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Title: Abmarkan’es – V
Fandom: ST TOS
Characters: Starek, Selov, Spock
Warnings: Unsettling ethics, showers
Notes: Sometimes, news travels faster than subspace. The gossip-rags are at it again, this time with fresh ammunition.
Starek watches the … woman(!?) fade away, her fury passing away with her.
"She was your…" He feels slightly ill, but the story unfolds before him, and he understands. It is so much easier than asking for an explanation, to just see what is needed, instead.
He knows the woman’s name was T’Pring. He knows their match was not by choice on either of their parts. He hopes she can be happy, now that she is free. There is a pause in which he wonders if he has just sentenced her to death. Vulcans, after all, still fall victim to pon farr…
"Kanok-vei heh ri-vel. Hwiiy arhva. Arhem ihr hwi." Slowly, Starek learns to speak with his mind, his lips moving less as the words continue. "Worla ma vesht nam-tor nash-veh ni’pthak svi’ha’kiv t’nash-veh. Wi nam-tor nash-vel ri’wat. Jol arhem hwi."
Starek’s eyes are black, now, with only the faintest rings of grey. He is swamped with the pleasure inside his mind, and his body still moves, automatically, in perfect time, gracefully bucking and writhing.
He has never been so humbled, so terrified, so contented.
It is astonishing to feel Starek’s mind awaking to its new capabilities. Spock holds him tighter, hands slipping down to his shoulders now, as they move easily, perfectly together, building in pitch and tempo to a final peak that is so simply reached it is like beaming there, where before they had merely been flying.
The pleasure also uncoils in Starek and he coats their stomachs with it even as he is being filled. His surprise is met by Spock’s calm assurance that simultaneity is a condition that he will become accustomed to, in time.
"Ashau tu." Spock whispers, his voice within and without.
Despite the warmth and sweetness of the moment, Starek feels a chill at some rather peculiar realisations.
This art had been lost to his people — not just bonding, but mind-melds, at all, and it was probably for the best. He shudders at the thought of the Tal’Shiar having the power to reach into minds. There was, after all, a fair reason he’d cut and run, like he had. He wonders, sometimes, if they didn’t have more power than the Senate let on, but this, thankfully, is still out of their reach.
He pushes the thought aside, and refocuses on the moment. He finds himself inseparably joined to the brightest star in his sky. In this moment, he can reach out and touch the things that Stavret used to try to explain to him — they’ve been following Spock’s work for years. Maybe, now, he’ll finally understand some of it.
It would, he thinks, be more correct to say that Stavret had followed Spock’s work. Starek, himself, had been more interested in the Spock’s honour.
A memory flits by — ‘What’s wrong with him is the Thaessu half,’ another Romulan had laughed, and Starek had broken his nose, without thinking. He remembers Stavret’s shock and horror, his best friend pulling him away from the Romulan physicist.
Yes, he’d gotten into fistfights over the heritage of someone he didn’t even know. Someone he never imagined meeting. Someone he was now inextricably bound to.
"E’lev," he pants, the world still spinning.
The strength and newness of the bond are pure delight. It would now be nothing to disengage from Starek physically, for they are still so closely joined. Yet Spock perceives the other’s need for him and stays, kissing his hair with reverent fingers.
"K’diwa, this is going to get us both killed, isn’t it?" Starek really doesn’t sound as bothered as he probably should. "I mean, your father… Whatever you just did to that girl… And me, well… putting my aumh into a Thaessu is bad enough. What are the Tal’Shiar going to say when it comes out I’ve given you my gemaen, as well?"
There’s a long pause, as he considers this.
"Well, how’s that for a copper-bottomed, ocean-going aumh-lhanv. I think we just started a war." He laughs, softly. "I mean, we were straining trans-imperial relations, as it was, but now? I may actually have to take that offer of asylum seriously — if that’s not the trap that I so sincerely believe it to be."
He brings a hand up, covering his own eyes as he giggles, inanely. "We’re going to die. I’m … I’m okay with this. I can go out with no regrets. Eneh always said I’d do something amazing with my life." He’s hung over, exhausted, bruised, used, and full of khrasaya, and right now, he can’t stop laughing.
Spock withdraws and rolls to lie on his back, gathering Starek and the blankets close to him. "You seem less afraid than excited, yeht-veh." Their new bond is thrumming with shared emotion. This will take some getting used to, Spock observes.
"Yet, for once, I believe you may be overly pessimistic. No one is aware of what just happened save ourselves. However, I would support your taking the Federation’s offer of asylum, if only to be assured of seeing you more frequently." His sultry emphasis indicates that every day would not be often enough.
Starek purrs, rubbing his cheek against Spock’s chest. "Excited really isn’t the word. I’m just used to things going wrong in the most theatrical possible way."
He stops, for a moment, stretching in a way that pops his neck, his shoulder, and his lower back. He looks at himself, taking a quick assessment, as he rolls back toward Spock. "I hurt. Quite a bit. No chocolate for me, this week. Also, I think you managed to leave a bruise on my fek, not that I’m complaining. At all. On second thought, I’m not sure if that’s a bruise or a hickey."
"Just in case you’re worried about it? Not going to slow me down. Give me half an hour, and if I don’t pass out from this headache, I’ll be good for more of the same."
He nibbles at Spock’s lower lip, nipping and licking between phrases. "But, back to slightly serious topics, you’re forgetting the part where one more person does know what just happened, because she was there. Do you think her family won’t know, within the hour? And from there, who knows what comes next. You’d know the data distribution patterns better than I, in this particular social matrix."
T’Pring! How could he have forgotten?!
A defeated groan rises out of Spock’s chest, rising to meet the sudden sense of vertigo in his head. Turning, he curls towards Starek in an attitude of complete despair, dragging up the blankets over both of their heads.
"So, I hear you’ve been suspended from service. Any chance you’d like to run away with some pirates?" Starek laughs, easily, wrapping himself around Spock. "I promise I have at least two scientists on board, already. You’ll have good company. I might be joking, but I’m sure the offer can be made seriously, if you need somewhere to go."
More serious, but only marginally, he kisses the top of Spock’s head. "Calm down. You only think you’ve lost everything. There is nothing that can’t be either fixed or swept under the rug. I have a brilliant astrophysicist, a vicious doctor, and five lunatic engineers at my disposal, e’lev. We can make things happen. Fight fire with fire, if we have to."
Starek is calm, stolid, and determined, if a bit sharply wicked around the edges. He reads as exactly the sort of Romulan one is best off not running into in a dark alley. A thin thread of humour winds through the bold armour, and finally he has to say it.
"You know, I really shouldn’t take so much pride in the fact that you broke up with your fiancée, telepathically, while you had your elat in my pash-yel. It just makes me stupidly happy." The swaggering cockiness spills across the bond. "You make me happy. You make me want to do whatever you need done, to get out of this as close to intact as possible. For the record, I don’t know if we’re right or wrong. I do know that I don’t give, as the Terrans say, a flying French fuck. I win. I have all the toys. Well, all but one, because I don’t get to keep me. I belong to you."
Unable to keep Starek’s optimism at bay, Spock sighs and flips back the covers so that they are once again in the light. Starek is in fact haloed by it — a coincidence Spock finds more than mildly entertaining. "If you continue to fill the gaping holes in my thought processes, we may yet emerge alive. Come. Let us shower and then go downstairs to spend some time with our most gracious hosts."
Despite vehement protests, which Spock may have only been able to refuse because their bond is now in place, he sends his bondmate into the shower alone. This gives him a chance to strip, load up the sonic washer, and arrange their room. A critical sniff compels him to open a window. Although he finds the scent of their coupling pleasant, he not about to inflict it on anyone else. When Starek is finished, Spock meets him with kisses and goes in for his own turn.
Starek takes the time to consider himself in the bathroom mirror, realising he looks much less like himself than he’d imagined. Returning to his bag, he retrieves an ivory handled straight razor and a jar of oil, and sets to work correcting, first, the fact that his skin fails to be as smooth as it should be. He sings an old Terran song, as he works, flicking the razor at the sink, between lines.
"When I was a young man, and very well thought of, there was naught that I asked that the ladies denied. I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins, and I never spoke love, but I knew that I lied…"
It goes on in that manner for several verses, telling the sad story of an arrogant young cocksman who loses his love to his own bad habits, when she leaps into the sea because she doesn’t know he loves her. As he reaches the end, he picks up the towel, again, roughly polishing his skin, with it.
That’s better. He looks… a bit more composed.
By the time Spock emerges from the shower, Starek is trying to cover some of the damage to his face, mostly from exhaustion, though some of it is from falling in the broken glass in his quarters. It won’t scar badly, and after a few months, there likely won’t be marks at all.
He is bent toward the mirror, half-dressed, with a small pot of paint in one hand, touching up the edges of his eyesockets, where they blend out into his cheeks. "Not looking so good, here. Also, I still can’t tell if that’s a bruise or a hickey, but if I’m lucky, maybe you’ll give me a matching one, later?"
Spock wraps an arm around Starek’s taut abdomen, smoothing finger kisses along the tops of his shoulders. "Expect it, t’tal-kam."
The contrast between the amount of hair on his own body and the lack of it on Starek’s is particularly obvious at this time, causing Spock to moves away, lest he become too distracted. Still, he can’t escape without Starek noticing the the hint of green in a critical location and commenting lewdly.
Once they are dressed, Spock casts a critical eye over both of them and nods his approval. He leads the way downstairs to find Tunor and Selov not working or studying but together, in the living area, with many holoscreens arranged before them.
"Ah, here they are," Selov glides over to embrace the startled pair. "Congratulations, sov-masu-theklar, on your most auspicious union. This time you made page one."
Beyond Selov, Spock catches sight of one of the holos, the cover of a periodical he has never seen before. It is entitled Superficial and Terran and bears a photo of himself as a Starfleet cadet and the title Kafeh na’Dena t’Rihanha in tall italic script.
Reaching over Selov’s embracing arm, Spock palms his face.