Kirk looked up from his chair wondering what he could do to return things back to normal. Nothing was the same since being on that planet.

It had been several weeks since the incident with Parmen and the Platonians, when their bodies had been taken control of. He did not want to think about it. It was disturbing just to recall his humiliation.

He found himself stealing glances at Uhura whenever he got a chance. James T. Kirk was no stranger to women, he had plenty of them. This time though, things were different. He knew that he could not use his charm or his sex appeal to get what he wanted. Did he want her? Yes...he had to admit to himself that he did.

What bothered him most though, was his response to kissing Uhura. He had never thought of her before as anything but a very capable Communications Officer. After all, she was crew and he had a policy that he didn't do crew. He had never even thought about her in that way before, but the kiss had changed all that. It had been unexpectedly arousing.

He still remembered the scent of her. He had never been quite that close to her before. Now when he looked at her hands working at her console, he remembered the feel of those same hands on his face when they kissed. He remembered the curve of her waist and the roundness of her hips and how they felt as his hands, though guided by another ran over them. Those feelings burned in his memory. He thought of it as he secretly watched the swaying of her hips, those rare occasions when she moved about the bridge. He had begun stealing glances of her whenever he could.

Even though he had not been in control of those touches and he knew that he was not responsible for his actions, he had responded to her in a way that surprised him. There was electricity that he felt pass between them that had nothing to do with the forcing of the kiss. He had never imagined what it would be like to taste her full soft lips or to feel the soft curves of her body so close to his. After all, she was Uhura. She was a beautiful woman, but he had never thought about that before and now he asked himself, why had he not.? It had not been altogether unpleasant, that forced kiss. He felt himself become aroused and was surprised at the desire that filled him. He knew that she felt him hard and aroused as he kissed her. He had seen it in her eyes. It disturbed him now to think about it. He remembered looking at Parman defiantly, while kissing her, but his body had been just as defiant, going against his own mind by aching to join with hers. He had been so close to her, her scent and taste forever in his memory.

She had expressed her fear to him, when they were the puppets of the platonians, and he had tried to reassure her. He tried to concentrate on being the captain and being strong for his crew...and for her. When he had felt the pressure forcing him to connect with the fullness of her lips, their softness beckoned him for further exploration.

Since the incident, she had been stiff towards him and unfailingly polite. She hardly looked him in the eye. The admiration he used to see on her face was nowhere to be found. The easy familiar camraderie between them no longer existed. He was grieved by it all.

"Lieutenant" he said daring not to look over at her.

"Yes Captain."

He turned around in the captain's chair. "I need to see you in conference room three." He looked up at Spock who was watching him "Spock, you have the con."

He got up and walked out knowing that she was following close behind.

**************************

Uhura sat in the conference room wondering what the captain was going to say. She was nervous and she knew that the crew most likely was buzzing about it while they were gone.

He was watching her as if he was trying to choose his words carefully.

"Lieutenant, I can't help but notice that things have been strained between us recently. I think we need to vent, to air out our feelings or whatever so that things can return to normal between you and I."

She should have known he would be direct. She looked at him trying to remain calm, but her heart felt like it would beat out of her chest. "Captain, how can things be normal? Things...will never again be the same. I am just trying to function here. Am I not fulfilling my duties satisfactorily?"

"Of course you are. I just mean...perhaps you want to talk about it."

"We've already talked about it when we returned. Dr. McCoy-"

"I'm not talking about that, dammit!" he said obviously frustrated. "I'm talking about what happened...between you and I...the part that wasn't...'forced.'

She did not want to talk about this. She would have to admit to him how she liked the fact that he recognized her as a woman and that his obvious arousal as he held her in his arms while they were captives on the planet excited her.

"I don't know what you mean" she lied avoiding his gaze.

He stood up coming into her personal space. He stared at her a moment before pulling her by her arms to her feet. "Oh I think you do, Uhura. I think you do. I have been consumed with thoughts about what happened and how I felt. I have not been able to think of little else in the last few weeks. Are you being honest with me and telling me that you felt nothing? Are you trying to tell me that you have not even thought about it?"

She did not respond. Instead she looked away. He was too handsome and sexy for his own damn good! His hands held her arms tightly as he was searching her for answers she did not want to give. She felt weak and hot at the same time. The faint smell of his cologne wrecking havoc on her senses.

"Answer me, Lieutenant!" he hissed then lowered his voice. "That's an order."

"What good will my confession do? Is this just another way for you to add a notch in your belt, just another mission another conquest?" She would not look at him, staring at the floor.

His hands released her from their tight grip and dropped to his sides. Her words stung him.

"That's not fair. You don't know me well enough to make such an assumption. I felt it when I kissed you and I want to know if you felt it too. Now that we have full control of our faculties, I need to know if it truly was real."

He pulled her into his arms and kissed her before she could object. He knew that she could report him, charge him with abuse of his authority and sexual harrasment, but he threw caution to the wind. Her lips were warm and soft and felt no resistance from her. He grasped her hips in his hands pulling her closer to him letting her feel his desire for her. He immediately felt her response.

Uhura's head was spinning and she found herself responding, kissing him back. Her hand traveled to his face during the kiss before she pulled herself away. "What did this prove, captain? I think you got what you wanted. Yes, I was affected by your kisses and it had nothing to do with them forcing us. Are you satisfied now?"

She was surprised when he sat down and ran his fingers through his hair, gathering his thoughts. "I just needed to know."

"Know what, captain? I know we both felt something, but we don't have to act on it. It may be easy for you. You find a woman to satisfy your needs in every port. I have fought to control those kinds of feelings. It's not the same for a woman. A woman who finds a man on every mission gains an unpleasant name for herself. It's not fair but its true. I had gotten myself to a place where I could control those feelings, where I wouldn't have to act on them or think on them constantly. As a woman everything I have accomplished, I've had to work hard for. No one can say some man gave me this or that because I was screwing him."

He looked at her surprised. "I never thought that way about you. I have always respected you."

"I want to remain respected, captain. Can that remain so if we act out our basic urges? If we have a quick fling and satisfy some itch, who will suffer for it? You won't be the one damaged, I will. This is why I have never ever considered getting involved with anyone I work with before, and certainly you least of all."

He looked at her. "And now?"

"It's like now you awakened the sleeping giant, the thought has been planted and I can't think of much else. I just don't want to be made a fool of...to lose all I have worked hard for."

"You said that I found a woman in every port, however, you and everyone else on this ship should also know that I don't pursue crew members. I need their respect and loyalty. This is a big risk for me also. I have never, until just now, done what I just did. I had to know even at the risk of you reporting me."

"I won't report you captain." she said meeting his gaze. " I had to know too. The question now is, where do we go from here? Do we continue to function as if it never happened?"

"I don't think I can...at least not for a while." He looked at her as if pained. " I miss the comradarie, the way all of us functioned as a well oiled machine. How do we get that back? I used to look at you as a crew member, someone loyal and competent to do a job. I can't help myself. I see a desirable woman, a woman who I long to kiss again and again."

She inhaled at his confession. "Maybe we should just take it slow...see what happens."

He stared at her a moment. "Do you want to do that? Do you want to take a chance with me?"

"I don't know. I am not into sharing and you don't seem to be into monogamy."

She was surprised at the obvious hurt that showed on his face.

"You are not being fair, Uhura."

"Maybe not, Captain, but you know I'm being truthful. Right now I feel that I'd just be the flavor of the hour and then you'd tire of me and where does that leave me? No... then again perhaps we should attempt to go on and act like it never happened."

"Yet there is a part of you that wants to give it a try?" Kirk said looking at her hopeful.

Why was he looking at her like he was a lost little boy? He was too good looking for his own good! Was he really sincere? She looked away from him.

Seeing her hesitate he moved in closer. He took her face in his hand. "Have I ever lied to you, misled you?"

"No, Captain."

"Then believe this...I want this to work. I want you. I'm tired of... as you say, 'a woman in every port'.I want more than just sex, in fact, I think we should get to know each other better. No sex...let's say for six months. We just try to get to know each other, spend time together. I want a woman who can love me, all of me the good, bad and the ugly. I want to wake up knowing her name and everything else about her. I'm willing to forgo the physical for a while and trade it for the intimate."

She looked at him doubtful. "Six months? Come on Captain. You expect me to believe that you would go six months without sex?"

"Yes, I am serious. If that's what it takes for you to believe me, then for the next six months I will pursue our relationship.. no sex with you or anyone else...though I may have to resort to other means...to keep the urges down." he said smiling at her. "And the same for you. No sex. We will proceed slowly."

She was amazed at what he was saying. If he was really serious about a relationship with her and wanted to prove it to her this way, she would take him up on it.

"Alright Captain."

"Jim"

"Alright, Jim"

He pulled her closer, looking into her eyes. "Let's seal it with a kiss"

Nyota returned the kiss which was warm and passionate. She wondered how she was going to be able to keep up her end of the bargain if all his kisses were like this one.

He released her and studied her a moment. "I should have known when we left that place, that things would never again be the same."