DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of T'Kuht and is copyright (c) 2001 by T'Kuht. This is the intermission between "Desperado" and "Inspiration Point."



Alone Together

T'Kuht



"What was this about waiting till we were married by a Vulcan official?" Christine said as Spock advanced on his new wife.

"After much consideration, I have come to the logical conclusion that that would be a waste of precious time," he replied. Christine kept the chair in the cabin that they had been sent to after their marriage by a justice of the peace between her and her new husband. He attempted to round it to come beside her and she maneuvered to keep him at an equal distance. He was stunned. "You still wish to wait?"

Christine kept the chair in place. "Well, you insisted it was so important. I don't want to be the cause of a rift between you and Vulcan."

Spock knew she was teasing him."The rift between Vulcan and me has nothing to do with you."

"But, you said it was not proper..."

Spock growled, "Wife, I have never been a proper Vulcan. Come here."

She did not do so. She kept behind the chair. She was going to milk this for all it was worth. The dress hampered her movements however. It was long and she kept getting her feet caught up in the crinolines underneath used to keep the skirt buoyant. When she shook her head at him, he decided he'd had enough. With a long stride he was next to her. Purposely placing his foot on the bit of hem that pooled on the floor, he was certain she would not move so that she would not risk damaging the gown. She tried to escape found it was fruitless and stopped. His voice was deep, commanding. "When I tell you to come to me, you will do so."

Her eyes flashed with imp. "Oh, I will. And when I tell you to come, will you also?"

He nodded, caught her shoulders in a strong but gentle grip, kissed her so hard she nearly fell backward from the pressure. His hands on her bare back were like hot coals. She shivered. "What?" he asked concerned.

"Not you. This dress. There is no back and it's a little breezy," she answered. He decided to remedy the situation by deftly finding the zipper pull and tugging it down. "Then, you should get out of the dress and into something less breezy."

"But I have no other clothes..." she protested lightly.

"I don't mean clothes," he replied and pushed the right strap off the creamy shoulder. Even though they had been engaged for weeks and even slept in the same bed, they had not engaged in anything more passionate than lingering kisses. This one act let her know he was not stopping with kisses this time. With a low chuckle, she encouraged the action.

Spock bent to taste the exquisite shoulders, allowed his nose to brush the skin as he trailed it up her neck to her ear and jaw. She was nearly undone by that simple pleasure. Christine took the initiative to do a little disrobing herself. Snaking her arms under the tuxedo jacket, she unclipped the cummerbund and pulled it off to drop it on an ottoman. One by one she unbuttoned the studs along the shirtfront and began pulling the crisp white cotton garment out of the waistband. She'd seen him shirtless before, it wasn't like he had a gorgeous physique, but he was exceptionally well preserved. Running a hand along the dark hair of his pectoral muscles, they rippled from the sensation. His moan of delight nearly scared her to death. For some reason, she never imagined a Vulcan so ... noisy during foreplay. She had a lot to learn about the man she had just married for the rest of her life. Her right shoulder strap was down and the gown was slipping past her bare breasts to the floor. Spock continued with the delicate trailing of his caresses. She was getting so high she was forgetting to keep undressing him. Just as the dress got to her knees, a horrendous racket stopped them in their tracks.

"I'll KILL THEM!!!" Christine vowed and hurriedly grabbed the dress to pull it back on. Spock was trying to figure out what the sound was.

"What is it?"

"Those clowns have decided to give us a shivaree..." she provided and fairly stomped to the door. Opening it, she faced the humans and most notably her new father-in-law as they walked around the cabin beating on pans and whatever else they could get hold of. "YOU!!!"

"Honest, Christine, we tried to stop them," Uhura begged. The girls were not taking part in this part of the little tradition. They did have something planned, however. It took Spock a few moments to put his tuxedo back to the way it was when they had last seen him. It took a few more moments to calm himself down enough to face his friends and parents. He finally appeared.

"Well, we were beginning to think you'd died already," McCoy jeered.

"Hardly. However, Christine and I were rather busy," he declared.

"Nothing that can't wait a while, I'm certain," Leonard shot back and threw a snowball that landed smack on Spock's chest.

He sighed. "Doctor, why did you do that?"

"Because you're supposed to pester the newlyweds and, well, you always did say I was the biggest pest in the galaxy," the physician reminded.

Christine looked at him rather disapproving. "Leonard, leave my husband alone."

Spock smiled for one second. His wife was already defending his honor. Pulling Christine back to his now cold breast, he stated, "If there will be nothing else, my wife and I wish to be alone, since you arranged for this cabin in the first place."

"Oh, well, you want to be alone..." Kirk laughed. "I guess we can let them go back to whatever they were doing. What were you doing?"

"Captain!" Christine exclaimed and couldn't help but redden.

"Come on, guys, the fun's over with. Here's the clothes you had on earlier. We'll go back and pick you two up tomorrow afternoon," Kirk informed as the group headed back for the bus.

"Yes, we wondered how we were to leave this cabin," Spock said. The newlyweds, now quite cold and ready to get into the cabin, left the porch and shut the doors behind them.

Christine brushed some of the snow from the tuxedo. "I swear..."

"They are our friends," Spock reminded and began the process of undoing her gown again.

Before he got the strap off the shoulder another sound stopped them. Outside, in harmony, the ladies had taken up an old song that fit the situation perfectly. "Let me call you sweetheart, I'm in love with you. Let me hear you whisper that you love me too. Keep the love light burning in your eyes so blue. Let me call you sweetheart, I'm in love with you...."

They started the song up again, and Christine once again opened the door. "Okay okay, we get the drift. Will you go away...!"

The group looked at her innocently. Sarek replied, "Do you think that she wishes to do something? She seems to wish us to leave very badly."

Amanda answered, "She probably wants to play chess."

That was a stab at her husband that no one else would understand. The night of their human wedding he had insisted on teaching her to play the game although she had other ideas indeed. Sarek winced inwardly. Almost 70 years later and she still used that to get to him. However, they like Spock and Christine had been married on Earth first, and it would not have been proper at all to have commenced with the sexual relations until they were married by Vulcan law. That did not mean that they couldn't explore one another's depths before that, though.

"I don't want to play chess, cook, or read a book," Christine insisted.

"Then what do you want to do?" Janice asked innocently.

"First I want to kill about 8 people and then I want to make love to my husband," she replied absolutely no-nonsense.

Spock appeared over her shoulder. "I am with her."

"Oh, she wants to make love to her husband," Scotty nodded trying to understand what she was getting at. They wouldn't be around much longer but they had to get their shots in. "Just what do you mean by that?"

"Scotty, so help me God, you will be first on the death list," Christine answered.

Carol couldn't stand it anymore. "Oh come on, haven't they suffered enough?"

Grumbles went through the group, and they nodded their agreement. "We'll see you tomorrow after lunch. Try to be ready to go," Kirk said with a little wink at Spock whose reply was a lifted eyebrow. The group trudged through the snow to the bus and piled in. The cabin door shut once again. Spock decided it would be best to wait until they were gone completely. He led her to the sofa next to the fireplace. "We shall wait here until they are gone."

"Good idea. My hands are freezing.." she commented and allowed him to take them in his large palms and begin massaging them. The ring on her left hand came off easily. "It would do that now."

"Well, when my hands get cold. I suppose I could have gone and washed them, that usually does it too. It is a beautiful ring. Thank you," she said with a kiss and a smile. Her hands started with the buttons again.

He stopped her. "They have not left."

"What!? What else are they going to do?" she complained and went to look out the window. The light was still enough to see by but fading quickly. She could make out the bus, the engine panel up and four men with their heads stuck in the compartment. "Uh-oh, I think something's wrong," she announced. Spock stepped over to the window and took in the situation. Retrieving his coat from the peg by the door, he donned it and went out to see if he could assist.

"What is the difficulty?"

Four heads popped out of the engine compartment. "Apparently, it will not start," Spock's father replied formally.

Spock regarded the eyes of the men who were closer to him than any in the universe. They were not joking this time. "Mr. Scott, can you surmise the problem?"

The engineer shook his head. "I dinna know. It acts as if there isna any fuel gettin' to the engine. If that's the case, I dinna have any way to correct it here."

Christine appeared beside them still dressed in the wedding dress and her coat thrown across her shoulders to keep from freezing. "What do you mean you can't correct it here?"

"I mean, lassie, that I havnae the tools to do the task here. Also, it might need a new filter."

"It'll take forever to get a tow out here in the middle of nowhere," McCoy grumbled and stamped his feet around in the foot and a half of snow to keep warm.

Christine sighed. "You can't stay out here all night. Come in the cabin."

Spock met his wife's frustrated gaze over the engine compartment hood. It would seem that they would not spend their wedding night alone at all.

* * *

The cabin was perhaps 24 foot square with one main room that housed the living and kitchen areas. A ladder led up to a loft area where a bed and a dresser were the only occupants. The bath was a little area that was tacked onto the back almost as an afterthought. The porch ran the length of the cabin. So, on a cold winter's evening that was supposed to be their wedding night, Spock and Christine played host to eight people in a cabin meant for two, at most three. Christine decided that the dress would have to come off and scooped up the pile of clothes she had originally meant to get married in. Janice stopped her. "Wait, don't take the dress off yet. Since we're all here now, we might as well treat this as a reception..."

The rest of the group that had been quite somber and quiet since they'd piled in the small space nodded in agreement. There was no need to make the evening a total washout. Pulling out the little camera that she had brought to take the 'unofficial' wedding photos, she pointed it at Christine, "Say cheese..."

"Gorgonzola...." she muttered and put an insincere grin on her face.

Uhura thought about the last reception she was at. "Well, we have to have a dance."

Spock regarded his new wife. There was very little room to sit down, let alone dance. But, they could shuffle around if it became necessary. "There is no music," he stated simply.

Christine laughed out loud. "No music with old stick a nickel in the juke box Uhura there? She could sing us to doomsday with all the tunes she's got stored in that little brain of hers. I ought to know, I had to reteach them to her once upon a time."

Nyota brightened. "That's right, and I remember one of the first ones you taught me. If you don't already know it, Christine loves Gershwin and Berlin. I can't say I blame her with simple lyrics like these...

"I'll be loving you, Always

"With a love that's true, Always

"When the things you've planned,

"Need a helping hand, I will understand,

"Always, Always,

"Days may not be fair, Always

"That's when I'll be there, Always,

"Not for just an hour, not for just a day,

"Not for just a year, but Always..."

The well known tune ended as simply as it had begun and the group clapped happily. At least there would be entertainment for the night. "You two didn't dance," Uhura said.

"There is no room to dance," Spock replied and pointed out that chairs took up the bulk of the space.

"We'll dance some other time," Christine apologized.

Janice took exception. "But, I need a picture of you two dancing."

"Well, why don't we just look like we're dancing? That would work since it's a still photo, wouldn't it?"

Jan agreed and Christine stepped around the ottoman to be pulled easily into Spock's waiting arms. Taking a dancing stance, the light from the fireplace and the clothes they had on created a picture that was timeless. They could have been a couple from hundreds of years in the past. "That'd be great in black and white," Jan mentioned. "The way the light was playing on Chris' hair and Spock's devilish features silhouetted by the fire was just as good as those covers on those old romance novels."

Christine just shook her head in disgust. "Oh, please, not those again... Jan, haven't you read enough of those to last a lifetime?"

"No, and this little miracle marriage only gives me hope that there is someone out there for me," she replied with a hug.

Christine whispered in her ear. "Me too."

Scotty began scrounging in the kitchen. "Where's the champagne that we ordered?"

"Yes, we can open that. There won't be enough to do any good, but it's better than nothing," Leonard McCoy agreed.

After a short lived search, they found the two bottles of champagne. The next problem was with the glasses. There were only 4 glasses and 4 mugs and there were 10 people. Someone would have to either drink first or last. Sarek worked out a viable solution. "Perhaps the bride and groom could partake first and then the rest of us afterwards..."

"You know, for a group of successful people, this is about the lamest excuse for a party I've ever seen. But, I must admit that if my wedding were going to be one for the books, this is definitely it," Christine said. As much as she wanted to go back to the previous arrangement of just her and Spock, something inside was telling her to enjoy this while it lasted. These friends were seldom all together anymore, and they were all living on what her grandmother called borrowed time. As the evening progressed, Christine found herself looking around at the group as they laughed and made merry. She kept trying to memorize all the details of everyone's faces. She was glad Janice had brought the camera. She would have good photos if they turned out. She went to change from the dress to the rather elegant pant suit that she had brought. It was much more comfortable. Spock followed her on her way, "Christine..."

"Yes, dear?" she teased slightly with the term. He answered by pulling her once again in an almost back breaking embrace, his lips were tantalizing on hers. "We have guests," she reminded.

"Unfortunately, I know that," he said. Locking eyes with her, he relented, "But we will have our own time together."

"Spock, you are guaranteed all my attention when this whole evening is over with. I suppose we should just grin and bear it, well, I'll grin and you bear it," she replied lightly. Gently she removed his hand from her shoulder, held it in her own hands, kissed the knuckles and then nipped the index fingertip mischievously. His eyebrow spiked up in surprise at the act. She had never bitten him before. Leaning forward to in turn bite her on the ear, she yelped which caused a stir in the other room.

"Hey! You two lovebirds can go out and use the bus if you want to canoodle," McCoy's voice warned.

They considered it a second. Both came to the same conclusion and called back, "Too cold."

Christine pushed him away from her lightly. "Let me change out of this dress. I promise I will put it back on and you can take it off me personally when we are very, very alone."

His index finger tapped her nose. "Very, very alone..."

He let her go into the bathroom, composed himself a moment and went back to the main room where someone had decided to start up a game of charades. He watched Carol Marcus as she tried to coax the answer out of everyone. After a moment he answered, "Gone With the Wind."

She smiled. "How'd you know?"

"It was obvious by your actions." Going over to sit on the couch arm, he watched his parents who watched the others. It was odd to have this camaraderie between the people he had worked with and died with and the people he had been born and raised with. From the amount of heated conversations he and his father had had over his choice of career and life path, he would not have pictured this scene in his head at all. Watching as his father sat stiffly but relaxed in the overstuffed chair and his mother curled up on a large floor pillow with her head resting close to Sarek's knee, it was a picture he wished to keep. Seeing Janice's camera sitting on the end table, he deftly removed it and began taking pictures from the shadows of the room. It was illogical to document an evening in such a fashion when he had photographic recall, but somehow it was appropriate. Christine stepped silently behind him and whispered in his ear. "They are a lovely couple, aren't they?"

He knew that she spoke of his parents who were as comfortable and joined with each other as if they had been born and raised that way. Something in Spock reminded him that his mother was an old woman while his father was still in his middle years. A lump collected in his throat and he answered with a husky. "They are perfect for each other."

"As are we," Christine admitted and slipped a hand through his crooked arm to stand along with him and watch their friends. It was no longer a night about them, but their friends and relatives and how important they were in their lives. With a sniff she stated loudly, "We are so lucky."

The group collectively turned to see the newlyweds gazing with them in a completely sentimental view. "Why, because you finally have each other?" Jim Kirk surmised.

"No, because we have such friends as you and always have."

"Yeah, such great friends you are spending your wedding night with a group of old has-beens," Janice replied sarcastically.

Chapel ponked her on the back of the head lightly. "You know what I mean. Thank you. I think, I can't speak for my ... husband ... but I think that we are having a lovely wedding night. Even if we are being chaperoned."

Spock nodded. "My ... wife ... speaks the truth."

Amanda laughed. "Well, it's better than our wedding night."

Sarek barely kept from rolling his eyes. "Here she goes..."

Spock's mother chuckled, "Well, you must admit Sarek, you did present me with a rather unorthodox present."

Everyone was quite eager to hear the escapade. "Why, what did you do on your wedding night? Or is that Vulcan taboo to ask?" McCoy drawled.

Sarek answered, "It is not taboo, we played chess."

"CHESS!"

Amanda rolled her eyes. "He insisted that I learn the pastime since I was going to be living on Vulcan where they play it at quite a few gatherings. It's like when humans come over for card parties. Vulcans come over and sit for hours, not talking mind you, but staring at game boards. It gets positively dull..."

Carol looked skeptical. "But chess ... on your wedding night. Really, Ambassador."

"You must realize that according to Vulcan custom and law we were not married yet. We had simply undergone the Terran equivalent. It would not have been appropriate to engage in any sexual activities at that time," he explained with a reminding tone to his son, although he really didn't mean it. Sarek found that the wait had been rather illogical at the time.

All eyes again turned to the groom. Spock straightened in defense and simply stated, "I have always been told that I am not a proper Vulcan. Why should I begin to be so now?"

"I knew we'd get him to admit it sometime. I just thought I'd be dead when he did it," McCoy cackled.

Uhura however, was more interested in some more stories from Amanda and Sarek. "Amanda, just how did you catch this bird anyway?"

"I would love to say it was my whiles and charm, but in the end I think it was my ability to say his last name," she revealed. The night began turning into story night. Someone discovered popcorn in the cabinets and as piles of it were being popped, Amanda explained. "I was employed by the embassy group to teach Terran customs, manners, and Federation standard to the different ambassadors who came to Earth. The second semester that I was here, I was sent a group of Vulcans, Sarek was among them. I taught him how to dance, which was no easy task, and he in turn agreed to help with my Vulcan accent and grammar. It was a little like Professor Higgins teaching Eliza Doolittle. I just could not get my tongue wrapped around some of those consonant combinations. Truly, if I had been Russian or German I don't believe it would have been as difficult. They have a lot of the same guttural clicks. But, I'm just a poor girl from New Jersey, even a Brooklyn accent doesn't help with this. So, he patiently coaxed and cajoled me through the language and one night, for some unknown reason, I got it. I would not be lying to you when I said he actually smiled at me. I had unwittingly pronounced his family name correctly. I suppose it was a sign to him, an omen or a portent if you will."

"Logically, any woman capable of working with such diligence to finally be able to achieve such a task was worthy of consideration,"Sarek replied. "We had many things in common, it is illogical to marry someone without a common bond."

"Sarek you are so romantic," Amanda sighed. "That's his way to say we gelled well."

Christine grinned at her now father-in-law. "You must have fallen in love with her the moment you met her."

Sarek shook his head. "I believe it was when she stomped on my foot while we were dancing."

Leonard McCoy, who had been perched on the chair arm with Janice Rand, ended up on the floor in a heap. A revelation from someone like Spock was bad enough, but from the venerable Vulcan Ambassador at large, it was like hearing the end of the universe was near. Scotty helped hoist him off the floor. "Dr. McCoy, are ye all right?"

"Yeah, just wishing I had some more of that champagne to help calm my nerves. Too many statements like that at my age could cause early death or total confusion. I'm too old to learn new tricks..." he grumbled.

Spock shot back, " Apparently Doctor, you have been too old for three decades, for you have learned no new tricks since I have known you."

"Shut up, you..."

Before the two men started on one of their infamous brawls, Christine stopped them, "All right kiddies..."

She looked closely at her husband's face, noted something that she had always seen but never questioned, "Spock, how did you get those scars?"

Spock asked, "Which ones?"

"These," she pointed out and traced the path with her finger. There were some along his left cheek and jawline. He did not shrink from her touch but would have to tell her not to do that in public since it was extremely arousing. From the look in her eyes, she seemed to know that already, though. He swallowed, "They were sustained my first year at Starfleet."

"Battle maneuvers," Kirk assumed.

"No, a bar fight," he stated.

Stepping over closer to the fire to sit next to his mother on the floor Spock began his story. "As you are all aware, cadets are not allowed to spend any time off Academy grounds the first three months of their stay. It creates an atmosphere conducive to following orders. The first weekend that I was allowed to go off base, my four roommates were allowed to go as well. They convinced me to attend a museum showing of Vulcan artifacts. I was not aware that their true reason was to seek out female cadets that had mentioned they would be in attendance. They discovered that I was a 'babe in the woods' when it came to why men watch women. They decided to educate me..."

* * *

"Spock, you're telling us that you have no clue why we want to follow these ladies around?" Gene Fremantle asked incredulously.

"I am saying that I do not see the purpose of doing such an activity," Cadet Spock replied honestly. He could see that the women were attractive according to what human males regarded as beauty but to follow them around and watch them walk was completely mystifying.

Albert Bell decided, "We've got to show what you've been missing by being raised on the wrong side of your baby blanket."

"I do not understand that reference."

"You, you're half human, you just as easily could have been brought up here and would understand what we're talking about. Come on, we'll take him to Massachusetts Slim's."

* * *

At this Spock's story stopped. Massachusetts Slim's was still known throughout cadet lore as a striptease bar. It was frequented by almost every cadet at some point in their fleet career just to have something to talk about when they got out in space. However, it was also favored by locals who were not sympathetic to the plight of new cadets or even seasoned members of Starfleet. Uhura started giggling which began a fit of laughter from the rest of the humans.

"I can just see you sitting next to the stage..." The rest was in hand motions since she couldn't finish for the gales of laughter.

"In essence you are correct. We sat at a stage side table..."

* **

"This is the perfect spot," Raul Manuel declared as they settled into the barely lit table. Piles of peanuts in the shell sat in tin buckets and as the waitress came to take their drinks, the humans began popping them in their mouths leaving the shells to drop on the floor.

Spock noticed this. "Gentlemen, you are littering the floor."

"No, it's like this," Gene explained. "They want this place to resemble an old time cowboy saloon so they give out all these peanuts to eat with the drinks and they expect you to throw the shells on the floor. It gives the place atmosphere."

Spock drank in the information. Human beings were indeed unusual creatures. Choosing a peanut, he cracked the shell, sniffed it, tasted it, decided he liked it enough to swallow it, and chose another one. By the time the waitress arrived, he had a fair sized pile of shells by his chair. Since they were all under drinking age according to California law, but they could still sit in the bar, they were served anything that was not alcoholic. Spock's tonic water arrived and he found that he was so thirsty from the peanuts that he finished the glass in one drink. "Could you bring another please?" he asked politely.

The waitress just shook her head at the absurdity. She's seen a lot of aliens in Slim's, but a Vulcan was definitely a new one. "What's the world coming to?" she muttered and went to get a refill.

"So, there is a show of some sort?" Spock surmised from the stage.

"Yeah, it'll be on in a little bit. You guys wanna order some food while we're waiting?" Albert Bell asked. If there was one thing Spock knew for a certainty about his human companions it was that they ate at all times whether it be under stress or pleasurable circumstances. "We could get one of those big appetizer plates. Wait, how much money have we got?"

"Money is not an issue," Spock replied, feeling magnanimous to pay for his friends' meals. His own personal account was able to handle an expensive bar bill many times over. The men ordered food, a lot of food. The stage show started and Spock was inundated with barely clad women gyrating in most unusual positions. He found them interesting in that they were extremely supple, but why humans liked to watch this display of flesh that was best left in private was beyond him.

The waitress appeared at their table with the check. "Who gets it?"

"I do, and this should cover the payment sufficiently," Spock answered and handed over his bank chip. She nodded politely and left. Just as Spock turned his attention back to the stage and the next batch of ladies that were parading around, a crunch and a thud sounded from just behind him.

"Who the HELL threw all these damned shells on the floor?" demanded a deep rumbling voice from the darky depths of the floor. Spock regarded the man who was literally at his feet. He did not appear at all pleased and the fact that he was tattooed from his bald head down the length of his bare arms and chest to the waistband of his pants did not add any joviality to the situation. Spock instantly realized that unless he came up with a logical way to diffuse the man's temper, he was in trouble.

"I regret that my error made you fall. I was led to believe that it was correct to put the shells on the floor," he tried politely.

The man nearly knocked Spock backwards as he hauled himself up with the help of Spock's chair back. He was easily 250 pounds and not much of it was fat. Spock's companions were already beginning to back out of their chairs calmly. They were all Starfleet, all brothers in arms now, but to pick a fight with a mad bull was not what they had signed up for.

"Well, you just made one mighty big mistake..." the tower replied. He was also a good head taller than Spock.

The waitress reappeared. "Hey, this is no good."

Spock was stunned and for a moment considered an outburst but kept it at bay. "What do you mean it is no good?"

"Just that, it says the account is closed," she complained.

The tower poked Spock's shoulder. "So, you were gonna skip out on your bar tab too?"

"No, I assure you that when I arrived I honestly did believe that there was sufficient funds in the account. I cannot fathom how it reads as closed now," Spock tried to reason. The problem was reasoning wasn't going to work.

"Trish, you want me to take care of these guys?" the tower replied.

"Thanks, Tiny, you just keep them here, and I'll get the boss," she decided and left 'Tiny' to guard them. Spock was beginning to piece parts of the puzzle together. His father had warned him that if he chose Starfleet his funds would be cut off. Apparently he had made good on his threat. Spock now realized that there was no way to pay for the items they had already consumed unless it was to work the debt off. He was about to offer his services as a busboy or dishwasher when the sound of a crashing beer bottle pulled his attention away from his fate. In a corner booth, a fight had erupted among a group of rather rowdy and drunken patrons. Tiny went to see to the disruption with a stern warning, "You had better be here when I get back, or your asses are all grass."

As soon as Tiny had gotten three tables away, Albert spoke, "Come on, while he's away. We should be able to make it to the door and out of here before he can grab us."

"But that man told us to wait," Spock replied earnestly wishing to pay his bill before leaving.

Instead Gene grabbed his arm, "Come on..."

They were halfway through the group of tables when Tiny loomed in the doorway. "Hold it..."

Spock stopped as did the others, but the fight that had calmed down in the booth behind them started back up and spilled out into the rest of the room. All Spock could remember was getting smacked in the back of the head with something very heavy before he hit the floor strewn with broken glass, beer, and peanut shells.

* * *

"And that is how I received these cuts," Spock finished. The group was having a hard enough time trying to picture this hapless Vulcan in a striptease joint, let alone his face at the revelation that he was essentially broke and penniless on a strange planet.

Sarek did not apologize. "I told you I would deny you access to your funds as long as you pursued the career you chose."

Spock stiffened. "That is the past. It is of no consequence now at any rate. I have my pension. I do not need to rely on family monies."

That was a phaser blast across the starboard bow of an old and long since fought war. It was just a reminder of the past however, it was not the start of a new conflict.

"No, he's married a successful, brilliant, beautiful, and exciting scientist," Leonard McCoy stated with a bit of pride.

"Who also relies on her Starfleet pension to get by," Christine reminded. "I'm no pauper, and I'm no prosper either. With Vita's progress, however, I think that Starfield has a much better chance at funding for more projects."

Carol Marcus groaned at that. She had her own nightmare stories of the money problems she'd encountered with Marcus Labs. Genesis had not only destroyed her son and her work, it also bankrupted the entire research lab. She'd not attempted to go back into serious in depth research since that time. Part of it was the lack of her son's input who had been her right hand since he'd been old enough to see through a microscope. Part of it was a lack of interest or passion in any projects. Christine's newest developments, however, were piquing her curiosity. "Christine, speaking of Vita, can I meet her?"

"Sure. I don't know how much time there'll be while you're here, but I'm sure that we can arrange something. Since McCoy's met her, maybe he could take you. I think I'm going to be occupied for a while," she mused.

"Perhaps some other time then. Jim and I could come visit later after you've settled," she suggested much to Kirk's surprise. She did not normally include him in her plans in such a manner.

"You are always welcome in our home, all of you. I'd like to ask that you consider it a permanent hotel if you are anywhere near New York."

"That is agreeable," Spock added to confirm his own preferences on the matter.

The evening kept progressing, slowly. It seemed that they had been cooped up in that cabin for an eternity, but it was only midnight. "I dinna suppose anyone remembered to bring cards?" Scotty asked intent on playing some cards while they were there.

"Well, it would have been a little out of the ordinary to bring cards for a honeymoon," Christine replied with a laugh.

"I have some in my purse," Janice remembered and pulled two decks of cards out.

"Gentlemen and ladies, shall we play poker?" Jim Kirk asked with a grin.

The kitchen table was chosen to throw cards but there weren't enough chairs or room to be comfortable. Still, it was worth a try, Kirk started shuffling. "What shall it be?"

"How about five card stud?" Sarek suggested. He had learned to play poker long ago as well as taken part in the human bonding ceremony several times. Most notably, he had cleaned out the crew while on the Enterprise 23 years earlier.

"Sounds good." The deal started and at the first heads up card, he stopped. There was a nude man on it. "Janice ... what kind of cards are these?"

"They're standard regulation poker cards, but they are a little more interesting for the ladies..."

The men thought a second, Kirk shrugged, "Well, it's either these or nothing."

"These," the other five chorused.

Amanda, Uhura, Christine, and Spock decided against playing. Amanda was intrigued by a new type of communicator that Uhura was working on. "You say this new communicator will be a combination transponder and communicator?"

"Yes, it is also worn as a piece of jewelry so to speak so that it leaves the hands free to climb or drive or ... play cards. There has been an outcry against the hand held communicators for years now. They are too easily lost or misplaced and they are inconvenient if your hands are occupied. With these new ones, Leonard won't be leaving his lying around all over the galaxy," she answered raising her voice enough to be heard at the card table.

"Hey ... that was not my fault. These two yeahoos here had to go and incite a riot with those gangsters," McCoy quipped back.

"Gangsters," Amanda was confused. Then she remembered the tale that Spock had related that night at dinner. "Oh, you mean Sigma Iotia II?"

"Yeah, that's it."

Amanda and Uhura delved deeper into the device while Spock and Christine enjoyed watching the group settle into a familiar routine. What they really wanted, however, was to be alone. After making certain the entire group was occupied, Spock tapped her on the shoulder and with a slight head jerk, requested she follow him. They spoke in the small hallway that led to the bathroom. "What?"

"I would like to be alone with my wife," he said softly.

"Spock, I don't think this cabin affords us privacy, even in the bathroom. We're just going to have to wait..."

He stopped her from turning back to their friends. "A walk then, there is a full moon and the clearing is well lit."

She smiled at that suggestion. It was not that cold outside, but the snow was deep. Still, they could have a nice walk. Nodding happily, she grabbed her coat and his cloak off the pile quietly and they stole out into the night.

* * *

The soft crunch of the snow beneath their feet and the fog of their breath kept them company as the two promenaded in the moonlight. They walked apart, but Spock took her hand and pulled her close to him. "Cold?"

"While it is colder than I have been accustomed to, I am filled with warmth and contentment. I believe that it is due to you," he offered.

She stopped and turned to look into his moonlit face. "You do say the sweetest things when you put your mind to it."

Removing the glove from his hand, he brushed his hand against her cheek. " If that is what you wish, I will learn."

"I don't want you to change for me. I fell in love with you and I told you a very long ago that I loved you just as you are. I love your faults and your perfections," she repeated but added this time, "I only ask that you remember that I have faults as well."

"I never expected you to be faultless," Spock replied, a little mystified.

She changed the topic. "It is so lovely here, peaceful. I like it here."

"Perhaps we should purchase a home here," Spock suggested.

"No, this is too far from our work. I like the apartment I have. You know we haven't really discussed that. Where are we going to live, your apartment or mine?" Christine asked and stepped close to him. While they were moving she was warm but standing ten inches deep in snow she was getting cold.

Spock easily wrapped her in his arms to ward off the chill. "We shall live at your apartment. I prefer it to mine. I always have."

"Hmm, I gathered that somehow. I know you like my shower," she teased referring to the fact that he always drained her hot water tank when he bathed.

"It will be much more efficient now," he said succinctly.

"Oh, what did you do modify it?" she asked a little sleepily.

"No, we shall take showers together to conserve water," he answered.

She laughed, the sound traveled through his body, and he could feel the nerves tingle at his fingertips. He could also sense that she was tired. "You are ready for bed," he said sternly. It was the best fatherly tone he could muster considering he had never had a child.

"Well, I think that is going to be a little hard."

Spock sighed. Yes, it would be a long night, but he did not wish her health compromised. It was only a month and a half ago that he nearly lost her to a rapid illness. Spying the bus, he nodded toward it. "The bus is more private than the house."

"It is also a hell of a lot colder," she reminded but it was shelter and private.

The embassy bus was a convertible job. The back seats could lie down or be removed completely to allow for cargo or storage. Spock adjusted the rear seats to become a bed. Remembering that they had placed emergency supplies in the bus as well, he dug through the packed hold to find emergency blankets and a light. Christine was pulling her feet out of the wet boots. "Oh, blankets."

"Yes, thermal blankets with batteries. We shall be quite warm," Spock explained and activated the warming coils. Making himself comfortable alongside her, he flipped on the low beam beacon.

"No, not the light," she complained and he turned it off. Thinking a moment, he pressed the button that automatically pushed back the skylight and revealed the transparent dome of the bus. Stars lit the open space. "Oh, that is nice," Christine purred in the dark.

Spock's hands sought out the buttons on her tunic. She nuzzled his ear a moment. "Not here, not in a car..."

"No?"

"I don't want the first time I make love to you to be in such a cliched place as the back seat of a car. I couldn't do what I really want to do to you here," she whispered.

"And that would be?" he asked curiously pleased.

"Oh, I'd like to give you a full massage, see if I can generate the same amount of heat in you that you did in me with that foot massage you gave me that time. That is, if it's agreeable?" she finished.

Spock calculated a second. "That would be agreeable, but I don't believe you would get very far in your massage. I do not have the patience that I once had."

The soft voice chuckled in the dark. "Oh, I've married an impatient man. Well, I am not the most patient woman myself."

Her hands found themselves trailing along his bicep and down his chest. Spock reminded her, "You did not wish..."

"To hell with what I wished," she decided and began tugging at the heavy over tunic he wore under the cloak.

"If I take my clothes off, I will become chilled," he protested.

"Honey, with the amount of heat I plan on generating, you'll be throwing back the covers you'll be so hot," she teased. Her lips found his instinctively in the dark.

Although she was hungry for his touch, she was also a little afraid of it. He sensed it through their bonds and noted it, "You are afraid?"

"Hmm, no, not afraid. Just anxious, trepidatious, I don't know. All those 'rumors' about Vulcans and their sexual mystique has created a little curiosity in my brain. You do plan on satisfying my curiosity for me, don't you?" she asked rising above him in the dark.

He could see her silhouetted against the stars and the moonlight that poured into the bus. She practically glowed in that position. Allowing his hand to unbutton the tunic part way, his hot hands kept her chilling skin from becoming too cold. He slipped them onto her abdomen and pulled her close to him. "Fully, there will be no questions when I am finished."

"Then shall class begin..." she cooed and unbuttoned the tunic the rest of the way. Since she hadn't bothered with putting the bra back on after returning to the outfit she had originally chose to marry in, she was bare underneath. It was a combination of the cold and his touch that made her breasts hard and taut. Her mouth was cold on his, the sweet mingling of saliva like a fine wine to him. He drank it in while she worked at removing or at least loosening his own garments. They were not as cooperative. "I can't get these," she sighed.

Spock lifted up to a sitting position, unfastened the odd shaped buttons, and refused to shudder when the frigid air hit him. Her nails raking across his chest, however, caused him to intake a deep breath. "Cold?" she asked somewhere between curious and concerned.

"No, not cold. Your touch is causing sensations that I am not accustomed to."

"Oh, really, not accustomed to ... that's interesting," she said absently but kept up with the circular rubbing motions on his chest and around his nipples. He found himself losing ground when it came to keeping his control. That thought struck him oddly. She was his wife, he did not have to keep control with her. He could take her wantonly and passionately and never have to apologize for his actions with her. The mere realization struck him dumb. He stared at her in consternation. "What?" she asked.

"I have just now understood what I have done today. I have married you."

"Well, yes," she answered.

"I am yours. There is nothing to say I am sorry for. I can show you all that I have wanted and could not allow to be shown. Do you understand what this feels like?"

"Honestly, no, I guess I can't. I can tell you how I feel, but I am not from your situation. I can only tell you that with me there is this odd euphoria to finally be one with someone. Is that a little like what you mean?" she asked. It was odd to have this type of conversation when she desperately wanted to just make love to him, but in some ways, it was more erotic to her this way.

"Yes, there is euphoria. There is also this ... curtain that seems to have lifted from my eyes. It will require meditations, but not at this time," he mused turning back to her exposed body. Bending down to run a tongue along her chin, he brushed the tip of his nose along her thorax while he made his way to her breasts. Soft moans, ones that would have been inaudible to a human male came from deep in her throat. She herself probably did not realize that she was making them. They drove Spock onward. His hands found both breasts, his mouth found only one. The added sensation of his hot breath and tongue on her cold skin caused such conflicting impulses that she gasped for breath. He stopped. "I have hurt you?"

"No, keep going..." was all she could manage. Her hands stroked his hair. The warmth of the emergency blankets was nice but they were becoming burdens.

"Perhaps if we were to put one of the blankets underneath us, it would generate enough heat to create comfort," Spock suggested and Christine slid off the bed area. Deciding to go ahead and take the rest of her clothes off while he remade the bed, he was only slightly surprised when he turned to help her back up on the platform. She shook her head slightly, "No, you first."

He started to protest, decided it was best to comply with her wishes and sat on the platform. If he could have seen her face, he'd have seen the catlike smile on her face and in her eyes. His fingertips brushed the bare breasts, abdomen, found that she was slightly ticklish but also remembered that she did not like to be tickled. "I am sorry."

"That's okay. I don't mind if you tickle me, just don't hold me down till I scream."

His attentions returned to her neck and jaw and again his sitting position was the perfect placement for her chest. With an outer awareness he could feel the cold, but his inner self was so hot that he did not mind it. On impulse, he stood, pushed her gently toward the platform. She hopped up and scooted back till she was comfortable. Spock's trousers slipped to the floor beside hers. Starting to join her on the bed, she stopped him with an outstretched foot. "Do my feet."

"Your feet?"

"Mmm-hmm."

With the same meticulous attention that he paid to her pedicure before, he began. With each press of the fingers, he became more aware of how stimulated she was. Her breathing became shallow and fast, if he could have seen her eyes, they would have been dilated and wide. As he began working his way around her toes, she squirmed a little. He was becoming a little too intense for her. Those calves that he had wanted to fondle were there, and they were his. The thighs that he had dreamt about were open and inviting. Working his way up her calves, he bent forward to begin kissing her upper legs. He could feel her tremble at the touch, smiled at the fact. He excited her, pleased her. Crawling up to meet her on the pallet, his hand followed him slowly up her leg and to her clitoris. She was warm, hot, ready to be his alone. She gulped, "Spock..."

"Yes?"

"Spock..." she whispered again as his hands worked and massaged. With a slight movement, he pushed the leg that she had instinctively brought up over and down on the blanket. He intended to show her precisely what Vulcans were capable of with his advances. As his tongue slid along her inner thigh, she moaned in anticipation. Her hands tossled his hair. Finally, she nearly screamed in ecstacy as his tongue began tormenting her. She flailed around a moment. "My hands..."

"Hmmm?"

"My hands ... I don't know what to do with my hands," she complained trying to breathe air as it was being sucked out of her by the sexual passions she felt.

He turned away from her for moment. "What would you like to do with your hands?"

She laughed deeply, slyly. "Oh ... what ... um ... if you move up a little on the pallet I think I can demonstrate better than I can explain.

Spock did as she requested but replaced his tongue with his fingers once again. She found him, hard and large. "If I hurt you, let me know," she whispered in his ear.

"No, you will not hurt me. Please continue..." he stated succinctly. It caused her to laugh. Her hands slid up and down rhythmically while he pressed his own fingers into her almost scorching flesh. They were getting to a point they could not turn back if they wished. Spock removed his other hand, placed it on her breast and began suckling her as he worked, which caused her to buck in pleasure. When she began nearly pushing him off her in her ecstacy, he knew it was time. Placing both hands on the pulse points of her mind, he kissed her, created the link that was necessary. //Christine.//

Her mind focused in the red haze of passion on her name. She answered unfamiliarly, //Yes.//

//This is how Vulcans make love.//

With swift movements, his penis took the place of his hands. She was relaxed but tensed when she felt him enter, which only made him nearly cry out himself. It was not painful. It was so pleasurable a sensation that he had to fight back the moans. She knew that. //You said you didn't have to hide things with me now. Moan if you want to.// As he moved faster and faster, deeper and deeper, the sound of his pleasures became louder and more insistent. They mingled with hers and became a symphony of love and desire. The fireworks that Christine had always imagined she would see in her head appeared in their bond. The climax flooded every pore of their being and they slowly became two people again. When she could finally open her eyes again, Christine could see the moon directly above them. "So pretty..."

"You are indeed lovely," Spock murmured and snuggled against her in the dark.

"No, the moon. It's watching us," she pointed out, and he turned on his back to lie beside her. They lay that way for a time, the heat from the blanket and their lovemaking was enough to keep them sufficiently warm. Time stood still as they pondered the stars.

"Well, I guess that everything else in our odd romance hasn't been normal..." she said absently.

"What?"

"I mean, here we are legally married and have to resort to the back of a car to have sex. I guess we've come full circle."

"I do not understand."

"Spock, didn't Jim or McCoy ever explain to you what Inspiration Point was for?" she asked and began searching for the cover.

"No, I do not believe that they did."

"Well, now you know. That was what the big joke was all those years ago. It wasn't that you were meditating. It was that when people go to Inspiration Point it is to do one of two things, either neck and fool around, or to just have outright sex. I think that this fully qualifies. After all, most people do go in cars, not with blankets and picnic baskets."

The cool air mingled with their warm bodies and the blankets creating a haze on the windows and the skylight. "I think we've effectively steamed up the bus..." Christine giggled. Spock's hands pulled her close to him. Every curve of her body was lined up with his. He found it very erotic. After a time, she squirmed around a little. "What?"

"Well, as much as I want to stay in your arms...." she began apologetically.

"What?"

"I have to go to the bathroom," she admitted and buried her face in the chest hair.

His sigh was humorous. "I suppose we must dress and go inside."

"Yes, I wonder if they've missed us?"

"We have only been gone two hours. I do not know if they have realized that we are missing."

Spock extricated himself from the makeshift bed. With efficient movements he sorted through the clothing in the moonlight and handed her things to her so that she could remain under the blankets. He dressed quickly, now beginning to feel the cold and be effected by it. They returned the bus to its normal position, repacked the blankets, and headed quickly for the cabin. They could hear the sounds of laughter and the rapid pace of the poker hand that was being played. Spock recommended they return the way they left so they went to the back so Christine could slip into the bathroom unnoticed, and he could enter without questioning looks.

From the sounds of the happy atmosphere inside, they had not been missed. Christine exited the bath and then pulled Spock in with her, "You need a little attention."

Spock's hair had been mussed and she smoothed it down as well as gave him a kiss for good measure. His hands framed her cheeks and his dark mahogany eyes sought hers to hold forever. "Wife."

She smiled and replied, "Husband."

A loud banging from the kitchen area greeted them as they came out into the hall. McCoy was crying foul as Sarek laid down his cards to essentially wipe him out of pretzels. Spock and Christine joined the group. Janice looked up. "Hi."

"Hi."

The group stayed intent on the game. Uhura and Amanda had joined everyone in the kitchen. Uhura couldn't hold it in anymore. Looking over her mug of tea to the table, she said, "So, did you two enjoy your moonlit stroll?"

Spock and Christine glanced at each other, they knew. "Yes, it was quite ... inspirational tonight," Spock stated.

"Well, I'm glad you finally figured out what you're supposed to do in the back of a car anyway," McCoy grumbled and shoved his mug at Amanda who was closest to the tea maker. "Hit me with some more of that stuff."

The group looked expectantly at Spock and Christine. Chris was turning a little red, but Spock, the ever cool Vulcan said sincerely, "As am I, Doctor, as am I."



THE END

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