Captain Kirk was not usually so hard of a drinker. He also wasn't used to getting tanked on purpose in a Vulcan bar. Heck, he wasn't even used to *being* on Vulcan. But today he'd had a really hard, bitter taste of what the customs were like here. He'd stood in the sand, dust gathering on his pant cuffs, and watched his best friend and the unspoken love of his life ring a stone gong and marry a woman he hadn't seen since childhood. And now he was staying here overnight with her, to perform his marital duties and assuage his Pon Farr, before returning to the ship the next morning with Kirk.
Kirk studied the miniature glacial features of the ice in his glass. McCoy had returned to the ship after the wedding, called back by a medical emergency. It had been Kirk's own decision to wait around for Spock, and McCoy had given him a funny look when he'd been told. But he didn't say anything. There was nothing to say. Kirk was a big boy; he could handle having his heart broken.
Well, it wasn't like he'd been given a fair shot. He always thought the gorgeous genius aboard his ship was completely asexual, and left his thoughts of physical companionship strictly in the realm of midnight fantasy. And now, the only reason he discovered anything to the contrary was that suddenly Spock was getting married, *was* married to this T'Pring creature and was now off in a bungalow someplace with her making little Spocks and T'Prings. Or T'Pocks. Or--
"Have another?" asked one of the twin barmaids.
Kirk looked up at her with glassy eyes. He was getting to the point where he wasn't entirely sure whether one or both twins were standing in front of him addressing him, but he still hadn't gotten the mental image of Spock lying body-to-body against someone else, loving her, out of his head. "Yeah," he slurred, wagging his head a little. "Seabreeze," he added, not wanting to brave another native Vulcan who-knows-what.
He gulped down the vodka cocktail without a thought, and then attempted to look around the bar at his fellow braincell killers. Maybe a random hookup as in the days of old would improve his mood.
A plump yellow thing sat on the stool next to him. He had never seen that particular species of alien before, but had never had a problem with introductions. "Hello, I'm Jamesteekrrrgg. Comeere ofnn?"
The alien didn't say anything, but it didn't move away. "Buy you drink?" Kirk offered. He gestured at the barmaid nearest him and mumbled incoherently. The barmaid looked at the yellow creature, then gave Kirk a funny look. *Narrowminded Vulcans,* he thought to himself. *My business who I spend tonight with. God knows this culture's already fucked up my day.*
He sat there for the next forty-five minutes, telling the spherical alien about his exploits as a starship captain--the daring battles, the tense negotiations, the exciting first contacts. She seemed interested, or at least polite enough not to look bored or leave. She didn't have much to say, but he could tell from the look on her face that she really liked him. Oh well, that was nothing new.
"Closing time," announced one of the Vulcan twins to the bar. "Live long and prosper. Please do not attempt to pilot a shuttle while intoxicated. Goodnight."
Jim paid his bill, then looked at his new friend and held out his hand. "Care to enjoy the night with me?" He stopped himself short of saying *take a walk*, because she obviously had no legs. He wondered how they got around on her planet.
He lifted her gently off the stool and carried her out into the cool desert breeze. As they went along he found himself enjoying her company more and more, and started murmuring sweet nothings in a throaty growl. It helped to put him in the mood and seemed to be getting her excited as well. She was a little wet, at any rate, and if her species was anything like human females...
He brought her closer to his lips and kissed whatever his mouth touched. The oral caress was moist and sensual, and his own body was responding to her sweet, tangy aroma. How pungent! How wonderful! How--
A noise in the alley made him jump to attention. He whirled around and came face to face with Spock. His heart nearly stopped. "Spock!..."
"Captain." Spock moved closer to him.
"I... thought you'd be with T'Pring." Somehow Jim managed to get the sentence out without sounding too drunk.
"The marriage has been anulled." Spock's big dark eyes drank in the sight of his captain standing there in the streetlight, cheeks flushed and eyes bright.
"But... why?" Kirk was now trembling uncontrollably. Dammit!
"I have bonded with another unconsciously," Spock explained. "This was not my intent, I assure you. But you," he said, stepping even closer and taking Kirk's hand, "are closest to my heart. This means no more and no less than what you take it to mean. But T'Pring could not accept it. And in truth, I am relieved. I could not accept her either. She is a stranger to me."
Kirk felt like he was about to die of happiness. "I was so afraid I'd lost you!" he gasped, finally daring to possess Spock with his smoldering gaze.
"Not possible," said Spock matter-of-factly. He lifted Kirk's fingers to his lips. "I must take you back to the ship now. You are intoxicated, and I wish you to be well again as soon as possible."
Kirk nodded and let Spock lead him out of the alley. When they came into a brighter light, Spock suddenly noticed what was in Kirk's other hand. "Jim?"
"May I inquire why you are carrying a mauled grapefruit?"
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