A/N: Cliché #1: "Aliens make them do it." Written to fill a prompt for the st_xi_kink meme at Livejournal. I'm not too pleased with it, but what the hell—I wrote it, I might as well post it. :)

xx

"Something's not right," said Sulu.

The crew waited patiently. They were on the surface of Quirinus V, making first contact with the lanky humanoid species which inhabited the planet. Uhura had found a language they could both speak—Janusian, which was spoken on the neighboring planet—and was currently translating for the captain.

"She says," Uhura reported, "that our coming has angered the gods."

The tall Quirinusian gestured toward the sky and said something else, her fist shaking in anger. Thick green clouds had rolled in, covering the sun.

"It's a bad omen," she translated, "and we will not suffer more violent storms because of your invasion." Uhura turned to the captain.

"We're not invading," Kirk protested. "This is a diplomatic mission. We come with peaceful intentions."

She translated. The Quirinusian considered this. She held her arms wide, pointed again to the sky, and gave a long speech.

"Kinda sounds like Russian," Sulu jested, elbowing Chekov in the ribs, which earned a glare from his friend.

Uhura's eyes widened as the leader spoke, and finally she turned back to Kirk. "She says we have two options that will placate the gods. One is a sacrifice of three men. The other is—well," she cleared her throat, "the other is sex magic." She blushed.

"Beam us out of here," Sulu urged. "Now."

Kirk grabbed his communicator. "Kirk to Enterprise."

No response.

"Their cloud cover inhibits our signal," Spock explained. "We will be incapable of returning to the ship until it passes."

Despite Spock's report, he tried again. "Kirk to Enterprise. Can you hear me, Scotty?"

Nothing.

Kirk sighed. "So either three of us bite the dust, or two of us have to sleep together."

"That's what it sounds like."

"Fine," said Kirk. "I'll do it."

"Look at the surprise on my face," deadpanned Uhura.

He smirked. "I have a responsibility to my ship. So do you, you know. Are you going to help me get this over with?"

She shook her head. "No way."

Kirk scanned his crew. Chekov, terrified, was trying to hide behind Sulu.

"It's not like it means anything," Kirk reasoned. "Just shut your eyes and think of the Enterprise."

Silence.

Spock hesitated, his hands clenched into fists. A strange feeling had blossomed in his stomach, pushing him to step forward.

"Seriously? Am I that hideous that you're all going to let people die rather than do me?"

Chekov's voice wavered. "Lieutenant Uhura, you're the only woman."

Uhura stood firm. "That makes no difference."

Sulu sighed. "Fine. I'll do it."

"No, you won't," Spock said abruptly, cutting him off. His voice surprised even himself. "I will." He went to stand beside Kirk. "I am the first officer," he pressed. "It is my duty to protect the lives of the crew members."

Sounds logical enough, thought Sulu, but he had a sneaking suspicion that it had nothing whatsoever to do with logic.

Uhura, whose eyes were now bigger than saucers, shook off her shock and turned back to the Quirinusian leader. She spoke quickly, and the leader replied in kind, sweeping her arm in a "follow me" motion and heading off down the hill.

"Everyone is supposed to follow," Uhura said, and fell into step behind her.

Kirk, walking beside Spock, stomped unceremoniously on a large beetle. "I can't believe this. Leave it to a fucking Delta Quadrant planet to come up with this shit."

"Actually, Earth's history is filled with similar rituals," Spock informed him.

Kirk cocked his head. "What?"

"Ancient pagans performed the rite of hieros gamos," he said, sounding like a textbook. "The king would have intercourse with the high priestess of Ishtar to symbolize the union of Dumuzid with Inanna. In addition, Herodotus wrote of the Babylonian custom of holy prostitution; women were forced to sit at the temple of Aphrodite until a man arrived, presented her with money, and had sexual intercourse with her outside the temple. Then she would be free to go."

"But they were all guys with girls. This is unheard of."

"Not exactly," Spock replied. "Again, to revisit Earth's history, the Mayan people maintained several phallic religious cults. It is thought that homosexual temple prostitution was prevalent in the culture. Aztec religious leaders practiced heterosexual celibacy, but engaged in homosexual intercourse with each other as a religious practice."

Kirk was flabbergasted. "How the hell do you know all this?"

"In my years at Starfleet Academy, it seemed prudent to learn all I could about the planet I resided on."

He raised an eyebrow. "Including ancient sex rites?"

"All knowledge is relevant in its own way," came Spock's cryptic answer.

As they reached the ritual grounds, Spock tensed up immediately. There was a large dais in the center of the circle, ringed with letters carved into the stone.

"I don't think that's going to be comfortable," Kirk quipped, attempting to relieve the tension.

Spock was attempting to deal with a sudden onset of nausea. We are to do this in view of the public? For Vulcans, sex wasn't even discussed, let alone performed in the middle of an audience. Momentarily, he thought about backing down and letting Sulu take his place. But that nagging feeling in the pit of his stomach told him that if he saw anyone else engaged in sex with the captain, he would punch them. Illogical, he thought. But it was too strong to ignore.

The Quirinusian priestesses, upon seeing the procession arrive, immediately began to gather palm fronds from the short, squat trees surrounding the circle. They piled them on top of the dais and coated the pile with a sweet-smelling oil.

About ten feet out from the dais, surrounding it, was another ring of stone. This one was carved into a reservoir and set into the ground. A different oil was poured into this ring, and two priestesses lit torches and stood on either side, waiting to light the oil on fire.

One by one, the priestesses all knelt around the outer ring, untying their hair, letting it fall in rivers of shimmering lilac to the ground. The leader instructed Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura to kneel with them; Uhura was told to undo her hair as well.

"Apparently ponytails also offend their god," she groused, pulling the elastic from her hair.

The leader went to sit in a large stone chair. Deliberately, she untied her own long hair, shaking it out, and fixed Spock and Kirk with a stare.

Exchanging a look, they stepped over the unlit oil and went to stand in the circle.

The leader gestured to the priestesses, and they set their torches to the oil. A tall ring of fire surged up around Kirk and Spock, leaving them with a partial screen.

"So we're alone, and not alone," Kirk sighed, staring at the flames.

Parted, yet never parted. Never and always touching and touched... Spock caught himself. Irrelevant. Irrational. This is not Vulcan. This is not—Kirk removed his shirt, and his brain stopped working.

Kirk raised an eyebrow. "You can't stay clothed for this," he reminded him.

Wordlessly, Spock disrobed, folding his uniform neatly and stacking it next to the rumple of clothes Kirk had thrown on the ground.

"Funny," Kirk said, as Spock removed the last of his clothing, "I always figured you for a tightie-whities kind of guy."

Spock raised an eyebrow and went to the dais, lying flat on his back.

Kirk glanced out at the ring of priestesses. They were barely visible beyond the flicker of the vibrant flames. Heaving a sigh, he went to the dais and knelt awkwardly over Spock. "All in the name of duty, right?"

Spock nodded, giving no indication that his synapses were running wild from the thrill of being exposed to the midday air and the heat of the fire. His expression, stoic as always, gave no impression that his insides were a fluttering mess at the thought of being touched by his captain. Illogical, illogical, illogical, sang his brain; but every other atom of his body ached for contact.

"At least they left this," Kirk said, dipping his hand into the bowl and coating himself with the oil. "Makes it a little more comfortable for both of us."

"Indeed."

"Ready?"

As I have been for weeks, Spock thought, but he merely nodded.

Carefully, Kirk eased inside of him. He took it slow, assuming that if Spock had done this before, he certainly hadn't done it this way.

As he slid all the way in, Spock lost control of his calm façade. He squeezed his eyes shut—there was pain, oh yes, but also unbelievable pleasure.

"Are you alright?"

"Clarify."

"Are you hurt? Do you want me to come out?"

Spock swallowed hard. "I am unhurt. You may proceed."

Inwardly, Kirk smiled at the official-sounding pillow talk, and began to move. Spock was extraordinarily tight, and his knees buckled a little when it hit him: he was inside Spock, with at least fifty people watching. Just the thought alone made him want to lose control.

And that's when he had his second revelation: he didn't want to lose control just yet. He wanted to savor this.

He allowed himself to let his eyes roam over his first officer's body which was, by all definitions, perfect. The flawless Vulcan skin was a beautiful contradiction— pale as ice, but hot as the fire surrounding them.

"Do not delay," Spock urged. "It would be best for both of us, I think, to complete this ritual quickly."

Pretending he hadn't been wounded a little by that comment, Kirk nodded, and began to move in and out. Spock relaxed beneath him, all the tension going out of his body. For a brief moment, Kirk had a flashback to Gaila, and how he would tease her for what seemed like hours, until she was tense and writhing—then, quickly, he would enter her, and she would let her muscles relax, let her eyes go closed, relishing the fact that he was finally satisfying her—

And that was when he noticed Spock's eyes. He stopped short.

"Spock—are you enjoying—" But the look on his face said it all."Oh, God, you are."

Helplessly, Spock stared up at his captain. "I am unable to stop myself from—Jim, please, you are capable of speaking and moving at the same time. It is illogical to cease your motion."

He nearly laughed out loud. "Is that your way of saying 'don't stop?'"

A pause. "I suppose so."

Kirk began to thrust again, slowly. "I just can't believe—I mean, how long—"

"I would prefer to have this discussion," Spock said, "when we have returned to the Enterprise and are in the solitude and comfort of either my or your quarters."

"But—"

Impatiently, Spock put his fingers to Kirk's face and pressed firmly.

The onslaught of emotion was so strong, Kirk nearly fell over. Here, all this time, buried underneath the placid Vulcan surface—

Oh, Spock.

As he sorted them out, he realized that Spock's feelings were all stronger than any he'd ever experienced. The burn of lust, the dull ache of emptiness, the tingle of wanting more than friendship. A word, also, floated tentatively in Spock's subconscious, a Vulcan word—t'hy'la—and though Kirk did not speak the language, the meaning was inescapably obvious.

But it's too early. I can't know yet, said Spock's mind.

Kirk felt like he was drowning, yet it was the lightest and happiest feeling he'd ever known. "You will," he said aloud.

"Jim…" The whisper was a plea.

A low chant began to circulate outside the ring of fire as Kirk impulsively ran his fingers over Spock's warm skin. He shivered; the captain's fingers felt like ice. Like tender, ardent ice.

They only lasted moments longer. It was too much for both of them, the thrill of having hundreds of eyes upon them, the knowledge that they both wanted this, the joy of finally giving in.

"Spock—oh, shit, Spock, I'm—here it comes—"

As Kirk let go, Spock's fingers clutched at his hips, slippery from oil and sweat, urging him in further. "Jim, I—" The shockwaves coursing through his body caught him off-guard, and he trembled on his bed of oil-covered leaves, eyes wide as Kirk wrapped his fingers around him— then, the two sensations proved too much, as he arched his back and painted his captain's torso an iridescent white.

A faint blush tinged his cheeks. "My apologies," he said immediately.

Kirk, however, grinned. "No apologies necessary." Gently, he pulled out, and laid down at Spock's side.

Above them, the clouds parted. Clear orange skies replaced the angry green. A couple priestesses doused the fire and brought towels of rough fabric for the captain and his first officer.

Chekov gazed up, mystified. "So… it worked?"

Two of the priestesses, appearing just as awestruck as Chekov, murmured to each other.

"What'd they say?" Sulu wanted to know.

Uhura hid a smile. "That this is the first time this ritual has appeased the gods." She caught a glimpse of Kirk, shamelessly standing butt-naked with his back to the circle, protectively holding his own towel in front of Spock while he dressed in order to shelter him from further public exposure. "Not that I'm surprised."

After Spock dressed, he brushed his captain's fingers—the lightest of touches.

"I wonder if he knows what that means yet," Uhura mused out loud.

"From the looks of things," said Sulu, "he will."