Healing Touch Chapter 7 K/U [NC-17]
Image: Oh my, where I search the 'Net for your viewing pleasure...
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek. I only own my fantasies.
Beta: Sincere gratitude goes to: Nyotava, Bandicca, Zapp and Trekskitten for such wonderful betaing! Each of them brought fresh insight and used their unique expertise to make this story a reality.
Summary: A sequel to "My Faith in You," addressing Uhura's recovery from a brutal attack and the depths of Kirk's commitment to keep her in his world.
The dinner had been an elaborate affair, even by Potakai standards. Uhura was stuffed and she had hardly sampled all the dishes that had been prepared. As the meal concluded, conversations sprang up amongst the guests in pockets of twos and threes. Some guests moved around the tables, seeking to interact with many. Uhura had been describing what it was like at the Academy to a young Aristocrat when Anata'ka spoke softly in her mind.
/Nyota, I do not wish to alarm you, but Kesh'ka is growing too bold in her interaction with the Ambassador. If you do not protest soon, she will consider that you accept her as a concubine. She thinks you and Zhames are pair-bonded, and as such, share a mental connection. Kesh'ka is from a minor house and has strong ambitions to improve their standing. An affiliation with the Federation Ambassador would do much toward this. /
Uhura looked around the room, trying to appear casual. She spotted Kirk standing against the wall, a tall, beautiful Potakai female--did they come in any other flavor? --practically laying on him. He did not look troubled by his predicament, which caused Uhura's temper to throttle up just a bit.
/ Excuse yourself from Tera'ka and intercede, or you will have a guest in your bed tonight. I see Human males are no smarter about females than Potakai males. He does not realize how far-ranging her plans are; he thinks her a harmless flirt. /
Uhura smiled to her young companion and made up an excuse to leave. She hoped it made sense, because she really could not remember what she had said. As she approached the errant couple, Uhura could see that Kirk was still leaning against the wall, his hands behind his back, acting as a cushion between his back and the wall. Well, she thought, at least his posture did not present as if he was being the aggressor in this conversation.
/ No, he is not, Nyota. Do not be angry with him, he is just male. He has no intentions toward Kesh'ka, but she does not know that. A Potakai male would have rebuffed her immediately if he was not interested; hurting her feelings would not have been a consideration. /
Uhura was within arms reach of Kirk and stopped, leaning in slightly and speaking softly to the interloper.
"Excuse me, Kesh'ka isn't it? Well, Kesh'ka, let me just say we won't be needing your services tonight, or any other night, thank you. The Ambassador has quite enough woman in me to keep him entertained. Jim, will you join me back at our table? I grow lonely in your absence." The extra fluttering of her eyelashes was Uhura's natural defense against the surprised, and then appraising, look he gave her.
"I'd love to, Penda. Excuse us, Kesh'ka. Thank you for the offer, I think." A chastised smile was tossed into the last remark.
"What was that all about?" He asked quietly as they neared their table.
"Anata'ka said you were about to make a political faux pas. Kesh'ka was attempting to sleep her way to the top." Uhura replied more calmly than she felt--'quite enough woman'--Please!
"Ah, well, thank you for the save." He whispered in her ear as he helped Uhura into her chair. "I do have other interests tonight."
Uhura fluttered her eyelashes once again; it was becoming quite a good cover. Though the smirk that answered her coyness told her that he was catching on quickly.
Ramsha'ka called for everyone's attention and announced the night's entertainment: a musical history of Potakai culture from their dawning to the present. However, it wasn't just music, there were dancers and entertainers of all sorts. It would provide a lively history lesson for their Federation guests. Uhura grinned at Kirk; this would be far better than any dry Federation analysis.
The entertainment was proving to be everything she wanted it to be, but Uhura still found her mind drifting. What would be expected of her when they returned to their apartments was encroaching on the festivities. No, she thought, what she expected of herself was demanding attention. She was the one who had planned tonight's resolution, not Jim. If she asked for an extension, she knew he would understand, but it would only risk her chance of staying on Enterprise.
Everything since last night was a jumble in her head. Waking to him and his easy tenderness--she could become addicted to that with just one exposure. Discovering what awaited so many Warriors and suspecting Anata'ka was planning something with Kirk to affect it. She had yet to be able to ask him about it. Upon their return from the temple, they had found several Potakai dignitaries waiting to follow up on their morning council conversation with the Ambassador. Kirk's meeting had lasted until just before their dinner. In fact, he used that as an excuse to beg off more discussions. Trade appeared to be a prickly subject.
It was even more unexpected when Kirk had asked her to call Spock and give him their mission update. She had kept her own logs and filed her own reports with the ship, but Kirk seldom delegated his contact with Spock. If the First Officer was surprised, he failed to show it. Instead, he seemed quite interested in her perspective of their situation, asking many questions about her interactions with the Potakai.
The ritual had also been more than she had expected. It was not every day you were purified by fire and water. Catching that look of interest between Anata'ka and Chota'di had sent her mind on a mission to re-examine what she had experienced up to then. Again, she had not had the opportunity to share her insight with Kirk, and was unsure if he would accept her woman's intuition on this point. She knew he trusted his own intuition, but he was very demanding of facts from others.
And so what if Anata'ka was attached to Chota'di, did that really mean anything? Uhura did not know, but until she understood what Anata'ka and Kirk had discussed, she would not rule it out. The fact that the Empress remained silent on the topic was a statement in and of itself.
Motives were always at question when the stakes were high. Kirk's safety was paramount in her mind. She knew he would risk himself if he thought the outcome warranted it. Usually, he was right, but sometimes it had cost him dearly. Uhura did not want anything to happen to him on her watch. She intended to bring him back in one piece from this mission.
And now, with the dinner drawing to a close, it became time to address another mission. A much more personal one, with stakes far higher than she wanted to acknowledge. How did she meet this challenge? Sex was one of her favorite pastimes and something at which she had considered herself to be quite skilled. But that was before--before she had been stripped of all control and used like no sentient being should ever be used, before she been abused in so heinous a fashion that the mere memory of Orion hands touching her sent waves of nausea through Uhura. The memories of their other trespasses did far worse. Yet now, she risked far more than bad memories if she did not break their hold upon her. She risked losing everything she loved in life if she could not smother that fear and let someone be close to her again.
Physically or emotionally, Uhura knew it was really the same. To allow someone to touch you physically meant a lowering of emotional barriers, and to lower those barriers one had to trust. Now, that was the question. Could she trust again? On a deep and meaningful level, could she allow another soul to enter? She had thought that question answered when Spock and Kirk had helped her in the meld--surely she had trusted them--but the pysch scan had argued differently. Apparently there was still one barrier blocking her return to normalcy: to unequivocally give herself, mind and body, to another.
Could she do it? Three months ago she would have laughed at the idea of being scared to sleep with James Kirk. Not that she had ever had anyone to ponder such thoughts with. Christine might share her fantasies, but Uhura did not. At least, not that fantasy, the one that had crept into her heart when she wasn't looking.
Strange, the forced intimacy she and Kirk had shared as Parmen's playthings had triggered it within her, the moment he became more than a commanding officer in her eyes. Something she had tried to keep hidden until the fear of losing him in the Tholian Incident had forced her to face it. Uhura was a realist; she did not expect a sudden declaration of love from him. Yet, coming so close to losing him and never having been brave enough to voice her interest was not something she would risk again.
She had tried to make it light--a quick kiss and a teasing flirt were all she had intended. However, her bravery had crumbled and she had ran before he had had time to respond. That had resulted in 'the talk'. The same one, or a variation thereof, that he had given Janice before he finally convinced her she was wasting her talents and needed to pursue a more challenging career. He had offered to recommend her for OCS, but she had declined, opting for an accelerated engineering program. She had told him she wasn't ready for that big of a jump yet, but might call him on it one day.
No one but Janice knew she knew about that conversation, and they never would. Janice had come to her, crushed and crying late one night. Something had happened between her and Kirk, nothing of any consequence, but he had finally told her he could not be what she wanted him to be. Janice had kept her composure during his speech and even agreed to do more with her opportunities, something he had badgered her about for months. But as soon as she had reached Uhura's quarters she had cried like a baby. She could not go to Sulu; he would not understand how she could profess a love for him but still be so enamored with the captain.
When Kirk had spoken to Uhura it amounted to the same, he cared but could not return the affection. Except, when he had told her how he felt, she had believed he was telling her the truth and not just something she wanted to hear. Perhaps it was wishful thinking on her part; a way to assuage bruised pride. It had certainly seemed real in the meld. His caring was real there. So much seemed tied to that meld, her salvation and their damnation. Had it been the trauma of nearly losing her that had made him feel it too? A kindred sense of loss, resulting in a kindred sense of longing?
She did not know and time was not waiting for her to discover the answer. Or maybe it had, perhaps the last three months were just filler, waiting for this mission, the one brief moment in their lives when they could actually connect with each other. Tonight she would remember who she had been and fight to be that person again. She would trust with her heart and her body and wake up whole again. If anyone could make her so again, she knew it was Jim.
Oh? The music was finishing and the guests were chirping in a singsong voice, the Potakai equivalent of applause. She looked over and saw Kirk smiling at her, clapping in Human fashion.
"I'll leave the chirping to you, Penda, if you don't mind. I can't do that any better than I can sing. However, I can applaud."
The dinner was over and Pahzj had tucked them back safely in their apartments. It was very late and everyone else seemed to have retired for the night. Kirk checked in with Spock as soon as they were alone and Uhura used this as an opportunity to change into something more seductive. Actually, that was a challenge, as her dress that evening had been extremely revealing. Yet, somehow, she thought the tatted lace gown she selected would suffice. The possibility of tonight had been her sole reason for packing it.
Slowly, she took down her hair, draping it around her shoulders in the style she knew he liked, brushing it thoroughly until it shone with its own inner light. She debated about removing her makeup but decided to leave that little bit of confidence in place. She slipped on her robe and spritzed herself with a final mist of perfume, drawing her courage around her as tightly as she had tied the sash of her robe.
Walking into the common area, Uhura saw that the lights were again low, a slightly brighter glow coming from Kirk's room. She drew a deep breath and made her way to the entrance. He was there, standing at the balcony doors. He turned at her movement and smiled invitingly.
"I thought you might have changed your mind. Would you like a night cap?" He moved to pour them a drink without waiting for her response.
'Nerves, he's nervous about this too' Uhura thought to herself.
"I'd love one, Jim." She found her voice was soft and seductive.
"I'm not running anymore. I told you I wanted my life back." Her eyes took in his image--bare chest, silk loungers seated low over his hips, tousled hair, long lashes and that enticing smile--the sight of him caused a transformation in her. Timidity was being pushed aside and the real Uhura was beginning to make herself known again.
"I'm glad you decided to fight for this, Penda. I don't want to lose you." He offered her the drink and stayed in close.
"I don't want to lose you either. My world is the Enterprise, and the Enterprise is you. That sounds silly, but it's as close as I can translate what you both mean to me." She looked up into his serious eyes before taking a sip of her drink.
"No, Penda, it’s not silly. If anything, you just expressed my relationship with you both in one sentence. My ship is my life and my crew is hers. They're inseparable and I can't be happy without them both." He broke her gaze for a moment and stared into nothingness. His tone was soft, but slightly bitter as he continued.
"I'm not supposed to put a face on the crew--not supposed to grow attached--but that's what makes a great team, and is also its curse. When I lose one of you, it's my responsibility. It's harder when I remember the smile… when I remember the shared joke in the mess hall…remember seeing the holopics of family back home. Those take a toll and make it harder to let others in."
He tossed back his drink and set his glass back on the table before reaching up to cup her chin, making her look him in the eyes and hear his words.
"Penda, I want to make love to you tonight... I *do* love you, and that's forever, but I can't fall *in love* with you. We've discussed the reasons before and they're still the same, but I can't sleep with you tonight if I don't say this again. You mean more to me than is safe, or healthy, for two who serve together. I want you with me, but more importantly, I want you to be happy. If that's always by my side, I think I can handle that. If you ever want to explore other opportunities, I'll support and recommend you in any way I can."
His touch became a caress against her cheek; his voice carried a hint of sadness.
"But I don't want you to stay on Enterprise just because of me, and if tonight changes anything, I can't let it go on. You have your dreams and I don't want you to lose sight of them for something that can never be realized. Years from now, I don't want you resenting or hating me for it."
Uhura found herself divested of her drink. He had both her hands captured in his own and she felt as if he were trying to channel his thoughts to her as much as express them.
"There are many possibilities for companionship onboard for you, but I'm not one of them. When this mission is over, so is what we will share here. Tonight is about rebuilding trust, and trust is built on honesty. I will always be honest with you Penda, and I need you to be honest with me, tonight and always. I don't mean to sound cold; I just need you to understand my feelings. You wouldn't respect any other decision I could make."
He leaned down and kissed her softly on the lips.
'Oh, why did he have to bring honor into this?' She thought. It was the one thing she admired about him that would always get in the way of what she craved. Uhura kissed him back, but kept it tender. She knew she had to answer him before he would allow it to escalate.
"If we're being honest, I need to confess that I'd be willing to try and respect something a little more long term." She tried to soften the seriousness of his gaze with her attempt at humor; however, his look did not waver.
"I know--you're right," she sighed, and stroked his cheek as he still held her in his arms, "but it doesn't mean I have to like it. Ever since Platonius, I've wanted you, and even what happened to me on Bengali hasn't changed that." Uhura noticed a look of shock cross his face at her mention of Platonius.
"I know we wouldn't even be having this conversation if it weren't for that nightmare, but since it did happen, I can't say I'm sorry it’s worked out this way." She eased out of his arms; it was too perverse to discuss keeping her distance when she was ensconced in his embrace.
"It will be difficult at first--to go back to being just Captain and Lieutenant--but if that's all I can have, I'll learn to accept it. What is my alternative? Nothing. I lose you, Enterprise and all my dreams of being in space. This is my one chance to indulge my fantasies and keep living my dream. I would be crazy to tempt Fate and ask for more."
Uhura did not have to confess to him that she felt just a bit crazy at the moment. She stopped and looked into his eyes, waiting to see if he would accept her answer.
Kirk's gaze softened and a suggestive grin tugged at the corners of his mouth as he stepped in close and took her by the shoulders.
"No Penda, it won't be easy, for either of us, but we can worry about that--later." He leaned down and kissed her softly once again, but this time he didn't pull away. He increased the pressure on her lips and Uhura opened to his demand. She felt his tongue dance with hers. As he retreated, she nipped his lower lip and he smiled at her response.
Then his face became more deliberate and intense. He reached out and slowly pulled the sash of Uhura's closed robe, keeping his eyes locked with hers and gently pushing it off her shoulders. Tonight he let it fall at her feet, forgotten in favor of what he still had before him.
Uhura felt his eyes roam over her body, searing her skin where they traveled. Her heart was racing and her chest felt tight; it was no longer just a tease, no longer a fantasy. The reality of what was happening punched her in the stomach and she had to fight back the desire to run. No! She wanted this--he was *her* choice. This was what she needed. Uhura pushed the panic down; it wasn't gone but it was at bay. She took a deep breath and let herself enjoy his gaze.
At her sigh, Kirk looked up and scrutinized her face. She knew he sensed her unease and wondered if she was she able to go on. She smiled at him; it was shaky but sincere.
Uhura watched as Kirk pulled one strap and then the other of her gown off her shoulders, leaving them bare. She became lost in the feeling of his fingers brushing down each side of her throat, then down her shoulders, hypnotized by the touch of his lips against the nape of her neck. His warm breath sent chill bumps all over her body as it caressed her ear, his hands wandering over her skin, seeking to memorize each place that quivered under his graze.
When he stopped, a soft whimper escaped her lips. He reached down and unzipped the back of her gown, the only way to peel the tight bodice away from her breasts. Yet, he did not remove the gown, instead, he stepped back a pace or two, until he could see her whole body.
"Take off your gown for me, Penda. Stand there and let me see how beautiful you are." He whispered in a husky voice.
Uhura let the gown fall to the floor, allowing it to keep company with the forgotten robe. A part of her wanted to melt into the floor as well, but she drew herself up and stood defiantly in front of him, pushing the confused embarrassment out of her mind. Why should she want to hide from him? She knew she had a beautiful body; long hours in the gym kept it taut and toned. She used to enjoy a man's appraisal of her form, at least those she invited. Uhura looked into Kirk's face and saw appreciation and desire for her.
He moved toward her, still slowly running his eyes over her naked form. He captured her in his arms and began to use his hands against her flesh, touching places she wanted him to feel. He stroked her back and the mounds of her hips and cheeks. Pulling her close, he again took possession of her mouth. Still being devoured by his kisses, she felt his hands glide to her waist and then continue to her breasts. He rubbed each sensually and massaged her nipples until they hurt with need.
Jim began to push her toward the bed and Uhura felt the edge of it against the back of her knees. Trapped between the softness of its invitation and the hardness of his body pressing into her, she sat, but did not allow him to follow her down. He tendered one more sweet kiss on her lips before he straightened, and let her take control.
Uhura gave him a seductive smile at his surrender and ran her hands over his chest. She moved slowly, changing the pressure from a firm grasp against his nipples to a wickedly delicate raking of her nails against his flanks. Again, his muscles rippled under her touch, sent into spasm by her tender torture. He grabbed her hands, holding them against further mischief.
"Don't tickle." He scolded in a raspy voice, but the reproach did little to hinder her. Instead, she pulled her hands away and moved to the tie of his silk loungers and began to pull it.
"I think you're over-dressed." Uhura murmured as she continued loosening the knot. She reached into the waistband and began to peel away the last layer separating them. She did not do it quickly; she moved her hands in slow deliberate motions, easing the soft material off his hips and freeing his seeking erection from the sudden confines of the garment.
All fear was gone from Uhura now. Once she had her hand around him, stroking him and reveling in his soft moans, she remembered the ecstasy of sharing herself. She leaned in and allowed her hot breath to dance across him, pushing the pants down and away from what she sought. She grabbed his firm cheeks and pinched before raking her nails possessively across them and down his thighs. Kirk leaned into her, silently begging for more and she obliged. Her mouth found his sensitive head, running her tongue teasingly around it before wrapping around his shaft and gently running her teeth along its full length. She felt his fingers lock into her hair, then relax and stroke through the softness.
With a growl, he reached under her arms and drew her with him into the bed. Once again taking control, his hands captured hers and pulled them over her head while he kissed her lips, throat and breasts. Uhura gave herself over to the sensations he evoked, lost herself in the feel of his hands and mouth as they discovered her body.
She moved and moaned as his hand dropped low and began to explore, his fingers gently easing into her wetness. Even as excited as she was, Uhura knew she was tight, too tight yet to enjoy what was to come. Thanks to McCoy's skill as a surgeon, she was a virgin once again.
Jim's hands continued to explore as his mouth consumed her breasts, apparently unable to select a favorite. His fingers seemed to know all of her secrets, they moved into her with a rhythm she found undeniable. The rhythm began to take control and pull her higher and higher; she writhed under his touch, craving release. He stroked her tense bud and she cried out in pleasure, grinding in spasms of delight against his hand as he smothered her mouth with his.
When she could breathe again, she looked up into his eyes and saw a tender smile warring with a look of self-satisfaction. Uhura pulled him down to her and tried to kiss the smirk off his face. She had little success.
He pulled away and began to dapple kisses down her body, not stopping until he had pushed her legs apart and made himself comfortable between them. He looked up at her, a playful glint in his eyes, then leaned down and tasted her. Uhura moaned in anticipation as his tongue darted into her and traced enigmatic patterns. He cast another spell and quickly pushed her back up to the heights she had so recently descended. His teeth gently took her center and pulled while he sucked and drew her over the edge. The second surrender was more devastating than the first. Uhura shuddered and bucked hard against him, the weight of his shoulders the only thing keeping her on the bed. She gasped as her body heaved in climax.
Trailing soft kisses along her belly and breasts, Jim worked his way back up to Uhura's mouth. She could taste herself on his lips and it excited her even more. Uhura moved her hands down along his taut flanks, then reached to caress the hardness she found between their bodies. The caress became a strong, encircling grasp that stroked from the base and ended at the slightly moist tip. She rubbed her palm against the moistness and felt him shudder under her touch.
Suddenly, Jim pulled himself away and pushed her legs apart with his knee, making room for his hips and positioning his erection at her entrance. Uhura felt the tip touch her wet cleft and she moved her legs, locking them around his, pulling him closer. Still holding his weight on his arms, Kirk hesitated, looking deep into Uhura's eyes. She was not capable of denying him anything; she thrust her hips, trying to impale herself upon him.
Slowly, he lowered his arms, capturing her mouth as he pushed his way into her. He took his sweet torturous time. Uhura moaned under him, his gentle invasion driving her crazy. She wanted to feel him all the way inside her, thrusting hard and filling her past her limits. She knew he was trying not to hurt her, trying not to awaken bad memories, but Uhura could stand it no longer. She grabbed his cheeks and pulled him all the way in. There was pain, but it was good. He filled her and she nearly came again.
Jim slid his arms under her shoulders and cradled her head in his hands. He rocked gently against her, and Uhura luxuriated in the sensation of each long stroke. She lost herself in his kisses on her lips, along her temple and against her ear. Gradually, his pace quickened and the strokes became harder and deeper. Uhura rolled her hips and pulled her legs up, wrapping them around his back. His thrusts were driving now and she could feel herself building toward ecstasy again. She could tell he was nearing the edge himself and arched against him just a bit more, pulling him over the precipice with her.
He cried out as he thrust deeply one last time. Uhura shuddered, pulling him down into a deep kiss. Her head swirled as a wave of dizziness overcame her. She held him close and kept her eyes tightly shut, trying to hold herself and him still through the tiny aftershocks that shook the both of them. Jim had collapsed on top of her and she reveled in the feeling of intimacy his weight conferred. The dizziness started to pass and Uhura took a cleansing breath, hoping to hurry it along. Jim thought he was crushing her and tried to pull away.
"No, stay here a moment. I love how you feel against me." She whispered in his ear.
He answered with a kiss and a half-hearted thrust. "Mmmm...let me know when I get too heavy for you."
"Well, that might be never. I could go to sleep like this."
Much to her chagrin, he raised up on his elbows and looked down into her face.
"You probably could, but can I convince you to curl up against my side instead?"
"Maybe, if you'll wrap me in your arms. It's a poor substitute, but I'll try to work with you." She grinned up at him.
Jim laughed and moved off her. Flipping onto his back, he pulled her into his arms and nestled Uhura against his chest.
"Now, *I* can go to sleep like this." He sighed happily and gave her a gentle squeeze.
Still slightly missing her human blanket, Uhura pouted. "Ah--well, we know it's always all about you, don't we?" She tried to hide the grin his look provoked in her.
"Oh, really?" He questioned in mock indignation. He pulled her atop of him and held her there. "Let's see, we never do anything you want to do, right?"
Uhura lost her battle with the giggles and laughed out loud. Kirk wrapped her in his arms and hugged her tightly against him. He attempted to kiss her between giggles, but quickly gave up.
"I'll make you go to your own room if you don't stop." He tried to threaten.
That just provoked a new fit of laughter and he laid back his head and sighed. "That's me, always leave them laughing."
Another squeal of laughter escaped Uhura. Kirk just shook his head and pushed her back into the crook of his arm. Uhura buried her face against his side and laughed herself out. He held her close and waited for her to get control. It had been funny, but they both knew enough psychology to realize her giggles were more about de-stressing than real humor. She had conquered her fear and the intense relief was overwhelming.
As Uhura regained control of herself and could keep the laughter at bay, she raised up and looked into Jim's eyes. His look was curious, unsure if she was about to lose it again or attempting to speak.
"Jim, I'm sorry, please don't send me to my room." She grinned impishly, then kissed him before becoming more serious, locking her gaze with his.
"I didn't think I would ever feel the way you just made me feel again. You've given me back my life once more and I'll always love you for it."
"Penda, I would be lying if I said I'd never fantasized about a night like tonight. You've given me just as much in return."
He rolled over and trapped her beneath him, brushing her lips with his. Uhura looked up and stared into his eyes. She pulled her arms over her head, encouraging him to take possession of her body once more. He grasped her hands, easily holding her in place while she arched her back and pushed against him, begging to feel beautiful once again.
He hated to see her beg...