He and Spock had been lovers for nearly 3 years now, and the honeymoon was over. Their love for one another was as great as ever, but that love and everything else they shared had been severely tested recently, under very difficult circumstances, and James Kirk now needed (he thought) nothing more than to get away by himself for a while. Spock (thank God) agreed, seeming just as eager for time apart, which did not offend Jim in the slightest.
The Leo Ra 5 colony that supported the local spacedock was an artificial biosphere, but none the less quite beautiful. There was a huge freshwater reservoir to the west of the city. Simple beachside cabins were available for space-weary travelers to rent by the day, weekend, week or month. Kirk secured one for himself sight unseen with the full and sole intention of holing up alone to catch up on his fishing, swimming, and reading. Thoughtfully poking fire embers with a stick was also on the agenda. Whether or not he preferred to be alone was not the question. He was convinced he needed to do these things alone.
He had a lot of thinking to do. Spock had driven his telepathic tentacles deep into Kirk's imagination and plundered, mining for memories, dreams and wishes that held erotic content or potential. He then had used this information to ring bells in Jim as if his head was a pinball machine, and Jim Kirk just wanted to try to remember being his original self, the man he had been before the Happy Tamperer had set up camp in his skull.
Jim had joyfully consented to all of it, and had no regrets, but neither he nor Spock had any idea if the jolly roller-coaster ride was worth the psychic consequences. That was one of the most important things Kirk needed to think about, whether he wanted to grapple with it or not.
It wouldn't be so critical if people's lives didn't depend on him maintaining a clear head and sound judgment, and not just any old people either, but the finest people he knew: the awesome men and women under his command. He did't give a fig for the average person's opinion, but he wasn't going to get caught dragging the flag in front of his wonderful crew. He had demanded their best and gotten it, and more, and he sure as hell was going to give back as good as he'd gotten. They deserved that.
First, he had to stop in LR5 to shop for provisions. Next, he planned to strip naked and fling himself with a whoop into the lake. Then, he had some serious fire poking to do. If all went well, he'd be back at the top of his game, ready to tackle a fresh bushelful of problems with renewed zest. His self-restorative program had always worked before, and he was confident it would work again. It might even be possible to laugh next time Spock gave him THE LOOK, instead of breaking a cold sweat like Spock had conditioned him to do.
Commander Spock indeed was grateful to be free, temporarily, of his restless lover's sometimes bizarre demands. James Kirk, without question, was a superb partner both in and out of bed (not that they often made it that far) but his peculiar love for certain sadomasochistic practices was beginning to infect Spock's soul too deeply, and was becoming a matter of concern, as it naturally would be to a moral person of *any* species.
Spock had trouble enough managing his own chaotic inner climate without that (metaphorically speaking) cigarette-smoking demon cheerfully trying to tempt him into a bathtub filled with gasoline, saying "Come on in, the water's fine!" Water, My Aunt Fanny. It was time to draw the line. Long past time, in fact. Spock had new respect for the infamous struggles of men in love. Tales of their sometimes spectacularly disastrous follies now made perfect sense to him, and offered clear warning which he now realized was a sign for his very own times.
Thank goodness they still presented well before public eyes. They had worked hard at this, and at least could congratulate themselves that no undue suspicion had been aroused among their shipmates. Only Dr. McCoy had raised any complaints, and this seemingly only because he wished to "hang around" drinking alcoholic beverages to toxic excess and "shooting the breeze" (as they say) with Jim the way he had been accustomed in the past to do. Frustrating the Doctor's questionable efforts in this area had become something of a hobby. The man bore defeat so unhappily, poor Doctor.
Jim's eyes were brighter and his complexion was improving since he'd stopped abusing his liver with such banal debauches. Spock could count that, at least, as a personal victory.
He had enjoyed a generally positive (if brief) career of personal and erotic victories. Yes. However, shared pains and pleasures aside, Spock was unsure of his progress and status in the intimate arena. Kirk blew hot and cold, seeming almost inconsistent in his affection and indeed was perfectly fickle at times. Within the same hour James could go from offering Spock a love that was ardent, focused and pure, to swooning dizzily after some barely nubile human female with grotesquely overblown mammary protuberances without a thought in his head that didn't relate directly to his plans to convince the woman to bounce, giggling, in his lap.
Odd preference, that. Jim had unfortunately failed to inherit the minor chromosome that shuts off the normal infant's lust to be milk-fed at a decently ~minor~ age. Ah well. Couldn't be helped. Really, when one thinks how fragile and complicated genetic patterns are, it's a wonder anything works at all. Perhaps it's best after all to, in effect, "count one's blessings".
The radiant hyper-masculine young man in the Fleet officer's uniform that charged into the clothing store exactly 13 seconds after the shop opened for business knew exactly what he wanted, exactly what size and exactly how many, and persuaded the stunned sales people to simply stay out of his way (or to behave submissively when cued) with a rapid, happy stream of terribly important-sounding chatter. He seized his bundle, and with a dazzling smile for all and a hearty thanks, bore it away 5 minutes and 4 seconds after having entered.
The moment the door closed behind this whirlwind, the bubble popped and the thunderstuck clerks all broke out laughing, but weren't sure why. Then the cashier exclaimed, "Don't hurt me! I surrender!" And this time when they laughed they knew why.
Wearing a t-shirt and a new pair of blue jeans, Jim felt as if he'd shed a bearskin and was reborn. He liked his boots though. He was keeping those on. They were all broken in just perfect and nothing could be better except going barefoot. Best thing about Fleet issue, in his opinion, was the boots.
Clicking his heels and snapping his fingers, Jim breezed into a small grocery store, hoisted a handbasket, and began tossing in one of every remotely familiar-looking food item. Jim had learned a long time ago to not be picky about food. He had to take in 4000 calories a day just to maintain his weight. No matter what it was, sooner or later, he'd eat it. You get hungry enough, anything tastes good. ALMOST anything. When he noticed one bottle with a picture of a lemon on it was liquid soap, he put that back...then went and grabbed it again because, hey, he'd also need soap.
The cashier returned from the back room. Jim sensed this instead of seeing it since his attention was focused elsewhere. Out of the corner of his eye was the expected human figure waiting for him to finish shopping so they could take over, do their job, and send him on his merry way laden with holiday cargo.
A woman entered the store and greeted the cashier, who responded with a woman's voice. In low voices, they made inconsequential conversation while Jim toured the whole store, aisle by aisle, then reversed his steps and retoured, scanning the shelves for anything tempting he missed on the initial pass.
He strode out of the side aisle, made for the front counter where the two women were, and stopped dead in his tracks. He gasped aloud. Then laughed at himself. Then he just stood there, gawking in a manner that in retrospect he realized must have looked pretty goofy.
The cashier was an absolutely incredible looking young lady. A Venus. Her figure was practically a caricature of womanliness. Generous, beautifully shaped hips, a neat little waist, and a truly impressive set of nice, big round breasts. The girl had everything female going on in every direction, without mercy. Dainty hands and arms, pretty face, crowned with a regal cowl of long, satiny black hair. Her eyes! Wow! AND GOD CREATED WOMAN.
Startled by the sudden intense scrutiny of their handsome but intimidating customer, the two women tittered nervously. He just stood there, grinning crookedly, an over-filled handbasket, swinging slightly, hanging from his hand.
The elder woman leaned toward the younger one and murmured, "Honey, ask him if he needs help."
Jim instantly understood that these two were mother and daughter, and that they probably owned this place. He noted the physical similarities between them, and concluded the mother wasn't half bad either.
Venus turned to Jim to softly ask, "Do you need some help?"
"Yes I do!"
Jim nodded approval. "You name it!"
The girl glanced at Kirk's basket. "I mean, did you find everything you want?"
Jim, still transfixed by the vision before his eyes, smiled invitingly. "I believe so, yes! Thank You Very Much."
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