It was odd for Jim to look at his first officer and think of the words the other Spock had stated on Delta Vega with so much emotion, so much sincerity.
"I have been, and always shall be, your friend."
True, he and his timeline's Spock had come a long way from the thinly veiled hostility they had felt for each other early on, but an open truce, genuine and solid, and a growing mutual respect for each other was miles away from a friendship as deeply profound as the one the elder Spock had hinted at.
Not that Jim would know what to do with a friendship with his first officer if he had it. He scarcely knew how to relate to him at all. The man gave stoic a whole new meaning. Spock was rigid, so refined and together that he kind of intimidated Jim. He was used to charming those around him with a flash of a smile or by telling a joke, neither of which moved Spock…at all. One couldn't charm a statue. And so the only way Jim had found to deal with his first officer was to be blunt, direct, and honest. If jokes were to be told, they had to be understated or innuendo, a play on words, and only then would Spock's eyes shine in appreciation. Well, as appreciating as a Vulcan could look, which wasn't much. But Jim would take what he got and consider it a success.
He figured he was doing something right because Spock had taken to studying Jim intently. Almost as if he were taking Jim apart with his eyes, and then putting him back together in a shape Spock better understood. Jim found it somewhat creepy, but at this point, anything that wasn't blatant hatred or disgust was an improvement in his book. So Spock was trying to figure him out…that was good. They could work with that.
Still, the longing for something more, a friendship that spanned a lifetime and carried two men through battles, exploration and near death experiences sounded kind of nice. Until Jim had met Bones, he hadn't really had any friends, not in the true sense. His stepfather Frank had scared off anybody Jim would attempt to bring home, and by the time he was twelve, he was in and out of trouble so much that his reputation precluded any friendship he would develop with other kids his age.
It would be wonderful to have the kind of connection his other self and his Spock had enjoyed. It would be all kinds of awesome to be looked at daily with that same devotion and unwavering faith that he'd seen on the older Spock's eyes when he'd first set eyes on Jim on Delta Vega.
Jim wondered if he and this Spock would ever achieve that kind of intimacy and felt a little forlorn that the events of their timeline had possibly destroyed that chance. Nero fucking sucked in so many ways; Jim wished he was alive so he could kill him again.
Ship scuttlebutt said Spock and Uhura had broken up, which frankly Jim had seen coming ever since he first witnessed them kiss. Uhura, intelligent, slightly condescending and beautiful, was at her core, passionate. Jim could tell, could tell in all the ways that allowed him to read women and get them into his bed - an art he had perfected more and more over the years since that reverent day he had grown his first chest hair. On the surface, she acted like she wanted a man who matched her intellectually and was logically minded, like Spock, but deep down, Jim knew she longed for overwhelming ardor and romantic devotion. Her eyes gave her away. When she looked at Spock, they held a yearning easily construed as an unfulfilled wish.
Jim had no doubt that Spock, despite being Vulcan, could be passionate. Hell, he'd seen evidence of that first hand. To this day Jim felt a muscle twitch in his neck whenever Spock was near, as if trying to say, 'please don't do anything to piss the Vulcan off again.' Jim ignored his neck. It was fun trying to get Spock to react.
But the fact of the matter was that Spock was not overly passionate about Uhura…Jim could tell.
The fire he had seen in Spock's eyes when Spock was 'emotionally compromised' was not present when he looked at Uhura. In fact, none of the slight yet very telling body language Jim had learned to read the past few months, a raised eyebrow, a twitch at the corner of Spock's lips, or even a glint in deep brown eyes, was also never there.
In short, Jim could tell that while Uhura was into Spock, Spock just wasn't quite into her as deeply. Not that he would ever relay that information to anyone. Uhura could be even more fucking scary than Spock, and the two of them equally pissed? Well, Jim's sense of self-preservation, although admittedly limited, knew enough to recognize where not to go.
Thank the Gods above that whatever was going down between Spock and Uhura, they kept it out of their professional relationship. The last thing Jim needed was two raging bulls (or logical bulls with menace barely contained under the surface, just threatening to be released) on his bridge. Jim had grown up in a house where the tension replaced the air he breathed; there was no way he'd allow that on the Enterprise. It would be over his dead body.
The odd thing was, however, that although Uhura did look sad at times, she and Spock still seemed rather close. In fact, Jim still found them eating meals together in the mess hall, their heads bent as if they were plotting a coup de grace, which Jim wouldn't put past them.
So, if they had, in fact, broken up, they did it well. They should probably write a book on it – it would make them wealthy. 'How to Break-up, Logically, by Dr. Spock.'
Even weirder, though, was when they had taken to eyeing Jim amidst their plotting. Sizing him up. A dark sense of foreboding began to overtake Jim… that much intensity garnered by two intense individuals outta be illegal. It sent a chill down his spine.
The thing was, Jim Kirk enjoyed sex. A lot. He loved the challenge of it, breaking through a partner's defenses until he wore them down and they gave him what he wanted. He loved the release of it, the means of channeling his energy in a way that just felt damn good. He also enjoyed the sensory aspect of it: the taste, the smell, the way his skin felt moving against the sheets or someone else's skin. All in all, it was an activity of give and take, of motion, release and enjoyment. It was just plain, unadulterated fun.
However, as in everything else, there were rules Jim followed. Emotional attachment was not necessary for the act itself, and was, in fact, rather repellent; adding metaphoric chains and ropes to his otherwise enjoyable activity would surely rob some of the exuberance out of the experience. Also, if engaging in such acts threatened his standing on his ship, his baby, then he wanted no part of it. He had his priorities straight.
He'd worked too damn hard and overcome some pretty menacing personal demons to accomplish all he had. There was no way he'd let his libido take it all from him. Which was why he found himself in the awkward position he was currently in; sometimes having the reputation for being promiscuous just plain sucked.
"No, I'm sorry, I can't. It's not that I'm not flattered, because, of course, I am. But this can't happen for too many reasons to count," Jim announced as firmly, yet as pacifying as he could. 'Let them down easy, show them you're interested, but you're their captain, damnit, there is just no way…'
Uhura looked stunned, a look Jim committed to memory to enjoy for years to come. Since he wouldn't allow himself any other pleasure with them, at least he would have that. Spock just raised an eyebrow, but then, for Spock, that was practically the equivalent of Uhura's stunned expression.
And really, had they honestly expected him to be that easy? To take the bone they threw to him like some eager dog, and roll over and take one for the team? So yeah, maybe his past behavior would indicate otherwise, but please, he wasn't controlled by his baser instincts, not entirely anyway.
"Forgive me for saying so, Captain…Jim," Uhura stated, almost visibly forcing her voice to come out soft and inviting when she looked like she wanted to shake him for being difficult. "But you've never shied away from blatantly flirting and hinting at this kind of proposition in the past. That's the very reason we've come to you. We're looking for excitement, something to spice up our relationship. We thought it would be enjoyable to try it, and you've shown an interest. What is holding you back from taking what you've professed to want?"
There were many ways Jim could have answered that, from 'I flirt, it's what I do…if I had actual sex with every being I've flirted with, I would have no free time and be so tired, I'd probably be in a coma,' to 'The Vulcan scares me…I've seen the mind of his older counterpart, have felt it wrap around my mind as if it belonged there. I know how intensely he feels, and I don't think I could maintain my emotional distance if I went there - it's best to avoid that altogether.'
Instead he just said, "The Enterprise. That's why." And hoped they would take that as that.
He should have known better. Unfortunately, Spock was just as stubborn as Jim was himself. Which was the second thing that sucked regarding this situation - his list of sucky things just seemed to be growing.
"I was under the impression that you would be able to separate your extracurricular activity from your duty as captain, Captain," Spock replied succinctly, in a tone that needed no interpretation.
Jim was being challenged.
The damn Vulcan knew just how to get to him. It was eerie how well Spock could read him after serving together only months, really. It was also annoying as all hell.
And since when were Vulcans into experimenting with sex and threesomes anyway? Jim was certain he had read they mated for life, and most likely logicked their way through the act when they did it., 'I am going to insert my organ at this angle for maximum efficiency in eliciting orgasm, you are to gyrate your body to the rhythm I set, your compliance would be most appreciated.' Sex for fun and pleasure had to be a foreign concept to Vulcans. And yet, here one was, challenging him and using his partner-in-crime to tag team him.
Jim laughed depreciatingly. Spock's half-human side truly manifested itself in odd ways. A pointy-eared Casanova was just too peculiar of a concept for his mind to wrap around. But he was being propositioned and challenged by the couple that, combined, held the highest I.Q. in Starfleet. Jim didn't think life could get much stranger.
"Of course I can separate duty from pleasure," Jim announced, offended, "but I think the three of us, considering who we are and the positions we hold, would be asking for awkwardness on duty if we attempt what you're proposing. And I will not have any awkwardness on my bridge or in my chain of command. I need the respect of my crew." He paused then, and allowed his voice to adopt a more playful tone before continuing. "Respect that would be hard to maintain if the two of you are preoccupied with remembering my naked body and plotting how to get me into bed again."
There, the old stand by - blatant ego and brashness - all to hide the fact that Jim was really, really unnerved. His attitude had never failed him in the past and had gotten him through more uncomfortable situations than he could count. Let them chew on that.
Uhura's smile was that of a predator ready to pounce, as if she had Jim right where she wanted him, and all Jim could think was, 'Well fuck, times two'.
"I can promise you, Captain, that this will not affect the working relationship between you and me in the slightest," she announced assuredly, her smile growing wider as she continued, "Oh, and Captain? We will still respect you in the morning,"
Jim looked away from her as she spoke, annoyed at her confidence in the outcome of their conversation. He looked towards Spock instead.
Spock's eyes were large and dark and wholly consuming. His eyes held promise. Promise of what, exactly, Jim couldn't say.
He supposed he would find out, and that scared him. Not that he would ever, ever admit it. This whole thing unnerved him more than he wanted to admit, even to himself. At the very least he knew what all the staring and plotting had been about.
If there was one thing that Jim knew, it was that sex should never be unnerving. This was about control, his control…Spock just got to him too much for there to be any degree of comfort on Jim's part.
So he was backing down from the challenge and the offer of really hot sex. So what? Stranger things had happened. He just couldn't go there, even if his libido was cursing him out for it. It seemed his body was perfectly fine with their proposal; in fact, more than fine. It was positively gun-ho. His head was still wondering what the fuck alternative universe he had landed in.
Jim took a deep breath, trying to calm his pulse rate. "I thought the two of you had broken up. Why are you together and so hot and bothered all of the sudden?"
Uhura smiled an intimidating smile, and Jim made a mental note to assign Uhura to deal with poor unsuspecting diplomats whenever Starfleet wanted to negotiate for something in the future. "Maybe that's why we're asking, Captain. Inviting you to join us will bring more trust to the relationship."
Nice. Use the sex therapy card. Make him feel like a heel for denying them this chance to reconnect, or whatever it is they were doing. Goddamned manipulative crew. Apparently their brilliance was as detrimental to him as it was an asset.
Part of him wanted this, and the battle against giving in was still raging, but that one thing, that one request, seemed to be the event that swayed the battle. He would take this and enjoy it, and hope he came out unscathed.
"Alright, but promise there will be no awkwardness. None. When it comes to work, the two of you will follow orders and continue performing your duties to the best of your abilities like always. We do this, we have our fun, then on duty it's as if it never happened."
"Agreed," Uhura stated, delighted.
But Spock just raised an eyebrow. Jim wasn't quite sure what that meant.
Jim liked to consider himself a generous lover. He gave what he got. The act of returning pleasure was as important as receiving it. It was only proper, only right. If someone gave you a gift, you gave one back. Yet the challenge of pleasing these particular two lovers was a bit daunting .
Jim stood uncertainly in front of Spock's door. Memories of the mind meld with the elder Spock and the promise of a profound friendship worth working toward flashed before his mind's eye. Could he and Spock ever be friends if they had been lovers, even once? Would sex with the Vulcan feel like the mind meld, deep, powerful and all-consuming? What would Uhura get out of this whole thing? Why did she even want it? She had never hesitated to knock down his playful flirting in the past. He wondered what had changed.
Jim stood pondering these questions, his heart pounding so loudly it felt as if it were beating directly in his ears, until the door slid open, and a hand reached out and gently pulled him in.
This was it. There was no turning back.
Jim felt overwhelmed, charged yet also flustered as he eyed his two officers, each standing at points that created a weird sort of triangle. They were actually going to do this, it was really happening. He had to keep repeating that in his head to grasp that this was reality and not some made up fantasy on his part. The force of anticipation made the air feel heavy. A slight giddiness buzzed in his mind as he slowly removed his clothes, taking his time, slow and tantalizing, wanting them to get as excited as he was starting to feel as he watched Spock and Uhura do the same. They moved as if synchronized, each eyeing him with an enticing gleam, focusing on him as they stripped, gently teasing him with their languid movements. And when they each took a hand and pulled him to the bed, all he could think was 'oh God, oh God, oh God, why am I nervous?'
Spock's skin was burning to the touch, searing, and by contrast, Uhura's was cool and smooth. They surrounded him, heat on one side and cool on the other, and his skin pebbled with goose bumps as a shiver went down his spine.
Masculine hands, strong and sure, traveled lightly down his chest, leaving a tingling sensation, like tiny prickles of electricity against the skin, in their path. And lips, soft, supple and womanly, sucked kisses against his neck.
His desire escalated, threatening to erupt too soon, and he struggled to bring it back under control. He wouldn't embarrass himself like that, not here, not now. Time to try and turn the tables a bit.
He closed his eyes and reached out, encountering a soft mound of wet and pliant female flesh. Slowly, Jim stroked until he found the one spot that made Uhura gasp and writhe against him. He grinned to himself…success.
Reaching with his other hand, Jim found something hard and male and wonderfully smooth and began an age old rhythm, stroking up and down. This Jim knew and knew it well. Stroke, squeeze, stroke. Pause to massage gently with finger tips, then grasp tightly with fist, then start the process over again. Caress fast, and then slow, then faster. Bring him to the brink, and then fall back. Make him feel. Make him want. Make him fucking yearn.
He felt Spock, stoic, unflappable Spock, tense under him and delighted in his ability to evoke such a response. It made Jim feel powerful; made him feel as if he had Spock at his mercy.
But Spock would have none of it. With little concern to Uhura beside them, he moved over and on top of Jim, his hard body scorching. The feeling of naked skin contacting naked skin rushed over Jim like a tidal wave. Jim surged up against Spock, releasing his hold on Spock to grab a handful of sheet instead. He needed balance, something to ground him, because this was too much. Too much. So much.
Spock thrust against him, hard, with strength that awed Jim; excited him. And when Spock surged against him again, pushing their cocks against one another, the headiness Jim had felt from the beginning swelled and overtook him. Every muscle felt sprung, his skin taunt, his heart fighting to break out of his ribs with its rapid beating. It was all he could do to keep his other hand on Uhura, maintain the rhythm that kept her moaning and kept her distracted from whatever it was that Spock was doing to him.
He had been right before, in his trepidation. Spock was mentally overpowering. Jim had almost no control here, not anymore. It was too easy to give in, too easy to feel, especially when it elicited so much heat, so much exhilaration. It was scary and infinitely exciting. He had never experienced anything like it before. He didn't even have a basis to compare it to. All he knew was that everything just seemed so goddamned brilliant, just then, all touch and feeling and light.
Fingers pressed against his temple in a way he recognized faintly, and he felt another mind enter his own with the force of a tsunami. Suddenly, his pleasure escalated. He felt his own body's sensations, sure, and strong, and more, a foreign presence, though not really foreign as it seemed to belong there inside him, with the additional feelings more than doubling his pleasure.
Jim exploded. Spots of light flickered before his eyes. He felt like he was caught in an undertow, his body spent, and his mind adrift to a hazy afterglow, his skin wet with sweat and tingling with the rush of blood to his limbs and it was fantastic, especially with the echo of Spock's own release in his mind. It had been the deepest, most profound orgasm he'd ever experienced in his life.
It took awhile for Jim's heavy breathing to slow and his heart to stop pounding so incredibly rapidly, but when they did, he became aware of his surroundings again. His right hand, buried between Uhura's thighs, was drenched, and she lay beside him, panting. She too had come. Jim was glad. He felt bad that he'd lost sense of her while he'd been totally consumed by Spock, but was relieved that his hand had carried on while his mind, body, and passion had been focused elsewhere...but, hey, all that muscle memory and practice paid off...his body seemed to know what to do all by itself while he'd been blown away by his...by Spock.
His first officer was still over him, their foreheads touching while Spock's hands were cupping Jim's face.
No words came to him, because he didn't know what to say. His and Spock's union, both in their minds and in their physical release, had been powerful. How do you follow that up? His usual repertoire of post coital chitchat was pretty damn inappropriate given the intensity of what he'd experienced. He was more lost now than he had been to pleasure just seconds earlier, though he realized with a start, Spock's presence was still in his mind, strong and true.
'Do not be concerned. All is as it should be. No words are necessary. It pleases me that our coupling was as powerful for you as it was for me. It will always be like this, for us, if you choose.'
The words didn't register right away, because the feeling of safety, of protection and acceptance that flooded him, one mind to another, overshadowed them. He felt comforted; he felt loved. He felt accepted in a way he had been searching for his entire life.
Jim felt Uhura's light weight slide out of bed beside him, and a soft feminine voice announced, somewhat sadly, "I think it's time for me to go. Spock, I will always love you, but I'm happy for you. Never doubt it. Having been here with the two of you, experiencing this, I was able to see for myself, now, what you were talking about. The bond, what the two of you can be together, how well you fit… I needed this, needed to witness it first hand. You were right in that. I am reassured. Captain...Jim...it was great. Thanks for the good time, but I'll take my leave now. This was never about the three of us."
It took a moment for her words to fully register.
As she slipped into her clothes and left, Jim could only look up at Spock, wide-eyed, and ask, "What?"
The corner of Spock's mouth twitched and his eyes flashed with amusement, in an understated, Vulcan way.
"My older self spoke of the glimpses of your childhood that he saw in your mind during your meld. He informed me that I would have a harder time breaking through your defenses and achieving the bond that he and your counterpart shared in their own universe. A unique bond. A connection of mind and spirit with the potential to reach across death and distance, one quite coveted by my people. But our meeting was different, our circumstances unfortunate. I came to want you that way, but I did not think our relationship would develop as it did for my elder counterpart. Lieutenant Uhura and I had to orchestrate a way to get through to you, through the one constant all Jim Kirk's seem to share, a fondness for intercourse, and let the relationship develop naturally from there."
Jim knew he should feel angry; he had just been played, after all. His reputation and libido got him into a tangled-up situation at last, as many of his previous lovers had sworn they would. But he couldn't drum up enough will to be angry, not with Spock in his head, and creeping his way into his heart. Hadn't he coveted that kind of relationship, himself? Wasn't Spock giving him something he had secretly longed for?
Nor could he forcibly remind himself of his rule regarding sex and emotional attachment, not when sex with Spock made other encounters pale in comparison. He had wanted a friend in Spock: a true, uninhibited, unconditional kind of companionship, and he had received something deeper, richer. Who was he to complain?
So he said the only thing he could say, the only thing he felt with the fervency he'd lacked prior to meeting Spock.
"I'm not sure this special link between us you're referring to has entirely sunk in yet. Might have to have sex again and again to get it just right."
With that, Jim sat up and kissed Spock as if to say, 'challenge met and accepted.' He grinned. "Spock, you don't know what you've gotten yourself into."