© 1998 Marlene Taylor
Disclaimer: This original work of amateur fiction is based on the TV series "Star Trek" which is owned by Paramount, Viacom, and whoever owns them. This not-for-profit piece of fan fictionis not intended to infringe on that ownership. The author's copyright extends only to the original material in this work.
Summary: A music video written around songs recorded by Aretha Franklin. Think of the music as background to the story. If you've never heard this song, I urge you to run right out and buy it *now*. Kicks my ass every time. Lyrics by Dann Penn and Chips Moman.
*****Take me to heart
The air was clear and cool and felt good in his lungs, but
he wished the stone pavement would settle down and stop moving
under his feet. Even when he managed to stumble to a halt, the
world kept sliding past him, and the ringing in his ears got louder.
Might as well keep walking; he wasn't going to be any less drunk
in half an hour, when he got home.
Home. The very word filled him with warmth, made him pick up his pace. The big soft bed, blue sheets and red blankets, softly arching ceiling above, the whole room scented with spice. And Spock, waiting for him. Five boring weeks of diplomatic duty on this tiny planet, but he'd been able to spend every night with Spock.
Well, almost every night.
Tonight, for example. But even though it was late - or early, or something - he was headed home. They would sleep next to each other, wake up next to each other. That was what was important, not how late he stayed out, or where he went, or who he saw. Spock understood that. Spock understood everything.
He really wished the moons would stay in one place.
Spock was so good to him, better than anyone had ever been. Anyone. All the women he'd ever been involved with - so possessive, every one of them. So needy. A man like him didn't belong to anyone, didn't need to account for himself every minute of the day. Hell, he was a starship captain, and he answered to no one, not even those damn desk-bound admirals at Starfleet. All that mattered was his ship. *His* ship. When this assignment was over, he'd go back to that beautiful ship and he'd be even better than before. Because he'd have Spock with him. Spock would make him stronger.
The uneven stones caught his left heel, sending him careening into the corner of a building. He shook himself, tried to stand up straight, and set off again. Shouldn't have had that last one. Should never drink anything you can't pronounce. And you certainly shouldn't let women buy you drinks if you don't even know their names.
Spock never asked him where he'd been.
He remembered how scared he had been that first time he came home late. Four glorious nights together - ah, it had all been so perfect, from the moment they'd fallen into bed - who would have thought it could be so good, with a Vulcan, no less? The hard core at the center of himself had even softened, a little, when he had seen Spock's angular face in the moonlight, eyes bright with passion, and maybe more.
Then another ceremonial dinner, to which they were both invited, and afterwards a secret confab of the various delegation heads, to which Spock was not invited. More talking. But then that woman from the Alpha Centauri faction said she had information for him alone, and they went to her little guest house and she told him all manner of interesting things while she fucked him. Cowboy diplomacy? More like gigolo diplomacy. Not that he'd minded.
But when he got home, he'd run straight to the shower, thrown his clothes in the recycler, and prayed that Spock was still asleep. He wasn't, of course. But all he said was, "I am glad you have returned."
God, was he halfway there yet? His feet seemed to have gone numb. It was definitely colder now. Coldest just before dawn. No, not that; not coldest. Darkest.
And it had happened again. And again. Mostly he was with Spock,
working, or lying wrapped in those steel-strong arms, wondering
why this hadn't happened sooner; but some nights he was...not
with Spock. As with most diplomatic missions, the important discussions
happened out of the official arena, in hallways, in cafes, in
bars, and in beds. It was important that he be involved; this
mission was crucial for the Federation presence in this sector.
At last the talks were reaching an end, and the secret meetings
were not always about negotiating.
Tonight, for example.
But Spock never asked him where he'd been.
He finished climbing the little hill to their street. When
had he started thinking of it as theirs? Suddenly he longed to
feel the Vulcan heat next to his body, heat that would fill him
with joy. He loved Spock's touch, Spock's voice, Spock's taste;
he loved the way Spock's deep, dark eyes followed him around the
room as he got dressed in the mornings. Spock gave him everything,
and what had he given in return? His body, and his mind - but
that had been Spock's all along - and his heart?
He couldn't remember the last time he'd said the words - couldn't remember the last time he'd really felt it. Had he ever? Had it even been like this? Did it matter that this time it was a man - a Vulcan - his First Officer - Spock?
He should tell Spock. Three little words. Not so hard to say.
Should've told him before.
Somehow he felt almost sober, now that he was in the door and warming up. He stripped off his boots and socks, and threw his coat over the back of a chair, then padded as quietly as he could into the bedroom, where all was silent and dark.
I'll tell him in the morning. Hell, he already knows how I feel.
And as his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting he saw that the bed was empty, and Spock's clothes were gone, and then he noticed that the little room no longer smelled of spice. He stood there for a very long time, till the morning light filtered in softly through the window.
And the bed was empty.
And Spock's clothes were gone.
And the scent of spice had vanished.