I thank you publicly, Maoric my lifepartner, for inspiring this little adventure. :p

Title: Where No Melon . . . .
Author: Farfalla
Contact: blueberrysnail@yahoo.com
Series: TOS
Pairing: K/S, humor
Rating: PG-13
Betas: I LOVE YOU SAAVANT!!!! Have a wonderful time abroad, k? :-) And thank you LeiaBelle and Blue, who beta'd this for me even though it was "out of field" for them.
Archive: ASCEM, AAK/SA, and nice people who ask first
My K/S website: http://spirk.cosmicduckling.com
Summary: Spock is intrigued by the purported properties of an unknown Terran fruit...

Disclaimer: The entire Trek universe belongs to Paramount and will not suffer much from the poking and prodding of our curious collective imaginations. We mean our beloved characters no harm and think that quite possibly they enjoy the variety ;-)

...the story of a Vulcan, a Captain, and a Freudian Slip

Captain Kirk had already finished his dinner that night at the mess hall, but Spock had stayed behind to finish every scrap of his chasm- sized bowl of Caesar salad. His attentions were therefore focused not on eating and conversation, but instead on eating and unintentional eavesdropping. He was looking around the mess hall simply watching the crew relax, studying them as if he were a National Geographic cameraman and they were meerkats.

Recently he had become interested in the wide variety of produce that the Enterprise's culturally diverse society conjured up from the food synthesizers. With more water on Terra, fruits were less of a prized delicacy than on Vulcan, and therefore a much more significant part of the usual diet. And there were so many kinds! Last week he had intercepted Lt. Uhura eating a yellow-orange fruit with spikes protruding from the tough, outer rind. He was even more astonished to see that the inside was full of small, flesh-coated seeds reminiscent of those of a cucumber. The whole thing seemed to look like some kind of transporter accident between a cucumber, a mace, and a small orange football. "It's a kiwano, Spock," she told him, grinning, as she scooped out the seeds with a spoon. He wondered how humans had ever figured out it was edible in the first place.

To a science officer, this wide variety of exotic edible fruiting structures was... fascinating.

As his dark eyes scanned the room that night, he suddenly beheld Dr. McCoy holding yet another fruit that Spock had never seen before. This one was a perfect, smooth sphere the size of a basketball, almost like a planet looks from space, and the palest, most delicate shade of green. Deep in Spock's subconscious, green was the Vulcan color of blood and therefore of passion. That fact, and the symmetrical perfection of the large sphere, made the new unknown more alluring and stirred Spock's scientific curiosity. His interest piqued, he called to McCoy across the tables, "Doctor? What is that strange fruit you are holding?"

McCoy called something back at Spock and left the room with the fruit in the crook of his arm. Spock replayed the Doctor's words over in his mind. McCoy's mouth had been full of peach cobbler when he had answered, and so his statement was slightly difficult to understand. To the best of his abilities, Spock had translated it to be, "It's a horny fruit, Spock. I'm taking it to Nurse Chapel. She's stuck in sickbay overseeing some tests and wanted something light to eat." He was out of the room before Spock could ask out loud, as he did in his head,

"Horny fruit?"

Horns were usually keratin structures on the heads of animals, crafted by Nature for battle over mates. Horns were also musical instruments in the brass family. He saw no relation to the perfectly smooth, and silent, ball of green. Turning to his left, he beheld Scotty shoveling haggis into his face with a fork that had a tartan plastic handle. "Mr. Scott, what is the meaning of the word 'horny'?"

Scotty started to chuckle self-consciously. "Och... Mr. Spock... Well.... when ye're around a pretty lassie...." He suddenly started to choke on his food. Spock calmy performed a Heimlich maneuver. "Many thanks, Mr. Spock! Er... as I was sayin'... go ask ye mother."

*'Horny' appears to be a term related to Terran females, judging from the words of Mr. Scott,* Spock thought to himself as he exited the mess hall and headed for another deck. *There is no need to ask my mother. Mr. Scott was probably merely being idiomatic, as Terrans are wont to do... I shall ask a more available female."

He pressed the buzzer to Lt. Uhura's quarters. From outside he could hear the mellifluous flutterings of the lovely lady warming up on her vocal exercises. "Co-o-o-me i-in!" she twittered like a cardinal. "Oh, hello, Spock."

"Lieutenant Uhura, as communications expert, you know the meaning of most words in Terran English," began Spock. "What is the meaning of the word 'horny'? Mr. Scott seemed to imply that it involved females and advised me to 'ask my mother'."

Uhura was smirking charmingly. "Oh, Spock... wow." She let out one giggle. "Well... where do Vulcan babies come from? Let's start there." She looked at him expectantly.

"Vulcan children are the product of their parents' sexual intercourse," Spock said.

Uhura smiled inwardly at the professionalism that, in his case, probably stemmed from sexual innocence as much as Vulcan upbringing. "So are human children," she said. "But sometimes humans like to participate in sex for other reasons than just to make a baby."

"I have noticed that many members of this crew make... intimate friends.... while on shore leave, or even with each other," said Spock. "Obviously, this does not always lead to offspring, or else the Enterprise would be overrun with infant humans." His visible shudder amused Uhura further.

"Well, you know about birth control devices to prevent conception," replied Uhura. "Sometimes people have sex for the wrong reasons, such as... manipulation of power, or malice towards the other person's rightful spouse. But sex can do a lot of good things as well." Her speech had grown more fluid and relaxed as she got more comfortable talking with, of all people, Spock, about, of all subjects, sex. "It helps bring two lovers closer emotionally, and can be a way for the body to relieve itself of some stress."

*Vulcan mating customs also bring lovers closer together... mentally and emotionally... the bonding...* Spock thought to himself. He didn't say anything about that, though. Instead he said, "And 'horny' refers to...?"

"'Horny' is an adjective that means, simply speaking, that the human it applies to would... really like to have sex!" Uhura watched Spock's face as she said this, and wondered where in the world he might have heard the term in the first place.

"Thank you, Lieutenant. You have been of much assistance." Spock nodded to her and left the room.

"Anytime, Commander Spock..." she called after him, and then went back to practicing her singing.

*"Horny" fruit?* Spock was puzzled. *And the Doctor was bringing it to Nurse Chapel.* Why would Chapel eat something that would increase her sexual appetite? It was clear from her earlier, rejected advances that she already had enough passions to worry about.

His logical mind proposed two, conflicting theories. The first theory stated that, logically, a human already suffering from an overactive desire would not prolong her agony unless she was a masochist, something Spock had never seen any evidence of in the blonde Nurse. Therefore, logically, she probably didn't know about the horny fruit. According to what the Doctor had said, she had merely asked him to bring her a light meal.

The first theory, therefore, supposed that Dr. McCoy was trying to seduce his nurse. Spock considered this.

His second theory was that horny fruit did not *cause* horniness in humans, it sought to cure it. This would certainly make sense in the case of Nurse Chapel. It also made it perfectly logical that the Doctor would be the one bringing it to her, in order to assuage her condition.

Spock went about his duties, filing the horny fruit away in his mind.

The second theory was shot to pieces the next night in the mess hall when he noticed Pavel Chekov sitting by himself eating a large slice of the horny fruit, which by now Spock had realized was a mild- flavored type of melon. Chekov nodded politely and said, "Hello, Kommender," when Spock sat down next to him. Then he picked up another slice and held it out to Spock. "Would you like some?"

*I am a Vulcan, and therefore the horny fruit's chemical powers over humans, should there be any, will not affect me.* "Certainly, Mr. Chekov. Thank you." Spock took the pastel green slice of fruit and scooped the flesh out with a spoon. It was certainly very tasty... he had to admit. When he was done with his slice, he mentally scanned his body for any unusual changes. Nothing had happened; he felt exactly as he had before eating the so-called horny fruit. *This fruit does not affect Vulcans in any way,* he wrote down in his mental notepad.

"Vee grow it in Russia," Chekov offered. "Ees beeg prize for beegest melon." The people overhearing him at another table were all smirking. Chekov turned to look at one of them, and winked at her, an attractive young lab technician with yellow-blonde hair and perfect skin. "She gets the beegest prize!" he murmured at Spock. "For beegest melons... heh heh heh. I vant to talk to hayr later... see if she understands what love from a Russian ees like!"

Spock raised his eyebrow. If Chekov were able to eat an entire slice of the horny fruit without diminishing his desire for coupling, then his second theory about it being a "cure" was most likely false. In fact, Chekov's flirtatious behaviour had occurred only moments after consuming a slice of horny fruit. But was he eating it on purpose? Nurse Chapel certainly wouldn't.

"Mr. Chekov," asked Spock. "Do you know the origin of the name of this melon you are eating?"

Chekov looked puzzled. "No, Kommender... I suppose I hev nevayr thought about eet before."

Before the end of dinnertime, Spock had managed to get into a conversation with everyone he noticed eating the green melon. Each of them had professed ignorance on the derivation of the fruit's name.

Spock left the mess hall with his stomach *and* his brain completely full. He had decided a lot of things. First of all, it was clear that the fruit did indeed do nothing to mitigate sexual arousal in humans. This meant that Dr. McCoy was not bringing Nurse Chapel the fruit in order to cure anything. Whether the Doctor was or was not trying to involve Chapel in a romantic relationship was none of Spock's concern.

Another thing that seemed evident was that most humans, at least the humans on board the Enterprise, did not know that the melon possessed aphrodisiac qualities. This was very important, because it meant that the fruit could be used to bring about arousal in a human without that human realizing what was going on and getting suspicious...

Spock walked into his quarters and gave the food synthesizer the scientific Latin name his botanical analyzer had given him for the horny fruit. "In cubes, please." he added.


"Hello, Spock," the Captain said jovially as the door to Spock's cabin slid open to admit him.

"Greetings, Captain." Spock stood to welcome him. The chess set was set up on the table, and beside it, to Spock's left, was a plate of fruit chunks. "I suppose you have stopped agonizing over the Hammerschmidt treaty? You look quite... relieved." He himself was rather relieved that Kirk didn't appear to have noticed anything about the variety of fruit.

"I did a lot of thinking, and Uhura said a couple of things to me at dinner that were... well, they just made a lot of sense in helping me get out of the cloud of fog I was in." Kirk hadn't been in the mess hall that night, and Spock had rightly suspected that he'd been in Uhura's room getting comforted by the usual big dose of the good lady's fresh vegetables, yoga, and comforting advice.

*Scotty must trust her very much to be faithful while alone with the Captain, especially as attractive a man as he is,* Spock thought to himself. *Well, I suppose I would trust her as well. As does the Captain.* Aloud, he said, "Would you care for some fruit?"

Spock could not have realized the subtle changes that were taking place in his own behaviour during their chess game. He was 94.2 percent confident that the fruit would bring about the desired emotion in his human companion, and so he made himself appear more open to invitation. He reasoned that if the Captain was *not* interested in him in the way he had thought he percieved through their feeble residue of a mind-link, then Kirk would excuse himself and go find someone of the quality of Chekov's buxom lab technician to bother. On the other hand, if the Captain did indeed fancy his Vulcan first officer, Spock wanted to make completely sure that Kirk knew his advances would be welcomed.

And so he deepened his voice slightly, and lowered it as well. His movements were even more fluid than usual, and once or twice he let his eyelids come down sultrily over his eyes and then lift back up, to gaze at Kirk. While the Captain was deciding on his chess moves, Spock looked at him longer, hardly taking his eyes off Kirk's face, trying to tell if the horny fruit was working yet.

Eventually, Spock's deduction and concentration began to pay off. Kirk was starting to meet Spock's dark gaze with his own, and once he accidentally knocked over half of the pieces while their eyes were conducting a silent dialogue that neither of them could translate. Spock noted that they were both breathing harder. The Captain licked his lips and Spock blinked a few times in response. Kirk started to fiddle nervously with one of Spock's captured chess pieces.

"Captain, are you all right?" Spock asked him, raising an eyebrow. At this gesture, Kirk blinked, breathed, and sort of looked into the corner of the room. *He still doesn't know that I feel the same way,* Spock thought, with as much of a panic as a half-Vulcan could ever muster.

Spock stood and crossed to Kirk's side of the table. His movements were like that of a dancer's in a dream. He was beautiful, and Kirk could not take his eyes off him. Spock reached out his hand and placed it on the Captain's neck, feigning a pulse-check. To touch that soft skin, like a flower, like the warmth that he felt in his own heart.... He feared he would have trouble tearing his hand away from that warmth. "Your heart-rate is rapid," he pointed out. "Perhaps you are in need of rest?"

Luckily, he wasn't fooling anyone. Kirk's hand floated up and clasped Spock's, holding it to his neck, bringing it up slightly to touch his jaw and then his cheek. Without speaking for several minutes, Spock caressed his Captain's face, and Jim leaned into that caress as if it were life itself. Neither of them had ever felt a moment as tender.

"Spock...." It escaped Kirk's lips almost as a sigh. To Spock, it was an admission of passion, and also an invitation.

He lifted Kirk to his feet with both hands, gasping, "Captain!" In his arms he now held the man, his hands travelling back up the arms to the shoulders, up the neck and back to his face... pulling his face closer...

"Spock," Kirk sighed again as their lips met. As they kissed, their embrace grew tighter.

Eventually, they pulled away and regarded each other. "Spock, I-- how did you know that I was... attracted to you?"

"I suspected it due to feelings through our mind link," Spock explained. "I have to ask you, Captain, are you merely attracted to me, or..."

Jim laughed sexily. "Or will I stay with you for the long haul? Well... you're one of my best friends, and you're damn near the sexiest thing I've seen in a while--"

"That must be saying a lot, Captain," Spock commented, one eyebrow up.

Jim grinned. "Yes, Mr. Spock, I have deep feelings for you. I might even love you. And with that, can we stop dragging bridge protocol into the bedroom? I keep telling you to call me Jim."

"Jim." They kissed again, and this time when they pulled away, Spock said, "Jim, I must confess, some of your desire for me tonight is partially due to the fruit you consumed during our chess game."

It was Jim's turn to raise his eyebrow. "What, the honeydew?"

"Honeydew?" Spock was confused.

"Honeydew melon. What did you think it was called?"

-"Hammerschmidt treaty": this is to honor Saavant, my fun friend and beta :-)
-If you want to see a picture of a kiwano, go to Google image search and prepare to be amused. Incidentally, another name for kiwano is "horned melon". I had completely forgotten about this while writing the story, because it isn't even a melon in the first place!! :-p
-Chekov got laid.

A duck made out of the... horny fruit.

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