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Uhura’s laughter distracted him.  He turned his head slightly away from the chessboard toward the sound that bubbled forth melodically, much like one of her songs.  Everything that Uhura did was musical, including the metronomic clicking of the two sticks festooned with pink strings that she manipulated with rhythmical grace.


“Your move, Spock.”


He returned his attention to the game before him.  The captain had made one of his illogically brilliant moves that endangered the Vulcan’s black queen.  Spock considered the board, mind creating and rejecting half a dozen options before he reached out and moved his queen down two levels, temporarily out of danger.  Jim nodded his approval, brow creasing as he weighed his next course of action.  Spock’s attention was drawn back to the group of crewmen in the corner.


Evenly divided between male and female, all possessed identical sticks as those held by the communications officer, but none moved with the smooth elegance as those in her hands.  She paused in her movements to lean forward, as Ensign Zhao from Engineering held up what appeared to be a tangle of navy blue.  Uhura smiled and shook her head, removing the snarl and sticks from the ensign’s hand.


“Afraid you’ll have to start over, Liu.  The pattern went wrong a few rows ago.  See, here…you dropped two stitches.  Pull these out and we’ll start again on this row.”


The ensign nodded his thanks and began to unravel the length of string, winding it around a dark blue ball.


“Knitting club.”




“Uhura’s knitting club.  She started it a few weeks ago.”


Spock was curious.  “I’m not familiar with the activity.”


Kirk leaned back in his chair, lacing his fingers behind his head. How to describe knitting to his inquisitive, logical Vulcan?  “It’s a series of loops and knots in a precise pattern, transferred from one knitting needle to the other, that progressively forms a garment or piece of fabric. Usually woolen yarn is used, but pretty much any string or thread could be utilized, including beesilk.  My mom knitted.  Winters got pretty cold in Iowa.  She’d make new hats and scarves for us every winter because we were forever losing ours on the shuttle to school or in town.  She always had a project on her needles.”


“It sounds like an eminently practical occupation.”


“Most people knit as a hobby, not as a job,” Kirk laughed.  “In this day and age of instant replication, it’s a rather lost art.  I’m glad to see Uhura reviving it here.  Mom always claimed that it was very relaxing, and ghod knows the crew could use a little relaxation since our shore leaves have been few and far between over the last few months.”


In reality, it had been nearly four months since their last leave, back during the holiday season.  Kirk grinned to himself at the memory of Christmas shopping with his First Officer, and Spock’s rather innocently sexy reaction to his ‘anonymous’ gift of Vulcan pre-Reform poetry.  The book sat on a shelf next to Spock’s bed, and Kirk had a feeling that it was well read.


Spock watched the rapid movement of Uhura’s needles for a moment, and then turned his attention back to his captain.  “Do you know how to knit, Jim?”


“No, I’m all thumbs.  Just don’t have the patience.  One of my favorite memories is of Sam and me sitting at the dining room table doing our homework while my mother knitted next to us.  She’s really good at it. Sam and I both had hand-knitted afghans for our beds at home. They’re still there, as far as I know.  Mom even made sweaters for us when we left home.  Guess she knew we were headed to places even colder than Iowa.”


“Indeed, space would qualify as such.”


“You’re right – although Mom’s sweater wouldn’t provide much protection…out there.”  Kirk smiled reminiscently.  “Wonder what became of that sweater?  It was one of her more ambitious projects.  She bought the yarn in Ireland the summer before I took the entrance exams for the Academy.  The pattern was an old one, based on the sweaters worn by the fishermen of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland in Galway Bay… you know…like the song.”


Spock looked at him blankly, and then quickly nodded.  He had no desire to have the captain attempt to demonstrate his vocal skills, as he had done during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration a month earlier.  Such an activity would surely shatter the peace of those surrounding them.


“You know that song?”  Jim looked slightly puzzled, evidently not remembering his own tipsily sentimental solo during the Irish sing-a-long.  “Well, in any event, her ancestors were from Inis Mór, the largest of the three islands.  The artisans were famous for knitting patterns into their sweaters that identified their families and their hopes and dreams for the wearer.  At least that’s what Mom told me, although it just might be one of those crazy Irish legends.”


Spock nodded sagely, not wanting to expose his ignorance of Irish culture to someone who so strongly valued the artistic and musical abilities of his antecedents.


“Sam got his sweater the year that he left for college.  Took Mom six months to finish it.  I got mine when I left for San Francisco.  Believe me, it got a lot of wear while I was at the Academy.  Somehow, it got lost when my things were moved from the Republic to the Farragut.  Too bad…that sweater meant a lot to me.”


Spock nodded once again, this time more thoughtfully.


Kirk stretched and yawned.  “What do you think -- ready to pack it in?  I still have to review the duty rosters for next week before I hit the sack.  We can continue our game tomorrow evening, if you’re available.”


“Of course, Captain.”


Kirk stood, walking behind Spock’s chair, squeezing his shoulder in passing.


“’Night, Spock.”


Spock sat quietly, basking in the glow of his captain’s attention, his shoulder warm where Jim’s hand had rested just moments before.  His eyes followed the familiar form as Kirk made his way to the door of Recreation Room Number Two, pausing along the way for a word or smile, as various crew members returned his greetings.  The captain was a very dynamic individual.


The Vulcan was not as immune to his captain’s charisma as Kirk may have supposed.  They had fallen into the habit of meeting each other in the Recreation Room for a game of chess nearly every evening.  Several times a month, Jim invited him to his quarters for dinner, and just recently, Spock had begun to reciprocate.  These dinners were highly anticipated by the first officer, as he enjoyed his captain’s company and conversation in a more private setting.


He swept his eyes over the tri-di chess board, memorizing the position of each piece, before pulling the wooden case to his side of the table.  He carefully and methodically cleared the board, placing each chessman in its padded slot, the white king last.  In private moments, he thought of this particular piece as Jim: noble, pure, courageous.  He held the king in his hand, thumb softly stroking the figure’s carved hair, then placed it, with a sigh, into the case and snapped the lid shut.


A flurry of motion in the corner drew his attention.  The knitting club was saying their goodbyes, moving their chairs back under the nearby tables and gathering their knitting needles and yarn.  Curiosity aroused, Spock made his way through the crowd to where Uhura sat, gathering her pattern-padds and balls of yarn into a brightly colored sack.


The communications officer looked up with a brilliant smile for the tall Vulcan, who had silently appeared at her side.  “Hello, Mister Spock.”


Spock nodded in greeting.  “Miss Uhura, may I sit?”


“Of course, sir.”  She swept a nearby chair clear of scissors and scraps of yarn.


Spock settled next to her, a kernel of an idea beginning to form in his mind.  “Lieutenant, I am curious about this…knitting.”


It occurred to Uhura to invite Spock to join the knitting group, but she just as quickly rejected the idea.  Despite having served aboard the Enterprise for nearly thirteen years, the Vulcan was still noticibly uncomfortable in social gatherings.


“Would you like to see some of my projects that are in progress?”


At the first officer’s nod, Uhura dug through her knitting bag, retrieving several articles of clothing in various stages of completion.


“The yellow and black socks are for Sulu’s birthday next month.  They’re made of a stretchy cotton yarn that I brought back from our last trip to Earth and are more for warmth than to wear with shoes.  Hikaru is always complaining of cold feet.”  She blushed, hoping that Mister Spock was not embarrassed by such personal information, but the Vulcan was turning the item over in his hands, engrossed by the feel of the smooth fabric and the regularity of the tiny stitches.


A long, light blue scarf, gossamer as a spider web, was draped over his hands.  “This is made from two skeins of genuine Tholian silk that Chris Chapel found in a little shop on Wrigley’s last year.  It’s nearly finished… just need to attach a fringe.”


Spock smoothed the cloth over his knee, long fingers tracing the intricate pattern woven through the soft length. “Was this difficult to create?”


 “Maybe for a beginner, but I’ve been knitting since I was a child.”


He then picked up the slim needles holding what he had thought were pink strings, but could now see held a portion of a small sweater.  Spock raised a brow and Uhura laughed softly.  “For my sister.  I’m going to be an aunt in three months.  I’m hoping to have an entire layette finished to send to my new niece by the time we reach Starbase 12.”


His hands suddenly felt very large and clumsy as he held the tiny garment.  He placed it back in Uhura’s lap as his idea took hold.


“Miss Uhura, I have a proposition for your consideration.  You have a great love of music and a considerable talent for it.  I propose that you give me private knitting lessons in exchange for lessons on the Vulcan lyre. I have a second instrument in storage that may be used for your practice and performance, if I may borrow sufficient supplies to practice knitting.”


It took Uhura less than a second to respond with delight.  “You’ve got a deal, Mister Spock!  When would you like to begin?”






Frustrated, he slid the stitches from the long needle and pulled the yarn, unraveling the four rows that he had painstakingly knitted moments earlier.  It was maddening that the fingers that danced so easily over the science station computer console fumbled awkwardly with what amounted to two sticks and a string.  Spock carefully rolled the excess yarn back onto the ball, took a deep cleansing breath, looped the yarn around his finger and began to cast on thirty stitches.


Uhura had praised his first efforts, but Spock had not been satisfied with the result.  The stitches were too uneven and produced a rather lumpy final product.  He was reminded of the ancient Terran proverb, ‘practice makes perfect’.  Or perhaps more fitting to his circumstances: “The mind controls the body; control the mind and the body will follow.”  Obviously, Surak had never attempted knitting.


Knit one row, purl one row.  Repeat until the yarn is gone.


The ‘stocking stitch’ was the simplest pattern in Uhura’s repertoire.  She had given him a large, thick skein of dark brownish-orange yarn spun from Tarkalean sheep’s wool.  The color was pleasing to his Vulcan sensibilities, reminding him of the shades and tones of weatherbeaten rocks found near The Forge. 


Spock slid one knitting needle behind the other, through the first loop on the needle.  He lifted the yarn wrapped around his index finger over the back needle, flexed his wrists, bringing that needle under and over the top needle and slid his first stitch off.  He inspected his handiwork and was pleased with his effort.  He continued, slowly, until the first row was completed, and then reversed the process for the second row.  Painstakingly, he knitted and purled, keeping an even tension on the yarn, measuring each stitch with an accurately discerning eye.


His confidence grew as quickly as the length of knitted material, as he found his rhythm.  At the end of ninety-three minutes, he had a long retangular piece of burnt orange fabric, slightly curled along the outer edges, which was to be expected with that particular pattern, according to his teacher.  He cast off, using a similarly sized needle with a hook on the end (“It’s for crocheting, Mister Spock…like knitting, with only one needle.”) and spread the fruits of his labor across the top of his desk, pleased with the results.  It looked much like a woolen muffler that he had once worn during a childhood visit to Earth.  He would submit this piece for inspection, but was certain that Uhura would consider him ready for the next lesson.


Their instructional sessions had been delayed by the tragedy on Deneva.  Jim had secluded himself afterwards, explaining to Spock that he needed time to deal with his brother’s death.  Spock had respected his captain’s privacy, grieving in his own way for Samuel Kirk and his wife Aurelan, as well as their son, Peter, who would be returning to Earth to live with Jim’s mother.  The captain had taken several weeks of bereavement leave to return to Iowa with his nephew.  In those weeks, Spock’s assumed command duties had not permitted him time for such frivolous activities such as knitting and music lessons.


The ball of yarn and shiny blue needles had languished in the bottom drawer of his desk until several days before Jim’s return.  If truth be told though, Spock’s eyesight had suffered somewhat due to his temporary blindness.  It had taken the three weeks of Jim’s absence until he had recovered enough to be able to concentrate on such close work without a touch of eyestrain.


He had been expecting the door buzzer, but was still startled when it sounded twenty-one point four minutes earlier than anticipated.  Jim had been back on the ship for two days, but their paths had seldom crossed since his return, as the captain required time to meet with department heads and to review the various log entries made in his absence.  Therefore, it must be Jim at his door, desiring his final report.


Spock swept the knitting needles and scissors into his desk drawer, discovering that there was not enough room for the bulky, completed scarf.  He snatched it up, tossing it onto his bed as he passed the sleeping alcove on his way to the door.  He tugged on his uniform tunic, smoothed his hair, and called, “Enter.”


Jim looked tired.   


“Just looking for some refuge, Spock.  Mind if I hide out for a while?”


“Certainly, Captain.”  He moved away from the door, allowing Jim to proceed into the cabin, pleased with his presence. 


They sat on either side of the desk in easy silence, Spock knowing instinctively that Jim would speak when he was ready.  The captain relaxed back in his chair, shoulders slumping slightly. 


“That was a hard trip to make.  No mother should ever be called upon to bury her child.”


“How is your mother, Jim?”


“Doing better than I thought she would.  Peter’s presence has given her some focus.  His needs will come first for a while; she’s trying not to show too much grief in his presence.  Sam was off-world for such a long time and Mom’s visits to Deneva were too brief for her to really get to know her grandson.  She and Peter will have to become reacquainted -- they’ll have some time together before he heads off to school.”


“And you, Captain…are you well?”


Kirk shrugged.  “As well as can be expected, although knowing that you were in charge of my ship made my absence from her a little easier to bear.  For that, I must thank you.”


Spock inclined his head.  “It was my responsibility as first officer….”


Kirk waved off Spock’s demurral.  “Nonsense, Spock.  McCoy told me that you were prowling the ship day and night, making sure that all was running smoothly.  I couldn’t have left her in better hands.”


“In that case, Captain, I accept your expression of gratitude in the spirit in which it was given.”


“Now that we have that settled, how about dinner and a game of chess?  I believe it’s my turn to play host.”


Spock paused, hating to say the words.  “I’m sorry, Jim, but I have a previous engagement.”   


Kirk’s face fell.  His shoulders slumped a little further before he gathered himself together, straightened, and stood.  He paused expectantly, but no further information seemed to be forthcoming from his suddenly reticent friend.  “Well, I better let you get back to what you were doing.  Have a pleasant evening.  I’ll see you tomorrow at breakfast?”  He knew he was babbling as Spock maneuvered him to and out of the door.  As it closed in his face, he caught sight of a long brownish orange scarf draped across Spock’s bed.  Now what the hell is that?


He walked back down the hallway towards his cabin, nodding and smiling at Uhura, who passed in the opposite direction.  Kirk looked back as she stopped outside of Spock’s door and sounded the door chime.  The door to the Vulcan’s cabin opened, and the communications officer stepped inside. He could hear her bell-like laughter as the door slid shut.


It might not be what it looks like…Spock might be having a meeting with her to discuss ship’s business…But don’t you think he would have mentioned it?...That sure looked like a piece of her knitting handiwork on Spock’s bed…I was only gone three weeks....


He’d long stopped denying to himself that Spock, his ever proper Vulcan first officer, was the most sexually alluring being that he had ever met.  Skinny, lanky, big-nosed Spock.  His very male best friend.  It was unimaginable, and would probably take years of psycho/social/sexual analysis to understand it…and at this point he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to understand it.


 Accustomed to the wiles of women, Kirk had no idea how to woo Spock.  He had thought that his feelings would be reciprocated, but his subtle (and sometimes not very subtle) attempts at seduction were ignored at every turn.    


Could it be love?  Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth if Eros had shot his arrows into the hearts of a heterosexually promiscuous captain and his virtually virginal Vulcan first officer. 


In any event, it was good to see that Spock was broadening his social horizons, he told himself.  He knew that Spock’s friendship with Uhura was just that.  It was, wasn’t it?  Damn.


Dejected, rejected and depressed, the captain retired to his cabin for the evening, alone.






The door to his cabin slid shut and Spock slumped against it. 


“Lock door.”  The words grated, his throat threatening to close.


What had he done? 


His chest heaved as his lungs attempted to draw in the superheated air of his cabin, much as Jim’s must have as the ahn woon had tightened around his throat.  He choked and stumbled away from the door, falling to his knees in the middle of the room.


What had he done?


His mouth opened in a silent rictus of pain and sorrow, shoulders shaking with the effort of keeping the sound contained within his straining body.


I have killed my captain…and my friend.


But…Jim was alive…he could hear him moving around the cabin next door.  The comforting noises, so much a part of his life, gave him little solace now.


I have killed my captain…


The thought was untenable, unimaginable; the reality, even more so.


Jim had swept him from sickbay with a smile.  “C’mon, Spock…Let’s go mind the store.”  He had followed his captain down the short hallway to the turbolift“That’s really a euphemism for ‘let’s go get some rest’.  Bones is taking us both off duty for a couple of days.  We’ll be busy once we get to Altair VI with our official duties and the good doctor doesn’t want us falling asleep during the inauguration ceremonies – not that I won’t anyways.  Ghod, I hate these diplomatic trips.”


By then, they’d entered the lift and had been whisked to Deck 5 and their cabins.  Jim had turned at his door, with a gentle smile.  “Take as much time as you need, Spock.  I’ll be here if you need me.”


The captain had understood the Vulcan’s need for privacy and meditation to restore his emotional equilibrium.  He hadn’t pried or demanded information, knowing intuitively that Spock required healing solitude.


The memory of that parting smile brought Spock to his feet like a marionette, pulled upright by a string.


I have killed…


He felt both physically and mentally disordered.  The worst of the plak tow had passed, leaving in its wake a slight sense of sexual arousal that he instinctively knew would not be immediately quelled by meditation or masturbation.  He would attempt both, but suspected the futility of either action. 


Having no frame of reference, he wondered if this…amorphous desire…was a permanent state for other sexually mature males of his age. 


He looked down with disgust at the long length of his body, at the dust covered shirt and pants, at the red streaks of Vulcan soil on his hands.  He would shower first, and then meditate.


The blue velour science tunic was salvagable and was tossed into the refresher.  He discovered a tear in the right knee of his black uniform pants, and he set them aside for the recycler, not wanting to think of how the rip got there  Black undershirt, socks, and briefs were tossed into the refuse chute to be incinerated.  He wanted no one to smell the pheromonal musk perfuming his undergarments.


Spock caught sight of his body in the small mirror hanging across the room above his dresser.  How he had changed in the past three point three seven weeks.  It was not as noticible when clothed, but now…the naked body of a stranger faced him in the mirror’s reflection.  Unintentional fasting brought on by pon farr had melted away what small amount of fat he had, leaving behind a sharply delineated musculature. 


Newly grown sworls of wiry black hair surrounded olive green nipples, following the path of his muscles down the center of his chest, detouring around his navel, narrowing to a thin line until it reached a thick thatch at his groin.  Doctor McCoy had not mentioned his hirsute state during his last physical examination before beaming down to Vulcan, but had raised a questioning eyebrow when Spock had stripped off his shirt.


He turned sideways, noticing how long muscles rippled in his legs and back.  It was the physique of a mature Vulcan male; he was still tall and thin, but there was nothing gangly about the taut form in the mirror.


A shuddering sigh passed through him.


He had hoped that he would be spared the fires of pon farr.  Those words had become his mantra during the past weeks.  He had not been spared, nor would he be spared the aftermath.  How could Jim ever trust him again? 


He wandered into the head, still feeling a slight sense of disconnect between mind and body.  In homage to his often suppressed human side, he decided to indulge in a water shower.  Spock turned the hot water on high, the spray to a stinging jet, and stepped into the steam.  He would not hurry tonight, as he usually would.  Water would cleanse his form in the human fashion just as Vulcan meditation would eventually clear his mind.


He turned away from the spray, letting it hit his back and shoulders.  Water ran into his eyes, dripping from the bangs plastered against his forehead.  He groped forward, feeling for the vial of soap on the corner shelf.  Eyes closed, he thumbed it open, pouring a dollop into his palm and sniffed.  Jim’s shampoo – cool evergreen and rain on summer grass. 


He lathered the soap into his hair, spreading the thick foam across his arms and chest. 

It was somehow comforting to breathe the same scent that identified his captain, almost an olfactory embrace.  Spock soaped under his arms, down his sides, and ran his hands over his stomach.  Arching, he leaned back into the spray, rinsing his hair.  His hands returned to his stomach and moved lower. 


Suds had run down into his pubic hair.  He combed through the stiff, matted curls with shaking fingers, the fragrant soap eradicating the scent of semen, the hot water flushing away all physical evidence of his loss of control.  Spock was not certain when he had ejaculated; indeed, his mind had been a swirl of red flame from the time that they had entered the appointed place, until he had awoken, as if from a trance, with his captain’s dead body dangling from his hands.  He shuddered again, feeling cold even as the hot mist rose around him.


Grabbing the soap, he poured a gob into his hand and soaped his groin, lifting his tender penis, peeling it gently from his testicles where his dried seed had caused it to adhere.  He lifted his scrotum, cleaning beneath it, running a soapy hand across narrow hips, over and between small buttocks.  His cock twitched, but he studiously ignored it, bending instead to wash his legs and feet.


The spray stung his ass, the hot water running down his crevice, trickling past the small pucker, to warm his testicles.  He leaned back into the spray, and then straightened, his hand brushing the quivering erection that suddenly stood out from his body.  It throbbed, dancing to the rhythm of his heart.  He took it into his hand, softly stroking the shaft with his thumb.


He had always taken T’Pring’s presence in his mind for granted.  He could hardly remember a time when she had not been part of him.  Spock had expected to feel a sense of loss after their bond had been severed, but his consciousness had barely registered her departure.  All he felt now was relief that he no longer had to shield his mind from hers as he touched himself.


He felt so alone.  Masturbation was such a solitary pursuit, but need spurred him on.


The fragrant soap slicked his fist as he slowly pumped into it.  A favorite fantasy unfolded in his mind.  He was the Warrior Master, and his hand was his Slave, forced to do his bidding.  He closed his eyes, the scent of his beloved tawny-haired Slave surrounding him, feeling the warm wetness that embraced his member as his manhood was worshipped by the kneeling man.  A mouth, beautiful and soft, sucking him, lips stretched to encompass his bulk. He thrust more forcefully, feeling the throat of the golden male squeezing the essence from his body. Spock threw back his head, the sound of falling water drowning out his moan as he came, the face of the no longer anonymous Slave dancing behind his eyelids.


“Jim.”  He leaned against the wall of the shower stall, slightly dizzy.  What he felt should not be…could not be….    


Turning slowly, Spock rinsed suds and semen from his body, hot water sluicing away all signs of his shame.


He had finally given name to his imaginary lover.  A tiny ember glowed deep within his mind, awaiting a lover’s breath to set it to flame.  It would remain so, for Jim would never be the one to fan it to life.  He was the Captain.  It was an impossible situation.


He would not think of it now.


A thick towel was handy to dry his body, and a warm robe to cover it.


He filled his small teapot with water and set it to boil.  A cup of tea would be welcome before a prolonged period of meditation.  He spooned the fragrant leaves into a small perforated metal container and placed it into the steaming pot.  It would be ready in four point eight minutes.


Finally seated at his desk with his steaming mug, he switched on his computer, intending to read the reports and dispatches that had accumulated during his short absence, but after a minute of staring blankly at the screen, had no idea what he had just read.  Spock switched the computer off and looked around for something with which to momentarily divert his mind. 


The bottom drawer of his desk was slightly ajar, with a small bit of cream colored yarn peeking through the opening.  It was testament to the deleterious effect that pon farr had on his mind, that he should leave his cabin in such disorder.


He opened the drawer and withdrew the just-started front panel of a sweater, knitted in the traditional Irish style.  He had been unable to find báinín, the off-white Irish sheep’s wool, so far from Terra.   Fortunately, during her last shore leave, Lieutenant Uhura had a found a sufficient quantity of a perfectly acceptable substitute, spun from the wool of the Omegan goat.


Spock had confided in the Lieutenant that he had desired to knit a sweater of an Aran Isle pattern, and had inquired about the mythology of the various stitches.  She had been more than happy to teach him the basics and had helped to design a pattern that could be modified as he wished.  He had borrowed the correctly sized knitting needles and had made excellent progress until....


Running his fingers over the complex design, Spock felt a small spark of amusement, the first that he had experienced since he had identified the onset of his Time.  Setting his plan in motion had required a great deal of stealth and subterfuge. He had secretly measured Jim with a critical eye, taking into consideration the width and breadth of his muscular chest.  He would turn from the Science Station, to mentally determine the diameter of the captain’s neck and the length of his torso.  In the turbolift, he had stood next to Kirk, surreptitiously calculating, precisely to the centimeter, the distance from the tip of Jim’s clavicle to his carpus.


He had then given Uhura his own measurements, and had adapted the pattern to fit Jim.


The stitches were of his own choosing.  He had found several existing patterns in a rather comprehensive history of Ireland on the library computer, no doubt part of Kevin Riley’s legacy. Cables, diamonds, trellis, and links all adorned the front panel.  The back would be similarly decorated.  The sleeves would carry a combination of double zig zags and honeycomb, finished with a ribbed cuff.


Spock picked up the soft fabric, rubbing it lightly against his cheek.  Like báinín, the Omegan goat’s wool retained a tiny amount of its natural oil, giving the yarn a lustrous sheen.  He glanced at the padd that had been wrapped in his project, refreshing the pattern in his memory, and picked up the knitting needles.


It was soothing to sit in the dimness of his cabin, warm and safe, the cadenced clicking of needles calming his nerves.  He understood now what Jim’s mother had meant when she commented that knitting engendered relaxation.  He slipped into the first level of meditation, needles moving automatically, feeling himself sink deeper into his mind with each successive stitch.


After five point four five hours, Spock opened his eyes, mind resurfacing from the depths of his being.  The completed front panel of the sweater lay in his lap, his untouched tea sat cold at his elbow.


He did not know if or when he would ever be ready to speak to Jim about the truths that he had discovered within himself – about love, about need, about the last remaining spark of pon farr that would forever dwell within his mind.  He would, more immediately, petition his captain for absolution for his actions on Vulcan. He knew that Jim had already granted his unconditional pardon for the unpardonable, but Spock still needed to give voice to his supplication in order to assuage his very Human guilt.


Spock collected his knitting and tucked it back into the drawer, closing it securely.  He emptied the mug of tea into the bathroom sink and brushed his teeth.


Tomorrow.  He would seek Jim’s forgiveness tomorrow.  For now, Spock of Vulcan required sleep.







Amanda sat by her husband’s bed, her hand resting loosely in his.  Sarek was sleeping at last.  Doctor McCoy had threatened the Vulcan Ambassador with “knock-out drops” if he wouldn’t close his eyes and rest.  Much to her surprise, Sarek had obeyed, confirming her suspicion that he was more exhausted than he would ever admit.


It had been nearly thirty-six hours since McCoy had finished the operation that had saved her husband’s life, aided by several pints of T-negative blood donated by her unwilling son.  The captain had been stabbed by an Orion posing as an Andorian and the Tellarite Ambassador had been murdered.  Altogether too much excitement for what Kirk had termed ‘a milk run to Babel.’    


Spock had been released from sickbay hours earlier, but had found several excuses to return to check on his captain.  She was gratified that Spock had found such a good friend on board the Enterprise.  He had been such a solitary child that she had despaired that he would ever fit in anywhere.  She’d been frankly surprised at the steady stream of messages from the crew that deluged the sickbay comm board for both the captain and his first officer, until McCoy had finally put a stop to it.  “They’ll be up and about in a day or two.  You can talk to them then,” he’d growled.


That the irascible doctor could strike such fear in the hearts of her husband, Captain Kirk, and the crew in general, amused her.  Spock was the only one not who did not noticeably quake in his boots when the good doctor turned his exasperated glare in his direction.


“Lady Amanda?”


The subject of her thoughts stood at her elbow.


“You’ve already been here twelve hours.  Sarek will sleep though ‘til morning, and I suggest you do the same.”


It occurred to her to argue, but in truth, she was fatigued.  Amanda nodded her acquiescence.


“I’ve called Spock to escort you to your quarters.  Do you both good to have a little time together.  I’ve also given your son strict orders to get some rest, so don’t keep him up too late.”


Amanda gave him a tired smile.  “Believe me, Leonard, the thought never crossed my mind.”


As the doctor moved off to check his other patients, Spock strode into the room, hands full of padds, eyes darting first to his sleeping captain, then to his father, before turning his attention to his waiting mother.  “Would you prefer to eat or go directly to your cabin for some rest?”


“Could I order something to eat in my room, Spock?  I’m exhausted.”


“Of course.  I had anticipated your likely request.  A light supper can be delivered to your guest quarters.”


“Thank you.”  Amanda took her son’s arm, leaning wearily against him.  He steered her out of sickbay and into the nearby turbolift, grateful that his mother’s quarters were only a few steps from his own.


Spock gestured with the stack of padds that he had transferred to his other hand.  “May I stop at my quarters first?  It is en route.”


“I know.”  The color rose in Amanda’s face as she recalled her emotional confrontation with her son the last time that she had visited his cabin.  “I’m sorry, Spock.”


Apologies are illogical.  The words sprang to his lips and were immediately bitten back.  He now understood the very human need to seek forgiveness.  He had done that very thing with Jim just a few months earlier.


“Unnecessary.  But, thank you.”


He looked down at her, knowing that she could read the soft look in his eyes for what it was.


She nodded, satisfied with what she saw.


From the lift, it was only a short journey down the hall to Spock’s quarters.  He stopped at the door next to his.  Separating the stack of padds in two, he waved the door open and the lights on low.  “For the captain,” he said by way of explanation.  From her position in the hallway, Amanda got a peek of a squat pre-Columbian statue sitting on a shelf behind Kirk’s desk before the door whisked closed and her son was moving toward his own cabin.


He gestured towards the opening door.  After nearly forty years on Vulcan, the heat didn’t bother her.  Spock led her to a low divan against the wall of his office.  “Please sit.  I shall only be a moment.”


“So imprecise, Spock,” she teased, and was rewarded with another soft look.


He shuffled through the padds, arranging them into precise stacks next to his computer.  Amanda took the moment to observe her son looking very comfortable in his surroundings.  The office was standard Starfleet issue, but with small additions that revealed glimpses of Spock’s personality. 


Several pieces of Vulcan pottery adorned the shelf above the desk, sharing space with a small collection of leather bound volumes – Shakespeare, from the looks of them.  A tri-di chess board sat on a small credenza behind his desk, a game in progress.  Beside it sat a bundle of creamy white wool with several sticks protruding from its side.  Amanda’s eyebrow rose in a very Vulcan fashion.


“Spock?  What are you knitting?”


There was a slight clatter as the top padd slid from the neat pile that Spock was attempting to construct.  He ducked his head, but not before Amanda caught sight of the green flush of embarrassment spreading to the tips of his ears.


“I had not realized that you were familiar with that particular craft.”


Amanda smiled.  “I hadn’t thought of it for years, but my grandmother enjoyed knitting.  She tried to teach me but I had no aptitude for it.”


“You prefer needlework.”  Childhood memories of Amanda curled in her favorite chair, surrounded with cards wound with a rainbow of colored thread, pushing a needle through a hoop-bound piece of cloth.  And of Sarek, reading in the chair opposite, while Spock curled on the hearth rug with his pet sehlat, watching the flames and dreaming of the stars.


“You haven’t answered my question.”  At Spock’s quizzical look, Amanda repeated, “What are you knitting?”


To lie to his mother was unthinkable. 


“A sweater.”


“May I see?”  Spock placed the ball of wool and the nearly completed sleeve in her outstretched hand.  She stroked the softness, turning the piece over in her hands.  “Why, Spock, this is beautiful!  How much more do you have to do?”


“Another two inches of ribbing will be required to complete this sleeve.  The front and back of the garment’s body are finished.  I must still knit another sleeve, shape the neck, and assemble the finished product.”


“It’s lovely,” she held the nearly finished sleeve up to Spock’s arm with a small frown, “although this looks a little short for you. Even with a two inch cuff, it still won’t be long enough to reach your wrists.”


He paused.  “The sweater is not for me…”


Amanda waited.  It had always been like this.  Spock rarely volunteered information.  She had spent most of their time together walking a fine line between asking and prying. Sometimes if she waited long enough….


“…it is for the captain.”






And suddenly she knew, even if Spock didn’t.  It all made sense: the touches, the glances, the hovering, and now this labor of love.  She wondered how far it had gone.  She wondered if Kirk recognized the signs, suspected that he did, and hoped that he reciprocated.  She prayed that Spock would not get hurt too badly.


There was only so much that a mother could do or say.  She fell back on the familiar.


“Are you hungry?”


Spock considered her question and realized that he had not eaten since earlier that morning.  “Affirmative.”


“Then how about taking your mother to dinner?”


Amanda held out her hands and he lightly pulled her to her feet.  She took his proffered arm and they walked down the long hallway to the guest quarters.


Her supposition would remain just that:  an educated guess, based on very little evidence and a lot of mother’s intuition.  Spock’s secret would remain his to keep or share as he saw fit.  Sarek need not know for now, because after all, Spock wasn’t the only one in their family who could keep a secret.









Halloween came and went.  Spock had felt more comfortable in his formal Terran evening wear that evening than he had in his much more revealing Zorro outfit of the previous year.  Jim had immediately dubbed him ‘Dracula’ and insisted on coming to the party as Van Helsing, complete with wooden stakes and a mallet.  It had been an entirely too-bloodthirsty idea, Spock had punned to himself afterwards, as he vowed to come up with a more pacifistic costume for next All Hallows Eve.


He had much to be thankful for during the celebration of the holiday established for that purpose.  He was most grateful that his captain, Dr. McCoy, Lieutenant Uhura, and Chief Engineer Scott, had been returned from the Mirror Universe, safe and sound.  He was also much gratified that his honorable counterpart on the ISS Enterprise had been as logical as himself in his need to have his own captain back.


The beginning of December heralded the arrival of sparkling holiday decorations in the recreation areas, including several menorahs, for the twenty-fifth day of Kislev occurred early in the month. 


During the third week of December, Spock borrowed a set of double-pointed needles from Uhura.


“You must be nearly finished with your sweater, Mister Spock.  I think that neckband called for four number 5 dp needles, right?  And here’s a stitch marker to keep your place.  Let me know if you need any assistance.  I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product!”


After several false starts, where the yarn slipped off the back point of the needle, Spock completed the final three inches of ribbing required and had just finished binding off the neck hole, when his comm unit buzzed.


“Spock here.”




Kirk had enjoyed playing gangster with the Iotians.  Spock hoped that his current nickname would not become a permanent part of Jim’s lexicon.




Kirk took note of the crisp, formal response, and was exceedingly glad that the communication was audio only.  He took off his fuzzy grey fedora and sailed it towards the red marble orb that sat on his headboard shelf, missing his target by several inches. 


“New orders just came in.  We’re to head to Starbase 23 to rendezvous with the Hood and the Essex in five days.  There’s been some rumbling along the border of the neutral zone.  Looks like we’re the proverbial show of force sent to remind the Romulans to stay on their side.  Once we arrive there, we’ll be on yellow alert until further notice.”  He paused.  “Our leave on Starbase 9 has been canceled.” 


“Regrettable.  A period of leisure time for the crew is long overdue.”


“Agreed.  They’re not going to be happy campers.”


Spock searched his mental databank of idiomatic phrases, knowing full well that Starbase 9 was one of the more cosmopolitan Federation bases. 


Kirk continued, “Perhaps we could raise morale a little by moving our holiday party up a few days.  How long to Starbase 23 at warp 4?”


Abandoning his fear that the captain had planned a pastoral sojourn for the crew, Spock had the answer within seconds.  “Four point seven days.”


“Well within Starfleet’s time frame.  I don’t need to ask if the ship and crew are battle ready, do I?”


“Negative, Captain.” 


“Then, we should have time for a short break before reaching our destination.  I’ll inform the crew that we’ll be having our holiday celebration tomorrow in Recreation Area One.  Would you ask Lieutenant Uhura to arrange something informal, perhaps cookies and punch, for all three shifts?  I know it isn’t much, but circumstances dictate relative sobriety.  See you on the bridge in fifteen minutes.  Kirk out.”


And so it was that Spock found himself drafted by Uhura to play his ka’athyra for the alpha shift party.  She had provided him with music padds for traditional holiday songs from Earth and its various off-world colonies, and had been happy to lead the crew in singing a number of carols, accompanied by their Vulcan first officer.  The cookies were replicated and the punch was watery, but it was a welcome break from the tension of the past few months.


As he played, Spock watched the captain mingle, stopping to talk to each crew member in attendance.  Kirk’s long circuitous route brought him, finally, to the Vulcan’s side, with a cup of punch in each hand. 


“All that music-making must be thirsty work.”


As Spock began to shake his head in denial, he caught the twinkle in Jim’s eye.  He was being teased.  He accepted the cup of fruit juice and sipped, thankfully.


“I think it’s time for the captain and his first officer to leave.  Scotty and McCoy have been hovering near the punch dispenser and I have a feeling that things are going to loosen up a little as soon as the command team hits the hallway.”


Spock nodded in acquiescence.  He and Kirk had anticipated that there would be a moderate amount of inebriation after their departure and had sick bay prepare enough doses of detox to ensure that the crew would be functional by their next shifts.


He packed his lyre while Kirk gave a little speech of appreciation to the crew, thanking Uhura for organizing the party, and wishing everyone a happy holiday.  As they left, Uhura began to play a simple tune on another Vulcan lyre that had been concealed behind the refreshment table.


Kirk looked puzzled.  “I didn’t know Uhura knew how to play.” 


“The lieutenant is a woman of many talents.”  Spock fell in step with his Captain, who suddenly found that he had nothing to say.


As they approached their cabins, Spock was the first to speak.


“Would you care to come in for a glass of holiday spirits?”


Kirk grinned.  “If you’re talking about a nice big shot of brandy followed by our gift exchange, then I’d be honored, Mister Spock.  Give me half an hour to check my messages and grab a shower and I’ll be right over.”


Pleased that their evening was to be casual, Spock changed into a long, warm Vulcan robe and adjusted the environmental controls for human comfort.  He set out a small bottle of Saurian brandy, a recent gift from Doctor McCoy, and two metal goblets that he had purchased just for this purpose. 


Kirk came through the connector of their shared head, having hit the seldom used entrance button next to the door.  “Thought it might be best not to stand in the corridor front of your cabin in my bathrobe,” he explained sheepishly, as Spock stood to greet him.


Hair still damp from the shower, Kirk glowed in the soft flickering light from the fireshrine.  He was barefoot, dressed in a long, dark red robe, carrying a small flat package under his arm.


“For you, Spock.  Happy holidays…though I think I’d like that drink first before we start opening presents.”


They settled on some floor cushions, glasses in hand, gaily wrapped packages between them.


“Go ahead, Spock.  You first.”


Spock slid a finger under the seam of the bright red wrapping paper, separating it carefully.  Kirk knew better than to hurry his First Officer; it was part of the Vulcan’s nature to open gifts in a precise and deliberate manner, and it added to Kirk’s enjoyment of the moment to watch the look of concentration and expectation on Spock’s face.


It was a holoframe.  Spock touched a button on the side and the three dimensional picture shimmered into existence. 


“Do you recognize this?”  Kirk was looking eagerly into his friend’s face.  “It was the day that I came on board the Enterprise.  Gary had just introduced us.  Do you remember?”


Of course Spock remembered.  He had an eidetic memory, and was about to remind the Captain of that fact, when he realized that the question was most likely rhetorical.


Kirk had looked impossibly young when he’d materialized in the transporter room that day.  He’d addressed his new bridge crew and departments heads in a soft but clear tenor voice, looking for all the world like somebody’s younger brother masquerading as a Starfleet captain.  Initially, Spock had not been impressed.


First Officer Gary Mitchell had introduced each person in attendance, ending with the department heads.  As third in command, Science Officer Spock had been the last to be presented to his new captain.


Instead of proffering his hand, as Spock had expected him to do, Jim had stepped in front of the Vulcan, his right hand raised in the ta’al.


Dif-tor heh smusma, Zhel-lan Spohkh.”


Spoken in perfectly accented Golic, it took Spock’s breath away. His eyebrow had risen in astonishment as he returned the gesture.  “Welcome aboard, Captain.”


The holopic had captured that fleeting moment: the look of amazement on Spock’s face and Jim’s faint smile as they stood, mirrored hands raised in the traditional Vulcan greeting.


“I went through the first-year mission logs to locate that picture.  Had to play the recording of our meeting frame by frame to find that exact moment.  At first I thought my memory was playing tricks on me, but I finally found it.  That particular expression made you look more…accessible...like we could work together.  It made me want to get to know you better.”


Spock raised his eyebrow, knowing that Jim expected him to do so.  Kirk laughed.


“You have no idea how intimidating you looked that day, Spock.  My experience with Vulcans had been limited to a couple of diplomatic forays when I was a junior officer, and that one extremely formidable xenobiology professor at the Academy.”


“Professor Stenn.”  Spock internalized a shudder, for he, too, had been unsettled by the Vulcan teacher on several occasions.


“Right.  He even terrorized me once or twice. That was a required second year class, and no cadet could avoid having the crap scared out of them by Stenn; and yet, there you were, with the same exceptional qualifications and a brilliant, unblemished record.  The only thing that you and I appeared to have in common was our love of a good chess match.”


“Chess was the first foundation of our friendship.”


“Indeed, Mister Spock.”  Kirk was smiling expectantly.  “So, do you like your present?”


“Affirmative, Jim.”


Kirk sat back, satisfied.  That was as effusive as Spock would get about a gift.  He could tell that his efforts were appreciated by the sparkle in the Vulcan’s eyes. The captain ran his finger along the edge of a large box covered with dark green paper.


“Is this for me?”


“With my wish for a happy holiday.”


Jim shook the package – a childhood habit that he had never outgrown.  Something soft shifted within.  Patience at an end, he ripped the green paper from the box and opened it.  Nestled inside, wrapped in a thin layer of tissue paper, was a white sweater, knit in the traditional Irish style.


His breath caught in his throat.  It was much like that day, almost twenty years in the past, when Kirk had opened his suitcase upon arrival in his Starfleet Academy dorm room to be surprised by the sweater that his mother had made for him.  It felt like coming home again – except ‘home’ would never again mean ‘Iowa’.   


“Spock, it’s incredible.”  He unfolded the soft wool garment, tracing his fingers over the pattern on the front.  “Similar…but not the same…and just as beautiful.”


He jumped to his feet.  “Mind if I try it on for size?”  His hand went to the silken tie of his robe.  “Don’t worry, Spock.  Modesty will be preserved.  I’m wearing something underneath.”


‘Something’ proved to be a tight pair of regulation black briefs.


Kirk slipped the sweater over his head.  To Spock, it was as if the captain was moving in slow motion. The flickering light from the fire god turned Kirk’s body into a study of scarlet and gold, curves and shadows.  Jim raised his arms, sliding into the sleeves, the powerful muscles of his chest and abdomen flexing with the movement.  A crown of coppery hair appeared through the neck hole, followed by a pair of dazzling hazel eyes, a perfectly shaped nose, and generous rose-tinted lips.  Spock felt a tug of disappointment when Kirk smoothed the creamy wool down over his torso.


Jim caught sight of himself in the mirror across the room.  “This one fits much better.”  He turned in a circle, displaying himself to his increasingly uncomfortable first officer.  “My mother’s sweater was made for a teenager, and I soon outgrew it; this is a man’s sweater, almost like it was made just for my body.”


It was as if lightening had struck without warning.  The ember that Spock had so long denied had sparked to life at his brief glimpse of that smooth golden chest, now covered with his own handiwork.  He took several deep breaths, trying to control the stuttering of his heart.


Kirk looked…magnificent…his hair, tousled from pulling the garment over his head, the creamy white wool contrasted pleasingly with his lightly tanned skin.  Spock’s visual measurements had been accurate, as the sweater fit perfectly, clinging to Kirk’s strong pectoral muscles and sturdy shoulders.  Jim turned again, his bare legs moving as gracefully as a dancer’s, the tight black briefs barely containing the shifting globes of his buttocks.


Spock could feel his penis stir and was thankful that he had chosen to wear a loose robe.


Jim’s head was down as he ostensibly studied the myriad stitches that comprised the design.  He glanced up at his friend with an inquisitive look.  Spock was struck by how young the captain looked at that moment…much as he must have as a young second-year cadet.  He wondered if Professor Stenn had noticed the exceptional beauty of his youthful student as he chastised him for a minor infraction of the rules.  Spock swallowed convulsively, cock now twitching madly under his robe, as another sexual fantasy took root in his mind, nearly supplanting his beloved image of Master and Slave.


“Wonder what all these stitches mean.”  Kirk looked down again, his long lashes casting soft shadows on his cheekbones, as he caressed his wool covered chest.


There was no mistaking that hot look in the Vulcan’s eyes as he watched Kirk run his hands down the front of the sweater.  It was now or never.  Spock just needed a little help to kick-start this romance.   “Do you know what the stitches mean, Spock?”  He dropped to his knees in front of the Vulcan, hands resting loosely on his bare thighs.


Spock cleared his throat.  “Ah...this stitch…is called the diamond.”  Spock reached out, and with his slightly shaking index finger, traced the four points of the interlocking equilateral parallelograms that adorned the center of the pattern.  He could feel Jim’s muscles tense slightly as his hand traveled down the middle of the broad torso, hot fingers branding the design onto Kirk’s skin through the soft wool.  “It symbolizes the hope for success for those whose adventures take them far from their homeland.”


Kirk was studying him from under fringed lashes, waiting.  His pointed pink tongue darted out to moisten his lips. 


Spock closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  Control.  When he opened them again, Kirk was watching him serenely.


Another deep breath.  “The cable is the symbol of strength, safety and good luck.”  Long fingers skimmed down the double ropes on either side of the diamonds, fingertips unintentionally grazing Kirk’s nipples, rubbing soft stitches against tender nubs.


The captain drew in a shuddering breath and swayed towards him.  Spock watched with fascination as Kirk’s eyelids fluttered, not quite sure what he had done to engender such a reaction.  


“You must think I require an abundance of all three, Mister Spock, to choose a sweater with so many cables.”  By now, Kirk was slightly breathless.  He could feel his penis stir, filling the pouch of his briefs and wondered if Spock had noticed his arousal.  He chanced another peek from under his lashes.  Oh yes, ‘it’ had caught the Vulcan’s attention.  Spock wasn’t even keeping up the pretense of not staring.  Kirk spread his thighs a little further apart, hands languorously stroking from hip to knee, and back again.


“I’m curious, First Officer.  How do you know so much about Irish knitting?  I’m wondering how you came into possession of such a perfect example of it.”


“Lieutenant Uhura taught me how to knit.  The sweater is my creation.”


The puzzle pieces suddenly all fell into place: the time that he had seen Uhura entering Spock’s cabin, the knitted scarf draped across Spock’s bed, Uhura’s sudden acquisition of a Vulcan lyre and the ability to play it.  Lessons given, in payment for lessons received. 


It was the most beautiful sweater that he had ever seen, and he said so, watching a light green blush tint Spock’s face.  It made him want the Vulcan even more.


Kirk tilted his head back to look up into his first officer’s face and licked his lips once again.  The Vulcan was as aroused as he was, dark hooded eyes gleaming in the flickering light.  “Tell me more about your design, Spock.  The stitches on the sleeves…what do these lines mean?”




Spock had lost the thread of the conversation.  His universe had narrowed to those glorious green flecked eyes and that pointed pink tongue sweeping across beautiful, soft, moist lips…slightly parted…just the edge of perfect white teeth peeking through…Wait, the lips were moving…If only he could hear above the roaring in his ears…


“… ss me…Spock, kiss me…”


He was eager to comply with his captain’s command… request…desire. 


It started as a relatively chaste kiss, just the briefest touching of lips.  Kirk slid one hand behind Spock’s neck, feathering his fingers through the short silken strands of hair at the nape.  He increased the pressure of the kiss, tongue darting out to lick open the Vulcan’s lips, reveling in the salty spiciness of his friend’s mouth.  Spock’s tongue met his own, stroking, each testing the taste of the other. 


With the fingers of one hand entwined in Spock’s hair, the other hand dropped to his shoulder, trailing down his arm to settle on the Vulcan’s waist.  Kirk pulled Spock fractionally closer, sucking his tongue into his mouth.


Spock could feel the irresistible pull of Kirk’s mouth, as his entire focus tapered to the cool wetness touching his lips, and could no longer remain a passive participant in the kiss.


He slid his arms around Kirk’s waist, hands gliding under the soft wool of the sweater.  He caressed the broad, muscular back, feeling the cool sheen of perspiration that covered the soft skin.  He lifted the sweater to allow better access, hands skimming from back to front, nimble fingers skimming over sensitive nipples.  He brushed the pads of his thumbs across the tender nubs, remembering Kirk’s reaction when he had inadvertently touched them through the sweater.  Jim moaned into his mouth, the vibration against his tongue a most pleasurable thing.


One of the captain’s hands had dropped to the silver catch at the throat of the heavy Vulcan robe.  A flick of a finger had it unfastened; another flick had the robe opened to Spock’s waist.


Kirk leaned back and looked at his first officer -- really looked at him, as if seeing the handsome Vulcan for the first time.  Spock’s hair was mussed, his mouth open just a bit, his full lower lip shining from where he had sucked it into his mouth.  The black eyes were shadowed by spiky lashes, glowing in the soft light from the Watcher.  Kirk reached out and swept his finger along the slash of one dark brow, then along the tip of the nearest ear, feeling the smallest shudder shake the thin frame. 


His finger continued on its journey, down the long neck, feeling the pulse there flutter like the wings of a hummingbird.  He hooked the questing finger into the loose neckline of the robe and pulled it off one bony shoulder, tracing the prominent collarbone across to the Vulcan’s neck, once more finding and touching the rapid rhythm of the alien heartbeat.  He leaned forward and kissed that spot, feeling Spock’s life force thrum beneath his lips.


Ceasing his exploration, Kirk sat back once more, in awe of what he saw.  Spock’s hands had moved to clutch the front of his robe, holding it draped in place, the glint of silver from the clasp bright against the dark chest hair.  His efficient first officer had disappeared, and had left in his place this dark, alluring stranger. 


He pulled the Vulcan’s hands from where they’d been splayed across his chest and drew him to his feet, the heavy velvet robe swinging open.  Spock, wild…fierce…in the flickering light, the sharp lines and angles of his face and body starkly lit against the midnight darkness of his hair and robe.  It was as if a drawing had come to life:  black ink on white paper, drawn in bold strokes by a knowing hand.


The Vulcan looked regal…kingly.  No, that wasn’t quite it.  He looked… like a warrior.  Not just any warrior: Spock looked like the warrior-lord in the book of pre-Reform Vulcan poetry that Kirk had ‘given’ to his innocent first officer during the previous holiday season.


“My…lord...” Even as he breathed the words, he knew that he meant them…and knew what he wanted to do.


Lifting the heavy wool sweater to expose his chest, Kirk pulled the garment slowly over his head, folded it and placed it carefully on the cushion next to his feet.  He ran his fingers down his sides, stopping at the waistband of his tight black briefs, looking down at his straining erection.  Kirk glanced up, half expecting that the Vulcan would be holding his robe closed with an averted face, but Spock was studying his every move.   


Better put on a good show, James T., because you just might scare him off with what you have in mind.


He turned his back and walked away a few steps.  He heard the soft moan behind him and stopped, knowing that the Vulcan was watching.  Kirk eased the waistband of the briefs over the head of his erect cock, and then ran his hands over and around his hips, pushing at the fabric as he ran his fingers down his smooth flanks. 


Kirk shot a quick sidelong look over his shoulder to make sure Spock was still watching, then leaned forward and rolled the black cotton briefs down, over his buttocks, and thighs, caressing each body part as he drew the garment down.  Once past his knees, they dropped to the floor.  He straightened, stepped out of them and lightly kicked the crumpled scrap of fabric away.


Do I have your attention now, Spock?


Oh, yes, he certainly had the Vulcan’s undivided interest.


Kirk’s mind worked furiously.   He remembered skimming through the volume of pre-Reform poetry before hiding it in the bookstore for Spock to find.  There had been a series of illustrations that had caught his eye – and if he had noticed them, he could be sure that the Vulcan had studied every detail, especially since that particular book sat on the shelf next to Spock’s pillow.


This could be a fantasy come true for both of them.


Kirk had no problem playing the submissive Slave.  Sometimes, he felt that was a sexual role that he was born to play.  He just hoped that Spock was up for playing the ‘Master’.


Now, let’s see if we’re on the same page – literally.


He pivoted on his toes, turning to face the Vulcan.  Spock hadn’t moved, the open robe now throwing his body into shadow.  Hips swaying, Kirk closed the distance between them, erect cock pointing the way.  He stopped a step away, trying to gauge the other man’s reaction to his nakedness. 


“Do you like what you see…Master?”


Spock took an involuntary step backwards.  His eyes flew to Kirk’s face.  Jim could not possibly be mocking him.  How could he have learned of Spock’s most private fantasy?


The smile that had seduced a thousand women and broken a thousand hearts was turned, for the first time, in Spock’s direction.  Enticing and hot, eyes smoldering with sexual promise, Kirk advanced on the Vulcan once again.


“Do I please you, my Lord?”


And again Spock withdrew.  Two steps put his back against the screen that divided the living area from the bedroom. 


All the better, thought Kirk.  You’re going to need something to hang onto in a few minutes.


Kirk could feel the Vulcan’s heat from where he stood.  He dropped to his hands and knees and crawled as sinuously as a cat to kneel passively at Spock’s feet.  He shook his hair back from his eyes and looked up.


At some point, during Spock’s retreat his robe had swung closed.  With both hands, Kirk pushed the heavy black velvet back from the Vulcan’s hips, smiling as the large jade cock presented itself for inspection. 


He’d seen Spock naked before.  It was unavoidable, given their nearly constant proximity.  They’d shared a bathroom, gym shower, and shore leave room -- all without ever seeing the other’s member in such a state of complete arousal.  Now that he had the opportunity, Kirk planned to make the most of it.


Long and thick, the shaft was smooth, lacking the noticeable veins, bumps and wrinkles of its human counterpart.  Pale green at the root, it shaded to a darker emerald at the two parallel ridges.  The head appeared to be covered in moss suede, soft and pliable, with a small slit in the center, from which depended a pearlescent drop of fluid.


Kirk leaned forward and touched the tip of his tongue to the slit, gently probing the tiny hole, licking away the single bead of liquid.  Salty, sweet, spicy, bitter.  He pressed his tongue against the roof of his mouth, allowing the droplet to spread over his palate, savoring the taste.


Spock’s body jerked in response, his fingers scrabbling for, and hooking into, the screen that now supported his weight.  He pushed back, feeling the metal lattice bite into his shoulder blades through the fabric of the heavy robe. 


His fantasy had come to life.  He looked down in time to see Kirk’s mouth descend over the head of his cock; the cool wetness that had so recently touched his lips was now encasing the very tip of his member.  Spock watched, head spinning, as first one ridge, then the second, disappeared into the soft pink mouth.  Kirk’s tongue continued to swirl around and over the portion that he held so gently between his lips.  It was the only point of contact between them, as Kirk’s hands remained loosely clasped around his own erection.


Spock knew how all this would conclude.  It had played out so many times before in his imagination, aided by the illustrations in his book of poetry.  He wanted to reach out and run his fingers through the bright hair, to raise Jim to his feet for a kiss, but instinctively knew that it was important, for both of them, to continue the scene to its inevitable end.


He clutched the metal screen more tightly as Jim’s tongue licked his shaft, and then blew lightly upon it.  He moaned as his captain sucked lightly on his testicles and rubbed his nose in the thick thatch of hair at the root of his penis.  He felt the lips leave him and groaned in protest.


“Watch me, Spock.”


The words were a command, voiced as a plea, and Spock could do nothing but obey.


Jim was touching himself.  His strong hands moved over his chest, rubbing nipples to tiny peaks.  One remained there, plucking and caressing the tight pink point, cupping the surrounding flesh, stroking the hard nub with his thumb.  His other hand had dropped to his lap, to encircle his straining cock with eager fingers.  Kirk moved his hand up the shaft of his member and paused at the tip, rubbing his slit, spreading the wetness that he found there onto his fingertips.  He glided those same fingers down his cock, leaving behind a glistening trail.  Now lubricated, he formed his hand into a tight tunnel and began to thrust into his fist, hips rocking slowly.


There was too much for Spock to watch; too many layers of movement to distract the eye. 


Jim’s head had fallen back, eyes closed, mouth open.  He was moaning quietly, whimpering in time with the movement of his hips.  Spock’s erection bobbed next to the captain’s cheek, in seemingly synchronous tempo with Jim’s soft cries.  He rubbed it against the impossibly soft skin, feeling Jim’s head turn and his tongue flick out to touch the smooth shaft. 


Releasing his hold on his own cock, Kirk captured the Vulcan’s member in both hands.  He held it steady, feeling it pulsate wildly against his fingers, and slid it into his mouth. 

He cradled it with his tongue, stroking the smooth underside, licking as he pressed his head forward.  One hand held Spock’s cock in place, while the other hand dropped back to his lap, to stroke his own erection.


Kirk’s hips began to rock once again as he fucked his hand.  The taste of his first officer, the sight of Spock clinging to the screen as he sucked the beautiful jade cock, was sensory overload.  Spock was making soft growling noises, his breath coming in harsh gasps, as he swayed, caught in the same quickening primal rhythm. 


It couldn’t last long – and it didn’t.


Spock came first, his seed churning and spilling from the depths of his being. He tried to pull from Kirk’s mouth, but the captain wouldn’t permit his retreat, sliding a hand behind him to grasp the tight Vulcan buttocks, holding him close.  Spock’s knees began to shake as he spurted into the cool, willing mouth.


As Spock’s hot seed touched his tongue, Kirk exploded over his hand, semen dripping across his fist.


The Vulcan staggered, losing his grip on the screen and slumped to his knees in front of his captain.  They reached for each other as they collapsed together onto the soft floor cushions. 


“So…good…”  Kirk could barely get the words out.  He kissed the nearest body part, which happened to be the side of the Vulcan’s neck.


Spock reached over and brushed the wet hair from Kirk’s forehead.  He was having trouble formulating a reply.  The disjointed words floated in his mind, unable to find a pathway to his voice.  He settled for smiling, which caused his captain to bestow another kiss. 


They nestled into each other’s arms, heads pillowed on the folded sweater with Spock’s robe as a blanket, touching and watching until their heart rates returned to normal.


Jim rubbed his cheek onto the soft wool beneath his head.  “I think you made this sweater just to watch me take it off.”


“Next time, I shall strip you myself.”




Spock paused before asking, “May I assume that you had something to do with my acquisition of a book of pre-Reform poetry last year?”


“You may.”  Kirk was smiling at him.  “There’s a lot of interesting illustrations in that volume that I’d like to recreate with you. You make a very credible warrior.”


They lay quietly, reveling in the touch of their entwined limbs.


“Love…they mean love.”


Kirk raised his head to look at his first officer…his…lover.  He liked the sound of that word.  “What are you talking about?”


“You had inquired as to the meaning of the lines on the sleeves.  The double zigzag stitches denote the give and take in every relationship.  They could also mean love.” 


Spock turned his head away, whether in embarrassment or fear of rejection, Kirk did not know.  He reached for the Vulcan’s chin, turning his face towards his.


“What was your intended meaning when you knitted it?”


Spock took a deep breath.  To lie to his captain was unthinkable…at least in this case.




Kirk smiled as he gathered the hot Vulcan body into his arms for a kiss.


“I can live with that.”



 Off with my overcoat, off with my glove
I need no overcoat, I'm burning with love!
My hearts on fire, the flame grows higher,
so I will weather the storm!
What do I care how much it may storm?
I've got my love to keep me warm.

…Irving Berlin…

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