you want that to change?"
It's Spock's turn to pick up his drink and sip before replying. "You are."
"Did you know you were taking a risk; I was coming here to meet somebody."
"I was aware. I am acquainted with a gentleman you were meeting. I knew him at the Academy and, because I know you, I felt the … association … wouldn't prove satisfactory."
I consider for a minute before prompting, "So you came here to gallantly offer yourself as a 'consolation prize'?"
Spock weights his answer carefully for a moment. "Indeed, if I understand the colloquialism correctly." The corner of his mouth quirk ever so slightly.
"Mr. Spock, you are quite a consolation and most definitely a prize. But what if you'd been wrong and Lt Cmdr Ferez and I found each other entirely satisfactory?"
"The probability was less than 3.5 % with a .001 degree of confidence."
He tilts his head slightly and raises an eyebrow, "It was an acceptable risk."
I'm enjoying this. I haven't flirted in far too long and I've missed the sexual buzz inherent in the game.
I turn and lean my elbows on the counter, surreptitiously moving closer to Spock but not quite touching. I look over my shoulder. "I've spent the day in the markets and I bought a lovely old book of classic poems in the local dialect, compete with illuminated, engraved illustrations. Would you care to see it?"
Spock swivels his chair so he's also facing forward and leans slightly in my direction, allowing our shoulders and arms to touch. Heat flares. Hot damn. I swear…there are sparks.
Spock takes the last sip of his drink. I watch as the pale amber liquid touches his lips, and his mouth opens slightly revealing a glimpse of his tongue. His eyes close briefly and then his throat moves as he swallows. You think swallowing's not erotic, right? You're wrong, dead wrong.
He puts the empty glass on the bar. "Are you asking me to come up and look at your etchings?"
I smile. "Mr. Spock! ... I am." I pause: you don't rush a statement like this: "And I hope you will allow me to satisfy my curiosity."
"I want to check if my memory serves me correctly?"
"Do you remember the mission to Anterion 3?"
"I do. It was an interesting planet."
"The bromeliad-like flora were fascinating."
His head tilts as he considers.
"An acceptable, if not entirely accurate, description."
"Do you remember going for a swim?"
"I recall bathing to remove the malodourous viscous sap that had dripped from the hanging vines."
"When you went to the river and undressed…"
He turns toward me, looking slightly severe.
"... I peeked."
"That was unprofessional."
"But very human. The image of you walking into the water, the moonlight silvering your pale skin…" I sigh, "It hasn't been easy to forget."
"I want to see if my memory is accurate."
This earns me two raised eyebrows.
I look, he looks back. Heat flares. My eyes wander from his face, to his shoulders ... and so on.
Oh yes, I'll have that … with all the trimmings.
I down the rest of my drink and straighten. I smile as Spock stands. As we walk towards the door, I slip my hand under his arm and he crooks his elbow, letting my hand rest on his forearm. Sparks, definitely sparks. We walk across the foyer to the lifts. In the lift we stand quietly side by side, my hand still resting on his arm. I'm getting a warm tingling sensation just where I like it.
How have I spent so much time in this man's company and not noticed these sparks? The answer to that is simple. As I said before I'm a consummate professional when on duty. I don't cross lines, I show men the same respect I expect them to show me. Oh alright, so I am human enough to peek if the opportunity presents itself ... though in fairness I was off duty at the time. I'm not the sort of woman who grabs a man's hand and forces intimacies on him or pursue him with unsolicited bowls of soup. Up to now, Spock hasn't given the slightest hint he was interested, so that was that. It's been a few months since our mysterious trip to Vulcan, where we discovered Spock was married. Kind of. But then he wasn't. Now he's single again and I wonder if his change of status partly explains this change in him.
I can assure you, with Spock tall and silent but oh so warm beside me in a lift going to my hotel room, I'm not spending my time analysing the why's; I know exactly what I want. For a start I'll find out if those beautiful lips are as soft as they look.
I know saying my stress levels were very significantly reduced over the next two weeks won't satisfy you but there are some things are lady does not talk about, and the truth is, some things can't be adequately put into words no matter how many languages you know. Does "burn" really describe the sensation of whiskey sliding down your throat? Does "exquisite" capture the experience of that first brush of meltingly hot, delicately soft lips on yours? Sometimes no words are sufficient. So I won't even try. Instead I'll remind you of some Vulcan attributes. For example, Vulcans are three times as strong as a human male of the same size, but Spock is so gentle it's easy to forget how powerful he is. He can hold me up at arm's length and lower me slowly; it's not an experience I'm likely to forget. And let's not overlook control ... that man is more controlled than the Interplanetary Monetary Exchange.
Then there is stamina. Oh my lord…is there stamina! Vulcans don't need much sleep and have a very quick recovery time after exertion … any exertion.
Vulcans are thorough and meticulous, and Spock is a scientist, he forms hypotheses, conducts experiments and observes the responses. Some of them were exquisite responses, I'm telling you.
It seems way back in their early evolution Vulcans had a felid ancestor ... so that may explain why they are very, hmmm ... what Freud would call "oral"… they like to lick, to lap, to caress with the tongue. Did you know that humans have eight muscles in the tongue which coordinate to perform fine complex movements? Well, honey, Vulcans have ten tongue muscles and their tongues can do some things a human's just can't … did I mention that Vulcans are three times stronger than a human and have great stamina? It's a lethal combination.
Oh by the way, I can confirm that there is nothing what-so-ever wrong with my memory.
Now don't get the impression this was all one-sided! I gave every bit as good as I got, and what I got was so good.
We both know that this relationship will change things between us permanently. Whether it'll last, or fade until we're friends who've once been lovers, remains to be seen. I intend to simply enjoy whatever we have…after all we live and work on a starship; we are constantly surrounded by danger and challenge. Neither of us knows what tomorrow will bring, so ... wouldn't it be foolish to turn our backs on what's right here in front of us now because of what might happen in the future?
To use an ancient Terran saying, "'Carpe diem.' You know. 'Seize the day'."
And while you're at it, seize your Vulcan.
Author's Note: If you got this far I'm glad. Let me know if you grinned at any point. Please leave a comment, no matter how brief; it's how SpockLikesCats and I get paid.