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Title: Abmarkan’es – II
Fandom: ST TOS
Characters: Starek, Spock
Warnings: Starek’s still talking.
Notes: Discussions of fault, misfits, and breakfast.
Starek wakes to the smell of a bed not his own. This is the first sign that something is not quite right. It’s not any bed he knows, either and it takes a minute or six for him to remember he’s come to visit T’Nis’s fathers.
The rest drifts back slowly… the allergies, flirting with Selov — here he groans into the pillow. That was, no doubt, highly inappropriate. Still a tempting thought, though. And the old Vulcan seemed to be keeping up with the flirting pretty well.
And then, he remembers the rest, and sits bolt upright, calling out — "Spock!"
His lover emerges from the adjacent solarium carrying an actual paper book in his hand. Spock’s expression softens when he finds Starek sitting up and looking better for his nap."How do you feel?"
"Like I’ve had six pints of ale, laced with cocoa, and slept them off in a blender." Starek relaxes at the sight of his taluhk-veh. "Of course, this is also an improvement, which says more than I will on the subject."
He rubs his face, scratches his hair, and wipes his cheek off on his shoulder, before smiling up at Spock in rumpled amusement. "What are you reading?"
Spock seats himself on the bed. "A most interesting treatise; Selov has quite a collection. He is an historian and something of a sociologist as well. He specializes in the misfits of Vulcan society, and how various groups have withered or flourished, over the centuries."
He puts up a hand to smooth down the tufts of Starek’s hair, but like their owner, they refuse to be tamed.
"Misfits of Vulcan society." Starek looks dryly amused. "Why am I not surprised in the least. Did you see the looks Selov was giving me?"
He just looks smug, now, happy to be an article of admiration — a desired sex object. It’s a rather fitting look.
"Would you like something to eat? You have slept through the midday meal, but Tunor informed me that some cold foods have been left out for us."
With a quick nip at Spock’s fingers, as they move away from his hair, Starek gives some thought to food. "Will you breakfast in bed with me, then? Let me feed you fruit, from my fingers, while you spoil me with stories of our hosts."
Spock looks happy at the idea of prolonging their seclusion. Necessity stole from them the chance for intimate conversation, and he has been craving it. Thus, he exits and soon returns with a collection of such breads, spreads, vegetables and fruit as were waiting for them.
This time it Spock who offers Starek a glass of water. It is accepted, with a significant look.
"I informed Selov that the rest period had improved you," Spock mentions dryly. "His reply was that he couldn’t see how."
Starek’s nose twitches in amusement. "Then it’s obvious he hasn’t seen me at my best, isn’t it? You own me, you know. Nash-veh t’du. But, Selov looks like he’d be fun at parties. Under other circumstances, I’d have a meaningless one-night stand with that."
"You, on the other hand…" Here, he smiles wickedly, setting his glass on a the nightstand, taking the tray and setting it on the bed, near the foot, before dragging Spock down to him. "Twice a day, and three times on Sundays."
In some parts of his mind, it means more than ‘I love you’. It’s not fleeting and irrational; it’s a perfectly logical statement of desire, based firmly in the frame of things he can touch. He kisses Spock’s forehead, and then drags the tray up, to where they can reach it. With a mouthful of melon, he comes to a realisation.
"This is the first time this week I’ve eaten anything that didn’t have chocolate in it." He swallows and holds out a slice of pla-savas to Spock.
Spock is not sure what to say to that, so he ignores it. Chocolate has unpleasant associations for him now, and it will be some time before he partakes of it again. He picks up a fork and tries to spear the piece of fruit, much to Starek’s amusement. It is a feeling that only grows when Spock’s initial attempts prove unsuccessful. But at last he manages the trick.
"How much news have you seen this week?"
"More than I wanted to. The Federation has been making interesting offers on public channels, as of late." Starek sighs, gnawing at a heel of bread, to occupy his mouth while he thinks. "I know that I have probably ruined your life, at least temporarily."
He tosses the bread back at the tray and rubs the side of his face. "Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you, at the time. I had a job to do, and it looks like I did it passably well. And for all that, I’m about as far up T’Nis’s documents of discommendation as your father." He pulls his knees up, leaning between them to grab some more melon. "I know better than to take jobs where my face ends up on subspace. It’ll be months before we can do any real work.
"And you…" He sighs again. "There’s nothing I can say to make this right. But, here you are, eating breakfast from my hand. I don’t deserve this, but I’m not going to object."
Starek takes a bite from the melon in his hand and holds the remainder out to Spock who accepts, but sets it down. Instead, he takes one of Starek’s hands in each of his, heedless of the juices.
"Yeht-veh, we have been far apart of late. Your apologies," and he shakes his head, "only increase the distance."
Carefully, Spock orders his mind and then projects his feelings, so that Starek can understand how declarations of unworthiness from Starek actually pain Spock, who feels that the responsibility for the media frenzy lies mostly with himself. And with that admission, the dam bursts and Spock jerks back his hands to avoid flooding Starek’s consciousness with uselessly painful emotions.
"Had I beamed back immediately, I could have faced her. I could have prevented all of this. But I was selfish. I wanted to be with you." Spock withdraws into himself, arms crossed before him. "I rejected the teachings of Surak and I reap this misfortune for putting my own needs before those of the many." He is about to proceed with the relevant quote from Surak, but Starek sees where it’s going and interrupts him.
"The needs of the many? Ri’tar’uh duh-vel. You put your desires before your survival instincts. In this, it is all about you and me. There is no ‘many’ to put first. My good sense was hampered, and so was yours. I got us into this, and you didn’t get us out of it. It falls on us both — possibly moreso on me, for not going back down with one of Stavret’s EMP cannons, and taking the whole system out." Starek leans forward, over the platter of fruit, resting his forehead against Spock’s.
"This is not about faith. This is not about philosophy. This is about desire, will, and survival. We approached this, initially, with a flawed methodology. The flaws have led to complications. But in what part of the galaxy is ‘my life is complicated’ news?" He moves, slightly, pressing his lips against Spock’s forehead.
Spock leans into the kiss, but he is still tense.
Starek goes on. "This cannot be about blame. This needs to be about getting the goods and reasserting stability. In this case, I consider you to be the goods. Don’t take that wrong, it’s just where you fit into the pattern from my angle."
The Vulcan shakes his head. "The many have done what is just in attaching blame to me. My father, my people. Starfleet. The Federation. And yet again, I cannot help but be selfish. It is your forgiveness that I truly long for."
He pulls back to search Starek’s face. "Do you forgive me? For running to your ship as well as from it?"
"I haven’t died of it, k’diwa, though Merendith tells me I’m trying. I forgive you. I would have forgiven you, if I never saw your face again. It was a worthwhile experience."
Starek takes a deep breath, and his stomach makes a disgruntled sound. He ignores it.
"There are many who do not matter, in context. It is by no means their dah-bath’pa-yehat tek’ik. It is my business and yours. Kuv shitau el’ru t’du vi’bish t’behsu t’du – bolau gish du nam-tor rakusal."
Spock breathes a sigh of gratitude. "Then, with your forgiveness, I regret nothing."
He retrieves the melon with his fingers and finishes it in a deliberate gesture of acceptance. It is very odd, this eating with the fingers, but not, he finds, unpleasant.
"On a related note, Tunor has asked me to inform you that he may able to be of service to you and your crew during this time. It is most fortunate that he is an aerospace engineer."
"My ship is a matter for another discussion, I think. I’m not awake enough to consider it at this time, and I am not certain that Stavret and D’nila will be too fond of having someone else in our systems, during the current circumstances." Starek uncoils, then, stripping off the coat he’d fallen asleep in, and tossing it over the footboard, as he stretches out, on his side.
"Your lack of regret is much more relevant to the moment." With a hum of satisfaction, he slips a slice of yon-savas into his mouth, and licks the juice from his fingers, obscenely. Delicately lifting another slice, he offers it to Spock.
Spock takes it, slowly, his eyes on Starek’s mouth. "I had thought that, now that you are rested, we might profit from a discussion of . . . future actions."
"Indeed. Let’s work out some less flawed method, with which to indulge our madness." Starek’s lips quirk smugly, as he watches Spock watch him. He takes a grape, rolling it between his fingertips. "You say this as though you have some ideas to propose. I’ll hear you, first. No doubt you’ll give me ideas."
He holds the grape out, between his fingers, pulling it back as Spock reaches for it. "With your mouth, this time."
Spock eyes him knowingly. "Are you attempting to seduce me, Commander?"
He leans in, lips hovering near the grape in Starek’s fingers. He pauses there for a moment, considering the soft, green flesh, before he claims it, tucking it back into his cheek and letting his tongue caress the end of Starek’s index finger before he leans back, chews once, and swallows.
"Because your techniques are proving effective. However I do not see the logic in continuing our discussion if seduction is indeed your intent."
Starek hisses, his eyes fluttering shut, as Spock’s tongue lingers on the tip of his finger. "I’m talented in the arts of multitasking. I can both seduce you and talk strategy. If I couldn’t, I’m sure I would not be nearly so successful in my line of work." He piles a piece of bread with berries and dip, taking a bite, as he considers his words. "And if I can seduce you, talk strategy, and eat breakfast all at once, well, then it’s an afternoon put to good use."
He stuffs the rest of the bread and berry combination into his mouth, holding up a finger, to indicate he will continue, momentarily. Swallowing, he wipes a bit of juice from the corner of his mouth, with his thumb.
"And if I can eat breakfast off your naked body, while talking strategy, then it’s an afternoon I’ll be hard-pressed to better, for some time to come."