10. Vulcan Ways, part 1
Lieutenant Hannity sat at her control, halfway focused on her sensory data. According to Commander Spock’s update, they were scheduled to be complete with this crappy, dull star-mapping mission within the next few days. The commander sat in the captain’s chair, reading reports, sipping tea and making regular trips to his short-range viewfinder while training Ensign Chekov in the use of the instrument. Sulu calmly maintained the helm.
Dana shook her head as she sipped her coffee. As unbelievable at it sounded, Sulu had been right all along. Lieutenant Uhura was involved—seriously, if scuttlebutt was accurate—with not only Commander Spock but also Captain Kirk. If it had not been confirmed by her conversation with Admiral Pike (and with the other members of the bridge), she never would have believed it. There had not been one whiff—not one!—of anything other than professionalism between the captain, the commander and the communications chief. Uhura was on duty every day she was scheduled and then some. She never missed a shift in the communications lab, according to Monica Jauron, one of the linguists. Captain Kirk was back on full bridge duty, and he barely glanced at Lieutenant Uhura when he didn’t have to address her. It didn’t even look like he was restraining himself. Commander Spock remained as imperturbable as always; never even casting a longing glance in the xenolinguist’s direction. How in the hell could they do that if they were intimately involved?
But if one were to look close, one could see that they were rubbing off on one another. Both Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura developed a Spock-like habit of raising an eyebrow whenever something was amusing. Whenever Lt. Uhura stood at attention, she did so with either her arms folded in a Kirk-ish manner or clasped behind her back, Spock-style. Captain Kirk had taken to using the word ‘fascinating’ whenever he was posed with something interesting. Whatever habits Spock picked up from them were not easily discernable, but Dana was sure that he had. Locard’s Principle was just as true for couples (or triads) as it was for forensic evidence.
At the last spades game, Koko told the girls that she and Gia asked Uhura if the rumors were true and she validated it. They honored her with a toast and a standing ovation. Koko let everyone know that Uhura didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed or angry that their secret was out. And while everyone was curious as to the chemistry and physics of such an affair, hardly anyone was bothered by it. Most were amused. And after eight weeks, the majority of the buzz died down and everyone moved on to new gossip. Koko contemplated forming her own threesome. Scuttlebutt had it that other trios were getting together as well. Never let it be said that Captain Kirk wasn’t an inspiring leader. Rumor had it that the captain was planning shore leave. Tina refused to verify or deny that she was having a fling with Dr. McCoy. Scotty was definitely messing around with three different women since the social. And the ladies from Social Science wanted to have a dance-off rematch with the divas of the science department.
Dana smiled as she adjusted her controls. As far as she was concerned, Uhura achieved god-like status among most of the women and the gay men on board the Enterprise. Koko told the girls that Uhura wore a Superman cape underneath her Starfleet uniform and they could do nothing but agree. What else could it be? How she managed not only to land but also to secure the top dog and the second in charge was awe-inspiring. According to scuttlebutt, Captain Kirk hadn’t glanced at another woman in over a year. And that was unusual for a man like him. As far as Spock, well…the woman must have super powers to crack his shell.
She couldn’t help but wonder what they were like when they were alone. Were they all lovey-dovey and cuddly? Dana hid her smirk at the thought of Commander Spock being cuddly. Were they feisty and fiery? She had the distinct feeling that Uhura was and knew from ship’s gossip that Captain Kirk had a hot streak. Did they squabble or fight? What was the sex like? Was it Uhura having sex with both men or all three having sex with each other? Was it fantastic?
Dana smirked again. Every woman in the spades club believed that whatever kind of sex they were having, it had to be incredible. How could it not be? Uhura was the luckiest woman in the galaxy.
Was their relationship equal? Who led? Were they committed to each other? Did they intend to start a family? Were they living together? Questions flew through her mind, but she knew that they would never be answered. Whatever the nature of their relationship, it was extremely private. Other than the obvious, no one had any idea what they were like outside of their respective duties.
Dana spared a glance at Uhura. She was at her console, relaying subspace anomalies to Commander Spock, her eyes cool and blank, her face expressionless as she reported. She was an amazing woman. Dana wanted to give her another round of applause.
* * *
They were in Kirk’s tub. Spock loved to take hot baths with Uhura. She would saturate the water with scented magnesium sulfate crystals, light candles and play soft music while they soaked. She turned Kirk’s bathroom into a place of relaxation and mediation. They lay in the water and she rested against him, her hair in a topknot. Spock’s hands were in their usual place; on her breasts, thumbing the nipples. She had a hand in his hair and they were kissing; nice and slow, lips with a little teeth and Spock’s tongue tricks. Then she turned her head and he merely trailed his kisses over her cheek and to her ear.
Uhura smiled contentedly as she did a quick inventory of Kirk’s bathroom. While neither she nor Spock had moved in, there was enough of them there to leave no doubt. The towel rack held three large towels; nothing so obvious as His, Hers, & His, but they were there. Three toothbrushes in the holder; hers was hot-pink, Spock’s blue, and Kirk’s green. She had her own minty toothpaste and mouthwash. Kirk had taken to using both. A tube of moisturizer and her facial scrub. Two small bottles of body oil: Spock’s patchouli and Kirk’s sandalwood. Her hot-pink makeup bag. Spock’s dental floss. Kirk’s razor and shaving cream. Spock’s comb and brush, which Kirk had also started using. Her body butter. And something she had not noticed until now: a jar of strawberry-flavored nipple cream. There was no telling where Kirk had gotten that from, or when he intended to use it. She decided to act surprised when he did.
Uhura did an admirable job of not taking over the medicine cabinet with her things, even though she knew they wouldn’t have cared. She did keep a bag in Kirk’s closet, however.
Spock was nibbling on her ear and making distinct purring sounds. Uhura cradled his head. He knew she liked it when he did that. She sighed.
“I want to ask you something.”
Spock closed his eyes. “It is about my Pon Farr.”
She sighed against him. Of course he would know. “Yes. I know you don’t like to talk about it, but as your mate, I do believe I’m entitled to know a few things.”
“Your mother survived Pon Farr.”
“I do not wish to discuss my parents’ experience.”
“I know how difficult it is for you, Spock. But don’t you think I deserve to know what I’m getting into?”
“Of course, Nyota. It’s just hard for any Vulcan to talk about…it is quite an unpleasant display of…illogic.”
“And yet it is a part of you, your life and your culture. I am your mate and I will be there for you in every way I must be, Spock. Jim is willing to put himself in harm’s way because he thinks you could damage me in that state. He’s doing that because of what he saw in your mind. If your mother survived Pon Farr without an assist…?”
“Nyota, that is something I never discussed with my parents. It is considered intrusive, as it is a very private matter.”
“Have you had a Pon Farr yet, Spock? Jim is not sure if what he saw were your memories or the collective memories of your father and ancestors.”
He remained silent for a while. “This will be my first with a mate of my choice and as a fully adult Vulcan male.”
“So what Jim saw were some of your memories?”
“Yes. He is correct in that there is a collective unconscious. My father passed such on to me before my first Pon Farr. We do not discuss such distastefulness.”
“Show me,” she said.
“Nyota, I do not wish to—”
“Show me, Spock. You showed Jim, now show me. I am the one who you must mate with, so show me what I am getting into. I love you. I won’t judge you.”
He sighed and moved his graceful hands up to her neck and face, to her forehead. Spock pressed his forehead to the back of Uhura’s head and closed his eyes.
“Close your eyes,” he said. “Hold on to me.”
Uhura braced herself against his thighs and pressed into him. She took a breath. She would accept whatever Spock showed her, no matter how bad it appeared to be. Then her mind was flooded with images, vivid scenes of males and females having various forms of rough sex, some of it rape, most of it violent to an extent. There was one brief image of a dark-haired girl lying in the grass with her hands bound above her head and hands around her throat. The meld ended with a visceral image of a woman being shoved against a table and taken, possibly against her will. Uhura couldn’t say for sure, and couldn’t speculate which of the memories could have been Spock’s.
When Spock removed his fingers from her forehead, she was shaking and a tear slid down one cheek.
“I am sorry,” he said. “Now you see why the subject of Pon Farr is not something we Vulcans wish to acknowledge.”
She nodded. What she saw was disturbing and she truly understood why Kirk was so insistent of his presence during. Uhura stiffened, squeezing Spock’s thighs.
He kissed her hair. “Relax, Nyota. Please.”
After a few moments, she relaxed against him and he slid his arms around her, coming to rest his hands over her belly.
“I do not know what will happen, Nyota. I regret that I cannot reassure you.”
She nodded and turned her head to look at him. He met her luminous eyes. “It does not make a difference, Spock. I am with you and will be with you no matter what happens. If your mother survived it, I can too. And Jim thinks that he should protect us from possible after-effects. So, we’ll deal with it. We’ll get through it. And we’ll move on from there.”
Spock held her, closing his eyes, massaging her soft belly. “This is why you have gained weight?”
“Yes,” she sighed. “Jim thought it was a good idea for me to get stronger. He thinks it’ll be easy for me to lose the weight, but I can’t deny how much I’ve enjoyed eating anything I want. It’ll be hard to go back to my normal eating habits.” Uhura had had a ball the past two months, pigging out in the mess hall with Dez.
“Jim and I prefer that you retain your body mass, Nyota.”
She chuckled, stroking his fingers. “You just like the fact that my boobs are bigger.” Her beloved Spock was a tit man all day long. He made no secret of it.
“I do not deny that I find the increased volume of your breasts satisfying. However, if you were to become with child, it would be necessary for you to gain weight.”
“I know, Spock. But we also know that I’m nowhere near ready or willing to get pregnant. Lest we forget that you and Jim nearly had strokes when you thought that I might be.” Why on earth had he brought that up?
“In time, it will be something for us to consider, Nyota.” The prospect of fatherhood sometimes danced around the edges of his mind now that he had selected a mate and was comfortable in his relationship.
“In time. Not now.” Uhura sighed again. “You make sure that I get my injections, and I love you for it. Our relationship is too new and our careers too young. Besides, which one of you is going to father any child I might consider having?” Why were they even having this conversation?
“I would speculate that you might bear a child for each of us, Nyota. Perhaps more than one. I do not think that Jim or I would race to impregnate you; it will simply happen.”
Uhura shook her head, wondering how in the hell she would begin to tell her mother and father that she was in a committed relationship with two men, much less that she was pregnant by either of them. “Neither you nor Jim are going to turn me into a baby factory, Spock. How did we get on this subject?”
“It was my rationale as to why you should retain your current mass.”
“Oh,” she said. Then she sighed. “We’d better get out of the tub. Jim will be home soon and I need to get the bed ready for him.”
“Affirmative,” Spock said.
* * *
Kirk was using a cane on a limited basis. He could walk around, but McCoy instructed him to use the cane for support. It was a very nice cane, made of titanium with a Starfleet emblem at the head. He thought he looked cool with it, and McCoy agreed that it was so. Kirk’s leg was healed in terms of the bone, but it was taking time to get his leg muscles back in shape. The therapy was helping. They had about a week or so before Spock’s Pon Farr and Kirk thought that he would be all right in time. Not in perfect condition, but functional enough to do whatever he needed to do.
He was back on bridge duty and glad of it. The star-mapping mission was complete, Pike was pleased, and Kirk directed the Enterprise to head to Capella VII. Capella was a binary-star system with two main-sequence G-type stars, each with temperatures comparable to Earth’s sun. Capella VII was 1.5 parsecs away, an M-class planet with a thriving human/humanoid population. The city of Madir was ten kilometers away from Starbase 2.29, and all reports indicated that it was a peaceful, yet hedonistic society. Kirk knew that would make his crew happy, and he authorized two weeks of shore leave in Madir where the Enterprise would be serviced and restocked.
McCoy checked and found a suitable place where Kirk, Spock and Uhura could have a measure of privacy. It was right outside of the metropolis. It was a private cabin, one of many dotted in and around Madir’s countryside and available for rent. The cabins served all kinds of purposes and the Madirians lavishly furnished them and provided supplies and incidentals for whoever wanted to rent one. McCoy went ahead and booked a cabin and planned to have it stocked with groceries and medical supplies by the time they arrived. Kirk had not spoken of the impending event since their chat, other than to tell McCoy when and where the shore leave would take place and McCoy inferred the rest. He sent the information to Kirk on his personal PADD.
Kirk refused to be nervous about Spock’s Pon Farr. It had been discussed and a course of action determined. Uhura was fully aware of the possibilities and Spock accepted that he would be present. Whatever happened would happen; they would deal with it and move on from there. If they could weather this, then they as a trio could handle anything and everything that came their way.
One evening, Kirk left Spock at the conn and journeyed back to his suite. Uhura was there after having spent most of beta shift in the communications lab. She was curled up in his chair, her ear clip in place, reading her PADD. A hot cup of tea sat on the table in front of her. As usual, whenever he saw her, his heart would swell.
“Nyota,” he said, moving into the room.
She turned and her face lit up. “Jim! Let me help you.”
“No, I got it,” he said. He was walking much better now, but still used the cane until McCoy said otherwise. He sat in the other chair. “What are you doing?”
“Well, since we’ve had a bit of down time since completing the star-mapping assignment, I’ve been able to catch up on my journal reading.” She showed him her PADD; it contained the latest edition of the Journal of Research in Starfleet Communications. “I’ve been thinking about submitting an article to JRSC based off some data I’ve been collecting in the lab.” She removed her ear clip.
“I probably will in a few weeks’ time. I’d like for Spock to verify my results before I do so.”
“Nyota,” Kirk said, “We’ll arrive in Madir tomorrow. Bones found us a place where we can have some privacy. According to McCoy, he believes that Spock’s Pon Farr has begun.” There were tell-tale signs, though Spock would not admit to any of them.
“I know, Jim. He’s definitely not himself. I’ve noticed that his hands have begun to shake and that he’s easily irritated.”
“I have as well.”
“I’ve stayed out of his way.”
“I have too.”
Spock announced a few days ago that he would require alone time in his quarters to meditate. Neither Kirk nor Uhura argued; whatever Spock needed to do prior to their arrival in Madir, they would let him do it. When he was not on the bridge, he was in his room. They missed him, but what had to be done had to be done.
“I keep telling myself not to worry,” Kirk said. “But those images were disturbing.”
“I know,” she said. “I asked him to show me and he did.”
“And you’re not afraid?”
“I admit to some trepidation, Jim. Some of what I saw appeared to be rape and some bondage. I saw a girl getting choked. However,” and she leaned over to take his hand, “I will not let it keep me from being with Spock. I know that it won’t be rape, because I consented to everything when we bonded in Kalamar. And although he might hurt me physically, I am strong enough mentally to handle it.”
“I know you are,” Kirk said.
“Besides, I may as well get used to it. I’ll be doing this every seven years.”
Kirk shrugged. “That’s true. He’s not going to leave you. Nor I.”
“I’ll endure him for as long as I can. If I cry out, you come into the room. Not before. If you hear me scream, then you enter. Not before. Don’t put yourself in the way if you don’t have to.”
Kirk closed his eyes and nodded. “All right. I just hate for him to feel guilty if you were seriously injured.”
Uhura squeezed his hand. “Jim, I expect to get injured. I’m preparing myself to take whatever he dishes out. I expect to be sore, to be bruised, to be scratched, and to be bitten. I expect for him to pull my hair and hit me. And I expect that when it’s over, he will take such excellent care of me that I won’t even remember the abuse.”
“I will too, Nyota.”
“You’re going to suffer a worse beating at his hands, Jim. You’ll need care yourself.”
“Bones will be there to provide medical assistance when it’s done.”
She nodded. “So we’re as prepared as we can be. But I have some bad news for you, Jim.”
“My period’s starting in a day or so.”
Kirk didn’t say anything, he just sighed. It figured. How such a thing would play out was beyond him.
“It’ll be fine, Jim.”
“I know. I didn’t tell Spock where we would be exactly, but I gave him some random beam-down coordinates located somewhere in the city.”
“Jim! Why did you do that?”
“You’ll need time to get ready, Nyota. I merely bought a few more hours’ worth for both of us. I mean, if he’s got that fever he spoke of, he may be liable to jump you in the transporter room. I’d like to get you settled before he comes for you. Don’t worry that he won’t locate you; I have it on good authority that Spock will find you no matter where you are.”
“All right.” Then she stroked his cheek.
He thumbed her palm and kissed her fingers. “Nyota, I love you. I do. I love Spock. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think it was necessary.”
“Jim, I know that. Spock knows it. It’ll be fine. We’ll make it.”
She sounded so convincing that Kirk believed her.
Spock was in his austere bedroom, shrouded in darkness. The only illumination was that of a single candle. He sat on the floor, cross-legged, his eyes closed. The last couple of days were spent in complete isolation, where he fasted and meditated. Kirk resumed bridge duty and Scotty served as his temporary second, as Spock wanted total seclusion. It helped, but only minimally. The twitches began a couple of days ago and the irritability soon followed. He started snapping at crew members over the slightest things. At McCoy’s behest, Nurse Chapel tried to bring him some Vulcan soup and he threw it at her, staining the walls purple. That shocked everybody and Kirk knew that Spock needed time to himself.
Spock stormed down to sickbay and told Dr. McCoy to mind his business. McCoy, ever vigilant, insisted that he run a scan on Spock and that led to an argument. When he found himself yelling at McCoy, Spock knew it was time to separate himself from the crew and from Uhura. He needed to meditate to ward off the rising heat within him. He needed to stay away from Uhura, at least until the time came when he was unable to do so. He could keep himself together for a day or two, if he was diligent in his mediation.
They were scheduled to arrive in Madir the next day and Spock forced himself to concentrate on the candle. He was able to keep the heat at bay, but he knew it would not last much longer. There was a fire growing in his blood, radiating from his groin upward and outward, turning his mind red. Spock was losing himself to the plak tow. Sometimes the heat would overtake him and his hands would tremble uncontrollably and his eyes would roll. In such a state, he found himself blinding moving towards the door, guided by a faint whiff of a familiar female fragrance just down the hall. There were quite a few times when, during his self-imposed isolation, when he caught himself about to leave his room. He would force himself to regain control. Only his strict Vulcan discipline was the reason why he was able to remain in his quarters.
Kirk informed him before he secluded himself of the coordinates in Madir where he would beam down. He advised Spock that he and Uhura would beam down right after him, but Spock was positive that Kirk was lying in order to have more time to prepare Uhura. He did not argue, for Kirk’s decision was logical. There was no telling what might happen if they beamed down together. It made sense that Uhura have time to get ready for him, lest he attack her in the transporter room. In the grip of the fever, he could very likely do so.
But reason was leaving him hour by hour. Replacing it was a hunger, red-hot, for Uhura. It was robbing him of his logic, his discipline, and his sanity. Soon there would be nothing left but raging passion. He sat in a compact position, squeezing his fingers together, allowing his eyes to roll at will as the fever rose within.
The confines of the ship were closing in on him. He was suffocating, broiling. They could not get to Madir fast enough.
The arrival was timely; as Spock was deep in the grip of the blood fever by the time he beamed down. Logic was gone and he was thoroughly pissed to find Uhura nowhere in sight. He was unable to separate the anger from the common sense of Kirk’s decision that they beam down separately. All he wanted was Uhura and Kirk was keeping her from him. He was furious. Where was she?
Where was she? Where was she? Where was she?
Spock was hot from the inside out. He emerged from the beam-down point and looked around. It was evening and the streets were crowded with Madir’s residents and some of the Enterprise’s crew members. The crew was elated to have two weeks’ shore leave and left the ship as soon as Kirk authorized it.
A crew member saw him and came up to him. “Mr. Spock, Mr. Spock! I—“
Not even acknowledging the poor soul, Spock shoved him out of the way and began walking down the street. He saw everything through a red mist. He clenched his fists. His temples pounded as the blood rushed through his veins. Where was she? He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Where was she?
Where was she? Where was she? Where was she?
A light came on in his mind. It was a flickering sliver of white. He inhaled.
Spock, intimately and keenly aware of Uhura’s unique biochemistry, was familiar with her fragrance, even its subtle changes. For him, it was as distinctive as a fingerprint, and in his heightened state of awareness, he located it. It was a flash of white light in the red haze of his lust-driven mind.
He needed her. He wanted her. Now. Right now.
Spock closed his eyes and let his nose lead him.