“….. whenever two are linked in this way, there comes another from the unseen world. It may be through birth,
if nothing prevents conception,
but a third does come, when two unite in love,
or in hate. The intense qualities born
of such joining appear in the spiritual world
Be aware of this. A man and a woman together
Always have a spiritual result…
“The way you make love is the way God will be with you…
I heard the strike of his boot on the metal ramp. Instinctively I rose, holding myself straight, sensing a formality, an aura of intention, somehow, that was not present with the others. I somehow knew I needed to meet him standing tall, even as I once more had the draping blanket wrapped like a bath towel around me, clutching the precariously tucked edges to my breast.
“Dr. McCoy reports everything is functioning as we hoped,” Spock said, as if purely for something to say. The perfunctory small talk fell awkwardly from his lips.
I assured him I was holding up.
He turned without another word, and looked around the space. He moved over to the metal wall, felt for embedded controls with those sensitive fingers of his. A small panel retracted, revealing what I recognized as a replicator. A moment later he turned to offer me… a cup of water.
Water. I hadn’t realized how thirsty I was. What a simple gesture, yet moving in its small thoughtfulness. I drained the cup. It still amazed me how good water tasted in space. It wasn’t stored; it was replicated on demand from the molecular formula, and came out fresh every time.
He refilled the cup, and I drank again, leaving half, handing it back.
Spock took it from my hands, met my eyes, and drank from the same cup.
The gesture was not lost on me.
I felt the energy in the space intensifying.
He turned again, still without comment, explored the space, to discover another opening, a narrow door, revealing, not surprisingly, the head, tiny, but fully equipped. He stepped in and seemed to know just how to remove the bowl of the sink, an ingeniously designed thing that, when stoppered, obviously functioned as a multi-purpose bowl.
This he filled with water, set it on the bunk beside us.
Again exploring the storage compartments, with swift, sure movements, he found a small cloth, which he took out, tearing off a length of it.
Now he paused before me and finally spoke again. “There is a Vulcan ritual for this, if you are agreeable.”
I was mesmerized. It was all I could do to hold in this increasingly dense energetic field. Go deeper, Hani, go deeper, the inner voice kept whispering insistently. It took everything I had to concentrate on my breath, to keep grounding myself, to channel the force swelling inside me. It would be all too easy to let this charged energy fry me to a crisp. I breathed in deeply and nodded.
He dipped the smaller cloth in the basin, wrung it out, and brought it to my face. He began to move the cool, wet cloth over my skin: forehead, cheek, neck. His movements were precise, neither lingering nor rushed. It felt as if, even within the urgency of the situation, time simply stretched to allow this…prelude, this washing away of all that clung to me, all I’d done and been. Until now.
The delicacy and deliberation of his touch, in some ways so unremarkable, in another way was so astounding, it brought tears to my eyes, tears that spilled down almost unnoticed.
He wiped those away, too.
And so he continued, putting a hand over mine, to loosen my grip on the blanket that covered me. I let it fall, and with all the courage and commitment I had in me, stood straight and grounded before him, while he washed every inch of me clean.
He completed the act by kneeling, taking one foot at a time in his hands. Then he stood and removed his own clothing with efficient, elegant movements.
I watched his naked body being revealed.
Seemingly with an utter lack of self-consciousness, he once again picked up the cloth, dipped it, wrung it out. As he would have raised it to his own face, I put out a hand to his, not knowing his ways, not knowing the rules, but following my own instincts.
“My turn?” I asked.
He placed the cloth in my outstretched hands.
With intense concentration, I began to mirror the movements he had made with me, some part of me catching the music, the rhythm, of his own gestures, to touch every inch of his body, so familiar in its maleness, yet so foreign, too, the strong beat of his Vulcan heart, the heat of his skin.
I felt giddy, and willed myself to hold steady in this vibration. I continued to consciously ground myself, to keep myself from flying off into space somewhere as I solemnly, in measured movements, performed this alien but perfect ritual. As he had, I knelt to lift each foot in turn, feeling his hand on my shoulder as I did. I flashed, from some buried place of memory, an image of Mary Magdalene, as she once knelt before Jesus, washing his feet, drying his feet with her hair. I couldn’t begin to fathom the mysteries of who was saving whom in this moment. All I could do was surrender to the unexpected grace that had descended on us, and I felt my heart expand almost to the breaking point.
Spock raised me to my feet, then, took the cloth from my hands and set it aside. He held up his hand, forefinger and middle finger extended, and showed me how to do the same. I didn’t need words to understand we were to focus our entire attention on that contact point. With those two fingers he began to explore. Now the arousal was almost unbearable. I was in an agonizing suspense. Where was all this going? My human impatience surged to the surface; how much more could I possibly stand?
And then I felt some unseen force, some seismic rumbling, rising from some volcanic (Vulcan?) core. I felt the tension in him; perceived, through my very pores, the warring forces of control and surrender deep inside, the ultimate battle, for Spock more than most, product as he was of that unlikely conjunction between two worlds, living forever uneasy on the cusp, no matter how dedicated to his Vulcan side he’d always been, and always will be. Sexual urgency colliding with…this… the earthy, expansive expressiveness that I couldn’t help but bring with me, in my arms, in my very being; my all-too-human emotion, the antithesis of everything he’s always chosen to embrace, and believe.
The world circumscribed within our embrace thickened, shook, rattling the very geological foundations that supported and sustained us. I could almost touch the moment that he gave in and let go, it was there in the wild grasp of his hands on my body, pulling me into an embrace that was primitive, driven. All I could do was cling to him with equal intensity. And in this primal rocking tangle, his breath came hot on my neck, his hands moved along my back, pressing me so tight I could hardly breathe, and from deep within came a sound, of release, some haunting, alien sound, half breath, half cry.
He didn’t mean to show me this. He didn’t mean to reveal this much.
I simply knew it, instantly. The moment had carried him beyond his carefully cultivated self, something had slipped through the fissures, something so personal that I felt it as a physical shock, even as I went sliding over my own edge, again, clinging madly, not believing I could be taken, here, again, then… not caring. Again.
Spock, some deeper nakedness having spilled out, his unreadable face an igneous mask atop me. The look we exchanged held some obscure, coded message we had neither the wisdom nor courage to decipher.
Or time. Our gasps weren’t even subsided, our bodies still entwined, as a voice, apologetic but urgent, called out sharply from nearby, just outside, “Sorry, you two. Gotta go!”
I guess they’d been within earshot, Jim and Bones; who knew for how long? What a thought.
Then they were in the pod. “We’re picking up a scan from some surface source, we’ve got to go now!” Jim was already at the console, tossing me a quick smile as if I weren’t shakily scrambling around for my undergarments. How Spock put himself back together so quickly I’ll never know. He was completely dressed and had taken his place beside Jim at the controls before I even managed to straighten out my dress and pull it over my head. I fumbled my arms into the sleeves, then, my brain in a total fog, I realized I didn’t know where my shoes were. Scrambling on hands and knees, I located one under the bunk, one underfoot where Jim sat at the controls.
“Hang on, this is going to get bumpy!” he said, and Bones pulled me back down onto the bunk, the only other seating, where I grabbed onto a rail and Bones’ arm came around my shoulders.
“We’re detonating the Cassandra’s power core,” he told me. “The explosion should be enough to momentarily disrupt the communication grid. If we can get the pod high enough above the shield, Scotty can lock on and beam us back to the ship from there.”
Jim, busy with the controls, added, “The key is to time it so the blast masks our escape,” and even as he spoke, we were lifting off the ground, hovering. A split second later, there was an explosion, we shot upward; a second, larger explosion and the little pod bucked and spun, and I saw earth out the cockpit window, then sky, darkening as we were flung crazily higher, the blast, hot and percussive, behind us, until we were free, stars in view, and the pod slowed into a peaceful drift.
Bones was still holding me in his protective arms, and I admit I clung to him, a slight sob escaping, not upset, just…stunned. And full, so very full.
I barely had time to run my fingers through my hair, try to comb the bed-head out as best I could, when I heard Scotty’s blessed voice coming through and we were, finally, back aboard the Enterprise. Back home.
Scotty himself was in the transport room. He and Jim started talking simultaneously, Scotty for once overriding his commanding officer.
“I don’t know what happened down there, Captain, but I can tell you what’s happening up here. We’ve detected a faint power signature. They’re cloaked, but I can tell you, there are Klingons here, and they’re in direct contact with Ardros.”