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Anticipation was not an emotion Spock had intended to allow himself to feel; yet, it made itself known despite him, and that it was never satisfied made it harder to suppress, each time the Captain walked past or stood near and conscientiously avoided even the brush of their sleeves.

The Raksulach had been warm and welcoming from the moment the away team had beamed down to the circular meadow on the planet surface, their barbels (not whiskers, he had repeatedly reminded the Captain during the briefing, the soft fleshy protrusions more akin to tentacles than hair follicles) waving curiously, marshy voices full of pleasure at the prospect of completing the delicate negotiations – until Ensign Lewis had touched the Captain's shoulder to attract his attention to the data on his padd, when immediately the guards accompanying their hosts had straightened from their habitual crouch to their full height and hissed sharply, hands raised, even the elders' skins changing from rose-gold to blue in an instant.

"Is there a problem, Honoured Elder?" Spock asked, stepping forward ahead of the Captain; he could hear Kirk's tut of annoyance behind him but ignored it as irrelevant to the matter at hand.

The largest of the elders stepped forward, barbels twitching, his lesser hands waving the others back where they might have moved to block him. "Honoured Alien, it is inappropriate for inferiors to touch bodies with their superiors," it said, lidless eyes solemn. "Leadership must be separated from desires and comforts of the flesh. Is this not so in your culture?"

Spock tried not to think about how very often the Captain attempted to solicit comforts of the flesh from his inferiors. "No insult was intended, Honoured Elder," he said smoothly, as Kirk stepped up beside him, a conspicuous distance to one side. "Might we proceed to your diplomatic chambers, that we can complete the contract between our peoples?"

As they walked the short distance to the entrance to the Raksulach's underground complex, though they walked as they always did, no nearer, no further apart, Spock felt oddly aware of the space between them, the air displaced by the Captain's travel pressing heavy against his skin.




Beneath the earth the Raksulach tunnels were smooth and curved, the soil treated somehow until it fused into solid walls, the camber of it lit with soft-edged, muted lighting in odd shades of green and yellow. Even the doorways they passed to left and right were circular, devoid of angle and line and marked with sinuous pictograms. Wide enough for three men to walk abreast, the crew nonetheless walked the tunnels single-file behind their hosts, casting glances back and forth at one another as though afraid one of them would reach out and touch.

"Where do the lights come from?" the Captain asked, smiling and loose-limbed, thumbs tucked into his belt loops and bending his head to the Elder's answer.

They reached the long oval conference room quickly, not passing too many other Raksulach; when they did, the aliens pressed themselves gently back to the wall to let them pass, nodding politely at each of them as they walked by. Spock noted that the room itself, once the fact that it was underground was discounted, was very much like many other rooms that served the same function across the Federation: subtly decorated with local cultural artifacts, to remind visitors whose room it was, a long table to sit at and attendants waiting with vessels of consumable liquids. The Raksulach favoured sitting upon the floor to chairs, but some sort of soft fabrics had been laid out by each place at the low table, each a different hue of earth.

When they sat down at the negotiating table, Kirk did not bump shoulders with Spock when reaching for the padd which detailed the previous visit made by a Starfleet vessel; nor did he clap Spock on the shoulder when they took a break partway through the session and the Captain got up to stretch his legs, arms that normally swung freely at his sides folded neatly behind his back out of the way. It was gratifying to see how well Kirk had progressed from his initial unpolished attempts at diplomacy, where he had repeatedly forgotten the cultural mores pressed upon him by his officers and nearly caused a serious incident on more than one assignment. It was logical for Spock to be pleased at this improvement, even to feel pride; it was not logical to find that his skin felt oversensitised, to find his eyes tracking the Captain's hands and to realise that he was waiting for Kirk to touch him in the rude and proprietary manner he so often used to Spock's annoyance on the bridge, leaning over him with a hand braced on his shoulder to read things from Spock's screen that could have easily been transferred to the Captain's chair. The man's breath would huff out against the side of Spock's head, moist and warm, and Spock would shift to a more appropriate distance away.

Across the room, Kirk's eyes shone bright and blue as he admired one of the Raksulach sculptures with Elder Aymil, nodding with apparent interest as the alien told him about the method of firing they used to fuse the planet's grainy clay into a smooth finish, the same as that they used on their tunnels. The arched ceiling carried their voices to him with very little distortion. It was fascinating, scientifically, and no doubt potentially useful for other purposes, but Spock found himself focussing instead upon the shift of Kirk's shoulders under the fabric of his uniform as they walked back over, trying to guess how he would move next, and whether or not his touching Elder Aymil would be taken as a meeting of equals or an attempt to influence the alien into agreeing with the Federation's position.

"Do I have something on my face?" Kirk asked, dropping back onto the tangle he had made of his blanket seat by squirming and fidgeting, obviously unused to sitting on the floor. He shoved a hand back through the mess of his hair as he sorted out his limbs until he sat the same as Spock, cross-legged, and his knee came to rest a bare five centimetres from Spock's.

Spock glanced down at it, lips tightening, and Kirk rolled his eyes, shuffling further to the other side and mussing his blankets even more. "Seriously, have I said or done something that you're going to tell me off for later? Because I thought I'd been doing fairly well at this."

"Your conduct has been perfectly adequate," Spock said after a moment, and looked back down at his padd on the table, scrolling through the next few points that needed to be covered.

"Then why have you been watching me?" Kirk asked, baffled, and, when Spock chose not to answer, reached out a hand to prod him in the side, pausing at the last second. His hand hovered for a moment, then pulled back, where he laid it firmly in his lap. "Are you waiting for me to screw up or something? I haven't touched anybody!"

"I know," Spock said, and though his voice came out blank, inside his head it sounded surprisingly petulant. He resolved to spend time in his meditation that evening considering why, and then they were ready to begin the next round of negotiations.




By the evening they were perhaps halfway through the agenda for the negotiations, in terms of points that needed to be addressed; however, upon examination Spock noted that the remaining half were more complex and potentially contentious, and likely to take a greater amount of time to agree upon. He said as much quietly to the Captain as they sat down to dinner with the Raksulach Elders, a wide spread of tubers and root vegetables as well as a variety of meats that Kirk selected from enthusiastically, happy no doubt to be eating non-replicated food.

"We're all getting along fine so far," Kirk said, breezy and cheerful, thankfully after he had swallowed. Somehow he managed to slouch into his nest of cushions while keeping his strong shoulders straight and poised, something in the hips, perhaps; he leant back casually on one hand while drinking with the other, mouth curved into a pleased smile. "Better to deal with the small stuff first and relax everyone before we get down to business." He bumped his clay tankard against Spock's with a dull clink, and their fingers came so close to brushing that Spock nearly flinched, nailbeds whitening as his hand tightened on his own vessel.

He found himself glancing at their hosts to see if they had noticed this almost-breach of protocol, but nobody was looking in their direction, too busy talking amongst themselves with increasingly overblown gestures to match their overblown assertions. As Jim lent forward across the table to join in the game – it seemed, much like humans, that the Raksulach enjoyed exchanging highly improbable and likely apocryphal stories of their supposed exploits – Spock had to wonder if Jim had intended to brush their hands together, if he too had noted how little attention was being paid to their conduct at dinner. Perhaps Jim had simply missed his fingers, fortuitously avoiding causing an incident; either way, it was an unconscionable risk with such a high-stakes deal being brokered. The planet had one of the quadrant's highest concentrations of the mineral painite, exceedingly rare but highly necessary for the best function of a starship's communications array. Commander Scott had in fact abjured them to obtain some of it for the Enterprise, backed up by Lieutenant Uhura, whose demanding stare had been more effective on the Captain than on Spock, which was probably why she had directed it more at the human. It had not elicited the desired response in Spock when they had been romantically involved, and Uhura knew better than to think that that might have changed. Kirk, on the other hand, had laughed and promised to see what he could do, "in the name of greater harmony in the crew and my keeping my balls."

Perhaps they could ask for a sample as a goodwill gesture before they departed, Spock thought. Painite had been much easier to acquire before the destruction of Vulcan; the pinkish-red rock had been almost common enough to pick up on a walk through the desert, and its flourescent properties used in decorative lighting for its distinctive blue-green glow when energised. Now, after Nero's mindless act of destruction, only the Federation was allowed to use it.

Spock had a small painite lamp wrought of delicately fretworked iron in his quarters back on the Enterprise, once merely attractive but now much more valuable than he had ever anticipated. He had shown it to the Captain in a rare burst of camaraderie before the mission, and Kirk had touched his forearm and asked if he was alright, when Spock had only paused for a moment to consider a point of logic in their conversation, not thinking about his homeworld at all. His human hand had felt cool against Spock's skin where he had rolled up his sleeves for the evening, palm roughened with the physical work that the Captain did not forgo despite his increase in rank. It was… not unwelcome, even if Kirk had been sweating slightly from the raised temperature of Spock's quarters, more in line with Vulcan physiology than human. When Spock had offered to lower the temperature to ease his comfort, the man had simply shrugged and said "they're your quarters, Spock, you keep them however you like 'em. A man's house is his castle, or something like that."

Spock glanced at Kirk now, while he was distracted, and wondered how long it had been since he had minded being touched, for he had not noticed stopping.




Once, the Captain had become so inebriated while on shore leave that Spock had been forced to carry the man back to the lodgings that had been rented for the crew on his back, Kirk's torso draped over his, arms draped over Spock's shoulders and Spock's arms curled under his knees. While Spock had intended to carry him in front, this being much simpler, Kirk had refused point-blank to consider being carried in any other manner, and had in fact taken some persuading to allow for any form of carrying to take place that did not involve something called a 'papoose'. As Spock did not know what a papoose was, it was highly improbable he would able to procure one in the middle of the night on Havros II, and had been forced to negotiate the Captain down to a 'piggyback', as undignified as that sounded.

Kirk had rested his cheek against Spock's shoulder as they walked, soft human hair brushing against the back of Spock's ear and hands draped over his chest where his heart might have been had he been wholly human. While Kirk's body was not so warm as a Vulcan's, it was not unpleasant in the cool evening air, each inhale pressing his chest closer against Spock's back and then receding once again. When Spock attempted to shift him so that he might key in the late entry code to the building they were staying in, Kirk's arms had tightened around Spock's neck like a child who feared being dropped, but he calmed easily enough, and did not wake when Spock finally laid him down upon his bed, simply rolled onto his side and fell deeper asleep, boots still on his feet on top of the blankets.

Spock had looked at him for a moment, unsure, before removing the Captain's boots and placing them neatly on the floor by the foot of the bed. He did not try to move the covers from beneath the sleeping man for fear of waking him. Kirk had not so much as shifted from where he had settled as Spock left, closing the door quietly behind himself, just breathed in, and then out, the tide rushing in and then receding once again.

On Raksulach, Spock lay on his back on the moss-stuffed bed, fragrant with something reminiscent of sage and incense, and listened to Kirk breathe on the bed across from his, the sound of the tide; one could not hold onto the ocean.

Here, he felt like an asymptote to the absolute that was the Captain – inching ever closer, but never quite touching.




"That was more comfortable than I expected – I slept like a baby! A baby bird, that is," Kirk laughed, standing in the aisle between the two nest-like beds and stretching out his arms above his head until something cracked in his spine; rather than looking pained his eyes slid half-shut as though it was pleasurable, and together with his mussed hair and rumpled clothes it resembled another situation entirely, though both involved a bed. Spock, who had been awake for several hours reading through reports the science department had sent down to his padd, was surprised to feel the tips of his ears flushing warmer as he leant against the wall and waited for Kirk to be ready to leave for breakfast, but did not look away. Morning had come more slowly than Spock would have liked, too much time to contemplate things he could find no logical reason for.

The Captain tugged his trousers on over his underwear with sharp, short tugs, then inhaled deliberately before zipping his fly – confirming one of Spock's longheld suspicions, that those pants were more than regulation tight – and dragged his command golds on over the ship's blacks he had slept in, hiding the creases. "God, I'm starving. Let's go see what they have for breakfast in this joint," he said, heading for the door; as he passed Spock, he paused for a moment, then shook his head, smiling at some private joke, and tucked his thumbs through his beltloops, curling his fingers against the fabric of his pants.

It was quiet yet in the hallway between the guest rooms and the hall where they had eaten the night before; only a few Raksulach in ones and twos, shifting colours slowly with their changing moods as they conversed and nodding politely at the two officers as they passed by. Even Spock would admit, in the privacy of his own mind, that their lack of eyelids and resultant dearth of blinking was somewhat unsettling in an otherwise humanoid face.

"I'd like to review the stuff we need to cover today before we speak with the Elders," Kirk said quietly, nodding back at a pair of Raksulach in shades of warm ochre. "Make sure I have them set in my mind. Don't want to be looking at the padd all the time." The green lights made his pale colouring look odd, gave an almost Vulcan tinge to his skin.

"A logical choice, Captain." They rounded the corner into the mess hall, several of the Enterprise crew already sat at the tables and talking cheerfully to one another as though it were just another day aboard ship. Ensign Lewis was sitting on his free hand. "As some of today's issues hinge upon those already discussed, it may be worth looking over the agreements already come to as well."

Kirk folded himself down to the floor in one flowing movement, surprisingly graceful, and reached in front of him for a jug of what appeared to be herbed water. "Come on, Spock, sit down. You've not been very chatty these last couple of days, are you feeling sick or something?"

"Vulcans are rarely ill," Spock said, and sat, pulling the padd from its pouch on his belt and laying it on the table between them, already open to the file they had been sent by the Diplomatic Corps before the mission. "Here."

"This whole no-touching thing is harder than you'd think," Kirk said rather than looking at the data, picking up a tight little cluster of some sort of nuts and tossing it into the air to catch it in his mouth, shifting his head from side to side as he tried to predict where it would fall before snagging it neatly with his lips, then turning to grin at Spock as though waiting for applause. It made a loud crunching sound when he bit down, louder than Spock had expected. "I wouldn't say I was a touchy-feely kinda guy, but this is like a whole other level."

Spock considered saying 'You touch me all the time,' but didn't, because he couldn't be certain that he wouldn't add 'and it is hard for me now not to be touched.'

"Did you know," Kirk said, and tossed another cluster, catching it then crunching it loudly, "that babies – human babies, I don't know about Vulcans – can actually die of touch starvation? You give them everything else they need, food, sleep, whatever else babies need, I don't know, pooper scoopers or something – but if you don't touch them enough they can just die of it. I guess they need to feel loved. 'Course, it's probably different with Vulcans. You probably want to move in down here, huh?"

Spock made himself reach for the plate of fruit in front of him, and was pleased his hands did not tremble. "I am quite content with my berth upon the Enterprise."

"Yeah, the no blinking thing gives me the willies too," Kirk said, and smiled, patting his own knee in a companionable manner. Spock found himself considering stilling the motion with his own hand, pressing it down against the Captain's knee to stop it from jiggling, running his fingers along Kirk's and scraping gently at his knuckles with his thumbnail, but instead poured himself some water and drank it slowly, savouring it as only a desert-dweller could, soaking it up like parched soil.




Spock sat through the next day of talks with perfect posture, total neutrality and threadbare control. Each time Kirk shifted beside him his skin seemed to sing, waiting to be touched; then, when the Captain settled again, something inside him sighed, yearning to lean toward him like iron filings drawn to a magnet, but Spock did not move save to illustrate a point or change the display on his padd. And all the time the Raksulach were watching, calm and friendly, and he could not, he would not, touch Kirk. It was unnecessary.

Their hands brushed by accident over the table when Kirk flung his hands out in one of his broad, sweeping gestures, and Spock stiffened, shock a feeling like being shot in the spine with a phaser, and with that a surge of want that he pushed down, ignoring the way it settled in his stomach, a hot, trembling feeling. He did not turn to look, his fingers tightening around one another in his lap until his knuckles turned white.

"You need to decide what's more important to you, your pride or the potential benefits you get from agreeing to this," Kirk said, and it took Spock a moment to realise that he was not talking to him.

Very slowly, he shifted his foot so that the very tip of his boot pressed lightly against the sole of Kirk's, under the table where no-one could see, so lightly that the Captain could not possibly feel it, and felt daring.




Of course, as ever, no matter how odd the culture or how shaky the beginning, the Captain's charisma won over even the least relaxed of beings, gaining a good compromise between their needs and Starfleet's much quicker than Spock would have deemed possible. Kirk was grinning, brimming with self-satisfaction, and the Raksulach were all flushed pink, murmuring between themselves in soft, susurrating sounds that did not carry the way human voices did in the arched chambers. The pink flush lasted even through the ceremonial procession back through the tunnels to the planet surface, where the wind moved freely through the trees and Spock felt almost as though he had not breathed for days, that the sun on his skin had been stolen from him and was now returned, though in truth he lived on a starship and received no sunlight for the larger proportion of his life. There was something about being underground that was disorienting, in a way he had not anticipated until he no longer was. His human colleagues seem to concur, smiling and turning their faces upward so that the light made their faces warm and golden. When it caught him just right, the leaves above them shifting lazily in the breeze to let the sun through, it sparked from the Captain's hair, sheening it the colour of electricity.

They were taken back along the forest paths to the clearing they had arrived at for transportation, and given all due respect as they departed, the Raksulach bobbing pendulously, barbels weaving intricate patterns around their faces and expressions serene. Spock bowed his head, accepted their platitudes and well wishes despite his dislike of small talk, and returned those of his own that he had been taught were appropriate in such situations. Kirk had asked him once if he would like some flashcards to help, grinning smugly in that helplessly human way of his, and had seemed to enjoy being told that it would not be necessary. His lecturers in diplomacy had been perfectly adequate in their discourses, and he had taken copious notes. For some reason this was amusing, though Kirk would not explain.

All in all, a successful mission, and one that would gain the Captain even more acclaim among those who followed such things; they were sent off by pleased allies, what Kirk called 'satisfied customers'.

Scotty and Uhura, too, were satisfied, with a large chunk of painite the Captain handed over with a grin as they stepped off the transporter pad and back onto familiar ground. In fact, everyone seemed to be satisfied but Spock, who was content when he left the Enterprise two days before and now was not.




He sat through the debriefing quietly as always, making observations as necessary and redirecting Kirk's attention when he seemed likely to begin expounding on his own brilliance rather than staying on topic. The computer, of course, recorded the discussion in order to not only serve as an addendum to the official reports but aid in their writing; the officers who had been present on the planet each gave their experiences to the record, Lewis freely admitting to having prompted a potential difficulty that had been satisfactorily averted by his senior officers. Kirk, pacing around the room as each spoke, grinned broadly at that and reached out to ruffle the Ensign's hair, leaving it in a mess. "I can touch whoever the hell I want now," the Captain said, and slapped Lieutenant Green on the shoulder, patting Su Xin's hand as he passed her seat. "Hey, Spock, do you think I could use touch starvation as an excuse to feel Uhura up?"

Each time Kirk's hand connected with another crewman, Spock had felt the muscles in his back tighten, his jaw infinitesimally clench. "No," he said bluntly, and looked back down at his padd. "I believe we have finished debriefing the officers, sir, and they might be released to their own quarters."

"I guess," Kirk said cheerfully, and flapped a hand casually at the other humans. "Go on, get out of here. Good work, everyone." Ensign Lewis had to walk past Kirk to get to the door, and as he did Kirk slapped him once again on the back, as though to prove that he could, now.

Spock heard a small noise, and when he looked down at his hand he noted with a strange detachment that his stylus had snapped in two between the pressures of his first finger and thumb. Though he usually found the Enterprise to be rather cool to his Vulcan physiology, now he was running hot, feverish all of a sudden; he hoped the Captain did not think he was blushing, if his blood had risen to his face.

"That goes for you, too, Spock," Kirk said more calmly, as though the manic energy of a moment before had been just a front that he had dropped now, smiling at his first officer and coming around to lean his hip against the conference table beside him, arms crossed over his chest. "You did good work down there. I'm lucky to have you."

"Captain, we need to debrief ourselves also," Spock said, slipping the broken pieces of the stylus into his pocket to dispose of later. There was a thrum of energy in his limbs that he did not understand, as though his body wished to move without his informing it to.

"I just bet you'd like to debrief me," Kirk said with his usual air of casual flirtation, smile stretching into a smirk, giving Spock one of his habitual once-overs, gaze flicking down his body and then up again coquettishly. "We'll do it later. I know you dislike diplomatic missions as much as I do, you must be dying to get out of here. I know I am," and he wriggled his eyebrows in what he had previously assured Spock was a suggestive manner, looking terribly pleased with himself. "Maybe I can find a pretty nurse to help me with that touch starvation thing." And he uncrossed his arms, reached out, and patted Spock firmly on the shoulder, a solid beat of contact, before turning away towards the door.

Before he realised he had done it, Spock found he had reached up and taken hold of the Captain's hand where it sat on his shoulder, pressing it back down until he could feel the spaces between fingers and the broad pressure of the knuckles, skin warm through his uniform. He looked up to meet Kirk's surprised expression, watched it shift into curiosity, and said, "No." There was a long moment then, crystalline, as though someone had hit the pause button on a vid, in which there was a clarity of the sort that let Spock feel the heave of the breath in his lungs and hear the question begin in Kirk's throat and see the throb of his pulse under the skin all at once, like perfection caught, poised in a drop of water ready to fall.

"Spock," Kirk said instead, quiet, questioning, and let his hand press back down, did not resist. Indeed, he was silent for a long moment, then reached up to touch the fingers of his free hand to Spock's face, the soft pads of his fingers landing almost but not quite on the meld points, and Spock was lost.

He surged up out of his chair, which fell over behind him with a clatter, and crushed his mouth against Kirk's, the movement carrying them forward until he had the Captain bent back over the table behind them, covering him with his body. His hands clutched the human close and held him there, a line of heat against his front even as he pressed his tongue against the place where those lips parted in surprise, licking his way into Kirk's mouth; the surprised sound the Captain made was muffled by the kiss, hands grabbing at Spock's shoulders seeming unable to make the choice between pulling him closer and pushing him away.

His skin was on fire, hyperaware of everywhere they touched; he pulled back only when Kirk's hand settled on his ear and pulled backwards, away, putting space between their mouths as both of them panted, chests rising and falling to brush against one another. "Spock, what the fuck," Kirk said breathlessly, his mouth flushed red and slick with kissing, eyes wide and blue as an Andorian's skin. He tasted like coffee and the sweet Raksulach liquor they had drank on the planet, like earth, dark and rich.

Spock could only growl in response, and some part of him that was not heat and fury and desire thought, so this is jealousy. He kissed Kirk again, hard, and reached to drag the fabric of his uniform shirts up to bunch under his arms so that he could put his hands to skin. "Jim."

Something in the way he said it made the man underneath him moan, and then the mouth against his was no longer passive but biting sharply at the angle of his jaw, arms wrapping around Spock's torso to pull him down flush against a heaving chest, legs spreading apart so that Spock slipped into the space between Kirk's thighs. The Captain was hard, hips pressing up, up against him with each breath, as though he couldn't help it. "Computer, lock door, authorisation code Kirk gamma four two delta five," Kirk said, and they both heard the electromagnetic lock clunk as it was activated, sealing them off from the rest of the ship. "Jesus, Spock, you never call me Jim," and his hands pulled Spock back down to him.

Spock pressed his mouth to the soft curve of that rounded ear. "Jim." His voice came out deep and resonant, much steadier than the wild tumble of his heartbeat, the erratic tremble of his breath. The muscle beneath his restless fingers was firm and smooth, and he wanted to touch all of it, running his palms in long strokes across Kirk's – Jim's – chest, down his sides and up again to curl over the strength of his shoulders, the well-developed pectorals and the flat plane of his stomach, which fluttered under his hands as Jim gasped, leant into the touch and kissed Spock's face, dry presses of lips to the strong lines of his cheekbones and brow that were improbably thrilling.

When Jim reached for the hem of Spock's shirt he lifted up and let him peel it off, though it nearly pained him to lose the connection of skin, of shared heat. The brush of Jim's hands where they ran up his body, pushing the cloth out of the way so that his fingers could tangle in Spock's chest hair and scratch at his nipples on the way up was intoxicating, and the return to full contact was all the more ardent for the separation, Jim's hands raking into Spock's hair and leaving it in disarray even while the feel of blunt nails scraping at his scalp made him moan and press closer, until their hips aligned and his own hardness was pressed against the line of Jim's cock, still confined in his pants and straining for release.

"This is crazy," Jim gasped inbetween kisses, and moaned when Spock reached down between them to rub his hand hard against his arousal, arching up into the touch, wanton and beautiful with it. His face was flushed, breath coming in short, sharp pants that only pressed him harder against Spock. "Oh, God – " Jim let go of Spock's shoulder long enough to take hold of his hand and guide it to his fly, ratcheting it down so that he could use Spock's hand to pull his cock free, swollen and slick already with pre-come, and press their fingers against it harder, rocking upwards into their combined grip with an expression of near desperation, and the back of his knuckles pressed firmly against Spock's own cock.

The sound Spock made was loud, wordless and would have been highly embarrassing had he had the focus to consider it; instead he simply dragged Jim's free hand up and around his neck so that it draped across Spock's shoulders, pressing their bodies together even closer and holding them there, locked tight against one another while he climaxed, trousers and underwear still in place, moaning and trembling with aftershocks. Under him, Jim's hips thrust up against his hand once, twice, three times more before he was coming, too, mouth falling open in an 'o' of ecstasy, eyelashes quivering on his cheeks. The scent of his come was salty in the air between them, their fingers and his bared chest wet with it where it had spattered wild and messy on his skin.

They collapsed together in a heap on top of the table, sticky skin pressed tight together slick with sweat that made them slide slightly on the polished wood, Jim's arms coming up to hold Spock in place against him though he had made no move to escape.

Spock thought that this might be his favourite part of this unprecedented loss of control, because Jim's body was pressed against his from forehead to thighs, a long tingle of sensation, his breath coming in gasps, hands splayed possessively across Spock's shoulderblades to keep him there.

"What was that for?" Jim asked once his breathing had become laboured instead of simply gasping, hands roaming across Spock's bared skin almost as an afterthought, and though Spock could not keep himself from pressing into the touch he did prevent a rumbling purr from escaping his chest, where it vibrated, trapped, despite his trying to will it away. "Not that I'm complaining, far from it, but usually I see it coming."

"Perhaps," Spock said, letting his eyes remain closed so that he could hear the inward and outward hiss of breath through the human's lungs, the soft beat of that illogical heart beneath his ear where it lay against Jim's chest, "I am more human than you had thought."

Jim was quiet for a long moment, hands stilling, then they resumed their lazy motion, stroking along Spock's back with casual tenderness. "Huh." He did not try to get up.

Perhaps, Spock thought as they lay on the table, not yet wanting or needing to move, instead of an asymptote, for once they might be a Venn diagram, intersecting circles with something in common.

Jim kissed the top of his head idly, hands still stroking, and Spock allowed himself to touch.