Image courtesy of Karracaz
Paramount owns Star Trek. I only own my fantasies.
You bound into the lab, as Captain expecting all areas of the ship to grant you welcome--except not this lab--not just this moment. You forcibly check yourself as your eyes take in the scene before you: Nyota backed against the table, her hands resting intimately on my hips. No flagrant act of passion but your mind colors in the details; your face and body seize into a rigor more profound than the dead. How did I forget the time? Thinking me consumed by one of my experiments I know you have sought me out for our appointed chess match.
I feel Nyota's body tense against mine, an instinctual fight or flight response held in check by my body still leaning into hers. I have not moved, partly due to shock and perhaps partly to establish claim against the challenge I see storm through your eyes. Your face colors in what may be embarrassment or anger, but now your eyes are not looking at me--they are looking only at Nyota.
While I sometimes struggle to comprehend human facial expressions, I have no problem recognizing shock, hurt--even betrayal--before your mask of stoicism is forced into place. At times you are more Vulcan than Human, Jim; you too bury your emotions under duty and responsibility, but not always successfully, not always before an intuitive mind reads your thoughts as clearly as from a meld. I sense shock toward me, that I would become involved with anyone, a generic animosity toward my proximity to Nyota. However, the look you scar her with--no, that look is very specific--meant for her alone.
Nyota's reaction is most interesting: a stab of guilt and embarrassment broadcasting loudly through our skin to skin contact where my fingers brush the nape of her neck. I know you are not lovers with Jim but you respond to him as if you are. I feel regret and longing before you replace it with anger at his silent reproach. The combination confuses me; Nyota confuses me; the threat to her surety unnerving me.
"Please excuse me," is all you say before turning on your heel and leaving just as quickly as you entered. In seconds our whole relationship has been voided into space. Is there anything left to rescue?
I'm startled by the swoosh of the doors, not expecting anyone bold enough to enter Spock's lab without invitation. That I did so is a different matter. I have business with the Science Officer, risky business to be sure but that is between us. Until you come into the room and I see the look on your face. Your mouth drops open slightly from the shock of seeing me in Spock's arms. Your eyes flare with a mortal wound, anger and betrayal searing me before going dark.
I hurt you. I took another man to be my lover. A man who would give me what you would not--what you could not--his sole attention. I do not flatter myself by thinking I am the center of Spock's world, but I do know that when I am with him he is mine alone. To have you is to share you with at least one mistress and the probability of many more. To the ship you might be faithful with your love but I cannot count on that extending to me. I have always thought you were more interested in the hunt, the quarry quickly losing its appeal upon capture. Until I see your face. The hurt is not to your pride, but to your heart. I find myself with an embarrassment of riches: the attention of two men. Yet, as I watch you leave I feel somehow impoverished.
I know how engrossed you get in your experiments and I'm all primed to rib you for once again forgetting our game as I enter the lab. This time I do not find you stooped over, looking through a microscope. Instead, I find you leaning against Nyota. In that position one can hardly call her Lieutenant anymore. Your fingers are tenderly stroking against the sides of her neck--so intimate--so possessive. I'm caught completely off guard by what is obviously more than the mentor/student relationship I thought between you.
He looks at me, surprised by the intrusion but not ashamed. He turns his head but fails to pull away from where he has you pinned against the workstation. Immediately I understand his message--you are his. I hold myself in check, refusing to respond as my hormones goad me to challenge back. My eyes fall from his face to yours and I see your fluster at being held in place. Where would you run to? I am certain it would not be to me.
My mind flashes to all the times we danced around each other--never openly but always aware of the game. I've held myself back, leery of the risk a shipboard romance presents, but not without regret. Rather than stare stupidly at you any longer I mumble an excuse, leaving you to each other as I go back to my quarters, alone,the same regret twisting itself deeper into my gut.
What might have been--what could have been--gone in the blink of an eye.