Required Reading

I don't own anything 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.

12/11/2011

Bulletproof Soul

8.  Educational Discourse

A Chat with Bones

“This is some bullshit,” Kirk said as Nurse Chapel adjusted his leg while he lay on the bed.

“Yes,” McCoy said, “but it’s necessary.”

“I can be on the bridge, Bones!  I don’t have to be confined to quarters!”

“I beg to differ, Jim,” Bones said.  “I know how you get off on emanating a sense of power while you’re in the chair, especially when you address others on the view screen.  A broken leg will disrupt that, I think.  Besides, you have a direct link to the bridge; you can still command the ship.  You’ll just have to do it from your bed.”

“That’s impossible.  Forty percent of my command is instinctual.  Who’s going to believe me to be an effective captain when I’m in bed?”

“Spock is perfectly capable of speaking for you, Jim.  And there’s nothing wrong with your instincts.  You just tell Spock what to do and he’ll do it.  Now quit fussing and be still.  Do you want your leg to heal properly?”

“Of course, Bones.”

“Then lay back, relax, and shut the hell up.  If you try to move around before I tell you to, you could re-break your leg and then you’re up shit creek.  Talk about a loss of power?  Try looking cool in one of those wheelchairs like Pike had.”

“No, that’s not a cool look,” Kirk said, sighing.

“I will give you the rosehip-calcium matrix injections three times a week.  It works, Jim.  There have been four million individual human and humanoid data sources on the effectiveness of it and it has been 99.9% positive.  Large bones heal an average of 25% quicker with the matrix, but only if the leg is immobile.  Do you hear me, James T. Kirk?”

“I hear you, Bones.  I don’t like it but I hear you loud and clear.”

“The only drawback is that bone marrow injections hurt like a bitch, or so I’ve been told,” McCoy said.

“You can be a jerk, you know.”

Chris finished securing Kirk’s leg.  He had to lie with it elevated, his back propped against pillows.  Yeoman Rand had already set up a workstation and a commlink next to the bed for him to have access.

“Nurse Chapel, if you could give us a moment?”

“Certainly, Doctor.  Captain,” she said, and left Kirk’s quarters.

“Bones, I know that I’ve got to lie still, but I won’t be able to do that!  Not for four weeks.”

“You have no choice, Jim.  Now that’s the end of it.”

There had been one thing circulating through his mind once he understood how severe his injury was.  Spock’s Pon Farr.  What if it happened within the next four weeks?  He wouldn’t be able to be there to protect Uhura.  How could he fight off Spock with a smashed leg?

McCoy sat on the chair next to the bed.  “Jim, I had an interesting chat with Admiral Pike a few days ago.”

“Really?” he said.

“Seems he wanted to know if I’d observed any inappropriate behavior between my captain, his first officer, and the communications expert.”

“And your response was…?”

“Of course not.  I’ve seen nothing except what you wanted me—and everyone else—to see.”

Kirk cocked his head to one side.  “Hmm.”

“My understanding is that he also talked to Scotty, Chekov, Sulu and Lieutenant Hannity.”

“I knew he would.”

“Why did you tell him?  It’s nobody’s business who you’re involved with, Jim.”

“I don’t want to hide my relationship with Nyota.  I love her.  I want to be able to be seen with her at crew functions.  I don’t want her to have to creep around.  I’m very proud that she’s mine.  I want the jerks that lust after her to know who she belongs to. ”

“You’re such a caveman, Jim.”

“Whatever.  I’m a satisfied one.”

“Well, Pike said that regulations don’t prohibit it, as long as it does not interfere with your command of this ship.”

“Has it?”

“Not from what I can see.  But you didn’t hear what I said.”

“What?”

“He specifically asked about inappropriate behavior between you, Uhura and Spock.”

Kirk closed his eyes and sighed.  “I didn’t want you to know about that.”

“Jim, you have nothing to be embarrassed about in front of me.  I’m your best friend.  Besides, I’ve known that you three were involved since we were grounded in Kalamar.”

“What?  How in the hell did you know that?”

“Are you sure you want me to tell you?”  McCoy’s eyes twinkled.

“Yes.  I deserve to know how you found out, especially when we’ve worked so hard to hide it.”

“Apparently, you don’t know about the ship’s pool.  At any rate, I entered Lt. Uhura’s quarters early one morning to check on her progress.  Naturally, I didn’t see her in the sitting room, so I went into her bedroom.  Not only did I find her in bed, but also you and Spock in bed with her.”

“Fuck,” Kirk said, covering his face.  “I’m sorry, Bones.”

“For what, Jim?  It didn’t hurt my feelings.  I don’t want you in that way.  I don’t give a damn who you’re sleeping with.”

Kirk sighed.  “Well, that’s good to know.  And yes, I heard about the pool.”

“I overheard Nurse Chapel discussing it with one of the aides.  I couldn’t help but find it funny.”

“It is funny.  Do you know who’s winning?”

“My understanding is that you’re tied.”

“Damn!” Kirk said.  “Still?”

“Is that so wrong, Jim?  Considering?”

“We’re both in love with her, Bones.  The same time you encouraged me to get off my ass and man up was the same time Spock decided he wanted her too.”

“To coin a phrase, fascinating.”

“It got heated, of course, because we knew about each other.  Then Amigosa happened and Nyota told us that she wasn’t going to ruin our professional relationship by choosing one over the other.  She told us to walk away.  Neither of us would.  Then she said if that was the case, then we should be a threesome.”

“Well,” McCoy chuckled, “it was a logical conclusion.”

“It was either that or walk away from her.  I wasn’t about to and neither was Spock.  So that’s how it happened and here we are.”

“And you’re a changed man, Jim.  I wouldn’t alter a thing.”

“You think so?”

“I know so.   I see it every day.  Others have noticed that you don’t get into as many fights as you used to, and you don’t make such flippant decisions about your safety anymore.”

“I have a reason to get back home.”

“I know.  That’s good enough for me.  Be happy, Jim.  If it takes Spock and Uhura to do that, then so be it.  You’re still my friend and you’re still the captain.  However, you know that the entire crew knows now.”

“I don’t care.  As long as they’re not disrespectful, I’m past giving a shit.  Spock and I could have died on that planet if Nyota hadn’t found a way to reach us.  I’m not ashamed of being with either of them and I don’t give a damn who knows it.  The most they can do is gossip.”

“Well, they’re doing that, Jim.  My understanding is that half the women on board are jealous of Uhura.  Half the men are too.  Half of the remaining half thinks it’s sexy and the other residual half doesn’t like it.”

Kirk smiled.  It lit up his eyes.  He didn’t give a damn whether they did or not.

Then he frowned.  “Bones, I’ve got to ask you a serious question.”

“What is it?”

“You know about the Vulcan tradition of Pon Farr?”

“Only what I’ve read.  It’s their mating time, occurs once every seven years.  A biological imperative, as the result should produce offspring.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  But they have to do it anyway.”  McCoy looked at Kirk.  “Is it Spock’s time?”

“Not yet.  It’s coming.”

“When?”

“He won’t tell us.”

“Well, he’s Vulcan.  They don’t discuss it, as it is a distasteful subject.  They’re all cool and logical, emotionless and rational.  Pon Farr is anything but that.  There are copious amounts of hormones produced, especially testosterone and adrenalin.  You wouldn’t want to fight a Vulcan in that state.  You’d be better off fighting a hungry lion.”

Kirk sighed.  “I’m afraid I may have to.”

McCoy cocked his head.  “Spock’s going to have his Pon Farr with Uhura, isn’t he?  If she’s his woman, he’ll have to.”

“He can’t do it with anyone else.”

“What’s bothering you about this, Jim?  Is that it?  You do understand that Pon Farr is a mating ritual, not a free-love fest.  He can’t mate with you.”

“I know that, Bones!”

“But…?”

“He showed me through a mind meld.  It’s not pretty.  I’m afraid that he’s going to hurt Nyota.”

McCoy looked thoughtful.  “I can’t speak on that, Jim.  I just know the medical side of it.  You can’t stop it.  Vulcans have to mate during Pon Farr.  They have to or they die.  You don’t want Spock to die, do you?”

“Of course not.  But he’s going to hurt her,” Kirk repeated. 

“Does she know?”

“She does.  And she’ll do it because she loves him.  She won’t complain.”

“Were you planning on attending the festivities?” McCoy said.

“Of course, Bones!  Didn’t you hear me say that he could hurt her?”

“You can’t be there, Jim.  Spock will hurt you if you get in his way.”

“I have to be, Bones.  I have to try and protect Nyota.”

“How are you planning on doing that?  What are you going to do, beat him up?  You can’t, you know.  He’ll have liters and liters of testosterone coursing through his veins.  Spock will tear your head off if you try to keep Uhura away from him.”

“If I can take some of his drive in a fight, then maybe he won’t be so hard on her.  I mean, I know I can’t stop all of it.  I know that Spock would never willingly harm Nyota, but he’ll be out of his mind while he’s fuc—You know how strong he is, and she’ll have to endure that alone if I’m not there to take the brunt of it.  It’s not about me wanting to be in it with them; it’s about me wanting to shield her and protect him!  If he learns that he injured her during Pon Farr, he’ll never forgive himself!  I don’t want him to go through that just because he couldn’t help it!  He’s my—” Kirk couldn’t finish.  What Spock was to him, he couldn’t yet say, but the Vulcan was more than a friend.

“You think he won’t feel just as bad if he kills you during Pon Farr?”

“He’ll have Nyota to help him through it, if it should happen, Bones.  He adores her.  She’ll take care of him.  But I’m not worried about that.”


McCoy looked thoughtful and remained silent for a long moment.  “You really do love both of them, don’t you?”

“I guess I do,” Kirk said.  “But I can’t be of any use to either if my fucking leg’s broken!”

“Is it going to happen within the next six weeks?”

“Six?  I thought you said four!!”

“You’ll need at least two weeks of physical therapy.  At least.”

Son of a bitch!!! Bones, I swear, I can’t just sit here and know that’s going on without trying to do something!”

“When it happens, the three of you can’t be on board this ship.”

“Huh?”

“If Pon Farr is as violent as you say it is and you intend to engage a vicious, horny Vulcan in a fight beforehand, how in the hell are you going to keep that quiet?”

Kirk looked startled.  He hadn’t considered that.  “I, uh…I didn’t think about that.”

“Pike wanted to be sure that your relationship didn’t have an adverse effect on the crew.  If they should hear such goings-on, what’s to stop that from occurring?  They won’t understand.”

“Damn,” Kirk said.

“Don’t worry,” McCoy said.  “When the time comes, I’ll authorize some medical leave for you.  But to keep up appearances, why don’t you just sanction a week-long shore leave instead?  That way, no one will suspect a thing.  And you’ll have the privacy you need.”

“What if it’s this week?”

“Then you’re screwed.”

“You’re not helping.”

“I’m being objective.  Look, I can help you prepare to a certain extent.  I can’t do a damn thing about Spock’s needs, but I can give you adrenalin, morphine and nutrient hypos so that you can fight.  They’ll also give Uhura some strength to tolerate him and she won’t hurt so much during.  Afterward, I’ll be there to treat both of you when it’s over.  You’d better make it two weeks of shore leave.”

“How in the hell is she supposed to endure three straight days of fucking?”

“Three straight?”

“Three nonstop.”

“Gah, she’s going to have to eat and sleep at some point.  He’ll damn near kill her.  She’s a slender thing.”

“Now you see my point, Bones!”

“Well, you’ll have to make sure that there’s plenty of food and medical supplies available.   And you’re going to have to figure out a plan of some sort if your objective is to take the brunt of his desire.  If Spock doesn’t smash your head in, when you come to you’ll need to take a hit of the adrenalin in order to pull him off her so she can get a respite.  The rush will give you a slight edge, but only slight, so make it count.  Then Spock will probably smash your head in.  If you don’t die, you get up, you eat, and you inject yourself again.  And so it goes until it’s over.  You won’t be worth a damn when it’s done.  The stress on your heart could be devastating.”

“If she’s okay, then it will be worth it.”

“All right,” McCoy said.  “I just hope she’s not ovulating or menstruating when the time comes.”

“What?”  Kirk nearly fell out of the bed.

“My understanding of Vulcan biochemistry during Pon Farr is that their senses are even more heightened than usual.  If Spock has marked Uhura, and I’m sure he has, he will be able to smell her.  Now, she can’t produce an egg due to the birth control hypos, but her body goes through the motions anyway and there’s a hormonal imbalance.  The same is true when she menstruates.  Because Pon Farr is a mating thing, just knowing that Uhura’s in the essence of her reproductive cycle will make Spock crazy.”

“He’s already going to be crazy, Bones.”

“Then her pheromones will drive him insane.   If she’s not in the immediate vicinity when that olfactory instinct kicks in, he’ll track her down.  He’ll kill you to get to her.  That’s almost a mathematical certainty.”

“Jeez,” Kirk said, falling back into his pillows.  “I can’t win in this, can I?”

“Doesn’t appear so, does it?”  McCoy smiled at him.  “Now you get some rest, Jim.  Why don’t you have another talk with Spock and Uhura about this?”

“He won’t talk about it.  It embarrasses him.”

“Well, you know how austere Spock is, Jim.  You know how very proud he is to be so cool, rational and logical.   To acknowledge that you become little more than a wild animal while you’re in heat would be embarrassing.”

“You’re a big help, Bones.”

“I try to be.  Now, a medical aide has been assigned to you.  She will report every two hours to check on you.  Stay in bed.  I’m sure that you’ll have company later on.”

Kirk nodded.  McCoy put a hand on his forearm.  “It’ll be fine, Jim.  Don’t worry.”

“How can I not?  You just scared the living shit out of me.”

“Best you know all the facts, that way you can make an informed decision.  I’ll see you later.”  And he was gone.
*          *          *

A Chat with Nyota

Later that day, after her bridge and communication lab shifts, Uhura entered Kirk’s suite.  He was checking in with Spock on the bridge, making sure everything was fine.  For the tenth time that day, the commander assured him that all was indeed well.

He turned off the monitor when she came in.  She had a smile on her face and a paper sack in her hand.

“Nyota,” he said, smiling back.

She went over to the bed and leaned down to kiss him.  “How are you, Jim?”

“Irritable as hell.”

“I know that much.”

“I’ll feel much better if you are beside me.”

“I can manage that,” she said.  “Are you hungry?”

He smiled at her in that slow, seductive way that never failed to make her twinge down below.  “I guess food will have to do for now.”

“You’re so bad, Captain.”  She made a clucking sound and rummaged in the drawer to find one of his T-shirts.

Kirk smiled again and sent a message to his aide that he wouldn’t require her services for the rest of the night.  When he was finished, she was brushing out her hair.  “What do you want to eat?”

“Something with some substance.  I’m actually starving right now.”

Uhura smiled at him and then went to the replicator.  She came back with brown rice, grilled fish, steamed vegetables and a large glass of tea.  She draped a napkin over his lap and set up his tray so that he could eat.  As he did so, she took a quick shower and put on his shirt.  She exited the bathroom to see that he’d finished his meal.  Uhura helped him adjust in the bed and fluffed his pillows so that he could lie down.  She removed the tray and got in bed beside him.  He brought her close, putting an arm around her.  Kirk planted a kiss on her widow’s peak.

“You take such good care of me, Nyota.”

“That’s my job, Jim.”

“You were smiling when you came in.  Why?”

“Our secret’s out.”

“I heard.”

“I guess you don’t care either.”

“Not anymore.  Has anyone said anything to you?”

“Yes, actually.  Spock has a microbiologist named Koko and a biochemist named Gia.  Chekov’s girlfriend Iliya was with them.  They came up to me with huge smiles on their faces while I was in the commissary to pick up some candy; I got some Ferengi Fire Puffs, Saurian Swizzle Stix and half a pound of Bajoran taffy.  Dez and I have started having taffy talks on Thursdays.  Anyway, Koko told me that word got out after Pike’s interviews.  Then she asked me if it was true.  I told her yes.  I’m past being ashamed of loving you and Spock.”

“What did she say?”

“’Omigod, I’m so fucking jealous!  That’s HOT!’  Gia asked me if you really were a beast in bed.  I told her you were.  Then Iliya asked me if Spock was the same in private as he was in public and I told her he wasn’t.  You should have seen their faces.  It made me happy.  Then I asked about the ship’s pool.  Koko told me that they ended up having to give everybody their money back because there was no winner.  You and Spock were in a dead heat.  Then she told me that I was the real victor.  ‘Lucky bitch” were her exact words.”

Kirk smiled, feeling pleased with himself.  “I’m a beast in bed.  So everybody knows.  Good.  Now I can romance you in public.  And we don’t have to sneak around anymore.”

“I also got a dirty look from Barbara Jean in Administration.  I’m not sure, but I think she called me a tart.”

“Do you want me to fire her?”

“No, Jim.  That’s ridiculous.  I don’t need you to fight my battles.  I can handle people like Barbara Jean.  She won’t be the only one who’ll call me a name.  In time, they’ll get over it.  But according to Koko, Iliya and Gia, 75% of the ship doesn’t care that we’re together, is jealous of me, or finds it sexy as hell that I’m involved with you two.”

“I can live with those odds.  It is sexy as hell.” He kissed her forehead again.

“I can too.  We both know that no one will dare say anything to Spock.  Also, I picked up some Andorian Jujubees.  Your candy jar is getting low.”  Kirk kept a large candy jar full of the colorful gems for them to eat.

“Well, you know I have to keep you happy.  Don’t want you leaving me for Cupcake,” he joked.

“Brett can’t handle me,” Uhura said.  “And you do keep me happy.  But you and Spock are going to have to quit feeding me candy.  I’m gaining weight.”  Kirk and Spock pandered to Uhura’s candy fetish with the pleasure of a parent indulging a beloved child.  And anything else she wanted.  She was definitely spoiled.

“Where?  Here? ” He grabbed her ass.  “I don’t mind that.”  Kirk loved her derriere.

She made a fist and gently punched him the shoulder.  “Don’t tease me.  I’ve gained six pounds since we got together.” 

“You look as you always do,” he said, pressing his cheek against her hair.  “Perfect.”

“I don’t know why I even bothered to say that to you,” she said.

“I don’t either, Nyota.  If Spock and I didn’t buy you your candy, you’d just do it yourself.  Case in point,” he said, pointing to the bag.  “And besides, as long as you keep up your dancing, you’ll stay in shape.”  She had not danced for him in nearly ten days.

“Speaking of,” she said.  “I haven’t done that in days.  I’ve been so worried about you and Spock.”

“We’re fine,” he said.  “Now.”

Then Kirk remembered something McCoy told him that morning.  “Nyota, now that you mention it, I have a huge favor to ask you.”

“What?”

“You won’t like it.”

“What is it?”

“Please, don’t hate me for asking and don’t take it the wrong way.  I assure you, I have nothing but the best intentions.”

“Jim, what is it?”

“I want you to gain some weight.”

“What?  Why?”  He wasn’t serious.

“Please, just hear me out.  I want you to do it for your own good.  Bones and I had a long chat this morning about Pon Farr.”

“What?  Why? I thought it was settled.”

“How can it be settled if it happens while my leg is broken?  Anyway, Nyota, Bones told me some interesting things.  But first you have to understand how aggressive Pon Farr can be.  Spock showed me three days of near-constant fucking.  I know that’s harsh, but that’s what I saw in his memories.  It’s not lovemaking, it’s not even sex.  It’s what animals do to procreate, and in Vulcans, it’s the same but violent.  I want to protect you as much as I can.  Spock has to mate with you; emphasis on mate, and you are just not equipped to handle him in that state for three whole days.  Bones told me that you were too thin and Spock could kill you.”

“McCoy thinks I’m too thin?”  Her eyes widened.

“He said you were slender.  Spock’s strong as hell.  One of the images I saw was of a female’s bruised body and where she had been choked and bound.  I’m not saying that it was Spock who did it to her, but that was one of the images he showed me.  I think there’s a collective unconscious for Vulcans who don’t want to acknowledge Pon Farr, but must transmit the knowledge of it to their of-age offspring.  I’m not even sure if Spock’s had one yet because I don’t really know how old he is.  All I know is what I saw.  If Spock grabs you, he could break your bones.  If he chokes you or binds you, he’s going to leave bruises.  You’re going to be sore.”

She sat up and looked down into his gorgeous blue eyes.  “You’re really scared, aren’t you?”

“I love you, Nyota.  Spock loves you.  He won’t be in his right mind and you won’t be able to control him.  I won’t be able to stop him, but I can at least take some of the heat off you if I fight with him.  You will need time to sleep and to eat, and if he’s constantly fucking you, how can you possibly rest or nourish yourself?  If you are seriously injured as a result of his Pon Farr, he will not be able to forgive himself.  I have to protect you.  I have to protect him.  That’s what I mean.  I have to be there when this happens.”

“So you want me to gain weight so that I won’t be so vulnerable?”  She couldn’t help but be fascinated.

“At least you’ll have some more body mass and fat stores that you can draw energy from while I’m unconscious.  I’ll make sure there’s food and water nearby and Bones will give us adrenalin and painkiller hypos so that we can endure him.  I’ll even try to get him to give me a knockout drug for Spock so that you can sleep.  Please do this for me, baby.”

“You’re going to be unconscious?”

“I might get in two good shots before Spock knocks me out, if he doesn’t kill me. Then he’ll come for you.  When I come to, I’ll pull him off you so that you can get a break.  Bones thinks that’s how it’ll go anyway if you’re not having your period at the time.”

“What?  Jim, what the hell…” She raised her eyebrow in a perfect imitation of Spock.  “What does my cycle have to do with this?”

“Bones said that if you are bleeding or ovulating, Spock will smell you and it will drive him insane.  He’s already going to be crazy and I’m risking my life to attack him when all he wants—needs—is you.  So please, put on some weight.  You can lose it when Pon Farr is over.  It won’t be hard and neither he nor I will think you any less perfect than we already do.”

The sincerity in his eyes was startling.  “Jim,” she said, caressing his face.

“Please, Nyota?  I know how women are about their weight, but this isn’t about vanity.”

Uhura looked at him and leaned down to kiss him.  He cupped her face and deepened the kiss.  She pressed against him, taking care not to touch his injured leg.  She broke the kiss.  “Jim, I’ll do anything you ask me to,” she said.  “I just never considered…how bad it could be.”

“Ask Spock to show you those images and you’ll know.  Honestly, I thought Pon Farr was, you know, just some good old-fashioned face-down doggy-style ass-smacking sex, but it’s not.  Maybe the doggy-style, but it’s not like the sex we normally have.”

“I would laugh if this wasn’t so serious for you.  But I’ll do it.  I’ll try my best to gain some weight.  We don’t even know when it is; it could be tomorrow.”

“I know.  But let’s be prepared for whenever it is.  And chart your cycle.  I mean, I know Spock does it, but you need to know if you’ll be anywhere near your period when it does happen.”

“You’re right,” she said.  This was more serious than she originally thought.  But it was Spock, and for him, Uhura would do anything.

Kirk breathed a sigh of relief.  “Lie back down, Nyota. I’m sorry to put that on you, but when Bones and I discussed it, it scared the shit out of me.  I am hoping that it is nowhere near as bad as I think it is.  I hope like hell that what Spock showed me wasn’t his last Pon Farr.  I hope it was his uncle’s or his cousin’s, or somebody’s other than his.”

“I’ll ask him to show me,” she said. 

She lay beside him and slid her arms around his chest.  Kirk stroked her hair and kissed her widow’s peak again.  If they as a trio could go through Spock’s Pon Farr and tolerate ship scuttlebutt, then they could handle anything that came their way.

Maybe even an eventual trip home to meet the parents.

*          *          *

A Chat with Spock

She was fast asleep beside Kirk, one of her long legs over his.  Spock entered Kirk’s quarters, moving quietly as not to wake them.  He took a quick sonic shower and slipped on his pajama bottoms, as Uhura preferred him  bare-chested whenever they slept together.  Kirk’s leg was elevated on a wedge and Spock got in beside Uhura carefully as not to disturb the captain.  His leg had to be immobile if it was going to heal as quick as McCoy said it would.  He knew Kirk hated being confined to bed.

Spock pulled the cover over himself.  Uhura and Kirk did their best to tolerate higher temperatures in their quarters to accommodate him, but it was still cooler than he liked.  They compensated by having extra blankets ready when he wanted them.  He scooted close to Uhura and turned, spooning behind her.  She moaned and pressed against him.

“Nyota,” he breathed, taking in her scent.

“Spock?”  It was Kirk.

“Did I wake you, Jim?”

“Not really.  I’ve been dozing on and off.  I’m not that sleepy because I haven’t done anything.”

“Being immobile must greatly annoy you.”

“You know it does.”

“If you are to be healed in a month’s time, then it is necessary.”

Kirk nodded, knowing that Spock couldn’t see him.  Although he hated confinement, he needed his leg to heal as fast as it could.  He wanted to be back on his feet before Spock’s Pon Farr, and if that meant four weeks in traction, then that was what it had to be.  He would adjust somehow.

“Due to your injury, Pike has ordered us back to Theta Quadrant IV to complete the star-mapping.  The crew will not be thrilled to resume said mission, but it will be sedate enough that your constant presence on the bridge will not be necessary.  Of course, you are still in command, Jim.”

“The crew will be all right, Spock,” Kirk said.  “They’ll get shore leave soon enough.”

“Really, Captain?”

“Yeah.”  Kirk sighed as Uhura’s leg rubbed against his good one.  McCoy attached a catheter so that he wouldn’t have to get up to relieve himself, which was another thing that irritated him.  No sex.  Not even a hand job, which she was always willing to give him.

“You sound troubled, Jim.”

“I am, Spock.  First of all, I’m crippled.  Second of all, I can’t have any sex until Bones removes this catheter.  Thirdly, and I know you don’t want me to bring this up, but I’m scared shitless about your Pon Farr.”

“Jim, please.  I don’t want to—”

“I need to know when it is, Spock.  I need to know if I’ll still be in this damned cast when it hits you.”

Spock closed his eyes.  “Jim, I don’t want to talk about this again.”

“You’ll have to, Spock, because I won’t stop bringing it up until I’m satisfied that we’re all on the same page.  Will your Pon Farr be within the next eight weeks?”  He was giving himself some leeway on his healing.

Spock sighed.  Kirk was as stubborn as he was.  There was no point in arguing with him.  “Ten weeks, three days, nine hours and twenty-four minutes.”

“Thank you, Spock.  I needed to know that.”

“I still do not wish for you to be present, Jim.”

“I know that.  Just as you know I intend to be.”

“I do not wish to argue.  Nyota sleeps.”

“Then I want you to see what I see,” Kirk said.  “Meld your mind with mine.  See why I feel this way.  Then maybe you’ll understand.”

Spock got out of bed and came around to Kirk’s side.  Kirk turned to face him, moving his arm from under Uhura’s head.  Spock pressed his fingers around Kirk’s eye and touched their heads together.  Kirk closed his eyes tight, envisioning everything he thought about Pon Farr.  After a few minutes, Spock pulled away and Kirk started coughing.

“That’s like a punch to the face,” Kirk said.

“You wish to protect Nyota from me,” Spock said.

“I don’t mean that the way you took it, Spock.  I’m not trying to stop you from having her.  I just intend to absorb as much of you as I can through a physical altercation before you mate with her.”

“I do believe I said that,” he said.

“I know you think you’ll kill me, but I’ll risk it if it means that you won’t hurt her.”

“Jim, I would never hurt her.”

“I know that.  But you’re not you during Pon Farr.  Your words, not mine.  If you hurt her, you would never be able to get over that.  I want to protect you too, Spock.  I think we’ve got a good thing here and I want to keep it going.”

Spock closed his eyes.  Then he looked at Kirk and reached out to touch his face.  He ran his thumb over Kirk’s nose and spread his fingers across his cheek.  Kirk closed his eyes and took in the scent of Spock’s hand, which smelled faintly of patchouli, a fragrance Uhura loved on him.  He was coming to like it as well.

“I would agree with you, Jim.  I, too, do not want this to end.  But I could hurt you and I do not wish to do so.”

Kirk covered Spock’s hand with one of his and put the other one on Uhura’s back.  “I can take it.  Just don’t kill me.”

“I will endeavor not to, Jim.  But I cannot predict how I will respond to you if you are present when I must…when I have to be with her.  It may be violent.”

Kirk rubbed Spock’s hand, his eyes still closed.  “I trust you.”

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