Disclaimer: If I owned Star Trek, I'd be able to work on my story more and my Beta wouldn't have to poke at me just to make sure I'm still living. :)
Pairing: Kirk and Spock definitely; possibly others.
Kirk felt his blood pressure spike as the face that appeared on screen smiled coldly at him.
"Captain Kirk," the Romulan man said, leaning back in the chair that looked slightly out of place behind the slim figure. "This is Commander Relix of the captured Bird of Prey Taj. I've been ordered by the Senate to assist you with the disposal of the Klingon fleet headed into Starfleet territory as per our agreement."
The human's face automatically assumed a pleasant, open mien as he looked at what had formerly been an enemy of the Federation. "Commander, it's good to see you," he said, feeling his natural suspiciousness creep to the surface. "If you could please transmit your authentication codes?"
The Romulan grinned at the human, signalling to his communications officer off screen. "So you're the legendary Kirk? I always thought you'd be taller," the Commander said, the expression of snide mirth on his face giving Kirk the willies.
It was so strange, seeing emotions run rampant across a face that looked so Vulcan. Kirk kept his composure though, shrugging and making his smile turn slightly sheepish. "You have me at a loss, Commander. I'm afraid I've never heard of you," he replied, feeling displeasure slip from Spock through their bond.
With his smile fading slightly, the Romulan's dark eyes started at the human man with a look that should have shot laser beams through the screen and make him nothing more than a grease spot on the commands chair. After glancing over at Uhura and getting a nod of confirmation, the Captain looked back at the man on the screen and smiled.
"I tell you what, though," Kirk said, reminding himself of his orders to behave. "Why don't you come for a dinner tonight? We can swap stories and strategise." He didn't really want to dine with Romulans, but if it was going to save the Federation, he'd have dinner with Satan himself.
Commander Relix scowled but nodded. "At 1830 standard time?" he asked.
Kirk grinned and nodded. "1830 it is, Commander. I look forward to seeing you face to face. Kirk out." he said, motioning to Uhura to cut the connection. The human turned and looked at his bridge crew, feeling the tension shift in the air from a slight hint of hopelessness to a feeling of nervous anticipation.
He looked back at Spock, knowing without a doubt that he'd find the Vulcan's eyes on him. He felt the smile slide from his face and a more serious expression take over. It felt like there was a huge rift between the two of them that was growing by the day and he had no idea how to cross it.
"Captain," Chekov said, his voice rising above the chatter that had started. "I have two ships headed towards our position. It's the Neptune and the Sturass."
'This day just went from bad to good to better,' Kirk thought, looking over at Uhura. "Hail them, Lieutenant," Kirk said, almost giddy with excitement.
Spock clasped his hands behind his back, face a serene, blank mask. He stood shoulder to shoulder with Dr. McCoy and Uhura, Jim having taken the lead. He looked at the human's back, feeling his contained excitement. The man's mind was clear and focused as the transporter started to hum, all of the doubt, worry and emotions were pushed to the back of his psyche as he smiled and stepped forward.
Taking his cue from the Captain, Spock let his expressionless face relax as he waited with the rest of the senior staff. They'd made a good decision when they made Kirk the captain of the Enterprise. The man had an inner core of steel that seemed to provide him with an inexhaustible supply of strength.
"Commander Relix. Welcome to the Enterprise," Jim said, an easy smile warming his face as he held out his hand to the pointy eared alien that was about six inches taller than him.
The Romulan seemed to think about it for a few seconds before he returned the gesture, clasping his hand with Kirk's. He looked straight into the human's eyes, his own expression a mixture of curiosity and animosity.
"Please, let me introduce my staff," Spock's bondmate said, releasing the man's hand and turning to the side so that the Romulan could see the waiting officers; without turning his back on an alien that was twice as strong as he was. "This is my First Officer, Commander Spock, my Chief Medical Officer Lieutenant Commander Leonard McCoy, my Chief Communications Officer Lieutenant Uhura, and my Chief Engineer Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott."
During the introductions, the three officers behind the Romulan commander seemed to focus in on Spock, making the Vulcan want to squirm slightly under their close scrutiny. He kept his chin high and his posture straight though; not willing to show any type of discomfort in front of the Romulans. Next to him, he felt Uhura shift slightly on her feet, bringing her hip just slightly closer to the Vulcan, a show of support that bolstered Spock's sense of self-awareness.
Commander Relix nodded to each of them in turn before turning to introduce his staff. "This is my First Officer, Sub Commander Mekal, my Weapons Officer Rafan, and my Chief Engineer Svato," he said, indicating each officer as they were introduced.
The Captain nodded and motioned towards the door, commanding the situation effortlessly. "Please, let's continue this discussion over dinner," he said, leading the group out of the room.
Spock waited to bring up the rear, letting the envoy from the other ship and most of the officers from his own ship leave before he started out. He ended up walking next to the Weapon's Officer from the other ship. He nodded to the man, keeping a pleasant expression on his face as he followed his Captain.
"It's an honour to meet you," the Romulan said as they walked, making Spock look over with a look of mild surprise on his face. "You are the Commander Spock that destroyed Nero's vessel, aren't you?"
Keeping his face carefully neutral, the Vulcan inclined his head. "I was able to assist the Enterpise in that task, yes," he replied humbly, knowing that without Kirk the entire mission wouldn't have been possible.
The man gave Spock a half smile, a knowing twinkle in his eye. "They haven't really released a lot of specifics on the entire situation toin the Empire," he replied as they walked along.
Knowing that the Senate had a tight grip on the media that the public was exposed to, the Vulcan inclined his head. "It was a challenging battle," he replied, as they entered the small dining room that was reserved for special guests.
Looking over, Rafan seemed to hesitate when he saw the quelling look that his Commander was giving him. He turned back to Spock, seeming to brace his spine as he looked the Vulcan in the eye. He kept his mouth shut, but his intense stare gave the Vulcan pause before Kirk's voice broke through the tension that had been building in the room.
"Enough about us," he said, his mellow baritone carrying effortlessly through the room. "Let's hear more about you and your crew."
Commander Tolomy took the seat that Kirk indicated at the opposite end of the table from him, each of them taking up a side of the table. Spock sat down on Kirk's right, Rafan claiming the seat next to him as the rest of the Romulan's claimed that side of the table, leaving the humans to sit on the opposite side. It made the Vulcan slightly uncomfortable to be sitting next to men that, by most untrained eyes, looked like him, yet were so different. Apart from the uniforms and the tattoos that decorated the faces of the Romulans, the man sitting next to him could be any other Vulcan citizen.
Three yeomen filed into the room, setting down a soup dish in front of the guests seated around the table. Spock looked down and was slightly disappointed to see the clear vegetarian broth with the chunks of vegetables floating in it. As everyone reached for their spoons, he took one of the rolls from the centre of the table and set it on the plate next to his bowl. He was getting very tired of bread.
"Tell me, Commander, how did you happen to come into a fleet of Klingon ships?" Kirk asked pleasantly, taking a sip of the beef soup that he'd been served.
Taking a spoonful of the soup, Tolomy smiled at the human. "We've been capturing Klingon ships for almost five years now. They are not easy to catch. Their commanders usually self destruct before you can board them," he replied, annoyance written over his face. "When you do manage to board them though, they fight to the last man. They're fierce warriors, but not necessarily brilliant strategists."
Kirk nodded, his blue eyes focused in on the Romulan. "I've noticed that. I wonder if we could use their predisposition towards self destruction against them during the fight," he said, his eyes automatically finding Spock's.
When their eyes met, Spock felt warmth trace through their bond as the human's emotions brushed against his psyche. Kirk looked away first, smiling at the Commander at the opposite end of the table, but the warmth stayed with the Vulcan as he relaxed his mental shields slightly.
"Whenever we get into a fight with the Klingons, we try to isolate them one at a time and then destroy them when we have the tactical advantage. I don't believe those tactics would work with a fleet of the size that we are planning to battle with," the Romulan replied, taking a sip of the blue beverage that the mess hall had selected to go with the meal. His tattoos added a slightly sinister aspect to his face as he frowned slightly.
The yeomen that had served the soup came out and removed the bowls, replacing them with a veal in Parmesan. Spock looked down at his plate, seeing the attempt at eggplant parmesan and sighing. He missed the cafes and restaurants of his home planet where one never had to settle for a substitution. There was never a time that he had to be careful about what he ate, because there was never any meat to be found.
"Spock, won't they be passing by the Nebula in a day or so?" Kirk asked, looking over at his First Officer.
The Vulcan nodded. "Indeed. If we can get them into the Nebula, then we might be able to isolate them. We'd have to coordinate our vessels very carefully," he replied, looking over the assembled officers so that his eyes didn't linger on the Captain's face.
"What kind of Nebula is it?" Svato asked quietly, his deep bass completely at odds with the slender body that his uniform hung on. It looked like the man had just recovered from a serious illness. His skin was pale and hanging on him slightly, the shadows under his eyes making them look much bigger then they really were.
"It's a class five Nebula," Spock replied, taking a small bite of the delicious roll that he'd been savouring.
Nodding, the engineer looked over at his Commander. "It should be enough to confuse the Klingon sensors. Unfortunately, it's also enough to confuse ours as well. We'll be flying blind," he said, taking a small bite of his meal.
Scotty took a deep draw of his blue drink before he spoke. "We could modify some of the probes that we have on board to act as homing beacons. It won't be a perfect fix, but should keep us from blowing each other out of the sky," he said, looking around at the officers. "Though, if the Klingons catch on to what we're up to, it could become a lot more interesting. What kind of fire power are you packing on those War Birds?"
All of the Romulans looked to the Commander Tolomy nodded to his subordinate, indicating that the young officer should answer the question.
"We've got some special modifications to our phaser banks that increase the power as well as a full payload of photon torpedoes," he replied, looking at Scotty for only a second before his eyes seemed drawn to Spock.
"Aye, that should do it," he said, taking another bite and chewing quickly. "Depending on the timing and the Klingons themselves, we should be able to blow a hole in their fleet that will let us push them back into the Klingon space.
Kirk looked over at Spock, smiling at him and making the Vulcan's heart skip a beat as warmth made the human's blue eyes even bluer. Shaking off the slight flutter the man made rise in his stomach, Spock looked down at his food, sending a warmth along their bond that he hoped the man received.
When their plates were taken away and a small dish of pudding was set in front of them. Inwardly, Spock cringed back from the human confection. It wasn't just any pudding. It was Tapioca pudding. Keeping his composure, the Vulcan picked up the spoon that had been set on the plate next to his dish. He'd tried the desert once and had developed an instant dislike to it's chewy, chunky texture.
He set down his spoon, keeping his posture as the Romulan next to him eyed him with interest. Looking over, he saw Uhura wince in sympathy before she looked down and poked at the desert.
"This is an interesting desert, Kirk. What is it called?" the Commander of the alien troops asked, smiling and chewing on the unfamiliar pudding
Finishing off his, Kirk leaned back in the chair and sipped his blue ale. "It's called pudding. Tapioca to be exact," he replied, smiling at the Romulan and waiting until they were all finished before he pushed himself back away from the table. "Gentlemen, thank you for a wonderful evening. I believe that we need to set course for the Nebula if we're going to get our ships in place and beat the Klingons."
The Romulans pushed away from the table almost as one. They started towards the door, Kirk leading the way even as the Starfleet officers started to follow behind the group.
"I must admit, Kirk, you do set a fine table," the tattooed leader said as he started out the door.
Spock dropped back slightly, letting most of the people file out before he followed, ready for the night to be over. He wanted to return to his quarters and shower to rid himself of the grime of the day. As he was mentally putting himself in the shower, he felt a soft brush against his hand. Pulling his limb away from whoever had touched him, he looked over to see the Romulan Weapons Officer.
"I'm sorry, Commander Spock. Please," the man said, his face tight with worry. He slipped a disk into the Vulcan's hand and quickly stepped away, picking up his pace until he was following right behind his Commander.
Blinking curiously after the Weapon's Officer, Spock held the disk in his hand. Whatever was on it, it was obvious that the man hadn't wanted the other Romulans to see it. As they beamed away, he turned to the Captain and gently touched the man's sleeve as he started to leave.
Kirk flopped down onto the large overstuffed chair in his quarters and motioned towards the couch across from him. "Please, have a seat," he said, keeping his expression open. When he'd answered the chime to his door and found Spock on the other side, he'd been shocked. He didn't know what to expect from the man. He wanted to think that the Vulcan was here to demand that Kirk strip off the robe that he was wearing and take him then and there, but he doubted that the sex he had in mind was the reason for the man's visit.
As if he sensed the man's thoughts – a distinct possibility; Spock's colour deepened slightly. "Before the Romulans were beamed off the ship, the Weapons Officer handed me this disk," he explained, setting the flat item down on the table between them.
All thoughts of the Vulcan's nude body disappeared from Kirk's mind as he looked at the disk. He turned it over and over in his hands before he handed it back. He knew that Starfleet wouldn't want the man to have this, but his own curiosity was peaked. "Let's see what he gave you," he replied, moving over to the console that sat next to the doorway to his room.
Spock sat down in the chair at Kirk's urging, the posture feeling very familiar and comforting to Kirk as he leaned over the man's shoulder. His robe gaped slightly, giving the Vulcan an eye full of his strong, muscular chest with its light dusting of chest hair. As they waited for the information to boot up, he felt their bond grow stronger, the desire that Spock felt pushing at him.
Looking down, Jim caught the Vulcan's eyes and leaned forward. He pressed their lips together without thinking, gently working them together. Instantly, he felt Spock's presence in his mind grow until it eclipsed everything else. When the man under him moaned, Jim's hand on the chair tightened. He kissed the raven haired man harder, the spicy, exotic taste of his First Officer making his blood pound through his system.
He was just about to turn the chair and grab the man's uniform to rip it off when there was a soft beep and the screen lit up. Spock broke away from the Captain, his breathing harsh in Kirk's ears as the thrum of his desire beat at the human's mind through their bond. It had been almost a year since the last time Jim had been intimate with anyone, and with Spock so close he was finding it hard to concentrate on anything except the burning in his blood.
"Jim, look," Spock said, his voice rougher than usual due to the heat he could feel coming from both of them.
Kirk looked over and blinked, trying to push his desire to the back of his mind. He tried to focus, his mind getting much clearer when he saw what was displayed on screen.
They were the technical readouts of the Klingon War Birds including their ammunitions and the special mods that had been made to the phasers of the ships.
Jim felt the Vulcan's eyes on him and he turned, looking at Spock.
He knew that the Vulcan was under suspicion of treason, but the fact that Spock was here with the disk in his hand was just the icing on the cake in his book. If he were even thinking about betraying the Federation, Spock wouldn't have come to him like this. He would have kept the disk hidden, or analyse it first himself before showing it to Kirk.
Leaning on the back of the chair, Kirk caught a hint of the spicy, exotic scent that seemed unique for his First Officer. He tried to ignore the heat in his own blood, but when he felt the tension that was running through Spock, it only seemed to make things worse.
"Jim," Spock said, shifting in the chair so that his face was inches away from the human's.
Kirk looked down, his brilliant blue eyes clashing with Spock's as he felt their breaths mingle. He started to lean forward slowly, unable to fight the magnetic pull that he felt. Their lips would mingle perfectly, he knew. The bond between them would make their desire flame hotter and hotter until they wouldn't be able to resist anymore.
An soft beep from the console pulled his attention away from his bondmate, snapping the tension between them like an over stressed rubber band. He looked away and blinked at the new tactical information that was being displayed on the screen. It wasn't just the movements of the Klingon War Birds that had been assigned to the fleet. It also looked like the troop movements for the Romulan fleet for the next six months.
When a program started scrolling across the screen, Kirk looked to his science officer for answers.
"It looks like a decryption algorithm for transmissions. Captain, these codes are Romulan," he to the human's unspoken question.
Kirk looked out at the beautiful, swirling colours of the Nebula. The blues and greens were soothing in a vague way, reminding him of the time he'd gone down in an old fashioned submarine back on Earth. Next to his ship, he knew, there was a fleet of Klingon War Birds manned by Romulans and two Federation starships.
Feeling the brush of his bondmate's mind on his own, Kirk looked up to see Spock coming over to him with a data PADD. His brilliant blue eyes looked up, meeting the dark, deep brown of his bondmate's. Spock's eyes were cautious, wary of his reception. Kirk's gut tightened as he felt the man's emotions through their bond.
"Captain," Spock said, handing him the portable piece of technology. "The fleet is ready. We have our decoys in place and are awaiting the Klingons."
Jim nodded and took the PADD, scanning the information for a second before he reached out and brushed his fingertips along the back of his bondmate's hand. He hated the lost, despairing emotions that he felt coming from the Vulcan's mind. Despite the fact that he was angry over Spock's inability to let go of the past year; he was also tired of fighting with the ghost of a man who wasn't even alive anymore. Sooner or later they would have to close that chapter if they wanted to have any future together.
"Thank you, Spock," he said, letting his fingers linger on the man's warmer than normal skin as he let the man into his mind.
Some of the tension that had been riding the Vulcan's features relaxed, his serenity seeming less forced as he nodded to the other man. "You're welcome," he said, letting a wave of warmth wash through their bond before he took his hand away and returned to his station.
Kirk looked over at Uhura, meeting her eyes and sighing inwardly with relief as he saw the acceptance written there. Things were finally starting to fall into place.
Now all he had to do was survive the next twelve hours.
The overworked scientist whistled to himself as he handled the controls of his ship. He'd been out here in the dark, cold emptiness of space for the past thirteen months scanning for dilithium. All he'd managed to find so far had been rocks, rocks and more rocks.
Sighing and rubbing his eyes, the Romulan man pushed the hair away from his eyes. It had grown out, the now far longer than regulation locks giving him a slightly piratical air with his small rank tattoos dotting his face.
He absently searched an asteroid belt that he passed, debating on wither or not he should just abandon his post, take his ship back to Romulus, and turn in his commission. This was not the life that he and his wife had dreamed of when he'd joined the military.
A blip on the screen caught his attention and he swung around. Blinking at the metal that he'd caught with his sensors, the Romulan man carefully piloted his small ship through the asteroids. He slowed as he approached the long, coffin like piece of metal.
"It's an escape pod," he muttered, quickly tractoring it into his cargo hold and sliding down the ladder just as the doors to his cargo hold cycled shut. He slapped the panel that would open the pod and blinked when it flashed red. He tried again, this time being a little gentler with it.
When it still didn't open, the scientist raised both his eyebrows. He popped the panel on the side, typing in the code that the government had given him for this kind of security issues. The light on the side blinked green and the pod opened.
Grabbing the med kit he'd popped off the wall on the way down, the Romulan shoved open the lid.
His mouth dropped open as he saw the man inside the pod,
"Help me," the Preator said, his voice hoarse from the lack of water. His hand grabbed a hold of the low ranking scientist's coat, his grip surprisingly strong as he dragged the man down. "Sabotage..." The gold eyes of the Commander of the Romulan military fluttered shut as he sank back down into the pod.