DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2015 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.
When I Finally Looked Your Way
The ship seems more crowded than the last time Spock was on it. Crewmen rushing down the corridors in a way those at Gol would never condone. Men and women call to each other, their voices too loud, too shrill. After months of silent contemplation, the sound of normal crew chatter is nearly deafening.
He does not have quarters yet. He was not supposed to be on this ship, back with his friends, with all these people he chose to leave—to abandon, Jim would no doubt say. He wonders when they will have their first real conversation about why and how he left Jim and the rest.
He told his friend of his decision in a comm and delayed delivery on the message so he was well on his way to Vulcan before Jim had any idea he'd left Starfleet.
Jim has not assigned him quarters yet. Spock is not sure if it is an oversight or punishment of some kind. Jim is also not supposed to be on this ship and yet here he is, and from all appearances is staying in the center seat, so perhaps in the rush of things to do, seeing to Spock's needs has fallen to the bottom of his list. Again, though, this may be punishment, but Spock is not ready to ask him directly where he should stay.
It hurts that he has to ask. The old Spock would not care, but the Spock that he was did not cry on the bridge. He is emotionally compromised after the meld with V'ger, and he knows it. He is not sure if it is a permanent state or if he will revert to some middle ground—what he was before he fled the ship perhaps.
The irony does not escape him.
Everything is as it was. But is everything as it should be?
Spock does not miss Gol—or not exactly. But as a crewman careens into him, taking the corner too wide and murmuring apologies, and as his brief touch when he steadies himself sets up a barrage on Spock's psi shields, Spock does have a moment's wish for the peace he has given up.
"Are you all right?"
He stops, knows her voice, will always know her voice, even though it is lower now, more serious. She is a doctor and when she asks the question, it comes with ramifications if he does not answer it in a manner that pleases her. She can relieve him, and he is emotionally compromised.
He turns and is struck again by how different she looks. Her hair is pulled back simply, her face nearly fresh scrubbed. The artifice of their first voyage is gone.
She is not smiling at him either. Although she did, when she first saw him. She smiled, and her voice rose precipitously, and the Spock then did not care, but he now knows she still cares for him—that those were signs she was happy to see him. Even if at this moment, she does not appear to be so happy: her face is as grim as the Kolinahr priestess.
"I have been remiss," he says, and his voice comes out scratchy and reminds him of all the times he was silent at Gol.
"In what way?" She shifts, and his eyes are drawn to her hip, jutting out because of the way she is standing, and to the way she has crossed her arms over her breasts.
"I have not congratulated you on your M.D."
Another crewman yells, too close to him, and he flinches before he can stop the motion.
She takes him by the sleeve, and he realizes she is being careful not to touch him skin to skin. Pulling gently, she says, "Come on, let's get you to your quarters."
"I have none."
"Well, lucky for you, even though your buddy demoted me, this ship still thinks I'm CMO, so I can assign you some. You have a preference?"
He is unsure what she wants him to say, and she does not seem to be waiting, just pulls him down a corridor to the lift and once they are safely on it, lets go of his sleeve.
"Deck Six." Her voice is steady, as if she does not care that he is here.
Why does that bother him? She was happy to see him. Anything she is doing now to appear unconcerned with his presence is pretense. He should be...relieved, though. Grateful, even, that she will not repeat her infatuation of the previous voyage.
The lift opens, and she doesn't wait for him, marching off the lift and heading down a side corridor to where the visiting officers' quarters are. Palming open a door, she tells the computer, "New resident. Commander Spock." She glances at him without actually making eye contact. "This'll do until your transfer is permanent." She finally meets his eyes. "You're transferring back on, I take it? Coming back to Starfleet?"
"I am. And you—are you staying?" He is not sure why he has asked that. He does not care.
"I don't know yet." Her voice finally sounds like the one he remembers. Not so steady and stony—some measure of emotion in it. "I'm sure if I took a poll, you'd be in the 'Please get the hell off the ship' column." She smiles tightly and turns to go.
He reaches out, touching her hand, grabbing it, skin to skin, and he feels what she was trying to hide from him by holding his sleeve. "You want me."
She tries to shake him off. "Damn it. Did I say you could read me?"
"I would not vote for you to leave." His voice shakes as he speaks.
"You're emotionally compromised, Mister. Kirk may not see that or Len, or maybe they do but they're so happy to have you back that they don't care. But I sure as hell see it, and this conversation is just further proof."
He does not let go of her. "V'ger was lonely."
"And that means you have to be? And for how long?" She has stopped trying to get away. "I don't think I'm staying on the ship."
"You have other offers?" He pulls her closer, and the door to his quarters, which she has been blocking, slides closed with a hiss that is different than the way he remembers it. The refits, no doubt.
"For a job? Or for whatever this is?"
He finds himself curious how long her hair is so he undoes the bun, pulling the pins out carefully, and she does not try to stop him, just stares at him almost helplessly. "Other postings," he says as he lets go of her hand so he can finish getting her hair free, so he can pull it over her shoulders, then brush it back again.
It is soft and silky. It was not so sleek when it was blonde. He remembers that from their time with the Platonians.
"I have other offers, yes." She is breathing harder and closes her eyes, and he thinks she may try to run, so he puts his arm around her and draws her further into the room. "And this? Does another man take your hair down?" He is suddenly entranced by the smell of her perfume, so he leans in, breathing along her collarbone, up her neck, to her ear.
He is not sure when smelling her skin turned to kissing it, and when she groans, he pulls away. "Are you with anyone? You still want me, but this could be true even if you were spoken for."
She smiles and he narrows his eyes, a question evidently clear because she laughs ands says, "Spoken for. An old fashioned way of saying that IÕm sleeping with someone."
"I do not care who you are sleeping with provided they do not matter to you." He runs his hand through her hair, wrapping his fingers in the strands, pulling her to him that way, and her eyes dilate.
She still wants him. This makes him...happy.
"I had someone. In med school. But then I was assigned here, and he went off to practice in Singapore." She looks down. "You don't care about the details, do you? You just want to screw me."
Unhappiness assails him from where his hands rest against her neck. "It is the details I should care about most, is it not? The things I do not know about you."
"That would be everything." But she closes her eyes and lets him play as he wishes with her hair.
"I know you are lovely. I know you are kind. I know you are sad—this is not how you envisioned your life progressing. Jim and Leonard and myself back."
"That's for sure."
"I cannot undo the demotion. I cannot remove Leonard as your boss. But I can change one aspect of the parameters of your life." He leans in and begins to undo her uniform.
"This is just V'ger. What you're feeling—or think you're feeling."
"And you may end up leaving. Neither of us has any assurances tonight. Prior to your arrival in the corridor, I did not even have quarters. Already you have improved my life."
"And taking my hair down is equal trade?" Her expression changes as he watches her, becomes something more daring—more of a challenge.
"I am also removing your clothing."
"I noticed. That's the kind of thing a gal doesn't miss."
"Yet you do not object."
"Well, as you say"—she moves closer, puts her arms around him—"I may be leaving and this may just be V'ger."
"You said that part. Not I."
She laughs. "Shut up and kiss me."
"And if this is not just V'ger? And if you do not leave?"
"I'll answer that once we've had sex." She laughs and rubs her nose against his, a gesture that is both whimsical and appealing, and he wonders what he has missed by not looking her way before now. Her sweetness used to feel cloying but now it soothes him—and he is not sure if he has changed so much he needs it or if her sweetness now is different than it was before.
And then he stops wondering because she is taking off his clothing, and pushing him to the bed, and climbing on top of him. She sinks down, and he closes his eyes, feeling a sense of completeness that has eluded him since he first heard V'ger's call.
He opens his eyes and touches her, letting his fingers trail all over, anywhere he can reach—some places more than others when he finds those that make her writhe, that make her cry out and clutch the bedding and then collapse on his chest.
He keeps moving, holding her tightly, murmuring things in Vulcan that her translator may not pick up. And even if it does, the things he says may make sense only to him.
Want. Need. Yes. Yes, don't stop.
Or perhaps not. They are not advanced concepts. They are just the opposite.
He rolls so he can finish with her beneath him, pulls her legs up, moving fiercely, and she is smiling as their eyes meet.
And then he is going, and he squeezes his eyes shut and rides out the feelings assailing him.
Feelings he finds he is not opposed to. He does not know if over time that will change. He finds himself not wanting to give this up.
She taps gently on his forehead, and he opens his eyes. "Big thoughts. Never good after an orgasm."
He smiles. A true smile if a small one—he is still Vulcan, after all. "Stay with me."
"Tonight, you mean?"
He nods. "And...on the ship. Do not leave." He cups her cheek in his palm.
She eases him off her, but just enough so she can curl into him, her arm snaking across his waist. "And what if this is temporary? This arrangement?"
"These feelings. Not just an arrangement."
"You were a man without quarters a half hour ago. Adrift. I found you. I saved you. You feel grateful, and I'm safe and welcoming. You'll settle in and then you won't need me."
"You do not know that. It is just one of many possible scenarios." He nuzzles her neck, working his way back to her lips. He trails his fingers down and down until she arches into him. He does not stop until she is calling out his name, until she stops writhing and lies still, breathing hard.
"There are other scenarios?" In her voice there is humor—and happiness.
He enjoys the sound of her happiness. "Many. I believe you should stay. Explore the possibilities."
She yawns and he gets out of bed long enough to pull down the covers, easing them out from under her, then crawling back into bed with her, pulling her tightly against him as he bundles them up from whatever awaits.
Her eyes are closing and he kisses her gently.
"Stay?" he asks.
"I'll probably be sorry."
"I will endeavor to not make that true."
She smiles, a tired half-smile, that he finds lovely. "Fine. We'll see how this goes." She burrows into him and is quickly asleep.
He holds her, feeling the vibrations of the ship—subtly different than how it used to sound—and sensing the presence of the others onboard. Inside this room, with her curled against him, he is free to reach out, to find some middle ground between the inward-looking disciplines of Gol and the mind-expanding meld with V'ger, to start the voyage of determining who he is now, what Spock will emerge on this path he never imagined choosing.
She moves in sleep, and he kisses her lips. She is at peace; he can feel that through the gentle touch.
He realizes he is tired, more tired than he has felt in months. Pulling her more tightly against him, he closes his eyes and lets go.
When he wakes in the morning, her hair splashed across the pillows, her back pressed against his chest, he resolves to talk to Jim sooner rather than later about his quarters, about his leaving, and about the future. Now that he has one again.