DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Cheryl White and is copyright (c) 1981 by Cheryl White. This story is Rated NC-17 for sexual situations and was originally published in R&R #13.

Let Me Help

Cheryl White

"Let's get the hell out of here," Kirk muttered, barely getting the words out through clenched teeth.

The landing party took the standard position, then waited. Within moments, they were enveloped in the familiar sound of the transporter, then all was silent except for the eerie song of the wind caressing the remains of a long dead civilization. The great stone sat once again alone on its dark, desolate world, an ancient witness of time and worlds past, and yet to come.

* * *

Uhura walked out of the lift and moved, in the near darkness toward the expanse of stars just beyond the observation window. Leaning against the bulkhead, she gazed out at the twinkling bodies of light, trying to sort out the events of the past day. One scene in particular kept returning to her mind's eye: Kirk, as he stood with his back to the Guardian, his eyes reflecting incomprehensible pain and sorrow, although his expression was rigidly controlled, unmovable. What had happened down there? she wondered, when he and Spock had gone back in time searching for a half-crazed McCoy? Upon returning to the Enterprise, the captain had left the transporter room immediately, directing a short order over his shoulder for Spock to take the conn. No one, not even Spock, had seen or heard from him since. Even McCoy was being tight-lipped about it, saying only that the captain needed time to himself.

It was hours later now, and Uhura, too, felt the need to be alone with her thoughts. She was still shaky, unable to throw off the feeling that her world had very nearly ended today.

Suddenly, a sound caught her attention; a quiet, choking noise. She turned and peered into the darkness. "Is there anyone there?" she called out softly.

When there was no response, she edged away from the window and' moved out into the shadows. There was a lone, silent figure, hunched over on a bench, his head resting in his hands. She reached a hand and touched him lightly on the shoulder, just as he looked up and, she recognized who he was.

"Are you all right, Captain?"

"I don't know."

The abruptness and bitterness behind his answer stunned her for a moment, then embarrassed, she turned to leave. "Sorry, I didn't mean to impose, Captain. I'll..."

Kirk reached up and grabbed her hand. "Please, Uhura..." then just as suddenly released her. I'll be all right, Lieutenant. Don't let me keep you."

Uhura hesitated. He sounded anything but "all right." She found herself not wanting to leave him alone. Kneeling down beside him, she slipped one slender, brown hand on top of his... and waited. A moment later, Kirk lifted his head and searched her face, his eyes numb, dazed, almost as if he weren't seeing her at all, but rather, was looking past her. Uhura felt her chest tighten. What ever had happened to Kirk, it was painfully evident it had left a deep, emotional wound. In all their years together, she had never seen him so distraught while still in his right mind, and it scared her, not only as a member of his crew, but as his friend. She made a decision.

Standing up, she tightened her grip on his hands and urged him up beside her. "Will you come back with me to my cabin?" she asked quietly.

Kirk stared long into the gentle softness of her great, dark eyes, then slowly rose. Without a word, they moved toward the lift.

* * *

There was the familiar, quiet hiss as the doors of Uhura's cabin slid closed behind them. Almost in a trance, Kirk crossed to a chair and sat down. Uhura went to her bookcase and pressed a button ingenuously worked into its design. A panel slid back to reveal a bottle of brandy and several glasses. Without asking, she poured each of them a drink, handed one to Kirk, then settled down into a chair opposite him.

Kirk downed half the contents of his drink in one swallow, still staring vacantly at the far wall.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Uhura asked after several long minutes had passed in silence.

Kirk's eyes slowly focused on hers, then he mutely shook his head. Uhura decided to leave it alone. He would talk, if and when he was ready.

At last, he drained the glass, set it down on the desk, then stood up to leave. Uhura stood up as well and walked with him back to the door.

Kirk turned and gave her a weak smile. "Thanks, Uhura."

Seeing the obvious distress in his eyes, Uhura could stand it no longer. Stretching on tiptoes, she wrapped her arms around Kirk's neck in a comforting embrace, wanting desperately to ease the hurt a little, if only for a moment.

Kirk's arms came up and held her listlessly, then, gradually, with more strength. He closed his eyes, savoring the warmth of her very feminine body against his own. Suddenly, all the pain and anguish he had been holding in what seemed an eternity came crashing in on him, and he found himself starting to tremble. The trembling soon turned into a shudder so violent he had to literally hold onto the small woman in his arms for support as it tore through him.

Instinctively, Uhura tightened her embrace, drawing him closer, her subtle softness enfolding him in her womanly fragrance.

A knot formed in the pit of Kirk's stomach as the muscles in his throat began to convulse uncontrollably. Final1y, a sob wrenched its way free ... .and he started to cry. It had been many years since James Kirk had actually cried, but now the torrent released itself in great, heaving sobs -- bitter, profound outcries against his grief.

Uhura slipped an arm around his waist arid led him to her cot, all the while murmuring to him in words he didn't understand, but somehow knew the meaning of. He let her push him gently back on the bedcovers and remove his boots, then she came to sit at the edge of the bed beside him, caressing the muscles along his shoulders and neck as the sobs continued to rip through him. Once, he felt her start to rise, but reached out and grabbed her wrist, pulling her back down beside him. Uhura continued to soothe him as if he were a child, understanding that they were all children from time to time, for all their sophistication.

Finally, the sobs began to subside and Kirk quieted, his breath coming in short, spasmodic shudders occasionally in the aftermath. When these too began to come less often, he turned drying eyes to Uhura and tried to speak, at once grateful and ashamed. But the words wouldn't come, remained stuck in his throat. Instead, he reached across and kissed her, gently at first, then with more urgency as a new and different need asserted itself. Kirk felt her hesitate a moment, then her mouth yielded under the pressure of his own, and he knew the velvet warm taste of her.

When the kiss ended, Uhura drew back and stared at him, then very calmly, pushed herself up off the bed and walked away. Kirk cursed himself vehemently, convinced he had overstepped the boundaries. God, would nothing be salvaged from this day? He swung his legs to the floor and sat up on the edge of the cot, dropping his head to his hands.

"Uhura, I'm... I'm sorry," he said, utterly depressed. He heard her approach him again, but did not look up until he felt the light touch of her hand on his arm. She had changed from her uniform and was now wearing a loose, wrap-around robe of soft beige which both enhanced and refined the beauty of her dark features. Kirk swallowed hard, then started to say something, but Uhura gently pressed her fingers to his lips. Wordlessly, she sat down beside him and began to remove his clothing. Kirk tensed slightly, but made no move of protest, letting her take the initiative, instinctively knowing in that moment he needed this timewith her more than he had needed anything in his life. Uhura knew it, too.

When he finally lay naked upon the bed, Uhura let her robe slip of f her shoulders to reveal her own nakedness, then lay down quietly beside him, molding the smooth contours of her body to his. Settled, she then took one hand, kissed the palm with feathery lightness, and placed it on her breast.

"Let me help," she said softly.

At the all too well remembered words, Kirk moaned and pulled her tightly into his arms, once again battling the terrible grief those words invoked. His lips found hers, his tongue seeking hungrily, almost desperately, as if she held his very life somewhere deep within her. Feeling him stir to life against her belly, Uhura responded immediately. With one hand, she pressed him close, while with the other she reached around and stroked the small of his back, then let it fall to gently caress his buttocks. Breathing hard, Kirk broke away from the kiss and buried his face between her neck and shoulder.

"Uhura..." he began in a strangled whisper.

"Shhh..." she answered.

Kirk tensed, hesitating in last minute indecision. As if of its own accord, his hand slipped to cup one well rounded breast. He pressed it firmly against his palm, kneading it until the nipple stood hard and erect to his fingertips. All indecision left him. Here was a warm and giving woman, and there was time. All the time in the galaxy.

Uhura sighed as his hand then trailed down across the warm, slight curve of her belly, finally coming to rest between her thighs. She parted to his probing fingers readily, stroking, and caressing him in turn as he stirred her toward genuine excitement. At last, when neither could stand it any longer, Kirk rolled over, pressed her back, then moved his hips into position between her thighs. Slowly, he pushed forward and entered her warm, liquid regions, releasing a small sigh as soft folds of flesh closed in upon him. For a long moment, he remained utterly still, feeling infinitely tender, savoring her sensuality. Then finally, he began to rock back and forth in an easy, almost lazy rhythm. Instinctively, Uhura rolled her hips in time with his, then wrapping her legs around his buttocks, opened herself to him even more as the heat of their passion dramatically increased. In moments, Kirk's thrusting became more demanding, each lunge more powerful than the last. Soon, they were both climbing higher, then higher still toward the precipice of exploding, exquisite physical pleasure. When the moment came at last, Uhura ran long, painted nails the length of Kirk's back and thrust up to meet him urgently. Kirk slammed forward one last, final time, stiffened with a groan, then jerked spasmodically as the semen ripped from his groin in the explosive release of orgasm. Uhura clung to him tightly, holding herself rigid as she, too, abandoned herself to total physical release.

When the moment passed, Kirk collapsed heaving upon the sheen of Uhura's perspiring breasts and closed his eyes to rest. A moment later, he became aware of Uhura's fingertips tracing lightly up and down his spine in slow, casual patterns. He lifted his weight off her body, then propped his head against the support of one elbow and looked down into her face. Slowly, Uhura opened her eyes, then smiled up at him.

"Can we still be ... friends?" she asked with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.

Kirk leaned forward and kissed her tenderly. "The best," he whispered huskily.

Satisfied, Uhura closed her, eyes, still smiling serenely. Kirk watched her face a moment longer, then at last smiling himself, laid his head down on the single pillow and gathered her to him in his arms.

Sleep. Yes, sleep would be welcome ... now.