Jim slowly blinked into wakefulness, skin warmed by the sunlight filtering in through burgundy curtains. Blearily, he turned his head to the pillow beside him, finding it warm, but empty. The sound of movement coming from the kitchen confirmed that last night hadn't been a dream. He and Spock really were on leave together in San Francisco, two days after the trial and sentencing of one Theodore Matthews. The ensign had answered to the charges of tampering with the main computer of a Starfleet vessel, committing hate crimes, assault, conspiring to murder and manslaughter. Of course, one listen to the logs found on the Ensign's personal tablet and the argument for insanity wasn't even necessary.
Comparisons had been made between the Ensign's behavior and logs before and after the Narada crisis, and it was as if they belonged to two entirely different people. Pre-Nero Matthews had seemed like a cool guy, if a little nerdy about geology. The content of his logs were all about new discoveries and excitement about getting into space. After the death of his parents, however, Matthews' entries escalated from wishing he could have saved his family to highlighting research on pre-Surak vulcans, fallacies about Pon Farr and seeing Nero's face everywhere he went. They were actually pretty creepy, Jim thought. He'll be able to do some primary research on Vafer-Tor, Jim sighed to himself. Apparently the judge and the shrinks agreed that the best way to cure Matthews of his paranoia of Vulcans was to surround him with them. Hope they're right…
Jim's attention was brought back to Spock's apartment when he heard the sound of an aircar horn blaring from the street below. Pushing thoughts of Matthews and that terrible week and half aside, Jim threw the coverlet back and slipped out of bed, padding softly to the replicator and punching in for a cup of coffee. He picked up his PADD and opened the day's issue of Starfleet Informer, scrolling past the headlines referring to the trial and booking marking one that read, "Admiral James Komack Faces Possible Court Martial and Nasty Divorce" until he came across the maintenance schedule. Pictures of his white lady were front and center as he read the title of the article "Enterprise Crew Enjoys Leave while Vessel is Refitted." They had actually interviewed members of the crew, asking them what they planned to do while planetside.
Jim chuckled when he came across a statement from one of his crew, "I'm going to bury myself in non-replicated chocolate and only come up for air when it becomes necessary to drink milk," Ensign Reyes told our reporter.
Jim smiled to himself thinking that it was probably a good thing he hadn't let himself be interviewed. He could see it now: "I plan to spend an entire week making love to my first officer while we eat Chinese and lick chocolate from each other's pen—"
"Jim?" Spock called from the kitchen, distracting him from his musings. "Are you fully cognizant?"
Jim smiled into his coffee, awed once more by Vulcan hearing range. "Yup. Just got up," he called from his position in front of the window, "I'm gonna take a quick shower before breakfast."
Suddenly, Spock appeared in the bedroom doorway wearing a silk, emerald green robe. Jim's coffee was immediately abandoned in favor of crossing the room and wrapping his arms around his scantily clad Vulcan. "Mmm…" he hummed into Spock's neck before bringing their lips together in a sweet caress, "'Morning."
Spock brought a hand to his lover's cheek, rubbing softly and feeling quite content as Jim responded by closing his eyes and pressing into his palm much like an affectionate kitten. "You needed to use the facilities?"
Spock's voice alerted Jim to what he was doing and he cleared his throat awkwardly before stepping aside so Spock could enter the room, "Right." He eyed the fresher, thinking a nice hot spray of water was exactly what he needed right about now. Spock was shuffling around the room now, probably pulling some clothing out of a bag or something and Jim thought that was a pity. Licking his lips, he turned to approach his unsuspecting prey. Spock was leaning over the foot of the bed, going through his suitcase, green robe happily clinging to the pert ass beneath.
Jim could still count on two hands the number of times they'd made love, and he was determined that after their leave, the count would be so high that all the toes and fingers of the Enterprise crew combined wouldn't be enough to hold a tally. He felt Spock freeze when Jim circled his arms around the lithe waist, hands entwining with the silk tie at the front of the robe. Jim rested his chin on a shoulder and squeezed affectionately, "Mmmm…" he hummed into a pointed ear at the feel of silk against his bare chest. "I love this robe, have I told you that?"
Spock felt a familiar flutter in his groin at the low pitched undertone of his Captain's voice. "You have mentioned it a total of nine times," Spock intoned, refusing to add to Jim's ego by immediately giving way to his desire. "However, I fail to see how your affinity for this particular article of clothing correlates to your continued avoidance of the shower. Indeed," Spock took a deep inhalation of air before turning in Jim's arms and deadpanning, "your stench is fairly overwhelming."
Jim's answering bark of laughter filled the room before he issued a playful bite to Spock's shoulder. "My stench, huh?" He gave Spock's butt as playful swat for he lifted his gaze to Spock's laughing brown eyes, "And I suppose you're all clean under there? Fresh from the sonic."
"Yes," Spock non-smirked, "In fact, I arose two point four—" Spock chocked off with a gasp as loving hands glided under his robe and grazed over the head of his unsuspecting penis before grabbing handfuls of his backside.
The silk tie had given away to Jim's pull easily allowing the robe to fall open and reveal the soft, clean skin underneath. "I'd hate to rub my filth all over such clean perfection…" he dropped to his knees, hands still clutching Spock's perfectly delectable ass, the silk robe caressing the back of his knuckles as he massaged each mound in a sensual rhythm, nuzzling his nose into the curly black hairs at Spock's groin and inhaling deeply.
Jim's cheek brushed gently against the shaft of Spock's now erect organ, before bringing his mouth just to the tip and glancing up to meet his lover's intense stare. The Vulcan's pupils were already dilated with desire, his mouth open as shallow breaths were marked by the rise and fall of that lithely muscled chest. As long as he lived, Jim knew he'd never get tired of seeing Spock respond to him so openly, "I think you missed a spot," he winked before engulfing the entire length, swallowing when the head hit the back of his throat.
"Oh!" Spock moaned, bringing a hand to Jim's shoulder and another to his head to hold himself straight. The sight of Jim's mouth wrapped around his shaft, his blue eyes beseeching as his head moved up and down on his cock, never failed to send his Vulcan heart into arrhythmia. "Jim…" he moaned, not caring how unVulcan it was to do so—in the previous eight times that he and Jim had been physically intimate, Spock's control had yet to endure beyond the first few caresses—but knowing that this is precisely the kind of reaction his lover wanted. Spock could not allow Jim to want for anything.
Strong hands raked up and down the sinew of Spock's back, ass and thighs, winding to the front at the knees and pushing back up over hips and abdomen, tweaking erect nipples before repeating the cycle again. Over and over, Jim's mouth sucked and swallowed, licked and swirled around his lover's penis, while his ears basked in the praise his Vulcan sang with his moans. Jim's sack was heavy with want, his own cock throbbing between his thighs as pre-cum glistening upon the head. He felt the hand in his hair tighten before the cock in his mouth pulsed and his mouth was filled the warm fluid of Spock's release, enjoying the sound of Spock's rapturous shout.
Jim waited for his lover to soften, purposefully keeping Spock's emission in his mouth as he slowly and deliberately trailed his open mouth all the way from Spock's hip to his collar bone, leaving a path of bodily fluid as he went. Jim made sure he was looking Spock directly in the eyes when he swallowed the rest, licked his lips and smirked, "Oops. Looks like I made a mess."
The growl escaped his throat before Spock could stop it as he pulled Jim's mouth to his for a searing kiss. Strong hands traveled the length of his lover's thighs, removing flannel pants in their wake, before hoisting his human into his arms, Jim's legs wrapping around his waist as he moved toward the bathroom. His robe was discarded somewhere along the way before Spock slammed Jim's back against the wall of the shower, his mouth feasting on every piece of exposed flesh Jim's neck and shoulders provided.
"Oh, fuck," Jim nearly screamed when methodical fingers began to play at his opening. There was only one thing that could possibly make this scenario hotter Jim thought as he reached a hand toward the control panel and flipped on the water to a preset temperature. They both moaned as the almost too hot stream cascaded over their writhing bodies, adding a delicious slide to the friction between them.
Sensing Jim's slight discomfort with the current position, Spock released his lover's legs, allowing him to stand on his own feet. However, the second Jim's feet found ground; Spock found himself pressed face first into the wall where Jim's back had just been. Sucking lips and teasing tongue danced along the nape of his neck, slowly moving up behind his ear and then closing over the tip, drawing from the Vulcan an embarrassingly needy sound.
"Don't worry, baby," Jim cooed from behind him, hands and water dancing along Spock's back, around his hips and backside until talented fingers rubbed delicious circles around his entrance. "I'm gonna make you feel so good."
Jim's cock was throbbing painfully as he slid it back and forth within the cleft of his lover's gorgeous mounds. Spock was so fucking hot like this, wet and pliant…hands and arms splayed against the wall above his bowed head as he rolled his luscious ass in time to Jim's strokes. Every slide against the Vulcan's wanton hole caused a perceptible shudder to run through Spock's body. Jim reached over and punched in the code for conditioner, a generous amount appearing in the receptacle of the shower's replicator.
He let his cock come to rest against the small of Spock's back as he reached up and gently but firmly pulled Spock's head back by his hair, tantalizingly hot water spraying over both of them as he coated his fingers in the conditioner before sliding first one, then two into Spock's tight channel. Jim's light aggression coupled with his hot breath, coming out in pants against his ear made Spock's penis throb painfully. "Please," he begged in a half-groan, after several minutes of enduring Jim's fingers which were so good, but not nearly enough. "Jim…now."
Jim used the hand in Spock's hair to guide the Vulcan's head forward again as he withdrew his fingers. He coated his length in the remaining conditioner before bringing the head of his cock flush with its destination. He circled his free hand around to Spock's middle to grasp his lover's arousal, before he thrust inside—one long, sensual motion all the way to the hilt. Their simultaneous moan echoed loudly within the shower stall. Jim's forehead dropped against Spock's back as he pressed delirious kisses to his spine. Jim was drunk with his desire, as every nerve ending in his body took over. The slide of their bodies against one another as he thrust in and out, pumping Spock's shaft to the rhythm of their dance, filled Jim with a heady sense of euphoria. It had never been like this with anyone else. One touch, one sweet breath of air against his skin and Jim was gone, lost to his desire for the being in his arms.
The hand in Spock's hair moved to rub affectionately at the back of his neck as Jim continued to slowly slide in and out, the head of his penis rubbing maddeningly against his prostate as the hand around his organ drove him closer and closer to the brink. Spock had never known sensation such as this could exist before Jim. Just as he could feel his lover's flesh as it slid against his own, he could feel the love and devotion as it bled forth from Jim's mind and into his own blood. It fed Spock in a way that food could not. Quenched his thirst without water. Filled his soul in the way space was full of stars and planets and moons.
This, he thought blearily, feeling his climax approach. This is all that matters. Loving and being loved. Giving and taking. Touching and being touched. "I love you," Spock managed before Jim pressed once more, insistently upon his prostate, pumping his seed deep within the Vulcan's core, ripping Spock's own orgasm from his body, his essence spraying against the shower wall and drizzling over Jim's fingers. The water beat down on them from above as they stood entwined under the spray of the shower, exhausted and panting.
Later, after they had made their way to the kitchen, both dressed in their bathrobes, Spock found himself wrapping arms around Jim as he flipped their pancakes. "I do not believe the doctor would approve of your choice in breakfast, ashaya," he observed, placing a light kiss to Jim's temple.
Jim sighed, feeling happier than he could have remembered. With all the hectic pressure and stress that they had been operating under since that first night in Spock's quarters, this was his first real taste of domesticity with Spock. Jim had never cohabitated before, but he had the feeling they were going to manage just fine. Deciding to ignore Spock's concerns regarding his diet and Bones' imminent bitching, Jim switched off the stove and leaned back into Spock's embrace.
"Remember when I told you the Enterprise was home?" Jim asked.
Spock nodded against Jim's stubble-covered jaw, "I recall our conversation," he replied. "It was the night I realized that I was in love with you."
Jim smiled, "And that you were homosexual."
"Yes, that too," Spock responded as if that discovery were inconsequential in comparison.
Jim turned so he could meet the Vulcan's gaze, "I lied to you." At the prompting of Spock's eyebrow, he continued, "It's you, Spock. The Enterprise is home…because you're there. This apartment is home right now, because you're in it with me…You're my home, Spock."
The heart in his side ached with the weight of Jim's declaration, and he found it immensely hard to swallow. Spock placed a sweet kiss to Jim's lips before pressing their foreheads together, "As you are mine, T'hy'la." The moment stretched on as they continued to embrace, basking in the knowledge that as long as they were together, nothing would ever tear them apart.
Epilogue…sort of… OR What Happened to Matthews.
Dawn was slowly giving way to morning over the city of New Shi'Kar on Vafer-Tor, as sunlight began filtering through the windows of the new I'tsan-tor Hakausu Therapy Clinic. Junior Healer, T'Lan pulled her PADD from her desk and made her way down the corridor. The new facility had only opened eight months ago to take on their first patients, a mixture of species from all over the Alpha Quadrant. Many of them were out-patients that showed up to weekly scheduled sessions with their assigned healers, trying to overcome any number of behavioral and mental instabilities. Of course, there were also boarders that lived in apartments around the center, consisting of those who intended to leave the planet once their therapy was concluded or transferred to a different facility, most likely on Earth. Then, there were the in-patients, those who lived temporarily within the facility, requiring closer care and observation than the others.
T'Lan rounded the corner and bumped into one such patient, "Ooph," she heard the breath leave the human as he began to fall backward. She instinctively reached for his shoulders and steadied him, finally meeting his eyes. "Ah, Ted," T'Lan greeted her patient.
"Sorry," he said at the same time, eyes widened with shock. Ted had been running late for his morning group session and hadn't been paying attention. He gave T'Lan a nervous smile, "I wasn't paying attention."
T'Lan tilted her head, "Your apology—"
"Is Illogical?" He finished for her, chuckling slightly. "I know."
T'Lan regarded her patient for a moment, noticing the changes that had slowly begun to make themselves known. When Theodore Matthews had first arrived on Vafer-Tor, he had been shy and withdrawn, keeping to himself and radiating all manner of emotion—fear, trepidation, anxiety, remorse, guilt and self-loathing. T'Lan had read his file before he was admitted to the clinic as an in-patient, and quite frankly his reaction was most logical. He had, after all, been suffering from a psychotic break that resulted in the death of two Starfleet personnel and his own court martial. Upon his arrival, Ted had been surrounded by the very species that had become the focus of his delusion.
Looking at him now, four months later and one could see that he was sleeping and eating better and actually smiling upon occasion—a very good sign in humans. What was more, Ted had been opening up more during his sessions, speaking of his deceased family and the feelings associated with the circumstances of their demise. She remembered their discussion from three weeks ago:
"You often speak of growing weary of Vulcans gradually," T'Lan had addressed the young man seated across from her. "Is there any moment in particular, in which you recall that your anger toward Nero began to morph into xenophobic feelings toward Vulcans."
Ted had let out a weary breath, his brow furrowed, "I don't know," he started to say, but then his eyes widened as if he had just realized something he had over looked, "Wait. That's not true. I mean…I think…" he shook his head, "It was something I heard from a friend. A book he had read."
"A book," T'Lan prompted.
"Yeah," Matthews nodded, "Vulcan: A History. He was talking about ancient Vulcan wars and warriors and some new information that Starfleet had gotten from the surviving Vulcan elders about…" he blushed, knowing now that Pon Farr was an incredibly private and shameful experience for T'Lan's people, "about Vulcan mating cycles. He showed me an article in Interstellar Times and I found some reports on the Net about…" he really didn't want to offend his counselor by continuing.
"Rapes," T'Lan's voice was, as usual, devoid of inflection. "Assaults associated with Pon Farr among male Vulcan refugees on Earth."
"Yeah," he nodded. "I didn't react to it right away, but," he let another heavy sigh, "but then it came out that Vulcans and Romulans are sort of like long-lost cousins, or something, and that's when I first started feeling paranoid."
"Please explain this paranoia," She had asked.
"When the photos of Nero and the Narada were released to the public, someone online had manipulated the photos of the Romulan Captain to show what he would look like without his tattoos and I remember thinking the resemblance was uncanny. At the same time, more and more Vulcans were enrolling into Starfleet, since the VSA was gone and…and I kept seeing his face, everywhere. In every Vulcan student. I couldn't turn it off."
"What did you do?" T'Lan asked.
"I ignored them…avoided them…but at the same time I was researching everything I could find about Vulcan history, especially anything that referred any relationships to Romulans. I learned all about pre-reform era Vulcan and its ties to modern-day Romulus."
"You told your commanding officers on board the Enterprise that you believed it was only a matter of time before Commander Spock and the rest of his kind reverted back to pre-Surak violence," T'Lan read from the file on her PADD.
"Yes," Ted had nodded, looking miserable. "I thought that if I got rid of Spock, I'd be making the Enterprise a safer place for everyone." His eyes filled with unshed tears, remembering the explosion he had created in the shuttle bay not quite a year ago, "But I couldn't even save them from me…" tears spilled over the human's face, his guilt once again palatable without touch.
T'Lan approached her human patient and knelt before him, "And how do you feel now?"
"Like a fool," he managed between sobs. "I killed them…me. And what's worse," he choked, "I actually thought it'd make my parents proud if I killed Mr. Spock." He had looked up at T'Lan then, "He melded with me, you know."
T'Lan nodded, "Yes, it was in the report. Though, I do not understand why he would do such a thing. A meld is a very…invasive way to share information with psy-null species. Indeed, it is borderline unethical that he did so-"
"I told him to prove it," Matthews defended his former First Officer. "He told me that Vulcans feel more deeply and intensely than humans. I didn't believe him and I told him to prove it. I—I wanted him to do it…I knew he could feel it where our skin touched. I wanted him to prove me right. When he put his hand to my face, I feared he might try to manipulate me, but I didn't care…I gave him permission—and then, he showed me something."
"What did he show you?" T'Lan asked, knowing that this experience had been paramount in bringing her patient back from the brink of insanity.
"His…" Ted swallowed hard, his voice little more than a whisper, "He showed me his mother—how she died on Vulcan, how he had been right there, and he still wasn't able to save her. I felt his pain and his guilt…just like my own, suffocating and eternal—and I knew."
"What did you know?" T'Lan pressed.
"How wrong I was…how sick," his tears were falling again. "I'm not a murderer and yet…I am." Ted curled further in on himself, "I don't know if I can live with this. I don't know if want to. How could I do this? Oh, God—"
T'Lan had taken the human in her arms and rocked him, a new technique Vulcan healers had adopted with the recent turmoil among their species. Her human psychology mentor had often said, 'Sometimes, the best remedy is kindness and a hug.' T'Lan had spent many months studying the work of Dr. Virginia Satir, a touch therapy pioneer and she found the doctor's arguments in favor of this type of treatment highly logical. Vulcans and humans were not so unalike in the ways of emotion and touch. In fact, the only difference was intensity. Vulcans' sense of touch is heightened as it is directly tied to their telepathic abilities. Emotions, too, are felt more intensely due to Vulcan neurology, which is the primary motivation behind adopting logic and denying the hold of emotion over decision making. In short, humans were not the only ones, especially in recent years, in need of physical reassurance and comfort. T'Lan had found her hands and arms wrapped around numerous shoulders, stroking backs and rocking back and forth.
As she observed Matthews now, standing in the hallway, she had a very illogical feeling that he would eventually be okay. The man before her was showing signs of increasing self-esteem and confidence. He had even been socializing with the other in-patients, offering words of comfort when someone broke down during group sessions. She released his shoulders and stepped back, "Not illogical, simply unnecessary, I was distracted as well." She allowed her mouth to quirk upward slightly at his shocked expression, "Come. We are headed to the same location. It is only logical that we continue together."
Matthew nodded his assent and they made their way to meeting room on Wing A. Ted observed his companion and doctor from the corner of his eyes. Healer T'Lan had been the first Vulcan to greet him upon his arrival at the Bridget to Healing Therapy Clinic, and he'd been scared shitless of the fact that he'd be surrounded by Vulcan's on Vafer-Tor, under their constant judgment and scrutiny for the terrible things he'd done. He had anticipated open animosity for former his opinions—well known by the doctors there—recorded in his personal logs found on his confiscated PADD. But it never came.
T'Lan's sessions were devoid of accusation and there was neither disgust nor judgment when she asked him about his stint as a modern-day, solo Klan Grand Wizard. Instead, he had been met with compassion and concern and effective therapy. At least, he felt like it was effective. Certainly, he wasn't seeing Nero's face everywhere and the guilt he felt about not being able to save his parents had diminished more and more with every story he heard from his fellow in-patients.
He had even managed to befriend a Vulcan named Stonn—who'd lost it for a few months after failing to save his intended, T'Pring from the implosion. He'd been on Earth at the time too, representing the VSA at a conference in San Francisco, and developed a nasty phobia of all things outdoor and especially space after her death—agoraphobia, Stonn had called it. Ted liked Stonn, immensely, and even though the Vulcan was an out-patient, living just outside of New Shi'Kar, they still spent a lot of time together on the grounds.
Apparently, Stonn had grown up with Commander Spock and he confessed to Ted that he had been terrible to the Commander as a child. That, actually, almost everyone had condescended to the half-Vulcan because of his human heritage and that the irony was not lost on him that Spock's human blood is what allowed him to handle his grief more effectively than the majority of Vulcan's refugees.
Matthews had actually written a letter of apology to Spock, the crew he had injured and the families of the two he had killed, even though he knew they would likely hate him forever. He was surprised to have actually received a reply from the Commander, basically telling him that he was pleased to see the progress Ted had made on Vafer-Tor and that he will accept Ted's apology, ending his letter with a 'live long and prosper.' While he wasn't sure if he'd ever forgive himself for the terrible things he'd done, his shoulders felt just a little bit lighter with the knowledge that at least Spock didn't hatehim, that at least one person of the many he had hurt could forgive him. It gave him hope that redemption was achievable. That maybe, just maybe, he could start over—maybe stay on Vafer-Tor and help the Vulcans with rebuilding.
Stonn had told Ted that he'd like to show him around his property next weekend and that they could analyze soil samples together, since they were both geologists. Apparently, their minds were highly compatible…whatever that meant. For now, he was seated in a circle, facing the group. It was his turn to stand, state his name and why he was there. New patients were always entering the clinic and so they always introduced themselves at the start of every session where there were new patients. Today, there were three.
Ted stood in front the group, and took a breath, "My name is Ted Matthews, and I have post-traumatic stress disorder. Eight months ago, I suffered a severe psychotic break, which led to…" and so it went on. Slowly, one day at time, one breath after another, with the help of the very race he had once held such unrepentant hatred toward, pain slowly retreated and in its place hope began to blossom.