"Wooo--weee!" The intercom in Recreation Room 5 sounded and Sulu's voice came over the comm. "Bridge to Captain Kirk."
Kirk stood up from his breakfast and strode to the wall panel with Spock at his shoulder, barely a half step behind. "Kirk here. Go ahead."
"Captain, we are within visual range of the phenomenon. Emissions are already being detected and starting to affect our instruments."
Kirk and Spock exchanged a glance.
"Specify, Lieutenant," said Spock.
"Lenehan and paraquaternary ray levels are over seven times predicted and rising rapidly. We're having a number of instrument failures and variances--nothing critical yet, but--"
Kirk cut him off. "On our way." Kirk hustled for the doorway, guiding Spock ahead of him with a hand on the small of his back.
At a nearby table, Uhura shook her head over her fruit plate. "You might as well face it, Pavel. You're going to owe me big when they make it public."
"Nyet." Pavel jabbed one of Nyota's kiwi cubes with his fork and popped it in his mouth. "You just don't understand men. In Russia, men hug and touch all the time. It's how ve bond--much more sensible than tying up comm lines for hours at a time…agonizing and reanalyzing every vord of a conwersation…sniffling over space operas and getting fat on ice cream…" He rolled his eyes in an exaggerated display of melodrama.
Underneath the table, Uhura kicked him with the toe of a boot. "For one thing, tying up comm lines is my job. Second, they aren't space operas: they're cultural diversity documentaries. And lastly, you'd better not be calling me fat."
"Hehe?" Chekov tried a laugh, which fell conspicuously flat. "No dear, I meant other vymen, not you, of course. It looks good on you." He tapped her butt affectionately.
"Affectionate" would not have been the best word to describe Uhura's glare. "Listen, Mister--" The timber of her voice built with every syllable.
"What's the fuss here?" M'Benga set his tray down with a rattle, saving Chekov from a fate worse than death.
"Nothing," Uhura demurred innocently. She returned to pushing her fruit salad around in her dish.
"Vhether or not the captain is banging Mr. Spock."
"Ow!" Chekov jumped and shied away from Uhura's elbow. "Vat was that for?" he asked, rubbing his ribs.
"She's probably sore about losing your bet," said M'Benga, chugging down half his cup of coffee in one gulp.
"Oh, not you too." Uhura rolled her eyes. "How can so many supposedly bright men be so oblivious? They're clearly in love." Her irritation let the words fall from her mouth before her discretion and better sense could stop them.
M'Benga shrugged his forehead. "That may be, nonetheless, it's not possible."
"That's pretty na´ve," said Uhura. "I'm surprised that you'd be so provincial. Everyone has needs--even commanders."
M'Benga looked up in surprise. "Huh? Who, me? No, no judgements here. I'm just talking objective medical science. Spock is physiologically Vulcan in almost every respect, and Vulcans are physically incapable of homosexual relations."
"Now that's ridiculous!" blurted Chekov. "How hard can it be? You just find the parts that feel good and rub them together-- Ow! NOW vat did I say?"
Uhura tucked her elbow back in.
M'Benga chuckled as he polished off his bowl of fufu. He'd spent a month fine-tuning the replicated version to taste just like his mother's, and he wasn't going to miss a bite. "Not if you're Vulcan. The psionic bond is integral to their mating process, and it's formed only between a specific locus in a male brain and a complementary locus in a female one. The fact that homosexuality is unheard of on Vulcan is neither prejudice nor a result of pragmatic reproductive concerns, as iscommonly believed. It simply isn't possible for a Vulcan to have an intimate same-sex relationship. It isn't comparable to the neurophysiological differences seen in Human sexuality. It would take the same kind of complete mutation as it would for a Human to sprout gills and breathe water, or grow wings and fly."
"Not even a fling?" asked Chekov.
"Nope. Vulcans don't have flings, only bonds."
"Too bad," said Chekov. "Mr. Spock is wery attractive." He moved fast enough to dodge Uhura's elbow this time. Experience is a wonderful teacher.
Uhura's face showed her consternation. "But he's so clearly in love! I just can't believe it."
"You're mixing apples and gagh," said M'Benga. "Maybe you're right about the love; I'll leave that sort of thinking to your female intuition. All I know is that I've scanned Mr. Spock's brain myself, and his psionic function is normal Vulcan, rendering him incapable of a homosexual bond--or even a 'banging' relationship, as they seem to put it so quaintly in Russia."
Uhura pushed her unfinished meal tray aside. "The poor thing. I had no idea." She shook her head in empathy.
"We don't choose the circumstances of our birth," said M'Benga.
"No, but we can choose the circumstances of our lives. Or at least we should be able to," said Uhura.
"Some of them," M'Benga corrected gently.
"That's a pretty big one," said Uhura. "It's not fair. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like."
The comm whistled. "Yellow alert! All personnel to yellow alert!"
Around the room people sprang to order. Uhura was one of the first to the door.
"Hey, wait!" called Chekov, catching up to her after clearing their trays. "Not so fast, you! Vat about our bet?"
Captain's Log, Stardate 5862.7: We are approaching an aberrant region of space--known as Kindsar's
Phenomenon--with orders to study and record the heavy emanations from it. Already the phenomenon is affecting
us in unpredictable ways, and I am concerned that it may prove a risk to my ship.
The viewscreen crackled and sparkled. "Mr. Sulu, resolve that visual."
Sulu twiddled some knobs, "Trying, sir." The screen cleared momentarily to show a purple wavering anomaly, then went fuzzy again. "I'm sorry, Captain;it's a different irregularity every time. It keeps fluctuating."
"Do your best," Kirk said as the viewer fizzled again.
"Aft sensor array out," Spock said. "All other sensors functioning adequately."
Bridge lights flickered. "Gravity down to point eight," came the recorded warning.
"Auxiliary power," Kirk ordered.
"Already engaged," said Lt. Washburn from the Bridge engineering station. "It is affected as well, and functioning erratically."
A whine rose up from beneath the deck. Uhura turned from her console, "Captain, Mr. Scott reports--"
"Warp engine failure," said Spock simultaneously. "We are being pulled into the phenomenon."
"Impulse! Full reverse!" ordered Kirk,
"Ineffective against the force of the phenomenon," said Spock. "Fourteen seconds to phenomenon edge. Twelve…eleven…"
"Reverse tractor beam," Kirk ordered. "Try to push it away."
"No effect. Tractor beam does not recognize any mass to act upon. Five seconds to edge. Three…two…one."
The screen sparkled and a rainbow of colors filled the Bridge. Kirk squinted against it and fell back into his chair. He had not even been aware he had stood up.
His vision cleared. He wondered if he had lost consciousness. In front of him Sulu and Chekov lay slumped over the helm. Black space and a smattering of stars sailed by on the viewscreen.
"Mr. Spock, report."
A contralto voice answered from his right. "We have been pulled straight through the Kindsar Phenomenon and ejected out the other side. We are back in normal space."
Kirk swiveled. At the science station stood a striking raven-haired woman with pointed ears. An oversized men's science uniform with commander's stripes hung from loosely from her body.
Spock ran her hands over her breasts and raised an eyebrow. "Fascinating."
"Captain," Uhura seemed to start a little at the sound of his new deep voice. "Crewmen--crewmembers are calling in from all over the ship. Everyone--" He stared at the captain and started over. "Everyone except you has been…changed!"
Kirk looked around his Bridge. Uhura sat at her--at his--station, unidress ripped in several places to make room for his new, lean muscles. He leaned forward in the chair in a valiant effort to keep the tiny skirt over certain key areas, and thus to also keep a little dignity.
Chekov and Sulu had both come around, and appeared to be admiring each other's bodies, with heavy emphasis on the breasts. At the Bridge engineering station, Lt. Washburn stared at her now feminine hands that still bore all the scars that years of work with engines will leave.
At Uhura's announcement, they turned almost in unison to the center seat.
Kirk cleared his throat and toggled the intercom. He checked his voice. "This is the captain. Once again we have ventured into an aspect of the universe where no one has gone before. As peculiar as the situation may seem, we are all still Starfleet personnel and will continue to do our jobs. Make whatever uniform accommodations are necessary until this is resolved. All shift assignments stand, and all crewmembers will continue with their assigned duties. When we know more, you will be apprised. Kirk out.
"Mr. Chekov, position?"
Chekov removed her hand from under Sulu's shirt and checked her instruments. "Position is--0.853 parsecs from where we entered the Phenomenon."
"Confirmed, Captain," said Spock. "0.85327 parsecs, and I can find no sign of the Phenomenon on scanners. We may have dispersed it with our warp signature."
"Stand down from yellow alert," said Kirk. "Uhura, call Dr. McCoy to the Bridge."
Kirk jolted out of the center chair and over to the science station. He rested a hand on the back of Spock's chair and leaned over the console, one arm around Spock's shoulders, so much smaller than they had been just minutes before. "So what do we know?"
"Very little yet. It would be reasonable to hypothesize that the transformation was directly related to the Kindsar emissions. Fortunately, we have detailed sensor records, but given the number of new energy forms and the number of possible combinations of them, it will take some time to analyze."
Kirk leaned further in to the scanner, his arm draping across Spock's shoulders. Spock braced herself for what she had always presumed would have been the eventual effects of that man's touch, should the circumstances of her own birth have been just slightly different. She threw barriers up around her mind to guard herself--to guard them both--from the unintended sequellae of her own nature.
Much to her surprise, the touch was no different than any other before it--warm and heady, reassuring and almost visceral, but much to Spock's surprise, no final connection seem to form. She allowed herself to relax, and probed the energy between them.
Such was the irony that for over four years now she had assumed that one short DNA sequence stood in the way of the life she would have chosen. Now she knew nothing about herself as she was or as she had been. She was forced to concede that despite her presumptions, perhaps she had not known love after all.
A statuesque brunette in scrubs and an uncinvincing scowl whipped out of the turbolift, scanner in hand. There could be no doubt as to who this was.
"Bones?" said Jim glancing over. "You're beautiful!"
"Don't even think about it, Jim! I know you." She spun around back to him and started, her expression changing into one of confusion.
"I do know you," said McCoy more slowly, running the scanner over her captain. She looked up, slack-jawed. "Male. Definitely male."
"Male," Jim repeated. His voice sounded dazed.
"Are you sure, Doctor? It makes no sense that one individual would be spared."
McCoy grunted in annoyance and unleashed all of her frustrations on Spock. At least that much hadn't changed. "Of course I'm sure! I did go to medical school: it's a boy; it's a girl. They cover that on day one."
"So what happened?" asked Jim.
"What am I, a doctor or a computer bank? I thought if I came up here, my celebrated command crew would tell me what happened." McCoy continued her scans on the rest of the Bridge personnel.
"We were drawn into an anomalous area of space, which appears to have converted our sexual phenotype."
McCoy rolled her eyes. "I guess I can skip the scan. That's Spock. I'd know that smart mouth and that insistence on overstating the obvious anywhere."
Spock's eyebrow rose. "Have you done a chromosomal analysis on any of the changed individuals?"
"Just a cursory one on the people in Sickbay and a lab rabbit." said McCoy. "All the animals were changed too. It's genotypic, not just external. The changes are limited to the 23rd chromosome pair--the sex chromosomes. Those who were XY are now XX and vice-versa. How the hell that's possible, I don't know."
"There are stranger things in heaven and earth, Horatio," mused Kirk.
"They appear to be normal in structure, but there is an unusual 48.2 gigahertz oscillation now in the sex chromosomes. I don't know what that means, or how it got there."
Kirk licked his lips. "Bones, you and Spock get your people on this. Find out what happened, and more importantly, how to reverse it.
"Helm, set course for Starbase 18. What's our ETA?"
Chekov sat on one hip, hands on herself and a dreamy expression on her face.
"Ensign Chekov, what is our ETA to Starbase 18?" At the unaccustomed harshness of Kirk's words, Sulu turned to the navigation console and plugged in the data.
"Six point two days at warp six," said Sulu.
Chekov flushed. "Sorry, sir. I think--I was turning myself on." She grinned sheepishly.
Kirk rolled his eyes. Six days of this? "Well, let's hope we don't need their expertise by that time." He returned to the center seat. Feeling eyes upon his neck, he looked up.
"Yes, Mis--Mr. Spock?"
"As the sole exception to the occurrence, it would be useful to study you. The exception to the rule is often most revealing."
Kirk shook his head. "I need to stay on my Bridge. We have just come through an unknown phenomenon and experienced polysystem failure. Who knows what problems might be about to emerge?"
"Spock!" Jim snapped surprisingly hard.
"Spock," McCoy said from the turbolift, "we have our hands full with the transformed people. Let's start on the ones that we know have been affected, and go from there."
Spock stared between her two colleagues, sensing more than just physical changes, but a change in the dynamic between them all. She thought of saying more, but the stony expression on her captain's face stopped her cold.
"Yes, sir," Spock said and stepped up into the turbolift with McCoy.
They walked into McCoy's office together. "Okay, Spock. You first. Change into a Sickbay coverlet; it will make the tests go faster."
"Me?" Spock's eyebrow shot up. "As the crew is predominantly Human, it would be more logical to start with a representative Human."
McCoy punched something up on the biocomp. "Nah. Let's start with you. The before/after comparison will be easiest. We have enough information on you to, well, to make a whole Vulcan/Human hybrid." McCoy bounced on her toes as Spock went to change as directed.
In privacy, Spock stripped and examined her new body. It seemed to be healthy and in all respects typical female Vulcanoid. She caressed her breasts and expressed a little colostrum, as female Vulcans can do at will. She felt her bones and muscles, now finer and sleeker, but not much less strong. She inserted a finger into he vagina and felt the opening of a uterus; apparently this was more than just external form. Curiouser and curiouser.
She donned the jumpsuit and laid herself down on a biobed for exam.
"Normal, normal and more normal--for a nearly--Vulcan female." McCoy clicked off the scanner. "Okay, you can get up."
Spock remained where she was. "Did you scan my brain?"
"Of course. It had changes of female anatomy as well. Four point six percent less mass, corpus callosum fibers 12% thicker, locus masculo gone, locus femina in its place. Your old and new hyperencepholgrams had a baseline pattern similarity, but bilateral temporal changes consistent with a female gender."
"Did you run a neurochemical analysis?"
"No, I didn't see any reason to."
"What's this about?" asked McCoy as she reset the scanner. "You suspect a cognitive change as well?"
"There is some evidence of it. Personnel are responding unpredictably."
"To be expected. Suddenly finding oneself gender swapped is a pretty big emotional adjustment for us poor Humans."
"My point exactly. The captain has allegedly not been affected, and yet his comportment is the most aberrant."
"He has the right," said McCoy.
"Agreed.--as long as his asserted rights do not conflict with the best interests of his command. In this case they do, and for the captain to put petty self-concerns before his duty, is an aspect I have never seen of him in all the time of our acquaintance. I find that to be the most disturbing and convincing evidence of all."
"Is this about you, or Jim?" McCoy asked, a definite edge to her voice.
"It is about all of our welfare. Although my intellectual function appears unaffected, not all of my cerebral functions are responding as predicted; I must wonder if the Phenomenon is to blame. If you find discrepancies within me, it may convince you to order the captain in for examination."
"Overall neurotransmitter levels normal," said McCoy. "Estrodyne and metabolite levels appropriately higher; androdyne and metabolite levels are appropriately lower. There are thousands of individual loci that could have been affected. It would take half a day to check them all. Care to give me a hint? About you, I mean."
Spock hesitated. "The primary concerns I have noted are telepathic. "
McCoy grunted and adjusted the settings. "All areas of the telepathy center appear to be functioning as before the change. The locus femina his transmeleidine activity at 18%, L-bysantyl activity at 49%. My biocomp calls that normal."
McCoy set down the scanner. "I hate to be the one to say, it Spock, but as far as I can tell, you're thinking perfectly well."
"May I review the scans?" Spock twisted around to read the mediboard.
"Don't trust me?" said McCoy.
"There is evidence that your thought processes have also been affected."
"And just what gives you that idea?" McCoy bristled exactly like usual, although a full octave higher.
"Together we could have questioned the captain on his unjustified decision not to be examined. In the past, your own particular brand of illogic has always spared your medical decision making, and I have considered your scientific reasoning and methodology to be imperfect, but generally sound. That is, until today."
To Spock's surprise, McCoy didn't snap. In fact, she touched his hand. When Spock met her eyes, she found them soft and waiting patiently. Spock turned his body back to her.
"In that case, maybe you should have a little more faith. People don't change in a flash," said McCoy.
Spock eyed her female form meaningfully.
McCoy actually laughed. "You know what I mean, you pointed-eared princess. I took an oath to follow Jim Kirk until I had a damned good reason not to. Okay, maybe I would have run the study a little differently, but we've barely started yet. We can hardly claim he's obstructing anything. And as surprising as Jim Kirk's reasons may be, he never does anything without a good one. I suggest you trust him a little more--and me."
Spock stood his ground. "It is not logical to assume he is unaffected."
McCoy conceded. "I'll grant you that. But it's also not logical to assume he must be wrong. You say you've found my medical decisions sound."
"Imperfect, but generally sound," Spock reminded.
McCoy let it slide. "And I know you give your trust to Jim in every respect that it is yours to give. Nothing wrong has actually happened, Spock. I appreciate your concern, and I do see your point, but I'm asking you to run with us on this. Have a little trust." McCoy offered her hand.
Spock took it and used it to pull herself off the bed.
McCoy gave a crooked smile. She punched up the full analysis on the biocomp. "Well, there's your brain. See anything out of order?"
Spock scrolled through the data. It was as McCoy had said. She focused on the locus femina. The transmitter levels were quite normal. For a bonded female. The facts could only be reconciled in one way. However improbable, it must be the truth.
"I am unsure," said Spock.
McCoy rolled her eyes. "You're kidding? And you're worried that I sound different?" She hopped up on the biobed.
"Well, come on. You might as well do me next. If we don't find anything, we'll start on the crew and the animals."
Spock picked up the scanner and set it for auto entry. "A sound suggestion, Doctor."
Eight hours later, Jim came into the biolab. "How's it going?" he asked.
Was it just Spock's non-existent imagination, or was Jim's voice a little deeper than before?
"Eighty-two crewmembers and ninety-seven lab animals studied: results are identical. All erstwhile males have had the Y chromosome removed and the X chromosome virtually duplicated--except for a few introns difference. All erstwhile females have had the X chromosome truncated into a Y. The sex chromosomes all now contain and oscillation at 48.5 gigahertz of unknown significance. We are no nearer to discovering why or how this occurred, and it goes without saying, we have no theories on how it may be reversed," said Spock.
"Again, I request that you submit yourself for study. With no leads so far, that would be the scientific approach. As you youself recognized with Mr. Chekov after the Gamma Hydra IV exposure, evaluating the exception is far more likely to yield new information than continuing to compare affected individuals--"
Kirk gave a sharp shake of his head. "No."
"Captain, you put me in an untenable position. To ask me to solve a problem and then withhold vital information is illogical, self-defeating and contrary to the success of your stated objective."
"Spock--" McCoy began.
"Mister," Kirk stressed the word ever-so-slightly. "I gave you an order. Is that so hard to understand?"
"The order is not. The reasoning behind it is."
"I am not obligated to explain myself to you." Kirk's voice was calm and cold with a fury few had ever heard. "You've followed my orders before with less reason or insight."
"Even then there was a pattern to your illogic. Your tendency has always been to put yourself at higher risk than protocol would dictate. I have never before known you to act out of rampant self-interest as you are doing now.
"It is not logical that only one person out of 432 should be excluded from a mutation phenomenon, and I must wonder if you have been affected in ways that are not immediately obvious."
"Spock--" McCoy tried again.
"The only way I have been affected is to see what I should have seen before. That I have a First Officer who balks at orders he doesn't like and would make up excuses to turn on his captain and take command. But you can't, because you're a woman now. Or have you forgotten that, science officer?" Kirk sneered with a foreign edge to his voice.
"I have given you no cause to doubt my loyalty," said Spock stiffly. "I am acting in the best interest of the crew. It is you who are doing otherwise, and I officially request that Dr. McCoy submit medical log entry on your fitness for command."
"I see." Kirk's face and tone were ice.
"Jim!" The roughness of McCoy's tone cut though the moment and made McCoy sound almost like her old self. "Stop it! You knew this day would come, and now it has, although probably not in the way that we thought. I told you I'd support you as long as it didn't affect your command. Now your own pig-headedness is doing just that.
"Spock isn't your enemy; she's your friend. I suggest you trust her, because you can't keep this up anymore." McCoy grabbed his shoulders. "Do you hear me Jim? It's time to give it up."
Kirk moved as if to shake off the touch, but the delicate feel of his old friend's hands served to stop the motion before it really began. He forced his body to relax, but his face remained tight.
After a long moment, McCoy let him go.
Kirk turned to Spock. "You're both right. I'm sorry. The truth is that I have been changed."
Spock picked up the medscanner and ran it over her captain. "Forty-six normal chromosomes, including one X and one Y. I do not understand."
"Don't you? As you said, it's not logical that I should be an exception, and I'm not. The phenomenon changed me from a woman into a man."
Spock's brow furrowed. "I do not understand. Your presentation before was a deception?"
"Don't you?" said Kirk, not bothering to keep the bitterness from his tone. "Haven't you ever wanted something so badly that you were willing to do anything? Turn your back on family, heritage and tradition--to do anything at all to guarantee what you wanted?"
"Yes," said Spock easily.
"The only thing I've ever wanted from the earliest time I can remember was to be a Starship captain, and that was one of the only things I was told wasn't allowed. I couldn't change the rules, so I changed a few things about myself instead. A little surgery, a little biochemical manipulation, and voila." Jim gestured across his body.
He drew his motion in short. "Well, I suppose it's all real now, but yesterday it was facade. In a way, it's as big a shock to me as it is to everyone who is obviously changed. I've been so busy pretending, I've almost forgotten what it's like to be real."
Spock studied him, a peculiar expression upon her face. "Surely Starfleet medical exams are not so cursory."
Kirk smiled. "I made--friends--with the Starfleet entry physician. My clitoris was enlarged to function sexually as a penis. The scrotal implants seem quite real--if you don't look to closely or too long. I took her--out, but we mostly stayed in--and when my exam came up that week, she was convinced she had already had enough up close and personal experience not to need to do the formal physical or run the sex chromosome analysis.
"Boyce was an old friend of my family's and fully sympathetic. He used his pull to get onboard with me. When he retired, I called up another old friend." Kirk jerked his head toward McCoy. "And I think you know the rest of the story.
"So," Kirk spread his hands. "Now you know your captain is illegal. Now what?"
Spock nodded slowly. "Yes. It explains many things."
Spock shook her head. "Nothing about your professional function, which I continue to hold in the highest esteem. I was reflecting on more personal concerns, nothing which we need address at this time.
"As for your question, I consider the issue moot. As you now presumably fall within Starfleet captaincy guidelines, I see no reason to take any action in regard to the prior situation."
"And when we get changed back?" When, not if. This was the Kirk that Spock had always known.
"If you say nothing then, you would be committing a violation." Jim held Spock's eyes and waited.
"While it would not be my first choice, I have violated Starfleet regulations for a deserving commanding officer, and will do so again if need be.
"We have been acclaimed as the most successful command team in the fleet, and it would be illogical to break up that dynamic on a technicality. Given the option, I would elect to keep you here."
Jim clasped her on the shoulder, and Spock felt the same rush of affection that she had felt ten thousand times before the reversal. This time it did not confuse her. This time it finally made sense and left her hopeful in an emotional way that she had not known before. When she had time, she would analyze these emotions, temper them and classify them where they belonged, but right now they would do their jobs.
Jim's hand fell away.
"Hold out your arm," said McCoy.
"We're still studying the mutations in individuals to look for patterns--clues to how it works. Since you're here, you might as well be next."
Jim stuck out his arm and McCoy sucked a blood sample up into a hypotainer.
"That it?" asked Jim
"For now," said McCoy, processing the specimen.
"Keep at it," said Kirk. He brushed his hand across Spock's back as he passed out of Sickbay. "Scotty said he was not going to be caught dead arriving at Starbase 18 in a minidress.
Kirk was in the head, pants and briefs discarded, testing out his new equipment when his cabin door chimed. He had never especially wanted to be a man, but after so many years of existence in some strange, undefined netherworld, it was a relief to just be a normal--anything.
And besides that, his genitals felt really good! For the third time that day, he had enjoyed the feel of water passing through his new, elongated urethra. He had watched himself and explored himself, and now he was ready to see the package in action.
He fondled his balls, now real and full of sensation and eager to show him what they could do. Where his enhanced clit had been, there was now a real penis, just as sensitive, but in different places. It was thick and heavy with ropy veins and it took his breath away just to watch it swell. He tested every part of it, then found a motion that came naturally and fell into a rhythm. He leaned back against the bulkhead, letting the cool seep into the skin of his low back. He ran a thumb over the head, willing his own semen to emerge, but none did. Apparently it would take more than just the will.
He watched himself in the mirror as he stroked his penis out in front. In the excitement, his breathing changed and blood pooled in his crotch, but now a pearl of moisture leaked out over his finger, and he moaned at the damp. Unbidden, unformed images of Spock--Spock upon him, under him, in him--filled his mind.
Close to the edge, Kirk dragged his palm away. This was too good to end so soon. The new weight of his arousal tugged heavily at his groin, as it stood suspended in midair. He lifted his hand to his nose and smelt the musk. He licked his finger and at the taste of the evidence of his own unquestionable masculinity, he groaned.
He wrapped himself in his hand again and rocked his hips. His scrotum slapped against his hand with each motion. He had had no idea how sensitive testes really were. It was as if every touch and tingle was transmitted into them and magnified one hundred times. Jesus, how did men ever get anything else done?
A strange pressure pooled in his belly--similar, but not the same as any he had known in his other form. He quickened his strokes and intensified the fantasies. Then he heard the door chime. Shit!
With a final tug, he pulled on his shorts and washed his hands. "Come."
It was Spock, still in men's uniform, but one made to fit. Jim walked out to the sleep compartment, the fabric rubbing against his erection, the tension still pounding in his pants. With every step the promise of the orgasm he had almost had announced itself more loudly in his middle. He did his best to turn a deaf ear.
"You're very pretty," he said to Spock. His voice sounded throaty to his own ears.
Spock appeared not to notice. "I came to inform you that we have duplicated the effect of the Kindsar emissions and transformed a laboratory rodent back, although the animal died from the total radiation bombardment. It remains to isolate the active components and hope that the necessary ones will not be toxic. It may however take some time. Considering all the previous unstudied emissions and combinations of emissions, there are over 1,493,843 still to try."
Jim snorted. "Then let's hope you don't run out of lab animals before you find it."
Spock cocked an eyebrow in silent agreement. "The science team is compiling an experimental order protocol now. We should be ready to being sequential testing within three hours."
She really was beautiful, and not helping in the least with Kirk's personal problem under his shorts. He shuffled his legs, hoping the situation would become more comfortable, but it was to no avail. Preferring not to walk around with a woody, he sat himself down on the bed, trying for a position that would conceal the worst of his condition.
From the angle of her gaze, it was clear that it was too late; Spock had already noticed. What else was new? Wasn't Spock always watching?
A rueful grin spread over Jim's face. "I figured I might as well drive it while I've got it. I mean, didn't you--?" Jim jerked his head toward Spock's trousers.
Both eyebrows shot up. "No. The thought had not occurred," said Spock primly.
Jim chuckled. Tits or prick, there was no question, this was still Spock.
His smile fell a little. "Spock, can I ask you something? Before, you said that there were indications about me being female. It's very important to me that no one find out, so can I ask you: what did you mean?"
Spock took a seat in the chair beside the bed. "Nothing that would be evident to anyone else. At times I have felt that there was a link growing between us. It confused me, as I was unable to place it. As homosexual bonds are impossible, I had wondered if it was a more Human emotion. Sometimes I believed I felt it back from you, and at other times you were so casual with me--and others--that I thought I must be mistaken."
Jim's eyes were very bright. His balls still ached, but not as acutely as the knot inside his chest had begun to. "I couldn't, don't you see? I couldn't allow anyone close enough to see me, to feel me, to really touch me. One night encounters with strangers in the dark were all I could afford if I wanted to keep my ship--and nothing is more important than my ship."
"Wereall you could afford," Spock stressed.
Spock stood up from the chair and ran two fingers up Jim's thigh--not tentative but strong and sure--just unwilling to be rushed.
The fingers stopped about three inches short. Jim's penis immediately swelled to granite and he felt the excruciating crush of the unreleased orgasm threatening in his groin. He sucked in his breath and spread his thighs a little wider. The heat of Spock's palm rested on his inner leg, the scent of the alien pheromones making him dizzy with desire.
Jim opened his eyes and met Spock's gaze of invitation. Jim swallowed. "I need to warn you: if I had a reputation for being randy before, it's twice as bad now."
"Indeed," said Spock and moved her palm up and over Jim's organs.
Jim gasped once for breath, then pulled Spock down on top of him.
The first time they made love that night, it was over much too quickly; Jim was caught up in the thrill of his new masculinity.
The second time it was almost comical with Jim laughing about Spock's tits, Spock's pussy, Spock's clit.
The third time the enormity of the love and the needs that he had been denying out of necessity almost overwhelmed him. When the orgasm came it was like everything he ever had been was ejected though his semen in one final, terrible spasm and a new Jim Kirk was born from the pain. As he lay with Spock learning their new bodies together, he reflected that it was like being a virgin all over again--but a hell of a lot more fun.
When lying wrapped around each other--too depleted to couple but unwilling to either separate or sleep-- Spock had introduced him to the intricacies of Vulcan finger intercourse Jim got some vague sense that his life had just changed in a way he was just starting to comprehend.
The fourth time they made love that night, Spock, melded them together completely and Jim knew that he was gone with no interest in ever looking back.
The call came in on the third day. "Captain Kirk to the Biolab." Kirk rushed in the door.
McCoy's boobs bounced up and down as she spoke. "We've found it, Captain, but we have a new problem now."
"Good news first," said Kirk.
"It is a combination of Gorgsen, Renolds and hyper-mu-6-alpha rays," said Spock. "The effect is relatively easy to produce and entirely safe for humanoid life."
"So, what's the bad news?" Kirk asked.
"Time." McCoy keyed up a diagram on the biocomp. "We ran several safety tests on the lab animals. Most converted just fine. Some of the more recent ones didn't. When we reanalyzed, we found that the strange oscillation was gone."
"So when the oscillation stops, the animal can no longer be reconverted; the change will be permanent. Apparently the Kindsar effect is only reversible while the oscillation continues. It slows and stops over time. How much time, I don't know, but judging from the lab animals, I think we'd better hurry."
"Then get right on it."
"I have already taken the liberty of consulting with Mr. Scott. He can have a unit set up to emit reverfsal rays over life support within thirty minutes," said Spock.
"Can you use the experimental unit?" asked Kirk. "Person by person?"
"It would take a lot longer to do it individually. The experimental booth has been outfitted with only a small, focused beam sized for lab animals. If we do it individually, it would take, say ninety seconds or so per person, plus another ten second--plus or minus-- to reset the unit," said McCoy. "And there would be no significant benefit."
"Then start the process immediately," said Kirk.
McCoy called the on-duty staff to Sickbay.
"Spock, have Mr. Scott rig the unit, but not to shipwide life support. Have him isolate one area to irradiate."
"In gods name, why, Jim?" asked McCoy as he reset the emitter.
"Isn't it obvious?" Kirk challenged. "I'm staying like I am."
Spock's face fell. She swallowed and nodded. "Yes, Captain." She turned on heel and left for Engineering. She should have known that this was not meant to last. Vulcans had not been bred for happiness.
McCoy insisted on being first. Kirk stepped into the office, to be safe. Three minutes later McCoy bounded in with a five o'clock shadow and a grin from ear to ear.
"Looks like it worked," said McCoy. "Oscillation gone, structure stabilized, genetic sequence the same as my last physical. I think we did it."
"Keep going in here," said Kirk. "Just in case there's a problem with the larger unit."
Kirk stayed and watched as one by one nurses and orderlies passed through the office. They emerged in uniforms again dramatically out of size, but otherwise looking like their old selves, almost universally grinning from ear to ear. When Chapel passed through and came out just like her old self, Kirk turned to leave. She had made a damned good looking man, but all in all, he preferred her the old way.
Kirk met up with Spock in Engineering. "How's it going?"
"Nearly there, Captain," said Scott, a Perry wrench between her teeth. She lay on her back tinkering with something under a console. As a uniform accommodation, she had opted for a kilt, which now had been scrunched and pushed up above her knees to the middle of two very white, very healthy looking thighs. Kirk averted his eyes, determined not to try to peek under the hem.
"We've set it for the Engine Room," said Scott. "We'll have to drop out of warp for the process, but the shielding will contain and concentrate the rays, making it more effective. We can take groups of sixty. Each cycle will take less than a minute."
"Spock, make a schedule. Make sure everyone knows where to be and when. We need to move fast and we don't want anyone accidentally re-converted."
"Not possible," said Spock. "After the first change, the oscillation ceases. Once changed back to its original form, the emitter is no longer able to effect a change; the reconversion will be permanent. We have tried and failed to change laboratory animals multiple times."
"Well, that simplifies matters. Begin when ready."
It took less than seventeen minutes. Scotty was in the last group to go. Spock stayed at the controls.
Kirk shook her hand formally. "Ms. Spock, it's been nice to know you, but I was rather fond of my First Officer the way he was. So, if you don't mind--" Kirk swept his hand toward the exit and made ready to operate the emitter himself.
Spock stood where she was. "I cannot, Captain."
"As I attempted to explain, Vulcans cannot form homosexual bonds. If I revert, all we have is lost."
Kirk reacted. "Well, you can't stay like that--just for me."
"I see no reason why not. My gender is not important. My-- Our happiness is." Spock extended two fingers Jim stroked them back and any doubts vanished in the rich flush of togetherness.
Kirk nodded. "Okay. I see your point." He threw the switch. Less than a minute later Scott reappeared, boy parts once again swinging free under his kilt.
"I think that does it," said Kirk. "Mr. Scott, dissemble the device and re-engage warp when ready."
"Now, Captain?" Scott looked at Spock with uncertainty.
"That is what I said, Mr. Scott."
"Aye, aye, Sir." Scotty climbed up to the vent and began to unseal the emitter. He turned his head to watch as together Kirk and Spock exited the room. He could have sworn Kirk's hand rested a little lower on Spock's waist than he was used to seeing. Maybe the decision wasn't so strange as it appeared. Kirk, well, his reputation said it all. But it was reported that Vulcan ways were different.
Technician Keller came over to assist with the disassembly. "Well what do you think o' that, laddie?" asked Scott.
"I think that Lt. Uhura is going to be very smug, and that Ensign Chekov is going to be out a couple liters of very good vodka."
Scott grunted in agreement and loosened the first bolt. "Um. No great loss there--potato juice. Real men bet Scotch--at least if they expect to win." There's never a dull moment around here. "Pass me the kerliunium aligner, will ya?"
It had been a long three days for both of them. Spock had had no sleep, and Jim had had very little. A prudent person would have said that their few hours in bed together that one time could have been better spent.
That person would have received a vociferous argument from both of them.
"Is it very different?" asked Jim as he watched Spock undress. The curve of her back as she arched to peel of her clothing made him suddenly, uncomfortably hard. He felt a flush of shame at the sheer physical force of his desires for someone--perhaps the only one--he genuinely loved, but he could not undo the fire within his middle. The more he tried to ignore it, the more he wanted sex--with Spock.
"It is all different," said Spock, "but I think, not in the way you mean. I want you very much."
Naked, Spock turned to him and lay herself upon him. With the first press of lips to lips, Jim lost all his doubt. The visceral fire was not only his but mutual, more than matched by the one within his arms.
They kissed until kissing became torture. They touched everywhere hands could reach. They came to know the pleasures and the inadequacies of skin moving against skin. In one fluid, move Jim flipped her over. Spock drew her legs up on the bed, a pillow beneath her stomach. She spread her knees and raised her ass and waited, inviting Jim in--in no uncertain terms.
With a murmur that sounded more like a blessing, Jim plunged in from behind.
The power almost overwhelmed him. He took her harder, more roughly than he had taken any woman before. Jim pushed her down against the bed, hands on her shoulder blades, nailing her beneath his strength. He buried himself to the hilt within her and thrust with all his might. Still Spock rocked back to meet him with every movement, the concentration of long-unreleased desire shaking her body from inside out.
She muttering indecencies that would make an ensign blush, each one logically calculated to enflame him further. She knew him far too well. She spoke of things she would do to him, would have him do to her, some of which Jim had often fantasized, and some of which he knew he would now in the future.
They were phrases Jim hadn't thought a Vulcan would either recognize or use about acts he had presumed no Vulcan would deign to perform. He had seldom been so happy to be wrong. And like everything else, Spock was so good at this.
Really, he should have known.
Jim felt the climax building in his gland--that feeling he was rapidly coming to know and love. Through the spasms of his throat, he managed to choke out a warning. Perhaps the consideration was a mistake, for at the sound of the very words, Spock moved.
She pulled herself out from underneath, and tossed Jim down on his back. She pinned his shaft between her breasts and wrapped her arms around his ass, holding him immobile in her grasp. She licked and sucked at the ripples of his chest and abs, but held them welded tightly together until the worst of Jim's undulations and impotent protestations died in a heap of sweat and frustration.
"I was right there," said Jim, face flaccid with defeat. "I could almost taste the come."
"And you will again," said Spock, feeling the tension ease just a little in Jim's lower body. "When I decide it is time. Do not forget that I am still Vulcan. I am still stronger than you." Jim shivered beneath her as Spock sucked Jim's navel and whirled her tongue in little circles. She stopped to speak. "I made the mistake of certain assumption based on your appearance. Do not make the same mistake with me."
Sliding down Jim's body with a lick and a kiss to his penis, Spock swung herself up and over him and squatted. She held his eyes and as Jim panted in anticipation, she slowly--so slowly--lowered herself down upon him.
Spock looked him squarely in the eye and spoke each word distinctly. "I am going to fuck you until you come." She lowered herself all the way and clenched her muscles.
Jim exhaled in a violent gasp as the muscles clutched at him and sucked him in.
Spock fell to a kneel and locked her knees and feet against Jim's body. With deliberate slowness she raised and lowered herself around his shaft, contracting and releasing rhythmically, timing it to Jim's cries of blathering sensation. Their hips moved together, two as one, blade and sheath, yin and yang.
"Who is fucking whom?" asked Spock.
"I don't know," Jim barely choked, "just don't stop!"
Spock didn't, and they both came with a howl that rivaled a warp breach.
"Mmm, wake up." Jim tried unsuccessfully to roll the sated Vulcan off of his stomach. "I thought Vulcans didn't need as much sleep as Humans."
"It depends upon the circumstances," said Spock. "Surely you don't believe we only doze off every seven years."
Jim laughed out loud and rolled them together side by side. He kissed her forehead in unabashed affection. "I certainly hope not. I'd have to get hundreds more of you. At least one for every day--maybe two."
"You wouldn't survive it," said Spock, tweaking him on the nipple.
"Maybe not," said Jim, "but I can think of worse ways to go."
Fingers and thoughts mingling in the haze between sleep and wake, they both passed over the borderline together.
"Mr.--Spock?" Uhura greeted her uncertainly as Kirk and Spock emerged on the Bridge the next morning.
"Good morning, Uhura. Tell the Record's Officer to mark Mr. Spock's gender reassignment as permanent," Kirk said, sliding into his chair and crossing his legs as always.
"Yes, Sir." Uhura recovered with her usual aplomb, and made the report as ordered.
Chekov looked over to the science station. "Mr. Spock, if you are going to be staying--like that, I vas vondering: vould you be free for dinner some night?"
Spock drew herself up to her most formal of poses. "I must regretfully inform you that I have a prior engagement."
"A pity," said Chekov with a melodramatic sigh. "It vould have been magnificent."
Uhura chuckled under her breath as she signed off with the Record's Officer. "Give it up, Pavel." She thought no one heard, but she forgot about those Vulcan ears. When she turned back to the center to catch Kirk's next order, Spock's eyes still twinkled in her direction.
"Uhura, notify Starbase 18 that was will not be putting into port after all. Mr. Chekov, if you are quite through hitting on my First Officer, will you please set course for Holz's Planet?"
"Captain!" Uhura shrieked.
Spock had fallen back in her chair, apparently in the midst of some seizure. As they watched, she slid limply to the deck, shaking in violent spasms.
"Dr. McCoy to the Bridge!" Jim leapt up and grabbed her shoulders. "Spock!"
"Jim." Spock's eyes were unfocused and rolled back in their sockets. She reached up, her arm moving in terrible, ragged jerks, and flailed blindly in the air.
Jim took her hand and crushed it to his chest. "Hold on," he whispered. "McCoy's coming." He floundered for their bond, but could not catch it with his mind. It was there; he could see it waving just always barely beyond his grasp tantalizing him with its nearness. It was as if Spock's psionic faculties were in the same chaotic disarray as her body and Kirk's own inchoate mental disciplines were not skilled enough to rein them in.
McCoy arrived, medikit already open. "What happened?"
"I don't know," Uhura said. "Spock was just standing there, then she started shaking and collapsed."
McCoy ran his scan. "Damn! It's that goddamned cooper-tinted hybrid DNA of hers. Something about the genetic engineering must make it different. As the oscillation slows, it's unraveling. The chromosomes are tearing themselves apart. I don't think she'll survive it. Call Chapel to the Bridge with the portable emitter. I'm going to have to change her back to stabilize the structure."
"No!" Spock shouted. " I cannot-- It may stabilize on its own."
"Sure. After you're dead, no doubt it will. It's progressing fast, Spock. I have to. Where's that dammed emitter?"
Chapel bounded out of the turbolift and to his side with the machine. McCoy activated it and raised it to Spock's head.
"No!" Spock grabbed his wrist. "Don't, please. Jim, please--" Her voice deteriorated into a gibberish of shaky vocalizations.
Kirk reached for Spock's hand on his wrist and gently unwrapped the fingers. Even as he did, he marveled at the fine grace of them. He caressed the woman's hand in the gesture he had been taught for one final intimacy. At last he caught the tail end of their bond and he rolled it around his mind and treasured every last sensation, storing up these memories for all time.
"Give her the treatment, Bones."
"Jim, no--" Spock's eyes would not stay open through the trembling, but the voice was a naked plea. Even as she said the words, the rays of the emitter penetrated her body and the spasms slowed. Before their eyes, Spock transformed back into the man he had been. He stared blankly at his hand in Kirk's.
"It's gone," he said, mouthing the words too quietly for anyone but the three of them to hear. "It's all gone." His face twisted into a portrait of the most terrible pain. He turned to the side to raise himself to his feet. When he turned back to his friends again, he was all Spock.
"Stabilized," McCoy reported with relief. "He's back to his impossible, green-blooded old self. "
Jim stayed kneeling on the deck next to the spot where Spock's body had lain. He looked up and met Spock's bleak face. He made a decision that was surprisingly little of a decision after all. "Now, do me."
McCoy pulled in close to his face. "Jim, are you sure? You have what you've always wanted. If I change you back, it'll be permanent, you know. You won't ever get it back."
"Do it!" Jim snapped. "Before it's too late." The hollow emptiness in his head hurt more with ever passing heartbeat. He hadn't even realized just how lonely he had been.
McCoy nodded and reset the device. He passed it along Kirk's body. There was no external change, but Jim felt it in his briefs and in his mind. He lifted his head and Spock reached down. Jim took his hand and the love poured through their bond and threatened to sap all his strength clear away. Somewhere in the moment, Spock pulled Jim to his feet.
"Thank you," said Jim. "It worked."
Captain's Log, Stardate 5865.3: All personnel have received full medical clearance as recovered from the effects of the Phenomenon and we are underway to Holz's Planet as ordered for the annual examination of the colonists.
"The good thing is that McCoy kept my XY sample. He says that will make--amending my medical records a lot easier from here on out."
"Do you miss your male anatomy?" Spock asked as they undressed for bed.
"No. I never wanted to be a man, just a starship captain. I find this quite satisfactory." Jim gave Spock's bum a propriatorial squeeze.
"Besides," Jim continued, "this way it's easier to keep my facial and body hair down the way I like it." Jim rubbed his uncommonly smooth chest. "And orgasms are less messy too."
"You are missing out on the prostate," observed Spock. "Not an inconsequential loss."
"Oh, I have a very adequate G spot," Jim said, "as you should know very well by now. As a genotypic female, I can get my clit erect any time I want and have multiple orgasms too boot."
"Vulcans males are also polyorgasmic," said Spock.
"Really?" said Jim, pulling up the sheet. "Come here; let's check that out."
For the first time, but nowhere near the last, they loved each other in the bodies they had known for so long.