Required Reading

I don't own anything Star Wars, Star Trek, The Dark Knight Rises, The Fantastic Four, or Ninja Assassin. Characters you don't recognize belong exclusively to me. I tend to pair male protagonists with women of color, specifically black women. If this poses a problem with your ability to suspend disbelief, then this fanfic blog isn't for you. Otherwise, do enjoy.


Bulletproof Soul

Card Sharks/Seconds of Pleasure

A/N:  The “Card Sharks” portion of this chapter was suggested by MissCar

Card Sharks
It was ladies’ card night in Lieutenant Dana Hannity’s quarters.  Everyone knew about the monthly poker game in the captain’s quarters, but only the women knew about the ongoing spades game in Hannity’s suite.  It was a way of keeping abreast of current events.  Or keeping the Enterprise’s grapevine watered.

Tonight it was Dana, Iliya from Engineering, Tina from Human Resources, Koko from Life Sciences and a new invitee: Chris Chapel from Medical.  Nurse Chapel was Brenda’s replacement.  She was assigned to the Enterprise while the ship was in Kalamar.

“I don’t know how to play spades,” Chris said.  “I was never a card player.”

“You’ll learn,” said Koko.  “We play every couple of weeks or so.  We have a regular rotation of players.  I usually play every time; Dana’s my partner.”

“For money?”

“Sometimes.  It depends on what’s going on.  Usually, we just play and talk trash.”

Tina was setting out snacks.  Dana was shuffling cards and Iliya was keeping score.  Iliya was going to partner with Tina.  Chris was going to watch for a couple of rounds.

“Really, it’s just an opportunity for us girls to get together and chitchat,” Dana said.  “We get so busy sometimes that it’s just good to relax and hang out.”

“And keep up with scuttlebutt too,” Koko said.  “Like little Iliya here.  She’s dating Pavel Chekov, the navigator.”

“That cute kid?” Chris asked.

Iliya was a pretty brunette.  “He is a man, thanks.”

“He’s eighteen, honey.  He’s a kid.”

Iliya rolled her eyes. 

Chris smiled.  “I don’t mean any harm, honey.  You guys are just…young.”

Dana laughed.  “They’re a cute couple.”

Koko took her place across from Dana and Tina sat down.  Chris pulled her chair up as Dana dealt the cards.

“Honestly, we haven’t been in the mood to play spades since Amigosa,” Koko said.

“What happened?”  Chris asked.  “No one will tell me anything.  Dr. McCoy actually told me that it was of no consequence to my job in Medical Bay.”

“We lost two of our regulars,” Tina said.  “Brenda Lockhart and Didi Malone were raped and murdered on Amigosa.”

“Oh my god,” Chris said.  “Oh no!”

“Yeah,” Dana said. “Nyota Uhura and Dez Niaz were also attacked.  I think Dez actually got penetrated and Nyota was about two seconds from being so before security rescued them.”  She looked sad.  “Brenda was my friend.  So was Didi.”

Koko raised her glass.  “Let’s have a toast to them,” she said.

They clinked glasses and took a sip, then had a moment of silence.

“It’s my understanding that we’re headed back to Veridian III to get Sgt. Niaz,” Chris said.

“Good,” said Tina.  “Dez needs to be back with us.  This is her home.”

“She won’t ever be the same again,” Iliya said.

“What woman would be?” Tina said.  “I mean, I’d rather die than get raped.  And if you count the fact that Dez is a lesbian and has never been with a man before…”

“That’s horrible,” Chris said, clutching herself.  She was chilled by that fact.

“You’re telling me,” Koko said.  “That’s why she was catatonic and was hospitalized.  Nyota was as well.  Hospitalized, I mean.  Not catatonic, but definitely traumatized.”  Koko said.  “She got smashed in the head with some large object.  And Brett from Security said that she might have been a millisecond from the same fate, had they not found the encampment.”

“Lucky,” Chris said.
“Yep.  I heard Spock turned off those bastards’ lights,” Koko said.  “Brett said that he had never ever seen the commander so mad, not even the time when he wiped up the bridge with Captain Kirk.”

“What?” Chris said.  “He got into a fight with the captain? 

Dana nodded.  “Spock beat the hell out of him. We couldn’t do anything but watch.  No one was about to get in Spock’s way.  No one wanted that wrath on them.  Had it not been for Ambassador Sarek…”

“Yeah,” Koko said.  “Spock isn’t someone you want to fuck with.  He’s Vulcan.  I work with him every day.  He’s cooler than a polar bear sipping a Saurian Slushy and he doesn’t show any emotion, but if he pops off, you better run.  He normally doesn’t get anywhere near to popping off.”

“He’s a very attractive man,” Chris said. 

“He is,” Iliya said, blushing.

Chris leaned forward as the ladies sorted their cards.

“Joker-joker deuce-deuce,” Dana said.  “As usual.”

“Why can’t we ever play joker-joker-ace?” Iliya whined.

“Because that gives us fewer opportunities to spank you and Tina,” Koko said.

Iliya stuck her tongue out at Koko.

Dana took a sip of her drink.  “I’m glad they found Nyota and Dez in time, or they would have been dead too.”

“So Lt. Uhura is all right?”

“Yes.  She was isolated in recovery while we were grounded.  We never saw her.  And she’s different now.  She used to eat lunch and play cards with us when she wasn’t working, which wasn’t often.  But now she keeps to herself.  She does her work and disappears when her shift is over.”

“I can’t really blame her,” Tina said.  “I can’t imagine…”

“Does she try to talk to you, Dana?” Koko asked.

“I mean, we greet each other on the bridge and we speak, but it’s usually work-related.  I told her that she was always welcome back here and she nodded.”

Tina slapped a card on the table.  “Ace high,” she said. 

“Tramp,” Koko said.

“Don’t even try to cut me, Koko.”  Tina ate a handful of chips.  Then she looked at her cards.  “I know she’s messed up from Amigosa, but honestly I think we don’t see her anymore because of another reason.”

“Which is…?”  Koko asked.

“I think Nyota’s in love.”

“What?” Dana said. “Shut the front door!”

“I’ve seen her and she’s got that look.  You know, the ‘I’ve got a new love and I’m whipped’ expression?  The one where you’re walking around glowing like a firefly and grinning like a psycho on Thorazine?  That look.”

“Really?” Koko said, putting a card down.  “She is?  You sure?”

“There isn’t but one thing that will make a woman blush like that.  I should know; I fall in love every six months.  Nyota’s sprung.  She’s in love.  Some man has got her nose wide open.”

Chris nodded.  “Tina, I know what you mean.  I’ve been in love a couple of times myself.  Do you know who it is?”

“Haven’t a clue,” Tina said.  “I’ve seen her in the halls, but I haven’t spoken to her since before Amigosa.”

Iliya put a card down.  “Pavel told me that Hikaru told him that he thinks it’s either the captain or the commander.”

Silence permeated the room.  Koko was the first to respond.  “Get the fuck out of here, Iliya!”

What?” said Tina.

Dana was stunned.  “No way.  I work on the bridge and I would have noticed that!”

“Not if Nyota didn’t want you to,” Koko said with a smile on her face.  “She can be ice cold.”

“How would Sulu know?” Tina asked.

“Pavel told me that when we were in Kalamar, he and Hikaru saw her with them.”

Dana snorted.  “So?  She’s the chief communicator. She has to be with them.  That means nothing.”

Iliya sipped her water.  “Pavel told me.  He believes Hikaru. I believe him.”

“Say he’s right,” Tina said.  “Which one?  Who is it?”

“Pavel told me that Hikaru doesn’t know.”

“Sulu doesn’t know dick,” Dana said.  “He’s had a thing for Nyota ever since we left Earth.”  She trumped Tina’s ace and raked in the cards.

“Bitch,” Tina said.

“Wow,” Chris said.  “I’m impressed.” 

Koko smiled and slapped down an ace of spades.  “Going fishing for suckers!”  Then she looked at Iliya.  “I bet it’s the captain.  He’s got that kind of game.”

“Please,” Dana said.  “She wouldn’t even consider looking at him; he’s fucked half the women on this ship.”

“And you know about it?” Chris said.  So far, the Enterprise  was turning out to be an interesting assignment.

“Of course.  All the ladies know how freaky Captain Kirk is.  And word has it that he can lay the pipe.  Naomi from Stellar Cartography said he’s a beast in bed.”  Koko said.  “Which is why I think it’s him.  The man has swag and he’s fine, too.  I’d give him a little bit.”  She looked at her cards.  “Okay, a lot.”

Tina shook her head and flipped out a trey of spades.  “Nyota wouldn’t fall for that.  He’d have to have more than a dick and a smile to pull her.”

“We don’t know how he is in private, Tina,” Koko said.  “He’s probably a completely different man behind closed doors.  He’s probably romantic, attentive, caring…all that stuff we like.”

Dana sighed.  “I don’t believe it.  Captain Kirk?  Seriously. I’m with Tina on this.”

Iliya put a card down.  It was the king of spades.   “It could be Commander Spock.”

Koko cackled.  “Caught one sucker in the fishing net!”  Then she looked at Iliya.  “Mr. Spock?”

“To hell with that,” Dana said.  “The man can’t even smile, much less make a woman smile.”

“Then you haven’t been hanging out in the science department,” Koko said.  “Believe me, the commander makes plenty of women smile.”


“Have you seen him?  I mean, really seen him?”

Dana started to reply but stopped. 

“That’s what I thought,” Koko said.  “He’s sexy as hell.  Marnie in Microbiology would put it on the table if he asked her for it.  She turns into a wet rag whenever he talks to her.  Indira from Geophysics wants one good chance to jump his bones, no strings attached.  Plenty of women in the science department would give their left tit to get him in bed.  The commander’s got some appeal.”  She slapped down the big joker and grinned slyly.

“I’d fuck him,” Tina said as she reluctantly gave up her deuce of diamonds.

“I thought you had a girlfriend,” Iliya said.

“That doesn’t mean I don’t bat for the other team every now and then,” Tina said.  “Commander Spock is absolutely screwable.  Captain Kirk is too, when you think about it.”

“The captain is very good-looking,” Chris said.  “So is Mr. Spock.  I noticed that when he interviewed me for the job.”

Dana shook her head.  “No.  No.  Sulu’s full of shit.  First of all, it’s against regulations.”

“Like that’s stopped the captain from getting his freak on,” Koko said.  “Brenda, may she rest in peace, was banging him regularly and bragging about it.”

“What?” Chris said.  “She was?”

“Yep,” Koko said.  “She would stroll in here some nights damn near singing; he broke her off so good.  However, I haven’t heard anything about him screwing anyone lately.”

“That’s sex, Koko.  Tina says Nyota’s in love.  Regulations don’t allow for those kind of intimate relationships, especially with the boss.”  Dana said.

“But what if she is in love with either one?” Iliya asked.  “Regs say that she can’t be, not with them.  You know, favoritism and all that.  And you know there are a lot of people on board this ship that wouldn’t approve.”

Koko rolled her eyes.  “Whatever.  If she is involved with either one, I don’t care.  In fact, I’d give her a standing ‘O’.”

Tina said, “I know that’s right.  If she is carrying on with Commander Spock, then that’s what I call pull.  Besides, commanders need love too.”

Koko nodded.  “So do captains.  Especially ours.”

“She is not in love with either man,” Dana insisted.  “I would have seen it.  I would have seen something.  I see them every day.  There is no difference in how she’s treated, or how she treats them.  I’m telling you, Sulu’s wrong and you guys are crazy.  Nyota’s serious about her job.  She’s not about to screw up her career.”

Koko laughed.  “Want to put something on it? I bet she’s in love with Kirk.”

Tina nodded.  “My money’s on Spock.”

Dana gasped.  “I’m not about to bet on that!”

“Suit yourself,” Koko said.  “We should put it on the board.  Twenty credits a pop.  Iliya, you want to throw a bid in?  Chris?”

Chris said.  “Umm, I don’t know.  I don’t know Lt. Uhura. I can’t say.”

“I think it’s Commander Spock,” Iliya said.  “Pavel says he’s more her type.”

“What the hell does Chekov know about Nyota’s type?” Dana sneered.

“Pavel believes it.  I believe him.  I think it’s Mr. Spock.”

Chris laughed.  “What the hell? I’ll go with Koko.  It’s Kirk.”

Koko took a drink.  “Iliya, write this down.  Two for Kirk and two for Spock.  We can get a pool going on the ship.”

“Three,” she said.  “Pavel thinks it’s Spock too.”

“I don’t believe this,” Dana said. 

“Well, you’re in the best position to find out, Dana,” Tina said.  “Start paying attention.  If it’s really love, they won’t be able to hide it.  She won’t, anyway. A look here, a touch there…”

“I know that’s right,” Koko said.

 “Keep us posted,” Chris said.  “We’ll need updates.”

“Iliya, ask Chekov what Sulu thinks.  We should bring him in on this.” Koko said.  “Also, find out if Scotty has an opinion.  He’s on the bridge regularly.  We need to get as many opinions as possible.”

“All right,” Iliya said.

Tina popped a grape into her mouth.  “Chris, do you think McCoy would know or suspect?  He and the captain are pals.”

“He doesn’t strike me as the sort of man who’d rat out his friend even if he did know.  But it won’t hurt to ask.”

Dana closed her eyes and shook her head.  “I don’t believe you guys are actually betting on who Uhura is messing around with, if she even is.”

“Believe it,” Koko said.  “And don’t forget to place your bet.”
*        *        *
Seconds of Pleasure

She and Spock were in the captain’s quarters.  He sent her a message before he left the bridge to meet her in Kirk’s quarters.  She was there when he arrived.  They were very careful not to be seen, in spite of Kirk’s suite being secluded on the uppermost back corridor of the saucer section.  Spock wanted her to dance for him.  He sat in a chair about six feet from her.  The room was dim; the main source of light was from Kirk’s bathroom.  Uhura spun around, her hair whipping about her head.  She held on to the pole and lifted her leg, arching backward.  Then she twirled around and stopped to look at him. He had not moved a muscle.

She grabbed the pole with both hands and spun around it in a controlled move, slid to the floor and lifted one of her long legs.  Then, just because it felt like a good idea, she started to crawl towards him.

She thought she heard his breath catch.  Uhura crawled up between his legs and put her hands on his knees.  She lowered her face to his crotch and moved her head up, stroking the underside of his chin with her hair.

He hissed.  Uhura leaned and pressed a kiss against his jawline, then moved up, kissing his earlobe, and then up even more.  She sucked the tip of his ear into her mouth and slid her hands up to his chest.

“Nyota,” he moaned.

Uhura kissed the side of his face, his temple and his eyebrow, then his closed eye.  Then she pulled back and turned around, sitting in his lap.  She braced her hands on the arms of the chair and began to grind him.  His reaction was immediate.  She shook her hair, unable to hold back her pleasure at making him get hard so fast.  She loved it when he couldn’t control himself.

Spock held her by the hips as she continued to gyrate in his lap.  Tonight, she smelled of wild roses and she was as soft and warm as ever.  He slipped his hands under her T-shirt and squeezed her breasts.

She tossed her hair over her shoulder.  “You like this?”

“Yes,” he breathed.  “Fascinating.”

“I’m glad,” she murmured.  “I’ve wanted to give you and Jim a lap dance for some time now.”
She felt his arm snake around her waist and then he was up, moving.  He carried her against his hip like she weighed nothing.  When Spock was ready, he didn’t bullshit around.  In a matter of moments, she was face down on Kirk’s bed, and he was on top of her, kissing the back of her neck.

“Mmn,” she murmured.  “You’re still dressed.”

She wore one of Kirk’s T-shirts; she changed into it when she entered his quarters.  Uhura lay on her stomach, smiling as she heard Spock come out of his clothes.  In moments, she felt him against her, completely naked and aroused.

“You are a tease, Lieutenant,” he said, moving a hand underneath her shirt.  “And you are still dressed.”

“Feel free to do the honors, Commander,” she purred, arching her ass up into his groin.  “I’m not about to deprive you of anything you want.”

“I should hope not,” he said.  He didn’t bother to pull them down; he merely tore them off.  Spock dropped kisses on her lower back and buttocks, holding her hips in his hands.    He turned her over and lifted the shirt.  Spock didn’t need any light to find his favorite places on her body.  Uhura gasped and pressed into him the moment she felt his lips on her breast.

“I have missed being with you,” she whispered, cradling his head.

He paused long enough to reply.  “And I you.”

“Don’t do that to me again,” she said.

“I will endeavor not to,” he replied.

She sighed gustily as she felt his teeth close around her nipple.  She yielded to him, wrapping her legs around him, pressing herself against him.  He was an extraordinarily thorough lover.  She would sing if she could.

“You are so aroused, Nyota.  You are so wet for me.  I enjoy it when you are this way.”

“I’ve been like this all day,” she murmured as she felt his tongue in her navel.  “Ever since Jim told me not to wear any panties on the bridge.”

“You should always walk around that way,” he murmured into the skin of her belly, kneading her with his strong fingers.  It was an illogical statement, spurred by an illogical thought.  Spock no longer tried to explain or quantify the magnitude of his feelings for Uhura.  They were very much human and robbed him of his methodical sensibilities.  When Kirk revealed that she wore no underpants, his blood heated.  He was no more able to control his need to have her than the captain had been.  The only thing that would have made the moment in Kirk’s ready room sweeter was for him to have access to her breasts.  It was very fortunate for all of them that he did not. 

“I can’t,” she said.  “It’s distracting.”

“I admit,” he said, kissing the tattoo on her hip, “once I discovered that you were indeed partially unclothed, it was also a distraction for me.”

“Ummm,” she moaned.  “Says the man who ate me out on the captain’s desk.”

“I was not alone in my enjoyment of you.  I am not the only man who delights in you.”

“You two work so well together…”

“It is quite easy to do so when we share the same objective.”  He slid his fingers through her labia, marveling at how she seemed to seep at a moment’s notice.  It was mesmerizing.  Then he turned her back over, pushing the shirt back up.  He angled himself so that he could rub his erection against her vagina and she groaned into the pillow.

“I find it very fascinating how easy it is for you to get excited, Nyota.”

“Do you think I can help it when you or Jim get near me?”

“I hope that you cannot.  It is my sincere wish that you respond to us the same way we respond to you.”

“Good.  Because I’m so whipped I can’t even stand it.”

“Slide the pillow underneath your pelvis.”

She blissfully followed his instruction.  “Your every order obeyed, Commander.”

“I will not tolerate anything less from you, Lieutenant.”  He kneaded her buttocks, holding them so that he could ease into her.  She bit down into the pillow, arching up into him.  He filled her completely.  The only thing that would have made the moment better was to have Jim fill her as well. It was a completely mind-blowing experience, especially with men who knew how to do it in such a way that her pleasure was paramount.

He moved slowly, leaning over the grace of her back to nibble her shoulders.  She braced herself on her forearms, pressing as close to him as she could.  He whispered in her ear. “You smell like roses,” he murmured.  “You are so unbelievably tight right now, Nyota.  You feel so very good, so very hot.”  Spock had picked up one of Kirk’s proclivities and taken to talking to her during sex.  She didn’t mind it.  He had unbelievable control and was able to bring her to climax more than once before he allowed himself to do so.  Then he lay beside her as she calmed down, stroking her ass.  He wasn’t done, not by a long shot.  He intended to be completely sated before the night was through.  It had been too long for him.

She turned over on her back and snuggled close to him.  “When do you have to report back to the bridge?”

“Not until morning,” he said.  “We will arrive at Veridian III in 11.5 days.  The captain and I have agreed that we will rotate bridge shifts until we are back on our original assignment.  In other words, my k’diwa,” he said, kissing her forehead, “you will not be alone at night for a month, at least.”

“So we can spend the night together?”  Uhura missed the comfort of snuggling between Spock and Kirk.

“Of course,” he said, sliding a hand underneath her shirt.  “However, I am most certain that the captain will join us at the start of gamma shift.”

“I am going to be much too tired to give him any,” she said.  “I know you’re not through with me.”

“I do not believe he will mind.  The chance to just be with you satisfies us a great deal.  Besides, if I know him at all, he has already made love to you at least once today.”

She smiled.  He knew Kirk well.  “Twice this morning.  I should be tired, but it’s been so long…”

“It will not be that way again, Nyota.  We, too, were spoiled by the freedom of Kalamar.  It has been quite distressing, seeing you on a daily basis and not being able to be with you.”

She stroked his cheek.  “Spock, the two of you have made me so very happy.  I can’t find enough ways to tell you and Jim that.  I wish I could shout it to the world that I’m in love with you.”

“Regulations do not permit it,” he said.

“I know.”  She frowned.  “I hate it that we have to be so guarded.  I want to be seen out with you, to have Jim take me dancing, for us to have dinner in public, for us to be able to sneak kisses and cop a feel in the corridors.  I’m not ashamed of it.  I want the world to know that I belong to you and to him.”

“The world is not ready to know that, Nyota.”

She sighed.  “I know.”

He leaned down and kissed her. Spock had a way of using his tongue that was unparalleled.  It always made her hotter than a warp nacelle and it always got him the desired response.  She rolled on top of him and he pulled off her shirt and grabbed her waist.   She rode him, bracing herself against his arms, throwing her head back, spasmodic with desire.  After years of little to no sexual intimacy, she had the grand fortune of a double portion, and from the two most unlikely individuals on board the ship.  And it was fabulous!

There were many couples on board the Enterprise.  Crew members paired off regularly, and Captain Kirk had actually married a few.  Kirk understood that a stable personal relationship kept one from being reckless, and he encouraged them, as long as they did not interfere with duty.  It was ironic that the captain himself shied away from intimate relationships until he was put in a position where he could no longer do so.  Spock, being Vulcan, had never expressed a need to be a part of anything other than Starfleet until he fell in love with her.  Uhura, faced with the fact of her superior officers being more than infatuated with her, could do nothing but acknowledge them both.  She wasn’t sure if they could accept each other at first because Kirk was hesitant to share, but the transition ended up being relatively smooth.

But because of the fact that Kirk was the captain and Spock the first officer, it was not permissible for them to be personally involved with anyone on the ship.  It was a serious violation of Starfleet regulations, one which had severe repercussions.  Kirk claimed not to care, and for the most part, it appeared that he didn’t.  Spock remained unflappable as always.  But Uhura, being female, wanted to show her contentment.  She wanted it to be known that her heart was lost, that they were hers, and that she was happy.  She knew that her men were desired by other women on the Enterprise, Kirk especially. She wanted it to be known that both he and Spock were off limits and that she would cheerfully beat the hell out of any woman who dared show more than a respectful nod.

She was understandably greedy.

Spock flipped her, crushing her under his weight, kissing her with an intensity that belied his sedate exterior.  He was mad about her, passionate for her, and in love with her. He wanted her all to himself, but once he realized that the captain wasn’t going to go away, he had to concede.  He wanted Uhura enough to accept her on any terms, which happened to include the captain as her lover too.  It was awkward at first, but they had a strong working relationship and a grudging respect for each other, which made their subsequent union with the communications expert very stable.  They had a singular objective: to love Uhura and to make her happy.  This allowed them to become extremely comfortable around each other.
When the captain entered his quarters, he knew that they were there.  Uhura’s pole was still down.  There was a chair about six feet from it.  One of his T-shirts was on the floor.  Kirk liked seeing her in his shirts.

“Computer, retract,” he said.  “Authorization: Kirk 225, Kappa Theta.”

The pole disappeared into the ceiling.  It was a worthwhile investment.

“Captain,” Spock called from the bed.

“Mr. Spock.”

“All is well, I trust?”

“Of course.  We’ll be in the Veridian system in about ten days.  She asleep?”

“Yes, but she has not been for very long.  I can wake her, if you desire.”

“No,” he said, undressing.  “Let her sleep. I know she’s tired.  We’ve kept her up all day.”

“It had to be done, Captain.  I am not comfortable with the amount of time that has passed since we were last intimate with her.”

“She dance for you?”


“Anything else?”  With Spock, there always was.

“She performed what she called a ‘lap dance.’  It was fascinating.”

“Spock, for me, can you please find another word other than fascinating?  I’m at the point where I don’t know what the hell you mean when you use it.  If Nyota gave me a lap dance, I sure as shit would be able to express it using a better descriptor than ‘fascinating.’”

“But it was fascinating, Jim.  It was also quite stimulating.”

“I bet it was.”

“She intends to give you one.”

Kirk smiled.  All this started when he saw Uhura dancing one night on the observation deck.  He didn’t know at the time that Spock was watching her too.  Therefore, he indulged any dancing the lieutenant wanted to do. 

“She’d better.  Soon, too.”  He went into the bathroom to take a shower.

Spock spooned behind her, moving her hair out of her face.  She was sound asleep, dreaming.  A few minutes later, Kirk got in bed with them, taking his place in front of her.  He leaned down, kissed her forehead, and then brought her leg up over his hip so that he could rest his penis against her vagina.  He and Spock took turns sleeping with her in such a fashion.  It was nice.  She made him feel warm and anchored to something other than Starfleet.

“She is distressed by the fact that she cannot acknowledge that she is in love, Jim.”

“Well, Spock, she’s a girl.  Of course she is.”

“It is illogical.”

“Of course it is,” Kirk said.  “But it is what it is.  Logic hasn’t a damn thing to do with it.  Most women wear their relationships like a badge of honor, especially if it’s a good one.  She’s no different.  And I’m satisfied that our relationship is a great one.”

“Affirmative.  Nyota wishes that we could be more open.  She wants to, and I quote, ‘sneak kisses and cop a feel in the corridor.’”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” Kirk said.  “But I wish that too sometimes.  Especially when I see those pricks from Engineering and Security checking her out.  I heard Cupcake speculate out loud on how it would feel to have Nyota’s mouth on him and her legs wrapped around him.  I nearly knocked his punk ass out.”

“Security Chief Brett Willis, Captain.”

“Whatever.  I don’t give a fuck who he is or what he does.  I don’t want him wondering what Nyota’s legs feel like, Spock.  It’s bad enough that her legs are on display for all the men to see.  I don’t want any man wondering what she feels like.  You don’t either.  Don’t bullshit me.”

“I would prefer that none of our crew members be privy to that information, Jim.”

“That’s what I thought.  So yeah, I understand how she feels and I wish I could let it be known that she’s mine—ours—but I can’t.  I can’t have Admiral Pike on my ass any more than he already is.”

“Perhaps we can indulge her once we arrive on Veridian III.”

Kirk nodded.  “Enlighten me.”

“She would like to have dinner with us in public and for you to take her dancing.  Kalamar has a mixed population of three million, five hundred and seven thousand, and two hundred and eighty two.  As long as we are not in uniform, we could assimilate.  After we retrieve Sgt. Niaz, there is no reason why we cannot take an extra day to pamper Nyota.  We will return to our star-mapping mission in adequate time.”

“Most of the officers will be on board the ship,” Kirk said.  “Only Dr. McCoy need come down to authorize the release of Sgt. Niaz.  I’m sure I could make up some story why we’re staying an extra day.”

“I do not want Nyota distressed, Captain.”

“I don’t want her unhappy either, Spock.  So, let’s do it.”

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