Title: Hunting Elk
Author: Farfalla the Butterfly-Kitten
Email: blueberrysnail (at) yahoo dot com
Website: http://cosmicduckling.com/spirk
Characters: K/S, Mc, Su, R
Rating: PG-13, vignette
Based on Carmen's challenge to write a K/S story with a swordfight and drinking tea. Written while hiking Long's Peak (in Colorado) to the Boulderfield.
Thank you to Gamin for the beta, and additional thanks to Leiabelle for certain details. Background provided by Pat's Web Graphics
Summary: Kirk looooves to watch Spock in the gym.

Hunting Elk

Blue eyes flashing and sweat pouring from his forehead, Leonard McCoy struck out again with the heavy sword, aiming for some indeterminate portion of Spock's torso. Spock skillfully deflected the blow, parrying McCoy's sword with one smooth, quick stroke. His feet barely shifted. McCoy was forced backwards half a foot.

"It is not enough simply to attack," the Vulcan informed him laconically. "You must also anticipate your opponent's response."

Captain Kirk watched his friends' fencing practice from the side of the gym, his chest bare and drying from his own completed workout. He mopped his face with a small towel and drained the glass of iced tea he'd been working on for the past ten minutes.

When would Spock be through for the day? This was the first time all week they'd both been off-duty at the same time, something Kirk always looked forward to. But when Spock had seen how badly McCoy handled the broadsword on the planet of the twentieth-century Romans, he'd taken it upon himself to improve the doctor's martial education. Vulcans were peaceful beings, of course, but fighting techniques were learned both as an athletic art and for self-defense. There were other beings in the galaxy besides Vulcans, after all.

They'd been at it for nearly an hour, and McCoy showed no signs of improving. They could easily remain at the task for several more hours, something Kirk desperately hoped wasn't Spock's intention.

However, the waiting wasn't without its pleasures. Spock's body was dessert for the eyes, bared now in ways the Starfleet uniform never approached. His exercise clothes were black, a color that suited him marvelously. Beyond the clothing, which, unlike Kirk's gym shorts, were absolutely free of sweat--Vulcans being water-conserving beings--Spock's toned skin shone like a work of statuary.

*He's gorgeous,* Kirk mused, for the umpteenth time that evening. Spock's wild beauty reminded him of some powerful, graceful animal--a horse, perhaps? No, horses were too muscular to evoke Spock's deceptively thin but muscled frame.

Elk, then. That was it--Spock was a magnificent bull elk, sleek and slender, but powerful and strong. And instead of antlers, his head sported pointed ears, and carried the weighty burden of knowledge and command responsibility. So much the better--intelligent conversation was nothing to sneeze at in a partner.

A small, feminine cough at his side interrupted his admiring. He turned to face Janice Rand. "Yes, Yeoman?"

"I was wondering if you would like another glass of iced tea, sir."

"Yes, please." Kirk smiled. "You've got to tell me--what's your secret recipe?"


"This iced tea you make. What makes it taste so good--so different?"

"Orange peel and a cinnamon stick, sir. And thank you for saying so. I'll go get you another glass."

"Just a moment, Yeoman. I've got another favor to ask of you." Kirk beckoned for her to come closer.

She approached him, a bit warily. "Yes, sir?"

"Lieutenant Sulu is off-duty right now, isn't he?"

"Yes, sir, he is," said Rand, looking a little relieved. "Mr. Scott has the bridge for the night."

"What's Sulu doing?"

"Last time I saw him, he was conditioning the leather covers of his antique Dumas collection."

"Can you tell him to come here and relieve Spock?" Kirk asked. "Tell him it's not an order, just a personal favor to me. He's the master at fencing around here, and McCoy looks like he needs a master."

Rand watched McCoy flop around for a few moments, then agreed, "Yes, sir, he does. Sulu would probably love to come help out."

"That's what I thought."

"I'll go get him."

"Thank you, Yeoman."

Kirk watched her leave, then turned his gaze back to Spock. The Vulcan leapt and danced across the gym mat, demonstrating technique. Kirk thought of the elk, leaping in the meadow to impress the females.

*I'm a mountain lion,* the nature-loving Iowan joked to himself, *and I'm hunting elk.*

It wasn't long before Lt. Sulu appeared in the gym, carrying his fencing gear and grinning. "Spock, I'll take it from here," he offered, beaming at the chance to share one of his favorite hobbies.

"Thank you, Mr. Sulu," said Spock, stepping off the mat.

"I've gotta warn you, I'm not makin' any progress," McCoy muttered, but he lifted his sword again. Sulu looked glad to be of assistance.

Kirk hopped off his perch and sauntered up to Spock. "When are you going to cross swords with me?" he murmured flirtatiously. "I have a hot tub reserved."

Something like a purr rumbled from deep in Spock's throat. "That, I believe, is a form of swordplay at which we may both win."

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