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Senses: Touch (1/5)

Being a fanfiction series inspired by Star Trek:XI by J.J. Abrams (2009), inspired in its turn by Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry.
Pairing: Kirk/Spock.
Co-authored by mazaher

A first time fic, mainly a character study with some angst and even a bit of h/c, set in the Reboot 'verse and divided in five chapters (a chapter for each sense of the human/vulcan body). Written in first person.

Also posted at:
-- http://ksarchive.com
-- http://community.livejournal.com/kirkspock/
-- http://community.livejournal.com/newtrekslash/
-- http://community.livejournal.com/trekslash/

Trailer under way, courtesy of darlapr0duction at http://www.youtube.com/user/DarlaPr0duction?feature=mhum

You're ready? Let's go!



Senses. A ni-var

by athens7 (as Capt. J.T. Kirk, font: Courier New)
and mazaher (as Cdr. Spock, font: Verdana)
completed Stardate 2010:12:05:19:00 (ship’s time).

Notes to series:
A ni-var is a Vulcan term denoting a literary composition describing the same thing, event or series of events from two different points of view.
Endnote numbers make reference to the whole series, not to each story or chapter.

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1.Touch

summary:
Touch, taste, sight, smell, sound. Parallel paths winding, intersecting, and finally coming together. All begins with the sense of touch.

::

1.1. Spock

“Seat of the pants.”
Human idioms are fascinating.
Four simple words, fourteen characters in Standard, to mean the complex concept of kinesthetical proprioception (two composed words, twenty-seven characters).
I am familiar with a few such expressions from listening to my mother’s conversation, but this one does not count among them.
I first heard the words pronounced by the Captain. Mr. Sulu was expressing uncertainty about the feasibility of a tight veering manoeuver the Captain had asked him to try during a drill. “Just fly by the seat of your pants, Mr. Sulu,” he said. “It’ll work.” (It did).
I spent 6.9 off-duty hours researching cultural databanks in order to gather sufficient information for a precise definition of the usage. I discovered that it applies not only to activities, like horseback riding, motor-biking and sailing, where the middle part of lower body clothing for bipeds is actually involved, but also to endeavors like hang-gliding, where it is most assuredly not.
I also learned from the Captain’s personal files that he engaged in the first two pastimes as a boy in Riverside, Iowa, and in the latter two as a cadet at Starfleet Academy.
I then attempted experimenting with the idiom in conversation. I was unsure about my level of competence, so my first try happened in relative safety, during an evening chess match with the Captain in his quarters.
“You seem to be moving your Knights by the seat of your pants,” I said.
He looked up at me sharply for a moment, then his eyes melted in soft laughter.
“You may say so, yes,” and he moved one of them into check. I noticed he squirmed a bit on his chair. The seat of his pants was definitely involved.
Since then, I find my attention often attracted to the region in question. The way he sits on the command chair. How he points his feet to push and turn it toward one or the other of the bridge crew. How he sometimes swivels it side-to-side for no apparent reason. How and when he crosses his legs-- never in an emergency, only when the shift is uneventful and there is a lack of need for his directions.
(I suspect being momentarily redundant may be making him self-conscious.)
I find myself watching him, his weight flowing down gracefully along his spine, down his arms and legs, in the artificial gravity of the ship. I watch how he slouches at times, how he draws himself up when something unexpected happens, how his shoulders tense, or relax and lean back.
I seem to feel the sensations myself.
Someone wrote that Vulcans are very much aware of our bodies (1). Until now my own awareness had been theoretical, like data received from a bioscan. A simple human idiom has been enough to precipitate a process of materialization of such abstract awareness. It seems I am becoming almost as much aware of the Captain’s body as of my own, and of both in a tactile, corporeal way which was until now quite foreign to me.
I find the experience enriching, if sometimes distracting.
I have not the faintest idea where this experience may be leading me.

Note (1): DEANNA GRAY, Interview with a Vulcan, winner of the KisCon 2001 Contest Zine, now at http://ksarchive.com

::

1.2 Kirk

I’ve always been a touchy-feely kind of guy. Since I was a kid, I had this unrestrainable need to touch everything, anything I could reach, to have something solid under my hands. I needed to feel (the fact that when I was four I nearly died of anaphylactic shock because I tried to eat a live wasp didn’t discourage me in the slightest).

Not a surprise that I discovered the joys of masturbation so early in my childhood.

I think that this kind of “lunatic idiosyncrasy that makes me stickier than an Andorian octopus” (as Bones once described it while jabbing an invisibile hypospray into my neck just because I had tried to grope him in his bed after I’d passed the Kobayashi Maru) is one of the many and unfathomable reasons I so constantly attempt “to break my neck in every and all suicidal sports man could think up since the dawn of times” (again, the Doctor’s words).

I swear that I don’t have suicidal tendencies, like too many people believe. I’m a simple adrenaline-junkie, and I have been since I was thirteen and I jumped out of a racing car two seconds before it crashed in a canyon.
Right after that last –so to speak– domestic incident (or more probably because of it), Frank sent me to Tarsus IV, where I spent most of my time riding six-legged horses. Then, after two years, I came back to Earth and promised that I would never ride an animal again.

But I missed the riding and all that came with it, the wind slapping in my face and filling my lungs, the sight of the sky and the earth blurring and melding before my eyes, so I built myself a motorbike. It wasn’t exactly the same thing (no life breathing beneath me, no heartbeat synchronizing with mine, no hoofs wildly stepping on the grass, now replaced by the metallic hum of the engines and the whirl of the wheels), but it was enough.

“You seem to be moving your Knight by the seat of your pants”, Spock said.
I jerked my head up and I stared at him for what I’m afraid was a very rude amount of time.
I could do nothing else but laugh, while a strange, warm feeling was uncurling in the pit of my stomach.

Spock. S'chn T'gai Spock.

A mesmerizing, smooth sequence of vowels, occlusives and sibilants that the tip of my tongue executes in a frantic dance against my palate. This name keeps echoing in my mind and I can’t stop it.
I remember reading somewhere that to name a thing is to own it, but this rule doesn’t seem to apply to Spock at all.

My Vulcan Sphynx. Will I ever be able to solve your enigmas?

It is so strange and fragile, this relationship of ours, that I don’t dare to call it friendship yet.
There are times when I feel that the affinity between us is so intense that my heart sings for the beauty of it, finally I let myself believe the words of the other Spock, and I just know that this man will be one of the most precious things of my entire life.
And then, all of a sudden, he becomes a total stranger and I am painfully aware of his being alien; I feel frustrated and angry, because it seems that between us there’s a space so wide that I’ll never be able to cross it.

He observes me, constantly, unceasingly, while we play chess in my quarters or his, while we eat in the mess-hall, when we are on duty on the Bridge. He tries to be subtle about it, but I know better.
He studies me with the same single-minded intensity that he reserves for the most delicate of his experiments, or the most entangled stream of data.
Sometimes that look of utter concentration reminds me of Sam, hunched over his beloved Konus College, completely engrossed in the study of eukaryotic cells.

Spock is probably the only person in my life who’s capable of making me feel self-conscious. Really, it’s kind of pathetic how important his opinion is becoming to me. Yes, of course, his opinion always matters: he’s my First Officer, and I have to listen to every word he says about a given situation or a strategy or just anything. But I start to realize that its importance goes far beyond our jobs.
I – just… need to know that I have his approval. I don’t know if this could have something to do with my Oedipus complex or other shit like that, and frankly I don’t want to know; it is already crappy enough as it is.

As days go by, marked by the raising and dimming of the lights in this artificial world of ours, I find myself more and more transfixed by this man.
I said that he watches me, but now I must confess that the staring is mutual.
It is not just physical attraction (although I would be a hypocrite if I denied that). The fact is that I am a bisexual hedonist: I love women and making love to them, but for the male body I have a kind of reverence that is very akin to that of the ancient Greeks. And Spock… well, Spock is far too easy to admire. He is perfect, but not in the sense that his features are flawless, quite the contrary: he’s skinny and lanky, his nose is too big, his lips are too thin, his traits are angular and stern. But when you stop focusing on the single details and look at him as a whole, you suddenly realize that in front of you stands one of the most graceful creatures in the entire Milky Way. His movements are as fluid as flowing water, his manners are a king’s, his knowledge knows no bounds, and his mind is sharp and awe-inspiring (and sometimes too much inside the box for my tastes, but I hope that in time my bad human influence will change that); when he plays the lyre or runs an analysis with his beloved computers, he reminds me of a Tolkien’s elf disclosing the secrets of this Universe.
I’m here, aboard this sleek Silver Lady, to boldly go where no one has gone before, and yet, at times, I have the impression that the undiscovered country is right there in front of me, sitting on the other side of my desk, considering his next move.

::

1.3. Spock

I am considering my next move.
In more than one sense, I am feeling perpetually in check. My fingertips graze the smooth surface of a Rook, and my mind jumps off course, imagining a different touch on a different smooth surface.
Such out-of-control reactions are unacceptable, but my quandary is in a measure understandable. I have a solid, if small, base of knowledge to help me find my way through the labyrinth of these unaccustomed emotions. My mother’s loving example and my father’s willing acceptance of my human half have effectively lightened for me since childhood the sometimes intolerable weight of Vulcan disapproval for too many facets of my mindset and attitude, including my propensity for analysis of emotions.
When I was a youngster, I used to keep such a realization under cover, even to myself; but since declining the offer of the Vulcan Science Academy, and most especially after meeting with my older counterpart, I have no qualms about acknowledging the unique advantage both my parents have been for my global education.
It seems I am indeed already more comfortable with myself than the Ambassador was at my age, at a time that is when he was effectively, if painfully, excluded from contact with his family.
So I should be able to face myself and assess the situation according to c’thia, the sense of reality as it is.
But I can’t. Or rather, I don’t dare.
When James T. Kirk bounded into my life, he brought with him a peculiar brand of unrest. His mere presence blurs the boundaries between the possible and the impossible. The Kobayashi Maru test was supposedly impossible to solve, yet he solved it. Surviving out of a pod on Delta Vega was supposedly impossible, yet he did. He saved Mr. Sulu with an impossible manoeuver. He beamed on a starship at warp speed. He made me lose control in anger. He saved the Federation, if not my planet of birth.
There is a saying on Terra: “Everybody knew it couldn’t be done. Then along came an idiot who didn’t, and he made it.” The saying is illogical. I have gathered ample proof that J.T. Kirk, my Captain, is anything but an idiot.
At first, this distorting effect of his on the contours of reality only seemed to puzzle me at an intellectual level.
In retrospect, I have come to believe that my attitude when I confronted him during his trial for hacking the Kobayashi Maru test was the result of an ill-conceived attempt at making him admit that what he had done was indeed impossible, and as such it was --it *had* to be-- irrelevant within the parameters of consensual reality.
I had to acknowledge in the following few days that at the time I was prisoner of a much too narrow concept of c’thia.
What’s worse, a different layer has been added of late to my as yet unsolved intellectual distress.
I have to confess to myself that the correct term to define the nature of such a layer is “yearning”.
What if the idea I used to hold of the boundaries of what is possible should be revealed as flawed?
An overwhelming number of things which I had judged as impossible, may turn out to be very much possible instead.
What then?
Have I wasted my life so far in a fruitless attempt to rationalize my self-denial by defining as “impossible” those desires and needs I am too coward to pursue?
On the brink of such mental precipice, my human half seems to overtake my Vulcan habits and turn them upside down.
I feel... No. Yes, c’thia does not allow for dissimulation: I do feel like I always lived in semi-darkness, and now I am suddenly out in the sunlight.
I am terrified.
I used to efficiently find my way in the comforting darkness by the soft touch of my fingertips, and I was content to do so. Now I am trapped in a nightmarish reversal of Plato’s tale about the cave: from the quiet world of noumena, mere surfaces with no individual depth, I have been thrown out in the exciting sharpness of view, and my senses are flooded with unaccustomed input. All at once there is a whole new level for me to incorporate in my perceptions.
I feel the warmth of the sun on my hand, and I am scared of the light as much as I yearn to touch it.
Sweet like warm honey, golden as a swarm of buzzing bees.
But bees can sting: they will die to defend the hive.
What do I do now?

::

1.4 Kirk

Note: lyrics from DEPECHE MODE, Sweetest perfection, in Violator, 1990.

There’s no way I’m going to survive this. It is utterly, humanly impossible.
We’re playing chess in my quarters, I’m winning, Spock is annoyed and is wearing a grimace of dislike (or at least its Vulcan equivalent, this meaning that his brow is slightly furrowed and his mouth is just barely curved downwards) while his eyes study avidly the board.
And then, all of a sudden, he takes the Rook he won earlier for his Bishop with a savvy exchange and starts stroking it (a honest-to-God absent-minded gesture that has nothing to do with a logical, energy-saving coordination of body movements), the thumb deliberately tracing its small plastic shape, the indented tip, and for a fraction of second I let myself imagine that it is not a Rook, but my… my…
Dear gods in Romulan hell.
Then our gazes meet and I freeze.

I stop and I stare too much, afraid that I care too much.

He knows what’s going on in my mind. He must know, because I feel that my entire soul is held in my eyes. I should look away, right now, but I can’t, I never could even if my life depended on it (I’m sure I’ll drop dead to the floor any moment now, my heart can’t beat this fast for very much longer).
Eventually he looks away – is it me or are his cheeks a shade of green darker than usual?- and at least for today my sanity is spared.
What’s the fucking problem with me? A starship captain is not supposed to have not-so-subtle erotic fantasies about his First Officer’s hands and what said hands touch; I’m sure there must be a sub-section in the regs about it, something related to decency and mental sanity. But, Freud have pity on me, I just can’t help it. I mean, am I the one to blame if Spock’s hands are one of Mother Nature’s finest works of art? They’re so pale and delicate that they seem made of glass and yet I know they could easily break my neck with a move more rapid than a butterfly’s beat of wings. They’re beautiful, always: when they’re folded behind his back, when they hold a PADD, when they’re steepled – signaling that their owner is dealing with a particularly complex train of thought.
Every time that my eyes rest on Spock working with his computers or playing the lyre, I can do nothing but stare helplessly, shamelessly, as those slender, skilled fingers dance on the buttons or pluck the strings.
I’m pretty sure that Michelangelo’s hands weren’t that dexterous when he painted Adam’s Creation.
Crap, I’m doing it again.
It shouldn’t be this hard. I won’t deny that I have a very healthy, very active libido, but I’m not fifteen, for God’s sake.
Maybe it depends on the fact that sexual attraction is just a part of the problem, and that something like this has never happened to me before.
Of course I’ve been in love before --well, sort of, but none of my juvenile, Iowan crushes could ever compare to this, whatever this is.
It is slowly becoming an obsession, an infection of body and mind that reminds me very closely of that relentless compulsion that made me finish Academy courses in three years instead of four.

Gods, the Academy. It seems like those days belong to another reality. Okay, poor choice of words here, but the fact is that sometimes I doubt that the Spock I know now and the android I argued with at the Kobayashi Maru trial are the same person (and maybe in a sense they aren’t).
Rarely I’ve felt as frustrated as I did in that occasion. No matter how hard I tried, he just… wouldn’t understand. Like everybody else, he saw only what he wanted to see and tried to dismiss me as an annoying and momentary interference in his preordained system.
On the outside I wore my usual mask of the cocky, arrogant brat, but inwardly I wanted to scream at him.
Was he fucking blind? Was he really convinced that the purpose of my cheating was rescuing a simulated ship? Why, just why couldn’t he see that what I was fighting against was him and everything that he represented in that den of self-assured conformists, hypocrites and old braggarts?
I had achieved to sabotage what was considered an unbeatable test designed by an A7 computer expert, and the only thing he had to say was that I had failed to understand the moral lesson behind it. As if acceptance of death could be taught in a lecture room. I wonder how many cadets thought about the Kobayashi before exploding in space under the fire of the Narada.
But I digress. The point is, he couldn’t understand me and I couldn’t understand him.
And the events that followed the trial certainly didn’t help us in overcoming our divergences.
We just… kept missing each other.
How ironic that the only moment I felt that Spock was really seeing me was when he was squeezing the life out of me with his perfect hands.
Anyway.
Some weeks ago I finally saw why he looked so different from all others even in his reproach: it took me a few weeks to realize that he wasn’t judging me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness or some conventional sense of morality, but as a consequence of the fact that in his eyes what I had done was simply impossible, and he couldn’t find a way to set my actions against the background of the established parameters of his reality. He was so openly, honestly frightened by this, that I wonder why it took me so long to see it.
His attitude towards me has changed during these months, and I can’t help but admire him for the effort he must be putting in overhauling his beliefs so drastically.
I used to be so embittered and full of rage then, and now everything’s changing. I can’t say I’m reaching the peace of the senses (and I’m not entirely sure I even want it), but finally I feel like I’m doing the right thing.
Why then this utter terror when I think about my feelings for Spock?
Because they’re unhealthy, they’re foolish and I hate myself for having them.
Because they make me weak and wavering, and I never waver: I’m James T. Kirk and if I want something I take it.

and I hardly dare to touch, for fear that the spell may be broken.

I am on the edge of the abyss and I try to resist its pull, but it’s all useless; it will swallow me and I will be lost.
Where will this end?

::

1.5 Spock

I see that my thoughts have moved from a consideration of proprioception (the Captain’s as well as mine) to that of the sense of touch as ingrained into skin and fingertips.
He has such beautiful hands. Small and fine, but strong and muscled. I watch him use them and wonder at the different ways he touches. I see his fingertips steady and precise on delicate instruments. I see them become hard, efficient weapons in combat. I see them play around as they accompany his conversation in the mess-hall, how he grabs a fork and draws a picture on a paper towel to show to Leonard across the table.
I imagine how they would feel...
But he’s always on the move, move, move. At times I experience difficulty focusing on his position: like a muon, one can only perceive where he’s been from the effects of his presence, but never actually catch him in any given place or moment.
Except that one time in the dock, during his trial about the way he had beaten the Kobayashi Maru test.
My memories go back to that turning point again and again.
He looked *caught*. Unyielding, undefeated, but caught. The tension in his shoulders ought to have alerted me to the fact that he felt he was in the right, and he also felt he would never convince us --convince *me*-- that he was. Yet he would not concede. He would accept a punishment he deemed unjust.
He frightened me.
My attitude toward him in that occasion was unacceptable. I looked down on him, when I had perfect awareness that I was by no means his superior, either intellectually or ethically. I used his father for emotional leverage, when I knew very clearly the issue was not relevant to the matter of discussion. I spoke to him like the Head of the Vulcan Science Academy spoke to me when they offered me a teaching position. But he didn’t respond as I did. He would not have left. He would have paid the price of his being different, because his commitment was then, and has been since, stronger than mine.
I was standing apart from him in that occasion. I have been near him since. I have touched him. I brought him down with a neck pinch. I hit him hard enough to send him flying, I tried to strangle him. The moment stretches in my mind to an endless duration. It was his flesh under my hand, his cool, taut human flesh, so filled with his young life.
And I was trying to hurt him, maybe even kill him.
What then? what void, what black hole would have formed where his life didn’t pulse anymore?
It could have devoured me whole, like Vulcan itself was devoured.
I tried to kill him. Yet sometimes I receive the impression that he feels unsure and wishes for my reassurance. I overheard Leonard mutter once to himself that “Life ‘til now has done nothing more than kick the son-of-a-wandering-bitch around, it’s high time somebody takes some care of the kid for a change”. But how can I give reassurance to him, when everything I believed I knew is swept away by his mere presence?
He touches. Objects, people, he touches and likes it. It is not only a way of getting to know what he touches in the three-dimensional scheme of reference which includes depth, weight and texture. I believe he is at the same time trying to push forward and find the boundaries of the possible, those boundaries he’s constantly pressing against and so often breaching.
Or is this only an imagination of mine?
When danger is present, my immediate reaction is to try and be found impeccable. Prepared, informed, alert, my thoughts in good order, my affairs settled, my intent well-defined. He raises a dust storm instead, so as not to be found and better deal his blows. I face possible death like I would an omniscient judgment, in which I expect to be absolved because I am not guilty. He faces it like a combat, and if death is ever found to fight unfairly, so he is ready to do in his turn.
My memory goes back to that time before being transported on the Narada, when Nyota came to me to say goodbye, and nobody was there to say goodbye to him. He was alone, as he had always been: alone in life, alone in probable death.
I have since learned he knew at the time how the loneliness of his counterpart had in his later years found comfort in the presence of mine. The memory of my Jim, standing there at my side trying not to stare as I allowed myself to sink into the warmth of Nyota’s emotions, and knowing he would very probably never get old enough to have anything like that for himself, makes me shiver.
Wishing that the past could change is illogical, but I am in this regard illogical enough to wish things had been different then.

Once again, it is c’thia to bring me back to myself.
I realize with shame that I have been, as humans say, “beating about the bush”.
My mind has been far away, lost in a chase after insubstantial ideas as it is even too prone to doing. I have forgotten that the thread of my reflections had a definite starting point in a peculiar human idiom. I have forgotten that the main topic of such reflections was the sense of touch, instances of its activation by the Captain’s daily activities and my tactile reactions to them.
I have fled from their physical implications and gone on an abstract diversion which has led me to seek refuge in the philosophical speculations so familiar and comfortable to my mind.
But all the while I have been here, sitting across my Captain in his quarters, engaged in a game of chess, and I must be wearing an especially blank expression, because he’s watching me curiously.
His eyes are darkened by a slight frown. He looks worried.
My gaze lowers to the Rook I am holding in my hand, the weight of the polished plastic suddenly present to my touch, and I am finally aware of what my next move is going to be.
“Permission to speak freely, Captain,” I ask.
“You don’t need any further permission, Spock. Especially off-duty in my quarters. Same goes for the ‘Captain’ stuff. I *have* a personal name, you know. Actually I have two, but I’ll be grateful if you’ll forget about the second.”
He’s trying to reassure himself against this undercurrent of tension. Or is he trying to reassure me?
“Thank you, James,” I begin, and then I add in a hurry, before my Vulcan half can catch up: “I wish to touch your hand.”

::

1.6 Kirk

I’m James T. Kirk and I never waver. I never over think, I never over analyze, I act. I see something I like, I go and get it. My body is the tool of my will, and I use both to bend and reshape reality when it doesn’t meet my approval. What gives me the right? The fact that I want to do so.
We are our own masters and we are responsible for our destiny, alternative realities notwithstanding. This life is most probably the only chance we get, and I want to take from it everything it has to give, without shackles hindering me. We are dancing stars born from chaos, and the Universe is our playground. "Eternity is a child moving counters in a game; the kingly power is a child's" (2). I want to become that child.
Never take for granted the values they teach you. Be always prepared to confute, to deny, to change, to rebuild. Never listen to those who tell you what you can or can’t do. Nothing is impossibile before you try it.
Obviously this philosophy of mine is applied also to the (far too many, in Bones’ opinion) almost deadly situations I have to deal with while doing my job.
It’s not that I’m not afraid of dying, quite the contrary. But I’ve known for a long time (since I was fourteen, to be precise) that fear can prove to be a very powerful weapon if you learn how to control it.
It is not easy but sometimes, when you find yourself completely on your own, your emotions are all that you’ve got.
The point of this little soliloquy would be that I always manage to keep my cool and find my way out of any desperate situation.
And so, why now I find myself utterly paralyzed by terror and I can’t think of nothing to save my ass?

“Thank you, James” Spock says after I’ve just reminded him for what I’m sure was the ninety-sixth time that when off-duty titles and other shit like that can go to hell (well, not exactly the words I used but that’s the idea). Besides, is it normal that I shiver when he calls me like that? Methinks not.
And then he adds in a rush: “I wish to touch your hand.”
My lungs must have stopped supplying oxygen to my brain, ‘cause I’m no longer able to think.
“I… um… What?”
“If you are amenable, I would be quite interested in partaking in a form of physical contact by the means of our hands.”
Now I’m certain that at least my Vulcan sphynx is as nervous as me; typical of Spock to sound like a food replicator installation guide when he’s under pressure.
“I… see.” Thus spoke Kirk, twice in a row winner of the Dialectics competition held annually by the Philosophy Club of Startfleet Academy.
Spock’s frown speaks volumes about his own insecurity and embarassment in this moment.
“I had been led to assume that this type of manual interaction is considered by human social conventions a standard feature of the relationship between two… friends. Did I misinterpret?”
I can’t decide which makes me more hysterical, the fact that he describes a handshake as a ‘type of manual interaction’ or the fact that he’s just called us friends.
“No, no, you didn’t misinterpret anything. It’s just that, you know… this um, request of yours kind of comes out of the blue.”
An eyebrow raises.
“I fail to see the connection between the color of my uniform and the…”
“Never mind. I meant to say that it is unexpected. But it is not… unwelcome.”
“Ah.” Pause. “Shall we proceed, then?” His expression is an impossible mixture of shyness and challenge.
“Make yourself comfortable, Commander.” I grin, and I lay my hand on the desk, spread wide and palm down.

“Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much” (3)

He gazes at it for ten, endless seconds, then, so slowly that I suspect we’ll start travelling backwards in time, he lifts his left hand and rests it on the desk with the result that his fingertips barely brush mine.

“Which mannerly devotion shows in this”

His hand starts inching nearer.
We both take a breath, hard and clear like a hammer on a church bell.
He stretches out the index and the middle finger, while keeping the ring finger and the pinky folded inwards, and drags them along the back of my hand, starting from my wrist ‘til he reaches my fingertips. He repeats this over and over again.
It’s a movement so soft and ethereal that it seems like he’s not touching me at all.
It’s a caress as gentle as spring breeze, that soothes my fears and whispers promises of eternity.
He scrapes my knuckles with his nails, glides over my phalanges, outlines the veins, charts the joints, establishing some kind of hypnotic rhythm that enchants both of us.
I feel something moving across my skin, a tingling sensation that extends to my forearm, reaches my shoulder, ‘til it’s impossibile for me to keep still.

“For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,”

I awaken from my torpor and I draw my hand back.
Spock’s words of protest die on his lips and are replaced by a surprised gasp, as I mirror his weird gesture with my left hand, and I start mapping the same patterns all over his palm.
The flesh under my pads is so smooth and cool that it feels like I’m sweeping my hand over the face of water.
A roaring sound keeps pounding in my ears, and I suddenly realize that they’re our heartbeats.
Finally, I spread my palm and I join it to his.

“And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.”

Our fingers intertwine and clasp tightly.
Our eyes meet and what I see is a reflection of my soul, is the heaven’s door.
His eyes are so warm, so round, so confused and almost feverish. His lips are slightly parted and his eartips are as green as musk.
Our hands part unhurriedly.
I try to catch my breath, I clear my throat, I open my mouth then I close it.
It’s Spock who breaks the silence, speaking in a tone that’s only a pale imitation of his usual confident one.
“I… thank you, James. It was… an interesting experience.”
“No shit, Sherlock” I mutter.
He doesn’t comment.
“I suppose… it is time for me to retire to my quarters. I apologize, but I feel rather fatigued.”
I nod, without looking at him.
“I bid you goodnight. I will see you tomorrow on the Bridge.”
And he leaves, just like that.
What’s the fuck just happened?
::

Note (2): HERACLITUS, fragment DKB52.
Note (3): WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Romeo and Juliet, act I, scene V.


::
Next: Taste

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
devilishdestiny
Dec. 17th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
wow.

this is so beautiful and so perfect.

i'm not sure that i breathed while reading and only gasped for air at the end.

good job.
athens7
Jan. 9th, 2011 10:55 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! Hope you enjoyed the other parts as well! ^_^
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )