He was like a drug, and I was bingeing. The whole thing was insane, but I knew that all along. I knew from the start that it was doomed, but it felt so good that I just didn't care. I told myself to just not worry about that, to just enjoy him while he was here. He made me feel like a woman again. That's what I was really doing it for, just to feel alive. I had been sitting on the shelf too long. Lord! I had grown cobwebs on my ass.
My original plan was to go out on Friday night just to loosen up with a few drinks before I chained myself to the desk for the rest of the weekend to finish filing my tax report, but when I met Jim at lunch Friday afternoon that idea flew right out of my head.
I knew who he was, when I first saw him in Fran's coffee shop. He was dressed in his yellow and black Starfleet uniform, with the glittering gold braid on the sleeves that shows his rank. It was pretty obvious. There had been a big story published in the paper that morning about the USS Enterprise, with a Captain Kirk interview in the sidebar. Deep space vessels don't stop here much, and a famous one like the Enterprise is a pretty big deal around here.
There was a copy of the paper on the counter before me, so I opened it up to double-check before I said anything. Yes, there was the story, and there was his picture. A handsome man. Trust me, he is much more handsome in person. The youngest Starship Captain in history. Very interesting!
"Captain James Tiberius Kirk." I read aloud, then looked at him. "Is that you?"
Kirk played coy. "Why do you ask?" he responded, mildly.
"That's you!" I asserted, showing the article. "Captain, I gotta ask...how could they do a whole story about you without explaining that middle name of yours?"
"That's...completely unfair!" he exclaimed, smiling, and advanced slowly. "You already know so much about me, and I don't know anything about you, yet!"
Well, I knew he was Terran too, so I offered him my hand, Terran-style. He stepped up quickly to take my hand, and his hand was strong, and very warm, but his touch was surprisingly tender. We shook hands, but instead of letting go, he held onto me. His grasp was gentle, but firm and sure.
"I'm Josie Newman." I smiled, feeling flattered. "People call me Jo."
"Jo is a man's name" he replied, smiling pleasantly. "What's that short for, Josephine?"
I nodded, and tugged for my hand. Jim held on. Intrigued, I let him.
"I'm gonna call you Josephine, and you can call me James, 'cause everybody else calls me Jim." He told me, like that settled everything.
You know I'm not a timid woman, but this guy already had me rattled. I realize that he's used to bossing people around, but I wasn't used to being bossed by anybody, and I didn't like him telling me what to call myself. But he has the most wonderful, warm, sexy hazel eyes, and he just was looking right into me. I didn't want him to think I was some blushing, giggling, featherheaded, girlish type, even though I felt like one right then, so I forced myself to meet his gaze with a level and steady gaze of my own. He seemed to appreciate that.
I said, "I don't like being called Josephine. I prefer Jo". I was firm.
He shrugged, and smiled. "I don't like James, but it coulda been worse. Coulda been Humphrey."
I laughed, and he laughed with me.
"Jo: not a very pretty name for such a pretty lady." he persisted.
Now I was becoming annoyed. I took my hand back.
"Josephine sounds old-fashioned." I said, wondering why I was justifying myself.
"The best things in life are old-fashioned" he smiled, and looked deeply into my eyes, in a way that felt a bit too familiar.
He seemed determined to convince me to allow myself to be called Josephine, which I had already told him is something that I don't like, and I couldn't imagine why it even mattered to him, but he was really starting to bug me.
"If you insist on calling me Josephine then I'm going to start calling you Humphrey!" I warned him.
Captain Kirk then adopted an assertive stance - legs apart, hands on hips - and declared, "If you insist on calling me that, I'm going to insist on answering to it!"
I laughed. I couldn't help it. He's insane, I thought.
"I've answered to stranger things!" he deadpanned, still in his stance. His eyes twinkled mischievously. "Sometimes I even live up to them."
He was having fun. Well, I wasn't. I suddenly just wanted out of there. Everyone was staring at us and I felt embarrassed. Why was I even talking with this very strange man? Because he's magnetically attractive? I felt foolish. He was obviously trying to pick me up, and everybody knew it. He misunderstood me. I'm not that sort of girl, and I wanted everybody, especially him, to know it. I was finished with my business, so I decided to leave immediately.
"Well, it was... interesting meeting you, Captain." I stated. "Enjoy your visit. Bye, bye, Fran!"
Fran waved good-bye to me from behind the counter and I quickly walked out.
Kirk followed me. "Miss Newman!" he called.
I ignored him, and kept walking. He caught up to me and grasped me by the arm, but I yanked my arm away and gave him a dirty look. Some nerve he has!
We faced each other in the middle of the sidewalk.
"Miss Newman, I apologize!" he blurted. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you."
"Captain Kirk...I am not offended, but I am in a hurry." I retorted, and I turned on my heel and briskly continued on my way.
"Me too!" he declared, falling into step beside me. "I'm always rushing around. Sometimes I have to tell myself, Self, slow down! Stop and smell the roses! Life is for living! Don't be in too much of a rush to get everywhere, or you might miss something important along the way..."
I stopped, he stopped.
He continued, "I have to give myself a real good talking to sometimes...but it's always more interesting to talk with someone else!"
I turned to face him, he turned to face me.
"Don't misunderstand me. By someone else I don't mean someone else besides you. Not that I mind being beside you. I don't." he went on.
We just stood and looked at each other for a moment, while I thought about what to say to him. I had to think for a second about what to say. It is hard sometimes for a girl to know what to say to a guy like him at times like this. It suddenly flitted through my mind that he hadn't liked me making sport of his middle name. I wondered if I should apologize for that.
Before I could find a word to speak, he very seriously and softly said to me, "Going nowhere can actually be better than getting somewhere in a hurry - especially when you have nowhere special to go, like I do."
I didn't even try to puzzle that out, I just said, "Well, I do have somewhere special to go, and I'm going there now."
He nodded gravely.
"Can I come?" he asked. Just like that. Like a little kid asking, Can We Be Friends?
I don't know why I didn't just blow him off. I should have. It's just something about him. It's everything about him. He really is a fine-looking man. He's got light brown hair, and friendly eyes, and a beautiful smile. He's about six feet tall, which you know I appreciate, since I'm tall myself. And he has a nice, masculine build: broad shoulders, strong arms, slim hips. And he has an adorable, wonderfully expressive face. He radiates a sexy aura that's like a magnetic field, all around him. He's irresistible.
I stopped to think for one second, and during that second I noticed several other women watching us...watching him, I mean. The sexy young starship Captain... and he was interested in me...and I was without a date for the weekend, as usual....
I did not just take him home with me. I told you, I am not that kind of girl...normally. Yes, we ended up at my place, but we walked around talking for a while, first. He knows more about our star-system than I do, and I live here. He's very smart, and he's witty. Witty guys aren't usually sweet, but he's very sweet. A sweet, old-fashioned kind of man. A MAN man, you know what I mean? I thought they didn't make 'em like that anymore.
I started calling him Humphrey, because he kept wanting to call me Josephine. Well, Humphrey and Josephine got along great. An hour after they met, Josephine took Humphrey back to my place, and about an hour after that they were in my bed together. I can't explain exactly how that happened, it just sort of...occurred. He just sort of talked her, I mean me, into it, and I guess I just sort of let him.
And I was soooooo glad I did! I did not regret that at all! I needed that sooooooo much! Oh, my God, he was an animal! We both were! It was absolutely grand! I love men who kiss, and he is a wonderful kisser: sensual, passionate and playful. I haven't been thrilled like that by a man in a long, long time.
He was pretty pleased with me, too. He kept calling me his angel. Nobody has ever called me an angel before.
It takes a pretty unusual man get get me excited, and he's definitely pretty unusual, for a lot of reasons, and I could see that right away. Well, for one thing, he shaves his chest. I know, but on him it looks good. When he took his uniform off and I saw his gorgeous body, my first thought was, "Wow!" and then I thought, "His chest is completely smooth." I mean, like a peeled egg, smooth. I meant to ask him why he does it. I know there's got to be a story behind it, but I got distracted, and never got the story.
I did get the story about the middle name though. Here's what he said:
My paternal granduncle died of heart failure a week before I was born: his name was John Tyler Kirk. In memory of him, and to create a place to send his monogrammed knick-knacks, it was decided I'd have the same initials in my name. "James" everybody agreed about, but my mother wanted to pick my middle name and she had a hard time making up her mind, so on my birth certificate the middle name was just left as T. Officially, I don't have a middle name. Legally, my middle name is just the letter T.
My mom forgot all about filling in the blank until I was registered for pre-school. By then I'd had chance to distinguish myself, and I think she was also having a bad day. She told the registrar that my middle name was Tiberius, as a joke - Ha, ha, very funny Ma! I was just a kid, I was four years old...of course I was a brat. All kids at that age are brats. But the registrar thought she was serious, so it went into my record. So this follows me throughout my school career, and it sticks. I took some teasing about it, and even got into some fights over it, over the years, so I am a little sensitive about it. I wish the reporter who had interviewed me had asked me about it, so I could have told them to just use the T., which I prefer.
I also found out that he has a major breast fetish. My nipples are still sore. He liked his nipples played with, too. I never played that rough with a man, I never even thought about such things, before. But I discovered that I liked it. Maybe I decided I liked it, just because I liked him so much.
Like is not the word. I'm crazy about him, but there is no hope whatsoever. I've got to forget about him. He is just too complicated. Seriously complicated. No, seriously.
He was so sweet, and hot, and incredible, and that was wonderful, but that was a dream. I'm awake, now.
It wasn't that he turned out to be a jerk. I was the jerk, but I had to be! There are times you have to be cruel to be kind, and this was one of those times.
I'll explain, but you have to first promise to not say anything. Never a _word_. To anyone.
Well, we talked a while and then we started kissing, and he was such a yummy kisser that it just escalated pretty quickly after that. The next thing I know we're in my bed and I've straddled his cock, and we're playing some crazy nipple-tug-of-war game while I'm bouncing, riding him like he's a sweat-slicked horse, and he's laughing this weird laugh of pure exhilaration, and screaming at me, screaming "YOU ANGEL!", which is kind of a funny thing to say at a time like that, but right then I would have answered to ~anything~.
Yeah, it got pretty kinky. There were a couple of other little things, too. He gave me a little spank one time, and when I spanked him back, he liked it, and dared me to do it again. So, yes, I learned right away that he was funny that way. I never really went for that kind of thing before, but just because I was with him, it was all right. Everything we did together just felt right, so I didn't worry about it. I didn't even think about it. Look, by then I'm totally in love with him, just swooning dizzily along with whatever he wants to do.
The man is like a drug. I was under the influence. I was not in my right mind.
After spending all afternoon in bed Jim said he was as hungry as a lumberjack - he always says funny, anachronistic things like that - and I was willing to just cook something, but he wanted to see some sights too, so we went out to dinner. We'd agreed to get dinner, and maybe do a little dancing, and we planned to end up back at my place before it got too late - we had all kinds of plans - but it was not to be. He wasn't really free to be on leave with me, he had just been stealing a little time for himself. During our meal he got a call on his communicator, and the next thing I know he's beaming back up to his ship and our date is over. Just like that!
That should have been the end of it. That alone should have been enough to tell me he was more trouble than he was worth, but you know me. I never learn anything the easy way.
I didn't feel like going out alone after all of that, so I went home. My apartment was a mess, especially the bedroom, which looked like a tornado had blown through it. I started cleaning up, but then I suddenly got angry, and started throwing things around instead. I threw a big fit. I never let things like this happen, and the reason why is because I always feel so horrible when it's over. I just felt used, and unclean, and depressed AGAIN - and I was angry at myself about that. I took a long, hot bath and went to bed early, and resolved as I lay in bed alone AGAIN to resume living as if I am a damned uncloistered nun. Just as I was finally getting drowsy I caught myself hoping he would call me, and stopped myself, and I told myself to stop hoping for that, to not hope for anything, to stop being a moron, and to get some sleep.
Well, Saturday morning he called me! He wanted to take me out, and finish what we had started. Oh, happy day! All of a sudden everything was wonderful, and as soon as we were finished chatting I was dancing around my apartment like a total loony, singing like a loonybird. I hate myself when I get like this. Hate, hate, hate! I always make such an idiot of myself.
He called again a little later in the day, and said that he had a friend, and he wondered if I had a friend. What about a double-date? I nixed that idea for two reasons: one, I really just wanted to be alone with Jim, and two, I do not pimp my friends. I didn't say that, though. What I said was that my friend was, alas, out of town.
Then he called again to say he'd been delayed, and had to postpone dinner for an hour. This was after I had spent two hours getting ready and was breathlessly waiting in a state of suspense, expecting him to arrive any second. This stuff was starting to get on my nerves. It's not like he is the only person who has things to do. I too have a life.
An hour and a half later, we finally make it to the restaurant. We ordered, and then I popped into the ladies room for a minute. On my way back to the table I saw that a dark-haired man with a blue Starfleet uniform was sitting at our table and trying to talk with him. What was this, another emergency?
As I approached the table, they saw me, and first Jim, then the other man stood to welcome me back.
"You're not planning on taking Humphrey away from me, are you?" I asked.
"Who's Humphrey?" the man asked, startled.
"I'll explain later, Bones. Josie, allow me to introduce my comrade and friend, Dr. Leonard McCoy, who was just leaving. Dr. McCoy, say hello and good-bye to Miss Josephine Newman."
The doctor took my hand and kissed it lightly, smiling wolfishly.
"A sheer delight to meet you, Miss Newman", he drawled, with a unmistakable North American accent. Another Terran, how nice.
"Call me Jo." I said, sitting. Jim and the doctor sat. "For your information, Doctor, Humphrey is my absolutely *fantastic* lover!"
"I don't get it" McCoy grinned.
"And you're not going to" Jim grinned back. "Bones, I mean this in the kindest possible way... SHOVE OFF!"
I was a bit shocked by Jim's sudden vehemence, but thank goodness, McCoy showed he knew how to take a hint.
"All right, all right...aye-aye, *Captain*." He grumbled, standing. He moved away, then turned back to say, "Don't worry, Jimmy Boy, I won't say a thing about Spock."
What did that mean? I looked at Jim. There was a weird, turbulent expression in his eyes.
"That would be best", he replied evenly.
The doctor left, and Jim fell silent. As we were eating, I probed a little.
Jim was chewing a mouthful of food. I waited. He swallowed and said, "Mutual friend. Long story."
"There seemed to be a little tension between you and Dr. McCoy."
"Our good Doctor...has a marvelous bedside manner", Jim said, gesturing with his fork, "but his table manners leave much to be desired."
"He isn't the friend you were talking about before, is he?"
"What, you mean that I wanted to double-date with? No! No, I had someone else in mind, someone extra special."
Jim brightened, straightening in his chair. "My first officer. He's also my best friend. He's a terrific guy, a perfectly solid individual, but he's... a little bit awkward with women. Doctor McCoy does not have that problem. Doctor McCoy can fend for himself!"
I was starting to wonder if I had done the right thing. I decided to level with Jim.
"Look, I really just wanted to be alone with you. Besides, I have never even met your friend, so how can I ask my girlfriend to date him? I wouldn't even know what to tell a girl about him."
Jim looked momentarily stunned. "Of course not. I should have thought of that. That's my fault. Of course you've got to meet him first!" Jim hastily wiped his lips with his napkin and stood, suddenly in a big hurry. "Come on, let's get out of here so we can get that done!"
I was starting to have misgivings. "Oh, I don't know, it's kind of late to be setting anything up now, isn't it?"
"It's not getting any earlier." Jim replied, and taking my hand he led me out of the restaurant.
The pace of the world around us was starting to quicken. Something about being with Jim infuses everything you do with a sense of increased urgency. Five minutes one way or the other doesn't make a big difference, until you are with James Kirk: then it makes all the difference. Suddenly five minutes becomes a matter of life and death. Time doesn't change, but your perception of it does, when he's there flogging you into action.
We stopped outside, just stopped so suddenly that people walking had to adjust to get around us. Jim had been seized by an idea.
"Let's save some time and use this." he said, producing his pocket communicator. "It's supposed to be just for official business, but..." He paused, smiling impishly. "...this is official enough!"
"You should know," I replied, dryly. "You're the Captain."
"Kirk to Enterprise."
A deep man's voice replied, "Spock here."
I had heard that name before.
"Mr. Spock, there is, standing next to me, a most interesting person whom I insist that you must meet. Give the conn the Mr. Scott and beam right down here, on the double!"
In ponderous tones the voice replied, "Mr. Scott is on leave and therefore unavailable."
"Oh. All right, then put Mr. Sulu in charge..."
"Mr. Sulu has also beamed down."
"Spock, who IS available? Chekov?"
"Mr. Chekov is also at liberty presently. Mr. Leslie is at hand..."
"Fine! Perfect! Give the conn to Mr. Leslie, and beam down immediately, to these co-ordinates!"
"May I ask, on what pretext..."
"Spock, it's confidential. Get down here. That's an order. Kirk out!"
I felt a little funny just standing around waiting on that spot, while people continued walking around us on all sides, but Jim was perfectly comfortable with it. I was beginning to understand that that was just the way Jim is. To him, "Here" is always the best place, "Now" is always his favorite time, and if he's in the middle of things, well, that's where he belongs.
On an empty grassy area which was off the sidewalk a few yards away from us, a glow appeared, that became a crackling, sparkling pillar. Within the pillar the shape of a tall, slim man appeared, and grew solid. As his form crystallized, the light grew dimmer, until the man was all that remained.
I could see that he was unusual looking, but it took me a few seconds to realize that he was not human.
Seeing my amazed expression, Jim grinned and winked at me. To the man he called, "Spock! Over here!"
The man recognized Kirk and ambled over without haste. The closer he came, the stranger he looked. He had slanted eyebrows that gave his face a severe expression, as if he were very cross, and his rather large ears were very pointed on the tops.
"Oh!" I said, "He's a... a Vulcan!"
"That's correct!" Jim was pleased.
"I've seen pictures, but I've never met one before."
"You are in for a treat!" he promised. To the Vulcan who was now beside us, he said, "My dear Mr. Spock, it's an honor and pleasure to present to you the lovely Miss Josephine Louise Newman. Call her Jo. Everybody calls her Jo."
The Vulcan bowed slightly to me, and in a formal voice that matched his manner he said, "As the Captain has demonstrated, I am called Spock."
"And I'm Jim. Got that, everybody? Spock, Jo, Jim. Hey Jo, whaddoya know? Let's go back to your place, it's a little more private than this is."
We were surrounded by people who all had stopped to stare. Like me, few of them had ever seen a Vulcan before.
Jim took off walking. "It's this way, Spock." Then he remembered me. "Oh, where are my manners?" He stopped to offer me his arm and said, "M'lady?", just like something out of a storybook. Isn't that cute?
I wasn't sure that this was a good idea, but this was Jim's best friend and I didn't want to offend either one of them, so I just went along with it. I was absolutely certain by now that there was no way in the world that I was going to fix up this...creature... with any of my girlfriends, but I hadn't yet figured out a way to let him down gently. By agreeing to bring him home, I was really only stalling for time.
Jim didn't sense my discomfort, or if he did, he didn't pay it any mind. His mood became very festive. The second we were all inside my apartment, he turned on the music, seized me in his arms, and proceeded to dance me around.
"Jim!" I exclaimed, embarrassed. "Stop! I haven't yet offered your friend a drink, or anything!"
Spock was standing still and tall near the door with his hands clasped behind him, watching us impassively. "I require nothing", he responded.
"That's not true!" Jim protested, then to me he said, "Vulcans have all the same basic needs that humans do. They eat and drink, and all the rest of it, just like us." Then to Spock he said, "You can't say you need nothing, that's inaccurate. She's never met a Vulcan before. You don't want to go giving her the wrong idea."
Jim and I were no longer dancing, but Jim still held me in his arms.
"Spock is not an official ambassador, but he still represents Vulcans wherever he goes, by default", Jim earnestly explained. "Lots of people have never met a Vulcan. Heck, in my work, I often meet people who've never met humans, and I have to represent humans to them the same way that he represents his people."
"That is an absolutely terrifying thought!" I laughed, extricating myself from Jim's embrace. I needed a drink even if Spock didn't. As I moved to the bar, I said, "You are the most wildly atypical Earthman imaginable, Jim Kirk!"
Jim bounded across the room and embraced me again, and kissed me quickly. "I assume that is meant as a compliment!"
"You know it is!" I giggled, blushing. I pulled away again. I loved Jim's enthusiasm, but I felt uncomfortable receiving such intimate attentions while that... alien man... was standing there, watching everything. I then realized that I had to say something to Jim about that immediately. "Jim, can I speak with you privately for a minute?"
I pulled Jim into the bedroom with me, only because in my tiny apartment that is the only private place besides the bathroom, and you have to go through the bedroom to get to the bathroom, anyway. Jim could now see that I had fixed up the bedroom with him in mind - because I had moved my bed to the center of the room - because he had complained about it being against the wall.
You see, the day we met, he had told me that when two people share one bed that there should be two exits out of the bed, in case of fire or other emergencies.
He saw the change, and wanted to talk about it, but I didn't bring him in there to talk about that.
Very quietly I said, "Jim, listen to me. You have to tell your friend that there is no way any of my girlfriends are going on a date with him. I don't want to hurt his feelings or yours, but that's just the way it is. Can you please explain it to him? I don't want him to waste time hoping for something that isn't going to happen."
I also didn't want to postpone my evening with Jim any longer.
"Josie, honey, I know. It's too late for anything like that, and he knows that already. Don't worry about it. You're off the hook."
Well! That was a relief!
"It would really mean a lot to me if you'd just talk with him a while and give him a chance to get a little practice at socializing with a real, live girl."
I had doubts about the value of that exercise, and I said so, adding, "Don't you have women aboard the ship he can talk to?"
"It's not the same. We work and live together, they are like sisters to him. He needs experience with women in a purely social, casual kind of setting."
"But why is that my problem?"
Jim stared at me as if he couldn't believe I could say something so stupid.
"Josie...this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Spock is a truly unique individual. You will never again meet anyone quite like him. Go out there and get acquainted with him: he will amaze you. He is incredibly intelligent. He has phenomenal talents. He has a completely fresh perspective on any topic you can name. He will fascinate you. You are going to thank me for this. Trust me! Give it a chance, please? For me?"
It was the "Please" that did it. I just couldn't say no to him.
We went back out to the living room, and caught Spock scanning the titles in my library.
Jim heartily clapped a hand on Spock's shoulder. "Spock, there's a sofa in this room for a reason. People sit on sofas." Jim smiled broadly, first at Spock, then at me. "Have a seat on the sofa, and relax!"
Spock lowered himself onto the sofa carefully, as if it really was a completely new experience for him.
"Not in the middle, Jo should sit there. You sit on that end, and I'll take this end."
That's a control freak, I thought. I was seeing a side of Jim that I wasn't sure I was ready for.
Spock obediently moved, without comment, while I finished pouring my drink.
"Would you like to try some of our local wine, Jim? It's really good."
Jim came to me and raised the bottle to read it.
"Puppypaw? Puppypaw!?" Jim showed the bottle to Spock. "There's a little local color for you!" He cradled the bottle in his hands and looked at it, shaking his head, and laughing. "Puppypaw wine!" To me, he said, "Spock needs to hear you say that there are no puppies in it. He's a vegetarian!"
I laughed, and to Spock I explained, "It's a fruiting plant, like a raspberry. The first settlers here named it after the flowers, which looked like puppy's feet to them, I guess!"
"Interesting" Spock blandly replied, sitting very still and straight on the sofa.
Jim declared, "You're darn right it's interesting. Have a glass, Spock. It's the adventurous thing to do. Isn't that why we joined Starfleet anyway, to get exposed to all kinds of interesting and exotic new things and experiences?"
Spock raised one eyebrow at Jim. "Indeed."
Jim sampled his wine, nodded approvingly, and drank some more as he took a glass to Spock, which Spock accepted quietly. Jim then sat on the opposite end of the sofa, and patted the center seat while smiling at me. I walked over and sat in the middle, next to Jim, and I noticed that Spock waited, instead of drinking right away. What was he waiting for, I wondered.
"A toast!" Jim exclaimed, and raised his glass. Spock and I raised ours. "To exotic and interesting new things and experiences, especially to new friends!" And he clinked glasses with me, then reached across me to clink Spock's. Spock hesitated, then clinked glasses with me, then took one ceremonial sip.
I believe that is all he drank, all night.
We sat like that, the three of us in a row, and talked about literature, since Spock had been interested in the contents of my library. I was soon very impressed with him. He is a deep thinker, and he seemed to know all the facts about even very obscure things. For example, he very patiently and persuasively explained to me the most important points on both sides of the complicated debate about whether or not Shakespeare actually was the man who had authored Shakespeare's works. I'd had no idea before then that the matter was even debatable.
I became aware of the Vulcan's nearness as we talked, and it was a peculiar sensation. He had an aura too, that was very different from Jim's sunny radiance. Spock was actually attractive to be near, but in a very different way. He was attractive like gravity is attractive. I could feel him silently trying to pull me in - it was a palpable sensation - it was completely unfamiliar, powerfully compelling, and a little bit frightening. Jim felt me tremble and he took my hand and held it, to reassure me.
Jim also impressed me with how intelligent he was. Jim had a funny way of translating things Spock said into simpler and wittier language. He understood everything Spock said, and often added pointed and highly amusing commentary that always was insightful. He could take one of Spock's five minute lectures and sum the point of the whole thing up in one neat, proverbial-sounding sentence that was often also funny. I could ask any question, Spock would always have the thoroughly complete answer, and then Jim would deliver the punchline. It went like that, spiraling around and around, and up and up, until the cerebral ether became too fine for the game to continue.
Jim and I refilled our glasses, more than once, in the course of this conversation, but the level in Spock's glass remained unchanged.
A song came on that Jim liked, and he impulsively gathered me into his arms and danced with me again. This time I went along with it. We just enjoyed dancing and ignored Spock completely for a few minutes. I found myself wishing I could be alone with Jim again, and I tried to tell him that with my eyes. He seemed to share my feelings. We kept dancing when the next song began, since it was a song I love.
I have never danced so free before. I wasn't drunk. There was magic in the air. Jim took his place at the center of my field of vision and I just forgot about everything else.
Jim and I kissed, and kissed again, and just kept on kissing. It's nothing I wouldn't have done if we were alone, but we weren't alone. I really did forget that the Vulcan was still there. In retrospect, I realize that I must have been hypnotized, or something. It had to have been something the Vulcan was doing to me.
I found out that the Vulcan had special telepathic abilities. I had heard the Vulcans were touch-telepaths, but Spock didn't have to touch me to do what he was doing. He was influencing me from across the room.
I was not one bit afraid or self-conscious, even though I did dimly remember that he was there and watching us. I realized at one point that he was hovering very near, and watching us closely as Jim undressed me, but for some strange reason, I didn't care.
Jim undressed himself, then we danced together naked. Then we began to make love. At one point I ran my fingers through Jim's hair, and my hand met Spock's hand there. When I touched Spock's hand it was a bit of a shock. I felt something, as if I had penetrated something, like when you dip your hand into warm water.
My mind lit up, as if the unused brain cells in my skull were suddenly all being used, but it was not for any purpose I'd planned. I suddenly just knew all kinds of things - that Spock was half-human for example. Imagine that: humans and Vulcans together.
Boy, did I ever imagine that. I imagined that, every which way but loose. It wasn't just my imagination at work. No way would I imagine any of those crazy things without help. I had been granted a window into Jim Kirk's mind, through a link Spock had created, and I was looking through him into Jim, and into Spock too, and he certainly was looking into me, as well.
Spock was looking all through me. He went through everything in my mind like one huge tidal wave of pure curiosity. I could feel it. It was like my mind was a purse and a huge hand reached in and scooped up everything in there and sifted it all through its fingers, like it was looking for a lost loose diamond.
And I felt no fear, I felt nothing but pure amazement. I drifted up out of my body at one point at looked down at the three of us, clustered there together, and felt nothing but awe. I could see us, as if I were floating overhead and looking down. Jim and I were naked, and Spock had adjusted his clothing a little. We were all three on our sides on the floor. Jim was in the middle, Jim and I were copulating, and Spock was...oh God... in Jim.
I didn't even think at the time about what that meant, so you know I was not myself at all.
I think now that I normally wouldn't have even been aware of Spock at all. He was getting tired, and was accidentally letting me glimpse things that normally would have been hidden from me. By the time I was seeing and understanding all of this we'd already been going at it for hours.
I don't know how I managed this, but when Spock tried to plant the idea that he'd gone away early in the evening and it had just been Jim and me all night, I resisted. He sensed my resistance, and surprised me by respecting it, but he let me know that he didn't have to respect it. He Let Me Know That.
I tried to commune through him with Jim, but he blocked it. I pulled myself away from both of them, first mentally, then physically. I had to run to make it to the bathroom, my bladder was about to burst.
I took a blanket with me on the way back. Jim was passed out from sheer exhaustion by the time I returned. Spock was fully dressed and was seated in the same place as before on the sofa, with his neglected wineglass beside him on the end table.
I covered Jim with the blanket and left him where he lay, to duck back into my room. My mind was racing. I wanted to bathe, but more than anything I wanted to be fully dressed and self-possessed again. I threw on some practical and totally unsexy clothes and buttoned all the way up to the neck, then went to the living room to confront Spock.
He was gone. Had he just let himself out without saying good-bye?
No, he was not gone. He was in my kitchenette, and he was gazing longingly through the windows of my pantry door at the foodstuffs within.
I asked. "Do you expect me to feed you now, too?"
He turned, posture perfect, and regarded me thoughtfully.
"Miss Newman", he enunciated portentously, "You have been more than generous already with your time and hospitality. For this, we are grateful to you. It is enough."
"Enough! I'll say it's enough! What you did, what happened here last night...I did not consent to that. I want you out of here, now!"
"As you wish" he replied mildly, and strolled past me toward the door.
"How could you do that!?" I said, as he passed me, and kept walking. "What gives you the right to interfere with Jim and me like that? How do you get the nerve to just intrude yourself between two people like that!? It's wrong! Didn't you know that?"
Spock stopped, hand on the doorknob, and faced me.
"I could say as much to you, madame." He pronounced. "Jim is my spouse."
I caught my breath. My heart skipped and stumbled. "No." I said, but as I said that, I knew what he said was true. I had seen into both of them. I had seen it.
"How...how is that possible? How did that happen?"
"I have a similar, equally compelling question. How did you happen?"
I advanced to the center of my living room, and lowered my voice. I didn't want to wake Jim. "I didn't happen. He happened to me."
The Vulcan nodded. "I believe you. He happened to me as well."
"Your situation is not like mine. You and Jim...it's not natural."
Jim's voice rang out from the floor. "What is that supposed to mean!?"
To me, Spock said, "Fascinating. An utterly parochial attitude. How quaint."
Jim sat up. "What the hell are you two talking about!?" he griped.
"Good, Jim, you're awake. I leave her, and the remains of this discussion, to you. I am returning to the ship."
"Spock...wait. No...go ahead. It's all right. We'll talk later."
Jim fell back and pulled the blanket over his face. Spock let himself out, and I locked the door after him. I then locked myself into the bathroom and took a long shower. Then, I fell into bed. I was dead with fatigue.
Later, I awakened to the sensation of Jim lying beside me in my bed, with his arm across me. His body heat was like a furnace. The whole side of my body that was next to him was hot.
I squirmed a little, trying to fit us together better, and he moved and squeezed me closer, like he wanted the same thing. His heat penetrated me. His breath was warm on my throat. I felt a huge pang of desire, and it was so strong that a tear sprang to my eye. Every instinct in me was saying yes to this man: yes to his touch, yes to his presence in my bed, yes to the way he made me feel. I wished with all my heart that he could simply be mine. But I knew by then that *that* was impossible.
So I pulled myself away and got out of bed. I was glad I had my own exit right then.
I went to the kitchen and brewed some Terran coffee. The smell of the coffee awakened Jim, and he shuffled out to join me soon after, wearing only his underwear.
That shaved chest. I forgot to ask him about it. We had other things to discuss.
Jim said, "It was wrong of you to tell Spock his feelings for me are unnatural. The way he is is as natural for him, as the way you are is to you. It's not like he has some "norm" to be at odds with. There is no normal for someone like him. He's one of a kind. There are no females like him, it's not like he has that choice. He's an utterly unique creature, lonelier than God. No one can say what's right or wrong for someone like that, he has to find his own way. I just...tried to help him, and... it just... grew.
"I never would have had anything to do with you if I'd known about him."
"I didn't know you! How did I know what I could or couldn't tell you? How much of that is really any of your business, anyway? We just met yesterday!"
Isn't that incredible!? I was shocked.
"James T. Kirk, you are a piece of work, I must say! Keep the Tiberius, it suits you!"
"What is the matter with you!?"
"What's the matter! You...you!" I screeched, "You don't want me to insult your precious Spock, but you think nothing of breaking both his heart and mine! Why didn't you just leave us both alone! Why don't you leave me alone at least? Get out!" and I started to cry.
He jumped up and embraced me. I tried to push him away but he wouldn't let me. I was infuriated, and I wanted to kill him, but then I just gave up and slumped into his arms and just bawled.
"How could you do that!? How could you bring _that thing_ here and let him... do that to me?"
"Oh, come on now..." he gently cajoled. "What happened? What did he do, really? Nobody got hurt. Nothing's broken, nothing got stolen, everything's fine..."
I struggled against his strong arms, and tried to kick him. "Everything is NOT FINE! You've made me a complete basket case! How can you justify that to yourself!?"
"I don't!" Jim cried, "I'm wrong! It's all my fault. I'm sorry. I'm sorry Jo! I'm so deeply, deeply sorry. I never wanted to make you cry. Never! I wanted to make you happy. We're human! We need each other, we needed this!" He held me tight, and his voice softened. "I needed you. I need you, Jo."
He seemed sincere. He tried to look into my eyes. I refused to look at him. I let him go on holding me, though.
"I'm human, Jo." Jim murmured. "I need human touch. You have no idea how much this meant to me, how much I needed this. Jo? Jo, honey? Jo, please look at me."
"Jo? Josie? Joseph?"
"Don't call me Joseph!" I squealed, outraged. "I am not one of your boyfriends!"
He stiffened. "OK, maybe I deserved that."
"You deserve worse than that!" I wailed, and resumed struggling.
He released me. "Look, maybe I should just hand you a stick and let you beat me with it. Would that make it better?"
"You can't find me a stick big enough!" I exclaimed.
"Lemmee try!" He ran into my bedroom. He returned immediately, brandishing a wooden coat hanger. "Try this!"
That shocked me cold. My mind reeled. I refused to touch it. "Don't be ridiculous", I said.
"What, not mean enough? Too mean? OK." He tossed the hanger away over his shoulder and faced me, hands on hips, as if daring me to do my worst. "Ok, got any wooden spoons? The big ones, you know, for cooking?"
I shook my head.
"No? Should we just forget it?"
I nodded. I wanted to hurt him, but not like that. I suspect that he would have enjoyed that too much. As far as I was concerned, it might have assuaged his guilt, but it wouldn't really solve anything.
He didn't deserve to be assuaged of his guilt.
We faced each other: he was flushed with excitement, I was cold with quiet rage.
Jim shrugged. "OK, let's forget it. May I please explain something? I did not break Spock's heart. I wouldn't do that. He's not emotional like we are. He's got feelings, but he controls them. I never promised him monogamy, and he never asked that of me. We have an understanding, Spock and I. What goes on between me and a woman is my business. He's never gotten involved before. He must have sensed that you were different somehow. Apparently he thought you could handle it. Apparently he thought wrong. Hey, nobody's perfect!"
"You are wrong about him. He gets involved, but he makes you forget."
Jim scoffed with a laugh at that. He pierced me with a hard look. "Oh, that's just nuts. Why would you say that? Josephine, look me in the eyes. I insist!"
I met his gaze. His eyes were very serious.
"He wouldn't do something like that", Jim stated, firmly.
"Yes, he would", I asserted. "He tried to do it to me, but I wouldn't let him. You don't know him as well as you think you do. You didn't expect him do what did last night, did you?"
"What exactly do you remember from last night?"
We sat at the kitchen table, with our coffee mugs before us, and compared stories. I was not surprised to learn that Jim's memories of the evening's events differed markedly from mine.
"We undressed while dancing? We danced naked? I don't remember that part!" Jim admitted, hiding a smile behind his hand.
"Well, I remember that part distinctly."
"Gee, I wish I remembered it." Jim said, chin propped on his hand, eyes sparkling. "That sounds like a good part. Why would Spock want me to forget something like that?"
"Maybe you were enjoying it too much."
Jim fell silent for several moments as he sipped his coffee, eyes downcast.
"Maybe you're right" Jim finally said. Softly and seriously he added, "I think Spock and I better have a long talk about this."
"Maybe you already have." I said. "Maybe it didn't do any good."
I saw the wounded look in Jim's eyes, and knew then that my work was done. I'm sorry I had to say it, but somebody had to. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, Jimmy-Boy.
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