Sara S. Reynolds
In Starwyck, there is a picture described; Spock standing behind a kneeling Kirk who is masturbating. This picture was used as a theme for Duet VI; the stories were judged and the winner got the original picture. This story was the winner.
Uhura looked round from her panel. "Message coming in from Starfleet Command, Captain - priority code."
Priority! That came in on average once a year if they were unlucky. "On the screen, Uhura." Kirk could not resist a glance at the Science Console where his First Officer watched. Spock's face was as usual expressionless, as befitted a Vulcan Warrior.
Sometimes, as now, Kirk wondered why a Vulcan Warrior had joined Starfleet. While notoriously loyal to a leader they respected, that respect had to be earned, and it was known that many Vulcans despised Humans for their comparative physical weakness, being impressed by and respecting only those leaders who could defeat them in hand to hand combat.
Certainly Kirk could not complain about Spock's loyalty. This Vulcan at least had accepted a commander who could not defeat him in combat - although Kirk was far from certain on what basis Spock's loyalty rested.
Admiral Komak's face appeared on the screen. "Captain Kirk, you are hereby instructed to abort your present mission and head directly to Vulcan at top speed. Once there, Commander Spock is to report to High Priest Sarek. The ship will remain in orbit until Commander Spock returns; those of the crew who wish to take advantage of the Vulcan Starbase's shore leave facilities are at liberty to do so. Commander Spock."
"I have here a tape from High Priest Sarek."
Komak's voice was replaced by a guttural Vulcan voice. "R'vash gu Hazan, Spock. Kohla."
In the silence that followed Spock said quietly, "Inform High Priest Sarek that I will be ready, Admiral."
As they went off duty that evening, Spock glanced at Kirk in the turbolift. "Captain, I regret I will be unable to join you in the evenings until we have been to Vulcan."
Kirk waited, then as no explanation was forthcoming said, "May I know why?"
His First Officer hesitated. Had it been worded as an order he would have given an evasive answer, he knew; but worded as a request... It was one of the little things that made him respect this Human, and made it almost impossible to refuse him anything.
Well, the barest truth would serve. He did not have to go into detail. "Our orders, Captain. On our return to Vulcan... There is a ceremony which our religion requires be conducted at least once every ten years. It is a great honour to be selected for participation. However, I must spend much time in meditation to prepare myself to approach the ceremony in the proper frame of mind."
"I see." Kirk was not certain that he did. Much of Vulcan culture was still an enigma to the other Federation races, and nothing at all was known about their religious beliefs.
As they left the turbolift Kirk was uncomfortably aware that in a Warrior culture religious observance was almost certain to involve some degree of cruelty, suffering and/or sacrifice.
"Spock, this participation. Will it... is it...?" He stumbled to a halt. Spock looked serene enough, but that was no guide. Kirk knew that a Vulcan Warrior considered it a matter of honour to remain completely impassive in the face of trouble, worry, pain, grief... "Will it endanger you in any way?" he blurted.
Spock half smiled. "Our Warrior training is rigorous, Jim, and cadet Warriors have died during it, but once initiate our lives are too valuable to be lightly endangered. We may indeed die - or be permanently disabled - in battle, although since the Peace of Surak no war has been fought on Vulcan soil; which is why so many of us, trained Warriors in a culture which has no place for war, go as mercenaries to other planets. Yes, that is what I am, Jim - a mercenary, even though I had to undergo Starfleet training also. But there is no danger in our purely religious ceremonies. I participate in this as Warrior Priest." He followed Kirk into his cabin.
"Priest?" Kirk asked blankly, for once surprised into possibly rude comment. "But..."
"Our Priesthood is hereditary, though not exclusively so," Spock said quietly. "My father is a Priest, therefore I am a Priest... and so are my sons."
Kirk's jaw dropped. "Your sons? Uh... I'm sorry, Spock - I didn't know you were married."
"Vulcans marry and produce their families before completing Warrior training - at least those who take the training do," Spock replied. "It is no longer obligatory for all males to train as Warriors, or shameful if they do not. I suspect that in another fifty years or so it will become unusual to train as a Warrior, and in a further fifty there will no longer be any Cadets. However, for those who do - after our initiation our wives become our sisters. T'Pring bore me three sons and a daughter during our marriage. On my initiation she exercised her right to re-marry, my children remaining with their grandparents."
"Let me get this straight. You married before you trained as a Warrior, then once you completed your training you were automatically divorced, but you got custody of the children?"
"Essentially correct. T'Pring could, of course, have remained under my father's roof as his daughter. I suspect the main reason she chose to marry Stonn, who had not applied for Warrior training, was that she was not herself of a Priest family; she felt out of place often, through no fault of her own, and the fact that my mother also was not of the Priests did not help. My daughter will of course marry a Priest, but it is possible that none of my sons will; for some reason few daughters are born into Priests' families, and many Priests' sons must look elsewhere for their wives."
Kirk looked thoughtfully at his First Officer, aware that although Spock was apparently telling him a great deal, he was in actual fact saying nothing to the point. He still had no idea what sort of ceremony Spock was to participate in, except that he was to be the Warrior Priest. Still, if he was a participating Priest he could not be in any danger, surely?
"I must go now to prepare myself," Spock continued. "The Hazan ceremony is very important to us; I must be in the correct frame of mind. If you will excuse me, Captain...?"
"Very well, Mr. Spock."
Kirk watched his Fist Officer leave. Then, resigned to a lonely evening - the first of several - he switched on a book tape.
Spock beamed down immediately on their arrival at Vulcan.
As Kirk had expected, few of the crew chose to accept shore leave, preferring to wait until they reached a more congenial planet. The additional gravity of Vulcan was wearing at first, Kirk conceded, although he knew from experience that forty-eight hours was more than long enough for Offworlders to become acclimatised. Less easy to adjust to was the dry heat that sucked the moisture from the normally damp Human skin.
In spite of the drawbacks Kirk chose to take time off. The orbit was purely routine, and no hostile race was suicidal enough to try to attack Vulcan. The fighting abilities of Vulcan Warriors were too well known for even the warlike Klingons to risk an attack. That being so the ship was safe, and it was lonely on board for the Captain, who by necessity was separated by his rank from the rest of the crew; from all, indeed, but two men. But Spock was on Vulcan about to participate in some sort of religious rite, and McCoy was currently deeply involved in a medical research programme that left him very little free time.
The Captain drifted through the Starbase, considering the offered recreational facilities and finding them lacking. One of the hostesses that the Vulcans did not - officially - know were there smiled at him encouragingly, and for a moment he was tempted, but he knew that as always the encounter would leave him dissatisfied, no matter how attractive the prospect might appear beforehand. He decided instead to take a walk around ShiKahr.
As a Starfleet Captain he had Warrior status here, and non-initiate Vulcans would not dare to challenge his presence in the streets even during the time of a religious festival. At worst, he would be requested politely to remove himself, with whatever degree of explanation the Vulcan involved chose to give him.
As he walked his mind went back to the hostess who had propositioned him. She was attractive, with the slightly plump face he had always found appealing; she reminded him quite strongly of several of his early girls, Ruth in particular. Ruth... Older than he, she had seduced the virgin adolescent quite expertly, and to his complete satisfaction. In his innocence he had thought she loved him, and he had been quite shocked to discover that she had a roving eye. She had been a nymphomaniac rather than a prostitute, but the discovery had come as quite a blow to him. The Ruth he had encountered years later on the shore leave planet had been his idealised first image of her rather than the woman she really was.
Janice Lester at the Academy... He had though he loved her, too, but had quickly learned that she did not love him but rather sought to coerce him into helping her gain a position on the Command course - a position that he knew, even in his first besotted infatuation, she was incapable of filling.
Janet Wallace... Their careers had been not totally incompatible, but not compatible either; one of them would have had to change. Yes, she had been satisfactory...
Just when had sex become unsatisfying? And why? It was always good at the time... but afterwards... afterwards he was always restless, as if he was looking for something he could not find.
Unless - could it simply be that for some years now all he had had was sex? Could it be that what he really needed was not sex, but love? If that was the case, he might as well resign himself, right now, to celibacy, for there was no place on a Starship for the Captain's wife unless she was of high enough rank to serve with him as one of his senior officers. No Captain would be allowed to have his wife on board if she was of junior rank. There would be too many ready to claim that she looked for, and got, preferential treatment because of her position, even if she did not.
He strode on into the City.
Spock entered his father's house to be greeted by his oldest son, whom he had not seen for nearly three years. Nearing marriageable age, S'Por had filled out into a male any father would be proud of.
"You are most welcome, Hazan Priest," S'Por greeted him respectfully, giving the ceremonial bow required by Spock's role in the ceremony.
As his son straightened Spock gave the ritual blessing traditional for a Hazan Priest, one which he would be forever empowered to give, and which would give him great influence - if he chose to use it. Then, ceremony done, he extended his hands to his son.
"It is good to see you looking so well, my son."
The younger Vulcan grasped the proffered hands. "Oh Father, it's good to have you home, even for such a short time." He released Spock's hands and continued gravely, "The High Priest wishes to see you immediately, Hazan Priest. He is waiting in the naos."
Spock's eyebrows lifted in surprise. Of course, S'Por should have given him that message immediately, even before responding to the family greeting, but he could not blame the boy for wanting the moment of affection, and the delay was not long enough to be of importance. But it was... upsetting... that Sarek should wish to see him now. The Hazan ceremony was so close that he would have expected his father to be spending all his time in solitary meditation as he had planned to do until the moment of the ceremony. S'Por's use of the formal terms meant that Sarek wished to see him officially as Priest rather than unofficially as son, and that - so close to the ceremony - was worrying.
"I will see you later, S'Por," Spock said, and strode out.
S'Por watched him go, a trace of worry in his eyes. Himself a cadet Priest, growing up in the house of the High Priest, he had seen two Hazan ceremonies since passing the Kahswan and knew the usual routine. He knew that something was wrong, although no hint of anything unusual had been given. He was thinking about it as he went to his room - he also must meditate in preparation for his role as Witness - and suddenly realised what was wrong.
The Hazana had arrived, and the Hazana cadet Priest; and now the Hazan Priest. But the Hazan himself had not arrived. And the Hazan had the most important role in the whole ceremony.
Sarek looked up as Spock entered the naos and saluted respectfully. "At last!" he said. Yes, he definitely looked worried.
"What is wrong, High Priest?" Spock asked formally.
"We have no Hazan," Sarek said bluntly.
"He was selected, knew the honour done to him - prepared himself for the rite... he even withdrew to a Retreat to prepare himself more intensely. His chosen mate shared his honour, and although naturally impatient to claim his mate, asked as recompense for the delay only that he be allowed to Witness, although he is not a Priest - a request that we granted readily; the prospective mates of some Hazans have made quite extreme demands in the past, and recompense is always given. And then... Spock, two days ago the Hazan was found dead in his room."
"He was young, strong... or so it seemed. Yet he died."
"His heart stopped. The doctors could find no trace of disease. But it leaves us with a dilemma. The ceremony must be held, Spock. The crops failed this year, and we would be neglectful of our duty to Vulcan if we delayed the ceremony by a year. Yet all of this year's new Warriors are now bound and mated, save only a handful - and any Warriors who are still unbound and on Vulcan are not suitable for the position of Hazan."
"Could we breach custom and call on a final year cadet?" Spock asked.
"I did consider it, but these all have wives, Spock; none are eligible. It must be someone who is currently unmated."
Spock's lips set. "What about an Offworlder?"
"An Offworlder?" Sarek looked sharply at his son. "Had you someone in mind?"
"My Captain. He has Warrior status, although he did not train as a Warrior, and he is unmated; and from his conversation I know he has never been with a man."
Sarek looked thoughtful. Spock went on, "In addition, Humans do seem to be very responsive sexually."
"How will he react - afterwards - towards you?" Tempting though Spock's suggestion was, Sarek knew that Spock would have to return to Kirk's command, and would have to serve under a man he would by then have known intimately... and he was under no illusions as to how Humans regarded same-sex liaisons.
"Immaterial. I can always request a transfer. The ceremony must be held. If he is suitable - if we cannot find a Vulcan - Father, what about the proposed mate of the original Hazan?"
Sarek shook his head. "He would be willing, but he is not eligible. He is not a virgin - this was to be a second mating for him. His first mate was killed in an accident three years ago."
"Then it will have to be Captain Kirk." Resolutely Spock closed his mind to any speculation on Kirk's reaction, certain that he would lose his Captain's trust but knowing that his duty to Vulcan must come first. "It might be best if I was permitted to explain the situation to him beforehand. He will understand, of that I am sure; I do not know how he will behave towards me thereafter."
"Yes," Sarek mused, "it should be explained to him. Otherwise he might struggle, fight against us... and that would be unpropitious. Will you call him to join you?"
Spock pulled out his communicator. "Spock to Enterprise."
"Enterprise. Uhura here."
"Is Captain Kirk available?"
"Captain Kirk is on Vulcan, Mr. Spock. He decided to take shore leave."
"Thank you, Lieutenant." Spock closed the communicator and looked at his father.
"I will give instructions that he is to be apprehended immediately and brought here," Sarek said.
Kirk could not truthfully say that he was enjoying himself as he strolled through the streets of ShiKahr. He was hot, growing increasingly thirsty - but above all he was lonely. The last time he had visited ShiKahr it had been with his First Officer, who had been able to point out to him various interesting parts of the city. He remembered a park not far from where he stood and turned towards it. There at least he would find shade; he might even manage a short nap if he could find a quiet corner. He did not doubt that he would find such a corner.
He settled down in the shade of a palm-like tree that grew out of a clump of ground-hugging succulents, closed his eyes, and let his mind wander.
How was Spock getting on? So intent on his religious duty to Vulcan. Just what was this ceremony? he wondered. It was unlikely that he'd ever know. He drifted into sleep.
He woke to find hands grasping him. He struggled to sit up. Several Vulcans stood around him, all wearing similar robes - a uniform of some kind?
"Yes. Who are you? What do you want with me?"
"We must ask you to accompany us, Captain."
"The High Priest has expressed a wish to meet you."
Huh? Oh god, did that mean that something had happened to Spock? "What does he want?" Despite himself, a trace of anxiety betrayed itself.
"We have not been informed, and it is not for us to ask. He will tell you himself in due course. Come."
They were certainly perfectly polite about it, but Kirk guessed that if he did not go peaceably they would take him anyway. Much more dignified to go peaceably.
Kirk was not sure what he expected as he went. He did not expect, however, to be taken to what was clearly a private residence rather than a temple.
They were also, clearly, expected. As they approached the door it opened; a young man stood waiting, bowed them in, led them up a flight of stairs to a door and opened it, standing politely aside for Kirk to enter. There was something about the youth that seemed familiar, yet Kirk knew that he had certainly never met him previously. He walked into the room; the door closed behind him, leaving his escort outside. Kirk looked around.
The room was simply furnished; a desk, several comfortable-looking chairs, a bookcase holding proper paper books. In the far wall was another door He crossed to it; it was locked. Somehow he was not surprised. He left it and went to the large window. It looked out over a spacious garden bright with flowers that looked oddly out of place on this desert planet - even the park had grown only flowerless succulents. The garden was as deserted as the park had been, and he wondered at it. Unless... unless in the days preceding the religious ceremony everyone was obliged to spend their free time meditating in preparation for the event? It did not seem unlikely.
Behind him to door opened and he swung round. "Spock!"
His First Officer looked subdued, Kirk noted - even worried. "What's wrong? I was told the High Priest wanted to see me..."
"Yes, Captain. However, we considered it best that I be the one to talk to you."
"Captain, I told you that I had been recalled to perform a role in one of our religious ceremonies - indeed, the most important of all our religious ceremonies. I did not, however, tell you any of the details; at the time, it seemed unimportant. Now... now I must tell you. Believe me, if there had been any other way, this would not have happened... but we have no option. The ceremony must be held."
"What wouldn't have happened? For god's sake, Spock, stop talking in riddles!"
"Captain, Vulcan is a desert planet. My people live on a knife-edge, always; our food supply is barely adequate for the needs of the people. Since we joined the Federation things have not been so bad; we can, and have, traded for food in bad years, and the living standards of my race have improved as a result. But for as long as we have recorded history famine - or the threat of famine - has been a constant companion. As a result our religion grew up around the need to... to encourage growth through sympathetic magic. Your own planet has similar rituals - still has, in some remote regions. Captain, this ceremony is a fertility rite."
Kirk was frowning slightly. "You said nobody would get hurt," he recalled, "but in Human fertility rites there was often a death so that the victim's blood might fertilise the fields."
"I spoke the truth. Only a few drops of blood are shed during the ritual." Spock bit his lip nervously and Kirk stared at him, startled by the unprecedented display of agitation "Basically, it is a sexual encounter. Two virgins - a young woman, the Hazana, and a young Warrior who has never known the touch of a man, the Hazan - are selected; very carefully selected for courage, purity of heart, physical beauty. Two Priests are likewise selected, one a cadet, the other a Warrior Priest. During the ritual first the cadet Priest mates with the Hazana, then the Warrior Priest couples with the Hazan in the culmination of the ceremony. Just why the Warrior mating should be considered more important than that with the Hazana is lost in antiquity."
"I still don't see why I've been brought here, why you're telling me all this."
"The chosen Hazan has died, Captain. We need a replacement, but there is no-one eligible among our Warriors. Once the Hazan has been selected all the other potential choices usually bond with their chosen Warrior mate immediately, and are therefore no longer virgin. However, you are an eligible choice, Captain. Although you did not train here, as a Starfleet Captain you have Warrior status; you have the looks, the courage, you are a man of ethical behaviour... and I know that you have never lain with another man."
"My god! No!"
Sadly, Spock shook his head. "Captain, you have little choice. Either you agree, and co-operate at least to the extent of accepting the mating passively, or my father will mind-link with you and force you to submit. It would be... bad... if the Hazan were seen to be unwilling."
"Seen to be...? Spock, is all this done publicly?"
"Not entirely. There are Witnesses, twenty-five chosen from among all ranks of the people. My own son will be one of them, as cadet Priest Witness. They testify in the temple that the matings have been consummated, but they stay in the shadows and the participants in the ceremony do not see them. I know, Captain - I was a Witness, four Hazan Ceremonies ago. For the Witnesses it is a very moving time, seeing the shedding of seed." He indicated the dark circle on his forehead. "All participants in the Ceremony are marked to indicate their roles; even the Witnesses are honoured by all of Vulcan, but the Hazan most of all. Please, Jim... I am Hazan Priest; you would not be coupling with a stranger. I will confess to you that although I was honoured by my selection, I was not happy that I would be so intimate with a man I did not know. It will be easier for me with you, even though I know you would not have chosen to do this of your own free will. And afterwards - afterwards, although we must spend a full day and night together - it can be forgotten. Please, Jim. There is nobody else, and it would be easier for me, knowing that you consented, rather than raping you because I must."
"I don't have much choice, do I?"
"All right, Spock. I'll do it - for your sake. I won't pretend I'm happy at the thought of it, because I'm not. It might be an honour for a Vulcan, but I'm not a Vulcan, and... well, your religious beliefs are nothing to do with me. And I've got to say it doesn't seem exactly logical to me that the most important part of the ceremony involves one man fucking another."
"I am forced to agree with you. I said already, I do not know why that is the more important coupling."
"And I can't help thinking... If I wasn't here, or wasn't eligible, as you put it - what would you have done?"
"I do not know. And I shudder to think of the possibility. And yet... one day we might have to consider it. Today only half of our men train as Warriors; I can see the day coming when there are no more. When that day comes the Hazan Ceremony becomes impossible in its present form. But that dilemma is for the future, not for tomorrow. For the remainder of today you will be my father's guest here, and I will instruct you on the sequence of events. And Jim... I am indeed sorry."
Kirk looked at him thoughtfully. "I don't think you are."
Spock sighed. "In my culture, once a man becomes a Warrior he never again touches a woman. Warriors in the field did not have time to consider the safety of their wives, who were left behind in the cities their men defended, back in the days before Surak. Yet the sex drive is strong, therefore Warrior bonding became customary. Bonded Warriors fought the more bravely also, as each sought to prove his worth to his mate. I never chose a Warrior mate; I thought never to have one, for there was none among the other cadets who whom I was drawn. I did not expect to find a Human compatible. But Warrior mating is not a Human custom, and living among Humans as I do, I realise I must accept Human customs.
"From a personal point of view, I am glad that my Hazan is you, that for a day and a night I will have the right to hold you and love you. Afterwards I will have a memory to sustain me during the lonely nights, and I will make no claim on you; I will have no right to make any claim on you. I will not embarrass you with any reference to it. But I would not have wished you to know."
"Then why did you tell me?"
"Because you are not inexperienced in love although you are virgin with men. You would have known the instant I laid my hands on you that I was performing not a duty, but an act of love."
Kirk was silent for a moment. Then he nodded. "All right. I'll try not to let it make any difference afterwards, but I can't promise. I don't know how I'll react once it actually comes to it."
Spock walked over to the door and opened it. To the young man standing outside he said, "Tell the High Priest that all is well, S'Por."
"Yes, Hazan Priest."
Spock closed the door again and returned to Kirk. "Now," he said, indicating a chair, "we might as well be comfortable." As Kirk sat he went on, "The Ceremony begins..."
Why did I ever let myself in for this? Kirk thought ruefully the next day as he followed the High Priest and his attendants into the inner chamber of the temple. Spock had gone over the sequence of events with him several times, and he was pretty sure he knew what to expect, but the thought of the Witnesses was unsettling, let alone his nervousness over the actual sexual encounter.
As Hazan he followed immediately after the High Priest, walking down the aisle of the temple past hundreds of silent Vulcans, knowing that they were watching him, knowing that they knew what he was going to be doing in a very short while.
Behind him came the girl - she looked about twenty, but he knew it wasn't that easy to estimate Vulcan ages. Spock seemed no older than Kirk himself, but if he had been a Witness four Ceremonies ago, and the Ceremonies were held every ten years, he must be older than Kirk - fifty at least. It was an unsettling thought. Behind her came Spock and the cadet Priest, and behind them, the Witnesses.
As they entered the inner chamber Kirk found himself wondering if the Vulcans assembled in the temple would now disperse until the closing service with the testimony of the Witnesses, or if they would remain in their places for the hours until then. He must remember to ask Spock later. Strange how easy it was - for the moment - to think of 'later' as a time that would be unaffected by all this.
Two of the Witnesses came to him and led him to his place. There they stripped off his clothes, dropping them to the ground, and fastened his ankle to the symbolic chain that represented the discipline of farming, the fences that kept the crops safe from the marauding wild animals that would eat the food so necessary to the people. Across from him he could see the girl, the Hazana, being similarly treated. Then both knelt. She was a real beauty too, he noticed. Slim, delicately built, her small pointed breasts seemed to ask for a man's caress. He felt a stirring in his groin, and hastily looked away.
The Witnesses - as Spock had said - seemed to have melted away, though if he stared hard enough into the shadows he could see the dim shapes. Then the two Priests came out from a doorway towards him... them. Both were naked but for an ornate leather harness round their chests. Both carried the knife they would use to spill a few drops of blood, symbol of the life-giving water in which the seeds were soaked prior to planting.
Spock moved to stand behind Kirk; the Hazana Priest, the young cadet, stood behind the girl. The High Priest moved out of the shadows. He spoke in Vulcan. Kirk, who could follow the tongue reasonably well, found himself lost and concluded that the ritual was in an archaic dialect.
The younger Priest moved forward again. With the knife he made a small cut in the back of the girl's left hand, and bending down, sucked the blood. He uttered some words in the same dialect, and laid the knife carefully down. Then he lowered himself to her side, pushing her onto her back. He leaned over her, hands caressing. Kirk watched, unable to take his eyes off the caressing hands, the Priest's enlarging penis. He knew that he was arousing and realised it didn't matter. This was, after all, a sexual ritual. After some moments the Priest positioned himself carefully and thrust hard. The Hazana gave one sharp cry, echoed from the shadows by a soft hissing.
She must have been instructed to cry out, Kirk realised; Vulcans did not normally show any reaction to pain.
The Priest thrust steadily, his actions met by the Hazana's response. Kirk could feel his own arousal painfully hard, and as the Priest gave one final hard thrust and cried out in triumph Kirk's hand moved of its own volition to grasp his swollen organ. His head flung back, he pumped it fiercely, half expecting Spock to stop him. But the Vulcan made no move to do so; through half open eyes Kirk could see him watching, waiting for the Human to finish.
It did not take long. Semen spurted from him to lie on the floor at his knees; from the shadows came the soft murmur of awed voices. Then Spock was standing before him, reaching for his right hand; he raised it, hardly feeling the quick cut, only half aware that Spock was sucking at his blood, speaking those words he could not understand. Then his cool, calm and composed First Officer was touching him, caressing his body, sending a shiver of desire through him. A warm hand caressed his genitals... he could feel the adoration in the touch, and it sent the desire spiralling through him. He moaned softly, surprised at how much he wanted this to continue. It's only the atmosphere, he told himself as he felt himself hardening again under those knowing fingers.
He was pushed forward onto hands and knees. Firm hands parted him; firm velvet touched him and he moaned again, wanting to feel that smooth weapon impaling him. He braced himself against the thrust, trying to relax his muscles even as he did so, knowing if he did not it would hurt.
He could not have said there was no pain, but it was slight compared to what it might have been. Then he felt Spock's groin pushed hard against his buttocks, the invading penis fully sheathed, the Vulcan's hand curled around his own penis, and he sobbed with ecstasy. Why had he been so doubtful? This felt so right... And then Spock was thrusting, pulling almost completely out then pushing himself all the way in again, and he was responding, awkwardly for a moment until they found the rhythm then in perfect synchronisation, the hand pumping him as he thrust backwards against Spock. He could feel himself coming again; then even as the seed burst from him once more he felt the hot liquid spurting into him as Spock cried out, telling the assembled Witnesses that he too had sown his seed in his partner's body.
Spock lay heavy against his back for a moment, then straightened, pulling carefully away. Kirk half straightened too, sitting back on his heels.
The High Priest was there again, speaking. Spock leaned down and snapped the anklet open; he swung Kirk into his arms - out of the corner of his eye Kirk could see the other Priest doing the same to the girl - and carried him out of the door by which he had entered. Kirk found himself oddly glad to be so carried; he was not sure that he could have walked. Already he felt completely drained... and they were expected to keep this up for hours yet...
Spock laid him down on a comfortable bed and stripped off the leather harness. Then he lay down beside the Human. "Are you all right?" he murmured.
"Yes... but I'm bushed. God, sex has never taken it out of me like that before."
"Nobody will think it strange if you rest for half an hour before we resume. It is a very draining experience."
"Yes, but Spock... it's not my religion, I shouldn't have been affected like this."
"Remember, Vulcans are telepathic, Jim. You picked up the awareness of the Witnesses that you are a most responsive Hazan. Masturbating as you did... spilling the extra seed... No Vulcan could have done that. Rest now. I will waken you in half an hour."
It seemed no time at all before Kirk felt himself shaken back to awareness. Spock was caressing him again, his hands knowing every part of the Human's body that elicited response. Kirk moaned softly, enjoying it, wanting more.
"Please!" he gasped,
Spock was more than ready to obey. This time he slid into the semen-lubricated channel easily, and Kirk pushed hard against him, trying to urge him into thrusting harder as he rocked gently. He could not resist the alluring body for more than a few seconds and thrust hard, violently claiming his right to enjoy the cool Human body he had never thought to know. He had been prepared to spend the rest of the day, and the night, in seeding a stranger's body; that he was pouring himself into his Captain's loved body was bliss beyond anything he had ever thought to know.
And Kirk had been carried away by the emotional response of the Witnesses and was giving himself freely, willingly, avidly, however he might react tomorrow after they were back on the ship. Well, let tomorrow come when it would. Kirk was not so unjust as to blame Spock for his own uncontrolled response, though he might be embarrassed by the memory of it. After a brief rest he resumed his caresses.
The urge to claim Kirk's mouth was almost overwhelming, but Spock retained enough control to refrain from kissing the Human. He had told Kirk the ritual was purely sexual; kissing was no part of that. Granted, he had also told Kirk he wanted him... but if he could keep from kissing him the Human might never realise just how much.
After a while they rested for another hour before Spock resumed the steady thrusting that was giving him orgasm after orgasm in a manner reminiscent of pon farr, that first uncontrollable sexual experience when a Vulcan must mate or die. Kirk could only lie acquiescent now, accepting the pleasure of the caresses but no longer capable of an erection... not without a break.
Time was passing. Soon the bell would ring that signified the passing of a full day and night. They could sleep then for a couple of hours before they were wakened to return to the temple for the last part of the ritual - the Testimony of the Witnesses and the Marking of the various participants.
Kirk was beginning to rouse again - Just in time, Spock thought. He concentrated on bringing the Human to full erection, climaxing himself just as the bell rang. He lay back and smiled as Kirk looked down at him.
"The bell?" Kirk muttered, half dazed.
"Yes. The ritual is over. Now... Jim, I too am a virgin. Make me not one."
Kirk looked down at him for a moment. Then, with exhausted limbs that felt like lead, he positioned himself and thrust into the accepting warmth of the Vulcan's body.
They were lying in a tangle of arms and legs when a Witness came to waken them. Still half asleep they staggered upright, Kirk promising himself that once he got back to the ship he would sleep for a week. They were assisted into robes - dark green for Spock, rich blue for Kirk - and led out into the chamber where the whole ritual had begun. The other pair were already there, the cadet Priest in a lighter green and the girl in the same rich blue as Kirk.
The High Priest approached them. He looked hard at Kirk, who found himself completely unable to understand what Sarek was trying to communicate; and it seemed that Sarek understood that, for he withdrew to his place.
They returned to the temple, the High Priest first, then the High Priestess, someone Kirk didn't remember seeing previously in the ceremony; but that didn't mean much - he knew he hadn't been in a fit state to notice many details. Then came Kirk and the girl, and behind them the two Priests and finally the Witnesses.
The ceremony was all in the archaic Vulcan that Kirk could not understand, but he was well aware that when a member of the congregation stood and in a clear voice asked something that was replied to by a chorus from the Witnesses, that the question had to be about the mating. He could no more prevent his colour from deepening than he could now deny the pleasure he had obtained from the incident.
An attendant directed him forward; a blunt stick was pressed against his forehead. The girl went forward; she also was marked, and as she returned to her place Kirk saw that on her forehead was a small blue circle. He realised that he also carried one, a permanent indication of his role in this ritual. Spock went forward, and had a dark green circle superimposed on the black outline he had previously carried; the other Priest got a paler green circle. Finally the Witnesses were each marked with their black outlined circles. Then they were led back into the inner chamber.
Almost in a dream Kirk allowed himself to be assisted into his uniform. He was aware of the other three main participants being dressed too, all of them looking as tired as he felt. He allowed himself to be guided out of the temple by a back entrance and into a vehicle; he was only half aware of Spock stumbling into the same vehicle.
Some indeterminate time later he felt himself being guided out of the vehicle again, into a building, up some stairs, along a corridor. Someone undressed him, helped him into a bed, and he remained awake only long enough to register that he was horizontal and alone, and there was no reason on Earth - or Vulcan - why he should not shut his eyes.
When he awoke it was to a feeling of physical well-being that he had never experienced before. He was completely relaxed. Memory returned; no wonder he felt so good. He hadn't had a sexual experience to equal that in a long time. In fact, come to think of it, he had never had a sexual experience to equal it.
He had to admit it; Spock was a damned good lover.
He would have no objections to sharing a few more nights with his Vulcan First Officer. But... would Spock be willing to come to his bed now and then, when his Captain felt randy? Yes - surely he would. He had already said that he wanted Kirk.
Yet somehow Kirk sensed it would not be as easy as that. Something Spock had said... Something about bonding... Yes - Warrior bonding. It had implied a permanent relationship, the way Spock had put it.
Was it possible that Spock would consider a permanent relationship between them, but might shy away from a temporary one? No, surely not. A temporary joining - until someone else came along - was all very well; but who in his right mind would want a permanent homosexual relationship? Well, a Vulcan Warrior would, it seemed, but that was a culturally accepted thing. It certainly wasn't Human.
Kirk pushed aside that thread of thought that said, You didn't want that girl at the Starbase... None of your girls have satisfied you for a long time - but Spock did. Another man did. And you wanted more than he gave you, too, didn't you, James T? You wanted to feel his mouth claiming yours, his tongue searching your mouth... You wanted to feel his kisses on your body...his lips on your cock. Didn't you?
He was better rested than he'd expected to be, and he found it impossible to stay in bed. He got up. There were washing facilities in a small bathroom off the bedroom. He soon discovered that the blue dot on his forehead was there to stay - he should have guessed it, he thought, remembering the black circle Spock had always worn, and recalling that he had simply assumed it to be a caste marking reapplied every morning.
Well, at least nobody outside Vulcan would know what it meant - he hoped. He had no great objection to his reputation as 'Galactic super-stud', even though he wasn't sure how it had originated. He suspected that for some reason he could not understand a fair number of girls he had barely spoken to had claimed the relationship went much, much deeper than that. But he wasn't sure he would appreciate it being known that he had participated in what was basically a public homosexual mating, disguised though it was as a religious rite. Luckily, the Vulcans were very secretive about their customs.
There was a gentle tap on the door just as he finished dressing, and he called, "Come!" as he adjusted the vest of the Vulcan robe that had been laid out for him. Where his uniform was, he had no idea.
The young man who entered wore a black circle on his forehead; Kirk remembered him from his arrival here.
"The High Priest requests the pleasure of your company for a meal, Hazan," the youth said with a respectful bow.
Kirk remembered the gesture he had been shown and told that the Hazan gave on acknowledging a service. He made it, slightly awkwardly, and knew from the man's expression that he had done the right thing. "I will be pleased to join him... S'Por." The name was a guess, born of the memory of something Spock had said, and although the youth's expression did not change, he knew he had guessed right... and that the boy felt honoured that the Hazan should know his name.
"If you will come this way, Hazan." S'Por led the way, Kirk at his heels.
"S'Por, do you know where my uniform is?" Kirk asked as they went.
"It will be ready for you soon," was the answer.
"Will your father be with the High Priest?" Kirk asked with casual curiosity.
"No, sir - he has returned already to the Enterprise."
"You sound disappointed," Kirk commented.
"I had hoped to spend a little time with him once the Ceremony was over," S'Por admitted, "but he left a message for me that he would see me another time. But at least I saw him," he added with forced cheerfulness. "My brothers and my sister did not. They were too young to take any part in the Ceremony."
"You miss him, then?" Kirk asked sympathetically.
"He is a Warrior," S'Por replied. "It is the way of life, that a Warrior's children see very little of him."
Instinct kept Kirk from mentioning the boy's mother. He had a feeling that not even the respect due to a Hazan would save him from putting his foot in it very badly if he did so.
S'Por paused at a door, knocked, and entered. "The Hazan, High Priest."
"Thank you, S'Por." Sarek motioned Kirk forward, and S'Por retreated, shutting the door quietly behind him. "Sit and eat," Sarek went on. "The food is all compatible with Human requirements - my wife selected it most carefully. And you must be hungry."
"Yes, sir," Kirk agreed. As he helped himself he said, "I understand Spock has already returned to the ship?"
"That is so. You are still his senior officer; he felt some quite natural diffidence over meeting you here, and thought that if you encountered each other on the ship, in a duty situation, it would probably be easier for you both. You were most generous with us, Captain Kirk; it could not have been easy for you."
"I have a very high regard for Spock," Kirk answered quietly. "He said it was necessary; I accepted that."
"Even though fertility rites have long ceased to be carried out on Earth," Sarek finished.
"Among advanced races, yes; as far as I know, there are still some primitive tribes that have such rites."
"But to you, such rites are the product of primitivism."
"I can understand that on a desert planet such as yours, crop failure would be an utter disaster. That being so, it is quite natural that the religion could contain elements designed to prevent such a catastrophe, even though it is now possible for you to trade for food... and the Federation would not see one of its members starve."
"I can indeed see why Spock gave you his loyalty," Sarek said. "My wife accepts our religion, but even after the number of years she has spent on Vulcan she still fails to understand why we maintain a tradition that she feels is outmoded and no longer of need."
Kirk looked at the High Priest in surprise. "Your wife is not Vulcan, sir?"
Sarek half smiled. "Like you, Captain, she is Human. As I said, she does not understand, even after many years; you, with every reason to feel resentment - yes, I understand how Humans feel about male matings - can accept it sympathetically. I think you will also be able to accept Spock without resentment."
"Yes," Kirk replied.
"Well, Captain, we - all of Vulcan - owe you great gratitude." Sarek looked at Kirk's forehead. "If you wish to have the mark removed, you may, but any time you return to Vulcan please use cosmetics to replace it so that we may honour you as you deserve. You are Hazan, Captain; the object of the highest respect to a Vulcan. And if there is ever any way in which Vulcan can serve you, you have only to ask. Our priesthood is very influential, and all of our influence is at your disposal should you ever require it."
"Why... thank you, sir. It's not necessary, you know - I was glad to be of help." Even as he said it he knew it was completely true.
Sarek smiled. "That is the answer I expected - but what I said holds. If we can ever be of service to you, you have only to ask."
When Kirk returned to the ship he found Spock oddly evasive. Eventually he ran him to ground in the bowels of the computer.
"Just what do you think you're doing, Spock?"
The Vulcan straightened. "It is some time since I checked the circuits, Captain. I estimated that it was time they were re-checked."
"I see. How long will it take?"
"Several days, sir." He was very carefully not looking at his Captain's forehead.
"And you don't intend to take time off until it's done, huh?"
"It is important to finish as quickly as possible..."
"All right, I'll accept that. However, I also want a few words with you in private as soon as possible. Just as soon as you've finished, Spock, report to me."
"Yes, sir." Spock sounded very subdued.
"Oh, and Spock - cheer up. I'm not about to have you drummed out of the service, you know."
Kirk watched his First Officer's head disappear back into the innards of the computer, and nodded slightly. Spock, then, was feeling guilty? Well, he deserved to, for even thinking that Kirk might bear a grudge. Or... was he embarrassed for giving away too much of how he felt about his Captain? For asking that one thing the ritual did not demand - I too am a virgin. Make me not one.
Well, Kirk knew that Spock wanted him. It only remained to convince Spock that he, Kirk, was quite happy to be wanted... at least for the moment. Kirk still shied away from any thought of a permanent union with the Vulcan.
Spock's 'several days' ran into two weeks. By then the Enterprise was well on her way back towards the mission they had had to abort to go to Vulcan. Kirk would have given his First Officer time off to visit his children, but Starfleet gave him no opportunity to do so. It seemed almost as if Admiral Komack had been given prior notification of how long the Hazan Ceremony would take, and within an hour of his arrival back on board the new orders had come through... if they could be called new. Star charting was not high on Kirk's list of favourite missions - albeit higher than diplomatic missions.
Finally Spock reported that the computer and all its terminals were fully checked, and Kirk gave a silent sigh of relief. The lonely evenings that had once been filled with chess, with quiet conversation, had begun to seem more than ever unbearable. Kirk knew that he did not mistake Spock's reluctance to obey the order - for it was an order - to join him.
Kirk had thought long and hard about this meeting, and guessed that the best thing he could do was to get Spock off balance as quickly as possible and keep him off balance until they had thrashed out the situation in which they had found themselves. He therefore greeted Spock with a cheerful smile, aware that Spock expected gravity.
"I'd begun to think you'd deserted me," he said. He crossed to the small cupboard where he kept an assortment of drinks. "Tranya?" he asked, knowing that Spock had developed as much liking for the First Federation drink as Kirk himself had. It had a subtle flavour, and had such a low alcohol content as to be thoroughly innocuous. Spock stared at him open-mouthed. Tranya was so difficult to obtain, they had tacitly agreed to reserve it for special occasions. Kirk could almost see the thought passing through the Vulcan's mind - What is so special about today?
Mutely, Spock accepted the glass, noting that Kirk had poured out a generous double measure.
"S'Por was sorry you had to leave so suddenly," Kirk went on conversationally. "You really should have stayed long enough to speak to him, you know. The computer check could have waited."
"I... did not feel I had the right to remain on Vulcan for a purely personal reason when I was ordered there for a specific purpose." Spock held the tranya hesitantly.
"Fair enough, but you could certainly have waited until I was ready to leave," Kirk pointed out. "I delayed long enough to have a meal with the High Priest... and officially I was only on leave until you had finished your business on Vulcan." When he received no reply he added, "Sarek told me I could have the Hazan mark removed... but I don't think I will."
Spock's head came up at that.
"I find I'm feeling rather pleased with myself because Vulcan found me acceptable for the role... and to be honest I enjoyed myself tremendously. I'd never thought of lying with another man; I was prepared to co-operate after what you said about the importance of the ceremony, but I hadn't expected to enjoy it at all." He looked searchingly at Spock. "You're damn good in bed, my friend. Too good to have learned all that with a woman."
"Nevertheless, my total sexual experience until... until then... was with T'Pring."
"I've got to believe that, I suppose," Kirk said, "but I've been with a few women in my time, and I always thought I knew quite a bit... but you showed me several tricks I didn't know." He looked closely at the Vulcan. "Spock - you're blushing!"
The green flush deepened. Kirk took pity on him. "All right, Spock, I'll let the subject drop... for the moment. But one day - soon, I hope - I would like an action replay."
Spock looked startled. "You mean... you mean...?"
"I'd like to sleep with you again. For a while, anyway."
"For a while..." Spock repeated. He took a deep breath, and put down the glass. "No, Captain."
"A Warrior mating... is exclusive. Apart from Hazan and Hazan Priest for the duration of the ceremony. The Hazan who died had a chosen mate who was waiting for him; who had agreed to his prospective partner's participation; and to whom he would have been completely faithful thereafter. I... I have lived celibate since my initiation, knowing that my choice of career precluded my finding a Warrior mate. I do not deny that I desire you as mate, Captain - but on Vulcan terms, not on Human."
"All or nothing, eh, Spock?"
"Yes, Captain. All or nothing." He rose. "You are too fond of your freedom, Jim. I can understand that. I did not willingly enter into my marriage with T'Pring, and I could only be divorced by becoming a Warrior - so I became a Warrior. Yet I would willingly tie myself to you for the remainder of my life if I thought you wanted it; but I know that tie would soon become a burden to you. I have seen how easily you fall out of love." He began to walk towards the door. "You know I am right, Captain," he said from the doorway.
Kirk stabbed his hand down on the 'lock' button. "You've forgotten one thing," he said. "How long have we known each other? How long have we been friends?"
"Three years, seven months, twenty-five days..."
"That's close enough," Kirk said with a touch of amusement, wondering if Spock could have taken the count down into seconds. "In all of that time we've come to know each other pretty well. You have - as you said - seen me fall in and out of love a number of times. But there's one thing you haven't taken into account."
"What is that?" Spock had discovered that the door was locked, but he remained firmly ensconced by it.
"We've started by getting to know each other first. With a woman I've usually started with sex and then gone on to get to know her. And I've always found that... well... that after a while I had nothing left to say to her. The first wild sexual rapture doesn't last, you know; you begin to think of spending the night sleeping instead of fucking, and that's when sex stops taking the place of conversation. When you learn that you don't want to spend the rest of your life with someone, that her - or his - company bores you.
"But we know each other, Spock. We know each other well. We've spent three and a half years getting to know each other. We've never run out of conversation yet. Yes, I admit I called you here to suggest an affair; I hadn't thought beyond the stage where we would stop wanting to have sex several times a night. I had thought that when we reached that stage it would possibly be time to call a halt and go back to being just friends - I've stayed friendly with several women I've had affairs with, the ones who bored me least, conversation-wise - and I reckoned that would be possible for us. At the same time, I wasn't sure you'd buy it."
"I have no wish to trap you, Captain."
"I'm a grown boy now, Spock. I know the score. Spock - I'd rather Warrior-bond with you - permanently - than never sleep with you again. I don't think I'd regret it."
"But you don't know."
"No, I don't know... and I'll never know if we don't try it."
Spock nibbled his upper lip thoughtfully. "Jim, your subconscious mind would know. May I mind-link with you? That way I can touch your subconscious and know if you would come to resent the tie."
"Yes," Kirk said quietly. He moved to stand beside Spock.
Spock's hand reached out to touch Kirk's face. "Open your mind to me..."
Kirk waited, feeling nothing. "Get on with it."
"I am already deep in your mind..." Spock's voice was distant.
Kirk waited... his mind empty... and then, deep within him, he felt a surge of joy. "Spock?"
He heard Spock's voice deep inside his mind. Your subconscious wishes to be joined to me, t'hy'la. May I complete the bonding?
He felt warmth in his mind, reaching out and enfolding him. He responded instinctively, clinging to the warmth hungrily. A firm mouth closed over his and he parted his lips invitingly, accepting the exploring tongue before sucking on it, trapping it. His mouth still clinging to Spock's he felt strong arms lifting him, carrying him; felt himself laid down gently. His lips worked passionately against Spock's as he released the copper-tasting tongue and thrust his own into the Vulcan's mouth.
At last they drew apart. "I want you," Spock said hoarsely.
The Human promptly began removing his clothes. Quickly, Spock also stripped and lay down beside his new mate, drawing him into his arms again. Their hands caressed gently. Kirk wrenched his mouth from Spock's and began to run his lips down the soft-skinned muscular body, pausing at the nipples to tongue them into erection. Spock moaned softly. Kirk turned his attention to the area around the beautiful double-headed penis, stroking, kissing, sucking the firm ovoids into his mouth, running his fingers through the surprisingly soft hair surrounding the straining cock but carefully refraining from touching it until Spock was writhing helplessly in an agony of desire. Then he touched his tongue lightly to the tip, exploring the tiny slit, knowing that he was trying to rouse Spock to the point where he would be unable to control himself any longer, to the point where he would roll Kirk onto his back and take him forcibly. He knew that if Spock did not take him soon he would have to ask for it; he wanted to be taken this first time, but he did not want to have to ask. He wanted Spock to take what was his.
Please, Spock, he thought. Fuck me. Please. Fuck me. I'm ready for it, and I know you are too. Fuck me... He pressed his lips to the head of Spock's cock, kissing it lovingly.
Spock had been waiting for Kirk to indicate his readiness, but this was too much. He grasped Kirk's shoulders, rolled him over fiercely, pulled his legs open, positioned himself and THRUST, sheathing himself with one long movement. Fully inserted, he lay still for a moment, savouring his position. Kirk wriggled against him, trying to drive the swollen rod deeper into himself, his eyes fixed on Spock's face, love and triumph fighting for supremacy in his eyes.
"Fuck me." He could say it now that Spock had taken him. He smiled. "The Ceremony is over... but..." as he suddenly realised that he knew the words of the ritual, he quoted them. "I am still a field waiting for the seed to fall on me. I am an empty field hungry for the seed that will fill me and make me useful. Fill me, my Priest... my beloved..."
He wasn't sure for a moment if Spock would respond in kind, or if for the Vulcan the words of the ceremony were too special for everyday use.
The Spock said, "My seed is waiting for the field to be ready for it."
"The field is ready now."
"Then I sow my seed and ask for a good harvest."
He began to thrust steadily; Kirk responded avidly, aware that Spock was making no attempt to satisfy him and knowing what that meant. Spock was moaning in ecstasy with every thrust; then with one last hard thrust he shuddered into climax. He lay still for some moments, recovering, then withdrew gently.
"I too am a field waiting for the seed that will fill me," he whispered.
"My seed is ready," Kirk answered softly. He positioned himself, and took possession of his Vulcan.
Spock moaned again, writhing against Kirk's steady thrusting, bringing Kirk to a most satisfying climax.
They lay still for a long time, then Spock murmured, "Jim... Hazan... I am glad that you wish to recreate the Ceremony. It shows me that I pleased you... even the first time."
"Very much," Kirk replied softly. He kissed Spock lightly. "I wondered if you would object."
"Hazan and Hazan Priest seldom lie together after the ceremony is over, but if they do each time is a reaffirmation of the ceremony, My father will be pleased."
Kirk sat up. "I'll want you again, soon, but until we're ready... we didn't finish the tranya, Spock. Let's get it, then just lie here talking for a while."
Spock kissed his forehead. "All right."
They finished the tranya, and talked. Gradually the kisses punctuating their conversation grew more and more passionate until Spock was lying panting as his Human explored his ear, finding Spock delightfully responsive.
At last Spock lay impaled by Kirk's demanding organ, surrendering to his Human's desire. He was where he wanted to be; and he was utterly content.
First printed in Duet VI, (1981?)