A dry heat is an insidious heat. The air is light and rises up and away
continuously. It's as if there's nothing there but the pleasant tingle
on your skin and a stealthy warmth about your body that lulls you into
a belief of security, luxuriance, contentment.
Until the compensatory physiologic mechanisms of your body are
overwhelmed, and you collapse prostrate beneath your false friend the
A humid heat cannot be ignored. It's viscous and heavy; it gums against
your skin. It beads and tracks along every nerve even as the
condensation cools you (minimally), a constant visceral warning to get
your ass someplace cooler…or at least into the shade.
Pigs don't sweat; they are instinctually led to turn dry heat to damp
through more creative means. Except in those cases where the
constraints of artificial husbandry forces their biology amok. Ovine
livestock brought to Fladre IX refused to wallow in the queer smelling
alien mud and wandered complacently under the scorching twin suns for
days in a row even as their body temperatures soared and their piggy
brains roasted in their brainpans.
Desert natives don't fear the heat: They respect it, but they don't
eschew it. What they fear is the blaze of the sun. While rain forest
dwellers go near naked, refusing to grant the heat an extra edge for
the sake of someone elsewhere's idea of decency, desert travelers cover
head to foot in cloth, willing--albeit no doubt discomforted-- to lock
in the heat of their own bodies so long as the ruthless burn of the
sun's flame is deflected.
How many had died through the millennia as their people learned to walk
that razor's edge just right?
This flashes across your mind as you turn to him and see the glaze over
his parched eyes. His gaze darts down to the instrument panel,
ostensibly to find you the answers he should already have.
You missed that look once before and swore you never would again. Fool
me once: shame on you. Fool me twice: shame on me.
You have never stood to be called a fool.
But you say nothing over the next hours, as you would want him to do
for you--for your weaknesses and secrets--if the situation were
reversed. You turn your attention to other business and allow him to
complete his tasks, then leave the bridge of his own accord. You wait
an ambiguous span of time, then turn over command and follow him.
You've always been one to play a hunch without reservation, but this is
more than your normal intuition: At some gut level, you know exactly
where he will be.
It's not your habit to signal--your ship, your first officer. More
often than not, you enter when you will. This time you ring to make it
clear that he has a choice. To make it clear that he is making a choice.
Despite his fun and games with the doctor--or one could argue, as
evinced by them--Spock is a coinsurer of the subtleties and nuances of
human behavior. Especially the subtleties and nuisances of your
behavior. He calls out immediately for you to enter. You know him too
well to waste time being surprised or even proud of him.
He flicks his eyes over you, assessing you in that way he does, then
levels his eyes with yours. "So," he observes, "you feel it too?"
You stop and consider. Now that he mentions it, you do.
"I had wondered," he says almost conversationally, reading your answer
without any words from you. "So little is known of hybrid
neurophysiology; it would make a fascinating paper."
You want to smile, but you know that he is deadly serious, and baiting
him at this time just feels…wrong. If you can't understand
what the big deal is about a little bury-the-lirpa, the least you can
do is to understand that to him it is exactly that.
"You know," you say, moving towards the bedchamber, "I've done this
probably over a thousand times in my lifetime--" You do a few quick
mental calculations. "For sure over a thousand times, and yet right now
I'm not sure what comes next."
"You have never done this before. This is not making love. This is--"
He shakes his head.
"Maybe not to you," you say almost below the capacity of your own
hearing, but well within the Vulcan range.
When Spock doesn't react, you take that as consent. With military
efficiency, you strip off your clothes and fold them atop on the chair.
Spock still faces the wall.
"Spock, what are you so afraid of?" you ask. Starship captains aren't
chosen for their mollycoddling inclinations, and despite your effort,
that fact shows in your tone. You seat yourself on the side of the bed.
Now he whirls. "You arrogant fool!" His eyes blaze the fire of the twin
Fladre suns. "I would willfully have killed you in the madness. My
You see him struggling to regain control of his non-emotions, and it
strikes you how malignant that dry heat is. He's already further gone
than either of you knew.
"The madness," he repeats, more modulated now, but his voice fails
before he finishes…or before it breaks. "If one has mastery
of oneself, there is no fear. But to have my body held helpless at the
mercy of a beast with the strength and endurance of a Vulcan is a
situation I would eschew with all my being."
"I know that feeling," you say with an equanimity it took you weeks to
achieve. "You said that my strength was in not being afraid."
"You retained your essential self; shortly, I will not." Behind his
back he clenches his hands together as if to hold on to
You bound to him, grab his shoulders, and with your thumbs dig in hard
enough to hurt. Hard enough to get his attention and drive home the
point that your strengths may be different than his, but it would be a
critical mistake to figure them as any less.
"Then trust me." You rivet him with your eyes. "If you can't trust
yourself, then trust me. I give you my word: I will get us both through
this all right."
"I have very few choices," Spock says dryly.
One day you'll have to have a chat with him about the fine art of
romance and what not to say to an imminent bed partner. But as your
hands glide over his shoulders, his body shudders and his eyes roll
back as if entering a healing trance. You intuit that that is not the
case. You put a palm to his crotch; the unyielding hardness of it
alarms you. You slide your palm along it, and he makes an unearthly
Your Vulcan is minimal, but you need no translator for the meaning of
that. Hand still against his need, you drop to your knees. The same
trouser seal that holds up so well through all manner of unarmed combat
can be a damned nuisance at times like this. You work with one hand and
your mouth through the fabric as your other hand fumbles with the
release. His pelvic movements make manipulating the pants impossible.
You give up, content to work (obviously successfully) though the
clothes. Your saliva saturates the cloth allowing it to cling, making
your job that much easier as you go along.
You congratulate yourself that he won't--can't last long like this.
But Spock wrenches his own trousers off, and suddenly it is proud and
naked before you. It springs free to slap the underside of your nose.
You wrap eager lips around to gobble it even as his hands go to your
head and your mind erupts in a blast of exotic alien heat.
You wonder if this is how those pigs must have felt: high and dizzy,
happily comforted in all-encompassing warmth.
He manhandles your head, slamming it up against his groin. You grab air
when you can in whiffs and snorts, but your vision tunnels nonetheless,
and that disembodied, pre-syncopal sensation begins. Out of nowhere,
you realize that you are coming, but there is no break for you. Even as
the flush unfurls within and you sully yourself, he presses to lodge
himself farther down your throat.
But something changes, for with a grunt he stops, withdraws his length
from you and pushes you over the bed. You try to relax--not too
challenging in your hypoxic, post-orgasmic euphoria--and hope that you
got him wet enough.
In a moment, it's a moot point for he's inside you with a sear and is
moving for all he's worth. It takes a few moments, but your body synchs
to his rhythm, and in a short while it only feels good.
So very, very good!
"Harder," you insist, "harder!" not knowing if he can understand the
words, but determined to destroy any residual delusion that this is all
You wish you could see him. You wish you could watch his face. You want
to see what it is that you do to him.
Above all, you want to watch him come.
But for three decades (and ten millennia) of dammed up sexual
repression, he's taking a surprisingly long time to let loose.
His strokes are firm and focused. Each one massages your gland. It's
incredible to have these sensations free and clear of any pressure to
reach orgasm. It's incredible to lie here and let him take you and let
your body just feel good.
His motions are changing to less precise and his breathing too. He
makes guttural little sounds like the accelerating warnings squeaks of
a Kerney force coupler about to blow. It turns you on, and you touch
your all but flaccid self. (Hey, it's worth a try.)
As he lets fly inside you with a cry too high for human pitch, some
strange sort of dry orgasm takes you. Your body spasms and buckles in a
previously unknown ecstasy, and you crumple--trapped between his body,
the bed and the deck.
Spock's breathing rasps heavy in your ear and he brushes fingertips to
your temple. You wonder how much he can tell from such a touch. You
make a note to try to remember to ask him sometime when you have
nothing better to discuss.
Through some violation of the law of physics, he hauls you up and onto
the bed. Soon he is lying there beside you. You roll to your side and
study him--not as friend or first officer but as a lover now.
It's the same and yet all different. You hope he never challenges you
to explain why. With luck he'll save that particular form of
entertainment for McCoy…or maybe Chekov.
A fine sheen of sweat has collected upon his brow. In school they
taught you that Vulcans don't sweat. Maybe that was meant to be
figurative. Either way it thrills you to realize how much more about
him there is still to know.
It's going to be one hell of a ride you're on together.
Something about an orgasm tends to make people silly; starship captains
are no exception. You lean over him, driven by an irresistible urge.
You have no idea what Vulcans think of this, but you that know he knows
what humans do, and he owes you this at least.
Even if he didn't, he'd grant it willingly, of course.
You lean in and kiss him.
He kisses back. Wet mingles with dry to create something nameless in
"Well," you ask, "how are you?"
He peers inward for a moment, but to his credit, doesn't remain there.
"I am well, for now, however--"
Your chuckle interrupts. "Thank God! I should hope you didn't plan to
make me wait another seven years."
His face is utterly unreadable.
Orgasms make men stupid--even starship captains--you remind yourself.
Perhaps it's you who needs the lesson on what not to say when around
Well, they'd jumped the largest and most immediate hurdle. There'd be
time to chart the reset later.
"I should get to the bridge," you say, swinging your legs over the
side. "The call from Gyakub VI should be coming in soon."
"Twenty-six point two minutes," he offers absently.
You find his correctness endearingly absurd.
"I'll accompany you," he says pulling to a sit.
"No," you say more sharply than you had intended.
"I am well and fit for duty, Captain."
"I don't doubt that you are, but I need a little…space. We
poor humans sometimes have a hard time separating love
from…mating." You smile ruefully. "I envy your race that
clarity. I need a little…distance to let things settle in."
You pat him on the arm and stand, forcing thought of a shower then
negotiations to the forefront of your mind.
"You proceed from an erroneous posit, Captain: the mating drive is
irrevocably connected with a more passable personal connection. The
emotion would not translate to a non-telepath, but distance is
For the first time in a long time he misreads your expression. Or maybe
the correct emotion had yet to make its way to your face from the
Protean jumble inside of you.
"Perhaps I should have told you this earlier. Before--?" His eyes give
a nod to the bed, but his expression still reads bedrock sure of you.
"And change what?" you ask rhetorically. You clamp him by the arm. "I
asked you to trust me. I don't take it back. Trust me; we will be all
You let your full meaning sink in for as long as it needs to, which
isn't very long, then you squeeze his muscle once and let him go. You
take a breath. "However, the military governor of Gyakub VI, him I'm
not so sure about." You grab one of Spock's towels and head for the
"Permission to remain on duty elsewhere," Spock asks. "I am somewhat
behind on numerous science details from the past few days during which
"Granted." You nod to him. "I'll call you if I need you on the bridge."
You feel the absurd urge to kiss him again as he undresses to clean
himself, but you let it pass. Right now duty calls, but the one
constant of deep space missions is that between the happy occasions
when it does, there will always be those long, tedious, empty stretches
of days in flight to be filled amongst one's fellow crew. You enter the
shower with a smile.