Jadzia Dax was sitting on the other side of the room, completely asleep with her head lolling over the side of her chair. She'd had a long and boring day and had literally passed out mid-thought.
At some point Spock stopped looking at the stars and focused his attention on the near-stranger across the room. He'd heard many things about her, most of them lauditory career tidbits. But what interested him most in this moment of isolated quiet was a small bit of trivia he had uncovered about the Trill residing deep within her belly. Extremely -personal- trivia.
With a small conscious mental click, Spock stood and walked to Jadzia's side. He moved quietly like a stalking cat; she did not stir.
The voice of reason would have reared its sensible head in his younger self, and told him that what he was about to attempt was a breach of ethics. But the gray-haired Vulcan had been through much these days, and he no longer had the willpower to feign an attempt at perfection. Besides, the one he'd always played that game with--dear one--one could not play such a game alone. There was no point in pretending superiority if there was no one there to challenge it... and steal a proud kiss from afterwards, when he had won...
Speaking of whom.
Ambassador Spock knelt silently at Jadzia's side, his limbs paining him slightly with age. He lifted his hand to her sweat-tinged temple, and placed his fingers on her meld points.
Sinking into her mind was a pleasure--she was a talented scientist, much like himself. He tried not to get too distracted as he snuck around in her neuronic crevices, because it wasn't Jadzia with whom he wished to share thoughts.
Finally, he found the other consciousness here--Dax. For an anxious moment he wondered if Dax might not be awake, even as Jadzia slept, but he soon realized that both had been equally exhausted.
He probed farther.
A few chance overheard phrases and almost-forgotten memories of bedroom conversations from long-ago had given him the goal of his current task. Spock knew that hundreds of years ago this being had been intimate... with his lover.
He looked for a flicker of those blue eyes here among the countless memories from Dax's rolodex of lives. Some flashing light glinting from Georgia topaz, the sparks of which even now caught a certain Vulcan's heart on fire.
He was careful and methodical even in his questionable invasion, and it took him no short while to find the moment. But when he hit it, when someone else's memories of his dead love as a young man flooded into his brain, he found beauty he had craved for years. And he lapped it up ravenously, and welcomed the images.
--A young woman wrapped around her Terran lover outside in a peach orchard in full bloom.--
--A medical student asleep in a porch swing, his feet crossed over one another at the ankle, being woken with a pleasant kiss.--
--A son of Atlanta ripping off his shirt and diving into a river, then waving his exotic alien girlfriend in after him. "Come on in, Emony!"--
Spock drank the memories into his lonely heart and collapsed against Jadzia's chair. How he missed the man! And how foolish this was.
"Now that you've been entertained, do you care for a trade?"
Spock tensed and looked upward. Sure enough, Jadzia had woken up and was watching him nonchalantly through sleep-heavy eyes. "I beg forgiveness," he gasped.
A smile worked its way across her face. "If it were anyone but you, I'd probably call security," she commented. "But I've admired you for years. Longer than you know."
"Thank you," Spock said, slightly confused by her casual attitude but not wanting to look a gift Trill in the mouth.
"But it's only fair that I get something in exchange for this experience, isn't it?" Jadzia straightened her hair a little from where her sleeping posture had knocked it out of shape.
"What--?" Spock held out his hands. Was she looking for a bribe? This was inconsistent with her character.
Her expression softened. "Ambassador? Might I have some of *your* memories of him in return?"
Spock stood for a moment, blinking in silence. Then he nodded, and resumed the meld. "As you wish."
Jadzia settled back into the chair and relaxed as Spock reentered her mind. This time it was she who recieved the images of the late Dr. Leonard H. McCoy, from a very different time in his life from when her Dax had known him.
--A tired doctor crossly arguing with his Vulcan lover before acquiescing reluctantly to logic, and a kiss.--
--A desperate man trying to prevent his lifemate from sacrificing himself for a ship in peril, and ending up comatose on the floor.--
--An old Southern gentleman waking happily to breakfast in bed in the peace of a mountain cabin, smiling crookedly at the bearer of the food.--
They ended up holding each other. Jadzia felt his pain, and together they both dealt with it. And at the end, he kissed her fingertips, and thanked her for letting him have one little encore of the man he had cared for all his life.