"There! Look!" Chekov grabbed Uhura's arm and yanked so hard that she almost dropped the souvenir snow globe of the Midderth tourist town that they were visiting.

"What?" Uhura sounded more annoyed than curious.

"There!" Chekov pointed through the marketplace crowd. "There goes Captain Kirk with his arm around a beautiful blonde." Chekov sighed.  I told you he wasn't gay." Smug contentment dripped from every pore.

Uhura focused her gaze to see a great mass of improbably blonde hair, only partially tied back, over the heads of the majority. Beneath it, a copious hem of billowing fabric disappeared lithely amid the legs of the shoppers.

"Are you sure that was Captain Kirk if you only saw the back of them?" Uhura sounded doubtful.

"Of course," Chekov insisted. "In his green uniform shirt. And I would know that backside anywhere."

Uhura did a double take and stared at him hard.

"Hey, don't look at me like that. I'm just being observant, like Mr. Spock says a good officer should."

"Sulu did say that Janice was stationed here." Uhura mused out loud. "I suppose he could be meeting up with her."

"Old girlfriend?"

"Business: his old yeoman. And anyway, even if it isn't, being out with a girl doesn't mean he wants to have sex with her. Christine and I go out all the time."

Chekov's eyes widened and he clutched his heart in inane melodrama. "Oh, Ninotchka, don't give me ideas like that. I could have a stroke! My poor little brain is on overload."

Uhura slapped his hand. "Don't worry. Your poor little brain has had so little usage, so far it'll be just fine."

Chekov perked up. "But seriously, if you ever had the inclination to bring home another vomen, please remember I am most willing to--

"Come on! They're moving." Chekov tugged her by the arm and pulled her though the lane.

"Where are we going?" Uhura asked as they wove through the mass of bodies.

"To see who she is."

"Oh no." Uhura planted her boots dead in her tracks. "Spying isn't nice. The captain deserves a little privacy. It's his leave too."

"Ninotchka, you can't bait me with suggestions that the captain is gay, and then just expect me to drop it. That man is my personal hero and need to know if he is doing something tawdry, sweaty, and indecent with her. I need to cheer him on."

Uhura's lovely face crinkled. "Pavel, that's terrible. Why does it matter who--?"

"I'll bet you another bottle."

"You're on."

They dashed off together through the market.

The lane emptied out at a row of shops and one questionable looking bar: The Rainbow Ends. Shopping or drinking? They both knew their captain well enough not to have to guess where he would be.

Chekov pushed in first to a multitude of appreciative stares, to which he was largely oblivious. He made a beeline for the bartender. "Did you see a man in a uniform come in here?"

The bartender scoffed. "Look around, sweetie." Chekov did. Indeed, there were so many men in military, paramilitary and police replica uniforms that it looked like an inter-galactic Village People reunion.

Chekov turned back to the bar. "This one was with a tall blonde." He made a wavy gesture with his two hands.

"Ah, yes." The bartender whistled. "Now them, I noticed. You're not the only ones in here hoping that they wanted company. But they took a private room."

Chekov gloated in Uhura's direction. "You hear that? A *private* room for business with an ex-yeoman. Maybe he needs help with the 'Keptain's log.'"

Uhura rolled her eyes.

The bartender shrugged. "I don't ask as long as they pay. For what it's worth, from the looks of them, I don't imagine they'll take very long. Get you anything while you wait?"

"Stoli." Chekov slid onto a stool with an ear to ear grin. "Better still, make it a double." He motioned to Uhura, "and put it on her tab."

In the back room, Kirk's hand slid under his lover's tunic. Even in the semi-dark, his smooth lustrous hair still shimmered as he tossed back his head and gasped.

He sighed into the braid at the shoulder of Kirk's green shirt. "A race as long-lived as mine is used to waiting, but if I had had to wait another moment for your touch, I would have lost all reason and and all control."

Kirk chuckled and massaged the lean lines of the chest with one hand. With the other hand he ran through silken strands of hair. "I'm sorry about the run around," he said. "It's not because of you, you know. I won't have prejudice on my ship not for race or gender, but command grade officers need to appear invulnerable--without human weaknesses or needs. Lowering lips to one pointed ear he murmured, "And around you like this, I my need is too obvious." He nibbled the
graceful point and sucked, as his lover squirmed in his embrace.

"Jim, please. I burn for you." His voice was low and hungry now. "Kiss me now before I go utterly mad."

Always happy to serve those in need, Jim kirk pulled his love in close and complied.

"Well," Kirk asked when they finally broke apart. "Was it worth the wait?"

A fine woven cloak dropped to the sofa and with superhuman grace, he pulled his tunic over his head and shook his long, blond hair back behind his shoulders. "Better, Captain. Better than I had hoped. For although I loved Gimli dearly, his beard was a perpetual abrasive and an anathema to my senses. I am pleased it will not be a problem here." Cupping Kirk's chin in long fingers, he kissed him tenderly