|Notes: This is part of the
Spock Fuhq Fest! Run, don't walk, to http://www.kardasi.com/fuh-q-fest-2/index.htm
Special thanks go to T'Aaneli, Jat (Jane) Sapphire, and Islaofhope for beta-ing. All remaining mistakes are mine.
I had title blockage again with this one, so forgive the stupid title.
I once told Harry Kim that 'weird' came with this uniform, that it was what we do as Starfleet officers. The strange and unusual. The fantastic. The incredible.
So I can't say I was entirely surprised to wake up in my quarters to find myself with unwanted company. It wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it wouldn't be the last. Here we go again, I thought, resigning myself to the inevitable.
"Who's there?" My voice was calm, soft, with just the barest edge of exasperation. I don't relish my sleep being disturbed by uninvited midnight guests, regardless of the quickening of my heart and the silent rush of blood in my ears. "Computer, lights."
And there he stood, perfectly straight and unmoving, his steel brown eyes gazing at me, as if he had all the right in the world to invade my space, to invade my ship.
"You don't sound surprised, Captain."
What was I supposed to say? That I was relieved he wasn't Q? Although, come to think of it, Q might be a far sight easier to handle then Braxton. Q is somewhat predictable, to a certain degree, and he generally doesn't wish us harm. A 29th century renegade Starfleet time cop in my quarters who may, or may not, hate me, and who at one point, in some timeline somewhere, tried to blow up my ship, is not. I almost laughed out loud at that moment.
"Well, I can't say I was expecting your company tonight, Braxton. To what do I owe this pleasure? Wait. Don't tell me. You need to recruit me for a very important mission that only I can accomplish, for one reason or another, in which the very existence of life in this universe as we know it hangs in the balance. Right?"
A corner of his mouth quirked up, but his eyes remained as cold as ever. I wondered what it must be like, policing time, to cause such coldness-- and I suddenly remembered Braxton, homeless, on the streets of Los Angeles. I do not envy this man his job.
"You have been chosen for a very special mission, Captain."
"Of course I have." I couldn't help my sarcasm. My diplomatic side is a little worse for wear at three in the morning sans coffee. Especially when I have the beginnings of one very large temporal paradox headache forming just behind my eyes. "Mind if I have some coffee while we discuss my part in saving the universe?" Not waiting for his answer, I left the warmth of my bed and moved to the replicator.
"Would you care for some?" There was no answer, and I wasn't surprised. "Suit yourself, but I insist you sit down. You're making me nervous, glowering in the corner like that."
I watched the thoughts shift behind his eyes, judging me, and he slowly moved to where I was seated in the small office area of my quarters.
"Now, what is it this time? Another stolen ship? A bomb? Where are we going, or should I say, when am I going?"
He gave me a startled look. "What bomb?"
I started to answer, but he cut me off. "Forget it, it's not important. Whatever you experienced, those timelines didn't happen for me so I have to assume they never happened at all." I could see this was going to be a very large headache.
I sighed. "Braxton, either tell me why you're here or kindly get off my ship. Contrary to popular opinion, I do like to get some sleep now and then."
He gave me another one of his measured looks. "How much do you know about the war with the Dominion?"
Now he had my attention. "Not much. Just that they're from the Gamma Quadrant and that the rulers of the Dominion are shape shifters."
"Good. The less you know, the better."
"Why is that?"
"Less chance of timeline pollution that way. You and your crew miss this war entirely, Captain. It starts and ends during your stay in the Delta Quadrant. That's one of the reasons why you've been chosen for this mission. You don't need to know anything about the war; none of the politics of that conflict have anything to do with this mission."
"What makes you think I won't want to get involved while I'm there? I don't know much about the situation, but I do know it's been difficult for the Federation and Starfleet. I just might want to help turn the tide."
His only answer was a rather peeved and annoyed look telling me he knew me better than that. I sighed, "All right, I understand."
"It's time to go." He reached for his commbadge.
"Oh, not so fast. I haven't agreed to anything yet. What exactly am I going to be doing?"
I watched as he let out a slow controlled breath, but other than that, his face was as unreadable as a wall of granite. "Our mission, Captain, is to infiltrate a Dominion prison compound and save the life of Ambassador Spock."
I couldn't help the look of shock that crossed my face. I didn't know what I was expecting him to say, but it certainly wasn't that.
"Have you changed your mind, Captain?" I only managed to blink at him, watching those cold brown eyes so smug in their superiority. "I thought not. Two to beam up."
The ship was different than the last 29th century ship I'd been "recruited" to. It was smaller, and there wasn't any other crew, just Braxton. I watched him as he moved over to a console, and I wondered which Braxton this was. Was he still a Starfleet officer or had he already succumbed to the affects of temporal psychosis? Nothing about this "mission" seemed official.
And yet, what choice did I have? What about Spock? Was he really in danger? Last I heard he was on Romulus. It was certainly a possibility that he had been captured by the Dominion. Ambassador Spock was important, in more ways than one. If there was something wrong, something I could do to help him, I had to try. I had to find out what Braxton was up to and prevent any catastrophes, if possible. The headache had become a dull roar, floating in the background of my thoughts. A familiar companion.
I'd only met Spock once, briefly, years ago when the Al-Batani took shore leave on Vulcan. There had been a formal dinner one night and he had attended. I remember how he looked, tall and imposing with an elegance that surpassed everyone else. I admit I was very intimidated by him. Who wouldn't be? But for all his intimidation, he had a kind sparkle in his eyes and a quiet manner that made you want to follow him around just so that sparkle could fall your way.
I know my history. I know some of what Ambassador Spock's life was like, as much as one can glean from written words and vids anyway. I know it was hardly easy and almost always shadowed by death, his own and those he cared for. And yet, I remembered how his eyes sparkled with the strength of his convictions.
I would do many things to save the life of Spock. And I had only met him once.
I looked up into Captain Braxton eye's, cold and brown, staring at me, and realized, that's exactly what he's counting on. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. "So what's my mission, exactly?"
"It's very simple. I will beam you directly into his cell. There you will administer a treatment to him that will allow him to survive. Once you're done and are sure he will not die, I beam you back out and return you to Voyager. End of mission."
Something wasn't quite right here. I could smell it and I chided myself softly for thinking that anything could feel "right" when dealing with Braxton, timeships, and a mammoth headache. "If that's it, why can't you do this? Why does it have to be me?"
He ignored my question. "You will be attired in the appropriate clothing of a Dominion prisoner of war. Spock is left alone for long periods of time, so more than likely you will be undisturbed during your visit. Unfortunately, we only have one shot at this, so if something goes wrong, that's it. No multiple jumps with this one."
He approached me with a hypospray. "This will counteract the effects of the temporal distortions. You're not jumping that far back in time, but the effects are the same. It's time to get ready, follow me and I'll show you were you can change into the proper clothing."
"No. I'm not going anywhere till I get some answers." I can be incredibly stubborn when I want to be.
He stopped and turned to me, jaw tight. "What is it you feel you need to know?"
It was almost nice, seeing him crack a little. "If he's badly hurt, dying, why are you sending me and not a doctor or someone with more medical knowledge?"
"You have all the knowledge you need to treat him."
"Then why does it have to be me, if anybody can treat him? Why can't you do it?"
"Someone needs to operate the timeship. That's me, unless you've picked up a few skills that I don't know about. As for anybody else, the Voyager crew is the next best option. Knowing your propensity for trouble making, I figured I'd just cut to the chase and ask. Any other questions, Captain Janeway?"
"As a matter of fact, yes. Why are you the only officer here, besides myself?" Something flickered behind that wall of granite and I knew I had him. "Why is it imperative that Spock live? Don't get me wrong, I admire the man very much, but I'm not getting the sense that we're restoring the timeline to what it should be. It seems more like we're about to directly manipulate it."
He stared at me for a long time and I could see the thoughts shifting back and forth behind his eyes.
"That, Captain, is exactly what we are about to do."
"I can't let you do this." My body stiffened with urgency.
With that, he actually started to laugh and a cold needle of fear started to turn in my stomach. It was not the laugh of a sane person.
"You can't let me do this? Oh Captain, you already have."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that if you hadn't done this already, gone back in time to save the life of Ambassador Spock, the Federation would not have survived to see the end of the next century, Romulus would have conquered Vulcan, time travel will be the stuff of legends, and I would almost certainly have never been born and therefore would not be standing right in front of you."
That took a moment to digest. "How am I supposed to believe you? Each time I've met you, you've been just this side of psychotic. This is very serious, Braxton. I don't trust you. How do I know you're telling the truth?"
"You can't. There's nothing I can say or do that will help you. You're going to have to figure it out in your own head. Will you help save Spock, or not? Which outcome do you want? 'Cause ultimately, it's all up to you, Captain Janeway, in more ways then just saying yes or no to me."
I must have lost my mind some time ago. Perhaps during the battles with the Hirogen? That makes sense. My mind is lost somewhere between here and St. Clare. The thought made me smile, causing Braxton to look nervous. That made me smile even more.
I stood on the transport pad, ready to go, wearing a dirty dark gray jumpsuit with a strange insignia over my left breast.
Braxton handed me a small medical kit to take with me. It seemed that's all I got. I hoped he was right about Spock's condition.
"Are you ready?"
"Remember, just give him the treatment and then signal me. Nothing fancy. No heroics. You've only got one chance at this."
"I've got it." There was a note of impatience in my voice. I'd had about all I could take of his arrogance.
"Right." He nodded at me, and then
I felt the tingle of the transporter beam take me.
The silence was oppressive. I swallowed, took a step forward and spoke again. "Ambassador Spock?"
Slowly, the shape of the room became clear. It was long and rectangular and there was a light source, very weak, above what looked like the entrance into the cell.
A bed, or more accurately a slab of some type, lay in the darkest corner of the cell. I could see the lumpy shape of a humanoid, on his side, facing the wall. I moved cautiously forward. There was no way to tell what shape Spock was in, and I didn't want to startle him. I was sure he wasn't expecting me.
I walked towards him. He was sleeping, fitfully, with his hands clenched tightly, gripping onto nothing. I was relieved he was asleep and thought that maybe he would sleep the whole time I was there. A quick couple of hyposprays, a pass with the medical tricorder, and that would be it.
He looked awful. Even in the dim light, I could tell there was something wrong with him. It was at that moment that a little niggling memory began to surface. There was something familiar about his condition.
Waves of heat were rolling off of him. He was burning up. And he was emitting a strong odor. It took a moment to place it, thick and sweet, almost like burnt sugar. It permeated the small cell.
Quickly, I opened the medkit and took out the tricorder. Something told me he didn't have a lot of time.
He moved a little, startled by the soft whirring sounds of the tricorder, then settled back again into restless sleep.
I looked at the readings and my mind stopped thinking. It just went blank. I knew those readings. I recognized them. A neurological imbalance. Suddenly that memory that had been niggling in the back of my mind rushed forward; young Ensign Vorik caught in the tides of his ancestral inheritance.
Spock was in pon farr.
I desperately tried to remember everything I had ever been told about pon farr. Hormonal imbalances, biochemical imbalances, ritual combat, meditations. The tricorder told me that Spock had been in this condition for a long time, perhaps weeks. It was slowly burning him out from the inside. He was dehydrated, severely undernourished, and exhausted.
He must have been attempting to alleviate the pon farr through meditation. I wondered if this so-called meditation ever worked, this ever unattainable meditative nirvana Vulcan's hold in such high esteem. I looked down at Spock and saw the sweat beaded on his forehead and the tension that cramped his neck, shoulders, and back. I saw the dried blood on his hands where he'd beaten them against something hard and on the knees of his jumper. Those must have come from hours upon hours of kneeling while meditating. And he was thin, so very thin. He had been at this for weeks. Weeks. I looked down at him, Spock who even at death's, door was the epitome of dignity, and my heart broke.
He was dying. The fever had almost consumed him. In a couple of days there would be nothing left to burn. He must have realized that. Must have known and had come to this slab to rest.
Well, I couldn't let that happen. That was my mission after all. I treated his symptoms, the dehydration and fever. I gave him vitamins and I healed the abrasions on his hands and the swollen cuts and bruises on his knees. I spied a bowl of water in a corner, half full, and I tore the sleeve of my jumper off and gently washed his face and hands. I wanted to wash the sweat from his torso, to cool his body somewhat, but wasn't sure how to go about doing that without waking him.
"Who are you?"
I almost dropped the bowl. "You're awake?"
"Correct. Who are you, and why are you here?" His voice was hoarse from disuse.
I had an answer prepared, but the words stuck in my throat under the weight of those all-seeing eyes looking at me. "I am a prisoner, like you. I'm here to help you."
"I told them I did not need any help. Go. I do not want you here."
I had forgotten about Vulcan stubbornness. That had been silly of me. He knew he was dying, he had come to terms with it, and now he just wanted to be left in peace. Well not if I had anything to do with it. I had stood my ground against Vulcan stubbornness before; I could do it again.
"I can't go. There's no way out of this cell, Ambassador, except through that door, and it won't open." I hoped he wasn't cognizant enough too ask to many questions. I could lie to him, but Spock wasn't easy to lie to. It wouldn't be hard for him to figure out that I hadn't been sent there by his Dominion captors.
"Leave me. You do not understand. I cannot be cured of this. Please. Go."
"I'm sorry, I can't. And that's not true. I can help you, if you'll let me."
Through the dim light, I could see him close his eyes. I had an overwhelming urge to touch him, to gather him in my arms and smooth away the tension that so wracked his body. Instead, I held my breath.
"I cannot ask you to do this."
"You don't need to ask. I give it willingly."
"I am prepared to die."
"It is my time. I have lived long; done many things. I carry no shame, no burdens."
"So, you'll live longer, and do more. Ambassador, do you really want to die here? This war won't last forever."
He opened his eyes and shrugged slightly. "It is not my first choice of locales and I regret the loss of my katra. But you are here now, I can give it to you."
Fear gripped me. "No. You're not dead and you're not going to be anytime soon. Ambassador, please. Let me help. Yes, I'm here now. You don't have to do this alone."
He didn't answer me and remained quiet for a long time. I concentrated on the silence of the cell rather then on my desire to pick up his hand that rested lightly on his thigh. I realized that above the oppressive silence, I could hear a faint ticking noise. I wondered where that came from.
"I have met you before."
That took me by surprise. I swallowed. "Yes, many years ago, on Vulcan."
"What is your name?"
"Kathryn. The name suits you, Kathryn." He moved to a sitting position. "My apologies for not remembering it."
I smiled. "That's quite all right. It was a while ago."
"Will you let me hold your hand, Kathryn?"
His eyes shined in the dim light and I found myself reaching out to him without a conscious thought. His hand was large, much larger then mine, and hot. Feverish.
"You have small hands, Kathryn."
I opened my mouth to answer but all that came out was an intake of breath as Spock started to caress my hand. What could only be described as jolts of electricity traveled up my arm through to the rest of my body.
"If we start this, Kathryn, I won't be able to stop. Do you understand?"
"Yes." It came out breathless.
"I must meld with you."
I suddenly saw the hole in Braxton's little plan, but I only took an extra moment to think before I nodded. There wasn't anything I could have done about it at that moment. I certainly wasn't going to back down now.
He lifted one hand to my face, lightly touching my hair, brushing it away from my face where it had fallen and all I could think was that my heart was going to burst from my chest, it was pounding so hard.
"You are very beautiful, Kathryn."
"Oh God, so are you." I felt him smile at that and couldn't help but smile back at him.
"I am glad you are here, Kathryn. I did not want to die."
"No. You won't die." A felt his hot finger, brushing against my skin, wiping away a tear. I opened my eyes. When had I closed them? Spock's eyes were bright in front of me and all I wanted to do was fall forward into them.
"My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts."
I hardly heard the words, lost as I was in Spock's eyes. And then there was fire in my mind. I moaned and found that Spock was kissing me.
And that's all there was for a while. Just kissing. I could feel Spock's need coursing through me, pushing me through his fire, but all I could do was concentrate on his feverish lips on mine, claiming me.
"I need you." His voice was deep and husky, sending shivers down my spine.
"You have me."
Hands reached for fastenings. Clothing was quickly pushed aside. I almost started crying again when I finally had Spock naked in front of me. He was so thin, and he was shaking with need.
He grabbed me and I found myself under him, my back against the hard surface of the slab. My heart pounded even harder as Spock separated my thighs. It was all happening so fast and I instinctively resisted him, fear suddenly gripping me as I faced a Vulcan in pon farr. I remembered Braxton's words; it was all up to me, in more ways than one. Oh God.
I looked up into Spock's face, and I could see he was holding back, sensing my fear. He wouldn't hurt me. He couldn't hurt me, not unless I let him. I reached up, touched his face, my fingers tracing across the meld points.
Kathryn, come to me.
I parted my legs and took him in.
Spock made a noise, deep in the back of his throat, but was silent otherwise. I wrapped my arms around him, and he rested his head against my neck. I knew he was holding back, afraid to hurt me.
Let go. I won't break.
Another groan, and then he started to move. His hand snaked between us and found my clitoris and it was my turn to moan. Desperate for his lips, I kissed my way around his neck, across his adam's apple, till I found them, hot and sweet.
Spock. Let me feel all of you.
And then it was like a dam breaking in my mind. All of the fire of the pon farr burst through and all coherent thought fled.
I was coming, over and over again, orgasm after orgasm, losing all count. I was on my back, then I was on my knees with my head resting on my arm. Then I was on top, riding. None of it was enough.
I knew that Spock had climaxed. More than once. And yet, he was ever ready with no end to the fever that gripped us both. God help me, I didn't want it to end.
Finally, we slept for a few hours, the sleep of the dreamless. I woke up with Spock's cock inside me and his lips on my breast and it started all over again.
Sometimes he wouldn't penetrate me, just hold me in a light embrace, hard against my hip with his mind wrapped around mine. I would feel him erupt on my stomach and then I would come, dripping down my thighs. Those were the most powerful orgasms I had ever had.
Other times I would take him into my mouth and because I knew his mind, I knew what he wanted. With my finger wet with semen and saliva, I would enter him gently, stretching up to his prostate, softly stimulating him as I sucked him off. He would come powerfully into my mouth.
Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew why I was there, and I remembered about Braxton and that we were in a prison somewhere far, far away from where I was supposed to be. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered Voyager and my crew, light years away from home.
I woke up, my hand instinctively reaching upwards to feel Spock's brow. He was cooler. I rose onto my elbow and ran my hand down, along the side of his face, the arch of his neck, the hard ridges of his collarbone. Still so thin, but cooler. The fever had broken.
I don't think we spoke out loud once. At one point while he slept and I was still awake, I found the discarded tricorder and saw how much time had passed. Now we were both dehydrated. I took this time of rest to give us both doses from the hyposprays and to wash us meagerly from the bowl of water.
It was full. Suddenly my stomach
cramped in fear. Had someone come in while we weren't looking?
"They beam the food and water in."
I looked up and saw a clear pair of bright brown eyes looking at me.
"They used to come for me quite often, when I was first captured. But not for awhile now. It seems I have proven myself less than important when it comes to tactical data."
There was a note of laughter in his voice.
"Who is Braxton?"
I lowered my eyes and sighed. It was time for this. I thought he might choose to ignore it, or that he didn't even realize how and why I was really here, especially since my mind had not actively thought of Braxton for the whole three days.
I went to him and, with the torn sleeve from my jumper, started to wash him. He was covered in bruises and small cuts from the hard slab of rock they had given him for a bed. I wondered what I must look like. I was sore beyond description and a new word would have to be invented to describe what I smelled like.
"You look beautiful."
My hand stopped. Then started up again. "Braxton is a Starfleet officer from the 29th century. He's a meddlesome, interfering man whom I've had the misfortune to be acquainted with. He is, or will be, the captain of a Federation timeship called Relativity that goes around correcting problems in the timeline. Only problem is Braxton likes to operate on his own."
"Am I a problem in the timeline?"
I smiled at him. "I really don't know. Braxton didn't tell me much." I parted his legs and took the wet impromptu wash cloth and washed between his legs, enjoying the small gasp that escaped from his lips. "I asked him about that, about how this didn't seem like we were correcting a problem."
"What did he say?"
"He said that I had already agreed. That if I hadn't, the Federation wouldn't survive, Romulus would conquer Vulcan, and that he wouldn't be standing right in front of me." I knew I shouldn't have told him all that, especially about Romulus, but it seemed to be the right thing to do and I didn't want to keep anything from him.
Spock lifted his left eyebrow.
Such a familiar gesture, yet so different from the one I was used to. "I think he might be crazy."
"But I couldn't say no. I had to choose; to help you live, or let you die. And I couldn't just let you die. No good could come from your death and just the opposite could come from your life. So I said yes."
"Indeed. And were you aware what was needed from you to help me survive?"
I smiled ruefully. "No. He managed to leave that little bit of information out of the briefing. If you could call it a briefing." I set the bowl aside and climbed onto the "bed", in between his legs. "But I figured it out pretty quickly."
"Very commendable. And you, Kathryn? You are not a prisoner here."
"My ship and my crew are currently lost in the Delta quadrant. Apparently our distance from this war works to Braxton's advantage. I still haven't figured out entirely why."
A flicker of recognition crosses Spock's eyes. "Captain Janeway, of the Starship Voyager?"
"Yes. That's me." I slid down on top of him, letting his warmth flow over me. His arms came up and wrapped around me.
We were quiet for a moment. I concentrated on the steady quick beat of his heart against my side and the rise and fall of his chest, the hair that felt so good against my skin.
"It's almost finished, isn't it."
"Yes. And then you will go."
I didn't know it would hurt so much. All words left me for a moment. "Will you be okay?"
"I will be fine." He lifted me up to look into my eyes, his hands traveling down to my hips, lifting me there as well. I felt his cock, hard, enter me slowly as one finger circled my clit. My eyes never left his.
"Then so will I." And he started to rock upwards, into me, and I bent down to taste his lips.
I left while he slept.
First, I cleaned him up again, gave him some more vitamins, and regenerated the cuts and bruises. The tricorder said he was basically back to normal. Still undernourished and a bit dehydrated, but he would live.
I folded his jumper and placed it under his head, passing my hand through his hair, settling it down into the style it was meant to be in. I pressed my lips against his dry skin, just below his cheekbone.
Then I turned to leave, once again dressed in my prison jumper. I even took the sleeve I tore, knowing I could not leave any clues of my stay here.
My heart hurt, to leave him like that, so thin and alone. But I knew he would understand. If he didn't see me arrive, then he shouldn't see me go, like a dream.
I closed my eyes and pressed the commbadge Braxton had given me and let the transporter beam take me.
I refused to look at Braxton, ignoring his words, and following him silently to where I could shower and eat a meal. I suddenly realized I hadn't eaten in three days. I didn't even remember being hungry. I wondered if Spock had eaten. I hoped he had.
Braxton finally stopped trying to talk to me, and I was grateful. I had nothing nice to say to him and I never wanted to see him again. He knew that.
Then I was back home, in my quarters, as if nothing had happened. As if I hadn't spent three days lost in passion beyond reason in the arms of a man I might never see again.
And now, I lie in bed, staring up at the ceiling, remembering and trying to forget the feel of Spock's hands on my hips, on my breasts, on my thighs. How his kisses felt, hot and sweet, placed with tenderness down the side of my neck. I remember and I know, with all the certainty of the stars blanketing the window above me, I will never forget.