DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of T'Eros and is copyright (c) 2001 by T'Eros. This story is Rated NC-17 for sexual situations. This is an Alternate Universe story and really doesn't have anything to do with anything in the established ST universe. Just strictly out of my warped imagination.

DIPLOMACY

T'Eros

It had been a long time since I'd seen Spock. Not since he'd resigned from Starfleet and left the Enterprise to pursue his family obligations. It must have been nearly ten years ago when he was called home upon his father's unexpected death in a speeder accident.

Spock had gone dutifully but not exactly happily. In view of the circumstances, I couldn't blame him. Not the best of homecomings in any case! But he was the heir to Sarek's seat on the Vulcan Council and all of the family's vast holdings and power passed to him, along with the political ties that went with that sort of thing.

I hadn't heard from him, which wasn't surprising. There wasn't any reason I should. I had left Starfleet myself not long afterwards, to pursue my own interests. It was sheer coincidence that my job as assistant to the Federation Undersecretary of Commerce should take me to the meeting with the Vulcans and several other races on Deep Space Station K-12. I didn't know that Spock would be representing the Vulcans at this meeting. But I managed to keep from embarrassing myself when I saw him there.

It happened like this. The Undersecretary was giving a reception the evening before the first meeting and I was stationed at the turbolift on our level of the guest quarters to greet and direct the visitors. K-12 was one of the new stations and it was fitted out for such meetings. The guest levels were downright sumptuous, better than anything I'd ever stayed in. And the dignitaries arriving blended right into the luxurious surroundings.

The turbolift doors opened silently once more to discharge the latest arrivals. I saw at once that it was the Vulcan contingent, five of them, three men and two women, all of them dressed in the opulent but understated robes of the very wealthy. They were conversing among themselves in Vulcan as they stepped off the lift.

And that's when I saw that the man in the middle of the group, dressed in a white robe with piping of gold, studded discreetly with blue gemstones, was Spock! He only had eyes for the gorgeous woman at his side. She came just to his shoulder, although her elaborate hairdo made her seem taller. She was dressed in a pale green gown, also glowing with gold and green gems, that trailed slightly behind her as she glided through the door. She had the dark, exotic, elfin features of many Vulcan women, and she was lightly touching her extended index and middle fingers to Spock's in a gesture that I knew meant they were bonded.

The group stopped as I stepped up to them, sure that they could see that I had flushed in surprise at their appearance. Or maybe it was something else that I didn't even want to think about.

I bowed slightly at the waist and said, "Gentle lords and ladies, I welcome you to the home, for the duration of the trade talks, of His Excellency Hansl von Augsburg, Undersecretary of Commerce of the United Federation of Planets. You will find His Excellency with his other guests in the main room. Please make yourselves at home and do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything that you desire." I bowed again, my rehearsed speech over once again.

Spock stepped forward slightly and answered, "I thank you on behalf of myself and the Vulcan government." He had acquired a slight accent since I last saw him. I suppose being immersed in his native language for ten years had served to flavor his speech patterns with the nuances of that tongue.

He turned to his companions and stated in a soft but authoritative voice, "Please join the group. I will follow in a moment." The other four, including the woman, dropped their chins in acknowledgment and went through the wide double doors into the party room, where they were greeted by other dignitaries that evidently knew them already.

Spock stood before me, looking down into my face, studying my reaction. He had held a noble bearing when I'd known him on the Enterprise, but now he was positively regal. And, when I stopped to think about it, that's exactly what he was. In his society, his family was one of the ruling powers on the planet and he was very nearly crown prince.

"You are looking well," he said to me, breaking my chain of thought. "I did not know that you were part of the Terran delegation."

"A very, very minor part," I answered, trying to keep my voice from shaking. I couldn't stop looking at him, drinking in his features. His hair was longer now, softer in its styling, and there was a thread or two of silver showing in the ebony. For all that, he didn't look any older. Maybe the lines on his face were a bit more deeply etched, but he still didn't look any older than a human of 40.

"I hope things are going well for you," I said, feeling foolish that my mind should go so blank in his presence.

"Yes, quite well. I trust the same is true for you."

"Yes."

I couldn't think of anything else to say and for a few seconds we simply stood and stared at one another. I heard the lift doors slide open behind him and Spock, knowing that I had another batch of delegates to greet, spoke in that wonderful, deep voice of his. "Perhaps I should join my companions. I hope to find time to talk with you later."

"Yes," I stuttered. "That would be wonderful."

He dipped his chin in a ritualistic bow and moved through the double doors. I would have turned and gazed after him except that the Rigellians had arrived and I was yanked back to my duty. Curtseying, I pressed my palms together and said, "Gentle lords and ladies, welcome to the home..."

* * *

I didn't see him again for three days. I was busy running errands for the Undersecretary and attending his needs as we made the rounds of the official parties in the evenings. This evening, the Vulcans were hosting in their suite and I was part of the group of Terrans invited. I was used to these shindigs. They were part of the diplomatic circuit and you got accustomed to smiling and making meaningless small talk, all the while sizing up those around you, just like they were smiling and sizing you up. I had stopped feeling self-conscious about it years ago.

But Spock made me feel like this was the first party I'd ever attended.

This evening, he was dressed in a black robe, a chain of gold and rubies draped across the front of it. His wife ... I supposed that's who she was ... wore royal blue and diamonds. She mingled with the other guests, gracious but reserved, cool and elegant. She'd been introduced to me only as Lady T'Qallia and no mention of her rank or position was offered. But it was pretty obvious what her relationship to Spock was.

I couldn't take my eyes off her. Every time I looked at her, I felt a whole mix of emotions welling up in me ... jealousy, hatred, envy, admiration. They made a great couple. Even I had to admit that!

Then, partway through the evening, something peculiar happened. Spock was conversing effortlessly with the Andorian ambassador, when he suddenly frowned and seemed to be in pain. He recovered almost instantly, but then excused himself and left the room. I saw T'Qallia glance his way and then quietly take leave of the couple she was talking with. She followed Spock out of the room.

They didn't return.

It was about a hour later, with the party in full swing, that the beverages I'd consumed caught up with me and I went in search of a bathroom. The suites were laid out with several bedrooms and the bathing facilities off to themselves, while the living and dining chambers occupied the section of the space station's ring that faced inward to the central section. I had a pretty good idea where the powder room was, but each suite was a little different.

As I wandered down the corridor of the sleeping area, I heard a sound coming from one of the bedrooms. The rooms had old-fashioned doors and this one wasn't closed completely. There was a very small crack between the door itself and the frame. I knew I shouldn't do it, but I was a little drunk on Saurian brandy and I couldn't resist a peek.

What I saw nearly shocked me sober! It was Spock and T'Qallia, going at it in a big, four-poster bed! She was lying beneath him, serene and pliant as he hefted himself on strong, muscled arms over her, his hips working rhythmically between her spread thighs.

Thank the Powers that I didn't make a sound and silently hurried away, my face blazing warp core red! I found the bathroom and locked myself in until I could safely come out and face people again. Never in my wildest imaginings would I have thought they'd leave a party for this! I mean, they hadn't even been talking to each other! And both had seemed absolutely calm and collected, except for that little wince Spock had made.

I finally managed to get myself straightened up and I ventured out of the powder room. Going back down that corridor, past that bedroom, was sheer hell. I know I blushed again as I hurried past, but all was silent within and I didn't risk another surreptitious peek!

As soon as I got back to the party, I grabbed a glass of champagne and downed it. I saw the Undersecretary giving me the eye, clearly wondering what was going on, but I managed to just smile and start talking to the green painted woman next to me, as if I'd known her all my life.

Then, to my utter amazement, about fifteen minutes later, Spock and T'Qallia came strolling in, fingers together, as if they'd just stepped out to get a breath of fresh air. I shook my head a little at the sight of them, marveling at their ability to step out of a diplomatic party, screw their brains out, then rejoin the party as if nothing had happened.

But that was Vulcans for you. I don't think they would've blinked if a rogue comet suddenly blasted this end of the space station into the next solar system.

I was very happy when the Undersecretary decided to make an early evening of it and our delegation took our leave in his company. I could barely look at him, but Spock gazed at me calmly, never blinking. I wondered if he was aware I'd been spying on them. I wondered if he could see it in my eyes.

* * *

A week later the meetings were over and we were getting ready to pull out. Most of the delegations had already departed but I knew the Vulcans were still here. There were still details being finalized and both the Terran and the Vulcan secretaries and aides were working hard to finish before it was time to go home.

The Undersecretary sent me over to the Vulcan suites to pick up a portfolio of signed documents. Spock's valet let me in and had the documents waiting for me, but then he abruptly disappeared while I was checking through them. I looked up and saw why.

Spock had entered the room and was standing there watching me, hands behind his back, the ivory-colored meditation robe he wore falling in soft pleats from his shoulders. He was barefoot, his steps soundless on the thick carpet. "I didn't mean to startle you," he said.

I hurriedly sealed up the portfolio, trying to keep my hands from shaking. "No, I was just surprised. I didn't hear you come in."

He continued to gaze at me, his dark eyes gentle but commanding. "Just as I didn't hear you at first the other night."

I gasped involuntarily. "Spock ... I'm sorry," I answered, my heart twisting with guilt and shame. "I didn't mean to spy on you and your wife..."

He walked toward me, his hands still clasped behind him. "T'Qallia is not my wife," he replied.

That stopped me in mid-sentence and I know I must have looked dumbfounded. "But ... but I thought ..."

"She is a companion," he continued, coming to stand before me, towering over me. I'd forgotten how tall he was. "You might call her a concubine, but that is not the correct designation either."

My heart was beating so hard I was sure he could hear it. "I don't understand. I didn't think the Vulcans--"

"There are many things that the ruling family does that the majority of the population does not do," he replied. "We afford ourselves necessary luxuries in order to function efficiently. In this case, T'Qallia is a necessary luxury for me. I could not afford to be distracted by ... other things during this conference."

Suddenly I understand. I knew what that wince of pain had meant and why he and T'Qallia had left the party for a sexual interlude. "You're going into pon farr, aren't you?" I whispered.

"Shortly," he admitted, with just a hint of discomfort. "Having her with me enabled me to release tensions that would have prevented me from giving my full attention to the talks." His face softened and his voice dropped to a lower volume, an intimate tone meant only for us. "I have missed you," he said. "You have been much in my thoughts over the years."

My throat tightened and I felt tears coming to my eyes. "Why didn't you contact me?" I asked, my voice hoarse with emotion. "I would have come without hesitation."

He slowly shook his head. "I could not. I had not yet solidified my position and there was much to be done following my father's death." He was leaning imperceptibly toward me, closing the distance between us.

I couldn't stop a tear from brimming my lashes and sliding down my cheek. Spock tilted his head slightly and reached to catch it with a light fingertip against my skin. It was more than I could take and still hold myself back.

I raised myself up and kissed him on the side of his face, putting one arm around his neck. I waited his reaction, expecting him to shove me away, but instead, his arms slipped around me and he drew me into a gentle embrace. When we pulled back, he did not remove his hands nor straighten to his full height.

"Come with me now," he whispered.

I glanced around, realizing that the suite was very quiet. "Where are the others?" I asked.

"On business. Only Saleth is here and he will not come unless I summon him."

"But your ... companion," I argued, more out of form than conviction. "You brought her here to help you with the pon farr."

He bent and captured my lips in a long, warm kiss before I could protest further. I melted against him, unable to resist him any longer. When he lifted his mouth from mine, he murmured, "I desire that you help me. If you're willing..."

I could have denied him nothing at that point. In answer, I pulled away and then reached to take his hand in mine. Without another word, we turned and walked down the hall that led the way to his awaiting bed.

THE END

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