But for a being like Spock who had grown up in a desert and owed half his genes to a heat-loving alien species, the Iowa winter was pleasant only indoors. Luckily, Jim's mother's house was cozy and inviting, and smelled subtly of the botanical scents of the season. Spock had learned at an early age that the smell of pine appealed to him, so winter was not without its good points.
And because he loved Jim, sometimes he would even brave the cold during their visit, and venture outside for a walk in the snow. His eyes did find pleasure in the purity of the gently sloping snowdrifts, and in the brown-almost-black twisted forms of bare trees, branches contorting like the limbs of a dancer paused in some exotic pose. Puffs of warmth came from Jim's mouth as they walked along the shore of the frozen lake. Spock tried not to breathe through his mouth, so he wouldn't relinquish any of his precious body heat. He was fascinated by the tree branches--now that their leaf canopy was gone with the season, the artistic but random design of their growth habit could be seen clearly and admired. Natural fractals were one of his numerous intellectual hobbies.
But still the cold seeped in, through his sleeves and collar, and under his hat, biting at every extremity. Jim sensed his discomfort, and steered them back towards the house.
"Oh, look at you, you're freezing!!" Dr. Kirk exclaimed when the two of them stumbled in through the back porch, stomping snow off their boots. "Jim, you shouldn't make him walk around out there," she clucked at her son.
"It's colder than it was yesterday," said Jim, peeling off the first few layers of his outdoor ensemble.
"Spock, are you all right?" Jim's mother asked the Vulcan as she held out her hands for Jim's scarf and hat.
"I require... deep heat," Spock said through chattering teeth. "I cannot feel the points of my ears."
"Come on, Spock." Jim started dragging him up the stairs by one hand. "I'll get you warm." He looked contrite.
"Put him in the shower!" Dr. Kirk called after them. "And rub his fingers!"
"I know, Mom!"
"I'll heat up some cider." She put the scarves and hats and other paraphernalia of winter play back into the hall closet. Why do men just dump things down, she asked herself rhetorically.
A chorus of thank-yous from the men already on the second floor was her answer.
"You feel like a block of ice!" Jim exclaimed in remorseful horror as he helped his stiff-limbed husband get out of the rest of his clothing in the upstairs guest bathroom.
"Then you must help me to melt," Spock managed to stutter out. His jaw hadn't stopped shivering uncontrollably.
"You're not a block of ice, you're an ice sculpture, like those silly swans at my first wedding." Jim had finished undressing Spock and was staring admiringly at his tall, lean body. On impulse, he drew nearer with intent to kiss.
Spock clutched at his arm and held him back. "Do not... kiss... my teeth are chattering... I may bite your tongue."
Jim nodded in understanding, then turned on the hot water tap. While the water heated up, he stripped off his own clothing and left it on the floor. Spock eyed the pile.
"Your mother did not enjoy having to put away your scarf and hat," Spock pointed out.
"I'll fold everything later." Kirk dismissed the thought with a wave of his hand. Vulcans! "The important thing now is to get you warm. Come on."
He took Spock's hand and helped him into the shower. Spock felt the hot water hit his frigid skin and instantly closed his eyes with relief. He swayed slightly to let the water drizzle freely across every centimeter of skin.
Jim stood back and let Spock hog the water for a few moments. He was relieved to see color coming back into Spock's skin as the water spread heat all across his body. Jim picked up one of Spock's hands and started massaging his fingertips. Spock wrapped his fingers around Jim's affectionately. Jim had only intended to stimulate circulation in Spock's hands, but Spock quickly and casually turned it into the traditional Vulcan gesture of intimacy.
"Mmmm." Jim smiled. "How're those teeth?" he asked slyly.
Wordlessly, Spock let go of his hand and pulled his body closer into an embrace. Water streamed down the small sliver of space between their bodies and made their stomachs slippery against each other. Jim wrapped his hand around Spock's upper arm and kissed him. The warm, pure taste of the falling water mixed with the familiarity of their mouths.
"Warm now, Spock?" Jim murmured into Spock's mouth as he nuzzled his chin with his lips.
"Always, in your presence, t'hy'la," Spock purred back, reaching for the bar of soap. He let Jim's torso slip out of his arms so he could lather up his hands.
"Ooh, that soap smells nice," Jim commented, his body tingling in anticipation of being fondled by Spock's soapy hands.
"Indeed," said Spock, working the bar around and around busily in his hands. "Your mother is very fond of lavender. I have observed its presence in the potpourri and soap baskets in each bathroom in the house." He approached Jim with slickened hands.
Jim felt a throbbing warmth spring up at his thighs at Spock's first touch. Spock ran a flat palm smoothly over Jim's chest, frothing the soap and perking up the nipples. Jim moved closer so that his body was touching Spock's again, spreading the foam onto the Vulcan's wet chest hair. His erection bumped playfully into the space between Spock's thighs. He felt Spock's swell in answering desire, and press into his belly.
He grabbed Spock's ass and ground their bodies together. "Being cleaned is quite arousing to you," Spock observed, teasing.
"*You*--are quite arousing to me," Jim corrected. Spock reached for the shampoo bottle. Jim looked at him in confusion. "What are you doing?"
"Washing your hair," said Spock, popping open the top of the bottle. He squirted some into his hand.
"Good," said Jim in relief. "I thought you were going to--well, you know, use that on me..."
"On you, Jim?" Spock asked, pausing.
Jim looked sheepish. "On my penis."
"Jim, why would I do something like that? Shampoo can not be used as lubricant. It is extraordinarily irritating and--"
"I know that, and probably every other human male who's been through puberty knows that, but I didn't know if *you* would," Jim said quickly.
"You would have known that before you experimented if you'd read the ingredients on the label," Spock pointed out.
"Why would that do me any good? I don't know what half of that stuff is." But he reached for the bottle anyway.
Spock ran his shampoo-covered hand over Jim's wet hair in a firm caress. He handed Jim the bottle and began to massage the shampoo into Jim's scalp.
"Jojoba oil," Kirk read. "Sounds like something Santa Claus would use to cook with. Ho, ho, ho! --ba oil."
Spock merely looked at him with amusement and continued scrubbing his hair.
"Rose hips. Hmm. I didn't know roses had hips!"
"Rose hips are the fruit of the rose plant," Spock explained genially. "Roses head the family of plants that include most of your most popular north American fruits--the apple, the pear, the plum, and so on. The 'hips' actually contain more vitamin C per unit weight than many other more popular fruit, including oranges."
"Really?" Jim drawled, relaxing completely under Spock's divine touch. My beautiful brainiac.
"Yes," Spock confirmed. "As a matter of fact, rose hips have been successfully used as the main fruit crop on several minor Federation colonies. The prevention of scurvy--"
"Spock..." Kirk murmured throatily, a big grin across his face. "Only you could stand there, naked, in the shower, with soapy water running down your chest and that big, thick hard-on poking out at me, talking about plants with vitamin C. And I love you for it."
In moving closer to Spock again, he stepped under the water and luckily remembered to close his eyes as diluted shampoo began to stream down his face. This time, he seized the Spock's hardness and squeezed it sensually, reveling in the sensation of firmness filling his wet hand. "I haven't washed you yet," he reminded both of them.
Spock's eyes were heavy-lidded as Jim pumped a tightly-closed fist over his dick while reaching for the soap with his other hand. Jim rolled the soap around in his palm, then gave it back to Spock. Their hands roamed the expanse of each other's bodies, feeling muscle through skin. They started kissing again, lips hungrily playing and nibbling. Eventually both men's soapy hands found the other's penis, and leaning against the corner of the shower wall, they tugged and stroked.
Spock fondled Jim's balls with his other hand, making Jim suck harder on Spock's tongue. Jim ran his free hand through Spock's wet, matted chest hair, rubbing the bronze-green nipples with his fingertips, even pinching them lightly. "Ohh, ohh," Spock moaned, shuddering as his genitals twitched. He thrust into Jim's hand, hard and fast, and brought his free hand up to the side of Jim's forehead. Climax was near and the mind needed to be involved.
Jim leaned his face into the meld like a scenting cat, and teased the fleshy head of Spock's penis with his thumb. Spock's consciousness poured into the spaces of his thoughts, filling him with a brilliant awareness of love. "Yes," Jim groaned into Spock's mouth, and Spock came all over Jim's thigh. Feeling the throbs in his hand sent Jim, too, over the edge.
The couple collapsed into each other's arms, breathing heavily and resting against the wet tile. "That was pretty good!" Jim gasped with a smile.
"I believe someone is knocking at the door," Spock pointed out.
"What?" Jim drew aside the shower curtain and listened.
The muffled voice of his mother came through the thick wooden door. "Jim, is Spock all right? You're using up all the hot water!"
"Uhh.... we're all right, Mom!" Jim called back at her.
"You've been in there for a half hour," Dr. Kirk called back.
"Really? A half--?" Jim paused, and looked at Spock, who nodded matter-of-factly.
"I got worried."
Jim looked at Spock. "Typical mother."
"There's cider for you in the kitchen as soon as you get through," Jim's mother added.
"Thanks! We'll be right out!" Jim closed the shower curtain again. "You just had to teach me about rose hips, that's all, right, Mr. Spock? And then we rose our hips."
Water dripped from a lifted eyebrow.