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Jim stood under the hot spray of his shower, leaning against the wall as he soaped himself. His muscles ached. His brain ached. It had been a Long Fucking Day. As his hand drifted to wash his cock and balls, his mind skittered away from masturbation -- which would be his usual shower routine -- but it was too late. The idea had come, and now he shuddered to touch himself. He'd tried as desperately as he could to desexualize the washing but now his hand moved away and he choked back a shuddering sob. He felt violated. She, Janice Lester, had been in this body. What had she done to it? There were unaccounted for minutes, hours even. And he... he had been inside of her. His entire soul felt violated by it.

 

Without even a moment to turn off the spray Jim fell with a thud to his knees outside of the shower, beside the toilet, and retched. When he finished emptying his stomach, another sob racked his body and he felt himself beginning to shiver on the cold tile floor. Whether from the damp and loss of heat or from the horror of the memory, he did not know. He could still feel her, an echo of being trapped inside the soft curves, the weak muscles and slender bones, the sort of body he would rather conquest than live in. It was wrong on a primitive level. He'd wanted to shed his own skin, to do bodily damage to himself -- anything to get out.

 

He hugged the toilet, his head resting against a bicep as he let out shuddering breaths and tried to centre himself. A bicep against his cheek. A muscle. He was well muscled, he reassured himself. He went to the gym regularly, possibly more than was healthy. He was male. He was male. He was virile. He was a man. The mantra chanted over and over in his mind, but the old doubts, her fucking cursed old doubts, surged up into his mind.

 

 

 

“You're no man!” she'd laughed gleefully at him. “Why, look at you. You can't even get hard any more. A little boy with a little boy dick. Look at how smooth you are. Did you even go through puberty?” she'd chided. “Almost no hair.” She'd smoothed her hand over his bare chest. What he'd been proud of at first -- a sleek hairlessness that had accentuated his musculature, now humiliated him. “No, not even a boy.” She decided. “A little girl, with a little girl clitty and a little cunt in back.”

 

 

 

Jim retched again into the toilet. There was nothing left to expel. Bile burned through his throat and he vaguely processed the knocking on the adjoining bathroom door.

 

“Captain. Is everything alright?” His first officer's muffled voice drifted through.

 

Great. Just what he fucking wanted right now. Why the hell not? He couldn't bring himself to answer the Vulcan. What would he say? “Yes, I'm alright, carry on.” Ha! He was vomiting and sobbing on their shared bathroom floor while his month's hot water allotment rolled down the drain because he couldn't care enough to move from his semi-feotal position to contend with it.

 

The door beeped as Spock overrode the locking mechanism and allowed himself in to check on the situation. “Cap--” his eyes met with the red-rimmed ones of his Captain where he crouched naked and vulnerable on the floor. His brows rose in surprise and he was about to ask what was wrong when he truly registered the red-rimmed eyes (he'd heard the sobbing) and the scent of vomit (which he'd also thought he'd heard through the door), the running shower, and the uncontrollable shivers that ripped through his friend. “Jim.” his voice said more softly. Jim simply gazed at Spock with raw vulnerability and a silent voice that called please, someone help me.

 

Without a further comment, Spock stepped past Jim to the shower and shut off the water. He flushed the toilet as Jim still clung to it as if to a life raft, and he sat himself down on the floor in full uniform, wrapping a towel around Jim's wet and shivering body, rubbing him through the terry-cloth as much to soothe as to dry and warm. No words were shared for long moments. They weren't necessary. The two knew each other almost as well as they knew themselves, though they rarely had to speak of it. Jim simply lay his forehead against his arm, still wrapped around the top rim of the toilet, his eyes closed, and allowed Spock to idly card fingers through his hair.

 

Finally, Spock broached the topic that hung heavily between them. “Jim.” he said softly to the man crouched before him. “Who was Janice Lester to you?”

 

An involuntary shiver assailed Jim again and he tightened his closed eyes. Spock, don't... He thought futily. But if he didn't speak of it to Spock, who would he speak of it to? Bones? No.... Bones was open-minded, but this... this.... Jim suddenly was reminded of Spock's reticence to speak of pon farr. How could he have been so annoyed with his friend, then? He recalled his own trite words about 'the birds and the bees'. Right. Because that's what sex was like for actual sentient beings.

 

“Janice... was my key holder.” There. He'd said it aloud into the silent room. For a while, Spock simply let the words rest between them.

 

“What....” Spock wet his lips... nervously?... in an uncharacteristically human way. He was unused to lack of knowledge, and this conversation felt so dire, so essential. “What is a key holder, Jim?” he asked with quiet reverence. Whatever this Difficult Thing was, Spock would not judge.

 

Jim sighed. How to explain? How to explain it even to a human without coming across as sick, let alone a Vulcan?

 

“When I was at the Academy,” Jim began, “I had a reputation. One which you are familiar with now. I was, I am, always have been -- popular, with the ladies. I have an easy time getting what I want.” he said matter-of-factly. “I don't say it to brag. Maybe sometimes --” he added with a rueful, slight smile, then sobered. “But not this time. It's just a fact. I know I'm good looking, and I could get what I want. And I wanted, Spock. I wanted it all. Too much. It was too much.

 

“I knew it then -- It was interfering with my studies. I had to wise up, mature. I had to focus.” He said this with conviction. He was no longer leaning against the toilet so heavily, but sitting up, with one hand still on the bowl to steady him. He still trembled with cold, nausea, and spiralling emotions, but the light of fierce conviction was in his eyes. “I've always been -- exploratory -- in my sexuality. I hold that there's nothing wrong with it. It's healthy, most of the time. So I sought what I thought would be a healthy, if unconventional solution to my problem, my lack of focus.

 

“I knew of Janice through G-” Kirk stopped himself. He'd known Janice through Gary Mitchel, and felt a pang for his deceased friend. It didn't seem right to drop his name now, in such an intimate conversation. “I knew of her through a friend. She was his Mistress. That is to say they were... dating... in a sense.” Jim struggled to find the words to explain this to Spock. “Do you... do you know about BDSM?” he asked, a bit overwhelmed by the depth and breadth he might wind up explaining to his reticent Vulcan.

 

Spock eyed his friend curiously. “I am cursorily aware of the principles, yes. One cannot spend so much time on Earth and among humans without... encountering, in some capacity, such ideas. I admit that I only have a very shallow understanding of such practices, but I am familiar with the concept and the acronym.”

 

Jim let out a steadying breath. “Good. Ok. That's somewhere to start.” he nodded to himself. “So Janice was... a friend's Mistress. I knew about their dynamic and it never bothered me. I knew that as part of their engagement, he was kept in a chastity device for long periods of time. When two people engage in such play, the one who holds the key is the Key Holder.”

 

“Janice was your friend's Key Holder.” Spock said in understanding, and turned the idea over in his mind. Long term chastity. Unnecessary for a Vulcan whose urge to mate happened but once every seven years. An illogical practice for one of his kind. But as a means to control a human's rampant libido? Perhaps the idea had merit. He would need to consider it further at a more appropriate time.

 

“Yes.” Jim said with a feeling of shared understanding. “I don't know why they did it, but I assume that for them it was like for... for most people, I suppose. A sexual game of sorts. I don't know for certain though what they got out of it. I shouldn't speculate.” he chastised himself, then got his mind back on track. “So. I thought about this thing he had with Janice, this chastity and key holding business. It seemed like a good idea at the time.” He almost laughed at himself using the cliched line, foretelling the worst of ideas. “I went to her and we made arrangements.”

 

“And as you said initially, she did for you what she did for your friend.”

 

“Yes.” Jim said with a sense of some relief. He'd never told a soul about the experience. It was so full of shame, humiliation, and abuse.

 

Spock took in the state of Jim and their surroundings. The shaking and the retching. This had been no sexual 'game'. “But you were discontent with the arrangement.”

 

Discontent with the arrangement. Jim's eyes closed again and he sighed. “Yes.”

 

Spock observed the broken man before him. He had the urge to reach out, to touch, to comfort, but he did not know how. Should he again stroke the hair? Stroke the back? Should he enfold Jim within his arms? Or did Jim need space? What were the boundaries of their friendship? What was the protocol to interact with his closest friend, a human male, during a discussion about sexual abuses while his friend curled naked on their floor? Spock had no answers to these questions. “What did she do?” to you.

 

“She made me... less than a man.”

 

“Jim.” Spock nearly whispered, his voice an aural caress. “How could any being make you less?”

 

Jim felt a bright, warm emotion lance through his heart at such an intimate question, and he blindly clasped Spock's hand in his own as he squeezed it hard, his eyes closed against threatening tears. “In the same way that you make me more.”

 

The men were silent for some minutes then, content to simply be with one another. Jim's hand did not loosen its grip upon Spock's, and Spock did not mind at all. Jim gathered himself, resolved himself to continue. “She would call me things.” he said with a surprisingly steady voice. “Humiliating things.” His face coloured slightly with the memory of it. “She compared me to children, to women, to... little girls. And now,” he tried, failed, to suppress a shudder. “Now I've been a woman. To be trapped in her.” he grimaced.

 

“You are no child, and no woman, James Kirk.” Spock said sternly. “I saw your mind. Even when you were inside of a woman, you were a man.” He said this with such conviction, such forthrightness, that Jim believed him, took solace in his firm resolution.

 

“Yes.” he agreed, convincing himself. “I am. I always have been a man. I've shown it. Proved it.”

 

“You need not prove your masculinity, Jim.” Spock said softly, and saw Jim flinch. The endless stream of female conquests took on a new light to Spock in that moment. The relentless hours in the gym. The posturing, strutting facade that Jim wore in front of others. “It is with you when you eat, it is with you when you sleep. It is with you when you cry out in your vulnerability, naked on the bathroom floor. I still see a man.”

 

“Thank you.” Jim whispered, and did not meet Spock's eyes.

 

Spock hesitated with the question burning in his mind, but tentatively decided to follow through on it. “Why did you allow her to reduce you, Jim? It seems incongruous with what I know of your demeanour.”

 

Jim gave a short, humourless laugh. “That's just it, isn't it? I let it happen to my self. Hell, I sought it out. And when I quit, she let me quit. Even if she hadn't, I could have cut the device off. A bit of plastic and metal -- not impenetrable materials. I could have removed it myself, had I been determined. I could have said something to her, told her to stop. Renegotiated the terms. Maybe it's why I never told anyone about it. It was my own damned fault.”

 

Jim collected himself and carried on. “To some extent I don't know why I let it go on the way it did for so long. But a part of it, maybe a significant part, is it worked, damn it. For the first time probably since puberty, I wasn't chasing every skirt I set eyes on. I was thriving, Spock.” he said with energy, his eyes sparkling with strength. “I was demolishing my coursework. I was going somewhere. Why? Because I could focus. So she hurt my pride. I told myself it was worth it. I told myself I'd been through worse before and I'd be through worse later. Plus, what was I to do -- tell her I wasn't man enough to carry on with it? Give her one more bit of ammunition?” he asked bitterly.

 

“She did more than 'hurt your pride'.” Spock said with an irritated defensive edge to his voice. “She hurt your very katra.”

 

“Did she?” Kirk asked. “Or did I do it to myself?” he shook his head, finding no answers within himself. “Anyway, eventually it came to an end like all things. I was shipping out, and I couldn't very well be on a star ship with a cage on my dick and no key, could I? As soon as the thing was off and I was free again, if anything I redoubled my efforts to sleep with every woman in the galaxy. I had to prove to myself... that I was still there, Spock. Still a man. Still vital.” He let out a choked laugh. “I'm not feeling too vital now.” he said with bitter irony, acknowledging his weakened state.

 

“You are vital.” Spock insisted with startling ferocity. He gripped Jim's shoulder in an iron grip and gave him a small shake, fingers digging into pliant flesh with his conviction. “I cannot tolerate you lessening your self. You do yourself a disservice. I do not care if you are physically unfit nor emotionally unstable. You are Jim Kirk, and your inherent vitality and masculinity needs no justification or proof. I do not accept your illogical insecurity in this.”

 

Jim stared with wide eyes at his friend. “You believe that. You really think so much of me, Spock.” he said in wonderment. “After all my meaningless trysts, empty one night stands... you don't see me as a womaniser, do you?”

 

“To reduce you to such a label is beyond my capabilities.” Spock admitted quietly.

 

Jim felt a surge of warm affection for his friend. “I'd stop if I could, you know?” he mentioned suddenly, looking at Spock earnestly, wanting him to understand. “The whole damn cycle. Of wanting, of using, of leaving unfulfilled.”

 

“Why is it you cannot?” Spock held his gaze with a palpable intensity.

 

“I don't know, Spock. I don't know. Something's wrong with me. Just wrong, inside.” he winced.

 

“I cannot believe that.”

 

“Maybe... maybe I'm just searching. For someone who's... enough.” He wanted to say more, but he shivered involuntarily.

 

“Perhaps we should get you out of the damp and cold, off a tile floor in the middle of the night, and to bed.” Spock suggested.

 

“Logical.” Jim half-teased, rising unsteadily to his feet. Spock's hand was at his elbow without thought, steadying him and escorting him to his room, settling the naked form into the covers of his bed as if it were something they'd always done, as if it were something any friend would do without hesitation. Spock once more carded his fingers through Jim's hair soothingly, and Jim felt his eyes drifting shut of their own accord. He was exhausted, both physically and emotionally.

 

“Rest, Jim.” Spock said quietly and waved the lights to a barely discernible dimness, rising to leave his Captain to rest alone.

 

But Jim's hand shot out and clasped Spock's wrist before he could leave, and Jim whispered a vulnerable “Stay?”

 

They didn't need the lights to know they were sharing a gaze in the dark. “Very well.” Spock acquiesced, and fully uniformed he settled himself beneath Jim's covers on his narrow bunk, enfolding the naked human in his warm arms as if he weren't Vulcan and avoidant of touch, as if he were born to do just this. Unthinkingly, he pressed a kiss to the base of Jim's neck, flooding Jim for just that moment with thoughts and feelings, questions that he'd not asked himself before and would not allow himself to ask now. Unashamed, he leaned into that warm strength surrounding him, and simply allowed himself to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn't long until shore leave was granted after the clusterfuck that had been Janice Lestor, and it wasn't long until Spock silently observed his captain slipping back on old, familiar habits. They hadn't spoken of the night of quiet revelations in the shared bathroom. No, they'd gone back to their routine, as they always returned to their routines. But now, for the first time, Spock saw Jim's conquests of women while on leave in a new light. Before, he'd attributed it simply to a healthy human sexual appetite and need of companionship on the part of Jim. Now he saw it as decidedly unhealthy, a behaviour that Jim could not himself control, but that he did not desire or respect in himself. So Spock listened quietly that first night when Jim had returned to his quarters at 02:13 with a female companion. He heard the familiar sounds of passion that the twin portals of the shared bathroom could not quite dampen. And it was then, as he lay on his bed getting no rest, that he decided tomorrow night would be different. He would not allow his friend to continue to damage himself. The only question was -- if not for his conquests, what was there for Jim to reaffirm his masculinity? What did Spock of Vulcan possibly have to offer?

 

 

 

 

 

Jim turned his laughing eyes up at the last moment as he stood on the transporter pad, joking with Bones. He had a sixth sense for when Spock was around, and sure enough he walked through the room right at that moment.

 

“Mr. Kyle.” Spock caught the technician's attention. “If you will delay one moment.”

 

“Spock!” Jim said with a smile, as Bones rolled his eyes. He was ready to get this show on the road. Leave it to the Vulcan to need something now of all times, to disrupt shore leave. Just because he didn't indulge in leisure time, didn't mean --

 

“Ca -- Jim. Would it be acceptable were I to join you for your evening activities?”

 

Bones gaped and tried to pick his sagging jaw off the floor before he caught flies.

 

Jim merely grinned. He always enjoyed time with Spock. In the last three years, he'd probably only spent leave time of any sort with Spock on two occasions. He felt a pleasant excitement lace through him at the prospect of having both his friends join him for once. “Of course, Spock. You're always welcome.”

 

“Very well.” Spock said formally, stepping onto the pad to join the party.

 

“As you were, Mr. Kyle.” Kirk encouraged, and felt the characteristic sensation of the beaming device activated.

 

 

 

Jim's chosen establishment was noisy, crowded, dark, and foul-smelling. Spock should really have anticipated this; it was a typical bar. Spock tightened his shields both against the psychic onslaught of too many humans (inebriated humans at that) in one space, and tightened his resolve against Bones' good-natured back slaps and encouragement that Spock “let his hair down”. The trio settled and Jim gave his friend a small, intimate smile meant only for him. “So, Spock, finally decide to indulge in a little illogical leisure time?” he teased gently.

 

“It would appear so.” Spock answered, intentionally evasively. Indeed his reasons for being here were neither illogical nor leisurely, but to admit to his true purpose would almost certainly only lead to confrontation. Already Jim was all strut and flair, his Starship Captain facade firmly in place over the more reserved creature Spock only saw in private, during times of quiet and solitude, such as during their shared chess games.

 

“What're you havin'?” the doctor's obnoxious southern drawl intruded upon Spock's space. “Don't tell me that's water?”

 

“Very well, Doctor, I shall not.”

 

Bones rolled his eyes and sighed heavily as Jim just chuckled. “For God's sake, Spock, this is a bar. People come here to let loose a little. Would do you some good to loosen up. Pull that gigantic stick out you--”

 

“Bones! Bones.” Jim interrupted with a smile. “If Mr. Spock wants to drink water, he can drink water. It's his shore leave too.” McCoy muttered a reluctant capitulation as Jim added, “Besides, I'm sure they have something with chocolate in it here if we get more adventurous later.” The sparkle in Jim's eyes was a perfect counterpoint to Spock's alarmed, arched brow. Just where had Jim gotten that information? Spock searched his memory of the last three years for a time when he would have inadvertently consumed chocolate around his captain, or when he would have mentioned that such was an intoxicant, and could find no explanation for his knowledge. Jim remained a brilliant enigma, as always.

 

 

 

The evening began propitiously enough. Spock was able to engage in his typical banter with McCoy, to the amusement of Kirk. Conversation ranged to a variety of topics, and Spock was beginning to feel a sense of assuredness in his plan of distraction. Jim would simply not find the time to involve himself in another empty sexual conquest, because the trio would continue their conversation well into the night, and then depart, surely. Spock should have known better than to indulge in illogical sentiments such as false confidence. For not twenty minutes into the event, and McCoy was drifting away from them and toward a beautiful brunette that had been mutually observing the doctor from across the room.

 

The trio had come untethered, and Spock found himself with only Jim, to continue his vigil alone. As Jim, himself, surveyed a petite blonde to his left, Spock again was struck by how absurd and futile his endeavour seemed to be. Interference by an outside party in the romantic or sexual inclinations of another was strictly taboo, he knew, not just in human culture but in a wide variety of cultures. He was well aware of the crude term “cock block” and had never before imagined such a term could refer to himself, he who would prefer to stay well away from courtship rituals in general. Yet he could not shake his resolution in this as his eidetic memory replayed and replayed Jim's vulnerable state as he confided “I'd stop if I could....”

 

“Jim.” Spock stopped Jim's incoherent rambling with a single word.

 

“and I -- Yeah, Spock, what's up?” Jim's attention refocused on his friend, Spock who was now in his rare form of Speaker, rather than passive listener. When Spock spoke, Jim was always excited to hear.

 

“Let us leave this establishment. We could proceed back to the ship, or perhaps to some other more fulfilling locale.” I'd stop if I could...The whole damn cycle. Of wanting, of using, of leaving unfulfilled.

 

But the key word of fulfilment was lost on Jim, or perhaps he did not want to hear it. His previously affable countenance closed off in a slight tightening of his deltoids, a hardening line of the lips. “You go ahead, Spock. I know this sort of place isn't really your thing, but I kind of have other plans for ending my evening.” Jim did not need to describe those plans. The pair had known each other for three years now. The plans were a habit that was rarely broken. Spock opened his mouth to protest, uncertain as to what he would next say, but the moment was lost. “You go on ahead Spock. I'll talk to you in the morning.” Jim gave a half hearted smile and made a quick retreat, avoiding a verbal altercation with his logical friend, as he would undoubtedly lose. In two strides the bravado of the Starship Captain was firmly in place and his slow smile was aimed fully at the petite blonde as Spock watched helplessly from his perch on his stool.

 

 

 

Spock did not go on ahead, but instead trailed well behind, his heart heavy with regret and self-chastisement. Jim had beamed back with the blonde. Now Spock lay on his bed as he had the night before -- on his back and with hands folded loosely over his stomach, as he awaited the inevitable muffled sounds of passion to filter through the shared bathroom doors. Or perhaps, he mused, the blonde would be one of the quiet ones, and he would simply hear nothing at all. He lay there for some time, contemplating his failure to act, and wondering whether Jim was finding the fulfilment he desired, or whether Jim was desperately in need of help. The naked, crying Jim on the bathroom floor was so entirely incongruent with the charismatic entity that had swept the blonde away. Human psychology was a tangled web that he did not comprehend.

 

 

 

 

 

Jim's head swam with maybe too much alcohol, and the brilliant sensations this woman was sending through his body. He moaned deeply as his rock-hard cock disappeared again into her soft, moist mouth. “Oh, God, Sherrie”

 

She came up, releasing him with a wet smack of lips. “Shirley.” Then descended again.

 

“Shirley.” Jim corrected through a white haze of pleasure. Sherrie, Shirley, whatever. She was fantastic.

 

Jim writhed as the head of his cock nudged the back of her throat and she swallowed, all the while her free hand was doing delightful things to his balls -- rolling, caressing, giving the gentlest pressure. How could she be so skilled? Maybe she hadn't drunk quite as much, Jim mused, or maybe he was easy when he was drunk. As she pressed firmly against his perineum he made a desperate whining sound. God he loved when a woman touched him there. They did it so rarely, but when one did, it turned him into an incoherent puddle.

 

“You like that, do you?” she teased, giving her mouth a rest as she stroked him firmly with one hand, pressing his taint with the other and rubbing, firm but gentle nudging motions that shot through his body and against the prostate inside.

 

An incoherent “Ah!” was Jim's only response, his fists curling in the sheets as his eyes closed tightly to the brilliant sensations. Yes, just a little more, please just keep going, almost there, almost, almost, almost....

 

And then her finger wandered back to tease just so lightly on his anus, and Jim started to come back from erotic haze as concern flickered through his arousal. “Hey, hey.” he warned as he squirmed a bit away. “Getting a little adventurous there. Back off.”

 

“Really? Don't be such a prude.” the girl laughed, and wet her index finger liberally with spit, pressing the tip once more to his entrance to tease, her other hand still working his shaft. “You'll like it, I promise.”

 

Jim squirmed away again. “Listen, no. Stop that. I liked what you were doing before. Keep doing that, kay? Or I'll do you now. We can switch.”

 

The blonde simply gave a light, amused laugh and took his straining erection in her mouth once more, temporarily whiting out Jim's coherent thought processes as he lay back again with a gasp of pleasure. It was with a shock that he felt the finger penetrate him all at once and his eyes flew open, his body jerking up to a sitting position and away from the intruding digit.

 

“What the FUCK?” He asked in a rage. “No means fucking no.” He quivered with adrenaline, rage, fear, and violation warring for his attention.

 

“God damn, fine.” she said in irritation. “It was just a finger, jeeze.”

 

“Out! Get out.” He said coldly, shoving her off his bed unceremoniously and pulling up a sheet to cover his lap.

 

“Seriously?”

 

“Seriously. Get the fuck out of my room and off my ship or I'll have security escort you out.” Jim assumed the hard lines and countenance of his military training, giving her the same stare he'd give a Klingon.

 

Embarrassed or furious, he couldn't tell which, the woman gathered her clothes and dressed hastily, grabbing her bag and escorting herself out without a word. Only when his door was firmly locked did he allow himself to leave his refuge and stalk into the bathroom, turning the shower on as hot as he could stand and leaning against the wall as he tried to get his hammering heartbeat back to manageable levels.

 

 

 

Spock's attention was roused. What was going on over there? Moans and shouts of passion of various sorts were the norm, but these were not such sounds. This was yelling. This was confrontational, certainly. He was uncertain of the last time he'd heard his captain's voice raised in anger. His brow creased as he struggled to make out what was being said, but whatever had provoked the argument had been missed. He was only aware of a command to leave, followed minutes later by the start of a shower. Spock stared searchingly at the ceiling as his mind raced with such information. What had happened? What would cause Jim to shout at one of his bed companions, something he hadn't observed in three years? What could compel him to expel her from his quarters before morning?

 

He stood and had walked across his quarters to the shared bathroom without conscious thought, surprising himself. He called through the door. “Jim. Are you alright? I heard raised voices.”

 

The uncontrolled shaking in Jim's voice did nothing to assuage his concern. “I'm fine, Spock.”

 

Jim leaned his head back against the shower wall. Go away, Spock, he thought desperately. Stop seeing me like this. Damn. He knew that Vulcans had good hearing and that the divide between their quarters wasn't completely sound-proofed, but what all had Spock heard? He flushed from head to toe in humiliation at the prospect that Spock may have heard him whining like some teen-aged girl from a PSA that “no means no”. He was a grown man, for God's sake. Frustrated, he shut off the water and dried himself perfunctorily, swiping the towel only once around genitals and ass and then carefully avoiding the whole area. As unaroused as he was now from the ordeal, he still felt the ache of blue-balls from the denial of his imminent climax. Great. He bustled back into his room, leaving the towel on the floor and knowing he was unlikely to sleep at all that night. So much for shore leave.

 

Jim didn't even turn when he heard his shared door open to admit Spock. He sighed heavily as he pulled out fresh boxers, some sweatpants, an old t-shirt, and began hastily dressing with his back to his friend. His voice was still unsteady as he half-scolded, “I said I'm fine, Spock. Go back to bed.”

 

“You do not sound fine, Jim.” Spock said stubbornly. “Nor did you sound fine seven point eight minutes ago when I heard raised voices coming from your quarters and an order that your guest vacate them. In the three years I have shared these joint rooms with you I have heard any number of sounds resulting from your liaisons, but I have until now not heard your voice raised in anger, nor the current unsteadiness when you speak. Something has occurred, and if she has harmed you, I would think that we have surely shared enough between us by now that you would feel comfortable confiding in me.”

 

Jim took a deep breath and some of the tension released from his shoulders. Spock would say something like that, wouldn't he? That emotionally manipulative bastard, he thought ruefully. The worst part was that it worked. Once again Jim had to ask himself: if he couldn't confide in Spock, who could he confide in?

 

“Spock,” he said more softly, more evenly, “Look, I'm tired, I'm upset, and I'm half drunk. Can we just go to bed and talk about this some other time?”

 

“I do not know. Can we?” Spock countered. “If we do not speak of it now, will we speak of it another time?”

 

Jim sighed and rubbed his face with his hands tiredly, finally turning around to stare into the eyes of his friend. They both knew the answer to Spock's question. If they didn't talk now, they wouldn't talk at all, because Jim was a master of emotional avoidance. “You keep catching me at a bad time, Spock.” he said with a half smile, trying and failing to diffuse some of the tension.

 

“So it would seem.” Spock said levelly. For some moments, they simply stood in the room, separate and unspeaking.

 

“Look, Shelly just was a little more adventurous than I was and I lost my temper. That's all.”

 

Alarm bells started to ring in Spock's mind. What Jim was saying had the sound of untruth. “She was more sexually adventurous than you?” he asked. “Just days ago you had described to me that your sexual inclinations were exploratory in nature, and that you considered such an attitude to be healthy. I have seen you liaise with women from every corner of our galaxy for three years, and I have not heard of you turning one away in anger.”

 

Jim closed his eyes against Spock's tacit accusations. This wasn't happening. If he refused to acknowledge -- Then what? He and Spock would stand here silently indefinitely?

 

“Spock --” Jim began, but his words led nowhere. He only searched his friend's gaze beseechingly.

 

“Jim.” Spock answered seriously.

 

“Just let it go. You wanted me to come back to the room alone tonight, and I didn't listen to you. Now it turns out you were right after all. So you won this time, okay? You win, Spock. She wasn't right for me and I don't need a babysitter.” He stalked across his room and back again, pacing as he rambled defensively. He was frustrated. At Spock. At himself. At Shelly. Sharon. Whatever. He was being denied the one thing he needed this leave -- to feel vital again, to be the Starship Captain, to feel alive. But the redhead last night hadn't done it this time. And when he'd gone back for seconds, Sherrie had been a disaster. The last thing he wanted was someone trying to penetrate him --

 

 

 

Janice's teasing fingers skirting along his crack, her mocking voice “I can give you some relief, Jimmy.”

 

“Don't call me Jimmy.” he whispered, shivering. “I'm fine.”

 

“You're not fine. When's the last time you came?”

 

“Saturday.”

 

“Saturday. With this on? What, are you having wet dreams?” She laughed robustly. “Oh, it's too rich, Jimmy. My sweet little boy, creaming himself like his balls have just dropped. Let me help you, Jimmy.”

 

“No. No penetration. That point's non-negotiable.”

 

“Suit yourself.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And before, the strong hands holding him down, forcing his frail, hunger-weakened frame against the wood table as the guard took what he wanted. A barely one year post-pubescent Jim screaming in pain and humiliation, vulnerable and helpless to his rape on that God-forsaken colony....

 

 

 

Jim's breaths had become ragged as he stared into the distance, remembering. His heart rate that he'd just barely controlled in the shower sped wildly out of control. Suddenly, Spock was there with his warm hand curled around his bicep. “Jim.” he called, his voice full of concern. “What is wrong? What did she do to you?”

 

She? For a split second, Jim stared at Spock in confusion, wondering what the topic of the conversation even was. Right. The blonde. The blonde he'd kicked out of his room. And suddenly he couldn't hold the words back if he tried. They came tumbling out of his mouth before he could give it conscious thought. “She tried to penetrate me.” His face coloured bright red in shame as he looked away from his friend, but Spock's hand was steady and firm, like an anchor.

 

“And you find this act... distasteful? Undesirable?”

 

Undesirable?” Jim gave a short, humourless laugh. “I told the bitch no and she shoved herself inside of me anyway. She's lucky I don't report her for sexual assault.”

 

Spock's eyes widened at the revelation. “If someone has violated your consent, Jim, I --”

 

Jim saved the statement away. “No, no. No, Spock. Just no. I was drunk. She was probably drunk. The situation got a little out of control and I got angry. I'm just --” he was about to say 'sensitive' but he shuddered at the word when applied to himself. “It's just kind of a trigger for me.”

 

“A trigger.” Spock repeated. “This has happened before.”

 

And damn the Vulcan for being so perceptive. Jim bit his tongue against saying another word, feeling as if he'd already said too much.

 

Spock saw the emotional walls erecting around his friend as Jim pulled away from his grasp and turned to face a different direction once more. “Who has violated you thus?” he asked with rising concern. “Who has desecrated this sacred act?”

 

“Sacred act? Spock, I don't know what the Vulcan stance is on anal sex but believe me, I have no desire to bend over and take it like a little bitch.”

 

“Your words are vulgar.”

 

“Yeah? Well ass rape is vulgar. Get over it.”

 

Spock was shocked. He was shocked by the increasing number of revelations about his closest friend and his experiences, and shocked about the attitude Jim harboured about one of the most intimate ways in which one could join with another. He tried to focus on Jim's story, not his attitudes. “Who --”

 

“Does it matter?” Jim asked, his voice pleading.

 

“It matters.” Spock answered adamantly. “You are my closest friend and someone has caused you great pain. That matters.”

 

Jim felt a sudden well of emotion lump in his throat at Spock's words. He'd not told anyone about the rape. With everything else that had happened at the time, it had just seemed like One More Thing. But to hear from someone, with such conviction, that it mattered. “It happened a long time ago.” he said thickly.

 

“When?”

 

“On Tarsus.”

 

“Oh, Jim.” Spock's arms came around him, Jim's back to Spock's front, as Spock simply held him quietly for a moment. Spock knew of Tarsus. They'd had that discussion before and at great length. He knew of the genocide, the starvation, many of the horrors Jim had seen there and had discussed with very few others. That this was just one more atrocity on top of all he'd already been made to endure -- it was unjust, and Spock's katra rebelled against it. Spock recalled Kirk's words from before: Something's wrong with me. Just wrong, inside. Spock had not believed something was “wrong inside” with his friend. Jim seemed so strong most of the time. So essential. But now he began to see the truth. A part of Jim had been broken long ago.

 

“It's in the past.” Jim said, more to reassure him self than to reassure Spock.

 

“It is not.” Spock said simply, but without judgement. “It is with you still. But it can be healed, as all emotional wounds can heal.”

 

Jim turned in Spock's arms to face him, surprised to hear his stoic friend speaking with ease of emotional wounds. “What do you mean?”

 

Spock let his arms drop from Jim's shoulders and paused before he answered, to gather his thoughts. This was uncertain ground upon which he would now tread. “In the time before Surak, my people were forever at war. The men were most commonly the warriors; the women took shelter in order to raise the young. The fires of pon farr and our culture of arranged bondings in our youth assured physical joining according to the seven year cycle. This allowed for a continuation of our race. But the act of mating alone is not sufficient in defining ones mate. One needs... camaraderie, friendship, trust, and brotherhood. One needs a being upon which they can depend. In these cases where male warriors would become so much to one another, a sacred bond was formed. We have a word for such a bond: It is called t'hy'la.”

 

Kirk tisked and rolled his eyes. “Oh for God's sake, Spock, it's called being gay. I took sexuality 101, and I'm sure as hell not gay.” he said acerbically.

 

Spock narrowed his eyes in uncharacteristic affront. “I am not merely describing what it is to be a homosexual, Jim. I am familiar with the concept and it is not the same as t'hy'la. If you prefer not to hear of my culture then do not do me the disservice of asking, only to mock me.”

 

Spock's words gave Jim pause. “Alright...” he said cautiously, seating himself gingerly on the edge of his bed. “Go on.”

 

“One's t'hy'la is a comrade at arms, a brother, a closest and most cherished friend. At times their closeness would be such that yes, they would form a formal bond with one another, and would ease the burning of each other's Time. But what is essential for the purpose of this conversation is the fact that such a sharing of bodies in such an intimate way.... It is considered the most intimate act of all, and as such it is treated almost as sacred, with reverence. To allow oneself the experience of such vulnerability is a great gift: to him that is penetrated, as well as to the one who penetrates. A safe space must be created, and the t'hy'lara must share complete trust. For when one is touched in such a manner, even a Vulcan well versed in the ways of Surak is not immune to the deep and primal emotions that are stirred. Vulnerability is the seat of all emotion, and to be so-touched is to become wholly naked, and as in pon farr, stripped of logic and control.”

 

“Okay...” Jim allowed uncertainly. “I get that this is... special... to you.” He shifted in extreme discomfort about the direction of this conversation. “But you said something about healing emotional wounds.”

 

“Yes. For the emotions which you experienced during your trauma are imprinted upon your flesh as they are on your katra. A healing touch upon your flesh with one you trust implicitly, in the context of a safe and sacred space, may be used to release said emotions and to create a space for new ones.”

 

Jim's eyes widened a bit in horror as it dawned on him what Spock was suggesting. His expression firmed into one of denial. “No. Absolutely not.”

 

“I did not ask to do this for you, only said that it could be done.” Spock offered simply. “It is not something I would offer to just anyone, but I would offer my assistance to you, were you to accept it. I do not take it lightly, Jim. Such an act would take monumental strength of will and implicit trust. I can accept if you do not desire such an action, let alone with me specifically.”

 

Jim's mind reeled with the information he'd been given. Spock knew just how to throw him off kilter. Just seconds ago he'd given an emphatic 'no', and now what... was he actually considering this? No, damn it, no! He insisted to himself. But he could not truly let go of the idea. Spock was someone that he did trust implicitly. He'd admitted that to himself long ago. It was why he'd been so certain Spock could help him, would help him, when he'd been trapped inside the body of another. It was the reason he'd confided any of these ugly truths to another. These were things he hadn't even told Bones. He trusted Spock... but could he trust him with something like this? “I'm not --” he licked his lips nervously. “I'm not ready.”

 

“Indeed you are not.” Spock agreed. “You are shaken from this evening's events, you are tired, and you are intoxicated. Even if you had asked, I would not attempt such an act with you now. Not to mention I myself would require meditation before undertaking such an act.”

 

“Okay.” Jim said, feeling a bit relieved. Good. So they were agreed nothing would happen tonight. Had they agreed to anything else? No, but Jim had implied that he was actually considering this.

 

Spock forestalled any further rash decisions by his emotionally compromised friend. “Do not decide anything now, Jim. If I leave you to your rest now, will you be alright?”

 

They shared a long look as Jim swallowed thickly, recalling the night Spock had spent with his arms wrapped around him in the bed. “I'll be alright.” he assured him.

 

“Very well. Good night, Jim.” he said his farewell as he made his retreat through the shared bathroom.

 

“Night, Spock.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim buzzed at Spock's door furiously. It was 3-and-something-odd-hours in the morning, he was drunk, and he was pissed. He'd tried to get with another woman that night, and thankfully Spock hadn't followed him to the bar as a cock-block that night. He was hell bent and determined to fuck someone tonight. And he hadn't been able to do it. Last night had unsettled him. Uncomfortable memories, one after another, had been cropping up lately. He'd always done a pretty fine job of repress, repress, repress but he wasn't Vulcan, and repression only got him so far.

 

“Spock.” Jim said as soon as Spock finally opened his door, quirking an eyebrow as if to say Are you aware of the illogically early hour?

 

“Captain.”

 

“You did this.” Jim glared, pointing his finger against Spock's chest.

 

“Captain, you appear to be intoxicated. I assure you, that is something which I have not facilitated.”

 

“That's not what I'm talking about.” He stepped his way into Spock's quarters, letting the door shut behind him. “Fix it.” he demanded.

 

“If you would --”

 

“Last night.” Jim interrupted for clarification. “You said --” he closed his eyes and took a steadying breath. “You said you could fix it -- whatever's wrong with me.”

 

“I offered assistance. I made no guarantees of 'fixing' anything. Furthermore, you are intoxicated, and as I had indicated last night I will indicate to you again that it is not wise to proceed with an emotionally trying circumstance while under the influence --”

 

Jim interrupted again with an irritated wave of his hand. “Nonsense. So how's this gonna work? You stick your finger in my ass and I'm cured? If that's all it takes, I should warn you that Bones has already been up there and it wasn't pleasant. Or are you saying I need to be fucked? Because last time, let me tell you, was not --” Jim stopped himself. Last time had been the source of his aversion to begin with.

 

“I have no intention of inserting my penis into any of your orifices.” Spock retorted tartly. “Now, I will advise you to please proceed through our shared quarters and recover some of your emotional equilibrium via rest.” He took Kirk's arm and began to gently steer him toward the adjoining door. “Perhaps a shower is also in order as you customarily take one in the evening before repose.”

 

“Are you telling me I stink, or are you just creepily noting my bathroom behaviours?” Kirk teased.

 

“Both.” Spock answered flatly and Jim lost himself to a fit of giggles. When the hell had Spock developed a sense of humour? As they reached the door, however, Jim would not be led through. He sobered slightly and pulled out of Spock's grasp. “Spock, wait. Stop. Listen. Can't we just.... I can't do it sober. Come on. Please.” He tried to meet Spock's eyes, desperately, and then looked away after a fraction of a second, flustered. He ran a hand nervously through his sweaty hair. Perhaps he did need a shower.

 

“Tomorrow. 14:00 hours.”

 

“What?”

 

“Sober or not at all.”

 

Jim swallowed heavily, his eyes darting over the floor. He felt dizzy. Was that the alcohol or nerves?

 

“O-okay.” he stuttered. “F-fourteen hundred hours.”

 

Spock nodded sharply. Jim ran his fingers through his hair again.

 

“Sure. Sure.” he nodded to himself and turned into the bathroom. “Night, Spock.” he mumbled distractedly as the door shut behind him.

 

In a moment Spock heard the shower begin next door and he closed his eyes to resume his slumber. He had not really believed Jim would take the hand he'd offered. He would need to prepare for this most sacred of all rituals. He wondered vaguely at the intoxicated and emotionally unbalanced state of his friend, and hoped all would be well.

 

 

 

 

 

Jim stood in his quarters in the middle of the afternoon pulling nervously at the hem of his t-shirt and staring at the adjoining door to his first-in-command's quarters. This was ridiculous. What the hell was he thinking? He'd been asking himself that question all day. Had he really agreed to... to what? Ass sex with Spock? Spock had only said 'touch', hadn't he? Jim swallowed. He'd been drunk when he'd agreed to this. Surely Spock would understand if he backed out.

 

But damn it, Jim was no coward, and no liar. If he'd said he'd do it, he'd do it, by god. He squared his shoulders and marched through the first portal and into the shared bathroom, where he paused again, catching a reflection of himself in a mirror. Eyes hard and forward, ready for battle... in a t-shirt, sweat pants, and bare feet. Well what the hell was he supposed to wear to something like this? He tore his gaze away from himself, unwilling to see the telling flush of embarrassment that crawled up his neck and cheeks. With back straight, he walked through the portal to Spock's quarters.

 

 

 

Spock's place, as always, was a reminder that Spock was of Vulcan, an alien world. Red drapes lined the walls. Strange artefacts lined his shelves. And in the corner knelt Spock before his glowing fire pot. The lights were turned low and with a red cast to them, reminiscent of Eridani, and the air was scented with exotic incense smoke. Spock turned and noted Jim's entrance, gracefully rising to his feet to greet him.

 

“Greetings, Jim.”

 

“Spock.” Jim said shortly. Should he ask How are you? Everything felt so weirdly formal. This was Spock, his closest friend. He'd known him for years. They were together all the time. Words of greeting felt awkward for the situation Jim knew was coming. How did one go about exposing themselves so thoroughly? 'Hello, how are you? Yes, I'll just drop my pants now and you --'

 

“Would you care to sit?” Spock prompted, his hand held toward his bed.

 

“Y-yeah. Sure.” Jim tried, failed, to play it cool and seated himself gingerly on the edge of the bed. Spock's bed. He'd sat on it before during conversation. But now he felt that creeping flush. It seemed so intimate.

 

Spock sat himself comfortably on the bed, turned slightly to face Jim. “The ancient practice of healing touch and healing mind, known as kashek fna' ak'shem among my people, is a sacred act requiring full trust between parties. Physically, it may be likened to nothing more than a massage, while mentally and emotionally, there is a psychic component. Are you familiar with the Terran concept of Tantra?”

 

Jim smirked. “Tantra? It's been a while since I've heard about it. I was with this one girl in my early college days who was into it. She wanted us to breathe reeeaaaaallyyy slooooowly while we made love so that we could 'align our heart chakras'.” He let out a laugh, feeling a bit more at ease from sharing the absurd memory.

 

Spock's own lips quirked in amusement. “I regret to inform you that not only did her interpretation have very little to do with tantra, but it is even farther from what I propose we do today. Tantra is simply the closest equivalent I am aware of from your own culture. However, the similarities are unimportant. I will do my best to explain the process to you in terms you might understand.

 

“One component, as I have stated, is physical. Another is the emotional. My people... have a reputation for having transcended emotion -- a reputation which we are loathe to correct. In truth, emotions run deep within us. It is said that perhaps we feel even more strongly than humans. It is the expression of strong emotions, not the experience of them, that is discouraged. Such expression had led us to such great violence so as to be on the brink of destruction. Thus, the path of logic is now followed.

 

“However, sometimes there is great need to express and release great feeling which has imprinted upon one's katra. Even Surak has sanctioned such emotional expression when cause is sufficient. The intention behind this ritual is to create a space where one is safe to release these pent up feelings. Not only may they be expressed outwardly, but I will be able to psychically assist you in the healing process.”

 

“Assist.” Jim interjected. “How so? Like a meld?”

 

“Negative. It is nothing so robust or intrusive. With skin to skin contact I will be aware of your emotional state. At appropriate times, I will be able to ... nudge, is perhaps the best analogy -- I will be able to nudge your emotions in a productive direction. At times this may be to soothe nerves. At times it may be to encourage your experience of the difficult emotions you seek to avoid. For the most part, I will seek to simply witness, as the transformation must be your own. It is not something that can be forced or managed from outside -- it must come from within. Nevertheless, the psychic component is another reason that deep trust is essential.”

 

Jim mulled this over. In a way, it was the physical that disturbed him more than the psychic. After all, Spock had seen deeply into his mind in past melds. This seemed like a mere shadow of the psychic contact they'd already shared with one another. And the emotional aspect -- while he was a grown man and wasn't keen on crying in front of an audience, he knew he could trust Spock in this as well. Spock had seen him at his worst, and he'd seen Spock during his own emotionally turbulent times. But the physical.... Was he really going to let Spock touch him... there? He could power through physical discomfort. Bones had had his finger up his ass more than once. But that was different. This... was intimate. Personal. And though Spock's intentions were to heal, he was no doctor, and this was no sickbay.

 

“Okay.” he finally nodded. Spock hadn't rushed his silent musings. He'd simply waited -- allowing him to assimilate the new information. “So, how do we do this?”

 

“Perhaps you would care to disrobe and lie on your front on the bed.”

 

Jim stood and his eyes flicked to the bed. His heart rate kicked up a notch in spite of his resolve. “Logical.” He began to lift the hem of his t-shirt, suddenly self conscious. He turned his back to Spock as he dropped his pants.

 

“Would you be more comfortable if I were to remain clothed, or to join you in your nudity?”

 

“... pardon?” he asked dumbly.

 

“As you are exposed to me, I can see how you may appreciate some clinical distance between us, thus the layer of clothing I would wear. Conversely, perhaps you would feel more at ease were we to be on a 'level playing field' so to speak, in acknowledgement of the intimacy of the act. I have no preference.”

 

“Ah... uhm... you can keep the clothes.” Jim answered awkwardly as he lay face down on Spock's bed. The fabric of the top cover was different from his own, and the pillow smelled faintly of tea, incense, and Vulcan. He closed his eyes to his surroundings.

 

“Very well.”

 

Jim was aware of some additional weight on the bed as Spock shifted around to join him in a seated position.

 

 

 

Spock looked down at the nervous man before him. Jim. A fellow warrior. A closest friend. A brave man, but with an abused and fragile heart. He took a deep breath to clear his mind, and laid his hand flat on the back of the being before him. He felt the skin quiver unconsciously with nervous energy. He felt a thrill of some wild, worried emotion that Jim was wrestling with to keep in check. It was expected. As long as it did not spiral into panic, it should be allowed to run its course. There was strength in acknowledgement of discomfort. Spock made no move with his hand for some minutes, simply allowing Jim to feel him, to note his presence there and grow accustomed to it. Slowly, his heart rate settled down and his breathing deepened somewhat.

 

Silently, Spock reached to his bedside stand where he retrieved some scented oil. He poured a stream of it the length of Jim's back, replaced the bottle, and began.

 

 

 

On the bed, Jim let himself relax somewhat. Yes, this was strange. Yes, this was Spock. Yes, he was naked. But this was, for now at least, a massage. He felt Spock's dexterous fingers working calmly, routinely through his muscle groups. He'd had massages before, and so far this wasn't any different from what he was familiar with. Good. That familiarity reassured him. He wondered idly if Spock had used any of his psychic powers on him yet, but dismissed the idea. He was convinced he should know, if it was anything like the melds. He didn't feel like his thinking had been altered. He felt vaguely wary, but relaxed. With a deep sigh he allowed himself to become comfortable with this, however unconventional. It felt good. He would enjoy it for what it was.

 

Long minutes ticked by as Spock listened to Jim's steady breathing, as he slowly worked out knots and kinks in his muscles until the human became loose and relaxed, almost dozing on the bed spread. His hands drifted lower, down the lower back and to the thighs. Down the defined calves, even pausing to give attention to the feet. His lips quirked in amusement as he felt a spike of pleasure from Jim when his thumbs depressed firmly into the sole of the foot, but he relinquished his hold on it soon as the stirrings of ticklishness flickered to the forefront. The distraction was amusing to note, but would not become their focus.

 

Finally, finally, after some time, upwards again and to the thus far ignored ass. Immediately, Jim's consciousness was aroused from his half slumber. Yes, he was paying close attention to the proceedings now -- wary, curious, nervous. But Spock's hands were warm, firm, and gentle. He moved with broad strokes, pressing into the flesh and pulling slightly in this direction or that. His knowledge of anatomy was fairly comprehensive, and he had mapped Jim's minute reactions to his touch by now.

 

In spite of himself, Jim heard himself sigh and felt his toes curl slightly as a small kink he did not even know existed was released. Who the hell even knew there were muscles back there? Huh. And the thumb firmly pressing there, above the curve of his ass but below the lower back -- ah! Jim had to restrain a slight moan that wished to escape. Holy hell. That was an erogenous zone? A little 1x1 inch patch of skin in the middle of nowhere on his body? And by Spock's determined swipes of his thumb, he sure has hell had noticed. He felt his cock twitch with the first stirrings of arousal and panicked. No, hell no, not this, not here, not now!

 

But Spock's thumb had only strayed for a moment. He was not, in fact, fixated, although he did observe the spike in arousal and noted it. Now he evenly observed the unrestrained panic and laid his hand flat on the buttock, pausing all motion for a moment and simply existing. “Be calm, Jim.” he said in even baritone. With his words he sent the slightest of tendrils of calm across their contact. “All is well.” he reassured. And steadily he felt the heart-rate decrease, the breathing slip back into its natural pattern, the tension dissipate as he moved his hands in steady rhythm once again. Here in this space, there was no room for panic. Here in this space, Jim would be held safe -- safe from present discomfort as much as safe from the horrors of his past.

 

Closer in, further out, around and down.... There was a technique to this, wherein Spock would skirt closer to the puckered rosebud and then further away, always relaxing the muscle groups further, subtly stretching the skin. Warm and slick with oil. Press, pull down and outward. His finger caressed the oil gently against the anus again, not for the first time. The motions were almost monotonous by now, but that was the point of them. Soothing, predictable, subtle. Jims breathing was slow and even, his mind foggy in a trance-like state. He no longer flinched at the gentle press against his flesh -- never to directly penetrate, but subtly opening the sphincter, gradually as time progressed. Jim's toes curled again at random as a small spike of arousal travelled up his spine. By now Spock knew the signs and projected calm into his t'hy'la. No panic was welcome here. Jim had long since adjusted such that his erect penis could lay trapped beneath him in its most comfortable position. Even the arousal was now boring in its own way -- inconsequential, and not the focus.

 

It was nice, if Jim didn't focus on it, he decided. It was different, but it was nice. The bedspread was silky, the air was warm. Spock was warm. The oil, warm. His skin, warm with a buzzing arousal and lethargy. He'd gone boneless what felt like hours ago. All time sense was lost to him and he knew it was futile, not to mention pointless, to try and figure out the time now. He spaced out to the feeling of the hands moving over his skin, wondering idly if Spock would touch that one spot again... but no, he just skirted it. Oh, oh! That spot was also acceptable. He sighed contentedly.

 

A thrill of arousal shot up his spine and all at once an unwelcome image intruded in his mind. Hands not like Spock's -- hard and calloused, dirty and with sharp, chipped nails from hard toil, gripping him and holding him down, he screamed and his nails scrabbled at the rough wood to try and escape, but if he just held still long enough, the promise of food, the gnawing hunger in his stomach, the horror of it all and the sharp pain stabbing, certain tearing --

 

The image was gone within a fraction of a second of its coming. Or he could still vaguely perceive it in the corner of his mind, accessible but fuzzy, and the panic he was certain he'd felt at it was muted. What felt real now were the silk sheets, the warm press of calming energy against his skin, the heaviness of his limbs, the pliant flesh that yielded to persistent, nimble fingers.

 

It was an anti-climax when it happened. One moment Spock was skirting closer, pressing further with each visitation, and the next moment, one slickly lubricated finger was simply inside. Jim's mind observed it with a detached sort of surprise. There was pressure and a strangeness to it, but it didn't hurt. He couldn't quite wrap his brain around it, so incongruous with his past experience, and so bizarre a situation for him to find himself in. Vaguely he was aware that his thinking wasn't clear, hadn't been for some time, but that was okay. He didn't want his thinking to be clear, crystal clear, sharp like shards of glass slicing through flesh level of clarity. No. He wanted a fuzzy lethargy. He wanted this solace and calm. He wanted this Spockian envelope that cherished him and would not let phantoms intrude.

 

The memories were there. Spock did not banish them. He muted them, redirected them to the periphery, but allowed them to be witnessed, contended with, processed. They would always be a part of Jim, but he would not allow them to continue their desecration of this sacred space. Beneath him Jim's pliant body moaned. It was quiet, muffled, unconscious, but he could hear it. Ah, there. Spock found what he had sought, and gently, so gently but firmly, pressed, just so....

 

Holy mother of -- !! Jim's eyes were closed, had been for ages, but a white light certainly flashed before him as an unknown pleasure swept down his spine and to his toes. He gasped into the silk as fingers and toes curled and he was certain a more erotic sound had never come forth before. What was that -- that, that, that, yes, yes, keep touching it Spock oh god never let it stop -- the white light rushing through -- lightning down the spine out the toes curling and he can't breathe dear mother of god he was going to drown here and -- GASP -- he took a deep breath and another moan came forth -- holy shit Spock don't stop -- can't believe it could ever be like -- not like this before completely incongruous -- don't think of that only feel the sensation of -- thrusting against the silk unconsciously, sparks of arousal -- he was vaguely aware now, tears streaming down his face -- the sharp tang of salt -- who am I? what the hell am I letting him do? -- to me, yes, do it, please, don't stop, ever -- not a man, a little sissy boy -- like some dick up your ass, boy, don't ya? -- mother fucking -- fuck, fuck, fuck -- FUCK! -- he was aware now only of the love, the overpowering love surrounding him and he gave himself to it --

 

 

 

Spock gently extricated himself from the shuddering body beneath him, feeling as if they'd both just run for their lives. He caught his own breath quietly as Jim caught his. All the while he stroked Jim's back and stretched his reserves to still project calm, even after the tumultuous hell they'd pressed through together, even after experiencing vicariously the immense torrent of feeling that accompanied orgasm. Now Jim's mind spun with the aftershocks of his emission, with the myriad of feelings he'd just run through, and with the reality of the sticky bed beneath him.

 

“Fuck, Spock.” he let out a shaky breath, moving one of his leaden arms to hastily try and remove some of the tears from his face. It was a futile effort -- he'd soaked the bedding beneath his face. “That was --” he trailed off.

 

“Indeed.” came the steady reply.

 

Jim chuckled in spite of himself. It was too late now for embarrassment. He acknowledged to himself what had just happened. His First Officer and possibly best friend in the universe had just given him, Jim, straight-as-an-arrow Jim, an anal orgasm. After the rape, years of holding onto trauma and harbouring internalized homophobia, the cruel taunts of Janice and countless others like her -- for the first time in his adult life, Jim felt free. The desperate itch under his skin that he'd been feeling for weeks now, his obsessive compulsive desire to reaffirm his masculinity, it all just seemed suddenly so unimportant. Vaguely he wondered just what all mind tricks Spock had performed on him to bring him to this state. Regardless of what it had taken, he could only feel overwhelmingly grateful. Even now, with the post orgasmic lassitude pulling him toward a nap, he felt grateful as Spock's strong, steady hands kept their firm pressure upon his back, reminding him that even now he was not alone in this.

 

“I kind of messed up your bedspread...” he mumbled into the sheets with some embarrassment.

 

“It was expected.” Spock said with ease.

 

“Is this... have you done this before?” Jim wondered aloud, somewhat uneasily, though he was unsure why.

 

“Negative. This particular activity is far more intimate than any I had previously experienced.”

 

“Yeah.... Me too.” It was an asinine response, he knew, but he acknowledged it anyway. Intimate. Spock had called it intimate, and it was just the perfect word to describe it. Finally Jim was able to rouse himself, and Spock did not protest as he pulled away from the touch, grabbing some tissues to clean himself up and the top cover as best he could. Spock made no reaction, simply pulling the top cover off and tossing it into the laundry as if it were the most mundane task in the world.

 

Jim reached down and gathered his clothes, but didn't bother to put them on. It seemed unnecessary. For a long moment he simply stood regarding Spock.

 

“I want to say thank you, Spock. I'm not even sure what else to say. This experience....”

 

“You need not explain, Jim.” Spock said softly. “After all, I was there.”

 

Jim supposed he was, at that. Not just physically present, but mentally as well, directing and observing every thought along the way. He nodded. “Well just... thank you, okay?”

 

“You are welcome, Jim.” His eyes smiled warmly. “I am gratified that I could be of some assistance.”

 

“You wanna... Want to go grab some dinner in maybe half an hour? You free?”

 

“I would be pleased to accompany you.”

 

Jim grinned. “Great. Just give me some time to catch a shower, change, get my bearings, k?” He was already halfway through their adjoining door.

 

“Affirmative.” Spock said to his retreating friend, as he began to tidy what was left of the event. Jim might take some time to fully process what had happened, he knew, but Spock himself was certain that a difference had been made. The terrors that drove Jim to madness and destruction would not compel him in such a way any longer. The memories would exist in all their horror, yes, but they would not intrude upon his t'hy'la. He was gratified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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