by cim

The first time was a brief, silent, and incredibly hot encounter in the square alcove of extra space between service conduits on the Recreation Deck, where they butted against the cargo bay. It was your fault, but that didn't by any means indicate that you had anticipated it. It occurred to you in the turbolift at the end of the shift that Spock was taking longer than usual to check a single section of circuitry, even if he'd found something that needed to be repaired. He was probably, you reflected as you redirected the turbolift, just fixing it himself. Not so much because that way was error-proof--you smiled slightly--as because he was there, and no one else was, and it was logically more efficient to do it himself, assuming he had no pressing duties elsewhere.

Halfway down the corridor you realized that you hadn't thoroughly looked over that deck for almost a year. But memory didn't fail you. You found the first service conduit and crawled into it, inched down a way, and got out.

You crouched behind him. He was facing a panel of exposed circuitry on the outer side of the other conduit, with tools in his hand, but something about the way he was sitting made you wonder whether he was actually working. You didn't say his name, because you were perfectly aware that he knew you were there. His superior Vulcan senses--he would have heard you, or smelled you, or possibly felt the heat of your body; the square was little bigger than a closet, and with one wall adjoining the cargo bay, it was colder than usual. As expected, he craned his head awkwardly to meet your eyes over his shoulder after apparently completing one set of circuitry.

He showed no surprise to find you so close behind him. You noted that fact, and only then thought that it was an odd thing to take notice of. You had never been surprised to find him behind you before. You were rarely unaware of his presence.

The suffocating closeness of the alcove was probably at fault, you thought.

"Captain," he said politely, an acknowledgement of your presence rather than a greeting.

"How's it coming?" You asked.

You don't even remember what he said. You do remember that you were smiling at him for no particular reason, other than, perhaps, the way the dim light overhead shadowed his face and made him look faintly devilish, but in a very urbane way. Whatever he said was that subtle sarcasm he uses so well, you're sure, because whatever it was, you know that he was smiling back just so slightly as he said it, the way he often does for you, with his mouth closed, but curled up at the corners.

It was your fault, you say. The aggression was certainly his. Unquestionably. (You'd never been slammed against a wall quite that way before, a brutally open way that made you realize no one else who'd done it to you had ever really meant it.) You couldn't blame him, though, because it wouldn't have even come close to happening if not for the clumsy way you'd handled the startling feel of his heated skin through his shirt, wrapping your hand around the arm you'd brushed instead of taking it away, and leaning closer right when your brain should've been taking over and telling you to back away, preferably all the way into the service conduit. After the way you said "Spock" when he looked at you--you're pretty sure your voice was steps lower than its usual pitch, and if you could hear the slight huskiness, he couldn't possibly have missed it--well, you're not surprised. You think that if he'd ever said your name that way before, especially if you were anywhere alone together, you might have stood, seized his wrists, and crushed him up against the bulkhead with the weight of your body. You might not have been quite so smoothly elegant about it, though.

Even if he had done that much without provocation, if you'd given any indication that you wished him to stop, he certainly would have. In fact, to be perfectly honest, he might have regained his control and retreated if you'd simply failed to respond. To withdraw, though, when you were gasping and spilling soft little moans into his open mouth, clutching in spite of yourself at his shoulders as though you'd never let go, opening your legs around his slender hips--that would have been very foolish. How could you expect him to pass up the opportunity when you didn't have the strength to yourself?

You don't know why he didn't say anything, but if you'd been thinking straight enough to realize you were far enough from the corridor that no one would hear, you would probably still have been irrationally afraid that words might scare him away, or perhaps make him vanish, as if it was just an incredibly erotic fantasy, and not your real first officer who had you up against a wall between his braced hands, methodically devouring your mouth.

It might've been a fantasy, actually, but you'd never imagined his taste with anything like accuracy before, and you knew you would never have managed it on your own.

Not fantasy, then, but still you found it hard to believe it had happened almost as soon as he pulled back--in the first instant his mouth was still open, panting a little, his eyes liquidly unguarded, very thoroughly kissed, and then you could believe it. But then he straightened his back and his tunic, and you, leaning against the wall, were doing the same thing, and his face had cooled or stiffened into its habitual impassivity. You still don't know exactly what your face looked like, but it probably didn't look completely normal yet.

Later, when you thought about it, the silence was what allowed it to seem as unreal as it did. Even though you knew that it had happened, sometimes you found yourself slipping in and out of thinking of it as a dream.

You didn't know what to think about it yet when you were crawling out of the conduit with him at your heels, and for a while after that you were on edge, nervously anticipating another incident, you suppose. It became apparent relatively quickly, though, that Spock wasn't making any moves, or even acknowledging anything. It might've helped the dreaminess of the memory that you watched him and listened to him with nerves fine-tuned for weeks, searching in vain for anything that you could attribute Right away you made a conscious decision not to think about it, which of course was wholly ineffective. Because you spent a lot of time dampening your nervousness and trying to stifle thoughts and feelings, you're not sure precisely when that nervousness became hope.

By the time it happened again, Spock's kiss and the smell and feel of him had completely consumed your thoughts, and for some time you had been reliving the memory carefully, analyzing, and trying to make sure you wouldn't forget any of it (any more than you already had, that is: you can't remember, for instance, exactly where his hands were when you approached, or what he said when you asked how it was coming, or why you lost your balance and bumped his arm). Sometimes you wonder whether he would ever have done anything, or allowed you to see any change in him, if there was one; you don't think so. Clearly you were not thinking very well, all those weeks when you lived in vague anticipation of his doing something. Even away on missions, when you know how deeply he's affected by the depth of danger to you, he controls his reactions perfectly. He controls himself perfectly. It's part of who he is.

You initiated the second encounter, too, and at the time you were thinking that you couldn't keep doing that (the coercion element), that he would have to do it the next time, probably, because his interest needed to be crystal-clear. Very little about it was clear, really, though, and the force and depth of the mutual "interest" was one of the few things. His silence and the way he didn't alter his behavior at all might have puzzled with you, but when one hand was tangled satisfyingly in his hair (for the first time) and the other was a little above the small of his back under both of his shirts, and his lips were open on the edge of your jaw, the brush of his eyelashes on your cheek was sufficient proof for you that he was just as interested as you were.

If you had planned it you could have executed it with more finesse. Awkwardness was the price you paid for the part of you that couldn't decide what you were doing and whether it was a good idea, so that it could only occur at all that second time by accident. Science lab #2 was almost the worst place you could have done it, for one thing. You were still playing chess together; it wasn't as though you never had him alone. The first time you had him alone and your defenses dropped enough to let yourself go, though, was in the lab, where you had gone to ask him for some statistics.

He just looked up at you so suddenly, which you hadn't expected, since he seemed busy and he usually had no trouble speaking with you, even bantering, without looking up. You had only jokingly asked him whether he thought losing the entire transmission which contained some extremely stupid and redundant paperwork was a good idea. Surely that didn't merit that look, with just one eyebrow raised and the corners of an almost-smile tucked in as he spoke, or that tone of voice, so gently affectionate? You couldn't believe, at the time, that he was aware of that inflection, but the thought was quickly dismissed. He only told you that you could considerably augment the efficiency of your conversations by telling him at the start whether you wanted any honest input or not. Now you realize that what he said wasn't important; it was just how near he was to you, the sensuous curve of his lips, and perhaps something about the timbre of his voice, that allowed you to forget your reservations and catch his face between your hands.

You kissed him, that time, but he lost no time in kissing you back. The lab's quiet was broken only by the hissing of your breath and a few soft scuffs of your boots on the floor, and then later by the soft thud as you backed him into the bulkhead next to the door. It's possible neither one of you would have stopped if not for the communicator call. Certainly you had no intention of stopping, although you weren't going to fuck him right there in the lab, either. A few more minutes of the rasp of his tongue in your mouth, on your neck, though, and you might've been crazy enough to take him to your quarters, still without a word.

In retrospect, you know he would have gone.

What stuck in your memory at first about the second time was mostly that he was the one to pull back and turn his head away first at the beep, and you resolved that it was his move. That resolve lasted until you had to go to Sickbay to see him following the next away mission.

The quantity of green blood you remembered had you running in the parts of the corridor where no one would see you, and then, as you were almost there, in the parts where someone could. Bones left you alone almost immediately. He said something, but you missed everything after "he'll be good as new by tomorrow," and you think it's possible you didn't turn your head away from him at all until the point where he was tonguing your earlobe, and you were only turning it to let him reach.

You had kissed him again.

He was overcoming his aversions to touch and emotional display quite nicely, you thought a little ironically as you walked away from the third time.

A game of chess ended up all over the floor of your quarters, and so did both of you, the fourth time. You know you pushed the board over, but you don't know how you went from the desk, where you were sitting with him in the V of your legs, to the floor, kissing much more slowly than you ever had before, luxuriously, almost. It crossed your mind that you might be too heavy to lie full-length on top of him like that, but he wasn't protesting, so you let it go. It also crossed your mind, although this was after you'd got a hold of yourself and pulled back and he had left, that he was coming as close to initiating an encounter as he was going to. Certainly, it had been he who got up this time, rounded the table and pulled you to your feet, but that had been only after you stopped him mid-move with your hand around his and the white bishop. Rather like the first time, actually.

When you considered that you had initiated the whole thing, and the way that you'd done it, the way he had handled this really sort of made sense. His behavior seemed to indicate plainly how far he was willing to go. (You're still not sure if he suspected incorrectly in between times that you intended for each to be the last, or if he was trying to require something of you, sort of a commitment.) You gave up on the idea of his taking the initiative after the fourth time.

Resigning yourself to always being the first didn't mean you were happy with that. There was a sense of defeat that you refused to define for yourself, in fact. It was very lucky that Spock evidently had a conversation with himself after the fourth time, too.

Having turned down Bones's offer of illicitly-gotten alcohol, you were closeted with the transmission's worth of reports the fifth time. You sighed "Come" instead of saying it, and your eyes were closed because you were massaging your temples when the door opened. You were astounded to see him walking in. At first you thought it might have been something official; had he ever come to you otherwise with such an authoritative step? But then you recognized that the door had shut behind him and he had reached your desk all in perfect silence, not even a "Captain," not even the nod of greeting that meant "Captain" to both of you.

Then you knew. You stood up impossibly quickly. You couldn't get around the table fast enough, couldn't feel enough of the points of his ears against the palms of your hands or the press of his hardness against your own aching groin. Spock, Spock. He had come to you; you know now that he thought, in doing it, that he was accepting your terms, just as you'd been prepared to do by initiating every encounter. You weren't thinking about that, about what he thought you were asking of him, that night. Even so, you were conscious of how much courage it had taken him to do what he had done.

As much as anything you'd done from the beginning. More. Only by breaking the silence could you match it.

You opened your mouth.