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Originally published in 2004 in the print fanzine Beyond Dreams # 7.

They were doing it again—rolling around on the bunk fully clothed, kissing and groping each other like a couple of overheated teen-agers. This time they were in Spock’s quarters. Both of their earlier encounters had taken place in Kirk’s cabin, and both had ended in frustration. At least, that was what Kirk had felt. He wasn’t sure about Spock. After all, their first encounter had ended because of Spock, who had abruptly pulled away from a lengthy kiss with a muttered excuse about having to meditate. At the time, all Kirk had really wanted to do was to pull him back down on the bed and ravish him to within an inch of his Vulcan life, but he had let him go, gracefully, without a word of protest. It had been the right thing to do. Kirk had no doubt of that. It would have been the right thing to do with anyone under his command, and Spock was far more than a fellow officer. He was a friend—the best that Kirk had ever had. If preserving that friendship meant ending the most eagerly anticipated sexual encounter of his life with a cold shower and a self-administered hand-job, that was a price the captain was willing to pay.

As for their second encounter, Kirk would never know how it might have ended if they’d had a chance to keep going. It had begun well: Spock’s kisses had been even hotter and more forceful than during their first encounter, and his hands had kept straying to Kirk’s ass, caressing the still-clothed buttocks, finally daring to favor the left globe with a hesitant squeeze. Seconds later a red alert had sounded, summoning them both to the bridge to deal with a Federation freighter’s report of a Romulan warbird on the wrong side of the Neutral Zone. They had spent three days on full alert, reconstructing the ghostly trail of the suspected intruder, only to discover that it was not a Romulan ship at all, but an Orion pirate hauling contraband. It had taken another couple of days to transport the seized ship and its crew to Starbase Three.

But now, at last, every obstacle had been cleared away: the Enterprise was cruising in Federation space bound for what promised to be an uneventful supply drop at 40 Draconis III, and her first officer and captain were off duty and in bed, with twelve free hours in which to finally take care of some very important unfinished business. Well aware that emergencies could arise even on the dullest milk run, Kirk had instructed the computer to route his calls to Spock’s comm unit, after prudently disabling the unit’s video screen. Being prepared for the unexpected was a habit he’d had drilled into him at the Academy and it had saved him more times than he could count. Still, he didn’t think there would be any interruptions this time. All of the anticipation was about to pay off, all of the frustration was about to vanish, because this time, they were going to do it. Shirts off, pants off, hands on cocks, mouths on cocks, maybe even more than that if Spock wanted it, but most certainly, most definitely, hands and mouths, caressing and squeezing and licking and sucking until they were both totally sated. Tonight the captain of the Enterprise was not going to have to beat off alone in the shower just to get some relief. Tonight was going to be perfect. Absolutely perfect. Kirk was certain of it—he knew it, he could feel it, the same way he could feel it when an enemy was lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce or a Klingon commander was about to try some clever, completely unorthodox battle maneuver. Oh yes indeed—the famous Kirk intuition was up and running, fueling that lovely combination of strength and self-assurance that had always served him so well on the bridge, sending confidence surging through his veins, overcoming any lingering traces of worry or doubt or last-minute nervousness or….

"Unh," Kirk said as Spock effortlessly flipped them both over, ending up on top. Kirk didn’t mind at all. He had a great view of Spock—black hair and pale skin backlit by the glow of the firepot. There was something exotic, even seductive, about the Vulcan’s red-draped sleeping alcove, where the scents of human sweat and alien arousal mingled with spice-laden incense. It was, Kirk decided, a far better setting for their first time than his own, more prosaically decorated cabin. He watched, excitement mounting, as Spock tugged and pulled his way out of his blue tunic and black regulation undershirt.

Oh yes, tonight’s the night, Kirk thought as Spock’s hands—impatient, insistent—grasped the hem of his tunic. Eager to help, Kirk shifted his weight and stretched out his arms as required, and soon Spock was tossing the captain’s gold tunic onto the floor. Before Kirk had really had the opportunity to fully appreciate Spock’s naked torso, the Vulcan was on him again, hot tongue probing his mouth, left hand pressing his shoulder into the bunk, right hand caressing his breast.

Lying there beneath his newest lover, Kirk was reminded all over again of why he went to the trouble of removing so much of his own body hair: every nerve ending of his bare torso was deliciously exposed to the caress of Spock’s body—a textural mosaic of hot skin, pointed nipples, and silky hair played its way across Kirk’s chest and belly as the Vulcan writhed against him.

If he keeps this up, Kirk thought, I’ll come before we’ve even gotten our pants off: I think it’s time for a little retaliation.

He wrapped his arms around Spock’s waist and squeezed. Spock kissed him harder, then shifted his weight to one side, so that he could press a hand against the human's groin. Kirk groaned as hot fingertips skimmed lightly over his clothed cock. It was the boldest move Spock had made yet. Encouraged, Kirk slid his hands down to Spock’s ass, pressing lightly, but possessively against the firm little mounds.

"Ahhh," Spock said, gasping the single syllable into Kirk’s open mouth.

So far so good, Kirk thought, as Spock resumed the kiss with renewed enthusiasm. Might be smart to take it easy, though…retreat to something tamer for just a little while. He shifted his hands up to caress the curves of Spock’s waist. But after a moment the heat and weight of the Vulcan’s body and the increased boldness of the coppery tongue in his mouth wore down Kirk’s willpower, and he returned his attention to Spock’s ass, cupping and squeezing the small, thrillingly muscular buttocks. To Kirk’s delight, Spock reacted by insinuating one of his legs between the human’s, gently forcing them apart.

"Spock," Kirk whispered the single syllable into a pointed ear. A muffled groan was the only reply as the Vulcan pressed more tightly against him. Mouth locked with Kirk’s, Spock began to rock his hips, slowly at first, then more wantonly, forcing the hot mound at his groin back and forth over Kirk’s clothed leg.

Steady, Kirk thought as the firm flesh rubbed its way up and down his thigh. He wanted to rip his own pants off; he wanted to rip Spock’s pants off. Not yet, he told himself. Let him set the pace. The only way this isn’t going to happen is if I push too hard, if I try to go too fast. Patience, that’s all I need now, a little patience. With that thought firmly in mind, Kirk held on tight to the Vulcan’s body, enjoying the friction at every point of contact and dreaming about the all-too-brief look he had gotten at Spock’s unclothed groin during their recent mission to the Albatron research outpost. An unexpected cloudburst had left them both dripping wet and they’d changed their clothing together in the cramped quarters of their small survival tent. Though Kirk had managed only a single glance, he’d seen enough to confirm that one of the myriad rumors he had heard about Vulcan sexual equipment was true: the males had retractable cocks. Unfortunately, Spock’s cock had been fully hidden at the time, but the equipment that had been visible—a hairless, pale green, scrotum-like pouch—had piqued Kirk’s curiosity and added to his already intense desire to see what Spock looked like when he was aroused.

Although the thought of having his own cock hidden away most of the time made Kirk feel slightly queasy, he wasn’t at all put off by this difference in his friend. Quite the contrary, in fact. He had realized long ago that, although he found both males and females sexually attractive, the sex was usually better—hotter, more intense, more all-consuming—when his partner was female. It was the physical differences that did that for him—the full breasts with their large nipples, the labia, the super-sensitive clitoris, and, last but certainly not least, the vagina itself, so moist and warm and welcomingly open. With Spock he would have an opportunity to experience a whole new set of sexual characteristics. The mere thought of it sent a fresh burst of heat to his groin. But curiosity was only a small part of what was driving him. He wanted to make his friend feel every pleasurable sensation that a Vulcan could experience. Giving him that gift meant far more to him than his own physical pleasure: his greatest reward would be the sweet triumph of seeing Spock fully aroused, his cock exposed, ready to be stroked and caressed, ready to be buried in his lover’s very willing body.

I don’t think I’ll have to wait much longer, Kirk thought, shivering with anticipation as Spock’s fingers began to trace the contours of his cock. He found himself wishing his pants would just evaporate beneath the probing fingertip that was making its way from the base of his erection to the ridge, where it lingered for a moment before continuing its journey all the way up to the very tip. "Oh!" Kirk said as his hips thrust upward in automatic, mindless reply.

Spock broke off the kiss and pushed himself up on one elbow; eyes fixed on the human’s groin, the Vulcan watched his own finger as it moved back and forth over the black fabric, down to the base of Kirk’s erection, up over the swell of the ridge to the tip, then all around the entire outline of the impatiently straining organ before returning to the base, where it rested for a moment before moving upward again, very, very slowly.

Patience was one thing, torture was another, and Kirk had had enough. He pushed Spock’s hand aside, yanked open the pressure-seam fly of his own pants, and pulled his swollen, rigid shaft out into full view. There, he thought, raising his eyes to Spock’s face, daring him to object. But Spock’s dark gaze was focused elsewhere; with a choked-off groan, the Vulcan touched the exposed shaft with a single, shaking fingertip.

It was all the answer Kirk needed. "Yes," he urged. "It’s all right, Spock. Touch me."

Spock didn’t say a word, but Kirk could hear each ragged breath the Vulcan took and he was not surprised at all when a hotter-than-human hand gripped his shaft and began to milk it, tentatively at first, then with more confidence.

I’m going to come, Kirk thought, hips moving in time with the rhythm that Spock’s hand was setting. I’m going to come and I don’t want to—not yet.

He pushed Spock’s hand away and pulled the Vulcan down on top of him for another kiss, trapping his naked, throbbing erection between them. While Spock’s tongue plundered his mouth, Kirk expertly worked one hand between their bodies. Slow and easy, he reminded himself. Don’t scare him off. With that thought in mind, he reached not for the Vulcan’s groin, but for his own, stroking and petting. It felt good, but not nearly as good as Spock’s hand had felt. No danger of coming too soon, then. And the effect on Spock was electrifying. "Yes, yes," Spock was saying, the words coming out in a cross between a gasp and a whisper. "Stimulate yourself, Jim. Yes…." The Vulcan’s hips were out of control, grinding and pumping, and his deep, invasive kisses were broken now by little pauses, during which he’d pull away from Kirk’s upper body so that he could watch his captain’s masturbating hand. Finally, with a muffled groan of frustration, Spock pushed Kirk’s hand away and replaced it with his own, fist grasping and releasing the shaft, thumb playing with the head, just as Kirk’s own hand had done.

Kirk squirmed beneath the assault, at once delighted and dismayed. He wasn’t going to last much longer and before he came, he wanted to touch Spock without having the Vulcan’s uniform pants in the way. He gave Spock’s left thigh a gentle squeeze. When there was no objection, he squeezed again, this time more passionately. Spock writhed against him enthusiastically. Encouraged, Kirk slowly moved his hand closer and closer to his goal. Still no objection. Here goes, he thought, as he gently pressed his hand against Spock’s groin. But before his brain had had the chance to properly register the shape of Spock’s genitals, the Vulcan grunted and pulled away, shifting his weight so that he was seated on the bed beside Kirk, his hot hand still working the human’s penis, the grasp becoming firmer, the thumb straying more and more often to the tiny slit at the tip, flicking across it, pressing against it. The entire head was slick with pre-cum and Kirk’s balls felt as if they were ready to burst, but he was absolutely determined not to climax until he had at least gotten to see Spock’s cock. Hold on, he ordered himself. Hold on! Damn: this isn’t fair. By now he’s probably got a mental map of every single nerve ending I’ve got and I don’t even know what his equipment looks like. Can’t last much longer…maybe it’s time for a more direct approach.

"Spock," he managed to gasp, "this feels so good. I…I want to make you feel this way too. Please, Spock, open your pants and let me see, let me touch…."

The hand on Kirk’s cock abruptly stilled. Head bent over Kirk’s groin, Spock rasped out his reply. "That will not be necessary, Jim. I will derive sufficient satisfaction from watching your responses as I give you pleasure."

"What?" Kirk said, sitting up so abruptly that he dislodged Spock’s hand. "You mean you’re planning on keeping your pants on? Spock, I want…I need to reciprocate. Don’t you know that?"

"I had hoped it would not be necessary," Spock said, emphasizing the word "hoped" ever so slightly, as if he were trying to convince himself that Kirk would settle for such a limitation.

"Reciprocation is half the pleasure," Kirk said. "More than half. I can’t just lie here and let you serve me as if you were a hired professional. You’re my friend: I want to see you—to touch you, flesh to flesh. I want to be intimate with you, Spock, truly intimate."

"I’m sorry, but that is not possible," Spock said, head bowed, voice barely more than a whisper.

"I don’t understand," Kirk said. "We’re both adults. There’s no need for embarrassment."

Spock looked up and met Kirk’s eyes. "The answer is no," he said, a touch of defiance coloring his voice. "I will not remove my pants and I will not allow you to see or to touch my genitalia."

"But…why?" Kirk asked, more hurt than angry.

"It is a matter of biology," Spock said.

Wonderful, Kirk thought, groaning inwardly. Vulcan biology—again. "If this is about the pon farr—"

"That is not a concern at the moment," Spock said.

"Then what is it? What’s wrong?"

"My…physiology is Vulcan. Yours is human," Spock said, as if that were all the explanation required. There was no anger in his voice now, only a resigned sadness that cut Kirk more deeply than any harshly spoken words could have.

So much for my foolproof intuition, Kirk thought glumly, stuffing his half-hard cock back into his pants. "Human, Vulcan, I thought we were beyond all that," he said.

"Please believe me, Captain, in this particular case, I know what is best."

Kirk was certain he wasn’t imagining the note of condescension he’d heard in the Vulcan’s voice. It had been months—years, really—since Spock had spoken to him that way. Kirk felt anger rising within him, threatening to boil over. He didn’t want to be mad at Spock, but he didn’t want to be patronized either.

"You’re the one who started all of this," Kirk snapped, "that first time in my quarters! Are you going to tell me you did it all for me? I know better!" He knew at once that it had been a mistake to let his anger show; Spock was withdrawing into himself, body stiffening, dark gaze growing cold, distant.

"Spock," Kirk said, voice gentling, "I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I don’t want to hurt you. Not by continuing this, or by stopping it. I want to do what’s right for you—for both of us. If you don’t want to do this, then we won’t. I’ll go back to my quarters and tomorrow morning we’ll be fellow officers and friends—no less than we were before, but no more either. But if you want more than that, if you’re pushing me away because, well, because there’s something you’re concerned about, something you don’t think I’ll understand, then please, just tell me what it is and we’ll go from there. Doesn’t that seem like the logical approach?"

Spock’s eyes locked with Kirk’s. "Emotion is a factor here. In such cases, logic alone will not suffice."

"Whose emotion are you talking about, Spock? Mine…or yours?"

"I am a Vulcan."

Kirk shook his head. "You’re also human," he said. "Besides, I’ve spent enough time around other Vulcans—your father included—to have more than a sneaking suspicion that plenty of them allow themselves the satisfaction of physical intimacy on a regular basis, no matter what they’d like the rest of us to believe."

"Yes," Spock admitted, his jaw so tight that Kirk was sure he was gritting his teeth. "But as you have so correctly pointed out, I am not fully Vulcan. Nor am I fully human. I am a hybrid, a half-breed, unfit for Vulcan or human companionship."

"No," Kirk said, grasping the Vulcan’s shoulder. "You’re wrong. You are a fit companion. More than fit. You’re the best friend I’ve ever had."

Spock looked up, met Kirk’s eyes. "And you are, without question, the best friend I have ever had," he said.

A wave of tenderness swept through Kirk, tightening his throat and warming the pit of his stomach. He wanted to hold Spock. He wanted to comfort him. He wanted to show him how wrong—how very wrong—he was to believe that he was in any way unfit or inferior.

I love you, Spock. The phrase filled Kirk’s mind, and he wanted to say it aloud so that Spock could hear it and know that it was true. But saying it would plunge them back into discord, because saying it was a human thing to do. Saying it was something that Spock could not, or would not do. And so they would be at an impasse again: one of them giving more than the other could return.

Surrender was not something that came easily to Kirk. It was contrary to everything he believed in. But for Spock….

"All right," Kirk said softly.

Spock looked at him quizzically, one eyebrow raised, and the familiar gesture warmed Kirk so thoroughly that the sting of his defeat faded immediately into renewed tenderness. "All right," he repeated softly, one hand going to the waistband of his pants, opening it, parting the fly. "We’ll do it your way," he said, pushing his pants down. "I’ll lie here, naked, on your bunk: you can touch me as much as you want, wherever you want. And you can keep your pants on," he added, as he tossed his own trousers on the floor. "I won’t try to talk you into taking them off, and I won’t touch you anywhere you don’t want to be touched. No more objections. No more arguments. I’m yours, Spock. All yours, for as long as you want me."

Naked and vulnerable, Kirk stretched out on Spock’s bunk, his right thigh less than an inch away from where the Vulcan sat staring down at him, lips parted, breath coming faster and faster, hands shifting restlessly on his own thighs, as if he was having difficulty preventing himself from reaching out and taking what he wanted. "No," Spock said. "It is against your nature. It is too much to ask. It is—"

"Shhh," Kirk said, keenly aware of the mixture of wariness and lust in his friend’s dark eyes. "Don’t talk. Don’t think. Just do what you’ve wanted to do ever since that first night, in my quarters."

"Before," Spock said. "Long before that night, I wanted to—"

"Yes," Kirk said. "I’ve wanted it too. For a very long time."

Spock began to touch him then, fingertips skimming over his shoulders, tracing the hollows of his collarbones.

Kirk wasn’t sure what he was feeling: tenderness and lust, certainly, but there was frustration as well. Despite his resolve to surrender to Spock’s wishes, part of him was in rebellion, pushing him to continue the fight until Spock’s needless, self-imposed limitations fell before the onslaught.

"You are a wonder," Spock said as he caressed Kirk’s chest. "A gift to every being whose life path has intersected yours."

"That’s not true. Not true at all," Kirk said as his mind began working its way through an all-too-familiar catalog of failure and regret: the lovers he had wounded, the enemies whose lives he had taken, the friends he had been powerless to save.

"It is true," Spock said. "For me, it is true."

The Vulcan’s light touches were becoming firmer. Beneath his gentleness there was a controlled strength that excited Kirk in ways he did not care to examine too closely. Maybe Bones is right, he thought, smiling a little. Maybe I am addicted to danger. "Feels good," he said, closing his eyes as Spock’s hands moved down to knead his right thigh.

But as he lay there, muscles relaxing beneath the Vulcan’s talented fingers, ugly questions began to intrude upon his enjoyment. Is this a true surrender or did I do it to force an answering accommodation from him? Am I manipulating him, trying to seduce him into giving me more than he wants to? Have I become so accustomed to strategizing that I’m doing it without even realizing it, here, in bed with my best friend?

"I’m sorry," Kirk whispered. "I shouldn’t have tried to push you, shouldn’t have asked for more than you could give. I have a habit of doing that, of demanding more no matter how much I have."

"You strive for perfection in all things," Spock said, switching his attention to the human’s left thigh, naked arms stretched across his body, brushing against his cock, which, despite Kirk’s doubts and misgivings, was growing harder by the second. "It is a trait I value most highly."

The hands on Kirk’s thigh stilled, and when he opened his eyes he saw that Spock was watching him, smiling a little, in his Vulcan way. "Jim," he said, "I want very much to please you, to give you all that you desire. But in the past…." Spock looked away.

"What, Spock? What about the past?"

"In the past," the Vulcan said, turning back to his captain, "my sexual encounters with others have been…less than optimal."

"I…don’t know who you were with," Kirk said, "or what the circumstances were. All I know is that I want you. Very much."

"And I want you, Jim. In fact, I am…disturbed…by the intensity of my body’s reaction to your presence."

"I’m experiencing some intense reactions of my own," Kirk said, glancing at his ample erection.

"Yes," Spock said, eyes fixed hungrily on Kirk’s cock.

"I meant it when I said I was all yours," Kirk said.

Needing no further encouragement, Spock grasped the hard shaft, leaned over it, and began to tongue the head, lapping at it greedily, desperately, as if pleasing Kirk were a matter of life and death.

"Ah!" Kirk gasped as alien heat engulfed his length. He wanted to spread his legs, but with Spock seated right beside his thigh he couldn’t move without pushing the Vulcan away…and he didn’t want to push him away.

Warm hands seized Kirk’s hips and held him pinned to the bunk as Spock began to suck his cock. "Please," Kirk said, not sure exactly what he was begging for, "oh please…oh please…." He felt himself slipping into the weightless, strangely detached mental state that preceded an exceptionally powerful orgasm: there were no cares in his life, no worries, nothing that could even approach the importance of what he was experiencing now—his cock, Spock’s mouth—those were the only things that really mattered.

An instant later, he was lying on the bed, breathless and alone, his moist, unrelieved cock sticking straight up into the suddenly chilly air. Frantic with longing and disoriented by the abrupt change, Kirk shook his head, trying to concentrate, to focus on Spock, who was standing beside the bunk.

"I apologize: I have made an error," Spock was saying, and Kirk wasn’t sure exactly what the Vulcan was apologizing for—sucking him, or stopping so unexpectedly.

"What…what error are you talking about?" Kirk asked, hoping he didn't sound as desperately frustrated as he felt.

"I cannot offer you any less than you have offered me," Spock said resolutely, raising his eyes to Kirk’s as he lowered a hand to the fastening on his waistband.

Damn, Kirk though guiltily. Intentional or not, giving in to him was a strategy and it worked beautifully. "Spock," he said, "you don’t have to—"

"Yes," Spock said, "I do," stilling any further objections by quickly opening his fly, grasping the waistbands of his uniform trousers and the briefs beneath, and pushing both garments down his long legs.

At first, Kirk’s view was obscured by Spock’s upper body as he bent to divest himself of his clothing. But then the Vulcan stood up, spine straight, arms at his sides as if he were on display. Gaze averted, he waited for Kirk’s judgment.

"You’re beautiful," Kirk said, meaning it. Swollen with arousal and flushed a much darker green than it had been in the tent on Albatron, the heavy pouch between Spock’s legs was even more alluring than Kirk had remembered.

"Come here," Kirk said, not particularly concerned at that moment that his words sounded more like an order than a request.

Spock obeyed at once, covering the human’s body with his own, and though the position robbed Kirk of the wonderful view he’d had a moment before, the loss was more than made up for by the sensation of having that hot, naked, alien pouch pressed against his thigh.

Hesitantly, then with growing passion, Spock began to kiss Kirk’s lips. Kirk wrapped his arms around the Vulcan’s waist and held on tight, his undulating hips rocking his rigid penis against Spock’s abdomen.

The Vulcan pulled away a little, just enough so that he could slip one hand between them to grasp and stroke Kirk’s cock. When Kirk began to gently caress the alien pouch, Spock didn’t object, but his body stiffened. Kirk wanted to reassure his lover, to tell him that everything was going to be all right. But he was afraid that speaking about Spock’s apprehension would only increase it, so he concentrated instead on kissing him, an activity with which the Vulcan was thoroughly comfortable.

The warm hand on his cock was working wonders, but Kirk was in no danger of climaxing: all of his thoughts were on the hot pouch he was cradling in his own hand, on the texture of the hairless skin, which was smoother than that of a human scrotum, on the barely perceptible seam that ran up the center of the pouch, and, most of all, on the very definite sensation of movement beneath its surface. Spock’s cock was getting ready to make an appearance—Kirk was certain of it.

Like every other cadet who’d ever walked through the doors of Starfleet Academy, Kirk had heard his share of tales about what it was like to have sex with a Vulcan. At the time, he hadn’t paid much attention to any of them. It wasn’t that he wasn’t curious: it was just that he didn’t believe that any of the people telling those tales had anything more than their own imaginations upon which to base their accounts. After all, when it came to sex, Vulcans were famously close-mouthed; it didn’t seem very likely that there were hundreds of them running around giving free demonstrations to every human who was interested. As far as Kirk was concerned, the stories were pure nonsense, a waste of time. But after he’d met Spock, he’d found himself thinking more and more often of those incredible tales from his Academy days. He still didn’t believe any of them—not really. But thinking about them had made him realize that he now had a very personal reason to be interested.

Late one night, alone in his quarters, feeling slightly foolish but highly motivated, he’d queried the Enterprise’s computer, asking for any and all information on Vulcan sexuality. As it turned out, the only entry that dealt in any detail with matters of Vulcan reproduction was McCoy’s very clinical report on pon farr, which was filled with charts of hormone levels, body temperature, and notes on the psychological effects of the various metabolic changes—all vital information, but not of much help to someone interested in seducing a Vulcan who wasn’t in pon farr. Next Kirk had tried linking to the Federation medical archives on Starbase Seven, but that had proven to be another dead end. He’d even spent his leave time during a stopover at Wrigley’s sifting through the records of the "pleasure trove," as that world’s database was known, but Vulcans, it seemed, were not in the habit of visiting Wrigley’s. A couple of weeks later he’d found himself handing over a considerable number of credits for a dusty and lavishly illustrated volume called The Human’s Guide to Galactic Sex that he’d found in the back room of a dingy little shop in Old City on Eltos III. But the lengthy tome had contained not a single word about Vulcans, and he’d ended up stowing it in the back of a dresser drawer, where it lay still, as unused and forlorn as it had been in the shop.

Frustrated as he was, Kirk had been tempted to ask McCoy to fill him in, but bringing up the general subject with Bones would have been tantamount to announcing a very specific interest in one particular Vulcan. Once, after a couple of shots of Saurian brandy, Kirk had even toyed with the idea of contacting Spock’s mother, Amanda, and asking her for help. Fortunately, sanity had prevailed in the end, averting a potentially embarrassing scene, but leaving Kirk still very much in the dark.

Now that his hand was actually caressing the intriguing pouch between Spock’s legs, Kirk’s mind was frantically sorting through every Vulcan sex story he had ever heard, trying to remember all of the details, all of the images. Would Spock’s cock be green, like the rest of him, pink like a human’s, orange, yellow, blue? Kirk had heard all those possibilities put forth—he’d even heard one story in which a Vulcan cock was rainbow-hued and coated with natural lube that glittered like Andorian spike-diamonds. Green, he decided. Definitely green. That seemed like the most logical possibility, after all. But what shade of green? Pale, medium, dark? Dark, I hope. The thought of taking a hot column of living jade between his lips made him suck a little harder on Spock’s tongue. The Vulcan held him more tightly, and the movement in the pouch became more pronounced, as if the cock trapped inside it was just dying to get out. Eager to help, Kirk tentatively ran one finger along the seam. It was wider than it had been, hotter too, and a little moist. He ran his finger over it again, pressing harder; Spock groaned and tightened his grip on the human’s cock.

There was more movement within the pouch: Spock’s cock was growing in there—Kirk could feel it shifting and throbbing against his fingertips. Gods, he thought, what does it feel like to be confined by your own skin while you get harder and bigger: I wonder how big his cock gets?

He ran his hand over the pouch, trying to get a clearer idea of the shape and size of Spock’s erection. The slit down the center was growing wider, but he was afraid that if he tried to insert a fingertip he might cause pain. His own cock, meanwhile, was throbbing in Spock’s hand. Come on, he thought, massaging the pouch, urging Spock’s erection to emerge. He thought of all the little "extras" that usually cropped up in stories about Vulcan cocks: additional ridges, decorative frills of skin, collars of flesh that swelled and pulsed inside a lover's body.

With every image Kirk called up he got a little hotter, a little more eager to see Spock’s cock. He imagined himself touching it, taking it in his mouth. He thought about how it would feel to have a Vulcan cock—Spock’s cock—up his ass. He smiled as he tried to picture the look on Spock’s face when his captain volunteered for "rear detail" as the Academy cadets liked to call it. And he had every intention of volunteering for that particular detail in the very near future. He wanted to give Spock free rein, to help him forget Vulcan control, if only for a little while.

Hot, panting, and thoroughly impatient with just kissing, Kirk pulled his lips away from Spock’s and rolled them both over. Spock let him do it, but when the captain propped himself up on one arm so that he could watch what was happening between his lover’s legs, Spock pulled him down into another kiss, urging Kirk’s body to one side so that his parted legs straddled Spock’s right thigh.

Disappointed, but reluctant to push Spock any further than he already had, Kirk lay quietly atop the Vulcan while Spock’s hands moved across his back and buttocks, caressing and massaging.

They were rocking together, bodies pressed tightly against one another, when Kirk felt something moist and incredibly hot brush against his right thigh. Aha! he thought triumphantly. But the touch was gone as soon as it had come, and when Kirk tried to push himself up so that he could look down at his lover’s body, the Vulcan held him tightly, effectively imprisoning him.

They lay like that for several minutes, not moving, not speaking. It’s all right, Spock, Kirk thought. It’s all right—you’re safe with me. Just as he was beginning to wonder if Spock had changed his mind and was about to pull away, the Vulcan drew a deep breath, took the human’s hand in his, and placed it upon his thigh, within easy reach of the mysterious genitals that Kirk longed to touch and see and taste.

Delaying gratification was not something Kirk excelled at, but now that the battle had been won and the prize was within reach, he wanted to go slowly, to savor the moment, not just for his own sake, but for Spock’s. I want him to be with me in this, he thought, really with me. He raised his head and looked up at his lover’s face. The Vulcan lay beneath him, eyes closed, arms at his sides, body tense. Spock was not enjoying what was happening: he was enduring it.

A wave of protective tenderness washed through Kirk. He didn’t want to remake his friend, didn’t want to undo all of his hard-won control. But he did want Spock to know that he—and all of his cherished Vulcan secrets—would be forever safe within his captain’s arms. He began to kiss Spock, lightly, softly, as he moved the hand that lay upon his lover’s thigh, stroking and caressing, gentling the Vulcan as he would have gentled a frightened colt. "This means so much to me," he said. "Thank you for trusting me, thank you for—" And then he stopped talking, because for just an instant, he had felt that super-heated, moist touch again, this time on the outside edge of his index finger.

There were so many things that Kirk wanted to say, but a soft groan was all he could manage as he continued petting Spock’s thigh, his own hips pumping as if they had a will of their own. "Spock…." he said, his voice barely more than a whisper. "Do you know…do you understand…Spock, you’re everything to me."

Spock’s eyes opened. "As you are to me," he said. "My cherished Jim. My t’hy’la."

"Oh!" Kirk said, as Spock began to stroke his buttocks. "I want you. I’ve wanted you for so long. I’ll always want you…always." And it was true. Double- or triple-ridged, green or rainbow-hued, small, medium, or large—Spock’s cock was sure to be beautiful, just like the rest of him. And anyway, I don’t really care what the exact shape and size are, Kirk thought. I just want to touch it, wrap my fingers around it, caress and stroke it until I’ve erased all of his doubts, all of his pain. I’ll bet he comes like crazy, after who knows how many years of celibacy and "less-than-optimal" encounters. "Ah…" he moaned as Spock’s fingertip teased the crease between his buttocks.

Now, Kirk thought. This is the moment, right now. He slid his hand along Spock’s thigh, but stopped just short of his groin: he wanted to see Spock’s cock when he touched it. Levering himself up on one arm, he looked down at the juncture of Spock’s thighs…and froze. "What…." he heard himself say, as he jerked his hand away. He regretted the abortive movement the instant he made it, but it was too late. Too late also to take back the slack-jawed expression of amazement that was still plastered on his face, because Spock was already rolling away from him, gathering the bedclothes around his body like a shield.

"I believe it would be best if you were to leave now, Captain," Spock said stiffly. He was sitting on the edge of the bunk, ramrod-straight back to Kirk.

"No…." Kirk said, sitting up on the bed. "No, I—Spock, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to…." He started to reach for the Vulcan, but cut the motion short. He wanted to touch him, wanted to offer him that comfort, but he didn’t feel as if he had the right. Not anymore. Not after what he had just done. "Spock," he said again, his voice raspy and alien to his own ears. He swallowed hard, tried to collect himself, to come to terms with what he had just seen, and with how he had reacted. But there was no easy way to come to terms with what he had done. He had failed Spock, utterly and completely. In the space of a single second, all of his gentle reassurances had turned to lies. His own ignorance, his own stupid, arrogant, human assumptions had caused this disaster. And as bad as he felt, he knew that it had to be worse for Spock. He had hurt the Vulcan deeply—so deeply that the injury might be beyond repair. But he was determined to try.

"I’ll leave if you want me to," Kirk said, "but I hope you’ll let me stay, just for a few minutes. I…Spock, if you’ll just…let me explain. Please, turn around and look at me, at least."

Spock did turn then, and Kirk almost wished that he hadn’t. The Vulcan had closed himself off. His face might as well have been chiseled from stone; his gaze was icy and alien, lacking even a hint of the warmth that Kirk so loved to see there. "I did try to warn you, Captain," he said, his voice flat and toneless.

They were so close to one another, sitting face-to-face on the narrow bunk, that Kirk could feel the heat pouring off Spock’s body, providing a stark contrast to the Vulcan’s cold demeanor. "Yes," Kirk said, "you did. But I didn’t think, I never imagined that you’d be—"

"Quite so hideous?" Spock finished for him. The words almost made Kirk flinch, but they gave him hope, too, because there was anger in Spock’s voice now, and anger was far easier to deal with than a total lack of emotion.

"Not hideous," Kirk said. "Just different. I was surprised, that’s all."

"I am a telepath, Jim. Your feelings in that instant were very strong—so strong that they were communicated to me despite my mental shielding. I know exactly what you felt and it was not mere surprise. You were revolted by what you saw. I do not blame you: it is my fault—I should have known better. And now, if you value our friendship…if you have ever valued our friendship, please leave. I wish to be alone."

"Spock," Kirk said, laying a hand on the Vulcan’s shoulder.

"No," Spock said, shrugging the comforting hand away. "I do not want your pity. Pity is what Leila gave me; it is what Nurse Chapel feels for me, though she mistakes it for love and yearns for an intimate relationship that I can never give her. For you to pity me…Jim, it is unbearable."

"Is it? Right now I could use a little pity from you."

Spock raised both of his eyebrows.

"Why so surprised? Don’t you know how ashamed I feel, how disappointed I am in myself? James T. Kirk, starship captain, the man who can manage any first-contact situation…unless it’s with his dearest friend. I’ve done a lot of things in my life that I regret, but my reaction a few moments ago, well, that’s at the top of the list."

"You are not to blame. It was an understandable reaction. I am a chimera, an affront to nature. Vulcans are repulsed by the touch of my mind, humans by the touch of my body. It has always been so, it will always be so."

"I don’t know about the others in your past, Spock. The Vulcans, or the humans. But I—"

"You expected me to be formed as a human male. Instead—"

"It doesn’t matter," Kirk said. "We’ll find a way to touch each other that pleases us both."

"In the past I have found your optimism inspiring, Captain. Now it is merely wearying. I ask you again, please leave."

"I can’t leave," Kirk said. "If I do, if I walk away from this problem and try to pretend that what happened between us never happened, then this night, this mistake, is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. Until the day I die, I’m going to wake up every morning asking myself what I could have said, what I could have done, to make things right between us. Truly right. And you know that doesn’t mean just going back to the way things were. We were good together, Spock, but we could be even better."

"I must inform you, Captain, that you are in violation of section seventy-eight B, paragraph twenty-three of Starfleet Regulation Forty-seven A which defines sexual harassment by a superior officer as—"

"Damnit, Spock, don’t quote regulations at me! I know what it says! Do you think I’m still here just because I want sex? Don’t you know the real reason I don’t want to leave? Don’t you know that I love you?"

It wasn’t the way Kirk had meant to say it, blurting it out almost angrily, but saying it had been a relief, for him at least. What Spock thought—or felt—remained to be seen. The Vulcan opened his mouth as if to speak, then closed it again. Lips pressed tightly together, brow furrowed, he regarded Kirk with a mixture of wariness and confusion.

Kirk drew a deep breath, put his hands on Spock’s shoulders. "I love you," he said again, putting all of the warmth and affection he felt into his voice. "You’re not the first person I’ve said that to, but I’m pretty certain you’ll be the last. Because no one else has ever made me feel the way you make me feel, and I don’t think anyone else ever will. I’m a lucky bastard, as Bones likes to say, but not lucky enough to find this kind of love twice in one lifetime. If I walk away from you now, I’ll lose the best part of myself. I’ll keep on functioning, walking around, giving orders, signing off on reports; on the outside, I’ll be just the same as I always was. But I won’t feel alive, not inside, not in my own heart. There won’t be anything left of me to give to anyone else."

Spock closed his eyes and shook his head. "This cannot be," he said.

"Yes," Kirk said. "It can be and it is. No matter what you think, I do love you; I’ve loved you for a long time. I should have told you before now. I don’t know why I didn’t. Maybe I was afraid of offending your Vulcan sensibilities. Or maybe I was just afraid…just a coward."

Spock opened his eyes. "No," he said, "you are not a coward. But I am: I do not know if I can face this."

"I don’t expect you to love me, Spock. I know you’re a Vulcan, I know Vulcans don’t—"

"But we do. In private, we do love. Intensely. Completely. That is how I love you, James Kirk. It is how I will always love you."

"Spock," Kirk said, pulling the Vulcan close.

"Our love for one another does not alter the fact that we are physically incompatible," Spock said.

"It doesn’t matter," Kirk said. "We’ll work that out. We can—"

"Jim," Spock said, gently disentangling himself from Kirk’s embrace, "many years ago, when I realized that I would never be accepted as a full Vulcan, I left my father’s house and came to Earth. During my first weeks on your planet I learned to appreciate the golden sunlight of your world, its green grass, its abundant water. I learned to enjoy the small daily pleasures that Vulcans routinely deny themselves. I even learned to smile. I began to believe that I could make my home on Earth, that I could belong there. Then one night, a young human of my acquaintance invited me into his bed.

"I was not a virgin. I had been with another—a Vulcan male of my own age, who had coupled with me one night in the desert outside ShiKahr. He had found our physical joining rewarding, but the experience as a whole had displeased him. He said that the patterns of my thoughts were alien to him…that touching my mind had unsettled him. He told me that he believed it would be best if we were never to touch again. ‘Never again.’ That is what he said just before he turned away and left me, alone, in the darkness."

"Spock…." Kirk began. But the Vulcan held up a silencing hand.

"On Earth," Spock continued, "with a human, I was certain that things would be different. And they were, at first. My partner was patient with me, teaching me how to kiss and caress as a human would. When he removed his clothing and took me in his naked arms, I experienced such joy, such acceptance, that I believed I had found a life-long companion. Then he began to undress me.

"I had studied human anatomy on Vulcan, so my companion’s appearance had come as no surprise to me. I should have known, should have realized that, as a human, he would have had little or no opportunity to learn about Vulcan physiology. But I was young and naive, and I had neglected to estimate the impact that my own appearance would have on him. When he pushed my trousers down his eyes grew wide and he backed away from me abruptly, with a sharp intake of breath, recoiling as one would after stumbling upon some obscene monstrosity. For that is what I had become to him: an abomination, at once frightening and pathetic."

"You were young, and you weren’t used to being around humans. You probably misjudged his reaction: chances are he was just surprised."

"Hardly," Spock said. "Do you know what he said to me?"

"Whatever he said, it doesn’t matter. It’s in the past."

"It matters to me, Jim. He said, and I quote: ‘What the hell happened to your cock? All you have between your legs is a nest of slimy green snakes.’"

"I’m sorry," Kirk said, shaking his head angrily. "He shouldn’t have said that to you. Young humans can be incredibly cruel. Most of the time they don’t mean anything by it: it’s just that they’re too immature and self-involved to put themselves in another person’s position."

"I agree that his description was…colored by his emotional immaturity. But it was also quite accurate, don’t you think?"

"No, I don’t."

"Really? In what way would you disagree with it?"

"Well for one thing, snakes aren’t slimy," Kirk said, stalling for time while he tried to think of something better to say.

"The snakes on Antares Seven are coated with a viscous substance that a human would characterize as ‘slime,’" Spock said.

"Damn it, Spock, that’s not the point. This is ridiculous. Do you realize what we’re doing—sitting here arguing about a thoughtless statement some adolescent made almost twenty years ago? The point is—"

"The point is that you find my genital arrangement disgusting."

"That’s not true!" Kirk said, staring challengingly at Spock, who stared right back at him.

"All right," Kirk said, his defiance melting away beneath the Vulcan’s steady gaze. "I suppose I was…disgusted. But only for an instant. I wasn’t prepared for how you’d look. Your appearance is so human in so many other respects—your skin color, the shape of your eyebrows and ears—those are all trivial differences, so I just naturally expected—"

"You expected a penis," Spock said.

"Yes. I did expect a penis. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with what you have. It’s normal for a Vulcan, after all. Ah, it is normal for a Vulcan, isn’t it?" Kirk asked, face heating as he realized he’d made what might be an incorrect assumption, given his friend’s unique genetic makeup.

"For a Vulcan male," Spock said.

"Yes," Kirk said. "Well, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it isn’t going to be a problem. Not now. It was only a problem before because it was like…well, like thinking you’re about to take a sip of whiskey and getting wine instead. Even if it’s the best wine in the galaxy, that first sip tastes awful. The wine isn’t to blame—it’s the expectation that gets in the way, that stops you from appreciating the reality."

"And if you prefer your expectation to the reality, what then?"

Kirk shook his head. "But I don’t prefer the expectation," he said softly, leaning a little closer to the Vulcan. "Not at all. Stepping into the unknown—that’s what I do. It’s why I’m in Starfleet. Did you think that drive to explore would just disappear when I got into bed?" he asked, resting a hand beside Spock’s modestly covered thigh.

Spock swallowed apprehensively, but he didn’t pull away. "When you saw my genitals, you reacted instinctively. Need I remind you that your instincts are seldom wrong?"

"I make mistakes, just like everybody else. You remember how the miners on Janus VI reacted to the Horta, don’t you? At first they thought she was a monster; judging by the accounts of what she’d done, I tended to agree with them. But once we all learned the truth, she became an ally—even a friend. Last I heard, the miners had organized themselves into teams with three Hortas assigned to every ten miners. The men have memorized minute details of the patterns on the young Hortas’ hides so they can tell them all apart: they’ve even given them human names. Their chief engineer says they spend hours having friendly arguments over which Hortas are going to make the best tunnelers when they grow up. And as far as anyone can tell, the young Hortas are just as pleased as the miners."

"But they do not have sexual relations with them," Spock observed dryly.

"No, I don’t suppose they do. But that was just one example. What about Zefram Cochrane and the cloud creature? What was it you said about Cochrane’s reaction to the creature’s feelings for him? Parochial: that was the word you used, wasn’t it?"

"Cochrane had taken the illogical position of refusing to acknowledge that he and the Companion were already engaged in a mutually beneficial intimate relationship. In our case, such a relationship has not been established and our biological differences make it unlikely that it ever will be."

"Can I ask you something, Spock?"

"Of course."

"Do you find my appearance disgusting?"

Dark eyes swept across the human’s form, making him acutely aware of the fact that he was still naked, while Spock was swathed in blankets. "I find your appearance most pleasing," the Vulcan said. "You are beautiful, Jim."

"And what did you think the first time you saw a human penis?"

"As I have already explained, I had studied texts on human anatomy prior to my first experience with an actual human."

"Yes, I know. But what did you think of the illustrations in the texts, the first time you saw them?"

"I found them…." Spock’s voice trailed off and a slight green flush spread across his cheeks.

Checkmate, Kirk thought. "They looked very strange to you, didn’t they? Disgusting, repulsive, revolting?"

"Vulcans," Spock said, raising his left eyebrow, "do not experience such emotional reactions."

"Perhaps not. But they do make comparisons. And I’ll bet that to a young Vulcan, those human cocks looked like…oh, let’s see now—"

"Like the fat seedpods of a relka plant," Spock supplied, brown eyes glittering with a touch of Vulcan humor.

"Relka?" Kirk said, surprised to feel his face heating a little. "I think I heard your mother talking about them when she was here. Aren’t they—"

"They are not particularly attractive, nor do they produce anything of use to anyone other than the small desert mammals that feed upon their roots. Vulcan gardeners treat them as weeds."

"I…see. But you’ve gotten over that initial negative reaction, haven’t you?"

"Obviously."

"I hope you’re not implying," Kirk said, moving his hand from the bunk to the Vulcan’s thigh, "that I am less flexible, less open to new situations, than you are."

"Jim…." Spock said.

"I admit," Kirk said, "that I had a negative reaction at first. But that was just momentary. Now that I’ve had some time to consider, I’ve realized that I love you so much I’d want to be with you no matter how physically incompatible we were. Even if you were a gaseous cloud or a Horta, I’d find a way. Because without you, I’m all alone. There’s no one else who touches me the way you do. No one."

Eyes locked with his captain’s, Spock slowly pushed the bedclothes down, exposing the smooth-skinned genital pouch, which was tightly closed and much smaller than it had been.

"There’s something else you should know," Kirk said, brushing his fingertips across Spock’s naked thigh. "You," he continued, reaching up to lightly kiss the Vulcan’s lips, "are not a coward."

"Sometimes I am."

"Not when it counts."

Spock smiled a little, shook his head ruefully. "I do want this, Jim," he said. "But it will be difficult for me."

"I know," Kirk said, nodding. "But it’s going to be all right. Because we’re together. And we’re the best damn team around, bar none."

"I’ll try to keep that in mind," Spock said, stretching out on the bunk as Kirk’s hand cupped his genitals, fingertips massaging, thumb caressing the delicate, tightly closed central seam.

"This time," Kirk said as he kissed his way down the dark stripe of hair leading to Spock’s groin, "I want to watch while this opens." The Vulcan shuddered beneath him as he ran his tongue along the seam that neatly bisected the pouch. "I want to see what’s inside," he said, nuzzling Spock’s groin, drinking in the Vulcan’s thrilling, alien scent. "I want to see and touch every bit of your body: I want to know it as well as I know my own."

Warm fingers trailed over Kirk’s back. "If you continue your current activities," Spock said, his voice impossibly deep, "you will most certainly have an opportunity for such an investigation. But I suggest you use your hands, rather than your mouth. I believe you will find the taste quite bitter."

"Mmmmm," Kirk said, slowly sliding his tongue across the pouch. "Tastes wonderful so far."

"But when I open to you—"

"Stop worrying," Kirk said, looking up at Spock, who had propped himself up on his elbows. "If it’s too bitter, I’ll switch to my hands. But I’d like to find out for myself. Unless you have any more objections?"

"I…no, I have no further objections," Spock said, shaking his head ever so slightly as he lay back on the bed.

"Good," Kirk said as he bent to gently nibble the warm pouch, eliciting a very un-Vulcan wriggle from his lover. "Was that all right? I didn’t hurt you, did I?" he asked.

"No!" Spock said. "Please continue."

Kirk continued licking and massaging the widening seam. The pouch was growing hotter and flushing a deeper shade of green, and beneath its silken skin the internal organs were swelling and shifting, occasionally surprising Kirk by thrusting upward against his lips or fingers. He closed his eyes and thought about the single, brief look he’d gotten at those alien organs, telling himself that what he’d seen was normal for a Vulcan, normal for Spock. His friend. His lover. This time, Kirk thought, it’s going to be different. This time I’m ready and it’s going to be good…very good, for both of us.

Cupping one hand around the bottom of the pouch, Kirk fondled it gently. He quickly discovered that the seam continued along the underside of the heavy sac; he teased the lower portion of the tightly closed portal with his fingertips while simultaneously lapping at the upper portion with his tongue. Spock had been right about the taste—it was sharply bitter. But it was far more palatable than some of the state dinners Kirk had had to politely endure, and he was certain that this was one taste he would quickly learn to crave. The edges of the seam were particularly sensitive, judging from Spock’s reactions, and Kirk paid special attention to them, licking them lightly and running his fingertips along them until the Vulcan was moaning and rocking his hips in a very human fashion.

I hope he stays this distracted and doesn’t freeze up on me, Kirk thought. This time, everything has to go well. The seam was half an inch wide now, and when Kirk tentatively inserted just the tip of his tongue, something moist and incredibly hot pushed back. "Oh!" he said, surprised even though he had vowed not to be. He recovered in an instant, dipped his tongue in again, and was rewarded by a flurry of pulsing movement. Suddenly, the edges of the seam were in full retreat, rolling back and away, leaving the contents of the pouch exposed. Quivering slightly, coiled up like long fingers locked in a fist, eight loops of moist, dark green flesh lay open to Kirk’s inspection. They’re a part of Spock, he told himself, a very important part.

Spock’s hands, just visible in Kirk’s peripheral vision, were gripping the bedcovers, the knuckles white with tension. He’s afraid, Kirk thought. Aroused as he is, he’s still afraid.

Tentatively, hoping with all of his heart that it was the right thing to do, Kirk gently touched the tip of his tongue to one of the coils of flesh. Spock shuddered beneath him but made no protest, so Kirk continued licking gently until the tight loop relaxed and uncoiled, revealing a small, pale green, globular bulge at its base and a grayish, nearly conical head that ended not in a sharp point but a flattened pad. The stalk was no thicker than Kirk’s little finger, but impressively long—a good nine inches, by his best guess.

An experimental swipe of his tongue across the flat pad at the tip of the stalk produced a delicious shiver in Spock’s entire body. Kirk flicked his tongue across the neighboring stalk, which immediately came to full attention. He grasped both erect organs, then paused. He wanted to stroke and squeeze them, but they seemed so delicate he was afraid of injuring them. He looked up at Spock, who was watching him through half-closed eyes.

"I want this to be good for you," Kirk said, "but I’m not sure exactly what to do. I don’t want to hurt you—they seem, well, fragile."

A Vulcan brow rose.

Strange, Kirk thought, to see him do that while his hair is mussed and his skin is flushed and he’s looking at me the way he is now.

"I believe you will find them…quite sturdy," Spock said as the first stalk coiled itself around Kirk’s index finger and squeezed so tightly that the fingertip started to turn red.

"Oh," Kirk said. "Oh!" he added, as the full implications struck him. The stalks were far more agile than human fingers. And they were moist. And hot. And very long. And Spock apparently had full and independent control of each one. On top of all that, there were eight of them. Eight!

Kirk swallowed loudly as the third and fourth stalks uncoiled. The first had eased its grip on his finger, restoring his circulation while remaining gently but firmly attached. Stalks number two through four were waving enticingly in the air, and the remaining four stalks were partially extended, quivering expectantly, as if they were demanding their fair share of attention.

"Do you wish to continue?" Spock asked.

"I certainly do!" Kirk said.

"Are you quite certain? You seem…perplexed. Perhaps you have seen enough for one evening. Perhaps you need time to assimilate—"

"No!" Kirk said. "No," he added, more calmly. "Let’s not stop. Not unless you want to. But I don’t. Not at all. Not now. I’m just…." He stopped, realizing he was babbling.

"My alien nature—" Spock began.

"Is no problem at all," Kirk finished. "Definitely not a problem. These, ah, what are they called?" he asked, eyes fixed on Spock’s groin.

"S’trill’ae," Spock supplied.

"S’trill’ae," Kirk said, hoping his pronunciation was accurate.

Spock nodded.

"S’trill’ae," Kirk repeated, tasting the word on his tongue, enjoying the way it felt to say it. "They seem just as sensitive as…." he paused, looking down at his own jutting erection. "And you have eight of them!" he continued, looking back up at the Vulcan. "Mister Spock, I think I’m jealous. No. Strike that. I know I’m jealous."

"They have brought me little pleasure to date."

That’s about to change, Kirk thought. "If I were Vulcan," he said, "what would we do now? How would we touch? What would be the next, ah, logical step?"

"Our organs would intertwine."

"I thought so," Kirk said. Fingers splayed, he tickled the nearest s’trill’ae, encouraging them to grasp.

"Jim," Spock said. The flush on the Vulcan’s face had deepened, and he was squirming in a most undignified manner. Kirk had never seen anything more appealing in his life.

"I know I don’t have quite the right equipment for this," Kirk said, "so I’ll have to improvise." With his hand still firmly entwined with half of the long, slick s’trill’ae, he inched his way up the Vulcan's body, aligning his granite-hard cock with the remaining stalks.

Realizing what Kirk intended, Spock drew a sharp breath. Seconds later, the human’s erection was caught in a hot, moist, alien grasp.

Kirk looked down at the coils of jade green flesh surrounding his cock. Not so alien now, he thought. I’m getting used to them already. He was a little startled when the uppermost coil disengaged itself and arched above his erection, but his surprise gave way to pure physical pleasure when the long, slender s’trill bent to stroke the tip of his penis, pulsating against his most sensitive flesh each time it touched him. Belatedly realizing that he ought to return the favor, Kirk began to stroke his thumb across the nearest s’trill. Not to be outdone, Spock responded by rhythmically tightening and loosening the s’trill’ae wrapped around the human’s cock. With his fingers and cock entangled at Spock's groin, Kirk lay atop the Vulcan, one arm wrapped about his lover's shoulders. Lost in sensation, he let his mind drift while Spock’s warm, moist genitals gripped and stroked his erection and coiled in and around his petting fingers. Spock’s hands, meanwhile, were free to roam across Kirk's back, and when they strayed to his ass, he knew he wasn’t going to last much longer.

"Ah, ah, ah," he said as his undulating hips pressed his groin against Spock’s, then thrust back, forcing his buttocks against the Vulcan’s hands. And then he was coming, spurting his seed across his own hand, his abdomen, Spock’s abdomen, and the increasingly frenzied s’trill’ae. Before the last spasms of Kirk’s orgasm had died away, Spock’s body stiffened, and the s’trill that had been petting the tip of the human’s cock quivered and pulsated against him, ejaculating a short but powerfully emitted burst of semen. A moment later the coils wrapped around his cock were trembling with the strain of imminent climax: one by one, they released their seed, then relaxed. He pulled away to watch as the s’trill’ae entwined with his fingers reached orgasm, each of them preceding the release of its semen by tightening its grasp on the human finger it held. When it was over, all eight s’trill’ae lay spent and relaxed for a moment before withdrawing neatly into their pouch.

Kirk looked up at his lover. Eyes closed, neck arched, mouth open, Spock lay trembling and panting like a man who'd been running at top speed for hours. Kirk watched, entranced, as a single drop of perspiration made its way down the Vulcan’s temple. "I love you," Kirk said softly, reaching up to kiss away the errant drop of moisture.

Spock’s eyes opened. "I…Jim," he said, pulling Kirk against him and holding him so tightly that he couldn’t breathe. "Jim," he said again, loosening his grip just enough to allow Kirk’s rib cage to expand.

"Good?" Kirk asked.

In answer, Spock pressed two fingers to Kirk’s temple. Warmth radiated outward from the touch, spreading through Kirk’s entire being: he felt whole, accepted, at peace with his past and his future. He felt loved. And as the gentle touch left his face, Kirk realized what Spock had done—that he had just shared all of his own, carefully guarded, innermost feelings with his human lover.

"Will you stay here with me tonight, Jim? Will you sleep with me?" Spock asked softly.

"Tonight and every night, if you’ll have me."

Spock nodded, the corners of his eyes crinkled in their familiar, warm smile.

Kirk rested his head on the Vulcan’s shoulder and snuggled close to his warm body. "We should probably get a bigger bunk," he said.

"Not too much bigger," Spock’s deep voice replied.

"No," Kirk said, smiling, "not too much bigger." His last thought as he drifted off to sleep, lying in his lover’s arms among the tangled bedclothes, with mingled Vulcan and human semen drying on his body, and the exotic, alien pouch pressing warmly against his thigh, was that his intuition hadn’t failed him after all. It had been a perfect evening. Absolutely perfect.

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