James T. Kirk, Captain of the USS Enterprise had always been a restless sleeper. Many a partner had remarked on his inability to just be still and rest. He was the first to admit he turned over multiple times during the course of a night, punching the pillow, shifting the blankets, clearing his sinuses, shifting the covers because he was too hot, then too cold.
Jim also rose early and often. He was constantly in and out of bed, using the fresher, getting a glass of water, blowing his nose, or sometimes simply wandering around the cabin because he couldn't sleep. Every time he returned to bed, he would restlessly readjust until he was comfortable which usually resulted in his partner waking up for the hundredth time during the course of the night.
Then there was his unfortunate cuddling problem (or so Spock had named it). He liked to wrap himself around his bed partner, tucking arms and hands around any body part he could reach, thrusting legs and knees between and around torsos and lower extremities like a wrestler trying for points. His hands toyed with hair, fingers, petted arms, hips and soft bellies, poked and prodded until he was threatened with suffocation by a well placed pillow.
Jim's greatest flaw as a sleeping partner though, was his continuous arousal. On the Bridge, at a meeting, on a mission, he was the soul of professionalism. He might occasionally slip an inappropriate comment, (usually well planned in advance) but never let his basic sensuality peek out.
When the Neshians anointed his naked body with sacred oils, he stood strong. When the Cetis bound him (naked again) and searched every nick and cranny of his body for the glory of their god, he sucked it up and thought of his Aunt Franny who was hilarious but certainly not arousing. When the Melats drugged him and Spock with some fruit juice that was an aphrodisiac to both humans and Vulcans, he took the high road until they returned flushed and flustered to the ship, and then later took the low road with his First Officer.
Essentially, he could be trusted not to sport a boner, unless he was in bed. In bed, possibly due to the unfortunate cuddling situation, he had a constant erection which he consciously or unconsciously rubbed on every available surface at all points during the night. Even immediately after having made love, he would find himself excited once again and although perhaps not always ready for another round, certainly capable of seemingly endless frottage. It was both annoying and messy.
Or so his First Officer, Commander Spock said. He admittedly was growing weary of fighting for the pillows and covers, sleeping undisturbed by nocturnal journeys and emissions, of waking multiple times a night wrapped in his Captain's limbs on a one and a half meter bed that barely fit his own slighter build.
Jim, of course, had multiple defenses to Spock's outrageous insinuations, most of which were descriptions of Spock's irregular sleeping patterns. Admittedly, Spock didn't move much once he went to bed. He did have a tendency to hog the covers but Jim could usually wrestle them back if the need arose. He also liked the room quite warm while Jim liked it cool. Spock also preferred some ambient light. Jim enjoyed teasing him about having to sleep with the light on.
The real and genuine complaint about sharing a bed with Spock had to do with talking in his sleep. Talking, growling, purring, muttering, snoring, gurgling, laughing, occasionally crying, every single night. And then there was the singing. Jim understood his emotionally repressed lover might make all of those sounds and more once his subconscious took over as he descended into a R.E.M. cycle. The singing though, there was really no excuse.
Spock had an endless repertoire. He would sing or hum Antarian ballads, Celine Dion standards, Vulcan pop (yes, there was such a thing much to Jim's surprise) and Klingon opera. Jim drew the line at the latter and shamefully admitted to pummeling Spock one night when he tried repeatedly to hit one particular high note despite his baritone. It was rapidly becoming a deal breaker.
It wouldn't be fair to say they actually fought over these problems. Spock was too Vulcan to show anything other than irritation and honestly, Jim loved sleeping with his Vulcan too much to do other than occasionally complain to his Chief Medical Officer, Dr. McCoy.
McCoy had noted a lack of appropriate sleeping patterns in both officers and corresponding loss of efficiency. When faced with the reasons and facts surrounding Jim and Spock's insomnia, he had reportedly covered his ears and threatened them with horse tranquilizers from the veterinary labs. Ultimately, he told them both to get over themselves and not to bother him again.
Finally, matters reached a crisis. Both officers were tired and cranky, sniping and snarking at each other constantly on the Bridge. An outright mutiny was brewing but no one was quite brave enough to confront their exhausted superior officers. Until, of course, they made orbit around New Vulcan to drop off supplies.
Selek, that ambiguous Vulcan elder, noticed a vaguely familiar pattern of exhaustion and appropriately came up with the solution. Teslau zungor was a process designed to promote restful sleep. Strangely, rather than providing Jim and Spock with research, case studies and anecdotal evidence, he offered a mind meld with Spock to explain how to implement it. He assured Jim he had acquired this technique based on long practice and logic.
It was a few days before Spock could demonstrate Selek's technique, what with the Orion pirates, Admiral Komack's daily barrage of micromanaging, and keeping up with the current gossip of who (or what) Scotty was sleeping with at the moment. Spock seemed somewhat reluctant to try it even after he awakened on the floor trying to break Jim's wrestler's hold.
Finally, it was past time to try. Jim and Spock had shared dinner in the mess and retired to the former's cabin for a game of chess but when Jim went to set up the board, Spock stopped him with a gentle hand.
"It's time, Jim."
Jim wasn't sure if he was alarmed or amused at the flush creeping up Spock's neck.
Jim turned and smiled. "Alright, Spock. This should be interesting."
Spock placed warm hands on his arms and walked him backward until Jim was sitting on the edge of the bed. He knelt before him and wrapped his fingers in Jim's, bowing his head so Jim could see only the crown. Affection for this being rushed through him mirrored by Spock's pulse, felt clearly through their laced fingers.
Spock's heart was beating quickly as though he was anxious and Jim felt a spike of trepidation. Was this a bigger deal than he thought? A game changer? Did Spock want out of the relationship or worse; did he want to sleep alone?
Spock looked up at him with astonished eyes, easily reading Jim's doubts. "No, Jim. Never. Simply, I have done something. You may not approve."
Jim leaned forward and brought their tangled fingers to his mouth and kissed Spock's knuckles, drawing a vague smile from his lover. "I trust you Spock, and if this means we can actually sleep together peacefully, how can I object?"
Spock cleared his throat. "There were a series of solutions suggested by Selek. Evidently, you and I are not alone in being somewhat incompatible in our sleeping arrangements. This occurred in Selek's universe as well and after long trial and error, this is what he and his "Jim" came up with."
Jim pressed his forehead against Spock's, whispering, "Even the Klingon opera?"
Spock closed his eyes. "Selek vehemently denies that part."
"Solution number one." Spock leaned back and pressed a button beside Jim's headboard. Jim yelped and almost tumbled off of the bed as it slid and opened giving them at least another two meters of space.
"Holy Ghods! A little warning! What the hell? How did you pull this off without me knowing?" Jim threw himself backward on the bed, luxuriating in the space.
"Mr. Scott was very accommodating this afternoon when you were in the conference with Admiral Komack. You are not angry that I changed your cabin to meet my needs?"
Jim's eyes were closed in bliss. "OUR needs, Mr. Spock. Our needs!"
"Solution number two. Jim . . . Jim . . . your attention, if you please."
Jim opened one eye lazily and grabbed Spock by the arm, pulling him down beside him. "You have my complete attention, Mister."
Spock rolled Jim onto his side so that they were facing each other. "Jim, Selek suggested we meld each night prior to sleep."
"Ok, that's new but sounds fine to me."
"Jim, frequent melds such as what Selek proposes would lead to bonding, sooner rather than later."
"Wait, like a marriage bond?"
"Are you proposing?"
"After a fashion."
"Seriously? This is how you are going to do it?"
"Uh . . . it is only a proposed solution, Jim. If you do not want . . . " Spock's voice trailed off weakly.
"NO! I want to marry you, you idiot. But this is how you ask me? No bended knee, no ring, no romantic dinner, no . . . "
Suddenly, Jim burst into laughter at Spock's expression. He clearly didn't know whether to be delighted that Jim would be willing to marry him or horrified that he should have gone a more romantic route.
Jim pulled Spock into a full body hug, reminiscent of his nocturnal habits. Breathing into Spock's neck, his voice dropped an octave. "Ghods, Spock, I am teasing you. It's all good. But why would a meld work?"
Spock's voice was muffled by Jim's strangled hold but was intelligible. "If we are joined when we sleep, the other can influence the thought patterns or dreams of the other."
"So, I can suggest Moon over Antares instead of Worilk's Rage as part of your nightly repertoire?"
"And I can suggest you relax your death grip at 1:00 h."
"Agreed. Anything else?"
"Solution number three. This was proposed as not strictly required but highly recommended."
"Well, what did he suggest?"
"It is highly unorthodox."
"I'm sure it is fine, Spock."
"It might be considered questionable."
"Since it was recommended by YOU from another universe in the past, or future or . . . alternate time line, how much more questionable could it possibly get?"
"I . . . "
"SPIT IT OUT, SPOCK!"
"Selek also suggested we engage in a physical relationship resulting in mutual release before sleep."
"And that is different from what we do now?"
"Granted. But, there is one more suggestion."
"I am all ears."
"Do not be insulting, Jim."
Jim sighed and tucked Spock into his shoulder. "No offense intended. But we have a lot to do before morning so let's hear the rest of it."
"He suggested a bed time story."
"Like the three bears?"
"How would a story about ursines guarantee a peaceful sleep?"
"The three little pigs?"
"I fail to comprehend why animals in groups of three would be relevant?"
"My ghod, Spock, what did you have in mind for a bedtime story?"
"The role of Surak's writings in interpreting societal change in the last three thousand years."
"That would do it!"
Later, after incorporating their new sleeping rituals, Jim and Spock both experienced their first restful uninterrupted night in weeks. The next morning, an eternally grateful Bridge crew thanked whatever had sorted them out. On New Vulcan, a certain elder statesman woke up with a smile on his wizened face, full of dreams and memories of nights well spent.