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Senses: Smell (4/5)

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Senses. A ni-var, chapter 4/5
by athens7 (as Capt. J.T. Kirk)
and mazaher (as Cdr. Spock)
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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4. Smell

summary: touch, taste, sight, smell, sound. Parallel paths winding, intersecting, and finally coming together. Following their noses from carnage to paradise.


4.1 Kirk

“You're waiting for a train, a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you can't be sure. But it doesn't matter –– because we'll be together.” (11)

Do you know what I hate most about being injured? The majority of people seem to think that it’s the forced inactivity. Don’t get me wrong: I hate to be tied up to a bed and treated like a four year old child with measles. I’ll admit it, I’ve always been kind of hyperactive, but honestly I don’t know what to do with it. I just know that to stop is to die, so I keep moving. Move move move stop take a deep breath start again. My entire life is based on this principle.
And yet, it’s not the immobility.
It’s the odor of blood.
No matter how many showers I take, how much soap I use. It pesters me for days and it just won’t go away. It stays there, etched in every single pore of my skin, soaking my hair to the roots with dark invisible viscous plasma, saturating my tongue with iron, making my fingers twitch.
Sometimes, in a vain attempt to alleviate it, I picture myself going to the operating room and taking a surgical laser: layer after layer I peel away everything, the epidermis, strata and capillaries with all their Latin names, the dermis and all its tissue and glands, but I don’t stop there, oh no, I go deeper and deeper down until I reach to the hypodermis and beyond that, to the muscles the nerves the bone.
I’m a gaping pulp of rotting meat and body fluids and still I can smell it.

This time it is no different.

I’m sitting on the bed, waiting diligently for Bones to officially dismiss me.
I stretch my hand and bring it under my nose and inhale. Yes. Still there. Exhale.

The door opens and Spock is there on the threshold, ready to escort me to my quarters.
(inhale) – I get up – (exhale) – and go towards him – (inhale) – and
and

the blood is not there anymore
for a moment clean recycled air and then
his scent fills my nostril and wreaks havoc with my brain

and I see/I smell

reminiscences of a world that is no longer
precious pearls hidden in a helicoid shell
red grains of sand that gather and
arise in hurricanes that sweep away the carcasses of the le–matyas and the k’karees and challenge the Forge in an everlasting battle for survival and
carve the DNA of the universe on the face of Seleya and
shape the Llangon Mountains in harsh sinuous peaks that rise and shoot up towards the orange sky to
catch halos on T’Khut – and –
hot dry winds shaking the thin branches of the g–teths scattered along the plateau of Tai–la
and
ambered drops of resin and sandalwood burning in the pot
and
milled leaves and theris-masu sliding down my throat in a velvet caress
and
the pungent tang of pel-ta’ruk oil as he cleans the chords of the lyre

(exhale)

See, this is the power that this man has on me.
If he notices my little internal delirium, he doesn’t show it.
And while we exit Sickbay and begin our synchronized walk to my quarters, someone whispers: “Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always.”
Without any conscious effort, my mind goes back to that fateful night in Riverside, Iowa.
I think of that directionless, egotistic rookie that always yearned for something more, something else that he couldn’t define, and used his father’s ghost to suppress it.
I think of the beer I drank and the words Pike told me.
I think about the fact that when I stepped out of the Hella Bar and looked up, the sky never seemed as dark and terrifying and promising as it did in that moment. I swear that I could taste the stars on the tip of my tongue, but it was just for a second and it left me wanting, needing more.
I think about that final ride to the shipyard on my loyal Lucille, the scent of damp grass and freshly made harvest soaking the wheels. I remained there in silent contemplation of the shuttles ‘til the first lights of dawn. A chance to watch, admire the distance, find the new perspective. A change of scene, with no regrets.

This –what Spock and I are going to do– is the next stage, in the never-ending labyrinth of chosen paths, roads not taken, never really healed wounds, burning coals and searing ice marked by the light rhythm of bells that is my –everybody’s– life.
Why then
am I trembling and I feel like a compressor is running in mad circles over my lungs?
We are in front of the door. And then we are inside and I know that from here, there will be no coming back.
But – I can’t look at him. James T. Kirk, the cockiest captain in Starfleet, galactic latin lover, can’t bring himself to make the first move.
Then he reaches out and I finally see. Not an abyss but the ocean is standing in front of me, and I can hear him calling my name from the other coast.
I let myself fall and he touches me in the shadow of a fading doubt.


Note (11): CHRISTOPHER NOLAN, Inception (2010).

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4.2 Spock

He smells like apples.
My olfactory receptors are different from human ones, in that they are eminently suitable for tracking water–soluble chemicals in the dry air of a desert environment, so as to facilitate detection of water sources.
In comparison with Vulcans, humans emit a much larger quantity of water–soluble chemicals. I am therefore very much aware of all the Captain’s smells: sweat when his body is cooling overheated muscles, adrenaline secreted in anger or in fear, blood, urine, tears.
But his basic smell, the constant under all others, which beacons at me whenever I am in his presence, is the smell of apples.
Red Stark, sweet but slightly acidic, crisp when bitten.
I have never been more aware of his tantalizing tang than now, standing in front of him just inside the closed door of his quarters.
He has been released from sickbay and ordered rest for the next two shifts. I have accompanied him here and should by all means be taking my leave, but I cannot utter the words, nor can my eyes leave his.
I am beginning to find some sense in the old, old human legend of the Earthly Paradise and the forbidden fruit.
It is said to have been an apple.
A Red Stark apple.
In this silence between us, I am becoming aware of his uncertainty. His eyes, which held mine, now leave me and wander. He looks down and to his left, then back to me. His mouth tenses, as though he is about to speak, but he does not. The tip of his tongue appears instead, then he bites on his lower lip and looks down again.
Uncertainty. Silence. And all the while a ...desire underneath, just shy of reaching out for my own.
So it is I who touch him in the end. Or is it the beginning...?
My hand moves to the lapel of his jacket, to the place where only 5.3 days ago it was pressing against the pulse of his artery, trying to staunch the red blood gushing forth from his very heart.
As I touch him he looks up, and he is all *here*, like he is during a fight to the death. But if this is a fight, it is not to the death. It is a fight for both our lives.
My fingers graze the fabric, then the palm goes up to stroke his temple. I comb through his hair, reach the nape of his neck, then I lower my hand.
Slowly he unbuttons half of his front seam, not leaving my eyes. His gaze is steady, serious, intense, and so keenly focused on my reactions that all that is left of me are my eyes to watch him and his smell to fill me. Apples, and his arousal growing. I wonder if he can smell mine.
My hand now slides under his lapel, touching his skin, the scar an angry pink, the healing tissues slightly risen.
His skin cool, soft, pale.
His fingers reach for my top button, his eyes asking permission.
I nod.
His fingertips smoothly slip the button from the hole, skim down to the next one, slip that free also. With both hands he opens the neck of my jacket, then he slides them upwards from the edge of my undershirt along the sides of my neck, cupping my head below my ears in a gentle, firm hold. I can’t prevent myself from leaning back into the touch and moving into it, but he retreats his hands and quickly opens the rest of his buttons.
He is standing square in front of me, his chest bare, his scent flooding me like memories of delights I never knew, and he watches me with an unspoken question in his eyes.
“Yes,” I breathe, and I divest myself of my upper garments.
“Yes,” he answers, and I see joy flashing in his eyes as he shrugs out of his.
He comes nearer. He raises his hand and he strokes down the top of my head, my bangs, my brow, my nose, my lips, my chin, in a blessing without words. I throw my head back, exposing my bare neck to his touch in surrender.
He smells of apples, and I am in an orchard in Eden.

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4.3 Kirk

I kneel and begin to undress him.
And he lets me, standing still in front of me
so soft and submissive
keeping his eyes closed
as if trying to memorize every sensory input, every caress
I bestow upon him.

The scent of his alien sex
sends my nerves in overload
I want to taste it swallow it
I want to know
I’m completely out of control
the oxygen in the entire ship couldn’t keep my brain functioning.

Then he finally looks down at me
and in my almost–lysergic haze
all I can think about is
how much of me is exposed to him?
and the answer is
not enough not enough never enough.

So I rise and I tear away
these hateful final barriers
I want to strip down to the bone
for him for him only for him.

I call him to me with my touch my smell
and he comes
and we join seamlessly
like two lips of the same wound
our foreheads colliding
transparent glass surfaces
where our souls lean out and greet each other
our lips finally meeting
in countless little kisses that are
messy and sloppy and uncoordinated
and try to cover every square centimeter of our skin

in a way not at all romantic but who fucking cares.

And then we are
rolling on the floor crushed against the desk and then finally wrapped in the sheets
and all I can see is
the black of his pupils constantly dilating and contracting
of his fine hair sliding between my fingers
a pointed tip
the blinding white of his neck
the smoothed angle of a hip
the dark green hue delicately suffusing his chest and his cheekbones
and my ears roar
with his sighs and my imprecations and our panted prayers
and the mix of our sweat and our arousals gives off
a scent that is intoxicating and stifling and nearly unbearable.

I feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line

And then his hands are everywhere
he grips me shatters me fractures me cuts me into little pieces disassembles me
and builds me anew
strangled entangled locked together
marching under marble arches
crossing the distance
filling the gaps

but soon his touch turns into a worship
too intense and innocent to bear
so I push him away
and lay down on my back
and spread myself wide
(not enough not enough never enough)

“Open your eyes. Look.”

take me take me take me
make me disappear so that you can be all that I am
this is the way step inside.
“I’m yours. Won’t you take me?”

And as always
he obeys me
runs his hands over my stomach my pelvis my inner thighs
in ethereal strokes that liquefy my muscles
dragging slowly but inexorably
toward my center
circling, preparing, asking permission
withering our perceptions
embracing the lust and the desire
seeking the connection.

And when he moves in me
and I around him
and the Universe with us
to the rhythm pounding wildly in the chest and in the side

(dancing on the edge of the cliff
witnessing the beauty
to swing on the spiral
of our divinity)

every breath we draw is Hallelujah.

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4.4 Spock

It is not Eden.
The snake gave Eve a choice.
But I do not have a choice, because once Jim has touched me at last, he does not stop.
I look down and watch while his fingers fumble with the fly of my trousers.
When he pushes them down, and follows them, and crouches in front of me, I close my eyes and just allow myself to feel.
Be touched.
He taps my boots, one at a time, for me to pick my feet up and allow him to pull the boots and socks off.
Nobody pulled my boots off my feet after I turned three.
He slides my trousers down, together with my pants, over my naked feet, and off.
My smell diffuses around him. I hear him breathing harder.
He stops, I open my eyes.
He is still crouching, fingertips pointed on the floor, and raises his face up to look at me.
He is so beautiful, etched in the half–light, his smooth muscles rippling under his skin in anticipation. He realizes suddenly that I am naked in front of him, and he is not, so he stands, quickly heels his own boots off, then his socks with the agile tips of his toes, and all the while he works on his trousers, and a moment later he is also naked, standing straight and poised like a lirpa four inches apart from me.
His hands move again, raised palm forward to my chest, and there is only a moment of hesitation before they they irresistibly, blessedly, come on and touch me.
I shiver.
The scent of him, the unique mixture that he oozes just now, is different from any scent of his I ever breathed. This is the scent of the first time we are standing, naked, in front of each other.
I cannot hold myself under control anymore. I shift forward, filling the gap between us, filling the gap in my soul, our bodies now touching all along the lenght of us from shoulders to groin, like two hands joined in prayer.
The tips of our toes touch, then he slides his feet forward to cover the tips of mine.
His toes are warm.
His hands are warmer.
We begin moving, and somehow it seems that whatever we do, we move in accord, every touch met and answered, every catch of breath the twin of another, his taste on my tongue as I lick behind his ear and mine on his as he nibbles on my fingers.
We are too near to see each other.
We are trying to sink into each other.
All I can catch are glimpses of him, the curve of a biceps, the indentation between the collarbones, a flash of blue when he turns his face, a flash of white when he cannot help smiling one of his wide, young smiles of happiness.
We roll we stand we step to the bed and I sniff him all over, learning him anew in smells. I bury my nose in the cumin–scented sweat under his armpit. I trail the clean salted perfume of his fine sparse fleece down from his belly to the deeper animal scent of the hair around his sex. I lose myself in the wonder of this blind landscape, and all the while he is pushing, pulsing, crawling and sliding and pressing nearer for something.
What?
I do not understand, I am so lost in smells.
But then he leans back, and I feel abandoned; he rolls back, and I fall after him, along the track his scent is leaving between us, but he stops me, one hand pressing on my chest.
“Open your eyes,” he says, and his voice is rough. “Look,” and it breaks a little.
I look. He is supine in front of me, under me, watching me with an intensity of desire I never saw before. He pulls his knees up to his chest, opens his legs, showing his filled-up penis and his puckered anus.
“Spock. Please. I’m yours. Won’t you take me? I want you to take me.”
For a moment I feel what he asks is absurd.
Then his breath catches, and I am released.
I am free.
Free to take and to give, to release myself from my loneliness and him from his wait.
I have never been as much myself as I am now, blessed by our mingled scents, while I move in him and he moves around me, and I feel –I do feel– that he is also, at last, himself.
We have together come to the truth of us.
And if this took the breaching of the god-given decree that the living must suffer, all I can say is, it is worth it.
All I can say is,
Hallelujah.

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4.5 Kirk

I would never have guessed that Heaven was in the Captain’s quarters on Deck 5 of the starship Enterprise.
My consciousness comes back to reality slowly, unhurriedly, like a swimmer breaks the face of the sea after diving from the highest shore, and I find that Spock and I are laying naked on my bunk, on our left sides, that his right arm is wrapped languidly around my waist – the fingers brushing my navel and toying lazily with the hair - and that he is sprinkling my shoulder and my nape with hundreds electric pecks, tasting flickers of tongue and hungry nibbles.
The smell of orgasm and mingled semen permeates the sheets and the floor and the walls and I’ve never felt so alive.
“You are awake.” A murmur that glides sleekly inside my ear, warm and sensuous like nectar pouring in a goblet.
How am I supposed to listen to him lecturing on the Bridge from now on, without exploding at the memory of his voice in these moments?
“…Hmm… another five minutes.”
A light, amused puff that makes the hair on the back of my neck rise.
“I confess, I was becoming preoccupied. You have remained unconscious for an almost alarming amount of minutes. Precisely –“
“Wait just a moment, you smug Vulcan!” I exclaim outraged, turning around to face him. “By any chance are you insinuating that I –“
But whatever I was about to say dies on my lips because… because, if I already firmly believed that Spock under normal circumstances is something to die for, obviously I had never seen him in the aftermath of sex. It’s not the ruffled hair or the sight of his bare collarbone. It’s the red, soft satisfaction swelling his thin lips, the faintest (but definitely there) wrinkles of contentment surrounding his eyes, the… the peace shining on a face usually so careful in hiding its inner truth, that make my heart stutter.
“You did not complete your sentence, Jim” he breathes, the damned teaser, while his hand leaves my stomach and starts inching nearer toward my groin.
“I – oh… I can’t remember…”
“Then it was irrelevant.”
Dammit. Dammit.
Ten minutes and an embarassing quantity of moans on my part later, I’m a quivering bundle of drained nerves that doesn’t even remember his name.
“I – I think we need some tissues” I manage to gasp at last.
I haven’t even finished saying it, that he’s already returning from our bathroom with a damp towel.
He sits again on the bed beside me and starts wiping my stomach and my abdomen.
“Spock, just what you think you’re doing? I’m not an invalid!”
“The good Doctor agreed to your release only after coercing me into promising that I would assure myself you would have not undertaken any superfluous strain. He even demanded I use the old ritualistic expression ‘cross my heart’. Now I am merely attempting to contain the damage.”
“I would never define what we did ‘superfluous’.”
“Do you desire to open a debate with him on the subject?”
“Geez, that would be pretty awkward, wouldn’t it? No, I’d rather not.”
At a certain point, the towel disappears but the massage doesn’t stop.
“… Gods, if you go on like this you’ll have to pick my remains up with a spoon.”
“My sincere apologies, Captain. But I find I am not able to keep my hands off your person.”
“Then don’t, Commander. Don’t.” (half seduction, half plea)
He stares at me with a look that could burn through duranium. Then he stretches on top of me, his forearms resting on my chest, one hand gently enveloped around my neck, the other delicately holding the left side of my face.
His fingers, long and slender like stems of a rare flower, begin a tender and timid exploration of every feature, every line, every imperfection, brushing my eyebrows, outlining my nose, skimming over my eyelids, hesitating for just the tiniest of fraction on the faint mark left by the Mavrosian bullet; and then, shyly but unmistakably, they set in an arrangement that I recognize at once and that makes boiling ice coil around my bowels.
No.
“Jim…” he starts, tense and trembling like I’ve never heard him before, a child that knows that it’s a dangerous question, but can’t stop himself from asking it anyway.
No no no no no. Why are you doing this to me? To us? Why can’t we be already satisfied? Don’t ask me this, please. Don’t make me hurt you.
“… would you allow a meld?”. His voice lowers bashfully on that final word, as if he couldn’t believe his own audacity.
I don’t answer. But he hears my rejection just the same. The pain rising like a wave in his eyes is a blade twisting inside my own heart. He looks at me, hurt and disoriented, as if he had a sudden stranger in front of him. My words simply don’t compute; I can almost see that prodigious brain racing compulsively for an explanation, dissecting every detail of the question and all its plausible implications, and then finally reaching the wrong conclusion.
Fuck, fuck, why did you have to ask? I don’t want to do this… but you give me no other choice.
“Is it your previous experience with the Ambassador the cause of your reluctance?”
“…”
I turn my eyes away.
He lets out a sigh and starts to rise.
No. I must be strong. For him.
I grab him by the wrist.
“Yes… and no” I swallow finally.
He sits again, but doesn’t reply. He simply waits. But I can see that at least a part of the pain is now replaced with a strange sort of curiosity and… yes, hope.
I rub my eyes tiredly.
“It’s… it’s just… Spock, I don’t really know if you’d like what’s inside here. It’s pretty much a mess” I manage lamely.
I should know better by now. Really, I should. Because after these words Spock doesn’t rise. He doesn’t insult me or go away with ill-concealed disappointment.
Instead, he pins me down to the bed, cutting my breath, piercing me with a gaze full of calm affection and something else, some kind of… amused exhasperation?
“Why do you keep doing this to yourself? Why this ceaseless self-doubt, this harshness? I wish to meld with you because I want to show you how beautiful you are. You have so many great qualities and yet you constantly hide behind a facade of arrogance and self-sarcasm --”
“Listen to yourself. You know, there’s a certain irony in being reprimanded by a Vulcan about the negative aspects of hypocrisy.”
Just how much have I to hurt you before you’ll leave me? And already I miss you.
He raises an eyebrow and his lips twitch.
“Your strategy has been uncovered a long time ago, Captain. It will not work. Not with me, not this time. You must understand this: there is absolutely nothing in your mind that could change my regard for you.”
“Isn’t it illogical to formulate a theory before having actual data, based on an assumption that you can’t demonstrate?”
“Jim, will you trust me?”
I snort.
“… now, that’s cheating, Commander.”
“I had a very good teacher. Do not deny this to me. To us. Let us ride this spiral until its end, my Jim, and we will go where no one has gone before.”
Have I already mentioned that I’m completely, irrevocably his?
I look at him with a pale ghost of my customary grin and I raise my chin, offering myself to him.
“Then do it, if you dare.”
He resumes the position; if I weren’t so busy in keeping my trembling under check, I’d notice that his hand is just barely shaking.
“My mind to your mind…” he chants.
“… my thoughts to your thoughts.” I reply, an echo of another time, another place with a person that was the same and yet was not willowing across the threads of my memory.

Then --

We are One Creature.
Everything that is real is inside us and everything inside us is real
light exploding in a cloud of silver birds and sunlit wings
framing in billions and billions of splinters water droplets and red sparks --
-- he takes me by the hand and leads me through
labyrinths of coral caves and white giant stars and submarine depths
and spirals of solar flares --
-- our consciousness stirs and stretches and rises towards the unnameable beauty
the ultimate enigma --
everything is so new and yet it’s always been here, so plain to see.
This eternal moment belongs to us and us alone
feel it feel it feel it in your bones in your blood in your brain down to the last neuron
along the electric patterns and in the drift of the stars
take it in your chest envelop it in your arms thrust it in your heart
pierced transfigured devastated reborn from here to eternity
we walk we run we leap forward flying twirling bending
as wide as the universe the multiverse and our virginal minds
floating in the primordial broth.

A clarity of vision
where there is no contradiction
just the beat of life
and death
and truth
inside me
inside us
spiraling out
and still.

We
are

all in One
one in All.

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4.6 Spock

The Captain is asleep and I am watching him breathe.
I have witnessed the process by which the over-emphatic image under which he presented himself has mellowed along the months into a softer look, a kinder touch.
He used to be brash in front of others and hard, too hard, with himself. Now he is quietly confident when on shift, and slightly more relaxed in private.
Is it the effect of his growing experience and self–assurance as Captain of the Enterprise?
Or may it be... May it be that the way I look at him has had an influence?
I do wish he were gentler with himself.
He treats both his body and his soul with the same demanding harshness too many others employed with him in the past, regrettably including me. He internalizes their voices, just as there was a time when he was used to acting out their expectations of him: the kid who ran from home, the joy-rider, the young offender, the bar brawler. The cheater.
I know.
I read his file when he was indicted for hacking the Kobayashi Maru test.
I read what was written there, and what wasn’t.
That’s not what you are, Captain.
You are the one I love, my Jim to whom I belong, whose half-sweet, half-salted scent now fills my nostrils and the whole of myself as I hold you next to me, skin to skin, and breathe you in while you sleep.
We coupled. We melded.
I still cannot believe that he could bring himself to give this much to me.
He was afraid that his mind was not fitting to be seen, that it was not the best of him, not worthy of me.
But he was so wrong. His innermost self is the most precious gift he could ever give me, because he only ever gave it to me, and it is beautiful. It is *him*.
He won his fear that I would reject the truth of him, and he plunged into the meld like he dived head-first out of the shuttle, speeding toward the surface of Vulcan at 10,00457 m/s2 (12). He knows nothing of how he helped me win my own fear that he would not find, in the truth of me, sustenance enough for his mind and his heart.
Yet I found the courage to ask, and he had the courage to answer with a challenge: “Then do it, if you dare”.
And I did.
I confess I have no idea where such courage came from to me, unless from the dancing shadows his light casts upon my soul.
We took the risk, we dived together, and we are the better for it.
There are not many beings who can step up to the experience of a meld with such depth and grace.
Where I need to grasp actual details and crawl from one to the next, he soars. He is so conversant with his lush inner landscape...
Mine is a desert: will it be such forever?
If so, he is the oasis.
Now, like two hands whose fingers are threaded together, we can rest in each other as we could not alone.
The Captain is asleep, and I am embraced by the scent of us.


Note (12): My estimate. Encyclopedical sources (Memory Alpha, Memory Beta, Wikipedia) only mention a slightly “higher surface gravity” for the planet. JAIN, Speed, at http://jain.livejournal.com/117327.html, suggests 16,7 m/s, which seem a bit too much. Such a value would indeed impede human functions more markedly than the measure reported both in canon and fanon, where average temperature on the surface and a thinner atmosphere figure much more prominently as typical Vulcan hardships for humans.
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