DISCLAIMER: Paramount and Viacom own Star Trek and all its characters, etc. I'm just playing with one of 'em. Except for Mr. Spock, all other characters in this story are products of my own feverish imagination. This is purely a work of fanfiction and I am not making any money on it. Please don't post this anywhere else without this disclaimer. My thanks to Nora Roberts for the "No Scale Kiss" and for some of the dialog I shamelessly adapted from her novel "The Perfect Neighbor." This story is rated PG. Copyright 2001 by Momthing.
"There are no good men on the Enterprise."
Captain Spock was roused out of his meditative state by the words spoken by Lt. Leila Tompkins.
"Shhh ... not so loud, Leila ... the Captain will hear you!" That was undoubtedly the voice of Lt. Angela Roberts.
"Nah, he's meditating. He's not hearing a word we're saying."
Spock became peripherally aware that the two young women were watching him. He sat absolutely still, not wanting them to be aware that he was eavesdropping on their conversation, which promised to be fascinating and highly entertaining.
He had not anticipated being stranded in a cave overnight with three of his female crew. He also had not anticipated the ion storm that had struck their shuttlecraft as they were on their way back to rendezvous with the starship Enterprise. He had been forced to make an emergency landing. The shuttle had survived, and thankfully, no one had been hurt ... but there was enough damage to the structure of the craft that they couldn't stay aboard. The women had taken it well, knowing that the Enterprise would come looking for them once they missed their scheduled ETA. Now all they had to do was wait.
It was night outside. The locator beacon had been set out earlier. He heard the two ladies getting comfortable around the small campfire they had made inside the cave. He had told them he was going to meditate so he sat slightly apart from them in a shadowy corner of the cave, eyes closed in apparent meditation. He wondered what Ensign Perez, the third member of the group was doing. He had not heard anything from her as yet.
"Anyway, Leila, I don't see how you can say a thing like that. There's lots of good-looking men on the Enterprise," Angie Roberts said.
"I didn't say good-looking. I said good ... as in not total jackasses."
"Oh yeah? What about Cmdr. Gatlin? Seems to me you were pretty sweet on him. In fact, you two were virtually inseparable."
"Oh, yeah," Leila snorted. "Till I found out he'd been bragging about what a fantastic lover he is and how I just couldn't get enough!"
"So, who told you?" Angie asked curiously. "And is he?"
"Let's just say a little birdie told me," Leila replied. "And no, he isn't ... what was that expression Aunt Fran used to use ... wham, bam, thank you ma'am ... that about covers it!"
Spock felt the tips of his ears getting warm and was grateful that he was mostly in the shadows. Angela giggled and quickly stole a glance at her Vulcan Captain, but was reassured when he remained motionless, apparently still in meditation.
"What about you, Angie? Aren't you having a thing with Dr. Hansen?"
Angie snorted. "Are you kidding? That pompous egotistical jackass! What is it about doctors that makes 'em think they're gods? I had dinner with him one time and all we ever did was talk about him ... what he likes and doesn't like about a woman, and so on ... B-O-R-I-N-G! And then he had the nerve to get mad because I wouldn't invite him into my quarters afterwards!"
"I rest my case!" Leila replied emphatically. "I repeat, there are no good men on the Enterprise."
"Oh, I think you're wrong," Tamar Perez' soft voice spoke out at last. "There are lots of good men on the Enterprise ... Captain Spock for one."
"Oh, well, the Captain is a given," Angie was quick to reassure the young ensign, whom she and Leila had taken under their wing. "He's untouchable ... sacred, I assure you."
"And he's easy on the eyes, too," Leila chimed in ... then leaning in a little closer to the other two women and lowering her voice just in case someone might be listening... "And he's the perfect Fantasy Pounce if y'all know what I mean ... "
"Leila!" Angie gasped. There was a moment of silence. Spock felt at least two pairs of eyes looking his way. He remained in his meditative pose, apparently still unaware that he was the topic of conversation.
"Oh, come off it, Angie," Leila continued in a low voice. "You're not gonna tell me that you haven't at least once fantasized what it would be like with Our Noble Leader ..." Her voice trailed off.
"Well ... no, actually, I haven't," Angie confessed. "Now, if you ask me about Lt. Sorel, on the other hand..." She sighed. "Why did God make Vulcans so damn good looking and so damn unattainable?"
The three women couldn't resist a giggle at that, sneaking a peek at their Captain who remained motionless (and thankful that the ladies couldn't see him blushing).
"What about you, Tamar?" Leila zeroed in on the young ensign. "Who do you have the hots for?"
Tamar blushed. "Certainly not the Captain, if that's what you're thinking."
"Sorel?" Angie asked.
"Oh, no, Lt. Sorel is very nice, but ... he's not my type."
"Say, wait a minute," Leila narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "Didn't I see you talking with that new guy from Stellar Cartography? Peter Devereaux?"
"Peter the Great? Tam, you were talking with the most gorgeous hunk of man to come aboard the Enterprise since Captain James (T for Tomcat) Kirk, and you didn't tell me?" Angie sounded hurt.
"If you're talking tall, good-looking gorgeous blue eyes and brown hair, and a smile to die for, that's the one," Leila confirmed. "He and Tam were sitting in the officer's mess looking reeaally cozy."
"Hmm ... .come to think of it, Tam," Angie said, "you've been looking awfully happy lately, ever since we left the Enterprise to go to that stupid conference. So what's Peter the Great done to make you so happy?"
"Oooh ... she's blushing!" Leila pounced. "Come on, give! What's going on between you two?"
"Well, if you must know," Tamar said. "I went out to dinner with Commander Deveareaux the night before we left."
"And?!?" the two ladies chorused simultaneously.
"It was very nice actually," Tamar replied. "He's a very nice man."
"Oh, no, lady!" Angie said, smiling. "You don't get off that easy ... we want to hear all the details. C'mon, you know you're dying to share!"
Spock stole a quick glance. From his vantage point he could see the three ladies clearly as they huddled around the fire. Ensign Perez was blushing, apparently uncomfortable with the turn the conversation was taking, and the other two ladies appeared to be enjoying her predicament. Spock was shocked at their flagrant disregard for her privacy, and was thinking now might be a good time to intervene, when the Ensign surprised him by grinning unexpectedly, and saying, "You're right, Leila ... I've been dying to tell somebody!"
Ensign Perez stared dreamily into the fire, while her two companions, Lt. Angie Roberts and Lt. Leila Tompkins waited eagerly to hear about her date with Cmdr. Peter Devereaux, a.k.a Peter the Great or as Angie described him "The most gorgeous hunk of man ever to come onboard the Enterprise since the legendary James (T. for Tomcat) Kirk." Spock maintained his position in a dark corner of the cave, still seemingly in a meditative state.
"It was so romantic," Tamar said dreamily. "He told me to meet him at the Arboretum, and when I got there ... he had set up this picnic ... red and white checkered tablecloth, a bottle of wine in an ice bucket, a loaf of bread and some cheese ... he said it was because of an Earth poet ... something about 'a loaf of bread, a piece of cheese and thee beside me' ... something like that ... he handed me a single white rose ... then he looked deeply into my eyes ... do you know he has the most beautiful blue eyes? ... and he recited a poem ... how did it go? Oh yes, now I remember ... 'How do I love thee, let me count the ways' ... his voice sounds like blue velvet ... " She sighed.
Leila and Angie exchanged worried looks. "She's got it bad," Leila murmured to Angie, who nodded silently in agreement. Tamar had led a very sheltered life. For someone who was barely twenty-one, she was incredibly naive when it came to men.
"So, then he kissed you?" Angie prompted. Tamar shook her head.
"Oh, no. Then we went to the observation deck and looked at the stars ... and we talked..." She blushed as she remembered Peter putting his arm around her and pulling her close. "He's so ... sensitive and compassionate ... " He had also mentioned that he hoped someday to have a family, and looked right at her with those magnificent blue eyes as if implying that it might be with her.
"And then he kissed you," Leila said.
Tamar shook her head no again. "No, then he walked me back to my quarters."
"OK, so now we're finally getting to the good part." Leila said. "How was it? Is he a good lover?"
Tamar's eyes went wide and she gasped, "Oh, NO, Leila! It wasn't like that at all! Peter wouldn't ... I mean I'd NEVER ... "
"Oh, lay off, Leila!" Angie said. "You know Tam's not that kind of girl! Don't you remember her telling us that she was saving herself for marriage?"
"Oops, sorry," Leila had the grace to look ashamed of herself. "I'm sorry Tam, I didn't mean it. Go on with your story, hon ... "
"Well," Tamar continued. "Anyway, we said good night and he started to walk off. I was just getting ready to go in, when all of a sudden he turned back and called my name. He came walking back towards me and THEN he kissed me!" This last was said to Angie.
"Oooh ... " Angie said. "So how was THAT? Is he a good kisser? How'd he do it?"
"Well," Tamar said, licking her lips unconsciously, remembering the kiss. "First, he sort of yanked me against him. And he's so tall, I'm practically having to stand on tiptoe ... "
"Oooh, the yank," Angie moaned. "I really like the yank ... very primeval ... "
"Then he just sort of ... swooped down and kissed me," Tamar sighed, remembering how Peter's eyes had looked just before he kissed her.
"The yank and swoop," Leila sighed. "That's a classic. Hardly any man can pull that off. That's how I ended up in bed on my third date with husband number one ... then what?"
"Well, then he pulled back slightly, looked at me ... and did it all over again ... " The two women gasped in amazement.
"A DOUBLE yank and swoop?!? You got a double yank and swoop?!" Angie moaned. There are women who go all their lives dreaming of but never achieving a double yank and swoop..."
"It was my first," Tamar admitted. "And it was ... beyond fantastic ... it was GREAT!!!"
"OK, ok," Leila said, catching her breath and trying not to look too envious. "So, Our Peter rates high on technique, but what about the kiss itself ... the lips and tongues and teeth thing ... how was that?"
By this time, Spock had given up any pretense of meditating and was avidly listening. The three women were so involved in the conversation that they had completely forgotten he was there ... and he was not about to remind them. Although part of him was still shocked at the intimate tone of the conversation, another part of him was intrigued and slightly aroused.
"It was hot!" Tamar proclaimed. "Very, very hot!!!"
"Is it just me, or is it getting warm in here?" Angie murmured.
"It's getting very warm in here," Leila laughed. "Don't stop now, Tam ... did it curl your toes?"
"It was like being, well, devoured. When your system just goes ... " She lifted her hands and wiggled them wildly, at a loss for words. "And your head feels like it's circling about a foot above your shoulders, and ... I don't know how to describe it."
"Okay, try this," Angie suggested. "On a scale of one to ten ... how would Our Peter rate?"
"Angie, there is no scale," Tamar intoned solemnly.
"Oh, come on now," Leila said, skepticism in her tone. "There's always a scale. You can say it was off the scale or something, but there's always a scale."
"Not this time," Tamar insisted stubbornly. "I'm telling you there is no scale."
"Really, Tam," Angie said. "The No Scale Kiss is a myth. It doesn't really exist, except maybe in romance novels."
"Oh, yes, it does," Tamar said stubbornly. "It really does. I know! I was there! I experienced it."
"I dunno, Tam ... " Leila said again dubiously. Spock had heard enough and decided to intervene before conversation degenerated into an argument.
"If it is any consolation to you, Ensign," he said, joining the ladies by the campfire, "I see no reason to question the veracity of your statement."
The three women gasped in shock. Leila and Angie blushed furiously, but Tamar looked at her Captain with an impish gleam in her eye. She could almost swear she saw an answering twinkle, but then the moment passed.
"Thank you for your vote of confidence, Captain," she said coolly, silently daring her companions to say anything. But Leila and Angie were too busy worrying about just how much of the conversation the Captain had overheard.
"Unfortunately, Ensign," Spock said as he sat down beside her, "there is one possible drawback to your experience that I can think of."
"What's that Captain?" Leila asked, being unable to resist getting her two cents in.
"Merely that since it would appear that Ensign Perez has had what apparently would seem to be the ultimate experience as far as this kissing is concerned, it would seem highly unlikely that she would ever experience anything remotely like it again ... perhaps close to it, but not just like it."
"He's right, Tam" Angie said, soberly. "As far as kissing is concerned Our Peter has ruined you for anything less than a No Scale. I doubt that even he could do it. Even a ten won't satisfy now."
"I thought about that," Tamar said seriously. "I really did ... and I believe that it will still be possible for me to live a full and complete life hitting anywhere between a seven and a ten with some regularity, even after this experience."
"I mean," she continued, looking earnestly at the two women, "Look, it's like being on the Enterprise ... There's moments when we're living on the edge and wondering if we're going to make it and of course, thanks to Captain Spock, we always do.." She stole a shy glance at her Captain who looked at her with his usual calm expression and waited for her to finish.
"But, you know how we still have some of that adrenalin rush when we get through the crisis situation, then everything goes back to the same old, same old, and that's nice too ... I mean, we gotta come down off the mountaintop sometime and get back to earth."
"This is true," Angie murmured. "And I guess as long as it's Our Peter doing the kissing ..." She grinned wickedly and Tamar blushed again.
Spock raised an eyebrow and cleared his throat. "Ladies, as fascinating as this conversation is, I fear the hour is late. We should all try to get some sleep."
"Yes, sir," the three women said, and shortly everyone had settled into their sleeping bags for the night.
The Enterprise picked them up shortly before noon, ship's time. Spock and the three women left the transporter room and headed for the nearest turbolift, intending to go to their quarters and shower and change into clean uniforms. The turbolift doors opened to reveal Cmdr. Peter Devereaux locked in a passionate kiss with Lt. Helena Morgan, Capt. Spock's administrative assistant.
"You bastard!" Angie Roberts exclaimed angrily as the couple broke apart abruptly.
"There really are no good men on the Enterprise," Leila Tompkins muttered glaring at the shocked couple.
Captain Spock looked stern. "Lt. Morgan, I trust that the report I assigned you is complete."
"Y-yes, of course, sir," his assistant stammered looking distinctly uncomfortable, which was rare for the arrogant lieutenant.
"Very well. I shall expect in on my desk in fifteen minutes. Dismissed."
The beautiful blonde woman quickly left, not liking the cold hard look in her superior's eye.
Spock glanced down at Ensign Perez, concerned about her possible emotional reaction to her boyfriend's betrayal. He need not have worried. Tamar entered the turbolift with her head held high, acting as if nothing had happened.
"Good afternoon, Commander," she said coolly, as the Captain and the other two women entered the turbolift with her.
"Tam, let me explain ... " Peter started, but she looked at him with ice in her eye.
"No explanation is necessary, Commander," she said calmly, then concentrated on looking anywhere in the turbolift but him. Peter looked very uncomfortable, but there was nothing he could do, considering the way the other two women were looking at him (if looks could kill he would have been dead twice over) and the way Tamar was ignoring him. It would take him a few more minutes to get to Stellar Cartography. It seemed like an eternity.
Standing next to Tamar, Spock unobtrusively brushed his hand against hers. He sensed her distress through the brief contact ... and the equally strong determination that she would never give the Commander the satisfaction of knowing just how badly he had hurt her.
Peter decided to try one more time before the turbolift reached his stop.
"Tam, if you're not busy tonight ... "
"Ensign Perez," Spock's voice cut through whatever Peter was going to say.
"It is my understanding that there is to be a concert in Recreation Room One tonight at 2000 hours. I would be pleased if you would accompany me. We will be dining in my quarters at 1900 hours if that meets with your approval."
"I'd be honored Captain," Tamar said, still calm. The turbolift finally arrived at Stellar Cartography. Peter slunk out like a puppy with his tail tucked between his legs. Leila and Angie exchanged glances. A date with the Captain!
How does she do that? Angie thought. She had a feeling Cmdr. Deveraux's life had suddenly taken a turn for the worse.
Tamar was touched. She knew the Captain had only asked her out because he was angry with Peter, and this was his way of showing her he cared. But she would never dream of mentioning that to him. She and the Captain walked out of the turbolift slightly ahead of Angie and Leila.
"See, Leila, you were wrong ... there are good men on the Enterprise."
"Geez, Angie, he's the Captain, for god's sake. He's just taking care of one of his crewmembers. That's his job."
"Well ... " Angie shrugged. "I am curious, though... How much do you suppose he heard about what we were talking about last night?"
"You mean before the part about the kiss? Probably not much. Remember he was meditating practically the whole time. He must have just finished when we started talking about the kiss."
"I sure hope you're right. It'd be really embarrassing otherwise."
They hurried to catch up with their friend who was still walking alongside their Captain.
"Ensign," they heard him say, "I would ask you a question. You need not answer if it sounds too personal ... but I must confess to being curious."
"You may ask me anything you like, Captain," Tamar said. She was grateful for his kind gesture earlier. "I'll try to answer the best I can."
"Very well, then, " Spock said. "Perhaps you could explain to me ... what is a fantasy pounce?"